All The Things-

Happy New Year!!! 

Dear friends,

I have been writing and erasing, writing and erasing, writing and erasing posts for days now.  I have so many things that I want to say but I have zero time to do it.  It is NEVER quiet here.  There are very very few moments that I have to myself to actually sit and compose something or to pull my thoughts together in any sort of way that makes any sense.  I have so many thoughts about what I would like to do this year.  So many things that are on my heart that I really really feel like I need to do something about.  But after like I said, DAYS of trying to figure it out or at very least just post a picture on the socials and say "Happy New Year!" and physically getting a headache every time I tried, this is what I have come up with.

I am homeschooling my kids.  

I am focussing all of my attention on caring for my family and making our home the place we need it to be.  

These things are all consuming.  As I have been trying to do ALL the things, EVERYTHING has been crumbling at worst and mediocre at best.  This is a big realization.  I'm burnt out.  I am uninspired because I don't have the time to BE inspired.  The most important things in my life have been taking a back burner to things that I felt I was obligated to do.  It has been stressful and Ive been yelling and freaking out a lot more than I want to.  It hasn't been awful - we had a wonderful holiday season!! - and this isn't a pity post - I am really happy and like 95% at peace with this - I just wanted to share my goals and give a little heads up that we are doing great and we are going to be living in the REAL world, not so much the cyber world of social media.

My focus this year is on real everything.  Real connections, real food, real peace, real time.  Real EVERYTHING.  I want to be completely present for my kids and husband without the nagging thought in my head that I need to make a post or share a picture or rush through a blog post or a podcast or put out a half assed song just to do it.  I can't do it all and the very most important thing is taking care of the real people God has given to me to take care of.  

That being said, I do have an aching heart for the way that things are in this world right now.  Part of me just wants to turn the blind eye, focus ONLY on my family and just say to heck with the rest of it.  But that is not what we Christians are called to do.  The more I watch and observe this crazy (not good crazy) world, the more I see people  - especially our kids - spiraling into loneliness and depression and just general states of disconnected "blah", the more I feel like I MUST do something.  And that something is to tell the truth.  On our home page thats what it says that we are - seekers of truth.  

The truth is that this world is lost and in desperate need of some common sense and a good dose of Jesus.  I am constantly thinking about how EVERY problem can be solved by accepting Jesus and his love.  His unconditional love.  Upset about something?  Bring it to Jesus and then do what he would do to help be the change.  Feel like you are unloved?  Bring it to Jesus and know that he loved you so much that he died for your sins.  That he loves you exactly the way you are but that he loves you too much to let you stay that way.  For every problem there is an answer.  Jesus.

I am tired of hiding the light under the bushel.  Or dancing around the real answer in the hopes that I can be non offensive.  Mediocrity is not inspiring and is not getting anyone anywhere. I have turned my work over to God.  

I know that my mission field is first and foremost my home and my precious family.  Taking care of them and nurturing them in every way.  The second field is our community.  Doing what I can, where I am, with what I've got.  In real life.  

The time suck of social media and trying to do it all is overwhelming.  There can be so many benefits, but right now its just an exhausting headache.  The girls love being and doing things for The Pretty Crazies, they love making the videos and podcasts and stuff...but finding the time to do them well is sometimes a challenge.  We love making the Wishing Well products - thanks to all of your support with our little passion project, we are going to be donating $100 a month to Lifetime Wells!!!  We are THRILLED!!!! We are definitely not going away, we are evolving.  We are trying to figure out how to balance life.  

Honestly, actually just being able to have a quiet half an hour to sit down and write this out has made me feel so much more inspired already!  To share with you our new focus and the fire to change the world.  BUT, as is always quoted from Mother Teresa - "If you want to change the world, go home and love your family".  So thats the main thing I will be doing.  

Thanks as always for hanging with us.  


Odd Man/Girl Out 

Its really hard watching your kid get left out.  My heart literally aches watching it happen and I have to stop myself from shooting death glares at the girls who are causing the pain.  

My kid is amazing. She is strikingly beautiful, very smart, super nice, really fun, outgoing, talented...literally all the things that you would want to be.  She has plenty of friends.  Homeschooling has widened her circle, but also made it less obvious.  She doesn't really have a "bestie", she doesn't have a "clique" or a group.  She seems like the odd man out.  And thats why its so hard watching.  The girls who are "in" the group are not mean.  They are definitely not mean girls, they aren't saying or doing things that are easy to pin point and say "thats not okay they need to stop that".  They are just not including her.  They walk right past her to each other and really don't even glance her way - most of the time.  She gets just enough of a little conversation or gets included at certain times just enough so that she keeps trying.  Maybe thats the hardest part.  She wants to be part of the group and while (again) the kids aren't MEAN, they just don't care or see her.  

I will say that I know that this is something that adults have issues with too.  I know that I do myself.  Its been a long day, I see my close friends and I just want to see and hang out with THEM.  I don't on purpose try to be dismissive of other people, I'm just caught up in my own world.  Definitely not trying to be mean.  Maybe thats part of why watching my girl go through this is so hard.  Because no one is really doing anything wrong, its just that no one is going the extra mile to do something RIGHT.  

So many of our songs were written about doing the next right thing, looking for the kid that needs a friend, being the one, standing up for whats right....but I have to admit that all of those songs were written telling MY kids, who were the "popular" kids to go the extra mile to include people.  I don't know what to say when its my kid being left out.  I can't make the kids include her.  That would be ridiculous.  And would probably make the situation worse.  They aren't little kids anymore where we can make then have playdates and engineer their friendships and tell them to just play with everyone.  They are tweens who are growing up and forming groups - again, theres nothing really wrong with THAT, I have my group too - and figuring out who works with them and who doesn't, and who THEY are.  I can't fault them for long as they aren't ACTUALLY being mean.

I just don't know what to do about it.  I don't know what to say to my girl.  I hate seeing her feelings hurt.  I really hate seeing her hanging on every little crumb of attention that "the group" gives her.  It sucks.  It definitely is a reminder to me personally to do better and "be the one" as my own song says.  But it doesn't help her heart.  

She IS a happy kid.  She's definitely not depressed or letting this issue REALLY get to her.  She is confident and so self aware its amazing.  She knows exactly whats going on and she knows that its not about her.  She just feels left out.  And it sucks.

That .9% thing... 

When I was pregnant with Lucia I had a prenatal test done that told us that there was a 99.1% chance that she was going to have Down syndrome.

All the emotions, the challenges, the humongous struggles during pregnancy, the doctor visits...all of those things are for a later post, a different post, some other time.  This one is about holding on to the teeniest tiniest hope even when your gut is telling you that the majority is going to rule and that you actually really do know the outcome.

Sometimes we hold on to that .9% for our sanity.  To just get us through the day so that we can take the next step forward and so that we can deal with the day to day things that we HAVE to do to survive.  We hold on to that .9% so that we don't lose our minds completely.  So that we have hope that just maybe it wasn't / isn't what they say its going to be, or what "all signs point to".

I don't think that theres anything wrong with that. But at some point, you get the full 100% and then what do you do.

Just before I was given my precious baby girl I prayed that if it was true, that if she really was going to have Down syndrome, that I wouldn't care at all.  That it wouldn't matter to me in the least and that she would change my life.  My prayers were answered so much above and beyond my wildest dreams that if I hadn't already been a huge believer in Jesus' love and power I would have became a card carrying Christian right then and there.  The gift that we were given in that tiny little body is something that I will shout from the roof tops for the rest of my life and will do my best to help everyone else in the world see.  


Sometimes you are holding on to that .9% hope because you don't want to accept the truth and then when you DO get your results, its just another shot to the heart.  So then what.  Well, while I do not have all the answers on that, my thought is this.  You just accept it and close that door.  You use that closure to help someone else live.  You do what you can with your experience and hope that you can use your story to help those on their journey as well as working through your own grief.  You surround yourself with people who are walking the same path and you figure out how to get through it.  And you eventually turn it in to something good.  

You learn to accept the truth, the good, the path and your new story.  

Today I watched my crazy little almost 8 year old randomly go up to an older guy in the parking lot, say hi and proceed to give him a huge hug before I could stop her.  He looked at me as I was just about to apologize and pick her up and drag her away mortified...and he said "I needed that.  She just made my day".  And then I cried.  Thank goodness I was wearing sunglasses.  

You don't know where  you life is going to take you.  You don't know if that .9% thing that you are hoping won't happen or won't be true turns out to be so but then was GIVEN to YOU, EXACTLY YOU to help someone else.  Its a matter of what you are going to do with the situation.  Are you going to wallow in it or are you going to embrace it.  Mess and all.  Hard stuff and all.  Peoples judgements and ALL.  

I would encourage you to embrace it all.  I would not trade exactly my child for anything in the entire world.  She is a true gift from God.  While your situation might not seem like its a gift from God, I bet it is.  If you choose to let it be.  Its what you do once you get the 100% that counts.  Make it count.


Brain dump thoughts about homeschooling 

I'm not really sure what I actually learned in school.  I mean, besides the basic reading, writing and math and some general information and maybe some, like, HOW to learn things...I really can't tell you anything.  The real learning that I did, the information that I know now, the things that I am able to explain to my kids when they have questions about stuff, THAT did not come from school.  I'm pretty sure all that info came from life experience.  As I got older and became interested in certain things, had questions that made me want to delve deeper into the subject to find the answers, I learned.

I was not a "school" person.  I loved going to see my friends and all the extra curricular stuff about school, but ultimately I didn't really care about sitting in class "learning" and like I said, I don't really think I did.

As a homeschooler now, I am kinda struggling with some things related to this.  When Vi wants to know why she has to learn about geometry (just an example because thats what we are doing right now in math) I tell her that there really is no good reason.  Unless she likes it, loves it, is fascinated by it and wants to do something career wise that uses it, I really don't see the point.  I'm 46 and I'm pretty sure its never been something that I needed in my life.

I'm feeling frustrated these days because there never seems to be enough time to do all the things we WANT to do (think Wishing Well etc) because we have to spend time doing lessons.  If the girls were in school I would have time to do it...I would have time to do ALL the things.  But we chose to homeschool, for the most part I am very happy with that choice, and so I am trying to figure out how to manage the time AND learn.

Which leads me to my thought today...what on earth did I actually learn in school and maybe its better to just follow the girls lead and learn that way.  I mean with SOME guidance of course.

We are interested in politics, so we're studying the Constitution.  We ALL are into this.

We are learning and reinforcing math lessons by doing our Wishing Well stuff.  They are riding and learning about caring for horses, they are getting WAY more music than they would in regular school, WAY more art too.

I guess my struggle lately is that we are so busy doing "things" that I get stressed out when its time to sit down and do the "school" part.  We end up battling over it and the day gets ruined.  No one wanted to do our science unit yesterday - geology, which I chose because we all really love pretty rocks and I though it might be interesting - so I just said forget it, and we just didn't do it.

It makes me feel like I'm failing them in some ways.  That they would be better off sitting in a class room all day "learning how to learn" and at least being exposed to different things so that their interests might be peaked by something that I wouldn't have though of.

I guess I'm writing this to make myself feel better and to feel like I am actually doing things right at least on some level.

Being a parent is hard.  We want to do everything we can for these people we are raising. We want them to be happy and successful and smart and confident.  To be productive members of society.  To make an impact.  To maybe even change their world.

I feel selfish sometimes because the EASY thing to do is to just throw them back into the regular school system and say "Whatever, its not my problem now".  I would have all the time I want to dedicate to the things I am involved with, to my own song writing, to my home, my friends, to cooking and exploring...and basically just all the selfish things that I want to do for ME.  But, I have chosen 'hard'.  I'm choosing to study my girls and how they learn and what they are interested in.  Who they already are and what their strengths are.  Who they want to be.  What their dreams are and pouring in to them.

I THINK that if I just focus on doing that, focus on exposing them to the world and seeing what they are in to and then going in THAT direction, they WILL learn to learn.  Maybe even better than if they were just following the "regular" path?  I guess we'll see.

I am maybe writing this also, trying to convince myself to cut myself some slack too?  That they'll be totally fine? That they ARE learning? That I don't need to legit fight with them every day to do things that they aren't interested in? BUT as soon as I wrote that, I'm thinking that thats NOT actually true.  You DO have to do things that you don't want to do.  You DO have to do math - hahah!  But seriously.

I'm just trying to figure it out.  I write things to clear my head, and then when I reread it it helps me get a grip on what is really happening.

So, yeah.

What do you think?

Growing Up, changes and I'm not taking Prozac anymore.  

Basically thats it in a nutshell!  We are all growing up and changing over here in Crazytown.  Vi and I are now at opposite ends of the spectrum (IYKYK) and while some might not think that this is the best time to stop the anxiety meds, I think it is.  And today I sobbed in the car over a beautiful song for the first time in literally years.

I started taking the meds about 4 years ago.  At first I was amazed!  I could watch the girls recitals, the slide shows at church, listen to songs, look at beautiful art....all with out becoming a tearful blubbering mess.  I ENJOYED being a little more stable.  I didn't freak out.  I was just like 'meh'.  And that was good.  That was the point I guess.  It also was probably a blessing during the total lockdowns and the start of homeschooling.  But I'm over it.  I need to FEEL things again and I really don't care if I cry over the beauty and the hard stuff.  Feelings are good.  I missed them.  

I'm watching my older girl and her peers and friends, the kiddos just a little older than her too, start navigating these hormones and giant feelings and I want to be there with her to feel them too.  I want to help her with my lived experience to work through them and learn and grown and even enjoy them, not mask them with drugs (of any kind!) and turn into a 'meh'.

Life is messy and hard and also so full of beauty and love and joy.  I've always been someone who felt EVERYTHING to the extreme and when I was younger and acting - it was a huge asset.  When I became a overwhelmed mom....I needed a break from it.  I got the break.  And now I want my feelings back!

In other news, we are wrapping up our old songs in a nice neat little album (it takes time but its coming!!) and putting a bow on it.  We are working on new material.  More grown up.  More sophisticated.  More rock.  Vi is writing too - and she's GOOD and its awesome to hear her stuff.  We are starting to colab on songs on a different level now and I'm so excited to see where this goes. Music has always been the best way for me to cope with my feelings and I love how it can inspire, encourage, change lives...and just make you happy!!!  

We have started back with our podcasts and we have our friend Emily joining us.  There's so much interesting stuff coming from these.  Listening to these tween/teen girls talk about whats going on in their lives and heads is fascinating.  We hope that you will listen and that the episodes will help you start conversations with your tweens/teens too...and that you adults will enjoy the too.  I am committing to writing more posts here too.  I always have so many thoughts, its just a challenge to find the time in our days to get to them.  But I think its important.  Sometimes our podcasts and the blog posts will be on the same topic.  Sometimes not.  On the homepage of our website it says that we are "seekers of truth".  We are.  But now we are also going to be truth TELLERS.  Theres just way way way too much insanity out there right now and its messing our kids up and our families up and our communities... etc etc etc and I'm tired of it.  I preach to our kids that they have to stand up for whats right, do the next right thing and all that, but yet here I sit just letting chaos reign and not saying anything.  Thats not okay.  


Growing up, changes, and feeling all the feels while shouting truth.  Thats what you're going to get now.  

Hang on - haha!!!


Here we go again...let me introduce us! 

I love fresh starts.  I love Mondays and the 1st of the month, I love NYE SO MUCH.  I love clean slates.  I LOVE when a Monday is the first day of the month, thats my favorite.  But, here it is at almost the end of January, and I guess TODAY is the new start.  "Every day is a new day with no mistakes in it". Right Anne of Green Gables fans?!??!?  

We aren't going to rehash anything.  We aren't going to complain about how sucky things have been.  We are starting fresh.  New website, new band members (Welcome to Tim!!!) new goals.  We are growing up (Vi is now 10 and Lu is 7!!!) and that means that our focus is changing too.  Our sound is changing.  We are still laser focussed on sharing the messages of love, inclusion and being who you are.  That will never change.  But there's new stuff.  Older kiddos, bigger "things".  

Over these last couple of years, but really last couple of months for SURE, my heart has been aching for change.  For our kids.  Especially our middle school aged kids.  Its such a hard stage anyway but it has been made even worse by the isolation and craziness.  We KNOW that social media is not good at all for our kids.  THIS space is social media FREE.  You will not find links to our socials or YouTube etc here.  

I want to create a community.  I want actual reality.  I want kids to feel so loved and so confident and so grounded that there are no more bullies - or that at very least there will  be an army of awesome kids to stop the bullies that remain.  I want that for adults too.  We adults are examples for these kids.  They ARE doing what WE ARE doing.  They are just mirrors.  

Life is hard.  The bible says that in this life you WILL have problems.  BUT there is hope and it doesn't have to THAT bad.  God is LOVE.  His plan and his ways are bigger and better than we can imagine.  He created us to do big things for HIM.  

Our mission here is to spread the love and rock out.  To entertain and encourage our community - through us or inspite of us hahahha!!!  We are loading up for our podcasts again.  We are cultivating a team of tweens to help us really focus on whats going on in their worlds and what matters.  We've got SO MANY big plans....just stay tuned and stay with us!  

This little blog spot right here is my stream of consciousness writing.  I don't really think about it, it just spills out.  So thanks for sticking with me!!  The website is coming together piece by piece and eventually its going to be an app too.  I would encourage you to sign up for our mailing list (once that is available) because thats where you will get all the info about where we will be performing and new things that we have going on.  

Thanks for being with us here in Crazytown.