Get Real

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Sometimes I follow these Pinterest links to these super-housewifey-June-Cleaver-ish blogs. I don’t know about you but they depress me. Well, at least they used to, until I started getting real with myself. I don’t see reality when I read on their ‘about’ page:

 “ Howdy! I’m Linda and I have 23 kids , two culinary arts degrees, and a black belt in Karate. I home school all my kids, teach CCD, run the Rosary society and volunteer at our local pet shelter. In my free time I post endless sewing patterns, vocabulary templates, and recipes that I’ve written all myself. I also like to practice my knitting skills and have an entire YouTube page with tutorials on how to spin yarn and raise & shave your Alpacas! This blog is my way of making you feel entirely unproductive, talentless and generally useless because I will post, tweet, and Facebook new ideas daily! Thanks for stopping by!”

I used to see that and want to roll up with a tiny whimper on the couch clutching the last morsel of a Mallomar feeling completely incapable of daily life.Now I see that and I mentally stand with my hand on my hip “C’mon girl! Get real!”. I’m not buying it! Life is not instagramed. It is not collection of photo documentation of what we do. To prove ourselves worthy of the world. “See cyber world? I am so much better than you. This is me striking a yoga pose while making my own hummus. It’s all in the buttocks.” See that profile that has the picture on Facebook that hasn’t changed in over 3 years? That’s a sign of a  person who is real. They are actually living their life!

Anyway, seeing some of these blogs made me think about this one and what I hope that it is or who it is for. I realized that here at we are a place for all the moms who stand over the garbage can, scarfing down the leftover pizza crust on your toddlers plate while “clearing the table”, for those of you who nearly break their necks tripping over the lost camel from your nativity scene….in August. Who pick up, re pick up, and spend the whole livelong day picking up! Who have to ask “where are your underpants?” regularly. Who buy ovulation test sticks in bulk, from the pharmacy window, with all your babies in tow. And then has to drag your sorry self back to the pharmacy the very next day because the totally incompetent college aged pharmaceutical assistant sold you fertility tests instead of ovulation tests. As if you just being there with all the kids was not a completely obvious sign of which one you needed. Who lick the outside of the yogurt container before you put it back in the fridge, who found out that hey, applesauce and rice cereal is realllllyyyy yummy,who remember that you forgot to switch the wash at 2am and who chase deranged, fat, squirrels off your front porch when you find them attacking your pumpkins. This is for those of us who cannot get out of the house due to dirty diapers, spit up, nursing, crying, meltdowns, potty accidents, spilled yogurt, pulled hair, political survey phone calls, tracked in mud, or all of the above. Or for us who never whistle while they work, but sometimes moan or sigh loudly and occasionally have a quivering bottom lip while listening to shrill tiny voices prattling on at hyperspeed.  For moms who find that their times they negotiate most with God is in the wee hours of the morning, with a child who’s been up half the night screaming. (It’s amazing how many novenas and rosaries we promise. And how many saints needing a 3rd miracle we promise canonization to!) For us who are going to be a “Hello My name is: tired” sticker for Halloween (don’t steal my idea, at least wait until I Pinterest it) For all the moms who get pointless advice from old ladies in the grocery stores or endure unasked for rude comments on your fertility. For you who fish around poking yourself in the eye, looking for a contact lens you never put in. For those of us who eat leftovers for lunch cold. Because, no, we don’t have time to heat it up. And frankly, at this point it doesn’t matter because you just swallow it whole in a matter of seconds anyway. Who take out your earrings at night and find one earring with no back on it, and the other one with two. And who are so gosh darn tired that you cannot remember the names of the children you birthed.

This blog is for all you real mommies out there, who are wiping up, cleaning up, picking up,  living it up and are sometimes tempted to give up, but will never want to wake up with any other family than the one you got. And who know that it’s ok to be aggravated and frustrated with changes or crosses, and that it doesn’t make us failures or less of a good parent to question our decisions. I hope this blog is an avenue for Moms out there to not feel like an island in their chaos, that all of us are there, have been there, and know that eventually…everyone will sleep through the night. And naturally we will have our routines back. And certainly, if we had a choice over which cross we wanted, we would choose our own because let’s get real: nobody knows the ins and outs of our jobs like we do.

Facebook Free

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"Good bye, world. Pray for me as I embark on this journey of living free of Facebook. It won’t be easy, their will be many challenges, but hopefully this countercultural lifestyle change will broaden my view of life deeper than it has been…" These are the words I have written in my journal and as I re-read them or rather, re-write them I realize how hysterical this is. Really? It’s like I’m writing a letter to my relatives as I head off to do mission work in some 3rd world country. The whole thought of leaving Facebook does sound entirely preposterous to anyone on the "outside". The decision sounds akin to announcing that I’m leaving the planet. People look at me with the same quizzical look I used to get when they found out I was homeschooled, that "who does that?" look. Yep, I’m used to it… But the more I think about it, the more I’m convinced. Facebook has to go. Camera Guy is totally on board, we’ve talked about it endlessly, weighed the pros and cons, and ultimately chosen the daunting motion of deactivation. There is almost a certain thrill attached to it though, the thought of life beyond status updates.

What is it that is so huge about this? Why are we so concerned? So worried of what will happen if we leave? Who’s children will we never see? Who will we never talk to? Never hear from? Why are we wasting so much energy on this, why are we even talking about this at dinner? It’s Facebook for pete’s sake! It took some serious stepping back to realize the people who are truly our friends, we have a normal friendship with: we talk on the phone, visit in person, and send Christmas cards to. Everybody else, well….let’s be honest: we’re just being nosy. I didn’t realize the full grip of Facebook until my old roomate from college, Ellen called me. We chatted incessantly as usual about everything we had dug up via Facebook recently. Ellen made a lot of points about it. She made me realize how Facebook has this way of keeping you down, or stirring up annoyed feelings, or angry feelings even just by reading the stupid news feed. It’s like some prison of vice, where you are just constantly obsessing over what you are doing, and why its so important and then what is everyone else doing. It made me wonder how many times priests hear "Facebook" in confession. I mean I know I’m not the only one who finds all my downfalls much more exacerbated just by logging into that social network. Gossip? Super easy now. Pride? Bingo, status updates! Judgemental? Lust? Anger? Greed? ummmm sloth? You betcha! It was time that something had to change. Do we really need to know what each other is doing every second of our life? Information overload!

Camera Guy and I sat in bed one night, trying to remember when we first got on the network. 6 years ago! It doesn’t seem that long ago, but when we tried to think, we had a hard time remembering what pre-Facebook life was like. What did we do then? We asked ourselves…What else was there? Sad day. This is not how life is meant to be lived! Now it’s not all bad, we have enjoyed keeping in touch with people we may have otherwise lost touch with. But now, now that the dust of graduation and goodbyes have settled and we can sift out the friendships from acquaintances we think its time to make our exit. Time to return to a simpler way of life, with personal notes, phone calls and visits, even e-mails! We’re ready for this! Starting in 2011, the Thimons’ will be free of Facebook and hopefully better off because of it. As Ellen described when I asked her how it was going, "It’s only been two weeks….but you will be amazed at how many times a day your mind still thinks in the form of a status.." But she wouldn’t go back. It’s an empowering feeling to keep your life your own, out of the speculating eye of the world. Kudos to her, and cheers for us! Here we go!