Don’t you hate stepping into a conversation mid-way through when everyone already has some sense of each other? And then they all laugh at the joke you don’t get or you get really confused (and possibly angry) at a comment the speaker makes? And you wonder WHAT IS THE FREAKING DEAL WITH THESE PEOPLE? Yeah, me, too.
So consider this post our chance to get to know each other a little bit over a long cup of coffee.
Hello! I’m Melissa. I have been married to my college sweetheart for 23 years, since our (first) senior year in college. (We had two, since getting married created a bit of a distraction. It takes special people to squeeze four years of college into five.) He is a very creative software engineer who gets to work for the Mouse as an Imagineer. I know, pretty sweet gig, right? I love him very much and he is an incredibly patient man. Which is good, since we have bright and funny children who keep us on our toes and exhausted. Perpetually.
Omg, I am so tired.
Darling Hubby and I have three daughters [ages 19 (code name: Sunshine) 16 (code name: Pixie) and 12 (code name: Giggles)] who are actors and are musical and basically have a lot of skills that seem to need a lot of driving and lessons and increasing levels of equipment. Our house is full of chatter and the comings and goings of busy, creative people. Except me. I mostly cook and drive. Just kidding! Okay, not really. (But mostly.) I started blogging because I have a lot of things to say that are hard to get listened to in our house full of chaos. And full of love. But so much chaos.
[You can look the girls up online if you’re interested (trust me, in this day of social media, I’d be STUNNED if you can’t find them pretty dang quickly…if you can’t, our marketing sucks.) I’m debating talking about our acting/Hollywood journey here…I have 11 years of knowledge, but this whole thing is an ultramarathon and we haven’t had huge success yet, so I’m not sure anyone cares what I have to say about it.]
I had a mom who was mentally ill and experienced a lifestyle growing up as a little girl with a lot of the trappings that environment entailed. Lots of people have a less-than-ideal upbringing. If that’s you, I want to encourage you with the fact that we can choose to be decent parents even with damage (with a lot of help and healing). But so you understand where my parenting strategies began, I really just wanted to do the opposite of anything my mother had done. I figured that was a safe place to start. Though, it did make me a bit of a control freak for awhile. (Deepest apologies to our firstborn…I promise there is a therapy fund set aside for you, sweetheart.) Over the years, I have upgraded my goals to staying off the six o’clock news. So far, so good! *fingers crossed*
I think I have been able to be a non-horrible mother because of books and therapy and prayer and help. Plus, conversations with lots of other moms who are doing their best, including my two phenomenal older sisters (one of whom is a psychologist, thank you, Jesus). They help challenge my thinking and steer me ever-so-gently back to what is true—about myself and my kids and life. How did I get so lucky? I honestly believe every mother is doing her best. Even my mom was. It’s just that sometimes, people’s best isn’t very good. So hang in there as we love and support and encourage each other.
(Shout-out to any non-moms who have wandered in! I love you and need you in my life in so many ways. Please hang around and chime in, you wonderful village, you!)
Important to know about my perspective
I am a person of faith and I believe in God and Jesus as my savior. I have been trained as a scientist and I’ve been questioning the things of God ever since I was a child. (As a note, I approach things much more from the petulant child perspective than the science one because I’ve been the one WAY longer.) I love God and I love Jesus and I think this world is really hard and I have a lot of questions about why things are the way they are. In addition to a wonder and beauty that makes my breath catch, this world also has far too many things that suck and totally aren’t fair and can sometimes be really, really horrible in a way that leaves me in shocking disbelief and crushing despair. I believe God can handle the hard stuff I ask, so you’ll see some of those thoughts here as I try to make sense or be at peace with it all.
What you can expect here
And if you can’t make peace with it, hack it! (Not really, but I had no segue.) Part of overthinking everything (thanks, mom!) is that I am ALWAYS thinking of a better way to do things–how can you possibly get your family to eat healthier? Or be a tiny bit more green/less guilty? Or BE NICE TO YOUR SISTER, FOR HEAVEN’S SAKE. My background is in health, I have a huge interest in nutrition (for regular folks–please see my About page for my feelings about kale) and I have a lot of ideas how real people in real lives can make small changes to make things easier, greener, less stressful, and more fun.
If you just walked into the conversation, here’s the thing to know before you start scoping out the snack table: I believe we are doing our best, but we don’t know what we don’t know. So maybe we can learn together.
I hope you hang around and pipe in.
(Oh, and I really like coffee.)
(p.s. If you’d like, you can find out a bit more About Me <–there)