Friday, April 4, 2014

From total darkness to an incredible lightness of being.

Once upon a time, I existed in a dark, dark room. The windows had been blacked out, and monsters lurked everywhere, not just under the bed. I forgot that feeling was anything more than emotional pain, so I needed to cause myself physical pain, just so I could remember a different sensation.

My left arm. That has been a constant, ugly reminder of that dark room, of those dark times. Those scars stood out, a staunch reminder that once upon a time, I was Not Okay.

I've woken up recently. I realized that I transitioned from that dark room to a room where there was light, but still a film over the windows. I was seeing, but not clearly. When I had that realization, when I let myself feel completely again, I decided never again would I let that film cloud the way. No matter what hurt it brought, it's worth it. And in these few short weeks since that's happened, I've felt more emotions -- good and bad -- than I have in years. It's incredible. I decided a I needed a visual reminder, something that speaks to me, that has always spoken to me, to make me recall how much life sucked before the film was lifted from the glass.

I had started to transform my left arm from a thing of darkness to a thing of light, but it stalled. Just an outline, something that had been done erroneously, something that I was unhappy with. I decided to take charge again, to draw that reminder out and down, and my forearm piece was born.


After that, I took a deep breath, and decided to turn my upper arm into a thing of beauty, even if it wasn't what I originally envisioned. I wanted...no, needed...to own it. I needed to make it something that reflected the incredible lightness that had become being me these days. Behold. The focal point is no longer my scars. It is hours of loving work, sisterly inspiration, backing from friends, and a lot of encouragement from many places. It isn't what I originally wanted, but it IS something I love, and it does reflect the beauty that my life has become.

A song bird in flight, and a freshly opened flower for every day. Welcome to my new bright room, y'all.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

A Day in the Life - Dancing Queen's Birthday! (AKA Valentine's Day)

Starting the day off at about 12:30am after work: Shopping for the day's supplies.


Round about 1:45am: The final present haul.


As you can see from the clock on the stove, it's now 2:21am, and that's my second cider. I wish I could take credit for the cuppycakes, but those were all my sister. Red velvet (filled!) with cream cheese frosting for Dancing Queen's Valentine's Day/Birthday party in the class room. I began baking.


So, my phone died around 2:45am. The cakes (one Hello Kitty, one rectangle,) came out beautifully. I left them on the stovetop to cool. I stayed up to wrap presents, and post irritating Facebook statii, and when 5:00am rolled around, it was time for secret cake. Behold, slumbering royalty...


Sleeping no longer! I tried to get a photo of her opening her gift (A Hello Kitty wrist watch,) but it was too dark from where I had snagged a seat on the edge of her bed. At this point, after she had finished her cuppycake (Also red velvet, but not one of the ones her Aunt Shannon made,) we both went to bed for a bit.)


11am rolled around. I debated hard over putting this photo in. My den is, as you can see, a bit cluttered here. And the baby is naked. And he has coffee.


And I have coffee. And an empty wine bottle. But that's from the cake making the night before, so no worries.


Now, what I didn't take photos of, because I totally didn't have it in me to pull out my phone to capture the smug look on the dog's face was the empty pans on the floor under my dining room table where the dogs had gotten the cakes I baked the night before and eaten them. To the Bat Cave! Err, Kitchen! To bake MOAR CAKES! We're at about noon here. I decided I was going to cut down on dishes, and mixed up both boxes of cake mix in one bowl. Silly AccidentallyMommy -- you didn't pay close enough attention, and BLOOP went all of the batter into one pan. No big, right! Wrong. 12:15pm, the kitchen has filled with smoke, and I have finally put a cookie sheet under the cake pan to mitigate the lava flows of cake batter.


1:30PM: Cake's done!


Yep, behold my masterpiece! Thankfully, that's technically going to end up being the bottom. Still, not an auspicious start.


1:45pm: Cake is cooling. Time for the stew to start in the Crock Pot.


2:00pm: Home from school, mid-day present time!!!!


OMGSHOESSSSS!!!!


MOAR??


OMG HELLO KITTY SHIRT AND SKIRT!!!!!!!!!! Aaaaand...my phone died again. 


3:40pm: Pulling laundry frantically out of the dryer. I had to go to work briefly for a Secret Valentine exchange I was in charge of at 5:00pm, as well as some, well, you know, work. It was at this point that I totally forgot to take a picture of Dancing Queen in her outfit.



4:15pm: Getting gas so I can actually GET to work!


4:17pm: Check it out, I smellz good after a shower!


5:00pm: Secret Valentine exchange. Now, sometimes, at work, we get a little eclectic. Sometime's there's skateboard gangs. Sometimes there's poi on the sidewalk. Sometimes there's clandestine beer. And sometimes...just sometimes...there's fresh cow hearts as Valentine's Day gifts. Note her attempt at looking pleased while doing a fabulous job of masking her mix of shock and a wee bit of horror.


And note her Valentine's look of pure RL troll glee.


7:45pm: Work was over. Traffic was TERRIBLE. I was, at this point, nearly an hour and a half late getting home. And I had to stop for essentials -- cream for the buttercream frosting, wine, and fried onions because fried onions.


8:10pm: Missed dinner. No pics of my empty bowl. Instead, on to presents!!!!






9:00pm: Cake time! Yeah, we do how we do. Backwards. Now to ice this badboy, and hope that it ends better than it started.


9:15pm: TA-FUCKING-DA, BITCHES! I. Am. Fabulous. Seriously.  Look at that cake. LOOK AT IT.


LOOK CLOSER!!!!!


Oops, lost the candles. LOLOL. Not much goes as planned in my life. That's okay. She pretended they were there and just blew out nothing after we were done singing. She's such a good sport about Mommy's ineptitude.


10:37pm: Bed time. Happy birthday, and Happy Valentine's Day. A very happy, very tired, very content mommy and daughter on a very special mommy and daughter day.


Monday, February 3, 2014

To the gentleman who didn't push them away-

I'll not bother addressing this to you by name; as much as you insist you don't care what people think or may say, I don't want to run the risk of pushing that to the limit.

You didn't push him away. We were out, together, our friendship still very new and even awkward. I've never let my kids meet friends as new as you, because in the adult world, friends don't always turn out to be people who intersect with the more private, fragile things in our lives like our children. And when he ran to you and slipped his hand into yours, you smiled and took it, and we went on our way.

When he insisted on sitting next to you, you didn't push him away. You didn't flinch, you didn't look to me with that uncomfortable edge like so many who have known me twice as long have in the past. You smiled, and held his drink.

When he climbed on you briefly, you didn't push him away. You steadied him, and laughed when he got distracted by something else a second later.

I stumbled awkwardly, thanking you for it. You brushed it off; told me you weren't the one to thank, but instead were the two little boys in your life that you clearly dote on and adore.

It wasn't them, though. Sure, they may have prepared you for the ways of rambunctious little boys, but it was you, not them, that didn't push him away.

In our lives, where the ones who mattered most pushed him the farthest away, this was...well. It meant everything.

You didn't push her away, either. Sure, I could have chalked your kindness to him up solely to your experience with the boys, but you made sure that she was engaged.

You talked to her. Genuinely. You made her feel like she was important enough to converse with. You told her tidbits of history, and reminded her when to pay attention, what to watch, and to whom she should wave.

You didn't push them away.

Don't wonder why I grew so fond of you so quickly, should it come up in the future or should you have pondered it already. It's because you're you. It's because, in part, you didn't push them away.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Wendy Davis, Woman Warrior

"A filibuster is a type of parliamentary procedure where debate is extended, allowing one or more members to delay or entirely prevent a vote on a given proposal. It is sometimes referred to as talking out a bill,[1] and characterized as a form of obstruction in a legislature or other decision-making body."

"Rights are legal, social, or ethical principles of freedom or entitlement; that is, rights are the fundamental normative rules about what is allowed of people or owed to people, according to some legal system, social convention, or ethical theory.[1] "


History has been made in Texas for the sake of women all over the country. A new precedent has been set. On the morning of June 25, 2013, Senator Wendy Davis (D) of Texas took a stand. A stand that lasted 11 hours. A stand that means that the welfare of the women of Texas remains intact.

Senate bill 5 proposed that all abortion clinics include a mandatory ambulatory surgery center, and banned most abortions past 20 weeks. While my views on the cap of a gestational age for abortion differ, I vehemently decry the attempt to take away the rights of women who want or need something that disagrees with my personal view. Senate bill 5 would have closed most of the abortion clinics in Texas. Senate bill 5 would have, in all likeliness, driven women to drastic, dangerous methods of termination, especially in rural areas where access to abortion as it is currently is extremely limited.

Pink sneakers. While that is not the most memorable part of the 11 hour ordeal, Senator Davis' pink sneakers stand out. She wore them in preparation for a 13 hour ordeal, in an attempt to stay comfortable during the filibuster where she would not be allowed food or drink, to lean, to sit, or to ask for help in any way. At one point, she requested assistance of another senator in putting on a back brace in order to remain standing. The senate angrily voted that this was in violation, and the motion was upheld. That was her second of three allowable warnings before the senate could vote to end the filibuster as a result of straying off topic. The senate failed.

There were many remarkable words spoken last night. Leticia Van De Putte's statement of "At what point must a female senator raise her hand or her voice to be recognized over her male colleagues?" and  chants of "Let Her Speak!" from the gallery, crowded with spectators, echo over and over in the media and in our hearts and heads.

Senator Davis' filibuster was muddled in the last few hours due to an unclear ruling on a third warning and subsequent confusing and possibly illegal tactics by the Senate, but in what is being called a "People's Filibuster," the spectating crowd erupted into such a roar of chaos that the vote was delayed long enough to kill the bill and kill the potentially deadly consequences it would carry.

Senator Davis did it. She took a literal stand for the women of Texas, and with the nationwide support, she set a precedent not only for her own state, but for all states as well.

She set a precedent that clearly states that women deserve the right to safety and choice. She set a precedent that will follow us today to our daughters tomorrow, and to our granddaughters after them. As long as women like Wendy Davis and Leticia Van De Putte and you and I continue to fight, to continue to stand our ground, we will keep our sisters and our daughters and their daughters after them safe. We will continue to ensure that they have the RIGHT to safe medical procedures without oppressive , superfluous stipulations that cause undue duress to the woman seeking the procedure, which include things such as repeated sonograms during which the patient must observe the screen prior to the procedure, and laws that require the patient to observe the fetal heartbeat before the procedure begins. We will continue to prevent laws that ban medical abortions in favor of surgical ones, and vice versa. Laws that state that women pregnant only due to rape or incest are allowed abortions, and worse laws that state that no woman, including those pregnant due to rape and incest, are allowed abortions.

Senator Wendy Davis proved last night that we, as a united front of sisters, are done fucking around. Get your laws off of our bodies and out of our uteri.

Please take a moment to let the enormity of this win sink in. Once it has, call Wendy.  Call her with your story, call her with your thanks. Call her to let her know that you stood with her last night, and that she was not alone.




Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Ninette Swann's latest work, Direct Contact -- a review!

It is NO. JOKE. that we here at Accidentally Mommy are big fans of Ninette Swann. Her latest work, however, has obliterated everything else she's written to date. Combining sci-fi with romance is a recipe for awesomeness, in this reviewer's opinion.




"Julie Gladwell has a secret. Acting as chief attendant for the New Government’s procreation program, she rears girls to carry the emperor’s heir. Only a few are chosen for the program, called “The Special Ones,” and they are given no names, only numbers. They see no one but authorized personnel until their twenty-first birthday. Which is usually when they die. Direct contact is forbidden. As she cares for these girls, no one ever suspects who she actually is.



Scientist Malcolm Odin hated his job and hated himself. Put in charge of the entire human engineering program, the experiments and suffering he witnessed made him sick. Still, it paid the bills and kept him living comfortably in Terrecina. He knew of far too many who’d fallen through the cracks, living on the earth below. The Level People, they were called.



When he confides his unease to Julie, she lets him in on her secret and into her heart. What starts as fancy ends in revolution, but how will they choose between their fellow man and each other?"

Now, Sci-fi is, without a doubt, my cup of tea. Echoing with faint tones of Heinlein mixed with the cult-classic television and movie dramas "Firefly" and Serenity," it blends a desperately dystopian future with the timeless ray of hope -- love.

Characters Malcolm and Julie are well developed, with a depth that none of Swann's characters have seen thus far. The plot is well paced and engaging, and Swann's imagination really took off with the details of this new, bleak society.

Here, read for yourself one of my favorite excerpts:

"We've been ignoring these people for a long time," he said, after they'd passed the remnants of a body on the side of the road.

"Let's hope they're glad to see us, eh?" He laughed, the mirthless sound carrying over the pavement and echoing through the tunnel they'd finally reached.

He was about to utter a few words of warning before they entered the dark confines of the tunnel when a thin but strong arm reached from behind an old highway streetlight pole and wrestled him off the road.

He shouted in surprise, and Julie and Anna ran to his side.

Julie raised her hand to strike the attacker when a woman's voice rang out in an urgent whisper. "Stop!" she said, still holding Malcolm. "I'm here to help you!"

As you can see from the excerpt above, the novel is rich in suspense and surprises. It still manages to find time to be shirt-off steamy, though, so don't despair.

I fully believe that you should pick up this book, even if you're not strictly into romance or sci-fi. It may be the one that changes your sway from one side to the other.















Want to know a little bit more about the author?

Ninette Swann is a journalist turned novelist who writes her books from sunny Florida in between parenting, freelancing, editing and going to grad school. She writes all genre of romance, including contemporary, thriller, suspense, and dystopian. Her books include Hit and Stay, Body Combat, Finding Home, Just the Messenger and Direct Combat. You can reach her through her pages at: http://ninetteswann.comhttp://www.facebook.com/NinetteSwann, and @ninetteswann

Oh, and there's a giveaway!!!!!



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Thursday, April 25, 2013

Psychic Pots!!!

I figured it was time I get back into makeup. I know these posts have been pretty sparse lately. I have been running the idea of a beginner friendly, quick and easy neutral look over in my brain for a while now, and what better time to bring it to you than today?!?

First, you're going to gather your tools and products.
\

Brushes! I know this looks like a lot of brushes, but I promise - each one has a purpose. Don't be intimidated.


Products: Top to bottom: NYX eyeshadow base in white; Brazen brow powder in Clara; MSC Psychic Paper, Dirty Chai, Fresh Pots!, and Snuffy; UD 24/7 liner in Rockstar; IT Cosmetics Hello Lashes! mascara, MSC shadow primer, "Optimus Primer.


Start out with a clean face. If you're not fresh out of the shower, do a quick wash, or a once-over with  a cosmetic or baby wipe. Be sure to gently clean your eyelids, as they can get grimy and oily, too.


Once your face is clean, apply your Optimus Primer. Do that from lid to browbone. They apply a *very light* amount of shadow base. You want just the barest trace of it, as shown above. Shadow bases can be applied with fingers or a brush; I use my finger.


Next, using your UD 24/7 liner in Rockstar, line your lower waterline and lash line. Now, if you're like me, your waterline never lines quite evenly. That's alright. Do the best you can. You'll be going over the liner later anyway. Rockstar is kind of a purpley-brown; don't worry about that. It works, I promise.


Grab your Bdellium 777 brush and Dirty Chai. If you don't have Bdellium brushes, use a small to mid-sized soft shadow brush.


Apply Dirty Chai using fluid strokes to your entire lid.


With your Bdellium 781 (can be subbed with a medium, semi-stiff crease brush,) pick up some Snuffy. 


Use your brush to "draw in" a cut crease and the outer 1/3rd of your lid. It's going to look like a hot mess right now. Don't worry. You'll fix it in the next step.


Now grab a short, dense, fluffy round brush. This is a Sonia Kashuk for Target brush. Best $6 I've ever spent.


Using your fluffy brush, blend Snuffy down and in to your Dirty Chai. Snuffy goes on very coppery, but has an almost pressure-sensitive quality to it in that it rubs down to a darker, more mellow warm brown.


With your Bdellium 716 (can be subbed with a medium-stiff well pointed pencil brush,) pick up some Fresh Pots!


Using that crisp point, line your upper lash line with Fresh Pots!


Once you've lined your upper lash line, use the same brush to set your 24/7 liner on your lower lash line and water line. To do that, just lightly pack the shadow on top of the liner.


Now, using a mid-sized medium stiff shadow brush (This one is by ELF Studio,) pick up some Psychic Paper. Psychic Paper is a matte, while the rest of your pigments thus far have been either satin or glitter. That's alright. It meshes well because MSC mattes go on and blend like buttah.


Swipe Psychic Paper from your duct, up your arch and to your brow, being careful not to overlap too much onto Snuffy.


A closer shot of Psychic Paper. It's a very subtle highlight color, but oh-so-pretty!


Using the brush you used to apply Psychic Paper, blend ever so slightly down into Snuffy and Dirty Chai. You just want to eliminate the line of demarcation, you don't want to further dilute your colors.


Fill in your brows and add some mascara!


Bam! An easy, somewhat smokey day neutral in just a couple of short steps. This look is perfect for the gal (or the mom) who is on the run and pressed for time and patience. 


As always, stay Madd, darlings!!!