Happy New Year!

I am happy to see 2012 go. It was a year with a lot of struggle for us and I think we are all happy to see it go. Regardless of the multiple surgeries and health crap we had to deal with, as always we are reminded how lucky we are to have each other. We are ringing in 2013 together, as a family, watching movies, eating snacks and once the kids pass out hopefully Jason & I will get to enjoy a drink together!

I hope however you are ringing in the new year you are safe, healthy and happy! May 2013 be better to you than 2012.

Happy New Year from my family to yours.... xo

2012 Montage from Jana Krausfeldt on Vimeo.

Kids Kill Self-Esteem

Today I was running errands with Joey and decided to stop into a new boutique clothing store in town. I have had several people tell me about this new store and the mom of one of Joey's friends was wearing the cutest leggings recently and when I asked her where she got them, she told me they came from this new store.

I had been meaning to get in there, but haven't had the chance.  I happened to be passing by today so I decided to drag Joey in. It did not disappoint and had really cute stuff. It only took me a few minutes to find the cute leggings. I dragged Joey into the dressing area so I could try them on. They are really cute pants, but they have long front pockets that extend onto the upper thigh area. Let's just say this is not my slimmest area so when I put the pants on I felt like they really accentuated my thighs instead of flattering them. It doesn't help that I haven't been allowed to work out the last 3 weeks after my second hernia surgery and you add in the Christmas cookies I have been devouring and well, my thighs aren't at their best.

Joey asked me if I liked them and I said I didn't think they looked good on me. He just looked flatly at me and said, "yeah, I wish you were skinny. William's mom (the one who has these pants, of course) is skinny and I wish you were skinny like her."

Ummmmm. Awesome. Perhaps this child doesn't realize that I am the one that GAVE HIM LIFE. But, whatever, he wants a skinny mom. I couldn't even reply I was so shocked.

Fast forward three hours later, just after lunch as I am getting Joey ready to snuggle down for a nap when this conversation takes place.

When you die and go to heaven will I get a new mom?

No, I am your only mom and I am not dying, babe.

Well, I know but maybe I could get a new mom and you could just be my step-mom?

What? No! Why would you want a new mom? That hurts my feelings Joey.

I mean I don't want a new mom all the time. I just sometimes want William's mom to be my mom. 

Williams mom is busy with William. You are stuck with me, now go to bed.

Aren't kids awesome?

P.S. William's mom....It's ON...you and your skinny thighs!

No Words

I have been doing what everyone else in America has been doing since Friday, watching the news for any new details about the Sandy Hook shootings and asking why? That is the question that people across the country are losing sleep trying to answer. Why would someone do this? Why at a school and why of all people, children? Since the shooter took the easy way out, we will never get a real answer.

There are no words to even describe what happened and even if the gunman was here, I am certain no explanation he could give would answer that question in a way that would satisfy our anger. I can't stop thinking about the children, the teachers and faculty, and now the families and friends left to deal with the loss of them.

My son is in first grade. I can not help but torture myself with the thoughts of what if. What if this happened in our school? We have learned it can happen anywhere, in any town. The horror of the what would've been if the same thing happened in my town, in our school, to my son. It instantly makes me overcome with sickness. The thought of scared children and teachers hiding in closets and bathrooms. The fear they must have felt as they were approached by a scary stranger with weapons that were like nothing they could ever imagine. It is almost unbearable to imagine, but perhaps we need to. It seems just when you think you are safe, that nothing like this could happen in your school, to your child, it does.

This has brought out a million opinions about what should be different, who is to blame (we need someone to blame) and what needs to be done to "fix" what is wrong with our country. I am just not sure there is one solution as much as there is a need for several things to be fixed.

The first issue that comes up is gun control. Of course, you get people who are outraged and want better gun-control. In their minds, if our gun laws were different, this never would've happened. This is a touchy subject. I understand people want the right to own guns. I understand people enjoy hunting and target shooting. I also understand people want to legally be able to have a weapon in their home to keep them safe.

I am not one of these people. I don't own guns, nor do I have a desire to. I don't feel a gun will make me safer in my home. I would live in the fear that my gun would be found by one of my children or their friends and someone would get hurt. Yes, I know you can lock your guns in a safe, like most people I know who have guns used for hunting do, but if I own a gun for the purpose of keeping me safe, I am not sure how the gun safe makes sense. Am I going to go unlock my gun from the gun safe as the intruder (or whoever) is in my house? It doesn't make sense to me. There would be better odds of one of my children getting their hands on that gun than there is of an intruder coming into my home and me even needing the gun. That is how I feel about guns for protection.

The owner of the guns used in the shootings was the gunman's mother. How safe did they keep her? Instead, her son took her guns and killed her, with her own guns, before heading to the school to kill an additional 26 innocent people. Without the use of her guns, this story would be a whole lot different.

I appreciate people's rights to own a weapon, but I don't think more guns is going to solve this problem. Perhaps stronger gun laws would, I don't think it would hurt. I would also like to think that responsible people who want to own guns for hobbies, etc would welcome these stricter gun laws because they would want people to be safe and responsible. I understand guns don't kill people, people do. I also understand that guns make it a lot easier for people to do. Adam Lanza wouldn't have gotten very far without those guns.

Mental health is also a huge topic of conversation. The thought is if these mentally ill people had access to help, they wouldn't go crazy and kill people. Perhaps. I can say from experience, getting a family member help for being mentally ill is incredibly difficult. There are more people struggling from mental illness than there are places to help them. This is a problem.

One thing we also have to consider is are we just assuming all the people who commit these crimes are crazy? The CT shooter had no police record and was not being treated for any sort of mental illness. He was described as "very intelligent, although quite and a little strange." Does that make him legally insane? Or, do we just assume that anyone who does something like this must be insane, because otherwise they would just be evil and that is hard to imagine. We don't want to consider the fact that the guy might have just been a fucked up maniac. We want him to be insane so it is easier to stomach the idea of him. Mental illness is a very real problem and perhaps the shooter was mentally ill, but there is a chance he wasn't. We can't automatically let him off the hook by assuming he was crazy.

Then there is religion. There are people who believe that the problem isn't with the guns or mental illness but rather the fact that God is not allowed in public schools. This one really stumps me. I didn't know God wasn't allowed anywhere. I thought God, and a persons faith more specifically, was always with them. Our faith is in our hearts and souls and no one can take that away from a person. I am not sure how it would've mattered if prayer was allowed in school because at the end of the day, you need to believe in God and that prayer in order for you to live by it. My guess would be someone who is sick (mentally or otherwise) enough to kill an entire classroom of small children wouldn't have changed his mind because of God. I am not sure how someone who kills children can even believe there is a God. I can also assure you there was plenty of prayers being said in Sandy Hook on Friday morning. Faith is in you and you pray whenever you need / want to. It doesn't matter where you are.

I am feeling anxious to bring my kids to school tomorrow. I know in my head that our schools have strong safety measures to try and prevent a situation like this from ever happening. They have intruder drills and my kids both know where to go and hide and what to do in case, God forbid, someone ever get into their school. In my heart, I want them to be home with me, where I can see that they are safe and where I feel in control of what happens to them. Yet tomorrow morning they will go to school and I will kiss and hug them goodbye like all the parents did to those 20 kids last week. I will say a prayer and hope that we can find an answer to the question why and that we, as a country, can find a solution so this never happens again.

I will continue to keep the people of Sandy Hook in my thoughts and prayers and to the 20 little angels and the 6 heroes that left this world too soon, I wish them peace.

Going Through the Big D

You know what sucks? Divorce. I am saying that with no first-hand experience in divorce so I can only imagine people that actually go through a divorce would describe it in a way worse than sucks.

It is pretty horrible to hear about anyone divorcing, well, maybe not when one person is abusing the other and such, but in general it is not happy news to hear. I don't think anyone walks down the proverbial aisle of marriage thinking they will get divorced. If they do, then they probably have bigger problems than their upcoming divorce.

No, really, when the man or woman of your dreams proposes to you and you plan a wedding there is never the thought that the actual marriage will not be as great as the wedding they are happily planning. You are thinking dresses, flowers and honeymoons..not the actual hard work the marriage will be. It is not easy to live with someone day in and day out and get along all of the time. I believe marriage is hard work for every married couple.

Divorce is about as common as marriage these days, sadly. Everyone knows someone that has been divorced. My parents are divorced, my in-laws are divorced, and two of my sisters have also been divorced. They all have their own reasons why their marriages didn't work, some of which I am aware of and some of which I don't think anyone is aware of but the actual couple involved.

When my parents got divorced I was devastated. No child, no matter what their age (I was in college) wants to see their parents relationship end. It was hard on our family and since my sisters and I were adults, we weren't shielded from all the horribleness a divorce is. It hurt and it was hard to watch.

I felt deeply sad for my sisters when they divorced. They both had kids and I felt sad for their children more than I felt the loss of their marriage, like I did my parents. I knew in my heart it was the best thing for my sisters, but already having been the kid in the situation, I felt for my nephews and niece.

It didn't take long after Jason and I were married for our first set of friends to announce they were divorcing. I hate to say it, but it was a shock to no one. We saw the divorce coming miles away and were actually relieved to see the couple separate (they had no children) and get on with their lives. It was hard because we were friends with both of them, but in the end, we remained friends with the person who was the better friend to us. We didn't really choose one over the other, the other person made the choice for us.

I recently learned another one of our couple friends are divorcing and I am totally thrown by it. It wasn't anything I saw coming, ever. I can't stop thinking about them, and their kids, as they try and get through the divorce process as cordially as two people can who have decided to divorce. We are friends with both of them and hate to see them go through this. I keep running their relationship (the parts I knew) over and over in my head trying to see if I missed any signs, what went wrong, and so on. I can only imagine if I am making myself this crazy thinking about it, this must be destroying them.

It is only natural that I am keeping in touch more with the woman in the situation and I am sure Jay will continue to stay in touch with the guy, we love them both. But.....but since I know how much my friend is hurting right now, I want to hate him. I want to call him and tell him he is making the biggest mistake of his life. I want to remind him he has kids who will forever be changed by his actions. I want him to wake up tomorrow and realize his marriage is worth saving.

But....I can't. The truth is it's not my battle to fight and I don't know the first thing about their marriage. I don't know what went wrong and what could have been done to save it.

I only know my marriage. I only know why I continue to fight the good fight to keep my marriage happy. It is easy to compare my relationship to other peoples, especially friends that live similar lives to me, but no marriage is created equal.

I am heart-broken for my friends and wish them peace and happiness in the future. I also hope that the rest of my friends going through a tough time or a rough spot in their marriage are able to put the hard work in and make it out the other side, together. There is no shame in fighting through it, as I am a firm believer that all good things are worth fighting for.