June 30, 2012

Peter You Suck!

Yes! This! A feeling I am all too familiar with as of late.
Thanks, Peter, for putting it to music.
Everything sounds better when put to music.
Need to get me a cheap keyboard for this rig.
Surely I can lay down some fat tune to go along with the non-stop lyrics that run through my head.
Some depressive.
Some "learning to fly" inspirational tracks.
Which I suppose are better for my state of mind at the moment.
All uplifting and encouraging and yay me.
But, c'mon, let's be real ... the depressive shit is more fun to sing.
And listen to.

And also, just fyi ... having listened to the Forgetting Sarah Marshall DVD commentary about 5 times in the past month; I can safely say that me and Jason Segel are now buddies. He keeps me company; I've seen his penis... a lot. Doesn't get much more buddy buddy then that.


everybody hates you
everybody wishes that you were dead 
'cause peter you suck
peter you suck
peter your music is fucking terrible 
peter you suck
peter you suck 
peter you don't do anything of value 
peter you suck
write some music 
but instead you sit and write these bullshit songs
its so self-loathing 
go see a psychiatrist 
well go see one anyway 
you need to go see one 
see a psychiatrist 

June 29, 2012


photo taken by Tamri's Sister, Angela

I can't imagine.
Making lunch one minute...
watching your home burn down in flames the next.

I learned last night that one of the unschooling families we met at the LIG conference last month lost their home in a fire yesterday afternoon. The family made it out unharmed; the house was completely destroyed.

They're together. They're safe. They're thankful.

There has been a Facebook Page set up for information regarding donation items the family could use (children's clothing size, dietary issues, etc). If you have things that could be of use, you'll find someone on that page that can help coordinate getting the items to them.

The family also has a paypal debt card, so if you're able to make a monetary donation, they'll be able to access it immediately. That pay pal address is hoppyshaw@gmail.com.

Thoughts, positive energy, prayers, and support are of course always helpful and comforting.

Thinking of you and your family, Tamri!

when the darkness stretches on

Night is hard. Day time has not been a walk in the park, and I often find myself lost in thought and/or hyperventilating, but it seems easier to find a distraction during the day. Nothing that will hold my attention too terribly long, but there is always something going on that can and will snap me back to the present.

At night there's just an eery silence; darkness is deafening. And when I can't sleep, and these stretches of void drag on, and on, and on, and on ... it's hard. Night is hard.

I'm watching a lot of movies. Well, actually, that's not entirely accurate. I'm not really *watching* movies ... I'm listening to the DVD commentary of the movie while it's playing. And I think the reason behind that is for the company. And the conversation. How pathetic do I sound right now? I'm listening to DVD movie commentary for the conversation and company. Think I'm almost ready for my straight jacket. But it's true. It's the best night time company I can find right now, and if it helps blanket the dark loneliness, dammit ... I'll take it. Brilliant idea adding commentary to movies, you movie makers, simply brilliant. And I thank you!

I used to clean, but living in an RV my space is tiny. It didn't take long to clean and organize every last item in this place. I felt accomplished for approximately 30 seconds before the sinking feeling set back in.

I've tried reading, but I can't focus on the words. My mind wanders. I'll pick up a book and 3 hours later realize I'm on the same page. Stuck. Not getting anywhere. Perhaps I just need a really, really, REALLY good story line that hooks me immediately. Any recommendations?

I write, but it usually ends up depressing me more. Tears, tears, and more tears until it feels like daggers are ripping apart my stomach and I want to puke. I've found that that feeling doesn't so much help pass the hours.

I draw, but he used to do that; so it's ... painful.

I've thought about taking up drinking; suppose it's a good thing I'm broke as shit and can't afford liquor.

What do you do to help pass the night?

June 24, 2012

Sunday's Sondbird... Blackout

My choice in hooping music as of late has turn to angry rock metal. Even in the cold rain I can work up a sweat. Quite a feat, my friends ... quite.a.feat!

I figure it's better then punching holes in walls, right? A great release.
fuck it, are you listening

Blackout ~Linkin Park
i'm stuck in this bed you made
alone with a sinking feeling
i saw through the words you said
to the secrets you've been keeping
it's written upon your face
all the lies how they cut so deeply
you can't get enough you take
and take and take and never say

no, you've gotta get it inside
you push it back down, you push it back down
no, you'll never get it inside
push it back down, blackout, blood in your eye

you say that it's not your fault
and swear that I am mistaken
you said it's not what it seems
no remorse for the trust you're breaking
you run but then back you fall
suffocate in the mess you're making
you can't get enough you take
and take and take and take and take
fuck it, are you listening

no, you've gotta get it inside
you push it back down, you push it back down
no, you'll never get it inside
push it back down, you push it back down
no, you've gotta get it inside
you push it back down, you push it back down
no, you'll never get it inside
push it back down, blackout, blood in your eye

floating down as colors fill the light
we look up from the ground in fields of paperwhite
and floating up, you pass us in the night
a future gazing out, a past to overwrite
so come down far below
we've been waiting to collect the things you know
come down far below
we've been waiting to collect what you've let go

come down, oh
come down, oh
come down, oh
come down, oh
come down, oh

June 22, 2012


We all know there is a fundamental flaw in the way a lot of us think; in the way a lot of us live our lives. So giving of ourselves to everyone around us, and saving nothing left to nurture ourselves with.

Thoughts like ...

It's selfish to take care of myself over others. 
It's selfish to take care of myself, period. 
My place is permanently on "back-burning" status because I'm a mother.
Because I'm a wife. A daughter. A really good friend. A ... 
It's my job to take care of everyone around me. 
Sure, I'd like to fit some "me" time in there, but there's not enough hours in the day for that. 
I'm so drained taking care of everyone else, I don't have any energy left to take care of myself, too. 
I don't have any patience left.
I don't have any money left.
I don't have any (fill in the black) left.

Fundamentally flawed. In order to give to others (in a positive, healthy, and meaningful way), you have to have something to give, right? If you are only giving, giving, giving ... how long until you are completely empty? Sure sleep gives some reprive, but eventually the overextension will catch up to you, and then where will you be? Where will all who have come to depend on you be? You can't possibly be the best person you can be to every other being in your life if you are not taking care of YOU! Your cup needs to be filled, too. Fill the bitch up, and see how much more of you there is to then give to others.

We know that part already. I'm here to talk about something else ... I just take a long time to get there. Haa!

There is a caveat with filling your cup.
It often times involves letting other people into your world.

Asking for, enlisting, and accepting help from those around you, which can offer up a whole slew of obstacles altogether. I don't have the time, nor do I have the attention span right now to get into all of them ... so I'm just going to focus on one that has been playing out for me personally as of late (and on repeat throughout my life).


For a long time I let obligation affect my world so greatly that I took myself out of the game. I was twicethrice, 15 billion fold removed from the asking for/accepting help department - from anyone! I'd offer help like it was going out of style, but when help was offered, I'd politely decline. "I've got it". "No thanks, I can handle it". "Ooh, I really appreciate that, but we'll be fine". You know, standard protocol. I lived like that for a really long time. Hell, who am I kidding ... I STILL live like that far more often then I care to admit  (though, I kind of just did, eh?). It's lonely. And depressing. And suffocating. And overwhelming. And draining. And did I mention lonely?

What's the alternative?

Is asking for and/or accepting help from someone really as simple as it sounds? Or does it create this unwritten, steel bound contract that says the receiver of accepted help will owe giver of said help ... any time, any place, for any reason.


But that isn't really in the spirit of offering and accepting help, is it? Unfortunately, all too often, obligation plays a huge role in the "help" department. The sense of obligation is much more likely to come about in the mind of the "receiver", rather then in demands from the "giver" ... but it's just as deafening.

The person receiving the help can feel as though they are now at the help givers beckon call. The giver may call upon receiver for a "payout" that doesn't necessarily jive with the way the receiver lives their lives ... "will you just tell this one lie for me to get me out of xyz" ... and the receiver may struggle. Struggle between their personal moral code, and that of feeling like they "have" to because they owe it to the giver, or because they don't want to seem ungrateful or rude.

I let myself fall into the later category recently, and the struggle I went through deciding whether or not I was going to help my previous giver out was nothing compared to the struggle I went through (and am still working through) since making the decision to compromise who I am, at my core, in order to make someone else happy. It was a small lie, as far as lies go ... but I fucking hate lying. I hate being lied to. I hate feeling betrayed. And I hate, hate, hate possibly triggering that feeling in someone else. I am disappointed in myself. I made a mistake, but I'm working through it. I openly outed myself to this other person and I apologized. Now I'll learn and grow from it.

Lies destroy.
And karma has a way of kicking my ass while opening my eyes.

I told a lie for someone that I felt obligated to help. The person I was helping then lied to me. The stakes were much higher in this lie; our relationship is forever tarnished because of it. And with the revelation of that lie came the confrontation of others. Few of which I already knew but chose to ignore "for now", some of which I suspected but didn't pursue finding truth to, and others which came out of left field and sucker punched me. All from people I dearly love and had trusted with the most important pieces of my life. It hurts. Fuck does it hurt. Karma. She gets me every time. Rightfully so.

Obligation can be an ugly parasite feeding off of the help you give and or receive. Infecting and tainting everything it touches. Get it out of there! Surround yourself with inspiring, uplifting people who love and respect you. Offer yourself with no strings attached, and then have the confidence and faith that others are doing the same for you. It really can be just that simple. No need to spin crazy little stories of guilt and fear up in that head of yours. Just trust. Sure, there will be hiccups and exceptions along the way. Trust. Trust the fact that they are the exceptions and not the rule.

As I walk this path of self discovery, nurturing my self love and confidence, I'm finding it easier to put myself in a position of asking for and/or accepting help; and I'm finding it easier to not retreat quite so far, so fast, and for so long when I feel I've been burned. I'm not very good at it, as the story I described above would indicate, but even though that experience put me three steps back on the board, I'll continue rolling the dice and plugging along. Life is a constant course of learning from and challenging ourselves and each other.  I don't think I'll ever "be there". I don't think such place even exists. The ride, the journey ... that's where it's at, and that's where you'll find me clumsily strolling along.

June 17, 2012

Sunday's Songbird ... Damn Love Song

Amy LaVere in the house!

The boys and I went to a free concert of hers on Tuesday night at this old men's club turned swanky restaurant/billiards/theater/hotel club. Couches, big cushy chairs, candlelight. We had a great time. Owen, the sweet gentleman that he is, grabbed my hand and asked for a dance <3
Sweet memories to last a lifetime.

 It was difficult to pick which song I wanted to highlight, again (isn't it always) ... this one just seems fitting for today. A little dark. A little gloomy. A little real. I've been writing a lot more lately (poetry mostly, both here on the blog, as well as in an actual notebook ... *gasp, unheard of). It's always been so much easier for me to write out of pain; to write in and through struggle. I don't so much write happy happy lovey shit, and I don't really know why. It is what it is. Before Amy played this song on Tuesday she prefaced it by saying something like "I don't write love songs, but this was my one attempt at it". Seems fitting for me; in more ways then one ...

Damn Love Song ~Amy LaVere
right now
i'll do it right now
ah, here's your damn love song
and don't it say, don't it say it all

oh please
i'll never get down on my knees
you know I'm too proud
and you should know, know how I feel by now

we're crazy it seems
we're so misunderstood
we're crazy to please
we treat each other like we're fools
is it any good

right now
i'll do it right now
ah, here's your damn love song
and don't it say, don't it say it all

oh please
you never got down on your knees
you never said it to me
i just wanted, wanted to believe

we're crazy it seems
we're so misunderstood
we're crazy to please
we treat each other like we're fools
is it any good

this love song
that you wanted so bad
if you play it
does it make you feel sad
this love song
you can turn it on
you can turn it up
you can turn it real loud when I'm gone

right now
i'll do it right now
ah, here's your damn love song
and don't it say, don't it say it all

we're crazy it seems
we're so misunderstood
we're crazy to please
we treat each other like we're fools
is it any good

June 15, 2012

a smile that couldn't lie

hollow shells and destruction
paint a picture of my past
venomous words, fury fists
up to bat with only a mask

head first into an abyss
no light on either side
dark, haunting
i won't let it swallow me this time.

my feet
firmly grounded on the soil
the terrain dense, mountainous
my heart ever loyal

follow her i will
my own guiding light
outstretched arms reaching high
carry me through the fight

come what may
i'm standing, i'm strong
darkness screaming loudly now
back turned i carry on

emerging through the fog
vines tangled around my wrists
two emotions intertwined as one
both misery and bliss

i've never been madder
beaten up, broken, tied
never been sadder
all while wearing a smile that couldn't lie

June 14, 2012


and there, in the mystical magic of a sunset, your soul speaks to me forever

he was far from perfect
but really, who isn't
he showed me gentle strength
and he broke chains
that bound me to myth
a man could provide these
no need for muscle
or fists
or mean scathing words
i had no idea
not until him
i may not have been born to him
he was a dad just the same
my dad
i never called him that
it felt... off
but we both knew it
we fit into the roles 
so effortlessly
meant to be
he was meant to be in my life
although he's gone now
some say to a better place
thirteen years without him
his impact is still felt
rocking me to my core
lighting up the path
i know what can be
and i won't settle for less
he taught me that

June 11, 2012

Sunday's Songbird ... Round and Round

I've talked about her in two blog posts now; y'all knew a Sunday's Songbird post highlighting her was coming, right? The only difficulty I had was picking which song! Shit! They're all amazing. I suggest you hightail it over to iTunes immediately and buy em all! If something pesky like not having enough money gets in your way, and you can only buy one album ... my personal favorite is Fall Down to Fly. It's great. The kids and I jam to it several times a day, everyday - no lie. Go listen!

I picked this song mainly because it so beautifully sums up the roller coaster that is my life; round and round. And this particular video is perfect. It's real. It's raw. It's spontaneous and gorgeously scattered. It's AMY. She's so fucking charismatic I can't stand it. You should probably get up and move your body while you listen to it. She tells you to! ;-)

Round and Round ~Amy Steinberg
people come 
people go
gonna feel high 
gonna feel low
gonna get down 
get back up
gonna feel empty
gonna fill that cup

we go round and round and round and round and round
we go round and round and round and round

fall in love 
fall right out
laugh like you're crying
and cry like ya shout
come back together
then fall apart
key is to keep an open heart

we go round and round and round and round and round
we go round and round and round and round
we go round and round and round and round and round
we go round and round and round and round and round and round

feel so hurt
feel so healed
feel like dirt
feel so real
feel like I'm shining
feel like the sun
feel like life is over
feel like my life has just begun

I Feel Like My Lifes Just Begun

we go round and round and round and round and round
we go round and round and round and round
we go round and round and round and round and round
we go round and round and round and round and round and round

people come 
people go
gonna feel high 
gonna feel low
gonna get down 
get back up
gonna feel empty
gonna fill that cup

we go round

June 9, 2012


I love to sing. Love it a lot. Since I was a little girl singing into my hairbrush, so sure I was going to become the next Madonna, or at the very least be part of The Bangles. And either Sebastian Bach ( of skid row) or Steven Tyler (of areosmith) was going to be my husband. We'd make sweet sweet music together! Hubba Hubba

Singing has always been a part of me.

That is until one day in high school. My friends and I were getting ready for a little party we were throwing. The music was on, the food being made, breakables were being moved up, and we were signing. Some fun little muppets beach party cd (it was one of our favorites! yes, in high school!) I was just belting away to sugar shack when one of my friends said to me "you can't carry a tune, and you're way off key". I laughed it off, but inside... it crushed me.

I don't think she meant to be crushing, of course. And I certainly don't think she intended for that one moment to shift my life so completely. But, it did. I stopped singing after that. Not just during our pre-party prep ... I stopped singing completely. Even when by myself.

It took me a while to get comfortable enough to sing alone again. Even when my Mom was gone, our doors were closed and locked, window shades drawn, and I was alone in my room ... it took a while to step out of the fear. I sat there quiet and awkward. Started to write poetry instead; you know ... stay quiet and put it on paper. But eventually I missed singing so much that I slowly walked back toward it. I first started humming, and then mumbling along to lyrics. I was quiet and reserved, but I gradually became more brave. I even started singing in the car again; but the windows stayed UP!

I didn't get the same high from it that I used to, and I was lonely, too. I missed singing with people. Not enough to put myself back out there; not even close. I wouldn't even sing in front of my husband.

Then we started having babies, and Oh Em Gee did I ever love singing to them (when Nick was't around). No matter what I was saying to them, I think I put it to song. Nursing, rocking, playing, cleaning, eating, book reading ... everything was a song. We lived our lives as a musical, lol. When they got older and started singing back with me ... oh holy hell was I in heaven! I made myself believe that was enough for me for a long, long, long time. When Nick wasn't around, the kids and I would crank the music and scream sing our hearts out! When Nick was around, the kids would still scream sing, and I would quietly mouth lyrics under my breath. No, it wasn't great... but it was certainly better then my years of musical celibacy. I told myself that was good enough.

But, good enough never does last, does it? These past couple of years I have really stretched myself. Pushed myself. Questioned myself. I'm not ok settling. If I'm lucky enough to live to the ripe ol' age of 117; I'll still only be on this planet for such short amount of time ... I'm determined to give it every thing I've got. I'm a work in progress with this empowering philosophy, mind you, but it's one I'm working on every.single.day. So, this no singing in front of other people thing eventually started to bother me. A lot.

Lets face it. The Bangles never did call me to join their band, I was certainly not going to become the next Madonna, and I don't know where the hell Sebastian and/or Steven are, because they're not at my house! Truth is, I may LOVE to sing, but I really am not very good at it. And the louder I sing, the more I sound like a dying frog. But so what. I LOVE to do it!

I started singing a little louder then "just under my breath" while around other people. It was/is still pretty quiet and meek, and probably inaudible over a blaring radio. I tell myself that I'm working to get louder and louder over time... and while that's true; I've found I'm not pushing myself the way I want to. This "louder and louder over time" business has given me the great excused loophole of letting it take forever ... as long as I can say "well, I was a smidge louder there in the middle; success", then I'm doing what I set out to do, right?

That's not cutting it for me anymore.

I made a video about 7 months ago. I obviously wasn't as far down this self discovery journey as I am now, so I wasn't belting anything out, but it's me ... singing. I was terrified to do it. To record myself singing. Why? I was all alone. Just me and my computer. No one ever needed to see the video if I didn't want them too. But I was still overcome with fear. Fear is intense, yo. When I was young I would record myself all the time without an ounce of fear, and yet here, all alone, I was terrified. I felt the need to have the song playing super loud; to drown me out some. But when I listened to the play back I could still hear way too much of me. I hated it. I was never going to play it for anyone. I was ashamed and embarrassed and couldn't bare to hear any judgement. But the funny thing is as soon as I berated myself enough to never want to make it public ... I sort of started loving it. I was safe and comforted in the determination that NOONE would EVER see/hear it, so now I was free to enjoy it. I felt happy, and alive, and like ME when I listened to it. I moved it over into a private folder on my computer, and I saved it ... just for me. It's not great. Turns out I can't carry a tune, and I'm always way off key ... haaa. I don't care. I don't care what I sound like ... I friggin LOVE to sing!

I've come a long, long way in these past 7 months. I like me. I'm no longer ashamed or embarrassed or unable to bare judgement regarding this video ... so, here it is! The sound of it may not have people lining up to pay me for gigs, but the fact that I did it is a big pile of awesome in my book. Perhaps it'll inspire me to make another one. A bolder one. A top of my lungs, sounds like a drowning cat one ... or maybe it'll nudge me up onto a karaoke stage when I'm not drunk ;-)

And PS ... this video; holy shit do I ever miss my dreads right now!!!
And also, the seborrheic dermatitis (or whatever the hell it is) on my face doesn't look bad at all in this video. I miss it not looking bad :-/

June 8, 2012

Where Art Thou, Dear Camera

I want my camera back!
And that want is pretty much a need, ok folks ... a need!

I have a feeling I'm going to have to pull in some income very very soon. Being unschoolers, I'm working to figure out ways of doing so that won't result in the sending of my children off to public school. A practice I fundamentally disagree with for my family. Photos and Writing. I love em both. I figure I could probably make some money from both. Pretty sure I can make quicker moola with photos. Hence - I need my big camera fixed, and I need it fixed all quick like. Anyone care to donate to the "get my fucking camera fixed asap" fund?! Not even joking here, people! Not.Even.Joking!

I mean, my phone takes pretty good photos. I've used nothing but my phone since December. Was it december when I broke my "should probably just be permanently attached to my arm" beloved camera? I think so. And while in the beginning I cried like an infant. CRIED. Real tears. Big ol' sobbing tears. Over time it's been sort of refreshing. That makes me sad to even say, but it has been. It's simplified my life. It's made me look at things differently. I feel more "exposed" somehow. I probably don't make sense to most of you, right? But you camera people out there - you might understand. Maybe? Anyway, nothing but my phone camera since December, and I've gotten quite a few compliments on the photos. That's enough for me to think I'm the bomb diggity of photo taking, btw!

Let me bask in that glory for a sec ...

Ahhh, feels good.

BUT, I don't think I can actually show up to a photo shoot, expecting to be paid the cheddar, with only my iPhone, and this cute smile. Not going to work. Maybe for a dollar or two, my smile can get a dollar or two... but a dollar or two isn't going to bring home the bacon. Well, we're vegan. Mostly raw vegan... so a dollar or two isn't going to bring home the tomatoes. No sir, it sure will not.

Need Fixed.

June 7, 2012

To curse or not to curse .. ahh, Fuck It!

I cuss (I know, shocking!). My kids cuss (that one may actually be shocking to some of you?). Also shocking may be the fact that I don't care that they cuss. I mean, first off - they got it from me. Am I really going to get bent out of shape and all "you little bastards; don't talk like that; suck on this soap" when they got it from me?! Second off, who cares! 

They usually choose to be respectful about it. They know their surroundings, and choose when and how to express themselves based on what they feel is right. However, there have been occasions where we've been at a park (or something), one of them will trip, or hit their head, or get a slide burn, or drop their water, or forget their cue for attack, or whatever, and the word "shit or dammit or ..." will fly out (when usually they prefer to express themselves differently in such places). Nearby parents will immediately look to me, all bug eyed and foaming. I assume they're waiting for my response. I mean, my kid just said the word "shit" in front of their kid. Surely I'll reprimand said potty mouth right then and there, showing their kid that my kid is bad, bad, bad. Bad words are... bad! Punishment will be had for their bad language. Ooooh, Punishment.Will.Be.Had!!!

Nope. I do nothing. I say nothing. Bug-eyed parent then takes it upon theirself to approach their kid and give a big loud lecture on how inappropriate "bad words" are, and why we should never, ever, ever say them. "Even if some people say such awful things; we know better". "Now, let's go play waaaay over on the other side of this play structure, m'kay?"

Oh Gawd! So good to not be around THAT for 5 days while we were unschool conferencing our asses off. So, so, sooo good! 

That being said ... my kids didn't choose to run around the conference showing off their vivid vocabulary just because they had the freedom to do so without eliciting looks of disgust, or having to listen to another kid get lectured on their behalf. They showed the same decision making that they always do. I can imagine a person (child or not) who isn't "allowed" to say such things in certain situations, deciding to go all hog wild when given (or when he sneaks/takes) the opportunity. But because we put no power in these words; they are neither "allowed", nor "not allowed" ... they just are. They're just words. So, going hog wild isn't something considered. They still chose to be respectful of themselves and their surroundings. Same as always. Sometimes a curse would be expressed, sometimes not. Whatevs. And I wasn't the only one with the whatevs attitude. THAT was the difference. And it made all the difference in our enjoyment! 

Love the hell out of unschoolers, I tell ya ... love the hell out of 'em.

Although, I do have times where I feel, for ME, I maybe might wanna tone down the cussing. You know, act like a lady. YES, I can pull off lady, thankyouverymuch! I'm serious, though, there are times. They come and go. In and out. Waxing and waning. I'm just riding it for now. If ever that feeling sticks around long enough for me to actually dig into, perhaps I'll find myself all sweet and innocent, saying things like "gosh", and "oh bother" instead of the ever ready to fly off of my tongue "what the fuck" and "fuck the what". 

June 6, 2012

LIFE is Good ... it's conference recap time!

This post is overdo... 
and a little bit resented!

I wrote out this glorious, happy happy, life is awesome post 2 days ago. A loooong post. A detailed post. A post to top all posts. When I went to publish it; the thing vanished. Poof. Gone. 
WTF, yo?!

I had a bit of a tantrum for 2 days, and then decided that the bitch wasn't coming back, so I could either scrap the whole thing and instead blog about my camera ... or I could suck it the hell up and recap the conference post again. I already edited the photos for the LiG post, so I suppose we'll just go with that one again. However, I'm damn sure it's not going to be as WooHoo as my vanished post. Lets roll! (***there are a few videos embedded into this post. If you're reading on a subscription feed be sure to click over to the blog so you can see them!)

fun in the hotel gym

I heard about this conference just 3 or 4 days before it started. I wasn't part of the Facebook or Yahoo groups, didn't know a soul involved, sometimes struggle with social anxiety, and was so very excited to scramble like a mad-woman trying to make this thang happen. The hotel was booked, but we were lucky enough to be able to snag a room through another member that no longer needed it. We had the room, we had the money (*just enough; we're broke now), we were only an hour and a half away, and we were filled with such giddy-ness. LiG ... here we come!!!    

As I mentioned in my previous post ... because of a family situation that completely bogged my focus and confidence; I wasn't as social as I wanted to be, and didn't make the connections I was so excited for ... but we had SUCH a great time anyway! I mean, c'mon ... there was an 80's party! I don't need much else then that!

We had such a GREAT time at the 80's party.
Even with a photo of Nick before he took off. 
we make this look goooood

We looove to dance! Especially if it's crazy 80's style dancing.
No fancy dance moves to perfect ... you just have to wiggle like you're being electrocuted!

Hey Cyndi... girls aren't the only ones who just wanna have fun!

We've called ourselves unschoolers for 8 years now, yet this was our very first unschooling conference. So intoxicating; being around so many other unschoolers. Not being questioned, judged, seeing "the look", having to explain, ahhhh ... so refreshing. So freeing. I'll say it again ... so intoxicating. Who needs booze when you've got a hotel full of unschoolers, baby! I've got a cussing story to tell. I started to write it here but stopped after three paragraphs. Decided that it deserved a blog post of it's own. So, more on this subject here ;-)!

In the meantime... 

The kids were really very excited about the hotel pool, but when all was said and done, only two of them enjoyed the pool. And only for about 40 minutes. There was just SO much stuff to do. Funshops galore! Yoga, legos, nerf, carnival, hooping, nerf, music, paper folding, nerf, minecraft (their new obsession, btw), dancing, nerf, film festival, talent show, nerf, games, crafts, nerf, nerf, nerf, nerf. 

Grave yard of the epic Nerf Battle had in the park.
The boys nerfed their asses off through-out the entire conference.

They enjoyed nerfing!
And they wanted everyone else to enjoy nerfing, so Rylan came up with the idea to rent out their nerf guns. For the low, low price of $1, conference goers could rent a nerf gun for 30 minutes! Along with their rental station, they were also selling our food (lol), drawings, pens, hot wheels, play-do, and whatever other misc thing they could find in their backpacks. They crack me freak up! I can't believe I forgot to take a photo of their renting/selling table. All cute. They made quite a bit of money, too ... and they spent most of it on the other kids' "UNtrepreneurial" tables. It was so cute watching the money cycle around from table to table. 

There was a talent show. The kids decided the morning of that they wanted to participate, so we filled out the forms and were sooo excited for the show! An unschooling talent show ... does it get better!!!

Owen wanted to sing and dance to Michael Jackson's "Beat It", and he enlisted his two brothers to be his backup dancers. He was having trouble getting the mic to work for him, which made him a little nervous, so he quickly wanted to pass the mic over to Larson. Larson was hesitant at first because he knew how excited Owen was to perform, but he could also see how nervous Owen was becoming with the troubled mic ... so, Big Brother to the rescue!

Rylan! Sweet, sweet Rylan. He wanted to do a quick magic trick before his hoop performance, but there was some trouble with the music starting too soon. That threw him off his game a little bit, so the magic trick there in the beginning is a little hard to understand. I saw him practicing before the show - so I know he rocked it!  And his sweet little hooping always brings a smile!

Larson, or should we call him Rock Star?! This boy has always loved to perform. He owns the freak out of that stage, doesn't he?

As you can tell by those videos ... we're a hooping family. We don't pick up the hoop nearly as often as we talk about it, lol, so getting our skill set in order is a very slow process, very, very, very slow process  ... but we still enjoy the hell out of it. Excited were we to find out there was a hooping funshop! I'm pretty sure a bigger room will need to be had in the future; I call that a success! Go hoopers, go hoopers, go!

Hoop Dance Party ... for the win!!!
Someone captured a photo with all four of us in it.
Word!!! <3

Prom was another thing that had me super excited. Any chance to shake my groove thang! And with 3 of the most handsome men by my side - well, that dance floor didn't stand a chance!

My PROM dates! 

We didn't dress all fancy like, but we sure did dance our hearts out.

Dance floor cheesin'

"seriously, mom, my legs are about to dance off of me ... I think I need a break"
Haaa!! We took a fiver.

Some super sweet slow dance swaying with my honey.
*those aren't my boobs* ;-)

The last night of the conference there was a concert. But between all of the fun we were having throughout the conference, and the few daily stops to the room for an emotional crying breakdown ... I was exhausted! So that last night we put a movie in, made some food, and decided we were just going to relax in the room for the night. After we ate, the kids wanted to quickly pop downstairs to check their Fairy Godparent mailboxes one last time before that game was all over. While the kids were checking their boxes, I heard the beautiful voice of Amy Steinberg floating in the air, and we decided to head into the concert room to finish listening to that one song. "Just this one song and then lets go back to the room". We pulled up a couple of chairs in the back of the room, and swayed to her music. I was mesmerized.

I can't even put into words what her words did for me that night. Her music, her lyrics ... they cut straight through me. All of the upheaval and trauma that was playing out before me during the entire conference, while I worked my damnedest to stay present, to stay in a place of blessed being, while I dug deep to find the strength I know I possess and the optimism that can be so alluding in these times ... all of that was being sung about. Her words; as though they were written for me. To me. About me. The power and energy she was floating in while singing... all meant for me. Narcissistic? Perhaps, but I don't give a damn, dammit. She was singing TO ME! I was in tears; both happy and sad. My crying would turn to smiling, and then laughing, and then back to crying. Round and Round and Round. One song turned into two, and then three, and before I knew it the concert was over, and I was forever changed! Amy Steinberg ... I already told you this, but you're fucking amazing!

this little man enjoyed the concert, too ... but his emotional turmoil exhausted him to the point of not being able to hold his eyelids open for another second. <3

And that was that. Our first unschooling conference. Oooh what a time we had together. Thanks LIFE is Good! We enjoyed the hell out of you!