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Thursday, March 19, 2015

I'm (Still) Too Sexy for my (For Sale) Van


We're talking about selling the van. This van. The van that takes soccer mom to a whole n'other level.  I'm done getting 11 mpg. I've used it to move my oldest in and out and into college. The gas gauge is unreliable and the the drivers seat only adjusts if you scoot forward and right simultaneously. Also, I walk to work now and my 2 sons are or have recently acquired their driver's license. There's no way I will EVER GIVE THEM THE KEYS TO THIS PARTY ON WHEELS.

Most people sell and trade and buy cars without much thought. Not me. Not this time. As we prepare the van for resale I see it as the end of a parenting season. No more car seats, car pools and car-avans to games. Seasons are changing for the Tribe. And it smells like new leather seats.

In honor of the van I'm sharing the following post I wrote a few years ago. It's called
'I'm too Sexy for My Van'

Thanks for reading .....


In August 2007 I bought a 15 passenger van.
That's because in August 2004 the twins were born.
The Sikorski's went from 3 kids to 5.
We needed a bigger vehicle and it only took us 3 years scouring every used car lot in a 200 mile radius to find a suitable one.
It wasn't fancy.
It was white.
It didn't have any of the bells & whistles.
Just 4 benches.
It wasn't even a cool color.
Did I mention it was white?
But it was clean. It wasn't ancient. And I could afford it.
I signed all the papers and transfered all our toys, blankets, diaper bags, trash and car seats from the
old mini van to the new passenger van.
I thought the kids would be excited!
Now they could bring a friend along.
Now we had extra seat belts.
Everyone except me was thrilled. I still wasn't sure how I felt about the up-size.
I mean I actually felt demoted on so many levels.
I went from soccer-mom-in-a-mini-van (that CAN be cool, right?)
to
bus driver.
The van is just so ... white.
And big.
And plain.
It looks so ... so ...
Well lemme try and give you an idea:
We rolled into town in our new purchase.
Fresh wax job. Shiny tires.
And our friends noticed our new ride.
Some asked,
"I didn't know your church got a new van until I saw you driving this!" 
and
"Gosh, is that thing longer that an ambulance?" 
and
"I saw your van at the grocery store. Now I can always tell where the Sikorski's are!"
and
"Halee, either the assisted living van is here or it's your mom out front!". 
Slightly humiliating, I'd say.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Why Toddlers are Easier than Teenagers


We've got a battle of the wills happening over here.
Also, I'm out numbered.
Wait, scratch that. I've always been outnumbered seeing as how I have 5 children.
But it's different now that 3 of them are teenagers.
Gone are the days when the worst thing I had to do was change diaper blow-outs while nursing twins.
Now of my 3 teenagers
1 is on the brink of turning 20
and 2 of them are literally bigger than me.

They're all cute till puberty hits.

And all 3 of them - every. single. one. - is bristling against my parenting. Which, unlike when they were toddlers, I can no longer put them down for nap time when they are being naughty.

Apparently, Call of Duty deserves their undivided attention and over flowing trash cans are irrelevant. Homework is optional and bad attitudes are prevalent. Personal hygiene is over rated and while, we all love eating the food that appears in the kitchen every day, 3 times a day, none wants to actually assist in the preparation, or heaven forbid, load a dishwasher post consumption. And the wi-fi? Wi-fi is a very sensitive subject.
It seems there's not enough to go around to our 10 DEVICES.


Sunday, March 1, 2015

My Instagram Cake

I'm so happy it's March. I'm this happy...
A photo posted by Stephanie Sikorski (@steph_sikorski) on


And while I'm happy to say goodbye to February I still can't shake last month's memory of the Valentine Mother-Blunder. You see, I kinda, sorta, a lil' forgot about Valentines Day this year.

I've also forgotten to pick a kid up from daycare (twice!), forgotten about the Tooth Fairy on multiple occasions, and missed a birthday party (not my own kids though - so there's that!).

I don't remember a lot. In fact, I usually only know what comes next. There's never planning ahead in my life. There's "Whew! That's done. Now, what's next?"

A dear friend once said she was impressed by my ability for such an active capacity.
I'm sure she meant it as a compliment.

People ask me, "What was the score to the game last night?"
I don't know.
Or "Where's the field trip scheduled?"
I don't know.
I know the important stuff, like where my kids are and what's for dinner but other details often, and regularly, go unknown.

And the way I see it, I have 2 choices:
I can pretend like I know what's up and give fake answers.
But, that makes me feel icky and shallow.
or
I can be real, admit I don't know what's going on and risk looking aloof, or worse, looking like an overworked, in over her head, stressed out mother of five.

So, when it was the morning of Valentine's Eve and I was walking out the door for another day at the office, my 10 year old looked at me and said, "I need Valentines and treats for 25 tomorrow. ok?"

NO! um, no. It's totally NOT okay but can I break her heart? Can I drop the ball? Will I be able to sleep at night knowing she'll go to her class party empty handed?
NONONONO.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

The BEST Writing Advice Ever. And I mean ever!



It was just in the last year or two that, thanks to the advice of Jeff Goins I was able to finally admit that I was a writer.
Which was a super hard thing to do - even though I had a weekly column in our local newspaper,
and was a regular contributor to a women's ministry website,
and was asked to coauthor a memoir,
while blogging. 

But I did. I took the very scary leap from begrudgingly, sheepishly admitting I like to piddle with words to "Yes, I'm a writer."

And for anyone who's ever longed
dreamed
imagined
or wished
to write, you know that is a very scary admission.

But I did it. And I'm a writer.


Tuesday, December 30, 2014

New Years Eve Eve


Tomorrow is New Years Eve.
Tomorrow I will celebrate as I've done for many, many New Years. 

But, I suspect, this New Years will be a little different.  For the first time, in a long time, I'm happy for the turning of the calendar. This year I'm not kissing the old goodbye with a raised middle finger and a "Bite me!" attitude, as much as I am opening my arms to embrace the new. I have a sense of hope for the new year. Dread is not my party companion this NYE and that is a good feeling.

New jobs are in store for us this year. And with that who knows what else? New friends? A new locale? Anything is possible.

Anything is possible! I can say that this year with confidence but you should know, I didn't say that last year, or the year before, or even the year before that. 

So?
So! That means things change. Things can change. As they should. As they do. We change: physically, mentally. Jobs change. Friendships change. The day changes to night. The winter to spring. All of it changes.

So to believe "it will never change" isn't true. To get stuck in the dreary disbelief that nothing will ever change, this is how it will always be, therefore I have no hope, isn't true.  At all.  Everything changes and as long as that remains we can always have hope. 

So until you get a New Years eve worthy of a fine celebration, keep looking forward.  Move toward your hopes and dreams. Don't stop. Because things do shift, change will come, and hope doesn't disappoint. 

Bye 2014! Hello 2015! 

True story- the one NYE when I was lonely and feeling friendless is how our Family New Years Eve party began. You can read about it here 

Also, for more on how to get past 2014 check out Donald Miller's post Creating Your Life Plan pdf here: http://creatingyourlifeplan.com/start-life-over.pdf

Saturday, December 20, 2014

43 Year Old Man Graduates while his Wife & 5 Kids Applaud




3 years and 4 months ago my husband returned to college.
Last night we attended a reception and ceremony as he received his Preservice Teaching Award and Summa Cum Laude honors. 
Today he will graduate.
And I, and our 5 children, will don our best garb, charge up the camera and travel to the ceremony.

There I will cry.
Nay, I will weep tears of joy and tears of relief as this journey has culminated into the 
biggest finish line of our adult lives.

I wrote about his decision to return to school here, and everyday since that decision was made, I have done some of the hardest things I've ever had to do. I've humbled myself in ways I never imagined I would. And I watched as others passed over us with their opportunities and their things and their purchasing power. 

While I'd like to say it was a breeze to do what we felt we were supposed to do, I can't. Instead if I'm honest I will tell you there were times it was awful. Taxing. My soul wore thin. A lot. I even, embarrassingly admit that I thought about giving up on the whole notion of supporting this midlife reorganization.
There were times when the words, "Please stop, this is too hard. I was wrong. I can't do this with you" would hoover in my heart, but never could I get the words to fall from my lips.

Don't our dreams deserve perseverance? Wouldn't I want his support if the roles were reversed? And didn't I willingly take his hand in mine and decide to go for it?

If the way through to our dreams was harder than I thought, it wasn't the dream's fault. It wasn't even the road's fault. It was mine. Maybe I didn't have the gumption and bravery to see it through.

My how weak I really am.




Except I'm not. I'm not weak at all.
I'm human.
And it's graduation.
And my baby did it! And he did with honors.


He did it.
We did it.
We made it.

So we're all gonna get dressed up today. And take pictures.
And eat special food.
And laugh.
And cry.

Because we didn't quit.

We did it.

We can do hard things. And, to me, that is exactly  what the title of this blog is about; writing a better story with everyday, every opportunity and every journey. So Baby, let's make this epic! 

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