Author Archives: Rainey

Leave Barron Trump Alone!

Image Source: NBC news

Dear celebrities, the media and all citizens:

Stop picking on Barron Trump.  Just stop it.  He’s ten years old.  The next four years of his life will set some serious groundwork for the man he will become.  You cannot sit on your high and mighty pedestal pontificating about Donald Trump’s character and then turn around and pick on a ten year old.  That makes you a hypocrite.

Barron Trump is the same age as my son Max.  If Max had to sit through a long day of pomp and circumstance, he would not only be whining but would probably fall asleep in his chair.  Barron was extremely composed for a ten year old.  I loved watching him play peek-a-boo while his father signed his first order of business. Continue reading

Own Your Truth. Live Your Truth.

My grandmother and their great-grandmother!

In December I lost my strong, slightly eccentric, very colorful and loving grandmother.  I will love her and miss her forever and my world has become just a little bit too quiet with her gone.  Although she lived until she was 93, losing her was not so easy.  Is it ever?  When you lose someone you love?  Is it ever easy?  She lived a long life, but my life was just a little bit better with her on this earth.

If I would have to describe the one lesson my grandmother taught me that stands out the most, it was to simply be yourself.  Don’t apologize for who you are, what you have, what you believe and what you want out of your life.  Own your truth.  She did this every single day and drove many of us crazy in the process.

Own your truth.  Live your truth. Continue reading

New Year’s Resolution: Be human.

Last night,  on New Year’s Eve, I stayed home with my children.  I ended my year with a typical epic mother fail.  We stayed up to watch the ball drop but I had the wrong channel on.  This resulted in my ten year old having a bit of a melt down and me frantically searching for a do over.  Just so you know, there are no do-overs on New Year’s Eve.   I’m hoping that today we can see a replay of the festivities.

Many of you have made, or may be making New Year resolutions.  Before you do, take your coffee into a quiet room and look back and reflect on the past year.  Only when you briefly look back can you move forward.  I haven’t done this yet.  I’m going to do it right this second as I write to all of you.  Hold on…let me get my coffee!  Shit’s about to get real. Continue reading

Taking a break from the revealing world of blogging!

blogging-cookiesI’m struggling with content for my blog.  It’s not writer’s block or lack of motivation.  I’m wrestling with ethics.  When I started to write posts for my blog, I did so with the intention of reaching peoples’ hearts.  I wanted to make a difference, be relatable and hopefully help someone in the process.  I shared stories of love, marriage, divorce, children and friendship.  Some of my posts were well received.  Life went on and larger topics loomed.  Then I hit a wall.  Blogging is so personal and sometimes it can be almost like walking on a tight rope.

When is writing about a topic hurting someone more than helping them?

My ex-husband reached out to me one day about one of my divorce posts that I had written two years ago.  He didn’t like what I had written.  I was very defensive.  I have always tried to be extremely careful with how I presented our past.  I even sent him some other posts he had not read.  I explained to him that my intent was to inspire and lift up others. Continue reading

Balancing expectations. A visit with the in-laws.

img_5593I’ve been missing in action because I have spent the last two weeks with my in-laws who were visiting us at our home in Virginia.  Yesterday I dropped them off at the airport for their flight home.  To be honest it was both a wonderful visit and a difficult one.  It was wonderful because I truly love my in-laws and am so thankful for all that they do for our family.  It was sometimes challenging because we live such different lives and I personally struggle with meeting their expectations, not because they put many on me, but simply because I am their daughter-in-law.  The difficulty also came from my husband’s hectic work schedule these past two weeks.  He has been working night and day and was not able to take enough time to spend with his parents. Continue reading

Political posts, rants and Facebook.

401af15529c096a70da250cbbf5cf78cNothing makes people more miserable on social media than political posts and rants on Facebook.  I respect your choice to support a different candidate and to vote for your candidate.  I respect your freedom to write whatever you want on Facebook.   Here are some of my thoughts on the subject and why you may want to think again before you post that next status update. Continue reading

Super Mom! Super Wife! Super Tired?

IMG_1026My last blog post was written at the very beginning of summer.  Summer, self-care and boundaries outlined the steps I wanted to take to improve my quality of life.  I am committed to staying on track!

I recently saw a mom with a stroller and her diaper bag had the following words imprinted on it.  Super Mom.  Super Wife.  Super Tired.

Yes! Yes! Yes!

This is why I wrote the blog in the beginning of the summer regarding boundaries.  I still have to ask though, how much of that “super tired,” is a result of each one of us taking on too much?    What kind of resolutions will help you reduce the stress in your life?  Today is August 10th and New Year’s Eve is only three weeks away.

Huh? Continue reading

Summer, self-care and boundaries.

selfcareI’ve noticed something this year.  Many women are simply not taking care of themselves, myself included.  I see it in their eyes.  I hear it in their voices.  They call me with stories of exhaustion, worry and plain old frustration.  I’m there for them.  They are there for me.  There is one thing missing from all of the support they and I give and that is a permanent solution.  That solution is self-care and the inclusion of boundaries in their lives.

My friend Julie sent me this picture just one week ago.  I was sick and instead of just saying “get better” she nailed the real issue right on the head.  “Self-care is never a selfish act – it is simply good stewardship of the only gift I have, the gift I was put on earth to offer others.”  This quote by Parker J. Palmer stunned me but didn’t really impact me until just today.  Did I mention that Julie is also a healthcare provider?  She has seen me for over twelve years dealing with sicknesses that were definitely brought on by lack of self-care.  Diabetes, viruses that won’t go away and shingles.  These are brought on by a lack of self-care, a lack of stress management and tendency to worry about things that are not even mine to worry about.  OK Julie I think I have finally got the message!  I’m going to print out my own blog post (this one) and put it on my refrigerator! Continue reading

“What do you DO all day?”

LaundryI was at dinner with a friend.  She is a very successful executive, lives in an affluent area, doesn’t have kids and is really fun to be around.  We were having a glass of wine when all of a sudden she said “you are such an outgoing and talented woman, what do you do all day?  I mean I know you stay home for the kids, but what is next for you, what’s next, what makes you feel fulfilled?”

I chose to down the rest of my glass as thoughts raced around my head, trying desperately to formulate a very intelligent answer.  I didn’t succeed.  My very deep ability to reflect and formulate a well thought out response simply abandoned me.  We all have reasons for doing what we do.  When I was a single mom I had to work for financial reasons.  I now have a choice that many women do not have and I currently stay at home.  Some mothers work and juggle their careers and their kids and after school activities. Some mothers work out of their home.   We all have one thing in common.  Sacrifice.

This did not come out in my brilliant answer.  Sorry ladies, I put us all back a couple of decades!

“Laundry.  I do laundry.   I do loads and loads every week.  I put clean clothes in small baskets for the kids to put away and they stay in those baskets until they make it back to the dirty pile.  That’s what I do.  I’m a hamster in a wheel.”

I truly have the chance to redeem myself.  I’ve gone through some emotions thinking about this answer and I’m happy to say that I now understand myself better and the choices ALL moms make, whether they work or stay-at-home.

“I am a mother.  I have made a conscious decision to sacrifice myself for the good of mankind.  I don’t always use my interpersonal skills to sell a company’s product or service.  Sometimes I use those skills to put more good into the world.  Through my children, these three boys, I have the chance to give back..   It’s a ripple effect.  The kindness, the guidance, the character that I instill in them will be magnified and ripple into future generations.  So although sometimes it is difficult and my days can be full of mundane tasks, deep down I know that there is nothing more important than the sacrifice that I am making for future generations.  What do I do all day?  I live a life of love and sacrifice.  I am a mother.”

My dear friend is correct though.  Although I am a mother for life there is an aspect of “what’s next.”  My children are getting older and are more independent.  Am I ready to retire?  Should I commit more time to the blog?  Write a book?  Go back to work?  What is next?  I don’t know, I really don’t, but I will make an effort to enjoy the journey.

I would love to hear your thoughts on motherhood, staying-at-home, working, just all of it.  What makes you happy?  What fulfills you?  What’s next?  If you’re not a mom I would love to hear about that also!  This is YOUR life.  These are your choices!

 

Celebrating Life and the Night I Spent with a Star

imageIt is 4:00 am in the morning. I am wide awake. My husband and I traveled to California to celebrate a friend’s 40th birthday. We have an early flight back to our three children, two dogs and suburban house in Virginia in two hours. At this very moment, I am sitting on a small comfy couch in a cottage that used to be the home of a man named Charlie, the former caretaker of Mission Ranch. Walking into his cottage was surreal, as if I had stepped back in time, and I can’t help but think that he would smile at the excitement I felt at just being in his former home. It felt personal.   Being here made me feel like I am now woven into the fabric of the ranch’s history. These past two days have caused me to reflect on how experiences truly make life worth living.

My heart has been affected by my stay here.

The party was a surprise. Her husband picked us up from the airport and took us to the ranch. The land reminded me of Sweden in that it was untouched, frozen in time, and for me, a place where my soul could breathe. Sheep grazed in the valley, flowers and ivy brightened the various shutters and windows. A gentle fog covered the green hills. This was no ordinary place. I will never forget my brief stay.

We came in on a Tuesday and we are leaving on a Thursday. In this short time we have been to Pebble Beach, drove the coast of Carmel, had a luxurious dinner at Casanova, hiked amongst Redwoods and spent the night with a star. That star was not the owner of Mission Ranch although I and others were affected by his attendance, that star was our dear friend Lena. Continue reading