Speak Now


If you're a blogger, you know that literally anything can inspire a blog post.  When you're looking for something to blog about, nothing comes to mind.  But when you're not...when you're just living your life without any thought of what to write, life hands you a blog you never intended or expected to write.

And when that happens...how do you write it?  Because those are the ones that are hard to put into words.  

Take today, for example.  One of the teachers at the high school that I went to is retiring so he's cleaning out his classroom.  My brother-in-law just happens to be in his class and was amused to come across some old High Times Newspapers (our high school newspaper) that date back to my days in that school.

Finding my name in the newspaper, he texted pictures to my husband who later teased me about it.

"I didn't know you like to watch wrestling..." he commented to me.

Completely confused, I eyed him supiciously, "I don't like to watch wrestling..."

"I didn't know that you used to like wrestling," he corrected.

Confounded by this out-of-the-blue subject, I looked at him as he pulled out his phone and showed me this:


I instantly recognized that it was from the "Did You Know...?" section of The High Times, but sixteen years later I have no idea what conversation came about that caused this to even be put in the newspaper to begin with...especially since I've never actually watched wrestling.  (If I have, it must've been horrible because I've blocked it out completely)

He showed me another one that I didn't recall the origins of, either.  But it got me to thinking about how when we were teenagers, everything seemed big and important and life-changing.  And now...many of those same things don't even register as a blip on my adult radar.

I wanted to go back and look at the rest of the "Did You Knows" and see what memories were called back, so I asked Jason to forward them to me while I composed a blog in my head around that idea.

And then I got the texts with the pictures and the whole blog changed.

Because the next line in that picture took me to a different topic altogether.


"...cows go moo?"

Seems oddly placed and obvious enough.  Surely everyone knows that cows go moo, right?

Except this had nothing to do with real cows, and everything to do with the freshman named in the statement above it.

Me.

You see, when I was in eighth grade, my then-best friend became my boyfriend.  And the next year, in ninth grade, he was neither.

And he and all of his friends did what teens typically do to ex-girlfriends.  They made fun of me, mocked me, and--though I never considered it at the time--they bullied me.

Yes.  Bullied.  When it's basically ten to fifteen kids against one, I consider it to be bullying.

But I never thought of it that way at the time.  It wasn't until I read about a similar situation with another individual and I became outraged that the individual was being so blatantly bullied and no one was doing anything about it.

Even then, I still didn't connect the dots to my own experience.  I formed the opinion that it definitely was bullying, but that's as far as I went with it.

The thing about getting older is that sometimes things bother you now that didn't bother you so much then.  You become humiliated because of things you did or didn't do.  You become proud of decisions you made that you were ashamed of at the time.  (Sidenote:  My middle-school Pre-Algebra teacher had a sign in her classroom that said, "What is right isn't always popular, what's popular isn't always right"...whenever I remember those decisions I tried to hide, I almost always remember this sign and how very true it is.)

And for one reason or another, there have been several times recently that I've remembered this time in my life when people who were previously my friends moo-ed at me and called me names every time they saw me.  At school.  At church.  On a church ski-trip.

And I never understood why.  Then or now.  I was beyond skinny.  In my teenage-mind I was curious why girls larger than me were referring to me (aka Toothpick Girl) as a cow.  In my adult-mind, I see no logic in any of it whatsoever. But that doesn't matter.  

What matters to me now is the number of adults who witnessed the name calling and the ostracization and said nothing whatsoever.  

What matters to me now isn't that I didn't know how to stop them or shut them up...it's that adults who should have didn't care enough to.

Church leaders, friends' parents, teachers....

When I was fifteen years old, I was being mooed at, called names, and had hateful, rude and hurtful poems written about me and passed throughout the school.  I was even mocked in print in our High School Newspaper.  And I was ashamed.

Now I'm thirty years old.  I am not that girl and those kids are no longer the individuals they were then either.  But still I'm ashamed.  I didn't have a voice to defend myself because none of the adults who were aware of what was going on gave me that voice.

I am ashamed and they should be too.

"The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look upon evil and do nothing."  -Albert Einstein
Ashley Harris Wife & Mom

Ashley is a thirty-something wife and mother of two boys. She enjoys spending time with her family, as well as reading and decorating their home. Her blogging adventures began in 2006 as a single mother and have carried on through marriage and a new life with a husband, a ten-year-old, and an infant.

Reigning it In


We have a rule in our house.

The basic idea of it is that you can't say whatever you want when you're caught up in the emotions of frustration or anger or irritation and then just apologize it away later.

We also have a rule that any sentence starting with "I'm sorry but..." and ending in even a hint of negative feelings is strictly forbidden.

We don't want our kids growing up thinking that they can just say whatever they want to hurt and embarrass others without repercussions so we're trying to emphasize it from the get-go so that someday, when Ty's a sullen teenager with a chip on his shoulder, he'll at least have (hopefully) learned to keep his mouth shut and he'll avoid the trouble it would otherwise get him into.

The problem with rules like these is that we--the adults--have to be burdened with leading by example.

Which stinks.

Especially since we all know that I have the tendency to pop off sarcastic remarks without a moments hesitation, let alone a second thought.

And nights like tonight are especially hard because I'm not feeling well and I'm tired and I'm irritable and my son was supposed to have his room cleaned twenty-four hours ago.

And so tonight, after telling him all evening long "Quit playing and clean", when he had the audacity to tell me, "I'll make a deal with you, Mama.  How about if I have my room clean by tomorrow night then..."

That was as far as he got before he got (figuratively) slapped in the face by my stink eye.

Cause Mama ain't making no deal.  Mama told him last night to get that room clean and it wasn't.

And Mama's told him all night tonight to get that room clean and at T-minus 7 minutes to bath-time and it's still not clean....Mama ain't making no deal.

Mama didn't tell him "Clean your room and (insert any bribe here)", Mama just told him "Clean your room."

See the period at the end of that sentence?

But Mama knows better than to open her mouth at such a time.

Because I have a blasted example to set.

And that stinks.
Ashley Harris Wife & Mom

Ashley is a thirty-something wife and mother of two boys. She enjoys spending time with her family, as well as reading and decorating their home. Her blogging adventures began in 2006 as a single mother and have carried on through marriage and a new life with a husband, a ten-year-old, and an infant.

Post-Weekend Update


The only problem with weekends is that you typically need another weekend to recover from them!

And we had a relatively easy one!

My parents came up and spent Friday evening with us so that they could go to Ty's soccer game Saturday morning.  My sister shocked us all by getting up early Saturday morning and making it to the 9 am game too!  She took some pictures for us of The Boy and his teammates.

Ty got to be one of the Team Captains this week, which was just perfect since our family was in to see him!  And he jumped right in and took off with the ball, even passing it to one of his teammates to get it down the field (passing has been a myth in the under-8 soccer division at times)

After soccer Ty was stoked to get to go to Magic Springs with one of his best friends from school and soccer.  He also got to stay the night, too, which he had been excited about all week, and still animated about all weekend since!

His friend's older brother won a lot of basketballs at one of the games there at the park and was sweet enough to share them with his little brother's friends (How thoughtful was that!).  All the other little boys swapped their basketballs out for Razorback balls.

Not my kid.  My little lover-of-all-things-orange swapped his out for a Texas ball.

Luckily, when I picked Ty up Sunday morning I made it to the car before Ty did and was able to prepare Jason for the travesty his son unknowingly committed.  ;)

The hilarious part was when we were in the car and Ty looks at the Longhorn symbol on the ball and asks "Is this a beaver or a moose on here?"

Like Jason said, though, it could have been worse.  It could have been purple and gold.

{{gag}}

Saturday evening Jason and I did absolutely nothing while we were childless and it was wonderful!  We had eaten lunch with my family that afternoon and overfilled on appetizers so we still had half of our entrees left that we ate for dinner (I've never had a steak from Chili's so it was a pleasant surprise that it was so wonderful!)

We took a nap (after having to get up at 6:30 on our Saturday morning to get Ty to the soccer field early for pictures) and then we spent the rest of the evening just laying around, being bums. 

Sunday we picked Ty up and came home and did some dishes and laundry and the unfun stuff of being an adult and then headed into town to Family Park to let Ty test out his new basketball.  He had another little boy show up wanting to play.  He's in 6th grade and was a good basketball player, so he was calling "walk" all over the place on Ty.  He was really good, though, once we explained it was Ty's first time to play with his new ball.

They ended up playing Jason and Ty versus the boy and his dad, so it was a fun little game and they were kind to let Ty have some time with the ball, too.

And then last night, was a typical Sunday night.  Pizzadillas for supper (easy, quick & good) and we settled in for our Sunday night shows.

Good times, good memories, and a good weekend.

Now, if the weather will cooperate, this week we've got to get some Scotts Turf Builder with PLUS 2 Weed Control on our yard.  If it wasn't for weeds, we wouldn't have anything growing where our grass is supposed to be! 

Here's to hoping it's one of those no-effort required, overnight miracle products like you see on TV!  ;)

I might have to document it just for curiosity's sake in case there are any lawn-care beginners like us that don't know what to do or how often to do it.
Ashley Harris Wife & Mom

Ashley is a thirty-something wife and mother of two boys. She enjoys spending time with her family, as well as reading and decorating their home. Her blogging adventures began in 2006 as a single mother and have carried on through marriage and a new life with a husband, a ten-year-old, and an infant.