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Entries here have been sparse. Typically I'm occupied with working for both of my companies and handling my domestic life. Just like anyone else. Sporadic posts of process work pictures and upcoming events is the best I have to offer at the moment. I did want to document some thoughts about an event this Saturday.

My eldest daughter Jina is turning 20 years old. A new decade of life for the girl who was by my side at every craft/work show for 10 years. If you've visited me at any local show you definitely have met her. She's been my sidekick since I was almost 19. As her mom, its surreal, I feel as if I am still in my twenties.  

Jina and I  - 1998

Jina and I  - 1998

Jina is half way through college, double majoring in accounting and economics and will have a minor in anthropology. She works hard makes final tests her "bitch" and will most definitely be someone's boss someday. I wake up everyday totally amazed that I created this human. I mean we didn't have the best start, I like to compare it to the poor people version of the Gilmore Girls. The same amount of coffee, witty banter and closeness that Lorelai and Rory shared though. I'm also kind of an asshole. Who knew I'd produce a stellar young lady?

Proof, that in fact she was born with that incredible head of hair. Jina on her birthday 1995.

Proof, that in fact she was born with that incredible head of hair. Jina on her birthday 1995.

The greatest compliment I've ever received is the comment "I hope my daughter and I are as close as you are to your daughter(s)." It's nice that it's obvious, I've worked hard to unlock this achievement. Over the years at times it was hard to treat Jina like a human being. Barfing on me at the grocery store when she was a baby, toddler tantrums, ridiculous obsessions with the musicals and thieving stuff from my closet. It all comes attached with parenting right?  Honestly, you can prepare all you like to become and be a parent. Or you can just wing it. Which is what I did and still am doing to this day. Nothing is predictable for this parenting game and you have to take things as they come.  Just like life in general. 

My daughters and I on my home "rocK". Photo by "Carol Anne"  2012

My daughters and I on my home "rocK". Photo by "Carol Anne"  2012

Twenty years of parenting in the bag. The best part of me walks around with her face and with better brains than I have. She's interesting and interested, an accomplishment she owns all the credit for. She has sass, a strong will and knows to say "I love you" even at the end of a difficult conversation with her mother - which I will take credit for. As well as that great head of hair. 

Me and my girl - 2015

Me and my girl - 2015

Happy 20th to my number 1 lady. 

xo- Thea

Mother's Day

We're approaching Mother's Day which means a lot of different things to different people. Some want to be pampered and showered with gifts. Some just want to sleep in. Some want the day to just pass by. I didn't grow up with a mother (my mom is very much alive and doing well, my parents divorced when I was little and I lived with my dad) so every holiday was Father's Day! I don't have anything against Mother's Day. I mean, I am a mom. But I think it has less of a meaning to me than it does to others. 

When I was married, my ex-husband did a lot for me on Mother's Day. It was very sweet, a bit over the top but nice. But every year I pretty much want the same thing, a picture of myself with my kids. This is a larger task than you would think when you have a handful of children. No one looks at the camera at the same time or acts right. I might as well ask for a miracle every year.

2009  A typical picture of my children.  Please note, only one of my children is smiling nicely.

2009 A typical picture of my children.  Please note, only one of my children is smiling nicely.

Even in the time of selfies and posting everything on social media, it is nice to have a good picture of your family. If you can accomplish that.

2012 - Three out of four. Not too bad. 

2012 - Three out of four. Not too bad. 

Together.

2009 - My children, mom and myself. 

2009 - My children, mom and myself. 

Not doing weird things with your faces. 

I'll have to let you know the result of this year's picture after the fact. Almost 20 years into this parenthood game, it's just become a comical annual occurrence. Someone tries to sabotage the photos by flipping the bird, sticking their tongues out, looking to the left, looking to the right, choking someone...

Full disclosure: Not all moms are the same. Some DO expect more than just picture. Flowers, chocolates and massages might be expected. KNOW YOUR MOM! Quite frankly, I wouldn't hate it if someone else did the dang dishes for a day. Im pretty sure every mom likes looking at what they made in a picture. A nice picture that is. Especially when they start leaving home. This is why your own parents have those "awesome" portraits of you littered all over their homes. Ones from the bad hair years. Yeah, those are great.

Happy Mother's Day!

xo-Thea

When you don't call I think you're dead.

For those of you who haven't followed me over the past few years, I am mother of four. Two girls and two boys. I'll soon have two step daughters as well. When I do something I do it big. My biological kids are all teenagers currently. My eldest is my brainy beauty away at college who will be turning 20 next month. My eldest son is 18 and graduates high school in a little over a month and a half. My younger son is 16 and will soon have his driver's license. My youngest is 13 and is the blonde version of me. Full of sass, comedy and ridiculousness. She represents all that you an imagine of the youngest child. Babied since birth, shielded from R rated movies and bro talk amongst the older brothers when their friends are over. It's hard to not default to that as a mom too. 

My kids in age order 12/25/2014

My kids in age order 12/25/2014

I would call my parenting style easy going. I don't waste my time and energy task mastering things like the cleanliness of their rooms. If they can sleep in it, I have a walking path in and out and they keep the door shut - I don't care. I learned to pick my battles early on. I choose to task master the "for the good of the family" tasks. Also admittedly, I am still mad at my own mother for throwing away a perfectly worn in ripped knee pair of Levi Jeans when she cleaned  unsolicitedly my room when I was 10. I respect their spaces even if it's a sty. Friends are welcome to come over after school to play videos games or just hang out. But god help you if you don't call me to let me know where you are. Fellow parents say it with me; "When you don't call I think you're dead."

In this day and age and by the amount I pay for our cellphone usage, there is no freaking excuse as to why you cannot notify me of your location. I don't consider that babying but I openly admit to freaking out a little more when the baby doesn't call/text. Okay fine, I get worried when the college kid doesn't send me random "Mommy, it's raining and I walked to class and I hate everything!"texts frequently. Baby girl did just this to me recently. She had volleyball practice and didn't know ahead of time and didn't LET ME KNOW IMMEDIATELY. So for a good 30 minutes I ran all the obvious scenarios in my head like, "Maybe she had practice today?" "Maybe the school is on lock down due to a bear sighting." - Legit reason for suburban folks, trust me. "Maybe someone kidnapped her!?!?!" "Maybe she's dead!?!?!". ALL REASONABLE THOUGHTS! I sent about 10 texts and called of course when she didn't show up at home at her normal time. My first assumption was thankfully correct. I also had the reassurance from my son's friend whose younger sister attends the same junior high my daughter does and saw my girl after school at the gym. The point is these darn kids have no excuse to not to connect with their parents. Sometimes all we need to know is that you're alive. That's it. 

And in those types of moments, I understand my own father who had to reign in the thoughtless teenager version of me in the cellphoneless time. Full circle, yo. 

xo-Thea Starr