Monday, June 29, 2015

A difference in opinion

Recently, after I tucked my kids into bed, Blake came back out to ask me a question.  It was a question about something that he learned in church that was really bothering him.  A principle that he had been taught that made him very uncomfortable.  (And hearing it from his perspective made me very uncomfortable as well.) When he asked me about it, I shared my opinion and explained that my opinion is probably a little different than what he will learn at church.  I calmed him down, and then assured him that it is Ok and said "You don't have to believe everything they tell you at church".  I have been working hard to teach my kids (and myself especially) how to sift through opinions vs doctrine.  If you are LDS you know that there is a tendency for those lines to get deeply blurred. I have been trying to teach my children (and again myself) the Power of the Holy Ghost to teach us and to lead us.  I'm doing this with the hope that they will not find themselves hurt from "leaning on the arm of the flesh" but to always know that they are trusting in the Lord.

As I tucked him back into bed, I was praying that he understood and that I had helped calm his fears.  Then he looked up at me, in a very tender and innocent way, and said "Yeah, and you don't have to believe everything your parents say".

That hit me like a ton of bricks.

For the better part of my life I have been on the Child end of that spectrum.  I only became a Parent 8 years ago.  As the child, it has been easy for me to recognize that I don't have to believe everything my parents tell me. (After all, what teenager doesn't think that they know more than their parents?)  Sometimes they have been right, and I have seen the consequences of not believing them.  In other times, they have been wrong, and I have seen the benefit in believing differently than them.  Neither of those situations have been all that difficult for me, because I have been on the child's side of the coin.  But now that I have flipped that coin, and become a mother myself, I am seeing the other side.

Of course, as a Parent, I think that I am probably right. (Honestly, I am a know-it-all anyways who always assumes I am right!)  I think that every one of my children  should probably believe me for the simple fact that I believe me.  Why wouldn't they? But when Blake said it in such a clear statement I realized that the day is coming when my children may not believe some of the things that I believe.  And suddenly, from this side of spectrum, I can understand the struggle that other's have felt as some of our beliefs change. I can be much more sympathetic to the shock, surprise, and hurt that a parent may feel as their child decides not to believe some of the things that they were taught.  I can see the risk in teaching your children that they don't have to believe everything that they are taught.  Then there is the chance that they won't believe me! But the greater risk and the greater harm would be in not allowing them to do this.  The greater danger is in not trusting my children to be able to follow the Spirit and follow their own conscience.  Whether or not it is the path that I have chosen.  (I know, some of you are snickering and thinking how you are going to read this back to me in 10 years when my kids start making their own choices and I want to eat my words.  Please, do read this back to me.  Remind me that I was once able to trust my kids. I am sure I will need it.)

After the moment of pure shock (and Blake's life passing before my eyes) I was able to agree with Blake.  I was able to tell him "Yes, that is right, you can pray about it yourself, and it is absolutely OK to not believe what I say." (SOOOOO hard to say out loud!)  To my pure relief he responded "But this time I do believe you".

Score one point for mom. Next time may not have the same outcome. And the Parent in me will probably cry like every parent before me who has watched their child choose differently.  But for now I will take comfort in having a son who is willing to faithfully question and seek out the answer that he can believe in.

Monday, June 22, 2015

TSA and me

I'm a girl who needs my sleep.  Almost as much as I need food. No one wants to see me when I am starved for either of those things.  I had an old boyfriend that would pull into the nearest Taco Bell anytime he sensed a fight coming on. He knew that 90% of the time, I wasn't angry, I was just hungry. The birth of "hangry".  (We had to break up, he was making me fat.)  But since I have a talent for taking all things to the next level.  Being hangry isn't enough for me.  So if I add sleep deprivation I can reach all new heights of crazy.  Feel free to coin a new word using Angry, Hungry, Tired and Katie.  (I threw my name in there so that future generations would know that I am the one behind "Hangry Tiratie". Or whatever word sticks.)

Some of you may have seen on Facebook, my recent adventures in Seattle.  Actually, most of my adventures took place before I even left Las Vegas. And then after I left Las Vegas again and finally made it to Seattle.  (Where my adventures mostly ceased and I pretty much just ate a lot of Taco Time with friends.)  The adventures began at 1:00am in the Las Vegas airport when they cancelled my flight.  It was past my bedtime, and no one had thought to feed me in 7 hours. (That's right, I take no responsibility for the job of feeding myself)

I had been counting down the days and hours until I could visit my friends in Washington.  To say I was excited would be an understatement.  I was so excited I hardly slept the night before. (That should have been my first clue that something would go wrong.) My flight to Seattle had already been delayed 4 hours "due to weather" back east.  And, like I said, I was hangry.  After a long stressful ordeal I was able to secure a flight for the next morning at 8:00am to Seattle via Oakland. At 3:00am (the time I finally got added to another flight and found my luggage) it was not realistic to go home to sleep. (JT would have had to wake up the kids to come get me, then wake them up again at 6:00am to return me to the airport. Not gonna happen.) I had about 5 hours to kill in the Las Vegas airport before my much anticipated flight and I was in desperate need of sleep. (Oh, and food.)

After I found my luggage I wanted to go back up to the gate and sleep on one of the super comfy airport chairs. Really, airport? Why can't you make the chairs more comfortable? Or more accommodating to sleep on? Maybe a designated "sleeping area" with soft music and fluffy pillows. You know that is what all of us want to do. Do you think that if the seats are too comfy we might not leave? "Oh, there goes my flight to Paris. I would have gone, but the chairs here are sooooo comfortable I just can't bare to leave." I don't think so.

Anyway, I grabbed the two suitcases that I checked. (Ok, one was practically empty, I was looking forward to bringing home an entire suitcase full of fresh strawberry jam from Washington. Yum.) And I started to head back up the escalator to go through TSA to get back to the gate where I had already been waiting for hours. At 3:00am there is no line at the security check.  I highly recommend traveling at that time to avoid waiting for the jerk in front of you to unlace his shoes before fumbling for another bin. Seriously, dude, wear Toms like the rest of us. As I approached TSA I noticed it was just me and the GIANT security guard (is that what they are called? you know, the TSA guy that scrutinizes your Drivers License before letting you go through to the metal detecter).  I was pulling no dragging (my suitcases are 100 years old, with crappy old wheels not designed for lugging across entire airports) my two suitcases when I suddenly realized I couldn't bring those monstrous things through the check point.

This is when the tired hit me. Not the Hangry.  The Tiratie. (You see what I did there? Tired + Katie = Tiratie) When I am extremely Tiratie I cry. Or I just fall apart.  Or I just about get myself thrown in prison.  I stopped about 3 feet from the TSA podium with just me on the one side, and the "guard" that was twice my size, on the other.  I let go of both suitcases and put my hands to my head in a quiet sob to myself "I can't go through with this!" My mind continued to say: I can't go through the metal detecters with bags that I want to check! What will I do?! But all the TSA guy heard was "I can't go through with this."

Let's just say, he jumped up from his seat with his hands in a sort of karate pose before I even knew what was happening. And with a very nervous, but upset voice said "Girl, you're scaring me."

me: huh? oh, no, I am just so tired and this is so hard and I just don't know what to do.

TSA: What are you talking about?! (His hands still up, now he is looking around to see if  there is anyone near that he can shout to.  Of course not, buddy, it's 3:00AM!)

me: (My hands over my tired eyes trying to focus on how 3:00am hungry, tired, sad -that -her -flight got -cancelled -Katie is going to make it another 5 hours) Huh? What? No, I'm not trying to scare you. (But too tired to make any coherent sentences)

This is when I see the actual fear in his eyes. I'm tired, but not too tired to notice that this guy is about to lunge at me for some strange reason.

TSA: You are scaring me. What are you talking about?!

me: I am so tired, my flight got cancelled, I got my bags and I realized I can't take them through the metal detecters.

TSA: (confusion, mixed with some relief, but hands still poised in karate chop position)

me: Sorry, I didn't mean to scare you. (Now I am very awake and aware that this guy is scared, and probably trained to know how to hurt me. Are they trained to know how to hurt me?)

TSA: Ohhhh, you have some liquids or something in there?

me: Yeah, just shampoo and hairspray and stuff.  But I was planning to check these bags, not carry them on.  I'm just so tired. (Do you think he realized that I am tired? I think I am starting to cry. But I can't be sure.)

TSA: (looks around, sorta sheepish, edging back to the seat at the podium) Girl, you were scaring me.  Saying all this 'oh no, I can't go through with it' and talking all crazy! And I'm like, 'Oh Sh*t, what is the girl going to do?! What is she suppose to 'go through with'?!

me: ohhhhh!! (catching on) Oh no! Oh no!  I am not going through with anything. No, no, no, I am just tired and sorta confused. I don't know where to go.

TSA: You need to go check those bags right now.

me: I'm so sorry! (still rubbing eyes, because even a near death experience with TSA can't totally wake me up)

TSA: Just go check those bags. You're still scaring me.

I turned around, pulling my dilapidated suitcases, in search of a sign telling me where to go.  Looking over my shoulder I can see he has still not sat back down at the podium, and he is watching me like an eagle.

Turns out, saying "I can not go through with this" Sounds a lot like "I have a bomb in my suitcase, and I am too afraid to die.  I can not go through with this."  Especially to a karate chopping TSA "guard" (will somebody please tell me what they are called?).

If only there was a universal word to let someone know when I am extremely tired, and hungry, and mad that my flight was cancelled.  A word like "Hangry Tiratie"

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Time to write.

It's time.
Maybe it has been time for a while now, and I was just ignoring it.  

But I am finally at a place, again, in my life where I feel like I can write.  The words of e.e. cummings sum up my writing experience over the last two years (I know this is grossly out of context, being a love poem, but the words speak so clearly of my other experiences):

in your most frail gesture are things which enclose me,
or which i cannot touch because they are too near
Our journey through P.A. school (which felt more like white river rafting on a pool noodle than just a simple journey) has finally come to an end.  And all of the things that I kept inside are ready to be let out. Well... maybe not all.

For the past few years as we have struggled to make this leap between careers, starting with pre-reqs, rejection, night shifts, and acceptance I have felt so weak in so many ways.  I felt like the "most frail gesture" could enclose me.  Even suffocate me. It has been an extremely vulnerable time for me.  After surviving the heartbreak (and sometimes anger) of rejection I felt like I was already cut wide open.  There was no hiding from it.  Our friends, our family, coworkers, and even some strangers knew of the struggle it was to get in to P.A. school. I knew there was judgement.  I knew that many others thought he couldn't do it. Some people even tried to persuade JT to choose a different path "maybe this just isn't for you".  (And if you have ever seen JT at work, or anyone who works with him you would know just how funny, and ridiculous that was.  Medicine is definitely for him.) Somehow, at the time, I was able to embrace the vulnerability, even write about.  Writing actually became therapeutic for me. I discovered an outlet that could carry me through. 

But as we came closer to actually going to PA school, and our world tipped upside down, writing began to haunt me.  The struggles that came from leaving our home and surviving the all night studying, and long distance rotations suddenly became way too close. Things that "i cannot touch because they are too near".  Suddenly, my struggles were far too personal to share in writing. The words stung even more when given life through text.  It was easier to deny and survive, when they were not public. It is, however, one of my biggest regrets that I didn't keep a personal journal at the time.  But even in secret, writing became unbearable. There was no escaping my heartache once it was put on paper. Has anyone else felt this?  I lost a place of refuge, probably when I needed it the most.   

Now, it has been almost 6 months since JT graduated with his masters as a Physician's Assistant. And the emotions from that phase in my life are starting to fade.  I am finally starting to believe that it is all real.   And the need to write is growing. 

Lately I have come in contact with a number of books, movies, and people that have reminded me of the importance of creativity in my life.  And the shambles I become in it's absence. With JT graduated from school, and stability on the horizon, I feel like maybe it is time for me. 

Time for me to breathe.
Time for me to write.
Time for me to create.

Sunday, March 8, 2015


Before all of you snobby English Majors freak out about my misuse of accept/except, hear me out.

I have been waiting YEARS to write this post.  I have written, and rewritten it a thousand times in my head.  "JT graduated!" or "JT is officially a PA" or "I can shop at Target again without freaking out about going over my budget".  There are a million different posts I have thought about writing.  I had no idea that I would end up writing about "Exceptance".

After a month of back and forth between a few different medical Groups in Las Vegas, JT has finally officially ACCEPTED an offer!  It is crazy to be on the other side of the acceptance spectrum.  We spent a few years filling out applications and praying for acceptance into PA school.  We cried with joy when we were accepted to UW's MEDEX program. It was a wonderful relief to finally be accepted.  I hadn't really thought about when we would be on this end of it.  I hadn't thought about how we would be sifting through offers for jobs and that it would be us making the choice.  And JT's approval and acceptance would finally be the one that matters.

So here we are.  We have accepted the offer that we felt was best.  The only problem is all of the exceptance I feel.

I accept the idea of having a new home, with a pool, in the sunshine.
Except, I am sad to leave behind the smell of fall and the changing of the seasons.  As much as I can't stand the gloom of Seattle, I love the green. I am tired of the eager, stressed out reaction I have to a sunny day.  I abandon all of my indoor responsibilities, and become reckless in my need to soak up every last drop of daylight because "who knows when we will have another day like this?"

I happily accept the idea of going on a new adventure.  I have been craving a change of scenery for years.  I have been wishing for a home where the sun shines often, with new faces, new roads, and new surprises.
Except, I am sure I will miss the familiarity of the place I grew up.  I know the ins and outs, I know the people, I know what to expect.

I am excited to accept the new relationships and stronger relationships I will build.  We will be moving closer to two of JT's brothers.  One of which, we haven't lived by for years.  I am excited to be close to him and his family. I am excited to have a new stronger relationship with my sister in law.  And to be close to his other brother and family as well.
Except, I have to leave the family here that I love.  My kids LOVE their cousins.  It is a friendship much deeper and more special than they have with most of their friends.  I look up to my brother in law and sister in law for so much help and direction.  And when my sisters come to get their hair done we laugh like only sisters can.  We have family parties, Christmas, 4th of July, Halloween, Holidays that have been built around family.  I am so sad to leave them.

So for all of the things we accepted when we agreed to the job in Las Vegas, there have been an equal amount of exceptance to go along with it.

Here's to a New Adventure! (And a new word that I just made up "exceptance" that will probably go viral.)

UPDATE: Apparently I never hit "post" when I wrote this.  We are now (March) living in Las Vegas, and don't have a pool.  Apparently not every home is built with a cascading waterfall into a giant clear blue pool.  My mistake.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

How I found The Love of My Life... you know I am talking about Mascara, right?

I've been through heartbreak.  Terrible, sad, aching, how-can-I-go-on heartbreak. I have spent years getting my hopes up, only to be crushed.  What can I say? I'm a snob.  I'm picky.  I have nice taste.  I know exactly what I am looking for.  So why has it been so hard to find? Why have I been so vulnerable, and so willing to get my heart broken?  All for some thick, long, luscious, black eye lashes?!

Finally, the heartbreak is over.   I have finally found the Love of My Life!!  Overdramatic? If you think I am being over dramatic, you have obviously never had your heart broken.... by mascara.

You know me, and how much I love mascara.  More specifically LANCOME mascara.  I have loved it for a long time.  But a few years ago I decided it was time to give it up.  (Mostly because my husband went back to school full time and on a student loan non-salary Lancome seemed to be a little too extravagant.) Since then, I have been on the search for the perfect (non Lancome) mascara.  I have tried it all.  Every kind of Cover Girl, Maybeline, and finally Loreal.  While some of them were absolutely awful, others were bearable. But I just was not in love. There was always something wrong.  Too flaky, too hard, too sticky, made my eyes itch, too waterproof, not water resistant enough, clumpy, smudgy, wispy, cheap. Sad.

Then last year, at my sister in law's house I noticed her long lovely lashes.  They were fabulous.  I thought they were extensions.  But she told me they were a new mascara called Younique.  When she told me they cost about $30 (the same as Lancome) I pretty much brushed it off. That mascara was in my "too rich for my student loan blood" category.  But then for my birthday JT got me a Sephora gift card. (Yay!) After some careful research, I decided to purchase "Too Faced- Better Than False Lashes".  It was raved about on some make up blog, and it was the same system as Younique.  (Two tubes of mascara, one with fibers and the other to seal the fibers to the lashes.)  I was so excited!!

But the results were terrible.  (Heartbreak) The fibers didn't stick well, and the seal never fully dried. There were times that my eye lashes got stuck together and would not unstick. (We were on our way to dinner with friends, when I sneezed and one set of eye lashes completely stuck together!  I looked like I had the Statue of Liberty's weird crown thing sticking off of my eye. Four long, sticks poking out from my eye. I could not separate them! Another time, my car window was rolled down and the wind blew my bangs into my lashes and they stuck!  When I pulled my hair away my lashes all smushed together and I was left with one big glob on one eye.  Heartbreak.) I had given up on the whole Fiber Lashes idea and was back to Loreal when I saw a friend of mine selling Younique!  The same stuff my sister in law had!

I did my research, and dove right in for a Blind Date.  And it was truly Love at First Lash. The gel is a smooth gel mascara (not just sticky mascara like Too Faced).  It went on smooth and easy.  The fibers made my lashes long and thick.  It firms up enough that I can even exercise in the mascara and it doesn't run or smudge at all.  In fact, it lasts all day!  It never flakes or smears.  It just stays on my lashes- where it belongs!  And it makes my X-love (Lancome) look puny in comparison.  I never thought I would love again after Lancome.  Let alone leave Lancome for another mascara.  But this is it.

Can you guess which eye has 3D Lashes??

It is the Love of My Life.

So for everyone who has wondered how I fell in love, you can see for yourself on my website. I invite you to start a lifetime affair of your own. :)

And to clarify: I will LOVE JT for all Eternity.  That is how I justify having a Love of My Life that is not my husband.  I am assuming that when we reach the Pearly Gates our lashes automatically grown long and thick and glorious, and I won't need mascara anymore.  But until then... I am in love with Younique 3D Fiber Lashes.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

How did we get here?

You may not know that one of my favorite musicals is Rent. Ive loved it ever since Beth and I first saw it at the Paramount Theater as teenagers. We had no idea what we were going to see (and some of it is a bit racey for Mormon teenagers) but we both fell in love with the characters and especially the music. And like all good music, it frequently pops into my head when I hear a phrase from the music. Like: "How did we get here? How the hell?" (Sorry for the swears, but it's from the bible so it isn't a swear word, right?)

I keep hearing that song lately, whenever I think about where we are at right now.  More than half way through PA School, on the cusp of a new career, with an almost 8 year old daughter, nearing 10 years of marriage, and in a basement.  How did we get here? How did we go from a great job in Real Estate, newly weds with two small children, and our first house to the place we are now?

I'll tell you how, Inspiration.  Ny sitrapon' i Andriamaniatra. ("The Will of God" in Malgasy, one of my favorite, while slightly overused, phrases from Madagascar.) That's how it all happens, right? God's will. The interesting thing about His will is that it is rarely centered on one of us completely as an individual. He usually includes quite a few of His children at once to carry out His will.

I'll tell you how we ended up in a basement.

We bought our first house 5 years ago, and with that came a new ward at Church. Among the many amazing people we met in this new ward was a soon to be beloved Nursery leader. Riley was barely 2 years old and took right to Sister Tingey. Of course she instantly dropped the formality of "Sister" and went straight to calling her Tingey.  We often called them Kindred Spirits because there was a true connection between them. It was instant, and effortless. It was love.  I don't know who adopted who first. Did "Tingey" and David adopt us or did we adopt them? I guess that is part of love, you never know who started it.

The friendship evolved from Sunday lessons, to stopping by to play with the porcelain doll collection, shopping trips, pictures with the Easter Bunny, movies, and an annual trip to the Tulip Festival.
The Tulip Festival
One of the beautiful pictures Jennifer took of Riley in the tulips.
I can't help it, I love our Tulip Festival pictures.

Hannah's Wedding
Seeing the movie Brave

But three years ago, on March 30th, Tingey lost the love of her life.  We watched as she nursed David, we cried with her, prayed for, and mourned with her when he finally passed on.  Of course, as memory fades, my kids remember his bird Edward better than they remember him.  But the thing that they have always known, is feeling loved whenever they were here in David and Jennifer's home.

When it came time for us in 2012 to move to Seattle for PA school (to rent out our own house and save money while we are living off of student loans) things just weren't working out.   The stress of the past few years of hard choices, disappointment, and finally acceptance to school was overwhelming and our family needed a break. So we took a vacation to Disneyland.  One night, while the kids slept in the stroller and JT and I walked back to the hotel after a day of fun, we started talking about how things were going to work out. We knew that Heavenly Father had a plan, we just wanted Him to let us in on it.  And then, as we talked, a "random thought" popped into my head.  Why not live in Tingey's basement until the housing comes through in Seattle?  She would probably be willing to let us live there for a few months.  She might even like the company with her daughters away at school, and her sweetheart gone on to Heaven.  It wouldn't hurt to ask.

And here we are. Almost two years later.  We got here on a winding path of friendship, love, loss, and a kind Heavenly Father who knew how to meet both of our families' needs at once.

Jennifer has not only adopted my children, but she has totally adopted JT and me as well.  She opened up her home to our family, and we are still here almost two years later.  I am amazed at her generosity, and I probably take it for granted sometimes.  She has sacrificed her home, her space, her privacy, and her refuge with our family.  (Not to mention sharing her Easter Peeps with my kids!) I have never heard her complain (even though she has every right to) or regret letting us move in.  My kids have had her love at a hard time, with their Dad gone so much and their Mom exhausted.  She is thoughtful, and extremely aware of each of us.  She knows the things we love and the way to each of our hearts. And I think that we have found the way to hers as well.  I think that we have blessed her life almost as much as she has blessed ours.  I think that we will all miss each other more than we realize when JT graduates.
Tingey's Green Bay Packers Birthday
Papa Joe and the Popsicles
The beautiful Chestnut Tree
High Tea with Tingey
The first trip to the Circus!
Trans Siberian Orchestra Concert- so awesome!

I am grateful that Heavenly Father answered our prayers through each other.  I am grateful that he knew we would need each other at this point in both of our lives, and I am sure that will not end even when we move out and she gets her whole house back.

When I look around our comfortable, homey, happy basement, and the words from Rent ring in my ears "How did we get here?" I remember Ny Sitrapon' i Andriamanitra, and Tingey's generosity and feel very thankful.

Friday, January 31, 2014

The Traitor

Ever since I was a child, I have been keenly aware of clothes and fashion.  I hate to admit how much it has consumed me.  I have had entire family vacations ruined because I was dressed (what I considered to be) inappropriately. The MTC was depressing for me when the Temple Square sisters arrived and I was in my jungle dresses.  I use to not like going to the gym if my shoes didn't match my tank top. It's been bad.

As a five year old, my first experience at Disneyland was tainted by the fact that my "mean" mom made me wear shorts instead of a dress.  Now that I am an adult I realize that maybe she just didn't pack any dresses (or tutus) for me to wear on vacation.  (This was long before Princesses took over and everyone started wearing dresses and glass slippers to ride the rides and get autographs.) Or maybe she thought I would be more comfortable in shorts.  But I wasn't.  I was extremely uncomfortable.  I can still point out the spot (near the Haunted Mansion) where I saw some teenage girls in their mini skirts and I wanted to cry (and probably did) because they got to wear dresses to Disneyland and I had to wear shorts!  Of all of the wonderful memories I could have created at The Greatest Place on Earth, this is the one that I have. Shorts.

Yes, my two year old wearing heels at Disneyland.

I had to throw in some of our Disneyland pics.

In fifth grade the biggest fad was  "International News".  It seemed like every cool 6th Grader wore a baggy sweatshirt with the bold "International News" print across the front.  And I felt like the only lame 5th Grader who didn't have one of the sweatshirts. I would have given anything for an article of clothing from Varnet, International News, or Gotcha.  But since they hadn't been out long enough to circulate to the local Value Village, I was out of luck.  I was forced to pin my giant New Kids on the Block pins to a regular old jacket. (Yeah, because the no name brand jacket is the lamest thing in that sentence...)

I barely survived Elementary School fashion in time to get to Middle School.  Thankfully my parents were sick of my crying starting to understand me a little more.  When K-Swiss were popular I got the coolest new style.  When the puffy Adidas jacket were all over the halls of Nelsen Middle School, I unwrapped one for Christmas.  I didn't have all of the cool clothes.  But I had at least one article that made me feel like I could breath and cope with every day life.

This is making me sound very vain or shallow or materialistic.  I prefer "keenly aware of fashion". Painfully, keenly aware, with no way to turn it off.  I can't make myself unaware.  I have tried.

But I thought I had it under control.  As the wife of a PA student, I am not wearing 7 for all man kind jeans.  I don't carry a Kate Spade hand bag.  And I am not strutting around in Jimmy Choo shoes. But I am still breathing and enjoying my life. So apparently I have learned how to cope. (Also, most of my friends are not wearing those clothes, so I don't feel like a 5th Grader idolizing the "big kids".) I thought I was immune to that "keen sense" of fashion around me, but it's back.

This time it isn't about shoes, or purses, hairstyles, or anything that even remotely resembles high fashion.

This time it is Blue and Green.

It's everywhere.  And I think I am the only person in Seattle who is not wearing a Russell Wilson jersey today.  Team Sports Wear has never been high on my radar.  Maybe because it didn't use to be very flattering, or particularly fashionable.  Or maybe because I have never been very passionate about any specific team (or team color for that matter, I would probably be more likely to buy a jersey if it were pink).  Or maybe because I have never been the only person not wearing Blue and Green in an entire state.  (Wow, this sounds exactly like me at Disneyland! The only child whose mom wouldn't let them wear a dress!)

This time it isn't about my "mean" mom.  It isn't about the cool kids at school and their fashion. It isn't even about wanting to fit in.

It is about feeling like a traitor in my own state.

I have lived "in" Seattle all my life.  I have rain boots and a rain jacket but no umbrella.  I went to Mariners games in the Kingdome.  I go to the zoo in the pouring rain.  I cancel all of my indoor plans if there is a sun break to be outside.  I camp with blue tarps.  I still like alternative music. I feel compelled to recycle everything. And I think that fish should always be thrown. So why do I feel like I just don't belong??  I feel as unpatriotic as a Beattles shirt on The 4th of July.  I feel like I am letting down my friends, family, and my hometown by not having a giant 12th Man Flag blowing outside in my front yard and proudly wearing an oversize Marshawn Lynch sweatshirt.  I feel like a traitor.

Looks like it is time to go shopping.

I had to get the pic here, since I don't have a 12th Man Flag. :(