Monday, May 17, 2010

Totally 80's

My friend Christina is getting married on the 29th and I couldn't be happier for her. She is such a positive and sweet person and I really look up to her. Her joy for life is contagious and she is one of those people that you just want to be around all the time.

Anyway, a few weekends ago I went to her bachelorette party. I was really excited not only to hang out with a bunch of cool girls but also because it was an 80's party! I ADORE the 80's. My husband thinks I am completely insane for admiring the decade with crazy hair, tights and leg warmers but I really don't care. Everyone was supposed to bring a gag gift and dress up. It was going to be at another friend's house and it was supposed to be pretty low key. Christina is not the kind of girl that would like to go out to a bar or club for her party. (Secretly, I was grateful for this because neither am I). I immediately started planning my outfit. Did I want to go punk rock? How about Madonna-esque? Hmm, no I decided to go with the Flashdance/workout look.

I dug through my closet and came up with some black cheerleading shorts and a purple sports bra. JJ gave me an old grey sweatshirt that I cut the collar off so that it hung off of one shoulder. I figured I could wing it with my hair and makeup but I still needed something else. What was missing? Of course! Tights and leg warmers. Now, I don't keep these things on hand so I had to order some. Luckily, Target carried bright pink tights and bright purple leg warmers. Bingo! I rush ordered them so I would have them in time for the party.

On the night of the party I showered and did my hair. I tried to get it as poofy as my thin and stringy hair would allow. I decided to put it back in a black headband and wear some big earrings. I moved on to my makeup. I did lots of blush and bright green eyeshadow. Perfect.

I slipped on the tights, shorts, leg warmers, sports bra and sweatshirt and looked in the mirror. I looked AH.MAZ.ING. I couldn't wait to get to the party!

I headed out to Beth's house. I arrived a little early but I figured they might need extra help setting everything up. I rang the bell and Beth opened the door. Ok she wasn't dressed up. Weird. I looked around and there were two other girls putting up decorations. Neither of them was dressed up either. Hmm. Surely they would be changing and the other girls would be dressing up.

While hanging up some streamers I kept glancing out the window waiting for more 80's clad people to show up. One by one people showed up including the bride. Guys, I was the only person dressed up. I am not shitting you. Everyone had excuses as to why they didn't dress up. One girl said she didn't have anything 80's (I lied and told everyone I already had everything laying around. No way in hell was I going to tell everyone that I actually ordered tights and leg warmers). Another said she didn't have time to change. Argh!

About an hour into the party the last guest showed up. The door opened and I heard her say "I thought this was an 80's party!" I breathed a sigh of relief. I wasn't the only one dressed up! She came into the room and I tried to hide the confusion on my face. She was wearing black leggings with a dressy shirt and some flats. She would have fit in to any restaurant or mall and no one would have thought she looked out of place. A couple of times throughout the night she looked over at me and said, "I can't believe no one else dressed up!" It took everything I had to not look at her and say, "Girl please! I am wearing PINK TIGHTS! Why are you complaining?"

The rest of the night was fun but I had a hard time relaxing. On top of the whole being-the-only-moron-in-leg-warmers thing, Beth had a cat and I am severely allergic. I sneezed every few minutes and I am sure my eyes were bloodshot (but I bet that looked great with the green eyeshadow!). I left a little early and headed home.

So, without further ado, I present to you all...Becca's Totally 80's Outfit!! (I love Lexy's face in the first picture. It's like she knows what is about to go down.) Please ignore the messy house in the background. It's all JJ's fault.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

For My Mother on Mother's Day

My mother was only 18 when she became pregnant with me. It was 1984 and she was a senior in high school. She had met my father at Kroger which is where they both worked. My dad worked in produce and my mother worked the checkout lane and they met due to a customer complaining about rotten potatoes.

I can't imagine the fear and uncertainty my mother faced when she discovered she was pregnant. Her parents were very strict Catholics so breaking the news to them was, I'm sure, absolutely terrifying. JJ and I are just now discussing the possiblity of becoming parents sometime soon and I still get scared. I cannot imagine how me, as an 18 year old child could have handled it.

My mother did not believe in abortion and she knew she was going to have me. She is one of the reasons I am pro-life. My mother taught me at an early age that life begins at conception and every child deserves a chance at life. This is one of the many, many strong values my mother instilled in me at an early age.

My mother had a difficult pregnancy with me. She threw up every day for many, many months. In fact, every morning in homeroom, she had to leave to run to the restroom to throw up. She had many goals she wanted to acheive in her life. She wanted to go to college. She had scholarships that she was pursing. She wanted a career. Someday, she wanted to get married and start a family. But everything changed when she became pregnant with me.

Her and my father decided to get married. They got a tiny apartment and my mother graduated from high school. Once they had me, my mother stayed home to take care of me. My father went to college all day and worked at night. My mom was constantly alone. Can you imagine yourself at 18, staying home all day to take care of a baby when you have no idea what you are doing? She had no help. She was alone. And she was 18. Amazing.

My parents were very poor and had to work really hard for everything they had. They went without so that I could have a chance at a good life. When my mom was only 24, she lost her only sister. The grief she felt must have been overwhelming.

I often watch shows like 16 and Pregnant and Teen Mom and I find myself crying through so many of the episodes. I see the struggles these girls go through and how many of them end up losing their relationships with there significant others due to the stress. My mom fought for everything. Against all odds, her and my father have been together for almost 26 years. She fought to be a good mom and wife. She fought to give me everything I could ever need in life. She is the strongest and most intelligent person I have ever known in my life.

People underestimate her all the time. They see a stay at home mom who cleans the house and takes care of the kids. A lot of people don't value stay at home moms anymore. They don't see the strength it takes to sacrifice everything for your family and never complain. They don't see how underappreciated they are. Stay at home moms don't get paid. They don't get raises. They don't get annual performance reviews or recognition. Many times, the children and husband take stay at home moms for granted. I took my mom for granted all the time growing up and sometimes I still do. But more often then not I see the value and strength of my mother. I see a woman who is stronger than I think I could ever be. I see a woman who does not know her own intelligence. I know engineers and scientists that are not as smart as she is. I see body builders and marathon runners that don't have half of her strength. And my mother has no idea.

Mom, you are my best friend and my hero. Without you making the tough decisions, I would not be here today. I would not be strong enough to voice my opinions and to stand up for myself. I would not have my own inner strength. I know it is hard for you to value yourself. I pray that you realize how much you mean to our family.

Some people may groan and feel horror when they hear someone say, "You are just like your mother." I think that is one of the greatest compliments I could get. I only hope that one day I will possess the selflessness, strength, compassion and courage my mother shows every single day.

I love you Mom! Happy Mother's Day!

(Photos via weheartit)