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Mom's Nag Pad is a place of support for women and moms. I hope that while you're reading the stories about the crazy lives of others, you'll remember yourself and pick up that dream deferred. Like me, everyone should indulge a dream!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Back in New Orleans

While I enjoyed the little bit of free time my Americorps conference in Pittsburgh allowed, I'm glad to be back home in my bedroom in New Orleans. Pittsburgh in February is a dreary place piled high with soot stained snow and equally damp weather. The people are very nice, and I'd love to see this city during the spring. There's a lot of history there.

We helped out in the very first Carnegie library in the United States. It's a beautiful old gal who's been badly neglected over the past few years. Unfortunately, she's in the center of a town named Braddock, a steel town which has been hit hard by the economy. Once a town of more than 20,000, it now has less than 3,000 residents. To make things even worse, the town's only hospital closed recently, taking more jobs from this already depressed city.

It's hard to return to New Orleans and continue to complain about the recovery. Don't get me wrong; I'm sure we'll all be complaining about something city related tomorrow. But in Braddock, there's such a sense of despair. I can't imagine any parent urging their high school seniors to stay, or encouraging their college graduates to return. The job of bringing the city back seems insurmountable, but they have a dynamic young mayor who's making an effort and as the economy of the country improves, slowly but surely, I'm hoping some good luck will trickle down to Braddock, Pennsylvania.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

First Night in Pittsburgh

It was a long travel day! We had to be at the airport for eight this morning and we didn't get into our hotel rooms until seven this evening, after which we went out for dinner. I couldn't wait to get a shower and fall into bed. It's funny when you travel without your family. Of course, you miss them, but at the same time, you relish the time you'll get on your own. I can blog, read, write, or watch television without interruption. Did I mention I'm in a very nice hotel room which I don't have to clean? It can't get much better than this.

Of course, my heart strings took a little beating when I talked to my six-year-old. She was very cheerful, her dad was struggling with her hair, and the teenager was caught in between. I know they'll survive the next few days, but the vanity in all mothers hopes they'll miss me just a bit.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Happy Mardi Gras!!

It's a beautiful but cool day in the Big Easy. Still on a high from the Saints' victory in the Super Bowl, New Orleanians filled the streets of the city to celebrate Fat Tuesday. My hope is that this feeling stays with us for a while and that we take this positive energy and turn it into positive changes for our city. Be safe everyone and laissez les bon temps!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

February: A Crowded Month

Congratulate us! For the first time in history, the New Orleans Saints are Superbowl Champions! While I'm not a football fan, I'm really happy for the Saints and the City of New Orleans. On top of that we have Mardi Gras, and what else? Oh yeah, today's my birthday.

When you hit your forties, you're not exactly sure how to feel about birthdays. I'm back in school, working full time and still raising a family with all of the ups and downs that entails. The only thing I've come to realize is that I look at the beginning of each new year of my life with optimism and hope. It's always the hope that I've learned something from the past year so that I continue to celebrate the positive and try not to repeat the negative.

So, what's on the agenda today? I plan to go to the gym and workout, and I'm told that around three there's going to be a birthday celebration of some sort. I don't know what it is, but I'm going to leave obsessive compulsive Kevin behind today and enjoy whatever it is the family has planned.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

New Orleans Has a New Mayor......

Mitch Landrieu is the new mayor-elect of New Orleans. This is almost as historic as Barack Obama becoming President. Landrieu is the first white mayor of this majority black city since the 70's. And as usual, everyone is now pledging to work together, just as our new President, the Congress and the Senate promised in 2009 on Inauguration Day. And as usual, they've been at each other's throats ever since. No matter what your political leanings are, don't you just get tired of it?

There's something to be said for not having one party controlling everything. When one party controls everything, there is no incentive to work together. At the beginning, Democrats had no reason to really work with Republicans, just as Republicans had no incentive to work with Democrats from 2000 to 2006. Don't you ever wish it was really all about the voters and what's best for the country, as opposed to what's easier for politicians who are always in 're-election' mode?

Friday, February 5, 2010

It's almost over.....

Well, Friday is here and it's a mixed bag at best. The school and work week are over, but my husband is still out of town, and Mardi Gras and the Superbowl have descended on New Orleans. It's exciting and maddening at the same time. Yet, I digress....

I feel like I'm doing a million things at once, and none of them with mastery. Is there such a thing as having it all? I don't think so, which is why I stayed at home with my older children. Now, I feel like my youngest is getting the short end of the stick with the new schedule I'm trying to manage. I do get to pick her up from school on most days, but I don't get to go on field trips and by the time we all get home, I'm not in much of a mood to do anything else but sleep. But I can't do that because there's homework for all of us, dinner and housework.

As much as I try to put these things into context, I'm having a tough time getting everything done while trying to give my youngest the quality time she deserves. The idea that I won't be in school forever, that one day I'll make a more substantial living, and that I'll be better able to provide gives me little comfort.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Tiring Week

Sorry I haven't been around for a few days, but this week has just started and I'm already tired. My husband is in Miami covering the Superbowl which makes me a single mom for a few days. Hats off to you ladies who can do this 24/7! To start things off, my six year old lost her morning ride to school when her friend fell sick. Thank goodness my next door neighbor has a child who goes to the same school and was able to pick up the slack. The 16-year-old has rehearsal for her play almost everyday, and her pick up time can range from 5 PM to 6:30 PM. This is fine except for the fact that I have class two nights a week.

So here's a special thank you to my Mom and my sister, my neighbor, my older girls and the other school moms who've helped me out this week. I could not do this without you.