What Women Think About. At Target. (or at least one woman)

I watched this funny video yesterday of “what every woman thinks when she’s walking through Target.”
It inspired me to jot down my own typical run of Target since I only go there for two items: diapers and wine. My thoughts are in quotations.

begin scene:

“No kids…holla!!”
Walk in.
“Wow, that SMELL. I love/hate it.”

Grab cart.
Inside of cart makes loud slamming noise. BAMMM. Flinch.

“Whaaat?! No cart wipes?”
Get out antibacterial and try to inconspicuously clean off cart.
“Oh that lady saw. She’s gonna think I’m a germaphobe. Don’t care. Am one.”

Pass bathrooms.
“Thank God I don’t have to go because their women’s restroom always smells like assholio, and I don’t have kids with me to justify the family restroom.”

Walk past all the dollar crap. I don’t want/need ANY of that. Looking at women perusing that stuff. “They got sucked in! How? Why?!”

Walk past scarves/purses… “keep walking, Court. You don’t need any of it. You’re on a budget.”

Walk past clothes.
“oh now that shirt is IN the budget. Not trying on. Dressing room and stinky feet smell. No time for it tonight. I’ll bring back if doesn’t fit. Which it likely won’t since I’m feeling huge.”

Pass maternity. “Whew.” Flinch. Jerk. Sharply turn corner.

Pass men’s.
“Andrew needs undershirts. I think.”
2nd item into the cart.

Pass shoes. “Don’t even look, lady.”

“Here we are. Finally what I came for.
Gosh, is he in 5’s already?! My Baaaaaby!!

Pass toys.
“Thank God it’s not Christmas time for a long time. Sara would remind me it’s not that far away. Get to the wine, lady. Get to the wine.”

Walking, thinking, half smile at random lady, “don’t look at that guy, keep looking straight ahead. Shit, there’s someone I know/like but don’t feel like talking. Sharp turn into electronics. I think I need that cute iPhone cover.”
Into the cart.

Pass more college dorm stuff. Internal sobbing ensues. Involuntary squeak comes out in effort not to outwardly start sobbing. “Is Andrew alive?! Does he need that lightbulb? Look at that neat dorm rug!!”

Detour to vino.
“Pop Crush Red Blend…THANK you!”
Into the cart. “I’d better get two. I mean, just in case I have a guest or something…”

Peruse grocery aisle and gawk at high prices.
“Sweet and spicy black bean hummus??!…Yes please!
But these grocery prices are insane. I’m hitting Aldi.”

Walk by glade candles. Pick up one. No, two.
“Go ahead and take all three of the ‘new scents’. These smell so good. Fall is coming. YIPPEEE! I love fall. Why do these burn so quickly? Why are Yankee Candles so expensive? Dang. I need to start figuring out Halloween costumes. I’m gonna do it early this year and be really prepared and have *amazing* costumes. Haha! yeah right. Did I just laugh out loud? I can’t believe my mom used to buy “patterns” and sew our Halloween costumes. She’s awesome. Oh shit, I need to text her back real quick…”

Grab random shampoos and toothpastes and beauty products that I absolutely do not need whatsoever.

Cash Register.
“Do not go in that one lady’s lane. She’s so moody. You just never know. I mean, I worked retail. Give her a break. It’s a long day. She’s only human. Some customers are aholes. You can’t blame the lady.”

Still go to other lane. Check out.
“It’s how much?! God, I hate this place. But I must use my Red Card so I can get $.02 off my total. But do I have money in checking? Dumb.”

Pass the Starbucks.
“Ok, I NEED a coffee. I can get half-caff. Wait, no…there’s a line and that person is crazy slow and also moody. Get outa here, lady. Get out!”

Car zooms by cross walk.
“What is WRONG with people who speed through cross walks?! Why didn’t I just grab bags and leave cart? Now I have to put this cart back. Blah. Muggy.”

Go to wrong mini van. Try to get in. Can’t get in.

“Ohhh, I see my van. How could I be so wrong about where I parked?”

Get home. “Do I walk bags in? In front of Scott? Oh for pete’s sakes. Of course you do!”

“oh great. What did you get? How much did you spend?”
“Oh, it’s nothing really. Just picked up a few essentials for the girls. For school. Required by the teacher.”

end scene


I snapped at her. Shame on me

Was having a day where the kids were saying “Mom! Mom! Mom!” non-stop.  And fighting. And whining. And crying.

I was cleaning toilets.  I’m often an angry cleaner. haha. McKenna comes around corner…

“mom?! MOM?!  MAAAA-OOM”

In a mean/irritated voice, I snapped “Whatttt??!!”

She didn’t flinch
“I just read this book! ALL by myself!”, holding up a little red beginner book.

My heart sank, and my knees became kind of weak.

What kind of Mom was I becoming?!

I sat down on the edge of my bed and opened my arms up to her and said,

“McKenna…that is so great!! You are such a wonderful reader!”
I hugged her tight.

“Thanks, Mom.”, while in my arms.

“Honey, I’m sorry I snapped at you when you first said my name. Sometimes I just get tired and cranky, but that doesn’t make it right”

“Oh it’s ok. But you have stinky breath!”
We laughed.

The thing about kids…

They’ll never reject a long/tight hug from you and all of your love and attention. They just soak it up like little sponges.

Another thing about kids…a genuine apology goes a long way with them. They know/feel when you are truly sorry, and they don’t hold grudges. They just want us to be happy. They really just want to please us. They are sometimes that simple.
I need to remember, I’m not the only one who has moments like this. We should be more ok about admitting our humanness so we can move forward.

I love kids. I needed this moment to happen.

Why Ursuline Academy is Still Important

Does Ursuline Academy still matter?  The school closed in 2007.

I’ve heard various schools of thought:

From “How sad…Ursuline’s closing. Oh well. Time to move on. Gotta let it go. People need to get over it. It happened, it was a great place, and now it’s over.”

To “Thank goodness there are still people who care and are working to keep the legacy of Ursuline alive.”

I am proud to be among the second school of thought, and here’s why:

Ursuline Academy means far more to me than the place of which I attended high school.  It was home.  A place of comfort.  A place to be yourself.  A place where you didn’t have to worry about anything other than showing up and bringing with you your very own gifts.  I brought with me gifts of friendship, hope and excitement, gifts of musical talent (yet to be discovered).  I brought with me fear and anxiety of my future and respect for the legacy of over 130+ years of education, sisterhood, community and service.

Service?  Yes, “Serviam” was/*is* the theme for UA (Ursuline Academy).  It is Latin for “I will serve”, and it was the cry of Michael the Archangel upon Satan’s “I will not serve”.  So maybe I should speak a little history before quoting ancient biblical terms…(ha).  UA was established in 1857.  That’s right.  EIGHTEEN FIFTY SEVEN.  Over 150 YEARS of education and “Serviam”.  That *means* something.  It means generation upon generation of love and laughter and respect and learning and fears and growth and community and caring. The historical buildings of Ursuline are hauntingly beautiful and enchanting and mysterious and smelly and AMAZING. They are not on the national register of historical preservation, which is beyond me. #needtolearnmore

It cannot hurt to strengthen our community, grow awareness, and share love/memories/gifts of what Ursuline meant/means to us. Why does a community exist when the school is closed?  Because it obviously transcended a physical building.  It transcends an operating high school.  It’s a community of Alumni of over 100 years.  Can we pass on its rich history to our children?  Absolutely.  But only if we come together to preserve its importance.  If people give up, lose hope, feel embarrassed about caring so much, turn their heads, watch the buildings crumble in silence…well…then I guess it wasn’t as important as I thought.  But I do not believe that.

This is why I joined the board, UAAF (the Ursuline Academy Alumni Foundation) This is why I chose to stand up and be a voice about this community.  The community exists.  People don’t always talk about it because it *is* sad. They feel helpless.  Benedictine has taken over.  People feel helpless/hopeless/”oh well”.  But it’s still here among us.  No, it doesn’t exist in our everyday lives, nor should it.  Does it still matter?  I don’t know.  To me, it DOES.  The UAAF was established in 2007 (upon the school’s closing) to preserve the meaning of what the Ursuline sisters began in 1857 and what manifested over 150 years of education/community/service.  They raise money to offer scholarships for Catholic education…(definitely awesome), but in my mind, it’s even more important that they (UAAF) united to carry on the rich tradition of UA.

My Grandma, God rest her soul, went to Ursuline and graduated in 1947.  My Mother, Norma Kinsel, graduated in 1971.  I graduated in 1995 and recently had my 20 year reunion (which was a blast!).

We all have different memories, but my highlights include Mrs. Marystone… “write like the wind!” and coming by and putting her hands on our shoulders while we were able to let our creative writing flow :), and Ms. Walk with her calming voice and excitement for youth and learning.  She played “forever young” for us, by Rod Stewart, on our senior year before graduation, and singing on stage in “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” with Miss C., and sneaking up to the tower…the wind hit your face and you looked out over the city… “God, if I get expelled, it might be worth it for this view!!”, and getting angry with Principal Karen Anderson because she believed Mrs. Johnstone over me that I actually DID memorize all of those dumb 12 tribe names without cheating, and walking up the creeky stairs in the old building thinking “omgosh, when is the last time this building was checked for safety?!”

And walk-a-thon, and chicken dinner, and senior porch, and madrigal dinner.  My WORD…MADRIGAL DINNER.  Are you kidding me?  No one in this city has ever come close to the amazingness of what an Ursuline Academy Madrigal Dinner offered.

And forgetting the words to The Star Spangled Banner at “pack the place” night at the basketball game at the old SCI Gym. I sang that song a capella what seemed 100 times, and this one time…I forgot the words: “Ohhh say can you SEEEE…by the twilight’s first dawn…”  Hmmm.  Wait a minute.  After I cried into the microphone “I can’t do this.”  Dan Tavine, emcee, raised his arms and insisted everyone sing along since I could not come up with the words!  That next Monday at school, my friends teased me and laughed…but WITH me.  And here, in this place, I learned to laugh at myself.  I learned humility and friendship and how to let go and laugh at the uncertainty of life.  These are just some of my own precious memories.

Our fragile, breaking, historical buildings are in question.  Does anyone really KNOW the answers??  I don’t.  I want to find out, and I *will* find out.  I will be submitting this blog post to the SJR, Bishop Paprocki, and Benedictine University.  I will also be following up to request face to face meetings between the UAAF board and those with knowledge of the future of our historical buildings.  Here is the last information the UAAF was given upon an FB status from Susan Jones Gallagher, class of 1975, (and thank you for your service, Susan!)

June 29, 2015

“I received a letter from the Bishop today.  After letting me know he received my letter, he went on to say: “I am currently in conversations with officials at Benedictine University regarding the future of the buildings in question.  Unfortunately, the future is unclear at this point. I share your hope that something can be done to preserve these historic buildings which are, as you wrote in your letter, ‘a testament to Springfield’s Ursuline tradition and the history of the Ursuline Sisters in the Midwest.’ Please be assured of my prayers for a favorable outcome in this situation.”

I would appreciate your help.  We need a strengthened community.  I hope to take advantage of the power of social media to spread information of our Chicken Dinner in May and other gatherings in the name of UA.  If you went to Ursuline (well, and you care…I don’t expect everyone to care),  the Ursuline Academy Alumni Foundation page (which we will be working to improve, thanks to my friend, Derrick Jones ’96) after you’ve LIKED the page, click on “invite friends to like”, and scroll through to invite any UA alum to LIKE the page.  I was so excited!  We went from 581 likes to 610 in a matter of hours after the UA Homecoming honoring Midge Langfelder.

Thanks for your support,



yellow plastic rosary in my face

Was in kitchen. Scott had just arrived home and had changed out of his work clothes. 8PM or so. We were just trying to find a common ground regarding our different types of days, and the very different kind of work we both do each day as sleep-deprived parents.

I, for one, have been cooped in the house all day/week caring for a very sick little three year old (battling high fever since Sunday and horrible snotty cold…poor Macie!) and 4 mo baby (with first fever) who wouldn’t stop crying. Like all day.

Worries for a loved one about to have surgery and also for my son (about to perform his college scholarship audition) pulsated through as undertones to my current conversation. As we talked…
“There’s pork loin in the crock pot. Did you grab the buns?”
“Yep. Thanks. It smells good. I picked up that vaporizer. Let’s get it out and put together.”

Suddenly we hear a little voice coming from living room:

“…Holy Mary, Mother of God, Pray for us sinners…Now and at the hour of our death. Amen.
Hail Mary, full of grace, The Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou, among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary…”

It was seriously flawless. Went on for three more prayers.
My five year old, McKenna. Admittedly, I have never taught her this prayer. She could tell things had quieted in the kitchen (as we were both awestruck) and came running in to show us her plastic, yellow rosary.

“I learned this at school! It’s a rosary. I’m praying!!”

“McKenna, sweetie, you are doing so great! You could not have picked a better night to pray the rosary.”

“Yeah, Mom! (holding up yellow plastic rosary in my face) I’m praying for you to lose your worries.”

ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?! God bless this little child. I held her so tight in my arms and tears streamed down and Scott made fun of me in a loving way.