Monday, November 7, 2011

Cold Fingers and Warm Cocoa

The seasons first snowfall, the view from our deck
Cheers! We got our first snowfall this weekend. I know some are complaining but I love the beginning of every season and I have to admit, we had one hell of a beautiful Autumn here.

I moved into my new house in July and I absolutely love it but I have to say over the weekend, it began to really feel like home. What says warmth and family and home like snow falling outside, kids running in and out asking for cocoa while their little faces are red from the cold, all while a big dish of comfort food is in the oven or the stovetop or the crockpot?

Saturday, my sis came for a visit and it made me realize we should all make more time for that. My sister lives about 3 and half hours away and we see each other two or three times. We tend to think "Oh, I don't want to go all that way for just one night." But that's what she did . . . she drove over Saturday morning, drove back Sunday. And bless her, it ended up being our first snowfall of the season!
Nate, Liam, and Paige - Cousins!

I love that our kids play so well together. As soon as my niece (Paige) and my nephew (Liam) got out of the truck, I didn't see them again until their little red faces were in my kitchen asking for cocoa. After pouring a cup, out the door they went again. I loved the sound of them playing Clash of the Titans or some other pretend game they made up as they went along. My nephew slayed Snowdragons and found Snowdragon eggs. My niece in true diva fashion ordered the boys up and down the hill. And Nate fought off the bad guys and kept them from getting in the house.

I ran out of Swiss Miss cocoa mix and with this crowd, that's a catastrophe of epic proportions. Worthy of a Clash of the Titans battle! I googled "Hot Cocoa" and found an article that discussed making the PERFECT cup of hot cocoa. Guess what? It does not in any way, shape or form, include directions to "boil a cup of water, pour in contents, stir." I'd include the link but I can't seem to find the article again anywhere!!

Being a lover of all things chocolate, I decided to give this a try. If you've never made cocoa this way, I say "Just Do It!" And don't delay - it ROCKS.

Hershey's Hot Cocoa Recipe
In a saucepan, mix together 1/4 cup of Hershey's Cocoa, 1/2 cup of sugar and a dash of salt. Stir in 1/3 cup of hot water. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a boil. Boil and stir 2 minutes. Add 4 cups of milk; stirring constantly, heat to serving temperature. Do Not Boil. Remove from heat; add vanilla. Beat with rotary beater or whisk until foamy. Serve topped with marshmallows or whipped cream, if desired.

Now I wouldn't be me if I didn't monkey with the recipe at least a little bit. So before I did the milk part of the recipe, I threw in a small handful of semi-sweet chocolate chips and stirred until they melted. I also added a touch of cinnamon.

And here's something I learned from the article (that I can't find...sorry)...

hot cocoa made this way is even better if you let it sit overnight. And it's true! It was fantastic at first but it was something dreamy and creamy and filled with chocolatey goodness yesterday. I found myself completely alone Sunday so after dinner, I warmed the cocoa in the microwave, poured in some Bailey's Irish Cream with a hint of caramel, and topped it with some whipped cream. Then I enjoyed the warm cup of yumminess while watching The Walking Dead. Mmmmmmm....good!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Right to Choose

I guess I should apologize because I don't think of you often. Once or twice a year, the thought of you will appear. I never really know when it will hit me and it leaves nearly as quickly as it came. When you finally cross my mind, I wonder if I'm a rotten, uncaring person because I don't think of you more.

I wonder what you'd look like today. Tall? Short? Fat? Skinny? Would you have my nose - would I describe it as a ski slope with a snowman at the end? Would you be blonde like me or have dark hair like your dad? Would you love sports or would you love to read or maybe a combination of both?

After I spend a little time wondering what you'd be like, my thoughts turn to me. Selfish? Maybe. I wonder if the decision I made affected me later. Were the babies I wanted denied me because I decided I didn't want you? I've spent more time wondering if God has punished me than I have regretting my decision.

I don't know if you were a boy or a girl. I don't have a name picked out for you. There's no tombstone or marker I can visit when I want to mourn you. I never held you. Never heard your heart beat.

The truth is I made the decision I thought best for me at the time. Marcus was only six weeks old when I discovered I was pregnant with you. I was single. He had left us and the thought of supporting two kids 11 months apart terrified me. I worried what my mom would say. I worried about seeing the disappointment on my dad's face. I worried whether or not I'd be strong enough to raise you both.

Getting pregnant with Marc was easy. Getting pregnant with you seemed even easier. I was alone, unwilling to discuss my situation with anyone and so my decision to terminate you was made. I remember walking into the clinic and the hideous people outside pushed little plastic fetuses into my hand, asking me if I've considered the life I'm about to end.

And the truth is that if even one of those people had been kind to me, maybe invited me to coffee to soothe my nerves, they may have actually persuaded me to change my mind. Instead, they forced me into the clinic, hurrying to escape their judgment.

I walked in alone, walked out feeling even more alone. But I felt in control. Confident I had made the right choice.

And six months later, I found myself facing the same decision. I had just moved to Boise. Your dad and I had another failed attempt at making it work when I found out I was pregnant a third time.

This time my decision was harder but I chose to lean on your "father." He explained and rationalized why we were both better off without another baby. We loved Marc with all our hearts but we were in no position to raise a second child.

This time when I walked into the clinic, there were no protesters. The "procedure" was done in a doctor's office, not a seedy clinic that distributes condoms at the same rate they dole out abortions. The doctor looked nearly 80 years old and "tsked" me for being so irresponsible.

For years, I didn't think of either of you. You never ever crossed my mind.

Then I wanted more kids. I wanted children running around me, happy, carefree. I quickly discovered pregnancy was much more difficult if it was something you actually wanted. I miscarried. and miscarried again. And miscarried again. And then, once again. My next pregnancy was an ectopic pregnancy that ruptured, sending me to emergency surgery. As I was prepared for surgery, I wondered if I wasn't being punished.

The truth is, I don't regret my decision. I made the decision I thought was best with the information I had. And the truth is I believe that decision is every woman's right to make. The truth is that I'm very glad no one had the control to stop me from making my decision.

But the truth also is that if you told me you were considering the same, I'd try and discourage you. I could tell you that occassionally you might feel guilty, or regretful, or sad.

The truth is I made my decision because I didn't think I was strong enough or capable enough. The truth is I made my decision because I feared what others would think.

The truth is I was. I was strong enough, capable enough to rise to the occassion. My 35-year old self can look back at 20-year old me and realize she had what it would take to do what needed to be done. She was strong, capable, courageous.

The truth is if I had it to do over again, I'd make the same decision. 

Monday, September 12, 2011

My week in photos

Between school starting, a huge event at work, football, football, and more football…it’s been a crazy couple of weeks and I haven’t had the time to write much. The last week has held several milestones:

Marcus got his driver’s permit. I’m not sure how this happened…I don’t feel old enough to have a driving son but somehow it’s true. He’s doing a fantastic job (except for that part where he inherited momma’s lead foot…oops). Here he is on his very first driving excursion:

2011-09-01 12.25.14 A note to parents of first time drivers: I do not suggest making your child’s first excursion during lunch time on a Wednesday in the middle of town. You’ll need a drink (or 4) at lunch.

My goal between now and when he gets his drivers license is to make him drive everywhere, in any weather, during all different times of the day. I want him as prepared as possible when he starts out on his own.

And now a confession…I think my son driving is the scariest thing I’ve faced so far. Who the hell thought it was a great idea to put my heart into a vehicle with an opportunity to go 60+ miles per hour on a road with deer, cows, pedestrians, semi-trucks, crazy drivers, and other obstacles that are out of my control. Can we wait until he’s older and doesn’t have the attention span of a teenage boy?

Nathan started second grade AND had his first “real-life” football game. He was so excited for both but I think the game won out. The Owls (his team) played the Falcons and they lost by 1 point but not without giving it one hell of an effort. Here’s my cutie-pie:












 At left: Nate stands in his classroom on the second day of school. At top: Nate’s on the left with his back to us. Number 63! At right: Nate on his first day of school. Bottom middle: Nate tries to escape. Go Owls!

Marc also played in his first high school football game. He plays on the freshman team and JV. He’s a defensive end, wide receiving, tight end, and kicker. His freshman team won 20 to 6, JV lost. Marc sacked the quarterback three times in a row (my shouts of joy could be heard ‘round the world). Here are some photo highlights:


Marc is number 42. Here he is stalking the quarterback.

Random fact about me: I LOVE me some football. I think one of my favorite things on earth is watching it. I’d make football year round if I could!

Speaking of watching football, I rode to the game with several moms on Friday (it was an away game). We were sitting in the stands and were watching as the coaches were trying to fill up the orange water jugs.

They have tilted the fountain on its side and are aiming the drinking fountain stream at the orange drink bucket. None of us felt inclined to point outDSC01260 the drinking hose screwed to the bottom of the fountain. It took several minutes (ok, like 70+) for them to realize there was an easier way. LOL






And here’s Marc with his best friend after the game. Worn out boys! Good game guys!










That pretty much sums up my week. In closing, I’ll share some funny photos from a recent road trip. This is what I get when I give the kid the camera while I’m driving:



Happy Monday!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Where has time gone?

I laid in bed last night unable to sleep. The room was hot and stuffy. My side of the bed seemed too hard, too soft, too lumpy. My pillow wasn’t right. I tossed and turned. I read my book. I listened to noises and wondered where they were coming from. None of the kids were home and my house was loud with silence, save for the sound of Rob’s sleep next to me. My comfort was cuddling up  next to Rob but I was too afraid to cuddle next to him, afraid I’d wake him with my restlessness. No matter what I tried, I couldn’t put my finger on just what was wrong.

I woke up to a melancholy morning. I wasn’t sad necessarily. And I wasn’t angry or upset. I just felt sort of “off.” I went through my morning wishing the day was over.

On my way to work, a friend texted me. She texted “Happy First Day of School. I blabbered like an idiot as I pulled away from the high school. Getting a coffee to console myself. LOL

And I cried.

This is the first time in 10 years, I haven’t dropped Marc off at school. It’s the first time in 3 years that I haven’t walked Nate to his classroom. It’s the first morning in 10 years I haven’t cooked first day of school pancakes. No one came running into my bedroom needing help with their new shoes. The boys didn’t have to listen to me as I ticked off a mental checklist of things we shouldn’t forget . . .lunch money (check), school supplies (check) and so on and so forth.  I don’t have cheesy pictures of the boys in brand new clothes, carrying brand new backpacks on their first days in front of the house. My boys didn’t open their lunchboxes at school today to find little notes from me.

And I realize time is going by faster than I want to admit.

Marc’s a freshman and that seems so close and yet so far away from 18 that I can’t bear to think it. He doesn’t want dumb little notes in his lunchbox from mom. He probably is glad not to have mom drop him off at the high school. On a happy note, he’s texted me at lunch time to tell me “High School is AWESOME mom! Love you!” Aww, tears well up in my eyes. I love that kid. 

This morning is an odd mix of sadness because he’s not my little boy anymore and happiness because I’m so blissfully proud of him. Marc’s never liked school, not even in kindergarten. He loves the social aspect. The part where he gets to visit with kids and be around people. He excels at PE. He struggles with everything else. Not because he isn’t smart or because he doesn’t get it, it just doesn’t seem important to him. If it has a practical application in the real world, he picks it up quick. Start talking theories and such, and he tunes out.

Nate is starting second grade and he LOVES school. When the teacher assigns a week worth of school work on Monday to turn in on Friday, I can guarantee that Nate turns it in Tuesday morning. As a matter of fact, he got an award for that last year. He asks if he can go to bed and read a little while. He is in a split class this year – meaning half the class is first graders and the other half is second graders. I have some concerns but he’s so intelligent. I’m hoping he stays challenged. I think being able to help the younger kids will help him too. Of course, typical of most moms, I worry whether or not I’ve made the right decisions.

One thing about being married for years to a firefighter – I’ve learned to be flexible. Just like Christmas is sometimes the day before and Thanksgiving is sometimes on Friday, my first day of school celebration will be tomorrow. I’ll make pancakes and bacon and listen to my kids look for the right outfit, rushing me out the door to their 2nd day of high school and 2nd grade. I’ll get my pictures and 15 years from now, we won’t care that the pictures were taken on the 2nd day instead of the first.

I don’t regret divorce one little bit but I will admit that having my kids half the time kills me. I’m not half a parent. My worries, concerns, and thoughts aren’t cut in half. I’m still a full time mom to my two amazing sons. Still a full-time mom but a happier woman.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

1,076 Miles of Adventure

In the past five days, I've logged 1,076 miles just in quick road trips. This doesn't count all my running around from football practice to work to grocery store to work to football practice (you get the idea).

My long weekend of road trips began with a phone call from Rob on Wednesday at 3:30 p.m. asking if I'd drive to Cedarville with him that night. Cedarville is a little over 100 miles from here. I've never been there and I looked forward to a few hours in the car with Rob so we headed out around 5 p.m. The drive was beautiful and the fairgrounds were well-maintained, quaint, and quite pretty. I found this building interesting in a "I bet it's haunted" kind of way.

Desert Rose Casino, Alturas CA
 A warning about Cedarville and its neighboring town of Alturas: If you wait until 9 p.m. to search for dinner, you'll get a romantic evening of burgers, fries, and Jersey Shore while the sound of slot machines serenade you in the background. You see, everything closes at 9 p.m. and your choice for dinner will be either A) a burger from the Casino or B) cheetos and jerky from the gas station. We ventured out to the Desert Rose Casino. After traveling down a dirt road we arrived at a triple wide trailer. The "cafe" was open and consisted of a closet that had been converted to a kitchen with one of those half-doors through which you order your burgers. Tables are in the bar where Jersey Shore has captured the attention of the only other occupant in the bar. While the atmosphere wasn't five star, the burger was decent, the food was made to order, and the service was friendly (and the drinks in the bar were cheap!).

Welcome to Christmas Valley!
 On Thursday, Rob had to "repay" the favor and travel with me to Christmas Valley, Oregon (roughly 124 miles one way). We were dropping my kids off with my sister for a camping trip. Christmas Valley is remote - it's often referred to as the Oregon Outback and I've heard the population is around 150. I drive through Christmas Valley often and I never, ever think of Christmas! The roads in town are aptly named Jingle Bell Lane, Candy Cane Street, or Elf Way. You can shop at Santa's Hardware and Santa's General Store.

Cowboy Dinner Tree, Silver Lake Oregon

After dropping off the kids, we ventured to the Cowboy Dinner Tree, a restaurant in the middle of nowhere. Reservations are required and portions are generous. This was my favorite part of the trip. Rob ordered the steak and I ordered the chicken. The meal starts with salad (I was pleasantly surprised to have a delicious salad with lots of different veggies instead of just iceberg lettuce). Your pink lemonade is served in a quart size canning jar. The silverware and plates do not match. For the second course, we were served the best beans I've ever eaten with the best homemade dinner rolls ever (don't tell her but they put my grandma's to shame). You then receive your entree. Rob's steak was 32 oz and served with a baked potato. My plate arrived with a WHOLE roasted chicken and a baked potato. They follow it up with apple crisp for dessert. Simply delicious. And we have enough leftovers to last a week. I definitely recommend it if you're in the area and looking for something fun and different to do.
Cowboy Dinner Tree Dining Room

On Friday I was in charge of our 8th Annual Hula-Palooza Putting Challenge, a fun team-building event that we put on each year for our members.

Rob and his son Zach serve bbq to the cyclists.
Which brings me to Saturday and my next road trip. I offered to help Rob with a catering job he had up near Crater Lake, actually at Fort Klamath. It was the day of the big Crater Lake Century Ride - a bike ride that brought in over 300 cyclists from around the world. We fed the cyclists, their families, and the volunteers. It was fun to talk to people from Germany, Iowa, Illinois and many other places. We served food from 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Rob does catering for a local barbecue place - ribs, pork, chicken, and beef - delish. For this event, he had to offer a vegetarian option and so he smoked tofu and made a quinoa salad. The smoked tofu was surprisingly delicious and the quinoa salad is going to become a staple in my household - so refreshing! Crater Lake is breathtaking and I can imagine the bike ride was beautiful - luckily I don't have to imagine because my friend Brian took photos at the event. Just look at the beautiful ride the cyclists had!

On Sunday, I got up and headed to Burns, Oregon to pick up my boys. They had spent the weekend camping with Aunt Tara and the grandkids. Burns is about 240 miles one way. I get to travel back through Christmas Valley. It's a beautiful drive the first time you do it but I've now been through it 10 times a year for the past seven years. About 100 miles from Burns, you lose most radio stations and your only option will be talk radio (which I happen to enjoy sometimes) or Retro Country (Baby's got her blue jeans on). I chose Retro Country, rolled down the windows, and sang my little heart out while remembering dancing with my dad.

We took some time to visit my mom at the airport. She drives fuel truck for the helicopters on wildfires. Here are a few photos:

The Grandkids in front of Grandma's truck

The helicopter landing (with the fire in the background)

 On the way back home, we traveled across the Klamath Marsh at sunset and it was the most beautiful I've ever seen it. I stopped to take this photo:

As we came across the last part of the marsh, Marcus (my oldest) asked if he could take a photo. He captured this image (good eye kid!):

I enjoyed my crazy beautiful hectic weekend but I'm so glad to be home!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Perfect Sunday

Sundays have always been one of my favorite days of the week. Sundays done right always feel like love. If I took a minute to describe the perfect Sunday, you'd hear the words family and home repeated often. I'd describe a dining room full of people I love, their smiling faces anticipating the delicious, mouth-watering home cooked meal spread out on the table before them. The table would be set with my colorful Fiesta dishes. The food would be placed on platters, in nice bowls, and serving dishes rather than the pots and pans. It'd be loud from conversation and laughter and you'd hear "pass me the mashed potatoes" or "does anyone want this last piece of bread?"

I blame my dad. My dad loves to cook and entertain and he loves big Sunday family dinners. I don't remember that growing up but I do remember it while I was in college. Sometimes it was the only real meal I ate all week. After spending my money on parties, I'd eat ramen noodles all week long. Or the manager at the Burger King would make me a "veggie whopper" for only 25 cents. . . it was everything on a whopper except the patty. Bun, mayo, mustard, ketchup, onion, tomato lettuce sandwich - and I wonder where my weight gain came from!

This past Sunday was darn near perfect! My dining room was filled with the sounds of people talking, laughing, and sharing their week. The table was loaded with homemade lasagna, salad, and garlic bread. The tink of silverware and glasses mingled amongst the rest of the sounds. "Pass me the bread, please." "Does anyone want this last piece?"

It was the perfect ending to a wonderful weekend full of things I love. Here are a few photos from my weekend. . .

My youngest son Nate and I went to the local farmer's market and picked up tomatoes, green beans, and lemon cucumbers. Yum!

There is nothing like a tomato grown locally in a garden. The ones in the grocery store just aren't the same. I cut up 6 of these tomatoes and added 2 tbsp olive oil, 2 minced garlic cloves, plus salt and pepper to taste. I had about 1 tbsp of sundried tomatoes in olive oil that I added to the mix. It made a delicious bruschetta that I added to some pasta for the best pasta salad I've had in a while.

And these lemon cucumbers are one of my favorite garden treats. Sprinkled with a little salt and pepper and it's delicious and refreshing. Of course, cucumbers are wonderful paired with the fresh tomatoes too, add a little feta cheese and yum!!

I also bought some fresh peaches with the thought of making fresh peach cobbler. I got the peaches home, bit into one, and decided they were too yummy fresh to put into a cobbler.

So I sliced up these peaches and added them to watermelon and grapes for a fresh fruit salad.

I had my heart set on peach cobbler though so I called my dad for his super-easy, best-ever recipe which I'll share with you now.

Papa Bill's Easy, Super Yummy Peach Cobbler

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Take an 8x8 baking pan and put a 1/4 cup of melted butter in the pan.

Mix together 3/4 cup of sugar, 1 cup of flour, a sprinkle of cinnamon, a tsp of baking powder, and 1 cup milk. Pour this mixture into the pan with the butter.

Open one can of sliced canned peaches. Pour the peaches (including the syrup) on top of the batter in the pan. Do not stir. Put the pan in the oven and bake for 45 minutes to an hour. Trust me when I say it's delicious and you should try it.

I also took Nate to get his own library card. He's my kid that shares my love for reading. We spent a good 45 minutes picking out his library books. We ended up with Diary of a Wimpy Kid and a couple of Roald Dahl's books. I tried to get him to choose BFG which was one of my favorites growing up but he set his eyes on a series with dragons and there was no turning back.

We went back to the house that afternoon and spent an hour on the couches reading next to eachother. I'm finishing up The Big Burn and he started Dragonblood.

All in all it was a great weekend.

Friday, August 5, 2011


"Oh God, thank you Mom. I'm so glad you found that shirt," Nate exclaimed.

Wow, my seven year old is very excited over this t-shirt.

"Dad said I have to bring it back or I'll be in trouble," he says.

Say what???

"Dad says he bought it and so it's his and it has to stay at his house," he says matter-of-factly.

Um, again, say what???

In the latest move of selfishness and stupidity, the boys' things must be marked or somehow identified as to which parent purchased them.

The rule apparently is: If Dad bought it, it's not allowed at mom's.

Now I understand this for certain items. Like a PS3 or a WII or an Xbox. I'll even agree with the bikes and those sort of items. But clothes??

So that begs me to ask what the proper protocol is for swapping the kids. Under his way of thinking, it would work like this:

Meet at designated location. The parent picking up the child will have a set of clothing purchased by them. The child can go into a private place, change into the clothing (returning the other set of clothing to the parent who purchased them) and then the child can go with the designated parent in the appropriate (alas purchased by said parent) clothing. Oh, and don't forget, this rule pertains to shoes as well.

And I have to ask, what about the clothing we purchased together? I'm assuming those should be marked somehow so we know those are the ones that can go back and forth.

And do underwear and socks count or are those the exception to this new rule? It might be embarassing for the oldest in the gym locker room to have underwear that say Mom or Dad written in black sharpie.

Are watches and jewelry and accessories part of this deal?

Oh, and you want two backpacks for school? So when you pick up the boys, we'll transfer everything out of the backpack I purchased into your backpack and switch back when we swap kids. So what about their luggage? Do I pack their clothes in MY luggage and then at the pick-up/drop off location we switch into YOUR luggage?

I want to ask my ex if this rule serves any purpose. I'd like him to take a step back and ask if this is really in the best interest of the kids or if he's just looking for yet one more way to make things difficult.

Absurd, I say. My advice to everyone (including my ex) is that the way to best deal with divorce and a broken home is to love your kids more than you hate your ex.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

A 4-Year Old Thank You!

I walked into the bank this morning disheartened and slightly pissy. I was there to withdraw all but $10 from my account to pay a bill at the oral surgeons. I stood in line frustrated and ready to burst into tears.

As I walked up to the teller, she asked me if my tan was natural. Huh? I don't tan lady. I burn. Like crispy critter burn and on top of that I use sunscreen religiously. I told her as much and she commented on how beautiful my skin is. Ok, I'll admit I'm just vain enough that this compliment took a tiny chip off my bad mood.

I handed her my withdrawal slip and passed her my drivers license. She read my name, started working the computer, and asked if she could tell me a story. She started telling me about her daughter who was diagnosed with skin cancer. By the time it was diagnosed, it had spread and within 1 1/2 years, her daughter had passed away. I was holding back tears, afraid that if my own tears fell, this woman would start to cry as well.

Her story sounded so familiar. I worked with a guy named Kevin at JELD-WEN and his wife was diagnosed with skin cancer. One and half years later, she was gone. Her story is the reason I use sunscreen religiously.  

The teller started talking to me about how these three ladies had gone and decorated her daughter's house for fall and again for Christmas.

By now I'm really fighting back tears. I start to wonder if Kevin's wife Julie appreciated it when we did the same gesture for her. I start to realize that something I thought of as insignificant in the grand scheme of things could have meant more to her.

It was about that time the teller looked at me and said, "Thank you. I never met you but I've always remembered your names. I never had a chance to thank you but Julie appreciated what you gals did for her."

That was about four years ago. There were three of us at work that wanted to do something so we decorated for the holidays when she didn't have the energy. And we cooked weeks worth of meals that we delivered so her family could eat and she wouldn't have that burden. She passed and I cried. She was a beautiful person and so incredibly strong.

I left the bank in an entirely different mood. A little sad. A litle melancholy. But also incredibly happy.

I was reminded that every day we have opportunities to touch someone and leave an impression on them. I left wanting to do something nice for someone.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Fireworks, The Big D, Puppies, and Tailgaters

"Why haven't you called me?"
"I'm worried about you, we hardly talk!"
"You haven't returned my phone calls!"
"When we talk, you only have a few minutes!!"

Yes, mom. I know! Let me tell you what's happening in my world....
  • I'm in charge of the 4th of July Jamboree for our community. I'm planning, organizing, marketing, and raising funds for the parade, the jamboree, and the fireworks. I've been doing this in the midst of three other events. I work with a committee of 4 who have varying degrees of commitment to the event. It's the first year for this format so there's no blueprint or any notes on what to do/what not to do. For everyone who calls happy with my plans, I get at least one call from someone ticked off because I'm monkeying with tradition. (I will admit this morning when I got my coffee and the guy bought it for me because he's pleased with everything I'm doing for the community, I soaked up every drop of that compliment and it sustained me today).
  • I just finished a golf tournament, a leadership event, a ten-month leadership class, and there's only two of us in the office.
  • I'm going through a divorce. I'd blog about how awful he's being and the mean things he's said and all that but it's really  not much different than anyone else's divorce right? So I won't bore you.
  • I have to find a place to live. That soon-to-be-ex that I refer to? He's wanting me out like yesterday. I won't move until he signs paperwork but truth be told, I'd have been out yesterday too if I could have swung it. I hate living in limbo and I want my own place. I have to move sometime in July (if he signs anyway) and I just want to get through the 4th before I worry about it. I can't imagine trying to pack and move in the middle. . . We'd have fireworks but not the kind you want to watch.
  • My son had 6 teeth pulled today. He's doing well but as a mom, it's incredibly hard to not be there for him. The wasband (husband...was, put them together and you have a wasband). . . scheduled it during his time with the kids. By the way, it was amusing to sit in a waiting room for an hour right next to him and watch him refuse to talk to me via any other method than text. Amusing. And very grown up. I was impressed for sure. I love how much he's changed into the man I always dreamed of. (sarcasm, dripping!)
  • Speaking of sarcasm, why are religious folk always the most judgmental? I haven't read the entire bible but I'm pretty sure there's something that says no one should judge lest he be judged. Well, divorce helps you learn who your friends are. To my used-to-be-friend, I realize I'm sinning by dating because well, technically, I'm still married. But that guy you're defending....well, ask him about those photos on his phone the last few years or the profiles on the computer. Yeah, ok. I'm a sinner.
Shoot! I think I got sidetracked. Where was I? Oh!
  • I'm planning a virgin blood drive. I know that sounds awful but it's the only way I can put it. I have a tremendous fear of giving blood but I've decided I'll try it once if I can save a life. When I started talking to others I discovered there's a huge number of friends my age who are leary of doing it to. So I talked to the people at the Red Cross and they're going to do a drive just for us and we get some prizes. I have 7 "virgin" blood donors signed up including myself. I need 9 more by the middle of July. Kind of excited in a whoozy-creepy-think-I'm-going-to-pass-out kind of way.
  • I'm in charge of the tailgating kick off party for the Pop Warner Football club. Yes, because I needed something else to plan, organize, and fundraise. Maybe this is my way to make up for being a sinner. . .
  • I'm trying to find homes for 5 unexpected puppies. Hard to find a rental with 7 dogs. Just saying....
With that, I have to end this. I have someone coming to take one of these little bundles of puppy cuteness off my hands! Talk to you soon!!

Friday, May 27, 2011

We've all met her.

She's the mom at the football games encouraging all the kids to do their best while helping organize the coach's paperwork and communicate with all the parents. She volunteers at the school, reads to her kids every night, and helps them with their homework. She disciplines the kids gently when it's needed and corrects them appropriately. She teaches them manners and respect. Her kids never miss a practice or a game, she's never missed on of their games or practices either. Her life revolves around her kids. She tucks them in every night with a hug, a kiss, and a prayer.

She's the wife that will never embarass her husband. She doesn't dress provactively. She doesn't stray. She doesn't nag. She accepts that his job is difficult and doesn't complain when he requires hours and hours of downtime. She makes dinner every night from a menu she created after looking at the schedule for the week ahead, determining what needs to go in the crockpot and what meals she'll have time to cook that night. She figures out how to make sure he gets the things he wants. She grocery shops, scrapbooks, reads, and has perfectly married, normal friends. She rarely drinks or swears. Her life revolves around her kids and her husband. She expects nothing of them.

She's always nice and doing for others. She's a people pleaser. She's a supportive friend. She's a dedicated employee and co-worker. Her reputation is one of kindness, generosity, and intelligence. She puts her needs and desires on the backburner to cater to everyone else.

And that's all well and good and true.  And it describes me to a "T" - until February 2011 when I cracked and the happiness I'd been denying myself became the elephant in the room. I asked my husband for a divorce and the life I'd worked to create for 9 long years came unraveled in mere minutes.  Now it's time for me to make the life I've always wanted and be the person I am. This blog will share my journey.