Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year!

Now I'm gonna take my sick baby girl and go to bed! Some party huh?! I will say though that she gives the best snuggle I ever get so I'm not complaining!
If you are out tonight get home safe!

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Thanks to The Wobbly Librarian I now know this...

***You Are 36% Feminine, 64% Masculine***
You are in touch with your masculine side.You are not overly sensitive and not easily moved.Occasionally, though, something will get through and touch your heart!
Are You Masculine or Feminine?http://www.blogthings.com/areyoumasculineorfemininequiz/

Ok well truth be told I think I already knew it... but if I'm only 36% feminine I think that entire 36% has anatomically correct names... I must be ALL man on the inside! Oh, dear... this is disturbing!!!

What do I do with this???

The kids are supposed to be sleeping, or at least falling asleep. Sophia asked if she could sleep in the living room tonight and, because I know she has had a rough couple of days, I said sure. So anyway, she's supposed to be going to sleep. Well, she has this giant Disney Princess Aurora doll (sleeping beauty) that is bigger than she is. It's a pillow doll and she has been sleeping with it lately. So now she's on the couch next to me, holding Princess Aurora's hands and singing "if you're happy and you know it clap your hands!" Now I'm in a quandary. It's bedtime, quiet time, she should be going to sleep...but how do you tell your kids to stop being so joyful and go to sleep? So I'm not going to. I'm gonna let her break the rules tonight! Oh and I got a 15 second video on my cell phone of her singing "You are my Sunshine" a few minutes ago. If I were a more capable blogger I'd figure out how to post that video!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

I think Christmas is over...and I'm glad!

It's not that I don't love Christmas, I do! In fact, Christmas is my favorite holiday. I just feel like I have eaten nothing but high calorie high fat junk for the last few weeks. All I can think about is getting on the treadmill and running it all off. I haven't gained any weight, thanks in part to that ulcer, but I still feel disgusting. My running project has been derailed by all of the craziness and I'm sure that's a contributing factor to my feeling so sluggish!

Another thing that has gotten to me is a renewed awareness of just how wasteful it seems to buy STUFF that no one really needs. I didn't spend much this year - I'm always pretty frugal but as a single mom, this year was even more so. In my mind that is a blessing. Still, I find myself perplexed about why I spend so much on things that no one will remember I gave them in a few short weeks. By far the most amazing gifts I received this year had no real monetary cost associated with them. It's not that I don't enjoy giving things or getting them for that matter it just seems there must be a simpler way to celebrate.

Someone gave my brother and sister-in-law a goat or something...no not for them to keep... but for a village somewhere that could actually benefit from it. That seems perfect to me. Every year I struggle with what to give my dad or my brother who want for nothing. I'll admit that buying for girls is easier and frankly a lot more fun! Still I think next year I'm going to buy goats, or a well for some village or something and call it a day. Sure my dad will enjoy playing horseshoes on our new property but would he have missed them if the money had been spent instead on something life changing for someone who has actual NEEDS?! I'm not Scrooge... I don't advocate dashing the hopes of joyful children. Goodness knows I'd pay for that over a lifetime if I were - ahhh the therapy bills - but can't we make it a little more simple?

It's probably good I have a whole year to contemplate how I will "do" Christmas next year. I hope to find a way to focus more on Him and less on the stuff that in the end is completely worthless compared to the real reason we celebrate.

Here's hoping I didn't just come off sounding like a whole lot of Bah-humbug!!! As usual my filter is, well, nonexistent!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

I can't remember the last time...

I spent an entire day in pj's! I watched four movies, three with the kids. Now to be fair the first two were a little worn out for me - HSM2 and Jungle Book. I've seen both too many times to count. The third was some made for TV movie that my parents bought on the cheap... but it was decent. Then I put the kids to bed and watched Last Holiday with my parents.
I got to snuggle in and take a nap with Sophia. Ella snuggled me through an entire movie, oh and she did my makeup. I would post photos but frankly I'm entirely too vain! Isaiah's favorite gift was the Bible I bought him. It is a pretty cool Bible with a camouflage metal cover. Abby gave me my fair share of snuggles today too. At some point I realized that she must have had too much candy and/or too little sleep because she was running in circles. I figured she was either buzzing from sugar overload or trying very, very hard not to fall asleep! It was a good day. I'm ready for bed...and I don't even have to change!

This is what Christmas morning looks like with four kids...


Between the vast quantities of miscellaneous stuff the kids brought home from their dad's last night and the half dozen small gifts each from me... oh and the stockings full of junk I'd never let them eat on a normal day... this is what my living room looked like post chaos this morning! I had cleaned probably half of the mess up BEFORE I took this picture so you can only imagine what it would looked like before I picked up! I'm just glad all their stuff from Christmas at my grandparents the other night is still in the car!
What am I going to do with all of this STUFF??? We haven't even done our "big" Christmas. That one will happen Thursday, with gifts from my parents and Mark & Adrianne. I'm sure at some point we'll get a collection of stuff from their other grandparents as well. It all seems so ridiculous to me!
A part of me thinks I should get them each ONE gift every year and try to get their dad to stick to that rule too (yeah right!!!). The thing is that we don't need all this stuff! I get that it's fun for them and maybe I'm just being too practical - it has been known to happen - but I am almost irritated and the wastefulness of the whole thing.
I can't wait till my kids are all old enough to go serve somewhere on Christmas so they can see that, even if we don't have much, we have so much more than we really need!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Best gift ever!

Yesterday I had Christmas with my dad's family. My grandma, who has Alzheimer's, has been living in a home for the last year and a half or so. We were able to have a caretaker bring her home for Christmas. It is so hard for me to see her like this. She is a brilliant woman. She went to college when most women didn't. She always had a quick wit and I admired her strength. So to see her unable to communicate effectively is painful. She tries to talk but very little makes sense. She doesn't know who I am. I held her hand, and it's still her hand, but it feels like there is a stranger in her body. So I cried...most of the day. I miss my grandma, even though physically she's still here.


Lately my grandpa has been choosing things that my grandma treasured to give us girls as gifts. When I was a kid, and would spend the night at my grandparents house, my grandma would make me a bed out of quilts. So this year my grandpa gave me one of those quilts. It didn't cost him money to give that to me but it is more valuable than anything he could have purchased. The quilt he chose for me is one that my Great Great Grandmother made. He gave me the quilt along with a photo of my dad on her lap...and I cried, again.


Saturday, December 22, 2007

I think I might finally be feeling like Christmas!!!

The gifts have all been purchased, and wrapped, with the exception of two I picked up yesterday and one more I left in my sister in law's car so my dad wouldn't see it. My house is as decorated as it usually gets - or close enough. I have to go get the ingredients today for my sweet potatoes that I'm bringing to my grandparents house tomorrow. It occurred to me yesterday that "they" always talk about how good sweet potatoes are for you. I'm pretty sure they never looked at mine! A whole stick of butter and, so much brown sugar that I don't bother to measure it, kind of kills the health factor I'm sure! I'm fairly certain the apple I add doesn't do anything to redeem the dish! Oh, and don't forget the marshmallows because in case the brown sugar wasn't quite enough we need to add a years worth of white sugar to the mix! I love that my brother, who hated sweet potatoes our whole life, loves my sweet potatoes. What I think I love even more is the fact that he is Mr. Super health conscious and I know that he probably consumes a years worth of sugar from them alone. It's my own secret conspiracy...that's not a secret anymore huh?!?!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Correction...

No Java Bliss tonight... sorry all! Read Adam's comment on the last blog for the why. Shoot, and here I was all excited!!!

Tonight...at Java Bliss

Quick Before Sinking at 7 p.m.! Be there or be... well... not as cool as me! We've covered this already but QBS is amazing and the company at their gigs is the best. So if you want to listen to great music and chill with cool people you should really be at Java Bliss tonight! Oh, and if you read my blog and we haven't met yet, this would be a great place to come step out of the shadows!!!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

I almost lost my mind

I had volunteered to babysit on Tuesday night. It wasn't your run of the mill babysitting gig though. First of all I'm not a high schooler, second I come with four kids of my own and third...I had volunteered to babysit four more.

So I figured easy deal right?!?! Ok actually I figured it would either be super easy because all the kids would keep themselves occupied or it would be complete pandemonium because there were eight exhausted children in one house. Oh and by the way the ages of the kids were as follows: two 2 year olds, two 4 year olds, one 6 year old, an eight year old, one nine year old and a ten year old.

I brought my laptop knowing my friends have wireless access at their house so I figured in the event the evening stayed calm I'd be able to putz around online and maybe blog or something. Well the kids were awesome. I heard almost nothing from them the whole night. Fortunately it wasn't that "you know they're up to no good" kind of quiet! It was just a well behaved children all having fun kind of quiet. Here's where I almost lost my mind... I'm sitting there, with no fires to put out and (I feel like I need horror movie music here.... DUN, DUN, DUN!!!!) the internet wasn't working!!! AHHHHHHHGGGGG. It was horrible! Now that would have been manageable if I had been able to find a grown up to talk to or if I had say, I don't know, brought a book to read or something...

I did finally find a friend to text with for a while but otherwise I think I might have gone completely crazy!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Pictures don't do it justice!!!

Only because the picture taker doesn't know how to use her camera to take a great picture of a tree full of lights... I got the camera a year ago and about the only things I know how to do with it are point, zoom in & out, and shoot. I should really read the instructions one of these days. Anyway, I'm sitting here alone, and awake, at 1:35 in the morning admiring my beautiful tree. So of course I thought you all would want to admire it as well. Unfortunately you only get to admire some really poorly taken pics of the beautiful tree. You will undoubtedly be wondering why I'm so impressed...but here you go anyway!



Saturday, December 15, 2007

Today

I cleaned my house practically all day long. I cleaned out the pantry, swept the kitchen, and then I started cleaning out the fridge. Well I accidentally knocked a FULL bottle of syrup out of the fridge. My immediate response was to yelp because it had landed on my toe, and it hurt... but then I realized the entire bottle of syrup was leaking out onto my floor. Yep the bottom fell out of the syrup. It wasn't just a bottle of syrup either it was from COSTCO!!! Oh my gosh it sucked! Anyway so while I was cleaning that up I got an up close and personal look at the vent thingy at the bottom of my fridge and I was disgusted. But wait there's more! I then turned around and noticed how gross my stove looked from that angle. It's amazing how much dust, fingerprints spills and who knows what else falls and drips on the oven! It had to be dealt with. So I gave a quick once over to a few of those things, plus the range hood and a few cabinets that had milk or something spilt on them at least one time too many. UGH. Then I vacuumed the living room and went out and cleaned the rug that I had pulled out of my house when Sophia threw up. I finally got the rug put back in my living room. While performing all of those oh so fun tasks I was snapping at the kids to get their rooms clean. They did an ok job of it. I got my room picked up too - which is good because I can't deal with messes where I sleep! I still have clean laundry to fold AND dirty laundry to do. Oh, and I didn't dust... but at this point I'm just happy to know that if anyone drops by my house unexpectedly - I wouldn't die of embarrassment. Not that anyone drops by unannounced anymore anyway!
After all of my efforts to get my house in order I went to church. Then I went to a party at the Risingers. I had a blast! Someone told me they loved my laugh... not a compliment I've ever received before but it was was cool! I'm so glad I went, I only wish I could have stayed longer.

Friday, December 14, 2007

I love this stuff..

and it will probably sound crazy to you but, as usual, I'm willing to risk it. I'm sitting on the couch in some seriously mismatched pj's not really feeling like being awake. The guys came to pour a slab in my backyard and started knocking on my door before 6 am! Seeing as I went to bed about 2 am that isn't nearly enough sleep! (by the way that isn't part of what I love!!!) Abby is sitting behind me with a comb and a spray bottle full of water combing my hair. I'm sure I look beautiful... in the "a face (or in this case a hairdo) only a mother could love" kind of way. Then there's Sophia who is sitting on the toilet singing at the top of her lungs as usual. In addition, Isaiah has decided that he really needs to write his great grandpa a thank you note for the money he got for his birthday... over a month ago. Now he's right, he really should write a thank you note. Well he should have written the note about three weeks ago so when we finally give grandpa the note at Christmas it will be a lovely source of embarrassment for me, the slacker mom, but you can't exactly tell a kid NOT to write a thank you note! I need to get laundry done like STAT because the kids have a performance tonight and their "uniforms" are not clean. My living room is a mess - well and to be honest so is the rest of my house - but my Christmas tree is beautiful enough to distract me from the mess! Isn't it fabulous?!?!?

Thursday, December 13, 2007

I realized somthing

I have had some really cool conversations with people lately. On more than one occasion I have been told how much happier I look and seem post divorce. How even though I have gone through a lot and sometimes still struggle with things I seem content. I sometimes think that is because I choose to be content. Other times I am reminded of how hard my life was before and it seems I couldn't help but be happier now. All in all I am doing well. There are still days when I'm overwhelmed with being a single mom of four. But I wouldn't trade it either. The other day though I was talking with friends about what I think I still need to heal from. It was odd because I think these questions always come up exactly when I'm ready to answer them. Over the last several weeks I have noticed that it deeply effects me to see a dad who really engages his kids. Who obviously knows HOW to love them well. That is such a hard thing for me to watch. I am so happy for those children who have fathers like that but it is a painful reminder of the fact that mine do not... and it really sucks!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Sometime it blows my mind...

How four little people could make such an enormous mess! I walked into the kitchen about an hour ago and found it littered with random messes. Juice spills, cheese wrappers, cereal, crackers, a half eaten apple and the containers from the yogurt drinks the kids had as a snack. What the heck is that about. In the course of one hour my kitchen can go from looking relatively normal (though obviously in need of a good mopping) to complete chaos. I lost my cool. I yelled at my kids...and then they cleaned it up...well mostly. At least now when I mop I'll be able to see the floor I'm aiming for!
But wait, it gets better...at some point in them cleaning up their messes I hear an argument brewing. Abby is mad because Isaiah got her "daddy shirt" dirty. (the three older kids each sleep with a shirt that belongs to their dad like it is a blankie) So I start listening to the drama and hear Abby say "he put pee on it" and I'm of course thinking what the hell?!?!? So I call him in and ask him how exactly he managed to pee on his sister's daddy shirt. He's nine so aim shouldn't still be a problem. Well, he starts in on this story about how Ella made him put pee in this plastic thing that is made to hold his games...and how he then spilled it on Abby's daddy shirt. Yep, that's the story I heard. Now I still can't figure out why he would have actually done what Ella supposedly told him to do or if maybe he was really just trying to shift the blame but either way it was disgusting. I had to tell my kids that they should never play with their pee, or their siblings pee. That it was not appropriate behavior. This may very well be the strangest conversation I will ever have with my kids. What is my life coming to???

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Exposing my Immaturity

Last night after the last of my four kids had their turn at the vomit-go-round I went to work producing a little vomit of my own. No not the churned from my stomach kind...it was actually churned from ingredients from my cupboard. Why, you might wonder, would a grown woman be in the kitchen purposely attempting to make something you would expect 6th grade boys to want to make? Well, let me tell you...I needed to get a little payback. You see Adam over at http://www.theepicbeat.com/ likes to act like a 3rd grade boy and see how close he can make me come to vomiting at every opportunity. Recently he wrote this in response to my "Abby is a Rockstar" blog:

"I'm surprised you even typed the word vomit. That's a big step for you.I know how the word vomit bugs you...also words like feces, phlegm, urine, puss, snot, boogers, scabs, oh yeah, scabs is a good one, and not the fully healed crusty kind, but that chewy soft, oozy kind...with a little gangrene...I could go on."

I decided I was tired of it so I thought I'd deliver what he seemed to want. So about 5 minutes before the Christmas show during first service I left a Ziploc bag of some disturbingly realistic imitation puke on Adams music stand. The best part is I had "accidentally" involved my very straight laced brother in my little prank by showing him my handiwork before hand. So when Adam saw the gift on his music stand my brother said "it looks like vomit." Presumably a short moment after that Adam turned around to see me looking quite guilty from my seat in the third row. Guilty perhaps...sorry, not yet!

Sadly he was apparently proud of his gift and was showing it off to the people in the tech booth after the show. So now I think I've begun a prank war...and I may have played right into the hands of the 3rd grade boy mentality I was trying to get payback on! Now I'm a little worried.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Abby is a rock star! (Don't read if you are easily grossed out!!!)

Well at least in the stomach flu department! She got sick yesterday while she was with my parents. Then in the night last night she comes in and announces that she has thrown up in the bucket and in the toilet...then she says "I cleaned my mess up and I'm ok now" Can I just say I love this kid! How many four year olds will throw up on their own and then clean themselves up and go back to bed all without tears or a need for help. I need more sympathy than that when I get sick and I'm 31 years old. The best thing is that when I got up to check and be sure all was really as she said...it was! There was no mess for me to clean up - which is great because I've never been the one to handle vomit duty! I'm so glad that at least one of my kids can handle it this well. Maybe next time the big kids get sick I'll send Abby to help them out. From the way she handled her own issues I'm pretty sure she could deal with theirs better than I can!
Oh and Sue...go wash your hands now!

Monday, December 3, 2007

Amazing...and I handled it well!

The kids were with their dad and were supposed to come home at noon today. He called at about 10:45 a.m. and asked if he could bring them back early. I said I would be home in an hour so he couldn't bring them until then. I asked why and he said he needed to talk to me. I asked what was up and he wouldn't say. He just said that the kids were fine.

When he came with the kids they went inside to eat and I asked what was up. He kicked the dirt around with his foot and finally said..."I've been thinking a lot, and I keep thinking and dreaming about being back here with you and the kids...How I really want to come back."

I feel like I need some way of expressing what it sounded like to me when I heard him say that but frankly there aren't words.... I will however tell you what I said in response.

I said "I'm so sorry that you are only now seeing what you gave up. So many people warned you that you would regret your choice but you refused to do the right thing. You made your decision, there is no going back. You had all kinds of freedom while you were in the marriage that I didn't even know you had, all the while I was bound to you. You saw every effort I made to take care of you or support you as something else to criticize and never once appreciated it. I spent 11 years loving you completely and you never loved me. I will not do that for you again. The irony is that for all the freedom you took when you should have been mine, you left me for what you thought was freedom. Now you find yourself bound to someone else. When you left it seems you thought I would still be bound to you. Instead, I got the very freedom that you thought you were getting. I love the life I have now. I would never go back to you or that old way of life. I will never go back to being called names, and hated for the very things that I did to make you happy. I am happier now, even alone, than I was while trying so desperately to please you and never, ever succeeding. I hope you find a way to get your life right. I want that for you but even more, I want it for the kids. They deserve a dad who is whole. You need to be well for them."

I said all of that and more. I wasn't emotional. It wasn't even hard to say. I felt pity for him. What a sad and miserable person he is! I feel sorry for him but not in such a way that I feel any responsibility to make it better. I didn't feel any joy in the fact that he was hurting either. What I did feel was a confidence about who I am, what I want, and in my ability to express myself well. I think this was the most important conversation I will ever have about my divorce. I feel different now. Like this time I was the one with the choice, and I made it with certainty.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

My brain is buzzing

So I'm pretty sure nothing I write will flow well or make much sense...but I need to write so I'm doing it anyway. Oh, and no I haven't been drinking!!!
I got word that I passed my interview with the Riverside Police department on Monday. Then on Saturday I got a letter stating that I was no longer being considered for the position. Essentially it seems as if my lack of work experience put me behind the pack. The unfortunate bit is that there is nothing I can do to remedy that problem quickly. On the other hand I am totally trusting that God knows what is best for me and that must not have been it...or at least not now.
Another thing I wanted to write about is that I just read back over some of my posts and I realized I talk a lot about drinking. As I read those posts I realized I may sound like some kind of lush...when in reality I rarely drink at all. When I do I don't drink excessively. I think I've used it as sort of a way to be funny and it turns out I don't like the way it looks in print. I just thought I'd mention it because sometimes my candor can be a good thing but in this case my lack of filter has made me uncomfortable...
Also running through my brain is the activities of my day. I have been all over So. Cal. today. I visited a friend in Glendora, then came to my aunts house near the beach. We went out to lunch. Then we went shopping and got some Christmas stuff taken care of. It was fun! Now I'm tired.
So, was it as bad as I thought it would be?

Friday, November 30, 2007

A journey

On Monday, May 14th of this year I wrote this:


"So when life is really tough and you need a random something to give you a boost...have you ever gotten it in a way you would never have asked for? I did - and it has become a beacon of light for me. A symbol of God's amazing way of creating beauty out of ugliness for those who love Him. I hate to be the center of attention - unless of course I'm being the ham-I-am intentionally...but this was not one of those moments! I was singled out publicly with a large audience as witnesses and my instinct was to dive for cover under the chair in front of me...but I refrained...and I was blessed because of it. O.K. so never mind that diving under said chair would have caused me far more embarrassment than sitting still! It didn't end there. After I was given an already incredible gift (a drawing created during a sermon at church...though in all honesty it would probably have ended up languishing unframed until it was destroyed), I was approached by a man who offered to frame it for me free! I don't know what the future holds but I know that my God is great and regardless of my circumstances He will make ALL THINGS beautiful - because I love Him!"


Here I sit some 6 plus months later and I am blessed every day by that piece of art. It hangs above my bed in my room. Every time I look at it I am reminded that God has a plan for me. Sometimes I study the individual lines and sometimes I see the picture as a whole. It has remained in many ways that beacon of light to me. I remember at the time saying that one day I would look at that picture and either see the time when my marriage was redeemed or the time when God gave me new life. Either way I knew I'd be grateful. Well I do see that picture as a sort of marker for the time when God gave me new life. I am still studying the individual lines in that picture of my new life but I know that one day God will show me the picture as a whole. Even still I am very, very grateful!


(Oh and the artist is Jon Risinger http://blog.risingerphotography.com/ )

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

My dream home and some paranoia...kind of

We are supposed to be closing on the construction loan tomorrow which means we will have the money to actually start building. On the flip side what we don't have is the approval from the County of Riverside so it could still be another decade or two...you never know. In theory though we should be able to break ground in a way that is more significant than installing a fence by sometime in January.

Oh and I got to thinking today how I'm becoming strangely paranoid. I find myself walking through church, the bookstore, or any of a number of other places in Riverside that I frequent and I wonder if I am walking past people who's blogs I read - or who read mine - and don't even know it. How strange is it to learn such detail about the lives of people we never meet? It just made me think about what it would be like if we all got together sometime. Well not all because I know that some of us are spread all over the place. But if all of us bloggers and blog readers who live in, around or near Riverside showed up in the same place at the same time it would be like taking off masks. I'm wondering if anyone would show up??? Do we really want to be exposed or do we like the relative anonymity of the blogosphere? So, would you be there?

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Bittersweet...

I sent a text message to a friend who has been one of my biggest encouragements during the selection process for the dispatch position. I was super excited to tell him my good news. I knew he would be working so I didn't call I did the text thing. I get a message back saying "great congratulations" followed about five minutes later with "I got laid off today"... Can I just say that sucked! How do you celebrate a success and mourn a loss with a friend at the same time. To his credit he was super excited for me but it was a hard place for me to be! It was good in a way too though because for all the support he has been to me I got to sit with him last night and remind him that the measure of his worth is not in a job, or finances. God actively seeks us and our value is in Him. Even when we do not measure up to the standards of this world, or even our own, God loves us completely. So last week I was praying that his job would be secure...now we are praying that his house sells and fast! Anyone you know looking for a home in Newport Beach?

Monday, November 26, 2007

I FREAKING PASSED!!!!

In case you have no idea what I'm talking about - I passed my oral interview for my dream job - aka: 911 dispatcher. According to human resources I should get information in the mail within the next two weeks. If you could see me right now you'd see me doing my happy dance!!! Actually you'd see me looking positively disgusting because I ran this morning (yeah me) and haven't showered yet today, but I'm about to fix that.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Totally Stupid Fun!

On Sunday I hung out with Adrianne. Well actually I hung out with my brother and my niece too for a while, but then just us moms went for a pedicure. Well after an hour and a half in a vibrating chair my brain was like mush. Not to mention my legs feeling like rubber. When we were done with the pedicures we decided to go shopping. We wandered a few other stores, then we went to Target. Well I was feeling goofy and sleep deprived...not to mention a little too relaxed from that pedicure chair and decided to climb in the basket. Adrianne was game to play like stupid teenagers so she pushed me around for a few isles while people laughed at us. One old guy asked if we were drunk...and I said nope...so he said something about it being a whole lot of fun to be having sober. It was pretty funny.

Adrianne kept asking me when I was going to post the photo evidence...be careful what you ask for girl cuz I might just have to throw one of you on too...


Thursday, November 22, 2007

I don't have a snappy title...deal with it.

I've been harassed for something near forever by my brother, but especially my sister in law, to start running. I have been saying I will eventually for so long that I think eventually passed like a year ago.

Flash forward to now. I'm divorced and wanting to find new things to do to fill my time. I have also just lost what is now very close to 30 lbs. I am down two full sizes and the size I am wearing now is getting big. I was out with my s-i-l Adrianne this weekend and it came up again. For the first time I thought, "yeah, ya know what, I could totally DO that!!!" So the fire got lit under my back end...but I didn't follow through on Monday, or Tuesday.

Then I was talking to another friend who pretty much called me out on it. He said I wouldn't do it... well I like a challenge and frankly if you tell me I can't or won't do something, chances are I will. Even if it's just to prove you wrong. Now, I need to mention that I use my treadmill, I just never run on it. No, I don't hang my clothes on it - I actually use it. I just have always walked and not run.

So yesterday I got on the treadmill and ran without stopping for 20 minutes. That may seem like a small thing, but I pushed past the urge to quit for the first time since High School. The funny thing is - it felt really good. Then I went and ate a bunch of really "healthy" Thanksgiving food. Tonight I came home and decided to try running again. I ran 25 minutes and you know what? Somehow 25 minutes was easier than 20...does that make sense? I'm gonna try 30 tomorrow. I figure if I keep this up, not only will I keep off all the weight I've lost. I might lose more, and better yet I will tone up what I've got. That thought really helps in the whole "I'm dating and I wanna look good" department.

I talked to another friend tonight who said she is signing herself and her hubby up for a 5K in February. She told me she's going to sign me up to run it with them...now I'm committed. I can't back out of that. Adrianne told me she won't do a 5 k with me till I can do it in 30 minutes...I have till February to work that out. I'm going to go ahead and call it official - I have a new hobby.

Next on the list I'm going to teach myself how to play guitar. One more thing I've wanted to do forever and never quite gotten around to. I'm liking this side of the single life. The side where I get to figure out what I want to do, and then actually do it! Fun stuff.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

It's Thanksgiving today...

Well at least it is in my family. My brother the doctor has scheduling conflicts with holidays so we celebrate whenever is convenient and today is our day. For the first time in as long as I can remember we didn't have any extras for our Thanksgiving meal. We always invite whoever we can find that doesn't have somewhere else to go. I guess everyone we could find already had plans this year. That was kind of odd for me. Isaiah announced that this was the "best Thanksgiving ever!" at dinner and none of the kids really seemed to mind that daddy wasn't here. The grown ups on the other hand have all made comments about how much more relaxing it is without my "B.F.F." being here with us. If you don't know what B.F.F. stands for in my world well, it's my special title for the ex - he earned it when he told me he thought we could be best friends after we divorced - yeah right! I'm not going to post exactly what it stands for but if you really want to know ask me, I might tell you. Then there's the fact that we got a 23 lb turkey because we always have so many people and...well we probably would have had leftovers from a 12 lb turkey! Oh well the food was awesome, even if I only ate one or two bites of everything. Now I have a stomach ache and I was sleepy before we ate so the turkey aftermath is killing me! It's nap time!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

I finished it...

I finished The Ragamuffin Gospel today. It was for me a profound read. I wonder if others who were raised in different (less legalistic) denominations are not so effected by books like this but in my mind it was huge. I found myself working really hard to get through it because every thought seemed so profound. I really wanted to soak it all in, retain it and be able to put it to use. Like the fact that somehow I have the idea that if I just do enough right I will measure up for God, but I never measure up to my own expectations how on earth could I possibly meet His? Oh, so that's the great part - I can't and He doesn't expect me to. Jesus met the measure for me. It's done, even though I'm still a work in process...the price has already been paid. I understand that this concept might not be so profound for many. It isn't a new concept for me. The problem for me is in the execution of it. How can I live like a person who's failures are redeemed and have my works and fruit be a RESPONSE to that rather than an attempt to EARN that? That is my personal struggle. Maybe if I can figure out how to live in response to the sacrifice of Christ rather than trying to somehow be worthy of that sacrifice I would be less tired of DOING my faith.

Does anyone have...

a copy of Blue Like Jazz I could borrow? I really want to read it but can't spend another penny on books right now. I'd go to the library but I live in the ghetto and I own more books than my local library - ok that's not entirely accurate but I went there once and was so appalled that I vowed never to go back. If someone reading this can help me keep that vow I would really appreciate it. Help a reading addict out!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

about a boy...

Well that's not exactly an accurate statement, really he's a man, but anyway... I have this friend - not the guy from Disneyland just to be clear - who is an awesome support. He is fun to hang out with, super caring, and...the coolest thing...he prays with me. Whenever we talk and I tell him about anything that is even remotely weighing on me he stops, immediately, and prays. It is becoming something of a consistent thing. We have great conversations about life and the struggles we share as we muddle through co parenting after divorce. He is intelligent. He listens to me when I am dreaming out loud, and then offers his perspective and sometimes advice. I never feel like I am talking and not being heard. He confides in me too, about work, life, and his son among other things. When I offer my thoughts to him, he values my opinions. Then there is the fact that he refuses to let me pay when we are out together - even though we are always with other people and they pay for themselves. We have basically become a pair within the group that we are connected through. We aren't dating but I have to say that having a friend like him is reminding me that it will be worth waiting for a man like this. To be really honest there is a part of me that wonders if, when life settles a bit for both of us, I will find that what I am waiting for has been right here all along. In the meantime his friendship is a great encouragement to me, a reminder that what I hope for isn't too much to expect.

Panera...

I told you I was going to come here today. I also said I would expand upon my food experience. So here goes...I always order a spinach and bacon souffle and a bear claw. That isn't the strange part. It's what I do with it that is odd. You see I come to a bakery to eat but really don't want much to do with the bread. So I eat the innards from the souffle. Then I eat the filling (plus the almonds off the top) from the bear claw leaving everything else behind. Here are my before and after pics....
Maybe I need to find someone who wants to eat all that bread...ha ha!

Friday, November 16, 2007

This is what I get to deal with

Tonight the kids were at a festival with their dad. They were supposed to be home at 8:30 p.m. So I went out. I ate great food, had a drink and one of my favorite desserts. Then I went to wander at a nearby furniture store. I'm sitting in a massage chair thinking about how I may never date again...instead I'm just going to come to the massage chair at a furniture store in all my kid free time when... at 7:57 p.m. I get a phone call...."we're here where are you?" So I said "I'm out, I thought you were bringing them back at 8:30 but I can be there in 15 minutes..." except that I don't know how much of that was even heard because he had hung up on me...nice huh?!

We rush home, and they are not here. So I call back and he says "well I figured you might as well take your time so we came to my place" I said "well we're home so you can bring them back now" but he had hung up again.

At 8:45 p.m. I hear a car so I head out to bring in the kids and three of the four are crying...hard. Sophia wants mommy. Abby wanted to stay at daddy's house because she had assumed since they went there at night it was a spend the night there kind of night...Then there was Isaiah. On Saturday he had spent his birthday money from great grandpa on a cd that he had been BEGGING me to buy for him. On Sunday he had taken it to daddy's house. He left it at daddy's house because he thought daddy might want to listen to it. Tonight he asked for it back. Well, daddy had thrown away the case - which Isaiah says he had put with the other cd cases but which daddy says was with a bunch of "trash." Needless to say Isaiah was distraught. The crazy bit is that daddy doesn't say - "hey dude sorry I accidentally threw away something that was really important to you, I'll replace it" he says "whatever - it was just a cd case."

So Isaiah learned the following lesson (in his own words)..."I can't trust an adult with my stuff, well at least I can't trust my dad with my stuff. I won't take anything over there ever again"

If there was any wonder why this fool makes me insane I hope reading about the experience of my day will remove any confusion! How did he make such fabulous children??? I think I must have some VERY dominant DNA! Yeah, that must be it!

Oh, and lest you think I have gone completely crazy...I didn't mean what I said about never dating again...but dang that massage chair was awesome!

I am SOOOO ANGRY!!!!!

I have spent the last 5 minutes spewing things out of my mouth that would embarrass a hardened sailor. I am angry beyond all decent language. How hard is it really to support your four kids? He left and is living whatever life he has chosen for himself and as far as I'm concerned good riddance but seriously, I have to pay the bills so your kids still have a roof over their head, water and electricity...not to mention car insurance and all the things that a responsible parent should pay for. I am not working yet because if I do it will screw him in terms of taxes...but he has no problem screwing me out of support that he is supposed to pay! Here is the best part...last month he didn't pay all of the support he owed me and we got into it over that, so he knows how big of a deal that was...and he had the audacity to tell me today that he thought not giving me support wasn't that big of a deal. Are you FREAKING kidding me??? I'm supposed to have a little birthday party for Isaiah tomorrow... nothing big and I didn't really even invite anyone, other than his two best buddies, because I knew I'd have no money but I figured at least I could buy pizza or something for him and a few of his friends. I've been waiting on the support to buy drinks and some basic things for tomorrow (on top of the obvious bill to be paid) and it should have been here yesterday. I didn't push that because I knew he was going to see the kids today so I figured he'd bring it when he picked them up but now...here I sit.
This is the crap that makes me tired of doing the right things! I am a pissed off momma right now and it would have been so much easier to scream profanity to his face and beat the living stuff out of him than to react calmly in the presence of my kids and him. All of the venom that spewed from the overflow of my soul happened after they left...is that still a victory of some sort? That at least I didn't act like the raving lunatic that I wanted to be in front of my kids?
I don't know but I must say the day is coming very soon when I will be able to have his wages garnished...and you best believe that when that day comes, it will be done...and fast! How did I stay married to (and have four kids with) a complete and total idiot for 11 years? I thought at one point it might be because I'm a saint...but I'm pretty sure now it was sheer stupidity.
UGH...so he just called and "miraculously" found his checkbook. So he says he's bringing me a check, not that I am convinced there is money in his account to cover it. I'll be heading to his credit union with that check as soon as it arrives. Here's hoping I get what I'm supposed to.

I just realized how resourceful I am

I'm not sure if this is really a good thing, and frankly it might be smarter for me not to tell the world about my talent...but I'm going to anyway. I'll just leave some of the details a little bit vague.
I am a curious person by nature. I see something, then I get curious about it and do research to find out everything I can. It is amazing how much information is out there! I recently had spark of curiosity about a person. So I started doing a little digging. There almost feels like an element of stalker in this but there is so much available in terms of public records that I don't really feel guilty. Plus there's the fact that I'm not actually going to "DO" anything with the info I now have, it was just fun finding it. Anyway, I ended up finding out all sorts of interesting information about this particular someone. I almost think I should start a business and charge for my services...the best thing is there would be no overhead because getting a hold of all of this information is free.
I was going to give you all the instructions here to find what I was able to find... but then I realized that I don't want to help any really crazy people find someones personal information. It just made me think that I don't want my first and last name out there! If anyone else is as curious as me, and crazy enough to do something stupid once they found the information, it could get very dangerous!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

If you are easily offended...skip this post!

I just had to drop another blog post on you all to tell you my favorite moments from the QBS gig tonight... The first is going to require a little background so here goes. Do you remember the Saturday Night Live skits with Chris Kattan as orgasm guy? If not go find a video of it somewhere! It's freaking hilarious!!! Anyway, my brother does a mean impression of orgasm guy, completely unintentionally, every time he plays. When you couple that visual with Adam talking about his "G string" it all gets pretty dirty and incredibly funny in my book. You all know I have no filter so when I put my thoughts down for everyone to read I run the risk of this being the result. I'm pretty sure my brother is mortified right now. As for Adam, well I'm not sure but I don't have to eat Thanksgiving dinner with him so if he thinks I'm crazy for posting this I'll live. Filth aside, the music was awesome and the company fabulous. Next time you should be there - whoever you are!

because I can...

I'm blogging live from Java Bliss with Quick Before Sinking as my soundtrack...pretty cool stuff. I would have posted pictures too but I can't because I didn't come prepared for such things. Here's the great bit... I am known so well that I just got called out by Adam for blogging during their set. My kids are running amok and I am watching Sophia throw a fit about the mud on her shoe. These are the best times! If you aren't here you should be! That's all I just wanted to blog on location for once!

My brother the rock star

He already got some love here a while back so I'll spare you all the bragging this time I just wanted to mention that Quick Before Sinking will be at Java Bliss in Riverside again tonight from 7-9. Come watch my doctor brother transform into my brother the rock star...ok or at least come and watch him do the facial contortions that come naturally when he plays. That my friends would be worth the trip even if the music wasn't good. The music however is great, and if the last time was any indication the company will be awesome too.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

As promised...

I said I'd let you know how Killarney's was...and I will but first I have to tell you about my first stop. I met up with my friend and we went to meet a bunch of other people at this total DIVE bar called Sire I think. Ok, now I don't go to places like this and it was completely outside of my comfort zone! On the upside I spent a whole $2.50 on a taco and coke. There were these nasty men milling around because we were a table of (almost) all women...men in bars are NASTY! I would repeat that for effect but I think you get the point. After most of the women in the group were sufficiently drunk to actually enjoy the attention of said nasty men we left. A few of the nasty's even followed behind...I kid you not!

We all end up at Killarney's. It was comedy night...or at least that's what they were calling it. I didn't spend a penny there...which is probably good because I would have wanted my money back on account of the false advertising. Seriously there was a "comic" doing stand up when we walked in and his topic of choice was gay guys...no joke, pardon the pun. How is making fun of gay people funny to anyone in 2007? Well I guess the answer is that it isn't, because not one person was laughing! There were three different comics in the 45 minutes I stuck around and you know what? Not a single one was funny. Their material ranged from the gay jokes to making fun of people in the crowd who, according to the comic looked more like "father and daughter" than a couple...except that they didn't look mismatched in age at all so the joke was patently un-funny! Then there was the guy who asked if anyone in the room had kids...and then wanted to know who left them home alone and who left them alone in the car...I am not a comic, but I am funnier than any of these guys were...WAY funnier!

After 45 minutes I decided I'd had my fill of the so called comedy and I left. I did a very old lady-ish thing. I went to the market to get some milk and then I stopped at the donut shop on the way home. When I walked in the door with donuts my dad immediately went to work making coffee...Here is where the story gets sad...I had way more fun with my parents and a box of donuts than I did at Killarney's comedy night! At least I can laugh at that!

stuff I'm reading...and plans for tonight.

Last night I realized I'm a bit crazy in the reading department these days. I am reading three books at the same time and have a few more waiting in the wings to get started on. I think the book that is going to have the greatest impact though is the one I just started reading. I was going to post a picture of The Ragamuffin Gospel by Brennan Manning here but the title is gold and didn't photograph well so you'll have to live without the picture. It's a book I've wanted to read for a few years now I think but I finally picked it up in the middle of my current turmoil...and the timing couldn't have been better. In addition to that I'm reading The Case for Christ by Lee Strobel, And the Angels Were Silent by Max Lucado...waiting in the wings is Slightly Bad Girls of the Bible by I don't remember who...and a few others.
I need a couple of hours huddled in a corner at Panera with my favorite breakfast so that I can get through a few of these books...Sunday is looking like a reading day!!! I had thoughts about mentioning what my favorite breakfast is but I think I'm going to wait until Sunday and post pictures instead.
Tonight I think I'm meeting a few friends at Killarney's. I guess it's comedy night or something... not that I care a ton about that but wherever the friends are I'm game to go! I've never been to Killarney's so I'll let you know if it was any fun tomorrow.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Dark Night of the Soul...

Is it possible to have a spiritual crisis that is not at the same time a crisis of faith? From where I sit I believe it is. I do not doubt what I believe. I am convinced that my faith is well placed. Yet even the demons believe, and shudder. So how am I not the same as the demons if my faith is not lived out and demonstrated by action. What do you do when you are tired of acting out your faith? To give in to the temptation of sin, all the while knowing the consequence of sin allowed to flourish is death, seems an obviously poor choice. How then do you move forward and live out faith that will bear good fruit when the temptation to give up is so great? Anyone mastered this one yet? When you do let me know...because from where I sit the night is dark for my soul and it's not an easy place to be. My hope is that in the end I will find myself somehow stronger as a result of this spiritual crisis...

Thursday, November 8, 2007

It was good...maybe even great!!!

My interview went well...maybe even great! I had done enough research to have answers already prepared for virtually every question they asked. I was calm, confident and not nearly as nervous as I thought I would be. After the interview one of the guys on the interview panel walked me out. He asked if I had ever been interviewed by a panel before. I told him I had not and that in fact I had not had an interview of any sort in about 9 years. He asked if I had been nervous for this interview and I said that I had been a little bit but not too much. I said I felt that I had been as prepared as possible and just did my best. He said I should hear within two weeks if I had passed the interview. Then he said he was sure I would hear, that I had done very well. I know they can't tell you that you passed but I felt like he wouldn't have said I had done so well if he didn't think the news would be good. He also told me that if I didn't hear within two weeks to call HR because they send a pass/fail to HR and if HR drops the ball they can't do anything more with the applicant, so I should check in just to make sure that doesn't happen. I feel good about it. I'm looking forward to the process. Oh, and I found out that the background process can take 90 - 120 days. Translation...even if I passed the interview I might not be working for 4-5 months...ugh!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

I have an interview tomorrow!

At 10:15 a.m. I will be interviewing for my dream job...no pressure huh?!?! Not only is it a job I have wanted to do for 12 years but I am also in desperate need of a good job! This one would be really interesting not to mention that it pays very well. I am a little nervous because I have not interviewed for any job in over 9 years! I also have no real work history for the last 6 years.

I know I can do the job. I am the queen of multi-tasking. I have four kids, homeschool and keep a decent house, I am taxi driver, chef, nurse and many other things...I don't have a choice but to mulit-task well. Then there is the fact that I have had the interesting propensity to be the one everyone calls when there is a crisis or chaos in their life...because they know I am the calm one and can handle it. I learn best hands on and most of the training for the job is done on the job itself. The crazy hours might be a discouraging factor for some but for me, with my perfect childcare situation about to be constructed, it is not an issue. I am actually looking forward to trying out the different shifts. I am dependable, responsible and generally worth hiring...I just hope they see that. Then of course, if they like me, I have to pass backgrounds, which I'm not worried about...and the polygraph...I'm seeing a little "Meet the Fockers" coming on...

Monday, November 5, 2007

So far so good...

The kids have been away over 24 hours now and I am surviving! I slept great...though not long enough because I played too much yesterday and I have way too much to do before they get back!


My coffee date was fun, even if it was a bit too short. Then I hung with Wendi. We stopped by what is probably my all time favorite restaurant, North Woods Inn - my kids call it the peanut place because they serve peanuts and you can drop your shells on the floor. I picked up my favorite thing to go...rice. Yes, rice! It's this awesome, I don't even know how to describe it, stuff! The great part is it's about the only thing that hasn't made my stomach hurt for the last month and a half so I bought a half gallon of the stuff...seriously I did...and I brought it home. That's all I'm gonna be eating for the next 4-5 days!!! Yummy! It's ten in the morning and I'm about to go heat up a bowl of rice.


Saturday, November 3, 2007

Long and I Rant!

I had a conversation with my parents the other night...yes with my parents! We were talking about how some people have the idea that I really must be so hurt/injured/devastated, you name it, that my husband left me for another woman. That I must be suffering self esteem issues as a result. That I have to feel like I wasn't pretty enough, or that I was in some other way deficient. Truth be told I believe I am pretty enough and likable enough that I am not worried about finding someone when it's right. I have never once thought I failed as a wife or a woman to keep him faithful. That wasn't my job and I don't own that responsibility. I have heard the "God is my husband" argument from several people too. I have been told that I shouldn't date because I should only need Him. I've been told that there is so much a woman depends on a man for and that I am (presumably) missing out on all of that so I might just go try to fill the role with whatever creep is available.

Here is the irony. I can't think of a single "man" job that wasn't immediately met by either my dad or my neighbor when my ex left... save one...that can't be met by either my neighbor, or my dad...eeewwww!

Frankly I have more emotional support from my friends and family than I ever got from the ex. The "man-ish" household stuff (ie: repairs, lawns and garbage) have also been taken over. The repairs are being done in a more skilled manner than they ever were before. I can honestly say that I wake up grateful every day that I no longer have to choose to love a man who was so difficult to love.

As for the "God is my husband" idea...God knows he did not create me with a knack for celibacy. If I weren't a Christian I'd probably be a sex addict! (and yes I said that to my parents - and no it didn't shock them) God is supposed to be our first love even when we do have a spouse so why should God being my first love preclude me from an openness to finding a partner to fulfill an innate need?

I really am doing well. My (ulcer causing) stress is related to financial issues and navigating the co parenting crap not to the failure of my marriage. The people who see me and talk to me everyday, and really know how I am doing, are supportive of my choice to date. They see me as real as it gets, and they think it's ok. I just don't see that there is some law on how long I'm supposed to walk around feeling crappy because my husband left. When am I allowed to not be miserable anymore? I quit being miserable that he left within the first month he was gone. No, I didn't start dating that month. It's been over 6 months and I am ready to have some fun!

I guess my point is, I'm ready to get out. I'm not trying to numb my feelings. I am a bit too aware for that to be effective anyway I suspect. I'm not looking to be rescued - I honestly don't see a need. I don't think finding a new man will solve every problem I have ever had. In fact quite the opposite. I realize that when I do find someone there will be a whole new set of challenges to face. I am just hoping that at some point I find a man who is God's best for me and who will love me like Christ loves the church. The only way I'm going to find that man is if I am open to the possibility!

I thought I was doing better

So I ate lunch today. Not crazy amounts of food just a reasonable lunch at about one this afternoon. It is 10 p.m. now and my stomach still hurts like crazy. I feel like I ate Thanksgiving dinner four times in a row, and just stopped eating ten minutes ago. I've taken my meds like I'm supposed to. When is this going to get better??? I am seriously contemplating self induced vomiting to alleviate the pain this full feeling is causing, but if you know me at all you know I'd rather die than vomit so I'm not really sure how to make that work for me.
I'm still fighting anxiety about Sophia being gone tomorrow night. I planned my day tomorrow so I won't have too much free time alone...if you read my drinking post you know why.

I'm meeting up with the guy I went to Disneyland with a few weeks back. We are just going to hook up for coffee or whatever and to chat. I'm really looking forward to having some really casual time with him. With the first date thing, and the big event that was Disneyland out of the way, I think this time I will feel more relaxed. So the thing about this guy that is cool is that he knows scripture and theology well enough to have an intelligent conversation about it. I sent him a series of questions in an email the other day and in under 10 minutes he had outlined what he believes, why he believes it and had scripture references to support it...that my friends is hot! Plus he is kind and easy on the eyes as well. Not to freak anyone out here - I'm not trying to settle down with the first guy I hang out with...but I am having fun! It feels like good practice - watching for things that would be nice to have the next time around (read: when I get married again). After my little meet up with Mr. Nice Guy I'll be heading to Wendi's - which is sure to be a rip roaring good time!!! Ok not exactly rip roaring but certainly chill and relaxing...ha, ha!

I think I'm fasting tomorrow - and not out of some spiritual motive! I can't handle feeling like this for single second longer than necessary! Knowing that food is the cause makes starvation easy!

I think I'm gonna drink...

So tomorrow is going to be a momentous occasion. The kids are going to have their first overnight at their dad's house. I am not really worried about it, except for Sophia who has been sleeping with me just about every night for over 6 months now. I try to get her to sleep in her own bed. She usually falls asleep there but by about midnight she migrates. I shudder at the thought of her waking up to find me and not being able to. I'm sure it will be fine and she'll be with the big kids. Isaiah is her big buddy so I know he'll love on her if she freaks out but I'm still a little nervous. I'm trying not to let it show though.
I have packed my day tomorrow so I won't be sitting around thinking about it. The final thing on my list is to go hang out with Wendi. I'm not a big drinker and I've never had any urge to drink to numb out but I have to tell you I have a serious urge to drink tomorrow. It's probably good news that my stomach can't handle much!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

I think I'm over Divorce Recovery.

After my little fight last week with the woman who insulted my friend I was a little apprehensive about going again on Monday. To make matters worse my partner in crime was sick so he wasn't there. If I had known that before I got there I probably wouldn't have gone. Anyway so the same woman who got all huffy with me last week goes on a diatribe about how much easier divorce is for people like me who go through it in their 30's when they are young. There was much more that she had to say about that but I was so done hearing it that I tuned it out. Obviously I was born on a different planet...because I think a man can be a great parent even to a sick child. I must also be delusional because I think being left with four kids, no job and no assets at 30 might not be any easier than being left with a house, a car and multiple properties all paid for in full in your 50's...If a support group is gonna call that support I think I'd rather keep to myself thanks!

I'm frustrated...

I feel like there is this tremendous amount of pressure on me to prevent any emotional upheaval or hint of imperfection from touching the lives of my kids. I think it is so totally unrealistic. I am stuck with what I have and am doing the best I can with it. In my opinion the best I can do for my kids is love them and nurture them while they are with me and make transitions as smooth as possible.

They are going to battle sadness and anger and potentially someday the urge to go live with daddy because the grass is always greener. They will never get "over" the fact that their parents aren't together. I'm not ever going to be able to fix that for them. I have come to terms with that. I am not trying to fix it for them.

The fact is that the court doesn't care that their dad lives with his girlfriend. They don't care that I think he is irresponsible for letting them see movies that are not appropriate. If I make everything a fight it will get ugly. The courts would send us to parenting classes, at our expense, that we cannot afford. There will be legal fees that neither of us can truly afford to pay.

The cost to the kids of living in a constant discord is, in my opinion, far greater than the price of a scary movie and the fact that bad attitudes are allowed at daddy's house. So I choose to make peace whenever possible, to focus on the positives and help the kids work through stuff that comes up for THEM. I will not make my frustrations with their dad a part of their lives. It isn't going to fix anything.

I actually don't spend much time frustrated with him at this point. I have kind of a "it is what it is" attitude about him and his behaviors. Unfortunately this isn't the case for everyone. Other people having opinions about how I should better protect them or have some righteous indignation at his stupidity is frankly just stressing me out!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

I've got stuff to do...

and I've gotten a lot done already, but right now I'm taking a break. I'm watching my kids, who have apparently seen HSM2 a few too many times, sing and dance along to the soundtrack like they wrote it themselves! I think Ella is convinced she is Sharpay! I'd post pics but if I tried to take any they would stop what they are doing and pose instead.
Oh, well back to my tasks...next on the list is to pull the cushions off the couches and vacuum underneath...it's disturbing what ends up in there!

Monday, October 29, 2007

My parents...

Went home last night! They have a house...yeah!!! Their neighbor, who stayed in his home and waited out the fire, showed my folks embers that had fallen on their street. My mom said they were about the size of her hand! It's all too crazy. My friend...Alice (Christy) from the picture in my last post...grew up on the mountain and her parents still live there. Their street was hit hard but they too are among the lucky ones who have a home still. Isaiah said he prayed for rain again just like the last time there were fires. He has greater faith than I do...and it rained again this time too. He is really amazing!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

One long party...

My weekend was amazing. Not everything worked out exactly as planned but it was fun! The big costume party at my friends the Brown's was hoppin and frankly about as wild a party as I've ever been to...no, it was THE wildest party I've ever been to. Three drinks in and I was without a doubt the most sober person there...and in the most pain. Word to the wise...Liquor and ulcers shouldn't be mixed. So I quit drinking and watched all the drunk people get crazy! Sober people can still dance though - and I did...a lot...it helped if I pretended I was drunk - kidding. I didn't have to pretend because the drunk people were so drunk they wouldn't know good dancing from standing still. Here's the only picture you're getting...

Friday, October 26, 2007

I went...you happy now?

They told me they wanted to take blood to check for the thing that causes most ulcers - it's called H. Pylori or something like that. Then they told me they wanted me to do some test with my..."stool"...I told the kind doctor that I have four kids and changing a diaper still gives me the gags...no way in hell I'm gonna be playing with my own poo! Yes Marko I actually said that. Anyway she laughed at me and then said that she'd let it slide...unless my blood work comes back showing that I'm anemic. If it does she said she would push the issue. Then she asked if I had been under any extra stress recently...I laughed and said maybe just a little. Anyway she said, as if this would be news to me, that it sounded like I have an ulcer. She gave me some meds and said that if the blood work comes back with the H. whatever in it she'll put me on an antibiotic.

Anyway I just wanted to get you all off my back. I did it, I went, I'm not being irresponsible with my health anymore....or at least not at the moment. You happy now?

Thursday, October 25, 2007

For those of you who worry...

I just wanted to give you an update...I made an appointment to see a doctor tomorrow. I caught a little heat from a few people for putting it off so I finally took care of it this morning. You know I'll be posting all the high points after my appointment. Not that anyone really wants the gory details but you all know I have no filter...

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

My life long friend...she's sorta like my sister


Lauren has been my friend for about 25 years. We have loved and fought...sometimes over the stupidest things imaginable. We have endured what was probably the most traumatic experience of our lives together. We are bonded in a way that sometimes doesn't make sense. She has moved back and forth between here and Virginia so many times I think I might have lost count. When we get a chance to spend time together though it is like no time has passed.

She is in town this week and today was my day. We went to dinner, and had a glass of wine. It felt very grown up. That may seem an odd thing to say because I am after all a grown up but I rarely sit with a friend and have a glass of wine with dinner.

It was funny in other ways too. For the last 12 years, while I was taken and then married, she was often single. Tonight she was getting calls and messages from her "man" and I was the single one. It was an interesting look in the other direction. I fully expect to be helping plan her wedding by early next year.

Sometimes I get frustrated with her but at the end of the day I can't stay mad at her for anything. I know my place with her and her place with me. Our friendship is sometimes an odd one but I will love her forever!

Fun for me!

I have a very full weekend planned! First I think I'm going to get out with my parents - for the second time in a week and a half! Then I have a Halloween party on Saturday night. I'm dressing up and it should be interesting. I'll probably be saying "aargh" with one eye closed all night...Mark and Adrianne that one's for you! Then I have a date on Sunday...with a new boy. He is very, very pretty. Can I call a boy pretty? Well, I just did! In any event he seems like a really nice guy too. I'm looking forward to it...a lot! Yeah for fun filled weekends!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

I got in a fight...

Well kind of. I wasn't really fighting but I stepped up to defend a friend last night and apparently I stepped on some toes. So here's the short version. A woman tells a guy that I know that he should have taken his son back home early from his weekend visit because his son was sick. She says he obviously couldn't care for the child like the mother would. My response must have been a somewhat forceful "ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?!?!" because I guess she got offended. In spite of what I deal with in terms of coparenting issues I still believe a dad has just as much right/responsibility and frankly even ability to care for their children as the mom does. I guess equality isn't such a high selling point in this woman's version of reality....to me it's kind of like asking if a dad is "babysitting" his own kids. Which is, to me anyway, an obviously stupid question. No the dad isn't babysitting, he's parenting...how is this such a hard concept?

Random side note...my youngest child, who always seems to have a song emanating from within, is climbing on the couch singing "hallelujah"...it really doesn't get any cuter than that!

Monday, October 22, 2007

It's fire season my friends...

What does that mean...well today it means my parents have been evacuated. There seem to be fires all over the mountain. At least this time they had the opportunity to take some things that are of sentimental value before they left. They also cleared out the fridge. This might seem an odd thing to do but if you know what happened last time you'd understand. You see the last time there was a fire they were evacuated for 11 days. The electricity was off for at least that long and well...just contemplate for a moment what your fridge would smell like if all the meat and fish and, well, other stuff in there sat unrefrigerated for a week and a half...just typing that made my gagger go a little crazy! Anyway, they had to get a new fridge. Hopefully this time they will have a home to go back to, and a fridge that isn't funky!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

For some reason this is the song that always comes to me...

Beautiful Scandalous Night
Words by S. Hindalong, Music by D. Daugherty

Go on up to the mountain of mercy
To the crimson perpetual tide
Kneel down on the shore
Be thirsty no more
Go under and be purified

Follow Christ to the holy mountain
Sinner, sorry and wrecked by the fall
Cleanse your heart and your soul
In the fountain that flows
For you and for me and for all

At the wonderful tragic mysterious tree
On that beautiful scandalous night you and me
Were atoned by His blood and forever washed white
On that beautiful scandalous night

On the hillside you will be delivered
At the foot of the cross justified
And your spirit restored
By the river that pours
From our blessed Savior’s side

At the wonderful tragic mysterious tree
On that beautiful scandalous night you and me
Were atoned by his blood and forever washed white
On that beautiful scandalous night

Go on up to the mountain of mercy
To the crimson perpetual tide
Kneel down on the shore
Be thirsty no more
Go under and be purified

At the wonderful tragic mysterious tree
On that beautiful scandalous night you and me
Were atoned by his blood and forever washed white
On that beautiful scandalous night…

pretty feet


So today I picked up some pepcid like my brother told me to. I took it before I ate...and it helped...a little bit. That is a good thing! I wandered aimlessly for a while because I had no plans and none of my friends were free. I didn't want to drive too far because in the 10 miles I did drive I saw four overturned big rigs and other large vehicles! It was crazy!


Then my friend came to the rescue. She came to hang with me at my house - which was a death defying feat since she had to drive through the same sandstorms and overturned vehicles to get here - but she came. We went and got pedicures and had dinner together. Oh, and played a little competitive internet dating. Ok well I made that last part up...kind of. We did wade through the stacks of emails we've both been getting from all the boys on our respective dating websites. Hers are a bit more interesting though...but that's probably because she's is doing her internet dating search through some place called Sugardaddie dot com...Seriously! That isn't exactly my style - ha, ha!


Anyway, now I have pretty feet...see...

Saturday, October 20, 2007

An answer...maybe...

Tonight my brother (aka the smartest person I know) went to dinner with us after church. He mentioned that, while he's not supposed to treat family and didn't know if it was his place to mention it, he thinks I might have an ulcer. First of all he's family and I'm blogging about it for the world to read...if a stranger is able to comment on it certainly my brother is welcome to the discussion...though he might have slightly more credibility if he actually blogged himself but that's a whole other conversation.

The thing is I can't for the life of me figure out how I could have an ulcer. I mean seriously there's absolutely no stress in my life and I'm living peacefully in the lap of luxury! or not... So does this mean I might have to acknowledge that I'm not the pillar of strength I say I am? In my defense I actually do feel pretty strong...well except for the fact that I'm freaking STARVING and can't eat more than four bites but whatever! Anyway, I guess I may be internalizing more than I realized...

I'm thinking I might have to go see a doctor this week...I mean one who isn't my brother!

I gotta come up with a plan...

I am kid free tomorrow from 9 a.m. till about 7 p.m. and I have no plans. I'm contemplating a repeat of last week but I really want to try things I don't usually get to do. Now would be a bad time to get in some boring rut! Maybe I'll go to the movies alone for the first time in my entire life...but is there even anything good out? I never see commercials so I have no clue what movies are playing! I suppose I could do what I do with everything else and look it up online... ahhh the joys!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Someone called me a playa...

And at the time I didn't really like it much...now I'm thinking I may own that title, work it and love it. I'm just sayin'! I've got a little list going on and if I'm not careful I'm gonna need one of those little black books you hear about...Kidding! I mean really it's 2007 - I have a cell phone. I wouldn't actually need a black book. I am noticing though that my phone is filling up with the names and numbers of interesting boys (ok they're men but calling them boys just suits me better for the purpose of this discussion). I am the woman that never had the number of a man in my phone who wasn't family for the whole time I was married...now there are...well a few. I hesitate on the edge of saying there are lots...but I'm working on it! I'm learning to enjoy the process...if maybe a little too much - ha, ha!

Fun stuff...

Last night was cool. Actually yesterday was cool altogether. There was a lot of driving...close to 200 miles if my estimate is in the ballpark! I spent time at my parents house in Lake Arrowhead and was all over Riverside and into Corona. The best part for me though hands down was last night. My brother and the guys from Quick Before Sinking rocked the house...or the lawn but lets not get all technical. I'm thinking they may need to get learning Free Bird though...can't have requests go unmet!
It was fun to be out with my entire grown up family! It was good to catch up with friends too. Just good times....fun stuff!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

I think I'm gonna be a groupie...

Because I love my brother! He and some of his friends are crazy awesome musicians and they are playing together as Quick Before Sinking at Java Bliss in Riverside tonight. I'm really looking forward to going. I haven't bragged on my brother here yet so I decided today is the day.
My OLDER brother Mark is pretty amazing. He is older by 22 months - did I mention that he's older? He also got in way more trouble as a kid than I ever did!!! Anyway he's like King Midas. Everything he touches turns to gold. Well kind of...he works really hard, and he's super smart so he's earned it. He's a doctor, he golfs really well - wow I bet that's a surprise! I'm sure he'll never take me golfing again because I tried it once and I suck at it. He does however take my boy out golfing. I think Isaiah could be pretty good too, especially if Mark keeps playing with him. He plays the bass, and he's great at it. He can play piano pretty well too...better than I ever could because he can hear a song and pick it out like it's no big deal. He is a loving husband, a great father and has stepped it up with Isaiah to show him how a real man shows love.
When we were growing up he was intermittently my best friend and fiercest enemy...Here's a little known fact that he may wish I would keep quiet forever... When we were bored during the summer we would sometimes go to the library. We used to check out books about how to do wrestling moves like the WWE guys. We would then go home, pull the mattress off the bed and flip each other like crazy wrestlers. I bet you are wondering where our mom was in all of this. Well for some strange reason she was ok with it. That doesn't really fit her personality but somehow she managed to let us throw ourselves over each other's shoulders onto our mattresses for hours on end.
Just for the record...I'm pretty sure I could still take him down! Oh, and I love you Marky-doodle!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Love/Hate Relationship...

I have one with food. I love food, I really do! Ask any of my girlfriends. I especially love junk food...well at least I did. My body has this special feature that shuts down my stomach when I'm under stress, or so it seems. I tried to do the whole mind over matter thing. If I just eat it will be fine...one more bite, and then another. It shouldn't be that difficult. Well today I ignored that switch thing that happens with a strange regularity at about bite four and kept eating. I ended up eating a cup of soup (yes it's a theme...soup seems easy for me right now...) and four (yes I know another theme) bites of pie. I pushed past the pain and forced it in...but then I was miserable. Not like just a little uncomfortable. I was in agony for the next hour. Then my body revolted. I'll spare you the details but basically I might as well have not eaten. I'm still in pain and it's been almost 6 hours since I put any food in my mouth. This is not normal, I'm aware. What I can't figure out is how to fix it. One thing is for sure though...I'm not going to keep eating past the point where my body wants to stop again!!! It's not worth the price I'm paying now!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

I'm better...

It's been a funky couple of days but it's getting better. I still have stuff to deal with but I'm not feeling so weighted down by it today. I also got a good talking to by my neighbor who happens to also be a pastor...things don't seem so overwhelming now. He also had some interesting insights into my life that were news to me. It was kind of nice to know what someone was seeing from the outside. I'm feeling a buzz of energy...like some things I have been anticipating are getting closer to becoming a reality.
Then there's the fact that I'm realizing I'm not very good at being who God calls me to be sometimes. I know I have to be ok with being a work in progress. I don't like it but I'm learning.
Exhaustion is kicking my back end. The obvious solution is, of course, to blog. Tonight I think I will sleep well though. No morning DV to get the kids up and ready for! I am going to spend some more time at the building department tomorrow. That should be fun! It seems they have decided we need a grading plan/permit. We aren't doing any grading but never mind that. They really just want the money anyway.
I find myself anticipating my future with great excitement. Part of my problem is that the wait is sometimes just so utterly frustrating. There are a lot of loose ends in my life right now but I know in His time they will be tied up perfectly! Maybe it's ok every once in a while for me to have a couple of days of gloomy feelings because it makes the blue skies that much more brilliant.

Always good to get a reality check!

When I'm thinking about how crazy my life seems to be these days...I'm embarrassed to admit that it helps when my friends lives are crazier...does that make me a bad person? Oh, well. I'm gonna call it a case of thankfulness. Two of my girlfriends seem to have gone into crisis mode. Theirs makes my life seem calm and easy.
Oh, and in an update on the food front...I actually ate last night. Not a ton, but enough. I ended up with a killer stomach ache but at least I ate! Today was back to the same old thing again though...maybe I'll drop another 15 lbs. I'd definitely look better in my Halloween costume if I did! Ha, ha!

A great friend...

My friend called last night. It's funny how well she knows me. She knew with frightening precision what was going on in my head...and why...without having spoken to me in several days. I love having a friend like her. She understands why I think like I do...and a lot of the time she thinks the same way. She also calls me out hard on stuff sometimes, and will ask the hardest questions I've ever been faced with. I never feel attacked by it...or sometimes I do, but I know that's not the spirit of the discussion. When she asks the tough questions I am pushed to consider things beyond my original way of thinking...she challenges me and it stretches me. We can debate things and even disagree but it never divides. Last night was different though. Somehow she knew that what I needed wasn't challenge, or stretch. She knew that in these moments what I needed was compassion, and love. I can tell her anything and it never gets used against me. I needed to talk with her...and God knew it, but I didn't call...she did. Thanks Wendi for listening when God prompts your heart. Even in the midst of your own struggles and that unyielding postpartum fog you hear, and act. I love you!

Monday, October 15, 2007

I can't even begin to blog about this stuff

I'm stuck in my head today...I can't begin to blog about it so I'm not going to try really. Except to say that I'm frustrated. Frustrated with myself mainly, but also with circumstances, and to be painfully honest I think for the first time in a long time I am frustrated with God. There's no fixing it. It just is. So I'm sitting in it today. It's not a restful place to be but I know I can't rush through it. I can't get beyond it so I'll just have to wait it out. There are answers that don't come...and when they do I don't really like what they are, or I don't think I'm strong enough to follow through. What am I supposed to do with this? I'm trying not to be too hard on myself. I talked to a friend today...she said "Elissa, I'm so glad you're not God...because you aren't allowing for grace" ouch, but when is it grace and when is it justifying sin? I'm feeling stuck - I'd like it to pass...and I'm sure at some point it will.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Why am I awake?

I'm not entirely sure why, but I woke up a little before 3 and haven't been able to fall back to sleep. What to do??? Blog of course. I haven't had a problem sleeping the night before going to Disneyland since I was probably 10... Thank God for my DVR and the internet! The funniest part is that I feel totally rested and awake. Here's hoping I can get a nap in later...I'm sure I'll need it!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Just a great day...

I left the house kid free at about 9:30 this morning with no real aim. I did need drugs to cut short the misery of the cold that is coming upon me so I stopped at Walgreen's. I went to pick out which drug would do the best job and when I reached for a box I found my fingertips covered in something that vaguely resembled neosporin... do you know me? cuz if you do you surely know how this made me feel! A little bit sick to my stomach, kind of hot and cold all at the same time and just generally disgusted. So I managed to wipe off what I could and proceed to buy my stuff...right before I head to the bathroom to disinfect my hand.

Then I decided I needed coffee. My pick for best mocha goes to Coffee Bean these days so I headed over to the handy drive through. Got myself some caffeine, water and a coffee cake. I took the drugs I had bought, a few sips of coffee (ok or about half of it) and a couple of bites of the yummy thing I pretended was breakfast when it happened again... I couldn't eat! I'm kind of annoyed by the whole thing because I really love food! Unfortunately for the past 3 weeks or so I have been totally unable to finish anything that would resemble a meal to a normal person. I've lost like 13 lbs or something - which I'm not complaining about but at some point I'd like to be able to eat again!

Anyway then I headed to downtown Riverside. I love antique stores. I have four kids. I get to go in antique stores...almost never. So I went. All by myself. It was FABULOUS! Then I wandered through the little farmers market thing that was happening near the antique store. I talked to a friend on the phone on the way back to the car. After my downtown excursion I headed to "the plaza" Now is that an official name or just what the cool people call it? I don't know but I went there. I went into Borders, picked up a book, and read the whole thing in like an hour and a half.

From Borders I stopped by to visit a friend for a little bit. Then I decided I should try food again. I should have known better. I think I got about 4 bites in before the switch flipped. So I was off to church. The kids DV ended in the church parking lot today. That was interesting. I wondered if he would walk in to church since he had come that far...he didn't...but after hearing the message he really should have. After church we went to dinner with my parents. I had a cup (yes a cup, not a bowl) of soup...well I didn't finish it but close, and 4 bites of my favorite pie. The good news is I probably had enough calories to count for an entire day in that meal because let's be honest...Marie's potato cheese isn't low calorie fare!

I got home and put the kids to bed. They are all sleeping soundly. I am alone, it's quiet, and I might just read another book. That is if I can keep my mind off tomorrow for long enough to concentrate! Did I mention that I'm excited? Oh, in case I didn't...I'm excited...

Friday, October 12, 2007

Great News...

I just got a letter from the city of Riverside. I passed my test and I have an interview in November! I'm so excited I can't contain myself! I feel like screaming but my throat isn't feeling too hot so I'll refrain. I have to fill out something like 26 pages of background investigation info but the idea that I might get a great career out of it takes the sting out of that! Anyway there's not much else to say but I am really glad I passed...on the the next step!

Last night I tried something new...

Typically I have 3 kids migrate to my room in the night...and every time one shows up I get woken up, and end up with less space in my bed (Ella usually ends up on the floor but it's still amazing how much space Abby and Sophia can take up) So last night I shut my bedroom door when I went to bed. Something interesting happened...I didn't have any wanderers in my bed until after 7 a.m.!!! How cool is that? Well if you don't have four kids who disrupt your sleep let me tell you how cool it is...on second thought there aren't words to describe it. I got a solid night sleep! I'm usually up really late but last night I actually fell asleep at about 9 p.m. I did wake up around 9:30 and again a bit later around 11:30 or so...but after that I slept until 7 a.m. straight. I've been burning the candle at both ends so I needed the sleep. Plus I feel like I'm fighting the cold that my girls have lovingly shared with me and goodness knows I don't want to get sick right now...I have plans this weekend!
On another topic...Is anyone else watching survivor this season? The bickering is driving me insane!!! People seriously don't know how to be nice...either that or they are editing in every argument this year!