Wednesday, December 30, 2009

An "I-Know-You-Missed-Me" Post accompanied by a BONUS Eavesdrop

I know, I know, I know.
I've been MIA and totally ignoring my blog.
There are reasons, people. Lots of them. All of which I'll talk about when I'm ready. I feel sometimes like my contributions lately have mostly been the negative or the inspirational or the struggle my brain goes through while trying to ignore my I've been away.
But it's okay. I'm okay. And I will most certainly share when I can put my words together in a way I am comfortable.

I do have a funny little "eavesdrop" for you today. It's been awhile, yes? (Blame Facebook...seriously...cuz they are all over there.)

I received a text from a good friend this morning that said:
"Oh my hell! M just asked me if Beast had his birthday yet. I said no. She said so he's still 112, right mom? LMAO"

(M is her 7 year old AWESOME daughter.)

Needless to say (but I will anyway...why do people use that saying if they are just going to say anyway...? hmmm...) I laughed my ass off too. Then proceeded to forward to Beast. Take that. Hahahahahaha.

Enjoy your day!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

I Heart Faces...Tooshie Style

This may not make much sense to you, but then again, maybe it will. :)
I Heart Faces is a photography blog that I lurk on, but am usually too chicken to enter any of my work in their challenges...well, today is a new day.

Week 47's challenge is "We Heart Tooshies" here is the one I am going to enter.

I love this photo from our Urban shoot in August. I heart my volunteer models (and their patience). :)

Friday, November 6, 2009

This Really Is It

Michael Jackson's "Thriller" was the first record (yes, I said record) I ever owned. And I loved it. It was my first music I owned all to myself as well as the first non-country music I fell in love with (I grew up in a "country music" family, I still enjoy it but my horizons are BROAD). I played that record so much it skipped all over the place.

Beast and I caught a matinee of the long awaited Michael Jackson's This Is It yesterday.

And WOW.

While I was moved, I didn't cry as I expected to(yay me!). It just wasn't like "that". It was a wonderful unintentional documentary of the concert series that never came to be. It was a celebration of his talent, work ethic and love for music and showmanship. The film quoted that the This Is It tour consisted of " unprecedented 50 sold out shows"...the man really was a King.

(Please forgive the crappy photos, as they were taken inconspicuously with my cell phone!)

This Is It is only playing for a limited time in the theater, so if you get a chance, get in there and see it.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Vampire Love

I have read the Twilight saga, I am fully ensconced in the Sookie Stackhouse/Southern Vampire series, and am truly, madly, deeply in love with Showtime's TrueBlood series.

(P.S. I read the books WAY before the show was in production talks, I will have you know.)

And while I won't jump on my sturdy soapbox for my love or hate for any of the aforementioned entertainment, I did want to share with you the vampires I am, and will always be, enamored with.
I am positive you will love them too (if you don't already!).

*Someone found a victim...

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

No Dice

I didn't make it to the top 10 this month, but will keep trying. :)
You should still go here and vote for one of the finalists.
Good luck choosing just one, as there are so many talented folks out there!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Greeplepix Photo Contest

I have not previously been a huge fan of intentionally putting my "talent" out there for anonymous criticism. But in my efforts to allow myself to be vulnerable, and to build my self esteem, I have entered the following photo in the Greeblepix Contest (over at Greeblemonkey) for the month of October.

This month has no theme so I allowed Beast to assist me in the selection. He loves this picture of the girl. It's not the best technical example of my talent and skill but I love it as well, even with its imperfections -- maybe because of them.
So...If I get to the second phase, I'll expect you people to vote for me! :) I'll keep you posted...

Monday, October 19, 2009

Today's Totally Relevant Affirmations

I am not dedicated to reading my recovery books daily. This is something I want to improve on, among so many other things. So, today, in an effort to start again RIGHT NOW, I picked them both up. The affirmations in these books don't always apply to me on the day that I read them, and sometimes they are completely out of left field. Then, there are days like today. Where they are 100% at the right time.

From "The Language of Letting Go":

Our Good Points
What's a codependent? The answer's easy. They're some of the most loving, caring people I know. Excerpt from "Beyond Codependency"

We don't need to limit an inventory of ourselves to the negatives. Focusing only on what's wrong is a core issue in our codependency.
Honestly, fearlessly, ask: "Whats right with me? What are my good points?"
"Am I a loving, caring, nurturing person?" We may have neglected to love ourselves in the process of caring for others, but nurturing is an asset.
"Is there something I do particularly well?" "Do I have a strong faith?" "Am I good at being there for others?" "A I good as part of a team, or as a leader?" "Do I have a way with words or with emotions?"
"Do I have a sense of humor?" "Do I brighten people up?" "Am I good at comforting others?" "Do I have an ability to make something good out of barely nothing at all?" "Do I see the best in people?"
These are character assets. We may have gone to an extreme with these, but that's okay. We are now on our way to finding balance.
Recovery is not about eliminating our personality. Recovery aims at changing, accepting, working around, or transforming our negatives, and building on our positives. We all have assets; we only need to focus on them, empower them, and draw them out in ourselves.
Codependents are some of the most loving, caring people around. Now, we're learning to give some of that concern and nurturing to ourselves.

Today, I will focus on what's right about me. I will give myself some of the caring I've extended to the world.

So, what surprised me what how many of these questions I was harsh with myself when answering. I will give myself permission to be completely honest with myself...

From "In This Moment, Daily Meditation"

In this moment, I relax.
In many meetings I have attended, the topic has been fear. Before I went to CoDA, fear meant "Forget Everything and Run". In recovery, it's changed to "Face Everything and Recover". I know when fear comes up, I have a choice. I can react or I can act. These days, I choose to act. I acknowledge the fear, practice positive self-talk, write about it and share with my sponsor. Then I let it go and I relax.

Relaxation...writing...sponsor...Things to ponder...

Monday, October 12, 2009

Acknowledging My Part in all of this...

Lately I am finding myself taking stock.
Taking stock in my life, the ways I have lived it and the ways I am changing.
Taking stock of my relationships.
Taking stock in the decisions I have made and will make in the future.

For the last several weeks in CoDA, my focus has been on readings and discussions regarding healthy relationships, fault, blame and shame (among other things), and I have had a million thoughts streaming through my head at a rate that is mind numbing, and leaves me wondering where to even start. So, that being said, I'll just jump in feet first.

A series of events over the last several weeks have resulted in me finding myself in a situation that I have had to take a giant leap back from and really do some soul searching. I have some issues (for lack of a better word) with a friendship that have caused me to really analyze the relationship (over the last six months or so especially). In doing so, I have begun to notice the unhealthy aspects of this friendship, as well as the patterns that I repeat. These acknowledgments have led me to a place where I am taking stock in my part of the negativity. I realize that I play a part in my unhealthy relationships, and I am becoming aware that I am allowed to change them to suit my needs without feeling selfish. I am becoming more willing to allow it to end. Accepting the fact that I am allowed to let go of friendships that served me once, but no longer hold the same place in my life as they once did, is difficult. Through my reading and step work, I am beginning to accept that there is no room for "blame" in the ending of a relationship, but at the same time, I have to let go of the fact that I think I can "make it work", change people, or have control over their actions. I don't have to like or approve of what someone does, the way they live their life, their constant need to be the victim, their narcissistic tendencies, or their general outlook on life. I no longer feel the need to point their "faults" out to them...This is not the person I like to think I am, nor is it the person I want to be.

I am discovering that this relationship brings out the worst in me. When I can learn how to let an incident go, notice my triggers, back off, and/or become uninvolved, I feel so much better! The simple fact remains, that I do not have control over others. I never did. And I don't need to. It's not my responsibility to "fix" other people. Just as it's not my responsibility to "fix" every unpleasant situation.

It's true that I grew up feeling like it was my job to "fix" the unpleasantness, or that it was somehow my fault.
Mommy and Daddy are fighting because I had an opinion.
Daddy left because I wasn't good enough.
Mommy is angry because I wasn't perfect.

These are the things I told myself. And I was never corrected. Now, I am learning that I am the only one who can correct these thoughts and behaviors. I am learning that not all unpleasant situations are my fault. I don't always have to feel like I am wrong, nor do I have to concede to the other person to keep the peace. I don't have to feel bullied or anxious over someone else's anger, rejection or acceptance of me. I am not in control of their reactions.

It all sounds great "on paper" though, doesn't it? It sounds easy. It's not. I won't lie to you. I am struggling with this every damn day. But in working this program, I am getting stronger. I am becoming more aware of the situation. I am becoming able to recognize when I have been triggered: I recognize the sarcasm and condescension right away...and I don't like that girl. So, that girl is going to go away...bit by bit. I am not perfect, by any means...and this is going to be a long road, but as they say in the program "progress, not perfection", if I can just accept that wholly...

Another day...

Friday, September 18, 2009

Local Flava!

We have lived in Mukilteo for about six years now. Last year was the first time we even HEARD of the Lighthouse Festival. This year we made sure to go. The whole family had a GREAT time. We walked around the vendor fair for a bit, got some yummy festival food then settled in on the beach to await the fireworks show.

While the Boy has no problem with water of ANY temperature, the Girl wasn't a huge fan of the Puget Sound temperature. The Boy ran in and out of the water until his parents could watch him shiver no more, while the Girl stood pointing and laughing about how cute it all was (her words, not mine, though - there was a large amount of "cute").

The Boy and Beast hung out on the beach while the Girl and I got to witness just what all the Mukilteo high schoolers come to the festival for: karaoke. We laughed and enjoyed and danced around to the horribleness music of the group singers and clapped and whooped with everyone else to the wonderful Whitney Houston impersonator ("Dance with Somebody", anyone? She was GREAT!) who we could not believe was only in high school.

When I took the Boy for a walk to go buy mini-donuts health food just before the fireworks started (and let me just tell you...we got NONE. The trailer lost power. boooo!) a train went by and we missed the first big BOOM because there was no way we were walking away from the view of the train with all my body parts. He practically ripped my arm off when he dug his heels in with excitement. I let him stay and watch for two reasons. 1. The excitement was just SO ADORABLE. and 2. I totally felt bad when he looked up at me about a half hour before, crossed his arms over his chest, harrumphed, and said to me "Mommy. YOU forgot the shmarshmallows". (The last time he was at the beach for fireworks was on 4th of July with s'mores and really? I can understand the confusion here. That's what we get for setting the expectation, right?? Heh.)

Then we watched all the wonderful fireworks. While the Girl, Beast and I loved it...the Boy was a bit scared still, though he handled it like a pro. What a great way to end the night. I love our little community and can't wait for next year.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

And Sometimes She Surprises Me

The Girl started Middle School last week. In all her excitement she forgot to be a little girl. Or was it that we were forced to admit she wasn't one anymore? The lines are blurred (by tears?).

We did the requisite back to school shopping, well in advance this year I might add, for clothes and all the new supplies she needed. She was more than willing to recycle as many of last year's supplies as possible, with the hope that she would be able to get a new messenger style book bag, which we surprised her with a few days into the new school year.

Just 3 months ago she was in fifth grade at Elementary School, a big fish in a little pond. Now, in Middle School she is a small fish in an ocean and she is most certainly keeping her outgoing head above water. She has made so many new friends as well as kept the relationships she has navigated over the last 6 years in school. She was sad to see some of her closest friends move on to other Middle Schools but excited to meet up with girls she has played sports with but never shared a classroom. It is amazing to see this transition take place and realize that she is adjusting all on her own.

Just 2 months ago we tucked her in bed every night, Beast and me. Somewhere during this short, hot summer that ritual has gone away and she just comes to give us a kiss and hug and tell us goodnight. This transition, as so many others, happened organically and I didn't even realize it until she had put herself to bed for several consecutive nights. This is a natural progression, I suppose, but tonight she surprised me by asking me to do what we call "snug as a bug in a rug". This is something that I have done with her since she was a toddler; it always helped her to settle down and go to sleep on those harried nights where nothing else would ease the restlessness of her little body. It involves her laying on her back, blankets pulled up to her neck and me (or Beast - sometimes I can share these moments that once only belonged to me) tucking them in around her body reciting "SNUG as a BUG in a RUG" then gently swatting her on her side/backside while saying "hooah". I was only TOO happy to do this tonight, as it made my heart swell with the knowledge that sometimes she is still my little girl.

Time is flying by and all I can do is hope that we are giving her the wings she needs to fly and the strength, courage and knowledge to be able to spread them wide and take off in the right direction - whichever direction that may be. I am learning to let go...a little at a time.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Guidance and Direction

Since I have been so confused and filled with turmoil today I turned to my toolbox. In that toolbox next to my journal my eyes settled on The Language of Letting Go by Melodie Beattie.
Yes, again.
Too often I put aside my feeling of needing "help" and ignore the tools that are staring me point blank in the face.
Today was different.
Today I went in pursuit of the help that I know is there waiting for me to be ready to turn toward it.

Here is what I found:

Finding Direction
I used to spend so much time reacting and responding to everyone else that my life had no direction. Other people's lives, problems and wants set the course for my life. Once I realized it was okay for me to think about and identify what I wanted, remarkable things began to take place in my life. ~Anonymous

We each have a life to live, one that has purpose and meaning. We can help our Higher Power give direction and purpose to our life by setting goals.
We can set goals annually, monthly or daily in times of crisis. Goals create direction and pace; goals help us achieve a manageable life that is directed in the course we choose for ourselves.
We can help give our lives direction by setting goals.

Today, I will pay attention to setting a course of action for my life, rather than letting others control my life and affairs.

Today, I take solace in these words. Am I fully on board with the Higher Power aspect of it? Not yet. But I am getting there. The rest, makes sense to me. Admittance of this past pattern is the first step, right? Well, I guess for me this is part of the first step. I plan to have happiness in my life, I plan to make choices for my betterment and not necessarily to think about others' needs before mine. I am just as important as everyone else. No more, no less. Today, I am grateful for this guidance and direction. And for my ever dependable toolbox.

Friday Overheard

(Again, I don't think it counts as an "overheard" if I am part of the conversation; for lack of a better word, we are going with "overheard". Deal with it.)

The Boy (yelling from the bathroom): Mo-ommy, come he-ere. (cute because he dragged on the syllables. I really should have known this was not a good sign.)

So, because I am still vying for that Mom of the Year award, I walk to the bathroom.
I get to the doorway and find him standing on his stool, facing away from the toilet toward the door, one hand on his hip, the other pointing proudly at his junk.

The Boy: Mo-omy, my peepee is BI-IG.
Me: Oh, yeah. Okay, buddy. Pull up your pants. (I was caught quite by surprise, and a little embarrassed.)

What does the boy do? Couldn't be 'listen to his mommy'. No, that would be too easy.
He takes two fingers pushes in his junk and moves his hand in a circular motion while pushing it in. With a huge smile on his face. While I stare on in horror.

So, I decide, I'll just walk away and he'll stop because he no longer has an audience, right? Wrong. As I walk away from the bathroom, completely mortified at this point because this is SO not my department, what do I hear?

The Boy: Mo-ommy, it's little again.

Awesome. UGH.

Of course, when I sent Beast this little exchange via text message, I got no sympathy. I received the following: "That is freaking awesome...I am crying I am laughing so hard right now."

Want to know what the text message said back to him? Two words. The second one was "you". I'm sure you can use your imagination from there.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Love Thursday, Opposite Style

I parked my car today and looked up.

And saw this:

Do you know what that is??

No? Here, try to see beyond the beautiful blue sky and puffy white clouds...take another look:

There are rust and pumpkin and goldenrod leaves hidden amongst the green and blue and white.

That, my friends, is the first sign of Fall here in my neck of the woods.

Twilight is upon us earlier and earlier, which always takes me by surprise. School started this week (post about that later, when I can wrap my head around it all), but this? This, I wasn't ready for. I don't know why...I just wasn't. I'm not prepared. I have enjoyed this summer with the Girl and the Boy - unemployment is bittersweet - and while I love Fall in the Pacific Northwest and all the wonderful beauty it brings to our landscape, it holds the tale-tell signs that Winter is lurking around the corner. Me? Not a fan of Winter. Why? It's simple really: I hate snow. Snow brings cold. Not a fan of being cold, therefore not a fan of Winter. Must I repeat myself? Heh.

Watch out for the signs of Fall coming at you in full regalia. They are everywhere. I know I'll find the beauty and truly enjoy it once it has settled in, but for now, I am fighting tooth and nail (accompanied by a little pouting) to enjoy the limited days of Summer we have left. I'm not ready to let go of Summer. Enjoy it with me, everyone.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Love Thursday, Sitter Style

Webster's Dictionary defines babysitter as "someone who cares for children usually during a short absence of the parents; to care for".

Sorry, Webster, I think you were more than a little slacking in that definition. No where did I read words even remotely close to "divine", "trustworthy", "awesome", "life saver", "wonderful", "friend", "confidant", "mom substitute", "aunt-like", "deeply loved" (the list goes on).

There is this girl. Well, woman really-I mean, she is a wife and soon-to-be mommy. We have been so lucky to have her in our lives. We can leave our kids with her and truly not worry about them (or her). We can trust that bedtimes will be met, without forgetting pajamas, teeth brushed and faces washed. We know she is the Girl's confidant, and thank god for that, but we also know that if there is something we need to know, she will tell us without hesitation (and always on the sly). The kids can expect to have a good time, whether that means the neighborhood park for 15 minutes, painting at the kitchen table, going to the sprinkler park or even the local lake. We know that we don't have to worry that our children aren't being guarded by a pit bull, because they are. She would never let anything happen to them. And for that? We are most thankful.

To watch her evolve into this wonderful wife and mom that we know she will be is bittersweet. We worry that the day will come (and it will, without a doubt) when she is no longer available to us. While we know that she loves our children like her own, it's different once you actually have your own. I just hope that we will still be blessed with her presence from time-to-time.
So Sitter-Friend: in case we don't say it enough, we love you and appreciate you. Thank you for being so wonderful to our family.

Here are a few pictures of their latest outing:

And proof that she was actually there:

*I take no credit for the photos, just the editing! (See! She is so great she even takes photos while they are out AND emails them to me!)

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Interesting Tuesday

Unemployment has allowed me the opportunity to spend special time with the Girl and the Boy, sometimes one-on-one, but usually together. We have been taking advantage of the free movies shown at the local cinema. Usually, this is an uneventful excursion. The Boy sits and watches the movies like a well behaved little dude, the Girl tolerates the G movies (and I think she secretly enjoys them).
Which brings me to today. Today was

We arrived today to see Space Chimps a tad early, as usual (we like to sit in the railing row to avoid evil looks from the people in front of us when the Boy kicks their seat -- my apologies if this has ever been you. About ten minutes after we got there, the Girl pointed out (in her not to subtle way) some footwear on a woman walking directly in front of us. At first I wasn't quite sure what she was pointing and gesturing maniacally at, as all I saw were toes sticking out from her high water mom jeans. Now, don't get me wrong, I people watch and bag on fashion disasters with the best of them, but this? This took the frickin' cake! Since I couldn't subtly take a photo (I do have standards) in the dimly lit theater, here is a photo I was able to borrow online.

WHAT? What the hell? Like I said, at first I saw just feet, then I thought I saw toe socks due to what I thought was tie dye - which would be bad enough. Then I thought, where in the hell did this woman find TOE CROCs? That's what they looked like you guys. No! It was shoes I was looking at, and I use that term loosely. I know this because when she sat NEXT TO ME, I got to see them up close and personal. Hers were tie dyed. No. Really.

If that wasn't bad enough, here is the second odd occurrence at the theater. First, let me say for the record, that as a mom, I realize that not everything my kids do is as cute to others as it is to me. I am fine with this, truly.

I promise.

So, that being said, the Boy, who if you will remember is three years old and ADORABLE and FUNNY, is in this phase where he is obsessed with running around with a makeshift cape saying "dun da dun, super Boy" (I really don't know how to type out the Superman heroic sound effect, ok?). On the way to the bathroom prior to the start of the movie, he was saying this with his arms out behind him, sans cape of course - we are in public after all - walking behind a fortyish woman. As we cross the threshold of the bathroom door, the Boy says "I'm super Boy! dun da dun! I rescue that girl!" and points at this woman. I, of course, thought this was quite endearing and hilarious. She however, did not. She turned to him and said, "who me?" He said, "yeah you!" all excited-like. She then says, and this is the over-the-top, unbelievably-rude part, "no, I'll rescue myself" and shuts the bathroom door!

Can you picture it, people?? The Boy looks up at me like "the hell?"

We proceeded to use the restroom while Mommy said things aloud like "it's ok, buddy you are my hero" and "some people just don't have a sense of humor" and "wow. relax".

She of course, was silent.

Happy Tuesday to you too, lady! I hope you enjoyed your FREE G rated KIDS movie...I hope your seat got kicked. A lot.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Here is Where I Start. For Real.

I have found myself doing a lot of soul searching lately. This blog is taking a different voice this time around, so bear with me...or step out now. It's time; I think, to take a different approach...honest and vulnerable. Here is where I get to be incredibly honest with everyone (the like 3 of you out there...), if not for everyone else, then for myself. After all, its my freakin' blog, right? I suppose that means I can say whatever I feel I need to here. I just go into it hoping that my dear internets will be gentle with me. I am not looking for a boost or sympathy, but like mama always said (well, not MY mother, but someone's mother, I'm sure) if you don't have something nice to say, don't say anything at all.
And a special note for my Beast: there are things in this blog I have not been able to say aloud, sometimes its just not that simple; some of these things have just occurred to me, and I need to get them down while I have the courage. I love you.

I am not good at vulnerability; I have discovered it is a learned trait for me, not something that is inherently built in to my personality. Vulnerability is really becoming this repetitive thing in my life. I am uncomfortable being vulnerable. I used to feel it was a weakness, recently I am really discovering how much strength it takes to not be intimidated and to be vulnerable in every aspect of life.

The easiest aspect to talk about is my "hobby", but also my passion. I am looking at being vulnerable in putting myself out there as a professional photographer. I am afraid and intimidated by the criticism I have convinced myself I will receive. However, I think that the time is coming to "shit or get off the pot", as mama would say. I am just very unsure of where to start. I have not been as diligent as I can be in getting this business off the ground. The last couple weeks, and the last couple days in particular, have shown me just how much I want this to become a profession and not just a hobby. I don't want to just be 'that girl who takes pretty pictures', I want to be 'that photographer who is amazing'. Only I can make that happen, and I think it's about time I do. Watch out world...right?

Wow, this next one is a bit harder.
For those who don't know me well, or that I have felt I couldn't say this to: I am dealing with a lot of emotional baggage. I believe all this baggage has led to depression. No, I am not getting medical attention for it...yet. I am dealing with it with therapy and a 12 step program. The good news? It's working. The bad news? It requires a fucking lot of honesty, commitment, hard work and (ugh! there's that word again!) vulnerability. If you aren't sure how I feel about that, start over at the top of this blog. Ha!
Phew, it feels good to get that out "officially".

The last couple weeks have really held some important milestones in my life. I celebrated my one year in therapy. I also celebrated my first CoDA Birthday. If you are thinking "WTF is CoDA", go to, it's too much to explain it here, in this blog entry that is probably too long already (maybe next time). Are you still reading?? Good.

Beast and I celebrated our fourth wedding anniversary as well as our "together" anniversary. (What do you call that one, by the way? "Together" sounds me out here...or don't. Whateves.) I had been really tense the few weeks prior to our anniversary. I had nightmares; horrible, tear inducing nightmares. I had crying jags and deep, deep depression followed with a ton of insomnia that caused me to be distant, bitchy, emotional - among other things. So, I started to force myself to think. Think about why; delve into that deep dark well of hurt in my head and figure out what the fuck was wrong with me.

Then I hit a brick wall.
It finally hit me in a moment of clarity that for the last four years I have been waiting. Waiting for something awful to happen. Waiting for Beast to be sick of me. Waiting to fail. Let me explain, as I'm leery that I may have lost you there for a moment. I was married before Beast. I was young, I thought I was doing the right thing, I was very unhappy. That marriage lasted just under four years. So, you see, this anniversary meant something to me subconsciously. I didn't realize it, but I was looking forward to that day. I was looking forward to proving I could do it, that I wasn't a failure, that I can be a good wife, mother, etc. And somehow, I convinced my subconscious that making it to this four year milestone was the way to do just that. It would prove I wasn't a failure, that I was 'fixed', that I can be "lovable and loving and loved". When Beast and I were arguing the day before, I got petrified. My imagination ran away with me, those terrible voices in my head had a FIELD DAY with my emotions, hence the mind numbing nightmares. I realize and know that it is unfair to me, to Beast, to US to compare the two. I am not the same girl I was back then, he's not him. And while I know all this, I still feel like I have something to prove. So, there that is...I don't really know what else to say about all of that right now, but there you have it, me in all my honesty and vulnerability.

What else is left to say right now, except...thank you for listening...? (and I am really afraid to hit "publish post"...but if I don't, what is the point?) Here I go.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Here's to the Next 60 Years

There was this day four years ago, that started with nerves and excitement, continued with laughter, promises and fun and ended with friends, family, love and magic. Here are some shots from that day that sometimes seem so long ago and other times feels like yesterday. I won't lie and say its all been sunshine, roses and easy street - it has been work that is worth every bit of growth, sweat and tears we have put into it. In my heart I look forward to the next sixty. I wonder if they will fly by just as quickly.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Love Thursday, Naturally

The kids found this little guy in the pool in our backyard. The Girl was so stoked that there was a heart on his head, and was sure to point it out to me right away. She asked me to share it here with you for Love Thursday. Enjoy.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Tuesday Eavesdropping Short aka the Post I Wish had Video

The following conversation happened right next to me after hearing the pitter patter of bare summer little boy feet on the kitchen linoleum.
Boy: Daddy, I want cookie.
Daddy: No cookies right now.
Boy (sounding VERY pathetic): but my tummy wants it.
*Daddy and Mommy laughed at how cute that was, caved and the Boy WON (of course he did) and was rewarded with a very small frosted animal cookie.

Five seconds later, pitter patter of bare summer feet on the kitchen linoleum coming right for us.
Boy: Daddy? My tummy needs 'nother one cookie.
Daddy: No buddy. You have crackers and cheese on the table, eat those.
Boy: Daddy, my tummy neeeeeds it.
Daddy: Ask your tummy if it will eat cheese and crackers.
Boy: no, you ask my tummy.
*The Boy then lifts his shirt, and gestures to his waiting belly button. Daddy complies.
Daddy: Yup, your tummy wants them.
Boy (not convinced): No, Daddy. It doesn't.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Love Thursday

Today, I am working on learning how to love myself.
And not only on Thursdays.

I would *love* to find within me the ability, strength and courage to be happy with myself, confident in my decisions, proud of my progress and content with my image.

Today, I am thankful for the mental clarity to realize that all of these things are solely up to me to convert them into a reality instead of a burning desire. I think I am almost ready.

...almost ready to learn to love myself.

Wordless Wednesday: Bun in the Oven Style

Friday, July 10, 2009

Letting Go (July 7th Edition)

I have shared excerpts from a daily meditation book here before. I don't make a habit of it as I don't feel I need to shove what works for me down everyone's throats.
That said, the entry from a few days ago was so profound, perfectly timed and needed for me at the time that I haven't been able to get it out of my head. Maybe if I share it here, with you, I will be able to accept it a little more...

Getting it all Out
Let yourself have a good gripe session ~ Women, Sex and Addiction, Charlotte Davis Kasl, Ph.D.

Get it out. Go ahead. Get it all out. Once we begin recovery, we may feel like it's not okay to gripe and complain. We may tell ourselves that if we were really working a good program, we wouldn't need to complain.

What does that mean? We won't have feelings? We won't feel overwhelmed? We won't need to blow off steam or work through some not-so-pleasant, not-so-perfect, and not-so-pretty parts of life?

We can let ourselves get our feelings out, take risks, and be vulnerable with others. We don't have to be all put together, all the time. That sounds more like codependency than recovery.
Getting it all out doesn't mean we need to be victims. It doesn't mean we need to revel in our misery, finding status in our martyrdom. It doesn't mean we won't go on to set boundaries. It doesn't mean we won't take care of ourselves.

Sometimes, getting it all out is an essential part of taking care of ourselves. We reach a point of surrender so we can move forward.

Self-disclosure does not mean only quietly reporting our feelings. It means we occasionally take the risk to share our human side - the side with fears, sadness, hurt, rage, unreasonable anger, weariness or lack of faith.

We can let our humanity show. In the process, we give others permission to be human too. "Together" people have their not-so-together moments. Sometimes, falling apart - getting it all out - is how we get put back together.

Today, I will let it all out if I need a release.

~~~The Language of Letting Go, Melodie Beattie

So, there you have it. Now, maybe I can get some peace. I will continue to work hard to not feel bad when I do vent; to accept that my friends are accepting, that when they say it's okay for me to vent, I hope to someday not still feel the need to say "I'm sorry".

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Confessions of an Embarrassed Woman aka The Post that Makes You Say "Blugh"

I discovered something on our camping trip over the holiday. I learned a lesson about thinking before acting. I discovered what...well, let me back up and tell this story in order.

Beast and I decided we would play a game of cards by lantern and campfire light before going to bed. We spent the day on Long Beach with the kids playing in the sand, flying kites, making s'mores and watching amazing fireworks. I sat on the bench and when I moved I felt my pants stick, like I had sat in something sticky. So I stood, touched the back of my pants to figure out what it was and sure enough, there was about a 1/4 inch of something sticky on my pants. I assumed it was residual candy from the Boy having sat in that vicinity earlier in the day enjoying his parade loot.

So I smelled my fingers. Nothing.

Then, since we didn't have running water, I made the big mistake of licking my finger.
I think I was tired.
I think I may have been delirious.
I think I may have just not been thinking.
Really? Was this the best way to clean my hand?
Probably not.

A few minutes later, before sitting back down in anything that might still remain on the seat, I used the lantern to inspect the bench.
This is the moment I realized things had gone horribly wrong.
The ONLY thing on that bench was what looked like bird poop. Yes, bird poop. So, I turned to the Beast and asked if what was on my pants was white.
His only response was hysterical, blinding, pee-inducing laughter.
It was the only answer I needed to make me realize all the other options I had other than LICKING. THE. BIRD. SHIT. OFF. MY. FINGERS.

For the record, bird poop tastes like nothing. Not in the nothing-you-have-ever-tasted-before sense, truly, it tasted like nothing. But still, I was, and still am, incredibly skeeved out.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Ode to Bedtime Excuses

Reason for getting out of bed #1: "Mommy, I have to go pee-pee."

*Of course, I let him...but I am onto him. And really, how do you tell him no when you tell him all day long not to go in his big boy underwear? He knows we can't. One point for the little guy.

Reason for getting out of bed #2: "Mommy, I need sip yo water."

*Cliche as it is, he was so groggy and I heard him whimpering to himself over the baby monitor (yes, I am paranoid and still use the monitor--that kid is sneaky) for a couple minutes before he ventured out the the door, so suffice it to say, I was bewitched and allowed the requested sip of my water. Another point for the little guy.

Reason for getting out of bed #3: "Mommy, I need my Nemo pillow."

*The Nemo pillow referenced above is a Finding Nemo bed accent pillow that he has an on-again/off-again relationship with. I let him have the pillow, arranged it for him and tucked him in bed again. Add a point for the little guy.

Reason for getting out of bed #4: "Mommy, I need to tell you I love you."

*I have no words for this one. Definite point for the little guy on this one. Hell, give him two.

So far, its 5 points Boy, 0 points Mommy.

Bonus: the "cute" factor is off the charts.

So I think we just get to call it a draw.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Love Thursday

Memorial Day weekend we returned home from camping and took the kids down to our local beach. As we were walking, I noticed a heart shape made of shells and the two lovely ladies sitting just beyond it. They were gracious enough to allow me to take a photo of the shells as well as of them. I was in such a rush to keep up with my family (who didn't realize I had stopped) that I just snapped the photos quickly and moved on. It wasn't until I got home and uploaded the pictures that I realized what was inside the heart. In that moment, I wish I had taken the time to pause and chat with them, I am intrigued by this photo, and wish I had taken the opportunity to find out their story. I love that they shared their "love" with me - and now you.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Super Hero Photo Challenge

I am popping my Super Hero Photo Challenge cherry. Shutter Sisters hosts this challenge on a regular basis and I have yet to participate. I snapped the picture below at the lake about a couple weeks ago and it is perfect for this challenge.

Visit to see the rest of the entries and to read more about this challenge. I would love to see yours so feel free to leave the link in your comments here as well.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Love Thursday

When Love Starts here

And Expands Here:

Envelopes Here:

And Uplifts Here:

I am Happy and Honored to have been Here:

Miss Laryssa Ann, born June 18th, 2009 at 6:38am ~ weight: 8lbs, 6oz ~ length: 20in.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Multiple Uses, Apparently

Picture this little conversation with the Boy:

Boy (excitedly pointing at the wall in the living room): Woook! (3 year old for 'look') What's that???
Me (pretty disinterested): a bug
Boy (getting more and more excited): No! Its a spider.
Me (still not that interested - it was pretty far away): oh.
Boy (approaching manic): GET IT!!!!
Me: I can't reach it.
*Which was a total lie. I was just too lazy to get my bum up off the couch to get it at that very moment.
Boy (a light bulb suddenly appearing above his head): I help you.
*And then he disappeared down the hall toward the bathroom. I turned to the Girl and we conspired that he was going to get his potty stool for me to reach the spider. To our surprise he walked out of the bathroom with the plunger. To which the Girl broke into hysterical laughter, all the while explaining that is what the Beast used to get a spider out of his reach recently.


And now I know that plungers can be used for more things than merely making the poop go down the toilet on a bad day.

Good to know, right?

You're welcome.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Ode to Neosporin

Let me just go on the record before I tell this story, that in no way have I EVER alluded to the following actions as a "good idea".

I got home late one night (and by 'late' I mean, the kids were already in bed) a couple weeks ago and Beast informed me that the Girl had a horrendous case of chapped lips. He proceeded to tell me that between the two of them they couldn't find a single stick of Chapstick in the house (unbelievable!)

He tells me, there is no need for me to worry...he had it all under control. When I asked how, he informed me that he had her put Neosporin ON. HER. LIPS. (yes, that deserved caps!)

It seems the absolutely horrified, disbelieving look on my face accompanied by the AWE AND AMAZEMENT that this could actually have happened, followed by the suggestion that maybe Vaseline would have been a much better idea, followed by the WHAT ARE YOU KIDDING ME THAT SHIT IS POISONOUS spewing from my dropped jaw, was sufficient enough to get him off the couch and into a full-on sprint up the stairs to have her wipe it off.

And THEN? The whole scenario gets ridiculous.

He comes back downstairs laughing hysterically, holding his ribs from all the hysterical laughing...and informs me that when he went in her room, warm washcloth in hand, and attempted to wake her to wipe it off -- she licked her lips, looked up at him and groggily said "huh?" At which point, he figured the damage had already been done, came back down the stairs and made me almost wet myself from all the hysterical laughing.

Now, rewind to about two weeks before this when I cleaned out the medicine cabinet and discovered that we are now OUT of most things, Neosporin being one of them. So, while he was upstairs preparing for the hysterical laughter after attempting to have her wipe it OFF HER LIPS, I was downstairs thinking things along of the lines of "hmm...wonder where he got the Neopsorin".

Then? He gave me the tube of Neosporin.
That says "if ingested call poison control immediately".
That expired in October.
Of 2007.

More disbelieving laughter ensued. From both of the best parents IN. THE. WORLD.
Followed by threats of him finding his story here.

I am thinking this post should have been titled: "Neopsorin is NOT a Substitute for Chapstick".

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Happy Number 3, Buddy!

This will be a shorter post than we are used to...textly speaking, anyway.
My heart is full and words escape me...
So, instead, I will share with you some (unedited) photos from the Boy's last day as a Two Year Old.

(Does that mean that the Terrible Twos are over too? Please...)

**This is what it looks like when a very excitable two year old realizes mommy holds all the power. The power of the quesadilla!**
**I am really not as devilish as I look here...Or maybe I am.**
**Just when he mastered the Two Finger answer to the "How old are you?" question from strangers, he goes and turns THREE.***

**No matter hold old I am, I'll always love my sissy!**

Happy Birthday, Buddy. Mommy loves you and I am scared excited to see what an experience your third year will be.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Lesson Learned

I really ought to know better.

I should have seen it coming.

Introducing The Boy to PBR Rodeo on Versus Network during bedtime "quiet time" will not result in him being calm. It will, however, result in him yelling at the television. Yelling things like "go, cowboy, go" and "yeah, yeah, yeah" and "get it, get it, get it". All of which were followed by a resounding "FALL DOWN!!!" and a reenactment consisting of him jumping around on all fours and falling over. And he did NOT last the entire 8 seconds.

Upstaging this cuteness...the five times we had to return him to his bed, all the while convincing him he is not a cowboy...or a bull.

Lesson Learned.

**Yes, I realize this is a short post, and generally speaking, I usually feel this sort of thing should be short, sweet and left as a Facebook status update or a Tweet...but alas, it's been awhile since I showed my blog some love and well, frankly my dear, I just don't give a damn.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Wishing and Hoping

So often lately, I find myself with this thought: "I wish I could attach a little video camera to my kids".

I remember when they were babies, they would do something I thought was amazingly noteworthy and I would think "Oh, isn't that cute!?! I have to tell so-and-so." The problem lied in the re-telling. Replaying the event or little moment verbally never seemed to do it justice--it just wasn't the same as when you were there.

Whether it was the way the Girl would talk to her imaginary dog friend, locking it in the bathroom, telling it she'd be "wight back" or if it was the Boy, laying on his back laughing at American Idol doing frog kicks, going nowhere fast. These images are ingrained in my memory, but I am also sadly aware of all the moments that I have already forgotten, thinking at the time that there was no way they could ever do something cuter or greater than the moment they had just awed me with.

This Easter these thoughts blazed through my head and heart as I watched the way the Girl, all of 11 years old, came down the stairs and gasped when she glimpsed her Easter basket resting up against the new lamb from Build-a-Bear. That wish was there when the Boy just kept breathlessly saying "wow", for the first time in that context, every time he saw something else that just seemed so GREAT. I wonder if I will remember the way he really "got" Easter this year. I wonder how much longer the Girl will "believe".

It saddens me to imagine that some day, these memories may, like so many others, disappear from the recesses of my overloaded brain. In an attempt to postpone that as long as possible, I intend to grab every one of these magnificently breathtaking moments and envelope them in a massive Mama Bear Hug and hold tight hoping with all my heart that they don't wriggle free.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Can I get a "What, what?"

I know...very random.
I am just so excited!!!
Brand spanking new spring green Dell Fabulous Laptop arrived via FedEx today. I am on it now. This very moment.
How. Wonderful.
And freeing! Wow.

Now if I could just get used to all the fancy schmancy buttons, gadgets and lack of a mouse...

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

And Tying for Coolest. Thing. Ever.

Recently my good friend, Erin, and I were graced with the presence of Heather B. Armstrong aka Dooce. (Imagine the name "Dooce" at a booming decibel not unlike the the Great Wizard of Oz: "DDDOOOOCCCEEE!" And then maybe you can understand just how big of a deal this was!) She is on a book tour for her newest release It Sucked and then I Cried, How I had a Baby, a Breakdown and a Much Needed Margarita. (Seriously, does it get better than that??? I think NOT.)

She was more fabulous in person than I could ever have imagined--and believe me I had imagined what it would be like. Not in that stalker kind of way, but I was becoming borderline. And when the moment came and I got to actually meet her, words failed me. I was stuttering along with the best of them and the best I could come up with was "you made me laugh so hard my face hurts!" Which was the most honest thing I could come up with. Bless her heart, she laughed with me. Or maybe it was at me...doesn't really matter.

Between the hairy vagina coin purse she was given as a gift by some freak artist in the audience, the pregnant fan who had her sign her belly, the thorough monologue with her boobs as the topic of discussion and the guy who stood up, said he had never heard of her but his girlfriend is pregnant and she had officially scared the shit out of him, the night was complete. In her defense, she warned him.

I could not have asked for a more perfect Dooce encounter.

That's me, of course, with Dooce herself!!

Erin, who has now popped her Book Signing Cherry. (Yes, that deserved caps. And yes I helped her all I could. *wink*)

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Coolest. Thing. Ever.

Well maybe not THE coolest, but certainly, one of the coolest lately!
That's me! With great hair! Oh and with JODI PICOULT!!! Can you believe it???

I was so excited to meet Jodi Picoult, live and in color this week! I went with a new friend and had a great time! (can't you tell by all the exclamation points, that this wasn't just an ordinary day in the life...?!?)

She did about a twenty minute reading from her new book "Handle with Care" - which you will see on my book list as soon as I start it. I have never been so lucky as to hear an author read their own work. It was inspiring and really brought the story to life.

When it was my turn to be rushed thru the line (thank-you University Bookstore-Mill Creek, you were so prepared for this event - I really hope you read that with sarcasm), get my brand new birthday copy signed (thanks Beast!) and pose for a quick photo (jeez, I'm so cute), Jodi was nothing but sweet to me!

Ah...what a fantastic day!

Be jealous.

Saturday, March 21, 2009


Today is my birthday, and instead of going on about how depressing it is to get older, or how it just feels like another day, I will take a different route. I would like to allow myself to take a moment to acknowledge some of the things I am accomplishing and that I like about me.

Today, I am a more honest me.
Today, I am a more aware me.
Today, I am a more rational me.
Today, I am a more vulnerable me.
Today, I look fear in the face and am not as scared as I once was.
Today, I recognize my strength.
Today, I am learning to love myself.
Today, I am a more real me.
Today, I give myself permission to just be.

Today, I have hope for more days like today.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Searching for Serenity

Grant me the serenity to accept the things I can not change;
Courage to change the things I can
And wisdom to know the difference.

This, in all it's wisdom, is truly my saving grace.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Milestones & Memories

What a week it has been. I realize it is only Tuesday when I am posting this; I am talking about what an interesting ride the last 7 days have been.

The Boy has found his flow. Yes, that flow. He will stand on a stool, lean over the toilet holding onto the uplifted seat and lean in to mark that bowl with all his might. He is becoming a pro! He'll be three May 1st, and I have certainly been feeling the "be a perfect parent" pull toward pushing him a little too hard. I learned that lesson the hard way with The Girl, so we have been more lax with The Boy, convinced that when his time comes, he'll master it on his own. Well, turns out that theory worked. Yay toilet training! Now if we can figure out a way to get him to stop stripping all his clothes off and running around making "psssss" noises while he aims at his disgusted sister...
In other news, The Boy has also learned to put his shoes on himself, put on his pull-up himself, and scare mommy half to death by jumping down THREE stairs onto the landing, precariously tottering toward falling head-over-feet down the remaining 8 or 9 steps. Way to go BOY!

The Girl is certainly not without milestones this week. We had a fun time shopping on Saturday at one of her favorite, albeit rarely visited stores. She received a generous gift card for her birthday and in the three weeks since, that card has not only burned a hole in her pocket the size of Texas, but has incinerated every article of clothing that has dared cross it's path. She made some wise decisions after struggling a bit to shop all on her own, and having a friend and me step in to help her "create". She ended up not only spending that card, but almost all her cash on a gotta-have-it spring skirt that makes her look sweetly young and gracefully grown-up all at the same time.
The Girl is certainly coming into her own.
There is also an instance that I am sure I am not allowed to talk about here, we had a close encounter of the puberty kind this week...more of a discovery really. A permanent one, as the Girl learned very quickly, so I won't. Because I am really hankering for that Mom of the Year Award.
Tonight we had middle school orientation. I am convinced someone has swapped my little girl with a pre-pubescent tween. Middle School? MIDDLE SCHOOL??? We listened to the school staff tell all about the coming curriculum expectations in very exciting long, boring detail. I even allowed her to sit with her friends, instead of forcing her to sit with was hit or miss there for a few minutes, until I realized that her six friends were sitting parentless and I was among the "old people". After the lengthy class, club and athletic program discussion, we got a mini-tour of the school. As we walked down the locker lined halls, memories long suppressed came flooding back. Then, as I shared with her that she was lucky because when I was in middle school we had to share lockers, I realized in that moment just how little she cared about my story and had already moved on in creating hers.

Happy Creating, baby. I am both scared and ecstatic to see what happens next. As is she...

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Eavesdropping: Award Style

Beast and I spent an hour this evening watching The Girl's soccer team receive their award and medals for placing second in their Division this last season. (Way to go girls!!!) Since the season was spent bribing encouraging The Girl to do her best with the promise of ice cream after the game if she scored a goal for her team, I figured Baskin-Robbins was a great way to end a special night. After The Girl ordered her single scoop chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream, in a waffle cone, we got back in the car to take it home.
The only noises coming from the backseat were those of an eleven year old winner enjoying her prize.
Until this...:

"My taste buds are singing." Said almost to herself.

All I could do was laugh. And as I did so she sang "Haaaallll-eluyah!" as the cherry on top.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Doth Mine Eyes Deceive Me?

A Wordless Wednesday and a Love Thursday all in the same week!?!
Yup, that's right. Seeing is believing!
It could be said that I am having a productive week, being all attentive to your needs.
Or...I am feeling guilty about not having given my best effort to my poor blog and bloggy followers (there are a few of you out there I think).
Either way...YOU WIN!

Technically, this is a Love Thursday post.
Technically, I am writing it on Wednesday.
I am not into technicalities, so you'll take it. And you'll like it!

The Beast planned a sweetly romantic outing on Valentine's Day which I tried to ruin because I hate surprises. We had a picnic at a nearby beach park that Beast found by putting his super investigative powers to good use. While we were walking along the beach we happened upon a shelter of sorts. It was apparent to us that teenagers most likely built it, but damn those teenagers are talented! I, of course, go nowhere without a camera (count your blessings) and was lucky enough to take too many a few photos.

Rear view snicker as we stumbled upon this awesome shack:
Full Frontal snicker again:
The requisite 'self timer' photo (we don't have many of us that we both like so YAY!):

It's all in the details:
And a true Love Thursday (Beast now understands why I have sidewalk chalk in my camera bag-he'll never doubt my sanity again):

Love Thursday to all. Give yourself a little love this time around, ok snicker, giggle, snicker?