Monday, July 30, 2012

Sometimes All You Can Do Is Laugh...

Let me tell you about my friend, Annie.  She & I worked together YEARS ago.  She was my supervisor at my very first job...and I haven't seen her since then, but we have reconnected on Facebook.  Turns out we've been living our lives at 6 degrees of separation.

For starters, her husband's dad was our head football coach in high school.  My mom went to high school and was best friends with his (the coach) brother and sister in-law.  Then while FB stalking her, I come across her sister's page and see her last name and some common friends...and I put 2 & 2 together.  Her sister's husband & I grew up the same neighborhood (for fear that my kids will read this...I won't tell you all what kind of bad influences he & his brother were on us), until he moved into their neighborhood, where I guess they subsequently met, fell in love and got married.

Now that you're aware of just how small our not so small world is, I'll explain why I'm writing about her at all.  Annie is a stay at home mom to a 15 month old daughter and a 6 year old son.  She's ALWAYS posting things on her FB that totally make me giggle...but she's just too busy cleaning up diarrhea & scrubbing sharpie off the babies face to find time to actually blog about I generously volunteered.

Following are simply her statuses and comments from FB, that totally made me laugh out loud or maybe cry just a little.  I've just copied, pasted and changed the names.  Enjoy...

November 1, 2011:
These feathers are on the dogs side of the fence. Apparently, this afternoon a hen decided that she was going to squeeze through the fence at the gate to see what was on the other side. Dogs, that's what it is - she quickly found out.

Huck was playing out there and called me to intervene. As I was rushing out, Ruthy on my hip, I heardthe ruckus - dogs playing chicken tug of war, hen crying for help & rooster freaking out the dogs. I called the dogs off and the hen limped over to a corner. The rooster was still yelling at the dogs...I was yelling at them to stay away...the chicken was yelling for someone to come rescue her. Huck was adamantly yelling for me to call 911.

OK, breath...what am I going to do? I have to keep the dogs away from their new toy, keep Ruthy from eating dog poop in the grass, keep Huck from losing it and keep the rooster calm. And, I don't do chicken, so picking the thing up wasn't an option. Since she was hurt & squawking, Huck didn't want to pick her up because he thought he was hurting her more or she was going to die in his arms.

I called my sister, she wasn't too far away.  While I wait on her, I am walking back & forth trying to keep the dogs away, trying to decide if the chicken is dead or just hurt, trying to explain to Huck that ambulances aren't equipped to manage chicken emergencies, balance Ruthy on my hip and keep the rooster from playing tough guy and coming over the fence at the dogs.  We wait....

She gets here and, normally super calm in the face of adrenaline says "So, what do you want me to do?" She takes Ruthy and keeps the dogs away.  Her son says "I am really good with chickens, I can pick her up." He tried...unsuccessfully. So, I kneel down and have a come to Jesus with Huck. "You are going to have to pick up that hen. I can not do it, Huck. I will hold the gate open and walk it towards you. Just pick it up." So, he "gets some manhood" as he says (pretty much the equivalent to 'man up') and goes for it. He picks her up and runs her all the to the rooster at the coop. He saved the day! And maybe the hen, although the verdict is still out on that cause I'm not picking her up to survey the damage - we will have to wait for daddy to get home. The grass is not always greener little hen...

November 5, 2011:
Huckis spending the night with my sister and his cousin tonight.  On the way home, she heard this conversation in the back:
Cousin: "Huck, want me to tell you a brain buster?"
Huck: "Yes, but you know I'm really smart."
Cousin: "There was a cowboy that rode in to town on a Thurs., stayed for 3 days and left on a Thurs. How did he do it?"
Huck: "Whoa, whoa, whoa.  You're telling me that a real cowboy came in to town and you didn't send him to my house!?!?"
Cousin: "No, that's not the answer."

November 6, 2011:
It is totally no normal that the words "Don't let the rooster get in the house." would ever leave my mouth.

November 7, 2011:
About 6:45 this morning Huck gets up & puts on his Mossy Oak camo shirt, matching pants, a camo toboggan and is sitting in a camo camping chair in the middle f the den.  He said he's practicing since he gets to hunting with his dadd this weekend.  He might be a litte excited!!

November 16, 2011:
I had 3 sisters, no brothers...Huck is teaching me what being a boy is all about. (Apparently he was mining for the bottom of a mud puddle)

November 30, 2011:
Huck was doing his word match homework...."Mommy, look - I colored the nose on this reindeer red like Rudolph." Pause. "Yeah, I also gave him bloody antlers; he's been fighting other deer."

January 15, 2012:
Huck is outside helping his dad clean the chicken coop...he has on the singlet that his dad wore when he wrestled The Georgia Games a few years ago, tall camo hunting boots and a gangsta bandana. I so wish he would let me take a picture. (Obviously she got one.)

February 7, 2012:
Annie: "Huck? Do you have any idea how Ruthy got green sharpie on top of her head?"
Huck: "Oh sure. Her bow fell out & I was drawing another one in for her."

February 14, 2012:
Huck: "Can we go get something for Daddy for Valentine's Day?"
Annie: "What do you want to get him?"
Huck: "A chainsaw.  You know today is supposed to be about thing you love and he loves to chainsaw.  And I really love 4-wheelers, so why don't you pick me up one of those too."

April 2, 2012:
Spring Break at our house looks a little different than Panama City...

April 14, 2012:
Yesterday Huck had a rough day at school.  I asked him if something happened or if he knew why it was a bad day.  He said "I was trying really hard but my trying just got tired." I totally know how he feels!

April 30, 2012:
I don't usually wear make-up, today was a rare occassion.  At one point, Huck looked at me closely and said "Mommy, you have gold pollen on your eyelids."  Haha.  Maybe I should wear it more often!

May 28, 2012:
Huck's "Swamp People" birthday cake:

June15, 2012:
Huck is getting together "2 or 3 things you want to take to the beach to play with." Monster truck, tractor, a cup for making mud and electrical tape. Perfect.

July 3, 2012:
"Mommy, I was using the curtains as vines and when I swung on them to your bed the thing that I was pretending was a tree fell down & broke.  Oh, and Ruthy pooped on the floor."  And in the 15 seconds it took to type this, Ruthy emptied the cereal boxes onto the kitchen floor.

July 15, 2012:
Annie: "Huck? What are the red marks on Ruthy's neck and why is she in that box?
Huck: The marks are from where I was trying to brush the curls out of her hair.  And I put her that box so she wouldn't mess up my stuff anymore.  She's fine.  I push her around every once in a while and tell her it's a roller coaster."

July 24, 2012:
Huck's prayer tonight at dinner...."Dear God, thank you for our food and all the blessings.  And please help the new season of Duck Dynasty get here. Amen"

July 27, 2012:(The post that triggered me to start sharing with you)
The morning always sets the tone for what kind of day it's going to be: Ruthy had a bad diaper rash yesterday so she's been running around naked this morning.  Huck just said "Mommy, I think Ruthy had diarrhea on the floor and she dipped her cracker in it."  Bet it will be a crappy day.

Later on July 27, 2012:
My morning started out with diarrhea on the carpet annnnnnnd it continues, because apparently an entire bottle of powder on the carpet makes a really good race track for trucks, tractors & 4-wheelers.

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Thursday, July 26, 2012

My Favorite Soldier - Update

Back in February, I wrote about my favorite soldier.  You can read it here.  If you haven't already read it, you might want to real quick before reading any further.  He's still stationed in Fairbanks, AK, where cell phone coverage is beyond sketchy and he SUCKS at keeping in touch.  But I know he's busy doing an important job, so I'll forgive him.

For those of you that already read the previous post, you'll remember this:
"He was a single dad that only really got to spend time with his daughter during the summer...and has a son he's never met (not for a lack of trying on his part)."
Just to give you all a little background.  When I met Sparky, his 6 year old daughter was up here for the summer and he'd just found out he had a son...who was 3 years old and if I remember correctly, had been told his daddy was dead.  He'd had a "brief" relationship with the mother, that obviously ended before she knew she was pregnant.  She hadn't bothered to track him down any time during her pregnancy or the first 3 years of their son's life...but now she wanted child support.

Over the past 7-8 years, Sparky has tried to track down his son (we'll call him D) and tried to fight for at least visitation, but with zero funds and living in another state, that was a never ending uphill battle.  Since he's been in the army and getting his finances in order (all the while paying child support), he'd hired a lawyer in Florida and had come in contact with D's other grandmother on Facebook.  

Within 24 hours of him getting back to Alaska back in Jan. 2011, after visiting his daughter B in Jacksonville, FL and being here in Georgia for an extended visit before shipping out to Afghanistan, he got a message from D's mom on FB.  Basically she said that if he was gonna be in the area any time before shipping out, she'd let him meet that if anything happened while Sparky was gone, it wouldn't be on her conscience.  You wanna talk about breaking a man's heart?  Had she sent that message 2-3 days earlier, he could've met his son!!  But, he did get to finally talk to him on the phone before he left....which was more than he'd dared to dream about.

Now Sparky is back in Alaska, which is hard for me to refer to as stateside...considering it feels like he's 2 worlds away.  This past spring I got the news that his daughter B was moving out there with him temporarily, to see how it goes.  He'd ALWAYS dreamed of having her full time, but it was NEVER a possibility before he joined the army.  Since moving up there, she's brought her grades up dramatically and is trying out for the cheer squad next week.

Again, our communication has been extremely less than desirable.  I'm basically limited to when he's traveling to be able to get in touch with him.  So, while I was on vacation 2 weeks ago, I kept seeing him updating his status on FB about his surgery.  HUH?!?!  Surgery?!?!  So I sent him a text immediately saying "Huh? Surgery? You could call a hooker back ya know...or at least respond on FB!!"  My phone rang instantly...because he thought I called him a hooker!!  Of course his timing sucked...we were in the middle of a packed Baskin Robbins in Ft. Walton Beach and I really didn't think he'd call so quickly.

That call almost brought me to my knees.  Nothing like not hearing from someone for weeks and then having several bombs dropped on you...BOOM BOOM BOOM!!!  He tells me that they're in Anchorage for 5 days because they found a mass in his back and they had gone in that day to do a biopsy...and results would take 2 weeks to come back.  BOOM!!  Then he tells me that he'll be in Jacksonville for a hearing the end of July and that hopefully he'll be bringing D back to Alaska with him.  BOOM!!!  B finished the year off with a 3.7 GPA and is staying in Alaska...BOOM!!!

Monday, I sent him a text asking if he'd gotten the biopsy results back and when court was.  No answer, no answer...then today I get picture of him and D TOGETHER!!! And the words "No cancer and court is right now."  Seriously Sparky, your communication skills are gonna give me a heart attack one of these days.   He called me 45 minutes later...SOBBING!!  "I got my boy!! E, I have both of my kids."  By this time I'm in tears and covered in goose bumps.   

Sparky will be taking his son back to Fairbanks on Saturday.  Please pray for D to have a smooth transition in adjusting to all of these changes.  He's leaving behind 5 other siblings, that at this moment are in foster care.  He's never been to a dentist.  Sparky took him to the mall and Golden Corral for the first time yesterday and you would've thought it was Disney World.  This poor child has been through hell and back...and is EXACTLY where he needs to be.  Words can't even begin to describe the joy and happiness I'm feeling right now.  D, I love your daddy.  He's a good man and he loves you so much.  And I can't wait to finally get to meet you myself some day.

For more updates on their story, you can follow me here and on Facebook here.  Please take a minute to click the banner below.  You can vote daily by clicking on my profile too.  Happy's a good day!!!

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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Week 4: D = Drowning

WOW!!  It's already week 4 in Love Kate's A-Z All About Me Weekly Challenge.  In my head, I've been aspiring to be creative in my weekly posts...rather than just picking the word that best describes who I am.  But then it dawned on me that the point of this challenge was not only to help everyone else to get to know me...but for me to get to know myself better too.

Of course you have the obvious D words that describe me to a "T".  Delightful, dazzling, devilish, demented, drunk or even dorky.  But those aren't really going to help anybody get a better understanding of who I am. 

D = Drowning

Right now I feel like I'm barely treading water.  I've been fairly busy at work.  I've got a gazillion things that need to be done at home.  My DVR is close to imploding.  I'm completely enthralled in the Hunger Games trilogy...and can't seem to put the books down.  Plus, I've got the upcoming volleyball season and school year looming over my head.  I just don't feel like tackling any of it...other than finishing Mockingjay.

Throw in the massive amounts of attitude & sass, mixed with a helping of grumpy old man and a couple of aging pets that refuse to let us all have a full night of uninterrupted sleep and you've got a house full of chaos.  The added emotions from losing someone special isn't helping my cause either...only time will heal those wounds.  As for the hormonal roller coasters ripping and tearing through our house, one can only pray we all live to see where those come to an roughly 8 years or so.

Somewhere I need to find the time & money to take the girls shopping for school supplies...and cross my fingers that it's a pleasant outing that doesn't lead to me wanting to drink myself into a oblivion.  Plus the money tree hasn't harvested quite enough to cover volleyball fees and whatever extracurricular that Slou hasn't made her mind up about yet.

So while I've been taking a break to write this post...I've been holding on to the side of the pool to catch my breath.  Now it's time to dive back in head first into the ever growing pile of life and maybe I'll see some light at the end of the tunnel by Halloween.

Reading back through this, I sound like a blubbering crybaby!!!  I've now pulled up my big girl follow me here and on Facebook and please take a minute to click the banner below.  You can vote daily by clicking on my profile too.  

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Monday, July 23, 2012

Funerals...Your Last Opportunity To Show A Little Respect

Some would say that our social circle has been cursed by death.  We've lost so many special people, many young and before their time.  Some from natural causes and others from tragic accidents.  I realized this past week, that I've been to way too many funerals to even remember who's funeral was at which funeral home anymore.

Because I've always been the optimistic sort, I'm just gonna say I was blessed to have had the opportunity to know and love so many people.  I'm thankful for having each of them in my life, even if it wasn't long enough for my liking.  This weekend we said goodbye to an amazing man and I was so touched by the incredible outpouring of so many people.  The chapel was filled to capacity and the rest of the building was standing room only.  It was unbelievable.  The procession to the cemetery was led by police escort, with his Harley being carried by a United Towing wrecker, followed by 30+ motorcycles and then miles of other cars and trucks.

I was moved by the young man that had been jogging in the park when we passed.  Who stopped on the walking trail and put his hands behind his back and bowed his head.  The cars that pulled over out of respect and the people that were in their yards, that stopped and stood with their rakes in hand waiting for the procession to pass.  But then there was the truck that saw an opportunity to pull out and cut into our procession, to which we pulled up next to and motioned for them to pull over (which they did).

There were however a couple of things that just pissed me off!!  There are certain things that I just consider disrespectful and unacceptable when it comes to funerals.  First of all, turn your damn phones OFF!!!  Under NO circumstances is it okay for a grown woman to be playing/texting on her phone during a funeral!!!  Second, take your hats OFF!!!  I realize this was not the most traditional service, seeing as Walter was buried in his favorite Harley Davidson shirt with the sleeves cut off...because that's who he was, but he was also one of the most respectful people I know and he deserved for every single person in there to take off their hats.  Third, I understand that everyone has somewhere they need to be.  We're always in a hurry.  But don't EVER cut into a funeral procession.  It wasn't just the one truck that cut in front of their defense, I don't think they'd realized what they'd done  until we politely informed them.  I saw at least 2 other cars jump in and even turn on their flashers as to appear to be part of the caravan until we hit the entrance to the cemetery and they kept on.  ASSHOLES!!!

As a parent, it is my responsibility to teach my kids what is expected.  I hope that everyone else will too.  That being said, it was great seeing so many people that I hadn't seen in years.  We had a party that would've made Walter proud.  No more tears...only laughter as we remember a great man!!!

If you're new to my blog, I promise I'm normally quite funny and entertaining.  Please follow me here or on Facebook.  Take a minute to click on the banner below to cast your vote for me at  Have a great week and be on the look out for my Week 3 entry for the A-Z challenge.

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Thursday, July 19, 2012

Week 3: A-Z Challenge (CRAP)

Here we are at week 3 of Love Kate's A-Z Weekly All About Me Challenge.  "C" has proven to be a little bit like a flittering lightening bug.  I'll think I've nailed down which path I want to take and then like a bubble...poof it's gone.  "C" just might be a "see you next Tuesday"-ish kinda week!!!

I've come up with several witty ideas for this week, but before I could find the time to actually sit down and put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard), this week went to CRAP!!  Now I just don't have it in me to be funny and Charismatic...and if I did, I'd just feel guilty.

When I got home from the beach last Friday night, I got a text letting me know that a close family friend had had a stroke.  He has been like a grandfather to my girls since the day they were each born.  Early this morning Peepaw took his last breath and went on to that big party in the sky.  

I know the last thing he would want any of us to do is sit around and CRY about it.  So while I'm feeling like CRAP, I'm gonna tell y'all about Peepaw.  For as long as I've known him, he's always been a fun lovin', hell raising kind of guy with a heart of gold.  To him, everyone was family...but he loved his kids and grandkids fiercely.

He always told the best stories and gave the best hugs.  He'd been known to throw a few punches every now and then too, but even those usually ended in laughter and hugs.  His dancing would crack anybody up.  

When I sit back and think about him, I see a strong man wearing his denim cut-off muscle blouse, with a toothpick in the side of his mouth, picking at his fingernails with his pocketknife and telling a story. Or I see him boiling the tires off his truck, just to see the smoke and see if he could burn rubber all the way down the street.  He was a man that I'm honored to have known and loved.

Alpharetta will never be the same.  You have left a mark on so many of us.  Now you go on and catch up with Papa & JD and everyone else that went on before you.  I sure hope they have cold beer and motorcycles in heaven....if not, rest assured we'll all be drinking one for you tonight.

Peepaw with Justin & Slou
Rest In Peace:
Walter Lee Pettyjohn
October 14, 1953 - July 19, 2012

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Taking A Bow...Thank You, Thank You Very Much

Another award? Really? Turns out 2 of my fellow funny and talented blogging friends thought I was worthy of this award.  A huge thank you to Too Smart For Her Own Good and My Upside Down Life for passing on the Sunshine Blogger Award to me!!  All joking aside, this really did make my day!!  I'm so excited!!!
It's not an award if it doesn't have here they are:
1. Include the award log either in your acceptance post or somewhere on your blog.
2. Answer 10 questions about yourself.
3. Pass the award on to 10-12 other deserving bloggers.
4. Add a link on your post to all of the talented winners and comment on their page to let them know they've been deemed amazing.
5. Thank the brilliant soul that recognized your talent and bestowed this wonderful award on you...and of course link back to them as well.

Drum roll....please!!  Here's what you've all been dying to know about me...maybe? Probably not, but keep reading anyway.
1. What would you most like to change about yourself?
As most people know, I'm perfect.  But if I could change anything, I'd love to have the discipline, self-control and motivation necessary to be a size 6.

2.  What is your theme song?
Baby Got Back by Sir Mix Alot....mainly because I don't (have much back).

3.  One part of your life, a memory, action, etc. that you wish you could surgically remove from your brain?
I have no regrets but I could do without the memory of that one night that changed my life forever.  The pain of losing someone suddenly doesn't compare to any other pain I've ever felt.

4. What generation do you wish you had been a part of?
I've always thought it would've been nice to have lived in simpler times...but ultimately I'm happy to be a part of today.

5. What was your favorite childhood toy?
Turns out my award presenter and I could've been best friends!!  My Barbies & Nintendo were my prized possessions.  Followed by my bicycle and lite brite.

6. What is your favorite housecleaning chore?
Are you serious? NONE!!  But if I have to pick, I'll go with dusting.

7. Do you Twitter?
Nah.  I have an account...but I haven't mastered the art of it yet, nor have I even tried.  My main purpose was to stalk my daughter but she's logged on to her account from my that's simple.

8. Any goals?
Well of course.  Question is, am I really working towards them these days? Not so much.  However I have been putting a lot of thought into them maybe I'm headed in the right direction.

9. Do you really drink margaritas all the time?
Nope, not so much anymore.  Ever since Chiquita dropped the bomb about how many calories are in ONE, I've had a hard time enjoying them.  Bitch!!

10. What is the ugliest car you've ever driven and were embarrassed to be seen in?
Eke...I don't know.  I've always been so proud of all of my cars that it really didn't matter how ugly they were.  I guess my Pappy's Impala, because it looked like a cop car...but once I got used to it, I realized it was BADASS!!! 

And the Sunshine Goddesses are:
Love Kate: Thanks to her I am getting to know myself a little better.
Finding My Inner Skinny GirlBecause of her I am a little closer to working towards my goals.
Crazy Mama Drama: This Mama makes me laugh...and not feel so bad about my mothering flaws.
The Year Of Me: I'm new to her blog, but what I've read, I can TOTALLY relate to.
Overworked Supermom: She's cut from the same cloth I am.
Blue Monkey Butt: Okay, so her blog name says it all :)
My Mom's A Whack Job: She builds character in her children by embarrassment...just like me.
Cave Princess: Her writing inspires me.

Okay, so I've always been a rule breaker.  It says to pick 10-12 blogs...but I'm out of time for now and every other blog I want to sprinkle with sunshine has already been sprinkled in the last week or so.  I guess I hit snooze too many times on this one.

So again, thank you to both My Upside Down Life and Too Smart For Her Own Good for finding my blog award worthy.  Please check out all of these cool smart chicks.  I promise you won't regret it.  And follow me here or on Facebook.  Take a sec to click on the banner below too...just to help a sister out.

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Monday, July 16, 2012

Did Ya Miss Me?

After 9 straight days away from the office, I'm diving back into reality...and it's, in all honesty, calming.  I am a creature of habit.  I thrive for routine and consistency...and 8 hours away from my kids on a regular basis.  I am so beyond grateful for my mom and her generosity for making this vacation possible.  We really and truly had an awesome time.
I did learn a few lessons along the way though.  Like not all gas pumps at the same station have their grades in the same order.  Seriously.  I think it's a scam.  I used my GasBuddy app to figure out where I wanted to stop.  It looked like $3.14 was the cheapest I was gonna find within the next 30+ miles.  I pulled past the first pump and stopped at the second, ya know so others could still pull in behind me, being courteous and all.  At about 13 gallons, I realize that I'm pumping premium grade in my car at $3.44 gallon!!!  WTF?!?!  I was stumped as to how I could possibly make this mistake...yeah, I looked at the first pump I drove past and they had them swapped!!  Regular 87 octane was first on ALL of the other pumps I could see, but the one I was currently standing at pissing $.30 extra a gallon into had the premium first.  SCAM!!!!  I let it go and chalked it up to lesson learned.

Then we hit Eufaula, AL...with 3 out of the 4 bladders in the car FULL!!!  Apparently every other car on the road had the same predicament.  We tried Wendy's first...parking lot HELL with 25 cars being driven by retarded beach bound mullets.  FAIL!!  So we jump out of that lot as quickly as possible and move on to McDonald's.  I should've known better considering we'd just stopped at this same one on the way back from our girls trip 3 weeks earlier and walked out after standing at the counter for 5 min. without any of their employees acknowledging us.  We decide not to fight the crowd in the parking lot and opt to park in the shopping center lot that backs up to it...assuming that most of the traffic was from the drive-thru anyway.  WRONG!!  At this point our bladders are on the brink of rupturing, so we wait in the excruciatingly long line for the bathrooms.  Dumb move.  Those were the most disgusting stalls I've ever seen!!  I'm pretty certain they hadn't been cleaned or restocked since our last visit 3 weeks prior.  By the time we escaped them, our appetites had been squelched (well except Slou's).  Had I not been driving, I'd have looked up their info online and reported it to corporate on the spot...but by the time we got to the beach, it wasn't at the top of my priority list.

If the beach you are going to offers a chair/umbrella service...USE IT!!!  Shop around though...don't assume that there's only one vendor.  Granted mom was the one paying for it, but if you've got an extra $200 to it!!  Not having to worry about hauling our chairs back and forth everyday, along with towels, toys, floats, etc....definitely took a load off!  However, make sure you request ahead of time that you want your chairs placed as close to the water as possible without having to worry about them being washed out to sea.  The first couple of days we had issues with our chairs either being placed behind others or not being put out early enough and other people setting up camp in front of us before we got down there.  If you're gonna pay the extra money, you want to be able to see the water and your kids playing from your chair!!

Don't go deep sea fishing with a party of 4 females...2 of which being volatile bickering sisters.  Although it was an experience they can now say they've had, I will NEVER take them without a MAN present again.  Yes, there were deckhands there to help when lines got tangled or fish were caught and needed help getting them off the hook...but there wasn't any one on one help.  I got the shit beat out of me...and I'm not even exaggerating!!  I've got bruises up and down both legs, arms and all over my stomach from trying to brace the pole when I was reeling or helping Slou reel in the line.  Plus, between the 4 of us, we only caught 5 fish and only 1 was big enough to keep.  It was rather sad...but at least we got to see a bunch of dolphins!!

I am so thankful for all of the memories we were able to make crab hunting at night, jumping waves, watching Beelay dig into her first order of crab legs, driving by my grandparents old house and above all else spending time with my mom.  Even if the girls competed over my attention every waking moment and often didn't appear to be appreciative, they were.  They have had so many amazing vacations thanks to my mom and her BF over the years....THANK YOU!!!

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Monday, July 9, 2012

Week 2: A-Z Challenge

This week I'm on the beach with my babies and I'm having a wonderful vacation. However when I think through all of the words that begin with B...the ones that jump out at me are broken, bruised and brave. This is going to be an honest, raw and emotional you've never seen from me before. I think because I'm in such a great place in my life, I'm ready to talk about my past. 

I married young...kinda shotgun style. Although none of our parents were adamant that we get married, it was what we wanted. I told myself that we were already planning on getting married anyway...that getting knocked up just made the wedding bells ring a little louder and faster. 

I'm sure if I had the money to pay a therapist, they could tell me why I was so anxious to grow up, get married and have a family of my own. But honestly I can't put my finger on it. I can tell you I was madly heart over reason in love with my husband and I was willing to move heaven and earth to make him happy and walk on as many eggshells as I had to to prove my undying unconditional love for him. 

Our whole relationship was tumultuous. He had his own set of demons that I'll never understand, mainly because he NEVER admitted he was at any fault for ANYTHING. His jealousy and trust issues eventually broke me. A love is only as strong as the two people building it and when one is weak and constantly accusing the other of infidelity and continuously putting their family and relationship dead's damned from the start. 

Even 7 years into our relationship I still worshiped the ground that man walked on. I was still convinced that eventually he would get it...something would ultimately click and he'd see that he did deserve my love and that he would all the sudden be the husband and father that I begged him to be....that our kids deserved for him to be. 

Over the course of our marriage, we'd fight, I'd pack up the kids, leave for a couple days and come back when he cried and pleaded that he would change....

Then there was the time he came home drunk, accusing me of sleeping with every guy that signed my senior yearbook...even though he knew every single one of them and even considered them friends. I threw away my try to prove to him how off base he was. The brutal, hateful words just kept cutting me like daggers...until he'd drawn enough blood and I tried to leave...again. This time he refused to let me take the kids with me. He told me I was welcome to take my whore ass to hell for all he cared, but the girls were staying with him. At the time they were 3 1/2 and 7 months old. He was smoking crack if he thought I was gonna leave my babies with him. I called the police...they came and calmed him down and told me I couldn't leave with the kids if he didn't want me to. It didn't matter that he was drunker than a skunk...but he finally agreed to let me take them. 

Again, two days later...I came home, once more to promises that it would never happen again and that he was so sorry and blah, blah, blah. Things were always great for a couple weeks after I'd leave. 

I never knew what was gonna set him off. If I wore makeup, I was accused of trying to impress someone. If I worked out, I was cheating on him. If I went into work a few minutes early, I was screwing my boss (GAG). If I didn't answer the phone when he called, I was obviously on the other line with my boyfriend. If I answered the phone out of breath (whether because I was chasing our kids or running to grab the phone), he apologized for interrupting my lunch f**k. If it took me longer than an hour to grocery shop (which took at least 10-15 minutes to get to), my phone was blowing up and he was demanding to speak to whoever I had met up with...I could go on, but I'm sure you get the picture. 

The next time I decided I needed to leave, I knew I didn't want a repeat of the last time. So I waited until he was in the shower and grabbed enough clothes, diapers and bottles for the night and ran to load the girls in the car and just after I finished buckling B into her car seat and shut the door...a truck hit me. I landed flat on my back and literally saw stars. He knocked me out cold! When I came to, he was a blubbering mess...apologizing for hitting me, that if I hadn't tried to sneak off, it never would've happened. He successfully made me feel like it was MY fault. I ended up not leaving that time....

I became that cliche of the battered wife. I walked around with full makeup on and sunglasses until my bruises faded. We made sure we had our stories straight for when somebody would ultimately ask what happened...and me being the graceful disaster that I am, I think people actually believed me. 

That was the beginning of the end for us. I don't remember how many more times I left him, before I left for good. But that's when I started realizing things were never gonna change and that it wasn't what I wanted my kids growing up around.  There were times he threatened to kill himself...and honestly there were times at their lowest that I wished he I wouldn't have to find the balls to leave him. 

It's oddly funny that the night I decided I was done, we weren't even fighting. I was just done. I was too broken to fight for our love anymore. I had to find the strength, courage and bravery to fight for the well being of my children. I knew I had to put them first...and my unconditional love for them trumped my broken love for him. 

He's moved on to an even 
 more volatile relationship and I've built walls so high and so thick that nobody's been able to hurt me like that again. He has no idea how broken and bruised I was on the inside...because on the outside I put on my brave face and did everything in my power to keep my kids from continuing that cycle. Only time will tell if I've been successful. 

Now I'm so much stronger than I was all those years ago. I'm brave about so many things...but deep down I'm still trembling in my boots. Brave and fearless are not synonymous. I hope that one day I'm able to overcome my fears and be able to put myself out there to find love again. But for now I'm content putting my kids first and living my life for us...not having every breath questioned. 

This was the hardest post I've ever written. It opened some old wounds that I thought were all healed with nothing left but scars to show for them. I hope you've read this without judgement and feel a little closer to me, as I do to all of my readers after writing this. Please take a minte to click on the banner below to cast your vote for me. Thank you again for reading.

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Thursday, July 5, 2012

Week 1: A-Z All About Me Challenge

My fellow blogging friend Kate over at Love Kate, has invited me to join her in her A-Z All About Me Weekly Blog Challenge.  If any of you are interested in taking part, please feel free to click the button and get to writing.  

Here we are, at week 1...and our letter of the week is surprisingly the letter "A".  I could fill a page with words that describe me that begin with the letter "A", like Awesome, Amazing, Anxious, Argumentative, and on and on and on.  After reading Kate's first entry, A=Autism, I almost feel insensitive or undeserving of the honor to take part in this challenge.  I could write about ADHD and the challenges that it brings to my life and the lives of my girls, but then I feel like my challenges are NOTHING in comparison to Kate's.

All of that being said, I'm going to go with Able.  I am an able bodied person.  I'm going to make this post be about all of the things that I'm grateful to be able to do, things I wish I was able to do and some things I often wish I wasn't able to do.  

I'm grateful that I'm....
able to kiss my children every day
able to get up and come to work
able to make my own decisions
able to depend on my friends & family
able to admit when I'm wrong
able to ask for help when I need it (okay, so I'm still working on this one) 
able to find an escape in my writing
able to let most things roll off my shoulders 
able to say NO...or yes if that's what I want
able to find humor in almost everything

I wish I was....
able to find the motivation to fall in love with my pilates videos...again.
able to go back to school
able to protect my girls from EVERYTHING
able to grow a money tree
able to give my girls more....this could be it's own post alone (for another day)
able to speak my mind as well as I write it
able to tell certain people to KISS IT!!! 
able to keep a straight face when necessary
able to afford a maid

Often I wish I wasn't....
able to be so sympathetic & understanding
able to be taken advantage of 
able to drive (when I grow up, I want a chauffeur) 
able to do laundry
able to be a single would be nice to have someone on my team with me.
able to sleep until makes it really hard to go to bed on time the next night
able to operate the steam cleaner
able to load the dishwasher 

I hope all of you are grateful to be able to have read this.  Check back next week for "B". Please follow me here and on Facebook here and click on the banner below to cast your vote for of this morning I'm at #13 in my category!!! 

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Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Random Ridiculousness To Lighten The Mood


Today I'm linking up with Stacy Uncorked at her weekly Random Rebel link-up.  After my frustration fueled rant yesterday, I feel like I could greatly benefit from some simple randomness.  So here goes...

Random 1:
My boss compulsively messes with the thermostat that ONLY affects my office all day long...causing my 30ish year old body to think that it's going through early menopause and fighting off hot flashes at warp speeds.  Go mess with your own thermostat and leave mine alone.  I work much better when I don't have sweat running down my ear lobes all the way to my ass crack and into the crevice of my knee caps.

Random 2:
When I was in high school, my mom used to bribe me to come on family vacation by buying me the newest John Grisham novel every summer.  Now she doesn't have to ask me twice to tag along on a beach vacation...but I secretly hope she'll buy me a John Grisham novel anyway.

Random 3:
I have shampooed my carpets more than anyone I know...yet my house still tends to stink like dog pee.  I love my dog, but I really wish my dad would delegate someone less emotionally attached to send her on her way while the girls and I are on vacation next week....(I know this one sounds heartless, but when you spend more time shampooing carpets than you do actually enjoying your family and's time for something to give.)

Random 4:
I just got a paper cut on my tongue from licking envelopes.  I know you're thinking "Who the hell licks envelopes anymore?"

Random 5:
I despise talking on the phone...unless it's one of my very few best friends.  Otherwise, I prefer texting or email 100%.  I don't even know when this change occurred or why.  I guess I just feel like I can communicate my thoughts, feelings, etc. better in writing...

Random 6:
I have an unexplainable ridiculous fear of walking into restaurants or bars alone.  It doesn't matter if the people I'm meeting are already there or not.  If I get there first, I'll wait in my car until they get there.  And depending on who it is, if they get there first, I might even ask them to wait outside for me to get there....but usually I put my girl panties on and face it head on.

Random 7:
My biggest pet peeve this week is being the only person in the house that gives a shit what our house looks like when company comes to town.  This makes it very difficult for cleaning to actually happen...since I'm the only one working!!!  Second is being the only one that takes the initiative to empty the dishwasher, load and run it!!!  If they're clean...EMPTY IT!!!  Don't just stack up all of your dishes from the day...waiting for me to get home!!!  GRRRRR!!!!

Random 8:
I can't wait to go home today and see my favorite uncle....shhhhh, don't tell him.  It'll go to his head.  And don't tell my other uncles...I'd hate for their feelings to get hurt.

Random 9:
I just had a cyber-gigglefest with some of my dearest clowns.  It was one of the best giggles I've had in weeks!!!  And we have Jerry Springer to thank for it.  I'd explain...but you'd probably never understand.

Random 10:
I'm addicted to watching my ratings.  That being said, please click on the banner below to help me continue to move towards the top.

I hope everyone enjoys a relaxing, safe 4th of July and be sure to think of our armed forces and if you have a chance tell them thank you for everything that they do.

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Monday, July 2, 2012

Child Support Is NOT Voluntary!!!

Let me begin with this....

I'm proud to say that the men in my life that I call friends, that are dads and pay child support are all the prime example of what a dad should do.  They pay what they're ordered to, when they're ordered to.  They spend as much time as humanly possible with their kids.  They put their children at the top of their priority list.  And for all of those things...I wish they were my kids dad.

Before this goes down hill quickly and turns into an ex-dumb dumb bashing frenzy, let me give you a quick history of my situation.  I've been divorced for 8 1/2 years.  Since then, my girls and I have lived with my dad.  However, I do not live there for free.  I pay my own way as well as for everything for my children. 

What their dad is court ordered to pay for 2 children is considerably less than what all of my male friends are ordered to pay for 1 child.  It's miniscule compared to what it actually costs to provide for them.  Over the course of the past 8 1/2 years, I've tried child support recovery, I've taken him back to court, I've tried to work with him...but I've NEVER been able to rely on receiving any amount of support with any kind of regularity or stability. At this present moment, he owes me over $45,000.  This does include $15,000 from the equity in our house...which he finds debatable.

Last week I did some calculations.  Just for this year so far (Jan-Jun), he's averaging $150 a month...which is what he's supposed to be paying a week. I'm averaging more than that just for school lunches and medical costs (not including the actual premium).  When I brought this to his attention, his response was "Well, I had to put a starter in my truck."  Really?!?! Should I bring up the fact that I've forked out more than $1500 in the past couple of months for car repairs and maintenance?  That's LIFE!!!

Anyway, my point is this: You don't get to pick and choose when and how much you pay.  The judge decided that a long time ago.  If you're currently not making enough to pay for your responsibilities, get a second job or a third!!!  I'm busy raising our children on my own.  If I didn't have them 98% of the time, I'd be out looking for a part time job...but then if I wasn't paying for 98% of their expenses, I'd be doing okay financially.

There are so many dad's out there that don't understand that by paying child support, they are NOT putting EXTRA money in their ex's pockets.  They are helping to provide a life for their kids.  Considering how much I'm covering, it's none of his damn business what I spend my money on...or if I'm going on vacation or whatever.  Just because I'm able to take my kids to the beach (only because of my mom) doesn't excuse him from paying that week.

I've heard of horror stories from both sides of this.  Because I've been sympathetic and lenient, I get screwed over.  If I was the cold hearted bitch that I've been accused of being...he'd be sitting in a jail cell.  I'm just tired of being made to feel like a bill collector and like I should be so incredibly thankful for the little bit that I do get.  You're not doing me a favor by giving me money!!!  

Okay, I think I'm done venting.  I hope I've made my point...and not made myself look like a gold digger.  I'll be back to my good ol' funny self in no time.  Please take a minute to click the banner below to cast your vote for me...even if it's just a pity vote, I'm cool with that.  Also, you can follow me on Facebook by clicking here.

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