I throw in the towel; I give up trying to make everyone happy.

The words I don’t care what you think have passed these lips a time or two. Both in a drunken rant and in a sober matter-of-fact way, but I never meant in. Insecure people are the first to say, “I don’t care what you think or what you say,” but that is because we care too much.

This year I decided to put in the effort to really mean it. I suppose I have been known to make a few decisions not really caring what people had to say, but I always had the backing of someone I view as important in my life. Like my parents or my honorary mom/aunt. This is the year I am taking to work on myself, so I owe it to myself and my husband and daughter to make that the new standard around here.

Having a mom and wife who is prone to stress about the crumbs on the floor, both at home and work, is tough enough. Stress takes years off your life, and that shit is not happening! So I officially denounce trying to make everyone happy.

Especially unhappy people. It is simply impossible; they got too much shit going on in their own life that all they know how to do is project. Project on you, on their significant others, parents, coworkers… hell, the cashier at the grocery store. You know these people. They are the ones SNL makes skits about. These are the people who only ask you how you are so that when you do the societal norm of asking them in return, they get to tell something awful. Something that is a total downer and unnecessary for you to even know. Like about their baby daddy not paying child support or about being evicted or losing a family member ten years ago today. Socially awkward asshats that you eventually avoid at all costs or never fall into the trap of asking how their day is going. *If you have never ran across any people like this, well, I guess you live somewhere amazing and alone, take lots of pills or you are that person.

I have learned through trial and error that no amount of compliments make this type of person happy, no amount of gifts, no amount of quality time… not even a box full of puppies or kittens. They have some deeper issues that need addressing, and chances are it is not high on their list of priorities. Probably because they remain oblivious and believe their self-centered way of thinking is normal.

I realize unhappiness narrows our thinking. Being unhappy creates a whole ‘what about me’ vibe and that shit is just plain annoying. I have lived it. When I am going through a depressive episode I feel pretty darn unhappy and it is all-consuming. I can only focus on how I am feeling and how everything pertains to me. Nothing really makes me happy, comfortable maybe, but not happy.

With all the things I am juggling right now and all the goals Chris and I have, I just can’t fit it on my plate anymore. I can’t waste anymore energy or take any more time away from all things I find important to try to make irrelevant people happy. I am not even going to go through the effort of making small talk with people who insist on sucking the positive energy and fun out of any and everything that they can. Even if they don’t realize it.

I have come to grips that we all can’t just get along sometimes. Sometimes, it is just not going to work out that way. I am not in charge of anyone’s happiness except my own and the people I grow. In an effort to stay on this path I have continued to have cell phone free time, just now I do it so much I have begun leaving it home when I leave. It gives me the chance to focus on the important things going on in that moment and not social media and neurotic family members. Sometimes that works, other times the focus shifts to my husband, but then it is his issue and I don’t have to even pay attention to it. That is what you call a win-win approach.

Join me in not trying to make everyone else happy, and make yourself happy! I have even started shutting down those Debbie Downers before they try to suck me into their pity part. They project their misery, and I deflect with positivity. When that fails I just tell them they are really bringing down my positive vibe, and when that fails I just tell them they are straight up depressing and to keep it to themselves. That works because they think you are a bitch and move on to gossiping about you and projecting all that toxic shit on other people. Boom! Problem solved. Another win-win for me.

You are in charge of your own happiness. It is not rocket science. It has been appearing on apparel and swag for decades. Haven’t you eaten a stupid fortune cookie? You can choose to be happy. You can choose who you allow in your life. You can choose to put you and yours first. If you won’t give yourself permission to do it, suburban mishap does!

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Fuck You, I Don’t Need Defending…

*If the ‘F’ word makes you uncomfortable and you are of the belief (still) that ladies do not use profanity, this is not for you. Please check-out one of my more ‘calm’ post. This announcement is to avoid any and all comments addressing the vocabulary I use.

Now, back to business…

This is gonna be a long one so get comfortable; make a drink, pour some vino, pack a bowl or grab some fuckin’ ice cream if that’s your thing. Just do whatever it is you do during your parents-only time. It’s story time and self-love time with suburban mishap!

Black and White

So where does this title come from? Well, the short answer is it comes from my soul and it comes from a place of self-realization. And it comes from a very uncomfortable situation, and the therapy that followed that situation.

But the long version begins like this…

The sentiment “fuck you, I don’t need defending” entered my brain and left through my mouth during a very private and vulnerable conversation with my husband amidst a very real possibility of separation.

I am a deeply private and I always have been. I am pretty sure this is the product of both nature and nurture. My family being of mostly German and English heritage, I am predisposed to being a bitch. Then top that with all my childhood drama and shitty examples of ‘loving marriages’ I have, it is no wonder I have arrived here. Here being on the door step of separation with refusal to give up on my dream of being happy in the one life I was gifted.

Since I left the nest many, many years ago I decided that I would not repeat history. Even in my adolescence I knew I wanted better for myself; in every aspect of my life. My young mind recognized that as far as ‘normal’ was concerned, my life was not it. It was not normal in any capacity.

Recently I have discovered that for some reason longevity translates to success in some people’s minds. For example, my mother was married for I believe 27 years to the same man. So some might say, well hell, she must know the secret to a long and happy marriage… I assure you that particular long marriage was a shit-show. Frankly I do not have one example of a marriage that I want mine to be like. That may offend some people, but it is what it is.

In my way of thinking, it is impossible to apply advice when there is no similarities in the desired goal. I don’t just want to be married for many years, I want to be happy, to be loved and to be respected and valued. I would like to get out of this shell I am living in and be affectionate and playful with my husband. I want to be spoiled and cherished, AND I want to do the same for him. More than anything, we both want to display a happy and healthy marriage for our daughter.

During this conversation the phrase “but I defended you” was communicated to me a lot. So for me, the deeper question was this, why do you feel the need to defend me? Deer in the headlight response. You know why? Because I simply do not need defending. And in this particular instance I was reminded again of my favorite talk show host Dr. Phil   Oprah. He She says “no matter how flat you make a pancake, it will always have two sides.” When one person is telling YOUR story things can easily become distorted, goals become forgotten and before you know it you can find yourself playing for the wrong team.

I know this about myself, I am determined to stay on my path and be happy. Life is too fucking short and you know, sometimes it is healthy to remind yourself (especially with this nagging depression and constant anxiety) that you are enough. I live my life with honesty, acceptance, love, and kindness. I am a good mom and I can say that without even blinking. I try very hard to show my daughter that we treat other human beings how we would like to be treated. I take a front-seat approach to being a mother and my heart strings are attached so firmly to my daughter that she is in the forefront of all my decision making.

Before this turns into a Mother Teresa type read, I know for certainty that I am not perfect. I have a heaping stack of areas that need improvement and need my attention. But I know this, acknowledging them is half the battle and seeing progress makes any journey better. Dr. Phil Oprah has mentioned a time or two that you can’t fix what you don’t acknowledge and I find this to be profoundly raw and simple to live by. Anyone who knows me now that knew me 5 years ago will tell you I am a different person, and not just because I now have my own personal side-kick.

I mention this because I am a person who requires proof and hearing from those who know me best allows me to say with certainty that I put self-work very high on my list of priorities. So as flawed as I am, I can say with confidence that I am moving in the right direction and I am staying on the path I want. Isn’t that all we can do?

If I was giving you my elevator speech, because say, you wanted to get to know me a little better…  I am a stay-at-home mom with two jobs that earn a steady income. I wait tables Friday-Sunday and babysit a few days during the week. I also make my husband help me around the house and sometimes I lose my patience with the members in my family. I know, what a dick.

It boils down to this simple notion, my dear readers. Fuck you, we do not need defending.

The intention of this post is NOT to make anyone feel anything other than empowered. It is not intended to be braggy or boastful in nature. I just know that sometimes it is necessary to remind ourselves of all the shit we are doing right in life and let all that chatter fade into the background where it belongs. If the chatter is your own annoying monsters like I live with, write it down and read that shit to yourself when you need a little reminder.

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My Favorite Chicken Dish, Over Rice Pilaf

This recipe is easy enough for a Monday night meal, when you are running on fumes and are still bitter that the weekend has come and gone.

Ingredients:

1 container vine tomatoes, half a white onion, 2 garlic cloves minced and as many green olives as you like. I use about a cup of them, halved. But I love the salty flavor.

Ingredients

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

and of course the chicken…

Chicken Cutlets

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Coat both sides generously with salt and pepper (like all your meat).

Heat olive oil in a large skillet, brown both sides of chicken. Remove when you still see a bit of pink in the middle, it will finish in a minute.

While the chicken is going, start the rice pilaf.

Rice Pilaf

Heat generous amount of EVOO and then add broken noodles about 1 to 1/2 inch in length (vermicelli or this spaghetti works). Cook on medium until golden brown, add 1 cup rice and heat. Finally add 2 cups chicken broth, bring to a boil, then reduce to low and cover. Cooks in about 20 minutes. Don’t stir it people!

Food Cooking

Since the chicken is browned and the rice simmering you can finish the dish.

Heat up a little more EVOO in your chicken skillet and cook your garlic and onions until translucent. Next add tomatoes and chicken back to skillet. Simmer on medium-low, covered.

meal

I don’t have plated picture because I had to go to work. But it was delicious when I got home!

How Organization and Planning are Saving my Sanity

I think by now, the general population that follows Huffington Post  knows that a stay-at-home mom or dad does more during the day than changing diapers and keeping the children alive. Or hell, maybe that is his or her only goal and she achieves day in and day out. I don’t judge.

However, we can’t deny the numerous articles floating around the internet about what a day-in-the-life of a stay-at-home mom looks like that carries the undertone of a shaking finger in your face and eyes as big as a strung-out crack head.

And I get it. I do, I truly do get it. When you are stuck in the throws of endless days that feel like they will never end. Days that are filled with you using words like “blowout” and “lactate.” You start to grow horns and learn how to cuss in a sing-song voice with tears in your eyes.

The slope gets too damn slippery sometimes and you slip right into not giving a fuck. From there you find you self settling into cynical and alone. Hello my Mirandas!

Black and White

So you start reading shit titled, “What I Would Pay My Wife if I Could” and nodding along. You start feeling this stay-at-home mom pride, because you are a part of this group, you know. Then it turns to entitlement and then it ends with truth.

The truth of course being that you are you are alone most of time, changing shitty diapers and praying to someone’s God to please STOP the lactating!

Oh looky there, I went on a rant! Ha! Let me get myself back on track…

Basically, I used to put so much effort and energy into a clean house and appearing like everything was PERFECT.

Then I gave up caring and everything fell apart… as I suspected it would.

So after we settled into Castle Garvey, I found my groove in life again. I had some damn good ah-ha moments that would make even Oprah proud! I found the middle ground that is now keeping this household running so smooth I get to take more than one bath a week. I live for a good bath you guys.

Here is how organizing my life into a simple routine is working for me and keeping me sane.

Note: I don’t have a set schedule for the cleaning. That part has to be flexible because having a two-year old means no agenda on my part (so-to-speak). I stay home to be present with her so I put my chores on the back burner as far as time on the clock. I do them as I can, sometimes she lets me knock it all out, other times I do a little here and there. 

Monday:

Babysit from mid-morning to mid-evening.

  • Babysit from mid-morning to mid-evening.
  • I vacuum every Monday and dust every other Monday.
  • Dinner and I usually do bath time with her.

Tuesday:

  • Same babysitting schedule. I have started strongly ” “suggesting” story time and activity times.
  • I vacuum upstairs every week and dust every other week.
  • Dinner and daddy does bath time. Unless of course it is mommy’s turn again because Charlotte is the ultimate decision maker. Of course.

Wednesday:

  • I schedule most play dates, appointments for whoever needs them and run errands.
  • Laundry every week and bathrooms every other week (spot clean) and a deep clean once a month. We have 3 full baths (one with a double sink vanity) and a half bath downstairs. I am not boasting or bragging; I am pointing out the time it would take me to deep clean those every week. Hell no, good sir. Pass. I put Chris in charge of his own shitter so frankly I don’t know how often that one gets cleaned, other than when we have guest. Moving right along…
  • Dinner and bath time.

Thursday:

  • The Little Gym at 10:30. Run errands if there are any to run.
  • Mom gets to write so if there are not leftovers to eat (which 9 out of 10 times there is) we eat out. I write and work until I summoned by either my husband or child.

Friday:

  • This is a fairly new schedule so on Friday I am often doing something I missed or couldn’t get to earlier in the week.
  • Work 5 pm at restaurant job until I am done. This is the same for Saturday and Sunday.

Having a toddler pretty much requires you to have a ‘no agenda’ type attitude, which makes it hard to have a ‘stay on top of the house work, keep money coming in, have lots of sex with husband and cook delicious meals everyday’ type of attitude as well.

Something snaps eventually, and I am not trying to a 20/20 episode. During my recent self-discovery and coming out to the world that I am not the real deal Martha Stewart type I may or may not have mentioned that I also rely on a village (husband, friends, coworkers, that nice British guy at Target) to make it through my day and I am attached to my monthly planner.

I share a monthly planning app on my phone with my husband for joint stuff, but I am old school to the core and love to write it down. It is a process for me… it relaxes me to put in on paper and read it when I need to. I hold a lot of titles and I do a lot with my time. I need help keeping it all together, down to what I plan to cook to where I need to be at any given time. I like to set goals and I like check them off as I accomplish them.

Plus who doesn’t look forward to buying ANYTHING from Target. Especially their stationary and craft supplies; they have really stepped it up in that department. I get inspired walking around there sometimes.

In regards to anxiety, I find that having a plan keeps my mind on track and keeps me working on what I am supposed to be. It also has allowed to me let go of the feeling that I need to vacuum or dust all the time (for example). I know that I am going to tackle those exact jobs on their designated day, and I can move my focus to whatever else it is I need to, or want to depending on the day! Like today, writing!

I planned this schedule out very carefully. It fits my current schedule perfectly and is flexible all at the same time. Look at today, I saved my day for writing for a day that I know the household chores would be done and a day that dad would be available for an extended to amount of time to take the baton and make sure Charlotte stays alive. Heavy planning that if you notice, isn’t driven by the hands on the clock. I still feel in control, and relaxed enough to bust out something enjoyable for my readers.

Having this routine for the last month has brought down my stress level. I live in a larger house now, not much larger, but a bit larger in square footage and with more rooms. There is just more to do in the area of cleaning. I like a clean house, and even though my husband would say “I don’t really care one way or the other” or something to that affect, he likes the house clean too. He is compulsively doing the dishes.

I quickly realized it takes a LONG time getting this sucker clean. I also realized that in keeping with my 2016 goals, that you can check out in my post http://suburbanmishap.com/the-year-i-took-for-myself/, I decided to break it up into days. More than that, I needed to break up the deeper cleaning and not go bat-shit bananas over a little dust or toothe paste in the sink. I don’t have to pull out the rubber gloves every time I need to clean up just a little.

The cleaning and appointment/errand day routine was born and boom, I sleep better at night.

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The Power of Self-Awareness

The difference between the Jen today and the Jen a couple of  years ago is pretty simple. I lacked self-awareness. I was walking around functioning at minimum capacity. I may have had direction and motivation to better myself, but I lacked a firm grip on my own reality.

I was cocky, though. Cocky about my credentials, my talents, my paycheck… which is funny to me now. None of those things really matter to me.

I had a tendency to mold myself to others. People I admired or people I wanted to like me. I found a pattern of hiding behind the people I hung out with in order to avoid really giving my life any real thought. I would do what they liked doing, talk about what they liked talking about and eventually I would continuously trick myself into believing this version was the version that ‘fit’.

Then one day I snapped. Too much was happening at once, the walls crashed in and I gave in to the emotional breakdown that was years in the making. It lasted days. During those days there was ugly crying, deep thoughts, long baths and long periods alone. I can tell you from my experience, everything in my life suffered when I was in this state of mind. My relationships, my self-esteem and my mental and physical health.

During that time I finally developed some self-awareness. Being away from all those people you hid behind and sobering up in order to create a life does that to a person, maybe. I realized that I was living my life for other people and have been doing it since I left the nest.

For Example, I became a photographer to impress my dad, because it was his current hobby… that he gave up while I was in boot camp when he took the camera back to Costco.

I got caught up making self-destructive decisions. Hanging out with partiers and heavy drinkers (ie: all Sailors). In the Navy, you are prone to being in situations where tying one on is normal and when you have no tolerance to alcohol disaster will ensue. It is inevitable. I met my husband at the tail end of that decade-long shit-show. The party girl reeled him in and the sober chick with goals and a good soul sealed the deal.

During this process, the minute I became self-aware of a few facts about myself, I started using that information to rebuild myself. I realized I am not a good drinker. I do not know my limit, I have no clue when to stop, I get sloppy, make terrible decisions and then owe apologies that are covered in embarrassment and self-loathing.

I also realized that I was working toward goals that were not really important to me. I wasn’t putting in the real effort it takes to adult properly. I also wasn’t doing things that make me happy, (because I still hadn’t figured out what those things were). I realized that because of my stubborn and superiority complex, I had missed out on too many years with my mom to admit to.

I became aware of my over-analyzing, my anxious feelings, my tendency to blow-up and the fact that what I was putting my time and energy into bullshit.

Self-awareness is a magical thing. Just admitting to yourself where you need to make improvements and realizing what is holding you back starts a journey to a happier existence.

The next step is action; that’s a difference post for another day though!

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The Year I Took for Myself

This will be known as the year I took for myself. I really started this over-due and difficult journey last year, but I am making it my official goal this year. Yes I set goals, and yes I stick to them. It is how my brain is wired. Now before you say, “I wish I was like that” read through a few recent post and then decide.

I am the person who wakes up and really enjoys writing out the days plans with her morning cups of joe. Yes you read that correctly, it takes multiple cups and I enjoy making list.

Anyway, I am taking this year to work on myself, do what makes me happy and find out what else makes me happy.

To accomplish this goal, I have to let go of a few things and change the way I think. For example, for some reason I have put people liking me really high on my list of importance. I must have,  because I really do care if people like me. Way too much. I over analyze every relationship I have ever had, nightly. Ok, not really nightly, but I do it far more than I would like.

I am the person who really wishes Facebook required a reason before they allowed you to use the unfriend option. It’s fucked up Facebook, really, it is. I need to know why this person who has requested or accepted a social media friendship contract and has abruptly ended it without my permission. I have to know WHY!

I digress…

I do know that in order for me to keep myself sane and moving forward I need to stop wasting the energy it takes giving a shit whether or not people like me. I need to stop working on this facade of perfection I have built. It’s wearing me the fuck down. I can’t keep all my ‘friendships’ afloat by myself and I need to recognize a dead friendship when I see one.

During our 6-month apartment stay, I was on a low. Let’s call it that. During that time I was forced to deal with some real mental health type issues. After losing too much weight, having a couple panic attacks and bickering day and night with Chris, I knew it was time to get my ass in gear and deal with this issue I knew would surface one day.

Let’s be real for a second. The odds have always been stacked against me in the mental health department. What I mean by this is that I am genetically predisposed to anxiety and depression, and I have enough childhood trauma to fill a two-day Dr. Phil episode.

Let’s not ignore the other elephant in the room. Having a child really pushes you to the edge sometimes. Having a tiny two-year old who knows everything and loves to hide really really well is tough you guys. With the sleep deprivation, constant mini-heart attacks and putting yourself on the back-burner (or what you perceive as the back-burner) can really begin to wear even the sanest person down.

So, in 2016 I have made it my point to get mentally strong, physically strong and emotionally strong. The plan to get myself there is pretty simple. Stop putting other people first, say no when I really want to, no more one-sided friendships, simplify my life (more to follow there) and spend time doing things that feed my soul like working out, going on dates with my husband and learning how to garden. And read, I remember enjoying that too.

My mom would be proud of me and that makes me feel good. So far my confidence is returning, my marriage is stronger for it and damn it feels good to sit in traffic and not want to take my skin off and walk home.

So join in my journey, take some time for you, and maybe learn a thing or two.

 

That was totally an accident and totally lame.

 

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I would like to order a cup of denial, extra guilt and just a sprinkle of reality…

It is absolutely amazing to me that I have denied my own truth until recently. Or I suppose some would say that I have found ways to deny it, escape it or even explain it; ‘it’ being the reality of my mental health situation and how I got there. This post is not going to be about the latter of the last sentence though, so don’t exit this post just yet.

I just feel like my absence on my own blog is just another example of my mental health reality and another situation I can easily explain away. We just moved into a new house that took 6 months to build. We were cramped and unhappy in the apartment, blah blah blah.

But the absolute truth is I was in a pretty deep depression. The truth is I suffer from depression. And GAD.

I have always denied the depressive part to my personality. I believed in to be situation, brief and not a big deal. Certainly not depression. I mean, I have studied depression for years. It is BASIC psychology. Hello, half the world should be at least familiar if not an expert by the constant commercials cramming medications down our throats. I made joke after joke that maybe I chose that particular field of study to try and outrun what ever reality awaited me in that department. I don’t seriously believe that this is the entire case here, but I definitely believed I would see the signs or understand what was happening to me.

I have recently been doing a lot work on myself. Mainly for my daughter. I do not wish to repeat history, that has always been something I have been high-per aware of. This has included therapy sessions, starting medication, changing medication and spending more time doing things that help me feel better (baths, yoga, going to Target alone, etc.).

During this time, I have realized there have been several points in my life that I am sure I was suffering from a depressive episode. I have made horrible decisions, been drunk for years at a time and survived several situations I will never talk about in the company of my daughter.

I know that I feel much better realizing why and how I got here. Despite my best effort, I suffer from what many, many women suffer from. I got tired of all the anxious feelings, the constant sweating, the chest pains, the inability to control my emotions once I reached panic mode. I had to take control of it and get some help. Hiding was now impossible and being a good mom has become my priority so I had to put my pride aside, put my ‘I’m no slave to the system and pills’ attitude aside.

I feel so much better now, truly. And once I got my anxiety under control it became overwhelmingly obvious that there was more to the story. More I needed to realize and more I needed to work on. Slowly, after 32-33 years of life, the smoke cleared. I see myself clearly now. I see that I am broken,  but not beyond repair. I am prone to short and long bouts where my eyes remain puffy and dark from lack of sleep and long sessions of weeping. Moments in time where I say I enjoy laying around and binge watching a show, or sleeping during the day when I really have to no reason to be tired. I have began describing myself as and introvert, and maybe I am, but there is a difference in the level of desire to be around people when I am the throws of a episode. The thought of going out in public, just public, not even an event where I am expected to socialize, gets me all worked up and in a pissy mood.

The point of this brutally honest and exposing post is that I am coming out of one of those episodes and am feeling MUCH better am ready to get this blog moving forward again, and I feel like I have finally found my niche.

Going forward this blog will focus on mental health as well as all the motherhood, kitchen madness, photography and my struggle to adapt to suburban life (DUH). Let me know what you think!

Love,

SM

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My love/hate relationship with the month of February

A few years ago, the title would have just read, “my favorite month is February” followed by all the reasons under the sun that made me love the month of February.

I still love the month very much, but now the month comes with a dark cloud of remembrance for me.

I love celebrating birthdays, ask any of my close friends and family. I find excitement and pride in finding the perfect gift for someone’s birthday. I like to listen closely to clues, I try to remember what they appreciated while we were out shopping and I would say I retain information well.

As you can imagine, I also love celebrating my birthday. Which happens to fall close to February; my birthday is in March.

I believe my early love of my birthday started when I was single digits. I don’t have a lot of good memories with my mom, but I do have a fair amount of great memories of my birthday celebrations with her. Let’s just say, she went big, or she went home… this taught me early to value birthdays and that making someone feel special on their birthday makes you feel good too. PSA: My love language involves gifts and acts of appreciation. Mixed in with some positive chatter about how beneficial, beautiful, talented, creative, thoughtful and loving I am… blah blah blah.

Anyways, after lots of money and time invested thinking about it, in my heart I believe she always tried to do really cool things for my birthdays like the dirty dancing themed birthday party I had and another one that involved marijuana and a séance because the rest of the year she was pretty “hands-off”. She fumbled through parenting because she was very busy fumbling through her life with no real support or means of getting any. She was broken early on and spent a good amount of time doing things that kept her on a path that didn’t lead to anything positive. For the most part of her life. Once she learned how to stop getting in her own way, it was too late.  Despite the relationship I had with her as a youth,  and the 11 years we had no contact, we managed to create and nurture a new relationship.

She was diagnosed with stage 4 small cell lung cancer in 2008 I think and at this time I was still  active duty and received a red cross message and had to go. I bought her a beautiful peach Italian jewelry box as a gift to give her. Even though our parting terms probably would alleviate me of the responsibility of a gift. But it was engrained early that it makes people feel good and that makes you feel good. So after 11 years of no contact at all, I fly from Italy back to Texas with this jewelry box. She had a necklace waiting for me.  We spent time together and decided to move on and spend the remaining years together, in each others lives.

She became my best friend. She loved the man I picked as my partner. She walked me down the aisle and attended my bachelorette party. She loved her birthday too, and it was February 23rd. I miss her and I miss celebrating the hell out of her birthday because it always made her happy for months, no matter how sick she was at the time. I have those gifts now, and my daughter plays with them and they live on in her room. She never got to meet Charlotte. She was holding on past the 6-month sentence, but once she knew the pregnancy with Charlotte was healthy she passed soon after.

She would have been 53, but she would tell you 45.

February 23rd also happens to be my favorite aunt and uncle’s birthdays. She is the glue to our family and Adrian and I grew up pretty much like brother and sister.

The last reason I love this month is that my favorite holiday is Valentines Day. Go ahead, roll your eyes, I love this hallmark holiday. I  love being doted on, I love being taken out, I love receiving gifts as you already read. The date I knew Chris was the one was Valentines Day. He got the fucking memo and I was taken care of.

So, you can see the love/hate relationship I now have and will always have with this month. One minute I am thinking of my momma crying into my chocolates and another minute I am sobbing in a bubble bath full of new bath products. Poor Chris. I think he knew it was going to be an emotional roller coaster this month and planned ahead because he has received 4 boxes in 1 week from stores he does not shop at.

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Treat yourself to a delicious treat!

Want something that makes you think of a warmer and more tolerable time in your life? A more tolerable time like family vacation time somewhere with sand and or water. Well it’s here!

This delicious treat has a fresh taste. It’s peachy and mango mix is perfection.

Welchs Refreshingly Simple

Just add ice. Refreshingly Simple is a perfect name for this juice. It is both simple in make up and refreshing in nature; so naturally I stocked up immediately!

<img src=”http://img.bzzagent.com/image/hero_Welchs_Refreshingly-Simple.jpg?Type=activity&Activity=5917604482&Campaign=9980218078&Uid=1973756&token=2fc12191e63a0490ce99dfadca3a5a34″ alt=””/>

Month 2 and 3

Not many things have actually taken place since the last post, yet here I am writing my planned update post later than I should have.

The part-time job waiting tables is going well. I mean it’s going out pretty much as soon as it comes in. So I would say it is successful.

Still nowhere to hide. Which in turn leaves just about no time for me to be alone long enough to stream in full thoughts, let alone get in down on paper or type it out. Which is the excuse I hide behind, but truthfully I feel like I am also experiencing writers block or lack of inspiration. There is a definite funk.

I don’t feel like arranging playdates on the few hours I have off and have free time. I can barely find the energy or mindset to get my always full list of things-to-do complete. Rather, I have been finding myself letting my mind wander and fantasize about the future far more often than I ever did before.

My husband must feel the same way, because we have taken a very large step-backward in our relationship recently. He has decided that he doesn’t mind the nagging and has decided that for now, he would be perfectly fine with me just telling him what needs to be done. How fun for me, guys. He has thrown in the towel and is fine with the nagging after all and has coined it “giving direction.” He doesn’t care to learn where I keep things, what chores need to be done, what needs to be bought, and so on. This is all temporary for him and he is not feeling motivated in the least to be here. Or happy or comfortable.

I get it.

He has secretly been visiting the house more than a couple of times a week. To watch the progress. I say secretly because for some reason at first I would get pissed if he talked about being over at “the new neighborhood.” I couldn’t really articulate why it annoyed me, but it did. And it did to a high degree.

After I saw some of the pictures he had been taking and sharing with other people, I was amazed at the progress. I realized quickly that I was only annoyed because I was jealous. Jealous that he had the time to drive over there multiple times a week. He would tell me to go by there and look at it, trying to get me to get excited with him. But I don’t have the extra time during the week, and if I did have time to get over there it would take about an hour or so to drive it, and with a toddler who is not napping that can be a pretty much terrible experience. I have errands to run on my days off, and it is already hard enough to shop with a toddler, adding an hour drive to that day sounds like a real treat. I also felt like I was missing out on part of the process.

So I let all that go, and now make him send me all the photos he takes immediately so I can feel like I am there and I can watch it grow with him. Problem solved.

Oh, and he got a really really sweet deal on fridge! So that is taken care of.

Let’s see what happens the rest of this month! We have a planned Thanksgiving trip that we always look forward to. More to come…

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Photographer, writer, life-coach and kick-ass mother and chef. Fuck you, it's my blog I can say what I want.