Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Year Quiz

I totally stole this from warcrygirl...but it seemed a fitting way to end 2009.

1. What did you do in 2009 that you'd never done before? I ran a six physician orthopedic practice. If you had told me a year ago I'd be doing this I would have called you crazy.

2. Did you keep your new year's resolutions, and will you make for next year? I don't believe in resolutions. I prefer to set goals, but really it's the same thing.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth? My sister, but then that happens every year.

4. Did anyone close to you die? Thankfully no.

5. What countries did you visit? None, but I got lost in Nevada does that count?

6. What would you like to have in 2010 that you lacked in 2009? Inner peace.

7. What dates from 2009 will remain etched upon your memory and why? January, when my best friend kindly advised me I had become a bitch and perhaps wasn't dealing with my mom's death well. This got me into therapy and I'm very thankful to be moving towards a healthier mental state. March 3, 2009 when my boss called me to tell me that my office manager had messed up horribly and I was needed to help save the practice.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? Successfully taking over the practice. Finding closure on my mom's death.

9. What was your biggest failure? Not really being there for my family like I should have been.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury? Let's see a cracked rib and then shoulder surgery. I'd say yep.

11. What was the best thing you bought? I really have no idea.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration? Beav...he's improved so much at school.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed? My father who fails to understand that other's have feelings that are as equally important as his.

14. Where did most of your money go? Bills, paying things off, including the IRS, ugh.

15. What did you get really excited about? Einstein getting into college.

16. What song will always remind you of 2009? There's a song I heard this year by Taylor Swift called "The Best Day" which always makes me think of my mom.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
-happier or sadder? I think I'm happier, or at least I'm on my way
-thinner or fatter? Thinner
-richer or poorer? I wouldn't say I'm richer, but I definitely worry less

18. What do you wish you'd done more of? Spent time with my family.

19. What do you wish you'd done less of? Work.

20. How did you spend Christmas? With my siblings and all of our kids. I LOVED IT.

21. Did you fall in love in 2009? Only with the Zaca Mesa Syrah.

22. What was your favorite TV program? I can't say I have one.

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year? I don't spend my energy on hating people.

24. What was the best book you read? It's two. My Sister's Keeper and The Lovely Bones really helped me get closure on my grief.

25. What was your greatest musical discovery? I discovered Amos Lee this year. Love him.

26. What did you want and get? My kitchen aid mixer.

27. What did you want and not get? Seriously? Nothing. I just buy it myself, lol.

28. What was your favorite film of this year? Don't have one.

29. What did you do on your birthday and how old were you? Got hair extensions, went to dinner and I am 41.

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? Finishing school.

31. What would describe your personal fashion concept in 2009? If it makes me feel happy to wear it, I do.

32. What kept you sane? Apparently nothing

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? I've been crushing on Justin Timberlake forever. (Justin, call me)

34. What political issue stirred you the most? Health care because there is so much misinformation out there.

35. Who did you miss? My mom...always

36. Who was the best new person you met? Wow..can't really say although there are quite a few people on twitter that I've never met who have been super supportive to me this year.

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2009. Sometimes the people that you think you can count on forever are the ones that disappoint you the most.

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year. I just can't come up with a song lyric like that, lol.

Monday, December 28, 2009

It's December 28th do you know where your resolutions are?

Now that I've caught up on the gazillion items in my reader I have a moment to blog. Noticed three specific themes while reading other blogs. 1. Best of 2009, 2. Christmas, 3. New Year's Resolutions.

I can't really do a "best of" because I don't update the blog enough. My blog is not "best of" worthy. Maybe one day..when it grows up to be a real blog.

Christmas....I'll get to that.

New Year's Resolutions...don't really do them..but I do promise to update more.

Christmas - Hubby and I left Long Beach on Thursday for the drive to the Sacramento area. It took us only SIX hours which is our best time yet..and that's with a gas stop. We're staying with one of my brothers and his wife and the rest of my siblings and their kids all joined us for Christmas. It was awesome..fourteen kids. We had a great time opening gifts and just laughing. I laughed a lot. It was sad that my dad wasn't there, but that's on him. There were a few emotional moments. My sister brought over some baked goods, specifically some specialties my mom used to make. I hadn't seen those since before she passed and I shed a few tears while enjoying the tasty treats. My sister in law gave us all this beautiful poem framed about loss and memory. All of us teared up at that..but again..it was ok. Christmas is for memories and my mom helped us make a lot of those. For that we are very blessed.

Initially the husband I planned to spend the holiday on the road. We had originally planned an extended road trip but my brother persuaded us to spend the holiday with him and my siblings and I'm glad we did. We did part of our road trip anyway and took off on Sunday for Santa Cruz.

I love Santa Cruz. It's always been one of my favorite places and hubby has never been so it was fun to share it with him. We did some exploring and shopping. And of course we ate at the wharf..an overpriced dinner that catered to tourists...but what the heck. That's when the trip took a weird turn.

I haven't talked about it much but the husband and I have been doing very poorly. Poorly to the point that growing old together didn't seem like an option. I don't want to go into details about the issue...but it was a big one. And it's grown worse over the past several months. Our relationship had deteriorated to the point that it was just difficult being around him. I hate that. It takes a lot of energy to be unhappy and I was very unhappy. And I did try to let go...but everytime I did I was reminded that the issue still existed and it wasn't going to go away. I have tried talking about it to him but that didn't seem to work either and I truly had given up.

So...before we went to dinner he asked me why I looked upset and I told him that I was sad because here we are on this little trip away and it's impossible to truly enjoy it because things aren't right. Once we sat down to dinner the discussion began and it wasn't a great one. It just didn't seem like we were hearing each other. At least the restaurant was slow and we had an entire section to ourselves. Once we finished eating we told the waitress that we were just going to sit back and finish our bottle of wine and she left us alone for a bit.

The final straw of our discussion was when he told me that he realized what needed to be changed but didn't know if it was worth attempting because perhaps I had already given up....and that's when I reminded him that if it was truly important to him..it wouldn't matter if I had. If our relationship was truly that important he wouldn't stop to think about if it was too late..he'd try anyway.

Then there was total silence for quite a few minutes. He realized that I was right. I had to explain that by his lack of response in the past I had to assume that he just didn't care. Because if he did care, wouldn't he do something?

Now..everything isn't all honky dory and we didn't go back to the hotel and make out like teenagers because this is real life. And this is a real problem. It's going to take some time.

But it was nice to feel that he "got" it.

We got up this morning and headed to San Francisco where we did some more shopping (I know, but I really needed those boots...and the pumps...) We had a fabulous lunch and a very nice afternoon.

We still have a lot of work to do. But I feel better about things. Being angry, hurt, and upset does take up so much energy and even though I don't believe in resolutions I do want to be happier in 2010.

The one thing that I did accomplish this year was I finally received closure on losing my mom. It's still hard and I still have bad days but I feel better. I've reached a point where even though I miss her so much every day I feel her close to me. I feel her in the things I say to my kids that she said to me. I feel her when I look at my brothers and feel so grateful I have them in my life. I feel her when I look at my sister and realize that she just isn't my sister anymore, but my friend.

All in all...the trip was a success and I enjoyed my Christmas. Tomorrow morning we hit the road to go back to reality. SIGH.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Happy Holidays

Are you ready for Christmas? Because I'm NOT!!!!



But I'm not in a panic yet.



The kids leave Saturday morning to go up to their dad's. Hubby and I leave on the 24th to go up north. Ironically we'll be just a few miles away from the boys so we've opted to get together up there to open gifts rather than try to open them up here before they leave. In the meantime I have every minute planned.



Thursday night - Beav's play

Friday night - celebrating friend's birthday at wine bar

Saturday night - girlfriend dinner

Sunday - our annual open house (tons of food shopping and prep to do)



I'm really looking forward to getting up north. We're getting together with my brothers and my sister for Christmas dinner. It will be kinda weird without my dad but I'm so looking forward to getting together with them and having a real family holiday. I was truly hoping Thanksgiving would do that for me but that day went horribly wrong.



I can't believe that I'm actually looking forward to Christmas. I never thought that would happen for me again and I'm so thankful.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Holiday Decorating

Just to prove that I have obtained some holiday spirit I thought I'd share some photos of our Christmas decorating.


I've even decked myself out, don't I look Christmasy. Quit looking at my boobs.

This is our Christmas Village. You can't see it but under a snowdrift is a police car. The kids keep burying it under the snow and hubby keeps taking it out. I'm just glad I don't have a village donut shop because all hell would break loose.






Silver Wonderment




It's a fake tree, I know, I suck.






The gingerbread counter to feed Einstein's irrational fear of Gingerbread men. You know how some people have the whole clown fear, well his is gingerbread men. Don't judge people!











Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Where did my mojo go?

I haven't been able to get back fully into kickboxing since my surgery. I go to my private sessions with my trainer and a class here and there but I've avoided most of the classes and I've stayed away from sparring.

Truth is I'm afraid to go back. Taking six weeks off while everyone else is forging ahead just puts me that far behind. This morning my trainer called me on it. And while I was kicking and hitting the heavy bag I started crying.

Yep, I'm now a total pussy.

In my defense, this is a tough week, hell, it will be a rough couple of months. I'm more than a little emotional. However, attempting to kickbox with snot running down your face, not a good thing. (Sorry for that TMI but this is my blog)

Second truth is I don't know what's wrong with me. I don't know what's holding me back. Obviously he struck a nerve because since this morning I've been more down than I have been in ages. He did call me about an hour after I left and checked in with me. He wanted me to know that he wasn't purposely trying to be mean and I know it's his own way of motivating me.

I'm not angry with him, I'm angry with myself. What happened to the athlete in me?

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Drunk on Turkey

Sometimes time away from home helps me to recharge. I'm not sure that his trip did that. Spending four days with my sister and nine children pretty much has worn me out, lol. Seriously, I'm not sure how on earth she does it. The noise level alone is nuts.

But I did miss my husband. A lot. But mostly I just missed my routine. I love the routine of my life. Is that horrible? Does that make me a cliche? Not to mention all I can think about is how much work is sitting at my desk waiting for me to return. (I'm totally trying not to let it get to me because I know I do deserve a life.)

I miss working out every day and feel like a total sloth since I've been eating crap since I got here. So...starting tomorrow it's back to the grind. The grind of work and the grind of training...although picking up kids all week has caused my shoulder to protest painfully today.

Apparently my dad was also up here this weekend. Apparently he's told my siblings that he's very angry with me for not being at his wedding. Apparently he can't pick up the phone and have this conversation with me. Yes, I could call him, but I've decided not to. I know it takes two and all that but the last conversation I had with him, in fact almost every conversation I have with him, he yells at me and has no regard for my feelings whatsoever. Frankly it pisses me off. I'm not sure where he got this idea that I need to go along with what he wants because he's my dad. Oh yeah, he gets that from my brothers. My brothers do it. And they pay the price for it. Both of them went to the wedding. Neither went to the reception and neither one of them has a positive thing to say about it. But I refuse to swallow the horrible feelings and go to the wedding because my father feels I should. That's just bullshit.

And trust me, I've thought about it endlessly. And I've prayed about it. I want to try to do the right thing as often as possible. And God has let me know there are things in my life that need to be addressed. However, I'm not feeling he's pushing me on this one.

I don't want to go on and on about this. What's done is done. I feel like I don't have any parents, which is weird and very painful (totally avoiding the pain right now). I never in a million years thought any of this would happen. At some point I'm going to have to process it I know. I hope there's a ton of tissue around when that happens.

I think what I need to do is get drunk. Not silly drunk, just happy drunk. Maybe on Thanksgiving?

Sunday, November 15, 2009

There's Peace At The End of This Journey.....right?

I've been away for awhile. It's been a rough couple of weeks and every time I sit down and think about blogging about it, it's just too hard.

Needless to say I've been on a journey of sorts. One that involves crying jags once a day. Just too many changes in my life. Normally, I love change. I look at it as opportunity. But with losing my mom, the huge job change that occurred in March and basically losing my dad, one more change threatens to push me over the edge. And hubby is considering retiring at the end of the year.

There are some incentives attached that make it look enticing, but the bottom line is between income and overtime he'll be bringing in $2000 less a month. That really started stressing me out. He is looking for a post retirement job but this really isn't the best time to do a job search and his training is very specialized. He's certified to teach disaster management to government agencies. This type of training is required to receive federal funds.

Of course I would love if he landed a position tomorrow but if he doesn't, what does that mean for us? I don't want to make him feel like he can't retire.

It's basically turned me into a big ball of stress and not an easy person to live with.

I've been going back to church hoping that my faith will bring me some peace. I believe it is, just a little slow for my taste. However, I was able to have a brutally honest discussion with my husband about it, about all of it. It was painful but necessary and at the end of the discussion I felt that my husband had become, once again, the man that I can lean on.

This week I've traveled up north (California) to spend some time with my sister. She just had her ninth baby. I think the time away will really be good for me and it's always nice when I spend time with my sister.

The most frustrating thing about all of this is that I hate feeling like this. I try so hard to try to be optimistic and upbeat. I don't want to be the downer chick.

I just want some peace.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Really, Grief does not make me horny

Yesterday my dad got married. Even though I know my mom is dead, yesterday kinda cemented the deal and it was way harder to deal with than I ever imagined.

I didn't go. Which is good because I spent Friday night/Saturday morning crying. Then I went and cleaned out the work storage. And then I went home and showered and did my best to stimulate the economy by indulging in some retail therapy.

Apparently when I'm upset and depressed I spend $200 at Fredericks of H@llywood. Hey, it costs a lot of money to carry these breasts around. Plus I bought a corset, and some panties, and some lingerie because it is my wedding anniversary this week and I would like to have sex because I haven't had any since my surgery and well, I'm horny.

Blame it on my age. 41, sexual peak, yada yada yada.

Hubby knows when I'm this upset to just let me be. I normally hate malls but it was a good place for me to be yesterday. Although truly, I don't need any more clothes. My closet is at full capacity. Seriously, it's disgusting.

I've only done this serious disregard for economizing once before and that was Mother's Day. And I took a lot of that stuff back.

I'm so glad I didn't go to my dad's wedding. I definitely would not have been ok. And his reaction when I told him I was considering not going.....well that sealed the deal. It would have been nice if he could have just been my dad for a few minutes. A little consideration, a little caring about my feelings....would have gone a long way.

Instead he just yelled and told me how I need to do things for him because apparently my feelings...yeah they don't matter.

But I survived. Although I feel like now I don't have a mom or a dad. My brothers and my sister, they feel the same way. We feel abandoned. It was as if my mom's death gave my dad a chance for a "do-over." And there's nothing wrong with that if it's handled correctly. Maybe wait a little longer than a year. Maybe try to ask your family to be involved instead of just telling them they have no choice. Maybe realize that your children really miss their mom.

God, I miss my mom. A lot.

Although she wouldn't be happy there is are pics of my boobs on the internet. But then she used to think I was way wilder than I really was.

Well, I was a little wild. Sometimes.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Boobs and Ravioli...not in that order

I must correct my last post. My surgery was NOT arthroscopic. Unfortunately an incision had to be made. I feel it's frankensteinish but I'm sure that will change soon. I'm taking one motrin twice a day to help with the pain but I'm frustrated by the lack of mobility. I started physical therapy last Friday so I'm hoping that helps a lot FAST.

Even with my lame arm I had lots to do last weekend. It was my turn to host our girlfriend dinner and I wanted to do it up right. I've been itching for a real dinner party so I did my best to go all out.

Here's what the table looked like before dinner.




I prepared the following courses and did my best to pair them with a great wine. Unfortunately I threw away the printed menus so I don't have the exact wines:

1st - Apricot and Chicken Bruschetta served with a Pinot Noir (HEAVENLY)


2nd- Butternut Squash Ravioli with Sage Brown Butter Sauce served with a Chardonnay (first time making ravioli from scratch and it was WAY too thick)


3rd - Grilled Pork Tenderloin a la Rodriguez with Guaza Glaza and Orange-Habanero Mojo served with a Tempranillo (thank you food network for this amazing recipe)


Dessert - Sweet Dessert Panini served with a Peach champagne (again thank you Food Network)

All of it was yummy (except for the thick ravioli)

Do you know when you don't feel sexy? When you've got a long ugly scar on your shoulder. So I did this today to help me feel better about myself. Hubby gave it two thumbs up. Fair warning, not a work or kid friendly pic.

Last but not least for you haters out there I have decided to NOT attend my dad's wedding this weekend. I'm just not ready. I don't want to put myself through that and it dawned on me last week that my father has turned into a selfish hypocrite and right now I don't even have any respect for him at all. And that makes me very sad.

So, if that bothers you, check out my boobs again to help you forget.




Sunday, October 11, 2009

Finding my way back...the hard way

If you've been following me on twitter and really who doesn't (insert eye roll here) you should know I had shoulder surgery last Monday. More specifically arthroscopic surgery for a bone spur.

I'm not a wimpy girl. I did get this injury from kickboxing. During the past year I've suffered a broken foot and a cracked rib. I consider myself pretty tough. So when the doctor warned me that this surgery is particularly painful afterwards I figured he was exaggerating a bit...or he just didn't understand how tough I am. I had planned to be back at kickboxing tomorrow..a week post surgery.

In fact after the surgery I was feeling not bad at all and surprised that it didn't hurt that much. I wasn't taking into account that the doctor injects anesthetic into the surgical site when he closes it up.

Boy was I wrong. This shit HURTS. Almost a week later and I still can't lift my left arm above my chest. The pain is constant and the only reprieve is the hour that I'm hooked up to the cold compression therapy machine (I'm sure there's a shorter name for it, but whatever). I am supposed to sit with this machine seven times a day. That means I'm supposed to sit idle for seven hours a day. I have no idea how to do that.

I have been given Vicodin to help with the pain but it makes me itch and I start to resemble a crack addict scratching at herself. I stopped taking it but gave in again when the pain became unbearable. I halved the dose and that seems to help. For those of you who are worried about addiction possibility, I'm taking two Vicodin A DAY so I think I'm ok. I don't take it at night because I am one of the people that Vicodin keeps awake. Yep, no drowsy here. About two hours after I take the pill I'm very much awake which is why on Monday night I didn't fall asleep until 3am. Seriously, had I not just had surgery I could have gotten up and made an entire Thanksgiving meal, that's how alert I was.

I'm not even going to talk about the mounds of work I brought home with me thinking I was going to get everything done this week. I've hardly touched it.

On the plus side I was able to catch up on a lot of reading and Dexter.

On the down side when I'm bored, I eat. Sitting around, eating and not being able to work out - I feel like the Pillsbury doughboy.

I guess I thought the doc would go in there, fix the problem and I'd feel all better. I didn't realize that there would be a time delay for the "feel all better" part.

Hopefully this will make my left cross stronger than ever.

And it does help with my priorities. I've neglected a lot of things I do for me - reading, blogging, reading blogs, etc, because of work. The truth is I'll never be caught up. I can only do what I can do and beating myself up about it doesn't help at all.

And I'm going to do a vision board. A visual reminder of my goals, dreams, and aspirations.

Because somewhere along the way I lost my way.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

And the winner is....

I've just got to rant about a phenomenon that is really driving me crazy lately.

It's with moms and it's about being competitive. About EVERYTHING. Heading the parent committee for Einstein's Gate program is a lot of work. Part of my job is attending school events and spreading the word about our meetings so I can get more parents involved. This means I run into a lot of parent's I already know.

When I see people we know we exchange pleasantries, "hi, how are you?" Etc. And then it turns into this. "Well, it was hard for me to come here tonight and tomorrow I have to go to Joey's school for PTA and then back to Jack's school for PTA meeting and then I have to find the cure for cancer and then after that I'm going to solve world hunger." You, get the idea, it goes on and on.

I'm busy. I'm busier then most people I know. I talk about it here, or FB, or twitter, but I don't bore people that I barely know with all the gory details.

Last night another parent, from Beav's school, took it to another level. I had received a call from the room mother because I haven't paid the deposit for his field trip yet. It's $2200 and I think that's a LOT of money to send a 14-year-old to DC. And because less kids are in his class the price might go up but once I pay the deposit, I'm stuck. So, I'm talking to this room mother and I'm explaining that it's a lot of money. I'm not saying I can't afford it, I just think it's a lot of money. So, this parent starts telling me how she understands and then I hear about how she is a single mother and how much money she makes a month and how she doesn't get child support and all I can think is 'why is this woman sharing all her personal crap with me?'

But then she kinda crosses the line and says that I need to have faith in God, that God will help provide money for the field trip. And that just pissed me off. Number 1, you can't assume that just because I send my child to a Christian school I share the same beliefs as you do. However, I've been through a lot of hell in the last year. My faith is about gone. That is my issue, and I'll work that out on my own.

So, I stopped her. And I said, "please don't preach about faith to me, I've been through a lot of hell this year and I don't have a lot of faith left." So now it becomes a contest to see whose life is hardest, only I refuse to play. Of course that doesn't stop her from telling me why her life has been so hard. It's really none of my business and really I don't care. And I don't want to compete with you about who has it harder because truly it's all subjective.

My personal hell could be completely different than your personal hell. What is horrible for me, might not be horrible for you and vice versa. I just don't think it should be a contest. I don't think that you need to hear all my personal business, which is why I didn't share any of it.

By the time we ended the conversation I could tell you oodles about her life, she really couldn't tell you anything about mine.

It's just frustrating, this whole competitive streak. Do we really have to tell everyone how hard our life is to prove something? I don't get it.

This is where I scream out loud in frustration.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

I'd say about ten inches

I know it's been a while since I updated. So long in fact that my hair grew a million inches!



Ok, maybe not. I splurged on extensions for my birthday. And I gotta say, you people with hair work hard. First I had to buy this thing called a hair brush. And then products? Before, a little bit of flat iron, some fingering (the hair people) and a little wax and viola I was done. NOW??? There's a spray for detangling, a spray to set curls a spray to straighten and hair spray. My hair is ten pounds heavier just because of product. I love having the hair it's fun, but I couldn't do it all the time. The longest my own hair could be is just below my shoulders. After that it just stops. I'm just short hair girl but for now I'm gonna rock the hair plus you must admit it makes me look younger.
So the hair is how I celebrated my 41st birthday. Then I put on this tiny low cut black dress and went to dinner with the hubby. And then we had our own private celebration and this isn't that kind of blog so you'll just have to use your imagination.
The boys came back from their summer on Saturday. We threw a great surprise birthday party for Einstein's 18th. He knew something was up but still seemed surprised. My brother came down from Northern California and we hung out all weekend. So much fun!!!
Today I got my father's wedding invitation. Not sure I can open it.
School starts for Einstein tomorrow and Beav starts on Thursday. Schedules are already nuts in the house. How am I going to keep up? I suppose like I always do.
Ok, that's all I got for now.

Monday, August 24, 2009

The Trip

I haven't talked about it yet but my trip home for the anniversary of my mother's death was awesome!!!



It was nice to hang with my brothers on Saturday night. Their wives and kids were there, my dad showed up. We barbecued, had some wine, and then smoked some cigars. We talked about the night my mom died, our memory of that night and how we were feeling. Then we shared happy memories of my mom. There were no tears it was so awesome. I can't even begin to explain how nice it was. It just really helped.



The next day I picked up my boys and we went to the cemetery. I picked up some flowers and my mom loved cats so I also got her a stuffed kitten. And then I said goodbye.



And I feel good about it. I feel liberated. I feel like I'm living again.



And so many of you were so awesome, thank you so much.



And those of you that were total asses. I needed time dammit, couldn't you see that???

Thursday, August 20, 2009

A B C

I totally stole this from solitary confinement



A. Attached or single? Attached

B. Best friend? My friend Denise

C. Cake or pie? mmm, cupcakes

D. Dog or cat? I have two dogs and one cat, but I have to admit my dogs go nuts when I get home and that's totally awesome

E. Essential item? Blackberry.

F. Favorite color? Red.

G. Gummy bears or worms? Gross

H. Hometown? Rocklin, Ca.

I. Favorite indulgence? Just one??? Massage

J. January or July? July

K. Kids? two boys, 18 and 13

L. Life isn’t complete without? My children

M. Marriage date? 10/27/01

N. Number of brothers and sisters? 2 brothers and 1 sister.

O. Oranges or apples? apples.

P. Phobias? Escalators and heights

Q. Quote?

R. Reasons to smile? Surviving the last twelve months

S. Season of choice? Summer

T. Travel dreams? I want to go to Ireland

U. Unknown fact about me? I prefer to keep it unknown :)

V. Vegetable? Tomatoes

W. Worst habit? Procrastination

Y. Your favorite restaurants? Anywhere that has a steak cooked to my perfection

Z. Zodiac sign? Virgo

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Sunday, August 16, 2009

One Year.

For the first half of the last twelve month I looked at today as the proverbrial light at the end of the tunnel. As if the anniversary of my mother's death would lift this dark veil from my life. A few months ago I realized that August 16th was not a magical number. What I can say is that the most painful year of my life (so far) is over.


I've learned so much. I hope I've grown. I know that I still have a long ways to go.

I've learned what NOT to say when someone I know loses someone they love. I've learned not to say "she's in a better place", "you'll see her again in heaven one day", and my personal favorite "she's no longer suffering." Those things might sound nice BUT they're lousy to hear because the best place she could be is here with her family, I don't want to wait until I get to heaven to see her again, I want to hug her now, and somehow even though she may not be suffering, I am, and that can't possibly bring her joy.

Actually the worst thing I heard was from someone who had been a friend and suffered a loss a couple of years ago. On one of my particularly bad days she sent me a text that read "now you know how I feel."

I've learned it's ok to be sad..and more importantly it's ok to cry when I'm sad. Anger has always been an easy emotion for me. If I get angry about something, I vent and then feel better. Sadness is a new thing for me. Expressing sadness is easier now and less uncomfortable but I still have a long ways to go. Most of my crying is still done in the dark when everyone else is asleep.


I've learned who my real friends are. When my mom first died I was overwhelmed by the responses from everyone. Some went beyond the call of duty, others sent text messages, emails, and called. It was amazing and I am truly thankful. However, its those that are still around twelve months later that really amaze me. Friends that aren't afraid to tell me that I need help. Friends that aren't afraid to say hey I love you but you're not ok. Because I wasn't ok. Friends that don't ask if you're ok but instead call and tell you that you're having dinner with them, no arguments. I hope I've learned to be a better friend.


I've learned how much I really love my brothers and my sister. I'm not always great about showing it but I love them so very much. And even though I'm the big sister I feel so blessed that I have two brothers who let me know that they're here for me. And how awesome to have a sister that will call me and demand that I talk about what's bothering me.


I've learned that no matter how much of a control freak I am it is impossible to control grief. I have cried listening to music, watching television, watching movies, reading books..I have even cried in front of the greeting cards. When I see a woman my age shopping with her mom I can barely stand it. I miss shopping with my mom.


I have learned that people I have never met are so amazing. I have been blessed by the kindess and love demonstrated by my online friends. On that day a year ago I twittered "my mom died today." The first response I received was from @chickpea, someone I've never met, but have "known" for a few years through blogging. Since then so many others have reached out with kind words, prayers and shared grief over their own losses.

have learned that wanting to die and being suicidal are two different things. Because I wanted to die, if only to stop feeling. On my darkest day I sat in my car and wondered how many sleeping pills would it take for me to not wake up. I just wanted the pain to stop. Of course, I'm way too practical and sensibility kicked in right away. There was no way I was going to willingly put my children through what I had been experiencing.

I have learned to forgive. Part of me blames my mom. I blame her for not taking better care of her health. I wish she had been open emotionally. I wish she hadn't bottled things up because I know it's so unhealthy and it can kill you. It almost killed me. And I forgive my mom these things. And I thank my mom for allowing me to see what I need to change in my life.


I have learned how difficult it is to sometimes let go. This past year I've had to let go of so many things. I've lost friends and as painful as it is, I'm ok with it and I'm better for it. I've lost control. Grief makes you feel like you're losing your mind. It's the craziest thing. You wake up in the morning and you say to yourself 'today will be a great day.' And then something happens. You hear a song, you have a memory and the next thing you know you're crying on the way to work and part of you is yelling 'what the heck, knock it off' and you can't. And it makes you feel like you've lost your mind. Sometimes it's just necessary to let those feelings happen.

I've lost my mom. My mom won't see Einstein graduate next year. She won't see my boys get married. She won't hold a great grandchild. She won't hold the baby my sister is having in a few months. She won't be here at Christmas to tease Einstein with gingerbread men. She won't be here to see the amazing men my sons are going to be. So I keep her around in little ways. The watch I wear is hers. The odd assortment of salt and pepper shakers I've been collecting just like she did. A picture of us on my mantle. Her Bible that I can open and see her handwriting.

And I know it's time to say goodbye. I've managed to avoid doing that for twelve months. But it is time. Not to forget, not to stop grieving, because I'll always grieve, but time to move on. Time to be the mother I need to be to my children. Time to be the wife I need to be to my husband. Time to be the friend that my friends have been to me. Time to be good to myself. Time to let go of the regrets and the "should-haves" that plague my nights. Time for peace.

Friday, August 14, 2009

On the road

This is it.

Sunday is the one year mark. Today after I get off work I'm road tripping it home to be with my siblings and my sons.

I'm looking forward to the drive alone. Hubby has to work this weekend and I think he senses I need some time just with my brothers and sister.

Apparently my dad is also coming but didn't tell anyone until he mentioned it to me last night. I sent a text to my brother letting him know and his response was "dad needs to work on his communication skills."

I'm optimistic about this weekend. I'm sensing closure and healing in my near future.

I'm just thankful I survived this year. And I'm thankful for those of you who really helped, encouraging words and prayers go a long way.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Look Ma, no tears

We interrupt Diva's normal grief motivated rant to bring you some pictures.

Hubby and I went to the Or@nge County Fair twice this year. Thought I'd share some fun pics of food that I DID NOT eat.


I will admit that last year I did try the deep fried White Castle Burgers and the deep friend avocado. The burgers weren't that good, kinda mushy. Avocado was yummy.






A couple of weeks ago hubby and I went to an 80s themed birthday party for some of the people I train with. This one is me with "Cap." One of the girls from the dojo works for R@xy and they had a box of used 80s dresses that they let us have for the party. I almost picked the gold dress but I think I did ok with what I wore. Although I can't believe I wore horizontal stripes.



This is hubby and me. Notice the pink Izod shirt and members only jacket.



Another girl I train with. Her dress was actually a bridesmaid dress from her sister's wedding. Her sister made her wear this dress!!!


Me and my best friend!!!

This is me with my trainer who looks NOTHING like this in real life. For starters, he's bald. It's hard to see but there is a belt on my hips. This belt is on the loosest setting. I use to wear this belt on this setting around my hips. It was a good two to three inches too big, woohoo.





















Thursday, August 06, 2009

I can show love, I just might do it differently than you

I've been blogging for a long time but one day in a fit of stupidity I erased one. I regret that a lot. For me blogging is pretty personal. I don't do it as a way to make a living, I don't sell advertising, it's just a place I vent. Often after I've blogged here, and I believe I mentioned this before, I feel totally different about whatever it was I was upset about. Sometimes, hell, almost all the time, it's just helpful to get it out of my head.


I also read some really amazing blogs. I can't believe that there are people who do this and make money. I could never be that talented and I'm impressed every day. I also can't believe how many people take the time to trash talk on blogs.


There are times when I disagree with something I've read in a blog or I could even be offended. When that happens I just take my mouse and click on that little "x" and voila the page is closed. I don't feel the need to leave my two cents because...well, why? I comment on a few of the blogs I read, I try to offer supportive comments or just a pat on the back.


And I'm constantly amazed by the supportive comments I've received here. People who are complete strangers have blessed me with their kind words. And then there are those times when someone feels the need to lecture me. Apparently they disagree with whatever choices I've made or whatever it is that's bothering me. So the other day when once again someone left a little lecture and then FOLLOWED IT WITH A BIBLE VERSE I got really pissed off.


I grew up in church. I have had bible verses thrown at me my whole entire life and here's what I've discovered. When you come at someone in a "shame on you" fashion and justify your lecture with a bible verse well you're just full of crap. That's not going to help me at all. And in reality I think it's only purpose is to help you feel better about yourself.


Next time you want to represent your Christian "love" trying offering to pray for someone. How about "I'm sorry you're having these issues, I'm praying that God will soften your heart." That's a nice way of letting me know you disagree with me and at the same time showing, oh don't know" KINDNESS.

And please don't think I'm against the bible or bible verses. My mom's Bible sits next to my bed and I can't even begin telling you how many times I've opened it.

A friend of mine sent me this the other day, I found it and her fabulous.

"The most glorious moments in your life are not the so-called days of success, but rather those days when out of dejection and despair you feel rise in you a challenge to life, and the promise of future accomplishments."
Gustave Flaubert

P.S. I'm starting another blog. There are some personal issues that I just don't feel I can discuss here. If you're interested leave me a comment with your email.

Friday, July 31, 2009

No train of thought here

So, I'm in a ridiculously good mood. I'm not sure why. Perhaps it's exhaustion. I've hardly slept all week and I'm hoping to crash tonight. Otherwise tomorrow's sparring session will be brutal.

Well, I know a little bit about why I'm in a good mood but not going to share it here. Just not ready and I'm not sure this is the place. Even though it's my blog. HAHA.

This seems like the longest week ever. Probably the lack of sleep. It just dragged and dragged. And it's month end which means a ton more work to do which is why I brought some home. But not tonight. Took a Soma earlier and I'm hoping to be unconscious soon.

Work is definitely getting better. There is still a lot to get done but I don't feel as overwhelmed as I use to. We've taken care of a lot of problems and even though we still have a lot of work to do I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. I remember just a couple of months ago thinking I couldn't survive this but here I am.

All I can say is thank God for psychotherapy and kickboxing!!

I'm not sure I've mentioned it but my kids have been gone for the summer and can I tell you how much I miss them!!!! OMG, like crazy. Einstein will be here in a couple of weeks for to pick up his school schedule but then he goes back up north until September 5th. Hubby and I had better get our partying done, now.

This week I discovered blip.fm. How fun to discover all kinds of different music. How expensive as I find myself purchasing said music all week. I can't help it, music just moves me. Corny, I know but I think it's because verbally I suck at expressing myself and sometimes songs just say what I can't.

Next week should be interesting. My front office person is taking a much needed vacation which leaves the new employee who isn't working out so well. He's very sweet and very polite but just doesn't seem to have the ability to multi-task. How many times can you put a person on hold and keep asking them questions? I am trying to be patient but if he doesn't step up next week I'm not sure he's going to last. That is not the fun part of my job.

I'm really not sure what the fun part is yet.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

It's not me, It's you

I've been doing a lot of thinking about friendships. Dealing with a life changing experience (grief, childbirth, marriage, etc) will teach you a lot about friendships. Friends that I thought would always be there turned out not to be. And friends that were always solid in the background really stepped up.

I have a hard time letting go of friendships. I'm fiercely loyal to people I care about. And I will try to salvage a friendship that I feel is worthy.

One of the friends that I have lost I have mentioned on here previously. We use to have so much fun together. She could be a bit high maintenance because she wouldn't drive anywhere so if we were going out together I would have to drive. However, she always helped pay for gas or she'd pick up a meal, etc. She was an excellent shopping buddy, which I feel can be difficult to find.

Back in January on the night I really hit rock bottom she and I had plans to go out. I don't believe we had seen each other since before my mom died. In fact we had only recently reconnected after losing touch. Her response to my mom's death was to text me periodically to ask me how I was doing and that kind of bothered me. I initiated contact with her and consequently we made plans. Unfortunately that was a night from hell and I had to cancel our plans.

The conversation, via text, didn't go well. I don't remember all the details but I remember me lashing out a bit that we only had plans because I had made the attempt and her response was that it was work being my friend. And yes it was. Hello, my mom died. Grieving. It's not an excuse, it just is.

Recently I've been thinking a lot about her and sent her an email. I would have preferred to send a letter or card but I deleted her address. So I sent a short email apologizing for what had happened and telling her that I miss how much fun we had together. I sent it Friday afternoon and received a response on Monday morning. She mentioned how she appreciated my apology because she knows it's difficult to do so.

Apparently she didn't feel the need to apologize for her part. And that really bothered me. And then I realized that a)I wasn't surprised and b)I wasn't missing anything. And it got me to thinking about a conversation I had with a friend of mine recently.

We both have had to let go of a common friend. She brought up the point that this particular friend had no long term friends in her life. No girlfriends from high school, etc. I started thinking about that. I have friends in my life that go back to junior high school. We don't talk every day. In fact, we can go for weeks without talking. But if need be I can pick up the phone and say "help" and they'll answer. I have friends that were in my first wedding in 1989.

So, I wasn't surprised that I didn't receive an apology or an attempt to reconnect because this person also has no long term friends. With both these individuals it's painfully obvious that perhaps they don't know how to be a really good friend or they don't understand the value of a true best friend.

To be fair to the common friend, she really stepped up the night my mom died. I will give her that. I appreciate it like nobodys business. But she also thrives on those kinds of situations. The whole "saving the day" thing. I've known her for a few years and we've not only been friends but served on boards together and she's never really truly committed to anything. She'll step up but once she's bored, or it doesn't serve her purpose, or she's just not "feeling it" she quits.

And while I hate losing friends, do I really need these types of people in my life? Someone once told me that one of my biggest faults was that I often expected others to behave as I do. That is, if I treat a friend a certain way, I expect that friend to treat me the same. I disagree. If I send a friend a card, just because, I don't sit around waiting for them to send me one.

However, I am allowed to have expectations. I am allowed to expect to be treated a certain way. I would hope that my friends have expectations from me. And I hope that if I don't they'll step up and let me know.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

"Life is too short"

"Life is to short." - an easy solution for everything? Someone said that to me tonight as a justification for me to accept the situation with my dad. It really pissed me off.

First - this person is someone I admire and respect a lot. I don't doubt that he cares about my feelings, but, I didn't ask for his opinion.

I'm not a stupid person. I'm not without feelings. I'm not heartless or cold. In fact a majority of the time I put my feelings on the back burner. A lot of the time I "take one for the team."

I'm not going to spend the rest of my days refusing to acknowledge that my father has someone in his life. I fully understand that I have to come to terms with it. However, I also fully understand that I have my own issues right now. I am experiencing a lot of pain and it really sucks. I would love nothing more than to stop feeling the way I do. BUT, a big reason that I am having such a hard time is because I spent five months shoving all these feelings down. That didn't work out so well for me. So, like it or not I have no choice but to deal with it now.

So, let me deal with it. Let me work through this. I think I'm doing a good job. I have professional help. I talk about my feelings, I've come a long way. Right now I have the choice to not deal with my dad's new life. I choose to deal with that when I'm ready. On my terms - not someone elses. Yes, I know life is too short, trust me I've learned that lesson well. I just don't see it as an excuse to avoid my own issues just because I might not have a chance later on. That's a risk I have to take.

I can't start a new chapter without finishing the one I'm in. I haven't been able to say goodbye. I didn't say goodbye at the funeral. I didn't say goodbye at the gravesite. I haven't said goodbye. And until I do whatever is going on with my dad will have to wait.

I don't spend every waking moment thinking about my mom being gone. In fact several times a day, several times a week, I find myself wanting to share things with her only to remember that I can't pick up the phone and call her. I like it like that.

For me, saying goodbye means she's really gone. It means that I've accepted that my mom is really gone. And as crazy and illogical as it sounds I just can't do that. I know I have to. The anniversary looms ahead and I know that it's time to say goodbye. I know it's time to start the new chapter.

I've spent forty years having a mom around. Accepting otherwise, it's unbelievably painful. The reality is people die everyday...and people move on. I know I will move on. I just wish people would let me do that on my terms.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

I'm leaving out the part about the bar and the rodeo boys

Yes, it's been almost a month since I've blogged. In my defense I was camping for eight days. EIGHT days, by the way, is too long to live in a trailer with no bathroom doors and two boys and a husband.


We went to Bridgeport, California. A spot that hubby's father and other members of his family travel to every year around the fourth. We've gone in the past, but never consistently and we're looking forward to making it a habit. We spend the week fishing, hiking, and doing day trips. We took the jeep this time and had a blast taking it off road. Unfortunately we didn't catch a lot of fish. Hubby only caught one and Beav caught two. Not a good record considering our fishing successes in the past.


After my mom died I had told my dad that he should come enjoy the week with us. My mom hated camping and I know during the past few years my father hadn't been able to go as often as he would have liked. Not to mention it's a great opportunity for him to enjoy some great quality time with the boys.


Our week at the campground went from Saturday to Saturday. We were scheduled to check out on the 4th and relocate to a hotel in town. My father arrived in town on Thursday afternoon. I drove into town to find him (not difficult to do, one main street). Immediately he needed my phone to call his girlfriend, sigh.


I took him to a great abandoned mine that we had recently learned about. You can only access it with an off road vehicle and it's a great chance to see some beautiful scenery. As expected, he loved it. Later, we hooked up with the rest of the family and grabbed some dinner. He started talking about how we was probably going to leave the next day. I was confused and asked why he would drive for seven hours and stay only twenty-four? My son's told him that he would be missing all the real fun, 4th of July pancake breakfast, parade, etc. His response was that he would have to call his girlfriend and ask if it was ok. SIGH.


He stayed until right after the parade the morning of the 4th and then left. Before he arrived I did a lot of thinking. He is now living down in Southern California, about an hour and half away from me. I don't want us to be distant. I really thought that maybe I could handle the whole girlfriend thing.


I was wrong. I'm sorry. I'm 40-years-old. I have seen my father with my mother my entire life. I am just not ready for this. And I'm so freakin' tired of everyone else telling me I'm wrong and how I should feel. And I'm angry that my father leaves me and his grandchildren to spend time with this woman's sons.

And my children were angry too.

Other than the issue with my father it was a great trip and even though I ended up having to drive into town and check into work a couple of times I did get to relax. I had no idea that I was so stressed. I returned to work feeling so relaxed and optimistic. Apparently this whole "vacation" idea is a good one.

Oh yeah, and the fireworks were cool too.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Dear Mom

Dear Mom,

I almost picked up the phone and called you today. Every once in a while I find myself doing that. It's as if I forget for quick second that you're not here to talk to. After I finished interviewing three people today you were the first person I wanted to talk to. You would have appreciated the funny stories.

I mean really, when you ask a candidate why the job interests them and their answer is "because I have pain in my knees and back and I need to get it treated" you can't help but think, did you really say that out loud?

Today is your wedding anniversary. I bought you a card. How silly is that? Do you think the people in the grocery store were freaked out by the crazy redhead silently crying in front of the card display?

Really, most days I'm fine. But then a day will come up where I just can't stop crying. I miss you so much. I hate how everything has changed. I just want everything to be the way it was because now it just feels all broken.

Like my heart.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Molehills to Mountains

I promised an explanation of this.

For the past couple of years I've had this little freckle on my neck. It gets bigger, grows into a mole, and then fills with blood, pops, and goes away, then comes back a few months later as a freckle.

I know, totally gross.

This time it never went away. It just kept filling with blood. And it hurt. And it looked infected. So one of the medical assistants at my office suggested I run upstairs to the skin care office just to have them take a look at it. They look at my pale skin, my freckles, and my few moles and decide a complete screening is necessary. All of a sudden this quick trip upstairs has turned into something more. Now I'm naked in a paper robe while a doctor is viewing every mole with a special magnifying glass. And then she found something that she didn't like.

It's on my leg, on my calf. She mentioned that the edges were uneven and discolored. I stared at it for awhile while she was out of the room and honestly if I wasn't looking that closely for the discoloration I would have never noticed it. That mole has been shaved off.

She did a punch biopsy on my neck. I have two tiny sutures and am now sporting a very small round band aid. Sutures have to stay in until a week from tomorrow. It will take ten days to receive the results of the biopsy.

Everyone asks if I'm worried. I'm really not. With everything else that has been happening in my life this just seems like another bump on my journey.

It's painfully obvious that God is trying to get my attention. I just wish I knew for what.

Tomorrow hubby, the kids, and myself are headed here for the weekend. We are staying at a cabin that we won through a silent auction last October. It's literally taken us this long to get a free weekend. Three fireplaces, whirlpool bathtub, right on a creek. I'm thinking heaven. Plus, we don't have to worry about any linens, firewood, etc. All we need to bring is our clothes and food for the weekend. And I plan to spend the weekend in jeans and tshirts so it's probably the easiest trip I've ever packed for.

I'm just looking forward to relaxing with my family. But don't worry, the cabin does have wifi :)

Wordless Wednesday...explanation coming soon


Monday, June 08, 2009

And the Uglier

I read a lot of different blogs. Almost all are mom blogs with the exception of a few. Everyone writes in a different style. Some write tongue in cheek and they're very funny. Some are just straight forward discussing their lives, activities, and families.



I've been blogging for about six years. I don't do it for recognition. I don't blog in the hope that I'll become famous. I don't sell ads on my blog (not that there's anything wrong with that). For me, blogging is a way to get the stuff that is in my head out. It's pretty much how I just throw up everything I'm thinking/feeling as a way to sort it out. Kind of my way of finding out if what I'm feeling is real or needs a closer look.



I don't blog about everything going on. In fact I also keep a handwritten journal. Sometimes it's just not convenient to boot up the laptop and sort things out here.



So, imagine my surprise when my last post receives a comment that starts with "I just can't keep my mouth shut any longer" or maybe it was anymore, anyway, it started with that and then proceeded to trash me or should I say trash my feelings.



First, if you have been fighting to "keep your mouth shut" well, then, you're spending WAY too much time thinking about what I write here. I mean seriously, if what you read bothers you move the hell on.



Furthermore this is a snippet of my life. This is the place where I yell out all those things that I can't yell anywhere else. For the record, the day that I wrote that post I did talk to my dad. But, that's for another post.



I understand this is public. And I understand that being public means you run the risk of people leaving negative comments, yada, yada, yada. But I'm sorry, I just don't get it. As I said I read a lot of different blogs and I often read things that I a)don't understand or b)disagree with but I've never felt the need to trash someone on their own blog.


Thanks, I feel better now. Just needed to throw up my feelings again.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

It's not secret that I've been in a funk. It's a complete combination of factors and everything seems to meld into each other so I don't even know where to start. I could call my life The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly



The Ugly:

My dad. After this conversation my dad and I haven't talked. He's called a few times but I haven't spoken to him. I'm not going to hide that fact that I'm hurt and angry. Last week my sister called me to tell me that my dad had called her and mentioned he felt like taking his own life because "his relationships were screwed up" and he was upset that I wouldn't talk to him. Then my sister tells me that I need to be the bigger person and call my dad because he's hurting. What about me? I'm hurting. What really made me angry is that then she uses God as a way to manipulate me into doing what she thinks is right. Look, I know that eventually I have to forgive him. I understand what the Bible says. However, I don't think God's intention is for me to allow others to inflict pain on me and just shrug it off. I'm fairly sure that God is also concerned for my emotional welfare.



What also bugs me is that my dad used God as a way to justify that I should accept his relationship. God is my family's fallback guy.



The fact is that right now I'm fairly emotionally fragile and I'm still seriously grieving for my mom. My dad having a girlfriend, planning a wedding, and booking a honeymoon is not ok with me. I'M NOT OK WITH IT. That is my right. It's unfortunate that it hurts my dad BUT IT'S MY RIGHT. For way too long I have put everyone else's crap in front of mine. And this one time, it's my turn.



And seriously..calling and talking about taking your own life? What the hell is that? Because if you're really considering it you don't use it as a threat. TRUST ME. Back in January when my grief pretty much caused me to hit rock bottom I was considering it. Not as a way to hurt others or get people to do what I wanted, but just as a way to stop the pain. I simply didn't want to feel any anything any longer. I'm not proud that I felt this way. It's horrible. And even though I thought of it a lot, I just couldn't put my family through that. I'm not that selfish.



The Bad:

Work is killing me. I just can't ever seem to catch up and I've spent the last several weeks working myself to death trying to get everything done. The psychologist says I have a bad habit of wanting to try to fix everything and that the problem is I neglect myself because I'm trying to fix what's wrong with everybody and everything else. Which, by the way, made me feel really depressed for a couple of days when I realized she was right.



The last couple of weeks have been horrible. I'm barely working out, I haven't sparred since April. These are things that are really important to me. I go to bed with a headache, I wake up with a headache. I don't sleep well. I'm cranky with everyone. I'm so exhaused by the time I get home that I neglect my family and the other responsibilities I have.



For the love of God, I've been feeding my family leftovers for dinner.



The Good

In the past few weeks I have rediscovered how truly lucky I am for being married to such an amazing person. Seriously there is no way I could have survived the past nine months without him.



Beav performed in his musical on Sunday night. He was beaming on that stage and even though he didn't have a speaking part he really stood out. He is just so comfortable performing. On Monday morning one of his teachers pulled me aside and mentioned that she and another teacher were really impressed with his performance. She wanted to see how I felt about putting him in a performing arts high school after he's done with middle school. WOW. After all this crap, it was so nice to hear positive things. Because even with everything that's happened he's a pretty amazing kid.

So, that's the past few weeks. I've decided that I need to just write down a work schedule and stick to it. That means, not neglecting my workouts to go in early, stay late or work all day on the weekends.

I can do this.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Monday, May 25, 2009

Why my 13 year old owes me five grand

Mentally I've started this post quite a few times over the past few days. Ever feel like you're on a speeding train and can't get it to slow down? That's how I feel. So many things I need/want to get done and I either run out of time to do it or just lack the motivation. I feel like I'm on a hamster wheel and I can't make it stop.

So frustrating.

During the past few weeks we've been having issues with Beaver. He does his homework but doesn't turn it in. He doesn't do his homework. He forgets to bring home things that we need to see or sign. Then when questioned he's dishonest about it. I really thought I had just reached the end of the line in terms of my patience. It just seemed that my baby boy had disappeared and I wasn't too fond of the person that took his place.

I have considered several times over the past several months that maybe Beav should live with his dad. The constant need to constantly check on him is overwhelming and dealing with my mom's death has just left me with nothing. However, after several conversations with my ex, having Beav with him full time just isn't an option. He believes that Beav does all this on purpose and his answer is he needs more meds.

Thursday night was the open house for Beav's school. After visiting all of his classes, picking up his progress reports, all with D's, one less than 2 percent away from an F, I went to the car and just started to sob. My son was almost flunking the seventh grade. I was so upset, disappointed, angry at myself and at Beav. I didn't want to be the mom of "that kid." Just saying that out loud to my hubby made me feel even worse and then I cried because I felt like such a horrible mother.

When we got home we talked to Beav in depth and over the next twelve hours found out that he had been dishonest with us several times over the past few days. Everything else I can deal with but the lying, it was just too much and I was brutally honest with Beav about it. It was as if I was looking at this boy that I didn't know any more.

Hubby took over a bit and contacted the school the next day. Beav isn't going to flunk, but he has to keep his nose very clean for the next week. The nice thing about him being in private school is that the teachers are really compassionate and understanding. The negative thing is that all I could think about is that I've paid over $5000 for my son to earn D's.

This kid is not stupid. He's super bright. He tried to tell me that he was doing poorly because school was too hard. His progress reports show different. When he does his work AND turns it in...when he studies for a test...A's. When he doesn't turn in his homework...F's. His grades are either F's or A's. No middle ground.

So...I decided that perhaps Beav needed to understand all this and explained that he owed me $5400. I started a tally on a spreadsheet and on Saturday he began working it off. I took him to my office and he did a couple of hours there and then I brought home some work and he spent the rest of Saturday doing that.

I could tell he was frustrated and we had a very candid talk in which I explained a few things:

1. I hate punishing him, but dishonesty deserves punishment
2. When you constantly lie to someone that loves and care about you, you can do irreparable damage to that relationship.
3. Without trust, it's hard to feel close to someone you love.

He pretty much started sobbing and I think (hope) that perhaps he understood how damaging dishonesty can be. We had the same conversation last night and he told me that he felt physical pain at the hurt he had caused.

I'm not going to make him work off $5400, but he'll be working off a couple of hundred, at least. I did let him watch TV, but only today and with Einstein and myself as a family activity.

Hubby is out of town and I'll be dealing with all of this by myself until he returns next weekend. I'm FAIRLY sure I can deal with it.

I just want my baby back.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Some times you have to drive two hours to talk

If you've been paying attention to my tweets then you know that hubby and I have been out of town since Wednesday. We traveled to Santa Barbara for the C@ Ortho Assn annual meeting. My boss and one of our doctors also attended the meeting. We got there early afternoon on Wednesday and headed downtown to do some window shopping and grab some dinner. Well, it started out as window shopping but perhaps there was real shopping too.

Hubby and I ate at a wonderful Italian restaurant at the recommendation of a local shop owner. We started talking about some issues that have come up between us and I can't even begin to explain how wonderful it was.

We normally communicate very well but there were a couple of things that we hadn't been able to get around and somehow being out of town and relaxed gave us the ability to do that. Even though I was there for work, being away from home and the office allowed me to really relax in a way that hasn't occurred in a long time.

The remainder of the trip continued along the same theme. We were both really relaxed, happy, and seriously enjoyed each other's company. We've realized that perhaps getting away for a weekend every other month or so is required for the health of our relationship.

This trip was a bit more elaborate than most since my boss was footing the bill for our hotel and part of our meals. However, I think getting away for two nights isn't too difficult to do.

We enjoyed some really great meals and yesterday spent the afternoon wine tasting. Went to one tasting room and two wineries. One winery is becoming a favorite, Zaca Mesa. Great wines, I even like some of their whites, which is saying a lot!!!! I enjoyed their wines so much I joined their wine club. I haven't been in a wine club for years.

We also stopped in Solvang. It was a place that my mom really enjoyed visiting and I felt the need to go. Walked around a bit, poked through some shops and enjoyed some ice cream. A lot of storefronts are closed which is sad. I remember when Solvang was packed with stores and tourists.

Santa Barbara was beautiful. We did see a lot of the devastation from the fire which was sad. Lots of firefighters were still in town. They really did an amazing job of saving some homes. You could see many houses where the fire had gone right up to the edge. Having lived in a high danger area for fires myself I know that it's a risk you take for living in a beautiful area.

This post is all over the place but I'm tired and not anxious to get back to work tomorrow. Not to mention our sink is plugged and we have to have a plumber come tomorrow.

Back to real life.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Apparently I'm now an orphan

I survived Mother's Day week.

I didn't have a complete meltdown like I did during Easter. I'm becoming more aware of how the holidays trigger all my emotions. This week Beav, once again, brought home progress reports showing that he isn't turning in work and he is at risk of flunking two classes. Instead of blowing up I stayed calm and delayed full consequences until this week, except for this punishment for lying. I hate being lied to.

It didn't help that my father has decided that he can no longer be my father. He called me on Tuesday and was confrontational from the start. He complained that nobody knew what he was going through and that he was going to move down to San Bernardino to be close to his girlfriend. I told him that he was running away. You can't deal with grief by avoiding it (I should know). Then he started in on me about the fact that I'm not approving of his relationship, his wedding plans, and I have refused to meet his girlfriend. Then he dropped the bombshell "If you can't accept my girlfriend than you and I can no longer have a relationship."

WOW. The therapist warned me about this and I thought I was prepared, but then I also thought that I might have to distance myself for awhile. I never dreamed that my own father would decide that his girlfriend was more important than his family.

I told him that was his decision. I also told him he was a hypocrite and apparently all the Christianity he taught me growing up was bullshit. That's not to say what I learned was wrong but instead how can he turn his back on his daughter and use the Bible to justify his actions???

Yep, he did. Going on about being yoked, yada, yada. You know I've always been considered the black sheep of the family. It wasn't until recently that I really went back to church and started taking my faith seriously. So I might have spent a lot of years living as a nonbeliever, but if anything it's taught me to really appreciate my faith. And it's taught me that just because you've lived your whole life as a Christian doesn't mean you're better or smarter than me.

I just can't believe he felt it was appropriate to call me at work and tell me this. I went home and cried until I couldn't cry anymore. He called me two days later and I decided not to speak to him. My husband answered the phone and explained that I couldn't talk and told my dad that he was pretty angry about the things that had been said to me.

Of course all my dad cares about is that I called him a hypocrite.

I'm not the kind of person that walks around carrying grudges or hating people. But when someone that is close to me really hurts me I close myself off to that person. Some words you can't take back. I'm not sure I can forgive my father telling me he can no longer have a relationship with me.

It feels that on August 16th I lost my mom and my dad.

Friday, May 01, 2009

Why I sleep on the bathroom floor

I'm alive...barely.

Can't believe I haven't updated in over two weeks. So much has happened.

My fight has been cancelled. In the beginning of April I took a kick in the ribs during sparring. It hurt and my doctor thought it was most likely bruised. I continued to train, the pain got worse. I started having trouble sleeping, lying down was difficult, I couldn't pull myself up to a sitting position. Sneezing, laughing, taking deep breaths all became difficult. My trainer suggested I think about pulling out of my fight. All I could think about was all the hard work I've done over the past several months. The hours I've spent training, the injuries, the sore muscles. Last Wednesday during my morning class my trainer was watching me struggle through routine moves. After the class he pulled me aside and told me that he just couldn't let me fight. I reacted by crying, which really isn't fighter behavior. His rationale was that it appears my injury has worsened. He worries that if I take another good kick or punch before I'm healed I risk a complete break and the puncture of a lung.

It still broke my heart. The next day, at the recommendation of my boss, I called a pain management doctor we refer a lot of our patients to. He thinks I've cracked my rib but couldn't confirm which one so he did a nerve block on T3 - T7. If you've never had a nerve block I would describe it as uncomfortable. Not especially painful, considering the pain I was already in, but lying on your stomach while someone sticks a needle in your back is not my idea of a good time. The block is designed to wrap around the rib and you can feel it, very weird, and not pleasant. It helps block a lot of the pain. The issue with that is that it helps you forget your injured until you start doing a lot of activity and are quickly reminded by the shooting pain.

The people I fight with have been awesome! Very supportive and have been quick to remind me that I'm still part of this great group of people and I will be that more ready when our next fight comes up in six months.

Today though when the email went out removing my name from the fight list and showing my replacement, I'm not going to lie and say it didn't sting. Because it does.

The doctor asked me to take three months off of training. I agreed to five days, lol. I also agreed that I would take it down a notch in training to give myself time to heal. That's not too hard to do because the fight is in a week and the month after we tend to take it easy at the dojo.

I took a few days off to go up north and visit my family, which I will blog about later. I came home Monday evening and planned to get back to the dojo to Tuesday, however, fate had other plans. Tuesday evening I developed a horrible case of the stomach flu and until today haven't been able to drink or eat without severe and violent repercussions. As of today I haven't worked out in a week and a half and it's killing me.

I will still be attending fight night. My trainer has asked me to help corner and I'll do that. It's still going to be hard though. Everyone still wants me to go to the carb loading session the night before. I'm not really sure I"ll be carb loading since I won't have the opportunity to work it all off the next day. As much as I'd like to stay home and feel sorry for myself, I won't. It's unsportsmanlike and doesn't set a good example for my kids.

In the meantime I'm working on getting my energy back and finding ways to make up to my husband for everything he's had to do this week while I've been living on the bathroom floor.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Surviving

Grief sucks. There is no way around it. I forget how holidays really tend to screw me up and yesterday it all hit me like a ton of bricks.

I had been an emotional wreck all week without knowing why. I was also a bitch. I completely overreacted to something Beav did the other day. And I seriously over-reacted. Blew up like he had just killed an entire country. Even later I couldn't figure out why I couldn't control my temper or my anger.

To top it off he did something Wednesday that really angered me and I didn't find out about it until Friday. By that time, I was done. With him sitting there I called his dad and told him that perhaps it was time for a change. Perhaps I just couldn't cut it and maybe he should live with his dad. It broke my heart. He is my baby. He wasn't thrilled either and carried on as if I had just grounded him for life.

He and his brother left early Saturday morning for a week with their dad. It was a good opportunity for all of us to take a break. Yet, I didn't feel less stressed. I spent the rest of yesterday just feeling down and crappy and angry that I couldn't figure out why. I had decided to spend the evening at home by myself since hubby was working. I was looking forward to some quiet and a chance to just be alone. I headed off to grab some frozen yogurt for later and found myself overly frustrated that I couldn't find a parking spot. Yogurtland shares the same parking lot as a grocery store. Leaving, I realized that the parking lot was so full because everyone was shopping for Easter. And that's when it hit me.

And I cried all the way home. It's obvious that on some subconscious level I had been dealing with it all week. It explains my inability to control my emotions. I only wish I had figured it out a few days ago. I came home and did my best to explain to hubby without falling apart. And then I called Beav and apologized and told him that I certainly didn't want him to ever live apart from me.

This week has been tough in so many ways. Death here in the blogging world, #maddie, my friend's grandmother the other day, and this morning I find out that a former pastor's mother just passed away. A woman I use to see every Sunday who always had a smile and a kind word. In the next seven days I have to attend two funerals and still actively deal with my own grief.

Grief sucks.

I am reading a new book called "The Grief Club" by Melody Beattie. I HIGHLY recommend it. I started it today and the first chapter was amazing. I wish I had found it sooner, but perhaps it was meant to be read now at this point.

In some ways I'm more whole now than I've been in a long time. I feel an overwhelming love for my husband. It's a feeling that hasn't been there as it should have been. I think that I've spent the better part of our marriage holding a part of me back. I hate needing people but I've never needed anyone so much in my entire life. Life is so short and I don't want to spend one more minute being afraid to feel something.

Even if sometimes what I feel is very painful.

So, thank you Mom, for helping me to see how important it is to really feel love. Even when it does hurt.