Monday, October 18, 2010

Dear Piper,

On May 27, 2005, at 11:55am, you came in to this world with a purpose - at least I think that's what all that crying was about. When you could understand what I was saying to you, I asked you if you remember being born. You said wholeheartedly, "Yes!" How smart are you, so very young! I thought, ok I will push a little further, I said "Oh really, what were your first words when you were born. You said, "Hi Momma, I love you." Dang kid, why do you know just what to say?

I was never the type of person that necessarily wanted kids. I was kinda indifferent on the whole subject, plus I was really impatient and selfish. That + kids = disaster! I then married your daddy who had two kids before you were born. I thought, I am raising two kids that aren't mine by birth, so why not try for one of my very own?

While I was pregnant, I was anxious to see you - but not so much I couldn't stand it. I was more irritated that you were slowing your Momma down and I could not do the things I normally did - like never sit down unless I am sleeping or eating.

Then the doctor (who by the way was easy on the eyes) placed you in my arms and I was DONE. You had my heart and soul from that moment on. You were crying and the minute your skin touched mine, you were silent. Like you were saying, "thank God I finally got to see you in person, it's really boring in that dark place. By the way, who is that bald guy standing next to you, surely he's not my Dad?" Yes, Pipes, he's your Dad and he loves you almost as much as I do.

The first several weeks of your life were ROUGH. You had colic and would cry from 9pm til 2am. It was brutal and exhausting and I truly did not know if I could make it through another day. It got so bad that your Mimi almost took you to the hospital, you were screaming so bad. That was the night I will never forget, the night I looked at you laying on the couch screaming and I said "Please Piper, stop crying - I am so flipping (I cussed there) tired of it!"

Mimi rescued me, and I cried all the way to the bedroom and crashed from pure frustration and exhaustion. But you know what? The next morning I woke up and loved you just the same if not more.

Everyone in my family, especially Mimi, was scared to death that I could not do this "Mom thing". And for a brief while, I was not sure I could either. But after you got out of the colic stage, I took to being a Mom like it was nobody's business. I loved it and love it more and more every day.

You are my daughter in almost every way. Besides the looks (you did not have a prayer in that area, sorry sister), you are the miniature version of me. You are shy around new people but curious at the same time. You are grouchy in the morning with everyone but me and I completely understand that. You hate when all the attention is placed on you, but people can't help but gravitate towards you. If you can't do something well the first time, you rarely try it again. You have a mind of your own and I often find myself apologizing to others for something that you have said that could be taken the wrong way. You are rarely affectionate unless you want something or are tired or hurt - but you have to sit right next to me when we are in the same room. You are a perfectionist and it bugs you when you color outside of the lines. You are a momma's girl through and through - even though you joke with me and say you are a daddy's girl.

You are wonderful and beautiful on the inside and out and I will never be able to tell you how much I love you and what you have done for my life in this short five years.

Recently your little world has been turned upside down with your Dad getting married and Rob and his kids moving to Oklahoma. I was petrified of how you would take all the change. I thought you would be jealous that you were having to share your time with Mom. Oh boy, little girl, I was totally wrong.

You have taken everything in stride and have blossomed into a young lady who shares and is always in a good mood. You are the best out of all the kids - including your Momma and Rob. And I don't just say that - I am completely 100% serious. You are a rock star, Piper Ryan!

I would like to say that your Dad and I have something to do with this - that we have raised you to be this person that everyone finds joy in being around, but truly I believe this is all your doing.

You are amazing in every sense of the word and I am honored to be the one that God chose to be your Mom. And yes, you call me Mom now - not Momma. I am still working through that. Thank you for blessing my life and making me smile and laugh EVERY SINGLE day. You are my life, my best friend and my favorite person in the whole wide world.

I love you.


Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Home Improvements

On December 31, 2009, I purchased a fabulous home for me and Piper. It had been a long haul up til then. I lost a total of 5 houses - 6 if you count the one I tried to get a second time - because I was either outbid or someone offered cash for the house I was trying to buy. It was an exhausting and frustrating process and I had all but given up. I was actually close to just renting again for a year and starting the whole process over after I had time to regroup from the loss of SO MANY freaking houses.

I told my realtor this - who now happens to be a great friend of mine - and she understood. Then a week later she called and said she wanted me to look at just ONE MORE house and then she was done pestering me. I thought what the hell, I've got nothing to lose and if I had to stay another month with my step mom I was going to go insane. Picture someone that never shuts up, offers her opinion too much, complains that she is overweight while eating a bag of potato chips and then take that times ten. You have now met my step mom!

Side bar: I seriously hope I am never that type of stepmother, because if this happens I give my family full authority to commit my ass to the nearest institution AND you don't have to pick the hairs out of my chin when I get old (YOU ARE WELCOME, MOM!).

When I walked into this house, the heavens opened, trumpets started to play and God spoke personally to me and said these exact words, "Hey, you whiner, this is why you lost all the other houses, stop being grouchy and for Pete's sake this time make a full price offer!" I think he may have cussed too, but I can't be for certain because I was still lifting the bottom of my jaw off the NEW carpet in the living room.

This house was perfect, almost too perfect and really too big for me and Piper. It was 4 bed/2.5 baths and it was a foreclosure. I had to have this house and I was actually in the perfect position to play the "government owned" game because I lived with my parents at the time and could get in as soon as or as late as they needed me too. Remember what I just told you about my step mom? I preferred the sooner option. Just sayin'.

After many months of playing the foreclosure game, I got the house. My house. The first thing I did was paint Piper's room and fixed it up just the way she wanted it. Since then, I have been doing little things to it - mostly painting and decorating until recently.

Rob and I got this crazy idea to redo the kitchen. The dishwasher I had shot craps and ruined the wood floor, so I had to get a new dishwasher and flooring, so we thought why not remodel the kitchen the way we want it. And the way someone else would want it when it came time to sell the house for something bigger down the road.

Now I will be TOTALLY honest with you, I did not want to start another big project. My past experience with men and remodelling - ahem, ex-husband - was an awful experience. Whenever we would do a project and he told me how long it would take, you could take that amount of time times three and that's when the project would be done. Well, at least 90% done. I am not for sure we ever finished a project all the way through without something not quite being complete. In fact, a stove sat in the middle of our kitchen for close to a week before my step dad took pity upon me (because I was all but in tears and I don't cry people) and hooked it back up so I could cook again. Because a person needs a stove with a NINE MONTH OLD BABY!

Rob and I started with the back splash and it went well, but I was still a skeptic. I thought, he's just showing off, he's gonna lose steam soon and once again I will have a kitchen that is only half way down. Holy moses was I ever wrong. That man's a machine. And not just in getting the job done, he actually does it right, it doesn't take forever and the end result is a whole lot of FABULOUS!

Ladies, I'm keeping him. Don't even think about trying to steal him. Plus, he's "country" and wears mesh shorts and ripped t-shirts daily - it would annoy you too. Hi, Number 8!

As I type this, he is busting his butt to get the wood floor done in the dining room before he has to go to work at 4pm. This is yet another lesson I have learned - that people can surprise you on a daily basis and when someone truly cares, they go out of their way to show it. And never expect one thing in return.

I feel lucky once again to be given a second chance at love and this time I am playing for keeps.

Monday, September 27, 2010


Today (at 4:30pm) I will turn 34-years-old. 34, can you believe that? I am almost MID THIRTIES! All my life I have been a year younger than my friends. I was one of those kids that started school when they were 4 because of the way my birthday fell. I guess my mom thought I was wise enough to start early - or she was just sick of having me at home and wanted me gone. I am thinking the latter is the correct answer.

My teens were plagued with bad relationships and horrible insecurities. I never felt good enough or like I was bringing any joy to those around me, namely myself. I had very few true friends and at the time that really bothered me. I wanted to be the girl that had tons of friends - that people were drawn to because of my outgoing personality. And the funny thing about that statement is that I was captain of the cheer leading squad - so an outgoing personality was a must.

I guess in some ways I had that personality, but damn it was hard to be that way all day long - exhausting actually. I am really an introvert that acts like an extrovert. And to tell you the truth, I hate when people stare, look or attention is drawn to me. So, maybe it was good I had few friends!

College is really when I started to break out of my shell. I was a part of a sorority and had tons of friends - inside and outside of the sorority. I was free to date whomever I wanted and just had an overall blast - and, grades may have shown that first semester. Sorry Mom!

But in my twenties, I still had insecurities - maybe more so than in my teens. I was surrounded by beautiful people from different states and parts of the world. It was hard to keep up with that. I wanted to be that natural beauty that did not have to work hard at being "a certain way".

It wasn't until I turned 28 that my transformation started. And I don't mean my looks either. I mean the internal side of me. I was married and getting ready to have Piper. Now, I did not like being pregnant and I was not one of those Mom who fantasized about this life growing inside me. I am just not mushy like that. Sorry folks. I was excited to have Piper, but I did not feel beautiful nor did I have that pregnancy "glow".

Then I had Piper. End of story. There was something about having her and the moment they placed her in my arms that I felt my life was complete. It was no longer about what I looked like on the outside, it was about being the best Mom I could be - no matter what. I took to being a Mom like a duck to water. It was amazing. My Mom still to this day wonders what happened to her selfish, insecure daughter!

It's that day that changed my life forever. The insecurities I had started to fade away and I actually started to feel beautiful. And I needed to feel that way because I had a daughter that needed to see her Mom feel good about herself and be an example to her as she grows up, because let's face it, there is NOTHING fun about being a female and growing up in today's society. We are at such a disadvantage from what TV and magazines tell us to look like. It's unfair and at times cruel.

I have not dreaded one birthday since I was 28. With each birthday that passes, I feel more blessed and at peace than the year prior. My thirties have, without a doubt, been the best years of my life. I don't worry about what people think of me or what I wear when I step out of the house. If people don't like it, they don't have to look. Actually, PLEASE DO NOT look. Thank you very much.

Now, I would be lying if I said I never have bad days where I feel "fat" or just plain unattractive. But here's the difference, I am smart enough to know that I am being ridiculous and that the day will pass and tomorrow when I wake up is a new day. And that no matter what, I am surrounded by people who love me with all their heart and see me as beautiful EVERY SINGLE DAY.

Thank you to my friends and especially my family, I love you more than I could ever say. And happy 34th birthday to me - BRING ON 35!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

25 Things You May Not Know About Me

  1. I consider Piper my best friend.
  2. I have OCD with cleanliness - especially my house.
  3. If someone moves a picture or object in my house, I will find it immediately and move it back to it's proper position.
  4. I love working out.
  5. I will never believe my body is where it needs to be physically.
  6. I am considering writing a children's book on blended families.
  7. I am not a morning person.
  8. I would love to write greeting cards for Hallmark.
  9. I have a fear of public speaking.
  10. I am an introvert who outwardly portrays that I am an extrovert.
  11. I am scared to death to get married again.
  12. I can't stand people who are negative.
  13. I am engaged to a man who treats me better than I have ever been treated and that makes me uncomfortable.
  14. I am moody.
  15. I dislike scary movies.
  16. My favorite show is Biggest Loser.
  17. I would love to become a yoga instructor - just for fun.
  18. I want to own a Subway within the next 5 years.
  19. I am addicted to Craigslist.
  20. I take medication for anxiety and swear by it.
  21. I have an annoying habit of telling people how little I paid for an outfit when they tell me they like it.
  22. My family is the most important thing in the world to me.
  23. I dislike talking on the phone - I would rather text.
  24. I would love to have another baby, even though I say I don't want to.
  25. I am determined to raise my daughter to know that she is beautiful on the inside and out and she will always be my most favorite person in the world.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Always Optimistic

I remember when I was a younger (probably early high school years) and I was always complaining about something hurting or just life in general. BECAUSE that's what you DO when you are a TEENAGER! One day my Mom bet me that I could not go a week without complaining about something. I thought, how dare you say something like that to me! I will take that bet and win hands down.

People, I think that was the hardest bet I ever took. The beginning of the week was torturous. When I wanted to say something negative, I had to mentally and pyhsically (hands over my mouth) stop myself from saying it. By the end of the week it got a little easier, but I still had to REALLY work on it. And on the LAST DAY of the bet, I lost - by a technicality, mother!

At the time, I thought it didn't not matter that I lost because I was not a negative person. But here's the funny thing about that. Even though I was not a negative or down person (so I thought), that was not how other people perceived me. It was not just what I said to be down or negative, it was my actions as well.

I've said this before, but when I moved out of Mark and my house in August 2008, I was a new person - a work in progress - but a new, improved person. And for a long time I struggled with what made me truly happy. I lost myself and that's not a fun road to be on. But here's what I found - nobody could make me happy but me. I could not draw my energy or happiness from others. I had to find it within myself.

That meant focusing on me and to tell you the truth, being a little bit (or a lot bit) selfish. When I finally let go and realized that, the results were amazing. Some of the most fun times I had was just sitting by myself and doing nothing. I had to "unlearn" all the negative traits I had carried from the previous years and "learn" to take life as it comes - one day at a time.

I have been truly happy for the past couple years, and I have not been down one time. Of course I have good days and bad days, everybody does. We are human. But here's the difference, when I have bad days, I ALWAYS remember that tomorrow is a new day and I have way too many good things in my life to let one bad thing get the best of me.

I'm a fighter and I have been a fighter all my life - it's just recently that I figured out what was actually worth fighting for and what was worth letting go. I refuse to let someone bring me down. I refuse to always be the strong one in a relationship and I refuse to "give myself away" (thanks Mom).

So if there are people in your life that suffer from depression or being down - as a true friend, the best thing you can do is be open and honest with them. Don't sugarcoat it for the sake of feelings. Sometimes it's hard to see what's wrong with yourself and why you feel the way you do. It takes an outside perspective to make you realize there's a problem, but with time and unconditional support there's always light at the end of a long dark tunnel.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

I'm a True Believer

A little over twenty-five years ago I was playing in the side creek by our house in Agency, MO (population 432) when my Mom called me into the house. Now I knew I had not done anything wrong - this time - so I was not for sure why I was being called to come in so early.

She sat me down in a chair in the living room and told me that she and my Dad were getting a divorce. My first and obvious question was "Why?" She told me that she and my Dad just did not know how to fight fair and it was best they did not live together anymore. It's funny, because even at 8-years-old I knew what "not fighting fair" meant and as I look back on that day, I was no where near as devastated as most kids are when they hear that news. I guess in my mind I knew it was for the best, and I knew that as long as I was with my Mom, I felt safe no matter what.

Probably around the year mark of their divorce, my Mom started dating again. She went on several dates with men that just did not fit the bill. Can I tell you about the man that would throw pennies at me while we were watching volleyball games? I loathed that man. He thought he was funny and charming and all I wanted to do was take every penny ever created by man and jump them square on his head.

At the time my Mom was a banker and was doing very well at her job. She was being promoted and taking on new responsibilities - finally she was happy and confident and ready to take whatever life threw her way. And boy did life ever throw something her way. A man that initially made her cry after work and would test her knowledge at work on a daily basis. That man's name was Ken.

He had taken a job with my Mom's bank and was brought in to see if there were any processes that needed to be added, revamped or taken away all together - and my lucky Mom was one of the intelligent go to people. Little did she know the man that infuriated her would be the man she married one year later and now for almost twenty-five years.

I struggled having Ken in my life for longer than I care to admit. He was kind, soft spoken, a wonderful provider and the most patient man on the face of the earth. I disliked every single one of those qualities too, up until I was 15-years-old. I would only talk to him if I needed something - seriously, this is no exaggeration and he loved me through ALL of my bullshit.

There are so many things I could say about him, so many great things he has done for me and my Mom over the years. He has been the constant in my life when I felt like no one else has. He has treated me like his own daughter from the time he met me. He has never made me feel like less of a person and has always been the one I went to for sound advice and understanding. He is my hero and the love I have for him surpasses the love I have for any other man in my life. I could not imagine our lives without him and won't consider that an option until he is at least 99-years-old (maybe 98 if he tells me I am too skinny again).

Last week, Ken found out he has prostate cancer and he told us about it today. I was in no way prepared to hear that kind of news - people like him should be immune to things like cancer. God should look down on extraordinary people and say, "you see that man right there, the one that wears an invisible halo everyday, he should be exempt from any bad things that happens in this world."

And then I have a conversation with Ken today and I know why things like this happen to men like him. This happened to him because he has the courage, strength and faith to get through whatever life throws his way - including cancer. When I picked up the phone when he called (truth be told, I almost did not answer), he asked how I WAS DOING and wanted to apologize for the way I received the news that he had cancer (by email).

This is what I mean - he is always thinking of others before himself. He is always the strong one in our family and I just could not be more proud to call him my Dad.

He will beat this thing called cancer because he has to. We (me and my Mom) will give him no other option then to and believe me, we can be two of the meanest and most stubborn women you have ever met. Don't mess with us, buddy!

I love you all my heart, Dad. You bring normalcy and understanding in my life that I would otherwise take for granted. You are the best Dad that ANY girl could ever ask for. "Out of all the Dad's in the world, how did I get lucky enough to find the very best one."

Monday, July 26, 2010

The Letter K

Can you remember all the dumb things you did as a teenager? All the stuff that should have either landed you in jail or kept you grounded until Senior Graduation? Goodness, I remember, but the sad part is I got caught. Like that one time when the cops brought me home at age 15 because I had been drinking and was stupid enough to take the breathalyzer when everyone told me "Don't do it!!" I thought I could beat that damn machine - boy, was I ever wrong. End result: grounded for a month.

Or the time I snuck out of the house to see my boyfriend and got caught. Little do they know I did it A LOT and only got caught once. Take that, mother! BUT, end result: grounded for a LONG time.

It's things like that, that I love to think about. It's who I thought I was at the time. It was a way to show my independence, a way to rebel - that's what teenagers are supposed to do for Pete's sake. They drive their parents crazy until they go off to college. Then they slowly mature and become fast friends with the parents they thought were their enemies in the first place. I am so thankful that I was able to be a teenager and do the dumb things I did. I'm also glad I had parents who loved me regardless of what I did - loved me ALWAYS, but may not of always "liked" me (as my mother would say).

When I reconnected with Rob, I had the pleasure of meeting four of the best kids in the world. Kids that are respectful, well-mannered and have the biggest hearts. They owe all of those qualities to their father. He is the exact same way and I am so thankful for that everyday.

But there is one that has touched my heart the most. One who, in many ways, reminds me of myself and in the same breath reminds me nothing of myself when I was her age.

Kaylan is 14-years-old going on 24-years-old. She is wise beyond her years and one of the most beautiful people I have ever had the pleasure of getting to know. She is more mature than most adults I know. She is not your typical teenager by any standards - except her adorable looks, the cute way she dresses, her plethora of converse shoes and the cell phone that is constantly connected to her hand.

All her life she has had to play the role of an adult and to me, that's just not fair. But, honestly, she had no choice. That was the life she was born into whether she wanted to be or not. And you know what? She has taken that life and made it into something extraordinary. She is so intelligent, has a ton of friends, siblings that adore her and a father that considers his daughter his best friend. That, in my book, is quite an accomplishment for a 14-year-old.

It's people like K that make me step back and appreciate all my parents did for me growing up. I lead a life that was "easy" by so many standards. I did not have to work to live or work to get the clothes I wanted, they were given to me. I was so lucky (and selfish).

K's with me this week, after a really bad weekend with her Mom, and I am thrilled she is here. There are so many things I want to do with her this week - but I keep forgetting, soon they will all be here on a permanent basis and I will have plenty of time to do the things her own mother would not do with her.

What I want most out of my relationship with K is for her to know what it feels like to be loved by someone who wants nothing in return from her. Someone who understands she is a teenager and she is going to screw up and actually "do dumb teenager things" and I will still love her the exact same. I want her to stop worrying about being the adult and actually start to live her life the way she should have been for SO MANY years.

I think this will be hard for her to do because that's who she was raised to be - and I would never want to change that or take that away from her. Her life has made her the AMAZING young lady she is today and I could not feel more blessed to have her in my life.

In a way, I feel like K was brought into my life to provide me a second chance at appreciating life for what it really is - fragile and beautiful all at the same time. I love that little girl like she was my very own and I truly hope she feels that love from me everyday because I have 14 years of loving to make up for that someone did not provide to her.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

It's Never Been Me

Growing up, I was raised primarily by my mother - a VERY intelligent and independent woman. And my mother, well she was raised by an equally intelligent and independent woman - my Grandma Margaret. Do you get where I am going with this? It's a generational thing and independence flows through every single ounce our bodies. So, isn't it fitting that I have a daughter who is the exact same way?

I was never the type of girl that got emotional about things or all girly. And still to this day I feel like I have a heart that is half made of steal and half made of a mix of - well, I have no idea what. A little bit if stubbornness? A little bit of pride? All great attributes in my book! Right?

I don't get emotional with goodbyes and hardly ever cry at movies. It's just who I am. It's who I was raised to be. I hardly ever saw my Mom cry; she says she cries at the drop of a dime. What I remember most is her keeping her shit together when everything around her seemed to be falling apart and I could never appreciate that or truly understand what that must have been like until I was older and had to go through the same thing.

I guess at times I feel this hardness or independence is more a curse than a blessing - because there are times that the people I love THE MOST are going through a tough time and I want to know what that truly feels like. The feeling of having a bad day because you miss someone so much that you physically hurt. And nothing anybody can say or do will make it better. And you won't feel better until you are with the one person that makes everything feel right.

I think my role now is to be supportive and listen and make sure that this person knows that I am there - more than you know. That this time I will be the strong one because he has spent his whole life being the strong one. And he is well overdue a break from being the one that holds his shit together when he doesn't want to or doesn't have the energy to. I'm there. It's your turn to just let it all out.

I love you and miss you. And there's a bag of chips waiting for you.

Monday, July 19, 2010


So much has happened in my life and I guess I don't exactly no where to start. Great news, exciting news, overwhelming at times news! I'm getting married - to the most wonderful man a woman could ask for. Does that sound cliche? Yup. But, is it true? Yup.

We have received nothing but support from our friends and family - well, almost everybody. Do you ever have that one friend that doesn't support what you are doing, but you love them none-the-less? I do and will continue to have him in my life - until he decides I can't be in his anymore. That may happen sooner than I think and I am prepared for that. Not happy about it, but prepared for it.

It's funny, because he reminds me of all the reasons I never wanted to get married again. He's one of my best friends (who at times appeared to be more than that). We fought like we were dating and never actually dated. We argued and when we did, we did not do it in a healthy way. And that's never good. Every relationship I have been in has been like that - and the crazy thing about it is, I craved it. How sick is that? I thrived on the chaos and all that came with it.

And the end result? I won't do it anymore. I can't - mentally and physically. The end. So if it ends, I will let it go. But I will forever love him and the things he helped me get through. I am indebted to him forever because of the support he gave me when I needed it throughout my divorce and even after that.

They say when you find that person you want to spend the rest of your life with you just know. How does one know? And is there more than one person out there for you? I think the answer to the question is yes - BUT there is a huge BUT. People come in and out of your life for a reason. I would never change the fact that I married Mark. He gave me a beautiful baby girl and some of the best times when things were on the uphill swing. He is truly a great person and good father to our daughter. That in my book is all that matters.

When I reconnected with Rob (my fiance!!) I never thought it would end like this - SO FAST! We have talked since late last year and finally got to see each other after months of talking in April. The instant he walked off that plane and through those doors I felt relaxed and safe with him. He looks at me like I am the only person in this world that he wants to look at. When we talk or have a "discussion" he is open and listens to my opinion. To him, it matters what I say and feel. I've never felt this kind of support before and the feeling is just incredible.

He accepts me in the mornings people and let me tell you - It's NOT pretty in the morning! I am a grouchy mess and do not like anyone (except Piper).

He makes me happy all the time and calms me when I need it most. He also leaves me alone when I need it most. The term is called "me time" and every woman on my side of the family needs it - it's genetic. I swear.

Although we won't get married for awhile, I still love knowing that he is the man I will wake up to and will love me with no make-up on, grouchy, saggy, if I put on weight...the list is endless. He completes me in a way I feel I can never return to him - but I look forward to trying for the rest of my life.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Random - Could be writers block?

When I first started this blog, I had no problem coming up with things to write about. This could be largely due to the fact that my life was drastically changing and my mind was flooded with too many thoughts at one time.

This past weekend I went to the lake with my wonderful, yet somewhat crazy family. It's a yearly thing that we do. And each year before I go, I self-medicate and mentally prepare myself for the adventure that is ahead of me. You may ask why? Well, with my family one of two things can happen. Things can go somewhat smoothly with a few bumps in the road, or things can end badly - think train wreck, ending with drunken yelling until 3am in the morning. We may be slightly white trash in that respect, but I would not trade ANY of them in. Well, maybe Matthew - but that's just because I like to torture him. He is my older brother after all. Isn't that what a sister is supposed to do?

This year went smoothly with only a few minor bumps. Minor bump #1: My step dad calling me anorexic 5 different times. This finally ended with "the look" from my mother. Funny how that look affects him, but has NO affect on me or Piper. I believe that's called payback, Mother. Ha ha, take that!

Minor bump #2: My 16-year-old nephew got a bacterial infection in his eye and the PAIN, oh the PAIN he endured because of it was in a word - PAINFUL! Can you sense the sarcasm people? I hope so. Now, I understand that it hurts, but come on. I give him this, he is a teenager and teenagers are like this. I was, in fact, like this I am sure. I am still not sure why I am alive to be typing this because of the royal pain in the ass I was. Maybe it was because every so often I would say something sweet or not stomp down the hall and slam my door every five minutes? Or maybe it was because my Mom knew one day the torture I ensued on her would come back to bite me on the ass (a.k.a. my beautiful, temperamental daughter Piper). Ya, Mom - YOU WIN! Can we call a truce now?

We ended the weekend go-carting and bumper boats, as an entire family. And the end result was a blast! I don't think I have laughed that hard in a very long time. Let me tell you about these bumper boats, because they are not like the ones when I was little. They have sprayers on the front of them and I am not kidding you, before I even got untied to float in the water, I was soaked! WTF, people? It was all out war in our family and we took no prisoners. Even my pleas of "I have a baby in my boat!" did not work. Thus, Piper was soaked too. It was the longest 5 minutes of my life, but probably one of the most fun times too. In fact, I think at one point my step dad and I looked at each other and said, "When the f$%# is this going to be over?!" as we are laughing hysterically and wiping the water from our eyes, face, name it, it was SOAKED!

Here's the thing with my family - although we may be vastly different in many ways, we still love each other dearly. No matter what, we have each others back and it's times like this where I am so proud to be a part of such a wonderful group of people.

And soon we will add five more wonderful people to the mix of all the insanity and madness. I hope their ready, because they will be greeted with open arms and a little bit of crazy mixed in. I can't wait!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

What If?

What is it about me and the inevitable "What If?" dilemma. All my life, the relationships I have been in have, well for lack of a better term, totally sucked. I always chose the wrong men (boys). Always. It was like I had this stamp on my forehead that said "If you are needy or a jerk, I'm your gal!" WTH?

I wasn't raised like that. I had a wonderful father figure in my life (my step dad). He treated and still DOES treat my mother with the utmost respect and I could not love him anymore for that. She is the first thing he thinks about in the mornings - her grouchiness and all - and the last thing he thinks about at night. He treats her like she deserves to be treated and will til the day he dies.

My relationships have been the opposite - just an absolute emotional mess. I have been torn down - only to build myself up, to be torn down again. Now, this is not a pity party - it's lead me to be the person I am today and I happen to think that person really isn't half bad. And of course, I could be my own worst critic. Nah, not me!

The first "real" relationship I had where I was loved the way I deserved to be loved all along was a man named Steve. He was wonderful - kind, caring and loved me like I had never been loved before. At first it was wonderful and then after the newness wore off, I hated it. And I could not for the life of me figure out what I hated about it. He was WONDERFUL! My God, what more did I need?

I broke Steve's heart in a million pieces and left Michigan with him crying. And you know what my response to that was? Aw, he'll get over it. What a total witch I was. And by the time I figured out what the hell I did, it was too late. He had finally gotten over the hurt I caused him - forgave me - and moved on. And to this day, I am sad but SO glad he never took me back because I would have done it again.

I met Mark and thought he was the next Steve. He loved me almost immediately. He was a free spirit and just appeared to love life. I loved that about him and thought we were a lot alike. I was wrong, so wrong - but now I do consider him to be a good friend of mine. It took awhile, but we are there and I am happy we can be friends for the sake of our daughter.

Now, dare I say that I have met a man I consider to be even better than the man whose heart I shattered? Yes, I am going to say that, even though the thought of saying that scares the shit out of me (sorry, Mom for cussing). And what's the feeling I am feeling right now? One of panic - sheer panic. I am overwhelmed with the emotion again that I am not good enough to be loved like that. And if he continues to love me like that, I am going to self-destruct. It's me, that's what I do and I SUCK for doing that.

I want to be the woman that feels like she deserves this kinda love - that should have had this kinda love all along - not the crap I had that made me jaded in the first place. It's taking everything I am to stay in the moment and believe in this person who adores me and my daughter.

I think the scariest thing for me is that I don't feel like I am giving him the love he deserves in return - he would TOTALLY disagree with me. I can't cry when he leaves and I know I won't see him again for a month. I can't show any emotion but the strong Michele that says everything is going to be alright. I don't even feel like crying. It's awful and that's been me really pretty much my whole life.

I hate that and I want to start feeling like I deserve the love he is giving me. Because if I don't, I will never forgive myself for giving up on love again.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

I Know A Man

In the beginning of my separation to Mark (August 15, 2008, but who counting...ME!) I met many people that came and went in my life. Some wanted to get to know me better...ahem...a lot better and some were just fun to be around for the time being. I was so happy, yet so freaking jaded when I moved out, all I wanted was to take care of my daughter and when I did not have her, go out so I did not have to be by myself for long periods of time.

The whole "going out and being single thing" sucked after about 2 months. I mean, when you see the same people you saw prior to you being married - 6 years ago - and they are still out doing the same damn thing, you know somethings have got to change. So, I slowed down and started enjoying the fact that I was by myself and I had time to actually think about what was most important to me - MY happiness and Piper and her happiness.

You will notice that I put MY happiness first and that may seem selfish to some people. But, I learned this, my happiness has a direct effect on her happiness. So when Momma was happy, Piper was happy. And if you've never met my daughter, there is NOTHING in this world better than a happy Piper. End of story.

During this hiatus, a friend of mine introduced me to Facebook. At first I thought the concept was wrong. I mean I spent the ladder part of my life trying to forget the people that made me miserable when I younger - why on earth would I want to become friends with them again? And then it happened - I became addicted to Facebook and reconnecting with the people who did make me happy back then and people that make me happy now. And I even met a few new friends along the way. It's a GENIUS invention - there I said it. I WAS WRONG. Sorry to the makers of Facebook.

And then I "friended" a man that would forever change the way I viewed friendship. A man that I, in no way, ever would have met if it had not been for Facebook and the fact that we had the same employer. To be honest, he was very easy on the eyes, but had he not worked for the company I work at, I would have "ignored" him.

From the get go we had a ton in common and he made me laugh out loud on a daily basis. He was everything I wasn't and that fact really intrigued me. I thought, "he's a blonde surfer lookin' dude - oh hell, why not!" Apparently all my life, I gravitated to brunettes and LOOK WHERE THAT GOT ME (minus the beautiful baby girl I had).

We became fast friends and I visited him in Dallas, watched him play soccer and just hung out. It was fun, it was perfect at the time and it grew to one of the best friendships I have ever had. Whenever I was down, he listened to me, said exactly what I needed to hear at the time and never judged me.

There is something in him that I see that he has never seen in himself. He has the biggest heart in the world and would do anything for any of his friends, no matter what the consequences. He's just that amazing. I feel like I owe him so much more than I am able to give and that breaks my heart. BUT, I know this - the person that gets the opportunity to get to know the man I have known for a year and a half now will not only have the best friend she's ever had in the world - she will also have the most loyal life partner a person could ask for.

She out there and she's just waiting for you to sweep her off her feet - or maybe even vice versa.

Thank you, Jarett for EVERYTHING you have done for me. You have been the better friend in this relationship and I hope one day I can repay you for making me the person I am today. Luv.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

It's been a long time comin'...

Hello blogging, my how I've missed you. Remember me? I'm the chick that was going through a separation - followed by a divorce - followed by a "Praise the Lord, I am finally free!" and I have not looked back since. Ok, maybe I had one digression in where I thought I made a mistake, but then "said ex-husband" opened his mouth and I snapped back to reality.

I don't think I can decribe the feeling of the last year and a half. It's truly one of those things where you don't know how unhappy you are until you are completely out of the situation and reflect back on all you've been through.

There are many things I can and will blog about in the coming months - funny stories, house dilemas, work changes...but I'm going to start with the present day and work my way back. Work for you? Why am I asking? I'm gonna do it anyway, silly!

Yesterday someone I ADORE more than anything in this world (besides Piper), gave me this quote: "We come to love not by finding a perfect person, but by learning to see an imperfect person perfectly." Is that not the best quote ever? And it speaks to me on so many levels.

You remember in the beginning of a relationship where you are almost blinded by what is fairy tale and what is reality? The feeling you get when you meet someone and they are perfect in your eyes and can do no wrong? I used to be like that. Please note: I just said USED to be.

I think the older I get the more I am a realist. I know that people have their faults and every person on this earth is far from perfect. I am EXACTLY one of those people who are far from perfect. I'm grouchy in the morning, lose my patience a lot, am addicted to coffee and working out, and will never see the beauty in myself that other people say they see. I guess you could say I am my own worst critic.

I promised myself when I started my next relationship I would not do the things I did when I met and dated Mark. I think to some degree I put a lot of pressure on myself to only show the "perfect" side of me and not the "real - good, bad, and ugly" side of me. And to tell you the truth it got exhausting fast. But I always wondered, how can I truly be myself when I meet that person? I will want them to really like me before I bring out my annoying quirks.

And then that question was answered and something funny happened. I met someone (again) who already knew the good, the bad and the ugly. Someone ,who throughout the entire time I have know him, supported me. Someone who I look at as my soulmate, "The One". How freaking cheesy am I? I am that girl who is gushing over a man. A silly, wonderful man who loves me NO matter what. A man that for the past 20 years has loved me unconditionally on some sort of level - starting with friendship. A man that continued to be my friend even when I dumped him when I was 14. And you know how I broke up? Had my best friend Steph call to break up.

I mean, that's what you do it when you are 14, right? LOL...

For once in my life I am at peace. It was a long road and I never would have made it if I did not make the decision that I needed to be happy for me, not for anyone else. When I made that decision, my life changed for the better and then you came into and made it complete. Thank you.