Friends Are the Spice of Life

About 10 years ago I was sitting in a McDonalds with my 4 young kids. I believe my oldest was only about 10, and we didn’t normally sit in the playground at McDonalds but I had spent the morning at the elementary school with a committee debating reenrolling one of my boys back in school instead of homeschool.

A woman walked in with 2 kids and began talking to me almost immediately. I was not normally very talkative with strangers, and I wondered if she would ever go sit by herself. We spent over a hour with our kids playing and talking. She had just moved to my area less then a hour before and was only at McDonalds because she didn’t know anything or anyone in the area. Before we left we exchanged phone numbers and I laughed because I hadn’t given someone my phone number since my dating years.

Well she called and we hung out and I slowly became used to the fact that she is loud and talkative with absolutely anyone. I stopped being embarrassed when she talked to every clerk, bagger, waiter, stranger in the store and slowly began doing the same. She taught me to be confident and open up. One of her favorite things is to mention things or make jokes that make me blush, I am still an easy target.

She is my best friend. When my marriage ended she gave me courage and strength. She didn’t encourage me to leave but once I had my mind made up she gave me everything I needed to stay strong and finish the course. Sometimes I have moments of doubt on this difficult coarse I choose and wonder if I should have stayed on the safe path. She reminds me of how strong I am, and how brave I have become, and I can’t seem to hear it enough. We have been through so much, with our difficulties raising kids, husbands, health. I don’t know if I would be whole or sane without her support. I am so grateful that she doesn’t get sick of giving me the same advice over and over again because it’s hard. It’s not that I am a slow learner, it’s changing habits and feelings about myself takes a lot of time since I spent many years creating bad ones or accepting others poor opinions of me.

I believe that girlfriends are so important and I am blessed in mine.

 

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Time with My Kids

My youngest 2 children are the farthest part in age then any of the rest. My daughter is almost 3 years younger then her brother, while the rest of them are less then 2 years. I have thought many times through the years that these 2 are actually twins separated by 3 years. I joke if my body could have handled twins they would have been sent together. Since they were very little they have had an amazing bond. They play the best together, get lost in their own world and were like little puppies playing together as kids. Even now when he is 16 and she is 13 they still love to talk and hang out. Sure the teenage disdain sometimes crosses his face as they talk or she makes fun of him in some way but it is always in good fun. When I drive my son to competitions we are usually very quiet and just kind of veg out for most of the drive. When my daughter comes along they laugh and play and roll around the hotel rooms bouncing off the walls. I wonder if that means I’m boring to travel alone with lol.

They have been able to stay at my house the last few days and I love it. I miss hearing them talking and giggling down the hall together as they brush teeth and tease each other about their bedtime routines. I am so grateful for how well they are rolling with life and adjusting to the many changes we have thrown at them this year.

I am grateful that I am adjusting as good as can be expected as well. When they are not here and I’m home  alone I go to sleep earlier and enjoy the peace and quiet. When they are here I love cooking with them, having them so close. I find I can enjoy the benefits of it all and I think thats a lovely thing.

My oldest two sons come over for dinner but prefer to sleep at their dads house since his house has beds for everyone. Which I understand, but I miss seeing more of them. I love to have late night talks about whatever is on their mind. But they are also 18 and 20 and very much on their way out. They would prefer to be talking with their peers.

I guess nothing is perfect and no family is perfect, we just love each other the best we can and roll with the waves.

Music for the Soul

Some of the advice I’ve gotten about dealing with divorce,  didn’t make sense at the time but then one day a light bulb goes off and I see what they were saying. My brother told me to not watch romantic movies, or listen to love songs, especially if they are sad love songs. Some days I am fine with all of those, and others I completely see what he was talking about.

There is a song by Brandi Carlile that I love. I love the words and it doesn’t make me sad to listen to it, I think she is singing about the kind of love that I aspire to, someone who knows me and my stories (plus it’s super fun to sing really loud in my car),

All of these lines across my face
Tell you the story of who I am
So many stories of where I’ve been
And how I got to where I am
But these stories don’t mean anything
When you’ve got no one to tell them to
It’s true… I was made for you

I climbed across the mountain tops
Swam all across the ocean blue
I crossed all the lines and I broke all the rules
But baby I broke them all for you
Because even when I was flat broke
You made me feel like a million bucks
You do and I was made for you

You see the smile that’s on my mouth
It’s hiding the words that don’t come out
And all of my friends who think that I’m blessed
They don’t know my head is a mess
No, they don’t know who I really am
And they don’t know what I’ve been through like you do
And I was made for you…

All of these lines across my face
Tell you the story of who I am
So many stories of where I’ve been
And how I got to where I am
But these stories don’t mean anything
When you’ve got no one to tell them to
It’s true… I was made for you

Oh yeah, well it’s true… that
I was made for you…

I love having theme songs, for the day or the month, music that I can play and know I will feel better after. One of my favorites to blast right now is by The Struts, Everybody Wants. Kind of a loud rocker song but the words do something for me right now. Music does things for the soul and mood that nothing else can.

Do you have a favorite go to song or anthem??

I hope you have the strength to start over

I was going to write a post on my thoughts about a quote I saw today that was attributed to F. Scott Fitzgerald;

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I thought it a beautiful sentiment that gives me courage as I’m on my new adventure. Some days I feel like I jumped off the cliff into an abyss. But it’s not a dark scary place, its a place with lots of light and hope. Yes it’s scary, I am still looking for a job and ways to support myself. I want to use this time not to trap myself in a job that makes me unhappy for then what was it all for? I want to find my passion, have adventure, explore, love. Don’t we all? But I’ve done more then think about it, I leapt into the abyss.

Anyway so while I was researching the quote above I found a blog that suggests it wasn’t even him that wrote it! And that leads to the beautiful quote from the movie The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, and I love what the character played by Brad Pitt has to say, And I hope you see things that startle you. I hope you feel things you never felt before. I hope you meet people with a different point of view. I hope you live a life you’re proud of. If you find that you’re not, I hope you have the strength to start all over again.

If you want to read the article about the misquote it’s entertaining, and happily shows that I am not the only one to fall in love with misquotes online! “The Curious Case of Misquotation”

 

 

 

Growing Pains

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My daughter choose to sleep over tonight!! This is very exciting! The kids mostly sleep in the house they grew up in which my ex kept in the divorce. I’m not in a hurry to force them to stay over, they are dealing with so many new things and situations, I figure if sleeping in the rooms they have been in for 14 years gives them security thats great. This makes it a big deal when someone wants to sleep at my house.

As I was loading her in my car my ex came out and was telling me privately the things I needed to make sure she did that night at my house. One of these was a girl issue that I wasn’t even aware she was having. Not THE issue,  luckily she hasn’t started that one yet, but one of the things leading up to it. And no one told me. Did it seem like the ex was gloating a bit as he unveiled personal information that as a mother I should have been the one to help her with? yes. Did he know it affected me? No, lol I am an actress after all.

Tonight as we were laying in her bed talking about her day and life,  I asked how this issue was going. I asked if she had any other questions, to remember, I am a girl after all, and I could be a good person to ask.  I told her I am so grateful that she has such a good relationship with her dad that she can discuss these things with him as well. I deserve a big ‘ole pat on the back for that one. He deserves a kick in the butt for calling his sister and not me. It’s his thing though, he likes to feel like he can replace me and alienate me from my kids. This comes from the hurt he feels and I get it.

Life is happening, she is growing up so fast and I won’t always be the one closest to help, I’m glad she is learning how to reach out.

Hugs and Goodbyes

IMG_2388When my oldest son was in the 5th grade he went through a faze where he wanted to hug me all the time. He was just tall enough that when he hugged me his face was exactly in my chest, and he would stand there and hug me for as long as I would let him. There were times I had lots of time to stand there, but other times I had to cut it short because I really did have to make dinner or walk to another room for something. I am so happy to say that someone caught a picture of him hugging me once at a lake so I have a beautiful reminder of what felt frustrating at the time. As a mom sometimes I really felt like I just needed a little personal space and so didn’t always appreciate it the way I should have.

Now that he is 20 and after surviving the last few years with him, I really feel as though some part of his heart, soul, psyche, something inside of him needed to say goodbye to me. Something knew what his teenage years were going to be like and he hugged me as much as he could. He is a very smart child, and he loves to debate, which actually feels like arguing. His father was an attorney and would encourage it and they would argue for hours. But this became very difficult as he choose to go a separate way from the faith that he was raised in, or didn’t stick with our values as a family. He became very involved with pot. So much so that he went to rehab once, which sounds silly considering now they say it’s not addictive and its being legalized. But he would use to it to such extremes that he had very high peaks and very depressed valleys that were hard on the rest of the family. I’m so grateful it didn’t evolve into harder substances but it was hard. I happen to have a extremely sensitive nose and we had several fights when I would sniff out his well hidden stash without even trying.

Now that I have divorced his dad he has another thing to debate with me. He enjoys pointing out all of his fathers good points, and all of the things his father really did well at as a husband and dad. He likes to underplay the difficulty he knew only parts of. He feels that because he is 20 he should get to know all the details of my defunct marriage so he can cross examine all the choices I made. Luckily I have been to counseling and the state mandated parenting class both of which taught me that my marriage and it’s problems are not to be discussed with my kids. I tell him over and over that I will always be grateful and love his dad for giving me our beautiful children but I won’t discuss my relationship with his dad with him, I will discuss my relationship with him as my son anytime. I don’t know if he’s just being a normal child trying to reconcile his parents or if he’s so happy debating that he knows every button I have and that the guilt I have over the divorce is a easy way to get me riled up. I also know that his dad, his paternal grandparents and his fathers siblings all feel that is it a great idea to discuss our marriage and problems and my percieved weaknesses with my children. So, many times when my son is debating with me I hear all the ex-inlaws voices and thoughts in his words. This doesn’t seem fair that he is getting one sided information, however I have been assured by multiple therapists that I’m am doing the right thing in not discussing my side and someday my children will know what they already feel in their hearts. Today was a particularly rough afternoon with my son,  I had gone out of my way to take him to lunch and spend time with him. I think I held it together very well, dropped him off, drove to Target and sobbed in my car. I was just so exhausted and bruised from his verbal barrage.

I hold on to the hope that someday he will grow up and acknowledge what I believe is in his heart. Until then I have a beautiful picture of my son hugging me, when all was right and innocent.

symbols and cheerleaders

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I had a cuff style bracelet for a few years that I loved. I bought it at a half marathon expo. It had a saying on it that was something like, The courage to start, the strength to endure and the wisdom to finish, you know something like that. And it was a comfort or talisman to me. When I had a son going through a very difficult time I would find myself rubbing the words on the cuff as if to ground myself. I lost it while snorkeling one summer and I have never found another like it. But I learned that I do better when I have something that like on me.

I currently have 2 things I wear that I feel are a comfort to me. One is a round pendant that my late grandmother gave me from Murano Italy and I find myself holding it at times while it’s on my neck and rubbing the smooth glass. Maybe once or twice I have found myself holding it in my teeth, I don’t think I’ll look into that one. The second thing is lovely spoon ring I found at a craft fair.

I perhaps find more symbolic meaning behind the spoon ring then most people would and maybe it doesn’t make sense to anyone but myself. I feel like in the past chapter of my life, the 21 years of marriage I was a spoon. I was for being useful and helpful, and I know a lot of moms feel that way. That I was just a spoon. But now I’m not needed as a spoon anymore and I have cut off that part of me and become a ring. Rather then become ground up and ruined in the garbage disposal then carelessly thrown away, I am reinvented.