Friday, July 29, 2011

This might be. . . take your freedom ;)

The other day, it seemed like everywhere I looked, there were people in love and kids with their fathers and all I could think about was how we're missing out on that and how unfair this is and how wrong this is. You shouldn't promise to love and be faithful 'til death do us part and keep your end of the deal only to later find out your spouse did not. It sucks and would not happen in a perfect world.

And then I heard this song on the way home and it totally changed my perspective. Yes, this still sucks and its still wrong and it still should have never happened. But maybe I get to have my cake and eat it, too. I mean, I have my wonderful kids and I get to keep them and they are the BEST part of our relationship. And now I get a do over on the rest. That wasn't my last first kiss (I hope). And that crappy proposal over the bathroom sink while brushing my teeth might not always be the proposal I think of when I see a proposal scene in a movie. I'll always have my kids and now I get a chance to find someone who loves me the way I need to be loved. If that person exists. And if not, I'm no longer stuck with someone who doesn't want to be stuck with me. I'm free.

And then I heard this song and it didn't hurt and I didn't immediately change the channel on the radio and I realized how far I've come. Sure I still have mornings when I wake up and think "maybe it was all a nightmare." because it is. But at the same time, whatever part of me was hoping he would come back and say he made a mistake is totally gone. I don't think of him most days. And when I do, there is no longing for him to return. I'm healing. I'm on my way. To where? Who knows. I'm just glad I'm not where I was. . .

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

I don't know who I am. There it is. The root of all my insecurity. When I got married, I was a baby. A bad-assed little 19 year old baby who was carrying a baby of her own, but a baby nonetheless when you consider how little I knew of myself and what I wanted out of life. 7 years later, I am still a baby. I guess that means my growth as an individual has been retarded.

To be honest, its mostly my fault because I chose to look to others for guidance on EVERYTHING. And when I made decisions, half the time I allowed my decisions to be changed by others. Research is time consuming and making up your mind is just too taxing with a million different options to choose from and its hard to stand up for your decisions when they aren't firmly made and others you respect and care for oppose them. Its far too easy to fall into the trap of "what if I make the wrong decision" and instead make no decision at all, or allow others to make your decisions so if something goes wrong you always have someone else to blame them on.

Well, that works fine when your married (minus the fact that you're setting your spouse up to be the one who always made the wrong decision), but it doesn't work nearly as well when you're a single parent. Doing 2 people's jobs and not getting paid for either, but being responsible for all. Its hard. Its time consuming. Its daunting. AND ITS WORTH IT.

I know I talk about being intentional a lot. Mostly, I am talking to me because its easy for me to fall into unintentionally doing stuff and I feel that that is wrong. That is something wrong I have been doing for a long time. And I am trying to break that habit. I don't think life is meant to be easy. I don't think its really the easy way out either. I think in the long run, we will be held responsible for all our decisions, whether intentional or passive. You can totally glide through life. I have done it. But the mainstream does not take me anywhere I want myself or my children to be and I've decided going against the tide is worth the work I have to put into it.

I am slowly but surely learning more about myself and my capabilities, more about what I want out of life, and more about God and I am going to continue down that path, walking intentionally every step of the way and remembering that I have 4 little girls shadowing my every move. Its a hard job, but somebody's gotta do it and I'm really glad that God decided that somebody got to be me.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Blueberries anyone?

My favorite food is blueberries. My favorite meal is breakfast, likely because most of the ways I know of to eat blueberries are for breakfast. Although, I do have to admit that I eat them for snacks, too. Also, just because they are there, because I want something sweet or "just because".

Here are some of my favorite ways to eat blueberries, which I make as often as possible.

homemade waffles using krusteaz waffle mix, with cool whip and berries on top

Our special 4th of July cake, a devil's food cake (from boxed mix) with cool whip as icing and berries to make it look like a flag. The kids had a blast helping to make it.

They also had a blast helping to eat it. This is Addy and Evie enjoying our special 4th of July cake.

Yogurt parfait with Greek God's brand greek yogurt, honey flavored, with muesili and berries on top. This one has cool whip on top, too.

Yogurt parfait without cool whip on top, same recipe as above.

One of my favorite places to be during the month of July is Berry Patch Farms. I like it in fall, too, when they have pumpkins, but throughout the month of July, blueberries are in season.

You see, I am a foodie. And blueberries are my favorite. And Berry Patch Farms is my favorite place to get them. Berry Patch Farms is a pick your own farm. They do not ever spray pesticides on their blueberries, so its perfectly safe to pick blueberries off the trees and eat them as you go. They encourage you to when you get there. They provide the buckets, bags and berries and they mark the trees that have poison ivy on them so that you don't get unwittingly exposed to that ick. You pick the berries and pay $2 a pound for the ones that manage to stay in the bucket long enough to be weighed. The girls and I spent an hour there 2 weeks ago while we were house sitting. We went at 7:30 at night so Izzy wouldn't have any issues with the sun and we had a blast. The girls stayed with me, Addy served as the foghorn to let us know if we came within 10 feet of a pink ribbon (poison ivy indicator), we ate about 3 lbs of blueberries in the process and took home 1 lb, which means our outing cost $2, 5-10 minutes for the trip there, another 5-10 for the trip back and was the perfect outing to help the kids fall into exhausted sleep as soon as we got home. Which was bliss for me :)

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Ice cream and redonkulous cat-tastrophies

Before you read this, please understand I am EXHAUSTED. So if I make no sense, that's why.

Today, I had a thought. Marriage is like putting ice cream in a cone, then problems come and life "heats up" and the ice cream and cone fuse together, cone gets gooey, ice cream melts and imagine trying to separate the ice cream from the cone at this point. That is called divorce.

I had another thought -- well, actually, a couple of connected thoughts -- today. We'll call it wisdom gleaned from Shrek Ever After. If you haven't watched the movie, these next 2 points will probably make you scratch your head in confusion.

1. Don't be a Rumplestinkypants. First of all, "no one wants to make a deal with you, Mr. Rumplestinkypants." Don't be a parent that "makes deals." This is not "Let's make a deal," you are responsible for your kids and you have to make decisions and be the parent. Not be the deal maker. Secondly, when your kids are talking to you, don't dismiss what they are saying immediately. Listen, process, then respond. Sometimes they have some great ideas that we just dismiss immediately and harshly, hurting their feelings in the process. Some "witches" can be un-melted with time, others can't be and anyways, whether you can unmelt the witch or not is not the point. If you can avoid having problems altogether just by listening and thinking before you respond, you should.

2. Be Redonkulous. Frequently. Laughter is wonderful for the soul and for the parent/child relationship. And for the post-baby belly. So the next time your kid does something redonkulous or cat-tastrophic or just plain annoying and stressful, just laugh for a minute. You'll laugh, they'll laugh, everyone will get a good laugh and come out less stressed. It really is worth it.

So that's all my wisdom for today and I'm too tired to figure out a cute sign off, so have a good night.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Friday Night Fever

Well, maybe not fever, but a darn good time. . .

This Friday night, I went to a Single Mother's Banquet at my church. I am in a single mom's Sunday school class and once a year they have a banquet for all the single moms. We had prime rib (I don't really eat beef, but I ate it and it tasted ok, but made me feel like crud afterwards), double chocolate cake, spinach, walnut, boiled egg and cranberry salad, and some veggies.

We listened to one of the ladies who sings in our choir sing Stronger by Mandisa, which I think is going to be my new theme song, and Lori Salierno spoke. It was fantastic. Lori definitely has the gift of gab and she really helped me a lot. I know it sounds stupid, but there was a small part of me that thought "if I was really a good Christian, Joey leaving shouldn't bother me. . ." but having someone who works in ministry struggle with the pain from divorce and her husband's infidelity just kinda freed me to feel how I feel without feeling guilty. I met a couple new IRL friends and just had a fantastic time. I wish I had taken pictures, but my sister hasn't found the charger for the camera she's letting me use yet, so I'll just have to add some pics later, I guess.

Sadly, that and going to a movie at the church with my single mom's Sunday school class is the only 2 Friday night events I've been to since before my husband left, so when I say I'm a homebody, I really do mean it. . . but I'm working on it, too. Both those events were in the last 6 weeks, so I guess I'm getting better.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

The pizza is good.

Its funny how, when you are mourning, which often happens on unintended journeys, the stupidest things can make you sad. Like pizza. Wo gets sad about pizza? Its cheesy and its yummy. . . Its a comfort food. . . and I used to make it with my husband.

I love pizza. Even when it makes me sad. And I'm not going to stop making or eating pizza just because it makes me sad. But I can't help but thin, while making it, about the fact that my husband isn't here and probably never will be again. And its not bcause he's dead. And its not because of anything I did. Its because one day he woke up and decided he just didn't want to be there anymore. One day, he decided being able to walk into a bar, drink as much as he wants and take home anyone who's willing to go with him was worth more than having a wife and 4 kids at home who adore him.

So here I am, making pizza by myself. Neing sad and lonely. Or as lonely as you can bewith 4 children ALWAYS there. And I know it won't last forever. And I hope someday I'll meet someone new. But for now, here I am. . . the pizza is good btw :)