Sunday, October 30, 2011

I've come a long way.

I've had a rough night. I'm hormonal, and I also made the mistake of finally reading the recommended parenting schedule of the 16th district court. It pissed me off! It still boggles my mind that I, a good woman who probably did too much for her husband, was...a) cheated on b) cast aside for "the dirty tramp" AND c) must now share a large portion of her children's lives and time with above mentioned idiot and "the dirty tramp". I'm pissed that there could be a possibility that every other year I may not even see my children on Christmas. I'm pissed that I will have to go two weeks in a row during the summer without them.

It's just unreal that an individual can make such a selfish decision and others are just left to deal with it.

Then I came home, went upstairs to grab some pjs, and had an absolute meltdown. It was a good one. I hadn't had one in awhile...I was due. It was a throw-myself-on-the-bed-that-I-haven't-slept-in-since-he-left-and-sob sort of a meltdown. I just kept thinking, "He was JUST here. My life was JUST normal. I JUST spent everyday with my kids, never having to worry about kissing them goodbye and hoping that they are properly cared for". And it's strange that I thought this because being "married" to him seems like a life time ago.

What the bloody hell?! No, really. Let's back this train up, because for the 4,847th time HOW DID THIS HAPPEN?!

And then I pulled myself together, got dressed, reminded myself that no, at the present time there is no one waiting for me. There is no one there to make that bed worth it. And while we're on the topic, for the love of Pete it would be great to be hit on by a guy that isn't 18 or 40!! Seriously, I do believe that there is a large demographic missing, my age group.

Then I realized that I was really tired, and I had a headache, and that I just wasted a huge chunk of time throwing a fit. I don't know how I rode this roller coaster for months. I don't know how I physically, or emotionally, survived fits like these 10-20 times a day. How on earth did I survive those first months, weeks, days, or even hours? There were times when I distinctly remember begging God to get me through the hour. "Just let my heart keep beating until 4", for example.

I'm so thankful that I'm through the thick of it, and outbursts like these are spacing out. I've come a long way. At least I have distance traveled on my side.

Friday, September 30, 2011

It Is Well With My Soul

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

Monday, September 26, 2011

I hope he finds his way back.

Not to me. Oh, no, no. I know that some day, for some reason, he'll be knocked to his knees. Whether it's a break up, or a death, or an illness, it will happen. When it does, I hope he finds his way back to Christ.

While sitting in court today, I noticed that he looks broken. He looks lost. Maybe it was just me hoping that he is, but whether or not he thinks he's lost...he is. He's lost in the worst way, in a way that even I couldn't hope for. He's wandered away from God and his Son in a very serious way. When that day comes when he crumbles, I hope that he's smart enough to find Him again. As much as I dislike Richie, and the task of ever forgiving him seems daunting, I'm afraid for him.

As horrible as this experience has been for me, it has bred positives. I am closer to Christ than I ever have been in my life, I'm closer to my children, and I know that I'm not alone. Even on my darkest day, I am never alone.

I have stood absolutely humbled by just how great people can be. In a world where it seems like there aren't any good people left, I've found them. People I have never met are praying for me. And thank God they are, because there have been moments when I couldn't physically stand. There were moments, days, and even weeks when I was convinced that my heart would give out, or I would just stop breathing. Breathing was actually hard. There have been times when I have felt the prayers. I honestly believe that in those moments there must have been a large number praying at once, because I was picked up and put on solid ground.

I hope that one day he will know what true love is. I pray that he will find Christ again, and that my children will share heaven with their Dad one day. As the father of my children I love him too much to wish anything less.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Letting go a little bit at a time.

Since Richie threw all of my belongings in the living room, and I had to put it all back, I thought that I may as well go through it. I found a lot of things that were way too big, which was nice. I also found a lot of things that I was holding onto because they meant something to me.

There were a lot of shirts that I kept. There were a couple of halter tops from the summer we dated. The one with the glittery palm tree on it (I know, I know...I was 19) I wore to the craft fair up north. We walked around and bought matching hemp necklaces, and then we went to the harbor and climbed out on a pile of rocks. It was really nothing special, but for some reason it was special to me. I'm sure that it was because that was one of the first times that I took him to some of my favorite places. Places that represented my childhood, and my amazing grandparents, one of my little heavens. Then there was the black and white one that I wore to the Detroit fireworks. We weren't even dating then, just together all the time. I don't know why, but almost every detail of that day sticks out in my head. There are a lot of pictures of us together that night. I'm beaming in all of them. Then there was a tshirt that Richie had made for me. I always hated it, and it never fit right, but he went and had it made especially for me...there was thought behind it. Those ones went into the garage sale pile.

Then there were some things that I kept. There was the shirt that I was wearing the day that I met Richie. He never wanted me to get rid of it. For some reason he made me hang onto the shoes that I was wearing that day as well. There was the shirt that I wore in my 11th grade picture. I had just gotten braces, and wouldn't show my teeth when I smiled. Richie stood behind the photographer and got me to give him a real smile. There was also the sweater that Richie wore in his senior pictures. There was also a zip up sweatshirt that Richie got me for my birthday after Tristan was born. I found it on the clearance rack at Meijer and loved it. We were so broke I couldn't even buy it. So he got it for my birthday. All of these things I set aside. I'll put them in a rubbermaid, and I'll save them for the kids. I want them to have some tangible proof of our life together. Maybe that seems stupid, but maybe one day it will be a comfort to Victoria to put on the shirt that her mom was wearing when she met her dad. Maybe Tristan will wear the same sweater in his senior pictures. I want them to see that even when I was most angry and hurt, I loved their dad anyway and our memory still meant something to me. I want them to know that my marriage meant the world to me...every second. Even the hardships were special to me.

But as I kept sorting through I started to get angry again. I found all of the clothes that were wearing out, and saw that I went without a lot. I realized that 90% of the things hanging in my closet came from the clearance rack. I like to save a buck, but sometimes I didn't have a choice because he would blow half of his paycheck on something that he wanted, and I was left with nothing. Maybe I loved him so much I chose not to see some things. Maybe I didn't want to watch him slowly drift away. Maybe I didn't want to acknowledge the fact that there was always something else that was more important than me.

The stupid things that I held onto say that he loved some point. The memories prove it. Part of me wants to wipe those memories out of my mind completely, and then the other part of me wants to remember forever.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Angry, pity party, repeat.

I feel like I've spent all this time mourning something that maybe didn't exist. Was it all a lie? Could it all have been a lie? When did he stop meaning it and start faking it? Or was he just good at faking it, and always did?

I know that I'm pretty hung up on wanting to know when it changed. I'm not a stupid person, I'm very perceptive. I was always especially perceptive when it came to Richie. I knew when something was bothering him before he did. Where was I when the huge white elephant walked in and sat down in the middle of the room?

He was always supposed to be there waiting for me. He vowed to. And I don't just mean our wedding vows. "I'll never leave you", "I would never cheat on you"...that's what I heard whenever I worried. I feel like a paranoid freak. If my own husband, and the father of my babies, could railroad me like this then anyone could.

I'm not in love with him anymore, I'm in love with our memories.

I just want to know how I can dislike him as much as I do, and still miss our dark bedroom, and laying in his arms. I just want to be back in that place that was warm and dark, just so that I can breathe for a few minutes. I want to be back in that place where I felt secure, and loved, and attractive. A time when breathing came naturally, and my biggest concern was what I would be making for dinner.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Man Hating Hag

I don't know where to go from here. I feel so lost.

I'm back in school, I'm job hunting...those are the easy things. But what do I do once the kids are in bed and things are dark and quiet. It's that time of the day when it feels like someone is heaping piles of dirt on top of my coffin. That sounds terribly dramatic, but really. I feel like I'm suffocating.

I've been splashing around in my Pity Pool all week. I feel bad for myself, I do. I didn't deserve this. I was a good wife. I don't deserve having to share a home with him. My children don't deserve any of it.

I live to put the kids to bed so that I can break down and get it out of the way. Then I can't wait for the sun to rise, because all I do is lay and think. When I wake up I'll be tired, and just as stressed as when I went to bed, but at least it will be light out and I'll be with the living. I don't really feel like I'm living, but it's a clever illusion when I drift about with other human beings. Happy ones. People who don't seem to have a care in the world.

If I go on Facebook one more time and read about someones bad hair day, or bad traffic during their morning commute, I may explode. That's the other part of all this...rage, anger, and being bitter. I promised myself the day that the papers were left in my screen door that I wouldn't let myself become one of those man hating hags who never finds happiness in anything because I'm stuck in the past, but this week I've been flying around on a broomstick. Everyone, and everything, sets me off.

I'm going to be meeting with my lawyer this week to prepare for court on Monday and chances are good that I will throw myself on his floor and have a fit.

I want out and I want my life back.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Emotional Curveball

I keep thinking that I'm standing on solid ground, and then BAM! I get blindsided by a horrible, punched in the gut, feeling.

My house is a hard place to be. I don't have exclusive use yet, and therefore don't feel safe, but also because it's "us". Everything here is "us". We chose everything together, everything has a story behind it. I've had a love/hate relationship with our bedroom. When this all started I thought that I would never sleep there again, then I got comfortable with it, and then the sucker-punch. I just walked in to look around for a few minutes tonight and all of the hate melted away, and I remembered my Richie. I remembered the first night that we slept in this house. Victoria was a baby in the pack-n-play and Tristan slept on his little Sesame Street air mattress. We only had our bed set up, and although we didn't have two pennies to rub together we were happy, and so proud to be homeowners. And I remembered all of those nights when I would crawl in bed next to him and settle into the spot on his chest where I fit like a puzzle piece. He would say, "I love you baby" and I would fall asleep listening to his heart beat.

It's just unreal.

Where was I when he changed? Why didn't I know? Why didn't he tell me?

I don't miss him now. Really. I see him in a completely different way now, and his appearance, and his attitude make me physically ill. But I miss my Richie. I don't wish for him to come back, because that's just wasted energy, but I miss him from time to time.

I just wish that I would have had some warning, or had some clear signs. Something more than, "Something is off, but I can't put my finger on it and I have no proof".

I just wish that my brain would process it fully, and these moments would end.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Panic attacks and other divorce related things.

There are nights when my chest gets tight, and I can't breathe, and I feel like my legs won't carry me upstairs to my bed.

There are days when I just want to throw in the towel, ask him what he wants from me. What else could I possibly give?

Throwing in the towel is just too tempting. I can't take being kicked while I'm down one more time. I can't take another abusive phone call, or another appointment with my lawyer. I can't take one more minute of staying strong for the kids, and I can't take another exhausting tantrum that I'm left to man alone.

I just want to run.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Skanks, tramps and dirty hos for $500 please, Alex.

I know where my husband another woman's bed. A dirty, unattractive, uneducated, pot smoking woman who doesn't have a car or a place of her own.

Oh dear. Have I said too much?

And I don't miss him. It was as if a switch was thrown. Maybe it was the same one that was thrown that took him from family man to piece of trash. He told me finally, and a thousand pounds lifted off of my shoulders.

I am clean, and the majority of my life is stretched out in front of me.

The only thing that hurts me--my kids and wanting only the best for them. They live in this bubble where life is beautiful and moms and dads stay together. That bubble is about to be popped. That kills me.

And now there is no turning back. The bubble is done for because I wouldn't take him back if he were the last man on earth.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

What goes up must come down...

The kids and I left town for 9 days, and I was doing wonderful. On the ride home I fell apart...completely. Then when I got home I had court the next day. That day was horrible. I took 500 steps back emotionally.

The night before I slept in my old bed at my old house. I layed there and realized that the last time I had slept there was the night before my wedding. A small blow.

My dad took me to a coney island across the street from the court house the next day because we were early. I remember feeling like I was floating down the sidewalk, almost like I wasn't really there. I of course couldn't eat or drink anything, because...ya know...I was on my way to have (at least) the next 5 months of my life, and my children's well being, dictated by a judge who sees my situation a million times a year, and has probably become numb to the searing pain that divorce causes.

And then something happened that I didn't expect. Richie for the most part has disgusted me this last month. When I have looked at him I've seen a horrible monster. But on Monday I was sitting on a court bench waiting, and when he stepped off the elevator he stole my heart. He had gotten a hair cut and looked just like he did on our wedding day. I could have folded like a cheap suit, and I really wanted to...but I didn't, because I'm stubborn and prideful. I can't let him know that he's destroyed me. Well that's a lie, I have told him that before, but now the only way to survive is to be a bitch. Things are too far gone to let him know that I'm still capable of crumbling.

Everything moved so fast and I was completely snowed over. I agreed to things that I usually wouldn't, because quite honestly I was checked out. When I needed to be checked in the most, I was checked out. The one thing that I do remember? When the judge spoke my children's names. I did crumble for a few minutes. I whimpered.

I cried most of the way home. My poor dad.

Then I crumpled up in my old bedroom and I sobbed. The kind of cry that shakes your body, and gives you a headache.

Where did he go? Where is my husband?

This is not the person that I dated, or married. This isn't the person that held my hand as I gave birth to our sweet babies, and this definitely isn't the man that baptized me. I wish that someone could make this make sense. Where is MY Richie? This Richie that blindsided me with the worst pain of my life is not MY Richie.

I cried the rest of the day. It felt like the day that he served me divorce papers all over again. I cried for the man who's smile could fix anything, the man that I would lay next to at night. I cried for those kisses and hugs that I will never have again. But most of all I cried for all of the future hopes and memories that died overnight. No more Christmas mornings as a family, no more family dinners, no more trips...nothing. I'll never lure him home from work early with my chicken and dumplings again. I'll never bake him a birthday cake. And the absolute worst? There will never be another baby that draws it's first breath because we loved each other.

If this isn't the worst feeling in the world, then I hope I never know what is.

Monday, July 25, 2011

I'll find my way back to you

If you'll be waiting

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Things just suck.

I wish that I could be brutally honest about my life, and all the crap that has been thrown my way, but I can't. I can't involve the world, but it would be nice to be able to talk about it.

It would be nice to have some hope and encouragement. Even if my situation has no hope, it would be nice if someone would just lie to me.

My kids are keeping me going. I'm so glad that I have them, because without them I would probably never leave my bed.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

I traded my baggage in for luggage. Then I traded my luggage in for a steamer trunk and a trailer.

I sort of felt like the sun rose without me today.

My kids are in mismatched pajamas and I. just. don't. care.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

A bit morbid.

I've realized that as I get older I don't worry about aging. I worry about everyone else getting older. This was never really a problem until Tristan was born. It was as if I was smacked in the face with everyone else's mortality. I cried the whole time that I was pregnant with Tristan because my dog would eventually die. Then Tristan was born and I started to freak out about my parents aging. I started doing mental math and obsessing over what their age would be when he would graduate, and be old enough to get married. Would it be mathmatically possible for them to be living for it? I would get really bent out of shape about it, and still do from time to time. I'm not totally convinced that it's normal, or that other people give it as much thought as I do. Me trying to figure out if I'm normal is a reoccuring theme if you haven't yet noticed. I've talked on the phone with my bff about it, and she says that I'm morbid and that she just doesn't think about it.

I can completely handle the idea of death. I want to know what it's like, and I want to hug my grandparents again. I miss them so much some days that dying would seem like the easy part. I get hung up on dying before my children are old enough to care for themselves because I question Richie's ability to fill those shoes on his own, but other than that I have no fear. Getting older is actually something that I look forward to. I have an old soul, and for once I might just fit in with my peers. Loving sleep, being a homebody, doing embroidery and playing Yahtzee will finally be socially acceptable. Then I stop dead in my tracks because I realize that there will be a lot of people that I will have to part with along the way. It really scares me. I don't even want to think about what it will be like to say goodbye to the generation that stands between me and my days filled with naps and competitive Uker.

Back in November my mind was allowed to wander into another morbid direction. A woman that I had never met, but knew of, lost her 31 year old husband. She has two children the same age as mine, and was six months pregnant at the time. I've followed her blog since the day that she lost her husband, and it's been quite a wake up call. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but your life can come crashing down at any moment. I've spent so many nights since I first heard her story with my head on Richie's chest just listening to his heart beat. What if one day he isn't there anymore? What if he goes first? How on earth do you keep breathing?

I have completely come to grips with the fact that one day I will die...but I really don't think that anyone else should consider it.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Getting philosophical about a car.

The Escalade.

If you are friends with me on Facebook, then you have seen my pictures and you've witnessed my excitement over the great huge hunk of metal that is an Escalade. I've always wanted one. Well, not always...since high school. Same dif. We hunted and I dedicated an entire week of my life to comparing prices, and researching, and then my dreams were filled with Kelly Blue Book at night.

Then I noticed that my chest was starting to feel tight. I thought I was excited. In reality my arteries were constricting due to the anxiety. Or something like that.

I emailed Richie. Sweetly, and not at all my usual approach when it comes to Richie, I lowered the boom. Get in my world real quick. I told my outdoorsy, slightly rugged and rough around the edges, unPC hubby that I in fact did not want an Escalade or a Yukon, but a much smaller cross over. I was even so sweet and kind to include a link. A link to what I thought would be a compromise. A "fuel efficient" vehicle. Heh heh. That was a funny email to type. What was even more funny was that he called me at 9am the next day, when he knows that I never get up before 10, to tell me that he agreed with my plan.

I was so pleased. Maybe we aren't as opposite as I sometimes assume. Who am I kidding, we totally are! But we do seem to get on the same page when it matters.

I freaked myself out a little. I got a little extra jingle in my pocket, and I was on my way to driving a gas guzzling, "luxury car". Eww. I can't stand people like me. The week before I splurged (yes I said splurged) and bought a bike trailer so that I could bike to the farmer's market this summer. How did I make that leap? I'm still not sure.

I'll spare you my life's philosophy on simplicity, being authentic, and my occasional tree caressing warrior side. But the visions of Escalades and sugar plums is a thing of the past...for now.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Just Odd.

Sometimes I wonder if I'm odd. I really do.

All my life I have preferred to be alone. I can remember playing alone a lot as a child. I don't know if it was me responding to my surroundings or just the way I am. I'm the youngest child. So young in fact (he he- that's for my sister) that at times it was like I was an only child. My sister is ten years older, my brother almost thirteen years older. My brother was married and out of the house when I was six, and I was an aunt a month shy of my seventh birthday.

I've never made friends easily. I'm not easily impressed. I'm not a snob, I just have a hard time giving my time and energy to people that I don't respect so my circle of friends has always been small. Aside from my family (the built in friends) and my church family (pretty much like blood relatives to me) I have roughly two friends.

I'm a hermit. One of those social oddities that could, in fact, not leave the house for a week and not notice. My kids will start to get stir crazy and I'll realize that we haven't left our house or yard for a few days.

I get depressed when I go into public sometimes. See this is where I start to wonder if I'm normal, if normal people think this way. We live near a highway that is absolutely saturated with stores and restaurants of all kinds. If it isn't on that highway then it doesn't exist. It depresses me. Society is weird and all that "want" in one place is sort of mind blowing.

I had to do a lot of research in school on artists. I was in an AP art program and it was part of the class I think. I'm pretty sure that was the one. Anyways, the common thread with artistic people I found often was that they can easily get lost in themselves and struggle with relationships. Not in a selfish way, their minds just operate differently...clearly. I'm not sitting here proclaiming greatness. It feels ridiculous to refer to myself as an "artist", but I definitely don't think the same way that a lot of people do.

Sometimes I wonder if I'm good for my kids. I talk to my kids, but I'm not a talker. Those people that you see in public that constantly talk to their children weird me out. I educate my children, we cook together, we play sports and we take walks, but a lot of the time I'm quiet. I just hope that someday they don't think that I didn't care because I had my nose in a book a lot, or music was our background noise instead of chatter.

The only reassurance that I have is that they love to watch me create. They are absolutely wowed when they watch me paint. They think I'm magic. Once again, this isn't me with a blown up ego, they are children. Maybe that's how we communicate?

I'm not one to care what other people think, or compare myself, so maybe I shouldn't bother at all. But I do wonder. I will freely admit that I wonder. I rarely connect with people and feel like I can be myself without people glazing over, or not knowing what to say back. People have said that I'm strange, my own mother. Joking of course, and I'm not offended, but I know that I'm different and that on some level she means it.

I also doubt myself as a Christian. We're supposed to be hospitable, and reach social. It's hard for me. The only reason that people can even begin to think that I'm social is because I have consciously worked on being social for God. When Richie and I were first married I was so backwards socially that he did all the talking. I just stood behind him. I try now. I ask questions and I push my boundaries. Sometimes I even enjoy it.

I just hope that I don't ruin my kids.

Monday, April 18, 2011

The Joy List

I have a really great life. Really! I'm not just blowing daisies up your butt. I've been working hard lately at filtering out toxic things and people, and I'm trying to be as positive about things as possible. Except when I PMS. Sorry, but I can only give so much. My new favorite word is Joy. So I'm going to make a list here about what makes me joyful, or what I appreciate, on a monthly basis. It's just impossible to throw a pity party for yourself when you count your blessings. Bring on the JOY!

  • Family. I have a big family, and I'm thankful for every one of them. Cousins that are my best friends, aunts and uncles that are so awesome I feel right at home in their homes, and of course my immediate family. There just aren't enough words to say how great they are.

  • A warm, dry home. It may seem basic, but it really isn't. In some countries my home would be considered a palace. I've been blessed enough to have a husband who works harder than anyone I've ever known, and he's given us a great place to call our own.

  • Clean water. It may seem corny but every time I turn on the water to do the dishes I praise God for giving me clean water. Think about how hard it would be to get through the day without clean water. A lot of people don't have it. I'm blessed!

  • Good health. Without good health you have nothing.

  • The freedom to sit in church and worship my God without having to fear for my life.

  • My Bible. It's as basic and needed as food on the table and that clean water that I was talking about. It's my sanity, and everything good. What on earth would I do without it?

  • My dog. He's me shadow and my little heater. He never judges me, and loves me unconditionally. Plus, he is so stinkin' cute!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

I don't multitask.

Yes that's right. I don't multitask. It's just not within me. I am my father's child. I concentrate on one thing and do it well, or at least try to. Wait, wait, maybe I do multitask. I can eat cheesy poofs and blog at the same time. Talent I tell you. So my life is difficult right now by the most selfish and pathetic standards. I'm really beating myself up this week and telling myself that I suck a lot. I'm trying to honor some commitments and on top of my usual life it's too much. It's sad really. My house is a wreck, my children have eaten a lot of crap this week, and I'm stressed so I'm an emotional-eating-war path-walking-nut. Then I get stressed because I've eaten too much and my yoga pants are all that fit. *sigh* I'm overwhelmed. Where's the pie?

Thursday, March 17, 2011

A new focus.

I have been in an almost constant Bible study this week. It never ceases to amaze me all that can be answered by studying the gospel.

The virtuous wife (Proverbs 10-31) is my absolute favorite when it comes to Godly guidance for women, but I read Titus 2 tonight and I've decided to add that to my focus. Verse 7 and 8 I found to be most useful right now. "in all things showing yourself to be a pattern of good works; in doctrine showing integrity, reverence, incorruptibility, (8) sound speech that cannot be condemned, that one who is an opponent may be ashamed, having nothing evil to say of you."

That's what I'll be working on.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Cast Your Pearls Before Swine

People can be prideful hypocrites. People can be so wrapped up in their own pride that they forget to worry about anyone else's feelings.

And you know what? I feel really badly for people like that. I may not have time to waste on prideful peoples' outbursts and callus comments, but I do have time to feel badly for these people, and pity them.

So I'll get to the point of this post. One of my all time favorite Bible verses. This verse has seen me through a lot of tough situations with people. When I feel like someone has had no regard for my feelings I read this passage.

"Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces."

It calms me and keeps me from telling people what I really think.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

My baptism.

This is so personal that I feel strange writing about it, but I feel like I need to write it down. I want to remember. If I commit this to paper it is likely that it would get colored on, or cut up.

I was baptized on my birthday, March 7th.

It's been a long road spiritually for me. A lot of ups and downs. Typical I suppose. A lot of drifting away due to my own poor choices, a church that practically changed overnight and made me doubt a lot, people who betrayed me, a lot of doubt, a lot of praying and studying the gospel, a lot of wandering from church to church, and then one of the best gifts that God has ever given me. One of the best gifts being our new church and the people in it.

I've always had ideas on baptism that no one else seemed to share. Although it is an outward expression, it is also deeply personal. Just like the birth of my children, although fantastic, it is not something that I felt I wanted to put on display. I wanted to love the person that baptised me. I do know that baptism is about me and Christ, and my commitment to him, but it's such an intimate experience that this was important to me. Trust was an issue, I've been burned before. I let a man marry Richie and I that I no longer have any respect for. I didn't want a person like that involved with my baptism. I didn't want to be standing in front of a church full of people. I wanted it to be a small group, I wanted it quiet, and I didn't want the pomp and circumstance. Pretty much how I should have had my wedding.

Richie and I were going to get baptized together on the same day, but he took off like the bullet from a gun one Sunday morning and left me in the dust. Which is great! I'm glad he did. I wasn't about to do it on a Sunday morning, though.

Although my 26th year isn't significant, I wanted to give a gift to myself this year. Declare a redo, and work towards my biggest goal for this year, to be closer to Christ. I woke up at 5am on my birthday, which is strange. I listened to Mumford and Sons for five hours straight before the kids got up. I had more time to think than I've had in over five years. I called Richie and asked him to call one of our elders, Bob, and ask him if he could meet us at the church at 6:45 that night to baptize me. We organized the family from there, and I got lost in house cleaning because the nerves were getting to me. It's overwhelming, and it's a lot to process all at once. At least it was for me.

Before I knew it, my dad was at my door, and it was time to go. He broke the news to me that Richie was running late and that he would meet us there. We got there an hour before Richie did. We all sat and talked, our two elders, their wives, Mom & Dad, Jec, the kids, Abe and myself. Richie finally arrived and then my brother shortly after him. I was talking about how Richie is the reason that we run late to church most Sunday mornings as he walked in, and my mom told me to get my lying in before I was baptized. I've never been what you would call punctual.

It was time, and by this point I was so calm it was numbing. We decided that Richie should be the one to baptize me. I said that it was fine as long as he didn't drown me and leave me for dead. Bob took my confession, and I went to get changed. Bob took Richie with him. My attire was hilarious. A white wife beater type one piece, a navy blue body suit made out of a material similar to a cape you wear when getting your hair cut, and a white robe. And then the elders' wives pointed out the water shoes. Lime green water shoes. If you know me, then you know that I could never walk out sporting those, and be straight faced about it. I went bare foot.

I got to the stairs of the baptistery, and Richie wasn't there. He only had to put waders on, and I beat him. I promptly turned to the elders' wives behind me and told them, "See, I'm always on time". It was at that point that I heard Vince's voice (our other elder). His voice was louder than the rest and I realized what they were all singing. It was Amazing Grace, one of my favorites. I don't know if he asked for one of my favorites, and my family told him, or he just chose it, but it was perfect. I stood there and appreciated Vince's voice because I had never before noticed how nice it was.

Richie finally made it out and the only thing I remember about walking into the baptistery was having to pull up my robe so that I didn't trip, and looking down at my feet when I stepped into the baptistery. I'll never forget what the cranberry colored nail polish on my toes looked like as I stepped into the water. The rest is a bit of a smudge in my memory. I was so calm and at peace that it was practically a high, and it's blurred the most important part. I do remember Richie's prayer afterwards. His most eloquent prayer yet. At least that I've heard aloud. I also remember going to walk away and Richie grabbing my arm to pull me back to hug me and kiss my neck three times, and they all made a loud squeaking noise on my wet neck.

Getting back into my regular clothes should have been an Olympic sport, because the plastic-ey, blue, body suit was completely stuck to my body and I wasn't about to call someone back to rip it off of me as I stood there in my wet wife beater one piece. Ewww. I finally got it off with minimal pain.

I came out and hugged everyone. Some of the sweetest and most sincere kisses and hugs that I've ever received.

I was expecting fireworks, or white lights, but what I got was much better. It was peace, and serenity, and love. It was exactly how I wanted it. It was as if every event in my life had culminated and brought me to this beautiful moment.

And now the most important job of my life starts. I've picked up my cross and started walking.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The grand finale.

Well that's what I get for making fun of someones muffin top. Karma strikes.

If I give you this background information then everything will make more sense. Victoria HATES jeans, or any sort of pant with a waistband. Proceed.

Since Richie left to go out of town dinners have been a little crazy. We had nothing in the house when he left. I'd rather drive pencils into my eardrums then take them both to the store alone. Tonight was supposed to be me taking the kids to McDonald's. We were going to go to one with a play place. I even got online and found a McDonald's with a play place, and had the directions memorized. I was going to kill two birds with one stone: wear their butts out and feed them food that I wouldn't feed my dog.

Well, then Victoria stepped in dog poop. Outside you say? No. In our spare bedroom. I'll kill the dog later. Then I roll up her pant legs and stand her in the tub to wash her feet. With two slippery feet she windmills, falls on her butt, and soaks her pants. Not just her pants, the last clean pair of stretch pants. *gasp* Now there are only jeans left. *gasp again* Wailing, screaming, and general anarchy ensues. I then break the news to Tristan that although he was so good, McDonald's and the play place is out. It's too late. We have to pick dad up in an hour, it just won't work. Wailing, screaming, and general anarchy ensues. I finally pin Victoria down and put a pair of jeans on her. On the way out of her bedroom Tristan pulls too hard on the door knob, it comes off and falls on a china doll that I've had since I was a kid, and shatters its head. I hold back tears and try to sneak out of her room with what's left of the doll without her seeing. She sees. Wailing, screaming, and general anarchy ensues.

Now we're sitting here eating dinner rolls and dried cherries. We're all starving. Richie will be so happy to see us with tear streaked cheeks and in hypoglycemic shock.

I'll never make fun of someones muffin top again.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

In which our heroine drives everyone crazy...

The organizing bug has bitten me.

Organizing isn't like weight loss. You get to see the results and the benefits immediately, and not in a month. Perhaps that's why I'm up to my armpits in linen closet fodder and haven't been to the gym in two weeks. My spring garage sale pile is huge and growing daily. I'm really starting to realize now all of the demons that I need to shake off. I love my parents dearly, but I'm really starting to realize how I was raised to be a pack rat. I think that this was compounded when I moved out of my parents' house. Richie and I were dirt poor. Let me get you into our first year that was 04-05. I remember Richie needing to buy peroxide (can't remember why) and we couldn't afford it. Richie's mom said, "But that's ridiculous, it's not even a dollar a bottle". Exactly, we can't afford it. When you're poor you hang onto everything. You convince yourself that you could somehow re purpose it and make it great. Like you're freaking MacGyver or something. So while I sift through piles I've been asking myself some questions. Here they are:

-Have I used this in the last year? If it's not something that is meant to be used frequently, then can I afford to repurchase it in the rare event that I would need it again?

-Do I love this? Sometimes I get swept up in the fact that it was a gift. I actually donated a stuffed rabbit that my grandmother made for me. I remembered that I didn't exactly like it when she gave it to me. I love her, but I can honor her memory in a different way. Not to mention, I have a handful of other handmade things she gave me that I LOVE. Those things need to be showcased, and not shoved in a box where no one can see them, including me.

-Do I have something similar to this that I like more? I was going through those above the fridge cabinets in my kitchen this last week, "the cabinets of plenty". You know those cupboards. The cupboards where you store all the crap that you don't really use, but can't get rid of. I found four decorative creamers. I mean really, lets count up how many times I've had a guest over and said, "Would you care for a spot of tea lovey? Ok, well which creamer would you prefer?". Ridiculous. I kept one, because it actually went with my tea pot that I do use. You never know, the Queen may swing by one day and demand that the creamer be brought to the table.

-How does this item make me feel? Most of the time my answer to this is, "Well self, like crap quite frankly. It clutters up my closet/counter/life, and then I get stressed out and I treat people like crap, and I over eat. Once and a while I find something where the answer is, "Like a million bucks!". That item, piece of clothing, etc. goes front and center.

I've made a lot of progress in the last week. But, along the way I've annoyed my family. Richie might just level me if I ask him one more time, "How often do you really use this? Does it have a specific home? No? Well then find one". Today I actually caught myself asking the kids, "Don't you want to clean up your rooms and reorganize? It will be so great to be able to find all your stuff when you want it!" Picture me looking exuberant and my kids wondering what happened to their mother.

Everyone else may hate me, but I'm pretty happy.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Mad at Myself

Lately I've been thinking a lot about what I want to change about myself. One of the things that tops the list, just under making the relationships in my life stronger, including my relationship with God, is to be a more organized person.

I've started putting things into action this week. I started meal planning. We're on week one. Since we have the actual planning and shopping behind us, Richie and I sat down together tonight to plug the planned meals into each night of the week. I took a pad (specifically made for meal planning) out of the plastic, and Richie laughed at me. I said, "What? I thought it was a cute idea, I bought them a couple years ago". For real, I bought these almost two years ago. He told me, "No, that's great. It's very organized. I can't believe you're being so organized." That pretty much sums it up. I'm not all. I am a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants sort of girl. My kids never had schedules, we ate when we were hungry and slept when we were tired. Up until this last year they never had a bedtime. One of the reasons I loved breastfeeding was because I didn't need a schedule. Just whip it out wherever, whenever. I'm sure that this has had a positive impact in a way. I know that my kids can adjust. They learned to fall asleep anywhere, and our lives were never a slave to nap times or routines.

But there is another really ugly side to my laid back personality. I absolutely suck at time management, managing tasks, or being organized at all. This is strange, because I love to organize. I would sleep in a tent for a week in anticipation of The Container Store opening its doors if they ever open one in my state.

Hoarding runs in my family. I don't just mean people in my family have a tendency to be a pack rat, I mean hoarders. Just like the TV show. I don't talk about it much, if at all, with people who aren't family because it's embarrassing, and I would never mean to insult any of my family members' "weaknesses". I live in absolute fear of becoming that way. It tends to worsen with age, and it's usually with the loss of a parent that I've known family members to go full tilt.

So this brings me to tonight. After the meal planning was done, and the kids were ready for bed, I decided that I would make myself organize at least one small area of my house. Richie and I have the upstairs to ourselves and there is a door at the foot of the staircase. I have a horrible habit of stashing things there. Just throwing clothes there, or pictures, or books, or jewelry. Anything that needs to be taken upstairs. Then I shut the door. And I'm sure you're thinking a small pile, but no, it's more like you better be good at lunges, because you're clearing the landing and the first two stairs. This is so embarrassing to admit, but I want to be accountable. Even if I'm just admitting a very bad habit to a subscription list of five people, I'm doing it just the same.

I'm instituting a basket system, and a "get off your lazy butt, Molly", system asap. But before either of these go into effect, things needed to be cleaned up. Because things just get tossed there, whatever it is gets trampled. So I got it cleaned up and in the process I found a lot of things ruined, or close to it. Two photos that are dear to my heart...crumpled. A small shelf I had been meaning to hang up upstairs...broken, but repairable. A bracelet that belonged to Richie's aunt that passed away in October...broken. Actually, snapped in half. The list is quite long, and I'm going to spare my ego. Anyways, I cried. It wasn't even over the stuff...ok maybe the photos. Mostly, it was over me. I was disgusted. Thankfully, my whole home isn't like this. A few areas here and there, and the basement as a whole, but still. Shame on me.

Have I mentioned that the thought of an emergency worker coming into my home and seeing one of these messes makes me almost as anxious as the thought of having a reason to call 911?

But no more, I'm done. The next time that someone comes to my home and wants a tour, they're going to see every inch. I'm going to be ready.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

I'm baaaaccckkk...

It's almost been a year since I wrote anything here. A lot has changed, thankfully. Reading over my old posts I realized how difficult things were for me. I had completely lost my joy.

But things are changing. I'm not there yet, but I have a new attitude and I'm putting what I've learned into action. I would say that's more than half the battle. This isn't to say that I was depressed, or miserable in my life. It was worse, I was stuck.

Richie lost his job, and we thought our world was ending. Come to find out it was a blessing. His department was completely rearranged when he left, and the pay scale was altered, and we felt badly for his work partners left behind. Finances then changed for us with the new job for the better. We now have two cars. They're old, but they're cars and they get us not only where we need to go, but want to go. The kids and I can have a life that extends past our block.

But the biggest change of all was spiritual. We found a church a year and a half ago, and Richie was baptised July 25 of 2010. This isn't just a church. It is THEE CHURCH. The church I was praying for. The church I had myself convinced didn't exist. I was so very jaded, and sick of being a nomad every Sunday, and never liking where we ended up. The people are amazing. I can tell you that I knew they were special that second I met them. The only other time that I had that feeling, and was correct, was when I met Richie. A feeling that makes you realize that something bigger is at work. It was so very right. In a short period of time they became family. It finally felt like there was a possibility for worship outside of our home. It saved us. It saved us from my prior attitude that church wasn't neccessary. In my past opinions, church was political and the people were hypocrits. Well sadly, I've been to a lot of churches that were, and so were the people. But then I read my Bible, and realized that as a self proclaimed Christian, this attitude was all wrong. Because things got tough, and inconvenient, I started making Christ and his gospel what I wanted it to be, not what it was. I did a simple internet search on a whim and found our current church listed. We showed up on a Wednesday night, and we instantly knew that God had led us to the door step. It's so funny to me now that we were driving an hour and a half to our old place of worship when our "new church" was 5 miles down the road.

So anyways, I have a lot of stuff bouncing around in my head. Way too much for one post. I'm going to start doing things differently. Not just the deep spiritual things, but mundane things. I've decided to slowly reinvent myself. I want to be a better Christian, wife, mother, housekeeper, I want my own business...the list goes on. A lot of growth has been going on while I wasn't here blogging. This blog will be changing, too. So hopefully you haven't given up on me and you'll be sticking around.