Monday, February 7, 2011

Major Changes

***DISCLAIMER FOR MY OMNIVOROUS FRIENDS*** Things are going to get a little descriptive. You've been warned. If I gross you out, it's not my fault!

I've decided that I'm making the transition to vegetarianism and quite possibly to veganism. You probably have two questions:

1. What's the difference?


2. Why?!?!?!?!?!?

The first one is pretty simple to answer. Vegetarians do not eat meat or animal flesh of any kind. No chicken, pork, beef, fish, etc. But they will eat animal products like milk, eggs and cheese. Vegans don't eat any animal products at all. That includes honey. (There are full websites dedicated to the mistreatment of honeybees. I started reading them with a chuckle but after awhile the smile left my face. It truly is horrible what happens to those poor little bees.)

The second one is a little more difficult to answer. It's hard to explain all of my reasons, but I'll try.

I first want to say that I in no way am trying to change the minds of any of my friends. You all can eat whatever you want and I won't judge. What I'm going to say here applies only to me.

I've never loved meat. Even as a child it was torture to eat it. I learned to eat it as an adult because that is part of eating a well-balanced diet. (At least, that's what I've been told.)

In the last year it's been harder and harder for me to stomach eating meat. I literally can't swallow it sometimes. And, yes, it's because I can't stop thinking about the poor little innocent animals that I'm eating. It grosses me out.

It suddenly dawned on me that I don't have to eat anything that I don't want to. I'm a grown woman and I'm in complete control of my body and my diet. So, I bought a vegan cookbook to see what it's all about. (I haven't made anything out of it yet, but just reading the recipes has me excited.)

I'm going to start slow. VERY slow. Changes like this are huge. The only way to do it, in my opinion, is to start off slow. Otherwise I'm setting myself up for failure.

This week I'm cutting red meat and pork out of my diet. That won't be too hard since I don't eat much of it anyway. I'll keep that up for 2 weeks and then work on cutting out poultry. I'm going to give myself 3 weeks for that.

After that, I'll decide how far I want to go into the vegan diet. There are some things that are really hard for me to get past. Like the fact that cane sugar is whitened with bone char. That means that they take charcoal from the bones of cows and use it to filter the sugar and make it white. (There are other sugars that don't use this process that you can bet your bottom I'll be buying from now on. But, I have to worry about what I'm eating outside of my house.) That's just one example of something I can't stomach anymore. For another example, read THIS LINK about Jello.

However, things like cheese and milk are less of a problem for me. I can't explain it. So, needless to say, I'm still deciding what I will/won't be cutting from my diet after The Great Poultry Purge.

I don't have any intention of forcing my family to take on this diet/lifestyle. Roy and I have discussed it and, from now on, the meat that we do buy for him and the kids to eat will be organic. As will all of our dairy products. The kids and Roy can eat whatever they choose (as long as it's healthy!) and I'll make sure that our meals are well-balanced.

It's going to be quite the adventure, that's for sure.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Weighing In

I'm trying to lose weight.

I don't think that makes me unique. Who isn't trying to lose weight anymore? Everyone I know is trying to lose weight or exercise more or lose weight.

I really don't think that I'm that overweight. If you go buy my height and weight, though, I'm obese. I'm 5'11" and (as of this morning) I weigh 186 pounds. This is me (in the black) at the Science Center a few weeks ago:

I don't think I look terrible, but I definitely have some weight to lose. My goal weight is 160. Anything from 145 - 170 is considered a healthy weight for my height but I remember being 160 (it was a loooooong time ago) and it was a good weight for me. I have wide hips (even wider after two kids!) and anything less than 160 is way too skinny.

Like I said, I remember 160. I still wasn't happy with my body. So, I've done a lot of thinking about it and have decided what I'm going to do.

My goal is to get down to 160 pounds. However, that is just in the short-term. My long-term goal is to get healthy. I want to eat healthy. I want to exercise regularly. That means going to the gym, but it also means taking walks, going swimming, playing outside with the kids.

I want to make changes that will stick for the rest of my life. That not only means changes for me but changes for the rest of the family, too. It means yogurt or fresh fruit or cheese and crakcers for a snack. It means cutting way back on processed or packaged foods. It means seasoning food with herbs and spices, not butter or salt.

I deserve it. They deserve it.

I would love to hit 160 by my anniversary in July. But if I don't I won't be upset. My main goal here is to make changes and the right ones. If I can do that and turn it into habit for all of us by July I'll be happy.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Holding On To The Memories

I am blessed to have an extremely tight knit family that extends to my aunts and uncles and to my grandparents. I grew up surrounded by all of them and will never forget the things that each of them has taught me. You don't really realize how much a person has shaped your life until you sit down and think about it.

My grandmother has demensia. So, I've been thinking about memories quite a bit lately.

She's my mom's mom and we call her Maba. It started when I was little. Very little. Maybe a year old? Up until a certain point I think she referred to herself as Grandma, but I could be wrong. She loves teddy bears. She had dozens of them. One day she told me she was the "Mother of the Bears" and asked me to say it. It came out "Maaa Baaa" and it stuck.

I don't remember how the demensia started, but I think it was caused by mini strokes that went unnoticed. (It's all, unfortunately, a blur to me because while my mom was dealing with my grandmother, I was going through a nasty divorce and custody battle.)

All I know for sure is that my mom brought Maba out here to Phoenix in the summer of 2008 and we moved her into an assisted living facility.

When she first moved out here, you could barely tell there was anything wrong with her. If you hadn't known her before, you probably wouldn't know at all.

A few weeks ago, she fell. My mom was concerned that she had suffered another stroke. The doctors just confirmed yesterday that my mom was right. Maba is currently in the hospital and has been there since Tuesday.

We brought her to dinner at mom's house last Sunday and that's when it hit me:

She's gone.

I obviously don't mean physically gone. I don't even mean that she's mentally gone because she's still able to hold a (somewhat) intelligible conversation. She just doesn't have a very long attention span and her short term memory is all but gone, but she'll talk to you about what she can see. She still knows all of us. Sometimes she can't remember names, but she knows how people are related. (She introduced my brother-in-law as "my son-in-law". She knows he "belongs" to Vanessa but she can't remember his name. It's the same with Roy and the kids.)

She's still here, but she's just a shadow of the woman that she once was and it makes my heart ache.

My kids will never know the truly wonderful woman that she once was. It's up to me to tell them and make them understand what great stock they come from.

She came from practically nothing. She was born in the middle of the Great Depression (1932) which turned her into a pack-rat. . . Her garage was a disaster. I'll never forget the day I was "helping" her and my mom clean out it out to get ready for a garage sale. She had cases of soda and cleansers and mouthwash. She stumbled upon an old box of photos and showed me one of her as a very little girl outside of a very run down house. It looked (to my 8 year old eye) like a shack. I said something along the lines of, "Wow, you're house was old!"

I'll never forget her response.

She stood up tall and her eyes flashed proudly. "It was old. And it was small. But it was always clean!" I was so young, but it made an incredible impression on me. To this day, I think about that when I start to become a little envious of my friends and neighbors.

She married young and in her parents' living room. They couldn't afford a large wedding (and I seem to remember something about him being Catholic and her being Protestant, but don't quote me on that). The picture and newspaper article is in her apartment somewhere right now. I stumbled upon it when we were unpacking all her boxes. She was so beautiful. And so in love!

She moved away from her family and Pittsburgh across the state to Philadelphia and worked her tail off to help put my grandfather through medical school. She helped him run his practice and gave him two kids. They worked incredibly hard to raise their children together.

Just when they were to the point where they were close to retirement and enjoying grandchildren, my grandfather was diagnosed with brain cancer. He died right after my first birthday in 1987 making her a widow before the age of 55.

I don't know if I would have emotionally survived all of that.

I have so many fond memories of her. . .

She'd take my sister and I to all of the Disney movies when they came out. We made quite the production out of it. We'd spend the night before at her house. The three of us all slept together in her bed and listened t talk radio until we fell asleep. (I remember feeling so grown up listening to talk radio even though I had no idea what they were talking about.) We would get up in the morning and get ready to go and eat breakfast while we looked at movie showtimes in the newspaper. We'd go out through her garage (grabbing a can of soda from one of the stacks of afore-mentioned cases!) and head to the drugstore where we'd pick out candy and snacks and hide them in her purse. We'd always get to the movie theater a half hour early and sit all the way in the back ("Because," she'd say, "you get the best view when you're eye level with the screen!"). There we'd set up our sugary feast and chat until the movie started. I still sneak candy into the movie theater. And I still sit in the back.

She was the person who got me interested in French when I was about 9 or 10. We always talked about going to France once I learned the language so I could take care of speaking for the both of us. I took four years of French in high school but by the time I was done she was in no shape to travel internationally. I still want to go to France and I will get there someday. All because of her.

One night when I was a little girl I was spending the night at her house. I was lying on the couch with my head on her lap watching TV. She started scratching my back very lightly. So lightly that it tickled and I started giggling and squirming away. She told me it was like a game with myself. She told me to imagine a candle flame in my head and when I thought I was going to laugh just to focus on the candle flame until I didn't want to laugh anymore. It became one of my favorite games because it was mind over matter. I used to have my sister tickle my feet or my back. It got to the point where it relaxed me because I instantly shut my body off and just focused on one thing. That trick became something I'd use over and over again. I still beg Roy to "tickle my back" sometimes because I can't shut my brain off.

She took a bus trip across the country one summer and sent Vanessa and I post cards from a ton of places. At that point, I had never left Pittsburgh (except to go to Florida at Christmas time when I was very little) so a post card from Salt Lake City seemed incredibly exotic.

Every Halloween, a local radio station would broadcast a show with a medium in a haunted house and she'd call me to remind me to listen to it that night when I went to bed.

She'd take us to the Carnegie Science Center all the time and she always watched the History Channel. She gave me a love for word puzzles and brain teasers. She came to all of my school plays and dance recitals.

When I was in second grade my sister had chicken pox over my birthday so I couldn't have a party. But Maba came up for dinner and contracted shingles in the process. I know she'd do it again in a heartbeat just so a little girl could have a birthday party.

She loves teddy bears and knick-knacks and antiques. She had an entire house full of antique tools and household items and could tell you what every single one of them had been used for.

She had no patience for people without common sense (she still doesn't), but she had all the patience in the world for her granddaughters. There was nothing but unconditional love for us from that woman.

From stories that I've heard and things I remember I know that she didn't lead a perfect life. She made mistakes. Big ones. And sometimes people that she loved suffered because of them. But, that's no different than anyone else. She wasn't a saint. But she was one of my favorite people in the world.

She was a perfectionist and a smartass. She was proud and tough on the outside even when she was screaming on the inside. She was methodical in the way she did things. She was incredibly intelligent. She had a knack for language and a love for grammar. I see a lot of her in me everytime I look in the mirror.

I could go on for hours. . .

She's been in the hospital since Tuesday. My mom says she's worse now and she probably will have to go to a memory unit or a nursing home when she leaves the hospital.

I have spent the last 3 days crying about how quickly things can change. Thinking about my own mortality and how I don't have a will. I've worried about what would happen to my kids if something happened to me. I've cried myself to sleep every night thinking about the family back home that I haven't seen in over six years and thinking about the $3000 it's going to take me years to save to get back there.

I'm grateful for work everyday because that's eight and a half hours that I can forget the world outside.

My kids and my husband feel helpless because I just cry at random times. I can't verbalize what I'm feeling, even though and I'm usually able to easily put my feelings into words. It's just a crippling feeling of overwhelming loss and sadness, even though she's still here.

I'm taking this harder than I've ever taken anything before. This has hit so incredibly close to home and completely rocked my world.

I've known for two years now that her mental state was going to deteriorate. I told myself I was prepared.

I wasn't.

And it's only going to get worse.

So, what will I do? Exactly what she did over and over again. Stand up tall and tell the universe that it won't break me. I'll enjoy every day.

And I'll remember. Always.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

101 in 1001: An Update

I just spent the morning taking my last two final exams for  awhile. I'm taking a break from school until the Monday after Thanksgiving and I'm very excited about it. That gives me 15 weekends free! Yay!

I'm thinking of working on my 101 in 1001 list. I pulled it up today and realized I'f accomplished quite a few things that I forgot to check off!

#2: Get a job that allows me more time with the kids.
My original goal was to get a part time job that allowed us to break even from where I was when you calculated in benefits, etc. I ended up getting a full time job that will bring in more money but ultimately will allow the kids to spend less time at daycare and more time with mom and dad. Woo!

#21: Join a gym.
Done. However, I should have been more specific. I have yet to actually go. But, I made the first step!

#23: No fast food for a week.
This has been a more recent accomplishment. Recent, as in, the last week. But, I did it!

#80: Get a joint checking account.
Finally! No more bouncing bills between two accounts!

#97: Try two new recipes in one month.
This was actually fun! And I've well exceeded my goal. We hit about 12 new recipes in the last 3 weeks. Most have them have been a hit!

Now, what to fill the next 15 weeks with?

I think I'm going to start with a lot of painting. Roy doesn't know it yet, but we're painting the family room next weekend. I'm sure he'll figure it out when I come home with rollers and paint trays...

Monday, August 9, 2010

Dear Reflux, I Hate You

The pediatrician is 99% sure that Lily has silent reflux. For anyone not familiar with it, that basically means that she has acid reflux, but never throws up. Most of the time babies just cry from the burning (think: heartburn multiplied by 100) but she coughs. And coughs and coughs and coughs.

Nathan had reflux. He threw up all the time. But, since he wasn't losing any weight, the doctor didn't treat it. That little tub of lard was well over 20 pounds when he hit 6 months. (Looking back, I probably should have fought him on that, but I was young and had no idea.)

Nathan threw up on everything until he was about a year old. He was what they now call a "Happy Spitter." There was no pain or discomfort for him at all. When he suddenly grew out of it, I prayed that I would never have to deal with that again.

Be careful what you wish for, Amanda.

Lily never throws up. In fact, she so rarely spits up that when she does we are usually caught without a burp cloth or a bib to clean her up. It just never happens.

But she coughs so hard sometimes that her face turns white and her cheeks get splotchy. She cries when she coughs because her little throat is so raw. She has not choked in her sleep yet, but I'm afraid it's only a matter of time.

The doctor says to let her sleep upright, but all that does is piss her off.

We've only recently determined it's reflux. She's been coughing for over 3 months now. After countless trips to the doctors and trying everything from Albuterol to Amoxicillan, we finally put our foot (feet?) down. Roy took her to the doctor (I was stuck at work) with a list of things we were worried about. RSV, Valley Fever and Whooping Cough topped the list.

The good news? The pediatrician sent her for an x-ray last week which came back clear as a bell. I was very happy to hear that seeing as how she would have already infected her entire daycare and the children of all of our friends not to mention my elderly grandmother.

The bad news? We're running out of ideas. The pediatrician never even mentioned reflux until we brought it up. Apparently, in their world, fat babies don't have reflux. Luckily, I have enough mommy friends to know that's not true.

She needs to have a test at the hospital to confirm reflux. The hospitals are scheduling the test 3-4 weeks out. In the meantime, she's still coughing. It might be my imagination, but I think she's getting worse by the day. Or maybe it's just my mind finally finding a pattern to the coughing now that I have an idea of what it is.

Right now we're managing one day at a time. Cereal in her bottle doesn't help at all and I can't get her to sleep upright for the life of me. But, I'm still packing the cereal in her bottle and giving her non-acidic baby food to try and help for now.

I called the doctor today to ask for a prescription of Zantac or Prilosec or anything to help her until we can have the test done. I called at 9:30 this morning and never received a call back. I was also promised a call back today with my appointment date and time for her test. I didn't hear about that, either.

They have until tomorrow at lunch. Then? No more Mr. Nice Mommy.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Letting Go

Nathan's first day of preschool is tomorrow. He's been going to daycare for over two years now but this is very different. Daycare is playtime with some snacks and naps sprinkled in. Preschool, on the other hand, is for the big kids. Part of me (the mom part) refuses to believe that my son is a "big kid."

He'll be riding the school bus from his daycare to the elementary school down the road 4 days a week for 3 hours a day. I reminded him today that he'll be riding the school bus tomorrow and the response that I got was something of an excited squeal that was cut short by an uncontrollable, almost hysterical, fit of giggles.

Yes, he's that excited.

And he should be. Nathan loves to learn new things. He's going to thrive there. I will not be surprised if he starts reading soon. I was writing his name on his backpack tonight and he stood next to me naming each letter as I wrote it and then proceeded to tell me that "N-A-T-H-A-N spells Nathan" in a very matter-of-fact way.

(Here's where the mom thing kicks in.)

The obvious response is, "That's great! You know your letters!" Which is exactly what I told him. But, inside, I was secretly wishing that I could shrink him back down to baby size, change his diaper and rock him while I fed him a bottle.

I was reading a friend's blog tonight and it hit me: this is what the rest of my life is going to be like.

A series of emotional highs and lows all rolled into one. It all starts at birth and the first few milestones happen quickly. Smiling, laughing, rolling, crawling, walking. The milestones slow down after that, but it seems that the further apart they are, the bigger they are. The first day of school, first birthday party, first sleepover, first girlfriend, driver's license, first job, graduation, college, marriage, babies. . .

And the emotions only increase exponentially with each child you have. When Lily rolled over I didn't just watch her roll over. In my mind, I watched Nathan roll over for the first time, too. When Nathan put his backpack on, I had an image flash through my head of Lily in curly pigtails striking the same pose three years from now.

Only a parent can understand how bittersweet it is to watch your child grow up. The overwhelming joy and sorrow that you feel when you realize that a page has turned and things will never be the same again.

I look at Nathan and I know that he's ready for more. I know that I can't hold him back. It's not fair to him. So I will smile tomorrow and be excited with him and find comfort in the fact that he is ready.

That's all we can do as parents, isn't it? Make sure that they're ready. Ready for whatever comes their way. We find a way to guide them gently without taking the reins. We even learn how to let them fall sometimes and, harder still, learn how to sit back and let them pick themselves up.

He's not a baby anymore. I know that he is ready for this. If I hold him back to satisfy my own maternal need it will do him more harm than good.

It's not "just preschool." This is his first adventure without me there beside him. But, I will be there at the end of the day to hear all about it.

He's ready. And, like it or not, so am I.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Confidence is Key

As I mentioned last weekend, Monday was Day One of my "Fresh Start In Life".

I discovered (again) that it's much easier to give yourself a pep talk and describe exactly what you plan on doing than to get up and do it.

I got ready in the morning with butterflies tickling my insides. That's pretty normal (or so I hear) for anyone to feel on their first day of a new job. I dropped the kids off at daycare and made my way down the freeway to what is going to be my second home for a very long time. As I pulled into the campus and made my way around the building to the parking lot the nervousness starts to creep up from my belly and lodge in my throat.

I'm not going to lie. I sat in my car and seriously contemplated calling my old boss and begging her to give me my job back. Anyone who knows me (and my boss) knows that I'm way to proud for that, but I entertained the idea for a minute or so. After about 10 minutes of Facebooking (yes, it's a verb), e-mailing, and texting I told myself I would count to three and by the time I got to three I would be out of the truck walking into the building. I even mentally separated the steps:

One. Phone in purse. Lip gloss checked. Turn off ignition.

Two. Seat belt off. Door Open. Feet on ground.

Three. Lock doors. Walk. Keep walking. Breathe.

As I walked into the building a feeling of semi-familiarity came over me. I'd done three interviews here and, when the security guard sent me to the same waiting area I had been sent to before I couldn't help but think, "I got this." And then I opened the door.

Previously, I had been the only one in the a fore-mentioned waiting area. When I walked in there were 3 men waiting in there and another woman was close on my heels. As I checked in, more and more people came in. The room was filling up fast. (I would come to find out, there were over 25 people in there.) As I sat there I became more and more nervous.

Smile, Amanda. Smile, damn it.

People (Roy) tell me that I have a tendency to give people dirty looks without realizing it. Usually it's because I'm lost in thought and, apparently, my "thinking face" is also my "pissed off" face and my "don't talk to me because I'll chew your face off" face. Nice.

I also have the idea that I'm dull and irritating burned into my brain and I can't shake it. When I meet someone I immediately start thinking of all the things I said or did that would make her not like me and so I convince myself that she doesn't want to talk to me anymore. Because of that I don't make the effort to talk to her, either, so she probably feels snubbed. If it weren't for my silly over thinking things would probably turn out great more often than not.

Anyway, as I sat there willing myself to smile at nothing in particular (because there was no way on earth I was making eye contact with strangers) I stopped worrying about myself long enough to realize that everyone else seemed just as nervous as me. That made me feel so much better.

I took a deep breath, counted to three and introduced myself to the girl next to me. Hmmm. That wasn't hard at all. Another girl took the seat in between us and I introduced myself to her, too. Go, me! Two out of two!

Let me back track for a moment and explain something about myself to you: I judge people. I know, it's terrible. For example, women who let their kids run around the store screaming? Bad moms. Pacifiers at 3? Bad mom. Pretty women who dress nice? Snotty. Women with designer handbags? Rich snobs. Logically, I know that those are terrible generalizations that are almost never true. But I can't help it.

However, I promised myself I wasn't going to judge anyone at this new job. Everyone got the benefit of the doubt from Amanda. It's something I'm trying to do more of in all aspects of my life, but let's be realistic. I need to start small. So, for now, work it is.

You may be wondering why I told you that. Well, remember when I sat down in the waiting area? Two girls walked in and I immediately pegged them as being stuck up, rude and not worth my time. I caught myself and pushed that thought to the back of my mind. I stayed true to my plan of not judging anyone.

They both turned out to be pretty awesome and not stuck up at all.

Day one was awkward because no one wanted to really open up to a room full of strangers but, after day five, we all get along pretty well.

I'm pretty proud of myself. Here's to next week!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

A Fresh Start

I have an irrational fear of meeting new people. And I've had it for as long as I can remember.

I remember being in Kindergarten and my mom asking me if I wanted her to drive me to school on the first day. I remember telling her no and marching my happy little 5 year old self out the front door and down the driveway. I walked to the end of the street and rounded the corner. There, at the bus stop, were about 15 kids. Big kids. Sixth graders. I stopped dead in my tracks and stood there for what felt like a 10 second eternity and then sprinted back to the house and told my mom that I changed my mind: I wanted an escort.

Seventh grade was similar. I had moved across country that summer and was starting a new school in a new state and had yet to make any friends. My mom helped me find my homeroom before school started and I made her stand there with me until class started because I was afraid of the other kids. I'm not sure what I thought they were going to do, but I was shaking.

I never went to parties in high school because they were outside my comfort zone. I never went to any dances (except Junior prom) for the same reason.

Even after high school, parties made me feel self conscious and awkward. The idea of going to college and living in a dorm terrified me, so I didn't go.

I was afraid to go to a bar when I turned 21 because I had (obviously) never been to one and I had no idea how to act there.

Of course, in all of the above situations, once I crossed the starting line I realized that things weren't nearly as bad as I had made them out to be in my head and everything always proceeded smoothly from that point on.

It isn't normal. Some people feel awkward in new situations, but this paralyzing fear isn't experienced by many people. Head shrinkers call it "social anxiety." Call it whatever you want, it makes it very difficult to function at times, especially when you're stubborn enough to refuse medication because the medication makes you feel numb.

Things have gotten a lot better over the last year. Roy has helped me to become comfortable in my own skin and helped me realize that people like me. I'm a genuinely nice person and I'm smart. (Hear that? It's my horn tooting itself.) I know that I don't give myself credit where credit is due.

I'm getting better at meeting new people and experiencing new situations without any anxiety leading up to the event and, in some cases, I've found myself getting excited!

Tomorrow I start a new job and I can already feel some of the old anxiety creeping back.

I left my old company on Friday after 5 and a half years. In those 5 and a half years, my job was my rock. I started when I was barely 19 years old. That job has seen me have a baby, go through a terribly emotional marriage, get divorced, go through an emotional healing process, and (in the last year) fall in love, get married, have another baby and finally find true happiness.

The last year of my life has been the most peaceful since graduating high school. There were times, prior to that, when I literally felt as if a hurricane and come sweeping through my life and nothing was as it had been the day before. I would walk into work and instantly forget everything. It was 8 hours of emotion free bliss. When I could count on nothing else, I could count on the reassuring repetition that waited for me everyday after I clocked in.

I gave up that reassurance on Friday. It's time to leave that all behind. All the bad memories that I supressed while I worked all those years. All the days I came to work and had to be the best because it was the only place that I felt appreciated. It's time to move on.

Tomorrow I walk into a new building for the first time. In the book that is my life, the prologue has come to a close. It's time to start Chapter One. A clean slate that hasn't been scarred by my past. A blank page waiting to be written on.

But, I can't help the anxiety. It's there. And it's worse than ever because I haven't felt it for so long. However, I have a new strategy. Tomorrow I am determined to not suppress these thoughts and feelings. I am determined to embrace them and push through them.

Determined to talk to people and make the first attempt at friendship. Determined to show who I am and what I'm made of.

This is me.

And I'm scared.

Friday, July 16, 2010

My Anniversary

There are certain times in a person's life when they should reflect on the past. I do every year on my birthday and my kids' birthdays and at the holidays. . .

Today is my first ever wedding anniversary.

And I'm reflecting.

A lot.

My life has changed more than most people know. In the last five years, not only have I gone from a childless teenager to a mother of two beautiful little children, I've also gone from being belittled and broken by a man who didn't deserve me to being treated like royalty by my husband.

My husband loves, respects, and cherishes me. He is the man I was meant to be with and I'm so grateful that I found him.

Happy Anniversary, babe. I love you!


Sunday, June 27, 2010

It's Been Awhile

It's been over a mont since I last posted a blog. Oops.

Things got a little busy between work and school and these two little angels I have.

Occasionally, I am reminded of what a wonderful husband I have. Saying that he's an improvement from my first is an understatement.

This week I came across a girl on a message board that I frequent who has a stepson and literally can't stand him. The reasons she gave were things that were beyond his control but instead of helping the little boy and getting him out of an unhealthy situation (living with his mother) she chooses to treat him like a filthy mutt and hose him off in the garage when he comes over.

If you are a single parent and are currently in the dating game, please find someone who loves your child as much as you do. It is possible. Is it easy? No. But, you owe it to your child to find someone who will treat him fairly and lovingly.