Sunday night thoughts


Tonight I spent some time quietly just sitting and reflecting.  Truthfully, I don’t do this enough.  It has been a busy weekend.  We had friends and their children stay the weekend with us.  I don’t think the house has ever had that many people in it, let alone sleeping in it.  It was a lovely weekend, high in energy.  Today, some friends came over for a visit, we watched movies and played Uno.  It was a lovely way to finish out the busy weekend, but I think what really helped to calm and center me was simply to light a few candles and sit cross-legged on my couch and just be in the moment.

It’s interesting, society spends so much time trying to distract themselves from living in the moment.  Movies, video games, social media, food, alcohol, drugs…. all of these things we use to disappear into.  Trying desperately to fill a hole in their lives that they may not even fully realize is there, let alone have the know-how on filling it.  It would be a lie to say that I’m not one of those people.  But every now and then, typically after I’ve had a loud, overstimulating few days, I have to just stop everything and just breathe.

I think I know how to fill it.  I think it comes with time and age, and just learning to understand who you are at the core of your being.  And accepting it for what is. But I’m also good at trying to fill a void.  🙂  And there are a few for me… more than a few.  I have a rich and full life.  A wonderfully large family, whom I see often, a variety of friends who are as near and dear to me as family should be, I have my children who I have very close relationships with… even loving pets whom I adore.   And yet, sometimes, I’m lonely.  It’s silly really – as I rarely have alone time, so how on earth can one feel lonely… but it’s the honest truth.

I spent some time thinking about that too tonight.  Why do we desire to share our lives with someone else… especially when we think about the fact that the journey we each walk down is ours and ours alone.  So logically, if that’s the case, then you will never truly be able to share your life with someone.  OR… I suppose you could look at it the other way – you share your life with anyone and everyone who touches it… to what degree and the depth that you share will vary and depend on a variety of variables.  My god I sound like an engineer.  I know, I overthink everything! 🙂

I’ve been in the new house almost 3 months now.  It’s amazing how time flies.  Sometimes it feels like I’ve been here so much longer than that, and other times, it feels like it was just yesterday that we moved in.  I think a part of that is just because of the swirl of other tests life has thrown at me since we got here.  I’m so proud to be here.  To own my own place.  I have a solid plan in motion on getting it paid off, and in a few years, I intend to invest in something additional – either property or business-wise.  It’s fun, knowing that those goals are not only in front of me, but very much attainable.  🙂

I’m looking forward to the summer.  Between my little garden (next year’s will be bigger if I have anything to say about it), my art, my children, my work and my new kayaks… I think the summer days will be quite filled with a lot of fun.

I’m building a full on art studio in my house.  It’s been quite a thrill so far to start putting together.  When I’m finished, I think I will finally have my dream studio space.  It’ll take me a couple of years to really get it where I want to, but I will get there.  🙂  I’m even making one of the rooms a photography studio – something I’ve been dreaming of having for about 5 years now.

Little pieces of my life, long-loved interests and hobbies are all finally starting to come together and find a place in my life.  It’s interesting to me.  I’d never have guessed that it would take me risking everything and breaking out on my own in order to find confidence in being myself.  At my core, I always saw myself as being fairly confident… but it’s only the last 5 months or so that I really feel like I’ve come into my own.  I see myself now.  All of me.  Not just the good parts and not just the bad.  I care about my own well-being.  Funny, I think I’d stopped.  Maybe I had given up?  Maybe losing Ben and my husband and my family and my friends did more to me than I gave it credit for.


In the last few weeks, I feel a bit like Andy, from the movie “The Shawshank Redemption”; when he climbs out of the sewer pipe and strips himself from the final rags from the prison and just stands in the pouring rain, drinking it all in.  Living life, even with all the scary parts, with all the pain, or insecurities, the grief, … is a spectacular thing.  I wouldn’t give up a single moment of it.  And I refuse to be one of those people who sit by and just accept the monotonous daily grind… especially when adventures can begin anywhere with anything.

My daughter is learning about gardening this year.  She has a few plants that she is growing all on her own, and even something as simple as a strawberry plant… watching it grow from seed to plant, growing and tending it, and now… the joy of the first few berries… has been an adventure for us all.  Researching a new subject for a painting or cartoon is an adventure.  Going on a weekend to explore a new city is an adventure.  Exploring the nearby lakes with my new kayak, all the wildlife and amazing scenery – these are all the adventures I’ve got going on in my world these days.  And it’s these types of adventures… that continue to fuel me and bring me so much happiness.

So to you, Neverland, go have an adventure this week.  I know I will.  🙂

lipstick kiss

I don’t think I like parenting teens…

Wow, it’s been a pretty crazy couple of days, and I think at this point, I just need to get some of this out, because churning on it in my head is just making me sick to my stomach.


My daughter.  Sigh.  She’s 13 going on fricken 30.  And had you asked me a month ago, I’d have said, “we’ve got this!  She’s my good girl!”  And a month ago, I believed that.

On friday, I got a call from her school.  She took off from school after getting into an argument with some teachers.  They didn’t know where she was.  Thankfully, I was home, and I tracked her down.  Told her to get her butt home and that she was going to lose her phone and computer for this infraction – as it’s happened twice now in two weeks.


"Do you come here often?"

My bro was over and he took her computer from her room and collected her phone from her when she came in the door.  I figured – ok we’ll handle this and move on.  But then the bro started peeking into her phone.  I check her email and her facebook every other month or so, but I don’t check her phone.  If only I had.

I won’t go into all the details here – even tho purging it would do me some good.  But let’s just say that I had to call the police and report a grown man for inappropriate conduct with a minor.  My daughter gave out our new home address and explicit instructions on how to get around some of our security to multiple strangers.  She’s been talking about suicide and very graphic, very dark things with a lot of her friends.  Honestly, it felt like I was in the twilight zone.  I had to read it all, had to get all passwords for everything and go through it all.  There were some things in there that I will never get out of my head again.  The joys of loving someone.


We’re all rallying around her.  She’s got consequences, but more than that, she’s about to find out what it’s like to have full on supervision and structure and therapy.  She’s going to hate it at first, but damn it… I want my little girl to make it in this big bad world.  And at this rate, I’m not so sure she’ll make it another year.

I’m shocked.  Appalled.  Pissed.  Scared.  Hurt.  But more than any of that… because I’m her mom, I feel like I’ve failed her.  I know that, realistically, I haven’t.  And that what we do now, moving forward will be the test on whether I truly succeed or fail in helping her find herself.

The ex is fully involved in all of this, and in some ways, he did make me feel a little better because he was internalizing all of this too – blaming himself.  Did we do this?  Did we not set a good example?  Did we forget to do something to ensure that our children flourished as amazing kids, even through the teen years?  Normally, anyone who meets or interacts with my kids says how awesome they are.  Polite, well mannered, happy, affectionate, strong and opinionated.  These are the adjectives I’m used to hearing.  It was strange and shocking to suddenly hear “Mean girl.”  “Bully.”  “Rude.” from her new teachers.  That’s not my kid!  Did someone hit her with a stupid stick?!

The next few weeks shall be interesting.  My child will be experiencing a luddite life…  no more computers, no more internet, no more phones.  No email, facebook, skype, youtube, whisper, or kik.  I’m also going to look into some youth group programs and volunteer programs for her.  She needs to realize how good she has it and learn to see how dumb these actions have really been.

I went and talked with my dad this morning about it all.  Got some advice.  It’s hard, some of what she’s doing I can relate to, but a lot of it, I can’t.  I know how I tackled depression and self worth issues, but I wasn’t that kind of kid.  I didn’t do drugs and I didn’t experiment with sex until I was 18.  So I’m trying my best to at least try and understand from her perspective…. it’s just hard.  I guess I’m old fashioned.  I just hope my hair doesn’t all go grey from this.  At least when my son finally becomes a teenager, I’ll have some practice and experience under my belt!!

Goodnight neverland.  Much love.

lipstick kiss

Just keep swimming…


It’s been a good day.  My work day is almost over.  The work week is almost over.  I have some new plans for the weekend that have me looking forward to it getting here.  My step son isn’t going to be coming over this weekend.  Instead, it will be me, my daughter and my son, heading to my dads.  I think all 3 of us need a break from where we’re at.  My daughter especially, as she’s had a hard week.  I don’t know what to do to help her, other than what I’m doing.  I just hope it’s enough.

She’s been spiraling into what I’d call – a form of depression.  From the outside tho, she puts on a good show.  Her school counselor called me on monday to fill me in on a few things.  It led to her spending all day tuesday at home with me, and sleeping with me the last few nights, which I truly don’t mind.  That little girl means the world to me, and I’d give anything to help make her happy.  I know that moving, and finally settling in and putting down some roots will help her tremendously.

I’m hoping to hear from my lender tomorrow, to give me the new date the house will close.  We’ll get the keys on that day, and depending on what day it ends up being, I will do everything I possibly can to get us out and into our new place on or pretty damn close to that day.

At home, I’m beyond fed up.  I’m beyond worrying or caring that I’ll say something wrong.  I’m tired of walking on eggshells.  Even when I do everything right, It still gets assumed that I’m a horrible person.  And truthfully, I know damn well that I’m not.  I’m a good person.  I care a lot about people.   I give a lot to other people. And somehow, a couple of people, who used to be very close to me, have recently forgotten that.

I think I’ve hit a new place that I’m not entirely sure I’ve been before.  In my past, I’d be trying to salvage these friendships.  Trying to fix things to make things more cordial.  Lately, like Rhett Butler… I just don’t give a damn.


At one point, one of the roomies pointed out what I could do to “fix” our friendship.  Stating that if I did X, Y and Z, that maybe we could still be friends.  If they were simple little things, it would be no big deal, but basically, she asked me to change who I am at my core.  Sorry.  I refuse to do that.  Love me for who I am.. or don’t love me at all.  What I didn’t point out was that at this point, maybe I don’t even WANT to be friends.  Maybe I’m not the one who “lost out”… perhaps it’s actually her loss and not mine.  Perhaps I’ve seen enough of her true colors in the last few months, that I’ve had my fill.  Perhaps the second she asked me to change who I am… was the second that I realized I was done.

I’ve only got a couple of weeks left… I keep telling myself that over and over again.  I can do this.  I can keep coming home to this horrible awkward place full of frustration and silence, if it’s only for a couple of weeks.  I can endure this.  My children can endure this.  As much as I wish they didn’t have to.  And there is so much light at the end of this dank, dark tunnel that it’s overwhelming and inspiring and beautiful.  That’s enough.  Right? 🙂


Batten down the hatches!


Wow!  What a day I’ve had.  I’m home sick today and had just woken up and decided to check my Facebook.  I browsed for a bit and then decided to check my daughter’s Facebook, as I haven’t done that in a while and we’re still in that learning/trust building stage of early teenage-hood.  I usually check it typically once a month or every other month, depending on what I find.  I don’t read everything, but I look for anything that might not be appropriate for her.  Overall, she’s genuinely a good kid, so I want to be aware if she falls down paths she might not be ready or prepared for.

Today, I discovered that she found her biological father and has been talking to him for just short of 2 months.  I have such mixed feelings about the whole thing, I suppose it’s what brought me to my blog to write about it.

On one hand, we spent over 50,000 thousand dollars and roughly 7 years in and out of courts to get to where we are.. or were.  Her bio dad signed his rights away years ago when my ex wasn’t my ex, he adopted her.  The birth certificate no longer even says her bio dad’s name.  (To note, that’s always somehow bothered me.  As proud as I was for her to be adopted by a man who adored her, who wanted to be in her life and would do what it took to see her be safe, happy and successful, it always bothered me that the policy was then to change that on the birth certificate.  He wasn’t there.  Biologically speaking – she’s not his.)  By all rights, for everything he’s done in her life, my ex IS her father.  They both love each other very, very much.  Her Bio dad doesn’t know her, hasn’t seen her and from how it looked, from our perspective, gave her up for less than respectable reasons.

BUT… Everything my daughter knows, is my perspective.  And even then, she knows pieces and parts.  She asked me a few years back to read one of my journals from back then.  I wrestled with it quite a lot.  There was a lot of mature content in there.  But I knew why she wanted to read it.  She wanted to know a little bit about him.  And she could gain some perspective from it.  I warned her, I told her how I only tend to write when I’m upset.  So it is filled with pain and torture – as in what I was going through emotionally.  And I told her that I would rather sit with her while she read it so she could ask me questions or talk through anything she was curious about.

It used to be, that I had a lot of hate and fear of her bio dad.  I was angry at him for a lot of things. When he disappeared the first time, I was just happy he was gone and out of our lives.  6 years later, he got in a relationship with a woman who was also a mom and he re-appeared demanding a reunion.  I remember being so angry that he could just come back in and demand that.  He hadn’t been there for the nightmares, the fevers or scary colds when you spend all night worrying over your child.  He wasn’t there for the potty training, the first words, the first sidewalk chalk monster drawing, the first day of school or the first broken friendship.  How dare he come in now and demand that I not only share, but do it across 2 states?  I fought it for a bit, and then the courts ok’d it.  I would retain full custody, but they’d allow him visitation for the longer school holidays and if I remember correctly, winter break.  They’d drive across a few passes and I’d have to give up a favorite holiday with my child.  It sucked.  And there was always an issue here, or an issue there.  It was a pain, but we were doing it.  The courts asked him to pay only a small amount for child support.  But half of other bills.  I remember what it was that “put him over the top” and started the path of him signing over his rights to the ex.  It was his $75 child support, on top of a bill I’d sent him for his half of a dentist bill and an eye glasses bill.  He was bitching and saying he didn’t have it, and I randomly threw out the “then sign over her rights and you’ll never have to pay for her again!” comment.  The next day, the process started.  It took a while too.  We had to go through interviews and a process to make the state confident that we were efficient, strong, loving team for the children.  I haven’t thought about her bio dad in years.  I don’t like to.  That relationship helped me learn a lot of valuable life lessons.  That relationship shaped who I became in a lot of ways.  I’m not angry with him, I’m not upset at all anymore.  How can I be when I don’t know him? He’s out of my life now.

What I DO have however, is fear.  I’m afraid.  I’m afraid that based on what I read from my daughter’s messaging, that she’s unintentionally given him ammunition, if he wanted to, to come back and stir things up.  I don’t want to have to hire my lawyer again, drag up the past.  There was a lot of bullshit.  And honestly, I don’t want to dredge it up.  I made mistakes too, I’m certainly not saying that.

I always told my daughter, that if, later down the road, she wanted to contact him and get to know him, that I wouldn’t stop it.  That I’d encourage her, but to do it safely.  I always asked for her to hold off until she was at the very least, 16.  Dang it girl!  You’re 3 years EARLY on this shit! 🙂

I panicked.  I cried.  She’s been talking to him a lot.  Every single day in some cases.  She’s shared with him what she read in my journal from years ago.  I feel betrayed.  I was clear when I shared it with her the first time, it’s my perspective, and it’s private.  She shared about our life, how the ex and I split, she shared … so much.  I’ve gone through a huge swing of emotions today… and where I’m at now… is an odd place.

I’ve recently been getting to know my own bio father.  And every time that I get to spend a chunk of time with him, I find myself wanting more because it’s been so interesting to really get to know him.  As an adult – I can open up and relate to him in ways I never could as a child or even teenager.  And the more I experience this, the more I want that for my child should she ever get the chance.  I just think I’d hoped that day would come after she was no longer living under my roof.  At a time when it would be no longer possible for him to have courts get involved and potentially “steal” her away from me.

I don’t know what to do.  I don’t know what to say to her when she walks in the doors after school.  I’m replaying everything in my head, all the choices I’ve made, all the things she talked to him about.  Just trying to figure out which way to navigate now.  It’s hard to know which way to go when you suddenly find you’re regretting some of the choices you’ve made to get you where you are.

Never fear! Anxiety is here!! Wait…


I’m nervous.  I’ve been fighting some strange tummy troubles in the past month and a half.  I’ve been in and out of the ER twice, seen my doctor twice, and was referred to 2 specialists.  The original plan was to go, in mid November, for a couple of procedures that would “give us the answers”.  Yesterday, my specialist called me and they felt it was necessary to get me in for an emergency appointment for both of the procedures.  So suddenly, I had to clear my calendar for friday and start the prep needed to do the procedures.  (Endoscopy and Colonoscopy… EW)

On one hand, I’m relieved.  The idea of getting answers to this month long miserable journey is fantastic!  It means that perhaps … relief from these symptoms is just around the corner.

On the other hand…

My doc sat me down in her office.  Laid out some of the possibilities they’re leaning towards.  They range from mid-level-scary to freak-me-out-scary.  Obviously, I’m hoping it’ll be something simple and easy.  I’ve been good at squashing the side of me that loves to stick her head in the sand.  I’ve been doing everything I’ve been told to do by the doctors.  I’m trying so hard to stick with it and not get discouraged or distracted.

What if they do these things tomorrow and still find no answers?  What if they find something scary?  What if I somehow screw up and they can’t even do the test?

Yesterday was Ben’s birthday.  A time of year when I’m a mess anyway.  When I got this phone call – it was first with a push to go back to the ER.  I cried and begged to not be made to go back there.  Not on that day.  The last place on the planet I wanted to be yesterday was at a hospital.  So instead, they squeezed me in to see my doc.  I had the anesthesiologist pre-op appointment.  I came home and tried to just stay calm.

Today – things erupted at work.  Stress is high.  There’s too much work to do, not enough people to do it and not nearly enough time.  It’s not ideal.  I managed as best as I could.  I’m hoping they remain understanding tomorrow when I’m unavailable.

I’m trying to remember that life doesn’t give you more than you can handle.  And that the perspective of exactly what we can handle will change.  I might not think I can handle it – but in 6 months when I look back, I’ll see how strong I am.

T said that to me yesterday.  How strong I am.  How I just keep moving and barrel through.  It struck me as a bit odd.  He sees that as such a feat of accomplishment.  I see it as an automatic.  What else are you going to do when facing a problem?  There’s only one solution – you tackle it.  How you tackle it might vary and change, but ultimately – you have to move forward or step back.  I suppose you could say I don’t typically enjoy states of limbo.  Is that a strange view to have these days?  Seems perfectly normal to me, although, to be honest, my normal meter has got to be at least a little bit broken.

Well – I better get off here and go get a few things done.  Much love to you.  Goodnight Neverland!

lipstick kiss