Thursday, December 20, 2012

Nine Years on a Beautiful Day

This is the first time I've been back to blogland in while.

Today is my nine year wedding anniversary.

In some ways, that number seems so small. I mean, I've been with my partner for many, many years (almost 20??) with a few breaks thrown in there, so nine years of marriage seems like just a drop in the bucket. Although, if you follow some of my dramatic rantings on here, each anniversary can seem like a miracle.

What a huge change nine years has brought. Nine years ago, I had a job that I adored and I was climbing the professional ladder quickly. I worked all the time, but that was fine because I loved my job and was surrounded by great people. I had an awesome group of hip friends who were like brothers and sisters and we spent lunches and evenings at wine tastings and museum openings and fundraising galas. We lived in an old house in the ghetto, but bills were cheap and I was close to downtown and all the fun that promised. We used my brother-in-laws flight benefits and jetted off to Mexico, and California, and Puerto Rico at the drop of the hat. Things were simple. Fun. Direct. My husband proposed to me on live television and as I planned our wedding a decade ago, I had all I thought I wanted.

Soon after we married, I had to choose if I would stay or follow him to Florida for grad school.

I followed. And followed some more. At first it was awful. I missed my friends, and family, and career. And then, exactly on our one-year anniversary, I got pregnant. A few weeks later, I got a new job. And things got better again. I hadn't ever been completely sure that I wanted children, but I had my little boy and my heart exploded with love and I've never since been the same person.

It's often easier to write when there is drama. The blog is an outlet, a way of getting it out without exhausting my friends.

Things are good right now. My baby is snoring beside me and I am waiting for my LM to get home. We live in the nicest neighborhood that we have as adults, and it happens to have a perfect 1/2 mile loop that I have been walking as much as possible. My son goes to a highly-ranked school and is excelling. Hubby has a job with excellent benefits.

Of course, there is still a lot to keep me up at night, besides my very needy baby with acid reflux. I'm not working, and money is so very, very tight. I am struggling with what I want to do with this next step in my career, and the desire to ditch career ambitions and just do something unglamorous that would let me stay home with my little girl.

We still have a house in another town that we can't even put on the market because of current real estate values. I just cashed out a retirement fund to get us through another month, and it's been only through God's grace that we've been hanging on. Hubby's job pays peanuts and is only guaranteed for this year, and then we start all over again if his grant isn't renewed. Our relationship is not a priority most days- survival is. I don't know how we hang on, quite honestly.

But while I did not chose the path of this journey, I am so thankful for it. First, for the people that I have come to know and love. For the gift of my children. For the joy that I have brought to my parents- especially my mom- to allow her to become a grandmother. To the fact that I got to introduce my little man to my grandfather just months before he died, and got to see the joy shine in his eyes.

I fantasize about having the money to make things easy. Or having the perfect partner. Or reinventing my body and my career.

But in the end, I have to wake up and make these things happen.

I am feeling a little closer every day, with every step.

I'm walking towards ten years.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Change is in the Wind

One week.
In one week, I will be delivering my baby girl.
The baby girl that I have known in my heart was coming for a long time.
Each time that I started to lose hope, when all the odds seemed against it, she has left me little signs in the universe.
That is comforting, but also a bit frightening.
This is a strong soul we will be welcoming.

Like all children, I know that she will teach me many lessons and provide more insight into my relationship with God. I also know that there could be real pain in there. Not because I believe in a cruel God, but because I know that he puts challenges in our lives to help us grow and refine our spirit.

When I was first pregnant with Sydney, I thought that our challenge may be Down's Syndrome. Over ten years ago, when I was driving over a short bridge in Northern Kentucky on the way to work, I felt a sudden truth fall upon me:

"You will have a child with Down's Syndrome, because you will have the ability to love and be loved more than you have ever imagined."

I won't say that I heard voices, per se, but rather just a sudden flash of something outside of myself. Since I was bopping along listening to pop music and prepping for work, it was rather unexpected, to say the least.

Of course I thought of it when pregnant with Little Man. And since Sydney has seemed so destined,and I am now of "advanced maternal age," I have thought it might be her. Testing has seemed to indicate not, and that is a relief simply from the standpoint that I worry how we would care for her while so stressed economically. It's not something I hope for. But at the same time, I have a certain peace about it. After all, it's not often that I get such interesting messages. I think, perhaps, that it may be a choice someday, brought about through fostering, mentoring, or adoption.

When pregnant with LM, everything was so focused on him. Classes and prepping and dreaming of him. Trying to do everything just right. This time, life has been very topsy-turvy. It's been hard to take a moment and simply imagine what will be. It continues to amaze all of us that our lives will be completely changed in just one week. I've never been in natural labor before. With LM, I was finally induced a week after his due date. After two days on pitocin, it was clear he was staying put. We often joke that he might still be in there if not for the c-section. We haven't been through classes this time. We have a scheduled c-section, but I wonder often about going into labor before then. Will I even recognize the signs?

I've repressed and romanticized much of what it was like to give birth and to have a new baby. And infant. And toddler. And preschooler. LM was a rather easy child. While I'd like to think that our parenting had a whole lot to do with that, I have read and seen enough to know that second children are when you learn all over that parenting is a contact sport.

And I want to prep my LM. While he used to ask for a sibling, he's also had seven years to settle into being the center of our universe. I know how it feels to be the much older sibling who welcomes a new being into the world. In my case, there was an almost instant competition set up for "Who will win the deathmatch of love and attention??" I don't want that for either of my children, and I've been trying to be so careful to set up good dynamics. Nevertheless, some of it is there and I have to just try to manage it as much as possible. A few nights ago, LM and I were hanging out in the nursery and talking about the changes to come and he said, "Can't she just stay in there a little longer? That way I can get to know you and Daddy better?"

I even worry about our kittens, who are very much babies. One of them demands to be held and rocked multiple times per day, and then wants to be cuddled at night. Poor little fur-children have no idea what's coming...

Do any of us?

Likely not.

Despite this, I am incredibly thankful for the opportunity to finally meet this little soul who has been waiting for our family for quite some time.

Monday, November 5, 2012


On Friday, the doorbell rang and I heard a delivery truck roll away.
I'll admit- my first hopeful thought was that a mysterious benefactor had decided to send some of the much needed baby items that we still haven't purchased.
Alas, instead it was a striking black and gold box from FTD and inside were beautiful pink roses and gerber daisies, along with a very sweet note from my husband.

Now, given out financial situation, he probably shouldn't have sent me flowers.
And I'm a practical sort of girl.

But still, I was really glad he did. And I made sure he was too.

He came home early and we spent the afternoon together, talking and bonding and crashing through some of the horrid tension that we have been living under.

And things are better. Not perfectly mended, but better. And the fog of tension and anger lifted so that I could remember some of the good things, like how much he helps with the housework and is an involved father. I've also felt more of a sense of peace and excitement about meeting my little girl.

Beautiful weather and a low key weekend kept the good times rolling for the last few days, even in the face of other challenges.

We found out on Saturday that hubby's brother P had a heart attack, and that has me worried on many fronts and struggling to find ways to be supportive. Hubby was originally the youngest (by far) of five siblings. Sadly, they all have pretty unstable and depressing lives. We have always been closest to his brother P, who is about about a dozen years older. P is the next most stable in the sibling line-up, staying mostly employed and in a long-term domestic partnership. He is free of addiction and has his wits about him. He doesn't live in opulence, but he and his partner have a very nice double-wide that is brimming with antiques and personality.

In terms of siblings, the closest one in age to my husband died a few years ago in a very tragic and depressing way, and hubby and his brother P were left to fly out to Austin and pick up the last vestiges of life and the remains of that brother. We had to help pay for his cremation, or he would have ended up in a "pauper's grave." While brother P is overweight and often sick, 49 is much too young to have a heart attack. Right now he remains in ICU in a hospital 14 hours away from us as doctors try to figure out what has made his heart stop twice.

There's not much we can do from here. Of course, I'm not sure how much we could do even in we were back in Cincy. I can pray for P and for his partner.

Beyond wanting a good result for him, I admit that I selfishly don't want my husband to go through the pain of losing another sibling, especially one he is so close to.
As my baby stirs inside of me, I know she is coming very soon. Perhaps she'll wait for nine days for her "scheduled time," but perhaps not... I want this time to be one of joy for my family, especially for a husband who has lost so many over the years.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

The Numbers Don't Lie

300 * 17= 5100.

It's a little epiphany that I had last night and I'm putting it here to remember.

I am okay. I am not drowning. I may not have good form, but I have a sense of the shore.

This is my song today...

Thursday, October 25, 2012


In debt. In despair.
I don't want to talk to my family or friends.
I don't want them to visit for Christmas.
It's just too much to try to keep up the front that my life isn't full of hurt and fear.

When I dreamed of another child, I thought things would be different.
More settled financially. No- we are drowning with two house payments and one tiny income and student loans.
A more loving partner- no, our relationship is worse than ever. I'm in a place that feels more than alone.
I keep trying to claw my way out of despair. My faith. My will. My survival instinct. They should all be stronger. I should be able to beat this. The fact that I am just hanging on, with the waves crashing over me, just makes it worse.
I'm fighting so hard to be a good mother. To keep it in. But the cracks are there, and out trickles the misery, the fear, the anxiety.

I haven't been myself in a long time. The relationship broke so badly in 2008, and I don't think it's ever really healed, despite so many attempts. My career broke in 2010, and when that dam broke the fear went wild and I had my first real taste of depression for a long time.

And I keep spitting it out. Trying not to consume it. Talk myself out of it. Be better. Be stronger.

I want to be okay. I'm trying so hard to be. Some days I almost succeed.
I miss the person that I was, the hope that she carried even in the rough times.

And maybe I shouldn't hit the publish button. Keep it in. Paste on a smile.

This too shall pass. And I do believe there is a plan.
I just needed a keyboard to cry on, a confessional of weakness.

And I'll be stronger tomorrow.

Friday, August 10, 2012


There is no honorary degree that goes to supporting someone for more than a decade.

For being responsible and paying all of the bills, even when the world falls out from underneath her.

No one hoods the person who leaves great jobs, and friends, and family and starts over in the midst of ashes. Three times.

My stress, my sacrifice does not give me a diploma on the wall.

My friends and family have helped along the way. His have not.

But he will have the title.

It appears to leave me only lonely. And a little bitter. And sad.

And we will cheer and take pictures and honor him tomorrow.

And I will wish that I could go back to 1995 and tell the younger me that I am worth it. The time. The sacrifice. The money. The hard work. That I am smart enough. And worthy. And that I shouldn't give up my dreams because I think I love a boy.

Because I will still work and pay and sacrifice for those dreams. But they won't be mine. And that playing the role of a mother to this boy for 17 years will leave me empty and not quite able to ever respect the man that I helped to make, and I will never be able to see our partnership as equal. Because it's not.

And no matter how much I can look at the positives, I still feel so much regret for selling my younger sell short. For not believing in her, and her potential. And wishing I had people around back then who had fought for me, who would have stopped me from surrendering my future.

There isn't a Hallmark card to capture all this, and I will not have a fancy gown to wear over my swollen, pregnant belly.

But I will be thinking of 1995.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Sometimes other people capture your soul in music

Hallelujah, L. Cohen Lyrics

I've heard there was a secret chord
That David played, and it pleased the Lord
But you don't really care for music, do you?
It goes like this
The fourth, the fifth
The minor fall, the major lift
The baffled king composing Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Your faith was strong but you needed proof
You saw her bathing on the roof
Her beauty in the moonlight overthrew you
She tied you to a kitchen chair
She broke your throne, and she cut your hair
And from your lips she drew the Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Baby I have been here before
I know this room, I've walked this floor
I used to live alone before I knew you.
I've seen your flag on the marble arch
Love is not a victory march
It's a cold and it's a broken Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

There was a time when you let me know
What's really going on below
But now you never show it to me, do you?
And remember when I moved in you
The holy dove was moving too
And every breath we drew was Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Maybe there’s a God above
But all I’ve ever learned from love
Was how to shoot at someone who outdrew you
It’s not a cry you can hear at night
It’s not somebody who has seen the light
It’s a cold and it’s a broken Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

You say I took the name in vain
I don't even know the name
But if I did, well, really, what's it to you?
There's a blaze of light in every word
It doesn't matter which you heard
The holy or the broken Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

I did my best, it wasn't much
I couldn't feel, so I tried to touch
I've told the truth, I didn't come to fool you
And even though it all went wrong
I'll stand before the Lord of Song
With nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Here's the Plan

I want to be the creator of improbable beauty.
A steward of glorious ideas.
A nurturer of souls.
A messenger of gratitude.
I want to harvest joy,
and plant possibilities.
Respect the rainclouds and dance in the rainbows.
And all the while, follow the beat of a sparkly drum
that I bang with giddy abandon.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

When I Grow Up

I refuse to give up hope that I can find a way to combine all of my biggest passions into some epic business of wonder.

Perhaps you can help.

Here are some of my most abiding passions, in no particular order & with no guarantee of actual skill in said interest.
• Helping people live with dignity, enthusiasm, and wonder (mostly children & seniors) • Writing (mostly emo ramblings & things that humor me)
• Making people laugh
• Traveling- especially in Europe
• Chocolate
• Manatees
• Yoga/Nia/ Other joyful, happy, healthy things for the other short Amazons out there • Event planning
• Research & Creating & Teaching & Design & Being Random
• Pondering grand schemes and ideas
• Tiny homes/gypsy vardos/ vintage canned hams (the vehicles, not the meat product)

I have to admit- sometimes I envy people who can pick just one thing and do it their whole life and not feel the endless pull to morph & buck against the reigns. But that’s just not me. To be continued...

Sunday, April 29, 2012

When You Get Something You Want, It Can Be Terrifying

Sometimes you think that you aren't ready for it, no matter how long you waited. That you won't be perfect at it. That something will go wrong, and it will be taken away. That you will find a way to screw it up. And man, are there so many ways to do that. Perhaps you forgot how hard it was to have what you hoped for, and find yourself coming up short. The moment of calm, of Zen and gratitude will come back. But it's okay to have some moments of doubt, of fear. Right? I just didn't expect it this time. And though I am usually a hoarder of knowledge, a lover of all facts... In this case, less is more. The books, the websites- they all make me tremble. It's just a feeling. It will pass. The calm will come back. I hope.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Some Thoughts on Bullying

My son. My one and only. My wonderful little six-year old was bullied today. Pretty harshly, actually, and in such a crude way that I am uncomfortable giving details. And I’ve thought a lot about when this day would come, and how I would react. I am very cognizant of not being a helicopter parent. I want my son to learn, to grow, to face struggle and learn how to overcome. These make him a strong, more stable person. And the same time, parents must model behavior. We must support. We must step in. The world is not fair. It is sometimes brutal. And I’m not always going to let my six year old be a victim of social Darwinism. I was bullied as a kid. Quite a bit, actually. Left to defend myself. Made to grow strong. The only problem is… that approach makes you feel alone. Defenseless. Abandoned. And it didn’t make me any better at dealing with bullies when I got older either. So yes, I will help my son navigate the world. To learn to pick which battles he fights. I will help to arm him with the shields and swords that he needs to take on the dragons. Sometimes, I will be right there, fighting alongside him. But always I will have his back.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

The Girls are BUSTING OUT!

I broke two bras this week.
That's a record, even for me.
The gals are taking on a life of their own.
Beware, they may attack a neighborhood near you soon.

Morning has Broken

It's Easter Morning.
Last week, we enjoyed a beautiful Palm Sunday service, and amazing brunch at our church.
On Thursday, we went back for our first Maundy Thursday service, which was incredibly emotional. In fact, it seems hard to truly grasp the miracle of Easter, of forgiveness, without reflecting on the horrors that came before.
LittleMan got his Easter Basket and is busy enjoying his books. We had a little egg hunt in our front yard.
Biscuits and gravy, virgin mimosa punch, and a helping of Sunday Morning.
Soon we will leave for Easter service.
A morning of quiet miracles.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Death Came Knocking This Week

Sure, I tend towards the melodramatic sometimes.
But then again, sometimes I'm so deathly emotionless that I scare even myself.

Tomorrow is my birthday. For some reason, I've long had a fear of dying at 35. I'm one day away from kissing that milestone goodbye.

But I almost died on Monday night, and it was so normal, so ordinary that it stunned me.

Horrible storms were rolling into our area and I rushed after work to beat them, but then found that my hubby & son- whom I had figured were safely nestled at home- had gone out to do some shopping. After calling them a few times to urge them home, I got busy cooking dinner. I wanted to make some gleefully-nasty Manwich, which I get a hankering for about once a year. Hubby hates it, so I cooked up the ground turkey and put some un-sauced aside for him as I coated the rest in Manwiched glory. I took a small crumble- roughly half the size of a dime- to sample as I continued to cook.

And that's when all hell broke loose.

That little piece of ground turkey- so very small- got caught in my windpipe. And I started choking. Violently.

And I was so very alone.

I was trying to force coughing. I was gagging. I was trying to perform self-Heimlich on the kitchen counters. I had a fleeing thought about the Mama Cass and the irony of a fat girl dying on such a small piece of food.

I was dry-heaving horribly, and yet still I could dislodge the piece. How could that be??

I was trying to stay calm, but I kept worrying about the boys coming home to find me dead on the kitchen floor. Just a few days away from 36. So close...

The coughing was so intense that I was seeing only stars at this point and I was drenched in tears and sweat.

But that was okay, right? Because, as long as I was coughing, that was good. Right? It meant I was getting air.

Except, it wouldn't stop. And that's when I started losing consciousness. I was clinging to the wall with what little strength I had. And even as I write this, it sounds so simplistic. I can't seem to capture how terrifying it was.

Just keep coughing. Just keep coughing.

It was my mantra as I struggled to stay awake, my body was so sore and exhausted at this point. And finally, huddled on the kitchen floor, it seemed like the worst had passed. I crawled up the side of the cabinets and hung over the sink, trying to calm my breathing.

Hubby & LM came home then, while I was still drenched and shaking. They stood, watching silently, as I gagged weakly and tried to clean up some of the mess. Hubby said something about me not looking good, trying to hide his disgust as the scene before him. He wandered over to the stove and expressed his dismay at the entree.

And I felt more alone than before.

If I had the energy, I would have been angry.

I stumbled towards bed and stayed there most of the rest of the night.

On Tuesday, my gag reflex was in rare form at work. Everything was setting me off, even looking at a cup of coffee. My throat was more than raw, it was shredded. I had a hard time talking and when I did, it was as gravely as an old man who indulged in a few packs a day.

I've been at work all week, of course, with my tea and honey and lemon. Trying not to talk too much. The allergies/sinus affection that I thought I threw off last week has returned with a vengeance and no amount of over-the-counter meds seem to tackle it. My lungs fill quickly and crackle as I breathe, and I rely on steam showers to loosen me up enough to breathe. My body aches, that heavy, tired feeling like when you have the flu. I suspect walking pneumonia.

There is more irony that I work at a medical school, and yet my health insurance doesn't begin until June. Surrounded by doctors, and doctors to be! But I have found hope that I may be able to pay out of pocket at a "minute clinic" at a local pharmacy. If I can't shake it soon, I'll be there.

Tomorrow is my birthday, and I'll be spending at least a chunk of the day at a fundraising conference here in town (strange, I think, to start on Sunday). Hubby leaves Monday morning for a week away for work, so it's just me & LM. It's frustrating, since I have a lot of work demands this week that I will have to take on as a single parent, but it's also a relief. Let's just say I need some alone time.

On Friday, I had to go pick up some samples for an upcoming event. I has spoken to the business owner a number of times, and while at her office I asked about the name of her business. That led to a really long talk, and tour of her business and some of her creations. Even when I don't share someone's passions, I am always so honored when they open up to share them. It's that meaningful kind of conversation that I really appreciate in life.

But what really struck me was when she started talking about Santa Fe. Her whole face changed, her eyes got dreamy, her voice full of passion. How much she loved Santa Fe, and yearned to go back. And I urged her to. Her husband is retired... perhaps she could modify her business to operate there?

It haunted me all day, how much this woman wanted to be in Santa Fe. Perhaps because she's at an age where I believe she should be able to live her dreams. But then I caught myself. What, exactly, is that age? Why not now? Why not me? Who am I to push others to do what I am not? And when will I feel that I can? Perhaps we ponder the cages of others, since we cannot fully understand our own.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

The Reminder

Dear Manatee,

Today we had lunch at a panic, out and about and a bit too hungry.

An appetizer of bacon cheese fries
Fish and chips

It is one of the more nutritiously void meals that I have eaten in a long time.

And I feel so gross and rotten.

My body demands clean eating for the rest of the weekend.

The rest of my life would be better, but let's take it one step at a time.

This is just a reminder. Beyond the weight loss, and saved money, and so many other reasons, remember how bad you feel right now after all this salt and grease and disgust. Eat to nourish your body with vitamins and minerals and water and energy.


Friday, March 16, 2012

Memories Via Pandora

I'm in the middle of a design project at work, and Pandora starts playing "My Humps" by Black Eyed Peas.

And I think how bizzare it is that this song brings me right back...

to my grandfather's funeral.

Yeah, it's a long story.
And I have work to do.

But I just had to take a minute to reflect on the insanity of my family.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

This much I know

So many of us, even on our darkest days and in our bleakest hours, are living the dreams of someone else..

And in the end, it's the memory of love that remains. The texture of it in our minds.

I spent a few hours at a nursing home tonight, and I wanted to write about it all, all my flood of emotions when I got home. But I to participate when I got home instead, letting the words dissolve to be rediscovered another day.

After all this time, it's the love that remains.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Give Me Some Velvet and a Gold Tambourine, Dammit.

Cry Count

Yesterday- 5
Today- Zero. At least so far.

Sunny day. Time with my boy. Freedom at the moment.

I just have to get acquainted with the taste of vanilla again,
change the metal of my cage,
practice the old songs.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Monday, February 6, 2012

In My Arms

I'm cheating today- just a song.
I love the lyrics and it captures many types of love.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012


Last year, I posted 27 blog entries. I wrote a few more than that, but decided they didn't need to live anywhere public.

Today is the last day of January, and this is my 27th blog entry for 2012.

My intention this month was to just try to produce, to DO something, anything. Too many days are passing where I can't point to anything tangible that I've accomplished, beyond clean dishes or laundry. This month was about just putting it out there, without over-thinking, or editing myself too much. To simply hit "post" even it I didn't have anything earth-shattering to share, to not worry about the judgements of others. It was about capturing some of the small moments that get lost all too easily.

I didn't have a number in mind when I started, nor any real goal other than "DO!" Last week I happened to see the number of posts of last year and I decided I wanted to meet or exceed that number for this year. Such a small, silly goal, but when you are in the middle of a windstorm or uncertainty about your life and career, it can help to grab on to the tiniest branch, some small goal to achieve.

Right now the optimism of two weeks ago has waned. I had two great interviews... and then nothing. No calls. It's like I can't get past a second date, even when I thought that they liked me. I've applied to more jobs since then, and even have a second interview today (for a job that I'm conflicted on, honestly), but I feel dejected. Even more insulting is that two of the resumes that I sent out last month to jobs that I am, without any type of doubt, qualified for; that were two national nonprofits that I have deep ties to, totally dissed me. Colleagues back in Florida called and emailed the local branches to recommend me. I thought- as did the nice people who went to that trouble for me- that I would at least get a foot in the door, an interview.

One place never responded to the two follow-up calls and emails.

Did I mentioned that I have raised over $20,000 for one of the nonprofits? As a volunteer?

If I were unqualified, I would understand.
If they had an internal candidate, and sent a "thanks, but no thanks" email, I would be sad, but still understand.
But to be so unprofessional, so disrespectful to their other councils, to not even acknowledge my contacts...

Well, I won't be raising money for them again in any way.

It is very, very difficult to break into the cliques here.
It appears you either have to be:
Texan (preferably born in the state, but it looks like they will grant you clemency after about 5-10 years, if you are married to a native).
Or, have friends or family who are rich Texans.

Stop my own company? Find a new career track? Start back at the bottom? Move?

Let's see what the next 27 days holds.

When Food is Love In Tallahassee

I'm missing some of my old haunts today, so I decided it was time to pay tribute to three of my favorite places to grab tasty happiness in Tallahassee. If you find yourself in the Florida capital, do yourself a favor and go to one of these places (or all three, in the name of supporting locally owned business!)

Big Easy Snowballs

Friendly family business with an adorable shop and great customer service...
Oh, and did I mention...

Don't tell me that you don't know what a snowball is. Seriously??? I'll wait here while you Google it. Back now? Okay then, go get yourself one now.

Lucy And Leo's

Another adorable tiny shop, this time full of cupcakes (and shared space with Textures, a great place to stock up on awesome local art and handmade goodness).

It's hard to go wrong with a cupcake, but my favorite is a fresh Red Velvet, topped with Cream Cheese. In the name of research, I have tried many other cupcake shops during my travels, and this Red Velvet still reigns supreme. The Happy Hour flavors are also fun. But as much as I love the cupcakes, I *ADORE* the canned ham that they take around as a food truck. My love for vintage trailers is legendary and the first time they brought their restored Shasta out to display in the parking lot, I was first in line to see it. I was afraid that they might pull a restraining order against me, keeping me from that hunk of metal lovin'.

And finally,


Angelette's Cajun Cooking will fool you. You will drive up to the strip mall where it is located, and think perhaps that you are lost. But then you will most likely see a group of people outside, waiting to get in to get a hit of some awesome Cajun food.

I was one of the firsts to find this place after they opened and one taste of the Shrimp and Grits is all it took to make me a regular. The owner, Marlo, will chat with you if the place isn't slammed... which honestly, isn't often now that the secret it out. I hope they eventually get a bigger place, but for now it's classy and simple, with great artistic interpretations of fleur de lis on the walls.

I joyfully introduce as many people as possible here, and thus far I have taken about 20 different people who are now also addicted. My favorite dish, besides the shrimp and grits, is the Eggs A'la Dwayne.

LittleMan and his best friend enjoy the beignets... Or rather, the beignet sugar...

I've Come to Suck Your Blood

A few weeks ago, I was having a particularly grumpy/sad day. LM made this for me and slid it under the door. It just makes me smile :)

Monday, January 30, 2012

Finding Family Fun

As much as we love the weekend, we often squander it away, and then feel grumpy about that waste. Money is tighter than ever, but we had exhausted many of the free things that we like to do and we were restless on Saturday. So I pulled out one of those coupon magazines that come in the mail quarterly. Inside was a coupon for IT'z, which is a big family fun zone.

Generally, this is the type of place I avoid at all costs. They reek of wasted money, violence, and ill-behaved monsters (and their children). In fact, when we have passed it before on the interstate (usually while driving to the DFW airport) I make it quite clear that it would be a great father/son activity. You know, to do without me, while I am off getting pampered by a legion of beautiful Greek men who feed me grapes.

Alas, grapes are out of season.

After performing a variety of computations worthy of that guy from A Beautiful Mind, I finally came to the best use of coupons so we could get some serious bang for our buck.

So off we went. First stop was the AYCE Buffet, full of pizza, pasta, salad and dessert. You must purchase the buffet to get into the facility. The food was edible, and child-friendly. I compare it to a CiCi's pizza place- nothing I would choose at free will, but it gets the job done. This place also had baked potatoes and one of their pastas was pretty good, so I consider that a win.

We went on a Saturday night, so it was busy, but we got the boys an "unlimited activities" game card (that buy one, get one free coupon definitely made that possible!) so we were off to get in line.

First for the bumper cars...

(yeah, I am totally getting in on the bumper cars when we go back on a less crowded day. As it was, I didn't want to make the poor kids wait any longer.)

Then it was on to the race track, in which my guys got a really slow car. There was a lot of waiting all around.

And then there was the mini-bowling, which we did for a long, long time. It was a great combo of bowling and bocce ball.

We did tons of videos games and ended five- yes, five hours later- at the laser tag. This was the first time we have all done this, and it was a blast.

It was not a cheap evening, but we made sure to eek out every last dime's worth :)

We'll be back!

I'm Sorry to Inform You...

I am not a site for exploring manatee sex.

I have no pictures of manatee penises.

My apologies.

(This is what I get for looking at my stats page. The traffic sources are truly frightening).

And Now I Present... The First Report of Kindergarten!

LittleMan had to do a "report" for his kindergarten class. Basically, they had to pick a sea animal and do three facts and an illustration. Here are some things we learned:

Facts About the Leafy Sea Dragon

(this picture is from the Wikipedia page about the animal. The Internet never ceases to amaze me).

Habitat: The leafy sea dragon lives off the Western and Southern coasts of Australia.

Leafy Sea Dragons grow to about 14 to 18 inches.

They are related to the seahorse.

The leafy sea dragons have no teeth, and they eat very tiny shrimp-like creatures. They also have no stomach, so they have to eat constantly so they don’t starve.

Their eyes can look in different directions at the same time.

The leafy sea dragon picks a partner and stays with them their whole life.

I'll admit- even I learned a lot in this project. Since most of his class wanted to do their reports about seahorses, I tried to get LM to think beyond the most common animals. We played on Google and found some cool stuff.

Now go find yourself something weird and new to learn a tiny bit about today!

Friday, January 27, 2012

To Be That Mom

I always bought lunch as a kid. I remember a lot about standing in the lunch lines, and the various meals that I loved and hated.

I don't remember ever much having a packed lunch, except for field trips.

But I do remember what other kids brought in their packed lunches (and how bitter I was when the skinny popular girl had Little Debbies every day with her lunch and I wondered why she could eat that and didn't get fat, while I did. And how sad it makes me to realize I was thinking that in the second grade.)

Never mind all that. Back to the topic.

I've been packing lunch for LittleMan in his Marvel Superheroes Lunch Bag since the beginning of school. He has bought a school lunch a handful of times, but doesn't seem to care for it and I am always unimpressed with his reports back of what he did buy. And I've stay fairly organized in this endeavor, with a special cabinet, refrigerator drawer, and freezer section dedicated to the special treats I buy or make ahead for his lunch. Sometimes I even get hyper organized, and pre-package a bunch of bulk items.

The main goal, of course, is to make sure he has healthy food that he likes eating.

But a close second to that goal is a deeper, more insidious one...

I've always wanted to be the kind of mother who puts loving and encouraging notes in a lunchbox.

And so, I am.

These are just from the last three days, but they represent a lot to me.

I could make a bunch of neat notes with cool pictures and cut them out and have them waiting to pack with lunch. In an hour or two, I could knock out enough cute notes to last the rest of the school year.

Efficient, yes, but it defies my point. The note isn't about perfection. Or efficiency. It isn't about being frame-worthy. It gets wet and crumpled in the box, and then later in LM's pocket, where he likes to pull it out a lot to look at it.

These are just little snippets, either from books that we like to read together or things that we say. They are not treaties on the nature of love. I don't need to write a novella.

Little notes written on the paper from a cute set my sisters gave me for Christmas. A little picture of the Eiffel Tower in the corner, which LM loves to tell people that his mommy and daddy have visited. And hopefully we can someday take him and have a family picnic beneath.

The notes.
They are quick, impulsive, messy, private, and important, just like our family.
They are now.
And someday, they will be later. The past.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Please Stop Clawing at My Eye

I should have known it would be a weird day.

It started this morning, when I was trying to get LM out the door on time and he couldn't find his shoes. Since I harp every night about putting them in the same place... and they often don't get there... I raised my voice a tad this morning.

Which resulted in LM's tears. Argh. We'd had such a good run of peaceful, happy mornings.

I rushed home, got my Interview-A-Saurus outfit on, and off I went to an interview.

As soon as I was done, I ran home to change shoes and off to school. As I got out of my car, two tiny dogs came running up to me, barking furiously. They didn't attack, but their eyes looked like they were channeling hell hounds.

I should have headed the warning.

When I walked into the school library- where I volunteer weekly- the librarian is on her way out. She's sick and leaving. I am left with a woman that I have worked with before- I don't know her name, but she can be frustrating to work with because she'll interrupt me in the middle of doing my job in order to "show me" what I am already doing. She also has a very intense language barrier. I believe she is originally from China, and her English is very difficult to understand. I try to take the cultural difference into account when she does a number of rude things, and just try to smile and be kind.

Today, however, she was the sub for the librarian. And it was painful to watch.

To further add fun, it was my son's class in the library. One of his little friends- we'll call her Taz- has what appears to be a severe case of ADHD. For the past seven months, I often see her get in trouble, get sent to the hall, constantly redirected, etc. Earlier this week, she slapped my son in order to get his attention on the playground, because she wanted him to do her bidding. I try to redirect her and entertain her every week to keep her out of trouble, but it's a struggle.

Today it was impossible.

It was like someone had laced her lunch with Red Bull.

Generally, I feel sorry for these kinds of kids. Their little bodies betray them and make learning and behaving more difficult than it is for the average bear cub.

After all the gentle redirecting I could muster for the first 25 minutes of class, I noticed her throwing her headband on the floor next to her chair. It was a cute band with a little crystal flower on it- guaranteed to get crushed by all the mini-rhino children who were lumbering about.

"Taz," I tell her gently, "your headband is on the floor. Pick it up before it gets broken."

I turn to help a child tie his shoe, I redirect another leaking snot, and try to redirect the girl who goes to the nurses office weekly by pretending to be very interested in her coloring.

Headband still on the floor, all pink and ready to break.

Mind you, I am only a parent volunteer (but, as my old boss will tell you, I *used* to be a teacher. So I do take some pride in knowing the deal.)

"Taz," I say again, "Please pick up your headband before it gets broken."

I give her a minute to respond. She bounces around her chair, a challenge in her eyes. I move closer, while also fielding a request about where to put a certain book and commenting on more crayon creations.

"Hey Taz," I say, bending down to be at her face height, "if I have to tell you again to pick that up, I'm going to get it myself and take it to the office."

That just made her gleeful.

The response I get:
"I don't want to pick it up, mamamahshhshghahahhaahah!"

So, I walk over to the headband and pick it up. She thinks this is a fun game now, so she starts slamming against me, trying to claw the band out of my hand. This game is clearly less fun for me, and I have to push her arms down repeatedly to keep from losing an eye.

I walk over to the circulation desk, put the band down, and tell her she can have it back when the classroom teacher comes to pick up the class.

This doesn't bode well.


Now, my son had previously mentioned that his little friend often cries a lot when she gets in trouble, and I'd seen it happen before. Not like this, though.

She goes wild, flailing at me and at the desk, trying to get to the headband. It was like a horror movie. I kept using my calm teacher voice, but it was as effective as spitting on a fire.

Have I mentioned I am a volunteer? That I work for free? That I have other things that I could do for free?

Then she sits in the middle of the floor, sobbing, wailing. Luckily, it's a big place. I explain what's happening to the sub, and also to the high school student who comes in weekly to help too. The same student who had come to me 20 minutes earlier, also having problems with a rude and hyper Taz.

The other kids were at different stations around the room. There were a few comments, but it appeared that they had seen this scene before.

Finally the teacher comes, and I pull her in to explain the issue. She nods wearily- after all, this isn't her first time in the rodeo either. Taz is bouncing off kids in line at this point, then sits back down to have a good ole' meltdown. The teacher has a few words with her, then takes the class down the hall.

I give Taz a few minutes to sit there, letting her- I hope- self-calm.
And I try again, because I am a glutton for punishment.

"Taz, honey," I say, "I think that you can make some good choices now and join your class and make the rest of the day a good one."

I tried many similar statements, channeling a combo of Mr. Rodgers and Bob Ross.

Alas, there were no happy trees.

She finally leaves for class. Or maybe to get a chain saw. I'm not certain.

At this point, the next class is there. This is usually when I leave, but I agree to stay for a few minutes to help check everyone in.

Which turns into what my military friends refer to as a "Charlie Foxtrot."

Taz had messed with the circulation computer when I left her to calm down.


Thus ensuing many hijinks and *headdesking*.

I've mentioned that I don't get paid for this, right?

When I finally leave, I stop in the teacher's lounge to get my reward- my cold can of Coke.

Except, a Diet Coke came out instead.

I didn't notice that until I got in the car, however. I was heartbroken.

I live for the one can of Coke a week.

As I type this, an SUV pulls up to the house. A women wants to talk to the owners of the house (we'll renting) that appears to be in foreclosure.

Is it a full moon?

I only have 15 minutes before walking back to school to pick up my boy. I should probably eat something, because I feel that low blood sugar-stabby sensation coming on.

Have I mentioned...I'm really looking forward to getting a job.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Pimp My Breakfast

My approach to cooking has been, at times, described as "adventurous," "creative," and also, "Good Lord, what Fresh Hell is this??" Despite my best efforts in building a rockin' recipe collection on Pinterest and through magazines and cookbooks, I still find that I do best when modifying existing products to bend to my warped mind.

A few weeks ago, I took a pack of muffin mix and decided to add some Benefiber to the mix to up the healthy factor. Then I got all excited- mostly, because I don't get out much- and decided to add some of the ground flax seed that I had in the fridge. When these little muffin monsters were done, I let them cool and then popped them in the freezer in a giant zip-lock bag.

Well, my LittleMan went crazy for them, and I felt like an evil genius for tricking him into eating some healthy vittles. So yesterday, I went back to make an even more evil, ur, I mean more healthy muffin batch.

Here's what I did:

I took two packs of the Martha White Whole Grains muffin mix. They were $1.00 each this week and each pack makes about six muffins. I know, I know- I could easily make muffins from scratch for much cheaper.

But this is about BIG PIMPIN' a normal mix, so back off.

Anyway, this mix only requires milk, so it's super easy. I put the two mixes in a bowl, then added the following:

Ground Flax Seeds
Dried Cranberries
Sliced Almonds

Now, this is the part where you would ask logical questions, such as "How much of each item did you add?" But I scorn these conventions. "I'm a REBEL! You can't fence me in!", I say (quietly, and mostly to myself).

Really, I mostly eyeball it. I'd say it was about a tablespoon of each of the first three ingredients, and two tablespoons of the last two. But don't play by my rules! Live a little!

I added the two cups of milk required by the mix, and then added two tablespoons of Greek yogurt, to moisten it up a bit more. And because Greek yogurt is so touted for it's health benefits, and I was secretly hoping it would lure Greek Gods to my house to sample my muffins (I have no idea why you are blushing/ giggling/ gagging at that comment. I simply like to share my baked goods, you evil pervert.)

Here are the results:

Yeah, I know they aren't that cute, but that's mostly because my oven is possessed by the Dark Lord and burns everything.

But they are tasty, and oh so fiber-licious. And when I stumble around the kitchen in the morning, I can just pop one of these puppies into the microwave for 20 seconds and my bleary-eyed baby can start his day off with a healthy serving of love. Since neither of us much like to eat in the morning, it's just enough to fill the tummy.

Stay tuned as I next explore the origins of the universe.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Oh What A Beautiful Morning...

He nibbled his banana, and I poured myself some coffee.

No frantic hurry this morning as I put on some comfy clothes over my PJs and we got into the car.

With the sunshine streaking the morning sky, we took the short drive to school.

I sang him the song that my dad sang to me to get me up during those school years long ago.

We sang my hubby's morning song.

We sang a bit of "My Favorite Things" and then some made-up songs about having a good day.

And as I watched his backpack bounce as he ran into school, I felt a surge of gratitude so overwhelming that I knew I would never be able to capture it in words.

Oh how the years go by...

Sunday, January 22, 2012

And That's What I Have to Draw About That...

While coloring with LittleMan last week, I decided to express my feelings over a recent social interaction. Not high art, but certainly captured the moment :}

B*Rex Versus The Manatee. Sometimes I try too hard to see the best in people.

Friday, Sunny Friday

Friday, January 20, 2012

Are You Ready, World?

Second interview today, at 9:00 am.

It's been a long time since I needed to both be somewhere at that time, and be dressed nicely with my hair all did and makeup that doesn't look applied in a train bathroom.

But I got my LittleMan up, and fed, and dressed and did the same for myself (all sans coffee. I really need to hit the grocery store).

School dropoff, and I was on the road by 8, which is good because even though it's about 10 minutes as the bid flies, it takes 45 minutes as the cars crawl.

I wore the jacket that I bought for my second interview at my last college job- which I started seven years ago, almost to the day. I got a compliment on the jacket, so I think it was the right move.

This was a group interview with other members of the staff. And I felt the last tiny slivers of indifference fall away. I want this job. Not for the job itself, necessarily. I mean, I can do it. Do it well. And learn and grow in the position, so that's nice. But more so, I like the people. They are nice, and intelligent, and for the first time I could see myself possibly wanting to make friends, to settle here.

I actually don't even know what it pays. But there would be benefits that would let me sleep a bit more soundly at night.

It went well, so now I wait.

I had a check in the mail when I got home, a rebate from my mortgage escrow account. And at lunch, this was my fortune:

Well, let's hope so.

Let's hope I am too.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Lustful Thoughts

Cooking dinner,
her thoughts drift to how smooth it was.
How silky the texture.
How hot it got,
but how it managed to clean up so quickly
no matter the mess.
True, it was pretty new.
Only two months to experience the novelty.
But already, it performed so much better than anything she'd ever had.

She stopped.
Embarrassed by the lust.
My God,
life had come to this.
She never imaged at 18 that being an adult
would be so...
like this.
And that she would catch herself so grateful for
a new

Lessons for the Morning

Busty manatees should not attempt to work out on a trampoline without serious chest reinforcements.

Let this be a warning to all potential rebounding manatees.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


Semi-erotic dream about Star Trek?


Let me just say, that will certainly start your day in a very confusing way.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Alone in Your Crowd

I'll start with a disclaimer- I've had a bad night. So this post is not rainbows and puppies. And I have to be okay with that. It's okay to have dark moments, to not deny the lows.

It's stupid dark moments like this that I wonder if I'll ever be happy again.
Or I wonder if I've ever been happy.

It's stupid and melodramatic. Of course I've been happy.

This too shall pass.

And frankly, this is the only outlet I have for sadness.

But it may be time for me to do something radical to get me out of this slump. Perhaps take up mindful meditation.

Tonight I drove an hour in nasty rush hour traffic to join hubby and his fellow interns and director & her son. He was already on his second $8.50 margarita when I got there and the next two hours were torture- continuous inside jokes which amused them to no end, and made me feel so alone. I spent a lot of time looking as if I was really, really interested in the game of Angry Birds that my son was playing on hubby's phone. I tried to join in, to crack a joke... but it was just miserable.

Here's the thing- I've had my share of feeling like an outsider. Sometimes I even welcome it. But in the last ten years it has gotten a lot easier to get outside of myself and integrate into a crowd. With my fundraising jobs, I can usually turn "on" my extroverted self.

But tonight it just made me want to cry- the "partner" of mine that I've been with for so long often becomes a stranger to me. I know that I am at a low right now on my self confidence- I mean, I look like hell, I have no friends, and no job, and no sense of achievement in really anything at this point. That cup will be filled again- it's an ebb & flow. But in the meantime, it's hard to feel this way and then be around hubby and his much younger colleagues (who, by the way, wear size 1 jeans with stilettos heels and have pet names for him. Ugg.).

As I fight the sadness, soon anger comes to join in. I'm just so tired of giving up my life for this man. First it was Cincy, where I had an amazing job that I loved, a career that was really in a great place, and awesome friends that we hung out with. It was so hard to leave, and the landing in Florida was rough. I had to start all over and things were not promising at first. But after seven years of building a life there- and new friends, and family, and a flexible job- I had to say goodbye again. Each time, he has had a safety net- he has a built in community that he joins. Not so with me. And damn it, I have really, really tried here. I wanted to be happy, to have our family belong. Joining online groups. Mom groups. Volunteering. Going to church.

But I am more alone than ever.

And I think about going home.

Except, I don't really know where that is anymore. I miss friends and family in Cincy, but I don't want to live there again and my closest friends have mostly left that area anyway.

And I'm not sure Florida is home anymore either. I still have a house there. I still have contacts- heck, I got two unsolicited job offers while we were in the truck moving to Texas. And some family, and some friends. Of course, some scars too, but that's where that mindful meditation has to come in.

On a good day, I feel like home is wherever my husband and son are. On a day like today, it's just wherever I am with my son.

And hubby's looking at post-docs now, in the schooling that never seems to end. Looking all around the country. He makes a show like my opinion matters for something, but ultimately he applies to the places he likes and I have to go along for the ride. Of course, if I found something here that I liked & that paid well, he could find opportunities here. But the timeline is running thin- I am giving myself until February 1st to find a "real job." After that, I am simply going to find anything that pays me. In a way, I feel like it might be God's way of telling me not to settle here, to move'along little doggie.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


The first time I heard this song, it was like it was plucked right from the heavens for my heart.

It Says Something About Me...

That this has been on my fridge for years, nestled comfortably between the inspirational quotes and calendars.

And it still makes me laugh.

Monday, January 9, 2012

The Sunday

Make it smell pretty, make it look nice.
The End is Near.
I watch through the veil of the new life in front of me,
taunted by wisps of strawberry blonde.
I decide I want to spend December 21, 2012 with family.
Face the world with faith and not fear, but still have a back-up plan.
I dip the bread, swallow the blood.
Then spend too much time in the steel cage.
Frantic whipping to fill the hunger.
Off again to the cage.
Muted wall, caffeinated air.
A table of only three, but still two hours of big words.
Exploring ideas.
Finding common ground.
Feeling vaguely human again.
Pondering the nature of evil. Of intention.
Home again, jiggity jog, but the boys are asleep.
So I engage in maternal allegations.
Dare the Aldi, a parallel universe.
But I emerge with a trampoline.
Playful food.
Digitally explore the Alamo, to learn. To remember.
Gratitude is the sound of cleaning.
Kisses too late in the night.

Oh The Places You'll Go...

I just thought we all needed this reminder today.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Ode to Black Leather

It does not matter that 372 women at church this morning were wearing them.

They have sensible heels, not stilettos.

I got them on sale at Kolhs, perhaps even using a coupon.


It doesn't matter.

When I slip them on, and feel the black leather mold itself around my thick calves, I am transported. I'm not going to book club. Oh no.

I am Mistress Manatee, Domesticated Dominatrix.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

In A Nod to the Soul Development I Still Need to Tackle...

When I think about winning the lottery, I first think of all of the wonderful things I could do for the people I love.

Then I think of all the nice surprises that I could give to people I like or who have only played smaller roles in my life, i.e. "Ten years ago, I saw you do something nice. Here's $1000."

Then I think of some of the selfish fun to have, like travel and start foundations and frivolous things.

And then, the troll in the back of my skull wakes up and reminds me how fun it would be to have money so I could just opt out.

Dealing with a jerk face? No thanks, I'm going to go swim in Caribbean instead.
Play along with social games? Nope, sorry, I'm busy funding micro-loans for women in South America.

And this post? This post is a quick reminder to me that I don't have to win the lottery for any of the scenarios, at least to some extent.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Hey There, Sexy Teeth!

Tooth satisfaction. I haz it.

When I was 16, and I had my first boyfriend, he gave me a colorful certificate for being "#1 Brusher."

He's now also a drag queen. This is in no way pertinent to the story, neither cause nor effect are implied, but I like to spice it up now and then some.

Anyway, I enjoy a high level of dental satisfaction. I brush like a fiend, and while I don't floss as much as I should, I have one of those tarter removing sticks and have great fun with it.

I use cheap brushes (they are now soft bristles, since my eager brushing has started to cause some gum recession. Damn, the recession is hitting EVERYWHERE!) and whatever toothpaste is on sale. I don't go to the dentist near as much as I should, due to the whole lack of insurance and money.

But I can hold my head up high in the dentist office. I don't have to slink out of it like a guilty fool, which is different from most medical visits (being built like a manatee and all).

Since we are sans insurance, I bought a Groupon- exams, cleaning, exam and whitening kit for $36! Whooohoo. I used it today and I could tell the dentist was disappointed that I wouldn't be giving him something to up-charge. In fact, he said he was jealous of my teeth.

It's the small victories. If only I could get people to call me back from all those resumes I sent out. I would show off my strong, hearty stock with these chompers. It may be hard to work into the conversation how smooth & clean my teeth feel.

Maybe I could just send my dental x-rays with my cover letters.

(These are not my teeth. But I found a way to tie back in the whole drag queen thing. You're welcome.)

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Third Personal Truth of 2012 (also known as five minute, bare-all therapy)

Love is scary.

As I child, I sought it constantly, devouring pages of romance novels, developing crush after crush, peering into the faces of strangers, taking any little scrap that was thrown at me.

At five, my first grandmother died. What I remember most of the funeral is my grandfather sitting in a chair, wailing and inconsolable.

My parents had it, but then lost it. Horrid fighting, bitterness, divorce replaced it. Sometimes, especially as I entered my preteen years, it seemed they lost it for me too. After a big, many weeks-long fight with my mom, I moved into my dad's house, and she was so angry at me that we passed on the street during a festival and she wouldn't even acknowledge me.

It was at this time, the summer between middle school and high school, that I finally realized one of the most powerful sources of love in my life- my grandmother, Rosemary. Frail after years of fighting cancer, she was still the most potent source of unconditional love I had. But it seemed that as soon as I finally "got it," she was gone. She was buried on the same day that my new half-sister was born, and I continue to mourn her 21 years later. And I mourn that I was so dense and absorbed in childhood to really appreciate her love while I had it here on earth.

I watched love continue to be found, to be swapped, to be squandered and abused, to be tossed about like currency, debated, to be created, to be lost.

I think a lot about if we "find love" or if we "make it." That answer, I believe, defines a lot about us.

Eighteen years ago, with a friend I've had since the 5th grade, I seemed to find the beginning of love. We played with the thought our senior year of high school, alternatively celebrating the wonder of it and then beating it like a pinata. We fought, and bickered, and kissed, and philosophized, and bucked the world, then started all over again. And in the 18 years since, we've been children and adults. We've grown and regressed. We've parted and come back together. We've fought for our love and almost destroyed it. We've celebrated our love, we've clung to it, we've thrown it away. We've questioned it, walked away from it, built it and been burnt by it. We've had to accept some truths, to settle, to be honest and to lie. To search and to be found.

And we're still doing those things.

The power of love is scary to me. It often seems that when I acknowledge it, when I stand in awe of it's immense presence, that it leaves. it changes. it morphs.

It's still worth it, the work of love. But it's scary.

And the most absolute terror is of my most sweeping, life-changing love with our son. He is the embodiment of our love, flesh and blood proof of our love. But so much more than that. And the swell of my love for him is overwhelming, breathtaking, and still stunning in it's magnitude. The thought of not having that love can reduce me to a quivering mess.

Love is scary. But then, so is the alternative.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Second Personal Truth of 2012

I want it all.

I love staying up till all hours reading. I love having the day to myself.
But I miss working. I miss having a purpose outside of myself.

I like having a small, manageable family. I love that we can take little trips. I love that my son is a cool little man and that I am over the days of changing diapers.

And then I see a picture of someone with a new baby and it always surprises me how it rips me to the core, makes me almost breathless with longing.

That's my truth for today- I have come to accept that I will always have disparate, sometimes contradictory longings (so many more than I am willing to list here).

And it's okay.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

First Personal Truth for 2012

Less Think, More Do!

It's time to turn all that thinking, that philosophy, that plotting, that gray matter into tangible results.

Less Think, More Do

Go Do.