Saturday, July 25, 2009

When It Rains...

It seems to me, that things only go wrong when Tim is no where in sight. He leaves, and it happens. This time, we are trying to make the trip from Prescott Valley, AZ to Podunk, NE. It's about 1100 miles. The first 200 miles were fairly uneventful. I babied the hell out of that truck, thinking that the load in the Uhaul might be a little too much. The first time, my sister was passing a semi, with a truck pulling a RV hot on our tail, and the damn thing just kinda petered out. The rpm's flatlined at 0 and a few seconds later it completely shut down. She managed to get us off the road, with Thinking it was the tranny, we sat to let it cool. Then it happened again 80 miles later. We limped it in to Albuquerque, where a friend of a friend of my mom's (yeah figure that out) was going to help us. They found a mechanic, so at the moment, we're stuck in Albuquerque. We are sitting in a dealership, waiting to hear the verdict on the burb.

So here we are. We're stranded with three kids and two dogs. My sister and I are trying to tag team them. They were nice enough to let us keep the dogs in the service bay. A perfectly good stranger offered to let us stay with her, to let us hang out at her place until we were able to get back on the road.

So I just got the news, it needs a new fuel pump. $837 dollars I just don't have. Daddy to the rescue again. I feel kind of bad for the poor guy who had to witness my meltdown in his shop. I don't do well with this kind of thing. Anyway... hopefully we'll be back on the road in about 4 hours. After they drop the fuel tank and fix it.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Long Time Coming

So I've been lazy about this whole blogging thing for the past month. Or maybe just busy with life. We made it to Arizona. Settled into the outlaws, or as settled as we can be here. It's been crazy. Crazy. Crazy.

Big J spent a good deal of time with us for the 2 1/2 weeks Tim was here. So that made for 5 kids at any given time. I've also had H all summer. We had only been here for about a week when we made our very first ever 'accident' trip to the ER. Tim and I were putting together a trampoline and left my mother-in-law to watch the kids. Big huge colossal effing mistake. From the backyard, Tim and I could hear I screaming. Bloody murder, somebody is injured, screaming. We were kinda at a point where we couldn't very well stop, so Tim calls HIS mom and tells her to bring I outside to us. She brings I out, and Tim notices right away she has blood on her shirt. So we wrestle her down (at this point she forgot about her booboo and wanted to bounce-bounce) and try to locate the source. She had a small, but deep, cut to the underside of her chin. It was deep enough that the fatty tissue was poking out. I was freaking livid. I was even more freaking livid when TIM'S mother had no clue she was hurt, even though she had I's blood on her own damn shirt. Real freaking observant. Anyway, I refused to let her watch J while we went to the ER. Dropped J off with my Dad's wife, and took I to the ER. My little girl is a trooper. She did so good while they were checking her out. It took two stitches to close her chin. She cried. Tim cried. I cried. I'm pretty sure the male nurse holding her head cried. At least he was doing an awful lot of sniffling. Anyway, she cried, but she held perfectly still. Such a sweet girl. We took her back 5 days later to get the stitches out, and that was worse than getting them put in. Both times she got little bears to keep. The second time she refused to take the bear home with us. The first bear is sitting abandoned on the floor. It's the owie bear. She doesn't care for him much.

Ahhhh so much is going on. Tim left on June 16 and it's just been madness since then. 4 kids, 2 inlaws, and me. I've barely had time to think, let alone sit down and think out loud. I'm buried in mounds of dirty laundry, dirty dishes, and just dirty house it seems like. It's been a huge adjustment. A difficult adjustment. I hate it here.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

15 Miles To Go

This trip was long and hard. It was absolutely insane with 6 kids. We stayed Friday night in Los Cruces, NM. Long story short, it was 1,100 miles of, "Are we there yet?" "How many more miles?" "How far have we gone?" "When will we be there?"

Yeah... fun times. It really wouldn't have been so bad, but the questions started in San Antonio, which was only about 25 miles into our trip. By Junction Texas, about 200 miles into the second half of a 2100 mile trip, I had told the kids they couldn't ask anymore location questions until after we stopped for lunch on Saturday. That actually lasted for almost 100 miles.

So anyway, we stayed Friday night in Los Cruces. The hotels pet policy said only dogs under 50 lbs and no cats. So basically we had to smuggle two 80 pound dogs and one very angry puddy tat into a hotel room, on the third floor. Saturday morning we thought we would hit the road early, but in reality, after feeding and watering 6 children, 2 dogs and the very angry puddy tat, we didn't get out of Los Cruces until closer to 9 local time. And then we hauled ass... like the devil himself was on our tail. We made Tuscon around oneish, fed children again and turned North. Things were pretty uneventful on the last day. We made it from Los Cruces to Black Canyon City with no major issues.

Then it hit. The last 20 miles or so on the interstate was a 6% mountain grade, going up roughly 4,000 feet in about 12 miles or so. The Suburban struggled with that big damn Uhaul. I thought we were in the clear when we turned off of I-17 onto Hwy 69. There was only about 20 miles to go at that point. I was feeling sorry for the ole truck and was trying to go easy on her. Temps and oil pressure were fine, but she was still pretty sluggish. Just past Mayer Arizona it happened. She just died. Engine shut down, but at least we still had power steering.

So there we were, 15 miles from the final destination, stuck on the side of the road. We think that the transmission overheated, went into 'save my own ass' mode, and just shut down. That's just a theory. Since I don't have a handy dandy trans temp guage, we aren't positive. Stuck on the side of the road with 6 kids, 2 dogs and the very angry (and plotting our deaths) puddy tat. We called Tim's dad to come get the Uhaul and we called my dad to come get animals. For the 20 minutes or so we were stuck there, only one person stopped to see if they could help... a 60ish man on a motorcycle.

Anyway, the dads showed up. Tim's dad took the Uhaul and mine took C and the animals. My poor dogs and cat weren't doing so well, being stuck in the truck with no AC. By then we were able to start the burb with no problems and made it the rest of the way into town with no problems. We haven't had a problem since then. So who knows.

So now we're here. End of trip. End of that story. If I should ever decide to take a 2100 mile roadtrip with half my life in a Uhaul behind me and all my kids/critters in the burb, remind me of all the 'fun' that we had on this trip.

Sunday, May 31, 2009


God bless Texas… with courtesy lanes, kickass barbeque, 80 mph interstate, and wide open skies. The courtesy lanes are a concept that is still slightly lost on me. What looks like a 2-lane highway with really wide shoulders, is in reality used as a 4-lane highway. Those aren’t shoulders, they are courtesy lanes. I thought the guy in front of me was just being… well courteous, when he moved off to the shoulder to let me blow by like the bat out of hell that I am. Turns out that’s the ‘thing’ to do in Texas, drive down the shoulder courtesy lane and let the speed demons go by.

The barbeque… holy hell the barbeque. We stopped at this pit barbeque in Lockhart today. When you walk in the door there is a sign that says, ‘Vegetarians enter here. Normal people go to the back.’ When you go to the back and through the doors, you are literally walking into the pit. There are a few counters with giant steel grills behind them, and then the fire pits below those. The lids on the grills are so enormous, that there were counterweights to lift them. Anyway, we ordered a pound of brisket and a few sausages. They piled this meat up on sheets of butcher paper and wrapped it up with about half a loaf of bread and a half package of crackers. We took that into the Vegetarian room where we got our sides, baked beans (with meat) and German potato salad (with meat). I suppose the vegetarians are supposed to eat the condiments. The whole experience was slightly barbaric. We tore into this pile of meat with our fingers and I think it was probably the best brisket I’ve ever had. When it comes to brisket, it’s hard to beat anything we’ve gotten in Texas. They can sure do brisket.

Yes, I know I’m jumping around a lot. We’ve just passed mile marker 398, which means we are just over half way through Texas. This state is almost half of our entire trip. It’s crazy. The good news is, on this stretch of interstate the speed limit is 80mph. Tim calls it morale speed. Considering we have 6 kids, 2 dogs and a very angry black kitty, 80mph speed limits are a Godsend. A FREAKING GODSEND! We picked up Tim’s stepson H, his brother M and sister K in Lockhart. We’re delivering the latter two to their father in Arizona. I must be freaking crazy for volunteering to do this. The questions haven’t stopped for more than 30 seconds in well over 200 miles. I’m sure there is a special place for people like me reserved at the nut hut.

Aside from all that, it really is beautiful out here. We’re about 140 miles East of Fort Stockton TX and there are clear blue skies, dry creek beds, and rolling hills for as far as the eye can see. Aside from the interstate slashing through it, it’s beautiful. It’s peaceful in the sense that so much of this land is still untouched. It’s nice to see that after living in fairly large metropolitan areas for the past 5 years.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


*Sometime this afternoon* So we’ve left Georgia behind… along with some really jacked up memories/events. But we have also left behind some good memories, and good friends. I suppose I haven’t really been myself this year. I’ve been prone to impulsiveness that isn’t like me. I’ve done some things that are totally against the very person I am and those things have left both Tim and I scarred and weary. I can’t go into detail. I’m not ready to air the dirty laundry just yet. Instead, we’re going to make this 2,100 mile trip… and leave all those things far behind us.

We’re only about 150 miles into the trip right now. It’s 1:23 p.m. CST. We got stuck behind an accident for 2 hours on the interstate. Stuck at a dead standstill. Good thing I packed something to feed the kids for lunch. Nothing moved, except us when we ventured out of the truck to walk the dogs, have a smoke, stretch, etc. And while we were sitting there, those memories and events caught up to us, which led to another awkward discussion and more tears. There have been far too many tears and way too much heartache in the last week or so.

On the flip side of that coin, we’re leaving behind some great memories. We’re leaving behind a very good friend and the area that we both fell in love with and the place we both hope to come back to some day.

*Later today* It’s been a long day. We’re well into Mississippi, only about 68 miles from the Louisiana state line, only about 3 hours behind what we had planned. We were aiming for Baton Rouge for dinner time. Instead it was fast food in Redneckville USA. The kids have had enough. They’re usually really good travelers, but after being at a standstill for 2 hours and allowed to run around the truck and play, they aren’t really into this being seat belted down business.

Anyway, Alabama was a rough state. We had too much time for reflection and discussion. It led to some difficult conversations about some hard lessons learned. It’s true what they say about hurting the ones we love the most. So far Mississippi has been an easy state with no difficult conversations. We agreed before we made it out of Alabama that Mississippi would be easier for us. We still have about 1,700 miles to go on this trip, but hopefully the worst of it was in the first couple hundred.

At the end of the day and at the end of the endless interstate, I realize that the most important person in my life is behind the wheel of this truck. Everyone and everything I need is in this truck and trailer. I’ve got my husband, my kids, and my memories. No matter the mistakes I’ve made, it’s a comforting thought to realize they are still here with me. Even though I’ve been a complete idiot, he’s still here. They are all still here. I still can’t believe that I was lucky enough to find him.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Now this is Patriotism

Somebody please buy this guy a beer... when he's old enough to drink it of course.
Embedded video from CNN Video

Friday, May 15, 2009


Growing up, my parents did foster care. Jimmy was one of those foster kids. He was the one foster kid that would ultimately break all of our hearts. I don't remember how long he was with us, but it seemed like forever. When we got him, he was a terrified little shell of a child. He was scared of everything. It didn't take too long before he came around and it was like he had always been a part of our family. Jimmy was about 10 months younger than me. I got a respite from being the baby, and he got a real family. So it was a win-win situation... at least for the two of us. He knew left from right but I didn't. I could tie my shoes but he couldn't tie his. So putting shoes on became a group effort for the two of us. He would make sure I got my shoes on the right feet and I would tie his shoes for him.

Having Jimmy around just seemed natural. I remember going with my mom to drop him off with his mom for visits. It was usually to some seedy hotel room, and Jimmy never wanted to stay. He didn't want that woman to be his mom. He wanted my parents to be his. I was okay with that. I knew that if I could share my parents with him, that meant I got to keep him too.

My parents were in the process of trying to adopt him. We hadn't planned to let him go. He wasn't going to be another foster kid through the revolving door. We wanted to keep this one!! Then one day... it was over. We lost him. His mother had complied with whatever it was she was supposed to do. She took him. She took him and moved far away from us with him. We never saw Jimmy again. He was the last foster kid my parents took in. After him, none of us wanted to see another child come in broken and abused, only to walk right back out and into the situation that got him/her there in the first place. It was just... over.

Over the years, I've tried to find him. When I was a child, I was foolish enough to hope that just maybe I would find him at school. Or maybe I would run into him at the gas station. Then as I got older, I thought I would find him on the Internet. I thought I could just type his name into some search engine, and there he would be. Now 20+ years later, I'm typing his name into Facebook. There are over 500 Jimmy Bowmans. I wouldn't recognize his face anymore. All I have to compare to, is a faded picture of a 5-6 year old little boy. That 5-6 year old little boy would have turned 28 this January. 20+ years can do a lot to a body. I'll never recognize him by a picture.

At the moment, I'm fresh out of hope again. He could be one of 500+ Jimmy Bowmans. Or he might not be one of them at all. Who's to say, he didn't get placed with another foster family later on. Another family may have been able to adopt him... change his name... give him the life he deserved. For his sake I hope that was the case. For my sake, I hope his name is still Jimmy Bowman, and that one of these days I will be able to find him. Not just for me, but for my parents, my sisters, all of us.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Day 1, Year 6

Today is the beginning of a new year for us. Tim and I have officially made it to that 5 year mark. At this time 5 years ago, we were getting ready to head to the courthouse to make our case as to why the judge should waive the mandatory 3 day waiting period and grant us a marriage license. It was a Wednesday.

Tim had picked me up at the airport late the night before. Less than 12 hours after the ink had dried on his divorce papers. Which made it slightly less than 24 hours that he was a free man, with no wife to tie him down. Rather than celebrating his singleness, he was preparing to tie the knot again. He was legend in his squadron at that time. Guys got a kick out of 'divorced May 4, married May 5.' Which did lead to some interesting conversations between Tim and his first shirt about whether anything improper had happened while he was still married to hoebag.

Yes, we met while he was still married. He had gotten tired of her running around, and finding her boyfriend sitting on his couch when he came home from a mission was the last straw. He took leave, went to AZ, which is were we met. We went out a few times in AZ, and then spent the next 2 1/2 months talking on the phone, waiting for the divorce to go through. Technically speaking, we got married on the fourth date.

The whole deal was crazy. I spent a few days in DE with him and returned to AZ for a couple months. Telling Dad was one of the hardest things I think I've had to do. There is no easy way to tell the person closest to you that you eloped, without them there. It was a difficult conversation. I knew Dad wanted to be mad. I knew he was mad. I knew he wanted to yell and give me the ass-chewing of my life. But that's not Dad. Instead he hugged me, said congratulations and how he wished only the best for me. A couple months later when Tim came out to help me move across the country, to be with him... the only thing Dad could bring himself to say to him was, "You better take care of them." That was it. Those were the only words he spoke to my new husband. He didn't threaten Tim, but we all understood the meaning behind those words. It sounded more like, "If you hurt my little girl, I'll bust your kneecaps."

Dad tried awful hard not to like Tim. It took him awhile to get that Tim was the polar opposite of all the mutts I'd drug home before him. But he found it hard not to like him and it didn't take long before the two of them had actually become friends. They actually liked each other.

The first year was hell. We fought most of the time. By the second year we had gotten to know each other and started to get along and play nice. By the end of year two, we had J together. Year three was getting easier, I had finally gotten used to the idea of being married. Year four we had I. Then year five, we spent the majority of apart due to military commitments. And now year six... we'll be apart for most of it also. I'm getting ready to head west, and he's already pretty much 'living' at Dover. Eventually we'll end up in the same place again.

So today is somewhat bittersweet. I'm thrilled that we're at this five-year mark. It's a huge milestone. For both of us. For marriage in general in this day and age. But I'm also sad, lonely, and I miss him. I just want to be able to spend today with him, instead of being 750 miles apart. I just want to be with him and to be able to just touch him. Instead we'll spend today apart, but more in love with each other than ever.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


It was July of 1999. I wanted a dog. It was a time when I didn't have a dog I could call my own. So I called this number in the paper and went to look at this puppy. When I got there, I found this little tiny ball of yellow fur, only 4 weeks old. Her momma had been hit by a car. She was confined in a tiny dog run and her coat was covered with mud, feces, and God knows what else. She wasn't what I was looking for, but I couldn't turn my back and walk away from her. She was so pitiful and scared. She would flinch every time I reached out to pet her. Within a few days, she was sleeping in my bed... nestled up against my chest.

The years have not been kind to her. At about 12 weeks, she was hit by a car. She wasn't hurt too bad. Mostly it just tumbled her, scared her, and left a few scrapes. About 6 months after that, she somehow sliced the pad completely off one of her paws. Another 6 months after that, she got her left front leg caught in a coyote trap (we think). It scraped the flesh clear down to the bone and left her with a permanent limp. She was accident free for about 5 years when I left her with my mom. Since she has a tendency to chase horses, she got kicked several times, breaking several teeth. At some point, she was either kicked by one of the horses or hit by a car (we really never figured it out) but it completely shattered her right front let. At that point we were faced with the options of amputation or surgical repair. Since she had already had a serious injury to her left leg, the vet didn't know if she would adjust to amputation or be able to support her weight on that one bad leg. So surgical repair it was. Two steel plates, numerous screws, and $600 later, she has a gimpy right front leg, but she had two legs. Shortly after that she came back to me.

Now we are creeping up on her 10 year birthday. Two years past the life expectancy for her breed. Her body is starting to fail her. She has a harder time controlling her bowels and bladder. The poor girl feels so badly when she has an accident. She will just hang her head and look at me, and I know if she could speak she would say, 'I'm so sorry.' She has a harder time getting up these days, and I can tell she is in a significant amount of pain when she walks. Not only in her previously injured limbs, but in all her joints. Sometimes just the pain of getting up is enough to make her yelp. She isn't as content as she used to be and she doesn't always meet me at the door anymore. Most days she would rather just hide in my bedroom... where she is safe from the accidental owies that happen with two toddlers in the house.

I have always thought that as long as an animal has a good quality of life, then I would not make the decision to put them down. But now after 10 years, I'm faced with trying to measure how good her quality of life is. Is she still happy? Is she still content? How much pain is she really in? The vet is coming tomorrow. I originally made the appointment with the intentions of updating her vaccinations and doing a yearly exam. But I guess at this point I need to have the quality of life versus quantity of life discussion with him. Hopefully he can just give her something to ease her discomfort. I'm not ready to let go of her. She has been my protector, my faithful companion, and a part of my family. No matter how timid and terrified of people she is, she will always put herself between me and any stranger. Do I let her suffer for my own personal benefit? Or do I look into the possibility of easing her discomfort on a permanent level. It's heartbreaking and I'm torn.

Monday, April 27, 2009

What Is The Price of Freedom

Really. What does our freedom cost us? I just received a pretty depressing email. With pictures that would imply exactly what the price is for the freedom that we enjoy. Pictures of flag draped coffins. Pictures of soldiers in desert ABUs with their heads bowed, or kneeling around a fallen comrade. Pictures of a horse drawn hearse, taking a flagged drape coffin and the soldier that lays within to his final resting place.

These pictures really strike a raw nerve with me. After living at Dover for 4 years, I don't need to be reminded what the price is. Dover is the home of the Department of Defense mortuary, so all fallen heroes go to Dover first, before they go home. After seeing the processions from the flight line to the mortuary, time and time again, I know. After seeing hearses leaving the base or going back to the flight line to send these heroes on their way home, I know. After wondering every time a C5 landed, if it was bringing someone home, I know. After listening to Tim's accounts of missions that would ultimately bring these soldiers home, I know.

The reality of it is, when these soldiers leave to defend our country, they all walk on the airplane. The shitty side of it is, some of them come home in a transfer case. Some of them come home alive, but on a medical transport. Some come home on gurneys or in wheelchairs. But our military busts their butts to make sure they all come home, one way or another.

Along with the sadness and heartache that those pictures invoked, is anger. It pisses me off to no end, to know that these men and women are so bravely defending the values we hold near, yet back home they get little support or encouragement. So many people in this country take for granted their rights and they forget about those who protect and defend them. So many people have forgotten that it takes effort and sometimes life to protect our values, our freedoms. Yet they don't hesitate to scream if someone steps on those rights. It angers me that so many people expect their rights to be free. They expect it to just 'be'. And then in a time of war, they turn their backs on our troops and criticize them. Our troops are following orders and upholding the commitments that they made. Some of them may not like it or agree with it, but they are following the orders given.

As the military spouse, it's evident every day. From the African American in Walmart who said, 'Yo, look what white boy is wearing' to the people who protest and try to verbally attack him for doing what he believes in. But for those very few people who go out of their way to thank him and acknowledge the sacrifices that he has made, that our entire family has made.... Thank you. It is nice to know that some people remember (without reminder) what the price of freedom is. It is nice to know that some people still believe in and support the values that our military is fighting so hard to protect. It is nice to know that some people are still willing to stand behind our military and be proud of them. And it is nice to know, that there are still people in this world who remember what freedom is all about and what it takes to maintain and protect it.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Little People

By little people I in no way mean dwarf. I mean children. Specifically my children. These have seriously got to be some of the orneriest people on the freaking planet. These. children. are. after. my. sanity.

Last night, J boycotted bedtime. Again. Nothing new there. I thought they had finally settled down around 9 because things had gotten peaceful. Until I walked into my room. There was a 36" tall human in my bed. On my side of the bed no less. Using my pillow. He pulled the blanket over his eyes when I turned the light on and told me to be quiet, he was sleeping. Ooook. So I went back out to the kitchen and was diligently playing Mafia Wars... I mean working. Anyway, he comes out and gets this annoying little Lilly Leapfrog toy. I think his heart was in the right place, because he took it to his sister. Now I loves that toy. Taking it to her was where the good willed cuteness ended. That went way out the window when he dropped it on her sleeping head. So now two of my darling children were awake and it was pushing 10 at that point. So now, I needs to be held, cuddled and loved upon. J instantly gets jealous. Once I got her laid back down, he was willing to go lay back down in my bed. I swear the lights were off when I walked out of the room. I go to check on him 3o minutes later and imagine my surprise when the door is closed, light is on. Crap. Now you know this can't possibly mean anything GOOD! Little shit was sitting in my bed, on my side of the bed, on my pillow, reading my book. I'm not exactly where the can of Febreeze comes into his evil plan, but it was very... fresh smelling in there. And very wet. I didn't know I had a can of Febreeze in the bedroom. Hell I probably didn't have a can of Febreeze in the bedroom. Who knows where it came from. What was important at that point was, the 3-year-old was smelling very fresh and my bedding was very wet. Fun times. Fun times at 10:30 at night. Good news is, today is another day. Bad news is, today is another day and these children of mine are going to come up with something totally new and improved to drive me batty.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Time to Bury the Hatchet

I always thought, in reference to a certain ex of mine, that when I was finally ready to bury the hatchet I'd bury it right in his lousy backside. Heh. We were together for 364 days. Why do I know this? Because the weasel dumped me on Valentine's day. Dump isn't quite the word. He just never called again. No more lunches at the office. At that time, I didn't have a license so... well you can figure it out. We had met the day AFTER Valentine's day the year before. Looking back on that now, what the hell was I thinking?!?! We dated for a few months before we moved in together. THAT lasted exactly 18 days. It took exactly 17 days to find out that the schmuck was capable of picking me up by my forearms and hurling my 110lb (at the time) body across the room. Scrawny lil shit was tough! And mean! LOL Anyway, I moved out on day 18. A few days after that he did the requisite groveling that all men seem to be adept at and I did the gutless thing most women seem to be good at. The rest of that relationship went down much like day 17 of cohabitation. One particularly memorable fight involved a shovel. Don't worry he's still alive. Unfortunately. Anyway, he hit the hood of my truck with a shovel. I should have just walked away then, but in my brilliance I whacked him in the chest with the shovel. At which point he worked me over pretty good. Oops. Bad call on the whole shovel whacking incident. It was an on-again-off-again thing for 364 days.

So anyway, Tim is trading that old truck in. It still has the dent in the hood from the shovel incident. So it got me thinking. I can't remember this guys middle name, or if he even had one. I can't remember if Randy was short for Randall or Randolf. I can't even remember what color his eyes were. I do however remember his hair was brown.... with a decent amount of gray. I remember this because at some point we had a huge fight because I pointed out he was going gray. I may or may not have called him an old geezer but that's beside the point.

What is the point.... is when did I bury the hatchet? The one that isn't protruding from his back. Apparently it happened somewhere along the way. I've forgotten more about him than I remember. Hell I can't even remember his whole name. About all I remember at this point is... Randy was an old fart who lived in a trailer behind the car wash. Looks like I moved up in the world from those days.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

My Life... One Box at a Time

As I'm preparing for this move, I keep stumbling over the decisions I have to make. Do I take it with me, or do I put it into storage, where I may not see it for up to a year. I never realized how much I've taken for granted. For me these aren't just things. They are memories, tokens of our relationship, gifts, and evidence of our life together.

I put my belly cast in a box for the second time. The first time was a little easier, because I knew that I would see it again in just a few weeks. This time was a little harder for me. To anyone but Tim or I, it's nothing but a misshapen hunk of plaster.


To us, it is a tangible memory of my pregnancy with I. It is a perfect likeness of my body at that time. Each time I see it, I'm reminded of those last weeks of the pregnancy when I couldn't wait for it to be over, but when I also wanted it to last just a little longer. I selfishly wanted to keep her all to myself just a little bit longer. So long as she was in my belly, I was the only one who could really touch her.

Then there's this picture.


What do you say about that? Really. It's just J and who he is, who he has always been. He's this little lump of happiness. But that picture brings back a flood of memories from a phenomenal family trip. The day after that picture was taken, we had our 3D ultrasound and found out for certain that Miss I, really was a Miss and not a Mr.


So it's not just things I'm packing up. They may be just things to most people, but to me they are little bits of my life. Granted I do have some things that are just things, but not as many things as memories. I have 'things' from all over the world. Things that Tim bought because they reminded him of me. Things he thought I would love. Things my children have made for me.

So here I am. Packing my life away... one box at a time. One memory at a time. What if I don't think about these things when I can't see the tangible evidence of them. The trips, the holidays, the laughs, the tears... our life together. I'm heading off into the abyss alone. Tim and I will be separated for at least 7 months, but possibly up to a year. I just feel like I need those things to be able to hold on to the memories.

The absolute worst hit me a little while ago, when I realized Tim's side of the dresser was empty. His side of the closet is empty. He's packed up his 'can't live without stuff' and gone off into his own abyss. He hasn't even been gone 48 hours yet, but we're both already feeling the void. The loneliness. There is a big empty spot in my day. He won't walk through that door after work again. By the time he gets back, he will be here long enough to help me finish loading things up, and then we'll take our cross country roadtrip to my next destination, the abyss. Where I will have to figure out how to stumble through my days without him.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Back to Serious

So he left again this morning. This time for 40 days... and 40 nights. It's like some twisted take on that movie. Except for the whole being married bit and having nothing to do with giving up sex for lent. I give up sex for the United States Military. How's that for patriotic!! Because of said military, my sex life is going pretty much belly up for the remainder of 2009. With the exception of the week here and there when Mr. Man can get leave to come... well perform his husbandly duties. Ha!

So 40 days and 40 nights. I have to manage to get this house packed up and ready to go. The Pod will be here on May 1. The man will be home on May 22 and we're leaving May 27. So that gives us exactly 5 days to get things finished up around here. Fun times. Or not.

Not only do I have to do all this packing, but I have to do all my other normal things at the same time. I have to make sure my children don't run rogue around the neighborhood. Well at least not I & J. C can run wild. He's survived my parenting, or lack of, skills for the past 9 years, he's earned a little freedom.

Once we finally get done here, we're driving to San Antonio to pick up my stepson H along with his Brother M and Sister C. They're going to go the rest of the way to AZ with us, where the other two kids dad is going to pick them up. Again, more fun times. Which brings me to, after May 27 or so, please begin sending all mail to the nut hut. I'm sure I will be spending more time THERE than with my outlaws.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Bring On The Tatas!!

So I've been thinking about getting them pierced for months. After breastfeeding or being pregnant for 3 years and 5 months straight, I needed to do something totally non-parental, non-functional with the ole funbags. So what better way to perk up a pair of old saggy, baggy, used up titties than poking holes in them! Since I have a fondness for self-mutilation by way of piercing and tattooing, I decided to go for it and got them pierced. I've got these very cute little hoops in them now.

I finally worked up the cajones to get it done last night. So Tim called around, found a place to get it done. I went. The old guy there was awesome. Made it seem like standing half naked in front of a perfectly good stranger (that wasn't a doctor) was a perfectly normal thing. I don't know why I was so worried about some stranger seeing the goods. Seriously. Once you see one you've seen them all. For the most part, unless there's some weird misshapen one, then you definatly should see. Anyway, he's cleaning and marking dots and talking about his 4 marriages to 3 women. That's right, he went back for seconds with one. You can figure how that one worked out for him. Anyway, he got it all ready, his stuff all out. He says, "Close your eyes and go to a happy place", and it was done. Well almost done. I did have a 3 inch needle pretty much skewering my nip but for the most part it was done. He slipped the hoop in and bada boom bada bing it was done. Left nipple done. Right nipple to go. Basically went the same, except this time the conversation turned to Tim, Iraq, and war in general. Blah.

In retrospect, I really wish I had taken a pic of that 3 inch needle. It was awesome, in a very morbidly awesome way.

And just in case my mother is reading this... Hey Mom! Sure I made you proud with this one! Heh.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Time to Tuck Tail and Go Home

Well since our renters have left us in such a bind, we've been looking for ways to make things work out. We don't want to go into foreclosure on that house. The way I see it, we borrowed that money so we are obligated to pay it back. That and I really don't want to add to the already rocky real estate problem. So while the house is on the market, I will move back to Arizona and live with Tim's parents. Fun times. At least we'll be able to continue making the mortgage payment while the house is on the market. Maybe even get some money back into our savings and pay off some debt. There really isn't much debt, but those damn renters we had in the house left it in such a mess that we spent what little savings we had and racked a credit card back up.

So the plan now is... at the end of May, I'm going to pack up my children and go back to AZ. Since Tim is deploying anyway, he will just go straight from AZ to DE and stay in the house while we're waiting for it to sell.

I have mixed feeling about the whole thing. I know my in-laws, specifically my mother-in-law, will drive me batty. But I'm thrilled that my kids are going to be able to spend time with Nana before she leaves us. She's at an age now, where human bodies just give out with no notice. We love her and want to make the most of the time we have left. I'm also really excited to be near my Dad again. Being so far away from him has been hell for me. We've always been very close and I can't wait to be able to see him on a regular basis again. I miss him so much.

So we've started making plans. Today we are going to check out some storage units. The majority of our belongings will stay here in GA until we get orders again. Then the movers can just go pick it all up from storage. We just need to find a place that they can get a semi into. Tim's 67 Chevy will also go into storage. Hopefully we can keep everything at one place, but who knows how that will pan out. Tim is taking my old truck and his motorcycle with him. I'll keep the Burb. See? Plans are forming as I blog about forming plans.

I'm only taking what I will absolutely need to subsist in AZ. It's proving to be really difficult to sort through my belongings and decide what I don't need. I love my things. Tim and I have worked so hard for what we have and it just sucks that I can't take it all with me now. So basically I'm only going to be able to take enough things to furnish 2 rooms for me and the kids and my kitchen stuff. I can't live without my stand mixer.

We've already worked out an agreement with my inlaws. They really are wonderful people at heart. Just different than what I am and I expect that may cause an argument here and there. Anyway, I'll pay them a small rent and take over payment of some utilities. One big condition I had for living with them is I want to do the cooking and grocery shopping. Neither of them had a problem with that. I'm a damn good cook if I do say so myself! Last condition I had... I have to get cable internet as soon as I get there. It's crack. I can't live without it. I'm not sure what they have now, but I do remember it being slower than molasses on a cold winter day. I can't deal with that. I like my crack/cable. I like instant gratification.

Now that it's a reality, it's so bittersweet. We will be closer to family that I really am going to need to get me through the 6 months Tim will be gone. But I love Georgia. I'm going to miss it. The people are so damn friendly here. And of course I will miss Dena. She has proved to be a very good friend, and people like her are so hard to come by. To use her own words, she's good people. I'm very sad to be leaving her and am going to miss her horribly. But Arizona does have phenomenal Mexican food and that does make up the difference a little.

I'm still torn though. We wanted to stay here. To retire here. And to finally settle down here. In Georgia. Where even the worst of days in winter isn't much below 40. Ahhhh I'll miss that. In Arizona, we'll be far enough up the mountain to experience winter. Almost full force. It does get cold there, and the wind coming off the mountains can be brutal.

Long story short, I've still got a lot of mixed emotions about the whole thing.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Smoosh & Sniff, Diagnoses, Day Spa & Shattered Pieces

It has been the craziest few days. By crazy I mean I'd pay someone to do this all for me. That kind of crazy. It rained for almost 4 days straight. That means, the little critters that belong outside we're looking for somewhere dry to hide out, and my house is all of a sudden the safe haven for a bazillion little tiny ants. ANTS! Creepy crawly things. Nasty critters. Yuck.

So we figured the best way to get rid of these ants is to figure out what they are first, and go from there. It turns out there is a very odd way to identify these little bastards. Smoosh em and sniff em. I am not kidding. There is such a thing as an Odorous House Ant. So anyway, you smoosh the ant and sniff it. If it smells like coconut, it's an odorous house ant. Picture me and Tim, smooshing these ants and then smelling them. They smell like coconut. So at this point we really have 2 options. We can either bait the little fawkers and hope they take the poisons back to wherever their home station is, or we can start smooshing em up, get the house smelling nice and coconutty, then start drinking umbrella drinks.

Then I got a new diagnosis. Not only do I have FMS, but I also have RLS. My legs can be fine all. day. long. But as soon as I lay down to go to sleep, they hurt. They feel like little bugs are crawling on them. (Yes, I know this could be happening with my little coconut ant infestation.) They feel like they have run a marathon, with that achy, jumpy feeling. It SUCKS! So I get a new medication for that. The bad news is it makes me high. The good news is, I'm very happy when I'm high.

Changing topics, try to keep up. I've been telling Tim for the past couple months I need a break. I need a break from kids, from housework, from responsibility. The big problem was, I didn't know what to do with myself. It's been so long since I had purely 'me' time, that I didn't know what to do, where to go, who to talk to. Nothing. I was drawing a complete blank. All I could say, was that I needed to get away. Just for a few hours.

So Tim, being the resourceful and incredibly sweet (loving, thoughtful, creative) man that he is, booked me a 3 hour appointment at a day spa. 3 WHOLE HOURS. 3 hours where it really was all about me. No kids. No cell phone. No responsibility. Nothing for 3 whole hours! It was absolutely amazing. He promises me that I get a trip to the day spa when he gets home from any trip that we net family sep pay on. Major bonus for me.

So I got there and they had me change into a robe. Let me just hang out and relax for a few minutes. The lights were very low everywhere in the place and the music was something so subtle that most of the time I was hardly aware it was there. Purely awesome. Anyway, I got this mud rubdown that felt incredible. Followed by a very long massage. The masseuse was familiar with FMS, so she recommended something between deep tissue and Swedish. All I know was it felt incredible. I can't even begin to explain the state of relaxation and total unawareness I was in. I was able to forget every single problem I had for a few hours and it was absolutely phenomenal.

We went to dinner at Chow Baby for the second time in 2 days. Because it really is that awesome.

We got home, Tim was taking his Statistics midterm and I was feeling up for some new bodily mutilation. So I send a text to my girl Dena to ask her where a good place to get inked or pierced is. She calls me back from the hospital. She fell and broke both her ankles. Her right ankle was a clean break and they may not even have to cast it. Her left ankle is in really bad shape though. 3 bones are completely shattered. As I type this, she should be in surgery to get things put back together with plates, pins and screws. It figures, the one time I ever shut my cell off (for the day spa) all hell broke loose. She tried to call but only got voicemail. She did find another neighbor to watch her kids and dogs though.

So I went over to the house to ask the boys what they wanted to do. They both wanted come to my house, so I loaded up kids, the kennel and one dog. The other dog refused to come inside and we couldn't catch her, so she stayed outside at Dena's all night. One on of the boys was finally able to catch her this morning, so now I have 2 extra boys and 2 extra dogs. Talk about a crazy, full house.

On a side note, Tim bought a trailer yesterday for his motorcycle. Then today he found the exact same trailer somewhere else for almost $200 less. So he's on the phone now to see if he can either return it or if they will price match it. Fun times.

It's been a long and crazy couple days. I'm having a hard time being patient waiting to hear from Dena. We all (her boys and I) just need to know she's okay. That she's going to be okay. She has to be okay. She's all those boys have. Their closest family is their dad in NC. Grandma is undergoing chemo in NY, and their uncle is with Grandma. So D has to be okay.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Youthful Delusions

It's funny. Or pathetic. Depending on how you choose to look at it. When I was about C's age, I had big dreams. Huge dreams. The world was going to be my proverbial oyster... even if the thought of oysters just gives me the heebie jeebies. Yuck.

Anyway, I was going to be one of those beautiful supermodels. Barbizon (I think) was going to make me famous. I would be tall, graceful, and dropdead gorgeous. Heh. I was going to drive a slut red Lamborghini Diablo. Or maybe a Ferrarri. Although the Ferrarri didn't have near the appeal as that Lamborghini. Holy hell I thought that was the most exotic car EVER! And I was going to own it. I was going to drive that thing like it was nobody's business. And I was going to have a blonde, bronzed body surfer boy look-a-like boy toy to keep me company. I had no idea why I wanted the hot man at the time, but I just knew I needed an 'accessory'. That's basically how I thought of it/him. A gorgeous accessory that I could trade in on the next hotter model if I saw fit.

The reality was, I was this geeky, Orphan Annie-esque kid. I had red hair that my mother insisted on cutting in a bob and then perming herself. Even at that age I knew I looked like a friggin idiot. Me with my curly bob haircut and my sisters 1970's castoff courdouroys. I was awkward (just the word awkward is awkward), gangly, homely, and everything I didn't want to be.

Over the years, I morphed into a larger (although still not Barbizon tall), more grown up Orphan Annie. Hair is still red but there really is a God because my mother has not touched it in 15ish years. Still awkward, and anything but graceful. But somewhere along the way, I grew into 'me'. My skin fits better now and I've learned to be comfortable in it. I can marvel at how a real, grownup me still manages to trip over her own feet, run into things, and be just an overall klutz. Grace eluded me. Grace took a look and decided I would take entirely too much effort and you just can't make a 'me' graceful. Or elegant. Or blonde for that matter.

I can't nail down the date and time that it happened, but somewhere along the way I just accepted me. And realized I'm not so bad afterall. I drive a Chevy instead of a Lamborghini. My boytoy is a husband and more Italian romeo than blonde surfer boy. And I'm a far cry from supermodel what with my tendency to tattoo and pierce random bits of skin. And it's ok. Well, mostly. I still want that Lamborghini Diablo. Holy hell that car is sexy. Rawr. Heh.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Back to Normal

Well as normal as things can be around here. Tim is finally home. He was gone for 31 days this last time. Just up north, still in country, so safe.

When we still lived up north and he was flying regular missions, I never actually depended on a time that he would be home. I lived by, "I'll believe he's home when I can see the whites of his eyes." So many times I got my hopes up that he would be home at a certain hour, only to be disappointed when it came and went with no sign of him. It was never his fault, but rather the fault of an often tempermental airplane, that sometimes just didn't cooperate. The thing would leak and groan and just be a overall POS. There were many times when I would be sitting at home thinking it was about time that he came home, and then he called to tell me he was still in Spain... or Germany... or, well other places. So basically he'd be sitting on an airplane for hours on end, just waiting to see if it could be 'fixed' in time to take off. Then when he found out they couldn't fly it, it was usually close to the time I was expecting him. So after the first couple missions, I figured out that Tim just ain't gonna be home until I see the whites of his eyes.

Now, he hasn't flow like that in almost a year. But I still have that 'whites of the eyes' mentality. Even if he is flying on a commercial airline, it's hard for me to believe he's going to be home at a predetermined hour and be excited about it. It's just not 'normal' for us.

When Tim is away, I'm forced to be it all. I have to take care of things on my own. He can't just drop everything at the drop of a hat and rush home to save me. I've had to learn to adapt to this lifestyle and I 'get it' now. Pipes burst, trees fall, kids get hurt... shit happens. On a fairly regular basis.

When he's home, we make the most of it. When he's gone, we miss him like crazy, but life does go on. C still has to go to school. I still have to go to the store, make dinner, bathe kids, etc. Life still goes on when he's not home. We can't just stop everything and wait. Hell, if we did we'd wait forever.

What matters now is he's home for awhile. At least a couple weeks. It's not long enough, but we will make do. I'll take what I can get. We will have our 'normal' with him home. When he goes, we'll have our 'normal' without him. It won't last forever. It can't last forever. Some day, he'll walk in that door, and he'll be home to stay. Some day, I won't have to let go, so that he can go do what he does elsewhere. Some day, he'll only leave for the day and then be back home again. I miss him. I miss the little things like being able to sit down to dinner next to him. Just having him here. Just knowing he's going to walk in the door at the end of the day. It's crazy how much those little things mean, and how much I took them for granted. Until I realized those were the things I loved. Those were the things that meant the most. I need for him to walk through the door each night and sit down to dinner with us. I need for him to be there at night, just so I can reach out and touch him. And I need him to give me that kiss goodbye each morning, the one where I'm not even hardly awake, but I'm aware that he has taken the time to kiss me. To tell me he loves me. To tell me goodbye, but only to come home that night to kiss me. To tell me he loves me. And to tell me hi.

It's the little things I miss the most when he's gone. I continue to exist when he's not here, but a huge part of my very being is missing. He leaves this huge gap in my life that nothing can quite bridge. It's lonely without him. A kind of lonely that the best of friends can distract me from, but can never quite fill. The days are a little longer, a little more solemn and serious. The nights stretch on forever. We count down the days until he's home. We exist, just in a different way.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Cue the Violins

So now that my blog has been broken in, good and proper, I figure it's time for that requisite post about me.

I started this for a few reasons. I like to write, but for some reason my hands are failing me and typing has gotten easier than 'writing' in a traditional sense. I need somewhere to talk about this whole FMS thing, because quite honestly I think my family and friends (this is your cue to stop reading if you don't want to hear it) are probably sick to death of hearing about it.

So here goes. Last warning. Turn back now if you don't want to hear another word about Fibromyalgia Syndrome (FMS).

I was just diagnosed with this in January, but my rheumatologist thinks I've probably had it to some degree my entire life. Being diagnosed means that I finally have some relief in knowing it really isn't all in my head and there are options to treat it. Being diagnosed with this means there is no cure, no understanding, and some of it really is all in my head.

You can google it for all the information you never wanted to know about it. But from a real human's standpoint, this just sucks. I wake up every single morning not knowing what exactly is going to hurt, yet knowing something is going to hurt. I don't know whether my stomach is going to be cooperative that day, or if it's going to make me believe dying on the can really can happen. I don't know if I'm going to be mentally 'there' that day, or if I'm going to forget that I sat down to blog by the time I sat down to blog. I don't know if the anxiety is going to make an appearance or not. And by make an appearance I mean grab ahold of my train of thought and run away, make my heart beat so fast it feels like it's going to leave my body, and make me have hot flashes that leave me soaked and freezing. I don't know if I'm going to be in good spirits, or crying over the oddly pretty colored pills I have to take each day. (Seriously. There is a purple one, some pink ones, and some white ones. They color coordinate with the weekly dark green one.)

The worst part of it all is... I don't know if I'm going to have the energy to cope with it each day. It is mentally and physically draining. Not to mention emotionally. I'm on my personal roller coaster and I am ready to get the eff off of it already. I really was hoping I had something fixable. I was prepared for surgery, PT, injections, you name it. I was ready for it. I wasn't ready when my rheum doc said, "This is not going to kill you, but it is probably going to cripple you."

So lets recap. Hello, I'm me. I 29 years old and I have FMS. There is a great 'Letter to Normals' that describes this better than I could have ever hoped to.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Two Parallels That Never Intersect

This has been on my mind a lot lately. Am I a good mother. People constantly tell me I am a good mother but if you ask me... I guess my answer would be "To which kid?"

This whole parenting gig is a lot easier with J and I. They are easy. They are my textbook children. They develop and learn things in the order the book says they should. Often, if I have a question about them, I can ask another mom to get the perfect answer. J & I are easy kids. It's easy to be their mom and I usually know the answers and know how to 'do it'.

C is another story. A lot of times I don't feel like I've been a good mom to him. I don't feel like I really even know him. He has never been a textbook kid. I've never been able to turn to books or other moms regarding him. I love him to pieces. It isn't a question of whether I love him or not. It's a question of how do I be a 'good' mom for him? With C I'm constantly second-guessing my decisions and methods. It's frustrating.

Like we are traveling on paths perfectly parallel to each other. We're always there, side by side, as we go through our day to day lives. But our paths never really come together. He's always so close that I think maybe I can finally reach him, but he's just always a hair away. There is always that little something that makes him harder to reach.

Which means I spend a lot of time wondering if C knows how much he means to me. I tell him all the time, but he doesn't hear me. Almost like we are speaking different languages and while he hears the words, he doesn't understand or feel them. So C is always right there... right next to me. It always seems like, soon, I'll be able to reach out and then I'll connect with him. But 'soon' never gets here. Tomorrow he'll be just as close... but just as far away.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

It's Not All Bad... All The Time

In light of some things that have happened recently, I keep having to remind myself that it's not all bad, all the time. Even though the last few weeks I would rather just stick my head in the sand and pretend the rest of the world just doesn't exist. I have to keep reminding myself that there are some good things in life. Sometimes I have to look awfully hard to find them, but they are there. And sometimes I have to brush the dust off of them and polish them up a bit... but they are there.

My husband is always here. Even when sometimes I don't want him to be... he's here. He has made it perfectly clear that no matter how psychotic I can be, he's sticking around. He tolerates my heated rants, even though I think he's laughing on the inside. And even though I rarely admit it, I do need him on some emotional level that I'm still not entirely familiar with.

My kids are always here. Even when, like at the moment, they are picking on each other, fighting, screaming, and making me wish I was a drinking girl... my kids are here. They are, despite the occasional rottenness, my children. They each have their undeniable charms. It never fails to amaze me, how when I'm really down in the dumps and ready to just throw in the towel, these little humans can make it all go away. They wrap their little arms around my neck and give me snotty, slobbery kisses that just prove that it's not all bad all the time.

At the end of today, after we have decided to sell our house, after we've agonized over which path to take... we'll still have our family. It takes incredible amounts of patience and 'humble' to admit that it's all we really need. As long as I still have my incredibly geeky husband and my 3 weird little kids... it will be okay. I can live without all the extra fluff and the house in a state I never want to go back to. That stuff really doesn't hold much value in the areas that matter.

I've got my husband. I've got my kids. So how can it be all bad... all the time. I promise to return my pessimistic, snarky self tomorrow. But today I'm having one of those weird, sentimental (almost optimistic) moods. Heh. Don't get your hopes up, it WILL NOT last. Seriously, if I keep this up I'm going to have to add some violin background music. Blah.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Happy Birthday Me

So it's almost over. I spend the whole year denying this ever happens. If anyone asks me about it, I'm denying it all. I did no such thing. I had no such thing. Today didn't happen. It was just another day.

When I was growing up, birthdays just really weren't important. They were to me. I wanted it to be an important thing. "Look I've made it in this crazy household for another year!! We should really celebrate because I survived for a whole 'nother long year." Or something like that. Dad tried so I give him credit. But I always got the idea that it was just a pain in my mother's arse. The fact that I dared to have a birthday once a year seemed to either piss her off, or she just didn't care. She was notorious for getting mad over something stupid and cancelling holidays, birthdays, refusing to go to weddings/recitals/school programs. So it stands to reason at some point a kid would give up hope. That finally happened (yes I was slow) the year of my 15th birthday. Somehow Mom managed to drag herself out of the office long enough to go to dinner for my birthday. I remember asking if I could go to the mall with my friend for a couple hours. She said no, I was grounded. After dinner she took my friend home first, then dropped me off at home, and then she went back to the office. My Dad was a cop and he got stuck working on some case or another. I understood why he wasn't there and I accepted that because I knew he would have rather been with me. Dinner with my Mom was a waste of time for all involved though. I knew she would rather have been at work. She knew that she should at least make an effort to look like she cared enough to celebrate her youngest daughter turning one year older.

Five days after my 15th birthday, I was in my 6th period English class. I got a call from the front office that my Mom was waiting outside for me. I walked out and the first thing I noticed was that Mom was sitting in the passenger seat of her car and Linda (one of the employees') was driving. I got in the car and Mom was crying. Crying to hard to even tell me what she was crying about. Linda told me my Grandma had died that morning. March 16, 1995. That was the one year that my Grandma did not call me or send me a card for my birthday.

On February 20 of that following year... a very good friend of mine called me. It was his 21st birthday. We talked for a few minutes and I told him Happy Birthday. He said he loved me and hung up. I found out the next morning that he shortly after we got off the phone, he walked out in his front yard and killed himself with his father's shotgun. He had called at least 2 other people that I know of to tell them that he loved them. But what he didn't tell any of us, was that he was hurting. He had the strength to reach out to let us know he loved us... but he couldn't tell us he was tired.

So sometime between March 11, 1995 and March 11, 1996, I quit having birthdays. I quit bothering. I quit telling people. I quit celebrating. My Dad and my husband always remember. They always try to make it a good day for me. But I always remember a long string of just purely rotten birthdays.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

The Aftermath

I knew it could be bad. But I still wasn't prepared for what Tim had to tell me as he walked through what was once OUR home.

The leak in the bathroom that ruined some of the flooring. I can handle the issues with the tub surround because... well we have always had issues with that. But what's with the missing shower head?

The babies room... rewind about 3 1/2 years or so. When we knew we were expecting J, Tim busted his butt to make the perfect baby room for our son. He took out a wall to an adjoining storage room (for lack of better words) to make the room bigger. He had to raise the floor some really weird amount of inches to make it level. He mudded and sanded for days. He painted. We ordered brand new carpet. It was the first room in the house to get nice, new flooring. Once we decided on a theme, he stenciled little bumble bees around J's room. Just here and there. There is a long narrow window in the room which we were afraid J might fall out of when he got mobile, so Tim built a little picket fence around it. It was a sweet, comfortable room.

Today... there is a tear in the carpet. An animal has peed and poo'd all over the room. It stinks. It's ugly. From babies room to pig sty.

The rest of the house pretty much as we expected for having had renters, with the exception of a nearly 12" tear in the master bedroom carpet. A few stains here and there, a little grime, a few smudges on the walls. Acceptable things. The back yard is full of holes... except for the one place you'd expect a hole in the ground, the pond. It's covered in rocks. There are tire tracks in the lawn. Oh and who can forget the floater in the toilet. Seriously? Who DOES that?

So that's it. I think. I don't know. I imagine we'll find more as Tim gets into cleaning and repairing. It's heartbreaking. We spent the first part of our marriage in that house. It was a home full of memories, and now, well now, it's a beat down rental house. It's not our home anymore. We couldn't go back there, for several reasons. Just knowing what these people did...

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Who Does This?!?

It's heartbreaking. To see that something you have worked so hard on, broke your back over, cried over, and reluctantly trusted to someone else just callously throw it away. When they abuse it, beat it up, and tear it apart... well it hurts.

My house. The house where Tim and I spent the first 4 years of our life together. We had some nasty fights there. We cried together there. We built our family in that house. We slaved over it. Painting, refinishing, laying down new floors. We took this ugly little house and turned it into a beautiful home.

In February 2008, we made the decision together that he would volunteer for orders. We knew that time there was limited. So we decided the best thing for us, as a family, was to volunteer to go somewhere we wanted to be rather than take the chance that we could get orders later to somewhere we didn't want to be. Sunny versus a snowbank... or something. In March he got his orders, and by June we had moved south.

We tried to sell it. I could whine about how the economy screwed us, but the economy is screwing everyone in some form or another. No sense in preaching to the choir. Ultimately, we rented it out. I rented it out. It was slim pickens. So I picked the ones that I thought were going to work out best. Ones that I thought would appreciate the house and take care of it. Maybe even polish it up a little bit more.

Fast forward to this weekend. No rent. No phone call. I had been trying to call them and we hadn't heard anything. Since Tim was in town, he decided to drive by. Lo and behold there's a damn U-haul truck in the driveway. So they left. Not such a big deal.

Leaving I can deal with... what came after, I can't.

Friday, March 6, 2009

So Here I Am

So here I am. I've been talking about doing this for months... make that years. I need a place to put my words. I've got all these things/thoughts just flying around in my head and since I can't get them out through my mouth, I thought maybe... just maybe I could put them all down in cyberspace. Where they are safer from prying eyes than if I would put them, say, under my mattress.

Last night I was thinking... how do I do it? How am I juggling being all the things I'm supposed to be. I have 3 awesome kids, one with a learning disability. I have this sweet, loving man... who in a moment of lust/blindness married me on the fourth date. I have friends (granted most of them live in my computer) who I can bear my soul to. And I have... well I guess I'll call it my 'religion'. So how do I manage them all? I don't! At least not all well, all at the same time.

My husband. As I write/type this, he is flying on a 'big aeroplane' as he would say. It's what he does. It's what he loves. I always joke, that if that plane were a woman he would definately leave me for her. He loves his plane, with all her oddities and tempermental problems. He loves her... I mean it. He would be devestated without that plane. He knows it in and out. It's because he is so good at his job that I get to do what I do best. Sit on my rear and do a whole lot of nothing. Or at least it seems like that at the end of the day.

My kids. Three of them. C just turned 9 and it seems like almost every day is a battle. Somewhere along the way he has discovered he is his own person and that mom doesn't rule the universe. Things were so much easier when he thought that I really did hang the moon. When he still thought the sun rose and set because I told it to. Okay well not quite but you get the jist. He's growing up. Turning into this little person that I sometimes don't recognize for all his 'grownupness'. He has his battles (read ADHD), but he has stuck his chin out and met it head on.

J is going to be 3 this month. He is totally different from C. He wants to learn everything he can and conquer every mountain, just as long as I'm there next to him. He is fearless of most things, but not quite ready to let go of my pantleg. We had our first playgroup today, but that is for another time. Another post. J is the lovebug. He is the one who wants to be held, hugged, cuddled, and just 'be' with me. ME!

I is the little lady in the house. She has everyone wrapped around her little drama-queen finger. She's 18 months now and she already has the world at her fingertips. At least she thinks so and none of us are brave enough to tell her otherwise. She thinks she can do anything and usually she does just that. No way my girl is going to let her brothers get the best of her. But at the end of the day, she's looking out the window for daddy. At the end of the day, it's daddy that she wants. At least I got my mama's boys.

So that's my family. There is the reason my sun rises and sets each day. They are my everything. I'm going to stop there before things get really corny.

I'm... well I'm me. I don't make too many apologies about it either. I'm painfully shy in person, but outrageously outspoken once I know you, or if I'm hiding behind my computer. I promise not to be too snarky, sarcastic, or opinionated... at first anyway. I promise not to make too many smart ass comments... in the beginning. More about me later.