Friday, November 29, 2013

On: Being Alive

IT'S ALIVE! Oh, wait. I mean, I'm alive.

Yikes, you know life has changed when you realize you haven't blogged since September. That's a bad thing. I know.

In my defense my well structured life suddenly changed, and I'm still dealing with the aftermath. The Marine, Munchkin, Boy Wonder, and I no longer live in the land of sand and rocks. We're back in the PNW. The gray and rainy state of one of my favorite authors, Christina Dodd. Needless to say, it's been an adjustment. Though, thankfully, the weather has been mild and less rainy than it usually is. It's been easier to acclimate from constant sun when most days recently have at least had a glimmer of sunshine.

We survived the drive from California, and even survived the moving company misplacing our household goods for a week. Now we're in our new home. We're not settled, but that has a lot to do with my own OCD tendencies when it comes to organization.

I'm choosing to view this move as a good thing. I'm focusing on all the positives and all the new possibilities that are waiting ahead. I can't wait to be settled in so my little family and I can start living again.

How have things been with you, dear readers?


Friday, September 6, 2013

On: Saying Goodbye

On Tuesday one of my closest friends checked into a new duty station. The Marines did this to prep him for his upcoming year long deployment to the Middle East. You would think, being married to the Marine, I would be used to this, but honestly, you never get used to it.

I've known my friend, the Captain, for a long time. Almost as long as I've been with the Marine. Our friendship has withstood living on different coasts and in different countries. In fact the last four months have been the only time, aside from when we first met, that we've even been in the same state.

It's funny how you can start relying on a person in a different way when they live down the street from you, and not a world away. His moving away, while not any different than the previous years of friendship, is harder this time. He won't be joining the Marine and I for late night Wii games, where we find out we're only smarter than a fifth grader when we work together. He won't be around for the Munchkin to chase and make funny faces at. In fact, not too long from now, he won't be just a text message away.

That's okay though, he's doing what he's supposed to do. What's he's meant to do, and I couldn't be more proud of him. This is who he is, and I wouldn't change that for anything.

Doesn't mean saying goodbye was easy, or that I won't miss him. I always will, because that's what being a friend often entails.

Have you ever had to say goodbye to a friend? I'd love to know your story.


Monday, September 2, 2013

On: Class, Working Out, and Plotting

Once again, it's been a while since I posted. Over the past four weeks I've spent far too much time analyzing terrorist activity, studying Al Capone, and realizing that I'll never be a criminal analyst. I'll save that for people who can focus on one thing for longer than the time it takes to eat a cookie.

During that time if anyone had peeked in my windows they would have seen a person living in workout clothes, a messy ponytail, and most likely spots of burp-up on me. I would likely have been sitting on the couch, lap top beside me, Boy Wonder in my lap, feeding him and studying. I might even have been actually typing with one hand.

I wasn't sure I was going to survive, let alone finish the class. It was a close one. Especially when everything was do by one minute to midnight yesterday, and I still had a final counter-terrorism scenario to create as well as a twenty question short answer exam to do.

Luckily, I made it, and I couldn't be happier.

During the crazy last couple of weeks, my only 'relaxation' or 'me time' I took, was the twenty-five minutes a day it took to complete T-25 (and sometimes a shower--don't judge). It helped keep my sanity. I'm seven weeks down with only three more weeks left of the program. I'm not ashamed to admit, I'll miss it when I'm done, but I can always go back. I've also started Shaun T's Hip Hop Abs program (and no, I really don't think I'll ever be able to move like they do. Good thing I keep the curtains closed when I workout.) it's a lot of fun, and will help me reach my post-baby body goals.

I've also spent my quality shower time plotting. I refused to allow terrorist or Al into the shower with me. Instead I've been focusing on the books of essays I've been plotting. I've got some of them done, but I have a feeling they're going to take a different turn than I first imagined, and that's okay.

I hope this Labor Day has found you safe and happy. Best wishes,


Friday, August 9, 2013

On: What I've Been Reading

Since I've been spending a lot of time on the couch, feeding Boy Wonder, and snuggling with him, I've run out of episodes of CSI: NY to watch on Netflix. I pulled out my trusty Kindle the other day and started catching up on my digital TBR pile.

Let's be honest.

I'll never catch up on my TBR pile, digital or otherwise. Why? Because I keep adding new books to it. In the last week I've read five Lori Foster books, a Brenda Novak book, and recently started reading (in paperback) the Chicken Soup for the Soul: Parenthood book.

It's true, it has made me cry more times than it has made me laugh, but I can't help but keep reading it.

What have you been reading? Inquiring minds want to know.


Friday, August 2, 2013

On Recreating Myself. Again.

It's been almost two months since Boy Wonder was born, and during that time I've enjoyed the snuggles, grins, and warmth that comes from his little body while he sleeps in my arms. I've enjoyed watching him grow and change, and seeing the expressions on his face as he becomes more aware of the world around him.

 What I haven't enjoyed is feeling like I've lost myself somewhere. I'm not the same person I was when the Munchkin was born. At that time, my life was completely different than it is now. I hadn't started school yet (that happened when she was three months old), and I wasn't actively writing, blogging, or doing anything particularly crafty or time consuming.

 My world revolved around my daughter and keeping the house clean. Occasionally we would run errands or go hangout at a friend's house, but mostly we would spend time snuggled on the couch, or playing on the floor. No matter what it was, I wasn't stressed out. I didn't worry about some huge thing looming over my head, and because of this, I felt like I had the parenting thing down.

Things aren't quite so simple anymore. Even though I realize a lot of the issues I'm having currently, are of my own making, I seem helpless to walk away from them. I've got the self-imposed deadlines looming over me. Things that really aren't set in stone, that I feel like I'm falling behind on. It makes no sense, while at the same time making too much sense.

I've got homework for a class I can't drop, and I know that no matter what I'll make it through it, but still I stress about every second of the day. There are other things that could go by the wayside, and not doing them won't matter a bit in a day, a week, or a year, but they hang over me like a dark cloud. I just want to enjoy the time I have with my son before he grows up and these days are gone.

I need to find peace with myself.

 I've been told that each child changes you, that with each new life you create, they recreate you into a different (and hopefully) better version of yourself. I firmly believe this. The person I became after the birth of the Munchkin was one I was proud of. I know, given time and patience, the person my son will create out of the stressed out ashes of my previous self, will be awesome.

Until then, I need to focus on what is really important. Spending time with my children. Taking a few moments to put away what I've incorrectly decided was important, for what is truly important. Whether that is reading a book with the Munchkin or dancing around the living room with her; feeding Boy Wonder (who seems to be a bottomless pit just like the Marine), or comforting him while he screams in my ear and shakes his little fists angrily.

The creating of art for myself and to sell, can take a backseat until a time when my children need me just a little less. The writing of the hundreds of books running through my head, can wait until Boy Wonder doesn't need to eat every two hours, and the Munchkin doesn't want to show me what new dance step she just created when she was supposed to be brushing her teeth.

It's time to sit back and let the re-creating begin, without the fight I've been giving it, because in my heart I know it's time for that change, I'm just having a hard time letting go of the old me for an uncertain future with a new me.

Have you ever had experiences like this? I really would love to know your stories.


Friday, July 26, 2013

On: The People from Our Pasts

I've been thinking a lot about my past. Maybe it's because children always make you reflect on life. Maybe it's because, I often wonder how I got to this place. How I made it to the person I am today. 

It would be a joke to think I'm here today solely on my own merits. 

I'm here, the person I am in the place I'm in, not only because, of who I am inside, but because, of the people who touched my life in the past. 

There have been dozens, maybe hundreds, possibly even thousands of people who have changed the course of my life, just by happenstance. However, I rarely think of them.

 Every once in a while, when major changes happen in my life, I find myself thinking about a girl I used to know. 

We'd grown up in the same town, went to the same high school, and participated in the same activities, but we weren't truly friends until after the thrill of graduation, and the realization that the friends we'd made in school weren't friends who could go the distance. 

After my first marriage deteriorated and I found out I was pregnant, she's the person who drove through the night with me from the bright lights of California to the towering trees and cloudy skies of Washington, to escape the unhealthy situation I'd found myself in. 

Two months later, she held my hand as my body fought to save a baby that didn't have a chance, and I lost my son to a medical mistake. 

She is the person who grabbed me by the heart and forced me to start living life again, when all I felt capable of doing was hiding in the dark and crying. 

 There are hundreds of photos of us together. Moments of our lives captured, frozen in time forever. I have them in a box in the closet. I can pull out a photo and remember the exact moment it was taken. A pretty neat trick considering most of the photos were taken while alcohol was flowing freely, and we weren't feeling any pain. 

During those times, my only plan was to live life without true emotion. To have fun, to smile, to have a good time, but to never dig too deeply into my heart, because that is where the darkness would overcome me. I drank to have fun, I drank to be fun, and I drank to hold off the memories of dreams I'd only begun to have. 

Our party days had to come to an end sometime, and that happened when I eventually opened my heart enough to let it heal. I got married to the Marine, moved to Hawaii, and life slowly began again. 

We maintained our friendship through several moves--from Hawaii to Virginia, but when I finally moved back to the same coast, back this time to California, things changed. 

She had her third child, a son, and I wasn't there for the birth. I hadn't been the first person to hear about the pregnancy, and I found out about the birth weeks after the fact. 

We never had a falling out, never had a blowup of any kind. We just got caught up with our own lives. I wish things could be different, but they're not. Life goes on, and some people aren't supposed to be there forever. Some people have a specific job to do, and once it is done, they move on. 

When I think of her, there is a tinge of sadness for the memories of long ago, but there is mostly happiness. 

Happiness, because of the life I have now. The choices she helped me make. The adventures we had that led me to where I was supposed to be. 

I only hope, I helped her as much as she helped me. 


Do you have someone from your past that you think fondly of? I'd love to hear the story.

Friday, July 19, 2013

On: A Letter to a Long Ago Friend

I was thinking about you today, and then pictures of your kiddos popped up on my newsfeed. As a person who hasn't ever particularly thought people's kiddos were cute, I've got to say, you and Andrew have made some gorgeous little ones.
I've missed talking to you, and wish that we could have stayed in better touch. I often wonder how it is that we managed to remain close the whole time we lived on opposite coasts, yet as soon as we're on the same coast our lives seemed to have taken us in different directions.
I realized today I no longer know what you do in your spare time or what interests you. The person who was with me through some of my most difficult experiences in life, I don't know anymore.
I'm sure you're just as amazing as you were then, but I find at times it feels like a piece of me disappeared when we stopped talking. 
I'm happy and healthy, and I have a great life. A life so much better than I ever expected it would be after losing G.
I gave birth to my son just under seven hours before G's ninth birthday. I like to believe one brother helped the other into the world.
I hope your life is as happy as mine, and that your dreams and goals are everything you wished them to be all those years ago.
Maybe someday, we'll be able to catch up again, because even though I've made new friends, great friends, there is always a place in my heart where you belong.