crazy love

As I sit down to type this I want to admit something. I’m not really sure where the keystrokes will take me tonight.

My goal for my Thursday posts are to just be ‘real’ with you about my strained relationship with my husband and how the divorce in my first marriage has played a role in my life.

But…I’ve struggled all night to come up with what I want to talk about. My life, although not where I want it to be right now, is actually ok…better than ok. And that scares me..so maybe that’s my confession, my topic for this post.

I miss Erik. I miss my life. I wake up each day hoping that this is all a bad dream and then I look at the empty pillow next to me and realize that it’s reality.

I truly have had some amazing things happen to me lately, the Effexor is doing it’s job, I’m figuring out my financial situation, and with each day that goes by, it’s easier to not have my husband in the same house and sometimes even better than when he was here.

And that’s scary to me. I don’t want it to be easier because I’m afraid that I won’t want him anymore, which will mean finality to me and I’m not ready for that yet.

I don’t want to be ok without him even though I know I will. I wanted to do life with him. I wanted to grow old with him. I wanted to laugh with him until our stomach’s hurt, every day for the rest of our lives. And he wanted those things too at one point…made a vow for those things…and then broke every promise he ever made. All so that he could be showered with attention by a woman that told me that “he didn’t owe me anything.” He found quite a woman of character, huh? But I guess it shows his character too considering he threw me away as though the prior three years hadn’t happened and meant nothing.

I’m nervous that I’m becoming so numb to every thing that all of the love and feelings that I’ve ever had for the man that I love so much will wash away. It makes it real and I don’t think I’m ready for ‘real’ yet. I don’t think I want ‘real’ yet.

And yet, I get mad at myself at times for feeling this way because he has caused so much pain and could care less. Why should I want someone in my life that dropped and ran instead of putting effort into fixing things? Why would I expect anything different from someone that has never put long lasting effort, hard work, into anything? Why would I think that someone is even worthy of being in my life when they’ve done so many horrible things without remorse?

Because Love. It’s crazy and it doesn’t make sense.

As I type this, I get a text from a friend that totally brings me out of my moment of sappiness. That’s the best part of my life right now. My friends and family. The texts and phone calls that I get when I least expect them have kept me out of the depths of despair.

Last divorce (and I’m still getting used to having to clarify which divorce), I would sink into myself and avoid life. Avoid friends. Minimally involve myself in family. At least this time, I know what I need to make it through this sanely, better than before and stronger…my framily (friends and family). I can’t push them away. I’ve embraced and sought them out…lived for random texts, sent random texts, called just to say hi. Because I know that is what will bring me sanity and strength.

Two marriages later, I will tell you that love makes no sense. If it makes sense to you, go after it. Don’t listen to anyone else or the world…chase it. It may hurt later but at least you’ll know you’ve tried. And if you never try, you’ll never know what could have been.

So to quote Hunter Hayes, “The world makes all kinds of rules for love. I say you gotta let it do what it does.”

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i’m most proud that i…

I’ve spent a lot of time recently reflecting on my life and my dreams of where I see myself in six months, 12 months, 24 months and so on. My thoughts have been so scattered because my brain works in ‘multi-task’ mode only, so while I’m thinking about my career, for example, I’m also thinking about the load of laundry that I forgot to move to the dryer as well as the three friends that I still need to text or call back and the grocery list and the garbage that I need to put out before they get down the street.

So once again, I’ve leaned on Pinterest to provide me with a few journal prompts that force me to reflect on me…not the kids, not my struggles, not my ex’s, not anything but what I want out of life and I thought I’d share one with you.

Too many times (and I’m guilty of this big time), moms and wives put everyone else’s needs first and we forget to take care of ourselves. We forget that if we show the kids that we are of sound body and mind that we will be better equipped to take care of them and their needs, that they will learn that their future spouse should be taken care of and that they, themselves need to take care of their mental and physical minds and bodies.

Sometimes we (as a human race), and probably even more so women, are so hard on ourselves and we doubt and second guess our decisions so much more than we should. I was talking with a close friend today and she reminded me that I am great at what I do, even though I could tell you 15 reasons why I’m not good enough. Her words though meant so much because I consider her a mentor and second mom. She values me…why don’t I value me as much? Shame on me for not doing that!

Coincidentally, tonight my journal entry prompt was, “I’m most proud that I…”. Without coming across as a boastful person, I want to share with you what my journal entry was…not because I want accolades but because if I don’t do this then I will likely go back and edit my entry so that I don’t feel like I was bragging too much, even to myself. Sometimes you need to brag about accomplishments…no one will be a bigger supporter of you than you.

I’m Most Proud That I…

…am independent and self-sufficient. I really could have completed this statement in sooo many other ways including things about my kids or the fact that I can now kill massive spiders on my own or that I survived finding a frog in my toilet, TWICE, when I was trying to use it (the screams were really loud!) but I need this to be about me because I need to force myself to focus on serious self-reflection about ME and no one else.

My independence could sometimes be described as stubbornness, but I find it endearing. I make a decision and I do it. It may not always be the best decision but it’s MINE and no one else’s.

When I was 19 I decided to move out of my parents home, that I loved and didn’t have to pay a dime for. Why would I do this while I was still in college?? Because I felt the need to take care of myself and live independently, under my own rules. I never have regretted it one bit. It may have put me back a few years in my savings account but I loved being able to be an adult; set my own rules; define my life.

And guess what…my independence has lead to some amazing accomplishments in itself…

* I worked for an amazing company for 17 years and was at the top of my game before I chose to become a stay at home mom.
* I became the youngest Marketing Director and Assistant Vice President they had.
* I supported my family on my income alone for years.
* I experienced life with my family because I made a decision to just do it…to just love what was in front of me, regardless of what consequences may have befallen me later. I lived in the now.
* I didn’t NEED anyone. I got to enjoy everyone. I was able to take care of myself and my responsibilities on my own because of my perseverance and hard work so I was able to appreciate others lives because I didn’t NEED anything from them but to learn from them and what their lives demonstrated.
* Heartbreak…but I know something positive will come out of it because I am determined to show the world and my kids how to end up on top even when faced with a grim reality at the surface.
* Respect. Nothing is more self-esteem boosting than to hear your own sister say that she recognizes your independence (acknowledging what I find to be my biggest strength).

My independence has also become a weakness though. When I’ve really needed the help recently, it’s been harder than hard to accept the help. But I did it and guess what?? It didn’t change the independent feeling I’ve always kept inside because I know that the help will be paid back 10 fold in some way to those that have helped me. I feel more secure in myself now more than ever before because I know that those that have helped are standing with me and standing behind me because they know that I’ve got this!

I’m so lucky. I’m so loved. I have so much to be thankful for. But most of all, I’m proud of myself for being able to stand on my own two feet emotionally, financially and spiritually.

I challenge each of you to ask yourself the same question, and really put it to words either out loud or on paper. Commit to being proud of your accomplishments because YOU reached these goals…no one else. And if you are brave enough, leave your accomplishment(s) in the comments so that we can get excited for you!

hockey sticks and pink bows: adventure #3

When I first announced this week’s adventure, all I got were groans, except from me – I was excited! I’ve had a massive shelving unit (covered in a green tarp) sitting in my driveway for the last month or so. The goal has been to paint it and move it into the house to help organize (aka downsize and organize) the kids toys.

My challenge in getting it done was the weather. If you’ve ever visited Florida you know that it’s bound to rain at some point during the day so trying to schedule a day to paint it when it wasn’t supposed to rain and then move it (with help) into the house took longer than expected. I’m sure my neighbors are just as excited as I am to not have this massive green thing sitting in our driveway.

The cutest little redhead played her part too and helped by taking a really long nap that day so that the boys and I could get it done and moved into the house before she woke up. 🙂

I was really proud of myself because I typically plan everything out in my head about how the event will occur and if it veers off course I get upset. After my beach adventure, I learned that there isn’t anything I can do sometimes except roll with the punches.

So I rolled with the punches. My boys are a little ‘protected’…I admit it…probably the only time I’ll admit it. I have this guilt that I carry about leaving their dad that I don’t think I will ever shake. I work hard to find a balance between always wanting my house to be fun, a place of rest and comfort and growing men that have to do chores and be responsible for their decisions. It’s probably not that different from the typical mom guilt, I think I’m just hypersensitive about it.

To say that laborious work is something that they aren’t used to, is an understatement. I have chores and chore charts and chore punch cards and chore rewards but it’s hard to create habits when they aren’t here every day. So this ‘adventure’ didn’t sound like a ton of fun to my two boys…until they saw what their hard work produced.

When we started the project, we attempted to use a paint sprayer that didn’t end up working, so we pulled out the paint brushes and went to town. What ended up being the most fun part of this ‘adventure’ was spending one on one time with the boys. Their friends from the neighborhood came over and my boys took turns painting with me and playing street hockey with their friends so I was able to spend 15-20 minutes with each of them at a time. It’s amazing what that can do to a relationship. Sometimes we talked about hockey, sometimes about their friends, sometimes about how long it was taking to paint the shelving, sometimes about how they were feeling about my relationship with their step-dad, and sometimes we didn’t talk. I loved every second of it.

The boys worked hard, got tired and even got some paint on them. I got some quality time and a painted shelving unit. I’d say it was a win/win for all of us.

My dad helped me move it into the house and my #2 little man went to town organizing toys and cleaning out their room. He’s my mini-me when it comes to my need to organize things. My #1 man liked to be able to stand back and admire his hard work. As much as I am a perfectionist, I love the imperfections that I see in each shelf that they painted. And I think that this ‘upcycled’ shelving unit will be one of my most prized possessions.

How I did I do this?

#1: Get them excited! Excitement is contagious – if you are excited, they will get excited.

#2: Materials: I printed each of the flyers above and then slid them into sheet protectors and hung them on the front door. The day that I announced this was a day that they boys were coming home from their dads so they were quick to see it on the door.

#3: During our time together, I took pictures and then printed them onto a third page, in a collage form. Our next adventure will repeat this process – print out a description of the adventure, print out a collage of pictures from the adventure. Then add it to a notebook/folder so that when the year is over we can go through and relive some wonderful memories.

#lovemykids #lovemyboys #lovemyredhead #lovemyfamily

12 things i will teach my boys

A wise woman once told me, “I’m raising a man, not a hockey player.” My goal as a mom is to pass along wisdom from my life lessons that will help them in their beautiful lives.

When you are pregnant, your dreams run wild with wishes for your child’s future. At almost 10 years into being a parent, I have 100 times the amount of dreams for my kids then I did when I was pregnant. I created a list of 12 life lessons that I hope to raise my boys to know.

12 Things I will teach my boys

11 things i will teach my daughter

I spent some time at my parents house last week and while I was collecting my thoughts and enjoying some peace and quiet I created this list for the cutest little redhead in the world. My world gets so chaotic sometimes that I forget these things easily so my hope is that she will cling to these when times get challenging (and that I’ll remind myself of these also).

11 Things I will teach my daughter.png