Dec 31, 2011

2011 round up


Here is this year's version of the quiz I have done in the past.......

2007



What books and/or magazines did I read this year?
I read every book in the house during the power outage.  I read The Help, which seemed to be all the rage.  It was good.  Not sure I still get all of the extreme hype, but I enjoyed it.  I also found a book that relates to some things I have been through.  It was like a lightbulb going off.

What movies and/or tv shows did I watch this year?
Tons of reality garbage.  Obsessed with Real Police Women of..., Hoarders, Intervention, Real Housewives.  Lots of disaster television out there.  I find it all super fascinating.  I always think about how people got to be the way they are.  Most of it stems from the same place.

What special days did I celebrate and how?
Gosh - none really stick out in my mind.  I don't think this was a very celebratory kind of year.

What gifts did I give and/or receive?
I think sometimes the only gift I have to give is myself.  I have received some thoughtful gifts - kind words of thanks and appreciation are my favorite.

What illnesses or health concerns did I have?
I have been to the hospital more times this year than ever in my life I think.  Pain unlike any pain I have ever experienced in my life.  At the end of my rope I pushed to find answers.  I think I sorta have some now, but we shall see.  I hate being at the doctors' as much as it would take to be well.  It could become my part time job if I let it.  My normal is not normal, and I deserve to feel better than I do I think.

What fun things did I do with my friends and/or family?
Camping.  Beach.  NYC.  Friday night wine dinners.  Sitting outside and talking.  New Farmington.

What new foods, recipes or restaurants did I try this year?
I honestly cannot think of a single new food or restaurant.  Is that strange?

What special or unusual purchases did I make?
A new cat.  A MacBook Pro!  <3  

What were this year's disappointments?
I feel insignificant.  A lot.  I feel lonely.  A lot.  I get let down.  A lot.  My expectations are unrealistic.  For who I am.

What were my accomplishments this year?
I hate this question.  I am not good at recognizing my accomplishments or receiving praise.  I became a foster parent.  I am making a difference for two children who need it.  It came at a cost, but it is the right thing to do.

Anything else noteworthy to record?
I am scared to death.  Of everything.


Dec 15, 2011

lights out

We have been living in some sort of insane twisted weather system over the last year.  Starting in January we got record high snow levels.  Snow banks were as tall as houses for weeks on end.  From there we have experienced a tornado, earthquake, hurricane, and then ended with a freak fall snowstorm that took down every tree and power line in the state.

Outside of being on the lookout for locusts and the plague, we have suffered three extended power outages, the last of which was eleven days.  Eleven.  ELEVEN.  I am generally a person with a strong ability to make do, but that was truly a test of my patience and faith.  I am not ashamed to say that many a tear was shed.  It was actually a brilliant example of how my relationship with DH works.  I start to break down and he keeps me strong, then he slips away while I build him up.  And somehow, together, we make it all work and triumph in the end.

During that time we did our cooking on our camp stove or ate out if we could (many local restaurants were closed).  It was just part of what made the time so tiresome.  We saved as much food as we could from the refrigerator and freezer, but there was certainly a high degree of loss there.  What we did keep we pretty much just stuck out in the snow to keep cold.

We stayed in mittens and coats most of the time, and huddled together in the living room where our only source of heat, the fireplace, was located.  That was the big difference in this power outage from the ones that came before it - the cold.  I was wishing back the outage where my sleep was interrupted by not having on the fan.  Sleeping huddled on the floor in my winter coat was much much worse.

Since everyone in the area was sadly in the same situation, there was a strong sense of community that could be felt.  Shelters opened up immediately to provide people with a warm place to sleep, to get a warm shower, to get water if needed.  The radio station that we pulled in on our battery powered radio had opened up the phone lines so people could ask questions or share information like where to find a generator, where restaurants were open, which gas stations still had gas and the shortest lines.  Neighbors were out working together to clear the streets and make the neighborhood safe.

I read every book in my house while the kids broke out the board games.  It wasn't that hard to give up the televisions, computers, and phones.  Our local cell tower was out for the first few days, and after that service was still spotty.  It wasn't necessarily the worst thing to be unplugged for a little while.  It was somewhat of a relief to experience a bit of radio silence.

In the end, although I would never ever opt to go through such a thing again, we survived.  And maybe, somehow, we are even a little better and a little stronger for it.

Dec 12, 2011

christmas magic

The first month of being a foster parent is much like the first month with a newborn baby.  It is a hazy, sleepless, exhausting blur that you are not really meant to remember clearly so that you will actually consider doing this crazy thing again someday.  I swear I didn't think I was going to make it, and the redeeming moments of the process were few and far between.

Lately though, and with some time and trust and familiarity and growth and stability, the challenges have started to lessen and the rewards have begun to grow.

I tend towards being a Christmas obsessed freak, and these two new little ones have never seen a Christmas the likes of which I put on.  Their excitement of it is so enlightening.  There is a constant state of wonderment around it all.  Each decoration I put out is greeted with happy squeals and each event we think of is cheerfully attended.

I understand that children come in to foster care under unfortunate circumstances, but it is just unacceptable to not know who Rudolph is.  Or the words to any Christmas carols.  There is just entirely too many songs to learn and television to watch before the 25th!  :)

Every time a new Amazon box lands on the doorstep, Miss B gets so giddy.  "Is that for me?!  What is it? I'm gonna shake it!" followed by lots of happy giggles.  One of my love languages is most definitely gifts, and I derive so much delight from finding the right gift for a person as an expression of my love for them.  To have an equally excited recipient just makes the whole process that much more enjoyable for me.

The shrieks of joy when they caught the first glimpse of the Christmas train was absolutely incredible.  A couple minutes into our ride Mr B cries out "I'm so EXCITED!!!!"  It made an otherwise ordinary event so special.  Being able to talk to Santa, seeing lights as we drive down the street, choosing and cutting down a Christmas tree - it all is met with wonder and joy.

I am honored to be able to share these experiences with them.  Their happiness each day is all the reward I need for what we are doing.  There is nothing like getting to see Christmas magic through the eyes of these children.  What a blessing this has been.


Nov 20, 2011

health challenge: good choices

I am still plugging along with getting healthy.  I hit a few bumps with a ten day power outage - I didn't have the full means to refrigerate or cook healthy foods, and then like the fat kid that I am, I dealt with my frustrations by eating.

Regardless, I am back on the horse as they say.  Not easy, considering that right after the first big meal I cooked once the power came back on, the stove broke.  Seriously??  But that is just how it goes for me.

So, I am just plowing on.

I like feeling better.  I like looking better.  I don't like to lose.  And I refuse to give up on myself.

So, I would like to focus my attention right now on making good choices.  Choosing a glass of milk instead of a bowl of ice cream.  Choosing to stop eating when I am no longer hungry.  Choosing to keep myself away from my big temptations.  I will probably never be much of a salad eater, but that doesn't mean that I can't choose a nice healthy meal for dinner, and forsake the bread, dessert, and soda.

We are coming up on the biggest eating holiday of the year, and I need to be able to make it through without gaining a bazillion pounds.  That doesn't mean I am not going to partake in my favorite food group - gravy - it just means that I am not going to fall so far off my plan that I never go back.

I am laser focused right now, and I want to succeed.


Nov 19, 2011

beauty

What is beauty?

There truly is beauty in everyday moments.

A deep heartfelt belly laugh is beautiful.

A raindrop falling from a flower petal is beautiful.

A child's smile.  Beautiful.

There is beauty in strength.  And perseverance.

Love is beautiful.

Beauty can be found in the moments before the rain begins to fall.

Technology and the power and knowledge it provides is beautiful to me.

Sunshine on a summer afternoon is beautiful.

Beauty can be seen in the promise of a new day.

Overcoming obstacles provides bountiful beauty.

So much beauty comes from Christmas and all of its sparkle.

Friendship is beauty.

Motherhood is so messy and touching and beautiful.

Peaceful quiet moments are beautiful.

Beauty is all around us.  Every day.  All the time.

I see it.  Do you?

Nov 18, 2011

broken

I am pretty sure I don't have much of a following here anymore, so for the few of you who are left, allow me to share my innermost thoughts, k?  It's actually sort of comical that I am even putting this here, since what is on my mind today is trust.  And I know it's not exciting or funny or uplifting or very interesting to read, and not much like the brighter face I try to put on most of the time, but at some point I have to let it out.  And I'm sorry that this blog has been such an outlet for my darker thoughts, but I know that I need to say the words out loud once in a while in order to try to become whole.

I am pretty much the most distrustful person I know.  I don't trust anyone.  There is always at least a small piece of me that I keep locked up so that nobody can hurt it.  Even more so, I keep even bigger and more pieces locked up from the majority of people I know.  

I know I just talked about this here a month ago, but I am still trying to work out what this is and why it has become such a prominent issue in my life.  I need to put the words out into the universe so I can see them and try to understand.  

I feel like my trust issues have spilled out all over the place and are making a big sloppy mess of things.  I am way too negative and way too sensitive and torn between needing constant company and needing to push everyone away.  Loneliness overwhelms me most of the time.

I don't trust myself.  That is the worst part.  I always feel too exposed and unprotected, and I hate how this leads to getting hurt.  I am so overly sensitive to it that even the smallest betrayals hurt me way too deeply.  I just want to curl up in my little box and never be hurt again.

I question my own value and struggle with needing others to show it to me.  And that isn't anybody's job but my own.  But that part of me is broken.  So I wait for someone to want to be with me or talk to me or let me know that I matter.  And when they don't, which is inevitable, I allow myself to feel confirmed that I am not worthy.  I can't build relationships this way.  And because of that or a million other reasons that I am not a valuable friend or person, I am mostly alone.

How do you learn to trust?  I never learned.  I pretty much know what pieces of my history got me to this point, but that still doesn't give me the keys to overcoming it.  I hate how broken I am.

The worst part is that I worry that I won't be able to teach it to my children.  It is so vitally important to me to build this trust within them, but I'm not sure if I really know how.

I can't be happy this way, and I am always going to be alone.  It is desperately sad.  Somehow I need to learn how to change this.  And even though I know how crazy all of these thoughts must sound, starting to tell people what I am actually feeling is one way for me to start to learn.  And maybe someday, somehow, someone will understand me and love me anyway.

Oct 15, 2011

love me 6: first love

love me #6: first love

I wish I could say that DH was my first love.  As young as we knew each other, I wish we grew up together, next door neighbors, friends since diapers,  moms are friends, sharing our first kiss, and we grew up together meant to be with each other since always.  These are the dreams of kids who moved and moved and moved their whole lives and don't have a home town and long for these kinds of lifelong relationships.

Alas, we got together as soon as we could.

Before that, there was another - my first love.  Looking back on it now, it was the most unhealthy relationship I could have chosen at the time, but if you were to tell my 17 year old self such a thing, I'm sure I would have cried and screamed and told you how truly in love I was.  Awww.... puppy love.  So young, so stupid.

So what was it about then?  It was fun, and exciting, and so many good times.  We laughed.  He made me feel safe.  He gave me a family that I was desperately looking for at the time.  Security.  And I needed that.  He thought of the little things, and I appreciate this so much.  I was happy.  I really was.

I always had something to do.  I always had somewhere to go.  I had someone who wondered where I was and how I was doing.  I had someone in my corner, someone rooting for me.  These are important things to someone that age - to feel important, and safe, and cared for, and loved.

It didn't end well, and went on and on and on so much longer than it ever should have, but isn't that what happens when you are young and not in control of your emotions?

I don't regret it.  I wish I had been smarter and valued my worth more.  I still feel that way about myself.  So I guess it was not exclusive to that relationship, but something I wish I could do for myself all the time.  Even so, if I was able to find more strength, I might not have had my trust violated in such a crushing way.  Story of my life really.

First loves..........  what can I say?  It was what it was, and I am glad it got me one step closer to the happiness I am blessed with today.


Oct 14, 2011

friday fill-ins 2011.10.13


And...here we go! 

1. It's easy to take shortcuts, but you pay in the long run.

2. Hold me close, my darling.

3. Once upon a time, there was the world's most insecure girl who likes to drink wine and hang out with her friends and write blogs and go on the internet and MATTER.  Most of all she wants to matter

4. And she lived as happily ever after as anyone ever truly does ... the end. 

5. What is the deal with all the whining?

6. I really wish things would calm a bit sooner than later.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to being with my husband!, tomorrow my plans include my favorite Drag King and Sunday, I want to see my team have some pride and a great game!




Enjoy your weekend, people!!  <3

Oct 6, 2011

cheer coach, say what?

Somewhere along the line the craziest thing happened - I am the head coach of my daughter's cheer team.  Anyone who "knew me when" would understand how laughable this is.  Suffice it to say, I was always more of a kick/throw/hit a ball type of sports kid growing up.  Cheerleading was just about the furthest thing from my mind.

Fueled by distaste with how things were being run, combined with my daughter not having the good sense to be embarrassed by me led me to becoming an assistant coach last year.  Another crazy turn of events mixed up with the world's whiniest group of kids who have the world's pushiest parents winded me up as the head coach this year.  According to the people who voted me into the position, I am the only person with the fortitude to handle it.  To be honest, sometimes all that fortitude can be quite exhausting.

We are coming up on our league competition and it's time to get serious.  With my health issues I wasn't at our last game or practice so I was ready to see some progress from my cheer team tonight.  Turns out they weren't so ready to show me that progress.

See the thing is, 12 and 13 year olds don't particularly have a two hour attention span.  In fact, it seems they don't even have much of a two minute attention span.  This lack of focus combined with a seemingly uncontrollable need to talk has resulted in them having a particularly high amount of "conditioning" at tonight's practice.  And we also had a healthy dose of learning about respect.

I broke down the routine, piece by piece, beat by beat, word by word, and move by move.  They worked their butts off.  I hope that some part of them can appreciate it for what it was - they DO have the ability to work hard and see the rewards of that work.   They CAN do it.  They ARE amazing.  And I truly believe that when it's time for us to hit the mats that we will be winners.

Who ever woulda thunk it that I would actually enjoy coaching cheerleading?!

Sue Sylvester would have been proud of me today.

Oct 5, 2011

a meme for your viewing pleasure


And because it's been a while....... a meme.

Here are my answers to some random questions that I found at zimmerhouse (she's funny.  so if you like funny too, go read her stuff):

1. Name someone with the same birthday as you.   I never paid attention to any celebrities who share my birthday, but a friend from high school, TJ Flinn, shares my birthday, and he always sends me kind words on that day every year.  He is a great guy who in the past couple years found a great girl, got married, and is happier than I've ever known him.  It warms my soul to see him like this.

2. What has been your favorite age so far? Oh geez.  Maybe my teens.  My high school years were fun.  But my early twenties were a blast too.  I just did lots of dumb stuff through those times.  If I could go back and have the wisdom I do now, I would do either of those over again, believe it or not.

3. Where did you meet your husband? We rode the same bus in high school.  Cool, huh?  And the first time we actually hung out and talked was when he was on leave from boot camp, and a mutual friend brought him out one night.  We got along really well, and I remember talking about getting together as soon as he got back.  We did, and have been together ever since!

4. How many children do you have?  We have two children - our beautiful girls who make our lives, truly.  Then we had one surrogate daughter who we are fortunate to see on occasion (though never often enough).  And now we have two foster children turning our world upside down.  A brother and sister, they are our first placement.  It has been a challenge to say the least, but I don't see us quitting any time soon and will welcome the next placements with open arms.  I am blessed to have a family like this!

5. Have you ever sung in front of a large number of people?  I sing karaoke as much as a few beers and a willing hostess will let me.  I have sung at family funerals and at my wedding.  I'm no Whitney Houston, but that doesn't seem to stop me.  :)

6. What’s the first thing you notice about your preferred sex? Hmmm.... probably eyes, or even more so what they are wearing and how they carry themselves.  I am attracted to good conversation, sense of humor, and personality, but you don't usually get that at first notice.

7. What really turns you off? Cockiness.  Excuses.  Bad teeth.

8. What do you order at Starbucks? Venti No-Whip Toffee Nut Latte.  Occasionally a mocha frap if the weather is warm and I am looking for a pick me up.

9. What is your biggest mistake? Not going away to college.  Not being smarter about money.  I always regret the life I could have had but don't.

10. As a child, what did you want to grow up to be? An actress.  Then as I got older I pictured myself as a journalist.  I was always interested in the arts in some capacity.

11. Say something totally random about yourself.  I hate my hair.  I never think it looks good.  I hate having to style it.  I hate having to wash it.  I hate having to dry it.  I hate trying to make it look good enough to leave the house.  I am thinking about investing a couple of wigs to plop on my head on the way out the door so I can stress slightly less about it every day.

12. Do you still watch kiddie movies or TV shows? Not if I can help it.  I find them highly annoying!!  I can't even believe some of the crap they are passing off as entertainment these days.  (Although I am sure my mother thought the same thing when I plunked myself in front of hours of crap myself.)

13. Did you have braces? Never did.  And oddly enough, I have been complimented on my teeth twice this month.  Weird?

14. Favorite Social Network? Good ol' fashioned Facebook.  Not digging all the changes, but it's where everyone is at.  I like Twitter, I like blogging, I like message boards, but Facebook is where I can look to see how most everyone in my life is doing.  That is exactly why they are so successful and can make whatever changes they want.

15. What is the most romantic thing someone of the preferred sex has done for you?  My husband takes care of me like no other.  He listens to me and stimulates my mind.  He is not a romantic guy by nature, which does sadden me when I let it, but man he is there for me day after day after day and has seen my worst and does not care.  Pretty romantic.
His most romantic move was probably replacing my lost wedding ring.
Our most romantic date was our moonlit picnic by the clock tower, where he wrote me a bunch of things to read and talk about.  He put a lot of thought into it, which was the most romantic part.  

16. When do you know it’s love?  When you can see each other through what we've been through and it only makes you stronger.  Our challenges have formed a bond between us that nobody would ever understand or be able to break.

17. Do you speak any other languages?  Not really.  My most fluent second language was American Sign Language, and my skills are super rusty.  I have thought a lot lately about taking a course and brushing up on it.

18. Have you ever been to a tanning salon?  Ummmm....... only to hang out with a friend.  What would I do with a tan?!  I am perfectly content with the one God gave me.  :)

19. What magazines do you read?  I like women's magazines, magazines like Oprah, cooking magazines, tech magazines, and gossip rags.  I don't currently subscribe to a single one.  But I would pick up almost any and find something to look at or read.  I am an information junky.

20. What is playing on your iPod right now? 
 Cheer music?  We are smack in the middle of cheer competition prep.  Other than that, Adele 21 has gotten quite a bit of airplay around here.

21. Have you ever ridden in a limo? Often.  Most recently in NYC with the dance team.  It cost just a couple dollars more than cabs to get our group uptown, so we just went for it.  What an experience!  The girls had a blast!  They really thought they were something!  

22. Has anyone you were really close to passed away?  There has been so much death in my life - way too much for someone of my age.  My grandfather was probably the most devastating, and he has been on my mind quite a bit lately.  Not sure why.

23. Do you watch MTV? I used to, back when they played videos.  I don't even know what is on there anymore.  Now I am keeping Bravo and HGTV in business all by myself.

24. What’s something that really annoys you?  Lying.  Pot stirrers.  Loneliness.  Mess.  Fatigue.  Being misunderstood. 

25. Which television show were you sad to say goodbye to? Alias.  That was our date night show!  Then Heroes replaced it.  Also gone.  We don't have a date night show anymore.

26. Can you dance? Not really.  I like to get up and shake it when I'm in the mood, but I'm no dance genius!

27. What’s your favorite place in the world? Anywhere Rich goes.  Other than that, Skatet Beach at sunset.  The most beautiful, peaceful place I know.  

28. Have you ever been rushed by an ambulance into the emergency room? Yes, and I don't recommend it.  Those boards they strap you to?  Not a good time, believe you me!

29. If you could meet anyone (dead or alive) who would it be? Hmmm..... Oprah seems like such a cliche answer.  How about Martin Luther King, Jr?  Maybe he could teach me a thing or two about persistence and faith.  And I could tell him about how his dream is just beginning to be realized, even though there is sooooo much farther to go.

30. If you could change one thing in the world for your child, what would it be? Guaranteed happiness and prosperity.  How do I do that??



Oct 4, 2011

health challenge: portion size

So as a challenge to myself, I am trying to get healthy.  This was spurred on by several things - being at my highest ever weight, looking gross in my clothes, overall feeling yucky, seeing pictures of myself and being horrified!!

To get started, I went back to the same food plan that has always worked for me.  It is easy to do, I don't feel deprived, there are plenty of food choices, and I'm not starving or thinking about food all the time.  Works for me.  So far I have dropped 15 pounds over the past month.

Detoxing off of sugar is the first thing I go through.  It only takes a couple of days before I don't have a taste for it any more.  I swear, sugar addiction is a real and powerful thing.  Look at anyone addicted to soda.  Try to deprive them of it for one day and see what happens.  Artificial sweeteners are almost worse - how about the Diet Coke people?  You could pry their sweet nectar from their cold dead hands......

After that, for me it is learning to control my portion size.  This is where my weight is truly controlled.  Somehow in my life I trained myself to eat and eat and eat to the point of near explosion!  Feeling sad?  Feed it.  Happy?  Stuff it!  Angry?  Eat eat eat and eat some more!  I've always wished I was more of an angry cleaner or exerciser instead of an angry eater.  But alas.... it is not to be.

Today I made chili.  Totally on my plan.  I hadn't really eaten anything else today (mistake) so I didn't really think about it too much when I heaped my bowl with the yummy cold weather comfort food.

And then it was way too late when I realized I had overeaten.

WHY DO I DO THIS TO MYSELF?!?!?!?!?!

The rule I have followed in the past is to stop eating when no longer hungry.  This is a completely different feeling than eating until full or stuffed.  I think this is going to be the key for me this time around.  I mindlessly eat until my plate is empty, so I have to be conscious of what it is I am putting on my plate.  I have to think about the food, and realize when the hunger has been satiated.  And then I have to STOP EATING.

I don't feel good right now.  My belly wants to pop.  I am a little bit nauseated.  I am uncomfortable.  All things I do not aspire to be.  And definitely NOT what I need to be feeling to be successful.

So starting this week, my health challenge to myself is to control my portions.  I'll check back and let you know how it goes!

diagnosis.... pain = DUH!

Can someone explain to me just what it is that doctors do????

I have been having these recurring episodes where I have intense stomach pain and bloating to the point this past time that I was pretty much begging my husband to crash the car into a brick wall on our way to the hospital.  I am not a crier, and I spent a good twelve hours straight in tears before they were able to bring down my pain to a tolerable level.  (This also included bottoming out my blood pressure to its lowest point in my entire life, but I digress...)  It made labor seem like the good ol' days when I was feeling great!

But do I ever receive a diagnosis?  Do I ever learn how to stop whatever this is that keeps happening from ever happening again?  Ummmm...... no.  I believe my discharge paperwork again reads with a diagnosis of "abdominal pain."  Well, thank you very much for the insight!  I am so glad my $100 went to such good use!!

I am heading to my internist this week to harass them into giving me every single test that exists until they can tell me what's wrong with me.  This is going to be uncomfortable for me, because I know that they just want to calm my symptoms enough to send me on my way... not actually take the time to figure out what this is...... But after this last time, I just can't face the idea of ever going through that again.

I can't wait to see how this battle goes.  If I get my wish, I am probably going to regret it as I am being poked and prodded, but.......  If they can actual provide we with a diagnosis I will be glad I persisted!!!  After all, isn't that what all those years of medical school and all those thousands of dollars of insurance premiums are supposed to be for?!

Sep 30, 2011

prompt 5: iLove

prompt 5:  iLove
~~~~~~~~~~~~

To Those I Hold Dear,

How do I love thee?  Let me count the ways........

I am a lover.  Anyone who truly knows the depths of my soul knows this to be true.  Underneath my sharp exterior lives a tender soul.  I yearn to love deeply and with all of me and to feel that love returned.  I want to say the words and hear the words.  I want to give you a piece of me that shows you how much you are valued.  I want to create something that can be a reminder.

I would walk to the ends of the earth to protect this love.  I would defend it with everything I have.

I give it with my actions.  I make sacrifices.  Deep sacrifices that are often not even detectable if I can help it because I don't want there to be guilt in its receiving.

I don't know what to do when someone actually recognizes it.  It is a rare and precious gift to have it known for what it is.  And mostly it has been a reflection of someone who can see to those depths before I realize they have journeyed there.

Truly my life has been my gift of love to as many as my heart could hold.  Hopefully it has been felt.  We all want to love and be loved.  It is the greatest gift I have to give.

Love,
Me

Sep 29, 2011

trust?

Where does my insecurity come from?

Lack of trust.

Why don't I trust?

Because all of my trusts have been violated.

I actually feel like it is a pretty whiny point of view, and it would probably be something that drove me nuts in someone else, but it is exactly how I feel.  To some extent, I don't think I ever actually learned to trust, as if that part of my development is just missing or damaged.  I can't remember a time in my life where I was ever able to give my trust freely.

When I have, the trust has been broken.  Over and over and over and over again.  I have had family, friends, partners, all of whom  have burned me.  Burned me in ways that the sum of which has become insurmountable.

The result has been that I never truly give away my heart.  I never reveal my inner feelings.  I am always waiting for someone to stomp all over me and leave me broken.

It also makes me lonely.

Maybe that is why I have a large outer circle, and and teeny tiny inner circle.  I don't know.  It isn't necessarily the whole reason, but it certainly contributes.

My connection making skills are broken.

I have this gigantic part of me that needs a hero to come along and be my protector and safeguard my heart.  And until I can give the trust to someone to do this for me,  I do it myself.

A vicious circle.

Sep 28, 2011

insecurity

We all know that blogging has lost stamina, and even more so has gone the way of Twitter, Facebook, etc etc.... But by request here I am.

It's hard for me to be consistent, not because the stories aren't there, not because I have nothing to say, but mostly because I don't always want to put it all out there where it can hurt or where I would be held accountable to the feelings.

I am hypersensitive and overly-protective when it comes to my feelings and thoughts.  I am more critical of myself than anyone could ever be, but at the same time I have a hard time believing that the whole world isn't looking at me through the same critical microscope that I view myself.

Regardless, my days are spent just trying to get by.  Keep everybody happy.  Try to let go of the fact that I can't remotely possibly keep up with my house.  Get everyone where they need to be.  Keep all the crying to a minimum.  Chase the paperwork, the voicemails, the emails, the red tape.  Make our dollar stretch until you can see through it.  Placate placate placate.

I  try to stay awake to enjoy the few quiet minutes I have to myself.  I wonder if I am missed as much as I miss.  I try to understand my place and why it is never where I think it could or should be.  Wonder why I am forgotten or left out.  I create my own family network out of those who can take it and those who get it and those who make it valuable and worthwhile.

I am tragically insecure.

Jul 28, 2011

i just want to matter

I don't know why I can't seem to settle for an everyday life.  I always need to add a little chaos in to make myself comfortable.  My latest venture has been to become a foster parent.  In the course of getting licensed, you are asked repeatedly why you want to become a foster parent, and my typical answer involves the hole left in my heart after our last surrogacy attempt came to a close and wanting to help children.  This past weekend when a close friend asked, my simple answer was "I just need to be needed." It's something I never really realized about myself until hearing the words come out of my own mouth.  I have also recently found myself saying, "I just want to matter."  And it's the truth.  I would do just about anything to help a family member or friend.  I don't find myself with the opportunity very often, but when I do, I try to jump at the chance as much as I can.  It is a side of myself that I am not that comfortable with, and it is not really what I think people think of when they think of me, but the truth is that I am really just a little girl who wants to matter.

Three weeks in, and this first foster journey is pretty much kicking my ass, but every day I see more and more how I am mattering to these kids.  Little by little my family is able to repair the scars from the life they've led before coming into our home.  And at the end of the long and exhausting days, I know that deep down to someone, I have mattered.

May 5, 2011

on my mind

Here is what is on my nerves right now.......
Self-righteous people
Uncertainty
Poverty
Mice
Bad skin
Mess
Fatigue
Clutter.  And not being able to conquer clutter.
Grocery shopping
Gas prices

Here is what makes me smile right now.........
The love of my family
Sitting on my deck listening to the birds
Music
Wind
Coupons
Winning
Helping
Pictures
Wine
Community
Hope.

Mar 22, 2011

love me 4: dreams - words of wisdom

dreams - words of wisdom

To the Lights of My Life~

It is hard to put in words the dreams I hold for you in my heart.  There is so much and it is so big.

I wish for you happiness.  Pure unadulterated joy.

I wish to protect you from the evils the world holds.  But also that you may have the power and strength to always be protected.

I wish that you experience true love.  True partnership.  That you are cherished.

I wish that you know your path and know success.

I dream that you will have more love and laughs and friends and happiness than your hearts and hands can hold.

Love,
Mama

Mar 14, 2011

love me 3: dreams unrealized

Dreams Unrealized........... *sigh*

I don't love this prompt.  I spend enough time worrying about this as it is.

I guess the biggest one is being successful in school and work.  I am really just starting to wrap my mind around exactly why this particular dream was never realized.  It seems pretty simple.  Go to school.  Get a job.  Learn.  Grow.  Become successful. 

Part of me is such a go getter, and that part just cannot comprehend the part of me that is not and didn't achieve the goal.  I will never truly be comfortable with it.

I'm just not who I was supposed to be.  But eventually, that will just have to be okay.

Love,
Me

Jan 22, 2011

love me 2: dreams flashback

Dear Future,

Childhood dreams are such powerful things.  In a way, they are what shape your life, what guides your future.  When you are a child you can really open up your mind and explore without limits.  A child's imagination knows no limits.

When I was a child, I imagined a whole life for myself.  I was going to be a famous actress.  I was going to get married and have a baby girl named Samantha Harrington.  (I guess I was going to have to marry someone with the last name of Harrington.)  I was going to be rich and famous and happy.

Or sometimes I imagined that I would be a famous archeologist.  I was going to travel to a remote location and spend my day uncovering artifacts in a big dig.  I would find a new undiscovered type of dinosaur.

Sometimes I dreamed that I would be a famous writer.  I would spend my days sitting on the beachside writing in my journals.  Always writing by hand to preserve authenticity.  That dream progressed into wanting to be a journalist.  I wanted to write articles for a large newspaper.  I actually started college as a journalism major.  This was right as the OJ scandal hit, and after watching weeks of coverage, I decided I never wanted to spend my life camped outside an alleged murderers house.

At one point I really wanted to be a successful businesswoman.  I wanted to break through all of the glass ceilings and be the person in charge of a company.  I imagined that I would live in Boston, and work on the top floor of a tall building with a huge office with giant windows overlooking the city.

Sometimes I really miss that ability to dream without bounds, to imagine without limits. 

Love,
Me

365:22 - bball all star

My little basketball all-star!!

I was never much of a dancer or cheerleader growing up. But that seems to be where I have been living my life the last ten years.

When I finally had my little one agree to do basketball I almost did backflips across the living room! A sport with a ball! I could not be more excited! And best of all, she really loves it!

She had a game today, and scored the first points of the game. So proud!!
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Jan 21, 2011

365:21 - dreamy dean

We went out for drinks with the gang. This is my favorite date, Dean. He is so much like my husband that sometimes I forget and treat him like we are married. But again, he is so much like my husband that he doesn't mind.

He is probably the nicest guy I have ever met. Love him!
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Jan 20, 2011

365:20 - shady glen

Dinner out with my bestie Steven. If you are from around here, you know exactly where we are from this pic. If not, it is a fabulous little eatery that has an old fashioned feel, with soda made with sweet syrup and delicious milkshakes. (I had mocha.)

They also make their cheeseburgers with the cheese hanging off the bun and fried. And you can get a side of fried cheese as seen here. If you can ignore the calorie count - heavenly!!
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Jan 19, 2011

365:19 - lunch and an old friend

As suggested by a reader here (Thanks Martha!!) I decided to organize a lunch with the local ladies.  I was pleasantly surprised with the positive reaction to the idea!  We ended up with ten of us at lunch.  It was great to get out of the house and have some good conversation - with adults!  :) 

An old friend of mine that I haven't seen in a long time was able to make it.  It was so great to see her again!  We will definitely be doing this again soon.

Jan 18, 2011

365:18 - henry likes to climb

Last summer we somehow got roped into becoming hermit crab owners by the kids. I have to admit though, they are pretty interesting. We have them mostly figured out, and they are fairly low maintenance.

We find this little guy, Henry, hanging around on the temperature and humidity gauges. He can usually be found following Gus, the tanks largest crab, around wherever he goes. This week though, Gus has tunneled under the sand, so Henry must have gotten bored and climbed up there. We are not really sure how he got up there.
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love and laughter with zappos

I was window shopping on zappos (yes, I online window shop, but this isn't about that....) and I was looking at this shoe:


Do you think they are cute?  I am looking for a comfortable and sensible pair of mom shoes to go with my new mom car and mom lifestyle.  (Ugh - I can feel I am over the hill on this transition and there seems to be no looking back now.)

Well, if you shop online much (window or otherwise) you will notice they often provide you some suggested items on the side of the screen based on your viewing history.  So, what about that pair of shoes up there do you think made zappos think I might be interested in this beauty???


Yowzas, Zappos!!!  


You know, I was beginning to think we were at the start of a beautiful friendship.  You were doing so well what with the free shipping and easy returns and all.  I thought you knew me!  And then you drop this bomb?!

I'm going to give you another chance, Zappos.  But mostly because I appreciate your sense of humor.  Besides the unnatural association made above, there is always what drew me to you in the first place........


Jan 17, 2011

365:17 - ladies luncheon

Way back in the day, my mother started having a ladies luncheon on MLK day. It was one of the few holidays she used to get off from work. All the women in my family would come. It was a great time.

My parents have since moved, and ladies luncheon sort of fell off. But this year I got a call from my aunt to come up to her house for ladies luncheon. I was so excited! We made a taco dip and chicken and rice dish to share. It was so much fun and I'm glad we went.
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project love me: idream

I came across an interesting project to write more about myself and allowing those around me to learn more about who I am.  It is actually intended to be a scrapbook challenge, but for me, my writing has become my scrapbook for now, so I will be doing it here.  I can't promise 100% success, but I am going to give it my best.

It is called Project Love Me and the details can be found here:  Love, Me

The first prompt is iDream, and is a letter about my current hopes and dreams.........
==================================================================
Dear Friends,

Hopes and dreams are so important to who a person really is.  Over the last several years I think it is part of myself that I have really lost.  Part of that is because of all the dreams that have never been fulfilled, and part of it is the realization of all the dreams that will never come to be.  I think I have developed a bit of a beaten spirit, and it is not something that I am particularly proud of.

One of my dreams is financial stability.  There are some things that have gotten in the way of that, things I cannot change now, but I always thought things would and should be easier by now.  I look forward so much to the day when this is a reality.

Simply enough, I wish I had a housekeeper!  Truth is, I am just not good at it.  I don't like to do it.  And I hate when it isn't done.  If someone could just sweep in once a week and do the dirty work (kitchen, bathroom, dusting, floors) DANG!  Life would just be so much easier!

I dream of good times with friends filled with laughter and smiles and sharing and hugs and talking and caring about each other.  I dream of having friends and best friends.

Another dream is to see my children succeed.  Their success in all aspects of their lives just brings me such pride and joy.  Sometimes it is because of me and sometimes in spite of me.... but they are better people than I could ever be.  I am so happy to see them shine!

I dream that I will find the day when I am finally healthy and happy and have energy and happiness and joy.  I have spent so long in pain and feeling tired that I have almost forgotten what is like not to be this way.  There must be some glimpse of it in my mind though, because it is what reminds me that this is not a normal way to live.  I dream of the day when this is not my normal anymore.

I dream of growing old with my husband, traveling the world with him and enjoying each other's company, watching our grandchildren grow up, and retiring to our home on the Cape to live out our days watching the tide grow in and out.  That is my ultimate dream..........

Love,
Me

Jan 16, 2011

365:16 - bejeweled

This was the best day. Met my girlfriends for lunch at PF Changs, and then wandered around the mall.

I am a little obsessed with cocktail rings and got caught up trying one on every finger. So then of course I had to put on some necklaces to match. Do I look cute?

We ended the day at Starbucks. When they asked my name to write on my cup I said Alexa. I think it suits me.
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Jan 15, 2011

365:15 - sister slumber party

After an afternoon of shopping, the girls decided to have a slumber party together. Since seperating their rooms, they still like to share once in a while. Here they are watching movies.
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Jan 14, 2011

365:14 - yawn

***YAAAWWWWWNNNNNN***

I am thoroughly exhausted. I spent all day unrolling all of the toilet paper rolls in the house. They are so much fun to spin off the roll!

Now time for a nap.
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zodiac killer

There is a new article out proposing that there was originally thirteen zodiac signs instead of twelve, and also adjusts the dates of the existing signs a bit.  It's got everyone (well a good percentage of my facebook friend list at least) in an uproar. 

The old chart looked like this:
 Aries: March 21 - April 19
Taurus: April 20 - May 20
Gemini: May 21 - June 20
Cancer: June 21 - July 22
Leo: July 23 - August 22
Virgo: August 23 - September 22
Libra: September 23 - October 22
Scorpio: October 23 - November 21
Sagittarius: November 22 - December 21
Capricorn: December 22 - January 19
Aquarius: January 20 - February 18
Pisces: February 19 - March 20

The new chart looks like this:
Capricorn: Jan. 20-Feb. 16
Aquarius: Feb. 16-March 11
Pisces: March 11-April 18
Aries: April 18-May 13
Taurus: May 13-June 21
Gemini: June 21-July 20
Cancer: July 20-Aug. 10
Leo: Aug. 10-Sept. 16
Virgo: Sept. 16-Oct. 30
Libra: Oct. 30-Nov. 23
Scorpio: Nov. 23-Dec. 17
Sagittarius: Dec. 17-Jan. 20

So what does this all mean?  Do you need to have your old zodiac sign tattoo lasered off so that you can replace it with the new one?  Should you run screaming through the streets in a panic?  Of course it does!

For fun, let's look at what this did to my personality.  I've gone along peacefully for the past 30+ years as a typical Gemini.  I found this description:
"Gemini people are many sided, quick both in the mind and physically. They are brimming with energy and vitality, they are clever with words. They are intelligent and very adaptable to every situation and every person. Gemini are curious and always want to know what's going on in the world around them. They are not one to sit back and watch the world go by, they want to be involved. This can sometimes make Gemini nosy, they do not mind their own business! This is because they really enjoy communicating, more so then most other astrology signs, they are the ultimate social butterfly. Gemini can talk and talk, but they have interesting things to say, their talk is not mindless babble. They have interesting opinions and thoughts on things and are not afraid to speak their mind. They are always in the know and are the one to see for the latest juicy gossip. Lacking perseverance, Gemini easily goes off topic to explore another thought or idea. Gemini are superficial, they will form opinions on matter without diving into them and exploring them fully. This can lead them into thinking they know everything, which they usually do but their mind is too busy to be concerned with fine details. Routine and boredom are Gemini's biggest fears. Gemini would rather be naive then know the depressing truth, they do not want anything putting a damper on their freedom or positive energy."

I was going to underline the parts that applied to me, but then I realized that would just mean underlining the whole thing, since I'm pretty sure whoever wrote that did so after spending a year observing my day to day activity.

But now, I have a new Taurus-y outlook on life:
"Taurus is the one who has immense perseverance, even when others have given up, the Taurus rages on. Solid and persistent, just like the bull, which is Taurus' well suited symbol. Taurus's have a well known reputation for being stubborn, which is not necessarily a bad thing. The stubborn streak can cause Taurus to butt heads and conflict with other strong character types. Taurus are not fond of change. They like the familiar and routine comfort of life. Taurus is easy going and not one to pick a fight but should some poor souls attempt to provoke Taurus, the wrath will be known, for they have a temper underneath the calm surface. Taurus are very responsive to their surroundings. They like decorations, color, anything that appeals to all the senses. Taurus like possessions and the Taurus home is nicely decorated with lots of things. Taurus are down to earth, they do not like gaudy, flashy or over the top things. They prefer comfortable and creative settings and objects. Taurus likes security, in every aspect of their lives from home, to love, to career. Taurus can be secretive, opinionated and stingy. Taurus tend to be self-indulgent and lazy, Taurus are master procrastinators of the astrology zodiac! They do however have a strong, persistent drive that comes to life when they chose, and no one would ever know that they are lazy. The secret to this is that their laziness is pushed aside when it comes to themselves."

What do you think?  Does that sound more like me than the Gemini personality?


Of course, there is always the other theory that horoscopes are just detailed enough to be interesting, while general enough to apply to any reader.

I suppose I will just have to save my panic for another day.

Jan 13, 2011

365:13 - snow day squared

2nd snow day in a row. Pretty much unheard of around here. Generally, we tough it up and get back to our routines by day two of a storm. Instead, we are on day two of lounging around the house in our pajamas. You can see just how broken up about it they are. :)
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Jan 12, 2011

365:12 - snow as high as an elephant's eye

It snowed as high as the mailbox. Over two feet of snow has fallen so far. Highest snowfall in a 24 hour period for this area.

Have I mentioned that I hate winter?

Is it spring yet? How bout now? Now?
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Jan 11, 2011

365:11 - mb

Snuggling up with Miss Beth. She has been their dance teacher for the past ten years. It has been a long and incredible journey!

I found the dance school by watching them perform at a fair in the park. While the older kids were impressive, seeing how Miss Beth interacted with the little ones, was what drew me to her studio. She cares for these children like they are her own.
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plum

Ok.  After talking and more talking and phone calls and nasty emails and even more talking....... things are looking like they might be straightened out. 

But I am just plum wore out!!

I'm telling you though... these kids better understand and appreciate what I have done for them, because I will never go through this again.

mama bear

Did I mention I am embroiled in this huge battle with the dance school right now?  It is really draining the life out of me!  But I have learned a lot about who I am as a mother through the experience.  In the past I have been pretty laid back about accepting our lots in life, but lately it seems I am willing to fight to the death to protect my kids and to preserve what is rightfully theirs.  It is more fight than I really thought I had in me, but it will hopefully be worth it in the end.

Jan 10, 2011

365:10 - type to learn

Learning how to type by using the software Type to Learn. They use it in Computers class, and she is trying to catch up by working at home. When she is done, she may even be able to type using an actual keyboard, and not just on a cell phone. ;)
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winter funk

I am in such a huge funk!  I hate it!  Winter blues or some such.  Not feeling well isn't helping, I'm sure.  The rheumatologist is working hard on trying to make me feel better.  The cold is really making me achy and overall blah.  I'm going to try to go out of my way to get out, feel the sunshine on my face, and get my groove back.  If you are so inclined, please join me.  The more company, the better.

Jan 9, 2011

365:9 - non-slumber party

It is just adorable how, at 2am, these girls are going through the motions of pretending like they might actually put their heads down and go to sleep. The reality is, there were at least two more hours of charades to go before there was any attempt at slumber at this party.
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Jan 8, 2011

365:8 - neon

These girls are everything you see in this picture - bright, sassy, fun, colorful, and full of life!  They are a dance team, and watching them grow from little girls together has been a special experience to be a part of.  Love them!

Jan 7, 2011

365:7 - no snow day

The kids were released from school early today because of the impending snow storm. See how stormy it is at 5pm? :P

The snow that is on the ground is from the day after Christmas blizzard. The storm that is in the air........ doesn't exist.

The girls spent the afternoon relaxing. I guess it doesn't hurt to have a veg out day once in a while. And at least our school district didn't blow a snow day like many others around. An early release day still counts as a school day.
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Jan 6, 2011

365:6 - cell phone cheerleaders

I am usually the picture mom. I am known for having the camera up in front of my face at every event.

Over the last year though I have completely been slacking. Case in point - this photo.

Knowing that I wanted my picture today to be of the cheerleaders performing at the basketball game, I brought my big camera to the game. Turns out it takes better pictures when you have a photo card in it. UGH!!!!!

So here is the crappy photo I captured on my cell phone. DOH!!!!!
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Jan 5, 2011

new year's non-resolution goals

I don't really believe in New Year's Resolutions.  It is just a game people play in January, forgotten by February.  I would however, like to make a few goals.  Goals are good.  They keep a person motivated.

1.  Continue with my weight loss.  I lost about 35 pounds in 2010.  Hard fought pounds they were.  Coming off IVF did not make this any easier.  Hormone fluctuations trip out my whole system.  I took control of things in about September, and have been losing a couple pounds a week.  My plan is to just keep chugging along this way.  Nothing radical, just steady forward progress.

2.  Pay off some debt.  I wish finances were a little easier for us, but they just aren't.  I just want to get a better handle on things this year.  Maybe not make each time I go to pay bills so scary.  I have made some cuts this week to our expenses, and have a plan for the next six months.  With some support, I think this can be doable.

3.  Enjoy family time.  We had some fantastic bonding last year, and I want to keep this going.  We had some great vacations, enjoyed some extracurricular activities together, spend time crafting together.  I just want to keep the good vibes going.

4.  Go back to church.  We found an excellent church.  I have just been lazy about going.  I need to get back into the habit.  My heart is telling me this every week.

5.  Nuture my friendships.  Often I feel people base their opinion of me on the mistakes I've made or who I used to be and not on who I am now.  If they spent some time with me now, maybe they would see.  Maybe they wouldn't, and those friendships weren't meant to be.  But I can tell you this, I need more people willing to reach out to me, and I am willing to reach out in return.  I need a friend I can meet for coffee.  Someone who thinks of me when they have nothing to do or are looking for someone to shop with or to see a movie with or to make plans with on a weekend.  Someone to talk to.

6.  Continue to work on improving my health.  I have seen every doctor and they have run every test.  There is still more to do.  My immune system needs help!  They are getting closer, and every visit makes me feel like there may be some answers soon.  I am just going to keep doing what I need to, and follow all of their instructions.  Fingers crossed.


So those are my goals.  What are yours for 2011?

365:5 - baby it's cold inside

What can I tell you. Heating oil is expensive, and we are broke. Our heat this year looks like this. Blankets, socks, sweatshirts, more blankets, and snuggling. That's your heat. Enjoy!

When Dad was here for Christmas, he offered me $100 to turn up the heat. I had to think about it..... :)
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Jan 4, 2011

365:4 - tuesday carpool

This is a pretty typical moment with these two. They found some props, and had to model them. They definitely take after their mothers.
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Jan 3, 2011

365:3 - the hand that feeds you

Since she is the one always asking for a snack, she is the one tasked with feeding the cats. They know it is her job, and beg her to feed them whenever she walks by their food dish. It is a nice relationship actually.
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Jan 2, 2011

365:2 - treats

Present exchange today with the in-laws. It was nice to see everyone, even if only for a little while.

For BIL and his wife I decorated some jars for their kitchen. First one is dog treats. Second is cat treats. Third is people treats. The people treats were already being dug into seconds after the gift was opening. I hope they enjoy!

And as a side note, it was hard to fill the jars without some unsolicited assistance from my furkids. I had to share some of the treats with them in order to finish uninterrupted! :)
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