My 365 day journey from single to forever... not a catalog of dates and internet idiots...
looking inside myself to make the changes I need to make to become a better person.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Day 122 - The Root of All Evil

So, if you know me IRL, your first thought when you saw that title was "She's writing about BD?" Nope, I'm talking about money.

(And for those of you who aren't sure BD=baby-daddy. It is the nicest thing I can think to call him.) He does keep harassing me and threatening me with DCFS, but none of it is new to me when it comes to him... so I'll just keep going and shrug it off.

Anyway, on to money...

NG and I are are both a little in debt. Not so much that it is a catastrophe, and not so much that we are unable to ever get out of it, but enough that our current income has to be carefully monitored to make sure things don't get turned off on a regular basis.

Every month that I have been here so far I have set up a budget. The hard part about having a budget is letting the person who doesn't know what the budget says have a debit card. I have, very nicely said several times that I need him to get cash and only use the cash that is in his pocket unless it is an specific expense. But he brings in half of the household income... so I can't very well put my foot down and tell him to stop spending money without my permission, right?

This is especially true because I know that there are times where I go out and spend $20 without blinking. And, while one part of me says that I am getting upset at him for doing the same thing I am doing, the other part reminds me that before I spend a penny I have a plan of how the other bills will get paid and how much I can spend and how much the thing(s) I'm buying are really needed. (And when they are things that are not really needed, yes I do feel guilty.)

I get upset when he buys stuff, not because he is buying without my permission, but because he is used to buying whatever he wants whenever he wants and doesn't seem to see the importance of saving even a few dollars here or there. I've asked him to do several things that should help our situation, but they don't get done. So do I just keep bugging him even though I know he is very busy right now or do I just not say anything and pay the extra hundreds of dollars it is costing us...?

Am I being real here? Or am I setting a double standard or just being plain unreasonable? I don't know.

Here is the other problem. I love this guy. I don't want to make him angry or upset. I don't want to guilt him into eating PB&J every day for lunch. He goes out of his way to take care of me... and I want to do the same for him. Right now though, I am trying hard to keep our heads above water and I don't know how to communicate that lovingly.

I will just keep praying and paying tithes. It makes a difference. It will help. We will get through this. I do not plan to have issues stemming from fighting over money.

Anyone else have some input?

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Day 121 - Fall

Ok, so I didn't get off to a good start with the blogging and the writing. I could make excuses. I could tell you how I had no internet for 24 hours that basically encompassed my writing time on two different days. I could tell you about mountains of laundry and hungry children and an absent-mindedness that has followed me since childhood. I won't. No point, right? I just need to get to work!

First today I'm writing to you, then in my book, and lastly for my editor who is probably a little upset that he hasn't had any new articles from me recently. If I have time, I have some writing jobs to apply for as well... before making homemade rolls for the church potluck tonight and getting the flowers planted outside.

Fall has always been my favorite season. The temperatures are close to perfect. There is less rain than in the spring. In the evenings I can wrap up in a blanket or put on a sweatshirt. My new home has given me yet another reason to love fall; the scenery.

Now, to be honest, I have always loved the scenery of fall. However, something about having it in right here in my own back yard makes it much more exciting this year. Here are a few pictures of the scenery on the drive up the hill to the area of town where my house is...

That water is the Illinois River.

Beautiful trees.

While there is much to do outside in our backyard, I am already enjoying the view out my office window and look forward to seeing deer and other animals walk through in the winter months and landscaping and flowers coming together in the spring to inspire me to write more.

Where do you write? Is it somewhere inspiring or is it
somewhere quiet and simple with no distraction?

Thought for the day...

"Good writing is supposed to evoke sensation in the reader—not the fact that it is raining, but the feeling of being rained upon."
E.L. Doctorow

Friday, October 7, 2011

Day 116 - Miles to Go Before I Sleep

I know you haven't heard from me in a while. Believe it or not, life with 6 children, a man and his mother can be quite hectic!

I created this blog to be a record of all of the changes that happen over the year, and SO MUCH has happened. Really though, I know that I have much farther to go. So, here I am again.

My goal again is to write here every day, whether it is a book's worth or a few sentences. In addition to that, I am working on my book again. I have decided that if I set a small goal to write daily, I will still be miles ahead of where I am right now when I get to the end of the month.

My goal then, for the book only, is to write 500 words per day. I still need to work on articles and find other writing work to do. I have some irons in the fire that I will be excited to share with you at some point.

I hope you are all having a blessed day!

Today, while browsing a friend's blog and seeing some ads on a commercial website for glasses and contacts, I found myself mentally correcting their spelling and grammar. Do you do that when you read? I know someone who needs this shirt:

Monday, August 22, 2011

Day 71- Birthday Weekend

My birthday weekend is over, and it has completely solidified within me that I am where I am supposed to be for so many reasons.

First, we took in a stray. No, not an animal... a person. Lol. A friend of NG's from high school is down on his luck and we took him in for a few days to help him get on his feet. It reminded me of the time that there was the huge earthquake in Haiti and I wanted to adopt a couple of children from there. I knew it would never happen, but I mentioned it to OG (old guy) because there was an ache in my heart over not being able to help others in need. He thought it was a stupid idea. Really, I shouldn't have been surprised. He had never been a 'sharer'. He would give things away and he could be generous, but he didn't like to share things that were 'his' ... his house, his car, his life, ... you know, anything that anybody might 'mess up'.

Anyway, my point is that this is filling a similar space for me. I feel like we are giving back, changing someone's life, just by opening our home. In return, we are also teaching our children lessons about how we treat others and help our friends.

Secondly, we went out alone during the day and had a little bit of fun. Eating, talking, shopping, just enjoying each other. It didn't have to be a big party or anything... just the fact that he took time for me on my birthday was important and meaningful to me.

After that, we had A LOT more fun. A few people joined us and we started playing Pictionary. After the girls totally whipped the boys' butts, we switched to skip-bo and then went down to watch a movie. We ended up not sleeping until 5am. I haven't stayed up that late in forever! Lots of fun.

There has been a lot of teamwork this weekend as well. Closets are being filled, the house is taking shape, kids are learning a routine. I wake up here in the mornings and never wish that I was anywhere else.

P.S. I would like to thank our local school district for ending my birthday celebration with a final big "hurray" by sending all of my children back to school today for 6 hours. You guys rock!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Day 70- Real Life Begins

Tomorrow is the first day of school this year for the six children in this house who I love and can't wait to send away 8 hours every day. Seriously though...

I have glorious plans for the hours that they will be gone. These plans include cleaning a bit, showering, getting dressed for the day, and writing, writing, writing. I also plan on pre-preparing foods like noodles and freezing them. I'd like to get some more moving, unpacking, and rearranging done soon as well.

On one hand, while I know enough to know that I probably won't get to all of those things every day, I do have an incredible hope within me that things will be much better here than they were where I was last year... mainly because I am not doing it alone.

Today I cut NG's hair for him. I don't think I did half bad... We'll see what he says next time I offer to cut it...

Our house is coming together bit by bit and tomorrow I will probably spend a lot of time putting everyone's clothes away in their closets. For the first time tonight, every one of the children is sleeping in a bed! Yay!

I really want to make sure I keep writing here. I think this journey we are all on is going to teach us more than we can imagine and change us in ways we can't dream of. I am so excited to be starting a new chapter of my life with all of these children and the man that I love.

P.S. I had a great birthday yesterday and I can't wait to tell you all about it!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Day 60 - Be careful what you ask for...

I know, I know, I have been gone a long time in blog days. For the last week or so I have tried to sit down and write, but just don't seem to have the time I used to have.

When I started this blog, I called it 365 Days to Forever because I was intent on making sure that my life, in one year's time, would be very different than it was when I started the blog. I even joked to friends that maybe I should book a church for next year just in case this whole things works out... of course, I hadn't even met NG yet at that point.

"Change; we don’t like it, we fear it, but we can't stop it from coming. We either
adapt to change or we get left behind. And it hurts to grow, anybody who tells
you it doesn’t is lying. But here's the truth...the more things change,
the more they stay the same. And sometimes, oh, sometimes
change is good. Oh, sometimes, change is...everything." -Grey's Anatomy

So, I am 60 days in and have 305 days to go... My life is so different now that I wouldn't have believed it two months ago.

I am now living an hour away from where I used to be. (Believe me, I resisted strongly for awhile... but it really is just 'right' for us.) I now have six children instead of four. I've doubled my number of dogs and fish tanks as well.

The main difference though? I wake up happy to be where I am. I wake up feeling safe and secure. I wake up with a smile on my face... and it usually lasts a full few minutes before I hear children running and screaming at each other upstairs... and amazingly, I'm still happy to be here.

ealing with the screaming and antagonizing? Well, that's a post for another day... hopefully soon.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Day 43- Cinderella

Cinderella has always been my favorite fairy tale. From the first time I saw it, it was the one I was willing to watch over and over.

I mean, think about it. The quiet girl, who always does what she is told, has siblings who are unjustly favored, and has dreams of being swept off of her feet... finally meets the man of her dreams, who rescues her, loves her for herself and not her social status, and best of all, he is Prince Charming...

Now, add in something about Cinderella having 4 children, being an aspiring writer, a bad housekeeper, and letting him add her to his phone plan and his car insurance to save them both money... and all of the sudden we are talking about me...

On one hand it is easy to think that being Cinderella would be wonderful. I mean, how could you not love to be cherished and adored!?! But what happens, in real life, when Cinderella doesn't need rescued anymore? Can the prince handle it when she wants to do something on her own, when she wants to do something to prove to herself that she can do it without help?

Or, worse yet, what if Cinderella always needs rescuing? What if Cinderella turns out to be the kind of girl that needs someone else to motivate and inspire her... or even just help her finish her projects that she starts. What if Cinderella turns out to be something she didn't seem to be in the first place... Bitchy, grouchy, lazy, angry, hormonal, unmotivated, unappreciative, or just unhappy?

I suppose everyone has been all of these at one time or another. I know I have. Cinderella probably had been too... but how would Prince Charming know after just a few days? Anyone can be too good to be true for awhile.

Honestly? I am scared for them/us. Which one of them is going to let the other down first? Which one will be the bigger disappointment? I hope it isn't either, but in reality, somebody still has their rose-colored glasses on and can't keep their eyes off of me.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Day 41- Road Trip

Don't despair, I do still exist.

The kids and I are leaving tomorrow for a trip to Minnesota. Sounds like a super cool vacation, huh? Wrong. My youngest is four years post transplant and this is her yearly checkup. 18 appointments in 5 days.


But, we have to go... and I know we will see friends there and we will have some good food (Thank you Ronald McDonald House!) and have a little fun too.

I will try to write more and remember to keep you all updated!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Day 36- Love vs Logic

A Beautiful Mind is in my top five movies of all time. I love it for a million different reasons. I especially love this quote...

"What truly is logic? Who decides reason? My quest has taken me to the physical, the metaphysical, the delusional, and back. I have made the most important discovery of my career - the most important discovery of my life. It is only in the mysterious equations of love that any logic or reason can be found." -Nash

NG very openly tells me that he loves me. It is something I'm not used to. I told him that OG ("Old Guy" formerly known as HIM -Thanks Kyla-) took an entire year to tell me he loved me. NG just said "Well I'm a lot smarter than him." It made me smile.

NG wants us to move in. We've been here for four nights in a row now and have two more before we head home for a night. And while there typically would be no hurry to do so, school starts in a few weeks and the question is decided by where I enroll the children. They love it here. I think they want to live here. I know I could be happy here. We have discussed how the whole thing of combining incomes can work for both of us. I have seen how the whole thing of combining households is working for us. Everything seems to be going really great.

In fact, part of me wonders what I am so worried about. When I started this blog, I was doing so to write myself through the next year of changes in my life. Now, changes are coming as fast as can be and I'm the one that is slightly freaking out.... isn't this what I wanted? Honestly, some of my friends and family are freaking out too. They are telling me it is too soon. They are telling me to slow down.

So, do I listen to their logic and reason (for many of them it hasn't worked out in their own lives?) Maybe I should listen to my own logic and reason... but you can see where that got me before. Or maybe, this time, I should throw caution to the wind and see what happens.

I think we have a great chance of surviving. I haven't looked at my list recently, but NG has nearly every quality on it...If it was just me, I would have done it already. I would be living here and pitching in and making this home. But I'm very worried about what would happen to the kids if this didn't work out.

When the last few times a relationship didn't work out for me, I tumbled into a pit of despair. Looking back, I can see how things worked out... but I can never see that when I'm actually in the pit. I hate that pit and I don't ever want to be there again. It wasn't good for the kids. They acted out. They were angry. OG was downright cruel to them when he left me, and it was hard for them to figure out how someone who says he loves them can act like that.

Then again, NG and I compliment each other. I can see us doing great things together. We have lots of similar ideas. Now, money is not the most important thing, of course... but with his technical knowledge and my creativity, I see us building a comfortable life for ourselves. You know, the second person in a couple is called the "other half" for a reason... because we make each other better people... a whole person...

Imagine what might have happened without this better half...

Thank you for continuing to listen to the drama that is my life! I will catch up on some blog posts later. His kids are great, but having SIX of them home at the same time is never easy. I do love them though! They are awesome kids. I think my kids will learn a lot from them and they were learn a few things from my kids.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Day 34- What Doesn't Kill Us...

What doesn't kill us... makes us stronger, right?

In this case though, I'm talking about family.... Mine.

So today was a big for NG and I. We all woke up and went back to my home town (an hour away) for church. He met several members of my church family and I was happy to know he wasn't completely turned off by the atmosphere there. A charismatic church is not for everyone, but he seemed to be okay with it. Praise and worship went extra long today, which means there was no sermon. It was disappointing because I love my pastor. I really wanted to hear him preach today. NG said he did too, but maybe next time.

After church we had a cook-out at my mom's house. So NG met the actual family as well. In fact, my sister's birthday was last week so we combined the "let's meet NG" party with the "Happy 30th Birthday" party. So, not only did he get to meet my mom and my sister, but I invited my dad and his wife as well.

My sister and I don't speak due to too much drama in her life. While she doesn't bring all of it on herself, the 95% she does bring on herself makes it a bit harder for me to be sympathetic to the other 5%.


NG and I bought most of the food for the cookout. It was no problem. I had planned on buying it in the first place. What I hadn't counted on was the sweltering weather. Nobody wanted to stand over the hot grill when it was already over 100 degrees outside including the heat index. So, I got started on it, but NG said he didn't want me to be stuck doing it and jumped in in my place.

So, besides meeting my family, he also cooked all the food for today, fixed my mom's computer, and washed all of the dishes.

He was wonderful. I think my family really liked him. They told him several times how well-behaved his kids are...

In the mean time, my sister made sure that I knew she still doesn't like me, while my mom made one passive-aggressive comment after the next only pausing to pinch my belly fat when I walked by once.

It was a good day though... know why? NG was there with me. He makes me smile. He reminds me that there is nothing going on that is worth stressing out about.

I love him.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Day 31- Putting Your Behind in Your Past

As Pumba would say... "Ya gotta put your behind in your past..." Hakkuna Mattata, right?

Every day as I live life, my brain works overtime. Something always sparks a memory of something else, a thought of someone else, an experience I've had... But lately I am wondering if these memories are more than just a brain that is making connections.

I think back to the movie A Beautiful Mind and remember where Russell Crowe's friends and family discover he has gone off of his medication. They go into his shed and see hundreds of newspaper clippings. All of them have things circled and lines drawn between them. All of them are, according to Crowe's character, somehow connected and part of a conspiracy.

For him, a symptom of his illness was the making connections. I don't think it is a symptom of anything for me. I think it is more of a quirk that is holding me back some days. Here is an example:

Several years ago my van was a piece of junk. It was not safe to be a driver or passenger. I had no power steering, no heat, very bad brakes, and a whole slew of electrical problems (including locking itself without warning.) My boyfriend at the time (HIM) decided that he would help us out.

He bought my current van, put it in my name, refused to talk about payments, and made two comments that, I thought, told me where he stood on the whole thing. First he said, "It would be silly for me to make you pay for it if we are planning on getting married." (Because, in theory, we both believed in pooling out assets - I later found out that in reality he was not so much.) Also, he said that he was putting it only in my name because he didn't want to have any question about who's van it was. He said, "If we ever break up then I know it will have been for something really bad... and I'll consider it worth the cost of the van to be rid of you."

He took all the accolades from friends and family who told him he was a saint. He took my "Thank you for caring about the kids and I's safety this much" adoration. He never said a word. Then, just over a year later, I was rear-ended and received an insurance check. There was a long conversation about what to do with the money (most of it went for medical bills for my youngest), but he held out his hand and said that I should hand it over to him as partial payment for the van. I laughed. I thought he was kidding.

He wasn't.

It took me a year to pay him off, but I finally did it. Most of the people that know me told me I was crazy for doing it, and that the money I sent to him should have gone towards stuff my kids need. They may be right, but I did not want to be forever known as the girl who let him buy her a car and took off... no matter how far it was from the truth, the story would have been spun that way.

I do want to point out that I never asked him for financial help with anything. I didn't want to be 'rescued.' I wanted to do it on my own. But I had no choice when it came to the van. My children's safety was involved, and I sincerely thought I was going to marry him soon.

So, when money issues come up with NG and I, and he offers to help, I immediately freak out just the tiniest bit, thinking about all the trouble it has caused me in the past.

But then NG and I were talking (He needs a better nickname than NG for New Guy... any ideas?) about financial issues and he said something about me contributing to the household. I told him that if we were together then we were in everything together and everything went in one big financial bucket and we would go from there with budgeting and such.

And an amazing thing happened... He was all for it. He totally agreed with me. He didn't say, "Of course you think that way... you get the better end of the deal." or "Yeah right, like I'm going to let you touch my money." He said that once we got to that point, he'd add me to his bank account and get me a debit card.

I still don't want NG to bail me out of the messes I've made... but feeling like an equal... not like someone who should be grateful to be getting to sit in his presence... is wonderful. It makes me think about the connections my mind makes with issues from the past and say, "This is NG. Not some other guy you've dated in the past. You've never met another man like this, and you never will."

I'll leave you with a photo of the beautiful roses he bought me yesterday. I know you can't count them all in the photo, so I will tell you there are 50... 50 'just because I love you and I know you like flowers' roses.

Dear God, I truly believe you sent NG and I towards each other because you have some special plans for our lives. I so look forward to sitting on a porch swing someday, watching our grandkids play and saying, "So this was the plan... thanks for looking out for us... This is better than anything we could have imagined on our own."

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

I Won!

I'm a little bit behind in saying thank you, but I wanted to take a minute to say thank you to Frugal Down Under.

I left a comment on her giveaway blog and won a copy of the book "Your Mortgage And How To Pay It Off in Five Years"

This is me, telling her THANK YOU! and telling you to take a few minutes to stop by her blog and learn something new!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Day 29- Tattle-tale Tuesday

Yep, it's that time again already where I tell on myself and how I have been doing this week with my goals. Let's see, where do I start?

I lost 3.5 pounds this week. Yay!

I am in a great relationship as of this week. Double Yay!

Because of that, I feel like talking about HIM isn't important. It has taken this new relationship to show me how much better love can be. While I will always care about the person who will not be a part of my life any longer, I can't imagine ever wanting what I had then over what I have now.

My credit score has stayed the same for the last month.

The title loan that I never should have gotten is due this Friday as well as the balance of my Rent-to-Own purchase. I will never do either one of those things ever again. It is going to be hard work to dig myself out there. I think I have just barely enough, but I have been trying to find another loan to use to pay off my title loan... anything under 300% interest would be an improvement. I'll let you know how those work out.

I missed some days blogging... but it was because I was out living life... so I can't fault myself for that.

I got the house more packed up and cleaned up than it was before, but I still have so much to do. The kids are home though, and that is making it more difficult. I don't know why they think it is okay to just look at me and say "no" when I tell them to do something... but it is very frustrating.

This comic has little to do with today's topic... but it makes me laugh.

I hope you are all having a great week! I will catch up on my blog reading and commenting later today...

Monday, July 11, 2011

Day 28- They were right...

How many times have I been sad and lonely and wishing that I could just find "The One?" How many times have I wished that I could be back with someone who I thought was "The One" just because I didn't want to be alone... just because being alone was scary.

Not long ago... just a little more than 28 days ago actually... I decided I was done with men. I was tired of being wanted for only one thing. I was tired of my high expectations being met with less-than-acceptable-traits in men. I was tired of so many things.

So then, a few posts ago I mentioned that I broke my own rule and met a guy for a Coke. He was nice, and I enjoyed our conversation... but I didn't feel like he was that interested. Five days later he invited me at the very last minute to come out on the boat with his family for the evening. This is not something I would normally do, but I had no kids at home and it suddenly sounded very fun to jump in my van and take off for the river.

Here I am, five days after that, feeling like I have met the man I am supposed to marry. I have never been treated this well. I have never felt this much love and compassion. I have never connected with someone on so many levels. Even when I met 'HIM', and I thought we connected so well, I see a totally different connection here.

I am a little bit terrified, since we are both about three months out of serious relationships. It just smacks of 'rebound' ... but I feel like I would know if that is what is happening... and I don't get that at all. We also both have kids who could get hurt in this... who have been hurt by our previous relationships. Next weekend NG will officially meet the kids. He will also meet my mom and go to church with us.
I will probably write a whole post soon on what I believe love is... but I can tell you now that I love NG and his kids. This was an amazing weekend and I can't wait to spend many more with them...

"Love is a verb, It ain't a thing
It's not something you own, It's not something you scream
When you show me love, I don't need your words
Yeah, love ain't a thing, Love is a verb
Love ain't a thing, Love is a verb"
-John Mayer "Love is a Verb"

Friday, July 8, 2011

Day 25- Time Flies!

I can't believe I missed posting two days in a row! The last couple of days have been very busy and I was away from my computer a lot.

That guy that I broke my rule for and went out and had a coke with last weekend? Well, he invited me to come out to the river with his family ... I had a really great time. They all love me and the new guy (NG) is, from what I can tell, smitten. It really is adorable. And I mean, of course he would be, right? Because I am pretty awesome (some days).

But now I am conflicted... because i never meant to get back into dating at all right now. I totally feel the need to do some things on my own and stand on my own two feet and be confident in my own abilities. However, I kind of like this guy and don't want to push him away...

The other night NG kissed me and told me I am beautiful. It was awesome...

But the thought ran through my head shortly after that the ex that I refer to as HIM on here, never told me I was beautiful... and then I wondered if the very fact that HE was in my head at that moment means that I'm not ready for whatever else was going on...

NG and I also talked a little bit about the long term implications of us... our kids and his new house, etc... It was a little scary.

The last time I had conversations like that I had been with HIM for a couple of years already... and it ended in a mess. So talking about that stuff after a couple of days? I don't know... maybe I'm biting off more than I can chew... or maybe I should push myself away from the table altogether.

No... I don't know if I like that idea either.

Each relationship nurtures a strength or weakness within you.
- Mike Murdock

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Day 22- Tattletale Tuesday

Oh no! It is that time again!

(No not THAT time... I won't ever announce that on my blog. I promise.)

It's Tuesday, where I tell you how I am coming on my goals.

HIM- I basically left him alone. There was one email asking if I had left my swimsuit over there at his house. He said no and I left him alone after that. Oh, and the day he added me back on one of the messenger programs. I waited a day and said "Did you add me back on for a reason?" He denied adding me back on and told me he would block me right then and he did.

My diet- I really just need to eat better... and I'm not doing a good job.

My exercise- I did ride my bike a little bit... but not nearly enough.

My weight- up 3 lbs.

Money- If I can just get more work done, I will do okay. Right now I am treading water... not what I intended to do.

I did manage to do a great job getting some housework done this week with the kids gone. It is such good motivation to get a job done and be satisfied with it. It makes me want to do more.

"You have to set goals that are almost out of reach. If you set a goal that is attainable without much work or thought, you are stuck with something below your true talent and potential." - Steve Garvey

Monday, July 4, 2011

Day 21- Getting There

So I'm writing again even though I didn't intend to. Why? Because it was this or stupidly call/email HIM in the hopes he would talk to me for a few minutes... and I know better.

I am reboxing and condensing the Christmas decorations and stuff and I found some extra wide wired ribbon in both white and silver. They were technically Christmas ribbons, but I thought they would make beautiful additions to wedding bouquets or some other decorations. I bought them on clearance for our wedding... because I just knew an engagement was coming.

I can't believe I actually thought he would marry me...

Except. of course, I am the 'sir' in this comic...

Okay, I got it all out... now back to work!

Day 21- Happy Fourth

I wonder if this blog is doing me the good that I intended it to do. I want to be accountable to somebody, even if it the outside world of perfect strangers, for the things that I want to do to better my life. Sometimes, I feel like a bit of a whiner though.

Today there is a marathon of a TV show that I really like... It is called "Royal Pains."

The great thing about the 'drama' of the show is that it isn't too fast paced to do housework and watch at the same time. I haven't checked to see what else is on today because I don't want to be any more distracted than usual.

I'm getting a lot done. I just have to be careful not to veer off course.

Today I want to:
Finish going through downstairs toys
Organize and repack Christmas closet
(Yes I have an entire closet of stuff to decorate for my favorite holiday.)
Pack up most of the books in the playroom
Get all the laundry washed and dried
Go for a long bike ride
Find a few more things to sell
Finish & Submit two articles

That is a lot for one day... but I can do it!

Enjoy your fourth!

Praying everyone has a happy and safe holiday...

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Day 20- I didn't call

I didn't call. I didn't go for a walk and accidentally end up near HIS house.
I didn't drink any alcohol. I didn't email him either.

Instead I'm posting here.

I have 2 more full days with no children and I plan on doing a lot of cleaning today. If I'm ever going to sell this house, I have got to get it into shape and days with no kids are good days to do that because I can throw away stuff they will never miss...

Also, it is the birthday of one of my best friends. I'm sort of broke, so I don't know what to do... but I want to do something...

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Day 19- Innocent

A friend of mine who is interested in me was in town today and had some time and asked me to meet him for a Coke. I did. I know... I broke my own rule right?

Anyway... one of the things he has said to me before and again today is that I am "so innocent" and how he doesn't know what to think of that. When I protest, he tells me that there is nothing wrong with being innocent... but I tried to tell him I'm not anyway.

He laughed that I protested so hard and I guess I should just give up.

My ex (HIM) thought that I was an innocent too... and when I would say something or do something he would say that he loved that I was always doing stuff that was shocking. I was always surprising him. But I wonder when it happened that I wasn't surprising him anymore. Is that when he lost interest? I guess it doesn't matter.

What does matter is that I broke my rule about hanging out with men and remembered why I created that rule... because now I'm sitting here thinking about HIM. And it is stupid. I know... because he is likely at his house taking a nice swim around the pool without a care in the world... and definitely none about me.

Anyway, here is a thought for the day...

Friday, July 1, 2011

Day 18- Yeah, I am kinda awesome... some days

So a reader told me I seem pretty awesome and asked why I am trying to make all of these changes... here is my answer...

Honestly, the problem is that while I am pretty sure I KNOW I have the propensity for greatness, I often settle for what I feel is 'just good enough'.

When my ex and I broke up after 4 years, I crashed from 'just good enough' to way below how I deserve to be treating myself. I have come close to ruining my credit via 'retail therapy', gained 40lbs, sending HIM long "I need/want to fix this" emails even though I KNOW that it probably can't be fixed and I deserve better. I have gone out on several dates just to not feel alone and ended up feeling even worse about myself because, well, let's just say I knew I deserved better than the guys I went out with.

Also, If you have read through all of the posts (it is okay if you haven't) there is an incident that I allude to on "Day 6"... and while I know that it wasn't necessarily my fault... I have to make sure that I am in a place within myself where nobody thinks that using me in any way is 1.) okay and 2.) something I will not fight.

So, my current varying level of self-esteem is what happens when a young women spends years of her life dealing with jerks on whom she has hung her entire self-worth.

I've decided it is time to prove to myself what a great person I really am... I need to love myself based on myself... and nothing else.

Now I feel like I am talking in circles, but I guess what I am trying to say is that I know what I am capable of, and these goals I have set for myself will get me where I want to be...

I think this comic expresses it perfectly...

I am just blogging out the "Then A Miracle Occurs" part. :-)

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Day 17- To Dream a Dream

When I have a dream at night that sticks with me during the day, I often look up the possible interpretations of the dream and its elements. I wonder if 'dream dictionaries' are like newspaper horoscopes. I apologize to those of you who believe in them, but dream dictionaries and horoscopes both seem to be written in such a broad manner that they can cover anything.

Last night I dreamed about having a new baby. It was a little girl and she was in so many places in different dreams. The dream dictionaries I have read say that dreaming about babies can represent new beginnings... and that could totally be true. Right?

What is cool about that idea is how it applies to the rest of the dreams...

I felt a little bit overwhelmed by the new baby.
I was trying hard to provide for the new baby, but had trouble finding the money.
Some people stepped forward to help when I needed them.

But there were two things about the new baby that strike me now...

First, I tried to share the baby with HIM... and he wasn't interested.
Secondly, I was proud of the new baby... I showed her off a lot.

So, was my mind really telling me about the new beginnings that are coming... that I might need help, and I need to be careful with my money, and I might feel overwhelmed? That it is okay that HE doesn't want to be a part of it and that I will be proud of myself in the end?

Who knows really... but I do love this quote...

"God's gifts put man's best dreams to shame." -Elizabeth Barrett Browning

I can't wait to see that come true yet again... Well, I'm off to bed...

Sweet dreams...

Day 17- I found a house

Don't get too excited yet... :-)

While looking through house listings today, I found a house that would be perfect for the kids and I for so many reasons. I really like the photos. It is in the school district that I wanted. It is five blocks from where my ex-husband lives. (He may move soon, since he is renting, but the location is great nonetheless.) There is a Walgreens, a video store, an ice cream shop, a grocery store and a doctor's office all within walking distance. The back yard is beautiful.

There is a good chance this house will sit on the market for months. I am willing to pray and be patient and see what happens. If it is gone before I am ready to buy, then it wasn't meant to be ours. Still, I know God has a plan and I'm going to leave it up to Him.

Right now the price is too high... but if it is supposed to be ours, then God will no doubt amaze us all with the way He works it all out.

“Our prayers should be for blessings in general,
for God knows best what is good for us.” - Socrates

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Day 16- Oops

I wrote this last night, but didn't hit post...
(but on a second look I noticed it still posted yesterday's date.. so nevermind. lol)

It hit me today that not only have I gone over 72 hours without bothering about HIM, I have even gone that long without really wanting to talk to him.

I realized today that I need to work harder at some of my goals. I like the diet, but the working out hasn't been top of my list.

Just buying pizza "this one more time" instead of going to the store isn't good enough. Just taking a nap when I know I need to go for a bike ride or do a work out game on the kinect is not going to cut it.

I want to say this too... I have complete faith that God is the reason I will be able to make these changes and make this move and do the things that I need to do over the next year. However, there are two parts of that statement that don't quite go far enough. First, I will be making the changes with His help... but it will still take effort and energy on my part. Secondly, I am relying on prayer... it is an important part of what is happening here.

I fully believe that giving credit to God is an important part of being successful.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Day 15- Tattle-tale Tuesday

So, here is my weekly update. You want to know how I'm doing on all of my goals, right?
My weight is basically the same. I know why that is, but it is still frustrating. I have not been doing my 30 minutes of exercise a day. I have tried several times, but was shut down one way or another. Okay, that isn't completely true. All of those times it was the person I was supposed to go with who canceled on me... I could have gone on my own... but I didn't.

I was lax in finding myself some new recipes... but I have had a lot of banana smoothies and apple oatmeal cereal.

I am not in less debt today than I was last week. I am probably in more. Barely, but more none the less.

Talking to HIM. I don't know why it is that on the days that I am dealing with something big in my life, he is the one I want to turn to. So, I emailed him a few times. The last time was an apology for the few times before. I haven't contacted him about 'us' in almost 48 hours.

So, once again, the goal is no talking to him this week. 7 days. I can do that.

Once again I have stood my ground against men who wanted to get together.

No money has come in the last week, but tomorrow I will pay my tithes.

Today I have:
Turned down two guys who think "hey sexy" is an appropriate, respectful way to say hello to a stranger.
worked on some cleaning
worked on some writing
written this blog!
made a plan to look at some houses in the new town.
called storage places

Today I will:
Get my 30 minutes of movement in.
Spend 30 minutes cleaning the garage.
Make a healthy dinner
Fold laundry

I love this comic:

Change the fabric of your own soul and your own visions, and you change all.
~Vachel Lindsay~

Monday, June 27, 2011

Day 14- My House

When I moved to the house I am in now, I was in a tight spot. I had to get out of the house I had been in. The first time I saw this house I loved it. I just knew that it was the house that God had planned for us.

Everyday I would drive to this house and pull in the driveway and pray for this house. I told God that I didn't know how he was going to do it, but I knew that this was our house and I was so excited to see what he was going to do for us.

One day, after some vandalism to the driveway of the house, the owner dropped the price by another $5,000. I knew it was time. I made the best offer I could, knowing that is was absolutely ridiculous. $500 down and $300 per month until I could get a real loan from a bank. I had no idea if the owner would sell it on contract or not. Praise the Lord, she did.

Now, here I am, almost five years later and I am getting ready to put my faith in God the same way again. We are moving.

I have such a peace about the move... even though I threw a fit for about the first 6 hours even when I knew it was what we were supposed to do. I even blamed a lot of people for making me uproot my life and move all of us an hour away. But by later that night and through church the next morning I just felt the peace that I needed about the move.

So, besides all of the other goals I have listed for the year (that I will update you on tomorrow) my life is about to be turned upside down by trying to find a new house, in a good neighborhood, with good schools.

Once again, I CAN'T WAIT to see what God is going to do for us now!


On the upside, when it comes time to start dating again... there will be a whole new pool of men to choose from.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Day 12- Hit on by an old guy and being a good mom

Today I was selling produce with my mom when an old man came by, leaned way over to whisper in my ear and said "You have the kind of equipment that a man wants to come home to every night." Then he cast a glance down my shirt and moved on. There is nothing like getting hit on by a guy more than twice your age...

On top of everything else I have been dealing with lately, another wrench has been thrown into my plans for our life. I am praying for some good answers, some solid answers... but I don't yet know what I am going to do.

If my oldest, who is brilliant and is being ignored by her school district, has the chance to get a very good education for high school, it would be wrong of me to deny her that, right? So, in order to get her to the city where the better school is, I have two choices. First, I could let her leave my house, give up full custody, and let her live with her father... apart from her siblings. OR I can give up my ideas and dreams for this house that I just bought a few months ago, and the ideas I had about raising the children... and start packing... and find a new house an hour away so that we can all stay together.

Why would I ever choose the former over the latter? I wouldn't.

Which means over the next 353 days I may not only be preparing myself for a new me, a new husband, and a better life... but possibly even a new house and new city and new friends and a new church.

I've always said I would do anything for my kids when it really counted... this would be one of those times when I may have to put a plan into action.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Day 11ish- What a day

There is so much I want to write about, but I have to give up on that tonight and just recap the busy day.

So I did stuff with the kids this morning, wrote all afternoon, baked and watched movies with a girlfriend this evening until late, I forgot to blog and didn't think about HIM once all day either. Just one of those things was a lie... and since I don't lie anymore I figured I had better call myself on it. I did think about him.

I was relieved this afternoon to realize he had made it to work and I hadn't tried to contact him all day. I was proud of myself for not driving past his house more than necessary today.

But on the way home tonight I started worrying that he would have driven by my house on his way home from work and not seen me there and assumed I went out on a date or something. But then I drove by his house on the way home and his car wasn't there. He went out.

Yesterday I wrote him a goodbye email. Yeah, yeah, I'm sure he was thinking the same thing, "Yeah right." But I really meant it. Until he kicks the depression he is in, his life will never get better... and unless his life is better I can't let him be a part of ours. Actually, he doesn't want to be a part of ours anyway... but I know he would if he could pull himself from this pit of depression.

I did a lot of stuff today, but not 30 minutes of movement... fail. :-(

I'll try again tomorrow (aka later today). I'm due to be at the farmer's market selling stuff in just 6 hours.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Day 10- The Next Big Change

Okay, so we have covered not dating. We have covered getting out of debt. We have covered eating better. Next: Exercise.

Goal: 30 Minutes a day of ACTIVITY of some sort.
(So if I take the stairs instead of the elevator, that counts as a minute.)

I think I can do it. Do you? Leave me some encouragement if you actually read this.

If it weren't for the fact that the TV set and the refrigerator are so far apart, some of us wouldn't get any exercise at all. ~Joey Adams

Day 10- Blogging in my Underwear

Maybe that was TMI. That's what happens when I have a few hours with no kids... I take a shower and don't hurry to get dressed. I don't hurry to go eat. I don't hurry to do anything.

Now the kids are gone for the next several hours and I'm wondering what to do. I have a deadline tomorrow for one company. My house is still a wreck. I really would like a nap... but I don't need one. Days of Our Lives starts in 30 minutes anyway, and I don't want to miss it.

Oh! As a side note, October 3rd (Day 112 if i have done my math right) is the season premier of House. I LOVE that show!

no folding laundry for me today
skipping my workout too
unless you count the walk to the van
to drive myself to DQ

i'll cuddle with my puppy
and not pick up a thing
except to silence the cell
should it happen to ring

i'm blogging in my underwear
giggling with each rhyme
even if it is silly
i'm glad i took the time

i'll wonder where the day went
when the kids come back tonight
but right now i'm enjoying 'me' time
and everything else is alright

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Day 9- Banana Smoothie and a Tornado

Carb-Lover's Breakfast - Banana Smoothie

1 banana worth of frozen banana slices
(green frozen bananas have the most benefit)
6oz of 1% milk.

Put them in a blender and blend until smooth.

As someone who is not a great cook and likes to stick to the basic things I have in my cupboards, I think there is a lack of Carb-Lover recipes that don't require me to run out and buy a bunch of stuff I I've never bought before. Seriously, I bought actual sweet potatoes for the first time this week. Now I'm going to have to figure out how to trick my kids into eating them.

As I find more simple yummy stuff... I will share on the blog.

As for the tornado... that is metaphorical. The aftermath of the tornado being my house today. Was it clean yesterday? No. But did it look like this? No. It was caused by the children in my house today. One of them not mine, two of them boys, things flying across rooms, trash being left everywhere, some occasional yelling on my part...

The children all go away this weekend and I am so looking forward to being able to clean without them underfoot. I know of course that I won't get through half of what I want to get through, but I will take some time for myself and ultimately be pleased with my weekend when it is over.

If I haven't mentioned it before, I am a freelance writer. I noticed not too long ago that I have been so involved in raising children and writing for other people, that I have not written for myself for a long time.

I'm sure this first few weeks will probably be a bit boring until I hit a stride and find my own voice again. You would be shocked to know (as if anyone is reading) that on a regular basis, people tell me I am hilarious.

P.S. I just had another banana smoothie as a late night snack. Awesome. :-)

In looking for a quote to end this post with I found the next one. I love my family dearly, but I am betting that Nancie J. Carmody had a husband, 2.3 children, and a cute little house on the good end of town...


I am thankful for a lawn that needs mowing, windows that need cleaning and gutters that need fixing because it means I have a home.... I am thankful for the piles of laundry and ironing because it means my loved ones are nearby. ~Nancie J. Carmody

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Day 8- Carb-Lover's Lunch

My kids had hot dogs for lunch.

However, I changed it up a little.

Apple Almond Cereal
  • 1 cup 1% milk
  • 1 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1 Tbs sliced almonds
  • 1 Tbs of brown sugar
  • 1 medium red apple
I mixed all of the above items together and let them sit, in the fridge, for 5 minutes.

It was delicious. And I felt stuffed for most of the rest of the afternoon.

I also tried a polenta pudding that nobody liked. So I am trying to bake it into a cake. I'll let you know how that goes... I can't make it any worse!

Tomorrow morning I plan on trying a banana smoothie. I'll let you know how it goes!

Day 8- On my way

So, here is my update. While I am really disappointed in some things about this week, I have to make a note that the things I am disappointed about, I didn't work on whole-heartedly.

Let's start with the bad. My weight the same. I followed maybe 2 of the rules that go along with the Carb-Lover's Diet. I am pretty sure that eating at a Chinese buffet is not one of those rules.

This week I intend to write out a shopping list and find appropriate recipes so that I can test the diet out the way it was meant to be done.

I am in slightly less debt today than I was last week. That is not on purpose though. I forgot about a payday loan from my bank that they took back when I received my child support check this week.

The good news is that I am living with what I have left, and refusing to borrow from the bank again.

Talking to HIM. Well, that obviously went very badly. Once I was finally able to get him to talk to me about anything person he became mean and angry. I sent him a few 'final' emails. I asked him a few questions that he is refusing to answer about our break-up. They are things that I know will help me move on, but he doesn't want to tell me. Unless I hear different I might just decide to believe he is gay.

So, no talking to him this week. 7 days. I can do that.

I had a few opportunities to spend time with men who are interested in me this week. I could have done it easily just for the companionship. One kept talking about snuggling and watching a movie, which sounds awesome... but I know I'm not ready. So I turned down every date offer this week. I know that sounds terrible, like I get a lot of offers or something... but honestly, I just know that I am too 'damaged' right now to be dating material... and a lot of it was multiple offers from the same people.

I paid my tithes this week. I know it is the right thing to do and that I will be blessed for it. Do you know how I know? A few hours later I got an order for some writing that will bring in about $500.

Now I just have to get over this writer's block when it comes to this company.

Okay, off to write some more.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Day 7- Following and Being Followed

So yesterday's post was probably a bit of a shock for the few people who know me in real life. I'm fine. I'm over it for the most part. I didn't tell people for a lot of reasons. I've learned my lesson about trusting people who others tell me are not trustworthy.

As for the reaction I got when I told HIM, I don't know what to think. It is so unlike him that I can't help but think he is either a)trying to push me away and is being mean to do that, b)really hates me enough to think that. Either way, trying to work things out with him is out of the question. I have to stop clinging to the memories of the good days... and let him go.

Tomorrow I get to update the blog on how the things I want to change in my life have gone over the last week as a whole... I have a feeling it is going to be a little disappointing.

At some point I hope a few followers that don't know me in real life will be a boost to help me stick to what I need to do and encourage me to keep going. I'd be glad to follow your blog too if you are reading this. Just leave a comment and I'll check you out.

In other words... if you want to see how this all turns out...

But don't follow too closely... sometimes I run into walls.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Day 6- What I deserve

I don't want to share details of the incident itself. It is his reaction to the incident that I'm writing about here.

So, in a weak moment yesterday while talking to HIM, I shared a somewhat recent event that I haven't mentioned to anyone else. It was a share that I am both regretting and thankful for.

When we were together and he would be mad or jealous of someone, he always took it out on me. Just once I wanted him to tell the person off or throw one punch to defend my honor. He never did.

Maybe I thought this was a chance for him to redeem himself... If it was he failed miserably. How does anyone tell a woman that a sexual assault was "what she deserved?"

I wish I hadn't told him... but at the same time now I know how he really feels... right? Who wants a man who could treat a woman like this?

I almost feel more violated now than I felt by the actual incident.

Maybe this is the wake-up call I needed to see that he really wasn't any better than anyone else I ever dated. He wasn't a knight in shining armor after all. Just a control freak with a 'nice-guy' demeanor.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Day 5- How I like my eggs...

If you have seen the movie "The Runaway Bride" you know that Richard Gere's character discovered that Julia's character never lived her own life. She always absorbed the traits of the man she dated. Her favorite eggs were whatever he liked. Near the end of the movie she has an epiphany and tries every single type of eggs that she can think of to decide which ones are her favorite.

I am not her. I don't conform to the man I am dating in every sense of the word. However, there are ways that I have done this in the past.

When I married my ex-husband, he loved baseball. I was immediately a baseball fan. We traveled to games a couple of times a season when we could. I even bought him playoff tickets for his birthday. I was a baseball fan. I watched baseball movies. I brushed up on my baseball stats. Today, I rarely know who's on top of the baseball standings.

I had another ex who was a NASCAR fan. Our dating was short-lived but I discovered a favorite driver and followed the sport from afar. I made a Jeff Gordon baby blanket for that ex so that he could wrap our baby in it when she was born.

Then there is HIM. You know who he is. He loved NASCAR and baseball and football. Since I already knew about NASCAR, I threw myself into it as a common interest between the two of us. I even brushed up on NASCAR trivia and lingo. I'd cheer when his favorite baseball team was on top and laugh with him about how bad his favorite football team was.

The last year that we were together I decided that I would throw myself into football as well. The sport obviously made him happy, so I wanted to be a part of that. I bought him tickets to a football game for Christmas. The game was awesome, but the weekend was off. He complained a lot and it really hurt my feelings. I still wish I could understand what was going on with him.

Anyway, my point is that I had a great time at the game itself. I also realized that I have had a great time at every game I've ever been too live. So, egg lesson #1 for me was "I like my sports live."

A few weeks ago a friend and I went to a NASCAR race. It was amazing. When the green flag dropped for the first time, I teared up. I didn't sit for the first 25 laps. It was amazing. Oops, I think I already said that. I had the best time ever while I was there. We almost got heat stroke, we had to beat a storm to get under the stands, I got flooded with water, I sat in and around my van for over an hour during the delay. I got to see the track dryers... who would have thought I would be excited to see track dryers!?! lol It was an awesome day.

Egg lesson #2: I really do love NASCAR.
(As I was typing that Carl Edwards regained the lead and won the race today!)

So it turns out I like my eggs fast, turning left, and oval... and even if my eggs aren't like that exactly, I will enjoy any kind of eggs as long as I'm surrounded with thousands of screaming fans.

"Of all forms of caution, caution in love is
perhaps the most fatal to true happiness." -- Bertrand Russell