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Is Anybody Out There?

17 May

Right. I have a blog. People used to read it. Then I disappeared. I don’t really have excuses, per se. Just a lot going on – the normal stuff, like kids and a house and all that business. Throw in the rental property Hubs and I just finished building plus trying to build my business, and I just had to step away from the computer. And as it turns out, when you work for yourself, and your ability to make money depends solely on the amount of time you work/effort you put in, well, let’s just say that you’re A LOT less likely to spend normal working hours messing around on Twitter or blogging. Ahem.

I spend all day writing and sitting in front of a computer and that doesn’t bode well for writing for fun. But oh, how I miss it. And I have a lot to say. I’ve been working hard on me, and there has been a lot of navel gazing up in here and if anyone is still out there reading, well, lucky for you, you get to hear about it.

So let’s just jump right in, shall we? Let’s talk about all the things I want to change about myself.

No, seriously. I’ve written before about coming to terms with the fact that no one is going to change my life for me. Which is, of course, blatantly obvious for normal people, but it was a lesson I had to learn, and continue to learn. But 2012 has, so far, been the year of working hard to be the person I want to be, and I’m kind of proud of myself.

It’s an odd feeling for me, to be proud of myself. I still find myself constantly putting  down my accomplishments and minimizing the work I’ve done. But I am a person who responds to lists, so even though my fingers are attempting to type all of the ways in which I’ve failed and all the things I have yet to change, I’m going to talk about the things I’ve been doing.


When I started working from home, I swore I wasn’t going to sit on the couch and gain weight. But did you know that yoga pants are very forgiving? They are. And it wasn’t until I put jeans for the first time in … well, let’s just say it was a significant period of time … that I realized that those days of yoga pants were hiding the fact that I had gained a lot of weight. I did not feel good. So I started doing something about it:

– I got a partner. Since the end of February, my sister in law and I text each other EVERYTHING we eat. Everything. If I have three chips, I tell her. That accountability is an AMAZING deterrent for dipping my hand back into the bag of chips.

– I stopped drinking soda. I don’t even want to talk about it. I’m still mourning and it’s been 2 and a half months.

– I changed my diet. I cut out carbs and right now I’m on the 17 day diet, which has worked really well for me.

– I started running. I can now run a 10:50 mile, which I realize is laughable to some, but those three miles I run every other day make me feel like a rockstar.

– I started hot yoga. Let me tell you, Internet, I do not like to sweat. I would rather be cold than hot. I am not good at yoga. I thought for sure this would be a disaster. But I am completely, totally in love with hot yoga. The studio I go to uses a sequence very similar to Bikram yoga and it kicks my ass every time, but every time I leave there feeling like I can do ANYTHING. It also helps that I sweat out 1.5 – 2 pounds every time.

– I’ve lost 15 pounds. 15 more to go!


I’ve got a few new, steady clients, which is awesome. I’m feeling more comfortable with putting myself out there and asking for what I’m worth. It’s the best job I’ve ever had and I feel so lucky that I had the support of my husband and the guts to do this.


I’ve tried really hard to be present with my kids. To play more, to plan fun activities, to try to have activities planned. I need to do better, but I have improved and I’m so glad I get to spend this extra time with them.

My Style

This is something I’ve been thinking about recently, as in the past 2 weeks. I am not a very stylish person. I know what I like when I see it, but putting it together is hard for me. If you read the internet at all, you’ve probably heard about Elizabeth’s “Wear Fewer T-Shirts” project. I cannot even express how much I looooove this idea. The aforementioned yoga pants are wonderfully comfortable, but they don’t really make me feel good.

Caleb’s BFF at daycare has one of those moms who always looks great. You know the ones – skinny, perfect hair, great outfit, etc. She just looks good. And she works full time and has two kids and she’s super nice and I basically have a mom crush. I don’t think I’m ever going to be like that, but I do want to try to look like I didn’t just roll out of bed. I don’t know how it’s going to go, but it’s going to start tomorrow when I take a hatchet to my closet. Goodwill is going to get a large delivery of Old Navy t-shirts that are never going to look right on me and clothes that I refuse to let go of because I’m convinced that someday it will work, even though it has never worked.

So that’s where I am. There are things I want to change, and I’m heading in the right direction. I’m proud of myself. And I promise this time, I really intend to write here again. I miss it.

What is going on with you, Internet?


Day 7 – Something You Wore

7 Mar

I had to take Nolan to the doctor so I actually got dressed up today. And by “dressed up,” I mean I didn’t wear yoga pants and wore the tennis shoes that I have to tie. This working from home stuff rocks.


Days 3 – 6

6 Mar

Well that was a big fat fail, huh? I have no good excuses for failing to post consistently AGAIN. Well, actually, I do. Last week was crazy insane and unfortunately not in a good way. I’ll give you the recap that I sent to Mrs. D today.

Sunday – My mother in law comes over to watch kids so Chip and I can work on building a 6 ft. high retaining wall that spans across the entire back half of the property, using 60 POUND BLOCKS.
Sunday night – I got sick with this nasty, nasty flu.
Monday – Tuesday – I am deathly ill and Hubs is over at the duplex every night trying to finish the wall. He finishes late Tuesday evening.
Wednesday – I am still near death and we get a huge wind storm so Hubs calls at 3 and says he’ll be working all night (he’s an electrical lineman so when the power goes out, he works.)
Wednesday, 4pm – I get a call from the lady who lives next door to the duplex who tells me that 1/2 the retaining wall has fallen down. I call Hubs and we both cry. I worry that my husband has finally been pushed over the edge.
Thursday – Hubs gets home from work about 5 am, sleeps for 2 hours and spends the rest of the day trying to clear all the blocks out from under the massive pile of dirt. My lungs feel like they are going to collapse at any minute and every time I cough I nearly cry.
Friday – Hubs has taken the day off to fix the wall. He leaves about 7 am to pick something up at the store and returns home with my brother in law who has TAKEN A VACATION DAY FROM WORK and surprised us to come over and help Hubs fix the wall. I cry.
Friday evening – THEY FINISH THE F*&%ING WALL OMFG. I am finally feeling a little better.
Friday late evening – Nolan wakes up with 104 degree fever.
Saturday – My parents come out and my dad helps Hubs at the duplex and my mom stays home with me, allowing me to take a nap, grocery shop ALONE while she corrals my heathen children.
Saturday night – Nolan still has a fever.
Sunday – My parents come BACK OUT TO OUR HOUSE, which is a 45 minute drive, where my dad helps Hubs again and my mom stays home with me again and I GOT TO TAKE ANOTHER NAP.
Monday – Nolan is still sick and is home with me today, although he is being super cute and super good.
Today – Nolan was home sick again today, but seems to be better. I finally feel normal, so no complaints today!

Moral of the story – I love my family and I hate the duplex.

So. THAT is why I gave up so easily. I’ve been trying to catch up on work and laundry and just plain trying to get my bearings back.

And since I know everyone is SO excited to see my pictures (ha ha!) here are days 3 – 6. And really, I’m finding this kind of fun, capturing these little snapshots of my life. I also enjoy seeing other people’s photos. I’m kind of a Nosy Nelly so catching glimpses of what someone else’s days look like is fascinating to me.

Day 3: Your neighborhood

If you look real close, you can see the lake.

Day 4: Bedside

Book, TV remote, water – the essentials. Normally that would also include my phone, but I was using the phone to take the picture.

Day 5: A smile

I usually don’t post pictures of my kids, but this was Tessa at less than a year old and goodness, just look at that face.

Day 6: 5 pm

Starting dinner

Leaping Late

1 Mar

Internet, last night I wrote an actual blog post for you. It was about how I’ve written enough lately about leaping and how I would spare you more and how I’ve been sick for FOUR days now and how this has been, of course, a horribly busy week and a horrible week in general and then I told you about how I miss blogging and how I was going to try this that picture a day thing that everyone did in February as a way to get me back to posting here consistently and then when I hit publish, the page was blank. Everything was gone. I uttered many curse words and am leaving you with this post that is really just little more than one run on sentence. Anyway, I’m going to do the March photo a day challenge so I’ll be back daily to post, at the least, a picture, but hopefully will be inspired to write too.

March 1st – Up

I call this “Sometimes things that go up that are NOT meant to come down but do anyway, in spite of your husband busting his ass on it for months and when it falls you both just cry.”


P.S WordPress almost did it again, but I salvaged this post. However it won’t let me post the picture of the photo challenges for March and I’m much too frustrated to try.

My thoughts on the gay marriage “issue.”

10 Feb

I’ve seen two very incredible things on the internet lately that have me thinking a lot about this. Check out this and this.

I remember as a teenager feeling so liberated when I finally realized that I have my own experiences and those experiences shape my thoughts and feelings – that I didn’t have to blindly accept what I had been told. I was raised Catholic, in a very traditional, by-the-Bible family. While my parents weren’t outwardly critical of gay marriage, it definitely wasn’t a secret that it wasn’t something they condoned. Of course, part of my experience was being raised in a church that embraced everything the Bible says about being gay.  And it took me a long time to realize that that feeling I got when confronted with the issue – that kind of yucky feeling, if I’m being honest – was residual of all the prejudice and innuendo I picked up from other people. It wasn’t how I felt, not at all. Just because I had a knee-jerk reaction to something didn’t mean that it was actually how I felt or what I believed. I realized that I didn’t give a rat’s behind who loves who – that as long as people are good to each other and respectful and contributing members of society, then good for them. They’re ahead of a lot of people in this world.

I’ve had to go to battle for my opinion, mostly when people use Bible as a crutch for their prejudice. It infuriates me when people who claim to be “walking with Christ” or “living through him” can be so hateful to a whole sector of our community of human beings – people who are kind, and good, and hardworking and just happen to love a member of the same sex.

With that being said, I do understand it – the Bible is, after all, a holy document, one that I respect and pray about and such and I understand people’s desire to live by the Bible’s word. In most situations, it’s a great guide.  However, it is also an archaic document, passed along for thousands of years, edited by man. It has been changed, manipulated, and shortened, often to fit the needs of a king or some other leader. Not to mention all of the commands in the New Testament that, somewhere along the way, people just stopped observing. Not even your most religious person follows it to a T. So if we pick and choose other things, why are some people so hell bent on sticking it to members of the gay community with Corinthians and Leviticus as their only weapons?

I’m pretty sure God’s message was of love and understanding. That there is a whole lot more information in the Bible about love and acceptance than there is about being gay. The Bible was inspired by God and Jesus’ message, but ultimately was left in the hands of human beings – competent human beings, but human beings who are just as much susceptible to mistakes and misunderstanding as anyone else. If I had to be my life on it, I think God would want us to just love Him and each other. To accept ourselves, to make others happy, and to enjoy the many, many blessings He has given us.

Poverty is an issue. War is an issue. Crime is an issue. Gay marriage is not an issue. It is not an “issue” that we should use to elect our government officials. It is not an “issue” that should spark violence. Unless someone is harming someone else, it is not our “issue” to decide who someone can or cannot love. It is not an issue at all.


Nolan has asked me a lot of hard questions – about death, about life, about the world around us. He hasn’t yet asked me what gay means. He’s certainly heard the word and we’ve watched shows that featured gay men and women, but he hasn’t asked yet. I hope he never does. I hope it is just something that he accepts as part of our world, no different than the fact that some people have two kids and some people have four. Or some of us are blonde and some of us are brunette. Nothing so out of the ordinary that he feels it merits an explanation. But if he does ask, this is how I plan to respond:

“Mommy and daddy are a boy and a girl. We met, fell in love, and decided to spend the rest of our lives together. Sometimes two boys or two girls meet, fall in love, and decide to spend the rest of their lives together.”

That’s all. Short. Simple. Because that is all it is – two people, falling in love, and deciding to spend the rest of their lives together. Period.

Quick Take

7 Feb

The past couple of weeks have been filled with The Great Unbloggable for me – not-so-great things that I’m still trying to work through and figure out. So I’ve found myself unable to say much, as I’m so focused on the other stuff. So in an effort to get me back in the game, I’m stealing this from I shamelessly stole this from K at Two Adults, One Brown Baby. Hopefully (hopefully!!) things will work themselves out soon and I’ll be back to boring you with my drivel 🙂
A to Z

A. Age: 29 – I am FAR from 30, in spite of what my husband says.

B. Bed size: Queen, but oh how I wish it was a King.

C. Chore that you hate: Laundry. It NEVER ENDS.

D. Dogs: I should start off my saying that I love my dog. I really do. But the smelly breath and the hair and the muddy paws, I could do without.

E. Essential start to your day: Cuddles from my babies and a kiss from my husband. And caffeine, because, duh.

F. Favorite color: Blue

G. Gold or silver: Silver

H. Height: 5’5″ ish. I think.

I. Instruments that you play: None. I have not a musical bone in my body. Unless memorizing song lyrics counts.

J. Job title: Writer/Editor, I suppose.

K. Kids: Rotten. Oh, wait, am I supposed to give their names or something?

L. Live: in the Midwest, outside of St. Louis

M. Mother’s name: Karen

N. Nicknames: The only one I’m comfortable sharing here is Stina.

O. Overnight hospital stays: Just when I had my babies. And I may be the only woman in the world to say this, but I would have stayed in the hospital for weeks with my babies (this obviously coming from someone who had two relatively uneventful pregnancies and births, so I realize I would think differently if it was a situation forced upon me). When else do you literally have nothing to do but cuddle your baby, have people bring you anything you want, and entertain visitors all day who don’t even expect you to shower? PLUS, you can send the baby to the nursery at night so you can sleep. Come to think of it, that is probably exactly rich people with “night nannnies” live. Huh. Jerks.

P. Pet peeves: Bad drivers. Incorrect use of their/there, you’re/your, and the apostrophe.

Q. Quote from a movie: I like to have contests with my husband and my brother which involve quoting Billy Madison back and forth. First one who can’t come up with another quote loses. “It’s R-O-C-K!” Your turn!

R: Right or left handed: Right

S: Siblings: Two younger brothers

T. Travel Favorite: Anywhere with a beach and an all inclusive drinks package.

U. Underwear: Not what it was 10 years ago, I’ll tell you that.

V. Vegetable(s) you hate: Hmmmm … there isn’t one that I really hate. I’m not a big fan of cauliflower and I’m pretty sure I don’t like brussel sprouts.

W. What makes you run late: My children.

X. X-rays you’ve had: My teeth and my ankle because when I was pregnant with Nolan I stepped in a hole in someone’s front yard, heard a crack, and thought for sure I broke my ankle. The very anti-climactic ending to this story is that I didn’t break my ankle. And sadly, I was only like 3 months pregnant, so I couldn’t even blame it on my weight.

Y. Yummy food that you make: Garlic cheese bread, blueberry cheesecake, lots of other very unhealthy but delicious stuff

Z. Zoo animal: Penguins. If they didn’t smell so fishy I would want one to cuddle with.

Today …

24 Nov

I cuddled with my kids.

I cooked.

I cleaned.

I played with my kids.

I hugged and kissed my husband.

I hung out with my parents, my nephew, my brother (who I never get to see and who I miss entirely too much, but don’t tell him because it would make his head REALLY big), my mother-in-law, my grandma, an old friend I haven’t seen in a long time, and a friend of my brother’s who I love so very, very much.

I ate waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too much.

I drank some wine.

I drank some more wine.

I laid around with a belly full of food and wine and watched my kids run around like heathens and enjoyed every second of it.

I missed my brother so very much.

I counted my blessings over and over and over again.

I decided I was going to be one of those people this year and I’m headed out to shop at midnight. I KNOW. Shoot me dead.


Happy Thanksgiving! I hope everyone’s day was full of food, family, and lots of laughter.

I’m beat

19 Nov

I loaded my kids in or out of the car seventeen times today. Seventeen. That’s one 28-pound one year old and one 40-pound four year old. The four year old mostly gets himself in and out, but still. My shoulders are screaming, my back is sore and my feet hurt.

The only part of me that’s not incredibly tired is my fingers, so I’m giving them a rest today and reposting something I wrote on my first blog (this is my third, if you’re new here.) I thought about skipping today, but I’ve made it so far with this NaBloPoMo that I really don’t want to leave a blank spot on that little calendar over in the sidebar. OCD, much?


I don’t like to admit it, but I am a little judgmental. Just a little. Not really in a mean way, and not about petty stuff like someone’s appearance (Ok, that might be a stretch of the truth. Sometimes I judge people’s appearance. But just because your one-piece swimsuit has an attached skirt that goes over your ass that does NOT make it proper attire for the grocery store (especially when said skirt does not cover all of said ass). Sorry, it just doesn’t.), but when I think someone is making stupid decisions, I tend to pass judgment. Not to their face, mind you, but just in my head. That sounds awful, doesn’t it? Sigh. It’s not something I’m proud of.

Other people’s decisions are none of my business. I try to remember that you never know the real story behind someone’s behavior, that there is probably a perfectly good reason why they are a raging bitch every single day or why they spend money like crazy on themselves with seemingly little regard for their family or what in God’s name would possess someone to stay in a marriage that makes them miserable …

ANYWAY. All of this to say that I know it’s a fault of mine and I try to work on it. And it always leads me to wonder … what do people really think about me? Do they think I’m weird/funny/awkward/nice/mean/annoying? I just don’t know. I would hope people think that I’m friendly, compassionate, and … blech, I don’t even know. Most of the time I just worry about the bad things they may think about me. And obviously, no one would ever explicitly list all of my faults to my face, so I honestly wonder what goes through a person’s head after they meet me for the first time, and especially after they’ve known me for a while.

I guess I just don’t have a very clear picture of how people perceive me. Probably because I have no real idea how I perceive myself. I have never felt like I’ve known exactly who I am, what makes me, me. This stems from a life-long struggle to have any confidence in myself at all. My lack of confidence causes me to question my opinions, my feelings, my actions and it makes for a very distorted view of what I really stand for. A view that relies much too heavily on my obsession curiosity about what other people think of me. Maybe if I could figure out who I want to be, and not worry so much about what other people think I should be, it would set me on the path to figuring out what I want to do with the rest of my life.

But how, at 27 years old, do you figure out who you are? If I’m lucky, I’ve already lived a third of my life. Isn’t this something I should know by now? Why do I feel like I need to have other people’s opinions in order to figure out who I am? So I’ve been thinking a lot about what is important to me, what makes me happy, who I want to be. I figure I need to start off with what I know for sure.

These things I know for sure about me:

-I am a good mom.

-I hate it when things aren’t fair.

-I really enjoy helping people, especially people who want to help themselves.

-I have a horrible memory.

-I don’t have a lot of tolerance for people who won’t take responsibility.

-I love the constant companionship of marriage. Even when it’s hard.

-I worry unnecessarily about money, and I’m starting to think I always will, no matter how successful I am.

-Reading is my greatest escape.

-I have a hard time giving my honest opinion about a lot of things. Not because I think I’m stupid or wrong, but because I’m worried about what people will think.

-I don’t like to argue, but I will when I have to.

-If given free time to do whatever I want, I would most likely use that to do something by myself.

-I don’t have a lot of willpower.

-I care deeply about my friends and would spend hours listening to their problems and providing support if they needed it.

-I have always wished I was prettier, trendier, smarter, more cultured.

-I tend to minimize my own struggles, because I always think that there is someone out there who has it worse than me.

-Sometimes I get overwhelmed by everything I want to learn, everything I want to do, that I end up taking no steps forward to learn or do anything new.

-I am calm in the face of crisis.

-I enjoy other people’s drama. That sounds bad. But I do. Hence my obsession with reality TV.

-I am a jealous person. That one is hard to admit, but there it is. I try SO hard not to be, and I really, really don’t want to be, and it is the thing about me that I would like most to change.

-I like giving advice. Not in an annoying ass-vice kind of way (I hope), but I really try to use my life experiences (especially the negative ones) to empathize with others and provide support. I hope this is not annoying to other people.

-I am stronger than I give myself credit for. This is the one that I need to remind myself of. Everyday.

-I am good enough. I might not be the best at anything, I might have A LOT of room for improvement, but I am me and I am good enough.


6 Nov

Yesterday I caught about ten minutes of MTV’s True Life. It was about people who have an addiction to texting. I stopped watching because this chick was pissing me off. She had a baby and was a student and she texted constantly, at home, in class (and her grades are suffering because of it), in the car, at dinner, everywhere. And her boyfriend was begging her to just stop and live her life and she maintained that it was her only form of social interaction and I just … NO. For one thing, WHO ARE YOU TEXTING AND WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?? I don’t have enough friends to text that much!

Anyway, it got me thinking about how constantly plugged in we are in today’s society. I see families out to dinner who aren’t talking to each other, but they’re all texting. Women in my subdivision walk and talk on the phone. Next time you’re stopped at a traffic light, try to count how many people are on their phones as they drive by. It’s one of my favorite games. Usually, the average is about 3 out of 5.  I’m not excluding myself here. I love to text. I get email, Facebook, and Twitter on my phone and I use it a lot. Too much, really.

I’ve talked before about how grief is my constant companion. One of the (many) fallouts from that is that I never let my mind go still. Ever. If I have a moment to sit down, I read, or check Facebook or Twitter, or find something mindless on TV. If I’m in the car, I have to have music on. If nothing is on that I like, I call someone. If I’m doing some boring task at work that is mind-numbing, I need music or news in the background.

I suppose it’s a defense mechanism – my brain knows that if I stop, the grief might silently slip in and catch me off guard. So I don’t give it a chance. The shower is the one place where I’m defenseless (Kelly at Temerity Jane swears she reads in the shower, but I’m still trying to figure that out), so I usually compose novels in my head that I’ll never write.

It’s exhausting. The same way it sometimes seems exhausting to have the constant pull to check Facebook or Twitter. My mind is never quiet. I never just think.

It makes me wonder what we’re all missing. Before the age of smart phones or TV, what did people do? Read, go to bed early, talk to their families, I guess. But don’t you think they also had time to just be still? To think? To decide where they stood on issues, to come up with new ideas, to just learn about themselves? And sure technology helps us do all those things too, and some may argue that we are able to do those things better than if the technology wasn’t available to us, but I’m not so sure.

I know for me, it sometimes feels like I’m on sensory overload, filled to the brim with other people’s ideas or the media’s perception of something, or just too mentally stimulated to make sense of how my personality and my experiences shape my views of the world.

I’m just wondering what might come out if I stopped everything that was coming in.


10 Oct

Sometimes, there are so many things I wish I could say, but I can’t. At least, not to someone’s face. And really, I shouldn’t even allude to them here, but the past couple of weeks have kicked me in the ass emotionally and I’m at a point where I am just so tired of pretending things are okay when they’re not. I’m tired of the pain. I’m tired of keeping quiet about how I feel. I’m tired of playing nice.

So here is what I’d like to say, but shouldn’t and probably never will, to various people in my life, if I were more brave, more confident, more ballsy.

“You really screwed up, you know? And I’m the one paying for it.”

“It really hurt when you abandoned me when I needed someone the most.”

“Everyone knows the truth. You’re not fooling anybody.”

“I’ve lost my last shred of respect for you.”

“He needs you, and you don’t care.”

“Just get out. Just walk away. No matter how hard, it will be better than this.”

“I miss you, but I miss the old you. Not this person.”

But of course, in the midst of all the turmoil and rage and fighting, I still have so much to be thankful for. There are many things that I most definitely should say, but don’t, because I’m not more brave, more confident, more ballsy.

“You will never know what it meant that you were there that night.”

“You saved my life.”

“Sometimes you are the only reason I get up in the morning.”

“You handled that with such courage and grace, I am in awe of you.”

“Your confidence, uniqueness, and lack of give-a-shit about what people think of you makes me happy.”

“I’m so very glad I “met” you and you continue to be my friend even though I bombard you with novel-esque emails and whiny work questions.”

“I miss you. Like crazy.”