Sunday, May 29, 2005

we went to a little cookout last night at my sister's house. Brian made most of the food and it was delicious. we had steak and chicken and hotdogs and pasta salad and baked beans. for dessert we had pound cake topped with grilled pineapple and chocolate sauce. Brian made everything but the pasta salad and beans. after dinner, we sat outside in the backyard and drank beers with everyone. we were there for hours, just talking and laughing and enjoying the night. it was great.

right after we got there, my brother-in-law left to drop off my niece and a boy who may have been her boyfriend at the movies. they were so cute together! she's 15 and I think this is her first real boyfriend. I used to watch her every day when she was a baby so I really feel close to her and sometimes it's hard to think of her growing up. my sister says that the boy is really nice and a little shy, which is exactly the kind of boy she should be "dating", which was quite a relief.

she has always had trouble with self-esteem, partly because of a speech problem she had when she was younger, partly because she has worn glasses since she was a baby (and hated them) and partly because she had a learning problem in elementary school. any one of those things would be a lot to overcome for a young girl but she had to deal with all three. over the last few years though, she's shown a lot improvement. she seems to be feeling much better about herself and now she's just a typical teenage girl. which means that sometimes she's a sweet and funny girl and sometimes she is overly sensitive and moody. but all-in-all, she's a great kid.

anyway, they came back from the movie shortly before we left and she walked her boyfriend to the end of her street to say goodbye. as she walked back up the driveway towards us, she was smiling the biggest smile ever and I just knew that he had kissed her. from the look on her face, all lit up and dreamy-eyed, I would guess that it was her first real kiss. she looked so happy, it was such a beautiful thing to see. I felt so proud of her and so happy for her and so thankful to see that look on her face. I hope she remembers that night forever. I know I will.

isn't it pretty?

the amazing Ginger at Baby Jane Blog Design has taken the time to give me a beautiful new design for my boring blog. I think my original request was something along these lines:

could you use this picture and maybe put flowers and/or hearts on the page? something girly and cheerful.

she took that and turned it into the design you're looking at now. I can't tell you how much I love it and how great it was to work with her. she is professional and friendly, she is so easy to work with and has great ideas. it took less than three days from my first email until the design was completed and installed. and on top of all of that, her prices are incredibly reasonable. if you're thinking of changing your blog, I definitely recommend her services.


Friday, May 27, 2005


I knew exactly what I was going to shoot today for the Photo Friday challenge. but on the way there, I found this, which also fits:


so this week, I guess I'll have two entries:


I hope that's not against the rules.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

pet peeves

Brian and I went to the Stereophonics show last night at Little Brother's and I didn't get to sleep until after midnight. since I have to get up at 6am to get kids ready for school, I'm a little tired and a lot cranky today. so please excuse the bitchiness to follow and we'll all chalk it up to lack of sleep.

  • people that they are qualified to take pictures for other people just because they own a camera. Brian has a similar complaint about people think they are qualified to design stuff because they have a slight knowledge of a computer design program. like this guy we know who is in a band and makes all their flyers and tshirts and cd covers, etc. they suck. seriously, they're just terrible. and I know a person who is going to take pictures for a different band and do their "promotion and t-shirt sales" when she doesn't know the first thing about anything and can't even use Microsoft Word properly. ugly logos or artwork and unremarkable photographs used in publications offend me. greatly.
  • people with questionable taste in everything who recommend stuff to other people. like I give a shit about your crappy opinion.
  • misspelling and poor grammar. no explanation necessary. also improper use of the apostrophe, for some reason.
  • people who don't try to control the volume of their voices and can be heard all over the building at any time of day. and you know they can keep it down because you have overheard them trying to be quiet.
  • phonies. hey, I don't care if you like me or not. but don't pretend that you're my friend to my face and then trash me when I'm gone. I hate that.
  • people who believe their own bullshit. for real. lie all you want, as long as it's not to my children. but it's pathetic when you're the only one who falls for it.

okay, I need to be done with this because I'm just being waaaay too bitchy. don't forget...we're blaming it on lack of sleep!


I'm finding that I have very little in common with the young twenty-somethings I know. which is probably long overdue, considering that I am 36 years old. it's not a bad thing necessarily, we're just at different stages in our lives. we have different concerns and opinions and problems. it's weird...for the first time in forever I actually feel like I have more in common with people my own age.

I've always hung out with people younger than me, I don't know why. possibly it was because I felt like they were harmless, more like kids than adults. possibly it was because all the people my age seemed old and boring. possibly it was an attempt to avoid being a grown-up (X always used to say that people would say I looked younger than my age because I acted so immature, which was probably true). they were fun, they never slept, they had crazy ideas and weren't afraid to share them. but lately, I'm drawn to people who are more settled, people who know who they are and what's really important. and it's funny to think that I might be one of those people now.

I'm slowing down and enjoying my life in my old age, instead of always being on the run and letting the years pass by so quickly. things that seemed important when I was in my twenties don't really concern me now. it's okay if I have a different opinion and keep it to myself. it's okay to be who I am and feel how I feel, I don't have to pretend to be someone I'm not to fit in.

it's so lovely to just relax and spend time reflecting on life and watch the clouds drift by. I should definitely spend more time doing that.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

too many to count

there are so many things that I love about my husband but I'm going to try to make a list of my favorite ones, in no particular order. for no reason other than that I really enjoying thinking about him and what a wonderful person he is.

  1. he accepts me as I am and has no desire to change me.
  2. he loves my children and understands that he will always come second to them.
  3. he doesn't take it personally when I have a hard time believing that he is too good to be true. he knows it's just me and my issues.
  4. he would do anything I ask him to do and proves it all the time. whenever I say, "honey, could you do me a favor?" he always answers, "of course."
  5. he cooks for me. all the time. almost every night. and he's great at it.
  6. he quit smoking before we moved in together. voluntarily of course!
  7. he is kind and loving and loyal and tender and sweet.
  8. he knows how to make me laugh.
  9. he is smart and funny and sarcastic.
  10. he has great taste in music.
  11. he writes me poetry.
  12. he is honest.
  13. he cares about doing the right thing.
  14. he is amazing in bed.
  15. he loves my family! imgaine that.
  16. he is an incredible musician and artist.
  17. he buys great presents. not that I want lots of presents but when he buys me something, it's perfect.
  18. he is a great dresser. as a matter of fact, he dresses way better than I do. once Casey told me that I needed to change what I was wearing because he looked so nice and I was bringing him down.
  19. he is romantic.
  20. he is just the most decent person I have ever met and I consider myself very lucky to even know him, much less be married to him.

I promised myself I would stop at 20 things. but I really could go on forever.

Friday, May 20, 2005

the wedding


my favorite part of our wedding happened right before the ceremony and it was completely unplanned. we didn't have attendants, it was just the two of us and my kids. we ordered corsages for our mommies the week before and forgot to pick them up until about 20 minutes before the wedding (eek!). we were disappointed because everyone was already down at the wedding site and we couldn't think of a way to give them to them before the wedding. then I realized that there were three moms (my mom, Brian's mom and his stepmom) and three kids, and that it would be very sweet if the kids could hand the moms a corsage and give them a hug. luckily our minister was flexible and didn't mind the last minute change. the five of us and the minister walked down to the wedding site together and the children walked down to where the mommies were sitting and gave each of them a corsage. it was very touching.

my second favorite part of the wedding was when Casey was handing me Brian's ring. I handed Hannah my flowers and Casey got his ring out of her purse. as she was handing it to me, she dropped it and it rolled under my shoe! we couldn't find it at first and were all trying not to laugh. luckily not many people noticed because she was already really embarrassed about it. but it is on the videotape!

our ceremony only lasted about 15 minutes, which was exactly what we wanted. everything, except for the dropped ring, went perfectly and I still get teary-eyed thinking about it. we wrote our own vows, which made it even more perfect.

I've been in love with you all my life, I just had to grow up and learn a few things before I found you. And now that we are together, I want to grow and and learn everything new with you.

I give you my heart, my soul, my body, my mind and my love. I will never forsake you, take you for granted or put you aside for any reason. I will be the best husband and stepfather that I can and I promise to never stop trying. I will never lose the respect and admiration I have for you and I will never, ever, leave you alone.

You have given me a family, you have given me hope & reason and today I give you everything. I love you and I always will.

As we stand here on our wedding day, I realize that we already have so many great memories. I will always remember our first date, the first time you said, "I love you.", the day we moved in together, the day you proposed. And I know I will always remember this day and how much I love you at this moment and how incredibly happy I am to become your wife.

I promise you laughter and companionship, comfort and smiles, understanding and respect, happiness and trust, family and patience, and most importantly, love for the rest of my life. I love you.


my Photo Friday entry:

taken from the car, but not while driving!

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

ew, seriously.

the world's most phallic piece of sesame chicken in existence. no, I didn't eat it.


last night

so yeah, I watched the Britney and Kevin thing on tv last night. to the embarrassment of the rest of my family. it's the first "reality" show I've watched on purpose, so I should get credit for that. right? I don't know what I thought of it...I don't even know if I'll watch next week. two of my hunches were confirmed though so it wasn't a complete waste of time. 1) she really is pretty skanky and 2) he is as dumb as he seems and proved it by saying that he thinks Eminem is a genius.

my hands were sore while I watching the show and at first I couldn't figure out why. but then I realized that it was from the 45 minutes I had spent on the couch earlier, learning to make farting noises with my hands. apparently it was my night to do dumb stuff that embarrassed other people. but c'mon! I'd never been able to do it before. Casey was equally amused and embarrassed, Brian just kept shaking his head and saying that it was funny, when he was six. Stephen ignored me and Hannah was upstairs so she didn't get to vote. she did almost pee her pants laughing when I explained why my hands hurt later that night. Brian just shook his head and rolled his eyes. poor guy.

Monday, May 16, 2005

for photo friday (better late than never)



taken out of the car window while driving home. I take waaaay too many pictures while driving (don't tell Brian!).

The ABCs of Who I Wanna Be...

I stole this from this person whose name I don't know. I really hope she doesn't mind! I found her via my lovely stat counter. note to self: go back and visit her again later!

Emotionally stronger
Good parent
Liked for who I am
Married for a hundred years
Role Model
X-ray vision haver (not really, but what else is there for "X"?)

good weekend/bad weekend

it was nice to get away for a day or two this weekend, but I spent too much time worrying about the children. Casey was with my sister so I knew she was fine but the teenagers were home alone. they're old enough (18 and 16) to stay home by themselves for one night but I don't always trust their judgement. and I definitely don't trust the people (my brother and brother-in-law) who were supposed to check on them to tell me if something was going on that I wouldn't approve of. little things were out of order when we got back Sunday evening and it made me nervous and suspicious. but as I told Brian last night, no one got hurt, nothing was broken and the police didn't show up so I guess there's no reason for me to dwell on it.

we had a nice time while we were gone, except that we had a fight Saturday night. it wasn't a big fight and was over after about thirty minutes. but for us, it was a big deal. because we don't fight. as a matter of fact, this one was only the second one that I can remember. in almost three years, that's pretty amazing.

we don't go out of our way not to fight, but honestly, he never makes me angry. well, rarely anyway. yes, there are times when I get annoyed and a lot of the time, it's just me being hormonal. and there are lots more times when I'm annoying too, I'm sure. we just don't let the little things bother us.

our fight Saturday was probably a little thing that was blown out of proportion because I was getting tired and wanted to go back to the hotel. he's a lot more sociable than I am plus it was his nephew's party so he wanted to stay. but we had already been there for more than eight hours and more people were showing up that I didn't know, which I don't deal with well. and I was super tired.

I told him that he could stay and just call me later if he needed a ride home but he didn't believe me. he made the mistake of saying that he had already gone through that too many times with his ex-wife and it just annoyed the hell out of me. because he's done that know...implied that I was just saying that I wouldn't get angry if he went out without me but not meaning it. his ex used to do that all the time I guess, and then hold it against him if he actually went.

I was more understanding when he was nervous at first. but I've also proved that I mean what I say by not being upset if he goes out without me. quite a few times. so it hurt me that he thought I would actually do that. we said our goodbyes and drove back to the hotel in silence. we got to the room and just sat on separate beds for a few minutes to calm down before working it out. told him that I was tired of being compared to his ex when I didn't deserve it. he admitted that I haven't ever lied to him and that I don't play games. and that was pretty much the end of the argument.

everything was fine, it really wasn't anything to fight about. we talked about it for a little while and then let it go. it was almost over as soon as it began. we ordered some pizza, watched Futurama and went to sleep. the weekend was lovely, but tiring. it was good to get away but it was nice to have things back to normal and I was so happy to get home.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

in other news

  • my new site counter is stroking my ego quite nicely. I know only about half of those clicks are mine. just kidding...they're all mine!!!
  • did I mention we will be out of town this weekend? I know, I already wrote about that. I'm just so excited about it!
  • the children are almost definitely going to visit X next month. all three of them. for at least two weeks. don't come over while they're gone. I'm just saying.
  • sorry everyone. I can't write real posts at home. no privacy here, unlike at work where I usually write personal stuff from. I don't know.
  • Brian's nephew is graduating from college this weekend, so yay! unfortunately he joined the National Guard to help pay for it so he might be going to Iraq in a few months. I'm so scared for him. so, not yay.
  • Casey had a band concert tonight. this is her first year. it was really nice, they did a great job. apparently it's a tradition for the sixth grade band to play "Hang On, Sloopy" at the end of their concert. I hate that song. it did get them a standing ovation though. weirdo Ohioans.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

NEWS FLASH: I have nothing to write about today.

  • reading everyone's lovely posts about their mothers makes me a little jealous.
  • I heart my Britney Spears CD. and Britney.
  • I am overwhelmed with work this week but can't seem to stay away from blogger.
  • no matter how much other people thought and said that they deserved it, I was never able to hit one of my children.
  • I always forget how much the receptionist likes to talk. duh. asking her a polite question in passing turns into a five minute conversation.
  • Brian and I will be out of town this weekend. without the children. in a hotel room. yay!!!
  • I want to go dancing.
  • I'm not brave enough to post all my deep, dark secrets here but I think I'm getting closer. consider yourself warned.
  • green tea w/mint=yummy

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Ms. Cheats-on-my-husband (it's my Native American name!)

okay, I know I admitted to cheating on my ex-husband the other day. it's not something I'm proud of. but you don't know the whole story yet. so don't judge me. not that I think anyone here would do that. but I do. and my lovely teenage daughter does, which she proved by throwing it in my face this morning (see subject). I shouldn't let it bother me, she doesn't know what she's talking about. she was just trying to hurt me and it worked.

anyway, when I met ex-husband #2 (Ian and I call him X) I was living in Colorado without the rest of my family, separated from my first husband and waiting tables to support my two young children. I made enough money to pay our bills but not a whole lot more. I had a roommate, he was a big loser. we had dated for a very short while before I realized what an idiot he was. but we were still sharing an apartment because I needed help with the rent.

X was the friend of the husband of a girl I waited tables with. she had a big crush on him but was trying to fix him up with one of us. I didn't really have much of a social life at the time, so when she invited me over to her house, I agreed to go. the first time I met him, he was sitting on a couch watching television. I noticed that he didn't get up to say hello, he just kinda' sat there. he later told me that the first thing he did when we met was to make sure that I had a decent rack. for real.

we met again at his friend's house to play cards. I am not a card player really. I don't know any real games and I am not competitive at all. I don't care if I win or lose, so it's probably not fun to play cards with me. they were all trying to teach me some complicated game that involved four decks of cards. luckily I'm a quick learner so I did alright. the night went well enough, nothing exciting but better than staying home alone. the next weekend was Valentine's Day so we made plans for the four of us to go out.

on Valentine's Day, one of the dinner waitresses called off, which would have left a friend of mine to work the dinner shift alone. so I volunteered to work a double shift to help her out. plus the tips are usually pretty good on Valentine's Day so I knew I would make some good money. I called X to cancel our plans but instead we decided to go out alone after my shift.

I left as early as possible and went home to change. my roommate was there, acting like an ass so as soon as X showed up, we left. it was pretty late already so there wasn't much we could do. we went to dinner and then to a little bar for a drink. the night wasn't really that memorable, but we got along well enough. we made plans to do something the next day. he took me home, gave me a kiss at the door and left.

he called me the next morning and I really wanted to spend the day with the kids so we decided to see if they wanted to go with us to the Denver Zoo. they had spent the night with their grandma (not my mom) so we drove over there to pick them up. Stephen didn't want to go, he had made other plans, so we just took Hannah (who was four at the time). it was a beautiful day, perfect for going to the zoo. and afterwards we took her to a playground and then we all had dinner at Casa Bonita. we had a nice time and he seemed like a nice guy.

we saw each other a lot over the next month, even though he lived about 45 minutes away. I met some more of his friends and his brothers that lived nearby. he had a good job and made a ton of money, which was the exact opposite of my first husband. we dated for about a month before we decided to move in together. he rented a small apartment for the four of us and we all moved in.

at first things were really good. we got along well and the kids were happy, which was the most important thing to me. I wouldn't say that we ever had a lot in common but my expectations weren't all that high anyway. the only thing I ever asked of him was for him to be nice to me. he pulled that off for a month or two before things started to change.

four months later, two things happened within the same week: my beloved grandfather died and I found out I was pregnant. the first one was completely unexpected and left me devastated. he was the only father I had growing up and was such an important person to me. even now, almost 12 years later, I'm on the verge of tears just writing about him. finding out that I was pregnant was bittersweet, because I knew that my grandfather would never meet my new child. if she would have been a boy, I would have named her after him. well, kind of. his name was Guillermo, we would have Americanized it to William. I don't think he would have minded though.

my mother and stepdad came to Colorado for the funeral and I found out that two of my stepsisters were also pregnant. I missed them so much, especially after my grandpa died. so X and I talked, and decided to move to Ohio. we packed up most of our things and the kids and I drove back with my stepdad. my mother stayed behind to help her mother with those things that always need to be taken care of after a funeral. X stayed behind to finish up some work stuff and collect his final paycheck. the trip back was eventful to say the least but we survived.

it was August in Ohio, which is not always pleasant. it was terribly hot and terribly humid and I was pregnant and had a ton of stuff to do: find an apartment, get utilities (and phone and cable) turned on, register Stephen for kindergarten, unpack, find a doctor for the kids and myself. it was a lot but it kept me busy. meanwhile, X was taking care of things in Colorado and trying to move the rest of our stuff out. he followed us out to Ohio after about three weeks.

things seemed different after the move. he was really short-tempered with me and seemed to have less patience with the kids. it was a subtle change at first but since I was pregnant, any little slight turned into something bigger. we didn't get along as well as we had before, but I convinced myself that it was because of the move.

X wasn't working then, but he had a bit of money saved so he could take his time and find a job that he would enjoy more than the one he had. Stephen started school, Hannah was still at home and the pregnancy was going along fine after our little scare at the beginning. a new niece was born in September, and a month later I had a new nephew too. it was so great to be around the babies, especially since I was going to have one in a few months. stepsister #2 and I were getting closer again. life was pretty good, which was very unusual. I don't always know how to handle normalcy. probably because it never lasted long enough to get used to it.

Casey was born in April, we got married that following June. mostly for the wrong reasons, like insurance and taxes. we definitely weren't getting along any better than we had been a few months ago. I started to realize that we had different ideas about almost everything, most especially money. he hated to let go of one penny, even for something that we needed. he thought we should just work and save our money, no unnecessary spending at all. no trips to McDonalds or to the movies, no new toys for the kids, new clothes from garage sales, etc. he thought we should spend our free time doing things that would earn more money, seriously he was obsessed with it.

I, on the other hand, thought it was fine to save some money but not at the expense of living life and having fun. we probably would have been okay if we could have found some middle ground but we never did. plus, his impatience and short temper were getting worse by the day. he would fly off the handle for no reason sometimes and overreact to the slightest things. I could never tell what would set him off, which was really bad for me because I reverted to my old habit of trying to be invisible when he was around. it was so much easier to stay out of his way than to try to figure out what the problem actually was.

he started a new job and really seemed to like it. he wasn't making a lot of money at first so he compensated by working a lot of hours. after a while he worked his way up and was making damn good money but he still kept his schedule the same. there were times when he would work 80+ hours a week and I'm sure he put in more hours than anyone else that worked with him. working so many hours made him more cranky and impatient with us, to the point where it was better if we weren't home when he was there. I started to get angry at the way he was treating me and the kids and we started arguing about that and money more and more every day.

I think he did realize that he wasn't being a very good father and made an effort to spend more time with the kids. he was more patient and understanding with them, and they started to go out and do things together when he wasn't working. but things never, ever improved between us. I was unhappy with the hours he worked and the way he treated people and the way he treated me. it was terrible, I was depressed most of the time and the slightest thing would almost push me over the edge. I was suicidal and destructive and miserable whenever I was around him. I didn't like who I had become with him, I was angry and bitchy and hateful and sometimes just mean. every time we were together we would argue. and while he really seemed to enjoy it, it made me want to kill myself. even though we were married for more than ten years, I knew after about three that it was never going to work. unfortunately.

our problems just escalated from there. we fought all the time over everything. I can't imagine how awful it must have been to be around us. it got so bad that I tried to avoid talking to him unless it involved the children. there were times when I didn't speak to him for days. when we did talk, it almost always turned into an argument. it wasn't all his fault, I didn't have to participate but I did. he seemed to know exactly what to say to get under my skin and I really do believe he did it on purpose. no one could make me as angry as he did. in fact, he pushed me so far one day that I slapped him across the face, the first and only time I have ever hit another person.

I hated the person I was when he was around. I felt completely out of control. things had gone beyond the point of ever being right. I don't know why it took me so long to get out of that situation. possibly it was because I couldn't see another solution, besides being on my own, which I didn't feel strong enough to handle, financially or emotionally. so I started seeing other men (Brian was not the first) whenever the opportunity came up. not to punish X for anything, but because it made me feel good to be with someone who was nice to me for a change.

it wasn't the same though, as having a healthy relationship. I wasn't any happier than I had been but I didn't really feel any guilt about it either. I don't think that X ever knew about any of those other men. I didn't ever lie or try to hide it but I'm pretty sure he had no idea, mostly because he wasn't paying attention.

during the last two or three years we grew even further apart, to the point of sleeping in separate beds. I had my money and paid my bills, he had his. the only time we did anything together was if it involved the children and he wasn't working. we didn't speak unless it was necessary or unless it was idle conversation. I was living my own life and he was free to do whatever he wanted, which meant that he was at work whenever possible.

I know that he knew something was going on when I started seeing Brian. everyone who knew me could see that I was ridiculously happy, even X. and as soon as Brian and I admitted to each other that we wanted to move forward with our relationship, I told X everything. we calmly discussed what the next steps needed to be, split our shared bills and our belongings and went our separate ways. it was all completely civilized and probably the first time in about 9 years that we had been decent to each other.

it's disgraceful that things were so out of control. I'm embarassed to say that I didn't do anything about it because it was just easier to avoid the situation than it was to fix it or end it. I'm grateful that everything worked out though. and I'm grateful for the wonderful life I have. I probably don't deserve it but I'm not letting that stop me!

Friday, May 06, 2005


my Photo Friday entry. it's a picture of our godson hunting for Easter Eggs. I love how he's mid-step in this picture. plus he's just so damn adorable.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

how I met my darling husband

anyone who has been here longer than five minutes knows that I love my husband more than I could ever say here or in real life. he is the most incredible person I have ever met. he is loving and generous and sweet and kind and handsome and funny and smart. he is an amazing artist and musician and has a beautiful singing voice. he is honest and honorable and decent and good. he loves my children and my family and his family and our friends and our dog and most of all, me. I know without a doubt that he would do anything I asked him to do. everyone who has met him loves him, he's just that kind of person.

we met at my sister's 21st birthday party in 2001. she was dating his nephew at the time. I was still married but my then-husband was not at the party. we had been on the verge of divorce for years and years. I tried to avoid spending time with him whenever possible...but enough about that. Brian and I were actually sitting next to each other the whole night but didn't really talk that much. I noticed that he smiled a lot that night and that he bought her a great book about poetry. giving a girl a nice gift always makes a good first impression!

we didn't see each other again until July 2002, at a party for his nephew, who was just back from basic training. my sister and Brian's sister threw a big party to welcome our new soldier home and both of our families were there. I spent most of the party inside, watching the sports channel in the air conditioning (fuck being outside in Ohio in July) and Brian hung out in there for a while with me and my brother-in-law. we talked more than we had the first time but it was just small talk, nothing really important.

the "kids" were having another party after the cookout, where much drinking was planned. being a person who enjoys much drinking, I was invited. since almost everyone else there was in their late teens-early twenties, I asked Brian to go too so I wouldn't have to be the only old person there. being the good guy he is, he agreed to go and agreed to drive me there and back home so I didn't have to drive. I'm pretty sure he was planning to go before I asked him but he didn't really let on.

the older crowd started thinning out and the youngsters were slowly making their way to their cars, heading to the stores to buy the alcohol for the next party. I asked Brian when he was planning to leave and he said, "whenever you're ready." you have to love a man with a flexible schedule. and, dear god, was he cute! I had a huge crush on him already.

my sister and her friends left at the same time we left, they had to make a beer run and were supposed to meet us at their house right afterwards. we stopped for a 12-pack and then drove over to the new party. when we got there, his other nephew and a few of their friends were outside, my sister and the rest of the party hadn't gotten there yet. we parked the car out front and just stayed where we were, listening to music and talking and laughing. I may have opened up one of the beers, I can't remember. I do remember having a few at his sister's house so I was in a great mood by then. the windows were down, the moon was out, it was a beautiful night.

he was so nice and so funny. he mentioned that he was planning to move to Florida in a couple of weeks with a friend of his and that he hadn't really told his family about it. I told him that I hated Florida, I had a bad experience there when Stephen was about three months old. he teased me for forgetting to take my seatbelt off ten minutes after he had parked and turned off the car. I laughed the whole time we were together. he said that we were acting like drunk detectives on a stakeout, which cracked me up. I was having a great time, just sitting in that car laughing.

finally everyone else showed up and we carried our beers down to the basement. it was such a nice night out so we all went into the backyard and sat in the grass drinking our beers, etc. some of my sister's friends from college were in town for the party so I actually knew a lot of people there. but for the most part, I stayed close to Brian. I had never met anyone like him, we hit if off instantly. it was completely innocent and harmless. we just enjoyed being together. it never occurred to me that maybe he liked me too.

it was probably close to 2am when things started to wind down (read as: my sister was getting bitchy and annoying) so I asked Brian how long he wanted to say and he said, "we can leave whenever you're ready." so off we went. he drove me home, we said goodnight and he waited at the curb while I went inside. except that I was locked out. and I had given my keys and my purse to my then-husband before he went home. the kids were all gone and I didn't have my cell phone and he didn't hear the doorbell or my knocking.

I went back out to the car and told Brian that I would be okay because I could just climb in through the dining room window. obviously I was drunk, because I made him drive off before I got inside. the kids had climbed in that window many times so I knew it could be done. one problem...that window was higher than I had realized and I didn't have anyone to boost me in! it took me about five minutes to get up there and work my way into the house, giggling the whole time. first an inept detective, then an inept burglar. it was a great night. and he was a complete gentleman.

I bumped into him a couple of weeks later at the grocery store. he laughed when I told him how much trouble I had getting into the house and felt bad for letting me talk him into leaving before I got in. we talked about him moving to Florida for a few minutes and then said goodbye. I thought about him for days after that, and remembered how much fun I had that night. it takes a lot for me to be completely comfortable around a person but with Brian, it was so easy.

my sister and his nephew went back to college, found out that they had each cheated on each other over the summer and broke up within their first two weeks back. it was quite ugly, they were both so awful and bitter and vicious and malicious. she left school immediately and moved into my basement with the intention of missing the rest of that quarter and going back after things had settled down. she never went back.

at the time, I was completely miserable in my marriage and hated spending time at home when my then-husband was there. since he was home on Fridays and Saturdays, my sister and I started going out to the local bars on those nights. she was suddenly single and over 21, I was just happy to be away from my nightmare at home.

the problem with two girls going to bars in our town (and possibly every town) is that guys will not leave you alone. and while my sister seemed to enjoy all the attention, I did not. guys in bars are lame, and creepy and don't always understand or care when you tell them to go away.

we started bringing our own boy with us, to keep the other boys away. sometimes it was our brother, sometimes it was just a guy friend. one night we decided it should be Brian. my sister would always say that we should call him to hang out with us but we never did until that night. she would always talk about how much I would like him and how we had the same sense of humor and how much fun he was to hang out with. of course by the time we called him, he had already gone out for the night. apparently we weren't the only girls looking for him that night but he was out of town somewhere. we left a message for him and then forced our brother to go to the bar with us that night.

he called my sister later in the week and told her where he would be the next weekend if we wanted to hang out. we tracked him down at the Eagles in town and after having a couple of $1.50 drinks (hell yeah!) we dragged him to our bar so we could dance. it's a good thing we did because the ladies he was sitting with were trying to pick him up! they were old and weird though so it was for his own good.

we had so much fun that night! talking and laughing and dancing and drinking. he was the perfect boy. a friend of my sister's showed up, an old friend who she hadn't seen in a while. they were busy catching up so Brian and I were kind of on our own. I didn't mind though and neither did he. we were completely at ease in each other's company.

I never considered myself much of a flirt, even though all my sisters told me I was a big one. but apparently I was flirting with Brian quite a bit that night, according to him. at first we were sitting across the table from each other, then I moved over to his side so we could hear each other over the music. a little while later, I innocently (I swear!) gave him my cell phone number. at some point, he put his arm around my shoulder. and after half an hour or so, asked me if it was okay for it to be there. how cute is that?

at the end of the night, he offered to drive us home. I think my car was still at the Eagles, which meant we would've had to walk back to get it and then drive home. we took him up on his offer. as we were all walking slowly to his car, he put his arm around me and kept pulling me close to him.

my sister's friend was with us and two weird/funny guys were there too, trying to get the girls to go home with them. the six of us were just standing in the parking lot, talking and laughing. Brian didn't let go of me then, even in front of my sister! she didn't seem to mind and I think she was pretending not to notice. eventually we got into the car. I sat in the passenger seat, she was in the back and he drove us home. when we got to my house, he drove past it a little bit and parked in front of my neighbor's house. I thought he just forgot which house was mine.

my sister said bye and thanks and ran inside to use the bathroom. I turned to him to say goodnight and he kissed me. a small, sweet, tender kiss on the lips. all thoughts of getting out of the car left my mind. I just sat there and looked into his eyes and we both smiled. it took a second or two for reality to return. I said goodnight and went inside.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

overcoming childhood

Raehan's post titled "Simply Heroic" was about two fellow bloggers who didn't necessarily have the greatest role models when it came to parenting. at the end of her post, she posed the following question: Is there anything from your childhood that you have had to struggle to overcome? wow. what a question for a Monday morning. I left a short-ish comment but decided that my response required an entire post.

my interpretation of her question was that it related to things I had to overcome as a parent. that might not have been exactly what she meant but that's the question I'm answering. Raehan, I hope you don't mind.

now that I think about it, growing up with a mother like mine was great preparation for being a parent. she played the role of child, and I played mommy to her and my two brothers. I guess that's why I never questioned whether or not I would have children of my own, in spite of all my issues. it was something I always wanted and I could not wait to get started. I had my son when I was almost 19, so obviously I didn't wait long.

I actually enjoyed taking care of everyone when I was little, I still love it. I loved being in charge and being the one who remembered what we were supposed to be doing and when. I would watch my brothers when mom was at work, we never had a babysitter during the day. I would make sure they were fed and clean, make sure they took their naps and got to play outside when it was nice enough. I changed diapers and filled bottles and pushed strollers. I had a lot of responsibilities for someone my age, I wasn't even six yet and my brothers were one and two. it's crazy to think about it now, but we all survived it somehow.

things were actually going well until we moved in with my grandparents. it was probably just a matter of time until our luck ran out anyway. life for the boys improved I'm sure, they had animals to play with and 40 acres to run around on. my life, on the other hand, was turned completely upside down. I was actually expected to let someone else be in charge. someone else made our meals and told us when to go outside. someone else would tell mom how we spent our day. I wasn't special anymore, I was just a kid.

anyone who says that being a kid is the best time of your life did not grow up with my grandmother. her sole purpose in life seemed to be to make me miserable. she loved to tell me how worthless and lazy I was and what a drunken loser my dad was (he left right after my youngest brother was born) and how I should be kissing her feet for raising me. she delighted in taking away people or things that made me happy. she loved to keep me either locked inside the house doing chores or locked outside unsupervised for hours on end.

she loved the boys, though. my youngest brother was her obvious favorite. he could do no wrong in her eyes. even now, if he calls her a fat bitch, she laughs. one day I jokingly said she was crazy and got slapped across the face. my mother tried to make sure my other brother wasn't left out so he was her favorite. I was no one's favorite, which really hurt at the time. I felt unloved, unimportant and invisible. I realize now that it taught me self-reliance.

I never did figure out what my grandmother's deal was, but I never really tried. I was just thankful to be out of her clutches once I did get away. she would still get close enough for a quick jab every once in a while though. and I could still see that malicious gleam in her eye when she knew that she could still hurt me. she has gotten better over the years, to the point where I don't mind her being around my children. it's too late for me though, I'll never be comfortable being anywhere near her. I don't think I'll ever be able to forgive her for all the things that happened to me as a kid. hell, it's already been more than 20 years. if forgiveness isn't in me now, it's just not coming. I don't even try anymore.

the lessons I did learn from my upbringing are ones that I learned the hard way. I tried to remember them when I became a parent. the most important one is that kids are supposed to be kids, with kid responsibilities and kid worries and kid thoughts and kid fun. that it is my job as a parent to be their protector, their teacher, their home and their heart. I learned how important it is to love them equally, even if one of them isn't being as loveable as the rest. I respect their opinions and individuality. I would give my life for them if it was ever necessary.

I know I haven't been the perfect mother. there are lots of things I would do differently if I could. but in spite of my mistakes, I have three pretty great kids. and I wouldn't trade the experience of being their mom for anything in the world.

Sunday, May 01, 2005

random stuff

my wonderful husband just came into the living room for no other reason than to kiss me and tell me that he loves me. I can't believe how lucky I am to be married to him.

we watched "Final Cut" last night. it was really good. best line:

Robin Williams' character to Jim Caviezel's character: Don't tell me you're worried about my soul now.

me to Brian: Well, he is Jesus.

I posted this to my LJ but it amuses me so much, I'm posting it here too:

wouldn't it be great if the Mammogram Mobile was shaped more appropriately?

not shaped like boobies?!?!?

you the Weiner Mobile!


I had lunch at the Taj Palace Friday after work. by myself. it was nice but strange. because I don't usually eat out alone. I did enjoy the food, and surprisingly it wasn't terrible to eat a meal by myself. I might do that more often.