Wednesday, August 31, 2005

my favorite tattoo

I have a total of seven tattoos but this one is my absolute favorite


it's on my right shoulder and you might not notice that my kids' initials are in there somewhere (most people don't). it's beautiful and meaningful and special and perfect and I completely love it.
I suppose it's natural, and possibly inevitable, that over time couples start to take each other for granted. even the best of couples can get too comfortable apparently. and yes, I do consider us the best of couples. we need a night out alone. lately we've been spending too much time with other people and not enough time with each other. this weekend is our anniversary so it seems like the perfect time to remind my wonderful husband how wonderful I think he is. since the traditional first anniversary gift is paper, I'm planning on writing a poem for him. I can't wait to get started! I love writing. I only hope I have enough time to do something really, really good. I should have started days ago.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005


if I had been going the other way on the highway this morning on my way to work and if the batteries in the digital camera weren't dead, I would have been able to take the perfect picture for Photo Friday. this week's challenge is chaos.

apparently, at about 8:45 this morning, a semi driver lost control of his truck, crossed the median and two lanes of traffic, and ran into the side of an apartment building (link to story is here). I got the picture from there too.


my kids had a two-hour delay to the start of school this morning so we didn't leave the house until after 9am today. we saw this story on the news right before we left. when I drove by the accident, all I could think of was whether or not any kids lived in that apartment. because they would have been home today because of the delay. fortunately, no one in the building was injured. hopefully the driver is okay too.

we used to live in that apartment complex, although not anywhere near this particular building.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

overdue update

we're settling into the new house quite nicely. almost everything has been put away or hung up, except for a few family pictures that I want to hang up. Brian put up the shelf above the desk that holds the printer and scanner and hung up the paintings from Ian in Hannah's room. we also put some furniture on the front porch, it's so cute! we all sat out there for about an hour Tuesday night. I think Brian was trying to have some quiet but after he asked me to come out and sit with him, and the girls kinda' followed.

this past weekend was pretty busy. Brian went to see DEVO with Ian Thursday night. they drove to Cleveland for the concert, on a school night! bleh. he got home at about 2:30 and had about five hours of sleep before his work called him and woke him up to come in. after work, he called and invited me to come with him to meet Brian's friend, Doug, at the Eagles for a drink and a game of pool. we had a few drinks and ended up not playing pool. instead we went to Pizza Hut for dinner, because Doug is friends with the manager. we were supposed to go see a band play in Columbus at 10pm that night but I actually fell asleep on the couch before it was time to leave. tee hee!

Saturday we all just hung out at the house, did some housework and then met the family at a park in town for a birthday party. my nephew was turning 14 this weeks. we almost always go to a park for his party. it's usually so nice out and all the cousins hang out and play. soon he's going to be too old for that kind of party and it will be a little sad. that evening Brian grilled yummy ribs for dinner, which took forever. we ended up eating at about 9pm but it was totally worth the wait!

my parents were over Sunday for dinner, which was nice. they were our first invited guests. we spent the whole day cleaning out all the stuff in the garage and doing yardwork and putting away stuff that we brought in from the garage so it was a pretty tiring day. but it was great because the girls helped us with everything. Hannah even made a cake for dessert. yummy!!!

my mother did lose her job. her work says that she didn't show up for work three days in a row so they fired her for job abandonment. she is convinced that she filed out paperwork to take a leave of absence and that's why she didn't go to work. I hate to admit that she is probably wrong, but I'm almost positive that she is.

her memory is worse every time I see her but she keeps cancelling her doctor's appointments, saying that she feels fine. my stepdad won't make her go and won't even try to discuss it with her. she won't listen to any of us kids either. so I guess we aren't going to find out what the problem is for a while. and now that she's not working, they don't have health insurance so I know that will be the next excuse for not seeing a doctor.

it's so frustrating because if doctors know what the problem is, they can try to fix it. and if it's not fixable, we can all start to prepare for whatever will need to be done. I don't know why she is being so difficult. but whenever we talk about it, she acts like nothing is wrong or just gives me a blank stare. I'm really at a loss here.

I met one of our neighbors Monday night. she brought us a loaf of delicious zucchini bread. how cool is that? our neighbors are all older and religious, which is so weird for us. we really don't fit with them. but they're really sweet and that's all that matters.

we're planning on having our friends and family over for a cookout Labor Day weekend to celebrate the new house and our anniversary and to break in the neighborhood. it's going to be a lot of fun and Brian is going to make delicious food. anyone who lives nearby should come over!

Monday, August 22, 2005

back to school

so today is the first day of school for the girls. this morning went surprisingly smooth. it's so nice to have two bathrooms now. well, one and a half, but still it's much better than having to share one bathroom in the mornings.

Casey is starting middle school this year, which will probably be a big change for her. luckily (for my peace of mind!) only the 7th and 8th graders attend middle school so her class is only the youngest by one year. the school is a lot bigger but except for choir and band, she stays on one side of the building. I hope she has a good first day.

Hannah will be a junior this year, so high school is no big deal to her. the only change will be that her brother probably won't be there and neither will their cousin, Hable. I'm hoping that will be a good thing and that she will find her own place instead of relying on them for a social life. she has become a lot more mature over the summer and I think she'll be okay. as long as she can wake up for her first period Latin class!

Friday, August 19, 2005

Photo Friday - One

my photo friday entry is here, on my photo blog. I'm going to post them there from now on.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

I've started a photo blog.

Imagine Photos

I've been thinking about doing one for a while but never really did anything about it until yesterday. the template needs a lot of work and I only have three pictures posted but I think it's going to be fun when it's finally finished. I'm hoping it will make me take more pictures.

check it out if you have a minute!

Tuesday, August 16, 2005


my Photo Friday picture...late as usual:


lots of violet in this sunrise. it was just beautiful.

Monday, August 15, 2005

we took the girls school shopping this weekend. Friday night we went to Target to get school supplies. Target has way cooler school stuff plus they had a shirt there that Casey wanted. I tried to get Hannah to pick out some school clothes but she didn't like anything there. she said she would rather go to the thrift stores for her clothes, which is where most of her things come from.

when I was a kid, I hated thrift store clothes, probably because we had to wear them. I wouldn't set foot in a thrift store unless threatened with physical harm. fortunately, we don't have to shop there now (not that we're rich or anything!) but it's actually kinda' fun. my kids love thrift shopping, especially Hannah.

Hannah definitely has her own sense of style. for years she would only wear things from the boys department. I have to say I didn't really blame her, most little girls clothes at the time were either overly girly or overly revealing. she was always a bit of a tomboy so girly clothes weren't her thing, especially dresses. I didn't really worry about it much and just let her wear what she wanted.

she slowly started to change as she got older, which we all do I suppose. it was subtle at first, a couple of pink t-shirts made their way into her wardrobe, a cool little jacket from Limited Too. she started asking me to buy her pants that weren't so baggy, which I was happy to do. I think she was getting more comfortable with her figure and was feeling more confident with herself. self-esteem is a wonderful thing. I'm glad she found some.

she loves jackets and sweaters, in any color or pattern, silk shirts and striped or plaid pants. her shoes are still mostly boyish, except for her hot pink Chuck Taylor's, which she decorated with a purple marker. they look awesome and are totally original, just like Hannah.

she gets compliments on her wardrobe all the time, at school or when we're out in public. it's great. she still won't wear dresses or skirts but that's okay. she is definitely her own person and doesn't let other people's opinions (even mine!) change how she thinks. I'm so proud of her for that.

anyway, we found a few nice things for her at the thrift stores on Saturday. Casey picked up a couple of shirts and some pants and Brian and I found a few things too. it was great spending the day with them.

I really treasure the times we get to spend together, I know the day is coming soon when the girls will have their own lives and won't want to do things with us anymore and Brian and I will be left to entertain ourselves. I am dreading that as much as I am looking forward to it.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

my launchcast station is being very nice to me today! I just finished listening to Wonderful Tonight by Eric Clapton, which was the song Brian and I danced to at our wedding. it was also the first song we ever danced to so needless to say, it's "our" song. we saw Clapton in concert a few months before the wedding. when he sang our song, I closed my eyes and put my head on Brian's shoulder and it felt like he was singing just for the two of us.

I love it when things remind me of my husband.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

the incredibly huge, overwhelming stack of work that I had on my desk just got doubled. I am definitely going home now.

I don't think I have another long post in me right now

Ian wanted me to post something that would take forever to read so we could test out my new background color but I only have shallow things in my head right now. so instead of a real post, you get bulleted nonsense!
  • the shirt I am wearing today makes me obsess about my breasts. because it's a bit low-cut. I have to wear a black bra (which is not the most comfortable one I have) with it so it doesn't show. the shirt is super awesome, showing cleavage at work is not. no really, trust me, it's not. if I actually had some to show it might be better. but I don't.
  • lunch today was a chicken gyro. yum! but it sure was messy. I feel like I have cucumber sauce all over my face. I don't! I checked.
  • I still don't have my shoes unpacked and put away. I am trying to force myself to do it tonight though. I dumped them all out on the bedroom floor this morning so they will be in my way when I get home from work. I hope it isn't too annoying for Brian but I'm afraid it's the only way it will get done. I did get to wear a pair of shoes today that I haven't had since we moved!
  • I did get some pictures hung up in the living room last night though. and Brian put up some shelves for me. it looks and feels so much better in there. Casey said it looked like home. awwww.
  • yesterday, when I left work there was a dead bird right outside the front doors. it was lying face down in the mulch. today when I got to work, some guy walked by with a napkin or something in his hand, picked up the bird and threw it in the trashcan. so unceremoniously. and callous, I thought. don't ask me what I expected, it just made me a little sad.
  • either the dead bird story or my lunch or something else is making me feel nauseous all of a sudden. I think I might go home early.

Monday, August 08, 2005

I'm suffering from a major case of writer's block...

but really want to post something today. there are tons of options, which is probably the biggest part of the problem. I guess I'll continue my "boys" series (here are parts one and two).

my most favorite high school boyfriend and I broke up because I started seeing someone else. it was May of my senior year and a boy who sat behind me in one of my classes had been flirting with me for months. he knew Jimmy and knew that we weren't allowed to see each other. I later learned that he thought that I might just want to see him on weekends to sleep with him on the side, since I couldn't do either of those things with Jimmy. boys are dumb sometimes.

anyway, I hung out a few times with him and a friend of his, just as friends at first. I knew it was probably going to lead to something more but wasn't really in any hurry. he wasn't really my type, or so I thought. he drank and smoked pot and hung out with that crowd. I wasn't really much of a drinker back then and have never done drugs so it weirded me out a little. but he seemed harmless enough. he was really sweet and never tried to get me to do anything I didn't want to do.

we lived in the same city and could see each other whenever we wanted, which was a big change from things with Jimmy. his parents were older and seemed to like me. he was the youngest of six kids and was born when his parents were in their 40s. he was a little spoiled and could get away with anything. we were allowed to spend as much time as we wanted in his room with the door closed. nothing sexual happened for quite a while, because my experiences with sex were not anything I wanted to repeat, but eventually I realized that being with Kevin was different from what I had been through before. my first voluntary sexual experience was actually nice, which was quite a surprise.

I graduated from high school and got pregnant about a month later. it wasn't a big deal really. I knew a lot of other girls who were either pregnant during high school or shortly after. we had talked about getting married if it happened and it sounded like a pretty good idea. looking back now, I realize that it was incredibly naive and stupid to marry someone I had only really known for about six months. we were doomed from the beginning, but I didn't realize it at the time.

from the time I had met him, all Kevin wanted to do was join the Army. I'm not sure where that came from but I knew that he would never be happy until he did it. he ended up joining the Navy instead and left for boot camp when Stephen was about two months old. I moved in with his parents and stayed with them until he was assigned to Norfolk, VA.

Stephen and I joined him there and stayed for about six months. we left because I just couldn't handle being on my own while he was out to sea. too many bad experiences from childhood had left me afraid to be alone and we were spending too many weeks alone. we moved back in with his parents and visited every few months.

it was far from ideal but it was the best I could do. Kevin and I got along well enough when we were together, even though I was still secretly in love and obsessed with Jimmy. it really was terrible of me to marry someone else when I knew I still loved him. I have no excuse for that. I did try very hard to make sure that Kevin never knew how I felt but I'm sure on some level, he knew.

military life wasn't really what Kevin thought it would be. he was really homesick and missed me and Stephen and his family very much. if I had been a stronger person, I'm sure things would have turned out differently but he really was miserable out there on his own and left before his service was over.

his disappointment and disillusion combined with his time in the military had changed him. he seemed like a completely different person when he came home. he was short-tempered and yelled a lot and was very distant. he spent a lot of time alone and didn't really want to be around me or Stephen much anymore. in a completely misguided effort to try to get closer in our family, we got pregnant again. in November, Hannah was born.

job opportunities were pretty slim in our little town back home. even finding a minimum wage job took months and months. with two small children (20 months apart), I was not working and Kevin was having trouble adjusting to civilian life as an adult. we were still living with his parents because we couldn't afford our own place. I don't know what we would have done without them. they really were wonderful people.

meanwhile, my parents were planning to move to Ohio. my stepbrother and one stepsister had moved out there and according to them, there were tons of jobs and nice places to live. we decided to follow them out to see if we could get back on our feet. we all loaded up two cars with 11 people and a U-haul and drove almost 1,300 miles in two days. it was completely crazy but we made it somehow. everything and everyone arrived in one piece and we all set out to find some work and some apartments. my mother watched the children for us and things were looking up.

Kevin and I never really argued much, because I am a person who cannot deal with anger. we only really disagreed about money. he wanted to spend it on frivolous things, I wanted to pay the bills and buy food. he seemed more and more unhappy with our life and with being a grownup and I really felt like he wanted to go back to high schoool and be a kid forever. eventually, he decided that he wanted out and moved back to Colorado with his parents.

I stayed behind in Ohio with the kids for a few months. we kept in contact by phone and somehow decided to get back together. I packed up our things, sold the car and saved up some money for a bus trip home. in the middle of all of this, I slept with someone else.

about a week later we were back in Colorado. a few weeks after that, I realized that I had missed my period. I panicked and told Kevin about the person I had slept with in Ohio and he seemed to understand. he said that if I was pregnant, we would keep the baby and everything would be fine.

a pregnancy test came back negative, which was a huge relief, but apparently he wasn't as okay with it as he had been at first. he would come home from work and tell me that he had spent the whole day thinking about what I had done and how much it pissed him off. he would say that he hated me, and that he would never forgive me for what happened. it got worse every day, to the point where I was almost afraid of him. he just couldn't get past it, and we never recovered.

he decided that he would move in with a friend of his who lived in Denver, which was about three hours away by car. I don't know if he was trying to get away and cool off or if he was just not brave enough to divorce me or what. he ended up enrolling in college and working part-time at a photo development place. he rarely visited me or the kids. he said that he still loved me but wasn't ready to come home yet. the whole situation wasn't really working for me so I asked him for a divorce. it took about six months after that before it was official because I filed the paperwork myself.

his parents watched the kids while I worked as a waitress and a month or two after Kevin moved to Denver, we moved out of their house. you would think it would have been awkward to live with his parents while we were separated but they were so wonderful about everything. still, it wasn't an easy situation for anyone so as soon as I could afford it, I left. a good friend of mine was moving out of his apartment and his roommate Joe was looking for someone to move in and pay half of the rent and stuff. it was cool because we didn't need a lot of money to move in.

this guy seemed nice. he really liked the kids and they really liked him too. we got along well enough. shortly after we moved in though, the restaurant where he bartended burned down and he was out of work for three months. we were unofficially dating so I paid for everything until he went back to work. by that time, I realized that he was a bit of a loser so we had broken up. we were still friends though so I didn't move out until I met Casey's dad, X, and moved in with him.

I don't know why I keep telling these stories, they're probably all awful and boring and I don't come off well in most of them. still I want to write them and this is the easiest way. I think it's good to look back and see how far I've come and see how much I've grown and how much I've learned. even though I don't have a past that I'm proud of, I did get three wonderful children out of it. and I might not be where I am today if I hadn't made the choices I made. all the pain and mistakes and tears were worth it if it brought me to the place I am now.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

a real post is coming, I promise!

but in the meantime, here are pictures of my niece singing onstage with her dad last weekend:

marissa & miller 2

marissa & miller 3

the band's website


my Photo Friday entry. the picture itself isn't that complex but man, was it hard to shoot.


I was trying to pick up the reflection in the frames on the wall with the digital camera. flash ruined the shot but no flash caused the image of the singer (my brother-in-law) to be out of focus because of the slow shutter speed. anyway, I think it turned out well.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

list of things making me cranky

  • our little department at work had a reorganization on Monday. now all the people in my aisle are either too old, too young or too bitchy to have much in common with. although the young girl is pretty cool. I guess I'll be wearing my headphones more often.

  • I haven't had time/energy to unpack my shoes since we moved so I've been wearing the same $5 flip flops from last year all week.

  • it seems unlikely that I will be getting the raise I just asked for, in spite of the fact that I have more responsibilities. it is also possible that I won't get a raise next year either.

  • I lost a Battle of the Blogs challenge on Blog Explosion to a blog "written" by a lesbian guinea pig. no, really. I need to stick to voting.

  • Brian and my brother-in-law and my sister took the day off today. I'm the only stupid one who went to work. and I'm here for another two hours.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Brian is going to Ozzfest tonight with three boys (two brothers-in-law and a brother-in-law's brother). they should all have a lot of fun and hopefully stay out of too much trouble. I'll miss him though. we have spent less than ten evenings apart since we moved in together two and a half years ago. I hate being apart from him, we just can't seem to spend enough time together. it feels like we barely get to see each other, with work and kid stuff and all the other things we spend our time doing. one of our long-term goals is to start our own business so we can:
  1. work for ourselves
  2. do something we both enjoy
  3. spend more time together


ps - spell check at work tries to replace the spelling of Ozzfest with Ooziest! how hilarious is that?

Monday, August 01, 2005

great weekend=yes.

so many lovely things happened this weekend, I just have to write about some of them. it'll probably be boring to everyone else but I don't have a real post. I'm afraid this blog is turning into a place where I just post about whatever is going on in my life, and that wasn't my original intent. oh well, it's too late now!

I took Friday off because cable/internet was scheduled to be connected sometime between 8am and 7pm. could they be more vague? I woke up early because Brian and his friend Mark needed a ride to work. Mark was supposed to drive them in, Brian's car was in the shop, but his brother had his car and wasn't home in time for them to leave. I had planned on sleeping in until about 8 but had to get up at 6:30 instead. bleh.

after I took them to work, I went by the new house to arrange some of the stuff we had there in preparation for the big move on Saturday. I spent about an hour moving stuff around and then headed home for some breakfast. shortly after I finished eating, there was a very soft knock on the front door. I opened it up to find the boy standing there! it was a big surprise for both of us, I'm sure, because he probably expected me to be at work and I was completely shocked to see him. he was waiting for a friend and wanted to hang out while he waited. we had a nice talk about where he was living and what he had been doing. it was so wonderful to see him, I was so happy I wanted to cry.

of course, I was super busy that day with packing and cleaning so I didn't get to spend a lot of time with him that morning. I woke up the girls so we could get started and packed up a few more boxes. he left to see if his friend was home and came back shortly after we finished loading up the car. I teased him about having such great timing and coming back as soon as we finished. he asked if we wanted help with anything and I was more than happy to take him up on his offer. the four of us took a few carloads over to the house and I took everyone out for lunch. it was just a really nice morning/afternoon. when I told him that we were moving furniture the next day, he volunteered to help with that too.

Friday night we took Casey with us to a cookout. it was Honda Homecoming weekend and Brian's friend Terry always has a cookout before the light parade. it was great. there was tons of food and he had karaoke set up. lots of Brian's work people were there and everyone seemed to have a good time. we got home at about 10:30 and by then I was exhausted. we set the alarm for 7am and I went right to sleep.

two of the guys that were supposed to help us move had to back out because of work, which sucked. my sister helped a lot and we had Stephen so it wasn't too terrible. the kids moved small stuff and everyone actually worked really hard. we finished up around 1pm and it was an incredibly tiring and grueling day. after everyone left, we all did some unpacking, set up the beds and tried to relax before meeting the family at 6 to celebrate my mom's birthday. we got her a cell phone that she will hopefully use.

after dinner we all watched/listened to my brother-in-law's band play. it was fun. the kids were all there, including Stephen, it was a beautiful night and a lot of our friends were there. we were completely worn out but made it through the whole show. my niece got up and sang a song with her dad. I have a couple of great pictures of that. I'll post them as soon as I hook up the laptop again.

Sunday was cleaning-up-at-the-old-house day. big fun! my sister brought over a carpet cleaner from her work and the three of us spent about four hours cleaning everything. not fun. plus our vacuum cleaner broke and I somehow managed to tear up my right index finger with a steel wool pad while cleaning the oven racks. it's completely disgusting and sore and probably infected. it doesn't matter though, we are completely moved in and the new house is wonderful. I got to spend three great days with my son and he is doing well. hopefully we'll get to see him more often now.

today I am completely exhausted and sore but in the good way. I can't wait to get home tonight and do some more unpacking. maybe later this week we can hang up some pictures and stuff to make it feel more like home. Brian and I were both a little sad to leave the old house, which surprised us both. but it was the first house we lived in together, the place where we became a family, he proposed to me in our bedroom and it was the house we came home to after our wedding night. we have so many great memories there. I'm going to miss it.