Thursday, August 9, 2012

Moving On...and Out

Well, it's official....almost.  I'm buying a condo.  I close in 6 days and I have barely started to pack.  I've packed exactly three boxes.  Packing is bullshit.  Why would I take the time to neatly package all my stuff into boxes, tape them shut, label them with which room in the new house they belong in...only to drive them 20 minutes and unpack them to put everything away???  Stupid.

I'm feeling torn about moving.  My new place is so much smaller than where my kids and I have lived for the past 6 years....it's within MY means as opposed to my parents' means.  This will be a learning experience for us all.  I will have to do things I'm not used to being in charge of...and my kids will need to get rid of A LOT of their stuff.  On the flip side....this place....it's mine.  I will own it.  I can do what I want, when I want, how I want. 

This will be a perk in many ways.....

The girls are going to miss living with Nana and Papa....I am not.  While it's nice to see my parents frequently, they are cramping my style now that I actually have a life.  It turns out, now that I'm in a relationship, that I'm living with a 17 year old's rules and restrictions even though I am going to be 35 in a couple months.  If I want to have a "sleepover".... that should be my call.  If I want to stay up late or entertain company...I should be able to without the not-so-discreet call from upstairs - "It's a little loud down there....".  The situation worked for a long time....but it's not working now.  I need this.  My kids need to know that I'm the reigning say-so in their lives.  There is no backup option for getting their way.

Next Thursday, I will write a very large check and become the owner of my own place for the first time in my life.  I've owned a home before....with my ex husband....that's different.  I went to buy kitchen stuff last weekend and it almost crippled me...I had nobody to call to say, "do you like this color?" or, "what do you think about these....?"  It was all up to me.  I failed the test and bought tan everything.  I have no idea what colors I like or what style is "mine"!!!!!  I need this to regain my lost identity.  Buying this home is the last piece in figuring out who I really am and what I want with my life.

Granted, having Boyfriend around is giving me all kinds of new direction and perspective about what I thought I wanted compared to what I now realize I actually want.... Having my own house will allow me the self-respect and self-esteem that only develops from true independence.

Here I go.......!  


Tuesday, June 5, 2012

The Waiting Game



I dislike waiting... Especially when I know what I want.  I'm working on accepting that instant gratification is not always the most "profitable" in life...but that doesn't really make waiting easier.

I found a house I am trying to buy but I won't know anything until the later part of the month.  That is so frustrating because living in limbo when you have two kids is tainted with a heavy dose of fear.  I really need to find a house before school starts so they don't have to change schools mid-year.  I'm also competing with people who buy and flip houses for a living and I'm just a regular mom with a regular job who wants a place to call home.

I found a guy I want to spend the rest of my life with...but it's a process.  Nobody wants to think about divorce.  I sure didn't.  What he's going through is not my fault...but people still look at me like it is.  His choice to get a divorce was heavily weighed and his child was taken into account but, people still think I had something to do with it.  I'm not that girl.  I didn't wreck his family.  It was already wrecked.  I came in after the fact and we were both taken by surprise at how we connected after all these years.  Unfortunately, the timing is a bit off... People very readily say, "You should wait to get into a relationship until after he's divorced."  Right.  Because, when two consenting adults feel like they fell into the most exactly right thing ever, waiting for a signed piece of paper is exactly what they want to do.  Yep...that's super easy.

Soul mates - do they exist?

I believe....after all that I've been through in the past few months...that they do.  I've been in lots of different relationships.  Some of them healthier than others...some of them clearly unhealthy...some of them just random and quirky.  None like this.  He and I weren't even like this 17 years ago when we were together.  This is something different...something I don't have words for.  Anyone who has read this blog knows I don't have issues with finding words to explain things.  I'm at a loss here.  I can't explain how I know...I just know.  He's it.  He's my "one".  There isn't a way for this to be more right or more of an exact match.

"Designed" is the best word I can think of.  We bring out the best in each other and temper the worst.  Isn't that what it's about?  Balancing out strengths and weaknesses to draw out the people we've always had the potential to be....

Someone said the other day - "If you're truly meant to be together, it won't matter when... Today, three months from now...or six... Even a year from now... If you two are right and your love is that strong and that true then you have the luxury of taking the time to do it the right way.  No sense in rushing."

That is comforting on one hand...and totally annoying on the other.  Refer to the first sentence of this post:  I DISLIKE WAITING.  I can easily ask that, if things are this right, why wait???  Why not get started with the greatness that will be the rest of what we've found??

I'm still working on that one....  Advice?  Thoughts?  Share them....please! 

Monday, May 7, 2012

Twice Upon A Lifetime

Well, it's been more than a little while since my last post.  Like...over a year.  Sorry.  My bad.

Where in the world do I even start???  Life has been....unexpected.  Here are the highlights and then we can move on to the fun stuff....

I got the most awesome job that is just right for me.  Step-dad is still plugging along with the whole terminal cancer thing but some days are harder than others...well....most days are hard but sometimes he gets up and does stuff like 9 holes of golf.  I'm crazy busy and I've lost like 46 pounds the good old fashioned way....stress and forgetting to eat.  Also, I'm buying a house...I think.  It depends...  I'm moving out of mom and Step-dad's house at any rate because it's time to be a regular, legit adult.

Okay so....fun stuff.  Oh my...here is another "where to start?" moment.

So there's this guy.

Not just any guy.... A special guy.  Not just a special guy.... A guy I'm totally in love with and ridiculously compatible with on a freakishly fairytale level that makes me super nervous.

It gets better.

This is my high school sweetheart, people.

17 years later...we reconnected and it's been all kinds of easy bliss ever since.  Crap like this doesn't happen in real life....like ever.  But it's happening.

Unfortunately, there's a glitch in the situation.  He's in the sort of beginning stages of a divorce that is not proving to be an open-and-shut thing.  Okay...I get it....BAD idea.  Truth is...don't care...doing it anyway....keep your negativity on the DL because I'm not interested.

When in life do we get handed exactly what we want/need/ever thought could be the best thing ever??? Not very often.  What's that old Alabama song???  "The best things seldom come along twice....."  Yeah...this did.  I'm all in with this.

And I'm loving it.

So, here's hoping life goes as "planned"....(I think I just heard God laugh.)

Friday, January 28, 2011

Steak and Potatoes

At my friend's insistence that people might appreciate quick and easy recipes that fit a single mom's (or just a busy mom's!) schedule, I decided to share one with you.  This is one of the simplest dinners I make for the girls and myself.  All of us love it and it's super easy to modify it to fit each of our different tastes.

The potatoes are Roasted Baby Bakers from Schwan's.  If you don't have Schwan's delivery, you can buy baby red potatoes in ready-to-steam bags at most grocery stores in the freezer section.  I like these because they already have a butter-seasoned coating and they are so tiny that the girls can just pop them in their mouths.  That makes it fun for them.  In reality, these are THE ONLY non-french-fry or chip potatoes that Goosie will eat.  The directions are on the bag but I just pop them in a casserole dish and microwave them for about 5-6 minutes...less if I'm not making a lot.  They come in a resealable bag so it's easy to make just as many as you need.

These little baby potatoes are already seasoned and SO tasty.
Most kids don't like salad.  Peanut is not most kids.  She LOVES salad.  By loves...I mean she would eat a huge salad in lieu of supper.  I love that about her.  Goosie gets a cup of sliced baby carrots and some ranch dressing for dipping.  Peanut and I get a salad like this... Romain lettuce, spring greens, chopped orange bell pepper (because it's sweeter than green bell peppers so she'll eat them), sliced cherry tomatoes, and a few sliced baby carrots.  It's colorful and tasty.  Cutting everything up into smaller pieces makes it easier for kids to eat without fear of them choking on big leaves of lettuce.
Every steak dinner needs a salad!
On to the steak!!! Really, I will use any steak I can afford.  The particular ones I made this night came from a meat market (insert dirty joke about meat markets here) and, to be honest, I wasn't crazy about the flavor when all was said and done.  Any steak from the grocery store will work...those No Name ones turn out especially well because they are so tender.  I take black pepper, seasoned salt, and onion powder and mix those all together in a bowl and then I roll the steaks in them and squoosh the seasonings in to the meat with my fingers.  Yes..."squoosh" is a technical cooking term so shut up.
Goosie's meat gets less pepper, Peanut's gets less onion powder. Everyone gets what they want!
I broiled the steaks in the oven because my grill is currently buried on my deck in three feet of snow.  I tried to shovel a path to it but it turns out that it is also encased in about 4 inches of ice.  I miss summer.  So anyway, I broiled them on a cookie sheet because I couldn't find my broiler pan.  I checked them and flipped them over every five minutes for about twenty minutes because I dislike ANY pink in my steak.  It would take less time if you do the medium-well thing but I prefer that my beef doesn't "moo" at me on my plate.
Broil....if your grill is stuck in the snow.
We munched on our salads until the steak was done.  Take note of my vintage plates I swiped from my grandmother's house.  She was going to give them to Goodwill but I said, "NO YOU DON'T!! I have to have those at my house!!"  Keep in mind, I live with my mother...and she was slightly less than thrilled to see another set of dishes stockpiled in the cupboard.  I solved this problem by "accidentally" breaking a few of her everyday dishes that I severely disliked and then she was happy we had a "back-up" set. 
Steak and Potatoes....on dishes circa 1972.
Well, I'm not sure how much demand there is for my "easy" recipes.  They don't actually constitute being called "recipes" since I don't really mix or make anything...it's really just pairing things together that are healthy, colorful, and tasty enough that my kids won't cry through the meal.  If this is something you all find interesting...I have a few more complicated but just as quick things I could share.  Swiss steak anyone?

Thursday, January 20, 2011

So This Is Me

I've had a couple of people wonder today what I look like.  Normally, I don't end up in pictures because I'm usually TAKING the pictures so I don't have a lot to work with.  Here is one shot of me and my girls from a photo shoot that my step-sister and I went to for group shots as a Christmas gift for our parents.  (I can provide the photographer's information to interested parties...and yes, I have the right to use the photos so don't freak out that I'm a copyright violator or something.)

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Advice for the Bewildered

At age thirty-three I still do not understand how men think and I’m starting to come to the realization that this is something I may never know.  Remember that man who hugged me in this post?  Well, we are still letting this friendship thing develop slowly but he is a tough character to figure out.  He’s always happy and polite and friendly when I see him but, if I extend any type of offer to get together or hang out, he kind of freezes up.  On the flip side, if I become distant or less communicative, he will all of a sudden be flirtier.

I suppose this could lend cause to the “chase” theory.  Maybe he wants to be the pursuer?  The problem with that is that he never quite pushes forward far enough to make plans with me.  He keeps saying, “We need to go out and do something,” but it never evolves into actual plans.  Then, when I mention that I’m free on a particular night or say, “Hey I don’t have my kids this weekend,” he gets all funny about it. 

I just don’t understand what I should do next.  It seems like the less I do, the more he does…but what he does isn’t going as far as I’m hoping it will go.  The possibility that I’m completely miss-reading this whole thing is absolutely valid.  Maybe he doesn’t go past talking on the phone and casual conversation because he’s afraid it will give me the “wrong idea” about where he wants this to go?  Or maybe, maybe he’s just that shy. Or maybe, he's just content with the way things are right now because of reasons he's already given me and I just need to be more patient...

I’ve never known a guy like him and I don’t want to screw this up.  I’d rather have him as a friend than not at all because he really is that good of a guy…I just can’t figure him out.  And since I value all your opinions like crazy, I have to ask: Any suggestions?  What do I do?

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Big Fat Truth


I’m pretty sure I have reverse anorexia.  If I understand the word correctly, someone who is anorexic truly believes they see fat on their body where there really isn’t any.  I have the opposite problem.  Apparently, I don’t see fat where there is a LOT of it.  When I look down at my arms, they look slender…just like when I was much younger and only weighed 110 pounds.  Okay, maybe they don’t still look THAT slender…but they don’t look chubby in the slightest when I look down at them.  When I tip my face down, I don’t feel a sense of doubling…of my face creasing together to create a blob of fat that hangs below where my chin really is.  If I stretch my leg out in front of me, it appears slender, even if I turn it to the side and look at my calves…I don’t SEE fat.  Glancing down at my stomach (sucking it in, of course) it doesn’t look to be horribly distended with blubber resulting from birthing two children and a bad marriage that caused me to eat out of frustration and boredom.  I really don’t look fat to myself at all when I’m just looking down at my body.

And then I’ll see myself in the mirror or in a photo.

This is where I freak out.  It is that image of me...not glancing down at my own body…but looking at myself from the outside…as others see me that throws me into a tailspin of disbelief, disgust, and irritated wonderment at the reality of what I actually look like these days.  I gasp when I see the rolls and lumps where there used to be smooth, toned muscles.  I tear up when I realize that, no matter how hard I work at it or how much I exercise or how healthy I eat, I will probably never be that teeny 22 year old again.  That was the best I was ever going to look and I didn’t appreciate it when I had the chance.  How did I GET like THIS???  How did I let my tiny, in-shape, tan little body turn into this plump, unfit, distorted version of my former self?

Somehow I am able to avoid this hefty realization by not looking in mirrors for anything more than applying mascara and ninja-diving out of the way anytime someone brings out a camera.  But, every so often, someone will “tag” me in a candid photo on Facebook and I will almost pass out with embarrassment knowing people I’ve been so desperately trying to “hide” the current state of my body from now see me as I really am.  Every so often, I need to look at my whole body in a mirror to see if my shirt looks right before I head out the door and I am again floored with the knowledge that THIS is what people will see when I step outside.  Those moments suck.

I know anorexia is a serious issue for some people.  All I’m saying is that having “reverse anorexia” and NOT seeing fat where there is plenty of it can be just as jarring to a girl’s self esteem.  I’m usually able to blissfully deny that I’ve let my body get like this as long as I’m only looking down at it with my own eyes.  Any other view is just disturbing.  I wish I could go back to that 22 year old version of me and say, “Hey you…skinny girl…put the quarter pounder DOWN.  Someday you won’t be able to eat whatever you want without gaining an ounce.”  But, since I can’t do that, I’ll just stick with trying to avoid mirrors and cameras.