Sunday, November 22, 2015

Finding ME...

 I never thought I would get divorced.  I was raised in a Christian house, my parents are still married and very much get along, love, and support each other.  That's what I wanted.  To be one of those couples that was together for 50+ years.  How cool is that?  It's so rare these days to find people willing to go the distance and work through the hard stuff.

Obviously, if you know me or have read any of my blog, I did get divorced.  And I can tell you without a shred of doubt that it's the BEST thing I ever did.  It didn't happen to me.  I chose it.  I decided.  And you know what?  I found out so many things about myself I never knew before.  

Seth and I got married young.  We met in high school, moved to Arizona in '98, got married in 2000, and the rest was history....well, it is now.  

I found out that I really didn't know myself.  Not really.  The choice to move away from my family was mine.  No doubt about that.  I LOVE them, I really do, I just knew I wasn't meant to be in Iowa, it's so cold there and I just can't handle those dark winters.  Give me SUN and HEAT any day.  So, I thought I was doing good, following my dreams.  But life gets hard.  I wanted to go to school, but you have to have money to live. We were making good money working at the post office, we paid off my student loans from my 1 year of college within a few months, and then paid off my car as well.  We had goals...I think.  

Looking back, I'm not sure what his goals were, we didn't really talk much about that stuff.  We were just trying to get through the days, work was pretty unpredictable so I guess planning things sort of went out the window.  We did buy a house, in 2001, I remember we moved in at the end of Jan, I became a regular carrier in June, and then 9-11 happened that September. What a year.  

Over the next 10 years we made a ton of mistakes; money, cars, tools, furniture, toys, all the stuff normal people do.  My biggest mistake (I think) was not being my own person, sure, I had hobbies, that's not what I mean.  I lived day to day, going to work to help pay the bills, taking care of the kids, and doing what needed to be done.  But I never put myself first.  I never really thought about what my goals were, I just didn't want to work at the post office my whole life. That really means I had a dream.  That's all it was, a dream.  I didn't know what I wanted to do, who I wanted to be when I grew up, or how to get there.  It's tough focusing on yourself when you've got 2 (really 3) kids to raise.

  Seth started drinking the year we got married, and there were a few times I really wanted to leave before we even had kids.  I wasn't strong enough.  I didn't WANT to be divorced.  I didn't think I would survive on my own and I didn't want to move back in with my parents like a failure (even though I knew they would totally support me.)  I tried to get him to stop, for me, for us.  After 13 years, 2 trips to detox, many "attempts" to quit drinking, AA meetings, an Al-Anon meeting or two, I finally realized that it wasn't my fault.  I couldn't fix it.  No one could fix it except him.  It was his problem- IS his problem.  He later admitted that all those "attempts" were solely for the purpose of pacifying me so I wouldn't leave.  It worked....he's a really good liar.

There's this thing people say, it's like a switch flips, and when it does, there's no switching it back.  For me the "switch" flipped after I had decided to put myself first.  I didn't like how I felt, (I was NOT healthy) I was so out of shape that I was always having some kind of ache or pain.  I hated how I looked, I didn't put much effort into it though.  But, I thought I was happy, (should be happy) despite being tired all the time, stressed, always walking on eggshells around Seth trying not to set him off.  We had just moved into my dream house about 6 months before, met the most wonderful neighbors, and became friends.  The kids were doing good, loved their new friends, we were always busy, always playing, talking, laughing, like a big family.  I LOVE the friends we made there.  I am convinced everything happens for a reason, in it's own time.   I woke up one day.  That day I decided that to really be happy I needed to take care of ME.  I started going to the gym, even signed up for a personal trainer which was A LOT of money (but, hey, he spent so much on beer, I DESERVED this).  I really did it.  I went to the gym.  On my own.  I worked out a decent schedule of going after work, before the kids got home from school.  I started eating better.  Do you know how HARD it is to eat healthy when your spouse will only eat fast food, and you have to pick it up and drive it home?!  UGH.  

After about 8 months of working out I had lost almost 30 lbs.  I looked and felt great.  I started wearing makeup again.  I started realizing something else though.  No matter how GOOD you feel (or look), and no matter how much you work on yourself, and CHANGE yourself, you can't change other people.  They are who they are.  And given that, choices have to be made.  I started looking at my hopes, dreams, goals, and I couldn't see any way to achieve them with an anchor around my neck. 

I had a business that I started doing around 2009.  My goal was to eventually be able to quit the post office and work from home.  He was so supportive....talked me into buying my different machines (he was always good at spending money).  But when it came to actually trying to DO work on my business, impossible.  I wound up working in the middle of the night to finish things a lot because I was working during the day, taking care of the kids, cleaning, cooking during the evenings, and if I DID try to work in my sewing room he would usually come in to "hang out" with me, but then I had to work around him.....annoying.  Co-dependant...

Today I'm starting my business back up.  I'm about 3 months in, and it's going better than I could have hoped.  I am making goals for myself and trying new things.  I've been reading and investing a lot of time into the business side of it, realizing my worth, and that making things and the ideas are easy, it just all takes time, which is so limited and valuable.  I'm also trying to remember that success doesn't happen over night.  Success is excellence over time.  

Today when I compare how things are now to how they WERE, it's not because I'm dwelling on the past and the bad stuff, it's because I'm SO THANKFUL for everything I've got and the way my life has changed for the better.  I lived through years of stuff that most people wouldn't live with for weeks.  After I left, I thought it would be better, but it was worse for a LONG time.  I finally figured out how to deal with it.  That's a post in itself.  I would do it ALL again though.  It's worth it.  I know myself better.  I found out how strong I am.  I LIKE myself and who I've become as a result of all that I've been through.  I also figured out what boundaries are and how to keep them from being violated.  It feels good.  Really good.  Now...ANYTHING is possible.  

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Big changes....a start to getting caught up.

Some days I consider writing a book of some experiences in this crazy life.  

I've even gone so far as to give it considerable thought, thinking of how I would go back to the beginning.  All the way back.  If you're family, you pretty much know everything...I think.  It's possible that no one really knows.  I'm not much for putting my personal drama out there on my Facebook feed, after all, most people only share their highlight reel, and the select few who do post dramatic posts are usually posting passive agressive, ultra vague posts that you would only understand if you were the offensive party.  

The truth is, I'm not sure anyone really wants to hear my story.  But an even harder truth is that while maybe I don't consider the things I went through as being exceptionally hard, I wouldn't wish it on anyone.  That is what makes me want to share.  Because what if there's someone that heard my story and it helped them break out of the misery they are in, it would be worth it.  

If I do decide to put it out there, it would probably be a book.  I've decided it would take me way too many blog posts and I wouldn't want to split it up like that (plus, what if I don't make it through?).  Of course, maybe the desire for writing a book comes from the fact that I'm now married a wonderful writer and am in the process of helping him edit and republish his first 2 books.  I can do it too, right?

Anyway....I decided after looking back on my blog I've skipped ahead.  The last post I made was in 2012!  We had just moved into my dream house a few months before, and life was looking better (or so I told myself).  I met some of the most wonderful people when I moved into that house.  The best neighbors a person could imagine.  The kids made some great friends who are sure to be lifelong friends.  The house was beautiful, close to everything, just the right distance in between work and the kids' school.  

In late 2012 the switch finally flipped.  I decided I just couldn't live the same vicious cycle in my marriage anymore.  The divorce was final in April of 2013, almost exactly 13 years after we got married. Life was anything but boring for the next year or so, I learned a LOT about boundaries, living on my own for the first time ever, and attempting to co-parent the kids.  I say attempt because it's nearly impossible to CO-parent with an alcoholic who isn't capable of taking care of himself, much less 2 kids.  I realized I had pretty much been a single parent all along.

On a Sunday afternoon in March last year I met my soulmate.  If you haven't heard how we met, it's such a good story, and I'm going to write a whole post about just that.  It's a real life fairy tale....well, I think so anyway.  I still have to pinch myself some days to make sure the last year and a half hasn't been a dream.  We had a date night last Friday night since we had a rare night with no kids.  We don't get out much, but that's okay with both of us.  We went to the Riparian Preserve, a local park with lots of ponds, fishing, ducks and various other birds.  Miles of trails make for great exercise and it's a really pleasant place for quiet conversation (us quiet...not likely).  Afterwards we went and had some of our favorite pizza, ate too much of it lol, and once we got home we cuddled up to watch some Homeland.  Here's a pic of us on the date...

Neither of us are fans of taking selfies.  

I never would have guessed 3 years ago that my life would be where it is at this very moment.  All for the better.  💞

"Hash is king!"

So, we're just hanging out, relaxing a little this morning.  Yesterday was a long day, up at 4am for work, and then busy afternoon getting the kids ready to go trick-or-treating.  We got home around 9 last night, so tired out.  We went to our old neighborhood to join our friends and their kids, so much fun!  Unknowingly, Hunter and Liam both decided to be SWAT team members, lol!  Cute!

So... Adam is making our Sunday breakfast while I'm working on some blog stuff....Hunter is playing Mario on the Wii, Rylie is resting on the couch with me, and Viv is chilling in her room.  Adam asks me if we have Hashbrowns and Hunter says, "Hash is king!".  This is pretty typical in our house.  Outbursts of things that make almost NO sense....unless, of course, you live here.  Adam is very comical and I LOVE that my kids are picking up on the things he says and how he says things.  When we met one of the things that he liked on my dating profile was that I said I love to laugh, haha.  There has been NO shortage of that in the last year and a half, that's for sure!
We are on the Dave Ramsey plan, Adam and I went through Financial Peace University classes right after we got married in January.  We listen to the podcasts of the Dave Ramsey Show, daily for me, a few times a week for Adam I think.  Anyway, Dave has this saying "Cash is king!"  and Adam is usually spouting off some impersonation or other whenever the conversation hits on an opportunity.  Hunter has picked up on this stuff and imitates Adam often, which is even more hilarious.  It feels kind of silly to say, but the truth is, I am so happy with everything right now.  Work is crazy...but I LOVE my route.  I've started sewing again, which is fun when I have the time.  I am trying to find a good balance so I don't get burned out on that.  The kids are happy and growing like crazy.  Most importantly, every day there are plenty of reasons to laugh and it's so much less stress than I used to have.  I'm so thankful every day that I met this wonderful man who is such a joy to be around and just loves life!

Friday, June 29, 2012

Long time, no see......

So many things have happened since I last shared.  I was looking back and I can't believe my last real post was of Hunter's first day of kindergarten!  It's crazy how time flies!

I thought I would do a sort of picture update to play catch goes......

Halloween 2010

Rylie's Christmas program 2010
Hunter's last Day of Kindergarten 2011
Entry way of the new house!

Living room

Huge kitchen- LOTS of storage

New sewing room!

Other side of the new sewing room
Rylie turned four- April 2011

Memorial Day at Disneyland- 2012

Rylie and Liam

Rylie, Hunter, and Avyn- first trip to the beach May 2012

Thursday, September 16, 2010


I always forget to write down the funny things the kids say, but this was just too funny.  I've been wanting to blog it, so here it is.

Hunter and Rylie were watching Toy Story 3 the other day.  He's been asking so many more questions since starting kindergarten.  Here's our conversation.

Hunter: "Mom, am I going to go to college when I get bigger?"

Me: "Do you want to go to college when you get bigger?"

Hunter: "Yeah, I think I do."

Rylie: "When I get bigger I'm going to be a horse."

Hunter:"Rylie, people can't be horses."

I'm just relieved they didn't say they wanted to sit on the couch and play video games all day!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

It's been awhile..... here's some of our more recent pictures and a video :)

Hunter checking out his lunch on the first day of school while he waited for the bus.

Getting on for the first time!

Rylie wanted to go on the bus too, but she was also excited about getting a new teacher at daycare.  After we got home there were a couple of hours until Hunter got home from school and she spent much of it like this....
I think she's starting to get used to all of the alone time with mom and dad now, but she still misses having big brother home with her.

Tonight was our first event at school, the ice cream social.  The kindergartners all performed- one song from each class.  It was really cute.  Here's Hunter's class...