Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Angels Times Three

I had to go to the orthodontist this morning. He's a communist... WHAT?          He is.

After they water boarded me, and tightened my teeth to the point that I broke into tears and confessed every sin I've ever committed, they took my money and dumped me back into the alley out front. I climbed helplessly back into my car, safe from my tormentors for another 5 weeks.

When I started the car, I was met by one of my all time favorite songs, the Black Crowes, "She Talks to Angels," and I am instantly transported to Pensacola Beach, Florida, standing out of the sunroof of my best friend's Honda Accord on a hot July night. "Yeah she gives a smile when the pain comes, the pain gonna make everything all right...." oh and it does. Slightly because I am moderately masochist and slightly because pain is a reminder that I am living and I can feel wholly. I switch the wipers on and head out into the rainy March morning... mouth sore.

What follows my song however, is Melissa Ethridge's, "Angels Would Fall," and I can't help but think I stumbled into an angelic lineup this morning on my random iPod...interesting. "The rope that's wrapped around me, is cutting through my skin, and the doubts that have surrounded me, are finding their way in," I listen as she goes on to speak of someone that would have the ability to makes angels want to fall from grace, and I realize that I do not ever want to make that mistake again. No one should have the ability to completely change who you are. Growing and adapting together is one thing, but to fall and allow yourself to become someone you yourself are not familiar with, NO WAY.

Of course as my luck would have it, the last song that hits before I get back to work is Counting Crows, "Angels of the Silences," Now I believe I am being given a message of some sort, so I pay attention to the lyrics.... as if I am not fluent in them. "Well I guess you left me with some feathers in my hand, Did it make it any easier to leave me where I stand? I guess there might not be too many who would stand beside you now, Where'd you come from? Where am I going?" The last question sticks with me, where am I going?

The only true answer that came to mind, EVERYWHERE. I am going everywhere. Enjoy the music.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Rock Climbing and Thunder Storms

This weekend was a plethora of crappy weather across the Tennessee Valley, and I enjoyed every second of it.

Friday night was the beginning of a torrential downpour complete with the light show and booming thunder. It continued through the night right into our Saturday morning, which of course canceled opening day for softball, but allowed me to stay tucked in bed long into the morning...which I desperately needed. Laying there listening to the storm go on outside, I fell into a coma.

It rained that way all day long, bringing the girls and me into the living room for a cozy fire and all of our own reading time. I love how rarely our television is on. I love how much the girls don't seem to mind this fact. They tell me about their far away stories they are both engulfed in, and I smile.... content.  There is a lot to be said for content.

That night was very similar to Friday, again I slept deeply. When Sunday morning finally meandered into sight, the dark clouds seemed irrelevant. They girls and I went out for adventure. We drove to Chattanooga, Tennessee for our very first rock climbing experience. I was not sure how this was going to go for me, seeing how I am SO FRIGGIN SCARED OF HEIGHTS.... for lack of better words.

Hailey, she was fearless. She wanted to go first... and go she did. The kid scampered up the side of 50 foot rock like she'd done it a thousand times before. The rest of us stood there looking up at her in shock.

When it was my turn to climb I stood there wishing I had gone before Hailey...instead of having to go after... I gave it a shot. I am not going to sugar coat this. The mountain was cold...wet...cold...wet...and fairly EXTREMELY vertical in most spots. Once I began climbing I was even more impressed with Hailey. I did not get half as far as she was before my fear spread over me and my legs began to shake in a frenzy of cold and nerves. Having to lean back and trust the ropes to bring me back down required every ounce of trust in my being and even then I had to borrow some from a reserve that I didn't know I had.

I hit the ground with adrenaline pulsing through me like I had just hit the summit of Everest or been in a tank with sharks with a chum belt on. My body was hot, sweat was beading around my eyebrows, my hands trembling. That was intense. I am not sure I will ever get any better at it, but the rush was worth the fear. The chance was worth the trust issues that I have in my mind. Maybe eventually all of me, will start working together, and I'll be a badass. ;)

Faith, not as enthusiastic after seeing her sister be so successful managed to get up about 6 feet and then sheer panic spread over the child. She burst into tears... but when I asked her if she wanted down, her stubbornness pulled through and she said no. She hung there for a few more moments before she fell victim to the fear. Last night as I tucked her in bed, she told me she could have climbed higher if Daddy had been holding her rope... for some reason, I believed her.

The part I find amusing is how polar opposite my children are, yet they are a dead split of me. Hailey goes for it... all of it... she will succeed or die trying. Faith is still weak, and not ready for the climb. Oh the irony.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Through the Looking Glass

My Alice in Wonderland reference is due to my noticing lately that things are not as they appear. I am finding joy in strange little things that I would have had no need for at all two months ago, and the things that normally made my weekends better, I am not a part of. This blog.... for instance... has brought me much peace. It allows me to speak my mind to a small audience that actually gets it. 

I am sitting here tonight, fighting sleep off, because it is still early, and nearly all of my nights these days are restless. I fight sleep now, so that hopefully I will not be awake at 3am. My emotions have been relatively calm today. He switched his vacation from our trip to Las Vegas....he's going to Honduras now for a dive trip. Las Vegas will be completely different now, than anything I had previously foreseen. I am okay though. Then I look at that statement... I am okay though? WTF. Since when do I measure how I am doing with okay? A mediocre at best slur attempt to sum up how I feel without making anyone want to ask me in any more depth out of fear that I may burst into tears in front of them answer??? Great, I think... I am great...? Let's toy with that one later.

No one at work talks to me anymore. I work in an office full of guys, that also know him, and they don't seem to have too much to say to me these days. I am not sure what all that is about, but it makes me want to break something. I've been reading a book about traveling all the time, not just for vacation... but living out... in the world... really living.  I feel like I have been trapped in a Lifetime movie ever since the kids were born. I've got to stop feeling like they slow me down and get out there and let them be curious about this world too. 

Time it seems, is the gift we take idiotically for granted. I am done wasting it. 

Friday, March 25, 2011


It seems my balance has been thrown lately, into a roller coaster of extreme highs followed by corkscrew twists and extreme lows. I am not used to functioning in this atmosphere for long durations of time. Not knowing what to do with this ludicrously nauseating feeling, yesterday I decided to simply get off the ride. That may sound a little suicidal, so before we go further, I am not speaking of life's ride... I just mean this particular one that I managed to strap myself into.

Immediately after I managed to get my feet back on solid ground, my head began to spin into a migraine of "what-ifs" and my heart raced at the speed of a hummingbirds. All of this made me feel quite ill, so I retracted into a little shell of silence.

Once the sea-sick feeling began to pass, I started trying to focus on all of the things I do have going on, that are not lacking at all on the "so fuckingbadassery" meter. I am going to Las Vegas in two weeks to see a very dear friend of mine, and celebrate the fact that I finally finished my college degree. Immediately following Las Vegas, I am going to Destin, Florida to spend some much needed down time lounging on a gorgeous white sand beach.

In May, I am going to put an insane amount of effort into a 5k run through mud and obstacles that will no doubt whip my ass like I'm a 300lb couch dweller. I'm going to chance white water rafting for the very first time in my life, checking off one of my higher bucket list items. Then there is June, ahhh sweet June. My month. The month I turn 30 years old. I actually have not begun to plan a moment of my time in June yet, funny how I am.

September I am taking the girls to see Ms. Taylor Swift in Nashville, for their very first concert. Faith has been secretly stalking Taylor Swift for nearly 4 years now, and the surprise of those tickets is a joy that I cannot wait to see light that little face. Then there is October, a trip to Italy with my Grandmother. I bought the plane tickets yesterday. The realization that trip is actually happening has yet to become real to me.

With a calender full of events that will no doubt rock my year into a year that remains etched in my memory for the rest of my life, my heart remains heavy. The ache still ever present. I'm keeping on, keeping on, but even after time continues to go by, I still look for you.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

It is TIME.....

It is time for me to write my angry blog. My rant. I've been tiptoeing around in cyber space, concerned with my audience and words that once said cannot be taken back. I'm not feeling PC today however.... which is probably a giant warning sign for me to back the hell away from the computer, but I'm not going to.

I am mad,  I am borderline irate. I feel completely betrayed, let down, and dissapointed. Then as soon as this subsides enough to allow me to calm down, I feel absolutely crushed. I am if anything a hopeless romantic. That movie stuff, it gets to me, it keeps me hopeful, it makes me tick. Not just am I a romantic, but I am a firm believer in crazy passionate love. I feel like I've been cheated. Not just by you, but by myself. There is no reason that movies should be my source for knowledge on the love I am speaking of.

In addition, I am violently angry for my daughters. They've had two fathers that were capable of walking away from their blonde hair, blue eyes, and sweet ways. You knew I had two little girls when we met. You took them in, they called you daddy, and it's been 5 years. They know you, they depended on you. You do not get to just stop being a parent. WTF is that??? If that were the case there would be millions of children left sitting in shopping carts, waiting rooms, malls .... you get the point.

You want your space. You want your freedom. You want to go do things that do not include me or our   my family. In all this I find I am standing here, honestly trying to rope you back in. Fighting your leaving. Watching you selfishly destroy what we built together. I don't know what it is that keeps me hoping, or wondering, and even annoyingly enough... wishing... Wishing for what? To go back?

There is no back, not from this place. You are off doing your thing... why am I stalling? Why am I standing here waiting?  How do you even maintain this grip on me? Let me go. Even as I type that, I backspace over it, and then retype it... Let me go...

If I am not the first thing in your mind when you wake up in the morning, let me go.  If I am not what puts a smile on your face during a long day... let me go. If someone asks you where you want to go on vacation and in that second you respond you don't see me standing there with my sunglasses on and suitcase in hand... let me go. If you don't love me, enough to be with me when I've had a bad day... let me go.

This lyric, about sums it up... how I feel today.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Sunglasses & Tom Petty

Driving to work this morning, the sun was breaking over Monte Sano Mountain, and I was overtaken by a sheer joy. A joy so strong that I couldn't help but grin ear to ear as I tapped the steering wheel to Tom Petty's, "It's Good to be King." I drive the back roads to work, through farm land so gorgeous you forget where you are headed. My sunglasses are on, bangs hanging over one eye, and when the sunlight hits my hair the golden color makes me feel sexy. It seems a silly trivial thing, but in my car all alone, DJing my morning away, I feel empowered.

This is not a new feeling, in fact this is the feeling that I have been chasing and trying to capture in words my entire life. I feel crazy high on life. I could do or be anything in this exact moment. My stomach flutters as if I am in line for the biggest roller coaster I've ever seen. My mind rolls over events in my life quickly like a People Magazine Year in Review film reel. It's then that I realize what it is that makes me so insanely giddy. It's opportunity.

Opportunity makes me do backflips inside. I am an American woman; I can parent, go to school, go to work, coach softball, hit the gym, make love, and dance backwards in high heels....and you may think I am bragging, but I am not. I am grateful. :) 

One thing that I love most about this country is the fact that every single day when I wake up, I get to make a choice. I think people forget that, they consider all these things that they have to do... but here, you do not have to do anything. It's all choice.

Tom Petty continues on to, "Running Down a Dream," and it crosses my mind that this is where I am at right now. Not in the typical, I don't have what I want sense, but in the every opportunity I seize is something else I have achieved sense. I have also come to realize that this dream can be your everyday reality. Every single day can be your choice of events. Sounds like I am picking running shoes... oh and Tom Petty.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Inspiration Comes When You Aren't Expecting It

It always seems to amaze me where I find inspiration. We planted our garden today. Today was one of those postcard perfect Sunday's as far as weather is concerned and it did the first day of Spring up just lovely. There is something strangely exciting about putting seeds in the ground that will turn into little sprouts, followed by plants, and eventually turn into fruits, vegetables, and spices. Watering the dark black dirt after all was planted, such a peace and hope spread over me for this little 6x12 piece of earth.

The symbolism of course as always began to rush over me, as I sat there this evening from the porch, staring out at my fresh turned soil. It is the beginning. Tomorrow a new day will dawn on this small garden, that was not there yesterday. With prayer, and work, and lots of love there will be fruit from the labor. Isn't it funny how God shows himself to us? 

My mother always had a garden when we were kids. I remember I used to catch her after a hard day of yard and garden work, out talking to the grass or a little plant. She spoke to them all, as if they had feelings and could speak back. I thought she was crazy. But as I pulled strawberry plants from cups today, I was careful of their little arms, and I spoke to them as I covered them in soil. I prayed for them, and a little bit for myself, and my ability to continue to grow, like the garden, towards the Sun. Direct sunlight it seems, is what brings forth the most fruit, and I find that truly inspiring.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Blank Canvas

I have been writing like crazy in my mind all week long. However none of it has made it to the keyboard simply out of fear that once I put it all down on paper I cannot take it back. The things that have been haunting my mind have been taking their toll on me. The middle of the week was emotionally like crossing Saharra Desert. I had psycho analyzed our relationship until I made myself physically ill. Weighing risks and value seem to be a new constant for me.

My mind seems to be unable to really put everything together for me so that things aren't in constant battle against each other. The yin and yang has not been doing me any good as far as sleep goes. I have been tossing and turning and restless all through the nights.

The odd part is, I am starting to feel stronger. I am coming to terms with the things I cannot change. I am also learning that this isn't entirely my fault. Beating myself up over what I could have done differently to make things work. So instead of starting with a blank canvas and painting my life as I see it, I am trying to get from a splatter painting back to a blank canvas. Fresh and clean. Wish me luck.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Things We Rush

It seems that as humans we are always looking forward to what's next, what we could be doing, rather than enjoying where we are at that given moment. The problem with this is we rush through things that had we only slowed down and enjoyed, may have changed us forever.

For example, I cannot remember the countless times as a child I said, "I can't wait until I can drive," followed by, "I cannot wait until prom...graduation... the day I leave for bootcamp... the day I get to come home on leave..." I was in such a hurry to be a grown up and get to live life, that i simply missed so much. Travis and I couldn't wait to get married, so we went to the courthouse, then when I was pregnant with Hailey, I couldn't wait to meet her, that I forgot to enjoy actually being pregnant. In addition I was young. Thoughtless.

Of course looking back, I would change nothing, because of course it would alter the spin of the universe, but if I could tell my young self any one thing right now to do differently, simply enjoy today. Enjoy right now. If it's love and you're meant to be, plan the wedding, do what it is you really want when you close your eyes. Don't settle for less than everything you want, because there is no second chance.

Pregnancy is exhausting and makes you fat, but at night when you lay down and your body is still, you can feel a little person moving and growing inside of you, enjoy every moment, because when your kids are growing, you will never be pregnant again.

This post is lame, I am reading back over it, and it sounds like some gay inspirational junk you would read on a cheap sympathy card. Yuck. It sounded better in my head.  I am just feeling a little nostalgic tonight, and am in the process of watching young ones destroy their future, with hands bound, and it just makes me reflective.  I am going to snuggle up now, and ponder things far beyond my realm of knowledge :P (just goes along with this rant of sappy crap for tonight). If you read this far... Bless Your Heart.

Little Peace of Mind

Last night was the first time in the new house that I was completely at ease. The girls helped me make dinner. We grilled some chicken breast and put it on top of a salad full of all of our favorite salad veggies, topped it with a little bacon, feta, and sunflower seeds. We ate and laughed at each other and talked about our days. After dinner we did all the usual chores cleaning up and feeding the dogs, then we started a fire in the fireplace.  Sitting by the fire I gave each of the girls a pedicure and manicure and then sent them off to bed.

It was raining pretty hard outside, and with the television off, my mind began to turn over all the recent events in my life and then all of the events going on around the world. With all of the things the world is facing, sitting in my new house, with my beautiful healthy daughters sleeping, it was very hard to feel even an ounce of self pity. Sleep overtook me then, and I slept so incredibly sound for just over an hour. When I woke up, my dog was begging to go outside, and all the normal rituals returned, but for that one hour, I slept a great, deep, dreamless, much needed sleep.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Time Out

This weekend I went back over to the other house to finish packing up the last of our stuff. Standing in the door way of the home we built together, my eyes filled with tears. I remember when they laid the foundation of the house, how excited we were. How shocked we were at how easy it was to pick our flooring and wall colors together while we watched other couples in the design center fight and bicker. We thought we were better than them because we would never fight over trivial things like wall color.

Standing here, the house smells different, I've only been away for a week, but it doesn't smell familiar to me anymore. The pictures that remain on the walls have a family in them that I have trouble recognizing. Yet there I am, smiling out at the world, from the wall, not a care in the world, a Christmas card worthy picture of the 6 of us.

Feeling a little overly sentimental and nostalgic I head up the stairs to the girls rooms, we box and bag up their remaining things. I look at their curtains still hanging, that they had helped pick for their rooms, and the weight in my chest seems to shift to my stomach and I feel a little nauseous.

Separations are just plain difficult. It's been nearly 4 months since I knew things were unraveling on us, and even now the pain of it sometimes sneaks up and overtakes me. There are good moments now too though, in the new house, it really feels like my space. It has me written all over it. Romantic charm meets rugged meets French cottage. I love my new house. It's small and cozy. The girls and I all piled into the one chair that we have in the living room right now (with both dogs) to watch America's Funniest Videos the other night, and we laughed until our cheeks hurt.

As for him, I miss him. He seems different every time I see him now. It's hard to decide what is different and what is just things that I never noticed before. I am back to running this week, I am ready, need to feel the constant under my feet. The constant makes me feel alive.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Just a Girl

Tonight the heavens have opened up a good old fashioned Southern thunderstorm. The wind is howling, lightning is cracking, thunder is booming, and I feel oh so very small. I had to take Hailey to gymnastics tonight, and driving in this weather frustrates me because it is so hard to see. When we finally got home, I was a nervous wreck.

Standing on the back porch watching the dogs run for a moment, I felt as if there were thousands of eyes on me. People everywhere watching me to see what I was doing. Paranoia set in and I brought the dogs in and locked all the doors. Tucking in the girls, I nearly broke down under the weight of my frustrations.

Now here I sit on my bed, rain beating against my window, and I feel vulnerable. I am always putting up this tough exterior; women are equal to men, I can do anything he can, I am strong and independent, and these are all things I believe. Sitting here right now, they bring me no comfort. I'm just a girl. I am far away from all the people that love me the most.

Tonight is one of those nights that as a kid I would have ran and jumped in bed with my mom and dad, or my brother or sister for that matter just for a companion. Now there are two girls looking to me for that serenity, that protection from the scary rain sounds. Tonight, I wish I had the Xanax. ;(

Monday, March 7, 2011

A Year of Change

     Going in to 2011, I knew it was going to be a year that I would remember. Some years have that ability to just sneak by and looking back on them, you cannot recall anything that made that year stand apart. 2011 is not going to be one of those years. In the first 3 months of this year, there are already things that looking back on make me tear up, belly laugh, violently angry, and even a few that make me nauseous.

     Last Friday I closed on my house. It sounds weird to state that. My house. I love everything about it. It's cute, cozy and romantically girly. The weekend was going to be perfect for moving in, until I woke up Saturday morning to a monsoon. Rain was falling every direction possible, the county was under a flood watch. Moving still went pretty smoothly, and last night was the first night that the girls and I stayed in our new house.

     It was weird going to sleep alone last night, knowing that he isn't on travel or out doing something. Knowing that he was across town asleep in our old bed. To say I slept well would be a giant lie, that I don't have the energy to tell. There was a giant void in my heart and mind. The house however, was nice, quiet and peaceful. A warm place where I felt very content to be. The girls were happy in their new rooms, and even my two furry pals slept all night as well.

     This morning was a little hectic, trying to get ready and make sure that I do all the things I normally do and the tasks that he normally does also. The girls were very helpful though, it seems that they just know when I need them to step up their game. Tonight softball practice starts, and life goes on. I am not sure what the future holds for me, but I know that this year will be packed with adventure, tears, fun, and prayers.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Italy or Bust

     I must tell you. I indulge in my own selfishness quite often. I love fine chocolate, good wine, my yoga mat, DVRing shows so I don't have to watch commercials... and the list goes on. I also love the spa, vacations, and extreme sports, and as reward for my hard work and dedication to my job and family I feel even a little entitled to them. This post however, is not about me. It's about a woman in my life that does not and has never.

     There are several opportunities in life that when they present themselves, you may stare at them blankly for a moment or two before you realize that there is an actual choice in front of you. Sometimes even the simplest yes or no choices, can make all the different in the world. There lies the story, the story of my Grandmother and a yes or no choice.

     Mary Elizabeth Sherman married early in life, to the boy of her dreams. He was charming and cocky and all those things that teenage girls fawn over. It was the late 1950's in the Italian ran side of Chicago, Illinois. You've seen this movie. It's charmed America's socks off every time it's been made. Little bit of Mafia, small slice of apple pie, four children, dozens of dogs, thousands of tribulations, 60 years later they're still together, and their family is the most important thing in their world. The red, white, and blue flies high in their front yard, politics and religion are debates that can get you chased down the driveway, and by all necessary standards they're the normal American family.

   Being part of a normal American family, Mary spent her life raising children and being the center beam of a strong loving family. Her devotion and selflessness is ever present for her family. She feeds anyone that walks through the door of the house a five-star meal. Her strength of character and determination have been something that have kept me awed since I became a mother and began to see the tribulations that come with raising a family.

     I've never heard her ask for anything. Not once. Not in the 30 years she's been my Grandmother. Matter of fact, the only thing I've ever heard her say repeatedly since I was a child that even had a hint of self indulgence to it was, "If I ever had the chance, I would go to Italy." Something in this has always resonated with me. I come from Blue collar America. My family all works with their hands for their money and they all work hard for it. They pay their taxes, they feed their kids, and they have BBQ's on the 4th of July. It's a great life by every written standard, it is the American Dream, but it doesn't spend much time in Italy.

     Several years ago, I daydreamed with the idea of seeing her face light up stepping off a plane in Rome. Her one selfish indulgence becoming a reality. It didn't really seem like a possibility, until now. Until I stopped toying with the idea and realized the only way it would ever come true, was to make it happen. Behind every great idea, is someone daydreaming stuff up, and with my family full of supporters that all want to see that sparkle in her eye as badly as I do, this daydream will happen.

     My Grandma got her passport today, the countdown has begun. Italy is going to happen. This trip is not at all about us being able to take her, this trip is solely about her deserving to go.

Red Lights

I have noticed all through my life, sitting at red lights does not actually bother me. Sitting at red lights often times gives me an opportunity to reflect on the day, the week, the year, a childhood memory. It's odd actually what might come to mind at these times, as I sit, stopped by something as simple as a light on a road that is leading me to my destination. There is so much symbolism in it that I've actually written about it on several different occasions, just to scribble through my efforts later.

This week however, seems to be one of those weeks that shows you big picture, things that are not just going on in my life, but also the people around me. All the things on my plate; the separation, new house, new bills, travel opportunities, work, the kids, etc... they wash over me as I sit idle here. Then I think about my little brother, getting married today 6 states away, the nervous excitement I'm sure he's enduring. My little sister moving into her first house today with her husband and two children, the elation she must feel. My Grandmother at 71 years old, applied for her passport today, to travel this fall to Italy with me, her life dream becoming a reality. My parent's business that they started, struggled with since the beginning is blooming into a full fledged corporation, new taxes and all.

The light changes, as they always eventually do, and these days will pass. But right now, in this moment... I am living, and it feels so good.