Friday, December 11, 2015
Wednesday, December 2, 2015
Friday, November 20, 2015
Saturday, November 14, 2015
Monday, October 19, 2015
In the months since having my third child, I feel like I say - and do - everything wrong. I don't think I had this quality before, but now it seems to be the one that shines the brightest from my personality, and I don't know why. I lose patience when I shouldn't. Sometimes, I expertly maintain my patience, but then I feel I've done that wrong too. I get anxiety over not getting it all done. Anxiety creeps in when I feel like I need help, so I don't ask. Then I take offense when someone offers it, like they're offering their help because they know I certainly can't manage to do it on my own. I know that this is illogical. Anxiety does not.
I was a stay at home mom for years. I feel like I forgot how to be that this time around. I can't keep the baby happy and keep my daily life intact simultaneously. Preparing dinner sounds like an unimaginable feat most days. I am grateful for my husband's help in this matter, but I am guilty. I cannot do this all on my own, but I used to be able to. I used to do this every single day with a husband that was frequently gone. Now I have a husband that helps daily and is home for dinner nightly (after all, we might not eat otherwise). Still, everything is harder. I don't know why. I accomplish things that seem like a big deal (laundry! sweeping! both of those things in the same day!), but at the end of the day, I realize these are not big things. These are things everyone else does daily too, without feeling like they've accomplished the impossible.
I am emotional. I need reassurance more than I should. I need hugs from my family or my many pieces of anxiety will crumble me. I am always on the defense. I can't let my guard down. This is not me, but touch helps this. Being a mom is really hard. During the day, when it's just Lyric and me here, there's a lot of crying that goes on. And it's not always the baby.
Thursday, July 23, 2015
Tuesday, June 2, 2015
After the crazy month of May that our family endured, I am excited that June has arrived. The due date for Lyric Olivia is one month from today, and I am both excited and nervous, as I'm sure any parent-to-be is at 36 weeks. We were fortunate to get into a replacement vehicle last week, which has been an absolute relief and weight off since the wreck. One weekend with three preschoolers buckled side by side by side in a compact sedan was enough to have me racing toward the dealership in search of a solution. Luckily, we found something very similar to what we had to begin with, and thanks to some connections I had from my car sales days, we got a wonderful deal on it. And that actually brings me to what inspired this blog post.
While at the dealership, I ran into a lot of my old coworkers who all seemed both happy to see me, and pleasantly surprised to see that I was purchasing a minivan with my new husband for our soon-to-be size 6 family. One friend we ran into, and ended up handling the bulk of our purchase, was someone I became particularly close to while I was delving into the world of car sales. This person was something of a mentor and confidant. In catching up with this person, they stated, "I'm so happy for you, I can tell you're in a much better place". I relish in these words because I know how true they are. I know how far I've come and how much I've grown. "Back then, I worried a lot about you", this person said to me. "I was that much of a mess, huh?", I jokingly retorted. But the response to that intended rhetorical question was affirmation that, yes, indeed, I was a hot mess at the time. I don't know that anyone should be judged for the long term based on who they were during such a tumultuous time in their lives, and I'm grateful more that I made it through so much with only the memories as a lasting reminder.
I gained and lost a lot of friends, but my family was always there for me, even when they understandably could have chosen not to be. But losing the friends I did typically ended up being the best thing that could have happened at the time. But because of all of the friends that came and went, I was weary of walking into a place that was witness to how haphazardly I was living back then. As it turned out, though, seeing people from my past filled me with pride and confidence. I am proud of who I have become, of how much I have grown up. I am confident in who I am, of the life that I am living. And I am happy to have this blog to always remind me of where I have come from. I have realized, above all else, that I have actually nothing to be ashamed of. I can't change the places I've been or the experiences I indulged in. It has taken a lot of growing up to not be embarrassed anymore by the road of partying and late nights that I ventured down. In retrospect, I had the same experiences that just about everyone has. It was just that mine were out of order from the norm, which left me with this terrible sense of disappointment in myself. But really nothing has gone the way I ever expected in my life. From my early marriage, motherhood, and divorce, to my futile attempts to join the military, to where I am now. It has been quite an adventure. In the back of my head, I do wonder, "what's next?", but I am actively trying to let go and just be. Because in all reality, there's no way of having any idea what the following chapters will entail.
Tuesday, May 19, 2015
In all of the chaos of the last couple of weeks, from getting married (!!!) to our beach vacation, to our car accident and subsequent overnight hospitalization, he has been my rock. When I have wanted to cry, he has picked me up and calmed me down, and when I have needed to cry, he has assured me that that's okay too. He has been the calm through the storm. I'm not sure how he maintains his cool, but he manages to even when I feel like I am breaking apart.
I admire that he is a hard worker, providing for our family without fail. He is successful in his job, and in all that he pursues. How lucky am I that he is mine? He is an involved and loving father to three kids already. I tear up when I think about him holding our daughter for the first time. Our daughter. Mine and his. I have butterflies thinking about the fact that we have created life together that we will love and teach and watch grow together.
When we are laying in bed together, sometimes when he's already asleep and sometimes when he's just starting to fade out, I look at him and can't help but think, "how did I get so lucky?". I don't know what I have done in life to be granted this type of happiness, but I am forever grateful. I am not a religious person, and have only delved into religion a few times in my life, always for brief periods. It has never stuck, but my husband? He makes me feel like there must be more. I have had this growing feeling inside of me that we were placed in each other's lives by something much greater than ourselves. I don't know what that means or where the feeling comes from, but I know that it must be true. He makes me want to explore that feeling more.
Sometimes, I wish that he could see himself through my eyes. I think that, only then, he could realize how truly special he is. I am completely overwhelmed by how he makes me feel. I have met my match.
Monday, April 27, 2015
I am nearly 31 weeks pregnant, and I miss my vices. Yes, I have been harboring a human inside of my uterus for more than 6 months, and now that we are in the home stretch, I am really missing all of the wonderful things that I've given up to ensure a healthy a child.
I miss beer. I miss Fireball shots shared amongst friends. I miss eyes-locked "cheers". I miss the fuzzy feeling. But mostly, I miss cranberry Red Bulls mixed with Naked Turtle silver rum. My favorite.
I realize this might make me sound like an alcoholic. Some people can't give up the Diet Coke. There are the self-proclaimed "chocoholics". I can't live without my favorite indulgences either. Except I can. Because I am. For the greater good, of course. But, boy, I can't wait to be able to indulge a little after Lyric is born.
I miss laid back porch-sitting, throwing-back-a-few nights with Spencer while we played endless games of dart challenges. I think we learned the most about each other on those nights in the beginning. I'd never felt so at home with someone I so barely knew. Maybe that's why I miss those vices. They are a reminder to how hard and fast I fell for this man. They are tied to our very first memories of icebreakers and belly laughs. Of sultry glances and the first time I felt that "weak-in-the-knees" emotion deep inside, when I knew I was never letting this one go. They helped to create the memories that we had no idea would become the roots of something much greater.
Life has moved quickly for us, but I've lived every bit of it to the extent of never wanting to forget a moment. It has been the fastest ride of our lives, but I don't regret an ounce of it. I am so grateful for that.
Thursday, March 12, 2015
I've basically skipped having three kids altogether, and am essentially going straight from two to four. In the past, I've had one child, and then two of my own, and then my boyfriend and thus, his son, entered the picture. And then my boyfriend proposed, and I found myself trying to grasp having a stepson one day. But, it was mostly always my kids plus his son. Since getting pregnant with my third though, and my fiance's second, I've somehow gone from trying to grasp having a stepson to actually feeling like he's one of my own. One of our own. In class earlier this week, I caught myself telling someone I was "about to have my fourth" when someone asked if I was expecting my first baby. Fox isn't just my fiance's son anymore, he's one of ours. I love him like I love my own. I have a hard time understanding him sometimes, something I've just attributed to the fact that he's not my flesh and blood, but in all reality, I have just as hard a time understanding my daughter most days, and she's straight from the womb. Somehow, he and I - well, we've found ourselves parents to four kids.
I am in awe of Spencer nearly constantly. I've had my hormonal moments while pregnant... to be expected, of course. I've found myself taking his typical sarcastic jokes to heart. I sit there, my mind telling me "don't take this personal. Seriously, it's not that serious. You know he's joking just like you always do. Stop. Now. Seriously, don't be upset about this". And yet, my heart is welling up with hurt and tears and biting back my overly emotional reaction. I've been tough to live with, I'm sure, and yet, he's pretty much handled it like a pro. It's ridiculous how often I feel that stupid, giddy feeling when I think about him. I find out he's on his way home, and I get so excited to hear the garage door open and his Jeep door slam. He sends me a simple "how are the kids doing?" text after he knows I've picked them up from school, and it makes my whole day feel better. I just find myself loving him more everyday, and I can't imagine that feeling ever going away. I can't wait for him to hold our daughter. I know that my love will grow by leaps and bounds when we've made it through to the other side of this pregnancy, and his daddy's girl is here to greet the world.
Tuesday, February 24, 2015
I am not a religious person. I was not raised religious, and never grew up in a church. I dabbled in going to church in middle and high school, when my friends and I found a Unitarian church that we were pretty intrigued by. It was a welcoming place, but I never gave much thought to the things I was actually learning in the youth group, so my takeaway was next to nothing, except that church wasn't as bad as I'd always imagined. When I went away to college, I jumped head first, full speed ahead into the church. I knew very few people when I started at Coastal Carolina University, so I tagged along with my then-fiance's sister and her roommate, and I found myself going to weekly meetings at a group called Refuge. This is where I got my first real introduction to Christianity. I went to a Methodist church every Sunday, and actually felt very at home there. I came very close to getting baptized, and had a very few real moments of "wow, I think I actually believe in this stuff". I remember one specifically when I was sitting at my desk in my dorm room, on the phone with a friend named Aaron. We were discussing my recent breakup with my fiance, and he was trying to be encouraging. I flipped open the bible (my very first bible) that I had recently been given, and the first passage I laid eyes on gave me exactly the guidance and answer that I'd been seeking. I can't remember the passage now... I wish I could, but I remember thinking, "did that really just happen?" and wondering if, truly, there was a God looking out for me.
Fast forward a few months, and I fell away from it all. I began to see the very judgmental sides of some of the friends I had made in the Christian community, and in the end, it disillusioned me to it all. I felt like I was in an all-or-nothing community, where I had to be a bible-thumping, God-fearing, Jesus freak. Questions weren't allowed here, and I fell away from it just as soon as I'd fallen into it. Since then, I've never revisited it much, except inside of my own head.
I remember expressing to my ex-husband how much I wished that we could raise our kids in the church. I'd seen my friends growing up who had friends from birth onward that they grew up together in the church with, and I always felt some serious jealousy. I was envious of that beautiful community that they were all a part of. At the end of the day though, I've never been able to really commit myself to believing in the higher power that the majority of the world has such faith in. I'm a big proponent of "you have to see it to believe it", and since I've never seen any such proof, I can't seem to wrap my head around it. I would love to, and I have such envy for people who can have that unwavering faith, but I guess I'm not one of those people, even if I desire to be.
Anyway, I'm at a loss as to how to answer the questions. Do I answer them the way I want to answer them, even if I have no faith to back that up? Or do I answer them by stalling and giving as best of a scientific answer as I can, which, thus far, has been a lot of "I don't know"? The kids' dad is not religious, by any means, and he hasn't had much input as to what we tell them. On the other hand, Spencer does believe in God and always has, and I wonder then what we will tell our child together, if we have differing beliefs.
Monday, February 23, 2015
Spencer has been so excited since the ultrasound last week, and sometimes it seems that if he's not at work, then his nose is in the baby name book. We do have a name picked out that we are pretty set on, but not set enough that we have announced it to the world. It seems pretty perfect for our girl, and is comprised of a name that I chose and a name that Spencer chose. I think finding out the sex of the baby was what he needed to get really excited about the impending arrival. I imagine the pregnancy will only fly from here on out, and before we know it, we'll be staring at a list of must-haves and realizing that we've only got a few weeks left until The Day. All we can do at this point is to sit back and enjoy the ride from here on out. It seems like it's going to be a fast one, no doubt.
Monday, February 9, 2015
We have been living in our new house for about two weeks now, and I am in love with it more and more as we settle in. It is becoming our home, and I am beginning to imagine what it will be like to bring a new little one home here. The kids are thriving in the new house, loving the extra space inside and out. Fox is picking up on potty training all of the sudden, and seems to be getting very excited at the prospect of being a big brother. When we ask him, he insists he'll be having a baby sister, and Cori and Avery seem to think the same thing. Fox will be transitioning from daycare to K3 soon, and I wonder how that, as well as a new baby, will affect him. He seems to have really come around to me finally, and doesn't cling to Spencer's side like he did for so long when we first moved in together. Life with two different homes is all he knows anymore, just like Cori and Avery. Speaking of - Cori and Avery are both doing wonderfully in K3 and K4, and have surpassed what they were supposed to learn this school year. Cori spends her days drawing and writing constantly, and I imagine she is a born writer. My question is what to do with the stacks and stacks of books and papers and drawings that she produces every single day. I imagine at this rate, our entire attic space will be filled with boxes of Cori's artwork. Soon, she'll be reading I know, and I'm sure we'll never be able to get her to stop from there, which is just fine with me. Avery has come out of his shell a lot this school year, and while he still clings to me some mornings at drop off, he has gained a lot of independence. The three of them together get on quite well, but certainly have their sibling rivalry going for them. Cori and Fox like to gang up on Avery sometimes, but ten minutes later, Fox and Avery are racing trucks around their bedroom floor, and Cori is screaming from across the hall that no boys are allowed in her room. Ah, kids.
I often wonder how in the world I so quickly found myself here in life, mother to a 3 and 5 year old, stepmom to a 2 year old, and expecting a new baby with my soon-to-be 2nd husband. Life sure is funny, and really has no way of letting you know what's going to happen down the road, but it sure is a blessing. I am grateful every morning when I wake up that I wake up next to a man that I feel is surely the mate to my very soul, and that just down the hallway, we have the most wonderful bunch of children amongst ourselves. I hope I can always find myself in a moment like this, admiring where life has brought me, and appreciating the tough times that always lead to something greater.