Saturday, December 31, 2011

30 Things: Day 30

your favorite song
"Given to Fly" by Pearl Jam

He could've tuned in, tuned in
But he tuned out
A bad time, nothing could save him
Alone in a corridor, waiting, locked out
He got up outta there, ran for hundreds of miles
He made it to the ocean, had a smoke in a tree
The wind rose up, set him down on his knee

A wave came crashing like a fist to the jaw
Delivered him wings, "Hey, look at me now"
Arms wide open with the sea as his floor
Oh, power, oh

He's.. flying
High.. wide, oh

He floated back down 'cause he wanted to share
His key to the locks on the chains he saw everywhere
But first he was stripped and then he was stabbed
By faceless men, well, fuckers
He still stands

And he still gives his love, he just gives it away
The love he receives is the love that is saved
And sometimes is seen a strange spot in the sky
A human being that was given to fly

High.. flying
Oh, oh
High.. flying
Oh, oh
He's flying
Oh, oh

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

30 Things: Day 29

in this past month, what have you learned?

I have learned that I am strong.
I have learned that The Teenager and I can pack up our house and move in three days if necessary.
I have learned that this entire year has been one incredibly long test and it's finals week. Just have to hold on for a few more days.
I have learned that my girls are truly the reason I do this every day.
I have learned that I still believe in kindness and love.
I have learned that I am smarter than people give me credit for.
I have learned (again) that my siblings are numero uno.
I have learned that where there is a will, there is a way.
I have learned that music really is the best medicine for ... everything.
I have learned that life never stops. You never actually stop encountering problems, challenges, heartache, or happiness. It's the way you deal with these things that determines your happiness and peace.
I have learned that no matter how early I order holiday cards, they still won't be mailed until after Christmas.
I have learned from my mistakes but realize I still have a lot more to learn.
I have learned that a temperamental furnace can be excruciatingly frustrating.
I have learned that people are good. All of us.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

30 Things: Day 28

a picture of you last year and now, how have you changed since then.

October 2010

December 2011

(c) j.h. 2011

the truth is. i have changed more in the past year than maybe my entire life. not physically. i mean, well, that too. yes, my hair is much shorter, i weigh a baby less, i live in a new town, i have two daughters instead of one, and i have a million more wrinkles.

but my soul has changed. my core. i wish there was time to write about how in one blog post. no. actually i don't. i'll save it for later. 2012 is going to be big. you just wait.

instead, i'll sum up the past year with one word: defining.

no deep meaning or vaingloriousness intended. but to the person who sent me the message below: no i don't think i'm wise. i'm lazy. period. the end.

"one day, if you're lucky, people are going to hate you as much as they love you."

my most awesome blog-hate mail yet:

"Maybe you will blog about how smart and honest and perfect you are. Maybe you will just stick to your usual arrogant tone and write about ... how you are a living angel destined to be translated to heaven. the end.  (I got that from you...and I didn't forget to capitalize.  I think its cool.  My trademark.)  You are not clever. You are not funny.  And you have some of the worst taste and poorest judgment when it comes to general propriety in what you write in a public forum.  Step down from your high horse.  Stop pretending you are Walt Whitman or Hemingway."

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

30 Things: Day 27

why you are doing this 30 day challenge

i was really in love with the idea when i saw it on my friend's blog. she would have lapses without mentioning her "30 Things" and i would beg her to finish. and then, i thought, i am going to do that.

today, much like when i started, i am at a place where i have gotten out of the habit of writing because i'm exhausted or worn out. this little exercise is nice because i don't have to put a tremendous amount of thought into it. the topic is provided, it doesn't really change the world, it's a distraction.

but i am going to finish it. this year even.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

30 Things: Day 26

what do you think about your friends

i have to say to whomever passed out friends in heaven, i hit the motherload. i have amazing friends. i turned in my "boyfriend" and "shiny hair" cards to triple up on friends. and all but maybe two of my exes are now my friends, so i am incredibly happy i did.

i think about and appreciate my friends a lot more than they realize. they make me sane. they love me no matter what. they love my babies. they listen. they watch. they refrain. they are just the perfect friends. i mean ... PERFECT.

we've shared laughter, tears, heartache, happiness, pizzas, disasters, whiskey, kids, beds, glasses, jobs, disappointment, love, dates, boyfriends, the backseat of police cars, online chats, phone dates, rodeos, irish car bombs, music, kisses, hugs, bar tabs, cab rides, and more.

if i thought words would ever adequately convey what i think about my friends, i'd keep going. instead, i think i'll leave it at that. you know who you are. yes, even you.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

30 Things: Day 25

what i would find in your bag

i don't have a purse or a personal bag anymore. i have a bag for work. i also have a diaper bag.

regardless, along with the necessities for on-the-go work and diapering, the following constants are found, shoved in various compartments: sunglasses, chap stick, driver license, a debit card, a pen, and a piece of paper.

three years ago, i was the type of person that spent $200 for a bag without batting an eye. yuck. spending money on something you don't need to carry around stuff you don't need. the upside was that my car was a lot cleaner.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

30 Things: Day 24

a letter to your parents

Along with the grammar revision for 30 Things, I would also implement new rules. For example, you should be able to "pass" one day. Meaning you don't have to do it but can instead blog about whatever.

About a week ago CJ said I should let LJ dip her toast in chocolate milk. I immediately said, "Hey! My dad used to do that." CJ said, "That is my most vivid memory of when I was little and you'd come in and give me ladyfingers in chocolate milk. And tickle my back." She had the sweetest look on her face. It's weird to think I was the little innocent girl eating toast dipped in chocolate milk. Ever. Seems like 10,000 years ago. But thank you. Thanks for passing that along to me. I still enjoy doing it myself.

When LJ was born, I used to hope CJ would sleep through her alarm. And then I would act kind of mad but let her stay home with us. Only once in a while of course. Hey, it was snowy outside and I had a newborn. That's a long drive considering those circumstances. We'd snuggle up in bed and watch LJ. I will cherish those memories forever. Mom, you used to do that. Let me stay home and go to work with you or hang out. You would take me to Hart's and buy me a pink cookie. Thanks for being that kind of mom. I remember very little of what I missed a handful of days at school, but I know how cool it was to hear you brag about me to your colleagues.

With love,

Monday, October 10, 2011

30 Things: Day 23

something you crave for a lot

above all else, i crave Big Macs.

Side note: I have a strong urge to edit the "30 Things" list. The grammar, even the fragments, is terrible. Something you crave. Something you crave a lot. Just not, something you crave for a lot.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

don't change

whenever my computer becomes idle and i log back in, this iChat notification is displayed:

and i always immediately want to click 'Don't Change'.

or even more than that, it's almost a reminder telling me not to change.

i won't, i can't, i don't ever want to change.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

let it be.

i guess i expected the turn i've been waiting for, for so long, to come in some grandiose form. i'd meet a blue-eyed stranger and fall madly in love; i would win the lottery; i'd catch a huge break; i'd be discovered; my book would write itself; one day i'd wake up and everything would be okay; or at the very least, i'd be hit by a train. but when it's all said and done, it (whatever "it" is) came when i least expected it. in fact, the turn came so fast i almost drove right over it. but for once, i didn't. 

nothing "happened" to me. there was no sonic boom or a flash of light. no one came around and became the person i wanted them to be. there was no cathartic epiphany. it was a culmination of things i have been working on for a long time. this isn't working. change. that didn't work. stop. every day, do at least one thing differently. don't sacrifice what you want in the future for something you want right now. keep doing it. then, start doing two things differently, better. and when you slip, correct it. or just let it go.

and everyday when you really try and things get worse, be thankful that at least things are changing. something is happening. on the days that things feel right, write down what you did and do more of that.

eventually, even though things aren't perfect, they start getting better. you feel better. you remember who you are. you make progress.

i know this sounds like ambiguous garble. maybe some direct application is warranted but exposing too much here seems in bad taste. and yet, when the words spill out in front of me, it helps me acknowledge patterns, mistakes, reality. and acceptance is the final stage of loss.

sure, i've pretended to accept things for a while. at times, i have even believed that i had. "things" being my life, my love, my beliefs, what i believed in my heart, my choices, my conviction. but deep down, i still thought if i just try a little bit harder, things will work out. if i am more patient, understanding, and trust, i can change reality.

i had a need to be heard. to understand. i thought, at the very least, i deserve the truth. i thought if i could just figure out what happened, or why, i could accept it. but somethings cannot be understood. i don't need to give people a chance to explain. the results are already there. does it really matter how we got here? it doesn't change anything.

sometimes when your mind is rational and logical, your heart isn't. your heart still has hope. and the scariest part of giving up on something is knowing in your mind AND in your heart that it's done.

so, here it is. the end. my heart has finally accepted reality. the reality that no matter how much you love someone, no matter if you "believe" they are the person you know they are capable of being, no matter if you give one more chance for all the right reasons, in the end, sometimes, it doesn't mean they love you. even if they say they do. even if you believe they do. even if at times, you know they have. your heart finally pulls out its little white flag and says, i give up. everything i wanted, everything i tried, everything i prayed for, everything i believed, everything i had faith in ... it finally came to a screeching halt. not a pause, not a time out, not a if-i-give-him-time-space-love-it'll-be-okay ... it just stops. because the outcome is the same. over and over again. and it's not a conscious thing. it's more of a shift of thinking. i shifted what my future looks like without "him". and then my brain and heart synced up and realized that we're going to be better than good, we haven't done anything wrong, we deserve better, and holy shit we're happy. again. and excited about the future. i can still have all the things i want. in fact, now i WILL have all the things i want.

when someone says, "i never loved you. you drove me fucking crazy and that's why i did drugs. you need help. you're a bad person." you get to stop blaming yourself, you realize that this is what i was fighting for? this is the person i gave my heart to? this is the person i want to be with? this is the person i cared for, waited for, forgave, trusted, let go because it was the best thing for him? this is the person i put before myself? this is the person i want around my daughters? no. that's when you say, okay, i'm going to digest this. thank you for your feedback. i am sorry you felt that way, i didn't realize. and you walk away. it doesn't matter if just two weeks ago he was telling you he loved you. it doesn't matter if you believed you could be a family. it doesn't matter if you opened up to him and told him your deepest fears and dreams. no amount of love letters, poems, promises or short periods of bliss you felt over the past two years, can make up for a blatant lack of respect or humility. things have changed. everything has changed but him. and oh, i don't need this shit. i don't want a family if it means being lied to, cheated on, used, or ignored. i don't want to even be friends with a person who treats me that poorly. i've said some mean things, i've gotten angry, but i didn't do anything but give you love, chances, and forgiveness. oh, and the opportunity to show me over and over again how little you care about me. 

i am closer than ever to being back to my true self. this time, i saw the signs and instead of diving in blindly or playing into the same old bullshit and drama, i changed my behaviors. i called my friends and family. i did what i said i was going to do. i asked for help. i reflected. and then, i saw things objectively and from a different perspective. and i am so thankful that i didn't get what i thought i wanted. because i have what i want. and i know why i feel the way i do. and i know i've been honest. i know i won't regret forgiving too many times. i know i won't regret making myself vulnerable. i know i won't regret trying. i don't even regret trusting. i didn't fail. i know i can look at my baby every single day and know that in the end, we got what we need and deserve and want. and every single day i choose my life and create my happiness.

the pain and hurt doesn't go away overnight, but it teaches you about yourself. it's not about him or her. or them. or drugs. or anything i did. it's about how things always end. 

and now, it's about me. and the reason that things are the way they are, is because i won't settle for something that i know isn't right. i won't allow dysfunction and heartache in my life. i won't let the cycle continue. from the greatest pain comes the greatest growth. and i have not done anything wrong. i haven't "made" anyone do drugs. i am not a bad person. i am an amazing mother. i have worked my ass off to provide for my girls. i have gone without power, food, love, and sleep to make sure that my girls have consistency, security, trust, and all of me.

i finally see things and people for who they really are. and i stand by my choices. i have been honest. i haven't used people as a means. i haven't taken anything away from anyone. i have done what i believe is right. the only responsibility i have is to take care of, provide for, and love my girls. and that's what i've always done and what i will continue to do. and that responsibility and maternal instinct comes above any selfish delusion of "what could have been." 

without even realizing it, every time i let go, i was making room for better things. and now, i've reached a place where i see a totally different future. and it's a really good one. i didn't need a distraction, a new boyfriend, more money, or an excuse to get to this point. i don't need anyone to blame. i just needed time. i needed help from others who really love me. i needed small successes. i needed reminders of who i am. i needed great advice and clarity. i needed time alone to figure it out. and maybe i even needed the "fuck you" and "eat a di*k" and "she's a c**t" to realize exactly what i DON'T need. 

it doesn't make me weak or selfish because i loved someone. it doesn't make me crazy because i got angry when someone lied to me or cheated on me. it makes me human. and that's who i am. i won't apologize for that. and i am so blessed with unconditional love from so many people. i owe it to everyone who sees me as the person i am capable of being, to be that person. and this week ... was brutal. but we made it happen. and by we, well, you know who you are. i am exactly where i am supposed to be. 

Thursday, September 22, 2011

30 Things: Day 22

remember this? well, i never!

indeed. some of my associates may say i never finish what i start. okay. accepted. but never? i may not always finish first, but dammit! i finish! and so. here we go. 22 coming in hot.

what makes you different from everyone else


wait, what?

most of us are more alike than we think. we may not look the same, talk the same, or act the same, but we all want to be happy, to be loved, and to make a difference.

it's time that i start making a difference by doing. if i think politics are lame because they divide people, i shouldn't be engaging in political arguments. and i don't. anymore. not because i don't care, i just don't think i can talk about peace while yelling and spitting at Republicans. i'll vote. silently. i'll volunteer again. one day. but the belligerent debates. blah.

because i believe that i "deserve" respect, i need to respect myself and others at all times. not easy to do. this is a real challenge. i mean, i'm exhausted just thinking about it. i have to get in the mindset of, "okay, i don't feel like respecting this person, but i respect myself enough to not disrespect her." if that makes sense. to me it does. show me the same respect i show you? maybe. but maybe not. maybe not. maybe that's the problem. everyone being shitty to everyone being shitty right back.

pause. be grateful. breathe. be yourself. respect yourself. accept yourself. be graceful. love. be loved. take time. go to bed early. stay up late. sleep in. notice the details. speak the truth, when appropriate. let go. be brave. be alone. get married. take compliments. consider criticism. give credit. enjoy your family, when possible. laugh. admit you're scared. hold hands. be true. smile at children, of all ages. pray. read. eat. drink. smoke 'em if you got 'em. forget. deserve respect. accept help. serve others. be gentle. remember. cry. love your babies. make mistakes. try new things. practice. look into some one's eyes. allow yourself to be happy. get worked up. run fast. fall hard. get back up. try again.

and in the depths of your despair ... remember you are no different than everyone else. and that's a good thing. for once.

Monday, September 19, 2011

everyday lies

no human is immune to dishonesty. on some level, we all do it. recently i was asked if there were varying degrees of dishonesty and i have spent some time thinking about that.

yes, there are. i believe there are, anyway.

if someone asks me if i am fine when i am not and i say, "yes." it's a form of dishonesty. my motive? to simply move on about my business and not worry or intrigue the other person. there is no real personal interest in ordinary context. it's a formality. it's a instance of personal privacy.

on the other hand, if someone asks me if i went to the park and i say "no" despite having been at the park... i am upping the stakes. my motive? depending on the person, i want them to "think" a certain way. no i wasn't at the park, i was being miserable. no i wasn't at the park because i told you i was doing something else. i have a selfish interest. not acceptable but not the end of the world. i could have said "no i wasn't at the park because i told you i was going to be somewhere else and that would make you lose trust in me." perhaps true but still not entirely true. go down another level. maybe: "yes. i went to the park. i know i told you i was going to help you move but i just really didn't want to."

lies are complex.

and just as these the above examples vary in degree, so do the substaintally important ones--like the real answers to the following questions:

"did you go to school today?"
"are you seeing someone else?"
"did you take the money out of my wallet?"
"where have you been?"

depending on the who and the who, these can cause some serious pain to the person asking the question and the person receiving the answer. a parent, a lover, a friend, a spouse. depending on the circumstances, promises, relationship, and answers... the dishonest answers definitely constitute a higher degree of a 'lie.' because it takes dishonesty to first, steal the money. and another degree to lie about it.

a liar can debate his or her side for hours. i didn't tell you because i thought it would hurt you. i think that is the greatest lie ever told. if you are so selective--so precise--in just your thinking about others, perhaps you should use that discipline in your actions. if you KNOW something is going to hurt someone, the lie is just another tool used to hurt them. by telling the truth, it at least demonstrates a level of respect.

i believe in people. some say maybe too much. not because i'm a good person, maybe i'm the most deceitful of all. i believe in people because i want them to believe in me. i want them to know that if i have lied before, i am not going to do it again. and that most of my trust is still in tact, that 99% of the time, i tell the truth. and that 99% of the past, i've told the truth. and that makes me who i am and also makes me value that quality in others.

i've told terrible lies before for one reason or another. were my intentions always good? absolutely not. was i looking out for the other person? sometimes? was i looking out for myself? all the time. we have you on camera, stealing the eyeliner. no, not me. maybe i was hell bent on not being wrong in another's eyes; to me that was good. or terrified that i was going to be physically hurt. but i know, as an adult, when it comes to love, parenting, family, friends and trust, you gotta dig deep. those people are going to love you no matter what. but whether they respect you, trust you, continue to have a relationship with you, is another.

you know what's right. do what's right. or try. or try to make up for it.

you shouldn't be so careless with others' feelings.

i am saying these things to myself. if our intentions and motives change so easily, maybe we don't know who we are or what we want. i am fortunate enough to have close enough relationships that people will look me in the eye and say, "this isn't you." i have daughters that are watching me as an example so i have to be diligent in my quest to be better. the worst thing i could ever lose is their trust. we all make mistakes. i expect the truth so i should deliver it under the most critical circumstances.

will i go around telling everyone who asks me if i am fine that no, i am not? that i am falling apart? no. will i expect those who love me to stand by me while i shatter into a billion pieces again? no. i will not. because they have done it before and i know better. i know they are there for me. i know there are ways to never go back to that place. i hope that others can see that i am on the other side of that, too. that i am okay with the truth. that i would rather gulp down 500 gallons of the bitter truth than enjoy one million swallows of the sweetest lie. because in the end, there is truth in being human. there is truth in our flaws and forgiveness. there is also something about being a person that won't accept anything less than the truth. acceptance isn't always delivered in the form of love. sometimes it is delivered in the form of sadness, regret, distance, and pain. but it's the truth. the broken-down, raw, i-was-careless-with-your-feelings truth. and i accept whatever my consequences are. i did this.

the truth wasn't ever promised to always be pretty, or have some redeeming outcome or reward like they show in the movies, but there is something beautiful about setting the truth free.

polonius told his son, 'above all, to thine own self be true... ' am i foolish enough to assume that polonius had never been untrue? maybe he was the biggest liar and that's how he knows. and he wants better for his son. he wants his son to do/be better. even if he starts today. it is never too late. people who lie aren't selfish. they are probably in a lot of pain. being honest is the best thing you can give YOURSELF. being honest is the ultimate form of self-love. we do not have to live with those that tells us lies; they are the ones that have to face themselves. they are not damaging us, they are damaging themselves.

if you walk away, i'll walk away.
just tell me which road i should take.
i don't want to risk our paths crossing someday.
so you walk that way. i'll walk this way.
- bright eyes

this is all a matter of interpretation. i am not judging or saying, well, anything. i am just thinking. i don't even know that i agree that the truth is always the best answer. especially ones from the past that make us who we are and what we value. quite contrary. i am saying, start today, self. start being the person you are. that you were born to be. that you want others to see. you've made more mistakes than you can possibly count. stop. and from now on, each decision, each action ... do right. forgive yourself for the past and make the best of what's next. you fucked up. again. so now, start with the smallest thing and go from there.

 and then you are being true. to you.

that's more selfish than any lie i've ever told.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

i made this bed.

the nights have turned colder. there is a distinct chill in the air. in my bones.
if i had my way, i'd be somewhere warm heading into the cooler season instead of bracing myself for what i expect to be a miserably cold winter.
everything in the world seems so fragile, so volatile. but there is something about the human spirit in soul wrenching pain that makes me thankful. i am feeling anything but numb. and that's the good and bad news.

my grandma is worn out. she just looks at me and says, "life's a bitch." and how.

all in one day, lucy managed to not only snatch a small turd from her diaper, but smear what she didn't eat on my laptop as i took out the garbage. i got a notice that my power was going to be shut off. my rent is past due. there is no food in the house. i've developed a rash on my forehead. i'm missing an eyebrow. my hair is short again and continues to get shorter after a small mishap with chemicals. i was publicly humiliated on facebook by my mother. i have no time to sleep. my current salary ends up being about $5 an hour when i calculate it. my checking account is $200 overdrawn. i've adopted a steady diet of cheap vodka and cigarettes. i want to kick someone in the crotch just because.

oh poor sky. don't cry on me. did someone break your heart again?

i put gas in the loaner car i have been driving with three dollars in quarters. which isn't even a gallon. the same car that has a driver side door that could fly open at anytime ... and does. i pretended not to be hurt when my mom made plans with me and slept through them. again. i don't have a fantasy football team. i don't even know what is going on with football. i am like a cavewoman. i don't know exactly what is going on except that we're all alone in this together.*

and a perfectly shitty day can be completely okay when you get a random text from a friend that says, "Uh I think my roommate is smoking in her room and burning toast to cover it up. Have you ever heard of that?" or when my sister takes time after working a double to say, "you have nothing to be ashamed of. i love you." or when i know i can call a friend and say my power is turned off and within two minutes he's gone online and paid it. or when that stupid effing charcoal canister is finally replaced on my 4runner and it has passed emissions after being unregistered since january because the part cost $900 alone.

now, love, where have you been?

when The Teenager was younger (like ten years ago), things were hard. i was working full time and going to school at night. when i look back on those days, i don't remember the hard times. i remember the results. i know that i am going to tank for a little while longer but as long as i keep things in perspective, remember how blessed i am, know that people love me from afar, and that i have to keep putting on my game face for my girls, i'll be okay. i have so many things to look forward to.

like drinking jameson with bethie and kelly.
like seeing my nephew max.
or meeting my new nephew this fall.
watching The Teenager cheerlead and sign up for driver's ed.
like waking up to lucy's goofy smile every day.
like hanging out with my stinky-footed nieces.
or finally catching that big break where i say, ooooh now i see.
like paying back everyone who has helped me.
or listening to my grandma talk about wooden pennies.
like publishing my first book.

oh poor sky, don't cry on me. are you going to fall apart again?

i am ready. i am wrong. i am a grown up. i am going to be better than good. this ship is just really big and it's taking a long time to turn it around.

my head plays it over and over.
don't interrupt me.

i get another chance today to be the person i want to be; the person i know i am. i'll probably screw it up but at least i have another day to try not to.

*thanks julie andrews!

Friday, September 2, 2011


sometimes i get to the point where i, selfishly, blurt out whatever i'm thinking. i guess you could say i have the "fight or flight" syndrome. i have a really strong physical reaction to things that happen in my life and i demand resolution NOW. recently i've tried a few new tactics like writing "STOP" on one hand and "THINK" on the other. or i'll sleep on a decision or impulse. or i'll walk out of a room. i have a close friend who was telling me about her 6-year-old daughter and how they were dealing with her behavioral problems (which i find adorable, by the way). the techniques I had tried were very similar to the ones my friend had been taught by behavioral experts at the University of Utah.

what is wrong with me?

i internalize things to the point that i can't sleep or focus. i worry about things that are totally irrelevant. i may even be (gasp) obsessing. people accuse me of being dramatic and i think i might be. but why? i don't want to be. i'm exhausted. 

i think i need a vacation. maybe a mini one. i would go camping or up in the mountains for a day. (let's be realistic, i can't go longer than about 4 hours without my girls.) i just need to clear my head. get outside of my head. i need a good laugh or a facial.

i'm over thinking things way too much. and it causes problems. like ulcers, migraines, cold sores, canker sores, eye rashes ... and don't get me started about how i waxed an entire eye brow off. and now, i'm being told that stress is possibly throwing off my ph balance and may result in having to cut off about 5 inches of my hair. it's hard to say. and it's boring. i'm just a small town girl living in a lonely world, i wanna take a midnight train going anywhere.

the obvious answer is headphones and bed. music is always the perfect distraction. tomorrow i will feel better. i guess i am glad that i have emotions. feelings. passion. conviction. even if i'm wrong. i won't stop believing. i'm going to hold on to the feeling.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Once Upon A Time

i think it was his smile that made me fall in love with him. from the first time i met him, he was happy, unassuming, and sweet ... just up the stairs. we had a sleepover on the floor as a matter of happenstance. we were just friends. then ten years later on a cold october night i saw his smile -- crooked yet familiar -- and the clothes of a priest as he walked towards me. for the rest of the night i leaned against the wall and listened to him talk. i gazed into his big, beautiful eyes. i felt so tiny. his cheeks were rosy from the cold. i wanted to throw my arms around him and never let go. it felt like i had been expecting him to arrive like a child waiting for her parent to pick her up from the airport. or almost like we had made a secret pact to meet there on that night ten years ago. if we had only known. maybe we did? the problems were enourmous. somedays we were lucky to survive. we tried. and yet sadly, less than two years later, his smile has faded and there is no resemblance of kindness or regard for me. in fact i don't remember what his smile looks like. only his eyes are vaguely familiar, hauntingly so, piercing into me like a knife in my back. these are the same eyes that told me the truth when his mouth could only tell lies. once illuminated with love and hope, they have become shallow and dim. it will be his eyes i feel for the rest of my life. eyes full of sadness and things left unsaid. eyes full of disappointment. choices. broken promises. and every morning when i wake up and look into the hopeful eyes of our daughter, it will be his eyes i see. 

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


what a month it's been. if you are familiar with the "old" me, you might appreciate this. or you might not. but i have learned a lot about myself in a very short time. it's the same old story with me over and over again. but i am me. take it or leave it. ups and downs are part of life and sometimes you keep getting knocked down and it takes 7000 reasons to finally try something new. and it's hell. and you fucking hate it. but you do it. and then you realize that you have finally embraced your life.

i believe that taking chances is better than settling.
i believe that i may have given my daughters life, but they are the ones who truly give me life. everyday.
i believe that bf/gf relationships are painful and temporary. just like a great bikini wax.
i believe that having a cigarette on your porch is better than punching someone in the face.
i believe that it's probably best not to look for trouble. it will find you.
i believe in sticking to my guns. and when the perfect time comes. once in awhile. even though it is hard as shit. laying them down and walking away. waiting to feel the bullet in your back.
i believe in taking my grandma to the doctor even when i'm busy.
i believe in honesty. no matter how bad it sucks.
i believe in loving your family, and letting them love you.
i believe in falling fast and hard. and falling hard is not awesome. but it's a new start.
i believe that doing the right thing is not fun. and it doesn't pay off. and it makes you mad. but it's the right thing. so do it. do what you say you're going to do.
i believe that my grandpa answered my prayers this month.
i believe that people believe what they want to believe.
i believe in forgiving yourself. and others. and then yourself for forgiving others. and repeat.

i believe that you should go with your gut. it is never wrong.

i believe in loving myself first and taking care of myself. and that the Rolling Stones did make great music. i just didn't need it until now.

i believe that surrounding myself with positive energy and the right people is exactly what i need.

for the first time, i have forced myself to step back. walk away. lay down my guns. and let go. just walk away. take some time. this is something i usually don't like or appreciate when others do, but this time it feels good. i might live a little bit crazy. i'm not perfect. it just seems like a little bit crazy is better than being exhaustingly predictable.

all this shitty ridiculous running to stand still livin' is over. i'm me

and i'm the best i've ever been.

Monday, July 25, 2011

every, every, every day.

how do you say ...

i have great friends and family. i mean it. i have too many to count or list. i just feel like i should acknowledge them somehow. how do you say thankyouiloveyouyousavedmylifeiloveyou?

it's been a really fast time. lots of things are happening. sometimes it feels like people are slipping through the cracks, and i need to tell them something. i wish they knew how i felt without me saying it. every day.

my beautiful babies. every day.
my sisters. every day.
my friends. every day.
my grandma. every, every day.
my brother. every day.

if you're strong enough for me to lean on, i will. i can't do this alone. i am not doing it alone. i don't want to nor do i need to do it alone. i haven't ever done it alone.

and yet when people offer to do something nice, i say, why would you do that? like, really? why are you so nice?

i have a friend who i did a favor for, because he is one of the most amazing people i know. and trust me, this was not within my comfort zone. but consider it done with no questions asked. and at this point of my life, when i feel my weariest, my most unappealing, not at all attractive, and awkward, he managed to make me feel ... flattered, at least. and he's the kind of person who lets you talk until you say things about yourself that you didn't know. it's a learning experience. i wish i could see life through his eyes.

another friend invited lucy and me to the rodeo. and putting up with lucy and me at the rodeo is not just any ordeal. a screaming, teething baby and a pit stop at the grocery store, leaving early, chasing sunglasses, bottles, everything, everywhere. and then through my constant rambling you hear, "you look pretty. no. i mean you look really good." and it it's the first time you've heard it for what feels like forever. scratch that, it's the first time you've heard it and believed it. and believed that he meant it. he would do anything for me. and his family is so great and they love lucy. and the rodeo, a screaming baby, and a drive thru is the best date i've had. maybe in my entire life.

or my girls. my girls. the ones who are tougher than most boys and smarter than all men. AND can change a tire. a really, really flat tire that you have given up on, but have no other options, and the lug nuts that have been welded on by a machine ... and she does it. just like that. (okay, it took hours and a lot of sweat. but she did it.) but they make me laugh, keep me young, call me old, piss me off, and offer to babysit and loan me their cars. or pick me up day or night. and they don't care that i look like i just crawled out from under a rock. it's hard to explain. but i needed help and bam! there it was. and remains. i just don't know how to pay it back. or how to say, no, really, thanks.

i saw three other close friends not too long ago. they talk. they listen. they snort wine out their noses when they laugh. they disclose things that we've never said but all have thought. they are mothers. they are single. they are some of the greatest friends i will ever have.

and don't get me started on my sisters and my brother. i can't even start. i won't. no matter what goes down, we got this. we just need to stick together. no matter what. i will have words for you. i just hope you know. i hope you know.

i have an unbelievable grandma. the toughest of all. and always there when someone needs her. i have felt like, i guess ... who does she have to lean on? since my grandpa passed away, she's the sole source of stability in our lives. the only one we can cry to, lean on, talk crazy with, explain things, talk to. and does she go to bed feeling lonely and beaten up? yes. but does she stop doing it? no. she's amazing. really. and a pain in the ass.

i have a hard heart i think. sometimes. but not at the right times. one of the aforementioned friends said, "hey, do you like my shirt? you haven't even said anything." and it's true. i noticed it instantly, thought in my mind how cool it was, but didn't say it. until 4 hours later when he brought it up. why? later i confessed that i think a lot of things that i don't say. and, at the same time, probably say a lot of things that i don't mean.

i guess, i just need to tell people how much i love and appreciate them. i don't want to take for granted the kindness or love i've been shown. it's been an extraordinary year. and i survived (or am surviving) only because of those in my life who have loved me without expectations. and every day, i know i don't say it. but you know who you are. i am alive because of you. my girls are loved because of you. we have power because of you. we have food because of you. faith, hope, happiness, courage, confidence, wine, a running car, an hour of sleep, toilet paper. all these things i have because of you.


Saturday, July 16, 2011

Weary sun, sleep tonight

i went to bed relatively early tonight. early for me. i have a hard time falling asleep but once i get there, i'm rock solid.

no nightmares tonight. no drama.

and yet at 3:40 am, i jolted awake in a complete panic. my heart is racing really, really fast. so i have adopted a rule ... even if you can't sleep, lay there. like Nate says, your body is still resting. just lay there. and so i did. until 4:40 am. i gave it one hour until my mind made things worse by pile driving through everything all at once. all the things and people and history and future and problems in life started freaking me out. it got worse. so i got up.

i tried to read. i am seriously contemplating going downstairs and cleaning. i took some prilosec for the stomach pain. i drank a little milk. i ate a pop tart.

i resisted electronics until i convinced myself that writing is really the only thing that stops my brain for a minute and calms me down - focusing on one thing instead of 2 million things at a time is better. i can sit and tell myself over and over again that everything is fine, that there's nothing i can do about anything at this hour, that things will look better in the morning, that it's a panic attack. it will pass. that i need rest, but it doesn't happen.

there is nothing tragic about today. i actually had a great night. i ate a delicious steak. i was in excellent company. maybe it's just time to get up. i have to take CJ to cheer at 8am, i have a million things to do. oh right, when you're having a panic attack, it's impossible to do anything but shuffle around and freak the fuck out. so no. let's work this out, lady balls.

existance is an incredibly complex and fascinating topic. societies, cultures, progression, deterioration, irrationalism, evolution, co-existing, living, consuming, relationships, giving birth, love, attraction, death ... and humans and their brains are equally intricate. i think i would like to talk to Ayn Rand and Frederick Nietzsche. (after dr. phil, of course.) i failed philosophy in college. twice i think. it's the easiest class, right? no. it's not for me.

but when i read Nietzsche in college, i remember relating to some of his beliefs but vaguely and not really caring either way. but lately, i've been doing a lot of introspective thinking and writings about humans (mainly myself) and life ... and i reverted back to religion and philosophy and happiness, etc. and i read things Nietzsche wrote and i have written journal entries that would be considered plagiarism to anyone who knew his work. it's weird. i don't believe in everything he did. but i get it. it was just his natural intrigue to find truth (or if truth exists) or the why we're here, what motivates people, why they act they way they do. and i'm not patting myself on the back here, or saying i'm smart or special, everyone contemplates the meaning of life. and i'm not saying i've written, Dear Diary, God is dead. Goodnight. it's more of a pondering of the motives and how society got so tangled up, why some people are good, why some people are not, what is love, truth, is it real? it's different now and what will it be like in 100 years. blah blah.

i guess maybe i am not saying anything. i am just trying to figure out how to NOT have physical or mental aversions or go crazy. but i can't stop myself. i miss my sleep. i miss it. i can't take tylenol PM because i have to get up in 2 hours. i don't have benadryl. i don't want to be groggy all day. i'm not necessarily worried. i feel really grounded and well. i slept great camping last weekend. ding! maybe it has something to do with where i am?

i do feel like this, however. if i could cohesively write down the things i have discerned in my brain, with the detail and insights i gain, it would be good reading for those who have similiar life experiences. not for everyone. but i do think it would help people. i often say, i wish someone would have told me that i could have tried this. i wish i had learned that sooner. i wish i had read that book earlier in life. i just can't express my thoughts in words that are compelling. and without being me, it would be hard to understand what i could write down. to put it in a language that others would benefit from, would be futile. and i would go mad trying to organize it in my own brain.

i started thinking about the Will to Live vs. Will to Power a while ago. a couple weeks later i started a manuscript entitled "The Diary of a Person Going Clinically Insane." i only got two lines into it. but it wasn't a dark or weird thing, it just goes back to psychology and my fascination on the subject. and if i do go crazy, later in life, maybe it would be interesting to read? or people would say, i have those feelings so i may want to try something different. why do people just crack? why do brains shut down? i have weird experiences where i get lost in thought at bank drive throughs, parks, in bed, driving and i have thought, "wait? am i going crazy? do people who know they are going crazy recognize these first signs? does it start like this? should i get help?"

i'm not crazy, i mean, according to modern day standards, i have a good solid grasp on reality. i am not conventional, but i'm not cooking kittens in the oven or eating my own arm. anyway, i digress. maybe we all think this way.

how i WISH i had talked to my professors about philosophy because it's so interesting to learn about. how did i fail? i think my mind must have been like ... too much truth, too much stuff, i could give a shit about this, i like vodka! (i was in college, okay? i was 18.) i wasn't ready for it, maybe? and also, i know i'm an ass, but my teachers were pretty pretentious, dull, and obviously not really sparking any interest in "thinking." it was a bunch of memorization and tests and ponytails.

back to the Will of Power. Were Nietzsche alive today, he would be like ... yup, i was right. his take on society and man and woman in the late 1800's relates succinctly with modern day problems that didn't even exist yet. it explains epidemics that weren't even around. he didn't need to stand behind a podium and preach. he just thought. he thought A LOT and really deep.* i think he's just brilliant.

i am not going to turn into a philosophizer or go crazy. i just find comfort in his writing and that i can relate to it. and, with that, i will stop thinking and let my mind rest. he had a mental breakdown so i don't have to.

*Grammatical error intentionally kept for my sister, and really anyone who has seen the movie Sideways. "I went deep last night ..... deep."

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

baby, we were made for each other

so i have been gearing up for some improved quality of life and living. after a lot of thought and many discussions with people i respect, i am determined to make my move. literally.

the first option was oregon. which not only flopped but left me discouraged and in tears. it literally brought me to my knees on the hot, gooey, blacktop at Lagoon. no longer an option. as prepared as i was for the rejection, it still hurt. but i peeled myself off the ground, assuring my family that no one has ever died at Lagoon, and let Chloe take me on Wicked. which caused me to barf. and also realize that i can come a lot closer to death on a rollercoaster than regular life.

so i started creeping in on my second option: austin, texas. i know. i hate texas. i sure do. but it's austin. and pieces have started to drop slowly into the places they fit. and without forcing them to fit. i plan to travel there by the end of this month to check things out. i have done some research, talked to people that live there, thought about it, asked questions, looked at places to live ... and then, yesterday, upon throwing away the Parenting Magazine that Lucy has been destroying for over a week, this article fell open: "The Best Cities to Raise Families." aaand Austin is number 2 on the list. that's right, Swing City! and here is what Parenting Magazine says:

"It's no surprise that Austin kept its second-place ranking from last year--it's a way-cool progressive city in a warm and sunny climate. City pools stay open year-round, and the bass are always biting at Town Lake. The self-proclaimed Live Music Capital of the World, Austin also hosts the annual South by Southwest music, film, and interactive festival. It's a mecca for innovators--Michael Dell launched his tech company here--and Samsung, Goggle, and Facebook all have offices. With an abundance of pediatricians, 27,000 acres of parkland, and plenty of farmers markets and co-ops, Austin is a well-rounded, healthy hometown."

anyone who knows me and loves me knows that this is where my girls and i need to be. austin and us; we were made for each other. i think i could fall madly in love.

as a back-up, i am looking forward to karma's full report on South Carolina. it's my third and final option. but really, my gut tells me i already know. i will even wear cowboy boots. there. i said it.

Friday, July 1, 2011

long days, short nights

i am in love with the long summer days. 9pm with sunlight reminds me of being in college, sunburned and reckless. the past few nights, i have spent the end of each day on my front porch. and it's there i have my first quiet moments. instead of diving into the next project or cleaning up, i just go outside and breathe. i need more of this in my life.

seasons and music seem to spark the most vivid memories from my past. and the combination of summer and The National seem to open a flood gate of nostalgia.

i still remember the first time i heard The National. and i often recount details from the first time i saw them perform (sometimes in routine so that i don't forget) ... we were so close. i couldn't get enough. the second time i saw them was outdoors in Chicago. and the third, pregnant with lucy. it's almost like an obsession when you begin following a band before they become really popular. you are able to stalk them in smaller venues in different cities, and their earlier albums carry a secret sense of belonging.

The National's songs pop up in my mind several times during the day, sparked by different situations or key words. Cherry Tree gets the most plays these days. early this morning as my body rejected sleep to recite lyrics ... Lucky You was on repeat. there is nothing i can do. i never thought i'd be someone who didn't like the nighttime. i would like to keep these long days and short nights for a while.

Lucky You

Every time you get a drink
And every time you go to asleep
Are those dreams inside your head
Is there sunlight on your bed
And every time you're driving home
Way outside your safety zone
Wherever you will ever be
You're never getting rid of me

You own me

There's nothing you can do
You own me

You coulda made a safer bet

But what you break is what you get
You wake up in the bed you make
I think you made a big mistake

You own me

There's nothing you can do
You own me
Lucky you

You clean yourself to meet

The man who isn't me
You're putting on a shirt
A shirt I'll never see
The letter's in your coat
But no one's in your head
Cause you're too smart to remember
You're too smart
Lucky you

Thursday, June 30, 2011

i know. i know. i know. i know, i know, i know. i know.

the world was right and i was wrong. again.

but now i know.

i work 20 hours out of every day. when i sleep, i wake up from nightmares. i am trying desperately hard to hold it together. there is an endless supply of both support and adversity that starts at 6am and continues throughout the day. and even when the lesson is learned, another blow comes my way. i try not to drool optimism nor despair; all the guests at the pity party have been invited to leave. this is the path of least resistance. even my tentative thoughts race through my mind quietly so i don't set off more internal conflict.

i am not a weak person. i am not fragile. i am not who everyone thinks i am. i don't believe in superstitions and i am not going to cling to any daunting this-is-the-end-only-jesus-can-save-me-now bullshit. i appreciate the character building and the nightly infusion of strength. my baby anchors and everything i've learned in life until now remains in tact. i seem to crash through each day, some days more gracefully than others.

there is no truth. truth is for people seeking unrealistic ideals. "truth" tattooed on my wrist isn't a fucking choose the right reminder. it never was. i put it there to deflect lies from the mouths of others. to make me stop and think. it's a reminder that people lie and deceive, and i need to stop listening. unfortunately the word only seemed to attract the opposite behavior. even still, it's not their faults. it's mine. i believe exactly what i want to. i don't need to prove anything to anyone. i know my truth. and i try to live it and i fail. and it's easier and less expensive to not live it. and still, i can't really sell myself out after living this many years being me.

so now that i have finally cleared the path ahead and turned the corner at dangerously high speeds to transcend into the future as quickly as possible, it is time to stop being so hard on myself. i need to let the physical toll this is taking on my body subside. it is over. i can stop internalizing everything and begin to enjoy having my soul back. whatever fucking honorable intentions i had were fallacies i told myself. no one else did anything to me. the only person i should be blaming or thanking is myself. this may be the hardest lesson i have ever taught myself but there is no question that i have not learned from it. again.

oddly enough, with these small waves of conviction and reprieve, i have a soundtrack that is steadily playing in my mind. my head plays it over and over again. no hymns. no dark, self-loathing death metal. just songs that have always fed my soul. and, because i have been sent two different versions of this song this week, i am adding it to the catalog of the last six months of shedding my skin. next up: The Realist. i am the most realistic idealist in the world.

Thanks Billy. (If that's your real name ... )

She can kill with a smile
She can wound with her eyes
She can ruin your faith with her casual lies
And she only reveals what she wants you to see
She hides like a child,
But she's always a woman to me

She can lead you to love
She can take you or leave you
She can ask for the truth
But she'll never believe you
And she'll take what you give her, as long as it's free
Yeah, she steals like a thief
But she's always a woman to me

She takes care of herself
She can wait if she wants
She's ahead of her time
And she never gives out
And she never gives in
She just changes her mind

And she'll promise you more
Than the Garden of Eden
Then she'll carelessly cut you
And laugh while you're bleedin'
But she'll bring out the best
And the worst you can be
Blame it all on yourself
Cause she's always a woman to me

She is frequently kind
And she's suddenly cruel
She can do as she pleases
She's nobody's fool
And she can't be convicted
She's earned her degree
And the most she will do
Is throw shadows at you
But she's always a woman to me

- Billy Joel, She's Always A Woman

Monday, June 20, 2011

TRUTH : verb, in action.

i've always been a big believer in change. and yet i play it safe. i always have.
i have been saying for years that i want to move and then i always find a reason to stay.
i have a lot of good reasons to stay.

but today, i think i just realized i have more reasons to leave.
and i think i'm ready.
i think that is why i have found myself crippled with anxiety and heartache. and life has always forced me to be where i need to go. i think i have finally figured out what it's saying to me now.

today was a really hard day for me. father's day usually is. for reasons i can't even recount. but this year, it was the hardest one that i have ever experienced. in terms of emotions and an intense physical response.

what do i have to lose? i've lost so much already. i've been living under the illusion that people need me. that if i leave, i will regret it. but i am not helping anyone. i have to live for myself. and i think i know what i need to do. maybe. probably.

the last time i felt like this, i was blessed by a daughter. unexpected.
this time, i feel. well, terrified. but compelled to do something that i have always said i would do but never believed i could.

it's time. for the biggest change of my life. the biggest risk. and hopefully, the biggest reward. maybe another mistake, but how do i know? it might be the last chance i have. i remember who i am. i remember what i want. i know what i am capable of.


the switch has been flipped. i am going with my gut. please, please, please do the right thing.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Summer in the City

This evening I was lucky enough to have some time to myself in the city. LJ and I strolled downtown with no real purpose or destination. We were just out. Away from everything and enjoying the summer night in the city.

And although I wasn't feeling very good, the summer air, the people out on the sidewalks, the music, the city ... it was familiar in a good way. And I met up with some good friends who I love and miss so much. There was some of that. And even though I walked away from them, leaving them to their night of endless possibilities ... it was okay. At one time, I spent every weekend with them going to bars, conversing, staying up too late, doing whatever we wanted. And now I walked away pushing my baby in her stroller with a lot of things running through my head. Too many things. Looking at all the young kids going into the bars and feeling old.

And then something random but totally necessary happened. I changed routes and upon doing so, came upon a family of three. A young girl who was obviously upset. A dad. And a son. To put things in perspective, I am guessing the father was 32. I confirmed later that the young girl was 12, and the little boy was maybe 6. And the dad was yelling at her. Tears rolling down her cheeks. An obviously dysfunction situation.

So I followed until the dad was being a royal douche. And then I ran, pushing the stroller, until I caught up with them. And I asked the girl if she was okay or if she needed help. I didn't really know if it was a boyfriend, step dad, or whatever at this point. It was just a bad scene. And the dad said, "Yeah, she needs a lot of help." And she looked at me with big brown eyes that reminded me of my CJ's. And I said, you can stay with me. I'll make sure you get home. And she stayed with me.

So we sat and talked. She was beautiful, even with too much make up on for a natural beauty. She was taller than me and just soooo sweet. And she looked like she was 16. When she told me she was 12, I didn't believe her. I wanted to cry. She was way too old, way too mature, way too sad for a 12-year-old. But we talked about why her dad was so mad and why she was so upset. And her dad left her with me and never turned back. On main street downtown with a total stranger.

She explained to me in a maturity that no child should know at such a young age that her dad was drunk and yelling at her in front of a crowd of people. I told her I have a daughter and that sometimes I start yelling and I don't even know why I am yelling but I can't stop. And she said, "Well you should never do that. Because it hurts us. A lot." And I wanted to go pick up my CJ and tell her I was sorry for every time I yelled at her because I was mad at someone else. I don't get drunk and act crazy in public but I have yelled at her. She's a teenager. Any way, we decided to start walking and continued talking until we caught up with the dad, who had stopped and calmed down finally.

During our walk, I asked her if she was ever scared or if he hit her; she said no. Then she said, "I'm in therapy. Not because of him. But I know where to find help."

When we reached her dad she told him exactly how she felt and he told her (in an unfortunately less mature manner) how he felt. And obviously it was none of my business but I told him that she was very open and mature and her argument was pretty solid, so maybe he could compromise. He should feel lucky that she told him how she felt so openly. And all she asked was that he not yell at her in public and humiliate her. She was the one who suggested he could pull her aside and talk to her calmly, instead of yelling at her in front of a million people at a concert.

And she said, "Do you know that when parents talk to their kids and tell them, 'I don't give a shit, walk home alone.' what that does? It makes us want to kill ourselves."

It was heart breaking that she was so willing to talk and so simple to see that she just wanted to be loved. She just wanted him to express his love in a less combative way (and sober). And he was being a drunk a-hole. But still, probably really did love her and had good intentions. He just never was taught what to do. He never developed standards. He never had someone say, you know it's not super cool to get drunk and take it out on your kids.

We talked for awhile; I mostly listened to them. And then, finally, when I knew she was safe and things were good, I gave her a hug and told her she was one of the most beautiful girls I knew and that I was really impressed with her. And the father (who easily could have told me "it's none of your business, fuck off") introduced himself and he thanked me. Everyone seemed okay and were on good terms--no more yelling. And then they doted over Lucy and I told them a little more about my teenager. But I was the one before I left that had to thank them. I had to thank this 12-year-old for saying, "Yeah, it makes me feel like shit when you yell at me." I told her that I needed this lesson because I just assumed CJ ignores me most of the time. But why can't I just talk to her?

And as pissed as I was at the dad for being a total ass, it made me look at myself and think what I need to do to be a better parent. Am I any different, if I am sober and being unreasonable? Is doing it in my own home any different? I needed to talk to this family. I needed to see it from the outside.

If you have a dad that you can talk to, and that you know cares about you and loves you, you should let him know. You should not take it for granted. If you have a memory of fishing or golfing or him putting a coat over you during cold weather, you should cherish that moment. You should appreciate that he makes the effort, no matter how he chooses to express his love. It breaks my heart to look at my baby. She may never have to put up with a dad who yells because boys are trying to pick up on her, but she won't ever know a daddy that is passionate about her and would do anything for her. Is it my job to tell him that he needs to do that? Is it my job to call him on Father's Day and ask if he wants to see her? Is it better for her to see him? No matter how I feel?

At least we are trying. Those who don't even try ... they are the real assholes.

Anyway, it was a weird experience tonight and I normally wouldn't even insert myself into a situation with an angry parent and a child. But I am glad I did. And I got so much more out of it than I expected. And seeing them walk away, hugging each other and talking, was sad but comforting.

There are so few families now that do the right things for their kids. There are so few traditional families. I guess we have to make it work. But it hurts. I know. And I think this 12-year-old was insanely courageous and a gifted communicator. And she just wanted love, respect, and to be trusted. She was the one who was hurt, yet she was the one acting more mature than the parent.

So if I felt so strongly about her safety and how she felt that I interjected in a potentially violent situation, maybe I need to do something even remotely as brave in my own life. I shouldn't assume that CJ knows I love her more than any thing in the world. I need to tell her that when I yell or have a bad day or cry every 5 minutes for no reason, it's NEVER because of her. I need to cherish her. I think she is amazing. She is courageous. She is one of the strongest, most resilient, talented, beautiful, witty teenagers I know. And when I see her tomorrow, I am going to hug her for four days and never let go until she knows that.

Fathers. Mothers. Families. At the end of the day, we need our families. They are the most important thing. In the end, they are all we have. It's all we are. By blood or by love or by happenstance. Love the people who love you and care about you. Love them back. Love those that don't want your love. And tell them.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Isn't this just like the present?

“I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity to anyone, but they've always worked for me.”
- Hunter S. Thompson

Drugs: Perspective in my past. The conviction to NEVER let them be a part of my future. More importantly, to never let them be a part of my daughters' futures.
Violence: Unnecessary unless totally necessary.
Insanity: A little crazy, but it's nice.

It is not my choice but it is my path. And for all my regrets, failures, accomplishments, and circumstances, I am me. For better for worse. And I know who I am. And that is more than most people can ever say with any certainty. I try. I learn. And I stand for the things I believe in.

I only hope that today's dark skies bring tomorrow's sunniest days. Yet.

And I am finally starting to believe that it is not only true, but inevitable.

Monday, May 30, 2011


there is proof that love exists.

and that proof comes from the inexplicable pain i feel knowing i have lost my greatest love. my heart is not only broken, but shattered. i have no words to say. i have to live without answers and pour my soul into being a good mother. and even though every time i look into my baby's eyes, my heart breaks all over again, i have to find the strength to do what i've always done. on my own.

Friday, May 20, 2011

quiescent was the night

it's raining outside. and i like it. i like the sound of it and i like the idea of everything being drenched and refreshed. of course, i would prefer it to be a warm, summer rain instead of this eerie, cold rain ... but it's kind of comforting to be in a warm, soft bed knowing it's cold outside.

i know that i should be sleeping but there is something very calming about this late hour. the house is so quiet. my lovelies are sleeping soundly. nothing needs to be done. the rain is percussing on the window. and i have a moment. a moment to be. and i can be nothing. i don't need to be a mother, granddaughter, employee, grocery shopper, or writer. i can be ... still. and remember, appreciate, and regroup. i don't have these moments very often during the day. if ever.

i am not complaining. it's just a very busy time right now. there is always something that needs to be done. that's just how it is. sometimes i hear someone say that they are bored, or looking for something to do. i think that is so fantastic. i can't remember the last time i was bored. there is always something; there are always at least twenty things that i would have to do if i was bored.

maybe that's why i like the night time. i am alone. no one is calling. i imagine everyone i love to be sleeping. the banks are closed. the offices are closed. the grocery store is closed. the baby isn't hungry. The Teenager is content. everyone is safe and well. the doors are locked. nothing is happening. nothing. i love that. oh, i love it.

so now i am going to sink into my bed, close my heavy eyes and listen to the gentle tapping on my window. and i'll let my thoughts go until they escape my head.

hello, sanity. i'm so glad i have you in my life again. 

Saturday, May 14, 2011

listen. hear that? it's the end.

i think we all have truths that we hold on to. or maybe these are "stories" we tell ourselves and we believe them to be truths. either way, they become lifelong truths and there is a wrenching churn in our guts when a truth is challenged.

for example, a truth i have always held was, "no matter what, i will take care of my girls. i can do it." and then when i get to those months where there is no work, no contracts, and no help ... i get a little stressed but i figure it out. it's not easy or ideal, but we get it done. and then when things get rrrreally bad and i have to do things i never thought i was capable of, i get physically sick from fear, urgency, panic mode, make-it-happen-now-talks, and doubt. well, if you know you can do it then why are you terrified? answer: well, just because i believe it, i don't need/want to prove it.

a less appealing truth would be like, "i know you don't love me. i can tell by the way you treat me." and this truth is challenged over time until it morphs into, "well, maybe you love me. you just don't know how to treat me." but that's a perversion of the truth. and eventually what happens? you hear from that person you held the truth about: "i don't love you." so if i know that was the case, why i am inexplicably hurt and sad and physically sick?
answer: just because i believe it, doesn't mean that you couldn't prove me wrong.

truths can be proven wrong. if they are shown that there is a conviction out there that changes it. for good and for bad.

i don't know. for me, truth is important. whether i want to hear it or not. and truth has allowed The Breakdown to go from The Resolve to ... The End. and honestly, that's ok. i need some closure, some clarity, some reason to sprint forward into the future. no more quick jogs into a happy life with frequent stops to look back and wait or wonder if anyone is chasing me. no more holding back for the "what if" or the "well, but" or the "maybe".

if i were me, giving me advice. i would say, "one day you will look back and this will be a situation that you will understand. and it's part of you. for the better. right now, you need to have faith that it's bigger than you, and you'll be okay. just cry and feel sad, and then be done. we all love you. we all need you. and cry for you, and LJ and for everything you've always [thought you] wanted that you'll never have. (note: not material things. more like: to be loved, to have a family, to not have to work 80 hours a week, to have someone to share this with, to have an amazing relationship.) cry for the mistakes you made and the choices. cry because you're hurt. but not for anyone else. and not out of guilt. don't blame yourself. don't cry for anyone else. love yourself as much as you loved him. you'll understand. something amazing is out there. you've got amazing now. be done with it. please. please be done with it."

i am not alone. i feel it in my bones. i know ... i know who i am. i know what i have done. i know when acceptance is embraced, i will be able to heal. and even though i've always thought acceptance was contingent upon closure or understanding everything about everyone ... it's not. acceptance is just being ok with what i have done, what i am doing, and who i am. and it's totally okay for someone else to hate those things. i don't need to know why. i don't need to understand. i don't need to play it in my mind over and over. i don't need to think how things could have been different. it doesn't change anything.

deep breath. deadline set. no more turning back. by monday morning, i will have cried my last tear, lost my last sleep, wondered, questioned, pondered, mourned, battled, resented, analyzed my last thought on the matter. and i will have acceptance.

at last.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

30 Things: Day 20

someone you see yourself marrying or being with in the future

well, oddly enough, i can't answer this question easily. i have been married once. i have lived with someone after 10 years of being single. and now, i am happy being single and having my girls with me. i don't know that i will ever get married again. maybe. but not likely. if i found "the one". if "the one" exists. but i have always been happy being single. not because i'm scared of commitment or weird. i just do better. i do good by myself. i am more focused and smarter. i am just happy. i guess i give and receive enough love from my family that i don't feel like i am searching for something.

sometimes, i get lonely. i think it would be nice to have someone to watch lu giggle or toot. to watch lo grow up too fast and help me guide her through the teenage years. but it's hard to do that. especially because it's impossible for anyone to feel the kind of love i have for these kids. i don't know. it's better. it's good.

so. the answer is that i see myself being with my girls in the future. i know this much to be true. outside of that, the unknown is welcome. right now, i am where i am supposed to be. and things are ... good.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

heavy resolve

it is impossible to be honest with others if you're not, first, honest with yourself.

don't wait for people to show you that they care. if they do, you will know.

don't will anything to "be," just let it.

make the same mistake once or twice ... then stop.

no matter how bad you want something -- so much that it makes life bend every part of you -- if you don't get it, you will understand why in time. the time until ... is hell.

let others play the "confused" or "helpless" parts. you know. you know, you know, you know. it's the easy way out. take a deep breath. cry hard. let go.

once you come to the resolve, that there is no hope, that there are no expectations, that you've given more than you had to give, you find acceptance.

The Breakdown becomes The Resolve. and then maybe, we'll rebuild. and we'll believe. and we'll understand. maybe? maybe.

until then, music. love. friends. clean minds. family. doing something new. we can't wait forever. sometimes we have waited too long.

hopelessness. it's okay to embrace it.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

everybody always trying all the time

i have been thinking too much and not writing enough. and this is dangerous for me. because there is nothing harder than getting out of my head. except a court summons. or bad debt.

here are some things i know:
1. if i start crying, it might last for days. just like my best friend said. so i won't. not yet.
2. i can have one more beer. tonight.
3. i am not getting the message. i am trying too hard. what am i missing? i am missing something.
4. two things i think to myself that inevitably bring more trouble: i can do this, see? i am doing it. AND i really, physically, cannot deal with one more thing. i can't do this.
5. i need to take care of myself so i can "do" everything. this includes sleeping more, being kinder, letting go of guilt, and maybe even a business trip to Texas. i know. the sacrilege.
6. i have been blessed by being surrounded by some of the BEST people on the earth. and as such, i also have to accept that i have been blessed by being surrounded by some of the most troubled.

so this happened:
The Teenager and i do most things together. we talk about lots of stuff. we are close. i am not a great disciplinary. i give too much wiggle room according to most people. but it works. and then, all of a sudden, it doesn't.

tonight there was a dance. a dance that The Teenager really wanted to go to. i can tell because she hasn't had one tardy all term. and she spent three hours getting ready. and she's been really excited about it. so i drove home from the city as fast as my two flat and two normal tires would take me to take pictures, drive her there, and all that stuff. and then i mentioned that i would be at volleyball.

"then i'm not going."


"i'm not going to the dance."


"it's embarrassing."

what? really?

"yeah. you playing volleyball? in the same building. i won't go."

okay. i'll call this bluff.

this wasn't a bluff.

she sat home on the couch. tears streaming down both cheeks, in her obviously well-thought-out attire, hair done perfectly, makeup immaculate. and would not go to that dance no matter what. and i left. it killed me. i fought myself. i wanted to go in and say, go go go go to the damn dance, i won't go to my volleyball game if it's that big of a deal. but how can i? what? who? not my child. i don't even know what to do.

but she sat. and i went. and i don't even know how to navigate this. all this stuff. but i know that if you aren't raised with a certain pride, love, and respect for your family ... you are screwed. family is all you got. whether it's blood or not. family. i don't know. i'm devastated. it tore me apart. it made me physically sick.

and really, it's a small problem in the big scheme of things.

today, in 14 hours, i spent only 2 with my girls. total. i was working and whatever whatever. but it threw me off.

here it comes, that heavy love...

i need to sleep more. i need to think less. i believe i may need to go camping. when one day at a time doesn't work, i will take it hour by hour. if i can't do it, i should say "no." slow down, you're moving too fast ...

i am going to sleep. i am going to breathe. i am going to say my prayers. i am going to be strong. i am going to be grateful. i am going to let go of whatever is attracting more trouble. i am going to love unconditionally. i am going to accept defeat. i am going to keep trying. even though every ounce of my being wants to stop. what am i doing? how do i know what to do? i am going to realize that my energy is better spent on me than convincing the homeless man at McDonald's that his transparency was obvious and i wasn't falling for his tricks. and i need to be okay with my pancake butt because the 18-year-old girls with long, skinny legs at volleyball weren't sent there to torment me, and i am double their age. oh my God, i think i am dying. double.

everything is not okay. and it never will be. being unbalanced is the only way i do things, i guess? trying to balance only makes me fall. tomorrow there will be answers. the sun will come up. and everything will be in perfect disarray.

Monday, April 18, 2011

30 Things: Days 18 & 19

18. plans/dreams/goals you have
19. nicknames you have and why you have them

I think I saw you walking in the city,
Hips like boy's,
The sun fell behind you and never stood up.
My head plays it over and over.
I think I heard you singing,
'Oh poor sky, don't cry on me
Did somebody break your heart again?
Oh poor sky, don't cry on me
Are you gonna fall apart again?'
My head plays it over and over.

Plans. Dreams. Goals.
Plans. I don't have plans. Because plans get ruined or canceled. I prefer to say I have an idea and a direction, with no real plan to get there, other than to get there.

Dreams. I have dreams. No matter how bad things are; no matter how good things are... I have dreams. And lots of them. I dream of finding the perfect words to say at the perfect time. I dream of both my girls being happy in life; of them being as big a part of my life forever as they are today. I dream about love. I dream about Mexico. I dream about my grandpa. I dream about the day I can be happy without feeling guilty about it. I dream about moving out of Utah. I dream about the day I look back and think, ah, so that is what it was all for.

Goals. My goals change a lot. I once had a goal to be a lawyer. I then had a goal to be a psychologist. Then an accountant. Then a marketing executive. Eventually, my goal was just to graduate from college. I guess my goals depend on where I am at in life. Right now, my goal is to get through each day gracefully. One day at a time.

And of course I have one goal that supersedes all others ... and that is to be a good mother. To always, always, always put my girls first. To do whatever it takes to provide for them; to let them know I love them. To appreciate them everyday. To make them laugh. To teach them how to make good decisions. To take care of them when they are sick. To figure out how to pay for their first cars, college, and weddings. To be at volleyball games, softball games, dance competitions ... to be there. No matter when or where. Every time they need me.

Oh yeah, and I also have these goals:
- Take Chloe to Italy
- See Garth Brooks live
- Meet Dr. Phil
- Make all my nieces and nephew scrapbooks
- Have a shot of bubble gum vodka with Karma
- Write a letter to someone every week ... and mail it ... old school ... handwritten
- Repair my credit
- Live in a place one day that my girls call "home"

Huh. Maybe I have more goals than I thought.

And I for sure have more nicknames than I want. Hello Day 19, thanks for bunking with Day 18.

Nicknames & Meanings
Curly (my dad)
Carlotta (my dad, my mom)
Car (my siblings and friends)
Fetha or Gramboo (bff)
Muscles (my teammates, don't even fucking say it...)
CashB (my friend Armen is creative)
Carlicious (friend, boyfriend, it's cute)
Carl (my brother started this ... because I look like a man)
Sharon (my drunk alter ego who used to cause A LOT of problems, wear scarves, and destroy things)
Roberta (the phlegm-throat cat lady who lives under the delusion that she had a romance with her sister's husband; also has a special lady friend named Lancaster who also likes to clear her throat)
Crotch, Foxy P. Intoxy (Crotch Club)
Carlsberg (like the beer?)

Riveting ... I know.
And that's a wrap.

Friday, April 15, 2011

random t h o u g h t s tonight

i am IN LOVE with the show Due Date and am wondering if anyone else:

a) loves it, too
b) thinks it's the Planes, Trains, & Automobiles of our generation
c) also wants Zack Galifianakis to be part of their family*
d) thinks the movie has one of the most apropos soundtracks ever made


i can see heaven in my baby's big blue eyes. when she stares into mine, i wonder what she sees.


forgiveness. it's a tough one. my girls and i went and visited my dad this week. so, so, so, so, so many things i feel. just, too much to even write about. but it occurred to me, as i watched him from my window scratching "2011 CARLY CHLOE LUCY" on the beach in GIGANTIC letters, that my dad is the only living man that loves all three of us in that way. in the way he does. as a father and a grandfather. no one else in my life has that kind of love for ALL of us girls. i am pretty sure it's similar to the way i love my girls. and, well, it's getting deep in here. anyway. it was nice to see my dad and spend time with him. but i cannot describe what it felt like watching him love my girls. both of them. genuinely. more than life itself. naturally. it's an unbelievable feeling. and he does love them. and judging by this picture, i think someone else fell in love, too.


blogs, facebook, twitter ... all this social-fucking-flaunt-your-perfect-pretend-life-media. it's not real. it's turning us into a culture where "keeping up with the jones'" is no longer about who has the nicest boat or car. it's now "keeping up with a million, perfect, airbrushed, successful, entitled, rich, skinny, trouble-free, got it all figured out jones'". and it's bullshit. no one's life is perfect. i appreciate people not being negative and airing their dirty laundry online; i appreciate the inspirational quotes; i appreciate hearing a great story or accomplishment; i like updates about kids; i enjoy reading about music; i like reading about lessons in life, funny stories, realizations, amazing experiences. i just don't appreciate the play by play of insecure people saying how great their life is because they had the best tuna melt of their entire life, or that their engagement ring was $4k, or that they hand-stitched matching outfits for their family photos, or that their husband is the most amazing man alive, or that church was fun. if it's that great -- and i am not talking about a generally upbeat facebook or blog -- i am talking about the ridiculous ones where there is never any humility. ahhh, who the hell cares. right? i just don't see it ending well. i see comparison and denial and narcissism and something that isn't right. i don't know. maybe, because i'm not an overachiever, i don't understand. and maybe i don't quilt. or cook. or make everyone in my life blissfully happy. i just, if your life is so great, live it. how do you have the time to be on facebook with all these "friends"? LIVE IT. and if you want to share it with someone, everyone, get a film crew to follow you around and feed your ego by watching your life over and over again. i don't know what's happening or where this is coming from so i am done. with that.‡


there is a lot of world out there. i want to see it. i want my girls to see it. i don't want "stuff" anymore. i want what i have, actually, a little less "stuff" than i have, and i want to DO something.


they are building a Cafe Rio less than two miles from my house. c.j. and i are SO excited we can't even stand it.


i see good in people. i see an innate goodness in people. i believe in it. i have tried to stop myself from this, almost as if i am being naive or weak or deceived, but i won't ever stop seeing the good in people. we all fuck up. but if you can make someone's day better, you might change his or her life. with just one little act of kindness. be good. i want to be good. life is short.


i have recently decided that i must do something: see garth brooks in concert one more time.


music is one of the most important things for our souls, our bodies, our hearts, and our state of mind.


*question answered: (c.j. unprompted said, "he HAS to be our ganny†")

†ganny: we have decided that we need a nanny. but not a girl, so a manny. actually, a ganny. a very handsome, strong, fun, gay man that loves kids to come and live with us and help me. he would be able to help chloe with her wardrobe (since i clearly have no taste), he would help me carry my little LuLu so my back doesn't hurt, he would cook, he would be fun, and we would love him, he would go on vacation with us. and he could lay in bed and watch videos with us with no fear of him putting the moves on me or c.j. WHAT? i may old but i still ... i'll stop there. anyway. we are looking for a ganny. and Galifianakis qualifies as a ganny because both names start with the letter G.

‡of course i am aware i am a hypocrite. a bitter contradiction of myself. don't read too much in the psyche. jealous? annoyed? resentful? tired? ranting? it's nothing personal directed towards anyone. i honestly worry about it in regards to kids growing up with the constant need to compare themselves with everyone else, be better, buy more expensive things, pretend to be happy, popular, flawless ... i think it comes from that. if i had facebook in high school. i probably would have had a nervous breakdown. anyway. bleck.