Category: family

>A is for…..

>Ive decided to try something new… I’m not really sure what direction it will take… but I’ll start here. I’m going to go through the alphabet…. with pictures. I’m not going to put restrictions on the pictures… so they quite possibly will be all over the board.


Our pets are very much a part of our family…. like more kids.. only smaller and furry 🙂 We have three cats.. each with their own personality.

This is Piggy. He is our oldest at eight years old and our first. Piggy was Ben’s before we got together. When we moved in together… he brought Piggy with him. He is quite possibly the sweetest cat ever. He sleeps with us each night.. usually at my feet. He’s very much a cat of habit… very much like Ben and I. He loves turkey deli meat and can recognize the sound of the plastic baggy from the other room. He also loves his belly rubbed and would be quite happy to just let you do that all day long. We call him by all sorts of names… Piggers… Buddy… Buckeroo… its kinda silly.

This is Brandi… she is the second oldest at six years old. We got her from the humane society less than a year after we moved in together. We felt bad that Piggy was all alone during the day.. and decided to get him a friend. We fell in love with her.. she’s very much a talker. When we brought her home…she hated Piggy… but didn’t have it in our hearts to take her back. She had already been at the shelter for a year… she needed a home. We think she was abused in her previous home.. she’s very flighty- even after all this time we’ve had her. She’s better now… but still not over it. I feel bad for her. We’ve nicknamed her Girl.. as we never felt that Brandi really fit her.
This is Sammie and our youngest at just at two years old. We got her right after we returned home for our first anniversary trip in Vegas. We got her for the same reason we got Brandi… a friend for Piggy. This time we decided a kitten was the way to go. We also got her from the humane society. She was only like six weeks old and fit in the palm of our hands. She earned the nickname Wee Lil because of that… along with a dozen other nicknames. We almost never call her Sammie anymore. Shes full of energy… very much a kitten still. She will run full board through the house and antagonize the other two cats.

So that’s our furry babies… our family wouldn’t be complete without them.


>The other morning I was on my way to work… at a stop light I opened up Facebook. As the updates came… there was my 18 year old niece…. saying she was engaged. I don’t know who else feels like this… but when you watch a kid grow into an adult… its hard to make that transition into thinking they truly are grown up. It was odd to see that she was in fact getting MARRIED.

I can’t help but worry that she is too young… that she’s see far too little of this world… and that she can’t possibly know who she is yet. I know I didn’t… even if I thought I did. I’m not saying that getting married at 18 doesn’t work. What I am saying is… that it takes a lot of work. Marriage is work even when you’re 40 let alone 18. I wonder if they truly know the gravity of what they are going into.

I know at 18 I thought I knew what the whole world was about… that I knew it all. The reality is that I am a different person now than I was then. This may not be the case for her… and for her sake… I truly hope this is true. I just really want her to be happy and have a wonderful and full life. I also hope that this works… and that twenty years from now… they are going to be going strong.

The truth is…. I do very much like her fiancee. He’s a great guy… and adores my niece. I have no problem with him at all. I just worry that’s all. I’ve always been a worrier… and I doubt that will stop anytime soon.

At any rate.. there has not been a date set. My niece is going into the Navy… and leaves for boot camp in May. She said they are going to wait till after that and some schooling she has to go through.. so at least the summer of 2011. I think that will give them time to let their very young (6ish months) relationship weather the test of time and distance. If they can make it through that… I’m fairly certain they can make it work.

Love is a strong thing…but it takes more than that to make a marriage work. I know all of you who are married totally understands that. And like I said… I just want her to be happy…. and him for that matter…. they are good people.

(And before I get attacked…. I hope that I didn’t come off as saying that getting married at 18 is wrong… I just think it brings some added weight. You have to grow up together essentially. I know it’s not impossible… many people have done it.)


>I’m hurting.

Not in a way that most people will completely understand.. as the situation is not unheard of but is certainly unorthodox.

Back story.

I was married before to the wrong person. I cannot say this is a mistake… as many good things came from this time in my life. He got me away from a place and family that I no longer wanted to be around… that wasn’t healthy for me. He brought me to his home… into his family.

I bonded with these people… I became part of the family… I was his parent’s daughter.. not daughter in law… I was his sister’s sister… in fact I was way closer to them… than my ex ever was. We spent every holiday together… had game nights.. bbq’s… they were the family I never had.. and always wanted. And all of a sudden.. this was my reality.

The only thing that was wrong about it was… him. So when I left him… I still stayed close with them.. because that’s what we all wanted (ex not included in such sentiment). It was tough.. there were a lot of uncomfortable moments… which never really went away. BUT. I loved these people and still very much wanted to be there.

As the time passed and Ben came into the picture.. this still continued… them welcoming him into the family as if it had always been that way. Holidays with the ex became even more difficult but some how we managed to make it work. Why? Because we are family and that’s what families do.

In the past year… I’d say just after the first of the year… things have become more unbearable on my part. You see, my ex has lived at his parents house for all of the time we’ve been separated except for maybe six months (and that’s not all at once). Even after the divorce I would go over and just sit and visit… but as the years passed.. this became harder and harder.

I was always told I was welcome there no matter what.. but its honestly very hard to sit in that house while he’s there. After a while.. I just stopped going over to visit. Get togethers started getting fewer… and all of a sudden today I realized that I haven’t spent time with them since Ben’s birthday in July. We didn’t do any summer holidays together…. it was probably Easter before that. His sister and her husband came over for poker in June I think… and we had all of the gradation stuff. That was really the last time we spent time as a family together.

Today I also noticed something while in the dining room waiting for the kids to get their stuff together (his parents insist on taking care of the kids when I work and they don’t have school)… I realized that I hate going there now. I’m always in a hurry to get home. I always feel so uncomfortable now… like I’m in a house of strangers.

I cannot begin to explain how much this hurts and breaks my heart. I could write on this forever… I’ve always wanted a family… one that loves me.. and that I’m truly a part of. I had this.. and I feel like I’ve lost it. My heart is in a million pieces right now… I dunno how to fix this… or even if I can.

I know if I talked to them… they would say I’m being silly… but you can’t change how you feel. And I can’t make them do things differently… I can’t make them mold to be what they were or what I want them to be. People change and evolve.. and sometimes… they do so in a way that you don’t like. This seems to be the case…

Or maybe… I’m the one who has changed…

>Another graduation has come and gone… and I must say.. I am VERY thankful. You see, graduation is the busiest time of my year work wise. Added to it this year was my niece graduating… and well you can see how this weekend was exhausting?

Work was insane… we had SO many orders.. it’s safe to say.. I worked my ass off (even though its still there thank goodness!). I went into to work at four am on Saturday. I got off.. grabbed the flowers and balloon I ordered for my niece. When I got home.. I boiled all the noodles I needed for the three pasta salads I was commissioned to make. It was a funny sight I’m sure…. in the kitchen in just my bra… Im strange.. I know.

After I jumped in the shower with little time to spare. Ben got home.. and did the same…. and we were off. We went and got the kids from their Dad’s and headed to the stadium. We were there a little early… but we wanted to get good seats next to the rest of the family. It was a nice day out.. despite the early morning rain. The seats… were terrible. All of our backs were hurting after the two hour ceremony was over.

It was emotional to watch her graduate… to see her as a woman and not as a child… its difficult. Nevertheless… I am so very proud of her… because I know how hard she worked to get to that day. When it was over.. and we went down to find her in the sea of people… she was all grins.

We had dinner at the parents house after… sub sandwiches and potato soup.. yum. It was nice to have all of us together.. chit chatting and having a good time. We only stayed a hour before we left for home to finish up making the salads and clean up.

We headed over to my sister’s house to deliver the salads and cake balls I made for the party on Sunday. We had planned on going out with friends… but that kind of fell through when we got sucked into helping set up. We were there until nine…. and went home.

Ben and I relaxed for a bit…. where I almost fell asleep on the couch. We decided it was bedtime… so we grabbed a shower and was in bed by 10:30.

On Sunday we did manage to sleep in… but I woke up very sore. My body was not liking being overworked. I got up and showered… and we headed out. We grabbed some breakfast then headed to my sister’s again.

I jumped in helping… setting up food and such. We headed out after the food was in order and set up the tables and chairs. We decorated the area… getting things all put together… and I must say… it turned out quite nicely.

People started showing up on time at four… and the two of us were in hostess mode getting everything moving. We showed the slide show I put together first thing… which everyone loved… I even got asked how much I would charge to do something like that. That surprised me.. but made me feel good knowing that I did a good job.

After that we manned the grills and got to cooking. Once that was done.. we could finally relax and enjoy the fruits of our labor. We sat around talking and just enjoying ourselves. This is where Ben told me… the cake is melting. It had been an all afternoon project keeping that cake(that I made) out of the sun… and apparently I dropped the ball. (the pic is pre-meltdown.. I didn’t get a pic of it melted.. I should have!)

I went over to rescue it.. and the left side bottom boarder… completely melted.. it was a puddle of frosting. Quite funny I must say! I separated the three tiers so that it could be served…. it was quite tasty.

Ben, the kids, and I all headed home around eight… where we tossed the kids in the tub. We relaxed a bit.. then headed to bed after a shower at ten. It was a very full weekend…. I’m sore. But… I feel good about how it all turned out…. so it was all worth the work.

>four weeks

>We watched Seven Pounds with Will Smith in it last night. I have to say, this is one of the saddest movies I have seen in a very long time. The premise of the movie was different… but definitely something different.

In the movie, Will Smith meets a woman who is terminally ill. She has chronic heart failure and is given four to six weeks to live.

After we watched it (and I cried.. hard)… we headed to bed. The wheels in my head started to turn. What if I was told I only had four weeks to live? What would I do? How would I live the last thirty days of my life?

I mulled over things in my head… and found myself over come with emotion at this. All the things I would miss… birthdays.. weddings.. holidays…. what to pick and choose… what is most important… ran around inside my skull.. doing a little tap dance on my heart.

So here’s what I came up with.. in no particular order.

write letters to my girls for special occasions… milestone birthdays.. wedding days.. graduations
write good bye letters to all that I hold dear
spend an afternoon with each of the girls just one at a time.. doing whatever they wanted
go do a complete spa treatment
spend a full day in bed with Ben… having sex.. laughing.. cuddling.. and Im sure crying
go to the coast.. see the ocean one last time
have a full family bbq
watch the sunset
stay up all night and watch the sunrise
quit my job
get a family portrait done
eat at my favorite restaurant
doing a weekend in Vegas.. renew our vows
throw a birthday party for the girls
take a long hot bath with candles.. the radio… and Ben
go for a drive in the mountains
visit one place I’ve never seen before.. like Vancouver, BC
spend one whole day watching movies
spend one whole day outside… soaking up the sun
sleep till noon one day and not feel guilty about it

When all is said and done… it really amazes me just what things I love to do.. did not make the list. The simple things are the things that are most important… but in the same thought.. they aren’t so simple. I hope upon hopes that I never am faced with that knowledge… that my days are numbered. It would be the single most scary thing I’ve ever endured.

I want a life filled with lots of years ahead of me… filled with my family… and my friends. I want to grow old next to my husband and watch my children grow… and have children of their own. My heart goes out to anyone that has experienced something like that… it is terribly heart breaking.. no words do it justice.

>I wonder, the life I would have lived…. had I made different choices along the way.

Would I be where I am today? Had I not had children… and did the four year college thing.. would I live in the Northwest? Probably not… because at each decision… at each fork in the road… there is a different outcome.

Perhaps I could have graduated with a degree in marketing as I had dreamed…. and live in some large city… doing the grind… behind a desk some where. Dress to kill everyday… with a go getter attitude putting my social life on a back burner to further myself up the corporate ladder. But really? Is that truly me.. I think not.

Perhaps I could have married someone else… never having kids… living in a the high life with my powerful husband… in a condo we had long since payed for. Encircled by our flashy friends that would make me question if they were true friends.

Or.. perhaps I’d be in a devastatingly unhappy marriage… the typical house mom… staying at home.. making dinners and cleaning house. Carpooling the children that I would have had to soccer and baseball. Always the ever faithful, happy wife on the outside but deep down loathing my busy, but some how boring life.

See… no matter how many infinite different versions of me there could have been… I can’t help but be thankful for the me that I am. I have made some not so wise decisions in my day, but in that same breath, I have made some pretty damn good ones. Had I not made each and every one of those, I would not be here.. I know that… I would not be married to Ben.. I would not have the children I have… who really knows where and who I would be.

Quite frankly, I’m happy not know what other version I could be.

>gifted… revisited

>Last month… I wrote about not feeling very exceptional at anything…. which brings me to my latest project so to speak.

My niece is graduating this year… which is just weird to me. I still see her as a little girl.. and the idea of her being a grown up out in the world… is just strange. But anyways, I am determined to make her graduation special. I’ve been helping my sister with party plans… taking care of invites.. and stuff. I even offered up to make a slide show… which became a task in itself. But I’m fairly certain that at least her Mom and Grandparents will be teary eyed.. and that is what I’m going for.

Anyways… my sister and brother-in-law decided that they were not going to be getting senior pictures done. When I heard how much they were charging.. I understood. The company that is in town was charging $75 just to rent the proofs.. in order to to purchase the ones you want… so uh.. yeah.

I’ve loved photography.. but really didn’t think I was that special at it… but I offered to go out and take some shots… see what came up. So over the weekend.. my sister, niece, and I went out and about at the lake.. and around town. We took three days after I was done with work.. and went out and shot pictures… I ended up taking 250 just on my own.. then photo shopped them.

I was honestly surprised at what I came up with… and where as I want to share them all… I don’t want to put her face out there for the world to see… sooooooo I will share the ones that doe not show her face. I’m pretty proud of the job I did.

>We showed our family pictures from our trip yesterday while we were over for Easter. While showing off these pictures I noticed something.. something you don’t notice when you actually take them. I saw all the other people that were not my family in them…. the ones that just happen to be in the shot, simply because there were near when I decided to snap a memory.

After realizing this.. I went through delibritely looking at those other people… at the expressions that I captured. It made me wonder what moment I had in front of me… what part of their day they were in… and how their trip was going. Were they happy times?

Then of course, it made me wonder… how many photographs one of us appear in… just by chance. Will they notice as I did.. and remark at our family? Or will we just be a back drop in their happy memory? AND how many times in my life… on any of the number of vacations I have been on… how many pictures that are not mine have I been in?

And so I will never know who these people are that co-star in the moments of our trip… will never know who they are.. where they are from… none of that. They will merely be a face I took… that will forever be a part of the physical things I have to show from our brief time at Disneyland.

>home.. and back to work

>Sigh… vacation always go too quickly. We got home on Sunday morning… and spent that day and Monday busy getting things back in order.. getting groceries… and what not.. so not a whole lot of down time.

I went back to work today… which is a bummer. I really could have used another 2 or so days off to rest up from the trip.. but such is life. Time to get back to the grind stone. But I can bask in the glow of another great vacation. We had such a great time… I took like 700 pics… I’m kinda picture crazy. I know I was driving the kids nuts I’m sure… “hey.. go stand over there… and there!”.

So yeah… I don’t have a lot to talk about.. I do have a post in the back of my head… but I’m feeling kinda anxious.. and typing isn’t really something I want to do right now… sooooooooooo that is for another time.

Just wanted to say a little something.. things should get back to normal around here now that I’m home.. which is a good and bad thing lol.


So we’re over halfway through our trip.. tomorrow is our last day at Disney. If I had to pick a word to describe it… whirlwind. Its been go, go, go. We drop like flies when we get back to the rental house… I haven’t been this exhausted in a really long time. BUT…. we’ve had so much fun… and I can honestly say that this has been a trip of a lifetime.

I am truly happy that we got to do this… its been a great time. There has been a few bumps (some grumpiness on everyone’s part… a few rides breaking down… a bust on our beach day) but really… in the grand scheme of things.. its really no big deal.

I’m also very thankful that my niece and nephew came along.. because its been so nice having them around… not only because they are cool kids.. but because they’ve been good to help buffer some of our kids’ excitement and such. I just know that this trip wouldn’t have been as fun had they not been here.. and for that… I’m happy.

Tired.. but happy lol.

So yeah, there was no point to this post.. other than to check in… say hi… and blab. So yeah…. till another time…