Monday, July 1, 2019

The 14 year fight, is over. Am I ready?

Fourteen years ago, there was a nasty fight that ripped through my house. A fight I brought into the home myself. A fight I escalated into a fit of rage. A fight that eventually led to the removal of me from my home. A fight that I have grown to regret.

I’ve never actually told the story of that afternoon. To anyone. It was a really traumatic event for everyone in the house that day, and I think people just wanted to make all the bad feelings go away. And no matter how hard everyone in that house tried, they couldn’t. I wrote a post back in September of 2011 that talked about how I found a letter that K had wrote after that day, (You can read that post here.) But that was the only mention of it I’ve ever come close to talking about.

Side note: that post from back in 2011 mentions this: “Being able to sit down and apologize to his two daughters is not something that will probably ever happen. They don’t want anything to do with me, and I honestly can’t say I blame them. I’m totally okay with it. I just wish they knew how different I am today. I just wish they knew how sorry I was for what I did and what I caused them to go through.”

Two years ago, I was able to apologize to one of them. It was a great moment between us. I shared, she shared. It was something we both needed, and I am a better person today because of it. I’d like to think there will be a time I’ll get to apologize to the other daughter, the one that wrote the letter, but if not, that’s okay too.

After that day, the relationship between my son and I was different. The X thought it best that RJ have no contact with me whatsoever. The courts agreed. At first.

Eventually I was able to get supervised visitation with him, but the cost of that was so expensive, plus I was driving a car that was really struggling to get up/down the big hills on the hour drive to get there, so the visits became less and less. I had friends watch as I struggled to find ways to see him, wishing there was something they could do to help.

Year after year, court date after court date, I was repeatedly told ‘no’ by the courts. The X controlled everything. He had all the cards in his hands and used them against me. He used his own son as a pawn against his mother. As some sort of a sick controlling game. And THAT is why my parents and family stopped trying to help him. They completely ailenated themselves from him because they didn’t like the games he was playing. RJ was a little boy, not a chess piece to use against people.

All the years my friends supported my struggle with the thought that I may never get him back, and all the prayers that came my way from those I used to be friends with, have led to this moment. All the hard work I put into myself to create a better me, so I could be a better person, have led to this moment. A moment that makes me a better parent.

And since I’m being honest, I didn’t expect him to be 18 when he moved back, but that’s sometimes how things go. Unexpected curve balls keep things exciting.

Wish me luck on this new chapter. There will undoubtedly be much to report as we experience growing pains as a now household of three.

Monday, June 17, 2019

Wedding Talk

Operation Wedding is in full swing.
The last time we talked about the wedding, was in January. So much has transpired since then, so let’s chat about it.

Colors were an easy decision for me. Red has always been my favorite, so that was a no brainer. Deciding which color to pair it with was a little more challenging for me, but ultimately, I decided on grey. Trust me. It’s going to be gorgeous.

{Wedding Party}
This decision was a tricky one for both of us. Since my Stepdad has passed and my real dad is dead to me isn’t in my life, my son is going to walk me down the aisle. I don’t think he understands just how big of a deal that position is, but in time, I hope he gets it. Best Man and Maid of Honor choices were simple. We went with our siblings. Nobody else I’d rather have standing next to me to keep me calm. She will be my rock. Lil’ SS is going to be a groomsman, which is super cool. We will work out all the aesthetics, but I’m super thrilled both kids will be part of our special day. The blending of our family is important to me, and I want both the kids to know just how dedicated I am to making our family a happy one. Even if it means growing pains.

We decided on a location. We will have the ceremony and reception at the same place. We have also picked out the dinner menu, so if you like TriTip, Salmon, or Ham, we will be thinking of you while we devour it. Ha!

{The Cake}
We just went cake tasting this past Saturday. That was so much fun! Designed the whole cake while sitting there, however, I might make a few changes to it. Still thinking on that one, but the inside is all decided. Can’t wait to pig out on that deliciousness.

{Engagement Photos}
One of my bridesmaids happens to be a photographer, so we went out a few months ago while it was still green around here and shot a few pictures. I was wearing a dress and felt so uncomfortable, so I’m trying to nail down another day we can go somewhere else and take some different ones. Just want something good for the Save the Date cards.

{The Dress}
I’ve looked at some dresses online, to sort of wrap my mind around the styles that might appeal to me most, but I don’t think I can accurately gauge that without trying them on. My mom and sister/MOH are coming out at the end of August, so we will see what happens. Mom is super excited to go dress shopping. More so than me, I think. Lol

The reality of everything is starting to set in. It’s eleven months away and there’s still so much to do. We’ve made a lot of progress, but since there is still so much more, stay tuned.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Can YOU drink regular milk?

When I was growing up, we weren’t allowed to have soda. Water (barf!), milk, iced tea, or orange juice was all that was in our fridge daily. My parents were more interested in us eating/drinking healthy, than they were us getting junk we wanted. Same goes for cereal. We weren’t allowed to have Fruit Loops or Apple Jacks because there was too much sugar. If we wanted cereal, we had to have kinds like Raisin Bran or Special K. As an adult, I still eat the non-sugary cereals. It’s just what I’m used to.

About ten years ago, when I was working at The Ranch, my boss mentioned to me that some of the stomach trouble I was having every day, likely had to do with the milk or cheese that I was eating. She suggested I take a probiotic daily to help with it, but those pills aren’t cheap, and I just didn’t believe it was helping, so I stopped. The stomach issues continued, daily, and I just dealt with it.

As the years have gone on, and my body does a complete change in its older age, the stomach problems continued, and even got worse. A couple of years ago, SS mentioned to me that I could be having a lactose problem, and all the problems I’m having could go away if I switched to lactose free milk. The science geek in me decided to make an experiment out of it to see if this really was the problem, so I went and got a half gallon of Lactaid. Could my old boss have been right all those years ago?


-Drank one full 8oz glass of regular 1% milk. One hour later, I was experiencing extreme stomach cramping that was caused by extreme gas. This lasted 2.5 hours.

-Drank one full 8oz glass of Lactaid, lactose free 1% milk. Did not experience any stomach cramping or gas.

I was skeptical at first, because I was concerned that the taste of milk that I had grown to love, would be different. But it wasn’t. I was able to have a bowl of cereal, a glass of chocolate milk, and the creamy noodles for dinner, without any problems. (Not all at once, of course.)

Today, I am a little more careful about what I eat. I know that I can’t have lactose free things when I go to a restaurant, so it’s likely that I won’t be completely free from problems, but now that I am aware of the issue, I will be much more observant about what I order when I’m out.

At this point, it seems that I’m only affected by milk or cheese. I haven’t experienced any issues from butter, but I do plan on making that an expeiment if things start to change.

Until next time….

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Wedding Talk

It’s the beginning of another year, and that means it’s getting closer to our wedding. I know it seems like it’s a million months away, but if it’s like anything else I’ve anticipated, it’ll be here before I know it.

We have set a date. Well, we’ve set a weekend. We can’t decide if we want to do it on a Saturday or a Sunday, but at least we’ve narrowed it down at least that much. I feel like that was one of the hardest decisions we had to make. He didn’t seem to have an opinion about when he wanted to get married, however, he was very adamant about not wanting to get married in December like I had originally wanted. Some things in this wedding will be worth fighting for. The date was not one of them.

I have gone through so many different venues, looking for the one that best fits ‘us’, and after talking with SS’s mother, I think we’ve found it. It’s a location that both SS and I have enjoyed for years, so we’re going to do a tour of the location and look at it a little differently than what we are used to. Can’t wait.

More updates as they come…

Friday, January 4, 2019

Healthy 2019

My health hasn’t always been something I’ve paid much attention to. Don’t get me wrong, when something unordinary goes wrong, I go to the doctor. What I’m talking about is exercising, eating right, taking the appropriate steps to ensure my body is in top shape. I don’t do that. I haven’t done that. But perhaps it’s time to reevaluate that frame of mind.

Before I met SS, I would eat almost every single meal out. It was fast food all the time. Just about the only time I had anything even close to home cooking or healthy, was when Thanksgiving or Christmas would roll around. I couldn’t gain weight to save my life. In fact, I still have a pair of size 1 jeans that I obviously can’t fit into now. When we moved in together, we started cooking actual meals. Some healthy, some not, but I was getting more nutrients and sustenance than I was before, so started to put on the weight. At 127 pounds, I’m thinking it’s time to start changing my body shape to something I’m a little happier about.

When I turned 38, I started feeling things change in my body. My knees started to hurt more, my back would randomly hurt at inopportune times, and I couldn’t comfortably sleep in the same positions I always had. Things were changing, and I wasn’t okay with it. I tried to fight it, but do you want to know what happened? My knees got worse, I got into a car accident and my back got worse, and I was sleeping less and less every night.

One day, SS’s folks came over with a giant economy sized bottle of Glucosamine and Chondroitin. I had never heard of this stuff, but they had been taking it for quite some time, and it was helping with their pain. So, I decided to give it a try. What could it hurt? The pain I was feeling when I would stand up, was beginning to become too much, and this could be a solution.

After about three weeks of taking it, I noticed I was able to stand up without slowly limping like an old lady. The everyday pain in my knees was gone. I was shocked. It hasn’t helped the pain in my back, likely because it’s completely unrelated to joint pain, but it has helped my knee pain tremendously. I’ve read several things since, and it seems that results are conflicting. What works for one, doesn’t seem to work for another. I’m here to tell you that it has helped me.

Now that I’m 40, and things are changing at a much more rapid pace, I feel the sense of urgency. I know what my grandparents looked like when they were 70. Do I want to be like that? Because honestly, I’m headed that direction. It’s extremely hard to do these things when I don’t have anyone around to push me. It’s what motivates me. I have coworkers that go to the gym and work out, and another who is really into powerlifting, and another who is really into hiking, but they’re coworkers. They live their own lives and have their own agendas. I’ve concluded that I just need to do this on my own. I just need to step out of my comfort zone and attack it head-on.

Here’s to a healthier 2019!