Friday, February 22, 2013

Birthday Eve

Tomorrow is my birthday.
I will be 25. A Quarter Century. Mid-20's.
So far, my 20's have been... crazy.
Let's take a look back at my 20-something birthdays so far...

20. I had a joint 20th birthday with my roommate who was turning 21. Clearly... I thought I was turning 21 too. This is with my BFF, Karri. It was a fun night, fun party, fun year. I met my husband the month after this, started "dating" him 3 months after that, became his next door neighbor 2 months after that (with my BFF in this picture as my new roomie) and walked down the aisle 4 months after that with my BFF by my side every step of the way. The girl in this picture had no idea what her 20th year had in store for her.

21. This was the BEST BIRTHDAY EVAAARRR!!! Of course 21 is always fun, but this was another level of fun. Greg did very good on the gift front. He got ticket for the Britney Spears concert in Atlanta. That's where this picture was taken. We took my sister & my niece's mom, one of my very best friends. It was the most fun I've ever had. He also bought me the "Julianne" bag from Coach (that later led to this) and scheduled our "Glam TTD" session with Scarlett. Talk about doing good! This year was full of fun for us. He got a new job that would move us to PC at the end of the year. I started a job that I loved and hated having to leave. We celebrated our first anniversary in Destin. We took a fun vacation with my family. Of course the 1st year of marriage is always tough, but all in all, it was a great year for us.

22. We went to Tootsie's after dinner with my grandparents & met up with a very good friend of mine from high school. We drank beer all night & listened to the live band. It was a blast. 9 months later, we welcomed Aubrey Jo. This was probably the last beer I drank that year, but we had other fun. We were so excited to be prepping for her arrival. My sister lived with us for a couple months. He was such a great daddy-to-be, making sure my pedicure stayed fresh (can't have jank toes with so many people hanging around down there with my feet in the air, duh!), he went to sonic many times in the middle of the night & cut up many many watermelon for my cravings. He never complained. We bought, and he built, furniture. We nested. We were brought together and more at peace than ever about who we did and did not want in our daughter's life. He had a job that was great, he was getting promotions, they were flexible with him for my appointments, and we were blissfully happy... and ignorant to what was to come.

23. We went to dinner at Boondocks in PC again with my grandparents. This time, we didn't hit up the bar afterwards though. Aubrey Jo was still so tiny and new. My PPD was in full swing but undiagnosed. We knew something was off but didn't know what or why. We thought it was growing pains and ignored it. I went part-time at work, and eventually left and became full-time SAHM. When I got myself under control, I started to see there were more issues than we were prepared for. This year, we went to a few therapy sessions and committed to fighting. Not each other, but together, for our marriage. We wanted to work. We were going to do whatever it took. This was a hard year. But we sat down at the end of the year and vowed that the next year would be better. We would be sure of it........

 
24. We had a small party just us, my grandparents & mom at my granny & grandpa's house. For some reason, this is the only picture I can find. It was a good day. My mom surprised us when she showed up. Aubrey Jo went NUTS with the cake and was immediately hauled to the tub which then had to be scrubbed when she got out. Of course.. 3 months later, my marriage ended. I spent most of the year devastated, angry, sad, scared, lonely. Even before the split was official. Our promises to make it work didn't last long. This year held a lot of endings, new beginnings, revelations, 2nd guessing & insecurity.
 
Obviously... I'm hoping 25 brings some more good. Although, it would be hard to be worse than 24. I hate 24. I won't be sad to see it go. When I think of 24, I feel all Taylor Swift... we are never ever ever getting back together. Like... ever. I hate you, 24. Go back to where you came from. I'm on to 25 now, and we have vowed not to relive your year.
 

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Fooling God

I'm not sure if it's a flaw or if it's a great character trait, this confidence of mine. I think I'm so smart. I'm so smooth. I'm so good with words. I'm pretty slick.

Ha. Ha. Ha.

I realized how totally ridiculous I am today driving home from work. I was driving home and praying. I was asking God to "fix" certain areas of my life. At the end of my long rambling prayer (I am not a pretty eloquent wordy prayer like some people.) I added "if it's Your will".

Ha. Ha. Ha.

"If it's your will"? Give me a break. The reality is that I add that at the end of my prayer to cover my a-s-s. (Can I say ass in a post about prayer? I did.) I don't say it because I genuinely mean "I just want this to go Your way, and I will rejoice in Your will being done". I say it because I feel guilty asking for so much. And because I know I'm not supposed to "want" things, especially not my way, in my time. I'm supposed to hand it over to God. And trust in His plan.

I wonder if God laughs when I throw that in at the end. If He rolls His eyes, shakes His head, and sighs heavily. He knows me. He knows the truth in that statement. He loves me anyways. I know that. But I have to wonder if He chuckles to Himself at my stubborn ways. Or if He wants to show Himself and punch me in the face. I don't know.. but I prefer to think He just laughs. Like I do when Aubrey Jo tells me she definitely ate her banana when I saw her in the corner of my eye throw it in the trash can. She cray... and so am I. He knows that. Right?

I'm such a "bad Christian". I know. I admit. I like to be in control. I like to make decisions. I like to have power over my situations. And when things go right, I like to be the one that gets the credit for making the right choices and making it happen. I even like taking credit for when things go wrong. As evidenced by this blog. I like to make sense, place blame, pin-point the start or the cause. I don't think I have it in me to just shrug and trust "it's God's will" and walk away with full faith that God has a plan and He is in control.

I hate myself for admitting that. But it's true. It's something I need to work on. But it's easier said than done. Surely I'm not the only one that is guilty of this. So, for my fellow "bad Christians" you are not alone. I'm here with you. Struggling. But hey, I'm going to keep praying. My way. And maybe one day I will wake up & realize that I believe that last line of my prayer. Rather than saying it out of obligation.

Friday, February 15, 2013

9 Months Later

Wow.. this post was meant to be an update. But a positive one. And as soon as I opened my laptop, typed the title, and let it sit in... the tears came. I suppose that is the most telling of all updates I had drafted in my head though.

I went to Tallahassee this week. The town where our relationship began. Where we had our "us against the world" first year of marriage. Where he promised me many many nights that we would spend many many more nights together. The town that my in-laws who caused so much hurt live... and where he assured me he didn't even question their place in our life. Where we were neighbors.. then lived together as husband and wife. Our first apartment. The road we used to race each other on every morning on our way to work. The disgusting pizza place he loved so much that I suffered through for him a few times. Our first date. The fairgrounds where he proposed at the top of the ferris wheel. Every corner holds a memory of "us". The first time I went back after the split, I cried at every single one of those corners. What coulda, shoulda, woulda been. I cried for him, for me, for us, for Aubrey Jo who will never remember us like that. This week, I instead saw memories with my old girlfriends, or the restaurants my granny & grandpa liked to go to when they would visit me. I thought of him, but mostly because I was in the midst of paperwork from him. I thought that meant progress...

I broke down on my way home from Florida. Far from home. Near the town that we once broke down & had to walk 2 dogs (without leashes) down a busy road to a hotel nearby. We made a little vacation out of it. We talked about that night every time we drove past the exit. This time, I didn't think about that night. In fact, I didn't think about him.I thought that meant progress...
Over the summer, one of the girls I babysat locked herself in a room. I panicked & called him to walk me through how to pick the lock. I called him for help before I realized I dialed his number. This time, I handled it myself & didn't even think of needing to call him. I got an hour down the road before I realized I made it without calling him. I thought that meant progress...

Then I decided I felt so proud of myself I should blog it. I am making progress & getting better, right? I thought so. Until I typed the subject... and cried. 9 months. Nine. Every woman on the planet knows what 9 months means. That's all it takes for a sweet little baby to grow from a spark in her mommy's eye to a precious girl in her mommy's arms. We had talked about me coming off my birth control. We planned to start trying in the fall. That's when I left. It just occurred to me that instead of having to put into written words why I am a good parent to this one child, this one child that is stuck in the middle of her father's bad choices & her mommy's angry broken heart, I could have been filling out a birth certificate for her little brother or sister. I could have been smiling for photos in a hospital gown with my newborn baby in one arm, a sweet big sister in my other arm, and all 3 of us wrapped up in their daddy's loving warm arms. Coulda... woulda... I guess that doesn't mean progress.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentines Day




Love,
Aubrey Jo

Monday, February 11, 2013

White Chicken Chili

I saw a pin for white chicken chili that looked delicious! I didn't have all the ingredients though & didn't want to drive to town. So I searched some more. Found lots of recipes but only had partial ingredient lists. So I improvised & combined what I did have. I mean, it's chili. You can't go wrong. Right?
So here's what I ended up with…

1 can black beans - rinsed
1 can kidney beans - rinsed
1 can white northern beans - rinsed
1 can whole kernel corn - drained
1 can rotel
1 block cream cheese
1 cup chicken broth
1 white chicken chili season packet
Handful of chicken tenders - I didn't have breasts, this worked. LoL

Literally, toss it all in the crockpot. Shred chicken. Cook low 6 hours. My kinda cooking. Dump & forget.

I like to top with sour cream & cheese. Served with tortilla chips.


Sunday, February 10, 2013

Weekend Brain Dump

This was fun last time. So here we go..

I had to fax something this week & our home machine was acting cray. (I love saying cray!) Someone suggested going to UPS... so I did. Then I about fell out when he told me (of course AFTER the fax had gone through & I couldn't laugh and walk out) that it would be $10. TEN FREAKING DOLLARS. TEN! For a fax. One single fax. I could have near about overnighted it through the USPS for that much. I wanted to throat punch him. I made him repeat himself twice. Then I said "how much was that cover page?!" He didn't think I was funny. Nor I him.

Isn't it strange how a song can affect you? I mean there are some songs that within the first few notes you can't help but be overcome. Whether it's smiling thinking of a fun time or crying thinking of a love lost or suddenly feeling wide awake after a long night shift ready to dance your pants off. It literally can take me back to a specific moment in time. I love getting lost in an old CD sometimes.

We went to a livestock auction yesterday. We were outbid on the baby goats and I will admit I am a little bummed about it still. Prissy does have 3 new baby bunny rabbits though! This girl was in heaven with all the animals everywhere. I can't deny it- my girl is a country girl at heart!


I finally broke down & bought big girl bedding. I paid too much (in my opinion) but apparently that's standard for bedding. I can't wait for it to get here & finally get to work setting up her room.

I had to get a money order the other day. I went to my mom's bank because it was for her & it was in the same shopping center that I was already in. Of course, they couldn't do it for me. So I went to MY bank. Yes, the bank that I have used since I set up my very first account. And you know what they wanted to charge me? Five bucks... am I the only one that thinks that's crazy? I feel like you should be able to do these kinds of things at your own bank free of charge. Wishful thinking maybe, but that seems like it should just be one of the perks of banking with them. I was annoyed. So I went to the gas station (now this is the THIRD stop for 1 dumb money order) and paid 99 cents. Yep.. 99 cents at the gas station that I never even get gas at.. yet my bank that I use every day and have used for years wants to charge $5. sigh....

My mom told me yesterday that I need to "start thinking about" what I want for my birthday and let her know. Umm........... I gave her my list WEEKS ago. And my birthday is in 2 weeks. So I really assumed it was already on a FedEx truck heading this way. Anxiety! I am going to be ordering myself a little happy tonight "from Aubrey Jo".

I hate Leann Rimes. Hate. Homewrecker. That song... "borrowed"? Are we serious? I hate her.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Lessons in Motherhood

Being a parent changes you. We all know that. We have heard it a million times. When I became a mama, I expected to take on the role of teacher. Teach her how to walk, talk, manners, sharing, potty training, adding and subtracting, driving, you name it. One of my roles forever and always would be teacher. As a daughter, even at almost 25 years old, my mom still teaches me things, and I call on her when I am faced with something and just don't know the answer.

What I wasn't prepared for though is to be taught.

She has taught me how to apologize. I can hold a grudge like no other and I very rarely would admit when I was wrong. "I'm sorry" was certianly not in my vocabulary. Until I became a mama. She teaches me almost daily to humble myself and truly apologize. Sometimes after a long night at work, little sleep at night, or just too many tasks to fit into the hours of a day, I become short fused. I may snap at her for something that usually wouldn't have been THAT big a deal. The look on her face is like daggers to my heart. And I know it's not her fault that I am on edge. It's mine. And I can't take it out on her. So I (literally) drop to my knees, hold her hand, tell her "mommy is very sorry" give her a hug and kiss, promise to get myself in check & ask her to forgive me. She's 2. Of course she smiles, hugs me back, and I am forgiven. It won't always be that easy. But I am glad to get this time to practice without fear of her rejection.

Which brings me to my next lesson... forgiveness. There is nobody more pure or forgiving than a chid. Her heart amazes me. She loves me so much. I want to be more forgiving like her. She is teaching me, but I admit I am a tough pupil on this subject. In fact, right now, I am struggling to forgive after some harsh words my dad spoke last week. We have barely spoken since... and we live together so that's saying something. I wish I could forgive him the way she forgives me. Even without him asking for it. She is working on this hard heart of mine though...

On a lighter note, I have learned that I am actually very warm. During my marriage, I always begged my husband to let me put my hands up his shirt because he was so warm & I was always so cold. He squirmed and squealed when my ice cold fingers touched his chest, but he never said no. (I guess that's a happy memory I can hold on to) Well, the other morning I was startled awake when 5 little ice cold toddler toes found their way down the back of my pants. Holy Wake Up Call!! But you know what? If my baby is cold, then I am glad I can warm her up. And her giggles when I hollered made it all worth it.

She is teaching me to appreciate the little things. I can remember saying when all of this first happened "I wish anything made me as happy as (balls, bubbles, picking flowers, etc) makes her". And slowly but surely, she is teaching me to find that kind of happiness in the everyday things. Like her genuine smiles, or the tenderness with which she rocks her baby dolls & kisses them night night, or the excitement on her face when I leave and then come back, or the reminder that going back to work hasn't hurt our bond at all when she only wants me to potty her or kiss her boo boos or give her bath. I find joys in watching her imagination grow, and see her wanting to "help" with laundry or dishes or picking up toys, or serving everyone "sock soup" in her play kitchen. She is growing and changing and developing into a little girl. And I did that. And everyday I am finding my heart softening and noticing myself smiling more. She is showing me to focus on the things that make me happy & let that be what I focus on each day rather than things that are out of my control & hurting me.

These are 2 of my favorite photos from Aubrey's 1st and 2nd birthday photo sessions. I love being her mama and I love that I am fortunate to have sweet moments with her captured forever.



 
So mamas, what has your littles taught you? Do you find yourself surprised by how much you really do rely on them? Did you expect to learn so much from such a tiny little person?
 
Someone from my past recently reached out to me again. We quit being friends a few years ago so she doesn't know the "mommy" Julianne. I don't know if we will be friends again. Or if I even want to. But she is a mom now too & while we were texting I said "I like myself to much better now as a mom than before" and after I sent it, it hit me what I really said. And just how true that statement is. I don't think the mommy me would even want to be friends with the pre-mommy me. I like who I am now so much better than the person I was before. Surely I'm not the only one that looks back and feels that way, right?

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Quick to Judge

I had to run to Kroger last night to grab a few things last night. Among those things were items that I was buying with my WIC checks. gasp. jaw drop. tsk tsk. judge. That's right. My daughter is a WIC recipient. I was so embarrassed when I first applied. Like- embarrassed. I forced myself to go in and apply though. Then I will admit it took TWO months for me to actually go in and use them. Then finally it dawned on me- I am providing for my child, and if these help ensure there are basic grocery staples in the kitchen, then that's what I'm going to do. I am totally fine with it now. I have a system, and I try to make it easy for the clerk, and quick for the other customers waiting behind me.

Then it happened.

Some young ignorant rude bitch.

She was standing in line behind me. Of all the lanes, she chose mine.

She walked up at the end of the transaction really. Her wait was not affected by my method of payment.

"ugh. Maybe if she wasn't carrying that coach bag and buying trash magazines she wouldn't need those WIC checks"

Yes. She turned to her snotty little friend and let the words cross her lips. Out loud. So I could hear. So could the cashier and bagger.

I felt embarrassed again. I felt angry. I felt happy that my daughter wasn't there.
I said nothing, just smiled, thanked the cashier, and walked out.

I wanted to rip her ugly face off. I wanted to tell her that the coach bag on my arm was a gift for my 21st birthday, long before I needed WIC. I wanted to remind her that, at best, I could sell that bag for $100 that would have been $4 short of paying for today's transaction. Then what? I wanted to tell her my "trash magazine" was my version of "me time". I read them while laying next to my sleeping toddler that I'm raising alone & can't afford a babysitter to leave her on my only nights off to go get pedicures & drink margaritas with the girls. I wanted to step up on my soapbox about "walking a mile in my shoes" or judging someone before you know them. I really just wanted to SCREAM "you don't KNOW ME, bitch!" punch her in the nose, and then toss my coach bag over my shoulder and storm out, throwing up the middle finger to anyone that gave me side eye.

I didn't do those things. I'm glad I didn't. BUT I did need to get it out. And that's what my old blog here is for. So please, please, please, before you cast your quick judgement on someone, just remember... YOU DONT KNOW WHAT THE HELL YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT.

Haha I need to work on my tact. My delivery is sometimes not as graceful as I would like, but hey, it works.

Also... for the record- I do realize people take advantage of these programs. They are in place to help, and intended to be temporary help, not permanent support. I get that. And I am the first one to say some of our government assistance programs need some reviewing. But that is some people. Not all people. So to think that everytime you see someone with a WIC check is ignorant. And another for the record, just because you think it doesn't mean you should say it. BUT, if you do say it, you should be punched in the face. Period.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Happy Failures

I can't think of a better title for this post. I don't post enough pictures here. Today, I dressed Aubrey Jo & attempted to get some pictures for a Valentines Day project my sister & I are doing. Unfortunately, she wasn't really feeling it. So I thought a quick jump on her trampoline would raise her spirits and she would be more willing to pose pretty and cooperate with her old mama. It did raise her spirits but there was no "posing pretty". Nope, not this girl. I may not know squat about photography or cameras, but I do know "just keep clicking" and maybe one will turn out. So I did. And while I didn't get the photo I wanted, it was a happy failure because I got these. Just my sweet girl being herself. Aren't these really the best ones anyways?

 




She makes this face all the time now. Hilarious!

Probably my favorite! haha



This genuine giggly smile right here is the reason I get up and function every single day. Love this girl like crazy

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