Monday, September 30, 2013

On Living Back At Home

Living back at my parents' house is certainly not easy. When I wanted to put up fall d├ęcor on August 1? My mom (and Siri) informed me that fall does not start until September 22. Cue smoke billowing out of my ears. Have I mentioned their plates are square? And so are the bowls and coffee mugs. WHO DOES THAT? I can barely function each and every meal dreaming of my beautiful round dishes in the closet.

My relationship with my dad is full of high's and low's. If he was a boyfriend, I would have dumped his toxic ass years ago. But, he's my daddy. And I just love the old troll. Plus, if I dumped him way back when, who would be my daughter's best frand?




Every once in a while we get some relief from the GA heat and get to enjoy some time outside after dinner. Walking fields, riding 4-wheelers, and for these 2- telling secrets and being silly on the hood of their favorite toy. On these days, in this moment, being back at home isn't so bad...

Saturday, September 28, 2013

How Are You Holding Up?

I have shared quite a bit here and on other social media outlets so if you follow me, you know that I am going through an icky divorce, and even that has been overshadowed by the health issues across the board in my family lately. It has been a lot on top of the normal day to day that we all experience.

"How are you holding up?" This is a question I have been asked so many times over the last year but especially the last couple months. My response is always the same "oh, I'm fine! It's so-and-so that's struggling more with xyz than me." or a smile and "I'm just doing what anyone else would do" when a friend comments how strong I must be.

But I feel like that isn't fair. I'm going through something. I've hit a hard spot in life. Other people are going through things too- maybe worse than me, maybe not quite as much as I am. I feel like it isn't fair to belittle their struggles by underplaying my own. If someone has something on their plate and they look to me with maybe a little but more on mine and ask how I'm doing it, how must it make them feel to get a smile and chipper "super dee duper" response? I'm not being real and it isn't setting fair expectations for someone else that may be coming up on some of the same hurdles I'm barely leaping over right now. Here's how I deal though...

I wake up early. I get up before everyone else and I take that time to chat with God and to cry. Mostly though? I'm angry at God so I just cry. That way, when something comes up later in the day, I just remind myself that a tear was already shed and pull it together. Be strong for the family member standing next to me that maybe didn't cry enough that morning.

I say it one time. With my mom's health issues, there are so many people praying with and for us. They want (and deserve) updates. Bless their hearts, I know they mean well, but it is really hard to deliver bad news a thousand times over. So I made a group message and just send it once. I told everyone from the beginning yes, I know, it's annoying to be in group messages but for us, there are so many people getting the news that we need to just process it ourselves then spit it out one time. One. I'm sure they roll their eyes behind the screen but they understand and so far nobody has driven me completely bat shit crazy yet.... yet ;) You have to know what you can and cannot handle and be comfortable letting other people know. Everyone knows when you are fighting tears, all it takes is one hug or one kind word to open the flood gates... so imagine if you have to go through that over and over and over. It's enough. If you leave the group, then fine. But you will be privy only to the broad updates we share with everyone instead of the details we reserve for closer friends and family.

I choose my battles. Things come up everyday that, on a normal day, would send me off on a 3 week tirade. But now, I have to look at it, let it soak in, then decide if, in the midst of all the other chaos, is this a good use of my time. If I decide no, then that's just it. No. A hard no. And I have to keep it moving.

I check out. Sometimes I go to bed before I'm actually planning to fall asleep so I can have 30 minutes of dark silence alone. It's selfish but in the most healthy possible way. I also have a friend that has been here from literally the second I found my mom. He was the 1st person that I told. He always listens when I need to vent, but never pushes. He is just silly and normal and has been a sense of normalcy for me the last couple months. He has been my constant. It's important to have people like this in your life. To talk about day to day things, to crack jokes with, and that isn't afraid to call you out or "get lippy" with you just to avoid hurting your feelings in "such a fragile state".

What am I missing? What are some tricks you can share with me? After all, we are all in this together...


Friday, September 27, 2013

Five on Friday: Wishlist Edition

Man oh man. What a couple weeks it has been. Can you believe it is almost October though? Which, for this family, means birthdays and Christmas crunch time! I am usually almost completely done with all my shopping and planning- including having bought most the foods that can be bought in advance. Yeah, I am THAT person. But this year I just haven't gotten my act together. So I have been racking my brain trying to get all my thoughts organized and written in lists. Here are a few things that are on my imaginary-not-really-going-to-happen-list (=

.one.
This sleeping bag? ohmygerd could this be more perfect for Miss Priss! This year, my budget just doesn't allow for it BUT oh how I wish Santa would surprise me -I mean Aubrey Jo with this adorable set under the tree

.two.
This hoodie I have been lusting for. In fact, I go to the website to see if it is still available all.the.time. I don't know why, it just makes me feel better to know that it's there. And maybe if I stare at it long enough, it will magically drop about $30 off the price tag. I am so not a big spender on myself. It is actually painful to spend $$ on clothes for myself. I feel like things are so much cuter in a 3T than my size. I know you mamas can relate to that!

.three.
The gold iPhone. Say what?! I think everyone on my twitter and insta feed either got one or was lamenting because their store was sold out. I reallllyyyyy wanted to be one of the people in a frenzy about it. But, my iPhone 4 is still going strong, no problems, and I have a hard time spending ANY amount of money on a new phone when mine still works juuuust fine. So, don't hate me, but I was relieved they sold out so quickly so I don't have that temptation looming over me.

.four.
These Santa Bags from PBK. I bought this one for Prissy's first Christmas and we use it every year. So this really would be a silly purchase. But it is so cute. So, please, if you don't have one already, go ahead and get this for a fun Christmas morning delivery tradition!

.five.
Have you guys ever just searched "view" on Pinterest? Yeah. That. I want it all. I want the countryside, the beach, the city lights. I just want a house smack dab in the middle where depending on which room I'm in, I get the best of each world.


 








THE GOOD LIFE BLOG

Monday, September 23, 2013

Painting with Apples


 
 
We have been having to spend more time at home than usual and Miss Priss is starting to get bored. I think we have colored our way through every coloring book and stack of printer paper in the house. Every book has been read and can be quoted now by memory. We have drug out and cleaned up toys until we are both just bored with them all. So what to do?
 
 
 
The weather is PERFECT here in Middle Georgia the last couple days. We can be outside and not sweat to death but we are nowhere near needing sleeves or layers. So we have been doing lots of outside fun. We play "I spy" and ride 4-wheelers and have been getting in some training sessions with the dogs. Today though I was a little lazy and was looking for an activity that didn't require a whole lot of movement. hashtag momoftheyear I know.

 
I bought a bunch of apples for juicing but apparently there was a reason that they were on sale. They were only days away from spoiling. So I didn't feel bad at all cutting them up and dipping them in paint. Plus, it's easier to clean than brushes- throw it all away! (see, easy lazy mommy activity)
 
 
 
Prissy really loved this activity! I allowed her to just do it how she wanted and didn't really have to give any direction. Bless her heart, she has a little OCD and wanted to keep all the colors separate and in their own lane.
 
 
 
My biggest takeaway though is this: Toddlers don't stop. They will paint all the day long and never get bored with it. So make sure you have extra paper for them to continue the fun on once you take up the canvas. We painted some paper and then just painted the plates. And then... when mommy turned her back... we painted our feet... and legs.. and arms.. and face..Then it was bathtime.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Satisfied in Second

Back in May, AP shared a post that literally left me with tears streaming down my face. I'm not talking like oh, a single tear welling in the corner of my eyes making my vision a little blurry; I'm talking steady trails of big fat tears soaking my cheeks.

You can read it here.

I left her a comment just to go give him a kiss because not all men are as comfortable not coming in first. But what I wanted to do is travel through the night to sit her down (during nap time of course) and pick her brain about how she did it. How did she find a man like him? How did she know he would be the kind of man that was OK... even happy... to come in 3rd? How does she keep him satisfied in 3rd? Does she worry what will happen down the road? Does he have a single brother? *ahem*

My husband rarely wants to talk about his indiscretions, but when he does, it often boils down to the same thing: he needed to be first. He felt once we crossed that line from "couple" to "family" he was not getting the attention he needed, that he felt he deserved. He was not getting enough of me. So he found someone that was willing to give him that attention. {of course, it's been said that the cheating began before we even married so this whole post may be in vain.}

Here's my thing- even in a perfect situation, I feel like the children should come first; I'm not a weekly babysitter & date night kind of mom. But in our situation, I had a rough delivery and long recovery.. I suffered from depression.. I was mentally and physically ill.. he spent weeks away at training for his job.. I was working from home AND working part-time nights for those first few months before I left my night job.  Sometimes the best of me that he got was the hour after we put her to bed before I went myself, or over a pile of laundry during Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. By then, I think he was so frustrated from a full day at work and then an evening of feeling ignored, that he really just didn't even want to talk to me anymore; so nose to his phone... where she was.

Isn't that part of it though? Doesn't every couple have to adjust and balance and find a new groove? Or was that just us while the rest of you just popped out that baby and came home to your happy new little internet filtered life? Quit lying to me. And if that is your reality, then you need to send me a private email RIGHT NOW to tell me your secrets.

He wasn't interested though. He didn't want to wait out the storm of newborn-ness with me. He didn't want to crawl through the "or worse" to find our new "better". I wasn't enough for him... or maybe we were just too much. Either way, he was outta there.

This is really scary to me as a woman that will soon start dating again. Because my future husband, God bless him, won't even get the 2 years of honeymoon newness, in first place, that my 1st husband enjoyed (well, enjoyed~ish). He will come into the picture straight to 2nd place behind Aubrey Jo. He will wait many many years before even coming close to 1st. Hopefully, he will come in at 2nd and then drop to 3rd or 4th... and he will remain satisfied there until our children have grown and moved on and he can finally come 1st. But lets be honest... a mother's job is never done. He will only be 1st then on a day to day. When your children need you, they are first, whether they are a newborn or a parent themselves.

My future husband is one amazing man. I pray that God is working in him as much as He is working within me so we will be ready for & know each other when the time finally comes.

My Number One.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Five on Friday

.one.
I knew my silly sister wouldn't keep this secret long. I'm so happy to announce I am going to be an auntie for a 2nd time!! I love my nephew so much & am excited to have another baby to spoil :) 


.two.
I was searching for this verse
And accidentally typed a 2 instead of a 3 and got this
Isn't it funny how sometimes he knows what you really need to hear & when? Had I not been too lazy to walk into the other room & pick up my bible, I wouldn't have made the typo & been led here. I love when that happens!

.three.
Aubrey Jo has kind of been on it lately. Her newest obsession is sparkle. She wants sparkly pants & this mama is on a mad hunt for all things sparkly. She also started crying the other day for more hairspray. And we have almost perfected the 'Oops I Did It Again' choreography. Obvously, this makes me a very proud girl mama. Her favorite toys though are trucks and dinosaurs... which also makes me a very proud girl mama. She is so well rounded and I am lucky that God trusted this most precious gift to me. I have been watching her hearing get worse and worse and her relying more and more on her signs instead of sounds which makes me sad but I am confident that big things are ahead for this sweet girl so I'm trying not to worry about this little bump. We will overcome and this will be but a distant memory for our family.

.four.
One of our goldens had puppies! 7 little tiny monsters- 5 girls and 2 boys. They were cute for all of 2 days. Now they are starting to get loud. haha Oh, and did I mention... I'm allergic! I know, I've actually mentioned it about a dozen times. But I feel like it has to be said. They were born on gameday Saturday so naturally the 1st born was Garnet Boy, or as we like to call him, Renegade!
.five.
Listen. I am a huge Big Brother fan. I swear sometimes it's hard to tell based on my posts and tweets. But this season is just so damn difficult. I mean, are we seriously going to let GM, Spencer or Andy walk away with this thing? Ughhhh! I am rooting (reluctantly) for GinaMarie but I don't think any of them deserve to win this thing. I am trying to focus on the positive though.. at least it isn't Amanda. am I right?

 

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The Pass

So is everyone watching Bethenny premiere week? I LOVE HER! I am really enjoying watching her each step of the way. I've quit my Kelly Ripa 9am habit to switch the channel to Bethenny. 

She keeps bringing up the topic of "the pass" so, as B says, I'm calling all my girls! (Maybe a man's opinion as well. Ask your husband & let me know.) Where do you stand on "the pass"? Is it a flat out no? Are there certain circumstances you would be open to it? If you know & agree, is it cheating?  Do you pick the girl? Does he go solo or is it more of an addition to what you already have going on? 

I'm coming from such a place of yes on this. As in, yes, feel free to go be with her... Forever. I was cheated on. If for no other reason than that alone, I cannot see myself ever opening that door and asking for it. 

Also, does the girl involved know she's a "pass" instead of a real interest? Doesn't that make her a ... Hussie? And we all know most women relate sex to feelings so now for she become a homewrecking whore? I mean...

Also... If you catch your significant other cheating, knowing he's a cheater, and stay with him anyways, are you not giving him a pass? You're saying "you did it, and I'm still here so it's ok with me." And he knows now, whether you say it or not, that he can do it. You've given him an unspoken pass, am I right?

Where are you on this topic?

Thursday, September 5, 2013

I Think We're Alone Now

 
I shared this on instagram today. I love 80's music, and I really love when I'm alone in the car and can turn it up while I dance & sing along loud as I can. I was on a commercial free 80's music high when the very next thing I hear blaring through my speakers is "Children behave, that's what they say when we're together...."
 
If you follow me on twitter then you saw some of the disgusting (but, I admit, mildly hilarious) details of my husband's infidelity last summer. Primarily, I think everyone was in agreement that the grown 'woman' who sent lyrics to a Tiffany song to my husband in a love letter should be throat punched. Hard. With a chair. Repeatedly.
 
Last year, while still in training for my new job, we were listening to music during a break & this song came on. Then? I burst into tears and very dramatically stormed out excused myself from the room while I tried to pull it together. It wasn't easy. It was a full on breakdown. I couldn't breathe. I couldn't stop. I wanted to drive straight home, throw myself under the covers and not come out for a couple days. It was bad. I was a broken hearted fool, I tell ya.
 
This day though? I found myself singing along and enjoying an old favorite. Even as I belted out the lyrics "Look at the wayyyy we gotta hide what we're doing. Cause what would they sayyyy, if they ever knew?"
 
I would say that's a good sign for my little heart. He (and all of the "shes" involved in the demise of my marriage) no longer hold that power over me. They no longer can send me running to a bathroom gasping for air through running soap opera style mascara when a cheesy 80's song comes on.
 
Isn't it nice to know that it really does get better? That it doesn't hurt (as bad) forever? That you can come out of that hole? That God never lets it stay too bad for too long?

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: The Last Bubble


 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Stop That Shit!

This is another one of those posts that I feel like NEEDS to be posted but as many times as I have sat down to write it, I just can't put it in words to make sense. I can't make it pretty. I can't make it witty. And, frankly, I can't get through it without crying. Not crying because of the words, but because of the feelings... words are powerful, thoughts are even more powerful. That whole "sticks and stones" bit? Bullshit.
 

I have a sister only 3 years apart in age. We have been compared from day 1: oh, this one slept better, this one eats better, this one potty trained sooner, this one talked earlier, this one made us laugh all the time, this one was more sensitive. As we grew up, it only became more and more: this one excels at school, this one is an athlete, this one is so social, this one is prettier, this one is a better driver, this one tumbled further, this one turned longer, this one is the troublemaker, this one dresses better, this one has cuter boyfriends. As adults? You guys, still compared... how we run our homes, raise our children, balance our husbands, incomes, cooking & cleaning, calling granny. It never ends. I suppose it's natural, but you can never win... and you become trained to mentally compare yourself.
 
Allow me to break it down... I lived in an apartment with my husband, we shared a vehicle that I bought before our marriage and is running on it's last leg, was absolutely despised by his entire family, my husband cheated and abandoned his responsibilities, I moved back home with my parents, working in an entry level position that I don't have a passion for at all, no prospect of husband #2 and certainly no promise of more grandbabies. I'm losing.
 
Does it stop though? Hellz no. In fact, my mom and I (bless her heart) were talking about some things going on in my sister's life this weekend and I'll be damned if it didn't turn in to how she did it vs how I did it. Something in me jumped on the defensive, I was hurt, embarrassed and frankly, pissed the eff off. Everything my mom said the rest of the day annoyed me.
 
What's worse though? I do it to myself. See that up there? ^^^ I just did it to myself. I compared myself to my sister and painted myself the loser. Which brings me to my next point...




This could have read:
I lived in a beautiful apartment in paradise near the beach that my husband allowed me to decorate just how I liked it, I was responsible enough as a teenager to buy my own vehicle that provided for my family without the worry of a car payment, was absolutely despised by his entire family (actually, this is just fact. I guess I could spin it with WHY they hated me, but... that's an old post from an old blog), I was smart and strong enough to move on and leave a man that wasn't willing to love us instead of staying in a dead relationship for appearances, I am blessed with an awesome family that took us in without hesitation, I found a job quickly and go to work everyday working towards a better life, I am focused on myself and my daughter instead of rushing into the arms of the next man that says he will take care of me. I'm not competing with my sister but I am doing a hell of a lot better than the ME from a year ago.

Why do we jump straight to the negative? And this isn't even just my sister. Siblings are the closest and easiest measuring sticks when looking for flaws in ones self. But I compare myself to the ladies on my instagram and twitter feeds, my ex-in-laws, my old HS friend on facebook, the girl sitting next to me at work, the woman in line behind me at Kroger... you name it.

I know I'm not the only one guilty of this. We all do it. And we all need to STOP THAT SHIT! Just stop it. Stop comparing yourself to the person next to you, stop letting other people compare you to them... and please, for the love, stop putting yourself down before someone else has the chance. Maybe, just maybe, they weren't going to jump to those same conclusions.. hell, if you don't say it first, they may not have even noticed. Like when we post a photo on insta and then immediately comment "please ignore the huge zit on my chin" guess what? I didn't even notice it until I read that caption then had to scroll back up and take a closer look. Stop it. You're beautiful.

Weekend Scenes



Happy Tuesday! Hope everyone had a great holiday weekend. I know we did. Most weekends, by Sunday evening, we are all excited for school. But Miss Priss was so good this weekend I really enjoyed our time together & we were both bummed when we woke up for school this morning. It was a low key weekend at home but sometimes those are the best kind, right? (=



This? Is pretty much my jam. I crank it up when it comes on Pandora. I had it playing while I was cooking dinner this weekend and Aubrey Jo was dancing right along with me. I love those kinds of moments.
This is a favorite around here. Lasagna Roll Ups (recipe from here)

 
 
Isn't it illegal to cook Italian anything without a glass of wine? Yes, I thought so too.

Molly shared these on instagram a while back & I couldn't WAIT to get my hands on her recipe (found here) and make my own batch of these PB Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies. Now, I live out in the country and the grocery store is quite a drive away. So I had to improvise a bit with white chocolate chips and an extra scoop of peanut butter since I didn't have chips. But, I am still calling them a great success! I think me & Aubrey Jo sat at the table and ate them all!
 
 
I love being able to lay down with her for nap time. She slept longer than me but I didn't mind laying there a while and just enjoying it. My arm was asleep, I had to go potty, and I was trying to muffle sneezes, but it was all worth it.

 
See, I'm not kidding when I say we REALLY enjoyed those cookies ;)


One of our goldens, Denver, is expecting puppies so she has come inside and prissy couldn't be more thrilled! She dresses her up, uses her as a race track for her cars, a pillow during movie time... you name it. I'm so proud of DennyDen though for being so patient with her.
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