My relationship with my husband has been one of my greatest accomplishments. Not only because we have been together for a long time (married for 4.5 and together 9) but because we have truly been put through the ringer and remained steadfast in our love for one another. I don't have any grand advice as to how to make a relationship work I only know how ours has worked and I would never claim it's perfect or healthy or sane. I think the main reason it has work is attributed to my husbands uncanny ability to let me be me in all senses if the word. I would be the first to admit living and loving me is no easy task but he really practices a lot of patience with me and for that I am grateful. In return I attempt to tolerate his incessant nail biting and absentminded-ness. That's where you find the balance. You reach deep down in your soul for the ability to tolerate quirkiness because you fall in love with the heart and not the annoying habits. So I cheers to our happy nine years. It's been a beautiful and stormy ride!
Tomorrow we lay my aunt down for eternal rest. She was 51 years old. She leaves behind a 30 year old son and a 13 year old daughter as well as her parents and sister and brother. She was my dad’s sister. Now that they are both gone, my grandparents are left with two children instead of 4. I don’t even need to mention how unnatural it is for a parent to bury a child.
To know Carol is to love her. She was boisterous, outgoing, loud, kind, sensitive, creative, infinitely loving, thoughtful, compassionate and fun loving. When she walked into a room, you knew it. When she left a room, you knew it. She and my dad both had the gift of gab, and I mean loud gab. They spoke loudly, used their hands to talk, made crazy gestures, silly faces and kooky noises. When speaking with them, you just had to brace yourself and go along for the ride. No matter the topic, she brought you in and was immeasurably relatable. She was a rebel at heart, always moving along to her own beat. She believed in daring to be different, she believed in being authentic and unique and I identified with her because I always felt so much like a rebel and an outsider all at the same time. She was a doting and loving mother, but also believed in the idea of being your children’s best friends. There wasn’t anything her children couldn’t tell her and didn’t. She wanted amazing futures for both of them and she believed in them whole heartedly. I have no doubt she will be pushing them along from the heavens.
She struggled like my dad as well. She believed in sobriety and practiced it in heart and soul, but often times she would fall and it wasn’t easy for any of her loved ones around her. The last time I saw her was at our annual summer concert. Since my dad passed, my aunts, sisters and cousin decided we would gather and celebrate my dad on three separate occasions: his birthday, the day he passed and in summer doing something that brought us close and kept his memory alive. So far it’s manifested in concerts: 1 Ringo and 2 Paul. At the Paul concert in late June we sat next to each other this time. We talked like we hadn’t talked before. She was clear to me like she hadn’t been before. I felt excited for her, I felt happy for her, I felt relief for her because I thought to myself, she has finally gotten this sobriety thing down. After the concert we talked even further. She told me her ex-husband was the love of her life and she was determined to get her family back together. I believed her this time. In the past, I hadn’t always believed her, but I felt in my heart this time it’s going to work. I left that concert and told my counselor about our interactions. I told her how proud I was of Carol and how I felt like she truly was a role model to people like you and I who struggle every day in one way or another.
Never did I think those moments would be our last time together. Never did I think when I told her and her daughter I love you when I left would I think it would be the last I love you and never did I think the last text I would receive from her was thanking me for organizing the concert and calling me “her beautiful girl.” When i think of the quote “the trouble is you think you have time” it couldn’t ring truer. I can’t imagine Christmas eve without her energy and laugh, I can’t imagine my dad’s birthday visiting his gravesite without her struggling through the snow and laughing along with me, I can’t imagine being with her on his anniversary and not having her wipe away my tears and there is certainly going to be an empty spot for her at the next concert.
The only thing I know for sure right now is that our group of girls that has now shrunk immensely will now incorporate even more dates: June 2 for her birthday and August 2 for her passing.
Tomorrow I face my dad’s gravesite again but for a very different reason this time, to watch my dear, sweet aunt join him for eternity right by his side like she has always been.
She was as beautiful as abstract art
As complex as a story without a start
As strong as lighting flashing at night
As colorful as autumn leaves during fall's first sight
She was wild at heart and now she's finally free
My first born is going to be 5 right before Labor Day weekend. Five years old. Yea you heard it right, five. FIVE! On what planet was I ready for that to happen? Planet no where and never! 5 is such a major age in a little kid’s life. It signifies the start of being officially school aged, the start of kindergarten which in translation means to this mommy the beginning of it all, the beginning of being the mom of a kid officially on the grow up. Am I ready for it? Hell to the no, but in truth I haven’t been ready during any major milestone of his short and beautiful life. It gets me thinking about the road to his birth which was paved with excitement, surprise and absolute and stunning bliss.
Let me take you back….
It was around February of 2010 and I noticed my normal jeans had gotten tight. I didn’t think much about it because I had just ended being on Jenny Craig for about 3 months and was trying (and failing) to cook good and healthy food on my own. I chocked the additional 5 pounds to getting back to some old habits and not being on the treadmill 24/7. I ran down to Target and purchased a pair of comfy boyfriend jeans and kept it moving. I had been on the birth control patch at that point for roughly 2-3 years. Was I perfect about my birth control? No, but I wasn’t overly concerned either, if my 3rd week patch fell off a day or so before it was due, I didn’t really worry about it. My period even on birth control had always been unpredictable, so it wasn’t odd for me to have a very light period or skip it for a month here or there, so changes like that didn’t really give me cause for too much concern. Even still, I thought, let me just take a pregnancy test just to be sure. I brought the 2 for 1 pack. I took one right away and it came back negative. I waited another two weeks and took another one and again, negative. I moved on from it, I was 27 and my life was going, going, going. I had a decent job and my main focus was hanging out with my friends, my dog, and my non boyfriend boyfriend (and current baby daddy/husband extraordinaire) Dave.
Fast forward to March, I had my annually scheduled gynecologist appointment which included an internal as well as an outside the stomach examination, but NO pregnancy test (in retrospect, I’ve always thought, shouldn’t think be standard?). Following the exam, he said everything looked good and would send my pap smears out, he gave me my prescription for my birth control and sent me on my way (mind you at this point, I was approximately 3 months pregnant.)
A week before my birthday, Dave and I decided to go out to eat, it was a Friday night. I decided to splurge and had a steak and a few margaritas. By the time we got home, I felt so full I could have thrown up. It was a full feeling like I never had. I lifted up my shirt to look at my stomach, I was stunned at how bloated I looked; I turned towards Dave, “does my stomach look weird?” He nodded and I thought ok maybe I should take another pregnancy test. I brushed it off and went to bed. By Sunday, I thought it was time. I took the test, set it on the sink and went to the kitchen to set the timer. Dave was with me. After 3 minutes, I peaked into the bathroom expecting to see the standard negative symbol I had always seen but instead it was positive and I froze in shock. I turned around and Dave saw it on my face. Those moments seemed like an eternity. We were pregnant and we weren’t ready.
About 2 days later, I headed back into the same gynecologist’s office to get more information. The minute he felt my stomach his exact words were, “oh that’s a big uterus!” Fear was all I felt. What the heck did that mean? The sonogram appeared and there it was a face staring back at me. A FREAKIN FACE! Holy god, I was pregnant and I was far along. 18 weeks to be exact. 18 weeks. 18 weeks and I kid you not, with everything that I am, I had no idea that this little seedling had been growing inside of me for 18 weeks. I think Dave was about to faint. I couldn’t help but cry. I felt like my life was flashing before my eyes at top speed. I couldn’t breathe, what the F was I going to do?
Before I could even get out of the there the entire office was congratulating me and handing me prenatal vitamins. I wanted to stop them all, and say these are not happy tears. These are scaredy cat tears, this is pure fear.
I have to admit I wasn’t the girl that dreamed of being a mommy. I never even gave it a second’s thought. I had always decided children were not in my future and it was one of the main reasons why Dave was my non boyfriend boyfriend and not my real boyfriend. For me I just thought there is no way I can handle the responsibility of shaping a mind when I couldn’t even control my own. So I thought, I’ll be the woman with dogs, with a career and great friends, at some point, I’ll travel, I’ll definitely write and all these things will take the place of having children. Case closed no worries. As you might imagine, being pregnant threw me into a total tailspin. Everything was totally off kilter.
I told my friends and my sister and everyone was supportive and everyone thought I could do this. I was wondering who they were talking about? No way was this in the cards for me, no way, was I capable. Everyday I was trying to imagine this life and everyday I wanted no part of it. I had another sonogram scheduled a week later, this one to basically look at every corner of this baby, every organ, even joint, every part.
Then he came up on the screen and very simply yawned. Yea, just a little yawn and it became so human for me in that moment. He yawned I thought, my boy just yawned. I was done for. I was in over my head, and that’s it. He was mine. And again, I saw his face, and it was over. It was the face that changed my destiny. I left the office, sent my friends and sister that face with the text “he’s a keeper.”
The pregnancy journey after that had its ups and downs but it was worth everything. He was born as perfect as can be and it’s my personal opinion he was the one that saved ME, and I do my best to thank him every day.
Happy Mother's Day to all the moms out there!! Take some time to do whatever you want because you deserve it (I think Mother's Day should be mothers week but who am I?) I'd like to specially thank my first born who made me a mother and gave me that purpose I was so desperately searching for. Love to all
A few months back my husband and I had a heated disagreement in front of our children. The actual subject matter was pretty trivial but we both got heated pretty quickly. I admit it was not my best day as a parent and was probably the most angered disagreement we have had in months, if not longer. The worst part of the whole thing was seeing my 4 year olds reaction. He was crying, and definitely afraid and upset at what was going on. My husband and I just saw red and couldn’t stop in the heat of everything. We were in the midst of getting ready to go out so I scooped up my kid and took him out to the car. Just leaving the scene made me check back into his state and I realized how bad it was. I talked to him about what had just happened and I apologized and told him that I was wrong, so wrong. He did get calm fairly quickly but nothing could shake how I felt the rest of the day and even the day after. I was so wrong to let things get out of control like that and I knew it was one of my worst days as a parent.
I have been practicing so hard on trying to not let my patience or anger get the best of me, but some days it’s just hard to keep that all in. I’ve told my husband I need help, but I guess it’s really hard to talk someone down when you are pissed yourself. The thing is I do have a temper and I know it’s a problem, or at least now I know it’s a problem. Before I had kids, I never really thought of it as a big issue, but now, it is for obvious reasons. Trying to keep those emotions in check is so difficult, it’s like rewiring your brain. I’ve been reacting like this all my life and now I have to find it in me to stop and change and it’s been a challenge. I have tried the whole counting to 10, I have tried to even stop and remove myself physically, I have tried to take deep breaths, heck I have even stopped to count the pictures on the wall, I have tried everything but in that moment I cannot control my feelings. I am like a volcano that has laid dormant for ages and is now ready to purge, there is nothing that can be done, that stuff is coming up.
The worst part is my children are innocent victims in the whole thing. They don’t deserve that. This can be some real damaging stuff. And when all is said and done, the fights aren’t worth anything. What am I gaining? To be the most obnoxious loud mouth mother to walk the planet? The girl that can zing insults that cut to the core? The chick that curses like it’s her last breath? I hate me when it’s over, I am wrong and all I want to do is undo whatever I just did and the guilt eats at me parasitically.
So I am sending out this to the world because I have to think I am not the only one dealing with this issue. I need to know I am not the only one and if there is anyone with any sound advice please share it, I am desperate to make a fix to this (did I mention I called a hypnotist? Turns out that stuff doesn’t work if you can’t turn off your mind, ugh.) Please send and share, anything could help. #mamaonthemend #mamatempertantrums #mamaneedsatimeoutstat
Top ten best feelings a mom has in an average day
10) relief when all kids are asleep
9) grateful when bellies are full
8) content when kids are playing peacefully
7) comfort when taking off a bra at the end of a very long day
6) joy when they share anything about how their day is going/how they are feeling
5) proud when they use any kind of manners (no matter how small)
4) lucky when you are able to get any few minutes to yourself (even going to the bathroom alone counts here!)
3) bliss when you can finally lay down at the end of the day and rest your head
2) elation when they hug you, your spouse or a sibling all on their own
1) warm and fuzzy when you hear that perfect giggle
Chicken avocado soup is a pinterest win in my book!! It's so light and full of flavor!! Get the recipe here: http://www.mamamiss.com/2013/03/27/eats-chicken-avocado-soup/
I made a few modifications because I didn't have everything the recipe called for-- instead of green onions I used regular onions and instead of regular tomatoes I used canned diced tomatoes. I also boil my chicken instead of grilled because in my experience it's easier to shred chicken that way. Enjoy!
What recipes are you making to keep warm in this so called "blizzard?!"
I came into work Monday morning and was given sad news about a co-worker’s husband passing on new year’s day.
As some of you may know, I have only been at this job since the end of October, so I don’t really know this co-worker very well, but it struck me pretty hard. Mostly because this woman is so friendly, so happy, so warm, I just would have never known that her husband was quietly battling cancer at home. Immediately, I thought of the following quote: “be kind for everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about.” I thought it was perfectly suitable. We pass by our co-workers, neighbors, people at the supermarket and sometimes we don’t even stop for a moment to think about that passerby. More often than not we are aggravated that they are talking their time strolling through the aisles or frustratingly messing with the copier and slowing down our day. We assume the smile is for real, we don’t think otherwise. It’s not until something happens that stops us dead in our tracks that maybe we think about that person for more than a few seconds. We are all trying our bests to shield ourselves to the world. If the cover is there, then we are safe. Some of us have been taught to put on that brave face and move forward, dare we inconvenience others with our emotions. I know I am guilty of it. The moment emotion gets the best of me in places I feel like its not acceptable I am saying sorry before even completing the emotion. Why are showing these feelings so wrong? This co-worker is going to come back to work at some point and face the world, she is going to want to put on that brave face but she should know that she shouldn’t have to. Why do we have to feel like its immediate to distract with work? Wouldn’t it make sense to go through the pain instead of around it?
Whenever I am a passenger in a car driving through a neighborhood I can’t help but look at each house and wonder what it would be like to live in that house? What is going on in that particular house? Are those people happy? Are they having struggles that seem never ending? Are they ok? What would life be like if I wasn’t who I am? Our house is a cover just like our face and just like our clothes. Sometimes if we distract enough with our exterior no one will need to poke through or peel back the armor. But wouldn’t it be interesting if we could see it all, would there be a level of sympathy that is so desperately needed in this world? Especially because all we do is filter, filter, filter. We filter our pictures we share with the world and in turn we filter who we are. Are these the walls we have created for protection? If I can filter myself then I can avoid the judgments and rejections we are all so afraid of.
Maybe I am just looking for a more sympatric, less judgmental world for my children to grow up in, I don’t know. This is just a simple rant of a unconscious streaming. Maybe I should just quit while I am ahead and hope that we take moments to really ask if someone is ok, to try to not get frustrated by someone else who is simply going about their day, to try to be more us, less filtered, to try to be more truthful. Is it possible to be more like friends and less like enemies?
As I approach my 1 year anniversary of starting my blog I have definitely learned a lot about myself through the process.
I’ve learned that I really am an open book. I always knew this, but being an open book on paper (or the pages of a website) is so different than just being an open book in life through conversations. Once you share online, you REALLY share. There is no turning back, if it’s out there, it is out there forever for people to examine, judge or commiserate. I’ve always found that being open and honest draws people to me and allows people to feel comfortable sharing things with me and from my perspective I’ve always loved this. I see this even more so with comments from the blogs I have shared. Someone can always relate on some level. That’s what drives me to write and share. I love that we can all relate to something, we can all have that common interest or shared experience which bonds people together. I originally started writing for myself, but now I feel like I write because I want to hear back and I want to feel like hey, I am not the only one out there struggling to be a parent, struggling to be a wife, a friend, a daughter. The minute I hit submit on my blog entry I typically always cringe and go back and forth about deleting it. I always worry that I have said to much, embarrassed my husband, or worse embarrassed myself. I try to push through and hope that there is a response, and then and only then can I breath a sigh of relief.
I’ve learned that more than ever writing is my true passion and is I need to continue to make it a priority in any way that my life allows, whether it be continuing to blog or pursuing my ultimate dream of writing a book. My life is so busy, I often can’t find the time to make a phone call, send an email, or even sort laundry, but really in the big picture that is no excuse not to cultivate your dream. Sometimes you only have 5 minutes, but that 5 minutes is important and I need to constantly remind myself that. I’ve finally made the connection that I feel the most free in life when I am taking pen to pad (or keyboard to blog entry). I find myself not holding back, I find myself being able to express freely and accurately and I find myself to be the most confident me. Being a confident me in the real world does not come easy. I have to be honest, In a room full of people, I can’t help but to feel like the consummate outsider (despite the open door policy if you will). I feel like whatever I am wearing is wrong, my hair is too big, and my outfit makes me look fat, I aim too hard to please and think I am way funnier than I am or try to be. I sip on the alcohol way too much to cover up the feeling that everything about me is wrong, but surprisingly when I write, I am the person I wish to be. Despite being extremely nervous about putting things out there, I feel like the way I write describes everything I feel perfectly. My writing is a total contraction in the best way possible. I am open and up front about how I feel, what I am experiencing, but I am nervous to put it out there, but confident about how it comes out in the end. When all is said and done, the best me is right here in these words. (as you can see I am not against clichés, think what you want).
I have learned that I need to start prioritizing what is important to myself and my family. I have always been a yes person, it’s just my nature not to reject someone’s request no matter what it is. In blogging, I have realized what is important to me and what needs to fall off the shelf (hey trying to make my own clichés here!) In reviewing the topics I have covered over this year I have learned there has been a lot of expression from me as to what I need as a person to function in this world as best as I can, anywhere from finding that much needed alone time to the time I need to grieve the loss of my father. Getting these issues addressed makes me a better me and that makes for better everything (I am the nucleus to this beautiful storm of a family!)
And in closing I have learned that my family and I do really embody a beautiful storm. We are twisty and dark and chaotic at times, but just when you think it can’t get any more crazy, we pop to a rainbow or float along like beautiful puffy, full clouds. The clouds that look like the most white cotton candy you could taste. We are purple and pink, we are blue and grey, we are thunder, we are lightening and I wouldn’t change it for anything. I wouldn’t trade the rain, I wouldn’t trade the wind. I love our beautiful storm and we are exactly where we should be.
Happy anniversary you crazy storm. I hope to keep you growing stronger than ever.
As I sit here at my computer, root touch up dye soaking my hair at 7 pm on Thanksgiving eve, it has never been clearer how things have changed for me. Years prior I would be showering and mentally planning my hair, make up and outfit for my favorite bar night of the year. I would be itching to get out and would have anxiety pains in my tummy over who I would bump into that night. I saw it as a night to get exceedingly hammered because I knew my hangover would be met by a carb addict's frienzy of mashed potatoes, stuffing, turkey and a piece of every desert that blessed the table. Thanksgiving for me was all about well, me, and at the time, I was ok with it, I was more than ok with it. I was happy, and thankful. Thankful to my friends that joined in on the Thanksgiving eve fun, I was thankful to my straightener that allowed my normally wavy hair to be sleek and straight, I was thankful to my younger brothers who generously served as designated drivers to the mere tune of a 20 spot, I was thankful to my family for not starting the next day fesitivies till roughly 2pm allowing maximum sleep for hangover cure and I was thankful to Marlboro, because I loved having a quick smoke after a nice shot of SoCo and Lime. Those many Thanksgiving eve night's were a 20 something's dream. I was a cardigan wearing, (so what it's 30 degrees, the real crime here would be having to drag a winter coat around all night bar hopping) hooker booted, trouble maker and I lived it and breathed it. And honestly, I wouldn't trade it for anything because, well, because it was a damn good time and because I am now able to appreciate what my Thanksgiving eve's have become. They are about making sure my boys are in the most adorable, coordinating outfits (not matching mind you, coordinating, much like Sonny goes with Cher and John goes with Yoko, or for the younger generation, how Taylor Swift goes with her cat, Meredith), carefully selecting a recipe so I can bring something new to share , looking forward to spending the day with family (not just looking forward to the food), it's about reflecting on my family, on what we are blessed with and what we have come through, what has made us stronger, and what has changed us for the better.
For me, I would never say how I spent one Thanksgiving Eve was better than the other, I needed to experience them both. To recogonize that both, are pretty kick ass in their own ways.
I am thankful for so much, but today I am thankful for Thanksgiving Eves. The crazy, fun, up to 4am, laughing, drinking, dance fulled Thanksgiving Eves of my 20's and the laid back, PJ wearing, movie by the fire Thanksgiving Eves of my 30's. So in closing, here is to Thanksgiving Eve's, I salute you!
Jess writes about her life- anything from parenting to relationships to her everyday experiences. Taking blogging by storm!