Friday, November 26, 2010


I know I'm a day late, but who has time to post a blog on Thanksgiving day when you're splitting it between your own children, your divorced parents, your ex husband, and your fiance's family?!?

But it's very important to me to count my blessings. I know in the past when things were tough I sat down and forced myself to find the good in my life, and some years it was so tough. This year though I am absolutely overflowing with reasons to be happy.

For one, last Thanksgiving, Mr. Wonderful was in Kuwait, mid-journey home to the states after 4 months of being away and having a long distance relationship. We spoke briefly over a crappy internet connection and daydreamed together of what our Thanksgivings might look like in the future. I remembered this yesterday as we sat together on our sofa, my girls snuggled up in his lap, my son filling his future stepfather in on all of our holiday traditions. This is exactly what we dreamt of but honestly weren't sure would ever materialize. We watched the Macy's parade together, he knew every Disney and Nickelodeon character after months of learning to be a dad on the fly. We all sat together as a family at my grandmother's Thanksgiving lunch, the girls hiding behind *him* when they felt shy of one of my extended family members. And then later, me at his parents' home, feeling like I had known them all of my life and laughing at his father's stories. I looked up at him absolutely overwhelmed at this life that is so damn near perfect. And woke up in his arms this morning more in love with him now than I ever could have imagined possible. I am so thankful for my soulmate, that the bad times in my life paved the way to this amazing time. I am so thankful for my ring that symbolizes a life together, FOREVER. I'm thankful for my children, how much they love Mr. W, how open they have been to having him in our lives. And I'm just grateful for them, each of them and their unique personalities that make them each so special and make life so interesting. I'm grateful for every hug, every kiss, every snuggle, every tear, every moment. I'm grateful for my career and the flexibility it allows me, that I can make money AND be here for my kids. I'm thankful for my father who continues to get better and work towards becoming whole again, and for his wife who never, ever gives up on him. I'm thankful for my mother who loves me, worries about me, loves me and my kids, would defend me to the death, and tries so hard even though I'm 34 to be the best mother she can to me. I so thankful for my brother, who inspires me and cracks me up, for his wife who is one of my best friends and also an inspiration. I'm so thankful for my friends: ALL of them, but especially my 4 inner circle friends, who loved me when I was impossible to love, make me laugh, and support each other through thick and thin. Other women would kill to have my group of friends and I do not take that for granted. I'm grateful for my health, for my passion for exercise and fitness, for the drive I found to transform my body into one I am seriously proud of and that makes me feel strong every day. I'm thankful for a home that I love in a neighborhood that I adore, and for the children on the street that laugh and play in my yard with my kids all afternoon until dinner. I'm thankful for my future in-laws, who have opened up their hearts and home to me, even though the thought of never having blood grandchildren was hard for them. It takes a special family to raise such an amazing man, and when I'm around them I see exactly why he turned out so exceptionally. I hope to have as strong of a bond with my own family the way theirs does.
I've had enough hard years in my life to know that years as amazing as the past one are special and rare. If the ones in the future are half as good as this one, I'm a lucky lucky girl.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Does Sharing a House=Losing Me?

When my ex husband first moved out of our house, I was totally and completely helpless. I had never lived alone without another adult around. I had gone straight from my parents' house, to a roommate, to living with him. I didn't know how to take out the trash. I didn't even know what day the trashman came. I suddenly had three kids to raise all on my own, not to mention run my business, and keep this house from physically falling to pieces.

I had a therapist at the time helping me through the transition. I would go to her in anxious panic attacks. "I CANNOT DO IT ALL." I would tearfully exclaim. "The kid's teachers need gifts for the holidays, I have a work projects and emails to return, I have to make a project for one daughter's school and sign her up for ice skating lessons. Soccer practices. Birthday parties. There is a pile of mail on my desk that needs to be sorted, two kids who need help with homework, 4 people's laundry that needs to be washed, groceries that must be bought, dishes that must be washed, a dog with a severe illness that constantly shits and pukes all over the house. How can one person be expected to do all of this??? I've sat down and literally added it up, there are not enough hours in one day if I'm expected to sleep too."

Together we came up with a game plan. Allow others to help where I could, set my priorities, and LET THE REST GO.

So I learned that things were not going to be perfect around here. I was ok with that. And suddenly, it was like my battle cry. Things don't have to be perfect!!! There is no one here to help me yet no one to clean up after either! And no one telling me I can't just do the dishes in the morning when I feel like it! And for that matter I can not fold this towel ever and just use it straight outta the dryer if I want and NO ONE is going to say anything about it! The silver lining became my focus, my mantra.

I found my independence for the FIRST time in my life. I picked out bedding for my bed that was totally and completely me. I *love* that bedding so much. Not just because it is beautiful. But because of what it represented. Me coming into my own and finding myself, not only surviving on my own but thriving. Owning it.

And then I met Mr. Wonderful. And then we fell in love, and he started hanging out over here more and more. And then the marriage talk, and the proposal, and now he practically lives here in what will, in 10 months, also be his home.

And then one night, he makes a comment (while he is cleaning MY kitchen, mind you) about me rinsing out my dishes before leaving them in the sink (so HE CAN WASH THEM FOR ME).


How DARE you tell me how to run MY HOUSE. How dare you tell me about dishes. I will tell you about dishes. I will tell you about my long days of working and parenting and juggling and how my only consolation at the end of the day is that if I don't wanna clean a dish I don't have to.

And actually while we're on the subject, I never wanted to get married again anyways and THIS is why. You by asking me to rinse out this dish are stealing my freedom and independence and I will absolutely not have that. Because first you are telling me how to do my dishes, next you will be changing my bedding set and then next thing I know I won't even recognize the house I live in and after that I won't even know myself anymore and then I'll be right back where I started in a relationship where I'm meaningless and that probably means you'll be cheating on me or leave me or both.........

All this....from a dish.....

I am very, very lucky that he is so patient with me and doesn't send me to a loony bin when I go through these freakouts. The panic is so irrational when it's happening, but it feels so real and I feel like the walls are all closing in on me and underneath it all, I'm just SO TERRIFIED that I'm about to go through it all over again...and I just want to run. I want to never be with anyone and just not risk it all again. And then the panic wears off and I can't believe I ever thought of moving on without him, I love him SO DAMN MUCH.

I have been scarred so deeply. Post traumatic stress disorder, my therapist said. I have to completely re-learn a whole different way of life and of being treated. The only way to do that is to move through these freakouts, keep moving forward and eventually I will see that he is not going anywhere, that our relationship is COMPLETELY different. That while I may not keep everything in my house, my independence can only be taken away by one person---me.

Monday, November 1, 2010


I'm just chug-a-lugging along over here.

My business is the busiest it's been in years, and I was totally unprepared for it and am so far behind I don't know how I'll ever catch back up...but I'm so thankful for it and for the money it's allowing me to put away to help pay for this wedding. Speaking of weddings...

The city has been chosen, San Francisco, and now with the help of our wedding planner, we've narrowed the venue down to two incredible locations, both outdoors with a view of the Golden Gate bridge. The date: 9-10-11...10 months from now. What could quite possibly be the longest 10 months of my life. I'm so ready to have this man as my husband, and these kids are so ready to have him as stepdad. Everything is beyond amazing. Even the ex situation worked itself out pretty nicely. (he agreed to stop putting my youngest in the middle of the situation)

It's a strange thing to be planning a wedding while raising three kids. Sometimes it feels a little, ummm....ridiculous. It's like, when you get married the first time, it is the biggest day of your life, and you don't know that anything will ever be that amazing. And then you have children and it makes something like a wedding seems so trivial and puts your entire life into perspective. I don't care about the perfect invitations or the perfect dress or decor or flowers. I just want to have a ceremony that does our union justice...this perfect union of my family with him. So when the wedding planner asks me about caterers and cakes and all that stuff, it just makes me wanna laugh. I don't care. (i'm kind of a bridezilla just because I'm so NOT a bridezilla) The thought of trying on wedding dresses after 3 children just seems funny. Having my 4 and 7 year old daughters actually there to help me choose... I don't know. Funny! (but I'm doing it anyways) Not to mention, who has time to pick flowers and caterers and dresses while raising kids anyways? There's a reason they do it in the opposite order!!!

Fitness and nutrition has been on my mind a lot lately. I'm always thinking about the next way I'm going to push myself and come up with new goals for myself. Right now I'm working out 5-6 days a week- running 3x a week, and the other 2-3 days doing high intensity interval training and power circuit training with weights. I absolutely love it. I have some sort of mystery illness going on with my stomach and the days that it makes me miss working out, I feel depressed and weak. I have come to *need* my workouts so much. My new goal is to move that attitude over into my diet and nutrition. I still struggle with sticking to clean eating. I have done all the reading and research and know exactly how horrible sugar and processed foods are for you, but on the weekends or at parties when they are put in front of me I just cannot resist. My goal is to eat all natural foods (lean meats, whole grains, fruits, veggies, fats) 90% of the time and splurge 2 meals on the weekends. Having this stomach issue has made it really tough. (getting that checked out at the dr tomorrow)

Other than that life is busy and wonderful and chaotic just the way it should be.