Saturday, June 20, 2009

I wanna go back.

In an attempt to track down the photos of Cracker Jack's graduation (yes, I wasn't paying attention when I downloaded them and cannot find them. Ack!), I have come across so many pics that I love. Some that I want to edit and eventually share (like next year when I have the time) or ones that fill me with nostalgia.

Like the ones of the cruise we took in September 07.

But I just can't figure out- does it make me nostalgic for the time alone with my hubby? When we could sleep in till any hour and stay up as late as we wanted, enjoying yummy food whenever we wanted? Or is it for the skinny little figure I had and the long flowing hair? Oh how perfect my skin was then, and I didn't even appreciate it.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

The countdown is on.

I have been so majorly sick since Saturday that my brain has no allowed for any thoughts (at least ones that make sense) to occupy my self-pitying brain. I woke up Saturday morning, of course one of our busiest Saturdays in a while, feeling like there was a porcupine in my throat. I didn't think much of it other than "I can't get sick" and took some Emergen-C. Mikey had an All-Stars tee-ball game (I guess at that age they judge them on how well they run to first base whether you're already out or not, being no one keeps score and every kid scores) and then his team party right after. And did I mention Big Hunk was working that day? So all me, baby. Well, he met us for the game, but couldn't stay away from the wonderful world of tires for longer than that. He's livin' the dream.

So long story short- within hours I felt like I was going to die and begged to just go through childbirth again. God chuckled and kept me on the couch in pain for a good 4 days before I finally started to feel human yesterday. I was miserable, but now I'm freeeee.

And just in time to make every little detail for Miss Ikey's big 5th birthday party! I can't even tell you how excited she is. It's so cute- every morning she'll run downstairs to count how many days left (though now she has it memorized) and say "Mama!! Only ___ days till my birthday!" So sweet. She chose to have a Tinkerbell birthday, and her Nana got her a cute purple Tinkerbell swimsuit. I am PRAYING that on her birthday (the 25th) or right around there I can afford to take her to get her ears pierced. She's been wanting it for months and it's just so darn expensive these days. I am praying I'll get a photography job before then and be able to do it- along with lunch and maybe even a pedicure with my girl. :) We so need a girls day! I never dreamed I'd have to break the bank just to afford ear-piercing.

The beginning of our summer has been low-key and wonderful. We went to Cracker Jack's graduation on Friday night and even though we didn't actually get to talk to him that night, he did ask if we could meet him for dinner on Sunday so that was nice. And I dragged my sick-as-a-polywog-butt out of bed so I could see him (and then pay the price later). My other stepson was in town as well and was at the graduation, but was sweet and decided he didn't want to interrupt the graduation by coming to say hello to his dad & stepmom, and brother & sister. Anyway. I'll share photos of the graduation as soon as my computer decides to stop holding them ransom and tells me where they are.

Guess I should stop avoiding the much-needed shower being it is afternoon now and there is no excuse for a grown woman in her pajamas. I won't even add that I just got back from dropping off Big Hunk's lunch. In my pajamas. Because that would just be embarrassing.

Friday, June 12, 2009

A raw celebration.

This little boy is graduating today.

**pretend there is a photo here of a little 5 year old boy and me. I'm hugging him in a booth at Coco's and he's got a big smile on his face. (my scanner isn't recovering from me bashing it with a baseball bat out of frustration working.)**

This little boy suddenly went from the cute little freckle-faced blue-eyed boy whom I met at 4 years old, to a 6 foot tall (plus?) young man with a deep voice. It's weird to think I knew him for all that time in between, because it certainly feels like all I did was blink.

This milestone has left me a million times more emotional than I imagined. After all, we just watched his older brother graduate 2 years ago.

But this time it's just... different. Truly bittersweet, and it's left me in tears for a good part of the morning. (Okay, maybe more bitter than sweet.) I guess after the rough couple of years we've had with Jack (you know, as in Cracker) I had hoped that things would be different by now. In fact, it was only last summer that we finally saw him after a long 9-10 month hiatus. I thought maybe things had changed.

And things haven't been bad, they've just been on his terms. Maybe that's been our mistake. But after playing by our rules for years and making him come over when he didn't want to, we saw that our relationship was only becoming more strained and the arrangements weren't benefitting anyone. We wouldn't give him a choice but to come over on our weekends; he would consequently be in a cruddy mood the whole visit. This brought stress on the entire house, I was in a bad mood, and then Mike & Ike got to the point where they weren't even happy when he was over because he wasn't nice to them.

So after a gigantic stream of problems and much prayer, we decided that we would rather see him once in a while on good terms, than every other weekend on sucky ones. And besides, we understood that he is a teenager and wants time with his friends on the weekends. We are a household with two young children that aren't always quiet and want to spend every waking minute with their brothers- it's quite different from their mom's house and was probably overwhelming. Problem was, when you put the ball in the hands of the self-absorbed teenager, you get burned because one way or another, you find out where you rank. We found that we rank somewhere below long-lost distant relative and the dentist. Maybe further down.

So, we now have not seen Cracker Jack for close to 6 months, and we rarely talk to him. Mike & Ike haven't spoken to him at all in that time. And it's not just him. When you factor in a TON of drama that came from the hands of his older brother (I won't make up a nickname because frankly, it wouldn't be nice) last summer, we are raw. But one thing I can say- at least we talk to Cracker Jack once in a while. We almost never talk to his brother (19, in college a whole whopping state away) and haven't seen him since November, when he came home over for Big Hunk's 40th birthday- the first time we had seen him in 5 months.

I have a REALLY hard time understanding the self-centeredness of this age. I assume I was probably the same (or not, because my parents wouldn't put up with it) and Big Hunk swears he was, but it just blows me away. And it hurts so bad! Really, I can't blame it all on the age. 17 or not, we are still his parents and are truly truly NOT treated as such. That's why when I texted Jack asking him to pick us up 4 tickets to his graduation tonight from the school office, I was told he was "too busy" and I would need to do it. We would need to drive 40 minutes to his high school to pick up something from the very same location at which he was.

After reading what I've written it sure sounds like we are letting ourselves get walked on and have given Jack all the control. I assure you it is not that way. We have simply distanced ourselves and left the door open. He knows we love him and that we want to see him, but we are not going to pound down his door anymore.

The saddest part is how all of this affects Mikey. Ike really doesn't care much because this is pretty much how it's always been for her. She doesn't remember much of the times when he came over consistently and was part of our family. Besides, she's always been so much younger than him that even when he played with Mikey, she wasn't included much. But Mikey takes it hard. He's come to terms with never seeing them because it's so typical now (though not welcome), but he still has questions. Quite honestly, he has a lot of hurt over it all. He asks once in a while why his brothers never want to see us and why they never call, and I really think once he's older he'll be happy to give them a piece of his mind. ;) I can't say I blame him, nor will I really discourage it either- he's gotten the shaft where his brothers are concerned and I think they need to hear it from him. Not to mention, they need to be held accountable for the choices they've made where their brother and sister are concerned. (As a sidebar because I don't want someone to take what I'm saying wrong- he will of course need to be respectful with it all, but I really think it's important that he tell them how he's felt all this time- when the time is right.)

This morning I was telling Mike not to expect to actually see Jack at the graduation. We'll of course see him from a distance, but not to expect to talk to him afterwards. (I really don't even think Jack cares if we go- or even knows for sure that we are, being he left the tickets up to us and never confirmed that we got them. I do not, however, share these feelings with the kids.) (I like parentheses.) Mikey asked me again why he never gets to see them, and said several times today that it seems like his brother just doesn't care if we even go. *insert tears* But this is where I am so proud of my boy. He really gets such an understanding that surpasses even my teeny tiny brain sometimes-- something totally God-given. He said "If I had different brothers we could have taught them about God and it wouldn't be like this."

Well, we have taught his brothers about Jesus. But, I guess when you're raised around atheists and they tell you how worthless your father is and tries to push him out of your life, this is what you get. I am just proud that Mikey sees how God in their lives could will make a difference. Some day. And so we pray for that day, because the torment of the whatifs just hurt too darn bad.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Ticknolagee: it's not just for geeks. *Edited*

*Edited: Wow. Guess I shouldn't have said a word. I make a post about how awesome it is that I occasionally have views from all over the world, and I suddenly get 1 COMMENT. Everyone hides back in the woodwork! That teaches me to open my mouth!* :)

I am continuously floored by the ways our lives have changed. Even watching older episodes of Friends and seeing a cell phone the size of my shoe. It's hilarious! But when you think about it, it really is truly amazing how far we have come.

A couple days ago Big Mama wrote a post about the evolution of the mixed tape. (It really is worth reading if you haven't yet. She is hysterical.) It was so funny, and so right on. We went from clicking rewind/pause/play/record over and over again to get that perfect mix of our favorite songs all in the same place. Now? A click of a mouse on iTunes and you're done in 2.2 seconds. Give or take.

And don't even get me started on those poor souls that were tied to the 8-track. I'm not an expert on ancient history, but as far as I know those didn't even have a record button.

I've had my blog for a while now. A couple of years to be exact (or not so exact) and before that, I blogged even though it wasn't called blogging. It was called an "online journal". Well recently I added a little widget to my site (really. who came up with that word?) to track my blog visitors. It has proven to be the coolest thing ever. Well, next to chocolate, cable tv and modern medicine. Not only was I amazed by how many visitors I have, but it has become one of my favorite things to actually see where these visitors are coming from. Well, not coming from. They're not actually hopping on a plane from somewhere and coming to my blog, so I guess I should say where they're reading from. Even though that doesn't sound nearly as cool.

As I was saying.

Am I the only one that finds this absolutely cool? Visitors from places like Belgium, Philippines, Canada, New Zealand, Germany... even exotic ones like New Jersey!

I was always that girl that when she had a penpal, just loved the idea of reading the words of someone in a far away land (like my grandma who lived an hour away). Now, to think that I am writing about my life here in California, and someone across the globe is reading it. Even stranger, that they might relate to it.

Yeah you're right, maybe not.

I just don't think there are some things I'll ever fully grasp. (And no, I'm not talking about why Tony wore that shirt.)

No, I'll never ever get that. But that has nothing to do with this. And ew.

When I go outside at night (usually to take out the dog that insists on peeing on my carpet every. single. day.), I feel like Melody. Simple girl that loves her God, and feels a little like she's doing something in this world. But, inevitably, I look up. I always look up. And I see that huge, starry sky that touches every corner of my view. And I am reminded, for quite possibly the 5 trillionth time, that I really am so teeny tiny in this vast world God created.

So when I think that someone way over in Germany or Belgium (or heck, even Texas) is even connecting with my little life in the most remote way, it just blows me away! Our lives touch, if even for a brief second. That just feels like the coolest honor, to be part of someone else's life that may be so different from mine (or not at all), for even a moment.

You'd think I had been around when the first phone was invented, with how excited I am over this newfangled communication stuff.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Public anonymity.

*Edited... You guys are so sweet. Or, I need to proofread. I found a couple pretty decent errors in my post (one which made an entire sentence make no sense at all) yet no one says a word about it. Are you just that used to me rambling incoherently? Don't answer that.*

Above is a picture of my beautiful girl last week at the splash park. I just love this picture. I think it just sums up so much of my daughter. That huge smile that is so contagious; her energy (oh my! her energy); her endless supply of fun.

Funny that today, only a week later, we were dealing with the first thunderstorm I can remember in ages, and overcast skies that never reveal the sun hiding behind them.


I had a photography gig this Monday. This was my third for a friend of mine that is a real estate agent. It was an amazing house that is selling for $1.5 million. Probably not so coincidentally, this is also the first photography job I've had that has required my climbing over 4 foot wrought-iron fences while simultaneously watching my back for predatory animals and breaking trespassing laws. A good time was had by all.


Now I'm not sure you've actually ever paid much attention, but my kids' names are actually not Mike & Ike. Therefore, it's probably safe for you to assume my sweet husband's name is not Big Hunk (though it most certainly is his title).

So in an attempt to give you a whole heck of a lotta information that no more than zero of my readers have asked for, I wanted to give a little background to this little code game I have going on here.

First of all, it is not to get away from the crazies, let me say that. Heck, I'm married to the crazies so there isn't any escaping. Okay, let me rephrase that. It's not because of the unknown crazies.

Well, it's kind of hard to believe, but Big Hunk did survive a period in his life without me (I know! How?!). Even more appalling, he was married to someone else. You may have gathered that I have two stepsons... you seeing a pattern? While I was off being like 13 and daydreaming about Kriss Kross and watching Ren & Stimpy, Big Hunk was busy being married and having babies. And being much older, in case you didn't catch that (or thought that he was married and had babies while he was 13 too.) (Yuck.)

So anyway, I forgive him. He repented of his ways and learned that there is no living without me. That he is the Jerry Maguire to my Dorothy Whatshername.

Do you love how long it takes me to get to my point? I can guarantee your kids suddenly found the cure to cancer* in the time it takes me to spit it out.

So Big Hunk's ex-wife is the sweetest woman ever. And by sweetest I mean she wants to make our life a living hell. Then point and laugh. Then make us watch Gold for Cash commercials.

In other words, torture in the highest degree.

So any amount of anonymity I can find us means just a little more sanity. If I can take just a couple steps to not inviting her into the day-to-day of our lives, the happier we all are.

And that's the long-winded version of why I named my children after a yummy rainbow candy, and my husband after... Ah, who am I kidding. That's really his name.

*not really.