Just one of those days!

I didn’t have a very good night last night.  Lots of thoughts racing through my head, lots of deep breaths and some cigarettes smoked (which I was REALLY trying to quit).  My stomach was upset, I couldn’t eat dinner and I am not sure that I ever fell asleep.  Between my thoughts and the bad storms, I know I looked at the clock multiple times every hour.

Today is a long day for me at work, 12 hrs long.  Start of our summer camp program, paperwork and meetings, then a training to end the day.  All I really want to do is lay in bed, with my husband, get all the thoughts and tears out and hear him tell me “it’s all going to be ok.”

My husband likes to say that I talk too much.  That I say so many words he couldn’t possibly remember them all.  If he thinks I talk to much, I can’t even imagine what he would say if he could hear all of my thoughts LOL.  So many thoughts, ALL THE TIME.  I filter what comes out and probably only say about a tenth of what I think, if that.  Yet, it is still probably ten times more then he ever says.  LOL.  This is a man/woman thing right, not just a me and Paul thing?

I over think everything, will take every opportunity to analyze any situation, but at the end of the day I just want people to care about what’s going on with me as much as I care about what’s going on with them.  Unanswered texts, unanswered questions, misunderstood thoughts, apologies with contingencies can all really beat you down.  

When will they start asking about me, my day, my feelings and my over all health and well being. I completely understand that most people are not going to care in the same way that I do and perhaps not even to the full extent that I would like for them to.  Though, if you want me to keep inquiring about you, it would be nice if you also inquired about me.  Other people feel this way too, right?  

So, needless to say with all this on my mind, I didn’t go to the gym this morning.  I am exhausted and have 14 hrs ahead of me.  All I can hope is that the when my son wakes up I’ll get a that hug that turns it all around.  That the kids at summer camp will make me forget I didn’t sleep and that when I get home tonight I am greeted with a smile and a kiss from my husband that has healing powers beyond measure.  Here’s to sleeping better tonight!

Just one of those days

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My Perfect For Me Husband

So, some of us (hmmm…me over here) think that we are perfect, right?  Think that we have things all figured out and that the way we do things is the right way.  This leaves very little room to make a happy life with someone else.

Truth is, I don’t actually think I am perfect, but if you watched me and knew my personality, you would most definitely think that was my mentality.  At the end of the day though, I beat myself up way more than anyone else does or ever could, probably in the quest for perfection, but that’s a whole other story.

My point is that, we aren’t perfect.  No one person has everything under control, knows the best way to do everything.  Perhaps, as a team you can come up with a perfect way to live life together.  Together, maybe with hard work you can be the most perfect version of you.  Perfection looks different to everyone right?  Perfection is in the eye of the beholder!

Paul, my husband has really shown me that I am not perfect.  (Not in an asshole, controlling husband kind of way). Paul and I are complete opposites in very many of our personality traits.  I am wound very tight, he is very relaxed.  I think about money down to pennies, he thinks about money in terms of 10s and 20s.  I think about nearly everything in terms of how it’s going to effect the future, Paul is usually in the here and now.  

I have learned a lot from Paul in the nearly four years we have been together.  I have learned to relax more, stay in bed and in my pajamas longer, sit all day and watch TV and wait to do chores.  I have stopped wearing a watch and I no longer balance my check book (these things are HUGE).  Among many other things.

I have still kept the foundation of my personality in tact though.  I budget and make sure that we spend wisely, so  we can pay our bills and still save to take our family on vacation.  Paul says that’s when that part of my personality comes in handy.  I have stopped getting upset about him stopping at the gas station for Gatorade and chips though, because the reality is that 3 dollars once a week is not making or breaking us.

Paul, helps me see the fun and adventure in activities that I tend to see all the flaws in.  For instance going to an amusement park with all six of our kids.  I just see everything that could go wrong, Paul reminds me of how much fun all the kids and our family are going to have.

When I feel the need to get up out of bed the second my eyes open, he reminds me that it’s ok to stay and cuddle.  Yes, I am a cuddler now!  This is something completely Paul induced.  Which until right now while writing this, I haven’t really thought about.  I am, correction WAS, a you sleep on your side and I’ll sleep on mine kind of person.  Paul is a super cuddler (sorry honey if you didn’t want people to know).  This is his love language and I have realized that over the years.  Now I enjoy laying in his arms and sometimes having him lay in mine.

Paul has really helped me to enjoy life more and I have helped him have the money to enjoy it, LOL.  We went out to dinner last night for Fathers Day and I got a $20 dinner, soft shell crab stuffed with crab cake, which is not something I would normally do.  We also ordered fancier drinks then we normally would, an appetizer and dessert.  It probably was the perfect way to celebrate my perfect for me husband on this perfect for him holiday.  

We relaxed, we didn’t worry about money and we enjoyed our meal together.   I love you Paul Christie.  Happy Fathers Day, again.  I didn’t get the chance to blog that yesterday because I was busy relaxing with my family and enjoying the day.  You are the perfect husband for me.   

My Dad, My First Boyfriend

“The only man a girl can depend on is a daddy.” Quote from Grease.

Today is my Dads birthday, so it seemed only fitting to make my blog about him.  To explain all the reasons why this quote is so true for me.  To bring some attention to the fact that my Dad, is the BEST Dad for me.

My Dad is turning 58 today.  I want to reflect on the things he has accomplished as far as I can see.  So, be mindful these facts might be distorted somehow, as they are my truths about him.

First of all, my dads childhood left a few things to be desired, but without getting into the skeletons in the closet (all families have them right), we will just say that he is definitely stronger because of it.  He grew up with my grandparents and three brothers, when he was young they lived in Detroit.  Living in Detroit was difficult for him, but he was more concerned about his younger brothers.  At a youngish age, I think like 12 or 13, he told my grandparents they needed to get out, because it was getting too bad for his brothers to make it.

I am sure I am getting that story wrong, but in my head that is the very perfect story to share for you to get a picture in your head of the man my dad is.  Always caring about others before himself.  Making sure that his family is taken care of above ALL others.

My Mom and Dad met at church, started as friends and then fell in love.  After many obsticles jumped in their way, my moms family moving to Canada and my Dad moving to Georgia, they made their way back to each other in Michigan and have now been married for 37 years.  

Now, unfortunately for my Dad he had two daughters.  One of them being me, the loud, wonderful, smart Ass that I am; I was the closest thing to a son that my Dad had for 26 years.  Because of this though, my Dad and I butt heads ALL THE TIME, we still do.  We sit and have an amazing time together, but if I EVER disrespect my Mother, he will go to bat for her every time.

My Dad has worked hard to provide for us his entire life.  From when my Mom found out she was pregnant (other than the whole driving home from the concert after having one too many drinks thing..lol), up until this very minute he continues to support us in EVERY single way he is able.  Five years ago when I decided to leave my ex, my Dad was the first person I called.  He left work and immediately came to get me.  I am not even sure he knew what to do, he just knew he needed to support me and my kids.

During the first year, through my divorce and a couple months after, my dad and I met for breakfast or coffee nearly once a week.  My Dad never said it to me, but I think he was really worried about my mental stability.  He took the time to check in with my once a week to make sure I was ok, find out what I was doing to move on and what he could do to help me.  Which was A LOT, lots of money, time and energy that my Dad gave to me without asking for anything in return.

I repaid him in dividends, with a son in law that he loves and four more grandchildren for him to spoil.  I wouldn’t have been ready to make those steps in my life had my Dad not supported me the way he did through the hardest year of my life.  I knew then, at 30 that even though there would be other men in my life, my Dad is tops. He is the only man who hasn’t ever lied to me, who always had my best interest at heart and continues to amaze me with his generosity and love for his family.

Happy Birthday Dad.  We are all so lucky to have you, I am so lucky to have you!  You gave me hope and faith when I was so broken, for that I am forever grateful.  Love you! 

 

Being Married

When I was a little girl, I never had dreams of being married.  I didn’t have this ideal of what my wedding, husband or marriage would look like.  When other girls were pretending to get married, I was just happy pretending to be the bridesmaid.  I did however always know that I wanted to have kids.

When I was younger having kids and getting married didn’t have to go hand in hand.  I thought, well if I don’t get married I can still be a mom.  There are many ways to go about this, and as the years went on I told my parents A LOT that I wasn’t above any of them.  I knew that I wanted to have quite a few kids and I wanted to be done having babies by the time I was 35, so I was going to need to start around 25 or so.  It shouldn’t surprise anyone that I had these thoughts/plans in my head.

Lucky for me (maybe my parents too) at 25 1/2 my high school sweetheart came back into my life and it was clear from the start it had happened for a reason.  We started talking about getting married that night, after 3 or 4 years of not seeing each other.  We had both gone off and made lives for ourselves and were single at the same time, for the first time since I was 17.  We were married 13 months later.  One month later we found out we were pregnant.  It was meant to be.  I in fact was meant to be married, meant to have children with a husband and not do it on my own.

Now, those of you who know me or for those that don’t but have read previous pots, you know that I am divorced.  Things didn’t work out so happily ever after for me and Matt.  I still don’t regret making those choice, deciding to get married and sharing my life for those 5 years.  There are many reasons why I know that marriage was meant to be.

The first being James, our son together who is now 7 years old.  He is an amazing blend of serious and goofy and was my first true love.  Him coming a long also helped me to know, I was meant to be a Mom.  This title I had longed to have since I was a child, he was the one who finally gave it to me.  The second came 17 months later, our daughter Jordan was born.  By the time I was 29, I had two kids.  My dream had come true.  The third was teaching me that I did like being married and in fact, I was kind of good at it.

Had those three things not happened, Paul and I wouldn’t be together now.  With him having three children, he knew he needed to fall in love with someone who also had kids.  He needed someone who could understand the reality and the struggle, as well as support what this would mean for the new relationship.  I wouldn’t have felt the desire to find someone to marry, if I hadn’t been married before and enjoyed it.

All things happen for a reason.  The good, the bad and the ugly.  Through the highs and lows, lucky for us there are a lot less of the later, I would still choose being married to Paul every single day.  I wake up every morning making a decision and a choice to love this man to the best of my ability.  To put all the effort I can into this marriage and our family.  He is my husband and I am so lucky. 

Our 6 children

When people say that I don’t really have six kids, it really pisses me off.  Ignorance is bliss perhaps under this circumstance.  People who say that, aren’t capable of understanding our life, don’t want to understand our life or lastly don’t agree with our life.

4 years ago Paul and I met each other, I knew that he had 3 kids and he also knew that I had 2 kids.  At the time our children were 9,7,4,3 and 2.  His the older three and mine the younger two.  Paul was introduced to my kids slowly but surely because I had my kids 5 days every week, so it was easier to do this.  Paul’s kids were with him every other weekend, so the first time I met them they came to my house and stayed the entire weekend.

I cooked them dinner, I made what felt like a million pancakes breakfast (buying a griddle the evening before), I made their beds, but most importantly I opened my heart to them.  The kids got along from the get go, playing basketball, hide go seek and dolls, they all genuinely connected.  From that weekend on, every weekend they were with Paul, they were with me.

Paul and I got married just a couple of months later and we officially became a family.  So at that point, they legally became my stepchildren.  I tell them that I love them every time I see them, I tuck them into bed at night, they come to me when they need something.  They ARE my kids.   I think it is important for all our kids to understand and know that they can be every bit as important in each other’s lives, whether they are full blood, half or step siblings.

A couple months after Paul and I got married we found out we were pregnant.  So now, we have a 2 year old together.  Our “glue” I like to call him.  The one that will make sure we are a family forever.  He connects all of our children, he has no full blood siblings and never will.  He has no clue that is even a thing though, he knows that he has 2 sisters and 3 brothers.  As he should, who are you (the world) to tell him that it makes a difference?

I challenge you to consider why people think I shouldn’t claim all these children as mine?  Is it because I didn’t physically give birth to all six of them?  Would you ever tell someone who has adopted that they don’t really have kids?  What about the couple who went through fertility problems and had to have a child through surrogate?  Amongst the million other scenarios to which children are brought to parents other than biological pregnancy.

Or is it because they don’t live with me all the time?  Do you tell the parents who are divorced and have split custodity that they are only parents the nights their children are in their house?  What about children who have gone away to college, are they not yours anymore because they are no longer under your roof?  Again, many different scenarios that arise to where your children aren’t living in your household, doesn’t mean they aren’t still yours.

We are in constant contact with our children’s other parents.  We have amazing relationships with our exes, open communication and a lot of respect for one another.  We provide for all the children even when they aren’t in our house, money comes out of our paycheck to see that they are supported, we provide them medical insurance as well.  My budget is built around 6 children.  

Every two weeks we have all six kids in our house for 3 days.  It goes by WAY to fast.  There are always tears when the older kids leave, we always look forward to the next time.   They are MY kids.  When college comes around I will be there to support them, when they are ready to be married I hope they will want me there and lastly when those grand babies start coming I hope they call me Nana.  I do have six children.  You don’t have to understand it, but I wish that you would respect it. 

 

Babies, babies, babies

Alright, so my husband and I have six kids all together.  I have a 13 year old stepson, 11 year old stepson and 8 year old stepdaughter.  From my previous marriage I have a 7 year old son and 6 year old daughter.  Together we have a 2 year old son.   Depending on the day, we can have anywhere from 1 to 6 kids in our household.

I am 34, getting really close to 35 now.  I have been pregnant 3 times, three wonderful pregnancies.   I had all 3 of my children naturally, with no drugs and they were all the most wonderful experiences of my life.  I look back on the whole process with fondness.

Everyone around me is pregnant.  My sister, her friends, my friends and it just keeps me thinking in the back of my head…I wish that was still a choice.  Don’t get me wrong, I am super happy with all of the wonderful kids we have.  It’s not that they aren’t enough at all, or that I am still longing for that son or daughter, I mean we already have plenty of each.  

There is just something about watching bellies get bigger, listening to the plans being made and eventually having that little baby in your arms that will never get old to me.  It seems like there should be a little switch that after X amount of children, just turns off and you know that you are complete.  Well either my switch has malfunctioned, I was born without it, I can’t hear it or I am actually not ready to be done.

Either way, we ARE done.  Two years ago my hubs got fixed.  In this day and age having the six children we do is so difficult. Not to mention that they live in 4 different households which adds a whole other level of complexity.  This world is no longer built for big families, there are only like 2 cars in the U.S. that hold 8 passengers.  Yea and they cost like 60,000.  Needless to say we drive two different 5 passenger vehicles!

All of our kids drive me crazy in one way or another, even with all the strain and gray hairs, I could still imagine doing it again.  I wish the switch would just turn off already so there wasn’t such a push pull in my head.  We are beyond lucky with six wonderful, fun, healthy children that we have.   They are MORE than enough.

 At this point I am looking VERY forward to my sister and my friends having babies.  Babysitting, snuggling, loving them.  Then somewhere down the road, hopefully in the distant future I will get some grand babies.  Maybe that’s why the switch stays on, so that you are all ready for the babies of others to come into your house.  I can’t wait! 

 

Losing My Excuses

You can imagine that with a husband, children, a full time job and countless other obligations I could come up with a million excuses to not do something.  About 6 weeks ago now, I made excuses TO DO some things instead.  Getting up, moving, going to the gym and taking just as good of care of myself as I do for others.  Working from the inside out and deciding to put in to myself what I was hoping to get out of it.

Last Thursday after a couple of motivational conversations I decided to take on a new attitude. I was determined to worry less about what other people think my right and wrong are, worry only about if it’s right for me.  On the flip side, I would choose to decide that other people know better what is right for them then I do.  Stop making excuses for behaviors, so that I could start seeing results.

When I started working out regularly, I made a promise to myself that I would no longer care what the scale says. I was just going to concentrate on what I felt like on the inside and how I felt when I looked in the mirror.  So with these two attitudes combined, I have found myself to be a lot less stressed in the last 5 days.

Thursday was my kids last day of school.  We had made plans to head to the pool after their half day.  I, with all the confidence in the world wore a strapless bathing suit, that didn’t have a skirt attached.  This was the first time I had worn this particular suit since summer of 2006 and the first time with no skirt covering my thighs and butt since I had my first child in 2007.  

When I put on the swimsuit, I walked into the bathroom to look in the mirror and I was proud of how I looked.  So proud in fact, that I took a picture to send my husband.  (He said it looked great).  I wore that bathing suit with confidence.  Next to my smaller than a size zero Mother, that can sometimes be hard.  Though after everything, I realize I have the best body I could hope for right now.  It’s not perfect by any means, but I am extremely happy in my skin.

Last week in addition to my cardio workouts at the gym, I decided to add ab machines.   Not make excuses that because I had my iPad and my phone in my hand I couldn’t do the machines.  I just lay my iPad right next to me and stuff my phone in my bra.  My belly isn’t as firm as I would like, as you could imagine after having 3 babies in less than 5 years.  I can already tell a difference, it’s amazing.  When you stop making excuses, you start getting results.  What a concept!  

 

I will worry about me, you worry about you

My life has been a ball of emotions lately.  My husband has been coming home from work, looked at my face and knows that I have A LOT to say.  I usually say A lot, but it is usually just a lot of words, not necesaarily a lot of meaning.

I have a shit ton of things happening in my life.  Balls I am constantly juggling and I think that I do a damn good job.  So, why do I get so caught up in you?  My husband sits on the couch with me as I tell him that I am feeling beat up, I am feeling like none of the choices that I have are good ones and crying on his shoulder because I feel like I don’t have control.

I am not a crier, I am a talker.  In the last week I have cried in front of two friends, my husband and while on the phone with two other friends.  All I ever want in this life is to do the right thing.  Make the choice that I can live with, sleep with and feel good about.  Well this morning while working out, I realized that I can’t decide what is right and wrong for you, only me.

After having a very emotional conversation with two different important people in my life and sobbing I knew that I just needed to make the choice to not let these people and their actions effect me.  I need to stay here, so that if and when they need me, they know I am here.  In the meantime, just mind my own business.

Up until a couple of weeks ago, I was just going about my life thinking everything was good.  I have had a terrible nauseous feeling for over a week now.  It doesn’t get better with eating, not eating, sleeping or working out.  There has just been this pit and I think it’s because of all this stress I am holding on to for other people.

I can’t decide what is right for you, what choices make sense for you or how you should be acting in any given situation.  What I can control is how I act, what I say and what I do.  When you decide that you want me, I will be right here.  In the mean time, I will worry about me and let you worry about you. 

 

Don’t call me Skinny

Last week my friend Emily shared a wonderful article on our #100milesmonthly group page.  It was a hello giggles article, where Lauren Conrad speaks about banning body shaming words from her vocab.

This has really had me thinking over the last week. How often do I use some words over others to describe how people look.  More than people in general, how do I use them to describe my physicality?  What terms do you like to hear, what words do you cringe at, what words do you want used when describing you?

When I was in elementary school I was “slim”, had to buy jeans in a special cut to fit.  In my teenage years, I was what I thought was an average sized girl (size 7) .  When I was in college, I gained some weight, but still wore a size 7.  I was still much larger then both my mother and my sister, they were both a size 0, they would joke with me and call me “big boned”.

I have thick skin, so in no way did that bother me, in fact I used to wear a cartman shirt that said “I’m not fat I’m big boned.”  I always thought in my head, I am very healthy though.  So there is some thing to this right?  Being “skinnier” than me doesn’t make you healthier than me, where on the other side being “fatter” than me doesn’t mean I am healthier than you.

My whole life I have had a line from an Eagles song on constant repeat in my head “your mommas too thin and your daddy’s too fat, get over it”!  My mom has been very tiny as long as I can remember and my Dad has been overweight my whole life.  The thing I have never been worried about anyone’s actual size or shape, I want them to be healthy.  My husband is what he calls “chubby” and I could care less.  We have six kids who come in all different shapes and sizes.

When we can’t keep up with our kids or our kids can’t keep up with each other, that’s when we have a problem.  I work hard to keep my family healthy.  To have healthy snacks in the house, encouraging them to exercise and not play video games all day, drinking lots of water instead of juice and soda.  They are kids, so they deserve treats, but in moderation.  I model this for my children.

I drink nearly 100 ounces of water every day.  When choosing a snack, I almost always eat a piece of fruit.  I eat 3 meals a day.  I exercise and love being active with them.  Even though it isn’t something I would say I am good at, I cook most of our meals.  I make veggies that my kids don’t always like, but they have to try.  I incorporate other ingredients outside of their comfort zone, but in an effort to expose them to new healthy choices.   I am healthy and for the most part so is my family.

When at any time you use your size as an excuse to not participate in activities, when you get light headed, short of breath or extremely tired from every day activity, maybe it doesn’t matter what size you are because you probably aren’t “healthy”.  Healthy comes in all shapes and sizes.  So does unhealthy!

Next time you look at yourself in the mirror and think I wish I were thinner or I really want to be skinny.  Ask yourself this, are you healthy?   If you aren’t healthy yet, but are working on it, please don’t look in the mirror and beat yourself up.  Instead look at the things that you do like, point out the things that are changing, the positive effects of your hard work.

I have always liked to think that when given an option to describe my body type, you know like check a box situation, (I am thinking about on dating sites, I met my husband online so this is something I know about) I fall under the “athletic” category.  I would say that is still true and I think that word sounds wonderfully healthy.  At 34, after having 3 kids, I am a size 8.  This must just be the size my body is meant to be when its healthy!

Bringing people together

Gym Reading: Winners by Danielle Steel.  Gym Listening: Hip hop BBQ on Pandora, which today included Tupac, Biggy and Ja Rule.  Currently Watching: Marriage Boot Camp Reality Stars (yes, I know I have a problem)

So for those who have been reading, for the month of June I started a Facebook group called #100milesmonthly. It started just as a group I could hold myself accountable t.  I invited friends, the first day I think we ended up with like 30ish members.  Then my friends invited friends and those friends added, now on June 8th we have 58 members.  It started with one person in Michigan, now we have branched out to Indiana, Ohio, Florida and Texas.  My hope is that for July we can have 100 members.

On that same day I started a community, just to post motivational quotes and keep people energized.  So, people who follow would get some inspiration into their daily feed.  It also is #100milesmonthly.  That has 33 likes, which I would like to see jump up to at least 50 by July.

The one that really gets me personally the most excited it my blog.  I journaled when I was a kid.  Through college and up until my first husband and I started dating. It’s extremely cathartic for me.  I started posting on WordPress May 4th,  in the month of May I posted 13 times.  Every day that I got even 1 person to read or look at my blog made me so happy.  In the last couple of weeks though, I noticed that even more people were reading, liking and I even had a few followers (people I don’t even know, we reading my blog).

As much as I want strangers, Internet folks to read my blog and find it entertaining, I also really want people in my life to read.  I started a page on Facebook for my blog posts.  Now all my wordpress articles are being posted right to this page.  I have 47 people now liking that page.  Some are my Facebook friends and family, but others are friends of friends and a couple people I don’t even know.  

I started that group Thursday morning, on Thursday I had 17 visitors to my blog page, with 41 total views.  This made my day.  On Friday after I posted my most recent blog post, I had 37 visitors, with 55 views.  I hope that people actually care about what I am writing about, taking from it, being entertained by it or maybe even learning something.  Also, it wouldn’t hurt if there is ANYONE reading this who could get me a book deal (my dream), maybe just maybe by getting my name out there somehow this will happen.  I also wouldn’t mind getting paid to blog for some website or publication, not as a full time job, just something on the side.

Last, but not least I joined Twitter last week.  Something, I didn’t really think I’d ever do.  I am working on some social media stuff for work though and I wanted to play around with it, so that I could “tweet” appropriately for my job.  I can honestly say, I don’t even really understand it.  I’m working on it though.  I would love to follow more people, if you are on there, follow me @makingtimeforme.  

Bringing people together.  People with like attitudes, common goals and similar backgrounds.  Friends who always wanted to do it, didn’t think they could do it or have been doing it and now just have a community to do it with.  Places to voice our opinions, post motivations and feel inspired.  The internet certainly has it’s downfalls, but I’m extremely thankful for it.  Bringing communities of people together, who may not have had this kind of opportunity otherwise.

Have a great Monday! 

 

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