Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Sometimes I Wonder Where These Thoughts Spawn From

     The title of this post was taken from the song The Monster by Eminem and ft. Rihanna.

     My jaw tightens and my teeth clamp down a little harder as I literally try to bite back the tears. I grind the inside of my cheek between my teeth and focus on that for a bit. If I just focus long enough on the physical pain maybe I can avoid the emotional pain that is right there on the surface. It doesn't work and I utter a curse as the first tear slips over my closed eye lid and quietly makes its way down my face. I fiercely wipe it away and excuse myself to the bathroom. Rewind to ten minutes before this.
     Tyler's cell phone stopped working a few weeks ago and she has been begging us to buy her a new one. She isn't allowed to have a smartphone and I just didn't want to spend money on a replacement phone. Last night I pulled out an old phone of Mike's, the Blitz. It was the last non-smartphone he had and he loved it. I'm not sure why we kept it but alas here it is. I decided to go ahead and let Tyler have it. I plugged it in and let it charge. Mike had deleted almost everything in it...almost. He had left his downloaded ringtones on the phone. All of them were from NIN songs, except one. He had recorded himself doing the Tarzan yell, you know the one "Ahhhhaaaahhhhhahaaaa" or something like that. It was his voice but it sounded weird and distorted. In that moment I slide the inside of my cheek between my teeth and bite down a little. We laugh as we listen to it several times. I miss his kooky (that's a word he often used) humor. I continue to look through the phone and I find one single text message in the draft folder. It was a text that was meant for me and it simply said...

"This is fun."

I bite down a little harder. Through clenched teeth I tell Tyler she isn't allowed to delete the ringtones or the message. John looks at me and patiently asks why I'm allowing her to have the phone. I bite a little harder. Focus Melanie just focus. I offer a shrug and close my the bathroom I let myself wonder what this simple text was in reference to. The rational side of me sees this simply as a message that was never sent. There is another part of me that wants this to be a sign from Mike that he is still watching over us. I release my cheek from the grip of my teeth and run my tongue along the grooves that I've temporarily embedded on myself. Shaking my head I gather my composure and return to my family. I offer them a weak smile and an"I'm fine." John gives me a hug and kisses my forehead. He understands and accepts me where I am.
     It's the small unexpected reminders of Mike that bring on these emotions. On a day to day basis I can talk about him without crying. Most of the time I can handle it...sometimes I can't. It upsets the kids to see me cry so I try to be strong for them. Sometimes I fail.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

You Hold My Hope In Your Palms

     The title of this post was taken from the song Don't Let Go Yet by David Roch.

     How the heck did my mom and dad manage to raise four kids without going crazy?! Let me give you some insight into what a few hours of my afternoon looked like today. I took John back to work from his lunch break at 2:00 (our van is out of commission for the moment). I picked up Mason from the bus stop at 2:50 and then went home to meet Tyler as she got off the bus at 3:05. I fed Jaxon really quick before running to get Sebastian from his bus at 4:00. I brought him home and began prepping dinner before I had to go pick up John from work. Here is how our conversations went from there.

4:15 pm - I'm attempting to figure out exactly what I want to fix for dinner given that we really need to go grocery shopping.

Tyler - "Mom, when are we going to the store to get stuff for my science project?"

Me - "After John gets home and sometime before bedtime."

Tyler - "Well, will you help me study for math."

Me - "I will but I need you to go study first and then we can review it."

Tyler - "But I don't need to study I just need to go over it with you."

Me - "Study first and then we can..."

Tyler - "But, I don't..."

Me - "Please just go do it."

Mason then walks into the kitchen and put his math paper in front of my face.

Mason - "Mom, I don't understand this. What do I do."

Me - "Read me the..."

Tyler yelling from the living room - "But I asked for help first!"

Me - "...directions. Tyler, I can answer his question in two seconds, to help you study I need more time. Please just wait."

Mason reads me the directions as Tyler yells again that she asked for help first.

Sebastian yells from the living room - "Jaxon is crying what do you want me to do?"

Me - "Tyler, you will have to wait, but please study. Mason, add the money together on the paper and write the total amount. Sebastian, just hang on a second and I'll take him."

Tyler - "Well, I'm done."
Mason - "Thanks."
Sebastian - "Can I feed Jaxon?"

Me - "No, he just ate. Just hang on."

Sebastian walks into the kitchen as Tyler slams her bedroom door - "What are you fixing?"

Me - "Baked chicken and potato cakes."

Sebastian - "I'd rather have mashed potatoes and Jaxon is still fussy. When are you going to the store because I want to go and buy some books."

At this point someone might wear the potatoes if I don't get some peace and quiet.

Me - "Just bring Jaxon to me and I'm not sure when we are going to the store. I have to finish what I'm doing before I go pick up John. Please wait."

Tyler  walks back into the kitchen - "Well when is John coming home I need to get my stuff."

Me - "I'm picking him up in a few minutes and I know you need to go to the store."

Tyler - "Well, if we hadn't waited until the last minute to do this..."

Me - "Tyler, please be paitent. We will get it done."

And within the span of an hour I have a massive headache and a deep sense that I am so screwing up as a parent. After dinner I sit down and look at the pictures from the photo session we had done yesterday. I'll pretend we are always the put together family these pictures portray :) Seriously had a great time having these done!

Pictures taken by Tony Maro. Check out his website at

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Gray Would Be The Color If I Had A Heart

    The title of this post is from the song Something I Can Never Have by NIN.

      Gray is the color for today. I watch out the kitchen window as a little squirrel runs around our yard. I'm immediately grateful that I'm inside my warm and toasty home and not out there in the cold drizzling rain. I hold my steamy cup of hot chocolate so that the heat warms my hands. I'm always cold. In this rare quiet moment I contemplate how I arrived at this exact place in my life.
     Often times, I can't make sense of the direction my life has taken and, most times, it seems surreal. Regardless of the fragmented events that have propelled me to this exact point in time, I'm content in this particular moment. I want to grab hold of these feelings and never let them go. If only everyday, every minute could be filled with such contentment. I wish I could make this moment last.
     I look over and see my to-do list sitting on the counter; a list that I know I won't come close to finishing today. I set my mug down and pick up the list, "It's just stuff Melanie. It's just stuff." I reiterate this over and over again. Finally I fold the paper in half and rip it into tiny pieces. For the next few minutes I'm just going to be okay with me the way I am right now.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

But At Night When The House Is Dark

The title of this post was taken from the song Creepy Doll by Jonathan Coulton.

     I am delusional... let's just throw it out right from the start. I had plans for my maternity leave. I knew I was having a c-section, but I had planned on being up and moving within days. I had planned on John going back to work and me being superwoman...that is...if superwoman wore PJ's and shirts with baby puke on them. I was going to keep the house clean, cook dinner every night, spend extra time with the kids, work on some of those Pinterest projects I've been dying to try, start my new ABA class, get in some supervision hours for class, and, on top of all of this, baby Jaxon was going to be the best cared for baby ever. Are you laughing yet? Clearly, I'm delusional. What I had not counted on was a long recovery. (Ain't no one got time for that mess) I need this recovery over with.
     I quickly learned that having a c-section was no laughing matter and who can laugh, cough, or sneeze without immense pain after having their abdomen sliced open 4-5 inches. I learned the hard way that I needed help. UGH! The dreaded H word! My LEAST favorite 4-letter word. I have had to depend on John to take over when I can't take another step. I've had to ask for h*** when I can't hold my eyes open one more minute. I cried from pain after I attempted to pull weeds from the flowerbed. John did an I told you so dance after that and I realized I should have listened and taken it easy.
     Jaxon is 3 weeks old now and I'm still in denial about how long this recovery process is going to take. I am taking my ABA class and managing to stay on top of that or at least not fall too far behind. When I do manage to clean house, I pay for it with pain later so I get the bare minimum done on a daily basis. I have cooked dinner a few times but not the amazing meals I had planned on. I have yet to start my supervision hours and I'm not sure when I'll be ready to. Every morning or night I make a to-do list. I tell myself that today is going to be better. I'm going to feel better and I'm going to accomplish something. At the end of every day I look at my list and shake my head in disgust at the lack of things I actually managed to accomplish.
     I know I should just be enjoying this time off and taking it easy but that has proven to be much more difficult than I had ever imagined. I just want to physically be able to do whatever I want/need to do whenever I want to do it. For heaven's sake! When did getting in and out of the car become a process?! I feel like a little old lady as I use my step stool to get into bed each night. Can someone just stamp a big L on my forehead and we shall call it a day?...

Be A Simple Kind Of Man And Be Something You'll Love And Understand

     The title of this post was taken from the song Simple Man by Shinedown.

     Jaxon Alexander Mullineaux was born on Oct. 14 at 12:47 pm. He weighed 8lbs 8oz and was 21 inches long. I don't care to go into all the details. I ended up having a scheduled c-section and it was a very different experience from having three natural deliveries. Everyone is healthy and well.  

Look at that precious face! Nine months to grow this little fella and nine months to do a lot of worrying. Nine months of being unsure of how I would handle being a new mom again. Nine months of worry about how the other kids would do once the baby was here.  Nine months of worry over the fact I'm 34 and having a baby, am I too old for this? Nine months of worry about how we would financially afford a baby, especially since I don't have paid maternity leave. Nine months of random weird looks and questions from people wondering why I would want another child. Nine months of feeling like I had to defend my decision to have another child. Nine months of constant worry. All of that disappeared when I held my son for the first time. I know I'll be a good mom, not perfect, but good. We made the choice to have a child and he will grow up in a home where he is loved. I am in love.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

You Don't Wear My Chains

The title of this post was taken from the song Boston by Augustana. 

 I had a really rough day this past week and I must have let it show. 

"Hey are you okay?"

I duck my head and blink back the tears.


"Are you sure? I don't think I've ever seen you without a smile on your face."

I was rather shocked by this but reiterated that I was okay. I tucked this conversation away and later came back to revisit it. If you were to ask John I think he would tell you that most of the time I don't look happy. I guess at home I tend to let the smile drop and just be me for a bit. I'm not ever going to be who I was. There won't ever be a day where the ripple effect of losing Mike will not touch my life in someway. It's often irrational and I often don't understand it. All I know is that in my head my irrational thoughts make sense to me. I will always be broken and my mental perception will always be skewed. Most people don't understand it and I'm finding that those who once tried are slowly losing patience with my lack of progression. So, I end with these two quotes.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Take Your Time Don't Live To Fast

     The title of this post was taken from the song Simple Man by Shinedown.

     Today is my birthday. I'm 34 or half-way to 68 :). Yesterday, John made arrangements to have someone babysit the kids so we could go out and we enjoyed some time to ourselves...well...almost :) Jaxon was tagging along. Today, I saw my Dad at church and he gave me one of my favorite gifts from him; a great big hug. I love when daddy wraps his arms around me; it makes all seem right with the world. He gave me a kiss on the top of my head and gave me a gift card to spend on myself. Later, he brought over a gift from my mom. She's spending a few days at the beach with Mandaly so I didn't get to see her today. I want to share what mom wrote in my birthday card:

"Why did my little girl have to grow up? There is so much I miss from your sweet young years. I miss pulling you out from behind me as you would try to hide from monsters/people. I miss getting up in the middle of the night when you weren't feeling well. I miss pushing you in our swing set in the back yard when we first got it. I miss taking you swimming and dropping you all off at the pool. I can't believe I did that but I do remember it now. I miss combing your long blonde hair and putting it in ponytails. I miss buying you tons of little dresses, outfits and hair bows. I miss going for walks around the block, picking up pop cans and sitting on the old church steps and eating our picnic lunch of sandwiches, chips, and drinks out of a glass quart jar. I miss having hot chocolate ready for you after coming in out of the snow and you putting your boots and clothes by the stove to dry out. I miss Christmases of long ago and buying gifts for each of you and the excitement on your faces on Christmas morning. I miss sending my little girl off to school wondering how she was going to make it with no one to hide behind. She just needed her mommie. I miss the tons of laundry and picking up toys after you all had gone to bed. I miss rocking you, telling you stories at nighttime and reading to you. I miss taking you to piano lessons. I miss listening to you play the piano. I miss watching you cheerlead and going to all the games. You have given me so much and you continue to do so. No, I can't get back those years - years that you are now living in raising your children. If you never grew up then I would never know the joy of having grandchildren. So, in the circle of life you have given me more than I could ever give you. I love, appreciate, and respect all that you have become. Once in awhile I'd like to take care of you so the next time you get a boo-boo please let me kiss it. If someone seems to scary, just call me, I'll put my skirt on and come running, you can stand behind me and bury your face in it. I'll pat you on your head and reassure you everything will be ok. Happy birthday, I love my little girl with all my heart.

Forever and Ever,
Your Mommie"

I look at my kids and can't help but think that, quickly is approaching the days when they will leave and be on their own. Will they have as fond memories of me as I have of my mom and dad? Today may be my birthday but really I think it would be better to celebrate the amazing people my parents are. I love you Mom and Dad. Thank you for all you do for me and for the unconditional love you have always shown me. I owe so much of who I am today to the wonderful examples and life lessons you taught me. I love you both to infinity and beyond. 

Thursday, June 13, 2013

That Summer Seemed To Last Forever

The title of this post was taken from the song Summer of '69 by Bryan Adams.     

     School is out! I really can't believe the year is over. I think I say this every year, but this year was a whirlwind! New school, new students, new adventures, and new learning experiences. I will cherish all the memories from this year, but I am beyond ready to make some amazing summer memories with my kiddos. I want to make the most of every moment we are out of school!

Aug. 2013
First day of school.
Sebastian - 7th Grade
Tyler - 5th Grade
Mason - 1st Grade

June 2013
Last Day of School
Sebastian - Upcoming 8th Grader
Tyler - Upcoming 6th Grader
Mason - Upcoming 2nd Grader

     Sebastian and Tyler passed all of their SOL's and all three kiddos made the A/B honor roll for the year. Mason even had the most Accelerated Reader points for his class. I'm so very proud of all of them. It's so hard to believe that Sebastian only has one more year of middle school left!
     This year was fun for me as well. I love the class I'm working in and I've learned so much. Every year I cry as I turn off my classroom lights and walk out for the summer. This year I cried as we got the kids on the bus. I love them so much. I don't really have time to dwell on how much I'll miss them because summer school starts Monday ;). I have the honor of working this summer and hopefully it will help me get prepared for school to start in the fall. I'm excited. So much to do and so little time to do it all in.
     On another note we found out last week that we are having a boy and his name will be Jaxon Alexander Mullineaux. Yes, I do recognize that there is an X in all three names :).  

Monday, June 10, 2013

The Screams All Sound The Same

   The title of this post was taken from the song Little Talks by Of Monsters and Men.

   There are moments when I can feel the flood of emotions coming. I try hard to squash it all and simply soldier on, but eventually it all catches up to me and I can't hold it in any longer. A tear or two escape as I find a quiet place to hide. This is my pain, my hurt, and my battle. I don't care to share it. I don't want anyone else to see. These are my private moments. I know I shouldn't allow myself to dwell. I have reasons to be happy and for the most part I am, but I will always have moments that I just can't run from.
   I found a blog post written by a widower and thought I would share his words. You can find the original post here. 

difficult company

I’ve tried, so far unsuccessfully, to find out who wrote this poem. Whoever did has done a brilliant job of capturing the ‘please always be there for me except for all the times I don’t want you to be’ need state of a grieving person. I trust the author won’t mind me reproducing it here but I’d love to add a credit if anyone knows who was behind it.
From my personal standpoint, this is for all the people I hope will check in on me but whose calls I ignore when they do. Believe me when I say that I love you all but grief’s a bitch like that.
Hold me close and go away
Please visit me and please don’t stay
Talk to me but please don’t speak
I need you NOW – come back next week.
Emotions muddled, needs unknown
To be with others or on my own?
To scream out loud? To rant and shout?
Or hide away and push you out?
I smile at you – “She’s not that bad”
I shout at you – “She’s going mad”
I speak to you – “What do I say?”
I show my tears – “Quick, walk away”
It’s not catching, the grief I feel
I can’t pretend that it’s not real
I carry on as best I know
But this pain inside just won’t go.
So true friends, please, accept the lot
I shout, I cry, I lose the plot
I don’t know what I need today
So hold me close and go away.


Saturday, June 1, 2013

I'm Not Givin' Up

    The title of this post was taken from the song All I Want Is Everything by Victoria Justice

      If I could design my dream house and money were not an object it would be a sprawling one floor home with wide doorways and a lot of open space. It would also have an elevator, if I had two floors, and be completely wheelchair accessible. Unfortunately, money is always an object. When I bought this house I did so knowing that it didn't have all the features I needed. This house is essentially three floors counting the basement, and counting that living space it's just over 3,000 square feet. That's a lot of space but it doesn't make it easy for my niece Mikayla to visit. You know Mikayla. I've written about her many times. Here is a video incase you want to see her in action. Seriously she is incredible go check her out!!! 

Mikayla is a phenomenal young lady who happens to have Cerebral Palsy. Anyway, this house does not meet all of her needs. The first thing we knew we needed to do was put in a wheelchair ramp. About a month ago Mandaly saw an online post in which someone was selling a decent size wheelchair ramp. We opted to buy it and reconfigure it to fit our home. It looked like an easy task but there were some challenges. Here is a picture of the beginning of our project.

John had to rip out the old stairs and begin the task of piecing things together. He worked so hard. On top of working in the incredible heat day after day, he also tried to maintain the housework while I was at work. There were many nights he would come to bed at 3:30 or 4 as I was getting up to start my day. This morning I got up at 5:15 just as John coming to bed. He had stayed up late working on the ramp and then made pizza dough and sauce for homemade pizza tonight. He then got up at 9:30 to begin the task of painting the ramp. Seriously could he be any more amazing? We did have several people come over to help paint today. A huge thank you to my brother Michael, my sister Mandaly, and our good friend Phil. You guys ROCK! With the exception of some touch ups on the paint we are done. Doesn't it look amazing!!!

I get emotional when I think about all the work that went into this and how much easier it will be to spend time with Mikayla. I love that girl as if she were my own.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

When All I Knew Was Steeped In Blackened Hopes

     The title of this post was taken from the song Below My Feet by Mumford and Sons.

     The other day I was getting Tyler up for school and I looked down to see her todo list for that day. I had to take a picture.

My favorite part is the very bottom where she has written "Have the Best Day EVER!" I couldn't help but smile and wipe away a tear. I am so grateful that given all she has been through she can still decide to have a positive attitude and make her day any way she chooses.
     This inspired me today. Today was the funeral for Mike's grandmother, my kids great grandmother. It was hard for a lot of reasons. There is a lot I am choosing not to focus on. Instead I'm going to go to bed tonight with a todo list on my nightstand, and at the bottom I'm simply going to write "Have the Best Day EVER!". Thank you Tyler for continuing to teach me.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

When The Days Are Cold And The Cards All Fold

     The title of this post was taken from the song Demons by Imagine Dragons.

     "Choose the best answer possible." This statement is usually found somewhere in the directions for any standardized or multiple choice test. I loathe multiple choice tests and I always have. In elementary school I remember taking standardized tests, you know the old fashioned ones with the scantron sheets. They look something like this.

I was the child that would make pretty designs with her dots on the scantron sheet, or I'd see if I could make a picture. I couldn't have cared less about the test. I just wanted my sheet to look cool. Most multiple choice tests now have two answers that are technically correct, but one answer is better than the other. As an adult and college student I always over think things. I go back and forth analyzing every word in the question and possible answers and then I do what the test asks, I try to pick the best answer. Once I get my test back I always go over what I missed and I go through why I missed it.
     As an adult I analyze my life as if it were a multiple choice question. I plan and do something, that in the moment seems correct, and then when I go back and look over a situation I usually see what I could have done differently to get a better outcome. I almost always find a different and better way I could have done something and then I get really down on myself. I get upset that I didn't do things the best way possible the first time. Growing up my dad often told me that practice didn't make perfect, instead perfect practice makes perfect. Meaning do things right the first time. Thing is I'm not perfect and hind sight is 20/20 so I get angry that I can't always do things right the first time. Ultimately I feel like I fail in most areas of my life, rationally I know this isn't true but my self talk says it is. I know that there is always room for improvement and while that's a nice way of saying I'll always try harder to be my best, I never achieve what I feel is good enough.
     I don't know where I'm going with this. I just know that today, in this moment, I'm analyzing things and I see areas I need to improve upon. 

Sunday, May 12, 2013

And The Air Outside So Soft, Confessing Everything

    The title of this post was taken from the song All I Want by Toad The Wet Sprocket.

       It's Mother's Day again. It's been a pretty normal Sunday around here. I got up with the kids and we all went to church. The kids made Mother's Day cards and Tyler and Mason painted me necklaces. I came home and took a long nap and I'm enjoying the peace and quiet for a bit. I saw my mom this morning and gave her cards from us and the kids. I love my mom so very much. I have a little secret that I've been keeping to myself and I think maybe today would be a good time to share. 

I'm pregnant. 

I'm 17 weeks and due on October 20.

I'm going to go ahead and answer a few of the questions I've already had to answer. I have found that those who know have had varying degrees of reactions. Someone even said "You know this makes your fourth child right?" What I wanted to say was "Really?! Where did I leave the other three?!" So, here are my answers.

 Yes, I'm excited.

Yes, I understand this makes my fourth child and yes, we did plan it. 

Yes, I did take into consideration how this will make the other children feel.

Yes, the kids are happy. 

Yes, I plan on continuing my college classes and working full time after the baby comes.

     Okay, so being pregnant is totally my excuse for not blogging lately. Seriously most days it's all I can do to stay awake until 8:30. I'm exhausted. It's not just being pregnant it's all the added stress I manage to give myself. I also felt a little guilty keeping this little secret off my blog but, just like when I got married, I knew there would be mixed reactions and I wasn't ready to defend my choice to have another child. 

*** I keep reading and rereading this and it seems so cynical to me. I've been trying to find a way to make it not sound so cynical or...I don't know maybe I just feel cynical inside now because so many people have passed judgement on me without knowing what I've been through in any just doesn't seem right. I'm ecstatic about this child and I can't wait to meet him/her. This is part of the new chapter I'm writing in my life. I guess I feel the need to always be proactive in defending my decisions and I'm tired. So, if you feel the need to judge where I am in my life then please just walk away. I'm an intelligent and loving wife and mother. I can make my own decisions and be happy with them. I'm hard enough on myself when I don't measure up to my expectations; I don't need more judgement from others.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

You Left Me Incomplete. All Alone, As The Memories Now Unfold.

     The title of this post was taken from the song Cemetary Gates by Pantera.

     What am I thinking as we come upon the second anniversary of Mike's passing? I had a long post all typed up and ready to publish, but I deleted it. Why? Because I'm tired of rehashing the memories of that day. I'm tired of allowing myself to go there and go through minute by minute the moment I found him or the moments leading to that. I'm still angry. I'm still sad. I'm still not who I was then and I'm not sure of who I am now. I am a work in progress. I am ever evolving. I am finding my way in a life I never imagined for myself. 
     Two years later. Here we are. In all honesty I don't think the kids even realize that tomorrow marks the two year anniversary. We don't focus on what happened on April 14, 2011. We focus on the many happy memories they had with their Dad. Mike's life was so much more than one day. His life and memory is a culmination of everything up until that point. 

This is what we focus on. 
These are the memories we talk about on a daily basis. 
This is how we remember Mike. 

Screw you April 14th! 

Friday, March 29, 2013

Oh What A Rat Race

     The title of this post was taken from the song Rat Race by Bob Marley.

     Last week John sent me a text from downstairs that went something like this.

John to me - "So, are we going to Roanoke today?"

"For what?"

"Remember, we had talked about letting Tyler get another hamster."

"Oh, yea...well I guess."

So we packed the kids into the van and headed to Petsmart. Tyler's hamster Gizmo died a few months ago; Gizmo was a cute little dwarf hamster. This time Tyler decided to pick out a Bear Hamster. Seriously that's the name of the breed. It was the ugliest hamster in the store. In fact I immediately nicknamed it Fat Rat. Honestly from the beginning I was worried it wouldn't fit in the cage she already had. I told her it might get stuck in the tubes. Nothing would change her mind, she wanted this big ugly rodent. We bought her and on the trip home Tyler had I had this conversation.

"Tyler, it's pretty big what if it doesn't fit in the cage."

"Mmmmoooooommmmm! It will be fine."

"Okay, but it is pretty fat."

"SHE'S NOT FAT, SHE'S FLUFFY! I think I'll call her Fluffy."

"Okay, but she'll be Fat Rat to me."

Fat Rat managed to escape her cage on the second night we had her. Thank heavens Tyler finally caught her as she tried to gnaw her way into her food bag. Good grief!

      So now we have a hamster named fluffy, two rabbits (Mo-Mo and Po), two cats (Tres and Snoopy), and one dog (Jasper). I'm starting to feel like I live in a zoo. I shouldn't mention that we've promised Mason he can get a gerbil if he can show us he is responsible enough to help Tyler clean Fluffy's cage. Sigh...
     On the upside we are on Spring Break next week! John is on his way home from picking up his niece who will be staying with us. We are super excited and have some fun stuff planned. Can't wait to take lots of pictures and enjoy some family time.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Beneath The Stains Of Time

     The title of this post was taken from the song Hurt by Nine Inch Nails.

     I started this blog shortly after Mike died. In the beginning there really wasn't a purpose it was simply me getting out what I was feeling and dealing with. As time has gone on and my life has started to move on I've lost focus of what I want this blog to be. I've thought about retiring this one and starting a new one. A new blog for the new adventures in my life. Sometimes I feel like I'm moving too far away from what this was meant to be. Maybe I feel guilty that I'm trying to be happy with my life. I don't know. Anyway, I was cleaning out a drawer this afternoon and found a notebook that I also wrote in after Mike died. Those writings are even more in-depth than what I've posted here. I have no plans of publishing those as they are very dark and angry and there are many people in my life that would be offended by them. One thing that I will share is a poem of sorts. This was written June 26, 2011. No title and clearly not finished. Just thoughts.

It softly glows like the sun beginning to rise.
It quietly pulses like my blood through my veins.
It sweetly whispers like that of a gentle breeze.
It teases me when I'm between sleep and awake.
It tortures me when I see them cry.
It leaves me hollow and angry in my moments of despair.
I scream at it only to hear silence echo back.
It makes me smile in quite moments of pondering.
What is it?
My memories of you.


Sunday, March 17, 2013

And I'll Survive, Paranoid. I Have Lost The Will To Change

     The title of this post was taken from the song I Will Not Bow by Breaking Benjamin.

     We are almost at the two year anniversary of Mike's passing. I still get people who try to tell me how I'm supposed to be feeling or what I should be doing at this point in my life. People keep telling me I'm different or I need to be more like the old me. For awhile I tried to be more like who I used to be and then I realized that it simply wasn't who I was anymore. At this point in my life I am doing what is best for me and that looks nothing like the person I used to be...I'm more than okay with that.

Monday, March 4, 2013

No Time For Losers

The title of this post was taken from the song We Are The Champions by Queen.   

What is your dream job and why?

     Well, let's just say I love my job, as a special education teacher, and beyond that I'm not going to talk about my job. So, let's move on to something else.
   One of my favorite movies is A Knights Tale. I don't watch many movies a second or third time, but I've watched this one many times. My favorite lines from this movie are as follows: 

William: Oi sir, what are you doing?

Chaucer: Uh... trudging. You know, trudging?


Chaucer: To trudge: the slow, weary, depressing yet determined walk of a man who has nothing left in life except the impulse to simply soldier on.

I have days like this. Day's that I simply trudge through...okay that pretty much sums up today and with nothing profound to say I'm done writing.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Forever Trusting Who We Are

     The title of this post was taken from the song Nothing Else Matters by Metallica.

     Yea, I know I'm trying to get through that whole 30 day list I posted about awhile ago, but I'm not doing a very good job. I've been extremely tired lately. The next question on the list was this:
If you had three wishes what would you wish for?

     I could not control the eye-rolling when I read this. Really? How the heck am I supposed to answer that? Three I twelve? No, I refuse to wish for something that I have no control over making happen, and honestly I can't even go there. Think about it. What would you think I might wish for first? Are you thinking I would wish to have Mike back, and yes that seems like a logical wish. However, by doing that wouldn't I be putting the value of my past over the value of my future thus saying I wouldn't want my life with John if I could have my life with Mike? I can't do that. No amount of wishing will bring Mike back. Why would I torture myself with that? Do I miss him on a daily basis, sure I do. Do I hate that my kids don't have their dad around, sure I do. My life as a whole has value and I won't try to make one time in my life more valuable than any other. I'm not sure I make sense or that anyone else would agree. I can't bring him back and wishing or focusing on the what if's will not bring him back. I can't go there.
     Moving on I guess I could wish for money, but would I want to be handed something I hadn't worked for? Isn't that how I learned the value of a dollar, by working for it. I guess I could wish for world peace, a cure for cancer, or a billon other broad topic things. A better idea would be to set a goal to make things happen in my life rather than sitting around and wishing for things to happen. Isn't that the problem with society today? People have this sense of entitlement as if things should be handed to them because they wish for them to be. No thank you. Life is not a Disney movie and I don't believe in happily ever after


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

If You're Happy And You Know It Clap Your Hands

What are five things that make you the most happy right now?

I will start by saying that I've recently been told I don't smile much. I feel like I do but apparently not. I guess I don't do a very good job of making myself look happy. None the less here are five things that make me happy.

1) My family makes me happy. They are my world.

2) My education makes me happy. I'm so incredibly glad that I didn't let myself quit college when it got hard. I didn't find out until college how much I love learning. It's because of my education that I have a job I love. A job that challenges me and teaches me new things. A job that helped support me when Mike passed away. I'm grateful for the means I have to provide for my family.

3) Sleep makes me happy. For a long time, I didn't sleep much and, now that I'm able to, sleep makes me oh so happy.

4) Technology makes me happy. I like my gadgets.

5) My pjs, my dog, and my returning enthusiasm for reading all make me happy.

Monday, February 18, 2013

In Your Eyes Is A Place Worth Remembering

The title of this post was taken from the song Love Is Not Enough by NIN.

List ten things you would tell your sixteen year old self.

1) It's okay to be yourself. Don't ever apologize for not fitting the mold. 
Be your own kind of beautiful.

2) Don't be so naive.

3) Your life will be full of ups and downs. Create reasons to live and hang on to them.

4) The small moments in life really are the ones that matter so don't let them pass you by.

5) You're not fat...that comes later in your life so stop complaining.

6) Your parents love you very much and they know more than you think. 
Be quiet and listen for a change.

7) Keep playing the piano. Don't let that go.

8) Don't regret your mistakes simply learn from them. They helped to make me the woman I am and I'm okay with that.

9) You're smarter than you think you are. Give yourself some credit.

10) Suffering from depression doesn't mean you are crazy.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Beyond The Door There's Peace I'm Sure

     The title of this post was taken from the song Tears In Heaven by Eric Clapton.

     Happy Valentine's Day! I say this out of kindness because I really don't like Valentine's Day. It's such a commercial "holiday" and I've never liked feeling pressured to buy something for someone I love on this particular day of the year. Today hasn't been awful and it hasn't been terrific either. Tyler came home from school to find that her hamster, Gizmo, had died. She and Mason were pretty upset. Tyler made a pink duct tape box to bury her in and picked a spot underneath one of the trees in the yard. I hate watching them cry. This is one more thing that was here when Mike was alive and is now gone. Tyler and I had a short conversation that went something like this.

"Honey I'm so sorry. Can you tell me where Gizmo is now?"

"She's in heaven with Dad...and Mel (guinea pig), Sam (bird), Halan (horse she rode last year), and Deb."

"Yes, Sweetie she is."

It makes me really sad that someone her age has dealt with so many losses but I'm so glad I'm here to dry her tears.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

It's A Little Different Now

    The title of this post was taken from the song You're Going Down by Sick Puppies.

Describe your relationship with your spouse. 
That's the topic for today. 
Kind of ironic because I've been waiting for a good time to post this. 

     I was asked the other day how married life was treating me and it made me really stop and think. First, let me say that I love John very very much. This relationship has taken a lot of adjustment from both of us and it hasn't been easy. First we were 33 when we married and we both had been on our own for quite some time. We both have set ways we do things and those ways don't always match. We are both learning to let things go and understand that some things just are not that important. For example, we fold the towels differently. I prefer my way of folding them and he prefers his. From the beginning I realized it would be stupid to argue about how towels are folded but dang it my way looks neater ;). The thing is; John does all of the laundry. That's right ladies eat your hearts out and, if John is going to be amazing enough to do all the laundry, then he can fold the towels any way he wants to. On the occasion when I help with laundry then I fold the towels how I like them. Who needs to fight over stuff like that when there are more important things to fight over. 
     One area that is particularly difficult is how to handle discipline with the kids. For the most part Sebastian and Tyler are pretty well behaved and we don't have too many issues with them. Mason on the other hand is a different story. When Mike passed away, Mason was 4 and we all had such a hard time dealing with things that he got away with so much more than he normally would have. If you want cookies for dinner because mom can't get herself together enough to function, then, by all means, have cookies. I often gave him what he wanted because it was simply all I could do. Now that we are getting things together and are back in a routine I'm finding that he thinks he can whine and get whatever he wants. I'm having to take back control and work on my discipline with him. This puts John in an awkward position coming into this mix. We are figuring things out and things are running a lot smoother around here.
     The last thing that makes things difficult is the fact we were both married before and we both bring a lot of our own baggage to this relationship. Sometimes I find myself saying, "I'm not your ex." I feel the need to remind him that I'm me, I'm here now and I want things to work. Sometimes I get upset about things and John will say, "I'm not Mike." Mike and I didn't have a perfect marriage and there were times we were mean and spiteful to each other but we loved each other very much.  It's then that we both have to back off and really think about what we are doing, saying, or feeling and remember that this is new for the both of us. It's hard to separate who you have always been from who you are trying to be. It's crazy hard for both of us but we love each other fiercely and it's worth it.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Disarm You With A Smile

The title of this post was taken from the song Disarm by Smashing Pumpkins.

I have a really good friend Darrell, who has a blog here. As part of my morning routine I sit and read his posts. He is an incredible writer and my favorite post by him can be found right here. Okay, that's my favorite until I see what he posts tomorrow. Go check out his blog. 

My topic for today is to describe three legitimate fears I have 
and explain how they became fears.

     Are any fears legitimate? I would dare say most are not, but there are times when life throws us a curve ball and we take those experiences and find something to fear in them. So here are my fears legitimate or not.

1) I fear never being good enough. I have always thought that even when I try my best there is room for improvement. In my opinion nothing I do is ever good enough. My fear is that the people I love will realize this and leave. Stupid maybe...okay probably. It doesn't stop it from being a fear.

2) I have a fear of losing the people I love. 
It terrifies to think that one day I may be a widow again. 

3) I have an insane fear of mayonnaise. I can't even tell you why. I remember as a child having a babysitter that fixed me a sandwich with mayonnaise on it and after I told them I didn't like it they refused to fix me anything else. Mayonnaise smells funny, it looks funny, it sounds funny when you stir it, and it tastes awful. I don't even like keeping it in the house and goodness knows I don't cook with it. I can't stand it. I once smacked someone for wiping mayonnaise on my arm. 
Not my proudest moment.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Many Distant Miles Away

     The title of this post was taken from the song Medicine Man by Pantera.

      In an attempt to do better about writing everyday I'm using an idea I found on this blog. This lady posted a list of things that she wanted her kids to know about her. I thought it was a neat idea. There are 30 things on the list and I'll post about one of those everyday. The first thing on the list was to list 20 random facts about yourself.

1) I got married the first time at the age of 18, became a widow at age 31, 
and remarried at 33.

2) I have three very amazing children. Sebastian is 13, Tyler is 11 and Mason is 6. 
Are there more kids in my future...possibly.

3) I gave up soda as part of my get a little healthier plan for this year.
 It's now been 17 days since I've had a Diet Pepsi.

4) I'm a Special Education Teacher. I have two Masters Degrees and in April I start online classes from The Florida Institute of Technology for certification as a BCBA. I'm super excited!

5) I procrastinate a lot more than I should...that goes hand in hand with going to school right?

6) I am horrible at spelling. I always thought I just took after my dad, but then I realized that I learned to read through the whole language approach and not through learning phonics. 

7) I'm a pretty picky eater. I don't like my food to touch. I don't like mixing foods that don't sound like they should go together. For example cheesecake, who thought it was a good idea to put cheese and cake together. I just can't do it. I know many people love it, but I just can't.

8) I hate mayonnaise, this deserves a number of its own. Mayonnaise is evil.

9) After Mike passed away I began having panic attacks. I still have them.

10) I worry a lot about everything, but my biggest worry is that I'll never be good enough for the people who love me.

11) I have a very short attention span and I've worked really hard at finding ways to handle this.

12) I get up at 4:00 or 4:30 on most mornings. I love the quiet before chaos.

13) I have two brothers and a sister. All of our names start with M and have seven letters, Matthew, Melanie, Mandaly, Michael. 
Growing up we were the M & M kids.

14) Family is crazy important to me. My parents are my heros. I love them so incredibly much and have no idea what I would do without them. My sister is my BFF, and my brothers are amazing men. Oh the stories I could tell about them.

15) I met John online...gasp! 
I listened to someone the other day talk about how meeting people over the internet was a horrible idea and just shouldn't be done. Sometimes its a great idea.

16) I have a fear of heights but I love roller coasters. I really want to skydive one day.

17) I used to be the eternal optimist. My favorite thing to say when things weren't going as planned was 

"It will all work out because it has to."

 Life changes you and now I'm pretty cynical. 
One of my favorite quotes comes from the TV show House

"Wanting to believe the best about people doesn't make it true."

It's unreal how much I sound like Mike.

18) We have several pets. Tyler has a hamster named Gizmo, we have a Great Dane his name is Jasper, two cats Snoopy and Tres, and we have two rabbits Mo-Mo and Po. That sounds like a lot now that I read it.

19) My favorite video game is Dr. Mario, but I'm also pretty good at Guitar Hero.

20) I've learned that life is short and I shouldn't take things for granted. I've learned some things you will never get over and time does not heal all wounds. I've learned that despite all of that there is a way to find happiness. 

Saturday, February 9, 2013

With Grace In Your Heart And Flowers In Your Hair.

     The title of this post was taken from the song After The Storm by Mumford and Sons.

     Music is a big part of my life and it always has been. As a teenager I really liked alternative music and as I dated and married Mike I really got into heavier stuff. I appreciated the artistic talents of many different bands. About two years ago I started listening to Mumford and Sons, and I feel in love with them. After Mike passed away their song  After The Storm became one of my favorites. There were many nights I would put that song on repeat and let it play all night long. The lyrics simply resonated with me to the absolute core. 
     The kids by default get to listen to a lot of my music and some of it has worn off on them. The other day Sebastian made this Facebook post:

I took a screen shot of this and posted it on my Facebook with a message that said "I must be doing something right as a parent :) love that he loves Mumford and Sons." My mom, bless her heart, read my post and wrote on my wall. Here is what she said:

"Who the heck is Mumford and Sons, you must mean Sanford and Son. Great TV show from way back."

Then she made another post that said:

"Sanford and Son were not singers."

Oh, my dear sweet mother. Gotta love her.