Thursday, February 28, 2013

February Goal Update: Spend More Time with Lainie

My goal for February was to spend more time with Lainie.
To go on Mom and Daughter Dates, to talk more, to give her more of my undivided attention.
We did spend more time together, doing things like shopping and watching movies and reading together and cooking and baking and playing with my camera, and we even started a little garden in the backyard together.
I don't know though if I would say I "accomplished" a goal.
Like spending more time with her is a quota I can hit, and then happily check it off my to-do list.
I don't think I'll ever feel like I spend enough time with Lainie. Like she gets enough special, one on one attention. Even on the days that we were together so much she actually asked me to leave her alone for a while, I still felt guilty knowing she was in her room alone, reading or listening to music, or doing whatever it is she does in there.
She's a lot like me in that way though.
I love people, I'm super social and I love spending time with my friends and when I was little I could've followed my dad around like a puppy all day. But there comes a point where enough is enough, and I need to disappear. I need to be in my room alone for hours, or sometimes a couple days, tinkering with things, playing my music, reading my bookes, and doing my thing alone.
This is part of why I'm not sure I could ever get married. Maybe I could do it if I could have like my own room in the house where I can go and lock the door and be alone for as long as I wanted, but still come out and get attention when I needed it.
I'm suddenly uncomfortably self aware of all my issues...
Lainie and I had some good times together, and hopefully we can keep carving out a little one on one time every week to do something together.
She's such a sweet and special little girl, and she's growing up {and growing away} before my very eyes. Maybe it's all just grasping at straws, but I want this point in our lives to last as long as possible.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

5 Things That Are Probably Not Very Interesting, But Are On My Mind Right Now

Love the mood of this

1. I've come to sort of hate the Friday Diary, but at the same time I love it. It's a tradition, and I look forward to it. It's a weird contradiction. 
I think I dread writing it because it's starting to feel forced...or maybe contrived...whatever it is it's not what I meant for it to be anymore, which was initially just a recap and a little journal of the small wonders that occurred in that week. Now I feel like I need to find shit on the internet, or come up with witty one liners to fill it up, and when it's done it feels disingenuous and I could care less about it. 
I'd like to get back to what it was supposed to be....what it used to be....even if it might make it a little less interesting to anyone other than me. 

2. I changed the design of the blog last week, and I actually really love it. This is probably the best it's looked to me since I started it. And I made the new design all by myself, including the header! I was pretty proud/up until 1 in the morning figuring it out.

3. I haven't been reading, or taking pictures, or writing, or cooking in the last week. We ordered Chinese food, ate cereal and popcorn one night, and I studied the back of a Girl Scout cookies box for longer than my cat though prudent. I don't know how to feel about this.

4. I want to go on a trip. Not anywhere fancy, or amazing, or even for a long time. Over night? A weekend? To Prescott or Sedona, or wherever I could get away to. Vegas would be good, but unrealistic for several reasons. I just want to go somewhere.

5. Last Thursday, my ex-good friend celebrated her one year wedding anniversary with my ex-fiance who I broke up with to get back together with Bill a year and a half ago. Last Thursday I was eating Easy Mac with my cat and watching Vanilla Sky on Netflix. 

Wednesday, February 20, 2013


Ok, Ok, so I know I promised y'all a surprise on Monday, and it's now Wednesday, and basically I failed.
BUT I have a good reason. Lainie wanted to make a video of our amazing dance moves and post it on here, because she inherited my shameless nature, but she wasn't feeling well Monday, had a high fever Tuesday and is still recovering today. I'm home with her and on my third cup of coffee, so I'm all HELLO BLOG WORLD LET'S TALK ABOUT THINGS.
I'm sensitive to caffeine apparently.
Anyhow, as soon as the little monster is feeling all better, I promise you will get a glimpse of the ridiculousness that goes on up in this house on a near daily basis. I mean who needs a gym membership when they have a 9 year old that insists on Justin Beiber dance parties every half hour?
No one.
I will however follow through on my promise to give you a whole mess of pictures of the shit we've been doing lately.
You're welcome.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Predictions for girls in their early 20's

Stingray photobomb. Makes me laugh every time I see it!!!

1. You will have a humiliating drinking experience. Whether it's because you got so wasted you soiled yourself and then got up to sing Karaoke in front of a bar where most of your co-workers hang out, or because you lost at beer pong and then drunk dialed your mom, it's all the same. No one makes it past 21 without shaming themselves whilst drunk. I can't even tell you how many times I've fallen asleep while eating a cheeseburger and crying.

2. You will do something insane after a break up. Maybe you write a journal full of ex-bashing ballads after one too many hours listening to your Taylor Swift Pandora station-and then mail it to your ex, or maybe you burn down their garage and make them think they XXX. We've all been there. We've all made the 2 a.m. phone calls to our old flames where we try to sound casual and uneffected, but really we just want to see if they'll answer/if they're with someone/whyfortheloveofgodtheydon'tloveyouanymore. Break ups are hard, and I don't think we really become well equipped to deal with them until we're somewhere around twice the legal drinking age.

3. You will find yourself evaluating all of your friends. Good, bad or indifferent, this is something that every body eventually has to do, and it might be something you do several times in your life. You sit back and take stock of who you're spending your time with and where they're going with their life. Not because you're better than anyone, but because how are you going to keep spending a BEST FRIENDS FOREVER quantity of time together if you're going in completely opposite directions?
Like if you're always going to work, and they're always going to do laundry at their mom's and eat her leftover KFC.

4. You will go through a weird time, where you make really weird decisions and date people you know are wrong for you. There will be a phase that you pass through at some point in this decade, that will later always be conjured to the forefront of your memory by the smell of bong water and the sight of boys with commitment issues. You may not remember much specific detail about these weeks, months, or God forbid years, because you will likely be intoxicated through almost all of it, but whenever you see a screaming match between some drunk 21 year old and her loser boyfriend in the parking lot of KMart at 1 a.m., you'll just sigh and say "Been there, sister."

5. You will realize at some point that being a 20-Something is not nearly as glamorous as they make it look on T.V. or in magazines. You'll be broke a lot, you'll cry a lot, you'll make a lot of fantastically stupid decisions, and you'll be amazed your liver makes it to your 25th birthday. You're going to date some jerk offs, but hopefully you don't marry them just because you're sad your boyfriend broke up with you. You're going to have some fucking unflattering pictures of you and your friends after two bottles of Rumplemintz and a little too much soul bearing.
But it's cool, because this is the time to do that. This your middle place. The silvery sliver of time where you're still between being a kid and a full fledged adult.
You're here to learn what works for you, and what doesn't. What you need, and what you can or should live without. So own it, rock it, and make the best of it while you still can.
Because Forever 21's sister store isn't called Forever Almost 26 for a reason.
All they would sell is wine and yoga pants and invitations to all your friends' weddings.  

Friday, February 15, 2013

The Friday Diary: I forgot it was jeans day, and that pretty much sums up how this week is going

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{this picture has nothing at all to do with it being Friday. It just makes me happy and I like that.}

Happy Friday, everybody.

This was a long week in my house, between having major issues with Lainie's teacher that ended with me weeping in the principal's office and going home with an awful migraine and through the roof blood pressure, and then Valentine's Day sneaking up on me the very next morning.
I'm so tired I forgot today was jeans day at work, and showed up in slacks.
But there were good parts to the week too, like having a date with Lainie last Sunday to the mall and seeing Jacksons face light up when he came out of his room and found his Valentine's gift from me on the kitchen coutner next to his cereal.
And then there was also the mass amount of comfort food ingested this week, including sausage and potato breakfast hash for dinner, green bean casserole another night, and pasta and garlic bread from Bappo on Thursday.
I love comfort food.
It is truly the most comforting.
I'm hoping this weekend will be good too. It doesn't have to be awesome, just good. I have Monday off, so that in and of itself shows promise.
I plan on binge-watching Netflix tonight, and staying in my pajamas for the next three days. Maybe a trip to Ikea if I'm feeling crazy.

I have a bunch of pictures sitting on my camera and in my cell phone that I keep meaning to post here, but good Lord the days just get away from me so fast lately.
Maybe I'll make it up to you all with a super special Saturday post of pictures and recipes and things we've done besides fight with public school teachers and cry in the closet.
I also have a surprise planned for you all for Monday, so get fucking excited!!!!

Anyway, that's all I have for you today.
Let's just remember it's Friday, we survived Valentine's Day, and it's a three day weekend.
Also I didn't go to jail for dragon kicking a teacher in the face.

So much to be thankful for.

Happy Friday.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Valentine's Day!

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Happy Valentine's Day, everybody!
As most of you probably know by now, I love this holiday.
Actually, let's be real: I love all holidays.
Christmas? OMG YES.
Flag Day? WHY. NOT.
Valentine's day is such a happy holiday, because it's an entire day devoted to love. Sure, it's commercialized and contrived, but what holiday isn't at this point? I think more people should get over themselves and just enjoy the holiday for what it is: a good excuse to say nice things and do nice things and eat a bunch of chocolate.
I am trying pretty hard not to be depressed about being single, though.
Last Valentine's Day was pretty spectacular, and no matter what I do today it's probably not going to measure up or be the same, and shit like this makes me miss Bill even though our relationship was like a swirling vortex of pure evil towards the end there.
Still, I'm focusing on the positive and trying to remember that I still have the little Valentine's traditions that I do with the kids, and I have plenty of friends to do nice things for, and at the end of the day I can always buy myself flowers and chocolate and have a dance party in my living room for one if I really want to.
So it's going to be ok.

Every year I try to do something special for the kids, and especially for Lainie. I want her to be the kind of person who makes a big deal out of little days and finds any excuse she can to make things a party or a tradition or something special. This year I bought her roses, a small bear and a card that hopefully makes her cry with love. Jackson got a stuffed animal and a box of candy because he can't read, and even my dad got a special treat. Because it's Valentine's Day, and on Valentine's Day you show your love. Even for the emotionally unstable person who lives in your house and is always driving you crazy with his paranoid and irrational political opinions, and leaving toast crumbs in the butter.
So be sure to tell everyone you love that you do in fact love them today. Even if your relationship with them is strained or they wear flip flops to like the most inappropriate occasions.
Love is love, and family is family, and you should never ever pass up a chance to tell people what they mean to you.

Happy Valentine's Day.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

What do want in a partner?

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What do you look for in a partner?
Do you have a set list of criteria that you check off in your head when you go on dates or meet new people?
Do you know for certain what you want, or at the very least what you don't want?
For instance would dating someone who chewed with their mouth open or still consulted their mother before making big life choices be impossible for you?
Does it matter if your names sound good together or if you're the same religion?
I think it's always easier to decide what you don't want, boiling down the vast list of options by removing what you can't stand, and what's left is a close account of what you could tolerate for the sake of love, happiness and someone to spend national holidays with.
I know I don't want someone who's extremely athletic. At least not if they're going to expect me to be extremely athletic. I'm cool with sharing in each other's interests, but if I have to climb a fucking mountain with you or something, this isn't going to work.
I know I don't want someone who is really loud or hyper. I hate feeling like I'm out with a four year old when it's supposed to be adult time.
I know I don't want someone who is overly sensitive, but on the same hand, I can't be with someone who can't handle emotion. Someone who shames me every time I cry or get upset, and makes me feel bad for having feelings because he doesn't agree with how I feel.
I know I want someone sweet, and thoughtful, who doesn't have to ask me what I want for Christmas, and pays attention to the quirky little things that make me happy.
I know I don't want someone who listens to techno. Or trance. Or Bjork.
These are things that matter to me, and its unfortunately only a fraction of the things I think about every single time I meet a guy.
It's entirely possible I'm too picky. It's incredibly likely that I'm high maintenance and will leave in the middle of a date because you've now had to ask me what 3 different words I used mean, and they weren't even big words or slang terms, and I'm starting to get the impression that you couldn't do my taxes for me or hold a conversation that didn't include fart jokes.
But still I'm idealistic and romantic, and I can't help but believe that someone out there is a door holding, tax doing, sweet, kind, intelligent, romantic soul with a laid back demeanor and strong hands, and someday we'll find each other, and then I'll always have someone to watch Parenthood with.

What about you?
What do you want?

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The Remains of the Day


I think in the end, you always lose the details. Eventually at least, you won’t remember the specific blue of his eyes or the exact scent of his hair. You won’t be able to immediately recall the tiny scar on the bottom of his chin, the little white crescent moon that you used to trace with your finger when you were laying in his arms. It will take you a moment to conjure the curve of his smile, or the weight of his gaze.
You’ll be reminded though, at some point.
You’ll find a box of old pictures, you’ll run into him on the street, and the remembering will feel like a gun shot in your stomach. There will be a painful sort of chill that washes over you, some kind of wave that seems to whisper “Oh…that’s right. That’s what I lost” as it passes.
You know that you’ve healed and your heart has moved on, when the pain is followed by another voice that says it’s OK, you’re OK, and this isn’t a wound you need to keep licking.
You’ll know you’re all better when the collision of disappointment and regret, is for the first time cushioned by the knowledge that if life does nothing else, it does at the very least go on.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Cigarettes and Tarot Cards

Original "Miss you..." by Benoit Courti

You kissed me hard and I searched your eyes for some words you might not be saying, 
But all they offered up was the color of my son's baby blanket, the blue of the ocean, the color of the sky before dawn.
So I went home and read our tarot cards by the open window.
The swords, the wands, the pentacles, death and the inverted hierophant.
Sometimes there aren't any good answers, or maybe some questions just shouldn't be asked
So I went outside for another cigarette instead, and wrote you a letter I knew I'd never send.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Welcome to the Tree Fort


Well, here we are everybody, inside the new little bubble of privacy that so far, I'm feeling pretty awesome about. I feel so much more comfortable, and while I am a little sad that "growing my readership" won't be an option for a while, that isn't something I was putting any work into at all before going private anyway, and it wasn't something I had the energy to do at this point, so I think I'm OK with putting that off for a while. 
In the meantime, we can all have this nice little tree fort where we can say anything we want, and know we're among friends. 
Like a support group, except there's no free coffee and hopefully everyone is wearing deodorant and not mouth breathing like Darth Vader.
Anyway, I wanted to say thanks to those of you who asked for access to keep reading. The simple fact that you were willing to go through the hassle of signing in every time you come check this little blog, made me feel like writing here every day is worth it. 
You make my heart big, and I love every one of you for that.

Monday, February 4, 2013

**NOTICE: Going Private**

When I first started this blog, no one read it, and I honestly didn't think anyone ever would.
I love my readers, each and every one of you, however this blog is becoming pretty full of very private details.
So many details of my life are laid out here for the world to see, as well as details about the lives of my children, my ex-boyfriends, my friends, my family.
I want to keep all the readers who genuinely come here with an interest in my writing, but the people behind the scenes, the ones who read daily but never comment, email or show themselves because really they're just snooping, looking for details about me or someone I write about here, have to go, and most likely, they know who they are.

Going forward, this will be a private blog.
At midnight on Friday I'll change it over, and invite the readers who I know are here with the best intentions, and aren't basically cyber-stalking me and my loved ones.

If you'd like access to keep reading the blog, please send me an email with your name and email address so I can give you access. If you don't have a Google account, I think you'll need to set one up so you can log into it to be able to view posts, but really if you don't have Gmail already you should.

So email me at if you want access, and at the end of the week the change will go into effect.

I want to make it clear that this is in no way an attempt to block the other bloggers, writers and readers who have taken the time to follow me over the last three years, out of my life.
This is an attempt to put a safe and happy bubble around this space, so we can all stay and share openly, and I'm hoping this will only improve the content and material because I'll feel more comfortable sharing with you all.
I've always been better at speaking to small audiences.

I hope you all decide to stay and ask for access. If not, I'll see you someday when cyber stalking and blog creepers are no longer an issue.

Thank you for reading this, today, and every day for the last 3 years. Like I say, it takes a village, and you are all part of my village.

How I Do It, Pt. 3: What Its Worth

I think parenting, especially single parenting, can best be described as a very precarious juggling act.
You are constantly monitoring several spinning plates, and making sure-or trying to make sure that nothing falls and breaks.
You're also spending more time than you ever imagined wondering if you just stepped in water or pee.
People ask me a lot how I do it, and I honestly don't know how to answer that question in a neat, concise way, other than to say I just do it.
So far in this series we've talked about my village, and how important support is, and we've gone over the hectic and messy day in the life of me and my kids.
But maybe you're wondering how I do all of that.
Logistically, literally, and emotionally.
The truth is, I don't know.
I guess its sort of like a constantly running check list in my head.
I know I have two little people who cannot dress themselves 100% on their own, so I need to get up earlier than I would if the only person I needed to get ready in the morning were me. Ok, set the alarm for 6. Check.
I know I need to get three people dressed, so I start with the hardest one first, which is Jackson. Lainie is 9 now and can {mostly} dress herself. I know Lainie moves the slowest in the morning though, so she needs to be woken up first. Check.
I know that we have to be out of the house by 7:10 and no later, so I should get as much ready the night before as I can. Lay out their socks, clean underwear and Jackson's outfit because he'll usually let me pick for him. Check.
I know they need to fed, and they can't eat pizza every night, so I plan our meals two weeks in advance and plan accordingly for what will keep for two weeks, what needs to be frozen and what I should just buy later. Check, check.
I know I have two kids who both need to feel special and important and wanted and loved and attended to. I know that Jackson will seek me out when he wants a hug or a kiss or someone to play with, but Lainie will wait for you to come to her so she feels like the love is genuine.
So I seek Lainie out, kiss her face and ask her to read to me.
I know I can't always give them both what they want at the exact same time. Sometimes one of them needs to try to wait a minute and be patient. Because Jackson is younger, Lainie is usually the one who has to be patient. It breaks my heart, but I only have two hands. I try to make it up to her, but I'm sure I fail a lot.
I know that their needs have to come before my own. I know I can't yell and scream even when I am so close to yelling or screaming that its almost unbearable. I know I have to step back and breath for a second, even if that means locking myself in the closet for five minutes while they tear the house apart.
I know that they need to take baths and eat all their veggies and follow through with the things they ask to do outside of school, and always be polite and share as much as possible, but I also know that sometimes being the perfect parent just isn't worth the blood on the floor. Exceptions need to be made, grace needs to be given, and battles have to be carefully chosen.
I know they're going to fight, and I struggle with when and how much to intervene. I struggle with the line between encouraging them to play together and forcing them to just get along and stop fighting.
Sometimes that feels like forcing a square peg into a round hole.
I know the house needs to be clean and the laundry needs to be done, and as badly as I want to go to bed right now, I can't. Sometimes though, I do anyway.
I know they need a roof over their heads and clothes to wear and food to eat, and those things cost money, so I work my ass off whether I like the job I have or not, and I've taken a lot of shit from a lot of petty bosses, and I've had to leave them with family members when they were sick because I could not miss one more day of work or I'd get fired, and I know they don't understand, but I hope someday they will.

And I know that at the end of the day I'm exhausted.
I'm tired and I'm over it, and most of the time the day ends with me sitting on the couch alone, watching TV and its lonely.
I wish I had a partner, I wish I had someone here to just be exhausted with me at night, but I don't, and part of the reason is I'm so hesitant to let my kids get to know someone else, after so long of it being just me and them and occasionally Bill.

I know all of this, and sometimes its too much.
I want to cry or scream or go to bed for a week.
Sometimes I want to walk out the front door and just be by myself for an entire weekend.

But I know that when I drag my tired ass to bed, Jackson will instinctively scoot closer to me in his sleep, and Lainie will be softly breathing beside him, and the bed will be so warm, and I will know that this is my home.
This is where I belong, and these kids are just perfect for me.
They are the very best parts of me, combined with aspects of such wonder and beauty, that I know they couldn't have gotten it from me, and in those moments where it all shines through, I know I didn't make them alone.
Whoever God is, however we got here, I see it in my babies when I slow down and really pay attention.

I know its all worthwhile.

No matter how many times I step in pee.

Friday, February 1, 2013

The Friday Diary: One Month Down, 11 to Go



Dear Life, stop being ridiculous.
Dear Heart, stop being stressed about ridiculous life.
Dear Stranger, you're still the one I want to call when something happens, even if you don't care to hear about it anymore.




The Help

Never one to be any less than several months or even years behind a trend, I finally read The Help. I loved it. So much. It's funny in a simple, real and unexpected way, and its sad, but in the end you feel hope. You feel like the main character got a little levity, maybe a little vindication, even if its not in the huge, dramatic way they always portray victories to be in movies. More the subtle, bittersweet way that they really happen in real life.




A dad illustrates the weird things he finds himself having to say to his children. This is hysterical.

I don't know why this makes me as happy as it does, but I just love it.





My date with Navidad to the Augustana acoustic show is TONIGHT. We're hoping to meet lots of angsty, soulful indie boys and not die in downtown Phoenix traffic. 
Randomly one-way streets and 5th avenue jail, you feel me? #whitegirlsinthecity.




Every single one of those articles is amazing. Read them. 








Happy Friday everyone.