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Stumble and Fall

November 3, 2010
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October 30 AP 303– Getting all winter-suited up with good deals. I’m totally NOT a shopper. And if I am I’m not a bargain shopper because when I DO shop my main goal is to get in and out as soon as possible. And if I end up with something I don’t like or that doesn’t fit? Tough, I live with it. I have no idea why I am like this, but I can tell you one thing I know for sure: I did NOT inherit this from either my mother OR my father, and as much as Dad likes to complain that Mom dillydallies and takes forever in stores he’s not Mr. Lightning McSpeedShopper himself. Me? I am. So when I can walk in a place (Kohl’s) and within forty minutes have a winter coat, winter boots, winter boots for Adry, and hats and gloves all for $100 I feel pretty accomplished.

October 31 AP 304– Dave’s life, love, and legacy. I appreciate Dave’s influence on our lives and all of our memories with him as much as I miss him. I appreciate the friendships he fostered, and that he was the glue that tied so many unlike people together– He brought them together with such an impact that they will always feel that connection.

I miss your jokes, I miss the laughter, I miss that edge you brought to the group, and I miss all of the encouraging things you made sure to say to me. I wonder what you’d say to me now? I hate that your beautiful family doesn’t have you here, and that they miss you more than I ever hope to comprehend.

November 1 AP 305– Ben and I cooperate/get along. So, if I just said, Mr. Douche DoucheBagington Strikes Again and you had ONE guess, who would automatically pop into your head?  My lips are sealed, but I just want to say thank tha lawd my soon-to-be ex husband kept his screws tightened and cares enough about Adry to treat me decently and have patience with me and work things out with me. Thank tha lawd he wasn’t all, “I’m going to leave you and my son! What, you’re upset about that? What, you have an opinion about that? Psh, unacceptable! I’m going to chase rainbows and ponies and cut myself off from the entire disapproving world! And then I’m going to call you names and play the victim. THAT’LL SHOW YOU!”

November 2 AP 306– Isaiah 40.

The LORD is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
and his understanding no one can fathom.
He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.
Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
but those who hope in the LORD
will renew their strength.

They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.

I’m not going to lie, I’ve just straight up been having a lot of trouble trusting God. No, no- It’s more like I’ve been having trouble wanting what He has to give. I have faith in Him. I believe his promises. I also believe I’ve mucked up a lot of my life by not listening to Him and going my own way. He wants faithfulness, and He wants obedience, and He wants surrender and I just want to feel good. I want to run away from my depression, I want to indulge. I want to be selfish- you know,the epitome of sin. Because I don’t feel like I have the strength to be anything other than that. Because I have this idea in my head that following Christ means taking up my cross. It means hard work, and it will make me feel outcasted and lonely. And I suppose that’s what following Christ DOES mean, but it also means I can lean on him and find rest for my soul because his yoke is easy and his burden is light.

Categories: Ciao Bella Vita : Daily Journal

Emphatic, Dramatic, You’re Like A Psychosomatic

October 27, 2010
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October 25 AP 298– Being a kid; giggling; play-fighting. Y’all, I could do this effing all day. I have no idea why. I love to feel comfortable being a dork. In the happiest days of my marriage I remember taking great effort to silently crawl down our hallway and into our bedroom to jump up and scare Ben. More often than not he’d catch on to my scheme and prepare himself to scare me back. At the end of our marriage we didn’t play anymore and the kid in me was all but strangled to death… But I think I’m rediscovering it, perhaps much to the annoyance of my “victims” :]

October 26 AP 299– Ruby Tuesday salad bar. Laugh it up, Nicholas.  Laugh.it.up.

Side story. I thought I’d take a moment to fill ya’ in on how absolutely breathtakingly romantic Nick is. You know, to make you jealous. Because that’s what I do. So, like last week, after a few weeks of telling me he’s broke and can’t do anything, Nick decides he has some extra cash and he up and announces: I WANT TO TAKE YOU OUT, to anywhere you’d like to go- you choose a place!  So of course I am all, RUBY TUESDAY! And without hesitation Nick is all, “No,” because don’t I care about quality of food!? So, out of “ANYWHERE” he narrows my options down to two obviously superior restaurants (because apparently I was no longer qualified to judge worthiness of places for our once-in-forever outing): Max & Erma’s and Texas Roadhouse. We ended up at Texas Roadhouse, by the way, in case you were curious.

So apparently the Ruby Tuesday salad bar is nothing special and I should have no reason to like it. Oh, the scrutiny I endure. Hey, I like what I like.

And just in case Ruby Tuesday salad bar is a repeat appreciation (something tells me it is, but I can’t remember!) I also want to appreciate my parents’ enduring patience and love and cooperation and acceptance. When my world was turned upside down, I turned theirs around right with it. I have kind of hardened myself to that fact, because feeling guilty about that is just one more thing atop a mountain of guilt and regret that I just can’t emotionally deal with right now… but I want them both to know that I am eternally grateful that they haven’t dumped me in the streets yet after suffering through numerous depression/stress/anxiety meltdowns. And let me just tell ya’- when I’m not being passive aggressive I’m mouthy and bullheaded and indignant. Putting up with me is a chore. And pretty soon I’ll get to say, “just ask my ex husband.”

I have the Best Parents Ever.

Categories: Ciao Bella Vita : Daily Journal

Coke Bottle Glasses. I’m sitting in the corner with my finger up my nose.

October 25, 2010
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October 21 AP 294– Fun nail polish colors! Did I already appreciate this? I can’t remember! Of 294 appreciations I hope I don’t have any repeats. Anyway, I snagged me some pumpkin orange and LOVE it. And just in case I’ve already appreciated nail polish, I will also appreciate the very productive day I had applying for all kinds of jobs and getting grocery shopping done and finishing up the laundry.

October 22 AP 295– My desire to learn to cook family meals and guidance from The Food Woman. I’ve wanted to do this since Adry was old enough to sit at the table and eat “real food” with us. There are pretty much four meals I can successfully throw together  without following step-by-step instructions (grilled cheese, hot dogs and mac & cheese, french toast, and soup & salad) and I hope to take advantage of living with The Food Woman to increase that list, and maaaaybe one day I will be confident enough to cook for people other than my two-year-old son.

October 23 AP 296– Having close friends who know my exact pain and fears and struggles. They get it. They can practically finish my sentences when I go to them to spill my feelings or vent. As miserable as misery is, lonely misery is worse, and there is something selfishly comforting about the fact that I’m not alone.

October 24 AP 297– My brother Jacob’s constant help with Adry. Poor kid is my fall back. If Ben can’t watch Adry while I work, I go to J. If I want to get out of the house without Adry for a few, I go to J. Adry visits J when I take showers or do house chores. J puts Adry down for his naps when I am running late. J is just available for a bunch of constant little things and I never want to take that for granted.

Categories: Ciao Bella Vita : Daily Journal

Girl, You’re Amazing

October 20, 2010
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October 16 AP 289– Counter Culture Kids. The ones who know who they are and do not compromise. My generation is one of instant gratification and self-absorbance and noncommittal complacency and unfaithfulness. YOU give me hope for the future and my children. Stay strong. Do not conform. Renew your minds and guard your hearts and strengthen your character and value integrity. Revive spirituality. Young people, YOU have the power to revolutionize the Church of Christ, and to influence all those coming after you (like my son). This culture is seeping with filth and it is infiltrating the home and destroying families. Be rebels against this standard; STAND for something.  You are my hope 🙂

October 17 AP 290– My foundation as a young Christian and all of my spiritual “mountaintop” experiences as a teenager. I grew up in a Christian home, but I didn’t really become a Christian until I was about 16, and right away I experienced the radicalness and passion and abandonment that often accompanies a decision to repent and surrender. I experienced and felt unexplainable things… things I look back on and can draw strength from. In Utmost For His Highest, Oswald Chambers stresses over and over that a Christian must not continue on in the mountaintop experience, and he must live most of his life in the valley of mundane, giving each moment up to Christ for strength of character and perseverance and to learn what ‘to love’ really means. And so… I appreciate the valley right along with the mountaintop.

October 18 AP 291– Nick took Adry for a play date with Jameson while I worked. He’s good with my boy. He’s good with kids period. I appreciated knowing Adry was in good hands and having fun with two people he’s grown to adore.

October 19 AP 292– Morning zoo trips. The BEST time for the zoo. It was cool and there weren’t any lines… oh, and it was beautiful with all the fall foliage and harvest decor. I also totally appreciate Hutch coming along with us and helping out. Adry loves his Auntie Hutch.

October 20 AP 293– The song ‘Just The Way You Are’ by Bruno Mars. Okay, so back on September 28th (I know this date because I had to to back through my Facebook profile to find the link) I was having a terrible day and being really down on myself so Nick sent this video to me:

I’d never heard this song before at the time, and I fell in love with it. So sweet, right!? And now Bruno Mars is all touring the talk shows playing this song and the radio plays it all the time, so I get to hear it every once in a while, and every time I do it reminds me of Nick. This morning we were in our own separate cars heading our separate ways and he texted me, “97.9”, and there it was again. He called it my “theme song”, hah, and told me that when he heard it for the first time back in September he knew it was perfect for me. So yeah, I guess I’m totally amazing and don’t believe it ;-). No, but it’s just nice to randomly hear a sweet song that reminds me that someone out there wanted to make me smile. And it makes me smile all over again.

(Plus, Bruno Mars is kind of incredibly adorable, right?)

Categories: Ciao Bella Vita : Daily Journal

semper fidelis

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October 1 AP 274– Missing Adry. My first full weekend away from my boy. And I feel guilty for saying it, but it was actually really good for me. Missing him was good. Wanting to be with him was good. Having time to do absolutely nothing and just breath and think and sleep was good.

October 2 AP 275– Southern Ohio. Proof that not ALL of Ohio is flat! 🙂  You know how Ohio’s state seal is a few hills and like a barrel of hay?  And anyone who drives through Central Ohio is probably all, ‘I am like a million miles away and I can see the city of Columbus- THAT’S how flat Ohio is- so what is UP with the state seal!’ (What!? Doesn’t everyone take notice of and question the accuracy of state seals? No?) You guys, those hills are so in Southern Ohio. No, literally. I’m fairly certain the exact hills depicted in the seal are in Southern Ohio. I want to say Chillicothe to be exact.  But ANYWAY, Southern Ohio is beautiful. And out by the Hocking Hills area, faaaaar away from the city, the sky is so clear you can see layer upon layer upon layer of stars. And as a bonus appreciation, I also freakin’ LOVE campfire smells.

October 3 AP 276– Enjoying the crap out of Adry after being away from him for so long.

October 4 AP 277– Affection and raw human connection. I understand the value of being able to stand on your own and know who you are as an individual, but it is so unbelievably unmistakably evident that we are MADE to connect to one another. We are so made, or we evolved, to give of ourselves, invest in the lives of the people around us, and create bonds and partnerships.  We are such obligate symbiotic creatures: we depend on each other for survival. It’s good to not be alone.

October 5 AP 278– Spontaneity.

October 6 AP 279– Calmness; relinquished control. Life likes to pile on the stresses all at once. It gets to a point where ya’ just have to say, fine- give me all ya’ got because I’m just along for the ride.

October 7 AP 280– My work out buddy! Motivation! Thanks, Ash!

October 8 AP 281– Smart phone navigation feature. This may come as a surprise to you (not really)… but I am terrible with directions. Certain people like to laugh at me because I lived in Hilliard since I was like 6 and just discovered (a few years ago) how to make my way to Hilliard’s Kroger on my own. I have absolutely no sense of which direction I am headed at any given point in time. On top of that, I am practically incapable of focusing so I don’t pay any attention to landmarks. My Droid navigation has often been a life saver.

October 9 AP 282– A GORGEOUS Fall day. A bike ride, crunching leaves under the tires, beautiful foliage… Wow.

October 10 AP 283– Having a friend with whom I can find something to giggle about in the midst of the most ridiculous and terrible situations. Jamie and I have always been like this together. As a matter of fact, I remember that we were once at summer camp doing those team problem solving obstacle activities, and somehow the death of my grandfather came up. I made some sort of a crack (he died by driving off of a mountain in Arizona, and I think I related it to Coyote in Road Runner falling off a cliff and holding up his ‘help’ sign) and our camp counselor insinuated to us that we couldn’t tackle issues because we couldn’t take things seriously. But ya’ know what, if James and I are gonna be in the same ridiculous boat together, with our husbands leaving us after the most bizarre situations, I’d rather be in it with her laughing rather than crying. Not that we haven’t cried together, too. We have. And it feels good to laugh. 🙂

Categories: Ciao Bella Vita : Daily Journal

“I guess normalcy isn’t really our style.”

October 11, 2010
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September 26 AP 269– Survival. The twenty-sixth was a Sunday. Everyone was going to church and coming back to my parents’ place for a big lasagna lunch. Aaaand I woke up feeling like DEATH. I mean death. Dead dying death. Remember how I told you that that past Friday I thought I was coming down with the flu? Oh man. I hurt and ached so badly all over my body that I could not get out of bed. My fever had spiked to a good 102 ON fever reducers. I had ZERO cold/flu symptoms; I just had extreme miserable aches and pains and chills and a fever. So what did I do? I got up and got Adry and myself ready for church, dang it. I couldn’t miss lasagna lunch, OMG! Plus, I had invited Nick and his boy to tag along and I know he loves it when I am breaking out in fever sweats that soak through my clothes. I couldn’t let him miss out on that.

So I made it. I made it through church. I fever sweated through my clothes. Hot. I ate lasagna and tried to look and act alive. I took care of my boy. Either that or I stared off into space while Nick watched him, I’m still not sure. I think I was in fever delirium. I DO remember texting Nick after he left, while I was half dead, and apologizing for being a horrid mother.

September 27 AP 270– Finally discovering the source of and solution to my terrible illness! I woke up on Monday too sick to do anything at all. My head was so hot that Adry said, “OW, Mommy’s hot, gross,” when he hugged me. (Sometimes you get to hear the brutally honest truth when you mother a tactless toddler. 🙂 ) My fever and aches and pains were getting worse, not better, after four days. Atop of all that, I spent the day hovering over a trash can with terrible nausea, which is just about the most painful experience when your body is exhausted from having a fever for such a prolonged period of time. I felt so sick that I was pretty sure I was dying and I didn’t even care. I would have welcomed any form of unconsciousness.

Finally. Later at night when my nauseated, dehydrated self finally managed to stumble out of bed to use the restroom for the first time that day I noticed I had a rash on my neck. I pulled my shirt down. Rash on my chest. I pulled my shirt up. Rash on my entire stomach and back and shoulders and arms to my elbows AND legs to my knees. My nose and lips and cheeks were red and swollen.

I showed my mom and we immediately headed to the ER. They took one glance at me in triage and made me first priority. Every room was full and they got me in the next available one as soon as it opened up. Within five minutes of stepping into triage they were sticking me with needles trying to find a vein for an IV. Since I have the best veins ever, I warn the nurses: “Every time I have to get stuck I get sick because no one can find my veins and they have to dig around.” And they ALWAYS assure me: “Oh, honey, don’t worry.  I am a one-stick nurse.”  And EVERY TIME they dig around and then they fail.  And EVERY TIME they bring in the one nurse who usually successfully sticks people, and THAT nurse fails, too. EVERY TIME. Once they had to bring in an Anesthesiologist to do my IV.  You know, an Anesthesiologist– someone who went to school for half their life solely to learn about administering drugs through needles into the blood stream. Anyway, this time they brought in a paramedic who wasn’t afraid to rough up my arm to get my veins to firm up. He might as well have karate chopped me and then rubbed me with sandpaper, which is totally cool by me because that is SO better than needle digging.  And he stuck me successfully and took my blood and hooked me up to all kinds of steroids and loopy-inducing drugs in no time.

Maybe like one hour later I was fever free and my rash was slowly starting to go away. Wow. I cannot explain to you what kind of a relief that is after four days of Hell.

By the way, I was having an allergic reaction to some antibiotics I was taking. One of the nurses said she thought she might add it to my medicine allergy list and I told her that I thought maybe that was a good idea. She also said that I might want to consider not taking them anymore, and I told her that was probably a good idea, too, and I’d definitely consider it. I promptly went home and threw my prescription bottle in the trash can. Then I felt that wasn’t good enough, so I took them back out, cursed them, stomped on them, threw them against the wall, called them fowl names, and then I threw them back away. Actually, I didn’t do any of that because I was exhausted, but it was a nice thought.

So, yeah! My first allergy!

September 28 AP 271– Being able to wake up and get out of bed happily and healthily after a full night’s sleep.

September 29 AP 272– Pandora radio. Dad and I blast Pandora throughout the house nearly every morning and through the afternoon. It’s amazing how music can so easily shape the mood of your day.

September 30 AP 273– Living in moments of complete adoration for Adry and mother-son time. I’ve been struggling with motherhood throughout this whole separation process. Straight up. For all the things I will not be able to provide for Adry (stability, consistency, growing up in a whole family, having his mommy and daddy together [as a child, and even now as an adult, I always felt the safest and the most at peace when both my parents were present and loving/taking care of each other], the list goes on) I feel like a failure. And because of that I have distanced myself from my son because I can’t seem to reconcile my failure with the fact that he still needs me as his mother. And all of the sudden I have been launched into this new world where I am trying to reshape my dreams and aspirations and goals and free time activities, many of which do not revolve around him for the first time in my life. It makes me feel self absorbed and like a bad mom, which makes me distance myself from him further because I feel guilty.

But every once in a while I will find myself and a moment of clarity in the midst of the chaos I feel, and I can just focus on Adry, being his mom, and enjoying my time with him. And just loving the way he looks up and bites down on his lower lip a little when he truly smiles, and how he puts his hand on my cheek and pulls my head toward his when he has something really important to say. Oh, and how he squirms a little in embarrassment and gets all sheepish if he notices I’ve been watching him play or sing and he didn’t know it.

~~~~~~By The Way. I am really beginning to come together and refocus on what I want and who I want to be. It’s still a struggle, but less of one than it was when I wrote these appreciations. It gets better every day. I’m finding my passion for family and being a mom again. It is decided: I am SO designed- every fiber of my being- to be in a committed relationship for life and to be a mother. There’s nothing else in the world I want more than this. I want a partner. I want more kids. I want a stable family unit and a consistent routine and family traditions. That’s just who I am. No more swearing off marriage for me, and I’m feeling good about it.

Categories: Ciao Bella Vita : Daily Journal

JJ

October 5, 2010
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September 23 AP 266– Memories/ nostalgia.

September 24 AP 267– KINDNESS. On Friday September 24 I was ill and in a terrible mood. I spent the morning getting all dolled up to go out of town to Cleveland to see CWC choir & band (for whom Ryan was drumming) play in a contest.  Then I came down with something terribly yucky and had to cancel plans.  At this point I thought it was just a cold, or maybe even the beginning of the flu. Anyway, I felt like crap and it put me in a terrible mood. I spent the evening at Nick’s place at which I began my 4-day run of being on CONSTANT acetaminophen and ibuprofen and emergen-c. And someone cared. And I got to be taken care of. Even though he had plans that I sort of kind of altered maybe a little. And it took the edge off my horrible day and mood.

September 25 AP 268– J, JACOOOB!!!!! My LAST (but not least) family member to appreciate; the last family member to make an appearance on Scene Sanders. And his appearance was a surprise to everyone, and maybe it’s morbid and totally WRONG that we tease him about this, but we always preface our jabs by admitting that 1) at least we know GOD REALLY WANTED HIM HERE, and 2) he was the best surprise ever. God knew we needed him.  He changed the dynamics of our family in the best way possible. He was the PERFECT baby and the most DROP DEAD CUTEST KID (no exaggeration) EVAR. He’d go to the grocery store with Mom at three years old and come home with teenage girls’ numbers. I’m not even kidding- this really happened. He had a real quiet, slick, sharp charm about him that was irresistible. He was quick and witty and knew he had a big brown-eyed smile to die for. I’m certain he was fully aware of all this and often used it to his advantage… because WHO can tell such a precious child to leave his big sister alone while she is playing with her friends!?  NO ONE APPARENTLY.  Haha, no- I really appreciate all of the memories I have of being Big Sister to such a great kid. Even if Mom and Dad ever made him leave me alone.

Oh So Many things I appreciate about Sir Jacob. I appreciate his sense of humor. I appreciate that he is a human IMDb- he is constantly making references and quoting and you can’t catch it unless you are super familiar with the movies.  Since I LOVE movies and everything to do with movies (AND I have a terrible memory), he is often my go-to guy. He also has the most broad taste in music of ANYONE I know. And I know that people often say, “I’ll listen to anything and everything, blah blah and some other BS,” but Jacob… REALLY DOES listen to EVERYTHING. And he KNOWS about everything. And he is also my go-to guy when I want to be introduced to new (to me) music or bands. I tend to be picky, but every once in a while he’ll find something I can’t get enough of… like The Cat Empire and their glorious latin and ska beats, or MIKA or Coheed and Cambria…

I think that, due to his appearance and general lack of enthusiasm for certain things in life, people often completely underestimate Jacob’s mind and its quick-wittedness and intelligence and imagination and creativity. I’m tellin’ you guys- don’t underestimate this kid. He is bright. And funny. And he gets things. And he inquires, maturely and thoughtfully. He soaks up information and has a great memory.

I appreciate laughing with J and discussing with J and spending time with J. I appreciate that he and Adry are BEST PALS FOREVER, but I miss the days when he was “Guggle Yayob.” I appreciate that J is a great boyfriend to a great girl. I appreciate that we are friends and we like to hang out together. (I appreciate the fact that both of my brothers are my best friends.)

I love that kid.  So much.  And this September 25th he turned EIGHTEEN. Hoo.

Categories: Ciao Bella Vita : Daily Journal