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A Mom Post

February 9, 2014
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(Pictures from Adry’s class website)

Can I just express how PROUD I am of Sir Adry Padry?

You know, I got pregnant and brought a human being into this world with virtually zero expectations. I was open to the countless possibilities: health, disabilities; intelligence, disorders; classically adorable, unique; outgoing, shy; goody two shoes, trouble maker; ambition and contribution, jail time; love me, hate me… I mean, the possibilities when you are a parent are endless and potentially stressful… or joyous… or heartbreaking… or most likely all of the above. So I can’t therefore say that Adry has exceeded all of my expectations, but I am so happy to be surprised and blessed by who he is and what he is capable of 🙂

I am surprised by how much he LOVES public school. He fits right in, he’s fearless, and making friends is his second nature. His teacher calls him “sweet” and “good natured” and “friendly”.

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(Adry and a friend from school)

I guess I had this idea- since I was the kid who chased invisible dogs named January and had a handful of rocks for best friends- that Adry might be the “weird kid” who randomly broke out in Zombie Apocalypse Mode, charging throughout the playground waging imaginary war. Granted, I would have been JUST as proud of him had be been that weird kid, but it turns out he’s normal and I’m okay with being pleasantly surprised. His childhood may not be as imaginative as mine was, but life is probably easier when you never have to experience the crushing heartbreak of your first “Sid” the rock being swallowed to the depths of Alum Creek. (RIP Sid #1.)

(Don’t get me wrong. He’s not completely devoid of weird. He DID once say, with utmost sincerity, that he wanted to be a knife juggler when he grew up.)

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(Adry’s class with the teacher. He’s having fun with a classmate in the R front row)

I am also surprised by how sharp that little mind of his is. Sharper than mine was or is or ever will be. I feel that I have excellent critical thinking skills (even Keithy, my Genius IQ Husband says he likes hearing my ideas because I challenge him), but my hazy brain moves at a snail’s pace. It takes me a minute to gather information and comprehend what’s going on around me, and I don’t remember things worth a damn. Adry, on the other hand, is incredibly observant and inquisitive, takes in every.little.detail, and remembers everything.

Anyway, back in January Adry had his turn being Super Star Student of the week. We made a poster collage-of-sorts with all of his favorite things and his dad, Keith, and I got to come in for Adry’s little 20 minute Super Star presentation.

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When he was finished introducing us and explaining his photos, his class had several minutes to share questions or comments. His teacher made a couple of half-attempts to wrap up the sesh, but with each attempt Adry continued to call the names of children whose hands were raised and she allowed one or two additional questions or comments slip in. (Super important ones like ‘I LIKE ICE CREAM TOO!’ or ‘MY DOG LOOKS DIFFERENT THAN YOUR DOG!’ or ‘DO YOU HAVE A ROLLER COASTER IN YOUR HOUSE!?’) After the second or third time she decided to end it for good. She was telling the children it was time to return to their seats when Adry put out his hand and said, “Wait, wait.” He gestured to a little boy who’d been fumbling with a poster on the wall and had remained silent throughout the presentation. Adry called him out and said, “Seth. Do you have a question or comment?” To which, without hesitation Seth bluntly replied, “No.” Adry accepted and only then did he allow his Moment To Shine to come to an end. Keithy and I laughed about that moment all the way home.

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Categories: Ciao Bella Vita : Daily Journal

… Because the testing of your faith produces perseverance… So you may be mature and complete

April 22, 2012
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“Don’t you wish you could go back and avoid that whole mistake?”


I do not regret my marriage to Ben. Had I a choice, I wouldn’t undo my decision to marry him.
And I’m not one of those ‘live without regrets’ people. I do have regrets. That’s just not one of them.
Maybe because I don’t consider it a mistake.
I was young, but I knew exactly what I was doing. I knew the vows I was taking and I was committed. Extremely committed and faithful, to my spouse and to my family, until the day I was told to cut it out and move on because there was no chance of reconciliation.

On a couple of occasions I entertained the thought that it’d be fairy-tale nice if I could be one man’s wife and keith’d be the only one I promised to spend the rest of my life with, the only one I shared the marriage experience with.

Sure. That’d be lovely I guess. But thats just not…. us . First, our relationship has been unorthodox and backwards from the start. And I love it that way. It’s been the greatest adventure of my life. And we would have never met up or become who we are as a couple without our backgrounds.

And also, despite second marriage/ blended family fail statistics, my experience, if anything, taught me that I *know* I have what it takes to succeed. I have issues, but where it counts I’m solid and secure and confident. I know my strength. I know I have the ability to lead my heart when my emotions are tugging me in a thousand different directions. I know how to decide to love and fight for that love in the face of betrayal and hurt and hopelessness. I know the power of forgiveness and grace- giving it, asking for it, accepting it. I recognize the mistakes I made in my pervious marriage. I know how relationships fall into ruts that seem inescapable and I can easily identify the warning signs along the way. I know what to look for and I know the behavior patterns to avoid.

…Deep betrayal and heartbreak tends to strengthen your core and soften your edges. I’m less rule-bound, fundamental, and insecure in my faith. It’s easier now for me to admit how much I don’t know, how much I never knew, how little control I actually have, and how easy it is for me to screw up. I know what it’s like to find yourself at rock bottom and have no idea how you got there. I’m okay with admitting I’m as weak and flawed as any, and I’ve learned to TRULY understand, commiserate, and offer compassion and mercy.

At that, I have adry. Although this experience has been tough on him and challenging for me as his mother, I cannot express how thankful I am to have him and that I appreciate how motherhood has shaped me and my life. I’d relive all the bad parts if only to have him with me now and a part of me and Keith’s life together.

A failed marriage is not what I dreamed up as a little girl, nor what I prayed for as a teenager, nor what I expected as a young bride. But not only have I accepted it, I’m grateful for the experience and invaluable life lessons. I don’t feel gypped, I’m not bitter, I don’t hold any grudges. I’m happy and I look back on good memories fondly. And I could not be more happy about where I’m at now and who I’m with. I’m capable of a much deeper, raw, and honest love, and it feels good to be vulnerable with someone I absolutely adore and trust to know me fully and love me completely.

I feel passionate AND safe.

Categories: Ciao Bella Vita : Daily Journal


December 30, 2010
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I feel very bittersweet about this :-(.  Finding a daily thing to appreciate has turned into SUCH a habit. Which is an incredible thing, right? I hope to do this project again another year. I’m thinking, actually, of taking up a journal project every even year. Perhaps in 2012 I will do a 365 Picture Project (a picture/day) and in 2014 I will do another AP.

Without further ado… the last of the Appreciation Project entires:

December 28 AP 362– Adry’s love of music and his natural talent and ability. A few days ago I witnessed something that truly gave me that mommy pride feeling in my gut. It was before Christmas- before Adry got his full drum set- and he was playing around with his little single drum and tambourine. After a few minutes he lined up the drum, the lid to the drum, and the tambourine all side-by-side. He took his drum sticks and hit around on each of them for a while and expiramented with the sounds. When he was satisfied he proceeded to use them as a little makeshift drum set and kept a STEADY 4/4 DRUMBEAT, using the drum for his eighth notes (One And Two And Three And Four) and the tambourine every second and fourth. Um… that’s like the max complex drumbeat *I* can keep, so it will be amazing when my toddler son can out-drum me… Grandpa and Uncle Matt have been teaching him proper form and technique, and he enjoys practicing. It is really amazing to watch him develop. Watch out, y’all. Future rock star. Now someone PLEASE just broaden his musical taste.

December 29 AP 363– Clint Eastwood, John Williams, Joe Wright, The Coen Brothers, Tarantino, and every other behind-the-scenes film artist who help make awesome, magical movies. I believe I’d already appreciated talented actors and actresses. I appreciate how Clint is truly an artist: he draws SO MUCH out of seemingly simple scenes (deep emotion without dialogue, sensuality without sex) and NEVER crosses over into “mushy”. John Williams makes every movie he touches sound magical. He’s directed the music for so many of my favorite films: Hook, Jurassic Park… He’s the one that did Jaws and Starwars, too, by the way. Joe Wright… Atonement and Pride and Prejudice and The Soloist… beautiful movies. The Coen Brothers– too many awesome movies to list, I love them all. Tarantino is a film genre all on his own and I love all of his stuff, too, but PULP FICTION will always be my favorite. And so many other awesome film industry folks.

December 30 AP 364– Me and Ben and our marriage. At the beginning of the year I had decided to reserve this appreciation for our anniversary: December 31. When I left Ben I decided to throw it out altogether. But you know what? I’m not doin’ it. I’m not throwing it out. I’m appreciating it now and I always will. I gave 9 years of my life to that relationship, and it will always be a part of who I am. I appreciate every minute, every day, every year, every laugh, every heartbreak, every memory. I appreciate it all. And now I’m crying and can’t see the monitor anymore through these dang tears, haha.

I appreciate the memory of the first time he told me he loved me. I appreciate the memory of that enormous grin he had on his face as he watched me walk down the aisle to marry him. I appreciate how giddy he got when I told him I was pregnant… how he couldn’t contain himself; he called everyone he knew right away. I appreciate the complete and pure adoration and dedication he had for his son from the minute he was born. I appreciate the years we got to enjoy as a whole family, and how Adry LOVED when we were all together. I appreciate every celebration we enjoyed together and every crisis we overcame together and all the growing up we did together. We shaped each other into the people we are today, for better or for worse.

I really really really enjoyed being young and growing up together. There is a bond there that I think is unmatchable. That’s either an unfortunate or beautiful thing, I’m not sure.

I don’t regret my marriage to Ben. I regret how it ended, but otherwise I have no regrets. I loved him. I loved our family. I would have suffered misery and  fought for our health happiness for as long as I lived. I just hope that one day I can feel whole again. I appreciate everything I have learned from this experience.

December 31 AP 365– New life chapters. This would have been me and Ben’s sixth wedding anniversary. This will be the first year in almost a decade I bring in the new year without him. I do not yet *feel* appreciative of this new life chapter, actually, but I am making a conscious effort. A new year, a new chapter, a new start… In reality this just feels like desperation and fear in limbo, but… like I said, I’m making an effort.

(Is it “ironic” that I clicked on my ‘wedding anniversary’ tag after writing this entry and the post (click link to see) that popped up was from last year- our LAST anniversary together- and the FIRST thing I mentioned was that I was wearing the necklace that “Cousin Sammie” had given me? Humm! I’m so glad I brought her along with me to celebrate my marriage! 😉 )

Categories: Ciao Bella Vita : Daily Journal

Really Rough Day

December 15, 2010
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Really rough day.

If you are considering leaving your spouse, please heed my warning that broken misery is 100X worse than married misery. Make.It.Work. FIND HEALING. WORK YOUR HARDEST. Do not go through this.

I am mixed up, screwed up, confused, and unstable… and paranoid and cynical and frustrated. I’ve completely lost myself. I don’t know who I am or what I believe anymore. I feel entirely dead. I let self-pity and other indulgences into my soul and they’ve eaten me alive.

I’m a terrible mother. A terrible sister. Terrible daughter. Terrible friend. I have a heart of steel. My son reaches for me and all I want to do is run the other way. I can’t be what he needs; I’m too weak.

I try to feel something. Anything.

WHO AM I! Who have I become? I don’t recognize any of this.

And I hate being daily reminded of Ben and our marriage and I hate feeling like I’m crazy for missing it. I keep it all locked inside because I feel like if I mention it people’s attitudes are all, ‘how could you miss that? How could you miss him? After everything that happened!?’ Especially since HIS attitude about the whole thing seems to be nothing short of ‘good riddance!’

I also feel guilty for missing it. Like if I miss it it means I’m not letting go or moving on. But really, for me I don’t think that’s the case, because honestly… I don’t think I will ever stop missing it. Not even when/if one day I am happily remarried or whatever… It’s like mourning the death of a person, you know? You can move on with life and still miss them. I mean, I’ve accepted it (the death; the failure). There’s no going back. I want to focus on what’s ahead. But it’s just the recovery part I’m having a hard time with. If I had to sum it all up, I’d say I’m dealing with loss of faith in God and myself and humanity. Everything feels really warped.

But I go through spurts- WEEKS at a time- that I feel SUPER and confident and excited to move on with life, and then BAM out of nowhere the regret and sadness comes flooding in, uncontrollably, and I feel like I’m back at Grief Stage One all over again.  (But I remind myself that I haven’t regressed. I’m just walking through similar landscape of the winding valley.)

Anyway, I just want to start over. I want a clean slate. I want to go back to the day I decided to leave Ben, and I want to launch this Single Mom thing off right this time. I want to be strong and confident and unwavering in my faith. I want to keep my priorities straight.

Categories: Ciao Bella Vita : Daily Journal

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

Let it be

November 2, 2010
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Ben and I had probably been married for two or so years in this distinct memory I have of lying in his old bedroom at his parents’ house and wondering if there would be marriage in heaven. I couldn’t imagine not being married to him in eternity.

I called him and told him that if anything were to happen to him I probably wouldn’t remarry on the off-chance that I’d be able to be with him literally forever.

I said, “You know that ’til death do us part’ thing I vowed? I want to be married to you in my soul, in my heart.”

And he agreed and said he wanted the same.

Every day I mourn a memory like this. I think about it, I cry about it, and I try to let it go.

I’m hoping to one day run out of memories to mourn.

The Beatles Let It Be
Uploaded by manon42. – News videos hot off the press.

I don’t know what happened between us, but I really did love him. So much.

Categories: Ciao Bella Vita : Daily Journal