Wednesday, April 30, 2008

A.F.G.O.

A very good friend of mine is going through a very traumatic experience in her marriage. Ironically, the same traumatic experience I had in my own marriage. And I witnessed my mom go through in her marriage.

Meanwhile, I have 48 days until my divorce is final.

I have already had a bad experience with a divorce lawyer who was completely non-responsive to me and still charged me for her time anyway. (I have since changed lawyers.)

Now watching my friend go through this experience has brought to mind all the pain and disappointment that I felt in my marriage. I also remember the pain and disappointment of watching my mom go through this.

Why is this so difficult for me to let go of after all this time? Is it just going to keep coming up in my life until I can see it differently?

I keep wondering why I continue to see drama in my life. Is there something in my mind that says, "Going through this divorce process isn't going to be easy" or is it that I'm making it into a drama when it doesn't have to be?

The ex and I still have to sit down and go through the paperwork that will be filed in mid-June. We haven't talked about the details yet. Yes, I'm nervous about it. I hope that we can continue to be agreeable adults who seemingly wish the best for each other. I say 'seemingly' because well, it is hard to tell sometimes if there are ulterior motives... from me or him!

We now interrupt this blog post for a gratitude break.

Let's think of what we can be thankful for:
  • My current divorce lawyer is very kind and willing to represent me for free. (Wow.)
  • The ex really is good to me. He does want to be a good father to my kids and frankly, he was a good husband to me. I just rarely gave him credit for it. I think I'll start now with giving him credit for being a good friend.
  • I am 3 years past what my girlfriend is going through. Because I know how she feels, I can offer her what I learned in the process....and be thankful that I am 3 years past it.
  • I am truly happy to see how far I've come since then. Happy, amazed and blessed!
  • I feel that my children have handled this process well too. They were in my life for a reason and I in theirs. My older daughter was relaying a time line of her life the other day. I was afraid she'd mention her dad and I splitting but she didn't. She went right from her younger sister being born to us moving into our new home.


Either I need to have faith that the rest of this process will be easy and painless or else I'm in for the ride of my life for the next 48 days. And that's one big AFGO!**

**Another Fucking Growth Opportunity

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

A Tuesday kind of feeling

I was talking with a girlfriend of mine yesterday who, thankfully, asked how my soldier was doing. I say 'thankfully' because I am still amazed at the amount of people in my life who never ask about my soldier. Again I assume that it is because they haven't met him. I guess they don't think about it and therefore don't understand how important he is to me. That, in turn, leaves me feeling as if I shouldn't talk about him and well...

Anyway....

I was telling my friend that I have sensed a little frustration from my soldier lately. He's not quite halfway through the deployment but he's also not at the beginning. My guess is that he's feeling annoyed with the slow time progression. (And me too actually)

My very witty friend said, "I get it. Its kind of like a Tuesday."

Ha! Yes, that's it! He's already done Sunday and Monday and now he's stuck on Tuesday eagerly awaiting Wednesday so that the countdown to Saturday doesn't look so bad when you're on Thursday and Friday.

What a perfect description. Come on Wednesday!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Adventures in Cycling, Part 6: I am an Athlete

My friends, this upcoming weekend is the 150 (ahem, 160) mile bike ride for charity.

Over this past weekend, I rode again with some friends who are all participating in the big event. I was hoping to push it to 60 miles but only completed 45 miles on Saturday. The group I was riding with had other plans for the afternoon and decided to call it a day. My friend and I felt as if we could've completed another 10 at least and it felt good to know that. However we didn't feel it was safe to continue on the road without a group of other more experienced cyclists with us.

After the ride, my friend and I went to the gym with our children. We have 4 girls, 2 6-year-olds and 2 3-year olds, between the two of us. She and I met when we were pregnant with our first girls and have been friends since. The girls all love each other like sisters so they were thrilled to be dropped off all together in the kids play area at the gym on Saturday. My friend went to get a massage at the spa and I sat in the steam room.

As I sat in the steam room alone, the hot mists blocking the view of anything around me, I said out loud to myself: I am an athlete.

Earlier in the day, I had told one of the other cyclists that this would be my first cycling event and that I had really not done many athletic competitions. I told him that I was never an athletic person, not really competitive and not really into sports. He said to me, "Well, you are now."

And so, my perception of myself has changed. I am an athlete. Wow. There is so much strength in that statement. I feel so very empowered when I say it.

Usually when cycling up a steep hill and my legs are feeling like they can't push the pedals anymore, I say to myself, "You can do this. Your body is healthy and strong."

But now I will be saying, "I am an athlete."

(hee hee!)

Let's see if I still feel that way after 160 miles! Whew!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Little girls and stuffed animals

Back in February, I put together a big care package for my soldier to celebrate Valentine's Day and his birthday. The contents, which I blogged about, included a big stuffed bulldog that I thought would be silly enough to make him smile. My kids fought me over the thing; they so loved to snuggle with it. My soldier thought it was hilarious and wondered what he was going to do with it.

Yesterday I received an email from him:

Remember the stuffed animal you sent me in February? Remember how I said "what am I going to do with this?"? See attached. I thought you and the girls would enjoy seeing an Iraqi girl enjoying your gift.




Whew! I was a mess after receiving that email. If he keeps this up, I'm going to have to bring my make-up to work to touch up after the tears!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Weight

I had an interesting conversation with a co-worker yesterday about weight.

Sure we're probably the most obese country on the planet. But why? Is it because we have too much? Is it because we're lazy? Is it because we're depressed? Or are we consuming more, lazy and depressed because we're obese?

I read a book called Positive Energy: 10 Extraordinary Prescriptions for Transforming Fatigue, Stress, and Fear into Vibrance, Strength & Love by Judith Orloff a couple of years ago. In the book, Dr. Orloff discusses the fact that we are all sensitive to some degree to energy. You know that feeling: when you walk into a room and it just doesn't feel right. That's energy. She also mentions that many people put on weight to protect themselves from negative energy. It was a good read. I would definitely recommend it if you understand this feeling.

I was telling my co-worker how some women treat me differently because I am thin. I grew up skinny and put on weight once I married my husband. I never thought about weight or what I ate or what exercise I did growing up. I was definitely not athletic. I was the singer, writer, artsy kind of girl who would rather listen to music than watch or participate in sports.

My ex really enjoys food but he's always been a runner so he had no problem with weight. We always ate at nice restaurants and he is a very good cook. Our TV was usually on the Food Channel where he'd find a fabulous recipe to try for dinner. I was spoiled. I did eat. And I did put on weight. I was actually 45 lbs heavier than I am right now when I got pregnant with my first child. I didn't put on that much weight during the pregnancy but I didn't lose much afterwards either. I blogged about my struggles with weight in a post last month.

I've noticed recently that if a woman seems perturbed at my 'thinness', I find myself apologizing for it and explaining that I used to be heavier. Isn't that silly? I just hate to be judged for my appearance and it seems, that is what many women do.

My co-worker pointed out that they are not judging me. They are comparing themselves to me.

I don't want people to feel bad about themselves around me. Instead, I begin explaining myself in order to commiserate with them.

Then it occurred to me: I have often wondered if I carried that weight because of the energy in my marriage. But now I wonder, did I carry it in order to feel safer to the women in my life? I never felt insecure about my appearance with the men in my life, even when I was heavier. Quite frankly, I have always felt pretty secure with men - even my best friends were men. But women were quite different altogether.

I didn't mind being thin when I was single because my close friends were mainly male. After I had a ring on my finger, suddenly most of the men in my life fell away, as to be expected. I was left needing to fulfill the roles of friends with women. These same women who seemingly hated me for being thin. Did I put on weight in order for them to accept me and want to be my friend? Wow. This is something I'd never considered before.

Now that I am single again and the weight has come off, I am apologizing to my girlfriends who aren't happy with their weight or their lives. I am apologizing that I am happy and healthy and glowing and joyful and.... WHY?

I need to re-read my Marianne Williamson quote again.

Why can't I just celebrate being fabulous and inspire everyone else to do the same?! Haven't I worked hard enough to deserve feeling this good (and LOOKING like I do) without having to apologize for it?

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

What is Sexy?



Well, damn, that'll do.


Ok, so anyway, its time for my monthly sexy post. I've been thinking about what I find sexy about men and well, people in general. (Its ok for me to think women are sexy too! Hello? Angelina Jolie! Yeah, you know she's hot!)

Hmmm... where do I begin?

  • Intelligence - I find it such a turn on for a guy to be knowledgable about subjects that I have an interest in. This is especially true when he knows WAY more than me and is willing to teach me.

  • Willingness to learn - On that same topic, I also love a man who can admit when he doesn't know and actually wants to research the subject in question. Or perhaps... learn from me.

  • An understanding of the mind-body connection - I think its so hot for a guy to comprehend that if he takes care of his body, he will handle life better. And vice-versa. I love a guy who will listen to his true self, try to see life more positively and therefore, glow from the inside out. This also leads to other things that are sexy... athletic and healthy bodies. Yummy!


  • Kindness a.k.a. A willingness to forgive - There is nothing sexier to me than someone who can be non-judgmental and kind to complete strangers! Yes, sure, we all get ticked off at being cut off in traffic but can you realize that perhaps the other person is having a bad day and let it go? Or are you going to let it ruin your mood and start taking it out on everyone?
  • Devotion - to God, to his family, to me... all of it is beautiful to me. I have a weakness for men with big, big hearts.
  • A sense of humor - Because we all know that funny is sexy. A good smile or laugh will always give me butterflies in my stomach.
  • A good kisser - Kissing... such a wonderful thing. Do guys know that kissing determines so much of what's going to happen next? And if he's an unselfish lover, patient and yeah, a little adventurous, that will totally rock my world. (I could write a whole post on kissing alone... maybe I'll do that!)
  • Understanding or respect of the opposite sex - I can appreciate a man who has respect for women and comprehends how they want to be treated as an equal sometimes and other times, just want to be a girl. That's when good strong arms are a must as well.
  • Speaking of good strong arms - I love a masculine man but someone who appreciates the yin-yang of masculine and feminine aspects of themselves and others. Its sexy to me when a man enjoys or is good at something you wouldn't normally associate with 'manliness' - like cooking!
  • Eyes - I love good eyes. And hands. And lips. And thighs. And well, damn... if its hot, its HOT!
  • Words - Words turn me on. I love poetry, lyrics, books... I love when a man is articulate in speaking and/or writing. There's also nothing sexier to me than a man that enjoys a good book.
  • Faith - honesty - trust - playfulness - happy - positive - loving - giving - courageous - caring - sensitive - aware - open-minded - eager to explore life and make it a fun trip!


Gosh, I could go on and on... what am I forgetting? Any suggestions?


And now its time for more naughty smileys! (because they're fun)









Have you noticed this about me lately?



I'm finding humor in the fact that I go from learning about myself spiritually to learning about myself sexually. Verrrrrry inttteeerrrreesting....

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Another Jewel: An Abundance of Love

Along my quest, I frequently read books to help me discover more about myself. The latest book I am reading is based on A Course in Miracles (ACIM) but helps the reader to better understand what you are doing to block the awareness of love in your life.



This one line had my ego so infuriated that I wanted to throw the book across the room:
Only what we withhold is lacking in any situation.

What? You're telling me that when I feel that someone is not loving me enough or being kind enough or being too selfish.... it really is not them but me? I'm the one who's holding back the love, kindness and selflessness??

Of course, the ego loves being the victim. Isn't it much easier to blame someone else than take responsibility for what shows up (or doesn't) in your life?

I was struggling with this until tonight when I attending another ACIM study group and we came across this section:

...you give only because you believe that you are somehow getting something better... "Giving to get" is an inescapable law of the ego.... (The ego) is continually preoccupied with the belief in scarcity...

It hit me like a ton of bricks!

When I was in the relationship with my ex, I never felt that he loved me enough.
I was the one who never accepted the love he gave.

My father was always hard on me and I perceived it as hateful and I hated him right back.
I never accepted that that was the only way he knew how to love me.

We only give when we expect something in return. Isn't this true? And we'll always project our hatred on those we "love" if they don't give us what we think we deserve. This hate comes from the belief in scarcity - the belief that there isn't enough love - when in fact, that is ALL THERE IS. We just have to choose to see it, no matter what form it takes.

Wow. I hope that I can remember this. What a beautiful lesson.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Adventures in Cycling, Part 5

I actually completed 54 miles yesterday and I didn't fall at all! Woohoo!



It was really sort of a meditation in action being on that bike yesterday. I actually enjoyed it though we faced some very strong winds and lots of hills in the last 10 miles. My body feels tired today but all in all, I feel pretty good! I have to get in two rides this weekend just to prepare my body for riding the miles two days in a row. My 2-day 150 mile charity ride is less than 2 weeks away. I'm not sure how I'll do but I feel lots better about facing the challenge than I did last week.

On or about mile 26, I cycled past the place where my soldier did his triathlon on that last day that we saw each other. It has been nearly 7 months since I've seen him on that long sad weekend.

I remembered where he parked his bike and noticed me standing with his father. I remembered after he completed the triathlon, how he paced to bring down his heart rate and I was trying to give him space. All I wanted to do was pounce on him while he was pacing in nothing but biking shorts and running shoes. His parents were talking to me and it took every ounce of me not to grab him and hold him close. I remembered holding his hand as we walked back to pick up his bike. I remembered the kiss...



It was strange because I didn't feel sad. I could almost hear him say, "I am looking forward to seeing you again." I mentioned it to my friend who was cycling with me.

"You know, my soldier doesn't say 'I miss you'. He always says, 'I'm looking forward to seeing you again.'"

She smiled and said, "I like that. That's a very positive way of looking at it."

Isn't it? Nothing is missing. We have all that we need deep inside of us. But there is still that thrilling thought of being together again.

I love a positive thinking man. Yet another reason to look forward to seeing him again.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Return to Love

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn't serve the world. There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others." ~Marianne Williamson, A Return to Love
I love Marianne...

Here's another of my favorite quotes from her:
“Some men know that a light touch of the tongue, running from a woman's toes to her ears, lingering in the softest way possible in various places in between, given often enough and sincerely enough, would add immeasurably to world peace.”
Oh Yeah! Ain't it the truth?!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Jewels on the Quest: Self-worth and Trust

A big realization hit me on my way back from yoga class yesterday. In this relationship with my soldier, I am scared. Nothing new. I've said that before. Here's the kicker:

I'm not scared of losing him. I am terrified of losing myself.

All through my marriage I spent an inordinate amount of time being frightened of losing my husband, either by death or divorce. Wow. Be careful what you fear. You attract that which you focus on. Even A Course in Miracles says something about how fear only makes real that which doesn't exist.

This time, I am working so diligently to find out who I am. I choose to see relationships and men differently than I did before.

I've learned that I tend to be attracted to the "unavailability" of men, and friends in general, for some reason or another. It feels like I am only comfortable in relationships in which I have to work hard. Trying and vying for someone's attention at all times. Even when my soldier was here, he was trying to get me to stop, relax and be still and I only wanted to do what I could to please. Like I was afraid if I relaxed, it would all fall apart.

I wonder, is it because I'm afraid of being completely vulnerable? Do I see vulnerability as a weakness? Do I hide behind a mask of strength to be admired for it? Or is it that I don't feel good enough? Some sort of lack of self-worth? Do I let this false admiration define my worthiness? Then on those days when I'm down, lonely and my friends and my soldier assume that I'm fine (because I tell them I am), I feel like no one really cares. Or that I'm unworthy of being loved. Am I honestly feeling unworthy of true selfless love? Am I afraid of not being accepted? Or am I still having trust issues, unable to trust anyone with the 'real me' or my heart for fear of being hurt or worse, let down once again?

I am realizing also that though sometimes this deployment REALLY sucks, I am viewing it more and more as a blessing. I would hate to go through this healing mode of my life with my soldier physically present to see the crazy thoughts and mood swings that I go through. I would assume that he feels the same way about his own emotional mood swings during this deployment. He does tell me quite a bit more of his feelings than he shows to his family or friends. I know this deployment is really difficult for him as a very sensitive person. He has to shut down emotionally because well, it would kill him (or get him killed) if he didn't. Still...

Sometimes, like now, I am just feeling drained. I put so much pressure on myself to be here and be strong, not only for him, but for my family and my friends. Yet, I rarely feel 're-fueled', for lack of a better term. Then I ironically begin to resent the unavailability of my soldier and my friends though I, subconsciously, chose them for it. I don't talk to my soldier about my melancholy feelings. I won't rely on my friends to cheer me up when I'm down. Instead, I'd rather go inside and figure it out alone. I know I'll feel better once I have a good cry and listen to the still, small voice that is always drowned out by my ego. I guess I don't do that often enough and perhaps that is why I feel like I do right now.

I know it's also fear of what is going to happen between my soldier and me. Just when I feel like we start to get closer, I can tell it brings him down. I think it is just too hard for him to think about us being together when he's still 9 months from coming home. So, I'm left reassuring him that things will be fine when I really don't know myself. I hope that both of us can move past these fears when we are actually physically together again. I guess that remains to be seen.

In the meantime, I have to remember to be true to me. Take time to go within and listen. Allow my friends to be there for me. Learn how to ask for help and see it as a strength instead of a weakness. Remember that I am whole and safe with no reason to fear. And most importantly know that I am worth a complete and selfless love - even if it is only the love for myself. And love, like the light of a candle, is only extended when truly given. It does not create lack to light another's flame from your own. It only strengthens your own light.

Its funny because I was trying to find an affirmation I could use on a daily basis to help me with this. Then I saw the last line of an email I sent to my soldier a few days ago and I had to laugh. As usual, when giving to others, we actually give to ourselves:

"You are amazing, beautiful and loved. And worth it.
Always."

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Happy birthday Mom


This quote is the best description of my mother:
"A mother is the truest friend we have. When trials, heavy and sudden, fall upon us, when adversity takes the place of prosperity, when friends who rejoice with us in our sunshine, desert us when troubles thicken around us, still will she cling to us, and endeavor by her kind precepts and counsels to dissipate the clouds of darkness, and cause peace to return to our hearts."
~Washington Irving
My mother is the truest friend I have. She is the most amazing woman in that her strength lies in her ability to be completely non-judgemental about anything I've ever said or done. And I've told her some doozies in my life!! (and still do actually!)

She is the only person in my life that I can share absolutely my everything with. She hears my thoughts, no matter how crazy they may be, and somehow, in her listening, I feel understood. I never feel that she sees me other than who I am. Sure, she will sometimes tell me that I am overanalyzing or obsessing (because I do) but she will also relate to me and let me know that she would have probably thought the same thing.

She was the only person I talked to during some of the darkest moments of my life. She always left me feeling that I could hang on. Somehow I was credited with the strength but I wouldn't be who I am if it wasn't for her.

She always puts her children before her. My sister and I do what we can to do fun things for her on her birthday (last year was a wonderful trip to Napa). My mom has always wanted to go to Alaska. This year, she's forgoing that trip, yet again, to come with my sister and I (and the 5 grandkids) to Mexico for a family vacation. One day, she will set foot in that state. I don't know how or when but my sister and I will make sure of it!

I am the oldest child of my mother. I was born when she was barely 20 years old. All of our lives, people have asked if we were sisters. To this day! She is an inspiration as a mother, grandmother and child of God. I only hope that someday my daughters will look to me as I do my mother.

She is still under the weather so we won't be going out for her birthday. I do wish you continued health, Mom, and hope that you do feel better soon.

Mostly though, Mom, I wish you the best that life has to offer. In all of your unselfishness, I wish that I could do more for you to help your dreams come true. Thank you for being my mama and my best friend. I love you.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Come on May 30!



Yay! Can't wait!!

I'm thinking Mom, my sister and I should see this together... Yep! It sounds like the perfect (after) Mother's day evening!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Today

It was a year ago today that we learned that my father had cancer. He also decided that he wasn't going to fight it because, "We're all gonna die sometime."

5 1/2 months later he was gone.

Last night, my sister called and told me that my mother was in massive pain and they were taking her to the emergency room. We all thought it. No one said it.

It also happened to be what would have been my parents' 39th wedding anniversary. Mom said Dad would've called her and wished her a happy birthday (her birthday is Wednesday) because he always got the dates mixed up. They always wished each other happy anniversary - even for years after their divorce.

Mom has a massive urinary tract infection and was feeling a little better today. Whew!

Even Mom said, "You know, it was last year on this day..."

Yes, Mom. Let's just say that we all remember and leave it at that.

And thank God for another day with her.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Who is the American soldier?

A quote from my soldier:
I think it’s fair to say that no one in their right mind would rather be in Iraq than the United States. No one wants war less than a Soldier, but that same Soldier is the first one to stand up and do what needs to be done when called upon. Don’t confuse those two sentiments. U.S. Army Soldiers are not victims, despite the insulting way the media tries to depict us as such.
Wow. Well said honey...

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Response

A perfect response to my previous post just landed in my inbox from Neale Donald Walsch (author of Conversations with God):

On this day of your life, dear friend, I believe God wants you to know...

....that there is no challenge you cannot meet -- and that includes the present one .

I know that on some days it doesn't feel like you want to continue the struggle anymore. But I promise you, it is going to be worth it.

What is happening now is part of a larger process leading to your own self-realization. Please believe me, and sleep well in the truth of that. Your soul will rejoice again--more than it ever did before.


I love it when that happens...

Hangin' in...and more Reminders

Oh my I miss my soldier. We’re finally down to less than 10 months until his return.



(Can I just say I the smileys?)

It sounds like such a long time to go but then again, I remember how daunting it seemed when 15 months was looming before us.

He’s been so very busy lately. I don’t keep up with news but I do hear the daily news regarding the war. Not to torture myself (which is what my mom says) but to understand what’s happening when my inbox or my phone is silent. I last heard from him late last week and he was downright loopy from lack of sleep. I worry about him and I wonder: if he gets sick, does he get to take a break? At what point will someone say, “Sir, you need to go back to your quarters and rest.” Or does that only happen in the civilian world?

I make sure and add vitamins, energy bars, dried fruit and supplemental drink mixes to his care packages to help keep him healthy. I know he doesn’t always get a chance to have a decent meal. Or a decent night’s sleep. I have a homeopathic remedy I’m going to send next time that’s perfect for that loopy-lack-of-sleep-the-world-is-moving-in-slow-motion feeling. Man, it can’t be a good thing to feel like that and handle a weapon. I’m just saying…

When I don’t hear from him, it’s very easy for my brain to make up all sorts of reasons why not. Including some silliness that would make sense if he weren’t at war.

Still, I know what he needs and that is to know that life is normal somewhere else. So, I continue to send my daily banter of what the kids and I are up to, funny things that they say, some sexy stuff and the everyday dramas of being a newly athletic, home-owning, working, single mom. Then when he does call, he likes to inquire about all that I’ve written in the meantime, asking for details and my thoughts about it. It’s amazing what a great listener he is. Sometimes I wonder if he’s actually reading my emails while we’re talking because he’ll quote me directly!

He’s such a sweet boy.

And there are still the daily reminders of him:

The other day, I went out over lunch to WalMart to pick up a few things. As I was walking towards the cash register to check out, I walked right past an Army guy in his Army Combat Uniform (ACU). (Note: I’m still learning all the acronyms too. But I do work in IT and boy… do we have the acronyms!)

Anyway, it sort of surprised me. You just don’t see that around my little suburban Texas town. I’m not sure if he was just passing through on his way to somewhere else or what? It reminded me of one morning that my soldier was at my house and needed to get to work (about 2 ½ hours away). I was having a needy emotional moment (or two) and he stayed around vigilantly listening to me cry. A girlfriend had told me once that she always had a thing for a guy in uniform and when she met her husband, he was in his ACU and she fell hard. I never understood this notion. What’s a uniform got to do with anything?
Then I saw my soldier.

I remember he was done with his shower and was standing in my closet nearly fully dressed for “playing Army.” Wow. What a handsome soldier he is. He kept holding me even though he was going to be late, hitting traffic on that long drive back to his Army post. Again at the front door, he didn’t let go. We kept holding on and kissing more… His absolute unselfishness and interest in my feeling better was all that mattered in that moment. Now THAT was something that took my breath away.


Ok, back to the Walmart thing.

So, I was staring at this guy, completely lost thinking about my soldier. Then after I watched him leave, I turned back to the cashier and right behind her was a guy in a t-shirt of my soldier's favorite football team (and not a local team at that!).

My soldier has a fairly common first name. So common in fact that lately when I meet a new man, for whatever reason (the guy who helped me with my magazine subscription, a new student in my study group, my neighbor’s husband), his name will be the same as my soldier’s name. I have at least 4 guys in my cell phone with the same name!! So, when I’m scrolling through the phone to call one of them, I inevitably run across my soldier’s name.

He’s everywhere.

And I’m ok with that. I just wish the damn war would take a break so he could call me and let me know he’s ok.

Is that so much to ask?

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

In the Motherhood

If you're ever wondering what an adventure motherhood can be, check out another of my guilty pleasures: In the Motherhood.

You can scroll to see various episodes (under the video). You can also submit stories as well. These are all stories that other moms have submitted about motherhood. Oh my... you will definitely get a giggle at these.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Guilty Pleasure

Something that I've begun to look forward to are episodes of "Army Wives" on Lifetime. I'm not a huge TV watcher - again, in what free time - but I do tend to enjoy Desperate Housewives and Grey's Anatomy. I like that they're not too heavy: drama and comedy. Is "dramedy" a word? Both shows have lost me since the writers went on strike. Are they coming back on soon?

I first saw a preview of "Army Wives" last fall, ironically shortly after my soldier went off to war. I never knew when the show aired but accidentally came across it about a month ago. They are replaying Season 1 and Season 2 begins in June.

The show centers around a group of women and a man whose spouses are all in the Army. Some have just returned from war; some are just now deploying. What a great show! Watching it also helps me to understand much of what my soldier faces and the ethical and moral standards he must live up to being an officer in the Army. It is also very intriguing to me to consider the possibility of becoming an Army wife. I know I could do it... but whew! The range of strength and emotions that these spouses go through is terribly exhausting. Perhaps at some point, it just becomes habit?

Speaking of: I want to send love out to A Soldier's Wife and her hubby who just returned home from a 15 month deployment! She has endured not only "deployment demons" but many medical issues while caring for the house and children. I'm so happy to hear he's home and safe. Hooray!

And Stephanie's Marine hubby is home too! They are newlyweds who have spent barely 2 months together since he's been deployed. She is a wonderful support to me as well as ASW and I'm not even a military spouse!! Congrats to both of you and your husbands. I am so happy (yes, and a little envious) that you can exhale now.

Here's to both of you! And your hubby's too!



I've always admired the military spouse. With my soldier deployed (33% done) and my new favorite show, I definitely agree that the mil-spouse serves our country too.
(Oh my this made me cry.)

I also want to thank my kind friends and blog readers for commenting on my last post. I was losing it, to say the least. A good friend came to my home later that day and helped me hang art around my house. With the walls looking so beautiful, I decided to clean and unpack more. I really enjoyed seeing my house in order again.

Many of you said to "do something for myself". Well, watching Army Wives and having a good cry (every time I watch the show I'm bawling) - those are two things I do for me. Also now that my house is clean and 7 more boxes are unpacked, I feel a sense of accomplishment.

I haven't been back on the bike yet. I did get my tire fixed. I will spin tonight and watch my guilty pleasure on TV. I do love how it feels to spin on my bike. I love how my body looks the next day. I love to feel my metabolism soar. I just don't like a pending 150 miles looming over my head.

Eh, its almost over. And then I can get back to my fitness goals, which include biking, but are more reasonable on my time.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Adventures in Cycling, Part 4: I can't

I always tell my kids that "can't" is not allowed around here. I've even heard my older daughter telling the younger one, "If you say you can't, then you can't!" She's heard it a million times from me.

Whether you think you can or can’t, you are right.~Henry Ford
I did 25 miles on my bike 2 weeks ago. I have a wonderful old friend who I rarely get to see or talk to who is HUGE into cycling. So, we finally had some time together and did a nice long bike ride. (I only fell once! But it was a doozie!) He also "donated to the cause" by purchasing many cool tools and cycling peripherals that I hadn't thought about buying yet.

In the time between outdoor rides, I spin on my bike while watching TV. I was getting better at doing it every night before my move but now, I'm lucky if I can get it in every other night.

I have found that I usually step up to the plate when I have a goal in front of me. Unfortunately, moving and being a single mom has hampered that determination a bit. I just get tired of having to do EVERYTHING. I mean EVERY single thing that needs to be done, I do it! So, if I want to work towards a goal, I have to miss sleep to do it. I'm sorry, my sleep is way important to me so some things just have to be put aside.

Lately, I have resigned that I am going to begin the 150 mile bike ride but I'm ok if I don't finish it. I have to give myself a break. But I will do it. A co-worker has donated $450 to the charity I am supporting because his wife suffers from the disease the charity hopes to cure. No pressure or anything, huh?

So today is a perfect sunshine day. The ex has the kids. I am going to ride my bike. I have to conquer the fear of riding around cars and wearing those damn shoes. I was nervous and a bit overwhelmed with all there is to remember before riding. I was shaking as I rolled my bike out the front door. Once I got started, I was calm and enjoying it.

I had no idea where to go. I know the roads around here fairly well since I've lived in this area before. I took some roads that lead to a park and trail. As I rode the trail, I realized my front tire could use some air. So, I stopped and used my new handy tool to fill up my tire. Then.... the stem broke off the tire and all of the air pssssssttttted its way out.

I was stuck. 1 mile from my house.

There is no lonelier feeling than being stuck and realizing you really don't have anyone to call. My friend that helped me a few weeks ago is unavailable. Everyone has their own plans and things they're doing on this glorious day.

Then I looked around to get my bearings and realized I was right behind the first house the ex and I ever owned. I lost it.

I had to carry the bike home since I didn't want to ruin the wheel. I couldn't figure out what short cut I had taken to get to where I was so I took a much longer route home. Walking. Carrying a bike. In cycling shoes.

I felt so defeated. I just wanted to scream, "I CAN'T!!!!!"

My feet and ankles hurt from walking in cycling shoes. My arms hurt from carrying the bike home.

I wanted to begin cycling for fun. I wanted to inspire a healthy hobby for my kids and one to share with my soldier. I do not like feeling that I HAVE to do it to prepare for something else. I wanted to get outside and enjoy this day. I don't want to worry about falling or getting hit by a car. I know I need to practice more. IN WHAT FREE TIME? The only time I get to ride outside is when the ex has the kids. That's only 1 more weekend until the 150 mile bike ride. I can't handle the stress. This was supposed to be fun. Something I could do with my soldier when he gets back from war. Something to help me feel strong and in shape and fit.

But I'm just tired. I need help. I can't do this by myself. I can't... I can't....

Now I have an entire to do list waiting for me. I have to get by the bike shop to get the tire fixed. And I have boxes to unpack. Mounds of laundry to do. And friends that want me to go out tonight and be energetic and fun.

I just can't.



Friday, April 4, 2008

Spring in Texas

I love spring in Texas. Mostly because driving down the highway, the grassy areas become a beautiful wave of purple. The bluebonnets brighten the drive - even during rush hour:



(Photo credit: Sue Irish)







I also don't even mind the crazy spring weather in Texas. I've always loved a good thunderstorm. The weather is never dull in March or April. Last night held true to that statement.

I was awakened at 3:00 a.m. by the sound of a cough and then a visit to my bedside. Little one says, “Mommy, I no like funder…” I didn’t even know it was storming but soon noticed endless lightening flashes through my window. So, she crawls into the bed with me. About 5 minutes later, I start to hear “BAM! BAM! BAM!” on my windows and I wonder, “Is that hail?”

The next thing I know the ENTIRE SKY is falling! I thought for sure all of the windows in my house were going to shatter. Then the tornado sirens start screaming. I have never heard any weather so loud as it was then. I grabbed little one and ran yelling for my older daughter to get up. We all huddled in the middle bathroom of the house, safe from all windows. You would’ve thought I had a tin roof on my house. It was so loud and so frightening! I held the kids close to me and took lots of deep breaths so I wouldn’t freak out too. It was pretty scary. About 10 minutes later, it stopped. All of us crawled back into my bed and I went to see what fell from the sky. This is what I saw on my back patio. These were all quarter to half dollar sized!



Whew! Time to call my insurance guy about taking a look at my roof. I'll just add it to the list...


Thursday, April 3, 2008

Guide your way on

I've noticed I'm throwing out some audio/video stimuli for my blog readers lately. Well, I have to add one more.



This is the concert I attended tonight. This type of music is very popular among us yoga students so several of us made a fun night of it by seeing the show together.

Above the small stage of musicians was a banner prominently displaying what her music and tour is about:

Peace in your heart
Peace in your home
Peace in the world.

She has the voice of an angel.

Then seeing her in person!! She is physically a very tiny thing and completely radiant. I swear she could've sprouted wings and flew around the room and I would've believed every minute of it.

The best part: holding hands with my friends while singing this song - the entire theatre singing this song - tears streaming down my face. It was a total spiritual experience for everyone there. My body was tingling from my fingers to my toes and I actually felt UNITY. Like I was the only person in the room. Amazing.

May the long time sun,
Shine upon you,
All love surround you
and the pure light within you
Guide your way on.

Sat Nam


I am truth. The essence of God is within me. We are one. Beautiful.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Shadow of the Day

I heard this song on the drive to my lawyer's office yesterday.



The ex and I met with her and initiated the process of our divorce. She is drawing up divorce papers over the next few days.

On my drive, I was a bit numb. I couldn't tell if I was sad about the end of my marriage or excited about the prospect of being free. The sense of failure still lingers. Then I heard this song and the initial lyric eased my mind:

I close both locks below the window.
I close both blinds and turn away.
Sometimes solutions aren’t so simple.
Sometimes goodbye’s the only way....


All is well. Life is good.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008