Monday, June 30, 2008


Ahh!! The sunrise on our first morning in Mexico. The entire vacation consisted of sitting on the beach, drinking and eating the local fare, and did I mention sitting on the beach?

I had fun with the feet photos. The above photo is me with my little one. The below photo is me with my older daughter.

Here's the view from our rooftop. It was fun to go up and look at the millions of stars at night. I couldn't even tell the constellations because there were so many more stars in the complete blackness of our night sky.

Flora, our beach dog. I have decided that I want to come back in my next life as a beach dog in Mexico. What a life!

A cenote. One of my favorite places to snorkel in the world and it was just across the street from our villa. When I was a little girl, I always craved an Icee on a hot summer day. Now I just crave cenotes.

The beach in Tulum. Que bonita.

Yoga on the beach. Need I say more?

My older daughter contemplating life from a hammock. Yeah, me too. This is where I spent a majority of our vacation.

Other than my older daughter being ill for most of the trip, we did nothing more than relax. I did take her to a doctor in nearby Tulum. That was an interesting experience as well.

Still, there's worse places in the world to be home with a sick child.

Now... back to life, back to reality...

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Home now

The trip home was interesting. We checked out of the house at 11:15 yesterday morning. It takes about an hour and a half from there to Cancun. Our flight was at 4:20 so we took our time getting to the airport, then got lost, then arrived on time only to find out that our flight was delayed an hour. We left Cancun at around 5:30, were diverted to Houston due to thunderstorms, sat in Houston on the plane for an hour and a half before heading up to Dallas, circling DFW for a while before landing at 11:15 p.m. Then we had to sit on the plane and wait for a gate, get through immigration, wait again for our luggage, get through customs and finally out the door by 1:15 a.m. this morning!!! With two sleepy children! Argh!

It was supposed to be a 2 hour flight (a 2 hour flight... I hear Gilligan's Island in there somewhere...)

The ex waited 5 hours at the airport to pick us up. What a great friend and daddy!!

I'll upload more photos and details later. I'm in dire need of a shower and have TONS of laundry to do.

What a beautiful place. We miss our beach already.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Midway through the trip

And wow. I'm so totally loving this place. I don't know why I ever bring makeup to Mexico. I think you'd be over dressed with powdered eyes and glossy lips. Really if you're wearing more than a swim suit and sundress, you are wearing entirely too much. I'm even going braless and I never do that!!!

My oldest daughter is battling a sinus/ear infection. Poor baby. She's trying to be a trooper despite feeling completely awful.

The younger daughter is exploring the ocean even though last June, she wouldn't go near it. Amazing what a year can do!!!

I'll post some photos when I return. It is the closest thing to heaven, I'm telling you!!!

Now... back to the beach. Where's my margarita?

Friday, June 20, 2008

Off to play

The kids and I will be off in Mexico for the next 7 days. Wheee! I'll tell you guys all about it when we return.

In the meantime, check out the slideshow on my sidebar to see photos of where we'll be.

Or check out some of my favorite bloggers (on the sidebar as well.)


Ready for my feet in the sand....

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Halfway there....

I looked at my timetable of when my soldier is coming home and was shocked to see 50% done. I knew we were close but wow.

Is it ironic that my divorce was just finalized yesterday too?

I emailed him from the courthouse yesterday morning and asked, "Know anyone interested in a newly SINGLE girl???"

His reply?


He called yesterday afternoon and we had another long discussion. We talked about how he's been feeling and my fears. We talked about decisions to have more children or not. We talked about whether or not I'd change my last name when I remarry.

Some SERIOUS conversations!!

Sometimes I have my doubts about what will happen with us. I mean, long distance relationships are hard enough! But let's factor in that he's off at war, dealing with the life/death choices, worried about mid-life, being controlled by his circumstances... and I'm a single girl, living freely here, meeting new people, enjoying my life (even at his insistence!) and things happen, you know? We had only just begun discovering each other when he had to go away. He pulled back emotionally. I have always been in your face with my feelings so he's never had a doubt of how I felt. He has wondered if I'd still be here when he returns.

So, now he's hit the halfway point and my divorce is final and we're talking about serious stuff.

I love that he's so honest. I love that he has no problem saying, "I can't think too much about the future because it makes me upset about where I am. However, this is my 5 year plan..."

I love that he's modified that plan to fit my situation.

I love that when I say something is bothering me, he wants to talk about it. I am used to hiding my true feelings. Sometimes people just don't want to know how you really feel about something. He does. And he will ask me for clarity until he understands exactly how I feel.

I love that if the something that is bothering me is something that he's done or said, he doesn't get defensive and deny that it could bother me. He owns it. That's just DAMN sexy to me. He talks me through his viewpoint and then soothes me through the misunderstanding.

I love that he's so particular about the life that I and my children deserve.

I love that, instead of commiserating with me about single motherhood (since he has no children), he sees past it to my strength, complimenting me and instilling a confidence in me that I don't see in myself.

He is amazing. We're halfway there and I just want him to be home. I don't want to have anymore doubts or unanswered questions. Will we work well together or not? I want to know! NOW!

But I guess there's still more that I have to experience on my own. And him too.

I will not fight this deployment. I have grown through it, in spite of it and because of it. Fighting it only gives it power over me. I will take back my power, take a deep breath, put my head down - no, you know what - I will look to the sky, put my foot forward and see what to do next. Thus far, I've been in good hands allowing someone else to be in control.

We're halfway there and I still have more to learn.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Officially official

As of approximately 9:00 a.m. CST this morning, I am legally divorced.

Feels weird. I have been identified as someone's wife for so long. Even though we've been separated for 2 years, still I knew that I was married to him. Now... its just weird.

I also feel like I need to write the ex a letter of gratitude.

I did this with my soldier when he was mentally and emotionally preparing for war. He didn't think we should see each other prior to his leaving and I was devastated. I was very upset but decided to ask for spiritual help instead of throwing anger at him. The outcome was a 7 page gratitude letter. After he received it, he was in tears. He said he was amazed that I could do something so wonderful for him the day after he said we shouldn't see each other for a while.

I'm not looking for tears from the ex but it seems to me that it would be good closure for me. I learned a lot about myself, relationships, and life in general during our nearly 16 years of marriage. I feel the need to let him know that I have no regrets about anything we've been through. I also want him to know that if I did cause him any pain, it was never my intention. I hope that his future is everything he wants it to be. I wish him much success, happiness and love.

And I really do mean that.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

To say I'm sorry

Saying I'm sorry never came easy for me. My dad had the same problem. His father too. There was something self-defeating to me about admitting I was wrong. I tried so hard to be perfect... how could I be wrong?!

I see this same trait in my oldest daughter. I have learned better and it does come easier for me these days. I show her that I am by no means perfect and I don't expect it of her either. Still, I see her embarrassment when she has to admit she's wrong.

Then there's my younger daughter. She has no problem with it at all. Maybe because she came into my life later, when my marriage was crumbling and I felt completely humbled by the experience? Or was she just born like that?

Monday morning, she was in my bed. I try to keep her out of my bed because, well, they have their own beds. Besides, at some point I will have a naked man in my bed. Yep, that's the plan!

Monday morning she stumbles sleepily into my bathroom and says, "Mommy, I'm not drowning."


"My nightgown is wet but I'm not drowning!"

She had wet the bed. My bed. The one withOUT the waterproof mattress pad.

I was so very angry. Not because she'd wet the bed but because I had turned her away twice during the night, insisting that she sleep in her own bed. She had climbed in with me, quietly and unbeknownst to me, when I finally fell asleep.

She did what I asked her to do. Change clothes. Take a bath. Get dressed for school. All without complaint. All while acting as if the day was normal. I did notice that when I came around her she would put her hands over her bottom for fear of a spank on her behind.

I noticed this and addressed it.

"Baby, I am upset. But its because I asked you not to come into my bed at night. And you did it anyway. I know you didn't mean to go pee pee in the bed. I'm not going to spank you but I am still upset."

About 5 minutes later she comes into my bathroom where I'm getting dressed.

"Mommy. I'm sorry I go pee pee in your bed."

"Honey, its ok. I know it was an accident. What you should say is that you're sorry for sneaking into my bed. Do you understand?"

Looking at me with her big eyes and in her sweetest voice she answered, "Yes maam." and gave me a big hug.

How can anyone resist that?!

If saying "I'm sorry" is that cute and can melt a heart like that then I really shouldn't ever have a problem saying it again.

Thank you, baby girl, for another powerful lesson.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Pickle Power in Climax

I was excited about getting started. Then as the heat built, I began to sweat profusely. Without warning, I was soaking, dripping wet! Finally nearly 2 and a half hours into it, I reached Climax. I hurt my knee while in Climax but soon I learned the true meaning of pickle power.

(Get your minds out of the gutter my friends!)

I did another cycling event on Saturday. I couldn't wait to get back on the road again. I do try to get in some short training rides when the kids are with the ex. However, this was the first major event I was participating in since my 160 mile ride back in early May.

It felt awesome to be back on my bike. I was all smiles, despite the heat. This was the first time I had been riding since summer officially kicked in here in Texas. Thankfully, about an hour into the ride, some clouds began to roll in. I enjoyed the coolness of a few sprinkles but then it came down! I was pelted with hard rain for about 10-15 miles.

I had to laugh. I had never cycled in rain before. I knew from other cyclists that you're supposed to slow down, hold your line and keep going. Some other cyclists were taking refuge under trees along the route. I decided that I should keep on to the next break point. I was soaked and it wasn't funny anymore.

The rain relaxed back into tiny sprinkles before I reached the break point. I found myself alone on the road and joyfully singing:

I made it through the rain
I kept my world protected
I made it through the rain
I kept my point of view
I made it through the rain
And found myself respected
By the others who
Got rained on too
And made it through

It was then that I had another beautiful revelation (as I usually do while cycling). I was singing a Barry Manilow song despite being soaked to the bone. I found humor in the situation and I was singing about it!

I learned that from the ex. He was always singing and always making up funny songs to turn any situation into a laughable one. I grew frustrated with this trait in him because I realized that he avoided sadness at all costs. He couldn't stand it. But hey, is it really that bad to laugh at life?

The next break point was at a tiny church in Climax, Texas. Ha! Immediately my mind began thinking of all sorts of sexual jokes. Unfortunately, I was riding alone and didn't have anyone to share them with.


This handsome looker of a guy asked me how I was doing. I couldn't hold it in any longer. "Well, its always good to know when you've reached Climax."

Without missing a beat he added, "Did it take you long to get here?

I replied, "Not really. But I did get really wet along the way."

We giggled like immature kids in the back of the classroom.

He was the Pickle Juice guy. I mentioned pickle juice in my post about my previous cycling event. Apparently, pickle juice is helpful for alleviating cramps due to dehydration. His job was to make sure the break points were stocked.

We talked for a little while as I refueled my body with snacks and drinks. I only had 20 miles to go. I said goodbye to the Pickle Juice guy and walked my bike back up to the road.

As I mounted the still wet bike, my foot slipped on my pedal. In order not to fall, I turned my handlebars sharply to the right and jammed my handlebars into my kneecap. Ouch!

You know that feeling when you hit your kneecap and it hurts so bad? Then you wait, knowing that eventually the pain will subside, right? Well, it wasn't subsiding. My entire right leg was throbbing and I hadn't even made it 10 feet from the break point.

Another cyclist rushed to help me back to the medic tent where I was assisted with ice. I really wanted to cry... it hurt that bad.

Then, Pickle Juice guy noticed me and came over to check on me.

"What happened to you? I thought you were leaving!!"

I explained the accident and though he showed concern, he joked, "You have to admit... it is pretty funny that you hurt your knee in Climax."

And so it began. I sat in the tent and made Climax jokes with the Pickle boy for nearly an hour. I swear I was just waiting for my knee to stop hurting!

He passed on his business card to me. He said he wanted to hear about this in my blog. He told me that I could reach him through his name at pickle power dot com.

As I rode away, I was smiling even more. It was nice to meet a good guy. I enjoyed being silly and immature with someone. And I had to giggle at the thought of meeting a boy with pickle power while in Climax.

I still loved his joke the best: "Hey, do you realize we were both at Climax at the same time?"

I could go on and on....(hee hee!)

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Father's Day

It didn't occur to me until Thursday night, while shopping with my kids for a card for the ex for Father's Day.

I don't have to buy a Father's Day card this year.

It hit me like a ton of bricks. Then my sister called yesterday because it was last year, on Friday the 13th, that we found out about my dad's cancer.

My kids said last night that since I couldn't send a card to my daddy, maybe I could just wish him Happy Father's Day in my prayers.

Yeah, I'll be wishing him a Happy Father's Day through prayers and hey, how about a blog post too?

You'll hear about him again next month when we get to, what would have been, his 60th birthday.

Funny, I couldn't imagine my dad at 60. Heh. I guess he couldn't either.

Hope you're having a happy one Dad. Love you.

**Picture of my dad coming in for the attack. I was a teenager lying on the floor trying to be artistic with my camera.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Woman with Two Brains (I wish!)

The ex has been very good at communicating with me about the divorce papers. He apparently has hired his own lawyer to look over the paperwork and well... has some things he wants to work on. Dammit! I was just really hoping to have all of this taken care of before we depart on our long-awaited family vacation. *sigh*

Instead of signing a waiver of service, his lawyer has advised him to sign a Respondent's Original Answer. I talked to my lawyer about this. I guess its ok. My lawyer didn't seem to have an opinion about this one way or the other.

The ex is also concerned about the amount of child support that was calculated. I gave my lawyer a paycheck stub from the ex as well as the total amount of his earnings from our taxes last year. From those two items, he calculated an amount that was approximately what I have been asking for the past few months anyway.

The only thing that was left out of the calculation was the amount that the ex is paying in health care insurance for the kids. He has to contact his health care company to find out the exact amount. The problem is that they are very difficult to get on the phone. Big surprise, right?

This morning he calls and says, "I'm thinking it may be doubtful that we get this finished by the 18th."


I guess I can't complain too much. At least we're still talking with civility to each other. I never imagined that we would actually be filing for divorce much less that we'd actually still be getting along while doing it!

I also went to my broker yesterday for a yearly update. I had to pull some money out of my retirement to sell my previous home. The ex did the same. What a sad state to pull from your future to sell a home. Sheesh!

The good news is that I still look good for retiring at age 65. Social Security may not be available but at least I'll have something! He did recommend that I double the amount that I'm currently contributing to my IRA. Yeah. Ok. Maybe next year.

He also recommended that I update my will. And I didn't even think about the fact that I have no life insurance!!! What the hell am I thinking!?!

Wow. Every time I think I have this single mom thing down, something else comes up that I should've thought about. Sometimes I think I seemed easier to raise children with two brains, you know?

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Said I'll always be a friend

My soldier seems to be having a very difficult time right now. It sucks...feeling helpless to do anything to make it better. I remember telling him, before his deployment, how I wish I could take all of his pain away.

My daughters sing this song all the time. After listening to the lyrics, I realized it would be an appropriate response for my soldier.

A few of the lyrics that stand out to me:

You have my heart
And we'll never be worlds apart

You're part of my entity, here for Infinity
When the war has took it's part
When the world has dealt it's cards
If the hand is hard, together we'll mend your heart

When the sun shines, we’ll shine together
Told you I'll be here forever
Said I'll always be a friend
Took an oath I'ma stick it out till the end
Now that it's raining more than ever
Know that we'll still have each other
You can stand under my umbrella
You can stand under my umbrella

You can run into my arms
It's OK don't be alarmed
Come here to me
There's no distance in between our love
So go on and let the rain pour
I'll be all you need and more

I'm sending love, hugs, prayers, positive energy, Namastes and lots of care packages! Keep him in your prayers.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Fears and vulnerability

I just read an article on about the top 5 parenting fears. I would whole-heartedly agree with the fears. I think its much worse as a single parent because you feel solely responsible!

I have several girlfriends who were molested as children. I never really knew there was such a thing when I was a child. Sure, I've had some affectionate people in my life but nothing close to what some of my friends have experienced. I try to keep my head about me when I think of this because I could so very easily lose my mind.

The worst part of all of these fears is trying to date. I remember bringing this up to my soldier. These guys that I met through online dating.... most of the conversations, they would be trying to convince me what a great father they would be. I was frustrated because they weren't going to meet my children until they got through me first! My soldier said that he could understand why men would do that. They understand that as a single mom, your children are your highest priority. Yes but I needed something for me! Then I would bring a man into the picture after trust was established.


It seems nearly impossible for me to consider trusting a man to be alone with my children. Does this fear ever subside? I try to remind myself that all I can do is try to raise my children with love and awareness but ultimately, they and their souls will choose what to experience on this earthly plane. We can never prepare fully for what life is going to throw our direction.

I was blessed with a "God bubble" that I always felt safe in. I always knew I was safe, no matter the circumstances. And I've been in some pretty iffy circumstances when certain things could've happened but didn't. I wasn't afraid. I knew I was going to be ok.

I would like to see my children in their own "God bubbles" but its not always up to me. As a parent, and especially as a single parent, that vulnerability is the absolute ugliest, nastiest, multi-headed dragon that exists! It rears its head and suddenly you're accusing someone you've known for your entire adult life of getting too close to your children. Not just too close but uncomfortably close. What do you do with this? Is there a way to put this beast to sleep once and for all?

A Course in Miracles says that we cannot judge. We couldn't possibly see the whole big picture before, during or after our decision to judge. We judge based on our own perception and past fears. We don't know the ultimate consequences of our decisions. We can never see the forest for the trees.

I know when I am being judgmental. And I try to get "me" out of the way so that God can look at it for me. I also need to remember not to judge myself for being judgmental. It is to be expected.

But as a parent, with fear and vulnerability staring me right in my face, it takes everything I've got not to react. I have to remember that moving quickly and out of fear will not quell this beast. I have to be still, listen and understand where the dragon is coming from. Only then will I see that these feelings are in me and I have the choice to let them go. Violent reaction to them will only cause more pain for me.

Thank God I am not on this quest alone. It is not my strength that gets me through this.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Money matters

I try to raise my girls to understand the value of money. I also try to raise them to have a healthy attitude about money. Of course, I don't know if I always succeed at the latter since I'm usually getting on to them about wasting electricity, food, water, etc. It seems I need to work on my money attitude because demonstration is the best teacher, isn't it?

One of my co-workers was telling me a story about his daughter wanting to take on a new hobby. He insisted that she earn the money herself. He gave her free reign to sell various garage items gathering dust. This little entrepreneur, age 10, has already made over $100 selling items on Craig's List. Hey, I think we're on to something here!

Over the weekend, my mom came over to watch the kids while I ran an errand. Mom was trying to sweep the back patio and the broom broke. She asked my oldest daughter if I had another broom and I didn't.

Apparently, my daughter decided to play me in the situation when she told my mom:

"No, Mommy doesn't have another broom. And you're going to have to buy her a new one. With your own money."

Ok, oops! How's that for a healthy attitude?

Monday, June 9, 2008

Sweet niblets from my sweet niblet

Yesterday while grocery shopping with my daughters, we decided to buy some fresh corn on the cob. The ex is from the mid-west and knows quite a bit about buying fresh corn. He taught me what to look for ages ago. My older daughter seemed as if she knew what she was doing as she picked up the corn and pulled the husks back.

I watched as she'd look and then put the corn back. Grab another and do the same thing. Surely, all the corn wasn't bad, was it?

"Baby, I see Daddy has taught you how to look for good corn. Do you know exactly what you're looking for?"

"Yes, Mommy. See, you pull this back and look."

"Ok but what are you looking for?"

"To see if we won something!"

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Little revelations = More Jewels

Lately I've noticed little revelations that come to me. I thought I'd take stock of all that I've realized this past week and remember other revelations that have helped me thus far along my quest:
  • We are constantly creating the world around us. This creation is based on our ability to be in the present moment. If we are not present, we are usually creating drama. This drama begins with our thoughts and then projects outwards.
    • Check yourself the next time you feel upset or worried. I can promise you that you're thinking of the past or future.

  • When someone is in a bad mood or unhappy (or any sort of feeling really), that feeling gets projected on to the nearest person. And we're generally in a bad mood when we're stuck in the drama in our minds.
    • This is why spouses blame each other for their unhappiness. No one can 'make' you feel anything. The feeling is in you and you just project it onto the person closest to you. Its what we do.
    • This is why it is a good idea to give someone space to get past their mood. Once they have space, they begin to realize that it was their feelings, not the person, that caused the pain. (Space is, of course, a relative term. I think it took the ex well over a year before he realized that it wasn't me who was making him miserable. Me too actually.)
    • The reverse occurs when you feel joyous and complete. Then you project that wholeness out to everyone who comes into contact with you. They sense the joy and feel love emanating from your very soul. That is what attracts people to you.

  • Being afraid of something actually draws it into our existence.
    • When you spend all of your creative power worrying about something, you actually make it real.

  • When we're afraid of something, we're generally afraid of the unknown part of it.
    • I've realized that I was always afraid of being a single parent but now that I'm in it, I just do it. You don't think about things in emergency situations, you just do what needs to be done. But thinking about what could happen is scary as hell.
    • I am just as terrified of this new relationship with my soldier. I try to trust that things will work out but I also need to remember they will work out the way they're supposed to and not necessarily as I picture them. Either way, I'll be ok.

  • If you're scared and playing it out as drama in your mind, looking for validation of your fears from someone else will make it real as well.
    • If you do need to talk to someone, make sure it is someone who realizes that you're over thinking or worrying and can get you out of your mind.
    • If you talk with someone who agrees with your 'victimhood' then it will not make you feel better.
    • The best friends are those who see you for WHO YOU REALLY ARE and not the drama you can make up in your mind.

  • You will see what you are looking for.
    • If you are having doubts or certain beliefs about yourself, your doubts and beliefs will be validated. This occurs because you believe it will always occur. Every moment can be different if you simply choose different beliefs about yourself.
    • You choose the content you wish to see in every situation. If you choose love, that is what you will see. Either love or a call for love. If you choose hate, that is what you will see.
    • Send love out into your day ahead of you every day and you will be amazed at how differently the world looks.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

What is it they say about assuming?

Yesterday in yoga, we all drew random cards from a deck bearing quotes from The Four Agreements. Here's what mine said:
The biggest assumption that humans make is that everyone sees life the way we do. We assume that others think the way we think, feel the way we feel, judge the way we judge, and abuse the way we abuse. We are afraid to be ourselves around others because we think others will judge us, victimize us, abuse us, and blame us as we do ourselves.
Amen. That's what I do.

I've been scared the past few days. A new relationship from 6000 miles away tends to take its toll on me sometimes. I worry that he will see me as "not good enough" - one of my own self-limiting beliefs.

I will be working on that one along this quest. Whew. That's one dragon that keeps following me through every secret doorway and dark forest...

Friday, June 6, 2008

Pavlovian conditioning

My soldier called yesterday. I don't know why but lately when he calls, my body responds immediately. I tend to keep the physiological responses to myself but yesterday, I had to tell him about what happens as soon as I hear his voice on the phone.

I get butterflies in my stomach. Then my skin begins to tingle. (I also went into other ways my body responds but I'll just let you use your imagination.)

His response: "Its a Pavlovian thing, honey."


(And yes, I know who Pavlov is but I wasn't sure where he was going.)

Then he said, "It's because I gave you a crying orgasm. That's why your body responds the way it does."

Oh yeah.

So, let me explain.

Something happens to me when I'm truly moved by the partner I am having sex with. Thus far, it has only happened when I'm in love with that partner.

Its like... the earth moves or something. All I know is that suddenly, emotion wells up inside of me and I begin to cry uncontrollably. I mean OUT OF CONTROL. I can't even catch my breath. I've actually scared the man I'm with when its happened because they assume they're hurting me.

Nope, I just feel like our spirits have soared out of our bodies and absorbed completely into each other in some other realm of time and space.

No pain.

All love.

That's the only way I can explain it.

Generally, this "crying orgasm" (as I so delicately named it) happens deep into a relationship when I am falling completely for someone and I know that they feel the same.

With my soldier, it happened the very first time.

I told him that it happened all the time. I didn't want to freak him out as much as I was freaked out. How could I feel such emotion with him when we'd barely spent time together after not seeing each other for 17 years? Surely it was a fluke, right?

Before his deployment, I admitted that my crying orgasm was actually quite rare and well, the first time with someone? Never happened before.

Apparently, he remembers that conversation.

Pavlov, you were definitely on to something.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

16 more days to Paradise!

I'm counting down the days to our family vacation. There will be 10 of us altogether renting a beach house in a tiny little town in Mexico: me & my two girls, my sister, her husband and their 3 kids, my mom and her husband.

The last time we took this vacation, I was still with the ex and 7 weeks pregnant with baby #2. My sister actually got pregnant while we were there and thus our two youngest children were born 2 months apart to the day.

I'm excited also because I will be heading to court in less than 2 weeks to finalize my divorce. I look forward to making this divorce legal. This vacation I will not be pregnant and I will be legally a free woman! Bring on the tequila!!

If you look at the bottom right toolbar, you will see my countdown timer as well as some photos of the area we're visiting. We've been planning the vacation for an entire year. Its hard to believe that its finally almost here.

So... is it selfish of me that all I can think about is how I won't be able to communicate with my soldier for a whole week?!?!

I keep telling myself that I will be so distracted with the kids and beach and margaritas that I won't even miss him.

Somehow, I doubt that.

I mean how can I not miss him when I see this outside of my bedroom window:

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

What a grouch

Thanks to Ms. Single Mama's post to give me a better idea why I'm so grouchy these past few days. All I know is that I have NO patience right now!

I get so many telemarketers calling at home and at work too. I am at the point that if I don't recognize the number, I'm immediately bitchy upon answering the phone. I hate to be that way. I just get tired of the scams...

Yesterday, I was trying to get us all out the door to school and work and my phone rang. With an unidentifiable number. Break out the pissiness.

Unknown phone person: "Hello? Is this T?"

Me. Annoyed: "Yes."

As she begins to speak, I'm trying to get my children loaded into the car. I notice my 3 year old has toothpaste on her face.

Me at my 3 year old: "Did you rinse and spit?"

Unknown lady on the phone: "Excuse me?"

Me irate at the unknown lady on the phone: "Did you rinse and spit? Is there a reason I would be asking you that question? Isn't it obvious I wasn't speaking to you?"

Well it turns out, she was calling me as a reference for a good friend of mine who is adopting a dog. I felt bad but it was such an inconvenient time (and time of the month) to be calling me.

I promise I'm not normally this way.

I hope he still gets the doggie. Oops!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Fighting words

My mom told me yesterday that my sister and her husband are fighting quite a bit. I hate to hear this. Especially since we will all be sharing a home together in Mexico in a few weeks for my long-awaited vacation. I just don't want to feel the negative energy on my vacation, you know?

It also reminds me that there will most likely come a time when my soldier and I will be fighting. I hate to think like that while we're still in a period of 'major swoon'. I know that disagreements will happen. I hope that we can be mature enough to realize what's happening and can express ourselves in words that aren't hurtful.

I watched the movie P.S. I Love You last week. My friend insisted I watch it because I do have a thing for both Gerard Butler and Harry Connick Jr. I love both of those men for the crooked smiles on their drool-worthy lips...

****We now interrupt this blog post for a testosterone break:****

Wow. I need my soldier to come home SOON!


****Now back to our regularly scheduled blog post, already in progress.****

Anyway, in the beginning of the movie, the two main characters are having a huge fight and some angry words are spoken. Then he leaves the apartment. The beautiful thing is that he comes back within 5 seconds, they apologize and rush into each other's arms. They then spoke kind words, expressing their fears to each other with no masks or pride. I was already in tears at that point in the movie for the sheer fact that they loved each other enough to feel safe.

I would like to think that my soldier and I have grown enough from past relationships to treat each other with love and respect. I hope that we can feel safe enough to express our fears and trust that the other person only wants to see the other's happiness.

I don't know why I'm worrying about this now. I guess it all remains to be seen.

Maybe it will be different the second time around. Maybe, we can love each other through the fighting words. Maybe, just maybe, we can nurture each other and stay connected through whatever happens.

So far, so good.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Please please me

"I want to make sure they are envious of you."

My soldier said this in an email a few days ago. He was telling me that he wants to get back into good shape before he's seen nearly naked (in a bathing suit, mind you) by my girlfriends. He's a workout fiend and can't squeeze in enough athletics into his 17 hour work days in Baghdad. He's put on a little weight and is dying to get back into his fitness routine.

I thought it was a sweet statement to make and it reminded me of what I've been reading about men and relationships lately.

From my understanding, men are happier in relationships if they feel that their girl is pleased, content and happy.

My soldier and I discussed something similar to this in our phone call on Wednesday. I was telling him about how I feel that the ex is becoming a better father to our girls. I think it has to do with the fact that I'm not standing over him, evaluating (and yes, criticizing) him and his efforts at being a daddy. Basically, I was doing what I've seen most moms do: try to make the dad into another mom.

I guess it is a control thing because being a mother is an enormous responsibility. As a mom, you just want to make sure it is done as perfectly as possible. Well, I'm not sure the dads see the same picture. I think they want the kids healthy and happy but that doesn't necessarily include matching shirts and skirts or hair perfectly coiffed, ya know? Now that I've given up the control, and a few times have accidentally forgot to pack certain rather important items, he's had to step up and take charge. He's impressed me. I'm not sure he would've done it if I hadn't let go a little.

My soldier agreed and told me of a situation with his boss. If your boss (or wife, or husband) is never impressed with anything you do, you simply stop trying. I think that's what the ex did, both as a husband and father. Its not that I wasn't impressed with him as a husband but I was so busy trying to be the perfect mother that I didn't notice anymore. We were both looking outside of ourselves for joy. I took him for granted. And he took me for granted too. So, we both gave up. Sad, isn't it?

In my soldier wanting my girlfriends to be envious of me, I hear so many things:

"I want to look good for you."

"I want you to be happy with me."

"I will work hard to do whatever it takes so that you are bragging to your friends about what a wonderful man I am."

I hope that I can stay aware of his efforts and remember that he only wants me to be happy. I realize that he can't make me happy, no matter the effort. It really is a choice that I have to make.

Still, its cute that he wants to try!