2018-07-01 Holy Shit, It’s July

It should come as no surprise since 1.) Yesterday was June 30th and 2.) It’s felt like July for weeks now. I haven’t done any biking or tennis this year at all cuz it’s either too hot and humid or it’s pouring down rain. Is this Nebraska or some jungle deep in the heart of the Amazon?

Well even though it should have dawned on me before just now typing the date out, it still kind of snuck up on me. Like most days, weeks, months, I came out the gate strong and full of vigor and motivation and ended tired, unsatisfied with my progress, and forgiving myself for being human, but I AM human, so it’s ok. Like Jack White says in Little Cream Soda, “Oh well oh well”.

My brain is scattered this morning. Am I really going to continue to talk about the weather or am I going to put down a solid Sunday Status or and I going to recount my experiences yesterday with the writing workshop or perhaps the family pool party that the kids and I attended last night? Too too much!

How about I focus on one magic moment.. from the pool party…

There I was, tentatively taking a quick dip in the pool, one eye on the other party goers/summers and the other watching the low dark clouds above defying nature and moving in several different directions at once. We all were. I’ve never been swimming in a storm before. We had checked the radar and the current cell was well south and east of our location and moving north east. It was sure to miss us so we decided to get in. There were rumbles in the distance and knowing how foolish it is to tempt fate, we were ready to book it inside the house at the first real sign of trouble (lightening).

Then the rain began to come down. Everyone sitting in chairs headed for the house but the rest of us were already wet. Instead of booking it to the house, a few folks said “hot tub time!”. Well ok. So the kids and I and Jim and several of his relatives got out of the pool and into the hot tub and there we sat, under the protection of a massive pine tree.

The sensation of being in the hot water and looking out at the rain just pouring down all around us was incredible. The best part was sharing that moment with my favorite peeps. I looked over at Z and C and could tell they were having fun. It was a brief moment in time, but priceless. Those moments are few and far between and I need to take all I can get.

Soon after we got in the hot tub there were a few bright flashes in the Sky and that was it, time to give up the moment and head for the safety of the house. We grabbed the towels out from under an umbrella and made a beeline for the back door. The party continued inside and it was good. His family didn’t stay terribly late and after that the kids and Jim and I sat in the kitchen talking about random things. It was a great night.

Like I said, few and far between and before I know it, these last few teenage years with my children will be in the past. Just like July snuck up on me, so will Spring of 2020 and Summer of 2022 and then they will be off making their own way in the world. That means I have to try and make the most of each day and the time I’ve been given. It truly is a gift and I have to remind myself to not waste it worrying too much about what I did or did not get done, or how many steps I got, or whatever.

With that, I’m going to turn my attention away from yesterday or this past week or month and focus on what’s next… something else Incredible (Incredibles 2). 😉

Happy July Ya’ll, Make the Most Of it!

~Miss SugarCookie

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2018-05-19 Eleven Week Meetup

It’s a rainy Saturday afternoon. I’m at the gym trying to work of a big lunch. JS an I were talking last night about the foods we used to eat when we were young and in HS and college and it reminded me of my very favorite thing ever (or was a hundred years ago).

Blue box macaroni and cheese paired with applesauce. It had to be Kraft and from the box, none of that easy Mac stuff they sell now. Talking about it gave me such a craving. When I was at the grocery earlier getting stuff to cook dinner I picked up a box and some sugar free organic applesauce. I made that for lunch today for C and I and it was so good. I overate a little and now I just feel full. Hopefully 10k steps on this machine will make me feel better.

Big deal for me later.. not only am I cooking dinner for us (first time for that), but he’s also meeting my kids. I mean, it feels like a big deal even though it’s really not. He’s a cool cat and my kids won’t care much. Hopefully we’ll have a nice dinner and good conversation and then he and I are headed across the Missouri to go to an art exhibit at my sisters building (she lives in an artist complex that’s an old building downtown turned into apartments). I’m sure it will all be fine but I’m kinda nervous anyway hoping it goes well.

The cooking part is kind of funny actually because he’s cooked for me no less than like two dozen times (or more) now. Just about every time I go to his place we have a meal and he’s never let me help. Well one morning I was on bacon duty. 😜

I’m totally not used to that. He pours me a glass of wine and I just sit there and watch him while he cooks, and we talk. This time I’m cooking and one must remember I’m used to cooking for my kids and I and we don’t ever eat anything fancy. Mostly because they are so picky and don’t like flavor. I’ve always been good at my job, but with all the domestic stuff, I’m very so-so.

After cooking for Simon a couple of times he sort of always gave me a look when the subject came up. “Oh honey, not everyone can be good at everything”. Gawd, but that was Simon.. always making me feel inadequate. “Can you crack an egg?” What a patronizing thing to say. JS would never do that and, of that, I am certain.

Anyway, so that’s going down in a couple of hours. It will be fine I’m sure. The trick will be to cook a meal everyone will like and nobody will turn their nose up. I want the kids to leave a good impression and People eye rolling and refusing to eat will just not do. I just really want the kids to like him and for him to like the kids. Today is the 11 week anniversary of the day we met. Wowza! Time flies. That’s a good amount of time to wait to introduce the kids right? I hope so.

I’d better get back to cleaning up the house now that my lunch has settled.

Peace Out, ✌️

~Miss SugarCookie

2018-04-08 This is My Blog and I’ll Rant if I Want To

I’m not gonna sugar coat this. My ex-husband is a supreme douchebag. My gawd.. it’s good that my BS threshold is so high, otherwise I’d probably have been pushed past a breaking point way before now.

The funny thing is, he gets so butt-hurt when people talk shit about his behaviors. If you do douchy things, people are going to call you a douche bag. It’s that simple. And my responsibility to have your back and defend you ended in March 15, 2010 when I signed those papers in a court of law. A bitter-sweet day, but absolutely necessary for me to pursue a better life.

For 8 years I’ve tried very hard to walk a line where on one side, was him and his behaviors and tactics and the other was my children and my desire to maintain positive relationships for their sake.

I still have a responsibility to be amiable for them, but my ability to spin a positive light around him despite his life decisions is waning. I just can’t.

Breaking news this week.. he quit his job. The one that he got to end his 4 year streak of not having a job. The one that my kids’ health insurance was through. The one that he complained about every single time I saw him because he hated it. “Boo-hoo”.

You mean to tell me you didn’t like your job (or just working probably). Welcome to the real world bro. Lots of people Work a job they don’t like because it serves a purpose.. income and insurance. Security for your family. Your children who depend on you to man up and be an adult and not just quit because you are not happy.

Ok.. back it up. People might give me the side-eye saying this. Didn’t I do the same thing last year?? Yes. But here’s the difference.

1. I had a plan and enough savings to carry me a certain amount of months.

2. I’ve worked 20+ years in my field and have a great reputation and mad skillz (spelling isn’t one of them). 😜 So I knew I could get another job without too much trouble. He doesn’t have that.

3. Before I quit, I made sure he could take over the insurance for the kids with his employer. I would never have quit without having that figured out. Even if it was through the stupid Marketplace.

Three strikes and your out dude!!

He stopped paying child support years ago and I never pressed that issue because we mutually agreed to change our parenting plan and terms without officially going back through the courts. Not only that, but I’ve carried tje insurance and paid all medical expenses for the 4 years. Even when insurance switched back to him, I still paid the medical bills out of my HSA.

I even went to the courthouse recently to sign a waiver saying he was caught up on his child support because in the eyes of the court, he was delinquent. So I’ve gone above and beyond on his financial behalf. For the record, and in hindsight, signing that was stupid and I will never do it again. I lost all leverage to get anything out of him. However, once that amount starts piling up again, shit is gonna be different.

You act like a deadbeat, people are gonna know and I’m done enabling that. The kids are old enough now to understand and recognize it too and I’m over trying to smooth that over too. Z needs to get checked out for an issue and I told her she’ll have to wait until mom can arrange coverage because dad quit his job. She can form her own opinion about the situation.

I don’t know how I would possibly spin this anyway. I’m not even gonna try. I’m also going to TRY not to dwell on it. I have to get insurance for them no matter what and can’t depend on him to do it.

He tried to tell me marketplace was going to take 90 days and a prerequisite was filing 2017 taxes. Both of those things were bold face lies. I know, because I spent part of my Friday afternoon going through the forms online. I can get coverage by May 1st. I called him out on it and he just acted stupid. Derp.

What an idiot.

Ok.. I have to be done and find my happy place again. Now where did I put that mantra??

Oh yeah.

Peace and Love,

~Miss SugarCookie

2018-03-23 Friday Freakout

Yesterday the sun came out finally and the temps went up enough the kids and I had our first trampoline session of the year.

It was also admittedly a struggle to choose that over sitting down to read or write given my state of mind due to my self inflicted situation, which is another looming deadline and being even farther behind than I have in past situations.

It shouldn’t be a struggle, it should be a no brainer. The kids want to spend time with me outside and it was a beautiful day. What is life if it’s not living for those moments. And my days like this are numbered. I don’t ever want to sacrifice another minute with my kids for school or Work or anything really. Pretty soon the’ll be grown and gone and the work will still be there waiting for me.

We jumped until the sun went down. It was glorious.

I accomplished very little last night. Our cat jumped the fence and didn’t come back right away like she normally would. By 10pm, we were all freaking out about that and nobody was able to do a thing.

By the time she returned, it was too late to do anything but go to bed.

I tried to read, unsuccessfully, and consequently, I’m already behind on the master plan I put together yesterday for completing my March packet for the MFA program. Do I double up today? Is that even possible? What can I sacrifice to catch up? I don’t have answers, only more questions.

Yesterday I was freaking out about it and perhaps the goal today is to NOT repeat that and just dig in and make progress. I should change the title of this post to “Friday UN-Freakout”.

Well, those books are not going to read themselves…

Getting a Grip,

~Miss SugarCookie

2018-03-13 Fire 🔥 and Ice ❄️

I said upfront that it is what it is. Organic is a nice way to say unprocessed and unfiltered. That means that sometimes you get unfiltered awesomeness and sometimes it’s just rotten. Today I have a rant about my ex (husband) and if I remember before I’m done writing, I also want to contemplate a dream I had and what it might mean.

First, the ex. This guy! Flame 🔥 on!!

This guy who never cared about being a partner in parenting when our kids were small. This guy who was so career driven “for us” but found time to go out and drink and screw around when he was in town, yet didn’t have time to change a lightbulb or drive his kids to swim class.

This guy who was perpetually stuck in his 20s and wanted what he wanted and didn’t care until well after our divorce.

Having 30% responsibility for the kids when we separated was eye opening to him. He slowly realized how difficult things can be and also what rewards were also possible. Now he cherishes his children and they are his world, but that took a long time.

I remember the first time he texted that he was up all night with Z who was sick. I was all like “how is she now?” (And welcome to the real world, no shit it’s hard).

I went through years getting letters from the school about how my children were habitually tardy and he always said that it wasn’t him. He was always the master of convincing himself he was never to blame. I’m the data nerd, so I had the calendar with the schedule and crosschecked that with the detail reports I requested from the school. Surprise surprise, the kids were late on his mornings. I knew that already because I was rarely late.

Then we went through a phase where his vehicle wouldn’t start in the mornings. Despite it being at least 8 years newer than mine AND the same kind of car (Ford Escape), he would text and say “my car won’t start, can you take the kids?”. What was I supposed to do, say no?

He always made excuses.. and each time that was a reminder to me why were not married anymore. Over time (8 years this week actually), he’s gotten better, and now he has a job again and a girlfriend and takes more responsibility for things.

Every once in a while, though, I still get those reminders. This week Is his daughter’s Sweet 16 party which is a big deal to her, and I’m taking care of ALL of it, including hosting at my house and paying for everything. The only thing I physically can’t do is get 8 people to the escape room event and back. I asked for his help with carpool over two weeks ago and then confirmed again last week.

Then yesterday Z and I were picking something up at his house I’m the middle of the day, and he saunters out in his pajamas and comes up to my car window to say hi.

“I took the day off because I hate my job” he says. I conceal my eye roll by briefly looking down and then just smile and nod. I proceed to confirm the carpool again (because this is necessary) and I’m glad I did because he proceeds to tell me he can’t because he has a job interview IN DENVER. WTF??!

I’m really low on good alternatives. I’m not friends with the other parents and it’s short notice to take Work off early anyway. My sister is out of town and my other sister doesn’t have a car and I’ve got no friends close to this area of town. My parents aren’t close enough for it to be reasonable, but that’s my next best option.

He asked about Uber and I replied, “sure, I’m sure my dumping 3 teenage girls in a car with a complete stranger is going to go over really well… no!”.

This morning I requested he ask his girlfriend to help. She’s lived with him un officially for a while now and officially for the past several months. I think it’s not a stretch to ask. I forced his hand on it and she said yes, so now it’s all worked out. I’m still left feeling a little “WTF” though. Seriously.

There is so much more I could rant about, but perhaps that’s enough for now. I gotta turn down that flame so I can get to more important things, like how I almost died in a dream. It left me with icy chills. ❄️ I say “Almost” because when it happened, I woke up instantly!!

This was the night before last but you don’t experience something like that and forget it easily. I was with a few people at an event and the only one I remember was my step sister, Julie. We were looking up watching some event on tvs. There were multiple side by side screens like they have at the gym or at a sports bar mounted above where we were standing.

The screen on the right was showing some party outdoors with mountains covered in snow on the background. I had interest in this because I had family there too, or so I felt in my dream. It was too small to know for certain but I just felt it.

The scene didn’t last long. All at once you could see in the distance on the TV that there was an avalanche of snow coming down the mountain. At first it was small, and then in an instant it became massive and a spit second later, it overtook that party and I barely had time to consider the fact that my family was all crushed under that snow before a giant white mass came down upon us and where we were. Another instant later I woke with the fear of death in me. I was at that event and buried under an avalanche of snow and debris. I was terrified and it truly took me a few seconds to recognize it was a dream and I was fine. I didn’t really go back to sleep after that.

Like I said, that was yesterday but it’s still lingering in my brain. It happened so fast and what I just described is all I remember. I wonder what that could all mean?

No matter, time to get back to reality now and the party happening in a few hours here in Sunny Nebraska where there are no snow filled mountains! 😉

Flame 🔥 Off,

~Miss SugarCookie

2018-03-07 Exactly Sixteen Years Ago

Last night I could barely keep my eyes open past 9PM, I was so tired. I’m truly not sure what I was so tired from, because I barely did anything at all yesterday. I didn’t really work and did mostly running around shopping for my Z and a little writing. Dinner with the kids and my mom and her husband for Z’s bday at Texas roadhouse, and then back home. I tried to read and my eyes were literally blurring the words on the page. I think that is a combination of being tired and just getting older. Nothing is what it used to be, but that is another topic for a different day.

It’s now 2:22 AM and I’ve just gone AMA (my own) and taken half a Xanax because I just can’t deal with a sleepless night right now with so much that needs to get happen tomorrow and the remainder of the week. Funny the way it is, when there is a lull, I can sleep just fine, but as soon as things start getting a little hectic that’s when the insomnia monster rears its ugly head. Of course, it is always when one needs it the most. As a consequence of the medicine, I may not (will hopefully not) be writing long.

The main topic at hand is my Z and her 16th birthday today!! Today is one of those days that’s nice to look back on previous years. Just before I started writing, I read my blog post from last year and sure enough, that day all came rushing back to me. Right now, though, in the middle of the night and all alone, I’m inclined to think further back than that to 16 years ago when I woke around midnight to go to the bathroom and my water broke.

By 1AM we were probably in the hospital all checked in and by this time, around 2:30, I was heavy into having contractions and probably still under the delusion that I was going to give birth “naturally”. That is, without pain meds. Laughable.

By 2ish, I was becoming increasingly aware of just how bad labor pains really could be. You hear stories, but you just never know. Everyones pain threshold is relative too so you really just can’t gauge it until you feel it for yourself. It was bad. So that is where I was at Exactly Sixteen Years Ago, right this very minute.

By 3 I think I caved and asked for something to help and they gave me some sort of oral med to “take the edge off”, which only made me feel super loopy and didn’t even touch my pain. After that, I was a hot mess. Brian’s parents showed up and in my heightened emotional state I started to cry and demand they leave immediately. I had requested they not be there so why they decided to come anyway in the middle of the night was beyond me. I didn’t want my parents there either, but they respected my wishes and waited until after Z was born to grace us with their presence.

Maybe around 4 or 5 I finally got an epidural, I am not quite sure what time it was, but I was in so much pain, I didn’t even feel that giant needle going in. The only thing I remember was that what followed was sweet relief and I was pissed at myself for being so stubborn and waiting so long. The few hours between then and delivery in the 8 o’clock hour were not memorable, thank goodness.

There’s more details I could share, but honestly, “aint nobody got time for that”.

It’s a little tough for me to believe that the very same 6 pound, 6 ounce baby girl they placed into my arms that morning is now 16 and almost an adult. She’s an amazing person and so full of love and life. She’s a talented artist, intelligent, beautiful, sassy, and very, very thoughtful. I could not ask for a better person to call my “princess pudding pie”.

Today will be a pretty routine day for us with going out to dinner again tonight being the only celebratory event (apparently, celebrations always revolve around food). Tomorrow is when her and I really get into putting our party hats on, because we’re both taking the day off to spend time together doing whatever she wants to do. Just the two of us. I look forward to that every year.

Perhaps we will take a walk down memory lane together and go through her baby books and oogle over how incredibly cute she was. We’ll see what kind of mood she is in.. you never know with teenagers. She might want to sleep until noon and then just go shopping for the afternoon. /Shrug

Anyway, I should let the meds take over now and try and sleep. Getting some of these thoughts down in words will hopefully help release my mind so I can get quality sleep for the rest of the night and be refreshed tomorrow to do “all the other things”.

Sleepy in Nebraska,
~Miss SugarCookie

2017-11-01 Maui Day 3 🚧

We had quite an adventure today. Since we decided to visit the volcano tomorrow, due to the forecast, the plan for the day was pretty open. Z wanted to go to a couple places way up north on the northwest part of the island that she saw on a YouTube video earlier in the year so that is what we decided to do. Little did we know how interesting that would turn out to be.

Due to the fact that we drove the west coastline yesterday, we opted to drive the alternate route today, which was a narrow highway with twists and turns up through rainforest along the coast. The road was pretty fun actually and I didn’t have nearly the anxiety about it as I did with one I drove in Utah last year. Then the highway ended and it became a single lane road. The distance to our destination was relatively short, but the drive seemed long. We got to about 4 miles from the Nakalele Blowhole and ran right into a “road closed sign”. It was completely shut down with no way to get through. There was a cliff with drops to the ocean on one side, and solid rock wall on the other. There was nowhere to go but back the way we came.. and so we did.

However, just like everything else in life, I can’t be told “no” about anything without putting my foot down and saying “oh really, just watch me”. So we drove all the way back to the part of the main juncture of the island and proceeded to travel up the entire west coast.

When we arrived at the spot, we parked the car by the side of the highway and got out. We walked a short distance to a precipice that overlooked the entire scene. To the right of me, I could see the giant land formation which was the very same one I saw two hours before. We had been so damn close. We took a few pictures and then started our decent to the water below. It was fun climbing down the rocks, sort of racing to see who could find the best way down. The position of the sun caused our shadows to be cast on the ground below which was worthy of a pause to take a pic but it wasn’t long before we were down at sea level.

We wandered around a bit, being a little leery of getting too close to the hole because there were several warning signs about the danger of getting pulled into the ocean.

As I stood on the black, rocky volcanic ground and looked out at the waves crashing on the coastline to the right and to the left of me, I began to cry. It was such a fantastic view. I couldn’t believe how far I had come, both literally and figuratively. I watched my children from a brief distance and became overwhelmed with joy.

Z was sitting, patiently waiting for the next big eruption of water through the hole, her phone, perfectly positioned and ready to take a picture of the action. C had a small stick and was poking at tiny crabs that were in the of water that had collected in pools on the ground around us. We were all in our happy places.

We’re happy and healthy and getting to experience the most amazing things on this trip. It may be years before they truly appreciate it, or recognize how wonderful all of this is, but right then, in that moment, I did. I felt it like the ocean waves crashing on the rocks next to me. I felt how powerful nature can be and how powerful life is. And it wasn’t just about that moment, it was about the road we travelled to get there.

We drove the entire circle around Northwest Maui, save the estimated 4 or 5 miles of road that were closed just to get to a blowhole where the ocean waves crash up like a geyser. We had traveled across half of the United States and part of the Pacific Ocean to get to where we are today. Like life, the journey is long, but it is totally worth it.

And just like today, one can run into roadblocks in life and have to go the long way around, but if you keep going, you eventually make it to wherever it is you wanted to go. I’ve had quite a detour in my life these past couple of years, but I am still traveling and now quite positive I am on the right track.

***

We never made it to the second stop on the agenda, which was the Olivine pools. There are supposed to be crystal pools, again, formed out of the lave flow but containing crystal clear water you can swim in. The guidebook had really sketchy instructions on how to get there and we were pretty sure we were in the right spot, but because of our two hour delay it was much later in the day than I intended and the sun was going down. There was nobody around and we would have had to hike down through the woods to get there and it was definitely no the place you want to get lost in the dark alone. So we headed back.

Driving back down the west coast I finally got to see the sunset. We stopped the car along the side of the road and waked down to a little rocky area. I’ve concluded that we can’t go anywhere near the ocean without C wanting to get in it. 😃 It’s OK though, I want to take my time through each and every one of these moments that I can. Before too long, they will be grown and gone and I know I’m going to look back and wish I slowed down more often. I let him play a little while I did a thing I’ve always liked to do, which is hunt for pretty rocks.

We had a good day despite the “detour”. Now we are back at Ken’s house and just doing a bit of relaxing before bed. I’ve got lots more driving the next 3 days so I’m going to need all the rest I can get.

Aloha Ahiahi
~Miss SugarCookie