Sunday, June 10, 2012

Back from a hiatus

I cannot believe that it's been so long since I have written a post.  I didn't even finish the A-Z challenge, although I got to letter X...
Oh well, life has been busier than busy and some things have to take a backseat.

But I'm hopefully back!

Work is almost unbearable some nights.  Working 7PM-7AM is not only grueling because of the hours, but my hospital has decided that the ratio of nurses to patients is 1:7.  How in God's name can I appropriately care for 7 patients at once?  It's been hellish...

My job is draining physically, emotionally and mentally.  I have no choice but to do it because as a single mother, and the night shift makes me available for my kids during the day.   Also the money is better.  I just don't know how long it will be before the sleep deprivation catches up with me. 

My husband officially moved out two weeks ago.  After our separation in October, and reconciliation in February, I decided that it is never going to work.  Addicts don't change unless they want to change.  I am powerless over his actions and decisions.  I am powerless over his continuous, countless lies.  I can, however,  change my attitude and choose not to live with him or put up with his behavior.  It's so sad because he blames me for "giving up on the marriage".  He says he would have changed and that I wasn't being patient enough.  3+ years of living with an addict and waiting for him to change evidently wasn't patient enough in his opinion.  He says if I loved him I would have waited longer.  I guess that must mean I love myself more.

So here I am, working like a dog, trying by best to raise my children.  Some days I feel hopeless and afraid of the future.  I have no idea what happens next.  I'm 36, been married twice, have 3 kids.  I know I am still young but I feel like the rest of my life is a blank page.  In a way it's good because I can write whatever I want without him holding me back, but it's scary as hell.  I always want to know what comes next in life.  My therapist told me to stop and take it one day at a time.  That is honestly all I can do.  That and let God guide me to where I am supposed to be.  I love a couple quotes from Melody Beattie's "Codependent No More" which are:

"Let go and let God", and

"Everything is as it should be"

Sometimes those quotes are all that gets me though the day.

Anyone who is still following me after my hiatus, I would really appreciate any words of encouragement right now.  I could use some positive energy.  Thank you.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

X is for eX husbands

I have two exes.  So pathetic so admit.  I couldn't make not one marriage work but TWO.  Maybe marriage just isn't for me.  I am a strong, independent well-educated woman.  I can be stubborn. I have high expectations.  I guess those attributes don't make for a good wife?  I'm feeling really down right now and I don't want to end up alone, but I don't see myself getting married a third time, that just seems ridiculous. 

Working with cancer patients, the one consistent thing is that many have their spouses devotedly at their bedside.  Sure, the kids visit, but it's the spouse who is there night and day.  Now I think if God forbid one day I am in that situation and I am lying there, dying all alone...depressing thought.  I will pray that God finds someone for me and that I can be happy one day.

W is for Way Too Late

Those of you who were following my blog before the A to Z challenge will know that my husband and I have been having problems for about a year now.  Last October we separated for four months, then reconciled.  Since he's been back, things have not been any better than they were before, and actually I'd say things have been worse.  I really wanted to give it one more try, I truly wanted us to work out.  But now I realize that we probably should have stayed apart because now I have to start the grieving process all over again. If we had stayed apart then I would be farther down the road to recovery.  Oh well, live and learn.  I have learned a lot from this relationship and have a beautiful daughter from the relationship, so I will take the positives that came from it and try not to wallow in self pity for too long...

V is for Very Grateful

Every time I go to work, I care for very sick and/or dying people.  As depressing as it sounds, and don't get me wrong--sometimes it is--it makes me so much more cognizant of my good fortune to have my health.  I am so grateful and thank God each day that I am healthy and able to help those who are not. 

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

U is for "Up Front and Personal"

Sounded like a deep blog post, didn't it?  Nope.  Just one of my favorite colors from OPI.  It's a microshimmer and it's a lovely, regal, subtly, sparkled gold color.  It takes 4-5 coats to achieve this look, but it's worth it!  I receive compliments everytime I wear it. 

T is for Tripp


I am dedicating T day to Tripp Roth, from my favorite blog, "EBing a Mommy"  Tripp passed away recently from a rare genetic disease called epidermolysis bullosa.  He lived to be just over two years old and his mother, Courtney, is nothing short of an inspiration. 

I happened to come across the blog by chance, and I have been mezmorized with Courtney and Tripp's story ever since.  I highly recommend checking it out.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

S is for Sand

To go along with my "O" post, I am posting about the beautiful sands I have seen at beaches.  There have been the black and pink sands of Hawaii:

the golden yellow sands of the west coast, the tan sands of Mexico, but prettiest sand so far that I have seen is in the Bahamas.  It was a fine, near white, gorgeous sand. 

Sand feels good underneath your feet, kids (and adults)! can play in and with it, and it's the perfect color compliment to a deep blue or turquoise ocean.  Here are some photos from the Bahamas:

R is for Rabbits

One of my favorite things about Spring is the rabbits that are running and hopping about!  I don't know why, but every time I see one I get so excited.  They are so cute, and their little "cotton tails" are so adorable as they jump away.  One Spring, we had a rabbit nest in our back yard.  My son discovered it and it so so well concealed, we were afraid the lawn people would run over it and harm the babies.  I went to the store and bought four stakes and a "caution" streamer and put it around the nest. A few days later when we went to check on the bunnies, they were gone!  I hope that the momma bunny just moved them to a safer location, but we were so worried that a bigger animal had eaten them...

No more rabbit nests since then, but plenty of super cute rabbits running around this year!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Q is for Quiet

Peace and quiet.  It's something I don't get often.  At home it's the three kids and three dogs yelling and barking.  At work it's the constant beeping and buzzing of call lights, IV pumps, bed alarms, phones and pagers.  After a long shift at work I like to get into my car, turn off the radio, and have a peaceful, quiet ride home.  When I get home after the kids are in bed I like to take a hot bath and just listen to the silence.   Quiet is a luxury to me, but then I think of the day that the house won't be buzzing with the sound of my children's laughter and the dogs protectively barking, and I do believe I will miss it! Go figure. 

Happy Q day everyone!

P is for Poop

Ok, this post will be a bit off beat.  When I was thinking about what to write for P day, the first thing that came to mind was, well, poop.  Let me explain:

My day starts with changing the baby's diaper.  Usually poopy.  Then, I walk all three dogs which includes 3 poops, the equivalent of I'd say 3-4 pounds worth.   Then it's off to work where I encounter poop either in the form of collecting stool samples, or cleaning up accidents from ill and or incontinent patients.  Then after 13 hours, it's back home where usually 2 out of the three dogs have had poop accidents in the house. One more poopy diaper from my daughter completes my day of poop. 

Sorry to be gross and frank.  But hey, at least I'm sparing you a pic !!

Happy P day ya'll!!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

O is for Ocean

Oceans are what calm my soul the most.  Something about the warm, salty air, the wind blowing a gentle breeze toward me, and the sun dancing off the of the multi-toned blue waters just puts me at ease. Whether by them, or on them, oceans are where I feel the most content.  Here are a few I have been to that I absolutely love! 



Hilton Head, South Carolina

Happy O Day!!!

Monday, April 16, 2012

N is for NARS (orgasm)

No, it's not what you think it is.  It my favorite color blush from NARS, called Orgasm!  It's the perfect peachy coral.  It's a sparkly, happy color that looks great on my cheeks day or night.  A perfect golden tone with just enough color to make it pop, I have used it for years and I could never change! If you are ever in the market for a new or fun blush, try Orgasm, by NARS.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

M is for Mary

Yesterday was my grandmother's funeral.  She passed away a few weeks ago at 90 years old.  My grandma Mary was the most influential women I have had in my life.  She is who I want to be and I strive to come even close to the woman that she was.  A mother of 7 children, grandmother of 12 grandchildren, and great-grandmother of 16 great-grandchildren, and loving wife of 70 years to my grandfather.  She was an army nurse in Word War II and as a child I aways enjoyed hearing her stories.  She is who inspired me to become a nurse myself.

  My mother and sister and I lived with my grandparents off and on throughout my childhood, as things were always unstable with my mother and father.  My father passed away when I was10 years old.  It was that point that we moved in for a long period with my grandparents until my mother could get back on her feet again.  Even after we moved into our own place, my grandparents were just down the street and I enjoyed visiting my grandma Mary often.  We had so much in common-shopping, fashion, "sparkly things" (as in jewelry)!  I remember my grandma understanding me even more than my mother did.  I loved everything about her.  Her smell, her pretty face, but most of all her laugh.  I will never as long as I live forget that hearty, almost hysterical laugh.  And the facial expressions she made while laughing were equally priceless. 

My grandfather died almost exactly a year ago, and they say that once one goes, the other won't be too far behind.  That was true in this case, although my grandma didn't really even remember my grandpa anymore.  We lost her about 7 years ago to dementia and Alzheimer's. Can you imagine not remembering the man you were married to for over 70 years?  Every time I visited her she would ask the same questions over and over again, and that eventually it turned into less and less memory and recognition.  My last visit to her she seemed to remember me, but didn't recall my children, although bless her soul she was good at pretending she did! 

 I remember after my grandfather's funeral, which she was too ill to attend, my uncle and cousins and I showed her a photo of her and grandpa together and said, "this is you and Jack, he passed away and we had his funeral today".  She stared for awhile at the photo of the two of them, then touched it and said, "oh he looks like such a nice man, bless his heart".  Tears welled up in all of our eyes at her complete lack of being able to grasp his death, though we also saw it as a blessing in disguise.

I will end this post with the two pieces of advice that my grandma Mary gave to me that will always stick with me.  She told me that to be a good mother, you cannot have one selfish bone in your body.  And on marriage, she said, "never marry a man who is prettier than you, or you will always wonder if the girls are trying to steal him!" I laugh out loud every time I tell that one :-)

Rest in peace grandma Mary, you will be missed, loved, and cherished forever.

L is for Lisa!

Yes, that's me.  Loving, loyal, likable, loves to laugh, sometimes leary, often let down, loves to learn, usually late and lover of life.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

K is for Karma

Karma is real.  I have learned this the hard way.  If you want good things to come to you in life, you have to live your best life possible.  Nobody is perfect, but I believe we need to try our hardest.  The universe has a way of making sure we get what we deserve.  Sometimes that means we get good things sent to us, and sometimes we must learn our lessons by living through what we have put others through.  Life has a funny way of balancing itself out... 

J is for Juicy Couture

A bit of a superficial indulgence, but I happen to absolutely love Juicy Couture terry suits.  They are super comfy, super cute, and fit my body just right.  I have tried other terry suits, but it just isn't the same!  And I just love the little "J" on the zipper.  They are expensive, so I have only owned a few, but they last forever!  On a trip to South Carolina I actually found a Juicy outlet and went nuts because the prices were so low (comparatively speaking).  Besides being comfy and flattering, they come in wonderful colors!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

I is for I love my IPHONE!!

Ah the iPhone. What did I ever do without it? "I don't know" is the answer!! It's my life, yes I have actually squeezed my entire life into my phone. Calendar dates, appointments, contacts, music, video, audiobooks, games, reminders, recordings, and a whole wealth of information at my fingertips via the good 'old world wide web. Heck I don't even have anyone's phone number memorized anymore ( which is a horrible thing when I forget my phone at home). Bottom line, it's sad that I have become so reliant on one piece of technology, but I wouldn't trade it for anything (except for maybe an iPad) ;-)

Happy I day A to Zers!!!

Monday, April 9, 2012

H is for HARD WORK

Now, I am not complaining, just trying to give you an idea of a typical day in the life of Lisa.  Keep in mind that I have a husband who is more like a fourth child than an equal or a partner.

My alarm goes off at 5:00 AM.  I work out if I have gotten a decent night's sleep.  If not, I make a pot of coffee and go through the mail and my kids' backpacks and sign and organize things.  I go to shower, make kids lunch, get all three little angels up, and intermittently get my self ready for work while feeding them breakfast.  At 6:15 AM I am out the door for a long 12 hours at the hospital.  My husband takes everyone to school. 

I care for the ill and injured (which I really do love) all day and usually don't get out of work until 8:00PM or so.  Then I cannot go home yet, as much as I miss my kids and as much as my bed calls to me.  I have to stop by my mother's on the way home, because she herself is ill.  I make my little house call to her, make sure she is okay and help her with what she needs and when she is settled into bed I say goodbye and finally head home.

Now it is about 9:30 PM and I have been gone since 6:15 AM, and have probably had a 30 minute break since I rose out of bed (but not all at once).
I am home but now it is time to gets the kids' homework checked and put them to bed.  Then I clean up, put away dishes walk the dogs and usually throw in a load or two of laundry.  I pass out cold by 10:30 PM or 11:00PM.

So that's a day in the life of Lisa!  Lots of hard work!

G is for Girl POWER!!!

Yes, that catchy popular phrase that The Spice Girls started back in the 90s!  I love it, as it really embraces all that we are as women in one neat little phrase.  Women balance work, family, household, chores, errands, social life, and we do it all sometimes getting nothing in return.  I am not sexist, but I do believe we are the stronger sex.  Sorry guys.  When you do all of the above PLUS do it 9 months pregnant, we'll talk!

Happy G day! Girl Power!!!!!

Friday, April 6, 2012

F is for FISHING

My favorite F word, other than when I get really fishing! Ha ha.  My kids and I love to go fishing in the summer and fall, and Illinois has many  ponds, rivers and lakes to choose from!

A funny fishing story (it's funny now but at the time was a catastrophe) is the time my boys and I went fishing at a local lake and my oldest son caught 12 fish, almost all in a row.  It was bizarre!  Every time he cast his pole, within 10 seconds he'd have a bite.  My younger son and I were just laughing and gasping in awe.  My eldest had suddenly become some kind of "fish whisperer"!  They were all Blue Gill of modest size, but never the less, it was impressive for a 10 year-old.  Blue Gill don't have to be thrown back so we kept a couple and decided to bring them home and try to prepare and cook them.  My husband helped with the gross part and I cooked them.  Both sons took a bite or two and decided they didn't like it.  I tried a couple bites, but they were right, it didn't taste great. 

Fast forward a couple hours later as we were all getting ready for bed and my younger son starts saying his tummy hurts.  Within minutes he began puking his brains out all over the floor.  Wondering why he had thrown up I dismissed it after cleaning the mess.  A couple minutes after the incident, my older son looses it all over the floor which is followed my my younger son following suit for a second time.  Not too long after that, I got my turn.  All through the night, the three of us took turns and it was miserable!

Being a nurse, I am pretty sure it couldn't have been the fish seeing as how we each only had a couple bites, so I dismissed the whole ordeal as a stomach flu.  However, my husband and daughter never got sick and they are the only ones who didn't try the fish, so who knows?  All I do know is that neither of my sons or I will ever eat Blue Gill again!!

Here are pics from the exciting day:

Happy F day A to Z peeps!

E is for E!

The E! Television network is something I could watch all day long ! I am totally addicted to all things Kardashian, the Soup, Chelsea Handler--you name it!

Yes it's a guilty pleasure but it's entertaining and after a long day at the hospital it's just the mindless diversion I need to clear my head!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

D is for Dogs

My favorite thing that starts with D is my DOGS!  They are sometimes funny, sometimes smart, sometimes not so smart...but always loving.  Dogs don't judge or love you with limits and conditions. 
Butter is my Chihuahua and he is anything but the typical Chihuahua.  He is sweet and quiet, and is so gentle, even when my 20 month-old daughter picks him up awkwardly.  This is him:
Then there is the old gal Carmel.  She is so well behaved, and never wants for anything.  She is just happy to have a family that loves her!  She loves belly rubs and the dog park.  Here she is with Butter:
Lastly there is the newest member of our family, Moose.  We adopted her from the Chicago Anti-Cruelty Society around Christmas time.  She has a long way to go before she's trained, but we love her and think she's the smartest of our clan.  She is a Dachshund-Beagle mix:

So there they are! Happy D Day of A to Z!

C is for...CUPCAKES!!

So I decided that I will make the remaining letters of the A to Z challenge a "my favorite things" theme. When I think of "C", without hesitation I think of cupcakes. They make me so happy, they are so pretty and of course fun to eat! Here are some pics of my favorite cupcakes. Enjoy and try not to drool on your keyboard ;-)!!

Monday, April 2, 2012

(A is for)...Aww, (B is for) Bummer

Darn it!  I worked a 12 hour shift at the hospital yesterday so I completely forgot it was the first day of the A to Z challenge!  Hopefully I will be pardoned since I was taking care of the ill...:-)

So Aww Bummer I got off to a late start!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Long Time No Talk!

I have been incredibly busy since starting my new job two weeks ago.  I am now working in a local hospital on the medical/surgical floor.  It also has an oncology section.  I am working 3 twelve hour shifts a week, two of which are back to back.  It is a killer as far as working for near 24 hrs straight.  I have had some pretty interesting patients so far.  Nothing too serious yet.  I did have my first oncology patient the last shift I worked.  He was just special.  Cancer patients never cease to amaze me.  He was in for his 3rd out of 6 rounds of chemotherapy and his attitude was amazing.  He was so funny--unlike the other patients, he had set up shop in and outside of his room like a little personal office.  He refused to wear a hospital gown and wore business attire.  When I asked him about it he responded that he wasn't going to let cancer or his surroundings change the routine that he has kept over the past 35 years of working.  So there he was, making phone calls and working on his laptop all the while receiving chemotherapy through an IV that was going in through a port under his skin.  He didn't let it stop him, he didn't feel sorry for himself.  His wife was keeping him company, sitting in the corner in a recliner reading the newspaper when I came in to assess him.  I jokingly made a comment that it was hard to listen to his heart, lungs and abdomen with his thick shirt and suit pants (since most patients are wearing a gown making it easy).  His wife, without looking up from her paper said, "oh honey I'm sure he's be happy to take all his clothes off for a pretty girl like you".  LMAO! What great humor and positive attitudes these two had.  I think I'm gonna love this job.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Watch me duke it out over Same Sex Marriage on BabyCenter!

Uh-oh folks.  The gay marriage debate is heating up everywhere.  Teen child stars and political doofuses from coast to coast are yapping their chops talking all kinds of crazy about gay marriage and how it is "wrong" and (excuse me, I have to bust out LOLing) an "abomination".  Yeah yeah the bible says it, blah blah blah.  The bible also sanctions slavery.  Why are so many people not willing to question what we are "taught"?  How is it that so many people just take what is fed to them and assume it is the only truth?  I find it so baffling that in this day and age people are still trying to push their beliefs onto others. 

In learning about codependency and reading "Codependent No More", by Melodie Beattie, I have learned that we cannot control others, and in trying to do so, we end up being the ones who are controlled.  I bring this point of view to the gay marriage debate.  Why are people so concerned about how others are living their personal lives? I am quite sure that 99% of these judgemental people have their own issues to tend to. That being said, I do believe everyone is entitled to their opinion. And I'm entitled to mine. I am not trying to force gay marriage down anyone's throat just as I don't want anyone trying to shove straight marriage down mine.  But not granting loving humans equal rights is an action, not an opinion. 

For more debaucheries and debate see my BabyCenter posts here! I present in comments #24, #29, and #40.


Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Talk to Us Tuesday: Let's Talk About Why you Aren't Doing What you REALLY Love

People hate their jobs. I believe the statistic is that approximately 80% of people are dissatisfied with their current career.  Considering we spend 40+ hours a week working, that's lot of unhappy people spending a lot of time at a place they hate!  I hear it all over, things like, "I wish I could work for X company, or "I'm only here for the money".  The other day, I overheard a woman saying to her friend, "my dream is to become a florist--if it weren't for the money I would love to open my own flower shop!"  Upon hearing that I frowned feeling sad for her.  She was a women in her 50s I would guess.  Many years left in her I'm sure--but what was she waiting for? I wondered.  Why are so many people complacent having a not so desirable job?  Money? Comfort?  Friendly associates? The point is we all have a dream in life, but I wonder how many people actually go for it and attain it? How many chase it until their dying day, having never achieved what they longed for? 

Every job I have ever had has been a rung on the ladder to where I really want to be.  I have never been able to see myself in a job for more than a year or two before getting bored and moving up.  I am a constant learner.  If I am not learning, I am B-O-R-E-D.  While some people see comfort in routine, I find it grueling.  I have to have a job where I see/learn something new (almost) every day.  This is why I chose nursing.  I am constantly learning, it never ends.  It keeps me stimulated and challenged.  I love it.

What do you want to be doing with your life?  Ask yourself why aren't you doing it? Is it lack of money? Lack of support from your friends and family? Are you afraid you aren't smart enough, good enough, creative enough?  Ask yourself these questions.  If you aren't doing what you really have a passion for, how can you make it happen?  Life is super short, folks.  Live it by living your dreams!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Gettin' Over Hump Day with the Wednesday Hodgepodge!

1. The Hodgepodge falls on the last day of the month this year, a leap year. How will you spend that extra day?

Since today only exists every 4 years, I think it should be a day to do whatever you want.  Can we get the President to back us up on that one?  So, if I truly could do whatever I want I would sleep for 24 delightful hours.

2. What has recently required a leap of faith on your part?

Ahh, easy.  Now is as good of a time to break this news as ever.  I recently let my husband move back into our home.  After being separated for 4 months and living apart, I had to take a leap of faith in him, and Him. 

3. We're one week into the season of Lent...are you marking these forty days in some way? Giving something up or adding something extra to normal life? How's it going so far?

I don't usually give anything up for Lent.  Maybe I'll try that next year...

4. When was the last time you sat beside a fire?

Ohh it's been way too long.  I love me a good fire!  I'm gonna have to say it was last time I went camping which would be about 3 years ago :-(

5. Surf and turf is on the menu. Do you order as is or do you ask for just the surf (lobster), just the turf (steak) or a menu so you can select another option?

Surf and turf, with the turf medium rare, please.

6. If you could have any television show back, not in reruns but in new episodes, what program would you choose?

Simple! Sex and the City.  Or Six Feet Under.
7. They say an elephant never forgets. These days would you say your memory is more like an elephant or a gnat?

Oh dear Lord, please give me my mind back!  As the saying goes: "out of all the things I have lost I miss my mind the most".


8. Insert your own random thought here.
I wish my life wasn't always so chaotic and crazy.  Just sayin'.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Monogamy: the Ultimate Form of Love or a Restraint on Your Freedom?

A friend and I were talking yesterday about monogamy and open relationships.  We were able to cut the conversation short when we both realized that we had very different viewpoints on the subject.  But, as she always does, she left me thinking.  Essentially, my opinion was that if you do not naturally want to be monogamous to your significant other, then you are not with the right person.  Her side was that no one person can fulfill all the needs of another.  I did agree with this point, however, I consider that statement to be limited to things other than intimacy such as friendships and other forms of platonic relationships.  Interestingly, I have actually been on both sides of  this debate.  In my first marriage, an open relationship may have been the perfect solution for what I was lacking from my husband.  Now, in my second marriage, I am a much firmer believer in monogamy...I think...

 At one point in time, not too long ago, three-quarters of all human societies were polygamous.  Countries such as Africa, Asia, the Middle East still practice polygamy.  And what about polyamory?   According to Wikipedia, the definition of polyamory is : "the practice, desire, or acceptance of having more than one intimate relationship at a time with the knowledge and consent of everyone involved."  So essentially, both polygamy and polyamory involve having more than one lover, assuming by consent.  I am of the general belief that if everyone involved agrees, and nobody is getting hurt, then anything goes.  I am not here to judge. However, I do wonder, then what is the point of being in an exclusive relationship? If one wants several lovers, why not just be single?  I believe that love knows no color, race, sex, gender, or even age (as long as it's legal age, of course!).  But I also believe that intimate love should stay between two people.  After all, isn't that what makes it so special?  I believe that we can have strong feelings for and love others while being  in a committed relationship. But to share the depth, sensuality and intense closeness that two people share while making love is what sets that relationship apart from all others. I said in the previous paragraph that I have been on both sides of this debate, let's examine my two marriages:

In my first marriage, I received trust, stability, reliability and solidity from my husband.  I did not receive much intimacy-- sexual or otherwise.  He was quite closed off and  even prudish by my standards.  I, however, have always been a very sexual being.  I love sex, I love intimacy, and when deprived of it, I came to find that I was left looking for it elsewhere.  After four years of a marriage without intimacy, I decided that it was something that I could not live without.  At that point, I didn't want to leave my husband.  My needs for sex and intimacy seemed like a selfish reason to leave.  We had two young children together and he was a wonderful father and provider.  He was also my best friend.  But as the years passed there was no denying that I felt like more and more of a sister to him than a wife.  Over the course of those years with my first husband, I had toyed several times about the idea of having an open relationship.  We would remain together as husband and wife, the kids wouldn't be disturbed by divorce, and we would maintain our relationship but would be free to seek intimacy outside the marriage.  At the time, that seemed like the perfect solution for me.  For him, not so much.  I brought it up a few times, mostly in a joking fashion to test the waters, and he would immediately shut even the thought of the idea down.  He saw it as cheating.  And really, when I think about it, he wasn't the one missing or seeking intimacy so it would have been of no benefit to him.  One thing is for sure: if an open relationship it to be established, both people in the relationship need to benefit from it. 

I eventually left my first husband in search of "true love".  Intimate love, sexual love, deep, passionate connecting love.  I am happy to say that it didn't take me too long to find it, although he didn't come with all the bells and whistles that my first husband came with (read about my two marriages here for more).  With my second husband, monogamy came naturally.  I never had the desire to stray or even think about straying because I was 100% satisfied with the level and quality of intimacy.  This was the complete opposite of how I felt with my first husband.  It's funny because before I met hubby #2, I was convinced that serial monogamy was impossible for me.  It simply just wasn't for me and I was dead set on that.  But I also had never found an intimate, satisfying  love with anyone before.  Now that I had it, the thought of being monogamous wasn't even an issue, it was a given.  Luckily, hubby #2 felt the same way.  Monogamy worked for us. 

Now I have a new found opinion of the sanctity of monogamy.  And my question remains: is monogamy something that is not for everyone, or is it a state that can only be achieved through being with the right person?  If two people committed to being with each other want more, are they wanting more because they aren't truly right for each other?  Is an having an open relationship settling for less?  If you could choose to have a monogamous relationship that was completely fulfilling and satisfying to the point of not wanting anybody else, or a relationship that allowed you to stray, allowed you that freedom, which would you pick?  Should monogamy be the holy grail of committed relationships; something to be coveted and to strive for, or does it go against human nature?

I would absolutely love to get a conversation going here! I welcome comments from all walks of life, as I am very eager to hear your opinions on this topic.  So please share!  How do you feel about monogamy?

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Joining in the Wednesday Hodgepodge!

1. February 22nd is National Be Humble Day...what makes you proud? What keeps you humble?

  • My three children most definitely make me prouder than anything. They are so intelligent.
  • They also keep me humble, two of them can beat me at Words With Friends!
2. Where is the catch-all (aka dumping ground) in your house?
  • Ha! There is this little space between the staircase that leads upstairs, and the staircase that leads to the basement.  All things undealt with end up there.  I chuckle because when we bought the house 10 years ago, the previous owner recommended we put a large plant there otherwise "it will become a dumping ground".  Never got a plant, now it's a dumping ground. 
3. Do you make it a point to visit State/National Parks when you travel or even in your own hometown? What's your favorite?
  • Oy, not a good answer for this one.  Never, and even when I had the opportunity to visit one, I turned it down. I gotta work on that...

4. How would you define honor?

  • Honor is having integrity, respect for yourself and others, and trying to live the best life that you can.

5. Angel's food or Devil's food-which cake do you prefer?
  • Half and half ;-) 

6. What's the most recent road trip you've taken? Where did you go and how many hours did you spend in the car? Do you like to zoom to your destination without stopping or leisurely wind your way there with stops along the way? What is your car snack of choice?

  • Woah! A four parter!  I'll be brief: Nebraska. My grandfather's funeral.  8 hours. We drove straight though at nighttime.  Coffee.

7. Recent headlines told how a preschool child in NC had their packed lunch from home taken away and a school lunch substituted by a school inspector who deemed the homemade lunch unhealthy. Reportedly the parent was then billed for the school lunch (chicken nugget meal) although an update to the story says the parent was not billed. The inspector was conducting a routine inspection of the classroom-he/she was not there solely to peek in the lunchboxes.
The packed lunch contained a turkey and cheese sandwich, an apple juice box, a bag of chips, and a banana. You can read the story here. Your thoughts?
  • Oh man I would be pissed if that happened to my child!! I don't even know where to start with all the wrongdoing here.  First of all, a chicken nugget meal is healthier than a turkey and cheese sandwich?? Who says?  I think not.  Sounds like the school needed more profit from their lunch program.  Conspiracy I tell you!
8. Insert your own random thought here.
  • Life is like a box of chocolates: just give me the one with the diagram and it's all good :-) 

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Life is a Purple Water Lilly

The Purple Water Lilly, I read, is the most delicate flower in the world. I read a blog yesterday that really made me realize how delicate and fragile our lives are.   In fact, it touched me so deeply that I became physically ill with empathy and anxiety for this courageous woman and what she is going through.  I am a very compassionate person, and I can actually feel other people's pain.  It is a blessing and a curse.  This blog was a blessing to come across.  It reminded me how fragile life is and how God only gives us what we can handle.  The blog, I will warn you, is very upsetting, especially if you have children.  It is not for those who are squeamish.  It is, however, one of the most beautiful stories of a mother and the love and dedication she has for her ill child. Courtney's writing is beautiful and so is she.  She was given an angel and learned so much from him. 
It is also an important reminder that we cannot take for granted what God has given us.  No matter how bad of a day we had at work, or how much debt we are in, or how our kids really get under our skin sometimes,  we cannot forget how lucky we are.  Somebody always has it worse than us.  Somebody has less people who love and care about them, less money, less luck, less health.  We need to appreciate what we have now and stop obsessing over the "if only I hads..." Enjoy each moment we have with those we love. With our children who will grow up before our eyes.  Enjoy your spouse, or partner, or your best friend.  Listen to their laughter and let it fill your soul.  Look into their eyes and open your ears to their words.  Give them a big hug and let their smells and touches encircle you.  Soak in every minute of every day, because it could be the last.


Monday, February 20, 2012

Thanks Kelly!

I want to take a moment to thank Kelly from Kelly's Korner for putting a link up on her blog from last week.  Thanks to being able to add my blog to her site, I received over 600 hits in one day!  Thank you to those of you who suscribed to my blog as well. I really hope you enjoy it, and I hope you will recommend it to your friends!  Have a happy week everyone!


Friday, February 17, 2012

One Little Plastic Bottle

 I am in love with a man who is flawed.  He is a broken and lost little boy who never dealt with his childhood traumas.  He is a man who turns to the bottle, cigarettes or some other self destructive form of behavior to numb his pain.  He will do anything to run from it, to not feel it.  He was doing this when I met him 4 years ago.  He stopped and got sober for awhile, and when we separated last October, he went back to his destructive lifestyle.  The last four months have been trying, to say the least.  I have cried more than I probably have since the hormone-fueled says of high school.  I have tried to envision my life without him, to no avail.  Fast forward to this very day, and he has finally begun the process of healing.  So where does that put me?

About 3 weeks ago, my MTBX (I have changed the reference from STBX to "Maybe to be Ex") saw a psychiatrist.  It was at my suggestion-not by force or demand as my former codependant self would have.  He was agreeable.  I knew that nothing would ever be solved between us if his brain chemistry was so off balance and causing him to be so irrational and moody.  The psychiatrist diagnosed him with Major Depressive Disorder.  I was pretty shocked.  I figured maybe moderate depression, but this was the real deal.  She put him on a stronger anti-depressant than he had been taking and told him it could take 3-4 weeks to begin feeling its effects. 

He is also seeing a therapist.  This is his second therapist--he didn't like his first one.  Said he just sat there and listened without offering any advice.  He likes this one, and I can tell he already respects her opinion.  She has told him that he is not to drink, especially on this new medication.  Luckily he hasn't binged in a couple of months. He seems to finally be serious about getting better.  All his ducks are in a row.  He has the tools and resources and support he needs.  Whether or not he will now do the hard work is up to him.

In my recent months of realizing how codependant I am, I have learned a great deal.  The more you try to force somebody to do something, the more they will resist.  You can bitch and moan until you are blue in the face, but the person has to change on their own terms.  That is sometimes easier said than done when some of the things the other person does can affect an entire family.  That is the line I am having a hard time staying behind.  If he goes out and spends $200 on something that is totally unecessary and not in our budget, that affects the whole family because when you are living paycheck to paycheck, something else will have to give.

 It is also so very hard to be around someone who is depressed.  I feel so helpless.  I can't do a thing to cheer him up sometimes and Codependant Lisa takes that personally.  "If he really loved me and wanted to be back together with me, wouldn't it make him happy if I suggested we go out on a date?"  His reaction is blank.  A forced "sure" makes its way out of his mouth. 

The anti-depressants seem to be working a tiny bit, but his Dr. said to give it an entire month before uping the dosage or switching to something new. So right now, my fate seems to be held inside one little plastic bottle.  If it fails him, it fails all of us. 

Friday, February 10, 2012

Picture Perfect Wholesome American Goodness

Finally, I feel ready to post again!  As you can see I have made my blog all purrty now and am quite proud of how it turned out.  It took me some time to come up with what I now have but it's feeling like blogging home! 
To get some ideas for the design of my blog, I endlessly browsed other blogger blogs.  Which leads me to the subject of this post: what the hell is going on in bloggerville?!
Now if you don't believe me, see for yourself.  See that tab at the top that says "next blog"?  Give it a click or ten. (Just come back to read mine).  Did you observe what I observed?  If so, you would have seen something like this: White all-American family with gorgeous professionally taken portrait, smiles abound and perfectly coordinated outfits.  Next: white wife happily in love with her hubby and beautiful, perfect children writes about how fun it is to raise them.  Next: maybe an art site or two, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, then back to all-American splendor.  You get the picture.  Where are all the REAL blogs?  I have come across a few and I have subscribed to them in support of the guts to write about real life; not the fairytale that so many women get caught up in.  I may have to put an "adult content" warning on this blog, but at least I know I am keeping it real.  Don't get me wrong, the picture perfect blogs are beautiful.  But I believe true beauty comes from the nitty-gritty truth of real life.  After all. a flowering bush has to bloom and die a few times before it reaches its prime condition, doesn't it?

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Journal Excerpt 12/16/11

Just thought I'd share an excerpt from my personal journal: 

One minute I feel strong and confident about my decision to leave STBX.  I don’t worry about being alone; I realize it’s much more peaceful without him, and that I actually feel quite content and busy enough in my life to not  need him.  Then I’m going about my day, and BOOM a strike of terror runs though me.  “How will I live without the man I love?” “I feel so empty, so lonely.”  “Who will I tell my random thoughts to or tell something funny I heard?”  “Who will I share my day with? My problems, worries and fears (other than him)?”   He can be so compassionate and caring in difficult circumstances.  Why does he have to have good qualities? Those qualities are what seem to slowly draw me back to him.  Its times like these that it seems so easy and relieving and natural to fall back into the pattern of letting him back in.  And it is—for a while.  Then, he fucks up again, whether it’s a lie or a negative trait he displays Or, most recently, when he went on another drinking binge.  Before he left that night, I cried to him in fear that he would do the same thing he always does when he drinks.  He'll tell me he’ll keep in touch, and come back to be with me afterwards.  As I sat on the kitchen floor, sobbing with my head in my hands, he stooped to my level, pulled my face upwards towards his, looked me straight in the eye and said, “I promise I’ll be back.  I won’t fuck up again”.   I wanted so badly to believe him.  But deep, or maybe not so deep, down inside I knew he wouldn’t be back.  And he wasn’t.  He was MIA, a no show, whatever you want to call it.  Until 4:30am I got a call from an unfamiliar number so I didn’t answer it, but I suspected it was him.  The voicemail bell sounded and I listened with a sunken heart as he mumbled drunkenly, “Help me Lisa, I’m so lost.  I don’t know where my cell phone is, I don’t know where my car keys are.  I don’t want to lose you Lisa, I know I fucked up. Please.  I need help.”   I didn’t speak to him until late morning when I finally answered his calls.
“So what was it this time?” I asked.  “How’d it get so out of hand AGAIN?”
He gave me some bullshit story about starting at one bar which led to another bar and another etc…
“I didn’t even cross your mind?” I asked him.
“Yes, you did”, he responded.
“Then why in the fuck did you do this? Why didn’t you text me, or call me?  Why do you just go silent and say nothing?  It worries me and you know that! Why would you purposely do that to me?”
He didn’t really have a good answer and I still don’t understand it.   If he loves me so much, how he can put me through such worry and misery? He mumbled something about losing track of things and time when he’s drinking. 
Now, almost a week later he is saying that he will go back to AA and get sober again.  “I did it before and I’ll do it again”, he says.  Maybe he will, maybe he won’t.  But I am learning though therapy and reading “Codependent no More”, that it’s not MY problem whether he gets sober or not.  Which I do and do not agree with.  It IS my problem if his drinking begins to affect his job, which would then affect my child support.  It IS my problem when our daughter is older and asks, “Mommy?  Why didn’t Daddy come to pick me up today?”  So I guess my question is, how do I not let his drinking affect me when it directly and indirectly does?? 
Does anyone have any ideas or similar experiences to share?

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Burritos, Smokes and Sex

Wow I found out quite the tidbit of info on my soon-to-be-ex tonight. He owes me $476 in child support and is 3 days late. ( I am still waiting on the court date where this will be garnished from his wages). I still have access to his bank account so I wanted to see why he doesn't "have the money". Well, seems that between his expensive eating out habit and his disgusting smoking habit, he has joined a SEX HOOK UP website for $30 something a month. Oh how I wished I hadn't found that charge on his statement. I didn't need to know that he is acting like a sicko sex freak. And his profile-- I cannot even get into what it said without feeling the need to vomit. I am so sickened right now. Not because of his pathetic decision to join this sleaze, but because that's money he spent that should have gone to me and our daughter!!! So burritos, smokes and sex are more important than taking financial responsibility of his family. I am sickened-- this is an all time new low for him.

Setting Boundaries

One of the things I have learned through Al-Anon and reading the life-changing book, "Codependent No More", by Melodie Beattie, is the need to set boundaries with people in my life.  Specifically,  my soon to be ex.  If I give him an inch he will take a mile.  If I talk to him about anything beyond our daughter, things will quickly escalate into an out of control mess.  It is so serious, that I have decided that I must set clear boundaries with him. I will only speak to him regarding our child and money matters.  This is all that's left of our relationship, after all.  But I find myself regressing back to old patterns of either a) bitching at him about x, y, z or b) wanting to share something about my day with him, as we used to when we were together.  I have found that doing either one of these things does nothing but open doors that should remain closed.  It is hard having a good or a bad day at work and not sharing it with him.   He's the first person I think of to tell when something significant happens in my life.  But he is no longer my confidant.  I have to break the habit of talking to him about anything other than business. Isn't it crazy that someone I once shared everything with, body and soul, is now reduced to business matters?  Has anyone else had issues establishing boundaries? 

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

So you had a bad day...

In my life, drama seems to follow me everywhere I go.  It's bad enough to have drama right now in my personal life, but when you throw work into the mix it just downright makes for a bad day.  Don't get me wrong--I LOVE my job and I feel very fortunate to have such a great one, let alone one at all.  But today the shit hit the fan.  Without details, what happened basically entails a person or persons (to be determined) who bent and grossly exaggerated the truth.  I'm really not sure why people do this.  In a work setting, I think they a) sometimes don't have much of a life outside of work and they like to create and stir up drama and b) think that it will put them in the good graces with the higher-ups.  Whatever the case, it really put a hell of a dent in my day. 
On top of that, the newly adopted dog bit not one but TWO of my children today.  Evidently rawhide bones turn Dachshund/Beagle mixes into a doggie version of the Terminator.  Then ex #2 blames me and asks what I'm "gonna do about it".  Of course he didn't give a shit that the dog bit my son, because "that one's" not his.  But our daughter, oh that was much more important.  I hate him and I hate that he ignores my sons.  Last night, my oldest son was playing basketball outside and he slam dunked the ball then fell flat on his belly against the concrete.  Poor guy got the wind knocked out of him.  There I was tending to him and ex #2 just smirked and walked away.  Didn't even say a word.  The sitter told me he did the same tonight when the dog bit my younger son.  Sick.  He used to have a relationship with the boys.  I don't know what happened.  It seems that the more he hates me the less he interacts with the boys. 
Well, that's all for now.  I had a bad day.  But tomorrow is a brand new day.  And the possibilities are endless.  And our power is limitless if we use our minds the right way.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Husband #1 vs. Husband #2

I am currently about to go through my second divorce.  Just typing that and reading it bring about all sorts of feelings: shame, embarrassment, confusion, sadness.  I suppose I am following the statistics nicely, how's that for compliance?  Second marriages have a bigger chance of failing than do first marriages.  Yeah I knew that, but I went ahead and did it anyway.  Why? I'll get to that later in the post.

My first husband is responsible, hard-working, loyal, mature, sensible, outgoing and also quite boring--to me, at least.  We ran out of interesting things to say to each other after the first year.  He's not a particularly deep thinker, and is neutral on most topics to a fault.  Everything about him is vanilla--including sex.  He became more of a brother to me than a husband. The highest compliment I believe I received from him was an almost forced and very matter of fact, emotionless "you look good".  This includes the first time he saw me on our wedding day. Fast forward 10 years and I decided to exit the marriage in search of "true love".

Enter husband #2.  He is irresponsible, lazy, immature, socially awkward, mean spirited and saving the best for last: an alcoholic.  Now why on earth would I marry this guy??  Because from day #1 he treated my like a princess.  He complemented me non-stop.  Told me how beautiful, smart, sexy, hot, funny, amazing I was.  He made me feel like the only woman on earth.  He was affectionate and loving, compassionate, and generous.  Husband #2 was just what the doctor had ordered after such a long marriage without passion.  He was like the rain that had come and drenched my dried out, thirsty soul.  And I ate it up.  Bit by bit piece by piece, I was able to overlook all of his shortcomings (and there were a lot) just on the fact that he filled me up with happiness and love.  It's amazing what you can become blind to when you are so needy.  Eventually, the niceties began to disappear and the dark side began to show through.  We would fight frequently, to the point where we couldn't go more than a day, maybe two if we were lucky, without fighting.  Then the fights turned into full on battles.  They became so explosive and so frequent that I couldn't take it another minute.  I kicked him out of the house and told him we needed to separate.  At that point I believed that I still loved him so I viewed it as a chance for both of us to indulge in some space and time to clear our minds and cool off.  Unfortunately he didn't take this idea too well, and began threatening me with all sorts of things he could do to screw me over.  For my own safety, I felt forced to go to the courthouse and file for a legal separation.  Fast forward three months and nothing has changed between us. 

Two failed marriages with two men who are polar opposites of each other, and one me.  My first instinct is to blame myself, after all, I am the common denominator.  But everybody knows it takes two to make a thing go takes two to make it outta sight (sorry couldn't resist)!  Now here I am, 35 and back to the drawing board.  I am trying to make a promise to myself and it is this: I will not get into another relationship until I have become a relationship pro.  How will I do this you ask?  By becoming a student.  I am going to therapy once a week. In almost every spare moment I can steal away I am reading relationship books, blogs, articles, listening to relationship audio books in my car on my commute to work.  Some of the things I am focusing on are taking care of myself and worrying less, if at all, about others.  Especially my significant other.  I am learning that I cannot control others, but I can control myself and my reactions to others.  I am also studying many relationship theories including "The Imago Theory", founded by Dr. Harville Hendrix. (Oprah likes this one ha ha). I have a long and arduous road ahead of me, but I am moving forward, one day at a time.