Thursday, February 13, 2014

You're "giraffe"ing me crazy

My Stomp is struggling right now. A lot. I wrote him a lengthy valentine. But I'm putting it here on the blog, on the internet, where nothing dies, so when he inevitably loses the card (as boys are wont to do), he'll be able to read these words.

To my first born on a day that is all about love:

There are so many things I love about you. I love that God gave you to me to be a first-time mom with. You were forgiving with my mistakes as I made them (and as I continue to make them). God gave me a boy full of kindness, affection, love, sympathy and understanding. If it weren't for you, I wouldn't know how to bring up Joshie. After all, what did I know about boys before you? That reminds me. Joshie is the luckiest little boy alive to have you. I love the way you rough-house with him, encouraging his boy-ness. But that you also snuggle him and participate in family night-night time, which is probably not how you want to spend 20 minutes every night. But you do it so Joshie will feel loved and safe as he goes off to sleep. It's in these moments that I see the kind of man and dad you will be and I couldn't possibly be prouder. I love you Nathan Michael. You are, and will always be, my greatest joy.

Love,

Mama

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

My wild Irish heart

Valentine's Day hasn't even come yet but it's been very kind to this girl. My beloved Mr. Wonderful, wanting to ensure it got here on time, sent my present a little early. It came in the mail yesterday. This, my friends, is a traditional Claddagh ring. It's beautiful and for the heart portion, has an enormous opal (my birthstone). I appreciated the gesture and care that went into it, the tradition that goes with it and of course I love a beautiful opal ring.

Note:It IS a little tough to see in the picture. Just know that it's beautiful. And it made me cry.

If you're confused about what exactly it is you're seeing, a quick peek at the Wiki article will show that it's two hands holding a heart with a crown atop the heart. The symbolism comes in how you wear yours. I wear mine with the point of the heart pointing towards my wrist, indicating I'm spoken for.

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Friday, January 31, 2014

Let me tell you "egg"sactly how I feel!

Y'all know what's coming up, right? Dreaded and feared by many, loved by many as well and some, I suspect, may feel very blase about the whole ordeal. All around the world 3 people who read this blog still, men's wallets have cringed, women's hearts have either swooned or sweared at me. Oh yes, my friends, it's almost VALENTINE'S DAY! Now, if you're the Scroogey type who wants to bitch and moan about how it's a Hallmark holiday paid for by the greeting card companies just to earn some extra cash, I'm going to request you shut your freakin yap and don't ruin my joy mosey on along and read whatever I wrote about last! I've basically always loved all the holidays and I tend to think that, as with most things, they are what you make of them (and no, they should NOT be the only time you express your love for your partner!). The ex was never sup-ah about it but he did usually come through with a card and a gift I'd picked out.

Well now I'm in a long-distance relationship so there is no dinner night out, no snuggling up for a rom-com and then making the neighbors jealous with our enthusiastic crying out to the heavens and then breaking a hip, banging the headboard against the wall uhhh snoring. But we do things our own way. For one, the Mist-uh is a wonderful gift giver. I'm constantly wow'ed with the things he comes up with and the ideas that make him think of me and his own particular brand of...well, just getting me. Whether it's dozens of pink roses, tulips and irises, surprise Chuck Taylors, electronic devices or my beloved wooden watch, the man has never let me down. Secondly we have long distance date nights down to a science. Last year we took a google maps street view map to every place I've ever wanted to visit. Cheesy? Maybe I guess. But I thought it was sweet that he'd kept track of several places I wanted to visit and had already taken the time to book mark them. We pulled up close to the Ryman and took a trip around the Opry. We got spooked at the Sara Winchester house AND where Lizzie Borden took her 40 whacks. After we'd visited places I wanted to see (not all of them gory, I swear!) he took me around his home town and around where he works and the places he takes his kiddo to visit. Then with some help from him because he has the patience of a saint, I showed him around where I grew up, that tiny little suburb of Albuquerque and we talked about how it had exploded in population and growth. It was a wonderful Valentine's Day.

I'm not sure what he's got in store this year. He's been very tight lipped beyond asking a couple of jewelry themed questions (including sizes, hmmm). I, on the other hand, basically being an 8 year old at heart sent his gift-gift early (a boring gift card to his coffee shop, if you live on the East Coast, you know there's only one!). But, and I couldn't keep this part a surprise either, I'm putting together 14 punny and completely cheesy Valentine's cards that I'm mangling drawing myself. In each "card" is a hand-drawn "graphic" (read: stick figure), a punny joke, a cheesy, sentimental line from me, and then a picture of me much younger or with the kids so he can build up his own collection of family photos like I have here of him and our little family. That part's no surprise, though I think he'll love the puns (thinking to himself as he can't help but grin: "that's my Buttahcup"), love the pictures and maybe even get a little mushy on his own at whatever I write. And then...oh...then for the real gift. Well I'm keeping that part pretty quiet myself. It involves poetry, a language I don't yet speak fluently and a craft project I'm rather nervous about. He knows my favorite romantic poet so it won't be a HUGE surprise, though I think he'll be pleased at how much work I put into it. His appreciation for the gift itself will mean more than anything he can buy at any store. I'll close with this little hint.

From Pablo Neruda:


"Entonces el amor sabía que se llamaba amor.
Y cuando levanté mis ojos a tu nombre,
de repente su corazón me mostró mi camino "

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Just plain white trash

Do you know what sucks about being poor? Okay not really poor poor. We have a roof over our heads and people have stuff to eat. But there are no room for luxuries. And I don't mean luxuries the way some lucky folks do. I mean things like pans that don't wobble on the stove. Enough batteries to power all the remotes. Socks that I don't have to steal borrow from my son's drawer. Moisturizer for your rapidly aging face that has spf in it and doesn't squirt out yellow. Nail polish that stays on your fingernails for more than like 32 hours. Non generic ranch. Hair-cuts for the children that don't obviously look like you did them. Socks that match. A car wash when the weather guy finally says it's warm enough for a car wash but that's okay because the car doesn't run away. Toilet bowl brushes that fit in the holders. Pillow cases for all the pillows. Styling materials for mom's new low maintenance haircut that was a necessity (sent 22" to locks of love, picture below). Mom lost 130+ lbs and can't afford a new pair of jeans or a belt so she just walks around holding her pants. Real kitchen chairs instead of folding chairs. A coat for mom.

*sigh* We've all been there right? I remember my mom being there when she first left my dad. I remember upside down trash-cans for end tables. I remember begging my stepdad Mark to come over because that meant there'd be food besides soup and a vegetable. And my kids...my kids, they're happy. They're safe. I'm safe for once. Not being put down, no longer under anyone's heavy hand. And we do a lot of soup nights. And we got lucky and HAVE furniture from our move out. But sometimes I miss the little things that I guess would be considered first world problems now. For now I guess we're just plain white trash.

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Sunday, December 1, 2013

From your lips she drew the "Hallelulah"

I'm not sure what's under my skin today. I realized this morning I have an extraordinary amount of guilt about "breaking up my family" when the truth is my family isn't broken. It's me and Stomp and Goshie and Mr. W and Papa Mark and Gramma Papa and Aunts and Uncles all over the world. Besides that, it takes two people to break a marriage. I've acknowledged and accepted my part. I did a lot wrong, plenty wrong. A lot of places where I should've stopped to fix myself, fix the marriage, that I didn't. Anyway, something's under my skin today and it's prickling up little tears that run down out of my eyes, down my cheeks, along my arms and down my fingers onto the keys.

Perhaps it's the proximity to the memorial of the Newtown shooting. Perhaps when tears stream onto the keys you should always listen to Leonard Cohen. I don't know but this morning, here you go.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Gonna love ya 'till the cows come home

A few weeks back a beloved member of our apartment complex passed away. She had suffered (I do mean, painfully) with cancer for years. But you'd never know from how she treated us, her neighbors. If you so much as sniffled as you walked by her and her dog Pooh-Bear (who, admittedly, drove me bat-crap-crazy), she'd stop and say oh honey, are you sick? I'll be a-prayin. And she would. I liked to snark that I always parked between her daughter (who lived in the adjoining building to our apartment and who was the mom of one of Nathan's bff's in pre-k and k) because they had all the peace, love and harmony stickers and I had all my gun stickers, I always figured they're rob their cars not mine. But it was a joke and they knew it and we always had a laugh about it. She was just a good friend and our complex is a little darker without her. We all miss her.

So anyway, on the day of her funeral, I took down a casserole and a sympathy card and hugged the mom of the girls that I've known since Nathan was in preschool and the cousin I'd met in the last week or so as they'd gotten ready to move everything out (but I realized I'd met on the 4th of July when I dropped some left-over cupcakes from Josihe's birthday over to them). Anyway, all that to say that I commented on a note/key holder that she had hanging in her house that was made up of 3 black and white cute cow heads making different expressions. I laughed and said all this time I never knew she collected cows like I do, too! Her and I could've set up a cow exchange for a change of pace! So I had a knock on my door just now and it was Brynn and Sarah holding the cow letter holder and Sarah, the mom said "something just told me my mom would've wanted you to have this." Well I burst into tears, got the ugly cries right there in my doorway. Hugged her again and reminded her again, what a blessing her mama had been and how much we all loved her and missed her so much. She rocked me a little, calming me in her time of need, and then we said goodbyes for now (for those of you who reember back, this is the single mom who once commented that I looked like I had it all together).

SO today, I just want everyone to say a little prayer for Sarah and Brynn and Brynn's sister whose name I can never remember. They're a beautiful family. And I'm going to laugh every time I stick a letter in my cow-letter-holder now!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Warrior or Hippie? Maybe a little of both?

There's been a lot of trouble up here on Ho Hum Drive lately. Trouble with back-biting and downright back-stabbing friends (thankfully mine, not Stomp's). Trouble with bullies at Stomp's school. Just...a buzz of tension in the air. However, my dear friend Karyn and I took a day off and went to do some pictures. I've lost an epic freaking a lot of weight. I'd grown my hair long and healthy and dyed it a color I was never "allowed" to. So we took a few pictures with my hair down and then I put it into the signature Eri braided pigtails I didn't realize she was clicking away at those too. But I wound up loving those pictures. And when someone else saw them, someone who knows all the struggles we've been through, someone who'd read The Hunger Games and saw a similarity maybe in the braids or maybe in my spirit commented that I looked like I was channeling my inner Katniss Everdeen.

What say you, readers? What do you think? Warrior or inner hippie?

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