Thursday, February 7, 2013

my life.

there are some things my youngest children will never have to experience, and i am elated for them. but my heart aches for my oldest three, as they endure the back-and-forth of visitation and the drama associated with life after divorce. gratefully, my youngest children will never know what it's like to have a father that bails. they will never know anything but a mom and dad that stay together in love. i am happy for me, to have such an incredible husband...and i am happy for them, to have the best dad imaginable. my joy extends to my oldest three...that, although they must deal with the ripple effect of their biological father's choices, they will always have us. together, we are a complete and eternal family...and even though my oldest three have a different father than their younger siblings, they all most certainly have the same DAD. 

my husband. he is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G. not a day goes by that he doesn't gush over his love for me. not a day goes by that i don't love and appreciate him for the man he is. and our children, all of them, see this love daily. our preteen may turn red and roll her eyes when we kiss in the kitchen, but i know she is glad to have two parents that are crazy about each other. the younger ones squeal and giggle when they see us snuggle and express our mushy love for one another. they are growing up with what they all deserve: two parents that are in love, in like, are completely devoted and committed to one another, and to the Lord.

recent events with my ex further solidify the reasons why God allowed this trial into my life, and later provided me with a good man and reliable father for my children. i've been saddened and deeply disappointed by my ex, time and time again, but like so many have pointed out to me, it shouldn't surprise me anymore. i suppose i am hopelessly optimistic when it comes to that man i used to be "mrs." with. he is the father of my children, and still has many of the same good qualities i used to adore. but he has allowed the world to consume him, and that is so tragic to me. money, status, things....they come first. my children ride in the metaphorical backseat of his world, and more often than not, he's not even in the driver's seat.

my children are wise, however. they know what "real" is. and what they don't realize now, they will realize when they are older. expensive gifts are not love. quality time, teaching gospel principles...that IS love. they know the difference between our two homes - they can feel it every time. holidays are never the same for them, when they are forced to go elsewhere. while i feel badly for them, i pray it only makes them stronger. and i pray they will take this knowledge and experience with them as they grow and eventually when they choose who they marry. my own poor choices led me to make a very poor choice in my first husband...but how can i ever regret those three beautiful children that came from that union? i don't even want to call it a marriage, because now i know what a real marriage is. 

when i watch our youngest son play, when i read books to him, when he snuggles up between my husband and i....i feel an overwhelming feeling of peace. he is SO blessed, and he doesn't even know it yet. my husband and i often speak of how lucky he is to have us, because we love each other...and no matter what life throws at us, we aren't going anywhere. and now, we have another baby on the way....another child that will experience that gift that seems so rare these days. the gift i was given as a child and still enjoy today: parents that stay happily married.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

being MOM.

"one more kiss and a hug!" he says to me. my son has wandered out into the darkness of the upstairs hallway in search of me, just as he does every night. even though i already gave him a kiss and a hug, he wants more. and how could i possibly deny him?

so we walk back into his bedroom, his older brother already fast asleep on the top bunk. he hops into bed and flings his head back onto his pillow, arms outstretched, waiting for my embrace. my hands search the darkness for his flannel sheet, and then his comforter. quickly found, i pull them up to his chest and wrap my arms about him. instantly, he plants a big wet one on my lips and says, "i love you, mom. you're the most beautiful."

how i cherish motherhood.


forgot to post this earlier. this comes from an article i came across on-line called "the blended family: dealing with stepmother negativity." hard not to notice that my children's stepmom has broken most of these basic rules...

Laura Petherbridge in her book ‘The Smart Step Mom’ gives some basic rules that stepmothers need to adhere to, to help bring peace and harmony into the home rather than alienation. A Stepmother:
  • Acknowledges that it’s normal to love stepchildren differently than biological kids
  • Takes time to understand children who are coping with loss and loyalty conflicts. Her goal is to ease grief whenever possible rather than create more chaos
  • Doesn’t step hastily into her husband’s parenting role, even when he refuses to
  • Respectfully discusses issues about the children privately with her husband
  • Is prepared. She isn’t na├»ve or ambushed by complex stepfamily issues and is flexible to cope with matters that she didn’t see coming
  • Tries to be at peace with the biological mom and asks God to help her see things from the biological mom’s viewpoint
  • Does not try to become a replacement mother to children who already have one, nor does she insist that the children call her mom

work in progress.

on a much happier note, i am 16 weeks pregnant with our second baby! of course, i have my pregnancy blog that i recently started up again, but i had to mention it here as well. i heard the heartbeat on tuesday and it made me grin ear to ear. we are so blessed!!

life is good. jim was deployed for a year. it felt like an eternity but now that he's been back for a year it feels like he was never gone! i sure love that man of mine. i was just reading wayyyy back in this blog and it's amazing how far i've come. i can't believe what i went through back then. it certainly made me stronger and i will always be grateful for that refiner's fire.

old problems remain in the past but new problems arise. you can't get away from troubles. whether you invite them in with your own poor decisions or it is thrust upon you by a person or event...troubles will touch each of us. what matters is what we do with them. will they have power over us or will we choose to take it as an opportunity for personal growth? i am glad i have this blog to remind me what i've learned along the way. i am so grateful for every trial i've met because each one has been a gift from God - a chance to become the woman He knows i can become.

i am not perfect. in fact, i am so very far from perfect. but each day i am learning, falling down and getting back up again. isn't that why we are here, to learn and progress? we will never be exactly who we want to be, or should be...but it's always something to strive for. and i'm striving.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

more of the same

talk about sad and ironic that the last post i wrote one and a half years ago is about the very same ugliness i was dealing with just last week! yep, more of the same. *sigh*

first off...i completely forgot i had this personal blog! it's funny because i actually got the motivation to blog again from my children's stepmom. in past e-mails to me, she's often referred to my blogs (as well my friends that follow and/or comment) as being pathetic, as if i do it for those around me to stroke my ego, validate me, get attention, etc. actually, the purpose of my blogs has always been to enable my friends (especially the far-away ones) to stay up-to-date on the goings on of my existence AND it has been almost like a journal for myself (since i am terrible at keeping a hand-written one). i can't tell you how fun it was for me to go back and read all these old posts, all the way back to my "single mom" days!

anyway, each time she referred to my blogging, i'd laugh to myself (or with jim) because...i wasn't even blogging! my blogs have sat dormant for quite some time. so i had no clue what she was talking about. i recently started my pregnancy blog up again, but that obviously has nothing to do with her. any past mention of her was, well...a year and a half ago. i think i'm like most busy moms who try to keep a blog about family, recipes, exercise, faithfully for a little while then fall off the face of the blogging world map. so i figure since she seems to think i'm an avid blogger, i might as well be one. HA! i can thank her for the inspiration.

so, to update this *lovely* situation... despite my good efforts to turn things around, things have not improved with my children's stepmom. in fact, they are worse. at some point, things seemed to improve. i sent her a mother's day card last year and truly felt love towards her when i sent it. it didn't last long, unfortunately. my children continued to come home with some new story about her judging me as a mother, or ridiculing our religion. the constant barrage of hate from her was totally uncalled for and i didn't understand it. it was as if she was searching for negatives while i was seeking to find the positives. we just never came together. and how could we? she clearly does not want to get along. still...i kept trying to extend that proverbial olive branch, hoping she'd catch on.

so after more long, hateful e-mails from her last week, i decided it was time to (once again) block her. i can't have her negativity in my life. the only reason we need to communicate is in regards to transporting my children, since she is the main person doing the driving. everything else should be between my ex and myself. in a perfect world, i would love to be her friend and have a relationship beyond transporting the kids back and forth, but that clearly isn't going to happen. her opinions are unwarranted, unsolicited, unnecessary, unproductive. i will never understand her need for negativity and drama...and i want no part in it.

she's told me a few times that she holds nothing back, doesn't care if she speaks her truth and hurts anyone in the process. she is unapologetic for her lack of filter and need to say absolutely everything she thinks and feels. i don't see this as a positive trait. not every feeling needs expressed and not every thought needs divulged..especially if it is hurtful. there has been so much i wanted to say back to her but i held back, knowing it would be pointless and possibly damaging. holding the tongue can be difficult, but it's the right thing to do. a friend reminded me of something from the scriptures...

Proverbs 29:11 - A fool vents all his feelings, but a wise man holds them back.

Proverbs 29:20 - Do you see a man hasty in his words? There is more hope for a fool than for him.

reading the scriptures always brings me back to where i need to be. it helps me forget myself and see how tiny my problems actually are. in the big picture, none of this matters. and so, i return my focus to those who know me and love me and are not blinded by their own perceptions or by gossip. i am fully confident in who i am...and when you know who you are, how can anyone's words hurt? words from a fool have no power.

kinda funny, after all these years i actually find it pleasant to communicate with my ex. oh, the things that surprise us. i hold no animosity....just moving on from the madness.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

backstory: the other woman

so my ex has been married for nine months now. i was thrilled, when they married, because it meant my children would no longer be exposed to their father inappropriately living with a strange, new woman. i was also hoping this would mean he'd step it up as a parent. whenever he had a new woman in his life, he seemed happier and was easier to deal with. he'd also spend more quality time with our children, in an effort to appear as "Super Dad" to whoever his current flame was. i also hoped the canceled weekends might lessen, if he settled down again and went back into some form of family mode.

she seemed nice at first, this new girlfriend. i was (and still am) grateful that she was nice to my children. however, things began to change quickly. the occasionally cordial and cooperative ex husband who once came to the door when dropping the children off began to completely ignore me. the new woman seemed to take over all communications, overnight. it was as if he'd found the perfect secretary/sitter to take care of his duties. i couldn't tell if these were his wishes or hers. in fact, i never knew of her existence until one rainy night when she showed up at my house to deliver a payment to me. i felt sorry for her. i genuinely hoped she'd be okay with him, and not endure what i had.

not long after that, he was living with her. it seemed so sudden, and i worried greatly about how this would affect my children. i was disappointed in him. as for the new woman in his life, she seemed nice enough. i was happy for him, and hoped this relationship might stick where the others had been temporary flavors of the month. in time, they moved into their own apartment. it appeared he might remain in this relationship, and i was glad....hopeful, even, that it would result in marriage and *fingers crossed* not end in a third divorce for him.

one day he informed me that he had a "business trip to california" - which happened to fall on his scheduled weekend. i thought it was odd that he'd 1) have a business trip on the weekend like that and 2) have a business trip to california which had never happened before. other things seemed "off" but, no matter. i was very used to him canceling on me, leaving me to figure out what to do and/or cancel my own plans. later, i discovered his supposed "business trip to california" was actually a trip with his girlfriend to hawaii. hmm...and after all that complaining about how he was so poor and his inability to help me buy school supplies for our children.

it time, they were engaged. and last year, married. since then, she has become extremely pushy. her "in-your-face" manipulative demeanor and sense of entitlement has become horribly aggravating to deal with. she attempted to friend me on facebook, which i thought was nice at the time, but i declined. i explained if she wasn't married to my ex, we might be friends, but i needed some semblance of privacy and didn't feel i'd have that if my world was that exposed to them. she seemed to respect that. but then i began getting a barrage of messages from her. emails, texts, facebook messages... and they weren't very nice. they were nice on the surface, yet filled with sarcasm and nasty jabs. it got to the point where i had to shield myself from it by blocking her on facebook as well as text messaging. i informed my ex (who had totally faded to the background at this point) that i had these children with him - not her - and if there were any issues regarding our children, he needed to communicate directly to me, not through her. there was no reason i should be dealing with his new wife....especially when she was filled with so much unwarranted animosity. i sought advice from good friends who are stepmoms and really tried to see things from her point of view, understanding what it must be like to be her. but i couldn't get past her totally unnecessary, mean undercuts. i am sure my ex has filled her head with all sorts of crazy ideas about me, and so i take much of it with a grain of salt. a lot of it isn't her fault, i am sure. she's just a girl who fell in love with a charming guy and is now trying to find her place in this family. i get that. and strangely enough, i still feel bad for her, even after all the nasty remarks she's made towards me. i've known my ex way longer than she has. there is a history there that she knows nothing about (well, only whatever he's chosen to reveal).

today i went to the temple with my sisters. i put several names on the prayer roll....including hers. it felt so good to be in that spiritual place. i was able to focus completely on the immense joy and peace that abides there in such great abundance. you see, i'd received yet another e-mail from my ex's wife, which was especially "below the belt." i will delve into that later. for now, let's just say....i was shocked. i couldn't get over the audacity of this woman, whose seemingly sweet words were filled with venomous intent. attend the temple on the same day i'd received such a thing....was beautiful.

i am continually grateful for this beautiful, blessed life i lead. my children are healthy, safe and happy. my husband is a good man, cherishes me, respects me....and in return has all my love, admiration, respect, adoration and support. there is a beautiful peace which resides inside my soul because i have a husband i can trust, whether he is in the next room or on the other side of the world. what a blessing that is! i never knew what that was like, until jim came into my life. heavenly father raised the bar exceedingly high, for the next man i would marry. jim has surpassed that....and then some.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

taking a sick day.

it's been a while. hello.

i am feeling sick today. that heavy-head, sore throat, achey, tired kind of feeling. i've been watching my friend's girls for her, but not today. i am really disappointed, too, because this was my "last" day with them before her sister takes over the job. life is what happens when you make plans, eh?

so, since i am feeling blah (and the kids are playing quietly out in the hall where i can see them), i thought i'd pop in here for a quick update. i just read my last post, and although it's all very true, i think i say too much. still, this is my private blog and it's nice to vent to a small audience. *grin*

however, i would like to get the point where i don't feel the need to vent at all, not even the tiniest bit. possible? perhaps...
i love, love, LOVE books - especially children's books. i've been perusing (aka, our bread and butter) for a while and collecting a list of books i want to get for the kiddos from the new library (which is bee-yoo-tee-ful, btw).

while perusing, i came across a book from my childhood!! it's so funny because i was just telling jim about this book, not that long ago. i told him i couldn't remember the name of it, but i told him the story. well, to my great excitement, there was that same, familiar cover staring back at me from my laptop screen. yay!! i quickly added it to my amazon wish list.