Saturday, December 26, 2015

Goodbye From the Other Side

A year after I published the piece about Will asking for a divorce, I am on the other side.

It's a terrible place to be. I don't recommend it to anyone.  But I also didn't ask for your judgment. I will tell you that no one, absolutely no one, can no what it's like to walk in another man's moccasins until you have..and if you haven't read Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech, then you should really get that book...I digress.

In any case, I am ending this blog, and I couldn't just walk away from it without saying something. I can't go back and read my entries right now. It's too painful. There are so many memories. So many funny breath catching moments. They are for our children. They are for Will and I too.

Nothing is in vain. I don't believe that.

Right now, though, I do wonder WHY a lot.

We are both at fault, and so is circumstance.
People can never talk too much or take too many vacations or laugh or find the "lightness" in the heaviness of everyday things. Never.

Be careful what you complain about and be careful what you brag about.

I've never known two stronger passionate people than Will and I. Never.


Saturday, December 06, 2014

The Girlfriend's Guide To Divorce-Previously Published

I watch Bravo religiously.
It is my go-to as soon as the kids are in bed.
Uncork the wine, throw in my goat cheese pizza and I'm there...but I refuse to watch this new scripted show:  The Girlfriend's Guide to Divorce.
It's kind of a Sex in the City meets Divorce and that just makes me cringe.

Every commercial shows the main character in  some hip swanky club making out with a hot 28-year old.  Then it ends in a ring finger salute "I'm divorced! I'm back! I am sexy!"

I do not think divorce is sexy.
I think it's sleepless nights and wadded up tissues, puffy eyes and loose skinny jeans because the thought of goat cheese pizza and even wine makes her want to vomit. It's the taste of copper in her mouth, like sucking on pennies..and a ball of sadness in the pit of her stomach that fades as she wrestles with sleep, then returns WHAM! when she opens her eyes as if someone threw a ten-pound medicine ball right in her solar plexus.

When my father left his marriage 3 weeks ago, he told me that he  "wasn't happy."
The first thing I thought was, well, okay, I can understand. You gave it your best go. You traveled. Worked. Retired. Built your dream home.  I guess you would know happy.
As I got more used to the idea, I realized that my 68 year old father deserves to be "happy" because he's 68.
HE'S 68!!!!!!!!!!
If he wants to take longs walks on the beach, wear designer jeans (I hope), attend big time concerts and have me call his new cool girlfriend "Sis" then I will do it!

When my husband of 7 years, 3 babies, 4 moves, 1 chronic disease, 1 unexpected pregnancy, a bed-rest, financial disaster, 3 job changes, and a graduate program told me he wasn't happy, the other day, I understood that, too. Yes, yes I  know. This life has been hard on us. Most people don't go through what we have gone through in 7 years, but we have had a lot on our plates, we have. But we have each other.
 I wasn't ready for the I want a divorce part.
Unhappy yes, marriage ending? No.
But the thing is that I don't get to control is someone else's happy.
(I got that right from Dr. Phil-)
Step 1.  Google what to do after he tells you he wants a divorce.
 Dr. Phil pops up EVERYWHERE
I can only control my happy.
As much as I want to start slipping drugs in to his coffee and handcuff him  to the Armada (I would put him inside, don't worry)  and drive him to daily therapy sessions to "fix this".   It isn't up to me to do that.
Step 2: Buy expensive waterproof mascara. (Ulta $35)
I can pray. I can hope. But I can't change someone's mind.  It's not a political campaign. I'm not running for office.  "I am the BEST candidate for YOUR WIFE FOR LIFE!  Ignore the little things that drove you to this point! They mean nothing!"
I have agonized for 3 days about all of the things that suck about me. I can make you a whole list. I know what I do wrong. I KNOW!  I am an under-confident over-analyzing, verbal-processing, under-eating, wine drinking,  chirping cricket!  I KNOW!
Step 3:  Visions of a future wife WILL dance through your head.  Go shopping for super cute clothes to make yourself feel better for 5 minutes. Keep in mind, it will only work for 5 minutes.
Then you will be glad you have waterproof mascara.
At this point, I have absolutely no fucking clue what is going to happen. None.
I know that I am going to take a shower today. Maybe. Other than that, I can't make a thought come together or a plan that will make sense.
Do people survive divorce? They must because the divorce rate is like 60 percent in this country and I  know we are a very heavily populated country.  I don't think the death rate and the divorce rate match..
Do I want him to come home, tell me he loves me, and sweep me off to a beach to start all over?
Yes. Most definitely.  Because of 2, 4 and 7.  For them. For us.
Step 4:  Remember God, your friends, and your family.  Build your support network.
I loathe the word "network" it sounds like I'm starting a new Bravo show called "Life After Uptown Girl's  Guide to Divorce"


Friday, October 17, 2014

The Amish Love Velveeta

I don't have time for a cool will make sense in a second.
Will and Keegan went to Menards, Target, and to get a haircut.
If I hurry, I can get this all in.
He has the check card, so I'm banking on some extra time at Menards.

I am so thrilled at this moment.
I have been invited to an annual Soup Swap.
Listen, I have been trying to get on the guest list for TWO years and finally I am IN!
You know me and how much I hate sh*t like that normally.
A bunch of women I don't know all topping each other with their braggy junk AND on top of THAT:  SWAPPING SOUP??!!  LORD!
But look, I am so intrigued with the whole idea, I just can't stand it!  I HAVE to be there! So finally, finally I am IN!
I wouldn't even be CONSIDERING it IF there wasn't wine, but BRING WINE is part of the invitation along with 6 QUARTS OF YOUR FAVORITE SOUP TO SWAP!
Will LOVES the idea because he is a soup maniac, and the idea that I am going to come home with 6 different kinds of soup is almost more than he can stand. HOMEMADE at that!
Me:  I just want to go and check this whole rigamarole out!
Truthfully the gals that host it are super cool and laid back, and if I showed up with 6 cans of Chunky Noodle, or whatever,  they wouldn't care, but it's the WHOLE other list of people that are just fascinating to me.
I don't know ANY OF them!  Ooooh! I LOVE that!
I can just sit back, sip my wine and listen!
It's a blogger's paradise!
"I didn't even HAVE time to make this soup! Donald had to do it! I mean I COULD have done it, I can do anything, but I ran 54 half-marathons in the last month! My sister and law and I are trying for a World's Record!"
"I was up until 3 am scrapbooking with MY neighbor. I have the kids' books done until they're 23!  I know! I know! They're only 3 and 6, but I might as well get ahead! Now I have time to get the re-siding done on the house."
"I'm knitting blankets for all of the penguin orphans in Antarctica with two of MY NEIGHBORS, so that took us until 5 am!  I just haven't slept since LAST YEAR!!!"
"ANYWAY,  Donald pushed the kids for 4 of my halfs, but I was so worried about my pace, I just can't run with him!  ANYWAY, my soup is  quinoa gluten-free, fat free, salt free carb-free, and uh-oh!  I don't even think it's soup! Ahahahha! It's just water! Oh well! Enjoy!!!"

Lord! It's going to be awesome!!!  Sip, listen, sip, nod, sip, nod..sip ...sip..sip...
Meanwhile, are you ready for this??
MY SOUP:  Amish Hamburger Potato CHEESE Soup
Ingredients:  carrots, onions, celery, potatoes, chicken broth, hamburger AND VELVEETA!!
The Amish use Velveeta???
How do they buy it???
At the store?  Do they really go into the Cub in LaCrosse and BUY Velveeta for THIS SOUP recipe?????
I am THRILLED with this idea!
Our Western ways have gotten to them! They need Velveeta for their Amish Hamburger Potato CHEESE soup!
Ok I will calm down.
Can you imagine what my soup is going to look like in QUART jars next to the carb-free, gluten-free, salt-free quinoa water soup???
Ok so I will check in with you after the soup swap, but sometimes I just have to love this sh*t for my own entertainment.  I do!!!!!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Proud Mama?

So, every year, when it's time to go back to school, we get a letter in the mail from our current principal welcoming us back and updating us on who's new to the staff, what our schedule looks like for the year, what sucky duties people have, etc. etc.
This was my 20th letter.
It didn't phase me a bit.
I'm fine with it all.
Until I read the part about: "send in your proudest moment of the summer" picture.
And then I fell apart.
Perhaps it was because I had just finished scrubbing Sharpie marker off the Pergo, and Barbie nail polish out of Kieran's hair, and off his face and tummy puke off the stairs..and all four of us had just finished crying about any number of who needed a nap most or why Maren couldn't have a cookie at 9 am or why Keegan couldn't buy the $400.00 retired Harry Potter Lego set off up Ebay that he had put in the did you manage to learn how use Ebay this summer???...
Maybe it was the fact that I hadn't showered in two days..or that playing in the plastic pool outside constituted as my shower..or that I had just told my sister in law I was "running four miles comfortably" for a race in September but then hadn't run since texting her...three days ago..because Vodka with my neighbor is more fun than running..
What in the EFF did I have to add to our school's "PROUD moments first day back at workshop" slide show?
I had a melt down right there in the kitchen.  (Another one.)
Here's the deal.
I know that I have many things to be proud about this summer.
But if I send a picture of any of one is going to get it. (Is that a WalMart receipt? And a roast chicken? Are those empty Absolut bottles? I think that Will's ass....And mountains..) I don't want to have to explain. I'm too old or tired or over it to do that.
I'm too PROUD.
It's my, (our) stuff. And I don't feel like sharing.
The friends that know me, know those precious moments because I have SHARED them already.
The other people are colleagues, and I would just like to keep it that way.
If something comes up during the year that I feel is noteworthy, I will let them know.
Right now, leave me alone and let me get ready for the school year. Let me get my head wrapped around leaving my babies every day at daycare and sending my diabetic son off to first grade.
Let me deal with this in my own way.
Don't make me share right now.
When I am a principal (hahahaha) I will tread lightly on back to school toes.  I think I will just buy my people some good  coffee, give the ol', boy am I glad to see you speech, and play a Pointer Sister's song to get 'em up and moving. I don't think I will try to bond a bunch of people who either know each other's business from Facebook anyway, or steer clear of it because they like to keep it private (WHO COULD THAT BE????!!!!)  And if a slide show is really THAT important, then focus on what we're there for...teaching and learning.
Because that is something that definitely can unite us all.
Okay. Well, with that said and me feeling a lot better now, I am off to do some of the things that make me proud with the people who make me proud.
As soon as I clean up their mess....

Friday, July 11, 2014


Ok so I don't know what the hell my problem is (don't answer that) but tomorrow I turn 42 and it's really bothering me.
I mean I don't feel good.
I have a friend who's theory is that if you have a problem with your birthday, it's because you don't have your shit figured out.
I felt really good last week.
All of a sudden I have hit the skids...
I would like to blame it on the LOUD TENNIS MOM, but blaming somebody I don't even know seems super lame.
And really, it's not that at all..
I just have kind of a pit in my stomach.
This is what I mean when things are a roller coaster for me.  A lot of people don't get this way. I envy them.
 Really what I have to do is just hold on and ride.
I kind of want to close my eyes right now, but I suppose then I will miss some of the scenery:
Keegan reading to his brother, Will wrestling with the 3 kids in the front yard, Maren drawing hearts with chalk on the driveway..
I always get through it.
It's pouring rain right metaphorical..sigh.
"Mom, the tree frogs need rain."
Scenery. Keep your eyes open, Melissa.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Game Set Match

Oh for the love of Pete.
Keegan is taking his summer tennis lessons.
It's session 2 of 3.
He is 7.
It's 45 minutes 4 days a week for 2 weeks.
This should be no big deal.
Twice a week Maren and Kieran go to daycare.
This leaves 2 days a week that they accompany me to lessons.
This session, I have decided that 2 days is too much.
This is entirely because of the other parents in attendance.
It's true. I am letting OTHER PEOPLE affect my shit.
Last session one of the moms had 6 kids with her! 6!!!!!! And only 1 of those kids was actually taking lessons!!!
She rocked!!
Kieran was in AWE!! He looked like a PRINCE next to her kids!  She and I just LAUGHED at all the shit our kids got into during lessons!
Cereal smooshed all over the grass. Flying balls.  Toys strewn everywhere.
All the other parents were super laid back and when Maren whined or fussed no one even FLINCHED!!
"Been there done that" was the look on their faces.
I almost asked for their addresses so we could look for houses in their neighborhoods if we can ever afford to move!!!
This session...............................
Completely different.
The moms put their chairs nose-to-chain-link-fence.
All of their other children are at least 9 years old.
They yell and cheer and scream every time one of their kids hits a tennis ball.  Even if it whangs to the left or the right.
Or if their kid doesn't hit it they yell: "THAT's OKAY! YOU'LL HIT IT NEXT TIME!!"

(Clearly they have never watched a real tennis I recall, it's kiiiind of a quiet game.)

I sit farther back on the asphalt because I loathe wet morning grass. Gnats. Bees. Ish.

I don't have a lot of tolerance for things like that.
And I just want to watch my son have a good lesson.
In peace.
So I have decided to quit playing doubles twice a week, because if Kieran squawks or Maren melts's just going to be a disaster. I am going to get pissy and self-conscious and UGH.
I don't need it.
I just want to be the quiet mom in the back.
Let them think what they want about me..which hopefully is nothing.

That's not true.
Not after today..ooops I forgot this part.

As were leaving today. I ran into a teacher from school.
Of course I did, it's the school I TEACH AT..and summer school is going on..
LOUD MOM got to him first.

"Hi," I said as I walked back to my car with 3 in tow.
"YOU KNOW EVERYONE TODAY!!!!!!" loud Mom screamed at him.
"I teach with him," a hint of you're a dumb shit, in my voice.
"YOU'RE A TEACHER? I'M A TEACHER TOO!" she screamed.
Wait for it. Wait for it. Because it's coming. I shouldn't have. I should have said, "Oh how nice." or "Oh where? That is so fucking interesting!"   But I didn't. Of course I didn't. Because after four days of hearing her YELL HER FUCKING HEAD OFF, I WAS UNGLUED. I'm sorry, dear reader. I WAS UNGLUED.
Snot. Shitty. Dead pan delivery:  "Good for you."
Then Kieran slipped on the gravel.
Sigh. Defeated me: "Yep."
 I didn't drop him by the way. I wasn't carrying him. Jeepers. I should have dropped her.
 "And they still let me teach."  Dammit!! I thought of that later!! Wouldn't that have been the BEST reply?? WHY am I not quick on my feet??!! Dammit!

So next time I'm playing singles. It's just Keegan and I at lessons.  I'm not going to let her say I'm a baby dropper anymore!!
And I'm wearing something super slutty.  Because I also saw her dagger eyes look at my small butt.
Game. Set. Match.

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

I'm Getting to That

Goals are a funny thing with me.  I don't like them.
If I say I have a goal, I mean if I actually utter the words: "My goal is to.."
It usually ends up being a bust.
I'm weird like that.
I feel like if I say it out loud, then it won't happen.
I have to do it, then I can talk about it later. Maybe. To a few people. Or here.
This past year there were some things that I really really did NOT like about myself.
I wasn't cooking the way I wanted to. I wasn't taking care of myself the way I wanted to. I wasn't exercising the way I wanted to.
If I would have said: "My goal is to start meal planning, work on my mental health and run at least 2 times a week."
Eff it.
It wouldn't have happened. Because the minute I "put it out there into the universe", so to speak, it just doesn't bode well.
So I kept quiet, and just did it.
The most exciting part is the cooking.
I LOVE to cook. And I am good at it. I am not bragging. It's just something I am proud of.
I get tired of hearing: I hate to cook. I can't cook. Blah blah..
Try it!
Cooking is therapy!
Maybe I will make a shirt: Cooking is cheaper than therapy...hmmm...
My favorite blog is Andi the Weary Chef.
She has small children. She is tired. She likes to cook.
We could be related.
Most of my recipes come from her or links on her blog.
Kieran eats everything I cook. Maren eats most of what I cook if I bribe her with dessert. Keegan is the most difficult because of his diabetes, but sometimes I just can't make it work, and he has chicken fingers and veggies.
Will is probably the happiest. Men like home cooked food. It's archaic and women all over the country who hate to cook will want to hit me with the one pan they own, but it's true.
And seriously? What is wrong with helping to make things better?  Nothing at this point.
My cooking is not always perfect. I can't be a gourmand with three little kids. It doesn't work for me. But believe me, it's a hell of a lot better than it was six months ago, so I'm takin' it!
The mental health piece is a work in progress. I am never going to be "cured". There isn't a day where I can skip my meds, or stop thinking about it or "let loose."
I do those things.
And then I am fucked.
So it's a constant battle for me.  It's exhausting. It's shaming. It's embarrassing.
It's also empowering. I know myself better than anyone. I am very very very very smart.
People underestimate that about me.  Well, not all people.
I know what I can and can't do that makes me sick or stable.
I have been at this for over 20 years. I am not new to it.
It's just that after 3 babies in 7 years and a marriage.   I am new to THIS part.
I have a small stable circle of people to support me.
And I have me.
I am trying to like me.
Ah, exercise..
This week I ran once. Today I will run for the second time. I might get a run in when we go to Wisconsin.
I can't get up at 5:30 am and run because my body just doesn't want to.
My babies are with me all day except for two days a week. I take advantage of those days and run.
I love the feeling I have when I can exercise, and it is one of the best things I can do for myself.
Do I wish I could get out there more?
Yes. But it's not my priority.
I'm in good shape. I'm not overweight...blah blah..
And once I stopped battling myself about that, I have felt a lot better.
My priorities are other things. And that's ok.
I don't have to keep up with anyone else.
And I can be supportive and happy for others and their endeavors, but I also don't have to listen to hours of talk about exercising. It just makes me feel weird.
And I am not about feeling weird if I can help it.

I'm excited for the summer. I'm excited for our kids and for Will and I.
I'm thankful that I can put one foot in front of the other and breathe and not feel panicky.
 My friend Jen said that life is a roller coaster.
Amen to that.

Okay enough writing.
Even though that is something I really need to do more of this summer.
Wait. Was that a goal?

Friday, June 20, 2014


Ok so Will and Keegan and Grandpa Gary just headed out the door.
I did have Grandpa extract the dead bird from his front grill first.
"Oh, I noticed that yesterday. That's right."
"Well, do you think you could get it out of there before the kids see it? Because they are going to have a super shit fit if they see a mangled bird on the front of your car."
It's the little things..

Maren and Kieran are sleeping.
Tomorrow is Maren's 4th birthday party, and other than running this morning (let's not get too hung up on that-it happens about once a week) we have been working like fools trying to get the house ready.
With 3 small children, the house gets cleaned aboooouuuuut 15% of the time..
You want to judge that shit?
Have 3 little kids running around all the time.  Then we'll see how the tables turn.

I spent an hour vacuuming cat litter out of crevices in the downstairs bathroom. If some 4 year old notices, I will eat my wine bottle, but I did it anyway.

Will spent an hour prying a dead smooshed tree frog from  between the two sliding glass doors.
"I'm gonna puke. This is disgusting. I'm gonna throw up."
We couldn't figure out what the hell smelled so rancid every time we came inside from sitting by the pond.
"What smells?"
"I just took a shower, Will. It is NOT me. I am on a good shower schedule now, you know this."
I mean we went about 3 weeks before Will figured it out.
I kind of think Will miiiight have spent a lot of time down in the basement sniffing.....
Anyway, we must have killed him one night coming back inside in the dark.
I feel horrible for the tree frog because we all know I LOVE FROGS, but he's punished us with his disgusting permeating corpse odor, so I think it's all even now.

We have more adults than children coming to the party  and it seems like this happens a lot before kids hit 6, but as we all know, after Kieran was born, something died in my brain, and that would be the: "I give a shit"-synapse, so everyone is going to have to eat pizza and suck on applesauce pouches because I vacuumed cat litter out of crevices today, and I am NOT making an adult meal for the birthday party.
I will, however, provide booze, so I am hoping that no one will notice they aren't eating applesauce with spoons,  and will just be happy that they are getting a beer.

Maren Vada is an absolute friggin' nightmarical hoot.  And yes, that is a new phrase.
She is the most beautiful devilish 4 year old girl on the planet, and I literally sit back and cackle thinking about what her teachers are going to do when she hits kindergarten in two years.
They are either going to quit, or write inspiring novels.
I love how independent and clever and funny she has become this year.  She loves her grandparents to DEATH and has pieces of every SINGLE one of them in her. What is absolutely WONDERFUL is that some of the strongest bits are those that come from her grandpa's that aren't even blood related. Now doesn't that just prove nurture over nature-ha!
I do see my Grandma Loretta in her and this makes me both sad and very very happy because I know that she and Maren would have kicked up their heels together a lot.
Maren looks loveliest in pink.

I need to get back to mopping.  Look, let's not kid ourselves. It's paper towels and windex.

I give a shit-synapse...Fried.

Cheers to a great party!

Friday, March 14, 2014

It's Friday.
Will is meeting a buddy for beers.
The kids are eating meatloaf, mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese and peaches.
Carb load the children so they will fall asleep faster.
It works.
Maren just turned to me and asked:
"Why does HE always drive?" She's referring to Fred in the Mystery Machine.
I have NOT one worry in the world about Maren right now. Not one.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

##Hashtag Sounds Like Hashbrown#### is the thing that is bugging me more than anything else right now..
Well, not as much as the frown lines between my eyes (but I can't afford Botox until summer)..
It's the effing that how you even SPELL IT??
Here is the symbol:  #
Here is what people do with it:
Oh eff me..

Suddenly if you put this # in front of a phrase and runalloftheletterstogether you are some sort of  inspirational genius.

You know what?
Here's what I want to see:

Until then, how about this?
Let's go back to what # used to mean

Tonight's homework:
Page # 243:  # 1-50
Bet my hashtags would come true a lot faster.........


Saturday, March 01, 2014

What Can I Say?

My girlfriend's husband has stage IV cancer. When someone is that sick, you know that anything you say is never going to be enough. There are not words that really make a difference. Each day when she comes to work, I feel like my job as her friend is just to be there. Maybe for the time we are at work together we can talk about "other" stuff like shoes or purses or shit, booze.  Maybe we can talk about her hubby if she feels like it. Maybe we laugh, or we feel sad or maybe we just feel pissed off.  I am not in her closest tier of friends.  She has people that are much tighter in her circle, but I think that she knows ( I hope anyway) that I would move the earth for her and her family, if I could.  I love her and I admire her and I want peace and relief and love for her and everyone that she loves.

There is nothing worse in this world than suffering. Nothing.
And that should just be THE statement.
I should get a copyright. RIGHT NOW.
Suffering is awful.
But, I don't think anyone should get to judge anyone else's pain.
Yours is not worse than mine is not worse than the next person's, etc. etc.
If it hurts, it hurts dammit.
If it's difficult, then it's gol damn difficult.
Who is anyone else to decide?
My wish more than anything is that people would take a deep breath and realize that NO ONE has cornered the market on pain.
We need to be gentle with each other.
A lot of us are suffering.
I think that some of us are doing so silently.
Let's be careful with each other.

Friday, February 21, 2014

The Long Winter

Will just left with a screaming, crying Keegan: "No DAD! I don't want to! NO! I don't want it! NO!"
Keegan has decided he doesn't want to get his hair cut.
"For 20 thousand weeks!"
How many years is that?
If 52 weeks is a year...
I don't have time for the math..
I am not going to have my 6 1/2 year old son look like Ted Bundy! No, not Ted Bundy..I WANT him to look like Ted Bundy, he looked normal..I DON'T want him to look like that other Ted in the woods withe bombs..Kazinsky..right?
Keegan wants to look like the uni-bomber and I can't keep my criminal Teds straight.
This ladies and gentleman, is what happens in the YEAR OF THE LONG WINTER.
What did Laura Ingalls do?
What did Pa do?
Because we have all read the book and I LOVE the book.
It's perilous. They nearly starved.  It's cold. It's LONG.
But you know..ohhhh you know...there were days where Ma and Pa stomped around and never said a word to each other because SOMEONE should have gotten orange juice before the big snow fell. And someone ELSE should go PLAY WITH THE KIDS a little more and LEAVE MA alone because it's getting a little too close for quarters while she's making grilled cheese....
Laura and Mary probably fought like cats and dogs.. That wasn't in the book. Ohhhhhh no.  Nothing was ever mentioned about tattle telling:
"She keeps showing me her butt"
"What are you talking about?  She has zip up pajamas on! And they're zipped up!"
and the same Princess Sophia episode over and over and over again...
Yep. I would just LOVE to know what really went down in that little log cabin.
But, alas, we will never know.
Suffice to say, you know it wasn't perfect.
I am sitting on pins and needles waiting  for them to get home from the BIG CUT.
I will keep you posted.
In the meantime, I'm digging out my old copy of The Long Winter.  May as well get comfortable. We're in for the long haul.

Sunday, February 09, 2014


Today  on CBS Sunday Morning they did a story about "professional snugglers".
For $120.00 an hour, a person can purchase an hour of holding.
Married people, single people. It's catching on.
Apparently people aren't being touched enough.
Will and I looked at each other in horror.
"Look, I am not promoting this, but if you're going to pay $120.00, just get a hooker, Will."
"Wouldn't you just get a girlfriend?"

There are professionals for everything now, apparently.
If someone would have told me 7 years ago that Will and I needed a professional I would have told them to go suck it-BIG TIME.
Because here is ONE thing I was absolutely sure of when I met Will.
I didn't marry Will because it was safe or practical or because I "owed him one".
I married him because I was completely 1000 percent in love with him.
He was MY LOVE LIST. (google know we're there..)
The terrible horrible heartbreakingly sad part about some marriages, is that real life gets in the way:  babies, job changes, moves, bills, dishes on the counter instead of in the dishwasher, the milk on the counter instead of in the fridge, a bit too much wine, a bit too much post-partum,  messages that meant "nothing" but everything, misunderstandings that didn't quite get cleared up, silence and rage and tears and acceptance, and then....not...
Surprise!  Surprise! and then, finally, just too many damn surprises....
After awhile you look at each other in a daze: What happened here?
And then you almost wish it was as easy as a professional snuggler.
I didn't marry Will because I thought it was going to be easy.
That's a lie.
I did.
I married Will because I thought it was going to be easy.
 Not practical, not safe, but easy.
Because falling in love with him was just that: easy.
Our life has not been easy??!!!
It's been ANYTHING but easy!!
But I still remember why I married him.
And I know that he does too.
"Daddy, can I have a hug?"
 "You can, Maren, but it's going to cost you 120.00."

Monday, February 03, 2014


One of our favorite books to read at night is called Stuck by Oliver Jeffries. Floyd's kite winds up in a tree. Rather than climb up and get his kite, he starts lobbing all sorts of things into the tree to get the kite down:  a ladder, a saw, a cat, a fireman, a fire truck, a house, a neighbor, etc. etc.
I'm a bit like Floyd sometimes.
I get something stuck in my tree, and I end up throwing 180 more "things" up there, rather than just putting a ladder against the tree, climbing up and snatching the kite down.
When this happens I can't write.
Diabetes has been in my tree.
School has been in my tree.
Marriage has been in my tree.
Motherhood, money, exercise.
Friends. Family.
That's a lot in a tree.
Sometimes I throw therapy up there. Sometimes I throw booze. I've tried tears, shame, anger, guilt.
Then I've tried laughter, patience, prayer, love, understanding.
Those are working the best.
(I still like booze; I'm not gonna lie, but it doesn't help get anything unstuck..just sayin')
Most of the time I realize that there is always going to be something up that tree.
Will wishes it was the cat.
I wish it was all of our bills-PAID.
And diabetes. I wish that was up there for GOOD.  FOREVER. GOODBYE!
But the beauty of being stuck is the feeling when I am not so stuck anymore.
Maybe it's just small things:  all the kids were asleep by 7:30 AND NO ONE WOKE UP IN THE NIGHT.
We watched a whole football game together and no one got annoyed at anyONE for asking questions.
I just found the CUTEST skirt for 17.00 on Banana Republic!!
Or maybe it's knowing that when a Monday at school doesn't go the way it's planned there are some really great friends who help me remember that what's important is NOT at school.
Whatever it is (and yes, I know, where to draw my thanks-thanks) I am thankful for less of a stuck feeling and more of a "I can do this" feeling.
Even if just "doing this" is getting my kids home, feeding them and getting them to bed.
Hey, it's one less thing in the tree.