About Me

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I am a wife, mother, and step-mom. I am not perfect, but try my best to reduce damage control. I have incredible family and friends that encourage us on this adventure. My mom always told me that motherhood isnt for whimps... and I couldn't agree more!

Monday, November 21, 2011

A Lesson In Recycling

Super T has recently learned about recycling at school. I thought it might be a good idea to help her get a hands-on idea of what recycling really is and how it saves us money and saves our planet!

Tristyn and I use scraps of used paper to make new paper! Homemade paper!! 
This project is fun and super messy! 
Here is what you need:
A food processor
Scraps of paper
A screen (It might be easier to put the screen into an embroidery hoop to give it some rigidity.)
A large basin or pot
Rolling pin
Dehydrator... this is not needed... but for our purposes of receiving instant gratification it was helpful!


Friday, November 4, 2011


Hindsight: 20/20
I struggle to decipher between fear and intuition. I was thinking about what it was like before I married my ex. I can remember feeling like there was something wrong with the situation and I should just walk away, drop the engagement, and cancel the wedding plans. We rushed into engagement with mach speed. I just wanted to be married and I thought that no matter what, I could make things work as long as we both committed to never quitting. I can remember talking to a wonderful friend of mine and telling him that I wasn't sure. Was this cold feet? Was I scared? Or was there more to this? Turns out I might have followed my intuition and saved myself a lifetime of grief and pain, but then again I would never have my sweet daughter that lightens up my every day. Nonetheless, I wont do it again. I wont force something that just isn't working. I am afraid my hindsight sharpened causing my foresight to weaken sometimes.

Rose Colored Lenses
These days I feel bound by logic. Yes, logic is a good thing when considering future dads for my angel. I need to have a clear unbiased view of a man before entering into a lifelong commitment. With that being said, I am afraid my attraction is based on stats. What happened to physical attraction? What happened to carnal lusts? What happened to passionate kisses? That excitement and longing to be next to that one and feel their skin on yours. That passion that makes you constantly want to touch each other and never let go!! The complete awareness of their touch that makes your heart melt and walls crumble. The kiss that makes you weak. The first person that you want to talk to in the morning, and the last voice you want to hear at night? The kind of chemistry that leads to an intimate trust that holds a marriage together when things aren't easy. I don't want to cloud any clear view I may have. I know that sexual attraction can create rose colored lenses. Rose colored lenses seem to melt away his flaws and through them you see him as everything you want him to be- which is not ever the truth. Yet still, that rosy vision that induces desire is important and completely missing from me.Why?!

Distorted Lenses
It has been so long since I have found a man that I know would be both good for us, and I am sinfully attracted to. I wonder sometimes if I am capable of it. I was talking with a close friend recently about this. Hypothetically: I was being given the chance to have it all. He was sweet and kind, made me laugh, made me feel incredibly beautiful, wanted to adore me and my daughter. The catch was I had to marry him in a week. My reaction: I was frozen in fear... or was it intuition?? She brought up a valid point: My ex, whom I was on all accounts very much in love with despite everything, tried to kill himself. He had decided that it would be better for him to die than to live the rest of his life with me. Her words brought me back immediately to that pain I buried. I remember picking him up from the Psych Hospital and reading his discharge papers: Person or Thing that Triggers You... My wife. All this anger comes boiling to the service as tears run down my face just thinking about that moment. I gave him everything, my happiness was hinged on his happiness. And yet, it was triggering his desire to end his life. My mom said it really all made sense, I was the person closest to him. This reality forced me to pull off the distorted lenses I was viewing my life with. I was in a fog that distorted weakness for strength, abuse for love, and an incapable dependent for an husband. It is easier to handle viewing my reality in those distorted lenses. The less reality I saw, the less painful it was.

High Definition
I was watching Sponge Bob with my daughter one day on a hi-def TV. It wasn't the same, as the soft cartoon-like lines that created the characters, were now digital pixels. This distracted me greatly from the joy of that cartoon!! I find myself looking at men through the High Definition Lenses, suddenly every imperfection, every annoying laugh, every nose hair, is amplified. The mystery is gone. There he is in all of his realistic definition. I have tested him and charted his responses, categorized him and rated him accordingly. I have deliberately and painfully managed to dissect him completely exposing his strengths and weaknesses to eliminate my fear of the unknown, or my fear of being hurt. Sometimes this is a good thing, as I can quickly discern quality. And yet, I find if they make sense on paper, and they can and want to give me everything that I am asking and wanting, the high definition is too much for my libido to handle. I am no longer attracted to them. Maybe it is because the mystery is lost. Maybe because I have viewed them from every angle assessing him in different environments, taken him apart to see what makes him tick. Demystification resulted in a loss of interest, although it seemed to intensify my assurance in capability. Truth is, I don't want my life to be viewed in hi-def either. There has to be balance.

Maybe It Is Time To Ditch The Glasses
I currently wear glasses, mostly at work. Truth be told, I can be a shy person. For some reason glasses are somewhat a source of security to me, like a blanket would be for a child. I feel like I need to be challenged to take these lenses I have been viewing men through off. I need to let go of my past hurts and insecurities and start new. I need to view him exactly as he is, and not over analyze his every move and therefore demystify myself. I need to see him through my eyes, and decide if there is that passionate attraction that can keep a  marriage together through the rough times. I need to stop over analyzing, and simply be realistic. Perfection warrants perfection. I am no way near perfect. But I do know that I am amazing, and therefore warrant amazing. Amazing is what I will aim for.


Friday, October 21, 2011

Cream Cheese Cookies and Crowns

Super T and me decided to make Cream Cheese Cookies- Breakfast at Tiffany style! We put on tiaras, and fancy clothes and aprons over and got down to business. 

Preheat Oven 375
1- 8oz package of cream cheese room temp
1/4 cup butter
1 egg
1tsp Vanilla
1- Box of Cake Mix, any flavor (We used white cake mix) Chocolate chips or any of your favorite cookie mix in.


Monday, October 17, 2011

Creating Revolution: Personal Confessions of my Heart

Revolution: (Noun) a sudden, radical, or complete change.

I need a revolution. Something to change whatever it was that I am doing that is holding me here stagnant. The truth is this: I love being a mom, I miss being a wife, and I am tired of living the life that he left behind. It took me two years to get to this point. I didnt want my life to change for the longest time; partially to keep things stable for our daughter. On a personal love life level: I continually operated in the same pattern because it is what I know and am comfortable with. I also want him to hate himself seeing the life that he left behind continue without him. But he didnt hate himself. Instead he has happily moved on with his life starting over again on the other coast without a notion of regret. And here I am stuck in the same place I was when he left two years ago. Nothing has changed.

This idea of a revolution is an accumulation of so much:

I realized this summer how much I rely on my daughter to be my companion. She became the one that I depended on to keep me from being lonely. She is the reason that I sometimes do not go out to date- she is an excuse to avoid intimacy. I need to cut that umbilical cord. I need to not depend on her to keep me safe any longer. I need to take risks and date new people and find the man I was meant to be married to for the rest of my life. Finally find the man that will be a daddy to her, because that is what she wants so badly.

I need to stop filling the emptiness in my life with retail therapy. I have always struggled with this. I am not one for figures and numbers honestly. I can make the money just fine... but I need an allowance to keep myself from overspending and living paycheck to paycheck. I get sad, empty, feel alone, and shopping for needless items brings me happiness and something to look forward to. As silly as this may sound, coming home with a new smelly candle to light will inspire me to clean the entire house and keep it clean for days. I look at it in my clean house and fell content. This keeps me busy and distracts me from the emptiness in my heart and home. But while I clean the house I find other things that I need to buy... not to mention I love buying impulse buys for my daughter. I have filled her room with them. I am teaching her that new things make you happy. This is the wrong message to send. I know I need to stop.

I need to stop attracting men that are unavailable to me. My history is full of the emotionally unavailable- and I twist that unavailability to be a need I want to fill for them. This put me into a role that I know all too well. I am comfortable caring for someone with needs. I am not happy or moving anywhere, but it is a pattern I could operate in without fear of intimacy. I need to stop attracting the men that aren't ready for a healthy commitment of marriage. I need to start recognizing men that are takers and will leave me empty and dry and seek out the men possessing a healthy balance of give and take. I need to make marriage a life goal that I am actively and purposely pursuing. A place I can invest and receive deposits of love as I share experiences and events in life and fall deeply in love like Ive never know before.

FINALLY: I need to reclaim a life that IS mine. I am done waiting for him to return and rob me of all that I have tried to build since his departure. I have closed that door and burned that bridge, but I have been still standing at the door step waiting... for what?! It IS time for me to move on. I need to close other doors that I have kept open in fear of change. I need to be ok with saying goodbye. I need to be ok with closure. I need to be ok facing my future without any bridges or promises to fall back on. I need to find friends that are in the present and I can build a future with. I need to let go of friendships built on my past. I have nothing in common with my past any longer. I overstayed my welcome, and it is time for me to close that door and walk away because I am now in a different place and moving in a different direction. A new direction full of promise and hope. I am not the same person I was then. I will not be identified by my past- although it did help shape who I am today, I am so much more than just my past.

It is time for me to choose some life goals. It is time for me to make purposeful pursuit of these goals. It is time for heartbreak to burn to cold ashes, and hope to accumulate into a wildfire consuming every part of my life changing my path forward forever.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Confession: Pattern of Choosing the Unavailable

I was jogging trying to burn some of the energy I had. Jogging has always been a place that I could think and center my soul again if I was feeling unbalanced in life. Lately I have been jogging more than usual. Today, while jogging, I was hit with an epiphany: I have always chosen men that are unavailable to me. Whether they were unavailable in maturity, emotionally unavailable, or unavailable in circumstance. I have never dated a man that is available to me. This fact baffled me because I have never wanted anything more than to give myself completely to a man and him to me and spend the rest of my life making him happy. A man that could be my best friend and I would be his. I am a pretty independent girl- and I am not asking for a 24/7 kinda thing... in fact I am pretty sure that I would go crazy with that kind of constant attention. But just a best friend and a lover to share the rest of my life with. So-if that is what I have always wanted- why have I sabotaged my own aspirations and established a pattern of dating men that are unavailable?!

Immediately I wonder what is wrong with me? What makes me attracted to these unavailable men? What is it they all have in common?

I have never been good at putting up walls and not letting people in. I am generally open with my life. I wear my heart on my sleeve and despite my best attempts to hide what I am thinking- its inevitably written across my face with clear expression. I naturally trust people without first waiting for them to give me a reason to trust them. I feel that most good things are temporary and that I am constantly waiting for the other shoe to fall and things to end.

 A man that is unavailable is possibly a challenge for me. I want what I cant have. Although I have never had an affair, I would imagine that it could possibly be the same. I have always been the good girl that loved her some bad boy. Most of the time it was because I was able to look into his eyes and see some sort of good that was there. Im a natural optimist- so I would focus on the good that I saw in him and disregard the bad. Part of the bad I disregarded so quickly was that he was not available to me. He couldn't be my best friend, he couldn't treat me the way a woman needs to be treated, he had other non-essential priorities (hobbies, friends, etc) that he placed in front me. And most of the time I let him do this because I was so focused on that good- or maybe because his inability just hurt too much to dwell on.

So why did I allow this to happen? I now wondered what it was that I was hiding from. Could it be that a girl that had dreams and aspirations to find a commitment worth fighting for, was hiding behind the walls of others? Was it that I was too afraid of failure to allow myself a valiant try?

Whatever the reason I have decided that it needs to stop. If I want true devotion- I need to start with dating the men that can fill those shoes. I have to stop seeing the good in his eyes- and instead look at the WHOLE PICTURE. Does he have the ability to give me everything that he has got- or is there something that holds him back from me? It's time for me to stop chasing what I will never catch, and find a catch that is worth a lifetime of chasing.


Monday, September 19, 2011

Daddy Shopping: My Series For Solo-Moms Regarding Dating

Online Dating: Really??? Am I gonna do this seriously?!

I couldn't believe that I was about to fill out an online dating application for Match.com. I knew I was in a place that I felt ready to find Mr. Right- I was no longer carrying the emotional pain my divorce left me with. But this is what my dating life really resorted too? Browsing ads, weighing options like I was shopping for a vehicle: Looks, Marital Status, Faith, Likes/Dislikes, Occupation, Amount of previous children, Likeliness of wanting children in the future, etc. This all felt so impersonal honestly, but I am a solo mom with full custody of my daughter and I work full time to pay the bills. I don't have the luxury of child support to help out. So, I don't have a lot of time or resources to spend at a gym, church, or Barnes and Nobles shopping Mr. Right. As impersonal as it felt, I knew that if I wanted to try this and see if it really worked- I would have to make a valid attempt to make it personal.

I had researched the online dating sites, and after considering eHarmony.com. and Match.com, I decided to go with the latter because it allows you to search for people- rather than pick from what the website recommends to you as a potential match. I wanted to do a site that participants pay for, with the idea that they would be more serious about finding a potential mate than some late-night company. (I have to also admit that the commercials for Match.com were inspiring, although eHarmony claims responsibility for 2% of all marriages in the US today. Does that also make them responsible for 1% of all divorces?? Ha ha ha- ok Cynical Erin needs to go have a time out now!)  

After writing a clever profile clearly outlining what I was looking for, I started shopping. I was very direct in my profile that I was looking for a serious relationship- not a fling. Despite my best efforts I soon discovered that online dating had to be approached with a critical heart. It could be compared to an airport- quick pick-ups, and lots of baggage it seemed. I found that a lot of guys weren't interested in a commitment as much as a hook up. The rest of the guys seemed to carry baggage they were looking to drop off: jealous ex's, alimony, child support, but most of all damaged hearts not yet healed from the pain of divorce. Few carried that magic "potential" that I was in search of.

I began to honestly doubt the ability for something so impersonal to actually create a personal match of substance. I wont lie and say it isn't time consuming. Maybe because I was focused on making a valid attempt, but I emailed back every guy back that showed potential. I was constantly analyzing their words from a critical standpoint with my most common question to them being, "if you are so wonderful, why are you on Match.com??" I mostly was matched with cops, or other law enforcement details- which came with it's own set of baggage. I was picky... but I felt that I am holding enough in my hand to play the game with cutting discernment. Being picky did present challenges and it was a lot of effort to email back and forth in a timely manner, just to watch "potential" fizzle out in the end. The iPhone app helped. Exhausting.

I have never dated anyone that I wasn't first friends with. Dating sites eliminated this important building stone to relationships. It seemed to be that most guys were interested in jumping into a date without first meeting and just talking. They wanted to see if there was a chemistry before they were willing to put in the time and effort to build any more of a relationship. This totally freaked me out. I have always been more than slightly concerned with the fact that child predators will often position themselves to date single moms so they can have access to the children. If you have ever watch Chris Hanson on Dateline, you will find that there is always one guy that looks completely clean cut, normal, and a responsible member of society that has twisted ideas of sexual attraction. With this concern in mind, I did not divulge the detail that I was a solo mom immediately. I personally feel that I am much more comfortable with a man walking away from me because he doesn't like the fact that I have a child, rather than be attracted to me because I do. It is my job to protect this little girl of mine- if I don't protect her no one will.

After spending a little less than a month on Match.com, I did meet two great guys I totally clicked with on a friendship level. However, one of them I was not attracted to. As shallow as that might be, this is a dating site!! Attraction carries is an important role in a relationship. He also carried some baggage that I didn't rule him out for... but it wasn't giving him any points either. Since he was uninterested in becoming friends first and working on that- I was not interested. C'est la vie! In time I realized that the other guy was not interested in a long term relationship, but rather a temporary distraction. Honesty is important in a relationship, and he had stated he was divorced on his profile... in reality he hadnt yet filed. Be open to compare what his profile says with what you see to gain clarity and avoid spinning your wheels and wasting energy.
I did have two moments of funny awkwardness... One when a good friend of mine from years ago found me on the there. We had a good chuckle over our inability to score a date with someone of substance and found ourselves shopping online. The second moment of awkwardness was when I found my old coach from when I was 14. I was just writing him to say hi, and I think because I was using a dating site to say hi, lines got crossed and things got very awkward because of the potential for creepiness. (Let me take a moment to say that it never got close to creepy! He was a gentleman completely. I think it was just awkward because it could be perceived as creepy. LOL!!) 

Dont forget when writing a profile to carefully protect your little one and yourself.
Many child predators target single parents because of the availability it gives them to the children.
So know when to fail to mention you have a child... and know when it is time to brag on your little one.
Most of all- remember that even though you have interacted online- THEY ARE STRANGERS.

Here are some websites with information on online dating I found useful!!

10 top dating sites:
The Internet Dating Guide

Happy Hunting!


Thursday, September 1, 2011

Tea Party for Fun?!

As adults we have swarays, dinner parties, BBQs, and shindiggs just for fun all the time. There doesnt need to be an occasion for us to call up some friends to come over and hang out. Childrens' parties shouldn't be an exception!!

Being that my daughter is the only child, she craves social engagement. So, when she came up with the idea of having a tea party- I encouraged the creativity and excitement!! We went to the neighborhood Thrift store to pick up some missed matched tea cups, pots, saucers, creamers, and sugar bowls. She loved this part because she got to pick the ones she wanted. We also picked up a fancy semi-yellow dress for her for $5!!

She was ecstatic about her formal dress and her new tea set and couldn't wait to use it!

Tea cups and last-nights' left overs!

They took turns serving each other and using manners
The kids all got dressed up!

This was an excellent lesson in division, as the kids divided up their cakes evenly amongst themselves!

The practiced their best table conversation!

The older kids helped the younger kids do it themselves!

They took turns serving each other and using proper manners.

We used juice instead of tea in our tea pots, and Little Debbie Zebra cakes and chocodiles.


Friday, August 26, 2011

Building a Vision

Daddy Shopping: My Series For Solo-Moms Regarding Dating

In my last post I discussed the importance of dating with vision. I promised a list of questions to help provoke thought and build vision... here they are! (Feel free to add more if you have them!! I am still building my vision, so I can use the input as well!!)

  • Dont ask for a Prince Charming unless you are prepared to be a Fairytale Princess!!!
    • You can only demand as much perfection as you have... nonetheless DONT SELL YOURSELF SHORT because you have weaknesses and failures!!
  • Know yourself!! 
    • What are your strengths?
    • What are your weaknesses?
    • What inspires you?
    • What impassions you?
    • What do you want to change about yourself?
    • What do you love about yourself?
  • The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Therefore we have to reflect on each past relationships and determine what worked and what didnt.
    • Where did you meet?
    • How long after dating did you tell him you loved him?
    • Did you plan on changing him?
    • How clear was your "love sight"? Were you in love with your portrayal of him or with who he was in reality?
    • How did your relationship end? What role did responsibility did you hold?
  • What role do you want your partner to have in raising your child? Discipline? Physical, Emotional, and Spiritual support and influence?
  • How do you picture your life in 5, 10, 20, 50 years?
    • Married?
    • Working?
    • More Children?
    • Own a house?
    • Traveling?

    These are just thought provoking questions. Please feel free to add your own... because I am in the same boat trying to find a good match and make choices that will bear successful results!


    Wednesday, August 3, 2011

    Daddy shopping: Start Shopping with Vision

    My series for solo-moms regarding dating.

    I wish had a nickle for every time I went to the grocery store without a list and ended up with so much more than I was shopping for- I'd still be poor because most of those eye-catching impulse buys cost more than 5 cents! The point is that I start off going to the store with a vision of what I am looking for- and I end up distracted leaving with something I never intended on buying.

    Heres the deal: Solo Moms dont really have the luxury of dating for fun. We have our child(ren) 100% of the time, and the other parent is no longer in the picture. We are working to support our little ones, and with our time off we are spending it enjoying the snot out of them! I know, I have a lot of guilt if I get a sitter for any reason not work related!! Seriously, get a sitter so I can go out on a date... I dont have the time or energy to invest in blindly feeling out Mr. Right from all the Mr. Right-Nows. Also, for most Solo Moms I know, falling in love is a calculated choice... rarely can we be sweet talked and wooed with flowers. So, lets harness this newly found power, and focus it into a vision of what we are looking for!

    10 Reasons why you should start dating with a vision:
    1. You give your dating a purpose.
    2. You (and more importantly your little one) wont have your heart involved with someone that shouldnt be a part of your forever future.
    3. Solo moms dont have time to waste dating Mr. Right-Nows- this will help you avoid squander your valued time resulting in an unproductive outcome.
    4. You are able to teach your child an important lesson: never compromise, value yourself, and expect  and only accept the best.
    5. You get to embrace your freedom and freely enjoy your time alone with your child(ren).
    6. You have a chance to avoid the pitfalls and mistakes made before.
    7. It isnt just about you anymore- you have the hearts of your children that may become invested and attached... as mothers we will do just about anything to protect our babies! Dating shouldnt be any different.
    8. Make dating a life lesson for your child by showing your child with your actions that you value yourself and them.
    9. Creating a vision will help you choose wisely this time around.
    10. Finding the man that fits that vision will help you to eliminate insecurities that can cause doubt.

    Next post: Questions to provoke visionary thoughts of Mr. Right!


    Sunday, July 24, 2011

    Fractured Family?!

    I was sitting among family and friends recently when it was casually stated, "There are more and more FRACTURED families out there these days." The word hit me like a verbal assault. I knew that the intent wasnt to offend me, but I also knew that I illustrated the intent behind the use of "Fractured Family": a single parent, divorced, or re-blended family. The offense made me think.

    Merriam-Webster defines the medical term Fractured: (noun) the act or process of breaking or the state of being broken; specifically : the breaking of hard tissue (as bone).

    Quick medical run down of a fracture in layman terms:
       - Fracture: hard tissue is broken (bone is broken)
       - Cartiliage begins to weave through out the bone forming a "fracture callous" binding the hard tissue together
       - Hard tissue begins to heal using the fracture callous as support.
       - Eventually, the fracture callus is remodeled into a new shape which closely duplicates the bone's original shape and strength.
    I love love  LOVE that last part... the part that reads: duplicates the original shape and strength.

    Just thinking outside the box, why is a family that has been broken, have to continue to be labeled as "fractured"... even after healing has set in? If the family doesnt fit the traditional mold: mother, father, and 2.5 kids, why is it still considered broken?? Yes, there is overwhelming studies that have proven that children thrive the best when there is a father and mother that are involved and are supportive in their lives. Yet, I have seen the damages first hand of a child that is involved in a family that, although intact, is fractured in every way. "Thrive" is not the word that would be used to describe the effects on that child. The family unit, although intact technically, is weak and broken. Broken and weak is the complete opposite of the life my daughter and I have recreated together for our family. OUR FAMILY. Her and I are a complete family unit, a very much intact, strong, supportive and functioning family. Hardly fractured now.

    I implore those of you that use this term to think twice before you use it again. To vocalize this definition to describe a single parent family portrays a weakness. This injects that weakness into a healing environment, and rather than supporting and encouraging restoration after disintegration- it undermines the regenerative advancements and continues to recognize the family in it's most painful state- broken. This implies a hopelessness. It illustrates to the child, as well as the parent, that they are missing something; like a puzzle that never can be completed without the missing piece. And what do we do with puzzles that are missing pieces?? We throw them away. They are useless. Let's change our thinking. Let's build our families up, and use edifying definitions to describe those that dont fit in the "normal" box of society.


    Wednesday, July 20, 2011

    Geo-caching Fun!

    Our youngest navigator
    The first time I heard of it I was thinking Geo-what? Does it involve cash?!! Its called Geo-caching. It is a world wide treasure hunt. Hidden in common places among almost all communities are small treasures to find. People hid items with clues in random places in a worldwide underground scavenger hunt. Although, popular among adults, it is especially fun for kids! It is challenging for all ages, doesn't cost any money to do, and all you need is access to the internet and your thinking caps!

    There are lots of websites that you can go to... and even lots of free apps for your smart phone. We liked www.geocaching.com

    We choose a geo-caching series in our community that is on a five-mile loop. With every find, you receive a letter with it's position in a 10-letter word. When you find all the letters, you get to see what the word is! We joined my sister and my nine nieces and nephews for a day long hunt!

    Our Geo Crew

    We started walking...
    Our 1st clue: Look to the stars

    Found it

    We opened it to find a list to add our name to and a green army guy

    The list we added our names to, and the little green army guy

    Found another

    Reach high

    Found another

    Everyone gets involved

    The Clue: You have to fish around for this, we discovered it was hanging by fishing line down a pole

    Adding our name to another

    Mmmm... we shared some shaved ice as we kept searching

    Although, we didnt find all the locations, we had a lot of fun! We can always come back and finish later
    What a fun activity for the whole family!!


    Sunday, July 17, 2011

    Jaded Refugee looking for Trustworthy Bear Hugger

    Sometimes I just need a hug. Hugs from my princess are precious and amazingly embracing considering she just over three feet tall. But those are not the hugs that I am talking about this time. Sometimes I need a manly bear hug; one of those hugs that is all embracing, protective, reassuring, comforting, and makes me feel like a woman. An embrace that offers refuge from the world, and in that moment you have comfort and peace. I hate that I know sometimes I just need one. Makes me feel weak. I grew up with a loving dad that was involved with us as daughters, I got lots of hugs. I loved that when he hugged me, I felt secure. My weakness was protected. My dad is a really good hugger, but my dad isnt always available- life seems to get in the way. (Yea- I know... Im lucky- I have a really good dad!)

    I know the problem is me. Single moms dont ask for help, and when it is readily offered, we rarely accept. It isnt because we have some sort of internal desire to look like a modern day martyr- or at least, for me, it is more that I hate being weak. I have associated accepting help as weakness. I spent the majority of my marriage weak. I now have control - and it is hard for me to give that up! Personal weakness is a huge fear of mine. However, despite being a leader or a follower, occasionally we all need some refuge. We battle daily the hardships and pressures life has to throw at us: financial pressures, career pressures, social pressures, familial pressures... the list is never ending. Especially as a solo mom, we are doing it all: housework, yardwork, repairs, working, cooking, parenting for two... there is no doubt that we wouldnt trade it for the world, but that is not to say that occasionally it is amazing when someone steps in with relief. It is just hard to accept the relief, for fear of loosing the control that we have worked so hard to gain and maintain. Maybe it would be nice if I didnt have the option and it just happened. Maybe I would resist it more without trust in place.

    I look at a lot of the single moms that I know, and the blogs of those that I follow. I see that I tend to identify with the one that is afraid to let that guard down with a man again. Afraid to get hurt. As the line in Jerry McGuire goes, we have been to the puppet show and seen the strings. We come across hardened and jaded towards the opportunity of a man stepping in and baring some of our responsibility- let alone appear to be weak and in need of a hug! We are women- hear us roar! We appear to be incredibly independent without a need for a man. My independence is something that I do value, and at this point in my life- am not willing to throw it recklessly away for the idea of love. My independence and ability to see my daughter thrive of my own doing is a freedom I refuse to give up right now. That isnt to say that I dont miss being the weaker one occasionally. Its a difficult conundrum: Afraid to show weakness so we bare entire responsibility and wear ourselves thin "being strong"; and showing weakness because that is allowing ourselves to be vulnerable again, weak again, and that takes trust and surrendered of control.

    I guess I just need to find a balance, as in all things in my life. I need to recognize that all men will not fail me. And some men are incredibly trust worthy... enough that I could be vulnerable and ask for one of those bear hugs I miss so much.


    Monday, July 11, 2011

    Loosing "Our Brittani" - How to say goodbye.

    She was one of the first pillars of stability for both my daughter and I. She was sweet and honest, vibrant and fun. We found her through family friends and after four months of shuffling my daughter between grandma's house and the daycare/preschool I had her enrolled in... she was a Godsend. She was our "Live-out Nanny".

    My daughter combined her name, Brittani, and her title "nanny", and coined the name "My Brittani"... and it stuck. She was our Brittani. She would get my daughter ready for preschool in the morning and drop her off before I got home from work. She made my daughter dinner, bathed her, hugged her, loved her, and made some very special memories with her. 

    Because I work for the Fire Department, my job can sometimes be demanding. When I was working Halloween and didnt want T to miss out, she got my daughter ready in her costume and took her to T's cousins house for Trick or Treat fun. When my daughter was sick at home, and I couldnt get to her, I never feared that she wasnt getting anything but the best of care from "her Brittani". 

    Our Brittani wasnt just there for T solely either. She listened to me ramble about how much I hated my divorce, the bitterness I had towards the other woman, custody battles, child support, T's father's absence in her life, new friendships, new boyfriend, family, break-ups, she heard it all. If she ever complained, I never heard it. 

    She made cookies, helped me with household chores, ran errands for me. . . the list went on.
    I choose a live out nanny, mainly because I had grown to love the peace in my house. I love that I can run around in my tee shirt and socks if I needed to without fear of running into a roommates guest!

    She is going to school to be a teacher, and the classes this fall make it impossible for her to work with my schedule. So it is with a heavy heart that I read her resignation. I am so happy for her to move on and continue to follow her goals... but deeply saddened to loose such an important part of our team... our family.

     My daughter has always had a hard time with good byes. Seriously, I think from the time she was an infant, she hated them!! Being that she has dealt with the sudden absence of her father at such a young age, I am concerned with trying to explain to her how to say good bye- or see ya later- to "her Brittani".

     I guess I will just attempt to point her attention to the fact that we have been so lucky to have a "Brittani" in our lives... and we are so proud of her for taking those steps to move forward and become a teacher. Maybe if I get her excited about "her Brittani's" future it will help ease the pain and not feel like we are loosing her, but rather transitioning into another phase with the promise of "see ya later" parties and "we'll talk soon" chats. I hope that works. We have been so blessed with "our Brittani". She will forever be a part of our hearts.
    Thank you Brittani for EVERYTHING!! xoxo We adore you!!

    AND will miss you tremendously!!!