Out With The Old....In With 2012

It has been quite a year. I left 2010 with high hopes and a positive outlook and am leaving 2011 the same way. When I was younger I didn't realize exactly how much change could occur in one years time. Back then it was just time passing and although I had accomplishments and ups and downs, the years passing as adults seem to mean so much more.

Another year passing means another year my boys have grown and OMG! where did my babies go and when did these smart, insane and loving small people get here? My kids are my every last breath and having them has brought so much to my life. There is not a way to describe that kind of love. I look forward to another year of watching them learn and grow and having them not only make me crazy each day but amaze me as well.

It also means another year I have been married to Jay and anyone who is married knows, marriage is hard work and the years are truly a work in compromise and love. I am so thankful to have him to spend the years with. He is my everything.

It was also another year I was able to spend with my family and this past year we spent more time up north at my Dad's place and spending time with him and my sisters, watching my boys get to be boys has brought me incredible joy.  My Dad is one of the funniest, loving people I know. He brings my family so many laughs and I hope to spend more time with him this year.

I always spend a lot of time with my Mom and my Mother-in-Law and this past year was no exception. My Mom went through a difficult surgery and as she always does, worked her ass off to get herself healthy again. My MIL continues to be a support to Jay and I and she proved (yet again) to be more selfless than most women I know at the end of this year. Her help has been a true gift that Jason and I are both so incredibly thankful for.

I am well aware that as I get older so do my parents and having another year with them in my life is something I am so grateful for. I am well aware that there are many people who are not as fortunate as I am.

I have always felt lucky to have my sisters and this year was no exception. The four of us together, with our spouses and kids are truly a loving, dysfunctional mess of a family. I would give any of them everything I had if they needed it.

I am old enough to know that there is little chance a year will pass without some low points. We have had our share of those this year, but those low points brought us love at some point or have taught us to be better people. We have loved and learned which is all anyone can ask.

I have big hopes for 2012. I have my own personal goals and also a wish list of things I hope for my family. No matter what the new year brings our way, we will get through it together and that is my biggest dream come true - us together.

To all my friends and even the perfect strangers that come here to read my life stories, thank you.

So from my family to yours, Happy New Year! May 2012 be a happy, healthy year and may it bring you all you've wished for!


I Am So Jealous (As is My Husband)

It is no secret that I work out and spend a good portion of my free time in the gym running, boxing TRXing and so on. I consider myself to be in decent shape most of the time.

My definition of decent shape means my pants button and aren't too tight, I can run a couple of miles without wanting to die and I can do some push ups on my toes. All of my time and hard work at the gym is virtually for those small things.

Then my sister showed me this video and I was amazed. I now realize that I am sooo not in shape. Also, I am thinking of getting a pole in my house.

This girl is unbelievable regardless of the fact that she may or may not be a stripper and her last name is Butterfly (that could be a totally real name for all we know). Her level of fitness makes me jealous and her pole skills make my husband jealous.




If I Didn't Have Bad Luck, I'd Have No Luck At All


I get that everyone has bad days. I understand how a bad day can quickly spiral downhill into a bad week. I know the feeling of the never-ending bad mood that a person can get stuck in like a quicksand you just continue to sink lower and lower in.

I also know good days; great days even, where all is well in my world. My kids are healthy and listening, the weather is sunny, there is no pee on the bathroom floor and I feel blessed for all I have.

Then the universe steps in and smacks me off my happy high horse.

The past couple of weeks have been trying. It started with Jason getting the stomach flu on Thanksgiving and leaving my Mom’s without a single bite of dinner, then his Dad being hospitalized days later and continued to progressively decline from there.

The quicksand just started to pull us in. Slowly we were sinking.

We were thrown into a situation we had no control over but became partially responsible for. My father-in-law is not well and can no longer live on his own. This has put stress on the entire family and my husband became a key decision maker for his Dad, making decisions he doesn’t want to make. It is frustrating and unfair, but we were dealing with it one day at a time.

Then the dog started to decline and I had hoped she would make it until Christmas, but she just couldn’t. She had had a bad back leg for years so when she started limping on her front leg I figured she strained it trying to get up. Then the swelling came and she could barely walk and would cry out. The vet confirmed our worst fears – bone cancer in her shoulder.

We knew what was best for her and as heartbreaking as it was we decided to put her to sleep and to end her pain and suffering. It was the hardest thing I have had to do and my boys are so sad. Jay and I don’t even know what to do without her. There is something incredibly comforting about walking in your house and being greeted by a dog that is always, no matter what kind of shitty day you’ve had, happy to see you.

I will miss her forever. She was that good of a dog.

As we are still reeling from that and trying to deal as a family with that loss, we needed to drop my car off to get the brakes replaced. The guy thought it would be around $300 and although I wasn’t thrilled with spending this money so close to Christmas, we will travel a lot in the next couple of weeks and I would really like my car to stop.

You can see where this is going, right? Stomach flu, sick family member, and dead dog…yeah we got the call that the car would be over $900 to fix. (Cue the sound of me curling up and dying here.)

So $940 later we pick up my car and the guy informs us that there is something wrong with one of my tires as well and it needs to be looked at immediately. At this point I am thinking someone is fucking with me, because really? No one person deserves this much on their plate in this few of days. We head to the tire store where I thankfully have a warranty on my tires since they cost more than my children to get the tire replaced which they were able to do  2 HOURS LATER. In case you didn't notice I was fresh out of patience at this point.

My mother-in-law graciously kept the boys for a sleep over so Jay & I could get some last minute shopping and errands done and we spent most of it at the tire place and visiting his Dad. Zero fun.

We did manage to swing through Target at rapid speed to pick up the bike for Jack and the scooter for Joey that Santa is bringing. We felt good about our purchases and then on Sunday morning I open the Target ad and see said bike AND scooter on sale for significant discounts and I feel like I am getting laughed at, mocked even, by the Target ad.

Nothing is going our way. Everything feels difficult. I my trying desperately to hold my shit together for the kids but just about everything is making me feel sad, miss my dog and I am teetering on the verge of a break down. We all feel miserable and now, thanks to my car, broke.

When it rains it doesn’t just pour, it f'ing monsoons on my ass.

I called Sunday a day after grocery shopping the last of our money away. When did my kids start eating so much anyway? I decided I needed to hit the couch during naptime. I saw that Top Gun was on and thought, whew a little boy eye candy, don’t mind if I do. Except, of course, I turned it on right at the scene where Goose dies.

Cue the sobbing and crying all over again.

It only continued to get worse as Joey woke up at 3am that night having an asthma attack that has led to doctors visits (although thankfully not hospital visits) round the clock nebulizer treatments and steroids. My already strong-willed three-year old on steroids…oh the joy!

It’s as if the universe is fucking with me and I give up. If you need me I will be in bed, head under the covers crying…after I stop at Target and get my price adjustment, of course.


Yes

Anyone who has ever been proposed to remembers the moment the person they love popped the big question. It is one of those life-changing moments and the memory is one you are not likely to forget.

That is why people go to great extremes to make the proposal just right. Exotic trips, special dinners at the restaurant you had your first date, on the jumbo-tron screen at a big sporting event, or even on-stage at your favorite concert. Generally the person doing the asking puts a great deal of time and planning into asking someone to marry them. It is just what people do. They fret about making the moment perfect because that will hopefully up the odds of the person saying yes, and if it is a moment you are going to remember forever it just seems like it should be one you make fancier than all the other ho-hum moments in life.

On December 6th, 2002 Jason proposed to me. It was one of those life-changing moments and I will, without a doubt, remember it forever.

When you date someone for 6 years, and you love them, you often think about marrying them. I am no exception to this rule. I made it no secret that I wanted to get married and in all fairness, Jason made it no secret that we would one day get married but that it wouldn't be until he was ready. So I waited, some days more patiently than others but I did what any girl who was head over heels in love with a boy would do. I waited, well that and I bought a house with him because that seemed to make sense. 

I knew we would end up happily married someday but at the time I was thinking the 6-year wait was a bit long. Looking back, I think that six years was the best thing we could have ever done for our relationship. As much as I hate to admit it, Jay was right about waiting.

Sometime during year 4 1/2 I found a picture of an engagement ring I loved. I ripped the ad out of the magazine and hung it on our refrigerator. I hung it there because I loved looking at that ring and I wanted to offer a subtle reminder to Jason that no, the milk wasn't free and yes, he was going to have to buy this cow. Also, the longer he waited the more expensive the cow might be.

He was a good sport about it for a long time and then one day there was mention from one of us about the ring picture and the argument ended with me taking the ad down and yelling something or another about never getting the ring anyway. I tucked that picture away in my bin of special things and that was the end of it. Yes, we would still talk about whether or not he was ever going to propose but I backed off on the talk of the ring as much as possible.

My thought was, he should want to marry me. He should feel lucky to have me and if I had to talk him in to it or remind him of these things then I didn't want to marry him after all.

I can't recall how long we went on living with the ring picture tucked away but it was for quite some time. During that time, we were happy and in love. I loved that ring but I knew I loved him more than any piece of jewelry so we lived our lives together  - no ring.

Fast forward to 2002 and you will find me laid up for two weeks with one of the worst colds / sinus infections a person could be plagued with. I had been in bed for what felt like forever and I was miserable.

I can still remember laying in bed feeling so sorry for myself and wanting nothing more than to be up and feeling well again when Jason came home from work. He came strolling in our bedroom carrying what looked like a magazine. He asked how I was feeling and when I snapped back that I was most likely dying, thank you so much for asking, he proceeded to tell me my ring made the front cover of the local jewelry store's Christmas catalog. He tossed it to me so I could take a look and sure enough there in all its sparkly gorgeousness was the ring I loved. All perfect looking with its impeccable clarity and cut and huge carat size. 

Being the sick and bitter girl I was, I threw the catalog across the room. The last thing I wanted rubbed in my sick, snotty nose was the ring I was not getting. Jason picked the catalog up and begged me to get out of bed and head downstairs to snuggle on the couch to watch a movie with him. Talking me into getting out of bed was no easy task and I was super annoyed that he was even asking me to get up. I recall thinking, clearly he is not realizing exactly how sick I am. 

I stomped downstairs and laid on the couch buried under blanket after quilt after blanket and was hastily flipping through the TV channels when I realized he was sitting slightly behind me in the chair flipping through the jewelry catalog. All I could think was, are you fucking kidding me? This guy just doesn't get it.

When he started talking to me about the ring again, I just kept flipping through the channels getting angrier and angrier. In my mind he was cruel. I was sick as a dog, he dragged me out of bed and now he was going to tell me how beautiful the ring was - AS IF I DIDN'T KNOW? Seriously?

It wasn't until he said something like, what would you say if I bought you a ring like this? I remember rolling my eyes and answering rather hastily, you won't so I wouldn't think anything of it. Still flipping through channel after channel looking for something, anything, to focus my attention on so I didn't jump up and kill him.

My blood was boiling so when he asked me again; no really what do you think you'd say if I showed up with this rin...? He couldn't even finish his statement before I lost it. I remember screaming, why are you doing this to me? You are never going to buy me that fucking ring so just shut the fuck up!

As the last few words rolled off my angry tongue I sat my clogged head up and whipped around to face him as if to say you are messing with the wrong girl today. I am sick and not in the mood for your bullshit!

It was just as my head was thinking those things that I noticed he was on his knee in front of me. There was a ring box and the sweetest words I have ever heard. I remember the dizziness taking over and wondering if it was the cold pills or the moment and when he opened that box and my ring, the ring I dreamed of for years, was in it, I remember letting myself be dizzy. This was happening. It was really happening, to me, after 6 long years. 

I was in pajamas and hadn't showered. I had matted hair and was as ugly as any sick girl with a red chapped nose who had been in bed for days smelling like Vicks Vapor Rub could be. He still asked me. Right there in our living room with no fancy anything around, he asked me to marry him. I have never been more sure of an answer in my entire life. We cried and in between my sobs and asking him how he paid for such an amazing ring, I blew my nose on his shirt and told him over and over how much I loved him. 

I love him more today than ever and I adore the memory of that moment. It was perfect, for us. I was me at my worst and he loved me anyway. I literally blew snot on his sweatshirt and he never even flinched. I will take that over the Eiffel Tower or some fancy romantic dinner any day. 

At the end of the day it wasn't about the beautiful ring or a fancy location or me being dolled up in the perfect outfit. It was about him and it was about me. Together. That is a memory I will never forget and the easiest yes I have ever said.