Topics coming soon

Ever have so much going on in your mind you don’t know where to start? Blogging is a fabulous way to get it out of your head and into the world, but so many of the anecdotes I have rolling around in my head need to be elaborated on and there is just not the time at the moment.

Here is a little list of topics that will be coming in the weeks ahead.

Feel free to weigh in on any of them and I will include them in my post!

~ Finding Love…this is such a hard thing to do. No one knows the rules any more. Are there rules? Are “The Rules” from Ellen Fein and Sherrie Schneider still the end all for practical decision making? Or at least…getting your feet wet. Are you allowed to speak to and get to know more than one man before going out on date? A friend of mine tells a tale that her mother dated three men at once and then agreed to one person’s proposal and then she stopped dating the other two. Can men even tolerate the thought these days? What is it that makes people go from relationship to relationship when really they don’t know anything about each other?

~ Child’s Play…making the most of the time you have with your kids. As a single parent working a daunting job I still want to make memories with my kids. I still want them to feel like I am present even when I am not. I want them to know I love them. I want them to have fun care free childhoods.

~ Turning a Blind Eye…I posted a photo (below) with a quote from John Berger today on Facebook and it certainly needs a longer explanation than I have been able to give in the comments. I believe in helping the poor as long as they are helping themselves. I don’t want a redistribution of wealth, I just think we shouldn’t ignore an epidemic. Sending money to disasters is all well and good, but look around your own town. How could you help there?

~ Computer Security…kind of a research project of mine. Coming soon are all manner of SOPA/ACTA/CISPA related votes and you need to be informed. Not to mention it’s a big election year, so what do you think the candidates believe when it comes to your rights to privacy, piracy, sharing of thoughts and ideas, intellectual property, and more in a world where nothing is done in the real world. The wealth of nations is transferred easily at the touch of a button and a kitten dunking a basketball in Milwaukee is news in Thailand.

As usual I type what I want about topics I find interesting. Things I want to know. Projects that need to be researched questions that need to be answered. Poems that need to be written and words that need to form sentences that form ideas which are made to be shared.

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Reblog of Courageous from Oct 2011

I am reblogging this today because somethings need to be heard or read again. I love the meaning of this song. I hope you’re having a great day!

Small Wonders & Other Thoughts

On the way to work this morning I was hearing this song for perhaps the 100th time, I was singing along and I feel compelled to share it with you. It was written for the men in the world. Telling you about who you were made to be.

Who you should strive to be.

The influences on life and culture don’t speak to who a man should be anymore. They speak to how he should look and what he should be able to buy.

Who do you think you should be? What do you think you should be doing?

A few years ago, after I left my husband for the first time I discovered that EVERY woman in my office – there were about 35 of us – had been divorced at least once. Everyone. They had started lives with men and then found that although they looked old enough, they were…

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Where’ve I been!? All over the place!

Man! Am I tired! This is spring break week and also my first week back in the working world. My life in a nutshell has been crazy. I apologize for missing in action and there is so much I need to write about! I have about 200 unread emails and 100 TED speeches to read through, watch and see which ones I would like to share with you all.

Like I said though…I’m EXHAUSTED!

I have taken care of my own kids this week during the day. We wake up at 7, eat breakfast, and leave the house before 9 every day! I would like to say we spent the afternoons at home, but we have not.

Saturday we woke up earlier and came to story time at Barnes and Noble. The boys got to hear a story about Max and Ruby. They are delightful stories and the boys love them. Then the bookseller read a story about Crafty Chloe. I loved it! Making gifts and how fabulous it is to be crafty! Kids need to hear these things! Not every one is able to buy the latest and greatest gift and a gift made from the heart is even better!

Then they got to do worksheets about Crafty Chloe. It wasn’t JoAnne’s (the bookseller) idea of a fun Crafty for Crafty Chloe, but it’s what she had, and we all got souvenir crayons.

That afternoon my niece had her 9th birthday party. That made me feel old and sad and happy all at the same time. I held onto my boys hands as they tried to skate. I wanted to skate (I haven’t done that since 1989!), but I kept getting busy. Busy, busy, busy. I helped corral kids, wipe boogies, and help kids who weren’t real steady on their feet off the floor. We had a blast. Happy Birthday Kylee!

That evening we were in bed by 9. All of us. We watched Hugo and passed out. By the way, Hugo is an amazing movie. I now understand why a kid’s film garnered so much attention. Beautiful…simply beautiful.

Sunday we were up and running again! We began attending a new church that day. Wow. I am in love with this church. It is completely uncrazy and completely feels like home. I figured as long as I was going to continue living here I am going to adjust some of the events of the day to doing exactly what I would like instead of doing whatever I am told. I have no time for that.

Monday we got up and we turned on cartoons and were met with an IHOP commercial. Damn you IHOP! I ended up spending $40 on breakfast that the kids didn’t eat all for some SEEDS! Seeds!! I could have gone and purchased everything to make a garden with that much cash! But I made the boys happy. We ate The Lorax breakfasts, played at the book store (because it was pouring down rain), and then went to see The Lorax at the theater. Luckily we have a discount theater not far away and I got off with only paying $5 a person.

The Lorax is a story I had never heard, but it is one I am glad I am able to share with my kids. They need to hear about the destruction of the environment for personal gain and what a bad thing it is. We do not want to destroy everything in the name of progress. Do we? I don’t. I get to explain that to my kids in terms they can relate to now, thanks to that movie.

That night was my first night training back at my old restaurant. If you have been reading a while you have read about Noah’s Ark on Galveston Bay. Well, I’m working there again since I decided I needed to finish my degree. Journalism because I like this writing thing I do here and every one wants me to have a degree to give me money to do this thing that I do here. It’s okay though because I have fun here. It’s like working at a party that I can hostess every day. I love that. I love being surrounded by people, by music, by friends, and really these people are my family. They have carried me through the last 12 years when everyone else had turned their backs to the situation. I love them and I will never work at another restaurant…unless of course it is my restaurant. But I have no visions of opening a place of my own…ever.

Wow is that really only three days?!

Tuesday was insane. My best friend and me decided to take our four kids to the Houston Children’s Museum….ON SPRING BREAK! What a mistake! Oh my goodness! We had a blast, but missed the concept on so many of the exhibits and pretty much decided that we will have to do that again when there weren’t 10,000 other people there. Honestly it was crazy. Another night early to bed for Michael and I. Elijah got to spend the night with his friend.

Wednesday…story time again, some errands, and lunch with my BFF and our kids again. At least we were able to let them run wild in the play area at Chik-fil-a! Then last night that was my first night back on the floor at the restaurant. I remember years ago when I worked there before laughing at the people who “couldn’t hang.” It was so sad! An 8 hour shift and they were panting after 4.5 hours. I am now one of those people. I’m feeling a little pathetic with that knowledge now.

I feel fat and achy and know that as long as I am not partaking in the yummy goodness that comes out of that kitchen, my weight issues will disappear with a swiftness. Although so might the arches in my feet. I need some good arch supports and maybe some new feet. But I am glad to be back.

This morning I packed up Elijah and sent him to his grandmothers for a few days. Michael is home with the sitter and I have escaped for a few minutes to write and share and let you all know that I am still alive! Alive and happy and excited to get started on this life of mine. It’s finally mine again on my terms and I must add rather unapologetic terms.

Have a blessed day! Live, Laugh, Love, and Read often!

A poem: Cat and Mouse

I like to watch him play.

Deft hands floating across the board.

Grasping the pieces gently, but with command.

Knowing the next move without thinking.

Perhaps he is thinking. Deep in thought

And the movements are rote. 1, 2, 3, 4…

Maybe this is how he lives life, always one step ahead.

I think of his eyes looking at the board and then at how they see me.

How do you see me?

How do you know without a doubt in your mind that you want to know me?

I think of these things as I watch him play.

Side long glances in play and a quick knowing smile that I have yet to understand.

Why me?

Someone so charming and…nice?

IS nice the word?

Perhaps I am thinking worldly. Someone so worldly.

Out of all the women in this place and you choose me.

Why do you choose me?

What could I possibly have to offer beyond the chaos of the moment.

The chaos of who I am?

“I would leave everything for you right now…”

Leave…everything? What does that mean?

Why would you need to leave anything?

What would make you want to share everything?

Is that what you mean? Normalcy? Ease? Inviting the chaos in?

Dropping little thoughts out there and me having to defend the very idea of the seduction.

Is it defend?

Maybe what I am is the offense?

You are the cat and I am the mouse.

Every move a strategy…every action a crumb to the path of oneness.

Maybe it’s a path that will lead to loneliness.

More lonely than ever before.

More solemn than ever intended.

What is it about this dance that makes us want to take the first step?

What is it about this life that makes me want you in it?

What is it about this connection that makes me want to rip it apart and never look back?

I’ve been hurt…a lot…I only want to severe ties that bind me to anyone not related to me by blood.

You aren’t an old flame or a warm furnace of love long forgotten.

You’re new. You’re untried. You’re interesting, and interested,

But am I willing to take your hand and let you in?

Flirting is a Lost Art

I think the inability of recent generations to wait until the right moment is a disservice to oursleves. Flirting really doesn’t exist anymore. Say you see someone. You decide you want to meet this particular someone. You walk over and just start chatting. There’s no build up, there’s no considering them. You aren’t even trying to catch their eye to see if they are interested. I think it’s generally an antiseptic approach with base information.

Getting asked on a date by someone my own age generally goes like this…

“Hi, I’m Ted.”

“Hi Ted. I’m Meg.”

“Want to get a drink?”

“Sure”

“Why not Sky Bar tonight at 9.”

“Okay.”

“Okay, see you then.”

That is not a fun conversation! That is not playful! That’s nerves. That’s irritation. That’s like instant messaging…just spoken. It lacks anything that makes a girl even want to try.

I want to be flirted with. I think most people want to be flirted with. Make each other know you are seriously interested in them, then strike up a conversation for a minute. Women want to be wooed. Get to know something about us and let us learn something about you.

I know this is going to sound like the utmost in cheese…but I must say share.

I remember being 15 sitting at Chelsea’s Pub at Lakeline Mall in Austin, and turning bright red when my friend’s mom tried to teach us how to flirt. As we waited for our salads and fried cheese sticks my sister and my friend started giggling. My friend’s mom asked us what was going on and I told her that the other two had spotted a cute guy a few tables away.

She took that as an opportunity to critic our skills.

We had none.

She was apparently an expert in flirting…an old school expert. She sat in the middle of that restaurant smiling, winking, and waving. Capturing a guy’s attention…not a real guy mind you. She already had a man’s attention. Her husband’s and he wasn’t there!

She looked at the three of us and said…you have to learn to flirt.

My tom boy attitude was to throw my head back and laugh…like flirting would work! Bahahaha!

My sister giggled.

Our friend burst out laughing and then screamed, “Mom NOOOOO!”

She just gave us a knowing smile. She said you need to catch their glance. See if they notice. Give them a little smile and go back to whatever it is you’re doing. Look up again and see if you get eye contact…and so on and so forth until one of you waves.

Gotta give a guy an invitation in her scenario. Most these days guys don’t care if you have given them an invitation or not. You can glare at them at they think you are pretending you’re a kid punching the person you like because you want their attention. Truthfully I don’t think that punching someone is a sign of endearment outside of elementary school.

Old school flirting. Huh? Maybe she was right.

This is just not how it is done anymore…should it be done this way?

YES. Oh my goodness yes.

(Yet another window into my little life.)

I had never done the old school flirt tactics I learned on that spring day 16 years ago until yesterday. By no means did I even remember what my friends mom told us until he was walking away and I was left with the giggles.

Now, I am laughing at myself…because really…ugh!

I caught a guy staring at me through the window at Starbucks. I wondered if my hair was standing on end, anything obvious that would make someone stand there and stare, smiling like a goofy school boy.

Um…not that I could tell and I wasn’t going to scuttle off to check. A girl likes a little attention sometimes.

So, I continued to write my post on buying local. You may have noticed that it is dramatically shorter than anything else that I have written lately and that is because of this guy.

Let’s call him McSteamy. Why McSteamy? He looks like the character from Grey’s Anatomy. He is freaking hot.

I was so distracted I couldn’t concentrate on what I was trying to write…and I don’t even know his name.

As I settled in and began my post I had all kinds of wonderful things I wanted to say about freshness and cost effectiveness and taxes, and then I felt eyes boring into the side of my skull. I look up and this lovely man just smiles. Big, broad, goofy smile like I know him and he knows me and all my secrets.

I turn red, look back at my computer screen and try to not giggle.

As I sighed, I thanked God he was standing outside.

He just stands there peering through the window watching me try to type. And I do mean try…I kept writing a word here and there, but really this was impossible to do with someone I didn’t know staring at me. I gave up. I texted my friend Sim and she laughed at me. She knows I am more than a little self-conscious and while I am confident, I am still shaky on my looks.

Sim told me to give myself a little credit. So again I sigh, regroup and to type again.

Feeling eyes I look up, I smile this time…ever so subtly and go back to what I am doing.

Every time I look up from my “work” I see him just looking in watching me. This wildly handsome dude is checking me (in my gym clothes and tennis shoes) out. I had crazy hair…it was windy, but I really didn’t care (to that point.)

He came in and got another coffee. I looked the other way and continued to type. I opened Facebook and looked for a distraction…nothing. Facebook really isn’t as exciting as it was when I was working and there was nothing else to do. I think I can feel him staring at my back while he is getting his coffee and going back out to the crowd of men playing chess.

I didn’t look back. That would have been way too silly, even for me. He had a great voice though…deep and manly. I smile to myself and for the first time in nearly an hour I can get more written on my post.

In a not so subtle act of insanity…because what else could it be…he finally sits down to play chess with an old man. He sits so that when he’s not looking at his chess pieces he’s looking at me.

Ugh! What am I going to do!? I consider for a second packing up and going to my neighborhood Starbucks and trying again…but I couldn’t do that. I need a day like this every few hundred. A little confidence booster, you know?

He’s playing chess…concentrating on his move, talking the old man, drinking coffee and looking very nice and kind.

Yep, I’m the one staring now. He’s tall, over 6 foot and broad-shouldered. He looks strong and well-built. Looked so relaxed in a navy pull over, jeans, and loafers. (I’m a sucker for a guy NOT wearing athletic shoes.)
Strong jaw line with the “just enough” facial hair thing…like McSteamy, only dark…and his eyes are sort of piercing, brilliant blue.

After another few hours of the staring, smiling, googly eyes I finally got my post done. He finished his game of chess. He said bye to his friends and walked away. He looking over again just as I was looking up and waved…the silly finger wave. Gets in his truck and as slow as possible drives away staring at me.

I laughed…out loud. I got stares from everyone sitting near me.

I thought my lessons on flirting all those years ago.

Flirting is a lost art…but with men of a certain age…it’s alive and well.

How do I want it to feel?

Second post for the day is an answer to Danielle Laporte’s Burning Question.

How do you want it to Feel?

As I sit here in my past I know exactly how I want life to feel. There is no question that I want to feel all of it.

The life – the essence – the emotion.

The feelings of peace, happiness, and contentment; at the same time sorrow, sadness, and heartbreak.

I can’t understand why so many want to numb themselves to the feelings of life.

I can’t understand why you wouldn’t want to express and savor the many facets of existence. But as I type I know that so many do not.

It is too painful.

It is too blissful.

It is too bi-polar.

How do I want it to feel?

Like ice cream melting on a sunny day, becoming one with the earth and the smiles of happy children.

I want it to feel like carmel and chocolate, sensual and sweet.

I want it to feel like moonlight on the gulf, turbulent and swirling…peaking and ebbing.

I want my future success to feel like banana bread.

Banana bread?

Yes, firm and solid, sweet and satisfying. I want to be able to make it and share it and give it away. I want enough for myself and enough to give to my friends and family.

I want for myself to feel like sunshine, warm and freely giving. Lighting the path in light and in dark.

How do I want it to feel?

I want it to feel amazing.

Sisters…

I just watched a movie made for women. It was gorgeous, well set and beautifully made. It has forced me to think about the bonds we form in our lives the ones that last a lifetime.

My oldest relationships are with my sisters and friends.

The blessings I receive through their very existence is amazing.

“Snow Flower and the Secret Fan” is about these relationships. The movie revolves around two story lines intertwined, made into one seamless heart wrenching tale. I won’t tell you much about it because I think you should all watch this film.

It’s mostly foreign with subtitles. By the end it is all subtitles, and I think that’s part of the beauty.

Intermittently while watching I have been talking to my oldest friend that I have in this very small world. She and I met when we were 11 years old shortly after I moved to a little town in the hill country. We road the same school bus, were in the same class, and through the years we have always remained close. We talk about anything and everything. We have shared sorrows and joys with each other that we don’t share with everyone else. She understood my “Anne of Green Gables” obsession between ages 12 and 14 and I understood her Anne Rice obsession a few years later.

We know all each other’s secrets and still – we like each other. We love each other. There are few people I would do as much for, some would say she is my kindred spirit.

I must admit that we have challenged the relationship and lost touch for a while over the years, but eventually one of us reaches out, we catch up.

We always catch up.

Nothing was ever so horrible that it made either of us say we hated one another…not from the time we met through not (at least not that I am aware.)

She’s watched as my mind goes from one thought to the next and then on again and back and forth and back again.

Who is it that dictated a soul mate had to be of the opposite sex? Who is it that determined they had to be a sexual partner? Why couldn’t it simply be the one person who through our life has remained ever present?

The Greek tale of humans being split in two and left to find their other half, did it say that the other half was explicitly the opposite sex?

Once we discussed soul mates in our girls group and two of our friends said that they considered one another their soul mate and I thought it was a bit odd. How could they be the others soul mate? What is it about a soul mate that I just didn’t get?

I thought it was the husband and wife partnership. But now i think it doesn’t have to be.

The movie brought up the concept of a Laotong.

The short version of a laotong is the non-blood sister that you are matched with from a young age. You depend on each other for emotional and moral support and through out your lifetimes you help each other.

In the movie, the women were eventually married, but the man was not the soul mate, the laotong was the soul mate and the man was simply a business/procreation matter. (Please remember it’s Chinese.)

I think it is possible to have multiple people you are this close to these days, but nothing is so sacred as your oldest friend.

I know that men are often driven off the deep end with the sister relationships in our lives. They know that some how they will never have the same amount of intimacy or understanding. But why?

I think it comes down to the fact that they are us and we are them. We have seen each other in every condition you can imagine. Also, we have our own scars, so when something unexpected happens and all they want to do is cry – we let them. We hold their shoulders and leave them alone until they are done. Then we find a way to make them happy.

Depending on which sister I ask questions, see if there is anything I can do to help, or I simply wait. I put on a funny movie, grab the Edy’s and we sit there sharing ice cream until we are both in laughing fits. My little sister and I do that one. Though I must admit she is usually the one patching me up and sending me on my way. She is an amazement to me.

I seek comfort in the familiarity of my little sister’s home. She has lived there for a nearly a decade, while I have moved so much that I know that I will be more sad than she is when she finally moves. We talk and chatter and cook and bake all at her kitchen counter. We have listened to all of the tiny feet we have given birth to learn to walk across her floor. We’ve painted the rooms every shade of white and every spring rip out the same banana trees, those things just won’t die! I will even miss her ghost. Yes, we are pretty sure she has one.

Our sisters keep us sane. Our sister keep us whole. My sister’s they keep me safe and wrapped in the feeling of love.

The love of men may come and go, but nothing is the same as the love of sisters.

Perhaps they really are our soul mates…

Last Post for 2011…probably…possibly…maybe…hmm

I have started this piece about four times on separate days and about completely separate topics. I have wondered through the cosmos of thought on such things as disappointing our parents, what it takes to be a good parent, and on the middle class being that it is currently the smallest class in society.

Who wants to hear about any of those things?! Not me!

Now I am sitting here in the silence of my mother’s living room. I hear the key strokes as I type and the quiet snores of my boys beside me, I am at peace here…but I know it won’t last. The chaos of the Christmas holiday has flowed into this week of the New Year. We are still making the rounds and opening gifts. Today I was supposed to meet up with some friends, but life happens and things got pushed to later, so we had Christmas with my ex husband.

He bought the boys gifts and I even got a toy or two!

We had a good day.

Though…it doesn’t feel like Christmas. I have always heard that the conversation is dead when you start to talk about the weather, but really t-shirts and shorts on December 29, is something to talk about! Being in upstate New York the last two winters has made us forget how lovely it can be in South Texas!

Elijah and Michael playing with the water fountain

Today there was not a drop of rain. The sun was shining. The birds were chirping. I felt like it was spring and all I was missing was the floral backdrop!

Today we experienced our first taste of Zilker Park, and we will be back.

Trains, canoes, a playground, pool, sculpture garden and so much more all in one little space. I don’t know why I had never been their before. Best part about it is that it’s all for free! Ok, so the train is not but it’s only $1.75 per person and the pool is not but that’s only $3 per person. I would say that a day of fun for under $5 a person is pretty awesome.

All that followed by Phil’s on Lamar and some Amy’s Ice Cream. It was delish!

All in all we have had a fantastic Christmas.

Tonight we came back to my mom’s, I laid the boys down and I fell fast asleep…only to wake up an hour later…figures.

So I am heeding my sister’s advice this week and taking the week off from posting. Just thought I would let you all know I am still here…just playing and having fun on a short vacation.

I am thinking about New Years Resolutions so this may not be the last post of the year, the we’ll see!

Til then.

Revised Christmas Letter 2011

The cynic in me wrote yesterday’s Christmas Letter, thus a revision is necessary.

Dear Friends and Family,

2011 has been a trying year, but I am grateful for it. There are some things I learned and some people I am eternally grateful to have in my life all because of 2011.

I am stronger than I think I am. There, I said it. You never know what you can face until you face it and progress in life.

I can survive a week with no money. Ask me how…I share trade secrets.

I have it so much better than so many other people…in the grand scheme of things as bad as my year was it could have been worse. It actually was worse for plenty of people in the world. For plenty of people that I know.

I think it is important to accept your circumstance whatever it is. I figured out how to do that this year. I think it has to happen as we grow as people because if you can’t accept yourself who else should?

January taught me that I can drive in a blizzard.

February taught me how to put faith in other people.

March taught me not to trust all landlords at their word.

April taught me to take it one day at a time.

May taught me that settling isn’t always the best road to take.

June taught me that I can do anything I have to do whether I want to or not.

July taught me that I really should have spent a little more time in the sun, day-glow legs…wow.

August taught me that I know absolutely nothing about the public school system, but that’s okay.

September taught me how to have respect for myself. I am not the same person I used to be.

October taught me how broken feels…I don’t have a good lesson from October.

November taught me that I can express compassion to someone I loath simply because I should.

December…December has taught me about the strength of friends. When you have people by your side you can feel 10 feet tall and bulletproof.

On the whole there are a few people who I need to recognize for making this year better, because really without them I would be so lost…and these are in no particular order.

Simmoni – You guys may have read about Sim in my periodic series Phenomenal Female Friday. She really is the most amazing friend and has helped me keep perspective over the last year.

My Mom – She was the first in the PFF series, and she has helped me in many, many ways. I hope as the years pass our relationship continues to grow.

My Sisters – They are also my friends. They keep me entertained, watch my kids, and Malorie feeds me and saves me when I need it. I have AAA now, but there have been some days when I didn’t. 🙂

Dana – She has let me sleep on her couch, use her house as my house, store my belongings in various rooms and driven me around to simply pass the time. She is a sister, even if I have divorced her brother. I am blessed to have you.

My family – As a whole and on their own my entire family has been a blessing to me this year. I have gotten to catch up with most and can’t wait to see how we all grow in the next year.

My Church – Without my church I know that I wouldn’t have made it through this year. They have provided food when I had none, money when I needed gas, and support when I felt hopeless. They have even provided me with my own Christmas miracle, because of them I get to actually give my boys a few gifts. Fewer after the car debacle, but they get gifts none the less!

My Friends – All you guys are amazing. You are encouraging. You are helpful. You are the ones that see me cry and give me hugs. Thank you.

My Scary Mommies – If you don’t know what those are it is okay. We know who we are. We know the power of the Scary Mommy Army. Because of these women and our network I have seen amazing things happen in the lives of women and children across the nation. Over Thanksgiving you guys may have seen the piece ABC ran on Jill Smokler, Scary Mommy #1. Because of Jill and SM’s across the nation we fed 14,000 families Thanksgiving dinner. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your friendships and your support, Meg.

Mike – You know who you are. You know how you helped. Thank you. You’re an incredible human being and I pray for much success for you.

Tricia and Tori – You ladies have supported the bloggy journey I have been on this year and are always encouraging and commenting. Thank you!

One I’d like to name, but ever (eye roll) vigilant of your privacy I won’t. 😛 I miss talking to you, but such is life, one of us hurt the other and I am still not sure who.

I know I am leaving people out. It is not that I don’t remember your kindness. I am grateful to you. I appreciate you and I’m glad you’re in my life.

To surmise 2011, I have to say it’s been crazy, but I have felt blessed the whole time. I have felt prayers and God’s hand in every thing. I know that some how life will be amazing in the days and years to come.

Much love and many blessings to you all this Christmas season.

~Meg

Christmas Letter 2011

Generally at the end of the year mom’s across the planet send their annual wrap up letter telling you all about their fabulous lives and they are meant to make you feel jealous. If you even THINK about sending one to me. Let me save you a stamp DON’T…I warn you I will send a seething letter in response indicating that you suck.

This is not one of those letters, but at the same time it is.

Dear Friends and Family,

As we end 2011, I wanted to send out a little wrap up of my year…it’s been a journey. It’s been a roller coaster…it’s been a test.

Can you hear? beep – beeeeep – beeeeep – this is a test of the emergency alert system?! REPEAT – This is ONLY A TEST!

Should your life actually fall apart your pants will end up backwards and your children will look at you with disdain.

Alas guys, my boys love me. They look at me with kindness and run to me whenever I walk through the door. There are times when I take too long to cook dinner or spend too much time on the phone, but they love me just the same. They vocalize the fact that dinner needed to be an hour ago, but they eat when it is presented to them.

My pants haven’t ended up backwards…yet…there is still 11 days left until the New Year though, so perhaps there is time.

December 2010 – I lost my job December 16th. That was fun. Thank you husband for proving what an imbecile you were so that I had to stay home and eventually end a fun job. Honestly that was a fun time. (not!)

January 2011 – I was in New York dreaming about life in the warmth of Texas. I was able to spend a lot of time with my friends at Helping Hands, Caring Heart. Also I spent some time getting unemployment, because of the events that occurred in December. I had to attend special classes about “how to get a job” and dedicate hours and hours to finding a job. Oh – State of New York, the problem with this is THAT THERE WERE NO JOBS! I felt much like a monkey chasing a tail. OH – OH – and I also attempted to get financial assistance from the state. NYS made us take a class for that as well, turns out that if you get financial assistance you have to work for the state. I think every state needs to implement a program like that.

February 2011 – Taxes filed by Feb. 6. Wait for direct deposit to bank because I did not want to lose a huge percentage just because I felt greedy. Husband has flu that last for days and decides the only way to conquer flu is to drink vodka…he spends month in a drunken coma…meanwhile…the baby is teething and crying and generally fussy. Older son gets what the doc decides is flu and never gets well. Around the 17th of that month take him to the emergency room for a swollen hand to go with the flu like symptoms turns out he has had MRSA for about 2 weeks and could die. We are in the hospital for 10 days. During that time he has a sedated MRI, then surgery, I start this blog, and husband generally acts like a lecherous scumbag. I seeth thinking about his behavior during this time period. My youngest spends the 10 days with friends and family as I take care of my oldest who is terrified of everything that is happening to him. February 27 are discharged from the hospital having set up all follow up appointments in TX and depart for warmer regions that night.

March 2011 – We arrive in TX. I drop of husband at his grandmothers and depart for my hometown. I had arranged a house and (nearly) a job during the last month and was ready to settle into life in the hill country again. House turns out to be a dump that the landlord did not repair. He has my $1500, but I don’t have heat and there is a hole in the roof above the door. Job gives me the run around for 3.5 weeks as we process paperwork and I take an in depth physical/drug test. Pass with flying colors, but they still need time to work on the paperwork. Future boss takes a vacation during this time. I drive around the state a lot and visit lots of family. Family in Houston convinces me to stay in Houston. Alas…

April 2011 – Not much happened…stayed at home and applied for jobs and lived off $150 a week from unemployment…should not listen to newspapers when they tell you where the jobs are.

May 2011 – Apply for two jobs at a university, hope for one, interview for the other. May 18th start the other job at the university. (Sigh) I know it doesn’t pay enough but I will persevere! I continue to apply to other jobs and hope something comes to fruition. By months end…nada…

June 2011 – Finally get first pay check $300…sign back of check and hand it over to the babysitter. I learn a lot of cool stuff about my job and working for the university system. I like everyone at my new job and can’t wait for the fall semester to start. In private I cry because Miggy turns one in July and I can’t do the things that I wanted to do for his birthday. That’s okay…it’s just his first birthday. No biggy…but to me it was. Oh and this is the month that since I was working I had to move, so whether I could afford it or not…I had until July 1st to be out. Great…that didn’t happen.

July 2011 – Miggy is 1! We have three kids over for cupcakes and I do battle to try and do something for his birthday, but in the end we did nothing…I start slipping into a mild depression. Problems of July – Evil babysitter, Don’t get to celebrate birthday, and I was pissing off uncle because I couldn’t get the money together to move fast enough. Sorry – I’m poor…but we have all covered that. July 17th – finally move. Okay really my stuff moved into my new apartment, but my lights weren’t coming on until the 19th, so I stayed at my sister in law’s house for a few days.

August 2011 – As rent is due the first of each month…I sign yet another check over to someone else. I am broke…I think I blog about being broke. It is this month that I lose the first of my old friends. Tammy was found dead in her home. I still don’t know if it was ruled a homicide, overdose or combination of the two. In lighter news, I am sleeping on my bed in my living room because at this point I have no furniture to go in the apartment that I can’t really afford. Although I have a really old 32 inch box tv in the corner does work there is no coax to bring the cable from the wall. So, I post on FB that I need coax. My buddy John who has taken care of me repeatedly over the years with things like fixing cars, houses, and short segments of coax, he called and gave me the coax! We watch a lot of movies on FX to fill our evenings. Thank you John, you were a blessing. I catch up with an old friend from high school, and I think I blog about that too.

September 2011 – Register for school, get all my ducks in a row to continue with life. This is one of the reasons I accepted a job that was beneath me – right? So that I could finish school? Yes! Sadly, I lost two more friends this month. First, Big John, he is the one who gifted me the coax in August. He ended up dying of heart failure complications due to kidney disease. Then Pop or Ol’ Man Rudy. He went naturally as he was nearly 98 years old. He was the fiestiest person I have ever known and I have only known him for 11 years. I can’t imagine what he would have been like 60 years ago. Inevitably September ended with a bang. Just as a “non-relationship” relationship was ending…actually the same day…a ghost of a soul mate emails out of the blue. Soul mate? Yes, there are few people in the world as compatible as Troy and I. We email for the next few days and then he disappears as quickly as he came back.

October 2011 – This month is a bit of a blur. I was in the midst of a massive depression. Wondered why men treat me badly and couldn’t see past my own struggles…I was such a moron. Honestly. They are guys they are basically programmed to break hearts. October 17th…I get an email from a former co-worker. Troy was dead. As details emerged I found out from his ex that he had actually been hit by a vehicle on October 11th. I blogged about this too. Everything else that was important in October disappears into the fog that was the rest of October. That was like a death-blow to my heart (pun not intended).

November 2011 – Trying to talk myself back to reality. Troy’s memorial was on the 12th, as he was cremated, we waited until his family could come from Wisconsin. I couldn’t attend. It was too heartbreaking so I found a reason to be out of town. I blogged about many different and varied things…I put the school books away because well…after all of the mess that was October I never opened them. Who can read about marriage and family after all of that?! I couldn’t. I went to my mom’s a lot during this month, just about every weekend. During this month my ex husband’s grandmother fell. She refused to go to the hospital to get checked out until she woke up with a distended belly. She knew she was ill. By month’s end she knew she had cancer and she had stopped eating.

December 2011 – The end of a tumultuous year…on the 3rd Nanny passed. On the 6th we buried her along side her husband. I stress over the inability to buy Christmas for my children. I pray and seek God’s comfort in knowing that somehow we will find a miracle. Sunday we received our own Christmas miracle from my church. They gave me a gift so that I would be able to buy my kids something for Christmas. I went ever practical and bought things like pants, underwear, and socks, but that is what they need. Today…or soon…I will have to get a new car. Mine died, or is dying. After the loss of the year, it is the least in my mind, but the greatest when it comes to providing for my children. I applied for and interviewed for a position with the county back home…I hear about it Thursday and I pray for good news. Please say a little prayer for me.

On the whole this year has sucked. The last few months have been bad. Decidedly not the worst in my life, but they are in the top three.  I know that God is in these trials. I know that life is just a series of events, but sometimes it can be too much. 2011 will forever leave a sour note on my psyche, but I hold to this that depression is a choice and so is happiness. I choose to not let this get me down. I choose to rise above and conquer the tumult about me. I don’t know how exactly I will make everything work, but I will make it work.

Sincerely,

Meg, a little bruised, but healing.