Monday, April 30, 2012

Fa la la...facebook

Ahhh!!! The dichotomy of that invention!  And here I find myself at the crossroads of what it offers.  I remember the day I set up my account...the initial confusion, the internal debate over why I was doing this (which of course was because of a wonderful gal I met who happened to be from Poland and currently lives in Brazil and how on earth else would I maintain contact with her?!), the enjoyment of locating people I hadn't seen in a couple of decades and the virtual linking of myself and random pictures to those people I see everyday anyways.  I fell into the thrill of acquiring those "friends" on my list and watching my friend list quickly climb to well over 300 as I became reacquainted to so many people I had lost touch with.  I also questioned the unanswered "de-friending" that occurs and did the same to those that I decided, for whatever reason, didn't really need to be part of THE list.  Statuses changed and were updated, anger and personal information was regularly posted, emotional angst was vaguely referred to, and birthday wishes well received.  I found myself doing what so many linked to facebook do...I was regularly logging in to see what everyone was up to, view updated pictures of adventures from all over the world, shared witty comments that simply could not be kept to myself, and vied for the support that I so desperately needed during a very difficult time and adequately received.

 Then come the recent studies and research regarding facebook and how it affects real relationships.  It has been said that 1 out of 5 divorces now cites facebook as a reason.  The number of affairs, not just literal physical affairs but the extensive emotional affairs, that have come from facebook are staggering.  I personally can count several people that I have know closely who have fallen to this prey.  Church leaders have counseled against it galore and that doesn't even touch the number of secular counselors, therapists, and experts who have the same warning.  Everyone thinks they are exempt...fool proof.  But are they? 

So, here I am.  Conflicted.  Wondering.  What is it that facebook really does for me nowadays?  I can't negate the people with whom I have reconnected or the events I am made aware, but how much time am I spending on keeping up with people I only see via status updates versus the people that are physically present?  Where should my efforts lie?  Here's the thing...I've got this great life!  I've got this great husband who shows me daily how much he loves me and would never hurt me like I was hurt for so long.  He talks to me and listens to what I have to say.  My kids are these amazing creatures with views and thoughts and opinions and struggles of their own who openly and willingly want to discuss them with me.  I have great friends who share their lives with me and care about mine.  Do they number in the 300's?  No.  Does that matter?  I've decided not. Nor do I ever want to give a single one of those people reason to pause and wonder about my facebook doings.   Life is in such a different place than it ever has been before...and I'm awarded the privilege and honor of being in relationships that are real and good.  So why wouldn't I spend every possible minute nourishing those instead of the ones online?  I love my facebook friends...and the acquaintances that have come through that modern avenue.  And yet my efforts are so much better appreciated in real, physical, status update-free life. 

So, facebook, you and I are in the process of redefining our relationship.  I'm not sure where that definition will lead us.  And yet I know that if there is someone that cares enough about our relationship then I will know when they have given birth to a baby regardless of their status updates.  Here's to living in the here...the now...the real...with what matters.

Friday, January 6, 2012

I have good intentions...

Yes. It appears to be the case. Another Christmas has come and gone without me actually SENDING my cards. I did write the letter! I even printed it on paper and picked the picture and uploaded it for order. Unfortunately, I am lacking in follow-thru a great deal. So, the letter is to follow. Maybe next year...

Dear Family and Friends,

Can we just start with a great big “WOW”?! OK…so it’s been a couple years. I stand remiss at my Christmas card neglect and am back with a self-proclaimed vengeance. Brevity is not my forte, but I will do my best.

The last couple years have been tumultuous at best, but the past is mostly the past. On to bigger, brighter, happier things! Langdon and I were married in August. It was a semi-impromptu event with near-by family and friends…and couldn’t have been more perfect. There was a lot that led up to that moment, but ultimately it was just the beginning of the story we are writing one chapter at a time. Langdon moved to Surprise and we are just enjoying our new life together…figuring out details and enjoying being together. It’s been a wonderful thing for both of us to find a true partner and companion in life.

Langdon was working in Tucson, but got a job in the valley shortly after we married. He actually is now working at the same hospital I am which has been great in many ways. I finally finished nursing school in March and was fortunate enough to have a job offer prior to graduation. I am working and was able to get a job on a Progressive Care Unit and a cardiac floor as an RN at Banner Thunderbird Hospital and mostly love it. I love meeting the patients and feel blessed that I was able to get into this line of work. I also coached diving again this year and, again, am professing my retirement! We will see how that plays out in July.

The kids are all doing great and adjusting well. Garrett is 15 and has his driving permit. He dabbled in Cross Country at school and is now on the wrestling team. I think more than any of them he enjoys the role of “kid” again since Langdon came into the picture. Cole is 14 and a freshman in high school. He has discovered his love for horses and increased his love for all animals. He has changed so much this last year and has really started to come into his own. Blake is 11 and not shy about voicing his imminent 12th birthday. He is playing tackle football this year and loving that. I don’t love it quite as much. He is doing great in school and definitely has a knack for sarcasm and wit. Ethan is 9 and just such a joy to have around. He is incredibly athletic and not happy that I won’t allow him yet to play tackle football due to his size. He has a crazy pension for Beyblades and just the best smile with those great big boy teeth! Wade is 7 and has grown so much this last year. He is doing well in school and working hard at becoming the “youngest” boy instead of the “baby”. He’s accepting his new responsibilities and yet is still Mom’s “baby”. He still loves to sit and cuddle and talk about his day. His insight can be surprising.

Langdon has 4 kids of his own that we added to the already existing chaos. His oldest is Cami who is 15 and a sophomore in high school. Then there’s Logan who has also moved to Surprise and lives with us. He is 13 and in 8th grade. He has an incredible vocabulary and uses it constantly. He is incredibly witty and can definitely challenge my sarcasm. He fits in with the rest of the boys! Madison is 11 and will be 12 a week after Blake will. She is a tremendous artist and is often found drawing anything from animals to word mosaics. She’s adjusting to me being excited about having girls around. Summer is 3 and is gracious enough to allow me to dress her up to my heart’s content! She has this amazing red curly hair and is a joy to have around. She holds her own with the boys, the boys treat her like the little girl that she is, and I look forward to watching her grow.

All of us have had a good time getting to know each other and adjust to the new “family” dynamic. We took all the kids camping in Flagstaff and had a great time. We have had our share or picnics in various parks and have debated and discussed the different options required to transport everyone from point A to point B at any given time. We have a family membership to the Science Center and to the gym and have gasped at the total cost of a meal at fast food restaurants. It’s a learning curve and we are all definitely learning.

All in all, I have few, if any, complaints. I am so grateful for my family and friends that not only stood by me in less than perfect times, but also stood by me and those times passed and good times have arrived.

I will post pictures...soon...I hope.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

A term of endearment??? have issues. Self-proclaimed as well as made aware by others. Some inflicted on me by actions of others and some just because they are what they are. But issues none the less...owned humbly and honestly. Regardless of my issues, or maybe because of my issues, I have been called this little "name" of sorts more than once recently. A brat ! So what to make of it???

So I've debated and lamented and analyzed and contemplated this latest name-calling and the things that have preceded said name. In one case, it was in relation to my new glasses. Well, maybe the glasses came last and were merely the straw that broke the camel's back.

Anyways...this sorta began at work one night. As shocking at it may seem, I don't share a lot at work. This is a new experience for me...this working full time. I am painfully aware of the fact that I need this job and I need to keep my private life and my professional life separate to a fairly large degree. Plus, I'm still new and somewhat figuring out where I fit in this hospital world I spend so much time in. Of course, questions are always asked and curiosities are piqued so personal information gets shared to some degree...which led to the acknowledgement of a shiny beautiful ring on a particular finger of interest. Some questions were asked about Langdon and how we met, etc. etc. etc. After the wedding one night at work, one of the aides asked me about Langdon and, as a way to describe him, I just told her what I woke up that day...a dozen red roses, the kids school clothes ironed, dinner ready and served to me, and the laundry switched and handled for me. So...she called me a brat :-)

A few work nights later, that same aide noticed that I was wearing a new wedding ring...a wide band with the words "loving, amour, trusted, always, devoted, desire, passion, cherish", and "adore" inscribed around it. I told her that I had asked Langdon for a band mostly due to work and all I do there and I thought a band would be easier. At the same time, the aide noticed my new glasses...which happen to be Coach brand. I again was titled a "brat". With a smile, but still...

I noticed that in that same time frame Langdon had referred to me as a brat once when I had stated the way I wanted how I wanted the laundry done or something to that effect. He, too, was smiling during the exchange and it was more playful banter than anything, and yet I began to get a bit of a complex and wonder how it could be that I am a 38 year-old, mother of 5, BRAT! That just didn't compute and was making me a little sad.

But, as a true BRAT, I justified and rationalized my brattiness :-) Here's the thing...I was in a, for all intents and purposes, terrible marriage for a long time where I was literally abused. Physically...mentally...verbally...emotionally. And to be honest, I haven't fully recovered from that yet and it is sometimes debateable that I ever fully will (although I am hopeful!). So if being married now to a wonderful man that buys me flowers and makes me dinner and helps with housework and loves my kids as his own and is willing to co-parent with me makes me a brat, then I own that fully and whole-heartedly! If me having a ring that expresses how I feel about him and he feels about me around my finger every minute of every day deems me bratty, then I accept that charge willingly! If I am wearing new glasses that I was able to get with my health insurance that I carry for myself with my job that I not only maintain and am good at, but that my kids and myself put me through school to obtain...and they happen to be a brand name, then more power to me for fully providing for myself! With this reflection, I realized that when Langdon called me a "brat", it was more a compliment than not. He was teasing me about my persnickety-ness and my wanting things a certain way...but at the same time he is happy for me that I am in a position where I am able to stand up for myself and do what makes me happy. And largely in part because he puts me there :-) He wants me to be happy...and he makes me just that. And it comes full circle...this term of endearment. I hope to always be called brat :-)

Sunday, September 11, 2011


So here is some of the "here" that I mentioned. Or actually THE "here" that makes "here" worth all the yada yada yada.


Pretty much the end of the story while also the beginning of all future stories. (As a side note, I am writing this and picturing a silly school girl batting her eyes and blushing and being all giddy and girly. Just sayin...)

I will admit that this is probably a shock to many as it comes as a surprise. I've spent a great portion of the last few years living my life and it's complications and/or complaints online. I've made almost every move and opinion a public announcement. Some of that was good...some not so good. I think that I had NOT shared so much for so long that I wanted to somehow make up for it. Everything I held back or hid or pretended didn't exist ended up being so detrimental that I went the other way. I held nothing back. As my mother says I was "painfully honest". If I was asked a question, then I would answer it. Plain and simple. But then came this :-) Unexpected in many, many ways. And there was something about it that wasn't meant to be announced online just yet. It was too personal...too meaningful. I wanted it to be just for me for a while.

Which brings us to the sum up to get you all to the here and now. I met Langdon online. Cliche, but true. C'est la vie. I will admit I spent some time online...never with the intention of actually MEETING anyone from there. It was an anonymous way to spend time without risk. Or so I thought! Turns out Langdon knew one of my best friend's husband. Which meant he was real. With a history. And a past that someone else knew at least something about. And also meant that when Langdon would come up to Surprise, he could stay at their house. I realize that I made some not so great choices in the past (to say the least!) so the first time he came to town, I paraded him from friend's house to friend's house to be "interviewed" by those that know and love me. Lucky for both of us, he passed!

That was several months ago. There has been a lot that has happened since then and a LOT of hours spent on the phone and in driving to and from Tucson for both of us. Yada yada yada...I love this man! So to go back to my ability to divuldge too much information, I adore him. He treats me like a queen and has never said an unkind word to me. We actually discuss differences and opinions and can listen to each other and respect each other. I can tell him anything and everything...and haven't gotten in trouble yet! I feel valued and appreciated and loved and cherished. I've never had that. There is honestly no one I would rather spend my time with and I would spend every moment with him if I could just figure out how!

So...we got hitched :-) August 20, 2011. I will leave a separate post regarding that event because the beauty of my friends and family and the meaningfulness of that evening deserves its own space. The result of which is...he is my husband. And I his wife. And I'm thrilled with that. I'm content. I feel at peace. I've never had either before. I no longer feel the need to "fight" my way through life. I don't feel like I constantly have to protect myself or defend myself. There is nothing to protect or defend when I am loved and accepted for who and what I am.

Grateful...humble...awe-stricken...devoted...content...peaceful...and SMITTEN.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Yada Yada Yada...

I guess I am getting to that age where certain references "date" me. Kind of like when I was still coaching in Tucson and Tiffany and I would comment to the divers that we didn't want them to be wimpy. Inevitably we would start reciting the chant from that Hefty garbage commercial..."Hefty! Hefty! Hefty!...wimpy, wimpy, wimpy!" Sounds better and has more effect with the voice changes, but then again, those of you old enough to know the commercial didn't need that prompting. The divers back then would look at us like we were nuts (as we rightly deserved) and the lost look on their faces was like unto that if we had been discussing Atari as if it were a modern invention. Which brings me to Seinfeld and the reference that basically sums up so much.

I think the facts speak for themselves...I'm not so good at blogging. But I suppose in this case, it worked to my benefit. There is so much I've left out and desparately wanted to record...and I will!!! Eventually. Meanwhile, there were things that happened that are perhaps better left unsaid. I find that I spend a decent amount of time wondering at any given moment the benefit or possible recourse of recording certain parts of my life. I spent a long time being "censored" and although I'm mostly over making excuses for myself or anyone else, I will admit that there are still things that give me pause.

So...there is A LOT I haven't written about. And I will!! About most of it. Or some of it. But for now I will say this...

I had a rough two years. I made not so great decisions mixed with some pretty awesome ones. All of them had consequences of one type or another. I cried, I laughed, I worried, I avoided, and I doubted. I doubted my foundation, my decisions, and ultimately myself. Which all leads me to...

YADA YADA YADA...and now I'm here! And "here" is just spectacular in so many ways. And "here" will be discussed in another post. Soon! I think. But until then, I'm somewhat grateful for what I yada'ed. The ultimate outcome is I learned a ton and I am now in so much of a better place than I ever imagined I could be in. My kids are amazing people and despite popular belief, I haven't ruined them at all :-) It's amazing what honestly and humility in the face of your kids acheives. I weathered the self-inflicted storm and now we are truly basking in the cleanliness and beauty that always is left when a storm moves on.

So wonder about the yada's if you must. Ask if you want. Criticize and mock if that suits your fancy. It is what it is...or was as the case may be. Regardless, it's worthy of my yada-ing.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Perspective...I generally don't have it

I am always amazed at the speed at which life can take a turn. I feel like I spend a lot of time feeling comfortable with how things are and anticipating how they will somehow I have a say in the giant scheme of things :-) I mean, I know that I have a say, and yet it is so humbling when we get instant reminders of how mortal we truly are.

My sister was in an accident a while ago. And I hope that she doesn't mind me sharing some about that. It is so egocentric to make that horrible event about me, but in reality it is about all of us...and our relationships and our perspective. One minute I was retreiving my kids from their dad and sitting at the table hearing about their day and their weekend...and honestly totally self-absorbed in a new situation of my own. Next thing I knew, I was taking my kids back to their dad and was riding down to Tucson not fully knowing the situation or the outcome. It was an amazingly humbling experience what unfolded. The end of the story, just so you know, is she's ultimately ok. It's been a process. It hasn't been easy. I know I will never be the same.

I arrived at the hospital before my parents as they were coming from New Mexico. For that I am actually very grateful. My sister and I had some very intimate moments...maybe more for me than for her. I felt love for her that I suppose I always knew I had but the intensity of it was incredible. I got to stay with her that night and went with her in the pre-op area before her surgery the next morning. She asked me to come "un-bunch" her after the surgery and get her all settled before I had to get back to Phoenix. The following weeks are almost indescribable for me. I saw my sister as one of the absolute strongest people I know. I think that I spent a good deal of time dwelling on the bad part of the outcome and here my sister was, unable to walk for months, telling me how lucky she feels she is. She saw every possible positive part of this situation and could, even the very night of the accident, understand how much worse it could have been. I was in awe.

So, the moral of the story is....I continue to learn and to be hit with the proverbial 2x4 about life and why I have to live it. Or why I GET to live it. I understand how mortal we are and from that I intend to do my darndest from here on out to realize my life for the sunny side up miracle that it is. What, really, do I have to complain about??? I no longer want to take my days for granted nor the people that I am so blessed to have in my life. I am so sad that my sister had to go through what she did...but I am so grateful for what I learned from it. I'm grateful for the love I have for her and how inspiring she is to me.

She's my hero...Love you Krista.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

A force unto themselves

So....I think a lot of us have the same fears. One of them, and I may be completely wrong, is that we worry about our kids. Not always for their safety, but for their decisions. It's that tumultuous middle-groud and untouchable area where they have to make their own decisions at some point and we have to simply watch. For me, that is probably one of the hardest parts of watch what I know is a bad decision and have to let them learn.

On the other hand, what an amazing pay off it is to see them when they make good decisions! I watch my kids day in and day out become just amazing little (and I guess big in a couple of the cases) people. I am in awe of the friends that they make and the decisions that they make just know what is right and wrong.

One of the great pay offs was Last September. Ethan decided to be baptized. The thing is, I haven't been in the best place in the last couple of years. Not physically mind you...the physical is so much better than it ever was before! But the rest...just not good. And so I got out of it. I pulled myself up by my bootstraps per say and set my sights forward. The risk of it was ultimately my kids. But here they ultimate examples to me.

So, life comes full circle. And these little people that once depended on me for everything to survive have survived...and I guess I depended on them for a while. At the end we are a team and we made it and Ethan and the rest of them are happy...and an incredible force unto themselves.