Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Yea for Thriftiness!

I've been in a decluttering mood lately. That bug seems to hit when I can't seem to find the cause of my grumpiness or when my life feels out of balance. For me, my brain is all tied to my house; when my brain feels cluttered, the easiest solution is to declutter my house, and then somehow my brain seems less scattered. Yesterday's adventure? The activity closet. With our plethora (I used the word correctly. Most people use it wrong and it's a pet peeve of mine. Lame, I know) of Play Doh that has mostly dried out, I tried to find a solution to save it, so I didn't have to throw it all away. Then I came across this site. This person is a GENIUS!

She advises you to break the play doh into pea-sized pieces (we used the extruder.

Much less time-consuming. Then we just sort of crumbled the play doh after that. Or if it was too hard to go through the extruder, we just crumbled it. 2 of ours were that far gone.) Then we sprayed a spray bottle of water into the bag and shook the bag up to evenly coat. Then we waited a few minutes (more like a few hours, I got distracted), and checked them. I had to spray most of them again and shake them up, but when I checked them the second time, they were maleable again. All but the two that were still pretty bad, so we mushed all of them together, and then took the two that were still too tough and broke them into pieces again, sprayed more water on the dry ones, and let them sit in the bag overnight. When morning came, even the two over-dry ones were as good as new! super-pliable play doh!


And to think, Play Doh says it can't be done and you'll have to buy another tub... 

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Okay, I Guess I Love Him...

I've been uber grumpy towards Ranger for the past couple days, and just haven't been able to shake it. It's been awful. So I decided we needed a chance to unwind. Bring on our favorite geeky game (we're not really that big of geeks, though, so geeky friends don't be offended I just categorized myself with you...).

Solarquest


(okay, honestly, I'm tripping out at the price-tag  It's a doozy. But an awesome game! If  you don't have to pay that much for it... Way cooler than Monopoly - which I hate - but very similar in style)
Anyway, I swear the game is tied to Karma. every card he got gave him tons of $$$ or property. Every card I got, I lost the property to him or to the bank...

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See? It's rigged. My card says lose a property. His says get a property. 

Halfway through, the game became more evenly matched, and I actually won on a technicality  but since the game had been in his favor the entire time, we called it a nice even draw.

So, enjoying our time together helped a ton. And then, I wasn't feeling good this morning, so Ranger got the girl ready and cooked breakfast (I banned cereal forever ago... Pancakes is our fallback). He may have forgotten to help pack a lunch, and I don't know if her hair or teeth got brushed this morning (all things she conveniently likes to "forget"), but... this made my morning...


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I guess I'd better keep him, huh? Isn't this pancake so cute? 

(oh, and in case you failed to notice... that pancake is wheat... and I can eat it! I've implemented everything back into my diet by now! And most things are fine. I still get a little itchy sometimes, but the cleanse helped immensely! And the rest, now that I know it wont kill me, is tolerable. I think I'll never enjoy some things like I used to, but I guess that's not really a loss. And I do read ingredients a little closer than before. But that's not a loss either. And you'd be disgusted at some of the places they hide garbage in our food if you went looking too closely, too.)

How it was recieved

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I'm guessing it's a hit... except now she says she doesn't need piano lessons, because she's already a master piano player and her songs are beautiful. ... and I'm stumped, because I can't say her songs really are just noise. What an awful concept! I told her maybe the lessons were to teach her the RULES for piano playing. Same with Ballet lessons that we will some day afford for her... maybe... if when I ever get to homeschool again... Keep those fingers crossed!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Random Post About Peanut Butter

Yesterday, My daughter asked me if she could take plain peanut butter to school. I told her if she found a way to take it there.

Today she pulled a whole bottle of peanut butter out of her lunchbox.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Piano!

Good news: I just got a ginormous present to myself:

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Bad news: It's currently sitting in my kitchen because we can't find a way to fit it into my living room. Dumb walls...

in other bad news: the scuffs are a recent acquirement. Next time I hire professional movers...

Thoughts

In the last Century more amazing things were found out than in any Century before. In this Century hundreds of things still more astounding will be brought to light. At first people refuse to believe that a strange new thing can be done, then they begin to hope it can't be done, then they see it can be done - then it is done and all the world wonders why it was not done centuries ago. One of the new things people began to find out in the last century was that thoughts—just mere thoughts—are as powerful as electric batteries—as good for one as sunlight is, or as bad for one as poison. To let a sad thought or a bad one get into your mind is as dangerous as letting a scarlet fever germ get into your body. If you let it stay there after it has got in you may never get over it as long as you live

... surprising things can happen to any one who, when a disagreeable or discouraged thought comes into his mind, just has the sense to remember in time and push it out by putting in an agreeable determinedly courageous one. Two things cannot be in one place.


"Where you tend a rose, my lad, A thistle cannot grow.” 

― Frances Hodgson BurnettThe Secret Garden

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Change


I did something drastic. And I love it. I went from this:


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to this: 

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I wish my camera was in better focus for these, but C'est la vie. And I swear I'm smiling in all these pics. Must work on portraying a real smile that shows in a camera...

I've been letting my hair grow out for over 3 years. My ex always told me to cut it short because maybe it'd make me do something with it. Total power play. So I grew it out so long in spite of him. And to reprogram myself into seeing beauty. I really liked it, actually. And then it became coat weather. And I have super-wispy hair. fine and thin. it ended up being a huge fly-away rat's nest. major blech. it was seriously a pain to brush (6 times a day) and in my face and clinging to my hands when I would reach up to pull it away. And OH MAN, the shedding! I was just done. It was the longest I've ever had my hair, though, so I was a little sad to cut it. But I love it now. I love that I can use a comb and not a brush because the huge knots are gone. I love that I can do cute things with it if I want to, but I don't have to. I love that it's feminine. That was my huge request. I need more femininity in my life. I love that it frames my face. I actually liked how long my face looked when I had long hair, and was rather shocked at how round my face looked after I cut it! It took some getting used to. 

All the posts that never happen...

I take pictures thinking that I'll get those posts up, and then I never manage to actually write those posts. Instead, I end up droning on and on about feelings and allergies. blech. And even now, I've got a limited window in which to post them. And I've been writing this post all week! I wish I were faster at  blogging. But I'm too perfectionisty.

So here's all the pics I've been meaning to blog about all month:

First of all, I really didn't get into the spirit of Halloween, this year. Usually I do, and if I had been homeschooling, I would have. But this just wasn't the year for our family. Too much adjusting and going on. Too many carnivals we're setting up and not attending. And too many other things on our  mind. But I did have to buy the most expensive costume EVER! (just kidding. But boots are expensive!)

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and, FYI, if you procrastinate going to the store to get candy (because you can't eat it anyway) you get a whole lot of this:

The shelves were BARE. That's what I get for going to the store at 5:00 Halloween evening, I suppose.

In other news, the leaves are falling. My daughter says it makes fall the best time of the year.

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We had a Field Trip to the Boise Temple (planned before I had to put the student back in school, and since I had to get tickets, and it was planned, I will defend my decision).


I love this pic! I confess I'm kind of proud of myself for taking it. But my mom noticed the beauty first. And the symbolism of Moroni being lit.

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This is my sister-in-law. She has the cutest nephews I've ever had... okay, so they're the only nephews I have, but, look at them!

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No really, look at them and not at my close-up camera skill awkwardness.

My dad the hero. I kind of like how he's starting to look more and more like a grandpa. It's one of those things you never think about enjoying. 

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What happens after your kid's been "homeschooled" for a few days (aka after our fieldtrip):

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Picking up a book again. And reading every word. And yes, piles of coats happen, too. And Teddy bears. It's so funny to compare the difference in a kid. When she's bored while enrolled in public school its whiney-voiced "I'm Boooooored." But after a few days back in her ideal element, she's heading right for the books again! 

So, in a nut shell, all the posts I didn't write this past few weeks...

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

"Diets"

I came across this article today. Never thought I'd find it so intriguing. These are all diets I'm either on myself (probiotics and coconut) or know someone on them (green smoothie, paleo, and gluten free). The nice thing about the "diets" this time around  is that they're not, "Hey, take this diet pill and you'll lose weight." These diets are all about feeling good. People are sick of feeling yucky because of what they're eating. I know I am. Anyway, I just thought it was fun to find.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Week 2 re-cap: Just Listen

First of all, let me just say it's way easier to change your food habits than it is to send your kid back to public school. Way, Way easier.

I'm actually to the point where I've slowed down the fiber drink (actually, it kind of grows on you and now I miss it...) If you like hot cereals, it's pretty similar. My friend says not to compare foods, because then you set yourself up for expectations, but I did feel like it was this new cereal I didn't have to heat up every morning. I've also been able to enjoy myself with the foods I can eat, once I added the coconut and nuts back in, so I wasn't so spacey and losing weight so fast. It's time to start implementing regular foods back in (according to me and me only. Other people would tell me to wait. If I am going too fast, I'll try again after Christmas, but I am sort of modifying the plan to what  feels right to me. And to me, I feel as long as I keep a high quantity of garlic, probiotics, garlic, coconut, and herbs in my diet, and keep attacking this thing from all angles, I'll be able to stop being the girl that can't eat anything. And I'll stop having my friends think I starve myself.

So I haven't started adding too much yet. I'll start with a few fruits and veggies. I think grains will probably be the last thing added back in. And corn. I figure, my whole family is allergic to corn, so it's highly possible I jumped in that boat, too. But I refuse to stay allergic to everything. I don't know how much willpower really has control over it, but I've got it in spades. There are way too many treats and yummy things in life to stay allergic. I'll just remember to be careful with what I eat, and stick to whole, less modified foods. I've felt an inkling for a while that all the modified foods are killing the human race. I'm guessing that inkling is probably for a reason...

Also, in case you are wondering: it's not a good idea to become allergic to everything while you're trying to pull off a Halloween carnival (including 200 bags of cotton candy. In your kitchen), having your heartstrings pulled by a teacher who needs to raise money at a bake sale and had NO parents volunteer to help (I'm actually utterly disgusted), and donate your time and your baking skills to teach a class on how to decorate cupcakes for a local charity. You know, in case you ever get to pick when you form a major allergy. And in case you ever DO decide to become allergic to everything (decide... ha), don't expect people to understand. I think that's been the hardest part of all of this. People can't understand. They tell me it must be a gluten intolerance; that they felt like they were allergic to yeast, too, and it was just a gluten problem. Or that maybe if I just tried something I am leery of eating, I'd be fine. Or even how dare I not be able to eat anything with milk, grains, and sugars. I should just stop rocking the boat and eat what people make. That last one really gets to me. Really? You don't think I'd love to delve into all the delicious soups and stews? Or the cornbread? Even Mashed potatoes and gravy?

And oh! The pumpkin treats!

And when I decline, people think I'm starving myself. I almost wish I'd been a plus-size my whole life instead of skinny-mini. When you lose weight suddenly when you're bigger, people sing praises. When you are already too thin, people make you eat everything. Even if it'll make your throat swell shut.

I think I'll start running again. That'll really freak people out...  Actually, I intended to start running again soon, whatever people think. I figure, since I just did this major body overhaul, I might as well add the lbs back on healthfully.

Now, in school news, my little anti-reader reads at grade average. Now you may think "grade average, whopety doo" but for a kid who hates reading, and who has NEVER been grade average at reading (hence why she thought she was stupid at the end of last year), that is a HUGE victory. A HUGE victory.of course, all she sees is that she's in the red dots now and still not good enough for the yellow (stupid system, killing the victory), but for a kid who read 30 words per minute at the beginning of homeschooling to jump to a 59... how do you not celebrate inside? How do you not stand up and say, "we did that! We, my homeschool kid and I, WE did that." That's something they can't take away. And as far as math... yeah, she knows how to add and subtract and compare numbers up to 500. In school, they are still learning the 10's value place. I told my math wiz to tell the teacher it was too easy, and my way too obedient kid tells the teacher "my mom says to tell you I'm bored and my math is too easy." I thought, great. Now they'll peg me as manipulative. So  I decided I needed to talk to the teacher myself. And I'm pretty happy with that conversation. I didn't get the opportunity to teach her math myself, which is what I would have loved (but didn't really expect); but I was understood. And I understood the teacher. And that made it totally worth it. At first, the teacher had her walls up pretty high. Too used to defending a system she knows is broken. I said the math was too easy, and she said that that's funny because she thought the math was too hard. That had me confused for a bit, but guess what... all of the problems are story problems. They can't just learn 376+212 any more. They have to learn "Johnny has 12 apples, Peter has 2 apples."

Once I found out that all math was story problems and why's now, I was really pretty disgusted with the system. Lets teach my pro-math, anti-reading kid that she has to do math by reading! That sounds like she won't end up hating both, if ever I heard it... So I used an analogy I've heard teachers use over and over again. I said "sometimes I feel like my fish is being told she has to climb a tree." And all of the sudden all the walls came down. We talked about how my fish doesn't rock the boat. Ever. If she's told to be less than she is, she becomes less than she is. If she's told to be more than she is, she never draws attention to the fact she's not. If she doesn't understand a concept, she wont ask for help, because that's rocking the boat. If she's smarter than the average student, she won't let anyone know, because that's rocking the boat. And she's terrified that if she knows something no one else knows, she must be wrong, so she NEVER answers the questions. If there were any of Ranger's DNA in her, I'd blame him. He doesn't rock the boat, either. And I was BORN to rock it. How are we supposed to go where we need to if no one ever rocks the boat!?! But the teacher got it. It clicked. She said, "yeah, that describes your child perfectly! She's so hard to gauge! I have to constantly check where she's at, because she doesn't draw attention at all." I was singing Hallelujah. This teacher sees my kid. This teacher SEES HER!

And after the walls were down, and we were both talking about a kid we love who is in a system we don't, doors opened. This teacher knows that we are equals. I respect her for all she's doing in a system that wont listen to her. She respects me for all I'm doing in a system that wont listen to me, either. And we both respect my kid. And the system is not hearing her either. But her mama is. And her teacher is. And right now... That's a miracle.

But that's not all! Happy dance! THIS CHICA STOOD UP FOR HERSELF! When it was math the next day, she said, "This stuff is EASY! I'm already done!" And the teacher listened. The teacher saw that she knew it. My girl had the strength to rock the boat! I was pretty leery of letting her "eavesdrop" while I talked to the teacher, but something told me to pretend I didn't notice. Something really subtle, that I wouldn't have even pegged as anything important until today. But now I'm so glad she was listening. She heard her mama say she was smart. She heard her mama say she knows this and doesn't want to rock the boat. And she heard a teacher understand her. And that made her feel safe enough to celebrate herself! If I never get to homeschool again, it will be enough. My girl knows she can celebrate herself. She knows she's worth it. And that is priceless.

That. Is Priceless.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Routine

The past two days have been better. No sign of that emotional breakdown over a silly coconut. And he didn't ruin it... Too badly. I'm getting into this routine, now. Fiber with breakfast, leftovers for lunch, and throwing the few things I can eat together in "different" mixtures that are rather similar. A positive about this new diet is the freedom to experiment and get creative with only a few basic ingredients. I'm learning a ton about food and how it cooks and how to capture the best flavors. And I thought food science class was great!

With all the homework my poor student had yesterday, she didn't get to touch her toys at all. Today either. I think more than anything, that's convinced her more than anything else. She's getting so strained. Oh, and she's about 3 months ahead in math. And her reading level is on level. I was worried they'd throw a big fit about it. I took her from average, and now she's bored at school and stuck doing homework at home.

On the flip side, I found a way to make it to one of her homeschool co-op classes without it counting as missing school. She was SOOO happy. And that fed the "I want to be homeschooled again" fire inside her, so now it's raging. She has this idea that if she asks, her father will let her come back. I told her to go ahead and try it but not to be surprised when she couldn't convince him. For her sake, I'll pray she's got the strength and pull, but this is the dad that made her miss every soccer game this summer. I'm not holding my breath. Instead, I'm racking up the positive evidence for our January court date.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Some Days...

Some days are like ... you're supposed to take it easy but instead you end up busy all day and it takes twice as long to get everything done because you have to keep recounting for the sixth time because you can't remember what number you were on because you were supposed to take it easy and you just keep thinking that you have waited all day for a coconut because you've been losing weight too fast because you're on some diet to rid yourself of allergies and it's working too well on the diet side of it so you get to enjoy a coconut to help you stabilize because they are one of 3 fats (from what I can tell) that you can eat and they also have caprylic acid which is supposed to add extra warriors to the huge battle raging inside your body and you finally pick out your treasured coconut and cradle and coddle your coconut all the way to the checkout line and fight with your broken debit card at the checkout and then bring it all the way back home and do all the work to extract every drop of prized juice and then all the work to bust it open... And it's moldy.

And then your husband walks in the door when he's supposed to still be at work, which is not good for your nerves in this state, plays hero and goes and gets you a new coconut and pokes the holes his way, which isn't your way, and it'd normally be okay but it's been a very long day and you start bawling because he's ruining your second coconut.

Yeah, some days are like that.

And this post is only 4 sentences.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

The Easy Way

You know, the worst parts of my life were a result of people taking the easy way. I hate the easy way. I mean the right way can be easy, but the easy way is not always right. It's about responsibility. It's about work ethic.

I used to think I had to take responsibility for everyone else's mistakes. And then I realized how much that hurts everyone. They never grow, and I stay in constant pain. I had so much shame. I felt like Elva in Eragon. I was everyone's umbrella in a rainstorm, but I'd get royally chewed out if anyone got even a little wet. I was soaked but it was all my fault when they got a few drops. This came to a huge rearing ugly storm when my little sister got married. I don't blame her at all for how it went, but I do take the credit for how well it came together. I have no shame in saying I was superwoman. She's thanked me a thousand times, but I should thank her for teaching me that I am a human and not an umbrella. For some reason, she was the perfect catalyst. Maybe because she is and was so angelic and innocent. And naive. She is a butterfly that never got to fly until her mission, and then the mission was really a cage. She had no idea what she was capable of. I admit that a lot of that was my fault. I always protected her. She was far too beautiful and new to let her get tarnished and tattered by the world. But when she got engaged, I realized how much she was going to need to learn how to fly. And I had no right to claim protector on that arena. I tried to just help her with her wedding. She was a student, I was crafty and rather adept at weddings. I gave her her responsibilities. And I reminded her. And reminded her. And reminded her. Until the night before the wedding, I was making a wedding cake and overseeing the painting of a gazebo. And by night before, I mean 4 am morning-of. And naturally, it was all my fault.

When I spent 2 days bedridden afterwards, I had plenty of time to think. And I grew that day. I was no longer a minuscule umbrella, but a person with substance. I mean, I still slip into my hero roll every now and again. And I usually regret it afterwards, but my experience had taught me the meaning of responsibility. It changed how I interact with my family. It changed how i raised my daughter. It changed how I interact with society. It changed how I feel about myself. Suddenly, when I no longer carried the world on my shoulders, I became worth something. I, Keira, am worth something (And man does my ex hate it).

But with that realization, excuses have
really begun to bug me. Hence my frustration with the easy way. Oh, and I bet that surviving a divorce comes into play, as well. If we're going to be fair here. My ex said he married me because it was easy (I made it that way. That was the biggest mistake I made in my past marriage. I let it happen). It was easy to marry me. When that got hard, he looked for other easy things. He had an affair because it was easy. He stayed married to me in the affair because it was easy. He finally sent divorce papers because it was easy (I got up the courage to demand action in one way or another).

So yeah, I hate easy. But sometimes... Sometimes I wish that didn't mean it had to be so hard. Today was hard. I let it be, I know. I let it all get to me again. I'll do better tomorrow.

"Hurrah for Israel."
Keira

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Blessings Via Raindrops:week 1

I wanted to update and let people know how life's going.

Day 1 went well. Cooked up the broth, had my fiber, attempted the nasty nasty nasty liver drink, gave up on that for a garlic pill. I know its not as effective, but at least i can stomach it! This chica of mine ate all the veggies from the broth. She actually loved the cooked spinach, the weirdo. And the onions, but I didn't tell her what they were. There was actually no flavor or salt or anything, and she gobbled them right up.
We registered her for school, too. I have to say, after homeschooling, I saw so so so much sickness of society in my brief hall-loitering time while getting her all signed up. I was glad I had a friend there to keep me from screaming, "don't you all know how wrong this is?"

Day two of the diet really didn't' bother me much at all. I didn't even feel hungry unless it was time to ingest something again I spent a good chunk of the day in the temple. Maybe that helped.
It was also the first day of school. It went well. I wished there had been wailing and screaming and gnashing of teeth, but she had fun. And that's fair. I figured the rewind wouldn't happen all at once. Would have been nice, though. She actually has all of the problem kids from the past 2 years of public school in her class, except for 2, so I'm just watching on that one.


Day 3 of the broths and I was craving carbs something fierce. I'd think "man, I'd love a cinnamon roll," and "I just want a piece of bread. Just one!" my friends fed my daughter so I didn't have to. Her food looked amazing. I also felt pretty weak and tired, but not sickly. Following the path.
The girl enjoyed school this day, too. What she didn't enjoy was the lack of time once we got home.

Day four brought the headache they say is normal, but it didn't last long. I'm used to debilitating headaches, so actually I have to say I'll take this one over the others any day! At this point, I realized that if this was going to work for me, I'd have to modify the diet a bit. For the sake of not being too far in the TMI range, we'll just say I decided that you can't cleanse without something for the fiber to work with.so I had an egg, some spinach, and some garlic-onion-yogurt mixture I concocted myself in the hopes it'd taste semi-decent on vegetables. I I honestly couldn't eat very much.
This was Friday, and she actually had the day off. I was such a good mom, I told her that since it was a day off, that meant she needed to clean her room. I told her I wasn't going to let her slack off, even though she was in school. Needless to say, the whole day wasn't a big free-for-all and the room still is not clean. It's funny how fast her neatness and good habits slipped away. Before, I'd just say it needed done and it'd be a breeze. Now she needs micromanaged for every step. She said prayers tonight - she prayed she could be homeschooled again.

Day five, I had a Relief Society Meeting involving repurposing things, and I was teaching one of the mini-classes, so I went. It was exhausting all around, but I survived. The food smelled DIVINE! And none of it fit the bill. Everyone was reveling over the apple dessert. I got the recipe and downed my water. I did cheat a little bit and have some of the broth from one soup. It sounded safe-ish. I probably should have avoided it, just to be safe, but I felt fine with a little taste, so I had some. I let my girl eat all my corn and tomatoes. I followed the water-fiber-diet today with a green veggie-loaded omelet for dinner tonight. Amazing how good real food can be. And I included my yogurt and added extra garlic. Those two secret ingredient get rave reviews for killing a systemic infection. It was sooo good. I wish I'd let myself eat more. I think by the end of this, I'm going to be sick of garlic. And everything green. But they say, after a while, your body reprograms and you actually start going for them when you're hungry instead of getting sick of them. Also, I'm starting to talk myself into believing this is all in my head. If it hadn't have been for that obvious allergic reaction, I would believe it, too.
We had our first absolute whine today. Holy cow does this all come back fast. And the tummy aches. And the boredom. Every time she was entertained, it was by homeschool tricks. Measuring cups and light-properties. Oh, I guess there was that bit she played with her dolls. And they were discussing the pros and cons of public schooling. ;)

Anyway, I wanted to share this song I just heard (thank you Pandora). It sums up my impressions a lot lately.


"What if Your blessings come through raindrops? What if Your healing comes through tears? ...What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise?"

I can't help but feeling, from day one, that this is all going to work out. That this is really the catalyst I've been longing for. That these trials are exactly what I need. When my friend was going through a hard time and would say things like that, it used to drive me nuts. I was way too cynical. I would think she was weird for always thanking God for her trials and saying bring it on. But when you listen... It all just... Feels so worth it.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Storms a'coming.

original photo source unknown
It's been a hard day for me. A lot is changing very rapidly. I don't know where to start.

About a week ago (a little more than that), I went to my Aunt's house for Canadian Thanksgiving. Shortly after leaving her house, the roof of my mouth itched like crazy. I literally wanted to scratch it off. But I couldn't find relief in even attempting to scratch it. And then, as we were driving down the road, I noticed my tongue was beginning to go numb. And then, a little further, my nose was going numb and I eyes started tingling. I called Doctor Mom and she said pull over right there and go to the ER. The word anaphylaxis came up. But I was in the middle of no where, so instead of listening to mom, I bought some Benadryl, and it seemed to be keeping it at bay. I figured if worse came to worse, I had two worthy Priesthood holders in the car, I would be okay. Since then, I have tried and tried to figure out what I was so allergic to. At first I thought it was a spice in the food. I decided when I got better, I'd try out a few spices delicately. But I just wasn't getting better. Everything I would eat would aggravate my tongue. So I did my research. I noticed it happening more with breads and fruits. I suspected gluten, but a gluten intolerance is different, so I went back to thinking, researching, and listening to my body. And then, while contemplating how I've been feeling for the past year (honestly closer to 2), I kind of began to see a pattern. And it all comes back to yeast. I've felt for a while that I had too much yeast in my system, I just didn't know where to start or how to fix it. I knew antibiotics were the usual course of action, but it never felt right. I felt like if I took an antibiotic, it would kill everything, and then the candida that was thriving in my system now would come back stronger. I know I'm not a doctor, but I really feel guided in this. I can see it. I've talked to a few nature-paths and homeopaths, and people that know the body (besides a true-blue doctor), and they all say my assumption sounds spot-on. I know I should probably go to a doctor, but it doesn't FEEL right. I don't think a doctor could cure this, he could either make it worse, or treat the symptoms. And if I'm ever going to get better, I need to do more than treat the symptoms. And by going to a doctor, I'd be shuffled from an allergist to a regular doctor to intestinal doctors to woman doctors to nutritionists, and all of them would give me a different scenario. It's kind of like the story of the elephant and the blind men. Except I'm the elephant. And I have to pay the blind men.

The problem is, Yeast is in more than you'd think. And what yeast isn't in, sugar is, and the already-present yeast would feed and multiply on the sugars. So without treating the allergy and the infections and anything else going on, I would have to face getting sick every time I eat. For the rest of my life. And actually, I have, for a while, but it just wasn't an allergic reaction sick. I kept it at bay by eating super-healthy home-grown/cooked as much as possible, so I just thought my body was being picky. And I thought I was just too stressed. But I could never seem to shake the stress. Even when I wasn't stressed, I'd have stress symptoms.   So I talked to my resources, researched for myself, and have come to a plan of action. And it's not an easy one. It involves taking extra care of myself, detoxifying my system, cutting out yeasty and sugary foods (which is just about all of them) for some undisclosed amount of time (hoping I'll know when that is when I get there, but otherwise, I'll work with those that know better) while taking a probiotic, and then slowly introducing sugary foods and more grains, until I can return to a semi-normal diet. I'll probably never go back to over-processed carbs (as I pretty much gave them up anyway. Being a single mom working fast food can really show you what it does to  your system) because they weaken the immune system and feed the Yeast. Or at least I'll second guess myself on every sugary snack.

I came to that conclusion on Sunday. And then Monday I had court. My ex called me names, and the judge let him. My ex says he refuses to let me home school, and the judge said she had her mind made up on homeschooling and there wasn't enough time to convince her otherwise. She wouldn't even listen to our arguments.  My girl was to be in public school starting today (Tuesday) until our next court day after Christmas break. So on top of preparing to go through the hardest mental and physical challenge of my life in order to achieve wellness, I have to send my thriving child back to a sick system. When I told her that, she spent all night bawling in my arms. I can't even talk about it without bawling myself. I am prepared to do whatever it takes and suffer whatever it takes for personal wellness. But knowing that my kid will have to suffer, and I'm about to put myself in a fragile state and may be unable to help just kills me inside. I know I have to do this, and I know I have to do this now. I can't let myself be sick for much longer. And She deserves a mom who's trying to be healthy in all respects.

And, for some higher reason, they feel connected. Like they were meant to be faced together. Like we are screaming to the world that we are willing to go through something horrendous to be in better health at the end. Both with school and with health. If I send her now, if I carefully balance helping her and letting her experience this on her own, the right things will happen. I knew I was supposed to home school. I knew it. And God doesn't make commandments I can't find a way to keep. Nephi and his brothers were commanded to get the Brass plates. They asked for the plates and they were told no. Laban had his agency. He had to be given the chance. And Nephi and his brothers needed to know how important this was. They had to be willing to sacrifice everything. And then they needed to know that God would cover the rest. I don't think that this will go to the extreme as it did for Nephi, but I can see the parallels. It's in God's hands. I was given a blessing after I got done with the court and the message I received was that this is no longer about my agency. God knows I'll do my part, and there are other agencies in testing right now. If I felt the need of home school so strongly, and there are more parents involved than me, they have the opportunity to hear the same message. And if it's screaming for me, it has to be screaming for them. But they have their agency. He has his agency. And after I've done all that I can do, it will work out. So, I've got to do all that I can do. And that begins by healing myself and convincing a biased judge that this is a viable option - not just for me, but for all other homeschooling moms or dads that are faced with this judge again. I'm up to that challenge, but it will most definitely not be easy.

So, we're preparing for the storm. We're making our house a sanctuary from the tempests surrounding us. We're getting better, whatever the sacrifice.

Keira

Thursday, October 11, 2012

What he doesn't see...

So my father-in-law was hanging out with my seven-year-old tonight and checking up on my homeschooling. You know, because he's totally sold on the idea. Well she said we only did half of school today. Man did I get a look. Just one more piece of evidence I'm messing up my kid. But what she didn't say is that this child who hates reading spent the whole day curled up with a book. Several of them.

And "school;" did I mention that we're rocking' it? We're ahead of schedule. And she's thriving. She's so smart, I skipped ahead or made it harder for her. We read Matilda in a week and a half. We sing silly songs all the time. We talk about states with real knowledge (Washington is her favorite. She thinks it looks like an elephant). Oh, and she can write cursive.

But I only did half a day of school today. What on earth would make me think I could do that?

P.S. I'm sorry I haven't posted in a while. Have I mentioned it's canning season? And just as I think I'm finally done canning, I go and buy 40 lbs of apples and tons of chicken. And pears. And my friend gives me green tomatoes. And another zucchini finds its way in my house. ... I'll post pics and such as soon as I catch my breath. And I actually mean that literally as well as figuratively. (oh yeah, ask my half-a-day-of-school-today daughter what those mean. We had lots of fun learning the difference while she was busting a gut over Ted Arnold). But, more on our adventures later. :)

Friday, September 28, 2012

Two Words...

cant wait!!!



Seriously, I'm soo excited for this movie! I read the book in high school. I loved it then. And the singing! I've got soundtracks from this movie, and honestly, most of them are not sung well. But the singing in even this first look... I am ecstatic!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Yay

I was staring at a fairly-blank post and trying to figure out what to say, but my friend just called and needs a mommy vacation, so I'm going to go have fun instead. So, sorry, y'all gotta wait, I'm gonna go live my life instead of write about it.

k

Thursday, September 6, 2012

What I Stand For

Still reflecting on what is worth standing up for in this life. I know this post is mostly for me right now, but I'll share it anyway.


  • I stand for my daughter's rights. I stand for her best interest. She is my strength, and I can be hers. She is the only reason I need to stand up. Her well-being and her childlike love are enough.
  • I stand for justice, although I also stand for mercy.
  • I stand for marriage. Even being divorced, and so grateful for divorce, I stand for unity and working things out. And because I stand for it, and have lived the other, I stand for equality and healthy relationships.
  • I stand for truth, even if it hurts. I'd rather know where I stand with someone than be told lies. Even if that person doesn't like me. I also have no respect for a person who looks shiny on the outside but inside their jar is empty. 

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Today I Stand Up

I've spent the last few days thinking about strength. And trees. And determination. It's been an interesting revelation for me. My life seems to go by unit studies, but the unit study in my life is rarely about the life cycle of plants or the letter A. My unit studies are more often titled, "The Difference Between Love and Enabling," and "God's Parenting: Responsibility vs. Blame." Well, the unit study in my life this past week would be entitled, "The Oak and the Currant Bush: Strong Trees Still Grow."

My favorite poem, The Oak Tree by Johnny Ray Ryder, Jr. has come to the forefront of my mind a lot in recent days. And every time it does, I hear my good friend Missy's response when I shared it with her. She told me that I was the oak tree. I guess it stuck with me because although I've always admired the tree in the poem and wished I was strong enough to say bring it on, I never really thought I was. I don't think I believed her when she told me, either. So, as the poem kept coming to mind, and as Missy's words were right there with it in my brain, I asked myself why it was such an anomaly to me. And I realized, strength isn't in withstanding the storms. Strength is GROWING IN THE STORMS. In all the pain and suffering I've been through, I've never said "Bring it on!" I've been too busy saying, "Ow, this hurts!"

And then I thought of another favorite anecdote. I first came across the story of the Currant Bush in Seminary. I remember Brother W., with tears in his eyes, looking at all of the students and saying, "It will hurt now, but you will be so much better for it." It will hurt now. And it does. But a true hero doesn't just stay a victim. A true hero doesn't cower from the pain. A true hero DOES something about it. I think that's been the final chapter in my unit study: What is a hero.

I've been reading The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin (Dover Thrift Editions)  and reflecting on how all the great men in history stood up. The only reason we know who they are is that they were willing to change the system. I have been asking myself if I'd ever be willing to do that. And I still don't know. But I do know one thing: In The Avengers, there is one moment I knew where I stood. Loki, the super-villain is preaching to a cowering crowd about how mankind liked to be ruled, how mankind was a coward. And there was one man that stood up. One person in a crowd full of people. And I knew, if it ever came down to it, I would be that one person. I would stand up and say, "No. This is not acceptable, and I will stand." That man knew he'd probably die for his actions, but he did it anyway. And so have all of the great names in history. They knew the risks, and they did it anyway.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Salmon

Right now I feel like a salmon. I feel driven to swim uphill in a world where people say swim down. But swimming down just isn't right. I need to go against the current on this one.


Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Success.

Operation Birthday Party was a success. It was last minute, free, and she still had a blast. Thank heavens! She'd already had so many birthday celebrations this year, but hadn't had any with her friends. I knew what she really needed was a huge play date. So I kept it pretty simple. Which, for me, is a BIG DEAL! We made crystal candy rings, drank lots of punch, read a few stories, and then I let the kids just use their imagination. The girls ended up going one way, the boys another, but hey, they were having fun. Except one girl. Her mom says she was probably tired. I'm thinking she was just really bored. Either way, I think she's more of a one-on-one friend, anyway, so the number of people didn't entice her.

I meant to get pictures. I forgot. Sorry. After so many posts of no pictures, people are going to stop reading!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Nerves

My nerves are catching back up to me. One thing I'd say about the type of person I have been this past year is that it's uber easy to stress me out. It doesn't seem to take much. Ninety percent of it is worry, so I should just let it go, right?

If someone knows how, let me know.

I'm worried about my ex right now. I'm worried about the lack of desire I have for a little girl's birthday party today, when she needs it. I'm worried about school. I'm worried that my daughter's separation anxiety has come back in full force.

And my house needs cleaned and I don't want to do it, and that always stresses me out.

So today, I'm going to stop dwelling on all the things I'm worried and frustrated about, and go show my little girl I love her by throwing her a super-duper party, even though I don't feel like it.


Monday, August 27, 2012

Family Fun

Sorry no pictures. I didn't have my phone this weekend. And as I don't have a camera any more (mine is broken, so my sister gave me one... and no one knows where the power cord is) that makes for a pictureless weekend. I'll try to bum some off of my sister-in-law, but I think the only pic she took was of her huge fish.

My father-in-law is a big outdoorsman, as are his sons, so at least once a year we try to squeeze in a camping/fishing trip. This year we headed over to Hidden Lake.

It. Was. Cold.

Okay, not that cold, as long as we're not talking about the hours between 6 pm and 8 am. It was actually pretty perfect the rest of the time.

And the total fish count? 1. And it was caught on accident. My sister-in-law had a huge tangle in her line, so they cut it and were in the process of unstringing it from her pole, when they got a bite. They had to reel the silly fish in by hand!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Teeth, Toes and Eyes

We've been doing all of the back to school doctor visits at our house in between canning sessions. We're happy to report that there are no cavities this time around. That's great news. We're still trying to convince this child to lose some teeth before all the rest grow in behind them, but hey, no cavities.

As far as eyes go, guess who's getting reading glasses!?! She's pretty excites, but in a coy quiet way. Aka "hey, Mom, are my glasses in yet? Will they be in soon?" it's really a mild prescription. The doc left it up to us whether to get them or not, and since she struggles to enjoy reading, we decided to take the help. She picked out a pretty cute pair, and I can't wait to see how things change when she's got them at her disposal. I had to have glasses at this age, too, for exactly the same reason, so I guess she really did get my eyes.

And last and farthest from least, guess who has a date with the podiatrist? Not me. She's 7. We actually stumped the doc on this one. Her toenails are growing into her toes, but it's not what they term ingrown. It's different. So we'll hear from the specialist any day now to set up an appointment.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Salsa season

In an effort to keep up the good blogging work (tongue in cheek), I will attempt to blog something every day.  Just to form a habit. We'll see if this magical feat is possible, won't we? I'll apologize in advance if I get too overwhelmed again.

Yesterday was an intense day for me. Salsa. Why does it seem like canning season always makes the stress levels go up? I think it has something to do with the precise timelines things have to be done in. And it doesn't help that it's usually all mass-produced. you never hear of someone canning 2 bottles of peaches. it's usually something closer to 20 pounds!


My salsa has taken 20 lbs of tomatoes so far, and I bet I have another 10 lbs, but maybe only 5. I'm hoping only 5, because I've already used 8 lbs of peppers and only have 2 lbs left. I've also whittled 4 lbs of onions out of my garden!


In case you were needing a recipe, I came across this one last year and LOVE it. I made 12 jars last year, and we went through it WAY too fast. I figured, one jar a month, that's plenty. But it's just SOOO good! I am using it again this year (doubling from last year), and still love it. My love for it is 2-fold. First of all, because you bake the tomatoes, not boil them. Seriously, that trick makes it an instant favorite. Genius! This lady should go down in history as the smartest salsa-maker ever! No more watery salsa! Even with very juicy tomatoes (which is what I am using this year).

The icing on the cake is that it uses lime juice instead of lemon. I'm not a lime-and-spicy kind of person, so I was hesitant, but it's an amazing difference. It goes from regular Joe-Shmoe salsa to yummy with a kick. In my case, a big kick. we only use about 1/2 lb of mild tomatoes, then a whole lb of the mediums, followed by a 1/2 lb of the good and fiery varieties. that doesn't sound like too much spice, since there's still more mediums, but think of how little the big-ticket peppers are. A 1/2 lb of those tiny things is actually pretty intense. My cousin came over yesterday and his eyes were watering from the first bite. My eyes have been watering all day, what do I care!?! The onions are pretty potent when they haven't chilled before you cut them. And I kept getting whiffs of peppers up my nose every time I opened the chopper.

I ended up forgetting I had a meeting in the evening, or more like forgetting that it was Thursday and not Wednesday (seriously, where did that whole day go? I swear time just vanishes when you've got to hurry to get the canning done), so I had to rush, unshowered (gross, sorry). You never realize how much canning stinks until you are no longer in the canning environment and have to smell yourself! Gag! But oh, how glorious is a shower when you're done for the day. And then you open up the bathroom door and realize it'll be weeks before that smell is out of your house. At least it's a food smell. Could be worse.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Big decisions

So... I'm still alive. In case you were worried.

This poor blog has been haunting me, lately. I REALLY miss blogging, but I'm not quite sure where the balance is yet. In the past few months, I've discovered a ton about myself, and some of it's still kind of raw. And some of it involves other people, and I have no right to share it publicly. I'm not quite sure what you can share in the name of semi-anonymity and still be okay. Especially when it involves family.

And then there's some big decisions I've made in the past few months. I'm not quite sure all of my "readers" will agree with the changes.


Ambiguous enough yet? ;c)

See, we've decided to home school this year. Or, to put it correctly, I have decided, my daughter jumped for joy, and my husband was patiently talked into the idea (truth be told, he has yet to actually say yes, but he has let me buy the materials and he talks like it's happening. He even corrects me when I say "IF we home school," instead of "when." We'll say it's consent by silence).

My ex said yes, and then no. The lawyer says do it anyway.

My father-in-law is now consistently telling me I'm about to ruin my child and have no right teaching, and instead I should go out and get a job. At least when he says anything about it. We actually have a "don't talk about what we don't agree on," sort of relationship. It works well for us.

My mother keeps sending me ideas she heard about hearing about. My sister's relieved I'm paving the way.

I haven't dared mention it to the teachers in the family yet. Except one, and I stuck my foot in my mouth on that occasion. She probably thinks I'm going to ruin my kid, too. But she was home schooled, so there's hope she understands. There's a rather opinionated teacher on Ranger's side of the family, and we see her all the time. I'm terrified of the day she finds out...

And both of my best friends are totally supportive and have decided to home school with me.


But deciding to have an alternate norm is kind of a big deal. Stepping outside the status-quo and finally saying "I am not okay with normal; actually I have not been okay with normal for a very long time." is kind of a big scary deal. Did I mention I grow my own food and have a year's supply of it in my basement? Yeah, I'm expecting the government on my doorstep any day now. I'll feed them a meal full of real ingredients, show them that my seven year old is in third grade math and writes in cursive, and hope that's enough to convince them I'm sane. Or at least a safe crazy.


Friday, June 22, 2012

What would you do with these?

So I'm still working on my craft room. Can we say slow? But it's coming along. I am almost there. Sort of... Maybe...

In the pursuit of de-cluttering, I have a question for you...

What would you do with these? What are they, even? My mother gave them to me (you know, because I'm crafty and clever) and I have NO idea what to even use them for. I am afraid to throw them out because I know right as I do, I'll find a good use for them. But I haven't found one yet.


What do you think? Is there a use? Or should I just save myself the trouble and chuck them?

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Organizing Divia

Sorry I've been MIA for almost two weeks! Time goes fast in the blogosphere. I've been organizing my craft room. It REALLLLLLY needed it. I haven't done crafts FOREVER because I couldn't stand to walk into the craft room! I'm serious, you've seen the show Hoarders? Okay, I'm not THAT bad, I actually am too much of a purger to be a hoarder. But I always have to purge a LOT! I don't know where it keeps coming from. And when I was a single mom, I got behind. And then I just never got to it until now.

Let me show you what I mean...

first day of school 020

Feb 2012 011
(in my defense, this huge mess is fabric... And a stack of papers. But the fabric is taking over.

But I'm making progress. I put all my stickers away in a neat and organized-ish fashion. I'm not so sure I like how it's working, but we'll see what changes once I actually start crafting again because I can use my craft room!

Feb 2012 008

I've also been working more on my household binder. It's coming along. The problem is, I could either pay tons of money for the one I really like, Cleanmama, Or I can make it myself, which takes time. I picked the taking time. But if you don't have time, and have money instead, I HIGHLY recommend CleanMama's (Check  out her Etsy shop).

Oh yeah, and I have a life and a leadership role in the Young Women's organization at church. And I've helped at my girl's school class. And did I mention my sister's engaged? And it just so happens that her wedding-planning big sis (me) is helping her with that too? Not to mention my other clients. So, needless to say, I've been busy. But I will be posting tons of updates on all of my various life things some time this week, as soon as this darn craft room ever gets put back together...

Monday, January 23, 2012

My Ugly Little Secret Past

Most people don't know much about what my life was like a few years ago. I rarely talk about it. Even among friends. In fact, I bet my mother doesn't even know all of it. Even now I feel like I'm airing my dirty laundry, and I hope you'll forgive me. I hope you'll understand, I needed to write this. I needed to let this go. Maybe somewhere, this post will help someone else, but even if it doesn't, it helped me. Now it's all here, and not inside me. Now I have room to be who I want to be. I have room to carry my life because I don't have to carry my burdens. You don't have to read it. It's kind of long. I just had to write it. I just had to put a bit of my soul into this blog so that I could let it go. I'm grateful for a way to do that.


Keira


Below you will find a really long and tedious post... with no pictures.





He was always a charmer. He knew how to say exactly what you needed to hear. And it was easy to believe him.

I fell for him in high school. We had a youth activity about learning how to dance. He asked me to be his partner. As a teen I was not really concerned with what people thought of me, but didn’t have high expectations on actually being “picked” quickly, either. I was unique. I danced to my own beat. I seriously expected to just wait until everyone paired up and go with who was left. But he asked me. And I saw a literal twinkle in his eyes as he asked. Honestly, that twinkle was all it took to fall for him. Looking back, that is one of the few times I’m sure he was genuine. Before we practiced any new steps, he would ask if I was ready. I’d say, “no, but let’s do this anyway.” I thought it was so sweet he’d wait for me to really be ready. That night made history.

I later asked him how he remembered meeting me. He said we sat in front of his family the first Sunday we moved to town. He noticed me right away. His first thoughts? Oh, let me tell you they were romantic... “She’d be really pretty if she’d just brush her hair.”

We ended up in the same seminary class next semester. Brother W. always had some clever way of picking seats. My crush would look at the chart early, and tell me what number to say so we could sit together. We’d eat lunch together, too. I was in heaven.  An older boy was interested. In me.

His home life wasn’t so great. We spent lots of time talking about it. His dad had remarried, and he didn’t think his step mom was what she should have been. He’d tried to talk his dad out of marrying her. He said she treated him like a baby and assigned him chores. He made a split decision on his 18th birthday to move out, and his parents didn’t like that idea too much. They found out the day before he did it. As he was preparing to skip out on Family Home Evening. Then, all of the sudden, he wasn’t around any more. He worked all the time, took home free pizza to eat for every meal (said he’d call in bogus orders so that he wouldn’t have to go hungry), slept in his car during lunch, went home early from everything but Auto, and generally wasn’t around. He showed up for an early morning devotional, though. I  made sure to end up in the same car as him. Naturally, I overheard his conversation with another car-mate. She told him she’d heard about his new girlfriend. You can imagine I was in shock. I saw him with her later that day. PDA in the high school was usually no big deal. But it IS a big deal when the guy participating had been leading you on less than a week before. In all fairness, he never asked me out. But the only reason he didn’t, according to him, was that I was too young and my mother would have killed him. I called him later that night to get the scoop. He said I was more of a person he was looking for in a wife, and was afraid if he dated me now, he’d mess it up, and this girl was just someone to be with. I asked how they started going out. He said it’d just happened. And I fell for it! Fell for all of it.

He graduated after that, and headed off to boot-camp. He still had my heart, but in an unsettled sort of way. More because he still made promises than anything else.

I think I would have gotten over him eventually, if he hadn’t have come back. I was a Junior, then. We were in the middle of an oh-so-exciting pep rally (Actually, I didn’t mind, except I was a “band groupie” so every single friend was in the band or the choir or dance, and I usually sat alone for assemblies.) I looked over by the door, don’t know why I did, and lo and behold, there he was! He came back to visit seminary and all his old hangouts. I honestly said (quite loudly, in fact), “Oh man, I’m dead!” ...If I’d have only known.

Ironically, something happened that day that meant a lot to me. A girl in my seminary class had rallied up a few people to decorate my car. Just because. And she’d just randomly picked that same day. And he helped decorate it. And then he met me at my car after school. It was like nothing had ever been amiss between us. I see now that that was mostly because I ACTED like nothing had been amiss, but I was so ecstatic that he had come to see me! Then we started dating in earnest. My mom had this dumb can’t-go-on-a-date-with-the-same-boy-twice rule that I secretly thank her for (kept me out of so much high school drama and gave me the dating experiences all high school kids should have, while not getting serious beyond a teenager’s mentality. My daughters will hate me for it when they’re teens, too), but we still found enough time to be together. He’d come over to my house, I’d go over to where he was staying. And then it was time for him to leave for a two year mission for our church. And I was going to graduate high school and start college. I wrote him the whole time, but did not wait for him, per se. I was only 18, and didn’t think that’d be in my best interest. Or his.

In college, I had my fair share of dating experiences. And drama. Seriously, if I could redo it, I’d avoid college drama just like High school drama. It’s worse. I actually started dating this one guy pretty seriously, but somehow I was never good enough. And he had girls hanging all over him, but got jealous if I even hung out with a boy. I made a pretty great puppet. I almost wrote the missionary off for him, but the missionary ended up coming back early. The military needed him. When he came back, things got over-dramatic and confusing for me and although I still don’t like how it all went over, I ended up telling the college boy I was going to date the missionary while the missionary was sitting next to me. Never really gave the college boy a chance. Part of that is that I suddenly realized how unhealthy my relationship was with the college boy.  And the missionary had just gotten back, so I guess I still had blinders on for how unhealthy THAT relationship would be. Looking back at my journal, he must have been perpetually late, because I wrote that a lot! And it made the news, journal-wise if he was on time. But he was still charming and melty and made me feel good. It only took about a month for him to propose. He says I forced him into it, and for the longest time, I believed it. I took him to pick out rings, but it was more for fun and to help him understand my style than to actually MAKE him buy one. I wasn’t there when he purchased it, so he had to have gone back. He had it in his pocket when we went to the dance, and I didn’t make him put it there. Nor did I set out exactly how he was to propose to me! I admit I gave him plenty of opportunities, and I regret being so young about it, but I can’t still believe I MADE him do it. It’s more that I regret making it so EASY.

So we were engaged. And then married. He told me he liked my hair at our wedding. I remember that compliment, because later he would refer back to how pretty my hair was when I actually did it. I wanted to remember that day, so I wrote about it in my journal, and had him do the same. He wrote about how now he had so much responsibility, he had a wonderful bride and some amazing covenants. He said he looked forward to the challenge and that he was anxious to see how the future would pan out. I wrote that it was a long and exhausting day and that he got so frustrated at all of the family taking pictures so long. Ironic. Later, when everything had hit the fan, he told me that the day had meant nothing to him and that he’d taken it as a sign that he hadn’t done the right thing. That he shouldn’t have married me. He expected some grand epiphany, I guess. At the time, I was devastated. But now I look back and realize he shouldn’t have needed some grand epiphany. He should have known he was “supposed” to marry me long before he ever bought a ring! I felt good about marrying him! I know because I wrote it in my journal a lot! I really had a good feeling about it. And I had prayed unceasingly to know, even before he had come home, since I was “lucky” enough to be faced with options. I wasn’t making a blind choice. Or a naive choice. Innocent, yes. But not naive.

He didn’t have a really good job when we got married. He worked 2 days a week, for about 4 hrs a day. That was the only job he could get. He didn’t have a place for us to live until about a day before the wedding. I told him I’d call it off if he didn’t. I’m glad I put my foot down for something, at least. He used all of my savings as the down payment. If I’d have known better, I would have come up with some other option, but silly me thought life would be easier. We lived off of welfare and credit for a bit. Then he got a decent job. And quit it shortly after, because there was no growth in it. He DID have a stable job for about 9 months. He worked at GreaseMonkey as a manager. It’s because of that job that he almost didn’t make it when our daughter was born. My grandma who lives an hour away made it to help me. He almost missed it. If it hadn’t have been the worst labor ever, he would have! (26 hrs...) But I’m skipping ahead. Let me back track...

It’s funny, because shortly after we got married, my journal writing stopped. I said it’s because I couldn’t find a balance in when to write, because I wrote in it at night, before bed, and I was keeping my husband awake. The entries I did write was about how I wished he’d even act like he loved me. How I needed to be a better wife, so he’d be happy. How he’d come home from works and sleep all the time. How sometimes he’d come home so happy and glad he had a wife, and how other times he’d come home and act like he wished I weren’t around. And then there is this one entry that stands out to me. It sums up everything I struggled with my entire marriage. I wish I could have seen it, then! It is 3 pages long! I was 4 months pregnant at the time. It’s all the stuff I wish I could tell my husband, but can’t...

Things like “please notice that I’m here. Recognize Valentines Day.”

“Stop telling people I’m not a good wife. Stop insulting me to my face”

“Act like you believe what you say you believe.”

“DO something! Don’t just talk about it!”

“I need him to be okay with a girl baby, not his boy.”

“I need him to recognize how much I do for him! I’m giving him all I have, and it’s not enough.”

“I need him to not tell me how many girls hit on him all the time.”

The next post is a plea to the powers that be to not let my husband think I’m an idiot for doing yet another dumb thing. How he didn’t even want to have anything to do with me. He wouldn’t even kiss me. I always felt stupid. He’d call me things like lazy and moody. Every time I’d ask for a blessing for comfort, he told me I didn’t need one. I felt so alone. I had a pretty good friend, at the time, but she’d never want to do anything with me. I couldn’t understand it. The state I was in, I thought I was doing something wrong. I distinctly remember my birthday. She stopped by with a cake, and I invited her in. She asked if my husband was home before she’d come in. When “I said no, but he’ll be home in an hour. Would you rather come back then?” she was relieved, came in, but left quickly. Yeah, I was a dunce... turns out later, when she heard about my divorce, she said he’d make her feel uncomfortable all the time. Like he’d hit on her. And she didn’t know how to respond. I wouldn’t either. It probably would have ruined our friendship. Instead, we’d moved and that presented enough of a barrier. She wasn’t the only friend to confess that to me, either. ps, that was the only birthday gift I got that year.

Things got better for a while, once we bought a house. He got fired from the only job he’d ever had for more than a month, but somehow, we still made it. It was the last consecutive job he’d ever held. To this day, I wish I knew why he got fired. Now I’d find it intriguing. before, I was shocked that anyone could do somethiong like that to such a great guy (yeah, seriously. That’s what I thought!), and how no one could see how amazing he was and jump at the chance to hire him.  I’d spend hours on my knees saying, “Please let people see how great he is! He could really use the self esteem of a job!”

The true downhill started when he went to go to Pennsylvania to sell security systems. He only made it there a month. He told me to stop calling him to talk to him while I was there, because I just made him get discouraged. It hurt, but I figured I’d honor his wishes. So I didn’t call much. He never called me. I still don’t know what all went on while he was gone, but I know he didn’t come back the same man. He was darker inside. I constantly prayed to know what to do. I started having to really walk on egg shells with him.

And then he introduced me to someone that went to our church. He had met her husband a week earlier and thought I might get along with the guy’s wife. I still have a hard time talking about her, actually. I can’t believe I was so duped into being her friend! I spent every waking hour with her. We’d go shopping. She always seemed to have money, but never had enough to pay bills. I watched while she shopped. We’d watch TV. Even shows I knew I didn’t need to be watching. Shows with poor morals. My ex would come watch, too, if the girls had skimpy clothing (a couple of Dancing With the Stars dancers had him pretty intrigued). She let me have fun, though. And my life didn’t have much of that. She also WANTED to be with me, which I’d had even less of.

But I wasn’t capable of always being over at her house (she’d never come to mine. She had more kids. I only had one) and getting all I needed to done, so I would start stressing out. I was getting emptier and emptier. Truth be told, a month before my life changed forever, I started praying I’d know how to end our friendship. It was draining everything out of me. And her daughter was not a good example for my girl. She’d boss her mother around, and my child would start bossing, too. And my friend would give in to any whim either child would have, even if it wasn’t in the kid’s best interest. The strongest example of this is drinks after bed time. My girl was potty trained during the day, but had to stop having liquids (even milk) about an hour before bedtime, or she’d have an accident. My friend knew this, and she’d still give her a drink. And then I’d have a guilt trip when my girl would fall asleep at their house and have an accident on their floor. We brought pull-ups, but unless I was the one to put it on, she wouldn’t end up with it. My husband never even changed a diaper, let alone a pull-up. My husband started expecting more and more from me and our daughter, and I was getting emptier and emptier. He’d start holding our child down when she’d disobey, locking her arms in his so she couldn’t move. She’d go to some sort of trance. I hate to admit this now, but I seriously thought that was some sort of problem she had. That he HAD to hold her so she couldn’t move or she’d never listen. I can’t believe I didn’t see how dangerous that was! It happened all the time when he was in our lives. It’s happened only twice since then. One time when I was trying to give her medicine and had to hold her head to get it in her mouth, and one time when I should have known better and held her in her chair so she’d finish her vegetables. She’s got too much scarring for that. And I’ll never make that mistake again. It brought back WAY too many memories. Probably for both of us.

I knew that my friend and my husband were getting too close before I found out about the affair, but I didn’t know how to stop it. And I trusted them. I wrote that in my journal. I trust them. They both would have enough respect for me. I mean, shouldn’t you expect that from a friend and a husband? Plus, I had just helped her work through her feelings for another man, anyway! She’d almost run off with a kid from high school, and I’d talked her out of it! There’s no way she’d fall for my husband!

But then he’d start finding things out about her before I would. And I’d raise even more eyebrows.

The first distinct day I knew something was up that needed some addressing, there was a whole group of friends at her house and nothing to eat. No one wanted to go to the store. I said I’d go, but my husband refused to go with me. My friend couldn’t go because she had all the kids. My friend’s sister almost came with me, until another sister pointed out that we’d be leaving my husband and my friend alone in the house and that just didn’t sit well with her, so she decided to come with me, and we left the other sister there. When we walked in the door, I could tell that something was different. The “babysitting” sister had a funny look on her face, like she knew some new exciting secret. My friend seemed happy. And so did my husband. The kids were all playing elsewhere. I just remember a distinct feeling like I was missing something. I was getting that feeling more and more, trying to hold on to things slipping away from me, and altogether missing the REALLY big picture.

Stuff really hit the fan one normal afternoon. My husband said he was going to go get the car washed. He’d been doing that a lot lately. He had an image to keep up. He’d also been having a lot of meetings with a company he said he was signing up for. In fact, I had to take our kid with me everywhere because these meetings kept interfering. This day was just a normal day in my crashing life. Until I got a phone call. It was my friend’s husband. His exact words were, “Do you know what your husband and my wife were doing at a car wash.” That phrase changes history. Apparently he’d gone to hang out with the sister who knew, and my friend was there too. They were going to wash his car together. The other sister showed up, had a bad feeling about it, and asked my friend’s husband to just drive by, just because the situation wasn’t sitting well with her. I will forever  be grateful to that sister. I haven’t talked to her much, since, but I will never be able to express how much gratitude I have that she stood up for what is right.

Obviously, I had a hard time for a while. I can honestly say I was the perfect wife for two months. I had everything ready when he got home, our child was on best behavior, our house was spotless. Seriously, June Cleaver had nothing on me. And he’d still say he loved his girlfriend more than he ever loved me. I was the only one working on it. He’d use anything I said against me. Every step further away was something I had done. He never stopped seeing her. Nothing was his fault in any of it. He had no remorse whatsoever. Even the bishop could see that.

I was having trouble letting go, though. I kept praying to know what to do. One day, when he was out mowing the lawn, I looked out the window while I was thinking and praying. There he was. And over his head, I literally saw a black cloud. It was physically there. Then he came back in and our daughter was cranky and whiny and he got really frustrated with her. He sat on her to hold her down until she would calm down. It finally dawned on me how dangerous it was to keep him in our house and in our lives. He packed up to take off to his sister’s for a few days, and I called my mom. She dropped everything and came down. I told her I’d give him one more chance, if he came home penitent, I’d let him in. Otherwise, we’d change the locks the next day. Then I noticed that things were missing from our house. That was all it took to help me realize he’d never be penitent.

He took another month before he filed divorce. He said I drove him to it. Truth is, he got out of paying child support if he filed. He held off on that child support for a whole year. The paperwork came on our anniversary. Isn’t that a line for a storybook? He tried to stick me with all the debt and no car or means of support. He only stopped fighting everything a month before his girlfriend’s baby was due. He was married the day after our divorce was finalized. Believe it or not, that was more of a relief than knowing our decree was signed. I was done with him. He was someone else’s problem.

And then there was a year of bliss while he was overseas and had no contact with us. He completely ignored us for 9 months. Even when he came back into town on leave. Now he’s trying to be a “good dad.” And it frustrates me. His daughter has forgotten all the negative stuff and wants to love him. I’m learning to let her go in hopes that some day she’ll see what I see. I’m learning to stand up for myself when he tries to push me around on visitations and child support. I’m learning to let go of the negative thoughts I still hear in his voice. I’m learning what REAL love is with someone who REALLY loves me. I’m praying that some day I’ll be all better, that I can love my new husband with all the love he deserves. I’m learning not to say he deserves so much better than I can give him. But the truth is, He DOES deserve better than I can give him, especially because it’s so exhausting carrying so much baggage. I wrote this post to be one step closer on ditching all of it and healing all the scars. My husband deserves it. I deserve it. Our daughter deserves it, too, but it’ll be a lot longer before she ever understands it.