Today is Jesse’s birthday

He’s all of 31 today. I bought him some new running shoes which he desperately needed (and that he can leave in the house because they don’t smell like…well…like dirty feet shoes), and he didn’t even get mad at me for spending money we REALLY don’t have. His legs will thank me tomorrow after his workout, too.

Then I slaved away in the kitchen making Pioneer Woman’s Pasta Carbonara which is fucking AMAZING. Make it now. You will not regret it. And even your kids will love it. We ate the whole thing. I also made the German Chocolate Cake from the Baked cookbook. Again…amazing. The best cake I’ve ever made. For reals.

Last year at this time, we were in San Diego at The Ass-Kicking of the Broncos, The 2008 Version, but I’m not going to spend any more time thinking about that. *sigh* San Diego. *sigh*

Maybe later he’ll get a special wifely present. I did shave my legs.

Finally – vacation time

I feel like we’ve been on the road since we got out of school…mostly because we have. We went last weekend to a hot springs resort near Buena Vista. We came home for a few days, then went to the greater Cotopaxi area (Canon City included) on Wednesday. We came home yesterday. Megan came home today.

As for the obligatory Christmas wrapup – the kids got a ton of toys and clothes and makeup and I got…nuthin’ (two secret santa and a nestie angel gift excepted, of course). Which I’m strangely okay with – not happy with, because it is me after all – but it’s perfectly fine that I spent all the money on the kids. What’s not okay is that I also spent money that was specifically supposed to be for me on the kids – oh well, the Droid can wait until payday. I actually managed to fit in four workouts last week and one today. There wasn’t too much family drama and I’m torn between grateful and disappointed with that.

So we’re all here. And today, all the presents were unwrapped, all the toys put away, all the childrens’ rooms CLEANED, and the kitchen is relatively tidy. The laundry is done, the floor is vacuumed. Of course, the basement and garage are a mess – which is a symptom of being a dumping ground for all the crap from the rest of the house.

But the bottom line is that I can get my relaxin’ on. The only plans for the week? Work out in the mornings, followed by coffee sipping, reading, watching tv and a little thing called the Broncos-Chiefs game on Sunday. My goal is to be so bored by Sunday that I want to go back to school – a lofty goal, but I’m going for it.

Oh! and the other goal? The 15 pounds by January 31? I’m 6 pounds on my way. 🙂

I think I need to break up with the internets

I am aware of the paradox that such a statement creates. How can I give up the internet and still be here? I think what I really mean is I need to break up with mindless web cruising. I spend HOURS a day on the internet doing absolutely nothing of note. I get physically and emotionally upset by the things I read on my usual message boards and frankly, that’s just stupid.

Recently my friend Jill took a week-long break from the internet and survived, so maybe it’s possible… I know that not being on my boards the past few days has allowed me to read more, hang out with the kids more, get my house cleaned up, to work out consistently, and to just find more creative and useful ways to spend my time. I’m torn, though. I mean, I have good good friends on the internet. When I want an escape from reality, other people’s drama can pass a whole day. What will I do when I want to avoid grading papers when January gets here?

Well, the next few days should be a good test – I’m heading to the land of dial-up. In the meantime, if I don’t see you (even though I *will* see some of you – yay!), have an insanely blessed holiday.

first I feel good

then I don’t.

I’m amazed by how I can be rolling along in my day feeling good about school, about Ryan, about running, about my lunch, and then just one stupid little arbitrary thing- maybe a word, a look, a thought, a song – can send me back into the hole.

That hole? It’s sandy. It’s slippery. It’s dark. It’s lonely. When I try to climb out, it takes every ounce of my willpower, focus and energy to keep from falling back down with the dirt. On most days I feel like my upper body is on firm ground, my hands clutching the grass as my legs dangle above an empty chasm. Other days? Days like today? I plummet to the bottom, and as I fall, I see the claw marks of my last escape, and I swear the hole is getting deeper every time I fall.

How is this possible? How can I keep coming to the edge of escape only to fall back into the abyss? How can I continue this mental and emotional torture? How can I pull my legs up, brush off my hands, find the nearest shovel and fill in the hole? My mind knows full well that I am the only one who can do this for myself. There will be no rope ladder. There will be no deus ex machina. I won’t discover footholds in the wall. I know now why the worst prisoners get put in these holes. I know now what they can do to a mind. This is my hole, my misery. I have to find a way out.

Most likely to throat punch someone

That’s the award that should be given to me. That, or “Prettiest Love Handles.”

Instead, I’m the proud owner of the “Prettiest Brain” on the Colorado Nest board.

Some of you have no idea what I’m talking about, so here’s a recap: There’s a web community called The Nest (www.thenest.com). It’s the grown-up version of The Knot – where you go to plan your wedding and find out that putting registry information in invites is tacky, your out-of-town guests need gift bags, and that if your bridesmaids don’t throw you a shower AND a bachelorette party, your marriage is doomed. There’s even an offshoot called The Bump – where you learn that formula feeding, letting your kid cry it out, and using disposable diapers make you the anti-Christ of mothers. But I digress.

On the Nest, there are local boards and at one time, the Colorado board was the second busiest in the nation. I would venture we’ve had the biggest get togethers of all time – upwards of 60 or so nesties in one place. I’ve met some of my BEST friends on the knot/nest. Every year, one nestie (props to Dana!) plans our annual Holiday Cookie Exchange and this year another nestie (props to DeAnna!) revived the Annual Nestie Awards. Categories range from “Best Recommendations” to “Tree Forter Most Missed” (oh, a nice long story for another day). I was up for three categories this year: “Best Blog”, “Well-Written Posts”, and “Prettiest Brain.” A nice change from “Biggest Bitch” oh, I mean, “Most Opinionated” (props to Lily!).

And I have to tell you that while it would be nice to be the friendliest (yeah, right), or have the best hair (uh-huh, keep dreaming), or even cutest daughter (okay, that WOULD have been better), I love Prettiest Brain. I feel pretty honored, I’m not gonna lie. I realize that it’s an online community and that it’s just a fun little contest, but that kind of validation always feels good.

And even though I’m drinking it away, I enjoy my pretty brain.

If my daughter

ever got caught cheating in a class – even if I told her to do it – and the teacher told her, “hey, you’re a pretty good kid, and you screwed up. But I think I will work with you and not write you up for a permanent academic dishonesty charge” I won’t complain about the consequences that she might suffer in her extra curricular stuff like say….student council. I won’t complain that she doesn’t get to be a committee leader because her integrity is in question. I won’t try to make the adviser of her student council “change her mind” even though it’s not said adviser’s decision.

I will thank the teachers for trying to help my child learn from her mistakes and quietly walk away, because I don’t want to piss off the people who are doing him oops! her – the favor. This is all hypothetical, of course.

You can’t make this shit up, people.

I’ve become bitter

I have tried really hard not to be bitter. I have made a conscious effort to remind myself that I used to bitch about the most mundane shit without a single thought of what other people might be experiencing. I go out of my way to try to be nice to people about their concerns and complaints.

It’s so hard. When people complain about their pets, or their cars, or their parents, or their papers, or their homework, or their feet aching, or their tv, or their laundry, or their living arrangements, or even their sex life, I just want to come back with this:

At least (in list form, of course, we all know I like lists)
*You haven’t lost two babies this year.
*You don’t look at your bank account on the 6th day of the month and see that it’s already empty and won’t be full again until the 21st of the month.
*You don’t have to ditch out of your work Christmas party because you’re a) too broke to pay the dues to fund said party and b) too proud to tell anyone the real reason you can’t go (you’re too broke) and be the charity case of the party because “it’s not a party if you’re not there.”
*Your oldest child isn’t going to not want to move in with you.
*Your clothes fit.
*You don’t look at yourself in the mirror and wonder where the real you went.
*You don’t hate your body for fucking betraying you month after month.
*You don’t have to pretend that you’re happy for people when you’re not every. single. day.
*You’re probably getting a Christmas present from your spouse/significant other this year.
*Said spouse/significant other will also make sure you get something “from the kids.”

Now, like I said, I know everyone is fighting a battle of their own, and mine is no more special. But it’s special to me, and it is the hardest part of every day for me to not scream it to the world. I don’t like this person. Every once in a while she takes a vacation and the me I love comes back around, but not enough. I wish this bitter bitch would pack her fucking bags, and take the whole mess with her.

Ultimately, I suppose the lesson I should learn is humility and grace in all situations. I should be supportive of others in their journeys. I should give what I expect. I just can’t do it yet.