Category Archives: This Thing Called Life

Good Things Happen to Other People.

A few weeks ago I received an email that made me literally jump up and down with excitement. An opportunity of a lifetime– at least it felt that way to little ol’ unimportant me. I was asked to keep This Thing a secret, so I had to keep all of the joy and excitement to myself.
Oh, The Joy! Oh, The Excitement that was bursting deep within my soul!
I often thought of how exciting it was going to be to actually do This Thing. I had some doubts and fears– it was going to have to take a giant step out of my comfort zone, for sure. I was definitely nervous. But mostly? I was THRILLED. “Things like this don’t happen to me! I’m so lucky!” I would think to myself as I was driving, or doing laundry. Or while running on the MOFO treadmill.
Today, I received another email.
The thing that I was so excited about? This Thing I’ve been dying to tell people because IT IS GOING TO BE SO AWESOME AND YOU WILL BE SO PROUD OF ME, EVERYONE!” This thing isn’t going to happen for me after all.
When I read the email, I felt sick to my stomach. And then? I started to cry. The Ugly Cry. The Snot Running Down My Face Eyes Swollen Shut Cry.
I was devastated.
I asked Tony to go get me a latte and a banana chocolate chip coffee cake because damn it all to hell. “Anything else?” He asked, in the delicate way he asks questions when I’m losing my shit.
“Yes” I answered. “Can you order me a better life?”
Then I cried some more.
I know, so dramatic. So over the top dramatic.
It’s just… I’m so tired of being disappointed, of things not going my way. I’m tired of getting my hopes up only to have them crushed.
Now that the day has passed me by, I’m no longer crying. I’m choosing to no longer focus on my hurt and disappointment, but instead to focus on learning from this experience. I’m trying to look at The Bigger Picture and figure out what it all means. I have to believe there is something to be learned from this experience.
There is a life lesson here, I’m sure of it. I’m just not so sure what that lesson is just yet.

Pretty Sleeping Angel Baby Except HA HA Not Really

For the past twenty years, my husband has kissed me while I’m sleeping before he leaves for work. He tells me he loves to watch me while I’m sleeping, because I look so pretty while I sleep. One time, he said “you look like an angel.”
Over the years, I’ve come to believe him. I honestly and truly believed that I look like a precious, baby angel when I’m asleep.
Sometimes, the sound of him getting ready in the morning will wake me up, but I keep my eyes closed, knowing that at some point, he’ll look over at me with loving eyes and think “look at my beautiful sleeping angel! She’s so angelic with her sweet little angel baby face.”
There have been times where I’ve seen a baby sleeping and I’ve thought to myself “Aww, that’s probably exactly how I look when I’m sleeping. No wonder Tony can’t stop kissing me in the mornings!”
***
A few months ago, I drove with friends to Vegas. On the way home, I fell asleep in the car. Lucky everyone in the car, getting to see The Sleeping Baby Angel. I woke up to the sound of silent laughter. “What is going on!?” I demanded to know, as I wiped the drool from my face. (precious baby drool.) They eventually fessed up to taking photos of me while I was sleeping.
I wasn’t prepared for what I was about to see.

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Never Been More Happy To Be a RENTER!!1!111

It’s been raining in Southern California for 6 days. IN A ROW. This is not something that I am used to. Nor is this something that I enjoy. Especially because the rain is causing problems, like, flooding the garage and now, THIS:
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It started as a small wet spot on the carpet that we assumed was water that one of the kids had spilled, except that didn’t really make sense because none of the kids were home. But we hoped maybe they had spilled it before they had left 2 days earlier because we did not want to believe that water was actually coming up from the ground. Because we are supposed to have Christmas at (not) our house and Christmas is in 4 days and PLEASE GOD LET IT BE A SPILL THAT HAS NOT DRIED YET.
It wasn’t a spill. It was water seeping into the house from the sliding door. That water had soaked the wood strip and the padding underneath the carpet. because our landlord “doesn’t even know who to call to fix this sort of thing” my husband offered to take care of it so that there isn’t further damage to the house. (My husband is kind of a Fix It Genius.)
This is not how I imagined we’d be spending the week before Christmas. I hope we (ha ha “we”) can get this fixed quickly so we can have a little more “baking cookies while listening to Christmas music” and less “ripping up wet carpet and sealing up leaks.”

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I know it’s real because I can feel it.
It’s painful. It’s heavy. It drowns out the sunlight.
I’ve taken the classes. I’ve spoken with therapists and psychiatrists. I’ve taken the drugs. I recognize when it’s happening.
Engraved deep in my mind are feelings of unworthiness. I don’t believe that that I am good at anything or worthy of much- including love, friendship or success. I’m the outcast, the stupid girl who didn’t go to college, who is too bogged down with fears and insecurities to ever amount to anything.
Most days I can fight those feelings, but on days like today- I can’t. I can’t fight them.
So, I get quiet. I isolate myself. I get angry. I get sad. I get sleepy. I cry.
I allow myself to sit with the pain and loneliness, hoping that tomorrow it gets better. It almost always gets better.

Highlight of My Weekend: When Hailey Met Gabby

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This weekend my daughter met Jenny’s daughter. It was as precious as you can imagine. They said hello, gave each other a hug and then Gabby was all “does your mommy have a blog?” And Hailey was all “Yes, my mommy is The Bloggess. ” And Gabby was all “No way! You’re so lucky!” And then I was all “hey, I may not have 70,000 followers on twitter, but Justin Bieber follows me! Who’s your mommy now, Gabby?”

Some parts of that story are quite possibly not true.

In all seriousness, Jenny is one of my dearest friends and it was a wonderful surprise to see her this weekend. It was even more wonderful that our daughter’s got to meet one another (at The Happiest Place on Earth!) and talk about important things like “Space Mountain” and “The Chipmunks.”
We are both very scared of the stories these two are going to have to tell about us on their blogs some day.
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More Like The Monte OhHELLNo

Last year we spent our wedding anniversary in Vegas. We had such an amazing time, I knew that I wanted to do it again this year. Except this year was out 20th, so I wanted it to be a bit more extravagant. For us, “extravagant” basically means “willing to spend more than $58 for a room via Hotwire.”
So, last month I spent days searching various websites looking for a good deal on a nice room with a jacuzzi.
Out of all of the hotels and all of the deals that I found, I ended up booking a Spa Suite at the Monte Carlo.
You may be all “the Monte Carlo? BUT WHY?”
You see, last month I stayed there and I had a pleasant experience. The hotel was clean, our room was nice, the staff was friendly and I loved the location. (I’m easy to please. Obvs.)
I was in love with The Room I Booked. I imagined myself sitting in the spa, with a glass of wine in one hand and my husband’s…hand in the other, admiring the beautiful view and flashing lights. I imagined other things that I won’t write here because certain members of my family read this blog now and they’re kind of sensitive about things that involve me talking about sex in any way, shape or form. I swear, I mention my Blow Job Punch Card Reward System ONE TIME.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that I had high hopes for this room, for the spa, for my vagina.
The day after Thanksgiving was Our Big Day. The drive to Vegas started off rough– nothing like dead stopped traffic to test our marriage! But, traffic didn’t last for long and after I apologized for blaming the traffic on my husband, we had a wonderful time! We smiled a lot and talked about how much fun we were going to have (and when I say “fun” I mean, YOU KNOW WHAT, MY FAMILY.)
After we checked into the hotel, we did that really fast walk that people who want to hurry up and get naked so that they can “eat at the buffet all night long” do. We opened the door to our room and, well, it was nice. But the window was FILTHY and the view was not all that sweet and I could feel The Disappointment rising from within my soul and into my eyeballs but I was NOT going to cry about a dirty window with a not so pretty view! Instead, I asked my husband to call and ask if we could get a room with a nicer view.
The person who answered our call was very nice and offered us another room. We picked up our suitcases and headed down to the 19th floor. We walked in and it looked exactly the same as the other room! Except that we could actually see out of the window and the view was pretty sweet. But then I walked over to the tub and that is when I saw it.
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Other People’s Pubes.
I kind of freaked out.
“LOOK! PUBES! THERE ARE PUBES IN THE SPA! PUUUUUUUUUUUUUBES.”
PigHunter rushed over to have a look.
He saw the pubes (that wasn’t the only one.) I started to cry.
“There is a pube in our spa! I can’t go in there. I will never be able to go in there!”
He picked up the phone and actually said the words “there is a pubic hair in our spa. My wife is crying. This is our 20th anniversary. Can we get a room with a nice view and a clean spa that does not have pubic hair, please?”
The person on the other end of the phone apologized. Then, he offered us a new room and a free buffet for the two of us. I didn’t care about free food. I just wanted a Pube Free Spa.
We picked up our things for the 2nd time and headed to our 3rd room.
The first thing I did upon entering room #3 was run to the spa to check for OPP. I was relieved to see that the spa was clean and Pube Free. I took a look around and everything seemed to be fine. So, I put all of my things down, took off my shoes and went to sit down on the sofa.
Except that just as I was about to sit, I noticed a rather large stain. I remained calm while I pointed it out to my husband.
“That’s not blood, is it?” I asked.
“I hope not.” He replied.
I hope not was not the answer I wanted to hear. I wanted him to say “hell no that’s not blood! It’s chocolate!”
Within the next 5 minutes, we discovered the following:
A half empty bottle of Coke. Something sticky all over the nightstand. Stains on my pillow case.
PigHunter made another call to the front desk. They sent someone up to inspect the room. They cleaned up the room while we stood there and watched (aaaaawkward.) The hotel gave us a $50 food and drink comp for the inconvenience.
Once the drama was behind us, we were able to relax and have a great night.
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We enjoyed our free buffet. Played some slots. Went back up to the room to chill for a bit, fell asleep, woke up and laughed about how old we are, freshened up and went out for some drinking and dancing and some laughing and some kissing and some arguing and some more dancing and some walking through the hotel lobby angrily while I said things like “I DON’T WANT TO TALK TO YOU RIGHT NOW!” and then some apologizing and some cuddling and finally some [edited for family] bible study time.
Four hours later I wake up to the sound of water dripping. I hope it’s just a dream because am so tired from all of the dancing. It’s not a dream. The sound of water is real, but where the eff is it coming from? I get up and look to see if our shower was leaking. Nope. I check the toilet. Nope. So, I go back to sleep.
A few minutes later, PIgHunter wakes up.
“I hear water running.” He says. “Do you hear it?”
We look around the room. PigHunter goes “Oh my God.” I turn around and see this:
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Water, pouring from the ceiling down the wall next to our bed.
What! The! Hell!
I call the front desk to let them know that “Hi! There is water pouring into our room from the ceiling!” PigHunter tries to keep me calm while I go on and on about the possibility of the ceiling crashing in on us and five minutes later, there’s another person in our room, inspecting things while we stand around and watch.
HAPPY ANNIVERSARY TO US!
The water situation is fixed, PigHunter leaves to go get us breakfast. While he’s gone, hotel security comes up to take pictures. He asks if any of our personal property was damaged, I was like “do hopes and dreams count as personal property because if so, YES! PERSONAL PROPERTY HAS BEEN DAMAGED!”
Two minutes after Security Guy leaves, there is a knock on the door. There is a dude standing there with a stack of towels. I was confused. “Ohh, did you come to clean up the water?” I ask. He was confused. “someone called up for towels.” Hmmm. Maybe PigHunter called up for the towels? I don’t know, but I want this guy to leave because I’m sick of Random Hotel Staff all up in my room so I take the towels and set them on the counter.
When PigHunter came back with breakfast, he noticed the towels on the counter.
I told him that some dude dropped them off. “I thought maybe you had called and asked for towels?”
My husband, who is one of the most level headed, kind, calm people on the face of the earth, lost his shit.
He started ranting and raving. “Oh, do they expect US to clean up the mess? Do they think we’re going to spend our anniversary trip drying up all of this water? OH HELL NO THIS IS NOT RIGHT I’LL BE RIGHT BACK AAHHHHHHHHH!
He had every right to be angry. The water leak? Not their fault. But you know, it happened and they didn’t call to check on us or offer to move us to a room that did not have soaking wet carpet. Instead, they sent up a stack of towels so we could clean up the mess ourselves? Um, no.
The hotel offered us another room (#4!) and a $100 food/drink comp.
So, we had to pack up our things again and move to another effing room.
When we made it into our 4th! room (which, by the way, was pretty much perfect) I plopped my over fed ass on the bed and sighed the loudest sigh I’ve ever sighed in my entire life time. This was not the get away I had hoped for. This was nothing like I had imagined it would be. It was stressful and annoying and I wanted a do-over. I allowed myself to sulk for a bit (why do these things always happen to meeee? Why can’t things ever go right for me?) then I sucked it up and vowed to make the very most of the little time we had left (to use the mofo spa) together.
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We finally did make it into the spa (to pray, of course, my family!) late Saturday night. We turned the water on, got in (in bathing suits!) poured the bubbles and settled in (on opposite sides of the spa!) I poured some bubbles in and pushed the button to turn on the thing that makes the water all bubbly? The jets? The power nozzles? THE WHATEVER THE EFF THEY’RE CALLED. Anyway, I pushed the on button.
Nothing.
I pushed again.
Nothing.
I pushed it again, held it down for a few seconds.
Nothing.
I could feel the anger rising within my soul.
“It’s not working!” I said, in a voice that sounded kind of satanic because… ANGER! RAGE! ANOTHER THING IS WRONG!
Tony jumped to his feet and leaped out of the tub.
“I am going to call them right now!” He shouted, all angrily. “This is not okay! IT IS NOT OKAY!”
And then I remember reading somewhere that in order for the spa jets (?) to work, the tub had to be filled to a certain point. So I told my naked (kidding, family!) husband to get back in and wait for the tub to fill up a bit and we’d try again.
Sure enough, it worked.
After we stopped laughing, we um, you know, “relaxed” until we couldn’t “relax anymore.”
In the end, I didn’t have the Anniversary Getaway I had planned or dreamed of, but we made the best out of the situation and managed to have a Few Moments of Awesome together. So, it’s all good.

Real Things That We Fight About

This is “The Place Where We Hang Our Towels.” I have made this clear over and over again. “We hang towels here, we do NOT hang hats here.” My husband, however, refuses to acknowledge that this is For Towels Only and is constantly hanging up his dirty work hats. I have asked him time and time again to PLEASE STOP DOING THIS. And every time, he’s all “I can hang my hats there if I want to!” Which, fine, hang your hats there. WhatEVER.
But this morning, when I went to grab my sweatshirt in the morning, this is what I saw:
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Empty hooks all over the place and he put his sweaty, greasy dirty hat on *top* of the towel I am going to use to dry my delicate, tender, pure, almost holy like body parts.
This is CLEARLY an act of Marital War.
Related: THIS.

This Is Pretty Much The Only Thing Stopping Me From Eating a McRib

Last week, I did something stupid.
I waited for 4 days to see my doctor when I knew I had a UTI.
I was busy with work. With kids. With life.
So, I drank glass after glass after glass after glass of water and cranberry juice, hoping that it would magically cure the infection raging in my body.
It did not work. (Crazy, right?) And on Tuesday night, I found myself in urgent care doubled over with pain on my insides and burning with fever.
The doctor did the tests that they do when they suspect one has a UTI and determined that yes, I did have one and that infection had traveled into my kidneys. They wanted to give me a shot of an antibiotic that is so strong and so painful, it is mixed with a numbing medication of some sort. I was terrified because the nurse was saying things like “needle” “will hurt” and “burn.” She got me so riled up,by the time I turned over to take a needle to the ass, I was crying. A small cry, but still, crying.
It burned, but wasn’t as bad I expected. That was good.
I was asked to stay for ten minutes for observation for a reaction to the shot. The nurse said “if you feel itchy or if you feel your throat START TO CLOSE UP.”
Of course, that sent me into an Unnecessary Panic because my throat never closed up and I was fine.
I went home with instructions on how to care for a kidney infection, pain medication and a bottle of antibiotics.
When I returned home, I was greeted by a not so pleased husband.
“Don’t ever wait that long to take care of yourself again. That was NOT VERY SMART.”
About an hour after returning home, I felt pain in my back. This is what the pamphlet about kidney infections referred to as “flank pain” and I had been ordered to call a doctor if that happened.
The pain intensified. I got scared.
I got the chills and started to shake.
I made a call and was instructed to go to the ER.
I had to drive myself because the kids were home and PigHunter had to get up for work at 4am.
The ER was IN.SANE. Blood. Puking. Police officers. People everywhere, line out the door.
Two hours later and one scolding from the doctor who said my infection was “pretty bad” and instructed me to stay away from pretty much every food and drink that I love and to drink water water water so much water, I was on my way home, pretty confident I wasn’t going to die. Or lose a kidney. (But still very much in pain.)
And that’s pretty much all I’ve done since Tuesday– drink water.
(And pee.)
(And pee some more. Again and again and over and over again.)
If this experience has taught me anything it’s that cranberry juice does not cure infections and also, that I need to always must remember to take care of myself properly. Having a job and kids and a husband who loves my body won’t do me any good if my kidneys fail and I die.

Our (Cringe Worthy) Love Song

My mom recently had our wedding video converted to DVD. This was perfect timing as our 20th wedding anniversary is approaching (it’s on the 17th of this month.) I thought it would be fun to sit down with our children and watch our wedding together.
it’s no secret that our wedding was pretty awful- I’ve written about it here before. But, until you see it with your own eyes, there’s no way to truly understand just how bad it was. Here are just a few comments that my WONDERFUL children made last night while watching:
“You guys were so corny.”
“What was wrong with your teeth? Good thing the dentist fixed them.”
“How many of those people are dead now?”
“You had a HARPIST? But… why?”
“Did you really think that was a good idea, Mom?”
“When I get married, I’m going to make sure I marry someone who doesn’t wear big glasses.”
“Wow, the dresses you picked out were pretty ugly.”
I love that I can laugh about my wedding now. I suppose a lot of people look back on their big day and wonder “What were we thinking?” Especially 20 years later. Maybe most people don’t regret pretty much EVERY choice they made, like I do, but surely most people wish they had done their hair differently, or wish they hadn’t HIRED A HARPIST.
There is one thing about my wedding that I wouldn’t change, even though it was Pretty Awful.
The part where we sang to each other.
Our love of singing is what brought us together. We loved to sing together. We sang at Other People’s Weddings. We sang at church. We sang in my parents living room. It just seemed… right to sing at our wedding.
The idea itself was lovely. The execution of the idea? Not so much.
But don’t take my word for it– watch for yourself. (Oh, yes. I recorded it for you. And I promise you that you will NOT be disappointed.)

Two Years

When I was in kindergarten, my grandpa would pick me up from school every Wednesday to spend the afternoon with me. He would take me miniature golfing, or sometimes to go on the trampolines. He’d take me out to lunch, usually to get a hamburger. I remember those days– I remember how happy I felt to be with him. I remember how much fun I had riding around town with him.
I remember how special he made me feel.
My grandpa was extremely proud of me. He thought I was the most beautiful, talented little girl and he made sure that everyone in his life knew how wonderful he thought I was.
When I lost my grandpa, I lost the one person who truly loved me for who I was, unconditionally, no matter how badly I had behaved or failed him. He never got angry with me or said unkind words to me. He was protective of me, he was proud of me, he genuinely loved to spend time with me.
His departure from this world has left a deep void in my soul.
There’s a story I love to tell my kids about my Grandpa that I want to share with you.
It was a cold, rainy day. I was on restriction– for what? I can’t remember. All of the neighborhood kids were outside playing in the rain in our driveway. I was sitting by the window, looking outside at everyone having a good time. I was upset that I was missing out on the fun. As I was watching and dying a little on the inside, I saw my grandpa’s car pull up.
I made my face just a little bit sadder as he walked up the driveway, knowing he’d see me and wonder why I was sad.
When he walked in the door, he immediately asked me why I was sitting inside instead of playing with the kids outside.
“I’m on restriction!” I whined, tears welling up in my eyes. “I’m not allowed to go outside.”
My grandpa looked at me and said “Oh, fer crying out loud. Get out there and play!”
I was tempted, but there was no way I was going to disobey my parents. I would get SO BUSTED the minute my grandpa left if I tried that.
He could see the fear in my eyes.
“Just go! Don’t worry about your parents, I’ll take care of them!”
That was all the reassurance I needed.
I wiped the tears from my eyes, skipped outside and joined the kids.
As a parent, this story makes me cringe a little. I would be angry if my parents undermined my parental authority in that manner.
But the child in me looks back on that and remembers a man who just wanted me to be happy. A man who was willing to stand up, speak up for me.
He continued to be that person for me when I needed him most– my teenage years.
When my parents got caught up on a cult-like, legalistic view of Christianity, my grandpa (and grandma) tried to speak up on my behalf– even covering for me when I wanted to go on dates with my future husband. (No, I was not allowed to be alone with MY FUTURE HUSBAND. But that’s another story for another day.)
I don’t know if I would have survived those years without having him (and my grandma) in my corner.
Two years later, I still think about him every day. Some days, I feel guilty. Guilty that I didn’t spend enough time with him. Other days, I’ll feel pure joy when I think back to something he said, or look at a picture of him with my children.
The sadness and ache I felt in my soul when he passed has slowly been replaced with the warmth and the love he left behind in his words- both written and spoken.
I’m grateful for the love he left behind that I can and will carry with me always.
.Me and Grandpa.
I miss him already