Category Archives: Life

On the Short Side

Let me start out by saying I’m used to being the short kid on the block. I’m 5’2. I’m so short that it actually weirds me out to meet people shorter than I am. It’s like I’m suspicious that they’re suddenly going to unzip their skin and a taller person is going to unfold and step out like something out of a cartoon. Because…you know…that could happen.

I’m also used to being the weird kid on the block. It’s cool.

But what I never seem to get used to is all the problems that crop up when you’re short. Here’s my list of annoyances in no particular order:

1) When tall people put things on shelves. Seriously. My husband is 6’2. He puts things on high shelves because to him it’s eye level or just above. To me, it’s Siberia. I know it’s there but I couldn’t tell you anything else about it. This becomes a huge deal when he does things like move the coffee filters from the bottom shelf of the kitchen cabinet to the top shelf and I can’t make my morning coffee. Don’t mess with my caffeine. It makes up half of my genetic material at this point.

2) Trying to kiss a tall person. I mentioned my husband is 6’2. That’s a foot taller than me, folks. The logistics of trying to land a kiss correctly gets pretty interesting. Calf cramps hurt, and I have no sense of balance. I’ve been known to tip over trying to make out with him. It may have been cute to him the first couple times, but five years later not so much. At least not to me. I’m a fully grown woman; I don’t want to fall over like a heavy-headed toddler.

3) Capris. THEY LIE. They do not hit you at the right place in your leg and you either wind up looking oompa loompa short or like you’re wearing rapper shorts. Man rapper, not the tiny little things the girls in the video wear. It’s not attractive.

4) Regular pants. “Short” lengths seem to only go to my ankles and regular lengths go an inch (or more) past my shoes. It’s a hazard! I once got my pants stuck in a door that slammed shut behind me and almost depants-ed myself because I was moving and my pants were not. Instead I wound up faceplanting while trying to hang into my jeans so I didn’t show everyone I work with my underwear! Jeebus. Someone had to open the damn door for me so I could even stand up. My life is ridiculous sometimes. Just last night I caught my toe in my pajama pants, tripped, and left a faceprint on my balcony door.

5) The sun visor in your vehicle. It’s a damn tease. You want it so bad, but nope, it isn’t gonna help you even a little bit.

I’m sure tall people have their problems too (I have personally seen my husband whack his head numerous times on low doorways. It’s funny every time.) but short people have our own unique problems with the world. Maybe that’s why we tend to rant on when we’re angry? ūüėČ

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Marriage and the Antibiotic Olympics

I’ve mentioned before how the Mr. has been struggling with his health, especially over the last year. First he had digestive issues and then he developed a diabetic ulcer on the ball of his foot that he’s struggled with for nearly a year now. He took as much sick time and short-term disability as he could from his job, but eventually it reached a point where his job felt forced to let him go and he lost his insurance. Trying to get insurance through the state (my job does not offer any health insurance) has been a whole other herd of lions to fight, and in the meantime, he was unable to keep receiving the medical care he had been getting and things got bad for him – and then they took a turn for the worst.

He wound up being hospitalized for three weeks, guys. Diabetes, bone infection, and sepsis are no joke. They will take your body and hold it hostage. The man has been through so many powerful antibiotics that I almost believe he could be immune to herpes at this point.

When a bone becomes infected, there isn’t much they can do. Even with aggressive antibiotic therapy it can still spread and spread quickly – even to your blood. And since your blood goes everywhere in your body it is extremely dangerous. He wound up having the second toe and some of one of the long bones in his foot amputated and was still so septic he had to remain in the hospital for an extended amount of time.

So much time that we wound up spending our very first wedding anniversary in the hospital. I had a grilled ham and cheese sandwich and a piece of cheesecake, in case you were wondering. It was delicious.

It was also not at all how I expected our first wedding anniversary to go, you know? Not that I ever put too much thought into my expectations for it, but still. Everybody always hints around that when you get married your relationship changes, but I didn’t really expect mine to. We had been together for four years beforehand. We had weathered serious issues in that time – the death of his father and subsequent family turmoil, a child custody arrangement on my end, moving in together and job changes. Getting married never mattered much to me but it was so important to him that it became important to me as well. It was less than two months later he developed the ulcer and the issue continued to snowball from there. I certainly didn’t expect the “in sickness and in health” portion of those canned wedding vows to become so front and center so soon.

And while those canned wedding vows may be the standard in wedding ceremonies, I am still me and I still have my shining sense of humor that has gotten me through the many shitty hands of cards that life has dealt me over the years. This whole experience has taken its toll on the Mr., and it breaks my heart to see him so down.

So I made it my personal mission to make him smile in some way every day. The man is my best friend and he puts up with all of my shenanigans and special quirks. He knows my house may be messy, but by god my towels will be folded just so and put in a certain place in the closet. He knows I like sweet, cold things just before bed and that I will always throw my leg over his in my sleep, almost like I’m afraid he’s going to jump up and make a run for it. Losing a toe and some bone? That’s ok, babe. It doesn’t change a thing about how I feel toward you. I’m still going to treat you the same and make fun of you just as much. It’s how I show my affection.

And with that in mind I contacted a friend of mine who makes shirts upon request. And BAM, these beauties came into fruition:

 

 

I know that second one has a small print, but it says “You can count on me, but only to 19!” ūüėČ

Everyone who snickered at me when they said marriage changes things was absolutely right. That man is stuck with me now, and I couldn’t be happier about it.

The Pasta on the Floor

With school having started back up now, I am determined to cook more meals for my family. It sounds great, but half the time I’m running around like a crazy person and then I realize it’s time for dinner and I dint have a plan for it.

Yesterday I decided to make my chicken pasta – one of the girls’ faves and there’s aways leftovers to heat up for lunch the next day. I was excited. I went to the store, got my ingredients, came home, and got busy. I’m frying bacon to crumble, I’m cooking chicken, I’m even chopping veggies up to make the Mr. his own meal since he’s diabetic and can’t have all the carbs pasta brings to the table. As soon as my chicken gets done I throw my pasta in to boil while I crumble bacon and shred chicken. I make my sauce and toss is the whole shebang in a pan and sprinkle on parmesian cheese so it can bake for a bit and all the flavors mix together.

Twenty minutes later, the small wafting through my apartment has me drooling. I’m done waiting. So I throw open the oven, grab my potholders, grab onto my pan…and proceed to slip and flip the pan upside down as I pull it out. I now have pasta all over the bottom of my oven, all over the oven door, and trailing onto my kitchen floor.

The Mr. hears all of the commotion and comes running, worried I injured myself, and finds me staring blankly at this disaster and trying not to cry. I see him, panick for some weird reason, and reach down to grab my pan. I immediately throw it back down because, of course, it’s still blazing hot from being in the freaking oven.

I am the reason we can’t have nice things. Also, our pizza last night was delicious, thanks.

Respite 

People want so desperately to wipe the slate clean, start over with no past. Like there’s no history clinging like a second skin, no memories playing repeat of past mistakes and regrets so powerful you can taste them on your tongue like icing.

I want to remember everything.

I want to remember all the times I ever felt alive with the people who are now dead. I want to remember crooked smiles that lit up the world like sunshine. 

I want to remember this vast world of infinite possibilities reduced to a moment, a piece of time where everything was perfect. 

But you can’t have all the good without the bad, the other moments where it felt like your soul was sliced down and made into glass. When you shattered and lost pieces. You may come back together, but you’ll never be the same because some were lost. Pieces were stolen. People were careless; people were so busy trying to collect their own pieces they didn’t realize they were crushing yours beneath their feet.

I want to remember those moments too.

When it tasted like blood in my mouth from trying not to beg and half-moons lined my palms from clenching my fists when I was just trying to hold myself together. All the times I tried not to cry, all the times I hated myself for looking weak. 

Because those moments are precious too. Those moments led to growth, even when the growing pains wormed into my bones and I couldn’t catch my breath.

Every moment has led to this one. This moment isn’t perfect, but I can see every strand, every decision (mine or not) that led to me being right here, right now. A person able to withstand. Survive. And smile.

Just a Little Bit of Prose

Just once I’d like to lay my head down and go to sleep. Sleep without the play play play pause play of constant loops in my head and all the conversations I never had with the people I should have burning in my throat.

I need to go to San Fransisco. I need to see my unbiological brother and sit by the ocean smoking cigarettes and listening to waves until we finally break down and start talking about all the ghosts that haunt us because he gets it. He gets how people are there and you watch them spiral down and no matter how hard you try to hold on you’re just left with splinters and bleeding onto pages. 

Because even though it hurts like hell to relive the worst moments in your life, sometimes it’s the only way to fall asleep and make room for dreams.

It Was Beginning to Look a lot Like Unemployment

Holy Bejeebus, it’s been a rough few months. There was the wedding and finally being able to relax a little bit, but of course life kicks you right in the lady balls when you least expect. Darrick’s grandmother passed away right as I was transferred into a different department at work and he developed a sore in his foot (one of the most dangerous things for a diabetic) right within a few days’ span. When he finally notice something was wrong, he already had angry red spikes going almost up to his knee.

Darrick spent a few days in the hospital getting pumped full of antibiotics and wearing special leg booties that squeezed at intervals to encourage increased blood flow, then was released just in time for trick or treat. He’s been put off of work ever since because he can’t stand eight hours on an open wound.

Finances have been tight, but we are making it thus far. Unfortunately, being transfered at work for me was incredibly hard on me. A few months back they had asked me if I would be interested, but I wasn’t. Shipping is easily one of the most stressful areas of the place and will eat your life if you let it. I didn’t want to work all of those hours! Not with my two young girls. But then they cut my materials planning job, so it was either make the move or be without a job for the holidays.

And when you put it that way…

But oh, it’s been rough. You’re thrown in the fire and trying to figure it out. Every customer wants shipments made in a particular way with particular paperwork done and sometimes sent to particular people. Don’t get me started on overseas shipments! The whole department was dropping balls left and right while we juggled around each other trying to figure out our places. I was so stressed I had trouble eating and sleeping and just existed in a state of anxious, balled-up nerves, only to be told I should know more and be better at my job.

I almost walked out twice. The only thing that kept me there was being the only working parent at this time, and even then it was a close call. Darrick actually sat me down one night and told me how this job was affecting our family. My four-year-old said I never come home before bedtime, I would snap at my ten-year-old to the point she felt lile she couldn’t talk to me, and I didn’t laugh or make jokes anymore. All I would do is come home, eat, and go to sleep.

I refuse to be that person anymore. Family is my number one priority. I’ll work in McDonald’s 50 hours if I have to if it means we’re happier. I don’t care.

It flipped a switch for me, really. I had been so terrified of doing something wrong at work that I was afraid to do anything at all. So I just dove in. I restructured my tasks throughout the day and I’m leaving as close to my 8 hours as possible now. I’m doing my best, and if it isn’t good enough, then that should tell them something because I am not a slacker and everyone around there knows that. I’ve never been one to shy away from difficult or overwhelming tasks, which is why I tend to get the crappier jobs no one has previously done correctly. Sucks for me, but ok.

Since I’ve made the changes in my attitude and restructured things, it seems to be doing a lot better. I hope it stays that way! 

Upcoming Birthday Shenanigans

I have an idea.

Scary, I know. But I’m really excited about this. 

My mama’s birthday is coming up in November and she truly needs some fun in her life right now. And today on my lunch, it hit me: an intervention.

Don’t get me wrong. She doesn’t have a substance abuse problem. It won’t be that kind of intervention.

It’s for shooting opossums.

Let me explain: she owns a farm that’s about 70 acres and keeps getting stray cats dumped on her. She feels terrible for them, so she leaves food out so they don’t go hungry. Of course, since there’s food around, it attracts scavengers like raccoons and opossums and they attack the cats. So my mama shoots them. 

Let me tell you, I have seen my mother run across a house with a gun and no pants waaay too many times. #farmerproblems?

I’m just in the beginning stages of this little plan, but so far I plan to have friends and family writing letters explaining how her “problem” has affected all of our lives (mine is going to be about having to help with body disposal) and consequences if she doesn’t stop (I’m going to make her bag up her own dead critters), a cake in the shape of an opossum that’s been shot – not in the head though (gross!), and varment-themed snack foods.

I’m ridiculously excited to put this together!

Those Wedding Bells Finally Rang

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Except they didn’t because we didn’t get married at a church because they tend to frown on people like me.

What can I say about that day? It was exciting, it was nerve-wracking and stressful trying to get everything done. We made it, we got married, and then I almost starved because they made me get pictures done while everyone else was eating. I had a great picture of me taken while trying to cram a whole cupcake in my mouth for that first-dance thing. I haven’t seen it yet,but I bet it’s a thing of beauty.

For the wedding, we rented a shelter at the park where we had our first (this is so not a date) date. Here’s my brother helping with setting up our decorations:

And my fabulous sister-in-law:

‚ÄčMy un-biological sister:

‚ÄčAnd my lovely aunt, who hurt her foot and leg a few days before the wedding, but came anyways to help decorate:

All of whom I owe massive thanks to for helping me pull off my wedding. They showed up early, they showed up injured, and what they pulled off was better than I imagined. They hung lights, they hung paper lanterns, they hung balloons, they stapled down tablecloths and wrapped ribbons and made centerpieces. It was amazing! You can see some of it here:

‚ÄčThe wedding itself was short and sweet, but very Christian – Darrick did have his requests after all. I figured I owed him since he puts up with my shenigans. Like slapping him with raw bacon.

I haven’t gotten all my pictures back yet, but here’s some teasers:‚Äč

I’m trying very hard not to laugh in that one because Sophie had just farted.‚Äč

‚Äč‚ÄčThat sign says “lost my balls.” I’m so proud.‚Äč

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It was an amazing night, and everything I could have asked for except one thing – my dad. I held it together all day. I was too busy and nervous for anything else. It wasn’t until the ride home alone with Darrick that I let myself feel that missing piece and started crying.

He held my hand and said nothing. 

I Want a Love Like Carrie and the Girls

Who else likes to sit around in their jammies late at night and settle in for a Netflix or Amazon Prime marathon while they drift into (ahem…postpone) sleep? I’m sure I’m not the only one. Lately I’ve gotten into Sex and the City, which my fiance is still making fun of me for. “It’s just all about sex,” he says, “there isn’t anything else to it.”

But he’s completely wrong when it comes to this show. Yes, it features sex sometimes, but that isn’t the focal point. The focal point is Carrie learning about herself through her relationships. She’s continually questioning everything and in a very public forum – a weekly column in a New York newspaper – and judging by the popularity of that column and her ensuing book deal, her curiosity and explorations resonate with her readers.

Personally, it isn’t just the show I love but also my memories of watching the show in bit and pieces as it was being aired years ago. I was in high school and in the beginning stages of my own explorations. It was exciting to me. Inspiring. It was the first time I considered the possibility of being a writer and I took steps toward my interest in journalism to try it on for size. I took a year of journalism in high school writing for the school paper and even went away for a week one summer to a journalism camp at Ball State University (shout out to my Indiana homefolk!). It wasn’t the right fit for me. It turns out, I only like writing about things when I’m actually interested in them.

It was also the first time I realized that adults don’t always have their shit together either. They each go through their own set of problems that is reminiscent of the real world asskicking that happens when your expectations don’t live up to what actually pans out in your life – and it all works out ok in the end anyway. You make it work, one way or another.

And the main thread through the whole storyline is the girls’ friendship with each other. They may fuss and they may fall out over some pretty big issues at times, but they are always there for each other and always make time to be together. Wouldn’t it be nice if real life was like that?

Instead, it’s more like the end of How I Met Your Mother – all the closeness fades away as some have kids, some pursue their dreams at the detriment of everything else, and some just plain don’t change but your opinion of them does. That’s just life. It boils down to “being there for the big moments” and the next thing you know…you’re missing those too. In the end, everyone is just trying to survive their own lives while hanging onto the bits of the people they’ve been throughout the years.

I think that’s one of the many reasons audiences are drawn into tv shows the way they are. You get pulled into the lives of a core group of people. You evolve with them through their struggles, you grieve the loss of some and celebrate the joys of others. It reminds you of times in your life when you were those people on the screen. The adventures. The laughter. The heartaches. The friendships. The family you make for yourself.

So yeah, I’m gonna keep watching the same old tv shows in my pajamas and wax nostalgic about the way things used to be.

There are some damned good people back in those times.

 

 

Morning Shenanigans

I got up at five this morning to shower and try to do something with my face to make it more presentable, and had a little bit of time before waking up the girls.

I got bored.

I had already slathered my hair with the  plethora of products to try to tame it down and still had the hair gel by me. I look at it.

I look back at Darrick, looking comfy as all get out with his arms propped up behind his head and snoring like it pays him money.

He has no hair on his head….but he has armpits.

This morning, he woke up to teeny, tiny dreadlocks in places I’m pretty sure he never expected.