Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Jack Hammered?

Budweiser. He drank it from the time he woke up to the time he went to sleep. He even drank it while driving...always. He was such a high functioning alcoholic that he passed sobriety tests when pulled over, which, wasn't very often because he drove like he was sober even when drunk. He kept beer in his truck and when he took breaks at work, would go out and sit in his truck and drink it. He always smelled of beer to me. I'm not sure how he stayed employed, honestly, but he managed to hold down a job at MichCon for a long time. Up until a couple of years ago, I cringed when I saw Budweiser anywhere. It reminded me of him.

His name was Jack.

He was my Mother's second husband, for not even 24 hours. Let me back up for a moment and share some other things with you prior to getting to that. On the weekends, Jack would stay in the master bedroom and literally not come out, not even once. There was a master bath and my mom would bring him food and beer. I'd go in occasionally to say hi to him. He always seemed off. Although, I never could place my finger on it. Although, the night of their wedding it all came together for me.

The wedding itself went well, but after the wedding things took a turn for the worse. It was after the reception actually, but no one could find Jack. My mother was frantically looking for him everywhere. He was eventually found in a compromising position with one of the bridesmaids. It was then that my Mom shared that he was high on heroin and then that I realized that's why he seemed off on the weekends. He'd basically go on drug binges in the master bedroom every weekend.

Anyways, after finding him with the bridesmaid, my mom and him went their separate ways. And by that I mean he kicked us out of the trailer we lived in with him and we moved into a trailer in a different trailer park. We lived there for two weeks (or something close to that) without utilities. This happened during my sophomore year of high school. I believe he died a couple years after that of Hepatitis C, most likely, from sharing needles.

I made this for my mom and find myself thinking of this often...and especially with this post.
Why, if Jack was such a negative influence, would I share this with you all? Well because I've been thinking about it a lot. Not because I'm lamenting about my past but because I'm thankful. Thankful of how situations like this helped me grow. In fact, I'm still growing from them. Even negative past experiences can impact us in the most positive of ways. I'm fortunate to have a great family and friends that I love dearly. You people are the best. Thanks for being a part of my life.

Later gators!

Monday, August 1, 2016

Last Year vs This Year

Hello out there!! I'm sharing something I never thought I would in this post...pictures of me in a bathing suit!! Deep breaths....deep breaths....ok, here I go...

After having my kids I focused on them more than myself (something I think lots of moms can relate to). Although, while I didn't focus on my physical appearance at that time I learned a tremendous amount and grew emotionally. My mother passed away during that time too and it was (and is) an incredibly difficult situation to go through. Your mom is there and then...she's gone... forever... You will never hug her or hear her voice again. People who place judgement on those grieving should let that sink in for a moment...and that's all I'll say about that. I will say, the grieving process (for me) has resulted in growth in many ways.

Looking back I realized I needed the time to focus on introspection and internal growth. I am thankful that I focused on that and am happy to say I'm back to focusing on my health and feeling confident in my (2-Baby and 2-Laparoscopic surgeries) body. 

When I met Binderclips I was in great shape, but I focused on muscular strength more than anything. My approach now is to address all the major components of fitness (I do have a couple degrees in this stuff, after all); body composition, flexibility, muscular strength & endurance, and cardiovascular endurance. Since I've been back to it  - I run, do yoga, weight train (I do not belong to a gym and mostly train at playgrounds - some of the best and most fun workouts I've ever done), do HIIT/tabata, I try to pepper in pilates, barre, & suspension training (TRX), and watch what I eat also (although I could improve in that area greatly).

I'll be perfectly honest, folks, sharing pictures of me in a bathing suit is terrifying. I took these pictures to review by myself and see my progress over the last year, I did not plan on sharing them. However, I think I need to for a couple of reasons:

1) My goal is to continue to improve how I feel & look, so I need a time stamp to measure progress against. Here I am now, I can't wait to see if I can make more progress in the next 6 months to a year and after.

2) If I can motivate others to make positive changes in their lives, that would be awesome.

3) And most importantly - I can show my little girls what beauty is; being confident, strong, smart, courageous and to be passionate about the things they love and life in general.

So, here I am...before picture was taken in May of 2015, the after pictures were taken within the last couple of weeks.

I'm going to keep working at it and I'll keep documenting my progress too. I hope you get something out of this post. :)

Later gators!

Full body
Close up of the abs

Monday, July 18, 2016

Hulabuns Paradigm Shift

Life Lessons; some are hard and some are not so hard. But are they equally as important? Absolutely.

Having kids has really forced me to dig deep, really look at what emotions exist inside and why they remain there. Within the last year I've realized something; I no longer try to succeed at things because I want acceptance from others. I mean, of course I don't want to be an outcast...but I don't do things to hear others give me praises. I do them because internally I want to succeed, for me. Crazy, right?

Something changed in me over the last four years, since my Mother's passing...I became more self-reliant and confident. Is this because she is no longer there to give me encouragement? I don't know because a lot of what motivates me today are the things she used to say to me that weren't so nice. And let me correct that last statement by saying that "she" didn't say them but her "addict/bipolar self" said these things. Regardless of who said them, it still hurts to think of these things, however it also has pushed me over the years to succeed at things. I know my mom (minus the drugs/alcohol/bipolar episodes) would have been encouraging and kind. But here's the thing - she wasn't dealt the fairest of hands. During her life she experienced tough times and didn't always make the right choices to overcome them... or didn't have the choice.

In my life I haven't really felt a wave of positivity behind me propelling me forward. Is that because it didn't exist or because I didn't perceive it in that way? I'd like to think it was the latter. I now perceive many of the negative happenings in my life as very positive things. Had I not experienced the downs early on, I would not fully appreciate the ups that I experience today.

Again, and again the word perseverance comes to mind. I remind myself of it, almost daily. I didn't have it as bad as others have, nor did I endure physical abuse - I am thankful for these things. I am driven not only by my ability to persevere in my circumstances but also by seeing others do the same having been given harder circumstances. These are the people I look up to.

Also, I am thankful that this journey of grieving has helped me grow and that my children and Binderclips motivate me to continue to learn on this journey called life.

I hope all is well out there and that you got something from this post. I, at least, got it off of my chest and am feeling better because of that.

Later gators!

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Back to Blogging?

Helllllooooooo!! I can't believe it's been soo long since I've blogged. Having two kids has been absolutely the BEST thing that could ever happen, however that meant I had no time for blogging, unfortunately. Now, I know what you are thinking "did she give her kids away, so that she could get back to blogging?" The answer is no, no I did not....I mean, I've thought about it...but...have not followed through with it...yet.

Anyways, what have you all been up to out there???!!! Pretty exciting stuff, I'm sure. Most likely, much more exciting than me. Really I just wanted to see if anyone still actually follows me with this post. I'm going to try to post every once in a while and more frequently if I'm able.

So, I'm going to start back with 5 facts about myself that not many know...and because that might be slightly interesting? We shall see. 

1) I used to dream of being a basketball player when I was in middle school. This is strange because: 1) I'm not tall and 2) I've never played on a team...EVER.

2) I'm giving up on mean people. That's right, if you are someone who is not kind (to me or others), I don't want to be around you. I've been around some really awful people in life and didn't have a choice in a lot of those situations, but now I do and I'm choosing not to do it anymore...because I don't have to. So there.

3)  I can do anything I put my mind to...and so can you. Why haven't I done anything really amazingly great then? I have. I have had 2 little ladies with 1 amazing man and I try to do nice things for others. That's my great contribution to the world. 

4) One of my favorite sayings is "Where there's a will there's a way" - I live by it. I believe this to be true down to my bones. 

5) I used to be unkind and self-centered...maybe I still am, but I try not to be now. I had the opportunity to learn some invaluable lessons growing up, but some of them made me a cold person for a while. I used to blame how I acted on the things that happened in my life, but have since realized that, while my experiences did have an influence on who I am, they did not make me who I am. I decided that I was going to live in the now and be thankful for all I have and not dwell on the past.

An oldie but goodie of Binderclips and I...I owe everything to this guy. 

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Eye Patches R' Us

Since I have a patch on my eye currently I figured I'd repost one of my favorite posts from 2010. Oh, why the eye patch you ask? My 3 year old, let's just call her "Dagger Hands", tried to claw my eye out. Ok, ok....that's not true. She accidentally poked me in the eye the other day. At first I thought she had just scratched my eye, but no. She actually cut a small piece of the white of my eye off...but not completely off, so there it dangles (being flip-flopped around each time I blink). Sound painful? It is. Any who, I hope you enjoy the repost below!

Originally posted 10/28/10

Hello out there in blog world! So, what's going on with you guys? It seems like I'm forgetting something....oh that's right! I almost forgot that Halloween is just around the corner. Geesh! Thank goodness I have an idea for coming up with a costume in a pinch. You must hear about it! 

First, a reminder that, I can be pretty... but, only when I want to be (well, when I'm having a good hair day - naturally curly hair makes for lots of bad hair days, by pure luck my hair looks ok today). Ok, so I was saying...

Mmmmmm, look a chocolate muffin!

What's this? Oh a chocolate chip*! Hey, I have an idea...

...if I put it on my tooth like so, maybe it will look like....
...I have a missing tooth.** HA! Success! And I'm soo scary that Turner can't bare to look at me anymore. Hmmmm, what else could I add to this to make it a full costume?

How about a scarf from the closet, an eye patch (doesn't everyone have an extra eyepatch laying around??), and a hook made out of foil?? Now all I need is pirate talk!
Only a nancy-pants can be keelhaulin' on the treasure chest.
 I shall hornswaggle that reef monkey with my anchor. By the foul bowels of Davy Jones! Arrrrrrggggghhhh!***

 In addition, all I have to do is put on the a white button up shirt (I'm thinking tuxedo style) and some tight, black capri pants, funky tights, well and some jewelry and WALA!! Now, if you find yourself in a pinch you can come up with a costume and everyone loves pirate costumes (and if they don't, they should)!! (Plus, you have an excuse to talk like a pirate the entire night!)

Happy Halloweening everyone!!

Some Halloween Facts:
-Ancient Celts thought that ghosts/spirits wandered the streets on Hallows Eve, because they didn't want to get recognized as human by them, they would wear masks/costumes.
-Halloween is the second most commercially successful holiday, Christmas is the first.

*Any dark foods can be used, i.e. fudge, chocolate cake, etc. They also sell black wax just for this purpose, however I find that food is much more fun - and tasty!

**For Binderclips' sake I feel it should be noted that he hates this post, specifically the pictures of me with the chocolate chip on my tooth. He told me "you're pretty and I don't like seeing pictures of you like that" - which, is actually kind of sweet. That's why I posted a picture of me beforehand - for his sake, just an FYI.

***The pirate quotes above are randomly generated from this site, which I linked to in another post referring to gangsta talk. Check it out!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

8 Legged Runner

One of my recent works of art...what do you think? I call it "I want to use all these colors in my living room, so I put them all in one painting" or "Not good to see on your EKG". :)
Hello folks!! Looking good! (I'm guessing you look good, I can't actually see you...but because you're a good looking bunch, I'm sure I'm right.)

Not much happening here, except the usual dysfunctional stuff. Since were on the topic of dysfunctional-ness I might as well share what happened last night with you.

1. I decide to go to bed and go into our bathroom (in the back portion of our house) to brush my teeth and wash my face. G is sleeping in her room and as usual, Baby A is sleeping on the couch (she falls asleep there every night next to me and I move her to her crib after I get ready for bed). Binderclips stays in the living room to make sure my danger baby (Baby A) doesn't do anything dangerous (even in her sleep she's dangerous).

2. While in the bathroom I notice a black spider hanging out (literally) on the wall. I immediately start to freak out but decide against screaming as I didn't want to wake the kids up (believe me, this was a very difficult feat).

3. I decide to hurry up (as fast as I freaking can) and do what I need to do then go get Binderclips to "take care" of the spider.

4. At this point, I turn back around to make sure the spider is where I left him (on the wall). NOPE. "Where is he??!! WHERE IS HE!!??" I think frantically as I scan the room.

5. I finally spot him running at me (Do spiders run? YES, THEY FREAKING DO!).

6. He makes a run for it under a squeegee we have sitting on the ground. I take this as my opportunity to "take care" of him. I start pressing on it but he tries to escape!!! I finally succeed but only after spastically moving about the room. I should note, not once did I scream during the entire ordeal.

7. I go out into the living room where Binderclips is and tell him I have to talk to him about "something important". He, pats the seat next to him (creepily) to tell me to sit next to him.

8. I ignore the creepiness and proceed to explain to him what happened with hand motions (think hand inside of a pretend puppet and explosion-type movements). He listens, looking at me as if I'm an alien (I ignore his looks and proceed in my explanation). I explain to him that "I was attacked....the spider was black with a red hue...he came running at me... I had to use the squeegee as a weapon..." and tell him I need his help "getting rid of it".

9. After I finish my very animated *handamation, he looks at me and says "Is that what you were doing back there?" very calmly.

10. I think "clearly, there is something wrong with him! How can one be soo calm about something soo scary!" I start looking at him like he's an alien.

11. I say "oh, you could hear me?" to which he responds with "Ummm, yes. You were making quite  a bit of noise banging stuff around."

12. "And you didn't think to come SAVE me??!!" I think but instead say, "I didn't scream but I wanted to, you should be proud of me." I proceed to have (what I think is) a deep conversation about how if a spider attacks me, it's game on. He continues to sit there calmly.

What did I learn in this situation? If a spider comes running at me, I will attack and Binderclips clearly is waaay to used to me. I'm thinking I need to start hiding in cupboards again to scare him.

Later gators!

Handamation = hand motions emphasizing what I'm talking about

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Sleepy Creepy Talker


Baby A

Some pictures of my girls for your viewing pleasure. :)
I'm back! I hope everyone is doing well out there in blog world. It's gotten kind of hard for me to post with work and 2 kids, however I feel like this is something I must share with you all.

Let me set the scene:
This past weekend Binderclips and I went to visit my Dad, my brother and his wife in Indiana. It was our first time visiting my Dad at his new place, so we decided to rent a room at the only hotel within walking distance to my Dad's place. The place was established in 1865.

When I made the reservations I decided to go with a room with 2 full beds as I thought Baby G would end up sleeping with Binderclips and Baby A with me. Baby G is almost 3 (so definitely not a baby anymore, more like a very independent toddler who can do everything on her own according to her, I'll just call her "G" from here on out) and Baby A is almost 11 months (I call her my danger baby, because she always finds her way to the most dangerous items for a baby in any room she's in).

Anyways, while I expected that to be how the sleeping arrangements would go, it did not go that way at all. What happened you ask? G insisted on sleeping with Baby A and I. Because Baby A likes to pull G's hair I couldn't let Baby A sleep in the middle. Therefore, I slept sandwiched in between them. And by "slept" I mean didn't sleep at all. The entire night I tried to hold on to both of them so that neither of them fell out of bed. On top of that, it occurred to me (only after everyone but me had fallen asleep) that the hotel we were staying in was very old and, for some reason, this creeped me out. I laid there (again, sandwiched between my 2 cuties, holding on to them for dear life) looking around hoping not to see anything scary. Eventually I drifted off to sleep thinking 'this place isn't haunted, I'm just being a scardy cat'.

The next morning we went down to eat the free continental breakfast that came with the room. In doing so, we met an interesting character that shared with us that the place was, in fact, haunted.

Fast forward to the second night. I had us moved to a king room since I figured that all of us in one big bed would be less stressful for me and I might actually get some sleep.

Binderclips slept on one side with G next to him, I was next to G and on the other side of me was Baby A (Binderclips, G, me, then Baby A). Immediately everyone falls asleep but me again. However, this time I looked around for ghosts and got increasingly more scared. I eventually woke Binderclips up, had him put his hand on my back (What am I a baby? Yes. Especially when it comes to potential ghost encounters.) and could fall asleep. Hey, he signed up for this kind of crazy [pointing at myself], so he has no one else to blame but himself for having to put up with my weirdness (which, if you ask me, is solely due to his weirdness).

To my dismay, about 3 hours later, I was woken up by Binderclips because I was "creepy mumbling". I remember having a dream and very clearly saying "Why?" in it, however apparently because my lips were asleep it just came out as a creepy mumble (I should note I do recall saying "why?" repeatedly in the dream).

He woke me up saying "you're ok". But instead of it having a reassuring tone to it, it was more like he was asking a question (as if to communicate that he wasn't really sure if I was, in fact, ok).

At that point, neither of us could get back to sleep, although for different reasons. I obviously was scared and he was uncomfortable. I looked over at Binderclips to see him balancing his 6 ft frame on 1.5 ft of bed and thought 'that's not enough room for him, no wonder he can't sleep'.

I looked over at where Baby A was sleeping. I had put some pillows beside her on the edge of the bed taking up approximately 2 ft (or more) of the bed. At that point I had an epiphany "Binderclips should lay on the other side of Baby A!" I thought. I told him "Why don't you lay over by Baby A?", to which he got up and walked over to her side of the bed.

From the look on his face I could tell he had enough of not being able to sleep. He looked down at the pillows, then looked up at me with a glare. I thought "What a great idea, now he can get some sleep!" I must have looked pretty proud of myself because then he said "You had all this space over here the entire time?!!? I thought we were taking up the entire bed! Now I see that you are sleeping directly in the middle!"

I look down at myself and realize, I am sleeping directly in the middle (hey, I didn't want Baby A to fall off, ok?). I shrug it off and go to sleep and so does he, because, let's face it, we were both exhausted. The next morning we recap the night with each other both laughing hysterically. In fact, as I type this I am laughing.

In short - Is there something wrong with me? Yes, his name starts with "Binder" and ends with "clips". That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Later gators!