Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Adulting break



Adulting is the theme of 2020 so far—adulting with relationships, work, parenting, and co-parenting.

I can do this adulting thing, although some recreational breaks definitely help.

How to cope with a load of adulting:

1.  Take some laugh breaks with your favorite someone.  This could be spouse, sister, bff, coworker.  A good cackle or belly laugh can do wonders! <3 o:p="">
2.  Take a nap.
3.  Read up on baby yoda memes.
4.  Go for a run. (If you don’t run, fill that blank with something physical…to get the blood going).
5.  Take 10 deep breaths.
6.  Reminisce about a favorite memory—someone, or something, or somewhere…it’s like taking a mini vacation with your mind.
7.  And if funds are available, make a new memory, go for a mini break!
8.  Or cuddle up with a book. (Another vacation for the mind).
9.  Take a bath.
10.  Eat your favorite snack.
11.  Drink an unexpected glass of wine with a friend.  Or maybe four.  (Like I did last night, tee hee!)

Love and hugs!  Would love to hear your adulting break ideas if you'd like to share! <3 font="">


Thursday, January 2, 2020

New Routes in the New Year





Let’s do this 2020! 

Looking back at the last few weeks of 2019, it’s been a pretty awesome transition to the new year so far.  My house filled up with love of family and friends via various visits and sleepovers and holiday fun, cookies galore, bonus fireworks ringing in the new year.

My surly tween spending sweet time with her nana (hubby’s mom) who was visiting, and little sister enjoying giggles and laughter with nana, too.  Lots of sleeping in and napping and trips to the beach and watching movies and playing games and eating all the holiday food.

More news has come out from the ex’s brother about the ex’s shenanigans—which feels strangely validating—but I’m doing my best to distance from the drama and just enjoy my time on this earth, with my rapidly growing girls.

Emotional habits are hard to break, but I’ve noticed the last couple of times that the girls have gone to their dad’s house, I haven’t curled up into a little ball of worry. 

So maybe that’s my resolution this year—whether you make them or not—and someone recently asked me if I do the resolution thing and my answer was:  if I have, I can’t remember? (Is this a side effect of aging? LOL!!!!)

But I do have a conscious thought and wish for this year:  to let go of negative thought patterns.  To let go of negative emotional reactive patterns.

To disrupt.

I want to disrupt the fear and anxiety that I’ve felt when it comes to the ex.  So I’m going to hold onto this peaceful distance that I’ve managed when it comes to him lately, and when I feel my head going to the dark space of worry and fear re: how he treats me and the girls, I’m going to disrupt that thought flow. 

And rise.

Above it all.

With everything I’ve got.

I’m not perfect at it, but I’ve done it a couple of times—it’s like I’m at the top of a slide and instead of going down the usual familiar path of worry and depressed thinking, I consciously choose to take the stairs, taking deep breaths and remembering that I can straighten my crown and put my best foot forward.

I’m seeing about applying this also to work, how to rise above the pressures of being the perfect boss, colleague and coworker.  The perfect wife, mother, sister, daughter, woman in this world.

I’m looking at how to disrupt these familiar chains of thinking that have bogged me down for so long.  I’m tired of the weight, the tunnel vision, the familiar drag, like I’m swimming across a clear blue sea with a school of nets tied to my ankles.

What is that saying, for people who’ve lived through trauma and abusive relationships?  We accept the love we think we deserve--because the pain and the sadness and the anxiety and the fear have become familiar.  It’s what we’re accustomed to, so anything that’s not fear or worry is unfamiliar and downright scary.  Healthy love and healthy thinking, when it appears before us, is like putting a left handed glove on a right hand.  It doesn’t quite feel right.

I want it to feel right. 

I’m done with these old train tracks running over my heart and mind and soul.  It’s time.  2020 is about making room for changes, making room for different tracks.  I’m going to give everything I have to disrupt these old routes and try something new.  Hopefully, I’ll get to lay down new tracks, I can feel the winds of change behind me, as I’ve worked to rise above the drama for the last couple of weeks. 

Here we go, 2020!  Can’t wait to see what happens next.

Love and hugs,
Jane Thrive

Thursday, December 19, 2019

What a Bright Time, It's the Right Time




All is quiet on the co-parenting front, dare I say, all is calm, and all is bright?*  Yes, with an asterisk. LOL.

Tomorrow, DD2 will be performing in her school winter songfest, and in the spirit of the holiday season, I invited her only living grandmother who is estranged from the girls' dad.  I also printed out and enlarged a picture I took of her and the girls, bought a frame, and along with the Christmas goodies we are going to bake next week, am planning to drop off to her with the girls on Christmas Eve. 

The girls step-nana is also in town for the holiday season, so there’s lot of love in our house this week!  I’m working one more day and then taking next week off from work and can’t wait to hang out with the fam and just do all my favorite holiday things:  baking, gift wrapping, hosting the girls great-cookie-baking-for-santa sleepover—three friends for DD1 have come over for the past seven years and at least one for DD2 for the last few, watching how the Grinch Stole Christmas (1966 cartoon version, please) and Mickey’s Christmas Carol.  Then we pick a Christmas feature movie to watch and then the girls settle into a long winter’s nap (likely full of giggling and ipad/iphone games, lol, oh well).  I’ll be sure to post pics of our baking creations!

I also convinced DD1 to speak at the Christmas Eve service—she’ll be narrating some of the verses related to the birth of Baby Jesus, so adorable and cute, while the little ones act out in the pageant!  And I’m hoping that will be incentive for DD2 to dress up as an angel with the other kids her age.  They grow up so fast—DD1 would just roll her eyes if I asked her if she was going dress up as an angel.  Let’s hope DD2 can carry it on for a while longer.

Last minute Christmas shopping/food list:
Confectioner’s sugar (icing)
Food coloring (icing)
Rolled oats
Brown sugar
Sprinkles
Mini pretzels
That white bark that melts (from Walmart) to dip pretzels
Wax paper
More sprinkles

Call the butcher for rib roast cut, rib roasts go on sale on Sunday, yippee!
Frozen green beans
French’s onions
Cream of mushroom soup
Stuffing supplies: onion, bread cubes, butter
Eggs
Bacon
(because who doesn’t need eggs and bacon on a Christmas morning while opening presents)?
And don’t forget the sprinkles!

Just tucking in for the last stretch of holiday activity.  I honestly love this time of year and all the lights and the music and the songs.  Last year I really struggled, likely because the Christmas week the girls were with their dad, and also because the loss of my mom in early 2018 still hit so hard.  I still feel that grief but it’s not paralyzing like it was before.  And it’s fun to have family in the house all together.

My Christmas wish is for peace and tranquility—amongst all the chaos going on in the world, being still and letting the love shine through.  Sometimes I feel like we are so tiny, our problems so small in this big giant world, that it’s good to take a deep breath and remember that in the grand scheme of the universe, our troubles can and will pass.  Be like water and let ourselves flow on our path to healing.

*p.s. after much back and forth with all the parties involved with our case—attorneys, former attorneys, therapists, my trusted family and friends, I decided the best course of action was to let the ex know that in the spirit of the holiday season I had invited his mom to DD2’s school winter performance. I mentioned that he may have heard that his mom came to a tennis match last month and the girls enjoyed their afternoon with her and that I’m hoping to include her in the future when it’s convenient for her.  I figure this is worded in a simple and kind way—and out of caution that he can’t claim he didn’t know about it.  Now I hold my breath and hope he doesn’t rage and take it out on DD2 or DD1 when they are with him this week end.  Here’s to a Christmas wish that they are protected from his negativity.

p.p.s. Despite all of this struggle and psychological ‘warfare’ for lack of a better word that I live with, I came to an epiphany the other day—that while the divorce outcome didn’t result in harsher measures to keep the girls “safer,” I realized that in the end, it did ensure their safety in ways that I couldn’t have imagined earlier. 

Because he treasures his ‘face’ more than anything, he cannot physically hurt the children (or me) anymore, because he would look bad.  The world is watching, and even if he’s faking his father of the year face, at the very least, being forced to behave well is what’s the most important, way more important, than ‘winning’ a case.  He dare not lay a finger on them, as he knows the world is watching.

I just wish there was a way to help him regulate his emotions and psychological manipulations, whether purposeful or a side effect of his own traumas and injuries, they impact the girls (and me) in ways I wish they wouldn’t.

This is why I had that * at the beginning of the post.

----
Okay, back to the drawing board. 

As the folks in Who-Ville say, welcome Christmas, come this way!  Christmas Day is in our grasp, so long as we have hands to clasp.

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year




I love the holiday season, I’m one of those silly, antler-headband wearing, Christmas carol humming, skipping along oohing and aaahing at Christmas lights people, running around with my Christmas cards and holiday packages.  And I haven’t even gotten to the baking part of the season!  LOL.

Anyway, the ex does not disappoint with his passive aggressive emailing and texting about the holiday schedule, or being a general pain in the butt whenever it’s possible.  I thought it couldn’t get worse than finding out he’s keeping the girls from his mom.  But!  He never fails to surprise.  Amidst the crazy conflict drama, an accidental text stream appeared in my phone.

Ex: Morning my love.  I hope you rest today (heart emoji)

(An hour later)

Ex:  Sorry wrong person

Me—embracing the spirit of the holidays:  Happy for you, (Ex’s first name)!  Happy Thanksgiving *smiley face*

Once I hit send, I immediately thought, oh no, was that crazy?  Then, oh well, too late anyway.  LOL.  It’s about choosing to be kind when you’re able to be, with no expectation about response. 

*****

As we come to a close of 2019 and gear up for 2020, I’m thinking of the things I’d like to let go and the things that I will embrace.

I’d like to let go of the knee-jerk anxiety that comes whenever I get a text or an email from the Ex.

I’d like to let go of the social anxiety I sometimes feel when I’m at work or dealing with family pressures.

I’d like to let go of the Ex and that he moves away with his long distance girlfriend (tee hee).

I’d like to embrace peace and kindness and forgiveness—for myself and others.

I’d like to embrace balance in my work and family responsibilities—that I can feel confidence in the things that I know, and comfort that if I don’t know something, I’ll figure out a solution or a way forward that is best for the girls and for me. 

I’d like to embrace the journey—that the moment to moment experiences aren’t something I have to push through, get through, to ‘get to the other side’—that somehow living those experiences are the point, and the ‘getting to the other side’ is just a comforting stop on the way.  That the “happy endings” are really connections on the journey so that one day, we can look back and see a beautiful pattern of love and learning and acceptance.

I have a lot of embracing to do!  Let’s do our best.

Tis the season!


Monday, November 25, 2019

Thanksgiving: A Story of Grandma Love (and the Ex who has a problem with it)


With my mom passing in 2018, I was thinking more and more about the girls’ grandmother (ex husband’s mother) over the last year—grandma J was always very nice to me and just loved the girls, but during the divorce she had to pick a side, which I always understood.  I also know she was troubled by my ex’s behavior, she shared with me a few times about it, but he was a bully, and when the legal stuff came down, she stood by him.  After all, he was living with her at the time and who knows what he was saying to her about me (my hunch, she’ll take the kids and you’ll never see the girls). 


Last year, I heard through the grapevine that grandma had asked my ex to leave her home, as the conflict between him and his older brother was too stressful for my former mother in law (apparently this happened soon after my mom had passed away).  Given my ex’s difficulty with anger, this was not a surprise to me, but also weirdly validating that finally, after all these years, grandma J was standing her ground and asking for a peaceful house.  That house had seen so much anger and violence through the years with my ex’s father’s alcoholism and anger outbursts before he passed in the late 90s.  In hindsight, it’s clear how he inherited them, and how his family dynamic was set in stone…

Over the years, I’ve thought of Grandma J and the girls’ Uncle (he went on record during the legal proceedings, stating that his brother had an anger problem and he feared for the girls’ safety—the one person who said anything), and missed them.  I understood they had to be divided from me.  In the beginning of post-divorce life, I tried to reach out for the girls’ sake, but the ex stepped in, demanding how “dare” I contact his mom.  So instead, I did do small things—i.e. every Christmas, I wondered if the treats that the girls made ever made it through to them when he lived there.  Last year, after I learned he moved out, the girls and I made our own short visit to drop off home made cookies and goodies at the holidays.

And when DD1 made her school tennis team last year, I called and had a nice chat with Grandma about the girls; and once, when DD2 was sick, I asked Grandma to watch her, when the Ex couldn’t (the rules say under certain conditions, I have to ask him first), and that was so nice!

So after talking some more with my therapist this year, I decided that when DD1 made her tennis team again (yay, DD1!), I would call again.  And the beauty of this year’s tennis season—there’s Saturday matches scheduled.  That meant if Grandma was open to it, I could invite her to come along with us and she could watch her granddaughter play.  I contacted both Grandma J and quietly asked DD1’s coaches if she would be playing and they said yes!  So once all was confirmed, the girls and I picked up grandma and off we went, to have a wonderful afternoon together.  I happened to be on team snack duty, so after we dropped DD1 early for pre-match practice,  DD2, Grandma, and I went to run errands and pick up snacks.

When we returned, we unfortunately learned that DD1 *wasn’t* going to play—at the other team’s request, they asked to keep our stronger players off the court, as they were mostly beginners, so in the spirit of sportsmanship our coaches agreed (which I think was good role modeling for the girls).  We spent the afternoon waiting for the rain to come and go, grandma at least got to watch DD1 play an exhibition with her teammate, then it was time to pass out snacks and then I took a picture of the girls with their grandma, and we headed back home. 

On the way home, teenager DD1 actually said, “thank you for coming with us today, grandma j” and DD2 chimed in, too.  And when we dropped her off, they gave her big hugs and as we drove away, DD2 was hollering out the window:  I LOVE YOU GRANDMA J!! 

Me:  Heart swoon.

We were mere minutes away when Grandma called me, she had forgotten to give me a card she said—so we circled back.  She handed me a card and meanwhile little sister repeated her hugs and hollering and off we went back to our day.  I was really happy.

And then I opened the envelope---

A letter from my ex’s older brother, who I had barely spoken to in 8 years—and my jaw dropped and the tears just started streaming.  There are three takeaways from the letter:

1  -  He thanked me so much and was so happy about my including his mom on today’s outing.

2  -  His “ass brother” won’t let his mom see the kids and it’s been like this for a long time; she’s bought gifts for them and they have sat there for weeks, until she’s accepted that he and the girls aren’t going to drop by and pick them up.  And this situation is so hard on her.

3  -  He hopes that I can include her in the future.


My heart about burst with sadness.  I knew my ex is vindictive, and I knew he could be this difficult.  But to be so mean to keep our daughters from having a relationship with their grandmother makes me cry so hard.  I’m getting teary just writing down these words.

But I sat with the letter for a little while, and then I couldn’t keep it in.  I didn’t know what to do with it.  I shared it with my hubby, just because I was so hurt about it.  Then I shared it with my attorney, the girls play therapist, and with my therapist.  Because I need a village to help me deal with all the feelings this brought up. 

-----

Attorney:  This is so SAD and MEAN, and she thinks I should include both grandma and uncle for the holidays and into the future! 

Play Therapist:  Well, the rule is that anything that involves the ex and the ex’s family should come from the girls.  They know there is a price to defying him and to ask the girls how important it is to have occasional contact with their grandma.  The thought of that defying cost needs to be factored into anything that I decide.  Also, if they want to have contact, to let the Ex know.

My therapist:  The way the girls reacted showed that they wanted Grandma with them and they are bonded with her, and that I did the right thing to include her.  The abusive Ex shouldn’t dictate or keep the girls from having a relationship with their grandma.

Me:  I think I did the right thing, but did I?  Crying at the sadness of this situation and also second guessing myself.  And then I think about how my mom loved spending time with the girls, how she was here very year until her Parkinsons’ got so bad she couldn’t travel (DD2’s first birthday party was her last visit).  And then the ensuing years when we would visit her, no matter how badly her Parkinsons affected her, she would plan these fun schemes with the girls in mind—visiting Mammoth Cave, or roadtripping to see family, or making sun prints with leaves and special paper outside of her assisted living porch.  She would give anything to have more time with the girls.  I think she’s watching them from heaven, too.


Regarding the price:  that evening, I overheard the girls’ phone conversation with their dad, who didn’t sound happy we included grandma j, prompting DD1 to declare it was ‘weird.’  And when I followed up with her afterwards, she said it *is* weird, I’m divorced from grandma’s son.  And I responded, I understood it seems weird… it’s just that grandma j is the nicest lady on the planet, and it’s okay that grandma j and mom are nice to each other, and we are her family.  She grumbled a bit, but then we were off to a dinner event with our friends, which turned out to be great fun (lots of laughter and silliness ensued).

I did quietly share with two of my closer friends on the side at this dinner—who’ve known about our situation for years and who’ve supported DD1 with our complicated divorce situation, they reinforced that the girls absolutely need to include grandma.  And one mom said, so what if it’s weird?  Just tell her, hey, what family *isn’t* weird these days?  LOL.

So on the way home, I reinforced with the girls that their grandma is their family, that i am their mom and also their family, and it’s ok that we are friends . That I didn’t realize they didn’t see her too much, and it’s ok to see her sometimes with mom, because she’s always been nice to me and I’ve been nice to her, that I didn’t know what was up between her and dad, but she’s still their grandma.  DD1 says it will probably feel weird and I said it’s ok to be weird. That doesn’t mean we aren’t family, and lots of families are weird.  And they seemed to be okay with this, humming and singing along to the music all the way home…

Conclusion-in-Progress:  I wish there was a how-to guide on how to navigate this particular road.  I guess I’m creating the map as I take in all this information.  I’m of the mind that someone needs to be the adult in the room and facilitate a relationship between the girls and their grandma, who is not getting any younger.  She is seriously the nicest lady on the planet, so kind and generous, and she seemed so thankful have this time.  And Uncle’s letter just validated that need to be included.

At the same time, I feel more cautious, considering what the play therapist said.  I vacillate between—outrage that he would be so cruel to his mom and also deny the girls time with his mom, and then worrying how this will impact the girls, grandma, and me.  Deep down my intuition tells me to keep finding small ways to include her, to keep the bridge open, the girls deserve to have grandma in their lives, even just a little bit.

So what is the price?  Is it too high for a grandma to love her granddaughters, and for her granddaughters to love her back?  I wish I knew better what to do.

Having just watched Frozen 2 (along with a million dollars worth of other people, lol), I think at this point, since I don’t know the way, I’ll keep choosing what I think is the next right thing to do.

Happy Thanksgiving.

p.s. I miss my mom.

Monday, November 4, 2019

Let Peace Begin with Me


First of all—Happy belated Halloween!!!  One of my favorite holidays--I love the festivities of dressing up, traipsing through our neighborhood with my girls and their BFFs, the laughter, the decorations (this year, we saw a house transformed into Hogwarts, with Aragog hanging off the garage and the flying car nestled on top of the tree in their yard)! Then, there is “the great candy exchange” that follows when we’ve come home:  the kids sprawling out on my living room floor sorting through their candy and swapping with one another.  (please give me the baby ruths!)

Secondly—with the passing of Halloween comes the new season of Winter.  (And the holidays!  Let the holiday madness begin.  I think I’ll work on our family holiday card next…muuu hahahahahaha.)

And then third(ly), this season brings along my birthday which arrived in a mixed bag of emotions.  Leading up to the big day, I was overcome with extreme emo sadness—sadness for the loss of my mom last year, sadness for another year passing when thinking of my birth mom, as I get older, the likelihood of connecting with her and any biological family becomes slimmer.  And then emo sadness for how my kids are growing up with such a shitty divorce behind the scenes.  How I wish I could make it a different situation for them, especially on the heels of last month’s stupid crap drama. 

Seriously, I was a big bag of sad.  Boo-hooing and having sad dreams and struggling just to get out of the bed some mornings.  Getting older is not for the faint of heart.

But when the actual day came, with lots of celebratory wishes, and kind gestures, and lots of love and hugs from people I didn’t even expect, beautiful weather, a special celebration with my kids and then with my hubby (at a fancy restaurant, where I ate so much my stomach hurt, lol).  And even today I was treated to a birthday lunch and there’s another birthday girlfriend and daughters date coming up next week end, and even a different group of girlfriends brunch date after that, and I just realized that despite all my sadness and despite all my anxiety and depression that I struggle through…this birthday thing is turning out okay.

One thing about being settled into middle age—and ironically, considering how I’ve embraced exercising on the regular over the last couple of years—there’s definitely more creaks and aches and physical pains.  Dang it.  Le sigh!

Also, regarding the sadness that caught up with me, I recognize it’s a combination of grief of loss as well as over lost times.  I call this “Nostalgia to the Infinite Power,” where I long for the experiences that have passed and stand so clearly in my memories, I miss the love and laughter from many moons ago, and long for my people who’ve been flung far and wide through time and space and age and life’s journeys, wishing they were near me again.  We didn’t know way back when, when we were close and adventuring into each morning and afternoon and evening together, that one day we would be separated as we are today.  I love them and miss them so much!

And that also makes me nostalgic for these moments shared today, with my people in my present, who I’m sharing this mom journey and this kids in girl scouts and/or sports and through school journey.  Breathing in and sitting still within these moments, even as I feel them passing through my hands, my fingers, my heart, I have nostalgia as we move from this moment to the next.

Driving home yesterday with my girls nestled in the back seat, we dropped of DD1’s bestie after spending a girls day with us from morning until dusk—and a random song came on the radio, I can’t even remember what it was.  But I heard DD1 humming along, and my heart just felt like it would burst straight out of my chest.  I just love them so much, my heart couldn’t contain it. And later, I told them both how happy I was about our day spent together, how mom’s heart was just bursting with love for them.

DD1, kind of rolled her eyes and said ‘that’s nice’ in her teenage voice.  LOL, as to be expected.

DD2, leaped into my arms for two gigantic hugs.  Awww.

And then off went to bed.  (Another night passing by.)

So while I haven’t solved my anxiety and grief and sadness about the life I’ve lived before, and while I’ve learned to cherish moments of love and happiness in today’s world even as I recognize and accept the pain from yesterday, I realized that I can be at peace.

Maybe it won’t last forever, but right now, I’m picking up my shards and glass and placing them side by side and hoping for the best that peace can be in my heart.  Along side the love.  That I can be the peace I wish to see in my world. 

Happy Fall into Winter and Happy Birthday to you.

Love,

Jane Thrive


Friday, October 25, 2019

Winning and Losing and In Between


I think I’m in number 7 of the Top Ten Tools on coping with coparenting stress.  Yesterday I had a fried chicken and chili plate, a most delicious combo!  I gave into emotional eating, lol, oh well. 

I had written the Top Ten post to help myself deal with some shenanigans from the Ex.  He had agreed to a time-sharing proposal (I asked for one day, was giving him a week), but instead of focusing on the extra time he would have, he nit-picked his way into feeling that somehow he was getting the short end of the stick.  Apparently, he was also going to be traveling, so then my offer turned into a 50/50 split with our youngest daughter, and then he would have had an additional overnight with our eldest.  (The girls are on different time-sharing when one is on a break from school and the other is not…does anyone else need a glass of wine to keep up with the nitty gritty details of our visitation schedule?  Ugh).  It was finally all worked out…we were on course to sail through October…

And then we weren’t.  The Ex decided it was all unfair and he reneged on his agreement.  So no exchange. In fact, he demanded additional overnights to make it ‘more fair.’  I still scratch my head on the fact that coming out even and/or ahead for him is not ‘fair.’  (My hunch is that it came down to the fact he didn’t want to give me the original one date that I had asked for…it would have extended a mom’s week end over the winter break). 

So this is where I put my firm pants on and decided that I was tired of being pushed around.  Our decree states that if either parent is traveling and cannot be with the children, the other parent has right of first refusal (ROFR) to watch them.  It doesn’t state anything about ‘make up’ time for time that is then lost.  Out of courtesy, over the last eight years, we have worked out exchanges for week ends here and there.  When I’ve had to travel for work, he has actually come out ahead, as I always just asked for the week end missed, and let the mom weekdays go (so again, he’s come out ‘ahead’ if we want to get to the nitty gritty).  He has only recently started traveling for work in the last year or so…

Anyway, this is the first time in eight years that he walked back on an exchange agreement.  I was angry at myself later, because I found out I could have held him to our original agreement, but he was so bullish and aggressive about it, I let the dates go. 

In the end:  I let him know that we will no longer deviate from the parenting schedule, that when he travels, I’ll watch the kids.  If I ever travel (which I likely won’t on dad days for some time), then he will watch the kids.  He’s mad that he didn’t get any ‘extra’ days, but oh well.  I’m done trying to negotiate with a bully.  (Mind you, I did travel for a couple of nights already, so it will all come out even at some point, so whatever).  He had some more words about how he’s entitled to more ‘make up’ nights, but the answer is:  it’s not in the decree, so no.

I’m sad—because I had something wonderful and magical planned for the girls over the holiday break, but then I transformed that into a win as well.  Hubby’s mom can come out and visit and we will just spend our time with her—she adores the girls so that will be nice.

Sometimes, you just have to stand tall to a bully.  Maybe you don’t get a ‘win’ all the time, but at least you get to hold onto your self-respect and can safely say that you are standing in your truth.

Love and hugs,
Jane Thrive