Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Aloha 2016, and a prayer for 2017

Wishing you all a happy new year.  Please let 2017 be filled with peace, love, and blessings for all. Pretty please. 

I'd like to say a prayer that's been helping me get through my anxiety of late:

Dear God, make me an instrument of your peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy.

Dear God, please grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love; For it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; it is in dying that we are born again to eternal life.

--St. Francis of Assisi.

p.s. our cookies for santa were a hit!  it was sprinkle-mania.  So much sprinkles that when i was cleaning up, it was like i was building sand castles, lol! 

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Cookie time!!

Image credit here 

So after the Much Ado About Winter Break Time-Sharing, we’re back on track. 

Quick note:  I did get a lovely email from Exie a week after the debacle I summarized in my last post, where he said he’d be sure to “remember this for next time” because apparently I was so unable to compromise dates with him.  Wait, I’m confused, who gave up Christmas Eve because he had a hissy fit?  Hashtag: headbutting the wall.  Hashtag:  le sigh.  Hashtag:  oh well why bother responding, doesn’t matter what I say.

At any rate!  Both girls had their school Christmas programs to date, where they sang their little hearts out.  We even fit in a visit to Santa (DD2 asked for: a Moana doll!  And DD1 asked to “see him in the act” LOL, nothing gets past DD1!) before they went to their dads for the first part of DD2’s break, and now they come home for a couple of days, primarily so we could get our annual cookie-baking for Santa in.

Every year, we make sugar cookies and oatmeal/nutty margarites (they’re like mini cupcake cookies, but chewier than cupcakes), with home-made frosting, courtesy of my grandmother’s recipes—it makes me so happy to do this, because then I feel like she and my mom are close to us (grandma is in heaven, and my mom lives 5,000 miles away).  Over the years, DD1 has invited her besties to come over and help—and over the years they do more and more—last year there was some friendly arguing over who was going to roll the dough, lol!  It’s gotten to the point where this year, the besties kept coming up to check in with me--at tennis practice or girl scout meetings, etc, and asking, “aunty, when are we doing cookies?”  (and because of the winter time-sharing debacle, I kept having to say, “it’s happening!  I promise!  Just working on exactly when, and I’ll let your moms know ASAP”!)  LOL

DD2 has patiently followed DD1 all these years, but this is the FIRST year where she gets to have HER bestie come over too.  Just sitting here typing this out is making my heart swell five sizes too big like when the Grinch suddenly learned the magic of Christmas.

It really is about love and kindness and laughter and believing in something bigger than ourselves.  That’s what I like to think when I see them rolling out the dough, cutting out the cookies, icing and sprinkling to make cookies for santa and the reindeer.

It really is about doing something special together, something simple, sharing time with friends, being at ease with ourselves and having fun.

It really is about knowing our hearts are big enough for all the love we are lucky to have—with our friends, with our family, no matter what.

Merry, merry Christmas, everyone!

p.s. disclaimer, our cookies do NOT come out looking all professional like the pic above, lol.  They are much more home-style and organically frosted, ha ha ha! :D

Monday, December 5, 2016

The Rather Anticlimactic Solution to Winter

Image credit here

Quick re-cap:  The girls winter break schedules are slightly different this year, complicating the interpretation of the decree of sharing the time by halves.  Further complicating matters is that Christmas falls on a mom week end, which the Ex vehemently objected to. 

Summary of compromise:  With the help of our coparenting counselor (and not my first wish) I offered to switch the week end so he could have Christmas Eve day and Christmas day (each parent has time on Christmas day) and girls would be with me for New Year’s week end.  I did ask for a couple days before Christmas, because the week end preceding Christmas is a dad week end, DD2’s break starts that Monday, and I knew the girls wanted to get some Santa cookie-baking with their BFFs plus holiday sleepover in.  I offered this at the end of October, and the Ex managed to drag it out through last week.  (Original conversation of winter break started end of September/beginning of October).

The Process:  The Tuesday before Thanksgiving, he sent one last email—that while he had “a problem” the dates because it “gives” me “days leading up to Christmas,” he “didn’t want to drag it out,” but also “wanted to confirm the dates before agreeing.”  I sent a positive, thanks for considering this response, yes these are the dates, I understand the difficulty as this wasn’t my first choice either.  And then I never heard from him—actually, technically still haven’t heard from him.

Le sigh.

I called the coparenting counselor, but couldn’t get a hold of her, because as it turns out she was traveling for the Thanksgiving holiday.  So, I sent one more check-in email over the Thanksgiving week end.  Tuesday after Thanksgiving, I still haven’t heard, so I do the, “if you have no further objections, I’ll proceed with the plan as guided by coparenting counselor” email.  I hear nothing back, no objection mentioned.

So…then, I’m stuck, do I go ahead and schedule work vacation/staff vacations?  Do I invite the girls’ BFFs over, do I really have the days?  Or is he planning something (which isn’t far from reality considering our lives past.)

(This is where I’d really like some antiEXiety medication. !!!)

I put in another call to the coparenting counselor and finally forward the email conversation/compromise to my attorney.  The next morning (this is now last Thursday), I finally hear back from the coparenting counselor, who tells me to send one more email, ie If I don’t hear back from you by 5pm, I’ll understand you’re okay with it.  So I do that.  Then, I hear back from the attorney who says, go ahead and plan, you gave him ample notice, it’s fine, it’s done, just confirm with him later.  (and I think, poop! I already sent the 5pm email and didn’t have to!).  However, I still don’t hear back from him by 5pm, so I figure now that I’ve got confirmation from the attorney and went with the coparenting counselor’s guidance, I’m good to go.  So at 6pm on Thursday, a good three months since we first started talking about Winter timesharing, it was finally done.

Good grief!  I’m semi-laughing at the absurdity of this!  Mostly just tired.  And in the words of my friend who has an ex with challenges similar to this—he’s just being a big ole obstructive poophead jerk.

However on the brighter side of life—I really am grateful that our house is decorated with Christmas –the girls helped me decorate the tree, the lights are up in the carport.  And bonus, DD1’s girl scout troop submitted their holiday wreath to the County Christmas contest, and they won the Judge’s Award, yippee!!  We’re taking the girls down to see it on Saturday.  Both girls marched in our little town’s Christmas parade, and they already wrote their letters to santa, swoon.  I’m hoping to squeeze in a Santa visit at some point, lol. 

I absolutely do love this time of year!  And while I’m sad the girls won’t be waking up in our house on Christmas morning to check their stockings, they will be spending time with us, and now that we have extended time over New Year’s, their step-grandma is coming to visit and stay with us.  So fun times!!

So there’s love and goodness in the world that I can be thankful for. 

Wednesday, November 23, 2016


Image credit (here)

The holiday season is upon us, tomorrow is American Thanksgiving. 

I am thankful for attending my little sister’s wedding this past week end, and reuniting with my sisters from long ago.  These women are my sisters of my heart, we met 25 years ago and life has never been the same.  Through it all—the ups, the downs, the in betweens…they’ve always been there.  And collectively, our little sister who is twelve years younger than us, is as much as our little sibling as a ‘real’ family could be.  We’re so happy for her and her new hubby, and for all the joy and love and laughter that their wedding brought to our lives this past week end and for the future to come!  I am thankful for my chosen family, scattered across the united states, far from my eyes, but always in my heart.

I am thankful that tonight I’ll be busting out my mother’s and my grandmother’s Thanksgiving recipes and prepping for the big Thanksgiving feast tomorrow.  Since my mother is so far away and physically unable to travel, and my grandmother passed long ago, I feel like they’re with me when I’m cooking the big dishes, especially when my daughters eagerly help me crush up the pecans for part of the Thanksgiving day feast.

I am thankful for my two daughters, for their silliness and love and caring and eagerness to learn more about the world.  I’m thankful for bedtime prayers with them, for saying goodnight, and for waking up and sleepily putting their hair in ponytails for school.  I’m thankful for the way they help feed and care for our huge puppy G, and also how DD2 is carefully growing lettuce in her garden, every day checking the new sprouts and wondering how tall the seedlings will grow.  For DD1’s careful consideration between embarking on tennis and pursuing this instead of dance, or reading her favorite book, or texting with her friends on her iPod, shrugging off holding my hand in the parking lot, but then also asking me to tuck her in at night. 

I am thankful for my hubby, who accompanied me to DD1’s music recital the other night, shaking hands with the girls’ father and sitting with DD2, and being kind and supportive.  I am thankful for his love and kindness and for the seriousness that he wears his stepfather role, the seriousness that he takes on in providing for our family, and for the thoughtfulness and love he gives to me and the girls every day.

I am thankful for my job, even though it’s been a big pain in the a$$ lately with increased responsibility, lol, but on a more serious note, I’m thankful that I’m growing as a person who is consciously supervising staff and in trying to help others with new initiatives to reach out to the public.  And that through the craziness of all my personal life changes, my job has been there like a solid lifeline, allowing me to grow professionally at the same time giving me the means to support my little family.

I am thankful for my chosen family here where I live, for being able to celebrate DD2’s BFF’s birthday this coming week end by watching Moana together and having a girls’ sleepover, woot woot!

I am thankful that my neighbors aren’t mad at me (or at least they’re keeping it to themselves) for not taking down my cheesy Halloween lights, because I’m going to replace them with Christmas lights anyway, on Friday.  And I’m thankful we’ll be able to get our Christmas tree on Friday, too!

I am thankful for this moment right now, even though I’m going to have to rush out of work like a bat out of H E double hockey-sticks, because my after school care fell apart and five girl scouts are showing up at my house in a couple of hours.

I am breathing in this moment of thankfulness in a sea of craziness and storms.  Because at the end of the day, I am thankful for the love I have in my life—from my family and friends.  Each year, I really think it’s getting better, and I’m so thankful for that, too.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Leaving on a Jet Plane

An impromptu ladies trip has come up--my sister from another mother is getting married. And actually, two other close sisters, the bride, and two moms, plus me, will all be together for the week end, which is so so so awesome and a balm to the heart, considering what's been going on in the country.  Looking forward to a week end of #nastywomen celebrating love, kindness, and hope for the future.  Hugs!

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Talking to my 10 year old daughter after the election

I was strong with my DD1 this morning--who was watching the election last night closely--telling her that while the president-elect is someone she didn't support, he will still be the president of our country, and it's okay for us to disagree with his views, that's our right as citizens. That it's important for us to stand up for the people we love, no matter what. And she totally agreed, and then asked to play pokemon Go, lol. 
And after I dropped her off at school, I broke down in tears, because I want my daughters to grow up knowing they are smart, capable, and it is their constitutional right to have their contributions measured on their merits. That being judged or mocked for what they look like over their capabilities as a human is ridiculous at best and disgusting at worst. That being groped by some jack!$$ who thinks he can just grope women is NOT normal, but a crime. I broke down in tears because as a non-white citizen who was not born in this country, and as a domestic violence survivor, I saw how the majority of the country rallied around him. 
I remembered what FLOTUS said--it's painful, it's hurtful--that he boasts about assaulting women. His rhetoric is hurtful. And i'm trying to get to a place of peace--but i'm still here, the non-white citizen not born in this country, adopted by a gay dad who came out when I was 3 years old, and he and my stepdad died in my teens. The same non-white citizen who works for state government and who is raising two non-white daughters to be open hearted and open to learning about the world, to respect themselves and others. So it's painful.
p.s. I'll get to love and standing in the light soon, but right now I'm so very sad.