Monday, July 28, 2014

My wise words

I am closing in on the six month mark.
You know, six months since Scott's passing.
Six months of being a big lonely loner.
Six months of being a "widow."
What a weird word.
And to have it apply to YOU is even weirder.
Anyway, there are a few things that I have learned (which of course I will impose on you, unsolicited.)

1. The feeling of desperation that comes with being newly uncoupled becomes less severe with time.
It used to be all-consuming.
I literally thought about wanting to be married or being in a relationship 24 hours a day.
I hadn't been single longer than a few months since the minute I turned 16 and was allowed to date.
I just needed to be with someone.
Now I probably only spend a few hours a day worrying about it.
Which I consider progress.
I don't feel so despondent (which means forlorn or sad).
I still have the desire to be in another relationship someday and am open to going out, but I am not obsessed with the idea of it happening, like, right now.

2. The moments of sadness still happen but are fewer and farther between.
The heartache still creeps in, but I really do make a conscientious effort to try and stay positive.
On Sunday, I was really feeling sorry for myself, hard, as I sat alone in a room full of couples at church.
I was squeezed into the back corner, wishing I were holding someone's hand.
But after feeling upset for a few minutes, I decided to get over it.
No one wants to be around a sour puss.
I think being realistic about grief is normal and healthy, yada yada, but being careful about where your head is at makes a difference.
I still fall apart but I don't spend a lot of time wallowing.
Meaning: a good cry is often necessary but the days spent face down on the floor in my pajamas are over.
Ain't nobody got time for that.
But having said that ...

3. I never cashed in on all the inappropriate behavior that was excusable at the time of his death, and I kind of want to now.
Six months later I occasionally want to walk away from some conversations without explanation, or scream over something seemingly unimportant.
I want to blow up at people that are stupid.
I want to pierce my nose.
Oh wait. I did that.
But I also want to tell people that have asked me to remove it to back up off that.
I am in mourning.
^^ An awkward selfie documenting my first foray into MAC cosmetics. p.s. Notice my new nose ring? You  probably didn't because it is almost invisible. Like a little secret. Mwah hah ha. ^^ 
4. I am less intimidated by having to "figure things out."
I have felt empowered on several occasions by attending to responsibilities that Scott was previously in charge of:
My vehicle is still running.
Once I even popped the hood, kicked up the stand, and looked at the engine when it was making a funny noise.
I thought it looked okay.
But what do I know?
I also changed the clock in my car when it was daylight savings.
My technological devices also still work. Score.
I bought fireworks and helped to light them.
I talked to Ezra about pubic hair.
That sort of thing.

5. I miss him just as much as I did but the sting is gone.
I am used to him not being around.
Which sucks.
Although I still have a message from him saved on my phone that I listen to weekly.
I also have not changed the second button on my car stereo from his programmed radio station.
Sometimes it feels as if it has been much longer than it actually has.
Yet I am still stuck in the same state of limbo I was five months ago.
My dad continues to remind me that it takes time to reset ... but I am sure he is even wondering when I will pull it together.

6. Life goes on.
It is different and really hard.
But there is hope.
There is always hope.
At least that is what I tell myself.
And most of the time I believe it.
Even if it is only a fleeting moment of hope in a otherwise day full of crap.
All you have to do is re-imagine another ending.
Once you get it out of your head that your future isn't altered but is in fact right on track, it is easier.
^^ Doesn't he look happy? I promise he actually was happy. But I will spill all the party deets in my next post. ^^
Whelp, that is all I can think of for now.
I cannot possibly string anymore sentences together.
This heat is making me testy.
Not to be confused with testies.
I feel like making popcorn is the only thing that can remedy that.
Peace out.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

A little inspiration ...

I started working on a post that includes a few tidbits about what widowhood looks like six months out.
But when I read through it I threw up a little in my mouth.
It was terrible.
And by terrible I mean very lame and super cliché.
But I will probably post it anyway.
Mostly because I am too lazy to rewrite it.
But until I tweak it I will post a few inspirational photos instead.
^^ I absolutely have a testimony of this. Although I think that the saying should be amended to say,
" If is scares you, you should definitely do it." ^^
^^ This little girl is my style icon. The hair, the glasses, the cute duds, and extra points for the skateboard, which in my opinion boosts her street cred. I have no idea what is going on in the two pictures next to her. Ignore them. ^^
^^ A sweet moment. This picture feels cozy. Like a home should feel. ^^
Happy Wednesday, y'all.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Small photo dump

On this sweltering Wednesday night, I am here to dump a few random pictures, just for keepsakes sake.
I don't have a theme, per say, for this today's post except to say that I feel as if I am watching the summer fly by before I have even had an opportunity to compile a summer TO DO list.
Which is causing me anxiety.
I like lists.
They help me maintain a false sense of control.
That and I find it satisfying to cross items off my list.
Because every time I do, I pat myself on the back and exclaim, "Look how productive you are. You are so efficient. And organized. In fact, you should give lessons on how to be as capable as you are. Good job, Brianne."
And then I straighten my pocket protector, and hitch up my high water pants, and set off to reorganize my cleaning supplies in alphabetical order.
However, instead of coordinating our schedule on a color-coded spreadsheet, I have been running the kids around all crazy-like to the lake, the beach, the park, and on play dates.
I feel a little frazzled at the end of the day, but at least my kids are so exhausted they topple into bed and lapse into a coma.
Which, I'll admit, is basically the whole objective.
And really if you aren't stretched out in bed enjoying the summer evening's cool breeze, sun-soaked and tired, what is the point of being a kid?
Anyway, the morale of this story is that summer is half over, I feel like we are running out of time, and I am not sure why I don't take more pictures of Ryan.

^^ Right before he pulled down his drawers and peed on the lawn. Yay! We celebrate even the small potty-training victories. And those tighty-whities! p.s. He got his knocked knees from me. ^^
^^ The only picture I took during an entire day at the beach. You wouldn't know it but the whole family was there. We flew kites, had a picnic, swam like lunatics in the freezing ocean, and then finished the day off with ice cream cones. I love going to the coast. ^^
^^ Ezra in his kindergarten "graduation" cap. So cute. ^^

Monday, July 14, 2014

A few things of note ...

A few things of note ...

One ... Micah has fallen down exactly once every three days and skinned his knees up something fierce.
In fact, every time his soft, baby skin begins to heal, he biffs it again and cuts it right back open.
Makes it tricky to practice using that dang toilet when you have to pull your tiny undies up and down your torn up legs.
To say the least, potty training is NOT going well.

Two ...  I bought the most incredible couch that God ever made.
It is the most marvelous mid century sofa.
Seven feet of breathtaking perfection, ALL MINE!
I am having it reupholstered in a simple, durable gray fabric with piping and tufting.
I will then rub my face all over it and whisper sweet nothings as I caress it lovingly.
I am saving the 'before' picture to include with the post that will be entirely dedicated to it's reveal.
It is that important.
Scott would have probably hated it.

Three ...  my grandfather is visiting and has yelled at me twice in the last 24 hours for spoiling my kids.
When Micah fell down yesterday (you know for his routine weekly injury) my grandfather promptly shouted at me to spank him in order to discourage him from running down the driveway.
I replied calmly that "punishing him for tripping didn't make sense."
To which he screeched that "I am only facilitating his careless behavior."
"But he is two-years-old Grandpa," I said.
"Well, you should still spoil them less, and you should let them eat fast food," he said.
"I don't understand how cooking them homemade meals and discouraging them from eating garbage is bad parenting. And frankly I am confused in general with this conversation."
He means well.
But it was slightly baffling.

Four ... I am growing out my hair, again.
It looks terrible.
That is all.

Five ... I am obsessed with this song.
Every time it is on the radio, I gasp, "Ooohh, Oooo, I like this song!" and crank it up.
To which anyone in the immediate vicinity averts their eyes, ashamed.
And then my I.Q. drops, like, 50 points.
Because it is ridiculous. And juvenile.
^^ A music video dedicated to reenacting Clueless? Yes, please. ^^ 
Six ... I was gifted an iPad Air.
It is very fancy and only facilitates my ability to surf Craigslist, Etsy, and Ebay from the comfort of my bed at an hour that no responsible parent should be awake.
It's like I am being forced to buy things.
I have my eye on you, beautifully broken in kilim rug.
You will belong to me.

The end.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Idaho ... part two

I don't know what is going on around here.
I sat down to write my follow-up post on our Idahoe-liday and it is already Thursday, which as you know comes at the end of the week.
How we already reached the end of another week is beyond me.
I don't remember last summer being so busy, or any fun for that matter. 
Oh wait, it is because I lived in Washington's armpit (Olympia) a year ago in a rotten apartment and had, like, one friend.
Anyway, as promised, I wanted to finish documenting our little trip.
After leaving Rexburg, we headed to Boise for a visit.
While in Boise I was far too busy to take any pictures.
We stayed with our friends (the Hatfield's), and their huge a$$ dog in their beautiful, clean house.
Literally, their dog was the size of a large pony and would saunter into the kitchen and rest her lips on the edge of the counter.
Which Tracy would promptly wipe up, only to have to repeat the cleanup 15 seconds later.
It was remarkable. 
Anyway, we made spring rolls, sneaked out for frozen yogurt each night whilst saddling her hubby with all six kids (coffee-flavored with coconut, Oreos, almond slivers, and whipped cream, if you must know), visited a tattoo parlor, stalked people on Facebook, talked about everything, went thrifting, sold a house, oh, and also did stuff with our kids.
I love spending time with Tracy. 
She is one of my favorite people.
Also our kids get along fairly well, which you wouldn't have known by the way they all picked at each other during our stay.
I was also able to stop by and see another friend (Rachael) that I have known since Scott and I lived in Seattle six years ago.
We used to hang out all the time.
We would take our kids (we only had one each at the time) to the library, the indoor park, and  to play dates.
She would also cut my hair.
Since then, she has had four more kids! so this visit was a little more hectic and much louder than they used to be.
But we just talked, and talked, and talked, like we hadn't been apart, all while our children ran rampant and trashed her lovely, huge home.
Luckily, she is really laid back and wasn't experiencing the anxiety I was when watching the kids eat raspberries on her white sofa.
Her kids are also so pretty I just want to eat them.
^^ Isn't Rachael beautiful? I am only friends with beautiful people. It's my rule. ^^
She also convinced me to join Instagram and my life was changed forever.
However, after spending four days in Boise (and 13 away from home), my kids were becoming excessively emotional.
So after eating all the Hatfield's food, we decided to head back to Eugene.
The eight hour drive went pretty smoothly.
I really can't complain.
I was proud of my kids for being so good for me while on our vacation, especially in the car. 
It was a good way to start the summer, and now I am off the hook for doing any more fun things.
Just kidding.
We will still do fun things.

Monday, July 7, 2014

It is so hot my skin is melting off my body

I know that I said I would write about the remainder of our trip to Idaho ... and I will.
But not today.
Today it is too damn hot, and I am too damn mad.
Oh and I have decided that I hate being a single parent.
So. Damn. Much.
Even more so in the summer.
I feel as if I listen to bickering, tattling, whining, and crying 23 hours of the day.
In the blistering, wretched heat.
I literally come unglued in response to every incident involving people ... my kids in particular.
I just want to run away or strangle someone.
That someone being myself so I don't have to listen to one more noise.
However, moral and societal rules dictate that this would be an inappropriate reaction.
But I am burnt out at the beginning of every day.
My reserves have been tapped dry.
And every time I explode, I am immediately wracked with guilt.
Guilt for losing my cool.
Guilt for not being a happier, more patient mother.
Guilt for not treasuring the little moments, the ones that everyone insists I will miss once they are grown.
Guilt for wishing that I could disappear someplace where people sleep and eat and pee all alone.
Guilt for wishing all day that it were bedtime so that I could put my head down on the table and close my eyes.
Guilt because my kids have been through so much and the last thing they deserve is a disengaged, grumpy parent.
I am the only one that they have and I am doing a lousy job.
Summer has been harder in a way because I have to be problem-solving, cooking, cleaning up after, entertaining, and disciplining kids all day with no one to offer relief when I have reached my limit.
My dad and Heather are extremely helpful but they have their own activities and projects to attend to, and it really isn't their responsibility to parent my kids for me.
I cried tonight.
Not because I miss Scott, or because I heard the song America the Beautiful (because, yes, I cry every time I hear that song. I am very patriotic.) but because I am tired.
Tired of putting Micah back in bed for the umpteenth time and then listening to him sob for being abandoned in his room.
Tired of my life being this way.
So hard, and lonely, and anxiety-ridden.
I am tired of wanting to be happy and even believing I am occasionally, only to remember how different I wish things were.
I wish I were in love.
I wish I had a spouse.
I wish I had my own home.
I wish I could enjoy the little moments we talked about earlier.
And I wish my boobs would perk up a bit.
I need to go to bed.

p.s Sorry for the rant.
p.p.s Although I toned it down. And omitted several more swear words.
p.p.s.s And colorful gestures

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Idaho ... part 1

I have decided to split up our vacay into at least two parts.
There was just so much fun had, I didn't think I could contain it to one exciting post.
So as was previously mentioned, we went to Idaho on our first family vacation.
It was a good destination because we have family and friends all up and down that barren state, so I didn't feel as if I was wrangling/entertaining my kids all by my lonesies.
We left the day after Father's Day on an eight hour drive to Boise.
Coincidentally, on our first day out Micah asked for the first time where Daddy was?
So that was nice.
We made it to Boise without incident, meaning we only had to stop a handful of times to use the bathroom, gas up the car, and eat (because I am evil particular and won't let my kids snack in the car).
I only had to threaten to pull the car over and leave the kids stranded on the side of the road to live amongst the wild goats once when all three became preoccupied with vindictively poking each other in the eyes.
I rented a hotel for the first night, thinking it would be a fun way to start our trip.
The kids have never stayed in a hotel before.
I was right.
It was very exciting and they had a lot of fun jumping on the beds until 12:30 a.m.
However, I had to drag them out of bed the next morning so that we wouldn't miss the continental breakfast, through which Micah cried at a very embarrassing volume because he didn't like any of the cereal choices.
Then we took off for another five hour drive to Rexburg.
Scott and I went to college at BYU-Idaho in Rexburg.
It is where we met, fell in love, rented our first closet apartment, and birthed Ryan.
Some of my very best friends still live there (or near there) and the one that doesn't flew in so we could have a little reunion.
Sadly, Britney (one of our roomies/my sister) wasn't able to come ...due to a scheduling conflict.
Dang it.
Anyway, the last time the four of us were together we had two babies between us.
Now there are ten kids total.
Which means that there was someone always crying/whining/tattling/hurt/hungry/left out/napping/
At one point we looked around bewildered and wondered aloud how we created such chaos.
With our bodies.
Anyway, ambitiously we planned an activity and several elaborate meals for every day that we were there.
We took the kids to Bear World, a spray park, a Chukars game (Idaho Falls' 3A baseball team), had a hot dog roast, a BBQ, and even managed a night out sans kids for dinner and a movie (The Fault in Our Stars ... it is so so sad ... the girls sitting next to us were audibly sobbing).
We stayed up until at least 2 a.m. every night after getting the kids in bed talking and laughing and eating Italian gelato and laughing harder.
I was so happy there.
It felt the same.
It was like going home.
We watched Crazy Stupid Love (Ryan Gosling is delicious), Austenland (which was hilarious) and The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (which I really liked despite generally thinking Ben Stiller is a dufus).
We all got dressed in front of each other, as you do.
And we watched our kids become friends.
They raced around outside our friend and hostess Carrie's house on a four wheeler and dune buggie, tortured her kitties, played in the sprinklers, and got dirtier than any other children have.
They were in heaven.
And now prepare yourself for 18,637 pictures.
^^ The kids' favorite part of Bear World. Never mind that the "amusement park" had nothing to do with bears. They just enjoyed racing from one ride to the other. And then one of the park employees tossed their biscuits next to the most popular ride and we left. Classy. ^^
^^ My little family of bears. It was crazy to see all those huge animals lumbering around right next to the car. That and it was funny to watch my friend Jill hyperventilating as we drove right into their den. Ha. ^^
^^ You know, just riding the train. I am obviously enjoying the scenery. ^^
^^ I love going to baseball games. And my kids really liked it too. Our little group only lasted until the 5th inning but we stayed long enough to see "our team" get creamed and have hotdogs. ^^
^^ From left: Jace (2), Micah (2), Ryan (7), Javen (8), Ezra (5), Liam (4). We all got free hats, which we then fought over later, even though they were all the same. ^^ 
^^ Some asian baby I found hanging around. ^^
^^ Javen, Alisa, Piper, Liam, Ryan, Micah, and Lydia roasting their hot dogs. They kept coming over asking for more because they "dropped them in the dirt" or  "burned them in the fire." Well, all except Alisa. ^^
^^ Some of the kids awkwardly posing at the spray park. ^^
^^ You know those friends that you have your whole life? The ones that you don't get to see all the time, but when you do it is as if you were never apart? These are those friends. ^^
^^ From left: Alisa, Carrie, me, Jill. ^^
^^ We have taken this same picture a dozen times over the last 10 years. ^^
^^ What my kids spent a majority of their time doing. It was unnerving watching them "drive" all over the darmn place. ^^

Stay tuned for Idaho ... part 2. 
Boise, holla!