Saturday, February 26, 2011

Happy Anxiety

This post is going to sound like a complete oxymoron, but it's the truth of how I'm feeling.

Brian recently was offered a job, making significantly more than he's ever made. Not a gradual increase that comes from working for a company for years on end, but a sudden shift in our income level. We've gone from poverty-income levels to awesome middle class income levels. Almost a doubling of our income, just like that.

He's been doing the two job thing for the last two weeks, to be sure that the new job was going to honestly pan out, and it is panning out beautifully.

I grew up in a poverty level home, did have a short marriage to my ex where our income was nearly six digits a year, but he blew it all drinking and running around, so I still had to work to provide for Mikeal during my pregnancy and some afterward....that or I would 'steal' money from my ex's pants pockets while he was passed out so I could purchase necessities. So for almost 30 years I've known nothing but how to scrimp, scrounge, and barely squeak by, I knew exactly where every dime was going to be going all year long...if you could see my calendars over the last few years you'd see where I've written down exactly which bill was going to be paid with what paycheck and where I needed to find a way to make a way to squeeze out a few extra bucks.

I don't HAVE to do that now. I'll still be keeping up with when what bill needs to be paid when, that's just normal, but now we have money to DO things. We CAN take the kids out to eat more than once every few months. We CAN buy new shoes & clothes as needed, or as desired, without having to rely on whether or not a child support payment will come through or whether or not we're able to score a great deal or know someone who has children our children's sizes and have hand-me-downs to get rid of. We CAN take the kids to the movies once in a while without having to try to push a bill around to make it possible. We CAN do these things and it's not going to be a choice of food or fun. We can now do both.

The realization is overwhelming when I tell the truth. Our wants don't all have to be pushed until after we get our income tax refund, then IF we have anything left over after making up slack in our needs, we can fulfill some of our wants, whenever now. THAT is overwhelming, both negatively and positively. I'm still quite the frugal duck, who's always quite the pessimist when it comes to such positive things, simply because I know just how fragile such things are. If we were to screw up or something were to happen and we've spent willy nilly when we had surplus and added more bills because we could - we'll screw ourselves. We'll wind up no better than those folks who cry "pity me because I lost my house I couldn't afford in the first place, then racked up all my credit to the max, and now I'm in such financial dire straights because I had to constantly go bigger and deeper in the money hole to keep up with what society thinks I have to have." To further illustrate that point I recently purchased my first ever pair of tennis shoes (albeit, on clearance) that cost me just over $80...I was near panic when we left the shoe store! I think my most expensive pair of shoes ever was only $25, and that was because I'd caught a 75% off all clearance items sale, it'd been marked down from $125 to $90, then take another 75% off that. (They're my much coveted knee high black leather platform heeled boots.)

I'm sorry, I'm not a 'live beyond my means' type of gal. I'm absolutely happy with buying a house in the future that the payments on it could still be made if Brian found himself unemployed and could only find a job at McDonalds. I loathe - hear that - LOATHE the whole concept of credit cards and buying things on credit. In the last 6 years the ONLY things I have willingly purchased with the aid of a loan has been a cook stove and a car - the cook stove simply because every 'free/cheap' replacement we were able to find right then did not work or were dangerous to operate. I had it paid off in a year...and now, since we're in a house that's all electric, it only sits in my basement collecting dust. The car was a similar situation, we had to have a second vehicle, the one we bought outright with cash last year, after moving here, caught fire, so we took out a small loan to get a more reliable vehicle. We'll have it paid off next year, after paying on it for the last year. So long as Brian's truck gets running again soon we should be fine as far as vehicles go. ((It also doesn't hurt to have a father-in-law who is a used car sales person ;-) .))

So...with all that said I am anxious. The best parable I can make is to liken it to parenthood. You try and try to get pregnant, have some failures along the way, until you get to the point of accepting your lot in life - you still try, but you don't get your hopes set super high. Then BAM! it happens. You get that faint stay a bit leery of it for a while. You stay reserved for a while, praying it'll work out perfectly, but holding on to the fear that it could be taken away at any moment. Then at some point you get hit with the realization that HEY! this is REAL! its REALLY happening! And for a while you bask in that pure unadulterated happiness. Then the next wave hits you - OH SHIT! - MAJOR changes are happening. Major changes that are not only SUPER exciting and SUPER joyous, but also laced with much more added responsibility. Except instead of having 9 months to prepare and work out all these feelings before the blessed day arrives, it dropped suddenly, quickly, all at once.

Before the job switch and huge pay raise we were barely scraping by. There was absolutely nothing to put into savings. Our 'savings' can in the form of paying up six months of rent in advance with our income tax refund in case something happened we could forego a rent payment if we absolutely had to and to continue making payments to stay ahead.

That plan really hasn't changed, but now we have extra. OMG! We actually have 'extra' income! Almost $1000 a month that can be counted as 'extra' if we stick to the same budget plan we had prior to the new job.

It sounds silly, but that has caused me some anxiety. Seriously, I make living on less than $20,000 a year look easy and luxurious. And if truth be told it has been easy. I knew exactly where every dime was to go, etc, there was no room for extras, so we didn't have that many extras. Now there's room for some extras and I'm afraid that my husband, who grew up not having to go without, anything, really will start to fill up some of that wiggle room with 'stuff'.

My anxiety is further fueled by the fact that because he has been working at both places we've barely had any real time to talk about it, or anything really. He's so exhausted by the time he gets home that it's all he can do to eat dinner, shower, and go to bed, much less have a substantial discussion. THANKFULLY he's quitting the old job soon. He put in his notice this evening, with the clause that he would stay long enough for them to hire and train a new person. He'd put in the traditional 2 weeks notice if it wasn't for the fact that the assistant manager was just promoted to manager of a different store, so he didn't feel comfortable leaving them two people short at the same time. He gave a month's notice.

I cried happy tears when he sent me the text that he went ahead and put in the notice after telling me not too terribly long before that that he didn't have the heart to give notice because of the assistant manager leaving this week. I can't wait to see what life will be like when my husband only has to work from 8-5, M-F, and the occasional Saturday morning. We'll actually have the time to enjoy the money he'll have - at the SAME TIME! That's always been a major conflict with us - either not having the money when we had the time to do something, or not having the time when we had the money.

Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

I'm not ungrateful for the opportunities bestowed upon us and the blessings these opportunities have given us, QUITE the opposite in fact, especially in an economy as volatile as the one we're currently living in. Its just a bit overwhelming at the moment. My greatest fear has always been being one of those persons who strikes it rich in the lottery and then has to file bankruptcy because they blew it....another reason I don't buy lottery tickets.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


I met the love of my childhood when I was merely four years old; my best friend, my confidant, the first man I married. I didn't start off thinking I would ever date, much less marry him, but in the end I did, and in looking back I'm happy that I did.

I was raised by a mother who was raised during the time of the race riots, by parents who were/are staunchly pro-white, that anyone of any other color were beneath them and interracial marriages and bi-racial children were even worse.

I kept my friendship, dating, engagement, and marriage a deep secret from my parents, especially my mother. See, my late husband was the product of a white woman and black man. He didn't stand out exactly as being bi-racial, he looked white for all intents and purposes, but for the racist area of the backwoods we lived in he wasn't white enough. I feared/respected my mother, but not necessarily in the most healthy of ways.

My family moved away from the town I essentially grew up in when I was 12, to Oklahoma, to a community where looking predominately white was scorned upon, and heaven forbid you did not even have a drop of Native American blood in you, while looking white.

I continued to keep my "dirty little secret" from my mother about my childhood friend, because I feared the wrath of my mother if she was to find out about my friend being bi-racial. I didn't talk about him, I erased the phone number off of the caller ID if he called, I didn't dare call him because we were charged for long distance phone calls and my folks kept SHARP tabs on that. He'd warn me if he was going to send me a letter, often disguising the letter as being one from a female friend of mine whom my parents were close with her parents - they were, after all, white, even though they had moved to Arkansas from California - just in case my parents got to the mail before I did. I burned each of the letters after I had read them as a sure effort to make sure my parents, my mother especially, did not happen to stumble upon them.

We kept up this type of long distance relationship until I was a Junior in high school. He was a year older than myself and due to his advanced studies, had even graduated high school a year early. He moved to a town not far from me, in Oklahoma, where he blended in a bit better, with his darker complexion and dark hair. We still secretly met, between the religious meetings I attended three times a week, my 30-40+ hour work weeks, and going to school full time, both high school and a vocational school, we'd be able to work in an hour here and an hour there. Despite never once being with a chaperon we were both very strong in our moral convictions and never once gave into hormonal urges. Our first kiss was shared at the end of our wedding ceremony, February 5, 2000, a ceremony that was held, in secret, with only a congregation elder, his oldest brother and his brother's wife in attendance.

We had no intentions of keeping our marriage a secret forever. The only reason we did get married when we did, in secret, was because we did not wish to cross any moral lines and the temptation to cross that line was becoming very strong. He had asked me to marry him over a year before, we had already crossed so many obstacles in the twelve years we had known each other up to that point that we were without any doubts in our love and devotion to one another and to our shared faith in the Bible, a key factor in our ability to remain completely pure until we were united in marriage. Of course temptation is strong and we made the decision to not tempt fate any longer, so we married.

I did not move in with him upon our marital union. We had decided it would be most peaceable for me to finish living at home, with my parents, until I had turned 18 and ten days later graduate high school. The plan was to have a lavish wedding ceremony the summer after I graduated and invite everyone who cared about either one of us and let the cards lay where they landed afterward in regards to the racial smears that were bound to occur, after all I was going to be announcing to the world that the only man I had ever loved and had ever planned on loving was in fact, bi-racial.

One would almost think I actually was going to enter this marriage in the 1960s while living in Atlanta, GA, having the ceremony on the capital steps, and I was the daughter of the white was that bad.

We did what any newlywed does on their "honeymoon". But, wow, was that a wake-up call for me. I had absolutely no clue what to expect and neither did he. We fumbled quite a bit the one time we actually had intercourse.

Of course, in addition to being subjected to a prejudicial mother, all things sexual in nature were taboo. If you didn't talk about sex with you children, they didn't have sex, right? I also wasn't well educated about my menstrual cycle, I just knew to expect it roughly once a month, I honestly was fairly clueless as to what missing a cycle actually meant. Yes, I was a straight A, honors student, I had many classmates who were pregnant, but I mentally judged them harshly for being unwed mothers...I was no where near 'best buds' with any of them...and never sought out to find out details about how they came to find out/realize they were pregnant. I had judged most of them to be sluts anyways, who'd likely had sex numerous times, out of wedlock, and they were finally caught. The proof was like a black fly in the banana pudding.

I was different because I was married before I took that plunge. I also didn't fit any of the stereotypes of being a teenage mother. I was intelligent, I was fat, no one knew me to be dating anyone we went to school with, I didn't attend many school functions, wasn't involved in any real extracurricular activities, so there was no real opportunity for my classmates that I didn't hang out with to meet him, so he didn't exist to most of them. The classmates I did hang out with outside of school hours I hung out with on nights that he was at work, so even they never met him.

February 17, 2000 he was involved in a fatal car wreck. We had been married less than 10 days. Just three months shy of my 18th birthday, high school graduation, and our eternal life together.

In the end the secrecy nearly killed me and it did kill our daughter.

I proved to be stronger than the desire to die, but it has taken me eleven years to tell this story, and even now I am still having a hard time completely 'coming out'. But I've made progress. I promised myself that this was going to be the year I let the dirt out of my sails and that I wasn't going to do it anonymously, nor in complete vagueness. I still can't say or type his name without getting completely choked up and losing my nerve, the wounds are still raw, but I'm working on trying to heal.

I have to start healing so that I can fully embrace what I have now: a wonderful husband, two wonderful children, and a slew of the most awesome friends, online and in real life; things that any girl would be undoubtedly grateful to have in her corner.

Fourteen years of my life with him were held in secrecy...and eleven years of my life without him have been spent working up the courage to unveil that secret and the secrets that I have kept since then.

My next phase of this unveiling will be of Alonna.

Monday, February 21, 2011

An Exercise in Nothing

That's how I'm feeling right now.

Since having my Mirena removed, coming off the weight gain causing medications, and increasing my activity level tenfold, I have gained 21 pounds, after an initial 10lb almost immediate, no hassle, loss.

I hate that the scale says one thing, but I look a whole other thing.
I hate that my doctors all have always given me the 'obese' label, even when I was wearing fitting size 10 clothing.
I hate that I have no 'food' issues, anymore, and yet still can't budge the scale.
I hate that I can consume less than 2,000 calories in a week and gain a few pounds.
I hate the fact that when I had a shitty diet of insane amounts of Mountain Dew, convenience store foods, and Taco Bell I was able to lose weight like it was my that I have a nearly no junk diet, barely a single soda a week, scores of veggies, lean meats, etc I put on weight.
I hate that my body seems to be insistent at staying this size, no matter what I change or what I do.
And it PISSES ME RIGHT THE FUCK OFF when someone makes a comment along the lines of 'you are really looking good, I can tell you've lost weight' when the scale says the exact opposite. The other day Brian commented that he could tell that my efforts to lose weight are starting to pay off...that I look to be fairly close to what I was when I was at my absolute lowest adult weight, 4 years ago. The truth of the matter: I'm 50lbs heavier right now than I was then.

I don't want to lose a great deal of weight. I have no desire to be in a single digit clothing size. A size 10 was what I was at when I was at my lowest weight...a size I hadn't seen since I was 11 or 12 years old. I was HAPPY with my body and my weight. I weighed in at 220lbs. I am 6ft tall and muscularly built. Seriously, tell me how many women you know who can tell you they are not only happy with being over 200lbs, much less be able to comfortably, without any extra assistance, be able to put on a size 10 pair of blue jeans, at 220 pounds.

This is a picture of me at 220lbs. It was taken the night I became engaged to Brian, March 28, 2007 (also the same night I became pregnant with Mikaila)...the baby is one of my nephews.

This is actually the best picture I have of me at the size I am now, although it was taken in May of 2006, at my baby brother's high school graduation party. Roughly 270lbs, size 18.

I think the crappiest bit about it all over the last few years has been the fact that I only gained about 20lbs during my pregnancy with Mikaila, who was born weighing 8lbs, 4oz, and by Christmas (she was born, via cesarean on December 13) I actually weighed only 210 and my size 10 pants I'd worn before I became pregnant fit me comfortably again. Since then I have fought a losing battle to just maintain.

Roughly a month ago I picked up my weekly workout routine...over the last week, when I have been going VERY hard at it I have gained 6lbs.
I do 100 push-ups three times a week - and not the girly, on my knees, push-ups either.
Three days of the week that I don't do push-ups I do sets of crunches that equals a grand total of 400 crunches each of those days.
I also spend a minimum of half an hour each day jogging up and down a full flight of stairs here at the house, non-stop and I also devote at least half an hour each day to doing Zumba-like dance.
In addition to all of that I do hard manual labor around the house, inside and out....just today I spent over an hour using a pick ax on the gravel driveway to smooth out a 6'x10' area.

My diet over the last week has included two steak dinners, one at Ruby Tuesday, paired with water to drink, one last night at home, cooked on the grill, paired with flavored water that has only 5 calories, if that. Outside of those two 'indulgence' meals I have ate a large bag of fresh spinach, two heads of lettuce, two tomatoes, two eggs, a small handful of shredded cheese, 3lbs of baby carrots, 1 handful of tortilla chips with salsa, and 16 dark chocolate Belgium truffles. I have drank the equivalancy of one pot of coffee, with sugar and creamer, 16ounces of sweet tea, and who knows how many gallons of water. That's it. Two carb servings over the last week, three servings of meat, and some dark chocolate have been the only 'bad' things in my diet and they've been consumed in great moderation. My calories burnt have almost tripled the number of calories I have taken in and I'm extremely frustrated with it.

I have no health issues related to my weight, my weight doesn't keep me from doing anything or wanting to do anything. I just want to be rid of this damned 'obese' label! Of course to do that my doctor wants me to weigh-in at 180lbs, at the very most, preferring that I be closer to 165 or 170.

I'm just fed up with the whole crap of it all today. Stepping on the scale this afternoon, after having ate nothing since 7pm yesterday, having only drank water all day, and doing a boatload of hard manual labor to level part of the driveway and doing 'real' yardwork for three hours today, gave me a gain of 4lbs since I stepped on the scale yesterday morning...the only thing I ate at all yesterday was a 5oz sirloin steak, two tablespoons of potato salad, a tablespoon of baked beans, and two small plates of green salad that was composed of iceberg lettuce, spinach, mushrooms, tomatoes, and a few pinches of shredded cheese, lightly coated with a fat free Ranch dressing.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Number 301

Yep...that's what number post I'm on (on this blog) and I've been trying to think of something to mark this particular post monumental...and well, I've come up short.

I considered doing a post listing 301 things about me and well...I'm not terribly sure I have all that many interesting things to say about myself.

Okay, I lied. I know I have at least that many interesting things to say about myself, after all I've written 300 posts about me, my thoughts, my family, etc, so I should be able to create a post with a list of 301 random sentences about me.

The question remains though, would you seriously be interested in reading a list of 301 things about me?

I'll take my chances and attempt this feat. Feel more than free to skip to the end and just make a comment about what you think of me...who knows, I may even open this post up to anonymous comments so that all my lovely 'lovers' can let me know. I also don't mind if you make something up, in the very least it'll give me a giggle (I hope).

The List:

1. I am 28 years old.
2. I will be 29 on the eve of Cinco de Mayo.
3. I love my beer dark & in a glass container.
4. I enjoy a decent Lambrusca wine when the mood strikes.
5. I'm no longer fond of tequila.
6. Truthfully, tequila is no longer fond of me.
7. I really am not an alcoholic.
8. I can no longer afford to be an alcoholic?
9. Truthfully, I couldn't afford it back then either, I was just single.
10. I am loving Absolut Mandarin with pineapple juice.
11. I've been back in school for a year now.
12. I have an 8 year old son, Mikeal.
13. I have a 3 year old daughter, Mikaila.
14. I have a 27 year old brother, Daniel.
15. I have a 26 year old sister, Samantha.
16. I have a 23 year old 'baby' brother, Duke.
17. I have a wonderful husband.
18. I've been enamored with my husband since the day we met, September 2, 2004.
19. I am still enamored with my husband.
20. October 31 will mark our 4 year wedding anniversary.
21. I've been divorced.
22. June 13 is the anniversary of my divorce, this year will mark 5 years.
23. If you ask some folks I've known all my life they'll tell you I'm currently in a 'hospital' in Texas.
24. I've supposedly been in this hospital for the last 6 years.
25. A result is my son is a ward of the state and my daughter doesn't exist.
26. Other folks will tell you I ran off, leaving my husband & children, and no one has heard from me in over a year.
25. These folks wonder why I haven't kept in contact with them over the last year since leaving Oklahoma, with my husband and kids.
26. I've hated Oklahoma since I was 12.
27. I was born next door to the Wal-Mart home office center, in Bentonville, Arkansas.
28. I've lived in a number of states over my life...I think I've lost count.
29. I've lived in Arkansas, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virgina, Oklahoma, Iowa, Montana, Indiana, Texas, Missouri, New York, Tennessee, and Georgia....I think that's it.
30. I've spent my share of nights in county jails.
31. I've been wrongly imprisoned.
32. It took 29 days for the prison to correct their mistake.
33. My ex-husband's adoptive father had me arrested after announcing my intent to divorce (he was the Lieutenant).
34. I spent 10 nights in the city jail, Dec 22 - Jan 1.
35. They released me at 1:45am, New Year's 'morning'.
36. I never was charged with anything.
37. They also have no record of me being there.
38. Same city/county that wrongly imprisoned me for 29 days.
39. People wonder why I hate Oklahoma.
40. I did spend roughly 5 nights, in Texas & Arkansas county jails for legitimate reasons.
41. Williamson County, Texas cops don't take kindly to a white chick driving around, lost, at 3am, with a black man in her car.
42. Williamson County, Texas cops also don't seem to take kindly when you call them out on their racism, by calling them backwoods skinheads with a badge.
43. WilCo cops also must have superb hearing, seeing as I muttered that from 15 feet away while they searched my car.
44. I was very happy though they found nothing in my car, it was new.
45. I partook of regular ganja sessions back then.
46. My daughter just ran out the front door, so I'll get back to this later. (Noon 2/18)
47. Here I am, 14 hours later, getting back to this, I had the satellite internet installed, dinner out with the family, a Twitter wine party, and homework to get done.
48. I've lost my buzz I had during the wine party and homework completion.
49. Dinner was awesome, in every way, at Ruby Tuesday.
50. I lost the momentum I had when I was at #40.
51. At some point I'll get my momentum back.
52. So far, I'm thinking dial-up is better than this crappy satellite connection.
53. It is 2am on 2/19, I'm the only one up, besides the cat.
54. I love horror flicks, but as I've grown older they don't hold my attention the same way...or maybe it's just the EXTREME nature of the Saw movies that has done me in.
55. I'm the chick that watches horror flicks while making running comedic commentary during the whole thing, resulting in me having to watch the movie several more times before I actually know the whole story line.
56. Watching movies a countless number of times doesn't bother me.
57. Watching a movie for the first time with Mikeal, does bother me.
58. I know everything, my son knows I know everything, therefore he has to constantly ask 50 bagillion questions during every new movie, show, etc and expects me to have an answer for him.
59. I actually participated well in the Twitter wine party held earlier, for the first time...I've started to join in the past, then my ADD kicked in.
60. I have adult ADD.
61. You didn't notice, did you?
62. I hide my ADD tendencies well.
63. I lied.
64. I'm currently on Zoloft for depression.
65. My shrink doesn't think I am depressed, just need counseling.
66. My counselor thinks my antidepressant isn't strong enough.
67. I think they're both quacks.
68. I have two months worth of Zoloft 'stockpiled'.
69. My recent maybe pregnancy, maybe miscarriage fiasco is the reason behind the lack of taking the pills.
70. I keep telling myself I'll start taking it again.
71. Both my brothers wives are pregnant.
72. My baby brother's baby is due in August.
73. He and his wife just had a baby in August.
74. The older of my brothers wife is due in July...or one really knows it seems.
75. My sister has been 'trying' to get pregnant for three months.
76. My mom is worried she has something wrong with her reproductively, because it's taken so long.
77. I've been trying since July, had a miscarriage for Christmas, my mom was more worried about her checkbook fuck up.
78. People wonder why I really don't mind living 600+ miles away from my family.
79. I've only seen my Marine baby brother since leaving Oklahoma.
80. I love the friends I've made or gotten to know here in Tennessee over the last year.
81. We moved to Tennessee because one of the moms I know from a 'mommy board' had a house opening up for rent.
82. Brian and I both got entirely 'over' living in Oklahoma that same month, a year ago.
83. My in-laws live just 3 hours away now, in Alabama.
84. Except for my mother-in-law, who is living, as far as we know, outside of Houston, TX.
85. I won't give my mother-in-law our physical address.
86. Last time we gave her our physical address she thought she'd move into our 900sq ft 2 bedroom house with us.
87. Mikeal was 5, Mikaila was 4 months old, and we had temporary custody of my 6 & 3 year old nephews then.
88. Brian is medically sterile due to a botched hernia surgery and subsequent infection.
89. That's how we've ended up pregnant three times in the last 7 years, only Mikaila to show for those pregnancies.
90. I hope I haven't repeated myself yet.
91. Mikaila was conceived the night Brian proposed to me.
92. Brian proposed while we were eating dinner at my daddy's funeral.
93. When he asked me I just gave him a blank stare.
94. He asked me a second time.
95. Of course I said yes.
96. The part of me that believes in the spiritual Karmatic world feels that Mikaila is our blessing from my father.
97. My mother raised me to be Baptist.
98. My father raised me to be open minded to all religions and beliefs.
99. My Granny raised me to be a Jehovah's Witness.
100. I was baptized as a Jehovah's Witness at age 15, to piss off my mother.
101. I lean more towards my father's teachings.
102. My dad was diagnosed with Stage 4 digestive tract cancer, 4 years ago today.
103. The cancer was found during his 4th open heart surgery.
104. He was 44 years old.
105. The cancer was in every digestive organ from his throat to his colon.
106. He died of a heart attack on March 26, 2007.
107. He spent the last 6 years of his life in prison for a crime that I believe to have been made up.
108. He was given a 30 year sentence for supposedly raping my sister.
109. I am 99.9% positive the accusations are completely false.
110. I only say 99.9% because I do love my sister, I don't like her, but I do love her, and on some deep level I want to believe she really wouldn't make up such things.
111. One of her best friends at this time, whom I had worked with, had bragged about how she was able to be exonerated to do as she pleased by making such accusations against her own father.
112. Now you see why I question such?
113. My parents, especially my dad, were strict, by today's standards.
114. But they were lovingly strict, they wanted to raise us to be decent, law abiding human beings.
115. Two of the four of us have never been in jail, of any sort.
116. Two of the four of us are loving, caring, selfless human beings.
117. Three of the four of us know &/or provide for all the children we brought into this world.
118. My baby brother hits all three of those categories.
119. I hit two of them.
120. My sister hits one of them.
121. My other brother, bless him, he's made a lifestyle of making bad decisions, both in women and in friends.
122. It is 3am, my 'bedtime'.
123. I got married the first time on February 7, 2000.
124. I was widowed on February 9, 2000.
125. I got married for the second time on June 27, 2002.
126. I left that bastard September 22, 2003.
127. My divorce from the bastard did not finalize until June 13, 2006.
128. Third time's a charm.
129. I am happy despite all off the bullshit to get here.
130. No, really, I am.
131. I smoke.
132. I don't have a problem with quitting smoking.
133. I've quit cold turkey a few times.
134. Those non-smoking episodes have lasted anywhere from 6 months to 3 years.
135. I first smoked a cigarette when I was 19.
136. I met my first husband when I was 4 years old.
137. We married just a few months shy of my 18th birthday.
138. I met my ex-husband in a bar, when I was 19.
139. Legal age to get into that bar, in a dry county nonetheless, is 21.
140. I was very drunk.
141. I stayed very drunk until my grandmother suggested that she thought I was pregnant.
142. She turned out to be correct.
143. I completely sobered up, immediately.
144. My ex became HIGHLY abusive.
145. I lost my 2nd pregnancy with him because he threw a TV at me, on our 1st wedding anniversary.
146. I was 24 weeks pregnant.
147. Bridgett Sapphire was born and died on June 28th, 2003.
148. I did have a daughter with my late-husband.
149. My medical team of doctors chalked up all my 'symptoms' as symptoms of everything else.
150. The medications I was on during my pregnancy with Alonna Emerald killed her.
151. No, I did not consider that I may be pregnant.
152. I was a virgin on my first wedding night.
153. I was/am on the 'larger built' side of the spectrum.
154. I barely showed, if at all.
155. I lost almost 100lbs that pregnancy, and it wasn't noticeable.
156. I was pregnant during my senior year of high school.
157. I was very active in school, work, church, taking care of 3 younger siblings, who were teenagers, then was kicked out of the house after graduation.
158. I realize now that the ulcers, the cramps, the migraines, the blood pressure issues, depression, and only God knows what else I was treated for were all more pregnancy related than anything else.
159. I was in the care of a number of doctors, one of them 'noticed' either.
160. I hate Oklahoma doctors.
161. Alonna was 14 hours old when I gave the doctors permission to end her suffering.
162. Would I do things differently if it happened now that I am more knowledgeable?
163. I don't know.
164. No one in my family acknowledges Alonna or Bridgett.
165. Does it hurt?
166. Sometimes.
167. But none of them cared enough to even take notice, of any of it.
168. I was very close to one of my aunts as I was growing up.
169. I told her about losing Bridgett being the final straw for me, asked her about living with them, since her older 3 kids had moved out.
170. I was told I was a horrible heathen (to put it nicely) to even consider breaking my marriage vows.
171. If you were to ask her about me today she'd tell you that I'm in a mental hospital, permanently, in Texas, and I've been there for the last 7 years or so.
172. Part of that has to do with the fact I stuck up for my father, her baby brother, and not my sister.
173. My family has issues.
174. It's no wonder my counselor & shrink can't agree on my treatment.
175. I think I missed my most recent counseling appointment.
176. Nope, nevermind, it's not until the 22nd.
177. Maybe I'll print this list and let her read over it.
178. I'm sure she'll take kindly to me calling her a quack.
179. I really don't think she's a quack, she's seen me more than once and didn't tell me I seemed perfectly normal.
180. I've probably had half a dozen shrinks & counselors tell me I seemed normal to them.
181. Just because I seem normal doesn't mean that the pain isn't there.
182. Just because I seem normal doesn't mean I don't want to talk to someone about my issues, someone that can offer me exercises and support to work through some of my hang-ups.
183. You're still reading this?
184. Should I tell you that it's 3:30am now and I really didn't go to bed 62 sentences ago?
185. I don't like being up this late.
186. When I'm up this late these types of sentences & details come out my fingers.
187. I wouldn't be lying if I told you I maybe have 40 posts that I never completed and never published because of all this crap.
188. I typed most of them up between the hours of 2 & 4am.
189. I actually like this format for posting the 'crap'.
190. The concise sentences hit the details without all my filler.
191. Seriously, have you read other posts I've written?
192. Then you know exactly what type of filler I'm talking about.
193. There's enough extra non-essential filler in some of those posts that even I don't have a clue what I'm talking about.
194. All of my blog posts are first, final, only drafts.
195. I blog because its therapeutic to me.
196. I've posted disclaimers on blogs I have gone back and edited.
197. If I really took the time to go back later and proofread and revise my posts you really wouldn't know the first thing really about me.
198. I'm honestly painfully shy.
199. No, I lied.
200. I'm not shy.
201. I'm not comfortable with receiving sympathy, condolences, or pats on the back for living life.
202. I didn't type and post the crap of my life to hear your words of shock, encouragement, sympathy, or anything of that nature.
203. I posted the crap because I wanted to share this stuff.
204. My blog is my journal of pieces of things I want to leave for my children.
205. I don't want it all to be sugar coated.
206. I know my children will be adults one day.
207. They need to know that regardless of what they think their momma wasn't perfect.
208. I made mistakes.
209. I suffered heartbreak.
210. I lived the life of a breathing human.
211. I passed harsh judgment on others.
212. I bragged about my children.
213. I vented about my children.
214. I embarrassed my children.
215. I love their father, but he's not perfect either.
216. Folks have told me I should write a book about my life.
217. I've tried, several times.
218. A book wouldn't do my life justice.
219. There are thousands of books about people's lives, their trials, tribulations, triumphs, failures, etc.
220. Has this society benefited from such books?
221. Sarah Palin has proved that any egotistical arrogant bitch can have a book written about her life and superficial thoughts.
222. Why should I join those ranks?
223. I have a public blog.
224. It's free to read.
225. I don't have to go whore myself out to sell copies or make money off of it.
226. I mean, really, look towards the top, below my profile info, I have a counter of blog hits.
227. This is my 300th post and I haven't even broken 1000 blog hits since putting up the counter at my 200th post.
228. The 'lifetime' counter, from when I started this blog, three or so years ago, is only sitting at around 3000...and every time I access my blog it counts as a hit.
229. I prefer to live my life helping persons, in the flesh.
230. Or by sending them packages through the mail, if I'm not able to make the trip personally.
231. I've been homeless.
232. I was homeless with a 15 month old child.
233. My mother, sister, aunts, uncles, grandparents, etc didn't give me the time of day.
234. Random folks that I met in chatrooms, forums, at work, at social events got me through that dark period of my life.
235. I met my husband through a chatroom.
236. I met my best friend in that same chatroom.
237. I was given a car by a person that I only barely talked to in that chatroom, only saw him twice, once when he handed me the keys, the second time when I had the money to pay him a small bit on the car.
238. He moved a few weeks later, ignored my requests for his mailing address so I could send him the other $500 of the $600 he'd offered me the car for.
239. Many others from that chatroom I didn't physically meet until they picked me up to move into their lavish homes or apartments as I worked to pick up the pieces of my life.
240. It took me almost two years to get into a steady habit of being able to take care of my son, in my own place.
241. I've not been back in such a position.
242. Being 21, single, depressed, ran through the rocks and the wringer, with a toddler is no easy feat.
243. Thank God for all the awesome people I have met in my adult life.
244. I've never considered suicide.
245. Suicide is a cop-out.
246. Living life is hard, period.
247. It doesn't matter if you came from a small town, backwoods, 'welfare' family or your nanny clothed your butt in platinum diapers from the top of the mountain.
248. The simple fact is you're human.
249. You will face failure.
250. You will encounter success.
251. Its after 4am.
252. Life is blissfully the hardest most rewarding thing you'll ever die to live through.
253. I'm kinda shocked I've made it this far in this list.
254. I had a bit of wine this evening.
255. I did not know it was possible to feel like I have a hangover headache, before I even make it to bed.
256. Because of the headache, and the fact I want to end this post on a better note, I'm actually going to go to bed now, I'll finish in a few hours.
257. I stayed up WAY too late last night (this morning).
258. My house is a disaster.
259. Its only a disaster because I've been stuck in internet connection, homework, blogging, company, children home, hubbub of activity.
260. We're out of milk & Brian left his cell phone at home.
261. He has my car because his truck won't start.
262. Eggs, yogurt, and toast sounds REALLY good right now.
263. I need to get into a better habit of eating breakfast, at breakfast, instead of just relying on coffee again.
264. I'm in the process of losing 50lbs.
265. My doctor thinks I should lose closer to 100lbs.
264. I'm a 6ft tall, well built, female.
265. Weighing the 'recommended' 180 pounds just makes me look anorexic and just plain outright sick.
266. When I was 50lbs lighter, at 220lbs, I was wearing a size 10, and my clothes actually fit, properly, with no flabby flesh hanging over or out of my clothes.
267. My goal weight is 220lbs, because that is what I am comfortable at.
268. My current weight does not interfere with anything, I'm highly active, I run, hike, can still do 100 push-ups without 'dying' ...and not the girly push-ups either...I just shocked my Marine baby brother with my 'abilities'.
269. My cholesterol, blood pressure, etc are all well within 'perfect' range.
270. I have no actual medical issues, outside of the previously mentioned depression/ADD whatever thing.
271. My baby brother is awesome at long as while I'm trying to push him back to the ground I don't trip over my own giraffe legs, thus landing on his legs...barely.
272. He was only a bit irritated, but only because he's had one knee replaced and both his ankles rebuilt from a hit he took from an IED.
273. The day I heard about him leaving Afghanistan, less than a month after he had been sent there, frightened the SHIT out of me!
274. I was 5 years old when he was born, and was his primary physical caregiver, my love for him is equal to the love I have for my own flesh and blood children.
275. Mikeal is only a slightly altered version of him - physically, mentally, etc. - so much so that I often call one by the other's name.
276. Last week was the first time I'd seen my brother in 28 months.
277. I got to meet his new wife, his 6 month old son, and one of his new sister-in-laws.
278. How awesome is it that his sister-in-law moved down from upstate New York, to North Carolina, to be their live-in babysitter?!
279. Another of his sister-in-laws will be moving down soon, so that they will have two live-in babysitters for when the new baby is born.
280. If I didn't know better I'd say my brother was some sort of pimp daddy. LMAO!
281. The necessity of having live-in babysitters comes from the fact that not only is Duke a Marine, but his wife, Amanda, is a Marine.
282. Another reason is they're going to have two babies, who will only be barely a year apart in age.
283. My sister's idea of 'helping' out when I was struggling as a single mother, was to harass, bully, and threaten me.
284. She wanted me to sign over my rights to Mikeal and let her have full legal & physical custody.
285. She didn't even care enough to let me ride in her vehicle, much less maybe open her home up to her sister who was living on random couches with a toddler.
286. I did let Mikeal stay with her for a few weeks so that I could get a job, within walking distance of where I was staying, and save up some money to get myself reestablished.
287. I pray that she never has to go through anything close to what I have had to live through, she wouldn't survive.
288. I'm going to digress from my current line of thought.
289. Wow, I'm almost at the end of this list.
290. I love to sew, knit, read, cook, bake, plan, take pictures, hike, garden, can food, freeze food, save money, and everything that revolves around my children and husband.
291. We are nearly debt free.
292. We have lived very well on less than $20,000 a year.
293. We have never done without something that we absolutely needed.
294. We're taking our first 'real' vacation this coming summer.
295. Of course we're going with a large group of friends (they're actually all family, but we've been adopted in).
296. We all are splitting the expenses so that we can all best afford to be able to go and enjoy ourselves.
297. I love my 8 year old son, Mikeal Alan Paul, born August 26, 2002.
298. I love my 3 year old daughter, Mikaila Jade, born December 13, 2007.
299. My husband is spectacular and I would not trade him in for anything.
300. I do love my life, past, present, and future, it has all gotten me to where I am now and I have no regrets.
301. Maybe I do regret playing the Mega Lottery once in a while...I understand a person can't win the lottery if they don't play.

So that's my nutshell. If you actually read the whole thing I'm shocked. No, I'm really not shocked, I wrote it all in hopes that you would read it. Now that it's completed I just have to publish it. Publishing posts is a weak point of mine. Especially such personal posts that mention things like my dad, my family dynamics, outside of the family I chose and gave birth to, and my personal flaws. Ok, I didn't really mention that many personal flaws...but maybe if I notice at number 400 that I'm at that number I'll include more flaws. Goodness, I hope I don't bore you with another list posting, especially a list post so incredibly lengthy.

In short I am incredibly blessed and thankful for living my life and am happy to share it with whomever is interested in reading about it.

Disclaimer: I reserve the right to create a new blog post based upon any comments submitted.