Thursday, October 18, 2012

"The Cat"

It has been brought to my attention, that there is a problem with the name of my blog because, the name is misleading. I have a confession to make...we no longer have "The Cat." (But the kids and the dirty kitchen really still exist!) Some people would like to know what happened to her. Well...Remember that really great soup we had at that BBQ this summer? HA! Just kidding--was just getting all Stephen King on y'all in the Halloween spirit of things...Okay what happened with her isn't actually all that great of a story, though a little sad. *Deep breath* her story ended like this:

Dear Smokey Cat was a good cat in Little Cat Land. She ended up becoming an outside cat, so she did all the normal things Little Outside Cats do, like run promiscuous sexalicious lives, kill and sort of eat poor little innocent birds, that are too stupid to fly away from cats, and climb high things. Mostly, our home became "Kitty Kibbles Inn: A place to lay down your fluff"and other than sleeping, she was never home. This was fine, because she belonged in Little Cat Land. One July day, Handsome Husband announced that he hadn't seen Smokey Cat for a week. It hit me; I hadn't either, and looking at her bowl full of food, I began to worry. I was thinking a fox got her if a car didn't...and I felt incredibly guilty. But what was also going on in our lives, was that through the really crummy stress of feeling overworked and smooshed in a tiny home, a little ray of light shone on this rental home in another city; a much desired city. We'll call it, Happy Wife Land because there, Wife's friends, church community (like, down the STREET!), and favorite shopping districts and restaurants (Starbucks, suckas!!) were in abundance...not to mention great schools. We applied for the home, kind of assuming we wouldn't qualify for it because the owners were seemingly super anal (like a butt...hehehe...I'm sorry that doesn't make any sense, but I was feeling immature and it sounded funny in my head). It was just too awesome of a place to pass up trying for at the very least. So, we did. Then this truly blessed thing happened: I made friends with the brokers, and they liked us so much, one day, the secretary called and said, "I hope you guys get the house! It sounds perfect for you! I totally am not letting anyone else see it today so you guys can get it!" In case she ever reads this, or her boss does, don't be mad at her! She wasn't canceling other people's showings, she was just...keeping their paperwork down by...only letting us see it that day. Anyway, we loved it so much, we went for it. The ONLY discrepancy? No pets allowed. With no exceptions. If you personally know me, you know that I tried GIVING away that damn cat so many times, it's a wonder she never developed cat Reactive Attachment Disorder. There was no one who could take her. Which brings me back to the beginning of this story.

So, it hit me eventually, that she might have been thrown in the Kitty Slammer, at the pound. I looked it up online pretty sure out of like, 25 brown tabbies, I saw Smokey Cat. I was informed it would cost approximately $200 after "medical" fees and impound fees, to pick her up (if that was infact, her). And I was like, "What the hell am I thinking? That's our CAT. I can't leave her!" Then I was like, "What the hell am I thinking? We're moving and what will we do with her?? Ohhh...You damn fur-ball; you got yourself thrown into the slammer!" I was sad. I felt guilty. I felt mean...a little mean. But then, I started to feel some peace the more I looked into the pound that had her. It was clean, it tried whole-heartedly to showcase each animal each month, to be taken into a home, and was even willing to relocate animals to other shelters to get the animals into homes. It was more than I could have found for her, and I feel in my heart of hearts, it was a gift from God because we didn't have the pain or guilt of taking her there ourselves. Truly, we couldn't afford to bail her out and weren't even sure we could afford to move at that time. So it was like, "Cat...or...rental house of our dreams where we can flourish and be joy-filled and possibly gain all the things we've been praying for?"Obviously, we took the house. I really do have peace about it all; when the time is right (when our children are grown and moved out), we'll get a a starfish or something. This is the part where I show a tribute picture of said animal but uh...well the disclaimer is, this is the only picture I could find was taken because I was playing a mean trick on her...I would sneak up on her when she was napping (if THIS chick can't nap in my home, no two-bit-floosey cat-nipper was gonna either!), get as close to her face as possible, preferably with a flashlight or camera, and yell, "NAWWWWF!!"...Yes, I have issues. Things like this make me happy. At least I am honest about mine--so don't go hatin' on me when you probably do weird things your toenails or lick your pretzels or something (euuuew...). Here she is..."The Cat:"

And so it was, that I was called out for not actually even owning a cat anymore, which is a discrepancy upon the title of this blog. And it's true but, I'm kind of attached to this title though I shouldn't be. I will put my thinking cap on (though it's more like a sombrero than a cap...don't know why, but if my thinking cap had a look, that's what it would be--a head's too big for caps) and come up with something wonderful! all could just write in some suggestions in the comment section!! *hint hint*...

To Be Continued! Duh-nuh-nuhhhhh!

Jason Statham: My Muse

I'm feeling in order to move on with the positive, I need to acknowledge what's making me a Frownie. I'm already feeling like a FROWNIE, so let me just say what kind of people this week, make me a *Frownie (this is spelled correctly because a Frownie is a type of person; like a Brownie):

People who completely flake out on you.

People who say rude things carelessly and don't feel the need to say "I'm sorry" because they never think they do anything wrong.

People who tell you even though you've already paid $39.90, somehow you actually owe $65...GAAA I HATE you Wen HairCare trixiness!

People that are such critics that they just can never enjoy anything...there always has to be something "wrong" with a situation or person.

People who only talk about their kids on Facebook...HAA! JUST KIDDING--had to throw a joke in there somewhere.

...Geeze...someone throw a coupla' dark chocolate bars in this girl's direction and then...walk away...slowwwly...

So maybe to offset so much charged negativity, as a bonus, I'll write about people who make me what I call, Happy Dappy:

Sisters who wear your bra on their head, to prove that it's giant enough to...wear your bra on their head...And who are willing to spend an entire weekend with you and share what they have, even when they're down to their last Hansen's soda.

Sisters who drive a long long way (all the way from a City Above The Clouds!) with their moms and baby to see your kids, even though their baby (and mom??) is fussy (mwamwahahaha... JUST kidding mom--you weren't "fussy" at all). And actually the baby wasn't fussy, just not feeling well, but it was funnier to say they were fussy. It's creative writing, okay?

Sisters who work really hard even though they feel their jobs can be slow-going...and secretly want to call their boyfriends names that rhyme like Hotty-Totty-Scotty...

Friends who come visit you just to see you or call you and laugh with you, and can know you well enough to know you're just being morbidly darkly humorous when you say, "there's been a beating...can you bring some yellow caution tape and a get-away car??" versus asking if they need to call the police.

Husbands that take hours off to take care of you even though they know it means they have to make up the hours later to afford what is needed...and that they too now will want to hit your children with a frying pan.

People who created ANY movie with Jason Statham in it...I'm totally jealous, entertained, and excited at the same time: if he weren't kinda buff, he'd just be a bald guy who was okay at acting BUT, he has a Cockney accent AND is buff, AND is bald, and always has a gun lol. What does a mama need to do to be that cool? Us chicks don't get to be recognizably hard-core cool like that, unless we can kick ass in a tight pleather Kate Beckinsale onesie (whilst murdering imaginary vampires and yes fellas, I am SO sorry to have be the one to tell you this, but she's not really murdering vampires), or...just be like Queen Latifah. I wish I was like Queen Latifah. A lot would have to change for me to be Queen Latifah. And what exactly does it mean to be hard-core, anyway? I mean, I know what I think it can mean. I think just being a woman in general is pretty hard-core... Gentlemen, I know what you're thinking, "Hey--why only women? What watching kids, shopping, and working is hardcore? I do that!" Yeah well, what you don't know, is that underneath a "normal" interaction at the store, or the pick-up line at school, lies a WHOLE other Hard-core Woman World. It's sink or swim. Survival of the fittest. Do or die.

Let me just put it out there, that as a woman, we really can't win either way in most situations. Fashion for example: it's all set up to make mostly women happy but instead, it makes us miserable! We want what we can't have and because it's always changing, we're never able to keep up or keep secure for long should we depend on the world in a moment of weakness (damn you again, Wen Haircare! You've broken my heart! *insert FROWNIE*). I love clothes. I love shopping; it really does make me happy...I love looking good. But it's true for most women "out there" (we'll say 'out there' because any woman reading this blog, is obviously and indubitably sharp as a whip, beautiful inside and out, and surely confident--so you know, we're just gossiping about 'the others'), that fashion is either to make other women want to be like us, or show that we can be like those other cool women. I hate that. I don't think there's anything wrong of course, with desiring to look beautiful (enhancing what we were given) but it gets ugly dude! One time, I was trying on a sweater dress and for once, admiring myself in the mirror (this was uh...before children...I said, "once" see? Like "once upon a time"?) and this chick in back of me waiting for the mirror smirked and said, "Hm. It's a little tight, isn't it?" WHAT?! Just being mean to be mean. I guy would never walk up to another guy in the changing room and be like, "Dude...that belt?...*head shakes disapprovingly*".

I guess losing my figure in these past pregnancies has forced me to embrace some things: that I have to be patient with myself to accept where I am at, but not settle for it either, and continue to move forward to be a healthy me I was created to be. And, that I desire to be seen for my own beauty, regardless of the tag. I think if I continue to be genuine and honest (and God knows, He keeps me honest), I won't lose that, even when I shed this cocoon and become Brooklyn Decker...BAHAHAHA--were you paying attention? Psych! JUST joking. I hate Brooklyn Decker. That name sounds like a sandwich but if she were a sandwich, she'd be a tasteless, tiny one with no bread because for one, she doesn't wear many clothes, and for two, she is too skinny to be a good sandwich full of comforting carbs, and for three, she'd be one of those "fat-free mayo" kind of sandwiches...eeuuww. At that point, what's the point? Just go for a wrap, which isn't a sandwich at all.

Anyway, that concludes my list and made for a nice random rant about did all that come from talking about Jason Statham? See--he IS an intriguing guy, inspiring blogs, even! Okay until next time friends--toodles!

*Frownie [frow-nee]: An attitude that is sad, pouty, and somewhat angry. Using this context, when a person being a Frownie frowns, the frown can then be called "a frownie" because it's deeper than the action of a frown, it's like a "THUMBS DOWN" and a frown, and a statement. If you don't know about "THUMBS DOWN", you haven't read enough of my blogs and should get on that promptly.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Hump Day

Ah Wednesday, you little stump of a hump day...I'm a grump. To be really fair, the first half of my day ROCKED; finally got to have a fairly "relaxing" hang out time with one of my best gals (and by "relaxing" I mean the kids were strapped down in Lucille, the Minivan Wonder of Transportation, while we ate fries and vented), and had a decent trip to the store with all four kids. But THEN--there was picking up our 4 passenger car from the mechanic's when we are 5 passengers...and figuring that out...and the extra cost because our battery was kaput...dealing with the kids' snobby secretary regarding what else--money--for his school lunches, and explaining exactly why even though I live down the STREET, waking up a 9 month old and a tantruming 2 year old (especially when they just fell asleep) makes it nearly impossible to arrive ANYwhere on time...So, I made it, I'm still going off of not really having a break away from kids for 2 weeks, another round of antibiotics for still lingering STUPID mastitis (do you think the person who named it 'mastitis' realized that the word 'tit' is smack in the middle of that stupid word??? NOT funny Mr. I Named This Booby Hell Disease!), and weak attempts at cleaning the pit that once was a pristine home...So, here goes:

Five things I definitely NEVER thought I'd hear all in one day:

1. "Sorry--it's actually WEDNESDAY, not Friday *snobby secretary frown followed by snorts of laughter* (joke's on HER for snorting...).

2. "Mama--I MUST be naked--I don't believe you that I'll get sunburned...I'll just make you buy my penis sunglasses and an umbrella!!!!" --Matty, Phallic Extraordinnaire, age 4

3. "Well, it was going to be $28, but since you didn't tell us not to put the battery in, it's $175--sorry!"

4. "...And who wouldn't understand why you're late to pick up Mike? You have FOUR kids, and you're pregnant!" case you don't know I'm NOT pregnant...I too frickin' fat to exercise during the last you know...THREE months of my last pregnancy that was...almost a year ago and...then sort of...broke and ankle and grabbed tendonitis...which made being fat worse it turns out... Does anyone remember that sound in the Muppets when something went wrong, and Kermit wore that expression like, "weh-weh-wooowwww"? Here's what my face looks like about this:

5. Finally, I hate to say this but, thing #5 is, I dropped the F bomb. I went into my room and screamed it as loudly as I could into my pillow...(Nobody get all worked up--kids didn't hear it and I'm not like, addicted or anything now). I don't plan on doing that again but I have really, no regrets about it today. I still hate that word, hate it but, saying it that many times made me laugh...a lot...I'm pretty sure there's something unwell about that but it sure beat the alternative of having a psychotic break, lighting my hair on fire, and running up and down Littleton streets yelling,

"You can't catch me, THIS. GIRL IS ON FIIIIEEEE-YA!!!"

Hope your hump days were better than the last third of mine...

Monday, October 15, 2012

The Toilet Epiphany: It Gets Easier As You Go? NO! But It Gets Better

This is actually from this past Friday...I decided I get weekends "off"...Mostly to pretend that I actually function like most of the rest of the world, and actually have days "off." Since this post I'm stoked to announce that after two solid months of living here, we finally: mounted our flat screen (the 2 year old only scratched it five times!), hung up twenty-one pictures! (okay, not really; all of our frames were broken in the move and I mean all of them, and I found a slammin' good deal of a collage picture frame at Michael's), and finally got a nice frame for our wedding picture (that one only took eight years!). (I think that when you add more exclamation points to things, it makes people excited.) And speaking of exciting, I have some thoughts...I would really really love to make this a blog that is open to more people but...I don't know more people *insert "awww!"* and so this is where you all come in. Please tell at least one person, to read this little humble silly blog, and to "like" it, comment on it, or re-post it. I'm tryin' to move up in the world, see and the only way to really get there is all of you. I don't need to feel cool or funny (I get laughed at all day by mismatching midgets aka my kids) or to make lots of money--hey that rhymes--but I do love to write, and I am feeling pulled to pursue this passion. I promise--NO more favors! That's all! I"ll just keep writing! (Are you all of these exclamation points?? I hope so...!) Anyway anyway--mooooving on. Let's talk, Toilet Epiphany.

So after a really crummy and tough day like today, like this past weekend, and week like last week, I've had a thoughtful thought: the saying "it gets easier as you go", I think we tend to misinterpret. (Well actually the first thought I had about that saying, I shouldn't repeat but it rhymed with schmull-schmit). I myself, have always interpreted this to mean, "It's hard now but eventually, life mellows out a little and it's not so tough." I suppose this could be true...but how for anyone, anywhere in life (except for really rich people??*) is this evidently true? I really do have a positive point to this, so bear with me; I realize I am coming from feeling like a hunched over troll, mumbling angrily to herself, and needing very badly to get out and turn back into a Normal Niki, instead of Momster. 

So in this one single day, I have had an anxiety attack of sorts (if you saw Jimmy's schedule for the week, our dumpy kitchen from my being sick last week, and the state of my brain, you would have too), forgot a car appointment, lost keys and had to run all children to school (like, literally--threw a coupla' kids in a double, and like, dog-ran the 4 year old down the street--it was NOT pretty...if you would have seen my ass jiggling to get there you'd be like, "some people should NEVER wear tights and run...) to pick up Michael only to come back locked out (because I forgot that we didn't have the keys, and when I'm overwhelmed my brain goes, "bye bye!" *crossed eyes*), and had to pry open the back window with a plastic knife stub, and boost 'n' shoot Michael through the window to open the house (not sure if I should have been proud that I got in using only a knife, or terrified that I got in using only a knife). Next, Joseph spat at me for putting him in time-out (because I caught him JUMPING on my computer..can't believe I'm typing on it) and right in between that, the toilet overflowed--majorly. As I was running to get the plunger, Mike tells me Matthew threw a broken plastic knife in there yesterday...And I'm seeing the dollar signs flash before me to have it fixed and can actually feel the blood pressure shooting up...So when I was literally, hands-deep in crap and other fun stuff, it hit me: it doesn't get easier does get better.

That doesn't really make any sense I know, that it was that moment...but I'm thinking God and my brain knew that if that little epiphany didn't happen, I'd have tried to drown myself in that toilet because it's been that kind of a week and a half.
'What could have been so bad that happened?' you ask. Well, it's not that anything big happened; in fact life has just been extra life-y lately but it is precisely that in which I am writing about. I mean literally, last week, Jim worked so many hours I didn't see him until the weekend. I had Mastitis, the Death Boob disease on Wednesday and didn't start feeling like myself until yesterday then was put back on antibiotics; Gabriele had Roseola last week and finally broke out in the rash on Thurs night, and let's not even GO THERE about us taking the pacifier from Matthew...There is no "weaning" to be weenied...Yes I said "weenied"...I have to be as inappropriate as possible to make myself laugh instead of have another anxiety attack. Anyway, you take it away like a band aid (the paci) and it's awful and you keep telling yourself, "This is the right thing, this is the right thing...I feel like sticking this curling iron in my eyeball to keep me awake, or calling a priest to exorcise my son, but this is the right parental thing." Not to mention one of the cars is dead-ish for now...and the heater decided to stop on the van...and that Matthew has hit the phallic stage (ugh) and has harnessed his Mean Chi officially (like I actually caught him hiding his toys in pillock bags, and storing them so that Joseph could neither find, nor access them). Also, not to mention (and by "not mention" I obviously mean I'm singin' like a canary), Joe has reached the hitting, spitting, and drawing all over everything, and otherwise completely destructive and defiant phase.
So apparently when Wifey is sick, the whole enchilada turns into a giant crap dump of mush, and molds, and then flies swarm it because, that's about how the house has looked until today, and about how the kids have been functioning until today and by "until", I mean that today is the first day I have my Wifey Tough Mama hat back on, not that it's *easier...but it does get better.*  See how I did that? Did ya? Well, I've just been doing a lot of reflecting in my prayer time about this (nobody get all "how does she have time for prayer?!", this is like, the last FIVE minutes of my day when I'm actually vulnerable and passing prayer life could use some revamping...But yes, I have prayer time) lately and desiring to gain the positive spin on the negative realization that it does not get easier.

Jim and I have known each other for about twelve years; we've been married for eight, and with children for five...Never ever in the course of our relationship has it been fairy-tale-esque or "easy going" or even really, consistent. The only consistent we've had is chaos. Now, I'm not saying that's good or normal or that it's someone else's fault that our lives  have been this way; we made choices that obviously affected our lives that made it chaotic. (Um, like moving to Denver so one of us could attend full-time graduate school in one of the most competitive programs while the other worked a full-time insane job, enter in that later, school-attendee would be carrying three jobs with field placements, and we would have a baby in the second year. Just for example. Yet...we wouldn't regret those choices for a moment.
What I am speaking to here, is that thing that we humans do sometimes when we say, "Well, once he gets a little older, then we'll be able to ___ and it'll be easier." Feel free to plug that in with any of the following: get a new job, have more family time, move to a new home, lose weight, etc. Now to be clear, I'm not saying that it's bad to have goals and dreams; we often do need things to change before we can really soar. I can personally say, that up until August of this past year, I feel like all I ever said were those lines because the little home we were living in was chaotic, overstuffed, and under-loved. And, there were times when we were so (arbitrarily I'm sure) poor, we could not afford to eat much (though I will brag and say that there was this one series of weeks that our lunch every day was 8 oz of cheese divided up for a whole week, and we'd put it on saltine crackers...I was quite pleased with myself that I made that stretch) and could certainly not afford to go anywhere or even drive. There were times I physically couldn't drive because I was either pregnant (too fat), we couldn't afford the gas, I had a broken ankle, or we didn't have a car that fit everybody in it. I know what it feels like to be going to work full-time and wondering what you're really working toward, living for, fighting for etc., when you know that all you hold dear is just waiting at home or with someone else that you feel should be you. I know what it feels like to feel that immense guilt that you're a "part-time" mom but then to have that pale in comparison to the guilt you might feel if you're finally at home with your kids, and all you want is out. All along, I reflect on feeling like, "It'll get has to...We can't live like this forever." That was not that long ago, really. And it was true--it was not good to be living with constant hardship. We could've made some things easier for ourselves...I think especially if our mentalities wouldn't have placed such an emphasis on A Land Hoping For A Future Where Things Are "Easier", kids are older, and jobs give more money which are great things. Who doesn't want that? But then you I can attest that, if you're not careful with this kind of hoping, you might miss opportunities to love and to be grateful for even the purgatory you might be in. I'm not saying, "SUFFA, SUCKAS! It's the HOLY thing to do!!" C'mon--give me more credit than that! I'm saying that, I myself, am a Whiner. I can always, and I mean always, find something to complain about. So imagine me, The Whiner, in these said situations, which are just a snippet of our humble walk thus far. I was NOT grateful much of the time. I was NOT grateful at the time to have experienced depression and suicidal-ideation; I was NOT grateful for the relationships I burned when I was in that place, nor was I grateful at the isolation my husband and I often felt when I was constantly pregnant and alone, and he was constantly working and dealing with me being so needy and exhausted.
For some reason, God has granted that we get to have those little scenic rests however, and on this particular one (this day of the Toilet Epiphany), I saw a vast past of toil stretching behind us, and couldn't believe all that we've encountered. People get divorced for less these days, dude! But mostly that, my hope should not be in hoping for "easier" ...I mean, I'm just a normal schmuck, and I'm always gonna wish that things would stop being so hard, so exhausting, and so freakin' insane--who doesn't in these times?! And I'm definitely not saying, "Be like ME--care-free and enlightened...!" Because...I'm actually a basket-case with low-lying anxiety, and a tendency towards depression**...But, I now recognize that my hope can be peacefully and comfortingly placed on the green slopes of, "It gets better."

Why do I think that? I guess I forgot to say why--bad writer! Bad! *wrist slap*. Well, that's the best part: after my depression that was seemingly  short but very...devastating, I felt like I'd been flipped inside-out and what was to show, was not beautiful, not a palace of  humility, joy, or anything worth offering. I really thought, I was not really worthy of anyone's friendship, of being my kids' mom, or my husband's spouse, and certainly not someone who had insight. (Yeah, yeah, yeah--I know--it's actually ANNOYING to write it out loud: the self-loathing that comes with depression sometimes--I annoyed myself! Bear with me though...) I share this because, while anyone can see that these things were mental because they were not true, when you're in it, there is nothing in the world to convince you otherwise. What's worse is that when you're depressed, you have what I've heard referred to a "sad but true" type of insight; you honestly call things as you see them, and you're usually right but the way you internalize them is all wrong. Bleh to you, depression! I kicked yo ASS! So the point is, I had myself totally convinced it didn't get better; that this is who I was going to be. Forever. But then, I had this really wonderful best friend*** explain that they needed me and that our kids needed me, and that I needed to get my head out of my self-loathing butt, and move forward...I'm not sure how or when I decided to listen to him, but I remember that it all swirled around me and hit me hard and fast; I had the realization that I was doing horribly, and that this was the part where I did anything it took to get better because we all deserved that. And that's what I did. I took the medicine I so reluctantly had encouraged hundreds of previous clients to take to get better; I went to therapy (reluctantly), and I sought spiritual direction (this one not so reluctantly). It did not necessarily get easier...I fought tooth and nail and blood and sweat to stay present those days when I was so depressed I couldn't even afford the motivation or the anxiety it caused me, to move dirty dishes from the stove onto the counter (like six inches away). I fought back more depression when I finally looked the devastation in the eyes after the wake The USS NICOLE had left; broken friendships, damaged relationships, and confused kids, and given my previous role of "the one that never breaks", I'd scared the living scheiss out of a lot of people.

Little by little, I gained enough confidence to say, "it's getting better...I am feeling better...I see things differently." I'll never ever, as long as I live, forget two things I discovered in spiritual direction (the one I was the least reluctant about): 1. What is feels like, to be embraced by Jesus, and 2. What it feels like to know you have worth, even in your own littleness. One of the absolutely fantastical things that I received from my truly horrible job, was bed-bugs. It was the norm that Case Managers worked with clients of all types of ailments (tuberculosis, scabies, lice, bed-bugs etc) and we never thought much of it. I had been working with this family of five; I could see the bugs crawling around and it never occurred to me, that they sitting in my office, could leave one or two...or a bunch. Anyway, unbeknownst to me, I brought the Demon Bugs to our home at the time and thought that I was having a weird allergic reaction because I was really really pregnant with my third baby, and I was always having weird side effects. The color red used to make me puke. I was the only one in the house to ever be bitten (and drained *insert cheesy laughter*) and for a full year, we never saw the little life-sucking turds. I'm not kidding. It was so oddly contained that every exterminator that came to kill them was shocked and always had to comment on how crazy it was that I was the only one to be attacked. I didn't think it was crazy; I was covered in bites almost up to my neck and felt like a leper. To make matters worse, even our support systems that we told this to, were a little uneasy to be around us, which was understandable but still sucked. A lot. We were basically asked not to come visit and if we did, I felt really badly about it the whole time. I got a taste of what my severely mentally ill clients felt like all the time, everywhere they went. Needless to say, this was not news I was shouting out to the world, so imagine my terror when I needed to share this with my spiritual director, to give her a fair warning. It had kind of become a way to push someone away I think, before I was rejected. I shared this with her and do you know what she did? Without saying a word, she stood up, walked over to me and hugged me shockingly tight, I just burst into uncontrollable sobs. That was Jesus in a skirt, I tell you. I've never been in any other emotional state at any other time to have felt so rejected and full of worth and love.
I'll also never forget the other part to that feeling of worth: often in my days, I try to stop and "listen" in prayer for like, a minute (don't judge...a minute's a lot in Crazy Mom Land). On one particular day, I was really really struggling to stay present; I was tempted to give into my anxious fog and put my head in my hands. I threw my hands up in the air and said, "What should I do?!" I sat well, with my head in my hands for a long time. I started to stand up and heard, "Fight. Fight for this. Fight." Over and over again. "What the HELL does that mean?" I asked. "That's great; the first time in years I feel like God is actually on speaking terms with me, and I don't know what the heck that means." Then, like so many other times in my life when the cartoon-like bricks hit me in the head, it hit me: FIGHT for these little loves. FIGHT for your dignity; FIGHT for the worth I, your Father, created you with. Don't give in." Once again, I was brought to my knees on our dirty floor but with more strength than I'd had in years. I realized, this was a feeling I'd never actually experienced--this desire to discover and invest in my worth and dignity in God's eyes...I mean I thought I had but you know, you don't know yourself until you're really pushed to the edge, far beyond the safety of where you've functioned.

(Note: please DON"T pushing yourself to ANY edge...
Second Note: If you know my husband, please don't ever approach him and be all, "Hey dude--heard that three years ago your wife brought home the bugs--SUCKED to be you, huh?" It's um...very humbling to admit that and I'm sure sure sure, Husband will not be pleased, not at all, that I've shared this...But it's MY blog dang it. And it was MY blood they took, the little Devil Leaches...*insert Kermit Face*...So please--don't make me sorry I shared it.)

I just remember being in college and being so happy, so ready to die for Christ at a moment's notice, ready to be turned into some fantastic martyr. I'd thought, "I'm a virgin, I'm not bad lookin', and have no lucrative job--I'm a PERFECT fit for martyrdom!" But never in my wildest silly little holy dreams, did I imagine what real vocation, real patience, or real sacrifice actually meant. Vocation: as in--it's a commitment you sometimes have to make, every few minutes or so because, if you don't, you'll dig yourself a pool to get a pool-boy, and run away never to return. (This is not really a fantasy of mine; I hate swimming and I think the term "pool boy" sounds either so pre-pubescent it smells like high school B.O., or so cougar-like I wanna vomit...But you get the picture.)
Patience: the actual definition actually has to do with suffering with another while they go through their debacle, hurt, or pain. It's not simply a matter of "waiting-happily-bouncing-smiling". It's more like, a commitment to endure, even thought it will cost you a lot.
Sacrifice: There are many religious pictures that conjure up an image for this word but I tell you what, it really should feel like carrying a cross sometimes. And no, I don't mean it in that fatalistic-annoying-it's the only way-kind of way. I mean, I used to hate that saying and I get really annoyed when I hear people saying it to this day, "You just need to carry your cross", like it's a toilet hall pass or something...something that can be easily placed on a shoulder, and easily lied down. When I stopped trying to make "sacrifice" something so glorious, or pious, or whatever, it made sense in my own life: it really is just doing that which you never choose to do yourself, or desire to do, and doing it with love and forgetting about yourself. Sacrifice is NOT: thinking how cool you'll look carrying that cross...Though I'm sure Simon thought an awful lot about how uncool it looked to be carrying a giant bloody piece of tree next to a supposed criminal...And then I'm sure he thought about not wanting to look like a pansy not carrying the cross...not being able to hack it. I love Simon. I get him. I hate suffering; I hate when there's not enough tissue in the stupid bathroom and I'm thinking of how I can use  a used Oil of Olay facial wipe before I realize I'm being the epitome of lazy. But more than anything, I love Simon because he is the epitome of this question we as Christians ask ourselves: "Am I Simon, who is carrying this cross because that is the right thing to do, or am I Simon, carrying the cross because I love this Man and I'll fail to carry this a whole heck of a lot but, I'll be damned if I don't carry this for Him, and try to get to that place of deliverance and learn to truly love by the the time I get there"?
Well this got a whole heck of a lot deeper than I intended for a Monday night--sorry! Where's the jokies, where are the ridiculous stories?! Sorry folks--sometimes I gots to write from the deep..but to bring this around, let me say this:

So when I say these things, I am not coming from a place where I have just expected life to be easy; I am coming from a place that I have understanding within the little trials we've been given to see that, it does get better. See?  I'm saying that through all of these things, there is always and will always BE difficulties for we are not of this world. Yet, I fully believe it can and does get better. Though I am not where I want to be in a lot of areas (like the abdominal area, for example), I am a woman I am so grateful to be. I see that I strive for genuineness and authenticity, and am not (as) afraid to be humbled anymore (unless it's at Sam's...I hate being humbled at Sam's...*insert* Kermit Face from previous post). I love the woman I see me to be, and am. I wish she had more tact...a little more class, and better timeliness...But in general, I feel great hair, a flair for humor, and the ability to drink a lot of margs kind of makes up for that...? If you've made it to the end of this post, be assured, there is humor to come. And, you should win a prize...some sort of prize, yes. Leave a suggestion of what kind of prize you'd like. I'm fresh outta ideas.

*Please, if you are a really rich person, don't be offended; I'd love to hear how things stopped being tough and got easier and then, would appreciate it if you sent me money. Preferably in twenty-dollar bills. And I'll say it like, monies, as in the way I would demand it of you in my Mexi-Can accent.

**Nobody freak out, or feel the need to constantly assess me. That was nearly two years ago--LOTS of therapy and drugs. (The legal-not-brown-hut-legal-kind). I'm in GOOD hands. Psychologist-Husband, remember? Plus, I have a decent amount of insight...And the drugs really helped. I loved those little anti-depressants like they was my own son.

***Best Friend: aka, my wonderful husband. He is the one who had the courage love me with his whole heart, and to say what he did, and to be patient with me in the truest sense (remember, "to suffer with"?). He rocks my socks. He's either a) a serious sucker or b) a def good judge of character...I'll go with b.