Friday, June 9, 2017

She Had Had Enough.

I don't remember how old I was. I know we lived on the lake, and I know my brother was walking, maybe not talking, I don't recall. My dad had just got home from work. My mom had been drinking that day, didn't really effect my brother and I, she was always kind to us. She loved us. I never felt unloved. It would be decades before I truly understood her pain. I just knew my dad was always the same. Never different. Always the same.

He went to the bathroom and was going to take a shower. The same ritual he did daily. I remember that I was sitting in the living room looking out the back door. We lived on the lake so our back yard was always ever changing. As a child this was a dream life. Room to play for my brother and I. She could hardly stand straight up without swaying. She had his wallet and she was taking money. I must have been 5-6 years old. I knew she was not supposed to be in my dad's wallet. I loved that man. He was my dad. She was flawed. He was perfect to me. I wanted to bolt down the hallway but she put her finger to her mouth, telling me to be quiet. She then put my brother and I in the car, bags packed and we were gone. I didn't know what was happening. I don't remember being afraid. I was confused, but not afraid.

We were headed down HWY 59 and I knew this route well. We were headed to Louisiana. My mom had been drinking all day but I could't tell much difference. Our station wagon seemed like a wonderland really. My brother and I had our belongings, we had our toys. We were fine. We were with our mom. Then it became dark and she picked up the first man. Someone on the side of the road that needed a ride. Someone for her to talk to I'm sure. When you feel alone you turn to things to fill that void. My mom had the habit of choosing dangerous things.

I can honestly say that I was so young that that night is patchy. I vividly remember some parts, and other parts I don't. I know that somewhere along the way she picked up a second hitchhiker. My brother and I were in the hatch by this time with blankets, pillows, and toys. I remember that I was keeping him busy. From a young age I was always taking care of my brother. I always kept him shielded from things that I was unsure of. I have just always been a mother to him. He never understood that, and to this day he still doesn't understand that. I have seen so many things that he has no clue ever occurred. I was good at being a big sister.

It was extremely dark and late. I woke up because the car stopped. I knew this house. It was my grandma's house. I saw my mom standing at the door talking to her. I looked up to the front of the car and saw those two men going through my mom's purse. She then staggered back to the car and we left. I would find out later that my grandmother was trying to convince my mom to let us stay with her. My grandmother also immediately called my father.

It could not have been more than an hour as we crossed into the next parish. As soon as we crossed the line a swarm of cop car lights surrounded us. To me, it was 10 cars. In reality, it may have only been 2, but I remember we were surrounded and flashing lights. The hitchhikers were told to walk on. My mom was handcuffed and put in one car, and my brother and I were put into another.

We slept at the police station with an officer watching over us. I remember early that morning my dad walked in. We were safe. We were going home. He later told me that when he arrived that the officer asked if he brought any proof that we were his kids. He told the officer to open the door, you will get your proof. We ran straight to him. I loved my dad. He was my hero. Always saving me.

My Opa had come with him and he drove my mom's car back to Texas. My mom was left in jail there. I don't know the details. I don't know how or why she came home. I just know that within a week our family was back together. Like nothing had ever happened. 

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Taking Something That I Thought Defined Me and Making it Truly Define Me.

I am not a writer, so as I dive back into blogging you are going to see TONS of mistakes, lots of repetition, and more. So here we go. My first blog in FOREVER!

I was 18 years old, it was the last day of High School, it was May, 1994. I walked into the principals office and I knew there was no turning back. I had missed too many days of school that year. I hadn't made them up, I hadn't done enough community service. I just wanted to walk. Don't even give me the diploma, just let me walk with my friends, for my family, for my new boyfriend and his family. Please.

Let's back up. My parents divorced when I was 16. My brother and I stayed with my Dad. He worked all day, every day, and fished, went to car races, or watched TV on weekends. He was a provider, never missed work, loved us, gave me things when I needed them, but we didn't have much money. We were not hurting though. We were a typical, check to check, family of three. The extra parenting concern might be what was missing. The path laid out for what's next, or how to succeed , was something that I didn't know about.

As I sat in her office, I will never forget this principal because I dated her son in middle school and he was graduating too, I just knew it was bad. I had held this secret, this knowledge of skipping class, going to school late, and just sleeping. I didn't do anything wrong, I just slept. Looking back, I think I was depressed. She let me know that I was not only not graduating, I was not walking. I was .5 credits off of being able to walk with my class and be a summer graduate. She would not bend the rules, and I was not walking that night. I fell apart. My mom lived in another town and though we had a relationship, it wasn't the best. I hated her new boyfriend. He represented the tear in our family. If she would have been home I would have never slept so much, I would have got up, I would have cared.  I had been an all A Honor Roll Student my entire life. As high school went on, I began to slip, and no one was watching. I had a boyfriend all through school, and he gave me a reason to care, but after he graduated and broke up with me the fall of my Senior year I truly stopped giving a crap. No one even noticed. If they did, they didn't say anything to me.

My favorite teacher was asked to come out of class and be with me in the principals office. She held me as I cried. It was over. My life, in my eyes, was truly over. I would have to go to summer school and get my diploma in August. I was leaving for a Senior Trip to Cancun the Sunday after graduation. My dad had been paying on it all year and looking back, was a way to show off. He liked to spend his money when he looked good. I do believe he loved me, but he didn't know how to love a daughter. He was always taught to buy affection. I would later understand that even more.  My teacher comforted me, I gathered myself up and went home. I am sure I called my boyfriend at the time first. He was very compassionate and said he wanted to get me out of the town for the night. He knew I needed my mind on something else, and fast. We went to his old high school's graduation, where he had graduated the year before, and watched his friends. We made up some story about me graduating the night before, no internet back then, how could you check my story! Ha! I got my mind off of it all. I don't remember the exact details of how I told everyone. My Dad was so upset, mad, dissapointed, and more. He refused to give me spending money for the Cancun trip, I had to go, he had already paid. My Mom was understanding, I am sure she was upset, but what could she say. We were all mad at her for leaving my Dad, so she didn't get much say in anything.

That Sunday I got on a plane with about $250 in cash that my boyfriend gave me and I made it work. If I recall correctly, a friend had to pay my fees to come back home, I was broke! But I got my mind off it and never looked back. I got my GED that summer. My boyfriend bought the book to study, his Dad and Stepmom paid the $50 to take the test, and I enrolled in junior college that fall. My Dad was only paying for A's. Who knew my journey to a Bachelors Degree would not end until I was 39 years old. And that "boyfriend" is my husband of over 20 years now, and the reason I am alive. We saved each other.

Last Friday night my own daughter, graduated from the EXACT high school that defined me, in my mind, so many years ago. She is beyond amazing, and everything I wanted to be and more. She does not give a flip about what others think of her. She is kind, she is humble, she is spoiled rotten, and she is loved. I just knew I was going to be devastated, sad, hurt, anxious, depressed, and more, as I sat in those stands watching her walk across the field I never got to. I did not shed one tear. I was beyond happy. I was jovial! Lol! I did it. I graduated from Crosby High School, through my child. Her walking across that stage was like a slap in the face to the depression, the hurt, the pain, and more that I experienced as a teenager. I could not be more proud, and more excited about the journey my daughter is about to embark on. Me not graduating that night, so many years ago, did define me. It made me stronger. It made me who I am today. One little difference, and I may not be who I am now.

I used to feel so ashamed about having a GED. I used to cry when I even talked about it. Now, I am thinking, if a High School Diploma defines you, you better set your sites higher! Go get that degree, go get that certification, go get that job history, go get that knowledge in whatever it is that YOU want to be. These past bumps in the road do not define you. What defines you is what you do when you hit that bump, or get that flat tire. Do you just wait around or do you change it yourself and keep driving?

I wrote this today to share my complete and utter happiness about my daughter and what she means to me. She has and always will be, the reason I get up every day. Not her brother, not her dad, it's always been her. My hero. 

Monday, June 22, 2015

Scared at 39.

I am 39 years old and scared out of my pants about going to work in the fall. I know I can do it, just like I knew I could get my Bachelor's Degree. But this is so surreal, a job, me, a boss, 22 small little humans depending on me. It's all so crazy...stay tuned. 

Monday, July 21, 2014

Marriage...It's Not a Given.

I have not blogged in FOREVER and frankly I have a lot to say. So here we go. Let's start with marriage. I don't know why I chose that topic, but my hubby is on my mind this morning and we are just gonna talk about him. Shhh...Don't tell him!

I am 38 years old and have been with my husband since I was 18 years old, he was 19, and we have been married for 17 years this past Spring.  I can happily say we have NEVER broken up and I can also happily say this is the HARDEST thing ever! Spending your life with one person and their quirks is tough. For example, he can sleep till noon, I can't sleep past 7 most times. He can watch ESPN ALL DAY while in and out of napping, I want to watch House Hunters all day and see if they chose the house I would have chose.  He can stand outside in this Texas heat, for hours, cooking and watching football or listening to old country so loud that I can hear it in the house, while I want to stay inside listening to Justin Timberlake and redecorating something else for the millionth time. He can pop open a beer, or two, or three after mowing the lawn and say "it tastes like ice cream" and I want to drink a Starbucks refresher after HARD LABOR (Yes, I think mowing sucks). He sleeps in his socks, and that's just weird. He laughs at funny movies so loudly and turns blood red and I just want to die from embarrassment. His version of cooking family dinners, though always delicious, will consist of meat with no sides. I like to eat by 6 and he likes to eat whenever. His Saturday mornings (when I make him get up)  consist of going out in our shop and building something all day long while I want to hit Houston and shop and eat at some quaint little diner I found on the internet. He can rent a movie anytime that involves shooting something or blowing it up, while I want to go see an independent film that just came out at the theater about some long lost love. He can wear jeans, work boots (he's not a shit kicker, so remember these are work boots) and a tshirt on the daily while I want to dress up and GO! The list can go on and on. He is the complete opposite of me in most cases.

But, and yes I began this sentence with but, I have always treated our marriage like what it is, a contract. We really did sign paperwork and took an oath before God, our family, and friends.  You don't do that with parenting or anything else, you do it with marriage.  See I HATE HATE HATE when women, or men, but I really hear women say, "My husband has to love me and the kids forever", or "Can you believe he cheated on me? Our family?" or "My husband and I are best friends. We will be together forever". I call BS! If your husband is your best friend you need to get out more. I used to be one of those women. I even blogged a few years ago that Lance is my best friend.  Women NEED other women to talk to and to talk about men! You can't load your husband down with all our women stuff. They don't want to hear it all.  Of course I tell my husband things, and we are very close to one another. I ADORE the man but he doesn't give a crap about the latest town gossip, the new curtains I want or how to move our family to all organic food.  Let your man be a man, not a girlfriend!

I will leave you with this.  My husband and I made some major changes the last few years and really the last 6 months. We started treating each other like we were dating again. Treating each other with kindness, love, respect, and excitement at all times, not just some times! It is flipping working! We are acting like two teens these days and treating marriage like what it is, a constant battle for love.  Ladies remember, those kids are going to leave you one day and that man you are bitching about is going to be all you've got day in and day out! If he's not the one worth fighting for then....well, that's a whole other story.

I LOVE my man and he deserves my respect and attention, even if he wears socks to bed!

This is Me, Then.


Sunday, February 24, 2013

Wow, It's Been Awhile!

Wow, I Can't Believe I Haven't Blogged Since Last May!  YIKES!

I have so much to say, and so much to tell the world and I want to blog again.  I have so many little projects going on and so many things to be thankful for.  Going to clean up my blog pics and postings and hopefully get back blogging meals, projects and more. 

Remember, This is Me, Then.
I Change Every Minute!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Slow and Steady Wins the Race

Well, I think about blogging all the time. Like when I drive on to the University of Houston Clear Lake campus and see a dozen deer literally staring at my car and eating grass and not fazed at all. Like when I drive into my drive way and see my daughter waiting for my son to get off the bus because she acts as mother hen for me when I have a late class or meeting.  Like when I get a shot at the diet doctor (yes I am seeing a doctor now to properly get this weight off and I have lost 12 lbs in a month, woohoo. Slow and steady wins the race) and the shot hurts and I want to blog about why did I let myself get this far. Like when I am kneeling at the altar every Sunday praying nothing but good to happen to certain people that have hurt me so badly this past year and continually do. Like when the letter came in the mail asking my daughter to be honored for her high scores on the ACT!  Like the moment my daughter was asked to attend a Duke University 3 week summer camp and the moment we figured out how much it cost! OUCH! Like when I am exhausted after subbing or after the part time job I took administering the STAAR test and I finally sit down at 10:00 at night and realize I have homework due by midnight. Like the moment I decided to take a May Mini (I am second guessing myself now). Like the moment I joined a book club and our first book was 50 Shades of Grey (We can talk about that another time). Like the moments when people don't show up, you can't fix those moments you missed. Like the moment I decided to be inducted not only into The National Society of Leadership and Success this semester but to also earn The Excellence Award. (NUTS NUTS NUTS, but I can explain later).  The moment I decided to take 12 hours this semester and my husband and best friend told me NO NO NO. (Guess what? I did it!)

So many other crazy wonderful sad and happy things have happened this past Spring and I am so blessed and fortunate to not only be alive, but also I am still painting the world Black and White one Pottery Barn catalog at a time!

(above is my greatest accomplishment thus far)

Oh, I did buy a piece of turquoise jewelry the other day!
Baby Steps Baby Steps!

Coming up next! I graduate this coming weekend with my
 Associates Degree!

This is Me, Then.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Luncheon, well of course!

I was having lunch with a dear friend yesterday and I told her I was going to a luncheon today and she replied, "You are going to drive all the way over there for lunch?" (I get invited to luncheons at my University from the education department and its an hour away). I replied,"Yes, anytime the word "luncheon" and an invite comes my way I say YES". LOL!  What I mean is, I've been a stay at home mom for 13 years and have watched my husband get invited to lunches, trips, parties and more. What have I been invited to? A PTO meeting. Ha! 
Going to college at 36 years old is AMAZING.  I mean, I feel so alive when I am on campus.  I feel like I am getting a second chance to experience what I missed out on so many years ago. 
Anyone that is having second thoughts or wondering if they should go to school, DO IT!  It will change your life forever.

This is Me, Then.