Help for an inspiring woman

February 18, 2010 at 5:55 pm (Melodie, Michael)

When I first heard about Anissa, I wasn’t really familiar with her as a person. I knew she did some talks at Blogher, I’d seen some pictures of her, I’d “heard” her name mentioned in other blogs I read.  I got invested when I’d heard she had a stroke. After reading the heartbreaking story, I used her story to inspire me to get very honest with Michael. Reading her story gave me the strength to put myself out there, to put my heart out there and have a very serious discussion with Michael. Without knowing it, Anissa and her husband Peter opened me up to possibilities. The possibility of having my family back – the possibility of having my best friend back.

Even though I don’t know her – she means a lot to me because of the strength I found while reading her story. I donated money to help her get some outpatient therapy. Anissa’s story is exactly why healthcare in the US needs to change. She needs outpatient therapy, roughly 40 days worth – however the co-pay for the facility is $100 per day. No caps. It will personally cost their family $4,000 to put her through much needed therapy. Of course, the other option for the family is to leave her as is, without a fully functioning right side of her body…  Not a good option.

I donated and I’m encouraging everyone to donate to help Anissa and her family through this struggle.

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Hello 2010!!

December 31, 2009 at 1:01 pm (Holidays, Melodie)

I don’t know about you, but I am so done with 2009. I am ready for a fresh start! A new year! It’s time to clean out the closet and start again. I love starting a new year, you have so many hopes, dreams and goals.

2009 was not the best year I’ve ever had. I don’t think it was the worst either. I believe 1994 was the worst year, I lost both grandfathers that year.

Let’s sum up the year:

  • Brody started the first grade!
  • Evan started kindergarten!
  • I did an amazing amount of soul searching and really discovered who I am and what I want in life
  • I started a great job
  • I finished my Associate’s Degree (I have the diploma to prove it)
  • I branched out of myself (and my introvertedness and social awkwardness) and met some amazing new friends
  • I stopped lying; to myself, to my children, to everyone (hard to admit I lied, but it’s human nature so I’m told).
  • I stopped taking things and people for granted
  • My parents visited! Hooray!
  • My cat Minnie had a dirty weekend, got pregnant, contracted fleas and completely ruined my entire summer. How, you ask? The fleas that infested Minnie, infested my house and nearly drove me crazy. The kittens were super adorable and all have lovely, lovely homes now.
  • I went to Edmonton, Vancouver and Vegas (twice)
  • Michael moved out
  • My father in law passed away
  • The boys spent the summer in Canada getting to know my family
  • I experienced some of the darkest days of my entire lift

See what I mean? Not a bad year, not the best year – but definitely a memorable year. I feel blessed to have made progress on my life journey. I’ve discovered the adult version of the girl I once was. A girl I’ve missed terribly for so many years. I’ve regained my inner voice and actually started listening! For once in my life, I have looked in the mirror and actually loved what my body looked like. I am able to laugh at myself and be honest with the people in my life – these two factors have improved my quality of life immensely.

I no longer feel guilty for taking time for myself. I don’t feel guilty for being who I am and doing things I love. I am blessed to have healthy children, a loving family and fabulous friends.  Happy New Year – I am wishing you the absolute best for 2010!

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Tahoe!

December 7, 2009 at 2:10 pm (Melodie, Weekend)

A very large group of friends spent this past weekend in South Lake Tahoe. I had such a good weekend and I think I know why. Don’t laugh, but I believe it was the weather! While I do love the sun and sand, I am a winter girl. Always have been.  Even on the coldest days, I am still a happy camper.

I remember when Bob and I were kids, we’d spend hours building snow forts or skating. We also spent hours and hours on the crazy carpet (apparently, this is a Canadian item, because most Americans have no clue what a crazy carpet is) behind the skidoo. We were typical Canadian kids, winter was 8-9 months long so you learned how to enjoy it. This past weekend was cold and while others were freezing, I knew exactly how to block out the cold so I wouldn’t shiver.

I think I’ll be spending more time in Tahoe… might be time to start looking for a timeshare.

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The weekend yo

September 28, 2009 at 12:42 pm (Brody, Friends, Melodie, Weekend)

I had a dinner party this past weekend. It turned out really good and I think everyone had a great time. The best part? I was the only woman! Way to increase my odds!  heh heh

Seriously, everyone knows I have some really great girlfriends (most of them live somewhere else, but I have a few who live close) – but I tend to make friends with guys (they are way easier and take less time to get ready). It’s been that way my entire life and I haven’t quite yet figured it out. I’m sure some of my girlfriends know the answer. Anyway, I’m not complaining, in fact, I like that I can hang with guys and be comfortable and relaxed.

Brody loves to entertain. That kid is going to be an event planner! He loves the idea of people coming over and loves to help. He doesn’t like to help with actual work, but he will “help” with entertaining. On Saturday night he made everyone sit in their chairs so he could show them rocks he’d collected. A big hit with the guys!

It’s been hard adjusting to single life – there are parts that are very easy. Then there are parts that totally suck. Preparing for a dinner party on your own is one of the sucky parts.  Fortunately for me, one of my friends ROCKS in the kitchen and he whipped up some amazing appy’s. We had delicious fresh oysters with some concoction Louisiana Joe whipped up as a topping to the oysters (a BIG shout out to Joe for shuckin em too!), Bryan made some delicious cheesy garlic bread (fortunately he made too much so I had it for lunch the next day) and the best salad I have ever eaten. I made ricotta stuffed manicotti and a pork roast. Oh and did I mention the margaritas? Yowzers!!  I did a bottle count the next day and those boys could drink some beers!

Seriously, one of the best nights I’ve had in a long time. It was great to sit around the firepit in the backyard and talk shit. I’m still trying to convince Jason to learn this (NSFW) so he can teach me and we can be the oldest white people on the planet doing the crip walk.

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I tried something new!

September 20, 2009 at 10:25 pm (Melodie)

I know, I know – y’all think I’m lying. But I swear to all things chocolate that I tried something new this weekend. I am normally not a risk taker or an adrenaline junkie – so agreeing to go white water rafting was something out of my comfort level. Over the past 10 months or so, I have been working really hard on creating friendships with good people. You’d be surprised at all the duds (not good friends) that I’ve met along the way.

My friend Joey is the organizer extraordinaire. He planned a white water rafting trip and I agreed to accompany him and his girl Brooke on the trip.  We had some other friends lined up but I hadn’t spent any significant amount of time with them – so it would include new(ish) people as well (except Keith, he and I go waaaaay back). This week has been craptastic and I was not looking forward to getting up at 6:30 am on a Saturday morning so I could help Joey cross another “must-do” off his list.

After finishing homework on Friday night, my girl Jenn and I went to the Rellik for a beer. We had a great time flirting shamelessly with the bartender and bar back (don’t you just love that name?).  Jenn showed Ed (the bartender) and I some amazing photos and we had a really great time. In fact, it was 2:00 am before we left the bar! By the time I got home and got ready for bed, it was close to 3:00 am. (gasp). A mere 3.5 hours later and I was up – getting ready for the 2 hour drive up to the south fork of the American River. 

Can I just say, the lack of sleep and long drive was worth every single minute! Every anxiety or period of bitchiness I had was worth it! I had one of the best days EVER! Not only was the rafting amazing, but the people I connected with have confirmed that I am finally on the right path with friends!

We ran the river! EXTREME!  We were on the “slow” part of the river so that means, Class 2 and 3 rapids. But the experience and memories we created as a group of friends made up for the slower parts of the river. We had an amazing time and are planning another trip. Who’s in?

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The day the universe was against me…

August 31, 2009 at 9:44 pm (Brody, Evan, Melodie, School)

Today was the first day of school for everyone in this house.

Brody started first grade.

A first grader!

Evan started kindergarten.

A kindergartener!

Mommy started the last two classes of her associate’s degree.

No picture

We woke up late. Well, really, who wouldn’t? With all the partying we do up in here. I think the entire household was asleep by 9:20 last night.

Evan and Brody didn’t want to wake up. It took 4 trips to their bedroom before either of them stirred. It was a gorgeous morning – boiling hot this entire weekend, but the morning was cool. The kind of morning where you didn’t want to get out of bed because you are so cozy in your blankie.

For the love of god, no one could comb their own hair!

Breakfast… whatev… no one needed it!  Until it was the last minute and I’m shoving a bagel down their throats.

Lunches… usually made the night before. Made with love and thought to nutrition and the energy they’d be expending. The fuel to feed their bodies … neglected in favor of sleep. Rushed the morning of the first day of school (how could I be so silly to think I could wake them, dress them, feed them AND make lunches all in the same morning?)

The route to school is new. And long. And full of traffic. Including Rafael’s Landscaping, the driver of this vehicle was so safe and doing exactly 4 miles less than the speed limit. On any other day, I would have remarked on his thoughtfulness and safe driving. Today, as the minutes ticked closer to 8:15 – I cursed as he muddled his way through the neighborhood streets. I’m sorry I called you an idiot under my breath so the children wouldn’t hear. I only wanted to get my son to school on time and not have to do the walk of shame THROUGH the office to retrieve a tardy slip. How horrible is it that my son was late for his FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL??

I had the entire route planned out. I wanted to drop Evan off first – then make my way over to Brody’s school. I wanted to hug them both and assure them their day would be wonderful. Instead, Evan and I walked Brody to his classroom – through the office (walk of shame) and got lectured by the principal about parents walking kids to their classrooms on the first day of school. bah.

I cried on the way to Evan’s school for several reasons. It was emotional leaving Brody at the school for first grade (NOT Grade one, as I was taught). I was embarassed for getting him to school late. I was frustrated over the length of the drive!  And finally, let’s not forget how sorry I feel for myself when I am homesick.

Eventually, all boys were dropped off at school and I made my way back home. During the drive, I didn’t even want to sing to the radio … I listened and reflected on how quickly time passes. I don’t regret any of the past events that brought my children to me. I love them. I’m a lucky momma and I will never forget it. All of the emotions were worth it.

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Oh? You want to know where I’ve been?

July 6, 2009 at 12:52 pm (Canada, Family, Friends, Holidays, Melodie)

June came and went – kicking my butt in the process. I started two new classes, dropped my kids off in Canada with their suckers… err grandparents and had an amazing visit with friends and family while I was at it. Coming home was a different story.

During the trip home I managed to see Mom, Dad, Bob, Kristy, Auntie Di, Uncle John, Grandma Z, Grandma M, her boyfriend John, Jennifer, Riley, Harper, Tammy, Trevor, Tylynn (sp?), Taylor, a distant cousin of my mom’s and her two grandkids, Bernadette, David, Michaela (SP?), Ericka, Anastasia, SAM, SAM’s family, Robin, Jenae, Richard, Tracey, Matt, Carter, Brad, Anita, Anat, Raffi, Noah, Eva, and last but NOT least Maya. Sorry if I didn’t get to see you – it doesn’t mean I don’t love you. I had an action packed week full of beautiful people! And it made me more homesick than I usually am.

I have an entire summer (give or take) to get the house in order and that is EXACTLY what I am going to do. First and foremost, I need to clean up the horrible clutter and crap that has magically accumulated since moving in in 2001. I want to clean the garage, do some planting in the backyard (or at least plan for the fall), and I want to touch up the paint.  I want to hang out with friends and meet new people.

The past couple of weeks have been hard – not only was I physically exhausted, I was mentally pooped as well. Minnie and her babies have been exhausting (I just sighed while saying that). I have 2 kittens adopted out already and am hoping to get the other two into awesome homes as well.  They are big now… and fluffy. Fluffy and big.

I was very overwhelmed in June, but things have calmed down. I have decided to make some changes in my life – big Big BIG changes. Those of you who know me – know when I am serious about something and I am SERIOUS about these changes. I need to get my life back on track for my sake and the sake of my boys.  I’m going to do what Franklin Covey told me to do, make long term goals and break them up into short term, achievable goals. Then, I’m going to paste those goals on the fridge so they slap me in my face every single day. I love lists, I usually make them – then the list gets a stain from a glass (or beer), it gets soiled when drops of food fall onto it and serves as scratch paper when I’m trying to find out if the pen still works.  This way, by pinning the list up ONTO something, it will stay protected. I might even laminate it.

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Still in the process

June 3, 2009 at 2:38 pm (Divorce, Melodie)

I suck at updating this blog lately. I used to blog all the time, I had a rhythm – I was remotely funny. Now, it seems it’s all I can do to remember my lunch for work.  Some days, I forget the damn thing in the fridge and end up having to eat out.

I would have to say, after 8 months or so, that I am still in the process of defining myself and who I am.  I am still recovering and still healing. I thought recovering from losing my marriage wouldn’t have taken such a long time. I know 8 months isn’t a long time, I just thought it would take less time than it is taking. It makes me wonder how long it will take. Any soothsayers out there?

In 25 days I am taking the boys to Canada so they can spend a large portion of their summer with my parents. Brody is constantly asking “how many more days” and mom is emailing “26 more days!”  I’m not sure what Evan thinks about it, I have a feeling he’s too lazy to even consider pondering what his summer will be like. As long as he can sit on the couch and order up more chocolate milk, I doubt he even cares where he is spending his summer. He could spend it in a box down by the river – as long as that box had a never ending supply of chocolate milk, he’d be happy.

In 32 days, I will be without children for the summer. I have lofty goals:

  1. Get my poop in a group (it’s been roaming aimlessly)
  2. Organize the office/craft room
  3. Have new floors installed (I am dreading the amount of work this means for me)
  4. Organize the garage (all of Michael’s things MUST go to Michael’s house)
  5. Personalize the house (this sounds silly, but I’m bored with it and the way it is now reminds me too much of my past life)
  6. Make some new friends (god darn it!)
  7. Exercise more and eat better (or exercise better and eat more)

I guess they probably don’t look too lofty, but they feel lofty. Trust me. I currently have as much motivation as Evan does to help me with the household chores (ie. none). I’d also like to do some camping and maybe head to So-Cal to visit some friends.  I really wanted to go to my cousin’s wedding but it’s in Edmonton and I didn’t want to risk seeing the boys midway through their visit with my parents for fear they’d want to come home with me.  Not that I don’t love them, but I want them to have their summer of freedom – rather than being stuck in daycare the entire time.

Maybe I’ll find the motivation. Maybe once the boys are in Canada I’ll be able to focus on myself and getting things in order. Maybe.

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Choosing the right people

May 17, 2009 at 6:25 pm (Bored, Friends, Melodie)

So, as most of you know – I have been trying to make new friends. As a 30 something single parent, this is not an easy task. I’m awkward in social situations and am so desperate for friends that I think I may smell like desperation. I know what you’re thinking… “how could a totally awesome person have such a hard time finding people to hang out with?” The truth is, I don’t really know.

I’m pretty simple – laid back – funny – smart. All I meet are losers! I thought I met some girls (potential friends) a few weeks ago, but they turned out to be ridiculous (and so very high school)! I get along better with guys, but all the guys I’ve met want me to sleep with them. Not going there. It’s really difficult to meet genuine people who are truthful and fun.

So here I am… on this quest to figure out who I am and on a quest to find some people to hang out with. Wish me luck.

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I just want to sit around and eat mashed potatoes

May 5, 2009 at 1:53 pm (Bored, Melodie)

So, it seems Alice and I are on the same schedule. I’m feeling tired and lazy – plus it’s raining outside. All of this adds up to me lying on the sofa, eating mashed potatoes. I might even get fancy and do roasted garlic mashed potatoes. I have chicken out for dinner and nothing goes better with chicken than mashed potatoes. Unless you are Brody – the irish kid – who hates potatoes. Whatever. I keep asking him “Where do french fries come from?” and he says “the store.” One day, he’ll appreciate potatoes as much as I do.

He prefers rice because of the soy sauce. Just wait until I make him fried rice! He’ll lose his mind!

Seriously, I woke up yesterday and thought “today sucks!” That general feeling has not gone away. I’m sure it will – until it does, I’ll be the one chasing potato dishes with large melted chocolate. 

I just heard one of the engineers mutter “piece of shit” to himself over a ladder. I’m right there with ya dude.

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