Friday, July 29, 2011

New Shoes

Yay for new Tennis Shoes! I needed a black pair of shoes for my 2nd job, and since we're not having to pay rent, we were able to get me a pair, Chuck a pair, and Carley a pair for school!! Plus, we ate out at IHOP last night. It's nice to be able to relax and actually just enjoy eachother's company without constantly worring. Before, I would have stressed myself out about how to afford a new pair of shoes just for me! It's not like we're rich all of a sudden, but it sure does feel like we are!

So, we got the Jeep fixed... there was a problem with the clutch. Then, we got insurance on Chuck's car that has been sitting in our driveway taking up space for months. Once it was insured, he went to the tag office and got the plate and registration, then had it towed to the mechanic's. YAY! I'm so excited!! The mechanic is on vacation for a week, but that's ok. I'm a lot closer to getting my jeep back than I was on Monday!

So, I head into Michael's this afternoon for day-2 of my new job. It will make for a long day, since I'm at my regular job from 7:30 until 5:00, then Michael's from 5:30 until 9:30, but I'll be fine. I'm looking forward to meeting new people and learning new things. I love that store, and so far, I like everyone that I've met.

Then, tomorrow morning, I've got to finish Carley's laundry, and start getting her packed before going into Michael's for a few hours in the afternoon. Saturday night, we'll probably do something nice, since it's Carley's last day here before she goes home on Sunday. The past 2 weeks have flown by, and I've really loved having her here. With Carley around, I've noticed that Ash has been around a lot more lately, too! It's nice to see both of my girls more. I am so proud of them. They are beautiful, smart, and funny! Both of them can crack me up, because they're witty. They get that from their Dad.

Even though their Dad and I don't see eye-to-eye anymore, it's still nice to spend time with the girls and see in them the things that I once loved so much in him.

Anyhoo, I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend. I'm sure that once Carley has gone back to Florida, I'll be on here a little more often. Lately, I've been terrible about posting! I've got some catching up to do.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

La, Da, Da, Da, Life Goes On

So, I realize that I haven't been on here in a few days. Life gets a little hectic when I'm not following my usual routine. So, quick summary of what's been going on, while my Kiddo is taking a shower (then we're watching a movie).

1st day of vacation: Thursday: Ash, Carley & I went to Carter's Lake and went swimming. Would've been more fun if the sun had shined the whole time. Instead, we had dark, threatening clouds. It was a good time for us to just chill and talk about what is going on in our lives, though, without all kinds of distractions. Sometimes, life takes over and we forget to just sit down and talk. It was really nice.

2nd day of vacation: Friday: Ran some errands, got the oil changed on the jeep, and tried to find khaki pants and a black polo shirt for working at Michaels. Struck out at three different stores, then ran out of time. Went to a Miche party (you really should check these things out... I have one and LOVE it!!)

3rd day  of vacation: Saturday: Tried going to the outlet mall to look for some clothes to work at Michael's and to get Chuck some new T-shirts and shorts. It's become a tradition that we take him shopping right after his birthday every year, otherwise, he may never get new clothes! He was really looking forward to it. On the way there, we decided to stop at Arby's drive-thru for something to eat. While in the drive-thru, the clutch went out on Rita Wrangler. (many, many expletives) We spent the afternoon waiting on a tow truck only to have them show up and tell us how to "nurse" the clutch until we got home. Great idea, since USAA would only tow it 16 miles, and I needed it to be 40 miles away... So, it's in our driveway, and will go to the mechanic's on Monday.

4th day of vacation: Sunday: went to work with Ash at 8:45am so that I would have a ride to my first day at Michael's. I didn't have to be there until 12:30, so I pretty much rode in early, and waited around all morning. Super boring, but I didn't have a ride otherwise.

5th day of vacation: Monday: we will be dropping off the jeep, then go to a consignment store with Monica & see if we can find anything for Carley for school, then go to a little water park that is only $5/person! (yay).

6th day of vacation: Tuesday: Not really sure what we have planned for that day. Depends on whether or not my jeep is finished. We were planning on all going to a movie Tuesday night, since we do still have two free movie tickets. Not sure what we're gonna see, tho.

Anyhoo, that's the low-down. Not a whole lot of my usual insight, trying to psycho-analyze myself and my every action. That's the great thing about having my kids in my life. I'm WAY too busy to dwell on all of my issues. I'm a happier person. I love being a family. I love being needed. I love raising my children. I love being a mother. I don't love the idea of taking her back to Florida. But, I will. Because I have to. But, I don't have to like it.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

In Carley's Words

This is an interview that I conducted with my 10 year old daughter. We will learn all about her thoughts on things. She was interested in blogging, and wanted one of her own. Since I've decided that she's still a bit young to have her own, then she can take part in mine tonight. Hope you enjoy! 

1.      Tell me the five best things about you. Drawing, singing, funny, smart, awesome freckles
2.      What does the word "success" mean to you? They have done something great and have accomplished a task wonderfully.
3.      Why do kids put rings in their eyebrows and nose? Because they think it’s cool because they see it on tv. Really it’s not that cool. They think it will make them look more popular.
4.      If you could tell me never to serve two vegetables again, which two would you choose? Sweet potatoes and baked carrots.
5.      Who do you think I'd rather you be: an NBA ballplayer, the mayor, a famous explorer, or a movie star? Why? An NBA player because you hear me talk about basketball a lot and it is fun for me.
6.      Which of your friends do you think I like the most? Why? Savannah, because she’s honest, funny and really nice.
7.      On a scale of one to nine – one being not at all and nine being totally – how strict do you think I am? Where on the scale would you like me to be? You’re a one. You should be a two??? (in a very weak voice)
8.      What would be the ideal allowance? Tell me how you would use it. $5.00 for stuff that I need like for junk food that I want so you don’t have to pay for my junk food; and toys that I want.
9.      Who was the worst teacher you ever had? Tell me why. Oh my goodness! Mrs. J, because she is very, very strict. If you just mess up little things, you could get into a lot of trouble. She was strict.
10.  What would the ideal teacher be like? Very sweet, and just like Mrs. Scott or my mommy.
11.  Which one of our friends is the funniest looking? Why? Mia, because she has a flat nose, and she always has her eyebrows scrunched up. It’s funny.
12.  If you could arrange it, what time would I come home from work? Then, what would we do together? You would come home at Lunch time, so we could go to lunch together and then have a girl’s night after.
13.   Can you think of any clothes that I should never put on again? Why? Nobody should wear lace ever. If you’ve ever worn it, you should never wear it again.
14.  If a genie would give you only one wish, which would you pick, and why? being world-class attractive, being a genius, or being famous for doing something great? The last one, because I would gets lot of money so that I could take care of my family and myself.
15.  If you are feeling sad, what meal that I could make or order would be the one that would cheer you up? Ice cream always makes me feel better.
16.  Are you afraid when we fly? No, it’s fun.
17.  Tell me who you think are the three greatest musicians in the world? Why? Elvis Presley, Taylor Swift, Michael Jackson.
18.  If you could change three things about yourself, what would they be? Nothing. I like myself perfectly.
19.  What are the qualities that make a good friend? Truthfulness, kindness, funniness
20.  What was your favorite toy when you were little?  my teddy bear
21.  What do you say to comfort yourself when something scares you (like when a plane is bumpy, of when you are in a scary place)? It’s ok, just go to your happy place.
22.  What do you think makes a person good-looking? The inside is what counts.
23.  If you could decorate our place, what would it look like? It would be pink and purple and light blue all over.
24.  What do you think of my driving? Awesome. It’s better than chuck’s.
25.  Looking at your pictures. When you think you have been the cutest so far? When I was a baby.
26.  What is the most enjoyable thing our family has done together in the last three years? Go to the Atlanta aquarium and the coke museum in the same day.
27.  What is the nicest thing a friend has ever done for you? They had my back when I got into trouble.
28.  Why do you, or don't you, like violent movies? They just give me the creeps!
29.  What sport (that you haven't tried) do you think you would be good at? Why? Skateboarding
30.  If you were going to have a weird, unusual pet, what would it be? Why would you want that pet? An elephant; it’s protective, humungous, it can be a ride, very loving, and I want to name it Ellie.
31.  If you could look like anyone, who would it be? Why? My mommy because I already do!
32.  Do you think girls look better with or without makeup? Why? Without makeup, because they need to show themselves; with makeup, they are just making themselves look fake.
33.  What is the scariest movie you've ever seen? Why? Dead silent; because the woman ate people’s tongues
34.  What is the grossest thing you can think of? Snakes
35.  What would you do if you were invisible for a day? Play pranks on people, especially my sister
36.  Do you ever have a dream that comes back over and over? If so, what is it like? Yes. A nightmare that has come ever since right before my 5th birthday; a goblin/demon that captures you and Ashleigh, and I have to come and find you. It scares me.
37.  Why do you think some people don't like animals? Because they might be allergic, or they might think it’s too much work.

 I have interesting things about myself, I agree! I think I am very unusual at moments, but that makes me special. I like to imagine impossible things for stories, fun, and to just cheer myself for a laugh! My name is Carley and I am happy to be ME!!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Adventurer Extraordinaire

After some thinking, it has recently occurred to me that I am not the same person that I used to be. I feel like I'm all rolled up into myself. I used to be spread out; giving and sharing, and now I'm small and afraid. My core, my inner being, is different.

I used to be strong, bold, outgoing, brave... I didn't flinch... I didn't think twice about going on an adventure!! My Mom once told me that one of the things she admired about me was that I was willing to just pack up go anywhere. I loved going to new places, and never had any qualms about moving anywhere, even if I had to go alone. I'd always figured that I would just make new friends once I got there!

What has happened to me? Was it age? Being a mother? Was it divorce? Was it cancer? Was it just the slow erosion of life, wearing away at my candy coating? Whatever it was, I'm not happy about it being gone. I'm suddenly thinking that instead of creating caution and fear in me, why didn't the fact that I overcame these things instill more boldness and fearlessness in me? Isn't that how it should have worked? Who's to say why I have reacted the way that I have?

I joined the US Navy when I was 17 and turned 18 in boot camp... WHAT AN ADVENTURE!

That wasn't enough, though. When I was in Parachute Rigger School, a set of orders came up to send the very first female parachute rigger to a sea-going command... in essence, the first woman on a navy carrier... I wanted it. I wanted it bad! I didn't even think it through before my hand was in the air, and I was begging: "Pick me, pick me!!" Who WAS that girl? I miss her. Her name is in a history book somewhere. She was interview by Katie Couric for her role in the US's military history. She was amazing, and funny, and always plowed in head first.

After some time, I met the man that was to become my husband. Again, I just dove in. He had a little girl, and I jumped in with both feet, at the age of 19, and adopted a 3 year old. Being her step-mom wasn't good enough for me. Her biological mother had some things going on her life, so Ashleigh was going to be MINE, and I'll be damned, she still is. She has grown into a beautiful, amazing young lady. I couldn't be more proud.

In retrospect, I married too young, but it's not something I could regret! How could I? I have two amazing daughters from that marriage.

Our family had the opportunity to move to Europe... Rota, Spain. My first reaction? YES! I didn't even hesitate. When do we leave? I was so excited to face this new adventure with the people that I loved the most. It wasn't easy to sell the house that I loved. It wasn't easy saying goodbye to the people we loved here in the states. It wasn't easy living over there, and in the long run, it was the beginning of the end of our marriage... But again, I couldn't regret it! I have wonderful friends, wonderful memories from living over there! My children have memories and friends from it! Why would I regret any of those choices?

When the time was up, we all moved back to the states, and got a new house. We lived in Florida for a year before Cancer struck. But, again, being the person that I am, I faced it head on... I CAN DO THIS!! Dying was never an option that even crossed my mind. I got the phone call, then called my mother and husband, and then went shopping, just as I had planned to spend my day before I received that phone call. That little 6-letter word wasn't going to ruin that day or any day after, as far as I was concerned!

In the long run, it was the downfall of an already failing marriage, but I learned a few things. I think I would have just kept dangling on forever in that unhappy marriage if I had never had to face something harder. I firmly believe that God only sends us what we can handle, and everything happens for a reason. It also taught me how to really love something more than myself.

The day that I left my ex-husband was one of the hardest days of my life... much harder than cancer ever was for me. It wasn't hard because of leaving him. We'd fought for so long, and so hard, and so loudly, that leaving was like finally being at peace. The difficult decision was leaving my girls.

Some things should really just kill you.

I didn't want to leave them, but I had no choice. I was trying to love them more than myself, and I knew that if I really did care about them, then they should stay in the home that they knew, around the friends that they already had. Divorce was difficult enough, without being pulled up by your roots and yanked around by your mother, who herself was lost at the time. Still, to this day, I don't know if I made the right decision. But, I tried to do the right thing by them... Only to be judged for it over and over again during the past three years. My consolation? The people judging me don't know the whole story, and they have probably never had to face the same decision I had to make that day.

Regardless, I do believe that was the beginning of my slow demise. I had always known my place in the world... I was always at the front of the line. The first to try something new, while others followed me! Once I gave my girls to my ex husband, I think I rolled myself up into a cocoon and have just been dwelling day by day without any purpose in my life.

I am about to embark on a new journey, which is entirely in keeping with my character. The problem is that I haven't got the enthusiasm that all of my other journeys began with. I see the reason for the journey. I see where it will take me. I have considered the hardships that will be involved. Like a good little Libra, I've weighed all the pros and cons (which is something I never did when I was younger) and yet I'm still not excited.

Something is missing.

Everything is bland. Beige. Neutral.

This bothers me.

I do believe that at the tender age of 35, I've finally lost my zest and enthusiasm for life.

What do I do now? Come to terms with it? I'm not ok with that option. But how do I get it back? I definitely need to sit down and figure this one out before I move along much further.

My brain keeps thinking around and around in circles. I have some theories. Of course, I’ll have to think them through several more times before I decide to share those theories. I’m worried that if I make the changes that might be necessary, then some of the people that I care about will be deeply affected. Am I ready to do that? Not yet.

As a Libra, I’m also a problem-solver. Maybe I can figure out a way to find my old (younger) self again, while still holding on to the things in my life that I want the most. Can I really have it all? I’m sure experts agree that you can’t … but those experts never met me!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Happy Monday

Well, turns out that the yard sale was somewhat of a success... We made just over $300. I was hoping to get closer to $500, but the larger items didn't go. Chuck and his sister ended up taking the smaller stuff to Goodwill, and we're going to try putting the remaining furniture on Craig's List to see if that works out. But, hey, that is $300 we didn't have, that can go towards fixing Chuck's car and I can get my jeep back... Which is good, since it looks like I've gotten a part-time job!

I'm going by Michael's this afternoon to fill out some paperwork. They have me on the sales floor, but will also cross train on the registers. It's not going to make me rich, but a little extra money would be nice. Since we don't do a lot in the evenings, I figure I should make myself useful and earn some extra money a couple of nights a week.

Also, in other news, my landlord called. We only paid him half of the rent on July 1st, and were going to give him the rest on the 15th. He said not to worry about it, and that he is going out of town on vacation, and wouldn't be back until August 17th. We were planning on being out of the house by July 31st, but he said that we can stay in the house, rent-free until Aug. 20th, since he doesn't want to leave it vacant while he is out of town. So, there is a blessing as well!

In addition to all of the other current blessings in my life, I have both of my daughters at my house right now. My older one lives with me, so I get to see her all the time, which I love! The minute she graduated high school, she packed up her things and moved up here. My younger daughter, unfortunately, doesn't have that option. So, I get her whenever I can. She will be here until July 31st. It is so wonderful to look up and see her smiling face. I really miss being a "family." I hadn't realized it until she was here. I know that I have my boyfriend, my older daughter, and me, all living in the same house, but we don't really feel like family, because we're always doing our own things. Having Carley there makes me feel so loved and needed again. I had no idea how much I'd missed it!

Sadly, every time I feel joy of having her here, it is immediately squashed by the constant reminder that she has to leave again so soon. Her visit is so bittersweet. I feel like a pot full of emotions all mixed in together, never knowing which one will come out next! But, all I can do is enjoy every minute that I can with her while she is here.