Monday, June 23, 2014

What Changed?

Many families can go camping - or go on a number of other activities and vacations - and have a lovely time.  Typically, I would say there is always an amount of stress involved in getting everyone and everything ready to go - especially with small children who "help" or older children who can't be bothered to be removed from personal comfort.  Yet, overall, families move on and have wonderful experiences together.  Some would even call it relaxing and peaceful.  That's why we, the Sexy family, enjoy camping so much.

Yet it's not all that peaceful and relaxing.  At least, not for me.  And if I'm feeling grumpy, for example, it plays into each family member and even effects the friends we are visiting with.

For me, family activities are tense and stressful with very little release.

Saturday night was our second night camping with our friends and I was almost begging Mr. Sexy to put the two girls to bed early so I could finally relax.  Denai was exhausted anyways but putting her to bed before the sun leaves typically proves difficult.  Marie, on the other hand, was a gem.  No signs of grumpiness there.  However, she tends to be my main source of tension these days.  So bedtime is something I always look forward to.

Mr. Sexy has been telling me often I need to relax.  WE need to relax.  But it ain't all that simple.

Something has changed between me and Marie and I have been spending a lot of time deep in thought about what it is.  A few months ago I was getting into the habit of being purposeful in my loving actions towards her, regardless of what feelings were feeling like.  The heart changes began immediately and true connection starting peeking its head out.  I saw glimpses of a genuine relationship with huge potential.  In each other we were finding small pieces of comfort and humor.

That's all gone now.  I feel as if I have gone backwards a year or so.  There are huge feelings happening to me and I am getting lost in it.

After visiting a class on spiritual warfare this weekend (read about the author, Dr. Karl Payne), after seeing the pain in Mr. Sexy's eyes every day, I have realized what it is that has changed.

I gave up.

I accepted.

I welcomed.

I have become completely complacent in my relationship with Marie.  There are two feelings at play now.  Numbness (if that's even a feeling) and anger.  I feel numb to her when she isn't around (you know, the sleeping part).  I feel angry when I see her.

I know how this sounds.  I even know what you are thinking.   I know because everything, EVERYTHING has been said to me when I begin to discuss the deep, dirty issues that life offers.  In order to put anyone's uneasy mind at rest, Mr. Sexy and I are seeking help in all avenues.  He is in counseling, we are meeting with a behavioral specialist (appointment is today YAY!), we are also seeking help spiritually and I am slowly making my way back to counseling.

I have a line from a song in my head.  I'm not exactly sure what it means, especially out of context:

Slow down, let my heart catch up to your heart.

(You can preview this song, Bethany, for yourself.)

It's playing over and over and over again.

Perhaps I need to slow down and fill my mind with the Holy Spirit.  Only through His strength will I be able to fight of those who torment my mind with all these huge feelings.

I have been thinking and talking a lot about feelings lately.  It was only a handful of years ago that I learned and realized that feelings are just that.  Feelings.  When they are good, it's awesome.  But they aren't always good.  Sometimes it's bad, like anger.  Good or bad, feelings are not to be trusted.  In my experience, feelings should not be trusted.  Period.  Unless weighed in with something else.

Fighting the feelings is exhausting work.  But hey, giving in to the feelings leaves me just as tired!  Either way, it's a battle.  So if it's going to be hard work either way, shouldn't I choose to challenge the big feelings and fight off the untruthfuls?  As I am typing this, I'm thinking, duh!  How dense are you?!  But that's no way for me to talk to myself.... or is that something else filling my mind with more hurtful thoughts and feelings?

Life is messy.  It's so messy.  Oftentimes it feels (there are those feelings again) like we are going to be lost in the storm forever.

I'm thankful for friends who can sometimes see more clearly than I.

I know it seems impossible, but you will make it through this. 

You will figure this out. 

I believe in you. 

I love you. 

These are the thoughts we should be focusing on.  

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

I'm Sexy and I Know It

Thank you Rory for such a fun topic!  I love just about any excuse to talk about... well, okay.  I typically save this subject for my girl friends.  But today, it's here at 5 Hearts.

July, 2011

What makes me feel the most confident/attractive/sexy?  Do I think I'm sexy?

This is today's topic.

When I got married I joked with Mr. Sexy that I was in the best shape of my life and he better enjoy it because once pregnancy would hit it would be gone forever.  So far that seems to have been a true statement.  Now, I'm not fat.  But I'm not super thin and fit like I once was.  And in my warped view of what sexy is/looks like: I, apparently, am not sexy.

I tell Mr. Sexy about how when I walk I can feel all my body parts jiggle and my thighs are huge and my arms ripple when I wave.  He laughs and tells me that I'm stupid for worrying about stupid stuff.  He doesn't actually say I'm stupid.  He's much nicer than that.  Silly is a better word.

However, I don't quite believe him until he pulls me in for a passionate kiss and then I can feel just how sexy he thinks I am.

Some days I do feel sexy.  It's largely based on my mood.  Which is highly effected by the weather.  So basically, winter sucks and summer is great.

So between you and me: I don't typically feel all that sexy. I wish that I did.  It's something I am working on because I should feel and know that I am sexy every day.

July, 2011
But wait.  Perhaps sexiness and attractiveness and all that stuff is a bit more than just a feeling?  Perhaps it's knowing that I generally eat appropriately and I'm a fairly active person.  Feelings lie all the time.  Yet I give them a lot of weight in my life.

I grew up looking towards boys to make me feel attractive.  I knew I was hot enough when they wanted to sleep with me.  Those that didn't or didn't seem to try, well, I wasn't good enough for them.  I hope my own daughters don't have to deal with so much pain.

Now, I look to my husband to feel attractive.  Every once in a while I can see that a man walking by might look me up and down and the thought crosses my mind that,  I still got it.  But really, those boys don't matter.  What matters is my attractive husband who daydreams about me at work even though he will be coming home soon.  That's how much he likes me.

In a perfect world I would be content with my imperfect body and completely be confident.  Sadly, it's not a perfect world and I, like many other women, struggle in feeling "good enough" for my husband because of my own comparisons to others.

Do you feel sexy/confident/attractive in your life/marriage? 

Sunday, June 15, 2014

My Dad

My relationship with my dad seems to be almost non-existent at this point.  So when it comes to occasions such as Father's Day, I don't always know how to respond.  However there was a time when it wasn't like this.

There was a time when he could no wrong.

After a short period in the air force my dad found himself in between jobs.  I can understand, now, how difficult that time must have been for him.  But as a young girl, he was my ultimate hero.  I'm told I used to brag to anyone who would listen about my dad's awesome job delivering pizzas AND he always came home with the biggest pizzas I had ever seen.  It was magical to me.

My dad was the strongest person I knew.  He could lift ANYTHING.  And he didn't even work out.  Honestly, he was the equivalent to super man.

However, over time, I began to see things I hadn't seen before.  The one person that I had put on the highest pedestal I could find, was slowly starting to let me down.  It's human nature, after all.  We are imperfect people.  My dad is an imperfect father.  I'm an imperfect daughter.  It's not fair to put each other on such holy ground when Jesus is the only One who can live up to that.  Yet I did it anyways.  I kept him on that pedestal for many, many years while slowly I learned that he was no more than an imperfect human.  Perhaps that is the biggest let down.  Perhaps that is our biggest fault.

Although we have had countless red-faced, loud arguments, he still did some things right.

Once upon a time, I was his baby girl and I could do no wrong.  He called me "Muck-Muck" or "Muckleberry" (or something weird like that) and he melted just at the sight of me.  He taught me to walk and to talk.  He helped me swing and go down the scary slides.  His heart broke with mine as tears streamed down my face because of a skinned knee.  I was his first born and the only daughter he would know.  Perhaps he had put me on a pedestal as well.

I'm hard on the people that I love.  I have many expectations (see my post about this here).  It's a struggle for me to see anything but the failures - even in my private, personal life.  But the fact is that there is so much more than where we all went wrong.

 You see, my dad chose to give me life.  Not only did he give me life, he gave me a life.

 I'm all grown up now with my own family and life is pretty good - even with the ups and downs of moving all the time and broken down cars.  My dad hugged me, played with me and loved me.  He worked to provide a great home where I always had my own bedroom.  There was always food in the house and we even had pets.

All this to say: Happy Father's Day, dad.

Friday, June 13, 2014

My (failed) Expectations

Today I read a post at City Chick in the Country where she spent a few lines talking about expectations about her family.  This got me thinking.

My family is still young.  Yet my expectations of my family have already been squandered.

For instance, Marie rarely - if ever - meets my expectations.  Mr Sexy tells me all the time to adjust my level of expectation for her.  Yet I don't do that.  I don't feel like I can.  To me, it seems like that would mean she will never be good enough.  Good enough for what?  For who?  Good enough for me?  Is that my problem?

When we were getting to know each other, 2010.
Sometimes I think we need to figure out how to get
back to that place because we aren't there anymore.

Do I want Marie to be good enough to be "allowed" to be a part of my family?

As a Christian, I understand where I'm in sin.  As an imperfect Christian, I'm not quite sure how to get out of it.

I also had expectations of the family I grew up with.  My parents, my three younger brothers.  All have failed me.  Every singe one.  Over and over and over again.  (Sound familiar?) But then again, I failed them, too.  Every single member of my family have been let down by me - more than once.  We are imperfect people, after all.

The family I grew up with. 2010

I also had expectations of the picture my family would look like.  The picture in my head and the one I currently have do not match.  That was my choice, though.  I had sex and didn't use protection.  On purpose.  No, I wasn't trying to get pregnant.  I was "trying" to stop having sex with my boyfriend.  But I was a lonely, horny teenager who was too prideful to go the drugstore.  Again.  But hey, he's cute right?

Michael, 2 months old.

So I suppose, in many regards, I have failed to meet my own expectations. 

Perhaps my expectations need to change.  Not for Marie, or for my family or for the friends I have around me.  (Let's face it, friends - best friends - have not always met up to my expectations.)  Maybe my expectations need a shift toward what God expects first.  And maybe if I practice leaning into Him instead of worldly things, I will have more of a cleared up heart to accept people for who they are, where they are, even when they fail to meet all my expectations.

My family, 2014

Do It Over and Over and Over Again

I really appreciated Lisa-Jo's blog post today.  Actually, I really, really appreciated the quote she shared on her blog post today.  Sometimes I get stuck thinking that what I do should be revolutionary.  It should be different, unique, something no one has thought to do or say before.  But in 2014, that's a hard feat.  Impossible, is often a word that comes to mind.

So I appreciate Elizabeth Gilbert's words today.  It's okay I write about the same themes.  It's okay to do it over and over and over again.  Each time I seem to write about the subject of step-parenthood - this incredible journey that I am on - each time I say a few words about it, it's different.  I'm constantly growing and hopefully I'm always learning.  Today my thoughts and feelings are different from last week and can't seem to even compare to last month.

So I'm going to keep on writing and keep on talking and keep on doing.  Because the practice, the perfecting of my craft, is ongoing with no definitive end.

Five Minute Friday

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

It's Good When...

You know a book is really good when:

It's all I can think about. 

I talk about it like it's real life happening in the here and now.

I dream about it. 

It ends but I want it to keep going forever. 

 The Nancy Drew series were these kinds of book for me as a young girl.  It was nice that it was such a huge series but it never did end until I grew out of them.  In fact, I believe I should credit this to my mother, but I still have all my Nancy Drew books for my own girls to read at night while hiding under the covers with a flashlight!  Yup, I did that.  A lot.

More recently, I feel like the caliber of what I read has gone down.  The most recent page turners I have read are the Twilight books and the Hunger Games series.  That is the best literature I have read in years.  I feel...lame.  Yet I can't seem to find adult books that keep me interested.  I feel like I should enjoy John Grisham.  But I don't.  I mean, I liked the one book I got through.  It was called "In Cold Blood" or something.  However, I think I made it through that book because it was a true story so I enjoyed the reality of the story - as dry as it was for me to read.

I would like some suggestions.  Reading is so relaxing, calming and works my imagination like nothing else.

I have always enjoyed mystery (unless I find it so creepy I won't turn the lights out at night) and a good love story.

Oh! Christy, in my opinion, is a classic and I've read that book countless times!  Maybe I should just reread that one for now....

Monday, June 9, 2014

Some Summertime Highlights

Summer is in full swing!  Therefore, I don't have as much time for blogging.  On top of having a fun summer we are also going to be moving soon.  That means I will be getting busy (not a fun busy) sometime soon.  ALSO life happens.  Lots and lots of life.

It always takes a bit to get back into the writing mode, doesn't it?  So, I suppose I will just make a list of our recent happenings and go from there.

I held my first fishing pole, cast for the first time and that same day I caught my very first fish!

Later I overheard Mr. Sexy telling a man walking by that it was "just a baby trout."  Baby or not I was ecstatic and still am mighty proud! I really wanted Mr. Sexy to take care of it and cook it for me....but that didn't happen.  Then the car started stinking like fish...The smell is gone now, thank goodness! 

Mr. Sexy has just started counseling, we have an appointment with a behavior specialist to help us with Marie, and if things don't improve I will be seeking counseling as well.  

Some details are too intimate at this point to share so openly.  Basically, our family is under a constant state of stress, much of which falls on the shoulders of my husband.  His lack of sleep is a huge problem and only adds to the chaos of things.  Mr. Sexy is continuing with a sleep doctor, hoping to find some answers.

This is the closest thing we have to a recent family photo.


I'm proficient at peeing in the woods - BY MYSELF. 

This is huge for me people.  A few months ago, the idea freaked me out.  Then, while camping in the woods, I had no choice so I squatted while hanging onto Mr. Sexy so I wouldn't fall over.  Then, in my parent's bathroom, I read their calendar which described just "how" to squat.  My parent's have a poop calendar in their bathroom.  It's very funny.  So anyways, I now pee, in the woods, by myself.  I even choose the woods over the porta-potty.  

Our most recent campsite.
The nearest porta-potty was a decent hike away.

Marie's birth mother calls twice a week and Mr. Sexy and I allow them to talk.

There is going to be paperwork signed for all this - we hope, at least.  Voldemort's attorney wants a few stipulations taken out, one of which requires Voldemort to go back to the counseling program if she wants visitations with Marie again.  Right now trial is cancelled, but if this attorney pushes this issue, trial will probably have to happen.  Read more about this under the label 'V Update.'

I'm walking, because I feel like I'm turning into a fat ass. 

If we didn't have such a steep driveway, I would be running.  That's the goal, though, to run UP the driveway.  Will that happen?  I have my doubts.  Especially since this is week two and the sunburn that is covering my back and shoulders is a great excuse to stay in bed and not move in the mornings.  

This picture is a view looking down the driveway.
As you can see, it seems to drop.
It's steep.

Random things still go wrong. 

For instance, our truck broke down a few weeks ago.  The starter went out.  So it sat in the parking lot while we ordered the part and waited.  And waited.  While we waited a tire went flat.  That was sad.  Then it wasn't flat.  A good Samaritan fixed it.  That was awesome!  Then the starter came, Mr. Sexy put it in, and apparently the truck sounds like new.  

But wait!  There's more.  We came home from a weekend of camping to find a different tire had gone flat.  Mr. Sexy drove it to the nearest gas station before work this morning, very slowly, so he could fill it back up.  Well the tire blew out and Mr. Sexy barely made it home.  So he took our mini-van to work and told me to go look at the tire because I probably haven't seen anything like it.  While I viewed it from a distance, I didn't think it was worth the walk (again, see above bold print about turning into a fat ass).

I have taken a major step back in Marie's life. 

 Earlier I mentioned Mr. Sexy is in counseling ect. Well, there was a blow up.  Most blow ups and arguments stem from two things: Marie or money.  This time it was Marie.  What began as a misunderstanding turned into something much larger.  Therefore, we are seeking help in all areas. 

Marie is a major trigger for Mr. Sexy and I.  Currently, the bottom line is that I don't feel like I can interact with Marie any longer - at least, not in a positive way.  Things had actually been going really, really well.  Until they weren't.  The thing is, I don't see what Mr. Sexy sees.  And he doesn't see what I see.  While I see Marie giggling at my stupid jokes while I'm getting her ready for bed, Mr. Sexy sees how Marie is often set apart from the rest of us.  This a long conversation that will be continued over time. 

She spends more time trying to figure out
the worm situation than actually

Lastly, we're moving! 

This whole moving thing has been incredibly frustrating.  
First, we found out the owners are selling. 
Second, we were told they didn't want us here while the house is on the market.  That gave us two months.
Next, we asked their realator, an incredibly nice lady who has been in charge of the property, about possibly getting out of our lease early since they don't want us here anyways.
She received no response. 
Now Mr. Sexy has started getting phone calls from the owner about us showing the house which their realator isn't aware of. 
When Mr. Sexy asked the owner about possibly letting us out of our lease, it was put out like this: If we sell the house by then, sure.

Last year, when we moved in, we had high hopes and opinions of the owners and previous renteres who all happen to be related.  Our move in here was extremely difficult and we felt lied to by the previous renters for not telling us the whole story about this house.  Over and over again they said, "It takes a special family to live here." I didn't know what they meant until about a month after we moved in and there were bugs EVERYWHERE (inside, like our beds and furniture) and bees were getting in somehow daily and then the winter....To top all that off we were told we weren't to use the brand new snow plow that was sitting up here or the riding lawn mower.  WTF people.  

And NOW we are dealing with the owners who seem to be wishy-washy, underhanded and the type of people who are generally money hungry.  That's only one side, I'm sure.  But it's all I can say way over here in Idaho.  

All I have to say is: Actually, that's not appropriate 

Well, those are some of the highlights!  Perhaps I will elaborate more in the days to come.