I don’t know about you ladies (sorry boys, this sentence won’t relate to you, though maybe you can relate…) but when I have PMS, not only am I irritable, bloated and grumpy (at times), I’m also super tired. Combine that with lack of routine and that’s a great combination for an uber frustrated me.

You know I like routine. I crave it. And sometimes, it keeps me sane and balanced. Sure, sometimes it should be thrown out the window in favor of balance, but there is something to be said for being free to do the routine you want – working out when you want to, sleeping more if you are tired, and generally having some “me” time to catch up on blogs, DVR and hey, a face mask and primping once in awhile.

Lately, I’ve had no routine. It’s been thrown out the window in favor of caring for our sister Jen (and my sister Jess has taken the brunt of it moreso, given Jen is currently recovering at her house), which has been absolutely what we are all dedicated to, want to do, and are devoted to doing for her. It’s been rewarding, seeing her improve, helping her get to her appointments and having some much-needed sister time, not to mention getting to cuddle with such an uber cutie in our niece Isabel.

Compounding my “baby duty” days/nights for Jen is seeing Doctor Boy during the week and on weekends, when we can. Of course I absolutely love spending time with him, but at the same time, it impacts my routine. A routine I am learning to find ways to weave him into, such as on weekend runs, and making meals together, and just enjoying that time together…perhaps letting him into that “me” time, too, right? Embracing.

But the lack of routine in recent weeks has been taking a toll on me. I crave my routine and my workouts when I want them (rather than when I can squeeze them in), and partially because I’ve had one too many “fat days” lately (please refer back to aforementioned PMS and bloating for part of the reason for that!) which is doubly frustrating since I’m also trying to talk negatively about myself (please refer to my sister’s fab post on this very topic!).

But at the end of the day, what matters most is this: Jen’s recovery, aiding Jess (and my mom) in caring for Jen and Isabel, and the rest will fall back into place little by little. And, hey, if seeing Doctor Boy means switching up my routine, I say bring it on!

So, PMS and fat days, you can shove it.

Routine, you’ll be back.

And, devotion, you’re alive and strong and it makes it all worthwhile.

Now, I’m off to baby duty night one of two. Wish me luck and sleepy baby 🙂

I’ve written about this before, but I firmly believe you meet everyone for a reason.

The perfect example of this?

Doctor Boy.

Not only is he amazing, treats me well and loves me…he’s even helping my family.

My sister’s care was transferred today to a different location, and the visiting nurse care wasn’t able to be transferred in time, and she needed her IV drip done for the evening. And even though she hadn’t yet met him, she asked for help. She asked me if he would mind coming over to do her IV drip for her.

I texted him and asked him to call me, and explained the situation. I gave him an out, I told him if he didn’t feel comfortable, he didn’t have to, or if he couldn’t get there in time, he didn’t have to feel obligated.

He said yes without even a hint of hesitation.

Swoon.

Wow, really? Did I really meet a man that not only amplifies my life, but given his profession, he can aid in my sister’s long road to recovery?

Wow. Just wow.

So he went over (with me) and met my sister for the very first time. And then administered her IV drip. He talked to her about her infection, how it happened, etc, and the conversation flowed nicely, was casual, not forced. She told him she wants to go into nursing, after this experience, and he gave her his viewpoint into it, what areas to look into, what schools to look at. It was simply amazing.

You truly meet everyone for a reason.

Not only was I meant to meet this man…to start falling slowly for this man, but for a greater good.

Damn, I feel lucky. Blessed. Truly.

Amazing.

 

Doctor Boy sends me “our” horoscope every morning since we are both Libras (he just started doing it one day, and simply forwards it, like an unspoken “wow, this is a good one!”) which I absolutely love. Today’s horoscope was by far, so dead on, I couldn’t believe it (and I hardly ever put much stock in horoscopes whatsoever!).

Take a read:

Don’t question your own judgment today and you will find success. The only way you can fail at an important assignment or in the pursuit of a special goal is if you begin to second guess yourself and you become overly critical of your efforts. If you can make decisions with confidence, and then follow through with true commitment to your choices, then you will glide through even the toughest events of the day. You are exactly where you are meant to be, so own the moment.

The last line is stunning, isn’t it? As I’ve said a lot lately, I am where I am meant to be, but I just loved the “own the moment.” Damn straight I should own the moment, embracing it for all of its gloriousness and passion and happiness.  During a time with a lot of ups and downs in other areas of my life, having some stability in my love life feels even more special, and it truly is the light that gets me through right now.

Do you ever read something like this…whether it be a horoscope, a scripture, an inspirational quote and it cares you through the day? It happens rarely, but usually at the perfect time.

…own the moment.

~~~

In other news…my sister Jen’s health is slowly improving, and I appreciate everyone’s well wishes, prayers, and support. She still has a long road ahead of her for full recovery, and more significantly, a lot of other personal challenges ahead (that I can’t get into right now) but I am filled with hope that she continues to progress and be able to focus on being the amazing mom she has already become.  I am really looking forward to starting our “rotations” in helping her out on the days she has her medical appointments to have some 1:1 time with her and the baby. Thursday night and Friday will be our time to connect, dig into some of what is going on in her life, and just reconnect, sister to sister.

Through all of this, the three of us have really banded together and the ‘fierce love’ that I’ve talked about so often is more evident than ever. I’m proud of how close we are, I’m proud of our sisterhood, I’m extremely proud of the strength and resilience my sister has shown in the last 5 weeks and know God is hard at work for us.

…own the moment.

Those were some of the words Doctor Boy used in the card he sent me within the bouquet of flower (and teddy bear!) he sent me yesterday (timed to my return from wine country, and the day after he left for Aruba).

The rest of that sentence goes something like this: “…a token reminder of my immense feelings for you…I care about you very much.”

Wow. I never thought I’d see or hear those words uttered about me (though always hoped!) and ya know what? I feel exactly the same way about him. It still feels right. All of it. The pace of things (steady progress, not too fast, not too slow). The feelings I have for him. How I feel when I am with him, when I hear his voice or see a picture of him. How much I miss him (going on two weeks since I’ve seen him, with my trip and now his) And how he reacts to me. Upfront. Honest. Very open about how he’s feeling.

This is what I have been waiting for. This feels right. It scares me no longer. Not at all. It is all starting to feel like that next stage I was looking for. I’m entering it. Just as I turn 31. Just as I near my two year separation-versary from Pete.

Swoon.

Like whoa.

~~

In other news…my sister is progressing, starting to improve, though it is indeed going to take a good six weeks or so for more of  a full recovery. She has constant hospital appointments and wound care procedures. But she has proven to me just how strong and faithful she is. I’m blown away by her strength and resilience. As much as she gets knocked down, she gets up even stronger the next. Yes, she’s fragile. Emotionally. Mentally. Physically. But she’s taking one step at a time.

There are some other things at play that I won’t go into detail here, that are adding much more of a mental and emotional test for her and I pray that we can collectively help improve that situation. So for now, I’ll leave it this: thank you all for the continued thoughts and prayers. They mean the world to me, and to her as well.

~~

Also, a quick shout-out to one of my bestest…Kristen (who I’ve blogged about before, as she’s also divorced. We went through it around the same time) – she launched a new blog and it is hysterical! My Life in 15 Minute Increments. Check it out 🙂

As I drove to work this morning, deep in thought about Jen, my upcoming trip to wine country (tomorrow, folks, TOMORROW!!!), and all of the work I have to get done before I leave, the song “September” came on the radio by Daughtry and a few lyrics jumped out at me as the inspiration for my post tonight.

September has brought on so many of the things that I’ve been working so hard for generally and towards my “year of me” like running a half marathon…and possibly being on the road towards love, as well as a few other milestones that have gone past in a blur….

…like moving.

…like becoming an aunt.

…like ending the summer with a bang.

….and standing vigil as my sister endures an unexpected extended hospital stay (extra prayers tonight please as she receives one last procedure to flush out some of the infection) and realizing how very much I love my sisters fiercely.

and up next? Epic wine country vacation extravaganza (and, oh, did I mention? My 31st birthday a week from today!)

! I can’t believe I’m on the cusp of this trip that promises to hold so many memories and firsts (like taking a hot air balloon ride over the vineyards at sunrise as I ring in my 31st year! Hello bucket list item!) with my sister Jess and brother in law Scott and four wonderful friends that are coming with us. It’s going to be amazing, it’s going to be extra special as we soak it all in for Jen and Isabel (who will be receiving pics and video as much as we can!), and truly just let go.

In the words of Daughtry.

“Nothing to lose but everything to gain…it was worth it in the end.”

Goodbye (almost) September…bring on October, the month where (I hope) everything shifts towards the future, the positive, and health and happiness.

Cheers!

As I start to fully understand the magnitude of my sister Jen’s infection (very serious staph infection), I am blown away by the support by family and friends, and God’s blessings and strength.

I felt almost smacked upside the head with the reality of how sick she has been, after speaking with my mom today, and at first, it was all I could do not to panic and cry (well, I did cry, but how could I not? I love my sisters fiercely, and to know that one of them is going through some serious pain is hard for me to grasp) and lose my faith. But then, when my mom told me she felt God tell her – in not so many words – that she will pull through and she will improve, that gave me the thread of strength I needed to return to faith not so much for me, but for Jen.

And it reminds me of a quote I tucked away that I thought would be very fitting this evening, as I try to keep my faith strong, my prayers loud, and my support (from afar) as strong as I can:

“When you have come to the edge of all light that you know and are about to drop off into the darkness of the unknown…Faith is knowing one of two things will happen: There will be something solid to stand on or you will be taught to fly”

Jen has the strength to fly – and we need to continue to band together to give her the strength she needs – for her, us, and Isabel.  I will do whatever she possibly needs for support and help when she is out of the hospital…and I hope to be able to see her before flying to Sonoma on Thursday evening. I offered to stay and not go on the trip, but she wants us to go and have fun, enjoy it for her, and bring back a bottle of wine in Isabel’s birth year to stow away for her 21st birthday. I love that and I want to do it as the tiniest of tokens.

The good news is that she seems to have turned the corner she needs to and keep showing improvement to kick this nasty infection and begin her road to recovery and get back to what she wants so much, to continue being the adoring, strong, rock-solid loving, tender, devoted mom to her child.

…sometimes all you need is family, and a lot of faith.

Jen, you have it. We’re here. God is watching. We’re praying. We love you. We love Isabel. You got this. I know it. I love you so much.

As things continue to progress and grow with Doctor Boy…feelings, happiness, potential, plans (and swoonage, of course), I’ve started to observe more and more how I feel when I am with him…and when I am without him.

Am I adjusting to having him around and adjusting my own routine to accommodate him?

Or adjusting to wanting to share my routine with him (not so much adjust FOR it but to it, happily so)?

I think right now, it’s a bit of both. It’s nowhere near the way I felt with CBE, where it was very difficult for me to adjust my routine – a routine that I’ve become so accustomed to the last two years (and probably too accustomed to, to be honest!). I want to spend time with him. I want to go to social outings with him (on our own and with friends – his and min). I want to wake up next to him. And I want to see him.

So, in a way, I feel like I’m adjusting to wanting that.

I’ve never 100% allowed myself that…or wanted to allow myself that before.

So, I’m also adjusting to myself (does that make any sense?!).

And it’s a little scary.

But the good kind of scary.

It’s that phase at the beginning of something blossoming where you’re still figuring each other out, but laughing along the way, at the quirks, their routines, their moods, likes, dislikes, interests, tendencies. It’s hard to keep track of those details sometimes, and I need to remind myself to observe (I distinctly recall T advising this to me – thank you!)…my reactions, my feelings, my emotions, but also his reactions, feelings and emotions.

Adjusting…

To me, that word usually has such a negative connotation for some reason, but I think that’s partially because I’ve had to make so many adjustments in my life since getting divorced that I think of it as change (in a bad way…and let’s face it, I’m a creature of habit!) but when it’s voluntary adjustment, especially for something that seems as special as what is brewing with Doctor Boy? Yeah, I think I can handle that sort of adjustment.

Swoon.

~~

It’s been another whirlwind of a weekend, some of which I spent with Doctor Boy, and the more time we spend together, the more I want to spend time with him. He makes me smile, he makes me feel special, he makes me want to be me and nothing BUT me. I don’t feel like I need to hide my quirks, goofy side, moods, or feelings. I dig that. Like whoa.

~~

And as an update – my sister Jen is still in the hospital. And until I heard her voice tonight, I didn’t realize how much it had been weighing on me.

I’ve been so busy and she hasn’t been able to communicate much (and my mom has been bedside with her 24/7, without much time to communicate updates either), so I’ve just been praying and hoping. And then, when she called, I felt a sudden rush of relief. Her voice. She sounded so much better. I had last spoken to her on Saturday after the half-marathon, and it was teary, and she was emotional and worn down, and that affected me so much.

I’m praying, and know God is giving her strength and perserverence, as is Isabel. I can hear the love for her emanate from Jen…it’s so powerful and brings such a grin to my face. Love between a mother and daughter. My sister is a mom.

And she loves that baby fiercely.

I am so proud. The emotions just come.Tears. Pride. Joy. Love. Faith.

I love you sis, and I love you Isabel, and I know you will get through this together.

Thank you all for your continued support and prayers. XO.

The fifth – and final – in a series of posts on my dad, growing up with (and without) him, and our eventual reconciliation (one of many).

We agreed to meet at my dad’s house. And there was one major piece of news that he had not yet heard.

Jen was pregnant.

His dream was to be a “Nonno” and he didn’t even know his daughter Jen was, at that point, 4 or 5 months pregnant (can’t recall exactly when this reconciliation was!). Jen decided to use this opportunity to tell him.

I knew it was going to be poignant, but didn’t realize just how poignant it was.

We came over, it felt awkward, a little surreal. He gave us big bear hugs and was glad to see us. Jen handed him a card. He opened it…and slowly started to read…”Grampa? What’s this? Wait…no….who is it?!”

And he opened the card, the sonogram slipped out, and he cried.

Like I’ve never seen him before.

He said “I’m going to be a Nonno?!”

And we cried, and it was perfect. It was as if Baby N had already started to bond us all together, like she has continued to do, to this day. That was the day we reconciled. The first time my dad had ever admitted to being as wrong as he was, for missing a huge chunk of our lives, including Jen’s pregnancy and my divorce (not to mention our 30th birthday).

Now, we have a better relationship with him, albeit somewhat guarded (naturally). It’s been going relatively smoothly, and while I still keep my emotional distance, I think this is the first time my dad has truly learned from his mistakes. I hope that continues to be the case and he becomes the Nonno to Baby N that he never was, as a dad, to us.

She deserves more than that – and I think he knows that. I hope he knows that.

~~

Phew. This was thoroughly therapeutic.

And I realized some things coming out of writing this that I hadn’t seen before. Baby “N” continues to unite our family, a family that has had its share of brokenness at times, and it is the new beginning – the new life – we may need to band together and love this baby like no other. And I, for one, and looking more forward to it than I ever imagined.

~~

On another, lighter note, I have a date tonight!

With a guy from OK Cupid that contacted me a week or so ago. He’s 34, divorced, and seems very “like-minded” to me in some ways, and I dig that. We’ll see how it goes. I feel slightly mixed only because I actually have TWO other potential dates next week with two different guys from match.com. I guess when it rains, it pours?! Stay tuned…and wish me luck tonight!

The fourth in a series of posts on my dad, growing up with (and without) him, and our eventual reconciliation (one of many).

Just prior to our 30th birthday – an epic weekend we had been planning (my sisters and I) for months, since a) we love birthdays (especially our own! Everyone teases us that it becomes a birthday weekend, but shouldn’t it? There are three of us celebrating!) and b) it was our 30th! That’s a huge milestone, no? My dad had been planning a big dinner out in Boston with my sisters, my mom (side note – my mom and dad have since come to a better place, where they are civil and can be in the same room together, so this wasn’t a huge thing, but it did mean a lot to us that both were planning this) and my dad, prior to an epic bar crawl planned the next day.

An argument ensued. Of which I was no part of, but my sisters were. And the argument itself has not much bearing, to be honest, to the outcome of it. My sisters banded together and refused to speak to him, as he had said some of the most hurtful, painful words to my sisters, and words that should never, ever, ever be uttered from father to daughter. I couldn’t even read some of the emails or listen to the voicemails (cue not letting myself get hurt…), but what did hurt me was how much it hurt both of them.

And it made me angry because somehow I got lumped into this fight, and he didn’t speak to me either (not that I truly wanted him to…).

My divorce date passed. No call from him.

My house closing passed, no call from him.

My move date came and went, no call from him (and he had agreed to help me move to, for the record, so he knew the date…yet another broken promise).

That hurt. It felt like a slap in the face, as we’d all gotten closer to him in the last year, had let him into our lives. He was extremely supportive of my divorce, he had the defensive papa bear hat on, and was upset that Pete had ‘done this’ to me, and I appreciated it. I let him in, and I hadn’t truly done that before.

And then this.

Needless to say, our birthday celebration with dad was off. We hadn’t spoken to him for two weeks leading up to our birthday in October, and were not expecting to speak to him on our birthdays. My sisters and I were together, celebrating our birthday together, when first Jess’s cell phone rang. Dad. She didn’t answer. Then Jen’s cell phone rang. Dad. She didn’t answer. And finally, my cell phone rang. I didn’t answer.

We listened to the voicemails. He had called us at exactly our birth date and time….8:02, 8:04 and 8:06 pm. He wished us happy birthdays. I could tell he was sad, almost broken, and he may have been crying. He was at least probably drinking.

We didn’t call him back.

None of us.

The words he’d said, and the pain he’d caused was what stopped us. He hadn’t apologized. He hadn’t even tried. A phone call on our birthday wasn’t enough. We needed more.

He called us at Christmas. And on New Year’s. We didn’t answer, nor call back for the very same reason. It wasn’t enough.

Finally, this spring (2010), he reached out. He called Jen and said he was wrong, he said some very bad things, he made the biggest mistake of his life and he wanted to make it up to us. He cried.

He never cries.

And least of all, he never apologies. Ever. EVER.

So we agreed to meet at his house. Just us. No girlfriend (his), no husbands (Jess or Jen’s). Just us.

To be continued…

The third in a series of posts on my dad, growing up with (and without) him, and our eventual reconciliation (one of many).


After my parents officially divorced (a couple of years after they really separated, from what I recall) when we were 9 or 10, we didn’t see our father much. He tended to fall for the wrong women, get in trouble (fighting with them, letting them ‘take’ his money etc), and well, he’d always put them first, before us. So, when he had a girlfriend, he’d tend to disappear for awhile, or want to have us meet the latest woman in his life, something we never really wanted to do. And that would drive him farther away.

As did child support. He had a knack for finding ways out of paying child support (as measly the sum he somehow finagled his way into), disappearing, getting paid under the table so he wouldn’t have money ‘on the books’ showing how much he really had, or simply not paying.

That is something to this day that I can’t truly forget, because I can’t respect a man that won’t support his children. My mom struggled as a single parent, trying to go back to school to finish her degree when we were in middle/high school, and to put food on the table. We were on food stamps. And ‘government cheese.’ But we made it. With some help from family, and a lot of determination and willpower and God’s graces, we made it through some tough times as a family financially. My sisters and I got jobs at 14 and have never looked back. Probably why we have always, always had jobs, full-time in the summer, part-time during school, and never really taking time off for a ‘summer off’ as many of our friends did. (One of the things I wish I could have – or found a way to – do, at least in college, or before diving into full-time employment after graduating. Cie la vie.).

But, back to my father and my relationship with him. Unlike Jen, who loved him so much…in large part for who she wanted him to be, and Jess, who just got angry with him and would fight back (verbally) when he would say hurtful things to us, or push us away, I never really let myself get close enough to get hurt.

I saw what it did to Jen. Broke her heart. Over and over.

I saw what it did to Jess. Make her angry, hurt her feelings. Pissed her off.

And I just didn’t care enough to let him get close enough to hurt me or make me angry. I am sure that comes across a bit callous, but it was my defense mechanism. If I didn’t care enough, it wouldn’t hurt enough.

Fast forward to fall 2009….to be continued.