I dropped off the edge of WP

Sorry if it seems I dropped off the edge of WP. The day after my last post, I came down with the flu. I spent way too many days in bed staring at the ripples on the ceiling and talking gibberish to my dead grandma. After the fever went away, I ended up with a bout of colitis. Let me tell you, fun times. I am still not eating solid foods and every time I move too fast I hack up a lung. But I am slowly improving to the point where I can finally do the laundry, clean the house, and turn on my computer again.

I blame it on trying to do too much and not getting enough rest. Apparently I am not 25 anymore. I didn’t sleep well the night before Thanksgiving. That one was my own fault. I changed my cartilage earring from a stud to a hoop. The hoop was way too tight which swelled up my ear which woke me up in the middle of the night in throbbing pain. I spent hours starring at the ceiling wondering if I should get out of my warm bed to change it. That made Thanksgiving morning come way too early. Then Paul and Angel were off to run the Turkey Trot race. I stayed home by myself to keep an eye on the turkey, cook, clean, and decorate for the party at noon. No one was home so I blasted my music and got to work.

After Paul and Angel got back, my mom and Matt were the first to arrive to the party. When my mom arrived I turned off my music, then she came into the kitchen and turned her music on without asking. She yelled at my brother Matt for where he was setting things down which is out of character for her. Paul and Angel were talking about the race and my mom asked me if I ran too. I was getting upset at this point and told her I did not run for a year. Besides there was no way we would put the turkey in the oven and leave the house for several hours.

Everyone seemed to arrive at once. My best friend’s son brought his new girlfriend. He introduced me to her as the matriarch of the family which I thought was really sweet of him. My mom put him in his place and told him I wasn’t the matriarch, she was. It was a very awkward experience. This may or may not have been the point when I started drinking. Everyone was in the kitchen trying to talk and ask questions as Paul was trying to cut the turkey and I was mashing potatoes. My mom was asking where the bowls are. Paul’s step-dad Darryl was talking Paul’s ear off about hunting and fishing while his fiance asked if I wanted her to put whip cream on part of the Jello or all of it. I told her to go ahead and put it on the whole thing, then my mom came over a told her not to.

Finally the meal was ready and it was time to eat. As I was eating, my mom came over to the table with Matt and showed everyone his incisions from his gallbladder surgery. I didn’t have much of an appetite after that. Then it was time to clean up. Afterwards the drinks were flowing and we played games and opened the pool. The last guests left around midnight and I stumbled into bed once again not sleeping well.

The next morning Paul, Angel, Alex, Lexi, and I went to the Christmas tree farm and picked out two trees. I spent most the day decorating the house and trees with the kids. Then Paul and I went Black Friday shopping for a couple hours for a futon couch which we didn’t find. Saturday I went shopping again until I finally found a futon couch. Then I also stopped at Kohl’s because I needed socks and bras. Maybe this is more than you want to know, but I threw out 4 bras in the past month that were worn out. I no longer had any plain white socks either. Both items I don’t buy myself at the thrift stores. But I wanted to get them on sale. Sale, sale, sale. Then I spent the afternoon with Angel volunteering.

Sunday was church, then I spent the rest of the day shopping the sales online researching vacations and creating the family calendar for 2023. I turned my computer off at 9 PM exhausted. Then I was back at it again on Cyber Monday shopping the sales for Christmas on my computer. In the morning I shopped with Paul, then the afternoon I shopped with my mom. By that evening, I was sick and fell off the edge of WP. I think I am finally on the mend.

Gratitude week 152

  1. Thanksgiving; a time to count blessings.
  2. A visit to my massage therapist.
  3. Dan needing to get gas and missing a fatal car accident.
  4. Black Friday deals.
  5. Volunteering with my daughter sorting kids clothing.
  6. Devilled eggs and pumpkin pie.
  7. Clean sheets.
  8. Getting a good deal and planning a trip to the Caribbean this winter. We are going to an island in South America so I will be able to cross the continent of South America off my bucket list.
  9. I found an affordable futon couch to decorate my office with and will still be able to use my office as a bedroom if needed.
  10. I found the perfect Christmas trees this year. I got a traditional tree and found the white colored tree I was looking for. This is my second favorite time of year. This year Angel, Alex, and Lexi joined Paul and I picking out the trees and decorating. We finished the evening by watching my favorite Christmas movie, the National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.

Thanksgiving Eve

It’s strange to think that people my age are starting to host the holidays for the first time. I’ve been doing it a good 20 years now. It’s just one of the many things my parents didn’t do. I can remember them decorating and having a Christmas tree twice in my life. Then my mom said Matt was allergic to Christmas trees and that was the end of that.

I don’t know how I became the responsible one. There is a big difference between wanting that and needing to be that because my parents weren’t able to step up. The normal progression of life never happened for me. I can’t remember being a child either. My in-laws hosted a couple times but they couldn’t handle it either. I tried to kill two birds with one stone and have my family and Paul’s family together for Christmas but that became the grandma wars.

Hosting does not make me nervous. I’ve been doing it long enough now. My brother Luke and his family stayed with us this past weekend for my niece’s swim meet. I wish I had that opportunity as a kid. I begged my mom for more than just beginner swimming classes but she said no. Maybe if I went to a school with a pool. Maybe if we had more money or if I could get a ride. Maybe if I wasn’t pulled out of school for three years when my brother Matt was homebound. Maybe if I wasn’t so far behind the other kids in sports when I went back to school. That’s a lot of maybes but the answer was still no.

I wish I could’ve started swimming and running as a kid like my niece. Sports were not encouraged at home. My mom didn’t go to the swim meet. Paul, Angel, and I went. I told my mom if she wanted to come over to visit my brother would be over on Saturday night. My mom came to my house but we were still at the meet. I could tell she was upset no one was home. I wasn’t expecting her to just stop by expecting us to be home. It’s odd my parents never supported their children or grandchildren in sports. It seemed like a foreign concept to them.

I was happy to have the opportunity to see my niece compete. It’s a huge relief to know my brother is a good dad to his kids even though my dad was not a good dad to him. His kids probably have no idea the way it was as it should be. There were several times Luke helped host the holidays over the years. We are the healthy ones, the ones who made it through.

Tomorrow I will be hosting Thanksgiving for 16 people. I’m sure it will be a great time. We have a lot to be thankful for. I have to remember that when I start thinking of the things I’ve missed out on.

Gratitude week 151

  1. With the way the holidays fall this year, I’m grateful to have found a date that works for everyone.
  2. I went in for my physical this week and there weren’t any new health surprises which I am very grateful for.
  3. I got my tetanus shot this week and thankfully it didn’t stop me from continuing to clean and fill up the dumpster we rented.
  4. Everything went really smoothly with the dumpster rental and we got the right size.
  5. We finished our room remodeling project and the flooring is completed!! It all happened a lot quicker than I had planned which is always a plus.
  6. I have my own office!
  7. We had our first snowfall this week and it is absolutely beautiful. Unfortunately it is now bitterly cold outside and with last weeks record highs we’ve had a 50+ degree drop in temperature.
  8. Along with filling the dumpster, we also donated several boxes to the thrift store. While we were there, we got some good deals thrifting. Sadly, I think someone old probably died because I scored on a local collection of polka records. I also found a gorgeous tree skirt that looked like the skirt worn by Mrs. Claus.
  9. We spent an afternoon volunteering and helping others.
  10. We were able to visit with all our kids this week.
  11. My brother Luke and his family visited this weekend and we were able to go to our niece’s swim meet. They live several hours away so we are not able to do as much as we would like to. This is the first swim meet we’ve been to and my niece beat her record on a couple events.
  12. My brother Matt had his gallbladder removed and the surgery went well.
  13. Because Arabella missed a lot of work due to COVID and mono, she was taken off the schedule at work. She just started working for Door Dash making deliveries. I think this is a great opportunity for her to be able to work around her health and mental health issues.

Before and after…with a little help from our cat.

This uncertainty, part 1

Lately I’ve been struggling a lot with indecision and uncertainty. Where do I even begin?

I’m not certain how I feel about my mom right now ever since she sent a picture to my daughter of her ex-boyfriend on her wedding day. Last week I talked to my therapist about it. She asked me how I don’t hate my mom. I don’t really…hate my mom. I just need space.

I just don’t understand how she could do something like that. Was it intentional? She had to dig back pretty far into her photos to find that one. Was she jealous my daughter asked me to be a bridesmaid? She is always making comments…must be nice…but it doesn’t sound nice. She was the one blemish on an otherwise perfect wedding day. My therapist said it doesn’t matter whether it was intentional or not. The issue is that my mom is always being the drama queen.

If it’s not one thing it’s another to try to get my attention. My mom has been to urgent care twice in the last week or so. Neither time for anything serious. The last time it was for a fever of 100. She has been calling and texting about how sick she is.

I’ve only seen her twice since the wedding a month ago. It’s been nice. I think twice a month is enough for me. But I know if I push back she is going to smother me. I just don’t know if it’s worth the fight.

I have to start planning Thanksgiving and Christmas. That’s another thing, my mom never once hosted those holidays. I started taking it on after my grandma no longer could when I was in my 20’s. Seems kind of young looking back now. I think I feel a lot of resentment towards my mom for that. Sometimes my brother Luke would take it on and he’s younger than me.

This year everyone is invited to the big extended family Christmas party regardless of vaccination status. Last year we were not invited because my household is of a mixed status. Now we are invited but I don’t really want to go. I probably will anyway because the aunts and uncles that are currently not in the family feud went out of their way to be great towards my daughter on her wedding day. Better than my mom was. Actions speak louder than my mom’s words. She sometimes exaggerates things to stir up drama and I can’t overlook that.

I’m not really sure what to do about my mom and my relationship with her. So far I’ve opted to do nothing and be noncommittal which is the opposite of how I try to live my life. I don’t know seems to be my answer for a lot of things these days and I don’t really like it. I’m the type of person who always has to have a plan.

Gratitude week 147

  1. The weather the last couple of days has been absolutely gorgeous.
  2. I took advantage of the nice weather to finish my fall cleaning and wash windows.
  3. The autumn colors have reached their peak.
  4. I love the home renovation shows and I am starting a project on a much smaller scale turning my daughter’s old bedroom into my office. I removed all the trim board and applied the first coat of paint. I’m grateful my husband and I are willing to take on projects and finish them even though we don’t know what we are doing. There has never been an easier time to learn.
  5. Breakfast with my best friend at a new restaurant.
  6. I was able to visit with all my kids this past week.
  7. Angel came for a visit and brought over cinnamon bread she made with the bread machine which was a wedding gift.
  8. Paul’s homemade pizza.
  9. Fall campfires.
  10. Variety, change of seasons, and getting out my winter clothes. Warm fuzzy sweaters are the best!

My daughter’s wedding

I awoke early after a restless night of sleep. Once the day started it went by fast, although I felt like I was moving in slow motion. Although tired, I was feeling pretty good. All the bridesmaids showed up around 10 AM. Afterwards there was a flurry of activity. My friend Lisa showed up to do my daughter’s hair and we ended up going to the store to buy ingredients for mimosas. I also opened an expensive bottle of champagne sent from our foreign exchange student from France. I was just waiting for a special day. It wasn’t long after we got back that the photographer arrived for pictures.

It was a gorgeous autumn morning. Angel bought us robes to get ready in that said bridesmaids on it. I got ready here and there. Angel didn’t sleep much the night before and her stomach was too upset to eat or sip champagne that morning or even the evening before. There were a couple little problems like the light burning out in the bathroom everyone was getting ready in. Arabella found they never removed the big plastic tag from her dress at the store and left in a hurry leaving her dress shoes behind to get the tag removed. I set out snacks for everyone. Just like that it was time to leave and I left the house a mess. Angel was getting very anxious about leaving on time and everyone else started getting anxious too. Angel lost her phone and we couldn’t find it anywhere. She was ready to leave without it, but it was found at the last minute.

Angel was a big mess at the church. She put her dress on and started crying. She gave everyone little notes to read. I will share mine at a later date. It was hard not to cry as well. The ceremony itself was excellent. They rented a wedding chapel and minister. I was really pleased with how everything turned out. After the ceremony was over, I felt immensely relieved. We took a couple family pictures outside. Paul’s step-dad asked me where my dad was. I guess we never told him and probably never will. I told him my dad was not well enough to be there. Darryl sighed and rolled his eyes. No one mentioned my dad again the rest of the day.

After a few pictures, the limo was ready for us. We stopped at several places to take pictures. For a picture, the guys pulled out some cigars. I said the girls needed cigar pictures too, so we did. We cracked open all the leftover bottles of champagne from earlier that morning. We even had a picture in the park where Dan shook a bottle of champagne and it sprayed everywhere. I can’t wait to see the pictures because I really didn’t take many even though I was supposed to.

It was really a lot of fun to spend the day with Angel and Dan. They were so happy. After pictures, we still had some time left in the limo so we stopped at a bar where the best man bought everyone a round of Fireball shots. Then it was off to the reception hall for the grand march and dinner. I ordered a Long Island Iced Tea. Go big or go home. Paul did an amazing job with his prayer. I was so impressed. The maid of honor also had an amazing speech.

I probably had a little too much to drink. I wasn’t the only one. But it was a great night and we all had a lot of fun. I tried to make the rounds and talk to everyone. Most of the night, though, you could find me on the dance floor. The music was great. I was hugging everyone which is pretty out of character for me. When I wasn’t on the dance floor I was outside with the smokers cracking jokes, giving unsolicited advice, and telling people to stop smoking (even complete strangers). Then I came right back to the dance floor dancing and sampling random people’s drinks. Everyone had a great time, especially the bride and groom. Everyone clapped and cheered for them. The atmosphere was that of festive celebration because everyone was happy for them because they are great together. It was the best wedding I’ve ever attended. My daughter did a great job with planning and picking the right guy.

1 day

I can’t believe by this time tomorrow my daughter will be changing her name. It seems surreal to me right now. They are getting really excited for the big day tomorrow.

My husband will be saying the dinner prayer and he is really nervous about it. I told him no one is going to remember it unless he accidentally says the f word or something. My son is going to be an usher and he is nervous about that. I don’t feel any different than any other day really. And that is the joy of struggling with anxiety. I’m used to feeling this way. There has to be some perks.

I’ve spent the last couple of days just getting ready. Mom and I went and got our nails done. I made the beds for guests tonight. Angel will be staying over with a bridesmaid. Arabella and Will will be staying too just to make sure they are up and ready in time. Angel is getting ready here with her bridesmaids so I bought some easy lunch foods. I expect somewhere around a dozen people being in and out of the house tomorrow morning. Then we may or may not have overnight guests the night of the wedding.

In a couple hours will be the rehearsal and dinner afterwards. I expect it will really hit me and I will be nervous then. Hopefully we will be able to sleep tonight!

Tomorrow Dan and Angel will begin their married life together. I can’t believe my daughter is getting married tomorrow. I am so happy and excited for them. I hope they will be blessed with many wonderful years together. One more day…

3 days

Today I found out all my closest friends will be attending the wedding. I am pretty excited about that. You know what they say, friends are the family we choose. I have a lot of family I consider wild cards. You never know what you are going to get.

My mom said my brother Luke won’t like the music. There is no doubt about it. After he stopped drinking, he became addicted to faith and very legalistic. He does not listen to any music that is non-Christian and neither does his teenage homeschooled kids. I know he looks down upon my family and views us as a bunch of savages. I also know that religion is where he feels safe from all the crap we experienced so I try not to take it personally. It’s not even that I disagree with him, I totally understand and think it is better for him than drinking too much. But he has a tendency to judge instead of support, the latter something we were never taught to do either.

Luke isn’t the only one questioning the music and other choices regarding the wedding Angel and Dan have made. I told Angel that I trust her judgment. What she really has a problem with is people not trusting her. She’s got this. Music is her thing. She has a music degree and a job in the industry. I can understand why it is so important to her. She said she doesn’t want to take requests because they bog the DJ down when she has a well thought out playlist already made. They will have jazzy dinner music from 6 to 8, dance music from 8 to 10, and club music from 10 to midnight. At the ceremony, they will have several singers and a pianist that hold the minimum of a Bachelor’s degree in music. I told my daughter I think she has this handled and validated her feelings of frustration over people questioning and criticizing. It’s their wedding. Angel said she is starting to feel more excited about the wedding than anxious today.

Other than that, I ironed my son’s shirt for the wedding. If it was up to him it would probably still be sitting in the bag I bought it in laying around somewhere. I can’t remember the last time I ironed. Yes, I have an iron. I got it for a high school graduation gift from my aunt. I remember that because when I opened the gift I was excited to see what was really in the box and it really was an iron. Our house has an ironing board built into a drawer in our kitchen island. It looked well used but it was the first time I used it.

As I was ironing, I started to think about ironing. When did that stop being a thing? I missed the smell of ironing. I started to think again of my grandma who was always ironing it seemed. She had a glass soda bottle with a little sprinkler on top to put little drops of water on the clothes before ironing. If you think laundry is a hassle now, try ironing everything.

My mom also gave my grandma laundry to iron. I remember my mom saying the smell of ironing also triggered my brother Matt’s violent outbursts. In the summer, my mom would iron outside. When she couldn’t do that, she sent it all over to my grandma’s. I had forgotten about that, but it all came back to me today. My mom thought if we could perfectly follow all of the crazy rules then Matt wouldn’t be violent anymore when in actuality all it took was the right anti-psychotic medicine. It’s no wonder why my brother Luke fell into following rules so easily and becomes upset when they are broken. I have to fight against it myself with my thinking if I do everything right I won’t get sick, etc. But hey, nothing about my childhood was normal, except maybe my grandma. To think ironing could trigger violence. How flipping crazy is that?

Anyway, I am excited all my best friends are coming to the wedding. I’m happy for the family members attending, even the wild cards. I’m glad Angel is starting to relax a little and enjoy the last couple of days before the wedding. I know it’s going to go by fast now. I’m glad to report everyone is healthy (except Arabella with mono but she will be there!). Only 3 more days to go…

4 days

My dress fits! Yeah!! The alterations didn’t take too long and I was able to see my daughter in her wedding dress which looks absolutely gorgeous on her.

Angel is keeping up with the tradition of something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue. Her future MIL is taking my grandma’s wedding dress and making a little handkerchief out of a piece of it. So, in a way, my grandma will be a part of the ceremony.

I remember when I was 12 years old, I tried on my grandma’s wedding dress. I told her when I got married I was going to wear it. That never happened. My grandma was a short woman and the dress pretty much fit me at age 12. Grandma never had a daughter or even another granddaughter so I ended up with her wedding dress. It was a very plain dress. It sat in a box untouched for many decades. It’s almost been 80 years since she got married. Over time, the dress started to fade. The buttons on the back of the dress rusted and bled into the dress.

I never thought the dress would be used again, but now it is. It’s special to me because my grandma was the number one positive influence in my childhood. I don’t know where I would be today without her. Now a part of her will be with us on my daughter’s special day.

I can’t believe we only have 4 more days to go until the big day. So far the weather is looking really good for Saturday. One less thing to worry about. And our dresses are ready to go, even my grandma’s.