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Love soars

I am in a very weird place at the moment. The simplest explanation is that I am just exhausted; physically, mentally, spiritually. I want a nap. About 30 hours should do it, I think. HAHA. Yeah. Anyway, there’s that. I am tired and overwhelmed and let’s face it, I am probably not the world’s greatest friend to begin with, but when I am tired and overly hurt-y about everything, I am an even worse friend. I retreat, and then I wonder why I am wallowing all by my lonesome. Lather, rinse, repeat. It’s delightful, except not really.

Fortunately I have a small group of folks who always poke into my bubble of burnout and remind me that they’re around and I’m okay. I’ve noticed that all of these people are non-local, though, which is possibly because of my Pavlovian response to email/texting even when I am rarely leaving the house or answering the phone, or maybe because I am easier to deal with from far away and in small doses. (I suspect the latter.) Locally, I don’t see a lot of folks when I’m struggling, which is surprisingly easy to do when you work from home.

This week I met a friend for coffee, though, because she was about to leave town for a bit, and blowing her off would’ve meant not seeing her for quite a while. Plus, she was recently diagnosed with cancer, and what sort of asshole would I be if I was all, Yeah, I know you’ve got this whole cancer thing going on, but I’m too busy despairing over the lint in my navel to see you? (Answer: The extremely asshole-ish kind of asshole.) (more…)

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The power of a princess

You may recall that I visited Kira last year, too, and it was a wonderful trip and I had a hard time leaving. I was just getting to know her boys, and while I’d been allowed to freely snoogle the baby, I knew that she would be a whole different person this year, and it was hard to leave her sweet babylump self knowing that that she would change so much before I could see her again.

What I hadn’t anticipated—despite Kira’s stories in the intervening year—was that when I returned it would be to boys who had grown a bit, yes, but also to a tiny, adorable tyrant who has effortlessly wrapped the entire household around her chubby little finger.

You might think I’d find this strange or wonder if little Sophia is being spoiled, but all I can tell you is that this is clearly How The World Is Meant To Work. That child had me vying for a spot on that finger before I’d been there for an hour. (more…)

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Eating is complicated

I am back from a whirlwind weekend of jetting off to the Rockies, wrestling with Kira‘s boys, attempting to snoogle a baby who is now a toddler whose favorite word is “NO!” (thankyouverymuch, now please hush up and get her some crackers), and talking Kira’s ear off.

It was lovely. Well, for ME, anyway. Kira’s husband always seems a little shell-shocked when I’m around, as it does throw off the testosterone/estrogen balance in their household pretty significantly.

As both Kira and I were long overdue for some decadence (not to mention a girl’s night out), we elected to go out for a Dinner Adventure one night, just the two of us. The only logical course of action was to go to a fondue restaurant. For one thing, where else can you justify eating your body weight in cheese? And for another, the very idea of allowing any of our children loose in a dining establishment where they encourage you to eat with little spears reduced us both to hysterical giggles. Adults-only fondue it would be! (more…)

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Looks Like Kidnapping is Now Legal in Ohio

UPDATE 8/10/10: Here is a scan of the affidavits filed in this case for those who are looking for official proof.

UPDATE 8/11/10: I granted Hollis the space to share this story to hopefully generate some media attention. It worked. It also brought over a lot of people who aren’t very good at playing nicely, and as I have a life to maintain I’m now moderating comments rather than allowing y’all free rein to spew all over my site.

UPDATE 9/11/10: Mandy has regained custody of baby Madison! April Brown tested positive for illegal drug use three times in the last month before the hearing. Justice was finally served, albeit at the expense of seven months lost between mother and child.

And now for something completely different: The piece that follows was penned by no other than the mistress of shocking real life herself, Hollis Gillespie. If you are unfamiliar with Hollis’ work, let’s just say that I would have to hate her a whole lot if she wasn’t also so freaking warm and kind on top of being hilarious and successful. Not only that, she’s a fellow divorced mama, and you KNOW we have a club for that. (Although of course now those of you who aren’t members will have to die because I told you. Sorry.)

Anyway, Hollis is trying to get the word out about this story, and I am trying to help. Please read, share, and do what you can. Without further ado, here’s Hollis:

As a divorced parent, I sometimes think I’ve seen it all. For one, I thought there were only two worlds when it came to child-custody; the regular one in which we operate daily, and this other total toilet spin of rules and bureaucratic turd pellets referred to as family law. But at least in that second world the rules are fairly followed. But recently I discovered this whole other third world. Consider it a dwarf planet of pure courtroom nuttiness, where all the rules exist but they’re ignored. This is where the Ohio court case Brown vs. Elliot resides, and you’re not gonna believe this*: (more…)

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Inspiring things

I’m not here right now. Rather, I’m here, but I’m hiding. I am not being my best self right now, and as such I am looking for inspiration elsewhere on how people do the right thing even when, maybe, life is not feeling so right.

Do you know what I mean? If you do (or even if you don’t), here’s three places to go today that I promise will up your good karma:

1) Please visit this post at BlogHer to painlessly donate a book to a child in need. Your comment = a book for a kid. It’s that simple. (Bonus points: You blog about it, that’s another book, too.)

2) I couldn’t be more excited about my friend Karen Walrond’s impending book than if I’d written it myself, and the video she posted today made me wish I could always see what she sees. Go watch it.

3) I don’t know this woman (in fact, never read her blog before today), but this post makes me want to be a better person.

Maybe tomorrow I WILL be a better person. I hope so.

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Love is where you see it

I have a young friend who’s going through a difficult time, right now. And so I counseled her—feeling impossibly old and insensitive and Terribly “Adult Who Doesn’t Get It”—to try finding one thing every day that makes her happy, for a week, and to focus on that. “It will help,” I told her, knowing that she was probably rolling her eyes (internally if not externally) and thinking about how I just don’t understand.

The thing is, I totally DO understand. I mean, it may have been a long time since my first heartbreak, but hello, here is my six-year-long shrine to Things I Obsess Over Sometimes When I Probably Should Just Move On, and what I really wanted to say was, “Oh, honey, I understand the impulse to wallow, heck, I may have INVENTED the impulse to wallow, and no one loves a good wallow more than me, sister. But then, sometimes, you have to force yourself up out of the mud and remember that life is still worth living.”

Of course, I also must acknowledge that someone basically tried to tell me exactly that when I was around her age, and do you know what I thought? I thought that no one had ever hurt as badly as I was hurting, certainly not the advice-giver, and she just didn’t UNDERSTAND and the only way to cope with my pain was clearly to 1) mope relentlessly and 2) write bad poetry. (more…)

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Love’s reminders

‘Tis the season to be swept away on a wave of annoyances. I’m prone to agonizing over minutiae, anyway, and I don’t think anyone could or does fault me for the things that often aggravate me these days—the kids’ health, various family matters, work, school… you name it, there’s stress attached. And whether it’s a “good” reason to get upset or not, the fact remains that I fret. Endlessly.

I want to take care of everyone. That’s what I do. I want to soothe the savage hormone beast, make school a happy place again, and hear Otto talk about work without a multitude of heavy sighs. I want my parents to smile and my friends to relax. Is it really so much to ask that I be omniscient and omnipotent and that I be able to fix everything for everyone??

(Uh, don’t answer that.) (more…)

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Humiliation ahoy

Once upon a time there was a kind, beautiful, talented, and extremely mentally ill woman who said to a few friends, “Do you know what we need? We need to start one of those group blogs and do a weight loss challenge, because it will keep us accountable and honest and I am rabidly competitive and I will mop up the floor with you. Doesn’t that sound FUN?”

I am pretty sure I was eating some cookies and didn’t really hear her clearly when I said, “Sure! Great idea!”

Oh, well. I’m stuck, now—I’ve committed to actually diet and exercise in the new year, and be publicly accountable for it, and here we are headed into the Season of Eating and a little voice inside me says, “Oh, I could probably just GAIN ten pounds before January, then take THAT off!” I’m pretty sure that wouldn’t even be cheating.

Anyway. Won’t you come join us over at Five Full Plates? I can pretty much promise you that I will have a full-on tantrum at some point during the competition. Maybe even more than one.

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Memorials, and robot kitties

You know your vacation was just the right length when you’ve had an absolute blast, but are starting to daydream about sleeping at home in your own bed. (Not that the camper bed isn’t also our own bed. But it’s just not the same. At home, there are hardly ever screaming children or motorcycle dudes with mullets directly under our window at 10:00 at night.) I plan to fall backwards onto our bed later today after we arrive home and make a snow angel. Er, blanket angel.

The camping itself has been hugely entertaining, but I was not prepared for how interesting I would find Gettysburg. Otto is a history buff, and more specifically, a war history buff. I watched Band of Brothers with him over the course of a month or two and spent most of it peeking through my fingers and asking, “Is everyone dead now?” I mostly just find it disturbing. But it’s hard to be unmoved when surrounded by all that history in one place. Even for me.

And the day got even MORE interesting when we were joined by Amy-Go! (more…)

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Rocky Mountain bye

As predicted, I remained in Colorado just long enough to get adjusted to Mountain Time and then come home and be really tired. I couldn’t seem to get to bed at a reasonable time last night, but had to get up to the alarm this morning, and the net result is that I am now typing this while face-down in a very large cup of coffee.

That’s just as well, because it’s good nasal irrigation. I don’t know if you know this, but Georgia is just a WEE BIT more humid than Colorado. It’s true! And as a result, if you take southern nasal membranes up into the Rockies, it’s only a matter of days before all of your boogers calcify and leave you with a crispy dried-out nose that feels like it’s full of glass shards. YOU’RE WELCOME. That was such a wonderful experience for me, I just felt like I had to share the joy on that one.

It was such a wonderful trip, though, that it was not to be ruined by a dessicated nose or even the marked lack of oxygen. (more…)

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