Monday, December 17, 2012

The Ghost of Christmas Past

I was thinking about my life this morning and was reminiscing in my mind about all the Christmas' of my past. I was wondering if my children have one significant Christmas that stands out for them like I did as a young girl? There always seems to be the one Christmas that stands out above all others as being the best-christmas-ever. I have always tried to make Christmas a very special day for my girls. Since they were younger, I have always just done the 4 Gifts for Christmas.

The Gift of Warmth, The Gift of Knowledge, The Gift of Love and the The Gift of Joy. I shared the 4 gifts in another post in my blog and that can be found here:

When I say special, I mean while keeping it simple, I make a big deal out of the art of gift wrapping and bows and tags and the delightful presentation of it. I plan for months ahead of time and I thoughtfully decide each gift with all the love I could possibly muster. I have never just bought a gift without putting thought into it. Each gift represents a memory, a laughter, a personality characteristic, etc about the person it's being bought for. I just hope that all the work and effort has paid off in the end. As they are approaching and are in the teenage years, it's getting increasingly hard not to just give them a Gift Card to the mall to please them and be done with it, but I am determined to make it work this year once again. :)

I am just going to come right out and say that Ivy still believes in Santa. Yep, she sure does. Eleven years old she is. I know she is questioning it in her mind, but she refuses to NOT believe. Maybe that is my fault because I was so good about instilling thoughts in the girls minds that the true spirit of Christmas lies in our heart and that maybe she still believes in that. Who am I to tell her differently? right? So for this year, Santa still reigns I guess.

I can say that while I do anticipate a wonderful Christmas this year, I can't help but to be incredibly sad that I have severed my ties with the Christmas' of my past. Feelings of that old familiar guilt has come around to the surface to still haunt me. Christmas will never be the same for my girls. Being pulled in 2 different directions, having to spend half the day with me and half with their Dad. I hate that I am responsible for that. I wonder how long I will persecute myself for my choices? I know this Christmas all I want is for some forgiveness. But more importantly, I pray that I can forgive myself.

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night~

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The One About My Little Yellow Canary

Yellow is color of sunshine. I like yellow. When I was growing up, my bedroom was painted sunshine yellow. I can remember the sun streaming into my bedroom window and with the walls painted yellow too, I felt like I was in this little cocoon of sunshine all the time. I never wanted to leave my room because in there I felt safe in my yellow space. So, you see, I have always been drawn to the color yellow. What I didn't know then, was how important the color yellow would be to me many years later.

Baby No. 2 came crashing into the world on May 24, 2001. She was perfection. She looked just like my vision and she was the most beautiful baby I have ever seen. This child came into my life to teach me many lessons here on Earth and she is ultimately what saved me from myself. For fighting her battles became my new normal, my new purpose in life. You can read all about the life of Baby No. 2 throughout my blog (see autism). Her story is too long to include in this post. I just wanted to mention that Baby No. 2 came to save us all from ourselves. She speaks volumes every day. But sadly, people can't hear her beautiful song. We could all learn from her if we could just hear her sweet music. She didn't come alone though either. She came along with many friends from Heaven. One in every 50 children are little yellow canaries now. They are the canaries in the coalmine sent to warn us. And if we can't see them and we can't hear them, then we are headed for big, big trouble. My little yellow canary lets me know two things. One, that we have to stop and take a look at how toxic we have become and two, you have to do something about it. I am still waiting to see the outcome and the fruits of my labor where she is concerned. Not much survived me saving her. And I do considered her saved. I do consider her in remission from her disease. I do considered her healed and doing well.

The stress involved with raising a child with special needs can be tremendous and I have spoken openly here on my blog that I went through Hell and back here on Earth and that my marriage didn't survive the stress. Do I have regrets? Absolutely, I have some. Would I do it over again? Absolutely I would. Do I wish things would have turned out differently? Absolutely I do. But my path was layed out for me long before I walked on it and I just try to remember, that my life is in God's hands, not mine and the He knows where I am going. I try to have faith that things will work out as they are supposed to. But in the meantime, I ever start to feel doubtful, I just look at my beautiful little yellow canary and listen to her sweet melody and I know that life is good and I am right where God wants me to be right now.

My little Yellow Canary

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The One When I Was Still Happy

So, I got my Little Bundle of Sunshine and I am living the dream with the Guy in the Zebra Striped Shoes and life is good. What could make our little family better than adding to it right? So, we decided to do just that and when I began officially trying to get pregnant, we didn't have to wait long. Baby Number 2 was on it's way within a month of trying! We were thrilled!! We were excited and couldn't wait to meet our new little package of Love. I didn't need to find out the sex of either baby, because just like in Pregnancy No. 1, I had a vision in Pregnancy No. 2 that predicted me a chubby little girl sitting in the bathtub. She has long dark wavy brown hair and a pudgy little belly sticking out. So, I was having another girl it seemed. That was fine with me since I already had all the girl stuff and already knew all the girl parts. Zebra shoes didn't mind either, as he seemed to like being surrounded by girls.

The very first few years of our lives together, were my most happiest ever. I tried really hard to make things perfect for the three of us. I tried really hard to be someone on the outside other than the person I felt like on the inside. I did a pretty good job at accomplishing both things. Without a doubt, I knew in my heart that my sole purpose in life was to be a mother. If I accomplished nothing else on Earth, I was perfectly ok with that because I was born to be a mother. I was never happier than when I was in my element doing the stay at home mom thing and surrounded by children. I must have either been around a lot of kids, was maybe a teacher or had a lot of children myself in a previous life, because I have always been drawn to kids of all ages from the time I was a little girl myself. I just love kids! And I could not wait to add to my family! Baby No. 2 was coming and I couldn't wait to meet her!

Friday, November 9, 2012

The One About My Sunshine

So, I am pregnant for the third time and wondering what to do with myself. I somehow made it through the first trimester, so I decided that quitting the bar might be a good idea. I didn't want to be pregnant and working in a bar. Yuck! So since I made it through the first trimester, I was starting to maybe have some hope that this time, the pregnancy would make it full term. But I couldn't be too hopeful, not yet anyway. I would not allow myself to look at baby name books, think of nursery themes or to be hopeful concerning anything related to this pregnancy. I just kept holding my breath waiting for the axe to fall. Because I knew it was GOING to was just a matter of WHEN and HOW it was going to fall. So this is how I went through months 1 through 6 of my pregnancy.

One night, I was about 7 mths pregnant and I was resting my painful back in a warm bath and I was getting kinda of drowsy and just relaxing and talking to the baby growing inside of my belly. All of a sudden, I got this vision from out of nowhere. It was of a little curly headed girl bouncing through a meadow of flowers with a basket in her hand which was full of flowers. I knew right then and there that I was seeing a vision of my unborn child. I was having a girl and she would live to be at least 3 or 4 because that is the age she appeared to be in my vision. That was a unusual experience for sure, but I knew that I was seeing my child. I kept that secret until she was born. On February 2, 1999 at exactly 4:20pm my daughter came bursting into the world at 5lbs and 12 oz. When I first held her, she didn't look ANYTHING like my vision, hahaha! She was teeny, tiny and looked so fragile. But she was beautiful and she was mine and she was like sunshine. I told her father the story of how I knew she was coming and that she would be a girl. We named our little sunshine Jade McKenna.

While in the hospital, holding her and looking at her, I knew that her father and I needed to do the right thing by her and get married. We needed to be her parents in every sense of the word. We needed to be her family. I mean she chose US to her her parents out of the all the people in this world, so we should do the respectful thing and be together as husband and wife for this sweet little piece of Sunshine. I owed that to her. I promised her I would do that for her. So the man with the zebra striped shoes and I began planning a wedding.....

By the way, check out this pitcure and see my little Sunshine for yourself at age 4.


Thursday, November 8, 2012

The One With Zebra Striped Shoes

So, like I said earlier, God sends people into our lives at exactly the right moment for reasons beyond our current comprehension. We don't know it at the time, but we always figure it out later on down the road. Now, I can say that in looking back, God placed this roadblock in my life when I needed it most because I was on my way to either becoming a straight up alcoholic or dying in the process of becoming one. Nothing could stop the internal pain I was feeling except alcohol. I couldn't let myself feel for very long, so I pretty much stayed drunk to not have to cope with the pain. No very smart thing to do for someone that's a smart girl, just sayin'....

So enter the man with the zebra striped tennis shoes. One night, at work in the bar, I see this guy come in with these ridiculous looking Reebok's that were zebra striped. He was nice enough and I had seen him many times during my work shifts. We never spoke until that night. I mentioned to him that the guy he was playing pool with was a known cheater and to beware and watch him. He laughed at me and shrugged his shoulders and pretty much blew me off. After that day, we interacted quite a bit and slowly, we became friends. Next thing, I know, we are dating...kinda. He is SO NOT MY TYPE. But he seems to genuinely care about my well being and my state of mind at the time. I think I really latched onto him because my life was so out of control and he seemed to be like an flotation device that was being thrown my way to keep me from drowning. Whatever it was, it worked. I grabbed on for dear life. I had to be with this person. I needed to be with this person. He was the calm in the middle of my raging storm. He was the yin to my yang. I didn't have the will power to fight what was happening. I am not sure I even wanted to. I knew in my heart I was with this person for all the wrong reasons, but I couldn't stop myself from being with him and I couldn't stay away.

Next thing I know, we are having a baby. We are not married and we are having a baby. We have known each other all of 6mths and we are having a baby. Did I mention that we were having a baby? I was BEYOND thrilled with this news. I knew that this was just what I needed to get my life back on track. But, fate sometimes has a way of showing up in your life and let's just say that this pregnancy ended in a miscarriage. I was devastated...again. At this point I was pretty sure that I was being punished for something. But what? What did I do in my life to deserve these repeated blows I was getting? Just one after another, knocking me down every single time I got back up. Bam! So, I thought in my very sick mind that the only way to fill this ever growing Grand Canyon HOLE, was to get pregnant again and that is exactly what I did. Four months later, I am pregnant again. But much to my dismay and heartache, this pregnancy also ended in a miscarriage.

I can't even begin to tell you how broken I was at this point. But this man with the shoes was there. He was constant and protective and he was my life line. I couldn't let go or I would surely drown. I had to hang on. So we held on to each other. That's what we did. He gave me peace and order in my very chaotic life. I gave him excitement and entertainment. It worked. Back then, it really worked.  So many months later, I decided that getting pregnant was about the stupidest thing I could do at this point and went to see my doctor to go on the Pill. Routine testing is always performed before placing one on the Pill and when I was asked if there was a chance I was pregnant, I quickly dismissed that as not possible. But much to my surprise, I was in fact pregnant. Stunned would be a good word to describe how I felt that day. I had it all worked out in my head that God didn't intend for me to have children and this man with the shoes and I were surely not meant to have children together at all. I had accepted that and I had moved on. I mean I had SO moved on. So, why now? I didn't know how I felt about this pregnancy. I mean why even get excited about it when it was just going to end in another miscarriage? Right? That was my frame of mind. This pregnancy will not last. I am not going to get excited about ut because it will not last.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

The One I Don't Want to Talk About's August of 1995. A good 6mths after the BREAK UP and I have decided that what I really need is a night off work and a GNO (girls night out). So, who you gonna call right? One of my oldest and bestest friends, Kellie...that's who! So we go out and have a cocktail or two and I decided that I needed to run to the store at the other end of the strip mall to get some gum or breath mints. So I am walking and approaching the grocery and as I near the entrance of the automatic door, I can see that a man and a very pregnant girl are heading out as I am heading in. Then I stop in my tracks. It's all happening so fast. It's him and he is holding hands with a very, very pregnant her.

I am frozen, I can't move. I am just standing there looking at him and he is looking at me and I am at a COMPLETE loss of words. I say nothing and he says, "Hi" and for a moment, he stalls. Then the girl is looking strangely at me as she walks by with him kinda like why are you standing there with your mouth hanging open staring at me? When I hear him kinda whisper to her, "that's Lisa, keep walking". So I am standing there looking stupid and really feeling like a dumb ass. I am sure my mouth is still hanging wide open and I am unable to form any words. But my mind is racing, it's doing flip flops! It's doing the math. August backwards to February...that's 6mths and that girl looks TEN months pregnant.

So I needed some answers obviously and so I called his mother. She hesitates to tell me but says I deserve to know the truth of the matter. The girl is someone he worked with and yes, she was due any day and yes it was obvious that she was pregnant when we were still together. And yes they were getting married. So not only was my FOUR YEAR relationship over, but he got a chick he worked with knocked up and was marrying her instead. This is really the part that put me over the edge. So he was cheating on me. THE. WHOLE. FOUR. YEARS. WITH. HER. And let me tell you, once this knowledge was shared with my close friends, they began to sing like songbirds on a bright sunny morning. Not only did he cheat with some girl he worked with, but he cheated with just about anyone that walked around and had two legs and had a vagina. I began hearing accounts of people he slept with the entire time we were together. Devastating. Completely devastating. You think that the person you love is one person and then find out it's all been one big fat lie. It was REALLY more than I could handle.

This is how the Grand Canyon was formed. And for the next year I would try to fill that hole back in with everything I could get my hands on that was bad for me. I already shared that I tried filling it with booze and men, and that it didn't work. I tried to fill it by befriending people that I knew were only using me, but I didn't care because I needed to feel accepted, even if it was by some complete loser. I needed to be liked and wanted and the only way I could feel good about myself was by starving myself, getting drunk to drown out the pain and surrounding myself with people that were using me on a daily basis. I couldn't stand to be alone and I would rather hang out with some total stranger that I just met, than to be alone. But, being alone meant I would have to deal with the pain and feel it and I couldn't allow myself to feel it. So I stayed away from the pain as much as I could by staying drunk.

Ironically how does a person that is drinking so much also have so much time to pray? I think deep down, we all have some kind of fundamental knowing inside that we are part of something greater than we and there is some kind of higher power that we all come from. Every night I was crying out to God asking Him to stop the pain and help me through this mess and that is when it happened one night. I was feeling an immense physical and emotional pain over all of this. I was about to fall asleep and I remember literally aching inside, like my heart was truly broken. My whole body was wracked with grief and feelings of deep sadness when all of a sudden, this beautiful pearly, glowing Angel appeared out of nowhere. She kissed me on the cheek and told me not to cry anymore that everything was going to be ok. I suddenly felt all warm and fuzzy inside for the first time in MONTHS. She was as real as could be and she was in my bedroom telling me I was going to be alright. That night was the first night I slept that good since my birthday.

I'd like to tell you that immediately, my life got better, but it didn't. But slowly it did get better and that was a relief. This is due to the fact that right about this time, enter another kind of Angel. Angel on Earth kind of Angel. I'd rather like to think of them as roadblocks. I really think God sends people into our lives at exactly the right time to change the course of our trip just ever so slightly. And that's exactly what He did for me. He sent an Angel to reassure me of His love and to let me know I would survive and then He sent someone into my life that would certainly change my life forever. That will be shared in the next post. Things are gonna pick up and not be so depressing. I promise!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The One About Going Off The Deep End

So, I have been pondering for days now. I have been thinking about how I wanted to start this one. How I wanted to get it just right. But revisiting this area of my life has been good for me. It's painful, still, even after all these years though. God was really with me during this time in my life, otherwise, I wouldn't be here right now to tell this story to you. I know for sure that an Angel visited me one night when I was at my all time lowest. It's something I have never shared before, but I will be now.

So the year is 1995, it's February and I am getting ready to celebrate the BIG 3-0. Life is sort of becoming normal for me again after losing my Dad 3 months earlier. Still hurting inside, but looking forward to new beginnings in my life coming soon. I still had a wedding to plan and I am loving the life I have with the love of my life. I remember the events of the night like it was yesterday. Funny how something like that stays in your mind, like it's imprinted forever in time. I came home from work and was welcomed with a fabulous dinner, chocolate covered strawberries and some really nice gifts, one of which was an adorable bird house that, at the time, I was collecting. We had a perfect evening to say the least. I was in total bliss and I was thinking to myself as we lay in bed ready to go to sleep that night, that I really might just be the luckiest girl alive. I remember telling him that I couldn't love him anymore if I tried. That's when it happened. Out of nowhere, it came at me like a tidal wave. He looked me in the eyes and said, "I have been thinking." Something in the pit of stomach told me whatever he had been thinking, it wasn't good.

I remember sitting straight up in bed and saying, "And....???". But there was silence, complete and maddening silence. Then finally after what seemed to be an eternity, he let out a heavy sigh and said to me. "I just don't think I am the right person for you. I think you deserve to be with someone who will treat you the way you deserve to be treated. I think we need to break up and I am moving out, there isn't going to be a wedding". Anything he said after that I am really not sure of. This is where things got really fuzzy for me. I remember feeling like I wanted to vomit right there on the spot. Did he just say what I thought he said? Is this really happening to me? How, say wha, where, wha? I remember asking him to please repeat what he just said. He did...he said it again. He was moving out and wasting no time about it. It was happening the very next day. I remember crying so hard I could barely breathe. I kept asking him why? He never really could give me an exact reason why though. I felt like I was breaking up into a million little pieces. I couldn't even feel myself anymore. I felt like I was in a dream watching from some other dimension. Watching the events unfold. Next thing I know it's morning. I am drained, exhausted and have VERY swollen eyes from crying all night long. Was this a dream? No, he confirmed for me the next morning that it was very real and he was leaving me. It. was. over.

I remember going into work in a zombie like trance that day. When I walked into my office, my coworkers immediately knew something was wrong and after they asked, I told them. They laughed and thought I was joking. We were the perfect couple they said. He was The Guy they said. The guy that sent me flowers for no reason at work every so often. The guy who called in the middle of the day just to say he loved me. The Guy that was doting and tended to my every want, wish and need. Yep...that one, that Guy. Only That Guy had broke up with me and at that very moment, I wasn't quite sure how I was ever going to live through it. NOTHING and I mean nothing had ever hurt so bad to me in my entire life. Somehow when I returned home from work that night, he had cleaned out all his belongings in one day and was gone, just like that. It was over, just like that. It was like it never even happened. Four years down the drain, just like I never mattered. And when I say he left me and cut the ties, I mean he really cut the ties. No calls to see how I was doing, just disappeared out of my life and stole my heart and took it with him like a thief in the night. Gone...poof. Like it never happened and I never mattered. It was like flicking off the light switch. I couldn't understand how it was just easy for him to walk away like that. Still to this day, I can't understand how someone does that.

To say I wasn't taking the news well was pretty much an understatement. Days strung into nights and nights strung into weeks and I was having trouble keeping track of time or remembering if I even ate that day. I was going through the motions at work. I spent a lot of time after work sitting in the darkness staring off into space and trying to find the reason for why he left me. I was not coping with or dealing with this at all. I hadn't moved an ounce since the break up and it was approaching April. For two months now I had been going through life without any awareness of my surroundings at all. All I knew was this: there was a hole inside of me the size of The Grand Canyon and I needed desperately to fill it with something. I needed desperately to know why this happened to me and why he didn't love me anymore. Finally a good friend told me that in order to survive, I needed to put my big girl panties on and move. So, I did just that. I decided that what I needed was a second part-time job to keep my mind off things in the evening. There was a new bar in town that seemed like it might be a fun place to work, so I applied and got the job.

This is when God was really, really looking out for me because during my time here, it was my all time lowest ever. The best of me but the worst of me. I discovered that while working here, I had an alter ego and her name was crazy drunk bitch. Yep, not something I am real proud of, but the simple truth. Sometimes the truth hurts, but if I can't claim and own who you were at the time, you can't acknowledge it, correct it and move on. I am not going to say anything more on this other than, I spent the next 2 years filling the Grand Canyon with the likes of  bottles and bottles of Coors Light and countless shots of Hot Damn and a few men that meant nothing to me. After surviving these years, I can tell you with certainty that beer, liquor and men cannot fill the Grand Canyon no matter what. Just isn't going to happen. Ever.

Now I know you are thinking ok Lisa, it's just a break up, why is she all strung out like Lisa Rowe (too freaky right?) in Girl Interrupted? Get your shit together woman. Well, that's because I am leaving one teeny weeny, litle, tiny detail out of the break up story. That will come in the next post. Betcha can't wait, huh?

Thursday, October 25, 2012

The One About Pancreatic Cancer

So fast forward a few years. You are going to find yourself in the year 1993. I was madly in love and planning my wedding. I was living in this cute little duplex with the love of my life. Life was so good and I was happier than I had ever been in my life. I was so excited to be planning my future with this guy. I loved him and I loved his family and I couldn't wait to be his wife.

So the doorbell rings and I remember opening the door to find my Dad standing there. First of all, I knew immediately something was wrong, my Dad didn't just come visit me without cause and it was November and cold out. This visit was just out of character for him. So I invited him in out of the cold and he sits right now on the sofa and says "well, I went to see the doctor today and they tell me I have cancer and it's not looking so good". So, of course I started probing him with questions and he patiently is answering them one by one, but by the end of the conversation, I knew in my heart that this was it. This was the end of the road for Dad. He was diagnosed with Pancreatic cancer in November 1993. He died exactly 1 year later in November 1994. People just don't survive from this kind of cancer. Ever.

I don't need to tell you how awful the year between Nov 93 and Nov 94 was for me. I already lost Dad#1, but now I was losing Dad#2. I was planning a wedding that was put on hold and trying to cope with how I was going to live without any Dad at all. Here I was, the luckiest girl in the world to have been blessed with two Dads and now I was not going to have either one. Try watching someone die from cancer sometime, it's not pretty. But pancreatic cancer is a complete robber of life and it doesn't waste any time at all going straight for the jugular. I can't even bring myself today to look at old pictures of him when he was sick. Life seemed extremely unfair to me during those days. Little did I know, it was just the beginning for me.

After he first passed away, he visited me in my dreams and I felt his spirit all around me throughout the day. I think back now and I know he was just trying to tell me he was there for me and I was probably going to need him. So that was pretty comforting. I didn't have the will or desire to finish planning my wedding and had asked if we could put on the brakes. The Boyfriend was fine with that as he seemed to be getting a really nice case of cold feet anyway. It was all I could do to make it to the end of the year in 1993. Bad year. Incredibly painful memories. But I could not even begin to prepare myself for what was to come next. The pain that was forth coming, still haunts me to this day. Enough so that it's going to take me a few days to prepare myself mentally and emotionally to even write about. Stay tuned if you are reading, it's going to be unbelievably healing for me to write about it! I can't wait!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The One About 1988

The year is 1988. Ronald Reagan was President, and you were most likely sporting a brand new pair of parachute pants and sporting a mullet if you were male and using a case o AquaNet a week if you were a gal. You were listening to the likes of Michael Jackson, Madonna, Motley Crue and Guns 'N Roses over the airwaves. Rain Man was a huge movie hit that year starring Tom Cruise and Dustin Hoffman. You could purchase a gallon of gas that year for about 90 cents a gallon. Life was good.

My Dad (California Dad) was diagnosed with cancer that year. It was a crazy, crazy year. I was no longer living in LA, I had moved back to BFE because I missed my friends. I was flying back and forth trying to visit as much as possible and as much as my job allowed me to be off. I had just returned from my most current visit in which it was reported that my Dad had a clear bill of health and that the cancer treatments were successful. He decided to visit Hawaii to celebrate and soak up some sunshine to feel better. He was gone about a week when something felt terribly wrong. He quickly came back home and visited his doctor right away. Within a few hours, he was hospitalized and I got "the" phone call from Mommy. Come now or it might be too late. My older brother and I headed out the very next morning. We flew into LAX and drove straight to Cedars Sinai. Later that day, he passed away.

Shock is probably not the word for it. I just left California two weeks ago and he had a "cancer free" bill of health. Now, he was gone. How could that be? I bring up this marker in my life, because later down the road, it caused me a great deal of grief. I was pretty pissed off that my Dad was gone and I only got 6 short years with him, which in turn made me very mad at my mother, for keeping us apart all those years. I was even more mad at the man I was mourning over because he didn't put forth any real effort into closing the gap when I was growing up. I was just an angry, angry 23 yr old. And I felt cheated out of a father/daughter relationship with him. I was fortunate however, to still have my Dad back in BFE. At least I was not completely devoid of a father/daughter relationship. He had stopped drinking at this point and got sober, so we were actually getting along quite well back then.

I think this is the year that I pretty much went nuts for the first time. After my Dad died in April, I later broke off a long term relationship, quit my job and packed up and moved back to Cali once again. This time the trip would bring much delight. Stay tuned for details of the cross country trip I was blessed to have had with my dear friend Curt.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

The One Where I Meet My Dad

So when I was 17, guess who pops back into my life? Yep, that's right, the biological father. Sure enough. It's a long story that I won't bore you with on how this came to pass, but let's just say that I can imagine that when 17 years pass by, chances are you are at a completely different place in your life and you are probably regretting things. I'd like to think that is where my Dad was back then. For whatever reason, at 17 my path was due to cross my Dad's again. I think it had a lot to do with the woman he was currently married to and she probably pushed him to reach out to us. So, I went to spend my first Christmas ever with my Dad, step-mom and newly discovered much younger brother Kris. As soon as I graduated HS, I moved there to start a new life getting to know my Dad's family. Sunny California is where life took me.

We spent the next few years ironing out our new relationship. Looking back, I was one tough cookie. Mainly because I asked all the hard questions and I demanded answers. I am pretty sure that I tossed around my 'pissed-offness' quite often as we came to know one another and he could always count on me to tell him exactly how I saw things. I did forgive him and pretty much instantly too because he filled a void in my heart that I didn't even know I had. I had this fundamental desire to know him and to love him and to be a part of his life. We looked alike, we had the same humor and we shared many similar characteristics. It was good to know where I came from, the part that was missing all those years.

I think the best part about meeting my Dad and having a relationship with him, was getting my step-mom out of the deal. God sure has impeccable timing. At a time when my parents back in Beantucky where in the absolute sickest stage of their relationship, God gave me Lynne. All the things my Mom couldn't or wouldn't give me, Lynne stepped up and filled those shoes. At first it was just simple things like words of encouragement and praise, then on to bigger things like life skills. How to cook, how to fold a fitted sheet. The best towels to buy, how to pamper yourself, where to bargain shop. She was just a complete Godsend at a time in my life when I desperately needed it. Our relationship has grown over the years into a beautiful one at that. She knows me better than I know myself I think. We had to be together in another life time is all I can say. I now refer to her lovingly as Mommy and my real mom is just plain and simply Mom. I am the luckiest girl alive to be doubly blessed with TWO amazing mothers.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

The One About My Childhood

So, I feel the need to go back here because obviously this is where my crazy story starts. Although I no longer carry any anger or hatred around with me regarding my childhood, I think it's necessary to give you the background on where it all started. I was born on February 2, 1965. My start into the world was so messed up to begin with. My parents were divorced and during a brief and failed reconciliation attempt, I was conceived and when I was born my biological father was nowhere around. My mom was single with a 4 yr old and brand new baby. Women simply were NOT unmarried with children in 1965, so my grandparents did the best thing they could do for my mom and quickly got her set up with the first single guy around.

Enter my step dad. His wife had recently left him with 4 children and they needed a mom. My mom was single with two kids who needed a dad. Match made in Heaven, right? Or so it would seem. Here is where the crazy train pulls away from the station. So in August of 1965, they got hitched. Until I was 5, I completely thought this man was my Dad until I went to kindergarten. One day when practicing writing my name, I realized that I had a different last name than my Dad and Mom. I questioned them and that is when they told me that I really had another Father who never saw me. Wow- a lot to take in for a 5 yr old. That was a pivotal moment for me. I suddenly felt everything I knew was now a lie. Another Father? So many questions, but none answered because that subject was completely taboo and off limits in my house. It got quietly zipped up and put away and I was told to never talk about it again. Suffice it to say that I was always led to believe that my biological dad was a mean alcoholic that didn't love his children and didn't want to see them. So that was what I always believed.

Remember, I said my Dad had 4 kids right? Well, they only came to visit us every other weekend, because they lived with their grandparents down the street during the week. I've been told there was a huge, ugly custody battle and that his own parents sued him for custody because they apparently thought they were better suited to raise his kids than he and my mom were. I suppose that was extremely hurtful to them both. It caused a tremendous battle between my parents and his parents. I am talking about epic proportions the kind that resembles the Hatfield's and McCoy's feud. Those kids were out of control and always brought some new kind of crazy home with them on the weekends that they lived there. Drugs and alcohol ran rampant in 3 of them. Battles and fighting was the norm for our house, like a script out of Jerry Springer. Someone always getting arrested and going to jail and not just the kids either. My Dad did his fair share of drinking and womanizing and going to jail as well.

So we pack up and moved to BFE when I was 9 yrs old and in the 3rd grade. Complete country bumpkins all around me. This city girl was in culture shock, I hated it. But God gave me a gift that first day of school, because He knew I was going to need her. I met my first friend at recess and her name is Carol. She shyly asked me to play with her and I am blessed to still have her in my life 39 yrs later as my oldest and dearest, most bestest friend in the world. Growing up out here in BFE gave me a sense of safety, pretty much scandal and crime free and pretty much isolated from the real world. I guess you could call it an idyllic place to be...just like Mayberry.I had high hopes though that in our new home, maybe we could have a do over and life would finally settle down.

Unfortunately, when we moved here to this little Mayberry town, my Dad's alcoholism rose to its ugliest heights here. Crazy insane fighting between my parents, never knowing when you were going to set him off. Never knowing if you were going to get the crap beat out of you or praised. Never knowing if he would come home Friday nights from work sober or drunk. Fearful of having friends over because in case he showed up drunk and maybe embarrassed you. My Dad getting arrested in town and my friends calling me on the phone to tell me they saw it. My teens were spent covering up the little lies going on in my home. I remember graduating from HS and thinking I can't wait to get out of this Hell Hole and that's exactly what I did. I wish I could say I never looked back, but unfortunately when you come from this kind of family as sick as mine was, it's like a Vortex. It just keeps sucking you back in. That is until you finally get the balls to break the cycle. That would not come for many years later, but this is my childhood story. Painted in, grey and red and black. Ugly memories and broken dreams for a better life some day. My childhood story is probably just like millions of other stories out there, nothing special, nothing new.

New Format Coming Soon

So, I have decided if I really want to make changes and move forward, that I am going to practice something I learned a long time ago from some very special friends I had the honor of hanging out with. Never in my life, was I more at peace and more focused than when I spent the time listening how to make my life better and when I spent time taking inventory of my life. I connected with these people so much because I had a crazy insane childhood and was raised in an alcoholic home. I wanted to feel better about myself and I felt at home with these people because they completely understood my kind of crazy. So one of the things you are supposed to do is "make a searching and fearless moral inventory of yourself". Within the next several posts, I plan to do just that. I want to incorporate my love of the show Friends into my posts and they will all start with "the one about....". Look out people, it could get ugly up in here! But then again, when I am done, I should be well on the road to recovery and moving forward in a healthy and positive way. I plan to go back...way back. I realize that what I am about to say could be deeply personal to some, but for me to write about it and put it out there for all to see, is my way of giving it away and maybe it could help someone else along the way as well. So sit back, grab some popcorn and watch the crazy unfold.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Let's Do This!!

So out of no where, Miss First Born daughter tells me, she has decided that rather than go to GCHS next year, she wants to see if I can send her to Scecina HS instead. SAYWHAT???? Yes, you heard me. Little Miss Independence wants to continue wearing school uniforms for another 4 years apparently. So when I asked her the reason she had changed her mind, she thoughtfully gave me the following answer, "because it's smaller and I don't have to deal with all the drama that will be going on a GC and I won't have to be bullied by the mean girls club". That first born, she is a smart one, isn't she. Man, she is wise for her age. Already knows exactly what she wants and where she is going. She makes me SO proud, I tell ya. But I have a sneaking suspicion that the REAL reason she wants to go to Scecina next year is because two of her good friends are... and a really cute boy she met at the Football game 2 wks ago. So I am kicking it into high gear over Fall Break and doing the research. Let's do this, we can do this. Oh man, life is all of a sudden coming at me at record breaking speed. Next thing I know, I will be filling out college apps.

Scecina Memorial High School

Monday, October 1, 2012


I can't tell you how many times I have thought of this blog and the people who used to read it and support me. I would like to thank each and every one of you for the support and love you have shown me over the years in this journey of autism. I have to say that I am quite sure I haven't thanked you enough. In fact, I may have never thanked you at all, but if you are still there, I thank you. By now, I have probably lost all my readers except for a few, so I may never really know if anyone is still reading, but if you are, I would appreciate you letting me know in the form of a reply at the end of this post.

I would have to say there is probably nothing worse than reading someones story (aka mine) and watching it unfold and knowing the outcome isn't going to be good. Kind of like watching that train wreck of a show that TLC is airing right now, called, Breaking Amish. You just know it's not going to end well. That's the story of my life to date. You the reader, have followed me along and watched it all unroll and unravel like it always does, until it spun around a few crazy times and sputtered, choked and coughed, then finally died. Oh, I tried to revive it once or twice. Said I cared about it, and pretended to be concerned by performing bloggers CPR on it. Said I would vow to update and let you know what was going on. Truth is, I really must not have cared too much. Truth is, I was just tired of autism and everything that goes along with it and I didn't want to share and feel so vulnerable anymore. Truth is, I had lost my way and the only person who was going to rescue me, was in fact ME.

So here I am before you, admitting to God and to others, that I have greatly done a disservice to myself, to my kids, to my marriage and to my readers who once believed in me. Autism has a way of robbing you of all that you love sometimes. And even though I put up a really good fight, in the end, I let it win. I let it beat me and I let it beat us. For a smart girl, I can make some really, really dumb decisions sometimes. Here lies the problem, I am a fixer. Oh, how I love to fix people. It's like I make it my full time job. If you are broken, I want to be with you. If you are broken, then please let me help you and I promise I will fix you all up. The thought almost makes me smy (that's smiling and crying at the same time). My need to fix situations and people is what ALWAYS gets me in trouble. Problem is, I can spend all this wasted energy trying to fix other people, but I sell myself short by never stopping to fix myself. I always come around sometime after the fact and realize what I have done (just like now), but then I seem to somehow inevitably do the exact same thing again in the next go round. Never seeming to learn from the last debacle that this is not how life works. Seems to me that Einstein quoted the definition of insanity as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. I should really tape that quote to my forehead.

In one respect, it's probably a good thing that God chose me to be Ivy's mom. Because He knew how hard I would fight to fix her. He knew that I would be diligent and work tirelessly to find a cure for her or for a better way. He knew I would leave no stones unturned and that I would not be willing to take no for an answer. He knew I would never back down until she was fixed or better. He knew I was a warrior when I needed to be and for that I thank Him with my whole heart. I thank Him for believing in me so much, that He thought I could bear this cross for her. But, on the other hand, I feel like I let everyone down. I feel the shoes were too big for me to fill, like the order was too tall, like I.. I  just feel really tiny.

So what's next you ask? Well it's seems like a good time to give myself a swift kick in the backside and get back to doing what I do best, and that's sharing my story. I have been inspired recently by an unnamed source, but it was enough to get my wheels spinning again. I have a lot of amends to make and there is no time like the present to get started. I pray I won't let you all down this time. Keep the faith.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Gone Too Long

With all good intentions, I do try to keep my blog updated. But I have failed miserably. Life has a way of sucking the wind out of your sails I suppose. All the things that I once felt passionate about, have lost their sparkle to me to be quite honest. I just don't feel like I have anything worth saying or sharing these days that is worth any value to anyone. What I really need to do, is take a long, sad look at myself in the mirror, turn myself around and then give myself a swift kick in the bootie. The reason I have lost my spark of creativity is because I am living a lie. I don't have anything to offer because I am not worthy to give anyone advice on any subject anymore. All I have managed to do is screw my life up and most likely permanently damaged my girls lives in the process. How, oh how, did I get so far astray from the life plan I once had for myself some three years ago?

To be honest, I am just plain exhausted. I am not comfortable in my own skin AT ALL. I don't know how much longer I can keep walking down this path I am on. I can't seem to find God in any of this mess and I keep praying for an answer or to understand the life lesson here....and I get nothing. So, I just keep hanging on. Keep thinking things will get better, keep thinking, things will change soon. God help me. These are dark days for me. I do not enjoy life as it is for me right now. Life is better when you are laughing. There is no laughter in my life.  :-(

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Face What?

So, as I near the end of Lent and the end of my Facebook hiatus, I have decided that you really can live life quite happily without being on Facebook. In fact, NOT being on Facebook has given me some much needed time to reflect on what is truly important in my life, and that's the people I love. I found myself getting irritated with the others around me who were still engaging in their daily (sometimes multiple ) dose of Facebook. Spend time with ME, I was thinking as they set right next to me scrolling through their status updates and their latest news feeds. Talk to ME, I was thinking as they checked us in here or there and another quick news feed check. Look at ME, I was thinking as they replied to this post or that and wished someone a happy birthday. But I got nothing from no one. Not one person set aside their phone, ipad or computer to spend time in the moment and be with me. It's an observation that was kind of eye opening for me. If you really want to get back to your own roots and find yourself, it's not going to happen in the world of social networking. If you really want to find yourself, then get yourself off Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest or wherever your drug of choice is and step back into your own life. It's right there waiting for you where you left it.

Being honest, I do think I will make a Facebook comeback, but I no longer feel the need to be in the know with all my Fb friends and for that matter, I am not sure people really want or need to know my junk either. I think I have used my time away wisely and I think it's a nice jumping off point into something way more meaningful at this point in my life. Finding Lisa, the next chapter. Won't you come along with me and see what I find?

Sunday, March 4, 2012

To Die for Pork Tenderloin

So I have had this recipe for quite some time, and I make it often, but today I tweaked it a wee bit and made it with a couple of pork tenderloins in the crockpot. The original recipe is for pot roast. I have also made it with venison as well. If you are making this with beef or venison, use brown gravy in place of the pork.

Here is the recipe:

To Die For Pork Tenderloin

2 small Pork Tenderloins
1 envelope Hidden Valley Ranch salad dressing mix
1 envelope pork gravy mix
1 envelope Italian dressing mix
2-4 cup warm water (depending on your liking)

Place roast in crockpot. Mix contents of all the envelopes with warm water and pour over the meat, just enough to cover it. Cover and cook on LOW for 7 to 8 hours, or 4-6 on high.

When there is about 1 1/2 to 2 hrs left, I add a bag of petite baby carrots and a few slices of celery, crank that baby up on high and cook till the carrots are tender.

Drain the juice mixture from the crockpot and place in a small saucepan, then mix a little cornstarch with some warm water and make a nice gravy out of it to go with.

Serve with mashed potatoes.

My family of 6 tore it up! There wasn't even one little morsel left over.This will be a must make again for sure!

I wish I could say I took some pictures, but I plum forgot to. Next time grasshopper, next time. Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

One Week without Facebook and I'm ok!

Ok so yeah, it hurts not being on Facebook, but I am ok. If I never saw Facebook again, I would live, I promise. I started my new position at work on Monday so I have been getting settled in at my new desk and taking it all in. No time for Facebook anyway now. This is going to be a piece of cake! The girls are at their Dad's house this week and I am getting used to my new longer hours at work (major dislike) of getting home 1 1/2 hours later than I used to. When I do get home, everything....and I mean everything is there waiting for me to do at 5pm when I walk in the door. Oh yeah, I get the 5 o'clock door prize of laundry...dishes, cooking, cleaning, homework, pet care...ALL of it!! YAY!! ME!!! Sometimes I certainly feel like I am the ONLY person who lives in this house. NO ONE pitches in and helps a poor gal out. Well, I read one time that you teach people how to treat you and in my case, looks as if somewhere along the line, I have taught people that it's okay to leave everything up to me to take care of while you make messes, don't bother pitching in and not cleaning up after yourself one bit. Nice. Note to self** you better get working a better game plan sister, or people are just going to CONTINUE to walk all over you. Thankyouverymuch!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Things I Have Learned

I guess I have learned a few things over the years. I am sharing them with you here. :)

It’s way easier to fall in love than to stay in love. And no matter what the sad songs say about romance, broken hearts do mend.

You really CAN'T judge a book by it's cover.

I'd rather live a life of 'Oh Well's' than a lifetime full of 'what if's?'

If you do what you've always done, then you are going to get what you always got.

You can't always get what you want. But if you try sometimes, you just might get what you need.

Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things and no good thing ever dies.

The world is a book and for people who do not travel, well you have only read one page of it.

Change your thoughts and you'll change your world.

Holding onto grudges is just letting people live rent free in your head.

Happiness is a way of travel, not a destination.

The best is yet to come.

You should let your past make you better, not bitter.

Somtimes it lasts in love, but sometimes it hurts instead.

If the music is too loud, then you're too old.

There are people who love you dearly but just don't know how to show it.

Regardless of your relationship with your parents, you miss them terribly after they die.

Making a living is not the same thing as making a life.

Day 2 with no Facebook...ehhhh...

So, just a quick drop by to say that even though I am still feeling pretty cut off from life, friends and family at this point, I really am ok with it. It's Thursday and I am looking forward to the weekend. You all won't be able to get a glimpse of my fabulous rock start life as there won't be any random, all over the place check-in's to track me all weekend. I think I am going to be ok with you all not knowing my every move though, **sniff**sniff**!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Day One....oh wow!

So this morning, my usual routine felt all inside out. I posted my last post on Facebook last night for the next 46 days. My morning routine normally consists of a cup of java and a quick Facebook scan. Who's got a birthday? So, what's new with my friends? You know, the normal routine. Not today though. I checked the weatherbug app on my phone to check out the weather, then sipped on my hot coffee. Silence, what to do with myself? *shrugs to myself*... So when I get to work I realize, that if I fully intend to keep this promise to myself and to God, then I can't all. Which means I can't peek at Facebook from my phone AND I can't cheat by reading comment replies in my email inbox. I can't help but wonder who replied to my post and what they said? Curiosity killed that darn cat and it may kill me before this is over. I am feeling very cut off from the world. I don't just use Facebook to chat and interact with my friends, but I get my news there as well. I friended local news stations, radio stations, huffington post and all that stuff shows up in my daily newsfeed. UGH! I am really cut off from the feels like anyway, hahaha!!! I am feeling stiff and uncomfortable. Hope this gets better!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Giving up Facebook for Lent

So I was talking today at work about what I was planning on giving up for Lent, when my coworker mentioned how many people were giving up social networking, i.e, Facebook, Twitter, etc. I thought about that on my way home from work today and I thought I never go one day without checking in on Facebook. Maybe I should try that. I can give up 46 days of Facebook for God right? Sure.I.can. EEK!! I have decided to let you in on how that goes for the next 46 days. What WILL I do with all that free time??

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Words Can Be Hurtful

Watch what you say because you never know how your words can hurt someone.