Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Halloween - 1968 & 2006

I was inspired by Angela's Halloween pictures from years past. I will dig out a few to share later. But I just came across this picture from 1968 and had to share it with you.

This is a shot of me and my brothers & sister on Halloween, 1968. I was three. I'm the sad clown. Big Sis is almost 5 and is the happy clown. Oldest Bro is almost 11 and is the ghost with glasses. Big Bro is 7 and is the...slapstick skeleton? I'm not sure. But there we are in all our finery.
I have to tell you about that clown outfit I'm wearing. My mom made it for my brother Steve when he was about 2. So that would mean she made it around 1959. Each of us kids wore it when we were 2 or 3. Well, it was handed down to me last year when I inherited my mom's cedar chest - complete with lots of keepsakes.

So last year, the clown outfit just barely fit Lil' Bro. He was almost 3. He was very excited about the costume and couldn't wait to wear it. When we got it on and snapped in the back, he was still with me and having fun. But when I put that fluffy collar around his neck, that was it. He hated that. I had to snap this picture fast before he had a total meltdown. I didn't have time to torture him with the full hat (that has survived all these years, still stiff enough to stand up pointy!). But here is the 2006 version of that clown costume. And keep in mind this thing is almost 50 years old!!!

So there you have it. From 1968 to 2006.

I'll post pictures from this year later when I have the energy to wrestle with the dying home computer.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Awesome Blogger Chicks RULE!

I have to tell you, I'm sitting here typing this while on the phone, listening to the fabulous Jane tell me a story about how she recently connected with Trish through this bloggy world. We've just been talking about how we've made these intense deep connections with people we've never met...through a blog!

We've both found such amazing support through all of our Awesome Blogger Chicks. I find it so funny that God has used this cyber journal community to minister to me.

I was just telling Jane about how when I mention MySpace or "blogging" to people, very often I am met with disgusted responses. I think a lot of people know nothing about online communities. They only know MySpace because of some article on 20/20 about underage girls getting phished by 45 yr old truckers. When they hear "blog", they think of what a dorky term that is for crazy loners who just want to journal a bunch of lies to impress people they don't know.

Online communities are a tool like any other. Any tool can be used or abused. And in the right hands, it turns into a wonderful community like this one.

I think of Wanda sending me a print of her water color to hang in an empty space left by the departing future ex. I think of Jane who will meet me for the first time in Boston in a couple of months (and we're planning other trips already for 2008!!). I think of all of you who have shared your own divorce stories with me - you have NO idea how much hope you have instilled in me. I can't wait until my next trip to California to see my birth-mom. I'm gonna drag her up to visit Darlene, Angela & Wanda! I love all of the wonderfully creative, hysterical women I've met here - like Sarakastic, Beck, JenKneeBee, Ellesappelle, Stacy. And the connection to established friends (Kristen) and family (cousins Kendra & Monica and their mom Brenda) is icing on the cake.

I know there are still some friends & family who think I'm just making weird connections with a bunch of cyber stalkers. But I am truly amazed and thankful for the real friendships I'm making and maintaining here. The lifeline this place provided for me during the first few months of my divorce...I cannot tell you how that helped. When I couldn't stand to show my face in public around my home, you guys were a loving supportive haven. I could come to you, tear-stained and puffy. I could have eyes flaming red and snot pouring from my nose and you guys didn't care. Well, ok, granted you didn't know, either. But still. It was my safety zone of unconditional love.

And how totally random is it that so many of you are - what I call - "God people". Honestly, I didn't really start out as a strictly Christian blog site. I was open with both my faith and my fallibility (is that a word?). But I wasn't out strictly to find Christians or God people. But here you all are. Now tell me God doesn't use blogs to unite people!

Jane and I finally hung up - giddy with our plans of travel and becoming strong independent single women through God just in time for him to plop the perfect man in our laps. I suppose I should go to bed. Just had to tell you all good night and I love you.


Monday, October 29, 2007

Confessions of a Closet Red Sox Fan

Oh my FREAKING goodness!! I cannot believe the Sox won the World Series. Now, you need to understand me to know how shocking it is that I care about A) baseball, B) the Red Sox and C) the World Series.

I lived in Boston for 20 some-odd years. During most of this time, I worked in Copley Square (think IN the city) and I lived out by Boston University (think just outside the city). So for most of my adult life, I had to get to and from work by going directly by Fenway Park (think right smack dab in between the two). I either rode the T (subway), a bus (the 57 bus) or rode my bike. No matter what I did, if I wanted to make it home in a normal amount of time, I had to go through Kenmore Square. And that means by Fenway. And for a portion of the year, that means wading through scores of idiotic Red Sox fans.

I have watched the fans from the suburbs or rural areas treat my city as their own personal garbage can or spittoon. I have had my butt grabbed by fans as they drove by me on my bike. I have had beer cans, fast food and crumpled up paper lobbed at me by said fans as I rode by on my bike. I have had to wait for what seemed like forever for a train that had enough room for me to cram myself in between really bad frosted hair and giant beer bellies. I have had to get off a train because of overzealous drunk fans deciding to vomit.

For many MANY years, I hated the Red Sox. Sure, I really hated many of their fans. But I focused my hatred on the Red Sox. And baseball in general. It's a slow annoying game. The game is so slow that the fans have no choice but to drink themselves silly in an attempt to have some fun.

I lived in Boston. I loved Boston. But man, I hated the Red Sox. Not a real popular stance. But I stuck to my guns.

Until 2003. That's when I moved to a suburb of Boston that didn't require a daily trip through drunk stupidville. Then I was actually able to watch the Red Sox without feeling the need to punch one of them in their stupid over-paid heads.

This change of heart had very good timing. Because in 2004, they had their first win since 1918. Honestly, how could you NOT love that? I remember watching that win, standing up in my living room with my hands over my mouth in TOTAL disbelief. And I had to scream very quietly because my relatively new baby was asleep, as was his big 3 yr old brother. And I remember standing there all excited and totally blown away. Oh sure the win was exciting. But I was totally blown away by the absolute silence in my neighborhood. The difference from living near Boston University during 2 Patriot's Super Bowl wins and living in the quiet 'burbs for the Red Sox first win in 86 years? Well, there were no screaming drunk college students. No one was turning over cars and setting them alight. There wasn't an orchestra of different car horns. It was total silence. It was creepy.

So tonight, I sit in Texas. My boys are once again totally asleep. And I am totally alone to stand in my living room with my hands over my mouth in TOTAL disbelief. I'm probably one of very few Texans that cares. So I ran up here to my computer to leave all sorts of "SOX RULE" messages on my Boston friends' MySpace sites. And to post my Boston pride - albeit a few years (or decades) late.


Thursday, October 25, 2007

Cute Story from Lil' Bro

I had to share this one:

I was in Dunkin Donuts with Lil' Bro a couple of weeks ago. An army dude dressed in his fatigues came in. Lil' Bro kept staring at him. The guy smiled at Lil' Bro, obviously used to little boys' fascination with all things military. After a while, Lil' Bro said, "Are you wearing your pajamas?" He said no, they were his fatigues. I explained that he's in the army and protects our country and helps keeps us all safe.

And Lil' Bro goes, "In his pajamas?"

Kids rock.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Update on The Boy and Thoughts on Siteminder Hits

I thought I'd update you all on The Boy. I haven't been doing much blogging about Tourette's like I promised I would. And I have to say it was mostly due to the lack of tics in The Boy lately.

Yesterday, I met with his teacher for an hour. The conferences are scheduled in 15 minute increments. So the hour was due to her absolute love for The Boy. I sure don't mind sitting there listening to someone verify how amazing I think he is. Academically, we've all known he's off the charts. The disconnect was always with his social skills. His lack of personal space boundaries. His lack of social boundaries - ie - saying whatever popped into his head, not reading body language to back off, etc. In kinder and 1st grade, these were very evident. Kids respected his smarts and kind of liked him. But he was often alone in school, despite his exuberance in meeting people. A lot of kids dealt with him in that awkward way that kids do when they know they shouldn't be mean to someone but they just really aren't comfortable with that person, you know? It was very subtle and it broke my heart.

This year has been amazing. His teacher tells me that he is completely appropriate in his socialization with his peers. When I come to the school, I see kid after kid yelling hello to him. A couple of girls have declared that they will marry The Boy (their parents are free to submit applications for my review). And many boys want to be his friend. I LOVE this. Because The Boy LOVES people. He will bend over backward for you if you're a friend. So this just blesses my heart like you wouldn't believe.

She also hasn't seen or heard any tics from him lately. I would have to agree. With the possible exception of a tiny squeaking noise I keep hearing now and then. But I can't always tell if it's coming from him, from Lil' Bro or from the TV. It's almost as if someone were imitating a mouse sound. But very softly and not repeatedly. So I'm thinking he might be doing it and not even realizing it. I've only heard it a few times this past week. So it could just be...nothing. Who knows.

But I'll tell you, God is being wonderful to us. I have prayed for total healing of The Boy's Tourette's. I'm praying big. And God is delivering.

Now for the 2nd part of my entry today, I'm going to steal Ellesappelle's idea and show you some stats on how some people have found my blog. After checking my Siteminder stats, I'm actually feeling bad that I'm not blogging much more about Tourette's. Some people come here looking for answers or support and they get me whining about my back or my divorce or who knows what. It's why I edited my intro paragraph to add the disclaimer that, yah, I meant this to be a Tourette's site but it's kind of taken on a life of its own.

Here are some of the recent Google searches that brought people to my site:

  • tics stress - interestingly, I was the first hit with this post.
  • poems for moms that are funny - again, I find it odd that I was the first hit with my post about bad poetry.
  • mom and boy pic - the whole search screen was in some kind of Arabic script
  • farting friends dad - oh yes, I can see how this would happen due to the title of my post on chili.
  • my 7 year old has tourett can he have kids in the futrue - this one made me sad. I know that fear of what the future holds for your child. And I know the fear of passing on bad genes. After all, I gave The Boy a double whammy with renal reflux from me and Tourette's from my side of the family. But I also gave him a huge butt-load of big-ol'-brain genes, singing genes, funny genes, cute genes, math genes and lovable genes. So it really evens out, I'd say.
  • sample essay what are you gonna do if you are a millionaire - this is funny that I was the first hit with a meme I took from JenKneeBee.
  • tourettes tic pictures - I should have browsed through the search results on this one as I was wondering what kind of pictures might come up that would illustrate tics properly.
  • tourette loves God - they got my blog as a result because of a bunch of comments from you guys. Funny.
  • child never walks he jumps spins skips hops + tourette - I imagine I was a result due to my mention of a documentary where a child walks like this.
  • excessive blinking toddler tv - this took them to my post on parent induced tics.
  • Sweet mom and boy - well, yes we are. Thank you very much!
  • how can i tell the difference between my boy having a smart mouth and rude behavior of tourette's - I thought this was funny. Not as in laughing AT the person looking for this. But because I can totally see why someone might need to know this. Full on Tourette's tics can definitely be mistaken for rude behavior. It's one of the fears I had when The Boy was first diagnosed. I know my half-brother was often sent to the principal's office because they thought he was flailing his extremities on purpose.
  • noise tics - I was the 2nd hit with this post.

So you can see why I feel a bit bad that my blog isn't much more informative for those poor souls that are looking for help with Tourette's. However, having said that, I'm still glad that some searching parents actually leave a comment so I can get to know them. That's how I met the wonderful Jane (my soon-to-be travel partner!).

Monday, October 22, 2007

Oh Me Achin' BACK!

Allow me to kvetch here to all you wonderful people out there in the dark!

I don't know what's going on. But yesterday, my back started giving me real problems. Thankfully, it's all muscular. Nerve pain, I can't take. My lower back muscles have gone on strike and apparently feel I need to be punished. I can only think they feel this way due to the inconsideration I showed in forcing them to sit in hard airport gate chairs for 6 hours. And then in the deceptively stiff airplane seat for another almost 5 hours. So yes, given the torture I put my back through, I guess I must pay.

Saturday night, I didn't sleep well because every time I rolled or moved, my back would send shock waves of pain radiating through me. That's fun. On the way to church on Sunday, I drove with my back pressed as hard as I could against the driver's seat back. My back relaxed enough to let me set up the food service and sing. And the worship ROCKED - let me tell you. (And as a note from my last post - yes, my lip gloss ended up all over the microphone. Note to self: apply lip gloss AFTER singing.)

Last night, I slept pretty much flat on my back. Which I only do if I'm in real pain. I'm a roller and flopper and stomach-sleeper. But last night, I was a flat-on-her-back-and-don't-move sleeper. I got The Boy off to school by driving him the measly distance down to the bus stop. I returned home with Lil' Bro and chose to rest on the couch while he watched some TV. When I got up to get him ready for day care, I could barely move. His day care called because we were a bit late. I told her I wasn't sure how I could get him to her house. She came to pick him up. Have I mentioned that my neighbors are the most amazing collection of people?

So I called my boss to say, guess what - I'm not sitting at a desk all day with this pain! I found a comfy position on the couch for a while. But it didn't last. So I just got off the phone with my doc's office and have an appointment in about an hour. It is amazing how absolutely tight and seized up my back muscles are. The only thing that can help right now are muscle relaxants. Not exactly the favored option for a mom of two young boys. When they get home, I'll just have to explain that mommy's muscle structure has been replaced with Jell-O and they will need to do quite a bit for themselves.

Ok. That's all the whining I have at the moment. This sitting position is losing its charm.


4:27pm Edited: Mom drove me to the doc. Neighbors got The Boy from the bus stop (again with the awesome neighbors). The doc confirmed my back muscles were basically a giant chunk of granite. She gave me a shot to relax the muscles immediately. The perscriptions would take a while. That shot RULES. I can stand & sit. I can actually move without screaming. That's a good thing. I just took the first of my 3 different perscription drugs. So I'm hoping the rest of my day and evening find me as flexible. Or more!!

Thank you God for moms and neighbors and doctors and nurses and magic-burning-shots and CVS and good drugs. AMEN!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Escape from New Jersey and Happy Birthday to Me!

I may or may not have mentioned that I had to go to Jersey City for a business trip this past Thur & Fri. Not too bad. But not a place I plan to visit when given options. There were some cool parts. Like every time I had to take a car service from my hotel to the office, I had to drive by the Statue of Liberty. I mean, it's closer to the Jersey side of things and you can see her very well from the highway. THAT was cool. Especially now that I live so far from her. The other cool part was the people. I work for corporate America - dull dull dull. But the people I met at this conference were all very nice and personable. And of course, the best part is all the free perks like all expenses paid, free dinner out with some of those people, nice hotel, car services. That's fun. Spending someone else's money is always fun.

Escaping New Jersey. There was a challenge. I didn't watch the news at all last week. So I had no clue there were all sorts of crazy storm systems in the north east. These were the same systems that just cause unseasonable tornadoes in the southeast. Good fun, that. Add to that that I was trying to fly out of Newark on a Friday night? Yah. Not really a good plan. But I wasn't going to stay and be flying for work on my BIRTHDAY.

I might as well have. Because I ended up flying on my birthday ANYway.

My original flight was supposed to leave Newark at 7:50pm. As we drove to the airport, another coworker who lives in Atlanta was telling me her flight was delayed until 10:30pm. I called my airline and everything was on time. I was smug. When I got to my gate a full 2.5 hrs early, I was psyched. I can kill time with my MP3 player and texting all my friends. No problem. I kept hearing announcements over the really really bad PA system saying something about delays up to 2 hrs. But our marquee keeps showing 7:50 departure. I wasn't worried. Well, those announcements finally became clear. There were delays on the runways - in and out - that were causing delays up to two hours. Ugh. At some point during my MP3 browsing and my friend texting, our gate's marquee suddenly changed to 9:35pm departure. Still, that's not so bad. I can take it.

At this point, I thought I'd get some food and change from my work clothes into my jeans. Yah. Well, the ladies' room was flooded. So you couldn't put your bags on the floor. And unless I was going to spontaneously grow 2 more arms? I wasn't going to be able to change. So business casual clothes (size TWELVE, again, thank you very much) was fine with me. I got some pizza and some putrid lemon ade that I ended up tossing. I played through all the songs I really wanted to hear on my MP3 player. I had texted everyone that wouldn't kill me for it about 4 times. I checked my email via my cell phone (love that feature). I called people. I slept. I walked around to wake my butt cheeks up. I chatted w/ people. I stared out the window. The marquee still said 9:35 but as we approached 9:35, there was no activity.

At 9:35, they finally informed us that our flight crew had been delayed in Tampa and was in the air, on their way. Expected arrival was 10:04pm. Then they'd get on the plane, do their safety checks and we'd board. So I'm thinking 11:00pm boarding at best. 10:00 rolls around and no flight from Tampa. 10:30pm or so, the flight got in but still no flight crew. I figured when they got to our gate, we'd all break into applause or something. Nope. We were too tired and trying too hard not to be pissy.

We finally got on the plane...I don't even know when. I think it was around 11:30pm. Keep in mind I had been sitting there since before 5pm. And there had been people already there when I got there. I was in the first row of the coach (queen of the po' people). So I waited for everyone to board. As I took my place in line, this drunk Irish dude (and that's not a stereotype - it's just a fact) offers to let me go ahead of him saying something about beauty before age. I declined and he insisted. I declined again and noticed his boarding pass said row 19. So I pointed out I was in row 5 which in my mind made sense for him to go first. Well, he was flat out drunk and starts going, "Oh WELL. Row FIVE. Well now, aren't YOU special!" It was in total jest but I was thinking, ok....where is THIS gonna go?! I joked that I hadn't meant that I was special and laughed with him. But he kept ribbing me and I was too tired for it but kept laughing uncomfortably - thinking where these well-meaning things can go bad. So he keeps referring to me as "your highness" and "princess" as we make our way down the gangplank. I kept joking that I thought there was going to be a party in aisle 19 - he agreed. Hoo boy. Anyway, he kept poking at me with the whole "your ladyship" and stuff so I finally said, "Be nice! I'm as tired as you and at midnight, it's gonna be my birthday!" Suddenly he grabs me in this sideways hug - almost a head-lock. And he starts kissing the top of my head going, "Well! Happy birthday darlin'! Happy birthday!" The whole group of people around us was cracking up - including me. So I got a few birthday kisses - albeit unwanted - from my drunk Irish "friend". It really was funny once I had some sleep.

So we all get on the plane with no nastiness or complaints to the people manning the gate. I was impressed by that. So I'm sitting there waiting to leave the gate and the pilot informs us that there is over an hour taxi ahead of us due to delayed flights. I would have cried had I had the energy. So at 1am on my birthday, our plane FINALLY took off.

I got home around 4:30am - Central time - 5:30am according to my body time. I couldn't sleep for a while but eventually my body just shut down.

I was awoken by the telephone around 10am. It was my aunt singing happy birthday. They drove from Maine down to Texas to be here today. She was about an hour away. So I got up, showered (in slow motion) and got dressed. That took 2 hrs. Like I said - I was totally in slow-mo.

I'll skip my day - mostly hanging with family and grocery shopping with my adorable boys. Nice and mellow. Just what I needed.

Tonight, my mom hosted a dinner for me. My aunt & uncle were there. My sister and her Ridiculously Tall Husband were there. And me and my boys. The boys had hot dogs. The rest of us feasted on salmon, cheesy potato casserole, green beans with almonds, hot rolls, raw veggies & dip and iced tea. It was amazing. Especially since I've been eating very frugal portions lately in my new attempt at a lifestyle nutrition change. Yah, I'm sitting here typing this with a huge gut sticking out. I can't even PRETEND to suck it in! My best friends (that live 3 doors down from me) came up after dinner. So add 2 more adults and 2 more kids. We all ate cake & ice cream. I got some LOVELY presents, too. I hadn't expected that.

My dad wanted to get me something special. He found me a silver heart-shaped locket with a tiny diamond chip on the front. He painstakingly worked to get teeny tiny pictures of my two gorgeous boys in there. My sister & her Ridiculously Tall Husband got me some lip gloss and some Coco Chanel body lotion - VERY subtle and lovely smell. My aunt & uncle each gave me a book. My boys had made cards for me. The Boy wrote me a poem on one. I have to go get it. Hold on. Keep in mind the names you won't know are Pokemon references.

Dear Mom,
Cacnea might not know
that it is your birthday, but also
then Pichu, Pikachu, Raichu, and more
could get invited and come in the door
But all of us - you know it's true -
We wish you a happy 42!
And when you are 43,
let's invite Delcatty!
If you want, at 44,
Grottle will come in the door!
And again - this is true,
Have a happy 42!

Lil' Bro's card had cute stickers all over it and my mom had written what he asked her to write. On the front it said, "Happy Birthday Mommy!" Inside it said, "Dear Mommy, I hope you come back for your birthday. Happy birthday! I love you, [Lil' Bro]". My mom tells me he came up to her and said, "Grandma, come here and write these words in this box," and she did.

So I'm sitting here all fat & happy from too much wonderful home-cooked food. And I'm wearing my new locket. Tomorrow, I will probably use my new Coco lotion so everyone at church will wonder why I stink. And I'll probably leave lip gloss on the microphone at church, too.

God - thank you for all of my wonderful friends and family. Amen.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

YAH, Boyeeeeeeee!

So check THIS out.

In 2006, I was wearing sizes 16 & 18, depending on the day or clothes. I'm 5' 3". That's pretty big even for someone who wears weight as well as I do. I'm a big boned little hobbit. But even so, I was too big and didn't feel good.

In March 2007, when I had shingles, the doc weighed me in at 198 lbs. Which was disheartening because I had trouble eating due to the shingles being in my mouth. So I thought for SURE I had lost some weight. If I had, that means I was probably topping 200. Nice. Very nice.

Fast forward to after the future ex leaves and mom is here trying to force feed me teensy amounts of food. So in May or June of 2007, I weighed in around 175. Not bad. I got really excited and thought, well, if I have to go through the hell of divorce, I better get SOMETHING out of the deal, eh? I had bought some size 14 pants and had to squeeze them on. But hey, it was still a smaller size.

Well, since my return from Boston a couple of weeks ago, I decided to actually make an effort to lose some size. I mean, the Divorce Diet is powerful and all but eventually the depression lifts and you start back to your old bad habits again. Who needs that?

I have been doing very small manageable things like:
  • eating smaller portions - amazing how huge the portions are at my favorite restaurants. Amazing how much money I have saved by bringing home half and having that later for a meal.
  • cutting out soda or limiting it to a once-in-a-blue-moon thing. I can't stand diet soda. Aspartame is a tool of the devil. So I only drink sugared soda. When I stopped doing that almost every day, that was the first real huge drop in size I saw. Just my stomach bloat alone was gone. Amazing.
  • eating until I'm not hungry - which is way different than eating until I can't possibly eat another bite for fear of exploding like some Monty Python skit.
  • eating soup for lunch - a good veggie & bean soup with a cheese stick cut up in it is incredibly filling.
  • making better choices when I eat out. I can still go to Burger King with the boys. But now I leave off the fries and shake. Or I get a salad with chicken on it.
  • eating more of the good stuff so I'm too full for dessert. At the baby shower the other day, the hostess (who is thin & fit, by the way) served only really awesome, tasty, good-for-you food. I didn't feel the least bit guilty eating my fill. So when they brought out the cake, I could actually say "no thanks" without weeping inwardly.
  • not snacking with the boys. I used to eat snacks with the boys. Whatever they were eating. Cookies or whatever. Active little boys can have snacks like that. Sedentary 42 yr old women cannot. So I started snacking on pecans, almonds or peanuts. And maybe a very small yogurt.
  • not snacking while I watch TV or blog or whatever I do after the boys are in bed. That's hard. I love a good evening with the idiot box and my favorite snacks. Even the not-so-evil snacks were just more food than I needed in a day. So it added up.

Now, I will confess that the initial reason for my zeal in this was due to thinking about a certain guy. But since I started dropping the size, I am SO stinkin' HAPPY! So now I'm doing this for ME.

So the giant "WOO HOO!" here is this:

My size 14s have been falling off me lately as I walk. And that's not a good thing. So today during lunch, I ran over to the mall and tried on some size TWELVE pants. They FIT. And without having to totally suck in your gut while you pray that those mirrors really aren't two way. I just fastened them. No wrestling into them or anything!!!! Let me tell you, if my size 14s weren't falling off already, I would have done a little jig in The Gap!

So I bought 2 pair of size twelve. I almost bought about 6 pair. But then thought, wait, don't waste your money! Because you're gonna be a size TEN by Christmas!!!!

Yah boyeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!

4:20pm Edited: well the new size 12 jeans are officially a hit. I picked The Boy up from the bus just now. I had the new jeans on and a big ol' t-shirt - which rather undid the whole effort of looking svelt. My neighbor's daughter hops off the bus and, as she's running by me, says, "I like you in jeans. They make you look better!" and off she went. The approval of a fashion concious 3rd grade girl...not bad...

Monday, October 15, 2007

My Birth Week. Get On Board, People!

If you don't already know me, you may not know my concept of a birth week. Birthday's are way too limited. One day? To celebrate the wonderment that is ME? No no no. This just won't do. I kid. In all honesty, I decided to celebrate birth weeks probably back in my college days. If your birthday falls on an inconvenient day, well, you're just out of luck, aren't you? Not me. A birth week assures you a Friday or Saturday night on which to have your party. It assures you plenty of time in which to receive cards and gifts from all over the country. I mean, it's just plain fun, ok? So get on board with this people. You're all wonderful gifts from God to this world. You should celebrate the week surrounding the anniversary of your arrival accordingly.

In all honesty, I have to say, I really claim a birth month. October (or "Rocktober", as I like to call it) has always been MY month. When my step dad entered my life, I had to share it with him. But he's a gracious man and has never hogged it. So Rocktober is always exciting when it arrives because it heralds my entire birth month. YEAH APRIL FOR BIRTHING THIS BABY!!!

So this past weekend could have been the kick off to my birth week. It's stretching the concept a bit but when has that ever stopped me? Let's pretend it did. So that will allow my segue into a little segment I like to call "What I Did This Weekend."

This past weekend was my first weekend without the boys due to the visitation of my oh-so-loverly divorce. Future ex and I are getting along - as well as we can. I'm playing nice and he is just...well, he's just himself. I'll leave it at that. So it was one of his weekends with the boys and he finally has a place. I packed up all their stuff and drove them the 25 minutes to his place.

I will just put this in here because it's relevant to the rest of the story. I visited future ex's apartment because I'm an idiot and believe that we can someday be friends. I'm an idiot only because I keep thinking that some day can be now. So I went in and took a look around. And saw that it's basically a really cool newly furnished apartment that screams future ex and his girl thing. Complete with pictures of the happy couple looking all gooby and delightful. Said gooby picture was a bit too much for me so I ended up making a quick retreat, tossing booster seats to future ex, and making a mad dash for the highway in tears. I cried the whole way home. I'm thanking God for the bumper to bumper traffic that went about 20 mph because I could barely see through the tears as I drove. Isn't that fun? Yes. Well, on to the actual FUN part of the weekend.

So I got home and my wonderful neighbor and best friend Sandy came over immediately to soothe my tears with pizza. She stood and listened to me gush and blubber until it was all over and I snapped myself out of it. Then my other wonderful neighbor Kim came over with a lovely bottle of wine. I was actually worried about this because who needs a weepy, morose, drunk, divorcee on a Friday night? Apparently, neither of them were worried about this so neither was I. Fortunately, Kim had the good sense to get a wine that is very light in the alcohol department. So we just all sipped wine and talked and talked and laughed and had a really fun time. Have I mentioned that Sandy and Kim both totally rock and I adore them?

After the girls left around 11pm, I puttered. You ever been in a big house with no kids when you're totally used to having kids there? And it wasn't even the fear of that nebulous arm under my bed that I just know will grab my ankle as I get into bed. It was just the emptiness. The total quiet. It's like screaming quiet. So I did what any normal person in my position would do. I grabbed my wine glass with the last of the wine, went into my office, opened up a bin of keepsake pictures and started sorting through them. From 11pm to about 3am, I found old pictures, scanned them and posted them on my MySpace site. I used to do live band photography in Boston for years. So I was finding some rather humorous photos of bands that don't exist any more. And some that should never have existed! I posted them and then went to those friends' sites and said, dude, you have to go check out the pictures on my site! So for the next few days, I had amused comments on my site about the pictures. How young we were. How we miss those days. How did we ever wear those clothes or that hair or whatever. It was a hoot. Glad I took the time. I still have 2 bins sitting here waiting for more pilfering. Should be fun.

On Saturday, you'd think I would have slept until noon. No such luck. I'm like Pavlov's mom. Conditioned to only sleep for 6 hrs a night. I woke up at 9am. Totally unfair. But good because I had a baby shower to go to and hadn't gotten a present. So I went shopping for baby stuff and ended up with about 4 cute baby things and about 5 tops for me. I'm sure the baby won't mind.

The baby shower was for a church friend so it was very nice. Lovely group of people. I must confess that I've never been friends with so many...I guess...traditional girls? I have never in my life been to a baby shower or wedding shower where they play games. I would have ridden anyone who suggested such a thing out of town. But my church girls rock. And I will play any game they ask me to play. And I had fun doing it. Sue me.

After the girly shower, I drove to my sister's house. She and my Ridiculously Tall Bro-In-Law informed me that they were going to treat me to a night out on the town. She wanted me to have a night that got better in the telling. Let's see if that's the case.

They took me to this awesome place on South Congress in Austin, Hotel San Jose. I totally plan to stay there some time. I just have to find the excuse. I might just make one up. It's gorgeous and totally affordable (or maybe that's just because I'm used to NY or Boston prices). We met some of their fabulous and fun friends there for drinks. Which cracks me up, having been a tea totaller for almost 2 decades. They have an outdoor courtyard with tables & chairs. The landscaping is gorgeous. It's secluded from the street and you can see the night sky. We sat around talking while having a drink. Unbelievably gorgeous. And I was still in shorts & short sleeves in October (sorry all you shivering New Englanders!). I got to hold the 4 month old baby of one of sis's best friends. He is adorable and I enjoyed just holding him and smelling the top of his cute baby head.

Then we went to a place across the street called Homeslice Pizza. It's a pizza joint, if you're not quick on the uptake. I thought they were kidding about the name but they weren't. There was a 30-40 min wait for a table. For pizza. So we went back to their outdoor patio (have I mentioned these outdoor patios are one of the main reasons I moved to Austin?). We had another drink or two while we waited. We talked more and I got to hear the "how did you meet" stories of my sister and her hubby as well as her friends. Always fun to get history on people. Especially when they're good story tellers.

The pizza was worth the wait. Good New York style pizza is always worth the wait. And to find it in Texas? Seriously. That's just weird. Weird but yummy. So we ate, we talked, I drank a ton of water and Coke to make sure I could drive. And I can assure you, their bathrooms were clean. It was a blast.

The plan was to continue on to The Continental Club for after dinner drinks and more fun conversation. But I was fading and I had to get back home to prep food for church the next day.

I am proud to say that I woke up on time Sunday and made it to church in time to rehearse with the band. Future ex dropped the boys off for church so I got to see them. Worship rocked the house. God was there, for sure. The sermon rocked - as usual. My entire church body just makes me smile. They are amazing and I love being there. If I could somehow finagle having church every day, I would.

But don't you think that was a killer couple of days for...
A) A newly single mom on her first weekend without the kids?
B) Someone kicking off their birth week?
C) A total home-body who needs to get out?
D) All of the above?

And the answer is yes. Yes it was.

Oh and Trish? I've been told by a friend to try a pomegranate martini. So we have to try that when we're in Boston.

10/16/07 Edited: answer the queries - my actual birth day is Oct 20th!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Wanda Rocking Once Again

Dude, seriously. Could Wanda rock any harder?

I went to the mailbox just now. Actually, haven't been in two days. So it might have actually been sitting there for me. But there was a lovely little package from Wanda! I opened it and found a sweet ribbon wrapped stack of cards. The top one is the old truck that I love.

I opened the packet and found an assortment of cards made from some of her paintings. I don't want to send any of these anywhere!!! I want to frame each one. Maybe I will. I have multiple old trucks. So maybe I'll part with some of those. And I have a girl in white - I can part with that since I have a larger framed print. But the others may just end up in frames of their own - filling gaps in my walls.

Wanda, you so totally rock.

Look Out BOSTON!

Boston is already used to me. It had me for 20 some-odd years. I'm sure it can handle having me there yet again. BUT - as Trish pointed out today in her blog - in January, it will be hosting four of the lovely bloggers from my extended bloggy family. It is home to Trish & Kristen. It's formerly my home. But in January, the lovely Jane will be joining me for half of my business + pleasure trip! It was a wonderfully impulsive idea and I think it should become an annual event that includes even more of my wonderful bloggy family.

The thing that just cracks me up about this is, Jane and I were emailing off-blog. And I said something like, "Oh we should take a trip to Boston together some time!" She replied something like, "Word up, yo. I am DOWN wit dat!" Well, no, it was more like, "That would be great!" But I just wanted to visualize her being all street and stuff. Anyway, we initially wrote it up as nothing that would happen any time soon. But then I realized I have a business trip up there in January and just said, oh man you should totally come up then!!! And about an hour later we were figuring out flights and hotels and all sorts of stuff. Is this just crazy or what? I love this! I mean, as I've seen a few of you post before - who'da thunk that we'd make such amazing connections with virtual strangers over a BLOG?

So Trish, Kristen, Alicia (our non-blogging honorary blogger pal), Jane and I are planning an Awesome Blogger Chicks Nite Out. WOO-HOO!!! And we'll probably all be going to my old church on Sunday. Jane wants to check it out, too, Kristen! So Trish, tell them to step it up, man. Because the Awesome Blogger Chicks (ABC) will be there.

I also sent out an email to some of my Boston Rock Opera girlfriends to get a little shindig together. One of them is making a special trip up to see me while I'm there. I want Jane to meet a bunch of them, too. Most of my Boston friends are still performing in bands so we're hoping to catch some good music while there. I mean, even if it all gets jumbled up, who cares?! Jane and I were thinking that hanging out in a Boston hotel in the middle of January sounds like great fun, too. And I know some killer restaurants that are off the beaten path.

Oh Kristen...let's take her to Carlo's! Talk about tiramisu!!! Plus, I haven't seen Mama Irene in years!

This is gonna be so much fun! I am sitting here wishing the holidays would just get it all over and done so I can get on this trip!


Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Two Words: WANDA. ROCKS.

Well, let me tell you, my strange little blogger family...this strange little bloggy world is getting more and more embedded in my heart and life.

A while ago, I posted about how my walls and rooms had gaps and empty spaces where future ex had taken something in the physical division of our property. It was rather a downer. Well, I got so many wonderful suggestions for filling those gaps. And I intend to use almost all of them! But let me tell you...Wanda blew my mind!

For those of you who know Wanda, you are familiar with her paintings. Well she commented on my post offering to let me choose from prints of many of her paintings. I was so blown away by the offer. She was going to have the print matted and would mail it to me. Honestly, if I mail a bill, it's a banner day for me.

Well, I couldn't choose between the old truck and the girl in white. So I told her to pick for me and surprise me. Well, the print arrived the other day. I meant to post that it had arrived but got side tracked. Wanda sent me the girl in white!! She's SO gorgeous in person. Much better than the picture on the web. I got all teary as I unpacked her. What a gorgeous gift, Wanda! If you haven't seen her on Wanda's site, here's a shot I pilfered from Wanda's blog:

Wanda matted my print in a beautiful cream matte with a dark brown inner matte. I'm not good at describing it. But it's GORGEOUS.

Is that not the sweetest thing in the world? So one blank spot down. About...25 more to go! HA! Time to dig out some of my old photography. Some local frame store is going to LOVE me.

Wanda, I so totally love you!

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Answering Trish & 'Pepsi Can'

By popular (and regrettable) demand, I present to you....Pepsi Can.

There's this pepsi can.
It's just sitting on my desk.
And amongst all the junk
it stands out.
Surrounded by pictures
with so much to say...or
bright colored paper
that demands your attention,
it just sits there...
Surrounded by an artistic din
of confusion
this pepsi can just sits.
It doesn't jump out
and shout a message.
You see, I think it's secure.
It's just pepsi.
That old reliable
Frosty Bev.

*for Conrad Payphone 01-13-1985

And now to answer Trish...
The other day, Trish was asking people if they journaled and how. So I find it funny that I found some old poetry and a couple of journals. The journals that were trying to pour out my heart are, at best, yicky. It's really hard to re-read that time in my life. No wait. It's not hard to read about that point in my life. It's hard to read how I wrote about that point in my life. I used to journal with the full understanding that, if it's written down somewhere, it can be read. I have never understood people that journal thinking no one will ever read this. If that's the case, why aren't you writing it down and burning it? So my friends who would inevitably get their journals read and just die of embarrassment, I never got that. I knew some snooping person would get to mine. So I wrote to a rather ambiguous "you". Much like how I blog.

So since I wasn't journaling strictly for me, I was writing to an imagined (and of course very hip) audience. I was a drama queen to begin with. But writing to my adoring readers, that just added a whole new level of embarrassment for the current me.

But I found one journal gem. I had purchased this really cool mini journal with a fabric cover, splashed with color. At the time (back in 1988), I traveled a lot. It became my travel journal. Or my Log O' Boredom. During layovers, in hotels, on the T (Boston subway), wherever I had a minute, I'd write about where I was. When I was just writing about where I was, why I was there and what I was doing, I was refreshingly brief (is that possible for me?) and funny without being stupid. Unfortunately, I was so wrapped up in life and - most likely - my other drama journal that there are only a few entries in this journal. From 1988-1991. But some of the entries were great memory joggers.

Excerpt from 05-06-89 NEGRIL Jamaica (5pm):
OK. Our hotel room door doesn't quite work. Um...let me put it this way: I'm locked IN and Johanna is locked OUT. She has promised to get me food.

Note at the bottom of a page from 08-24-89 BOSTON MA:
If ignorance is bliss, then I work with some of the most contented people on earth.

That one made me laugh. Especially since I'm always telling people how blissful I feel at work. HA!

Here are some doodles from the same journal:
07-27-88 - a Next Page arrow

08-17-89 - drawing of my new short hair (it was super long before this)
08-22-89 - A big giant Paisley P - I have no idea who or what inspired this.

There you have it.

Hindsight Is Horrifying

I've been digging through some old photos and other memorabilia this week. Mostly to dig out comical pictures of my past glory days in the Boston music scene. I've been busy scanning and putting them out on my MySpace site for my friends to laugh about. I'm also itchy from all the dust. And please don't talk to me about mites. I'm going to pretend that all of this itching is from dust. OK? So just don't even go there.

But one of the treasures (and I say that with tongue planted firmly in cheek) that I unearthed was a journal in which I was attempting to compile all of my "finished works". And by finished works, I mean things I thought were poetry or "writings" or who knows what I thought they were.

Now I have to share with you my former smug attitude about such things. Most "poetry" that is written by high schoolers or the collegiate sort is drivel. There are a blessed few that stand out in this field as having actual talent. The larger majority does not. I was smart enough to figure this out rather early in high school as I read over my school's "Idiom". It was crap. With very few exceptions. I was not smart enough, however, to recognize that mine was probably some of the worse crap therein. No, smug younger me knew mine wasn't exactly ee cummings. But it wasn't as bad as all of theirs. When I entered college, this general smug attitude continued and probably got worse. The collegiate me should have been slapped. And often.

Anyway, during my college summers, I worked at a huge computer company in NY. I was lucky enough to meet someone who was even more cynical and smug than myself. And she understood my distaste with the bad poetry churned out by the pre-emo generation of which we were part. We discussed things and coined the phrase "insta-poetry". This was usually the type of thing youngsters mistook for poetry. If it's vague, ambiguous, has bad or no punctuation and is extremely brief, it MUST be good poetry. Oh, and it has to sound very very profound. Which is usually where the plethora of $7 words comes in. I think we were all trying to be the new Laurie Anderson (you youngsters can Wiki her here). We entertained ourselves during our breaks by coming up with examples of insta-poetry that usually left us in stitches. Oh weren't we ever so clever! I found some of that stuff, too. And it's still pretty funny. Not as funny as we thought it was initially. But it still makes me laugh inside.

But the horrific stuff I found is the stuff that I wrote and "really meant it". This collection of short missives is to poetry what the American Idol auditions are to singing. It's like someone gave me a thesaurus and dictionary of synonyms and told me I had talent.

But I have no pride. I am not ashamed of my youthful horrors. And to bare my lack of poetic talent, I will share with you a few snippets. I will also remind you that I titled this journal my "Finished Works." (shudder)

Insta-Poem #97 (for Tara F)
smoke intrigues me
i could put it down
i can't...
smoke intrigues me

Oh that one gave us fits for a while. It still makes me giggle. You just have to understand what a couple of arrogant idiots we were to appreciate the humor. You also have to hear the right cadence and place some pregnant pauses - just so - in order to get the full effect. I mean, picture William Shatner as Captain Kirk reading that. And you'll be close. If you're familiar with Laurie Anderson, it was much more like her spoken word. Oh forget it. Just take my word that it's funny.

This next one is bad. I mean, the title alone shows I probably misread a thesaurus because I don't have any idea what I thought it meant and I can't find it with Google or

Wanting to be totally void
yet unable
damned to awareness

by bright banners
thought invisible
mass display of vanity

an ocean of faces
take on the semblance
of people, talk, ideas
but always

I, the nonconformist
yet unoriginal,
shy from belonging
but somehow fit

caught in a tide
to act the part
becomes senseless

OK, that one got me laughing so hard as I typed it! I won't bore you with any more. But I'll just give you a few more titles and you can just use your imagination to fill in the embarrassment. I mean, I was a computer/physics/math major, for the love of Pete! But here are some of my very very profound titles:
- Pepsi Can (which was an ode to an empty Pepsi can)
- Lament (about continually choosing the wrong men)
- Solitude (about...yes, you guessed it...being alone)
- Dear John (goodness I was unimaginative)
- Psalmodye (which is actually a pretty good praise to God sticking with us through the mud but the title just ruins it for me!)
and last but not least...
- PMS (a long stream of consciousness rant that, based on the content, was written while I was in that state)

So all of you wonderful writers that I have befriended through this blog, fear not. I will not be stealing any literary thunder. Be assured of that!

The funny thing is, one of the best songs I've written was taken from a collection of insta-poems that Tara and I sent each other as jokes. So they're good for something. Hmmm...maybe I should start picking the carcasses of these little gems...

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Stuff (with an update)

So after my giant smile of a last post, my mood did a slow-motion nose dive. You see, 10/05 was my 11th wedding anniversary. I was so excited to wake up thinking I didn't care. I was still smiling from the Boston trip. But I let a few things get to me. The primary thing being that future ex's girl thing arrived for a 4 day visit in my city. Gack. I won't see her and she won't see my kids. But still. Blyeck.

At first, I felt it shallow to let it bother me so much. But you know, that 1600 mile distance felt like a buffer zone. She has her territory up there that I can pretty much ignore. And this is mine. I don't like feeling like my territory is invaded.

But the whole arriving on my anniversary to be with my future ex...I think it would have been a bit easier to handle if those damned divorce papers were signed, sealed and DONE. Probably not. Who knows.

Anyway, the loneliness and unfairness and general self-pity-ness got to me and I was pretty bummed. I chatted with a few loving friends and it helped a bit. But when I went to bed, I didn't even want to really talk to God. But I did. I just talked a little bit. Tried to turn it over to him. Not very well. But made the attempt because I think that's all God really wants. Just make the effort. So I made a paltry effort. Felt lame.

Today, I woke up feeling, well, freed. Not totally "ta-dah!" but I wasn't bummed any more. Not totally. God was definitely trying to do what I asked.

I don't know why, but as the day wore on, the dull feeling crept back in. I was driving to errands with my beautiful boys in the back. I was driving thinking, "Man, if I was alone, I would probably start crying." Which I hate. I'm sick of crying. So just as I thought this, my cell rang. I saw it was a Boston friend, Susan. It was perfect. I remember thinking this is the exact perfect person to talk to right now. She talked to me all through the boys playing at the Burger King playscape (yes, we're probably regulars there now). She talked to me on the whole drive to our grocery store. We probably talked for more than 2 hrs. She is an amazing woman. And she was exactly the shot in the arm I needed. She is someone I can share certain shortcomings with and I'm not afraid of judgement or wagging fingers in the face. And she knows this pain. Poor dear girl. She knows this pain.

A wee bit of the funk is still there. Although, that could just be God using exhaustion to say, "Hey L.y.n.e.t.t.e, it's 1:30 in the morning. GO TO BED, you silly git!" Because that's what he calls me. A silly git. But anyway. I'll live. This too shall pass and all that.

I need to adjust my definition of "alone". I should say things like, "I survived my first anniversary without a man." But not "alone." I am SO not alone. Thank you, God. Thank you for wonderful goobers like Susan and all of the other lovely people you've made put up with me.

Ok...God's telling me to go to bed. Better listen.

10:10pm UPDATE:
Just had to come give an update.

I went to church today. It was one of my triple whammy Sundays. I teach once a month, I do food service every Sunday and I sing in the worship team as many Sunday's as they don't kick me off the stage. On those days when I do all three, I've usually been up to the challenge. Throwing myself 110% into things is how I survived the divorce. As I get stronger and more rooted in reality, I am realizing I've over sold myself.

With the funkification of my mood this weekend, it was hard to wrap my head around being a spiritual leader for the 3's & 4's class. Lil Bro was very excited to have mommy as his teacher. But I just wasn't into it. I was a bit stressed over it. When I got to church, I brought in all the food and pretty much got on stage to rehearse. Then I helped set up the food. So I didn't get a chance to do more than read over my lesson. I hate that. I usually totally prepare and have everything prepped and ready to go. All week, I've been thinking that I can't do all three. And I have to say, my heart is in the worship singing and the food. I love doing both. So I found the education director. She understood but I could see it was a blow. It's hard to find devoted Sunday school teachers. She has a great bunch and I was taking one away. But I did it and she was so gracious and supportive.

Anyway, that's not what I intended to write about. Today, I thought, ok, I've been in this funk or fighting it. And I'm not going to let it ruin my worship. So during the group prayer before church, I just silently asked God to just take everything out of my way - let me focus on him. Help me to really lead worship and not distract from it. But mostly, help me to REALLY worship and not just "sing."

God came through. Even in the rehearsal, I could feel him ministering to me. Usually in rehearsal, I'm learning a lot of songs for the first time. So I'm very focused on where the song is going, what the lead singer is doing, what the bass line is doing (I pull most of my harmonies from whatever the bass is doing), etc. But man, I just started really listening to the words and just sending my vocals up as a prayer. It was amazing. I was up there during rehearsal while they were getting levels and fixing speakers and just letting it FLY, man! It was AWESOME. And then, during the real service, WOO-EEE. The Holy Spirit showed up big time. It was awesome. I was so into it. I was SO feeling it. I was just IN IT. Oh I love that! I mean, sometimes I have no idea if I'm the only one that feels that way. But hey, if God wants to minister to only me during worship, I'll take it! But at one point, when I opened my eyes and looked out over the darkened congregation, I saw hands up and people just REALLY into it. I LOVE that. And afterwards, one of my dear wonderful mom-type friends came up and said, "Thank you SO much for being up there singing." I was like, thank ME? Are you kidding? I feel totally selfish up there because I have such an amazingly good time every Sunday that I sing. But I knew what she meant and it told me that, no, I wasn't the only one that felt it.

Very cool to have that as my Sunday experience today.

Friday, October 05, 2007

...And Boy Are My Arms Tired!

I just got home from my business trip to NJ and Boston. I don't normally ever come back going, "Wow, that business trip was AWESOME!" But I'm saying it this time! I had such a freaking AWESOME almost-week up there.

First off, New England (and the north east region) is my most favoritest place in the country. I've lived in a lot of places but I love that area the best. On our drive from Boston to NJ, I had my face pressed against the window and just kept going, "LOOK at those TREES!" My New England coworkers were like, dude, they're just trees. Now, don't get me wrong: I adore my new Texas home. Austin rocks. Love it. It's green and gorgeous. But it has SHORT trees. Not a lot of water here so the trees very smartly decide to stay short and get wide (much like myself). In New England, the trees tower over you. As one native Austinite told me today, she hates tall trees. She likes her short Texas trees. She likes to see the sky. So there is a plus to the short trees. Plus, being surrounded by short trees, I can pretend I'm taller.

Second, the trip to NJ was our divisional off site "group hug". It's all IT people. Can you think of a less exciting group of people with which to have an all-day meeting? But it actually was a lot of fun. Mostly due to the fact that - this year - the didn't try to "mix it up" with assigned seats. We got to sit where we wanted and with whom we wanted. So I could lean over and make my silly remarks to my friend and she could go, "Stop talking to me." I got to see a lot of coworkers from PA that I haven't seen in about a year, too. And some NJ friends - ditto. So that was actually much better than I expected.

Third, everyone kept telling me how gorgeous I look. And by gorgeous, I think they really meant, "Wow, you're not a 300 pound, gelatinous, weeping mess!" But I just pretended they all thought I should be on America's Next Top Model. I found it especially funny that, on the day when I didn't have time to wash my hair, everyone told me how great my hair looked. What is THAT about?

On Tuesday night, I got to hang with a long-time friend that I adore. He is actually the son of a friend from my Boston rock theater days. I still think of him as that 14 yr old kid. Well, he's 6'2" and 25 yrs old now. So that was an adjustment. HA! He's been one of my few male supporters through this divorce. He recently lost his life love and we've found we have many similar experiences in our dealing with our losses. Sometimes he just calls to see how I'm doing because he's having a hard day dealing with loneliness. Other times, I'll describe something I'm feeling and he'll get it. Normally if a 25 yr old tried to liken their love-loss to mine, I'd toss some snide remark at them about how their situation is so paltry compared to mine. But he really gets it. We had a great time hanging out and we both gave each other a great shot to our respective egos. Nothing like hanging out with people who love you no matter what to just make you feel amazing.

And speaking of people who love you no matter what, on Wednesday night, I got to hang with my other long-time (and one not-so-long-time) friends. I hooked up with Kristen, Trish and Alicia at a great Boston eatery. These three women were my go-to pillars when future ex first dumped me. I have to tell you how awesome it is to have people to turn to who will immediately start praying even as you're crying on the phone to them. I cannot tell you how much they've had to endure in listening to me. I also think how hard this has been for them. I mean, first, they have to deal with standing on the side lines while one of their best friends is in the ring having one of the biggest fights of her life. Praying is amazing. And it works. But I know first hand that the human side of you wishes you could get in the ring and throw a few punches, too. And second, two of them were almost as close to my future ex as they were to me. So they are feeling the loss of a man they loved for many years. And they are dealing with the whole, "Who IS this guy, anyway?" thing.

But all week at the office, I just had a huge smile on my face. I think that threw all my office mates. This was the first time since March that I travelled to Boston. First time they saw me since they heard I was actually getting divorced. To see me looking healthy and smiling like a goon? I don't think that was easy to reconcile in their heads. I think that was why I got so many shocked sounding comments like, "You look amazing!"

So yah, this trip just rejuvenated me. And I'm still smiling!