What it's all about...

I'm a 39 year old wife, mom, daughter, sister, aunt & friend. That should tell you who I'll be writing about most of the time.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

My Black Belt

My boy passed his test last weekend and is now a Certified 1st Degree Black Belt. I can't believe we made it. It's been a long hard road, but we did it. His test was from 6-11pm on Friday and then from 8am-6pm on Saturday. He did so great and I'm so very proud of him. Here are a few pictures from the test.

During warm up the first day of test
Being the supportive sister
Sparring test. He's on the right.
Ready for Bo Staff form
Getting his Black Belt

With my boy, the Black Belt!

My boy & his instructor
We usually go out to dinner after his big tests, so we let him decide where to go. He picked T.G.I. Friday's. When I called my mom to let her know that he passed his testing, she suggested going out to breakfast Sunday morning. So we went to a buffet place that my boy LOVES with my parents the next morning. Then back to their house to check out their new patio roof and chill out after the big breakfast. We finally went home around 11ish, and just before noon Shell's best friend called to see if we wanted to go out to dinner with them. Another reason not to cook? Sure! So we went to dinner with them and then back to their house so the kids could play and the adults could visit. We don't spend nearly enough time with them, so we're hoping that maybe we can try to get together for dinner at each other's houses once a month. I hope we can.
So it was a busy weekend, and we weren't home for most of it. Have lots of laundry to catch up on. We're taking this week off from karate, so hopefully we'll be able to recover.
As far as the computer and TV go, I haven't called my cousin yet to come take a look at the TV, mostly because we haven't been home. But also because I'm kind of enjoying it not being on. The kids are filling their time with reading, playing their DS games and playing outside. It's really nice. But I need to get it taken care of sooner rather than later because they only have 4 weeks of school left and if Shell has any hope of getting sleep once summer starts, we need to get it fixed. And the computer.... well when I brought it into work that day it came right on and worked great. We used a different power cord, so figured that maybe the one I had was bad. I took the extra one from work home with me and the computer worked. We were so relieved. Then last Friday it died again, and refuses to be resuscitated. We are now discussing buying a new computer and will probably do so next week sometime. At least the karate test is out of the way now...

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Half My Life

I have been with Shell for 17 years. We started dating on April 23, 1992 when we were 17 years old. That means that we have been with each other for half of our lives. Half. Of. Our. Lives. Wow. From now on, every year that we spend together will be more than we spent apart. Can you tell I'm still processing this?

I wrote about how we started on the post for our 16th anniversary last year (16 Years). And posted a couple of very unflattering pictures of me. Hey it was the early 90's...

Since my boy is testing for his Black Belt tomorrow and Saturday, we will be at his Karate school tonight for last minute detailing. So last night, we spent the evening reflecting on our first year. And realized that it's kind of amazing that we made it through. Here's a brief rundown of the events of our first year together.
  • April 23 - She gave me the "Yes or No" note. I checked yes. We skipped a class to discuss a little bit what we were doing, then discussed it a lot more in depth that evening at a choir function. In a church. We sat in one of the last pews and talked about being 2 girls in a relationship in high school. We talked about being gay, about having sex, about being monogamous, about telling our friends, how open we'd be at school, how it might affect our friendship if it ended, about being together forever and about having kids. Remember, we were 17 and our relationship was hours old at this point. We really didn't leave anything to chance...
  • May - For my 18th birthday we went on our first "date". We went out with another couple to dinner and then back to her house where I spent the night. We almost had sex for the first time then, but she was a little afraid that once we did that I would decide that I really wasn't gay and we'd be done. I totally was not afraid of this and was very ready to sleep with her. So a couple of days later I broke her down and we did. It was 2 weeks after we started dating. I was so nervous about her seeing me naked. (She told me last night that after being in love with me for years, she couldn't believe that she was finally getting to see me naked, not to mention get to touch me too) I had my first orgasm that night. She had nothing to worry about, I wasn't going anywhere after that!

  • May - My best friend & I had agreed that if we weren't dating anyone when it came time for Senior Prom, we would go together. Well, Shell & I were dating so I asked her to go with me. She said no, afraid that I would get teased or taunted and didn't want the memory of my prom to be tainted. So the week before Prom, Eric & I decided to go. My mom & my aunt made my dress in less than a week. It was kind of crazy. Shell said she was fine with it, but I soon found out that was not the case. After Eric & I were at the dance for a short time and had taken pictures, we decided to leave. Some friends of ours were having a party that night, so we headed there. Shell was there already and was quickly approaching too drunk to stand. And was very obviously not okay with my attending prom with Eric. We took her home soon after we got there and practically carried her into her house. She doesn't remember much of what happened that night, but she still remembers how she felt. She was scared. I promised her I would go with her to her prom the next year. And I did.

  • June - I graduated from high school. For graduation, my parents gave me a trip to Hawaii, complete with paying for a friend of the family who was closer to my age to go with me. They bought me new clothes for the trip. It was a very generous gift. I probably would have had a wonderful time, if I'd gone. The trip was scheduled for just a couple of weeks after graduation and in that time I told my parents that I was gay and was with Shell. They did not take it well at all. They forbid me to see her and I could not talk to her on the phone. She would not be allowed to come to our house and they even decided that she wouldn't be welcome on our street. That the neighbors would be made aware of this. So she would come to my work to see me and call me after we closed the store. I wasn't allowed use of the car in case I decided to skip work to see her. It was their car and there would be no lesbian hookups in it. Two days before I was to leave for Hawaii, I got off work and took the bus to a co-worker's house. I called home the next morning and told my mom that I wasn't coming home until they could accept me for who I was and who I was with. She said they couldn't do that. So I said fine, then I'm not coming home and I'm not going to Hawaii either. And I didn't. Instead of wasting it, my mom went with our friend. Since she wasn't planning to go, she had to get approval very last minute to take time off from work. She took what clothes she had and took some money out of their savings. I called my dad a couple of days after she left and he said that they were very hurt and angry and that I couldn't come home even if I wanted to until after she got home. My co-worker wasn't too thrilled about having a permanent houseguest, but agreed to let me stay just until I had somewhere else to go. The day after my mom returned, I went home to a new set of rules. Shell would still not be allowed at our house and I could not stay overnight anywhere. I had an 11:00 curfew every day. I could use the car, but she would not be allowed in it. The house was full of tension. Which lasted until...
  • August - I started taking classes at the community college. On a Saturday morning, I left the house telling my parents that I was going to the swap meet. I drove to Shell's and picked her up. We did go to the swap meet, but then went to a park to just be together. I was supposed to be home that afternoon. As we got ready to leave the park, she said "I wish we could just run away and start living our life together". I said with all seriousness, "why can't we?". And we did. We drove back to her house so she could get the money she had saved, withdrew some money from my bank account and started driving north. Three weeks later, we were in Redding, CA and completely broke. She called a friend who said she'd send us some money. Instead, she sent Shell's parents. They put gas in the car and we followed them back. I was terrified of going home. Halfway there, I called to tell my parents what was happening. My mom wouldn't talk to me. My dad was relieved to hear that I was okay, but said that I would not be allowed to live at home anymore. That I could stay there for a couple of days just until I found another place to live.

  • September through March - A friend and her mom let me live with them for a couple of months, until Shell's parents agreed to let me live there while Shell finished school. She had been skipping school and not doing homework, so to try to salvage her last year of school they made her a deal. I could live there, if she straightened up and graduated. Then once she did, we could get a place of our own. During this time, I went to dinner at my parents house every couple of weeks and spent Thanksgiving and Christmas with them. But it was very weird. While we were on our jaunt up north, my parents had packed up my room, put it all in storage and my sister had moved her stuff in. So whenever I needed anything, I had to get to the storage unit.

  • March and April - I was living at Shell's house in their guest bedroom. Her mom hated having me there and made it very clear that the only reason she was allowing it was so Shell could graduate. I was working part time and spent the other time helping Shell get caught up on her school work. She dealt with a lot of verbal gay bashing at school and was physically accosted once, which she didn't tell me about until years later. I can't imagine how hard it must have been for her. I was only out for a month before I graduated, and even though we held hands and were obviously together I didn't encounter anything negative. I know I was lucky, I just wish it had been the same for her.

  • I don't think we did anything special for our first anniversary, since we were living in the same house and trying to save money to move out after she graduated. Her parent's marriage which had been crumbling for years was in shambles at this point and her dad had moved into a sober living house and was having an affair. Her mom spent her days in front of the TV or on the phone sobbing to someone. We were counting the days until we could move out. It was very stressful, but being together saved our sanity in many ways.

So that's the not-so-brief events of our first year as a couple. It was a very trying year, and we leaned on each other a lot. I think that we established that whatever life threw at us, we'd always have each other. And I know that my selfishness caused a lot of our conflicts, and I do wish I had gone to Hawaii, but it's all a part of our history now. And because of that, I know that everything that we went through happened for a reason. Good and bad. It's us.

Monday, April 20, 2009

10 Years

Today is the 10 year anniversary of the shootings at Columbine High School. The school is located in Littleton, CO which is less than 30 miles from where I live. 10 years ago today my babies were almost 9 months old and I was still a stay at home mom, so when the television coverage started I was watching. And couldn't stop. I compare it to how I lived and breathed the coverage on 9/11. I sobbed for days watching the stories about the kids who were killed and injured and the one teacher who lost his life. I was devastated in a way I hadn't yet experienced in my life. Because now I was a mom. And those murdered kids were the precious babies of moms who spoke about them with tears in their eyes and in their throats.

A week after, my dad and I drove to Littleton to the memorial that had grown in the days after the shootings. There were so many flowers, banners, stuffed animals and other mementos left in the park near the school. Hundreds of people and yet it was so quiet. Everyone spoke in hushed voices. Two cars that belonged to kids who were killed had been moved to the memorial and were covered with flowers and notes. You could still see through a couple of windows and it was a snapshot of their life the morning of their deaths. I started to cry, but held back not knowing if it would make my dad uncomfortable. Plus I didn't think that I could stop if I started. While we were making our way through it all, we noticed a quiet commotion nearby. Sarah Ferguson was there to pay her respects as well. It was very surreal to be honest.

Before we left that day, we climbed a hill that overlooked the school where another memorial of sorts stood. There were 13 crosses for the people who were killed and although the man who put them there placed one for each of the shooters as well, those had been removed and just the holes where they had stood remained. It was horribly emotional up on that hill with such stark reminders of the lives who were lost. On the way back down, I lost it. I was sobbing and my dad just put his arm around my shoulders and we walked and cried together. When we got to the bottom, he asked me if I was okay and I asked him how on earth could I deal with sending my babies to school someday knowing what could happen? And because there was no other answer, he simply said "you just do". And that's exactly what I do. However, when they got ready to start kindergarten we chose to enroll them in a charter school. Not only for the curriculum and structure that it offered but for the safety as well. And yes, we know that if someone wants in bad enough that they'll figure out a way to do it. But it gives us that additional ounce of security and it's enough.

10 years later, the shootings at Columbine still hit a raw nerve. I spent the morning reading about the vigil last night, the memorials planned for today, the stories of where the injured are today, and some of the police reports and photos from that day. And I had to stop when the tears started. I still remember their names and their faces and their parents faces and their stories and I am reminded of how I felt and how I mourned for them. But my babies will be at home when I get there today, and have been for the last 10 years. But for 12 families, their babies have not been and that just tears me apart.

Friday, April 17, 2009

When it rains, it pours

Literally. I'm so exhausted from thinking about finding money where it doesn't exist. It's wearing me down and my mood is reflecting that.
My boy has his Black Belt test next weekend which will cost $225. This was already stressing me out, as I was told that it has to be cash or check. They won't take credit cards. Who doesn't take credit cards anymore???
Then, on Sunday night my boy was watching a movie on the big screen TV in the living room and all of a sudden there was no sound. I tried a few things, but still nothing. It was getting close to their bedtime anyway so I told him to just shut it off and we'd try again later. Hoping that maybe it just needed to cool off. I really was hoping that was the case, knowing the likelihood was slim.
On Wednesday, I was enlightened with the joy that is Susan Boyle. I watched the YouTube clip at work a couple of times, then went home hoping to play it for Shell. And just when I got it started, my computer shut off. Totally and completely shut off. I couldn't even get it to turn back on. Bad sign, huh? And that's when my boy decided to try the TV again, to find that it still is silent. I told him to shut it off again, that I couldn't deal with it right now. TV and Computer? What next?
I brought the computer in to work this morning (in the rain, hence the title), to see if our resident 21 year old computer geek can make some sense of it. If it's shot, we'll be buying our first new computer. Ours was given to us about 7 or 8 years ago and we've dealt with it's age-related quirks for some time, knowing that it's better than having to buy a new one. But I think that it's time has come to an end, finally. Luckily, Shell's work gives the option to purchase a computer with 10% down and the rest is financed to come out of her paychecks for up to 18 months. This obviously makes the purchase easier to swallow, but still not something I wanted to have to do right now.
I'm hoping (again with the hoping) that a cousin of mine can come by and take a look at the TV. He used to do television repair for a living, so maybe he can figure out what's wrong and will make me a deal on fixing it. He's not a close enough relative that he'd do it for free, plus we'd have to pay for any parts but I hope he can make it relatively painless. What are the chances that the computer and the TV can be fixed for little to no money? I know.... but a girl can dream right?

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

My Life Recently

...has been so busy! And will continue to be for at least the next 2 weeks. But I am happy and as of right now feel like I am keeping my head above water, so I guess I can't complain too much.

My boy will be testing for his Black Belt next weekend, so until then we will be at classes most days. He feels the pressure, as do I, but we are excited to see this LONG journey come to a successful close. Although he could keep going past his black belt, he's decided to give other activities a try. The time commitment (not to mention the financial commitment) has made it near impossible for us to pursue anything else. For him or for his sister. To let him savor his Black Belt for a while, he will continue going to classes through the summer, but once school starts he is done. I'd like for my girl to get involved in something, but she has no idea what she'd like to do. They are starting middle school in the Fall, so next year is full of unknowns and it will be much easier without having to be at karate 3 nights a week until after 9:00. What if he doesn't pass his test next week? Then we will continue going until the next test in October. Which I really don't want to do, but will if I have to obviously. So we are in crunch mode to make sure that he passes on his first try.
We spent Easter with my parents at their house. They hid plastic eggs with coins in them inside and outside for the kids to hunt. It's such fun to watch them running around trying to find as many as possible. They'd hunt inside and then when they couldn't find any more they'd run outside, then run back inside when my mom would announce that they'd missed some. My dad grilled steaks and my mom made potato salad, baked beans and pasta salad. We brought the stuff for strawberry shortcakes. It was all so yummy and the kids had a blast. We gave them each a new game for their DS's plus new cases. They are both very into Pokemon, so their cases have characters on them, plus they each got a pack of cards. My mom got the Lasik surgery done the week before, so we got to watch the video of that. It was very interesting. Then Shell & I took a nap while my mom watched TV. Then we went home. It really was a nice day. Plus it rained, so the grass got some water.
The kids with their Easter treasures

Searching for eggs in the backyard

More egg hunting and my dad at the grill

Not the best picture of either of us... But we take so few together so I'm posting in anyway!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

You Like Me? You Really Like Me?

I seriously don't know what to say about the comments on my last post. I still can't believe sometimes that people actually read what I write, and keep coming back to do so. I follow A LOT of blogs and am trying to be better at commenting, so I really appreciate all of you who did. Thank you so much. Really.
For the sake of those who may not want to read about my sex life, I think that when I do write about it, I'll warn you that it's coming before I just throw it out there. That seems fair. Plus, I realized while reading your comments that I like knowing that someone's reading this. When I first started it, I really assumed that it would just be for me. I never expected that anyone else would read it. Maybe someone would stumble across it and read once, maybe even comment, but then they would move onto other blogs. It makes me smile to see repeat commenters and to read a comment from someone new who actually wants to continue reading...well I guess I'm hoping to give you reason to. So thank you all again. And if by chance there are others who read who didn't comment, say hi sometime. I'd like to meet you too.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Coming up & a quandary

I'm planning to have a weekend full of getting caught up on laundry, watching DVR'd television, watching the snow fall from inside, and lots of sex. I'm so ready.
I'm meeting Shell and the kids at Old Chicago for dinner tonight. It's the perfect place for everyone. They have the best Garlic Cheese Bread. And I really love the Oriental Chicken Salad. So yummy...
Tomorrow's karate event was postponed until next Saturday, due to the impending blizzard. We're supposedly going to get 6-10" of snow. I'm not planning on going anywhere in it. That's part of the reason we're going out to eat tonight, so we can save tonight's dinner for tomorrow and won't have to go shopping until Sunday or Monday.
I watched the series finale of ER last night and really loved it. I'm so glad that there were no catastrophic events, it just showed that life goes on. Patients come in, doctors do their jobs and relationships will continue to start and end. I'm very sad that it's over, but a little relieved to have one less show to watch. My television watching is now Big Bang Theory (the funniest show on TV in my opinion), How I Met Your Mother, Samantha Who, Ghost Whisperer and Kath & Kim. The occasional Oprah show, some Discovery Health, and Food Network and I'm good. It's enough for me.
My boy is grounded for the first time in his life. No DS, no Wii, no TV, no computer. Unless he's eating, in the bathroom, or at school or karate, he has to stay in his room. What did he do to deserve that? Shell & I were in our room and I had locked the door so I could change clothes and make out with her before we had to leave for karate. My boy knocked on the door a couple of times to remind me that we had to leave soon. I told him I'd be out in a couple of minutes. So he got the key from above the doorjam and unlocked it and walked in. I had already put my clothes on and we were just kissing at that point, but we could not believe that he unlocked the door. Needless to say, we didn't go to karate that night and spent lots of time with him talking about it. He has accepted his punishment really well, but as this happened on Monday night, we are up against the first weekend he's ever had to spend in his room with nothing but books to keep him occupied. Should be interesting...
We got new porn this week. Two of them actually. So much has happened in the last month relating to our sex life, and I want to write about it here, but am conflicted. I think that most of the people who read this (all 3 of them that is), have made their way here because I commented on their blogs centering on their kids. And for the most part, my blog has mostly been about my kids as well. So will it seem weird to have posts regarding my sex life mixed in with posts about my kids? Any thoughts from the 3 of you who read would be most appreciated. Thanks in advance.
Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Mile High Music Festival