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.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

My Parents

30 Days: Day 4 My Parents

This is the most recent picture that I have of my parents. It's from January when my sister came for a long weekend during the time that my best friend and his boyfriend were here. It's actually pretty surprising that I have a picture as recent as this, as my mom is not usually one to agree to pictures of herself.

Anyway...my parents. That's kind of a loaded topic, so I'll start with the easy stuff. My parents lived practically around the corner from each other in junior high and high school. My mom had a crush on my dad early on, but he didn't really know she existed. Well, maybe that's not entirely true. He knew of her, mostly because her older brother had a reputation and they knew many of the same kids. But they weren't friends nor did they hang out together directly. Anyway, in high school my dad was kind of popular for being pretty good looking and being in a car club. Plus, he was a nice guy as well. My mom had a serious crush on him by then, which only intensified as they began hanging out in the same group. The summer before their senior year, they got closer until finally my dad broke up with his current girlfriend for my mom. That was 1968 and they were married in 1971. I was born in 1974 with my twin sisters following in 1977. My mom was a stay-at-home mom during my childhood, but did start working part-time when I was about 10 or 11. My dad worked hard and also worked on the house and the cars. He is very handy when it comes to household repairs and projects, which meant that our house, although very modest, was always in great shape.

My view of my parents was very favorable until my teen years, when it all fell apart. When I was 13, I had a friend who was not ideal in my mom's eyes. She wasn't really a "bad" kid, but her home life was very different from mine. Her parents were divorced and she lived with her dad, who imposed very few rules on her. And I wanted to be able to do what she could, which was typically not okay with my parents. I pushed against my rules and my parents blamed my friend. This became an ongoing issue with my friends. My rules were always stricter and more restrictive than my friends rules, so I broke mine to be able to do what they were doing. As a result, my parents felt that my friends were the problem, when really it was my own decisions that got me in trouble. And just to put it in perspective, none of my friends did drugs or drank or broke the law, and neither did I. I broke curfew rules when I was supposed to be home by 8 and everyone else was out until 10 or later. I was always supposed to be home right after school, but my best friend and I would sit in front of the junior high school that was right around the corner from my house and talk until after dark when my mom would drive over and pick me up to go home.

My mom didn't like Shell when we were friends and when I not only came out to my parents but also broke the news that I was seeing Shell, the rules got stricter and I pushed harder. My mom knew that she couldn't stop us from seeing each other at school, but I was not allowed to see her outside of school or even talk to her on the phone. When summer started less than 2 months after we started dating, I think my mom thought that it would put enough distance between us to break us up. Instead, I pushed harder against the rules. One Saturday morning, I borrowed my parent's car to go to the swap meet. I was supposed to be home by 1:00. I wasn't at the swap meet for very long, so I picked up Shell and we went to a park. We talked and snuggled and as the afternoon wore on, knew that I'd be in serious trouble when I got home. We imagined what it would be like to just get in the car and drive away, to be together and start "our" life right then. And then we did, sort of. We drove to her house where she took all the money she had saved and we started driving north. We didn't talk to anyone we knew and nobody knew where we were for 3 weeks. We had spent a week in a small town in Northern California, thinking we could find jobs but nobody wanted to hire a teenager living in a motel, not surprisingly. When we ran out of money and were approaching the end of the period we had prepaid for at the motel, we decided to call a friend and ask her to send us some money. Instead, she called Shell's parents who jumped in their car and headed our direction. We had no choice but to follow them back and they made sure of it by never completely filling our gas tank or handing us any money at all. When we got back, I called my parents who informed me that they wanted the car back, but that I couldn't come home. While I was gone they had boxed up everything in my room and put it in storage. My sister, who had previously shared a room with her twin, had moved in and even painted the walls.

That incident led to a very strained relationship between my parents and I and I went from living with our traitorous friend, to staying for a while on my parents couch, to living with Shell until she graduated high school and we moved out with some friends. My dad helped me move my stuff from the storage unit to our apartment and even came by every once in a while, but my mom never did. She wanted nothing to do with Shell. After a year at that apartment, Shell and I moved into one of our own and soon after my parents announced that they were moving to Colorado and then not long after that my sister announced that she was pregnant. My mom and I started talking on the phone and I was invited over for dinner a few times, but just me. After my parents moved and my niece was born, we talked a lot more often and after I visited them a few times, we started comtemplating moving as well. My mom offered to let Shell and I live with them until we found jobs and a place of our own, which led to discussions about how Shell would be treated. In the end, we moved and lived with them for about 3 months and it wasn't too bad at all.

It's been over 15 years since we moved and my relationship with my dad is better than ever. We do things together that my mom has no interest in and I think that we both know that we can count on each other if necessary. My mom and I are sometimes hot and sometimes cold. Usually there are long periods of really good times and then we'll have a bump in the road that is followed by some tension and then more good. This last summer we had a really big issue that resulted in almost 4 months of no communication between us. I talked to and saw my dad a few times during it, but I didn't see or talk to my mom. We've settled back to the good stuff now, which is always a relief.

My relationship with my mom makes me ultra-aware of my relationship with my daughter and more than anything I want to prevent a repeat with her. She's approaching her teen years quickly and I'm determined to not make the same rash judgments that my mom did and hopefully not fall into the same pattern.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

30 Days: Day 3

Day 3-Your first love
I think this one is highly interpretive and because of that, deserves a couple different answers.

First, I've been with Shell for almost 19 years and it is not a stretch to say that she was my first real, true love. What started as the strongest love I'd ever felt at 17 years old has evolved into grown-up love, strong enough to survive and grow through everything we've been through.
Shell was my first love.

When I became an aunt for the first time, I felt a love for my niece that was like no other. She's 16 years old and when I think of her even now, it overwhelms my heart. Her existence allowed me to experience the kind of earth shattering love that served as practice for the love I'd feel for my own kids. My heart stretched wide with love for her, making lots of room for the space I'd need for my nephew, my other two nieces and my babies.
My niece was my first love.

It's been over 22 years since I met my best friend and the love I feel for him is only rivaled by the love I have for my sisters, my nieces and nephew, my children and my wife. He is the first friend I ever had that I loved unconditionally, missed desperately when we were apart and felt loved by no matter what I did. In those emotion-charged teen years when everything was felt to extremes, he made me feel that I had value and it was not based on how I dressed or what I weighed or how much money I had. It was based on who I was inside, and if he thought I was good enough to be such a close friend, then I must have been worth something. To my teenage self, that meant everything to me.
Eric was my first love.

Books have consistently been a love of mine my whole life. My mom wrote in my baby book many times that I loved books, even before I could read. When I was younger, I read a lot. My childhood best friend did not read, but we had a lot of other common interests. I can't remember when it was exactly, but I remember we shared a fascination with the murders committed by the Manson family in the '60's. We were talking about it one day with my mom when she went into her own stash of books and pulled out Helter Skelter, which was written by the prosecutor of Manson. I ended up reading the book to my friend, since she would never tackle it. I read Gone With the Wind over the summer when I was 11 years old. I completely read and enjoyed almost every book assigned in my English classes, except for The Odyssey, which I couldn't finish and used Cliff's Notes to complete the tests and assignments. Thanks to high school English, I was introduced to To Kill A Mockingbird and it became and still is my favorite book.
Books were my first love.

Monday, March 28, 2011

30 Days: Day 2

I'm so excited to see some of you tackle this 30 Days thing too. Before I move to Day 2 though, a couple of responses to your comments on my last two posts. Tara - yes, the Rhythm Nation concert was a pivotal point in our relationship, although it was actually the beginning of our friendship, years before we became an "us". Stacy - Unfortunately, you have us confused with 2 other cute lesbians. :) The only gay club/bar we've really ever gone to is Charlie's and we've only been going there for about 5 years now. And when I say "going there" I mean we go a couple of times a year, maybe. We don't really go out to drink very much, mostly because it's much cheaper to drink at home and you don't have to worry about driving home from wherever you were. On to Day 2: Meaning behind your blog name My blog name comes from a song from the movie Moulin Rouge. I have seen this film more times than I can count and love every single thing about it. The ballad Come What May is sung by Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor and is just beautiful. Shell and I both fell in love with it, so it was an easy choice to make it the song we danced to at the reception after our ceremony. Every time it plays on our iTunes playlists, we stop what we're doing and dance together. The meaning behind the phrase "come what may..." is perfect for our relationship and the choices we've made to live our lives together and on our terms. When I decided to try out this blogging thing, I struggled with what to call it. Then I heard this song and it made perfect sense to use it. I'm still happy with it and every time I see the title, it makes me smile.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

30 Days

Because I'm a little crazy and don't have enough going on... I thought I'd tackle this little posting project that I saw on CJ's blog. And although I'm obviously insane to take this on, I am not so delusional that I think this will be done in 30 consecutive days. Here's the set-up:
Day 1-Introduce, recent picture, 15 interesting facts
Day 2-Meaning behind your blog name
Day 3-Your first love
Day 4-Your parents
Day 5-Your siblings
Day 6-A picture of something that makes you happy
Day 7-Favorite movies
Day 8-A place you’ve traveled to
Day 9-A picture of your friends
Day 10-Something you’re afraid of
Day 11-Favorite TV shows
Day 12-What you believe
Day 13-Goals
Day 14-A picture you love
Day 15-Bible verse
Day 16-Dream house
Day 17-Something you’re looking forward to
Day 18-Something you regret
Day 19-Something you miss
Day 20-Nicknames
Day 21-Picture of yourself
Day 22-Favorite city
Day 23-Favorite vacation
Day 24-Something you’ve learned
Day 25-Favorite memory
Day 26-Picture of your family
Day 27-Pets
Day 28-Something that stresses you out
Day 29-3 Wishes
Day 30-a picture

So I picked this one from the many that I see on different blogs because the majority of these are no-brainers, with just a few hard-hitting topics. But all-in-all, I chose it because it looks fun. And since right now it would be easy to jump to "Day 28", I could use some fun. :)

Soo.....Let's just jump right in!

Day 1-Introduce, recent picture, 15 interesting facts

I'd guess that if you're reading this, then you already have a pretty good idea of who I am. But I'll follow directions and introduce myself anyway. I am 36 years old, am (not legally) married to my high school sweetheart, and am the proud mommy of 12 year old boy-girl twins.

That is "who" I am, at least what really makes me "me". Now some facts...not sure if they'll be interesting, but here goes:
  1. I am currently in my second semester of college after deciding what I want to be when I grow up. It only took me 18 years after graduating high school to figure out that I want to be a librarian more than anything else. Someday, I'll have a career and not just a job!

  2. My maternal great-grandmother was a triplet, my sisters are twins and my children are twins. My amazing sister was an egg donor 4 times and two of those resulted in twins. I'd say that multiples definitely run in my family. The most interesting thing about it is that aside from donating eggs, my sister was also a gestational surrogate and although her eggs weren't responsible that time, the result was twins yet again!

  3. Shell is the only woman I've ever been with. I had crushes on boys and girls (although I didn't realize that's what it was with the girls at the time), but when I imagined being with Shell, it felt like the most right thing for me. I never doubted for a second that I should be with her, gender be damned! Shell used to say that I wasn't really a lesbian, I just happened to fall in love with her. I don't care what you call it, all I know is that I am right where I belong.

  4. My kids are 12 years old and still call me mommy and call Shell mama. I smile every time they do because I know it will end, probably sooner than later and I will miss hearing it.

  5. I hope I don't regret stating this, but I've never had a broken bone. Similarly, I've only had surgery twice. The first time was when my kids were born via Cesarean and the second was to have two wisdom teeth extracted.

  6. I grew up on a cul-de-sac that consisted of 19 houses. For the majority of my childhood, these were inhabited by the same people throughout. There was very little change in neighbors. In about half of the homes lived families with children around my age, give or take 3 years or so. There were a lot of kids on my street and we all pretty much played together. Baseball, football, tag, bicycle races, roller skating, slip-n-slides, etc. It was the best way to be a kid in the suburbs.

  7. I was born and raised in Southern California, but am not a "California girl". I do not and never have been a sun worshipper. My very fair skin has reminded me too many times that the sun is not my friend and will cause much pain if I'm not covered and protected properly. I don't enjoy the hot weather of summer and the beach makes me panicky. Although I don't love it when the winter gets very cold and icy, I am much better suited for the state I live in now.

  8. We always had dogs for pets when I was growing up, but wen I was about 11, I got the first pets that were 100% mine: mice. I got a white female and a black male and named them Prince and Princess. A few litters were born before we separated the males and females and for the next couple of years I played matchmaker with my favorites and happily lived in oblivion as I would take the extra babies that I wasn't going to keep and sell them to our local pet store. I thought that I was supplying the store with future pets for others. When I realized that the vast majority were being sold as feeders, I stopped. I couldn't handle watching the babies be born and grow, knowing that their futures were short. The remaining mice stayed separated and eventually all died. Prince outlived them all by a few months. Not many of my friends understood how I could, but I loved my mice very much.

  9. I took German for 3 years in high school, even though it would have made so much more sense to take Spanish. I LOVED it! I spoke it very well too, even went to German Camp in my 3rd year. Starting in the bus on the way there and for the next 4 days, we were only allowed to speak German. It was the first time I'd ever been to camp and the added bonus of speaking German puts it at near the top of memorable moments in my life. Unfortunately, none of my friends took German and my family didn't speak it so through lack of use, I lost it. I've retained a handful of words, but couldn't converse with someone if I tried. Makes me sad because I really loved that language.

  10. Within the first two months of my freshman year of high school, I met a boy. I thought I had a crush on him, but I think it was simply a case of wanting him in my life in some capacity forever. He became, and still is, my best friend. It's been over 22 years and I still feel blessed to be able to call him "my Eric". When he calls, Shell announces "your boyfriend's on the phone" to me. He is just as much family to me as my sisters and I love him more than he'll ever know. I couldn't put it into words if I tried.

  11. This one's not about me exactly, but I made him so it kind of is. My 12 year old son has 1/4" to grow and he'll be 5'7". Shell & I are both 5'8" and while I hoped that he'd be tall I didn't expect him to be so close to my height at 12! I can't imagine how tall he'll end up being. I am taller than both of my sisters by several inches and my mom is only 5'4", so my height definitely came from my dad. My girl is about 3 inches shorter than her brother, so I wonder how tall she'll get.

  12. I hate shopping for clothes for myself. I am perfectly happy when Shell goes shopping and buys clothes for me. She has a great sense of what will look good on me and actually loves shopping, so it's a win-win for us both. Even when I do go out myself, I prefer to park myself in the dressing room while she brings me stuff to try on. Yes, I am a female who hates shopping... But take me to buy anything other than clothes and I'm in!

  13. I am afraid of heights and yet I love traveling by plane. I feel no anxiety or fear when in the plane, not even during takeoff or landing. But when I have to climb up to change a battery in a smoke detector, my heart races and my legs shake. I've never fallen from any height that I know of, so I have no idea where this fear comes from.

  14. *I'm almost done!* On my "list of people my wife would allow me to sleep with if given the highly unlikely opportunity" is: Janet Jackson, Halle Berry, Sarah Shahi, Christina Aguilera, Johnny Depp, Christian Slater, and Jon Bon Jovi.

  15. *Last one!!!* One of the most interesting things about me right now is the fact that I have this blog and that there are people who read it. I may not be great at keeping it updated, but the handful of you who check in and read when I do are so interesting in your own rights, that I'm amazed that my blog interests you. Those of you who I've come to "know" through your own blogs, your comments here, and/or on Facebook are people who I'd love to sit down with in person and chat with. It's a pretty cool phenomenon, this blogging thing!

I finished it, but that was not easy. I'm looking forward to the easier ones for sure now!

Oh, last but not least, a recent picture. This one is from January. It's not the best quality and kind of grainy, but I like it anyhow.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

3 Months Later...

...and finally I'm writing a new post!
Does anyone really want a recap of the last 3 months? I doubt it, so I'll just start with now and fill in where necessary.

I am currently smack in the middle of my second semester of school and am struggling a bit. I've continued to work my full-time and part-time jobs and juggle 14 credits (3 online classes and 1 on-campus class), but when I realized that I wasn't completely prepared for my midterms it was a big wake-up call. Just last week, I reduced my availability at the part-time job to Sundays and Mondays only and I hope this will help a lot. Interestingly, the math class that I was so nervous about is turning out to be the class I enjoy the most and am doing the best in. Not to mention, I LOVE going to campus for it. For an added bonus, I ended up knowing one of the other students (she's a friend of Shell's bff who we've seen at parties and such), so we've done some study dates and work with each other during class. This has been a really great experience.

Shell just celebrated her 36th birthday on March 13, so she is now the same age as I am...for the next 7 weeks. I made one of her favorite dinners, chimichangas, and made a coffee cake that she was drooling over when we saw it made on a cooking show. It turned out really great and I will probably be making it again in the not-so-distant future. This weekend, I booked us a room at an ultra-modern hotel to wrap up her birthday. She has no idea so I'm trying to come up with a very creative way of revealing it besides just driving there and saying "surprise" when we pull into the parking lot.

My girl is performing in the talent show tomorrow night. She's singing "Better Than Revenge" by Taylor Swift and I'm so excited to see her on stage again. She has really grown a lot this past year, physically and mentally. She certainly looks like a pre-teen now, but I feel lucky every day that she is still my sweet girl. We haven't had any problems with her; no mood swings, no defiance, nothing. Her brother on the other hand, makes us pull our hair out at times. He can still be sweet and affectionate, but he also argues and pushes back when he disagrees with something. He's certainly testing his boundaries.

We are going to see two concerts next month, one that Shell is very excited about and one that I'm over-the-moon excited about. We are going to see George Strait, Reba McEntire, and Lee Ann Womack on the 1st and Janet Jackson on the 6th. I LOVE Janet Jackson and have followed her since before the Control album. I watched her on Good Times and Different Strokes and Fame, as well as her roles in Poetic Justice, Nutty Professor 2, and Why Did I Get Married. I've seen her in concert once before, in 1990 during the Rhythm Nation tour. Not only do I love her music and the roles she acts in, but I also have a big huge crush on her. She's right at the top of my "people my wife would give her blessing for me to sleep with" list.

That's a quick overview of the current going-ons with me. As is typical of life, there are many other things, but I wanted to get this posted before I found something else to do instead. I've got projects involving pictures that I've neglected at home, so hopefully once I get a handle on that I can get some posted here as well. I hope you are all well and if you are still checking in with me, thank you.