Monthly Archives: August 2014

Sunday Confessions: My Guilty Pleasure

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You would think as a mother of seven I would have a tough time writing a confession about a guilty pleasure. After all, isn’t motherhood all about sacrifice? Aren’t we supposed to dress in our raggy pajamas and yoga pants with undereye circles  and split ends while our children are dressed to the nines and have all the latest toys and gadgets and blessings? Aren’t we supposed to stop having social lives? Go nowhere without our precious spawns in tow? Forgo date nights and replace the with trips to Chuckie cheese? Have no uninterrupted conversations with adults? 

 I know parents like that. Parents who think there are medals given out at some point for the Mother who loses every teensy shred of herself in her children. 

I give an awful lot of myself for my children. I do. Anyone who knows me knows my number one priority in life is to raise and love my sons and daughter. 

But…here’s a little secret. 

I make MYSELF a priority as well. 

I do it for my own well being and mental health. I do it because I am not just Mom, I am Tonia as well. And it is so easy to get caught up in the every day cycle of diapers and dishes and dinner. So easy to forget who ELSE I am. A poet. A dancer. A girl who loves animals and stand up comedy and the ocean. A big sister. A granddaughter. A friend. I will not sacrifice my layers. Because if I do than I am left as just a shell of a person. And what sort of example is that to set for my sons? What will they expect of their future wives if they use ME as an example? What about my daughter? What will she come to understand about being a woman and keeping balance if she copies my choices and attitude? I have guilty pleasures because I am a good mom. 

I take time every day for me. In small ways. Painting my toenails a sparkly blue. Dying my hair. Using a honey face mask. Soaking in a hot bubble bath with a glass of wine and a couple squares of organic dark chocolate. (That one is one of my personal favorites.) A cup of coffee with flavored creamer. I am an obsessive coffee snob. I always have at least 2 different types of coffee in my home and at least 3 different flavored creamers. (More than often I have more. It saves money on trips to a coffee shop.) I have a french press and a regular drip coffee maker. Whenever I pass my dream coffee machine at the store I stop to caress it and whisper sweet nothings to it and dry hump it a bit just to remind it that it’s my bitch. Or will be……someday. I savor my cup of coffee in bed in the morning with whipped cream on top. Savor every last drop. Sex is another guilty pleasure. Intimacy with my boyfriend is crucial. Often. Chocolate stash makes me happy. Stargazing with the dogs on the back porch with a cold beer. 

How do I do this? How do I manage to spend 15 minutes uninterrupted in my bedroom enjoying coffee? How do I find time for sex? How do I manage to take relaxing baths when other moms can’t even PEE alone? 

It’s simple. I take the word GUILTY out of my guilty pleasures. Becoming a mom did not erase who I am. And because of my history of depression and my aversion to prescription meds, I am well aware that my health is all in MY hands. I am a much better mother to my children when I am not stressed and yelling and wore out. When I take a few short minutes per day to refocus, re center , re align……it helps me figure out behavioral issues and solve problems and coach my children through their journeys.The HOW is quite simple really, from the beginning I teach my children that Mom is MORE than just mom. She is a person with needs. They understand and respect this fact because I understand and respect the fact it is true for THEM as well. If one of them comes to me and say they need alone time or space or someone to vent to, I help them accomplish that. I encourage them to not only give sacrificially and put others first and love people…..but also to seek out who THEY are and what they need to help build that person up. My sons play quietly in their bedroom until my coffee cup is empty. They keep the younger ones occupied while I bathe. They go to bed without a fight when I tell them Mommy and Daddy need some alone time. They understand that a guilty pleasure or two is nothing to be guilty about. It’s okay to treat yourself. Even spoil yourself a bit. We all deserve it. We all are so much happier if we do so. It helps to focus on ourselves a bit and be reminded of who we are. Helps us be calmer, more patient, more relaxed, happier, more content. 

So, what have YOU done for yourself today???? 

What will you do tomorrow? 

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Back To School? Ain’t Nobody Got Time For That.

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I see all the memes starting in mid-August on Facebook. All of the “Yay!!! My kids are going back to school!!!” memes. And I am going to be 100% honest here and admit that I DON’T GET IT. No, seriously, I don’t. Back when my sons were in the public school system (only because our circumstances wouldn’t allow home education at that time.) people would flippantly make jokes about “I bet you’re excited school starts soon!” In a sing-song voice with a nudgenudge to my side. And I would look them in the eye and say “Actually, I hate when they go back to school. Summer is my favorite time of year because I get to spend every day with my children. I MISS them when they are at school.” And that is the point when they would eye me like I was some weirdo who had just confessed she liked eating baby kittens for the protein. 

But it’s true. I LOVE summers. Love them. Summers with a family this size is just crammed full of potential and possibilities for so much adventure and memory-making. It’s building a huge fort under the trampoline in the backyard. It’s Ice Cream Sundae Night. It’s trips to the beach and taking a billion pictures of the kids splashing in the ocean. It’s impromptu games of football or soccer in the backyard. Its firefly hunting with mason jars. It’s roasted hotdogs and marshmallows over the firepit. Summers are sleeping in and staying up late. Summers are fun. So much fun. Who the heck would want to interrupt all of THAT and start waking up at the ass crack of dawn and getting back into the grind of….well…the daily grind. Ugh. 

My children are unschooled. What this means is instead of us having any sort of set specific curriculum, I allow THEM to lead the education. For example, if my 9 year old is interested in Italy, we learn some Italian words, he helps me prepare an Italian-themed dinner. We watch a movie about Italy that shows the culture. He gets  a book from the library all about the animals that are local to Italy. He draws a picture of the Italian flag. All I do is provide resources and sometimes gently encourage the direction of his learning. I also believe VERY strongly in learning through play and through simply living daily life. So, I take the 11 year old food shopping with me and we learn about couponing and I show him how to compare prices and read labels for size comparison of products to find the best deal. And at the end of the trip he sees the receipt with the savings on it from the coupons and tells me the percentage. And that is his math lesson for the day. Along with the fact I have shown him by example the proper way to socialize with a cashier, a bagger, and fellow shoppers. It’s hands-on learning at it’s finest. My 5 year old is learning geometry by building with legos. The 7 year old is learning phonics by watching Sesame Street and playing a fun rhyming game his big brother made for him. It’s a relaxed approach and it works for us. And it slows down the ebb and flow of every bit of life. We go to bed around 10. we rise around 8 or 9. We live and we learn and it goes on and on. No worries of missing the bus or finding a missing shoe or finding time for homework in the midst of preparing dinner. 

So, basically, now that my children learn at home, our entire year is summer. Without interruption. I don’t have to be sad about sending them off somewhere all day. I get to spend every day with my children. 

Yes, there are moments I need a break. A couple hours away to relax and refocus and find my center balance again so I can approach parenting with a new sense of zen. But I do not in any way crave being away from my children for any prolonged period of time. I miss them when I am away from them. In the same way I miss Justin when he is at work all day or how I miss my friend Norma who lives too damn far away. I miss my children like that because I love them the same way I love Justin and Norma. I love them as individuals. As people. As a part of my life I enjoy and am thankful for. I enjoy their company. They make me happy. They make me laugh. They make me feel loved. They are a part of me. I get to be selfish and keep all of that awesomeness to myself. 

Some day they are going to grow up. They already are working their way in that direction. Some day they are going to move on with their lives. And I will miss them. I will miss the early morning voices and patter of running feet and a yard filled with balls and bikes and plastic climbing toys. I will miss short people helping me cook meals. I will miss a dinner table crammed all the way around with my family. It will be a nice, quiet, relaxed time in my life. And lonely in some ways too. 

So, here it is, almost September. Most of my friends have already posted their kids’ First Day Of School photos. I’ve got nothin’. It’s just another day in Paradise here. 

And I ain’t mad. 

❤ 

Sunday Confessions: Sex

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MoreThanCheeseandBeer

Great. Awesome. Fanfreakingtastic. The first week I finally have my shit together enough to manage to sit and write out a blog for Sunday Confessions and the topic just happens to be SEX. My mom reads this blog. So does my Gram and my brother. I have thousands of readers. Who all nwo get to read my thoughts on sex.
Ya know what? Screw it.
Let’s be real here, guys. You ll know I have 7 kids, right? And we can all agree they didn’t get dropped off at my doorstep by magical unicorns, right? (Man, that would have been SO COOL though…..) So, the fact is….I have had sex. Okay? Quite a bit of sex. Some casual drunken sex before I had kids. Some lame sex. Some quickies. Some long amazing candle lit lovemaking sessions. Some sex that just didn’t do it for me in the least. (meh) and some that rocked my world. All in all, I can say I like it. It ranks right up there with chocolate. (Except chocolate can’t make you pregnant.) \
But…..here’s my confession.
I like sex WAY better at 34 compared to how much I liked it in my 20’s. WAY more. (Did I mention WAY more?)
And here is what is WEIRD about that fact.
When I was in my 20’s I had perkier boobs. They were adorable. And sat up high on my chest all alert and snug in their sexy lacy bras. Now, my boobs are softer, lower, and like to hang out in a so-not-sexy nursing bra. Ya know the kind, the ones that unflap in the front for easy access and sometimes you forget to re-hook the flap and walk around for hours with your nipple out? No? Just me? Nevermind. Anyway, in my 20’s I was ripped. I went running a few times a week but other than that, I ate like crap and sat on my lazy ass a lot and I STILL had a frickin six-pack tummy. I was 98 pounds, toned and tan before I had my first son. I had no cellulite and swore to never have any. I was the epitome of being in shape. Now? I weigh 140, the heaviest I have ever been without harboring a fugitive spawn in my belly. (I actually GAINED 3 pounds this past month while dieting and working out. Don’t EVEN get me started.) I have hips. My thighs rub together when I walk. My ass…..let’s just say I have one now. And it thinks it might be a great idea to become one with my thighs. And that same stupid ass has cellulite now. I have the body of a 34 year old woman who has pushed 7 humans out of her vagina. (For the record, thanks to my obsession with kegels, I have the vagina of a 24 year old. 😉 But everything else…..fahgedaboutit. ) My point is, according to medias portrayal of sexy…I am NOT. Sexy I mean. I am failing at that.
But the thing is…I FEEL SO MUCH SEXIER these days. Why? Well, because I am a mother fucking badass first of all. I can grow people in me and then push those people out of my body, often without any help from drugs.I can feed a person with my body. Perky tatas are nice, but even nicer is a tiny human falling asleep at my breast, their tiny little hand splayed out like a starfish on my chest. I am strong. Capable. I can move heavy furniture or install an a/c or fix the toilet all by myself. I am a good mom. A talented singer and writer. A true friend. A woman of integrity and faith. I am loved. And all of these things give me confidence and power. And that confidence and power make me feel sexier. And that sexiness helps me enjoy sex.
Because good sex is not about lingerie or looking a certain way or any of that noise. It’s about being in touch with and totally at ease with your own sexuality. And then finding a person who respects you as that and loves you as that. (Even if that person happens to be you. High five for solo-sexy-time. …..No? Too weird?)
I see so many kids these days in such a rush to have sex. Like it’s a rite of passage or something. I wish they would understand how very much more it is. It’s about embracing every inch of yourself, both body and soul, and falling madly in love with that person.Its not all about orgasms or positions or frequency. It’s about passion and gentleness and romance and fun and laughter (yes laughter. Don’t try telling me you never once had a reason to laugh in the middle of canoodling.)and closeness and respect and being REAL.
Oh, and being with a dude that can stand by your side and watch your vagina explode while a baby comes out of it and still proclaim you the most amazing and beautiful woman on earth…..well, that helps too.
And thus completes the most awkward blog I have ever written. To recap: I like sex. My body is awesome. Solo sexy time is fun. Sex with Justin is superflyawesomesauce. But just take my word for it. Don’t try to test that fact. I’m not afraid to cut a bitch.
ta ta folks! xo
*snorts* (I said ta-ta….tatas……*snort*)

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Just in case, in the reading of my previous blog post, you are to think I am only this terrified, haunted mess of shadows and nightmares, let me reassure you: I have trash growing on my shelf and I strongly identify with it. It inspires me and brings me hope when I have a rough day.
Perhaps I should explain.
You see, I had this gorgeous flowering plant hanging out in my house being all lush and flowery and alive like plants tend to do. But I am fairly lousy at nurturing plant life in my home. I guess I’m just too distracted keeping the kids and pets alive. So, I tend to forget about plants until they dry out and turn to dust. Or I get all over-zealous and passionate about suddenly exhibiting a green thumb and I over water those bitches like I am the mother fucking god of rainstorms and those plants are my teeny little personal rainforest.
Either way, what I am saying is I am EXCELLENT at killing plants. And kill this one I did. Quite efficiently and effectively I might add. I am nothing if not thorough. It was brown and spindly and bare and ugly. I let it sit all forlorn and sad for a few more days in my kitchen before I finally scooped it up one day and tossed it in the trash can. It lay on it’s side on the top of the full bag and I stood there a minute contemplating what I saw…….one. small. lone. green. leaf.
It had life in it still. One tiny green leaf the size of my pinky. Small. Nothing. But…….yet…..there it was. A hint of life.
And something in me decided to pick it back up out of the trash and set it back on the counter. I told myself it would be 100% dead in a few days. I half heartedly watered it and patted it nonchalantly on it’s…….head. (?)
And here’s the funny thing. The next day it had a SECOND tiny green leaf.
Well. That changed things, didn’t it? It was GROWING. Coming back. I didn’t have much proof in it’s desire to live….just 2 little leaves. But a tiny splash of green color in a plant that was otherwise brown and dry is petty damn obvious. So, I moved it over to catch some sun, pulling wide the tye dyed curtain in my kitchen so the plant could see the sun and soak it up.
And I kept an eye on it, chatted a bit with it as I prepared meals and wiped down countertops. Gave it some water but refrained from over-zealous flooding. And last night I finally moved it from the kitchen into my bedroom to sit high on a shelf where I could see it’s hopeful continued growth from my bed. It’s marvelous. Beautiful. Still a good 85% “dead”. But that green…..it’s there.
That’s hope.
That’s how it works.
Just when you think you have given up, some tiny splotch of green pops up and you re think this whole trash can plan you had set into motion.
I know.
I’ve been there.
I’ve hit rock bottom and looked back up from where I just feel at the slick, smooth walls, at the fact the top of that pit was miles and miles above my head…..and I saw positively no way in hell I would ever make it out. I’ve looked around and seen how life has been for so many years: survival mode, a pattern of knowing what to do just to stay alive, tread water, hustle my ass as my kids followed behind like ducklings in a row, they and I getting through day by day, week by week, month by month. I know how life can get that way. You get so used to struggling and working so very hard for such minimal results that you just get used to it and accept that that is the way living will always BE.
But then one day, a bit of green sneaks in. Takes you by surprise. For me, it was the day Justin messaged me telling me we got the house. I went online to see the pictures of it, matching it up to Justins description of 4 bedrooms, hard wood floors, dishwasher, 2 bathrooms, etc….
And what most of you do not know is how very rock bottom I WAS at that point in my life. Now, I have been homeless before back when I only had 3 kids. Ended up living in tents for 6 weeks. I wasn’t THAT rock bottom this time. But the state of the trailer we were living in when he messaged me telling me we got the house….let’s just say that when we moved out they tore that bad boy down. Not even worth fixing it. The ceiling in the kitchen leaked every time it rained. The floor in the bathroom was threatening to cave in. Black mold grew in a closet in the boys bedroom so I boarded that closet door shut. Windows were missing that I covered with plastic and everytime it rained the rain got in around the edges of the plastic. We had no heat in the winter besides a couple small electric space heaters. I could see my breath in the kitchen while I cooked breakfast, my feet went numb from the cold. Half of the floors were unfinished wood. It was bad. Bad because the man I was with kept blowing his income on drugs and beer and stupid shit. And the small bit of money I earned went toward rent and bills that were always behind so none was left over to fix stuff and the landlord was a slumlord who informed me if I bitched he could evict me and fix it up and charge more for a new tenant.And then I was single and I didn’t have the money to move. So, I rigged things and did my best and got creative and made the best of it. And apologized daily to my babies for having to live like that. So, when I finally realized I was really truly getting out, when I looked at photos of my new house…..I broke down. Locked myself in the bathroom and bawled my eyes out. Because the mere concept of “LIFE IS CHANGING AND WE WON’T BE HAVING TO LIVE LIKE THIS ANYMORE. THINGS ARE GOING TO GET EASIER” was so overwhelming and foreign to me. I was in awe. Amazed. Grateful. I said out loud into the mirror “I am NEVER going to have to live like this again.” And then I started crying all over again. Because I could finally admit how hard and bad it had gotten.
And even right now, with my business just starting of and me making barely anything and Justin STILL out there looking for work and hitting so many dead ends….I am still a million miles further along the road and feeling so blessed. I can’t even explain in words what it is like to live in shadows so much, when everything around you is just mere shapes and suggestions. When nothing is clear or tangible. And then suddenly someone opens wide a window and the sun is so damn BRIGHT that it makes your eyeballs throb and you look around and see everything you have never noticed before and it’s a “holy shit” moment meshed together with an “ah-ha” moment. Thats been my life for the past 5 months. Windows keep getting thrown open. Justin gets a little aggravated but he doesn’t throw things or hit me. Swoosh. My newest baby slips from my body and is held up in glory and I see the little spot between the legs and hear Justin cry out “It’s a girl!” and it’s my “someday daughter” and I cry. Swoosh. I mop the wood floor in my bedroom with Murphys oil soap until it gleams and the windows here are all strong and solid and the floor is not caving in and nothing leaks and it is a good house. Swoosh. the boys don’t have nightmares and headaches like they often used to. My migraines are gone. Swoosh. Every day so many windows are opened. It makes my eyes hurt in the most delicious of ways but more importantly it fills my heart with so much joy and gratitude.
Thanksgiving of last year I was a pregnant single mother of 6. (soon to be 7). I saw no hope. Just survival mode. Nothing would ever change. Life would always be hard.
Today…..despite the fact I still fight with demons often, despite the fact that sometimes the scars burn bright red raw on my flesh, months and years after they had faded to pale white…..I can say still how HAPPY I am. How grateful. Fall down on my knees, flatten my kneecaps, face to the ground in humble gratitude GRATEFUL. Truly. I am amazed at how fucking BEAUTIFUL this world truly really absolutely is.
And because I have wallowed through muddy trenches. Because I have watched my own blood flow like a river and mustered the courage to staunch the flow and go on anyway….I am not afraid right now of what is in store for us or where we may be headed. Because I know it will all be alright.
So, don’t you dare ever give up or throw in the towel. Pick that damn towel right back up, wipe your sweaty brow with it and keep moving forward. Even if you only take one tiny small hesitant step forward. DO it. Because there is always hope. In the darkest of nights, the stars are still shining. You might have to push aside some really thick clouds in order to find them, but I swear to God they are still there. Always. See that thin thread of pale light peeking at you from across the room? No? Squint. Tilt your head. Look harder. See it now? That’s your window. Waiting to be swooshed open.
It’s coming.
Believe it.
There is ALWAYS hope.
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Dance With The Devil

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“You are not weak
just because your heart feels so heavy.
I have never met a heavy heart that wasn’t a phone booth
with a red cape inside.

Some people will never understand
the kind of superpower it takes for some people
to just walk outside some days.”
(Andrea Gibson: Madness Vase)
devil
What is it like to walk this life journey with anxiety and depression and PTSD? How do you perfect such a dance so you can still function and appear “normal”?
Come, take my hand and follow me. Let me show you what MY normal looks like.
I dress Lucy in the cutests, sweetest, frilliest outfit I can find on her shelf every day. And as I dress her I think to myself “What if THIS is her last outfit? What if THIS is the one she dies in?” I brace myself at least a dozen times a day when I check on her while she sleeps, sure beyond a doubt that she has stopped breathing. I am both thankful and sad for all the cute clothes she has on her shelves because what if she dies before she gets to wear them all? What will I do with those rows of pink then? What will I bury her in? What will it be like to dress her stiff, cold body? Sometimes I shake her awake at 3 a.m. because I cannot tell if she is for sure breathing or not. She is a feather that can fly away from me at any moment.
I make sure to kiss Justin goodbye everytime he leaves the house. Because today might be the day they peel his bloody battered body off of the highway while I am at home unaware and baking cookies. I am so sure it will happen. I will lose this treasure I spent so long looking for.Nothing gold can stay.
My children come up behind me when I am washing dishes and speak and I gasp, jump, startle as if they poked me with a burning hot branding iron. I cannot bear to be approached from behind. I know what happens when my back is turned.I am shoved down, punched, my head slammed into a wall or the oven door. Not now. No. In the past. But my brain is wired to expect it, to fight or flight. Fear. Terror. Back in that moment. So the kids learn to sidle sideways around me so I can see them before they speak. Justin learns to call out “Hi baby.” the minute he gets home and walks in the door so I don’t jump straight out of my skin if he appears without me expecting him. At night, one tiny sound has me gasping, sitting bolt upright like a bomb just went off, heart racing, adrenaline pumping and then I am wide awake for an hour after. Because I have been dragged out of bed from a deep sleep by my hair, punched in the head, raped. I know what happens when I sleep. And I cannot convince my brain that it is safe now. That the man beside me in this bed is gentle and kind and will never do that. My brain says ‘be prepared’.
Some days I don’t even want to get out of the damn bed. Some days the world is very very dark and heavy and it’s on my shoulders and I cannot muster the energy it takes to even brush my teeth or wash yesterdays makeup from my face, never mind carry the heavy world around. Some days I snap at the kids and feed them cereal for dinner and cry in the bathroom over nothing and everything. Somedays I am such a failure. Some days I am a waste of space, I am so ashamed of my mistakes, my setbacks, my weaknesses. Some days the girl in the mirror is so ugly. She is fat and has scars from pimples and she looks old and tired. Somedays I say wearily to Justin “WHY are you even HERE?” Somedays I think I am just fucking up this motherhood gig and that my kids will grow up to blame me and hate me and need therapy to undo the damage from all my flubs and screw ups and fumbles. Somedays people say what a great mom I am and all I can think is “If they only knew.”
Everyone out in public is so put together Sure of themselves. Strong and brave and confident. I am a nervous, awkward mess with sunglasses on at 11 p.m. in walmart buying groceries. I avoid that aisle because a guy is stocking shelves and I cannot muster the courage , the insurmountable amount of COURAGE it would take to say “Excuse me” to him and reach around to grab the jelly. I NEED the jelly. We have none at home and my kids want it for lunch tomorrow. The simple act of jelly becomes impossible. I find Justin across the store and ask HIM to get the jelly with tears of anger at myself shimmering in my eyes behind my stupid sunglasses because I am 34 years old and I cannot get jelly at a store. I use the self-checkout to avoid small talk with a cashier. I come across as an antisocial bitch but really I am just scared. It’s the same reason I have no friends in real life. I am resentful of Justin who HAS friends here. But I do not want to nor can I even imagine being able to, put myself out there to meet people. Holy shit, I just can’t. What a ridiculous suggestion. Don’t you GET it? I get out to the car after shopping and light up a cigarette to calm my nerves. It’s a shitty habit. But I take no medications, only a handful of daily vitamins and herbal supplements. I walk out each day brimming overflowing with anxiety, darkness, fear, paranoia. It’s fucking exhausting. Not just me, but I live with 8 other people, 7 of whom are small people I am responsible for caring for and raising. It’s a daunting task somedays, easier on others. But I do it all while dancing with the devil so don’t get on me about a few cigarettes a day and a couple tokes of marijuana at the end of the day to soothe the beast and calm the noise and help me sleep. Sometimes I don’t and I can go days on almost no sleep. Wired and jumpy jittery like a bug at 3 a.m. , my brain racing with every worst case scenario possible.
My brain is ALWAYS there. We walk into a new church or a restaurant and I play out in my mind what I would do if a fire broke out or a madman with a gun came busting in and started shooting everyone. How would I save all of my children? Where are the exits? What could I hide behind? The world is a threat. The world is terrifying. The world is loud and angry and scary. And I am very very very exhausted.
This is every day. Not 24-7, mind you. I have plenty of peace and joy and love and laughter. I revel in how beautiful living truly is at times. But my brain never shuts off. This dance is always going on. Somedays I am just better at stepping on the devils toes while I dance and other days he steps on mine.

“You, you stay here with me, okay?
You stay here with me.

Raising your bite against the bitter dark,
your bright longing,
your brilliant fists of loss.
Friend, if the only thing we have to gain in staying is each other,
my god that is plenty
my god that is enough
my god that is so so much for the light to give
each of us at each other’s backs
whispering over and over and over,
“Live. Live. Live.”
(Andrea Gibson: The Madness Vase)

A Letter To My Snarkalicious Peeps

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Dear Sexy Beasts,
Dear Snarkalicious Peeps,
I have been hanging out, sharing my controlled-chaos-of-a-life with you guys for 2 years and 7 months now. In retrospect, that’s a long-ass time to be here together. And what’s even more amazing is the lack of trolls. I mean, sure we have had a few over time. But one or two twatwaffles with sandy vag’s isn’t that big a deal considering the vast variety of folks we happen to be and how MANY of you guys there happen to be. I mean, seriously……how in the hell did almost 2,500 of you find your way to my page? That is just surreal to me. You see, I had only been on FB for maybe about a year when I started branching out and liking “pages”. I myself enjoyed posting funny, sarcastic stuff from time to time and some of that shit was a bit dark or twisted. I had my Gram and my Pastor on my FB, ya feel me? So, I thought, purely on a whim, “Hey, I’ll just start a page and post my crap there.” It was just an outlet, see? A place to share my random finds that amused me or moved me. I invited some friends and family to like my page and I had 30 something followers for the LONGEST time. I didn’t give a shit. I had no clue about algorithims or fan base or boosting posts or any of that shit. I was gloriously naive to the technical, PITA shit. The part that makes having a page on FB make you want to stab someone in the inbetweens from time to time, or at the very least, smack Zuckerberg. Because I’ll tell ya what, running a page is WORK, guys. Seriously. Stress. Effort. Time. You start becoming a freaking FB ninja, learning the ultimate times to post your shit so more than 3 people see it,pimping out other pages, asking to BE pimped out because you want to share your important shit but FB is only letting 15% of your fans see ANYTHING you post, Liking your OWN shit and knowing it makes you look like a moron but you also know that it can boost your views up by another 11%, responding to PM’s, keeping up on notifications so you don’t have some asshole troll floating around, commenting on all the stuff the fans post, etc etc etc. I had no CLUE back 2 years and 7 months ago about all of that shit. But my page was pretty much super duper uber lamesauce back then. My first post was a cat meme. A motherfecking stereotypical cat meme. Because lame.
Then suddenly I started catching folks attention. Started gaining new likes. And it was……..so WEIRD! People I didn’t even KNOW were reading my page. So weird. You see, I have never been very good at this social thing. Never. I’m deliciously awkward. I prefer alone time. So, I usually have this tight knit group of real close friends and as long as I have THEM, I’m good.
But then suddenly there were these PEOPLE. All up on my page and in my space, yo. And it was awesome. But still weird. Because they started getting to KNOW me. They remembered my kids names. They would casually mention something I had posted about a month ago. They would notice if I skipped a day or two and go “Hey! Where’d ya go?”
It was like having hundreds upon hundreds of stalkers.
But hey, let’s face it, you guys are all pretty fricking hot so I guess I am okay with it.
So, here we are. And my mind is blown. I am in awe. Because this tiny little page thing has become such a vital part of my life. I pull my Snarky Hippie mug out of the cabinet every morning and smile and think of how thankful I am for all of you.I go to grab the creamer from the fridge and there is the magnet from a fan, a poem from another, a card from a third. There s a notepad on my shelf from someone else, 2 beaded bracelets on my wrist the day my daughter was born that a fan made for me that I wore that day because you guys are fucking FAMILY and I wanted to feel that love on that day. I did too. Feel the love. The day my Someday Daughter slipped from my body and let out her first cries of indignation….in that moment, all over the world (all. over. the . world.) there were folks praying, waiting, wondering, posting…..and the outpouring of love…the way you guys celebrated as if I was really your sister or something.
But that’s the entire point isn’t it…..what I have learned in the past 2 years and 7 months. That THIS is family. Not blood (although a few of you ARE my blood family, and I apologize that now our genetic crazy is out there….. 😉 ) but this is so very much more than being linked by genetics. This is love and support and grace and hope and faith and laughter and joy. This is the blog I wrote about my journey through domestic violence and how many fellow survivors stepped forward(so brave) to comment or private message me and tell me about THEIR stories. I swear to you I still recall every single story. This is the woman who wrote to me and said she read that blog and she is getting OUT of her abusive situation and when she does, it is my words she will carry with her. This is the woman who wrote and told me she was struggling with severe PPD and my page was the only thing that made her smile or laugh most days. This is the woman who fights every day to battle her anxiety issues, treading waters deep with fear and panic, but yet finding the incredible superhuman strength to reach out to me and be real and raw and honest in a world of people who might LOOK stronger but are just faking it. This is the mother who watches her sweet son have 10 or more seizures every day. This is the mother who buried her daughter and is now pregnant with her Rainbow baby. This is the mother who lost 3 babies and is now due with her Rainbow baby. This is the woman whose father passed away this year. This is the woman who lost her mother at 24, on her wedding day. The woman whose mom is moving in with her next week and is looking forward to not having to clean anymore because her mom is a neat freak. The man who is a stay at home dad and whose wife and himself sent me some of the sweetest baby clothes ever. The mom who posted the photo of her young son, pants-less and hugging a chicken and I loved it so much I saved it to my desktop and titled it “Joy” because it is. Pure joy.
You guys are my joy. On the dark days when I am drowning in responsibilities and feeling helpless from depression or feeling beaten down by anxiety. On the days my kids are all on asshole duty and the dryer quits working and the toilet clogs and I burn the bread. Or maybe just my PMS-y days. I can sign on and read your comments and messages and it always makes me smile. I have received some of the most heartfelt messages, letters, gifts and comments from you all. I am so very in awe of the outpouring of LOVE.
I’m just some lady, living life. Raising my kids and hoping I am doing it right and that I don’t screw them up too bad. Seeking love. Being a friend, a daughter, a sister, a neighbor, a girlfriend, a cousin, a granddaughter. Nothing real significant or special or spectacular. Just life. Just on my journey home. And here you are. And many of you have told me that I have made some impact on your life. I want you all to know that the feeling is mutual. I’m lousy as fuck with names and some of you keep switching your profile pic which throws me for a loop because I am a visual rememberer. But i am learning. Faces with names. I pay attention. I see you clicking like on every blog I take the time to put my heart into I see you commenting on my daughters page or on my boyfriends page. I see you sharing my posts. I read every single message. I am sorry if I don’t reply to them all. There are a lot of them and only one me and apparently it is frowned upon…or maybe even illegal….to lock the kids in a closet all day just so I can message you all back. But I read them.
The words thank you are not enough. Not even close. But I will say them anyway. THANK YOU. For your support. For your love. For your understanding and camaraderie. For being brave enough to share your own stories. For sharing laughs and joy. I love you all. Your kids are all freaking adorable. The struggles with health issues break my heart. When I say I will be praying, sending vibes or lighting a candle, I truly DO. Those of you who have lost a child, been through a violent storm, are GOING through a violent storm, have been poor/are poor, have gotten a divorce, have a child on the ASD, struggle with depression or anxiety or OCD, love to laugh, love to read, hate drama, crave silence, love music, have a soft spot for furbabies, long for a world of peace and acceptance and love, if your skin longs to be touched by tenderness and lightning, if your dreams are powerful post apocalyptic epiphanies, if the pages in your journal are covered in scribbles of brilliant madness and meandering, if your pillow has ever been soaked with tears, if you ever swore your heart was literally ripping straight out of your chest, if you ever kissed someone in a casket and whispered “I’ll miss you.” , if you ever threw your head back and laughed until your sides hurt, if you ever looked around in a random moment and realized how truly amazing and awesome and wonderful life is……well, you see, we are not all that different. We are all in this together, walking one another home, FAMILY.
I am truly grateful, humbled, thankful for each and every one of you. THANK YOU, for being a blessing to my self and my family. Thank you for grabbing my hand when the way got dark and shadowy and steep and I almost fell off that ledge. I hope I can return the favor some day. I love you guys. All 2,495 of you. I love you.
Now get the fuck out of my kitchen. I have cookies to bake. Enough cookies for nearly 2,500 people. And wine. Someone go make a wine run. I don’t think I have enough here.
And could someone else please let the dog out? She looks like she’s about to…..opps. Never mind.
Who wants to clean that up?
Much love, light and dry humps to you and yours ,
(except not your grandma. I ain’t dry-humping your grandma. She’s a tough bitch and would probably hit me with a skillet.)
❤ Snarky Hippie ❤
xxxoooxxxooo 🙂 100_4226