Friday, November 3, 2017

Mental Health Day's for the Win..

 A lot has been happening in the Ehart house. Nothing of which I'd like to publicly air. Yesterday my husband treated me to a much needed "mental health day." A day to just enjoy the life we have, enjoy the boys and forget all the stress at home.
 My husband, took us to Disneyland. I was so excited to get the hell out of here, put some tickets we had socked away to good use and enjoy the smells, the color and of course the holiday magic that happens around this time of year.
 What I got was so much more. They say that when you have kids you get to experience magic through their eyes. I have encountered this on a few occasions but it's been awhile. Some would say my kids are "spoiled". They have had the luxury of Disneyland passes in the past, Knott's Berry Farm, Universal Studio's, San Diego Zoo even Sea World. The point to this is that they are no stranger to theme parks or a life of fun.
 Yesterday though, it was like my boy's were going to Disneyland for the first time! That sounds crazy but we did the math and it's been almost 4 years since we've been in that park. The boys were 5 and 2 the last time we were there! I got to watch them explore and take in all the sights and sounds. They rode ride's they have been on at least a dozen times but couldn't remember or were to small to ride before. The day had no stress, no strife and the boys were of course none the wiser to our "need" for a break.
 I had the pleasure of holding onto Cooper as we took large turns on Big Thunder Mountain, his belly laughs as the wind whipped through his hair and his arms were up and waving. I got to hold my Riley boy's hand on the Haunted Mansion as we took in all the Nightmare Before Christmas decorations. We all rode Indiana Jones together and neither of them were scared of the effects. My favorite part though, was at the end of the night when we ended our park visit with the Finding Nemo Sub ride. My husband put his arms around me and we both watched the boys deep in the windows of the sub, listening to the narrator and taking in the characters. Riley even went on to nudge Cooper and tell him, "Look Coopie! Those Jelly Fish are real!!" (They aren't real but neither of them need to know that truth.)
 Yesterday, I forgot to worry about the things that are out of my control and I got to enjoy watching this life, the one we have built and are building through our boys.
 I got to really enjoy the day, not being pulled in any one direction and I got to experience a new kind of magic and wonder through my kids. I got to see that no matter how serious life can be you should always make a little room to be silly, play harder than you work and take time to just breathe. Yesterday, we didn't worry about finances (though, we really should.. fuck it, it will work itself out.) we didn't worry about personal drama, dirty floors or taking out the trash. (for real.. forgot to put them down to the street.. oops?)
 I don't publicly say it as often as I should but I am so thankful for my ginger and all four of my children. They make the bad weeks better, the shit days bearable and the fun moments worth enjoying to the fullest. They keep me grounded and I couldn't imagine doing this very life without them. <3

Friday, August 25, 2017

You Were My Best Friend..

 It's no secret, that my "best" friend and I had a falling out nearly a year ago.
 It's no secret, it's taken me a long time to move past it. Some day's it feels like I haven't moved forward at all.
 You see, she was my ride or die, my ace, my number one. She was my alter ego. She was everything I am not. She was my "go to" for everything.. until she wasn't anymore.
 To her I say:
 I get mad at myself for missing you. I don't want to hold onto these things anymore but there were  so many times you compromised my integrity. Who I am as a person, the direction my moral compass points.
 So many times I didn't see anything wrong with what you were doing because I was not doing those things with you. For so many reason's I did as you asked, I didn't lecture you or say to much because you were, in my eyes, an adult.
 We were fire and ice, not a likely match. At first, I didn't want to be your friend. Your stylist, sure.. but your friend, no. This wasn't a secret. We often joked about how you were the puppy on my front porch that eventually needed food and water. Finally I let you into a place not many people have been. I let you into my heart, my home and into every part of my life. My kids called you "Aunt"..
 My husband despised our relationship but he soon realized it was one that was untouchable and with boundaries he let you have a piece of me.
 You see, I say these things because a friendship like ours was rare, once in a life time. It was one I wasn't looking for but in the end it was everything I was hoping to escape at any given turn.
 Your reckless nature was something I once admired and in the end of our friendship it was something I loathed about you.
 I really try my best not to be the friend who "keeps score" but towards the end of our friendship, I needed you. I was terrified, I was having a real life scare and you weren't there. In the two days it took you to finally call me back I went back and I recalled all the times I dropped life for you. All the times I put my own shit aside to pick you up and build you up as a person. In those two days I became someone I didn't want to be.
 I picked a fight with you about that two day span when I was really upset about everything that happened months prior.
 I didn't have the time or knowledge to tell you why I was really so upset with you and for that I apologize. I was childish.
 I was mad at you because you were not the person I had built you up to be. I had expectations that were false and you let me down. I was mad at your actions, which had absolutely nothing to do with me but I bore the weight of it all.
 I was just plain mad and looking back, I had every right to be. I was your best friend and in those moments, you were not mine.
 You have just as many snakes in your grass as I do mine. I don't ask about you and I rarely talk about you anymore but I have no doubt you won't see this. You see, though I don't ask, people still share your life events with me. Each time, I am thankful I pulled away when I did.
 When you asked DeeDee to tell me that you loved me, it sparked an anger in me thats been low for some time.
 If you really loved me, you would have reached out to me long ago.
 I have seen you in public, we have been in the same vicinity many times and I can quickly dismiss your presence, I can delete and block and never look back. Even though i've always been this way, I never imagined I could be this way with you but here we are..
  Today I am thankful, you cast a shadow on so many great people who were able to step forward in your absence. Today and everyday I give thanks for my amazing circle. The people who genuinely love, listen and reciprocate.
 I have a lot of friends who are the best but I no longer have a best friend. I am ok with that. You left damage in my heart that isn't for anyone else to repair or replace. You changed the way I view life, friendships and love. You were a passerby in my life and I learned a lot from you. I am thankful for the lessons you taught me.
 I have written this out so many times I can almost recite it, word for word. I delete and don't post because I didn't want you to have that satisfaction. Today is different though because even though this is raw and real, the satisfaction is for me.
 I wish you well, I really do. I hope that whatever is ailing you works itself out, I hope that you excel in your life and that your babies are doing well. I miss you all but not enough to go back.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Choosing This Life Over Any Other..

 Tonight, as I was having a nosey conversation about one of my girlfriend's life.. the subject of kids always being our number 1 came up.
 I have lots of dreams and goals to move away from this desert. (Don't freak, it isn't now..) but the truth is, I would love to explore places outside of California. I'd love to one day sell our beautiful home and relocate, however, the reality of that is that we have two beautiful, funny, intelligent little girls who still willingly spend half of their time in our home. Some days when I hear about all the shit happening in our town, I dream of picking up and going and then our reality quickly brings me back and I find peace in our situation.
 These little girls are not biologically mine but they hold so much of my heart, they are mine in many different ways. They are not an obligation but a serious blessing. They love us just as much as we love them and though I'd love to leave this town, I am not sad that staying here for them is our option because they are worth it all.
 To watch Madison play with Cooper, to listen to Aubrey and Riley converse about common interests.. to see the four of them come together every other week as though no time at all has passed in the week they were with their mom makes every part of our world feel complete and worth the work we put in now.
 To have real conversations with them, to talk about their lives, their interests and to see who they are becoming, is an amazing experience and I couldn't imagine experiencing these things from any other place then where we are, right now.
 We aren't perfect, our situation is pretty unique but it works for us. The girls certainly aren't the only thing holding us here. My clients, our jobs and this amazing home we are constantly working on are also grounding factors but the girls are the peace that makes being here that much better.
 To know how much the boys love their sisters, to know that they enjoy spending time with them on our off weeks with "Aunt Nette and Uncle Brandon" make my heart so happy.
 I don't know exactly why the universe thought I needed four kids but I am so glad it did. I am also glad that my bonus kids are so amazing and make this "step parenting" job easier then I could have ever imagined. It isn't always sunshine and roses but its the best reality I could imagine for myself and as our four children are tucked in, sleeping and resting for school I am thankful they all love each other as much as they do, that they enjoy being here when they are and that the dynamics of our life are aligned and as ideal as possible. <3
 Our life isn't for everyone, what works for us definitely doesn't work for everyone but the beauty of that statement is that we are us, perfectly imperfect. Functioning dysfunction. One large, crazy blended family that is ever evolving. As much as I would love to leave and try new things I would choose this life a million times over, I would choose Sean and the girls every time to be where I am, right now. I would go through all the good, bad and ugly to choose this life over any other, a thousand times. I joke and sometimes I am serious when I saw my kids are ass holes but at the end of every day We are the E<3 family of 6 and for that I am thankful.

Monday, July 10, 2017

When Life Get's Real..

It's been a hot minute since I have written a blog. I've vlogged and started a book..but no blog.
 Today, I am feeling crazy negative and I can't shake it. As I sit here in my home office, printing shipping labels and preparing for a USPS run in the morning before I go to my other full time job, I wonder, WTF did I get myself into? I am already crazy busy and have more side hustles then I could ever possibly know what to do with and I now I am slinging clothes?!
 I am trying to stay positive but damn, sometimes I bite off way more than I can chew. It's like I never learn..
 I started writing a book, I got to page 70 and decided I was bored. This isn't like me.. I don't quit so easily but honestly.. quiet and time aren't two things that happen in my home. Not as often or as easily as one would think.
 I have attempted to turn my blog into a vlog but it's hard to stomach editing myself for that long.
 I haven't read or audio booked anything for pleasure in more then two months.. which is also, really making me sad. I love to read, it's the best escape and I haven't even picked up a magazine.
 I also consider how much I do in addition to my already hectic life, what I volunteer myself for and how much I give myself to others.. it's no wonder I suffer from anxiety and panic attacks.
 I know that these feelings are temporary and that I can't run away from this life. I know that though I don't have all the things I want, I surely have everything I need and more.
 Every time I type the sentence, "I'd love to give my children more.." I hit "delete" because what more do they need?
 Today I am blogging to count my own blessings and remind myself that though these feelings are overwhelming, they are fleeting and my life is great.
 So why, knowing all that I know do I still doubt everything I am doing?! Cause as a human, I am self fucking destructive and that's a hard pill to swallow.
 Not many people know that I suffer from anxiety. That I medicate for it. It isn't something people with anxiety advertise because then people try to suggest things like, "Maybe you should slow down..." "Maybe you work to hard.."
 Maybe it's none of those things and for reasons unknown to all of us, the thought if listening to my client and myself converse while trying to tune out the sound of other stylists, clients and blowdryers sends me into a completely unnecessary melt down that I have to excuse myself for.
 Sometimes I stand in the color room before mixing your formula that I have known for years and my mind draws a blank for just a second to long. It's a tightening in my chest that makes me short of breath and hurts beyond belief.
 Sometimes, the walls of my very own house are closing in on me and the damn thing is empty and 2500 sq ft. in size.
 Mostly it's the thoughts in my own head that cause these over whelming feelings to disable me. It's worry beyond my control, it comes when I feel like I need to filter myself, when I feel like I am not protecting my children well enough or situations are beyond my control. It's the constant worry if I am enough, doing enough or giving enough.
 I am always amazed when people tell me I am "strong" because that is not the first word I would use to describe myself. Not even a little.. I am insecure, I am forever doubtful and sometimes I am crazy negative. Though it is not transparent and mostly people think IDGAF, that isn't true at all.. I give a lot of fucks.
Today I needed to remind myself that my self doubt is unnecessary and that everything I am doing, I am doing it well. If I don't finish a book, who am I letting down? No one.. not even myself. If I am not YouTube famous, who does that affect negatively? Not a soul.. if I mailed all this Agnes and Dora back tomorrow, I would be super sad but no one would die.
 These clothes are selling great, they are comfortable enough that I want to keep them all and I am crazy steady in the salon. I have spent more "quality" time with my children in the last few weeks then I ever thought possible as a working mom and we have so much more planned before they go back to school. I might not have time to read but at least my kids know I love them and want to be around them.
 In fact, having them home so much has been so amazing and I don't want them to go back to school. I never thought I would use those words in a sentence!
  In short, maybe someone can relate to these feelings, maybe not but it hit my feels and felt good to get out there.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Co-Parenting Like a Mother..

No, but for real. I co-parent, with my bonus children's biological Mom.. like a Mom.
 People often ask me the same basic questions:
  1.) How do you do it?
  2.) Why do you do it?
  3.) Isn't it so weird?
 It's easy. I learned early on and not even from my own experience that if I was going to pursue a relationship with Sean, it would be important for me to have a relationship with his children. What I also considered very early on is that I would also need a relationship of some form with their mother. Why? Because she is and always will be their Mom.
 I do it because I love them, I do it because their opinion of me and feelings toward me have always been and will continue to be important to me. Who other then their father will help influence those feelings? One way or the other, their Mom.
 It isn't weird at all. We are like any regular friends. Sometimes we annoy the shit out of each other and other days we talk on the phone all day about regular life, kids, husbands and work. 
 When I am sick, she worries. When I need a listening ear she is almost always the first person to answer. When I am in a bind, she is usually my "go-to". Sometimes, people even confuse us for a lesbian couple.. thats about the only time it's "weird". We have spent holidays as one big happy family and other's doing our very own thing with the kids. Every year it changes for their needs and every year it is something we work on, together.
 We don't always agree, we don't even parent the same. What is always consistent though is our love for "our" children.
 Here is what I can share with you about being a step parent. 
 It is SO hard. It is even harder then being a biological parent. My bio children HAVE to love me. Forever I will remind them of the growing pains I endured to get them here, forever they will be half of me. They HAVE to love me,  at least until they pay their own bills. 
 Being a "bonus" mom means I have to work hard, every other week to have a relationship with my bonus daughters. I try to find common interests, I try to share in their passions, struggles and every day goals. I do my best to build them up, to motivate them and to be the best asset to their life I can be. 
 I also have to do this with an invisible line between them and me, I have to not cross to far over but never stay far on one side away from them either.
 I do this because I have an unspoken respect for who their mom is, always. I ask her permission for trivial things, I consult her when I feel that their struggles or triumphs need her more then me.. always, I walk the step mom line. I even side with her over my husband in certain parenting situations. GASP! RIGHT?!
 I do these things because I love them. I love them unending, I love them without condition, I love them as though they are mine. I never want them to have to "choose" between her and me.. and if they ever feel that way, I pray they choose her every time. I pray this because she is and always will be their Mom.
 This does not mean I don't parent like a "mother" though. For sure.. I parent teacher conference, I doctor appoint, chaperone, play date, shop till I drop and chat like a mom. Sometime's with their mom and sometimes completely alone. I take them to amusement parks, to movies, to friends houses.. just like I do my very own children. I consider their presence and lack there of in every decision made for and in our home.
 You know what the most amazing part about co-parenting with their mom is? It's fun. 
 Though I strive to be an asset in our daughters lives, Jeanette continues to be one in mine. 
 The most important lesson I have learned about co-parenting with Jeanette, Brandon, Sean and myself is that it isn't about any of us. Ever. 
 It's always about the greater good for our children. Raising healthy human beings who love and respect all their parents. It isn't about being wrong or right, being the better parent or one up'ing each other. It's about fulfilling our children's needs.
 I am no expert on step parenting, co-parenting or even parenting. I am sure we are doing lots of things wrong but some days, like this one.. things just seem right. Things seem to be working and working well. 
 It's never easy but it's always worth it.

Friday, April 28, 2017

It's "OK" to Deal With the "Things"..

Sean: Babe..
Me: Yes?
Sean: You know I love you..
Me: I'm sorry I've been so neurotic the last few days..
Sean: It's ok. You have a lot on your mind, you're ok..
Me: Just a little, maybe a few things.
Sean: You know it's ok to "deal" with "things", right?

 So, what some of you may know and what some are just finding out is that I have been having some less then desirable heath issues the last year. I try my best to down play it and to not freak myself out. I also try really hard not to freak ya'll out.. but the last few weeks have been a little harder then others.
 You see, nearly a year ago I was diagnosed with a condition called Interstitial Cystitis. Basically, my bladder is a real moody bitch and doesn't always like to be a team player. This condition sounds scary and is really hard to properly say, pronounce or even explain but mostly it's just really inconvenient. It's painful but lucky for me, I can function at almost full capacity almost all the time.
 IC is mostly (for me) controlled with a mild blood thinner that causes me to have some pretty wicked side effects. 
 None of this is really crazy important for you to know because this is not the "specific thing" occupying most of my brain space.
 Three weeks ago I saw my urologist for a follow up and after ruling out some stuff and things he decided our next course of action is for another cystoscopy with a high chance of biopsy. Medical jargon because I am watching Grey's Anatomy as I type this.
 I have done a decent job of not stressing, not letting this course of action change my moods but as my surgery date approaches I am allowing some pretty dark thoughts to occupy those positive spaces.
 I keep pep talking myself, telling myself that whatever it is, I will get through it. 
 I will.. but to be honest I am scared. I am really freaked out and I am insanely stressed. 
 I know people who have cancer, who have beat cancer and I have mourned those who tried but lost. I selfishly don't want to be any of those things. I don't want to have cancer (I know, does anyone?), I don't want to have to fight to beat or lose to cancer. I don't ever want someone to mourn me because of cancer.
 I've done what every medical professional I know has told every patient in the world not to do. I have googled, webMd the shit out of my symptoms and even struggled to explain away so many of them. I even for a day, one solid day, considered canceling this rapidly approaching surgery. (Don't worry, I didn't.)
 I have downplayed my feelings about all the new things going on because, well, I don't want to "deal" with these things. Or so I thought until my husband said to me, "You know it's ok to "deal" with "things", right?" What I am sort of starting to realize now is that I don't know how to deal with my own things. I can advocate for my children, scream from a rooftop about my job, confront an irrational client, pep talk the spirit back into just about anyone and discuss all aspects of my life but when it comes to dealing with my own personal struggles.. I don't really know how.
 I don't know how to be rationally concerned for my own well being without falling apart. The last two nights that Sean and I have tried to talk about my health all I can do is cry.
 I know I come off as a hard ass and I soldier through a lot of physical pain.. this is no secret. I am often referred to as crazy, so strong, to stubborn or my least favorite, "super woman." All said mostly as a term of endearment but the truth is this whole week I have been nervous, anxiety ridden, stressed, angry and mostly scared.
 Scared that if this is just a bad IC flare up that this will be a reoccurring hindrance in my life. Scared that if it is more then just an IC flare up that I will have to fight. Scared that my children will inevitably be affected by my fears. I am aware that my fears are premature and are definitely isolating me but I mostly prefer to be a silent sufferer. 
 I don't know how to say these things out loud but last night as I read the book called "Love You Forever" to Cooper and Riley, a book we have read hundreds of times since before they were born I got choked up and I let myself wonder if I were gone from this world, who would read to my babies?
 Who would call them my names of endearment or share their "I LOVE PENIS" stories with the world? Who could fill my shoes and be everything that I am for my adorable ehart clan.
 I don't want to wonder those things. I don't want to think of my husband and children navigating our beautiful life without me.. so I just don't "deal" with this "thing."
 I truthfully send out silent vibes every night that three weeks from now I'll be writing a blog post about how healthy I am, how stupid this blog post was and how I was worked up for absolutely nothing.
 So, in a not so short peek into my life.. if I seem testy, irrational or just plain distant don't take it personal. I am trying to deal with things and I am not as good at it as I pretend. I am trying to stay positive and I am trying to be attentive to all the normal aspects of my life but this week is a little harder then I would like to admit. <3

Saturday, April 22, 2017

"Best Friend" Articles..

To all the articles I've seen on friendship lately:

 The irony in which Facebook sporadically throws articles about lost friendships into my feed lately is alarming. 
 As an adult, with four kids and a full time job, a husband who would love just ounces of my time and a house that far exceeds my needs.. friendships take work and time. Sometimes, more work and time then I have to give. 
 I would like to think I am a simple friend. One who isn't "too needy" but also isn't "too neglectful". Sometimes I go way out of my way to ensure someone else's happiness and sometimes I don't. It's called balance. 
 To be my best friend though, that means you weaseled your way into my tiny cold heart and I let you stay there. To be there, you have to be ordinarily special. I say this because I have been broken far to many times to not be so guarded. 
 To give up a best friend, for whatever reason I choose.. it is not easy. I have always been able to walk away from someone at any given point and not look back. I call this my self preservation mode. I will cut you out for looking at me sideways, I will walk away because the minute I feel things going south, I don't want to hurt. 
 Sometimes though and not very often I hold on longer then I should. I hold on because our memories are so great and that feeling I used to have when I called you or vice versa made a difference in my day. 
 I hold on because the room in my heart reserved for such a friend is not often opened and gets achy when I let go of that type of friend. 
 However, I can't compromise who I am for anyone. I have learned this the hard way, my whole life. 
 It's hard to forgive being lied to, it's hard to shoulder both your burdens and mine. It's to hard to carry the loads alone for to long and that's usually when I have to "cut and run." 
 But to all the articles I've been see'ing.. some for the woman who cut and run, others written for the one who was just "dumped".. 
 None can be more specific to my life then this one. My own article.. my own mistakes, misgivings and my very own life experiences. 
 I've had several "BEST friends" in my 31 years. What does that say about me? 
 Some have lasted nearly my lifetime and others.. well, they had a good run. 
 What I'm saying to those articles is.. it's always hard to make that decision. If you're the friend walking away, it isn't any easier. Sometimes you don't even know why you're walking away until you're gone from the situation. Almost from the outside, looking in. 
 When you're the one being dumped, it's just as hard. You want to know all the reasons why.. you want validation that you aren't the one who was wrong..
 Here is what I know to be true. Friendships, in all sizes, shapes and forms are 100% work and what I stated above about my personal life.. my personal life is all consuming. 
 I like to have friends, I even like to have best friends. A life lasting friendship outside of my husband is desirable but it is no means, my life mission. 
 I've made mistakes as a friend, I've also forgiven mistakes that I shouldn't.. one thing is for sure though and I'll repeat it once more, I won't ever compromise who I am, inside and out for anyone else. 
 That's what none of these "lost love" articles say. Maybe because we're to political correct. Maybe the backlash from their friend removed might hurt. 
 Here is what I would like my previous "BEST friends" to know. I still love you. I will always have love for you. I wish you well, sometimes I do still say ill things about you because when my heart is achy I'm a catty bitch. I can't help it. I feel like you already know these things though because together, we were once catty bitches. 
 I wish you well, even when I say that I don't. I really, really do. I miss you, I miss your families, I miss our good times. 
 Mostly though, I miss you from my side of the fence and I wish these things quietly or in small conversation because I have moved on. I have found my own way to heal and I have figured out how to fill that time and space reserved for you. 
 I have done this out of self preservation. 

 To all the articles I remotely related to, this one fits me best. This is one I feel like I can share most.. because this is who I am, as a friend and a "non-friend". 
 So take note all you future best friends, I will cut and run without warning but I will most definitely love who we are together. The stupid shit we do, the stupid inside jokes we have and all the things that make the rest of the world go, "UGH! Fuck, they are so obnoxious!" I will cherish those things, I will love who we are together but I will always choose to love myself more. If you can handle that, then you'll fit into that tiny cold space in my heart comfortably.