Monday, November 26, 2007

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

My heart overflows

Exactly 52 weeks ago today, I had my husband of nine and a half years served with divorce papers.

Thanksgiving 2006 was the first one not spent with him in attendance in ten years, maybe a couple more than that. And it was actually a really nice day. SH was gracious enough to invite the boys and me to her family's festivities at her mom's house for the day. And her mom and dad were indeed just as gracious, if not more so, for welcoming us into their home and including us as family for the day. And really, I have only nice, happy memories of the day, despite the overhanging heartbreak of what I knew had gone on just the day before.

I remember pondering what my life would look like a year from then. And it's hard for me to believe I've arrived at that time! While the envisioned particulars don't match the real ones, I think emotionally and spiritually I'm where I hoped I'd be. I still have my occasional rough days (or weeks), but for the most part, I'm happy, my boys are happy, the emotional paralysis has lifted, and my life, while still somewhat uncertain and far from perfect, is fun.

I'm proud that I've managed to leave that old stifling and limiting comfort zone behind.

I'm proud of all that I've learned in the past year. In so many different subjects.

I'm proud of finding the courage and daringness (and yes, that's a real word...I looked it up) to be proactive in bringing new people into my life, and getting myself back out there into the busy, functional, exciting, rewarding world that had been stolen from me much longer ago than I realized.

I'm proud that my vision has been un-blinded to my potential. And what I really deserve.

I'm free to be me.

Thanks be to God!

...for His unwavering strength. That He so willingly shares.
...for His neverending comfort.
...for His unshakeable, unbreakable, perfect love.
...for His always adequate provision.

Tomorrow, the RK, the IB and I will not be going anywhere. Thanksgiving 2007 is going to be spent here in this house, just the three of us. And while this would normally be very disturbing and depressing to me (and it got the better of me for a while a few days back), I've decided to do what I have to do to make this a special day for this family. I'm cooking the whole shebang. I started preparing dishes last night, and have continued throughout the day today.

My mom's dressing, which is my absolute favorite part of the feast, and it just wouldn't be Thanksgiving without it? Check.

The lime jello/pineapple/cream cheese/chopped pecans dish which my brother dubbed "Green Gunk" before I was even born? Check.

Pecan pie? Check.

The sweet potatoes are baked, and will soon be peeled and mashed into a massive quantity and variety of sugar that somehow can be called a 'casserole.'

And this year, I am once again stepping out of a comfort zone.

Every year of my adult life thus far, I have managed to get myself out of preparing a turkey. But this year, if we're gonna have turkey, it's up to me! And I was pleasantly surprised to find a cute little 9lb. turkey at the grocery store on Sunday! So I've been studying my Betty Cr0cker and Better H0mes and Gardens cookbooks, and I'm jumping in to the world of body cavities, giblets, and all that other turkey stuff.

I had another job interview this afternoon. It was for a 'customer service representative' job with a company I had emailed my resume to sometime last week. Yesterday, I received a call to come in and interview. We scheduled the meeting for 1:00 today, and when she told me where this place was located, I just laughed. I can't remember if I mentioned before how that previous job I interviewed for was only a mile and a half from my house. Well, this company is once again just down the road! So I got a neighbor to watch the boys for a while this afternoon, and went. I was surprised to find three other women already in there filling out the same paperwork I was handed as I entered. As the process went on, I learned that they're interviewing an entire mob for this one position! Oh great. We were told that by sometime next week we'd hear back if they wanted to call us back in for a second interview. She also mentioned they'd be calling only four of us back.

We had the chance to speak with the interviewer on a one-on-one basis, and then with her supervisor after that. And I could tell they both really liked me, and while nothing's a sure thing, I walked out of there feeling pretty encouraged that I could be expecting a phone call next week. And I drove home with the anxiety already starting to well in me, and realized this was going to be there throughout the long holiday weekend.

But the anxiety was quickly squashed around 7:15 this evening, when my phone rang. It was the interviewer, on her cell phone, as she was walking out of the building to her car. She was calling because she was leaving on a business trip in the middle of next week, and...

...wait for it...

...she wanted to go ahead and schedule my second interview!!!!!!!!!!!


So 11:00 Monday morning, I'll be heading back in!

What an amazing joy this is. Just to know that this girl is appealing as a potential employee. And to have the encouraging thought that maybe my days of total financial dependence are coming to an end. How great it is that I don't have to have that pit of anxiety nagging at me during my holiday.

Tomorrow could easily pass by as just another day on the calendar in this household. But it won't.

Tomorrow, my boys and I are going to Give Thanks.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Deja vu all over again

I have a feeling this post is going to take me most of the day to complete and get posted, but here goes.

No Longhorns today. Wah! They only have one game left, and it's the traditional day-after-Thanksgiving contest against Texas A&M. After the season the Longhorns have had, I really wouldn't know what to think the outcome could be. And frankly, I'm having a hard time believing the college football season of 2007 is nearing its conclusion! That happens every year. Nothing seems to fly by faster to me than football season. Well, that, and my kids growing up.

But today is a BIG one for the Maize & Blue! The annual let's-get-insane-and-talk-some-really-nasty-trash-about-our-biggest-archrivals meeting between Michigan and Ohio State. GO BLUE!

And I swear...the only reason I'm saying that is because the 'Horns have the day off. I've gotta throw my enthusiasm somewhere, right?

This past week has been an extremely long one. I've felt a bit like Bill Murray in that movie "Groundhog's Day." Every day has managed to be just like the one before it, and frankly, it's getting a little old. My house is in utter disarray, and I hope the IB will give me a chance to focus my attention elsewhere. Just for a while. I'll take what I can get.

And here's something that frankly, I just can't believe. It's so incredibly frustrating, I don't even know how to express it in words. I never heard anything from that job I interviewed for. Oh! I know a word. Deflating. I just don't understand why these people would seek out the services of an employment recruiter, have the recruiter send them two candidates to choose from in a timely manner, decide on one of the candidates (ME!), and then not be able to decide if they want to hire said candidate after all. So I've pretty much given up all hope of getting that perfect job that's just a mile and a half from my house.

I'm having to apply for a forbearance on my mortgage, which hopefully will be extremely temporary. I can't stand the thought of not paying my mortgage, even if it is agreed upon between me and my lender.

And now for some good news:

I got a call yesterday from one of the 60 jobs I've applied for at UM! It's with the orthopaedic/physical therapy department, and it's offsite from the hospital. So I have an interview set up with them for Monday!

And now, for some bad news:

If I get this job, my hours will be 10:30-7:00. Umm...yeah. That means I'll be getting home just in time to put the IB to bed. The more I mull it over in my head, the more I don't think I can take this job. Here's another good place to use the word 'deflated.' I've been steadily applying for jobs at the U since early September, and this is the first call I've gotten. And to be honest with you, I haven't been expecting to hear from any of them for a long time; at least not until I could amend my resume with some recent job experience. So I really feel like this is a great opportunity that I'm going to have to let pass me by. Sigh...

But I have to admit, just getting the call gives me hope. I'm still emailing resumes for jobs that pop up in the paper, so hopefully I'll continue to get a few more calls.

M and I have still been talking on the phone and emailing back and forth all week long! There's already a great comfort level between us...when we're on the phone, our pauses in conversation aren't awkward in any way. That's cool. And one thing I'm coming to learn about him is how much he adores his kids. He hates not seeing them every day, and really makes the most of the time he does get to spend with them. He stays very active in their lives, and still takes a huge responsibility for them...and while that sounds like something he should be doing anyway, I mean in those little ways that he could easily hand off to their mom. Like buying clothes for his kids when they need them, still giving them chores around the house, even though they're only there one night a week and every other weekend, etc. etc. And I hate how at this point we can't spend any more time together than every other weekend when we don't have our kids.

And P...well, I just don't know. We've talked on the phone a couple of times this week, and exchanged a couple of emails and text msgs, but I'm just not feeling anything with him. I feel like I need to meet with him one more time, though, just to be sure. Because our first date went very well! Perhaps we just don't have any chemistry on the phone? If that's even possible...I just don't know.

And remember B? Well, he and I finally have a date planned for the day after Thanksgiving. I invited him to meet me somewhere to watch the UT/A&M game, and he agreed! I'm not all that excited about this guy so far, either, because we haven't even talked on the phone yet. He says that his cell phone doesn't get decent reception at home, so texting is the best way for us to communicate. I don't know about that. But I was the one that contacted him, and this way I'll have some company to watch the game with, so we'll see what happens.

Well, whaddya know? I got this post typed up in one sitting! Quite impressive! Now I'm off to try to restore order to this pigsty! Happy Saturday, all!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Crazy weekend!

I think I'm just about recovered from what was an awesome, fun, exhausting weekend! Two different guys, two enjoyable evenings.

Friday night was dining on Mexican food with P. And the restaurant even had Pacifico, my favorite (and his as well) Mexican beer! And things turned out very differently than what I expected. I had a great time with him! We had some great conversation, and it didn't hurt that he's muy guapo. He even had these cute little reading glasses that he put on to read the menu.

I went ahead and cut it short with him, bailing on our original plan of going out to play pool after dinner, which was fine with him. He's actually a bit of a cripple right now, having hurt his knee a few weeks ago. He's had one surgery on it, and is scheduled to have another in a month or so. So playing pool seemed daunting, at best! I was quite exhausted, too...the Fridays that the boys go with their dad are always crazy and tiring for me as it takes me the whole day to get them ready.

Saturday night was my night to play pool, but with M. And again, this was another enjoyable evening. We really enjoyed each other's company, but I discovered that the initial attraction I had for him from our emails and phone conversations was sorta waning. But not so much that I don't want to see him again, though.

Funny how that happens, isn't it? Online dating lesson #15821: Don't even bother having any sort of expectations before you meet someone face to face!

So anyway, on Sunday morning, I find an email waiting for me. Here's a bit of it:


I think you are going to learn a thing or two about me from this e-mail... so, here I go...

I have this bad habit of always trying to identify moments or people in my life with music, it is kind of weird but sometimes I don't even have to think about it... it just happens all the time...
So, as I was doing my choirs at home this morning while I was listening to my music and this specific song came on... and all of a sudden I related it to you... I was like "This is Trish's song, that's so cool"... and I thought about keeping it to myself... but then I realized that is very important for a friendship to share these kind of things... You know what I mean ???... I think it builds trust...

I related it to you because I think it reflects a little bit what you want to do... move on and look forward to your future...

Well, the song is from Van Halen, the title is "Dreams"
I attached it to the e-mail... I hope you like it...
(I embedded a little Flash player of the song above...let me know if you have trouble with it, and I'll figure something else out.)

World turns black and white
Pictures in an empty room
Your love starts fallin down
Better change your tune
Reach for the golden ring
Reach for the sky
Baby just spread your wings

We'll get higher and higher straight up we'll climb
We'll get higher and higher leave it all behind

Run, run, run, away
Like a train runnin off the track
The truth gets left behind
And falls between the cracks
Standing on broken dreams
But never losing sight
Spread your wings


So baby dry your eyes, save all the tears you've cried
Ohh that's what dreams are made of
Oh baby we belong in a world that must be strong
Ohh that's what dreams are made of


Higher and higher who knows what we'll find

And in the end on dreams we will depend
Cause that's what love is made of ...swoon... I don't think I need to say how awesome this was. So who was it from? Believe it or not, it was from P! Oh still makes me grin to think of it. The lyric that really jumped out at me was "Standing on broken dreams/But never losing sight"

So I definitely want to see both of them again! Which sure does make this hard! But oh...this is fun.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Kinda sorta random

Go visit In_spired's post for today. She shares with us some really interesting factoids about the great state of Texas. While I already had heard most of them, it didn't fail to give me some internal pangs of homesickness. We native Texans tend to be a little obnoxious about where we hail from, but for good reason, I think! How does that saying go...

It ain't braggin' if it's the truth!

And being reminded of the wonderfulness of Texas makes me all the happier that I decided at the age of 30 to get a little Texas flag tattoo'ed on my ankle.


I went to the RK's parent/teacher conference last night, and I left there on cloud nine...he has made amazing strides since I last attended a p/t conference, and his teacher sincerely expressed how much she enjoys having him in her class. He's very well behaved, takes responsibility for his stuff and getting his work finished, and is respectful. THAT'S MY BOY! He's still a little bit behind on his level of reading, and I know this could be easily remedied if I buckle down and start reading with him more here at home. It's mainly because we don't have the same taste in reading material. I want to read something with a story, and he wants to read something informational. I get bored with informational reading. Guess it's time for me to act like a grown-up and SUCK IT UP!

I have to wonder how much of his improvement might actually be a result of his dad not being here anymore. I've totally taken over every aspect of the RK's schooling, and for good reason. The IX has no concept of how to talk to the RK on his level, or guide the RK to figure something out for himself. He talks over his head, imposes methods for doing homework completely different from the way RK was taught at school, and usually ends up frustrating the RK to the point of tears. Ummm...yeah. We're glad that's over! So I've taken total charge of the RK's schooling, helping with homework, and am trying to implement have implemented a strict homework schedule and regimen for the evenings.

So last night, I decided to take the boys out to eat. We went back here, finally. The RK certainly deserved the treat after the glowing reviews he got from his teacher! And the IB had fun, too. Except for the fact that he didn't like the mac & cheese I got for him and his dinner consisted solely of french fries.


I got an interesting text this morning. It was from a number I didn't already have programmed, but given the fact that I can remember phone numbers way too easily and for way too long after they're relevant to my life, I noticed that it was one digit away from the homewrecker's number. Yup, the IX got a new phone number, just one digit away from hers. And what's funny is I have a sneaking suspicion as to what prompted this right now.

I had to buy a new cell phone a week or so ago. I managed to toss my old phone into the washing machine with a load of laundry! I fished it out right away, and as time went on, its functions steadily returned. (Caution: Shameless rationalization ahead.) But given that this is my main phone, I wasn't comfortable depending on a phone that had been compromised in such a way, no matter that it appears to be working just fine. Besides, I hated my old phone, and was thankful for the excuse to get rid of it. So off to the cell phone store I go, ready to put a big ol' charge on my credit card since I'm not willing to renew my contract or change my plan. I pick out one that's AWESOME. It functions just the way I want it to, and I'm very happy with it.

So the IX sees my phone. And he's one of those who has the mindset of "Well, if you get something new and cool, I get to, too!" He was actually that way through our entire marriage. I know for a fact he wouldn't admit to this particular instance, but I know my new phone is more than likely what at least indirectly prompted this. And how amusing is it that he decided to change his phone number so that it sits right next to her number like that? Again, my response: PUKE.


All right...gotta get some stuff done before the RK gets home around 12:30. Hope y'all are having a wonderful Thursday!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Advice requested, etc.

This online dating thing sure can raise some anxiety. But not like you're probably thinking...

I've got about three guys I'm in regular contact with right now. Well, one of them's on the back burner until he gets back from a week-long hunting trip in Canada. But the other two I'm emailing and chatting on the phone with on a daily basis. One of them I can't wait to go out with, and the other, well...

P lives in a town about 40 miles west of here. And here's what I think is so cool...he's from Mexico! He works for one of the automakers as an engineer, and moved to Michigan from Mexico seven years ago. He's really self-conscious about his English, but he needn't be. His emails have been very well written, and on the phone, I've had little-to-no problem understanding him. And I've even been throwing in some of my Spanish in my emails to him, which he has said impresses him.

We talked on the phone last night for about an hour and a half, and in discussing our experiences becoming single again, he actually got quite emotional at one point. It was over one of his little girls and the effect his divorce had on her, but still... Red flag right there. (We have similar experiences in that our spouses both left us for friends of ours. He still has to work with the guy his ex is with now. Yikes!) And also, in his emails he's been saying stuff like "I hope I live up to your expectations..." I've been really laid-back with him thus far, throwing 'one step at a time' and 'friends' comments around pretty frequently, and he's been indicating he's in agreement with me. He's also mentioned that this past weekend was his first time having invited friends over since his divorce, and that he's having trouble getting himself to trust again.

So here's where the anxiety comes in. I have plans to go out with him on Friday night, and at this point, I really don't want to. I'm just not feeling much of a connection with him, and I'm a little concerned that emotionally, he's still got some digging out to do. I'd be willing to bet that I'm the only woman from the website that he's in contact with, and as is so easy to do, he's managed to get a lot of hope pinned up on me. And my first response, given that I'm just not as excited about him, is to break things off before it gets any worse.

To my dear readers: I'm still quite wet behind the ears in this world of online dating, and really, in the world of dating, period. I didn't date very much in high school or college...well not unexclusively, anyway. I feel like I don't know how to do this when the attraction isn't mutual. What do y'all think? Should I suck it up and go through with our date Friday night, or should I back out as gracefully as possible, with an honest, diplomatic and caring explanation? I don't necessarily want to blow him off completely, either, because I can see some genuine potential for a pretty great friendship at this point. In my essay on my profile page, I made it a point to stress that whomever I meet through the site I must be friends with first, and I also talk about how making some friends is really about all I can realistically hope for. So I feel a need to honor that if the situation dictates as such. Help me! Help me! ;-)

And now, on to the guy I'm really digging at this point:

M is awesome. He's a year older than me, lives no more than 10 minutes away, and has a great voice. He first called me last Thursday on his lunch hour, and I instantly swooned at the sound of his voice. And we can talk. And talk. And talk. This past weekend, he went to the N@SCAR race in Texas of all places, and he called me consistently during his trip. And we already felt comfortable enough with each other that he could rub it in my face that he had S0nic for dinner one night. The RK knows about M, but only because he called when the RK was closer to my phone than I was. He brings my phone to me, saying, "It's a call from [M]..." (Yes, I already have his number programmed into my phone...well, they all are, actually. That way I don't have to remember their numbers to recognize who it is that's calling.)

So a little while after I'd hung up, I asked the RK, "Aren't you gonna ask me who [M] is?"

"Who's [M], Mom?"

"He's a boy..." (said with a goofy girlish tone in my voice)

And I love the RK's next question: "Does he have any kids?"

"Yes. He has a 13-yr-old daughter," which got a 'yucky' reaction from him, "an 11-yr-old son," his expression quickly turned around on that one, "and an 8-year-old son." Bigger grin. "And you know what else? The boys LOVE to play with Legos!"

"Mom, you have to marry him."

Yup, that's what he said! SO funny.

Anyway, we have plans to go out Saturday night. So far, the only red flag raised with M is that he might be too big of a drinker/partier for me (which is funny for me to say...I sound like such a grown-up!). I'm surely looking for someone who knows how to have fun, and makes it happen easily, and I thoroughly enjoy the late-night rowdiness with lots of friends every once in a while, but his enthusiasm about alcohol is slightly worrisome so far. But I also realize that when we first started communicating, he was on the verge of an uber-fun weekend trip that he had been planning for months and months. I'd be looking forward to consuming a rather large amount of intoxicating beverages in his position as well, I must admit. So the evidence hasn't all been presented yet.

Things I love about him:

  • He's a huge football fan.
  • He's a lifelong Dallas Cowboys fan. (Bonus points for that one!)
  • He can express himself very well through the written word. His emails have been easy to read, as well as very enjoyable.
  • He's lived in the same small town his whole life, all of his family except one brother live close by, and he's really close with them.
  • He loves to dance.
  • And yes, the fact that he has kids around the RK's age with similar interests is indeed a plus.
I already feel so at ease with him...our personalities fit really well together. And I know that my level of nervousness on Saturday night will be minimal...I'm predicting more of a slightly anxious excitement. Given our conversations thus far, we both seem to be firmly planted into the mindset that we're just gonna hang out, chat, have some fun, and see how it goes. And we both seem really eager to enjoy each other's company in person, too! I'm gonna hold off on my 'tee-hee's' until after Saturday night, though.

B is the third guy, and I initiated contact with him. He kept popping up at the very top of my searches all the time, and he looks in his picture like I could just see myself with him. So I read his profile, and decided it might be worth the effort. And we've been emailing and texting back and forth...well, up until he headed to the frozen tundra of M@nitoba to hunt for an entire week. He said he's got a 12-year-old son who plays football and towers 4 inches over me. Yikes! So I'm looking forward to meeting him, as well. But yeah...right now most of my excitement is directed towards M. I will add, though, that at this stage with B, this is mainly due to the 'out of sight, out of mind' scenario. So I'm sure I'll have more to write about him later on.

So I'm freaking out about how I'm supposed to handle things when a guy seems to be more interested in me than I am in him. I can't stand the thought of invoking any sort of negative emotion in a person!


The RK has half-days the rest of this week due to parent-teacher conferences. So he's all geeked about that. My conference with his teacher is this evening.

The IB was so cute yesterday... I put a load of laundry into the washing machine, and when it got done filling and started agitating, the IB liked the way it sounded and started dancing to it! I about died laughing. Have I mentioned how he just adores music? Anytime he hears it, he has to move his body! And he'll walk around talking his little baby gobbledygook, and just melts my heart.

Still no word on this job, yet. And frankly, the more time goes on, the more concerned I get.

OK...I must get off this thing and get a grocery list ready to go. I'd like to make it to the store before the RK gets home from school around 1:00.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Frankly, my fingers have been a little tired

I just haven't been in a very bloggy mood this last couple of weeks, I hope y'all understand. And actually, I've been doing enough typing on this thing to cover my blogging ways...

You see, I decided I wanted a better picture of myself for my profile on the online dating site. I got out my tripod, and managed to capture a shot of me that belongs on the back of a book jacket or on a CD cover. And ever since, I've had guys swarming around me...well, my inbox, anyway! And I've been ferociously sending and receiving emails and talking on the phone 'til the wee hours of the morning for the past week or so! And it has been so much fun! I've already had to break a couple of hearts, and I'm in process of putting together a very busy weekend.

I'll get into more detail about my suitors a little later...

...but I also have some more news to share.

It's looking like my unemployment woes are over! The recruiter I met with a while back gave me call with a potential temp job. So I went in for an interview a week ago today, and it turns out this job is just a mile and a half from where I live! I learned that they really liked me, more than the other candidate the recruiter sent their way, but right now they're trying to decide if they want to hire me on a part-time or full-time basis. And like I said, as of right now, this job is only a three-month assignment, with potential to go permanent. My job would be helping them get themselves dug out from all the purchase orders they're swamped with...lots of data entry. And my plan is to go in there and bust my tail to make it so they can't live without me.

So while I don't have my hopes up just yet, I'm counting that problem as solved. Now for IB-care...

Our subdivision has its own blog, where residents can post about garage sales, BBQ's, make inquiries of their neighbors, etc. I had made a short post about needing childcare, and how I'd love to find someone within the sub (especially since my potential job is so close) that would be willing to look after my little guy. I got a response back from another family who had posted a similar post a while back, and they gave me the name and number of their sitter, who lives a relatively long way away...much further than this job will be, anyway. And not long after that, another post showed up on the blog from a woman who said she's decided to go back to being a stay-at-home mom and do childcare from her home! ARE YOU KIDDING ME??? In the comment I made to give her my email address, I suggested she was sent from heaven! The IB and I are going over to her house in a little while to meet with her.

So it's looking like everything is just falling right into place. While I'm feeling a certain level of relief, I'm not counting on this job until I get the call to come in and start filling out my IRS forms. I don't know where this month's mortgage payment is coming from yet, but I know that this too will work out somehow.

That's all for now. I promise to not go this long without posting anymore! And to all you guys who are my regulars around here, know that I've been keeping up with y'all and reading your latest goings-on! Have a wonderful Monday, all!