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Posts Tagged ‘about me’

It’s been almost a year since I blogged.  I have about 20 drafts of things that I’ve wanted to write about in that time, but nothing that was a complete thought.  My plan is to start typing and see what comes out.  It may come as one big blog, or may come as a few each day until I feel I have things out of my head and here for all to see.  All I know is that a year can make a huge difference in our lives.  Good, bad, sad, happy, scary, fun and totally out of left field, but we are lucky to still be around to tell about what we’ve been through.

I hope you are doing well…sorry I was gone so long!

~ Mel

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There’s a special occasion today, and for one day, I’m going to open up a bit about what it is I/we do…read on.

I have known, for years now, that my husband is amazing.   I have even blogged about it on a few occasions.  The times that I find myself thinking what a great husband and man he is are far more than the times I question his actions or intentions.  I’m not trying to imply that he’s perfect, as we all have our moments, but more often than not, to me, he is.

I don’t discuss business on here, but for those that don’t know, we work together from home.  It’s been a lifesaver when children are sick, or there are school functions, or when you just don’t feel like going to “work.”  For us it has blessed our marriage by allowing us to truly get to know each other and bond.  That bond translates to better parenting, better family ties, us being happier, and has allowed us to make a stronger team against outside forces.  We all face stress, trials, and attacks from the outside world and un-Godly forces, and the ability to be confident in your partner and know you have someone that has your back is the best gift you can give yourself and your spouse.  We often get questions ranging from “how do you spend ALL DAY together” to “do you really enjoy being around each other that much?”  The answer is the same from either of us…yes, most certainly.   My business partner respects me, backs me up with tough clients, steps in when I’ve had enough of someone, and is amazing in his work ethic and ability to land clients.   There is no one I’d rather spend all day with.

So, with that preface, I’m proud to announce that D has become a weekly blogger on a Christian website!  I am proud of him for being a provider and I’m proud that others view him as the strong business man, and man of God he is.  You will quickly see, in his writing, that he has a gift for words and conveying a message that hits home.  Please share it as we want him to have the opportunity to be a blessing to as many people as we can reach.  There is always the possibility that there are business minded people that want information, and if it’s presented in a Christlike manner two efforts can be accomplished in one manner.  The Christian Work At Home Ministries site is a great tool for learning about building business, working from home, and glorifying God in our lives.

So, with that introduction, please check him out at the link below, and be sure to follow us on Facebook and check back weekly at either link for his business blog entries!

Love those eyes…Oh, sorry. Serious marketing pic here.

Click here for his first post – What brought me home!

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Because I want to write more…my “draft” section holds nine, half written, barely started posts.  So I’ve decided to blog about things I like to talk about, my marriage to D and something new I have wanted to try, a gratitude journal.

Whether you are married already or researching vows to use in your wedding, you’ve heard the old standby lines:

I, ______ , take you, ______, to be my husband/wife, to have and to hold from this day forward; for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love, cherish, (and obey,) till death us do part, according to God’s holy law.

Short of a few more personal “how I love thee” type statements and the ring exchange, that’s the gist of most vows.  Like most people, I don’t really ponder those vows on a daily basis, or even a weekly one.  Most of us think about what vows we want when planning a wedding, but once they are said, not much thought is given to them until you experience or are forced to live up to them.  Even then, many people fail to understand and even have the desire to stand by the words that are what binds us to each other as spouses.  These are the same words you longed to say to the person you chose to be with, the words that probably choked you up, brought a tear to your eyes, and the words that make your marriage your best bet to survive the good and bad of life.

I’m no saint here, I’ve said these vows more than once, the relevance and meaning at the time, for me, was no different.  I meant them, no matter who was standing next to me, when I said them.  Life, feelings, circumstances, and selfishness (you and your spouse) changes you, and lots of us don’t make it through that as graciously as we’d like to think we had.  The difference is what you learn and how you grow through those things.

Casting stones…

Big Daddy and I have almost been married for 2 years now (it has flown by, I can’t believe it), and through those 2 years we have experienced so many things that most people don’t ever have to deal with in a marriage.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s not all hardship, but the good times and loving family come at a price, and that price is  job changes, anxiety, insomnia, health problems, ex’s, teenagers, grandkids, in laws, children with absent parents, being forced to be an absent parent, depression, normal growing pains of a new marriage, hurt feelings and overall tough times.

For us, it’s the harder parts of the vows have shaped our marriage into what it is, and what we wanted it to be.   We are by no means rich, yet we have all we need.  Shelter, food, medicines, entertainment, animals that we love (and love us), family, friends and a home.  I wouldn’t say we are living the poorer – we are in the middle, but if you ask D we have been close a few times.  He can’t stand to have a hard day/week with the bank account, and I have to remind him that “it’s been one day that we have a small balance…we get paid Friday.”  He’s pretty funny sometimes about it, yet I am totally comfortable and happy knowing that just because we may not have money one week, we’ll be back on track next week.  It’s also amazing to not feel the strain of fighting over money.  Whether we have it or not, doesn’t change how we treat each other, it’s never been an issue.

D’s health led us to him working from home with me, not a bad trade in my book.  We have been together 24/7 for almost 1.5 years now.  Yes 24/7.  Both of us have been told and heard “I couldn’t do that, how do you do that?” (I’m on FB chatting with a friend who just said “So you’re both home together all the time. Sounds terrifying to me”) We do it because it works, because it’s comfortable, and because why would you marry someone you didn’t want to be with all the time?  When the kids are gone, when the power is out, when you’re sick, when you’re bitchy, when you’re lonely, mad, upset, when you’ve been anything other than “OK” who else do you want to be there with you?  I want him.

It’s not just D’s health that troubles us at times.  We both have our share of insomnia, anxious moments, migraines, moods, and life in general.  Through all of these things we have learned more about how to lean on one another, care for one another, love one another, trust one another, and it has only served to strengthen our bond, which carries throughout every aspect of problem solving for us.

Coming to this marriage both divorced and both with children from previous marriages was something we both signed up for, but really, you can’t prepare for something like that.  While dating we talked it out, we tried to prepare each other, and yet, the real thing is more annoying, trying, and hard to gracefully saunter through than one would hope.  Yet through it all, neither of us has turned on the other because of a situation with an ex or the parent of one of our children.  We are now and eternally, on each others side.  If that were not the case, the court, jealous ex’s, custody, lies, “secrets,” ex’s that feel they know things your spouse doesn’t, and games in general would easily shoot down any shaky relationship or one that didn’t mean those vows.

Neither of us has experienced the level of love and security we have now.  With us both being mid 30’s and having multiple marriages, that is a sad, yet accurate picture of many marriages and relationships out there.   Not only should you mean what you say, but you should be sure that the person you are choosing to say it to means it also.  There is no reason to enter into something as serious as marriage knowing that the feelings and promises do not hold as much truth to your other half as they do you.

We have made a choice not to make our marriage harder than it has to be.  With so many outside influences and “drama” already being thrown at us, we had a choice to make.  I am proud and thankful that we have chosen to enjoy each other and to have the marriage we’ve always wanted regardless of what comes our way.

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It’s been a while since I blogged about something fun or about something not so serious. So, since I’m in the middle of a Christmas rush to fill orders (and get some more orders) I thought I’d post about knitting.  I blogged a while back when I was learning and it’s almost been a whole year.  I’ve learned so much and really enjoyed making things for people and now things to sell!  There’s always been a thrill of shopping for me and with all the colors and types of yarn, it’s totally enough to keep me on a shopping high without breaking the bank.  On top of that, I’ve been able to fund my Christmas shopping and start that already from making things for others!  If you don’t knit, and are interested in checking out what I have or ordering something in time for Christmas visit my album HERE and comment on what you want!

Today, I wanted to change it up a little and help out those that are looking for a fast pattern, or a scarf a day type thing.  It was so frustrating to read patterns when I first started and have no idea what it meant.  I saw the pretty scarf, I read the comments “so easy, it looks beautiful, took me less than a day” and thought, yeah, right – you lie.  With much google and youtube help I found some wonderful tutorials and great knitters that explain it all for you.  I’ll link to them at the end.  There were still very few truly easy patterns for things that look like you know what you’re doing when you haven’t figured it out yet…enter me, I’m here to help you through that awkward phase!

I’m going to use mixture of knit speak and normal speak (so if you don’t knit, you’ll understand) and I’m going to share a few VERY easy patterns that are my go to patterns.  I don’t even want to consider them patterns, they are basic stitches put together to make something very easy and pretty.  These are for when you have mastered garter stitch and want to make something less “stock” looking.  For a full listing of patterns I like and use, please check me out on Ravelry if you have an account there.  If not, and you knit or crochet – get one!  It’s the best place I’ve found to keep track of projects and stash.  If you are interested in knitting, or learning, or need help, leave a comment and I’ll get you started!

First up is a simple and fast thin ribbed scarf.  It is best for Bulky (THICK, think straw/lipliner size), or larger than what we consider “normal” yarn.  This would usually take me about 3 hours from start to finish and range in length from 5-7 feet. I usually use 1 skein (1 ball) of any yarn that has 70-120 yards and do the following:

  • Use size 11, 13 or 15 needles.  Usually the larger the yarn, the larger needle I use to allow loftiness
  • CO 12 (or 14)
  • 1st row: K1, P1 across the row (K1, P1, K1, P1, K1, P1, K1, P1, K1, P1, K1, P1)
  • 2nd row: P1, K1 across the row
  • Repeat until you have about 2 feet of yarn left and then BO
  • Weave in ends (or tie)
  • If you want fringe, I suggest you cut 24 pieces before you start…

Here is what your knitting will give you if you follow those directions! Notice it looks like stockinette stitch but does not roll on the edges since it is a K1, P1 rib.

Brown and pink scarf

THICK 12 stitch scarf!

Purple and Green

Ok, on to the next one!

Second and last for today I’m going to share my most popular scarf.  Both due to the yarn and the feel of the pattern it is knit in, it is my personal favorite and the one everyone picks up and says “ohhhh, I love this!”  It’s a tad more pattern-y than the first one.

The best yarn to use is anything “bumpy” and bulky.  My go to is Lion Brand Homespun or Michaels Loops and Threads Country Loom (and if anyone from corporate at these companies is reading, yes, you can send me a sample box of yarn…I will totally do a review of it!).  Ok, they are 185 and 104 yards each skein.  If you choose the Michaels you’ll need 2 skeins.  This took me 2-3 weeks at first to make one, and now I’ve got it down to less than a week if it’s the only thing I’m working on.  Let’s do it:

  • Use size 11, 13 or 15 needles (I have made a scarf with each size, they are equally soft and pretty, to me it doesn’t matter, I just use what needles are free at the time)
  • CO 20 (you can do more in sets of 2, but I’ve tried many combos and with the loft and pattern, 20 works best, trust me)
  • Now this is the (only) tricky part, Count out a pattern evenly, like this K2, P3, K2, P2, K 2, P2, K2, P3, K2 OR whatever one you want.  That is what I use, because it allows the ribs on the outside (P3) to help keep the scarf open, yet keeps the ribs uniform.  Regardless, I would stick with 2/3 sets of stitches or you will make it too big and not have enough ribs for it to look fluffy
  • Each time you flip, you will Knit the ones you just Purled, and Purl the ones you just Knit on the previous row.  (Check out the next paragraph for more help) This is also the “knit the knits and purl the purls” you hear very often.  It just means that what you see on your needle facing you now, is what you do this time, so if you see a purl (bump) facing you as your next stitch, then you will purl that stitch and if you see a knit (V) you will knit that stitch.
  • Do that until you have about 2 feet of yarn left and BO
  • Weave in ends (or tie)
  • Again, if you want fringe, you can cut those before starting…or if you feel lucky (and want to get really mad at yourself with 9 inches of yarn left and 7 fringes to make) then guesstimate how much yarn you will need for fringe and BO early

This is what this pattern has created!

My first scarf in this pattern…for me. Hate to say it, but yes, the bathroom has the best lighting in my house!

In Winter White (with LONG fringe)

In Lagoon

Fringe in Christmas Red

Closeup of ribs

Here is one I did with 3 ribs…I personally don’t like it, so I’m showing it so show the difference the count/pattern effects this yarn.

To clarify a few things that confused me at first here are a few tips.  Each time you turn your work (flip the part you just finished and switch needles) you will Knit the Knits, and Purl the Purls – which means, if you purled the last stitch of the previous row, it is now your first stitch of this new row, and it will be a knit on the opposite side.  If you want to know more, comment below and I’ll explain in more detail about Right Side (RS) and Wrong Side (WS).  Or you can check out the links to Knitted Oaks whose tutorials on her Youtube channel were and still are a lifesaver!  She has such a calm way of speaking and clearly explaining what you don’t think you understand.

Hope that helped someone!  As I said, if you need help, I love talking about knitting and teaching others about it, so leave a comment or find me on Ravelry!

~Mel

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This is a second piece, in what I can only assume is going to be an ongoing topic, on my blog.  The first post I did about this was Husbands Love Your Wives (not just a little) and speaks about the Ephesians passage.  I’ve updated this with the third post To submit…or not to Submit.  When I started blogging I didn’t know what I was going to write about, or how often.  I just do it as it comes and it seems that this topic comes up often in my life and those around me.  From Facebook posts to Michelle Bachmann, it seems too many people don’t get it.  So, since you’re here and reading, let’s get going.

I kid with the title, kinda, but it was meant to be funny.  I in no way think or believe God commanded us as wives to submit, no matter what.  So, don’t start with me on the non-Christian husband, the one who doesn’t respect you, the one who doesn’t treat you right and argue that you don’t have to submit because he doesn’t act right.  I’ll cover my thoughts on that (and you probably won’t like them) at the end of this post.

The main reason I love talking about this subject is to testify to how well a home works when it’s run the proper way.  The proper way being when you have a man that looks to God for his leadership, a wife that looks to her husband for leadership and children who know they have parents that love and care for them, and more importantly that love and respect each other.  Yes, this can be achieved sometimes outside of a Christian home, but more often than not, it’s neglected and unattainable in that forum.  I have plenty of friends that don’t get how “submitting” is in their best interest, or that can’t imaging allowing their husband to call the shots.  To that I ask – if you don’t think he’s smart enough or a good enough leader to call the shots why did you marry him?  Seems like a huge lack of good judgement on your part.  I’ve said it before, D has proven more than once before we married that he was quite capable of making good, correct, sensible decisions, and that his ideas were worthy of me agreeing to submit and hand him the last say/control in our relationship.  Ultimately God is the one calling the shots in our marriage, but since there are 3 of us in this boat, there’s got to be a chain of command.

There is more than the Ephesians passage to support the order of the Christian household.  I’m not going to cover the husbands role in full again, because I want to really get into the command the wives receive in these passages.  We see in the following verses that it’s not just one passage, for this post I’ve pulled four that I will discuss and reference all from my favorite translation the King James Version (KJV).  I am going to discuss just the verses with the submit reference, but encourage you to read the rest of the passages because they speak volumes as to WHY you should have a submissive heart/attitude.

Here’s the first one we’ve all heard:

Ephesians 5:22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. 23For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. 24Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.

33Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.

A second to help remind you:

Colossians 3:18 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord. 19Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them. 20Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord. 21Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged.

Didn’t like those two?  Let’s try another approach:

Titus 2:3 The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; 4That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, 5To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.

Really?  It’s not a suggestion, it’s a direction, stop questioning it already.

1 Peter 3:1 In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives, 2as they observe your chaste and respectful behavior. 3Your adornment must not be merely external—braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; 4but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God. 5For in this way in former times the holy women also, who hoped in God, used to adorn themselves, being submissive to their own husbands; 6just as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, and you have become her children if you do what is right without being frightened by any fear.

I really don’t know what to say if you don’t like that.  It’s quite clear how we as wives are supposed to act and interact with our husbands, but, let’s look and discuss.

As Christian women we have no issues submitting to the Lord (Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord).  I believe we can all agree to that.  He loves us, listens to our prayers, answers them, chooses not to sometimes, has mercy, shows us He cares and ultimately we feel His presence in our daily lives, what’s not to like here?  We trust in Him.  After years of bad relationships, starting a career, living life, waiting for the “right one” and countless other reasons we should now thank God that we have a good Christian man. I know in my own life God has more than earned the respect and love we are to give Him.  He brought this man to you, He’s given you a partner to be here with you so you can FEEL that love, comfort, caring, burden sharing, leadership, and enjoy life with someone.  Not at all that God feels or thinks He alone isn’t enough, but He knows what we as women need, a partner, a leader, a lover, someone to tend to us and make us happy, God wants us to be HAPPY!  How much is it to ask that you respect, listen to, confer with and submit yourself (head, heart and body) to that man that He chose for you?  Not much I say.

Maybe we should clear up what submission/submitting means.

Submit: verb (used with or without object)

1.to give over or yield to the power or authority of another (often used reflexively).
2.to subject to some kind of treatment or influence.
3.to yield oneself to the power or authority of another: to submit to a conqueror.
4.to allow oneself to be subjected to some kind of treatment: to submit to chemotherapy.
5.to defer to another’s judgment, opinion, decision, etc.: I submit to your superior judgment.

Submission is not once described as mindless following, doing whatever you’re told, having no say, having no voice.  None of the definitions even remotely sound like most of the arguments I’ve heard against submission.  It’s simply what we as humans have wrongly come to interpret this one word to mean.  In God’s plan, submission is simply about giving yourself, as a willing partner to the man He chose to place above you in the chain of command of your home.  Just as there are bosses and employees, too many cooks in the kitchen, too many chiefs and not enough Indians – there has to be order.  If you’re trying to call the shots and your husband is trying to do his God assigned duty and call the shots, things aren’t going to be cohesive.

Wrong...try again.

So far there has only been once that I felt strongly that D was acting against how he should or acting in an unloving way.  I won’t get into incriminating myself specifics, but I may have played a part in his reaction…or not.  Truthfully, it was a mixture of me feeling that he was not holding up his end of the bargain and him feeling that I was undermining/disrespecting him in my reaction to that.  We were both wrong, and still he would argue that I was the cause, and I would point out that he “did” the deed in question for me to react inappropriately.  Which brings me to my point here, if he decides to act in an unloving way that doesn’t afford me the right to do the same and throw God’s plan out the window.  The opposite is true.  I am not free to tell him off, or take over, jump ahead in line, or treat him any differently than God has told me to just because he has forgotten his duty to me.  I CAN speak lovingly and inform him that I disagree with how he is treating me, or how he is talking, and that I believe he is going against the plan.

Barnes states this on the matter:

(4) if she is constrained, however, to differ from him, it should be with mildness and gentleness. There should be no reproach, and no contention. She should simply state her reasons, and leave the event to God.

In other words, if I disagree with D (because he is being mean, or rude, or not leading in a Godly manner), I have a backup plan.  God.  Since D has someone to answer to also, if I disagree or don’t like something I am more than free to pray and ask God for His guidance.  I don’t know how much more absolute you can get when looking for the correct answer.  The bottom line is that if D isn’t cutting it for me, he better hope he’s acting right because he answers to someone way more powerful than he or I am in our relationship.  I do have backup!  There are clear limits and rules over the husband and a huge responsibility on him to lead with my best interest at heart.  If he doesn’t, he’s going to have some ‘splaining to do.

In the beginning I said I would address the women who question the absoluteness of the plan.  I do not condone or think anyone should stay with an abusive man, or with a man who does not wish to live in alignment with God or the Bible.  I think there is always a limit to what one should put up with in any relationship, friendship, family dynamic etc.  You allow people to treat you bad…or you don’t.  If it’s not changing, and if someone is not trying or does not wish to learn how to be in a relationship/marriage the right way, then I believe it’s time to seriously re-evaluate whether you need to be there or not.  However, if you choose to stay there, then yes, you should still act in submission – see the following verse (again).

1 Peter 3:1 In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives, 2as they observe your chaste and respectful behavior.

All Christian women know, and even non-Christian women can see clearly that men, tall-short-big-little-loving-happy-unloving-sad-Christian-working-non-Christian-unemployed men, all beam with pride when they know they have earned the approval and have pleased a woman.  Do you want your man to do something more than once…thank him and praise him the first time he does it.  The look on a man’s face when a woman is proud of him, when she supports him, when she looks to him, listens to him, asks him his opinion, listens to his words, praises his decisions, loves him, respects him, wants him to be a good man, and brags to those around her about how wonderful a provider and partner he is…that look, that pride he feels, is no mistake in God’s plan.  A man that feels the love and respect of his wife can and will do anything to make her happy, to keep seeing that reaction and feeling that emotion.  There is no quicker way to defeat a man than to let him know you are disappointed in him or that you don’t think he is worthy of your respect and worthy to lead you or your family.  If you are looking for the queen treatment there is also no better way to get loved and protected, and to be lifted up as wives should be according to God’s plan, than by submitting to your husband.

I’ll leave you with another wife’s interpretation of what submission means in her marriage.  I think she is dead on also.

I am in full agreement with Barnes and his interpretation on the Ephesians passage.  I may continue with more on his notes, but I think we’ve learned enough for today…get to submittin’!

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This is a rant…I wanted to say it, and it’s just the way it came out.  Reading someone’s thoughts and opinions is a privilege and should be exercised with common sense and extreme caution by those who cannot handle it well.

While I realize that blogging is a choice, and I am allowing my thoughts and opinions to be “out there” – where is the line of decency/privacy/common sense? Where do we go from getting thoughts out to bashing others, or defamation? At what point does it become a show of what we SHOULD like, think, want, experience and less of who we are for real because we have to mince words to please others or to not upset them?

Bluntcard.com

In the last few weeks it’s been hard for me not to blog about what’s going on in our lives.  D is dealing with custody issues and we are looking at a long road of recovery be it B (his daughter) or him.  They are both in critical situations, and both in need of healing.  Which one is going to get that much needed healing is yet to be determined.  The ride so far has been stressful, sad and shows no signs of where it is going next.  With all that said, I’ve done fairly well with keeping my thoughts to myself (and not on my blog) about people involved in this and how utterly evil they are.  It’s hard.   Yes, it’s my blog, yes it’s all my opinion, my thoughts, and yes, I TRY to speak and think with love, but we are all human and no matter how much you pray, you still have your opinion.  I’m doing all I can not to put my true opinion of things out there.  I don’t want to in any way hinder the chance that B can be helped.  So, I haven’t said much about it. It saddens me that what we’re going through cannot be brought to light so others (and there are hundreds) can recognize the signs.  Had D been warned or had the chance to read a blog with the telltale signs like we are seeing now, he may have been able to keep B from having to endure this.  Live and learn.  I do plan to blog about that situation in a responsible way, which will be to educate others without expressly pointing fingers.

 

 

Bluntcard.com

It’s stressful to hold on to all these things, and yet have a place where I can get them out.  A place I created to help me work through things and get them out of my head, to help me heal, and deal.  I feel that it’s both my right (which it is) to speak my mind, and anyone else’s right to do the same.  If someone disagrees, or feels that I’ve painted them in a bad light (even with no identifying names) then either they should make their own blog to dispel my portrayal, or act differently so as not to be perceived in a bad light.   On the other side, I have been wrong *GASP* and if it’s on my blog for all to see, there’s a slim chance that from the comments or feedback of others I may see things from a different point of view.

On the privacy issue…I have people that read my thoughts that aren’t so much forbidden or unwanted, but that have found it because they are nosy or through less than ideal ways.  I always knew this was a possibility and in fact, started my blog and made sure that it was anonymous (other than those that know us from seeing pictures) from the beginning.  No one can identify my ex’s, D’s ex’s, our children, or anyone in general,  from any information given via my blog.  I did it for a reason, this reason – so I can freely speak my mind, good, bad, happy, sad, opinion, observation, right or wrong. I wanted to be able to let those that piss me off know that they did, I wanted to talk about what I’ve learned in many years of good and bad marriages.  I want to talk about my kids and how great or how annoying they are.  I wanted to create a place for feedback and conversation about everything whether it’s agreed on or not.  That is what I’ve created:)  It goes without saying that those that KNOW me or our family already know the stories and what we all feel and think about people in our lives.  Having it on a blog, or in print doesn’t any further damage/or create a defamatory light on what my friend might know I already think about another friend, or something of the like.

Savagechickens.com

I have a choice, to put things on “paper,” to tell what details about people or situations I wish to divulge, I have the options in my settings to allow this to be public (search engines), private (just those I give the link to) or closed (password protected).  I have chosen to put things on paper, I have chosen not to use names and no identifying statements on the WHO when I talk about my family or people I know/knew, and I have chosen to allow my blog to be open.  I want to share things I’ve been through and to have feedback and be able to hear other opinions.  Yes, it’s my blog, but what good is it if it’s just me and no input?

So, whether you were invited here, found me on a search engine, heard from a friend, or are reading because you are nosy and feel the need to spy…welcome.  I’ll be here all year (and the ones to come).

~Mel

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Today I’ve been thinking about how my friends have changed through the years.  I’m always saying there is a reason we are where we are, and how all events have shaped us and brought us here.  The same holds true for our friendships.

If you know me, or have read my blog for a while, you know that I was divorced about a year and a half ago.  It wasn’t the first time, but I feel like it was one of the most eye opening things that happened in that relationship.  How it ended, solidified my feelings about what I was willing to do for that marriage, and where I already knew I was, but just needed one event/item to teeter me toward working on it or bailing.  Yes, it was at that point.  I’m not going to delve into that marriage and how it ran downhill, because I don’t feel it’s something worth talking about.  There were events that are pertinent to what I’m about to blog about, and I’ll state those throughout the post, so that’s the reason I mentioned it.  As a side note – I  don’t care to devote anymore of my life to that person, nine years (three married) was way too long to deal with that relationship.   That relationship did more than teach me how not to live with BS, it taught me who my true friends and family are.  So, that’s where we’ll start today – the week I left.

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I can count CLOSE friends on one hand.  I’ve never been a real social creature, and even when I did like to party, I had lots of “peeps” and a handful of CLOSE friends.  At the close of business to my last marriage they were, my sister, one BFF (I’m using that instead of writing it out, but I’m not 12) of 17 years, another of 11, a sister-in-law, and 2-3 great friends that I’ve never met in person.  Each story of where our relationship now is different, and deserves it’s own post, since this is my blog I’ll just type and we’ll see how long this gets.

My sister, has always been my best friend.  She taught me, whether directly or indirectly what to do, and what not to do, or what I didn’t want to do in life.  We are completely different, even though we sound alike on the phone.  We are also alike in very creepy ways.  For instance, I can walk into her house to visit (when I lived 4 hours away and hadn’t seen her in a year) and walking into her bathroom I could find every product I had in mine.  Same brand, same scents, same type.  We don’t talk about those types of things.  We also will both tell you that we are totally different (especially when it comes to raising our kids), but my kids have said that I say the same things she does, and hers have told me the same thing.  I trust her with my kids and she does the same with me.  Our children have always known that we love them as if they were ours.  We have disciplined them interchangeably and loved them interchangeably.  That has created an amazing bond for all of them.  I love getting calls about new jobs, boyfriends, texts about shoes, and the 3 am phone calls from my Lu telling me something she just has to laugh about or just chatting when she can’t sleep.  I deeply love my sister and her family.  With that said, she is easily the one person who can piss me off the most, because she knows me…but that’s what sisters do.

My best friend of 17 years met me through C’s (my son) dad.  We met while I was 16 and about 6 months pregnant.  She always told everyone that she knew C when he was in my belly and making me type in typing class with my arm straight out because I couldn’t pull up to the table.  She was, by far, my best friend throughout the majority of my early adult life.  We had been through birth, death, boyfriends, husbands (mine), moving, friends coming and going, and just life in general.  When I moved to Atlanta, we lost touch, but each time we talked it flowed, like time was never lost.  My kids called her their aunt, and until C was 15 he had no clue she was not related to him…didn’t matter that she was Korean and he was Mexican.

My other best friend met me by default…we had joint friends and had met, and then when I moved to Atlanta, she and my sister-in-law to be were the only people I “knew.”  We quickly became BFF’s because of how much we were alike.  There was no where that we would go that the other didn’t want to.  Our idea of fun was exactly the same.  I could look at her and say “I want to do” and she would say “_____” – it would be what I was going to say.  If she wanted to leave somewhere she’d say “I’m done here” and I would have been thinking the same thing.  We had some crazy times, and she knows more about me than anyone on the earth.  We don’t live near each other and haven’t physically seen each other in about 5 years…however we talk regularly (not as much as I like) and we just pick right up.  I love her – she is my sister.

My sister-in-law (now ex) and I were introduced before I moved up to Atlanta in 2001.  When we met, we hit it off immediately.  Throughout the 6 year dating relationship of her brother and I, we remained friends at times that he and I were not together, we just carried on as friends normally do.  We have endured many things, her divorce, my marriage to her brother, her lowest points and recovery, the death of my mother, and everything in between.  My children love her dearly, and were very close to her. Our relationship is one of the most important I’ve had.

Again, bluntcard.com

These 4 women have been my staples throughout life and now.  I’d include my mom, but she was not a best friend, she was my mother.  She holds the most special place in my heart and life, even in her passing.  I was lucky enough to have my (ex) mother-in-law at the time my mom passed, and as hard as that was, she became just like my own mother and I felt the same way about her.  She was a huge influence and kept me going most days and through many tough times.

The day I left, rather, the week I left my home (and ex) I learned how much friendships and family can hang in the balance of one decision.  I’ve said before that, in fact, there is a line of how much crap I will put up with.  I’m all for hanging in there, but when you are the only one hanging and the someone else thinks they can just act like they don’t care, what’s the point?  We had been through a rough year of marriage, from work, to money, to the final straw and me deciding I wasn’t up for seeing how far he was going to take a “friendship.”  I can deal with many things…and yes, I have been guilty of many things, however, I won’t sit by and have something flaunted in front of me and act like it’s ok, and I don’t know about it.  It’s not.  So, with that, I found the proof – right in front of me in real time, and decided that I was out, done.  I didn’t want to act to quickly, and I made it through one night.  One night of no sleep, pounding heart, wanting to stuff a pillow over his face while he slept like a baby, me smoking like a chimney and sneaking outside at 4 am to call my BFF of 17 years.  She sounded surprised, but with the history between he and I, I don’t think she realized how NOT OK I was.  She told me to calm down, think it through, and confront him. I didn’t do that.  I kept quiet while I figured out what I wanted.  It was apparent that he was not thinking of “us,” so why would I “talk” through it with him and believe that he was going to have an epiphany and suddenly care?  The rapid downfall of the marriage signified to me that I was not willing – so I found the opportunity to change things since they weren’t changing on their own.  The day I left, was probably the last time I really talked to my mother-in-law.  I talked to my sister-in-law once or twice later that week and soon after we were cut off.  She was in recovery, and my best guess was that his family had a lot to deal with and it was probably best for her that she not have to choose sides and deal with the stress so soon.  I never felt mad about losing touch with her, I felt it was best for her to not feel the wrath of her family because she was still talking to me like we had always done when he and I were not together.  This time, it wasn’t that simple.  It was over, and apparently, depending on how you look at it, family does not mean the same thing to all people.

Throughout the marriage, it was apparent that HIS family and HIS friends were superior to mine.  Aside from a month that my mom lived with us in Atlanta while she was seeing doctors, it was always a fight to have time with my family or friends.  He never wanted to go to my sisters house, even though his family’s house was the same distance.  He hardly knew about family functions, as his mom called me, or I called them to set up when we were to meet, or what we were doing.  He simply showed up when I dragged him out of the house.  He used his family for hunting and when he needed them.  I was the one to initiate contact and it was out of my desire to have closeness that we actually had friends and family to be with.  Since he didn’t want to see my family, I made him take me to his.

Back to my one friend of 17 years and how that relationship ended. We only went to functions of his friends, I had to drag him to my BFF’s wedding.  Subsequently he made great friends with her husband, and for the time we lived near them, they became close to him also.  He hired her husband to work for him, and ultimately, sides were chosen again when we separated.  He had built up a force of people that were “HIS” and I was left as the one who gave up and abandoned him, leaving him a hot mess.  Live and learn, but had I not left, I would have been the hot mess with no support system via those I thought were closest to me.  When I left and headed 45 minutes away to stay with my sister, my best friend and her husband became his sitters.  The realization that we were done, took a huge toll on him, I will probably never know how much, because I didn’t care to find out…he made his bed.  I quickly realized that once I left the realm of that relationship, I left all that I knew.  I didn’t hear from her for days, when prior we had seen each other at least 3-4 times a week, shopping, hanging out, visiting, movies/dinner at home.  When I did talk to her she was busy, or just didn’t answer, and told me once that “we had to take him to the hospital, he had no one.”  Well, gee, I wonder why he has no one?  Could it be that he was attempting to meet another woman while he was married?  Maybe she can come take care of him?  My initial thought was that my friend was torn, and didn’t want to choose sides, when in fact, it came out months later in her own words “what am I supposed to do, he’s my husband’s boss?” So, there is where that 17 year friendship ended.  I had become concerned about information reaching my ex, via what else? Facebook.  So I sent her a message and asked if I had anything to worry about since her husband and he worked together.  She acted appalled that I would suggest it.  I had been in the office with both of them, and know for a fact that the FB of one, was not off limits to the other.  Since he was her husband (and my husband has full access to my FB), I knew that if he had her password, then my ex could easily get info.  I was completely justified asking her because on 2 occasions I had him show his ass by sending me a message and commenting on things.  I had narrowed our “joint” friends on FB down to 3 people.  I am still friends with 2 of them and I simply needed to hear that she was not going to allow that type of behavior.  The message I got instead was one of disbelief and support for him.  She unfriended me and to this day, we haven’t spoken.  Needless to say, since that day over 6 months ago, I haven’t heard from him once.

The divorce and weeks leading up to it turned his entire family, against me.  While he was calling my family to try to aid him in reconciling, and my friends were consoling him…his family was cutting ties.  I again thought it was that they had to support him, no matter what, in our 9 year relationship, I had that pounded into my head by his mom.  We are a family, we stick together…she really meant that, I should have listened.   Apparently, even wrong, blood is thicker than love.  I had said it many times to friends that had it not been for his mom, I would have bailed on the relationship long before we even got married.  She was an amazing woman, and as I said earlier, when my mom passed, she immediately stepped in and took that role in my life.  I will always be thankful for what she did for me.  I am still shocked and sad that not only did her son ruin a marriage, but he took away the family that I was forced to embrace.

I recently started talking to my sister-in-law (ex), who I guess is now just a friend…I used to say to her, “I need to talk to you as a friend, not my sister.”  Funny how that works out.  She and I talked for a few weeks via email and just recently chatted on FB and I smiled and enjoyed the whole conversation.  Aside from catching up on each others lives, it was normal, it flowed, it was not at all tense.  It was refreshing to know that to true friends time lost doesn’t mean you lose anything.  I look forward to becoming as we once were, which was laughing, jokes, love, advice and more.  I am more than thankful to have her back in my life in whatever capacity.

In just under 2 years I’ve lost a (bad) marriage,  a sister, a mother, and a close friend.  I don’t fight for things that don’t want to be fought for.  There is no use.  As with anything, if you’re the only one fighting to keep it…you’re going to be the only one holding it there.  My sister can tell you, I have no issue “cutting” things out that are unhealthy (just ask her about my aunt), or that I don’t agree with.  Didn’t say I was right to do it, but I have no second thoughts about it.  I learned early that life is short and I don’t have time for BS, toxic people are just that.  If you want to deal with it, then go for it, I won’t be.  It’s also very freeing to let someone know that the train has stopped, and I don’t have to stay on it.   I’ll continue to live like this, because for me, it has proven to be effective and eliminate a ton of stress and drama.

So, we are current on friendships, or the main ones I have.  I haven’t even mentioned my friends that I look to in daily life.  Ones that I knew when I was younger and have reconnected with, some that I hold certain hobbies or interests with, and those that I know through other people.  It is a blessing to have such a diverse pool to choose from now that I am not limited to someone else’s friends.

Let’s talk about my best friend now, it’s not any of the people I spoke about earlier.  It is my “newest” friend, yet the one who knows as much as all the others combined.  It would be no problem for them to speak to any of my lifelong friends, sisters or family about me and know what they were talking about.  He has learned more, asked more, heard more, and listened to more than any of them.  He’s not trying to one up anyone, but he truly has become the closest person to me.  In most friendships, you give some and get some…you’re there to enjoy the good times and balance out the bad.  I always thought that best friends were for outside of marriage, you know, to talk about the marriage with…I have never been in a relationship with someone that was my best friend.  Good, bad, right, wrong, he knows it all, yet still loves me and lives every day to get to know me more and for us to be support for each other.  I have again been blessed with an amazing family (through D) and have again gained a mother figure.  No one can replace my mom, but a girl/woman always needs a strong, loving woman to talk to, and I am blessed to have been given that twice now, aside from my own mother.  D’s mom has taken me on just as my ex’s did and if you didn’t know we’d been married for just over a year, you’d never guess it by how she and I talk.  She is truly a blessing.

Those that are in our lives, whether it’s for a day, or for years  are definitely there for a reason.  Some are to teach us what love is, some are to teach us about ourselves and some are to bring us to others we haven’t even met yet.  Those we lose, whether to death or the death of a friendship are to be thanked for all it is they brought to our lives after they are no longer in it.

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