Sunday, September 30, 2012

Step mom = bad guy ... sad ... but true

I don't know how to start this ... I don't even think I am going to post it ... It's just that my mind is racing ... I have to write ... to get it out ... there are so many things in this world that I do not understand ... things that I cannot understand even if I were to give up my own life to understand them ... but I think I understand this ... but that does not mean I accept it ... I think some back story is needed.

R and I have majority custody of E ... that you know ... but what you don't know is about her mother ...I must preface ... I am NOT going to talk bad about her mother or the decisions that she makes ... that is not what I am about on this blog ... what I am about is dealing with things that may come up or that have come up that may help someone in my similar situation.

I need to digress again ... well ... E has been at her moms this weekend ... she promised to bring her back in time for school ... however, something came up and she is now unable to do so. Yes ... R and I talked about it ... as we were talking I was saying things that he said were coming straight out of his own thoughts ... haven't I mentioned before that we practically share the same brain ... So R decided that he needed to text his/our thoughts to Es mom ... her first response was to tell him that she sees that he has been talking to me ... well ... I ... um ... yea.

What is hard about being a step mom is that you are now the bad guy ... from all sides ... It was not as if R and I were saying anything negative to her ... honestly ... we were only telling her our thoughts on teaching E while young the importance of education and following through with her commitments ... also ... it was not as if I was the only one with an input about the situation ... texting was Rs idea ... his words ... our thoughts.

This is not how it is seen though ... bad guy = me ... regardless of how it really happens ... I don't know how I feel about this ... Its like I am stunned ... I don't know what to say ... I don't know how to react ... I shouldn't react should I ... I know that this is a fact of life ... I have said before that it is even in Disney movies ... step-mom = evil ... I think I just wish that there was something that I could do to change this notion ... I think I wish that the "real" mom would see that I am just trying to do what is best for baby ... that my main concern ... strike that ... my only concern ... is for baby ... for her well being ... you see ... I love her ... I may hate the situation ... but I love her ... regardless of any situation ... she has been in my life for the past three years ... there is no way you could not love someone after that long ... especially with how wonderful E is ... it only takes a week with her. But there are times where I am the bad guy with her ... and now I am the bad guy with her mom ... oh wait ... I guess I have always been the bad guy ...

But I am selfish ... I don't want it to be that way ... In a way I still have that disease to please ... I don't want anyone to think badly of me ... I want it to be all flowers and unicorns ... but it can't be like that can it ... this world isn't about having people like you ... not everyone is going to like you ... circumstances in life change the ability to have everyone like you ... It really is just not possible ... but is it so bad to want that? no ... I don't think it is ... but it is foolish to do all you can to make someone like you ... at some point it is too much to try to do.

Es mom and I will always be civil ... we will always talk nice to each other ... but I don't think that we will ever really be friends ... I think that I am getting to a point where I am ok with that ... I am ok with standing up for what I believe in when it comes to the raising of E ... I want the best for her ... and I am not afraid to fight for it ... even if that means that I am the bad guy.

Things to take away:
  1. It is ok to be the bad guy when you are fighting for the right cause - Lets be honest ... step-parents are the bad guys ... and if you are fighting for the right to give your step-child drugs then you really are the bad guy ... but if all you are doing is looking out for their growth and development in the most positive and healthy ways then I think it is ok to be seen as the bad guy.
  2. Don't back down because you want to make everyone happy - you have to put the best interests of the child in your heart and run with them ... when you marry the parent of a child you become a "real" parent ... their child is now official your child ... congratulations it is a girl ... so you need to treat them as if they are your own child ... I am sure we have all heard stories of mothers lifting one ton trucks of their babies ... you have to become that mother ... the more advocates for love and health a child has the better.
  3. Don't let someone thinking you are a bad guy get you down - I struggle with this ... I mean ... isn't that evident ... I am the one rambling on about the topic because we just got a text that made it seem like I am the bad guy ... I am not a duck ... harsh words don't run of my back like water does a duck ... I hurt ... I bleed ... I obviously have mental break-downs ... but just because someone thinks I am bad doesn't mean that I am ... remember ... and repeat it to yourself ofter ... that you fight because you love the child ... if you didn't care you wouldn't get frustrated over any situation. you care ... sue yourself ... remember that ... your bad because you care ... and that will sound ridiculous so maybe that will help that weird feeling you get in your heart when you find out that you are the bad guy. 
anyway ... be strong my fellow step-mothers ... we will change what Disney thinks of us ... no matter how long it takes ... just love your little step-child ... be their advocate for good things ... so even when you are the bad guy you aren't really a bad guy.

I am a Mormon ... I am not perfect ... I do not have to be

I love Sundays ... there is something wonderful about having a whole day set apart to worship the Lord ... to reflect on his goodness and tender mercies that he bestows upon us ... I am blessed every single day in my life ... and so are you ... whether you recognize it or not ... you are. We are given a whole day ... the day he rested from making us this entire earth ... as a day to show our gratitude ... or really ... a day to relax from the craziness that is our everyday lives ... that's right folks ... I may not be thinking of and thanking Christ every millisecond of the sabbath day (though I probably should because of how much he blesses me)

Those of you who know me know I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints ... or Mormon ... Those of you who may not know me but read my blog will probably know this fact too (I'm not exactly shy to admit it) ... Let me clear something up ... Mormons are Christians ... I'm sorry if you don't think this ... I don't know how better to convince you in any other way than we worship Christ the Lord and his Father. simple as that ... I believe in Christ ... I believe he atoned for my sins in the Garden of Gethsemane, died for me on the cross, and was risen again after three days. These are things I know ... and by definition of Christianity I am most assuredly a Christian.

Now ... I live in Utah ... Where ... I think ... the percentage of Mormons is 51% ... I have lived all over these United States ... Utah, Pennsylvania, Texas ... but I have to say that I think Utah is the most difficult place to be a member of this church. Living in Pennsylvania I was the only female member in my grade at my school ... there were two other boys ... Living in Texas there were four of us ... one other girl and two boys ... However, this did not make things more difficult ... we were bonded together as a family ... we all stood for something ... my friends knew that swearing around me was to be kept to a minimum if not disbanded altogether. I will never forget the immediate connection I had with every move as I was accepted into the youth of the church ... because there were so few of us we were able to steady each other ... use each others strengths to build up our own weaknesses. Here in Utah it is different. I love that many stores are closed on Sunday ... I love that almost anyone you talk to has the same ideals and beliefs as you ... I love how you can walk down the street and there is no swearing ... so many things to love about being in Utah ... but with all of this positive comes negative. People in Utah are the most judgmental I have ever seen.

This makes me laugh ... We are taught in church that we are on this word to be perfected, not to be perfect ... now the reason I bring all of this up is because of our talks in Sacrament meeting today (this is the first hour of church where the whole congregation is joined together and taught by speakers [they change weekly and are just patrons of the ward]) ... no ... no one said that we have to be perfect ... promise ... but I was able to see how the scriptures used today could be construed to have people think this ... we studied Doctrine and Covenants 8: 118-119 ... now ... I am just going to focus on verse 119 ... this is what is says:

aOrganize yourselves; prepare every needful thing; and establish a bhouse, even a house of prayer, a house of fasting, a house of faith, a house of learning, a house of glory, a house of order, a house of God;

holy crap ... this is a lot of pressure ... and if you aren't LDS and don't like me referencing D&C then you need to sit down and read the book of Proverbs (if you don't know where Proverbs is then you probably shouldn't be caring what I referenced) ... peppered throughout all scriptures are the things that we are supposed to do in order to live our lives "right" ... It's like pressure central up in there ... our house needs to be cleaned and organized ... we need to make sure that we are praying daily; personal, family, couples, and before meals ... we need to be making sure our kids and ourselves are constantly learning and feeling the spirit within our home. On and on and on.

Let me get something straight ... this is not a bad thing ... in fact ... this is a very good thing ... can you imagine going through life without a road map of where to go??? I couldn't ... I get lost driving down the street ... much less on the road of life! But what we need to remember is that the Gospel is perfect ... the people are not.

I was recently driving back from a bridal shower with two of my awesome sister-in-laws ... we were  having this exact same discussion ... their insight was eye-opening to me ... I thought that only Utah transplants felt this way ... but these two ladies who were born and raised in Utah had felt this same way at one point or another in their lives (I'm not going to go into our discussion of why ... that is their story to tell ... not mine) ... It reminded me of a quote from Dieter F. Uchtdorf (he is the second counselor in our General Presidency). During one of the more recent conferences (we have what is called general conference twice a year ... here the entire world meets to listen at the Prophet's feet) President Uchtdorf quoted a bumper-sticker that read "Don't judge me because I sin differently than you" ... This is exactly what we need to remember ... we all sin ... no one is perfect ... stop focusing on what others around you are doing or not doing and focus on your own life and what you can do to better yourself.

Wow ... that last paragraph rant was not where I wanted to go with my blog ... but I guess it should be said!

Back to the topic on hand though shall we ... We are not perfect and we do not have to be. What I really wanted to get out of this post is that we don't have to be perfect. I only have one kiddo and find it hard to keep my house perfectly clean one hundred percent of the time ... I can only imagine ... and dread ... what it would be like with two, three, or four (or more ... but you won't see more than that come out of my whoha) ... I guess I can tie my previous paragraph to this ... It is hard to feel like you are in this together when we are all constantly judging each other ... but really ... we are in this together ... this life is not easy ... and going it alone because you cannot stand that she/he never cook for their family or she is a working mother or they missed church last Sunday ... get over yourself ... those aren't even sins ... I bet you haven't done the laundry in two weeks. We need to learn that we are each going through this world to grow and to change and to be perfected ... not to be perfect by putting all the other housewives to shame and looking down on them ... wrongo!

I guess what I am getting at is that this world is too short to put so much pressure on yourself or others. All we need to do is focus on ourselves and what we can do to bring us closer to Christ. Each day is a new day to help us do that. What I love most about being a Mormon is that our church is based in part on love and acceptance (again ... the gospel is perfect the people are not ... I am sorry if you have had an experience that makes you think otherwise). We are taught the principles of Christ-like love and are encouraged to strive for those feelings inside of ourselves ... with that we are taught to love everyone ... sometimes it works and sometimes is doesn't ... but if we try that is good enough for the Lord for he knows what is in our hearts.

Things to take away:
  1. Try, but do not get discouraged if you fail - this life is all about trying and failing and trying and failing ... we need to realize that we are not perfect ... and we are not expected to be ... we are just expected to try ... try to be good ... try to establish our house ... It will take this whole life... maybe many lifetimes ... in the process of being perfected ... and I honestly believe that it will never be able to happen for anyone on this earth apart from Christ ... or else ... why did he even die for us?
  2. Do not judge others - this one is hard for me ... I like to gossip ... come on ... everyone does (right?) ... but what we need to realize is that we are all in this together ... we need to love and support each other ... just because they sin doesn't mean you should hate them ... because I know you sin too!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Easy peasy diy Halloween decorations

So ... I'm just going to say it ... I have a scaredy cat for a daughter ... not ashamed to admit it because, lets be honest, I'm a scaredy cat too (at least when it comes to ghosts ... still can't watch sixth sense ... yeaaa) ... well ... because of this (and because I don't own any decorations for any holiday) I had to create some kind of something to be festive ... oh wait ... did I forget to tell you that we are broke ... whellp ... we are ... give us some credit I just graduated college in May and R did the May before ... besides ... we live in Logan and that pays like crap ... anyway (man ... can you tell I've been grumpy recently! how sassy am I right) ... so anyway that was the task I sent out to accomplish ... create practically free kid friendly Halloween decorations that will work with a limited amount of space (R and I don't have a lot of space for a lot of decor ... we work with what we have).  I searched pinterest over and over again ... trying to see what I could paste together ... and this is what I came up with:



now ... I lucked out ... and all of these things I usually have on hand in my craft buckets ... and lucky for you none of what you need is expensive ... all in all I would say that this will cost you well under five dollars ... all you need to complete something like this is this:

  1. black card-stock
  2. white paper (even computer paper would do ... card-stock is best though)
  3. Tissue paper
  4. twine
  5. sharpie
  6. exacto knife
  7. scissors
  8. glue ( I used hot glue ... but you may not want to ... I'll explain why later)
  9. cutting board
now ... to make the silhouettes I just looked at what Halloween houses looked like and free handed them ... here are what mine look like up close so you can copy these if you like:

sorry ... the picture is a little blurry
I cut the main frame of the houses out with scissors then used an exacto knife to cut out the windows and the curtains ... putting them on the cutting board to cut so I would not ruin the carpet or counter ... I wanted the silhouettes to be in one piece ... to do this I left little pieces to connect the door to the building ... as you can see. 

Ghosts are ghosts ... all you need to do is free-hand a little blob on white paper and cut it out ... using the sharpie to draw in eyes and a mouth ( I drew my mouth to make it look like the ghost is saying oooooooo ... ha!). 

Next is the banner ... I used a cup as a stencil to make the circles ... then free-handed the letters ... though ... it may have been easier to use a stencil ... I just didn't have one ... lame ... luckily they didn't turn out terrible ... now to the explanation of the glue ... To stick the letters onto the circles ... then the circles to the twine ... sticking the circles to the twine worked well with hot glue ... ish ... as did the letters ... but look what is did:


What you will notice when you look this close up are what look like perpetually wet marks on the letters ... on one hand you really can't see them from far away ... on the other, it really gives someone with OCD (like me) the twitches ... but I'll make do ... the other kind of glue I thought about would be a glue stick ... if someone tries this please let me know how it goes! 

I crumpled up my tissue paper because I thought that it gave it a Halloweenie look ... if you want it flat but can't get the creases out that come from it just being in it's package you can always throw it on the ironing board with a towel over it and iron it (don't hold it on there for too long ... the paper will probably melt) ... you can also punch holes in the circles and thread the twine through them if you don't like the huge glue globs  on the back! 

So that's it! Practically free, kid and budget friendly Halloween decorations! 

Other things I am wanting to try:
  1. Mod podge-ing black lace onto pumpkins
  2. spray painting a broom (the one we bought for three dollars at the DI [aka: Utah thrift store] is what this is for) to make it become a witches broom 
  3. taking pallet wood (which you can get for free you know ... my father-in-law owns a nursery and they burn theirs when they are with them ... If you ask they will give) and making a sign for the door ... maybe I will actually do this for Thanksgiving ... use two pieces ... one that says "give" the other saying "thanks" ... I will totally do that now! great ... get excited for that craft on the blog!!! 
Ok ... have a good night my friends! Happy crafting!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Mental Breakdown Central!

So I wanted this blog to be a DIY for less than five dollars Halloween decorations (don't worry ... I will do that tomorrow) ... but no ... apparently I did not anticipate that girls hormones sync up no matter what the age ... that's right ... you heard me correctly ... girls sync up ... kill me (really it should be poor R).

I know you are dying to hear my stories ... yeaaaa .... whellp ... too bad ... you are going to hear them anyway!

I didn't feel particularly on edge today ... in fact I thought it was going to be a pretty good day .... well ... E thought otherwise ... from right when she woke up she was in that fit-throwing mood ... not to pat my own back ... again ... but I think I handled it pretty well!

The day went on until we hit lunch ... oh lunch ... hello again my fit-throwing daughter ... I missed you this hour you were gone ... not ... lunch went a lot like this ... "mom my sandwich isn't cut (she was standing in front of the fridge ... her sandwich was cut) ... no mom it's not I promise" "go look at it Em" ... "but mom my sandwich is stale ... this corner is broken, the crust is not good" "just try it Em ... would you like to drink your milk" "mom I think this milk is yucky ... is it yucky?" "no Em, the milk is yummy" "what mom" "yummy" "what mom ... I can't hear you" "(lounder) Yummy" "ow mom, your hurting my ears ... I'm so full ... you yelled at me and hurt my ears ... I can't eat anymore" "you don't have to eat anymore if you are full ... I can save it for later ... we just have to go to quiet time now" "nooooooo ... I'm not full ... I don't want to go to quiet time now ... this sandwich is yucky ... I don't want to eat my carrots ... I'm full"  ... now ... this was all followed by streams of tears ... luckily I was still in a good mood and just sat and held her.

Then came my turn ... that's right ... my turn.

After quiet time we went shopping ... see ... my sister-in-law (the same one who listened to my "I hate children" rant) has her baby shower on Saturday and I am in works to make something awesome ... I just might do a DIY on it after I give it to her ... well ... for this gift you need diapers and a bottle and receiving blankets and so on (don't worry ... I know you have already guessed what it is ... but news flash ... you are wrong ... it will be so much better than that!) ... well ... I thought I knew at least a little about babies ... apparently I was wrong ... I had NO idea what I should get ... I tried over and over again to get a hold of my mom for help but she was somewhere in between work and home ... hello moma tears ... "where is my mom ... I can't do this without her ... how am I supposed to be a mom with her living in Texas ... what am I supposed to do when I have my own ... I need my mommy ... I cannot be a mom without my mom ... what am I doing" ... yea ... that really happened.

So that was our day ... breakdown central ... on all sides ... I feel so bad for R sometimes

Things to take away -

  1. Apparently girls emotions sync up no matter the age - advise your men to head for this hills because this is happening ... no way to avoid it ... men are SOL ... I wonder how hubbys who have four daughters and no sons do it?
  2. I really have no legit advice for days like today ... scream ... cry a little ... ummm ... good luck ... If E and I can get through it so can you!
WELL ... lets not be all dramatic and depressing ... l'll leave you with these amazing pictures of E and I getting ready for our dance party that she and I had:

you know we look good ... E wanted her makeup to be  pinkalicious and purplelicious at the same time

more like how we felt today ...
I just had to add this one ... only "smile" I got out of E all day ... it was a day!!


Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Tribute to one amazing sister on her birthday

This is Erin:

photo cred to my pal B. Brent and her awesome photography "Essence Photography" ... check her out ... she rocks

about 89% of the world already knows her or knows of her ... the other unfortunate 11% prepare yourselves ... you are about to get the in-depth scoop on a girl who you will probably meet someday! 

Erin is my big sister ... older by around 3 years ... she is the kindest, nicest, loudest girl I know. What is funny about Erin is that I have always been known as Erins little sister ... and I mean always ... I don't know how she did it, but within a semester at Utah State University (of which I had been attending for two years already) I became "Erins little sister" again ... the campus has over 25,000 students and teachers ... you have got to be kidding me right. Walking on campus with her was like walking with the president of the United States ... she couldn't walk two steps without someone saying hi to her. Eventually she moved on from college ... however, nothing changed ... just this morning she had to call me back a total of 5 times because so many people were stopping to wish her happy birthday at work. I think she will forever be my claim to fame.

The first thing to ever rocketship this girl to stardom was her ability in sports ...by the time Erin was in second grade her soccer and softball skills were so advanced that she was playing a grade up ... and it stayed that way ... she became varsity goalie as a freshman in high school ... and was working her way to the Olympics in track and field for her javelin, shot-put, and discus throws. When we moved to Hershey, PA everyone wanted her on their team ... literally ... even my lacrosse coach would try to get me to talk to Erin about coming and being our goalie ... and I know the field hockey coach was bribing her to do the same for that team. But Erins real one true love was soccer ... well ... lets be honest ... the social aspect of it! This girl was good enough to go to the Olympics ... in fact I think that she still could be ... but man she loves to hang out with everyone instead! Sooo ... with all this sport-ability it is easy to get intimidated when playing sports with her ... she had a crush on this one little boy in fourth grade ... then she played catch with him ... bad move ... she threw too hard and hurt his hand (and his little fourth grader pride) and that was the end of that. But seriously ... she is the least intimidating person to play with ... even with me ... I liked to stand on the soccer field and count the flowers (or smash the gnats that flew above our sweaty heads) ... and yet Erin always told me that I was doing a good job ... she always gave me pointers to do better (in a nice way) ... and she always encouraged me. That is how she is with anyone who plays a sport with her ... so believe me ... she is so good it is scary ... but don't worry ... she will still tell you that you are the best (even when you clearly aren't).

Aside from sports  Erin is also known for being a very devout member of the Mormon community ... she is poised to become the next general relief society president (relief society defined here) one day ... but what you may not know about her is that when she was in ninth grade she liked to booty dance to the "Thong Song " ... don't lie ... you know you know it! But seriously ... Erin has a heart like no one I have ever met ... she loves so fully and completely that is no wonder that she has been in the relief society presidency in practically every ward she has been in ... It's like ... if you were to look in the dictionary under Christ-like love there would be a picture of Erin right next to Christ.

Now ... we can't talk about Erin without talking about her loudness ... I mean really ... it is a part her ... I love when I go looking for her at her work or church that I don't need a cell phone ... all I have to do is listen ... undoubtedly I will find her within two minutes (even though her new work is three ginormous buildings ... I still find her) ... you would think that someone being that loud would be uber annoying ... but it's not ... in fact ... I have never seen more people jazzed to be at work when working with her ... it is that loud voice, and the way she says things, that gets everyone pumped up and excited to be in a place that they may not have wanted to be earlier that day!







Finally ... the best thing about Erin (in my opinion) is her laugh ... It's like watching a movie is ten times better when she watches it with you ... there is something contagious about her laugh that makes you laugh too ... It doesn't sound funny ... ok ... maybe it does a little ... but it is the best laugh I have ever heard ... I always tried to imitate it when I was younger ... I was convinced that it was that laugh that made her so popular ... and maybe in a way it is ... Erins laugh is contagious therefore she is contagious therefore she is a superstar ... that's how I'm going to look at it anyway!

So that's it ... my tribute to my sister on her birthday ... no, this is not being posted on match.com (though maybe I should) ... I just really love my sister ... and I know that everyone else does too ... so I needed to outline why!

Erin ... I love you sister ... you are the best sister a girl could ask for (even if you didn't teach me about makeup and fashion) ... believe me when I say that I will never be tired of being "Erins little sister"

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Chicken in Basil Cream Sauce

dinner ... oh dinner ... sometimes you can be the bain of my existence ... sometimes you have me make something so good that it is worth singing about (no ... things I try don't always come out good ... but I only blog the good things ... hence why recipe blogs are not that often!) ... since this is the internet and you can't hear my (cough) great (cough) voice I will just give you the recipe instead!

no ... that is not puke on the chicken ... it's cheese ... you will deal when you try it

This, my dear friends, is Chicken in a basil cream sauce ... or, as E likes to call it (R also has a cute name for it ... lick the plate chicken ... I just like Es better) ... Cheeto chicken ... that is how good the sauce is ... it tastes like cheetos ... no joke.

I found this recipe over at favfamilyrecipes.com ... deliciouso (in the voice of Dora). Per usual there are minor changes that I have made that do not affect the integrity of the flavor ... just enhance it ... in my humble opinion.

1 c. milk
1 c. homemade Italtian breadcrumbs (promise ... homemade are so much better ... see end of this post for "recipe")
4 chicken breasts cut into half
1/4 c. butter
1 c. chicken broth
2 c. whipping cream
2 tsp. fresh basil minced
1/8 tsp ground pepper
1 c. grated parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Pound chicken (if you don't have a meat hammery-thingy and the chicken is thick enough you can butterfly it). But butter in a skillet on the stove on medium heat. Once butter is melted dip chicken in milk then breadcrumbs and put them in the skillet. cook until breadcrumbs become golden brown on both sides. Put browned chicken into a 13x9 pan and set in the oven (no timer needed ... just take it out when sauce and other sides are done). Now it is time for the sauce ... in the same pan that you warmed the chicken in (without even wiping it down) add chicken broth and stir to loosen browned bits. Stir in whipping cream, basil, and pepper. Let boil for one minute stirring constantly. Stir in parmesan cheese. Pour sauce over chicken (on your plate so you get just the right amount) and enjoy!!!

We like to serve sauceless noodles and just use the sauce that this makes for them ... I mean ... get ready ... this is not a low calorie dinner ... but holy crap ... seriously ... it is worth is! lick. the. plate. cheeto. chicken. ... HA ... see what I did there ... combined the two names ... that's right ... blamo ... it is worth that too!

OH RIGHT ... breadcrumbs ... ok ... "recipe" right ... well ... get your food processor out ... if you don't have one of those then you can use a blender ... and if you don't have one of those then you are SOL ... sorry ... anyway ... I use the heals of my bread ... because lets be honest ... no one likes the heals for sandwiches ... so ... to every 2 heals of bread use 2 tsp. of Italian seasoning ... blend those together and Viola ... homemade Italian breadcrumbs. Usually you are supposed to let them dry out before use ... but I honestly like using them fresh ... It seems to absorb more of the butter and create a more moist and richer flavor.

Ok ... have a great night lovelies! MAKE THIS RECIPE ... you will love me forever if you do!

Monday, September 24, 2012

I am a step mom ... the story of me and E

I have been contemplating about this post for a long time ... It was one of the reasons why I waited so long to start a blog. I hate to admit it ... but ... I am terrified of Es mom reading this blog ... I don't want her to know that I struggle ... I don't want her to think she made a bad decision ... she didn't ... promise. 

E is where she is supposed to be right now ... maybe in the future that will change ... but right now her place is with R and I. 

With that being said ... I do struggle ... E is amazing ... honestly one of the best kids that I have ever met ... and I have met a lot of kiddos ... ask anyone who I have babysat for (which I did from ages 12 to 18 ... that's a heck of a lot of kids!)  ... she is a special spirit ... Heavenly Father knew what he was doing when he sent her to earth. So no ... it is not because of her that I struggle ... but because of my own selfishness. 

In our Mormon culture it is not uncommon for women my age to have as many as three or four children .. I'm 24 ... I just learned that one of my beautiful sister-in-laws (who puts me to shame by just having her third baby over the summer) is a year younger than me ... Mormon fail on my account ... however, something happened to me while working for adults with disabilities ... something broke ... It was as if I had worked with children for too long (again ... since I was 12) ... adults with disabilities became just like children to me ... and that straw was the one that the camel regretted putting on its back because that straw broke it. I no longer wanted kiddos of my own ... they smelled ... they cried ... they were needy ... that was it ... done. luckily I have matured since then ... I still think those things about kids ... but at least I recognize that I will want some to come out of my own womb eventually. These have been my thoughts for about the past three years ... want some ... eventually ... and then came lil miss E. See ... I knew that we would eventually be getting majority custody of E ... could feel it in my bones ... and in the conversations between R and Kristen ... but I thought we had three years ... by that time R and I would be ready to have our own ... or I would be preggo ... but I was silly to think that ... I mean ... whenever you plan out your life rarely does it ever turn out like you thought ... that's just how life is ... and ours did that too ... turned itself upside down not even four months after our marriage. 

What made it worse is that I just got back from one of the best vacations of my life ... to my favorite place in the world ... New York ... (shout out to my mom's sisters, my Uncle Steve, and my beautiful cousins who made it as amazing as it was ... and to my wonderful cousin who got married to her awesome new hubby who made it all possible!) ... getting back from that beautiful state/city always gives me DTs because of how bad I want to live and work there. This time I not only had to come back to lil ol Logan but one day later we got a call from Es mom saying she was coming to Logan on Tuesday to sign papers. 

Enter panic mode ... holy crap ... I'm too young for this ... I need to be free ... I need to be able to do what I want when I want ... If I want to watch Ugly Betty all day long what am I going to do ... I can't do this ... I don't even like kids ... they smell ... oh my heck my house is going to smell ... oh my heck ... my house is going to be dirty ... oh crap ... oh crap ... oh crap ... 
I told R to tell her that I couldn't be a mom that quick ... that I needed at least two weeks ... that enabled me to nest ... enabled me to quit my job (working swing shift [3-11:30pm] is not exactly conducive to having a kid) ... enabled me to wrap my head around being a full time mommy ... but that wasn't what happened ... I fell into a deep depression ... unlike my depression during my first marriage I knew that I was in depression. I felt different ... sad all the time ... angry at the world ... at the situation ... I wasn't ready for kids of my own ... how was I going to raise one that isn't mine? The depression stayed for a while ... I remember going to the family dinner that we have monthly at Rs dads house and just ranting ... going nuts with how much I couldn't stand kids ... I couldn't stop ... it was like word vomit ... spewing rant after rave after rant ... worse? of course it was worse ... my wonderful sister-in-law who I was ranting to is preggo herself ... (sorry Janiel ... your baby is going to be wonderful ... and kids aren't that bad ... I can't wait to meet him!). My poor fam must think I am so crazy!

At home it was just as bad ... two females trying to adjust to a new life that neither really wanted ... E wanting to be with her mom and not with the "mean mom" ... me wanting to work and play and not have a kid. We struggled ... together ... but separate ... in a way wanting the same thing but forced with the opposite ... and so we rebelled against each other ... E would cry ... I would yell ... tears and time-outs ... forced smiles ... 

Then ... two things happened ... Heavenly Father sent me a friend who knew exactly what I am going through ... and I learned more about the law of sacrifice. First Sarah ... she was just a girl in our ward who worked in the primary with us ... then we talked ... and we continue to talk ... I can rant and rave all I want to her because she gets it ... she is there too ... she has a step-son who lives with them during the summer ... she knows how it is ... she knows how it feels ... she knows how it goes. I only hope that I give her enough time to talk!! (Sar - you can talk to me about anything whenever ... I hope you know that!) Now about the law of sacrifice ... when you think about it ... to know the fullness of joy we must know sacrifice. On top of that Heavenly Father asks us to sacrifice certain things to "prove" ourselves in a way ... sometimes our own life is required ... but that last statement means so much more than possibly dying for our beliefs ... it can mean giving up what we had planned for our lives ... giving up who we thought we were to be able to become something greater ... to do something greater ... hence ... giving up what I wanted in my life to raise a precious daughter of God ... aka: sacrificing my life for the life of someone else who needs me. It finally got better. 

Lucky for me the depression is gone ... and it has gotten easier .... we still have a long way to go ... I still have a long way to go ... but I am learning! E and I have learned that if we work together we can get through it together. There are far fewer tantrums ... I cannot remember the last time E was in timeout ... our relationship feels more natural ... less forced ... more mommy daughter ... again ... I still have a long way to go ... but I am getting there.

Things to take away -
  1. Don't be freaked out if it takes a long time to form a real parent connection with a step-child - my mother-in-law Bev told me it took her about six months when Rs little brother went to live with them ... someone else took a whole year to form that connection to their adoptive child ... E and I still have not formed this relationship fully ... I can't wait for the day that we get there ... maybe then when she talks in the car for the entire hour and a half drive to see my sister will no longer start to get on my nerves. 
  2. Show them love ... regardless - no matter how selfish you are feeling ... how much anger at the situation ... the child is ALWAYS innocent ... your insides may be screaming as they talk back to you ... or throw themselves on the floor screaming that they want to watch another movie ... but your outsides need to be screaming love. The child didn't ask for this ... they didn't ask for a broken home or a new person to boss them around. Sometimes all they need is a hug while they scream ... promise it will bring you closer together ... and an outward show of love often times will lead to an inward change of hard to feeling the real love.
  3. Make sure they know you are not there to replace their "real" parent - this one is hard for me ... E calls me mom ... I treat her like my daughter ... I have a very hard time with the decisions that her mom makes and the way it has affected Es life ... aside from that I feel like my heart loves so fully and so completely that often times I do think of E as my daughter ... but really ... you need to make sure that they know you are not there to replace their parent ... I tell this to E all the time ... your moma Kristen is your "real" mom ... I am here because I love you ... and I will always be here because of that ... but you are right ... your moma Kristen is your "real" mom. I think by doing this you are helping the relationship be better ... the child in turn trusts you more ... lets you in because you are not trying to take the place of someone who they love so much. It is really important.
  4. Regardless of age or how many movies a child has seen they know the stigma behind step-moms - lets be honest ... Disney is not exactly nice to us ... to be frank we are called evil ... yeouch ... how terrible is that ... and every child knows it ... even more terrible ... it creeps up on you too ... you can think that everything is getting better and then something is said that knocks you off your feet ... E just said to me the other day "you are my step-mother ... you know that ... my step-mother" , and the voice she used ... felt like it was laced with poison ... This happens ... often ... it's just the stigma ... you have to look past it ... refer to number 2 ... that is the only thing that makes it go away again.
  5. Sometimes being a step-mom is even more thankless than being a "real" mom - how dare I say that ... right ... that's what all you mothers out there are thinking ... well ... wait before you judge ... all I am saying is that your children love you so much that no matter what a step-parent does they still want their "real" parent (I hate saying real parent ... because we try to stress with E that I am her real mom too because I am married to her dad) ... but it's true ... no matter how much you feel like you sacrifice for your step-child mom ... or dad ... will always be better, stronger, smarter. But it is ok ... because it is not like they don't love you! It's just like when you yourself are sick ... there is no one who can match up to mommy ... even a spouse! 
  6. Sacrifice - being a parent is always about sacrifice ... so is being a step-parent ... you may not be ready for it ... but here is comes ... after all ... you did make the choice to marry their daddy. 
well ... it is late ... and so I wish you good luck! If you ever need to talk ... or rant ... or rave ... or rant some more ... go ahead and talk to me! We can work through it together ... something tells me that being a step-parent is a lifetime of work!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Weekend Fun!

Our little Combe fam had one busy awesome weekend! E and I started ours on Friday where we got to hang out with this awesome girl and do crafts all day

E thought it would be funny to draw a smiley  on the aunt Christens arm
Look at these two amazing wreaths she made ... she is so talented!:



Then Saturday came ... The whole fam was able to go with Rs dad and step-mom to Sourdough to go fishing! Sourdough is a mountain in Huntsville, UT owned by someone ... to heck if I know who ... then lots are rented out to people ... like a country club for country folk. Anyway ... we drove to the tip top of this mountain where there is a lake ... I wasn't so much into the fishing (side note ... I hate fish ... I don't like eating fish ... I don't like having fish as pets ... ew ... this is only my second time going fishing ... I go for the social aspect) ... ew (I did catch a couple though) ... but the fall colors up in those mountains ... oh ... to die for ... I mean just look at this:

the inversion is a little bad ... hence to blue haze ... but really ... those colors on those mountains ...  I die ... the picture doesn't even do it justice
Now for some fishing pictures!

Apparently there is more prep work that goes into fishing than I thought 

E waiting to get her fishing pole ... kool-aide mustache and all

E knows how to fish
How I roll when I fish ... yolo ...

E caught the first fish! (I should add that most of the fish were caught by her ... six I think)
Papa and E with her first fish 
Rs first fish
My first fish ... no ... I will not hold it/touch it ... no ... I was not happy that it was this close to me ... yes ... I know how ridiculous I am ... no I will not change ... yes ... I can laugh at myself ... this was seconds before my dear father in law smacked my face with it ... don't mind the fingers ... E took the picture ... 
cute in-laws fishing ... love them



All our fish!! 
R and I after a long day of fishing
Thank you so much Kirk and Bev for our fin filled day of fishing ... and thank you for putting up with my squealing  squirming and screaming. We love you guys!

On the docket for today? Well ... Our Brigham City temple is getting dedicated! meaning ... the temple is now closed to the general public and will now be used for it's intended purposes ... If you want to know more about that read here ... and so R and I will go to church at 3 instead of 9am ... E is a little too young to go to a temple dedication ... you have to be 8 ...she is only 4 ... but it will be a wonderful time! I am super excited to hear the blessings and feel the spirit! 

Well friends ... I hope you have a fantastic day yourselves! Happy Sunday!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Craft time!

so a couple of days ago I promised a tutorial ... and here it is ... after this:


That'r right folks! My husband rocks and got me the entire blu-ray collection of Harry Potter!!! When R goes on his trips he usually brings back little things that remind him of me while he is away ... example: one time his hotel provided the same kind of lotion that I use so he brought me back the cute little bottle ... this time he stumbled across this little beaut while surfing the net and decided I had to have it ... winner!

now ... onto the tutorial ... or first should you see what you are going make ... and if you even want to make it:



A Halloween door sign!!! It is hanging a little funny ... and I just barely took the picture and it's uber dark outside ... so you will have to deal! mostly when I make things with these letters that is what I get the questions about ... how do you make those letters ... well ... here it is:

First make sure you have everything:


especially your favorite helper:


Then modge podge the front of the letter (E wanted to paint the whole thing ... so I let her ... but it is not a necessary step) ... make sure you don't put too much modge podge on there ... it will make the paper wrinkle:


Press sticky side to backside of paper:


Grab your handy-dandy exacto knife and a cutting board ... cut around the letter:


Like this: (it does NOT have to be perfect ... you most likely will have cut bits of the wood and torn bits of the paper ... don't worry ... the next step takes care of that)


Take your paint and paint the edges of the letter ... then (making sure your brush has little paint on it) lightly pull your brush over the top of the letter ... leaving paint about an inch from the edge. This will give your letter a distressed look:


Modge podge time number two! Paint modge podge on both top and sides:


And your letters are done!

now ... the rest of the craft is a bunch of paint, ribbon, and hot glue ... i'm just not sure I like it enough to give the rest of the tutorial ... HOWEVER ... if you want me to I will ... you just have to let me know ... do that and it will be the next blog I do!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Lettuce Wraps

Dinner tonight = ultra exciting ... well ... for me at least ... tonight I made something of my own creation ... just went for it ... and ... again ... patting my own back ... it didn't turn out disgusting ... in fact it was positively edible! what was it you ask ... ok ... if you read the title I am going to call you a cheater and you will be immediately disqualified (no you don't win anything if you guess ... but cheating will be on your conscious forever) ... DRUM ROLL PLEASE ...............

Lettuce Wraps!!! (ok ... so R and I are trying to be more healthy ... sue us ... they are good!)


look at those bad boys! nice thing ... they only took about fifteen minutes (I had cooked my chicken last night)! You know you want the recipe ... so ill give it to you!

1 head of lettuce
3 chicken breasts
1 green bell pepper
1/2 white onion
4 cloves garlic
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp chicken stock
1 chicken bouillon cube (smashed up)
1 heaping tsp cumin
1 tsp paprika (maybe a little more than a tsp)
1 tsp seasonal salt
1 heaping tsp rosemary
parmesan cheese

Boil chicken then shred once cooled. Cut bell pepper and onion to bite size pieces. Mince onion. Saute onion and pepper in olive oil. After about two minutes add garlic and saute until garlic turns golden. Add chicken, chicken stock, and all spices. Cook for five minutes stirring constantly. Serve on a leaf of lettuce with parmesan cheese on top ... enjoy!

What's nice is that they are salty and fresh all at the same time!

OH! side note - do NOT try to break up the bouillon cube with your hands ... use the back of a knife or something ... or else your finger will turn out like mine did:

yes ... that is a blood blister on my thumb from trying to break up that stupid bouillon cube with my hands ... those suckers are tough!

NEW HAIR!

getting a haircut is always exciting ... normally I turn all control over to my stylist ... but that's just for the cut ... color is different ... today my cut stayed the same but the color changed ... see, change for me has to be gradual in that arena ... example: I want to go dark, therefore I went more honey! After a somewhat drama filled day ... and six hours in the salon (my hair tends to pull brassy ... I spent a couple hours as a red head today ... there is still some in there too) ... we have arrived at this:


oh wait ... some of you don't know what it looked like before ... here:

That, friends, is my beautiful best friend ... sorry ... she is taken
for me that is a big difference! I wanted to be warmer for fall and I think that my stylist achieved the goal! Thanks Sarah (my stylist) for putting up with me today just so you could ensure that my hair was perfect ... you rock!

P.S. sorry for the blurry photos ... yeouch ... oh ... and my eyes are totally red ... already know ... I have really bad allergies in Logan and refuse to wear my glasses ... whoops

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Divorce story ... lets get rid of all the questions shall we ...

Ok ... so I woke up in a cold sweat at three in the morning last night ... my head was reeling about things to talk about on here ... and what I felt was the most important was to answer all of those unanswered questions surrounding my divorce. Not that I am that important ... but there were rumors and questions ...  it's not like I have kept intentionally vague about it ... I just happen to be very good at putting on a brave face ... not lying ... if you were to flat out ask I would tell ... but I like to think of myself as a glass half full girl ... and that is why I constantly project happy even in a crumbling world. Aside from that, there were very important things I learned from the situation ... things that probably should be made clear for anyone who finds themselves in similar situation. Brace yourself ... this will be long

The story:

Chris and I were married for about two and a half years ... we got married at 19 were divorced by 21 ... It's not weird to be married at 19 in our Mormon culture ... Yet I was a free spirit, although I was too afraid to say so. I dreamed of flying free ... being my own person ... but my inability to say "no" tied me down. Throughout my life I constantly surrounded myself with people who have a type A personality ... my mother (no choice) ... my best friend (still friends ... 20 years strong!) ... other friends ... and now Chris. I tried to break up with Chris a few times before we got married. Once before he followed me up to school ... once I actually did breakup with him fall of our freshman year, but that only lasted a week because I couldn't handle someone being that unhappy ... so I put his happiness above my own from that point on. What is difficult for a person with type B personality is that most of the time they have the disease to please ... wanting everyone around them to be happy before their own happiness ... that was me. I dreamed of being the leader ... tried sometimes ... it worked with people who also have a type B personality ... but usually what happened was I let people steamroll me when it really came down to it.

With that in mind ... I will say that I don't think that it was all Chris' fault. The divorce, the abuse ... I enabled him to do that ... and he was wrong for doing it ... two to tango every time.

I digress ... marriage was great for six months ... I was not the all-star housewife to any degree ... but we made it work. Towards the end of the first six months things started to get rough ... I had quit my job three months earlier ... after only three months ... because I did not want to be associated with working at Wal-Mart ... and aside from homework ... ok ... I even rarely did homework ... I hardly did anything. when people would come over I would shove the dirty dishes in the bathtub ... yea ... it was that bad ... but i was only 19! no excuses ... I chose to get married. When I look back on it now I think my laziness was a combination of a couple of things ... my mother did most things for me growing up ... and I was rebelling against the cage that I had just put myself in. But that didn't mean I was going to give up ... we got sealed for eternity and eternity it would last. When things started to get rough I started looking for a job again ... started cleaning more ... started cooking more ... but it was a little too late ... the blackness had already begun to seep.

Chris allowed me to take on this more homemaker roll ... he loved it ... the house was clean ... and he didn't have to lift a finger. Three months later I got a new job ... and we moved to become apartment managers. Little red flags about the impending bumpy road popped up everywhere. We got new furniture ... but it was what he liked ... I hated it ... it didn't matter. I was doing his homework ... at least writing a lot of his papers. Sex had to happen everyday ... or else he was super grumpy for days. He would do little things to keep me happy ... like getting a dog ... or even just earrings ... but then those acts would be held over my head whenever I asked him to help a little more (more like screamed it), to which he would reply that I am the woman. We fought everyday (that is not an exaggeration) ... I remember our first fight ... it was early in our dating months ... after that there was a fight everyday (I apologize to my neighbors who ever lived around us ... that big white house has crazy thin walls ... and you heard almost all of it).

 Soon my whole life was being controlled. I was working sixty plus hours a week, going to school full time, helping with the apartments, keeping the house clean, cooking (when he would let me ... he didn't like me to cook because he couldn't stand looking at the mess and it was too expensive .. and he liked McDonalds anyway), doing his and my homework, taking care of the dog, and teaching our primary class on Sundays. I was never allowed to shop ... though we made a lot of money (he got new clothes and things [huge TVs] because he had to look nice at work and he had to have the latest technology ... yes ... we were some of those who waited all night to get a wii ... no he didn't play it more than a handful of times)  and didn't have any bills but non-smart cell phones ... by the time we got divorced I was down to one single pair of jeans that were the only ones for about three months ... they were from Wal-Mart and I had already had them for two years. Chris refused to go to church ... the first hour at least ... he would rather stay home and watch the cowboys ... or he was "sick" ... I would go by myself to teach the kiddos ... I was too scared to go to all three hours by myself.  I wasn't really allowed to see my sister (who moved in below us ... sorry to the people we kicked out ... I thought her living there would help the situation ... and that you weren't living there anymore ... it didn't, you did) or my best friend (who found herself in a very similar situation with her boyfriend at the time) or really anyone for that matter. Chris didn't like to go out with anyone, or didn't like to have anyone over ... too much effort. He had depression and Bipolar which he refused to take pills for.

I fell into a deep depression ... though I really didn't know it ... glass half full remember ... I gained sixty pounds ... I started being really rude to my family and those around me ... I started failing school. Chris would just tell me to drop out of school each semester because his school was more important. So I would ... hello six years to graduate. I quit my job ... it was too draining on all levels ... physically, emotionally, mentally (I managed a home for adults with disabilities) ... because I was already drained, I couldn't take anymore. I would find myself crying after Chris went to sleep for hours.that's when I got the housekeeping job at the hospital.

The final six months went like this ... Chris would wake up at five to go to work and school ... be done by ten am ... I would wake up around nine leave for school as he was getting home then go straight to work and be done by 11:30 pm. When I would leave Chris would be sitting in his chair with his giant soda on the side table with his xbox remote in front, the TV remote in his hand and his computer open on the other side of him. And that was where I would find him at the end of the night ... either there or in bed ... his stuff stationed in place waiting for tomorrow ... the dishes from the day were waiting for me to do them ... the house was waiting for me to pick up all of his stuff ... the dog still needed to be taken out ... and so I would do it ... all of it ... at least a clean house helped me be somewhat happy.

And then something happened. (here is where I disspell all rumors created on the labor and delivery floor in the hospital) I met R ... he was working at the hospital ... IT WAS NOT LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT ... he was friends with the same people I was friends with at work ... here and there I would hear bits and pieces of his story with his wife ... they were very similar to my own story ... his wife had depression but wouldn't take pills ... he was doing everything with the house (and new baby) while she sat and watched golden girls ... he escaped by playing video games when he got home at night. It helped me to analyze my situation ... I saw this boy ... who all I could think to tell him was to run ... in the same situation as me ... what does that say about me. R and I became friends ... we confided in each other ... we started to talk both in and out of work ... just friend stuff ... help through the day ... but ... THIS WAS WRONG ... If you are married to someone you should not confide in anyone of the opposite sex but your spouse ... R and I were very wrong to do this ... this is a form of cheating ... I don't care what anyone says ... it is and after our divorce I apologized to Chris about it. Regardless ... it happened ... and I started to find the old me again ... the free spirit me ... the one who I allowed to be stifled ... I dropped 25 pounds in one month ... I started telling Chris a little more of what was on my mind with how much he helped. Chris noticed something at the Christmas party at work ... R and I were too chummy he said ... he thought I was cheating on him (in the more literal way) ... and that is where things got crazy ... the abuse turned more physical ... not all at once ... it started slow ... with him pulling the gun out ... we had a little 22 ... saying he was going to shoot R ... but then turned it on me for a millisecond.

I sent him to Texas for a week ... to decide things. I spent that whole week praying ... I needed Heavenly Fathers help ... that whole week I got no answer ... begging and pleading with him ... no answer ... so I made my decision ... I was going to leave ... On my way down to the airport to pick Chris up I was crying again ... praying ... "Heavenly Father ... I have made my decision ... I am going to end this marriage ... is this the right choice ... am I doing what is right ... help me". I was in the canyon praying this out loud, tears streaming, when I looked up and saw the first star of the night ... all of a sudden I felt a warm embrace ... someone hugging me ... and a whisper in my ear ... "It's ok Amy ... you can go now". The tears didn't stop ... but the comfort started ... I knew that I had learned what I needed to learn ... that I was refined from this refiners fire and ready for the next one ... I knew that Heavenly Father loved me and that I had become the footprints in the sand story ... I was able to come out the other end of this trial because Heavenly Father was carrying me.

The next day was when the physical abuse really started ... Chris and I had decided to live out the rest of the week in our apartment then go our separate ways ... but he found a text from R asking how I was doing and he went ballistic ... I probably would have too ... he was losing control and could finally really feel and see it ... he hated to lose control ... he locked me in the bathroom, threw me on the bed then jumped on top of me, drug me across the floor, and stomped on my foot ... from there I was gone ... ran ... my sister booked me a week at a hotel ... I was afraid he was going to try to find me ... and then I left for four months to my parents house in Texas (end of January, February, March, and April ... i wanted to come back for school but ended up taking a year off). 

I tried to give him a second chance ... I gave him three things to change ... he needed to see a therapist  ... he needed to get on medication ... and he needed to go to church. But That was that ... he didn't do it ... he didn't even try to do those things or see me or fight the divorce ... he knew I was at my parents house ... but he only went there about three times in the months I was there ... he left me alone ... In a way I think it was his one last stitch effort to control me ... to not fight for me ... have me think I wasn't worth fighting for ...  to make me come crawling back to him ... but that was it ... the last time I saw him was the week before I left to come back to Utah. He got a girlfriend in early March who he married the following fourth of July ... but that's all I know. Our divorce was finalized on April 12th 2010 ... we have had no contact since that following August.

This is what happened with R and I ... I went to see a therapist when I was down in Texas (I am still way broken ... but it gets better everyday) ... She advised R and I to not talk the whole time I was down here (he was divorced and separated before I was) ... So we didn't ... sometimes we slipped ... an email here ... a text message there ... a birthday card from R ... but until the last two weeks we did really good. When I got back to Utah we dated on and off that summer before declaring that we were officially a couple by the end of it ... he came home to Texas that Thanksgiving where my family fell in love with him (They never liked Chris ... That is why I was so mean to them) ... and slowly I fell in love with him too ... but that's another story for another post. Two and a half years later we were married in the Logan Temple.

PHEW ... long story ...

What to take away from it:
  1. Abuse does NOT have to be physical to be abuse - If you, or anyone you know, are getting told things that play with your emotions to manipulate you it is abuse ... and it is just as damaging as physical abuse! example: Chris telling me his schooling was more important because he was going to be the breadwinner and so I needed to do his homework ... or ... right before we split we decided he would take the dog because his dad had a lot of land and to get me to stay with him he would tell me that he hoped the dog wouldn't get eaten by coyotes (if you know me you know how much I love dogs and how much this would kill me just to hear) ... IT IS ABUSE! Talk to you spouse, talk to a therapist, or even call CAPSA ... heck ... even tell me ... it needs to be taken care of because it is not ok.
  2. Being close friends with someone of the opposite sex that is not your spouse IS cheating - it is inappropriate ... think about how you would feel if the roles were reversed. Just like in the New Testament, in Matthew 5:28 "whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart" ... basically ... even thinking about another woman who isn't your spouse is cheating ... why wouldn't confiding in someone be?
  3.  Listen to your parents - even if your stubborn little 19 year old behind doesn't want to ... they ARE smarter than you ... my mommy knew I shouldn't have married Chris ... she fought tooth and nail to not let it happen. If i would have listened life would have probably been a lot easier.
  4. Heavenly Father is ALWAYS there for you - regardless of whether you acknowledge it or not ... Whether you acknowledge him or not ... or whether you get an answer when you want it or not ... he love you and will carry you through the hard times ... all he wants is for you to be happy ... President Hinckley, former president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, hit the nail on the head when he said "This life is meant to be enjoyed not endured". I know those words were straight from Heavenly Father ... all he wants is you happy and you to return to him.
  5. The disease to please is a disease -what people who have this do not understand is that they are not fully able to make people happy without making themselves happy first. It is all about that, make sure you are happy and then you can help other people be happy ... In a marriage it is a little different ... It should be God, then your spouse, then yourself ... but if you have a spouse who does not put you above them then you need to learn to do the same ... or go to couples counseling. 
That's that ... the end of it ... finally ... I left a lot of the little nitty-gritty out ... so if there are anymore questions feel free to ask ... I will always be 100% open ... I hope that this has helped with all of the unanswered questions!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Red Pepper and Garlic Pasta

Tonight we had this:


Delish looking I know. This little number is from our friend over at the Eat Yourself Skinny blog ... If you look there and then you look here at my recipe you will notice that I made some minor adjustments ... but overall the flavor is all her ... and boy is my family grateful! I was super worried that E wouldn't like this one ... luckily she isn't as picky as I was (ok ok ... as picky as I still am) ... she LOVED it. I hope you will too!

3/4 box spaghetti noodles
1 red bell pepper
4 cloves of garlic
(a little less than) 1/4 c. olive oil
3 tbsp butter
2 tsp lemon juice
red pepper flakes (to your hearts content)
1 c. parmesan cheese
salt (again ... just however much you feel like)

Mince garlic and cut red pepper into strips. Boil water and put spaghetti in. While pasta is cooking, saute garlic and red pepper in olive oil and butter, until garlic turns golden brown and pepper is tender. Add lemon juice and red pepper flakes to mixture and keep warm. When pasta is al dente drain and immediately add cheese. Follow this closely with adding the garlic/red pepper mixture to pasta. Give a good toss around the pan ... taste and add salt as you like. Voila ... yummy easy pasta!

I put on the table more cheese, salt, and red pepper flakes ... that way everyone gets it as spicy or savory as they like it!

P.S. I started working on a new craft today:




But I'm not going to finish it until Friday because I can't decide where to put it ... which would affect the orientation of it ... therefore look forward to Friday night (or Saturday morning) on seeing the final project and tutorial!

FINALLY - I just had to leave you with a face we all know and love ... lil E here ... cute even when making her angry face!

yes ... she did just get back from ballet ... yes ... I did that wicked awesome bun (patting my own back)

Monday, September 17, 2012

I didn't stop blogging ... I was sick!

Oh hey! so ... I bet that since I didn't post all weekend you thought I was already giving up ... fooled ya! you don't get off that easy. E was at her moms house this past Saturday and Sunday ... so you know what that means for the other two Combes ... par-tay!!

Ooooor not ... R and I had this spectacular Saturday planned followed by a lazy Sunday ... we were going to drop E off halfway ... go to ward temple day at 11 ... go on a long hike ... finished off by the demolition derby (that is how we party here in Logan, UT). Unfortunately my body was going through a lot more than allergies this week ... it just blessed me by not giving into the bug until R got home. We made it only through the temple (where people must have thought I was super psycho and disrespectful because my head was bobbing worse that a fishing pole line with a fish on it [wow ... I have lived in a small town too long ... get me outta here]) ... then my body was done ... crash central. You know the drill ... headache, tummy ache, puking ... I'll stop there ... but you get the picture. Ugly Betty it was for the rest of the night.

Sunday I pushed myself to go to church ... R and I teach the oldest class in primary (primary is Sunday school for the kiddos aged 4 - 11) ... I couldn't let them down! Honestly, I probably should have ... I was not fun ... spent most of the lesson looking at the ground while R taught. We left an hour early (Church for the LDS faith is three hours).

Later that night I was laying on the couch ... watching Ugly Betty again ... and this is how ridiculous I was. So ... back story ... I get super emotional when I am sick ... ask my mother ... it's that bad. So R was sitting on the couch and I had my legs on him ... he was just doing this little playful bite thing on my knees when his teeth actually caught a hair ... hello tears ... I was bawling ... "why would you do that" ... "that hurt so bad" ... "I'm sick and you bit me" ... "how could you" ... anyway ... it was funny ... but that wasn't the end. R was supposed to go and pick up E in fifteen minutes ... normally I go with him ... but I was not up to a two hour car ride ... through my tears I was telling R that I didn't want him to go ... it was too long to be sick and be by myself ... all kinds of things like that ... more and more tears. Man ... this sounds depressing ... but if you know me ... you know it's not ... it's just me being ridiculous ... and it's funny. end of story ... R didn't go ... E's mom was nice enough to make the whole drive (thank you) ... and I am almost finished with season three of Ugly Betty.

And that is the story as to why there was no blogging over the weekend ... and why this blog is a little sucky on the writing side ... and why there are still no pictures being posted!

As for now ... I'm gonna go lay on the couch and put on yet another episode of Ugly Betty.

Friday, September 14, 2012

A little alone time leads to a lifetime of guilt ... sometimes ...

So E has finally gotten settled for her long nights nap ... and I finally get some time to relax. But then again ... I feel as if I have been relaxing all week. It has been a long week of feeling like a bad mother.

I guess I should start at the beginning ...

R gets home in about 1.75 hours ... he has been away on business. Oh ... did i forget to mention that he is gone one week out of every month? Because he is ... and it is miserable. Love my country though I do, i would be the most terrible military wife. I can hardly stand being away from R for the eight hour work day ... much less the unbearable-ness of the entire week.

[side-bar ... although R and I are newlyweds it is not like we are new to this game. We have spent three years together ... you would think that we would be able to be apart for even 8 hours ... yea ... not that easy ... and slightly ... ok ... really ridiculous.]

ANYWAY ... I do have a point here ... so the day R left was the day that my body decided to get sick. I think is just allergies ... but from my neck up everything throbs ... even my teeth. However, this particular trip happens to be the first of me being a full time mom ... wow ... if that wasn't scary enough now I'm sick ... thanks universe ... I really owe you one.

So that is where the bad mother feeling comes. I have been trying to push through not feeling well and play with E ... but man ... who knew being a mom is so hard! It is so funny how sitting down writing a blog while they are painting or playing alone with their toys ... still in their pajamas at noon ... can make you feel so guilty.

But should we feel guilty?

If we are trying our hardest to be the best mom we can be ... and all we have in us that day is putting paint on a palette for them shouldn't that be good enough? Why so much guilt? Maybe it was because the one time this past week where I really sat down to play with E I saw her eyes light up so bright ... almost in disbelief ... ouch ...

I was talking to my friend Sarah yesterday at the library ... my one feeble attempt to get E out of the house [Thursdays are her "has nothing" days] ... and we talked about how by allowing a child to play alone they are growing their imagination ... if you don't ever let them play alone then they will never have the ability to play alone. I see that in E a little bit. I am not entirely sure how things are at her moms house, but I do know that E can never been in a different room from me. her room has a lot of cool toys ... even a white board on the wall that she totally loves ... but she will not be upstairs alone ... if we are downstairs we have to be in the same room. I don't know why that is ... and I don't know enough about children to know if that is normal ... but it does seem a little odd to me ... when I was younger I remember loving my alone time ... but then again I had a horde of neighborhood kids everywhere to play with. 

What I guess I am getting at is that we shouldn't feel guilty for being sick ... we shouldn't feel guilty for having macaroni and cheese three nights in a row because that's all we can muster to cook [don't worry ... there was a vegetable and fruit with every dinner] ... we should just appreciate that the imagination is growing and that we have good enough kids to realize when we need a little relaxation time in the middle of the day when they are still wide awake.