Saturday, July 27, 2013

Oops

So, I totally forgot to blog this week. Oh well. I didn't even have a kid at home to distract me from blogging. Pretty much, I kept busy this week by working out, preparing for a co-worker's baby shower (which we had at a waterfront restaurant--view posted below), going to a friend's house for dinner and chatting on the porch for a couple of hours, attending a continuing education webinar about malnutrition at work, and a girl's night in at my house (everyone left at 10:30 PM last night, and I am beat). I definitely missed Carter, but holy crap, sleeping in until 8 AM on my day off was amazzzing.

This is our view of Gig Harbor and Mt. Rainier from the restaurant. I honestly think there is not a more beautiful place out there than Western Washington in the summer.

Anyways, I did talk about telling the story about how my friend and I got caught in high tide 2 weeks ago with our kids. We were here:


My friend Audrey has lived in this area almost her whole life, so I figured she'd know a lot about the place. So, with that said, we were running a little bit late because she had to run some errands after work. So, we ended up pulling up to the park around 6:30 PM. She and her 3 kids, along with Carter and I, packed up our dinner, camera, and beach toys and walked for about 5 minutes along the shore to get to the big, sandy beach area for our kids to play. Along the way, we had to climb over some rocks and fallen tree trunks along the shore. We wondered out loud, "is the tide going out or in?" I figured that it had to have gone out already because the sand was wet. When I asked her about the tree line along the shore, she replied, "oh, there's no way the water goes up that high!"

So, we ended up hanging out for like 45 minutes or so, eating dinner, and letting our kids play in the sand. There was only a couple of other people out there, so it was relaxing. When the other people left, I thought I saw them in the water, but dismissed that thought, thinking it was their dog I'd seen swimming in the water. About 5 minutes after they left, they yelled back at us, "there's not much shore left!" It took us about 15 more minutes to pack everything up and get the kids moving. 

We got off to a bad start because her boy (who's 3), started bawling because he thought he was being left behind. So, I ran back to grab him too. Then, we got to the point where we had absolutely NO shore left. I hiked up my bags (which included my nice camera), and grabbed Carter on my side. Luckily, he's light so it wasn't the worst thing ever. Audrey's little girls, who are 8 and 5, were big enough to handle walking through the water. Her boy, on the other hand, was still freaking out and would not hold on to her side. So, along with her cooler and bags, she wrapped his arms around her neck and carried him on her back like a monkey, with him crying the whole time. I hadn't planned on getting in the water, but I was wearing my bathing suit under my shorts and hoodie just in case. That was a good thing because I eventually took off my jean shorts because the water was up to my hips. I was jokingly yelling and laughing because I had to walk through water with slippery seaweed and shells and stuff.. because seaweed is totally not my thing. But, then we had to climb over rocks and fallen tree trunks again. We had to pass the children over the tree trunks while avoiding the rocks. My friend's oldest girl climbed super high on a tree trunk, and when she realized the only way down was to jump 10 feet into the water below, she started crying. So, I had to go rescue her as well. 

But, after 10-15 minutes of high-tide hell, we made it to the steps to shore and parking lot. Carter arrived completely dry and scrape free. Audrey and her jeans were soaked up to her hips, but her jeans protected her legs and hips from any scrapes. Her son was just soaked, and extremely upset about the whole ordeal. Her girls had multiple scrapes and scratches from rocks and blackberry bushes. My legs looked like I'd gotten into a fight with a cougar. I had a couple of gashes and lots of scratches from blackberry bushes and rocks. Also, my scratches got extremely puffy the next day. Apparently, blackberry bushes have some sort of mild irritant on their thorns. When we got into the car, Audrey said that I'd probably never hang out with them again because of her lack of planning. I honestly thought it was kind of a hilarious situation, but I might not have thought so if we'd been caught at even higher tide.

I told her that this never would've happened if we'd had a man with us. Her husband was supposed to go with us, but was made "on-call" for work that evening, so he stayed home in case he had to go to work. Turns out, her husband has a tide tables app on his phone, and we were there at the beach at high tide (and the highest tide was 15-30 minutes after we left). So yeah, my theory about having a man with us was correct. Anyways, lesson learned--when going to the coast, look up the tide schedule!!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Sucker Punch

Ever since I've become a parent, I've definitely become a sucker. Things about families being separated, kids getting sick, etc, have made me cry a lot more than they used to before Carter came along!

Anyways, I was watching World War Z with my sister this afternoon, and Brad Pitt's character was saying goodbye to his kids, and I teared up. It wasn't even that emotional of a scene, I'm just super sensitive to this right now! So yeah, I also cried on the way home in my car because I knew Carter won't be there with me (he's in Idaho for the week with Graham's family). Now I have an idea what Graham feels like every week he's away from Carter. Although I don't feel bad for him because he's the reason why we are separated, I definitely feel a fraction of his emotions being away from Carter.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Please

Someone give me a reason to be happy.

I was going to post a funny story about a friend and I getting stuck during high tide on the beach with our four kids, but I've been on an emotional roller coaster this week.. and I'm currently at an all-time low. Happy is not in my vocabulary at the moment.

Monday, July 15, 2013

My spiritual side

So, as many of you may or may not know, I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (a.k.a. I'm "Mormon"). I was born and raised in the church, but my activity in the church has been spotty at times. Although I avoided church, especially when I went to BYU, I never faltered in my testimony of Jesus Christ and what He has done for the world (and me).

With that said, if you don't feel like reading on, feel free to close the blog and come back on a less serious day. And really, I don't feel like debating any doctrine or beliefs, so I'm blocking comments on this post.

As a completely unrelated side note, I am listening to "Life and Death", a piano and orchestra song that is featured in the show LOST. This particular version is played by Paul Cardall, who is also Mormon. I consider it my muse when I'm writing something serious. Graham also used to play beautiful piano re-mixes of this song.

Anyways, we as a religion definitely have some doctrinal peculiarities, particularly ones that have heavily influenced my thoughts that I will voice today. One of which that I will discuss is the concept of The Fall (of Adam and Eve). We believe that Adam and Eve first lived in the Garden of Eden, in a state of innocence, having no sorrow or joy. When Adam and Eve partook of the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge, they became "as gods, knowing good from evil". They also were banished from the Garden, becoming subject to death, having to work by the sweat of their brows, and bearing children. One particular part of the scriptures that stuck out to me was the fact that the Lord cursed the ground, and allowed thorns and thistles to grow, to somewhat force Adam and Eve to work for their food and living, unlike in the Garden of Eden where plants grew easily.

So, why is this one random part of doctrine stuck in my mind?

Let me remind you of Mormons' belief in eternal marriage. The thing about our church is that we believe that Joseph Smith restored the ancient Christian religion set forth by Jesus Christ, including the Priesthood, which is the power of God given to men on Earth. Our belief in this sets us apart because we believe that by the power of the Priesthood, we have the power to bind a marriage on Earth and in Heaven. So, when someone gets married (or "sealed") in the temple, the man and woman, as well as their progeny, are sealed together forever. Even though it seems like us Mormons get married young and commit to marriage quickly, most of us take our temple marriages very seriously. (However, not all Mormons get married or sealed in the temple, in case you're wondering.)

So, not only do I have a strong belief in the covenant or promise that I've made with God and with Graham, our marriage "priest" (or otherwise known as "sealer" in the temple) mentioned "The Fall" in our marriage ceremony. Let me preface this that every single "sealing" I've been to in the temple has been different. Usually, the sealer will talk to the couple, quote some scripture, say some inspiring things, and then get down to the ceremony (which is the couple kneeling across the altar from each other). It's only 20-30 minutes total. Our sealer talked to us about marriage being like The Fall of Adam and Eve, meaning there is a time of innocence in marriage, not knowing the true difficulties of marriage... otherwise known as the honeymoon period. And then, there's The Fall. Reality sets in. Marriage isn't easy. Conflicts arise. Imperfections are made clearer. The difficult thing about marriage it that it is made up of two imperfect people. And then when you add in children, life becomes much more difficult.

Graham and I easily relate to each other. Our relationship, although fraught with lies at times, comes easily to us. We don't argue, although we may get upset at the other person's decisions. We calm each other down when the other person is stressed or angry. We balance each other out well. For the first two years of our marriage, I was in complete bliss. Blissful ignorance, I guess. I had no idea what was going on with Graham, and I never doubted a single word he said. Then, when the truth came out in 2009 that he was lying and had other problems, I considered that to be the Fall. I then knew my husband was imperfect. We had our bad moments in the past 3.5 years, but we had some amazing times. I just remember times when my family and my home were my life. There was no place I'd rather be than at home with Graham and Carter. The few months prior to Graham's reveal in April.. I didn't feel like that. Things were different.

And now, I feel like I finally know my husband.. the whole person. Not just the side of him that he wanted me to see. Things aren't easy in our relationship. He has some serious anxiety, which causes him to act the way he does sometimes. He's trying to be 100% transparent with me, in his activities and everything he does while he lives with his parents. I still feel crazy at times with periods of paranoia and anxiety. I worry about him, whether or not he's telling the truth. I worry about a lot of things about him. Instead of letting this consume me, I go on with my life, acknowledging that he still can lie to me about things, but that it will all be revealed in the end, sooner or later. Our relationship is more strained, obviously, because there are physical and emotional barriers between us. And isn't this relationship and its complications more like the thorns and weeds that weren't found in the Garden of Eden, but instead were found in the lone and dreary world? I mean, I still have a choice to accept this as my fate, but I definitely feel like our sealer was inspired to use this counsel for us in our marriage ceremony.

But, one more practice that is unique to our religion would be patriarchal blessings. Like I previously stated, we believe that we have the Priesthood here on this Earth, which allows us to receive (and give) special blessings to members and non-members of our church, depending on a person's faith.. just like Jesus Christ did. A patriarchal blessing can be likened as a guidebook for a member's life and choices, depending on a person's faith. Anyways, I won't say much about my own blessing, but mine tells me to "accept the negative aspects of life", and that I will have much joy, but also experience temptations and many trials of faith. Obviously, this is the biggest trial that I have experienced so far. And yes, I have to accept that my husband has some serious issues, and whether or not I want to accept him and HIS negative aspects is still something I have to decide.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Quickie

Ok, so just a quick post for the day.. I've been thinking a lot about the spiritual implications of my situation, and I've been figuring out in my head how I want to say the things that I feel.. So, that will be next.

Anyways, if you're not my friend on Facebook, you wouldn't know that the past 3 days have been ROUGH on Carter. He has been crying daily for his daddy. He went so far as to make me cry with him last night. Sometimes, he cannot be consoled. I try to "reason" with him (is there really such a thing as reasoning with a toddler?), like daddy made mistakes, daddy's sick, daddy needs to work and go to school, but he yells back at me, "he [daddy] is better!" (i.e. he can come back home now). Ugh. This is exhausting, and it is absolutely heartbreaking that Carter sees and feels so much.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Sometimes you just need to cry

Carter is down with Graham for the holiday and long weekend, so I have some alone time. I always feel more vulnerable and emotional when I'm completely alone at home.

So, Carter's horse story made me tear up a little bit last week.. but I really haven't cried a lot in some time. I've felt a little numb at times, but not tearful. Last Friday though, I broke down. You know, I've read articles about how Facebook can make your life seem more lame and boring, and how you can always be comparing your life to others, especially since you tend to browse Facebook when you're bored. So, I was Facebook-ing late at night alone, looking at pictures of friends' happy families, wedding or anniversary announcements, comparing my life to others, and I burst into tears. Tears of frustration, anger, loneliness, despair came pouring out of me, and I tried to bury my face into my mattress just to stop the tears. Eventually, I was able to calm down and realize that my life is not actually terrible, just temporarily awful.

So, today, I dropped off Carter at Graham's house, which definitely made me sad. I barely got any sleep last night, and I'm getting a cold, so my emotional fuse was short. I had no patience, no empathy, and definitely was quick to anger. Anyways, I was in the gym's locker room after a workout, and I burst into tears just thinking about Carter. Carter is honestly the sweetest, most easygoing, just the best kid I've ever met.. and I have the opportunity to be his mom! But, I just fear that we are damaging this precious little spirit we were sent. Not only does Carter want his daddy back, but Carter really wants his mom and dad together. Carter tells me stories about animals missing their daddies, while he tells Graham stories (when he's visiting at his house) about mom and dad animals being together. When Graham came and visited last weekend, he came and kissed me on the cheek in the kitchen. Carter was sitting at the table, eating his breakfast, while his eyes were completely fixed on us with just the biggest and happiest smile on his face. It just breaks my heart that it has to be this way.

Here's us at the beach..
 
And, here's my most favorite picture of father and son.


Monday, July 1, 2013

My Hobbies

So, something I've had to do now is find some new hobbies. Before Graham left, I worked out after Carter went to bed at 7:30. This gave me several hours to work out, watch TV (when we had cable), shower, and spend time with my husband. Now that I'm alone, I've been searching for things to do when Carter goes to sleep. I've been working out at the Y in the evenings, so that was no longer an option.

I've always loved to read, but books are freaking expensive! I recently bought and read a great book recommended by my sister, "Wool", but that barely fit into my entertainment budget for the month. I have the Hunger Games series waiting to be re-read, but reading by myself in a quiet house kind of emphasizes how alone I am sometimes..

Some of you may know that I'm a total makeup junkie. I may not look like I wear a lot of makeup all of the time, and I also will leave the house without makeup; however, I am obsessed with makeup and I love trying new things. One of my favorite stores is Sephora, and I just love all of the different looks you can create with simple products. One of my most favorite products is Urban Decay's Naked eyeshadow palettes. I used to be a MAC girl all the way, but I seriously have not used a single other different eyeshadow for over 7 months. Anyways, I've looked up a TON of different tutorials on Pinterest, YouTube, and beauty blogs, and I've recorded the methods they used with the Naked palettes. Then, I made my own instructions for 18-24 looks with each palette, as shown below.


I've also started painting my nails.. something I have NEVER done. I used to occasionally paint my toenails in the summer, but now I have a new nail color every week. It's kind of a weird new obsession for me.. but don't worry, there's no way I can do any of the crazy nail art you see on Pinterest.

But yeah, I think I need more hobbies. Nail painting gets old after a while. Plus, it's messy.

Delays and Delays and Delays and Delays...

Ok, so here's the home building update... and mind you, this is coming from a point of frustration. We still have not closed on our co...