Empty Nesting, Life, Tips and Hints, Uncategorized

The Top Two Rules for Happiness in Paradise

There are so many things that go together to make a marriage work, but there also has to be those top things you do 24/7, 365 without fail.  Things that after time come naturally, and are so ingrained in your relationship that it changes your personality.  In our home “Paradise” as I call it, we have two rules, or guidelines, that we established 26 years ago that we live by.  They are ingrained, and just something that we do without thinking.

yelling

  1.  We NEVER yell, or raise our voices, at each other.  UNLESS, the house is on fire, or I need MSP (Mr. Sexy Pants, AKA: my husband) to kill a bug of some kind.

My Mother had a sign in our house growing up that said “Never yell at each other unless the house is on fire”, and it made an impression on me.  I can remember back to the exact day when MSP and I yelled at each other the last time….. it was 2005.  The house was not on fire, it was a rare, but bad argument, and it’s also been 11 years since it happened.  I remember it because it was so rare.

The higher the decibel of the argument does not increase the odds of your being right.   In fact, instead of having a conversation in a normal tone of voice to work out the issue at hand you have now made the entire situation into an screaming match.  Can you think better when someone is yelling at you?  Can you be rational when you are waiting for them to stop yelling so you can scream at them?  In my experience, the answer to both questions is a big NO.  There is no argument or problem that cannot be resolved at a normal tone of voice IF you really want to work it out.

cursing

2. We NEVER curse at each other in anger, or 99% of the time in our day to day lives.  Very rarely you will hear one of us do this just joking around, and it’s so rare it will stand out if you really know us.

In my opinion, again, when you curse at the one you love, it is a HUGE sign of disrespect.  I love my husband too much to ever want to disrespect, or demean him in any way.  When it’s done in anger is the worst.  Calling the one you love a bitch, or an asshole (or all the other great one’s out there) when you are trying to work something out is demeaning, disrespectful, and childish.  Again, I can remember the EXACT day, time, and where we were at, the last time MSP and I cursed at each other.  It was in 2005, during the same argument in which we were yelling at each other.  I still remember how hurt I was hearing those words.  The yelling was bad enough, but the words we said burned a hole through my heart.  No matter the outcome, neither of us won that day.  I think we inflicted more damage on each other trying to resolve our issue than any damage the issue had done before we even started speaking to each other.  Eleven years later I still regret every horrible thing I said and the way I said it.

 

broken-heart

 

No relationship is perfect, but these two rules, or guidelines, have helped us for the better part of 26 years and I wanted to share them.  Let me know what you think, and if you have any rules, or guidelines that have helped keep your marriage, or relationship strong.

Muah,

Jeanie

 

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Life, Uncategorized

Dancing With Butterflies

Today is the happiest day ever….. until tomorrow that is.

Today while mowing the lawn, and cleaning up our landscaping I had a magical moment.

Not magical because all of my laundry is done.  Not magical because not one of our 6 animals yakked, or defiled my house in any way.  Not magical because I received my shipment of recyclable coffee k-cups in the mail.

Nope, magical because one of my favorite songs came on my ipod, and at that same exact moment a flutter of butterflies took flight and we all danced together in the back yard.  Yup, even the dogs.

monarch-butterflies

I am a happy person by nature.  I find magic in so many things…..  Napping with all 6 of our animals like Snow White.  Baby birds taking a bath in our waterfall.  Hummingbirds playing in the flowers outside of my kitchen window.  Being able to turn Netflix on by myself without assistance.  It’s the little things.

I hope you are all happy today, and able to find the magic in your life that surrounds you.  Take a moment for yourself, and imagine that you too are dancing with butterflies.

Muah,

Jeanie

Life

The monster inside of me

 

I sat drinking my coffee this morning, a completely different person than the one I was just 24 hours before.  I went to wake up my husband, and realized that without him…….. without him I would not BE.

Supernova

(Courtesy of NASA)  Main sequence stars over eight solar masses are destined to die in a titanic explosion called a supernova. A supernova is not merely a bigger nova. In a nova, only the star’s surface explodes.

In a supernova, the star’s core collapses and then explodes.

SUPERNOVA

At 8am yesterday morning I set out on a 561 mile trip feeling as if I was going to be torn apart from the inside.  I felt exactly like a Supernova that would violently explode and collapse into a black hole of nothingness.   I was full of so much rage, vengeance, and pain that I do not even really remember my trip.

I drove through horrible rain, and terrible traffic for 561 miles while crying, having chest pains, heart palpitations, and feeling as if my head and/or heart may just explode at any minute.  All of this for one reason.  I had to face the monster that tried to murder my family.

map

I drove to Beaumont, Texas for a sentencing hearing, and to come face to face with the MONSTER that harassed my daughter, and myself for a solid year.  Who terrorized my baby girl, and as his grand finale, tried to have us all murdered in our own home by “swatting” us.

rage held

For almost a year and a half I have carried all of this pain, fear, and rage inside of me.  I had to see him face to face.  I had to look in the eye, and speak to, the monster who wanted all of us dead.  I stood 10 feet away from him in front of a judge and rage/cried my way through my Victims Impact Statement. I stood there in MY MOST VIOLENT FORM, a mother who’s child was harmed, and wanted to tear him apart limb by limb.

love rage

Then in a moment it was over.  He was sentenced to 12 months and 1 day in Federal Prison.  Court adjourned.

As a child I was afraid of many things, but I never hid from them.  If there was a monster in my closet I slept facing the closet so I would be ready when it came for me.  When there was a monster under my bed I did not hide under my blanket.  I kept my head out, and waited to defend myself.  The same process applies to this situation.  I needed to see the monster, and I made sure it happened.

This brings me to today.

My husband took the time to make sure I could do what I had to do, AND he was waiting to put me back together when I came home.  He knew I had to break myself into a million pieces so I could put myself back together and move on with my life.  HE put me back together.  So, I’m saying thank you.  Again.  For being my “safe place”, and the giver of strength when I’ve run out of my own.  For loving me even when I cannot love myself, and for keeping the monster inside of me from taking me away forever.

I love you MSP.

 

 

Uncategorized

The Reluctant, Hostile Hypocrite

THE TRUTH

The truth is I haven’t written a blog post since June 2nd because I’m just overwhelmed by the sadness, violence, danger, and evil in the world.  I’ve literally been speechless, and numb.  There is so much hurt, anger, pain, and unrest that I feel as if I am in the center of a tornado with all of this hate swirling deadly, endlessly, and closing in around me.

tornado

THE RELUCTANT, HOSTILE HYPOCRITE

For 20+ years I had very animated, and heated debates with my step-father on the subject of gun control.  He was a life-long, card carrying NRA member who worked as a security guard in his later years, and who had a CHL and a firearm he carried on his person at all times.  My stance on who, and who should not own a firearm is very radical, and always has been.  To say we clashed was an understatement.  We were never able to come to an agreement, or happy medium all the way up to losing him to cancer 2 years ago.  I really miss you Larry, and our loving battles over double chocolate vodka, and the beer you kept just for me in your fridge even though you didn’t drink.

ME AND LARRY

MY STANCE ON FIREARMS…. WHO CARES, RIGHT?

The point is I’m angry, and being forced against my will to become a hypocrite.  I have to concede my values, my beliefs, and everything I’ve stood for MY ENTIRE ADULT LIFE and open myself up to the possibility of owning a firearm.  It makes me physically ill that this world has gotten so bad that I have to learn how to kill another human being to defend my life, my family, and my home.  Because make no mistake, that is what’s going to happen.  That’s the whole point, right?

Hypocrite

In my personal experience all of the 2nd Amendment people I have spoken to out there, who already own firearms, are not looking to warn an intruder/attacker off.  They are straight up going to shoot to kill.  For the most part they have no military/police training to hone their skills/instincts on how to handle a deadly situation.  They do not have the strict tactical knowledge that military and law enforcement officers receive that keeps them calmer and able to defend and protect.  Nope.  What they have is a few hours in a classroom and a piece of paper (maybe)…….  and now a gun.  Or multiple guns.

2ndAmendment

I DO NOT HAVE AN ANSWER

No one that I know of does either.  It’s like being caught in a rip tide.  Being drug out to sea as you helplessly try to swim to shore.  I see people swimming, but nobody is making it in.

So, I remain a House Cat in Paradise, sickened and angry over a hostile, and dangerous world full of violence and hate……. and probably reluctant hypocrites like me.

 

Empty Nesting

I Love You, I Hate You, I Love You…. The Journey from My Daughter to My Friend

I Love You, I Hate You, I Love You……. The Journey from My Daughter to My Friend.

Being a mother is tough…. I mean TOUGH.  Being a mother to a little girl is a roller coaster ride.  There are exceptions out there I know, but for the most part I know I am not alone in my journey of up’s and down’s, love and hate, happy and sad, and good and bad days.

Twenty-four years ago I could not have imagined where I would be today, hell…. 5 or 10 years ago I wouldn’t have been able to imagine it, but here we are…… ta-da…. We are finally friends.  Here are the stages that we went through:

  • the cute 0-4 year old “Mommy is the best” stage,
  • then came the 5-11 year old “I’m my own little person” stage where Mommy cannot comb my hair, dress me in cute outfits, or tie my shoes for me anymore.  This was also the stage where Daddy’s little girl emerged in our house.
  • Then the 12-16 “Hormone stage” hit like a giant Tsunami and left a wake of tears, you don’t understand me’s, anger, and slamming doors in its wake.
  • 17-20 brought with it the “You are the person I hate the most in the world” stage because you are always wrong, have no idea how life works, and continue to not understand me at all.
  • Then came 21-24 and some mysterious magical switch has flipped and all of the sudden Mommy has brains again, and isn’t such a bad person anymore.

It’s such a relief to be able to stay in the same room together and not fight…..  To be able to have a conversation with each other and no one leaves the room crying.

HOW TO

Hey, babies do not come with step by step instruction booklets.  All the parenting books in the world will not prepare you for the “You are the person I hate most in the world” stage, and the sense of despair and failure that comes with it.  Despair because this beautiful child-woman is looking at you and saying horrible things to you; you can feel your heart break as you try to reason with them and yourself that everything is going to be alright, and failure because you can’t find the right words to make both of you feel better combined with the crippling “what did I do wrong” feeling that if you had been a better mother this wouldn’t be happening at all.

WHAT

My list of regrets is long, I mean long……. I could torture myself for years upon years every minute of the day with the “what could I have said or done’s” that would have made things easier or better for both of us.  I can’t even honestly say that if I had a “do over” that anything would be different because I am just as confused and mystified today as I was 24 years ago about being a mother, but as of right now I’m just glad we both made it to where we are today: alive and sane.

ME AND SJ img_2080

I sit here today comfortable in the knowledge that my daughter and I are friends….  That she loves me and I love her… That I raised a strong willed woman who could take over the world if she wanted to….. That she has a beautiful and amazing heart, will fight for what’s wrong in the world to make it a better place, and anyone who is lucky enough to be called her friend is in a pretty fortunate group of people.

I just look back at all the funny, happy, silly, crazy times we have had and hope it will be enough to not have me featured as the “worst mom in the world” on some reality TV show one day.  So, here’s to the good times ahead, and to mothers and daughters everywhere just taking it day by day and hoping for the best.

Remember to say “I love you” every single day, even if it’s through a closed door or at the top of your lungs as the other person walks away, because that is the one undeniable truth that will never change and the one absolute starting point for every new day.

jeanie

A little about me…… I’m a princess……yes, a real live princess….. I have a purse, shoe, and book obsession. I’m a borderline animal hoarder with 2 dogs, and 4 cats, and I’m also a House Cat, living in paradise with the love of my life AKA: Mr. Sexy Pants.  I can’t stand hot weather……… love when it’s cold outside, and I’m emotionally high maintenance requiring LOTS of attention. I only sing in the car, not the shower, and always by myself…… Last, but not least………I drive a little red hot rod Hyundai (yes I know, don’t say it), her name is Scarlett and I’m sure we will be pulled over by some bored police officer near you very soon.

Uncategorized

The Glass is Half Full… Damn it!

The Glass Is Half Full…. Damn It!

I am an eternal optimist.  No Joke.  I look on the bright side of EVERYTHING, EVERYTIME, no matter what the situation.  It’s just how I am wired.

HALF FULL

In a world full of pessimists, glass half empties, and black clouds I continue to spread my special “fairy dust of optimism” wherever I go.  I see absolutely no point in always looking at what can go wrong.  It’s not even a conscious decision on my part, it is my constant view on the world.

OPTIMIST

It’s in my nature to automatically trust people until given a reason not to, and although I have been hurt by some of those people, I am happy to say that for the most part I have been right.  You don’t have to earn my trust, you get it on day one once I accept you into my inner circle.  Isn’t that a nice thought?  Wouldn’t it be wonderful if there were just a few more people out there that thought like that?  I think so, but that’s just me.

All that being said, I should point out that once you do hurt me, I have the wonderful ability to completely, absolutely, irreversibly cut you out of my life FOREVER!  No looking back, no second thoughts, you are gone.  Extreme?  Some may think so, but I believe that my ability to disconnect from the bad in my life allows me the peace that I enjoy.

My motto is: “Why worry about something until it happens?  Because worrying about it will not change the outcome”.  See, I have just freed myself of hours, days, weeks, and months of stress by knowing that I have done what I need to do- all that I can do- and the rest is just in the waiting.

DONT WORRY

Now, if you are the opposite of me I accept that.  I am surrounded by people that I love every day of my life who are the total opposite of me.  My husband is an eternal pessimist, but we joke that the reason why we are so perfect for each other is that he is the Yin to my Yang.  LOL.  I am constantly trying to show him the bright side of any given situation, giving him hope and some peace to reduce the stress he is putting on himself.  I have been told that I am a very calming presence to be around, and I hope that’s true.  I know that it works in my house.

So, the next time you are faced with the opportunity to look on the bright side why not give it a try.  If you cannot find the bright side message me and maybe we can find it together.

jeanie

A little about me…… I’m a princess……yes, a real live princess….. I have a purse, shoe, and book obsession. I’m a borderline animal hoarder with 2 dogs, and 4 cats, and I’m also a House Cat, living in paradise with the love of my life aka Mr. Sexy Pants.  I can’t stand hot weather……… love when it’s cold outside, and I’m emotionally high maintenance requiring LOTS of attention. I only sing in the car, not the shower, and always by myself…… Last, but not least………I drive a little red hot rod Hyundai (yes I know, don’t say it), her name is Scarlett and I’m sure we will be pulled over by some bored police officer near you very soon.

Uncategorized

I Was Raised by an Egg Timer

I Was Raised by an Egg Timer.

I’ve been asked before that if I could write a book on my life what would it be titled.  Simple.  I was raised by an egg timer.

It really explains so much about my personality when you think about it.  I am a born strategist.  Born of necessity because of critical time management skills learned so young…  I am painfully punctual.  These two personality traits are deeply rooted in my childhood thanks to my mother.

me and momma

To say that I am lazy is an understatement.  I know it, I accept it, but you may not realize this about me.  Bill Gates said this…..

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Well, the internet says that Bill Gates said this…. Who knows?

My sainted mother had the hardest time getting me to do anything in a timely manner, so she devised a plan that would forever change me.  She bought an egg timer.  Now this egg timer began to rule my life with an iron clock.  I had so many minutes to get out of bed, or when that egg timer went off she was coming in to dump ice water on my head.

I had so many minutes to finish drinking my water, or I would lose a privilege.  (Note:  I hated water as a child and still do as an adult.  I also suffered from kidney issues because of this.  The doctor wanted me to drink 6 to 8- 8 ounce glasses of water a day, and it was only upon threat of the egg timer that I would do so).

You name it and she clocked me.  Eating dinner, cleaning my room, doing the dishes….. I hated that thing.  Gives me heart palpitations just thinking about it, but it worked.  Well, I say it worked because I strategize everything.  I also am never late.  Invite me somewhere and find out.  🙂  I will be the one calling to find out where you are, you only have 5 minutes left……

God bless Momma for her alternative child rearing decision.  I very rarely failed to complete my tasks on time, always wondered about the “or else” if I didn’t beat the clock, but I still do not drink my water.

Muah,

Jeanie

Empty Nesting

Did you know Empty Nesters are at a higher risk of divorce?

Empty nesting Week #1

Did you know that “empty nesters” are at a higher risk of divorce?  Did you also know that the latest National divorce statistics are down, but “grey divorces” (those over 50) are actually shown to be up by double digits!

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I’ve heard of this before, but after talking to friends it seems that this is a thing.  A HUGE thing!  Statistics that I have read show a surge in couples age 50 and up divorcing due to their adult children leaving home.  This really surprises me since my thought is that when kids finally move out of the home the couple can get back to all the fun things they used to do together before parenting took over their lives.  This apparently is not the case because years of parenting turns husbands and wives into very different people than they were when they first got married.  They discover that they have nothing in common, and their children were the one thing holding them together.  They are “mom and dad”, and that’s it.  Not a couple in love with each other.

empty-nest

I’m interested in this topic because it’s such an absolute reverse of my life with MSP.  (MSP = Mr. Sexy Pants- aka my husband for those of you who don’t follow me on Facebook).  For example.  MSP and I spent this past weekend (our first empty nesting weekend) Doing all the fun, silly, sexy things we’ve always done.

We went out to a show Friday night and hung out with our friends.

We woke up Saturday morning and went to breakfast together.

We went grocery shopping to buy everything we needed to hole up at home all weekend.

We pulled a mattress out into the living room and spent 12 hours “camping out” on the living room floor “picnicking” and binge watching Netflix.

We spent time just talking to each other, and cuddling with the animals.

We woke up Sunday morning (on previously mentioned mattress on the living room floor) and did yard work for hours.

We took a bubble bath together.

We had friends over for dinner, and to watch Game of Thrones together.

All in all a perfectly, perfect weekend…… BUT not out of the ordinary for us.  We always have weekends like that.

13221309_10156943097935284_1068845175015010366_o Picnic 13243944_10156941787855284_1097530636010809418_o Camping Out

I read something recently that I totally, 100% agree with.  I am not “in love” with my child.  I AM in love with my husband, and I love my child.  I miss my Baby Girl terribly, but there has always been two parts of my life.  My marriage, and my family.  They are not the same thing.  I married my husband to spend the rest of my life with him as my mate, my partner, my everything.  Our daughter was this amazing gift from God that came along later to make us a family.  Now that Baby Girl has moved away to start her own life her Daddy and I are gonna be fine.

“Grey Divorces” happen for multiple reasons, and I hate the thought of this happening to anyone.

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  1.  Problems, resentments, issues of the past were put on the back burner, and once the kids are gone, the buffer is gone, they all come back with a bang and seem too overwhelming to deal with
  2. Husbands and wives now look at each other and think they don’t really know the other person, are not sure they even like the other person, and start deciding if they really want to spend the next 30-40 years with this person
  3. The marriage, that has been put on hold to raise their children, now has to be restarted all these years later

I think the key to this not happening, and full disclosure, I am NOT an expert, is to keep up with your marriage when the kids are still home.  Don’t let problems fester.  Fight that shit out, and resolve it.  🙂  Remember why you fell in love in the first place, and do the things that you did before that made your spouse say “I’m going to be with this person forever”.  Read this book that changed my life 15 years ago.  The 5 Love Languages:  The Secret to love that lasts.  I was doing almost everything wrong, and after reading this I was able to correct, and get back on track.

So, as I start empty nesting week #2 it is with a lighter heart.  The sadness of our daughter moving is being replaced by joy in hearing how happy she is in her new life.  I’ve reaffirmed that my marriage is strong, healthy, and not in danger of the “grey” problems, and I really cannot wait to camp out, picnic, and take a bubble bath with MSP again.

Muah,

Jeanie

Uncategorized

It sure is quiet around here. Empty Nesting day #1

It sure is quiet around here.  Empty Nesting day #1

IMG_2095

Yesterday our daughter moved to Colorado, but I don’t count that as Empty Nesting Day #1.  Why?  Because my day consisted of me wandering around our home doing my best “sad panda” imitation, and my night involved me reeling with anxiety as mid-way through her road trip she started having car problems.  The 13 hour trip turned into a 20 hour trip, and I’m just glad that it’s over.

So, today is Empty Nesting day #1.

It’s so quiet.  I think our animals are even off balance because she’s gone.  Maybe I’m projecting.

I woke up this morning and no kitchen cabinets were open, no late night eating evidence was on the counters, and no lights were on for me to turn off.  You see, these were my morning routines since Baby Girl worked nights while we slept.  No sounds of the ice maker at 3am, no slamming of the patio door as she wandered in and out, no 10pm pizza delivery because she was hungry after we went to bed.  It was a quiet night, something that I am not used to.

IMG_2094

Our little duckling has left home, and now it’s just me, Daddy, and the animals.  It’s amazing the hole one person can leave behind.

On a happier note, I am looking forward to running around in my unmentionables, and redecorating rooms that are now empty.  The running around in my unmentionables will commence today, but the empty rooms are going to have to wait a few days while I work up to that.

 

 

Uncategorized

To my daughter who doesn’t read my blogs… This ones for you.

Even though I see you everyday it’s still hard for me sometimes to process the fact that I have a 24 year old version of your Daddy and I running around this earth.


It’s also hard to process that you are moving to Colorado today from our home in Texas. Hard, being out of the ordinary, not sad, as it’s just been us three together for most of your life.

I’m excited for you. It’s the start of your adventure. Packing up and leaving home…. Traveling hundreds of miles away full of love and wonder and excitement. Your Daddy and I did the same 25 years ago when we were way younger than you are now.


My advice is to let go of any negativity in the past and truly live in the wonder and magic of today.  Of all of your tomorrows. Don’t look back…. You are not going that way!

From the moment I met your Daddy he was my home. Where he wanted to go I was right there. No questions. No hesitation. I didn’t look back either. It’s not hard to jump when you trust someone to always be there to catch you.  There really isn’t anything in our lives that we can say “I wish we would have done that, but we were too scared”.

You are a better, stronger version of me.  Of us.

So trust. Jump. And Fly!  Start making all of the memories you will be telling your daughter one day.

Make them exciting. That’s what I did.

Love, Mom