Back from a Tech Break

Hey guys!

I took a bit of a tech break over my birthday weekend, so I know I missed out on a couple of weekly features. I’m now two behind on Wordless Installations due to technical difficulties but hopefully I can get that fixed shortly so that I can assault you with pictures tomorrow.

I know that with my tech break I also missed last week’s Thankful Thursday. I think this week I’ll go ahead and just combine the last two weeks into one post.

If you’ve been curious about the Self Harm Series that I promised, I haven’t forgotten about it. I’ll be honest, I’m nervous to write that series. I know that I need to get past that and just get it out, but it’s hard to work up to it. Also, I need to be in a place where I can feel my emotions while writing, and coming up with time for that is proving challenging at the moment.

Batdad started his second job a couple weeks ago so he’s now working quite a lot of hours a week. Like, almost 65 at last check. I’m a bit worried about that, but it’s going to be short-term and he feels confident that he can handle it. We’ll just see how it goes. We both took off work on Friday for my birthday and called Little Miss out of school so that we could all spend the day together. It’ll be our last day off together for a while. It was a pretty low-key day. We went out to breakfast, did some shopping, Batdad bought me some books (a sign of true love), and we worked on getting the yard cleaned up. Our lawnmower is broken so we haven’t been able to mow it, and it sort of resembled a jungle. All better now though.

On Saturday the kids and I went to the local Renaissance Fair with my in-laws. We had a great time there, great booths and food, great activities for the kids. Sunday we made a trip to Home Depot and my father-in-law helped me pick some things out to build a small fence around some tires that I want to plant some flowers in. The fence will hopefully keep the dogs out of that area. They had to leave before we could get anything cut or built, but I’ll hopefully find time to put it together this week.

So that’s it for me. Nice, relaxing, tech-free birthday weekend. How about you guys? What did you get up to this weekend?

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Ending Monday with a Bang

My Monday actually started out well. I was tired, but what else is new? I’m always tired. Work went well and I was determined to have a good day despite the fact that I had a dwindling number of cigarettes and the ever-looming “quitting-time” was shortly to be upon me. My sister came over for dinner, I made baked spaghetti and she poured me a very large glass of wine to compensate for my lack of nicotine, all was well. We spent the evening playing with the kids and watching Hell’s Kitchen then she left around bedtime (for the kids) and we got our littles ready for sleep and off to slumber land. We finished the season of Hell’s Kitchen we were watching and had just hit that “well, what do we do now” time of the evening when I got a text from my mom.

Mom: Grandma’s results came back today and she has breast cancer. It’s a rare cancer. She’s seeing the Dr tomorrow morning. They’re hoping to do a lumpectomy and maybe radiation or some chemotherapy.

I swear my world just imploded. I’m working really hard to stay positive because they found it early I think. Okay, that’s only partially true. I’m working really hard not to think about it because when I do, I start to have a breakdown. I do know that a lot of people survive breast cancer. It’s the “rare” part that is making me nervous. Plus the nodules that the doctor recently found on her liver. She’s in her 60’s and I feel like she has a lot of life left to live. So Monday ended with a bang, and Tuesday started with a whimper. Cross your fingers for me that I can keep it together and make it through work.

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Sobriety BBQ Surprise Success!

First, I need to apologize for missing yesterday’s Wordless Installation. I had planned to post a photo in the afternoon, but then my subject matter ended up not being available. I’ll try to post one later today to make up for it.

As some of you may remember, yesterday was my husband’s 5 year sobriety birthday. In celebration of his five years of struggling to not succumb to his addiction, I threw him a surprise party. His birthday was earlier this month, so we did the standard dinner celebration. He was out of town at his parent’s house, so we drove up there after I got off work to “surprise” him, but he wasn’t too surprised. I have a 7-year-old that just can’t contain her excitement when it comes to surprises. So this time I didn’t tell her we were having a surprise party, or even a regular party.

I set up a private event on Facebook and invited all of his close friends in town, plus some family members. I planned a simple BBQ with hamburgers, kid-friendly, and asked people to please keep it a surprise and let me know ASAP if they could make it. My parents were kind enough to host the BBQ at their house, and my mom helped a lot with food. Everyone pitched in a little something.

A few days ago I asked Batdad what he wanted for his Sobriety dinner. I figured this would “throw him off the trail” so-to-speak. He knows that I’m a celebrator. I love to celebrate things, and I love to give gifts, so if I didn’t at least plan dinner, I knew he would know something was up. He picked corned beef and cabbage, so I even went to the grocery store and bought corned beef. I’m all about the follow through on a surprise. Then, I spent the day making excuses.

I was supposed to put the corned beef in the crockpot while I was on my lunch yesterday, but I “forgot.” So I sent him a text message telling him I was so sorry that I had forgotten and that I would just take him out to dinner because if I put it in after I got off work it would be late before it was ready to eat. He was fine with that. After I got off I made a mad dash to 47 places to pick up our kids and last minute BBQ items then headed down to my parent’s house to do burger topping prep.

About half an hour before he got off work I texted him again telling him that mom and dad had a late birthday present for him so he should just meet us at their house so he could open it and then we could go to dinner. Plus it would be an excuse to not stay at their house for too long (my dad REALLY likes to visit some days). He said that was fine too. *YES! HE’S TOTALLY BUYING IT!* At this point I should mention that he’s kind of difficult to surprise or buy presents for. He usually guesses what I’m getting him or that I’m planning something.

He called me after he got off work to tell me that he was running home to change his shirt then he would be down to my parent’s and right after we got off the phone the last two guests showed up. When he pulled up I could see the surprise on his face at all of the people, all of his friends, that were there. A bunch of us were on the front porch chatting, so at that point it was pretty obvious there was a party. He was very grateful though and he was definitely wearing his emotions on his face at that point.

It ended up being a very enjoyable, laid back BBQ with friends that we hadn’t seen in a while. I’m glad that he was surprised, and I am very glad that he enjoyed it. Not to mention it got me quite a few “best wife ever” points. I couldn’t be more proud of him and all that he’s accomplished since he made the decision to live sober. We would definitely not be where we are in life if he hadn’t. Actually, we wouldn’t even be together, so I’m very very thankful.

Are any of you surprise people? Party planners? I’d love to hear your surprise/party stories!

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How Much to Share

Here, Dear Readers, is the subject I’ve been dwelling on since I started this blog.

I have two lovely children and they are the center of my universe. The storage on my phone is overfull (according to the phone settings) with photos and videos of them to the point that I can no longer download anything to my phone.

I will be talking about them, and referencing them, undoubtedly, on this blog. My concern is this though: Should I share photos of them or not?

I will not be sharing their actual names, just as I haven’t shared the husbands’ names. Still, the photo thing, it’s big. I try not to be a paranoid parent. I don’t rush my children to the doctor because they have a cough, I let them fall down and tell them that they are ok, etc. But the internet is worldwide, and that worries me. That any number of people who don’t know my children could see pictures of them….well, not everyone is to be trusted.

So, I’m putting it to you. I’m asking why or why not. What are your thoughts? Maybe your thoughts will help me make a decision.

-Jess

Dear Dad…

I did not finish my post yesterday. *Audience gasps* I know, I know, I’m a slacker. Part of the problem is that I get distracted checking out new blogs. I’ve followed a bunch of new and interesting blogs since starting the Blogging 101 course! What makes today’s post interesting (to me, at least) is that I’m typing it with two fingers buddy taped together. I wish there was a cool story to go along with the wound, but honestly, I sprained my middle finger picking up a 30 pound bag of dog food. Laughing is totally acceptable. I thought it would get better if I babied it a little, but a week later it still hurts….thus the taping.

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Nice, huh?

Moving along.

Did I mention that I’m a do-it-yourself-er? It can get somewhat extreme sometimes. For example, I made almost all the extras for our wedding. Wedding party gifts, tutus for the flower girls, decorations, centerpieces, baskets for the flower girls, bows for their hair, wedding favors, invitations, RSVP cards, on and on. It got to the point that my husband was just shaking his head at me. I’m also a tiny bit OCD, so it was difficult for people to help me with much.

My “do-it-yourself-ness,” extends to areas of my life other than crafting, as well. I grew up watching and assisting my dad with the remodel of his house. I use the word “remodel” lightly because the house has basically been deconstructed and reconstructed at this point. Originally it had a root cellar, now it has a full size basement. The house is over 100 years old. It now has a full size shop and an attached garage. Almost the entire interior has been updated and redone. 99% of this work was done by my dad and his friends. I’m not exaggerating when I say that he’s one of the most amazing people I know. If he doesn’t know how to do something, the man will get a book and figure it out. Cars, construction, electrical, plumbing, you name it. He’s saved thousands of dollars by doing the work himself. And I grew up learning how tools worked and how to use them.

Now we come to the reason for this post. Our Blogging 101 assignment today is to write to our “dream reader.” When I read the assignment this morning I thought, “Really?! I don’t know who I want to read my blog other than the people who already read it! I mean, I love new followers and I would love to have more, but how do you pick someone specific that you DREAM of reading your blog?” I thought and thought then decided that I would just write the post I had been thinking about and skip the assignment until later. I was going to talk about remodeling the 1971 trailer we live in and all the work we’ve done to it (which I will still be writing about later, for those interested). Once I got a few sentences into this post though, it hit me like a brick. My dad. That’s who my dream reader would be.

So you might be sitting there thinking, “So just ask him to read it. What’s the big deal?” That’s tough, I’m not sure what the big deal is. I know he probably would read it if I asked him, but just the concept is scary. Maybe it wouldn’t be funny enough? Maybe he wouldn’t think it was interesting enough? Maybe it’s just not his thing to read a blog, even one written by his daughter? I don’t know. That’s who my dream reader would be though. My dad. And the dream would be that he would read it and find it interesting and funny and that he would be proud of it because I’d done it.

-Jess