Friday, March 22, 2013

I found these little ballet flats on clearance at Old Navy. I love the the umbrellas...not fond of the toe cleavage. I still love them anyway.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

I went for a drive in the country yesterday. I wasn't sure where I was going, but couldn't stop myself from driving further and further. I ended up in some deeeep country.....the kind that almost makes you nervous around these parts. There are still people who will stand on their porches with shotguns to chase you away.

Despite the fact I knew I was getting lost, I wasn't too worried. Being lost is not a bad thing. I think you would agree right? The moment the road dumps you out into a familiar intersection and you realize "aha! I'm not lost anymore!" is kind of a great feeling. Life is similar to the road in that respect. Change occurs. We wander, cluelessly biting our nails until suddenly we're back on familiar ground again.

Lydia and Patrick and I collaborated on this Boston Market Macaroni and Cheese recipe. It didn't taste exactly like Boston Market but it was some kind of wonderful cheesy goodness.
(thrifted bowl)

and since it was such a peaceful day here in the Tennessee Valley, it's fitting to share a little Doc Watson with you I think.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

 This is Patrick. I met him just days after my ex-husband died. Despite the fact that I have a few years on him and that I was going through a difficult time, he pursued me. He says he wanted to be with me from the moment he first saw me and he has spent 6 months proving it. He's the first man I have dated since my divorce that I trust not to hurt me. He's the first man who has addressed my concerns and fears with honesty and strength rather than pride and offense. In the process he won me over. 

He fits into my life like he has always been here. He adapted to the many quirks that Lydia and I share including things like a disdain for hearing people chew. He accepts the fact that he doesn't speak the non-verbal language that Lydia and I share with just a look from the years it has just been her and I. He's not jealous of my time with her. He's not intimidated by a house or car full of girls and can thrift shop with the best of us. He can do unconventional. He accepts our femaleness and doesn't try to change us. He has held me through the loss of relationship with my parents and picked up my phone without a word after I threw it across the room.He's the strongest, toughest, kindest, and most stable man I have ever known and I love him dearly.

 Playing Scrabble and eating cupcakes at Starbucks on his birthday. Note that he wore a party hat and glitter confetti we had bombed him with earlier and was happily hanging out with three ladies including two teenagers who like him better than they like me :)

Another Reason to Love Chattanooga

Lydia and I were both off school/work yesterday so we took to the downtown streets of Chattanooga's North Shore. While there we discovered that a "soda fountain" called Pure Sodaworks had opened in one of the Frazier Street first floor units. I was expecting something old fashioned when in reality the soda came in flavors such as honey lime, lemon creme, and strawberry jalapeno. Nevertheless it was tasty and if you buy a mug, refills are only $1. While were were in the area we did a little walking and photo taking.

On this wall was written my favorite piece of graffiti ever. It said "There are two things in this world I hate...graffiti and irony." The quote was attributed to someone but I couldn't make out the name. 

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

I've never had a job before that made me SO appreciative of my days off. Today was one of those coveted days so I put on my strangest outfit, grabbed my camera, and headed down the gravel drive, into the woods, to the cabin belonging to my friend Dayna's family. Nothing gives you a peaceful feeling more than the smell of a cabin, especially Dayna's cabin where there's almost always something hearty and wholesome on the table. 

Besides her 4 gorgeous daughters, there are chickens roaming free, bunnies, artwork, and creativity blossoming throughout every inch of the property.

I don't know many people who I could ask to come take a nap on their couch and they wouldn't look at me funny....or who would have just the right words to restore my heart after it's broken, but Dayna is one of those people. Plus in the event of a zombie apocalypse she has the perfect setup.

Monday, March 11, 2013

In September, my biggest fear during my married years was realized when my former husband accidentally overdosed on an anesthesia drug he had taken from his workplace. During the course of our marriage I learned more than I ever wanted to about addiction. I discovered that without true healing an addict will jump from one vice to another.....give up drinking then steal the pills you use for pain or give up drinking and pick up smoking and overeating.  I also learned that trusting your gut feeling about people's overuse of anything is vitally important. I have never doubted that Chris loved me and that he was a good person, but he hurt me in innumerable ways by lying or taking his unhappiness out on me.

On September 23 I received a call from my stepdaughter Phoebe....a call that I almost expected....her dad was dead...she was in tears. It was a surreal moment. All of the years of hoping for a miracle, all of the pleas I made for pastors, counselors, friends, etc to help him, all of the years of pleading with HIM to help himself, all of the appointments, the group meetings, the family therapy....all of my mistakes and frustration...all of it met in this one moment. Addiction won. With his death I gained a huge responsibility. For four years I was the keeper of the memories, the photographs, the stories of our time together as a family. These four years were the most active ones with his daughter. He shared many thoughts about her and hopes for her with me. He shared concerns and fears. It's my responsibility to do what I can to support his daughter now and carry on memories for her. Although our marriage had ended over a year before his death, it still impacted me in ways I didn't expect.

Before I heard the news, I awoke on September 23 and found the silver wedding band he had bought me in Cozumel on our honeymoon. I hadn't seen it in at least a year, but there it was sitting on the bathroom sink. I hadn't known where it was and didn't know what it was doing on the sink.  I slipped it on and looked at my hand for a mere second. This moment struck me hard after I got that call from Phoebe. It turns out that Lydia had found the ring in one of her jewelry boxes and set it out. I don't think this was a coincidence. I felt at that moment that Chris was telling me he finally understood..that he was giving validity to our marriage and telling me I could forgive him and that he had forgiven me. That I was important...that we as a couple were important when we were together.

It was mere days later that I gathered with a group of girlfriends at a local grill, and someone new and fantastic walked into my life. I also don't believe that was a coincidence...but one thing at a time.
It's painfully obvious that an explanation is in order. I dropped off planet interwebs. I left you holding the bag. I abandoned propriety and didn't even offer a reason for my absence. You spent hundreds of dollars with your therapist trying to undo the abandonment issues I caused you. Right? Ok well maybe the blog-o-sphere didn't miss me like I fantasize it did, but nevertheless I'm ready to jump back in. Rest assured this is no booty call. I'm back for good and looking forward to catching up with all my favorite peeps.

Much has happened in the last few months, most notably the death of my ex-husband Chris, and the addition of a new male lead in my life. More on all of that later.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Having a teenager is not that much different than having a three year some ways. I try to remember this when MY teenager's mood changes on a dime. One minute, emotionally, we're breezing through Bath and Body Works while the smells of ginger citrus and cotton blossoms waft around us, then the next it's like we're at Walmart and every aisle smells like fried chicken fingers and rednecks. I mention this because we had this experience at the bowling alley today. I have very few pictures to actually share with you because I didn't want the sight of Lydia's head spinning in complete circles to frighten you. In all fairness to her, she could probably say the same for me on occasion. Oh. By the way...I'm blogging again.