We have officially been home for one month now.
This was the first holiday I have gotten to spend with my kids and parents
in almost seven years.

It was so great to be surrounded with the love, affection, and acceptance
that comes from people who love you and know your history.

It is such a different feeling to be surrounded by people who
genuinely care for me and about me.

I never had that with Paul.

I tried to force what was there into that,
but it never was that.

And now I have that again.

My home is peaceful and content; so is my life.

I am loving and surrounded by love.
I have my best interests at heart,
and surround myself with people who do too.
I am beyond excited to be home and know that
this is exactly where I am supposed to be at this moment in time.

Happy Easter 2016.

lurve you, xoxo v.


Conscious uncoupling...

"Conscious uncoupling."  I thought that was the stupidest phrase until I began the process of doing it myself in the past few months.  Now it makes sense to me.  

If you're in tune with yourself, you can tell when something isn't right.  Oh, we all know me, and we all know that I fought that feeling for years.  But in the wise words of REO Speedwagon, "Baby, I can't fight this feeling anymore."  Paul is not the lid to my pot.

I do have love for him and he has love for me.  We have raised children together, weathered some storms together, and basically just muddled through together.  I don't necessarily want to just dump him from my life and never look back.  More to the point, I don't want his kids out of my life in that stark, permanent way.  So then what are the options?  The only option for me is to try my hardest to remain kind, mindful, and respectful.  I mean, hey, we've been living like cordial roommates for years now anyways...what's a few more weeks?  It doesn't have to go down in a burning ball of flames.

Tonight was rough though.  It sucks because the few months of proactive behavior seemed a bit for naught this evening when he did something to finally send me through the roof.  I admit it, I lost my shit on him in a colossal way...only in response to him already going off and being horrible to me.  So, we were both looking like rude assholes by the end of the day.  Ego says that it was totally justified, but I know better.  It is SO easy to lash out when you are fed up.

However, tomorrow is another day.  He will be moving out tomorrow...for the last time.  It is bittersweet, but honestly WAY more sweet than bitter.  It is time.  Honestly, it was time years ago.  Probably after our first date it was time.  But, I'm nothing if not consistent, and I tend to stay in situations way past the expiration date.

So, to this chapter of almost six years... thank you for all you have taught me.  I would say it's been lovely, but really it hasn't.  I have grown as much as I am going to grow in this space and it is time to move forward.  Go in peace.  I am consciously uncoupling from you.

lurve you, xoxo v.


Freya Snow...

My first grandchild was born today.

I am blessed beyond measure.

Introducing Miss Freya Snow W.
6:45 pm
8lb. 5oz.
21 1/2" long

She is lovely.

lurve you, xoxo v.


How is it possible that I haven't posted anything in like 9 months?

Dude.  I haven't blogged since January.  I knew it had been a while, but I just looked at the official date and... yikes!

I know you're all waiting with baited breath to hear what's been going on. ;)  Actually, it's been a rather busy year.  I will hit the highlights.

I have been in school. I graduate with my BSN in December.  I am in my last official nursing class right now (YAY!), and then I have two Bible classes and a math class and then I AM DONE (yesssssssssss *eyes closed, fist pull like Napoleon Dynamite*).

I'm still working, doing the same old thing.  This job is a bit amazing, so it will probably take something huge to get me to go.  Seriously...physically easy job, low stress, corporate hours, weekends and holidays off, AND I get to work from home?  Pssshhhhhh... yes please.

My last little baby has made it to high school.  She's on the cheer squad.  Maddie found out she is pregnant with a little girl (so, I'm going to be a Grandma!).  Courtney & her husband Anthony are doing great and having fun starting their lives.  Darren is plugging along and doing well.  Paige graduated from college this summer.  Brandon is plugging along, doing his thing.  Howard is now a Junior and tried wrestling, but didn't love it, so now he is just sticking to football.  Amy is now a Sophomore and is on the swim team.  

Sebastian graduated this summer and we helped him moved to New Mexico State University (exciting!).  He was awarded a five-year scholarship (full-ride) for football.  What a HUGE thing to happen to him!  That scholarship is worth at least $150,000.00  Huge, just huge.  According to the NCAA, a student can only play for four years.  So, they awarded him an extra year so they can bulk him up and train him.  I don't know how much he can bulk up though! When he left here, he was 6'6" and 260#.  They said they plan to get him up to at least 320# (!!).  He has gained 20 so far.  

The thing is, that after seeing him play, they immediately moved him to second string, which I guess is a tremendous honor for a freshman.  He beat out most other students for this (including some seniors).  This means he travels with them wherever they go, and if someone gets hurt, he's in (which means he has to forfeit another year).  This means he was pretty darned impressive, so I'm really happy for him.  It was exciting seeing him on TV last week when they played the Florida Gators too (he's #55). 

Beyond all of that, I'm just trying to be well and stay healthy (which is sometimes hard).  Those two are not necessarily the same things you know.  I've been trying to focus way more on the inner health...the mental, emotional, spiritual health, since the physical health doesn't always like to cooperate.  I've always been a spiritual person, but I've kicked it up quite a few notches.  I've started meditating at least once every day and that helps SO much.  Believe it or not, I have even completely gotten off of ambien (which I took for about a decade), and am sleeping like a baby most nights.  

I have learned so much and changed so much.  It's hard to blog about that kind of thing as you're going through it though.  First of all, it's such a personal thing.  It's a bit intimate, you know.  Some things more than others, anyways.  Second of all, I am an official meditating, peace-loving, kumbaya, crystal owning, hippy-dippy kind of person now.  And if you're talking to people that don't get it?  They LOVE to judge.  They think that somehow your IQ lowers a point for each crystal you own or something.  And I'm not interested in their judgment, honestly.  We all have our own path to follow and I know what is working for me and what God is teaching me.  You can argue philosophy, but you can't argue away someone's experiences.  And the experiences I have had have been life-changing.

The other reason I don't blog too much is because I hate small talk.  I have never been good at it or been a fan of it.  I don't need to talk about the weather.  I'm a deep talker.  I don't care if I just met you, I want to know your background, the struggles you have faced, your family dynamics, etc. etc.  Seriously, let's talk.  So, if I talk a lot on here, it would mainly be about deep stuff, and deep stuff when you're in a relationship would mainly mean talking about your partner.  I know Paul wouldn't be okay with me dishing his dirt on my blog (dangit), so I just zip my lip and meditate (lol).  I'll just sum it up by saying that in June we celebrated our 5th anniversary.  We still have not gotten married because I am just not sure I can take that leap.  We had a date set for April, but I had to cancel it.  I just couldn't, and he was okay with that.  We are doing okay right now and that's all that counts. 

One thing I have learned is that there is no need for regrets because you are always exactly where you are supposed to be.  I don't have to worry about staying too long or missing out on somewhere else I think I should have been instead because (another thing I have learned) nothing that is meant for you will miss you.  Let that soak in for a minute.  I'll say it again...


Do you feel the power of that?  I do.  That has been one of the most life-changing things I have learned.  So, that means that I have been with the right partners (even if they seemed wrong) and haven't missed "Mr. Right" because I wasn't single.  If Mr. Right was supposed to find me, he would have and I would have known about him.  I don't have to worry about loaning someone money and them not paying me back, because if that money was supposed to be and stay mine, God will make sure I have it.  I don't have to worry if I've made mistakes that took me down the wrong path, because if another path is meant for me, it will find me.  Should I have had more kids?  Should I have had less kids (lol, jk)?  Should I have moved to Arizona?  Questions don't matter and are a waste of time.  What is meant for you will find you.  

This means that all is well, and all will be well.  No need to worry, everything is as it should be.  So, I am peaceful where I am and if/when it is time to do something different, I'll know.  It's been good talking to you...I've missed you.

p.s... there plenty to catch up on over on I LOVE YOU MORE THAN PORK CHOPS

lurve you, xoxo v.


In which I brag on my daughter...

Today was a rough day.  There were three separate kid-crises (major ones) to be dealt with at the same time and it was really difficult.  I'm officially blaming it on Mercury going back into retrograde because this day was CRAZY.  The blessing in parenting (if you're lucky and if you choose to see it) is that typically, not every child causes trouble and drama at the same time.  They usually take turns.  Can you IMAGINE if it was all at once?  Holy cow.  So, today three of them at once had major, life-altering issues happening and it would have been very easy to get sucked down the "it must be our total and complete failure as parents" rabbit hole.  It is so easy to beat ourselves up, isn't it?

Well, just when I thought there may be no redeeming this day, God sent me a tiny redeeming moment.  After picking up my youngest from a game she was cheering at, I couldn't get a word in edgewise as we drove home.  She had a lot on her little heart and she was talking a mile a minute.  At first I wanted to interrupted her because there was so much that had happened during the day.

I'm so glad I kept quiet and just listened.

Sometimes our children don't get the praise they deserve.  And tonight, she deserves some praise.  The things she had to say, the enlightenment she was showing.  So mature.  So much WISDOM.  It broke my heart in the most beautiful way.  She has fears of going to high school (among other things).  And the way that she was voicing her concerns in one breath and then in the next working through the issues and giving herself the best advice...I was speechless.  

She has come to the realization that the "popular" kids she used to hang out with are a group that she wants to purposely distance herself from in high school because even though they seem like they would be the happiest, they are actually the saddest and most insecure group of people she knows.  She said, "They need and seek attention and affection in a whole other way than most of us and it isn't healthy."  She then said, "And they don't think like me.  Because I think everything and everyone is beautiful.  Seriously Mom, there is something beautiful to be found in every single place.  Like, look at you right now.  You're so beautiful driving the car and listening to me!  And I'm afraid that not many kids in high school are going to think like me and so they won't like me."

I couldn't be any more impressed with her if I tried.  I'm so impressed I could bust.

I started to tear up and said, "You just need to know that I think you are kind of amazing.  You have just shown so much wisdom, maturity, and kindness and I am so proud to be your mom."  She smiled and said, "I really love our talks lately.  No one else (not even in our family) gets me.  They don't get what I mean when I say, 'I think everyone is beautiful'.  But you do, and I love that."

My cup runneth over.

She really is such a good girl and a cool kid.  I'm so grateful for her and blessed to call her my daughter.

lurve you, xoxo v.


Check it out...

There is so much going on over at our family blog!

Pictures of Christmas, vacations, crafts, etc.

If you'd like to check it out,
just click HERE!

lurve you, xoxo v.

Apple bread...

One of my favorite things that my mom used to make
is Apple Bread.

This is from her recipe and it is so good!

If anyone would like the recipe,
just let me know and I will send it to you.

lurve you, xoxo v.

Random view from where I sit...

I was asked to take a picture of a random view from where I sit,
no matter what it is.

Okay, here you go!
Exciting, right?
Be careful what you wish for, you just may get it!
lurve you, xoxo v.


Birthday Love notes...

lurve you, xoxo v.


Today was my 42nd birthday,
and what a wonderful day it was.

From beginning to end, it was filled with love,
sweetness, and good energy.
I saw nothing but generosity of spirit, heart, time, and gifts.

I am truly, truly blessed.

2015, I'm coming for ya. ;)

Paul made my favorite (and now official birthday cake) strawberry, coconut cake.

He only put coconut on half because
there are a few people in this house (weirdos)
who do not care for coconut.

It is so moist, dense, and flavorful it is CRAZY!

He claimed the store only had vanilla ice cream (he knows it is my least favorite).
So, I do wonder if this was the truth, or merely a ploy (because it happens to be HIS favorite). ;)

The kids got me some cute gifts and everyone got me nice cards.

And, HE went to JARED! :)

He got me a little necklace I've been wanting that has a little tree.

Genealogy and family trees are my favorite things,
plus this (to me) symbolizes family and friendship in general.

I had wanted it for Christmas, but he saved it for my birthday.

Of course, he keeps talking smack about it and dissing it at every opportunity,
because he thinks it is way too small and should be MUCH bigger.

And of course, I look at him like he is crazy because
I would NEVER wear something that big!

I prefer dainty and delicate.
Something I can wear on a daily basis and let it be the
unobtrusive decoration that it is.

Whatever,  thanks honey!
You did good; I love it!

lurve you, xoxo v.
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