Saturday, December 26, 2009

you otay?

Alex and Mya are building mansions with legos while I savor every drop of coffee in my cup and every shriek that escapes their lips. They're beautiful children...I have done some things right in my life :)

I slept on the top bunk in their room the other night, just to hear them breathe...Alex coughed a little in his sleep and Mya sat straight up in bed, in a sleepy fog, and said, "Chayjay, you otay?" He said, "Yes, Mya. I'm okay," and my beautiful babies laid back down and fell back asleep.

We spent Christmas alone - huge blizzard prevented our plans - but all is right in the world. My children love Jesus, love each other, and love life.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Friday, November 13, 2009


Again, Christ has stepped in and picked up the pieces and made me whole again.

While I do not believe in eternal security, I do believe that once you have accepted Christ as your Savior he will use the Holy Spirit, which resides within you, to continue to draw you near and show his face. Every time I have strayed, he has gently, patiently, and lovingly pulled me back into his arms, wiped away my tears, and helped me face the consequences of my actions with grace and strength.

I have come out of a bad situation - caused by own disobedience - on top, as always, with God on my side of this battle. And I am grateful.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

paying the price.

I know with everything in me that I need to give it to God right now and trust him to take over. So easy to say, so simple to grasp, but so difficult to do. My human nature, my inability to trust concrete things in the hands of the unseen, prevents me from giving it to him. To Him, who can make it right. Who can comfort me, and hold me like a child, let my tears flow and calm me in this storm.

So I struggle alone, afraid to ask him what he wants from me because I know. I know exactly what he wants from me but I am terrified. I want to take this matter into my own hands where it will turn out exactly like I think it needs to, only to find out later that I was wrong, and that how God wants it is how it should have been all along. That I could have survived. That I could have handled it and come out on top.

This is the first time in my life that I have prayed about a situation, received an answer, and chosen to make my own choices despite his loving guidance. How will I pay for this? When will I learn? And at what price?

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

and so it is.

I am going to drive this man away with my inability to love myself.

Saturday, September 26, 2009


There are good days and bad days, but the sun shines a little brighter than I ever thought it would.

I sit at the table and have my coffee, check my email, taking in the morning sunlight, while Alex practices somersaults and Mya struggles to get both legs into one leg-hole of AJ's Cookie Monster underwear.

Who am I to question where this life will lead me? Time to sit back and enjoy the ride.

I have a date tomorrow...Feels like number 347 since being single. There is a fair chance I will pick him apart (or tear him up, as I hear I'm known for) like I have picked the rest of them apart, but I will doll up and go eagerly regardless. One day I will get there and I will know he's different...

And until then, I will enjoy every Cream of Wheat-filled, can't-wait-till-bedtime, giggle-over-nothing-and-everything day with my babies.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

The babies I love.

At home.

I took the kids to the homecoming game in town last night. I was anxious about being in that social situation and possibly not knowing anybody who was there or not fitting in or not being able to keep the kids calm and collected.

Really, it was a beautiful night and great time for us. We had snow cones, one of which ended up on my pants, leaving a red stain that covered my entire right thigh. My phone went flying down the bleachers, Mya lost her balance once, and both kids had sticky snow cone juice from head to toe. The people around us were endeared - not annoyed - by my children and their imperfections. I was endeared, too :)

When they got too restless, we headed to the grassy area past the endzone, where there must have been 100 small children running wildly. Alex and Mya recognized many of their friends from their old daycare, and I knew most of the parents there in different ways - from the dentist, from swimming lessons, vacation bible school, daycare, or the park.

We felt at home. It was a good feeling.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

A step forward.

The kids are asleep, the house is quiet, and I'm wasting another evening trying to determine how to take back the past.

I feel like I have *nearly* allowed this situation to overcome me. I am still making it, paycheck to paycheck, without assistance. I am still loving those babies every moment I have with them. I'm just barely keeping clean dishes in the cupboards and clean clothes in the closets. Slappin' a lil makeup on every morning :) So I'm winning...But it's two steps forward, one step back.

Today is a decent day. A step forward day.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Today I feel like I can't do it anymore.

What good is self pity? No good...But I'm ill, tired, hurt, and lonely. I feel like I can't do this another day. There is never enough sleep, enough love, enough companionship, enough time, and yet every day is 24 hours too long. I feel like I'm failing my children and myself with this attitude but I'm just unbelievably sad.

I wonder every day if I've done the right thing and when my time will come...I'm not strong enough to do this alone. I know I can't. I know I can't do this alone for much longer...

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

thank you.

A broken computer has kept me away, but the emails and messages I've received have inspired me to write today.

I've always known that this struggle has not been in vain, but I feel that conviction so much more since learning that my writing has inspired other women in similar situations. My goal is to share the whole story with all of you...the small moments that are burned in my memory and the big days that served as turning points in my journey.

So tonight I will start with the day we met. Thank you, ladies, for reading and for sharing encouragement, gratitude, and support during this hard and long-awaited phase of my life.

Friday, May 15, 2009

i rock.

I just mowed the lawn. I have blisters on my hands, my shoes are stained, my knees are stained, and I have dirt from head to toe. It's my first time ever mowing a lawn :)

Completely silly triumph for most people, I'm sure. But big for me. I am officially dependent on myself.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

never better.

Every day I make it because tomorrow will be better. Because next week will be better. Next month. Next year. But it's never better. It's an unending struggle to clean up the mess I've made. An incessent search for the right fix.

And so Alex's fear of animals hiding in his curtains and Mya's need to poop anywhere except in a diaper will force me to carry on. What other option do any of us have anyway? People call it strength...What choice is there? There are babies here who need love and ravioli and tickles and "pankin's." A house that needs more attention than a toddler. A degree that won't earn itself (and seriously, with what I'm paying for it, it SHOULD).

On a side note, I love that Alex is not ashamed of his love for me yet. We were at Sertoma Park/Japanese Gardens for Mother's day and he scraped his ankle on the playground. There were several beautiful little Hispanic girls playing around him and a couple boys who were fivish, and he fell to the ground sobbing for me. I ran to him and tried to comfort him and he begged in front of everyone, "Please kiss it. KISS IT!"

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

carry on.

I don't want him for myself. As a matter of fact, I have hoped that he would move on.

But the fact that another woman is pregnant with his child -- six weeks pregnant when I only filed for divorce one week ago -- is killing me. My feelings are ridiculous and unfounded but it is what it is. I'm hurt.

There. I said it.

Carry on.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

most days.

Most days I can handle this mess that is my life.

Today I can't.

Monday, May 4, 2009

man up already.

I so desperately want to believe in him. I want to believe that regardless of his failure as a husband and a man, he can still fulfill my hopes for him as a father.

Is it really so much to ask? He has Alex for one week -- which is thus far been the hardest 24 hours of my life, six days left -- and his life doesn't change at all. I can't fathom it. I'm deeply disappointed really...He continually talks about is how devastated he is to lose his children in the way he has, but I finally grant him an entire week with his son and he drags him along on his own excursions and calls it bonding.

How many chances am I required to give this man -- and I use that term loosely. How long do I wait for him to man up, hoping he doesn't hurt my children along the way? Where do I draw the line between protecting them and preventing them from knowing their father?

Sunday, May 3, 2009

another day.

Mya is sleeping and I am away from Alex for the first extended period of time ever. He went home with Daddy and my heart is aching for him. Perhaps it's my controlling nature, but I'm here and uneasy because I wonder if his teeth are brushed, if he's warm enough, if he got a chance to say his prayers and talk about his day, if he got to set his favorite toy up to "wait for him" till morning, if his cold water is on the nightstand, if Daddy reminded him that his angels are with him...

I've been thinking alot lately. My motto is normally one day at a time, but at some point I need to think about our future. How will I incorporate the events of our lives into the story of our lives?

I will teach them that there are no excuses. That our struggles are no excuse for treating others poorly or not achieving what we expect of ourselves. That pointing fingers at those who have hurt us only further inhibits us in the long run. That we have no control over those around us, only control over our own attitude. That we only have each other and we need to love and forgive and enjoy each other daily.

I think people believe that situations like this MUST affect children negatively, but I don't necessarily believe that. This is merely an opportunity to display faith, strength, and self confidence.

PS Jesse is expecting a child with his girlfriend. But that's for another day.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

doing something right.

Tonight, I put the kids to bed. Not long after, I heard the pitter-patter of footprints and a few giggles and shrieks. I gave them a few minutes to get it out of their systems, and it was silent.

Too silent. So I tiptoed upstairs to see what was going on. Alex was INSIDE Mya's crib, and they had her pillow* propped against the back of the crib. They were leaning against it like a little couch, with their legs straight out in front of them. Alex had one arm around Mya and was sucking his other thumb. Mya had an arm around Alex and was holding her blankie. And they were just looking at each other.

Yesterday, Mya was being very aggressive again, which isn't abnormal for her. I scolded her briefly but with a very firm voice. A look of shock and anger came about Alex's face, and he said very firmly, "Mommy, that is my BABY you are talking to." Another time within the same hour, I had to firmly correct Mya for hitting. Alex looked at me and said tenderly and pleadingly, "Oh, Mama, she's only a baby."

It is during these moments that I feel confident in my parenting. I am so, so proud of where we are...I'm even proud of our story. Proud that regardless of our circumstances, my kids are doin' alright.

Yay!! for not screwing up my children during my mess.

*(yes, I'm aware that that isn't safe for babies to have pillows, but she's a toddler and has some breathing issues that are best if she is somewhat upright)

Monday, April 27, 2009

finding peace.

Alex is happy again, or at least at peace. My heart is dancing. It is so strange to be in this place...I may be underestimating these people, but they look at me as if I'm speaking a foreign language when I shed tears for my children. I imagine all mothers desperately love their children and hopelessly strive for their happiness, but these people undeniably think I'm a nutcase.

I just love him, ya know? Beyond love.

I desperately want more babies some day and dream of it daily, but this is my fear: I am so terrified that my children will be separated from future siblings. That my future life partner will have a different connection with children of his flesh and blood than he does with my children, and that my children will be aware of that difference. I'm even scared that I could somehow love children resulting from a mutually satisfying relationship more than I love my own babies.

Perhaps I am being selfish or negatively overprotective, but there is nothing. There is nothing more important in my entire life than those two babies who rely on me. I am nuts about them...I am so terrified of messing it up, you know?

This is officially the most random rambling post I have written. My main points are that in learning to give up control and trust God, I am finding a deep peace in my circumstances.

Here's hoping this moves somebody like it has moved me. I listen to this daily! This man has a faith we should all seek after; he is so worshipful and his freestyle praise moves me so deeply. Freestyle As the Deer

Saturday, April 18, 2009

the things he does.

I like to keep track of the things Alex says and does because it's so easy to forget! Our highlights from this week:

Mya nibbled on the edge of a piece of his Easter chocolate (yay! me for allowing chocolate! goodbye uptight Rynae, hello I-allow-chocolate-at-Easter Rynae!) so there were little teeth grooves with a space between them. AJ shrieked with delight and screamed, "Daddy, Mommy! LOOK! The Easter Bunny ate my candy!!!"

We were leaving daycare the other day when a lady pulled up in an SUV. Alex asked who it was and I said, "Just a lady." She got out of her car and came toward us (heading for the daycare) and AJ pointed and yelled, "Silly mama! He's not a lady! He's a man!"

Alex and Mya were bathing together two weeks ago and he showed his first interest in the fact that her "private parts" were different than his. He looked at her from the back, looked at her from the front, and with a puzzled look asked "Mommy, does Mya have two butts?!"

Out of the mouths of babes...

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

daily we pray for the eyes of jesus.

When I look around, I see people just struggling to make it in this life. We make the best choices we can in the circumstances we are in and at the end of the day we all have to face those decisions. Dealing with the judgment and hatred and bitterness of others just makes the struggle that much more difficult. Each of us is just in constant search of a hand and an understanding heart.

I hope that I am never as quick to judge and as slow to look inward as those I unwillingly surround myself with. I hope I never find joy in the struggles, pain, and failures of my neighbors. I hope I don't judge a soul by the shell it resides in. And I hope I never feel the need to define human beings with labels.

When did society put respect and kindness towards animals and the environment before respect and kindness toward each other?

That's all.

Monday, April 13, 2009

called as a child, lost as an adult.

I believe that faith is individual and personal. I am struggling to find the point at which my spirit collides with the holy spirit.

I believe in God and Jesus Christ. I have been called to know him personally since I was a young child, and have felt led to salvation most of my life. When I stray, he is always pulling me back and taking me in. There are so many moments in my life that I can't question the work of God's hand. I am so, so blessed...

I have always believed in Bible-based faith paired with guidance from the holy spirit. However, in this day and age, I have such a difficult time grasping the message behind the literal words of the Bible. An excellent example is homosexuality; I refuse to believe that God wants us to actively prevent homosexuals from marrying. Taking time out of my day to prevent another person's happiness--when it does no harm to me or my family--is hateful and intolerant...I believe that God knows their souls and it his place and only his place to pass the final judgment. I believe that we are all where we are because we are molded by our environment and our experiences...And I refuse to hate people who are hurting.

Christians call it tough love but those who don't believe FEEL hate through our actions. I often wonder where my place is. I just mind my own business, really...But am I fulfilling the life that God has planned for me when I sit in the back pew and look inward?

I teach my children about Jesus Christ but I pray they don't meet the real Christians until they're old enough to understand...

Does that make sense to anyone but me?

Saturday, April 4, 2009

christ, who strengthens me.

Mya is babbling and toddling around the house, thrilling herself with simple pleasures. Alex is playing rock band with a measuring-cup drumstick and a Metallica version of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. I notice both of them peek at me from time to time for a giggle or a smile or an "I'm gonna get you!" followed by a tickle-monster attack.

I am so blessed. One trip to the grocery store reminds me that not all mothers are blessed with the material and emotional means to love their babies up and nurture them in the way their hearts desire. I thank God daily for guiding me and blessing me and making our family work.

My job pays on the first of every month. When the check came this month, it was very short because of several storm days and a day in the hospital with Mya. I was sick to my stomach for the entire week leading up to payday. Looking ahead in the schedule, I became even more concerned when I saw that there were vacations scheduled for at least the next three months. I thought I would have to leave because I couldn't afford to feed these babies on that income.

Finally, the night before last, I asked God to take the burden from me and make it his. I have a complex -- I always need to resolve things on my own. But at that point, I knew I had worked hard, hadn't spent an unnecessary dime, and had applied for a second job. I could do nothing more. So I gave it to him and asked him to take over.

The next morning I showed up for work, and the dentist handed me a check. He apologized for the inconsistent schedule and the small paycheck, offered me a $1 raise (bringing me to far more than any unqualified person deserves for a position like this), and guaranteed me a minimum monthly income from here on out. After he left, I opened the check praying it was for at least $150.00. It was for almost $700.

So today, here's to Jesus. And to letting him do what he wants to do for us. Giving up control is never easy, but who am I to think I was the one in control in the first place? I credit him for my ability to love these children in spite of the pain. For the ability to feed them according to my standards in spite of the financial difficulty. For the recognition of the value of these years of their lives. I am blessed.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

i don't know how.

I am comfortable alone.

This is what I think about love. For one, I want no part in it. And I firmly believe that that will not change with time or maturity or healing.

I believe love is dangerous and even somewhat unhealthy. Is this pessimistic of me? From my experience, it always seems like there is a giver and a taker. And the giver loves too much and the taker loves too little. The taker becomes a parasite and the giver becomes a willing host. I realized this one day when my size 32A bra was falling down at work and my best friend asked me when the last time I ate was. I stopped to think and was shocked and ashamed when I realized that I had not had a chance to eat or sleep at all in the past three days. It was then that I realized that I had been taken and walked on and forgotten and disregarded. It was really a quite shameful moment for me.

But it woke me up. And when I started to evaluate things -- like how many meals I had cooked and how rarely anybody ensured that I would get to taste them -- I began to understand how truly unhealthy my love for a parasite of a man had become.

I would like to say that I believe that time heals all wounds but I don't. I don't believe that. And I would like to say that I'm not bitter, but I am. I am bitter and hateful and not interested in forgiving just yet.

I haven't quite determined what God wants me to take from the past six years, but I am confident that today I am where God has instructed me to be. I prayed for guidance and this path was laid out before me, clear as day and free of bumps and forks in the road. Now I need to cast aside my bitterness and hate and let the God who saved me know my soul again...

I just don't know how.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

there's something to be said.

There is something to be said about independence.

For me, it is vital. My financial dependence on another human being was my ball and chain, my prison cell. My filthy house, my lack of self-esteem, my months of sleepless nights, the losing of myself...can all be accredited to my lack of financial independence.

And here I am, in the promised land, struggling to make ends meet. Counting pennies, praying that there will be food on the table tonight and shoes on their tiny feet. Every time I decide to have a more positive outlook there is another monster on my doorstep--today in the form of unexpected bill #332 since I moved here. This one for the holes in the walls of my old apartment, for the broken-down door, for the broken glass lampshades. A sick reminder that I made my bed and it is my responsibility alone to sleep in that damn bed, nightmare-ridden and far from morning.

I take responsibility for my situation. I blame nobody but myself. And because my own choices--regardless of my intentions when those choices were made--led me to this point, I will step up. I will pinch pennies. I will pray for small miracles. I will hold those babies like there is no tomorrow. And I will hold myself together. I might cry myself to sleep, I might lose it once in awhile, and I might forget how grateful I am to be here from time to time, but I will hold myself together.

It's natural to hate struggling, but I am building my strength and my love for myself. And to be honest, I take a strange pleasure in the struggle that is my life today. For nearly six years, I have begged the precious creator of my soul to give me loneliness. And I won't give it up without a fight.

Monday, March 9, 2009

interviewing alex

What is your favorite book? The Bible, my Jesus Book

What does your Bible look like? Jesus. Angels, yeah.

What’s your favorite color? Purple. My angel book is purple.

Who is your best friend? Mya. Mya and Daddy and Mommy.

Who is Mommy’s best friend? Mya.

How do you like to sleep? Good. I like to sleep good.

What makes you happy? Mya.

Are you a girl or a boy? Girl.

No, you’re a boy. Yeah, I’m a boy.

What’s your name? I’m AJ and I’m Alex.

What’s Mya’s name? Mya Crankypants Annalyse.

What’s Mommy’s name? Mommy Crankypants?

What’s Daddy’s name? Daddy Lon and Daddy Jesse. Me and Daddy want to go to work and you and Mya want to stay here.

When do you get in trouble? When Laura gets me in trouble.

Do you like answering my questions? Uh-huh.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

missing consistency

I miss him. Do I really? Or do I miss the consistency and being surrounded by my friends and family and being able to pretend I was happy with him when I wanted to be? Or do I miss being needed?

Tonight is a sobbing night. He ruined me…He took everything that was beautiful in me and he ruined it. He made me feel cheap, worthless, ugly, and ashamed. I loved him more than I have ever loved anybody…I loved him with every inch of my being. I loved him enough to overlook his faults…and there were so many. But I saw his heart, and I wanted to scoop him up and hold him and tell him everything would be okay. I wanted to give him children and love and stability and hope.

And he degraded me. Demeaned me. Insulted my intelligence. Disregarded my feelings and needs. Forgot me. He broke my things and he broke my heart and he broke me.
And now he is the one who is miserable and I pretend that I am happy in my new life. But I am not happy. Nobody has ever been more hateful or disrespectful to me in my entire life than the man I chose to give myself to, and yet his misery breaks my heart. I am not like him…I cannot watch him suffer at my hand.

Today is a hard day. I left everything behind. There is not a friend nearby…There is nobody. Just me and my tears and my regrets and my fears.

beautifully happy

Mya is a light in the darkness. She is resilient and beautifully happy and ignorant. Alex takes joy in her and I take joy in her. She is delightful, really.

Mya distracts both of us from our pain, from our confusion, our uncertainty. She demands our attention with her girlishness and simplicity. She warms our hearts when she giggles and breaks our hearts when she wails over silly things. She is Alex’s connection to the past—which was taken from him without warning. She is the only consistency in his life. And in mine.

daddy's black car

Alex is sad. He sobs in his sleep, crying out for Daddy and all that he represents. Consistency, the old life, his old friends, his Abuelita and Abuelito. He misses rides in Daddy’s black car that goes vroom vroom and drives fast. He misses crawling into Daddy’s bed in the middle of the night. He even misses McDonald’s.

In the moments when he is hopelessly sad, I desperately want to snuggle him into my lap, hold him close, and lie to him. I want to tell him that everything is going to be okay…That tomorrow the sun will rise on a new day and we’ll be happy again. I want to dry his tears and kiss his face and lie to him.

In the moments when his sadness is expressed as bitterness and anger toward me, I desperately want to grab him by the shoulders and look him in the eyes and tell him the truth. I want to ask him why he idolizes such an ugly man and what that man has given him that I have not. I want to tell him that his Daddy broke my heart and ruined my soul. I want to tell him that the man he worships is violent, lazy, selfish, and ignorant. Mostly, I want to tell him that his Mommy left her best friends, her family, and her job to give her babies a better life and that all she wants is to see him happy.

The truth is, I can’t. I can’t lie to Alex, and I can’t tell him the truth. Every night I hold him and we ask Jesus to help him understand, to help him feel my indescribable love, and to comfort his sorrowful soul.

I have it.

The years ahead of me will hold struggles, pain, confusion, and hope. Today I am where I have prayed to be for several years: I am single and safe.

My kids are playing happily across the room with toy cars and dinosaurs. They don't know my pain or my weakness, or my fears of inadequacy and failure. They don't know that I struggle just to put food in their tummies and gas in our car. They don't know that my heart aches and that I cry when they can't see. That I'm desperately lonely and terrifyingly afraid of not being lonely.

They don't know that it’s such an effort to show them the love that I feel in my heart. That my mind and my spirit are exhausted and it takes every inch of motivation in my being to love them up like they deserve to be loved.

They don't know that the simple things carry me from day to day. That the sloppy, hot-dog-littered kisses fill the emptiness in my soul. That the carefree giggles rising like music from their souls solidify my hope. They don't know that I live to see the rise and fall of their chests in their sleep, to witness the temper tantrums over spilled milk and failed attempts to tie shoes...They don't know that without them and their exhausting need for my love and attention, I am nothing.

All they know is that whether it be love, a dry diaper, a toy that’s out of reach, a hot lunch, or a sloppy kiss, when they need it, I have it.