Dreaming and his Girlfriend 

Sleeping with my son on vacation. I woke up from a terrible dream…..he’s lying in bed on SnapChat. (Scene set)
Me: Son, I just had a horrible dream. Please turn off your phone and go to bed!!

Adam: Why do I have to turn off my phone and go to bed because of your dream?

Me: I was dreaming you gave all of your info to a stranger on SnapChat, he just broke in and killed your girlfriend! Dude the dream was so real!!!!

Adam: What did my girlfriend look like?

Me: You are missing the point!! We were all running and screaming!! There was blood everywhere. (very realistic terrifying dream!)

Adam: Mom, did you happen to catch her (girlfriends) name?

Me: WHAT DOES IT MATTER?

Adam: Do you remember her hair Color?

Me: (Kicked him out of bed….hope the couch is comfy!!)

How Loving and Patient He Must Be….

“For I know the plans I have for you”, declares the Lord. “Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”        Jeremiah 29:11

Being a Mom is not easy.

My kids both had me in tears this morning as I was trying to get them ready for school.   My daughter wanted to use a different back pack (on the last three days of school!!!).   The straps had been tied in a knot and I was unable to get the knots untied.   Crisis!!!    Absolute-Teenage-Breakdown!!

My son, decided he would throw his own fit because his Cargo-shorts were dirty and I was going to make him wear a pair of shorts that didn’t have 7,000 pockets!  Apparently two pockets on a pair of shorts is not sufficient.     Hence, making me the worst mother in all of the entire world!

I did it….I just walked right out of the house.   I finally had enough.    I looked at them and proclaimed, “get ready by yourself!” and drove away.

*Before you think I really am the worst mother in all of the world, let me say that we go to my parents house every morning for breakfast.   Something that has been part of my kids routine since they were in Kindergarten*      So, as I walked out the door, Grandma was making them a healthy breakfast and looking at me with her own bit of desperation as to Why was she being punished?

I got in my car and did what any terrible mother would do.   I drove around the block a few times to cool off and came back, made sure they were ready and drove them to school.

My son was very well aware that I was not happy since just the day before he also proclaimed me The worst Mom ever when I didn’t get him ice cream after I got off work, picked home up from school, took him to get his hair cut, changed two flat tires on my lawn mower and mowed the grass….all while he was sitting in the garage (in the shade) playing on his IPhone 6 whining that I didn’t have any food!!  Grandpa, who was helping me with the mower, took him to their house, where I am sure he was served a bowl of cereal in front of the TV on the recliner!

Did he feel bad?  Sure he did.   Both last night and this morning, he gave me a kiss and told me that he was sorry.   Both times, I graciously accepted his apology, and I always welcome a kiss from the most handsome (entitled, selfish Brat….OMG, I created a monster) fella in the world.

The kids, the back pack, the wrong shorts…You are the worst mother in all the world!!!     I cried.   I cried ugly tears this morning!   I couldn’t stop crying.   The never ending cycle of never being good enough.   Not for my kids, not for my (ex) husband, not for my family, not even for myself.   I strive to be the best.   I exhaust myself so I can be the cool mom, the cool Aunt, the friend to everyone….I do it all because I have this overwhelming sense of needing to show people how much I love them.  To the point of forgetting to love myself, or feeling guilty if I plan a night out to go out to dinner with a friend, or (Heaven forbid) even a date.    As I took my long drive this morning to talk with God, my question to Him was “Why?”  One simple sentence, This isn’t how I imagined my life.    Once again, like most days, He didn’t answer.   It’s ok, I know He’s pretty busy.    Instead, I counted some blessings and went on with my morning.

My life.  Unpredictable.  Chaotic.  Full of Love.  Full of family and friends (even some random adopted strangers).  Lots of laughter and even some tears.

And yes…..Even being voted The worst Mother in all of the world!

There is a song that we used to sing in Sunday School….

He’s still working on me, to make me what I ought to be.   It took him just a week to make the moon and the stars, the sun and the earth and Jupiter and Mars.

How loving and patient He must be…..

He’s still working on me.

How loving and Patient He must me….

 

 

 

I AM

My girlfriends and I started a private group on Facebook a few months ago, mainly to encourage each other and let each other know that we have each other’s backs.    A very good friend of mine posted this yesterday:

21 day challenge starts tomorrow and here is your goal! I am reading The Power of I am by Joel Osteen and its powerful. I want to challenge all of us to post a status to Facebook and repeat it in the group every morning that says I am… Beautiful, strong, valuable, healthy… You get the idea. I am not going to stop there, I am going to write the sentiment on my hand so I look down and I remember that I am fearfully and wonderfully made! Who is with me? They say it takes 21 days to start a new habit. Lets start a new journey! If you write it on your hand it’s a great way to start a conversation and encourage others!

The beautiful posts and pictures started pouring in……

13095748_10207402325948712_6531227570270529729_n13102773_10209533087306974_605639493506495201_n13103256_10209536176424200_5645371642766338520_n

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I read their stories.  As tears started filling my eyes, my mind drifted back to 4 years ago.

This is what I wrote:

I am up for the 21 Day Challenge……But man, did it get me thinking.
I AM Crystal Adams Faulkiner. You are probably thinking, ok? Yes, that is your name. Well, to me, it is more than that. Let me explain.
Yesterday someone introduced me (twice) as Dr. Faulkiners ex wife. Unfortunately, this is a common theme for me.

4 years ago next month, the man I vowed to love For Better or Worse left me.  It was the most devastating thing that has ever happened to me in my life. I remember thinking, “What am I going to do?” “How will I ever survive ALONE?” This fear of NOT being Dr. Faulkiner’s wife anymore terrified me so much that I agreed to go to therapy. I was ready to go in and tell the Therapist all the things I was willing to do to get my family back.
I walked in (tissue box in hand) and sat down. The first thing she asked me was, “Who are you?”
My response, “I am Caty and Adam’s mom….Kelby’s wife……….”
“NO, I didn’t ask that!” She quickly cut me off. “I said WHO ARE YOU?
“I am a mom, a wife, a sister, a daughter……”
“Crystal, WHO ARE YOU?” This time she raised her voice.
No matter how hard I tried, I could not understand what she was trying to get me to say. I never wanted to be anyone else since the day I met him, I knew that I wanted to be Caty and Adam’s Mom and I was so proud to be Dr. Faulkiner’s wife. She made me so incredibly angry, I vowed to never see her again. Yet that question, WHO ARE YOU? still haunts me 4 years later.
So this morning, I get on Facebook and all of you lovely ladies are all beginning this challenge together….thank you for allowing me to be a part of it….but as I was looking at all of your “I AM’s”, I found myself in the same predicament again 4 years later.
I am still trying to be a Mom, Aunt, Sister, Daughter, and sometimes I even try to be a Girlfriend. (which is nauseating to me!! haha)
Somewhere along the way I lost myself.

So today, I have decided that……

I am ready to find who I am to let go of who I used to be.

I AM Crystal Adams Faulkiner!!

13081716_10209730239476205_20581058_n

no ordinary life

To be continued……..

13002615_10209702541183765_1783241415422472768_o

It is Well….

It’s beginning to look a lot like “I am not really into Christmas”….or am I?

I am the most uptight person alive when it comes to decorating for Christmas.   Lugging out the 5 Christmas trees, 3 Christmas Villages, 3 nativity scenes and the random knick knack and stuffed Santa Claus was always the highlight of my entire year.    Christmas was always work.  I made it a chore.   A chore that no one else in my family wanted to participate in.   Mainly because it wasn’t fun, I made it my life’s goal to pour my heart and soul into making the house look like a Winter Wonderland, but didn’t want the family to be involved for fear they may put an ornament in the wrong place on the tree.      I did enjoy the help that was given to me when it came to pulling out the 20 boxes of ornaments, lights and garland….not to mention the villages and nativities.      Climbing into the trees to hang lights wasn’t my forte either, so I gladly kept my feet planted firmly on the ground as I barked out orders from below.

I spent 12 years of our marriage putting the Christmas decorations up on my own.   As he prepared for hunting season, I prepared for Christmas.    He dreaded the mundane task of dragging everything out of the attic, and all I could think about was surprising him with a museum of glitter and garland when he returned from hunting.   It was always my intention to make him proud of me.   For him to walk in and stand in awe at the hard work and hours (Blood Sweat and Tears!!) I had poured in to make it the best Christmas ever!

Every year, he came home….gave a half hearted “looks nice” and plopped his clothes down for me to wash.   The house that once smelled like Cinnamon had a strong odor of camp fire and deer urine.

The first year that he left us, I was so distraught, but I knew I had to decorate for the kids.   I trudged in the attic as I sobbed hysterically, lowering the trees down by myself.  Then calling my Daddy to help me because I quickly realized that I couldn’t do it on my own.    I watched my little boy try so hard (as he still does every year) to be the man of the house as he would go outside with his little shovel and snow suit and shovel the driveway,  taking a break every now and then to eat the snow!  (which I find disgusting!!)     He and my Dad would surprise me with decorating the outside.  I stayed inside, instead of barking out orders as I was just truly grateful that they were so kind to help me.

While decorating the tree, I cried uncontrollably as I put up the “First Christmas Together” ornaments, the family ornaments that displayed our names as Snowmen on a sled, the Baby’s First Christmas….I quickly realized that our Christmases would never be the same, yet I was not ready to give up the ornaments that I so proudly displayed every year on our “Memory Tree”.

It wasn’t until last Christmas that I stopped crying, I stopped romanticizing the bittersweet memories that no longer existed.   Although, I always want my kids to remember Christmas as a family, I felt no need to keep the “First Christmas Together” ornament.   Who would want that as a family heirloom when I am gone?   I realized that part of my life did not exist anymore, so alone one night as I was decorating the tree,  I broke the ornament and I threw it in the trash.    At that moment, I felt as though I was Kathy Bates in  Fried Green Tomatoes….I almost shouted Towanda!!!  (yet my heart still felt just as broken as the ornament)

December 7th, 2015.   I am sitting in my living room watching my kids decorate the Christmas trees by themselves.   My son, who isn’t tall enough to decorate the top of the tree, yet determined that is where he wanted to decorate, stood on the coffee table.  My daughter sat on the floor and wanted to hear the story behind each ornament.  My Exchange Student eagerly took over the task of the heavy lifting and took the top of the tree (because I am vertically challenged) as I spread out the branches on the bottom.    We opted not to put up the Christmas villages and the Nativity scenes this year for the sake of time.   (the first time in 16 years)

I took pictures…actual pictures of them decorating!!   Not the normal pictures of me handing them an ornament to put on the tree, so I could brag on social media that we decorated as a family.  All lies!!!

12342444_10208554599445939_1360587026970507873_n

The outside lights don’t match….the giant blow ups are not what I would consider “classy or elegant” but the kids picked them out.    The teens decorated the outside while I sat in the yard as we laughed at them climbing the big tree in the front yard and my nice climbing on the shoulders of the Exchange Student as he yelled, “My Gosh, you are so heavy!!” and almost dropped her.

12294801_10208501560239992_7847991964962485156_n

My little guy just fell asleep next to me while watching A Christmas Story.  I am sitting here looking for the missing garland,  the villages, and the massive amounts of fake snow that used to don the house.   He’s 10, and this is the first year I let him and his sister take over.   For some reason, that makes me sad as I hold him in my arms tonight.  To think that this is the first year I completely let go of being the Christmas Nazi and let them just be little kids.  Making Memories with their Mom.

12359927_10208555105418588_3133651698396518720_n

As I sit here tonight taking in my surroundings, I finally feel at peace.  Happy.  Satisfied.  It finally feels like HOME.

It is well with my soul……12308572_10208555102618518_2275357296802741425_n

 

 

 

Random.  Very Random!

  
Quotes from the weekend.  

I swallowed a jingle bell….then I googled “what happens when you swallow a jingle bell!”

I have salt in my cleavage!!

I’m going to need a hammer and some Advil!!

Has anyone seen the plunger?   Oh yeah, and we need more milk!!

I need someone to take me to the doctor…I have my first zit!!

These kids keep me on my toes!!

Confessions from my Cubicle

I try to stay away from “sad” posts.   I want to be known as the single mom who has her stuff together.     Today, may not be one of those posts.

A friend of mine asked me recently to write about my dating experiences as a single mom in her (now) 40’s.    We had dinner one day and I can’t remember ever laughing so hard at myself before.   The tears of laughter that was shed that day prompted me to write this.   Keep an open mind while reading this and don’t be afraid to laugh at my expense.

12202456_10208353736824499_1109560606_n

So as I sit at my desk and polish off a box of Crunch and Munch, a container of raspberries, 4 cherry tomatoes, beef jerky and un-sweet tea, I am evaluating my life and exactly how I have gotten here…..Not here, as in “on this earth”  but here, as in this cozy little Cubicle.

I have recently come to the realization that I am ready to date.   I just threw up in my mouth a little…could be from the excessive amount of food I have eaten in the past 2 hours…but nevertheless, the thought of being in an actual relationship gives me mixed emotions of excitement, nervousness and indigestion.

I have dated in the past three years, unsuccessfully.

There was the Doctor who  brought me a bottle of his very own wine and proposed to me on the FIRST date.     He ended up talking to me like a baby…I am not kidding…he literally used a baby voice and said things like I WUV YOU and he sent me pictures of flowers and wrote me poetry.   He lasted a week.

Then there was the guy who had to move in with his parents a month after we started talking because he lost his job due to him getting drunk at the office Christmas party.   Once he finally got his life together, he left me for a women he met in his apartment complex.

A friend fixed me up on a blind date.    I met him at his house and our plans were to go out to dinner.     I pulled in his driveway and he met me at the door with his 3 year old son.   (He forgot to tell me that he was bringing him along.)  No worries!!   I adore kids.      But wait, he also forgot to tell me that we were going to his son’s Karate demonstration at the preschool where his parents and ex wife were also going to be there.      It gets better, he then asks me if his parents can go to dinner with us….that way they will pay for dinner!!!     His parents declined. Before I bolted out the door, he made one last request….”Would you like to lay in bed with me and my son and watch TV until he falls asleep?”      Um No, Goodbye.       I never saw him again.

The man I recently dated slept all the time and barely spoke.

There have been a few first dates that never turned into second dates.

There is even one that I would consider “the one that got away”.

Through it all, I learned a little more about myself.   What I want and don’t want.  What I am missing and what I don’t want to ever experience again.  Dating in your late 30’s and now 40’s isn’t as easy as you would think.    I could have married the first man I spoke about, who knows it may have been a nice life.    I could have gotten discouraged when my dates became disasters.    I could easily dwell on the one that got away.

I was messaging back and forth with my best friend today and I told him my fears about being alone.  It was prompted by another friends Mother who recently passed away…she had been a divorced single mom for as long as I can remember and as I was thinking about her this morning the thought crossed my mind that she must have felt so alone as she was exiting this earth.  I have to admit, it made me very sad.     As one of my biggest fears is being buried alone when I die.

It took me almost three years to finally get over the shock of my husband leaving me for another woman and his confession to five affairs while we were married.    The one question I ask myself is “why did he marry me”?  there was no obligation, there was no pressure.   One day he just got on his knee and promised to love me forever.    Forever lasted almost a year before he had his first affair, 13 years later he tells me that he doesn’t love me anymore.  Just like that, it was all over.

It has taken me three years to say this…

I don’t know what real love feels like.   The kind of loves that makes you feel safe, cared for, comfortable and not afraid.     The kind of love that you know that you are the “only one”.   That you don’t have to fight or defend yourself.  You don’t have to prove your worth.   The kind of love that makes you walk with confidence instead of cowering in a corner for fear you are going to be hit or made fun of. 

 Ladies, there is nothing dramatic about an abusive relationship!!  I don’t think he realizes what he did to me that day and the weeks after that.   He stole my self esteem.  He made me feel like I was unworthy….now I know who is unworthy.

So, thank you men that I have dated…thank you for the proposals, the wine, the dinners, and even a few good laughs.    You have given me the confidence to face my fears and start dating again.   Although, unsuccessful to say the least, I haven’t quite given up on finding “Prince Charming”!

**A letter to the man that may be actively searching for ME!**

Dear Mr. Charming:

Dating has been quite a learning experience for me.  Marriage EVEN MORE!    But it is time to get serious as my last birthday was a reminder that I am not getting any younger!

I am going to make things easy for you as I have officially made a list of things you must have or be to qualify for a chance at my heart.

  • You must love Jesus
  • You must love children
  • You must love to laugh
  • Don’t be boring!!
  • Taking long drives is a necessity
  • I want you to love sunrises and sunsets to the point of being unbelievably dramatic when seeing one!!
  • Love me when I am having a bad day
  • Love me when I am having a good day
  • Just love me everyday will be sufficient
  • Compliment me
  • Hug me….you know the kind of hug when my face is buried in your chest and I can’t breath, yet I don’t want to leave your arms for fear I may never feel that way again.
  • Make me smile
  • Make me laugh
  • Play with my hair
  • Kiss my forehead
  • Talk to me!!
  • Must have ridiculously amazing parents!!!!

Now Mr. Charming, in return I shall promise to:

  • First and foremost, Love Jesus!!
  • Love my kids (and yours if you have some)
  • ……the rest, let’s just see what happens

**FYI…the above lists are meant for kicks and giggle except the “Must love Jesus!!”**

There you go. A rare glimpse into my life….the single (not mom) life.

There you go Lori, I wrote it!!   Now everyone laugh and cry if you must.   But remember, there are far more better days ahead than what I am leaving behind!!

sldf