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.

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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!!

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The Toothache and the Itchy Butt

timeoutThere have been times in my life when I really just need to take a time-out.   Literally, go to my bedroom and hide from my family.  

Last week, there was no hiding!    Oh the conversations at our house….Enjoy!

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Looking in the mirror in the car on the way to the ER

“Mom, I have a toothache!”

Both kids  had toothaches less than two weeks apart.   First toothache brought my daughter home early from Dad’s house. (sometimes you just need your Mommy)

Second toothache sends my son screaming he’s dying and needed to go to the Emergency Room to see his Dad! (he’s a man….so in his defense he felt that death was certainly imminent, and the ER was his only solution.)     I reluctantly take him to see his Dad because, to be honest, he was driving me insane.   So, around midnight I call his father and tell him we are headed to the ER, meet me in the ambulance bay and I will wait in the car.   Dad graciously met me outside with our son now dramatically writhing in pain, swoops him up and takes him inside.  I park next to dad’s truck still wearing my pajamas, because as a mom you know what is actually and Emergency situation and what isn’t…..I knew there would be no reason to actually enter the Peyton Place…Oh, I mean ER…This particular night.

I think I fell asleep for a brief moment.  The Door opened and this kid jumps in the car with a giant piece of dental floss tied around his tooth.   Toothache gone!!  Hmmmmm, not sure how a piece of dental floss miraculously healed him but it worked!!    Doctor Daddy’s advice….wiggle it and it will fall out!

Home….and Bed.

Then there was last night.   The famous “ithchy butt” returned.   I thought we had gotten over the “itchy butt’ when he stopped wrestling.

Adam:  “Mom, my butt is itching!”  (I am asleep…Zzzzzz)   “Mom, I am not kidding my butt is really itching!  Do you have any medicine?

Me:  “I don’t have medicine, go put some Vaseline on it.”

Adam:  (Get’s out of bed and goes into the bathroom and in typical male fashion…) “Where is it Mom?”

Me:  “It is sitting next to the sink!”

Adam: (2 seconds later….because he is a man!!!!) “Mom, I don’t see it!”

Me: “IT IS THERE….LOOK FOR IT!!!”  (my voice a little more irritated hence the CAPS!)

Adam:  “Mom….(at this point if he says MOM one more time I’m going to lose my mind!!!!)  I don’t see it!”

Me: (Jumping out of bed preparing my alibi for when he come up missing)…..go to the bathroom, immediately pick up the Vaseline, hand it to him after giving him the “you are just like your father, he could never find anything” speech.     Then I leave the room to give him and his butt some privacy.

Adam:  (Crawls back in bed)  5 minutes later…”Mom, my butt still itches!”

Me:  “Maybe you have worms!”

Adam:  “How could I have worms?  I have never eaten a worm!!”

Me:  “Please Adam, for the love of all that is Holy just go to sleep!!!”

Adam:  “Mom, this is really starting to irritate me!”

Me:  “Must you say MOM every time you talk to me?”

Adam:  “Mom….Oh, I mean Crystal….Is that better MOM?”

Me: (laughing)

Finally sleeeeeeep…….Zzzzzzzzz

(Don’t know what time this happened)

Adam:  “Mom, er um Crystal….My Butt is really really itching!”

Me:  (half awake)  Go take a shower!

Adam:  “I already did!”

Me:  “Go take another one!”

(I think I heard the shower running.)

Asleeeeeep again……Zzzzzzzz

Adam:  “Hey MOM!   My butt doesn’t itch anymore!!”

(Not sure if I responded)

…….and then this happens.

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No more “Itchy Butt”

Just For Me.

Yesterday was one of those days where I was reminded that I am actually SINGLE! But I am still a MOM!
A divorced single Mom rushing around, speedily dashing  through the stores to go Christmas shopping because in less than 24 hours, the kids were going to be back home.
My time is precious.  Every day spent with your kids is precious.
But my time being SINGLE is also precious.  I don’t nearly take the time for myself as I should.  That is because being a Mom often consumes me.  Being a SINGLE mom is a tough job.
Also, being a 39 yr old SINGLE Mom and trying to date while your kids spend very little time  away is not only difficult, it is darn near impossible!
In the past two and a half years I have been SINGLE, I have introduced one man to my kids.   I quickly freaked out, cried for hours, the crying became panic because my kids loved him!!!  Oh, it took me less than 48 hrs to completely lose my mind and leave him.  With really no explanation except, I’m just not ready!!!
Dating….haha.  It’s quite mundane and really, I have no time for it.

…..so back to the Christmas shopping.

My best friend/cousin and I quickly prepared to do some major damage to our credit cards.  I called her and said I DON’T HAVE THE KIDS!!!  LET’S  GO SHOPPING!!!   She laughed, because we both know it is a rarity that I am actually alone!  No kids and no activities.   LET’S GOOOOOO!

We grabbed some food at at local Pub as we finished watching the WVU football game.  Talked with old friends.  Did some local “small business” shopping.  Then took off on a 45 minute drive to do some more shopping  (and eating).

My cart was packed with clothes, a yoga mat, a couple of picture frames, socks, leg warmers and a necklace or two.  I made my way to the pajama section of the store and went straight to the warm flannel pajamas.  I placed them in the cart, because apparently my mom ONLY  wants pajamas from everyone for Christmas!!  Pajamas and towels and don’t dare buy her anything else!!   (This has been reiterated on many different occasions!)
In the midst of flannel, I caught my eye on something.  A beautiful, soft lingerie.  I haven’t gotten a new piece of lingerie in years!  It was beautiful.  Thin, soft made of light cotton.  It was soft peach in color with a matching robe.  Not too sexy. It was perfect.  Beautiful.
I quickly thought, who do I have to wear this for?  I am SINGLE.    I bought it anyway.  Stashed it underneath the Flannel and quickly made my way to the cash register for checkout.  The poor kid working the register fumbled with every piece of retail I put on the counter. He wanted to have a lengthy discussion about the weather, Ebola, Isis, his two jobs, the fact that he was Starving because he skipped lunch due to the crazy holiday shoppers, and even had my cousin and I guess his age!!

Then it happened, he held up the lingerie!  Not the the Flannel PJ’s, not the sweater I bought for my sis, not the socks or the leg warmers, that would have been too easy.
“Wow, that’s  nice.  Is that for you?”
I blushed, giggled a nervous giggle and ignored the question.  I’d rather talk about Ebola than converse with a 31 year old sales associate about my evening attire.  I also didn’t want my cousin to see that I bought the sexy lingerie for myself for fear she would also question whom I would be wearing this tiny piece of clothing for.

I pulled into my driveway at 12:01am this morning.  Lugged in the bags that had slowly multiplied as the evening had progressed.  Grabbed my phone, headed upstairs into the bedroom and raced to plug it into my stereo to put on some of my favorite Pandora music.  Music that consisted of Passenger, Mumford and Sons, Michael Buble, Ingred Michaelson, and I even threw in some Imagine Dragons and Lyle Lovett.  I slowly put on the lingerie as I carefully examined every inch of it on my body.   It fit differently than others before it…and it stayed on all night (bummer!)
Around 1:30am, I  was snuggled with my new book and the radio was playing my favorite music.  Lingerie making me feel pretty, attractive and less of a MOM.
I was just SINGLE. 
A SINGLE beautiful lady, if only for the night.  Before the kids come home.  Before the Christmas decorating begins.  Before the fighting and the video games.  Before the “Mom, I’m hungry!”
I was just Me.

That is an identity most of us lose.  We tend to lose who we actually are. When you have the husband, the kids, the dogs, the cats, football, basketball, dance, tutoring,  grocery shopping, clean the house,  cook the dinner……SAVE THE PLATE.  “How was your day, dear?”
Most of the time, never getting that same question in return.

This morning, I woke up early. As I do most every morning.   I was immediately reminded of  the movie Eat Pray Love.  When Liz was looking in the store window at the beautiful piece of lingerie.  Her friend prompted her to buy it.  “FOR WHO?” she said.  Her friend responded  “FOR YOU, JUST FOR YOU.”

And just for the night….I was reminded who I am, who I used to be, and who I will  become again.

 

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Until next time….love yourself because YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL!

Black Friday

Quotes at my house on Black friday!

I don’t care of you go outside…just don’t kill each other.  And if you do, make sure there is no blood!!  I hate the sight of blood before breakfast!

Oh, I just burned my bacon…I better stop dancing!

Are you twerking in the fridge again?

I’m going to need you to close your eyes when you take the first bite of french toast, that way you can thank Jesus for blessing you with your awesome mom who just made killer french toast!!!

This house smells like bacon, looks like a train wreck and sounds like a dance club!!
Loving my Black Friday!!
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Thankful.

THANKFUL. GRATEFUL. BLESSED.

Whatever you want to call it, ’tis the season to let someone know you are thinking about them.  sometimes a simple Thank You or a phone call just to let them know that they are on your mind can make someone’s entire week!!!

It is also a time to reflect on what is important in your life, or maybe things you are grateful for.

How do I even begin?

Here is my thankful list in no particular order:

  1. My strong faith in God
  2. My two beautiful children
  3. The Past, Present and Future
  4. My furry kids.
  5. My Daddy
  6. My Momma
  7. Sisters
  8. Extended Family
  9. Photography
  10. Pottery
  11. Cheesecake
  12. My church family
  13. Health
  14. Teenagers
  15. Books
  16. Awanas…Kids, volunteers and the ability to make a difference in these kids lives!
  17. Chocolate
  18. Red Bull
  19. Haiti
  20. Pandora
  21. Homeschooling
  22. Passport stamps
  23. Blogging
  24. All Four Seasons
  25. My Ex Husband
  26. My squeaky ceiling fan
  27. Snooze button
  28. Cell Phone
  29. Pictures
  30. Ability to forgive
  31. …..and forget
  32. Lifetime movies
  33. Unsweetened tea
  34. Roller Coasters
  35. Sports Bras
  36. Yoga pants
  37. Naturally curly hair……and my Flat iron
  38. my couch
  39. Lawn Mower
  40. Crushed ice
  41. Matching Socks
  42. Good Night Prayers
  43. Good Morning Kisses
  44. Grass Stained Football pants
  45. Mismatched socks
  46. Frozen Blueberries
  47. Disabilities
  48. Breakfast Food
  49. Naps
  50. Netflix
  51. SnapChat
  52. Sad songs
  53. Flowers
  54. Random dancing in the kitchen
  55. Ice Cream and Milk
  56. unconditional love
  57. Missing Shoes
  58. Long Drives
  59. sleepovers
  60. Best Friends
  61. Old Friends
  62. New Friends
  63. New Relationships
  64. Cartwheels
  65. Trampolines
  66. MEMORIES!!!!

This is my short list!!!

Many blessing to each one of you who follow my Blog.    Have a happy and safe Holiday!!!

Until next time….Make your own thankful list!!!!

Homework Strikes Again!!!

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Well, it’s official.  I am a failure as a mother.

Apparently, I have this nasty habit of trusting people.   I look back on my life and realize that may not be the wisest thing to do, yet I continue to do it over and over again……and I continue to get disappointed.

This morning while getting my son ready for school, he tells me he didn’t finish his homework.  Now, that can’t be right.  He told me he finished his homework Monday night.  He also reiterated to me last night that his homework was complete and I even checked it!!!

This morning, he pulls out a math test that he made a whopping 50%. (he must be Houdini, because where he “pulled out” this math test is nothing short of magic, since I just checked his folder less than 10 hours before.)

Oh wait, it get’s better…….

Mom, I need to finish this math homework!!   (he tells me 10 minutes before we leave for school)

Rushing around trying to finish math homework while he eats his cereal, I am spraying his head with a water bottle trying to tame the wild hair sticking up from his sleeping soundly with apparently no guilt at all  for lying to me about having ALL of his homework finished.

We finally get in the car to head to school, and the lecture starts as I call his father and we both harshly tell him the consequences of not doing well in school and lying to his parents.   Hang up from Dad as we pull into the school drop off…….

Mom, this is all your fault!!!!!!

Pardon me?  What is all my fault?

You knew that I had to redo my math test so I could get a better grade!!!!!

I am Fuming by this point, certain that steam was coming out of my ears as I screamed a nasty little profanity that obviously shocked my son as he broke down and started bawling that I am the worst mom in the world!!!!

YOU HAD TO REDO YOUR MATH TEST?!?  AND HOW IS THIS MY FAULT?  THIS IS THE FIRST TIME I HAVE HEARD ABOUT THIS!!!!!

I squealed out of the school parking lot and headed back home to get the failed math test that he saw me take out of his folder and place on the kitchen counter this morning as he was devouring his second bowl of Corn Flakes!

I barrel into the parking lot like a NASCAR driver, put the car in park and told him to go get a pencil and his test and bring it to the car.   What felt like “5 hours later”  (the famous timeline on SpongeBob) he made his way to the car.

Now let me pause for a brief minute and explain to you that 4th grade math is absolutely the most ridiculous waste of precious time in the history of the world!!!!

You have to add 500 ten thousands to 70 hundreds to 782 ones and then round them off  to the nearest 10s and estimate the missing numerals after writing it in expanded form……..And if you get the first answer incorrect, then the whole darn test is a complete fail!!!

So, correct me if I am wrong.   I have a possible solution to kids NOT failing tests.   Check the first answer, teachers.  Then let the kids finish taking the test.  That way they wont miss the next 12  questions and fail the test.

Now, back to the story of my son…The Drama Queen.

We started arguing immediately because I knew I had the FIRST answer right and he said I was totally wrong.   After 5 minutes of yelling back and forth over who was right, I called his father again.  (basically so he could tell his Father goodbye for the last time because I was getting ready to murder him)

His dad and I both did the math problem together and I WAS RIGHT!!  It  took every thing in me not to jump out of the car and do some embarrassing happy dance that would have included the “Roger Rabbit” and “The Sprinkler” followed with a “split and spirit fingers” for my grand finale.  But it was all cut short when my son proclaimed to his father that I said the “F word” to him.   Imaginary Happy Dance over…Insert Violin music…as my son tries to have a pity party for himself at my expense.

I do not condone using profanity at your children.  I had already  forgotten that I lost my mind and even used the dreaded “F Bomb”.   (and I am truly sorry and embarrassed that it came out of my mouth!)

By this time, He has decided he is not going to even finish the work, His dad is telling him (over the phone as I sit in the Medical school parking lot) to finish his work.   I am in tears at this point.

We are all in tears at this point!!!

Homework finally complete…I guess, unless he had other work he magically forgot to finish!!

Off to school…LATE.  He tells me he is not going to school because he was crying and his friends will laugh at him.   Well, I am the one taking you to school in yoga pants, hair in a messy bun, no makuep or BRA!!!!! 

Finally get him out of the car, sign him in…turn around to give him a hug and kiss goodbye….he’s gone!!!  Houdini strikes again!

Another morning in the life of a single mom who is quite sure she is screwing everything up.

Now off to finish a deadline at work, homeschool the other Hoodlum, write a Bible lesson for class tonight, and do laundry!!!

Bible lesson entitled….even Mom’s need to ask God to forgive them!!!

Ohhhh…. there will be some apologizing tonight and some extra hugs and kisses.  That is, after homework is complete!!!

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ENOUGH

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Atelophobia:  The fear of imperfection of not being enough.”

I find something inspiring about a cold rainy fall morning.  The house is so quiet, tea is hot, music is softly playing Lyle Lovett ballads, I am wrapped in my favorite quilt in absolute bliss.   My job takes me to some beautiful places and I am blessed to be where I am at this new phase in my life.   I am doing what I love.  I get to spend the days with my daughter teaching her, playing with her, enjoying every second of her beautiful sometimes complicated life.    My son and I hit the snooze three different times this morning, because we couldn’t stop hugging each other.  His warm little body snuggled so close to mine, arms wrapped around me so tight.  Good morning tickles and giggles.

It was this morning I realized something.  I am enough.

Here are some things I thought about this morning that I want my kids to know:

  • Be strong enough to stand alone.
  • When you need help, be brave enough to ask for it.
  • You are good enough.
  • you are smart enough.
  • You are brave enough.
  • You are beautiful enough.
  • You are doing enough.
  • You are compassionate enough.
  • You are LOUD enough.  (that one is specifically for you Adam)
  • You are normal enough.
  • You are talented enough.
  • You are confident enough.
  • You are loving enough.

YOU ARE ENOUGH….

When you feel life beating you down, remember how much I love you and you have always been enough.   I am and will always be your biggest fan.

Know who you are, and know it is enough!”

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