Skipping work and Herding Cattle

18342616_10213271225878652_4796085983945255617_nI called into work and told them I had to watch the fog rise, I couldn’t imagine being behind my computer.
They laugh, tell me to have fun and be careful….I promise to send some pictures, and I’m off.
Today I am particularly grateful to be able to work at a company that understands my need to enjoy The Greenbrier Valley and surrounding counties.
On beautiful mornings like this, they automatically expect the text or call saying “I will be in later, the fog on the mountains are too beautiful to miss.”
Real Estate is a fast paced business and we work very hard to make sure each and every one of our clients are taken care of.
Our goal is to help you sell and find your perfect home in a timely manner.
As a Marketing Director, I am not always the one that you see or talk to, and if I do answer the phone, I have probably accidentally hung up on you because transferring a call is nearly impossible!
I’m the calm behind this business, the one driving around in my car at 5:30am because the sunrise is too beautiful and I can’t sleep in.
I’m the one who gets a text message from Jill asking me if I am out getting pics of the Greenbrier Valley Sunset!
We at Greenbrier Real Estate Service don’t just want to Market your home or show you the perfect piece of property, we actually care about this sublime part of West Virginia.
We can tell you where to find the perfect sunsets, the best hiking trails, or give you directions to the nearest restaurant.
We will always be there to answer any question you have about this beautiful piece of Almost Heaven. 18402636_10213271226718673_876128545750808326_n
It’s funny what can happen when you sit on top of a quiet mountain by yourself;
I could quite possibly have the best job in the world, even when you have to perform an impromptu cattle herd.

You Should Write More.

“You should write more.”

That is what people tell me all the time.   I have become negligent with writing, because let’s face it, who wants to read a blog from a lonely, too busy, single working mom.   I probably wouldn’t read it either.

Most of what I write these days consist of some comedic episode that, all too frequently, happens with my kids.   I have used my blog to jot down memories recently.  The happy ones.   The ones that will make me smile 10 years from now when I sit down, more than likely by myself, and reminisce of my lovely little family and the memories we made together.  Just the three of us.

10 years from now, when my kids wont be kids anymore and they will be well on their way to becoming successful adults and possibly having families of their own, I will be able to look back and laugh at the time Adam licked the school bus windows from a rousing game of Truth or Dare.

Their first 10 years on this earth have already come and gone.   I blinked and they are both in Middle School this year.    Making friends, becoming more and more independent every day.

No one warned me….No one told me that there would be a time that I would no longer be a cuddle buddy while watching cartoons on a rainy Saturday morning.   I can still pour the cereal, but they rush out the door to meet their friends to go to the skate park or independently walk downtown to catch Pokémon and grab a smoothie at the local coffee shop,  “Later Mom” as the door swings open and they are gone before I can ask for a hug goodbye.

No one warned me of the dramatic hormonal bipolar teenage episodes that my daughter would have monthly!   You know, the one where she hurls her body on the couch claiming 14081026_10210706397879555_755076733_nthat she is dying a week out of the month!!    I go in for a hug…GET OUT spews out of her mouth like the Demon telling the priest to leave on the Amityville Horror!!

My son’s “dating” experiences are looking to be as productive as my own social life.   He meets them on Instagram, an hour later he changes his profile to “Taken”.     Two days later they break up.   You would think because they never really met in person or lack of communication since they just DM each other to say “Hey, WRUD?”   Sadly, most breakups are due to one of them finding someone else they just like better!!

I didn’t understand that, until I decided to try Online Dating.     Then I realized, that is EXACTLY what my son is doing on Instagram.  “Hey, WRUD?”  I respond.    There is chit chat.   Then boredom sets in quickly and I begin to wonder, what on earth am I even doing? How did my life change so dramatically?   I went from married to having a man pick me out of his own personal line up.

“This is how everyone meets people now!!   My best friend just met the love of her life on (insert dating website here)”   

We live in a culture where people are too darn lazy to actually go out and have an actual face to face conversation with anyone.   We hide behind our IPhones and computer screens.     Instead of properly asking a women out, you are texted something like this, “Hey, you wanna meet somewhere for a drink?”   Which means….“I haven’t met you in person, and I really have no idea if we will hit it off, so I am not going to waste my precious time or money on dinner.   A drink is cheap and if I don’t like you I can leave quickly!!”     The site that I signed up for, a man can actually send you a virtual flower!!    The tackiest thing I have ever seen in my entire life!    Oh, Thanks so much because a FREE virtual flower is so much better than the real thing!!    14126

My life consists of a random text message, “Hey honey, wanna chat”?     “What do you do for a living?”   and yes, the occasional _____ Pic!!     Like I really needed to see that!!                  Ok. Thanks. Bye.

Then you find “the perfect man”.    The handsome, likeable, stay up all night talking and feeling like a teenager again man.    The one that when your phone gives the magical “ding” you immediately smile.    The one that makes you feel all warm and fuzzy.   Until you see that he has been online all day long, and reality sets in that you have willingly paid your hard earned money to an online version of The Bachelor.      Warm and Fuzzies gone, and nausea sets in!

“Why don’t you write anymore?”

“Because people always think I have it all together.  The kids and their weekly comedy routines are a great read.   my life? Eh, not so much.   I want people to see me smiling.   I don’t want them to see the real me!!”   

“You are missing the chance to inspire other Single Moms that are going through the same thing.   You are missing out on your actual calling in life.   To be an honest, straightforward, sometimes comical, strong woman who refused to let life knock her down!!”

So I wrote!    I am hoping my pathetic attempt at parenting and dating can put a smile on your face.   Maybe a Horrified half smile?      Laugh at my expense!   Go kiss your husbands ladies and thank them for loving you unconditionally!   Try to find your kids between 14111781_10210706771208888_1981914392_npractices, school, sports and video games and tell them that you love them….if you must, DM them or Snapchat them a picture of your face looking like a dog or Ozzy Osbourne or Faceswap with the Cat!!   Whatever you have to do, let them know that you are Right Here and if they need you, they know that you are accessible and ready to give them that hug!!

As for me, I am paid up for the month on this site.   I will make the best of it.   Who knows, maybe Prince Charming might send me a virtual flower or two tonight!!    A girl can only hope!

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……

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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!!

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no ordinary life

To be continued……..

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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”

The Purple Lunchbox or Black Bean Salad

My son happens to be the pickiest eater on earth!   His diet consists of soft beef tacos, chicken slathered in Sweet Baby Rays BBQ sauce, French toast, Chocolate chip pancakes, and cereal.

I was raised in a family where my mom did not take “special orders” for dinner.  Her Motto was You get what you get and you don’t throw a fit.   I never remember not liking food!!   My sisters and I weren’t picky eaters.

My son, on the other hand, exhausts me.

Every morning, it is four pieces of French toast at Grandmas house. (And it has to be at Gma’s house or it just isn’t the same!)   He is so spoiled by his “Gma” it is almost nauseating to me!

Dinner…..well, dinner varies from soft tacos at least once a week to For God’s sake!!!  Just eat something!!   Last night  was the For God’s sake!!!  Just eat something!!  night.  

“Mom, what is for dinner?”

“Stuffed shells, salad, French bread!”

(Insert Gagging noises here!!!)

(Insert *sigh* here….and a touch of desperation)

It was one of those days that had been filled with homeschool, tutoring, car pool line, Homebound drop off and pick up and grocery store.    Going home and throwing dinner together, not only for me but also for my Aunt and sick neighbor.   (Thank goodness for teenagers with drivers licenses and their willingness to deliver food to the sick and afflicted.)    I ended the night at ladies Bible study….entitled Breathe.

Have you ever actually looked at what they are feeding your kid at school?  I rarely do!  (yep I am that mom!)  My son gets cold lunch, on occasion, when I am not running around the house like a mad woman yelling for for him to get out of bed, brush your teeth, comb your hair, rushing to Gma’s house for French toast, threatening him If you don’t get out of bed I am making you wear Khakis to school!  (that gets him up every time!)    By the time we get to Gma’s house, he plops down at the bar devours 4 slices of French toast, drinks a cup of Sugar and Cream with a shot of coffee as I pilfer through the house looking to see if there is something to make for lunch.

Today the menu was horrifying!  I wouldn’t consider making that poor kid eat what the cafeteria was serving.  I think they may have been punishing the kids for something they did last week.   It was the ISIS of cafeteria school lunches.    Marinated black bean salad.

(Insert my own Gagging noises here)

I rushed around this morning trying to get lunch packed.  Peanut butter sandwich, oranges, strawberries, cookies and potato chips….it was a beautiful healthy lunch and I felt like an accomplished mother!

Wait…”Where is your lunchbox, son?”

“I don’t know Mom, where did you have it last?”

Where did you have it last?

Wanna see me lose my mind Quickly?

IF I KNEW WHERE I HAD IT LAST THEN I WOULD KNOW WHERE IT IS!   AND  BY THE WAY, I DIDN’T HAVE IT LAST!

Back to the house I went….a Mom on a mission!   The mission was accomplished when I found his sister’s old lunchbox.  Dark Purple in color lined with Black trim.  I quickly scratched out her name with  my trusty black Sharpie and prayed all the way back to Gma’s house that he wouldn’t make a fuss over the purple lunchbox!  My Mommy temper was scaling at a dangerously high level between I need a Red Bull and JESUS!  (in no particular order)

I walked back into Gma’s, he was patiently waiting for me to get back with the lunch box.  I carefully packed it and to my surprise, he never said anything about the color (prayer answered!!)    He kisses Gma goodbye as he tells her that no one can compare to her French toast skills  (he is such a Butt kisser!)  and we head to school!

About half way to school,  he looked at me and said “Mom, I just remembered, we are having Pizza for lunch today!”

I wanted to scream “LIAR!!!!”

Instead, I looked over at him and said “You are embarrassed of the Purple lunchbox aren’t you?”

“yes Mommy!”

I  made him take it anyway because toting a dark purple lunchbox would have to be better than Marinated black bean salad  (insert more gagging here)

Who knows if he actually pulled out the purple lunch box for lunch or not.  I an only hope he  chose not to eat that disgusting meal.

Just in case, I bought him some rainbow Sherbet!

Menu at the house tonight…Homemade beef stew.  (there is no way he will eat that!)

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