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”

If you could do it all over again……

I was redecorating my daughter’s room last week. Complete with a floor lamp that glows with red, pink, green, yellow and orange bulbs. A hot pink blow up chair. Bright yellow walls and Owls as her theme.
We already had the Owls and the wall color but I felt it was time to accessorize.
….and accessorize we did!!
Before the room was complete, she left for an overnight stay with her daddy.
I ended up working in her room until it was dark outside then found myself relaxing in the hot pink chair watching the soft glow of the colorful lamp. I picked up one of her books and started reading it. Put it down when I spotted the pink guitar in the corner of the room. I don’t play guitar. (Neither does my daughter) But I tried.
It turned out badly. I didn’t hit one consecutive note. But I still tried.
While I was sitting there in the silence with the soft colors of the lamp bouncing shadows off of the almost fluorescent yellow walls, I pondered what it would be like to be a kid again. Plunking on the pink guitar sitting in the plastic hot pink chair thinking about what it would be like to start all over again.
It didn’t take long to confirm that I will never be a musician. It took me forever to get my butt out of the chair as it swallows you into a comfortable position that makes you want to grab a blanket and camp out as long as possible.
While sitting there, I also realized that it’s not possible to time travel, so 40 years will soon be an inevitable reality.
I asked myself this question:
If you could do it all over again, what would you do differently?
Tons of things came to mind. I held back the tears.
I walked downstairs to a new living room. As I sold the 87″ television and replaced it with one that is less than 40″. The room was bigger now. It seemed less busy.
The reminder of an ignored marriagewas finally out of the house!
In the stillness of the wide open, newly decorated room I opened a new book and read until I fell asleep.
Peace. Less than 12 hours of peace!!
Ahhhhhhhh!!!!!

Saturday morning came quicker than I expected. Kids were knocking on the door at 6:45am because daddy had to be at work by 7. Basketball games started at 8:30am.
One of those days that was planned before I got out of bed obviously!
Basketball game was a nail biter! Adam’s team lost but they gave 100%.
Unexpected surprise:
Adam got invited to join a private travel league! I left it to him if he wanted to join. He graciously accepted! I regretted the decision of him accepting almost immediately.
More running. More practices. More traveling. More basketball.
Although, I am so proud of his hard work and athletic abilities, I sometimes wonder if I can put anymore into a day that is already packed so tight I cant breathe as it is.

Back to Saturday.
Travel team had a game! He was invited 5 hours prior and he’s already playing a game!! Scored 8 points and beat the opposing team (all older boys) by almost 20 points!!

3:30. I was seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. Time to do something for me!
(Or so I thought)
“Let’s go to the movies!!” I asked, almost giddy.
“No!! I don’t want to go.”
After an hour of begging I lost! At this point I wanted to go home And cry.
Sis went home with her Great Aunt and Pop Pop for the night. Adam goes home and glues his eyeballs to YouTube as he watches endless videos of Minecraft!
After an hour of listening to Stampy Longnose and Beijing Canadian, I sat on the couch. Feeling defeated. Tired. Ready for quiet.

Went to the dryer to grab a fresh warm load of laundry to fold on the couch as Adam is still watching Minecraft trash on the tv.
Clothes were warm.
I leaned against them and decided to watch Adam ignore me as he filled his rotting brain with squeaky British accents and people conversing (loudly) with each other while strategizing on how they are going to defeat their opponents!

Zzzzzzzzzzz…………

I woke up at 3am Sunday morning still sleeping on my pile of clean laundry!
Adam sleeping next to me.

Bed or couch?

I found laundry quite comfortable.
Couch won!

Back to the question:
“If you could do it all over again, what would you do differently?”
This is exactly where I am supposed to be!
A mom!! And a darn good one at that!!
Looking back never did anyone any good. Memories last forever and I cherish every second (good and bad) spent with the people I love!
Everyone makes mistakes.
Learn from them. Forgive yourself. Forgive others. Move on!
Make more memories! They aren’t going to be little forever!
We will look back one day and laugh.
The day mom fell asleep on the laundry!!

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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!