Saturday, January 30, 2010

Update/Correction.... Rushing to Judgement

Although I do not take back some of the things I wrote in an earlier post regarding the safety of our children, I do feel I need to take back some of the things I said about who I thought were the perpetrators in hurting my daughter. After some harsh words, said by me, and hurt feelings on both sides, these people came to my home with the sweetest apology and explained their side of the story. They apologized for hurting my daughter's feelings and for offending my son (however, he did have a part to play in that one.... dang kid) and they left me with a sweet letter and even a gift.

I want to apologize to them, here on my blog, even though I've done it in person, for the nasty things I said to them. Many people who know me are aware of the big mother bear, incredible hulk, monster mother thing that happens to me when something negative happens to one of my kids. You can call it overprotective, My sons call is over-sensitive, I call it natural. But I should learn to stop and think before I let my mouth take control and ask questions before I accuse. So, to these people, I am so sorry.

I was astounded that these people would come to be with an apology even after the things I'd said to them (which were not nice) and how I'd basically accosted them in written form on my blog. They were willing to forgive me and have since served me. It has softened my ordinarily tough heart. I also learned that my son had done something to offend their son, which was something that should have been taken care of long before this misunderstanding erupted.

I do stand by some of the things I said in my earlier post. We do need to make sure we are nurturing each others children. We need to love them and aid in their development. We certainly don't want to be the people children look back on in their adult years who derailed them in some way in their goals.

This experience has also led me to think about how quick we are to judge. So since all this mess has taken place, I've made it a goal to be more open minded and open hearted towards others, no matter what. I've always felt that I'm pretty accepting of people, but it's the "letting them in" part that I'm not that good at. So after I started school, I started to talk to more people instead of judging them on their outward appearance, as we all tend to do. I have made some amazing acquaintances and have had some incredible experiences. I don't think I'd have been open to any of them if I hadn't had this previous experience.

I've also noticed how closed minded most of us are. As Christians we claim to be tolerant and loving, but we're not. We steer clear of that which is different or unusual or whatever makes us uncomfortable. Believe me, if this explains you, you are missing out! You don't have to let go of your iron rod to talk to someone different or to befriend someone different or even to love someone different. My goodness, how else do you expect to do missionary work if everyone you befriend is the same as you?

That's my little soap box for today.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Another Student of the Week

Mckenzie is finally Student of the Week. This is her first time and she is so excited! I am excited for her. Her request for a celebration is to be checked out of school and taken to Wal-mart to buy a new pillow..... Ok, I can do that. She cracks me up.

The other day, we thought we'd lost her. She didn't come home after school with her brothers, so for about 45 minutes, Doug and I panicked and I cried and almost became hysterical. I was putting juice away in the fridge when a paper from Primary caught my eye and I realized that she was at Activity Days. It wasn't on my calendar because I forgot to make a note of it and the adviser had sent me an email, which I hadn't received, instead of calling. It was a misunderstanding, but in those horrifying 45 minutes, I lived my life without my precious red-head and let me tell you, it was empty. When she came home and her brothers told her how worried I'd been, she told me that she knew that even if she had been stolen that she knew I'd find her no matter what. At least she has faith that I'd move mountains to find her.

I've said before that Mckenzie is like a little mother. Let me relate a little story. One night, she and I were alone and watching The Princess Bride. We were talking about her dad and I told her how sorry I was that we were all in this situation and I hoped that she would forgive me someday. She put her little hand on my face and said, "It's ok, Mommy. I just want you to feel better. I love you." This is an example of how precious she is, not an example of what a good mother I am. Another example is that she told a friend of mine that she sleeps with me so I don't cry at night, not because she's scared. Again, an example of how sweet she is, not of what a good mother I am because I would never think to put that kind of emotional responsibility on my child. She wants to take care of everyone. She came to me that way. She's been that way from the time she was tiny, or tinier than she is now.

Anyway, that's my daughter. The precious child who wants to buy a new pillow to celebrate being student of the week! Gotta love her!!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Plan B

Never in a million years did I think that I would find myself here, alone with five kids, struggling with my testimony and basically starting over with everything. But I am. For awhile I had such anxiety about it, like there was something wrong with me. I'd wake up some mornings and think that I was such a failure because my plans for myself had fallen by the wayside.

Here is something I've discovered. You cannot fit a square peg in a round hole. It's common sense. Everyone knows this. Yet some of us go most of our lives trying to do this. I have spent the better part of my life trying to figure out how to be someone I am not. I am not meek. I will not be quiet. I cannot sit by the sidelines and do nothing. I cannot pretend that something is ok when it's not. I have tried that for years and I am not ok doing it anymore. I can't feel something I don't feel. I can't be someone I'm not. I put forth that effort. I did it for my kids. I did it for my parents. I did it for Doug. I did it for the church. I did it for the two pieces of paper, one that said I was married till death and the one that said I was married for eternity. And I emphasize again that I did it for my kids. And for all these reasons, I had to stop.

So what about Plan A? What about my temple marriage and my eternal family? What about my happy life? What about it all? I was baking one day during Christmas, putting together one of my kids' favorite cakes. I make it from scratch and it's moist and gooey and we all love it. I messed up part of it and had to throw it out and start over. And it hit me, I can start from scratch. Or rather, my kids and I can start from scratch. As I mentioned in my last post, I've had to learn to do a lot of things and I'm re-learning many things about myself and rediscovering things about myself that I forgot about. Things that I actually like.

My mom sent me a poem in the mail the other day called Plan B that is so perfect, I had to post it.

Plan B
by Suzy Toronto

Plan A is always my first choice.
You know, the one where everything
Works out to be happily ever-after.
But more often than not,
I find myself dealing with
The upside-down, inside-out verson,
Where nothing goes as it should.
It's at this point that the real test
Of my character comes in....
Do I sink, or do I swim?
Do I wallow in self-pity and play the victim
Or simply shift gears
And make the best of the situation?
The choice is all mine....
Life is about how you handle Plan B.

In my Student Success class we've been discussing being a victim or a creator of circumstance. I choose to not be a victim. I choose to be a creator of my circumstances. To make wise decisions and to move forward with a happy life for my kids and myself. At the moment, their happiness is the priority. I need to make sure that their childhood is happy and safe and that their environment is conducive to those things. I have to provide that so I need to make sure that I'm happy too. A victim can't be happy. Victims are never happy. And I look at being their mother as a "get to" not a "have to."

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


These past few months have been, well, in a nutshell, hell. Sorry to offend anyone out there with sensitivities to profanity, but seriously, I don't know how else to describe it. It's been an emotional drain. But it's also been something else, a learning process.

I've had to learn to live alone. I've had to learn to parent alone. I've had to learn to be more forgiving. I've had to learn to be more patient. I've had to learn to be more self-sufficient and self-reliant. I've had to learn a lot.

None of it has been easy. And I've kept to myself a lot. In fact, in an email from my bishop, he told me that someone had told him they tried to befriend me and I didn't reciprocate. I don't know who that was, but to whomever it was, I apologize. It wasn't because I don't want a friend, it's because these last few months, it's pretty much been all I could do to just hang on. And frankly, the last thing I've wanted to do was talk about what happened and I assumed that's all anyone wanted to discuss.

Anyway... in my sociology class, a quote caught my eye about attitude. It said something to the effect that a positive attitude was the only thing we could control in our circumstances. Obviously, we can control the choices we make and thus, the consequences that follow, but sometimes bad stuff just happens. In those situations, it's our attitude that we have to depend on. What can I gain from this experience? What can I learn? Where do I go from here?

Something else I learned is that adversity is necessary for growth. All Mormons know that from Alma. We wouldn't know the sweet if we didn't experience bitter. We wouldn't know exquisite joy if we didn't experience exquisite pain. Those things don't happen without conflict or adversity. It sucks, but it's true. Do I like that? No. However, as awful as the last few months have been, I can either decide to exercise it as a muscle and use it for my good or I can let it sit and fester and become flabby and bitter. Again, Alma also said that the Lord will turn everything around for our good. Even a divorce.

It's all about the silver lining, folks. I think these accumulated experiences from my divorce have made me more of a realist than an optimist, but I still look for the silver lining in situations. I can't stand to remain stagnant in my misery. I have to get past this. And most of all, I have to show my children that it's possible to pick one's self up by one's boot straps or to cowboy up or to get back in the saddle or whatever.

My biggest change occurred when I walked into my first class at UVU. I swear to you that school is like my church. It's almost like a spiritual experience for me. Maybe like sex or a drug. It's addictive, like a high. It's definitely a stimulant. I love it so much and it's opened up parts of me that I forgot about. Hey... I am smart! Hey... I can have an intelligent conversation! Hey... I can talk about more than bodily functions and who needs to stop hitting who! It's brought me out of that black fog of despair and anger and self loathing. It's motivated me to be better. I feel like I'm a better mother for sure and a better daughter and sister. I'm at least trying harder to be those things. And I'm working on the friend part.

Back to the friend thing... Going through something as humiliating as a divorce, or this divorce, is so other worldly. There's no other way to describe it. And for someone like me, who is a little more on the private side when it comes to certain things, this has been absolutely mortifying. So talking to others isn't exactly high on my priority list. It isn't that I stopped loving my friends. I just need some time to sort out how I'm feeling. So much has changed with our little family and I'm trying to figure out how it all works.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Bragging about my Baby

Before I forget, I have to brag about my Mckenzie. A few days after Christmas, she and I attended a birthday party at Pirate Island by the mall. She was playing in the arcade with her friends when she found a ton of tickets, maybe 100 or so. Instead of keeping them, she decided to walk around and find who they belonged to. She found a little boy who was crying by the entrance to the arcade, who had lost all his tickets. She gave them back to him and resumed playing her games.

Mckenzie came to tell me about it. She said the little boy broke her heart and she felt so good when she gave him back the tickets. I asked her if she wanted to keep them and she said no. She knew if she lost so many tickets, she'd want them back. Can you believe that? She's 8 and she thinks that way. I love it!! Her dad and I must be doing something right. She is such a little mother, it shouldn't surprise me that she'd do something like that. I just love her to pieces. My little red-headed ZZ.

Catch up!!

WOW!! It's been a whirlwind of a Holiday Season. I can't believe it's January all ready!!

We had a wonderful Christmas and New Years. Just before Christmas, the kids and I headed down to Mesquite to spend a few days with my parents. My mom and dad took us to the St. George Temple to see the lights and we watched the movie "Joy to the World" in the visitor's center. Also in the visitor's center, they had a wonderful exhibition of Christ's life in photos. It was absolutely beautiful and very moving. After that, we headed back to my parent's house and opened presents. My parents give the kids jammies and a book for Christmas, so the kids spend the evening reading their favorite books which included Diary of a Whimpy Kid, Junie B, Fablehaven, Captain Underpants, and Doctor Seuss.

We came home just in time for Christmas Eve. I spent the day cooking, making our traditional ham and stuffed mushrooms. Sooo yummy. Doug came over and we ate dinner, read our Christmas Story (If You're Missing Baby Jesus) and opened our Christmas Eve Presents. The next morning, Doug came over early to open gifts and stayed to put things together and play with the kids.

Later that day we were invited to Christmas dinner at my friend Eric's aunt's house. We had prime rib and opened more presents. (she was so sweet to get my kids gifts!!) It was such a nice and relaxing day.

On the 30th, Eric took me to Arizona to his Grandmother's house near Winslow. It's on the Navajo Indian Reservation there. When I say "near" Winslow, I mean about 40 minutes from there. It was absolutely beautiful and I loved every minute of it. His family was so welcoming and sweet. They took us to Albuquerqe, NM and showed us around the Old Town. I also got to see the Painted Desert (although it was covered in snow.... ) and the North rim of the Grand Canyon! For those who know me, I was in absolute heaven. I LOVE the desert!!!!!!!!

The day after we got home, school started for the kids and two days after that, school started for me at UVU! I am totally loving it. I have always enjoyed school but I was in 7th heaven on Wednesday. I just couldn't stop smiling. I took the kids to campus this evening because I had to buy a book that I couldn't find online. They've been begging me to take them to my school. They were so cute asking me all kinds of questions and wanting to see everything. I am just so excited about this decision.

So, that's the catch up... I'll try to keep this updated!!