Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Long Overdue

This post has been on the verge of exploding out of me for months, so after a quick dinner discussion with Jeremy about my High School and College experiences, I decided it is time. (Not to mention that every prayer or quite time I have, this topic pops up).

I will never wish to trade my childhood. Growing up in a small town made me appreciate family, friends, neighbors and privacy. :) Growing up around grief made me appreciate each day. Growing up after I was already “grown” made me appreciate each minute.

I am a person that very easily forgives…I do have a problem with the forgetting part. I can still remember exact moments in high school when things were said about me or people did things to intentionally hurt me. Stupid things…, body, picnic table writings, pictures…..stupid high school things. Don’t get me wrong, I have zero negative feelings about those moments, I just remember them. Because I do, it is very important for me to choose my actions and words very carefully. I think that is one reason I hesitate to post this, because it brings to light my imperfect life.

My divorce situation has caused lots of grief for me. I am not saying the actual divorce…yes that really sucked….but I mean the aftermath. I have had family, friends and acquaintances judge my decisions, friendship and mothering skills. I have even had “Christian” friends not be able to hang out with me because of my divorce and all. I have said a thousand times… should NEVER judge…you never know what others have been through.

So I am going to give everyone a small glimpse of what I have been through. I would be lying if I said this wasn’t for me at all….just typing it gives me a sense of freedom. I know a few years ago I felt trapped and lonely, I sincerely hope hearing a fraction of my story helps someone that might be feeling the same way.

I could type for days….so if this sounds choppy it is because I am having a hard time condensing my feelings. But here we go.

For about three years I had this reoccurring dream….I would be watching my life from a distance, very specific things that happened to me. Every time I was crying and felt panic, then I would look to my side and my dad would be standing there. All he said was, “it is going to be okay Shelia B”. That’s it, every single time. I would wake up, cry a little, make it through a few more days and have the dream again.

A few years ago I found myself in a very foreign situation. I was surrounded by sadness, confusion and fear. It wasn’t until I “fell” on the bathroom floor (that’s what he said in court), very pregnant; that I realized I needed help. I promised my babies (belly at the time), that I would be the best protector and Mommy I could be. I spoke with a counselor, only to hear “Brook, don’t walk…run”. I am not joking…I really thought she would fix it. I read a lot of books about women in my situation….I would hide them under the couch but one was found and a comment about how he never put me in the hospital was made. Right, only once did I think he broke my arm. Looking back I realized how ridiculous it was!

After I had enough, things got a little crazy. Changing locks, retraining orders, 911 calls, the whole nine yards. I actually had the cops tell me they had to, almost literally, see him harm me to do anything….(kind of what I was trying to prevent). I even had to explain to my 2 year olds that Mommy was not going to ‘go to sleep and never wake up’. What kind of person says that to babies!! I had family, friends, attorneys and law enforcement fearing for my life and watching the house constantly. At this point, I was just pissed.

I have tons and tons of stories that I could tell about the physical, emotional and sexual abuse I went through and surprisingly enough I am happy to tell them. Why? Because these things made me the person I am today. I have been a struggling single mom, a successful working mom and the crazy lady crying on the cereal isle. (I didn’t know which cereal to buy…oh yeah…I’m serious).

Unfortunately, in the end, money won. Judge and jury decided that because he had a lot of money, he would be the best person to decide which school they could attend “custodial parent”. It’s amazing…because of baseball he wasn’t there when they were born or babies or toddlers…in fact he lived with them for less than 6 months total out of 3 years, but money wins. They didn’t deny the abuse or need for a restraining order but said that kids with more money are better off. Yep he did have a lot more money than me….can’t change that. They also said the harassment, abuse and need or “police involvement” was because he wanted his wife back so badly. I had an attorney say, “Brook, sometimes people enjoy watching a ‘princess’ fall”. Well, funny thing, I am not a princesses and facts are facts....I guess it is all in perception. I have erased this last paragraph 10 times but I want to share this because I am still living this. I still get crazy voicemails and text messages calling me names. I still have serious conversations with my girls that I shouldn’t be having. I will say that everyone is now on their best behavior, so the girls have the best of both worlds with Mommy and Daddy.

I am experiencing a normal marriage now with a wonderful husband and awesome little baby girl that already thinks her sisters are much cooler than mom. I am loving life, and taking in the good and bad. I have made it through my Lifetime movie.

I want to share these things because I am tired of hiding. I am sincere in saying that I don’t feel sorry for myself or type this for pity. I want only good to come out of my situation and experiences. I have put off a volunteer application for a local center for abused women and children because I was afraid I would have to share my story….well now my whole world knows…so what do I have to lose. If you know anyone that can benefit from my story or needs someone to listen please don’t hesitate to contact me. I will be happy to listen and share.

I know this goes without saying, but I love my family so very much! It is amazing the sacrifices they made for me! Focus on the blessings and the hard times will seem so small.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

progress not perfection :)

Well...a little perfection here :) Man she has been a little terror lately! She doesn't hold back....wonderful terrible twos!!

Helping with laundry!

Remember the awesome turq in the laundry room???

Well, Jer hated it! So now three wall are brown and the back wall with the sink is my blue :) At least I have an accent of color

The living room has all of that paneling. We are painting it a tawny color and staining the built-ins and wet bar. I am very pleased with the outcome!!! (Sure is taking a while though!)

This weekend Mario's crew is coming out and demoing several walls. We are actually knocking out a lot more than we originally planned....and I am really excited to see the outcome. We are also turning the "pantry" into a wine closet. I think Jeremy is bringing the wine gate home this weekend too. I should have lots of progress pics Sun :)

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Before / During

Just a few progress pictures....

Remember the "to die for" pear wallpaper?

Well, it's gone :) We textured the walls...the finished product will be more of a Tuscan orange. Doesn't your kitchen counter look like this?? Sandals, trash, paint thinner and soccer ball...

We also sanded all the cabinets and stained them darker. We are lacking knobs, trim, windows, sink and oven.

I don't have a good before of the laundry room. Before you see the "in progress pic", let me warn you, it is a little bright. I was a little excited at Lowe's without Jer. :) I love, love, love turquoise....I can't help it! Any shade! So Jer left for New Mexico and I went on a turquoise mission :)

It came out brighter than I planned, but it is so fun when you walk in. This room will have a lot of traffic from the pool and for laundry, so it might as well be happy :) I am going to tie in the orange from the kitchen....maybe window treatment and knobs ???

not great pics, but you can kind of see the progress
(to whom it may concern)....wink, wink (yep, I'm a little tired or maybe it's the paint ...who knows)
.....because we were talking about distressed kitchen cabinets, here is a pretty pic from Cottage Home Decorating. And a really great article about refinishing cabinets :)