Pop Tarts & Coffee

I guess I could have titled this post “Candy & Soda Pop”, too.

Hiya, All!

I have a post waiting in the wings (actually, on my laptop waiting to be moved to a flash drive so I can put it on here) that explains where I’ve been the past couple of months.

To preface, I have been diligently scouting the vineyards as we inch closer and closer to harvest.  This job change has been the best thing I could have asked for and received at this juncture in my life.  Being outside on a regular basis and in and amongst nature has fulfilled me in a way I never could have imagined had the Universe suggested it personally many moons ago.

My “office”.

But, on top of being one busy single mom working two physically demanding (at times) jobs, I’ve had quite a few thoughts rolling through my mind that I figured I would share just because I can.

For instance, Maycee is growing up too fast.  TOO FAST.  She is testing make-up as soon as I turn my back, she prefers “laying out” to building sand castles on the beach.  She would rather stay home during summer break than go to the B & G Club and play “kiddie” games.  And, she is asking me way too many grown-uppy questions that make me want to crawl into a rabbit hole, even though I woman-up and answer them because it’s important to be open about these things.  Oh, and let’s not forget Instagramming and the fact that she receives requests from boys that were “just friends” last year in good ol’ 5th grade who now would like her to QUOTE-UNQUOTE date them because they will be entering 6th grade soon.  You know what that means?  If you do, please message me because I don’t see the difference from two months of summer, darn it.

Okay, the good news I’ve been pondering related to the previous paragraph is this: my budding pre-teen has informed me she is grateful her mom has had a crappy life when it comes to men! Ha!  Not that she is glad her mom endured a lot of heartache, but she IS glad I’ve shared everything from my past (to a degree) with her so that she knows not to make the same mistakes.  Back pedal, back pedal, back pedal.  Truth be told, I am an open book for a reason, and the reason is crystal clear based upon these rapidly developing situations.  She also has informed me that she thinks “dating” in grade school is “stupid” (agreed), and while she likes boys, she is not interested in following this peer-pressure-induced concept.

*Proud mom smiles.*

That’s right, honey, you just focus on your horse and all those ribbons!

Speaking of my crappy love-life, in a mind-blowing weak moment back in late spring I decided to re-open my Match account.  What was I thinking?!?!?!  Two years later, two years older, and one short-haircut into newfound freedom here’s what I’ve experienced: tragic humiliation with a capital HHHHHH.  Let me be clear that if it were not for the wonderful [married] male friends I have who prove that decent men exist on the planet, I would lose complete faith in the opposite sex.   Stomach-curdling only partially describes many of the profiles I’ve read.

Jimbob, 45-year-old man seeking 22-year old woman.  I’m athletic and toned and work out 8 days a week, consume 100 calories a day, and only drink to oblivion once in a while.  I’m not interested in a NSA (No Sex Allowed) relationship, so if that’s you-do not message me.  Oh, and speaking of messaging, because I am the most awesomest man on the planet, I’d rather we just meet in person and skip the messaging because if you are anything less than a Taylor Swift look-a-like, you are not worthy of my time.  Thanks, and best of luck, 40-something, short-haired single working mom-you’ll need it!

Match.com stinks.  Totally stinks. Half-way through my esteem-busting 3-month membership I stopped looking.  I had to remind myself of the definition of insanity…”Doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results.”

My Match.com profile pic. Nope, no resemblance to Taylor. Shoot! Well, just bring me another Pop Tart, then!

 

SWM+Online Dating=Insanity.

Ahhhhh, back to my new old self, again.

Let’s focus on the actual love of my life.

You guessed it.

Chieeeeeef!

Yes, I have been loving my horse.   Loving, loving, loving!  I’ve taken to singing songs while I ride.   I think Chief likes it.  He seems to walk in time.  One of my favorite songs to sing is to the tune of Macho Man, only I sing Macho Chief.  You can hear me now, right?  “Ma-cho, ma-cho, Chief….You’ve got-ta be….a Macho Chief!”  Maycee is mortified when I do this, only making it that much sweeter.

We went horse camping and rode trails up rocks and the edge of mountains, and along (dry) riverbeds.  My kiddo and I are riding together, even.  TOGETHER.  Without discourse.  It has been exhilarating, and I have so much gratitude for the two horses we were given and for the riding journey we are traveling.  It is mind-boggling-at the very least- considering from where we came over the last several years.

I’ll be heading up Maycee’s 4-H Horse group this year, too.  Say what?! I know, I know…I don’t have enough on my plate, really.  And, the kid will be starting AYSO for the first time in August.  4-H leader and a soccer mom?  Goodie!  Maybe I’ll learn to referee the games just so I can wear one of the bright yellow referee outfits.  Hmmmm, that sounds like a grrrrreat idea!

So, I’m back in writing action for a little while in between bug hunting, checking grapes,  mucking stalls, and trying to get a little summer beach action.  Once harvest arrives, I will disappear again, but for now, I’m going to enjoy hitting the keys, eating Pop Tarts, and drinking coffee.

After all, I know I don’t have to worry about getting a date.

[Wink!]

Single and content. See that lady behind me? All I’m missing is the umbrella!

Life is short, folks, so be happy, sing a song, and don’t blink lest your 2-year-old becomes a soon-to-be 6th grader.

Love, hugs, and chuckles!

XOXO,

SWM

Getting honest about being single

On a trail ride with my friend (I’m in the rear). Freedom!

I’m coming up on a year since I made the decision to cut out dating from my life.  The resolution came after disappointment upon disappointment and the impending feeling that what I was hoping to find just may not exist-for me.  I know it exists “in general”, but perhaps it is not in my particular 52-card deck to find.

I had taken “breaks” from dating before….so what was going to be different about this time?

I accepted my fate.  I was tired, truly tired, of hoping, looking, and wondering.

I let go.

And, I meant it.

What happened afterwards has become the year of change for me.  Not bulldozing, gonna be no matter what I want kind of change, but directly intentional, freeing change.

I became able to focus more of my energy on me, my behavior, my goals, my dreams, and how all of that plays into raising up a strong, independent young girl, my daughter.  In doing so I’ve had moments of implicit euphoria.  Feelings of, “Oh, my gosh, so THIS is what happiness, honest to goodness, deep down from the bottom of my tummy happiness feels like!”

I had forgotten.  I had really forgotten the purity of joy that comes from being free.  I felt it when I moved away from home, I felt it when I got sober, I felt it the day my daughter was born, and I feel it now.

Choosing to eliminate this sore spot from my life opened up new doors.  No longer did I need to save a part of myself for someone who didn’t exist, someone who didn’t care, someone who didn’t love or even like me for me.

I embraced my bed covers!  I embraced snuggling up with my dog!  I embraced going to bed early and not feeling “guilty” if I was too tired for anything else!  I embraced not having to finagle a sitter for Maycee just so I could have some “alone time” with Mr. Wrong!  I embraced the simplicity of only answering to myself!  I embraced knowing that I could handle everything on my own-I had been for years-why did I think a partner would make any of this better?!

And, this year, I took on working harder than ever BECAUSE I could….because I had the time….and I acquired not one, but TWO, horses. ME-on a single mom’s budget.  I changed career paths and seized the opportunity to grow and learn.  I focused every extra moment on the stability of my child’s lifepath, and she’s soaring into the blue sky amongst the clouds today. I worked down my debt and have been able to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Breathe….breathe.

Most of all, however, I realized my own self-worth.  How low had I set my price tag towards the end of my dating career….and for what? For whom?  Why?  Short hair, long hair, blue jeans, make-up, no make-up, dirt under the nails, or painted pretty-we are ALL beautiful and deserving of respect.  We have value.  I have value.

And, now, I am me.  I am free.  I am at peace.  And, with all of that….if I’m truly honest, which I am, I do still hope to find a romantic love one day.  A hand-holder, a gentle soul, funny, down to earth, genuine.  But, maybe I better re-phrase that…I hope he finds me because I will no longer be searching.

I will know when he does.  I will know it’s right.  I will feel calm, relaxed, and undoubtedly certain.  There will be no need to compromise.  He will be the one.

In the meanwhile, this current deck of cards is dealing a full house, and I’m really blown away with the hand!

Blessings abundant, and gratitude swells.

Readers, if you are currently in the dating conundrum, I suggest letting it go.  I suggest loving yourself and finding freedom in just being you. Explore, believe in yourself, take advantage of new opportunities. Being single is quite different from being alone.

Life is short…let your wings take you high!

April 2011 014

XOXO,

Kasey

A Lunch Date

Are you happily married or happily joined at the hip with someone you love?  Yes?  Pleeeeeeeeease count your blessings-all of them-with regard to that fact.  Heck, I know you already are because I’m sure you have friends, like me, who are unattached and dealing with the drudgery of techi-dating.  Add to that being a single mom, and you’ve got, well, a wholelotta complicated.

I haven’t talked much about it on here, but I have done my due diligence trying the on-line dating scene over the past few years.  And, let me tell you since I AM talking about it now: it IS a SCENE!  One step below meeting  a guy sitting on a bar stool (and I don’t meet guys this way because I don’t drink or do bars), this on-line world of flirts and messaging is grueling.  I’ve sworn it off a bajillion times and been just fine….and then I see some cutesy- wutesy couple holding hands or a sweet little family playing at the park and I think to myself: Kasey, you never know.  Just give it ONE MORE TRY.

The first stint ended in 2010 after, um, 3 days.  I met someone instantly and enjoyed fun experiences with a happy-go-lucky man for a couple of years, mostly going out when my daughter was away for her weekends with her dad.  Eventually I recognized that I was a stepping stone to his mid-life crisis, and in the end I was still single.

The second stint ended just this past year after, um,  a few days on-line, meeting someone, going off-line for few months, then back on, then back off.  I had a couple of “wow” moments with this fellow I met, but alas, he couldn’t make up his mind (thus the on/off switch) with regard to anything anywhere, and in the end I was still single.

In the interim there have been multiple inappropriately forward messages sent by men I perceive to be total losers and “flirts” that come from nowhere and go nowhere.  There are the guys who write just enough to convince you to give them your number and even meet for dinner, but ultimately they are looking for only one thing.  I’ll let you surmise that ONE THING.  Even after you tell them you are not interested in doing that ONE THING, that you are single mom, that you don’t have time for games or wishy-washiness.  That you’d like to build a friendship first.  These men still consider that ONE THING an option.  Really? What language am I speaking???

Can anyone answer me, “Where did all the flowers go?”  Even further, “Why do I seem to attract mostly weeds?”

I’ve seen they exist.  Beautiful flowers.   I know couples who have blessed relationships.  I have good friends and family with sweet husbands, decent men, who love their wives and children and provide for them and take care of them.  I see it with my own eyes!

When I was super sick a couple of weeks ago I was tired of watching TV, Maycee was visiting my mom down south for her spring break, and I decided to go to Wal-Mart to get a couple of things I desperately needed.  Like always when I go to Wal-Mart (which is why I DON’T go to Wal-Mart hardly ever) I walked past a display that caught my attention.  It had books on it, and one of the books was called “Heaven is For Real”.  I read the excerpt on the back and was hooked.  A book about a real boy’s account of heaven?  I’m in.

It took me only a matter of days to finish the entire printing, including the interviews at the back about making it into a movie.  What I gained from the book was so much more than I imagined.  It was more than just re-affirming my belief in heaven, that Jesus is there, that we will see loved ones and loved pets again and there will be no more pain.  In the book the father (who wrote the book) talked about praying like children.  He talked about how his son prayed….not with poetic fluency and selfless requests (although there are places for both of those) that sound proper…but, with blunt admissions and specific “Here I am, and here is what I want, Jesus! ”  longings.

I pondered this.  And, then I thought to myself, “Kasey, why NOT you? Why NOT you to find a decent, sweet man to accompany you in this life?  Why NOT pray for yourself?  Kids do it all the time, and Jesus teaches us to have faith like children.”

So, I prayed.  And, I asked my pastor to pray for me, also.  My personal prayer warrior whom I trust.

Yesterday I went on a lunch date with a nice gentleman.   I don’t know what it will be beyond that.  I don’t know if this man is “the one”, a beautiful flower that is going to grow along with me and my daughter or allow petals to be plucked and sent into the wind.  But, there were no inappropriate innuendos, no being stood up, no awkward silences, no apparent bologna, and he even paid for our food.  I stated that I wanted to make a friend and see where that might lead, and he showed up anyway.  How about that?

At 40 heading into 41 I’ve often accepted that I may just live out my later years alone on a ranch with chickens, goats, a big cow named Betty, and of course a couple of horses.  Maycee will come visit me, her crazy mom who lives on a farm, and we’ll ride together a couple of afternoons a week, each time ending with her saying, “Bye, Mom!  See ya later! Love you!” as she heads back to her college buddies.  And, I’m totally okay with that as a possibility.

But, after praying, I’m also okay with the possibility of another scenario that started with a lunch date…or whatever else may come along.

The on-line dating world is not for the faint of heart, and I don’t recommend it if you don’t have to go there.   If you have a good fish, keep him; don’t throw him back in the ocean!  However, in all things singleworkingmom, I learn, I grow, and I will survive.

Cheers to a wonderful weekend for you all!  And, remember, when you get an on-line “flirt” from a guy with a cigar hanging out of his mouth, missing a t-shirt, holding a deer-head in one hand and beer in the other saying, “A dozen roses for you” simply stop and give a chuckle. 😉

XOXO,

SWM

 

 

 

 

Musings of a 4th Grader

Never a dull moment when you're a parent!

Never a dull moment when you’re a parent!

“Mom?”

“Yes, Honey?”

“I feel sorry for Noe.  He doesn’t have a very good life.”

“Yeah?”

“Yeah.  He said that when you come pick me up from school you seem like such a fun mom.  Then he said, ‘All my mom ever does is spank me.'” (Sinking heart of mine.)

“Oh, that’s terrible!  Well,  unfortunately I think many more kids than we know have a rough home life.”

“Yeah.  And, sometimes he cusses at me and Pamela.”

“He does?”

“Yeah.  He calls us the “B” word.” (I restrain myself from looking startled at the notion.)

“Geez!  That’s no good.  Do you tell on him?”

“No.  I don’t.  I don’t take it personally because I know that he doesn’t have a good life.  He just does it to try to be cool.  It doesn’t bother me.  I just try to be nice to him.  I feel really sorry for him.”

(Smiling inside at my daughter’s compassion.)”That is a wonderful way to look at it, Maycee.  Really.  We never know what people are going through who act out against us.”

****************************

“All my friends think you are nice, Mom. And pretty.  Pamela says you look like you’re 29!”

(Twenty-nine is good.   I might have been insulted if she’s said 30. Wink.)

****************************

“I hate P.E.  It is SO unfair!  They make us run in the heat and the sun!”

“Well, no one can control the weather, Honey.  And, you have to do P.E.  It’s a necessary part of school, even though I know you don’t like it.”

“Well, it’s NOT FAIR, and I mean it!  All the teachers just yell at us to, ‘Do this!  Do That!’ and then they sit around and watch us and don’t do anything themselves!”

“When you get into high school you can get out of it.”

“How?”

“You can join a sports team, or do marching band, or some other physical activity like I did.  I played on the drum line, and therefore I didn’t have to do P.E.  It was great!”

“Do they have team roping in high school?”

(And, all the cowgirl mamas in the crowd yelled, “Yeehaw! Go get ’em Maycee!)

****************************

“Wow, gas has gone down quite a bit.  Thank goodness!” (Mommy sigh.)

“How much?” (Maycee chomping on carrots and ranch dressing.)

“Well, it’s like $40 to fill up a tank.”

“Forty dollars??!!   I thought it was only 50 cents!!”

“Fifty cents a gallon?”

“NO! Fifty cents for the whole thing!”

(Oh, child.  I wish.)

***************************

“MOOOOOOM!” (Loud, obnoxious scolding cry.)

“What?!”

“Stop crinkling the grain bag!  Fancy almost stepped on me!”

“Sorry, Maycee, but I had to put the new grain bag in the bin.  She has to get used to hearing the sound and not thinking she’s getting fed anyways.  Oh, and by the way, we need to reduce her feed to one big scoop instead of two.”

“Why?”

“Because she’s got enough of a belly now.”

(I offer Fancy another carrot.)

“Then WHY are you giving her so many treats?!”

(Got me there.)

***************************

And, my all time favorite from the archives of a couple of years ago:

(Listening to Taylor Swift’s album, Red, that Maycee got for Christmas and fiddling around in her room.)

“Do you like Taylor Swift’s songs, Mommy?”

“Sure.  They’re pretty good.  Especially the one that says, “And, We are NEVER, EVER, EVER getting back together!” (The words I uttered to a previous boyfriend when he suggested we take yet another “break”.)

“Taylor Swift is just like you, Mommy!  She can’t find the right man either!”

(Ouch.  So glad that’s in the past!)

***************************

Have a wonderful weekend Readers!  Remember: Life is short, so be happy, and give a chuckle!

XOXO,

SWM

All I want for Christmas…

I’m going to admit something here….something I don’t really want to admit….something I wish I didn’t feel….and, sometimes don’t when I’m too busy to think about it…which is most of the time.  But, with Maycee going to her dad’s for Christmas this year (his turn), and me spending it alone visiting family, unfortunately the “feelings” have been lingering more often.  So, here it is. The Great SWM Confessional.  Sister Mary plug your ears and cross your heart.

I said Sister Mary, not you, Louisy!

I said Sister Mary, not you, Louisy!

I wish a really nice guy would fall in love with me, and STAY in love with me. This is the important part: STAY.  Not fall in love and gush and be over-the-top with it, telling me I’m the best thing since TV remotes and Fritos and then disappear into the football-laden television screen background only to remain friends on Facebook.  Stick.  Around. For good.  A wonderful human being who would give anything to adopt a single mom and her daughter. To make a family and build something.

Because, who couldn't love this?

Because, who couldn’t love this?

Like the one we saw at the Christmas tree farm a couple of weeks ago laughing together, the hubby saying, “You want me to get that, babe?”  And, the woman replying, “Oh, sure, sweetie. That’d be great if you could take the girls to the teeter-totter”.  I smiled on the outside, but part of me wanted to barf on the inside, the other part of me wanted to cry, and the last little bit of me said, “Huh, you don’t need that.  You’re fine on your own.  Hmph! ”   Total denial.

Kasey, SWM, loves roasting marshmallows...alone.

Kasey, SWM, loves roasting marshmallows…alone.

Maycee and I both watched this family….and I know she was feeling exactly the same as I was (not the barfing part)…how could she not?  But, then, in true SWM fashion, I quickly said, “Let’s go see if they’ll help you teeter-totter, also!” Since I couldn’t do it with her, myself, lest she be flung off the end as soon as she hit the air.   And, instead of BEING part of a family….I used a family.  It worked, they were all fabulous, adorned in their Abercrombie and Fitchness, and Maycee had a great time going up and down–their daughters on one side, and mine on the other.

Don't you want to help us teeter totter?

Don’t you want to help us teeter totter?

There, I said it. It’s done.  Ugh…it was tough, darnit! I’m SWM!  I’m fine doing everything alone! Fine, fine, fine!!!!!!! Right?

Fine. Fine. Fine. Peace out.

Fine. Fine. Fine. Peace out.

Maycee asked me what I was going to ask Santa Claus for for Christmas.  She said, “You should ask him for a dishwasher.  You really need a dishwasher!”  Such a true statement, and very practical.

The best way to start the weekend!

It’d be nice to put the morning pancake plates in a dishwasher. Yes, it would.

And, I said, “I think I’m going to ask him for a super rich man.”  Although, honestly, I don’t care a pebble’s throw about riches or large sums of money…but if I’m going to ask Santa, I can stipulate, right? Then, I changed my mind thinking about what a truly rich man might be like, or expect, or what he might miss that I need (like humility), and I decided to ask Santa for $20,000 AND a warm, loving man to show up under the tree.  That would cover the dishwasher and every other “fix-it” problem I have at home, and leave room for a terrificly super duper guy, regardless of the dollar signs.  Of course, we laughed at the sentiment, and Maycee said she pictured a guy with a cape under our tree that said, “Super Rich”.  Like, wow, Rich is so super; he’s a terrific dude!

No, this isn't Super Rich, it's my bro, Michael. But, he is awesome.

No, this isn’t Super Rich, it’s my bro, Michael. But, he is awesome.

Hmmmm, I’d be happy with that.

We haven’t see Santa Claus yet, so I still have time to modify my gift requests. Maybe I will just go for the dishwasher.  I do need one.  Mine is rusted and falling apart….not to mention it doesn’t work, but then again, my hands do.   I’m so behind on everything that we’ll probably do a drive by, jump on Santa’s lap, ask for our hearts’ desires, grab our free candy canes, and say, “Ho, ho, ho….have to go!  Thanks a million, Saint Nick!”

I love Santa!

I love Santa!

So, there you have it, Readers.  My dirty little secret revealed to the blogosphere.  I will say that I have stuck to my New Year’s Resolution of 2013, and I haven’t settled for second string.  This is good news…the rest…well, only more will be revealed when it’s time, and all I can say is, “Come on…hurry up!” (Wink, wink, chuckle, chuckle.)

There's a reason this is on my wall.

There’s a reason this is on my wall.

‘Tis the season, so put on your elf shoes, do a jig, and purge your soul a little–like me.  Christmas is coming, ready or not!

We're totally jolly!  After all, it's almost Christmas!

We’re totally jolly! After all, it’s almost Christmas!

XOXO,

SWM

One Big Resolution for 2013

RES·O·LU·TION

A firm decision to do or not to do something.

On New Year’s Day I had coffee with a friend.  We talked about a variety of subjects and eventually touched on what we want for this new year.  I told him that, for me, this year is not about making a list of goals or setting my sights on something I want to buy or achieve with any certifiable results.  This year I’m going to focus on what I don’t want for myself, what I won’t accept anymore, and I’m totally and officially done with allowing to happen.  I made one big resolution for 2013:

I WILL NOT BE NUMBER TWO…NUMBER THREE…NUMBER FOUR….(you get my drift)…when it comes to relationships, romantic or otherwise.

New Year’s Eve I was invited to dinner by a male friend (supposedly…not supposedly male, but supposedly a friend), and an hour before that dinner was going to happen, I was promptly dumped for an apparently better offer.  After hanging up the phone in dismay and disgust, I found myself sobbing hysterically, walking down the hallway, Vonda Shepherd singing the lyrics to “Alone Again, Naturally” in my head.  And, the chorus rang out:

It seems to me that there are more hearts broken in the world that can’t be mended, left unattended.  What do we do? What do we do?!

And, to make matters worse, Maycee’s dad called me up to discuss the pickup arrangement on New Year’s Day, and when he heard the sound in my voice he asked, “Are you okay?  Are you doing something fun tonight?”  I briefly and between sniffles explained the circumstances, and then with as much empathy as he could muster (sarcasm, folks) he says, “Wow…this seems to happen to you often, doesn’t it?” Chuckling…Okay…you know I enjoy a good chuckle, right?  However, dude-so not the right time to be CHUCKLING.  Even if it’s true that this has happened to me before this is not the time to CHUCKLE.

What do we do?  What do we do?!

Well, after using a half of a box of Kleenex and wishing I had decided to spend the extra money to drive south and be with my BFF on New Year’s instead of staying home, I decided to give Vonda a piece of my mind.  I made a decision.  I made a resolution.

ONE BIG RESOLUTION.

Let me say it again:

I WILL NOT BE NUMBER TWO…NUMBER THREE…NUMBER FOUR….(you get my drift)…when it comes to relationships, romantic or otherwise.

So, I wiped my face, grabbed my keys, and went to Walmart where only the pathetic and lonely go on New Year’s Eve and checked out a Red Box movie.  Not a chick flick…nope…a regular old boring Clint Eastwood baseball movie.  I didn’t need the extra drama, and I was out of Kleenex anyways.  After hanging in the coolest place in town for a half-hour I had a lightbulb moment: instead of feeding the angry thoughts in my mind on the male species and how rotten certain of them can be I would try to find a cold, hungry person on the street to actually feed, with food.  It was a BRILLIANT thought!  I certainly know how to get out of “self”.  Yes!  Forget “Alone Again, Naturally”.

However, 39 degree temps had all of the cold, hungry people in shelters because as I drove around every dark corner I could think of…not one was to be found.  BRILLIANT, indeed.  I couldn’t find one person to bring a warm meal to. My do-gooder nature was foiled…and in creeped Vonda’s melody as I finally pointed my car in the direction of Burrito Loco to buy a single, fattening bean and cheese burrito with chips and salsa and a Diet Coke…for myself.  I suppose I was happy the homeless of the Central Coast were warm and safe, and I was satisfied that I soon would be, as well, in the comfort of the Yellow Submarine.

By the time I took off my jacket, grabbed the napkins and TV tray, and plugged in the boring ol’ Clint Eastwood movie, the doggies were at my heels, and the kitties were playing chase in the living room.  I realized I was okay, emotionally, and I think I may have even smiled as my behind sank into the couch to retire for the evening.  I had no interest in watching New York’s Time Square…no need to see people partying, hugging, kissing, and enjoying the excitement.  Instead I proceeded to count my blessings and savor the tummy-pleasing comfort food hitting my belly.

At 7:45 the phone rang.   Another friend, this time calling to wish me a Happy New Year and to see what I was doing.  Had I been out, I would’ve missed his call, and I would’ve been bummed.  We talked for over an hour and got caught up on all that had been going on in our lives for the past couple of weeks. We made plans to have coffee in the morning and take a walk to ring in the New Year.  I hung up from the call, and I swear I felt God winking at me.  I’m not always thrilled with His sense of humor, but this night, by this time, I was.  Vonda?  Well, she got tired, I guess, and decided to let me watch my movie and eat my burrito in peace. I lasted until 11:30, got in my pj’s, and turned off the light figuring it was close enough to midnight to count.

I’ve lost weight, I’ve managed my finances well, I’ve survived some trying health issues, and Maycee, well, she’s blossoming into the most precious of flowers more and more each day.  So, it’s with confidence I face this 2013 resolution to make sure I no longer settle for being second best when it comes to my own heart.  If I find myself saying….”Oh, it’s okay.  No worries.  I’ll be fine.  Do what you gotta do.  It doesn’t bother me.  No, really, go ahead.  You’re sorry?  Ya, I understand.”…it will be my cue to take a step back (or to run fiercely in the other direction).

I WILL NOT BE NUMBER TWO…NUMBER THREE…NUMBER FOUR….(you get my drift)…when it comes to relationships, romantic or otherwise.

What do we do?  What do we do?

We mend and walk away…alone again, naturally…and then we move forward in strength and in love.  I’ve made a lot of progress over the past several years in many areas. This one still needs quite a bit of work.  2013: One big resolution.  I’m ready. 

The beginning of a new year is a great time to make the firm decision to do or not to do something.  After all, life is short.  I wish each of you, Readers,  much happiness and appropriate chuckling moments over these next twelve months, and may you know that you are all NUMBER ONE in my book!

Love and hugs. XOXO-SWM

SWM’s Tuesday Tidbits & Tips-St. Valentine on a budget

You’ve heard this before: Nothing says “I love you” like a diamond.  Or this one (must sing in head): Every kiss begins with Kay.  Or, maybe you’ve been told this (eh hem!), “Dude, that’s all you got her?”  Perhaps you’re faced with this scenario: Hear ye, hear ye!  The class Valentine’s Day party will be at 1:00. Please feel free to bring 25 juice boxes and enough snacks to share (checking wallet only to find lint).  With each passing phrase, commercial, and CVS ad rings dollar signs, and does anybody really know why we celebrate Valentine’s Day anyways?

Well, I went ahead and looked it up, and let me tell you this, I couldn’t even BEGIN to sort it out, let alone explain its roots without completely botching up the truth.  If you’re interested, feel free to check out this link to Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valentine’s_Day.  I can give you hint-it didn’t start out as a romantic day for lovers but rather a day to celebrate the many different Roman Catholic Saint Valentines!

Bottom line: it is another holiday.  Wrapped within the sensationalism that has now grasped the months of Halloween all the way through Easter (perhaps we could just call the period of time Hallothankchrisvaleaster), Valentine’s Day has become and continues to beg so much more than just a special day to share “I love you’s”, whisper sweet nothings, and exchange paper hearts. Or, should I clarify, it becomes more if we CHOOSE to let it.

I didn’t make that choice.  Of course, as the years increase and my income seems to decrease, this is probably a forced blessing, but one I’m welcoming as I grow to appreciate the simplicity of living simply and simply living.  My boyfriend and I imbibed in a quiet dinner at his place Saturday night for our little early celebration without the kids-steak and lobster for around a twenty-dollar bill ’cause he cooked it!  Me, I contributed by making a chocolate cream cheese pie-most of which were ingredients I already had in the cupboard-delectable!  Cha-ching!  Now, my guy had a few more tricks up his sleeve, but truthfully, I was in happy heaven stopping right there.

Sure, I bought Maycee and my number one man little gifts that were fun, but these mementos certainly didn’t have a rare shimmer or triple digit price tag.  The looming cloud over my head had more to do with the 25 mouths expecting to be fed at party time tomorrow.  I had to let it go. I had to realize that the kids will have fun no matter if I provide the mango juice and Cheeze Its or not.  So, Maycee and I sat at the table tonight and wrote out her little classmate Valentines, and I didn’t fret that they weren’t the kind with the puzzles or suckers or stickers or IPods attached. It went smoothly, and it was enough.  When we were done with the 25 handwriting assignments, we made our own Valentines.  The old-fashioned way.  Paper hearts for special people in our lives that we will see up close and personal and also some to share with those who may not know they are loved.  All that was needed: some construction paper from the Dollar Tree, markers, stickers we already had, glitter glue, or anything else that could serve as a decoration.  Mayee’s exact words as we cut, pasted, and colored were: THIS IS THE BEST NIGHT OF MY LIFE!  Wow, I asked, “Why?”  She replied, “Because we’re having craft night and making things, and it’s fun!”

Nothing says “I love you” like…Kay…eat your heart out.

I heart you!

Now, here are some samples to enjoy…I bet you can’t help but smile!  Whether celebrating the Saints, the romance, or just seeing red, Happy Valentine’s Day, Readers.  Tell me, how are you all going to spread the love? ♥♥♥♥