Monday, July 4, 2016

The Adventures of Rie-Man, Teenage Edition #43

Rie: We need more dirt.
Me: Oh I know... I can split a bunch more of these hostas, and I really wanted to complete the front landscaping, I feel like this planting season got away from me, though....

[blank look, actually, a unique "Why are you saying these things?" blank look]

Me: What? [I wake up from my dream that my teenage son cares about my gardening goals] NO. No, you do NOT need more dirt. THIS is a yard, not a track!

Rie: uhhh ok
Me: And what the hell is that?
Rie: a berm, it provides support -
Me: Why does my yard need that?
Rie: I thought you might want to plant flowers around the back of it. I just need to make it higher, that's why I need more dirt...
Me: You are so full of shit. THIS IS A YARD!

[looks closer...]

Me: Is this? Are there... WHY ARE THERE RAKE MARKS IN MY YARD?
[Emmo picks THIS unfortunate moment to walk into the YARD]

Emmo: Oh, Mom, that's the track, we're building a -


Rie: Mom's having trouble adjusting.
Me: Don't talk, Rie.
Rie: Mom, look at the bright side, we circled your "side yard" making it all nice and cozy -
Emmo; like a cocoon -

Me: Emerson, hand me one of your swords.

Emmo: uhh they're all broken... Rie, RUN!

Just sayin'

*full disclaimer, this happened in May but Aunt Lu's comment reminded me that I never finished or published it :)

Friday, July 1, 2016

Five Reasons I'm Decidedly Still DM

5. The last time I posted was in APRIL. I'm overwhelmed to the point of writer's block when I think about all of the updating that would be appropriate. But I can see the light. Quarter 2 is always the busiest time of year for me. This year, Q2 was ... busy... tough... expensive... overwhelming... but OVER. (And that was just AT HOME, lol.)

4. Both of my teenage yahoos are so tall that they downright tower over me now. Yet I still rule this joint with the squint of my eye. My right one.

3. My job challenges me to succeed every single day of my life and for that, I am very grateful.  I wake up most work days thinking about what I will accomplish that day. I'm still excited when I go to 3 day conferences about BANKING and learn something knew or inspiring. AND I still get to talk to hundreds a people a week and help them with their money.

2. I have been going out. It's very nice to not live like an exhausted hermit all the time. That's all I'm going to write about that because I don't feel like sharing a damn thing.

1. This is one of the best profiles that I have ever written:

And here is where we pick up the story: life had settled into a pretty good pattern, the journey was good, the destination unknown. And THAN: I buy a house in the country, on an acre, in a small, small town. And then a dog. And some dirt bikes, knives, and guns. We had the summer of our lives. Now: fumbling towards normal-ish, maybe nothing really resembling normal, whatever. Praying as we go, that I survive the newest territory of all: parenting teenagers.

The teenage years have, thus far, been MY FAVORITE PART OF PARENTING YET. Summer number TWO is proving to be every bit as great as last summer. The damned dog is my *pretty girl* and I stubbornly love her like crazy. All in all, I'm calling the quarter a win.

Life is good. 

Yours truly, dufus maximus.

Just sayin'.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

The Struggle is Real

Six months AFTER Nate and I broke up and he is STILL getting his shit crap out of my place.

And seeing him in person still hurt like a mother.

Six months... In the 7 years since my divorce, I have always felt like dating - even when nursing a broken heart. In fact, rebounds were good distractions. Sometimes it went well, and a lot of times not. But it was always interesting. And fun.... Even when I did feel heartbroken, I knew it would last for a short time and I would move on. I always did.

But now I'm all like "meh." 
I love family life - I love the way a family works together, lives together, laughs together. I like the structure that bigger families inherently need. I always enjoyed THAT aspect of marriage and it's definitely something I would choose for myself: to have a companion in my little, happy family. After all, the more, the merrier.

Yet. I mean, it's not like I'm going to settle. [for very long*] Or expect perfection either. There was an amazing balance of yin and yang with my ex-husband and I could feel that potential with Nate (and very much reciprocated) and if that comes along again, I hope I don't miss it.
[*not a Nate reference.]

I'm so totally blessed to have my boys and I'm surprisingly happy on my own.  If it weren't for the fear of one day becoming the crazy cat lady/hermit who writes all day and travels only by herself, I wouldn't at all be concerned at this feeling of contented singledom. 

Except for times like tonight. Seeing him made me miss him. I am determined to keep enjoying as many outdoor activities as I can with my boys, including all the new things he taught us - but *shrugs* I'd be lying if I said it was just as good without him. I guess it's just that simple. So...you know, not the end of the world or anything. Just my Tuesday night.

I'm going to concentrate on my kids and my job - they need me the most right now, anyway.

Just sayin' ~ DM

Friday, April 15, 2016

It's A God Thing

Let's face it: life hasn't exactly been a bowl of cherries lately. I mean, really, shit's been hard. 
My parents are traveling, work has been really stressful/busy, teenagers are expensive and have more wants than brains (understatement), I've had no dating life to speak of and I've barely had time to TEXT my friend friends, let alone hang out.

But God always reminds me that he's watching out. It always feels like a soft, encouraging hand that gently rests on my shoulder when I remember that - and that's probably the best way that I ever been able describe the way I feel faith. He did that for me tonight, and I needed it. Tonight, what I heard was this:

"I know things have been rough. It may be a rough year, but I know you'll get through. One thing leads to another, there is always a purpose. Because of that, I can't exactly "fix" everything for you, but this will help, and Know that I'm here for you. Keep going girl, you're doing good."

Amongst the trials and tribulations of: what the hell is up with these grades, random social events/please drive me everywhere, turning 13 and soon 16, getting registered driver's training, part two, wondering where I'll find the $$ for a car AND summer camp, or when I'll find time to get the dog her shots AND MORE: Riley asks if we can sell the dirt bike to buy a four wheeler. 

Yeah, son. Right now I want to go through the hassle of selling a bike that I don't know how to DESCRIBE, drive or even start. Yeah, that totally sounds do-able. Let me fit that in my schedule and budget for you because I've really been lacking in the parenting department. [asswipe]

And no, I don't feel like texting my ex-boyfriend for help.

[btw: thanks, rossss for being so helpful; many blank stares and farts in your general direction]

Than EMERSON lost his brain and stated:
"Actually, Mom, I would ride a four wheeler, too. The bike is  too scary. Only a psycho would ride that." [pointed look, ignored by Rie who celebrated instead]
"HIGH FIVE! Best brother ever! See, mom? It would be a FAMILY thing!"

Now I hate am annoyed by you both.  It went from "no way, not now" to "ooh you little shits, that is so not fair dangling the promise of family time like that." sighhhhhhhhh

Of course, last weekend we were driving all over Southeast Michigan looking at the damned things and planning our next move. And of course I did enough research to feel comfortable listing it on Craigslist - I would do just about anything to spend quality time, especially outdoors, with my family - and that's no joke.  After a week of thorough "Ok, I can do this" pep-talking myself, I sat down at my computer to list it on Craigslist Sunday night and I notice a listing...

Oh look, here's an ATV exactly like the one Riley wanted and it's the same price as I was going to list the bike for....

NO SHIT. At the very, very bottom of the listing, almost as an afterthought, it says:

Or will trade for a dirt bike of the same value. Looking for a 125cc 2 stroke dirt bike, preferably a Honda CR

"Riley. Look at this, isn't that exactly what we have? And that's the quad you wanted..."
"Yes and yes, Mom!!!! Text him!"

He was interested. Actually, he was very interested. We set up a time to meet on Tuesday. It all seemed too good to be true. And than..........

I didn't hear from him after that. Tuesday came and went. And I mean, really - what were the odds? The most daunting task on my *to do* couldn't possibly just work out like that, could it??

Last night I told Riley that we would try AFTER we settled paying for scooter and parkour camp. He was totally ok with it. This morning, however, I woke up to a text: "Is the bike still available? I dropped and smashed my phone screen and just got it fixed. I can come out tonight if it's not sold."

Um, ok. But can you just bring the quad with you in case you like the bike and my son likes the quad?

Not that I believed it would be easy. Nothing can ever be easy, can it?

Ha! According to God: yes, it can. (crap, is that gloating? scratch that...)

Thank you, God. As always, you rock.

just like that....

Just sayin, DM

Sunday, April 3, 2016

You look so...

Have you ever met one of those people who just argues - about everything? You could say "the sky is blue" and they would reply "it's more like a light indigo..." ?

I try to consider where that person is coming from before replying, engaging and/or ignoring. Sometimes it's just a bad habit, sometimes people just like to keep talking, sometimes it's a more intolerable form of narcissism {those are the ones I ignore} but there's a range of people who like to argue more than me.

My son Riley is currently one. Whether or not it's a phase or he's an asshole for life has yet to be determined. I'm his mom, the outlook isn't great for him. [I do sort of feel bad...]

Riley: Mom stop spelling # its weird
Me: I'm right here, you don't have to text.
Riley: I was being discreet, mom, so you wouldn't look dumb. 

[And no - this is NOT said in a kind, thoughtful way. Oh no, this kid manages to say everything in a sarcastic/half chuckle/but COULD be serious kind of tone: I'm saying the right words but I'm still an ass that's going to argue with you. He did not invent this, BTW.]

Me: Son, I'm not stupid, I know how to use a hashtag, it's an inside joke -
Riley: With old people?
Emerson: oohh great, we're all gonna die
Riley: oldER people, I meant.... But I mean, who else would it be with?
Me: Really?
Me: Rie, stop. I hate arguing with you just to argue. I'm not doing it and don't push my buttons tonight.
Riley: Ok, geeeez. You look so - 
Emerson: omigod he's the dumbest person alive
Me: blank stare - it's the scariest one to them

[slow motion: I look over, Emerson ducks, I raise my eyebrows, the light dawns in Rie] 

..pretty. You seem really pretty today, Mom.

Just sayin' ~ DM

Sunday, January 3, 2016

My Expensive Christmas and Why I Loved It

Both of my kids wanted to build their own shop areas in the garage. ["like yours, in the basement, but not by you, mom." Assholes. DEAL. Like I really want to share with either of you anyway.]

My teenage boys think I'm the best mom ever. But I think they're the best kids ever.
Did I read these lists right? You guys want tools for Christmas? 
[I almost cried. It still gets me...sniff...]

What? That means you're going to need my help putting things together? And teaching you everything I know about tools and shops and making things? Oh darn, what a nightmare. And I hated every extra trip to the hardware store for the CORRECT thingamajig. All that "extra time you made me waste"? For me, that's not wasted time, that's SPENDING TIME WITH YOU. 

"But yeah, you're totally welcome. And you're right, I'm the best mom ever. Just next time, make a list, ok, son?"  So I know what to forget ;) haha

I wasn't kidding about it being a Christmas miracle. They have no idea what it means to me. I tell them, but they shrug and say "I love you mom." *thinking about it makes me laugh* But to be needed, and in such areas that I actually feel competent and interested in is a parent's dream. It's awesome to know we have great times to look forward to. They both have projects in mind and I'm excited to help them. I mean, I am REALLY excited. 

And just to make sure that I took advantage of every damn day of vacation: when the boys went to their Dad's, I learned a thing or two myself. I spent a lot of time at the range, shooting and improving. And I worked in my own shop - in the basement - with heat. [SO THERE. ka boom.] I learned how to pull bullets apart to make pendants and key chains out of the components. It was way more complicated* than I thought, but it was important to me, and it feels great to be creating things again.

I'm looking forward to work in the morning. It feels good to be past the unknown and just getting to it. It is going to be a tough quarter, for sure. There are always growing pains when things change so drastically. I need to find a way to make it work. And I start that, and stop just talking about it, finally, tomorrow. That feels good. 

Just sayin, DM.

*because anyone can glue components together - but in order to take a specific bullet that has sentimental value to you and use IT, I had to figure out how to safely deactivate it so that I could use those components, without an ammo press. Now that I know, the possibilities are only limited by time :)