Friday, January 19, 2018

Family outings and adulting.

It's honestly pretty rare that all six of us leave the house together, let alone to do something. It's just a lot of work and I'm not sharp enough to watch the kids like I used to. I am like a fifth kid for Matt so you can imagine he's not totally excited to go out, either. But for New Years Eve this year we went to our local Children's Museum and spent an hour playing. 
The big kids didn't really do much because they are too old to enjoy this place, but they were pretty good sports about it.  
 Penelope's favorite was a toss between a big slide and this fan that would blow items up the chute and they'd fly off. She was over here for a long time. 
 Jackson would diligently retrieve the items so she could keep doing it. 
 Lucy was all about the slide. This poor child hardly leaves the house, and I feel like a terrible parent saying that but it's true, so everything is new and amazing for her still. We've only taken her to the park a handful of times because I'm just not up for it, so Lucy hasn't had a lot of slide experience. She loved it, though!
 It took her a bit but after some time she realized it's easier for her to go backwards on her tummy. 

In other news, Matt and I are busy being adults.
Not only did he hang up the painting I did, but we bought real lamps. These aren't your Target or Walmart lamps, they are for real lamps that cost $50 a piece and so heavy that I could kill someone should I have to. Don't break into my house, I will bash your head in with my fancy lamp. Probably wouldn't even dent it. That's how great they are. 

It's ridiculous that our life has come down to lamps being the most exciting part of the month. 

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Into the Night

I have to be honest and tell you I am fangirling over Cynthia Eden so hard, you guys. She's awesome.

Into the Night - Cynthia Eden

Two FBI agents are caught in a merciless vigilante’s crosshairs in New York Times bestselling author Cynthia Eden’s electric Killer Instinct series

Lives will be ravaged as two FBI agents confront a mastermind serial murderer in New York Times bestselling author Cynthia Eden’s new Killer Instinct novel

Sheltered in the shadows of the Smoky Mountains is the suspect who’s summoned FBI agent Macey Night’s fears to the surface. Every day that the “Profiler,” a vigilante serial killer, escapes justice is another day she’s reminded of what it is to be a ruthless predator’s prey. Capturing him is a craving deeper than anything she’s felt in a long time. But Agent Bowen Murphy, equal parts sexy and volatile, seems hell-bent on changing that. Working together—needing, living, and breathing each other—they’re entwined to distraction.

Bowen’s used to operating on impulse: act, don’t feel. Now Macey and the controlled terror behind her beautiful eyes has him rethinking everything, including his rule to never get close to a colleague. He’s willing to fight for a future with Macey, but the consequences of love could be deadly.

I read book two, I have yet to read book one, but it's OK because while this is book three in the series, it's a stand alone. You'll be fine if you jump in right here! In this book we start with Macey Night, strapped to a table about to be the next victim of her co-worker who is a bizarre serial killer. Fast forward a few years and Macey has quit her job as a doctor and has started a career in the FBI, determined to find her attacker and bring him to justice. She gets a lead on his whereabouts and sets out, with her partner Bowen Murphy, to hopefully catch him before he kills anyone else.

Except they get there and he's dead. Bodies are piling up, serial killers who have been on the run for years are suddenly being caught by The "Profiler" and it seems he knows more about Macey and Bowen than anyone else. They quickly realize that they are the center of this bizarre crime saga and are racing to piece everything together and bring this person to justice. Nothing is as it seems and nobody can be trusted.

I LOVED THIS BOOK. I finished it in a day and a half, and while I kind of had a guess (and was right) the accomplices and the larger story? Had no clue. That came out of nowhere but suddenly everything lined right up when I was worried we'd be left with loose ends. The ending is perfect, the story grabs you immediately, and Cynthia Eden is a writer that knows what a reader wants- a story that never dulls and is always moving forward. I cannot get enough of these books!

   

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Workout Wednesday: working through anger

I'm on this kick to do better this year and hopefully get fit, or at lease less obese, and it's hard. I feel like I have a lot of obstacles to get around and I get easily frustrated because I know what I used to be able to do and frankly? I'm pissed off and angry that I am here. Again. I'm so sick of being reminded how much I have changed since my AFE. It's tiring. 

I also have to be honest and tell you that while I did work out this week, I only did it when I was angry. And not just angry at my situation, but angry at my children. My husband. My life. The sounds of their laughter get on my nerves and I want to throw something. My husband telling me about his hard day at works makes me want to punch a wall. Then someone starts crying and I feel like I'm going to hurt someone. 

It scares the absolute hell out of me. 

So I'm trying to separate myself from the situation as much as I can and I have been going to my basement to walk on my treadmill. On this particular day, it was really bad. It was a level 11 of anger and it took me a solid 20 minutes to calm down enough to feel like I could rejoin everyone else upstairs. I missed dinner. I missed hearing about their days. I missed the time of day we all sit as a family and talk about what is happening. My chair sat empty as an obvious reminder that I am not the same mom I was. I am not a great mom right now. I'm trying but I feel like I'm failing in all areas. 

We're Going To Be Friends

Easily one of the most recognizable songs that I sing to my kids willing them to nap time is The White Stripes' We're Going To Be Friends. I remember when it came out I was surprised that this was the same band putting out Seven Nation Army, but Jack White is a quirky kind of guy so maybe it isn't so strange. I do know that when I was listening to a toddler radio channel on Pandora this song would come on frequently and that's when it struck me that this is kind of a great kids' song that adults love. 

And now its a book. 

We're Going To Be Friends - Jack White, illustrated by Elinor Blake

I don't have to tell you how much I loved this book because you already know. I loved this book, you guys! The words itself are pretty spectacular and it's hard to read this book without singing it, but my two toddlers happen to love my singing. 
The illustrations, though? You guys. Stunning. They are stunning. It's a beautiful combination of pencil drawings with the strong red and white color scheme (which ties in The White Stripes origins)... 
 ...and some pages feature the drawings against photographs. It's just a aesthetically pleasing book to page through.  
The book itself came with a code for a download of the song which I think makes it a fun sing/read along book for your beginning readers. (Or grown up's who fancy themselves as great singers, too.) Even if you didn't take advantage of the song download (which you should) the book itself is an easy read, contains lots of Sight Words for your beginning reader, but also has enough repetitiveness to make you anxious and unsteady reader confident. I so very highly recommend this book if for no other reason than having a fun retro-like kids/adult book on your shelf. 

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Beck

I'm steadily reading this series and fortunately this counts as part of my Beat the Backlist challenge, so that's a bonus!

Beck - Harper Sloan

Dee
I’ve always been good at wearing masks. Not letting anyone see the real me. I’m content being the happy-go-lucky best friend. The strong willed boss. The independent woman who doesn’t need a man. 

But the truth is I’m just as broken as the rest of you. I’m terrified that all it will take is one person to make all my carefully constructed walls crumble into fine dust. So I guard my heart with everything I have. Determined to never let anyone get close enough to hurt me again. 

All is perfect until HE walks into my life. No… he doesn’t just walk. He struts his good-looking, sex-oozing self right into my space and demands that I see HIM. Making me want what I know I can’t have. 

So I did the only thing I know how to do. 
I run. 
But he just won’t let me go. 

Beck
The second I see her, I know she will be mine. I see past the gorgeous smiles and heart-stopping laughter. I see HER. She doesn’t want me to know her secrets or the past that haunts her, but I make it my mission to find out. 

To make her mine. 

She can run all she wants, but it will never be far enough to stop me from coming after her. 
She’s it for me and she knows it. 
She’s just too scared to admit it. 


Alright, so this is book 3 in the Corps Security series, but it's fully a stand alone. Each book connects with the others and some story line overlaps, but if you didn't read book 1 and 2 you won't be lost. Secondly, if you like romance but don't want to hear details so much, this book is not for you, nor is the series.

In this book we have Dee and Beck, two characters I'm on the fence about. Well, I don't like Dee so I guess I'm not on the fence with her. But Dee has clear mental health issues that extend all the way into her childhood, so as an adult she is a fake adult. She's as fake as they come, she acts like a bitch for no reason, pretends to be the mothering type with her friends, a man slayer, bad ass, independent woman. When REALLY she's insecure, unhappy, has PTSD, completely unable to tell the truth about how she feels, and has a bizarre obsession with not getting close to anyone and being pissed off with herself for not doing it. The majority of the book is all around that, and how Beck just takes her crap and sticks with it until (no shocker) he gets the girl!

Then all hell breaks loose with a drug addict/gunman, a master criminal, someone dies, and someone gets engaged. If you're following along you get little updates on previous characters, one of them are pregnant with twins! But what makes the whole thing crazy is the fact that Dee is crazy for book 1 and 2, and 3/4 of this one but faced with a gunman? Calm and totally OK. Not freaking out. She doesn't even panic when she meets the master criminal. Nope, calm and collected. Which is so bizarre and implausible I almost threw the book right there.

Overall? I can only give this book 3/5 stars and that's being really generous. I liked book 1 and 2, but book 3 was a dud and I think it's all because Dee is nuts and I don't like her. I don't think those type of characters are endearing and you can't redeem that. The only thing saving this book is Beck being such a great guy and Dee's right- she doesn't deserve him.
   

Monday, January 15, 2018

Sometimes when you think you're helpful, you're being lazy.

I'll start this by saying that my feelings about this are no way indicative of every person who is or has been in my position. I'll also put out there that I used to do all of these things, be that person, but I genuinely thought I was doing good.

I used to be one of those people who heard about suicide and immediately thought, "That is incredibly selfish. You're surrounded by people who want to help you and you don't even care enough to let them help." I was that person, no question. Full stop.

Then I became suicidal and I realize what an asshole I was. I wasn't helping by pointing any of this out, but what I was doing was trying to guilt the person into staying here. Guilt is not a reason to stay on Earth. Nobody should stay here because of what they can do for you, whether that's supporting you or just being the person under a title in your life (mother, father, friend, spouse, etc), or because you have fond memories and you like that person: that is not a good enough reason for them to stay alive because what that is is YOU being selfish. You're thinking about what you would be feeling with them gone instead of what it feels like for them to be alive every single day.

Sure, some depression is passing. We all have days where we think, "fuck it all, I'm done" and we have them in varying degrees. Some of us say it, don't mean it, and that's that. Some say it and maybe think about it in passing but it's enough to convince them it's just a bad day. Some people think about it hard, really weigh it out, but ultimately it passes and they are able to move on and be OK. Then there are some people where it is like a continuous loop of negative in our head. It's a cassette tape that never ends, it's on repeat, and you never shut it off. At best you can turn the volume down a bit but out of nowhere it gets cranked up and you suddenly feel like you have no control over it. If you hear something enough times, you agree with it. It's making valid point and it starts sounding like a better idea every day.

One of the resources available to all of us are suicide hotlines. I have called it one time in the last year and it was the worst 12 minutes of my life. I got a young sounding guy, sounded like a young boy, and he was reading of a terribly written script and when I detailed why I felt the way I do, he gave me silence. He had no answers for me, didn't have any information about where I should go for help, and I hung up that phone feeling worse than ever. I don't remember how I got through that night but it was hard. While I laid in my bed, with tears streaming down my face and my husband asleep next to me, I remember countless friends telling me to "reach out" if I need help.

So I did.

I made a lot of phone calls. Maybe because it was the middle of the night, but I got no answers. No returned texts. Nobody even returned the missed call they had to have seen on their phones. I can't fault them because we're all busy with our lives and I get it. I hate talking on the phone, so I understand about anxiety. I also know that nobody wants to be the last person someone talks to, it's a lot of pressure. What if they kill themselves, is it because of something you said? Did you motivate them to jump off the bridge?

I get it.

I could go on and on, but I won't. I will say this though, if you know someone who needs help, who is maybe on the fringe, do something. If they matter to you, do something. Call around and find the mental health resources in the area, sit with them, bring them food and hugs, let them cry no matter how uncomfortable it makes you, listen to them, don't tell them to be grateful or think of everyone who has it worse because in those moments? This is worse than cancer. It's worse than babies with cancer. I'm not kidding. In those dark moments the tape is so loud and it says every negative thing. It overpowers everything good in your life and you just want it to stop. If ending your life makes it stop, it is worth it, in those moments.

I won't pretend to tell you I've beaten it because I very much haven't. While my medications quiet the noise, I still hear it. The medication numbs my ability to plan but I still want to die each and every day. The medication slows me down and makes me tired, and I don't think I'd have the energy to do anything even if I had a solid plan. I'm also not begrudging anyone around me. I think you all genuinely think you've done everything you could or are comfortable doing. I get it. I'm with you, I don't know what I would do if the tables were turned. But I ask you, I beg you, please don't tell me to call a hotline, to reach out, to be grateful, to look at all of the good around me, because none of it helps and none of it matters. Give me an actual solution.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Crafty Saturday : kind of a thing

I haven't done a Crafty Saturday post in well over a year, possibly closer to two years. To be honest, I don't craft very much anymore. I've lost interest, my brain doesn't function great so trying to think about what to do and how to do it is really tough, and I feel very overwhelmed. But in recent months I've started feeling guilty because the kids love the scrapbooks, they spend a lot of time looking through them and talking about what we've done, and they subtly (or not so much) remind me that Penelope and Lucy will like it too.... if only I'd keep up with it. So I'm trying. 

This week I did two pages and finished putting together the Michigan trip album (from 2010). I forgot how good it feels to get things off of my desk and scrapbooking has always been a great way to get that feeling. 
They aren't great, but I guess it's a start? 
I'm so behind in photos so I've been trying to do the ones that are easiest thinking I'd gain momentum. And I was but now I'm out of adhesive and the thought of going to the store is overwhelming. 

Also this week I went to a painting class with my friend Tammy. The instructor was kind of rushed and it felt like a complete frenzy because there were multiple projects being done at once... it was just a lot. So our paintings were.. kind of interesting.  
In case you can't find up, we're in the lower left hand corner, front row. We're going to a string art class next for one of my friends, that should be fun, too.