Too many thoughts, too little time.

A Houseful


There are currently 8 boys in my living room. There will probably be more later. It’s raining out, so they are all in here.

When I had my boys, everyone wanted to joke “are you going to keep up with your parents?” I’d just respond “No, I don’t actually like kids.” Everyone thought I was joking, and I was serious. I liked MY kids. And, I have been told on more than one occasion, I have no maternal instincts. I won’t argue with it. I remember clearly, sitting in the car, crying to my husband, that I was not cut out for this mom thing.

But, apparently, once children turn 8 or 9, I like them. I like preteens and teenagers. I just am not crazy about little kids.

It would seem all the kids in the neighborhood missed the memo that I am not good at this parenting thing.

Brad laughed at me the other day “Well, Miss I’m Never Having More Kids, how do you feel about your decision now?” You know how I feel about it? Great. If I had more kids would I be as patient? Would I be as willing to overlook the messes? Would I accept one more hug after having little hands pulling on me all day? Would all these boys enjoy being here as much if there were babies eating their Legos and chewing on the Pokemon cards?

I am loving being the spare parent. The person here when there are no other parents here. The one who hears about this one’s fear of lightening, or that one not wanting to tell his parents about his report card. I was happy yesterday when the 13 yr old came up to me in the kitchen and told me of the epic battle that resulted in 5 stitches in his ear, then he got quiet and leaned in “Hey…have you ever had stitches? Does it hurt really bad to have them taken out? I’ll be ok, you know?” I’m there handing out popsicles while another boy is telling me he isn’t worried at all about the mass they found the last time his mom went to the doctor. And, she’ll be ok, right? I mean, doctors know what they are doing, right? I’m the one holding the 8 yr old girl on my lap while she cries because one of the boys called her ugly, and I’m the one yelling at the boy who said it and making him apologize, even if he meant it as a joke.

These kids are getting to the ages they can be left alone, and they are left alone, often. And, they seriously just want somebody to talk to. Somebody to attack hug. Somebody who can calm them down about mom, so they don’t have to upset mom.

I wondered why the kids were here all the time. This area has 200 hundred houses, all built in one of 5 styles. We have the smallest one, and back when Brad bought it, he purposely got the smallest yard, so, why are these kids here all.the.time?

A mom came by the other day to find her kids, and we got to talking. She thanked me. She knows why they are here all the time.She just got started on OCD medication, because she realized she was mad at her boys all day, every day. Because they were boys. And they were messy and loud. She wanted everything perfect, all the time. And, when their 11 yr old selves were less than perfect, she got mad. She was glad they had a safe place to play and make messes and just be kids. And, after sending home messy, exhausted kids all summer, I am the reason she realized something was wrong.

So, I guess I will keep having my tiny house full.

And, it will seem tinier as time goes on, since already the 10 yr olds are my height and they aren’t getting any smaller.

We had a party on the 12th. We just wanted a party. My parents showed up super early, which was frustrating, then I found out they weren’t leaving when they said they were, which then caused a conflict. I was trying to explain. It wasn’t going well.

It ended up with my mom bawling, my dad screaming he was never abusive, and I was just mad because they took away my flying lessons when I was 16 because I was doing drugs. He stood on my deck and shouted that I did drugs, I do drugs, I am a druggie. I said “I have no idea what you are talking about, I have NEVER done drugs.” and he said “yeah, because we stopped you.” For me to explain the absurdity of ANY of this would take days. Allow me just to say, I’ve never done drugs, I was told I couldn’t fly anymore because it was too expensive. Now, I think it was because I had just been accepted to college, without telling them, and they were punishing me. But anyway, I was never even OFFERED drugs until I was 24. I’ve never even seen pot. Seriously. It is almost embarrassing how naive i am when it comes to this topic. I have joked with my husband many times that not ever doing drugs is the ONE thing i’ve even done right in my life. And then to come out with this? In front of my neighbors? My kids’ friends’ parents? Plus, his “proof” was an actual impossibility. Luckily the party hadn’t started yet. I told him to leave, he wouldn’t. Brad made him leave. Mom left too.

We had our party, it went alright. Then, we left for a few days in Canada. I haven’t heard a word from them. And, I feel good. They were/are toxic. And, I have multiple siblings who will back up my version of events, that my parents insist never happened. I don’t think you can fix something no one will acknowledge is broken.

I couldn’t figure out why I seemed to be making so many enemies lately. A friend made sense of it for me though. For almost 30 years I have let people walk all over me, I’ve tried to keep the peace. I’ve decided to put my own boundaries in place. I won’t try to change or fix you, but don’t make me deal with your issues. And, since I can’t be easily pushed over anymore, they’ve decided to come full force. I was able to recognize what my mother said as manipulation, and what my father said as crazy. I’ve never been able to do that before.

Brad and I explained to the boys we wouldn’t be visiting them anymore. They took it better than expected, they saw the whole thing. Then, they let loose with their own rants and why this was a good thing for them.

Then, we took the kids to the pool, and Brad and I hit the hot tub and I said “well, I suppose this will make our holidays less hectic”. We began to talk, and come up with a plan. And, I’m actually really looking forward to implementing our plan this year.

I just feel like so much stress has been taken off.

The funny (not funny amusing, but funny strange) thing is, while my mom and I talked, before dad joined in, she said “what did you want me to do?” I said “stand up for us once in awhile? Not just let him rant and rage and then tell me I’m too emotional.” Dad came back, and ranted and raged, for probably 10 minutes and I told him to leave. He left, I turned to my mom and said “I never, not once, have ever done drugs.” and she said “I know. I suppose you want me to leave now too, you’re obviously too emotional to talk.”

My dad is insane, and I’ve never liked him anyway. I won’t deal with the crazy. And,my mom asked what she could do, was given the perfect opportunity, but still let him embarrass me in front of the neighbors, in front of my husband, in front of my kids. Her parting words made it clear, she had no intention of working on this, just attempting to manipulate me back into “behaving”.

She walked away with a final “what Punkie? If I divorce him now will that be enough for you? Will you be happy then?”

No, I won’t. You couldn’t even say “stop that, she’s never done drugs.”.

The straw that broke the camel’s back.



Church, huh?

My husband and I don’t attend church. There are many reasons, but we’re just going to leave it at we don’t.

But, we also don’t run screaming when we are near a church. Last week I went to a lovely service at the oldest church in the USA. Right now, we’ve ended up at my parents church many Sundays, because my ex-inlaws go there as well. My kids are with my ex every other sunday, the church is between our homes. So, he sends the kids off with Grandma, and I pick them up, or vice versa. I can NEVER get the timing right to get the kids. And, we’d rather be early than late, so, we usually end up hearing a good bit of the “sermon”. Once, we heard about how everyone needed to own a gun and you could shoot the bad guys faster than the police could get there. I have no idea what that sermon was supposed to be about, we only heard the last half. Which was all about gun rights.

One Sunday we walked in to get the kids. The screens in the foyer were just showing black with red writing, something about a Muslim parade. And a website. There was a guest speaker. We couldn’t see, but we could hear. We never go into the sanctuary. Now, as the talk went on, Brad and I are getting really mad, and Brad muttered something like “this is why I don’t go to church”. The whole sermon, that we heard, was about how Muslims are taking over, and they are ruining the country, and they want to kill us all.


So, it ends, we go to find the kids. They are in the sanctuary with grandma, grandpa, their father, and my 3 brothers. Ok, cool, whatever. We leave.

We then spent the next week hearing about the “sermon”.

Apparently, the woman speaking showed pictures. Of people with their hands cut off, of a body with the head cut off, and a man holding a bloody knife, charred remains of people after bombs went off. Video clips of people saying “we couldn’t find any whole pieces to bury”. Talking about murdering children. The kids were traumatized.

I told my ex-mother in law, the kids were not to attend sermons there anymore. I told my parents the same. I told every single adult they should have walked out with the kids, that was inappropriate.

While I talked, my brother said something like “they didn’t know she was going to do that, she said she was coming to talk about missions.” my mom said “what were we supposed to do? just walk out?” I shouted “Yes! If they’d flipped on ‘barely legal teens and their first interracial gang bang’ you would have ran out. You wouldn’t have worried about how that looked!”

I looked at the church’s reviews that day. Several people were outraged, saying the church owed everyone an apology. Those reviews have been deleted.

My ex-mother in law said they got an automated call, apologizing. The people in charge had no idea that was going to happen.

First of all…bull. You can search for the nicest bathroom in New Hampshire on google. You mean to tell me there was not ONE time she had done this before,  and somebody complained? Or maybe people did complain, and the church just deleted the complaints.

Second, great, you recorded an apology, that I was told about. What about the people who don’t want your automated spam? What about the guests? You didn’t ask to speak to the 10 yr old who couldn’t sleep that night.

Again, the reason for not stopping her was they didn’t know if they should. The senior pastor was out of town, and they didn’t want to upset anyone. My argument still stands. If I get up there and play some porn, apparently they are just all gonna sit there and watch it, because they aren’t sure if it is ok or not.


New Beginnings

I am a member of a forum about infidelity. I’ve been a member since 2008, when I was dealing with my ex, toward the end of our marriage. There is a sub-section about new beginnings. Often, the people in that section are obsessed with being a husband or a wife. They liked being married, obviously the problem was their cheating spouse, now they are divorced, so they can move right on to somebody who “deserves them”.

The problem is, very few people are perfect. While you are dealing with the aftermath of infidelity, it is easy to put your self on a pedestal up on that moral high ground. Yes, I gained weight, but I didn’t cheat. No, I didn’t do the laundry for 3 weeks, but I didn’t cheat. So what I have a temper, I’m not a cheater. Obviously, those are not reasons to cheat, but it doesn’t mean they are good things either. I think often growth is stunted during that phase, because you can’t see your flaws in comparison to someone else’s. I know, I’ve been there.

As I healed, I looked at my ex-husbands complaints. Yes, I’d gained weight. Yes, I had a temper. Yes, I was a slob. No, picking up his phone was not a valid complaint. No, asking him to take out the trash was not a valid complaint. (yes, one of the reasons he gave for cheating was my “emotional abuse, by asking him to take out the trash”)

Now, I’m pretty happily married, and would like to stay that way. Was there really anything my ex said I needed to work out. The temper and the slop thing were big. And, while my husband loves me, and has always known me heavy, he also wants somebody to DO things with. If I can’t keep up, he will be less happy. And, honestly, those “flaws” made ME less happy.

As I approach my 2nd anniversary, I began to write about how my life was so great, because of my husband. But when I thought about it, I realized, my new beginning wasn’t based around HIM, it was things I had done, for me. Things I had learned. I am nothing like I was when I was married before, and, quite a bit different now than I was when I met Brad.

My new beginning includes

  • Graduating college
  • Learning to be independent. There is no one telling me I can’t. I can take the subway in a strange city, and drive through Manhattan without a problem. I had always been told those things were too hard and too dangerous. Last week I spent 10 hours a day, and 3 days, in Boston, by my self. And, I did it. I remember being terrified to navigate airports by myself, and I do it all the time now.
  • Losing weight, which isn’t necessarily what I’m excited about. But, the process of getting there has made me stronger and happier, I sleep better, I feel better, I’ve made friends. This past weekend, I was at a museum when my son wanted to go on a simulator. 2 years ago I would have told him no, because he was too little to go by himself, and I certainly wasn’t going to embarrass myself when I didn’t fit. Last week though, he asked, and I looked at him, looked at the ride, and said “come on” climbed in and put on the seatbelt without hesitating. It was a lot of fun.
  • Learning that I can. I know that is vague, but I don’t know how else to word it. I just can. I can walk 10 miles a day, I can figure things out, I can do it. After a couple decades of the subtle abuse, the being told, over and over and over again I couldn’t. Big things, being told I was so stupid, I was a fucking idiot. or I’d be so lost on my own. to little things “No, you need to stay with us, you might get lost”. I was an 18 yr old, with a 10pm curfew, because it was too dangerous to be out with my friends later. I needed to be home, where I would be protected.
  • Getting a tattoo. I haven’t gotten it yet, but I’ve wanted one for about 15 yrs now. I always put it off, because, it was a sin. I was told over and over how it was a sin, and since you were stuck with it forever, you would always be sinning. That is why a man cutting his hair and shaving was ok, because if you decided it was a sin later, then you could stop sinning. Well…by that logic, I will always have my son I conceived before I got married, so, I will always be sinning. I have the rough draft drawn up, just waiting to get back from a trip, because I plan to enjoy the hot tub while I’m away, and I can’t with a new tattoo.
  • I’ve learned to be content where I’m at. Previously, I was sure I’d be happier if we had more money, if our bills were paid off, if we had a bigger house, a different car. I’m happier now. You know what changed? nothing. I changed my attitude. I decided to he happy, to be thankful for all the good we do have.
  • And, really, what prompted the whole post…I’m the new 3rd and 4th grade soccer coach for my boys’ soccer team. I was asked, and started to say no. Then, I tried to talk around it, like Brad can coach, and I will stand there on the sidelines. And…no. I’m the coach. I know nothing about soccer, but I guess I will learn quick. I VOLUNTEERED to do this, on my own. A year ago, 2 years ago, 5 years ago…no way. I couldn’t do it, I would do it wrong, I would embarrass myself, I wouldn’t be able to keep up with the kids, people would laugh at me. Now? I don’t care what people say. I CAN keep up with the kids, And, I’m a fast learner. If I do it “wrong” there were plenty of other opportunities for the other parents to step up.

I’m a better person, I’m a more complete person, not just because I have Brad in my life, but because I worked on my flaws and my weaknesses. I LIKE me now. I don’t know that I could ever honestly say that before. I think, today, i am the best me I can be. And, tomorrow, I’ll be better.

Yesterday, I saw home decor on Pinterest. It was giant letters on a living room wall that said “it is well with my soul” and, it really is. It’s a nice, but very foreign  feeling.

Odd anniversary post, but, there it is, all true. Maybe next week I’ll write a gushy post about how amazing my guy is.


gift to you

So, it’s been about 9 months since I began to distance myself from my family. The first couple months, they didn’t even seem to notice, which, to me, felt like the right choice was clear. The next couple months I had to work on saying, out loud, that I was doing this on purpose. I was angry.

It hasn’t really been brought up again. I’m not surprised. My family doesn’t do rational discussion, we do screaming and insults and apologies without ever resolving things. But, Punkie no longer does screaming and yelling and insults.

I’ve thought many times of what I should say if confronted, and I have come up with 2 points to make.

1. Everybody talked to me, expecting me to keep some really huge secrets, without asking if I wanted the burden. I don’t want it.

2. They are all VERY opinionated about many hot topic issues. I either am not, or don’t talk about them. And, essentially, a majority of the time we talked I heard “I hate you. I think you are a horrible person, absolute scum. I would never ever love you if I knew you.” I’m tired of pretending to be someone I’m not to gain their acceptance.

So, I’ve quit visiting. I’ve quit calling. My parents have stopped by twice this year. My mother demanded to be at my oral surgery, and I said no. She said she’d just show up then, so I wouldn’t tell her when it was. I leave town a lot, and even the country at times, without a word. My father in law knows where we are, for safety reasons, but he doesn’t expect to get minute by minute play by plays, so it works.

And, what have I found in this period?

That I’m happy.

That I’m relaxed.

That I can be myself, and people like me.

I actually uttered a sentence to my best friend recently I’d never said to anyone but my husband. And, you know what happened? Nothing. It was nothing. I rushed home, afraid to find she’d deleted me or something. Instead, I got a call to be there for her when her baby had surgery.

I met my husband’s coworker. A really nice, funny, good looking man. Wandered around Niagara Falls with him and my husband and children. And, when he said he needed somebody like me, when he hugged me before we parted ways, I didn’t once think he was flirting or it was inappropriate, like I would have in the past. After being told that men are only interested in women for sex. You have no idea how nice it was to accept this hug and not feel dirty.\\

I don’t have to squeeze several hours out of my day once a week anymore to eat a frozen egg roll at my mother’s while she and the kids scream at each other, and force myself to wait to say hi to dad, then hurry to get lost before he gets mad about whatever today.

My kids are gone this week, and you know what I’ve done? I’ve cleaned the house, I’ve done an hour long workout every day. I’ve planted dozens of flowers. I’ve worked on my little memorial garden and fountain. I’ve cooked amazing meals, just for myself, and then enjoyed our new patio set. And, I haven’t felt one bit of guilt.

I found that I didn’t do this sooner because I thought I depended on them too much. And, now, I’ve learned I really don’t need to anymore. We bought a patio set but believe it or not, the 5 pieces didn’t fit in the trunk of our car.My parents have a truck, an SUV and a giant van. Before I would have called, they would have said they’d be right here. 4 hours later, Brad and I would still be sitting at Target, waiting. Instead, we spent $20 to rent a truck from Home Depot and take the patio set home. And, my parents have pointed out to me before how that is a huge waste of money. No, it isn’t. Because $20 is well worth not being so irritated and frustrated.

I’m not mean, I’m not rude. I’m not going out of my way either. They mentioned something about coming over tonight. I locked the boys’ bedroom doors because I don’t think they should have to worry about their things when they aren’t here. we’ve taught them to take care of their stuff, I’m not letting other people break it. Apparently they have decided to make quarter year visits. And that works for me.

My one sister I haven’t seen in 6 months? My brother came over to watch football once in January. My other sister lives right by my ex-in laws. I stopped by to see her new house 4 or 5 months ago. She explained she was sorry she made me mad, but they never came to visit because they didn’t have a car. They bought a car shortly afterwards. They still don’t visit. So…yeah, I’m feeling very, very relaxed.

Funny story about sister visiting. I stopped by one day, and she wasn’t there, but her husband was. I talked to him for awhile and he said when they get a car, they really want to visit more. They’ve been meaning to. Because “We just really love Brad. He’s so great, and seems like such a great guy. He’s hilarious and just awesome. We totally love him.” now at the end of that sentence you can see a look of recognition go over his face and he continues “I mean…you too. I mean, we like you too. Like..I mean, you’re…blunt. So, we’ll see you too.”

Mind you, this was the same week I did see my mom, and she complained about all the strippers my brother keeps dating and “why can’t he just find the female version of Brad and settle down.” I said “Nobody will like what i have to say, but he won’t find it because honestly, he’s a wreck right now. He needs to work on being happy alone and taking care of his responsibilities, then eventually he will be able to find that. But, not now.” My mom looked annoyed “Oh yeah? and what did you do that was so great you got to have Brad?” Thanks mom.

Definitely happier without them in my life anymore.

Speaking of people you are happier not to have in your life anymore…Our oldest played his last indoor soccer game. He ages out now. Brad and I were there, as was my ex, Joe. Brad and I cheered and tied shoes and refilled water bottles and gave high fives and got sweaty hugs. Joe missed all of this, and didn’t see the goals made my either of our kids, because he was on his phone. He had been sitting on the bleacher in front of me, and I could see he was texting a woman about how much he loved her and missed her. Whatever. Then he moved up beside me, maybe thinking I couldn’t read the screen now? You know why he couldn’t be bothered to watch the game or tie a shoe? He was filling out his OkCupid dating profile. He forgets how fast I read, so I saw “I don’t even no wat 2 put here. I am tired of being used by women and having my heart broken. I am a good guy with 2 kids. My kids come first. I just want a nice, country gurl 2 settle down with, who will love me for me and not my money and will understand my family is most important to me and will always come first.”

And that has been today’s edition of “I’m surrounded by idiots.”


intentional adjective

Intentional. This is my word of the year. I don’t usually do New Years Resolutions. But, this year, I’ve decided to work on me. I kind of started 9 months ago or so, but,”intentional” is more recent.

I realized how often I was saying I didn’t mean to do something, or I ran out of time. Ok, maybe I didn’t MEAN to yell at the kids. But, did I mean not to? I ran out of time and didn’t get the sheets washed on Saturday. Ok…did I run out of time? Or did I find other, unimportant things that I chose instead? I didn’t mean to gain so much weight, but, I certainly wasn’t intentionally keeping it off.

So I started this year asking myself questions. As the year has progressed, I’ve added more questions. Am I choosing to do this or am I doing it out of habit? laziness? Am I deliberately doing this? Am I procrastinating by doing  this instead of that? 

And, I’ve decided that it is ok to be lazy sometimes. But, I don’t want to do it out of habit. I have talked to Brad in the evenings before and said “I am deliberately choosing to not set my alarm and go to the gym in the morning.”

But, by saying “I choose”, “I am deliberately”, “I am intentionally”… it keeps me accountable to myself. I can’t get away with excuses as easily anymore.

And, the change has apparently been noticeable. To the point Brad has stolen my word of the year! He will get up and say “look, I am intentionally putting my shoes away because I know it annoys you to have them in the entryway.”. “I am deliberately getting up right now to hang up those shelves before I forget.”

It really seems to be working for me, as a way to change some behaviors and attitudes. It is hard, even to tell yourself “I am purposely overspending on the grocery budget this week.” or “I completely mean to drive 10 mph faster than the sign says.”

I’m becoming who I want to be. On purpose. do life


As I’ve mentioned before, I’m working on losing weight. And, this struggle has taught me quite a bit. I’m learning that some of the things I said I didn’t want to do “because I didn’t like it”, actually had nothing to do with if I liked it or not, but rather, I was afraid I was too heavy to do them. I’ve learned how often I’ve lied to myself. And, I’ve learned a lot of empathy.

Because, I’ve had setbacks, and I’ve had to deal with them. But, the people around me had no idea what I was going through.

Like in October, when I broke my foot and my son had to push me around the grocery store in a wheelchair. I was afraid people would think it was because I was fat, especially because I didn’t even get a cast, the break wasn’t bad enough.

Or, several weeks later. I was ready to try Zumba again, but, I sat out the faster paced songs, and even left halfway through one class. Did the new people assume it was because I was so out of shape, not knowing 6 weeks before I was working out a couple hours a day.

A friend broke up with her boyfriend, but for some reason he kept me as a friend on Facebook, and once he wrote something like “Hey fatass at McDonalds, a diet Coke isn’t gonna do you any good with that super sized big mac meal.” I admit, on a given Tuesday, I may be the fat chick in front of you, ordering the exact same thing. Because, I had done Zumba 3 hours that day and burned 1500 calories, just from exercise. I’ve already added the meal into my daily calories, and I am still at a 1000 calorie deficit, as long as I get the diet drink. And, I have the photos to prove it’s working.

Today, I was on the elliptical at the gym. I was going kind of slow, 3-4 mph and I was so tired. While the man beside me went from 6-12 mph. He went 5 miles to my 2.5, we started at about the same time. I didn’t feel like I was being judged, but…what if he had been? You know what he doesn’t know? That I’m recovering from surgery. I’ve been on a liquid diet for almost 3 weeks now, and struggle to get in my 1200 calories. I told my husband I wouldn’t work out until I was sure I was eating enough. Today was my first day back at the gym. But, I just look slow.

I hate to admit it, but I’ve been the judgey person far too often. I’ve seen people on the scooters at the store and thought “You wouldn’t be so heavy if you walked instead.” But, I didn’t know that person yesterday, or 4 years ago, or whatever. You can look at me right now, and think “Wow, she should lose weight.” But, unless you know ME, you won’t know that I’ve lost 40 pounds over the last year. That I’m down 60 from my highest.

And, if the neighbors feel like judging me this summer when I mow the lawn in the first pair of shorts I’ve owned in almost 10 years, it’ll be ok. I won’t let it get to me, because I know how far I’ve come. And, I’m going to show off a bit. lol


247 vs 207


Another 247 vs 207

Another 247 vs 207


And, at my very heaviest, when I was....23? I was about 265-270. And, the other pic was today, 7 years later and down to 207.

And, at my very heaviest, when I was….23? I was about 265-270. And, the other pic was today, 7 years later and down to 207.


When I get to 199 I get a new cell phone case, since I don’t want to buy a bunch of clothes that won’t fit for very long! The funny thing about that last picture. I remember the day the pic where I’m in the white shirt was taken. I remember thinking I looked great. I had done my make up and my hair, everything. Today, I was on my way to the gym. I have on yoga pants and an old shirt looks crappy. I haven’t put on make up in a week or so. My hair is in a bandana. And, I think I look great.

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