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Posts Tagged ‘Seattle’

So I pulled out the iPad to write this post.

My posts have been infrequent, if you haven’t noticed, and that’s due in large part to my employer blocking access to WordPress. I didn’t always write posts at work but it would happen on occasion. What happened more frequently, however, was writing at home while on my work computer. I still bring my computer home with me for work purposes, but since WordPress is blocked it does me no good with respect to my blog. And posting from my iPad is painful and SLOW. So there you go.

All that aside, my reflections on the past year and thoughts about the current new year compel me to write.

2013 was an interesting year.

With respect to my kids there has been some serious growth.

The oldest left for school last January, “tried” unsuccessfully to get a job, blamed me for many of his life’s woes, which mainly centered around the fact that I couldn’t support him in the same lavish lifestyle his roommates appeared to be living. He had his license suspended for a year for an M.I.P. charge. He got arrested for a few minor and a rather major offense, spent the longest hours of his life behind bars, stood before a judge for sentencing and then came home for the summer and slept til 2 p.m. every day so he could hang with his friends into the wee hours and again blamed me for his inability to get a job. But then something happened. And honestly I’m not really sure what it was but he left for school again in September and maturity began. He got a manual labor job and loved it. Loved the work, and the money that came from said work. Instead of coming home every weekend he went ten weeks before I saw him, coming home for Thanksgiving. The angry phone calls and mean spirited texts were replaced with texts telling me how much he loved and appreciated me. It was Twilight Zone shit in a big way. He came home for the Christmas holiday for three weeks and respected my rules without question or argument about smoking weed in my house. Maturity. Yo. He borrowed a little money from me, paid me back with ridiculous interest. He filled my car with gas and he cooked for himself on multiple occasions without telling me I was falling down on my parental responsibility. Seriously, I have had that conversation with my 20 year old. For the first time ever. EVER. I got a Christmas gift that was not purchased with my or my exhusbands money. Twilight Zone. But I couldn’t be any happier about it as he heads back to school this evening. I love this boy, I wish he understood how much.

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Younger brother, who is similar but at the same time so completely different, is my heart. The relationship we have built since I left his father and since his brother moved out is one of my most cherished. We have a closeness that I hope lasts forever and what makes me most happy is that he is very close to his father as well. He has built two separate relationships with us that don’t rely on the other. That may sound odd, but it’s priceless. Add to that — the boy has risen to the occasion of high school and you are left with a proud mom. When he does something that requires discipline I am thankful for the reminder that he is STILL just a 14 year old boy. Again I wish he knew just how much I love him.

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My job has morphed into a lot more responsibility over the year and I’m good with that. I still adore my boss and working in this corporate environment continually reminds me why I will never work in a law firm again. Life is too short to be that stressed out all the time. (I know not all law firms are super stressful but before my current job I worked as a litigation paralegal for a firm that had a hellacious trial calendar. There is no stress like trial prep that never let’s up.)

I didn’t travel as much as I like this year. One trip to Cannon Beach for a couple nights, trip to Mexico with girlfriends, trip to Idaho and then to Seattle with Blue Eyes. All quality trips though so it’s hard to find negativity where there is none.

Running was pretty low key. A couple half Mary’s, a 30k and one marathon that attempted to suck the life from me. All told I didn’t get close to 1,000 miles for the year, but what’s key is that by years end I had found my love for running again and that’s all I can ask for.

And then there’s Blue Eyes.

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In September my amazing friend Jennifer wrote a blog post that I read early one morning while I was still laying in bed. She wrote about an asshole dude she had had the misfortune of meeting and within the post she wrote:

“Finding someone who . . . will pursue me and see me fully, someone who will think ‘Holy Shit this girl is a fricken catch and I’M NOT GOING TO MESS THIS UP’ . . .

When I read it I thought that’s fuckin right, don’t settle for less. My feelings were strong because I know how amazing she IS and I know she shouldn’t settle. Twenty minutes later as I stood in the shower still seething over the asshole on Jennifer’s behalf it dawned on me that what she described is 100% what I have in Blue Eyes. 100%. It was like a light bulb turned on and some things within me changed. Some things that cause me to hold back a little every now and again and rethink or possibly over think my relationship with this spectacular man whose number one goal in life is to make me happy. Who says to me “I love you more than everything.” And makes me believe him.

Our relationship changed a little. I was pretty strict about only seeing him on the weekends my kid is with his dad. Over the course of the year that changed and I see him at any feasible opportunity and my kids are okay with it. They like him. He doesn’t threaten them or their relationship with me and he likes them. This is key.

“B”, the man who dumped me and inspired me to start this blog, didn’t like my kids. It was a mutual dislike. They didn’t like him either. He also thought I was a shitty parent and it was his life mission to school me on the proper way to raise kids. Um yeah. On reflection I can’t figure out why I was so heartbroken and I was seriously heartbroken.

I saw this the other day and it made me think of “B”

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Anywho……

Blue Eyes and I have had a lovely year together and have grown very close. I love just being in his company. He makes me laugh intensely and he makes me feel good about being me, just the way I am. No fixing necessary for him to find me perfect for him. And I actually find him incredibly perfect for me.

We went to Seattle for a couple of nights to celebrate the holidays together. We usually go to the beach because it’s my happy place in Oregon, but we changed it up and went north. We took the train and stayed in a great old hotel. Monday was our full day there. We got out of the hotel by 9 a.m. and we were out all day and night.

We went to the EMP (Experience Music Project) and spent about four hours there learning everything there is to know about Nirvana, Hendrix, Soundgarden, Pearl Jam and the likes. It was awesome to be there with someone as into it as I was.

We went on to the Space Needle, Pike Street Market where we checked out the gross and disgusting gum wall (I wouldn’t stand next to it for a picture and I was totally grossed out by all the people TOUCHING it!) and we went to the Sculpture Park.

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We sat for awhile and people watched, went into the Rack so I could try on stripper shoes then went and drank beer…..and then we went and drank margaritas.

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Then we strolled the streets until we came upon The Taproom. 160 beers on tap. Did I mention we like beer? We settled in at the Taproom around 9:30. We were still there at midnight….

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I’d never had beer in a glass like this.

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I was having such a good time. A little tipsy, a lot happy, thrilled to be out of town without any responsibility. Happy to be with Blue Eyes. It couldn’t have gotten any better.

But then it did. Get better.

He said “this has been the very best year of my life and I thought it fitting to end it on a high note.” I started coughing about this time and turned away from him (I’d had an icky cold for awhile). When I stopped coughing and turned back towards him I noticed the goofy grin on his face first and then I saw he was holding the ring. THE RING! I was totally surprised. And speechless. Me. Speechless. If you know me you KNOW that’s almost impossible, but he did it.

Boom!

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I said yes.

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So it’s all official and we are engaged.

I think it’ll be a long engagement but we’ll see. He wants what I want. That’s all.

I was on Match.com for three weeks before I hid my profile. Blue Eyes got in under the wire. I almost didn’t go out with him because the day before I had gone out with a grade A jerk and I was a little sketchy about the whole online dating thing. Then I got freaked out because he liked me too much and so I pushed him away to date other people and met another jerk. That’s when I decided I just wanted to sleep with men without commitment. Did that for awhile with a young guy I had nothing in common with but the sex. All the while Blue Eyes waited patiently for me to figure it out. He let me figure out, on my time, that he is a good guy. That he is the right guy. That he is everything I want.

The train ride home was a happy one. I see good things in the future.

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I took my children to Seattle this weekend.  I also took three of their friends.  The 18 year old brought two friends, the 13 year old brought one.  My car only seats five, semi-comfortably.  A three hour drive with five boys required an additional seat and more than semi-comfort.  To accomplish this task I rented a minivan.  As a side note, I hadn’t driven a mini-van in about 20 years.  They’ve come a long way.  It was brand new, 12 miles on it when I picked it up.  Plush, cozy, very comfortable, good gas mileage and the fact that I could make the side doors and the trunk open before we even got to the car made me feel like a kid with a new toy.  Seriously.  I don’t want to buy one, but I was impressed.

We drove up to Seattle on Saturday morning.  It was cloudy and rain was predicted in Portland.  When I checked the weather forecast the same was predicted for Seattle, however, when we arrived the sun was shining and it was a pretty spectacular day.  A beauty day in Seattle.

Sunday morning view from our hotel room

We stayed in the middle of downtown on 5th Avenue in a high rise hotel with all of the amenities to make everyone happy.  Knowing that if they were forced to stay in the same room together the 18 year olds would terrorize the 13 year olds, I got two rooms that connected.  The 18 year olds shared a room with a king size and rollaway bed and it connected to a suite with a king size bed, a couch that turned into a queen and a rollaway bed because, as the 13 year olds explained to me, while they could share a room, they could not share a bed.  Not cool.

We walked the streets of downtown Seattle, watched them throw fish at Pike Street Market, got kind of grossed out (at least I did) at the gum wall, went to the EMP, got coffee at the very first Starbucks location, and went to the Space Needle.  That was what we did together.  Then the 18 year olds went their own way and I allowed the 13 year olds to cruise around downtown on their own before it got dark and while they did that I met a girlfriend for a drink.

It was a great weekend and both of the boys had a very good time and so did their friends.  I had a nice time too, as it turned out.

The 13 year olds in Seattle

When we got back to Portland I just barely got my oldest son back to his fathers at the appointed time.  Whenever I take him home its normal course that the youngest goes in with him to say hi to his dad for a bit.  It works that way on the opposite weekends.  When my youngest is brought home the oldest comes in to say hey and give me a hug.  This Sunday the youngest was in his dad’s for about 15 minutes.  When he got back in the car he told me how they were talking about his dad’s recent job offer (the man quit his job, in this economy, two weeks ago).

I asked if the boys told their father about their weekend in Seattle and he stumbled a bit as he said no.  I said, “No?”  That’s when he told me that the oldest told his father that he had gone to Seattle with his two friends and when Dad asked what the youngest had done for the weekend he told him he just hung out with his friend.  Neglecting to add “in Seattle, too.”

I’m sorry, but this bothered me. I didn’t react right away.  He went on to tell me they didn’t tell him because he couldn’t afford to do those types of things with them and they didn’t want to hurt his feelings.  Then he asked me if I was mad.  My response was “no, I’m just fascinated.”  Which was true, but I was also a little mad.

Ultimately me and the youngest got into a bit of an argument because he told me if I was mad I was being selfish.  “Dad can’t afford to go to Hawaii, Puerto Rico, take us to Seattle, take us to California, take us to anywhere, he can’t and you can, you’re just being selfish Mom!”  He’s 13.  Not 23.

I said “are you telling me because your father can’t do these things I shouldn’t?”  “Are you saying that I should help him be able to do these things?”  “Are you telling me I should feel guilty because I work, make money, save money and choose to spend my money the way I do because your father can’t!”  Yea, I realize I’m 45 but was acting 15.  I get it, but I couldn’t help it.

He told me that my selfishness came from the fact that I was disappointed they weren’t telling their dad these things so he would feel bad.  Alright, he is really just 13.  And maybe it took him a while to get there, and maybe he got there in a roundabout way, but he hit it pretty dead on.  That is what was going on with me and it was selfish.

Selfish because I want the asshole to know that although he pays me nothing, and hasn’t for the last 18 months, I am doing quite well without him.  I want him to know that his children are actually doing and experiencing things that they are excited about and it’s with my help, not his.  I want him to know while he chooses to spend his money on cigarettes, weed, guitars and beer, I’m choosing to spend mine on traveling and unique experiences both with and without the children.  Since the asshole and I have zero communication the only way I can get these messages to him is through the children and they aren’t having any part of it.  Damn them.

That’s how I was feeling as I went to sleep last night.

When I woke up this morning it was a little different.  Why is it important that the asshole knows anything about my life?  It’s not, really.  The fact that I haven’t tried to take him back to court for money, I have a roof over my head, I can feed the boys, and live day to day, is enough of a message for him.  He really doesn’t need to know anything more than that.  As much as I’d sometimes like him too.

When it comes down to it, while I hate that the boys make excuses for him.  I’m pleased we (the asshole and I) have raised two boys who are sensitive to other people’s feelings.

I have great kids.

I live a good life.

I’m healthy, I’m happy and I leave for San Juan in 18 days.

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