I’m getting outta here!

Hello my love,

First off, thank you for being so amazing lately. I know it’s been hard on you, between watching me suffer, and taking up the extra slack when I can’t keep up. I appreciate everything so much and I admire how awesome you’ve been. You’ve been my medicine, my rock, and my greatest supporter even when you aren’t trying to. I love you so much.

Now down to business. I’m getting out of here! Chances are, I ran out that door as quick as you’d let me. I’ve made dinner early tonight so you wouldn’t have to worry about it. I already hid veggies in the mac and cheese. You should eat some too.

For bedtime, make sure you brush their teeth for them because they both suck at it. Sing “If all the raindrops are yellowdrops and gumdrops, oh what a rain that would be! Standing outside with my mouth open wide, ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah!(Sticking out your tongue with each ah!)” They love it, and it makes them stick out their tongue so you can brush it. Now comes the fun part.

  • First, turn Paidens air conditioner on!
  •  Grab a book from one of their rooms, and read it to both of them. It calms them down enough to prevent getting hurt wrestling them into bed.
  • Let Angelina say night night to Paiden before you put him in his room, or else she’ll fuss. And nobody wants to hear that.
  • Try to get her to lay down, change her for bed, and when she asks for Momo, realize they both forgot their Momos and go get them.
  • Throw Momo into Paidens room and ask him to start cleaning up his toys. Turn his air back on.
  • Go back to Angel. Lay her down again, and when she asks for her baby, ger her baby. Tuck in her Momo, her baby, her other baby, and whatever else she asks for, right along with her.
  • Pray with her and say night night to Angel and all babies.
  • If she starts saying “JEW! JEW!” she’s not calling you a Jew. That just means you forgot their juice too.
  • Run back downstairs and fill up both their sippy cups with “juice.” Seriously, Angel won’t drink water. Put the stupid juice stuff in hers!
  • Hand one off to Paiden, ask him again to clean up his toys and hold in your frustration that he’s only managed to mess up his room more. Turn his ac back on. Again.
  • Go back to Angelina. Now she’s got her babies, her juice, and a clean diaper. She’s good. Pray with her again real quick, give hugs and kisses, tuck her back in, and say night night, bye bye, I love you, and a byeeeyyyyyoooouuuuu about a thousand times as you leave.
  • Shut the door, put up the gate and run away.


  • Hear Paiden screaming “Daddy!” You felt like you should be done right? No, you forgot Paiden. Go in his room, sigh to find every single toy he’s ever owned strewn about the floor, and fight the urge to pull your hair out.
  • Don’t look at the smirk on his face either. Just trust me, don’t.
  • Pick up his mattress off the floor and put it back on his bed. Put the mattress protector and sheet back on his mattress and the pillow case back on his pillow.
  • Ask him again to help you clean up his toys.
  • Pray to God for patience as he suddenly has the urge to clean up everything in the most meticulous, slow way possible.
  • Sob in horror when you realize that Paiden is Gods way of teaching us patience.
  • Convince him to make a game of putting them away as fast as possible and throw the kid in bed. Don’t worry, he likes being thrown.
  • Give lots of tickles, pray with him, give him his Momo and tuck him into that huge blanket he won’t go to sleep without. Try to convince him it’s too hot for it, then realize it’s still hot in his room.
  • Turn the ac back on.
  • When he asks for juice, get him more juice, since he’s chugged the first one by now. Give him his new juice, which he will put on his bed and not drink until morning, tuck him in again and say goodnight.
  • Turn the ac back on. Run away!

Do your own thing now. Watch an episode without me(you jerk), clean up the kitchen, whatever. Just don’t go to bed too soon. Once you are ready to go to bed, peek in to make sure Paiden is actually asleep and not waiting to get up and turn the air off again. And change Angels diaper without waking her up. Good luck with that. Once the coast is clear, you are free to go to sleep! If you’re still tired by now anyway.

Congratulations! You’ve survived the first night. Now you just need to keep them alive until you can repeat this whole scenario of shenanigans again tonight. Try to work a bath in there somewhere. I have every confidence that you can handle everything and I hope you can approach this weekend with humor and an open mind. Now, when I get home tomorrow, I need to you to give me a kiss, tell me I’m pretty and how much you appreciate me. I don’t want to hear about anything too crazy that happened while I was away. Remember, I live that crazy every single day! And I’m still sane! Ok, fine maybe not completely sane. But the kids are pretty cool so I can’t be messing up too bad.

Love, Your very excited and finally relaxing,


I wasn’t brave enough for the semicolon

I am a warrior. I’ve never been in the military, never fired a gun, never even been in a fight. I don’t battle a physical enemy, or even one that anyone can see. My battle is tough, painful and invisible.  So what am I talking about?

Every day I wake up the same. Tired, foggy, confused and a bit scared. I shut off my alarm and crawl back in bed, reaching for the remnants of my latest dream. I repeat this three times before I’ve officially slept too long. I need to get up and function. I get the kids some breakfast and chocolate milk. I’ll sneak away while they finish so I can get dressed. I yawn my way through applying some makeup. I wouldn’t want one of the other moms to think I was a zombie. I think about all the things I should get done, throw some clothes on the kids, and realize I’m running late. I’ll pack a quick lunch for my son and run out the door.

I’m usually awake by the time we get to school. I stay a minute to help keep my son calm if he’s having a rough morning. I give him a kiss and leave him to some wonderful teachers. I try to look put together, adult, thriving and working hard to support my son. I get back in the car and think again of all the things I should do that day.

Usually my day involves food shopping, going to the gym or chores at home. Tuesdays, a speech therapist comes over for my daughter. Sundays we go to church as a family. The rest of the time, I’m on my own, deciding what to do with my time. Whatever I do, there seems to be much more human interaction than I sometimes want. I’m in an area that is very crowded, so it’s easy to blend in and stay unnoticed. But I can’t live that way. I go to the same stores every week, the same laundry room, and the same school every day. I run into many of the same people, and although they are strangers to me, their faces become recognizable. And I’ve become a master at my disguise.

I don’t know how these strangers I see every day judge me, but I’ve been told that I give off an aura of peace. I appear unphased, happy and confident that I know what I’m doing. I must be a damn good actor! As I’m dropping off my son at school, I’m stressing because we were almost late. I’m wondering what his teacher must think of me. I’m worrying that the other moms are judging me because I look young. As I’m picking out items at the grocery store, I scrutinize labels, worrying that something in these foods are bad for my kids. Wondering if people will think I’m a total fatty if I spend more than five seconds in front of the ice cream. Then worrying someone will think I’m vain because, this time, I whispered to myself that I don’t need it and I walked away. I laugh with my daughter, act silly and dote on her to keep her smiling. Inside I’m practically numb, but a stranger doesn’t see that. They just see a happy young mom with a pretty little girl.

I’ve been wanting to get a tattoo for a long time. I went back and forth trying to decide what to do for my first big one, and I liked too many things to decide. But I finally made my decision after going through the worst depressive episode of my life. I got the idea for a sword. I thought on it and thought on it, and after a few months I realized that of all my ideas, this is the only one I actually pictured on me forever. Then I went back and forth trying to decide whether to add a semicolon to it. Even after telling my husband I was going to, I froze at the tattoo parlor and never brought it up.


I wasn’t brave enough for a semicolon tattoo. Maybe that sounds silly, because a small, simple semicolon would be a hell of a lot easier to get than the sword I ended up with. But there’s a reason for it, and one that I plan on changing soon. Here’s the thing. I love fantasy novels, so when I think of strength, I think of war. Of soldiers, fighting on horseback and battling evil enemies. Of battles that look impossible, and fighting again and again. Of keep going forward even though all you can see is grief and loss.

I feel like that every day. My depression has only gotten worse over the years and I fight it almost daily. My anxiety is ever present and agonizing. And I’m in constant physical pain from my severe scoliosis. Sometimes I wake up thinking, “What’s it going to be today? A haze of depression? Suicidal thoughts? A panic attack? Will my back keep hurting like this, or will my arthritis act up?” I know it’s not healthy to think this way. I’m just so tired. Tired of fighting. Tired of living inside a body that struggles to survive, battling against a mind that wants to die.

That’s why I got this tattoo. A sword, to me, represents my own choice to arm myself with a weapon. I choose to keep going. I choose to stand up even if it’s not strong, and even if I don’t want to that day. I choose to push past the pain and the despair and keep fighting. A tattoo means that no matter how down I feel, there was a time that I chose to make a permanent mark, declaring myself a fighter. I can do this. I can survive this, I can thrive. I will fight. I am a warrior, and every warrior needs a weapon.

It took 2.5 hours for this tattoo. I handled it pretty well, and I even enjoyed it a bit. But I chickened out on the most important part. See, to a stranger, a sword is just a sword. If I choose to, I can tell someone my story. But if I don’t want to, I can play it off. I can explain that I love the Lord of the Rings, and this is my representation of Sting! But people everywhere are learning what the semicolon means. And I’m just not ready to talk about it, face to face, with the world.

I plan on getting my semicolon one day. I want to, not just for me, but for anyone else struggling. I want to be that person with a huge smile, happily playing with my daughter in the grocery store that encourages someone just by flashing a tattoo. I want people to see it and to ask questions, or just to have a smile. If it encourages just one person to feel like they aren’t so alone, I want it. But for now, I have some healing to do. I’m taking up my sword, and I’m fighting. And I’ll let you all know when I’m strong enough to fight alongside everyone else too.



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