On weekends that we have H, we always try to keep the family together. But as the girls venture into puberty, so comes the phase where hanging with parents isn’t cool anymore. They also tend to get on each other’s nerves more often, so we also try to give them space to be themselves with their friends as well. Negotiations usually start around Wednesday, when H comes for her weekly visit.

Alex: Can I go to Hope’s on Friday?

Me: It’s a family weekend.

Alex: But H will probably have a friend over, and I won’t have anyone to play with.

Me: We’ll see.

Alex: But if you let me go to Hope’s, and H goes with her friend, then you and Mr. D can stay up all night and play Assassin’s Creed on the Xbox.

How does she know???


Overheard in a Coffee Shop

“This line is ridiculous. These teachers need to go to school and stop wasting taxpayer money on their little vacations.”

“Oh, you have children in the public school system?”

“No, I don’t have kids.”

“It’s probably for the best. People like you shouldn’t procreate.” 


Not Happier

I’ve been struggling with a lot of negativity lately; it seems that everything around me is in some state of conflict. So I’ve been trying to maintain a positive attitude and look on the bright side of things (and there is quite a lot in my life to be happy about, honestly). So I found this app called “Happier” that helps you journal the positive things in your life, and through the magic of social media, everyone can post more positive comments to help motivate you.

Sounds awesome, right?

So I download the app, and it automatically scans your contacts for friends, then suggests other people that you may want to connect with. And there at the top of my list:


Now, I know… DO NOT CLICK there. I KNOW THIS. This makes me no better than what she did to me. Did I honestly care?

Curiosity won. I clicked. At the end of the day, I want to know what, if anything, makes her happy. And it started out awesome; picture after picture of H, looking sleepy or happy or adorable. Then I came across the post about “the stepmother.”

It wasn’t anything super negative, just a comment about “not choking” when she saw me. Honestly, for a moment, I thought it was a typo, because I’m pretty sure she DOES want to choke me. But it made me horribly, inexplicably sad. At this point, I just don’t think we will ever get to a point where we can at least be in the same room without her icy stares and cold shoulder. It’s exhausting. The behavior is just childish and exhausting. I don’t want it to be this way, but I’ve accepted the fact that there’s not a damn thing I can do about it.

So I deleted the app. If that’s her “Happy” place, I’m certainly not going to encroach on that territory; she needs it far more than I do.

And this was just a reminder, not to look through the fence at the mental asylum.



Alex was dancing like a madwoman on the very tile that altered her face a few months ago. I’m STILL paying the medical bills for that little incident, so when she started again, D took no chances.

“Hey! Go sit down until we get an insurance card from your dad!”

That, my friends, is quality parenting.

The List

I hate grocery shopping. I hate it with such a passion that I will figure out a way to eat 2-year old tuna with a side of A-1 sauce before I’ll go shop for food. So thankfully, I married someone who not only will go, but seems to enjoy it. The only task left for me to complete to get out of this chore is to make a grocery list, which is almost as excruciating to me as going, but slightly less, so I suffer through it.

Unfortunately for D, I am always on some weird diet, or see some crazy recipe on Pinterest that I want to try, so there’s always one thing on the list that throws him for a loop. I didn’t realize how often I did it until it became “a thing.”

“What the hell is that?”

“Citric acid.”

“What do you use that for?”

“I’m making bath bombs with the girls. I need it.”

“Where do I find THAT?”

“It should be by the canning stuff.”

Take 2:

“What is this?”

“Coconut water. It’s healthy.”

“Where do I find that?”

“I don’t know… by the healthy stuff, I guess.”

Take 3:



“There’s always ONE WEIRD THING on your list.”

“No it’s not. It’s just DIFFERENT.”

“Unflavored gelatin?”

“YES. It should be by the Jell-O. Near the top or the bottom.”

He walked away, shaking his head.

I like to call it “The Education of D.” Without me, he would never be exposed to so many of the world’s amazing products.


Man, life has been crazy lately. Things happening all around, really put my life into perspective, and have given me reason to pause, truly pause, and reflect.

The ex has had a new girl for quite sometime. Honestly, any girl was better than TOW, but he managed to luck out and get a REALLY great one this time. Over the course of two years, she has brought out a side of him that I didn’t think existed, and managed to make him not only a better person, but I believe a better father as well.

Now let me clarify, because I know for years that I was angry and said some pretty sucky things, but Alex’s dad LOVES her. He’s a great dad. The problem is that I always compared him to MY dad, which was not fair to him. He couldn’t measure up in my eyes, just as no one will be able to measure up to HER father in her eyes. It’s a “Daddy’s Girl” thing, and that’s okay. I just think his girlfriend makes him an EVEN BETTER person, which is a win for everyone involved.

But the tell-tale sign is how much Alex loves her. She accepted Alex with open arms, and has treated her with such love and devotion that I am thankful in ways that I didn’t think was possible. She truly is a sweet, kind and remarkable woman, and I am thankful for her. Which brings me to the hard part.

Last month this amazing woman was diagnosed with breast cancer, and I am in a very weird position. I know it’s got to be weird to have your fiance’s ex-wife praying so hard for you to be okay, but that’s exactly what I’m doing. I want to be more vocal, and lend way more support, but I don’t want to cross any boundaries. I want to tell her thank you for being such an awesome influence to Alex, but I don’t want it to sound like I’m saying “goodbye,” because I’m not. I want to ask if I can help in some way, but I don’t want to get in the way.

I just want her to know that I love her, too. I really do.

Honestly, I have this problem with many people in my life, but this situation is particularly difficult because of the players involved. So I hang back respectfully, and pray for the absolute best. I hope I’ve said enough to let her know how much I respect her.

It also makes me unbelievably sad, because I believe that if I were diagnosed with a life-threatening disease, I’m pretty sure TBM would be overjoyed. I continue to try to do the right thing and be supportive (even financially), and we can’t even get to speaking terms. No matter what I do for her daughter, I will always be the person who destroyed her family. And that’s not even the truth… but it appears that will always be the perception. Without communication, I will never be able to change that.

If anything, I guess it’s made me a better person. I don’t want to be that angry, bitter and empty ex… I will embrace the good people in my child’s life, and be thankful for them. I will continue to be thankful for all the amazing people that cross our path, regardless of how they got there.

So as this beautiful and courageous lady begins her fight, I hope she knows that I’m in her corner.

She is family.