Posts Tagged With: YBW

bon voyage

YBW and I are at the airport waiting for our flight.

Can you guess which coffee is which?
I’ll give you a hint…I don’t take cream.

We just arrive at the gate.
I’m going to journal for a hot second then crack open the first book. He’s going for a walk.

I’m going to miss all y’all! Plesse try not to do anything terribly interesting while I’m gone!
See you in three weeks! ❤

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

and the momma lioness roars

No sooner than my post about cookies published, did I received a text from Thing 1 apologizing for causing drama.

I hate that because I expressed my frustration, my daughter apologized for starting drama.
The truth is that’s drama I started by writing about it.
She shouldn’t feel responsible for it.
I reassured her she did nothing wrong. That her comment was innocent and she was not at all responsible for any of it.
She said she shouldn’t have said anything about Christmas, and she was OK with me staying here with YBW for Christmas if that’s what I decided.

I told her I was angry at the mother being manipulative, and at Thing C for not being honest.
She agreed. She wondered how YBW was feeling about it, how he would choose to deal with it.
She said: It just sucks because nobody is fair to him.
She said: I can’t help feeling bad. I should have kept my mouth shut.
I replied: Your comment was innocent. The information was abused.

She said something that surprised me, the truth of it I mean.
She said: She’s almost as bad as dad

And that’s why she pushes my buttons.
She is so manipulative. She does it with such skill those she’s manipulating don’t even realize it.
Because I’ve lived with this type of behavior the majority of my life, I’m acutely aware of it.

She asked if Thing G would be alone on Christmas.
She designed her message specifically to push YBW’s buttons. She saw an opportunity to have her sons with her on Christmas day and used her words to manipulate the situation.
Neither YBW or I would leave the kid alone for Christmas. I mean, come on.

She invited YBW to come to her parents house for Christmas.
Now, to the casual observer, that seems kind and welcoming.
But with all passive aggressive, manipulative behavior each word is chosen with purpose.
She used those words to appear inclusive.
If questioned, the manipulative person can say, See! I said ‘this’, to be interpreted as appropriate. Knowing full well they were manipulating the situation to get what they want.
She wants what she wants and is capitalizing on an opportunity made clear to her by one simple sentence written by my daughter.

Is there drama because she creates it?
Is there drama because I’m overreacting to it?
In all honesty, it could be both.

I don’t want to feel the urge to protect my husband and my daughter from this woman.
I know they’re capable. I know they don’t need to be protected.
But I feel protective of them.
When my husband is being manipulated, and when my girl apologizes for starting drama, it triggers something deeply protective in me.

Categories: me, on being a mom | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

I just wanted some f**king cookies

It all started with a cookie recipe.

Salted Caramel Snickerdoodles

I love salted caramel, and I love snickerdoodles.
This recipe was a match made in Roby Heaven.
I posted it on social media and tagged Thing 1, asking her to make these cookies for her Momma.
She asked if I wanted them when she was here for Halloween, or when I was there for Christmas. (Um…both!)

Apparently YBW’s exwife, the mother of Thing C and Thing G, read the comment and texted YBW to see if he was going with me to Thing 1’s for Christmas and would Thing G be left here alone.

I’m over here like, OK, first of all…(actual content not fit for public consumption)

In the past, as part of their informal custody agreement, YBW and his sons mother have alternated holidays. You know, one gets the kids for Thanksgiving, the other for Christmas, and the swap each year.
Well, since the boys are adults, and one of them is currently living with his girlfriend, YBW is of the mind that they should do what works best for them. They’re no longer obligated to abide by the system in which they grew up.
That said, if they continued following the system, this year, holidays would be Thanksgiving with their mother and Christmas with us.

Baby K will experience her first Christmas this year. Both YBW and I want to share that joy, only here’s the problem with that, YBW just started a new job, and we’re going away for three weeks in November.
He has no PTO.
He’s figured a way to bank hours between now and when we leave to get through the first pay period, but the second pay period, with the exception of Thanksgiving will be all leave without pay.
Now, he was paid for his unused leave from the company he left, and it’s not like we’re going to starve or be homeless if he doesn’t get paid. It’s just that he’s trying to be mindful.

So we’ve kind of landed in the space that looks like me going to Baby K’s for Christmas, and YBW staying here and going to work.
I don’t love this arrangement.
But I want to be with Baby K for her first Christmas!
It’s so selfish though. She won’t know WTF is going on. She’ll just be her cute, chubby self. But I’ll know, you know?

Returning to the text…
It turns out that the mother already had a long conversation with Thing C about going to his grandparent’s house on Christmas. I watched him ‘song and dance’ around the subject with his father yesterday.
I felt at once sorry for this young man, and fiercely protective of his father.
Thing C is borderline incapable of making a decision when it comes to his parents. I’ve seen him do it more times than I can count. And it hurts my heart. He seems so desperate to keep the peace, to walk the line, that he won’t make a choice lest it err on the ‘wrong’ side of either of his parents.
He simply cannot be honest with either one of them.

As of last month, the plan was Thing C and Thing G would celebrate Christmas with their mother and grandparents the Saturday after Christmas, and we were considering celebrating together the weekend before Christmas if that didn’t interfere with Girlfriend L’s family plans.
Yesterday, Thing C was doing everything in his power to not admit he has decided to be with his mother and grandparents on Christmas day.
Their mother did send YBW a text inviting him to come too, so he didn’t have to be alone on Christmas.

I feel frustrated, and I’m struggling to distinguish whether or not it’s one of those things I can or cannot change.
YBW is more accommodating than most people, and I feel like he gets taken advantage of because of it.
It feels to me that his exwife saw an opportunity to get exactly what she wants and is doing what she can to take it.
It feels to me that his son is caught up in this opportunity, an accomplice, if you will.
That may sound harsh to call Thing C an accomplice, but that’s his behavior.
Meanwhile, nobody even considers Thing G.
I believe with my whole heart that their mother is pleased to be loosed her responsibilities towards that one. I mean, she loves him, but she is perfectly content that he’s here and she’s there.

So because I want to celebrate Christmas with our granddaughter, YBW is getting the shaft from his eldest son, who is actively following the plan concocted by his mother.

I am indignant!
They cannot treat him this way!

YBW doesn’t seem to think he’s being mistreated.
He seems to just kind of take it all in stride.
I suspect he’d rather be with Baby K for her first Christmas.

I am struggling.
Is this a situation I cannot change?
Is this a case of me needing to shift my whole ‘it’s the principle of the thing’ point of view?
I feel like YBW deserves better.
I cannot change the way other’s treat him. I can only control how I treat him.
I am seriously considering missing Baby K’s first Christmas to ensure he has a lovely Christmas.
I won’t disappoint the baby, she won’t know or care that it’s her first Christmas. I’ll be disappointed to miss it. But, I don’t want YBW to have a disappointing Christmas either.

Is this even about YBW or Baby K?
Or is this about me?
Do I just need to get over myself?
Is it just the principle of the thing?

I suspect if the girls and their father were treating me the way YBW’s son and his mother are treating him, YBW would feel defensive for me. I’m not sure he’s considered it that way. I’m not sure he understands how fiercely protective I feel about him. I mean, I know he’s a grown ass man and doesn’t need me to protect him, but that doesn’t stop me feeling protective.
He is my beloved, I want to help keep him safe.
If he did the kind of shit his ex wife does, she’d string him up so fast it would make everybody’s head spin.
But he doesn’t seem all that fazed.
I suspect it’s because he’s been conditioned.

I’m so disappointed in Thing C.
He will side with his mother every single time yet never actually own that to his father. He doesn’t want to hurt his father by being honest, yet hasn’t figured out that by not being honest his behavior is more hurtful.

It doesn’t have to be this way.
Yet this is the way it is.

I can’t control what they do.
I can only control what I do.
I can create and maintain healthy boundaries.

What I want to do is go full on flame thrower.
What I’ll most likely do is go be with our granddaughter, and trust that my husband will make the best choice for himself.
I know he can, and will.
I hate that he has to.
He is so precious to me! Even when he annoys me and I want to kick him in his face, I love him and want to help keep him safe.

I’m inclined to admit I’m getting worked up over the principle of the thing, but this is the principle of my husband, and I will get worked up over him until the end of time.
I love him and feel protective of him.
I believe he should be treated with more honesty and respect.

And then I find myself over here like, all this drama because I wanted some fucking cookies.

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

summer gratitude

As we move into fall, I’m thinking about everything that filled my heart with joy this summer, and y’all, that list is long!
I have so much to be grateful for!

June:
sleeping in my own bed for the first time in six weeks
seeing Amber for the first time since March
date day with Mike and Josie
Describe the Night at the Woolly Mammoth (last play of the season)
impromptu trip to Williamsburg with Mike and Josie
two of my three alternative health care providers
dinner with Nora and Dale

July:
porchlife

all three of my alternative health care providers
dinner with Meredith and Beau’s family
celebrating Nora’s birthday (she and Thing 2 are birthday twins)
Thing 1, Thing 2, Husband N, and Baby K here!
pedis with my girls
Spending the day with Thing C and Girlfriend L
drinking bubbly with my girls
Bubbly & Baby party to celebrate Baby K being in our world
2 Silos with YBW, Thing 1, Thing 2, Husband N, Baby K, and Jessica
stopping cocktails on the way to the airport with Thing 2

August:
Thing 2 and Baby K here for two more weeks
model home tours
porchlife

going away party to celebrate Mike and Josie’s college bound daughter
all three alternative health care providers
Good Eats: The Return
drinking beer, cracking crab legs and peeling shrimp at Blue Ridge

the never ending road trip with Thing 1 and Baby K
seeing Thing 2 and Boyfriend J during a pit stop in Columbia
spending the second day back to school day drinking with Holly
shoot day with YBW
discovering Natty Boh with YBW
Vampire Weekend
YBW’s bestie from high school here with his fam
Nat’s game (Tony hit two dingers!)
finishing my paper

September looks like it’s starting out slow, but that’s fine by me, I’m learning to take it easy. I’m learning the journey is where it’s at. (Though, to be perfectly honest, I’m all about ‘getting there’.)
I’ve already got some stuff on the calendar for next week, but I’m curious to see what pops up.
I’m looking forward to spending more time with YBW as we move into Autumn.
Ready to make new so many new reasons to be grateful!

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an ‘outrageous’ shoot day

Saturday was a shoot day!
YBW and I took our cameras to Medowlark Gardens in Vienna.

The weather was glorious, sunny and breezy with temperatures between 77 and 82. The perfect respite to the summer heat we’ve been experiencing.

We went through the woods.

Around the spiral path to the gazebo.

Where the plants were gathered together to attract pollinators.

Down to the first (of three) ponds.

At the second pond.

I’m not sure how long we actually wandered the park, but I do know that when we left, we were both ready for lunch, so off we went to Red’s Table.

We sat on their porch overlooking the lake.
A cocktail for me, and locally brewed draft beer for YBW.
The view was beautiful.
The people watching was fascinating.
The food was lovely.

The server smiled at me and said, “Your hair is outrageous!”
I smiled and touched my hair and he left to put in our order.
I looked at YBW and said, “Outrageous?”
YBW assured me the server meant it as a compliment.
I actually agreed, but it landed so awkwardly in me.

I let my freak flag fly that day by washing my hair and letting it do its thing. It’s always a crap shoot, as I never know if I’ll end up rocking messy romantic waves, or look like I recently escaped from Azkaban.
I was fearful I had Azkaban hair because we’d been driving with the windows down.
I took a picture of myself to see what the server saw.

I’m over here like, Um…that’s just my hair, dude.

So I googled the word outrageous and here’s what I got:

I’m going with the second definition, if you please.

Anyway, it was a wonderful shoot day!
I love being behind the lens. I love being in the out of doors with my precious husband.
As we move into Autumn, I’m looking forward to more shoot days!

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

little surprise for me

YBW brought in the mail the other day and stood at the kitchen island opening it.
A moment later, he handed me this:

Yes, I squealed!
Yes, I clapped like a little girl!
Yes, I jumped up and down while I did it!

What a sweet surprise!
And I was surprised!
I asked him if he wanted to go with me to see them and he declined. He texted me from his office the day they went on sale asking if I wanted him to buy tickets, I declined. I didn’t want to drag him to see a band he’s only mildly interested in.
Turns out he had other plans.

I’ve adored Vampire Weekend since their debut album in 2008!
They remain in constant rotation in my music.
I’m so excited!

What a thoughtful gift from my husband.
He knows what I love and he wants me to be able to have as much of it as I can.
His kindness never ceases to amaze me.
I’m so grateful. Not just for this lovely gift, but for him simply being himself.

What a wonderful way to end the Summer!

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

a strange and unusual international week of the birthday

It’s International Week of the Birthday!
I honestly didn’t realize it was IWotB until yesterday when I received a gift from my darling friend and mentor, Jessica!

This beautiful glass globe has a tiny round opening on one side designed to insert small pieces of paper. The idea is to write a wish or some gratitude and insert it into the globe.

A physical reminder to pay attention to hope and examples of my thanks.
What a beautifully loving, and thoughtful gift.
Jessica knows what’s up!

When Birdie gets a birthday gift, Baby K gets a new bow!

Y’all, I am chock so full of hope and gratitude I might run out of little papers to write it!

YBW comes tomorrow! Thing 1, Husband N and I are all smiley and clappy about that!
(I love that my daughter and her husband are just as excited as I am to see my precious husband!)
Baby K didn’t quite understand why we were so joyful so we assured her that her Papa YBW is someone to be excited about!

My birthday is mother’s day this year. Thing 1 and I have talked about making sure to celebrate equally my birthday and this, her first mother’s day. She wants us all to go to the plant farm and out to dinner on Saturday. (the place she wants to go isn’t open Sunday) Then Sunday we’ll go to the the next big town where there’s a decent Mexican joint where we can celebrate each all over again!

This year International Week of the Birthday is much different than it’s been in the past. But I feel extremely fortunate to be able to be with my daughter as she negotiates this new strange and unusual time in her life. I love watching her learn to be a mommy to her own daughter. What a beautiful mother’s day gift for me to actively participate in this moment in her life.
I’m all about my birthday birthday! I’ve never liked when my birthday fell on mother’s day.
But this year, I’m embracing them as one.
I mean, come on. If I was never born, I couldn’t be a mom. And if I wasn’t a mom, I’d be missing out on this wonderful time with my daughter and her daughter.

It’s a strange and unusual IWotB…but after all:

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Baby K

Thing 1 called me late last week with some pretty spectacular news.
Her baby is a GIRL!
Y’all I will readily admit to squealing with joy!
And I mean squealing!


I’m over here like Kay Thompson, singing, ‘Think pink when you shop for summer clothes!’
But, I’m respectful of my daughter’s choice to not inundate her child with gender specific colors. Honestly, I don’t give a damn what color she decides to love.
However, I’ll see to it she has some baby-size pink Chucks for sure!

Interestingly enough, we had a conversation earlier that week in which she shared the girl name they settled upon.
I’m already working on her monogram.

Off the cuff, YBW referred to her as Baby K and I knew it would be her name here in my nest.

Baby K is at her halfway point as of Christmas Eve.
She’s expected the second week of May. Just in time for my birthday.
Now, I’m sure if you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time, you know that I am all about my birthday. But perhaps I could share that day with my first grandbaby…
My birthday is Mother’s Day this year. What a treat it would be for me to share a birthday with my first granddaughter, and for Thing 1 to become a mommy on Mother’s Day!
Stay tuned, y’all!

Thing 1 sent sono-pics of Baby K.
I think she looks a bit like baby Groot in this one.

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

learning to love New Orleans

New Orleans.
We were there for six days over the beginning of August.

You may find yourself asking: The bayou in August?
Yep.
And to be quite honest, it was actually hotter in VA while we were there, and the humidity was similar enough that we almost didn’t notice.

New Orleans seemed a magical place, and I was curious.
I’ve read loads of stories set in this city. I’ve heard loads of stories from travelers to this city. Seen many a film set in this city.
What was lovely about going at this time is that the city is celebrating it’s 300th anniversary!

Not to mention the first week of August is their jazz festival.
And the first Saturday of August is their annual white linen art walk.

Here’s what I discovered about New Orleans, it’s pretty much like Charleston, or Savannah.
Only dirtier. And louder.
Initially I was a bit turned off.
But, I came away with a genuine affection for New Orleans.
I would honestly like to visit again, and even stay in the French Quarter, just not half a block off Bourbon Street.
Who knows, perhaps with more time spent, I’ll love it the way I do Savannah and Charleston!

Beautiful courtyard breakfast each morning at Hotel Mazarin.

Fascinating people watching on Bourbon Street.
This was more a YBW thing than a Robynbird thing. My senses were a bit overwhelmed with the noise and scents. But once I adjusted to the chaos, I was able to find entertainment in it. YBW took loads of photos on Bourbon Street, even had beads thrown at him for his efforts! I spent most of my ‘behind the lens time’ in other places.

Wandering the Garden District in the rain. (was super-New-Orleans-gothic-romantic)

Riding the streetcar was actually one of my favorite things we did.

We rode the St. Charles Ave and Canal lines.
A delightful mix of tourists and locals all trying to get from one place to another. I honestly loved everything about the streetcar experience. Even the slightly-mad-completely-drunk-probably-homeless man who chatted us up on the way to the White Linen Walk. The smell coming off him was honestly something I have not the language to describe. He was ‘in your face’ but not disrespectful or belligerent, but I was relieved when he exited the car only two stops after we got on. YBW said, “That’s why this seat was empty when we got on.” Y’all, he ain’t lying!

Jazz at Satchmo Summer Fest

and with Second Hand Street Band at 21st Amendment Bar

The cemeteries. (My GOD, y’all! The cemeteries!)

White Linen Walk in the Arts/Warehouse District. I have no photos of this because it was more tightly packed than I expected. It was fun, but a bit of a let down. Though I do love wandering through galleries, and there was some unbelievably beautiful art to be seen. We drank a bit and walked along Julia Street before we zipped past the Central Business District and through Lafayette Square to our next destination.

A funky-fun and beautifully entertaining burlesque show.

Bella chatted us up before the show and was absolutely lovely! Though at the time, I didn’t’ realize who she was. Later on when I was a bit tipsy, I leaned into YBW and said, “How precious is she? When we were talking about how her gloves were missing rhinestones I didn’t realize she was the Queen of us!”
Y’all, she may be the Queen of that show, that venue, those folks, but she was a lovely girl and I enjoyed the time we spent with her!

We ate so much ridiculously delicious food. (from classic fried shrimp po boys, to the finest Creole cuisine, from dive diners, to the place that invented bananas foster)
If I thought it would make the trip, I’d mail-order a Parasol’s po boy once a week!
What’s lovely about well prepared food is the serving sizes. So you can more frequently eat smaller, rich, delicious meals. This is guiding me to rethink the way we eat ’round here.

Cocktails. (French 75 is to die for!)

I will never turn down a delicious cocktail!

We even joined a Second Line on the way to dinner one night!

When we went out the Canal streetcar line, we discovered the Katrina Memorial.
This is a damn resilient city filled with some damn resilient folks!

We shopped.
We drank.
We ate.
We walked and walked and walked.
We laughed.
We kissed and held hands in the street.
We got sunburned.
I got bit by fire ants.
I’m so pleased I got to spend time in “America’s Most Interesting City” with my beloved.

New Orleans is brash and loud. It’s a bit trashy.
New Orleans is beautiful and romantic. It’s filled with hidden delights.
New Orleans has a great big beating heart. It is tenacious af!
Writing this post made me love it even more.
I’m looking forward to when I’ll return.

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

celebration of a beautiful life

We laid YBW’s precious mother to rest yesterday with one of the most beautiful funeral services I’ve ever attended.

Her grandsons, Thing C and Thing G, and Nephew J welcomed us all and thanked us for coming to celebrate the life of their grandmother.
Pink and white carnations (her favorite flower) and family photos as far as the eye could see. Friends and family together to celebrate the life of this quiet, lovely woman who raised two kind and loving men.
Both her sons spoke of her with such adoration.
It was one of those rare experiences when every wonderful thing being said about the deceased was the absolute truth. We daughters in law also spoke and here’s what I shared:

“When I set about to find the words I would share as prelude to YBW, I knew it must be somehow related to stars. The first thing that came to mind was lyrics written by Joni Mitchell.

We are stardust, we are golden
We are billion year old carbon
And we got to get ourselves back to the garden

And then I remembered The Little Prince:

All men have stars but they are not the same things for different people.
For some, who are travelers, the stars are guides.
For others they are no more than little lights in the sky.
For others, who are scholars, they are problems.
But all these stars are silent.
You-You alone will have stars as no one else has them.
In one of the stars I shall be living. In one of them I shall be laughing. And so it will be as if all the stars will be laughing when you look at the sky at night.
You, only you, will have stars that can laugh!
And when your sorrow is comforted (for time soothes all sorrows), you will be content that you have known me.
You will always be my friend.
You will want to laugh with me.

Thing G suggested we need an observatory from which to see the stars and I stopped for a moment. Because he reminded me of a Hebrew word I love.
Mizpah
The original meaning is watchtower.

But, mizpah has a more commonly understood meaning in the modern world:
a strong emotional bond between people, especially those separated by distance, or death

Mizpah is a sacred blessing:
The Lord watch between me and thee, when we are absent one from another.

Think about that for a moment.

Let it fill you completely.

For whatever star dear E is laughing from, we are content to know her, we are always her friends, we will continue to laugh together.
And we have Mizpah, the ancient word of inspiration and protection.”

Thing 2 wrote the following in response to my request for her opinion:

Wow. You could not have written (or quoted) better words. I read it in your voice. I know that it will bring everyone comfort and peace. Those boys and their families/loved ones are blessed to have you in their world.

I think we’re all blessed to share the same world.

After the service, everyone came back to our house where we celebrated each other with love and laughter, and a fair amount of wine. YBW’s and his brother’s friends, our sister in law’s siblings, friends of mine, our neighbors, even Thing C’s closest friends he’s had since middle school.
I feel as though I’ve been going at a full-tilt boogie since Tuesday last. I kept saying, If I can just get through Wednesday.
In this time, we lost a beloved woman. Celebrated YBW’s birthday. Planned and executed a beautiful funeral service. Fed and wined friends and family.
Today after school, I cleaned the mess I couldn’t handle last night. I did dishes. I moved flowers to every possible place in this house. I returned borrowed items.
Tomorrow YBW and I are playing hooky. We’re both going to skive off work to spend the day together in celebration of his birthday Friday last, and mine Saturday two days from now.
As excited as I am to spend the day in DC, honestly, I just kind of want to sleep for a really long time. It’s been a hell of a week and I’m worn slap out.

Categories: death, loss, love | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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