Sausage Phase (and other randomness)

You know when you come up with a really awesome idea and then after you get into it you realize what you’ve gotten yourself into? For example, say you bring up to an athletic person like your dad that you want to do a triathlon. This is basically like signing a contract, be careful what you say. Then you get into the pool to begin training, this is just a random example mind you, and suddenly it hits you. This was a bad idea! Swimming training , or what I will now affectionately refer to as the “sausage phase” because I got into my speedo last night and realized there was an excess amount of squishiness coming out of my swimsuit, started last night. You know how when you’re running and you immediately realize that you are out of shape when you are panting twenty feet into it? Well swimming is worse, mostly because you can drown and die if you are really out of shape, but also because you are using every part of your body to move and your breathing is limited by that whole being under water thing. Last night I realized just how out of shape I was. I swam for 40 minutes and honestly I am surprised today that everything feels good, there’s no soreness or fatigue. My real eye opener wasn’t so much the actual act of swimming, although I definitely need lots of training to get my speed and stamina up. What opened my eyes is when I got out of the pool, realized the close proximity in which my inner thigh fat has with the opposite side, and then I realized at this point in the triathlon I would be getting on a leather bicycle seat. Ahhh the chaffing. So you’re wet and in a not so flattering swimsuit, most people just jump right on the bike and take off, then you get off the bike approximately 45 minutes later and run for 45 minutes….rrrriiiiggghhhtttt. This was a terrible idea. I am going to have the worst rash in the history of rashes! Okay calm down calm down. There is a solution, a triathlon suit. It is like an all in one outfit with shorts (to prevent the thigh rub-age). I am going to look into that. My only question is will they make it in my size? hmmm. Until then I am going to bust the crap out of this chub that has taken up habitation on my body. I am sending out an eviction notice. The goal is swimming twice a week, running twice a week, and cycling home from work twice a week. Yikes. This is going to be a crazy adventure. In the end I have a feeling I am going to just create my own “Natalie’s Triathlon” which will consist of a 100 meter swim, a five mile bike ride and a one mile run. Perfect length!

Also something I thought was pretty darn hilarious. After I started composing the post about Andy and his wonderfulness the universe decided to check my resolve on that issue. I had sent Andy a couple of craigslist links yesterday, one for a lawn mower and the other for a pallet of flagstone. We seriously need to get cracking on our landscaping this year, mostly because I am so tired of the mud tracks throughout the house from the pups. The lawn mower was being sold by this fellow who was moving and needed it gone. Therefore the price was low to get it moving. Andy’s response was “looks good”. I e-mail back “do you think we should get it”. His response “it’s up to you”. Um what do I know about lawn mowers. My knowledge consists of how to start them and push them and empty the bag. I have no motor knowledge or knowledge of what a good price is for what. When I get home I voice this opinion and ask him to take charge of finding a lawn mower because he says he prefers honda motors to the one I had found. So I am trying to eat a banana and gather all my stuff for swimming, so a little rushed, and he says ‘okay I found a few’. I go over to the couch and sit next to him to look at the laptop. He has an ad up for an old rusty tractor and he starts cracking up. This is when you realize it doesn’t matter how wonderful he is, sometimes you could still murder him without thinking twice. 

And one more tid bit I wanted to share with everyone. My big butter’s response to the news of passing my exams and an invitation to meet up on Friday for a bike ride:

yay! your smartliwomaness is staggering! you meet challenges and stab them in the eyes with blunt and possibly dirty objects! and you don’t give a fk about them afterwards! i will totally hire you to build my dream renovation for all my little asian kids to do their ninja training in.
i’m down for a ride, just let me know on the telephone machine. we’re totally gonna kick those little kids asses! y’know the ones who have had the training wheels off for like, three days, all swerving all over the trail and shit. we’re gonna litter the trail with their bloody remains to triumph at qDoba!
or you might wake up late and not ride, or i’ll get busy and not be able to participate.
either way, i don’t care.
i can’rt spel gud…

Ugh I just love this guy! He crackes me up every time. Remember ladies, he’s available……hint hint.


I Will Follow You Into The Dark

I was going to write about the ridiculous novel e-mail I received back from E.T., but I just find myself so uninterested in dealing with that, especially with all the recent happiness and the fact that I am still rejuvenated from our vacation. Then I was reading a sweet post from my bestie Katie (here). In it she touched on the fun times that were trying to pin down Andy and my wedding and then she said one of the sweetest things. She wrote:
“I have since gotten to know this so-called “fiance”, now husband of hers and I can see that he was well worth the effort of the wedding.”
Awww that is so sweet. I mean obviously he was well worth the effort to me and I have an idea of what my friends think of Andy and I would say most everyone seems to like him. But there was just something about this statement that made me so happy. He really is one of the most wonderful people I know and I feel fortunate every day that he is in my life. Keep in mind that very few of my current friends had ever met Andy before our wedding. Obviously our mutual high school friends knew he existed. But to my college friends, I was basically either telling the truth or a complete crazy girl who bought herself a ring and downloaded pictures of some guy in a Marine uniform. That was all I had to show for my fiance and imagine how it supported my “I’m not crazy” case when his deployment was extended when we officially invaded Iraq in 2002 and our January wedding was postponed. I am sure in their minds…despite how loving and supportive they were of me, there had to be that thought “What if she has made this up?…..She could be insane….She does seem a little too happy all the time”. I know I would think that. I mean seriously it just fits all too well into a crazy person scenario. Anyway obviously he is a real person and they know that now.
Andy has been at the top of my mind the past few days. And there is nothing like 30 some hours in the car during vacation to reaffirm your feelings of love, adoration and astonishment for the person you’re married too. We talked about just about everything on this trip, okay well I can think of quite a few topics we didn’t touch on, but you get the idea. On our way back we were both feeling pretty tired and I knew if I didn’t start talking I was going to fall asleep and abandon him to keep himself awake. So I started asking him about the Marines. As I have mentioned before, I am a timeline kinda girl. I loves me a timeline. Since we had just visited Eric and Stotts (FYI his name is Andrew, easy to remember right?, but for the darndest of me I still can’t stop calling him Stotts) I was kind of curious how everyone fit into his “life story”. I proceeded to annoy the crap out of my husband prattle off a zillion questions about “When did you first meet Eric?”, “So you and Stotts were in the same team in Iraq?”. I obviously already had significant pieces of the story, but he started filling everything in for me. And I questioned him down to the smallest minutiae. But it started to amaze me. I asked him about becoming a sniper and what about it appealed to him. What would he be doing if he had chosen to stay in? Etc.
Let me just tell you, this guy is amazing. I am not sure whose idea it was for me to fall in love with this man and choose to spend the rest of my life with him, but it was the best decision of my life. And I am always shocked when I realize that there is still so much to learn about this person even after ten years together. Obviously he is a very capable person and to some people this means he could be a scary individual. Yet there is this caring, protective layer and it just almost makes me breathless…..I just can’t even describe it. The role he played during his time in Iraq is one of the most amazing stories I have ever heard. I have practically begged him time and again to write a book. I just think everyone should know what this handful of young men did. But he refuses to write about it. Maybe the wounds are too raw, but mostly it seems to be that it was a thankless job, he knew that when he went into it. He knew that he would never be recognized for the things that he did and that people’s perception of what a sniper does is only about 1% of what they actually do. But that’s the idea of them. No one is supposed to know what they do and that is what protects them. So I doubt he will ever tell their story. It doesn’t matter how you feel about Iraq or what your political beliefs are. These guys are the most worthy Americans I know.
This might seem out of left field, but are you one of those people who has/or sees yourself having a “song” for you and your S.O? I know many of us do, whether it be the song you danced to at your wedding, or the song you remember hearing on your first date, etc. I am one of those girls. Eeek shhhh don’t tell anyone okay? It just seems so girlie and I try so hard to limit my uber girlie traits. Can’t fight this one though. In 2005 when I first heard the song “I Will Follow You Into The Dark” by Death Cab for Cutie, I knew it was the one. Atypical, I know. Most girls go for something more romantic and uplifting. This song is basically saying ‘we’re gonna die’. But to me this song is the epitome of my feelings towards Andy. It speaks volumes to say I would follow this person into the darkest blackest depths of the unknown so they wouldn’t be alone when their life ends. I sleep soundly curled up next to this man, knowing that we could face anything together and I will never have to worry, he will be there.
When I first told him this was my idea of “our song”, he definitely thought I was mentally challenged. Now when we listen to it, he will hold my hand as I slip into my cheesy girlie romantic bliss state of being. Okay seriously I know that he will never hear this song and be like ‘oooo baby it’s our song’. Yeah that would never happen. He thinks the idea of having “a song” is absolutely ridiculous! But the fact that he allows me to have an “our song” even though he doesn’t subscribe to it, really does mean something to me. It is just proof that marriage is really about compromise. He sits with me when I’m listening to “our song” and I am pretty sure he tries to keep his eye rolls to a minimum and I sit through hours and hours of him talking about truck and gun components. Seriously he has to realize I still have no idea what he is talking about, right? Thank goodness for Eric and Stotts. Every guy needs guy friends to exude the correct level of excitement and interest about such topics. I never seem to get my “I have no idea what you’re saying, but it sounds like you are excited about it” reactions right.

Twenty Years Ago

Not that I know the exact date by any means. But roughly 20 years ago I stole the book my brother received for Christmas and spent hours flipping through the pages. Can you guess what that book might have been? It was about Frank Lloyd Wright and after I finished looking at the amazing drawings and photographs from some of his most famous projects I knew I wanted to be an architect. Well I at least wanted to be him; I had no real idea what it meant to be an architect. I still have that book….I should probably ask my brother if he wants it back. And I spent years wondering why big brothers get so annoyed by their little sisters. I have endured a pretty long and arduous journey to get to today. But like childbirth (or at least what I have been told), I have completely forgotten all of that pain and struggle and I am just reveling in the beauty that is my baby….my metaphorical baby anyway. Yes I received my final pass letter and a letter that starts off with “Congratulations! You have successfully completed the Architect Registration Examination.” Yea bit**es!….whoa I am sorry about that. Apparently I curse like a sailor when I get excited.
We arrived back home yesterday morning at 5am after driving all night from Waxahachie. We were both zombies basically as we made our way to bed, but Andy had grabbed the mail and located the one piece of paper that would be worth staying conscious for five more minutes. Poor guy, I was so nervous I made him open it. I kept thinking it came too fast, it must be a fail. I was expecting another three weeks to go by before it arrived. He said he almost had a heart attack, but he opened it and said ‘you’re good’. Not like “Woohooo You’re Good!”. It was like someone was helping you parallel park and you got in the right spot ‘you’re good’. Granted we were both basically dead. But then I do a little exhausted happy dance, look at the letter, breathe a sigh of relief and crawl into bed. Then he says ‘I thought you would be more excited’. Hey mister ‘you’re good’ I thought you would be more excited. After complaining of years and years of neglect you should be jumping for joy too. And we both did, but after five hours of sleep. I should have technically slept a lot longer, but at 10am I was so excited to call basically everyone we knew to tell them, that I couldn’t sleep any more.
So I didn’t call everyone I knew. I just called my buds Bret and Emily. Technically the call to Emily was a multi-purpose call because she and Dylan watched our dogs. And we left them money in an envelope on the fridge and they only took like $40 of it. I had to call her to give her crap for not taking the whole envelop and then also tell her that I passed. We decided to compromise, Andy and I are taking them out to dinner on Friday since they aren’t taking all the money. Punks!
Then I called my father-in-law to tell him. I know technically I should have called like a zillion more people, since everyone has been waiting with baited breath to hear the news. But I just wanted to spend the day celebrating the idea by myself I guess. Plus everyone’s reaction is the same ‘how are you going to celebrate?’. And I didn’t want to fess up to my answer of ‘sitting in my PJs watching girl movies, trash TV and cleaning the bathroom’. No one wants to hear that.
But today, it is on! I am bouncing off the office walls I am so excited. I made the office manager cry, she was so happy. What a sweetie! She has been like a rock for me this past year. So amazing. I was chatting up a couple co-workers when my boss walks in. I shook the letter and he said ‘what is it?….do you have to retake it?’ What a jokester. He was so cute, he told me to frame it and then he comes over a few minutes later with a frame. Then he asks me if I have any architect friends in the Denver area because he wants to invite them all out to celebrate. What a cutie pie right? Sadly my architect buds are in California, but he did joke that they could fly here. Now that would be a party. The big boss called me from the airport telling me that he is so proud of me and he has lots of plans ‘this is just the beginning’ he said. I think he is talking about something else, but there was definitely a part of my brain that said ‘aww crap more tests?’. Hahaha.
The whole world is just sunny and bright and beautiful. I wasn’t even mad this morning when I go to start my car and the battery was dead. As Andy and I pulled out of the driveway I noticed that grass is popping up in our front yard, score! Maybe we will have to seed less than we thought. There was no traffic on the highway, but I do hope the way back for him was equally as fast, poor guy had a paper to finish before class.
There is definitely lots to tell about our trip to Texas, not to mention the e-mail back from E.T. Draaaama! Let me tell you. But all that is going to have to wait.

Feelings Schmeelings

So we are taking off tonight for Texas, but I don’t want to leave everyone hanging, wondering what the heck I wrote back to E.T. I gave myself plenty of time to think it through and decided that my opportunity for airing any greviences is over. I have done that and at the time I was ready to move forward. So this was my best attempt to convey what I have been feeling without drudging up any more anger or hurt or whatever. In her e-mail back to me she asked “have you forgiven us Natalie?”. To which I decided I don’t need to directly respond. I kind of think this is a funny thing to ask a person. I know there is that whole “forgiveness helps you get past something”. But in all honesty, I haven’t found a way to forgive them. I have found a way to move past it and be a part of my Dad’s life even with her in it. To me, that is the most important thing. I feel comfortable where I am in the situation and the only person who will feel better about me “forgiving” them, is her. If someday I get to the point where I can really say “I forgive you”, I plan to let her know. But until then. I will not be pressured to say something I don’t mean.

I think responding to this e-mail was really helpful for me. I started asking myself “what exactly are you feeling…angry and hurt…why?”. And here it is in a nutshell. It has to do with me and my nuclear family. At this point I will define “my family” as Andy and the dogs, but in the coming years it will hopefully expand to include some human nuggets. And there is where my issue originates, with our future spawn. I think the biggest problem I had with E.T. becoming my Dad’s wife is that it somehow means that she now becomes grandmother to my kids. It doesn’t bother me that she comes to our family reunions, or over to grandma’s house when my cousins are in town, or even that we all go skiing together. But the idea of her having any part of my potential pregnancies, births, and subsequent lives of our kids just makes me crazy to a point of no explanation. Well there is an explanation…I don’t want her in the place where I so badly want my own mother. The visions of her holding and rocking them or being at their school plays or football games or whatever just makes me a little crazy. But then it dawned on me! I don’t have to do crap! She and Dad can do whatever the hell they want, but it doesn’t mean I have to let her into my life any more than I am comfortable with. Once I realized this, I don’t need to be bullied into something more than what it is and I can set the limits, I instantly felt better about the whole situation.

I think it would be only fair to copy and paste what she wrote to me after my too short response to her “invitation”. You will quickly realize she does have an eerily good way of dealing with this situation considering the horrible way she entered my life. I am appreciative of the fact that she is overly sensitive to my feelings and genuinely seems to want me to share things with her and dad that might upset me. I can say everything that I want about her and perhaps you would instantly take my side, but in the interest of fair reporting, I should give you a chance to join her ranks too.

“Maybe first though… How are you feeling now about everything?…. are we messing up (me and or Tom) in any ways? What can we do more or less of to meet your needs…things like that? Just want to ask…find out if there is anything that is helpful to share, air, talk over…? And, Natalie, if this is difficult and there is a chance you don’t want to be a part of this weekend and would prefer for it to happen without you there …that is something you can say to us… Of course Tom and I both want it to be a fun and happy time for everyone. Please say now if there are things that need to be considered.

I’ve notice (My Big Butter) frequently ask about our wedding plans and shows interest/support. He says the weekend plans sound fun. I have no real doubt that he wants to be there. It hasn’t been that way with you. I have no doubt (E.T.’s Son) wants to be there…he asked if he could plan it. He also told me he does NOT want (E.T.’s Ex-Husband) and I to get back together…he can see we are happier now and that it is a good thing. So I’m asking about you because I’m not sure.

Even though we did a lot of work to share feelings, it feels like we should ask if the door of the past is closed or not. Have you forgiven us? Perhaps there are things left to say that didn’t get fully resolved. It would be better to go further now, than something to fester and blow up later. As always, your feelings will be respected, no matter what they are. Let me know more O.K., before we go any further with reservations and plans.”

Okay there it is. Pretty nice of her to inquire and all that. I can’t explain why if feels kind of pushy, but that was the reaction I had to it. That is why I think it is so critical for me to take lots of time before I respond to her e-mails like this. I can clearly see what she wants me to say back to her. But this is what I needed to say in order to let her know what I am feeling about the situation but without saying anything hurtful or that I might regret someday. Because let’s face it, I could change my mind about her someday. Best to keep the window at least open. Definitely the door is not closed.

“As to how I am feeling, well, I am not entirely sure. I am not going to lie to myself and you both by saying that there aren’t some feelings. I think I and we are in a good place and obviously don’t feel like your plans need to be changed or not include me. To be honest and candid, which I think is what you want, I am pretty sure I will want to be there when the day comes, but I am not quite there yet.

It is ultimately your decision and therefore I think it changes and affects my life very little. I am still only going to be up to a certain level with you. I hope you are fine with how we are now, as I am. I am resigned to the fact that you are going to be part of Dad’s life forever, which I figured anyway before the engagement/wedding plans, but there will most likely always be a limit to how much of my life I will be able to let you into, if that makes sense? And I think you already know that and you seem to be okay with it.”

That was it. I just kept it short and to the point. I haven’t heard back from her. She can probably see the harshness even though I tried to tone it down. But this was definitely want I needed to say in order to reinforce that I have boundaries and for now they are intact.

Now it is time to MOVE THE HELL ON! I am going to Texas tonight with a new sense of relief and happiness. I have figured out where I stand and that there is no need to stress about it or be hurt and angry. I think Andy is bringing his lap top, so if I have a chance I will post while I am there. I hate to leave on this kind of downer note. I wanted to leave on a happy note with some hilarious story. But no dice. Hope everyone has an amazing week. I am not sure I’ll be able to stay away honestly I have become addicted to keeping up with everyone on here. hahaha.

Unreconciled New Layers….and How I Almost Lost My Grandma

Do you ever feel like you’re not getting a message even when it is right in front of your nose? Every once in a while I will be working on an AutoCAD file and this little conversation bubble pops up saying “Unreconciled New Layers” “New layers were found that may need to be reconciled”. This is an extremely annoying message because usually it means before you can plot a drawing you need to reconcile the layers otherwise you’ll send a 8 1/2 foot long drawing to the large format printer and nothing will show up…..just as an example. On the flip side of that, my coworkers kids get another giant sheet of paper to doodle on. So isn’t that a win-win situation in the long run? Trees Schmeeze it’s not like I have any responsibility to the environment in anyway….what is that you say? Oh I am a LEED AP huh? You don’t say. *guilty gulp*. Anyhoo. So every once in a while one of these messages pops up and it behooves me to pay attention. Well after my recent blurb e-mail to E.T. (new abbreviation for Evil Temptress, refer to yesterday), I get a five paragraph essay back from her inquiring “how I am feeling, do I need to talk some things out with them” blah blah blaaaahhh. Drama, yuck! Apparently my two sentence response was not what she hoped for. Because apparently her son and Big Butter are ecstatic about wedding plans and think this getaway together will be fun, but all I said was “I’ll pencil you in” basically.  
As I didn’t have time to respond yesterday (because I was reclaiming my childhood by taking in “Mary Poppins” down at the Buell Theater with Big Butter and G-ma) it gave me some time to mull my response over. That coupled with the notes from my blog buddies yesterday and then this little “unreconciled new layers” reminder pops up and I am like ‘you’re right, there are unreconciled new layers that need to be reconciled…you know for an extremely discombobulated and frustrating computer program, you are kind of wise sometimes’.  I haven’t quite figured out what I am gonna say back to her, but I am keeping the “moving on” perspective in mind. But I do always enjoy Big Butter’s advice (because I love sending him the e-mails she sends me) which is to tell her, and I quote, “b**** im gonstab you in the face!”. Hahaha, he is always good for a laugh. By the way ladies, he’s single, and adorable. Not sure how this post turned into a “date my brother” advertisement, but since it has gone there, here’s a picture!

Oh, so I almost posted this without a very key event from yesterday. As previously mentioned, took the g-ma-ster to Mary Poppins yesterday. Now she is a little elderly and a little loopy. She’s been loopy for years, but obviously she is getting more so as time has gone on. I have lots of funny stories to tell about the things she has said, if the blog gets a little slow I will whip one of those puppies out and make you all roll on the ground. But the point of this story is to talk about last night. So I made up the guest bed and asked Andy to clean the guest bathroom and such so that she could stay the night, since the show started at 7:30 and g-ma rarely drives, let alone at night. But when the show ended at 10:30p she was quite sure she wanted to drive home and what am I gonna do about it? She is my elder for Pete’s sake (I think it is actually “peats sake” but I like to think a guy named Pete is involved somehow)! So I take her (because I was driving her around… my cousin drove her to my office building, then we all went out to lunch, then took my cousin to the airport, then went to the show) to the Park-N-Ride which is right next to I-25. And I explain to her to follow me out and then I will turn left at the light and she should turn right and then immediately turn right onto I-25 north. She’s following me, we get to the light. I am waiting for the turn signal when she turns right and then she proceeds to go across the bridge over I-25 and off into the great unknown. Damn! My light turns green and I turn left and promptly u-ey back to find long lost g-ma. But either that lady was fast, or she figured it out in the time it took me to turn around and follow after her. I went quite a ways searching for her before I turned around thinking she couldn’t have gotten that far. I go home and then wait to call her. Of course while I waited I started rehearsing my speech of what to tell our entire family should she be dead on the road somewhere.
This is when you start trying to remember how crazy your grandma really is. Like she says funny stuff and gets her stories all mixed around, but she can still read highway signs and know which way is north and south right? (Thank God Uncle Rick is in Albuquerque if she gets too far he can intercept her). And even though I helped her at the theater turn off her cell phone because she doesn’t know how, she probably knows how to turn it back on right? You can imagine the guilt is building and I all but drove up the highway in my pjs searching for her. Around 12:30a I figure she would have made it or have been picked up by a highway patrol officer who could help her turn on her cell phone and call me. I call the house and no answer. So I leave a message decide there isn’t much I can do and put my cell phone on my side table. At 1:45am I get a call. It is G-ma, she is sorry that she didn’t call sooner, she went over to Aileen’s (who I am now dubbing her Partner-in-Crime) and they hung out for a while before she came home! And then she said ‘go back to sleep hunny’. Mmmkay…again she is my elder gotta listen to her, plus I was pretty much asleep while we were talking. Then this morning I am like “um What?”. My g-ma went over to her girlfriend’s house at 12am to hang out for a while? Wow this puts my “Partying Like a Rock Star” into a whole new perspective. You mean to tell me my grandma is closer to partying like a rock star then I am? You’ve gotta be kidding me. I guess when you’re in your 70s and you no longer have a husband or a job, you can do whatever the hell you want, but damn! I just got shown up on St. Patty’s Day by my grandma.

Putting on our Big Girl Pants

Let me begin this post with a true statement about myself: I hate drama! Well I guess I should clarify, I love watching it on TV and soak up shows just dripping with drama left and right. But when it comes to my own life….I prefer the least amount of drama available, which ideally would be none. I keep a good distance between myself and any super dramatic people I know….sometimes by “hiding” their Facebook posts from view when you have already tried to quietly “unfriend” them and they figured it out and friended you again….whoa not sure where that little rant came from. That isn’t even what I was getting at.
Because I like drama so little I have been reluctant to post about one specific part of my life, my Dad and his girlfriend okay okay fiance. Now I know what you are thinking (or at least what you will be thinking once I tell you), you are thinking “Natalie is some territorial little jealous daughter who can’t move past the death of her mother and accept that her father wants a new life”. But this is only partially true really. And here’s why. 
Here’s a quick rundown for those of you who may be mildly interested in my drama and I am going to make it an abbreviated bullet-point type of story because I like drama so little I don’t wanna waste much time on it. I just wanna tell you, tell you what is going on now, and then get some advice from ya.

  • Mom and Dad happily married for many many years (Natalie’s Perspective)
  • In reality, it seems a rift had developed between Dad and Mom, most likely a result of Mom pursuing a bachelors and masters degree and focusing on her career (Note to Natalie, must always be cognoscente of such things in your own marriage). Dad felt left behind perhaps (I am trying to keep this as non-judgy as possible, but you will undoubtedly see the judginess dripping out of me).
  • Mom was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer, underwent stem cell transplant, recovered spent a year hunky-dory and cancer free.
  • During said “cancer free” time we come to realize Dad has been having an affair with a co-worker, who was also married.
  • I don’t wanna really go into the details, because again, hate the drama, but I was pretty mad for a really long time. Not just because he had an affair but because of the timing of the situation. It has been over 7 years now and I am still working through the anger towards him.
  • Mom decides she doesn’t want to leave Dad, she has a recurrence, undergoes more treatment, during which time Dad semi-redeems himself by being the supporting husband that he should have been the first go-round. We all start to heal from the situation.
  • Mom loses battle after several years of fighting. (For timeline purposes, because I am a sucker for a timeline, this was right before I graduated from my undergrad).
  • We all spent a couple years learning to deal with life without Mom.
  • I arrive at the point where I feel it would be good if Dad found someone new and though talks between Dad and me were somewhat cryptic I was pretty sure that is what was happening.
  • We move back to Colorado. Big Butter (brother) Nate says Dad’s GF’s name in a conversation one day (when the affair came out Nate was already living elsewhere so he was pretty disconnected to the whole thing, I on the other hand was far too involved), Natalie spends considerable amount of time in denial, hoping that he has found some other person with said name because he would never be so callous as to be dating this woman again. Ahh that happy land of denial.
  • Dad schedules coffee date to reveal the truth, I am torn from the comfy denial-land and forced to deal with reality. She is divorced and they have been dating for some time now. Fine! I don’t want to see her EVER! If she steps foot near me I will most likely kill her.
  • Thanksgiving 2008: She steps foot near me….I did not kill her. Dad calls to see if it is “okay” for her to come to Thanksgiving at G-ma’s house. Fine! I am not talking to her.
  • Months later: Dad wants to go climbing, she’s coming too. Whatever I can play this game. She says “sorry” for pain she has caused. My will starts crumbling.
  • Spend the next six months or so, trying to assimilate into this strange person who denies their feelings and pretends all is well (i.e. someone who hates drama to a point of causing oneself considerable pain with all the denial)
  • Shit hits fan: Natalie lets anger out, to woman, to Dad, to everyone. I wanted to get the stress and anger out of my life. If this was the reality, she was going to be around me, then I had to let it all out and then figure out how to move past it.
  • After all dirty laundry is out, I started feeling better. Spending time together got a little easier.
  • Christmas this year: they are engaged. Okay not what I was expecting to have to deal with any time soon. I am just starting to deal with the fact that she is his girlfriend. Considering Dad spent a good deal of time trying to tell me I shouldn’t get married ever (A-hole), seems a little hypocritical to be marrying this woman, not to mention extremely ironic. Obviously I am still dealing with the “moving past it” part. Gimme a break!
  • Yesterday: get e-mail from woman asking if we are available October 10th, 2010. She would like Me, Big Butter, Andy, her son, Dad and Her to take a long weekend to hang out and Oh by the way, get married. Oh wait her direct quote was “to make things ‘legal’ :)”. No really she put a smiley face in the e-mail. To top it off she signs it “love, Evil Temptress” at the end. Okay I added the “Temptress” in there. But “Love”? Really?

So there it is, in not so short and not so easily-digestible form. I swear this whole situation is like trying to eat a razor blade, obviously it can be done, but there is no “having an easy time of it”. It is like the universe is out to infringe drama on my life to prove some sort of point. What? That it is somehow inescapable to avoid drama and I have been too successful at it for all these years, so let’s just see to what lengths I will go to avoid it? Is that what is going on here?

Well here’s where I ask for your advice: Would you consider guacamole a breakfast food?

I hope you would because I had guacamole and chips for breakfast, not the healthiest choice mind you, but there really wasn’t an alternative, I am at work, so it was either chips and guacamole or I could squirt honey into my mouth. I was pretty sure the chips and guac would win out in the end so why waste time with the honey….it is sticky after all.

I thought about the e-mail for a day. I didn’t want to say anything right away mainly because I wasn’t quite sure what to say. How would I respond? There were two options. One I could say what I wanted to say: “Go F_ Yourself!” But that would definitely not coincide with the part of me trying to move past this, be a grown up, and keep my family intact (BTW, I am an avid family-girl). So this morning I put on my big girl pants and responded with the following:

“We don’t have anything that weekend, so it should work for us. I will put it in the calendar – Natalie”.

Yep, that was about as much as I could muster as far as big girl pants wearing goes. Her e-mail was definitely what I like to refer to as a “feeler” e-mail. She told us where she was thinking about taking us all, why she loved that area, the stuff we could do while we are there, and the fact that she just wanted it to be us and that they were thinking of having a “house warming” later on to celebrate with friends and family. This, in my opinion, was “feeling” us out to see if we (she sent it to Nate and I) would spring to either get excited or want to get involved in the planning or whether neither of us would want to be there. I guess my response was really formulated to say “okay fine! I will be there because I know not being there might be something I someday regret…like when my dad is on his death bed and says ‘I would have left you millions of dollars, but because you didn’t come to my wedding, no dice’…but I am not at all excited about it. So don’t ask me to be your bridesmaid or anything because I will probably poison you…..oh and I am bringing a gun to the wedding”. Now that I think about it, that is what I should have written back to her. It would have been way more awesome then what I did say.
BUUUTTTT, I figure I have until October to “get used” to this idea and I am sure someone somewhere would consider this an opportunity for me to “grow” and “mature”. Not that I ever had any intention of doing either of those things. Ah C’est la Vie or at least le sucky sucky part of la Vie. Now that I have vented about the drama that refuses to be squashed, I am moving back into the land without drama. Time to call up my guy friends and remind myself why boys are so much easier to be around then girls.

Catching up on the Procrastination

Mmmkay, so remember my post about how to make a quilt in 3 years? No, me neither obviously because I was supposed to post final pictures of how it turned out. Well I am doing that now, so lay off okay? The finished product.
Oh and since it has only been a month since our “company” ski trip, better take care of that one too. The reason that is in quotes is the only people from the company were myself and Nate, luckily we each brought our spouses otherwise it would have been really sad. Everyone else, who all really really wanted to go and even asked me to move the date so more people would be able to come, bailed on us. But it ended up being pretty darn awesome anyway. Nate and Holly, seen below in photographic evidence, are awesome and we had such a good day.
The reason Holly is laughing so hard is because Nate is too big fer his britches. So she was having to help him close them up. Welcome to your late twenties Nate. ’bout time men had to deal with this sort of thing.
While Andy affixes his skiing apparel….
I take care of business by combining peppermint schnapps and hot chocolate.
Andy looking stud-muffinly at the base of the mountain
Post- skiing we needed a “company” photo for next year’s Christmas Party slideshow and I like this one because the giant chair makes me look small. Note to self get some giant furniture for the house….and buy a giant house.
Okay that is all for now. I am sure there will be more procrastination catch-up as the months go on.