Dear Jon and Kate,

Reality television has taken a toll on your family. Regardless of what either of you were like before you had children and reality fame please realize that the current state of your marriage and family is in shambles. Did you try for multiples in the hopes that it would get your family fame, money and all of life’s little luxuries? Or was the reality fame something that started as an idea once you had your cute little brood of kids?

The answer is not necessary, nor are you required to answer it but now is the time to retreat, go to counseling and really think about why you wanted to get married and have children. Even if divorce is inevitable, counseling will give each of you the tools to be positive, loving parents to your children. This is something that you owe them, for they did not ask to be born into a fishbowl, nor did they ask for cameras to be in their faces daily.

I am a lover of all magazines, websites and news outlets but during this breakdown of the marriage, your need to give in detail how the children reacted to your split and to Kate, throwing your husband under the bus as if he was the only one at fault for this breakdown has caused me not to buy the magazines, to skip through information concerning the he said, she said debacle. Please, give it a rest, close up the family business and dig deep into your souls as to why the marriage went downhill and how you can salvage it or either learn to treat each other with respect.

I am not a child of a broken home but even I knew when something was up when my parents had a disagreement. Those precious children get that the love that was once there is gone. They also will ask where those loving people in their lives have disappeared to when they used to be there all of the time.

Jon, I get it, you are 32 and didn’t have your twenties to party and sow your oats but you made a commitment to your wife and children. Stop dressing like a frat boy or wanna be thug. It is not becoming nor will it make your case of wanting to be there for your kids. We all make choices and sacrifices in life, this is your time to stand up and ask for respect as well as compromise on some of the dreams you have for yourself.

Kate, tromping around in bikinis, deluding yourself that everyone wants to be just like you and taking for granted all of those who have helped in the past needs to be forgotten. Learn about humility, graciousness and the common sense of not spewing such hatred for your husband is a great start. Start thinking about the choices you made when you started cutting family and friends out and ask yourself why? Was it a healthy decision or was it about control. Also, you can spank or discipline your children as you see fit but also know that the key to raising kids is keeping the anger out of it while doling it out. Forget the spa, the tanning appointments and trying to create an entourage to make yourself feel more important than you really are.

It is sad to see that a family that supposedly loved each other has taken such a huge turn off the tracks. Many stories have come out about the bad behavior each of you have shown the world. Again, it doesn’t matter if you behaved like this before the cameras were turned on or not, what matters is creating a loving family that feels safe.

My parents never took me to Disney World, I rode on my first airplane when I was 20 and getting handouts/sponsorships were not part of the deal. My parents sacrificed for me by allowing me to be a kid, travel while I was in youth group and helped out when possible when I went away to college. That is what matters most, they loved and supported me (even to this day) and that cannot equal all the money in the world. I would have loved to have had a car at 16, a college education on them or every vacation imaginable for a child but they gave me love and that has made all the difference in my life.

Will your children be able to say the same when they are adults?

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The Single Life

I have a lot of time on my hands and only bad things happen when I do have a lot of time on my hands. This time turns into thinking about my choices in life and then criticizing every.single.choice I have made thus far.

College? Should have worked much harder than I did and I should have done everything in my power in order to attend Georgia. My career would probably be thanking me right about now. I also should have focused more on computers than hitting the weekly fraternity parties, my bank account would be thanking me right about now.

Spending money? Umm, saving more than spending would have been helpful but I guess I am more like my dad than I realized. I can’t help it, I like to buy stuff. Had I been saving some, I probably wouldn’t be in debt and oh yeah, I would probably have a house to live in as opposed to an apartment.

Men? Well, I promise that when I was younger and had plenty of boys to choose from, I had a three date max. Seriously, my mom used to laugh about it. I would go out with a guy and if I didn’t think it was going well. . .he was out of there (hence the three date max). Of course, some of my issues that I have today can all be traced back to one ex, in college and for quite a time after. He was no good for me but my self-esteem took a direct hit via him. Trying to find the old me is impossible and that makes me sad. I learned to be afraid of being honest, of saying I didn’t like something and standing up for myself. That proved to be quite a hindrance when I dated the guy after this ex. My heart was left, stomped on the ground with the words uttered by him to friends, “I can do better than her.”

The upside is the ex that did such a job on my self-esteem is now a friend and he will always be firmly in the friend column. The only reason he got there was he apologized, for everything. The other ex is married with kids and I can only hope and pray he found what he was looking for and is happy.

My choice to voice my concerns to the boy (who was the love I had been looking for) were not handled well. I know that people cannot change or at least, you can’t force them to change, so I thought I was doing the honorable thing by walking away. Umm, yeah, live with that regret daily. A good guy who just didn’t have the relationship experiences that I have; should have given him a chance.

Being single means being alone. I get that and I don’t mind that since I have been there done that but the question that keeps coming to mind is this: What happens to the single when everyone else is paired up and reproducing?

The motherhood, as so eloquently discussed on Sex and the City, finds women of all race, creeds and social standings running for the nearest Gymboree, playdates and other mommies to spend time with instead of their wilder, more selfish single friends. While I am no longer wild, was never selfish, I am single. And I keep finding that I am that outsider looking in, I don’t understand morning sickness (although, I would take it in a heartbeat) nor do I understand the need to buy every damn toy in Target for my kids for Christmas because I just can’t stop myself.

So here I sit, time on my hands, realizing that my friends have all moved on and doubting myself as to whether I will ever catch up to them. Sure, they like to chat from time to time, grab coffee every so often but for the most part, I don’t fit in with them. I get kidded to not become that crazy old cat lady, the assurance that everything will work out but in reality, I see myself slowly being craved out of their lives. Is it on purpose? Probably not but while they are wondering if breastfeeding is going to work or what school to put little Johnny in, they know not to ask me. I just don’t have that life experience under my belt to share.

Then I start to question myself. What’s wrong with me? What is it that I am doing that compels men to see me as someone to date but not to commit to? I have never even been engaged or close to it, not even by a long shot.  Am I too needy? I don’t think I am, I don’t call 24/7, I don’t whine about anything (unless I am sick and then all bets are off) and I certainly understand the need for some downtime to be by one’s self.

I tried online dating, one site was pure meat market and the other, where I found the boy, was geared towards people who wanted to commit, get married and have kids. I just don’t think the boy understood the purpose of that particular site. Or maybe I was a great girlfriend but not wife material. I mean, I can’t clean to save my life. I am truly a messy person but I can cook and I can nurture the hell out of anyone that needs it.

Being single and back to square one is daunting. I don’t have a problem doing things on my own. I have had dinner, by myself at restaurants. I haven’t tried the travel on own yet but that has to do more with money than moxie. Movies? Oh hell, I prefer going alone so I can lose myself in the film. But what happens when I get older, well older than I already am?

While some of the women in my office think that my life is fab being single, I just shake my head. I get that if you are unhappy or feel that life is a never ending list of things to do, errands to run and ball games/recitals to attend, my life can seem kind of dreamy. BUT, being on my own is tough. My worries come from the depths of what happens if I can’t work or my car decides to blow up, I am a single income family. There is no one there that can help me out in a pinch. Of course my parents could but I could never ask them for that since I know that they exist on savings, investments and retirement.

Someone who I once knew said he kept meeting women who were in the left lane going 100 MPH and he wanted a woman who was willing to get in the slow lane and take her time with him. Well, I hate to say it but he (and any man who thinks this) needs to date 22 year olds. I am 35, I am not going to apologize for knowing what I want nor am I going to settle since, well I have waited this long but there comes a point and time when everyone has to grow up.

Sure, I have dreams of running off and living in DC or NYC and writing but that is what I should have been doing when I was in my twenties. I made choices and some of them are quite difficult to swallow but I have to own up to the fact that I am no longer a kid; running around singing la-ti-dah. I am an adult who has to hold down a job, pay the debts that I owe and be a responisble citizen.

I just wish that having the single life didn’t separate me from my friends. I miss them but I get that they all have lives they have to attend to and calling me or hanging with me all the time isn’t part of what they need to deal with daily.

Generation X

I haven’t said a lot about the loss of Farrah and Micheal, not on Facebook or any other online forum. I did mention something to my mom and a friend; both responding with they wish the coverage would stop in terms of Michael.

I liked Michael Jackson, not the current version but the older one, the one who brought us Off the Wall and Thriller. This was the King of Pop and he songs from those albums will live on through my IPod. Then I stumbled upon an article about Generation X and our losses.

I used to cringe when I heard that term, Gen X, but in time I finally got what my generation wanted and I agreed. We want a career with good pay but we also see that vacation and time with our loved ones is important also.

We aren’t lazy but the term greed is good isn’t part of our vocab. I had to discuss this years ago when I worked for the chamber back home. At the time they looked at me like I had two heads and if we sat down again to discuss it, I am sure I would get the same results.

Our generation has seen great losses in our short lives. I was in grade school when the Challenger exploded, shortly before my birthday. I watched on CNN the first Desert Storm and then with wide-eyed wonderment, saw the start of the second Desert Storm. I also happened to be at home the day the towers fell. I remember being in my college apartment when Diana was killed. Seriously, when does it end?

Or could it be that Gen X happens to be the first generation to go through such losses via the internet and television? Our lives are shaped by what we read on Facebook, Twitter and other blogs. None of this information was readily available when we were growing up. If a teacher had not been sent up in the Challenger, we would have learned about the disaster that evening, on the news, with our parents.

We were even blessed with the unfolding of the OJ Simpson trial on tv, the verdict was televised and classmates at college were either whooping with joy or anger. The all emcompassing media has taken a hold of Gen X and made it virtually impossible for us to go no longer than ten minutes without logging on or checking our cell phones (which have Twitter, Facebook and email on them). Do we really need to be so connected to the world that we cannot function for even a weekend without it?

In the past, going on vacation meant a real vacation, maybe a glance at the news or a newspaper but I can honestly say that I was so lost the last time I was in NYC on vacation because I couldn’t log onto Perez Hilton.

Our generation is the guinea pigs, Gen Y and further will never understand a time without a barage of information streaming from their phones. Sometimes I wish I could just put the phone and the computer down and just live life but then I remember I tend to break out in hives when I can’t pop onto the internet to see who is doing what and when.

What are your thoughts on Gen X?

Wishing and Hoping and Dreaming. . .

So says the catchy, can’t get it out of your mind song that opens My Best Friend’s Wedding.

Wishing. .  .oh boy, if I could even get a forth of my wishes to come true, I would be a happy camper. Living in the past is not healthy but moving forward is proving to be more difficult that I realized. If I could take one day back and change the choices that I made, I would, in a heartbeat. I have found that had I had a conversation that could have broken us anyway, I might be better off. If only I had pushed the subjects I wanted to know about I might have seen things differently but I didn’t and I blame myself for not pushing it.

I also wish that I had become financially responsible a lot sooner than I did. We all want the vacations, the clothes and the fun stuff but at some point the party stops and you have to pay the piper. Luckily, I am almost done paying the piper but still, those lessons should have been learned in college.

Hoping. . .well, that one is easy (well besides having a huge pile of cash appear on my doorstep) that the boy would listen and give me another chance. Also, just to be vain, to lose the weight quickly, especially now that I will be having surgery. Don’t want the weight loss plan to get slowed down and surgery will probably do that to me.

Dreaming. . .a nice vacation to NYC and DC without having to worry about money. Also, a trip to Oxford to all the places I have heard about but that one might not happen anytime soon.

Anyway, those are all nice and when you have time on your hands, those thoughts start to swim around in your head until, well at least for me, they can drive me crazy. Do I want to move on? No but I will sit with my thoughts and maybe, just maybe one of my wishes, hopes or dreams will come true.

I’m Shredding Ya’ll. . .

Oh dear, what did I get myself into? A little back history about me and my body. We have a love/hate relationship. My family has health issues, weight issues and I got a bit of both in my genes. And I love to cook, read cookbooks and just to prove how much of a freak I can be, I love to read restaurant menus. No joke and to make my love of food go a bit further, I plan my trips to NYC and Washington DC around the restaurants that I will visit.

I have seen the scale go up and down several times in the past few years and I know it is not healthy but it seems like life distracts me and the next thing I know, clothes don’t fit anymore. So I have been trying a bit of everything the past few months. The boy was trying to encourage me but I just got frustrated and bored with the diet and exercise plan. In fact, he was also a great cook and loved food just as much as I do. . .

After the stresses of the past couple of months, my stomach decided to revolt. I eat and then end up feeling really sick to my stomach, which prompts me to stop eating. So my meals have been cut into the smallest portion known to man. Bad for my health but helpful when trying to lose weight. I have lost 13lbs so far and need to get quite a few more off before I consider this a success.

Since the weather got so hot so quickly, walking is not on my top list of things to do. I miss it but the humidity here is quite thick and I can’t deal with it so I did the next best thing. . .

I read on Suburban Turmoil about The 30 Day Shred and realized that my hatred of the gym and my inability to workout for hours at a time was a huge barrier for me. So off I went to Target to get this so called 2o minute workout. . .it was going to be easy. I mean really, I have worked out for a couple of hours at a time, this couldn’t be bad. . .

I was wrong. I was bright red, dripping sweat and questioning my ability to even walk three feet when I finished the first workout. And then the shower, OMG, I thought I was going to fall my legs were shaking so badly. Who is this Jillian Michaels and what is her phone number????? I went into work the next day walking very slowly and with each movement I winced. It was bad. After that one little workout, I thought I had finished a marathon.

The next few days were filled with winces, shrieks and curses to Jillian. When I tried the program again, it wasn’t as bad but with each workout I have felt a bit better. My muscles hurt but in the good way. I can see where the weight is coming off although I wish I could just use an eraser to get rid of my thighs. They are huge and don’t really go down that much when I do get the weight off.

But I am shredding and with each “just five more seconds” from Jillian, I am thinking of ways to torture her. I will only rethink this plan if I get back into my skinny jeans. . .

Tornados and Thunderstorms

I never really dealt with tornados until I moved here. Growing up I think we had watches but they never got close to where I lived. Then in 98 one blew through downtown two blocks from my office and that changed things, a lot.

For many years I couldn’t sleep if the weather turned bad. I would sit and stare at the tv trying to understand the radar. I lost count the number of times I locked myself and the cat in the bathroom waiting for the whole thing to be over.

Then magically one day I slept through a few storms and didn’t panic when I saw the warnings. I have friends that LOVE bad weather. They find the beauty in them, me? Let’s just say I am normally thinking the worst, praying with all my might that nothing bad will happen and I can go on with my day.

Yesterday my phone was blowing up with texts from weather.com with warnings of bad weather. My work email also had two new messages, one warning of thunderstorms with high winds and the last one that warned of tornados. Umm, really? We have to go there? Next thing I know, the sky is black, the rain is coming down sideways and the alarm goes off in our building. Time to hit the stairwell.

Luckily I have coworkers that like to chat and laugh to pass the time. We played with my phone, was requested to play music from the radio option on there and answer questions about a new software program that was being rolled out. The not knowing or hearing what is going on outside is a bit stressful but luckily enough people distracted me from the weather and my thoughts.

I can now get behind a good thunderstorm, the smell of the rain and how it cools things down in a hot southern town makes me smile. Of course not being flung to the other side of town helps too.

Welcome

Sorry for the long web address, I couldn’t find one that I liked that wasn’t being used!

So. . .once again I find myself single and while for some that is a great and exciting time, well let’s just put it this way, I am kind of at a loss. The boy was a great match, voila eHarmony, but a few minor things that were shared online and then proven to be not so true popped up during our 14 month relationship. I am proud of the whole thing though because I spoke up for myself.

The boy was a great guy who ultimately didn’t want to get married. It might have been he didn’t want to marry me but I am going to at least try and convince myself that it was all him, a guy who happened to not want to get married.

I have always wanted to get married but I do pick the wrong guys. I have friends that have been proposed to several times and I feel like the statement by Bridget Jones in the movie, (paraphrasing here) that us single girls in our thirties have scales underneath our clothes. And that my friend is why I am still single.

I also want to have children and I am sure if I go on any dates in the future, the guy will run for cover as soon as he realizes I am 35, never been married but want to get married and have kids. No pressure there, right?

I have issues, which I am sure each of you will pick out quickly as time goes by but hey, we all have them and I like to think of them as quirks. . .

Do I miss the boy? Most definitely and I still think about him daily and the love I have for him will always be there. Was it easy for me to walk away from him? No. In fact, the decision was beyond heartbreaking and I have regretted it since day one but he said he wants to move forward. I can’t blame him but man, this is so hard and I can’t help but think back to that evening and wishing I could change a few things.

It has been almost a month since I walked and my life has been quite challenging. Hope you don’t mind the girl talk for a bit. . .

I had an abnormal pap smear in 1998, which resulted in a biopsy and a LEEP procedure for dysplasia. I had normal paps since then until May of this year. I had a biopsy again, this time, it hurt more than I remembered the last one. After a week of pure hell, waiting and crying, my biopsy was clear but I would need to be checked again in October.

I will say this, for any woman that hates this annual procedure, get it done anyway, it is a life saving test. I have no issues spreading my legs for my doctor because I have been through this twice and prefer to know as soon as possible so I can get the medical care needed.

During my regular visit we also discussed that time of the month becoming more like those when I was younger and not on the pill. This was the third year that I complained about it and I think that my doctor finally decided to send me in for an ultrasound just to shut me up!

I learned that I had a fibroid (8cm big), a cervix that does not want to be found and a uterus that tilts backwards. Hey, I don’t ever do anything the easy way.

The nurse was like, no big deal, etc but knowing that I had that fibroid and linking it with my symptoms made it clear that something needed to be done.

My doctor will not touch it because of where it is located (umm, naturally, the thing can’t be nice) and I have been sent to a specialist. Actually, to a fertility clinic. Nice huh?

So off I will go this week to see what my options are and my parents aren’t thrilled with the whole thing. Mom keeps telling me it will just go away and Dad just thinks I am hell bent on surgery. I would offer up a month in my shoes for both of them but I don’t think they would get my concerns.

All of this is to say that once I had the answer to the biopsy, a date with the fertility doc the ramifications of walking away from the boy hit harder due to the fact that I was focusing on other things.

Will it get easier? At some point yes but for the moment, I am stumbling through it like I do most things.

The only upside is I have lost ten pounds and have about 40 more to go to get to my ideal weight. I have been forcing myself to eat and started the 30 Day Shred by Jillian Michaels. That hurts like no other but I am going to keep doing it because it makes me not think about the fact that the boy is no longer in my life.

This is a test. . .

Because I apparently tried to delete one blog that I didn’t want and it took everything. So let’s see if I can post and keep this one going.