I’m grateful to wake up another year older today. I know it’s an experience denied so many.
After being serenaded by my kids, and eating a wonderful breakfast cooked by my amazing husband, I answered the age old question, “Do you feel any different?”
The short answer, no. Continue reading
A letter of thanks from the formerly failed wife.
When I initially wrote this piece for Huffington Post about my whirlwind journey from wife to ex-wife, I didn’t really expect much to come of it. Honestly, I assumed a few people would read it out of morbid curiosity and then never give it a second thought. Fortunately, I’m very used to being wrong.
Since the piece went live Friday morning I have been receiving emails and private messages from people who have experienced similar “failures.” It’s been unbelievable, and I promise I am going to respond to each and every email, message, and comment that I have received as soon as I can think of something more eloquent to say than, “Oh my god, thank you.”
Our Friday the 13th cake topper
Eight years ago, when all of this happened I felt lower than I ever thought was possible. I was sad and hurt and angry – so angry – that I thought there would never be an “after” for me. No, I wasn’t going to feel better after some time had passed. I wouldn’t look back on the experience afterwards and gain some sort of insight that I didn’t have before. My pain would only lengthen with time, it wouldn’t lessen. It would remain tethered to my heart, like a balloon on a string, and it would follow me into every relationship and experiences for the rest of my life. I would always be under its shadow, and it would always taint everything in my life.
Becoming a parent is a life altering event. You go from being in charge of just you, to having this whole other human being that relies on you for everything. They also somehow quadruple your laundry load.
It’s intense. And it colors everything in your world. Suddenly you find yourself wearing these parenting glasses that change the way you view everything. It’s like Predator vision, only everything is in primary colors and has soft rounded edges because holy shit everything is a death trap.
The Wellbanks before we were both Wellbanks
It’s great, because kids are awesome and great (and I’m just going to keep saying great over and over again because I have a three-year-old and it’s great Great. Great. Great.) Continue reading
On the days when my arms are full but my heart is not, I try to remember why.
When everyone needs something right now, and I just don’t feel like I have anything left in me to give, I try to remember.
When they’ve already eaten lunch and are asking for snacks but I haven’t even started my breakfast, I force myself to remember.
If your house is anything like mine, your dryer lint has gone from being pink and bespeckled with glitter, to being red and bespeckled with glitter, signaling that Christmas is finally upon us.
Also, that this family has an unsustainable glitter habit.
This is a magical time. Everything is festively decorated and there’s an extra crackle of excitement in the air. Sprinkle kids into the mix, and that excitement gets dialed up by about a million.
After all, most kids spend the entire year in (not so quiet) anticipation, plotting and planning how to get Santa to bring them everything they desire while just toeing the line between naughty and nice.
That is unless your kids are toddlers. Then you can forget about that line all together. There is no pretending to be good with toddlers. You can’t bribe good behavior out of a three-year-old, or threaten it out with the prospect of ending up on the naughty list (trust me, bribery and threats are the backbone of my parenting philosophy, she sobs into her messy living room).
Also, you can’t give a two-foot-tall person approximately three feet of cookies and expect them to have any chill what-so-ever when it comes to anything Santa related.
I mean, my toddler spends every day sneaking up to our advent calendar and setting it to Christmas Eve and then exclaiming that today is Christmas and asking where Santa left her presents.
It isn’t really much different than her normal day-to-day lack of chill, to be honest. And I contemplated that one day while listening to the holiday station on the car radio while trying to drown out my oldests pleas for ice cream from the back seat. I noticed a common theme among some of my favorite Christmas songs…
I present to you all the Christmas carols that are forever tainted by raising a toddler.
Please Come Home for Christmas, The Eagles – Bells will be ringing? Yeah, I hear them. I hear every single one of them. My toddler just rang each one and ran away, only to run back and ring them again.
Grandma Got Runover by a Reindeer, Elmo and Patsy – “IS THAT WHAT’S WRONG WITH HER FACE?”
Do You Hear What I Hear, Harry Simeone – “Do you? Do you hear it, mommy? Mom, mom, do you hear it? What is that? Mom? Mom? MOM?!”
Little Drummer Boy, Harry Simeone – BANG ON THIS, BANG ON THAT, PRETEND ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING IS A DRUM… BANG BANG BANG.
Baby it’s Cold Outside, by like, everyone – “But I don’t wannnnnna wear a jacket!!!”
Silent Night, Joseph Mohr – LOL, JK
All I Want for Christmas is You, Mariah Carey – “I want a puppy.” “Oh, and a firetruck.” “And, and, and a talking Marshall from Paw Patrol!” “And THAT! What IS that? I want it!”
Deck the Halls, Thomas Oliphant – If your kid isn’t “Fa la la la-ing” at full volume is it even Christmas?
HAPPY HOLIDAYS FRIENDS!
Dear daughter, today you turn three. And although I will miss your tiny little voice, and your tiny face, I am excited for the year ahead of us.
This year you surprised me in so many ways. Your personality is clearer than ever. You are the charming little weirdo with a great laugh who is quick to use it. You’re brave, braver than I could have ever hoped you would be. Whether it’s facing down the dentist for the first time or spending your first nights away from me, you’ve gone at it all with the same determination. Continue reading
Shit changes fast around here, and as soon as I’m used to the current state of things, it changes again.
I’m still in survival mode. I say still because I think I shifted into it somewhere around my sixth month of pregnancy, maybe somewhere around my second round of strep throat? The “baby” is now almost seven months. It’s been a while. Maybe it’s not even really survival mode when you’re coming up on the one year mark. Maybe this is just my life now.
I’m okay with it. Because between the old life and the new, the moves and the changes, we’re all managing to survive. And that’s good enough for me.
Stuff, stuff everywhere…
Today marks two weeks since we moved into our new house. All the rooms are still piled high with boxes. We arrange and then rearrange while we try and figure out where to put all of these toys. Every time I think I’m making progress I find another box, jam packed with more brightly colored crap. I am inclined to think that Pandora’s Box was just full of mismatched doll outfits and random Lego pieces. Continue reading
Parents, you are doing everything wrong! Yes, I mean you. Every. Thing.
That’s what the headline read as I scrolled through my newsfeed on my phone while nursing my 3 month old (apparently that’s another big no-no, no phones while breastfeeding. Babies need eye contact while nursing. PUT YOUR PHONES DOWN RIGHT NOW AND ENGAGE YOUR LITTLE SQUISH WITH YOUR EYE BALLS). Continue reading
Yesterday would have been my grandmother’s 89th birthday. We would have celebrated with her favorite dinner (shrimp Alfredo, which she liked the best when my father was the one making it). There would have been cake, or maybe milkshakes, depending on her mood.
A girl and her horse
There would have been laughter, and some grumblings about how she couldn’t believe she was still here, and that she hadn’t yet given up the ghost– a phrase she was growing fond of over the past two years.
Pregnancy, for some it’s a time of glowing and eager anticipation, for others it’s a time of great discomfort and fear, but for almost everyone it’s a time of struggle.
And I’m just talking about the dads here… ba-dum-tss.
The struggle is real
It can be hard to watch the woman that you love the most going through something that you feel like you can’t help with. I mean, I can only assume, it looks like my husband is having a hard time here.