♥  Cool mornings for runs Bonding time with my stepson Halloween candy  Visiting a cool scary house in a small county town   Beautiful morning fishing Planning Christmas gifts Dreaming about our future with my husband Running 5K with stepson, mom, and sister in the cold 30s   All of us medaling because of the low turnout :) Watching Walking Dead with friends ♥  Day off together with my husband   New glasses                       

I’m learning that being a stepmother is all about finding my own balance.

And it is fucking hard.

I’m trying to find that line to walk between loving this kid like he is mine and remembering that he is not.

Because that is where my head and heart have a disconnect.

I’m sure I’ll get through this season, but right now it is painful.

I was talking with my husband about this, and he said, “I want you to think of him like he’s yours.  I don’t want you to pull away from him.”

I told him that was part of my problem.  I was thinking of stepson like he was mine and then getting upset and frustrated when life reminded me that he wasn’t.  It’s strange knowing that you have all the responsibilities of a parent without any of the rights.

I’m having to watch him go through some tough times with his mother.  He is not wanting to stay with her, and it is more than just teen son and mom stuff.  He has some legitimate reasons to not want to go.  My husband has decided that he will continue to encourage his son to have a relationship with his mother, but that he is not going to force his son to go either.  He has tried to get his ex to talk with his son about those reasons in a neutral setting.  At the moment it does not seem like she is going to make an effort to improve her relationship with her son.  Her daughter (stepson’s half sister) did not want to live with her and ended up being raised by her grandparents (ex’s parents) since she was about stepson’s age.  It looks like we are seeing the same thing happen again.  Her daughter would go over to visit her mother, but she did not stay with her.   This last weekend was supposed to be hers with her son, but he stayed with the grandparents instead.  His mom came to see him there one day, and she didn’t stay long.

It is frustrating to have to be a witness to this shit in his life.  There is nothing I could ever do to fill the void created by his mother not choosing to have him in her life.  He’s old enough to know what she’s choosing instead of him.

All I can do is find that line of loving him and being there for him and still remembering that he is not mine.  It is when I forget that all the heartache begins.  I just stew and burn.  I want to act and protect him and remove all the negative people and situations in his life.  But I can’t, and it only makes me miserable.

So I’m trying to find that balance.

That’s where I am today.

 

 

 

 

♥  Sunday football Neighbors over for dinner Finally feeling like fall  Lunch at work with my husband   Anticipating a weekend away with my husband Nice day at work Extra bump on my next paycheck New recipe success…everyone loves this creamy lemon chicken pasta (I used chicken broth in the water to boil the pasta instead of a bouillon)   Pizza night High school football rivalry in the house ♥  Spending one-on-one time with my favorite teen boy   Getting out early from work                       

Frog

I had just pulled out onto the main road when I saw this little guy hitching a ride on my back window.  I pulled over near some grassy wooded area to let him off.  Most frogs jump away right away, but this dude hung around for a bit before finally taking off.

♥  Fun days at work Learning something new Love you, Stepmom.  Love you, Stepson.  Mornings with my husband   Thinking up roller derby names for my co-workers Brainstorming Halloween costume ideas Family birthday dinners Boating at the lake  Having friends for dinner at the cabin Nephews ♥  Gym time   Looking forward to weekend away with husband    Guitar practice   Thinking up bee farm names                  

I used to keep a list of tattoo ideas, but I found that what was meaningful to me one day would be nothing the next day, week, or month.

I wonder if I will ever get one.

I try to imagine where I would put a permanent mark on my body, and I have no answer.   Every spot that I consider is a part of me that I love – neck, collarbone, rib cage, hip, butt, thigh, ankle. The idea of inking my body seems like vandalism.

How can I say, “I love my body just the way it is, but…”?  You either love your body, or you feel the need to modify it in some way.  It has been a lifelong journey to contentment with and respect for my body and all it can do.  I’m in a place where coming up with ways to change it seems to negate that positive.

And so I believe that the only tattoos I will ever have are the well-earned lines on my face and the images and lessons imprinted on my mind.

Still, I wonder if I will ever get one.

⌂  I’m taking a beekeeping class this weekend.  I plan to start a hive or two on our land.

⌂  I’m meeting with my work mentor to learn more about productivity and how that is calculated for each department.  I’m also coming to her with a list of habits that I want to break that would be obstacles in my professional success.

⌂  The first load of rock has been delivered to our land at the lake to begin the groundwork for starting our cabin.

⌂  My 14-year-old stepson hugs me on the regular.  We’ve always gotten along, but what was an occasional occurrence before happens every day now.   :)

⌂  My husband and I have started lifting weights together at the gym.  It’s surprisingly fun, and I’m also learning how to be a good spotter.

 

I had a dream that a wasp was flying around me and stung me twice.  It left a large stinger on my thumb that I was able to get out before all the venom was released.  I swatted it and killed it.  It somehow stung me once more after it was dead when I brushed it away from me.

From Dream Moods:

To see a wasp in your dreams signals evil, anger, and negative feelings.

To dream that you are stung by a wasp indicates that there is some hatred directed towards you.  It also refers to envy.

To dream that you kill a wasp signifies your fearlessness in fighting off your opponents, while maintaining your ethics and rights.

 

I have been struggling with anger and negative feelings toward my husband’s ex-wife the last couple of months.  She pulled a stupid stunt in June with my stepson that involved having a 13-year-old boy drive her car through town while she was busy taking selfies and posting them on Facebook. Yeah.

Husband had a long serious talk with both of them, but now I’m left feeling anxious every time stepson is in her care for any extended amount of time.  I already did somewhat before, because I don’t trust her judgement at all.  She acts more like a cool older friend than a mother toward both her children.    Now I feel as though I’m on a heightened alert stage.

Normally he goes to his mom’s  one night a week and every other weekend.  About a week ago she took him and his sister for a 4-day trip to the beach.  I didn’t realize how on edge I had been the entire time until he walked back into our house.  I had such an immediate sense of relief.  As if I could finally breathe again.

It’s hard to feel so powerless when it comes to a kid I love like my own but at the same time have to remember that he is not.

It stings a lot, actually.

♥  Great beach weekend with college roommates Reading bedtime stories to little girls A full heart  Spending time with my nephew   First days of school Kisses New favorite wine Gym time with my favorite guys  Hearing all about his school day Lazy days off together  ♥  Planning a trip to Virginia Beach   “Love ya. Love tu.”                       

⌂  The plane tickets to Florida have been bought.  All my college roommates are going to be able to make the same weekend.  It has been too long since a proper reunion, and this one will be a couple of August days on a beach.

⌂ I’ve finally created a photo book of my wedding photos.  I’ve had so much fun browsing and remembering.

⌂  July is the birthday month for the kids, and we’ve had some great time with family.  Husband took care of son’s gift – a wake board-, and I bought daughter’s.  I found a photo she had pinned a few months ago with the caption “literally what I want my dorm room to look like.”  So I put together the highlights of that room.  I can’t wait to see her reaction.

⌂  I’ve been a little obsessed with Brandi Carlile.  Check out any of her songs from Live from Red Rock.

My Happiness Project

1. Set a bedtime.
2. Make my bed every morning.
3. Always be reading something.
4. Move more.
5. Toss and organize.
6. Give proofs of love.
7. Leave the past.
8. Fight right.
9. Don't expect praise or appreciation.
10. Kiss more, hug more, touch more.
11. Aim higher.
12. Find some fun.
13. Ask for help.
14. Smile.
15. Realize it's possible.
16. Don't compare;be inspired.
17. Focus on what I have.
18. Beware of drift.
19. Take a chance.
20. Listen.
21. Be mindful.
22. Cultivate gratitude.
23. Spend out.
24. Do good, feel good.
25. Show up.
26. Have the courage to be imperfect.
27. Find joy in the ordinary.
28. Work smart.
29. Enjoy now.
30. Talk to strangers.
31. Go outside.
32. Start where I am.
33. Show up on time.
34. See art everyday.
35. Love with abandon.
36. Be colorful.
37. Dress the part.
38. Revel in accomplishments.
39. Learn something new.
40. Fear less.
41. Take pictures.
42. Speak with integrity.
43. Don't be critical about small things.
44. Manage my pain.
45. Surround myself with creative people.
46. Practice, practice, practice.
47. Don't force it.
48. Deal with something once.
49. Trust my instincts.
50. Avoid gossip.
51. Choose to see the best in people.
52. Take time to be silly.
53. Throw my own party.
54. Be a mentor.
55. Lean into my fears.
56. Find the others.
57. Do the unexpected.
58. Don't break the chain.
59. Do things others aren't.
60. Slow down.
61. Be cool with not being cool.
62. Be kinder than necessary and more generous than reasonable.
63. Pretend I'm good at it.
64. Keep in touch.
65. Row my own canoe.
66. Do what only you can do.
67. If it doesn't work out, find something that does.
68. Dream bigger.
69. Notice what's right.
70. Stop talking. Start doing.
71. When in doubt, choose laughter.
72. Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good.
73. Respect everyone.
74. Be early.
75. Delete the unnecessary.

Three Simple Rules

1. If you do not GO after what you want, you will never have it.
2. If you do not ASK, the answer will always be no.
3. If you do not MOVE forward, you will always be in the same place.

All I Need

1. Someone to love.
2. Something to do.
3. Something to hope for.

Countries I’ve Visited

Mexico
Colombia
Thailand
Vietnam
Bermuda (British territory)

I write about…

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