Tag Archives: family

Full Moon?

Today has been a weird one to say the least.

I woke up around 9 (Yes. I have MWF off. I like to sleep, so I slept in. Yes, I live like an undergrad. Might as well while I still can).

About 9:30, my dad called. He told me that he would be in town for work and that he would be free around 4 and wanted to stop by. It was fine with me, but we had laundry everywhere, dishes in the sink, hadn’t dusted in weeks. Last week kicked both of our butts and this weekend did not go as planned, so house hold things got put on the back burner.

So I freaked out because my dad is a bit of a neat freak. His house is usually always in good order and I didn’t want to hear comments about me slacking as a wife or whatever.

I had planned on spending today lesson planning. Instead, I did 5 loads of laundry, scrubbed the kitchen, vacuumed, hand vacuumed the steps, dusted the entire apartment, straightened up the place, folded 5 loads of laundry and put everything away. No idea why, but it did take me all day and our apartment isn’t that big.

But while I was doing all of that, Mr. A had a big important lunch meeting and I was anxiously awaiting his call.

When he did, I wanted to scream from the roof tops out of joy!

Why you ask? Because Mr. A got the internship for the spring!!!

SO MUCH EXCITEMENT.

He will be doing actual attorney things and it can very well lead to a job, or at very leas, a fellowship next summer while waiting on bar exam results and such. And he will be making fantastic connections and I am so effing proud of him. He works so so hard, but hasn’t always had the best of luck with some things panning out, so I couldn’t be happier that this worked out for him and I know it is a HUGE weight off of his shoulders.

He will be living at one of my parents’ houses and I should be able to make my schedule Tues/Thurs so if I want to go go or he comes down, I will have Fri-Mon. Also, he will only be 2 hours away, and knowing how wonderful this opportunity is, I will make the sacrifice for a semester.

So that was amazing, but of course we got some more bad news about his dad, so it was hard to balance being out of my mind excited, but also dealing with that drama.

But then my dad showed up and this was the first time he has seen this apartment, so I am happy that Mr. A and I have been working on making it more of a home for the last year and it doesn’t look completely like a college apartment.

Now, my family is one that doesn’t really talk about finances beyond “You should be saving your money”. I have no clue how much my dad makes or what his financial situation is. I have a rough idea what my mom makes, but not much more than that.

So when my dad started asking us what our student loan situation was, I was a little confused and kind of waiting for a lecture on it all.

But then the conversation quickly turned to how many miles were on my car and all of that. Now, I drive a 12 year old Toyota that has over 230,000 miles on it. Yeah. That’s a lot. It was my mom’s before me and when she gave it to me in 2005, it had roughly 80,000 on it, but I was going to school three hours away and made trips home fairly frequently, so the miles racked up rather quickly. 

Long story short, my stepsister is taking her mom’s car that is a 2012, I’m taking her car that only has like 65,000 miles on it and is a very reliable car, and any money we can get for mine will go towards paying for the car since hers would have some value if they decided to sell it. Eventually, we’ll pay my dad back for the car, but he put off us paying for a little over a year, and should circumstances prevent us from being able to afford it, he said we’d work it out.

I’ll be cleaning out my car tomorrow and hope is to list it by this weekend and hopefully by next week I will have a new car!!! (Or new to me, but anything is better than mine at this point.)

And the other weird part of yesterday?

Remember when I told you guys that Mr. A and I decided to go on a cruise over Christmas break since it will be our last break together?

He gets a text message last night from a good friend (and those of you that know me IRL can easily figure out who this person is, but PLEASE do not say anything about it either to him or on FB because it isn’t being publically announced just yet, but bc of logistical issues, we were told. Again, trusting you folks.). Mr. A then asked me when our cruise was, but wouldn’t tell me why he was asking.

When I told him the date, he got a strange look on his face and then proceeded to tell me that his good friend had set his wedding date for during our cruise.

Not only just set a wedding date, but the wedding will be in India.

I’ll let you soak that in for a minute.

……………

This guy was one of our groomsmen and has been a friend of Mr. A’s for a very long time. So Mr. A needs to go, but we can’t really afford for both of us, just with flights alone. So Mr. A and his other good friend (who were best men for each other’s weddings) are implementing the buddy system. Neither wife is going as a way to save some money. But believe me, Mr. A has been told he needs to be bringing me back some sweet stuff from India.

But what about the cruise?

Well if he gets to go to India, I am surely still going on my cruise. I decided to ask my MIL if she would be interested/would be able to go because she is a lot of fun and I’m sure I could handle being with her for 6 days for a beach filled vacation. She said she would check and last night she sent me a text saying that I had a cruise buddy and that she would be working on passport paperwork this morning.

SO. Yesterday was just bizarre. So many weird, but good things going on and this next year will be a bit of a whirlwind.

Now to just hope and pray and cross fingers and toes that next year we both have jobs and that we aren’t unemployed and living in a box. Because we all know I need my hair straightener and access to twitter. ;o)

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Filed under A little More About Me, Life After College, Married Life, Things I Love

Return Policy?

Some days I wish there was a return policy on parents.

Harsh? Yep. How I feel? Yep.

Mr. A and I both would like to trade in for different dads. Our moms we love to the moon and back and they are amazing.

My dad and I have always had a rocky relationship and it’s just gotten worse in the last few years. I don’t want to get too much into, mostly because I’m having a good night and if I talk about it in too much detail it will rapidly turn into an angry sob fest.

But, the core of it all is that my dad wants more to do with my brother and stepsister than me. I’m not saying it for sympathy. There are facts that prove it’s true.

My mom doesn’t really put it into those terms, but says that he and I “aren’t in sync”, whatever that means. If nothing else, I’m the stepdaughter, and not my stepsister.

And if I’m being honest, along with this summer’s events, it’s why I’m in therapy. My therapist is amazing but this is a problem I’ve had for a very long time and it won’t be resolved any time soon.

My poor mom has had to endure my crying, sobbing, yelling fits so many times, she deserves an award. Sometimes I need her to try less to get me to see his side or gain some understanding, and just be on my side, but she is doing what she thinks is best when I get into those moods.

Mr. A…well, he got the shaft in the dad department. He just did.

Now, before I go any farther, there are some of you that read this that know Mr. A and myself in real life, on a personal level. I write this blog for me and because it’s a space I feel I can say what I want. If you are one of the few people that I interact with regularly, I told you about this blog because I trust you, so please don’t go talking about this stuff, especially concerning Mr. A.

His dad never wanted a son. He wanted a drinking buddy and they have had a very rocky relationship.

Within the last two years, it has gotten so much better. Not perfect, but we were no longer living in Mville and it felt like they were getting to some sort of normal father son relationship.

But within the last two months, shit has hit the fan, and it really hit hard this weekend.

Since it’s not my father, I’m not going to give details, but it’s so incredibly angering all that has happened.

Mr. A is embarrassed and angry, but it’s also his dad and he feels pulled and unsure of what to do or how to say no. My MIL and I are just afraid his dad is going to try to pull Mr. A down too and we won’t be  letting that happen, even if it means my FIL no longer likes me.

Mr. A and I have a family motto. “Team ‘Smiths’” (Not our last name, but you get the point.) It’s our reminder that he and I are a family and we have to make decisions for our family and do what is best for us and that will help us to meet the goals we have for our family. Yes, parents are family, but Mr. A and I are a very close team and we have to work hard to get where we want to be in life.

And if we have to distance ourselves from my FIL, we will.

Am I trying to come between them? Not at all. But I can’t let him ruin everything we’ve worked for, everything Mr. A has poured his blood, sweat, and tears into because he can’t think beyond the immediate and makes horrible decisions. He doesn’t think about anyone else. And that’s fine, but if it’s going to interfere with our life and all we have going for us, we can’t allow it.

Mr. A feels the same. I’m not being the bitchy wife. I normally brag up and down about my in-laws. And my MIL is a saint and more than makes up for the crap his dad has done to him his entire life. Mr. A agrees. He just still wants to help if possible, but this time, it is very quickly not going to be something we can help with without wrecking our goals for life.

I know we can’t pick our parents. It’s the luck of the draw. Because of that, I honestly believe that Mr. A and I were meant to be together in order to make up for those gaps and problems in our own families and we now make our own team and our own family and work towards not repeating the mistakes of our dads.

While logically, I wouldn’t trade in my dad because without him, I wouldn’t have had these experiences and maybe would do the same things in the future or to someone else or to my future kids. It’s a piece of me, that makes me who I am and I will (eventually) be stronger from this. I just pray Mr. A can get through this, as unscathed as possible, and to not let his dad set the guidelines for his future. It’s what I’ve been praying about every since yesterday morning. Team “Smiths” will get through this.

(But maybe a month long exchange program? Could that be developed?)

Can we go on our cruise now? Maybe a two week cruise without phone service and maybe some of this crap will be solved while we’re gone. If only…

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Filed under A little More About Me, Normal Family?

Dancing the Liberal Line

So, this might make people mad. Who knows. But I believe people should be able to disagree and be nice about it. And this has been bugging me for a while, so I’m blogging about it. Just like I blog about nearly everything else in my life.

I am in a very liberal department. I think most English/literature departments are probably the same. It comes from looking beyond what is right in front of us to the meanings behind everything. We look for connections and motivations and reasons.

I would also consider myself to be pretty liberal, especially with social issues. I believe in equality for all, not just those that fit into a box that some people feel everyone should fall into. It’s something I’ve always believed and worked hard to demonstrate in my own life.

That being said, I also feel that some people get their panties in a bunch over nothing. Some people feel the need to find an argument or a fight in nothing. Also, people are fully capable of disagreeing about a topic, but still being respectful and considerate. A thoughtful discussion can happen with the understanding that neither party is trying to tell the other that they are wrong or trying to persuade the other to change their opinion. I love discussions like that. Discussing ideas and opinions and ideologies in a respectful manner.

However, in my department, many of my colleagues seem to believe that we should all think and act in the same way.

In my department, I’m a bit of an outlier.

See, I don’t fit the typical liberal master’s student mold.

Many that I am in school with equate liberal with feminist. And in a lot of ways, I agree with many of the feminist ideals. Equality. Reproductive rights. Not being forced into stereotypical social positions simply based on gender.

But I don’t seem to garner the same respect.

I married young, which tends to go against the ideas a lot of my classmates have. A lot of them don’t want to get married or tend to put their nose in the air when they find out that I married at 23.

Also, I want kids. I have always wanted to be a mom at some point. But I believe that I am also in a field that will allow me to be a mom and have a career that I love. As a college professor, I will get a whole lot more freedom in arranging my schedule so that I can still be with and raise my kids.

I also want a house with a yard. I want to be able to paint walls and hang things up and if I screw something up, not being terrified that my landlord is going to be pissed. I won’t be happy that I messed it up, but then I can fix it, or not, because the house will be mine.

For some reason, I’m the odd man out. Last year, I can’t even count the number of times that I was made fun of by “friends” when these topics would come up. I quickly learned that I would not be able to discuss these things with these people without being ridiculed both to my face, and more than likely, behind my back.

However, the most recent barrage of loaded questions and side glances is that of what I’m not doing right now.

I’m not applying for PhD programs.

You see, my husband and I graduate next May. As many of you know, the legal job market isn’t great. A lot of job markets pretty much suck right now, but the legal one seems to really be struggling. So many young people went to law school because they didn’t know what else to do, so there is an influx of lawyers in a job market that was hit just as hard as anyone else.

Because of this, I’m not applying for PhD programs since we have NO CLUE where we will be living next year. We don’t know where Mr. A will be getting a job and how much he will be making or how long it will take us to get settled.

So, I’m making the smart and, in my mind, commonsensical decision to hold off. I don’t want to apply to some school, love it and get my hopes up, to only find out that my husband got a job 3 states over.

I have no problem holding off a year, waiting to see where we will be, then applying for schools in the area. I will get more time to take the GRE and really decide where I want to go. I get to apply for jobs and hopefully get a bit of a break from being a student and just work for once. Only have work responsibilities and not also stressing over papers and such.

But to the super liberals in my department, I am an alien. Also, I apparently don’t care about feminist issues and only wanted an MRS degree since I’m waiting to see where Mr. A’s career takes us.

If I hear one more time, “Well why doesn’t he follow you?” or “Why can’t he find a job where you get into a PhD program?” I might scream.

Had I been in a program that say only 5 schools in the country had, then Mr. A would be all about looking for jobs in those places.

Because we support each other 100%.

But I’m not. Most big or decent size schools have my program. Possibly even close schools would allow me to do it via the internet. So I’m waiting.

I don’t even like to call it compromising because I don’t feel that I am giving up a thing. This is what I want. I’m in a very supportive marriage. My husband was the one pushing me to do this and will do what he has to in order to make sure that I get to finish out my program, like I want to.

Just because I’m not immediately moving from my master’s into my PhD, doesn’t mean that I’ve reverted to a 1950s housewife that cleans in pearls and has dinner on the table at 6pm every night and is satisfied with a slap on the ass as my thank you.

That’s not me. That’s not the woman Mr. A married and it’s not at all the wife he wants. He likes that I have career ambitions and am educated and am not satisfied yet, that I’m striving for more.

I just hate that apparently I can’t have a career and thoughts AND a family. Why do those have to be separate things? Why can’t I have both without feeling like I am on the defensive all the time? Why can’t I give them a hard time for moving straight into the next program, for sleeping around, for never wanting to own a property because “it’s so much easier for someone else to be responsible for it”, for never wanting kids?

That’s right. Because I am a believer in each person doing what is right for them. One of my good friends never wants kids, so maybe I don’t send her pictures of cute/funny kid things I find, but she also jokes about kidnapping me for girls’ nights once I do have a baby. I know she will be happy for us, but I also won’t try to push my ideas about motherhood on her. To be honest, I will be happy to have a friend that doesn’t want to talk about breastfeeding and poopy diapers.

I just want some mutual respect for my life decisions. I’m not out doing heroine or stealing things or hurting others. I’m following my dreams, and those dreams comingle a career and a family life.

Sorry for the rant. I’m just so aggravated with all of this right now and I just want to feel like I’m doing the right thing. I KNOW I am. But I hate feeling like I have to defend it or that I’m being talked about since I’m not out at the bars 4 nights a week.

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Filed under A little More About Me, Grad School?, Life After College, Married Life

After

Yeah…still not quite real.

More real than last week, but I feel like I’m in a fog.

I can’t seem to think straight. Or concentrate. Or to function properly.

Students were asking me questions in class today about their paper assignment, that I created, and it was like they were asking me to perform quantum physics on the spot.

I feel scatterbrained. I try to carry on conversations and my thoughts always go back to everything going on. A friend was trying to ask me my opinion about a haircut she was getting and I just couldn’t focus.

Mostly, I just don’t care.

I was so tempted to see if they could find another grad student to finish teaching my class for the summer so I could just stay home with Dad.

But that’s not really feasible. Dad wouldn’t want that. Eventually he will be going back to work and then I would just be sitting at home. Also, we need a paycheck.

I don’t want my life to unravel.

I really don’t want this to define me. I don’t want this to be all people see or think when they walk to me.

Doesn’t help that before I could even realize what I was doing, I told a fellow grad student what happened. I went to school today telling myself that I would just tell people that my stepmom passed away. Unless we were close friends, I wasn’t going to say the real reason. No need for that to be spreading through the halls of the department.

But someone said they were sorry to hear about the death in my family and it fell out of my mouth. And as I was saying it, I was wishing I could just shove the words back into my mouth.

I don’t know why I did it.

Maybe because I haven’t had a chance to say it. To see how the words felt in my mouth. To see how I felt once they were out.

It felt foreign. As if someone else was speaking. It wasn’t my words and it’s not my life.

This didn’t happen to my family.

Mr. A thinks I need to go talk to someone. About her death. About the issues I’ve had with my dad since long before this. How this affects my ability to ever talk to him about those issues without me sounding inconsiderate and selfish. If that’s even a possibility.

I probably need to. I just feel weird walking into the counseling center for some reason. I’ve talked with a therapist in the past, but I had a goal and she provided solutions and options for me to get there. This time? I couldn’t seem to make myself press “send” to call them to make an appointment. Maybe on Thursday. Maybe next week. Who knows.

I promise this isn’t all I’ll write about. There are just some things I need to get out and right now, this is the only safe place I have to say what I want without being interrupted. And strangely, I trust most of you more than other people. Not sure why, but I do.

I’ll get back to silly student stories and posts about Scout and fun weekends.

But for today, and maybe a few more days, I need a place to dump these feelings in hopes that this will help me make sense of all of this.

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Filed under A little More About Me, Normal Family?

Finality

I don’t exactly know how to say this. I don’t know exactly why I feel I need to say it other than it doesn’t feel real so maybe writing it will help.
I don’t know.
But tonight my stepmom took her life.
Nope. Still not real. Even rereading isn’t making it sink in.
Maybe it won’t ever sink in, but I needed to write it.
Mostly I need a place to not worry about how anyone else is feeling. I feel like I have to be strong for my dad and my stepsister. I cannot imagine what they are going through and I know my thoughts and fears are not their concern right now. So I get to come to this place and try in some small way to work through this.
Not sure that’s even possible right now but that’s where I am.
I’m rambling. I can’t seem to think straight. But I needed to see if it felt real so I could start to understand. Maybe I’ll just keep rereading until the words no longer mean anything. Maybe.

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Filed under Useless

Visitors!

My brother is one of my all time favorite people.

He and I are seven years apart, and we REALLY did not get along until I got into college. We were just entirely too different and at two different points in life to find much in common or to agree upon.

I was loud and talkative. He was quiet and reserved. I was terrified of our parents. He was sneaky enough to get away with alllllll kinds of things. He graduated from undergrad Suma Cum Laude. I..well…didn’t. He got straight As through his difficult Master’s program. I hope I do as well. I still think our parents liked him more. He agrees. ;)

But, if you are new or forgot, other than my husband, my brother is one of my best friends. He was my “man-of-honor” at our wedding, which was perfect since he and Mr. A are also really good friends. (Mr. A definitely got a much better BIL than I did.)

It’s great to get to talk to someone who understands the family frustrations. He’s incredibly funny and a bit of a smart ass. I guess it runs in the family.

Unfortunately, with our busy grad school schedules and B’s busy work schedule, we haven’t seen each other since Christmas.

So I was all kinds of excited when he sent me a text last night asking about coming down to visit this weekend! We have been trying to find time for him and his girlfriend to come down, but it just never happened, so we are super excited to spend the weekend with them.

We will probably grab lunch at a local place on Saturday before showing them campus. If the weather doesn’t get too bad, I’m hoping we can go to one of the many wineries around here and spend some time catching up. Not sure what to do Saturday night, but might grill here at the apartment and then go out to one of the hole in the wall bars since they are far more fun than the fancy ones.

Sunday, they want to get up and go hiking at the state park before getting some lunch and heading home. Should be a great time.

I REALLY wish they could bring their dog, but he is HUGE and I think he would just be very very bored in our small apartment. Also, not sure Scout would be so thrilled with a 190 pound boxer/mastiff since she freaked out when we tried to introduce her to my dad’s 11 week old puppy.

(This post is much lamer than I anticipated. I’m a little rusty with the blogging.)

I’m hoping to get a bunch of good pictures from the weekend to share with you all.

And since we need to do a big cleaning tomorrow night before they get here, I will FINALLY post some new apartment pictures!

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Filed under A little More About Me, Normal Family?

Adopted Family

Unfortunately, I don’t have a very close extended family. Both of my grandmas have passed away. I’ve never had a grandpa. My aunt and I, who I used to be VERY close with, have drifted after some tough and difficult situations and choices. All my aunts and cousins on my mom’s side live far away and we only see them at Thanksgiving or a funeral or wedding.

So while I love spending time with my parents and brother, I have missed the extended family time.

Luckily for me, Mr. A has a truly wonderful family, that since day one, has welcomed me with open arms and made me feel right at home. His granny went as far to say that I was always welcome back, even without him. And this was the first family event that I had been to. I love and miss that woman.

Mr. A and I have both lost our grandmothers that were very close to us. He was there for me as we watched my grandma struggle in her fight with ALS and he was there when she passed away. I knew what he was going through when his granny passed away while we were on our honeymoon in Mexico, so I tried to be as supportive as possible since I knew he was upset that we couldn’t be at home with his family. I almost hate saying “his family” and “my family”. It’s our family. Both sides are so incredibly loving and caring and open and welcoming. I couldn’t be more blessed.

So I was beyond excited when my MIL told me that Grandad, Aunt B and her husband J were going to come over for dinner. We were going to grill and watch the baseball game.

I’ve missed the family time and just laughing and enjoying company.

And Grandad is so funny.

He is 89 years old, still goes in to work every day. He’s healthy as a horse and only take a baby asprin everyday. Granny, however, was very sick and had heart problems. Well I guess she thought because she had to be so careful with her blood pressure, that if grandad’s blood pressure went up at all, it was a problem. When in reality, his blood pressure is perfect and if it rises a little, it’s a not problem.

Why am I talking about his health? Because he is a huge Cardinals baseball fan, but since last season when our team has been a little rocky and would give up big leads (like we did last night…), he said he couldn’t watch baseball anymore because his blood pressure would rise. Granny convinced him that he had heart problems too. It’s just funny.

But we figured with all of us hanging out and talking, he would be a little more distracted and so he could watch the game.

It was a good time. B and J had lots of pictures of all the cousins and our cousin’s adopted son from Africa. He is precious and love him and wish I got to see him more often.

This is really a rambling post to say I love family, even if it’s my “adopted” family. And I think I’ve spent more time with my MIL these past few days than I did with my husband. Oops? No. Not oops. It’s been a lot of fun and she has been doing so much for us and I know she needs some girl time, so I’m happy to do it. Did I mention that my flight is booked for Other State?

Yepp. I think July might be my favorite month.

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Filed under Home Sweet Home, Life After College, Married Life, Normal Family?