Wednesday, June 30, 2010

A Difference of Religion

Shelle Edit:  H.K. is one of my favorite people and a long time blog friend.  Her blog is about her family and her life.  The post about her personal struggle with a recent loss is one of the first posts I remember crying over.  She connects when she writes.  She writes for solely herself.  I thank her so much for writing this post.  After you read her here, you should go and check out her own personal blog H.K. Weighs In.

When I first met my husband, we instantly clicked. Our first date didn’t have those awkward silent moments, where you wonder what you should talk about-we never ran out of things to say. We were constantly amazed at how many things we had in common, except for one thing; I was Mormon (member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints) and he was a member of the
Pentecostal church.

However, we didn’t make the differences of our religion a prime focus on our relationship; instead we made a point of learning about each other’s beliefs and took turns going to each other’s churches on Sundays. And we continued that tradition even after we got married.

Some of our friends and family thought it was an unusual arrangement; there were a few who voiced their concern that I would leave the Mormon Church and my husband’s friends from his church voiced the same concern about him. It was an arrangement that worked for our relationship until I got pregnant.

I knew that continuing the arrangement of going to two churches that differed in their beliefs would be confusing for a child. We made it work when it was just the two of us, but would it work with our child?

I thought I had it all worked out and felt so proud that our relationship was strong despite the differences of our religious beliefs; would it continue to be strong if our child preferred one religion to another?

After many discussions, we came to the conclusion that we would continue with the arrangement even after our son was born. We wanted what was best for our child. We saw much good that came from each other’s religions and though we may have not agreed with some of the doctrines, in the end, we believed that what ever happened from our arrangement was meant to happen.

Several years into our marriage, I became very ill and it took me a few months to recover. When I became better, I was too weak to drive, so my husband decided that we would go to my church for awhile. It was supposed to be a temporary arrangement- until my husband wanted to learn more about my church and asked the missionaries to teach him.

After several missionary discussions, my husband was converted to the Mormon church and a year later our family were sealed in the LDS temple (to understand more about LDS temple sealings go here)

I did not go into my marriage thinking that I would eventually convert my husband to my church nor did my husband. We loved each other very much and we knew that if we wanted peace and harmony in our marriage, we needed to make a more concerted effort to understand each other’s religious beliefs and most importantly, to respect them- even if we disagreed with some of the doctrine.

I’m not sure how our marriage would be if we were still practicing different religions. However, I’ve seen marriages still thrive even with different religious backgrounds and I’d like to believe that our marriage would have been one of them.

Do you think it's possible for relationships or marriages to be successful despite religious differences?  How would you handle it?


Tuesday, June 29, 2010

How NOT to deal with a Depressed WIFE!

How Not to Deal With A Depressed Wife

~ Anonymous

My husband has a set way of dealing with the bumps in the road of life:

1. Ignore it. It will go away.
2. Get angry with it.
3. Make a joke about it.
4. Repeat as necessary.

These techniques do not work when dealing with the bump that is depression. They especially do not work when the depressed bump is me.

I’ve had episodes of depression since 1977. I suffered with post-partum depression after my daughter was born. At that time it was just “baby-blues” and not much was thought about it. Difficult financial situations, the rigors of working full-time, caring for home and child and that my husband had to travel for his job, all took their toll.

During the years between my daughter’s birth and 2004, his techniques for dealing with life were accepted and somewhat dealt with by me. After all, I was busy! Since my depression came and went and wasn’t really interfering with my own life, his attitude, his inability to communicate on any quality level didn’t really cause me much concern. You can get used to anything after awhile, I think.

It wasn’t until 2004 that I started to become clinically depressed. It was this year that my husband quit his job of 18 years, started his own business, against my very adamant objections, my pleadings and my well thought out 2 year plan. I began to realize that his less than adequate communication skills extended to listening and/or reasoning skills as well. In 2006, I was diagnosed with clinical depression by the psychologist I started to see in desperate need of someone to talk to and who would talk to me.

During the intervening years, as our 401K’s, retirement funds, home equity, credit, and quality of life were decimated; my depression became deeper and permanent. His way of dealing with me and life never wavered. Numbers 1 through 3 are in constant rotation. Getting angry with a depressed person will only cause the person to become more withdrawn, more hopeless and increasingly angry. My anger is ever present and many times irrational. Living with a depressed person can be trying for the most
compassionate, understanding human being. But if you lack empathy and you cannot/will not try to understand what the sick person is trying to cope with, getting angry or dismissing the person’s condition will only produce more resentment and anger.

If you joke about depression to someone who is sitting at the bottom of the abyss, they don’t really get it. I can’t tell you how many times his silliness has made me consider punching him right in the nos. After trying to get across the seriousness of any random situation I might encounter, his attempts to lighten the atmosphere isn’t well received – ever!

Before you think that I am just sitting around wallowing in my misery, let me assure you, I have sought help. I’m on medication. Being on anti-depressants helps in many ways but has side-effects. One of the side-effects I have is that I’ve lost all sexual desire. Decreased libido is a common complaint from people on anti-depressant medication. I cannot say if it’s because of the medication or because of my loss of respect (love?) for my husband. I’m thinking it may be a combination of both. This also causes anger.
His anger because I’m not interested in sex and my anger because this pleasure has been taken away from me.

My husband’s ability to ignore things and act as though life is fine is probably the most irritating trait he has. Part of that attitude, I believe, is that if you don’t do anything, you don’t have to accept responsibility. This means, that I must make the decisions. Therefore, if a decision isn’t correct, I take the blame. Adding guilt and a sense of failure to an already depressed, ill-coping psyche can only exacerbate my dread and hopelessness.

Because of my husband’s inability and/or unwillingness to understand my problem, his #1 Dealing with Life Rule is going to prove true. I will go away.

*Image was taken from this site.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Raising children on a united front? Not really...

For the longest time I never wanted to have children, so much so, that it was one of (the many) the deciding factors in my first marriage ending in divorce. Having a baby was something I never envisioned myself doing. Being a mother was not something that I thought I could do. I had a mother who was detached and unavailable my entire young life. She could not be bothered with me. Have you heard the expression benign neglect . . . this would be a fitting description of her treatment of me. Because of her, I never wanted to have children. I never wanted to have children because I thought I would be like her. I had numerous friends and mentors tell me that it would not be the case. But still I was adamant that I would never have a child.

Until I met my husband . . .

I fell instantly and deeply in love with my husband and he with me. We had a whirlwind romance, engagement and marriage all happening in a two year span. We traveled, we laughed, we had loads of fun and through all of this, I did everything for him. Literally . . . everything. I made him
breakfast, I packed his lunch, I made gourmet dinner (almost every night), I washed and folded and put away all his clothes. I cleaned up after him and his messes. I packed for him on every business trip and he traveled a lot! He never had to worry about one single thing. If he needed something; I was at his beck and call.

I got pregnant shortly after we were married and our first child was born before we even celebrated our first wedding anniversary. I was 34 years old and my husband was 39. I had a horrible birth story and ended up having a C-Sect and a very slow recovery. My husband remained home the first week to help out and my best friend (from FL) came to help me out as well. My new husband was not used to me not at his 'beck and call' but at this new baby's beck and call. He was mad that I invited my best friend to help me instead of his 68-year-old mother. And I discovered that my husband didn't even know where anything was in our house. We had our first disagreement over our son during that first week home from the hospital. My best friend left after two days and I banished his mother from my house. She came over for 6 hours and wouldn't let me have my son when he was screaming his head off because she could not stop messing around with him (up, down, unwrapped, rewrapped, hat on, hat off, up, down and repeat). . . it was traumatic to watch.

After the one-week was up, my husband returned to work. The night prior as had happened every night since we were home, little baby boy screamed his bloody head off if I set him down. I was exhausted since this had been going on for one week already and hubbie had been sleeping
peacefully each of those evenings. I was never able to nap during the day with new baby because everyone kept calling and 'dropping' by (before MIL banishment). If I did happen to fall asleep, everyone thought it was perfectly fine to march right into my bedroom and wake me up. I was exhausted!

So baby boy was screaming, I was rocking him and my husband stands up and shouts at me to get the hell out of our bedroom because he had to work in the morning. Our second argument began that evening. I kicked him out the bedroom and said a few choice words to him in the process.

Thus began our new daily routine of me worshiping this new baby and my husband taking a back seat . . . a place where he was not used to sitting. He was resentful and jealous of the baby and I was mad at him for not trying to bond with our new baby. We quickly discovered that we did not have the same parenting ideas and notions mulling about in our heads.

The first year was tough for us, this self-discovery of parenting skills . . . I discovered I absolutely was nothing like my own mother and I couldn't get enough of my son. I discovered having a baby was the best decision I had ever made in my life. My husband struggles quite a bit the first year of parenthood. He had notions about the sleeping arrangements that didn't match mine. He had ideas about breastfeeding that didn't match mine. His notions and ideas came from his mother and mine came from reading books and my own instincts.

My mother-in-law told me that I was letting our son win every time I picked him up when he cried or didn't put him down at night in a crib and that I should never let him sleep in my arms throughout the night. I just agreed with her, as I learned was the best route for my sanity. But frankly, I didn't think I was in a competition with my newborn son. If he wanted me to hold him, I was going to. If he needed me to hold him, I was going to. If he
cried, I was going to pick him up. I didn't think my baby was winning anything if he cried to be picked up. He was crying for some reason and he stopped when I picked him up. He was happy and I was happy to do it!

By the time my son celebrated his first birthday my husband and I had sort of come to an agreement. He was swaying more towards my parenting ideas and less towards his mothers. I was pregnant again and we were settling into parenthood. My husband still struggled with being a father and a husband. It was difficult for him to distinguish himself as both and it was very difficult for him to share his wife with his son. I did my best to make him
feel as important as I used too, but it was not as easy for me. I stopped making him breakfast, I forgot to make lunches a lot, gourmet dinners were replaced with quick easy dinners and I had him help me pack for his numerous business trips.

When our second child was born, a daughter, I thought my husband would ease into this baby much better. He did not. Simply put, my husband is not comfortable with babies. We were still having issues with his very intrusive mother and he was caught in the middle. I felt bad for him but stood firm in my beliefs that we were the parents and not his mother. I loved having a new baby again and a small child at home with me. I was probably the happiest I had ever been in my life. I was with my children 24 hours a day. I never let them out of my sight. I never allowed anyone to babysit for my children and was happy to change each and every single diaper. My husband still struggled with being a parent to not just one baby, but a toddler and a baby. We discovered that he was a one-child parent and this broke my heart because I so wanted another baby.

My husband traveled so much with his job that he was only home about two weeks out of every month. The parenting decisions were really my decisions and since he was not ever home I really didn't consider any of his input, not that he really offered any parenting input anyway. We moved to China when our daughter was a year and a half and we saw even less of him. I was basically a single parent with two small children in a country where no one spoke any English and it was basically sink or swim for me. I dove headfirst into the expat community and found a niche for my small family. During this time, my husband grew estranged from our children. He was virtually a stranger to them and acted as such. It was a very sad thing to witness and I was constantly after him to do this or that with our son or our daughter, but he just simply didn't have the time and I thought he didn't care.

I became pregnant again while residing in China and we returned home, as I didn't want to have another baby in another country. I forced my husband to take another position within his company, one that did not have any travel. No traveling . . . none! The first year home was a wonderful year, we were happy to be home, I was over the moon to be pregnant again and the children loved having their father around. My husband really focused on being a good father to our children that year. He re-bonded and reconnected with our son and our daughter.

Our second daughter was born that summer and once again I had a slow recovery due to C-Sect number three. My husband really stepped up and helped out with this baby. He discovered new babies are not as hard as he thought they were. He discovered babies stop crying if you hold and snuggle them just right. He discovered a newfound love he didn't know he had for this new little baby, our third child.

Over the past couple of years, my husband no longer takes a back seat with parenting. The parent who now struggles is me . . . I had the sole responsibility of parenting our children and now sharing that responsibility is not easy for me. I am a marshmallow. My husband is not. He yells. I do not. He sets punishments that are too strict. I undo those punishments. When the children do something wrong he is off shouting and lecturing. I am holding my babies, trying to protect them from his rules that I think are entirely too strict. He is firm and I am silly. He expects his requests to be followed immediately and I will tell my children all day long to do one simple task and later end up doing it myself. He thinks I spoil our children and I
think you can't love a child enough. He thinks I am too soft and I think he is too hard.

If the children do something, I try to hide it from him. I know this is wrong, but I just can't listen to another lecture from my husband about what a wimp I am. I don't consider myself that in the least. I just choose to speak to my children in a tone that is completely different from his and my punishments are much different from his. We are at an impasse right now in regards to our parenting styles. I don't think we will ever meet in the middle. People are different. We are different. Parenting may be one of the toughest jobs in the world. My husband and I are not a united front in raising our children. I don't know if we ever will be.

Tiaras & Tantrums

Friday, June 25, 2010

What Would You Rather Episode 7

What Would You Rather--I know sometimes it's hard to choose.  But play along and try and choose one and explain why you chose that one in the comments!

1) Would you rather marry someone who is funny OR someone who can sing?

2) Would you rather have really awesome friends OR your dream someone?

3) Would you rather run into your spouses ex OR yours?

Now tell us in comments--comment on other peoples comments--and feel free to say it Anonymously if that is more comfortable! 

p.s. All questions were found on THIS website.


Wednesday, June 23, 2010

From Spreasheets to Mom Sheets

Sage here, re-posting because this post got very few hits and is so well written we were not sure if y'all had seen it, so if you haven't read up, if you don't Shelle will hunt you down and do a titty twister on you.

Shelle Edit: Tiara's and Tantrums writes so well. You will confirm this after you read this piece. As I engrossed myself in her blog I love that she does reviews and giveaways, but has still not lost her personal touch on her blog. Also... on her profile pic... she has the most beautiful red hair... you know the color I try to get out of a bottle? Yea, beautiful. I appreciate her so much writing this piece! Please go follow her over at Tiara's and Tantrums.

I was a Senior Financial Analyst awhile ago . . . I used to manage budgets in the billions, to the exact penny. I was involved in negotiating corporate call-outs. I could create a Balance Sheet like no other in my department. My P&L reports were flawless . . . every single time. I would balance budgets across the nations, throughout North America, South America, Europe, and Asia-Pac. My turnkey reports were some of my finest works and my automated financial reports were amazing and I am sure are still being used. I could quote you GAAP and FASB rules verbatim and my Financial Roadmap was set.

I learned early on to take the maximum percentage out of my paycheck and put it into retirement. I invested any extra money I had and used the just rewards to purchase my first town house. I was house poor for a couple of years, but I still put away 15% of my salary. I never splurged on anything and during that poor house period, I did not purchase one pair of shoes or any new clothing . . . at all. I bought only necessary items and my bank account grew. I was pleased with myself for being diligent at work and at home with my finances and my employer's finances.

When I met my husband, he was like minded as myself with money. Even more frugal than myself I would say. We complemented each other. Neither he nor I had ever had a late payment; we each went through our bills and paid them in a timely manner. When we married, I moved into his duplex and sold my townhouse. The money was put into my savings account for the new house we were looking to purchase together.

We found a lovely site to build our dream house on. Because we had each lived frugally, we were able to purchase the lovely home of our dreams. The profit from the sale of my townhouse and the sale of his duplex gave us a large down payment on the home we now reside in.

My husband had a wonderful job. I had a wonderful job. I was pregnant and had no plans to leave said wonderful job. Until the baby was born, my son. I couldn't return to this company that I had worked so hard for and leave my little baby. Thankfully, my husband agreed that I would stay home. Obviously our finances took a huge hit and our lifestyle changed drastically. No more impromptu trips to where ever we wanted to go for a long weekend. No more following my husband to Europe on a holiday after a business trip. No more weekend trips to the city with delicious dinners being devoured. There simply was no excess cash flow as there had been with two good salaries.

Through all of this my husband and I had maintained separate bank accounts. He paid all the household bills and I took care of groceries and myself and our son. I was able to live off my savings for a year after I quit my job. I recall when the time came, I needed to tell my husband that I didn't have any more money and that he would need to start giving me some of his. I was not happy about this moment in my life because I had always taken care of myself. But ask him I did. He was happy to add me to his bank accounts and give me a credit card and an ATM card. (or so I thought)

During the first month of use I felt guilty spending my husbands money but my best friend told me to (literally) suck it up and spend away. My husband agreed to take care of me when he married me and that I had every right to purchase (within reason) what I needed and desired. I bought a new pair of sandals. What I didn't know, he was checking on line with the credit card to see what was purchased (what I was purchasing). He called me at home one afternoon to 'review' some purchases I had made (the sandals and some baby stuff). My best friend was there and witnessed this conversation. I was embarrassed and she was angry.

We obviously had a few discussions regarding this new money position that we were in and it took us awhile to get in the groove together . . . this sharing of 'his' money. He still refers to our bank account as his and states that everything is purchased with his money. But I can live with that.

My husband decided that since I was once a Financial Analyst that I should take over the balancing of accounts and such. Since that moment he has completely forgotten how to write a check (unless for himself), record a check, record ATM withdrawals or balance a checkbook. This is aggravating and frustrating to me, as I don't think the financial responsibility of our household should be 100% on my shoulders just because I have a degree in Finance.

However, I was quite diligent in my household with regard to our finances. I had forecast sheets for everything . . . literally, everything. We were still (and currently are so as well) saving the maximum amount for retirement and putting more away for stocks, college fund and savings. I had another baby and still my spreadsheets prevailed. We moved to China (in 2005) and we had to make due with a cash only country. In yuan(Chinese currency) no less. My spreadsheets were doomed . . . my forecasts were forgotten. I couldn't keep track of the money I spent because I barely knew what amount I was spending.

We returned to the US after residing in China for one year and (literally) living a cash only life. It is a strange adjustment and interesting lifestyle, but a good one I might add. I had another baby and never quite picked up my spreadsheets again. I haven't balanced my checkbook in almost a year. Sadly, I haven't opened any bank statements of any sort in over a year as well. I couldn't tell you how much money we have in stocks or IRAs any more unless I dug through a drawer. Frankly, it is too depressing. We have lost more money in stocks than I care to ever think about again. I know my husband doesn't even know what drawer to look in for these unopened statements. He doesn't even know the password to our online bank account.

All our bills are set up to auto pay because if they are not, I forget to pay them. I once paid the phone bill the amount I was to pay the cable bill and that was already three months past due. My phone bill was paid in advance for one full year and I was still over due on my cable bill! I sent my last property tax bill to the correct address, but the incorrect zip code. It went unpaid for three months without me even knowing it! I laughed about it because, really, who does that? (the only reason I found out was my bank deposited the amount back into my account because the check was never cashed).

It's shameful and I keep telling myself that I must get back on my financial game plan personally. But I lost interest in numbers somewhere along the line while having babies. I hope that I can find my numerical groove again soon. I need to for my children's sake. Because I have little regard for money matters these days, they do not as well. This is bad, very bad. Here I am . . . a former Senior Financial Analyst turned SAHM who can't balance a checkbook anymore . . . how sad is that?

Tiaras & Tantrums

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

What a Cluster...headache.

Shelle Edit: RedNeck Latte is new to me.  The time I spent on his blog, however, I became much more educated.  The guy knows his history and it's entertaining!  Can you believe it?  I didn't even snooze... not once!  I'm so happy he wanted to write on such a tough subject.  So take the time to read his blog and see what he has to say over at Red Neck Latte. After you read this well written post on his blight with depression.

Ah, depression – anger turned in on oneself.

Seriously, that’s what the ‘experts’ say.

And there are days, I agree.

I suffer from depression from time to time.  The first event was immediately after my first heart-attack.  I’ve had four.  Apparently fried foods and cigarettes are bad for you.  Who knew?  There should have been a report back in the 60s or something.  You know, some advice from a doctor or panel of them.  Hmmm.

At any rate, depression hits me from time to time.  After the first HA, I was terribly depressed and didn’t realize what was going on.  No one, not one doctor, nurse, aide, tech, no one – told me, “Hey, you’re gonna feel like crap.” 

But I did.

After speaking to my cardiologist, he realized what was going on and sent me to a counselor.  It helped.

Depression comes in many forms, and from many places.  This is my story, it may not be yours.  You alone can decide where yours comes from.

But after the initial bout with depression, the cluster headaches started UP.  I suffer from Horton’s Syndrome.  It is a form of Classic Chronic Cluster Headaches usually found in men.  In the rare cases when women have them, they often say it’s as bad as childbirth.  I won’t make that claim, I’ve never given birth, I’m a man, and that would be presumptuous. 

The pain is excruciating.  And comes out of nowhere.  No real warning, just a slight burning in the nose and then Bang!  There they are. 

They are unilateral, one side of the face and all.  And they are really not headaches, but face aches.   My teeth hurt, my nose burns, my tongue burns, and my head throbs.

I have one now.  It’s slight, and it’s under control, but I caught it fast. 

The real cause isn’t known.  But there are things that exacerbate them.  All the things that are supposed to be healthy for me do the trick.  Avocados, walnuts, strong cheeses, DARK CHOCOLATE, coffee, all the things I love, many of the things that are good for me.  They make them kick in.

And stress.

Some last for a few minutes.  I take OTC pain killers, a mix of Excedrin, Tylenol, and Advil along pure oxygen from a tank and with an ice pack on my face, and I can usually get them to go away.

The worst one lasted for 57 days.  It was horrid.  I wound UP in the ER.

The headache pain and experience is depressing, and we Cluster heads call it “dancing with the devil”.  

You have suicidal thoughts.  It would just be easier to die than live like this. 

After the headaches subside, or go away completely, the depression kicks in.  I don’t know if it’s that way for everyone, but for me, it’s deep, dark, and devastating.

The anger gets turned inward.  For years, no one, and I mean NO ONE believed I was in as much pain as I was. 

I was “emotionally fragile”, overstating it, being weak.  Faking it. 

But I was in pain, and I was depressed.

And even now, when they go away, I get dark, I get depressed.

Therapy helped.  The doctor I saw showed me a few “tricks” to use on myself to bring me out of the funk that the headaches leave me in.  I refused medicine.  I have an aversion to alcohol or any possibly addictive drug, so I steered clear of all that.

Walking helps.  With cluster headaches, a dark room, quiet, solitude: they don’t do the trick.  There has to be light, noise, action, movement.  So I walk, I read, I write.

And I talk.  Talk to anyone who will listen, keep company, and keep the dark thoughts away.  I usually try to steer clear of telling the listener what’s going on with me, it just scares them off.  And I need them.
I need the interaction.  I need the company, I need the comfort.  I need to avoid the anger.  I need to keep from turning on myself. 

So, talk to me, tell me your story, hell, tell me a lie.  I don’t care.  Listen, and talk. 

See, the headache is gone.  Time for some happy thoughts!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Invisible: Is it to much to ask to be appreciated?

Shelle Edit: Heels through emails is a delight. She is also NOT from the United States, and if you have posted anything that deals with politics, you find this out fast! :) I don't read her blog a lot because it's not up my alley, in fact, when I tried to read it for the first time, I embarrassingly admit I didn't understand most of what she talked about... so... let's leave it at that. She, however, wrote this vulnerable piece of work and I am so thankful she did. She is a Guest Contributor and I appreciate her taking the time to write for us and hope she does so again. Check out her blog if you have time (WARNING: It's not SAFE for work (NSFW). Meaning, if it had a movie rating it would probably be rated higher then a PG-13... hence the reason why most of it was over my head, I have the mental capacity no higher then 13. Anyway, she may not always be fully dressed and she talks about ADULT things... so ADULT content. I've done my duty and you've been warned.) Heels N Stockings Blog click HERE.

If you want to read about her Day to Day Mom happenings--and I'm so sorry, I forgot about this blog, I have read it, and it's worth a good amount of ones time! (sorry Heels for forgetting about this one) Click HERE for HEELS' MUM Blog

Just because I make things look easy it isn't!

In my marriage and with my lover now I have become invisible. In life I'm the sort of person that arranges stuff for family and friends. I direct the school play, I run the dance show and I make the costumes, I lend stuff, pass on great contacts and generally make sure every one is ok.

In my marriage if we are going out I've booked the restaurant the taxis, sorted the sitter, when we have moved house he has turned up at the new place and its all done and decorated. I'm even surprised he was there at the conception of our children. I know the detail, I know what to cook if its a special day for everyone so they are all happy. yesterday he bought me profiteroles as a surprise dessert.... I hate them, always have done, always will do. I hate air freshener, I'm allergic to most, but he thinks if hides them I won't realise they are there.... the migraine is the give away honey!

As for the Xmas show,2 days before the main gig last year I get a call from one of the other mum's, they are losing the plot at the rehearsal and the head teacher needs you. Now bare in mind there were over 90 sets of parent stood around watching the debacle occur and nobody stepped up. On the show day I dressed their kids, I fed them because half of them had been dropped off with out packed lunch, I made sure there children arrived on stage and knew what they needed to do, I sacrificed seeing my children dance from the seat I'd paid for to help. I've been asked to do it again.... and you may think I'm mad but yes I'm doing it, I wouldn't trust them now with my children's special day. it's there day to shine so if it means i have to be the other side of the curtain to make it happen for them i will.

I seem to make myself invisible, people think things just happen because I don't openly complain, I'm a do'er. My friend said I should say no more or not do it in future but isn't that sacrificing who I am, is not too much to ask to be appreciated?

Heels or MUM HEELS!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

I was interviewed about THIS blog!!! *Fist Pump*

So I had this email come though one day from THIS website and at first I thought it was SPAM.  So I was going to Delete it, but the subject line said: INTERVIEW.

So I got curious.  I opened the email.

Guess what freak shows.  They wanted to interview ME because of THIS blog!  Our Real World Blog!

I KNOW!?  Right?  I was more excited then a new mom who just fit back into her Pre-Pregnancy Jeans! I kid you not.

So I emailed them back.  And I waited for a reply, because I knew I was getting punked.  And I was ready for a killer response to the person punking me... I was going to punch them in the arm.

But this was FOR REAL!  I kept telling them that NONE of us were experts on the blog, but they just kept saying our blog is exactly what they needed for their site.

We scheduled a time, they called me, and the interview took place (It was funny because I had never been PODCAST interviewed before, they call you up on the phone and you talk.  So I hear the music begin to introduce the podcast--he does the whole "We are with Shelle Blok from such and such, thanks for being with us" and I totally froze, wasn't sure if I was suppose to say "Hi" or what, so I just said nothing and he was like, "Hello? Did I lose you?" and I'm like, "No No NO! I'm sorry, I didn't know what to do! You didn't say what to do here!"--like a complete idiot, and he thought that was pretty hilarious--and I'm a nerd).  And the WHOLE time I knew someone was going to say, "You're on Candid Podcasts!" (you gotta say that with the Candid Camera jingleor something like that.

BUT... (wait for it...)they never did!  It was actually a Real Podcast!  They have my picture up and a description of me that I wrote on my profile and they make me sound REALLY important, even though it's little ol' me.

SO here is the interview: CLICK HERE TO HEAR MY LITTLE GIRL VOICE AND MY FREAKISH LAUGH Now you'll understand why I went with the voice option yesterday. 

I was so excited when they emailed me to say this was all legit and that the interview was up!  And I kinda fell in love with podcasting.  So don't be surprised when you are suddenly emailed by us asking for us to interview you via podcast... just sayin.

When you get to the site, it will have a bunch of podcasts listed. The Real World one says, "Relationship Blogger Shelle Blok"... so press play on that one, number 3 I believe. - Expert Health Interviewers

How cool is that button? It's so official and stuff.

Anyway--a question--do you ever worry about what your kids will think, if they ever begin to read your blog, when you are writing a post? That was one of the questions... you'll have to listen to my answer, but I'm curious what you guys think.


Wednesday, June 16, 2010

What Would YOU Rather Episode 4

What Would YOU Rather?  I know sometimes it's hard to choose.  But play along and try and choose one and explain why you chose that in comments!

Here we go!

1) Would you rather have eyes that always make people smile OR a voice that makes people calm?

2) Would you rather be overweight and healthy?  OR Skinny and unhealthy?

3) Would you rather be rich but have a horrible marriage and can never get out OR be poor the rest of your life, always struggling with money, but be in love.

Okay!  Let us know in comments what you would rather... and feel free to be anonymous and/or comment on other people's comments!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Depression-you have to work on cutting it free.

Shelle Edit: PapaK is one of my daily reads. Love his writing because somedays he's witty and makes me laugh out loud and sometimes he's really serious and makes me use my brain, and I'm not always against that. He's also ambitious--which goes against everything I believe, he vowed to type 30 posts in 30 days... and get this, he's STUCK to it so far!!! I KNOW!!! Crazy right? Plus he featured me and this blog on his blog and linked up so I'm endeared to him forever! Another reason why you should love to hate him... his wife, GORGEOUS, his little girl, beautiful. Just should check his blog out and follow him. You will thank me later.

Topic: My spouse or I deal with depression. How it effects the relationship. What we do. How we cope or not.

I used to see people who suffered from depression as weak. Sure it made sense to be depressed if a loved one died, you were a victim of some horrific crime or any other varying degree of the hideousness that can happen on this planet. But what really got me were those individuals who had everything… and were still depressed.

I really couldn’t identify with it. I really couldn’t understand. I could never suffer from depression… because my life was perfect!!

Then I became a father.

Please don’t get me wrong, I’m not at all saying that becoming a parent isn’t the most wonderful, life-changing, spectacular moment of your entire life!! But from the moment I looked into the eyes of Daddy’s Little Girl (DLG) a trigger went off and from that day forward I struggle on a daily basis with varying degrees of stress, anxiety and guilt... which all lead to depression.

Now… I’m blessed with an incredibly sexy wife and a gorgeous (nearly) two-year old daughter.

Money isn’t tight… but we don’t use it to blow our noses into either. We’re all in perfect health. DLG isn’t a “rowdy hellion” by any means. We have lots of friends. I’m able to pursue the hobbies that I enjoy.

So… by my “pre-depression” calculations I shouldn’t be depressed! I should be thanking my God for all the blessings he has bestowed upon me!

And I do.

But I am horribly imperfect and fall victim to the struggles in my mind all too often.

I remember rocking a six-month old DLG to sleep one evening and I couldn’t shake the horrible feeling that she was going to die. The more I tried to push the thought out of my head the stronger it pushed back. I eventually wound up in a pile of tears in the rocking chair before my wife came in and took over.

I would go to work knowing fully that DLG absolutely was not in the baby seat behind me. But after a couple hours at work… this fear would creep into my head that maybe I left her back there and I just didn’t remember! This would require a trip out to my car just to ease my mind.

As time passed on my obsessions and thoughts became more invasive and vastly more horrific. I truly began to think there was something wrong with me.

“Am I going crazy?” I’d think to myself.

I never knew depression to the point where I wanting to end my life… but there was times where I wished I’d rather have been dead than to go through the mental torment I put myself through.

During this whole time, my wife stood there and held me in my most desperate times of need. It was a truly weakening moment that brings tears to my eyes this day to know that she knew I was going through all of it and there wasn’t really anything she could do.

“You’re here with us… but your mind is somewhere else.” She’d always say.

I felt as though I were the only person in the world going through what I was going through.

I eventually swallowed enough of my pride to admit that I couldn’t work this out on my own and sought out a professional therapist who I could talk to. This was only after I had hit rock bottom, after I’d wake up in the morning counting down the hours until I could go to sleep again and after I couldn’t look at DLG without my heart jumping into my throat in fear she was going to be taken from me.
My tears were in short supply after leaving the therapists office.

The fix was not as immediate as I wanted it to be… but it got fixed.

We talked about my childhood, about my life, about my marriage, about my spirituality and about anything relevant to me at that moment. Without getting too far into the folds of my gray-matter… the therapist and I slowly chipped away at the wall I had built up. I tore down every “tough guy” wall I’d built and reduced it to a sniveling pile of rubble.

The evenings after my appointments would involve me sitting with my wife and telling her what I was comfortable in telling her. She’d sit and stare intently and tell me how proud she was of me for conquering my issues… and my deepest fears.

After several months of hour-long conversations, homework and doctor appointed reading, my therapist asked that I bring in my wife for a session. I was finally able to see the fruits of everything I’d been working toward: to become myself again.

“I’m just so happy he found you,” my wife told the therapist as tears streamed down her face, “I’ve got my husband back… and I thank you.”

I was interested in volunteering for this writing assignment because when I was going through my depression… I felt alone. I felt there wasn’t anyone I could talk to and I felt like my situation was the only one like it in the world!

I’m here to tell you that’s not the case because EVEN I have been on the wrong end of a depressive state of mind.

I’m also here to tell you that you’re not “weak” for admitting to yourself that you might have a problem you have to work out. I can tell you that you’ll ultimately become stronger for working through your issues rather than wallowing in them.

My stress, anxiety, obsessive tendencies and depression have all greatly decreased as a result of my wife standing by my side through the whole ordeal. When I was being reduced to nothing more than a limp rag as a result of my depressive thoughts she held me and just listened, held me, kissed me and told me how much she loved me.

Depression can be extremely scary and I wouldn’t have been able to tell you that until I went through it. The best thing you can do if your spouse is depressed is hold them tight, offer up your ears to listen and tell them how much they mean to you. It’s amazing how far a little bit of love can go.
I can’t say that I’m glad I go through my bouts with depression but I can look back on them and see what I’ve gained from the experience.

The love for my wife evolved into much more than just physical attraction… I realized in those moments she really did love and care for me! I’m not saying that I hadn’t noticed it before but it was “hard core” evident now. She wasn’t going to abandon me in my most difficult time of need.
I hug my daughter much tighter now, without those twinges of doubt that made those moments so unbearable… and there’s nothing greater.

Bottom line: if you or your spouse has ANY of the vast and varying degrees of depression… you’ll first have to admit to yourself what you suffer from and then work on fixing yourself. Depression doesn’t just go away on its own… you have to work on cutting it free.

PapaK- HandstoWar

Monday, June 14, 2010

Make Up Sex... DeJa Vu!

Shelle Edit: I posted this in the early days of this blog. Since a lot of you are new, I thought I'd post it again and see what you guys thought. My stance hasn't changed ;)

I think Make Up Sex is a HOAX!

I don't believe in it... not one bit!

And I don't count regular sex after you've made up from an argument.

Because I have been led to believe that Make-Up sex is hot, sticky, and unbridled!

An OUTER BODY experience... some friends have even went so far as to tell me that it is some of the best SEX they have ever had!!!


See... we fight, disagree, argue... make-up, hug, kiss... smile.

Then eventually comes the inevitable sex... but nothing out of the ordinary. Not to say that it isn't good or fantastic or great... because I mean it usually is all of that.

But I was expecting that after we made up he would get hot and jump my bones and we would fall to the ground in a tangle of sloppy kisses and discarded clothing... ya know?

So tell me... all lies? Or are we just not making up right??? Any pointers if that is the case?



Saturday, June 12, 2010

A Little Humor

I posted this fun post on my blog a few months ago and after reading Shelle & DGB's post on Technology on Wednesday, I thought of this post and couldn't resist to get it on here.

When I was a kid, adults used to bore me to tears with their tedious diatribes about how hard things were. When they were growing up; what with walking Twenty-five miles to school every morning.... Uphill... barefoot... BOTH ways Yadda, yadda, yadda

And I remember promising myself that when I grew up, there was no way in hell I was going to lay a bunch of crap like that on my kids about how hard I had it and how easy they've got it!

But now that... I'm over the ripe old age of thirty, I can't help but look around and notice the youth of today.

You've got it so easy! I mean, compared to my childhood, you live in a damn Utopia!

And I hate to say it, but you kids today, you don't know how good you've got it!

I mean, when I was a kid we didn't have The Internet. If we wanted to know something, we had to go to the damn library and look it up ourselves, in the card catalogue!!

There was no email!! We had to actually write somebody a letter - with a pen!

Then you had to walk all the way across the street and put it in the mailbox and it would take, like, a week to get there! Stamps were 10 cents!

Child Protective Services didn't care if our parents beat us. As a matter of fact, the parents of all my friends also had permission to kick our ass! Nowhere was safe!

There were no MP3' s or Napster's! If you wanted to steal music, you had to hitchhike to the damn record store and shoplift it yourself!

Or you had to wait around all day to tape it off the radio and the DJ would usually talk over the beginning and screwed it all up! There were no CD players! We had tape decks in our car. We'd play our favorite tape and "eject" it when finished and the tape would come undone. Cause - that's how we rolled, dig?

We didn't have fancy crap like Call Waiting! If you were on the phone and somebody else called they got a busy signal, that's it!

And we didn't have fancy Caller ID either!
When the phone rang, you had no idea who it was! It could be your school, your mom, your boss, your bookie, your drug dealer, a collections agent, you just didn't know!!! You had to pick it up and take your chances, mister!

We didn't have any fancy Sony PlayStation video games with high-resolution 3-D graphics! We had the Atari 2600! With games like 'Space Invaders' and 'Asteroids'. Your guy was a little square! You actually had to use your imagination!! And there were no multiple levels or screens, it was just one screen... forever!
And you could never win. The game just kept getting harder and harder and faster and faster until you died! Just like LIFE!

You had to use a little book called a TV Guide to find out what was on! You were screwed when it came to channel surfing! You had to get off your ass and walk over to the TV to change the channel! NO REMOTES!!!

There was no Cartoon Network either! You could only get cartoons on Saturday Morning. Do you hear what I'm saying!?! We had to wait ALL WEEK for cartoons, you spoiled little rat-bastards!

And we didn't have microwaves, if we wanted to heat something up we had to use the stove! Imagine that!

That's exactly what I'm talking about! You kids today have got it too easy. You're spoiled. You guys wouldn't have lasted five minutes back in 1980 or before!

The Over 30 Crowd

Hope you enjoy that. Have a great weekend and God bless!

Friday, June 11, 2010

What NOT to say to SINGLE people.

Shelle Edit:  I have known Barb for a LONG time, or so it seems that way.  She is a blogger friend made real life friend when I met her for lunch at Olive Garden.  Nothing says friendship like bread sticks from Olive Garden... just sayin.  The thing about Barb is she is young and hot and... wait for it... WITTY as all get out.  I love the way she writes and I love her sense of humor.  She is just as funny in real life--if you follow me on FaceBook I even have a picture of her! She may have me on all that smooth college skin and hot smokin bod--but I got her on eating the most bread sticks.  That says something.  When you get done reading her here, go read her on her personal blog--Barbalootsuit. ).

What NOT to say to SINGLE people... 

There's a trend among those of you that have been out there enjoying your marital bliss. You want to hear about the lives of those who don't have it, give them advice, help them on their way, share how great it get the drift. While we may (or may not) appreicate the thought, here is a guide of things you should avoid saying if you prefer to not have your throat ripped out.

-So, why are you still single? Well, sometimes I wonder if it's cuz I kinda walk like a duck..? Or maybe it's because I'm too introverted and don't give people the chance to get to know me..? It could be my complete lack of interest in the NBA and refusal to pretend otherwise..? I mean really, it'd probly be easier if you just asked us for a list of our insecurities.

-Or, equally as horrid, when are you getting married? Well gee, let me check with my non-existent fiancee and I'll get back to you on that one.

-You just haven't found him yet. Oh really? Is that why I'm still single and not going out on dates? Thanks for the clarification. I'll start looking harder at all those events I attend with massive amounts of single people.

-He just hasn't found you yet. Right-cuz I've been working so hard on my dating camouflage skills.

-It'll happen when it happens. Thanks Captain Obvious.

-It happens when you're not looking. For those of us that can't turn off the "looking" button, that's super discouraging. And also, I have known more than a few people that found their spouses when they were looking. So, it's just plain false.

-There are so many great guys out there. Gee, thanks for pointing out the fact that I can't even manage to find one.

Now, here's the thing: no, we should not complain and we should make the most of our current status in life and focus on being our best self, BUT never, NEVER, tell us to be grateful we're still single. Especially don't do it while simultaneously complaining about your marriage. We get that it's hard. We know changing your life to accomodate a spouse isn't going to be easy. But you know what? We're willing to do it. We're wanting to do it! Being in love is fun, and we want that. While we may enjoy the occasional crazy weekend, staying up late with friends, going on last minute weekend trips etc, we'd trade it for the relationship that you are complaining about.

If you simply must ask if we're dating and/or interested, make it tactful. Ask if we're seeing anyone. If we're not, leave it at that. Change the subject. The weather is always an easy one. There is no need to tell us how blind the other boys (or girls) are, how amazing we are, what they're missing out on etc. Chances are, there is something (or many somethings) we could do to improve ourselves and become more dateable. Giving us a false belief in how great and perfect we are certainly isn't going to make us more attractive to the opposite sex.

One final tip: be careful of setting up people on blind dates. Just because two people are single, that in no way means they'll be compatible. Trust me. I have, sadly, vast amounts of experience on this one.

Disclaimer: obviously, the facts (er, opinions) stated herein do not apply to all singles. But chances are, if you know them well enough to discuss their dating life, or lack thereof, you at least have a general idea if they're shooting to become the next George Clooney or if we think Seal and Heidi Klum are better role models.


Thursday, June 10, 2010

He Said She Said: Techonolgy

All I asked of the contributors is that they take one side of the issue and tell us why they believe that! Comment and tell us who you agree with or what you believe or think! The topics are suppose to elicit a response and start a conversation in comments. Enjoy!

Topic: Technology--Good or Not Good.

HE Said: Daddy Geek Boy

It’s a great time to be a geek. Technology is amazingly cool right now. Seriously, most of us are walking around with small computers in our pockets. In our pockets!!! Our phones not only make calls, but we can play games, surf the internet, carry around our entire music collections, and—thanks to the new iPhone—even edit our home movies. As long as I have my Blackberry* I am never bored.

I get bored really easily. I always have. As a kid, I would carry around a copy of the latest Mad magazine with me wherever I went in case life got dull. And for anyone who’s ever been dragged to the mall while their mom shops for clothes (as I was many a time) you can admit that there indeed were dull times. I remember sitting around listlessly waiting for her or my sister to emerge from the changing room so we could either get to the food court or head home. Armed with a smartphone, those outings would have been tolerable at the very least.

But it’s not only about passing the time, technology is about being connected. Facebook and Twitter allow us to keep in touch with friends around the world. Apps like Pandora lets us explore new music. Always having access to my work email actually allows for a greater degree of freedom, because I do not have to be tied to the office in order to be productive. Then there are games. Growing up it was hard to imagine heights greater than the black on green graphics of Tetris for Gameboy. But have you checked out PSP or DS? Excuse me while I try to revive the 12 year old version of me that passed out.

And it all just keeps getting better.

My kids are going to have an even richer experience with technology than I do. Someday they will look at the iPad the way we look at an Atari 2600 now. I want to encourage their love of tech and gadgets. I want them to be state of the art and understand how to use technology. So I will provide them with what I can, the gadgets, the knowledge and the fun that goes along with electronics. They need to know how to use technology to enrich their lives. After all, their dad’s a big geek. They should be too.

*Being a proud Mac user, you’d think I’d have an iPhone. But my dissatisfaction with AT&T overrides by being a card carrying member of the Apple cult.

She Said: Shelle

I'm going to start this off really well by saying I am a total geek when it comes to technology. I love it. In some cases I'd say just as much as Daddy Geek Boy and for almost the same reasons. I admit that I am very thankful that I was born in an era where I can drive a few hours and entertain my kids with Nintendo Ds's or a DVD player or My Phone or My Ipod. (I also would have an iPhone if it wasn't for AT & T hoarding all the rights to it). I am CONSTANTLY connected. For my work both personal and the one I have to clock into. I blog, tweet, facebook, etc...

That being said. I feel there is a big problem with it.

I know, I know, you are saying, "But Shelle, you just explained how much you are tapped into technology, and from this perspective, it doesn't seem like you have a chance of a debate here."

Hear me out is all I ask.

I feel technology is upsetting the basic family unit and the time given to it. The personal connection is gone. Some are even neglecting family in order to connect to their virtual outlets such as facebook, twitter, blogging, Fantasy (enter sport here), etc, meaning that a bigger percentage of their time meant to be spent with family is being spent on their virtual "family" instead.

Kids and their texting. My nephew's girlfriend told him she loved him for the first time via TEXT!? What the heck is that all about? I told him to drop her and quick. That should be said at least to their face. Texting keeps you from having to deal with physical reaction. Can't fulfill a responsibility? Just text the person you're letting down, no harm done for you because you can't feel the guilt coming off of them as their face falls from the news that you are neglecting your responsibility. Do you get what I mean?

Another example, I was at a restaurant the other day, I am a self proclaimed people watcher, I looked over and observed a family of 5, three boys and a Mom and Dad. Dad was on his iPhone (I was totally envious) and three boys were all playing their very own DS's while Mom was scanning the menu. This continued until their waiter came, at which point the Dad looked up and ordered, and then the Mom ordered for her and her three boys who still were zoned in on their games. Nothing was said to one another, no connection other than their virtual entertainment.

I can speak from personal experience. When I began blogging I started to notice that my laundry pile was higher than it should have been, the vacuuming was left undone a lot of the time, and bathrooms were being reported by HAZMAT. My husband soon became bitter towards blogging because all he heard was "I'm coming just need to read this last blog and comment" or "yes I'm on the computer AGAIN". I also still have a bad habit of checking my phone and needing it wherever I go. Right in the middle of a conversation I have been known to pull my phone out and check it for an email or a twitter/facebook reply. I realize it's rude, I just can't seem to stop myself from doing it. That one was a very hard habit to break, I still sometimes relapse.

I think kids also feel that they need constant stimuli from technology because it is everywhere. I refuse to let my kids take or play with any electronics when we are at the park or eating at the dinner table. We talk and interact with real human beings at night when we sit down to eat our one meal that we do eat together. When we go to the park or zoo or any outing, they have to soak it in whether they are bored or not.

I guess it's the abuse of technology that I find most disturbing. The urgency and panic if one is disconnected for even an few minutes. The what ifs? What if I miss a work email? What if I get behind in my blog reading? What if I miss a reply? It's overwhelming and adds to our daily stress. I mean think about it?

So families suffer... we suffer... so technology can also be a bad thing and I think if you are involved with the virtual world, then you at one point or another have experienced the bad technology ensues in our lives.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Group Therapy: Question on Race and Religion

Welcome To Group Therapy:

I had just a question come in anonymously for Group Therapy.  So answer in comments.

"Would you seriously date, or marry someone from a different race?  What about a different religion?"

That's it! Discuss amongst yourselves.

***If you have any questions or problems that you would like to have addressed in Group Therapy please email me at blokthoughts@gmail dot com orrealworldvenusmars @ gmail dot com.

Leave your advice in the comments, comment on other comments, and feel free to comment Anonymously.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Politically divided...Freedom is NOT free.

"I am no believer in the amalgamation of parties, nor do I consider it as either desirable or useful for the public; but only that, like religious differences, a difference in politics should never be permitted to enter into social intercourse or to disturb its friendships, its charities or justice. In that form, they are censors of the conduct of each other and useful watchmen for the public." --Thomas Jefferson to Henry Lee, 1824. ME 16:73

I went back and forth about posting this over here at Real World, but it is about relationships, or lack there of, and I’m seeking advice or validation… however you perceive it. And this Real World blog is for this very purpose, to post things more sensitive than one would usually post on their own blogs. And one thing I do actually stay away from, usually, on my blog is politics.

See, I would be considered conservative in any political circle.

I don’t hold true to any one party, but to the person, or party, who sees the way I see things THE MOST, but admittedly, both parties are corrupt in their own way… to be an effective voter though, you must make your vote count, so you choose a party that you agree more with. So my decision on who I vote for may vary by party, as long as I stay as true to myself as I can.

Does that make sense?

I will say that I don’t agree with a LOT of the things the current government is doing, almost nothing, which is pretty rare in my short experience of being on top of things politically.

This has rolled into and affected some of my relationships.

It scares me.

Where once I could talk friendly and even openly to others that believed differently than me politically, it has now become an effort of the highest degree. I can hardly stand it. I want to scream and yell, and rant and rave, and call names. If you know me, this is not really in my character on a day to day basis. I’m pretty chill. I may get bugged and have a spat, but never really get ready to go one on one in a UFC ring.

The only times I actually feel that way is when I have a lapse of judgment and try to argue religion, which is fruitless, or, when someone messes with one of my offspring, other than that, I’m good.

I almost can’t even hang out with those that differ from me politically, in real life; … it has gotten that bad. It’s like we have nothing to talk about that doesn’t eventually flow into the current administration and although I have gotten really good at holding my tongue, because I know the conversation will go NO WHERE if I continue to involve myself in it, I am screaming in my head… SCREAMING! Do you know how difficult it is to be sane when you are screaming in your head?

I am exhausted by the end of my time with them, so much so, that I am almost bitter about it.

With blog reading it is different; someone will get on their soap box and preach their undying love. Instead of disliking them for it, I can just leave their blog for that day and be no worse for the wear, but it’s harder to leave in the middle of a dinner conversation when they are a guest in your house (that you invited)… ya feelin me?

It doesn’t just scare me, it makes me sad.

I think the crevice that divides this country naturally has grown all too big. Where we could stand together mostly as a nation, I believe, we now stand as two separate groups, the ones who agree with how the current government is running things, and the ones that want to do something about it.

I love the end of this statement given by Sylvia Allen, Senator of Arizona, about the law S.B. 1070, she states, “Maybe it is too late to save America. Maybe we are not worthy of freedom anymore. But as an elected official I must try to do what I can to protect our Constitutional Republic. Living in America is not a right just because you can walk across the border. Being an American is a responsibility and it comes by respecting and upholding the Constitution the law of our land which says what you must do to be a citizen of this country. Freedom is not free.

To be an American, is a responsibility, and, freedom is not free. So true. But it starts with the basic human relationship. We fight, or have an innate sense to fight, for our relationships with our family and friends, our relationship with our country, our relationship with God, our relationships and connections period.

Arizona was on the side of doing something about it. Doing something that they felt would protect the citizens of their state.

Relationships are important things. Our lives are full of them, we were not meant to be solitary we were built to have connections. When a nation, whose basic principles were founded on bonding together to break free of tyranny, divides itself so completely and so visibly to other nations as it is now, it makes us weak and vulnerable.

And that is scary… and very very sad.

So what do you guys think? Am I totally blowing hot air? Or does anyone else see and feel what I am feeling? Or do you totally disagree with me? Have politics affected a relationship/friendship of yours?


Friday, June 4, 2010

Mine, His, and Ours-Finances.

Shelle Edit: Jaime is another Guest Contributor and we are so thankful she asked to write here.  She is a lawyer by day and a Mom by night, or so her profile says, "just call me wonder woman".  Seriously, a few posts in and there is no doubt in my mind she is just that.  She's articulate and intellectual, yet she writes her posts in such a relate-able way.  You should definitely take some time to go over and read her at her personal blog-- Red Red Whine.  Witty...isn't it? :)

Hubby and I met in law school because our roommates were interested in each other. They refused to go out without all hours of the day and night. Through this forced interaction, a deep, shared resentment of our roommates and fondness of each other flourished. In the end, we wound up together - they didn't.

One of our biggest challenges when we finally moved in together was paying bills. His way was to let bills sit until right before they were due. This drove me nuts because, inevitably, we'd get busy or he'd lose the bill and we'd get hit with late charges. I like to pay my bills as soon as I get them. That way I know they're paid, they're off my mind and I don't have to worry about getting busy or losing the bill. (This drives hubby crazy because he doesn't want utility companies earning interest off his money.)

We resolved our dispute by allowing him to have his way on any bills that were in his name and my way on the ones which were in mine. Each month, we would each write a check for half of each bill. My mother thinks we're insane, but we continue on this way over a decade later...

Between the two of us, we have six bank accounts: the joint accounts, his and mine. Yes, all the money is "ours" but I like having my own money. I tend to hoard it while hubby tends to invest his. He hates having to remind me to fund my retirement account and that I don't want to write big checks to pay down our line of credit. I can't help it, I hate doing it! I like to see a good sized balance in my savings account. Sure, it's earning virtually no interest but I can see it there so it's more tangible for me.

We're very lucky that our spending habits are similar. We work really hard for our money and don't spend it freely on a lot of things. That being said, hubby is a pilot and is going for his instrument rating. If I knew how much he spent on lessons, I'd go ballistic. Similarly, if he knew how much I spent on my personal trainer, I don't think he'd be too happy with me.

But when it's "my" money, if I want to shell out a little of it on a new pair of shoes each month or go a little crazy at the Victoria Secret semi-annual sale, I should be entitled to... And he should have the same kind of freedom with his flying, as long as it comes out of "his" money.

It's a strange system, but it works for us. I look at our friends and all the fights they have over money and one person spending too much. We really don't have those fights. (Of course, when I got home tonight hubby snidely pointed out all of my packages which arrived in the mail today... I may have gone a little crazy shopping while he was on vacation last week.)

Even so, if that's the worst we deal with, maybe having mine, yours and ours accounts is the way to go...