Archive for the ‘My parents are better than yours’ category

40+ Years and Still Going Strong

September 5, 2011

The rate of divorce in the United States is over 50% (it’s over 67% for 2nd marriages. OUCH!).

There are lots of theories as to why so many marriages, more than HALF, crumble. Life is quite a bit different from 50 years ago. Even 20 years ago. Money problems, stress of children, sexual dissatisfaction and infidelity are to name a few. My generation and the ones since have grown up believing that they deserve and can have everything they want. Life is incredibly fast paced compared to that of my parents.

I think that this new mind-set has a lot of amazing benefits and have opened doors that our grandparents never imagined for us, but this also comes with an attitude that threatens the sanctity of marriage. If you’re unhappy, change it. Think someone else is better for you? Go for it. Unsatisfied with your spouse? Divorce! That is a simplification of reality, but I think it fairly represents the current attitude.

As someone who has been through divorce, maybe I am no different. I am part of a statistic that is, unfortunately, the majority out there. I’m not saying that divorce is always a bad thing, or those who get divorced are simply throwing in the towel to find something better. There are so many different reasons and scenarios as to why people choose to end a marriage. Divorce is sometimes a blessing. Sometimes not. But the ever-growing rate of divorce is pretty alarming, at least to me, and I think more often than not, people are too quick to throw in the towel. When I was a kid, I had very few friends with divorced parents. Now, it seems to be the norm.

I am so proud to have parents that are still together. Their marriage has survived having very little money as newlyweds, 5 children, the death of 1 child, teenagers, and many things I’m sure I was not privy to while growing up. I’m grateful to have such amazing examples when it comes to compromise, selflessness, and sticking it out no matter what. Greg is also lucky to have parents that, through everything, stayed by each others side. I never got to meet Greg’s dad, Neil. He died a few months before we met, but I am impressed by his mom’s committment and unconditional love for her husband. And the stories about Greg’s dad and his love and loyalty to his family are wonderful to hear. My grandparents are no longer living, but they all stayed together until death, and life was not always easy for either couple. But if they could work through it, anyone can!

I’m grateful that Greg and I are both committed to never repeat the past, and are in it for the long haul. Cuz that 67% is just not acceptable! There seems to be this attitude of arrogance that “kids” (OK, 30 somethings) have. We know more than our parents, and are more savvy than the people who raised us. Since over 50% of us are screwing up somewhere along the lines, maybe they must have SOME idea of what they’re doing.

Marriage advice from a divorcee. HA! No, not really. I suppose my advice here is look to those who’ve had a successful marriage, shut up, listen and watch, and implement. If you’re married, do something extra nice for your spouse today. And tomorrow. And the day after that. You, your kids, and your partner will thank you for it.


Dad’s That Rock

June 19, 2011

I’ve think I’ve pretty much proven that my dad is the best. So instead of telling you more stories of his awesomeness, I’ll simply state that I have an amazing father who rocks, and he is truly an inspiration to me.

Let’s not forget about my wonderful husband, Greg. Our children are very lucky to have such a devoted, engaged and invested dad. For him, family comes first, and I feel very blessed to be married to a man who is so involved with his kiddos.

Here’s a shout out to all of the dads out there… Happy Father’s Day!

Bring It

June 12, 2011

Wednesday was the last day of school for the kids. Time to relax a little, right?


Beginning Friday, our annual Mitchell (that’s my immediate family) began. Each family was in charge of one activity over the next week and a half, and ours was up first. We all headed for the mountains to enjoy a day in Park City at the Alpine Slide. My generous parents purchased all day passes for everyone, so we spent ALL day having fun. The kids loved the bungee jumping, alpine slide, rock wall, miniature golfing, and most of all, the alpine coaster. It was a favorite of all. The only issue was that the coaster was closed for most of the day. The upside, we DID get to ride it later in the day, AND, a nice manager gave us a bunch of coaster passes (which are $25 a piece!) to use another day. YIPPY!

I lucked out in that my mom kind of took over for me and handled the resort/tickets aspect (thanks Mom!). All I really had to do is provide lunch. And while it took some planning, preparation, and mule power to get the stupid coolers up that hill. But everything turned out great. Other than some botched sunscreen application (which was discovered later that night), everything turned out wonderfully. If you want, you can check out some photos on Greg’s blog.

Yesterday some of us somewhat unexpectedly met up again to watch Ian’s soccer game. Even if it was for an hour, the kids love getting to see each other and play. And the fun continues… tonight an impromptu dinner at my parents with Greg and the girls, Boondocks on Tuesday, Lagoon on Friday, and games and dinner at my parents on Saturday.

There is something wonderful to me about seeing my kids play and have fun with their cousins, as well as develop relationships with family members they see less than others. And I love getting to see my little sister, Sarah, who I don’t get to see very often.

So no, we’ve yet to experience the R&R of summer, but bring on the next week of fun!

No Animals Were Harmed

April 25, 2011

Not posting for a while means that I have some catch-up to do, which isn’t my favorite thing. However, my lack of posting is evidence of the amazing, wonderful, and glorious week I had of doing nothing in particular.

We left for St. George Tuesday afternoon, were welcomed by glorious weather (a nice break from the crappy cold and rain that SLC had been experiencing for what seems like the 249023 days preceding our departure, as well as our entire absence), and enjoyed that lovely weather for our entire stay. YIPPY!

A few key and momentous things happened on this trip down South.

  • I wore sunscreen. Everyday! This is nothing short of a miracle, and I have to believe that it being Easter and all… let’s just say there is some divine intervention involved here. I’m pretty sure that there has never been a time when I haven’t gotten sunburnt. Think lobster.
  • My mom, Greg, niece and I visited Zions National Park on Wednesday. The entrance fee was waived for the week (yippy!), and it was really crowded (boo!), but it was a really nice excursion. I’ve only been to Zions once before, and it was when I was young, so my memory of it is very vague. Lame, seeing as I live in Utah. But it was perfect weather and the sights did not disappoint. It was beautiful!
  • Let me preface this by saying that I did not feed the animals (because there were signs stating that it was forbidden, and doing so would result in a $100 fine). I did, however, pet a few squirrels. They had obviously become very familiar and comfortable with humans, and some were pretty friendly. Which is why I picked one of them up. I put him down because my mom is a spaz and was worried that I was going to get bit and subsequently get rabies. I know better (mostly because I am a self-proclaimed animal whisperer), but decided to give in to my mother’s wishes because I am an obedient child. Anyway, the squirrel loved me and even when I put it down, he stuck around and let me pet him some more. We are now forever friends and I think he might come for a weekend visit. At the very least I’m sure he’ll send a postcard or email. I also picked up a really cool looking, iridescent green and blue beetle, who decided it would be cool to excrete some stinky liquid on my hands. I needed no prompting to put that jerk down.
  • Ebb and flow. Yin and yang. Marriage has its ups and downs. Now don’t get me wrong, there aren’t downs at home, but just like everyone else, we get into our routine, go with the flow, days run into each other, weeks feel the same as the previous and the next. But this little excursion sans children really gave us the time that we don’t normally get to relax, rejuvenate, and reconnect. Greg golfed, I lounged, we swam, watched movies, ate, laughed, played games, swam some more, ate some more, etc. It was HEAVEN!
  • Even though our reign in a certain card game ended, we still had fun playing games each night with my family (my parents, sister & her family).
  • We ate out at least once per day, probably gained 10 lbs., and enjoyed every minute of it. I can testify that there IS good sushi in Southern Utah. Who knew!

We returned home last night to cooler weather, a weird smell in the kitchen, and car that is going on week 4 in the shop. We also came home to kids that missed us like crazy (it was really nice to have them in our arms again and under our care), my bdff (best dog forever friend) Jake, and getting back into the groove that I call my life.

I missed (sort of) not having the kids for Easter, doing all of our Easter traditions (although we did dye eggs with them the weekend before we left), and being without them for FIVE WHOLE DAYS. But I can honestly say that this was probably the best week I’ve ever had with just me and the hubby. Thanks for the good times :).

Chances Increased by .345%

March 21, 2011

It was shorter than everyone would have liked, but our mini getaway was delightful. The weather was nice (enough), and the kids loved spending time with Grandma & Grandpa. Here are some of the highlights our or trip:

  • The temperature may never reach 70, but I’ll still come home with a nice sunburn. I can’t say that I’ll be surprised if I get skin cancer, seeing each trip increases my chances.
  • It’s great how kids can turn a simple inflatable slide that is supposed to sit on the edge of the pool into a miniature floating hill in which there can only be one king. It won’t always be true, so I’m really enjoying the years that I am bigger and stronger than the kids, and therefore I. AM. KING!
  • I may be king, but that did not protect the back of my hip from Ian’s knee coming in contact with it after jumping onto me from the side of the pool. I have a nice bruise (and probably kidney damage) as a result.
  • My dad makes the best ribs.
  • For once I feel like I actually got enough sleep while away on vaca.
  • This drive was another confirmation that the choice to buy a sweet van for travel was one of the best decisions we’ve made.
  • I’m so glad that I am one of those lucky people with awesome parents whose company I actually enjoy  AND that my mom is a game person.
  • I am very grateful for my health and properly working senses, but if I could turn my hearing on and off, I would.
  • It’s not my fault I’m a bed making nazi… I was trained.
  • My dad is the master of all dairy confections. At home, he has earned the title of being Dairy “King”, because he often takes the kids there. In St. George, he has now made a habit out of buying the spray whipped cream and spraying it directly into their mouths. They LOVE IT!
  • Our kids ate soooo much sugar that I’m wondering if they are going to go through a psychotic episode from the withdrawals.

There you have it, our weekend in bullet point. I’ve returned home to a pile of “to do’s”, but the time away was well spent, somewhat needed, and definitely enjoyed :).

Filet Mignon Day!

December 2, 2010

If I cared more and were less lazy, I would have posted earlier. But I don’t and I’m not, so this is what you get.

The Thanksgiving holiday and vacation ended up being just like the movie The Land Before Time, except there were no dinosaurs, we didn’t actually get whisked away to a different land OR time, and a hot shower was, I’m happy to say, a part of each and every day.

Greg and I planned to leave Wednesday morning, which happens to be the morning that I realized my thoughts from Tuesday night were true… I was getting sick. UGH!!! Seriously?! The trip I had planned and been looking forward to for over 3 months and I was sick?! Yes, yes I was. But fear not… there was some phlegm involved, as well as some post and pre? nasal dripping, but luckily the copious amounts of snot didn’t keep me down.

Here are a few highlights of the trip/random thoughts, in no particular order:

  • I love that for the past 5+ years, my parents have made cooking a filet mignon roast as part of the Thanksgiving feast. Um, YUMMMM! Screw the turkey, give me the beef!
  • My lemon cookies took 2nd place in our cookie contest, although I may demand a recount.
  • I beat Greg for the first time in ping-pong. It was a special day (although he spent the rest of the night in the fetal position, weeping).
  • We visited Vegas where we, 1) visited the infamous Gold & Silver Pawn, which is the pawn shop featured in the t.v. show Pawn Stars. 2) Went to Joe’s Crab and Steakhouse in Caesars Palace and ate a very good steak and possibly the best crab I’ve ever tasted. Mmmm.
  • Greg and I still are undefeated when we partner at HAND & FOOT (I pretty much carry him).
  • One of the best parts of family gatherings are having other adults around to play games with.
  • We saw the movie Unstoppable. It was good, but let me assure you, it IS unstoppable.
  • There is something über enjoyable about sitting in a hot tub when it’s cold outside, under the stars. The night sky is SO much better in southern Utah.
  • Watching an entire football game while sitting upon a hard wooden chair is something I may not do again.
  • I missed the kids, but I noticed that this was a much more laid back trip. Yippy!

Yahoo for Thanksgiving!

I also want to say how proud of I am of my dear husband. You rock!

Opps I Didn’t Do It Again

November 16, 2010

Yes yes, so my posting gets a little sporadic at times. No, I’m not bi-polar. I am, however, occasionally blog lazy. Not only am I inconsistent, in this post I am going to jump ALL over the place, and it’s going to be THE. BEST. EVER. Or not.

Work… I sometimes do it. A referral from a good friend has kept me pretty busy most weekends the past 2 months. It feels good to be back in the trenches, although sometimes it feels like I’m in a trench of cow pies, and I may be here for quite some time. Whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, right? Even though it is time-consuming, it does remind me that I do enjoy what I do.

My knees are covered in bruises and floor burns, which of course means… No, I’m not a woman of the night… it’s VOLLEYBALL season! Have you ever had an activity or hobby that you enjoy so much you could do it every day, for hours and hours on end? Volleyball is that to me. It is my absolute favorite sport to play, and the icing is that I get to play it with some of my closest friends. 6 months ago I was unsure if I would ever be able to play again, but my shoulder has been cooperating thus far…

Which leads me into my next paragraph. Tonight after v-ball, my friends and I are doing a pot luck feast. It’s a fancy excuse to shove our faces, laugh, talk, and have fun into the wee hours of the morning. Speaking of friends, and I know I’ve talked about the la-dee-da awesomeness of my friends before (and quite recently), but I love them. It was fun getting to see one of the newer additions to my friends list TWICE this past week. Cheers and a high-five to the friends in my life!

Remember our broken tree about a month ago? It took me awhile, but I finally got a bid and made the appointment to get the tree trimmed and remove all of the broken branches. I’m not sure if you’re like me, but I’ve gotten used to crappy customer service. Not that I like it, I think it’s just become what I expect when it comes to service people coming to my home. Surprise surprise. Not only were they very reasonable with the price (hence me going with them), but they did an amazing job! I am really happy with how the tree looks, and (here is where I was surprised), they did a wonderful job cleaning up. They raked up my yard, my neighbor’s yard in which the branches hung over, cleaned up all of the branches, twigs, and leaves, AND used a leaf blower to remove all traces of their work. Yippy!

Harry Potter, oh how you thrill the masses. I am excited to be one of the many who will be entertained on Thursday. Even better, we are the guests of my parents (FREE MOVIE!), who are guests of their financial advisors. There happens to also be an extra ticket, and since Ian IS the oldest and also the only child who has read all of the books, he is going with us. I’m really looking forward to it :).

Also on the list of things I’m looking forward to is the Thanksgiving holiday week and weekend. It may feel a little weird in that it will be my first Thanksgiving without my kiddos. In the years past, even after my divorce, they would come spend the holiday with me in St. George with my family. This year is a different story. The “other” parents are taking both sets of kids, and Mr. N and I are on our own. While I will miss my kids, I am LOVING the idea of getting some time to R&R with my most beloved hubby. We weren’t sure about what we would do this year, but after discussing it, we made the decisions months ago to head down south with my family. I love my family, and it will be nice to spend the holiday with them, but this trip is more than that for us. This will be the longest time we’ve had alone together since, well, forever. We don’t ever get the opportunity to get away (for essentially free) for 5 days sans kids. We will be hanging with the fam some, but also have plans to do a number of things on our own: Zions National Park, some magical restaurant in Vegas that Greg fell in love with this past year, swimming, golf, movies, sleeping in, and just getting to be with each other. I can’t tell you how much I need this. WE need this, and I can’t wait!

There you have it. You can now breath easier and continue on with your life knowing that all is well in my world.

Life As I Know It

October 18, 2010

We’re back. We’re alive. And mostly in one piece. The trip to St. George went as expected… FUN! It was a smaller crowd than we’re used to, but so nice having it ever-so-slightly more quiet than the norm. It was a very low-key week/weekend filled with playing games (Killer Bunny is now the kids favorite), lots of swimming, lots of treats, getting spoiled by Grandma Gina and Papa Jimbo, and plain old, good fashioned quality family time.

For some weird reason, which I’m sure includes a sick sense of humor of my school district, the kids don’t have school today (Monday) either. I could definitely use a breather, BUT, no rest for the weary, right? We’ve got another 4 down with the not-so-fun cold I had last week that includes a nice fever, sore throat, and nasty sinus issues. On the upside, we’ve all gotten sick, which means there is no left to infect. Woo hoo!

I’ve joked about it since my divorce, but it’s no joke: There is one upside (besides the obvious) to the dissolving of a marriage — free “babysitting” every other weekend! Dating your spouse is so important, but with 5 kids, it’s nearly impossible for us to find someone to watch them all. Not that people (namely our parents) haven’t or won’t, but I hate asking or imposing. I can’t even remember the last time we got a babysitter. We plan pretty much everything we do around the kids, which means that sometimes we end up saying “no” to things or missing out. But I think that Greg and I agree that we wouldn’t have it any other way. As it is with so many aspects of life, it’s all about juggling and balance.

Even though it’s been a long week with all the chillins’, the kids are sick, and WE’VE been sick, I’m glad that I have the opportunity (although I sometimes forget at 5 am) to be able to care for them when they are sick AND well. This weekend my dad talked about how much he misses having little kids around, and it helped refresh my perspective. I have no illusions (or delusions) that I will get through their childhood, or even the day, without frustrations, but hearing my parents talk about kids and their own experiences helps me to laugh rather than yell. I’m grateful that my children, and especially my step-children, know they can come to me when they don’t feel good and need help. I’m glad that they see me as someone they can trust and depend on. And if that means administering ibuprofen at 3 a.m. or being the referee for the 329 time, so be it.

I Just Coughed Up A Lung

October 12, 2010

Last week, around Wednesday, as I was dreaming about what might be a fun and relaxing child-free-get-a-little-break weekend, I realized that there are only 2 (occasionally 3) days a month that I don’t see all 5 of our kids (unless they go with the ex’s on vacation, which is rare). Meaning, when those two weekends per month come along when they go with the “others”, I fantasize about sleeping in past 7, going an hour without hearing any fighting, an “I’m hungry”, or cleaning up some mess, spending uninterrupted time with Mr. N, getting together with friends, etc. I love our time with our kids, but we get LOTS of time with our kids, and I do appreciate the alone time we get here and there. And this weekend was an extra long weekend because of the Columbus Day holiday, which means we got an extra BONUS night alone. If I were a school-girl, I’d totally would have been giddy with excitement.

By Friday night, it was clear that the weekend I had envisioned was going to be a no-go. Now that you understand why these weekends are important, you can now cry a tear for me when I tell you that all weekend I. WAS. SICK. In fact, I’m still sick. Poor Emma had a cold two weeks ago, which developed into strep last week, so I wasn’t completely shocked that one of us got sick, because we’re a family who likes to share. Unfortunately, it was shared with me. What a waste of a perfectly good weekend! I spent most of it in bed :(. I was especially looking forward to this past weekend because we are heading out-of-town tomorrow to spend the week and weekend in Southern Utah with my parents.

The weather will be beautiful (high 80’s are in the forecast), which means there will be tons of swimming, playing games, good eats and treats, and other things wonderful. Usually when we vacation with the grandparents, my siblings and their families go as well, which is fun for the kids because there are playmates galore. But it also means there are a lot of people, lots of kids, lots of noise, lots of mess, you get the point. I’m looking forward to having this be a slightly lower key trip. And I know my kids love getting Grandma and Papa all to themselves.

Yeah, this past weekend will NOT go down on my list of “BEST EVER”s, but I guess I should be grateful that I was able to get the rest I need to hopefully get over this stupid cold quickly. And I’m really looking forward to the next 5 days being poolside with book in tow, preferably without the cough. Yahoo!


I’ve Got More Painkillers Than Nick Nolte

September 12, 2010

I’ve decided that in the future, you can pretty much insert one the following lines at the beginning of each and every one of my following posts:

“It’s been a crazy week, and…”. Or how about this one: “So much has happened, but I had such a busy week…”. You get the idea. Instead of telling you WHY I haven’t posted this week (because it’s been crazy, busy, and therefore normal), I’m just going to dive in from here on out.

About two weeks ago I had a “medical procedure”. Nothing too crazy, but it wasn’t just an in-and-out thing, with no down time or recovery time. It was also something that required me to take along a “buddy” to drive me to my appointment, sit with me through the procedure, not laugh if and when I said anything stupid while drugged with FIVE (yes, 5) concoctions, unless I was trying to be funny, and drive my drugged butt home. My cousin and BFF, Carlie, came through (as always) and was an awesome surgery caregiver! We joked around a lot in the surgical room with the doctor and nurse, at least what I can remember through the haze. Yeah, it hurt like hell, but at least there were some laughs in between the screams (OK, I didn’t really scream, but if I were a sissy I would have).

After my cuz drove me home and put me to bed, my mom showed up about 20 minutes later. I knew I’d be pretty much useless for the rest of the day, so she came to help out with the kids until Greg got home from work. Because she’s my mom, and therefore awesome, she made cinnamon rolls for the kids so that they’d have a warm and delicious snack when they got home from school. She entertained the kiddos, took Ian to his guitar lesson, and heated up dinner that my OTHER friend, Maree, prepared. YUM!

I kind of thought I’d be good to go the next day, but it took me about 4 days to really feel like myself. I hate taking pain killers, so I only took them the first 2 days. Not sure if it made my recovery time longer (although I was convinced the pills were contributing to the weird feeling I had), but not feeling loopy was worth it. ANYWHO, it’s times like these that remind me how lucky I am to be surrounded by people who love me and will be there when I need them. Thanks to everyone who called to check on me, as well as everyone who took care of me!

The day after my “procedure” was the John Mayer concert, which I had tickets to. Could it have been better timing? SURE! But it was awesome. Mr. Mayer was an amazing performer, and while I went into it loving his music but thinking that as a person, he was kind of a d.b., I again love him and think he is only a mild jerk :).

One of the COOLEST things about being a real estate agent is the 18 (used to be 15, until this last year) hours of “continuing education” that is required to renew your license. Mine has to be renewed soon, so I’ve been packing in the classes the past couple of weeks. I was not looking forward to the 2 to 3 classes per week that I’ve signed myself up for, but surprisingly they have been really good. Interesting and pertinent, which is a whole different story than the last time I renewed. I’m about half done, and have my longest class scheduled for tomorrow. Not super excited at the prospect of sitting in a classroom all day, but hopefully I’ll learn a lot and be (even more) like the Superman of real estate agents. Totally.

Another YUCK of tomorrow… Alex is having surgery to have her adenoids and tonsils removed, plus tubes put in her ears. I remember the pain of the tonsil surgery, and I’m hoping that she heals quickly and everything goes smoothly. But she’s has so many ear infections the past 1+ year, I really think she’ll be much healthier after we get this done. I’m gearing up for a week and weekend with a grumpy and hurting kid… gotta love parenthood :).

My brain is pretty much fried, and I can’t even think past tomorrow. So I’ll just stick to making promises that I may or may not keep: Next post… PICTURES PREVIOUSLY PROMISED.