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Month: April 2011

A Royal Wedding. A Royal Refrigerator? Oh, the pressure!

A Royal Wedding. A Royal Refrigerator? Oh, the pressure!

Oh, yes, you too can have a Royal Fridge!

For those of you who are obsessive about enjoy following the Royal Wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton (I’m looking at you Melisa with one “s”), you can have your very own Royal Fridge. Seriously. If you’ve been under a rock and did not know it, GE actually released this as an ultimate wedding memorabilia.

Let’s forget for one moment that it would scare the crap out of me when I walked into my kitchen in the middle of the night. Or even the fact that I would always feel like the Royals were stalking me. Who needs that kind of judgement? I can hear them now. (No, not literally. I’m not insane.)

“Oh, look Wills. She’s going for that Rocky Road ice cream again. Does she think we don’t see that?”

“Did you see the way she went for those leftovers last night after midnight, Kate? Does she think the calories don’t count after midnight?”

“She’ll never fit into the fashionable dresses I wear if she keeps this up.”

“American commoners just don’t get it, my Princess.”

Like I need the future King and Queen of England judging me in the middle of the night. Or stalking me. And it absolutely would not be good for my diet. I can just see me now when I decide to grab that middle of the night snack or reach for something a little less than healthy. I’d be hitting the ground doing an army crawl towards my own refrigerator in hopes of avoiding their perky, happy smiles. I’d reach for the handle and try to snag some Ben & Jerry’s without disturbing them. It would never work. I’m not always great about getting rid of leftovers immediately.

“Oh my goodness! What on Earth is that putrid smell, Wills?”

“She forgot to clean out the left over sushi again.”

“It’s a miracle I can keep smiling when I have to smell that!”

Nope. I don’t need the pressure of the Royals watching my every refrigerator move. And really? Who wants to drop into an army crawl every time you want to grab a midnight snack. That just isn’t my idea of an ideal boot camp.

What about you? Could you be stalked and/or judged by your refrigerator on a daily basis?

Though, I would be a size 6 in no time at all if I had this on my refrigerator:

Are you sure you want that?

How does a normal brain work? I shall never understand it!

How does a normal brain work? I shall never understand it!

Addicts use. Alcoholics drink. That just is what it is. I’m not saying that is an excuse for an addict or alcoholic to say “Screw it!” and begin using or abusing. What I am saying is that our brains? They are wired that way. Do you know how long it took me to actually realize and accept that fact? Let’s just say eleven years into this and I still struggle with the how’s and why’s.

When things go wrong or I am going through a rough time, I struggle with the “normal” ways “normal” people cope. It is not unusual for a conversation with Clint to go something like this:

“What is the first thing you think when something goes wrong or if you’re hurt or if something really heartbreaking happens?”

“What do you mean?”

“I mean, what is your first thought when it comes to coping or dealing with pain or anger or frustration.”

“I figure out how to fix it & move forward. If I can change it, I’ll try. If I can’t, I accept that.”

“I don’t know how to do that. I don’t understand how a ‘normal’ brain can just go straight to healing. Mine’s broken.”

“What did you used to do?

And that is where I get stuck. I don’t remember a time when my brain didn’t seek refuge in seeking escape. Pain free numbness. Disappearing mentally. I truly do not remember that time.

What do people do when faced with heartbreaking, soul searing, spirit crushing pain? What do people do when they feel alone and too frozen to move from their place. Like being stuck in quicksand. Struggling doesn’t help. Giving in will kill you. You have to have survival skills to get out. But sometimes sinking is what is known. It is the only thing you know.

I’m learning not to beat myself up when I’m running full speed ahead and land in quicksand. I’m learning that my brain is not wired like someone who has never dealt with addiction. I will never have a “normal” reaction to pain or loss or loneliness. I can learn to have actions and reactions that are healthy and helpful. My brain may always immediately pop up the thought, “Numb it immediately!” when things go wrong but when I know what ways I can actually deal with life on life’s terms, that voice may be there but it has less force and holds no power.

Between the sheer hell I’ve been through in the last year and the fact that I have been so quick to put anyone else’s needs above my own, I feel broken. (Sidenote: Some of those times when I put another’s needs above mine are times I would never, ever do it any differently. It is my nature to nurture anyone who needs it. I will literally give you the shirt off of my back if you need it and never regret it. The honesty of that situation is that it does take it’s toll if I don’t let down my guard and let someone help take care of me. But that? That goes against my nature. Thus, the broken cycle.)

I’m in a down cycle. Stuck in quicksand. Lost. Broken. Waiting for it to pass and the next cycle to start up again. I’m just ready to really grab life with both hands and truly jump into it. I’ve been on hold too long. I don’t want to be broken any longer. Maybe I can just be happy being a little cracked up. (See what I did there?)


image source here



Family Traditions- The New Meets the Old

Family Traditions- The New Meets the Old

Thank you to Log Cabin for sponsoring my post about updated traditions in my household. To learn more about Log Cabin Syrups (which are all free of High Fructose Corn Syrup), breakfast for dinner, and other new ways to update traditions in your home, click here.I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective, which endorses Blog With Integrity, as I do.


Even though this is a sponsored post by Clever Girls Collective, anyone who knows me knows I love traditions! Some are big productions and some are just small things we have been doing over the years that have become new traditions.

By far our largest yearly tradition is when we meet up for a family reunion at the beach. We look forward to this special time every summer. It gives us all a chance to come together and enjoy seeing each other and spending fun times in the sun and sand. I can say for certain that when you have 23 people to feed, breakfast is most definitely the easiest meal to arrange. That of course means pancakes and waffles are a must. Log Cabin syrup is a staple in our beach house!

On Christmas we all jump in the biggest vehicle we have and go look at the lights in the neighborhood. When we get home, the kids open one gift, leave magic feed for the reindeer and leave milk and cookies for Santa. Even my teenagers get into this tradition and enjoy the excitement it. It is fun for all of us.

On a smaller scale I have carried over a tradition that my parents started when I was young. Every year on a family member’s birthday, we cover the house in signs wishing them a happy birthday. Some signs are handmade. Some signs are printed. Some are sweet. Some are funny. Every one looks forward to waking up and racing through the house looking for the signs and cherishing the reminder that it is their special day. (Truth be told, I become a giddy child when I go looking for my signs, too!) We usually have to convince the kids to take them down a couple of weeks later. They always save at least one. I have a folder of many of my favorites from over the years. I love looking back and seeing the years pass through notes that went from simple to funny to marveling over how fast time flies. I hope the kids carry this tradition on with their own families.

Having kids ranging in age from 17 down to 10 it can be hard to get everyone together. I have found one surefire way to get everyone together and look forward to it. We have made it a tradition to have game night or movie night and to ensure that no one tries to skip out, we bring in the never fail ace up our sleeves: Brinner. That’s right. Breakfast for dinner. We all look forward to breakfast for dinner! The kids start asking for dinner way earlier than when we usually eat. A must for our breakfast for dinner is pancakes and bacon. We all have a part to play in preparing the brinner. And for at least that one night, I am guaranteed to have my whole family gathered around the dinner table to talk, laugh and share our lives. It is the most sought after dinner we have. If one of the kids have had a bad day, we cheer them up with Brinner! Without fail if we have a night without dinner plans, at least one kid will request breakfast. Sometimes we go one step further and make it backwards day. The kids can have dessert for breakfast and breakfast for dinner. They love it! I love that our family has this tradition and that it means so much to my kids.

As they age, our traditions morph and evolved but I am certain one that will never change is breakfast for dinner. It’s our favorite!

What are some of your favorite family traditions?