Dirty 30 + Giveaway!


Guess what.  Today is my 30th birthday.  I feel sort of OK about it.  I have led a full life (read here).  I have accomplished everything that I thought that I would have wanted to by this age.

I am married to my best friend (literally not just figuratively)
I have a fun, adorable, smart daughter that I could not be happier spending time with
We bought a house that could be a "forever house" with some reno updating,
I completed a Master's degree and
I get to do whatever I want most of the time.

I have it pretty good.

I spent most of my twenties drinking, dancing, going to the beach, and laying by the pool.  I stayed up way too late most nights and made lots, and lots, and lots of mistakes.  I hurt lots of people over the years and had my heart shattered a few times.

I made lots of terrible hair choices.
I yo- yo dieted.
I drank too much.

But honestly, the truth is, if I could do it all over again, I would.  I enjoyed it all.  Even the rough parts.  I had fun.  I lived.  

I am not depressed to turn 30 but I am also certainly not promising that I am not going to change my mind and decide to stay in my second decade for another year.  In fact, I am pretty sure that I am going to put 29 on repeat.  Maybe I will turn 30 next year.... maybe.
In honor of my birthday, Shabby Apple asked to host a giveaway.  They are offering a $50 credit to their store.  
Below are a FEW of my favorite items.

Here is how to enter.
You must follow Handling With Grace with Google Friend Connect to enter (on right side of the screen)
Mandatory Entries
1.  "Like" Shabby Apple on Facebook (CLICK HERE)
2.  Visit Shabby Apple and tell me your favorite item!  What would you choose?

Additional Entries
3. Follow Handling With Grace on twitter (click here)
4. Follow me on Instagram (jamiegrace01)
5. Tweet or blog about the giveaway

That gives you 5 votes to win.  Leave a separate comment for each so you get each vote!  I will close this giveaway one week from today (next Tuesday at noon EST)

**If you have any questions about the qualifications for the giveaway, email me HandlingWithGrace@gmail.com**

10 months of grief


It's been 10 months since my Mom died of brain cancer.  Like last month, this month felt less horrible than the previous months.  I think I passed some sort of coping corner last month.  I just don't feel as desperately sad about the loss.

After my Mom passed last summer, I stayed in California for a month or so to help tie up loose ends and wait for things settle down before I moved back out to Florida to live with B again.  

I never visited her grave site after we buried her.

I just couldn't.  

I planned on visiting her when I was home this trip.  I planned to leave Mother's Day flowers and just sit with her.  I wanted to go without Eva because I don't like for her to see me cry.  It confuses her.  I couldn't find a good time to leave Eva with anyone so I decided that I would take her with me.  I imagined her playing in the grass while I just sat with my Mom.  

I drove to the grave site.  Twice.  I didn't make it past the lobby at front gate either time.  I am not ready to go yet, I guess.  

I threw away the flowers before I got back to my Dad's house both times.  I felt so stupid admitting that I wasn't strong enough to go visit my Mom that I threw them out instead of having to talk to anyone about it.

I feel so guilty for not being strong enough to visit her and leave her flowers on her head stone and wipe it down.  I hope it doesn't have water spots on it.  It literally makes me sick to my stomach to imagine her headstone looking neglected like she has been forgotten.  After all she did for me, I feel terrible that I can't even go sit with her where her body was laid to rest.
**as per the usual, comments have been turned off for this post.  You can email me if you'd like**

Grief at 9 months
8 months
7 months
 6 months
4 months
3 months
2 months 

News flash: that's a dog. Not an infant.


We had a great Memorial weekend after returning home from our trip California.  Here is Eva spotting B in the airport terminal.  Someone was very excited to see her Daddy again and judging from how he spoiled us this weekend, he missed us too.
 Our memorial weekend was filled with Bbq's, beer, sprinklers, and cuddling.  It was a great weekend spent together as a family.

We went down to old Ellicott City, Maryland for lunch yesterday and that's when the real fun happened.  I saw a lady wearing her dog in a baby bjorn.  Yes.  In real life.
(Can you see her there across the street?  You can kind of see the carrier on her belly)
I'll let you guess what type of little dog it was... (if you didn't guess Yorkie, you don't know enough upper middle class, childless, twenty somethings).  I jumped out of my chair and ran out of the restaurant to try to get a good picture.  I failed to get the perfect shot but you get the gist.

We drove down the block to chase her down for a good pic and I made B practically stop in the middle of the street so I could get a good shot and I STILL missed it.  Grr.
I did a quick google search which yielded this crazy contraption.
Alright, folks.  I am all for loving your dogs.  I have one myself who we consider a family member and he enjoyed his holiday with us yesterday.
But come on.  If your dog can't walk through town so therefore needs to be carried in an infant carrier or pushed around in a stroller, LEAVE IT HOME on it's little princess bed.  Seriously.

Oh and one last thing.. get a life.  

Hope you're enjoying your Tuesday back to work day.  It is my dirty thirty (isn't that what all the cool kids call it?) in a few days so I am going to host a Shabby Apple giveaway this week after I get it set up.  Happy last week of May 2012!  

PS- Have you seen "Waiting for Superman"?  It is on Netflix.  If you haven't seen it or it has been a while, watch it.  The system is broken.  Accountability is crucial for any employee- regardless of the industry.

Update: Since I posted the below comment on twitter a few minutes ago, I've already lost two followers.  Good riddance.  I don't pretend to have any solutions but I can sure see when something is broken!
Re-watching , the movie. I am so utterly disgusted. This system needs a total overhaul. Politics are so gross.
Come follow me on twitter!

(un)Happy Memorial Day


via (see source to read picture's story)
Let's all remember the real reason behind today's holiday.  In the past decade, there have been many thousands of people who have lost their lives and wars that are continuing to be fought on multiple fronts.  Regardless of your political views, take a moment today to be thankful for the brave men and women who have given their lives in hopes that they are helping the greater good of the United States of America.  Remember that while most Americans are thankful for this extra day off from work and the "kick off" of the summer season, there are thousands of widows, widowers, and father/motherless children who are spending today mourning the loss of their American hero.    

You may have seen the picture that I posted above on Facebook or other sites but have you ever read the story behind it?  Here is the original blog post explaining the now famous shot.

Now that you have warm fuzzy feelings for our soldiers, go take a drink of your beer and BBQ those burgers.  It IS a national holiday for god's sake!

"Although a soldier by profession, I have never felt any sort of fondness for war, and I have never advocated it, except as a means of peace." Ulysses S. Grant

Find me on Twitter  (Jamie@HandlingWGrace) and Instagram (jamiegrace01)

Fill me in, baby


I saw this "Fill in Friday" post on Wifestyles blog this morning and decided to join in!

1. he best surprise ever would be... Someday B getting a job close to "home". Anywhere from San Diego to Los Angeles would be nice.

2. The birth of my daughter ... Is my favorite memory. My Mom was there coaching me through it. It went exactly as planned. Eva was perfect. B was so proud. My Mom was so happy. I was so overwhelmed with joy and excitment. It is a perfect memory... Day two plus were not so perfect between the *ahem* healing that needed to happen and stitches and the constantly screaming newborn baby but her birthday was total perfection.

3. The hardest but most worthwhile thing that I have ever done was ... Take care of my Mom as she died from brain cancer. While I know that it does not even begin to compare to how she cared for me for the 28.5 years that she was able to, being able to serve her through her final months was tragically remarkable. I feel so fortunate and grateful to have been able to cook and clean for her while doing my part to hold our family together during what will probably and hopefully be the most horrible thing our family will ever encounter is hands down the most worthwhile thing that I have ever done.

4. The best part of my day is ... When B comes home from work. Eva gets so excited and usually runs screaming through the house from him while squeeling, "Dadda! Dadda!" and laughing at the top of her lungs. I am usually ready for a little break from her and he is always willing. We share stories from the day while she cuddles with him in his arms. It's always a happy time when he walks in the door. A close second to this part of the day is Friday night when I start my second glass of wine after not having drank (grammar poolice-is this right?!) any alcohol during the week. This is also always a perfect moment.

5. Something I like that most people don't is ... Hmmm, there are a lot, I think. Almost all veggies, the smell of a horse stable, letting my cookies get soggy on the bottom of a cup of milk and then eating the mush out with a spoon, running on a treadmill, cottage cheese eaten with saltine crackers, the list could go on and on.

6. Something I am willing to fight for is ... Almost anything. It's both a blessing and a curse. It is one of my greatest assets and my deepest personality flaw. I've relaxed tremendously with age but I am still pretty intense.

7. Something you may not know about me is ... I am almost a little person. Ok, that's an exaggeration but I am only 5 foot and a half inch tall (half inches really matter to us little people). That's really short. That makes a 5'4 girl seem like a supermodel to me. It makes every pair of pants drag on the floor behind me and it makes an extra 5 pounds look like 10. I used to despise being so short because no one, NO ONE thinks that a 5 foot tall person is "hot". You are perpetually the "cute" girl. When my friends and I all had the SAME fake ID manufacturer, every single one of them would get in to the club and I would inevitably get mine taken away at the door and have to go home. Life's not so rough being almost 30 but I would still be first in line for some HGH if it made bones lengthen.

Wishing everyone a wonderful weekend. I am headed back to Baltimore tomorrow morning. I promise my posts wont be so ugly beginning next week. I want to host a fun giveaway for my 500 GFC followers celebration... Any ideas?

Have a good weekend or else...
(yes, I know I am lame)

Linked up here

It's ok...


It's ok...

-that I am starting to miss sleeping next to my husband more than I am loving visiting my family and friends in California.

-to feel guilty about the animals that were confined in the (very large, open) pens at the San Diego Wild Animal Park. I know that these zoos (ahem, "parks") help with conservation but those poor animals are biologically driven o run, hunt, jump, graze, fight, kill, breed...

-to think that the people who allow their kids to stay overnight in the San Diego Wild Animal park tents inside the tent, right next to the tiger enclosure, are absolutely nuts. Sure the chances of one escaping are slim but still... Does no one else remember the fairly recent escape/mauling at the San Francisco Zoo?! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/San_Francisco_Zoo_tiger_attacks

-to be sure that I've gained weight and feel super icky but be excited to get home and start really exercising. I got a pass for a new gym that has day care so it is ON when I get back.

-to be thankful Eva is still in the early stages of language development after spending a few days with a 4 year old with a very inquisitive personality.

-to feel sad about couple friends who are divorcing despite knowing that they are probably making the right decision.

Hope everyone is having a great week. Hang in there. The week is almost over!

Living away from "home"


As I sit here at my sisters house watching my daughter play with my niece, I cant help but feel pangs of sadness for both Eva and I. It is sad that she is not going to grow up with her cousin as her best friend. They were born mere days apart but they are now separated by 2,500 miles.

I still call my home town "home" even though I moved away 9 years ago. My and my husband's families are all within miles of each other. Watching the kids all play dress up and giggle while chasing bubbles in the backyard, running over so my sister can go to the grocery store with only one baby in tow instead of two, stopping by my in laws for dinner, and Eva squealing for "Poppa" as we get ready for bed... It all just feels so right.

What doesn't feel right is being away from my husband. We will probably never live close to here again because of the nature of his job. Maybe we will be able to live in Los Angeles at some point but even that is in the very distant future.

I just need to continue to remind myself that it is because of his WORK that I am able to do these things (stay home with my daughter, fly across the country a couple times a year) and his work happens to be in Maryland. I need to remember to be more thankful that he is willing to work so hard and make sacrifices for us so that I can do what I want.

...it's just so hard when I see the girls all together...

What about you? Are you "home"? How do you deal with raising your kids away from your family?

Military Monday: Alia- Ft Hood, TX


The Military Monday duty station feature on this blog is designed for us military families to meet our fellow military spouses and also to learn about duty stations across the world.  We all get to (or have to depending on your outlook and particular set of circumstances), move every couple years to different duty stations that are scattered throughout the country and the world.  This feature will allow us the opportunity to explore these different areas of the world before we get there.  

I need more entries and duplicates are welcome!  If you are interested in being highlighted for this feature, please send me an email.  

Name and blog site: Alia @ Yellow Ribbon Diary http://http://www.yellowribbondiary.blogspot.com

Branch of Service: Army

Currently stationed: Ft. Hood, Texas

How long have you been there?: 4 years

Favorite restaurant in the area: Dead Fish Grill, super yummy.  Located on the Belton Lake shore.  About a 20 minute drive outside of Ft. Hood.

3 favorite things to do in your current city: The weather is awesome.  It’s super, super hot in the summer but the winter is so mild (usually) that it makes up for it :)  Make sure if you are stationed here that you get your pictures taken with the Texas Bluebonnet :)  For kiddos, there are some awesome parks on post and lots of things in the surrounding towns to do. Also make sure you make the drive to San Antonio Sea World once a year because military gets in for free!

What is the biggest draw back to where your current duty station? I think the biggest drawback to Ft. Hood right now is how crazy busy it is.  Thankfully A TON of our soldiers are home right now but that means overcrowding, ridiculous waits at the commissary and at the front gate.   It also means loads of traffic! I'm a small town girl so it’s overwhelming to me.  Lol.
How strong/ or not is the sense of community in the area? The towns around Ft. Hood are so inundated with military that there really isn't a respect of our military.  There are very few military discounts etc.   I will say that living on post has been awesome because of the sense of community from my neighbors.   Everyone living on post in housing is going through the same things so everyone helps each other out.
Are there any local festivals you have been to or are planning to attend? We have attended several things on post.  The 4th of July event is AWESOME.  The month of the military child is great also.   There are live bands, food, and great displays.  Also the Independence Day parade in a town very close called Belton was voted top ten in the US.   It seems like there is always something going on!   There are always wine tastings, bazaars, etc.

If you are a military spouse and want be featured for this post, please send me an email at HandlingWithGrace {at} gmail.com

Birthday party fun


My vacation is going great. Yesterday was my sweet nieces 2nd birthday party. In my sister's true first born child syndrome fashion, everything was perfect. The circus theme was fun and the kids all had a blast running around and playing. There was even a petting zoo for us all to enjoy!

I hope your weekend is going as well as mine has been!

Ps- does anyone really believe that Shannon Doherty is going to school in "liberal studies" through Education Connection?

Pps- sorry about the formatting of the pictures. Does anyone know how to center them when you post from an iPad?

50 Shades: my thoughts


Ok, guys. I am not a "jump on the book bandwagon" type of person. I didn't read any of the Twilight books or Harry Potter or the newest one (I can't even remember the name but the movie just came out... Give me a break people, I am trying to blog while on vacation).

Everybody and their Mother was writing about how fantastic 50 Shades of Grey is so I asked my husband to buy it for me so I could read it on my vacation. I heard that it was sexy or whatever but honestly, had no idea what it was about.

I was certainly not prepared for what it actually is... Literary porn (very) thinly disguised as a psychological romance novel. I definitely do not think of myself as a prude by any stretch of most people's imagination but I can hardly get through 2 pages without looking around to make sure no one can look over my shoulder and see what I am reading.

Don't get me wrong, it's an easy and addicting read and I am not saying that it was an unenjoyable read but I wish I would have saved my 10 bucks for something a bit deeper. Something with actual characters and with less detailed descriptions of deep penetration on every other page.

What did you think? Was it what you were expecting?

I'll be back


I have been a toal blog flake lately but I have a good excuse... I surprised my entire family by flying out to visit them. Eva and I hopped on a very early flight from Baltiomore to Orange County. We came in time to make it to my sweet neice's 2nd birthday party this weekend. We are so excited to spend sbacktracking time with family over the next few weeks! I will pick the Courage Cakes winner to tomorrow. If you begin to miss me desperately and feel like you just *must* see my daughters smiling face, find me on instagram. I'll probably keep posting pictures! (Jamiegrace01) Also, I don't have a computer with me and have not had good luck attempting to blog (formatting/ pictures) from my iPad. I might attempt to post over the next couple weeks but I can't promise they'll be pretty.

(on the airplane)

Courage Cakes + Giveaway


Courage Cakes contacted me about hosting a giveaway to get the word out about their growing company.  Courage Cakes is a company that was formed by a group of students at University of Washington to offer people a quick, easy, inexpensive way to send a serving of cake to a service member.  Courage cakes sends a small glass container with a personalized message and the powdered cake mix.  All the service member has to do is add a bit of water, stir, and zap the whole thing in microwave before he or she can enjoy the warm, gooey cake.

In addition to being an quick, easy way to send a little cake to a soldier, Courage Cakes also has a +1 program.  For every cake purchased, Courage Cakes sends one additional cake  to a service member through Operation Gratitude.

There are three flavors.  Vanilla, yellow, and devils food chocolate cake.  Because I am a chocolate addict, I tried the chocolate first.  One word.  Yum.  The website promises that it will be warm and gooey and it delivered.  I am not just saying it was tastey because they want me to.  It was honestly good and after eating it, I am not sure why the boxed cake brands make you add eggs and oil.  This "just add water" microwave cake was just as good as any store box brand.  Seriously.

I am going to offer a cake as a giveaway so that someone else can enjoy it and be amazed at how they get a just add water cake to taste so good.  Enter to win and try them yourself.  There are a couple ways to enter.

To enter the giveaway, you MUST be a follower of Handling With Grace? on GFC or bloglovin. (leave a comment below)
For additional entries (leave a separate comment for each)
2. Follow Courage Cakes on Twitter
3. Follow Courage Cakes on Facebook
4. Follow Handling With Grace on Twitter
5. Tweet/ Facebook/Blog about the giveaway
**This allows each person to have 4 entries plus one entry for every tweet/FB/Blog entry about the giveaway)**

All about me


Hello ladies (are there any men in blog land?  Nope.  If there is one or two out there, he doesn't come round these parts).  If you are visiting from the blog hop, then welcome!  If you are a regular around here, aloha like always.  Anyways, hello, I am Jamie.  I am a military spouse.  My husband is in his 9th year in the Navy.  We are stationed at Fort Meade in Maryland.  We have been stationed in San Diego, Hawaii, Pensacola, Florida, and now here.  I stay at home with my daughter, play with horses, and watch trashy reality tv.  

Mostly I blog about my daughter.  She is two and the light in my soul.  I also write about grief and death after losing my Mom to brain cancer late last summer.  Sometimes I write about wanting to be skinnier, failing as a Mom, vacations (see here and here and here), being thankful, and having life bitch slap me across the face when I think I know it all (see example 1 and example two).  Sometimes I just make fun of people (example 1 and example 2).
I do a weekly feature on Mondays where I highlight a military spouse and the military duty station (or post) that she is stationed at (see here).  The goal behind this feature is to introduce us to each other and allow us to learn a bit about  other posts before we actually get stationed there!  If you'd like to be featured for this post, shoot me an email.  Duplicate posts are welcome.

I recently started trying to use my twitter account so find me on there and I will add you back!  I also use my instagram (jamiegrace01) to document my obsession with my daughter.  Leave me a comment so I can come visit you back!

On parenting through grief


I have mentioned it a bunch lately but I am obsessed with my daughter.  Wholly and completely.  When I get those waves of complete, unconditional love wash over me and I feel so overwhelmed with love and joy that I can't stop myself from swooping her up and smothering her with "I love you to the moon and back's and kisses, occasionally a bizarre thought creeps in.  

Is it normal to love your kid "more" than you did before?  Do other Mom's look in their daughter's faces and wonder if they loved them "as much" last year?  Do they wonder if they loved them enough?  I don't remember thinking that I should have loved her more last year but now that I do love her "more", I wonder if I wasn't doing enough loving last year.  

Today I had the saddest epiphany.  I realized that these fears might not just be normal Mommy guilt.  I might have actually not loved her a "normal" amount last year.  I might not have enjoyed her as much as I should have.  Of course I took care of her everyday and she did not lack for any of her basic needs.  She got attention constantly- like she does now, and thrived even in the midst of the chaos.  I guess the only difference is that I was emotionally dull and definitely half numb. 

I was taking care of my Mom as she faded and then died before our eyes.  I was living a continent away from my husband raising our daughter alone.  I was taking care of a big giant house and trying to hold it all together... All while trying to be a good Mom to my one year old.  

I am glad that the worst is behind us.  I am thankful that she won't remember me being distant and depressed.

Cancer stole my Mom from me last year.  Now that I am able to look back, I can see that it also stole a year away from my daughter from me.  

The I am glad that I am finally starting to come back.

Dieting, food, and fat butts


I give up.  I am not attempting to diet anymore.  I have gained 3 pounds since I started really trying to diet 2 months ago.  I was trying to do a no carb diet during the week and cheat on the weekends.  I also don't ever eat any meat so I was just eating veggie soup, salads, tofu, cheese, apples, oranges, and occasionally wheat tortillas with refried beans. Oh, and candy.  Lots and lots of candy (between Eva's birthday, Easter, and having potty training candy readily on hand).

Some weeks I did OK (read here).  I would lose a pound or two here and then gain a pound or three there.  I can definitely say, though, that after two months of trying to diet, I am up three solid (there every single day) pounds.  Add these three pounds to the others that I gained over the holidays and now many of my pants are stretched and pulling and I feel like an over-stuffed sausage.  I should also mention that my exercise routine has gone into the crapper despite my promises to try to run "tomorrow" or do P90X when "B get's home".
So I am giving up.  I am going back to eating my regular food.  Dieting screwed me and, honestly, I have thought about nothing but food for the past two months.  It feels like I have been obsessively thinking about food every minute of every day thus making me hungrier.  I am over it.  So today, I went to the grocery story and bought all of my favorite things.  I had chips and salsa for lunch and I am planning on having pasta with tomatoes, fresh basil, and fresh mozzarella for dinner.  If I am going to gain weight, I might as well enjoy it!

How's your diet going?

Editors note: Before I get flamed... Yes, I know that I am still small.  I am still a size 2 but I am also only 5 foot (ahem, and a half of an inch, thank you very much) tall.  My butt and thighs are wiggly and jiggly and I have genuinely gained 8 solid pounds since the late fall.  This post is not intended to be a "Woe is me.  I am so fat" post- just an acknowledgement that I am continuing to gain weight and that my diet isn't working.

Military Monday: Victoria- Ft Stewart, GA


I am being featured over at ELF: A Family Blog today!  Go check it out!

The Military Monday duty station feature on this blog is designed for us military families to meet our fellow military spouses and also to learn about duty stations across the world.  We all get to (or have to depending on your outlook and particular set of circumstances), move every couple years to different duty stations that are scattered throughout the country and the world.  This feature will allow us the opportunity to explore these different areas of the world before we get there.  

I need more entries and duplicates are welcome!  If you are interested in being highlighted for this feature, please send me an email.  
Name and blog site: Victoria from My Life as an Army Wife lovemilitary.blogspot.com
Branch of service: Army

Where currently stationed: Fort Stewart, GA

How long have you been there?: Husband's been here 18 months, I've been here 9

Favorite restaurant in the area: That's Italian! They have the best pasta

Previous duty stations:
This is our first duty station

3 favorite things to do in your current city:
1. Savannah is only an hour away so we visit there all the time. Tybee Island and River Street are great attractions
2. There's an awesome dog park on post. Our puppy loves to go play with the other dogs!
3. There's not a whole lot to do in Hinesville (outside the main gate), but Jesup isn't too far and they have a drive-in movie theater. Hilton Head Island, SC is also not very far away and it's beautiful! 

Favorite duty station so far: This is the only one I've been to!

Who is your hero? Cliché, but my husband! He puts up with so much, it's crazy admirable. I love him more than anything. 
What is the biggest draw back to where your current duty station? The crime rate! There are pretty much always sirens going off in town. We live in a pretty good neighborhood, but we pay for it. There are lots of apartment complexes, but a lot of them are pretty sketchy. We live a little bit outside of the main part of town, so it isn't as bad around us. You definitely have to be careful though!

How strong/ or not is the sense of community in the area? The military population is very evident. There are tons and tons of surplus stores and whatnot, along with military discounts at a lot of the restaurants. There are a lot of community events, farmers' markets, parades, etc throughout the year.  
Are there any local festivals you have been to or are planning to attend? We went to the Christmas parade last winter, it was pretty well done. They also did a big concert on post for the 4th of July (it was Zac Brown last year), but we were on our honeymoon then. 
Overall rating: It's not a bad place to go. If you don't mind the heat, it's awesome. We didn't get any snow this past winter, but the winter before there was a day or two that we did. We're close to the beach and Savannah. The base itself is nice, well cleaned. The PX is maintained nicely, along with the commissary and the shoppettes. I wouldn't recommend it if you don't like humidity or bugs though. We've got plenty of that here!

If you are a military spouse and want be featured for this post, please send me an email at HandlingWithGrace {at} gmail.com

Do you let him say "NO"?


I am married.  I have been for 4.5 years.  We have been together for close to a thousand years on and off (OK, close to 15 on and off but it feels like a thousand).  I can't remember my life without him in it and I can't imagine my life without him in it.  I am not a marriage expert.  I don't pretend to have it all down.  He is not perfect and neither am I.  We fight and it is not always good.

Now that we have that groundwork laid, I have to say... my husband does not tell me no.  Ever.  He never and has and will probably never tell me that I am not "allowed" to do something.

Twice in the past 3 days, my good female friends have told me stories about how their husband told them "no" when they asked to do unintrusive almost meaningless activities.  I respect both of these women as females, wives, and friends.  In both of these cases, it seems like the husband is pulling a power play and it makes me sad for them.  I want to look both women in the eyes and say, "Really?  Is this what marriage means to you?  Is this what a husband is supposed to be?  That you accept 'no' as an answer, like you would expect a 3 year old to accept her Daddy's decision when he puts his foot down?".

I will be the first to admit that, over the years, I have pulled the power card out on my husband- sometimes just to be difficult and bratty.  Those were darker days.  Days that were filled with insecurity and a husband who cared far too much about his friend's opinions.  Those days are long gone.

I will freely admit that my husband is not "allowed" to do certain things that other husbands might be.  He is not "allowed" to go out (alone and not come home to our home) with certain friends.  These particular friends are not respectful of our marriage.  There are one or two that would be happy to harm our marriage.  I still say "no" to some things with these people (ie, a guys only trip to Italy with said friend... umm, sorry no.  Not a chance but thank you for the (non) invite).

But the instances that these friends told me about, that their husband told them no about, made me sad.  Neither was a situation that the husband "should" have said no about.  Both husbands seem to just be pulling the husband power card.

I don't get it.

And it makes me sad.

Does your husband pull the "No" card?  Do you?

Friday letters to no one


Dear Eva-  Please stop the transformation from silly and sweet to short tempered and bratty.  I know you are two and this is normal but do you really have to whine and cry and throw yourself down on the ground 10 million times a day?  You make me feel like a failure when you scream and do the cartoon toddler temper tantrum every 15 steps that we take in the mall.  Also, when I try to bribe you with candy to stop whining in public, please don't be so bratty that you refuse the candy.  That really intensifies my feelings of inadequacy.

Dear Kingston- Why in the hell are you peeing and pooping in the house every day now?  You have been potty trained for 5 years.  What the heck?  Please stop.  It is disgusting and annoying and B is tired of busting out the carpet shampooer (I don't use the shampooer, remember?).

Dear Pro Flowers and what seems like every other retailer in America- Please stop sending me emails multiple times a day about what my Mom would love for me to buy her for Mothers Day.  She is dead.  She doesn't want any of your nonsense products.  Please listen to me when I try to opt out of receiving your electronic junk mail.  You make me feel bad and sad every time that I receive one of your unwanted solicitations.

Dear DVR- I love you.  My life is happier because of you.

Dear carbs- Why do you have to taste so good and be so addicting?  I don't want the extra 7 pounds that you have given me but I cannot quit you.

Dear Gretchen Rossi- You cannot sing.  Seriously, just stop.

Dear brown hair- I am sick of you and wish you would just turn blond already.  Is it too late to be born a blond?  While we're at it, can I also be born a few inches taller?

Dear muffin top- I hate you. 

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