100 Posts Later

On this, my 100th post, I decided to revisit the 99 that came before.  Here follows excerpts from Finding Joy cum Tara Versus. Or, you can just skip over them all for a really boring final reflection at the bottom.

I feel like the captain of some strange aircraft I have no idea how to fly.  And all week long I wanted to run screaming from the cockpit.  ~ New Adventures

…..prone to all those puppy-isms that get him in trouble, like gnawing on the wood trim halfway up the staircase, wedging bones and balls in impossibly tight spaces,  and clawing the hell out of them to retrieve it. ~ What I Learned in Kindergarten

 I felt like a mental patient, volleying back and forth between rage, tears and hysterical laughter. Life goes on.  ~ Salt for the Wound

They may not be gaping wounds anymore, but they do linger. ~ Priorities and Doubts

At some point they told me they were starting insulin and I wanted to scream “no!” – “no! no! no!” ….this meant there was no turning back, and I just couldn’t wrap my brain around it.  ~ How We Got Here, Part 1

All with the windows open, for the whole neighborhood -were they listening – to bear witness to what must’ve sounded like a murder in progress. ~ Throw Me A Life Raft

Then Owen let out a blood-curdling scream that would rival a roomful of girls at a slumber party and I all but dropped the shoe. ~ Don’t Look Now

Deep breath.  In.  Out.  In.  Out.  What was I thinking?  In.  Out.  I can’t teach this child.  ~ Say What??
Those first moments I had alone with him were the moments that would bind us to each other for a lifetime.  …the first time you really see each other, where you stare into those tiny eyes studying the face he will never forget.  ~ First Born

Really, I’m not easily daunted, but that first week I felt like I was trying to tame the world’s first wild animal armed with nothing more than a pencil. ~ Trials and Tribulations

Blog Post # 11 was deleted for inappropriate material.
 …the soundtrack of screaming, whining children who have the nerve to remind me that I’m 41, not 21, and a mother now to boot! ~ Changes

Awakening… to a new day. And Authority, to live life on my terms.  ~ The A-B-Cs of J-O-Y

The first few runs began with enthusiasm, followed by searing pain in my calves.  It is liberating and exhilarating… out there, there’s no diabetes, fighting children, clogged toilets or bored dog chewing up carpets….. the moments are all mine.  ~ My New Drug

Guess what?  she whispered to me earlier tonight.  I have a boyfriend.    Intrigued, I took the bait.  You do? I whispered coyly back.  Yes, she said, his name is Jack Poopie. ~ Did She Really Say THAT??

Don’t let drunk people do your dishes.  ~ What I Learned This Christmas

I just deserve a break too, like everybody else.  This year, I take my life back. ~ Resolutions

One night she shoved him hard enough to fall backwards into the coffee table, causing a physical altercation whereby she was pinned to the floor by her neck, squealing like a pig stuck in a fence.  ~ What’s All the Fighting About?

Instead she cried in my arms for two solid hours, repeating his name and pleading with me to please, mommy, drive her to heaven so she can see him again… until she finally fell asleep, less than an hour before the ball dropped.  ~ A Time For Goodbye

I liken home-schooling my daughter a little to childbirth… it is an exhilarating joy-ride laced with moments of incomprehensible pain.  ~ 100 Days
Some days feel like immense failures, others I remember the optimist I am and smile through the tantrums and the food wars. It is my job to take care of her, to teach her how to do the things I do, how to live with a positive, I-can-do-anything attitude. ~ Will She Grow Out of It?

7:05am– Check messages online for 10 minutes, get shower, wake up Owen, take dog out, put morning drug on to brew, feed dog, call pediatrician’s office for a CHOP referral, make breakfast for Owen, get him on the bus, run out to store for milk, put last two cakes in oven, get kicked, punched and screamed at while attempting to drag Ava out of bed, empty dishwasher, clean up last night’s dishes, test Ava and give breakfast bolus, take dog out, clean up the “landmines” from last night, drag trash cans back up driveway, finish breakfast, get Ava dressed. ~ A Day in the Life

Our large family gathered around the big kitchen table – my uncles “hiking” dinner rolls across the table after someone said grace, my aunt unbuttoning her pants halfway through the meal, the year Nana dropped the turkey and it skidded across the linoleum floor. ~ What I Didn’t Say

I stand jealously by the door to my prison – where the inmates relentlessly pester me over lost tennis balls and chew toys, refuse to work up to potential and forever invade my personal space with constant demands for attention – watching my oldest child hop the bus to the promised land. ~ Is it?  Is it?  Could It Be… Will I Find… Shangri-La?

My two little angels challenge me virtually every day not to be Mommy Dearest on crack. ~ Resolutions Update:  How Am I Doing?

Weeding the gardens
And seeding bare patches
Picking up garbage 
And things the stray catches
Dodging the dog poo
And treasures he brings
These are a few of my favorite things…  ~ A Few Of My Favorite Things

She is silly, loud and boisterous, singing little songs she’s either learned or made up, doing her best Beyonce butt-shake and getting up in your face.  She is not above fearlessly boycotting food just minutes after an insulin bolus for such ridiculous infringements like Owen smiling at her, or my refusal to let her eat dessert first.  ~ Baby Girl

Although we believe ourselves to be slovenly civilized, most of us are really fleas at heart, because we still believe in pasty superstitions that began while humans still lived in cheese. ~ Mad Lib Monday

I experience tons of emotions, many of them plenty raw, but I deal with them in good time and remember where my focus has to be.  She is such a warrior princess, Ava. She is stronger than I am. ~ How We Got Here:  Part 2

Both of them trailing me, but the door hadn’t closed behind us when Owen said to me, “what’s WRONG with you?” within earshot of the man behind the counter. ~ The Joy of… Negotiation?

“It’s coming folks, brace yourselves …” ~ Pokeback Mountain

 I spoke my truth. Some didn’t like it. Many more did.  Very few choices come without consequences – good or bad – but I made mine and I am NOT sorry. ~ Resolutions Update:  How Am I Doing Now?

One day you wake up and the revelation hits you like lightning.   It doesn’t matter whether you have any money – and – at some point, it will no longer matter whether you have anywhere to go. You will look at the beautiful faces of your children, and you will know they deserve more than a decade of watching a toxic marriage slowly destroy itself. ~ Who Broke You?

5.   Karma Chameleon – Culture Club ~ 20 Worst Songs To “—” To
I don’t remember which song it was, or how many minutes into the drive, but I snapped back into reality and I thought my heart would explode….hearing my daughter’s voice crying to me and feeling so far away from my children, knowing I can’t just “go home” where they are…………. About three minutes later, a noxious odor fills the car.  I’m having immediate flashbacks to last week’s elevator ride with Mom-mom to the first floor of her apartment building.  ~ Coming Out of the Dark
And now we had a puppy thrown in the middle of all the chaos, who could not be left alone for a second and needed to go out first thing in the morning to sniff every blade of grass on a quarter acre of land.  ~ My Golden Love
First and foremost, he has been my friend, a source of comfort and joy, laughter and strength, my shoulder to cry on and my “candle in the window.”  ~ Attitude of Gratitude
He was quiet and deeply thoughtful, mysterious and temperamental.  It was intense.  I loved him more than I’d ever loved anyone – ever – at the tender age of sixteen. It took me years to smell leather and not think of him.  He was my first love, that first boy who steals your heart in an irretrievable way, the one you will never forget.  ~ First, and Last
I fell off the nutrition wagon BIG time this year, and hit my head on a nice big wedge of cheese fries chased by beer. When food came my way, it resembled more of a deep-fried stew of vitamin-deficient salts and sugars. ~ New Year, New Goals – Part 1
I’m lacking color, substance.  I’m lacking food, period.  I promise to eat.  Nobody and no thing is worth starving yourself for. ~ New Year, New Goals – Part 2
I knew it would be the challenge of a lifetime and that one week of teaching her would make chasing her around the house with an insulin-filled syringe look like a stroll in the park. ~ Letting Go

I was talking to Owen when suddenly he bent over behind a clothing rack so fast at first I thought he’d fainted.  When I realized he was just adjusting his velco-closures on his Skechers, I glanced up and saw this really cute little girl about his age walking by.  I asked him if he knew her and my sweet boy’s eyes turned dark and narrow as he hissed, stop it mom!  ~ It’s Valentine’s Day
It would be fine if the other parents who sent food in actually considered the value of a healthy snack.  But these parties are swimming in cookies, cupcakes, potato chips and brownies. ~ What You Might Take For Granted

Then I go back to sleep  and dream of my lawyer in some alternate universe where he’s smiling behind his big mahogany desk like a big Jewish Willy Wonka high on Matzojuana handing out bags of chocolate balls, but I have no place to put them because I lost my purse.  Either way, if I’m Alice in Wonderland, then my lawyer must be the god-dammed March Hare. ~ La Vida Loca

A summons for Jury Duty!  Apparently the county thinks I haven’t spent enough time in the courthouse in the last nine months.  So, I sent them a letter:  a) let me off the hook b) advise my physician to prescribe just enough valium to take me to that relaxation level just above drooling and incoherent c)  come and we’ll serve you all-you-can-eat tamales and margaritas or, how about d) all of the above? ~ What’s In YOUR Mailbox?

INYB – I’m Not Your Bitch.  By the way, I would like to change my name to “Francis Union,” so that I can from now on sign my correspondence with my initials. ~ New Acronyms For the Newly Divorced
And finally, I regret that I actually missed being me.  A human being, a woman, an independent person with independent thoughts, ideas, and emotions that – if you can believe it – were and are different than yours.  ~ My (Final) Resignation
It didn’t take long before the real people we were, went to war against the two people we thought we were.  Ava’s diagnosis… The shock and subsequent period of adjusting to “the new normal” was like living on the edge of an active volcano – the subtle rumblings of disaster always underfoot, the constant threat of eruptions left me feeling like I was walking on eggshells all the time. ~ It’s Over:  Can I Help?

No amicability is born of heartbreak. ~ It’s Over:  Now What?

I step up to the gate, Ava leading the way, and see Todd – and Owen – waiting at the end of the longest walk I’ve ever taken, and pray I don’t trip, or faint (the sensations of both just tingling on the surface of my clammy skin.)  Everyone is there, but I don’t see anyone but those two boys I’d give my life for. ~ Wedding Joy

I felt bile searing the back of my throat, as I silently contemplated the idea of fighting the father of my children for longer than one more month. I found we were all ultimately the same.  And I felt this constant pressure from the dam behind my eyes.  I wanted to run from this room, I wanted to hug everyone in it. ~ It’s Over:  Our Children In The Middle

We have bombed the house twice, I vacuum every single God-forsaken day, I comb his fur every morning for the little bastards, I have applied Frontline monthly for the last 3 months on my indoor cat, and bathed him three times with flea shampoo – during which time I also learned that my cat can actually meow his own name. ~ Revelations, And What I Learned This Week
 I think this means I have supernatural powers, so if you suddenly find yourself in my living room and have no idea how you got there – you can be sure it’s because you’ve crossed my mind.  Hopefully it doesn’t happen while you’re in the shower.  That would be awkward.  ~ Revelations, and What I Learned This Week 8/20
I’ve had a couple of those – and all three of them owe my ex-husband a debt of gratitude for erasing any ill feelings I might have still been harboring over their misdeeds. ~ Bad Boys
The thought of people looking at me with lust and desire makes me extremely uncomfortable.   It’s one thing to suspect it, but a whole other thing when they are blatantly obvious about it – and when it’s not just a man, but a man and his wife.  It’s been four days and I’m still feeling a little queasy. ~ Revelations, and What I Learned This Week (9/11)
Every year we had to listen to the lock down procedures, how the kids are taught to evacuate the building, and how no one – absolutely no one – volunteers on school property without FBI and state clearances.  You know – just in case one of us is a rebel terrorist planning to blow up the manure field next door, and take all the chickens hostage. ~ A New Season
The man to my left was apparently three or four notes ahead of me into a coma and so his whole ENTIRE body jerked like he’d been hit with a defibrillator.  Oh shit It started in my shoulders, and then my face started to twitch.  ~ Revelations, and What I Learned This Week (9/24)
 Would I die?  She knows, I think.  While I didn’t exactly say no or yes, the tears in my eyes that I tried to hide told her more than I could. ~ My D- Diary

At certain times of the year, there always seems to be lots of roadkill… invoking a sense of what mass suicide in the animal kingdom would look like if one maniacal squirrel fed them all bad nuts and sent them to the promised land of tarmac. ~ Why Roadkill Is Funny

Somebody got it wrong, chivalry is dead – but schizophrenia is alive and well. However, off the record – hell has not frozen over and there’s always another “shoe.”  Because I’ve been hit by it too many times not to be poised to duck. ~ Lovers, Bloodsuckers, and Nonsense

I put my daughter on the bus this morning, because nothing can stop her.  Because the little girl who knows it all will forget for another day the injustice of a defective pancreas, and will remember that she also told me that “someday I won’t have a pump anymore.” ~ Rock Bottom Day

It was magical – like the gentle fall of snow around two lovers stealing a kiss in the moonlight… it was wonderful – like the first time you realize that he really does love you like that…. and it was awesome – like the rush of friends and family who came in like holiday shoppers to a Black Friday doorbuster, to witness the second chance sealed for eternity before God, a well-stocked bar, my mother’s buffet, and four dogs. ~ What I Learned This Year
I’ve taken enough medications in one month to stock a pharmacy.  I had enough “tests” to confidently report that I am NOT dying.  Of anything.  Though if I get sick one more time, I may just have to euthanize myself. ~ 10 Things That Piss Me Off
 A propane tank, roughly the size of a 747 fuel tank, nestled dead center in the yard under an oversized pine tree.  ~ Gas For the Soul
Both of my kids have a strength of character and a confidence in my presence that I find impressive, and yet I wonder – will this continue to manifest into stronger individuals in the face of bullshit, or will it crumble under the weight of self-doubt? ~ Just One More Thing to Worry About
Todd:  I wish I could make a living just lying in bed with you.
 Me:  You can, honey, it’s called porn. ~ Conversations With Todd – Episode 1
You don’t need a new shirt
Or some fancypants’ shoes,
Or a mouthful of teeth,
Or a pill for your blues.  ~ A Seussical Ode to Bowling
An unopened can of Play Doh.  No one in this house has played with Play Doh in 3 years. ~ Junior Junk Drawer
YOUR gut feeling that something just isn’t right  There’s no wrong in overreacting where your child’s illness is concerned.  Know the symptoms.  Share the symptoms.  You could just save a life. ~ Type 1 – Know The Signs!

I realized the gift that Julie left behind in all of us who attended her funeral that day… was the gift of knowing what true love is made of, but more than that… the motivation to live better, more completely, and never forget to acknowledge our many blessings on earth.  Our choices lie in how we use the time we have, and how we accept what is, and how we aspire for more. ~ Find Gratitude and LIVE
My 12-year-old actually set the table TWICE this week! (Uploading a photo as we speak!) And, I just know that my 7-year-old is destined to be a tv reporter… she questions me mercilessly about my activities during the day while she is in school, whether I’ve seen my husband in his underwear, and if I think Santa is a real person.  ~ How Facebook Made Me a Better
I say leopards never change their spots.  ~ Once Upon A Time
It’s almost intoxicating, to have even a glance through the window of your kid’s soul …. Like flicking through television channels and accidentally stumbling across a forbidden movie. 
 ~ Middle Schooler
We all need a Village – one that holds us up, carries us through, tells us like it is, laughs at our ridiculousness, cries for our heartaches, drives us crazy, supports our struggles, celebrates our achievements, no matter how small, never lets us feel alone, AND helps us raise our children. ~ What I Learned This Week

The voice you hear inside you, the one saying “I should,” or “I know,” is actually not schizophrenia but GOD himself talking to you.  Unless, of course, the voice is telling you to invite 100 people over for a Bar-B-Que and serve them Kool-Aid. ~ That Still, Small Voice

I saw us speeding along the backroads of our neighborhoods in his VW beetle, hand-in-hand through Valley Forge park, walking into the old Lakeside restaurant on prom night, and feeling the roomful of eyes taking in this Gunne Sax Victorian dress and his white tuxedo with tails.  ~ First Anniversary
I kept telling him like 100 times over and over every day that I loved him:  I love you!  I love you Dad!  I love you! And he started cracking up. ~ My Son Is Brilliant
I panicked, both because the car. Was. On. Fire. and because I forgot that AAA exists.  As for the girls, Sabra trembled from door to door in her usual way like we were driving her to the death chamber. ~ Dear Mom
Summer of ’69, a classic anthem I belted out many a time in my car , now annihilated by One Direction who have managed to dismantle the tempo that defines its classic-ness, into some sort of clubby boy band song that sounds like a bunch of drunken frat boys are singing it.  Bryan must’ve had a heart attack. ~ What I Learned This Summer
No longer dizzy, just a marching unit finishing off the final performance in my head, making me at once irritable and aching for the nearest couch to lie down on.  Which is the worst feeling in the world, feeling like somebody slipped me a valium and knowing my night hasn’t even begun yet. ~ This Is Why Nobody Likes a Hangover…
And so we walked out of OVES for the last time, Ava skipping down the sidewalk and me with a heavy heart, making one last ditch effort not to cry before all the busses pulled out.  I almost made it. ~ Changing Places – The Prequel
Ava and I were the last to leave – because only I can go in and out of my house a hundred times before I’m satisfied I have everything I need.  Did I leave a light on?  Is the heat running?  What important thing did I leave behind?  Where’s my cell phone? ~ Changing Places – Moving Day
The dishwasher’s control panel is malfunctioning… The internet is pretending to be possessed and refuses to remain  seamlessly connected, … And in true form, he sat there gazing at me and nonchalantly licking his paw like he’d done nothing to awaken the entire house at 3:30 a.m.  ~ Changing Places – We’re Not In Kansas Anymore

REALLY long, would-be-awkward-if-he-weren’t-my-husband lull in the conversation.  ~ Conversations With Todd – Episode 2

The bugs are trying to get in, people!  Because it’s going to be a bad winter, and they know it. ~ What I’ve Learned In Maryland So Far
Because you are the first man I truly fell in love with, cried so many tears for, and the one who saved me and made my heart whole again.  There is no other man who can do that.  Not now.  Not ever.  ~ How Do I Love Thee?
The tree is still standing
No thanks to the cat
And I’m hoping he won’t pee
On the guest bathroom mat.  ~ Twas the Day Before Christmas
It’s the day afterChristmas
And the house is a mess,
Littered with paper and dishes,
Cookie crumbs and a dress.  ~ Twas the Day AFTER Christmas
My baby boy, the little man who melted in my arms for the first 5 years of his life, who gave me his first kiss on Christmas eve 12 years ago and endured a thousand more of mine, turned 13 in October.  ~ 2013 – A Year in Review

But all I keep thinking about is when I can run again,  and … the cat lying on the floor over there staring dreamily at me like I have a halo around my head.  Hell, maybe I do.  That catnip is so fresh, he’ll be chewing the doors off the cabinet where we keep his treats before  Ava gets home.  ~ I’m Staging A Comeback

#100:  So there it is – all 99 of my previous blog posts, from the very first day I put pen to paper (because back then, I really did, in a little black marbled composition book) for no other reason than to entertain myself and let off some steam.  And what grew from that first day was an adventure a little less Leave it to Beaver and a little more Hobbit meets Alice in Wonderland.  I had no idea where I was going on that first day in 2010,  had no idea the Perfect Storm was brewing, or that I was embarking on an incredible – albeit painful –  journey, or that one day 3 years later I’d be still be blogging – about love and life, in Maryland, with…… Todd.  I am thankful for the experiences that have inspired me back to writing, that have reminded me that I am stronger than I ever thought I was, that have brought me to Faith in His plan, and taught me that Joy exists if you just open the door. Thanks for sharing the journey with me.  Here’s to 100 more.

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