I am not one of them. I am me.

I am re-sharing because my guy and I are getting ready to get two new ones. 

Re-Posted on September 25, 2011 by MR

The only difference between a tattooed person and a person who isn’t tattooed is that a tattooed person doesn’t care if you’re tattooed or not. ~Anonymous

It is funny what happens when you see someone with a tattoo. Some people love them and some people hate them. It certainly separates the crowd into us and them. An us and them that I have always tried to resist. Because honestly I never fit in totally with the us nor the them. I am kind of just me and the older I get the more comfortable I am with that.

In becoming comfortable in who I am I have had a longing or want for a tattoo. I remember when I first started dating my guy and early on making our way to a tattoo parlor where I proceeded to chicken out after it was my turn. It was always something I regretted. But I honestly was not ready and I am so glad I waited.

Since I have had Annabelle I had an idea in my mind that I would be tattooed. I didn’t know when but I knew it would happen and I knew what I wanted.  I wish I could say it was some deep spiritual reasoning or I am just gonna be a tatted up girl. Both of which aren’t the case. It was pretty simple. I wanted to mark a significant change in my life.

I have spent the last 11 years of my life dedicated to my three A’s. I have carried of them the best I could, I have nursed and feed them the best my body could. I have been a stay at home mom and been there for each of their early year firsts as much as I could. None of those sacrifices are going to change and I will continue doing the best I can as their mother. As a mother, I will continue on as I always have. But this tattoo was my way of paying tribute to what I have done within my own body and taking my claim to it back. Nothing about this tattoo is about anything other than the parent child bond that was created when I was pregnant with each of them. And the pure love and joy I had for caring for each of them once they were born and stood in amazement of what my body was able to accomplish each time.

To mark this change I got my version of A cubed to represent each of my A nameddaughters. It is the letter “a” with a square around it. And yes I know mathematically the cubed means a cube but a cube was not near as artistic as I was hoping for so it was a square. I love it and I am so glad I did it. Even better my guy, my very best friend in the whole world and her guy were right there with me. It was a rite of passage for me and the first people I wanted to show were my girls.

This will be my one and only tattoo. I was so nervous to get it because it is so outside of the box for me and I was worried what others would think of me. Then I got over it. This isn’t about flaunting a gang symbol or some fancy saying that is deep and I am not getting a full body armor of tattoos (not that there is anything wrong with those things) They just aren’t me. This was about my girls. Now I believe I have firmly landed myself right in the middle of us and them. It is a little place called just being Shannon, the mom to my three beautiful girls and the wife to my guy who I love so much for giving me them and making us a happy little family and who loves my tattoo and accepts me for who I am.

And for the nitty gritty…it did hurt. The most painful part was the bone part. But it was nothing compared to the pain of having my girls. It was nothing because it was less than 10 minutes and it was nothing because I had tremendous amount of support around me and that meant more to me than any little tattoo needle. It was cheap. And I did let my parents know to give them warning, not really asking for permission, but to let them know I was defacing what they created. Once they knew the reasoning they were excited to see the end result. And I can hide it easily with clothes or a watch. So I got a tattoo in my style. 

Well last year I decided to get another tattoo. I saw it on pinterest and had a student bring it up. It was a semi-colon. It had so much meaning to me both to my professional self and my personal self. It was as if both worlds collided to create a semi-colon on my ankle. 

But given what my guy and I have been through this year we both knew a tattoo was on the horizon. He already has one from this first trip commemorated above. He wants a second one. He is just deciding what to get. I recommended letting the artist draw it. He is amazing and does an awesome job. He has drawn one of mine, some of Kpuff's and someone else's I recommended go to him. 

The one I want that says love always wins in french. I am not exactly sure where. I know it is will be somewhere you cannot see. I am comfortable with the tattoos I have showing. But I don't want anymore showing. I thinking back, side or foot. But we will see. I am excited. 

I do think it is funny because I was so set that there would be no more and I have gotten about one a year since. I really do feel like I am about done. The first was to memorialize my girls and the baby we lost. The second was a mantra to my drive. The third is about my dedication and love for my husband. 

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I am a cook.

It is kinda funny because you would never know it. In fact, I am a good cook and dare I say I am an even better baker. I enjoy cooking. It is very theraputic for me as well as the food is good. Unfortunately, the time I get off of work compared with the time my family is done with school doesn't go. So most days I don't get to cook. It is a mish mash of leftovers from the weekend, ordered dinner or whatever my guy can throw together. 

Cooking

And I hate it. If there is one thing I dislike about my job it is the hours. They are fairly traditional business hours, not school hours. Of course, I don't mind it while working and it doesn't seem that big of a deal when it is happening. As well, it wouldn't be if my family all got home around that same time. But they don't. So I miss the making of dinner, the homework chaos (although I do request they save some for me sometimes or they save English for me) and practicies. Piano and dance both take place before I leave work or when I am commuting. 

I was home with my kiddos for what they knew since they were born. I did work, but they often didn't have a clue I worked and it was just hours at a time. I have always cooked. Other than my pizza weakness, I did all the cooking and it was usually from scratch. I don't really do boxed or frozen boxed food. Not because of a belief or ideal. Because I watched too much food network TV and it was easy. 

I have had to rely more in the last 2 years on frozen foods than I care to admit. But with golf season out there and my fall PhD I knew that I needed to find an alternative. My kids are growing tired of the easy usuals. While my guy was sick and just out of surgery friends and family brought up tons of cooked and frozen meals. My eyes were opened to batch cooking or once a month cooking. 

Of course, I had heard of it before and never tried it. But I am now. I need something I can do quickly when I get home and that my guy and I can do during the pass of the day from me coming home to him heading to golf course. 

To get on with it I tried my hand at it yesterday. I decided to attack just a few things. I could in no way do one month in a day. I am not that skilled. But I could do quite a bit. So I fried 5 lbs of hamburger. I turned that into 6 meals. One round of was italian style and one round was taco meat.

Thank goodness for pinterest and the accessibility to these recipes. 

  • I made three small but big enough for my family trays of baked spaghetti using Diary of a Recipe Collector's recipe. It smelled and looked amazing and I am so ready for it. I added variations in each tray so that each one would be different. Some were different cheeses and some more meaty. 
  • Then I made enchilada casserole that I made up the recipe for. I am sure someone else out there has it. I layered tortilla's like lasagna and used cheese and enchilada sauce in the layers with taco meat. I also added a layer of refried beans. 
  • Then I did two rounds of taco meat. My taco meat is so yummy thanks to KPuff. Who offered up the suggestion to make traditional taco meat and add refried beans. It added protein to it and stretches it out. As well, I love the texture. I love it so much that I miss the beans when they aren't there. I think this frozen meat will be used for tacos (hard/soft) and burritos. 
  • I froze two rounds of marinated pork chops in our family's favorite marinade of soy sauce (1.5 cups), honey (2 tbsp), freshly ground pepper (1 tsp) and lemon or lime juice (1 tbsp). 
  • And finally I made one frozen deep dish sausage pizza from yesterday's post

But I don't plan to stop there and I plan to make more this week to stock it up for at least two weeks or a bit more. Today I am focusing on chicken. 

  • I am going to do a whole bag of chicken. I like to crock pot my chicken in buffalo wing sauce mild sauce. You can change heat preference here. My kiddos like mild. This will eventually be frozen separated into servings. My hope is three meals. Where I will take out portion and then make buffalo chicken quesadillas. My kiddos fav. We just get tortillas and butter or olive oil one side and then we spread out shredded chicken and any kind of cheese you perfer and throw it on a waffle iron. NOM! 
  • I am going to freeze marinated chicken as well. I feel like for this and the pork that you not buy frozen and just freeze from a thawed state. But that is just my own thinking. With thawed chicken breasts I cover in ranch powder. I plan to add parmesan when it actually bakes with some mayo. 
  • And a new one for the ol' E homestead is Cheddar Cracker Chicken from What's Cookin, Chicago? Same thing here with chicken where you buy raw chicken and then you would coat as you normally would and then flash freeze and then freeze in a ziplock bag as needed. I am making two rounds today though. One for dinner tonight and one for the freezer. I hope we like it. My kiddos love butter crackers and cheese anything (minus # 1). My only fear is the sodium on this one. Crackers like this have so much sodium. But as with anything I make new I have my kiddos rate it and if we don't like we don't make again. 

I think from there I am done fore the week. Although, I will be cooking all week this week since I am on spring break. Therefore, I won't be digging into my stash. If the urge strikes to freeze a meatloaf or hamburgers than I may. 

I will keep you updated about how it goes. :) 

The rest is just stuff.

I found out in February I was accepted in a regional PhD program to continue my study of Composition and Rhetoric. It is actually an awesome program that I am proud to be a part of. I have wanted my PhD since the minute I walked onto campus for the 2nd time in August of 2002. It seemed impossible then and even more impossible the more I studied. The harder I worked on my Masters I still wasn't sure if it was right. 

I gave myself a year to decide for sure. Then I decided yes. I applied. But the bottom fell out in a story too hard to tell and even more boring to read. The plot though is my husband got sick. All the sudden a PhD wasn't even something I thought about. So there sat my half done application at above university. But I figured it was the universe telling me, "No, not right now." But the universe had other ideas. A call from above university while my husband laid in his hospital bed in the ICU. I knew then that, like most things in life, I was meant to do this. If it could turn around and happen like that then it was my purpose. Long story short = They wanted me despite my half done application.

Soon after I announced it, I heard someone say where they thought I couldn't hear that I am probably doing it because I have a big ego and I need to feel important. Initially, I was so mad. Then I realized that statement was honestly more about them than me. I also realized some of that is a gendered statement. And then I just didn't care because I know why I am doing this. 

I am doing this because I have something important to say. I have a peace to make with the world that has nothing to do with ego, or a pay check or my workload. If I cared about any of those things I wouldn't be a teacher or even a parent. My peace to make with the world is figuring out people like me. It is adding my voice to the writing world. It is being a strong and independent woman for my three amazing daughters. It is showing them and my own students that you can set out to decide to do something and do it. 

I realize that kind of drive and determination is intimidating some times. I have been in the presence of others who share similiar drives and passions and it does sometimes make you feel inadequate or less than. But that is exactly why I want to do this. Which is why I said….It is more about how they feel about themselves than how they feel about me. 

Ba67fd981b15bac98e9d6a09170edde4I got my bachelors degree in something I loved and have a passion for….WRITING. I did it and prayed darn hard that it would land me a job that I loved which was working with other writers. I got my masters degree in something I have a passion for….WRITING because I knew I needed to do that to get the job I had decided on. It was teaching. I didn't have an education degree which meant one of two things. To teach I had to have a Masters in English and be an adjunct at a university or get an advanced degree teaching license with college teaching experience under my belt with a Masters and teach high school. 

That was about a job, that was about making money, that was about changing my status or social value in the world and that was about my workload. Getting a PhD isn't about any of that. It is about me continuing my passion for writing. Teaching writing. Teaching the writing process. Being an academic and finding my voice in a world where I know belong. 

I know I belong there because I feel it. I cannot even be certain I will pass the finish line. I think about it sometimes and wonder how it will end. But I know all along the way I believed I couldn't do it and I did. That isn't about ego. It is about drive, determination and a dream. 

And I am a mom. The mom to three girls. One 12, one 9 and one 4. I need to show them that you can do and be what you want in the world. They need to know there are scarifices for that, but you have to determine the costs. They also understand from both their dad and I that education is a means to an end. But that that end is determined by each of us, on our own. 

I work with teenagers who could give a hoot that I have studied how the writing process works for non-traditional students. They don't care that at Ball State I will study dual credit program writers and their processes and how they are different from traditional college writers. They don't care that all of my beliefs and passion lie in this idea of a writing community that can support them. 

But honestly, if doing and being the best me is a sign of having an ego that needs fed. So be it. Consider my ego fed because come August 2014 I will be a PhD student and a Ball State Cardinal. I will continue to find and fight for my voice in this world. I will add to the conversation in a meaningful way. The rest is just stuff. 

Nom Nom Pizza!

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My family has been putting up with my pizza obsession for a while now. But lately it has hit epic new level. My guy is now in his golf coaching days. This presents a dinner problem. As well, I work too late to make a good and hearty meal. By the time I get home my family is entering into stages of being "hangry" as they say. Sometimes they gotta tide themselves over even. 

Therefore, I have been trying to keep pizza fixins on hand all the time in order to be sure that I can throw that together quick so we don't have to order it out. Our favorite lately is so yummy! We have been doing taco pizza. 

I love taco pizza, but I don't love anything more than my own taco pizza. I have taco meat at the ready in the freezer and make it ahead so that I can pull it out as I need it. I always purchase a thin crust pizza dough from pillsbury. Actually I purchase it in multiple quantities, so I can have it on hand. 

Then I bake it for about 5 at 350 and dust the crust both sides in corn meal. I like the texture it gives the dough. Then I smother some beans on it and then put the taco meat on it and cover it in shredded cheese that we have around and finish baking to preference. Then I top with crushed doritos, lettuce and tomato. I usually have from scratch ranch on hand for the top. You could really add whatever you want. But I LOVE IT!!!!!

But there is one pizza I love more. It is our deep dish pizza. My dad's side of the family hails from the Chicago area. The Chicago peeps have a definite way they like their pizza. I have a preference for thin and deep. But sometimes you just have a hankering for Chicago style. Whenever we visit up there we always, always get Lou Malnati's. We request it when family comes home. Sometimes we even order it via the mail.

That was until we figured out how to make it ourselves. The key to their pizza is their sausage disk is what we call it. It is an actual layer of sausage. As well, it is mixing up the order of the toppings. We have perfected it just the way we like it here at Casa de E.

I use biscuit dough (pillsbury…sometimes generic is okay…but not for this) and I stretch them thin in a round cake pan. But not so thin that you can see through it. You do want it more thin because it will poof up and give you that deep dish crust feel. I also hit top and bottom with corn meal for texture. I bake it for about 8-10 minutes at 350.  Then I push it down so it isn't too poofy. 

Then layer with cheese. Like a lot of cheese. You can do whatever kind you like. We prefer mozzerella. Your layer of cheese should be thick. Then brown a thin layer of sausage in the shape of pan and once it is cooked through add it as the next layer after cheese. This should look like a huge circular disk of sausage. It sounds crazy and maybe even will look a bit more crazy…but trust me. You will love it. 

Add in a layer of pizza sauce. It should swim in it. But be careful there is a line of too much. I really like some chunk to my sauce, but my family doesn't. This is a section you could play with textures if you want or add in some veg. Now in Chicago you would stop there. But because I am a born Hoosier I cannot let go of the idea that pizza is topped with cheese. So I add in a must more modest layer of cheese. Not a lot, just enough to add amazing flavor and that topping I love. 

Bake about 10-15 until the cheese is bubbly and gooey to your liking. Then take out of the oven and serve like you would a cake or pie. Enjoy this little bit of heaven. It is so, so, so good! I made this last night and my family destroyed it. If you know my family you know this is amazing. I raise birds. They hardly eat anything in large portions. But they did this. And took seconds and thirds. 

There you go. Some pizza love from my home to yours. 

You mean you write?

Every school year the time in the year comes where I have to share. I preach to my students daily about the importance of writing. I am consistantly modeling for students how I do what I tell them to do. And I share my writing. It never gets easier. 

Today I stood in front of two class periods and both times my hands shook as I held my own writing in my hands. I fumbled on my own words and grasped for air. I purposefully give them my unedited first draft of a short story and I lay it all out there. So much so that each time I read and share my personal writing I get the inevitable lump in my throat. 

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I started this semester telling them writing is hard. I mean real true writing is hard. It is like slicing yourself open and letting your guts hang out. Or equal to wearing the bikini for the first time each year. It is all exposed and you wonder what will they think. 

And each year I wait to see where the silence goes. One thing always happens. They quiet. They quiet more than they do when I read Dickens, Anderson or Twain. They become enamoured in this idea that their teacher is a writer. And I always start out this lesson with just how much I do write and how the very core of my being is a writer.

Not to encourage them all to go that way, but so that they can see even though I have written I suck at first drafts and I still get nervous. They also see the love and want to know about my writing life. Things like: how long it takes, how do I develop my characters, how did I create that symbol and how did I know to end there. 

Do you see those questions? That folks is teaching. That is basic conversation that reading even the best Welty or Twain does not provoke. Instead, it is in my muttered sentences of a character I have long since had. Sophie, the character of me, that I cannot always get out. 

The connection though that happens with how easily a story can happen or a poem penned is what I find amazing. They see that I am more than just a licensed teacher and a textbook and a perfected curriculum. I am a real live human writer who wants to be heard, wants to write something amazing and wants to do so easily. 

That day was today again. In the end, I am grateful for the vunerability. I realize the more time passes the more I feel the generation divide. Their feelings of "this teacher doesn't get me" weigh heavier and I know just how important it is that see the student me. The one before a degree or two and the one who just loved to write and was just as scared as they are to put it all out. 

If you speak it, you can live it.

KyleI hate being all philosophical and deep when it comes to blogging. But who am I kidding because in my life in the last few months I have been forced to look at the parts of life we don't like to look at.

Life/death/vitality/fear/faith/forgiveness of self/Healing

So yea philosophical is bound to happen. Last weekend I shared with Kyle just how I had been feeling and then I shared it with all of you this week and then my closest dearest friend. This winter was brutally hard and I needed to admit it. I needed to say it sucked and I survived and I finally did that. 

Yesterday was a special day of sorts. It was my guy's 40th birthday, so yes that is big. But even more this was day was one we had been waiting for and the goal we had set. He wanted to be better by his birthday. The hours before his surgery we declared March 8th as the day we would be fully recovered from all of this and hopefully settled by his 40th birthday. It seemed so far off and impossible during our walk in the path. And really we just made it in a stupid vunerable moment. 

But yesterday morning as the girls and I made breakfast for him in bed I began to see yes that TN is a life long battle. But our battle has changed. Most of it ruled by fear now and less by the phyiscal pain. I know all the statistics and I choose to ignore them. His having TN was another rare and random statistic. 

I can be mad that TN chose him and our family. Or I can choose to be grateful for an amazing Kyleandirockstar doctor and a ground breaking surgery that gave us another chance. It is hard to not live daily in that fear. But as I woke yesterday and I looked over and could kiss my husband I realized that living constantly in a state of waiting and what if has done absolutely nothing for me or us. 

He is choosing to live in the moment even more than I have ever seen it and I finally let myself do IMAG0352 (1)it. But saying it out loud and acknowleding that it is okay for me to breathe and not wait for the next round of pain feels good. 

Therefore I literally spent the whole day celebrating and speaking this choice so I could begin living it. We made it to our goal and yes our life has a new normal. But that new normal is a whole heck of a lot better than many people that live with TN in daily lives. I can't control if it comes back with my moods, my sheer will or living in a constant state of fear. 

So yea I found my happiness again. I cried a lot yesterday. But I remembered back to that promise
I made to him in the morning before his surgery. I am in this for the long haul. I choose happiness and love. Love always wins

We all deserve second chances…

Originally I posted this  in May 2012. Four days before I accepted my new 9-12 Position. Two years into teaching at this level and sometimes I feel battered and beaten and even burnt out. But my passion, my drive and my push for the best from my students only gets fine tuned with time. 

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Never confuse a single defeat with a final defeat. -F. Scott Fitzgerald

Yesterday I had my last day of conferences with my students. The load was light and I had a student sit in front of me and tell me something that was surprising to me. I have done this for four semesters now and very few of these types of moments surprise me. But he did. He let me know this class was one he had previously taken and struggled with so he withdrew.

Usually as an instructor you can kind of tell the ones that come in to retake the course. Usually it starts out with their proclamations of an unfair professor or or how they didn’t understand anything that they were taught. Usually it is always code for it just didn’t work for whatever reason. For me, I can maneuver around my least favorite professors. But as a freshman I am not sure I could have, luckily I didn’t have too. Therefore, I let my students vent and I nod and take note of the learning styles they possess and usually apply it. 

So anyway we are sitting there talking and reflecting and he shares his confession above. I remain surprised because he is one of my best and brightest this semester. I asked him, “Well, what worked?” He proclaimed in a much longer proclamation that I will share here that I finally saw him for who he really was and played to that in the classroom.

Initially, I accepted the compliment and I felt good and then I felt bad because he was a good student who obviously had been misunderstood. And suddenly in this conference, I saw a lot of myself. A student who once given a second chance took it and made a success out of it. But without that second chance may have not. He went on to share some personal things about his upbringing and people not giving him a second chance.

And I begin feeling that familiar feeling well up. The feeling or fire that keeps me plugging along daily. The feeling of someone saying, “No you can’t do that, You will fail.”  I told him, “You know what? I love the underdog story. And I can tell you now, you are no underdog. Go do what you what you gotta do to do what you want to do. I am living proof of second chances.”  He was tearing up as was I.

And because I am always thoughtful and contemplative I sat there wondering after he left how many times he had been dismissed by others because of various circumstances. Then I realized I, too, was that girl. I have been dismissed too many times to count and likely enough that I will never truly see myself as a success despite knowing that on paper I could be called at least a variation of the success I strive for.

But I can give those chances to my students. I really try hard to not pre-judge their backgrounds and capabilities. I know though that I bring into the classroom with me experiences and notions of what and who people are, but I try and call them out right away so that I can acknowledge when they exist. But by all accounts he may be picked to fail but I know he won’t. He is fighting. He isn’t letting anyone tell him no.  He screwed up his first chance in more ways than one, but I have no doubt when he left our conference that he won’t screw up now and he will be one who will make it even though he should not have.

Please don’t misunderstand my criticism here. There is no fault to be had here in my opinion. Sometimes we all need that little push of a voice saying, “No, you can’t.” Sometimes we don’t. I am just grateful everyday I am given the opportunity to give second chances despite even realizing it sometimes.

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Initially, I intrepreted getting the best from my students to mean I had to be their friend and the "fun" teacher. That in order to get what I wanted from them I had to lower my own classroom expectations and therefore allow them to skate by. That never felt right for me. I know the value of education and I fought darn hard for my own and continue to do so. But I also know it doesn't mean it is my job to brow beat them into being walking talking A+ robots. That doesn't work either. Tough love was a popular term in the 90's but nothing describes my teaching philosophy more than tough love. 

I have found it is the ones that I cared enough for to say, "You aren't giving me your best and I have seen it, so I know you have it." That isn't always easy and they don't always like it. But it is a very important part of teaching otherwise we are just buddies hanging out and I am saying, "Sure your half hearted attempt is good enough. " Tough Love is that fine space where they learn. They learn to demand more for themselves,  and they find themselves in the new and sometimes uncomfortable space of growing and learning. 

And I know the value of that because I heard it from him just the other day. The above post was written about a former college student who I know in my social media life now. He did go on to seize that second chance and he is out there proving to the world that told him no that he could not.

That folks is what I consider a win in my win column of teaching. I feel them slowly and steadily stacking up. I am well into my fourth year of teaching and these confirmations remind me that this life choice I made is where I am meant to be. 

 

Waiting for the storm to pass…

I know these moments come in life where we are tested to the max. And honestly I quite pride myself on the fact that in the midst of a storm I am as solid as a rock. When the eyes on me are waiting for me to break and fall to the side due to the winds of life I hold steady. And then life resumes and the storm clean up commences and I look around and realize no eyes are around and I crumble. 

This storm was no different. I lived on sheer adreneline and will power. And then my life returned and when no one was looking I collapsed. I found myself angry at the world and God for creating this storm. I was angry at those around me for not having the struggles I did. I wanted vengence for the unfair hand my husband had been dealt. I was so angry that no one seemed to understand and I felt sorry for myself. 

I deleted my facebook account in the midst of this or I should say when I deleted it when I realized my anger was being directed at what was  a normal world where 39 year old husbands and fathers 92145aa943936eefde852a1c61504923don't get diagnosed with a chronic pain illness and have brain surgery and take a ridiculous amounts of pills to function all within the span of two and half months.

I was angry because in the midst of the storm I kept getting more and more chaos thrown my way in little storms not even worth mentioning but storms none the less. Little normal everyday catastrophes that paled in comparison with the massive one we had going on around us. I had to deal with it all alone. And then I hated myself even more for being angry about it. Who gets angry because their husband has a chronic illness and needed massive surgery?

I guess I'll throw my hand up there. I felt horrible for it. I still do. But I had no one to be angry with. During that time I have been so thankful for those of you who have text, sent messages, brought my family meals, encouraged me, prayed for us and actually listened to me. And more importantly I am so grateful for those of you who suffered at the hands of my sharp sometimes hurtful tongue. Most of you let me be grumpy, angry and let me feel sorry for myself and understood it was not personal. It was my own internal storm brewing. You probably saw it before I did even. 

I needed someone or something to be angry at. I still have moments where I do too. But it is getting better. I do wonder if the day will ever come when I don't become paralized in fear when my guy holds his face a certain way or makes a sound that resembles his moments of pain. I am doubtful. But each day passes is one more day I feel we can add a point to the winning side of trigeminal neuralgia. 

Sometimes I feel the pressure to just get over it and move on and I have tried. We have tried. But some of this is dealing with the realness of what has only to us been so surreal. The speed with which it all happened was quick and brutal. And it is only now where I have little glimpses of what feels real. Getting ready for work in the morning yesterday and my guy was brushing his teeth (with a regular toothbrush I should point out). He leaned over the sink and I caught a glimpse of his scar. A scar I have seen 100 times over and the sight of it took my breath away. It was the first time it was real to me. 

Or seeing him smile and read # 3 a book. Or the kiss I have long waited for. Or him taking # 3 to Stat Care cause she spiked a fever and had an earache. Or the drinking a beer to celebrate small victories in this battle. Or the sleeping in bed normally. Those are the moments that are real and they are coming back one at a time. 

I wish I could look back at this and say I dealt with it with complete dignity and grace. I wish I could be proud of every single moment that passed as I was the wife to this man and a mother to her daughters. Some of the moments were not my finest. 

Life is hard and I find it so easy to slip back into the taking the moments we take for granted. I made promises in the moment to never ever take for granted the time and moments I have been given in this life with my guy or my girls. And the storm distracts me from that. So again I rely on my faith even in my anger at God that He will pull us all through. More importantly He will pull me through.

I have seen the kindness in the world and the cruelty of it. I am grateful for each and every experience. I am just healing. We all are. And I do wonder if the healing will ever be entirely complete. TN is a mistress. I have said this all along. It has the ability to pull into a family and just wreck it. Sometimes I give into that power. But then I remember that no storm is bigger than my God. He will always bring about the sunshine. 

I still have so much story left to tell with trigemenial neuralgia. Our story is honestly just beginning. I can be a strength to those that suffer. Especially those that suffer as a spouse. I am not sure how or what that looks like or how I will accomplish it. Or maybe I already am. I know I have to strengthen my faith and pray hard about what that looks like. But our story will be used for the greater good. I just gotta wait for the storm to pass. 

Aside: I cannot say thank you enough to all of you for lifting my family up. I can feel it every day and anytime I reach out. The world is good. People are good. And I thank each and every one of you in a million ways!