Monday, October 24, 2016

(More) 90 Day Fiance!

Okay, I'm all caught up on current episodes (and even watched the Danielle and Mohammed story - OMG!) so let's dive into my current favorite reality TV shitshow!

Chantel and Pedro:  These are two seriously beautiful people (Pedro!  Keep smilin'!) and I think they're the only couple on the show who are genuinely in love with each other.  But, dammit, Chantel is SUCH an asshole.  RUN, PEDRO, RUN!  Let's discuss why Chantel is a horrible person:

- She had no problem dancing on other men in the club WHILE HER FIANCE WATCHED then had the nerve to get mad at HIM for talking to her about it.
- She's lying to her parents who pretty much seem to be the most awesome parents ever on reality TV.
- Her brother has Kid 'n Play hair.  (Which I realize is not Chantel's fault but I'm going to blame her a little bit anyway.)
- When she had her breakdown over the wedding, it was because she wasn't going to have a big fancy HORSE AND CARRIAGE wedding.  She's a materialistic brat.  Come on, Chantel!  You can't not tell your parents you're getting married and then still expect to have a huge - and expensive - wedding.  Also, nice way to show us what really matters to you: THE WEDDING. 
- She expected Pedro to be the one to break the news about their engagement to her parents.  Oh, honey, no.  Relationshipping 101: YOU deal with YOUR family.  Period.
- When her dad said, "I'm not mad . . . at Pedro," she responded with, "so you're mad at ME?" like Daddy's little princess couldn't believe that anyone would have the audacity to be mad at her.

So, yeah.  Chantel is a horrible person and I really wish better for Pedro.  They're both too young and immature to get married.  I mean, they obviously will.  And perhaps will see them on some kind of "Divorced by 30" show in the future.

Matt and Alla: I hate Matt.  I didn't in the beginning.  I just thought he was an overly coddled doofus with mean friends.  But I offish hate the dude.  He's been married and divorced three times and you wanna know why?  Maybe because he's SO FREAKING CONTROLLING THAT I WANTED TO SMACK THE DUDE.  Matt!  The woman doesn't have to be with you every single second.  She wants to go out with girlfriends then you let her.  You TRUST her.  That's what a relationship is about.  And, believe me, I understand that trust is hard when you've been cheated on in past relationships.  But.  If you can't find that trust then you're not ready for a relationship. 

I actually like Alla buuuuut . . . I just don't know.  She said in the last episode that she missed her sister but there were so many great opportunities in the States for her and Max.  "Great opportunities."  Nothing about loving the man she was about to marry.  Has she ever expressed love for Matt?  At all?  I mean, I guess it's not the worst possible life to live.  She'll have those great opportunities and a better life for her son and with a man who does honestly seem to adore her.  But it's like she's . . . settling? 

Jorge and Anfisa: Oh, Anfisa, you butterfaced little villain you!  I can't decide what is more laughable about this couple:

1) That Anfisa actually thinks she can model.  When she said, "Oh, who is that beautiful woman?  It's a mirror, that's me!" I actually laughed out loud.  Confidence is great but, honey, whatever you did to your lips is taking away from the "four at best" face you had before ya did it.
2) That Jorge actually thinks Anfisa loves him more than the idea of fame and fortune.  Dude.  She has straight up told you she expects an allowance of $10k a month.  She does not love you
3) That Jorge met Anfisa because he liked her social medial bikini and lingerie pictures . . . and actually thinks she should stop with pictures like that.  Because of him.  Bitch, please, the only thing this woman likes more than money is male attention.
4) That Jorge has yet to figure out that, seeing as Anfisa is only 20, lived with a grandmother, and never had a job other than posing in her undies on social media, she has had numerous, um, "enhancements" to her body.  Who paid for those Jorge?  There were Jorges before you and there will be Jorges after you.

I don't actually know if I like Anfisa for being upfront that she's basically trading the sexins for a portion of Jorge's marijuana money or if I'm repulsed by it.  I guess, I mean if she wants to get rich by laying under that, then it's all on her.

Nicole and Azan: The only person on this show who is a bigger baby than Chantel is backwoods Florida redneck Ugly American Nicole.  Thanks for going all the way over to Morocco and making Americans all look like assholes, Big Blondie!  I can't get over how kind and wonderful Azan's family is to her.  Do they see her as their white American savior?  Are they just really, really, REALLY good people?  (Because, I mean, my family is good people.  We're really good people.  But we have limits and when you're an asshole to one of our own, then nope, we're done.  Exit stage left and don't bother coming back in our lives.)  Meanwhile, Azan's family seems determined to make this relationship work and have a conversation about differences in culture after Nicole and Azan have yet another fight over her need to be fondled in public.  I don't get it.

It's interesting that the day after their fight - one in which Azan told Nicole that she did not matter - they're breaking the backs of some poor camels in the Sahara desert and then Bam!  Azan officially proposes.  The day after a huge blow-out fight.  I guess I'm just a bitch because if the day after a man told me I didn't matter, he handed me a ring and asked him to be his wife, I'd tell him just exactly what he could do with that ring (spoiler alert: it would not include slipping it on my finger.)  Also, I would not be announcing to the world all the no pants dancing we'd be doing.  Ugh, Nicole is just disgusting.

Does Azan actually love Nicole?  To be fair, I don't think Nicole really loves Azan.  I think she thinks he's hot, he pays attention to her, and she loves the idea of being in love.  Azan is harder to figure out.  You look at the two of them together and think GREEN CARD.  But he seems to genuinely care about getting her healthier (and I know he was calling her "lazy" when they walked through the sand but I think that was more of English not being his first language and not sure of a proper word to use.) The conversations they have about her size are always in an, "I want you to be healthy" tone not a "shape up, fatass!"  I don't know.  But I genuinely hope this wedding doesn't take place.  Nicole is too young and immature and Azan deserves better.

Narkiya and Lowo: Girl, bye.  No.

1) "Nigerian Prince"
2) Lied about where he was living
3) Told her his babymama was dead
4) His phone was "stolen" during his Visa appointment and he had no contact with her for 24 hours
5) Comes from a polygamous family
6) His visa was approved but now they need documents from Vietnam before he can travel to the US.  That I'm assuming he'll need her to wire $5,000 US dollars to a Nigerian bank account in order for him to take care of.
7) He told her they need to postpone the wedding.

Narkiya, you seem like a sweet lady, but you're a Danielle (of Mohammed) level of stupid.  That wedding ain't happenin', honey.

Friday, October 21, 2016


A few weeks ago, I wrote a post right after finding out my ex-husband fathered a child with another woman while we were still married.  I wrote the post out of pure anger (on behalf of my children) and I meant and felt everything I poured into it.  However, in the weeks since I've been able to confront my own emotions and how this has affected me.  I'm writing this post just in case someone else who has gone through this happens to come across it.

I'm still angry and I'll probably always be angry.  Not because of anything that was done to me but because of the example being presented to my kids.  One of these days they're going to figure everything out and I hate - I HATE - they'll know that their dad didn't love their mother enough to be faithful to her.  I don't want that kind of influence for my boys and it makes me angry that it's out there and in their faces.  I just really hope and pray that it's my relationship with Mark that they take with them into adulthood and their own relationships.  I hope on their wedding day, they'll see him sitting there next to me and think, "I want this marriage to be what they've had for the past 20+ years."

Speaking of Mark, I'm so glad I had him and our relationship when I found all this out.  Not only was he my sounding board and the one who held me when I cried, but he's also the reason I'm not jaded.  If not for him, if not for what we've had the past two years, I would think all men are scum and worthless.  He's protected me from feelings like that and I'm so thankful.  Yes, some men are vile creatures (as are some women!) but there are good men out there.  Very good men.

I did cry.  I did.  I knew about the affair but not the child and it brought back the shame, mortification, and even a little bit of hurt.  If I'm being completely honest, my marriage had been over for sometime.  To the point that finding out about the affair was a relief because it gave me a "good reason" to divorce.  (I could make a whole other post about "good reasons" to divorce.  When you have children, your own misery tends to go on the back burner.)  But it still hurt that I married a man who did not love me enough to be faithful. 

I was - I am - confused.  How do you hide a child for 2.5 years?  How do you rob all children involved of nearly three years involvement in each other's lives?  Not only that, but the day before we went to court to finalize our divorce (AFTER this child was born), but he asked me if I was sure I wanted to go through with it!  What would he have done if I'd said no, that I wanted to stay married?  I'm assuming he would've kept the child hidden even longer than he did.  What did he think would happen when he died?  That I would be dealing with the death of a husband while simultaneously learning he had fathered a love child?  What kind of slimeball spineless asshole does that to another person?

I was- again, I still am - embarrassed.  This is just some tacky ass shit. 

Finally, one thing that kept going through my mind was: why did this happen to me?  I mean, I'm a good person (with the natural asshole tendencies.)  I don't think I've ever done anything truly bad in my life.  I am considerate of other people's feelings, almost to a fault.  I guess it just seemed . . . not fair? . . . that this would happen.  But you know what?  Prospective.  This isn't a "bad things happen to good people" situation.  Yeah, it's not ideal.  But I wasn't happily married to the man when I found out about the child.  And "bad things" are more like cancer, death.  Prospective, prospective. 

I have to look at things this way -- having been in a bad relationship has made me appreciate the relationship I'm in now SO MUCH MORE.  I would go through a million more heartbreaks to be in this relationship, to be with the best man I know.  I get to go to bed every night knowing I'm loved 110% and unconditionally and by a man who would do everything in his power not to hurt me.  I'll take the bullshit of the past to have that now.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Thursday Things

1) My former high school principal passed away last week.  He was a relatively young man, in his 50's, and most of his former students had no idea he was sick.  It came as quite a shock.  When I was a senior, my friend Shanna and I were office aides first period.  And every morning that meant we were fetching Mr. Lucas a chocolate milk from the cafeteria.  I can remember joking around about "what kind of grown man still drinks chocolate milk?"  Now I'm older than he was then and, well, I know plenty of grown men who dink chocolate milk! 

2) Our neighborhood had a potluck Sunday afternoon.  It was awesome!  We were able to meet more of our neighbors -- including a family with young kids who moved in in August.  They're one street over so we hadn't seen them around.  They're also a blended family but smaller than our Brady Bunch.  The boy came over to play with our boys after the cookout.  I see the beginnings of a fun friendship. 

3) Let's talk college football.  I'm okay with Arkansas landing at #17.  What I'm not okay with is Florida State being ranked above them (what, why?) and Ole Miss being in the rankings at all.  I know my boy Eric Church called them the best 2-2 team ever a few weeks ago.  But.  They have THREE losses.  Three!  Get outta my AP poll.

Also, let me just point out that my Razorbacks very well could win out the rest of the season.  Will they?  We'll see.  Auburn and LSU both scare me and seeing as how Vandy beat Georgia AT HOME, well, anything can happen in the SEC.

My GameDay Hog this week is in honor of Russell, Auburn fan, who often tells me "Nothin' stinks like a wet Hog."

4) When we were kids, my aunt had a vanity plate made for her van that said, "Sue's Taxi."  I'm currently at that spot in parenting where I most definitely feel like I'm running a taxi service!  I pick J up from intramurals on Monday then take Kyan to basketball.  The girl child has to be at tutoring Tuesday mornings, once a month the boys also have Battle of the Books that morning.  Thursday afternoon, I'm picking up for glee club, math lab, or girls' club.  And Saturday is basketball again.  Taxi service!

5) The kiddos had fall break last week and so did I.  Sorta.  My break was only supposed to be two days but my Wednesday professor cancelled classes for that day.  I don't have Friday classes so I only had to go on Thursday.  Not too bad!  The only bad thing about a fall break is that we're in the middle of the semester and yet it feels like the end.  I'm over it and ready for the semester to be over and all my classmates have been dragging this week as well.

6) Shelby Farms recently unveiled a ton of improvements and renovations.  We don't live close anymore so I haven't popped in to check it out.  Last week, we made time though.  They've done so much and I really love it.  I think once the weather finally calms its tits, I'll walk around the lake on Friday mornings.

7) This is Us!

Okay, like every other female in the world, I'm loving, loving, loving this show. Some thoughts:

- Randall is easily my favorite character.  And I absolutely love that they haven't turned his wife into the stereotypical black female character.  I can't help but compare the show to Parenthood and they are totally the Joel and Julia before all their unnecessary drama (and without the bratty Sidney.)
- Speaking of Sidney, my friend Ceire pointed out that Kevin is totally the adult male version of her.  Yes!  He's such a whiney little bitch, very unlikeable character.
- I'm still not sure how I feel about Kate.
- I relate so much to Rebecca, Mandy Moore's character.  I don't have triplets, obviously, but I had my three very close together.  And now I have four, sometimes five!  Even as they get older, raising them is like herding cats.  I feel like I'm doing a constant headcount, I'm constantly taking someone somewhere, somebody always needs help with homework.  It's easy to get overwhelmed.  I think they are doing a great job with Rebecca as a young mom.

8) I really love Halloween.  REALLY love it.  But this year I'm so . . . uninspired?  I don't know.  It's October 20th and my kids still don't have costumes.  Well, J sorta does but only because he's doubling up costumes with the school vocabulary parade and trick or treating.  I still have to "doctor up" a wig.  I can't wait to reveal what his costume is because if it works to my vision, it's gonna be pretty cool!

9) Allergies have been going crazy around here!  There's constantly at least one kid who is coughing or sneezing or snotting.  And Tuesday, my own allergies decided to manifest in my right eye.  I was asked more times than I could count what was wrong, if I was crying, etc.  Gotta love allergy season.

10)  Funny?  Sad?  Both?

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

The Light Between Oceans

The Light Between Oceans was my book club read for the month of September.  And I'm just now getting around to writing about it.  Oops!  This little thing called school . . .

The Light Between Oceans is a historical novel by M.L. Steadman and one of the ladies in the book club summed it up best: "it's like it was written to be a movie."  Yes, exactly!  It's the story of Tom Sherbourne, a lighthouse keeper on an isolated island off the coast of Australia.  He survived World War I with more than a few emotional battle scars.  He takes a young wife, Isabel, and they live on Janus Rock together, a half a day's boat ride from friends, family, civilization.  Isabel experiences terrible miscarriages and both members of the couple are heartbroken.  Shortly after she delivers a stillborn, a boat washes ashore.  In it are a dead man and a live baby.  Against Tom's initial wishes, they decide to raise the baby as their own and call her Lucy.  On one of their trips to the mainland, they discover the truth about where Lucy came from and that there is another devastated family out there.


I didn't care for this book.

The beginning was so boring.  I was ready to shelve it and skip book club for the month.  Ha!  It did pick up and get better but, like I mentioned earlier, it felt like it was written with the intent of becoming a movie someday.  And when I say "become a movie someday," I mean of the Nicholas Sparks ilk. 

I also really, really, REALLY did not like the character of Isabel.  In the beginning she's fun and free-spirited and the author does a good job of showing how loss and tribulation can change a person.  By the mid-point of the book, though, I was completely over her and closer to the end I wanted to straight up throttle her.  I also felt the author didn't illustrate Tom as completely and totally in love with his wife until much later on in the story.  He seemed more mildly annoyed by her, wanted her around for the company.  And, once you reach the end of the book, you realize he did love her completely . . . and then have to ask yourself why (or maybe that was just me!)

Overall, the book was just . . . cheesy.  And it could have been - it SHOULD have been - so.much.more.  Even the "truth" of Lucy is fairly anticlimactic.  The whole thing was just rather depressing and not even a well-written depressing.  

Don't get in a hurry to pick this one up!

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

A Football Party

I honestly had no intention on throwing J a birthday party this year.  His birthday always falls during Fall Break, people are traveling, and we took him to the Bears/ Colts game.  However.  He's been invited to a ton of birthday parties already and he really, really wanted a small party.  I let him invite five friends from school and we threw together a little football themed party.
I did this whole thing on a BUDGET.  I told Mark I was going to open a party planning service for peeps who are ballin' on a budget! 
This chalkboard was something I already had.  I just wrote down various football facts from the year J was born.  I really LOVE how this turned out!  That chalkboard is supposed to hang in my kitchen but I think I'll just get another one for the kitchen and hang that one in his room.

We served Frito chili pies (original plan was walking tacos but Sam's didn't have individual bags of just Fritos), pigs in a blanket, a sausage and cheese tray, veggie tray, cookies, and I bought some blue and silver Hershey Kisses since the Cowboys are J's favorite team.

I made the banner from scrapbook paper.  I made one using red paper a few weeks ago for Razorback football kick-off so turning into a more Cowboys themed one cost me a total of, like, $1.50.

I made the runner myself with felt.  It looked a little janky but it was covered up with food so all good!  Ha!

I found the football confetti at DOLLAR TREE!  Holla!

I bought those referee serving plates for J's first birthday party.  We've been rocking them NINE years now!  Good investment!

Adult beverages!
And then for the kiddos.

I bought his cake from Sam's.  That's become our go-to for cakes these days.  They're tasty enough and inexpensive.
I used a white paint pen to put football laces on brown paper bags for treat bags.  Since I wasn't sure how many kids would actually show up, I waited to fill them until the kids got there.  They picked their own treats.  I had things like small footballs, football cards, football photo frames. etc.

I only did two organized games.  I made this football toss out of a vinyl tablecloth.  That thing was a BEAST to make, believe it or not, but it was such a big hit with all the kids.

We also played an updated version of pin the tail on the donkey.

I love this picture so much!  J's smiling at his friend, Kyan's huge smile.  I just love it.

He only got a couple small gifts.  Hello, we took the kid to an NFL game the weekend before!  He'd been asking for a Rubix cube for months.  Seriously, $8.88 and he was the happiest kid on the planet.
Sidenote: Every party my boys have been invited to, I just buy a card and slide in a $20 bill. I mean, that age boys are so hard to buy for!  Well, guess what his friends gave him?  Yes.  Cards with $20!
I used a cheapie table cloth and duct tape to put together a photo booth.  The Cowboys banners and all the props were printed things I found online.

It was such a great party.  Everyone had fun and J got a little extra celebration for a "platinum birthday."  And best thing about the day?  My Razorbacks beating up on some Rebels later that evening!  Woo Pig!

Monday, October 17, 2016

Election 2016 Brain Dump

Note: I'm writing this on Friday to be published on Monday and who the hell knows what bombshells are going to be dropped over the weekend.  Keep that in mind while reading. 

1) Shower thought from the other day: if, God help us, whomever we elect is in office for eight years, my child will have a hand in selecting their replacement.  Yeah.  My kid is two presidential election cycles away from being able to vote.

2) I never thought I would yearn for a Bush/ Gore election again.  In fact, can they just run together?  I'd vote for Dubya/ Gore.  In a heartbeat.  No lie.  This is mostly due to the fact that I think George W. would be a great guy to have a beer with.  #Shiner

3) The more I think about it, the more interesting it is who the candidates are from each party. I literally know TWO people who voted Clinton in the primaries and around five who will admit to voting for Trump.  I come from a heavily conservative Christian area and most of my facebook friends, were heavily in Camp Cruz.  I know this only represents a small demographic but it's still very interesting to me.

4) Speaking of those conservative Christians . . . I am honest to God puzzled over people who identify themselves with that label and actively support Trump.  I'm not talking about voting for him.  I understand why conservatives are.  I'm talking about the people who support him and "I don't care what he did."  "It was eleven years ago!" That sort of thing.  How can a conservative Christian support a man who cheated on his wife, degrades women any chance he gets, and basically just espouses zero moral character?  He's everything that a conservative Christian is not.  And it makes me sad the number of "Christians" I see who support him.

5) I do not know how I'm going to vote.  I've been saying all along I'll vote my conscious and, therefore, go third party or write-in.  When I think about it, though, I'm terrified of the thought of Trump winning the presidency.  Don't get me wrong: I don't like the idea of Clinton being our commander in chief but it doesn't terrify me to the core like the Trump prospect.  My vote likely "won't count" in Tennessee since this state will go to Trump anyway.

6) I do not want to vote for Hillary and, if I do and she's elected, I'll actually be a little sad that I had a hand in electing the first female president.  Because there is literally only one other person I wouldn't want to see in office . . . Donald Trump.

7) I'm not sure how I feel about the Trump accusers.  I have no doubt he's groped a female or two over the years but these accusations are . . . awfully convenient.  I will say, I don't think the Clinton camp has recruited anyone to make false claims.  If, in fact they are false, I think they're just coming from peeps who want their 15 minutes of fame. 

Regardless of anything else, I'm just . . . sad . . . that this is what things have come to.  To borrow a football term, I feel like the Republicans really muffed the punt.  Had they nominated pretty much anyone else, they would've sailed through the election and defeated the Clinton machine.  Now we're stuck with people terrified to vote anything other than democrat for fear of Trump getting his hands on nuclear weapons.

God help us all.  God help us all.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Da Bears.

Wow, it's been a whirlwind few days!
Friday morning, I went to the zoo, field trippin' with the kindergarten.  That afternoon, I checked the girls out of school early and drove three hours to drop them off at my mom's house.  Three hours back home then Saturday morning, all the boys and I were on the road to Indianapolis.  All this for only one reason: the boys' first NFL game!
We kicked things off Sunday morning with some tailgating. 

This was another first for the boys.  They had never tailgated before and, well, safe to say they fell in love with that particular football tradition!  They found another group of boys to play football with and spent most of the morning playing two hand touch.

We grilled, cracked open our first beers around 10 a.m., and just enjoyed visiting with the other fans.  I told Mark later in the day that I LOVE that he's introduced me to the comradery of Chicago Bears football.  It really is like no other.  And, MAN, do they travel.  Indy loves them some Colts but I bet you it was close to half Bears fans.

Our friend Chris and his son Jimmy drove in from Chicago for the game.  The boys - Kyan especially - love Jimmy and were so glad to get the time to hang out with him!

When we bought tickets, we got the best available that we could afford.  And, given that we were buying for five people, this meant we were not exactly close to the field.  ;)  The boys were blown away at how they could still see everything even so far up.

They spent the entire game in awe.  I'm so glad they got to have the experience!  And even more glad that I got to be there for that experience.

By the way, I was THIRTY before I went to MY first NFL game!  Lucky ducks!

It was a good game - stayed close for most of it - but the Colts ended up winning.  I'm not going to say which boy, but one of them actually cried.  He has a lot of passion for the game and really wanted to see a Bears win.

After the game, we made our way back to the parking lot, re-lit the grill, and continued the tailgate party.

It was SUCH an amazing day.  All the boys declared it the best day ever.  The only thing that would've made it better was a Bears win.
One thing is for sure: the tailgating and the game  We didn't even want to go to dinner Sunday night.  Mark walked over to Texas Roadhouse and picked up takeout and we were all in bed by kick off of the Sunday night game.
And it was the last night as a nine-year-old for this one . . .

The next day I was looking up remaining schedules for the boys' various teams and we realized that the Broncos play the Titans in Nashville this year.  So these lucky boys MAY end up making it to two NFL games this season . . .
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