Monday, July 6, 2015

My husband saved my life.

I have never told anyone the extent of my relationship with Nick before. And I'm afraid to. But it has been years since I've been in that relationship and maybe it should be shared. So another woman might see it, and realize just as I had to, that she needs to get out.

The manipulation started out small. Dressing in a way he liked more, acting a way he liked, doing things he liked. They all started with small suggestions, then grew to "Do it this way now." After 2 years he had wrapped me around his finger. And I didn't even know it. I figured I was being a good girlfriend.

Eventually I moved in with him. And everything changed. I became his servant. I had to do his laundry, make his lunch, and clean his house. If I didn't do it right he yelled. He belittled me in such a way I felt like I deserved it. I should be better, because I loved him. He started to convince me that I shouldn't see my family. That they wanted to turn me against him. He told me to never tell them where I lived, and I didn't. I rarely saw them for the next two years.

The first time he hit me, I was stunned. No one had hit me like that before. I had been in plenty of fights before, I've been hit. But never by some one who was supposed to love me. He would always tell me he wanted to marry me, that he had the ring but wanted to wait until the time was right. He wanted to wait until I was ready to be a wife. And every time I messed up, he would throw it in my face how I wasn't ready.

I eventually started pulling away from friends as well, and stayed home when I wasn't working to take care of him. I fell into a depression that I didn't understand. I thought that I should have been happy.

One day, a mutual friend of ours told me he had cheated on me. When I confronted him about it, he made no attempt to hide it. I couldn't believe it. And from that day, everything changed. Every time I went some where I would get texts "where are you? Who are you with? When will you be home?" He would try to control what I did, who I was with, and how long I was gone. I had to make elaborate lies to have lunch with my dad. I even had a secret cell phone so I could text my family.

After he cheated on me, I couldn't live with it anymore. The disgust, betrayal, and fear. About a month after he cheated on me, I reconnected with Andy at a coworkers party. I knew right off the bat, Nick was threatened by him. I gave Andy my second cell phone number and we began texting. Andy helped me see the problems in my relationship. That it wasn't healthy. That it was dangerous.

I began meeting with my dad to see if they would let me move back in. I was trying to figure out how to leave Nick without being hurt by him. I knew it would have to be a secret. (My heart is racing even thinking about this day.) My best friend and I had it planned, for weeks, but I was always too scared to do it. That he was going to find out and stop me. Finally, one day Nick was leaving for work and said I love you, but I couldn't say it back. I couldn't let him kiss me. That was the last time he ever hit me.

That day, my friend came over and we cleared out everything I owned in 4 hours. I felt free. I laughed and sang my heart out to my favorite song on the drive to my parents house. But then I realized I had unfinished business with Nick. I had my dad follow me and I met him at a gas station. I gave him his ring back, and told him I had moved out, it was LIBERATING, but terrifying. I cried myself to sleep that first week. I missed Nick, scared that I had made the worst mistake of my life. Scared to admit that I was now alone.

Andy saved my life. He gave me the courage to leave. He gave me a reason to leave. I was WORTH more. Over the following months we hung out a lot. He helped me see my own self worth, helped me trust others again, and to know what real love looked like. My husband saved my life by helping me save myself. My husband is my hero.

I've never fully shared this story with any one. I never told my parents why I had to leave Nick, I never told anyone that I was physically abused.

I had a nightmare last night that made me feel compelled to write this. To expose this monster who still frightens me.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Let's Get Back Into Shape!

Yesterday opened my eyes to how I have been living my life. It became apparent that I have been living a fear lead cautious life since my blood clot. Not for nothing though. It's been about 3 1/2 years since my clot and certainly I had hoped I wouldn't have any permanent damage from it, but I do. I have scaring in my vein that causes very poor circulation in my leg. And also from the clot, I accumulated a large amount of varicose veins in my other leg, which also hinder circulation. Doctors told me that from my condition high impact exercise should be avoided, and so I didn't do it. Even walking was difficult because of the poor circulation. My poor legs would tire out quickly from un-oxygenated blood starving my muscles.

I gained a hefty amount of weight in these last 3 1/2 years, which has added to the problem. So I have decided to get myself back into shape. I played soccer last night on Amberly's team, which was great fun even though I'm not very good. But 5 minutes into the game my legs felt like they weighed a million pounds and I felt like I would black out at any moment. Thank goodness there were enough girls to switch out when one needed a rest. Then I realized that was the most physical activity I had since Atreyu was born aside from walking around the neighborhood. Sad right?! I've been wanting to protect myself from injury, making my condition worse, or fear of trying to work out and get too tired. I wanted to get a bike about a year ago, but didn't cause I was afraid I'd bike too far and get too tired to get myself back home. By the end of the game I had a hard time lifting my legs. I was soooo worn out. It's hard having to switch direction instantly, or have a burst of speed to catch up to the ball.  I can get there though.

Rightfully so my doctor was nervous about me participating in soccer. It's demanding physically, and I could easily get hurt. I survived my first game without any problems though. Andy did come to watch, just to make sure I didn't get hit in the head with the ball, lol. But I am determined to shed this weight and live a more normal life. I don't want to be heavy any more. I don't want to be so out of shape I feel like blacking out after 5 minutes of exercise. I want to be able to run around with my son without getting tired, I want to like how I look in anything I want to wear. I don't want to be self conscious about what my husbands friends and co workers think about me (for some reason I think it reflects on him, and don't want him teased about having a fat wife).

I am determined to live in front of my condition and weaknesses. I don't want to always hide behind it, cowering in fear of the "What if" situations. I'm not saying I'm going to take up kick boxing, but there certainly are things in life I am missing out on because I have deemed it too risky. I have certainly come to terms with and accepted my mortality, and understand what my limitations are. But what fun will my life be, if I don't take any risks at all? I don't want my life to be full of memories of watching from the side lines.

I bought a stationary bike to help get me back into shape, and hopefully help my legs. I found out there is a new therapy out there to help people like me, with poor circulation. My doctor and I are trying what we can to get my insurance to approve me going. And HOPEFULLY get my varicose veins removed. In any case, I'm not going to let my condition determine what I can and cannot do anymore (within reason of course).

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Why does every one have to be pregnant at the same time?!

So here's the thing. I can't have more anymore kids. Despite my ultimate desire to be pregnant again, and have another baby, it's just not in my future.

After having my blood clot, i had to have my tubes tied, because getting pregnant can cause a lot of complications to my health. At first, Andy and I wanted 2 kids. My pregnancy was hard and I only got to really enjoy 2 months of it. Labor was hard, and the complications with my health directly after swayed Andy and I to commit to having just one.

Now that Atreyu is older (almost 4!), I have that insane baby itch. But, it's also kinda a blow to me, unable to have kids... That's what being a woman is about right?! Lately, a ton of my friends are getting pregnant. It's bittersweet for me. On one hand i think: Good for them! She's such a cute pregnant lady! On the other hand I'm jealous and yeah, a little bit bitter. I find myself thinking : Thanks for rubbing it in my face. I know my pregnant friends aren't doing that, but all the pictures of the adorable baby bumps, ultrasounds, and beautiful pictures of your newborns stab at my desire to have a baby.

Don't get me wrong. I love my family dynamic, more than anything. The three of us are perfect together. Mommy and Daddy on the sides of the couch and Atreyu sprawled in between us. He gets our full attention, no competition with other kids, we're financially able to provide everything he may need or want. I also worry about him being an only child. He seems to be lonely sometimes, wanting some one to play on his level. We do do that with him, but our bodies are old, and can only crawl on the floor for a limited time. I'm sure starting school will help with that though.

Anyways, I'm rambling.... I really am happy for my pregnant friends. Congrats to you guys. But for the sake of my happiness, I'll probably not comment a whole lot on your pictures, or posts about being pregnant. It's nothing personal, honestly.

Monday, October 7, 2013

It's pie season!

Tis the season for baking. And pies are probably one of the most popular fall baked goods ever. Who doesn't love pie, besides my husband? Honestly, they're awesome. You can put just about anything in a pie and it's yummy.  But you know that moment when the pie comes our of the oven and you have that sense of accomplishment? You're proud of what you made, then you look closely at the crust and it isn't as cute as you'd like? It's just crust, it's going to taste fine, but you want it to look nice too.
I, for one, am tired of the same old pinch edge. The little zigzag your mom taught you?
The Pinch!


Or the fork crimp. What IS that?! It's not pretty. It's functional, but ugly, period. Unless you dress it up. I'm not the most crafty artsy fartsy person ever, but I know food.  And I want my food to have a pleasing aesthetic appearance.



This is cute! More at Taste of Home.


I sooooo want to do this on my next pie!
Get creative with your crust! Use a spoon to scallop the edges or create a layer effect. If you want to use the fork crimp, get out some scrapbook scissors with a neat design and trim off a little of the edge to make it look cool. Sorta. I am all for making a little extra dough, and making a braid to go around the edge. There are even cute pie crust cut out!

All in all, look around your kitchen. You can make fun designs with the edges of a lot of every day items. We first eat with our eyes right? So, have fun in the kitchen and be creative!

There are also a ton of pie crust cutters out there that make a super cute edge. I love baking, but making it look as good as it tastes is hard, time consuming, and frustrating. But it pays off when you bring that pie to the table and hear people say "ooooh!" It's fulfilling.

Very cute for Valentines day or an anniversary, find it here

I use this recipe mostly because it's fast, easy, hard to mess up, and very yummy. A lot of recipes out there are too floury, too flaky (yes, that's a thing with crust), tasteless mess that don't match well with the pie filling. I found this over at Food.com, enjoy your pie baking holidays!

Never Fail Flaky Pie Crust

Ingredients:

3 cups flour
1 cup shortening
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large egg, beaten
5 tablespoons cold water
1 teaspoon vinegar

Directions:

1 Cut together flour, shortening and salt until it resembles small peas.
2 Combine the egg, water and vinegar and gradually add to flour mixture.
3 Stir just until moistened and a soft dough forms.
4 Divide into 2 disks.
5 Wrap and refrigerate until ready to use.
6 Roll out and use with your favorite pie recipe!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Homemade Granola Bars!

I came across a couple of recipes for granola bars that I had to try. Although there were things that I couldn't justifying buying just for granola, I made some substitutions and blended 3 recipes together. I will never go back to store bought granola ever, unless I get super lazy. I mean, super super lazy, cause these are a breeze.

Chewy- Chocolate, Coconut with Almond Granola Bars

1 2/3 c rolled oats
1/3 c raw honey
1/3 c whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 c chocolate chips (I used mini chips to help get the chocolate distributed, cause I love chocolate.)
1/2 c slivered almonds
1/2 c sweetened coconut flakes
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 c extra virgin olive oil (you can totally use coconut oil instead, but it makes the bars less chewy)
1/4 c brown sugar

Butter or oil a 8x8 baking pan REALLY well.

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix thoroughly.
Place mixture into your prepared pan and press down firmly, roughly 1/2 inch thick. The more packed it is, the better the result.
Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes, cool completely before cutting. Wrap with plastic wrap!

These can stay good for up to 2 weeks, if they last that long. The possibilities of these are endless too. The basic ingredients plus whatever nuts, berries, or candies you want can create amazing results.

They may seem crumbly after mixing, but pressing them into the pan really gets them to hold together.
Resist until they cool down!
I cut them into little bars perfect for my 3 year old, who cried cause he couldn't have a second one.



Monday, May 13, 2013

My mothers day gift.

Andy gave me the perfect mother's day present today. He drew me into a hug and whispered into my ear "You are an amazing mother. I appreciate all you do for Atreyu and me. You are the best thing that has ever happened to me. I know I don't tell you that enough, but I want you to know how much you mean to me. You do a great job with Atreyu. I love you."

I don't think a tangible present could have portrayed a better message than that.

Atreyu gave me a big hug this morning and said "Happy mother's day. I love you." Made my heart feel full of love. Atreyu can be a terror sometimes, and I'm not always as patient with him as I should be. But he has turned into such a polite and loving child. I love those moments when he says "Thanks mom!" or "You're my favorite! I love you!" It always makes me smile to hear that from him

Andy's mom made this video for me, I absolutely love it too! I cried a little, and Atreyu came up and put his little hand on my shoulder and gave me a pat, then said "Stop crying, you're ok," giggled, and ran off. He's too cute.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Toddler surgery and a terrified mom.

I love Google. I Google everything. I think I've mentioned that before. When Atreyu's urologist told me that he needed to be circumcised, I was relieved, then worried. With some complications when Atreyu was a baby, we couldn't get him circumcised, and I was OK with that. Not my preferred choice, but I could live. But it quickly became apparent he was going to need it sooner or later. Many infections, redness, swelling, and pain for my little boy drove me crazy. I finally had enough and spoke to his pediatrician about getting it done. I was really surprised he refused to do it. All he wanted me to do was put a special cream on it, and stretch the skin. Neither worked, and stretching was soooo painful for Atreyu, I couldn't keep doing it to him. And after much research, learned stretching is not good for babies.

Once we moved to Washington and got our insurance and doctor in order, I told her about Atreyu's history. Immediately she suggested he see a urologist specialist, which I was happy for. Maybe this Dr could help Atreyu without needing surgery! Our appointment was Christmas eve, and the first thing after we arrived, the receptionist asked Atreyu to pick out a toy. His eyes lit up and headed straight for the big boxes of toys and immediately to the "Cars" truck. Armed with his new toy, we headed to the 7th floor. As soon as we hit Urology, the receptionist again, asked Atreyu to pick out a toy. This time it was a monster truck. My kid looooves any sort of vehicle. I will say this, that made Atreyu OK with being at the doctors office, and that made it way easier for me.

His doctor came in, heard my story, checked Atreyu out and immediately suggested surgery would  be the only sure fire way to correct the problem. I was relieved some one had listened to me, understood a child should not be in pain every time they pee, and had a solution. I got home and Googled  First, how to prepare a 2 year old for surgery. I got the general idea, but then I Googled  how to prepare mom for toddler surgery. Surprisingly, there is so very little on the subject. I'm terrified! What if something goes wrong? What if they cut too much, not enough, anesthesia reaction, got an infection, bleeds too much.... Endless possible problems rise in my mind. (I have OCD tendencies, and my biggest problem is to think of worst case scenarios and dwell on it, triggering, most times, an anxiety attack. Thank goodness Andy is amazing at helping me through that.)  I spoke with the hospital today about my concerns and worries and they did everything they could to arm me with the knowledge i needed to not stress. I hate not knowing everything I can about something. The more I know, the better I feel. I have made some special requests, hopefully they can fulfill them. I specifically requested that we stay with him until the last possible moment, so he wont freak, that he have a child anesthesiologist, and we are in his room before he wakes up, so he wont freak then either. I have never been afraid to ask for what i want concerning medical stuff. If you ever get the chance, ask Andy about my labor. Polite, but I knew what I wanted and let everyone know lol.

So this coming Thursday is Atreyu's procedure. It's outpatient, so he will be home soon after. I wont know what time it's going to be until the day before. Super duper nervous, but I trust his doctor and his capabilities.

Pray for Atreyu's surgery and recovery on Thursday!