Yadda, Yadda the Past. Yadda, Yadda Eff’em.

Every man I’ve ever dated has had a woman or twelve, in his past who lingered in the shadows of whatever incarnation his present is currently in. A former lover, girlfriend, friend, teacher…someone who made an impact and simply never faded or stopped stalking him, no matter how far away those moments were from the day we met.

The worst experience came with the men who I fell in love with. The men who I gave the power to crush my itty bitty heart to smithereens like Wile E. Coyote’s whole being at the relentless smarts of the RoadRunner. It wasn’t the men who held those memories close to their hearts, it was the families. Mom’s who kept prom photos up from the high school sweetheart that got away, grandpa’s with shrines to a former life of the most “amazing little lady”. Or the sister’s who constantly reminded me that they were still friends with the former lady love. Like little tiny pinpricks at my young and yet-to-be-jaded heart. These moments were awful and gut wrenching, especially when the men in my life found it to be no biggie. Ladies, I’m certain you’ve gotten that look of sheer shock because well their families could do no wrong, and how dare you crazy person dare have feelings about anything!

Sorry, I digress.

Trust me eating Sunday dinner with the entire family next to a wall of photos of the woman your current flame describes as “what it must be like in purgatory” is not a cheerful time and makes it much more difficult to ingest ones less than appetizing TV dinner montage. Oh, especially when someone randomly brings up that unnamed former girlfriend came by and yadda, yadda she’s still really pretty and successful and going to Grad school and is getting the Nobel Peace Prize simply for how amazing she dresses when volunteering at the local senior center. *breath*

The only man who never made me feel like that past was anything more than the past was of course, Future Husband.

The odd thing is that with all the hard work and tireless effort, that was put into trying to be a part of families, I simply didn’t see that these families not wanting me wasn’t that big a deal. My desperation to craft the undeniably perfect meshing of two families was a farce in many ways. I’m a “all my ducks in a row” kinda dame and used to have a much harder time dealing with the aftermath if one stepped out of line. I put so much value into the approval of family then I needed to. What I needed to face was that these men were raised in families that not only wouldn’t accept me but also didn’t raise a man worth the two pennies I had to rub together at that age.

As I grew up, got older and I came to see that the only thing that mattered was the family I chose to build – and of course the one I was born into.

When I first starting dating Future Husband, he wanted me to meet his Bro after I believe only a couple weeks and I flat out declined. At that point I had a strict policy…no family until I knew that I liked the person beyond the blue eyes and fracking adorable smirk. My goal for my next long-term relationship was to have it be about us and not me having to impress a group of people into liking me over the other women of his past.

And that’s exactly what we have, a relationship that is based on not killing each other  being good to each other, raising a wicked cool Monkey and working hard to fulfill our dreams.

It’s funny that I almost got that nagging flicker of insecurity last week but then I was reminded that I cannot change the past and I will not let infect my heart in anyway. Heck if it wasn’t for the past choices of both me and Future Husband, I wouldn’t have all the things I have in my life right now, including the ultimate in chosen family.

I’m proud of who I am today, the man I chose to love and the Monkey who calls me Mama. So there.

 

 

 

 

Make it a Mead!

A couple of weeks ago, Future Husband and I went to Newhall Refinery for some day tripping. We love Refinery.

I love how they always have new food items and great beer selection – both on tap and bottle. Truly, their adventurous beer choices give us the opportunity to try stuff that’s from all over without having the leave the comfort of our little ‘burb.

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Watch the Shadows.

Lately, I’ve been exploring my camera work and started stumbling around with Future Husband’s DSLR yesterday. While those aren’t posed yet and I will post them soon. This picture I took last week while watching Monkey play has quickly become one of my favorites.

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Monkey Gets a Tutor.

This evening I did something I never thought I’d have to do. I signed the Monkey up for a twice weekly tutor.

(insert desperate sigh of agony)

Monkey is smart. He’s above average in reading and imagination but seems to get stuck in other areas of academics. Timed math tests kill him. Writing more than a few sentences frustrates him. Being taken away from art or science makes him frown. Music makes him dance but he’s not allowed to be too silly. P.E. class has turned him off because the teacher says he’s too slow sometimes to follow instructions. His teacher tries her best but she’s got thirty kids to attend to every day.

And so a few months ago I began the search. Sitting down at franchises, meeting with independent tutors, talking with teachers who did tutoring on the side and now we’ve finally found home. Last week and the week before we visited. We observed. Tonight Monkey tested the full spectrum.

Strangely enough, I did so well in school and sadly I expected that he’d grow out of some of the issues or he’d find his balance with his fidgets and quirks. Testing him was out of the question for his Bio once he began talking to everyone but me about the possibility of ADD being a reality. I’ve known it in my heart since Kinder. I’ve seen it on his face and in his actions. My Monkey.

Amazing just how he is and brilliant with his stories and elaborate games with rules no one but him can remember. Normalcy in our education system isn’t designed for kids like me and mine. We fight for ourselves and push against walls to make it through every single day. And now because our education system isn’t built for boys and girls like Monkey, the Boyfriend and I and my parents are pulling together to make things happen.

I’m happy with the home we’ve found for his studies. The women who run the center he’ll be receiving one-on-one tutoring from have been doing it as long as I’ve been alive.

I have faith that this will help. I’m not sure how much faith I have in our schools.

 

Adventures in Slow Cooking!

Being on a budget sucks, doesn’t it? And yet, it’s the lame ass budget that allows Mama to make those wicked cool trips and excursions to places of thrills. Much of the budget planning has been with the food department in the Fort ‘Le Monkey and consequently teaching the Monkey to in-turn budget his portions.

Growing up today is not so different from when Future Husband and I were tots. Junk food was at it’s peak in the 80′s with snack bags, multiple flavors of Count Chocula and the influx of vending machines in schools. My Mama taught me to eat well and to choose my junk wisely, because indulging shouldn’t be against the law, but it should be done thoughtfully. Teaching our young padawan that just because food is there doesn’t mean that you have to consume it in competitive style like it’s the Nathan’s Hot Dog Challenge.

With that I give you Mama’s next budget planning adventure! THE SLOW COOKER!

We’ve already managed a pretty yummy with with a couple of my own off the cuff recipes and then my Mama gave me this gem. Seriously she gives me the smartest gifts. Starting this week, I’m going to be planning a minimum of three slow cooker meals to see how I fare with dollars and cents and how much closer it puts me to increasing the cashola in the bank.

I used adore slow cooking when my Mama would do it for us as kids and well some of these recipes will get the Mama Twist and Shout, but they do sound very yummy.

I’ll be posting photos on Instagram of my adventures in wrestling the food budget…so follow along if you’re so inclined!

 

 

Adventures in Catalina Island…

I’m working on getting back to blogging. No really, I mean it this time. I’m even tweeting again sometimes.

A couple week ago the family went to Catalina Island with literally everyone…Ma, Paw, Future Husband and Monkey.
Here’s the highlight reel…

We arrived hungry and looking for fishy goodness on the pier…

Our familia enjoyed breakfast and wine hour by the waterside and made friends with the locals…

There was a bus tour, and our tour guide was thoughtful enough to point out all the idiot drivers on the road…

My favorite view on the whole island..

Oh they haven’t seen the last of us…

Training – San Diego Holiday Half Marathon

This week has been horrible in terms of half marathon prep. I got the stomach flu. I didn’t hardly sleep. And, well that’s about it but here’s a blog post about it anyway!

After a fabulous weekend in Santa Barbara, Future Husband and I were prepped for a wicked good week and then I woke up half way through Tuesday night’s slumber with a bought of horrible. Oh my gosh, shoot me horrible. This week has quite simply blown. Ugh.

As I was dying on the bathroom floor and then rotting from the inside out on the couch, I started thinking about my goals for this year and how I not only killed many of them but how I was indeed on the right track to continuing to make it happen for Stark Social.  When Future Husband pushed me to make my business into more of reality than only doing freelance work on the side, I was worried. However, like every challenge we face together, it’s a piece of well-aged cheese with some crusty bread.

Today I woke up and decided that a long run was due before next weekend snuck up on me.

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SB: Brewhouse Melts Mama’s Face

Last night the Future Husband and I walked to a local eatery and brewhouse, literally called The Brewhouse – that on that site called Yelp, got serious great reviews.

With them being walking distance to the Eagle Inn where we frequently lay out noggins when in Santa Barbara, we couldn’t resist. After browsing their website and realizing they had a wicked good happy hour, we strolled down the street and away from the beach.

Their list of beers that brew themselves as well as on tap was startlingly impressive….

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