Wednesday, December 29, 2010


Dear readers,

I have hit a busy patch, due to an unexpected illness at work. I've been covering a lot of shifts that I don't normally cover, and also beginning to work out like nobody's business. Starting next week, I will be attending 7 exercise classes Monday-Friday. I personally think it's a ton of fun, but it does get old quickly. At least I got to eat all I wanted tonight since I'm aware of my vigorous future...

More soon!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas Inside My Head

I've heard a lot of "What are you doing/did you do for Christmas?" I keep responding with, "I think I'll write a blog entry on my Christmas and you can all see from that." So, here it is. :)

My Christmas started on the 23rd, when we went to Aaron's family's house. Before we left, we opened gifts with Cassie. From that session I ended up with a huge, lovely jewelry box from Aaron...
It looks something like this, but much more decorated and beautiful. I'll get pictures after I empty my camera. From Cassie I got Despicable Me, and a video game. Despicable Me is one of the cutest videos that came out this year. I quite love it.

When we showed up at the parent's house, we played card games for a while. I'm pretty good at playing Bullshit because I sit quietly, under the radar, and don't put down more than one card at once. Golf, I don't really do well because the rules are sketchy to me. Enough of games. On to the roast. It was amazing, with mashed potatoes... and pie... I love eating homemade food, and this was very good.

When we finished eating we decided to open presents. The tree, which is gigantic, looked like it had exploded at the bottom with gifts. I laughed cause I thought of our little tree that my family had growing up-it was usually a 4-6 footer-next to their really big one. Aaron and I have a 6-foot tree, and it is still a lot smaller. Good thing we were small little people in a small house with our small tree and small presents when I was a kid.

Aaron and I got an LCD big screen tv... That was the highlight as far as Aaron was concerned! Let's just say I would have been content with the yoga/pilates outfits and the Maurice's gift card. We got a griddle which turns into a waffle griddle and makes all kinds of things. I used it just this morning to make pancakes. :) And I got the coziest pj pants and slippers, and Aaron and I got 'exotic' alcohol from his brother... It was amazing.

We did watch Despicable Me afterwards, followed by the rousing movie Shoot Em Up, which reeked of sex and assault and guns. Somewhere in there Dan and Aaron and I also played a pretty awesome video game called Castle something, where I, as a beginner, got to kill about 26 bad guys my first round! (The guys were helping me a lot, though.) By the time we went to bed it was pretty late...

On Christmas Eve, we went to the first set of grandparent's house. They are the center of activity, as far as I've seen. We go to their house on the 4th of July to be part of parades, races, food, games, etc. Every Christmas Eve they host a huge bingo party. I've heard a lot of funny things about the past year's parties, so I was intrigued to go experience it for myself this year.

We got to do a craft first. All the ladies made watches. We started with watch faces and made our own personalized wristbands to attach them to. I made 3, and made Aaron's mom one. That was a fun project, and we followed up with some prime rib, more mashed potatoes, and a ton of other foods...

Let me tell you about mashed potatoes. Where I come from, that is the most highly appreciated food you can cook. When I was younger, my sister Berea and I would sit and peel a couple dozen potatoes. Then we would chop them, boil them, and finally whip them up with milk and butter. We never had instant mashed potatoes until the divorce, and even then, REAL mashed potatoes prevailed. We would ignore whatever other food was on the table: meatloaf, corn, yams, stuffing, rolls-and load our plates with these potatoes! Every time. This was our addiction.

So we ate this amazing dinner where I had 2 plates of mashed potatoes, because that is my personal rule. Then we sat around and groaned for a while about how full we were. Then we played Bingo. With their rendition, when you win a prize you can either open a new gift or steal someone else's. They have a lot of silly prizes and a lot of really nice ones. I didn't think I would fare too well since I'm a quiet person, but I actually was very pleased with my prizes.
I got this Husker hat, which fulfilled all my Christmas dreams. I LOVE this hat!!! To prove it's my favorite thing, I have worn it practically nonstop since I got it. I also got a set from Bath and Body Works called Pink. I love the scent of it. And a couple of Itunes gift cards, and a nice set of dinnerware... and a marshmallow sucker... and other stuff... plus Aaron's grandparents gave me a couple nice gifts as well.

We got to eat again before we went home, and sit around and groan some more. Then we returned to the house for the night. Christmas Day we came back to town. I had asked to work Christmas Day because I get time and a half. I worked 11.5 hours, so I definitely get a good paycheck this period!! Plus family came and visited me all day long, and I got to party with them and my coworkers. This is my second cousin Jessica:
She's pretty much the sweetest doll I have ever met! She played with me for almost 2 hours and never stopped hugging me and grinning. She looks so much like my cousin, her daddy Jon. Jonathan and I talked for a long time, remembering our past life of crime with wistfulness. Like how we ripped up my mom's new grass with our awesome waterslide. Or how we would con our moms into believing we were working, when in truth we were doing anything but. My cousin Nate was there too, and he bitterly recalled our adventures involving himself and duct tape. Jessica's mommy is a sweet, sympathetic girl who has become close to me in the past few months. We got to talk about family issues, both hers, mine, and Jon's. She also gave me a fruit roll up from my little brother, which was really cute. Aaron and I ate it while watching A Christmas Story in the bar last night. that's how fun my work is. :)

Last night I got off early, which was nice, and went home for some quality alone time with my husband. We went out and admired the snow, the stars, and breathed in the deeply frosty air for a while. We set up our new tv, which now is in competition with our tree for the most space on that particular wall of our living room. I think it's winning! And then we had a few celebratory shots of buttery nipples and went to bed. Today I am meeting my old neighbors for pizza, then meeting another friend for my baby fix. And then I might do a little shopping for my Secret Santa at work, play some video games, and relax until Aaron comes home with the rest of my gifts and more homemade food.

This holiday season has actually turned out to be probably the second best one in my life. Amazingly I say that, because I really went into it with a negative attitude. But I ended up having a wonderful time, and maybe this is what Christmas is actually supposed to feel like. The anticipation of giving Cassie the beautiful opal ring we saved up for. The look on Julie's face when I announced that she, Cassie and I were going to get a spa package (1-hour massage, 1 hour facial, pedicure, manicure, and hairstyle... mmm!!!) on us. Looking for just-the-right gift for Gloria and Chad and the triumph Aaron and I shared when we found it. Christmas movie marathon while we baked cookies and red velvet brownies. Realizing how much work my mother and father-in law went to to make my Christmas memorable and perfect. Maybe these are the things that Christmas is made of. If so, I'm very glad I've found it. And now, in the words I am learning to speak fluently,

Joyeux Noël, et puissiez-vous trouver votre bonheur!

Monday, December 20, 2010

White Vanilla Christmas

When polar bears dance,
Not clumsily like they ought but with magical grace
When gingerbread men speak
The moment you paint a frosting smile on their face
Then you know it's Christmas...
Once you're sick of shopping
And content to snuggle at home with homemade treats
Once the presents are wrapped
All our friends at the house, fighting over the coziest seats
You know it's got to be Christmas!
If you step into the great outdoors
And somehow the bitter, piercing cold feels right
If you can skate in the driveway
Your best friend starts an all out snowball fight
Of course it has to be Christmas.
When sleep brings sparkled dreams
Reminding you your wishes have come true
And little frosty penguins shine
On a pendant at your throat in ivory and blue
It makes you glad it's Christmas...
As Santa's elves frolic about
Singing songs of Christmas joy and cheer
And you look forward gladly to
Whatever awaits you in the coming year
Dear Readers... Merry Christmas.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Love That Holds Meaning

Last night, as I snuggled next to my husband, he murmured a sleepy, "I love you" which I returned. He drifted to sleep quickly, but I was lost in thoughts. One particular one, which struck me as exceedingly simple yet complicated. What is love? Does it exist? Is it intrinsic, or do we create it? Is it a feeling? An action? What is it?

This is one of the great undefined mysteries of life. The fact that the perception of "love" can be viewed in so many different ways by humans often clouds the true definition of the word.

It must be many things. The way I feel towards Aaron is not entirely affectionate. Sometimes I'm irritated with him. Some days I'm too rushed to pay attention to my feelings about him, and yet I still pause to say, "I love you, hon". Often I'm filled with deep affection that makes me want to be physically near him constantly.

My brother, who I claim to love more than anyone in the world, inspires different emotions in me. When I think of him, I am filled with unmistakable pride, to be able to say he is my relation, and that I raised him. I am overwhelmed with fierce protective urges, and a frantic desire to see him safe, and happy. I want him to know I'm there for him, that I am his biggest fan, and that he is never alone.

I adore few things more than my black fingerless gloves. I wear them almost daily. Does that mean I love them? Can I love an object? What about an activity? Martial arts brings me clarity, peace, adrenaline, and yoga contributes a vastly critical addition to my day. One can exclaim, "I love yoga!!!" But can they?

What is love? Love can be portrayed through actions, as displayed in 1 John 3:16: This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. Love can be a motivator for sacrifice, like in John 3:16: For God so loved the world, that he gave his only son, to die for us. Love can be a feeling, as referenced in Jordin Spark's song, 'Love Feels Like a Battlefield', or Vince Gill's 'Feels Like Love'.

Love seems to be instinctual for humans. A child is born, and a mother is inexplicably bonded with her child. Is it love? Or innate behavior? A grown man is brought to his knees by the staggering emotion he feels towards the woman he yearns after in his heart. Love? Or desire? A man and a woman spend a night of passion, needing to be brought together as one. Love? Or lust? A ten-month-old baby kisses her mother on the cheek. Love? Or learned behavior? A man lays down his life for the world-at least, in his opinion, he does. Is that love? Or is it a martyrdom disorder?

It certainly doesn't seem to be long-suffering, in most cases. Divorce is a common occurrence. Mothers eventually lose interest. Many things can distract one from loving. A best friend can turn enemy at a misunderstood comment. A family can be torn apart over money problems. A child can turn away easily from a friend they no longer relate to.

Is this love a thing you can trust? Does it exist? What is it? I'd love to know.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Top Ten of O'Ten

These are the most momentous moments of my year. Kind of in order.

10. May 9, when Aaron and I spent half a day at a scenic park, before going to Target, where he proposed... and the rest of the day, who knows where we went. I don't, cause I was on cloud 9.

9. May 6, when I became the first person in my family to graduate college!

8. July 7, when Aaron and I legally married, for the Navy's sake. It wasn't a big deal, but we got to sleep in a hotel together after, which made it a special day.

7. July 12. That was the day I stood next to my pal for life and made an 8-year commitment to the United States Navy. A commitment I have not regretted for a second.

6. August 6th. That was the day that Aaron's mom and I went to pick out my wedding dress. With Robert in tow, we shopped for about an hour and found the perfect dress. That was the day I felt truly accepted into my new family.

5. August 14th-I stood with Cassie, Aaron, and Robert and sang 'Don't Stop Believing' by Journey, on top of a water tower at Oceans of Fun. By the second chorus, we had the whole crowd singing with us. There is something exhilarating about starting a mass sing-along, and I very much enjoyed it. And of course, when we stopped singing, there was the thrilling ride down the slide of doom.

4. October 9th. When Aaron and I officially got married. I promised to be by his side, hand in hand, for as many years as we saw fit, hopefully forever. And he promised to do whatever I wanted him to, even if he didn't want to. :)

3. October 23 was my favorite day of our honeymoon. We spent it shopping for cozy hoodies, blankets, boots, and touring Rocky Mountain National Park. And of course, eating amazing burgers and candies, drinking, and soaking in a hot tub with hot cocoa and ending with a movie in front of the fire. Mmm, LOVE it!!!

2. November 13th. I spent that whole day in a cabin with my best friend in the whole world, reading books, watching movies, and being perpetually drunk. Oh yeah, sweet bliss. Also my first snow of the season.

1. Today! Nothing amazing about today. Just that Aaron and I went Christmas shopping together, and then wrapped gifts by the tree while watching holiday movies and eating lasagna and cookies that he made. Am I a lucky girl or what?

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Inside My Head, Installment #13

Wow!! The end of my 7th semester in college! I can't believe I lasted this long!! Today I finished 2 of my finals and I'm done with Human Relations and Medical Terminology. Actually, medical terminology was a lot of fun. I would cuss in medical slang. "You ligamentous salpingo!!" translates into 'ligament-imitating fallopian tube'. Ah, the sweetness of it...

This Sunday I'm co-hosting a party at my favorite store in the mall. The hostesses get 35% off our purchases, and everyone esle gets discounts too. The only problem is that we aren't sure where we'll be stationed next winter. If we are in Norfolk, then it will be no problem. But in San Diego I doubt that fleece and denim will come in handy. We were talking about Georgia, actually, and we hear that they have plenty of use for warm clothes-it gets down to a frigid 73 degrees!! Oh, the chill!!

Nebraskans... kind of are too hearty for that. It's been down to 13 degrees in the past month, snowed several inches, and iced over our windows many nights. And I've seen a total of 4 winter coats on people in town, the day after Thanksgiving. I'm torn between being a tough hearty Husker and a little freezing southern gal. hmm. Let me go to Georgia and get back to you on that.

This week, my friend Julie and I scheduled massages. I've had a few massages before and they were pretty good, relaxing, but not really anything monumental. My perspective changed though! Jennie, the therapist, dug her elbows deep into my back and shoulders. It was the most painful thing I had felt in ages. I moaned and gasped throughout. And yet, when it was finished, I felt like sleeping. The next day I was sore. Like I had worked out for about 3 hours. But the day after that? Oh my goodness. I walked around with NO tension anywhere. I was happy. Wow!!! Loved it!! Thanks Julie, you know how to pamper a girl!!!

Cassie and I have been rocking the pilates and yoga. Observe:
um.. those are called... crunches...
That's called cat. There's also cow, but it's unflattering. Cassie
did it, and then she wanted the picture deleted.

Oh, and I found Nemo!!
He was in my shoes the whole time-no wonder he couldn't
find dad!!!

And last but not least, I'm gonna let you in on a little secret as to why my life is suddenly perfect. I couldn't ask for better. Not only do I have a loving husband, doting family, a super Christmas coming up, a lot of friends helping me through the whole situation I'm in, and a best friend going into the Navy with me, but.... Introducing...
My baby. :)

AAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I love her!!!! My sweet Sailor.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

A Few of My Favorite Winter Things

Spending time with my best friend

Mmmm... finding the perfect picture I didn't
know I'd taken.

Decorating for the holidays...

And Christmas treats!!!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Wistful Dawn

The day pensively began. Slivers of pale light slithered restlessly across the ebony canvas of the sky. With deliberate tension, dawn began to fight the stars that sparkled like brilliant solitaires.Grudgingly, shadows that had hidden beneath the opaque cover began to melt away, revealing the frosty white-chocolate-covered earth and it's inhabitants.

This glimmery lucent atmosphere creeps into my little haven, where I have contentedly been given to peaceful rest throughout the witching hours. Enthusiastic tendrils of dawn begin to frolic over my face, and though I draw the comforter up and hide, their job is done and I am alerted to the new day breaking. My cozy cocoon is penetrated by the shaft of sunlight that promises warm welcome, but is deceiving. Slowly easing out of deep rest, the cool air kisses my skin and leaves me shivering.

These are the days of searching. What is under scrutiny is life, is truth, is reason. In ensuing thought processes come hours of wonder, light as an airy orange dreamscicle in Autumn. As often are the moments of waiting, considerably flavorless and yet sweet, like a vanilla twilight. And on occasion, the dark chocolate kiss of mourning, knowing what of life is bitter even as it melts into a sweet savory history. I wander from Memory Forest to Now Island and Vision Mountain, always aware that Dream Cove is my final destination.

The undercover of evening comes sweetly at the end of each working day. I curl up next to the man I call mine, pulling into my security where I drift away to Neverland. Once tucked beneath the waves of unconsciousness, rest is precious like air transforming to gold. Wintry nights fill my dreams with a rainbow of spices, nutmeg and peppermint, delighting sensations of soothing Groban and Owl City, and colors weave solemn arrays of astonishing hues. And so, I breathe in the tranquility, until the sun again seeps through, wistfully whispering in the dawn.

For the past few nights, I've taken melatonin before bed, as well as doing a yoga session in the daytime. It's helped me to relax and made sleeping much more pleasant. I'm also taking a relaxer for my jaw, and thankfully I'm not drooling or anything with it like I thought I might! :) Thanks for the suggestions!!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Literally... Inside My Head.

This morning I woke up at 5am with the worst headache in the whole world. After about 20 minutes of trying my very best to ignore it, I got up and headed downstairs in search of headache relief. I took a few tension headache tyenols and lay down with an ice pack on the couch. My headache became increasingly worse. Tension spilled out of my bones. Even my hair ached, and I felt nauseous to boot.

I tried throwing up, but that only increased the pain. I rocked back and forth holding my aching head and tried to relax, but it was impossible. In tears, I finally started a steamy hot bath. I poured in Epson salts, turned off all the lights, and submerged myself in the water. After soaking for a few minutes, the pain subsided to a dull pounding. I closed my eyes and counted the heartbeats in my head, concentrating on nothing else. I let my hands unclench, slackened my jaw, and let go through my shoulders.

And finally, relief came. Within short order, Spongebob Squarpants was somersaulting through my head in a wedding dress. I guess that is what I think about when I'm relaxed? I climbed back into bed and counted my heartbeats until my breathing was slow and even. I didn't go back to sleep, but I fell into a meditation of sorts that felt really refreshing.

I guess my tension comes out in my sleep. In the daytime, I've been just fine. It's at night that I begin to cry out and flinch. Aaron has to wake me up several times because I start shaking, squeezing my fists tight and grinding my jaw. I wonder why.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Operation Truth Project

I'm currently working on a photo project. It's kept me pretty busy, so I haven't been on here. But I'm planning on putting it up here in the next few days. It's a declaration of my truths; I'm planning on taking it to boot camp so when I feel all alone, I can remember that I've got friends.

Tomorrow I get off for my birthday, so I'll work on some of them then. Maybe Wednesday I'll get them up!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Thanks For the Support

My Navy contract has been extended due to extenuating circumstances perpetuated by my mother. I won't be able to leave until next fall.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Who You Are

You are five years old and hiding in a corner Underneath the stairs
As your biggest hero crashes down the hall
You curl yourself into a small niche
Under your breath, you mutter the words
"I hate you"
But you forget how his ears are extra keen
Because of his blindness.
He heard you. Little girl
Do you have to be who you are?

You are ten years old,
Sitting at the end of your mother's bed.
With childlike words, you try to explain what happened
How his fingers groped, and you bled
Because you're scared
And your mother stares at you, dumbfounded
Her swollen belly threatening to burst
With his child
Your sister.
And she doesn't do a thing. Child,
What makes you think who you are is worth shit?

You are sweet sixteen, and it is not sweet.
Your birthday is spent in tears
Because you might be older, but you aren't better.
In fact, you probably shouldn't have been born
Because all you do
Is cause grief for your family
This is what he screams into your face
All day long
But come nightfall, he will cry as he holds you close
Telling you he loves you
As you pleasure him. Little lady,
Don't you regret yet who you are?

Today, I locked myself into the bathroom
Turned off all the lights
Lit a candle,
Turned on the ihome and played 'Hey Jude'
Curled up on the floor
And I cried for you.
I mourned the pain of the little girl,
Sobbed in rage for the child
My heart ached for the little lady.
I cannot forgive what happened.
Every step that made you
Who you are.

Thursday, November 11, 2010


Three years ago today, my phone rang. I groggily reached for the desk. It was about 2pm, and I was napping, getting over a bit of a cold. "Hello?" It was Aaron, a boy from my choir. He asked if I wanted to get some lunch-his treat. I said yes, somewhat hesitantly. I wasn't sure what he wanted.

We went to a Mexican restaurant, where we proceeded to talk for the next four hours. When we finally left, we went to the mall for a little while. He worked at Penney's, and we looked around for a few minutes. When the mall closed, we went to Skyview Lake, and sat for about 3 hours talking. And then, we went to Walmart and messed around with one of the employees that I used to work with.

In the end, as I was leaving, he walked me to my car. He didn't waste any time. "So, would you be my girlfriend?"

and the rest, as they say...

I love you, Aaron Lee. Thanks for asking me out that day!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Melt My Heart Again

So, I've been writing my story over at Melt My Heart. It's been moving along quickly and easily. But the past few parts I've written have made me realize that I remember very little about my past, and I kind of don't want to remember the things I'm starting to.

After the last episode, I had a nagging recollection that I couldn't quite place my finger on. I'd try to think of it, but at the same time, I really tried to avoid it. Finally, over dessert last night, as I explained to Aaron, the whole memory came crashing back into my mind. It was a total shock and very unsettling. I guess I tried to protect certain people in my mind. Maybe that was my way of keeping someone around to support me and protect me against the man who hurt me so much. Turns out no one was there, after all.

I think I'd rather stay disillusioned. I've had to deal with a lot the past few years. In short order, my mom chose my abusive stepdad over me, my mom abandoned me and my siblings, my stepdad stole my siblings, my parents got a divorce. I was dragged into a media onslaught which made me an unwilling public figure. The family that welcomed me into their hearts and lives were chewed up and spit out when certain people accused their son-my best friend-of heinous acts that they are probably doing themselves. One of my best friends was killed, and now the person who should support me the most in life is trying her absolute best to create roadblocks in my future career.

With all of that on my plate to muck through, I don't think I want to be remembering nights in bed with my stepdad. I especially don't want to be remembering describing those nights in detail to someone and being ignored. The past can remain on the past while I work on the present. So if I'm missing a lot of details in my story, I ask your forgiveness. I'm keeping it light for my sake.

I'm not whining. I'm not being self-obsessed. This is me trying to be healthy and build myself up for my new family's sake. I don't want my husband to suffer any more than he has over what is now my past. My child will not know the life I knew. I'm very glad for a new chance to decide what I want to do and who I wanna be.

Thanks for understanding! And for reading. Many people have been extremely supportive of our whole family and situation, and I love that. Gratzi!

Monday, November 8, 2010


I took this photo in Colorado-I absolutely loved our cabin and everything about it.

I decided to do this before the freshness of being a bride wears off. :)

-How long did you date before you got engaged?
2 1/2 years

-Did you get the ring you wanted?
It's ten times better than what I thought I wanted! I'm glad he picked it.

-Was the proposal a complete surprise?
It was a shock, mostly because I thought it would be several
more months away still.

-Do you wish you had a bigger/smaller diamond? If so How big or small?
I actually think mine is the perfect size. He listened when I said not really
big, but not tiny. :)

-Did you cry when he proposed?

No... I smiled a lot, and kind of stuttered.

-Was the proposal romantic or creative?
It was very much both! More creative, slightly.

-Where did you go for your honeymoon?
Estes Park, CO. Beautiful!

-Did you buy his wedding band for him?


-What day of the year was your wedding day?

October 9th, 2010

-What kind of weather?
Sunny and about 76. Perfect!

-Inside or outside?

-Church/justice of the peace/other?
Our dear friend/pastor/mentor.

-How many people were there?

About 200

-Time of day?

3 pm

-Any kind of theme?
It was whimsical... roses and creme...

-How many bridesmaids? Who were they?

There were 5. Em was my maid of honor, of course, and Julie was
the matron of honor. Then I had Cassie and Liz and Marlee as bridesmaids.

-What kind of cake/what did it look like?

Like this :)

-Where did you have the reception?
At the vfw

-What kind of dress did you have/color/material?

It was white, um... not sure what material, but it was gorgeous. It
was a ballgown style, strapless, with lovely beadwork.

-What kind of flowers in your bouquet?

They were roses (white, creme, and red), baby's breath, and greenery.

-Kind of engagement ring?
the engagement ring is a diamond surrounded by 10 smaller stones.

-Kind of wedding bands?

A thin band that twines around it-its' a set. Aaron's is Platonic Titanium.

-How did you wear your hair?

Really feathery, updo for short hair, and highlights.

-Who was it important that they be there?

James, my old pal from singing school, and my other mother, and Gloria,
clear from Canada! And the wedding party. And my dad. I was glad for
absolutely everyone who came.

-Was the reception big or small?
I would call it pretty big. We comfortably fit in the room though.

-What did the groom wear?

A tux, with ivory shirt and paisley tie. It was Calvin Klein-dead sexy!

-How long on Honeymoon?

Around a week
later was when we went.

-What did you do?

Well, we spent a day driving, and ended up in Fort Collins at a lovely
lakeside campground cabin. We ate find dining, and the next day we shopped
in Boulder. Then we went to Estes Part and had a VIP Tour with the most cool
tour guide ever. And then we bought more shirts and trinkets and apple butter and
taffy and sweatshirts and hats and scarves and gifts for each other than we knew what
to do with. And then we spent a day hiking in the mountains and around a huge lake and
waterfall. Then we drove all the way home, and on the way, we ate alligator, kangaroo,
wild boar, buffalo, elk, and ostrich jerky. Yummy! And we did other things that I won't
talk about, of course, honeymoon things.... :p

-Was it modest or costly?

I guess it was kind of in between... for us it would have been really costly. But
we had a lot of help, so we were able to go all out. We had napkins with our names on them...
and a really amazing dress... and lovely decorations... and a lot of food... thanks to the
people who paid for all of that stuff!

-How old are you and the groom?

He is 22 and I am 24. For now.

-How long were you engaged before you got married?
7 months. YIKES!!!

-Live together before or wait till married?

We lived together... but in separate rooms. We lived with his parents for a
summer, and I got a floor to myself. Then we moved into the dorms, where
he slept in the dorm above me. And since then, we moved into a house, where
I slept with Cass while Aaron got his own room-till now. Mua-hahahha!

-Take a long time to plan the wedding or was it simple?
It took the whole 7 months. Was that a long time?

-Did you do it yourself or with family or hire someone to plan the wedding?
It was the combined efforts of Aaron and I, Lynne, Julie, and Mom Hoyt. And
the grandmas, of course!! Ohh, and Cassie.

-Did you write your own vows or use something pre-made?

We wrote our own. Funny story... Aaron forgot his at home, so he kind of made them up
as he went at the wedding. So he ended up saying, "I promise to do whatever you
want me to... even if I don't want to." I promise never to play that card on you, Babe.

Sigh.... I love being married...

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Inside My Head, Installment #12

I have a new favorite song. Temporarily, at least. It's Footloose, by Kenny Loggins. Today, while I was working in the bar, and no one was around, I entered that song 4 times in the jukebox and danced my heart out around the pool tables. That was such a blast, I went ahead and played some songs from show choir and danced to those as well. It was gratifying. I didn't quite know how to explain why I was out of breath when another employee walked in. So I just played Hey Jude and jammed out. I love music so much.

Today was a long day, as noted in my earlier post. I'm full of thoughts right now and can't think to read my book or sleep. It probably didn't help that I drank a mountain dew today, because I drink those so rarely that when I do, it pumps me full of energy!!! I also drank a starburst when I got off of work. Here's the recipe to the most awesome drink ever:

A shot of each: Cherry, Watermelon, Grape, and Peach schnapps
Top with whipped cream.
This is my edited recipe. I make a lot of interesting mixed drinks at work.

My friends and I have begun discussing beliefs and philosophies lately. I am amazed at how many things I never questioned before, that are now up for grabs. Reincarnation seems entirely possible. Time, truth, and everything else is relative. My life personally has become a journey of peace. As much as I have lived in strife, I am a very peace-hungering soul.

One of my favorite new realizations is that most things I concern myself with are not worth the passion I put into them. For instance, a sudden anger at my friend dissapates quickly when I realize how short life is. A panic attack over money ceases once I'm reminded that it's just a phase I'm going through that will be over soon. My life is now. Not in the future. I can't live life waiting to see people again, or to make up with people I've lost. It's now that I should be happy, alive, and adventurous.

And I am! The Navy is a promising adventure. My husband and I are closer than we have ever been. Adversity has brought us together. Every week, we take a night off for dates. Sometimes we double date with our friends Dane and Julia, or Tim and Julie. Lately, we've taken to Christmas shopping. We are becoming active in the community and have made some good friends. He's converted me into a Husker fan. Me! A sports enthusiast!

When I lived in Nashville, I had the opportunity to nanny for the manager of the Newsboys. With that job, I got to meet several well known people and their offspring. I was telling Aaron about this the other day, and we began talking about baby names. Here are the ones he picked as favorites: Jackson Mitchell, Drew Renee, Ayrin Claire, and Kaden James. That was kind of a fun thing, and I was impressed. When we first met, he wanted to name our first son Magnum or River. Good Heavens! I'm so glad we've come so far. (Don't worry, anyone- no babies in our near future!)

When I was much younger, I had a list of baby names that I loved and planned on naming my 12 prospective children. Berea helped me with the list, and I think she planned on stealing a few of them. Funny thing, my favorite name on the list, and the one I planned to use no matter what, was Aaron Ezekiel. :) Some others were William Kyle, Westley Mitchell, and Vision James. For girls, I had Elisabeth Liberty, Morgan Whitaker, Jessica Madison, and Noelle Christmas (yes, really!). That's only eight, but I can't remember the other names. Suffice it to say, my future TWO children will thank me for becoming cooler with age and also for forgetting to have the other million siblings they were supposed to get. :p But we will have a dog named Marley.

As long as we're on the subject of Candy Man and I and a bun-in-the-oven, guess what happened at our house this week?
That's right... baking! And who do you suppose baked all this amazing banana and pumpkin bread?

Why, Aaron and me, that's who! We are the world's best team!!!!

Signing off, with... Loose, footloose
Kick off your Sunday shoes
Please, Louise
Pull me offa my knees
Jack, get back
C'mon before we crack
Lose your blues
Everybody cut footloose
You're playing so cool
Obeying every rule
Dig way down in your heart
You're yearning, burning for some
Somebody to tell you
That life ain't passing you by
I'm trying to tell you
It will if you don't even try
You can fly if you'd only cut....

Ohhh, yeah. :)

A Fun Day

Well, the last 24 hours have been interesting.

Last night, my roommate got in a car accident. Her car was totaled, and she was lucky to be okay, although she did get a pretty good knock on the head and is suffering the expected stiffness and pain that usually follows a car crash.

This morning, I was informed that my mom had been given mental attention. That's all I know. I didn't learn when, or where the kids were, or what the attention was for. And I guess I won't know, but I do hope that if this is true, mom is getting excellent care.

And, then today, my friend from Omaha lost her house due to a fire. Candy Man is there now helping with relief. I would have gone, but I have class tomorrow. But my thoughts are with her, and I'm staying home with Cassie to make sure she's okay.

Also, I'm suffering some epic cramps and swollen tonsils. An odd and painful combination. Lord help us.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

A Wish for a Baby Girl

My wish for you
Tiny baby girl, smiling up at me, with blue-cicle eyes
And the little nose that scrunches up when you grin at me
Sweet child with mama's hair and daddy's knack for mischief
Is that you won't grow up
Until you are ready to.

In the Spring,
I hope your daddy teaches you to smell the flowers
And that your eyes light up with wonder at the sights
Of lavender and rose, and of newly grown buds on the dogwoods
May you find beauty
In a cool shower of rain.

When Summer comes,
My dream is of you, tiny angel, sitting in the shade
Only happiness attends your presence, and not a care
For you are young, and these are the months of enchantment
Blow the seeds of a dandelion
Make a wish, little meadow fairy.

In the Autumn,
When you become our little Boo, and learn the delight of cocoa
And of crunching leaves as you go door-to-door in search of candy
Stay young, little dreamer. Light the world with your smile in September
Always believe in miracles
Cause we believe in you.

Come frigid Winter,
When mama sings Ah La Nanita as you drift into Lullaby Bay
Count the stars that illuminate the tranquil night sky
I hope you stay safe in the arms of those who love you so
And love us too
Be our bright future
Oh, little baby girl

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


In the black of night
When a million stars pierce the sky
I breathe deep
Feel the presence inside me
Whispering mysteries

That I have known all along.

Monday, November 1, 2010

A Few Thoughts-Posted With Permission

This is what I'm trying to post to your blog, but it won't let me- it's too long. :P

It's a concept that's hard for me to really put into words- it's something I'm still working through. It's all a part of the process of shifting the blame/responsibility for my messed up childhood from the cult, and onto my parents. It's hard to do, and I can only do it in bits. :)

From what I have observed from my own situation, and from many others in similar ones, I have seen a pattern emerge. There are obviously exceptions to this, but I'm finding that they are few.

People that get caught up in cults seem to have some combination of the following:
- Insecurity
- A burning need to know absolutes
- Wanting to be different- not content to be just "ordinary"
- Inability to be truly honest with themselves
- Lack of ability to think critically (to slice through emotions, and process what is actually being said)
- Difficulty in making/maintaining healthy, stable friendships or relationships
- Think in Black/White terms only- nothing is ever grey
- Stubborn, and determined to be right
etc. etc. The list could really go on forever.

One scenario, which is all too common, is that one (or both) of these types of people get into a relationship, which turns out to be less perfect than they had envisioned. It may be a perfectly "normal" relationship, or it may actually be dysfunctional. Either way, it does not fit with the idea of the "perfection" they had in their brains, and since they firmly believe that button pushing works, they proceed to search for answers on how to make that happen.

Instead of keeping a level head about it, they turn to some charismatic, persuasive speaker with "reasonable" arguments- it makes sense in their brains. They latch on like a bulldog, and will not let go, no matter what is said.

I think childhood abuse plays into this- it creates such fractured people, who need the absolute security of knowing what's right, what's true.

The unfortunate thing is that they become very obnoxious, and, as Angel said, repel healthy people.

I've seen this played out repeatedly over my childhood. For over 20 years, I fiercely stood up for my abusers, and defended everything they did. I bought their line that they were the victims- they meant well, but everyone was always taking advantage of, and hurting them. (for the record: I'd like to believe that they did mean well, and that it was the brokenness in their brains that led them to make such unfortunate decisions. Sometimes I wonder, though.)

Which brings me to another point: I think there will always be a huge disconnect between the parents and the children of these movements.

The parents insist that they meant well, and only wanted the best for their children. I think that's what they honestly believe, but if they were brutally honest with themselves, I think the answer would actually be a little different. I've studied child abuse pretty extensively over the last little while (with the help of my psychologist), and what appears to be happening is that the parents are so broken and hurting, and try to find a way to heal themselves. They *say* that they're doing this for their children, but reality, it's for themselves. It's inherently selfish, and they do not take their children's personalities, needs, hurts, etc. into question. It's all about the parent being right. It's vengeance for having all control taken away from them when they were young, and they unfortunately exert that vengeance on their innocent children.

We children just see that the people that were supposed to love, nurture and protect us utterly screwed up their job. They allowed and more often than not caused us to be hurt.

It's complicated. I get that. I don't think that any parent actually sets out to hurt their children. I know that mine didn't. I know that I was loved abundantly and richly for the first 5 years of my life. Now that I've let the pain and anger of the next 15 years have their day in court, I'm able to look back with more warmth towards those 5 wonderful years.

My parents would have given their lives for me- I know that. They loved me as much as they could, but their brokenness and pain prevented them from seeing how they were destroying the child that was given to them to care for. I know the guilt consumes them now, but that does not absolve them for what they did. I've had to realize that, and let myself be angry, to cry for those lost years of my childhood.

It's never going to be ok. I will come to a point where there will be some measure of forgiveness, I think, but the bitter fact remains: I never had a childhood. They stole it from me.

The problem is...the abuse continues. I know they don't mean to do so, but it continues. It is now up for me to shield myself.

This is what I see in Angel's situation, too. The abuse continues- yes, it's taken on a different form, but it's just as insidious and painful for her. She had to take the extreme step to get complete distance, and I know how hard it was for her. Whether or not the abuser(s) meant to hurt her is hard to say. Knowing what I do, I've got to say that it appears pretty deliberate. I have heard the abuser's side and apparent intentions, but the way I see it coming across to Angel is a very different thing. I think that's where the person type comes in.

I see the pattern repeated in my parents. They fall for the exact same things over and over and over again. Lessons don't get learned. There seems to be some disconnect somewhere, and it frustrates me to no end- I love them, and I hate seeing them get hurt.

I see that with most other people that have got involved in cults- very few actually learn any lessons from their experiences, and just go on to replicate it in some other way- whether it be another religion, a pyramid scheme, or a toxic group of friends. It seems to be an inner drive to stay in this level of a "comfort zone", and no amount of healthy options available will attract them.

Children like Angel and I are very reactive to this type of behavior. We tend to crave the ordinary, the non sensational, and a good, honest day's work. We hate drama, and we hate "perfect answers" to anything- we know there is no such thing. Some children react differently. Some are permanently broken, and never able to pull out of the cycle.

Angel was a rebel, as was I. We fought hard, and were punished (and broken) hard. It is, however, that strength and determination that has given us the ability to live healthy, discerning lives. (the willingness to be brutally honest has helped, too. Relentlessly questioning everything is a must!)

These are just a few of my thoughts on the subject. ;-)

Sunday, October 31, 2010

It's Those Campbells!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Generational Curses, and Bear Lake

When I was visiting Bear Lake in Colorado, I was texting a family member. We started discussing family curses. It made me start thinking, and I came up with a few significant ones.

Weak self control seems to run in my family. The women can't think for themselves, and the men can't display any level of integrity. That's a problem. Almost all the women in my family were/are involved with dangerous men. It's heartbreaking. I was talking with my friend Gloria today. It seems to us that there are two types of women. The first would be the ones who desperately need an organized belief system or they get hopelessly lost. Those people keep going back to abusers, try out new religions, and swing back and forth like pendulums on a clock. They seem to literally
repel healthy individuals, including their own sons and daughters, and simply cling to those who are hopelessly lost themselves. Like the old saying, misery loves company. Then there are those who are ACTUALLY independent, and who can choose to change their situation. Gloria will hopefully comment on this and give you a little more insight in what I mean.

Another curse that runs in our family seems to be the abusive relationships. Some of the women marry men who batter them, physically beating them with pointy-toed boots and strangling them for petty reasons. Then there are the ones who marry men who are neglectful-they just sit around and do drugs, ignore the kids, and are basically useless. And then the type that I was raised with-the ones who emotionally, physically and sexually batter the
children, never once touching the mother but doing savage harm to the helpless ones instead. Those are the sickest, most messed up mother%@$#!* I've ever met.

And, finally, the curse of shunning children. It's a sad but true fact. Younger children beware, one day it may happen to you. It's happened to several of us. Warren was a victim of it, and a few of my aunts, uncles, grandparents, cousins, and now me. You notice the subtle shift of attitude when you walk into the room. Your family members begin to constantly harass you, convincing you that nothing you do is good enough. With me, it started when I found a young man who actually was healthy and really a gentleman. Certain people in my family became jealous, others vindictive. And now, here I am, an orphan in every sense of the word, except somehow not quite.

Now, some family members did TRY to get past their issues. I'll give them that. I got some sweet graduation and wedding gifts, gift cards from people who I know were short on money, and a bottle of wine that we loved. And that shocked and touched me. That those same people would turn around and spread lies about me online? That leaves me very hurt and confused. It's been a long road to where I am now, with a lot of tears and heartache.
The curses remain. I know I'm not the last child to be estranged. I have a brother who I'm almost certain is being treated in the same way I was, and he may end up like me. If the fates allow it, he's going to have more support than I did from the start, because he'll have me. I have amazing support now, from the most unexpected places!

I hope this doesn't sound like I'm bashing any woman. Or man. This is just my opinion and my personal experience. I'm in no place to judge, and I'm happy with that. I mean no one any malice, because I understand that life is seriously too short to spend any amount of time being mad or anything else. It's a waste of time. My grandpa C is really old and frail, and my family is putting me through the torture of not seeing him. They know how much that hurts me-my Queen Mum friend from Tennessee died without me getting to say goodbye and it tore me to pieces. This will be worse. My grandma isn't that young either. And my younger siblings and I have about 80 years on average to be together. That's not long. By ripping me away from them and refusing contact, certain people know they are piercing me with excruciating precision at the very heart.

And those were the thoughts I shared with Candy Man up on the cold mountain. And he held me tight and told me that such things were gut-wrenching. But we can not lose sight of what we have in the face of what we've lost. And here's what I have:

Friends... And...
And last but NOT least...
I consider myself lucky.

Monday, October 25, 2010

In Which We Get Honeymooned.

This is a funny picture, but it's pretty much the best ever
mulled cider. And it is wine at the same time. I couldn't
figure it out. Yummy!

This was our cabin in Estes Park, Colorado. We stayed
at Evergreen cabins on Fall River. It was stunning.

We saw a few big-horned sheep. That was really
awesome!! They were not timid, although they
usually never come near people. They knew
we were honeymoon VIP :)

Me kinda posing on the rocks outside our cabin. The
weather was much colder than Nebraska, but it was
beautiful. Really. The cold ought to stay in Colorado.

This was the amulet charm Aaron got me. It has an
intrinsic design on the front. Aaron's is similar, but
on the back it says, In silence one hears all.

Aaron got some yummy burgers on our trip. I haven't had that
much meat in a very long time. It was really good.

When we arrived at our cabin, we got this sweet welcome
letter and apple cider. Thanks guys!!

And here is where we spent our weekend. It was
so scenic, I'm sure we're going back once a year.

What's Halloween season without a few scares from your
HUSBAND? Thanks Candy Man!

He compensated with a ride on the porch swing. This was
probably my favorite day of all. We had a lot of fun,
the lighting was perfect, and we were just
beginning our adventure. Which made it perfect.

The leaves have really clung this year. Usually by late
October, they've already all fallen.

I just thought this picture was really cool :)

This is how the Candy Man demonstrates a mature,
married man.

The reflection on the water that day was so stunning,
gorgeous and flawless.

And... this was the view from our deck! What a
refreshing way to start a day. We had a hot tub
in the back, and each morning we were served hot cocoa
while watching the sun coming over the treetops.

The Candy Man demonstrates how to stand on a log. He
used the littlest child's head for assistance...

Again, the stunning beauty of the mountains. We saw
this from a tundra off-roader. We took a tour of
Rocky Mountain National Park with the coolest
tour guide ever! We got served beer and
margaritas as we admired the landscape.

The elk are not a timid creature. One of the elk
in this photo had a yellow collar that the tour
guide explained marked her for birth control. Apparently
she is the main population-increaser. Hmm... my family
could use that! haha

It was actually snowing in the state park. I found
this cozy nook, and hid for a few minutes. Then we built
a snowman just to say we did!

We climbed 3 miles to see this waterfall. It was worth
the trip. The view from the top was exquisite. We
could see layers of mountains, powdered in snow, and
a variety of hues from the trees.

Yes, Aaron really caused the water to gush from the
side of the mountain... yes. He has every right to look so proud.

Us at the top of our climb. See what I mean? The
air was extremely fresh, but so thin that it was hard to breathe.

Types of meat we ate: Ostrich, Elk, Buffalo,
Wild Boar, Alligator, and Kangaroo.
Aaron's favorite: Kangaroo.
My favorite: Buffalo.

I'll have more soon. Along with another installment. But for now, I'm exhausted, and Aaron is forcing me to 'get in the spirit' of Halloween and watch the Halloween series, introducing Jamie Lee Curtis. (I like her better with short hair, btw). And so, I'd rather be snuggling with him than updating any more tonight. Enjoy the photos!!