Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year

A new year is almost upon us. Tonight the kids are hoping to stay up until midnight to ring in the new year. We will see how that goes. Boy wonder made it until 11:40 last year. So close....

So, we'll not be breaking out the champagne, fireworks and Avo cigars, but perhaps pizza, root beer and some games. A little family fun before our family really begins to change its structure. Next week, I begin living outside the family home, staying with friends and family, visiting my children every other weekend and a couple times a week for dinner. How strange. So much is changing....quickly....and not. It is all a process. In some ways, I can look back now and see the signs, the struggles that could have been handled differently, the challenges taken on by two people often heading in different directions.

I pray as we enter this new year that Casey and I are both strong enough, kind enough and smart enough to do our very best by our beautiful children.

Happy New Year to you and yours.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Merry Christmas

"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men."

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

In Recognition of the Mundane

This is generally the time of year that work slows down as more and more people take time off for their Christmas vacation. This is normally a great time to get a lot done; all the little things that pile up and get pushed aside as low priority items. This year, I have to admit I am having a great deal of trouble concentrating. Between personal life issues, student loan repayment juggling (forebearance approved on my largest chunk of loans - yes!), networking and concerns about finding work and in which city that work needs to be, there just doesn't seem to be much brain-power left. Then I get calls from people wanting me to do life insurance comparisons, or take a survey. Really? Not so much happening, people. So, I will spend my time seeking the mundane tasks that I can do in my sleep and hope the real challenging things can wait a bit. Maybe it is best I do not have a new, exciting, challenging job right now.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Missing Comments

Hey all - many of you have posted comments, which are now moderated because a few people could not keep negative comments off of either Casey's or my blog. Trouble is, I thought they would come to my email to be moderated, but ends up I had to go looking for them. (Thanks for telling me about this, Casey.)

Anyway, I did not mean to ignore any of you. I am reading all comments and have released most. I really appreciate the support for our family that I feel in most of these messages. I get that some of you are angry with one or the other of us, and are taking sides. That is your choice, of course. I hope you have not fooled yourself into thinking you understand the full story. I do not say this to in any way blame Casey. I am saying, relationships are complicated and no one ever understands what goes on in a marriage except those who are in it. Sometimes, even we stumble through blindly.

Casey has posted much about her pain and the struggle our children are having. This makes it clear that this was ultimately my decision. Please know I do not take it lightly, and truly believe that Casey is a wonderful mother and has been a loving, dedicated partner. Sometimes, even really good people are not meant to be together forever.

Our focus is on trying to figure out next steps and how to nurture the children through this transition. This is certainly not what either of us had in mind when we decided to have children, and I hate that they will now be the children of divorced parents. It will be difficult and painful for all of us. Still, I believe Casey and I will find a way to make sure they know how much we both love them and want to be with them.

I know I indicated previously that I would not say much about what we are going through, but so many of you have followed our family for so long and have expressed your concern, that I thought it most respectful to say a bit more.

Thank you to all who support our family. It will not look the way it has previously, but we will always be a family; two mothers connected by two beautiful, loving human beings.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Bored on a Friday Night

I hate it when Gray's Anatomy is a rerun and Private Practice is not on. Yup, that is the situation we are in tonight. Kids are asleep. Nothing good to watch. We are watching old reruns of Will and Grace, which was a great show and I still enjoy, but it's not as much fun as something I haven't seen before. If we keep it on the rerun channel, we'll probably soon be seeing infomercials about fast weight loss and hair replacement products.

Right. Which is why I am here now, blogging and not still watching TV. I have a really low tolerance for commercials, and that later it gets, the worse the commercials. Maybe I should just go to bed.

Perhaps there will be some fun Christmas specials on tomorrow. We could record them and zip through the commercials! Love the DVR!

Toy Story Mania

Christmas bells are ringing, lists to Santa are on their way, the tree has been trimmed, the smell of baking cookies is in the air, carols are being sung, and there is a possibility of snow this weekend. Although it certainly does not feel as much like Christmas around our house as it usually does by now, it looks like Christmas. Presents hidden tell me we are getting close. The excitement in our kids eyes when they talk about Santa tells me we are getting very close, but not quite close enough for their liking.

On lists this year, since we finally got a Nintendo Wii console, are new Wii games. Well, maybe they are not actually on the lists, but we know new Wii games are always winning choices. I probably enjoy them as much as the kids. I think I like Mario Kart even more!

One of the ones I think would be fun is the new Toy Story Mania by Disney/Pixar. This is a game inspired by the movie, and the attraction in the California Adventure theme park. Players engage in 10 carnival-like shooting galleries, plus 30 mini games. Bonus level unlocks some fun-sounding 3-D play.

As a lover of all things Disney, this is an easy choice for me, and I am sure one the kids would enjoy, too. Not quite sure if it will find its way under the tree this year, but maybe! This has been put on sale in time for Christmas gift-giving and can probably be found for a pretty good price right now.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Brrrr....It is COLD

I don't actually recall ever seeing the temperature being 11 degrees before. I know that in some parts of the country 11 is nearly balmy. Here, no so much. Here, 11 is ridiculous. Here, 11 makes people say to each other, "Dang, it is freakin' cold outside." Talk becomes that of what to wear to stay the warmest and why it is OK to wear jeans into the office.

The last few nights we have remembered to leave our faucets running slightly and now that I think about it, I wonder if we should flush the American Standard toilets a few times during the night, too. Baby, it is cold outside!

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

For the Lovers of Reality TV

So, I see from my stats that everyone loves a good drama. I know many of you stopping by to read are friends truly concerned about our family. Others are probably the same folks hooked on reality TV, just wondering what will happen next. Hey - that's OK. If we didn't want people reading whatever it is we write, I guess these would be private blogs. To those who care - thank you.

I can only speak for myself here and say that while things are hard right now, I know somehow, someday, it will all be OK. Things will look different, not what we ever imagined, but no matter what I am the mother of two wonderful children whom I love deeply, and I will always work hard to make sure they know that. Casey and I will eventually find a nice rhythm in which to parent and I believe will be the friends we always were.

Sure, there has been some lost sleep and I may start needing anti wrinkle treatments as a result, but after the storm, there will again be sunny days and bright skies. Sometimes Hope and Faith are the best things to hold onto.

Friday, December 04, 2009

Getting Into the Spirit

This is one of my favorite Christmas albums - Christmas Eve and Other Stories by Trans-Siberian Orchestra. It was released in 2006, so can be found on sale for under $12. The song that most people will be familiar with is probably Christmas Eve / Sarajevo 12/24.

The album notes explain that this is a concept album where each song builds upon the previous like chapters of a book.

"The plot here is of a young angel sent down to Earth to find and bring back to the Lord "the one thing that best represents everything good that has been done in the name of this day." The angel's quest takes him all over the world, through Russia and Sarajevo, until he finally hears the prayer of a father."

The album mixes instrumentals and vocals, new sounds with familiar seasonal favorites, and is simply outstanding. I love the rock opera feel, lots of electric guitar, but it's done in a really complex way. I don't know enough about music to adequately describe the Trans Siberian Orchestra sound, but I know what I like, and I really like this.

We brought our Christmas music out of the garage before Thanksgiving, along with many of the Christmas decorations. I was happy to toss this CD into my car where it will live for the rest of the month, as it has for the past three years during December. Perfect for popping into the CD player for a good dose of the Christmas season!

'Tis the Season

So, 'tis the Holiday Season, but with all the stuff going on in my personal life, it is a bit difficult to get into the mood. The house is decorated, I got the lights up outside last weekend, and tonight we put up the tree. There are tons of presents in the garage for the kids. We are all trying to feel the Christmas Spirit and I have high hopes for pulling off a great Christmas for the little ones. Tomorrow we are going to a Christmas concert that a friend is in, soon we may start taking evening runs to see the lights at night. Will it be together - as a family - or separately? I don't know.

This year, more than ever, it has been nice to take advantage of online shopping. It is so nice to know you've found what you want, ordered it, and it is on its way. No hunting for parking just to find out that the store doesn't even carry what you are looking for. We like places like and Amazon books, but seems there are tons of places for every interest. Guess I better check my list and see what still needs to be ordered. Then, when I go shopping, it is just for fun!

Thursday, December 03, 2009

A Very Personal Post

Divorce is an ugly word. It's like cancer or malignancy. You can tell just by looking at the word, it's bad. According to a variety of sources, about half of all US marriages end in divorce. Sad statistic for what starts out as something so full of hope.

Many of you already know that Wife and I are getting a divorce. There, I said it. I have been avoiding the word because it sounds so harsh.

I won't be posting a lot of details here, but will continue posting about my journey through life. I know some people are already taking sides, assuming they know the full story, posting nasty messages on both of our blogs. Please know that neither of us wants that, and such messages will be deleted. No one fully understands what has happened in our relationship - not my friends, not her friends - and I know this because WE do not even fully understand.

Wife - Casey - has been posting messages that will make it clear this is more my decision than hers. Still, a relationship is always about the dynamics between two people. Please know that I am not taking the decision lightly, and this has been a long time coming. Casey is a loving, wonderful woman and a terrific mother. That is all I will say about our relationship.

We both hope that our loyal readers will continue to support each of us, and our amazing children. Thank you for all of your past love and support.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Forget the rolling bookbag!

I haven't thought about a rolling laptop/book bag in about 7 months. I don't really miss my huge (yet very necessary!) book bag at all. It was like lugging around a suitcase everywhere I went. The wheels and handle were great, until I came to stairs. Lugging the weight around did keep my arms in shape, but sometimes did a number on my carpal tunnel.

During bar review, I used a simple messenger bag. It was big enough for my laptop, wallet, pens and paper, one study book, and even a snack. Most of the study books lived in the back of my car, and I swapped them out as needed.

So, what is the point of all this? The point is, now that I don't have to worry as much about function, when shopping for bags, I can consider form. Check this out:

This bag, on sale for $59.99 (free shipping!) It is a nicely designed messenger bag that looks great, too. There is a padded section for carrying a laptop, room for a notebook, plus an organizer section for ID, cell phone, MP3 player, and more. I like the classic look of the black with brown trim. It neither screams "work," nor "school," nor "weekend getaway," but could be used for all. Do I need another bag in my life? Probably as much as a I need a new jacket or watch, but that won't keep me from looking!