Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Settling for Good Enough

I recently read Marry Him: The Case for Settling for Mr. Good Enough by Lori Gottlieb.  I first saw this book this past summer while shopping for a gift.  It caught my eye so I picked it up and read the back.  I was in a hurry and quite broke so I made a mental note to pick it up when I had a few extra bucks to spend on myself.  Over the last six months, I've thought about the book a lot and I finally purchased the ebook for my Kindle late last week after a conversation with a couple girlfriends about my relationship with Ken.

I'll start by saying that the title is a bit misleading.  The book wasn't exactly making the case for settling, but rather for reevaluating what you think is important and compromising on the superficial things.  Most of us girls are taught to be confident and have a high self-esteem.  We are taught to NEVER SETTLE for less than we deserve and, well, we deserve nothing but the best, of course.  We grow up with all these fairy tales about knights in shining armor and valiant princes and we believe that someday our prince will come.  We think our soul mate will show up one day out of the blue, sweep us off our feet and we'll live happily ever after in a harmonious and passionate relationship.  Okay, so maybe we realize there is no such thing as a perfect man or a perfect relationship, but we're bound and determined not to settle and we overlook some wonderful men in our search for that elusive Perfect 10 (even if in reality, we're only a 5 or 6)!  At the beginning of a relationship, we tend to focus on all the wonderful qualities our man possesses, but before long, we are picking apart everything he does, comparing him to every other guy we've known and focusing on his imperfections.  We decide that we want more... something... and we jump ship looking for whatever that something is.  Meanwhile, we are oblivious that we don't have the very qualities we expect our man to have.

How many of you ladies have (or had) THE LIST?  You know the one - it usually starts something like this: tall, attractive, kind, funny, stable... and it goes on and on and on.  Every time you break up with a guy, you add things to the list that he wasn't or you modify existing attributes (i.e. funny, but not corny; stable, but not married to his job).  The older you get, the more time and experience you have to refine the list and before you know it, you really are looking for Mr. Perfect.  Then you  meet a guy who has most of the qualities on the list, but he's short, or balding, or maybe a little older or heavier than the person you pictured and you don't give him a second thought.  This book addresses all of those things and encourages women to not judge a book based on it's cover, but to open yourself up to finding happiness with someone you wouldn't necessarily expect.  (I mean, how many single, tall, dark, handsome, rich, funny, adventurous, supportive, age appropriate men with a full head of wavy locks and a desire to settle down and have a family do you think there are out there?  Certainly not enough to go around!)

I wanted to read this book because of where I am in my own relationship.  I absolutely love my boyfriend and am eternally grateful for him.  He's loving, kind, supportive, compassionate, and so much more, but I'd be lying if I said I'm always content in the relationship.  There are days when I think of an ex or of someone else's relationship and I wish Ken had some of those qualities.  I'll have easy, witty banter or a deeply intellectual or spiritual conversation with someone and wish I had that with Ken.  I'll remember the passion of a previous relationship and wish I had that with Ken.  I'll hear about or witness some gesture or quality and wish that Ken was more like that.  I go through phases where I find myself focusing on the qualities that he doesn't have instead of the amazing man that he IS.  The thing I need to remind myself of when I'm going through one of these phases is that those past relationships ended for a reason.  I compare Ken to those men, but those men hurt me deeply.  There may have been intellectual banter or a shared faith or spontaneity or passion, but there were also lies, betrayal, abandonment, instability and passion.  (The thing about passion is that when it's good, it's great; but when it's bad, it's awful!  It's a double-edged sword.)

I do strive to focus on the positive and most of the time Ken makes that very easy.  He is thoughtful and generous.  He supports me in everything I do, donates to every cause I participate in, buys me flowers for no reason, tells me he loves me ALL THE TIME, compliments me and believes in me.  He surprises me with weekend get-aways and unique experiences and steps out of his comfort zone and is willing to try new things.  He doesn't even like coffee, but he bought me a coffee maker for his place, learned how I like it and makes it for me on those mornings I'm there.  He doesn't drink wine, but he keeps a bottle or two of my favorite at his place for me.  He apologizes when he's wrong, laughs at all my jokes, encourages me, cooks for me, takes care of me when I'm sick or sad or just feeling lazy.  He took amazing care of me when I was recovering from surgery.  He is the most selfless man I've ever met.  He is completely focused on my fulfilling my needs and desires, even if he doesn't share them.  And he genuinely thinks HE'S the lucky one! 

I don't feel like I'm settling. I do feel like I am more realistic than I was even just a few years ago.  He may not be everything on my mile-long list, but he has all of the qualities that I NEED and many that I want too.  He is enough!  In fact, he's more than enough and far more than I deserve.  I know I'm the lucky one in this relationship and I'm so thankful we found each other. 

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

2011 Reading List

I've been known to be a bit of a bookworm, but I really thought I'd get through more books than this in a year! 

Drums of Autumn - Diana Gabaldon
The Fiery Cross - Diana Gabaldon
My Sister's Keeper - Jodi Picoult
The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest - Stieg Larsson
The Lucky One - Nicholas Sparks
The Choice - Nicholas Sparks
The Weight of Silence - Heather Gudenkauf
Mothers & Other Liars - Amy Bourret
How Full is Your Bucket - Tom Rath & Donald Clifton
Water for Elephants - Sara Gruen
Forever Odd - Dean Koontz
Four to Score - Janet Evanovich
One Cold Night - Kate Pepper
Something Borrowed - Emily Griffin
Map of Bones - James Rollins
5th Horseman - James Patterson / Maxine Paetro
6th Target - James Patterson / Maxine Paetro
The Starter Wife - Gigi Levangie Grazier
The Land of Women - Regina McBride
The Rule of Nine - Steve Martini
The Templar Cross - Paul Christopher
Relentless - Clair Poulson
The Bodies Left Behind - Jeffrey Deaver
The Girl's Guide to Homelessness - Brianna Karp
Blood Lust - Sarah Clapham
Eclipse - Richard North Patterson
Tell No One - Harlan Coben
7th Heaven - James Patterson / Maxine Paetro
8th Confession - James Patterson / Maxine Paetro
A Thousand Acres - Jane Smiley
The Final Detail - Harlan Coben
Gone for Good - Harlan Coben
Dark Room - Andrea Kane
Hard Truth - Mariah Stewart
The Next Accident - Lisa Gardner
Alone - Lisa Gardner
Nowhere to Run - Mary Jane Clark
Devil's Corner - Lisa Scottoline
Mistakes Were Made (but not by me) - Carol Tavris / Elliot Aronson
First Daughter - Eric Van Lustbader
A Very Simple Crime - Grant Jenkins
Pray for Silence - Linda Castillo
The Last Child - John Hart
The Hanging Tree - Bryan Gruley
Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
Marry Him: The Case for Settling for Mr. Good Enough - Lori Gottlieb
Accountable to None - Ashley Fontainne
That's an average of about four books a month, but I'm five books shy of my "one-a-week" goal.

If anyone out there has read any great books this year, I'm always looking for suggestions. 

Friday, September 2, 2011

The Optimist Creed

Easier said than done, but I'm working on it.  I'm choosing to be a more positive person.  Some days I need a little more help than others. 

The Optimist Creed
Promise Yourself ...
To be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind.
To talk health, happiness and prosperity to every person you meet.
To make all your friends feel that there is something in them.
To look at the sunny side of everything and make your optimism come true.
To think only of the best, to work only for the best, and to expect only the best.
To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own.
To forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future.
To wear a cheerful countenance at all times and give every living creature you meet a smile.
To give so much time to the improvement of yourself that you have no time to criticize others.
To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear, and too happy to permit the presence of trouble.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Faking It

I know I've said this before, but sometimes I feel like such a fraud. 

Case in Point #1:  A few weeks ago, Ken and I were hanging out with a long-time friend of his.  She told me that the thing she likes about me is that I am fun and adventurous and she loves that influence on Ken.  I don't remember her exact words, but that's the gist of what I got from it. 

Case in Point #2:  A few days ago, I got a facebook message from a friend of mine who moved away a year or so ago.  She commented that it looks like I am enjoying life and making the world a better place.  She said she admires my passion and "joie de vivre."

The thing is, I don't feel like I'm fun or adventurous.  And I KNOW I'm not currently making the world a better/happier place.  I'm not enjoying life and have completely lost all passion and joy.  I'm irritable and distracted all the time.  Things that used to come naturally, I now have to fake.  I used to be very spontaneous, passionate, adventurous and fun.  I used to be compassionate.  People used to frequently comment about the "light" in my eyes, but all that seems a lifetime ago. This not-okay-ness is affecting every aspect of my life - my friendships, my job and my relationship with my boyfriend.  It has zapped my energy, motivation, compassion, peace, joy and patience.   I'm going through the motions, doing what I do.  I'm not LIVING; I'm simply existing. 

I hate this feeling and this phase, but I don't know how to snap out of it.  I need a break - an escape from all the pressures and demands on my time and emotions.  I KNOW that I have so much to be thankful for and I try to focus on those things daily, but it just doesn't seem to be enough to help me climb out of this dark hole.  I need some time - away from here - to be alone, get my head screwed on straight and examine my heart, to draw out whatever it is that is making me so miserable and deal with it. 

I'd ask for suggestions, but I'm tired of getting "Dr. Phil'd" & preached at and the "fake it 'til you make it" strategy clearly isn't working.  I just want to rent a cabin or cottage or something cheap and just go clear my head - I want to run away...

...but it'll have to wait because I'm currently broke. 

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Family Update

The court awarded custody of the kids to mom and Saul again. They’ve had them on a trial basis for about three months and now they have permanent custody. There was only one condition – that they get one of my brothers tested for learning disabilities. They agreed to do so, but mom made it clear she’d be home schooling the children this year. Either she doesn’t truly care about their educational success or she is still in denial that there are problems. Regardless of her reasons, she is going to allow her pride to hinder the kids’ education and thus, their future. I feel so bad for them.

At the end of the day, they ARE her children and she IS their mother and it is her right to raise them as she sees fit. No one else has to agree or like it. I pray that her eyes are opened so that she can clearly see the damage that her pride and her actions (and inaction) has caused them. My first concern is their physical safety, but I’m not even convinced they are safe. I have a feeling that as soon as Saul is off probation, they’ll leave the country and not come back until the next time he beats the living daylights out of mom. Hoping I’m wrong, but… (Say it with me)


Monday, July 4, 2011

Book Review (spoilers included)

I just finished reading "The Girl's Guide to Homelessness" by Brianna Karp. It was my 24th book this year. I've now read 25 so I am one book behind in my one-book-a-week goal.

What a book. I was hooked by the first sentence in Chapter 1 and by the end of the first page, I knew it was going to be my kind of book.

It's a story about a woman who faced adversity in some form all of her life. She was raised in what she calls a cult, force-fed a very hypocritical religion her whole child-hood. She was molested and abused as a child/teen, raped and cheated on as a young adult. She started working at nine years of age to help support her family and she finally found her dream job and worked hard to finally have a place of her own. And then the recession hit. She was laid off from her job and six months later, lost her home. She moved back in with her mom, only to suffer even further abuse and false accusations. She inherited a travel trailer from her estranged father who had committed suicide and lived in it in a Walmart store parking lot until it was towed (even after she had the permission of the store manager) and she didn't have the money to get it back. This woman was no slouch. She applied to hundreds upon hundreds of jobs and worked for a couple more companies that laid her off after promising full time work simply because it was cheaper to bring on a full time employee and lay them off than it was to contract through a temp agency. She lost everything, but she found love. And then just when you think things will work out okay, she lost that too (and a baby). But this isn't just another sad story. She not only survived all of what she went through, she conquers her destiny. She found success, not in spite of adversity, but because of it.

In this memoir, Brianna Karp makes you question your beliefs, assumptions, prejudices and opinions. As much as I am an advocate of the homeless and less fortunate and although I work with a couple different homeless ministries in my community and do what I can to show love and respect to all people, regardless of social status, I found myself feeling some pretty strong conviction for judgments and assumptions that I didn't even realize I had. This book humbled me. I identified with several of her experiences and couldn't help but thinking several times throughout the book "this could have been me.... if not for the grace of God."

I know I put a spoiler or two in there, but this book is absolutely worth the read. It is not for the faint of heart though. It is laced with f-bombs and other profanity, but it is REALITY for so many people out there.

Winds of Change...

So much has been going on the last month or so.

May: Trip to Arizona. It was Ken's first trip and I spent about half of my childhood there so we had to balance visiting old friends (for me) and seeing new things (for him). My friends seemed to really like Ken so that's always a good thing. And Ken seemed to love one of my favorite places in the country. He even said on several occasions that he could see himself living there. The weather was perfect - mid-90's most of the week. We hiked at Picacho Peak, saw Montezuma's Castle, drove through Sedona and visited the Grand Canyon and even got in a game of golf and a trip to a water park. After the horrible spring we've had in Spokane (it snowed two days before our trip), it was just so relaxing to be out in the dry heat, soaking up the sunshine. We found cheap airline tickets, a cheap condo and a great deal on a rental car. The cost of the trip, not including food and gas, was just under $1000! Ken happened to win $1,000 playing Black Jack the week before we left so the casino paid for the trip. Can't beat that!

I also cut my hair and donated 11 inches to Locks of Love. I'm digging my new 'do. Perfect for summer!

And then of course, my birthday was the 21st. It was pretty low key, but I definitely felt the love! Hard to believe I'm 33!

June: I applied for a job at Spokane Transit Authority. I rocked my first interview, but found it a little odd that when I asked my questions toward the end of the interview, I found that they really were hoping to find someone with experience in insurance and accounting. This desired qualification was not listed in the recruitment bulletin or anywhere in the job description. Still, they passed me on to the testing round. That was a THREE-HOUR written test that they sent off to a psychologist in Connecticut for evaluation. The scheduled a second interview with me and again, I really felt like I did a great job, but this time they actually asked some specific questions about my insurance and accounting experience, even though I already explained in the first interview that I had absolutely ZERO insurance experience and my accounting experience is limited (I supervise accounting personnel and certify their work, but I've never been an accountant). They told me only five out of 50 made it to the second interview and I found out later that one of them was out of the running almost immediately. The CEO told me that my test results were some of the strongest she's ever seen and that she was very impressed with the way I interviewed. Still, I did not get the job. They said the only reason was because the lady they hired had the specific insurance and accounting experience they were looking for.

This is the first time in my life that I have not been offered a job I applied for. It was humbling and disappointing, but at the same time, I felt really relieved. See, the district manager approached Ken while I was in the interview phases and offered him the opportunity to get out of Moses Lake. Apparently, the Home Depot store in Walla Walla has some issues and he wanted to know if Ken could turn that store around the same way he turned the Moses Lake store around. He told Ken to go check out the store and the town and let him know. That weekend, we had a wedding (which was awesome, by the way) in Corvallis, Oregon to attend so Walla Walla had to wait.

Finally, last Thursday, I took the day off work and drove down to Walla Walla with Ken. It is a one and a half hour drive between Spokane and Moses Lake, but a three hour drive between Spokane and WW (I love saying Walla Walla, but it feels too redundant to keep typing it). If Ken moves there, that will double our commute to see each other. We both really loved the town. It's in wine country so it is very lush and green. There are over 140 wineries in the area! The downtown area is beautiful, with several restaurants and cafes with patios and a ton of wine tasting rooms. Housing seems to be about the same as it is in Spokane. I could very much see myself living there. However, Ken met with the store manager and didn't have a great overall feeling. It seems the district manager isn't being very forthcoming. He told Ken that he needed someone who could "fix" the WW store, but he told the store manager that Ken just wanted to move and was interested in WW. Also, the store manager there is a self-proclaimed micro-manager and that is one of the things Ken hates about his current boss. At the end of the day, he felt really torn. He plans to meet with his old store manager here in Spokane next week because he trusts him to be honest and blunt about the WW store manager and his opinion on the risk he'd be taking to move there. Then, early next week, he has to have a decision made...

So much to think about - if he doesn't take it, I've applied for another job that I'm not really sure I want, but had to get in an application before the deadline with absolutely no time to really think about it. The good thing is, Ken has to have his decision made before the first round of tests so I can always withdraw interest if I need to. If he does take it, I think I may just look for work in Walla Walla. That brings up a whole other list of issues and fears for me, but I'll save it for another blog...

Friday, June 10, 2011

Wanted: Muse

I need a muse. I love writing, but it seems lately I have nothing to say. I used to be able to write something about that too. It's more than just a case of writer's block - I'm seriously lacking inspiration.

"You should write a book!" I hear that statement on a weekly basis. However, I don't know where to start and I have a hard time believing anyone would really want to read it. Not to mention the fact that people don't seem to remember things the same way I do...

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Give me rules
I will break them
Give me lines
I will cross them
I need more than a truth to believe
I need a truth that lives, moves, and breathes
To sweep me off my feet
It ought to be

More like falling in love
Than something to believe in
More like losing my heart
Than giving my allegiance
Caught up, called out
Come take a look at me now
It's like I'm falling, oh
It's like I'm falling in love

Give me words
I'll misuse them
I'll misplace them
'Cause all religion ever made of me
Was just a sinner with a stone tied to my feet
It never set me free
It's gotta be


...It's like I'm falling in love, love, love
Deeper and deeper
It was love that made
Me a believer
In more than a name, a faith, a creed
Falling in love with Jesus brought the change in me


Ken and I are going to Arizona the first week in May. He has a "use it or lose it" leave policy at work so he had a week to use by the middle of May. Anyway, since I am originally from Arizona and still have a lot of family friends there, I sent out an email to everyone letting them know when we'd be there in case anyone had time to get together. In the past when I've done this, I've received several invitations to stay with friends and have never had to pay for a hotel.

The first surprise is that not a single family friend has offered us a place to stay. The two that I've stayed with on my most recent visits had valid excuses. One couple has been hit pretty hard financially and recently moved in with their daughter and son-in-law. The other has friends living with them right now because of financial issues so they don't have the room. Still, it surprised and disappointed me that of all of the people that I've known my whole life, who I consider FAMILY, not a single person offered us a place to stay. These are the same people who are always after me to come visit and bring my boyfriend so they can all meet him... We did get an offer for a place to stay a couple hours out of Phoenix (from a former pastor and his wife from Spokane). Oh well. Fortunately, we were able to find a very inexpensive vacation rental - cheaper than a hotel room)

The second surprise was an email from a long time family friend. She and my mother used to be very close and her oldest daughter was my best friend throughout elementary school. We even lived with them for a while after my parents divorced. She asked me how I am able to retain my "sexual purity" while traveling with my sweetheart. She told me that she just loves me and would ask her daughters the same question and that as Christians, we are called to encourage each other into doing what is right and good.

I have mixed feelings about this inquiry. First of all, I know she loves me, but I am not her daughter. She has been influential in my family and has been faithful in praying for my family in past situations as well as in the current drama. However, I feel very strongly that my actions and choices are not the business of anyone else. They are between me, God and whoever else is directly affected. I refuse to even talk to my own mother about my sex life. I responded that I remain strong in my faith and my relationship with God and thanked her for her love and concern. I know that didn't answer her question outright and I know she will come to her own conclusions because of that. I'm bummed to think that she may be disappointed in me, but at the end of the day, I will answer to God (and ONLY God) for my actions.

That email got me thinking about how all my life, I've been taught that sex before marriage is a sin. Even before I was married to my ex-husband, everyone thought it was their right to ask if I was having sex or if I was "staying pure" and resisting temptation. They treat premarital sex as a one-way street to hell. Of course, when someone did have a child out of wedlock, they huddled around that person and poured out love and help, and then patted themselves on the back for being such a good, loving Christian. I believe that a sin is a sin is a sin. I believe that we will all be judged for our sins, but that in God's eyes, they are all equal. This is why it drives me crazy that Christians harp on sex before marriage, but choose to ignore abuse, adultery, molestation and theft (especially within the church) and actively participate in gluttony, gossip, slander, judgment, covetousness, lies, idolatry and dishonor/disrespect (of their parents and others). They focus all their energy on certain sins without even realizing that they sin every day - sometimes by doing wrong and sometimes by simply NOT doing what is right.

Know what Jesus did when he met a woman who was living with her boyfriend and who had been married and divorced several times? He loved her. Know what Jesus did when he came upon a woman who was being charged with prostitution? He stood up for her and challenged her accusers, saying "he who is without sin, cast the first stone." One by one, they turned and left and Jesus picked her up, loved her and forgave her. He didn't judge her or tell her she was going to hell. He met her where she was and loved her in spite of her sins.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not here to condone promiscuity, but ultimately, the promiscuous person only hurts him/herself. Promiscuity and monogamous sex with the one you love are very different though. Why do we judge someone for how they choose to express their love and devotion in a healthy, respectful, loving and committed relationship and then when we find out that a man in the church has been beating up his wife and children or sleeping with his secretary, we put blinders on?

It is impossible to live a blameless life. It is impossible to NOT sin. We ALL fall short. We all have different struggles, challenges and vices. But when are we, as Christians, going to learn to stop pointing fingers and standing in judgment? When are we going to learn to LOVE as Christ loves? Only love will change a heart. Only the promise of forgiveness and grace gives us reason to get back up again when we fall.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


Ken and I got back from vacation on Sunday and had a wonderfully relaxing time. We drove to Portland on Saturday (2/19) and stayed in some cheap hotel by the airport. I had heard about this place from my boss who heard about it from her friend's kid so we decided to check it out. Very cool spot and we definitely plan to stay in one of their rooms on a future Oregon trip. Several bars, a couple restaurants, a movie theater AND a hotel all in one... I highly recommend checking it out if you are ever in the area.

Sunday we drove to Lincoln City where we rented a beach cottage/guest house for a few nights. It wasn't exactly what we were expecting because the website we found it listed on showed pictures of the main house and the guest house together so our views, the cottage and the hot tub were different and we didn't find the vrbo listing until later. Even though it wasn't what we expected, the disappointment was short-lived and it really grew on us. We spent a few fantastic days walking the beach, taking a tour of the Tillamook Cheese Factory, checking out the Cape Meares lighthouse, relaxing in the hot tub and we even made it to the "secret beach" despite high winds, rain and even hail.

Wednesday, we traded the beach cottage for a cabin in the woods about 20 miles east of Coos Bay. We traded beach-combing for hikes; sea shells for pine cones; a hot tub for a sauna; ocean views for river views and waves for waterfalls. There was no internet access or cell service out there so that only added to the peace and relaxation. This "Below the Falls Lodge" was absolutely amazing! It was raining when we got there and it rained hard all night and into mid-morning. It finally let up and the clouds parted long enough for us to head up to Golden & Silver Falls State park and hike all the trails to both water falls. What beauty! I'll have to post pictures later. It started pouring rain as soon as we got back to the cabin and that soon turned to snow and it snowed and snowed and snowed. Lying in the hanging bed, watching the snow through the bay windows and sky lights was like being in a snow globe. Friday the snow and rain stopped and the sun came out so we took the opportunity to go for a little road trip down the rest of the southern Oregon coast and into California. We got to Crescent City, CA in time to see a beautiful sunset at Battery Point lighthouse and eat dinner before driving the 3 hours back in the dark. We spent Saturday inside, reveling in the beauty and peace and quiet. I'm so sad that this wonderful place is on the market. What I wouldn't give to be able to afford to buy it. I'd love to live there full time or even just keep it as a vacation rental and use it whenever I wanted. If you get the chance to stay there before it sells (apparently it's been on the market for a couple years already), DO IT!!! I'd love to go with a group of friends sometime.

All in all, this was a much-needed, much-appreciated escape. I've been so overwhelmed and feel like I've been teetering on my breaking point for a while, like everything is boiling just under the surface and any minute, I'm going to explode! I haven't been happy and everyone around me can sense that. It's all I can do to keep myself from snapping or even yelling at my employees, coworkers, boss, boyfriend, family members and even the strangers I see in public. I felt relaxed for the first time in a very long time and wish I could harness that feeling. But alas! It's back to the grind. Back to the pressures and stresses and drama that is my life.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

I flew into Juneau last night. I'll be here for a little over a week caring for my 5 youngest siblings. They are in foster care with one of my adult siblings, but she and her family are on vacation for a few weeks. The vacation was booked and paid for several months before the kids were removed from my mother's custody. My little brother and his wife took the kids for the first week and will have them for almost another full week after I leave, but I was able to come up to relieve them for a while.

I got in later than expected last night so the kids just stayed another night with my brother and brought them over this morning. I had them for about two hours before OCS (Office of Children Services) picked them up for their supervised visitation with our mother. They should be returning any minute. I'm not really sure what to expect their mood to be when the get here. They were in good spirits this morning, but I've heard these visits sometimes stress them out. They were telling me stories this morning about experiences with mom that really disturb me.

I'm praying that my mother focus on getting healthy so she can get the kids back. She is capable of being a wonderful mother and I know this situation is probably harder on her than anyone. I hope she chooses to put the children's health and safety first. If anyone out there prays, please pray for my family.

In other news, it is always weird for me to be back in Juneau. This town is pregnant with memories that I can't escape. And it's colder than a witch's tit outside!

The kids have arrived so I must go... later.