Home IS where the Heart is

The saying Home is where the Heart is has always been one of those sayings that I find kinda cliche.  Sure I get it. Be happy where you are. Make a life where ever you live…blah blah blah……

It’s no secret when we moved to Denver three years ago I hated it.  I did not want to go.  I cried nearly every day that first year.  Leaving my friends and more importantly my family was almost more than I could take. Flash forward two years and BAM….LOVING Denver.  But, a piece of my heart was still in Oklahoma.

In January of 2017 my husband lost his high paying job. YIKES, this was something that had never happened to us.  In fact he had been poached from nearly every job he has had.  We thought he would have no problem finding a new one….NO BIG DEAL.  Turns out, it became a HUGE deal.

As weeks turned to months our little family marched on.  My husband applied for over 150 jobs in his field in the Denver area.  I think he went on 5 interviews.  We wanted to stay.  We loved everything about where we lived.  Our new Neighborhood, Leyden Rock was now our home.  Our friends were are family.  My kids would be gone all day at a friends and the next they would be at my house.  We were having fun and loving life.

There was still a nagging in my heart.  You see, at the same B had lost his job, his Grandma had passed away.  As we were driving across Kansas coming back for her service, I got a frantic call from my mom.  My Dad had been rushed from our small town hospital to OU Health…..He had cancer and needed surgery immediately.  On a fluke, I would be in Tulsa only 90 minutes away.  The good news is my Dad is beating cancer!!!

It’s a funny or maybe not so funny thing, you wake up one day and realize you are in your 40s and your parents are reaching their golden years.  Suddenly I am like…What happened? I feel like I should be 20 still.  Not only had I started to notice a decline in my parents, but Bs dad who has been battling cancer and other health issues for several years seemed to be declining a rapid speed.

It was mid to late summer when I mentioned to B maybe he should start looking back in Tulsa for a job.  Well, this did not go over well at all…..AT ALL!!!!  So we kept moving forward.  Our boys changed schools and loved it.  My oldest was immersed in soccer and his friends and we were still getting by on our savings….. But that nagging voice in my head, the one that keeps telling you something has to change was growing louder.  I knew Bs parents needed us, it was becoming more and more evident.  I also new B was not going to entertain a move back to Tulsa at all.

I was surprised to find out how much I was had been enjoying B being home every day.  The first few months were fun.  The summer was spent with me doing what I wanted because I never had to worry about child care…B was home.  But now, B was depressed and him being home was getting old.  I had felt like we had been moving forward all along but now it felt like we were at a complete standstill.  Going no where slow or fast. Tensions was running high.

The Wednesday before Thanksgiving, as I drove home from an errand, the nagging in my heart was more than  I could take.  It was time to say something again.  It was time to make a change and move forward.  With the deepest breath ever I looked at B and said ” We have to go back to Tulsa.”  I laid out my reasons and was continuing to plead my case before I even realized he had agreed.  We would move back, help his parents and figure the job thing out.  We would be moving forward and moving.

We bought and sold our houses in less than two weeks, packed our lives up and moved  back to Tulsa 4 days before Christmas.  B had already had two interviews by this time.  You see, when word got out he was coming back, his phone started ringing. And today less than a month since we said goodbye to CO, he has two job offers on the table to choose from.

We have never been more sure of our decision. And while we miss CO and our friends dearly, Home truly is where the heart is.

Hugs and Bubbles,

Angie

What’s in your cart……..

I love being a SAHM( stay at home mom) and not just because I love being here for my kids 24/7 but also because I don’t like to work.  This comes as a surprise to NO ONE. I am not involved in my kids school although now that Carson is starting I plan to be more so.  Shouldn’t be too hard given the baseline of not at all to start with.  I am not a fantastic house keeper ( thank goodness for Brent) and I don’t enjoy the mundane aspects that go with staying home.  Especially grocery shopping!

 

Last Winter one of our local grocery stores started online shopping and pick up.  Even though had to drive further, it was well worth it.  Now with my Amazon Prime membership I can get groceries or anything, which is everything, Amazon sells delivered within 2 hours. The best part…..It’s FREE…… That’s right, it’s the busy moms dream come true.  I think I cried tears of joy when it was made available in my area.

 

Now before you go thinking OMG what a spoiled brat, let me tell you, online grocery shopping has trimmed our grocery bill down. No more going to the store starving and buying fresh hot bread to eat the car.  Gone are the days of dragging two boys along begging for things like cereal you know they will never eat.  Being run down by the elderly on rascals gone! Standing in line behind someone who still writes a check….adios!!

 

Sadly in all this glory there is still one place I must go.  A place so glorious yet evil in the same token.  A place that will truly steal your sole that you are a willing giver of. That place my friends………COSTCO

 

It has come to my attention ( because someone always points it out) that I might possibly be in the minority of the shoppers shopping the big C.  You see when I go to Costco which is every couple of months or so, I  GO TO COSTCO.  I mean I fill my cart .  I stack items everywhere.  I push my overload cart all over the store stacking the very last item precariously on top.  I look around and see people pushing their giant cart with two loaves of bread and a pineapple in it. WHAT?!

 

It never fails as I unload my cart, the checker always comments something like ” You must have a lot of kids” or “Looks like someone had fun today”. I even had a guy tell me I was a prime target for purse theft because I would be loading my car for a while. Seriously!!!!!  I always tell the checker, the truth is as much as I love Costco and I do, I hate going there. It’s a pain in my ass and takes up way too much of my time. And holy hell if I have my boys in tow…….By the time its all said and done, they have reluctantly boxed and stacked my items in ONE CART, because obviously I can’t push two no matter how many times they ask me if I want to carts, I had to the door……….where I am stopped and asked “Did you have 9 packages of Organic Ground Beef”……..Are you serious?  Do I look like I know how much of anything I have in this cart!!

 

For the record….I will always and willingly go to Target and NEVER complain!

Going back to my roots

People who know me now would never believe I used to be a shy person.  Truth  be told that not so confident shy girl resurfaces from time to time making me come off as a not so friendly gal, which is exactly what I was like in High School.

 

I grew up in a really small town. Like graduated with 30 people type town.  I could not wait to get out of there and my attitude towards small town America shown through like the sun.  I had a core group of girlfriends and the coveted older, handsome, standout athlete boyfriend, but aside from that, I was probably not that well liked.

 

I graduated in 1992 and said goodbye to all things “Ripley” related. Friends, boyfriend, the town and headed to OSU in Stillwater, you know a mere 6 miles from my parents house.  I loved my time at OSU. I stayed there 6 years!!!  I sometimes saw people I knew there from HS but for the most part I started reinventing myself.  OK so the first version maybe wasn’t so great but hey Rome wasn’t built in day.

 

This brings me to my 25th high school reunion!  You read that right 25 years.  It was also a 90s reunion so there would be classes from 10 years. I go back to Oklahoma every Summer now that we have moved and I thought what the heck. Let’s do this.  I also decided to spend the entire week at my parent house, which I have never spent more than a couple nights at a time!!!!

 

I took my boys by my old K-12 school and they were not all that impressed but a funny thing happened while I was there.  I became very nostalgic and all of these wonderful memories of growing up started filling my thoughts and my heart. I sort of felt like the Grinch when his heart grows two times after hearing the citizens of Whoville singing on Christmas.  I had to actually drive my boys by the school a second time and this time I got out at the old Gazebo where I spent many a lunch time holding hands with my High School boyfriend and giggling with my girlfriends.

 

My oldest friend from High School and her sister picked me up for our Reunion.  I knew ahead of time that some people I was really looking forward to seeing would not be there but non the less I was excited to go.  We got to the venue early and parked in an adjacent parking lot to assess the situation.  We were also having a cocktail.  It felt like we were in an episode of Sweet Home Oklahoma.  To give us a leg up we also had copies of yearbooks so we could figure out who some of the people were.  We laughed so hard I was crying.  When we finally went in, it was clear what we had been up to and let me tell you the laughter, tears, cocktails and dancing continued.

 

When  it was all said and done, not that many people showed up for the Reunion, but for those of us that did, a fun time was had.  I realized no matter how different we were 25 years ago….we are all the same now. OLD!!! Just kidding we are all adults and misconceptions from years ago have long faded.  Maybe its because of Facebook that we all feel close, like we still know each other or maybe it’s because I am continuing to evolve but if I am in Stillwater next year at Reunion time……I will go again……..

 

 

 

 

Finding my Truth

Have you ever done something that really scared you? I mean so scary your heart is racing and you can barely breathe?  For me I thought the scariest thing I had ever down was swim with Whale Sharks in Cancun.  A few years back my friends and I went down for a Vacay and only my friend Colt would go with me.  As our boat raced out into the middle of the Caribbean, my stomach churned as I thought for sure I would jump off the boat into the mouth of JAWS……..As it turns out we were surrounded by these magical creatures the size of a school bus and the minute I hit the water I forgot about all the scary things lurking.  It was one for my bucket list for sure and in the end….not so scary.

 

We moved to Colorado the very end of January of 2015. My husband sought out and took a job out here.  He had always wanted to live in Colorado and at 40 it was now or never.  To be honest our marriage was rocky at best and we needed a change and a fresh start. But now, now I was terrified.  I was leaving behind EVERYTHING I knew and loved. My family, friends, my oldest son’s elementary school and youngest’s Mother’s Day Out.  I had had the same group of girlfriends since college. We were close. My bestie and I talked almost daily. What would happen when I moved.

 

Our first month here the ground was covered with snow.  My marriage was not getting any better, my oldest son hated school and missed his friends terribly. My three year old, well if you have ever had three year old then you know. Plus. I couldn’t get him into any MOD programs.  Life as I knew it was unraveling quickly. I was starting to unravel.

 

We live in a new build neighborhood and it is amazing.  It is full of young families with lots of boys which is perfect for us.  The thing about Colorado is everybody is outside enjoying our weather.  This neighborhood is also very social with Purple Chair Fridays (drinks in someones driveway with the purple chair) to random Tuesday driveway parties, block parties, organized neighborhood parties, you name it.  It sounds like this Social Butterflies dream.   But at the time it was my nightmare…..I was hiding something, something very big…..It was my truth.

 

I was hiding what was really going on in my house. I was hiding who I really was.  When we moved out here, my husband stopped drinking.  He needed to. He had a problem with alcohol. I don’t know if you have ever lived with someone who drinks too much but it is a family problem as much as a personal one.  He did it by himself and has been sober for over two years and I am incredibly proud of him and grateful for his dedication to our family……Here is the thing, now I didn’t know what to do.  The only thing I did know was that I was angry, bitter, difficult and making clear I did not want to be here.

 

By the end of the Summer I had met a few people, but was still a bit stand offish.  When I would go to these neighborhood parties I would tell them my husband was tired from riding his bike or traveling or stayed home with the three year old. You know anything but the truth.

 

At my lowest point, I was not eating, not sleeping and crying all the time.  I was having panic attacks. I seriously thought I might be having a nervous breakdown.  And guess what I didn’t think any of it was my fault!  I was blaming everyone, especially my husband. I hated everything.  I could see nothing positive.  I was impossible to be around.

 

I decided to seek help from a therapist and everyone’s little friend Prozac. At the same time my mom gave me the sage advice “It’s like drinking the poison and hoping the other person dies”……and an old friend said to me “Get busy living or get busy dying…..the choice is up to you”.   I also started really dabbling into essential oils at this time and found my saving grace in Release….more on that another time.

 

I remember as clear as day when I decided I had enough moping around. I had enough hiding and hating.  It was time to start fighting for myself and my family. It was time to start living out loud.  When my good friend back home asked me what changed I simply replied…..my perspective.

 

Funny how when you change something as simple as a perspective your entire life will start changing.  With in a matter of weeks I met a neighborhood mom in a grocery store. Our sons new each other and she and I bonded over the fact that we were both carrying the same Louis Vuitton.  Now our kids are great friends and we are sharing garage codes and texting from different continents.

 

My first party with my truth out came at Christmas.  It was the Purple Chair Christmas Party and it was a few houses down from mine. I nervously went last minute.  I wore my lulu track pants, a down vest, stocking cap and my Ugg house shoes.  This is who I am.  I love to dress up don’t get me wrong, but I also love to be comfy.  A drink or two I am meeting tons of new people.  I am a story teller by nature so people are listening to me and laughing.  I realize in my stories, I am talking about my life usually using some curse words , my crazy boys, my husband who no longer drinks.  I am talking about Prozac and dropping my kid off on the first day of school in my pjs.  In the middle of all of these people who love to exercise and eat healthy I am talking about having a goal to have a goal to run a 5k and eat Paleo after all I have Pinterest board all about it.   So many of my news friends bike and hike and camp. I walk to the pool and have cocktail and prefer to sleep in the A/C with a nice bed, shower and potty although I am considering glamping……more on that another time.

 

As I sat a the pool yesterday with some of my girlfriends for our afternoon cocktails, I realized just how lucky I was.  I landed right where I was supposed to be. And as we laughed about my freshly dyed and curled hair and sparkly bracelet, our different ideas of camping and exercising. My friend Francine toasted me and said “Man everybody needs a friend like you”.

 

They say the truth shall set you free and I am as free as a bird. I live my truth everyday. I live it out loud.  Ask me a question and will tell you my answer.  Life is hard and messy and beautiful and I am not hiding any of it.  Are you living your truth?

There is a first time for everything!

img_3494Ok, so maybe this is not actually my first attempt at writing a blog.  You see when Cameron was born was in 2007 I thought it would be super cool to start a blog so my family could stay up to date on my special snowflake. Well, I think I made two maybe three post max.  Like most projects I take on I go all in for about a minute and then move on to the next fun idea I have.  I did a color personality test which said I was a blue.  I realize all these test are different but this one nailed it.  For example my strengths: Outgoing, Personal, Fun Loving, Dramatic (?) All TRUE…..Weaknesses: Not detail oriented, Disorganized, Impulsive, Reactive, AVOIDS DRUDGE WORK!!! NAILED IT.  In fact if there is one thing Brent and I disagree on the most it is my little weaknesses that he sometimes mistakes for being lazy. I simply remind him that it is just because I don’t  want to.  Trust me I was not out there pretending to be an amazing housewife when he decided to marry me. I also remind him he is lucky because I have actually improved! So this brings me back to my new little fun impulsive, exciting idea. My blog and I am sticking to it. I have BIG plans. I have stories to tell. Things happen to me everyday. My life is full a crazy, funny, sometimes sad and always beautiful moments.  I have been told by many that I am funny and I should write a book, but seriously I am way too busy. After all, I am planning the neighborhood Oktoberfest party.

Peace, Love, and Bubbles