Ohhhh youth.

Dear younger me,

There are a few things I want to tell you. Now, before you start rolling your eyes, listen to me. I’ve been there and I truly wish I had a wiser, older me around to tell me these things.

No, you don’t know everything. No, you won’t always learn from your mistakes and no, you don’t have all the time in the world…so sit down, shut up and take some notes.

1. When you start working, invest in something called 401k. Start early, you’re gonna need it. Don’t touch it. It will turn into more money and when you get REALLY old and retire, you will have something to carry you through.

2. Gravity is not your friend. As you get older, it will grab hold of your hips, your chin and your boobs. Look at your mother…those will be your boobs someday. Get a good bra. WEAR a bra. Don’t argue.

3. Speaking of aging…start moisturizing, NOW. Use sunscreen. Always. With all the laying out and swimming and running around like a banshee in the sun, you’re gonna end up looking like a handbag and wonder what the hell happened. Those crowsfeet are bastards and they don’t fuck around. Moisturize.

4. Sun In is NOT your friend. Never use it. EVER. You are a little Mexican girl, it will turn your hair orange. Not a good look for anyone. You are not a pretty blonde, never bleach your hair. Darker is more mysterious…stay away from bleach.

5. Your father will tell you “cover up, leave something to the imagination!” He’s right, you don’t need to look like a baby prostitute every time you leave the house. Modesty will be a novelty when you get older.

6. Speaking of modesty, watch out who is taking pictures and what you are doing…there’s a thing in the future called “the Internet” and “Facebook and Instagram.” They have this fun little thing called “Throwback Thursday”. If you aren’t careful, these photos will not be your friend. You will not want to explain to your children twenty years from now why you don’t have a shirt on or what that “funny little cigarette” is.

7. Spend time with your grandparents and your parents. Talk to them. Listen to their stories. They are living history books and are witness to some of the greatest events of your lifetime. It will matter.

8. Be respectful, you little shit. Otherwise, when you have children (oh, you will) they will be 10 times worse than you. It’s called karma. And it is just and fair…so keep your room clean and your mouth shut.

9. Do your homework, pay attention and go to college. It’s way easier to get it done and be done, rather than try to do so once you are married and a mommy. Trust me…get it done as soon as you graduate, don’t wait, don’t “take a year off to find yourself”. Suck.it.up.

10. Pedicures and orgasms. Wait for both. Don’t listen to all your friends say they have done it. Wait for the right person. Once you find the person who gives you both, amazingly, you will know it was worth the wait. And no, not everyone is doing it and no, not everyone is good at both, or either of them. You need to be really, um, picky…

Yes…just a few words of advice. I’m going to let you suffer through mullets, purple hair dye, pale makeup, too much eyeliner and too much bronzer, I think some things build character. You will survive tight rolled jeans, Kaepas and friendship pins. You’ll even survive that unfortunate unibrow and perms.

Learn to love unconditionally and without judgement or reservation. Everyone needs a friend. Don’t stop at the surface of people, go deeper…it’s your calling. Get inside and be there, be present. Never judge anyone…it will be brutal when you are older, lots of people will show you judgements, don’t be one of those people. Love. It’s that simple.

You won’t always be friends with everyone you know and you won’t marry the first boy you love. Or the second or third. You will have your heart stomped on by mean girls and dickhead boys…you will survive.

Everyone gets older and when you go to your reunion, you will see, those popular girls got “curvy” and those hot boys lost their hair. Most of them will be divorced and just.like.you.

Time levels the playing field. You will find your voice. You will find your inner strength and beauty. You will become a badass.

Relax, enjoy. Live, love and laugh. Always laugh.

Good luck.

Oh!

P.S. This is the MOST IMPORTANT LESSON I CAN TEACH YOU….

…you will meet an amazing and really hot girl named Kristi. Look past the mullet. Those “butterflies” you feel mean something. Talk to her, get in her line of sight and stay there…you’re gonna be gay. It’s okay. But she’s your One. Stick with her. Those “butterflies,” that’s love. Once in a lifetime love. She will fall in love with you too…if I teach you nothing else, I hope you find her sooner than I (you) did.

They’re mine, thank you.

Well…I’ve landed in the ER. Finally, for the first time in five years, my wife is having to sit next to me and wait.

Before anyone freaks out, it’s my knee. I was chasing a shopping cart in the Wal Mart parking lot and something popped…and I could no longer put weight on it. No big deal…it hurts, don’t get me wrong but it’s not at all life threatening. There are people here that are in worse shape.

Pain is manageable, so manageable that I have refused pain shots. I sit here, full clarity with an ice pack, the Broncos and my wife.

When we got home and I realized I couldn’t walk, I cried…which freaked my wife out. Once the Daughter heard me, she jumped in…then the Boy. I’ve got the most excellent set of “human crutches” that anyone could have.

So I was ordered into a recliner while my army brought groceries in, got me ice packs, pillows and ibuprofen. I was told to sit on my hindquarters until they could figure out what to do with me. I felt four. But a loved four.

The daughter is handling the delivery of a new bed and dinner for the two of them…we are waiting in results. I wanna go home to my family.

The wife is keeping the mother and sister, the bestie, the LP, her bestie and Bossman updated. They have all offered love and prayers. Bossman called me stubborn…but that’s code, right?

So I will prolly go home with crutches and an immobilized knee. I’ll go to work, I’ll shuffle around and make Thanksgiving dinner. I’ll spend time with loved ones and exasperate them by not sitting down. It’s called tradition. Only this year, I’ll show off my crutch skills. God.help.us.

But this family of mine…genetic and chosen…I say this…I love you so…thank you for worrying and praying and talking with me.

I’m a tough ol’ broad…I got this.

I can’t say.

I have a bad habit. Shocking, I know, but I do. I tend to hold stuff in until I explode. Doesn’t make for an always healthy zen in my world or a feeling of peaceful personal growth, but I have a truly sarcastic nature that at times can border on nasty. It’s not that I do it on purpose, but it just happens…

When I perceive a “slight” of some sort, I tend to shut down, keep it inside and try like hell to get over it. 99% of the time I can. But that 1% can be a doozy. To me, my wife, my kids or my bestie, as they are typically the ones I will vent to, lash out at or snark around the house with. I’ve never said it was easy to live with me, I just said I keep it interesting.

Lately, I’ve had a lot I wanted to say to several people, but I can’t. I can’t bring myself to say it in a text, a phone call or in person.

Sometimes, it’s because I value my job and to say what I am thinking might cost me said job. Or cause Bossman to launch into vapors cleaning up the carnage I will leave behind with my sharpened tongue and vicious words. I tend to get over this a bit faster. I do work hard at leaving work at work, but the wife does get the end of the day bitchfest and I love her more because she will tell me I’m right and I’m pretty and smart….

Other times, it’s to keep the peace with my family. I have to live with 4 of these people, so to unleash the Krakken in the house would cause arguments, silent treatment and/or broken dishes. From me, not them…they tend to run to the furthest room to retreat until I calm the hell down and cook dinner. This is more rare for me…we know how to work with each other, to calm each other and support each other. There are others in my family that at this point, it doesn’t matter what is said…we are who we are and after 40 plus years as a family, nothing any of us say is going to change the “id” of this family. We are a cracked bunch of people, but we have healed these cracks with a glue called love. It holds us close.

The ones that I have to bite my tongue with the most are friends. Not my true to the core, through thick and thin friends…but the folks that have in the past been a solid part of my life and now have moved past me. Not that I am completely innocent in the failing of any friendships, but I’m not completely to blame…

I can’t say to them how I feel lost, or betrayed. How I feel like I have put more into this friendship than they have. I can’t say to the how it hurts to watch them through social media have lives that at one time included me. I can’t say to them how confused I am by the way I was so easily cast aside.

I can’t say it, because I don’t want to let them hear the hurt in my voice, see the tears in my eyes or the confusion about what happened. I don’t want them to see that they have affected my life in any way…

I can’t say to them that I miss them. I miss the good times. I can’t say it because I don’t want to see the insincere look of concern or hear the words that don’t meet the eyes.

I can say, in the past months, I have found that there are some folks that freaking love me, just as I am. That I do have friends that think of me as often as I think of them. That even though we have busy lives, kids, jobs and commitments, they reach out, send a word or two of love and support. These people, from the west coast to the east coast, from the north to the south, make my day, with just a text, or a comment…I know when they take the time to reach out, they love me. And I love them more for it.

I tried. Earlier this year, I made the commitment to just reach out to folks when I thought of them, just to say “Hi! Have a great day!” And I did this, many times…I stopped when I was met with continued silence. It wasn’t to start a conversation or anything deep…but it just got weird and well, if folks don’t respond, I tend to feel stupid. I don’t like feeling stupid.

I can’t say enough to those that love me how much I appreciate you. I can’t tell you enough how much I love each of you. I can’t say enough that although I may have a small “tribe” but you are my tribe and I will always be in your corner. And thank you for being there and loving me.

Folks, if someone crosses your mind, tell them. It may be the one thing they need to make the day better. Love each other always.

Hero Worship.

I don’t say much about current events on here, simply because I don’t keep up with a lot anymore, I don’t have time…

But lately there have been lots of stories choking my social media, the news, everything I see and hear about these pro athletes and their misbehavior. I, for one, am not shocked.

When you hand that much money to anyone and they don’t have the tools to grasp the enormity of it, of the lifestyle that comes with it, what do you expect to happen?

The wife said tonight, “with all that money, you would think they would know better!”

She’s right, they should.

Sadly, until we quit throwing millions of dollars at folks because they can run, or throw a ball, or dance, or look pretty….we are gonna continue to get what we pay for…

It’s true, folks don’t have to any longer have any sort of talent, or apparent manners, morals or values…if it looks good, we will throw money at it…don’t believe me??? Then someone explain anything Kardashian to me.

These athletes need to NOT play ball…so sorry you got suspended…you asshole. You wanna play? Ok, the stop punching your girlfriends, or drink driving, quit using drugs…quit acting like a thug. Cut your fucking hair, shave, grow up and act like a fucking man…not some two-bit hustler “putting on airs”…no disrespect to the Two-bit hustlers that are honest about it…

You wanna be a singer? Then have some talent…auto-tune is lazy…go take a vocal lesson, write an original sing or give credit where it’s due…but don’t go steal someone else’s work, change a word or two….or my favorite, add a rap over it and call it yours…you’re not an original, there’s multiple talents shows on right now, people who can’t sing shouldn’t…Shake your ass elsewhere…

We, as a society, have got to get a grip on what we are showing our children…we spend thousands of dollars on our favorite players jerseys, or our favorite songs….these people that we lift up, don’t.fucking.care. They want to show us their lavish lifestyles, their fancy cars, wardrobes and vacations…they want us to wish we were them…and they want to show us how fabulous they are…

Stop!

What you typically show us is your bad behavior, your aggression, your addictions, sometimes your crotch, sometimes your ill manners…rarely your respect for others. Oh, sorry…you will show that, as long as it’s a photo op to show the world you ARE concerned about something other than when your next waxing is…

I have long said, if you want to be a celebrity, there is a level of responsibility that goes along with it…don’t expect to have any privacy. Want that? Find a normal life. Celebrity comes with a fishbowl. You get to live in it, but don’t act like you deserve anything else…

It’s not mine to judge…but I will protect my children and teach them that any reward is for hard work and should be appreciated and nurtured. I don’t have to listen to the music or buy the jersey, I can continue doing my do….enjoying my life.

I can’t judge any of these relationships. I can’t judge any celebrity because I don’t know them….I don’t know their circumstances…but I can stop encouraging it. I don’t plan to say anything else about it. These folks made their own beds, karma will tuck them in…

What makes me sad are these folks that look up to celebrities and these athletes, that see them as their heroes…

No one ever threw a football that saved a child or protected my freedom. No one ever sang a song or warbled several octaves to cure a disease.

Go thank a true hero…a police officer, a doctor, a nurse….a teacher, fireman, a volunteer, a soldier…someone who gives of themselves, just to make the world better…

The adage is, you can put lipstick on a pig, but it’s still a pig…

Words outta his mouth.

I want to share a bittersweet moment with you…

Tonight, I realized tomorrow is my dad’s birthday…he would have been 73…we were talking about what he would have been like at 73. I made the comment that I wished I could see him, or hear him…

I went about the business of making dinner and put it out of my mind.

After dinner, I walked out on the patio to see the wife, she looked up from Facebook and simply said, “Hello baby!”

It stopped me in my tracks. I asked, “why did you just say that?!? You never say that!!!”

She looked at me like she was in trouble and said, “I don’t know, I’m sorry!”

I said, “no, you don’t understand…my dad was the only one who ever said that to me!!!” I was covered in goosey bumps…and tears.

Known fact….I’m a daddy’s girl. To my core.
Known fact…I miss that man everyday.

Here’s the unknown story…
when I would call my dad! it started with “Hi dad!” And his response to me…”Hello baby!”

More unknown story…
after he passed away, I would hear, in my head…”hello baby!” Quietly, to me. Sometimes, I thought I was losing my mind…then after a while, I quit hearing it. I miss it.

Until tonight. So…

Hi dad! I miss you…

Chore Monster.

Just like most Americans, Saturdays are chore day…laundry day, mopping, yard work, dishes, more laundry…you know…its a way of life in most homes…and most American kids HATE Saturday Chore Day. They develop tummy aches, sore throats, diarrhea, earaches, allergies, broken legs…hands…feet…whatever it takes to avoid chores.

We kept it pretty clean though the week, so Chore a Day is pretty easy around our place. I’m lucky that I get to have a housekeeper bi-weekly, I have a yard guy and our property manager has pool service…so the hard stuff stays done…as long as we keep up with laundry and dishes during the week, Chore Day is smooth sailing…

My kids seriously have it easy, contrary to what they remember or have created in their minds as to how hard life is….they have very minimal
chores and they have to do their laundry. Maybe clean a dish or two after I cook dinner for them…yet they fight me like wet cats…they will walk around like they are dragging a dead body over hot coals and complain the whole time…and don’t get me started on the attitude they throw…so it’s no surprise they disappear as soon as I touch a bottle of Pledge or look at the vacuum…

Today, the wife is out fishing…seriously, NOT a euphemism, but fishing…I’m getting updates from the boat…so I decided to update her on our day…

The text is a bit like this…

“Fireplace cleaned out, cabinets under kitchen and laundry room sinks are clean, mail sorted, furniture moved for carpet cleaning, laundry all put away, cooler emptied and washed, bathrooms cleaned, recycle ready and grocery list made…as soon as Terminix and Zerorez are gone, we are heading to the grocery store, gift shopping and to look for the Boys new bedding. I’d rather be fishing, I think.” (Yes, it’s a long text…I’m wordy)

I get back, “that’s a lot! We’re busy too! I caught four so far, first one was wrong species…”

I replied, “the Boy thinks that we don’t work this hard when you’re here because I’m distracted…and he gets to play games…I think he misses you…”

I deserve a present…

Good thing that I got shopping on the chore list…and we all know Saturday is Chore Day…

Ride or Die Dialogue

Road trips are always fun with the wife…she drives, I’m a Princess and seeing as I am such, I am supposed to sit and look pretty. She has come to understand this.

There is horrible traffic on the way home, so we have done back roads and drove through Sam Houston National Park, which is beautiful. As we get closer the interstate, the wife starts to worry about the traffic and if we have made our way around said hurdle…it makes her question the responsibility I posses on this trip.

Today’s gem goes a little like.this.

Wife: “you need to get on Mapquest and find me an alternative route…”

Me: “this is why I should be driving, I’m not a navigator! I don’t know my way around shit!!!”

Wife: *snort*giggle*sigh*

As we finally get to the interstate and see it is smooth sailing and we did indeed make our way around the traffic, she looks at me…

Me: “this is why I am your ride or die…”

Sometimes It Hurts.

I miss my dad tonight.  I mean, I miss him, deeply.  There are times that I would give everything I own to have a moment with him.  Just one more moment, to tell him I love him, to tell him how proud I am to be his daughter.

Just one moment that would never end…

I used to hear his voice, I used to smell something that would bring him back in such a way, I could literally imagine he was in the room.  I would hear someone laugh and swear it was him.  Once, at a Garth Brooks concert after his death, I swear on all things holy, I saw him.  A couple of rows down…almost close enough to touch….and then I blinked and he was gone.

I do okay 99% of the time.  I know that I carry him in my heart, I know that he surrounds me and still loves me. I have never doubted his love or pride for me, or for being the father of the Tullos Girls.  That we were his world.

But that 1% of the time, the  loss is hard to bear.  It’s like a boulder sitting on my chest to a point that I can’t breathe.  I just want to understand, but it’s not mine to question.

Tonight, there’s been a lot of reflection of my life, certain parts of my life that have shaped me and at some point hurt me.  After the discussion, I looked at the wife, and said “I just really need my dad right now.  To see him, to have him hug me and hold me strong.”  All she could do is hold me and hug me…and let me hurt.

I realized that there are things in my life that as much as I want to think I have let it go, over the years, I have grown as a person, that I have simply pushed it down so far that I don’t access it.  It’s things that I will never put out here, it’s things I won’t share with many….the wife, the sister, the bestie…and the daughter…because these are the ones that at my core, I trust, with my raw places…with my hurt, my insecurity and my scars.  These strong women, they love me through it, because of it…and because they have lived through much of it, if not all of it, with me.

The wife told me that I needed to write about it…as this blog is my therapy.  I don’t believe in conventional therapy, it’s not for me…too many trust issues.  But I told her, it’s not for blog consumption…I will share with you much of who I am, but you don’t need that…you come here for cornhole jokes, gay rules and my exasperation as the mother of two mouthy beautiful mini me’s that tower over me and can’t cook….you know fun stuff.

No…I won’t drag you into it…no need to peek behind the curtain…what you see is what you are gonna get.  I once heard that blogs are just a place for narcissism and egotistical people who want to scream “mememememememe!” I’m NOT that person.  I put words out here to be enjoyed…

Tonight, is mememememememe….for just a moment.

I miss him tonight, he could make this go away.  He could pick this boulder up and set it aside.  He could make me lighter and stronger.  My memories of him make me stronger daily.

Sometimes it hurts.  Too much.  Sometimes I wonder if I will make it through this…then I have to suck it up, pick myself up, push it back down and breathe.

Right now, it hurts.

 

Love Letter to My Wife.

Folks, I need your help, I need your forgiveness.  I need your understanding.

I have lied.  I have disrespected.  I have not honored my love in life and I need to correct that.

………

My love,

Five years ago, we fell in love.  I will forever be grateful for the moment that I realized you wanted to share your life with me.  I will never understand why someone like you fell for someone like me, but I am NOT going to question it, I am simply going to treasure it.

Five years ago, I fell in love with you and haven’t looked back.  To say anything else, is disrespectful and not honorable of you or our relationship.

Here’s the thing…yes, we were both in untenable situations.  Neither of us were looking but I firmly believe that it was our destiny to be together.  How else do explain it?  Fate is the only logical answer.  The problem was/is/will always be me.  It’s true.  I’m a scaredy cat.  I don’t handle change well, I don’t handle hurting people well, to the point that it hurts me. It took you to point that out to me, to ask me one question that I couldn’t answer honestly…”why does everyone else’s happiness come before yours?” Once I realized that I was dealing with adults that were responsible for their own feelings and at such time, they weren’t concerned about my feelings or your feelings…my feeling of responsibility changed.

However, my feeling of acceptance from everyone else did not.  I needed support, I needed people to tell me they didn’t blame me.  As I imploded the relationship I was in and found that damn near everyone walked away from me, I was desperate to make those around me accept my new relationship.  And I allowed folks to question me and you and us and our history and our relationship.

It seems less tawdry to offer details inside failing relationships than the most simple straightforward answer, I fell in love with you.

But over five years, we have fought back.  We have fought rumors, untruths and disparaging comments and the evaporation of “friends”…and we won.

Over five years, we have fought back against modern-day version of the Kraken.  Seriously, what else do you call someone who tried to take your name, your career, your reputation?  She took the home, stole your identity, your money….and then had the nerve to take your closest friend.

This was because you left.  For me.  None of this would have happened to you if you had just stayed put…but you have never wavered, you have never once made me feel like I wasn’t the greatest love of your life.  You have always made me feel worth it.  It’s five years later, I am still blown away that you gave up so much, just to love me.

In the end, I realize, we won.  You are surrounded by wonderful people who stand up for you, who know you and your heart, your ethics, your word.  You are surrounded by people who care less about how we got here and more about who we are.  Our blessings are boundless, we have a great, faith filled and loving life.  We have come so far, together…not taking each other, our family, our friends, our lives for granted…God has truly blessed us, I am grateful for that every.single.moment of every day.

I get it.

It hit me today, that my story, my need for acceptance was wrong.  Yes, I had issues in my relationship…everyone does…but it was easier to say “we were ending….would have never made it…we had issues that I couldn’t get around”.  Don’t ask me why, but “I fell in love with someone else” sounds way more horrible…like I was this home wrecker, this cheater, cheater, pumpkin eater or something.  I didn’t want to be a bad person, I wanted people to look at me and say “you deserve it!!!! I’m happy for you.”  Not “you deserve it you home wrecker!”

I’ve gotten older, I’ve gotten wiser, I’ve gotten a bit more secure.

There are four people who truly know what happened.  And that’s the four involved.  It’s obvious that we all color the version we tell.  There are people in our worlds that THINK they know the truth and judge us…those folks, they are better off far away from me.  You have shown me it doesn’t matter in OUR lives what anyone else thinks, it’s not going to change us, our relationship or our life together.  We will still walk our path, together, happy and in love.

My love, you have never once questioned me, my story or my reason for that necessary acceptance from everyone else.  You have never lost faith in me, or us or my love.

It broke me today, to realize how it sounded to you, when I would say “she left for me, but mine was full of issues.”  It broke me, because in my mind, it trivialized our decision to be together.  I was worth leaving a long-term relationship for, but you weren’t….and that was absolutely wrong…..I should have owned it from the beginning.  You know, the thing we couldn’t stop.  The freight train…it deserved to mean more.

When I broke today, I told you why and you looked at me like I was crazy.  You asked me how I was going to fix it.  You told me you knew I thought you were worth it.  I needed to say to you…

I decided earlier that since you fell in love with me through my words, through my blog, I would do this…an open letter of apology, a love letter to my soul mate, my wife.  So here goes…

I should have never treated you, or us in such a way.  I should have never, EVER said anything except this…

Five years ago, I lied.  Now, here’s the truth.  I left for you.

I would do it all over again.

My Mind is a Winding Road.

I’m waiting for the sun to come out…I want to float in the pool, hoping it will take away back pain…I’m hoping that it will take the frustration from a week away…if not, there is vodka….(note to self, get cranberry juice and limes at the store…)

It hasn’t been all funky.  We just got back from an amazing trip to New Orleans, where I found that a Hurricane is way more palatable on the second one..but three is pushing your luck. Hand grenades are dangerous little fuckers and voodoo piques my curiosity…we walked and walked, in the sunshine and mostly in the rain.  Most places I visit, I can imagine living there…not NOLA…it’s a place I want to visit, over and over…keep the mystery alive.

Now I look forward to August…to November…those next trips…but there are birthdays, anniversaries and holidays between that I get to celebrate, here…with family and friends that I adore.  I am looking forward to this summer.

not the heat…but the hazy summer days.

I’m waiting for the sun to come out, I’m wanting it to rain, to fill lakes and ponds and keep grass green and foundations level…apparently, I am not sure what I want.

The wife has stated she wants steak for dinner…which I will gladly make happen, because in a week, she’s consumed MAYBE 1,500 calories…and that’s high. And no, it’s not a typo…in 5 days, 1,500 calories.  So if she wants steak, I will get her steak…now, someone tell me how to turn on the grill and I am good to go!!!

I am random, my thoughts are swirling, I am in a happy place, but a grumpy place, is that possible? Happy, because my life is in order…grumpy because my back is acting 90 years old.  Happy because I have spent time with the Boy watching movies, old favorites and new ones…eating popcorn and laughing.

The wife is feeling better, gastroenteritis is not something to fuck with…she no longer thinks I was trying to poison her with antibiotics and her fever broke.

I don’t have anything to complain about, I just realized most of my blogs are really cranky in one way or another, I decided to go with giving you the feeling that I may or may not be on painkillers today…

With that in mind, I give you the top random thoughts in my mind, right now..

I really want some ice cream…specifically chocolate, strawberry and butter pecan.  All at once.

I wish it was time for Transformers 4…

Golf on TV muted is almost bearable.

The State Fair in three months, I already want a corny dog.

I’m waiting for the sun to come out.