We celebrated Kaden's 8th birthday last week. Kicked it off with cupcakes for his class on Friday, then a big party at Boondocks for all of his friends on Saturday. We had pizza, cake, the kids played laser tag and played in the arcade, then got soaked in the bumper boats... but a good time was had by all.
Kaden hates his picture taken, so thats about it for him. lol
We are back
Safe and sound
We really needed to get away, to forget about "real" life, if only for just a few days
To forget about deadlines and homework, bedtimes and schedules...
Our life is busy, and happy and full...and we love it, but occasionally you just need a break.
So we packed up the kids, hopped on a plane and went to the only place in the world that has always made perfect sense
1475 Paseo Grande
No matter what is going on, I can step through the door and into my granny's arms and I feel like a carefree child again
This wonderful home is full of so much happiness and laughter, so many memories
You can still see "I love Cathleen" carved into the cabinet by my dad probably 30 years ago
There is a makeshift growth chart on the garage wall showing all of the grandkids and now great grandkids heights throughout the years.
Yes... Clay is the tallest :)
There is a library full of books, some of my favorites
And the swimming pool in which we all learned to swim
I can still picture my grandpa, gone 2 years now, watching TV in his favorite spot, rooting on the Lakers
My granny still sits every morning in the kitchen, sipping coffee and doing that days crossword from the newspaper.
She still wears that same black nightgown with the white fish on it
And my grandpa's robe is still hanging on the back of the bathroom door.
This is the house I ran to during the most troubling times in my life
My granny has always known the right words to say, and also always knew when a hug, not words were what I needed.
This is where I feel I belong
Sometimes years pass between visits, but no matter how long I have been gone, once I am back I feel as though I never left.
I love you Gran and Alexis and Stefanie... and April, Ron, Tonya and Matt and everyone else down there. You are all so very special to me.
The soul would have no rainbow had the eyes no tears.
~John Vance Cheney
Friday night I had sort of a breakdown.
The kind that comes from painting on a happy face, just one to many days in a row
when inside your heart is aching.
For the most part, life is good.
My husband and my kids are happy, healthy and we love eachother
But there are a few things.... that feel broken
The pain that Kaden's "real dad" has brought back into our lives
The hurt I see in Kaden's eyes as he slowly starts to see the whole picture
The stress and anxiety I feel over the adoption process
The death of my grandfather
The terrible fighting that has ensued
The sorrow he would feel if he knew what was happening
Friday night it all just felt to much to bear
So when my kids were tucked safely into bed
I crept upstairs, climbed into my bed and buried myself in a pile of blankets
and I cried
For death and loss, endings and new beginnings
I clutched my blanket and soaked my pillow in the downpour of tears
The kind of tears that come from the deepest regions of your soul
I let myself feel all of these raw, real emotions
And I only stopped when there was nothing left
Then I stepped into a steamy shower
and let the water rinse away the rest of my heartache
And from that rose a new sense of peace and clarity
Sometimes you're flush and sometimes you're bust, and when you're up, it's never as good as it seems, and when you're down, you never think you'll be up again, but life goes on. ~Blow
And thats just it... Life goes on.
So we change, we evolve and we adapt in order to survive
Sometimes its hard, and sometimes its easy
And I am just as thankful for the hard, painful things that we go through
as I am for the wonderful, happy, easy things that happen
Because you cannot appreciate the true, warm, beauty of summer if you haven't also experienced the cold frosts of winter.
It seems to be snowing in my proverbial July.
But thats ok, we are going to make some delicious rainbow snow cones.
In the late night hours when everyone is soundly sleeping... I sometimes get up. I make sure little toes are tucked in and I clear books and stuffed animals from beds. I lightly kiss the foreheads or cheeks of my slumbering babies and watch them for a minute or two. Then I sneak back into bed, into the folds of the cool sheets and the warmth of my sweet husband. I curl my body into his... the way we fit so well and ...
I close my eyes, smile softly and say a prayer of thanks.
I want to go back.... I want to press "rewind" on the VCR of life... but I cannot seem to find the remote, time will not stop and I feel as though the VCR is eating my video life. Its crunching and smoking and when I pull it out, the tape is all unwound and crinkled. No matter how much time I spend carefully trying to smooth the tape and wind it back in... it will never be the same. I worry that there will always be static on the screen, and I cry over the scenes I am afraid I will lose...
We have always had this wonderfully, crazy family dynamic...
"brothers from another mother"
Kaden and Kameron, 5 years apart but still so close.
Over the last several years they have spent most Friday nights at Tina and Roberts (my ex, Robby's parents) Kaden has also spent time lots of time with Kam's mom's family and Kam spends time with us... I think of Robert and Tina as my other mom and dad, and even as Dillon's grandparents as well. We talk and laugh, we have forged this bond over the years through the shared love of these great kids. Yours, mine, ours, his... it has never really mattered.
Then the day that I have been dreading for several years rolls around.... March 16 and Kaden's biological father gets released from prison....
And I feel like Alice. Falling, falling, falling... down the rabbit hole. This other world is different and strange.... it feels like everything is running backwards.... the simplest of words are misconstrued and every step which feels so light leaves resounding aftershocks.
I want "him" to go away... to disappear, I want to erase him from the fabric of our lives and forget he ever existed.
I hate him for all of the pain and heartache he has caused me, and has caused Kaden.... I hate that Kaden has wondered if it was his fault that his dad went to jail.... "because he didn't get enough time to teach him how to make good choices" But I also have love for him, because he gave me the greatest gift ever...
my sweet, darling, quirky Kaden.
But I also want him to be happy and have a good life... because he is Kaden's father and Kaden loves him, no matter what he has ever done.
But how many chances should one person get to be a dad? At what point do I say "enough" or do I ever? Is it something that Kaden needs to figure out on his own?
As his momma, I just want to protect him...
Its the pit in your stomach when you are trying to sleep and there is something, you don't know what... but something doesn't feel quite right. Or the nervousness as you board a plane, wondering if you forgot your passport or left the iron on. The worry that you feel as you kiss your child goodbye on their 1st day of kindergarten...
Any decision I make will effect Kaden forever, I need to make sure I make the right choice....
Curling up with a blanket, a good book and a mug of steamy hot chocolate in front of the soft glow of a warm fire.
Or sleeping in nothing but a sheet as the damp summer breeze wafts through the windows on a rainy August night.
That is how this man makes me feel. My other-half. My sweet, darling husband.
No matter what has happened in the time between his quick goodbye kiss in the morning and the longer, lingering kisses in the dark hours of night. I can wrap my arms around him and know that everything is just how it should be....
He is the calm to my storm, the voice of reason in an otherwise chaotic life
In a little over a week we will celebrate being together for 4 years... 4 magical, terrible, wonderful, crazy years.
He makes me a better person and I think that I do the same for him.
He is my 2nd marriage. We often joke that my first marriage was "practice" My life now is so completely different from what it was then... and throughout all of the pain, tears and the heartache that was my life then... I do not regret any of it. I think without that experience, I wouldn't be able to love and appreciate the life I have now.
And how he loves our babies.... there is nothing that makes my heart skip a beat more than watching daddy curled up on the couch with a sleeping baby...
I can find them snoozing together, atleast a few times a week...
He says there isn't anything better than having your baby fall asleep on your chest...
I say that there isn't anything better than knowing you feel that way...
This man who has been so patient with his relationship with my oldest. My sweet Kaden, who for the longest time didn't want to share his momma with anyone. Hearing him call Clay dad, and watching him jump into his arms on occasion makes me melt. Clay teaches Kaden things that I used to worry that he would miss having only his momma; baiting a hook, throwing a football and he is now going to be coaching Kaden's soccer team. Their relationship is still a work in progress, but the foundation is solid....
**please ignore Kaden's sweet 'do we were between haircuts lol