10 Years, 9 Months, 12 Days, and 2 Kids Later …

I filed for divorce.

So there’s that.

This decision was arrived at neither casually nor mutually. While Leif would be quite content to stay married forever, I am not, for reasons I do not feel the need to discuss at this time.

I know the question you want answered: What happened? Sorry to disappoint you, but nothing happened. We could blame the fact that we got married too young or too fast, or had kids too soon, or worked too many long hours, but the fact of the matter is that lots of relationships include those variables and turn out just fine in the end.

There is no one moment in time a person can pinpoint and say, “Aha! That’s when it all started to fall apart!” You don’t just wake up one day and say to yourself, “You know, I think I’ll file for divorce today. For kicks and giggles.”

Divorce is tragic. It rips families apart. It leaves emotional scar tissue in its wake. God hates it. It is never to be taken lightly. It is an option of last resort. Well, except for murder, but that’s illegal and I hate blood, and oh yeah, it’s evil and I hope I never hate anyone enough to even entertain that idea.

I know there are questions, so I’ve done my best to preemptively answer some of them below. Because I’m a blogger and I like to share.

FAQ

Q: How can this happen when you guys seemed so happy?

A: Once upon a time we were happy. Not every couple’s story ends with a “happily ever after.” Once you start to realize you aren’t happy, there’s a very long period of time spent in denial. I am happy, dammit! Things are just rocky right now, slowly transforms into, ok, I’m a wee bit miserable, but I’ll be happy again soon.

This doesn’t happen over weeks or months, but years. Then you start to question your sanity, because there are some good times sprinkled here or there that glimmer of hope that things are changing and the heat wave will break and beautiful flowers will bloom on the morrow.

If you’re a blogger, you share the good times and only occasionally the bad, and you hold fast to the belief that things will get better. Behind the scenes, you hope and you pray and you beg and you try everything to make it work. You yell and you cry and you apologize and try to ignore the fact that there’s been no real resolution.

You remember how happy you were to walk down the aisle and say, “I do,” and promise your heart to another. You hold onto those memories with a vice-like grip. You look at your children, little human beings that you made together, and think things can’t be so bad, because look at this amazing goodness that came from your union. It will get better, right?

In other words, denial is a powerful thing, and not everything is as it seems.

Q: What about the girls?

A: They are bright and wonderful children who are very loved by two devoted parents. With some counseling and time to grieve and adjust, they will be just fine.

Q: How can you call yourself a Christian?

A: If you call yourself a Christian, you have no business asking that, you hypocrite. If you don’t, then the only answer I have is that I believe in the saving grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and that my soul was bought at the price of His blood shed on the cross. That doesn’t change with my marital status.

Q: Have you thought this through?

A: Gosh, no I didn’t! I didn’t think at all about how much this will hurt our friends and loved ones, how it might affect my daughters’ romantic relationships later in life, the grief of our happily married parents, the awkward social situations that are bound to arise, the inevitable financial strain …

Q: Do you know how hard life is as a single parent?

A: Probably not. I didn’t know how hard motherhood was going to be either. No one can fully anticipate what trials the future holds. One day at a time, baby.

Q: Is there any chance you guys could work it out?

A: It’s unlikely, but I have agreed to hold off on definitively answering that question or finalizing anything until some of these festering emotional wounds have had a bit of time and space to heal.

Regardless, I believe that ultimately all things work together for God’s glory, even the nasty bits. So even if we don’t work out, I know everything will work out in the end exactly as it’s meant to be.

Q: Are you still living together?

A: No. (Please see previous Q&A and note the ‘time and space’ contingent.)

Q: Where are the girls?

A: They’re living with me, and Leif has visitation. We’re working on figuring things out. It’s been all of less than three weeks since the fit hit the shan, so we obviously don’t have an ironed-out schedule at this point. So far we’ve been making sure that they know when they will be seeing the other parent next, because apparently stability is important.

Q: Is this why you’ve been so quiet on the blog front this past year?

A: Basically. My life has been consumed with getting through my days, aching at not being able to get through to my husband, questioning my grip on reality, questioning our history, and questioning God. And tears — lots and lots of tears.

In other words, it’s hard to think up something to share with y’all when all I wanted to write was, “Sooooo … my life is falling apart around me and the scotch tape I’ve always used to hold it together doesn’t seem to be cutting it anymore…”

Q: What can I do for you?

A: Please be respectful. Don’t assume anything. No one knows what goes on inside a relationship except the people in that relationship, and even then it occasionally often gets convoluted.

Pray for us. Don’t take sides. Don’t pray for reconciliation and don’t pray for divorce. Pray that God’s will be done — no matter what the outcome. Because guess what? It will be done. God is kinda almighty like that. So I guess … please pray that grace be plentiful all around as we wade through this crap.

And of course, the most important thing is our children. Hearing negative things about either of their parents will not benefit them in any way, shape, or form, and as my great grandma always said, “Little pitchers have big ears.” So if you have something negative to say about either one of us, I kindly ask you to take a deep breath and remember that there are children involved.

The Shoe’s On the Other Foot

The number one question I’ve gotten from people when they hear I’ve (temporarily) moved to Boston is, “Where is your family?”

“Home in Sand Diego,” I say, and the response is almost universally, “Oh wow.”

Oh wow is right.

My main hesitation in accepting this position was missing this small chunk of my kids’ lives. Of course I’ll miss Leif, but he and I have a lifetime together, and he’s not growing and changing everyday in the same way that children do. I am missing two months of my kids’ lives that I will never get back.

It’s a heavy thing to realize, and the guilt! I couldn’t wear mascara the day I left, because it would’ve been running down my face with the tears I cried when remembering their tight little hugs and sad little faces when we said goodbye.

Sniff sniff.

I’ve been here a few days now, and have been in touch via phone and little FaceTime. The girls seem ok – happy even. As it turns out, the world keeps on spinning, even when I’m not there. They’ve gotten to and from school, friends’ houses, and spent afternoons at Gramma’s. They’ve done their homework, brushed their teeth, played with Daddy, and got tucked in every night.

They’re ok. And I’m ok, because instead of looking at this as time I’ll never get back, I want to see it as time that Leif gets to be the primary caregiver. Their relationship with him is going to grow even stronger as they depend on him in the way they normally depend on me. The bonds that form between their hearts as they figure out how to survive without Mommy will remain intact for the rest of their lives, and no one will ever be able to take away the knowledge that their daddy stepped up to the plate to take care of them.

So yeah, I miss my family like crazy. But I am so grateful for Leif to know that center-of-your-kids’-universe feeling. It’s crazy hard, for sure, and I know they’ll have their good and bad days, but they will learn to trust and love each other in ways that they never would if I were there.

Maybe I’m spinning, maybe I’m in denial, but I’m going to go ahead and call this one perspective.

Now I’m going to say a prayer that they all survive.

Happy 10th Anniversary to My Darling Husband Leif

Look! Pink flowers!

I have loved sharing anniversary posts with you guys. I started two years ago on our eighth anniversary with a list of 25 reasons I loved Leif. Last year I wrote about my freak-out at the top of the aisle. This year, on our tenth anniversary, I want to tell you about the pink blossoms.

We are in Hawaii right now – Waikiki, to be exact – and I have seen so many pink-blossomed trees. Pink makes me happy, mmmkay? It makes me so happy that I picked it as one of our wedding colors. Black, silver, and pink. Elegant. Lovely.

Side note: A few weeks before our wedding, I sent Leif to the tux shop to get measured. He said he didn’t care what I’d picked out for him, so long as it was blue. Um, hi, Honey? Remember months ago when we talked colors and you said black, silver, and pink sounded wonderful? No blue tuxedo. Silly grooms.

The week before our wedding, there was a heat wave rolling through San Diego. Nelly’s It’s Getting Hot In Here was the number one song on the charts, and I had to agree with him. I was so miserable with the hot humidity I was actually tempted on several occasions to take off all my clothes.

Our wedding day, and our planned al fresco dinner party reception, grew nearer and nearer, as the heat topped the charts in the triple digits. I was too nervous about this monumental step I was taking to overly worry about my guests, but it was there in my mind. I don’t want everyone to be miserably hot at my wedding!

The morning of the 13th, I woke up so tired from spending the night before printing out the bulletins (maybe that can be next year’s story?), but when I opened the patio door of my parents’ house, I was hit with a cool breeze. The heat wave had broken.

The wedding wasn’t until six pm, but I stopped by the chapel and reception site to lend my hand to the last minute details. Family friends were busy stringing up twinkle lights into the courtyard trees where our guests would be dining mere hours later. Overnight, as the heat wave had broken, the trees had blossomed with deliriously wonderful pink flowers.

It was an encouragement I have always held onto: Even when things seem bleak and unpleasant … there’s always the possibility of pink blooms on the morrow. Thank you for so many flowers over the last decade.

Happy anniversary, My Love.

A Tale of Love … and a Suitcase

I have this super amazing suitcase that I love. I even put it on a list of 25 Random Things I Love last summer. It’s a carryon, so no checked bag fees or waiting at the luggage carousel for me, but it’s like a bag of holding with all the junk I can cram into it. I was in DC for six days last month, and I fit everything in there, including an extra pair of boots, my makeup bag, and my hair dryer. All four wheels are castors, so it just sort of glides along effortlessly.

I love the thing, ok?

This past weekend, Leif went a men’s retreat with his dad. He was going to be gone for exactly 48 hours. I assumed that he would cram an extra change of clothes, some clean underwear, and something to sleep in into a backpack and be on his merry way.

Nope. My husband decided that since he didn’t know exactly what the climate was going to be, he should bring half his closet. And then, without asking, he started packing it all into my suitcase. This would’ve been insulting enough on its own, but I was coming off of a few days of insomnia, and was feeling slightly cracked already.

What. Are. You. Doing?

Uh … packing?

Why are you taking all of this, and are you even going to ask me if you can take my bag?

Your bag?

Yes. My bag. My favorite suitcase. Mine.

I thought it was our suitcase.

No.

Oh well.

And then he proceeded to toss eight pairs of socks into my suitcase. I proceeded to glare and cross my arms in a menacing manner. When that didn’t work, I tapped my foot.

What?

If you break my suitcase, I will cut you.

I won’t break it.

You break a lot of things. You’re my bull in the china shop.

They disproved that on Mythbusters.

No they didn’t! The bull still knocked down one of the things! Just because the bull only broke a little bit doesn’t mean they’re graceful. If my suitcase comes home just a little bit broken, I’m going to be pissed.

More glaring.

Fine, take my suitcase.

Then I pouted in the living room while he finished packing. Thing 2 ‘helped’ him, all the while saying, “That’s Mommy’s airport bag. You hafta be careful with it, Daddy. Don’t break it or Mommy will get mad.”

It’s just … I love that bag, and if he breaks it, it’s not in the funds to buy another one. I could buy five Bota Boxes for the price of replacing that suitcase. Plus, if he broke it, I’d irrationally feel like he didn’t respect me by not respecting my stuff. Suitcase symbolism is deep, man.

When he was done packing, I hugged him, told him I loved him, and waved him off. I may have blown a kiss to my suitcase.

You are ridiculous. I love you.

I love my suitcase.

I know. I’ll take good care of it.

That’s all I ask. Have a great weekend. I love you.

And then he was out the door. I should mention here that one of the reasons I *let* him take my suitcase is because while he was looking forward to the retreat and spending time with his dad, he was not looking forward to spending time with nature. Nature and my husband have been enemies for over three decades now, as he’s allergic to practically everything that grows.

If being ok with him taking my magical suitcase made him feel better about going to the mountains with the pine trees and pollen and high altitude, then so be it. Because that’s what you when you love someone. You try to ease their burden when you can. Even if it’s grudgingly.

On Saturday, I randomly tweeted him, and we had this exchange:

 

And that is why I love him. He took my hissy fit in stride. And he brought my suitcase back intact. I guess he really does love me after all. :-)

Not Inappropriate. Just Ridiculous. But I Do Know What I’m Talking About.

I love red hair, pink drinks, and sugared rims. I am what I am.

I live in the very small and very strange world of social media. Well, it’s giant in the sense that everyone and their dog is on Facebook and Twitter, Google is commonly used as a verb, and YouTube gets over two billion video views a day. But factor in the fact that I use social media professionally for politics, and that pool shrinks down to a shallow puddle.

That’s right. I talk about politics on the internet for a living. I’m by no means the 1% in terms of income, but I make enough money to pay the kids’ tuition, buy an occasional pair of cute shoes, and enough boxed wine from BevMo to keep me happy. What else does a girl need?

I am the 1% of bloggers that get paid to do this. Take that for what you will, but I am incredibly thrilled to be able to have a job that I love instead of one that I tolerate in order to keep up with our lifestyle choices. We’ve chosen to make a life in Southern California, send our daughters to private school, to tithe to our church, drive an SUV, and occasionally go on a date to a fancy restaurant.

It’s a choice, it takes two incomes, and I am thrilled with my life.

This past weekend I was in San Francisco, having been invited to speak to the California Republican Party about the virtues of embracing social media like blogs, Facebook, and especially Twitter. I’ve spoken to many grassroots groups in the past about this topic, and I was looking forward to sharing my perspective in a seminar targeted to CA GOP County Chairs.

While at the convention, I happened to overhear a comment questioning the appropriateness of my presence on a panel at a GOP event. *

Wait … what? How is it inappropriate for me to speak to GOP leaders about how to use social media to connect with the voters? I’m usually speaking to the grassroots voters, and they are hungry for their leadership to have an online presence. How could I not be the perfect person to talk to the leadership about utilizing awesome tools to get voters connected to and invested in races to get out the vote?

This is what I do. I *get* social media. As evidenced by the fact that people pay me for my expertise on the matter. Do I know everything about everything? No. Do I even know everything about internet antics? No. But I have worked long and hard, and mostly through trial and error, have figured out a lot about what works online and what doesn’t.

It is a joy and a pleasure to share my thoughts about what I have learned with the public. My goal, with everything I do in my professional, political life, is to advance conservatism, so that everyone may have the opportunity to dream big and touch the stars.  When an opportunity to speak to GOP leadership about effectively using social media to get the vote out came up, I jumped at it. Votes are what win elections, and conservative voters vote for conservative candidates, who then create laws that don’t undermine the free market, and block the passage of those that do.

I am obviously not an inappropriate choice to speak to the California GOP leadership.

Sure, anyone that’s followed me online for even just a little bit knows that I have a tendency toward ridiculousness. I’m an odd duck in many regards. I hate calling people. I sneak into the Lincoln Memorial at 1am. I write posts about legs. I dye my hair red on a whim. Heck, I even write posts comparing my bikini-clad body to the national deficit.

I share these stories with you because they amuse me, and I hope they make you laugh a little. I also share my tales of struggle with parenting and marriage and hormones, because being a mom and a wife and a chick shapes who I am. I’m not into the whole ‘present an image to world of someone who’s not really me’ thing. What’s the point of that anyway? No one is perfect, so why pretend?

Above all, I want to share my life as an encouragement to others. I want people to know that politics is not a scary, unapproachable subject, and even someone as ridiculous as I am can get a firm grasp of what is going on in our country.

Take it or leave it, love me or hate me, but please don’t insult my job skills. I may be ridiculous at times, but attempting to undermine my knowledge in the field I have chosen as my profession just makes you look bad.

*This is why I would never ever wish for telepathic abilities. I’m perfectly content to live in ignorant bliss of how some people may feel about me.

Back by Popular Request: Elsewhere On the Internet…

I stopped doing weekly round-up posts a couple of months ago because I was sporadic at best, and honestly, I didn’t think the interest was there. But I’ve gotten tons of requests for them recently, so I decided to resurrect them. The majority of my weekly articles are usually published by Thursday, so I’m marking Thursday on my Google calendar as Elsewhere On the Internet Day.

Let’s dive right in, shall we?

This Week at The Stir:

I wrote about author Charles Murray and his ‘elitist bubble’ concept published in his new book, Coming Apart, The State of White America, 1960-2012. I scored a 37. I think that number, like my age and my weight, is just a number.

Apparently food stamps are going to fix the economy. They’re going to fix it so well that the government is giving out $75,000 grants to groups that devise ways to sign more people up for food stamps.

This one on Susan G. Komen defunding Planned Parenthood got such a hateful reaction that Mark Davis’s producer Susan contacted me to be on the show tomorrow morning to talk about it. Some people are just mean. If you’d like to listen in, I’ll be on at 7:04 Pacific, which means I’ll be locked in the garage or something while poor Leif wrangles the kids to get ready for school. I love you, Honey!

The Latest on Moms Matter:

This State of the Union Analysis is technically from last week, but seeing as CafeMom hasn’t posted this week’s article yet, I thought I’d include it anyway. Hey, it’s my site, I can post what I want to! :-)  (Even emoticons!)

What Happened on Glee:

Glee was new this week, which means I shut everyone out of my bedroom at 8pm on Tuesday to watch high school musical drama, write about it, and call it ‘work.’ My job kinda rocks. I ended up talking more about my marriage than the show though.

 

Happy reading!

Elsewhere On the Internet (and an Early Morning Story)

It’s 5:15 a.m. and I’m awake. I’ve been waking up at 4 recently, unable to go back to bed after my third bathroom trip of the night (thank you, childbirth) because by that time I’m no longer exhausted enough to drown out my darling husband’s snores with sleepiness.

Side note: Isn’t snoring the worst sound in the world? Ok, maybe the third worst, following nails on a chalkboard and cats in a blender. Not that I’ve ever heard cats in a blender. But I can imagine, and it’s not pretty.

Sometimes I can jam earplugs in and throw a pillow over my head and find a couple more hours of elusive rest. But I’ve had this cold recently, and the stuffy nose and the cough and poor tender head make me ache while I wait for the meds to kick in, and by the time they do … I’m pretty much awake.

By the time the clock hit five, I knew I was done, so I threw the covers off and headed down the hall to write this very post. The light was on. Huh. Strange. Stranger still was the sound of the TV. Ok, no longer strange.

Here’s what I found:

This little goober didn’t go to sleep until nearly eleven last night, even though she was put to bed before nine. It was the same old But I Need game, which (I’m pretty sure) children have played since the dawn of time. You know the one.

But I need a drink!

But I need to go potty!

But I need my night light!

But I need socks that don’t bother my feet!

But I need a hug!

But I need a different song on the ipod!

But I need to be tucked back in!

You get the idea. Anyway, my little non-sleeper was out in the living room watching TV. Which she is not allowed to do on school days. Apparently, she thought that rule only applied to afternoons and evenings, so she forced herself awake after six precious hours of sleep to enjoy some tunes.

New rule: No getting up until 6:30.

Except for Leif. If he wants to get up pre-crack of dawn and leave me to sleep in peace … I’d be ok with that. Love you, Honey!

So I wrote some stuff last week that I’d love for you to read. Click, read, comment, share – especially share. Word-of-mouth is where it’s at, baby. Plus, I really can’t afford fancy advertising. It’s ‘spensive.

The Occupy Wall Street goons are still on display. President Barack Obama feels their pain and understands their frustration. Iran thinks they’re swell. Iran also stones rape victims for ‘sexual immorality.’ As a general rule, I like not to agree with Iran on pretty much everything.

Obama called Mitt Romney a flip-flopping flip-flopper, which is completely true, of course. However, there’s this saying that come to mind about glass houses and throwing stones…

Priorities in Topeka are messed up, y’all. Social welfare programs and inflated benefits and pensions are not more important than legally protecting victims of domestic abuse.

The Finish Line

Thing 2 & Jenny Xmas 2009

My favorite picture of Thing 2 and me, taken Christmas 2009 by Kristen Bons

Thing 2 starts preschool on Monday. After 3 ½ years of her glued to my hip on an almost daily basis, I’ve been asked a lot how I feel about this.

Right now I feel like I feel when I’m running, and just trying to make it to a certain predetermined goal before I stop or slow down. I can see my finish line. I usually feel like I’m going to throw up, because I usually push myself too far. I mute my ipod because the music becomes a distraction rather than a motivation. All efforts are put toward moving forward, each step, not stopping, knowing that once I make it, I will be better for it. Stronger. Able to go further or faster the next time.

That’s what I feel like right now. All I can see is the finish line. This race that I have been running for the last three years of trying to be a decent wife, mommy, and homemaker while simultaneously trying to launch a career in online political punditry, with no nanny or daycare.

I wouldn’t trade it, but most days there just aren’t enough hours. It is completely frustrating in one moment, and ultimately joyful in the next. Thank God for a cute husband that doesn’t mind if the laundry doesn’t all get put away, or stopping to pick up dinner on his way home.

Also thank God for Coke Zero, Advil, Clear Eyes, and sauvignon blanc.

And of course, these amazing little girls, who can drive me up the wall but also knock me over with laughter. This morning, I asked Thing 2 where Jesus lived, and she happily told me, “Um, in da Bible!” How cute and sweet is that?

A year or two ago, I took the girls dress shopping with me, and in the fitting room, Thing 1 told me I looked ready for the ball in a blue taffeta dress I was trying on. I bought it and every time I wear it, I feel ready for the ball.

I have a thousand memories like these; they are the moments that have made this achy tiredness worth it. Because right now? Right now I’m tired. I am ready to have some time to do my work with a small amount of peace.

My finish line is 16 whole hours a week to work without my eye twitching from being interrupted 27 times a minute with requests for snacks, announcements of bodily functions, demands for TV and/or junk food and the subsequent tantrums that occur when the answer is no.

I bet you I’ll be able to pack the majority of the 30 or so hours a week I work now into that time.

So on Monday, I will cross the line with a goodbye wave and a kiss to my baby, and I will clutch my side and catch my breath and feel the rush of accomplishment wash over me. I will thank God for my health and (relative) sanity, and I will sit and ponder what goal I shall set for myself next.

Because as hard as that last stretch always is … I do love to cross the finish line.

When the Power Goes Out: A San Diego Blackout Story

Yesterday afternoon I was sitting in my lovely air-conditioned home, doing some research for a story on my shiny MacBook Pro. My kids were either doing homework or playing Polly Pockets, and I was keeping en eye on the clock because Thursday is piano lesson day, and I didn’t want to be late.

Around 4 p.m. there was that pop and a low buzz as every appliance and light bulb in my neighborhood shut down, followed immediately by silence. It happens occasionally (remember rolling black-outs?), so I told the girls to wait a minute to see if the power would come back on.

Nada. My laptop still had power, but with the wifi down, I couldn’t get online. My iphone said I was connected to the 3G network, but it wouldn’t connect to anything. I couldn’t even pull up Twitter or Facebook. It might as well have been the apocalypse, people!

Tried to text, but the service was sluggish. Power outage or not, it was time for piano. Except that the car was in the garage … with an electric garage door opener. There’s a manual failsafe in there for emergencies, but no way was I going to mess with that with two little kids in tow unless absolutely necessary. Piano was out.

Finally got a hold of my husband at work, who informed that power was pretty much down in all of San Diego, and a few other areas in southern California, as well as parts of Arizona and even Mexico. Since it wasn’t looking like the power would be back anytime soon, he shut the office down and hit the road. It took over an hour for him to make the normally 25 minute commute.

Anyway, we all eventually made it home, and I hand washed some dishes and made dinner on our gas stove, while frantically checking my phone for internet connectivity every 4 minutes. I don’t have a disease, I swear. I just like being connected. I can put the Internet away, so long as I know it’s there if I need it.

Once I gave up and tried to enjoy the Amishness of the situation, we had a pretty nice evening. After our candlelit dinner, we took the girlies for a walk to see the stars. I even broke out some glow sticks for them, which they thought were the greatest things ever.

We tucked them into bed together so they wouldn’t be afraid of the dark, and then we played gin rummy and chatted and tried not to sweat in our un-air conditioned home. Eventually we went to bed too, and it’s amazing what kinds of things you can find to do when there’s no laptop or TV to distract a happily married couple…

Overall, I’m glad we had the excuse to take a little break from our electrified life, but I won’t lie. When the house hummed back to life a little after midnight, I shed a little tear of happiness. And then I said hi to Twitter.

And all was right in the my world.

Monday.

My day began just before 8, as Leif was leaving for work. I debated going back to sleep, then remembered that the girls had been up until almost midnight last night, and would most likely sleep another hour or two. So I grabbed a Coke Zero and my laptop and started perusing the headlines.

Decide to write about Social Security reform and email my editor at The Stir to get the go-ahead. Promise her I’ll try to make it entertaining, because let’s face it – SS reform can be dry and boring.

Check on Twitter. It’s still there.

Check on Facebook. It’s still there too.

Don’t check Google+. Because I’m not sure if I care whether or not it’s still there.

Do some research for my article.

Just after 9, I hear stirrings from the kids’ room. They get up and immediately declare that they’re hungry. I decide that if I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard I’m hungry since Thing 1 learned to talk, I’d be one of those rich people President Obama wants to tax so much.

The next 3 hours or so is spent feeding the natives, breaking up fights, responding to emails and texts, researching Social Security, and finding photos for a Home Economics Lesson I have coming up (soon, I hope), and consuming no less than 4 Coke Zeros.

Decide to take the girls to the beach. It is the last week of summer vacation, after all.

Hit the bank to deposit a few checks (yay!), then drive-thru for Mexican food.

Tacos! (Watch out for seagull jerks)

Beach. Kids have a blast. A seagull tries to steal my taco. I decide to tweet, “Seagulls are assholes. #fact” Before sending, I change assholes to jerks. Because I like to save my swear words for when it really counts, and jerks conveys my message just fine.

Hear from Leif on my iphone. He says he’ll be home by 8 to read to the girls and tuck them in. Decide to leave the beach just after 6. This is also known as the Wrangling of the Short Sandy People That Just Realized They’re Exhausted Because Fun Time Is Over and They Can’t Possibly Walk Back to the Car and Why Can’t Mommy Carry Everything Including Them?

Bribe them with promises of McDonald’s smoothies.

Car. Drive-thru. Smoothies. Extra-large Diet Coke for moi. Home. Showers. Bleach to clean the tub after an incident. Another shower to make sure Thing 2 is totally clean after said incident.

Start the laundry. Warily eye Mt. Washmore and sigh.

It’s 7:30. Haven’t heard from Leif, so he must be on the way home. He knows one of the only ways to really mess with my head is to not tell me (ahead of time) that he’s not going to be home when he said he’d be home.

Make dinner.

7:58. Leif g-talks me to say he’s still at work. 40 minutes away. Take a deep breath and count to 10, because I’ve heard that’s supposed to help with anger management. Decide that people that say that don’t have small children that interrupt you 8 times in 10 seconds to ask why you’re rubbing your temples and could they please have some dinner because they’re starving to death even though they’ve been eating all freaking day long.

Sit the girls down for their 8th meal of the day, grab the laptop, and start writing this post.

It’s now 8:50. Have not heard from Leif. He’s probably skeered. Have poured first glass of wine for the evening. Getting ready to throw the kids into bed as soon as this episode of iCarly is over.

Then will pour second glass of wine, write my Social Security article, do two more loads of laundry, pour another glass, and convince Leif to rub my shoulders. Forgive him.

After that? I guess that depends on how good the shoulder rub is. 😉

Update: 10:48 and Leif is finally on his way home. Article only half written. 2 loads washed and dried … not put away.