Six Pack?

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Adam: Mom, can you see my Six Pack!

Olivia: I’m pretty sure that’s just ribs!

Adam: Ohhhh Shot Down!

September

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There is something about a cool September morning.   The subtle hints of pending Autumn were all around this morning as I took my morning walk.   Soon the trees will yield my favorite colors as reds, yellows, bronze and hints of burgundy fill the West Virginia mountains.   Mornings are filled with heavy fog lifting through those hills.  The bright morning sun makes the dew filled spider webs glisten  like diamonds.

The nights will soon be filled with warm bonfires, sweatshirts and children trying to squeeze in the remaining days before the snow starts to fall.     In bed, the open windows will soon replace the AC and quilts filled with their own precious memories and stories with fill the room with conversations and laughter as the kids and and I will tell stories of the good ‘ol days.

I switched the floral summer scents in my house to Pumpkin and lazy evenings are now spent finding new fall recipes on Pinterest.   Oh, and Starbucks in getting ready to give us some pumpkin spiced lattes!!!

Soon, we will make memories of our own as we visit the pumpkin patches, take long walks and drives, weekend trips and maybe a ghost hunt or two in October.

But for now, let me just savor the first few crisp mornings of September.

Have a beautiful and blessed Labor Day Weekend…..

 

You Should Write More.

“You should write more.”

That is what people tell me all the time.   I have become negligent with writing, because let’s face it, who wants to read a blog from a lonely, too busy, single working mom.   I probably wouldn’t read it either.

Most of what I write these days consist of some comedic episode that, all too frequently, happens with my kids.   I have used my blog to jot down memories recently.  The happy ones.   The ones that will make me smile 10 years from now when I sit down, more than likely by myself, and reminisce of my lovely little family and the memories we made together.  Just the three of us.

10 years from now, when my kids wont be kids anymore and they will be well on their way to becoming successful adults and possibly having families of their own, I will be able to look back and laugh at the time Adam licked the school bus windows from a rousing game of Truth or Dare.

Their first 10 years on this earth have already come and gone.   I blinked and they are both in Middle School this year.    Making friends, becoming more and more independent every day.

No one warned me….No one told me that there would be a time that I would no longer be a cuddle buddy while watching cartoons on a rainy Saturday morning.   I can still pour the cereal, but they rush out the door to meet their friends to go to the skate park or independently walk downtown to catch Pokémon and grab a smoothie at the local coffee shop,  “Later Mom” as the door swings open and they are gone before I can ask for a hug goodbye.

No one warned me of the dramatic hormonal bipolar teenage episodes that my daughter would have monthly!   You know, the one where she hurls her body on the couch claiming 14081026_10210706397879555_755076733_nthat she is dying a week out of the month!!    I go in for a hug…GET OUT spews out of her mouth like the Demon telling the priest to leave on the Amityville Horror!!

My son’s “dating” experiences are looking to be as productive as my own social life.   He meets them on Instagram, an hour later he changes his profile to “Taken”.     Two days later they break up.   You would think because they never really met in person or lack of communication since they just DM each other to say “Hey, WRUD?”   Sadly, most breakups are due to one of them finding someone else they just like better!!

I didn’t understand that, until I decided to try Online Dating.     Then I realized, that is EXACTLY what my son is doing on Instagram.  “Hey, WRUD?”  I respond.    There is chit chat.   Then boredom sets in quickly and I begin to wonder, what on earth am I even doing? How did my life change so dramatically?   I went from married to having a man pick me out of his own personal line up.

“This is how everyone meets people now!!   My best friend just met the love of her life on (insert dating website here)”   

We live in a culture where people are too darn lazy to actually go out and have an actual face to face conversation with anyone.   We hide behind our IPhones and computer screens.     Instead of properly asking a women out, you are texted something like this, “Hey, you wanna meet somewhere for a drink?”   Which means….“I haven’t met you in person, and I really have no idea if we will hit it off, so I am not going to waste my precious time or money on dinner.   A drink is cheap and if I don’t like you I can leave quickly!!”     The site that I signed up for, a man can actually send you a virtual flower!!    The tackiest thing I have ever seen in my entire life!    Oh, Thanks so much because a FREE virtual flower is so much better than the real thing!!    14126

My life consists of a random text message, “Hey honey, wanna chat”?     “What do you do for a living?”   and yes, the occasional _____ Pic!!     Like I really needed to see that!!                  Ok. Thanks. Bye.

Then you find “the perfect man”.    The handsome, likeable, stay up all night talking and feeling like a teenager again man.    The one that when your phone gives the magical “ding” you immediately smile.    The one that makes you feel all warm and fuzzy.   Until you see that he has been online all day long, and reality sets in that you have willingly paid your hard earned money to an online version of The Bachelor.      Warm and Fuzzies gone, and nausea sets in!

“Why don’t you write anymore?”

“Because people always think I have it all together.  The kids and their weekly comedy routines are a great read.   my life? Eh, not so much.   I want people to see me smiling.   I don’t want them to see the real me!!”   

“You are missing the chance to inspire other Single Moms that are going through the same thing.   You are missing out on your actual calling in life.   To be an honest, straightforward, sometimes comical, strong woman who refused to let life knock her down!!”

So I wrote!    I am hoping my pathetic attempt at parenting and dating can put a smile on your face.   Maybe a Horrified half smile?      Laugh at my expense!   Go kiss your husbands ladies and thank them for loving you unconditionally!   Try to find your kids between 14111781_10210706771208888_1981914392_npractices, school, sports and video games and tell them that you love them….if you must, DM them or Snapchat them a picture of your face looking like a dog or Ozzy Osbourne or Faceswap with the Cat!!   Whatever you have to do, let them know that you are Right Here and if they need you, they know that you are accessible and ready to give them that hug!!

As for me, I am paid up for the month on this site.   I will make the best of it.   Who knows, maybe Prince Charming might send me a virtual flower or two tonight!!    A girl can only hope!

Dreaming and his Girlfriend 

Sleeping with my son on vacation. I woke up from a terrible dream…..he’s lying in bed on SnapChat. (Scene set)
Me: Son, I just had a horrible dream. Please turn off your phone and go to bed!!

Adam: Why do I have to turn off my phone and go to bed because of your dream?

Me: I was dreaming you gave all of your info to a stranger on SnapChat, he just broke in and killed your girlfriend! Dude the dream was so real!!!!

Adam: What did my girlfriend look like?

Me: You are missing the point!! We were all running and screaming!! There was blood everywhere. (very realistic terrifying dream!)

Adam: Mom, did you happen to catch her (girlfriends) name?

Me: WHAT DOES IT MATTER?

Adam: Do you remember her hair Color?

Me: (Kicked him out of bed….hope the couch is comfy!!)

How Loving and Patient He Must Be….

“For I know the plans I have for you”, declares the Lord. “Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”        Jeremiah 29:11

Being a Mom is not easy.

My kids both had me in tears this morning as I was trying to get them ready for school.   My daughter wanted to use a different back pack (on the last three days of school!!!).   The straps had been tied in a knot and I was unable to get the knots untied.   Crisis!!!    Absolute-Teenage-Breakdown!!

My son, decided he would throw his own fit because his Cargo-shorts were dirty and I was going to make him wear a pair of shorts that didn’t have 7,000 pockets!  Apparently two pockets on a pair of shorts is not sufficient.     Hence, making me the worst mother in all of the entire world!

I did it….I just walked right out of the house.   I finally had enough.    I looked at them and proclaimed, “get ready by yourself!” and drove away.

*Before you think I really am the worst mother in all of the world, let me say that we go to my parents house every morning for breakfast.   Something that has been part of my kids routine since they were in Kindergarten*      So, as I walked out the door, Grandma was making them a healthy breakfast and looking at me with her own bit of desperation as to Why was she being punished?

I got in my car and did what any terrible mother would do.   I drove around the block a few times to cool off and came back, made sure they were ready and drove them to school.

My son was very well aware that I was not happy since just the day before he also proclaimed me The worst Mom ever when I didn’t get him ice cream after I got off work, picked home up from school, took him to get his hair cut, changed two flat tires on my lawn mower and mowed the grass….all while he was sitting in the garage (in the shade) playing on his IPhone 6 whining that I didn’t have any food!!  Grandpa, who was helping me with the mower, took him to their house, where I am sure he was served a bowl of cereal in front of the TV on the recliner!

Did he feel bad?  Sure he did.   Both last night and this morning, he gave me a kiss and told me that he was sorry.   Both times, I graciously accepted his apology, and I always welcome a kiss from the most handsome (entitled, selfish Brat….OMG, I created a monster) fella in the world.

The kids, the back pack, the wrong shorts…You are the worst mother in all the world!!!     I cried.   I cried ugly tears this morning!   I couldn’t stop crying.   The never ending cycle of never being good enough.   Not for my kids, not for my (ex) husband, not for my family, not even for myself.   I strive to be the best.   I exhaust myself so I can be the cool mom, the cool Aunt, the friend to everyone….I do it all because I have this overwhelming sense of needing to show people how much I love them.  To the point of forgetting to love myself, or feeling guilty if I plan a night out to go out to dinner with a friend, or (Heaven forbid) even a date.    As I took my long drive this morning to talk with God, my question to Him was “Why?”  One simple sentence, This isn’t how I imagined my life.    Once again, like most days, He didn’t answer.   It’s ok, I know He’s pretty busy.    Instead, I counted some blessings and went on with my morning.

My life.  Unpredictable.  Chaotic.  Full of Love.  Full of family and friends (even some random adopted strangers).  Lots of laughter and even some tears.

And yes…..Even being voted The worst Mother in all of the world!

There is a song that we used to sing in Sunday School….

He’s still working on me, to make me what I ought to be.   It took him just a week to make the moon and the stars, the sun and the earth and Jupiter and Mars.

How loving and patient He must be…..

He’s still working on me.

How loving and Patient He must me….

 

 

 

I AM

My girlfriends and I started a private group on Facebook a few months ago, mainly to encourage each other and let each other know that we have each other’s backs.    A very good friend of mine posted this yesterday:

21 day challenge starts tomorrow and here is your goal! I am reading The Power of I am by Joel Osteen and its powerful. I want to challenge all of us to post a status to Facebook and repeat it in the group every morning that says I am… Beautiful, strong, valuable, healthy… You get the idea. I am not going to stop there, I am going to write the sentiment on my hand so I look down and I remember that I am fearfully and wonderfully made! Who is with me? They say it takes 21 days to start a new habit. Lets start a new journey! If you write it on your hand it’s a great way to start a conversation and encourage others!

The beautiful posts and pictures started pouring in……

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I read their stories.  As tears started filling my eyes, my mind drifted back to 4 years ago.

This is what I wrote:

I am up for the 21 Day Challenge……But man, did it get me thinking.
I AM Crystal Adams Faulkiner. You are probably thinking, ok? Yes, that is your name. Well, to me, it is more than that. Let me explain.
Yesterday someone introduced me (twice) as Dr. Faulkiners ex wife. Unfortunately, this is a common theme for me.

4 years ago next month, the man I vowed to love For Better or Worse left me.  It was the most devastating thing that has ever happened to me in my life. I remember thinking, “What am I going to do?” “How will I ever survive ALONE?” This fear of NOT being Dr. Faulkiner’s wife anymore terrified me so much that I agreed to go to therapy. I was ready to go in and tell the Therapist all the things I was willing to do to get my family back.
I walked in (tissue box in hand) and sat down. The first thing she asked me was, “Who are you?”
My response, “I am Caty and Adam’s mom….Kelby’s wife……….”
“NO, I didn’t ask that!” She quickly cut me off. “I said WHO ARE YOU?
“I am a mom, a wife, a sister, a daughter……”
“Crystal, WHO ARE YOU?” This time she raised her voice.
No matter how hard I tried, I could not understand what she was trying to get me to say. I never wanted to be anyone else since the day I met him, I knew that I wanted to be Caty and Adam’s Mom and I was so proud to be Dr. Faulkiner’s wife. She made me so incredibly angry, I vowed to never see her again. Yet that question, WHO ARE YOU? still haunts me 4 years later.
So this morning, I get on Facebook and all of you lovely ladies are all beginning this challenge together….thank you for allowing me to be a part of it….but as I was looking at all of your “I AM’s”, I found myself in the same predicament again 4 years later.
I am still trying to be a Mom, Aunt, Sister, Daughter, and sometimes I even try to be a Girlfriend. (which is nauseating to me!! haha)
Somewhere along the way I lost myself.

So today, I have decided that……

I am ready to find who I am to let go of who I used to be.

I AM Crystal Adams Faulkiner!!

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no ordinary life

To be continued……..

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Tired of the Rain?

” Seems just like yesterday it rained (or snowed) , it looks like it might rain again today , boy I wish the sun would shine and dry up this rain” Have you ever felt like that, you are just tired of the rain?

If your like me, when it is summer you want it to be cold, when it is winter you want it to be hot. One moment you are tired of rain the next your ready to go swimming just to get wet. Many of us are just never satisfied. I’m guilty of that daily.

In life, there are many storms. Some involve rain, others because of the lack of rain. Sometimes I cause myself problems other times problems just seem to find me. Whatever the case may be everyone  has “problems”.

I’m reminded of a story where Jesus sent his disciples to cross the water. while he stayed on the shore . While they were rowing, a storm came upon them. Of course they panicked like all of us.  Jesus, who was still on the shore, saw them struggling. (Mark 6:48)  They were terrified but Johns (6:20) account says Jesus called to them and said, “Don’t worry. I’m here!” What they didn’t know was Jesus sent them in the storm on purpose, I believe He wanted to teach them and us that not only will we go through storms, sometimes He sends us directly into them just so we will trust him.

As a Mom I’m reminded of how my children act when they are scared. I can imagine my kids grabbing my hand and holding on tightly, it makes me feel good that they trust me and know I will always protect them and never leave them.

God never worries, He is not afraid of the storm, nothing is too big for Him , but He does want us to trust Him. He said he would never leave us. He said he would be with us even until the end. He promised that when we leave this world we would be in his presence. Paul said it like this, ” If God be for us, WHO can be against us?” These are some of His promises and everyday He’s asking us to stand on them.
Jesus is alive, so hold tight, Hold on to the promises of God.

Silent Night…an open letter to single divorced parents

‘Tis the Season to compete on who is going to buy the biggest and best present.   To spend countless hours complaining that you hate being divorced.  To talk about depression.   To remind everyone around you why life just isn’t fair.   To complain that you don’t get to spend quality time with your kids……..

BLAH BLAH BLAH!!!!!

All my life I wanted a man like Clark Griswold.   So loving and kind.  Heck, he was even going to use his Christmas Bonus to put in a pool!!    He went to great lengths to make sure his family was happy even if it meant holding security guards up at gunpoint at WallyWorld…..And that man sure knows how to decorate a house for Christmas!!   (without his wife asking!!)   Yes, Clark, you are the perfect man!!

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So now let’s snap back into reality…….Most of us married Cousin Eddie!

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pardon the language…but it really is fitting!

Now, to be serious.

To all divorced parents, I have an important Christmas message for you!!

I know you may be sad that you have to share your kids for Christmas.   But guess what…Let them be kids!  Let them enjoy their 2 Christmases.    Enjoy the time you have with them and then be grateful that your ex spouse can equally enjoy  their time.

Now is the time to make new traditions….with the kids and without the kids!

So, single parents UNITE!!   Let’s make this the best Christmas ever for our little ones!    Let’s put all anger aside for one holiday and make some good memories!

There is plenty of time to be bitter….Valentines Day is just around the corner!!!

6e5f2a286c5fed0d4d6659a9f1a9eae1Merry Christmas to all….and enjoy your Silent Night!!!!

 

It is Well….

It’s beginning to look a lot like “I am not really into Christmas”….or am I?

I am the most uptight person alive when it comes to decorating for Christmas.   Lugging out the 5 Christmas trees, 3 Christmas Villages, 3 nativity scenes and the random knick knack and stuffed Santa Claus was always the highlight of my entire year.    Christmas was always work.  I made it a chore.   A chore that no one else in my family wanted to participate in.   Mainly because it wasn’t fun, I made it my life’s goal to pour my heart and soul into making the house look like a Winter Wonderland, but didn’t want the family to be involved for fear they may put an ornament in the wrong place on the tree.      I did enjoy the help that was given to me when it came to pulling out the 20 boxes of ornaments, lights and garland….not to mention the villages and nativities.      Climbing into the trees to hang lights wasn’t my forte either, so I gladly kept my feet planted firmly on the ground as I barked out orders from below.

I spent 12 years of our marriage putting the Christmas decorations up on my own.   As he prepared for hunting season, I prepared for Christmas.    He dreaded the mundane task of dragging everything out of the attic, and all I could think about was surprising him with a museum of glitter and garland when he returned from hunting.   It was always my intention to make him proud of me.   For him to walk in and stand in awe at the hard work and hours (Blood Sweat and Tears!!) I had poured in to make it the best Christmas ever!

Every year, he came home….gave a half hearted “looks nice” and plopped his clothes down for me to wash.   The house that once smelled like Cinnamon had a strong odor of camp fire and deer urine.

The first year that he left us, I was so distraught, but I knew I had to decorate for the kids.   I trudged in the attic as I sobbed hysterically, lowering the trees down by myself.  Then calling my Daddy to help me because I quickly realized that I couldn’t do it on my own.    I watched my little boy try so hard (as he still does every year) to be the man of the house as he would go outside with his little shovel and snow suit and shovel the driveway,  taking a break every now and then to eat the snow!  (which I find disgusting!!)     He and my Dad would surprise me with decorating the outside.  I stayed inside, instead of barking out orders as I was just truly grateful that they were so kind to help me.

While decorating the tree, I cried uncontrollably as I put up the “First Christmas Together” ornaments, the family ornaments that displayed our names as Snowmen on a sled, the Baby’s First Christmas….I quickly realized that our Christmases would never be the same, yet I was not ready to give up the ornaments that I so proudly displayed every year on our “Memory Tree”.

It wasn’t until last Christmas that I stopped crying, I stopped romanticizing the bittersweet memories that no longer existed.   Although, I always want my kids to remember Christmas as a family, I felt no need to keep the “First Christmas Together” ornament.   Who would want that as a family heirloom when I am gone?   I realized that part of my life did not exist anymore, so alone one night as I was decorating the tree,  I broke the ornament and I threw it in the trash.    At that moment, I felt as though I was Kathy Bates in  Fried Green Tomatoes….I almost shouted Towanda!!!  (yet my heart still felt just as broken as the ornament)

December 7th, 2015.   I am sitting in my living room watching my kids decorate the Christmas trees by themselves.   My son, who isn’t tall enough to decorate the top of the tree, yet determined that is where he wanted to decorate, stood on the coffee table.  My daughter sat on the floor and wanted to hear the story behind each ornament.  My Exchange Student eagerly took over the task of the heavy lifting and took the top of the tree (because I am vertically challenged) as I spread out the branches on the bottom.    We opted not to put up the Christmas villages and the Nativity scenes this year for the sake of time.   (the first time in 16 years)

I took pictures…actual pictures of them decorating!!   Not the normal pictures of me handing them an ornament to put on the tree, so I could brag on social media that we decorated as a family.  All lies!!!

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The outside lights don’t match….the giant blow ups are not what I would consider “classy or elegant” but the kids picked them out.    The teens decorated the outside while I sat in the yard as we laughed at them climbing the big tree in the front yard and my nice climbing on the shoulders of the Exchange Student as he yelled, “My Gosh, you are so heavy!!” and almost dropped her.

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My little guy just fell asleep next to me while watching A Christmas Story.  I am sitting here looking for the missing garland,  the villages, and the massive amounts of fake snow that used to don the house.   He’s 10, and this is the first year I let him and his sister take over.   For some reason, that makes me sad as I hold him in my arms tonight.  To think that this is the first year I completely let go of being the Christmas Nazi and let them just be little kids.  Making Memories with their Mom.

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As I sit here tonight taking in my surroundings, I finally feel at peace.  Happy.  Satisfied.  It finally feels like HOME.

It is well with my soul……12308572_10208555102618518_2275357296802741425_n