My Little Bear.

A lot of things have happened these past few weeks.

 

I got a sunburn.

Lucie learned to climb down the stairs.

Maeve ate a tub of ice cream for breakfast.

Fiona graduated preschool.

 

I have to repeat it over and over, my baby is going to kindergarden in the fall. How did this happen? I blinked and POOF she’s tying her shoes and telling me she would like some ” me time”. This is a first for me as a mother, my first born growing up right before my eyes. Without even realizing it, she became a little girl.

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The toddler days are gone. She doesn’t need me as much as she used to. She radiates and shines with such tenderness and love. She doesn’t need me to hold her hand to walk to the potty. She doesn’t need me to pick out her socks. She doesn’t need me to hold her close after falling asleep in her carseat. She doesn’t need me to tell her how to spell her name. She doesn’t need me to show her how to do the monkey bars or play on the swings.

But, I do. I still need all of those things. The seconds, the minutes, the hours, the days and years that have passed have gone by so quickly. I know that this is part of being a parent. Kids grow. But, my heart tugs to keep her close always. IMG_4607

She asks me to put her to bed and rub her back. After a few minutes, she’ll reach her hand down and put it in mine. She falls asleep holding my hand. That’s a memory I”ll cherish forever.IMG_2213

She sits her sisters down and tries to teach them their colors and ABC’s. She’s quick to grab a paper towl if the baby has spilt something on the floor. She’ll run upstairs for diapers and wipes if we’re all out. She makes sure that we all look both ways when crossing the street. She asks me to tell her about the night she was born, how I became her mommy. She understands why Mama goes to meetings at night sometimes, she says it’s ok. She knows that those meetings help me be a better mommy for her.

 

She is a gift.

 

I know this is all kind of rediculous. She’s just going to kindergarden, which is two blocks from our house. She’ll be there all day monday through Friday. Children go to kindergarden. That’s how it works.

But, how will we make it through the day without her? I want to hold her hand forever and keep her safe. I want to be the one making her lunch. I want to be the one who puts a bandaid on her booboos.

I can’t keep her in my arms forever. I have to share her with the world now. I have to let her open her wings that will take her to places she’s dreamed of. I have to sit back while new friends are made. I have to smile and her beautiful face and know that she’s going to be ok.

 

She is going to soar and I’ll be right here when she needs me. It is true, the days are slow, but the years are fast.

 

Can you imagine how unbelievaby sappy this blog is going to be when she goes off to college? I can’t help myself. I’m a sappy, proud mommy.

 

Oh, the places she’ll go. IMG_2043

Self-care… wait, what’s self-care?

When someone asks me if I have time for myself, I usually crack up.

 

SELF-CARE? Are you kidding me? I haven’t showered in four days, I can’t remember when I brushed my teeth, I don’t know whose socks I”m wearing. I have three girls under five. It’s a miracle that we even leave the house somedays. I mean, I”ve left the house in my pjs and slippers by accident for preschool pick up once or twice.

 

I like simple things. I don’t have time for some 90 min face mask with cucumbers on my eyes. I don’t have time for massages. I don’t have time for manicures. My time goes towards my children. All day. Every day.

(EXCEPT, when grandparents are in town and I throw my children at them, so I can go take a three nap.)

So, anyway, my friend (Hey, Angela!) asked me if I’d like to try some stuff that I could easliy fit into my crazy ass schedule, and create a even just a bit of me time.

Before, I tell you about this stuff, I want you to know that I’m not selling or pressuring  anyone into buying anything. I just really wanted to share this, because this stuff helped me SO much.

There’s this company called Arbonne. I had kind of heard about it through the grapevince, but promptly forgot because…mom brain. So anyway, I tried a few things out and they were pretty awesome. IMG_1875*I liked the bag…*

The first thing I tried was ” Arbonne Essentials”, it’s like a packet of powder you can add to your water. The reason I enjoyed this was because it didn’t taste like other water enhancers I”ve had. It was great and it gave me a little boost.

IMG_2343*The Goods*

I tried out some of this stuff too. I”m a tea snob, but I liked this tea a lot. I actually made ice tea out of it, beacuse it’s 3,000 degrees outside. I tried the shake too (it also came in vanilla), and I mixed it with water. It was ok, but if I had mixed it with almond milk or something like that, it might have been a little more smooth on the way down.

 

By far, my FAVORITE stuff was this…

This is their anti-aging skincare line, and DAMN did I need it. There’s face wash, toner, night repair cream, intensive serum cream, corrective eye cream and more. Once in the morning and once at night, it took me approximately two minutes to add this into my routine. So that’s pretty rad.

I spend most of my time shocked at how different I look from when I was younger. I stare at my wrinkles. I have grey hair popping up everywhere, and I”m constantly tired. That’s called growing up, I suppose. I’m thirty-two in August and being able to take those two minutes into my day for my own self-care is pretty remarkable for my self esteem.

I didn’t love all the samples that were given to me. I didn’t like the mascara, for me it just clumped up my lashes. But, overall, this stuff is pretty good.

 

So, if you are looking for a super simple, healthy way to get some self-care into your life, I would reccomend Arbonne to you. This isn’t an advertisement, this is just an honest review I wanted to share with my crew.

If you think this stuff sounds rad, you can hit up this lady, Angela at http://www.angelachristou.arbonne.com.

 

WOO!

Firsts.

We all have *firsts*. First kiss. First concert. First apartment. First airplane ride. First fight. First sip of coffee. First time lying. First time laughing. First birthday party. First day at college. I could go on and on about all the firsts we have in our lives, but it would take all day.

Every single first becomes part of your life. They serve a purpose in molding who  we are.

 

Well, what if you basically slept through five years of firsts?

I did that.

 

Alcohol consumed me and made me forget. There was no room to try new things or experience any firsts, because alcohol selfish. Alcohol takes away all those happy memories. Alcohol wants you to hide your emotions. Alcohol wants you to reach that bottom of the bottle. Alcohol is a real fucking jerk.

 

I didn’t want to feel anything. Happy or sad. I just wanted to be happy and thought that the only route to that emotion was alcohol. I just stuffed it way, way down.

Then I exploded. You can’t go on like that forever.

 

The first day of sobriety. On that first day, I knew I had to deal with some shit and it wasn’t going to be easy. But, I was sober. I went to my first AA meeting and immediately I was surrounded with other women like me. Women who had realized how I felt. I felt relief. I felt shame. I felt anger. I felt accepted. I felt love.

 

I felt emotions that made me realize that I was, indeed, an alcoholic.

 

I felt. I felt for the first time in along time. I opened up my heart and let myself feel everything.

 

I felt comfort when I ran into my husbands arms after sobbing and shaking with fear. I felt scared saying goodbye to my best friend, alcohol. I cried so hard, I popped blood vessels around my eye.

I felt confident when I didn’t relapse on vacation. I felt joy when I watched my daughters in the sand and ocean. I said to myself, ” I am sober. I can feel these things. I can make memories again.”

I felt shock and disbelief when my youngest daughter took off her diaper and chucked it at my head. I felt silly, because it was kind of hilarious that she chose to do that.

 

I felt calm when we hosted Easter at our house this year. It was my first sober holiday. I expected to be anxious, but I felt peace. I knew I could get through it. I felt like God was holding my hand, keeping me safe from that first drink.

 

I felt excited to watch my beautiful five year old graduate preschool. I’ll remember her being that little forever. I felt proud as I watched her on stage during her dance recital.I felt so much happiness at her birthday party. Birthday parties are tricky. I always thought birthday parties were actually for the moms who gave birth and deserved a drink. I would fill my cup up with wine as much as possible. I would then start a fight with my husband and black out.

 

I felt thankful that I was able to see her blow out her candles on her cake.

 

I felt safe knowing that my Higher Power was with me at all times, and lost all feelings of wanting a drink that day.

 

I can’t go back. I can’t rewind and experience my firsts from the past. All I can do is, try to feel and express every emotion that pops up. My sobriety helps me see things with clear eyes. I take it day by day. I know that there will be hundreds of new experiences to see and feel for the rest of my life. I welcome it. I’m open.

 

Bring it on.

 

 

 

 

Vaca without the Rosé

Two weeks ago, I sat in an AA meeting and started sobbing. I was terrified that I would screw up and drink on our upcoming vacation. Vacation to me has always been drinking heavily and trying to get a tan. Especially, as a mother, I couldn’t wait to have some mommy time, sipping on wine and eating cheese cubes.

 

Well, shit. I’m sober now. I can’t do those things. I started to cry in the damn car ride to our vacation, because I thought THERE IS NO WAY IN HELL I AM GOING TO HAVE A GOOD TIME. I thought I would sit in a corner, sip on my diet coke, and feel sorry for myself. Alcoholics do a very good job at feeling sorry for themselves.

Anyway, I was pissed. Sober and pissed.

I put a fake smile on my face, got my kids out of the car and walked into the villa we shared with my in laws.

As we opened the door, my smile grew. It was beautiful. We could see the beach from our  room. My daughters ran around in circles as their grandparents watched. My kids were happy. Imagine that! TRUE HAPPINESS. If my chidren can be filled with happiness, why couldn’t I?

Slowly, my heart started to fill up with gratitude. It’s been a tough ass year for this family, and we were going to have a FUN AS HELL vacation without alcohol. They say in AA that miracles happen once you start to change your life without alcohol. It was an absolute miracle that I spent the next five days without thinking about alcohol. You know why? Because, you actually can enjoy life with true happiness, and not at the bottom of a bottle.

I sat watching my girls jump in the pool while sipping on a virgin tropical drink, and I thought to myself, ” This is a miracle. I can make memories with these kids. Memories I’ll remember.” I gave a big high five to my Higher Power, because I couldn’t do it on my own.

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What I learned is that a day on vacation is still just a day. Every morning we wake up to a new day. I put so much thought into how vacation days were HUGE and we must be DRUNK TO HAVE FUN ALL DAY EVERYDAY.

But it’s just a day. Just like any other day that we live through. The only difference was the view and the relaxation. True relaxation, not a stupid drunken sloppy mess of relaxation.

We talk over and over again about taking it day by day. I don’t have to drink today. I don’t have to drink in the next hour. You just take it day by day. And the next thing you know, you’ll be running into the ocean, laughing and thanking your Higher Power.

This wasn’t just a vacation, this was a learning experience for my journey through sobriety.

 

And damn, it was fun.IMG_1837

Tryin’ catch me riding dirty

Imagine this:

It’s 9 pm on a busy saturday night. You’ve probably already had a few drinks before you go out. The first bottle of wine makes you feel confident and beautiful. You decide to have some more wine, just to maintain that buzz. You feel like superwoman. Drunk superman. You take out your keys, hop in the driver’s seat, and get on your merry way.

 

You cruise down the street for a minute or two, and then you see it. The cop car. Right behind you.

FUCK.

As the police officer walks up to your car, you try to act normal. You can’t act normal, you’re too drunk. The police officer asks for  your license and brings out the breathalyzer. It will inform the officer that you blew a .128. Yup, you’re drunk. You’re screwed. Off to jail you go.

You’re an idiot. Selfish, drunk idiot. You could have crashed and killed someone, even yourself.

 

Perhaps this story has a different ending.

 

 

You drive to a different town for your daily AA meeting at 9pm. You’ve had a pretty great day. The streets are kind of messed up, lots of construction and many Michigan lefts. You decide to take a left near some construction. Big mistake. Within one minute, a cop catches up with you. Your first thought is, ” Um…I havent been pulled over in fifteen years…what the heck!” The office talks to you through your open window. He asks you where you’re headed, did you not see the traffic sign, He shines his flashlight into your eyes and you have zero fear. You don’t drink anymore, your eyes aren’t puffy and blood-shot. The officer is very kind to you, gives you a ticket, and onward you go.

This is the true ending.

 

I didn’t have any reasons to worry. I am sober. But, I could have been sent to jail if I had been drinking and driving. The consequences would have been long and dark.

 

I was laughing as the officer and I talked. How ironic is it is getting pulled over on your way home from AA. I’m glad I got pulled over. It reminded me of what this could have been. This was a wake up call.

 

I’m almost 60 days sober and every day little miracles happen. It’s a miracle that I was sober that night. Each day into my sobriety, I realize how much gratitude and truth I have now. fullsizeoutput_669b

Serenity

Something pretty huge just happened. I made it to 30 days sober, and I”m still chugging along. Working those steps, reading the big book, reaching out to my new, incredible sober family and sponsor. I never thought I could be sober for 24 hours. No one, nothing could have come between me and my mommy wine time. If that meant hiding wine bottles all over my house so my husband wouldn’t see me drinking, then fine. If that meant lying to every single person in my life day in and day out, tha’ts fine too. If Iost myself in a bottle of Pinot Grigio, then FINE. I didn’t care. I deserved that wine. I didn’t have a problem, nope. I saw friends of mine do the exact same thing and they seemed fine.

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Slowly, but surely my life was spinning out of my control.

 

My first thought every morning woud be, ” When can I have wine? Where can I get it from? Did I have any hidden somewhere?” My last thought for the day would be, ” You have to get that wine early tomorrow. You’re going to need it.” Totally normal, right?

I wasn’t an alcoholic. I was a thirty-one year old stay at home mom, who happened to enjoy wine. I enjoyed it so much that I stopped enjoying everything else, including my children and marriage. All moms do this, don’t be ridiculous. I could totally stop if I wanted to, but screw that! I didn’t want to stop. Wine was my bestfriend, you don’t just push your bestfriend out of your life. Sometimes, I’d think about stopping, but I couldn’t do it on my own.

 

The past 30 days have changed my life forever. There was no heavy baggage on my shoulders anymore. There was honesty, truth, and acceptance. There was a gratitude for every day that I did not drink.

 

You can’t do this shit on by yourself. You need your people. They will guide you, encourage you, push you farther than you ever thought you would go. I go to AA meetings almost every day, and through those meetings and support, I am able to stay sober.

I feel like I’m finally waking up. It’s about time.

 

 

Sunshine & Rainbows

I have been waking up every day smiling.

 

I shit you not. I open my eyes, look over at my kids who have hogged my bed, and smile. I smile when they ask me for breakfast. Two weeks ago I would have thrown a half frozen waffle at them and said, ” Here. Eat.”. Now, I actually toast the waffles properly and add butter with syrup. Like a real mom.

I smile at my dumb dog when he has go to pee first thing in the morning.

I smile at my husband, which is basically unheard of in this household.

 

I can’t stop smiling. I’m smiling about everything, all day long. I used to believe that the people who were like, ” I woke up with a smile on my face!”, were chipper assholes who needed to calm the F down.

WHERE IS THIS EXTREME HAPPINESS COMING FROM?

That’s easy. I’m sober and I’m finally grateful for every single day. That’s not to say that shit gets hard and I feel like I”m losing my mind sometimes, but I recover from it. I don’t dwell on it. Just keep chugging along. There’s these things, they’re called coping skills, and apparently they work pretty well. Who knew, right?!? Crazy.

 

I keep looking into my kids eyes and it’s like I’m finally present with them. I hadn’t realized how touched out I was before. There was this fog in front of me before. I couldn’t see my way through it, but slowly it’s finally starting to fade little by little.

My dad has a saying that he repeats all the time, “Great to be alive!”. I thought that was pretty corny before.  My sister and I would look at each other and giggle or roll our eyes, but I get it now. I get it. It is great to be alive. It’s great to be present in my own life for once. It’s great to be open and honest. It’s all just really freaking great. GREAT.

 

My kids are still going to poop on me, my dog is still going to pee all over my house, my husband and I are going to fight about something dumb, but we get through it. It’s not an excuse to drink anymore. It’s an opportunity to deal with whatever is going on with a clear mind and heart.

 

As I’m typing this, I”m like, ” Who the hell is this person writing this?”. I sound like a cheesy life coach or something. But I don’t give a f***. At all.

It’s sober life baby, sober life. It’s not all sunshine. There aren’t unicorns barfing up rainbows (although, that would be fun.), it’s life. A life worth living. A life worth smiling about.

 

YASSSSSS QUEEN.