43

Hi. I turned 43 the other day.

I’m not very excited about it. 43 seems the hardest so far. Maybe it’s the health challenges I’ve been having. Maybe it’s because I’ll be 50 … in 7 years.

I found the most gorgeous roses. And I bought them. They are called cherry brandy roses.

My parents brought me an updated stove … not for my birthday but it just worked out that way. Double ovens!

My handsome sons went to the Homecoming dance.

#flyeaglesfly #inWentzwetrust

I have a good life. The horrible man at work who was awful to me just resigned. I can pay my bills. I can make the decisions about every aspect of my life on my own. There are people who care about me. There are people I love.

Every once in awhile someone sees me and thinks I’m special. Someone sees ME. It’s magical when that connection happens. I live for those connections.

So I’m just going to be 43 for the next 360+ days and see if 43 has any juice in it at all.

Good night, my lovelies.

Xoxo,

Stef

P.S. I’m trying to not talk politics. It’s all so horrible though. I’ve been thinking of my own sexual assault (the most Of them egregious, I should say) every day. It’s exhausting. It’s hard to think the elected officials don’t care. Boys club. Misogyny. It’s all just awful. We matter. Women matter. We are your mothers, wives, daughters … and even if we aren’t, we matter. Why is it that men have sympathy for sexual assault on other men but some men lack sympathy for women victims? She was asking for it. She wanted it. Would you say the same if it was a teenage boy? Do you think he wanted it too? Did he ask for it? It’s so hard to rise above this vitriol and do my job and mother my kids every day when every day the future of my freedom as a woman is potentially at stake. We already elected a predator as fucking president and now a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court? Are you fucking kidding me? WOMEN MATTER. Our trauma and abuse matters. Fuck. This is not hard, you hypocritical right-wing “Christian” mercenaries. Jesus didn’t tell you to make money. Jesus said to love your neighbor. What part of that is hard for you?

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16 years

I’ve been a mother for 16 years. It’s absolutely the best thing I’ve ever done. My sons are both taller than me, and funny, sweet, and they love Star Wars and Marvel and their momma.


We’ve been working hard to create an escape, a peaceful refuge, in our backyard in time to host a birthday party and SUCCESS! This is phase 1. More to come with time, patience, and money.


Still werkin’. Same place, but these are from two different events on either coast back to back: SF & NYC. One of my HS BFFs met me in NYC for shenanigans. Well, we both worked, had Starbucks, pub food, and alcohol. So 40’s shenanigans. Plus my favorite Sales colleague in the last pic.


I dunno. Sometimes life just goes and you sort of float along with it until you can plant your feet and walk with intention again. I’m planting my feet.

Mucho grande amor, amigos!

Xoxo,

Stef

New Home Feels 

My sons & I have a new home. The tree in the front yard has turned yellow with the season, like some awesome blessing upon the house.

I didn’t fall in love with this house like our last one. That one was unique; this one is s little more cookie cutter than I would typically like. But it’s so damned live-able! Less maintenance = easier life. Plus it’s in a fantastic neighborhood, and that ended up being the deciding factor for me.

This house has peace woven into the carpet, painted into the walls, nailed into the frame, and its wafting from the vents. PEACE.

Physically, it’s an easy house, quiet location, and keep-to-themselves neighbors (though everyone was super nice who came to the door on Halloween!). But beyond the quiet, easy living, there’s something else. There’s no pain. There’s no memories. There’s no “oh that’s where the hole in the wall was after someone got angry” or that’s where I was when this, or that, was said or done. Not that I’m without fault. I threw the fondue pot once. It was empty. I threw a cup once. That was a bad time. Then it got better. Until it wasn’t.

Bad memories, good memories – both are painful. I need my own house. I need my space, my very own, made by me, to reflect me, and my soul, my heart, my joy, and my love. This house is built with love, peace, and joy.

It’s not my dream house … except it is!

#42 checklist: ✔️ buy new home by yourself.

Never stop working towards the goal, even if it’s not always clear. Dream sideways when you can’t see in front of you.

Xoxo,

Stef

Happy

The human mind is fascinatingly complicated and fantastically infuriating. 

Several weeks ago I really felt like I was sitting in a dark well. I felt bereft; there was no joy. I thought for the very first time that maybe this is depression. 

I talked to a friend about it and he advised speaking to a therapist. I made an appt for 4 weeks out, and proceeded to live life in the interim. 

I went to London on business, and saw great coworkers/friends there; when I came back I hung out in Fall, my favorite season, with my two favorite young men, and I decorated for Halloween. 

When the appointment came I was nervous. I told him some of my history; I told him what I’ve been feeling and why I thought I was there. We only got through a fraction. I left feeling unsatisfied, and a chunk poorer. 

The last couple weeks since then have been busy. Work, kids, Halloween, visitors, dinners, homework, laundry, dishes, rinse, repeat. 

Today a good friend reached out and said she loves me and misses me. I miss her too. I miss how well she knows me, and vice versa. We are the kinds of friends that interprets every word and feeling for the truth, and sees through the lies we tell ourselves.

Then I saw some new friends who care, who are getting to know me, and who have welcomed me, and I felt valued.

Finally, I spent the evening in the company of a male friend and, though he’s more friend than anything else, I’ve developed a comfort level with him that is wonderfully satisfying. 

Tonight after he left, as I sat here alone in my quiet house, I realized I was simply smiling. I felt happy in a very uncomplicated, basic way. 

Without knowing it, my mind has been working through all my baggage, unconsciously climbing me out of that well. Isn’t that amazing?

I feel heartfelt joy at this moment.

I don’t have everything I want, or thought I wanted … but I think that’s okay. I think I will be okay. 

Xoxo,

Stef

I have cobwebs on my ceiling

Warning: expressive, explicit language. 

Sometimes I sit in my living room and look up at the cobwebs on my 20 foot ceilings and I think, man, I should clean that. I must be a terrible housekeeper. That must mean I sort of universally suck, right? Then I remember I don’t have a telescoping ladder and I feel even further defeated. How the fuck am I supposed to clean the ceiling now?

I recently fell in love with “Say Yes to the Dress (Atlanta).” Mostly it makes me laugh & smile, but sometimes … when the love is so real, so heartfelt … it makes me cry.

Sometimes the loneliness is palpable. And when the kids are gone, and some lady on tv is glowing with love, I think, man, is this it for me? Is this my life now? Alone, with dirty ceilings and no mechanism to make them better.

The boys have been with their dad all weekend. I miss their voices when they’re gone. I did have a lovely weekend, though, and I even had a date(ish thing) recently, but … then I get to Sunday night.

My house is quiet. My phone isn’t making the sounds I desire to hear. The walls are closing in. The cobwebs mock me. The full to bursting gutters, the hole in the wall, the loose faucet .… they haunt me. And I think, what am I doing? I can’t do this. I can’t manage this on my own. Then I remember that I AM actually alone, and likely will be for the rest of my life.

So this is what’s going through my head, and then it gets worse.

Because I’m short & chubby, with terrible legs and I snore, and my big boobs point down rather than out, and I’m stubborn and a control-freak and I always feel like I have to be right, and I have to do right, and live right, because if I screw up then I’m a fuck up and a failure.

So that’s what I am, right?

Because look at those damned cobwebs and my short, fat legs and how the fuck can I be good at anything if I can’t keep my ceiling clean? Nobody is going to love me. In fact, the man I thought could love me decided, nah, not going to do it. And why would he? I can’t even figure out how to clean the ceiling in my own house.

So it’s Sunday night and I’m folding laundry. I’m watching a miserably sappy movie about love, faith, and doing the right thing. I’m sad. And my phone is stubbornly fucking quiet and I think, you pathetic moron, what does it even fucking matter because your time has come and gone. Get used to this, fat ass. Fold your damn laundry and just focus on being a mom because you don’t deserve shit.

Then I turn on a recorded episode of “Say Yes to the Dress (Atlanta).” Lori & Monte are packing up to go to a bride’s home. That’s unusual. Then we get the story. The bride recently lost her 8 year old son to cancer. Her mother & family conspired to put together a wedding & surprise the bride with a dress. The family is still so deep in their grief. For their son, and grandson. The bride doesn’t feel like she has the right to be happy with her son gone.

Well don’t I feel like a jackass?  Sitting over here being a crybaby because of a hole in the wall (that can be fixed) or some full gutters (that can be emptied) or the fact that I feel universally unloveable (which ebbs & flows). But what is that in comparison? That’s nothing to her pain.

I have two amazing sons. I have a good, challenging job. I have a home, cobwebs & all, that keeps us warm & dry. I have my family & a few friends I love dearly. I wouldn’t trade what I have for all the clean ceilings in the world.

Sometimes life hands us these little reminders so that we will shut the hell up and stop brooding over what we can’t control. Just a little kick in the ass.

Know better; do better. (And buy a telescoping ladder).

Xoxo,

Stef

A Peek into our Spring

 Tying his shoes! By himself and his choice.  

My handsome, clever, amazing firstborn turned 13 recently. So much love for this kid.

  

  This is how we spend two nights a week and every Saturday for 7 weeks every Spring. I love watching him play. It’s tiring going to practice after work twice a week, but so worth it. 

Just a little love & positivity from me to you. Focusing on the good. 

Xoxo,

Stef

On Being Mr. Darcy

Mr. Darcy, arguably the most swoon-worthy character in all of literature, stands up as a god among men. There’s a reason my ASD son’s middle name is Darcy. My J-man doesn’t like it though. He says it’s a girl’s name. That he’s embarrassed. That kids will make fun of him for having a girl’s name.

He said, “Mom, when I’m an adult I’m changing my middle name to Theodore. You know, like in the Chipmunks.” LOVE HIM.

Of course, this is my ASD guy. My Autistic little dude. He, like many Autistics, want things to fit into routine little boxes and, to him, it doesn’t make sense to have a “girl’s name” within his full name. His first name is very masculine but the middle name ruins it all. Poor guy. I advised him for now to keep his middle name a secret. He can say his first & last name without using his middle name.

But . . . I’m on a campaign to change his mind. I want him to understand why Mr. Darcy is a worthy namesake. Maybe this is too much for a 10 year old to imagine, but I hope when he’s 24 years old he’ll wear it like a badge of honor.

Mr. Darcy is no less than these things:

  • Intelligent and witty.
  • Financially solid.
  • Straightforward and unabashed in speaking his mind – sometimes imprudently, but he learns his lesson on that count, which means he’s . . .
  • Teachable. He learns to humble himself and be understanding without compromising his beliefs.
  • Loyal and caring to his family and friends. Those who have earned his trust.
  • A good listener.
  • Becomes self-aware, and has a further awareness of others and human nature.
  • Good reputation.

When we were trying to come up with our second son’s name we focused less on family names, as with our first, and more on relevant and meaningful names to us. To me, it was always Darcy. Had to be Darcy.

Trust, little man, trust your momma. You’ll grown into that name. You’ll wear it proudly one day. Theodore isn’t bad, but it’s no Darcy.

XOXO,

Stef