Friday, April 27, 2012

Friday's Letters

Dear Medicine: I understand that for the last nine years, you've helped me to overlook supersad things and not be so depressed. However, I'm NOT depressed anymore and I would very much like to stop taking you. Kindly KNOCK IT OFF. I'm not interested in having day-long dizzy spells or headaches the size of my brother's puffy lips. Kthanx.

Dear Neighbors: Really? At two in the morning you're still stomping around in your house? How is it possible that I can literally hear every step you take from any room in my house? Starting tomorrow, I'm going to pound on the walls every time I hear you. I'm serious.

Dear Lower Back: What the stink is wrong with you? Cold doesn't work. Heat doesn't work. What will work? And you, left leg... What's up with you? Did you feel left out or something? I promise you that you don't HAVE  to ache every time my back does. It's alright. Really.

Dear Husband: I'm sorry for waking you up a zillion times last night. Again. Thanks for switching pillows with me and being semi understanding when I broke down in the grocery store because I couldn't bring myself to ask you if we could buy some cookies. You're a doll and I love you very mucho.

Dear Arturo Trejo: Your videos are hilarious. I'm so glad that I found them yesterday while I was wandering YouTube. Just so you know... I appreciate the fact that you named your son Jose Luis and that you pronounce it with a good deal of phlegm. Thanks. 

Dear Alexa: FOR GOODNESS SAKE, CHILD, SIT STILL! You can't wiggle like this when I'm trying to give birth, k? Deal? Capece? Thanks.


young and restless

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Attack of the Killer Elbows

So, I've been having some back problems lately. And by "back problems" I mean that my back may in fact be falling off of my body. I mean, why else would it hurt so much, right?

In all honesty, I'm pretty sure Alexa is sitting on some awesome bundle of nerves that is connected to my back, bum and left leg simultaneously. Thanks a heap, kid.

I'm pretty sure she looks like this.
Should THAT be her middle name?

Anyway, I was looking up some back stretches for puffy pregnant ladies, and do you know what the first image result was? 

BAM! Seriously? They expect me to do this with a ginormous belly? I mean, if this is an image result for a "pregnant back stretch", then WHY ISN'T SHE PREGNANT?

Hang on. I'll fix it...

Do you see how she would actually be suffocating right now? Yeah. I think not, Google. No, thanks.

Also, I'm pretty sure that this child has my mother's elbows. 
This is a bad thing.

My mother is notorious for her heinously pointy elbows. I actually think she sharpens them when nobody's home. I've had some serious bruises from those bad boys. This development in my child frightens me immensely. Heaven help us all when she starts throwing tantrums...

Hugs and Elbows,

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

What To Expect: Hits and Misses

There's a book out there that you may have heard of. It goes by many names. "The Pregnancy Bible", "The Best Book Ever. Seriously." and "I'm Not Sure What I'm Doing So I'll Check My Book."

It's more commonly referred to as "What To Expect When You're Expecting".

Now, there's a lot of really great information in that book. It saved my life when I was working with fighting with my first OB/GYN (who was a total jackhole, by the way) and I just could NOT get any answers out of her. However, I've found that while their information is sound, their illustrations aren't always the picture of reality.

For example:

How many of your have experienced those oh-so-fun leg cramps that come with your pregnancy? Everyone? Of course you have. They're inevitable.
And how many of those leg cramps made it feel like your leg was imploding? All of them? Of course they did.

So, here's the illustration Heidi Murkoff provides in her book about how to "Stretch Away Leg Cramps":

Oh, Heidi. You must be mistaken. Nobody on God's green earth would be that cool, calm and collected while trying to stretch one of those mothers away. You must have meant for the picture to look like this:

That's better.

I could spend hours fixing those silly illustrations to something more realistic. But, I won't. Mostly because I don't have the patience for it and my bum is falling asleep as I type this. At any rate, don't rely on those darned illustrations for realistic expectations of how pregnancy will be. I know, I know... in the end, you get a cute little prize. However, that comes with its own barrel of fun.

Anyway... Happy Tuesday!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Maternity Mondays

How far along? 29 weeks. (That's it? Ugh.)
Total weight gain: 19 Pounds. (Yep. I lost one whole pound.)
Maternity clothes? My goodness, yes. I can't even think about my pre-pregnancy jeans anymore.
Stretch marks? Thankfully, no. 
Sleep: Not a lot. I actually had to suck it up and take a sleeping pill last night. I woke poor Nick up with all the pillows being thrown and my crying fit.
Best moment this week: Honestly? Nick and I went to his parents house and I found the MOTHERLOAD of Starbursts.
Miss anything? I miss being able to pull up my pants without getting winded. Seriously. I also miss being the only one inhabiting my body.
Movement: Oh, yes. All the fracking time. 
Food cravings: Mainly popsicles. But I REALLY wanted a root beer float yesterday.
Anything making you queasy or sick: Yeah, actually. But I'm not sure what. I hope it isn't the case for me, but I read that morning sickness can come back in the third trimester? That bites.
Gender: As far as I know, she's still a girl.
Labor signs: Nope. Too early for that. But I've started those wonderful Braxton Hicks contractions. Boy howdy those really suck.
Symptoms: Oh, I'm just a delight to be around. Insomnia is in full swing and my back is KILLING me.
Belly button in or out? It's actually level with the rest of my belly. It's not poking out. It just doesn't exist anymore.
Wedding rings on or off? Most of the time they're off. Stupid kielbasa fingers...
Happy or moody most of the time: I'm pretty neutral most of the time. I wouldn't say I'm overly happy. But I do certainly have my lows.
Looking forward to: Being able to work out and run the way I used to. Man, I miss that.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Friday's Letters

Dear Husband: You are a hilarious specimen. Thanks for making me laugh even when I don't want to. Although, you've got to quit making me laugh so hard. I'm getting to the point in my pregnancy that I'm going to pee a little every time that happens.

Dear Alexa: I am so grateful that you don't have spina bifida. Really, I am. But, you don't have to prove it to me every five seconds. Don't you sleep? Is this an omen of what's to come? Good heavens... P.S. I'm sorry that we don't have any pants for you yet. I promise we'll get some eventually.

Dear Neighbors: If I wasn't already pregnant, your children would be the ultimate birth control for me. Do they HAVE to stomp up the stairs with as much force as a hundred tiny nuclear bombs? I mean, really. Don't worry, though. Payback will be sweet when I prop my screaming baby up next to the wall at all hours of the night. Hee hee.

Dear Body: Let's get this straightened out asap. You sleep at NIGHT. In the morning, you wake up. It's not okay to reverse these. I have things to do, darn it, and if I sleep all day I won't get any of it done. Oh, and another thing... Stop making my butt tingle for no apparent reason. It's weird.

Dear Dishwasher & Garbage Disposal: I love you.

Dear Washer & Dryer: I'm apathetic towards you. Don't get me wrong, I'm glad that I don't have to pay to use you anymore, but... I still don't like you. Please learn to fold the laundry when you're done with it.

Love and Kittens,

Thursday, April 19, 2012

New Things

I was sitting in my room this morning with a headache I can only imagine as the equivalent of a hangover, and I thought to myself,

"Self, your blog is boring."

Yes, that's really how it went down.

The more I thought about it, the more I realized that I had no theme to my posts. It was all just a rambling of whatever I felt like writing about. Sometimes they were funny. But, mostly, they were stupid.

So, as you can see, I've changed my blog completely.

New title.
New buttons (which will be coming soon.)
New tone to my posts.

Now, I'm not going to rattle on and on about this because my headache is slowly making its way to my eyes. But I just wanted to give you a heads up that things will be a bit different around here from now on.

(And to those of you who have buttons of mine that say "Sunshine for the Soul", I apologize for the annoyance. I just got sick of that title, really.)

Have a lovely day.


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Diary of a Wimpy Chick

Goooooood morning! 
Or something.

Insomnia, it seems, has struck again.
I've been awake since about 4:45
feeling nauseous since 4:46
and worked out anyway at 6:30.
I may or may not regret that decision later.

Now, I've been a complete and total slacker during my pregnancy.
I've hardly worked out at ALL.
Maybe it's just because this is my first time going through this
and I have no idea what I can and cannot do.
[Because, of course, I always forget to ask at my appointments...]
Regardless, I've been a lazy bum.

So, this morning I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror
when I was going to the bathroom for the zillionth time.
Whoa. Baby.

I couldn't even bear to look at myself for very long.
I was instantly depressed.
WHY had I not taken better care of myself?
That's when I decided that I was going to work out this morning
no matter what.

Then I got nauseous.

Have any of you ever done this program?
It's ridiculous.
There are 13 DVDs ranging from 15 minutes to 1 hour.
I decided to do the 30 minute one this morning.
Ho. Lee. Crap.
After about 10 minutes, I thought I was going to explode.
So I stopped.

Wimpy, wimpy, wimpy!

I'll give it my best shot to do it again tomorrow.
It's incredibly difficult considering I haven't worked out for 
seven months.
Good job, Michelle...

Word to the wise: 
Beginning an exercise regimen in the third trimester is


Monday, April 16, 2012

28 Weeks

Alexa is getting so BIG.
And strong.
Which, consequently, is turning me into a blimp.

According to my handy dandy little
she is now blinking, coughing, hiccupping, and 
THAT is crazy!
What is she dreaming about, I wonder?
Does she try to picture my face as much as I'm trying to picture hers?

More updates:

LBS Gained: About 20. Great googly-moogly! I even had a Facebook app call me a "Lard Factory." Sweet.

Sleep: Not so much. Now, not only am I an insomniac, I can't get comfortable anyway. So, even if I COULD sleep, I wouldn't be able to. Just chalk it up to one of the many reasons I'm a [huge] grump.

Recent Cravings: I was chastised a bit for drinking so much Coke at my last doctor's appointment. So, I'm limiting myself to one soda a week. It's been MURDER. And, I've recently developed a craving for Starbursts and popsicles. Do they have Starburst flavored popsicles? OMGrapefruit that would be amazing...

Moods: I don't have as many mood swings [I think.] But, I do still cry for no apparent reason. Poor Nick. He does the best he can to try to figure out what my problem is this time. Unfortunately, there isn't always a reason. However, I've noticed that my sarcasm is through the roof. Sometimes I go back and reread something that I've written and I think, "Holy mackerel! I'm hilarious!"

Anyways, that's about it for new things in my preg-a-nent basket. 

But wait!

I want to welcome any new followers I may have gained because of the lovely Aunie's post yesterday.
Have a happy Monday!


Sunday, April 15, 2012

Guest Post: A Journey to Jesus

Hey everyone!
I have a special treat for you today.
Aunie, the creator of aunieSAUCE is guest blogging for you!
I love love LOVE her blog and her sassy personality
and I think you will, too.
I asked her to share her story of being born again with us
because my blog used to have a purely religious tone.
I am so interested in how and why others have decided to "come to Jesus" and her story is no different.
So show her some love, and make sure that you go and visit her at aunieSAUCE!


My name is Annelise and I blog at Aunie Sauce.
My nickname is Aunie... like ah-nee.
I'm a 20-something brand new Christian,
a mother to a bearded dragon
an official NON-DIY'er, 
probably the worst cook I know,
and I blog about life, style, and my saucy self.


When Michelle asked me to guest post on her blog,
she asked me to be very "me" and to tell the story about how I became a Christian.
I apologize to you and her... because this post, while about my journey to Christianity, it not so very "me."
Because the truth is, it's kind of a dark story (though I won't go into the dirty details).
It's definitely not the bubbly, peppy kind of story I usually like to tell.
But you know what?
It's real. It's me. And it shows that we ALL have times when we need help.

I used to think I was a pretty simple girl
And then I began blogging...
and realized that my voice is a lot saucier than I could have ever imagined.
One thing, though, was I realized that I was so alone.
No matter how wonderful my family is, how many blog followers I have,
or the girls who make up my closest group of friends,
I still felt alone.

I've had a rough last year.
I went through high highs, and desperately low lows.
Through it all, I only had myself.
I blamed myself.
It was really hard.

In March, I was invited to a local church in my town in Idaho.
I was told for years by someone I respected that people who went to church were
I was told that evolution was the way it happened.
I was told there was no God.
So, when I was invited to church, I didn't really think anything could come of it.
I really just went to support my boyfriend, Daniel.
The date was March 18th.
I never knew that date would change my life.

I summoned my strength and went to church with Daniel on that brisk morning.
As we entered the sanctuary, people were worshiping.
They were dancing, singing, waving their hands in the air.
I thought they were all insane.
After about 20 minutes of this worshiping, the pastor came forward to speak for a moment.
It was mostly a service of testimonials from others who had just attended the church's annual Encounter.
I was blown away with the effect that their testimonies had on me.
Each person had a story.
Each person had their own struggles.
Each person had been saved.
As I listened to each person speak, I began to sob.
I didn't know why at the time, but now I know it was the Holy Spirit.
After about an hour of testimonies, a group from the Worship Team performed a skit.
The skit? Everything by Lifehouse.

Holy. Moly.
I couldn't believe it.
That skit was the story of my life.
The temptations-- the suave man, money, addiction, the need to fit in to society's "image", and self-destructive behaviors...
I had experienced each and every one of them.
That skit awoke something in me--
The need to open my heart to Jesus.
I was sobbing.
For all to see. 
And I didn't care.

The pastor said at that moment, "If there is anyone here who does not know Jesus, please, please come forward and open your heart to Him."

And that's just what I did. 
I was surrounded by some good friends, new and old.
My boyfriend Daniel was right by my side. 
We all cried together as I accepted Jesus into my life.

And that was the day my life changed forever.
My "birthday."
I haven't looked back since.
I've been on a learning, worshiping, crazy journey ever since. 

What I've learned so far?
Jesus is love.
Love. Love. Love.
I have NEVER felt so much love. 
I know that religion means something different for everyone, 
but one thing is true...
God is real.
Jesus died for YOU. 
There IS salvation in Him.

I really appreciate you taking a moment to learn a little more about me and my new-found faith.
No matter what you believe, we are all brothers and sisters.
Please come say hi to me at my blog if you have a moment.
I'd love to meet you! 
And, on my exit, I thought I'd share this little poem I wrote a couple weeks ago...



What did I tell you?
She's awesome, right? 
I hope to see you over at her blog giving her love, too. 

OH! And, as you can see, I got bored with my header.
I never seem to be content with my own designs. 
What do you think of this one?

Happy Sunday!


Friday, April 13, 2012

Just Because Friday: My Hero

Last week, I posted about my divorce.
It was a super depressing topic, wasn't it?
This week, I want you to meet someone...

This is Kevin.
My late nephew.
He died in 2006.
I never told him how awesome I thought he was.

He was 18 when he died.
He was in a pretty gruesome car accident
which put him in a coma for three days.
If he had lived, he would have been a vegetable. 
He would not have been Kevin.

He loved his guitar.
And photography.
And Flogging Molly's music.

We got into so much trouble when we were kids.
(He was a year older than me.)
Like the time when we kept sneaking tastes of the cheesecake at Thanksgiving
so by the time dessert rolled around, there were a ton of little poke marks all over it.
Or the time when he tried to teach me how to rollerblade
and I fell on my butt.
A lot.
I got a bruise.
Or when we thought the word "butthole" was the funniest thing ever
and we would NOT stop saying it.
Or when we would play POKeMON for hours and hours and HOURS.

But there was a lot that I never told him.

I never told him that he was my hero.
That I looked up to him in more ways than I could count.
He was a good guy.
I remember being jealous of his friends
because he hung out with them voluntarily.
They got to see him a lot more often than I did.
I had always hoped that if we WEREN'T family, we would have been friends, too.
Because, honestly, he was my very best friend.

I was shattered when he died.
Utterly broken. 
I mean, how in the world was it possible for him to be gone?
He was such a vibrant, happy guy.
Full of life.

I wrote him a letter
and put it in his casket.
I told him how much he meant to me.
How much he changed my life.
How privileged I was to call him family.
I told him that he was my hero.

May 26, 2008

My nephew was 18 when he died about two years ago. He was the
most beautiful person I have ever known. I miss him tremendously.

Kevin taught me so much in our time spent together. Firstly, he taught me how to not be gullible. With all of the jokes he played on me, I learned very quickly not to take him seriously 99% of the time. Second, he taught me how to roll with life. I would always get so bent out of shape about everything, and he just seemed to float along without a care. I wanted to be like that, so, by example, he taught me how.

He still teaches me things to this day. Kevin had three memorial services. One in Mississippi, where he lived at the time, one in Kansas, where he had just moved from, and one in Utah, where he was born and buried. In all three services, the chapels were FILLED, with people overflowing into the hallways and gymnasium. He was only 18, and he touched literally thousands of lives. He taught me that I need to continue to love, no matter how much I've been hurt, because love will come back to me one hundred fold.

Kevin was an amazing person, and he shouldn't have had to go so soon. Every so often, I can feel him wrap his arms around my heart in a reassuring gesture that simply says, "Everything is okay, Michelle."

I wish that I could explain him fully to you, but that would be impossible. Kevin was truly his own person, and to try and explain him through mere words would be an almost laughable attempt.

Here's an essay I wrote last year in my Writing for College class. It didn't do him justice, but it satisfied a need at the time.

Tears were coursing silently down my face as I looked into the casket of my nephew and best friend. I raised my trembling hand in an almost trancelike state and placed it gingerly inside the hand of my deceased friend. It was cold. I looked into the waxy face that had once been full of laughter. The mortician, I thought, did not do a very good job of portraying Kevin. His face was oddly still, when before it had been in constant motion. His lips were straight, almost frowning, while he almost always had a smile on his face, no matter how much he hurt.

I slipped the letter I had written to him underneath his left hand as I continued to clutch his right. Everything I had ever thought about him but never had the courage to say was in that letter. I spoke of how I had always looked up to him. Even when we were two and three years old, I wanted to be just like him. I idolized him. He was, to say it simply, "cool." Well, actually, as a kid he was nerdy. He sported huge round glasses and a large gap between his two front teeth. He had a contagious, loud, throaty laugh, which lit up his entire face, and clothes that were way too big for his skinny body.

As he grew older, Kevin gained contacts, braces, and an amazing self-esteem. When he was around ten years old, he had gotten to the point that he didn’t care what other people thought of him, and he learned to be himself.

I also expressed to Kevin in my letter that he was, in truth, my hero. He had the qualities that I longed for in myself. He was completely carefree, and full of love. He was ambitious, and charismatic. He was always willing to try something, and he gave the impression that he was fearless.

I continued to stare at the lifeless body that was once my best friend as I felt a sudden rush of calm sweep over me. It was the sweetest sensation to overcome me since Kevin died, and I was grateful. The feeling was that of a warm and gentle squeeze of my heart, almost like an internal hug. I looked into Kevin’s face and squeezed the hand that I had been holding for so long. Somehow I knew that that feeling had been him.

I felt my sister, Kevin’s mother, put her arms around my waist and rest her head on my right shoulder.

“It’s so unreal," I sighed. “He was only eighteen."

“I know." She said, “It’s cruel that he had to die so young. But we were blessed to have known him."

Her words echoed in my head as she steered me away from Kevin’s body. My hand held on to Kevin’s as long as possible. It was too soon for me to let go.

Kevin Beautiful. Hilarious. Loving. Caring. Friendly. Heroic. Crazy. Unpredictable. Rebellious. Spiritual. Musical. Talented. Witty. Non-chalant. Incredible. Angelic. Strong. Bright. Artistic. Smart. Wild. Untaimed. Corny. Magical. Magnificent. Charismatic. Admirable. Charming. Loyal. Fun. Young.
My best friend.
My hero.
I miss him.

Aunie Sauce


Thursday, April 12, 2012

Thursday 13

T13 has a new home! 
I'm sad and excited all at the same time.
This week we're linking up with Miranda at All Things Lovely to discuss

13 Favorite Places/Spaces

1. Nick's Arms. (Cue cheesy "Awwww" here) I know, I know. But it really is my most favorite place in the world. My own personal retreat from the world.

2. Switzerland. Probably one of the most beautiful places I have ever had the pleasure to see with my own two eyes. And the people are SO. NICE.

Crans-Montana, Switzerland

3. Grandma's house. My Mamaw passed away when I was 10, but I will never forget how I felt when I got to stay at her house. It ALWAYS smelled like cookies. I am not joking. And she always let me have dessert first because, "You never know when you're gonna die."

4. Disney World. This is just too obvious. If you've ever been there, it really IS the happiest place on earth. (Until you get hungry and realize how expensive food is.)

See? Look how happy I am.

5. The park. More specifically, MY park. There's one just down the street from my parent's house in Marshall, and I would walk there -barefoot- every day in the summertime. I'd go there to think. Or read. Or just sit and enjoy being outside.

6. The Temple. As a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, there is no place more amazing than the Temple. Not only is it gorgeous, but it really is the House of the Lord. He walks those halls and allows us to have a glimpse into Heaven when we are worthy to enter.

Washington D.C. Temple
7. Mom's house. I remember when I was in high school and how much I couldn't wait to move out of my parent's house. Now, as an adult, there are days that I really, REALLY miss my mom. I miss my old room. I miss hearing the clippy noises of the dog's nails on the wood floor. I miss her hugs. Sorry for being such an angsty jerk, mom!

8. The car. You haven't seen the continental US unless you've seen it Mike Rich style. (That's my dad, by the way.) I've seen countless monuments and natural wonders... in the dark. At some ungodly hour of the morning.
Dad: "Wake up, kids! Look at the Grand Canyon!" 
Us: "Dad, we can't even see it. It's too dark."
Dad: "Oh, well. Let's get moving! We've gotta make it to [wherever] by nightfall!"

Sometimes the car got boring...

9. In the rain. I love, love, LOVE summer rain. I love being outside IN summer rain. I love feeling it on my toes and on my face. It's warm, soothing and completely spontaneous. It makes me happy.

10. In the sun. Okay, so maybe I'm hurting for ideas, but I still love being in the sun. Summertime is my favorite season EVER and I love [almost] everything about it - especially the sunshine. Even though I never seem to get any color from it...

11. Italy. I can't believe that I forgot about going to Italy! It was probably my favorite trip ever! The food: amazing. The architecture: amazing. The weather: AMAZING. Seriously so. much. fun. 

Don't judge me. I was 17.
12. Alexa's nursery. Sometimes I'll just sit in there and try to imagine my life in a few months. Or her face. Or her laugh. I wish I could see her! It's so frustrating to not know what she looks like!

13. My bed. Come on. I'm pregnant and I'm exhausted ALL the time. Why wouldn't I enjoy being asleep in my bed?

Where are YOUR favorite places to be??

Aunie Sauce

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

27 Weeks

Well, I'm 27 weeks along today.
Helloooooo third trimester.
...and insomnia.
...and back pain.
...and irritability towards everything.

Current mood: Tired. I have NOT been sleeping well the last few weeks. Last night I think I woke up every half hour or so. Yay.

Recent cravings: I have wanted LOTS of fountain drinks lately. Not bottled soda. Fountain drinks only. Granted, I try to avoid that, but I've succumbed more often than I care to admit. 

Mood swings: Unfortunately, yes. According to Nick, I snap a lot quicker than I used to. Well sor-REE. (Just kidding.)

Baby movement: Holy crap, yes. She is so strong. Her kicks are becoming less kick-y and more pronounced and deliberate. It's more of a slow push than a jab. Every time she does that, I feel like she's trying to explode out of me like that scene in Spaceballs.

Funny things: It's absolutely hysterical. She'll be movin' and a-groovin' in there (basically killing me from the inside out) and Nick will blow a loud raspberry on my belly. She will completely STOP MOVING after that. I get the biggest kick out of trying to picture her facial expression when he does that. Hahahaha!

Anyway, that's all I've got for you today! We're still unpacking, but I promise I will get pictures of the house to you soon! 

Happy Tuesday!


Friday, April 6, 2012

Just Because Friday: Remembering

I just realized something.

A few weeks (or months, I don't even remember) ago, I told you that I would be posting WEEKLY PHOTOS  of my baby bump.


I'm going to try REALLY HARD to remedy that.
Even if I don't think I look super cute.
Or cute to my standards.
I will be posting more pictures.
I plomise.

I mean, I PRomise.
I pinky promise, even.
Can't break one of those babies. 

I wanted to ramble talk about
my divorce.
I wanted to share a memoir with you that I had written for one of my college classes.
On August 17th, I will have been divorced for two years.
It's strange to think about.
Sometimes it doesn't even feel like it really happened.

Now, I've shared this memoir via my "notes" section on Facebook.
But, I feel like I need to bring it to light again.
I don't need any sympathy.
I just wanted to share a piece of my life that I have buried.
This is a piece of my life that will never fully go away... matter how happy I am now.

Photo by: SF Photography
Model: Myself

A Memoir

Note: The italicized portions are my thoughts and/or flashbacks.

Some memories are so painful that looking back on them gives you no other choice but to laugh. Like junior prom when you had to take your cousin instead of Joe Schmoe who was just so hot. Or the time that your little sister shaved half your head in the middle of the night, and you didn’t even notice until first period biology. You know, little stuff - high school stuff. But then there are those memories that are so painful they remain tattooed on your brain forever. A splinter that, if given the chance, will infect every happiness inside of you until you are left a bitter, empty shell of the person you once were. It only takes one.

I don’t remember much of my childhood. Brief snippets here and there tell the vague story of a girl who never sat still and talked way too much. Other than that, life before seventh grade is a blur.

I remember moving to Smalltown, Minnesota from Georgia when I was twelve. On the way, we stopped in Buffalo Ridge – a town littered with mammoth windmills and little else.

“Listen! Those huge windmills are making the weirdest sound!”

Maybe if I pretend to be sleeping, they’ll leave me alone.

“Michelle! Wake up! Come listen to the windmills!”

Oh, grief. Just kill me now. Do you honestly think I want to get out of the car in Middle-Of-Freaking-Nowhere, Minnesota to listen to a windmill? You have got to be joking…

My father, proudly and purposefully, flung the door open, allowing the March winds to crystallize my nose hairs.

“Out,” he says simply.

Seriously? Are you crazy? Hell has actually frozen over outside, and you want me to get out and listen to a godforsaken windmill? Am I the only sane one in this family?

As it turns out, I was. Not long thereafter, my father pulled me out of the car and locked himself snuggly inside, forcing me to stand awkwardly in the middle of  a seemingly abandoned Minnesota highway, wearing nothing but a t-shirt, basketball shorts and incredibly thin socks.

You only wish that was my memoir.

“It’s over.”

His words continued to echo in my head long after they were uttered – long after he had gone. I removed my wedding ring slowly, placing it gingerly on the table in front of me as I sank to the floor. Glazing over, I allowed the memories of my year-long marriage to wash over me, sending me cascading down into a deeper depression.

I didn’t move for three days.

I didn’t eat. I didn’t sleep. I couldn’t even cry. I simply sat there dazed and alone, staring at the symbol of promises and love that had now broken. This wasn’t supposed to happen to me. I mean, sure, we had problems. But who didn’t?

"You’re just not the same girl I married a year ago. I mean, I know you have depression, and I know that things are hard for you, but I figured after a year you’d make some progress, and you haven’t.”

I wasn’t good enough for him, and I wasn’t becoming good enough fast enough. I had assumed that I had my whole life to improve. I assumed that marriage meant forever. Silly me.
The lawyer’s office was freezing. Seriously, I could see my own breath. Don’t these people realize my lips are blue?

“Ms. Pearl?” The receptionist was too happy. I hated her. “Mr. Ryker will see you now.”

I felt like I was in the waiting room of a doctor’s office. There were magazines everywhere with beautiful people smiling up at me. This was my first time seeing a lawyer, but from what I understood, people aren’t generally smiley in their presence. It seemed more fitting to have self-help books strewn about, with titles like, “Depression and You: This is Your Life Now” or “How to Get Back at That Crazy Old Bat Who Stole Your Money and Ran.

“I’ll need you to fill out some paperwork,” he said, nasally, dropping what appeared to be a novel in front of me. “Here’s a pen.”
With outstretched, periwinkle fingers, I left-handedly took hold of the pen. Seeing my empty ring finger shot shockwaves of memories through me.

"Seth, we need to talk,” I announced into the phone.

"I’m kinda busy right now, babe. Can we talk later?” I hated it when he blew me off.

"No. You get somewhere you can talk right now. I’ll wait.” I added that last part in a “you-better-not-make-me-wait-long” kind of tone. I hadn’t even thought about what I was going to say to him. My fury had gotten the better of me, and I was connected to him before I even knew I had dialed.

“Okay. What’s up?”

I breathed deeply, steadying my voice. “Are you cheating on me?”

I don’t think I’ve ever filled out so much paperwork in my life as I did that day. It probably took me a good hour and a half before Mr. Lawyer Smileypants spoke to me again.
“So,” he began, folding his rather hairy hands into his lap, “tell me your story.”
Where do I start?

“Are you ready to go?” Seth asked, impatiently, looking me up and down.
“Go where?” I asked the question, though I already knew the answer. It was Saturday. We always visited his parents on Saturday. Every Saturday. “I mean, can’t we just hang out today? You and me?”
He rolled his eyes and gave his best martyr sigh. “Why do you hate my family?”
“Wait. What? I never said-“
“You don’t have to. It’s written all over your face. You stay. I’m going.” He then turned on his heel and left me standing there, utterly bewildered.

“Last call for Michelle Pearl for flight 207, nonstop to Minneapolis. Michelle Pearl?”
The perky-yet-concerned voice of the airline worker shook me from my stupor. This was it. I was going home, and never coming back. My marriage was officially over, and I didn’t even know why. I numbly rose to my feet, gathering my things. I think I knocked over someone’s coffee, but I didn’t care. Their life would go on. They could get another coffee. I would never get another Seth.
As I settled into my seat next to Call-Me-Catherine of 24b, I took a look around. Is this really my life? Have I just become another statistic? Michelle: 20-year-old divorcee from Whocares, Minnesota.

"Please don’t go.” I was begging now. I hated the way the words tasted on my lips. “Just… stay. We can fix this.”
“It’s over, Michelle. I’ll go stay with my parents while you pack. Maybe I’ll come back before you leave for good.” His face was totally emotionless. Why didn’t he care? I mean, you can’t just dump your wife like a high school girlfriend. This is different. Isn’t it?
Despite the fact that I willed them not to, tears coursed down my cheeks, burning my skin. Tears of sadness. Tears of anger. Tears of betrayal. “Fine.” I said, “Just go.”
“Look,” he softened, weaving his fingers through mine, “I’m here for you, okay?”
I backed away from him slowly. There were no more tears now.
You don’t get to say that to me anymore. You don’t have the right. Being ‘here for me’ would mean you were staying. Being ‘here for me’ would mean that you wanted to fix this. But you’re running. You’re only looking out for yourself now. Go.”
And he did.

Aunie Sauce