Tuesday, April 25, 2017

...because this IS in fact my circus - and these ARE in fact my monkeys...

good morning y'all...

i cannot believe the sheer amount of time that goes by, and the excuses kick in, and life gets too insane busy to write....and then i do - and then 8 more months go by.....


fact is i am never really to busy to write - but rather too busy to sit down and commit.  i write all day long in my head...most days its all the time - mid conversation - im composing thoughts to put on a page...and then poof - just like that - they dissipate.  sad.

i teach creative writing at the graduate level - and art - yet i rarely take the time to create or write for me....and then i hear those little voices and think....oh yeah...

so here i am.

so so so much is going on...

to start - said woman i spoke of in my last post - that amazing girlfriend....well - she is now my amazing fiance. homegirl whisked me away to my favorite island - spoke to our brady bunch, and my parents, and after getting everyone's blessing - in the 37 degree maine air - got down on a knee, ring and all -like a dream - beside the ocean i love so much - waves kissing the rocks - and asked for me to be her wife...

i said yes.  like WAY yes....we sat on the beach for hours...and walked up and down the rocks...and shared news with our nearest and dearest - then walked to the island coffee spot...

and i posted it on social media and shared out the love and we sat together - blown away by the love and support that the universe had sent back our way  - it was crazy amazing.  and for the first time in like forever...my WHOLE authentic self - the whole damn thing was out there - and exposed - for the whole universe to see.  and ya;l

it was like walking on a cotton candy cloud....with rainbows and sunshine lifting us up.  and then we came home....

and its really crazy....like you exist in bliss in then BAM....the LIFE board smacks you in the face....hard.  like enough to knock the wind out of you...

2 washing machines busted - the bathroom sink exploded  -( and soaked through the floor )- the furnace is on the fritz  - and your 14 year old son takes a scotch brite scrubbing sponge to the exterior of your car - to "surprise" you.

but see - here's the thing.  when you have the right person beside you - none of that matters....at all.

i hit the laundromat....and i liked it...maybe too much...(ps...i dont even want to share this because i want nobody to know it exists so i can always have access to it - but there is a machine that you can do EIGHT LOADS in???  WHATTTTT?  like 8 at the same time...in 25 minutes...who knew about this and kept it from me....i WILL hunt you down.)

and the car...well it is what it is...its not ideal...and the silver lining is that he was trying to...help? i WANT to post a pic...but the wow factor will take over and it's not about that...it's ok...like really really ok....

and my FIANCE and i, had a communal dinner with her ex husband and his fiance (and their baby...relax - its not ours...)- and guess what...it was kinda progressively totally cool...

and the less than awesome bills that landed on my doorstep - well they will be handled in due time...

we have begun the process of creating what i guess society calls a "blended family...."  which to be honest i don't really understand - as i am SO totally a fan of communal loving and living - and even the kids have opted to not say STEP brothers and sister - just brothers and sister....because like what....? so here we sit...8,10,12,14 and 14....and rocking it....

bedrooms have been moved around and spaces in our home are being repurposed...most days its chaos...but we love every minute - even the kinda messy ones.  and there are and will be growing pains...but happiness is all around us...so so so much happiness and bliss...

sending out the lovins to y'all and yours....it feels really good to write...like REALLY way good...

Saturday, August 20, 2016

existing in the here and NOW. right now.

sitting here processing this whirlwind summer as it comes to an end - so full of change..some amazing, some sad, some hard, some breathtakingly beautiful...and yet welcoming it all... which is new for me.
amidst all the emotion that comes with this, there is this deep dark place i go sometimes - in my head....of what it all ONCE was, and just exactly WHY it is what it is now.

the last few weeks have been trying.  trying my patience.  trying my heartstrings.  trying my emotional capacity....and that being said...SO much of that has been really, really good.

i'm unwinding years of tangled up emotions -  like a ball of yarn that has been tossed away...so beautiful, only too knotted up to use.

ideas of what that life was, creep in, and i get stuck in that deep dark place trying desperately to unravel it only to find MORE knots.

 i have decided to spend some time with it this summer....embracing it, loving it, and finally understanding it...untangling the knots, being patient with the fibers and strands and even using my nails to really loosen those tough ones.

in existing in this space and time, the universe has aligned me with some crazy serious vibrations...scary and new - but good.

feeling very welcomed here in this space, and feeling like i would like to unpack and stay here for awhile...because amidst all those beautiful fibers, is where i belong.

so many years ago, on this journey, of love and life, and loss and rebirth, i was a wild and wide eyed questioning teenager...i wanted the world to know me....i wanted to move mountains, i wanted to kick ass and take names, but i had no idea why, or for what...i was seventeen...

i fell in love with a boy, who would later become a man, MY man...and i would bear our 3 beautiful children with him. and we would live happily ever after...i was SEVENTEEN.  (insert rolling eyes and lame romantic music now if you wish.)

and life, well, it isn't always what you think it will be, and at seventeen i decided, under no duress i might add, that i was "BRYAN'S girlfriend."  period and DONE.

i existed here...waiting for him to return from trip after trip, and defining myself by this beautiful blonde boy i had by my side.

we survived the test of time - and adolescence - sometimes i wonder now, if it was simply because so many people told us we wouldn't...

i became his wife, and took on the title of "BRYAN'S wife"... and we moved forward somehow while standing in one place and created three amazing little human beings, and i quickly became "mama al" my three beans beside me wherever i went - like a mama duck with her ducklings.

and while it sounds like things were moving along as they should, they weren't actually moving at all.

somewhere along that path of defining myself as all of those things, i had lost the ability to define myself as ME...i had no idea who i was...or where my heart existed...i was terrified to be defined as anything other than MOM.  i hid behind my children  - even in photographs...such a metaphor for where my life had landed...but it gets even worse, as so many demises do...

i chose - read that word carefully, because it is important.  i CHOSE...to become "BRYAN's EX wife."  and for several years i stayed right there - parked my ass on that front step, and wore that title right the hell out.  i might as well have tattooed 'exwife' on my forehead.

i wrapped myself so tight in that ball of yarn and refused to move.

wandered in an out of a few relationships, always leaving because i couldn't exist in any space other than where i was..."exswivesville."

you guys know these women, they sit scowling at him, and possibly even at him's new "her."

no matter where he is or what he's doing - hating on his every move, and while in SO many scenarios, this is COMPLETELY justified, if one were to take two or three steps back...even babysteps, one MIGHT see, that the rest of the world is moving, shaking, making magic all around them...except in

i can't tell you the moment i decided to vacate that spot, because truly who the hell knows, but i'm guessing it was while sitting with a dear friend and pouring my thoughts out while she recorded me - i realized that it was time to unfold my achy limbs and climb OUT of that ball of knotted up yarn...i AM so so much more than an ex....

my self.   see - even stands alone - in writing.

my SELF...that fire... that 17 year old fire...it sparked back up  - until it was raging.- and every day it s burned brighter...dancing and growing...wanting to be felt....

i began defining myself again - as me.

...wandering into little head shops with dear friends and loving up on the hippie stank of patchouli (and not giving a damn what my uptight little town might think of me....)  touching pottery, sitting around a fire that I BUILT,  with dear friends beside me, cooking food -  because i love to feed people AND their souls, and not apologizing.


those scary and unknown vibrations have shifted to a place of love.  embracing my life as a mom, a teacher, a daughter, a lover, a girlfriend (WHO HAS A GIRLFRIEND, and that is OKAY!!!) , a friend - a friend who has no boundries - and does NOT care that it doesn't fit your definition of fine....because yah know what...i am fine.

my SELF - is better than fine.

my circle of people is strong as fuck.  so strong it actually requires i say FUCK.  because I CAN.

i have the worlds BEST friends and family - (like i would marry them all and keep them on a remote island amazing) - and to be fair i don't even know where the line between friends and family even starts and stops these days...and that  - THAT is magic.


and one hell of a woman by my side who loves the SHIT out of me every damn day, embracing our steps together and letting love in...because i can.

i refuse to apologize for my heart....my soul...my fire...my intuition...my magic...OR my chaos...because that my loves, is WHO i am.and if you are already here - you already KNOW that.

it's my self.

my WHOLE damn self....and i am finally letting it exist here - and now...

bliss and blessings your way my loves....

now carry on.


Friday, May 13, 2016

small steps and deep breaths

some days i feel like i cannot catch my breath....

like the world is spinning so damn fast that it is all i can do just to dig my toes deeper into the grass and hang on for dear life.  

between work and school and kids and hockey and lacrosse and LIFE in general...i worry i am not doing it right....not caring enough about some things and caring entirely too much about other things...

i get all the laundry done and feel like i have moved mountains...only to realize i have completely spaced out on permission slips that were due a week ago and oh-my-god lunch money and snack and 60 toenails /nails need clipping....i.can't.even.deal.

some nights i cook an amazing meal and other nights we have cheerios for dinner. and and and...holy hell these kids are going to need therapy...


i remember not so many years ago when i wouldn't dare let my kids out of my sight with a single hair out of place...and if there was even a spot of dirt or food on their clothes it was a mad race back upstairs to change before anyone saw...*SIGH* now its a question of how MUCH dirt is on the shirt and if it is really THAT noticeable.

it is funny - the things that i worried about when i was so very busy worrying about being a single parent....well - not having time to clip 30 toenails NEVER even crossed my mind...not once.

BREATHING still...

i try every day - to remember this is NOT a competition....that my world is just fine...a few nics and scratches on the surface and some scars that run way more than skin deep - but that ultimately, i am in competition with nobody...and my world only needs to keep moving forward at the pace i have set for it...for me and my beans.

we are MORE than ok...we are great.  we have a loving supportive circle...chock full of people that love the shit out of us unconditionally...like CRAZY love.  a family to die for - parents that literally move me to tears with how hard they love us...friends who make my circle unbreakable, a woman that makes me understand in the way she loves me why nothing before her was right...a job that i wake up and cannot wait to go to...coworkers who have my back...and the list goes on...

like seriously....blissed.

but it isn't all sunshine and roses.  

sometimes i get the wind knocked out of me...i go and sit on the hill at lacrosse alone...and i watch the happy families - moms and dads and their kids - the townies...i catch the sideways stares....my blue hair...my tattoos peeking out...the sympathetic nods...poor single mom...cant make it to all the activities...can't get the schedule right...can't seem to keep her head on straight... the moms who used to talk to me and no longer do...it sucks....its hard...it's like being in a real live episode of mean girls...or real housewives of suburbia...only i'm on the outside looking in...at what my life USED to be.

but here's the thing...my head is not on straight...because i don't want it to be...it's pleasantly and creatively crooked - BY CHOICE.  and i'm not that poor single mom...i am right exactly where i need to be...my kids are loved...loved DEEPLY...and i am loved....LOVED hard.  i didn't miss that practice - i was out teaching a grad class, or coaching a hockey clinic, or having dinner with a friend - because i can...and i want to...and my hair is blue because i fucking like it that way...and my tattoos are just stories on the canvas that is my skin...i like them there...and not you or your dirty looks will make me feel bad about that.  


i have made mistakes in my life...many of them.  perhaps i will venture to say an excessive amount of them...but look at me...i survived them...all of them...a few bumps and bruises, but i am still here - living and shit.

but my dirtiest of dirty little secrets - i don't regret a single one of them.  

they are just some of the scars that have built the path on my soul where my strength was born...i own each and every one of them and use them to remind me how many steps i have taken....and how far i have come. i would not trade my choas for your quiet.  i don't miss those days of keeping up with the joneses and worrying about how i will keep allllll those hairs in place....i chose this path...and i do not regret it - not even for a minute.  

most days i am just winging it...making my own sunshine where i need to and loving the shit out of my crazy....my choas...and my fire...i am blessed and lucky...every.damn.day.

lovins all around...

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

3,285 days.

NINE more years.


Say it with me people. NINE.

which is actually 3,285 days remaining that i need to have any communication whatsoever with my narcissistic bastard of an ex husband.

i just received an email in which he called me a liar over a discrepancy of 5 dollars.  yup. FIVE mother-fucking dollars.

i have spent the last several years desperately trying to wrap my brain around the notion of co-parenting. i have tried to be nice, i have tried to reach out…have tried to be flexible…

tried to understand...how to split time with my ex and our collective children, yet make decisions together.  here's the thing…for a lot of you - this works…but for me…well - I'm throwing in the towel.

line in the sand.

waving the white flag.


R.I.P co-parenting….

see here's the deal.  when one co-parents with a narcissistic bastard, the experience is QUITE different then co-parenting with a logical sound minded individual.  it's wasted time, and wasted energy.  energy i simply do not have to give.   in theory co-parenting sounds AHHHMAZING. not trying to glorify divorce but seriously….you get every other weekend to have some free time to get shit done, you get to have space from a relationship that went south but still be connected to that person who you deeply loved at one time, forever (if you could only see how hard i just rolled my eyes while typing that.)  that is all IN THEORY. You no longer have to cook meals for someone who doesn't appreciate your efforts, or wake up next to someone who took you for granted for 18 years…BUT you still get to have 3 amazing kiddos with said person.

FAST FORWARD to co-parenting with a narcissistic bastard instead….

last week i picked my children up after their "daddy" weekend - to be told that my baby…the youngest - was sick all weekend.  not runny nose sick- but coughed through the night and had to be medicated sick.  and this was the FIRST i heard of it.

i have this habit of picking up the phone to call and tell him when the kids have a paper cut.  because we signed papers saying that is what we would do…CO-PARENT.  

craziest thing is this though…i drop my kids off on daddy weekends and i magically disappear into the ether.  POOF!  i actually do not exist again until sunday night at 8 pm.  i am only a figment of their imagination when i show up at weekend games or events…i have no parenting say or place in this world…because when its a daddy weekend we play house with girlfriend from hell…who my oldest son lovingly refers to as ISIS.  i shit you not.

so people…i am burying the notion.  from this point on we will move forward in a world of parallel play…like toddlers in the sand box - who know each other yet choose not to interact…there will be no more friendly attempts to chat at games - and offers to watch the kids events together…or offer a coffee if I'm making a pre game run.  it is time to lay this to rest….peace out NBXH.

i know i know - you're all hearing that stupid song "now your just somebody that i used to know…"  sigh….maybe i will get it tattooed on my FACE…

3,285…….say it people…3,285  I GOT THIS.

Friday, December 25, 2015

*sigh* these three little faces…well, not so little faces…they make my world spin around.  they set my heart on fire every single day.  and in the spirit of loving the ever living daylights out of them, and working on moving forward…lets have some real talk.

as 2015 comes to a halt i have a few confessions to make….

i didn't believe you all…when you told me it would get easier…i just didn't believe you.    

when you told me the pain would dissipate…i thought…screw you…you may feel that way..but you people are WRONG.  very, very, very wrong.  I will NEVER feel safe again…or independent…or brave.

when i put one foot in front of the other and said boldly…"i got this!"  i really didn't.  

 remember that day you saw me at the grocery store - school - rink - mall - gas station, and i smiled and said "NEVER BETTER!"  i was lying to you.  

i was existing in a gray space - a space of fake it till you make it…smiling through tears, coming home and pacing around my empty house…being manic and avoiding my realities, because hell - it was WAY easier to do that.  on a roller coaster of guilt and sadness with an edge of happiness trying like hell to force its way in...and pretending that i was okay. 

 i wasn't.
a select FEW of you saw through the gray fog…but most of you took me at face value…as you should have…i told you to.


BUT.  But but but.  
here's the deal my loves…i finally got there.  
i got to that place.

 i don't cringe at the idea of a night home alone…i enjoy the quiet...
i can say with out tearing up - "sorry, that's a daddy weekend…"
i see the x-man talking to people in my world and i no longer get that pit in my stomach about what potential tsunami may arise when he walks away…

i can THINK.  i can remember the realities…that there where some really good times…
i can get through those memories and smile…and even sometimes laugh about them…

because people…you were right…it does get easier…every day.  

i reached that point where i can tell my story.  the whole mother fucking thing…without tears in my eyes.  without looking down and feeling that pain shoot straight through my aching heart.

where the guilt no longer haunts my mind and prevents me from sleeping - even a moment.
i no longer fear the world as night falls…i welcome it that soul seeking quiet and magical space.

and i am NOT mad anymore.  mad finally up and walked away…and i am soooo glad she did.  because damn….mad was eating my soul.

i have begun to put my steps together…and to see the path that it forms beneath me as i go…and i now understand what it is.…

a gift. 

a giant sparkly gift complete with a bow and a love note. (not too sparkly though…because this girl - will never do the glitzy glittery glam thang…and that is WAY ok.)

so here it is peeps.

i ended my marriage.  

i ended MY marriage. 

 but guess what lovelies…it was MINE to end.  and we all survived.  and it was NOT ideal -not ideal at all.

it was messy as hell - and i will be the very first to own the SHIT out of that.

and it hurt.

  we ALL hurt

…especially my babies…and our world is SO very different…and THAT is ok.  


we associate burnt cookies with bitter endings 

and we know that time together needs to be cherished because it isn't always an option.

and we know that we are part of a story that sometimes sucks…but is more often than not totally functional…and ok. its a colorful and unique story - and hell - if you expect ANYTHING other than that from me - you kinda just don't know me at all now do you…

we snuggle more…we kiss lots and we love always…

we have amazing family and friends…which have morphed completely and utterly into one and the same…we exist in a magical circle of love and never question it..


that path - yah know - way back when i set out on this chaotic adventure...the one i chose with conviction in my eyes and a fire in my soul…
 -well - that path...it gets to go wherever i choose to step…which, when you think of it is actually kinda fucking amazing.  

so loves,   i am sending happiness, and healing, and love to you all.

happy 2015 peeps…let's put this year to bed…let's marvel at all that was amazing, and give some love and light to even the sucktastic parts…
cheers y'all! 
 time to start loving the hell out of 2016….we got this shit….we really, really, REALLY do.

xox, *a

Thursday, February 12, 2015

on gaining those footholds….

i want to paint a picture for you.

not like bob ross style or anything…but maybe something still, and quiet, and soft - an image like that of a Sally Mann portrait…

around 19 years ago.


a girl - (that would be me)- and a boy, (that would be XH)…were hiking in the woods with some friends.
it was a gorgeous hazy day - XH was in process of hiking the trail, and we had driven out to meet him.

i would have gone to the ends of the earth for that man.  well, that boy.  at the time he was just a boy.

i was independent and so YOUNG strong…i thought i had the world figured out.

this boy and i - we were gonna have the love story of a life time.

my memory of so many things is shoddy, and our long strange trip over the decades has ended on a bitter note, but as of late, i find my mind wandering back to that trip…

while we were trouncing through the woods, and climbing over rock crevices, i remember him reaching up and grabbing my hand to help me step down…i faltered slightly, and he said this to me…

"don't ever be that girl...the one who is afraid of her footing, and where her next step will land."

at the time i took his hand, and smiled.  who knew 20 years later that moment would be stuck on the highlight reel as a lesson to listen more closely...

so here's the funny thing - the older i got - the more afraid of my footing i was i didn't trust my gut…i became codependent…and scared to stand up for my fire.

i became a mom.  i hid behind my momness.
i rocked every part of parenting…textbook well.

but my spark dimmed…and my fire - well, it was nothing more than smoldering - at best.

i will say for about 8 years of my marriage, i WAS that girl.

when XH moved out - i called my dad to come over and change a lightbulb for me.  helllllooo independent.


where was that GIRL?  that girl who moved mountains?  that girl who stood up at her high school graduation and spoke words out loud…who owned her truths. who danced in the rain and didn't give a shit what people thought.

now don't mistake i am blaming XH - i am not.

he didn't cause this…it was a simple, but not so simple byproduct of our marriage.

our "partnership…"  the loneliest i ever was was within my marriage.

at the end - i was doing it all alone anyway.  and it fueled my need to leave.

my steps had ceased,


sitting by my grams death bed - day in and day out - for weeks…i came to a HARD realization.

the marriage was dead.

and that girl…she was suffocating….

for a time, i stuck it out and tried to make myself fit the mold…but eventually that weak and scared girl lost her battle….because the warrior mama personality will always prevail.  always.

and because i couldn't hold my breath any longer my steps began to move forward…at first small steps, before i broke into a run...

and now...
I AM right here.

as for my strength…

i know exactly the moment it started creeping back in…it was the day i stood up at my grandmothers funeral and spoke words that hurt….they ached to say…but one by one as they left my mouth they began to sew the shards of my heart back together…and my step became solid again…it was just pre divorce, but the beginning of my strength finding its way home.

and NOW…several years later -

i am embracing the life that i CHOOSE to live and the chaos that we call home.

we are NOT perfect.  far from it.


here we do high emotions.
we do lots of lovins and snuggles.
we do love is love…and we mean it.
we yell, we kiss and make up…but most importantly, we trust.


i trust my footing.

and the path that i am on.

i am not afraid of my next steps.  finally.  i am excited about the potential to fail.  because i fail forward…and my failures make me strong as HELL.

and hell hath NO fury, like a girl on fire.  we know that much at the very least to be SO true.

so live and love STRONG homies…and TRUST your step.

i am.


Saturday, February 7, 2015


a hug…

so there is this crazy thing about hugs.  the intention behind them, the theory, the idea of them….why we give them, how they feel, it's just this THING i have been stuck on all week.

i had a few hiccups this week, and in those moments, i was able to breathe, and pull myself back to center - with a hug or two…sometimes virtual embrace, and others were literal hugs, the ones that fix it all...

like when my babies fall down and get hurt, how they need a hug, to reassure them that they are ok…

or when they run off the big yellow school bus and they are so happy to see me after a long day away, how they jump into my arms and the world feels like perfection…

or when my students pop into my room between classes needing a hug, i have found that middle schoolers love hugs, like love love them, and ask for them freely…because that is a common misconception...

then when the world seems like it can't throw any more catastrophic bullshit in my general direction, that a hug from my circle seems to glue all my brokenness back together…

or how about the awkward hug, when you aren't sure if its ok….but you go for it anyway, and hope for the best...

but then there are those times when i see a friend, that i haven't seen in awhile and the hug is no different than a smile amongst friends…that physical contact that says hey, i'm here..

so what is a hug really all about?

is it the reassurance?

or the touch?

or perhaps the capturing of a moment in time, where souls connect and the world stands still - because if you think about it - it kinda is the way it all goes down…you get captured in an embrace, arms around you, and your whole world stands still and in that moment, in a GOOD hug, nothing else enters your mind - nothing leaves it, and nothing even matters - the world stands still.  i had one of those today - and MAN, did it make ALL the difference. *FUN is.

those are the hugs that keep this mama moving forward….one foot in front of the other...

sending out some giant virtual lovins and hugs your way, homies.

xox, a