Tuesday, March 23, 2010

BLooD DoNoRS HoNoReD: THaNK you FoR youR GiFT!

Hi Everybody! I know it's been a long time coming regarding the blood drive prizes and I am going to do the drawing tomorrow! Because after tomorrow I am going on Spring Break so if I don't do it tomorrow it'll never get done! But here for now is a look at THIRTY-FOUR AWSOME DONORS! Obviously hoping I'll be forgiven for being deliquent on this as some other things in my life have taken slight priority. Anyway, take a look at these fabulous GLOWING BEAUTIFUL people, and I will do my absolute best to announce winners tomorrow. Prizes include a Southwest Airline Ticket, $50 Target Card, $25 Target Card, $15 iTunes card, $10 Barnes & Noble Card, Suave Beauty Basket! There will be some stipulations, like you need to check back here to see if you've won and reply within two weeks to redeem your prize or you will not get it! Yep, I'm getting fierce in my old age! Anyway, here are our wonderful donors, and if you want to know more about them, check back in January and February's archives where you can read their stories on what motivated them to give selflessly of their time and life-saving gift of blood! PeaCe uP!

Friday, March 19, 2010


So, I'm gonna start with the crap first, as in this backward blog. This was a crappy crappy day, actually a crappy crappy week, with a ton of tears and a ton of emotions as if a truck rolled over me, but I think I already blogged about that steamroller.

The sign went up today and the tears came out today. I couldn't stop crying, and then I couldn't stop crying because there's nothing worth crying over. My children don't have cancer. There's nothing dreadful happening in my life. I am selfish and shouldn't be crying over this kind of stuff even though it can be gut-wrenching at times. But shouldn't I be able to give into this? I know you can say each person is allowed to feel what that person wants to feel or has to feel, but what right do I have to feel what I'm feeling when there are other people with legitimate sadness going on in their lives. What right do I have to FEEL SAD over this? What is really SAD in my life? Then I berate myself for feeling this way. I don't know. I'm certainly in a different place typing this than I was 10 hours ago, bent over 24 hangers as I cleaned out my bedroom closet trying to remember the Serenity prayer begging God simply for PEACE because that's all I wanted to feel, was PEACE, as I cried and cried and cried in that closet and tossed clothes and could name every event I wore each shirt to, as if I was throwing away complete memories of my life and not just pieces of clothing.

Because that's how I live my life. Piece by piece by piece, and now I'm throwing away pieces of my life that I'm not prepared to throw away and I just don't want to throw them away. I guess I'm not ready for THIS phase of my life to be over and for the next one to start but it's not for me to decide is it? I'm not the driver. I'm just along for the ride. OK, I'm getting waaaay melodramatic here and so I'll take it back a notch and talk about how we did have our first showing tonight and how ironically the neighbor's dog got out just before the showing, got in the backyards and got sprayed by a skunk, which must have been in OUR backyard so now our whole house STINKS like a fucking skunk. And of course, this is a mere 1/2 hour before the first official showing of our house. I say it was all planned so that no one will want our house. The smell is rancid.

Our realtor called me concerned and asked, "The realtor who showed your house called and said there was a smell."


Fucking great.

Man, could this be the memoir I'm meant to write? I seriously mean, COME on, who plants a freaking SKUNK in the backyard RIGHT before you're going to sell your house to stop you from selling your house?

OK, I'm done with that.

Now, as for the backward blog, here's what I wrote on the plane back from Arizona, and I'm not even going to edit it, it's just what I wrote on the plane, courtesy of my friend Xanax, so here goes, and this was written on Monday, March 14, ooh, one month before I turn 41. Does that mean it's the opposite of my golden birthday?

oN the plane heading back to Chicago and if you are my “friend” on FaceBook you already got a little taste of what the Arizona weekend was like for me. I do have to start by saying it really did exceed any expectations I had. Probably because maybe I didn’t have any expectations to begin with. I don’t know what I was looking for. I had hoped to find an area that would seem compatible for my family and that I would feel comfortable calling home. I think we may have touched upon a few areas like that.

We got into town Friday night and Mr. Manic wanted to impress me right away so he took me to a place in Scottsdale, a Japanese restaurant that he knew of that he had been to on a quiet Tuesday night. Well, it was not a Tuesday night. And let me just say, the Boobs and Botox were out in FULL FORM! We both felt like we had been transported back into the days of our twenties when we would gear it up and go out hunting for some fun and frolicking. The problemo? We are now in our forties and not in any way shape or form in that place to be out froliciking. The people at this place were GORGEOUS, and yep, delightful to look at that’s for sure. I gawked. Yes, I did. And there were handsome people there. That was my first taste of Scottsdale. Hot, hot hot. And yeah, there’s lots of skin and it’s tan and brown and glistening and glittering and showy and pierced and tattooed and glammed up. THAT’s something I’ll have to get used to, or maybe we just happened upon a scene that’s out of our league that very first night?
However! The food was AMAZING! The.BEST.sushi I ever had. And I’m not the hugest sushi fan. I like it, I’ll eat it, I don’t go out in search of it often, but this was so fresh and delicious, that it would probably become craving. So yeah, good stuff. And as I felt more comfortable in the environment and the atmosphere (drank more), the less intimiated I became with my surroundings.

The next day we hit the ground running, hit the pavement hard, and we did this for two days straight, cruising the streets of Scottsdale and parts of Phoenix we had previously targeted. In all, we tracked 405 miles in a rental within about a 30 mile radius trying to find the perfect Bubble for Manic Mommy to call her new Happy Place. Did we find it? Well, maybe. How do we go about finding a place to make Manic happy? Well, we start with the obvious. We find a Target. Then we drive around that Target to find neighborhoods I might like to live in. And then we find a school near that Target. And a Starbucks. This is the Manic School of Finding a Community. We also look for skate parks, basketball hoops, community pools, and rec centers. These all factor into Where Does Manic Want To Set Up Shop To Raise Her Family? One area had a Safeway grocery store, a yoga studio, a Lutheran Church, Chase Bank, Starbucks, Target and Einstein’s bagels, AND MOUNTAINS all RIGHT there. I stood and took pictures turning in a quarter angle. That is the example of a Manic Bubble. That is the possible living arrangement I could handle.
Cons for me: It was a big shock to initially see the stone front yards and all the brown homes, also set so close together, and the walls in everyone’s back yards, but I realize that’s because of all the pools. But still, I don’t like those walls, it looks like you’re swimming in a penitentiary. Also weird is that you don’t get your own mailbox. The mailboxes are like the mailboxes you see at the post office – all stacked together in one place, usually a shaded area. I am sure that’s so the mail man OR WOMAN, does not die delivering the mail in 120 degree heat. But still, to not have your own mailbox is strange.
The cactus are beginning to look kind of cool. There are some very neat foliage … OK, now this pilot is saying there are some severe bumps ahead. I HATE that. Should I take another xanax or just deal with it? OK, moving along. ..
Cactus and foliage, I will post some pics. We managed to hike up a trail this morning, beautiful, until I thought, oops, there could be rattlers up here. Then I got a little freaked. We saw some good friends in Anthem for dinner one night, and it is nice to know we’ve got connections for when we get out there. We met up with a dear friend from college who works for the Phoenix Sun’s – hellooo! He hooked us up with some awesome tix courtside, third row, and even though I had no idea who ANY of the players were, I totally enjoyed that, and I didn’t even KNOW the Geico Caveman was the center for their team! Who KNEW?!

Mr. Manic and I had a lot of laughs, I didn’t cry once, and I am accepting this next stage in our life as an adventure. I’m excited to get the kids out there to see all that Arizona has to offer and I am pretty sure they will love it. I just hope they don’t bitch about the heat. I’m signing off now because I am anticipating some bumps and I don’t want to deal with them. More later!

Peace UP!

So obviously you can tell by reading the Arizona post from the Illinois post that there have been some definite emotional ups and downs going on these days and they'll continue, but I guess that's just part of life. Would I have rather been stuck in a one stop-light town for my whole life and not been able to experience much of the world my entire life? I don't think so. So I'm looking at this the most positive way that I can, and yes, I'm going to be sad and emotional, but I'm also going to be as positive as I can and look toward the future, but I've got feelings so they're going to come out. That's just how I am. It's me.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

So MuCH To WRiTe

I've been MIA and this is a short post but I'll be posting about my weekend trip to AZ which I wrote on the plane Monday. Roller coaster continues. Was sick today feeling hungover and run over like a steam roller took its turn with me. Couldn't function. Felt like a ball of stress, hungover, flu-like, migrainish, nauseous, like my insides wanted out but didn't know how to come out. And of course, today was the day the whole kitchen was getting new appliances. Yesterday we signed the contract to get the house on the market. The weekend in AZ was great, then coming home was like just horrible. Even writing this is horrible and bringing me to tears. The emotional turmoil is just having its way with me and it's uncontrollable. I think a relocation is listed as one of the top ten or top five most stressful things a person goes through in life, after death and divorce, and it just messes with all types of the emotions. Like you want to crawl up into yourself and fast-forward to the future to get it all over with. So, that's where I'm at in this moment. On top of being sick all day long. Just get me outta this moment and into the next ones, the better ones.

Florida a week from tomorrow. I'm going to make myself enjoy doing nothing. That'll be the point where I can do nothing but hope the house sells to get me out of this point and onto the journey. I just gotta ride the wave.

I PROMISE I'll be doing the blood drive drawing very soon; I know there are some of you out there waiting to see if you've won a Southwest Airline ticket and some other prizes, and I thank you so much for being patient. What I'll do is make the announcement on who wins, and you'll have two weeks to contact me to claim your prize. I will do this before I go to Florida! OK!?

Peace UP!

Sunday, March 07, 2010


Emotions are riding high, but they come at odd times. Most of the days I am fine with my friends. Maybe I mask it? I don’t know. I break down at odd times, and then feel guilty for breaking down. Nothing’s bad in my life. My husband has a job. My children do not have life-threatening illnesses. We are all healthy, we love one another, we will be taken care of. There is nothing to be afraid of. But still. I get emotional. Sad, scared, not really worried though because I believe that everything will be taken care of, but, well, maybe I do get worried. Worried that the house won’t sell, or worried the kids will get there and they won’t make friends right away, or they’ll be bored.

I break when I tell random people we’re moving for no reason at all. Like I’m OK with my friends who I see all of the time, and then I was at Tukey’s basketball game and he’s playing with all his second grade buddies and I’m video-taping and thinking, “This is the last time he will play basketball with these guys," and then I get sad. I’m sad right now writing that. Or I was at the health club and run into my next door neighbor who is great, but we never see him and I ask him if he had a chance to talk to my husband yet, and he gives me the look so I know he knows we’re moving, and then I just start to cry. And it’s not like I even talk to this guy all this much. I mean he’s a great neighbor, but not one I’m going to miss or keep in contact with. And then, a friend’s mom, who I’ve met once, tells me she knows what’s going on and how stressful it is and that she’s been praying for us, and I lose it then. I mean, how awesome is it that this woman, who only knows me because of what my friend tells her, is taking her time to pray for us and what we’re going through? That’s the kind of stuff that makes me cry and feel sad, but it’s also all this kind of stuff that makes you feel loved in the world and not alone too.

The instructor at the health club was talking to me the other day and I was explaining about the move and she asked if I’ve moved much. I told her my story:

Florida from birth to 16, then to Illinois.

Illinois to Philly from the ages of 29 to 35.

Philly to Illinois from 35 to now.

Now I will be moving to Phoenix.

The instructor, Donna, said I was creating a spiritual web. I joked that I was a Spiritual Spider. I have no idea why. Whatever. Ajers just came in and totally interrupted my train of thought and the tears. He asked if I was hormonal and emotional about the move. The kids are being great about this. Every time they see me getting teary, they come over to make sure that I’m OK and just are being great. If it weren’t for their excitement over all of this, well, I don’t know.

The realtor has been here. We are changing out our appliances to all stainless steel in the kitchen. The house should be on the market in about two weeks. We’ve been decluttering like maniacs, and I should probably be popping pills like a crack addict but I’m not.

The day the FOR SALE sign gets pounded into the ground though, all bets are off.

Thursday, March 04, 2010


No flowery words just the facts here. The kids ask every day: "Are we 100 percent moving to Arizona?"

Mr. Manic's answer: "It will be 100 percent when the moving van is backed into the driveway and we are on a plane headed west."

Because nothing in life is guaranteed.

But yes, we are moving to Arizona.

When people have been asking me how I feel about it, my answer has been, "What choice do I have, to live in a box under a bridge, DOWN BY THE RIVER!?!?" (think Chris Farley)

But of course, that wouldn't have been the case, it's just fun to say, fun to sound pathetic!

We're excited about the possibilities, the adventure. The kids are keeping it all real. They are really excited, and that's what's keeping me focused on the task at hand. They keep asking questions, wanting to know about Arizona, what the temperature is, what kind of pool we will have, and when can Diva get her cell phone (cuz I promised she can get one before we move rather than having to wait till Christmas now). They're keeping it fun for me to look to the future.

Of course, I'm sad to leave all that I have here. All my awesome, awesome friends and this way terrific neighborhood. I have always said that this neighborhood cannot be replicated. I just hope to God I am wrong. And that there is a place like this out there.

I went to pick up a pizza last Saturday night and knew both the people there waiting for pizza. Every time I go to Starbucks I am guaranteed to run into two or three people from the neighborhood there. At the healthclub, it's like a party--everyone from the neighborhood is there, you're never by yourself when you go to work out. This neighborhood I live in is frickin' Cheers, and in the summertime it's got just as much alcohol and gossip as Cheers did too! I will miss that like you won't believe.

But that's not the stuff I can dwell on because that will put me three steps behind where I need to be, and will put me right smack into my bed with a handful of Xanax and what good will that do? Nothing. I've got to keep my head on straight and go through the motions to put this plan in action to get this shit done-to get this house ready to sell and pack it up and start the next chapter for our family.

At church last Saturday night, Mr. Manic was in AZ, so I took the kids. We were discussing how Jesus was a man and experienced human feelings. We discussed TRUST. And how we can't know what the future holds. I nudged Diva and AJers when the sermon was about trusting what God has in store for us. It was the perfect message for all of us. My kids were wide-eyed at the relevance. Even the songs were meant for our situation. "I walk in faith. Each day, in faith. I put my trust in God."

And that's exactly what our family has got to do in the weeks and months ahead.