The War on Christmas

I am a Christian.

I have been saved by the blood and sacrifice of Jesus Christ. He died for our sins so that we may have eternal life through the heavenly Father.

As Christians, I believe it’s our duty to bring others to Christ by sharing the gospel and by praising our Lord.

I do not, however, believe that freaking out about a stupid red coffee cup is going to entice our fellow man to come to Christ.

My husband was the first one to tell me about the whole “Starbucks is starting a war on Christmas” thing. He actually landed on the side of boycotting Starbucks for taking Christ out of Christmas. (I think he’s being silly. He tends to let himself get all hyped up over the most ridiculous things. That being said, I’m still quite fond of him.)

Okay, people. Let me start off by saying that I didn’t even realize Starbucks’ “annual holiday cup” is a thing. I like Starbucks as much as the next weary caffeine-addict, but I don’t buy it enough to consider myself a Starbucks connoisseur.

So, after reading about all the hatred that’s being spewed at Starbucks by these “Christians”, I’ve come to my own conclusions.

Conclusion #1 : It’s a freaking cup. A paper cup that’s filled with over-priced, over-sugared coffee. After you enjoy your beloved Pumpkin Spice latte, you’re going to throw the dang thing in the trash anyways.

Conclusion #2 : After doing some research, I discovered that the holiday cups of years past have typically been decorated with snowflakes, reindeer, Christmas trees, and the like. Now, I wasn’t under the impression that Rudolph was a symbol of Christianity, but apparently some folks think he is.

Conclusion #3 : Oh yeah…. IT’S A FREAKING CUP.

The fact that these people are going crazy over Starbucks’ new minimalistic cup design blows my mind. Is this what our society has come to? We’re offended that a coffee cup is plain red instead of decorated with winter-themed items?

I bet these morons never even stopped to think that this kind of crap is exactly why so many people are turning away from the church. This is exactly why my faith and what I believe in is being ridiculed and trampled on, and that pisses me off a lot more than a cup. The “Starbucks Christians” are giving actual Christians a bad name.

Oh, and the #MerryChristmasStarbucks movement is beyond stupid. If I ever see anybody telling their Christmas-hating barista that their name is “Merry Christmas”, I’m going to laugh in their face.

I swear, 2015 is going to be remembered as the year we were offended by EVERYTHING.

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Excuse me, I ordered a helping of Autumn.

Ahhhh….hello, November. Lovely to see you again.

It would be even more lovely if you actually *felt* like November. And by that, I mean if you didn’t bring thunderstorms and tornadoes with you. No tornadoes please, I’d rather have the brisk, cold air and the color-changing “leaf magic show” (as Stink calls it). Yesterday, we spent all day under a tornado watch that was actually upgraded to a warning in the afternoon. There was a tornado in Fort Worth that ripped the roof off of a big office building. It was scary, but made for a great viral video. (Seriously, four news channels were showing the same video over and over. You’d think we Texans have never seen a roof flying through the air. Pfft. We’re used to it.)

For once, I’m glad that October is over. Usually I love October and Halloween, but this year I was pretty indifferent about the whole thing. For one thing, my kiddos were with my ex-husband the weekend of Halloween, so I didn’t even get to see them in their costumes. This was also the first year that I didn’t take them trick-or-treating in their ENTIRE LIVES. (They actually didn’t even get to *go* trick-or-treating with my ex-husband. But that’s a story for another time.)

They did, however, look adorable.

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Devynne’s angel costume actually belonged to my sister, who wore it when she was about eight. Since I’m thefavoritedaughter the oldest child, I have all of our childhood costumes. I think Stink’s lion costume belonged to my sis too….but nobody knows for sure. Apparantly, it just materialized in the costume box because nobody has any idea where it came from. And Nolan, in typical boy fashion, wanted to be something skeazy and scary.

We had a great time carving pumpkins. Stink requested a Jack Skellington pumpkin, since she’s OBSESSED with The Nightmare Before Christmas. Honestly, I have no idea where that came from. It’s not like *I* am obsessed with that movie or anything. Not like *I* have a giant tattoo of Sally on my left arm. O.O But I digress.

I carved her pumpkin for her, because her and sharp plastic tools did not sound like a good idea. Dev and Nolan each wanted to carve their own pumpkins for the first time, which they did, and they looked fantastic.

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Fun Fact of the Day: When Nolan was about two, we discovered he was TERRIFIED of pumpkin guts. And I mean terrified. Like, scream like a banshee, burst into tears, and run like a maniac into his closet to hide. I still give him crap about that.

Once they’re gone…..

Disclaimer: This post is going to be sad, morose, and self-loathing.

My kids have been gone since the beginning of June. I offered (very graciously) to let my ex-husband have them for the first half of the summer, and I would have them for the second half. I *actually* thought that we were finally to the point where we could be cordial to one another, and we wouldn’t have to fight over every single aspect of our kids’ lives. I really thought that he was finally past the resentment and the hatred that he has towards me, and that this summer thing would proceed without any hiccups.

Boy, was I wrong.

The kids’ summer vacation is 80 days long, from start to finish. Half of that is 40 days. I texted him this morning asking what time we should meet to exchange the kids this Friday. He immediately responded saying that 45 days is a month and a half, and that’s what we agreed on, and 45 days ends this Sunday (which is actually wrong, 45 days ends on Saturday. The man works with calculus every day at his job and he can’t freakin’ count 45 days. But I digress.). Long story short, he threatened to take me to court because I insisted that he meet me on Friday, and he flat-out refused. He says they have “plans for stuff” this weekend, and that’s why he’ll meet me on Sunday.

*deep breath*

I am so sick and tired of him taking advantage of me. I’m sick and tired of constantly rearranging my life to accommodate his, only to have him shit on me in the end. I’m sick of him using his money and his (shitty) lawyer against me. He is bound and determined to make my life as hard as he possibly can, using any opportunity to do so. At this point, I think he’s going to continue to do it until the day he dies. I don’t think he’s ever going to get over me leaving him. He’s going to hate me and screw me over forever. He got remarried in June, and I thought that maybe, just maybe, he would finally move past our failed marriage and our divorce. I thought he would accept what happened and get on with his new life…..which obviously, isn’t the case. I’ve clearly moved on and gotten the hell over it…..he needs to also. We’re both remarried, we both have separate lives….and he is STILL trying to ruin mine.

I miss my kids SO much. At least my ex-husband’s new wife is a decent, thoughtful, level-headed woman (how the f*ck he managed to land her is beyond my comprehension. He’s a VERY good liar and manipulator). She constantly sends me pictures of the kids and updates on how they’re doing. But, at this point, I miss them so much that my heart feels like its shattered and lying in a pile of rubble inside my chest. I never really realized how much of my life they occupy, and how much  time I actually spend with them. It gets monotonous, after a while, and I kind of develop blinders to our everyday life.. But once they’re gone, and their rooms are empty and the house is silent, it is glaringly obvious. The only consolation that I have right now is knowing that this is the last week that I’m going to be this lonely. They’re coming home in six days.

In less depressing news, I have two FOs. The first is a stuffed animal I knit at the request of my adorable nephew. He wanted a “red and light blue dinosaur”. The result is this.

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The pattern is Basil the Boogie-Woogie Brontosaurus, by Rebecca Danger….who is one of my favorite people on the planet. All of her patterns are so well-written and so easy to follow, and this one is no different. I knit this bad boy in eight days, and had him stuffed and smiling in time to give him to my nephew when he came to spend the weekend with me. He affectionately named him Ranger, and according to my sister, he carries him everywhere. Never lets the thing out of his site. I used Knit Picks Brava Worsted in “Sky” and “Red”. Brava seriously is my go-to acrylic worsted weight yarn. It’s fantastic.

I also managed to crank out a pair of fingerless mitts.

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I am OBSESSED with these babies. The pattern is Octo Mitts by SpillyJane. There was two options available, either full-on mittens or fingerless mitts; obviously, I chose the latter. They were super-addicting to knit….the colorwork is beautiful and was SO fun. Of course, using Knit Picks Stroll Brights helped fuel the addiction….the neon colors are stunning. I had them finished in two weeks, christened them my Neon Octopi Mitts, and lovingly tucked them away until the first hint of cold weather.

‘Til next time.

Izzy

 

Tornadoes and Tiny Things

I adore springtime in Texas. Flowers, greenery, general merriment….and tornado season.

We live in Tornado Alley, which means April and May are our big tornado season. Living here, you get real used to hearing tornado sirens going off, and having tornado warnings and watches EVERY day (and I’m not exaggerating). This season, however, has been a little different.

Texas is getting HAMMERED with rain and storms. We have had more rain in the past two months than we had all year last year. YEAR, people. The entire south part of the state is completely flooded. Homes are literally being swept off of their foundations and carried for miles down the street. People are dying, people are missing, and people are having to be rescued by helicopters because they’re stuck in the water. It’s absolutely insane. One of our major freeways was shut down today because of floodwaters, and there were hundreds of drivers stuck on it for SIX HOURS this morning. They actually had to remove the concrete barriers in the middle of the freeway so people could turn around. I have never seen flooding like this in my entire life. I used to think that flash flood warnings and the likes were silly, and that people were just being dramatic, but after these two months, I’ll never dismiss them again.

On top of the flooding, there has been a ton of tornadoes. The little town of Van, TX was flattened by a tornado a few weeks ago. Tornadoes and thunderstorms really don’t bother me though….I know what to do and how to be prepared in case of a tornado, and that’s all anyone can really do. I will say though, I have driven through a few severe storms in the past few months, and I HAVE been afraid. When the sky is so black it looks like nighttime and the clouds are swirling and frothing above you, you tend to be a little uneasy.

Anyways, moving on from the heaviness and on to lighter things.

There has been knitting!

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I’ve knitted a tiny bird nest and a tiny dragon tail, both from Tiny Owl Knits’ Care of Magical Creatures patterns. (I think I may need an intervention). They’re SUPER cute, and instant gratification.

I also have an FO!

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Lego Socks, done!!! I lovelovelove them. Once I actually sat down and paid attention to the second sock, it flew by. Poor, neglected wretches.

That’s it for now. Signing off from Waterworld, TX….now off to grab my kayak so I can go grocery shopping.

Texas-bred

Hello from the great state of Texas!

We are officially back home. We moved on March 31st to Murphy TX, which is where Hubby’s parents live. We’ve been staying with them until we’re able to find our own place….which actually happened yesterday. We found an apartment complex that we both love down in Arlington and applied for it. It’s actually 200 sq. feet bigger than our old house, AND it has a fireplace, AND two pools. I’d say that’s an upgrade. Oh, and it’s actually made out of brick, and not stucco. I don’t ever want to see another stucco building for as long as I live.

Moving to Texas in March has some definite perks. For instance, we got here just in time for these to start popping up.

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Texas Bluebonnets

Which, in my opinion, are the most beautiful flowers that God has ever created. In April they start growing and growing until the sides of the freeways are awash in that gorgeous blue. They tend to grow in patches that are so thick you can’t even see between them, but I know down in Ennis there are actually fields of them.

So, with the bluebonnets also come this tradition:

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We spent the day with my sister and my nephew taking the famous “Family Bluebonnet Pictures”. It’s a serious tradition ’round these parts. I have been wanting to take photos of my kids like this for at LEAST ten years. I am ecstatic that I was finally able to. There’s a reason why I have bluebonnets tattooed on my arm….I absolutely love them. Nothing says “Texas” more to me than seeing them.

April also bring tornado season to Texas. Now, as self-professed weather nerd, I love storms. I think they’re awesome, and I’m fascinated by tornadoes. It’s pretty much rained and/or been overcast every day since we’ve been here, and we’ve already had two tornado watches and one warning, with a touchdown west of DFW and sirens going off in Arlington. There’s a good system moving through right this moment, and all the forecasters are predicting severe thunderstorms with chances of tornadic activity.

Unfortunately, there has not been much knitting lately. We’ve been so busy moving and settling in and looking for a home that I hardly have a chance to sit and relax. I’m making slow progress on my second Lego sock. I finished the heel flap last night while watching “The Babadook” (which was AWESOME), and I’m going to turn the heel sometimes today…or at least try to. I did, however, receive a big box of goodies from Knitpicks.

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Which, I will be using for the Care of Magical Creatures bracelet by the ever fabulous Tiny Owl Knits. I’m planning on a bracelet for myself and my oldest daughter (Dee). If I ever get these dang socks finished, that is.

 

A New Leaf

I am counting down every second of every minute of every….well, you get it. What am I counting down to, you ask?

In twelve teeny-tiny little days, Chad, my kids, and myself are FINALLY moving back home to Texas.

I have been away from Texas for eleven years. Leaving my beloved Lone Star State has been one of my biggest regrets, one that I’ve kicked myself for over and over. It seems like it would never happen, but God has finally provided us with a way back, and I am SO grateful. I’m so excited for this summer. We’re going to take the kids to Six Flags, and Hurricane Harbor, and Dinosaur Valley State Park….etc etc etc. AND, we’re going to get there just time to see the bluebonnets bloom. Those flowers are one of my most favorite things on the planet. I actually have a tattoo of some bluebonnets on my right arm.

So, enough of my dithering on about Texas. Let’s get to the knitting.

My most recent FO is my Earthwurm hat. The pattern is the oh-so-popular Wurm by Katharina Nopp. I used my February shipment of the 2014 Dream Club. It’s a skein of Dream in Color Perfectly Posh Single-Ply in a beautiful variegated pink. It is SO incredibly soft, I can’t help but nuzzle it against my cheek ten times a day every once in a while.

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An unwilling model

After I finished the Earthwurm, I immediately cast on a pair of of socks. I had two skeins of Knit Picks Felici that were just languishing in the stash, longing to be used….but if you have the kind of love that I have for Felici, you would understand that such a lovely and special yarn couldn’t be used on an ordinary pair of vanilla socks. (I’m still boycotting thinking of boycotting Knit Picks until they bring Felici back.) So after a week of looking (yes, a week) I finally settled on the Swirl E. Socks by Susie White. I started them on March 5th, and I finished the first one last night. The Felici I’m using is the “Building Blocks” colorway.

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One finished Lego sock

The pattern is a breeze to knit and very easy to memorize. I was able to use this sock as TV knitting…didn’t have to really look at it at all. I’ll be casting on the second sock tonight.

Til next time!

Foxes and FOs

I don’t know what it is lately, but I have had some SERIOUS knitting mojo lately…..I’m like a sticks-and-strings-superhero.  Maybe it’s because I’m not miserable and depressed anymore….maybe it’s because I only have SEVEN WEEKS LEFT before this baby is born….maybe its has to do with the fact that it’s finally autumn. I can’t quite put my finger on it. But I do know, I’m blowing through stitches like a tornado in a trailer park.

First up is my Flutterby Mitts.

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The pattern is Catching Butterflies by the utterly fabulous Tiny Owl Knits. They’re made out of Lorna’s Lace Shepherd Sock in the colorway “Monkeyshines”. This particular skein has been sitting in my stash for THREE YEARS.  I actually almost got rid of it, because it was starting to remind me of the color of a half-burned piece of toast. I am obviously very happy that I didn’t, though. They were a quick knit and they turned out beautiful. The butterflies are a little wonky (I am hopeless at embroidering) but overall, I’m super happy with them.

Next up, is my new favoritest thing that has ever come off of my needles.

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HOLYCRAPSOMUCHCUTENESSICANTTAKEIT.  I like, want to snuggle with him when I’m going to bed at night. Once again, pattern is courtesy of the amazing Tiny Owl Knits, called Mr. Fox Stole My Heart. And stole my heart, he did. The yarn is Knit Pick Wool of the Andes Bulky in Hazelnut, and Wool of the Andes DK in Charcoal and Cloud. I’m planning on making a Mini-Mr. Fox for D as soon as I get a few more things in my Ravelry queue churned out.

Seriously guys, if you like whimsical, woodsy patterns, check out Stephanie Dosen’s book of TOK patterns, Woodland Knits. Its one of my favorite knitting books. Even if the patterns aren’t your thing, the book itself is beautiful. The styling and the locations are both gorgeous.

In family news, Stink has transferred into a “big girl bed”. The decision to put her crib away came shortly after she dove headfirst over the railing onto the tile floor of doom. (Our entire house is tiled.) One look at this….

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and I couldn’t get rid of her crib fast enough. It was bittersweet in a way….her first black eye.

 

Through the fire

I see that the last time I blogged was in May. ::yikes:: So much has happened, in the way of ginormous life decisions.

First things first: I decided, shortly after my ex left, to put this baby up for adoption. Now, I could go through a big, long, tragic story and hash out every single detail of this decision, but I’m not going to make whoever reads this suffer through all that. In a nutshell, I realized that I can’t provide the type of emotional and financial support that a newborn needs. To do so, and to fail at it, would just be punishing him (yes, he’s a boy), and he doesn’t deserve that. My stepdad has helped me find a wonderful couple who have been trying to adopt for the past seven years, and I’m completely confident that Baby Banana (D’s nickname for him) is going to have a beautiful life with them. And, since the moment I decided to do this, I have not felt one shred of regret. I know that I’m doing the best possible thing that I could ever do for him, and I feel pretty damn good about that.

To add fuel to the fire, my ex has completely vanished. After a few months of wrangling with him not paying his half of the bills and the rent like he had promised to, and just generally being a completely worthless, irresponsible, selfish loser (surprise surprise) I decided to completely cut him off. I turned off his phone that was in MY name, let all of the bills that were in his name go to collections, and I changed my phone number. I haven’t spoken to him in three months, and I gotta tell ya, things couldn’t be more peaceful. All he gave me was excuses, sob stories, and stress, and I got sick of it. I absolutely refuse to pander to a 30 year-old manchild.

At this point, I’m trying to move towards forgiving him, but I haven’t quite gotten there yet. I’ve been praying about it, but I know that I have to be willing to open my heart for God to be able to help me, and I just can’t right now. I’m going to keep working on it, though. That’s all I can do.

 

Rebuilding.

I’ve finally decided to stop wallowing in self-misery. It’s incredibly unhealthy for all persons involved. I’ve started going back to church, praying every day, reading my Bible, and involving my kids in all of the afore-mentioned. And I must say, I feel pretty peaceful right now. Even though my ex is still camping out on my couch (he’s going back to North Carolina on Sunday), and the tension is crazy in my house right now, I’m really trying to get through these last days with peace and grace. I’m figuring out how to rebuild our lives from the smoking pile of rubble that we’re currently in. It’s not going to be easy, and it’s not going to be instant, but it’ll happen. I just have to have faith.

In less-depressing news (well….a little depressing) I’m 13 weeks pregnant. It’s my ex’s baby. It happened a month after he moved here after a lot of really immature and irresponsible decisions by the two of us. At first, I was incredibly angry. I already have a baby (technically a two year-old now), I didn’t want another one. But, like my mom keeps sayng, a baby is an incredible blessing no matter what the circumstances. So now, I’ve accepted it, and now that I know for a fact that my ex is leaving, I can actually start being excited about it. Now, most people would be like “Oh my goodness, how you can be happy that the father of your child is moving halfway across the country??? He won’t be there for support! He won’t be there to help you out! He won’t be there bla bla bla”. The truth is, I WANT him to go. I’m counting down the seconds until he leaves. I would much rather have and raise this baby by myself then have to deal with his lying and stealing and alcoholism at the same time. Plus, my mom lives two and a half minutes away from me. I’ll have plenty of help.

Alright, believe it or not, there has also been knitting! I joined the May Sockdown Challenge in the Sock Knitter’s Anonymous group on Ravelry. This month’s theme is Science/Tech/Geek, or Flora/Fauna. I chose to do a pair of Treebeard socks by Claire Ellen. I’m using Cakewalk Yarns HD sock yarn in Heavenly. It’s a beautiful tealy-greeny-turquoisey bluish color. It’s an 8-ply yarn, so the cables and the details in the pattern are really popping. It’s gorgeous. I’ve already started the heel flap on the first sock. Treebeard is an Ent from the Lord of the Rings series….sufficiently geeky enough.

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Comfort knitting.

 

I’m also finished with another round of birthdays! Devynne is now nine, Nolan is seven, and my little Stink (Charlotte) is two. Another year of survival, done.

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I’ve kept them alive longer than I have most plants.

 

 

 

Welcome to the Single Moms Club…..

 I kicked my now ex-boyfriend out. He’s an alcoholic, and I believed him when he said that he had stopped drinking “because he wanted to be a better man for my kids and I”. Turns out, he’s been drinking, lying about it, and hiding empty bottles in MY car and the garage. We had lived with my parents for the first month that he was here (he moved from North Carolina here to New Mexico) and my mom told me that she and my stepdad found at least fifteen empty bottles of whiskey hidden all over their house.

If that wasn’t bad enough, he refused to quit smoking, even though he has a two-pack a day habit. When someone is living paycheck to paycheck, it seems a little selfish to spend $16 a day on cigarettes.

He just isn’t the person he portrayed himself to be to my family and I. He used to swear that he would work three or four jobs if he had to in order to provide, and he was out of work for a month and a half after getting fired, because he was TOO LAZY to look for a new job. Now, we’ve only been in our house for a month and we’ve already had to sell stuff to make the bills, because he had one of my debit cards and was spending all of my CHILD SUPPORT (from ex-husband)…..I don’t even know what he was spending it on.

I’m so tired of putting up with thirty year-old children. I have three kids, going to have four….I don’t need another one. I flat-out refuse to tolerate a man lying to me again….I’ve had men lying to me since I was eighteen, and I’m sick of it. I honestly just want to be by myself, just eliminate all of the unneccesary drama. I just want to live alone with my kids and my pets, lol. I am so done with relationships. I know I’m coming off like a bitter old hag, but it’s the honest truth. From now on, I’m going to focus on raising my kids, rediscovering my faith, and making myself better.

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