This is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things…

My husband and I have attempted to gather nice things around us in our 18 year marriage, but we’ve never been successful. When he and I first moved in together, I was 27 and he was 25. (Yes, I’m telling my real age) I had a few belongings that were special to me. Mostly things my dad had purchased for me growing up before he passed away. All of these things had sentimental value, but not really monetary value aside from my class ring that didn’t look like a class ring at all. It had my birthstone in the center of the setting and it was encircled with diamonds.

He took me one morning to a jewelry store and let me pick it out. It was the most expensive pieces of jewelry I think I’ve ever owned.

We went to Gem Jewelers and I was given several trays of rings to look over, but my hand kept going back to one particular ring. It was gorgeous. It was also $400. For a young girl who had never had a real piece of jewelry, this was amazing.

I miss it. I have no clue what happened to it. I kept it in a box under my sink and it was gone one day. I went to look for it and it vanished. It hurt. It still hurts. It was like a piece of my daddy taken from me. It signified a moment in time. A special time with him. Gone.

I can’t have nice things.

At the time my husband and I moved in with one another, we had two small girls – one mine and one his that visited on occasion. We purchased a few odds and ends of furniture, which in our opinion was nice. We went together to the furniture store and picked out this fabric sectional. It was around $700 and had a nice neutral color with coordinating cushions. It was comfortable and big enough to suit our movie nights.

One child attacked the cushions with marker. Then there was melted crayon (no clue how that happened) spilled drinks, food stuck in the crevices. It didn’t take a year before cleaner couldn’t help it and the sofa was less than stellar. I think we ended up selling it at a yard sale for $100.

We had our first baby together in 1998. We had been together almost two years and just married. Neither of us were truly responsible, so again we didn’t accumulate nice things.The nostalgic belongings I had before marriage were starting to dwindle thanks to children who would snoop through drawers.

Baby number two came in 1999 and number three in 2002. We had stair steps. Cute little destructive tornadoes that destroyed everything in their paths.

Flash forward a few years later and we were moving into a new place. Went to get yet another sectional. This time we purchased a nice leather cream-colored sofa with recliners on both ends. It was oh so comfortable. We were both so proud.

But kids will be kids.

We caught our son with a ball point pen standing beside the sofa watching cartoons as he proceeded to turn the leather into a sieve, stabbing one hole after another into the soft and supple leather.Months passed and the tiny holes became caverns, which turned into rivers and finally large patches of missing fabric. I don’t think we even finished paying for that sofa, which was close to $2,000 before we had to toss it out.


Last night I got a text from my son-in-law. He was worried because my daughter was upset. My granddaughter had gotten into her things and ruined them.

Flash back, my heart broke for her. Many times I would find myself crying as I picked up the pieces from one of my precious items. Things that couldn’t be replaced and even if they could it wasn’t the same.

A Gone With the Wind snowglobe I got for Christmas from my mom and dad my senior year of high school – shattered.

The headjoint to my sterling silver piccolo that my daddy had engraved for me –  lost and not put back in its case.

A beautiful pink ice ring I had gotten for my birthday the year before my dad died – gone.


Sadly, my words of advice to my sweet daughter who is going through so much right now and to other young mothers like her, things ARE just things. I know that doesn’t really help when your heart is breaking and you feel so helpless and alone. It doesn’t bring back your prized possessions. It doesn’t take away the feeling that you just want things of your own and you don’t want anybody bothering them, but it is what it is.

When your kid is young, it’s easy to corral them onto a blanket or in a playpen, but as their curious minds start to wonder about the whys and hows of life, that little blob-like creature will leave a path of destruction in its wake. It’s inevitable. It will hurt. You will lose your temper, blow your lid. You will feel like strangling that little bundle of wonderfulness. But you won’t.

That sweet little toddler requires more entertainment and will become more and more unintentionally destructive with each passing day. She would rather take a sharp object and carve a stick-like creature into that 100-year-old heirloom than to use crayons in a coloring book. You can also bet she will take pleasure in pouring a sticky-like substance into your $1,000 lazy boy and delight to herself when you blow a fuse.

Anyone with kids will tell you, it doesn’t matter how well they are watched. It doesn’t matter who is watching. All it takes is one second. Just a turn of the head. (Ask the mom whose kid jumped in with the gorilla at the Cincinnati Zoo.) In a single second your precious child will jump ship, run off, destroy something, burn something down, get lost, drown the cat, flush your favorite socks, microwave the hamster, put crayons in the dryer and even pour salt in your coffee just before you take a long drink.

To her, she got your attention. It’s doesn’t matter how she did it. She doesn’t see the destruction, she only sees the attention she gets when she does it. Good or bad attention, she won’t care. She just wants results.

The good news….she will outgrow this quickly.

The bad news…..she will outgrow this quickly.

Trust me….trust me….trust me…..

Hide the things you love dearly. Mourn the treasures she still manages to grab.

One day those little hands will be big hands waving goodbye. Those important things won’t seem so important anymore. It does come sooner than later.

But for now, this is why we can’t have nice things……  🙂


In Sickness and In Health

I’ve been sick since before Christmas. Actually, the sickest I’ve ever been.

It took me approximately a month before I caved and went to the doctor. I hate doctors. Hate them.

I usually have the mindset that (see my previous post) “this will pass.”

It didn’t.

About a week before Christmas I started having severe pains in my pelvic region. Specifically my right side. I’ve had cysts before and could pretty much pinpoint that this was the same type of pain, only more intense. I also assumed it would go away within a few days. It always did before.

Again, it didn’t.

I was scared.

I actually saw a nurse practitioner, who told me she had to send me over for a CT scan because there were so many things it could be.

She came back in and told me I had to go THAT DAY.

I went to another office across town. Drank two big glasses of orange kool-aid (GROSS), and was told the concoction had the special “dye” in it that would show up on the scan.

I did manage to choke it down with the assumption that I would glow in the dark afterwards for months.

They also injected me with iodine that made me feel like I wet my pants on the table. (I didn’t)

The test was easy, even though the CT machine was freaky. I had to close my eyes to avoid panic when it got near my face.  The waiting was hard.

The waiting for the results was even harder.

Later that night I received a call from the NP, who told me I HAD to see my GYN IMMEDIATELY because I had two large cysts that could rupture at any time. She mentioned “the C word”. (Something I had in the back of my head to begin with.)

My beloved Dr. saw me the following day and performed an ultrasound. He then took me into his office and told me it was abnormal. I needed a CA-125 blood test. (The “C” indicator test)

I waited for several days. Several painful days for the results.

I died a thousand times in my head. “What would happen to my children if I died?” “Would they miss me?” “Will my granddaughter even remember me?” “Will my husband start dating immediately?”  “Will he be happier without me?””How long do I have to live?”

Unless you’ve had this type of scare, there is truly no way to describe the emotions. It’s horrible. During this time, you realize what a true vapor life is. One minute someone is very much alive, the next they could be gone. In a flash.

Health is paramount. Life is precious. Death is forever.

After several days and no word, I decided to call. The test had just came back the night before and the Dr. had to tell me the results. The nurse wasn’t allowed.

Fortunately, I’ve known this particular Dr. and nurse for 30 years, so I asked her timidly, “It wouldn’t actually be you telling me the results if you could just answer yes or no if I have anything to worry about.”  She paused. “No.”

A huge weight lifted.

A few days later I received an email that the test came back normal. No cancer. (Thank you God for answered prayers.) I’ll still likely need surgery. I’m still in pain, but it’s not going to kill me.

Consequently, I also don’t glow in the dark.






“This Too Shall Pass”

I love this simple quote. It says so much in just four little words.

_This Too Shall Pass_

My daddy used to tell me this when I was really upset about something.

Many people think this phrase came from The Bible, but it was actually a proverb from the medieval Levent around 1200AD. The phrase is in reference to a great King who gathered a group of wise men to make him a piece of jewelry – specifically a ring- that would cheer him up when he was feeling sad. After a lot of research and talk, the group crafted a ring with the inscription “This Too Shall Pass.” Thinking the ring would be a reminder of better things ahead, it actually became a curse whenever the King was happy.

Even though the phrase isn’t Biblical, it does deliver the powerful message that change is constant. It is the one thing you can count on with certainty.

It’s hard to remember this if you are traveling through life experiencing one bump in the road after another. It’s also something I have to remind myself of.

I’ve reached a point in my life where I feel stagnant. I’m assuming it’s my mid-life crises. It’s made me reflect on a lot of things, and it’s made me take inventory of who I am and how I approach life in general.

I thought I’d share a few thoughts.

Trust Your Gut


If you pay close attention, you will find this little voice inside you that tells you when something is right or wrong. I’m not talking about the voice that contemplates that extra slice of cake or whether you should go to the gym. The one I’m referring to is the one you get when you meet someone for the first time and something feels “off”. You don’t know why, but the warning signs are there.

Trust those feelings. Always.

If you are afraid someone is lying to you, chances are you are right.

If you are worried you will get in trouble if you do something, you probably will.

AND, if you are worried your child’s new friend has psycopathic parents, you are probably right. Keep your kid away from them. Just do it.

Never go against that gut. Don’t. Even if you are wrong, you won’t regret it.

Everyone Will Hurt you


There is not a single person you know that won’t let you down or hurt you at some point in time. People are human. People aren’t perfect.

Be prepared for this and learn forgiveness.

Yes, I said everyone. Your mom. Your dad. Your spouse. Your boyfriend, girlfriend, grandmother, brother, sister, teacher….you get the point.

Not only will they let you down, you will let them down.

The big key is to learn from it, forgive and move on. Don’t let the hate and anger consume you.

If the person constantly hurts you, maybe it’s time to let go. If they truly matter to you, you have to forgive and move forward.

Don’t Be Afraid


Yes, you will get hurt, but don’t be afraid to love again, dance again and to dream. Get back up and try again. It’s part of life.


Take Risks

Spend less time worrying about what you should be doing and focus more on what you want to do. Again, I’m not talking anything weird, but if you want to travel to Europe, do it while you are young. If you have a cool new business idea, go for it.

Don’t wait until you are older and have a whole list of “what ifs”.

Listen More Talk Less


My children will tell you I’m not a good listener. I’m not and I’m not proud of that fact. It’s true though. I’ve missed a lot of important conversations while tucked away in my own mind. Learn to listen when someone talks to you. You might learn something.

Respect Other’s Opinions

Everyone is passionate about something. Their passion or belief may be something totally opposite from what you believe in, but it doesn’t make them wrong and you right. (Even when you are convinced you are.) The smartest thing you can do is respect others and their opinions and learn to get along.

Avoid Two Topics in Public

Never discuss politics and religion. EVER.

Whatever Will Be Will Be


Sometimes in your life things won’t work out the way you want them to. Be thankful. This is God’s way of telling you that there is something better up ahead. He WILL close doors to prevent you from doing something majorly stupid. There will be times when you want to cry. There will be times you don’t understand. It’s OK. That is the way life goes sometimes. You aren’t supposed to know why. It just IS.

Change is Inevitable

This brings us full circle to the topic of this post. What matters to you now, will mean nothing in a year from now. In five years from now, you probably won’t even remember why you were struggling.

“This Too Shall Pass”

Life is hard. Learn to love each other and be nice. Embrace your family. They are the ones who will have your back at the end of the day. When you are young, you may feel like you hate each other, but trust me when I say, these weirdos are your people. Love them.

One last thing.

Always….always, remember to call your mother and tell her you love her.