Saturday, 30 June 2012

Broken Windows and Epiphanies

                Today involved an interesting event that enabled me to practice self-control and being the “bigger” person, as well as discover a little bit about myself.
                While I was in the middle of a baseball game, my wonderful sister came to watch my brother and I in our stellar performances (haha), as well as visit with my two beautiful girls who were behaving amazingly well during my play time (no sarcasm!). She wasn’t planning on staying long and there was only about 45 minutes left in the game in any case. Being the good aunty that she is, she took my girls to play at the nearby park and while she was away, two ball players waiting for the next game decided to start warming up their pitching and catching arms. This is a normal occurrence at any ball field during any tournament. What baffles me is why they would line up directly in front of a low fence with a number of cars behind it. Perhaps they were avoiding all the potential people in the opposite direction, or maybe they weren’t confident in the pitcher’s ability to hit his mark and didn’t want to have to run for the ball on that open field. I can’t be sure. Regardless, with many spectators there to see, the pitcher missed his target and chucked that ball right over the fence behind the catcher, straight into my sister’s car window.
                Broken windows are not an uncommon incident near any ball field and one parks their vehicle in foul territory at their own risk. While Sheila was parked in foul territory and realized the risks of her car getting hit by a ball, I am quite sure that she was not anticipating the reckless and thoughtless actions of the surrounding ball players with their wild arms. Please tell me that you have the common sense and decency not to throw a ball directly in line with a vehicle, especially if it’s not your own.
                This was a witnessed event and yet the man (we’ll call him Number 55 as that’s what was on the back of his Instigators team jersey) was not concerned with his actions or whose car it might be and so he did not seek out whom the owner was to apologize or even acknowledge his mistake.
Being the big sister that I am, I stuck up for my sister and I asked who did it. Number 55 confessed and admitted the break was unintentional. I asked him if he wouldn’t mind helping out by chipping in a couple bucks or so, to which he replied that the window was broken with zero intent and therefore he would pay zero dollars. He did not express any remorse whatsoever, and when questioned by me about doing the right thing, he only insisted on insulting me (thinking it was my car) for parking in that particular spot. I told him to work on his aim as I walked away.
I was raging on the inside at this point but what could I do? My game quickly ended and I talked to a few people who were in touch with the team running the tournament to see if the insurance they must have would cover something like this. I’ll have to get back to you on this point as I’ve heard no answer as of yet. Essentially though, nothing was done and I needed to vent some serious anger at the injustice of the situation as well as the lack of decency in certain members of the human race in general. I opted to stay and watch Number 55 play his game in order to verbally vent my frustration on him. Before you get excited about the example this would set for my children, I sent them home with my sis and her nicely garbage-bagged-and-taped window. It’s always nice to see that where there is indecency in humans, there are also those who are kind, compassionate, helpful and supportive. Thanks to those who helped out.
So as I was standing watching Number 55 pitch his game, throwing fireballs at him with my eyes and thinking of many colourful sentences to use on him, a couple of other thoughts creeped into my head. One was my Dad’s voice saying, “Sheila doesn’t seem that upset about it so why are you?” The other thought was how I was going to feel once I’d verbally raged on this man as much as I could. I thought how ashamed and disappointed I would feel for letting it get to me, for losing control, and for stooping to his level.  I thought how much I wouldn’t like myself afterwards for doing such a thing. So I didn’t. Even when Number 55’s catcher went up to bat and hit a foul ball that almost went onto the road and one of the guys on the bench said, “Now are you sure that wasn’t intentional?” I almost lost it but I walked away and left the field instead.

So my question to you now is, where did that anger go? As I’m writing this, I can feel the anger as much as I did when it was happening. So how am I going to get rid of it? I don’t want my rage to be repressed only to blow up later or show up in some physical form such as high blood pressure or something of the sort. Actually, I just answered my own question. As I wrote it, it poured out of me and onto the paper! The anger is still there if I want it, but definitely on a much more even keel than previously. More like burning embers than a raging fire. Awesome!

Maybe everyone can look forward to regular venting session from me now… J

Wedding Challenge

The challenge at H2H this week, which I barely finished in time, is to create something wedding related. Also I thought I'd join in on Mojo Monday for fun (sketch shown below). So here's my card for this week... Sorry about the crooked picture, haha. And now I have to get back to my baseball tournament!

All products are CTMH unless otherwise noted.
Cardstock: White Daisy, Lagoon
Pattern Paper: Stella
Ink: Lagoon, Chocolate
Stamp Set: Treasure Life
Cricut Cartridge: Art Philosophy
Embellishments: Stickles (not ctmh)

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Pink Ribbon

Well, I've had an amazingly awesome week and what a great way to end it but by getting creative. So for this week's challenges I'm entering with Heart 2 Heart where the use of ribbon is a requirement and over at CAS-ual Fridays it's PINK. What do you think?

All products are CTMH unless otherwise noted.
Cardstock: Colonial White, Hollyhock
Ink: Cotton Candy
Stamp Set: New Arrival
Embellishments: Baker's Twine, "other stash ribbon," Liquid Glass and Stickles (not ctmh)

Friday, 15 June 2012

"I've been torn apart, put back together with a couple of pieces in wrong"

I’ve been playing ball since I was eleven years old. I met Moose when I switched to a new team for the 2008 season. Until then I only knew him by face and name from my baseball world.
My first memory of him is of a wet night after a ball game (we were still on separate teams at the time) and there was a contest between him and a guy from my team to see who would get the last beer. There was a huge puddle between first and second base and whoever could go through it and get the dirtiest would be declared the winner. The guy from my team went first and slid right through that puddle feet first. He was soaked basically all down one side of his body and everything below the waist. I didn’t know Moose at the time and I thought it would be tough to beat, haha. Big mistake. When he took his turn, he got a running start and dove head first all the way through that entire puddle. I’m pretty sure not one inch of him was left dry.

I joined his team (the Strokers) two or three years after that maybe. I remember contemplating him briefly at the beginning of the season as a prospective partner, but because he smoked I told myself “no” and didn’t think about it again for quite a while. We didn’t talk to or acknowledge each other much. He was just one of the guys on the team and I never knew what to say to him. I really have no idea when or what made him notice me but about halfway through the season he started to sit beside me on the bench for brief moments and ask me how I was. He would do this a couple of times during or after the game and it amused me because he would ask the exact same question each time, I would answer, and then neither of us knew what to say next so he would leave. As time went on he got braver. I remember him telling me I have nice eyes on a few occasions. Again, I was amused but not taking him seriously.

I’m not sure when it was that I began to live for the days I had a ball game when I would see him. We got closer and closer after that and although his smoking bothered me, I was surprised how the fact that he had a five-year-old daughter didn’t bother me at all. In fact, I think it helped in that it proved he was already a responsible, caring father – something I really wanted in a partner one day. Things became official between us mid July of that year (2008).

The best way I could describe our relationship was intense. There was always a lot of passion and affection. When I would watch a romance movie, for the first time in my life I was not wishing I had what I was seeing, but was instead so unbelievably ecstatic knowing that I actually had it! I have never loved a man as much as I love Moose (except Dad and the bros of course) and no one has ever been able to make me laugh so much, even when I’m mad. There is something about him that just makes me swoon – even now. I used to love driving home from work, knowing that my family would be at home waiting for me. I loved how my family depended on me and needed me. I took care of them and they loved me for it.

Things were so good and happy with us that I wasn’t upset when I became pregnant.  It was an exciting, surreal and emotional experience. Issues in our relationship that I hadn’t bothered to worry too much about until then, suddenly became very important with my child’s life in the mix. I had an idea in my head of the way I wanted things to be for my child’s life and while the majority of it was either great or acceptable, there were other aspects that did not fit at all with what was going on.

I remember the day Moose told me about his life; about his mom. Anyone who’s heard it can understand why he chose to cope in the way he did. My instincts were to run but being the optimist that I am, I saw someone who dearly needed to be loved, someone I could help. I thought I could love him enough to take his pain away. I thought I could love him enough that he wouldn't need to drink anymore. And love him I did! I didn’t leave room for any other option in my head. I was in it with him for the long haul; for life. In making him the love of my life, I gave him the love of his – our baby girl.

The period after Nevae’s birth was peaceful for the most part, minus the frustrations of hormones, a crying baby, and my lack of sleep.  I’m not sure when things began to really change. Maybe it was me who changed. At least, that’s what he always claims. “It wouldn’t be a problem if you didn’t have a problem with it,” was one of his favourite sayings.

      After three years of trying every possible thing I could think of to help him, help myself, help my family, and to simply live with the alcoholism, I finally gave in to my failure. But even then I hadn’t let things go. I was hoping by giving him distance from his family, he would realize what he was missing and choose us over alcohol. I have since learned that an addiction trumps everything. I have learned many other things as well. I have learned to take care of two amazing children on my own, I have learned the colossal importance of good family and friends, of continuing to do the things one loves, of keeping one’s head above water.

      This Father’s day will mark the one year anniversary of our separation. Words cannot describe the immense amount of pain I have felt over the last year. I have cried myself to sleep and through many days. I have wished I was dead to the point of writing goodbye letters to my family. I have coasted along this road, keeping afloat, trying to hold onto my “self” (with many mistakes in between) and wishing to be happy again.

In keeping true to myself, I have refused to be thoughtless when it comes to special days like birthdays and Christmas. For Halloween last year I stopped at his apartment above the liquor store so the girls could “Trick-or-Treat” at his door in their costumes. When he didn’t answer, the girls were disappointed so I went into the bar and asked for him. It was then that I found out he had a 23 year old girlfriend.  

For his birthday in November I made him a photo album of his girls over the past three years so he would have them and not just me. My scrapbook that I am so proud of is full of him and I can only look at it when showing it to someone else. This year, for father’s day, I helped the girls make him a hand-tree painting. Today when we made it, I found out that his 23 year old girlfriend is now pregnant with his baby. I would like to say that I don’t give a shit. Maybe this is a good thing. Maybe it will be the final straw for my feelings for him to go away. But my daughter is now going to have another sibling. My daughter is now going to have the exact family life I most wanted to avoid for her. And there is no longer any doubt whatsoever that he is finished with me; that I wasn't good enough for him. It's a slap in the face to tell me yet again that I failed to make him happy.

My instincts are again telling me to run but so far I’m still here, and I’m still me. There is a great quote out there that says, “If you’re going through hell, keep going.” I just keep wondering how long of a journey this is… Ironically enough, the two strongest things that keep me going are the very best parts of him and the best things he ever gave me or ever will again - my girls.

Please don't take this outpouring to mean that I only see the negative in my life. I am very grateful for SO many things. This pain is only one aspect of my being and it just happens to take over a lot of the time. I'm hoping that by writing this and sharing with others, it will get things out of me enough to finally let go. I also feel the need for people to understand that even though this person has broken my heart repeatedly with the choices he has made, I still love him. Inside him is a really good heart and I only wish he could have seen himself through my eyes...

For the Best Dad Ever!

I dedicate this post to the best Dad in the world! I always say it but I'm saying it again; I won the family lottery when I was born into this one. I wish everyone could be so lucky.

This is the card I am giving to my Dad and the one I'm entering for the challenge at the Heart 2 Heart blog. Just in time too... :)

All products are CTMH unless otherwise noted.
Cardstock: Black, Gray Wool, Colonial White
Pattern Paper: Dotty For You
Stamps: The Best Things, Token Alphabet
Ink: Gray Wool, Pacifica
Embellishments: Black Baker's Twine, Liquid Glass

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Clean and Simple for Baby

Thought I'd enter into the CAS-ual Friday challenge this week as they're asking for dots which provides a perfect excuse (not that I need it) to break out my Dotty For You papers. I also wanted to you use my new, so cute stamp set called New Arrival. So here it is, short and sweet. Hope you enjoy. Thanks for looking!

All products are Close To My Heart unless otherwise noted.
Cardstock: White Daisy, Sweet Leaf
Pattern Paper: Dotty for You
Ink: Chocolate, Pear
Stamp: New Arrival
Embellishments: Sweet Leaf Ribbon
Pink sparkles not CTMH

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

A Tree

It feels like it's been a while since I've been able to attend to my creative needs. Between my sister's wonderful wedding and the girls having the chicken pox, there has been little time left for creating. I was happy to see the challenge at Heart 2 Heart this week though, as I already had these two cards on the go. All I had to do was finish them. So thanks for the motivation H2H! The challenge was to do a black and white card with ONE other colour. So here's my two interpertations of the same card. Wish the sparkles on the butterfly and tree would show up better!!

All products are Close To My Heart unless otherwise noted.
Cardstock: White Daisy, Black, Smoothie
Stamp: A Tree
Ink: Black, Smoothie
Embellishments: Smoothie Bakers Twine
Sparkles from Michael's

All products Close To My Heart unless otherwise noted.
Cardstock: White Daisy, Black, Sky Blue
Stamp: A Tree
Ink: Black, Sky Blue
Embellishments: Blue buttons
Black embroidery floss and sparkles not CTMH.