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Jul 24, 2015

Leavin', on a jet plane

At the publish of this post, I will be picked up by a car service and whisked away with my mama to her home town, Nashville.


Well, I suppose a little outside Nashville, but the land of Country and slow-times, none-the-less.

This trip was taken twice a year, every year, from my birth until a couple years after Mark and I started dating. My grandpa and step-grandma have a beautiful home there to escape the dreaded Chicago winter and have a little pool time in the summer.

Life got busy and Mark and I didn't go as much.

We haven't been back since.

And in the good and bad times around here, during casual conversation, my mom and I decided, on a whim, that we should book a little vacation. 
Just the two of us.
To escape the drama, and reconnect with family, and generally chill out.

I won't lie and say I'm 100% excited. 
Part of me is nervous. 
The last time we flew to Tennessee was an early Friday morning, the earliest flight American Airlines had available, to be at my Papa's side as he had crashed a few hours earlier and was in a coma.
Just thinking about taking the same airline, on the same day, to the same house, kind of gives me the willies.
But, I know this time will be much more positive.
Sure, there will be tears. We are planning to visit the grave site and in talking with my nana, I am sure the waterworks will flow. 
My family is an emotional bunch, I tell ya.

But regardless of all that, I am looking forward to being there. Revisiting the old stomping grounds, swim in their enormous pool, check out Nashville, eat some good food, and chill.


Mark will stay home to wrangle our dogs, visit with friends, and keep the house in order.
It's tough for both of us to vacation together, with the dogs and all. 
One day will get to go together again, but today is not that day.
And besides, our home has a bit of that Southern Charm that we always vacationed to anyways.

Have a fabulous weekend!

Jul 22, 2015

We are lucky

I realize my last post was totally kind of psychotic.
People seem to take for granted how good life can be, and it bugs me to no end.
I'm not trying to get all granola on everyone, but life is goooooddd....maaaaan.
Even through shitty times, there is always tomorrow.


We are lucky to be living life these days.
In light of all the setbacks and frustrations that have come out of trying to conceive a child since 2012, we are still lucky.
I keep thinking about the last conversation I had with my aunt.
We were chatting it up about my cousins upcoming nuptials and she mentioned she had read about what Mark and I are were going through with IVF and genetics and all that, and she goes,
"you are lucky to be living in a time when what you need is possible."

Obviously IVF was not the route we originally intended to take (or EVER take, for that matter), but we ARE lucky to be going through it during this time in our life when science and health insurance have changed dramatically over recent years.

She mentioned that when she had her kids, she was lucky that c-sections were finally mainstream and considered the norm, otherwise she would not be alive today.
It's crazy to fathom that these days. This common scenario to elect a c-section (and one that is shunned upon, depending on what crazy mom forum you are reading) was finally considered "normal" 30 years ago. She could make a life-saving choice and the rest was history.

And without going all Kim and Kanye about conceiving a child, at the very least Mark and I get the opportunity to raise a child, free from a major debilitating, life-threatening disease.

My company health insurance is exempt from the Illinois mandate for IVF coverage.
But thanks to Obamacare, I am able to choose my own health insurance based on what I need for our future family. I can choose a coverage is affordable, in network, and reap all the benefits of a big box company, and I can do it all on my own.
We are extremely lucky to live in a state that offers an IVF mandate.
I will be choosing BCBSIL for next year. Another bonus, while reading the fine print, I found that in March 2015, they updated a clause in their coverage to include PGD (pre-genetic diagnosis) with IVF if deemed medically necessary.
It's considered medically-necessary if both partners are a match for a single-cell genetic disorder.
Bingo.
That's us.

Is IVF an uphill battle?
Sure. There will be many, many appointments and needles and possible setbacks and failures.
And it's still not 100%.
But success could be higher than the standard 15-20%. Hell, I have read statistics that pointed out IVF with PGD has success rates as high as 80%.
I get giddy thinking I could be a part of that statistic.

There was always a plan for us. And it included the past four year set-back.
That is clear now.
And man....this next year will really try my patience.
The best things in life are worth waiting for, don't ya think?


Thanks for reading, loves.

Jul 20, 2015

Life's not that bad

Dudes.
What is UP with all the negativity I am seeing in and around social media and in real life?
So many negative Nancy's. Complaining about a whole bunch of nothing.
I mean, I get it. Shit happens. People have bad days. It's needed in your soul to vent here and there, but all the time? Really?
What is the deal with feeling the need to drag others in on your pity parade?
Can't just you just squash that shit and move on?

Misery loves company. But I won't partake. It's so damn time consuming and annoying to hear people bitch and moan about petty first world problems that mean nothing.
And why do people think that it's acceptable to use social media as a platform for this type of negativity? Like, they wouldn't say it in "real life" but they will say it in broken English on Facebook?
Dudes....no one cares if you are "so stressed out" or "it's too hot" or "it's too cold"....why even bother posting that crap?

There are very few people in this world that I make time to hear their troubles.
They are limited to the inner-sanctum of my friends and family. And even then, it's limited.

It hurts my heart too much to read about yet ANOTHER sad puppy mill story that someone just HAD to share on Facebook. Like....WHY are you sharing THAT? Can't you just post a photo of your baby or something fun? Why do I want to read that?
It gives me anxiety to hear about ALL OF YOUR MEDICAL PROBLEMS that I am chalking up to some kind of neurotic hypochondria syndrome. Oh...you have a cough? So does everyone else at one point or another. Oh....you are having a bit of insomnia? Why don't you try NOT partying all night every night and actually try sleeping during the night and being productive during the day?
And I just LOVE hearing about how you are so UBER focused on your weight loss that with every fucking gain or chip or burrito you shoveled into you mouth caused you to be sad and angry, and then you took it out on your family. Cool....man. That makes total sense.

And please go on about HOW YOUR HOUSE IS ALWAYS A MESS. How about stop being lazy?

You know this all just thrills me.

Can we just get real for a hot minute?
Life is hard. Very hard. Adulting is hard. I know that. As a soon-to-be 32 year old, I have dealt with and witnessed and burdened hardships I do not wish on my enemies.
I have witnessed death via natural causes and massive drug problems.
I have seem people beat up and arrested.
I have had financial problems, infertility problems, marriage problems, friend problems, family problems, work problems, you know name it...I've been through it.

But here's the kicker.....WE ALL HAVE.

In some form or another, we have all had to deal with some pretty shitty stuff.
Your shit isn't shittier than mine and vise versa. We all have troubles. We all have sorrows. We all have setbacks.

So quit complaining.
Because life is pretty fucking awesome if you would just stop sulking in the corner.
Everything worth having in your life is worth the uphill battle it takes to get there.

So you want your marriage to work? Take a look at your own habits. Chances are there is a problem with YOU too....it's not always him. Or maybe just take a fucking chill pill. Men don't act the same way as women....so quit trying to change them. You knew what you were getting into when you married the person...they don't become a different person after you tie the knot.

You want to be fit? Stop cramming junk in your pie hole, eat food that was grown in the ground, lift some weights and do some cardio.
Every. Damn. Day.
In the time you spent complaining about "how life is so unfair" you could have been outside playing with your kids or doing some jumping jacks or hitting the gym or WHATEVER IT TAKES to be active. You can't just hit the gym once a week at 50%...spending most of your time taking selfies and barely working up a sweat...then treat yourself to a huge frozen margarita or 10 and grab Taco Bell on your way home all the fucking time and wonder why the scale doesn't budge or the muscles don't show
(side note: ditch the scale too....it's the devil and not worthy of your time. Try on some pants. If they are too tight, then keep at it. Too loose? Buy some new ones, honey)

And if you don't want to actually work out and stay active and generally eat healthy?
Then be fat.
Jesus....just own that shit already. There is a whole movement where society is coming to accept larger people. Just hop on that damn train and be done with it.

You want to be less stressed? Eliminate the nonsense. Ditch the clutter. That includes your work, family, friends, and your home. If your work is too much and you feel that you aren't making what you should for the bullshit you put up with? Then make a fucking change. Dust off that damn resume and make yourself heard!

Family drama seeping into your life. Cut them off.
They are like leeches because it's family and you feel you have to. But if it's toxic....step away.
Even if it's temporary.

Do you have shitty friends that make you feel worthless? They are not your friends. Say Bye, Felicia, and dump them on the fucking curb. You don't need a gaggle of friends anyways. You need people that will only lift you up in your life. Everyone else is just jealous.

Oh, and if you house could be on hoarders....that's a no brainer. Throw. The shit. Away. Already.



Life is pretty fucking awesome if you just look around more often. And it goes pretty fucking quick, too.

That dimply ass you are so worried about now will be saggy and pale and non-existent in 20 years, so you better start making it shake a bit more often instead of being worried about who will notice you in your one-piece on the beach. That answer is everyone. But no one gives a shit. And if they do?
You tell them to go fuck themselves.

So what do I do? I got 99 problems, but your shit ain't one.
I choose to brush off a lot of the bullshit and be happy.
Because honey, it could be A LOT worse.
Life ain't so bad, really. It's all about your perspective.


Thanks for reading the rant. Now go do something productive and quit complaining so much.

Jul 17, 2015

Ditching the salt


I used to eat a lot of frozen meals for lunch because they were super convenient.
Amy's brand to be specific....thinking it must be better than Lean Cuisine.
They ARE organic with less salt....but lesbihonest...there is still a lot of salt for one meal. Especially a meal at work whilst wearing some sort of pencil skirt or tailored pant that doesn't necessarily allow for lunch-time bloat.  Fun.

I have noticed, though, since implementing weekly meal-prep for my breakfast, lunch, and snacks, that eating too much salty food on the weekends or at dinner has started to affect me at a faster rate than it used to. Also? The heat of summer doesn't help any with water retention and swelling.  Oh Lord....I just know I will have cankles when I'm knocked up. Thank God there are maxi dresses!



Anyways, my meals prior to dinner are very clean. Hell, even dinner is relatively clean. Lunches are flavored with hummus, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and hot sauce.  And trust me, I know that some of those items have salt in them. It's unavoidable.

My goal isn't to eliminate all salt. It has just made me hyper aware of when I eat something incredibly salty and how I feel afterward.
And that feeling is bloated and fat.

Is it temporary? Sure. But it's still there....every Monday.
Because over the weekend I like to have a margarita (or 3) and then we'll grab a pizza or mexican take-out and one thing leads to another and Monday rolls around and somehow Shamu has replaced me in my bed.



Mark has mentioned he feels this way too.  Like all the chaos catches up with us to start the work week and even my stretchy work-out clothes seem to pinch the jiggly parts.

The solution is simple. We won't grab the easy, salt-laden foods if we don't have any, right?
However, that's unavoidable as well. Because we all know that grilled food at a pool party pairs well with chips and dip and margaritas, obv.

So, I am going to make a conscience effort to just buy more whole foods. More than just what I need for myself during the week. It's probably going to cost more, but I think in the long run, if I'm not in a fit of rage because "I feel fat" it's a win-win in the entire household.  I'm sure Mark will thank me.

And since we are chatting about being fit I should tell you that I tried to back off my cardio for a bit.
Change it up.
Instead of doing HIIT sprints five days a week and wanting to shoot myself on Friday, I completely eliminated running in lieu of plyo movements (jumping jacks, box jumps, etc). And while those things are fine and dandy, I'm not quite sure it's as effective at replacing my condensed cardio routine.

My workout routine these days is:

Monday: 12 minutes HIIT on the treadmill, followed by shoulder/back
Tuesday: 12 minutes HIIT on the treadmill, followed by heavy legs
Wednesday: OFF (maybe...if I don't feel like death I'll head in and do a whole body workout)
Thursday: 12 minutes HIIT on the treadmill, followed by biceps/triceps/abs
Friday: 12 minutes HIIT on the treadmill, followed by lighter legs, focusing on butt and inner/outer thighs

And yea, I'll probably throw in some pull-ups, push-ups, box jumps, and jacks if the mood strikes.
I'm realizing though that those 12 minutes of sprints really helps show off the muscles that I am working so hard for.  Without it....it's just fluff.

What about you? Are you sticking with a summer routine? Or did you get bored and quit/switch it up? Do you change your diet around in the summertime?
Thanks for reading!!

Jul 15, 2015

Boat Life

As awesome as it is to have a fabulous pool in our backyard, we do have another love with water.
On a boat.


Boating has always been in my life for as long as I can remember.
Every summer my family would trek down to Tennessee to see my grandparents.
They had a pontoon boat with a kick ass motor, big enough for three tubers on the back playing "chicken."

Although I could never (and still can't to this day) get up and do things like wakeboarding, there are plenty of other things to do on a boat.

Like.....drinking.
If there is one thing I'm good at, it's drinking on a boat.
No wave is too big for this gal to spill her cheap champagne sloshing around in a solo cup.
No sir.

Living in the burbs of Chicago, we are blessed to live so close to a nice little stretch of waterfront called the Chain o' Lakes.  This is a combination of a bunch of rivers and lakes, each connected with plenty of dive bars, loose women willing to show the goods for some beads, water gun fights, and general slow moving debauchery.

As we get older, the drinking time frame has creeped up earlier and earlier.
This weekend we were in the water at 9:30am, and I had a mimosa in hand by 10.
It's okay because there is juice in it. Juice is a breakfast item. See?


So we cruise around, ooh-ing and ahh-ing at all the fancy houses with their huge windows and large, expansive back yards. And we chat about the differences in all the boats...whose is better and whose is shit. We'll "pull over" to the side every so often so I can hang my ass off the side to pee (always bring a roll of toilet paper, ladies....most boats aren't equipped with the essentials). Summer of '69 will be blaring in the background. My hair is being wound into one large knot that I am desperately trying to pin away from my face.

But we're free.
Free from expectations. Free from judgement. Free from responsibilities.
Just going as fast as the little boat will let us.

If we're lucky, and the waves aren't too bad, we'll dock at a sun-bleached bar to grab some road sodas and a bite to eat. Usually shrimp kebobs and other hand-held items. We'll walk around and people watch, locking eyes here and there when we spot a weirdo or two.

Then head home. Drunk and tired and happy and fulfilled. And it's barely 2pm.

That's the thing about boating.
Everyone you see is smiling.
Without a care in the world.
And it didn't matter how many hours you spent cleaning and prepping and gassing your boat prior to launch.
Once you hit that water.....you're free.


Jul 13, 2015

Circle of Life



In times of death, life goes on.

Mark and I had to deal with sort of a shitty situation this weekend.
Nothing directly affecting my friends or family, although, in a way, they were kind of like family.

We live in an area that is abundant with wildlife. Like, ABUNDANT. Within our fence line, we have a family of hawks, two families of raccoon's, a thousand birds, a hundred squirrels, dozens of chipmunks, a handful of gophers, and a family of deer.
All on our property.

And that doesn't include anything that chooses to hop over the fences from time to time.
So anyways, we had a mom deer that gave birth to a baby doe a few weeks ago. Just behind our garage. And the mom deer, and dad deer, and baby all roam around the "safeness" of our fenced in lot, to sleep and graze and raise their young.
And my dogs have unfortunately been face to face with them. But those deer are much, much larger and more intimidating, and my oldest bulldog did not try to attack them. My youngest did, and luckily the baby deer was quick and thin and could hop through the front gate.  She was too young to hop over, but the daylight gave her easy access.

We were lucky. There was no blood on our hands.

Until Friday.
Mark was mowing the lawn and noticed blood leading into the woods. It was everywhere. And it was turning black, so whatever happened, happened the night before. We did hear our dogs barking very early in the morning, but thought nothing of it because they were safe inside.
That poor little baby deer did not make it through the night. She was stuck in our fence, and without protection from mom. And whatever got her did a number.
Mark said it was hard to deal with.
He scoured the woods for hours looking for......everything.
He called me, out of breathe, as he had been digging a burial hole for this poor little soul.
The bad news was tough to hear but for some reason, not being there, in the moment, made it easier for me to handle.

He tucked the little baby away as best he could, said a little prayer, and covered the site with cayenne pepper to keep any additional scavengers at bay.

I didn't go over there all weekend.

Sunday morning, I took a quick perimeter trip around the property. It's a new routine that has to be done because I do not want my dogs to come face to face with any other animals.
And there, just inside the clearing, mere feet away from her babies burial site, was the mom.
Just laying there.....waiting. Waiting for her baby to come home.

I called Mark.

He could hardly understand what I was saying while I tried to choke out sentence fragments through tears. She's just laying here. She is waiting for her baby to return. She doesn't know Mark, she doesn't know. She is right next to her baby and she doesn't know.

I was devastated with the visual of this poor mama alone in the woods, with her baby buried mere feet away from where she lays. Hoping her baby would return home to where she was born. Not knowing she is gone forever.
I just cried. Unnecessarily ugly and loud.
Crying for her loss. Crying because she just couldn't comprehend what had happened.
She was so trusting and innocent. And a life that she had just brought into this world is gone forever.
She trusted our land, our home, to bring a life into this world and it was this land that caused her babies untimely death.
Our fences, to keep our dogs safe, and wildlife out, were the same fences that prohibited her baby from escaping. Her baby was too tiny to jump those fences and couldn't break free from whatever took her from this world.

Mark suggested I turn my attention back to our home and spend time with our dogs. That it is a tough situation but nature is nature and it happens. And I know that, but it still didn't make that site any easier to handle.
So I sat in silence, sipping my coffee, and just watched these two.


I kept thinking about the whole "wearing your heart on your sleeve" thing associated with having kids. Like, could I even handle that? I can't even handle watching a momma deer lose her baby and I didn't even spend more than minutes around this little family.

And then, just as quickly, Crash launched himself from this seat to the ground, landing on his face, and nearly giving me a heart attack, all so he could go bark at the wind. And back to reality we went.


Who knew you could get gray hairs from a dog?
Thanks for reading, loves.

Jul 10, 2015

Blinders

Sometimes I think it would be nice to have the mentality of a man.
Sometimes.
Like in the case where you are living with a dude and the two of you share household chores.

If I were to pick which animal best describes our cleaning habits, I would choose Mark to be an alligator and me to be a bird. It's like the fool wears blinders around the house.


Mark is like an alligator because gators have a very simple mind set. They see what they need to do and just do that one thing. If Mark is heading up to bed for the night, he will simply grab his phone and walk out of the room and head upstairs. He might even take his pants off before flopping into bed.

Me? Heading up to bed is a whole process. I will get up from the sofa, turn off the lights, take a lap to make sure the doors are locked, pet the dogs, fill up my water glass, make sure my gym clothes are set out for the next morning, move the baby gates, tidy up whatever rooms I walk through and then head into my nighttime face routine. 
Teeth flossed, brushed and rinsed. 
Face washed, dried, cream applied.
Hair brushed out.
A chunk of time is spent staring at my stomach and wondering why I decided to eat cake after dinner. (It's like I WANT to sabotage all that hard work!)
Then I have to plug in my phone, stretch out for a bit, fluff up my bed, take a sip of water with my allergy pill and finally, FINALLY head into bed.

Everything is such a routine!

I get frustrated sometimes...well...jealous, really, that he can just focus on that ONE thing and do that ONE thing. 

He can just go take a pee and walk out.

I will have to wipe down the sink, straighten the towels, and check to see if the garbage needs to be taken out BEFORE I even sit down on the pot.  And once I'm sitting, of course there is Instagram scrolling and fixing the floor mats with my toes.

What the hell is wrong with me?

It's like I think I'm being efficient by tackling all these tiny projects on the way to the original, bigger project.
I think that's why women can't remember shit once they finally get into the room they intended to be in.

That is the "bird" aspect in me. Birds are always hopping along pecking at a bunch of little things in their route.

And then when I feel like all I do is run around cleaning up constantly, and realize Mark isn't doing the same thing, I get pissed off because "he isn't helping as much."
But honestly, it's my fault. I am doing this to myself.

The smudges on the mirror by the front door DON'T have to be wiped this very second (maybe the next second, or I will probably lose it)
I don't necessarily have to straighten up the bills in to a nice pile vs. having them strewn about. (ok, that's a lie, they should be in a nice pile)

Ugh...who am I kidding. It's ingrained in my DNA to tidy. I can't help it.
I ALWAYS survey the scene.
Mark just plows through the scene to get to point B.
I ALWAYS wipe the fingerprints off the white walls.
Mark is probably the one that created them.
I ALWAYS take the extra five minutes to double check a room before guests arrive.
Mark is probably in the garage.

I promise I'm not bashing him. We just have two totally different cleaning habits and sometimes my psychotic need for organization takes over my mental control and I flip out on him for not following suit.
That, by the way, is the crazy part. 
Because while I am detail cleaning, he is doing the larger tasks. Mowing the ENTIRE lawn. Providing all necessary maintenance for all of our cars. Handling our pool filter, pool heater, drinking water, sump pump, etc.
Hell, he even does his own laundry most of the time.

I can't really complain. All I can do is lighten up on the details. 
Those don't really matter when it comes down to memories, right?
Right.

Jul 6, 2015

4th of July


Ah yes. The 4th of July. 
We held a pool party. A first for us as we typically go to a neighboring town to watch fireworks. But to avoid any unnecessary chaos, we hosted.



The only decorations were giant flags.....I think they make quite the impact!
And a cute backdrop for photos...







Mark wants YOU to get drunk....and sexy.




We may have been drinking. It got weird.  :)


The pool was prepped and festive and bright. The weather was perfect!! 80's and sunny with very little wind.



Multi-tasking!! This mama knows how to party!







 We grilled large fillets of salmon, with a side of beans and other festive goodies...


Thank you Pinterest for such a cute idea!




 I made 50 'Merica jelloshots. Super cute, but let me tell you ...they take a LONG time to make. Patience, my friend, patience.


 The party dwindled down after dark, with a few close friends and family relaxing and laughing.


 The party went on all day and after dark, Mark and I sat and drank and chatted and watched fireworks from our back yard.


With sparklers, of course.


 The next morning was slow moving. I had to errand shop and we cleaned up. Regardless of what time we crash, my internal alarm clock will go off at 7am. I showered and we got to work.
Nothing like a margarita at 10am to cure a small hangover.



We chilled in the pool all morning, then headed out on the golf cart and watched the boaters cruise down the river.


Another successful weekend in the books!! Hope you had a kick ass one as well!
Thanks for reading!

Jul 1, 2015

Perspective

Source
I have been struggling with trying to let go of a toxic situation.
Normally, if a "friend" or workplace becomes toxic, it has been relatively easy for me to wash my hands of the situation and make out for the better.
But this situation deals with my immediate family.
It's a thorn in my side that has been a part of my life for ten years. And I just realized it has been ten years because all of the anxiety and trouble that this family member started causing was set off right when Mark and I started dating.

My brother is struggling with a life of addiction and my father, without hesitation, has been encouraging it. It's this insane cycle because my father only wants to help him and keep him from harm, but in doing so, my brother isn't learning right from wrong....isn't learning about the REAL WORLD.
So round and round they go.

Over the years we have stepped in during cries for help.
Help us we need to bail your brother out of jail.
Help, I need someone to drive, I can't think straight.
Help. Stay around. I promise I am done with drugs.
This is it. I am finally getting clean.

We did our due diligence. When we got the frantic call that he was arrested or busted with this drug or that situation, we were always the ones to drive to the police station in the middle of the night to straighten things out.
We have always been the voice of reason, as a sort of unbiased opinion, when immediate family members seemed to be too caught up in the drama of a situation.
We always kept a straight face when people were screaming at us, or crying, or lashing out.
We were always that rock in the face of any hardship.

But it has been going on for ten years.
Ten. Years.
Ten years of our lives dealing with a bad seed.
A bad seed that won't listen to anyone or get a real job.
A bad seed that won't truly apply themselves to anything and in turn, drags down those around him.
A bad seed that has manipulated my own father into believing his lies.
A bad seed that is slowly tearing my family apart.
A bad seed that takes our advances of help and assistance and retaliates with demeaning words and vile language.

I have been so angry because it just doesn't have to be this way.
We have watched loved ones die, or battle cancer at far too young an age, or watch their home drown in Katrina, and yet, we are constantly caught up this petty bullshit.
It really is bullshit.

I get so angry because after all we have done for my brother, I have never ONCE received an actual thank you for anything. Actually, the last phrase I did get from him was that my job was bullshit and all I think about is money.
The only time Mark gets phone calls from my dad is because he needs help with some of my brothers nonsense. Instead of letting him pony up to his own faults, he does whatever he can to make it easy for him.
I am the only one in the family who plans family gatherings. I do all the heavy lifting. Plan, cook, prep, clean, buy, etc. And thank God my mom is keeping it together. I don't know how she deals with those two.

I have resolved that Mark and I need to remove ourselves from the situation.
Completely.
I have been trying to drag my dad back to reality but there is no hope.
The two of them are like two peas in a depressed pod and it sucks the life out of any happy situation.

Father's Day was rough. It was also my mom's birthday and since my parents have my brother shacking up with them because he can't afford anything, I thought it would be nice to see a movie and hang out around the pool and grill afterward. I took care of everything because I wanted to. It's what I do.
My brother wouldn't dare lift a finger to plan anything. And what little tasks I have doled out to him are always met with some juvenile response. So I guess I just find it easier to handle everything on my own.

Mark left for the day to be with his family and by the time he got home that evening, I was spent.
Sure, it was okay. If by okay, you mean my dad staring off into space like a zombie and my brother complaining that my house was depressing and boring.
I tried to keep the small talk light and hang in the pool with my mom.
She is fun and easy to talk to and always so appreciative.
But ultimately, it was just a lot of mental frustration.

In the end, I realized I am running myself ragged trying to "do it all" for the family.  My mom is the only person that responds with human emotions, and can have a conversation, and help plan and just act like a normal person, so she can stay. I would do anything for her.

But the other two? As hard as this has been, I think I have to cut the cord for the time being.
It has been hard for me to accept because they live so close and they are FAMILY...but I think I have to.
I can't make people change how they want to live their life and I can't accept what they are doing, so I guess it's best to remove myself from the situation.
Stop being the sole family planner.
Stop trying to reason with my brother and snap my dad out of it.
Stop feeling guilty that I am getting so angry.
Stop getting angry.

Mark and I are on the brink of starting our own family. And I think it's okay if we aren't so involved with the toxic. I do hope it's not forever. It's been tough enough on my heart to come to terms with cutting ties now. But if there is one thing I have learned, is that tough love wins out when raising a child.
I plan to implement that as soon as I possibly can with my own.
I was raised far differently than my brother, and it shows.
Parents should be there to guide their child and protect them at a young age.
But you have to let them fall.
You have to let them understand consequence and reward. Not just reward.

Anyways, I'll back down off my soapbox rant for today.
Life is too short to deal with nonsense so I'm hoping this new perspective changes my mood for the better.
Thanks for reading, loves.