Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The Year In Pictures

 We did our annual camping trip to Allegany State Park.
 Where Timmy finally learned to ride a bike.

 We celebrated Christmas as a family of four.  

 We did our annual New Year's Eve party for the kiddos.

Timmy turned 9
 We celebrated my grandparent's 40th wedding anniversary.

We did our annual trip to Sprague's Maple Farm.

 We searched for Easter eggs on a beautiful Easter day.

 We went on vacation to Virginia!
And my boys got to swim in the ocean for the first time!

We planted some green at our new place.

We made new friends.

 Niko turned 8.

 Adrian turned 7.

 And we froze our butts off swimming in the pond.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

The End Of My Marriage

Exactly a month after my sister died, my husband walked into the room and told me to take the boys and get out.  He had been cheating for about 6 months at that time, unbeknownst to me.  Could I have stayed and fought?  Could I have told him to get HIS stuff and get out?  Yes.  Did I?  No.
Honestly, at that point, I was just done.  I was tired of the fighting.  I was tired of the abuse.  I was tired of the control he had over me and the boys.  I packed the boys up and we left to my mom's house. 
We stayed with my parents for a month until I found a place to rent.  It was hard at first.  My mom had just lost her daughter.  She was fighting for custody of my sister's oldest son from his dead beat father.  And here I come knocking on her door with my 3 boys.  We made it work, though. 
The boys had to change schools.  They lost their house, their school, their friends, their family unit, their dog and their cat.  I kept one of the 2 dogs, though, so we at least had Sashi.  This, after just losing their aunt. 
One of them had a hard transition.  You'd have thought it was Timmy, with the Autism, but it wasn't.  Timmy had an amazing transition.  It was like a weight had been lifted off his shoulders.  He no longer was butting heads with his father, who just couldn't understand Autism.  He did amazing in the new school.  He stopped having meltdowns.  It was amazing.
Niko was pretty heartbroken.  He struggled in his new school.  He was very popular in his old school, and in the new one, not so much.  He struggled with a teacher that, instead of lifting him up and trying to help him to fit in, put him down in front of the class.  He was the closest to my sister.  He was the closest to his father.  This really devastated him.
Adrian took it like a champ.  He thinks his father hangs the moon, and that is fine.  He really just shrugged it off and went on with life.  There were a few nights that he cried because he missed daddy, but that didn't last long.
As for the Ex, he was able to start having visitations with the boys.  Now the boys regularly go and see him every other weekend.  We are legally divorced.  He is engaged to a really nice woman that treats my boys well. (No, this is not the woman he was cheating on me with).  He and I have decided that the children are the most important thing, and it definitely doesn't help them at all if we fight all the time.  To that end, we've really been quite congenial with each other over the past 6 months or so.  It was hard at first.  Hard to get past the hurt.  Now, the only time I ever seem to get upset with him is if he spaces on the kids and doesn't show up for visitation, but that doesn't happen much.

You know what, though?  I'm happy for the first time in a long time.  People kept commenting "Wow, Catrina!  It's so nice to see you smile again!  It's so nice to hear your laugh again!  We haven't seen it in forever!"  And it really made me realize how unhappy I was. 

Something else I realized?  I don't NEED a man.  I can do this.  I'm taking care of my boys.  We are having fun.  We are living a good life.  And we are HAPPY!  This has been huge for me.  This self confidence was something I've been missing for a long time.  I like this new me.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

The Death Of My Sister

A year ago, on July 9th, my little sister was killed in a car accident.  This has been the single most devastating thing that has ever happened in my life.  As wild and crazy as my sister could be, I never really thought I'd have to help my mother pick out a casket and her last dress.  I never thought I'd have to hold her sons as they cried over the loss of their mother.  Never.  It was horrible. 

This last year has been a long journey through grief.  I know I will never stop missing her.  Never stop missing her late night phone calls.  Her beautiful laugh.  Her gorgeous voice.  Her long pretty hair.  Some days are easier than others.  Some days I only think of her a few times, usually with a smile on my face.  Other times I think of her and my heart wrenches and I can't hold back the tears.

I wish she was here to see how much I have changed over this last year.  I wish we could enjoy the closeness that living in the same town would bring, since I ended up moving to her town after her death.  I wish my boys could ride their bikes over to "Aunt Sissy's" house and spend time with her.

Ahhh .... those wishes are what get me every time.

Monday, July 1, 2013

How Life Has Changed

Over the past year my life has changed drastically.  I thought that it only fitting to change my blog, as well.  I've closed down,, and my  I'm going back to blogger and going back to simple and clean.  I've sent some of the posts that I could over to this blog, but I've lost a lot of old posts due to some crazy computer crashes. 
Stay tuned for new posts talking about some of the changes that have occurred over the last year.