Sunday, July 25, 2010

Wonderful Week

This is the story of the funnest trip ever! Chris and his friends wanted to go on a road trip for graduation. Since they wanted to go where two of my bestest friends live, I invited myself along. I really didn't want them traveling alone anyways so win win for me. I don't know if they were too happy, but after the week we had, I think they changed their minds. So, we headed out very early morning and headed for Vegas. We stayed at the Excalibur hotel. I got the boys their own room next door and one of my friends met me there.
The boys pushed the beds together. I think it was more comfortable than two on the same bed. They are so funny. My friend Jamie and I played pranks on them and laughed so hard we almost peed our pants. Seriously, when we are together we laugh and I need laughter. Hey, did I mention I had no little kids with me? Yes, it's true. I got to go on this trip by myself. Well, Chris and his friends were there, but they are independent. The next morning I sent Chris off to California in my car and I stayed another day with Jamie.

So, this is Jamie and I. We had quite the adventurous day. We wanted some very cheap show tickets so we went to a timeshare thing. I was supposed to be this single lady and to make a very long story short, I bought the timeshare. Oh boy, I just bought it and I thought Dennis was going to kill me. Yep, that's right. I didn't even ask him. I am just so bad at saying no. I decided to wait until I got home to tell him. It really will be awesome. I really love my new timeshare. So, because I was so LAME and bought it, we got to ride back to our hotel in a limo. We did a toast (with water) and enjoyed our ride home. I received two tickets for three different exhibits. The first was the Body Exhibit. It was amazing. No picture taking allowed, but trust me so good. Then we went to the Titanic Exhibit. It was so cool. They even had the "Big Piece" of the ship on display. It was way fun.

This is the Tournament of Kings dinner show we went to that night. It was fun. They have knights doing javelin and stuff. A very full day!

The next morning, Jamie and I headed back to California. She did a whole fun birthday for me. We got a massage, ate at my favorite restaurant (Claim Jumper), and went to a movie. Another fun day. The next morning I had to say goodbye to Jamie and the boys picked me up in my car and we headed to Huntington Beach Pier. We walked around main street and walked to the end of the pier to eat lunch at Ruby's a yummy 50's diner. It's hard to see, but the ocean is in the background.

The boys and I then got stuff for a bon fire and went to the beach. It was so refreshing. I love love love the beach. Just being there feels so peaceful. All I could hear was the sound of the waves and three big boys giggling away. They were having a grand time. When it got darker, we had a bon fire. We sat around talking and had hot dogs and smores. Such a great day. I miss the beach only slightly less than my friends that live there.

That night the boys and I went to my friend Stephanie's house. She has a daughter that is Chris' age. They have been friend since they were three. We played our favorite game, Trivial pursuit. We played some other games and chatted. The next day all four of the kids went to Disneyland. They were gone all day. Stephanie and I went to the OC Fair. Oh, I so miss this fair. We went every year and it was fun to go back. We then came back to her house and played more games and talked some more. Oh and I went to my favorite restaurant again!! Yay! The next day Chris went back to his dad's house and Stephanie and I went to Disneyland. I realized that I took very few pictures this trip. Oh well, I have great memories. It was another fun day.
The next day Chris came back and we picked up my brother. He had an awesome day planned for us in LA. We went to the Santa Monica Pier and went on the ferris wheel. It was so crowded there and there were some interesting people there too. Next we headed to Hollywood.
We went to the famous Roscoe's Chicken and Waffles. There was a big bouncer at the door. I have never eaten at a restaurant with a bouncer. All the boys ordered chicken and waffles. Megan had a chicken sandwich and I just had waffles. The chicken was so good though. I wish I had ordered it. Who knew that people eat chicken and waffles together. It was GREAT food.
After we ate, we walked down Hollywood Blvd. We walked down the walk of fame until we got to the Grauman's Chinese Theatre. We also looked at shops and saw even more interesting people!
I love Julie Andrews!
We were going to go to the observatory, but it was getting late and Chris wanted to see his dad one more time so we headed home. It was so awesome to get to spend so much time with my brother. I had the best time with him. I know there are many people I didn't get to see this trip and I am so sorry. It was pack full. I will be back soon because I realized just how much I missed the people I spent my time with. We left to come home the next morning. It was a long drive and I am tired. I was afraid Dennis would kill me, but he didn't. He knows that I am insane and he didn't seem surprised. Yay! he's not mad. He also helped with the kids while I was gone so he's pretty awesome for letting me leave for 8 days. I didn't want to leave my friends and I sobbed my eyes out on the way home. I am blessed for such a great trip that has truly created memories of a lifetime. Thanks to my mom too. She took the kids part of the time too. I know I left a lot of details and little other things I did, but I think you get the drift. One of the best weeks EVER!! I miss you friends and brother! Oh and I love you so much too!!!!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Being Part of a Family

What does it mean to be part of a family? I thought I knew when I was a kid. We would go to my grandparent"s house and cousins and aunt and uncles would come down from Utah. We would have dinners and play and spend hours being together. It didn't happen that often, but when it did, it was great. I felt like I belonged and I was just as important as everyone else there. My mom's side of the family we only saw great grandparents here and there. We had no contact with anyone else. I had few extended family gatherings compared to my friends it seemed. When my parents got divorced. My family went away. I was just a kid and all of the aunts, uncles, cousins, everything stopped. My dad didn't like me so I was never invited and not one adult cared enough about me to make contact. I felt like I wasn't part of the family anymore. To this day, I am not included in that family. So, two sides of a family and I guess I don't matter enough to either. I wanted things to be different for my kids. I wanted my kids to always feel loved and part of their family. I couldn't provide much of an extended family, but I would start with me. Chris has a huge extended family, but if he is not directly with his dad, no contact. When I married Josh I thought it was wonderful. For the first time I felt like I was part of a family. We had family get togethers with cousins, grandparents, aunts, uncles, the works. It was so good for my kids. After Josh died everyone acted like my kids would always be part of the family and they would make extra efforts for these fatherless babies. Josh's aunt would send them little treats, his cousin would come visit, everyone made us feel loved and welcome. After we moved to California we become obsolete. No Christmas cards, phone calls and most certainly no visits. We have however been a pit stop for an hour here and there. My children's grandmother, Josh's mom, has had no trouble driving from Colorado to California to visit her parents and has flown out there several times in the past five years, but never here to see the only children of her dead son. A few weeks ago, with no notice she stops by on their way to California to see other "valuable, visitable, important" people. She stayed for about an hour. An hour! She hasn't seen her grandkids in almost 5 years! I was disgusted. We were all so happy to see her. My children adore her and I don't think she has any clue how important her role in their life should be. We were the pit stop not the destination. My kids are apparently not worth, in their lives, enough to be the destination. How does that happen? I have flown out to Colorado with them and driven to California to meet them when they cam down. For the past five years I have never been made to know when they were going to California so we could go down with them or were visited. Josh's sister, who lives across the street from his mom has come for an hour before too, both times on other trips and we were NOT the reason for the visits. I am writing this because I just saw on facebook that his sister, who told me she would stop by on her trip to California is now back home in Colorado. No call, no visit. Nothing. My kids are excluded from everything. Wouldn't you want to love them more if they don't have their dad? Who knows. I don't know what is wrong with us that we are so unwanted. When we are with all of these people, they are kind and loving and make you feel so good, but don't make any efforts to see you for years on end. I know this sounds like a complaining session, but I know that his mom reads this sometimes and I am hoping she will see how hurt I am for my kids that need to be included, probably more than anyone else and just aren't. Hey it hurts me too. I love his mom and family. I loved being part of it. I just wish I knew how to feel like we were part of it. I never want to say anything because who wants someone being kinder because you are hurt?" I want them to visit because they love my kids so much nothing could keep them away. I have friends who make us a destination and that is wonderful. I just hope someday my kids can be a destination instead of the pit stop. Haven't they been gypped enough?