Sunday, November 10, 2013

My name is April and I'm an....introvert?

One of the coolest things about sobriety is that you start to learn who you are.  What is even cooler is that you become OKAY with who you are.  This has been one of the best parts of sobriety for me.  I have discovered a lot of things about myself.  I like jigsaw puzzles.  I like slam poetry.  I don't like putting on a lot of make up.  I don't like wearing heels.  I really like coffee.  I'm this wonderful mix of quirky things and I am happy with that.  Something that I have discovered that has really taken me by surprise though is that I think I am a closeted introvert.  If you would have asked me years ago I would have identified myself as an extrovert but today I'm leaning more towards the other end of the spectrum.  My mom is a self-proclaimed introvert and I never thought I had that same personality.  Well guess what?  Now that I'm sober, I do.  I think it was there the whole time but I was masking it.  I was trying to be what YOU wanted me to be which was an extroverted party girl.  Or so I thought.  Maybe not.  I digress.  The thing is that I love my friends.  I love my family.  I love going out and participating in fun activites.  I love to listen to people tell their stories and I love to laugh until I am crying.  But...BUT.  There is a whole other side to my personality which I believe is now the dominant one.  The introverted side. 

Mom recently sent me a link to a story that the Huffington Post did called, "23 Signs You're Secretly An Introvert."  I was really surprised to see so much of myself in these.  Take a look at these.  Do you identify?  Here are a few that I identified strongly with and the ones that made me think hmmm....

1.  You go to parties - but not to meet people.  This one basically says that as an introvert you like going to social functions but chances are that you aren't going there to meet new people.  Most introverts would rather spend time with people they already know and feel comfortable with.  If you happen to meet someone new, great, but that wasn't the goal.  I mean thank goodness I have met a lot of wonderful new people in my life, however, this is very much me.  At social functions you will find me with those people that I know and that know me.  I won't be the one up working the room introducing myself to others and making small talk.  Not happening.  I'm not there to make a ton of new "friends" or acquaintances.  I don't need to know everything about every person in there.  I don't need to know when the next party is.  Not my thing. 

2.  Downtime doesn't feel unproductive to you.  One of the most fundamental characteristics of introverts is that they need time alone to recharge their batteries.  Extroverts tend to get bored or antsy spending time alone.  For an introvert this time feels necessary and enjoyable.  YES.  Give me a day with a good book, a good movie, some hot tea and a blanket and I'm good.  I don't need constant activities and in fact if I don't have my downtime, I become very discontent.

3.  Giving a talk in front of 500 people is less stressful than having to mingle with those same people afterwards.  Oh man.  I can identify with this.  I have not spoken in front of 500 people but I have spoken in front of large groups and I rarely get nervous or stress about it.  I am pretty comfortable at a podium speaking on a topic that I'm educated about.  But to make small talk with people afterwards.  Yikes.  My awkward side is likely to come rolling right out when that happens.

4.  You start to shut down after you've been active for too long.  Once out and about for too long introverts tend to become tired or unresponsive.  According to some, everything introverts do in the outside world causes them to expend energy, after which they will need to go back and replenish in a quiet environment.  I've noticed that I do this more and more.  I love socializing and I love participating in fun activities.  But I reach a point where I hit a wall.  After a day of events and social activities I hit that wall and at that point I need to retreat.  I need to go rest, curl up with a book, hang out with my dog and my husband.  If not, I very much go to the zoning out that this article speaks of. 

5.  You screen all your calls - even from friends.  You may not pick up your phone even from people you like, but you'll call them back as soon as you are mentally prepared and have energy for the conversation.  I saw something on Pinterest that says, "I ignore texts. I let the phone ring. I log off Facebook chat.  It's nothing personal, but people need to realize that sometimes I just don't want to talk."  I read that and thought, well crap.  I identify with that.  That makes me sound like an as&%ole.  The thing is that I'm not (well most of the time I'm not!).  I just have my limits with talking to people.  I am not the person who is always texting someone or calling someone.  I have my few people that I talk to on a regular basis but chances are, and I'm sorry for this but I've probably ignored a text or phone call or facebook chat from most people in my life at some point. 

6.  You have a constantly running inner monologue.  And let me just pair this one with the fact that introverts generally enjoy writing because I think the two are related.  It is said that extroverts don't have the same internal talking that we do.  Most introverts need to think first and talk later.  A lot of introverts say they feel most creatively charged when they have time to be alone with their thoughts.  I find this is true for me.  I have a CONSTANT inner monologue running.  Some people have this and it manifests as stress and anxiety but not the case for me.  I have probably 4 or 5 book ideas running through my head at any given moment.  I probably have a couple of poems floating around in there too.  I think I'd be bored without this inner monologue.  Strange?  Maybe.

7.  You alternate between phases of work and solitude, and periods of social activity.  It is said that when introverts move too much- socializing, being busy, etc. - they get stressed and need to come back to themselves.  It seems that there is a balance of social activity periods and periods of solitude and inwardness with introverts.  They almost need a recovery period after a ton of social interaction.  This is me.  If we have had a super busy weekend filled with people and events and rushing around then I start REALLY looking forward to and almost craving Monday when I can be alone and do my own thing. 

These are just a few of the things that stood out to me in this article.  There are 23 of them and I can relate to almost every one of them.  I think that I always associated being introverted with being shy and that isn't the case with introverts at all.  It's much different than that. I'm okay today with being introverted.  It's okay that I don't want to be "on" all of the time.  It's okay if after a long day of socializing I want to go rest when others want to stay and socialize.  It's okay that I'd rather stay in and write or read than go to a bunch of social gatherings. 

I have seen some great quotes about being an introvert that have described me perfectly.  I will leave you with some of those. 

"I am not boring or shy.  I am an introvert. An artist.  A lover.  A dreamer.  A fighter.  A seeker."

"Introverts crave meaning, so party chitchat feels like sandpaper to our psyche."

"Introverts tend to get their energy from within, so being with people is draining.  After a day filled with people or activities, introverts tend to feel exhausted and empty.  They just need quiet time to come back to themselves."

"I'm an introvert.  I love being by myself, love being outdoors, loving taking a long walk with my dogs and looking at the trees, flowers, and the sky."

"Some of an introverts best 24 hours ever are spent with no human interaction.  All that delicious time was spent however they wishes and delightfully alone."

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Bye Bye Chameleon

It’s been awhile since I’ve sat down and blogged but for some reason lately I have the itch.  The writing itch.  I of course want to write my life story but have you ever really thought about that?  I feel like you would have to wait until after you were dead to have it published.  Anyway…I digress.  Someday I will write a book, probably with the help of my mother but until then, I will get back to my blog here.

I celebrated 2 years of being clean and sober on May 2nd.  What a blessing!  I would have never guessed that to be possible.  It hasn’t always been easy but it’s always been worth it.  “More will be revealed,” is something I hear a lot in the recovery community and that is so true.  I learn more about myself all of the time and it’s such an awesome journey.

The thing on my mind lately is how I am finally starting to be comfortable with who I am.  I don’t always know who I am but on most days I have a pretty good grasp of that person.  This is something that before sobriety I could not have said.  I had no clue who I was.  I was whoever you wanted me to be.  I was whoever I needed to be to be accepted in whatever situation that I found myself in.  I had no idea that this was an alcoholic trait.  This was something that I struggled with my entire life and I just thought I had low self-esteem or that I was crazy (that is still up for debate…HA!). 
When I was younger I always felt like I didn’t belong.  No matter what group of friends I was in, I felt like I was on the outside looking in.  If the group of people that I wanted to belong to liked to do certain things on the weekends, then I liked that too.  If the cool thing at the time was to like country music, then I liked country music.  If it was to like rap, then I liked rap.  I really had no idea what I liked though. 

In college it became even worse, especially in the dating world and the bar scene world.  My best friend used to refer to me as a chameleon and we thought it was so funny.  I could go into any situation and change myself into someone that those people would accept and like.  We are going to a sports bar?  Okay!  Great!  I will put on my baseball shirt, suddenly become an expert on whatever team YOU like, and I will drink beer with the boys.  We are going to a wine event?  Okay!  Great!  I will put on a pretty black dress, suddenly be very interested in things people with money are interested in, and I will have some wine and be able to tell you everything about said wine.  This was my life.  I saw nothing wrong with it really.  I had no idea that this was an alcoholic trait that I had always had and would only get worse as my disease progressed. 

The six months or so before rehab, I really became the ultimate chameleon and became someone that looking back, I don’t even recognize.  Even if I HAD known who I was, I would have certainly been afraid to be that person around the people that I surrounded myself with.  I’m sure that whatever I TRULY liked to wear, to listen to, to do on weekends, etc. wouldn’t have been considered “cool” so therefore I would have shut that down and went with what everyone else was doing.  I became afraid to read certain books I might have liked because what if someone thought I was a nerd for reading that book?  Or what if I listened to a certain genre of music and people thought I was uncool for listening to that?  Or what if I liked a certain outfit and it wasn’t what was “in”?  No way.  I wouldn’t wear it.  I was going to be whatever you wanted me to be, even if it meant losing myself and hurting those around me. 

Here is the good part of all of this though.  That is over now.  I won’t say that some days that character defect doesn’t creep up and I don’t all of the sudden look around and think, “Holy crap I don’t fit in here.  I am so different than these people.”  This happens especially at events not related to recovery.  That feeling of being “less than” can creep up quickly.  Today though, it passes.  I am okay with myself.  And you know what?  I am a big nerd.  I am okay with that.  I like jigsaw puzzles.  I like word games and words in general.  I like country music but I also like pretty much all other genres and today what I listen to depends on my  mood, not on who I am with or who might hear what I am listening to.  Today I love to read and I don’t care that people know that sometimes I like to read young adult books or something completely cheesy like Fifty Shades of Grey because next week I might be reading Catcher in the Rye.  Again, it’s all in my mood and today that is okay.  On the 4th of July this year I wore a Duck Dynasty shirt with a red, white, and blue bandanna because that is ME.  I carry expensive purses but I am a country girl at heart in a lot of ways.  And that’s OKAY.  I am not a religious person at all but I do consider myself a spiritual person and I do believe in a Higher Power who I pray to every single day.  That is definitely something that in the past I would have been afraid to admit to any of my “friends” around me because I wouldn’t want to hear the backlash.  My friends today though all love me exactly the way that I am and I am grateful for that. 

This is a journey of discovery and I look forward to learning more as I go along.  Remaining teachable and learning more all of the time is such a gift and I am grateful every day for the life I have been given. 


Thursday, December 6, 2012


No, I'm not rebooting my computer or my cable box (which is annoying to have to do by the way!), but I realized this week I need to "reboot" some things in my life.  I mentioned that I was kind of in a funk this past weekend and I'm happy to say that I made myself snap right out of that on Monday.  New week, sunny day, and time to get off the pity pot as my sponsor would say.  :)

Monday night I went to my home group meeting and as always I felt better after I left there.  Yesterday I went to an awesome meeting at noon and heard so many things that I needed to hear.  Isn't it amazing how that tends to happen?  Turns out that a LOT of people are in this kind of "funk" right now.  Maybe it's the weather.  Maybe it's the holidays.  Maybe we are just alcoholics and addicts?  HA  Either way, it was great to go and hear that others were going through this and I was able to hear their solutions to this.  I especially love hearing from people who have longterm sobriety discuss going through a slump and their solutions.  It's good to hear that I'm "normal" for an alcoholic and that this too shall pass.  It's also really cool that I can recognize today when I am in this type of funk and that I do NOT like wallowing in that place for long.  Don't get me wrong, I let myself wallow sometimes longer than I should but I'm able to say today that that is an icky place to be.  I prefer being on the happy side of sober. 

Tonight I met with a sponsee at Starbucks (I swear it's the unofficial meeting spot for alcoholics...HA) and it was good to get out of my own head for a little bit.  That is one of the greatest joys of sponsoring women and I am blessed to have great sponsees in my life who I learn from all of the time.  I went to a women's meeting tonight and it was awesome and again, I heard what I needed to hear and felt great when I left there. 

As far as the "reboot" I'm referring to, I kind of realized that I've been slipping in my recovery program.  Not huge slips - just not doing as much as I used to or as much as I need to.  For the past couple of weeks I haven't been hitting as many meetings as I normally do.  I haven't been reading as much as I normally do.  Just little things but they can become big things fast for those of us who need a consistent program and daily reprieve.  So I'm kind of rebooting my program - time to get back in the frame of mind I was in when I was newer in the program.  I have to remember that my recovery program comes before anything else in my life.  I have heard whatever you put ahead of your recovery you are sure to lose eventually and I believe that.  Especially with the holidays coming up I need to really make sure that I have a good action plan for working the program that I know I need to.

I think I'm rambling now but in addition to that I've started thinking about my physical health as well.  I used to workout all the time and eat super healthy.  That is something that I can become obsessive with so I have to watch it but I think I'm ready to start the new year off getting slowly back into that way of life.  I know that I feel SO much better when I eat healthy and exercise regularly.  Here's to hoping I can make myself do it when the time comes! 

Hope everyone is having a great week - 19 days until Christmas....eeek!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

It's Been Awhile....

It's been a really long time since I have blogged.  I seem to go in spurts like that with everything that I do.  I'll blog a lot....then I won't blog at all.  I'll sew a lot....then I won't sew at all.  I'll do a ton of puzzles...then none for a year.  I was talking to my sponsor about this and she just kind of laughed.  We alcoholics tend to have this "all or nothing" mentality and I think that I must carry that over into all parts of my life including hobbies.  I definitely keep busy with hobbies but it's like I have hobby ADD or something.  HA 

For a quick catch up, life is good here.  Today I celebrate 19 months of sobriety and for that I am truly grateful.  Sheridan is busy with cheerleading, Will is busy just being Will, and Tabi is about to finish her first semester of college and is doing really well.  I couldn't be more proud of them all!  Rocko is enjoying laying around being Rocko.  I think he makes the Christmas tree look even better don't you? 

My recovery journey continues day by day and I have to admit, it's not always super easy.  If it was easy, everyone would do it right?  I don't want to drink.  But the emotional sobriety isn't always the easiest thing in the world to keep on track. It isn't always easy to not get involved in other people's problems, especially if it's family you are dealing with.  Even while working what I consider to be a pretty good program I still have days where I just want to crawl in bed and pull the covers over my head and not talk to anyone at all.  I have days where everything around me is frustrating and makes me irritible.  These days are very few and far between thank goodness.  I'm having one of those days today and it's for no reason at all.  Maybe it's the gray and gloomy wet weather?  I'm not sure.  I'm thankful today though that I don't have to drink over a bad day and that I have tools to use to not kill anyone around me.  :) 

In my last post I talked about going off of my Lexapro.  That didn't last very long.  I wanted to try to go off of it but it just didn't work for me and that's okay.  When I was off of it I was turning into a person that I didn't like.  I got to the point where I felt like I was crawling out of my own skin and was irritated by everything around me.  I was turning back into the "old April" very slowly but I could feel it creeping in.  I was just not being a nice person and that isn't me anymore.  I decided to talk to my psychiatrist about going back on the Lexapro and when I told her how I was feeling she was like, "Why would you NOT go back on it???"  Good point.  So I went back on it and was fine again within a week or two.  Some people think it's not a good thing to take those kinds of meds, but if you need them, you need them.  Some people even in recovery still need extra help and I'm okay with that. 

We are gearing up for the holidays around here.  The kids and I decorated our trees last weekend and as always it was a great time.  We put up our big family tree and it is filled with ornaments that all have meaning to me.  Each year everyone gets a new ornament to hang on the tree and that is a great tradition that the kids look forward to.  In the dining room Sheridan and I put up our candy theme tree.  I always wanted one of those and now I have one.  It's beautiful!  In the breakfast room we have our University of Kentucky blue and white tree with UK ornaments on it.  Go Cats!  The kids all have small trees in their bedrooms and we have another one in the basement.  To say I go a little crazy at Christmas is possibly an understatement.  :)  Next week I will start my Christmas baking and I enjoy that SO much.  I give so many baked goods as gifts at this time of the year and I truly love doing that. 

I hope everyone has a great holiday season!  Now it's time for me to go catch up on all of the blogs that I used to read!  :)

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Lexapro withdrawal symptoms make you feel amazing and wonderful! - said NO ONE EVER

Hey all!  I haven't written in so long  Have you ever seen those funny signs that say, "I have so much to do...I think I'll just take a nap"?  That has been me lately.  We've had several things going on - some good, some not so good but we've been super busy.  I have so many things I want to write about both recovery related and just life stuff.  Hopefully this week I can get around to some of that.  But today, let's talk about the title of this post.

Lexapro withdrawal symptoms make you feel amazing and wonderful!" - said NO ONE EVER.

(This is NOT me, but this is TOTALLY how I felt today. I feel for this girl.  HA)

I need to write about this for a couple of reasons.  One, I just need to whine, okay?  I rarely do that anymore so I need to sometimes.  Today is that day.  HA!  Two, I know a lot of people go through this and it's been helpful to me reading what others have gone through.  So let's talk about this wonderful thing I'm going through right now.

A couple of years ago, I started seeing both a therapist and a psychiatrist as many people do when they later find out that addiction/alcoholism is their problem.  That of COURSE was not MY problem.  No sirree.  Not me.  I'm not THAT girl.  Riiiiight.  Anyway, so I was having a lot of anxiety and depression so my psychiatrist put me on Lexapro.  I was willing to try anything at that point (or so I told myself...stopping drinking might have helped, no?) so I started taking 10mg of Lexapro and went on my merry way.  Now, they tell you not to drink with a drug like this.  Yeah.  I really listened to that one.  Not so much.  I just kept on drinking like it was my job on top of taking the Lexapro so who really knows what it was or wasn't doing for me during that time. 

When I was very heavy in my drinking towards the end I quit taking my Lexapro.  I also quit taking my Synthroid, Allegra, everything else I should have been taking.  I just quit taking care of myself period.  So I stopped the Lexapro cold turkey but didn't notice any withdrawal symptoms.  Well, DUH.  I was drunk all of the time.  Of course I wouldn't have noticed the withdrawal symptoms.  I know that now.  At the time I was just like, okay, whatever, no more pills! 

When I went to rehab I got back on my 10mg of Lexapro and probably honestly needed it at the time.  That was the best thing I have ever done but it was also scary and I had tons of emotions and had to actually FEEL them and PROCESS them without a mind altering substance like alcohol.  Talk about frightening.  That was in May of 2011.  I've been taking 10mg since then and have been fine with it. 

Now, I know a lot of people when they get sober they decide to try going off their anti depressants.  I really wanted to do that because I don't want to be taking anything that isn't necessary.  My sponsor and psychiatrist and I agreed that once I had been sober for a year then we could revisit going off of the Lexapro.  2 weeks ago I decided that I wanted to try it.  I'm sitting at almost 16 months sober and most days I work a pretty good program and feel pretty happy.  I rarely am agitated, irritable, anxious, etc.  I do have those days of course but they are nothing like I used to experience.  So I thought, why  not?  Now seems like a good time.  So I talked to my psychiatrist and she set me up on a schedule to ween off of the medicine in a pretty soft manner.  I was to do 10-5-10-5 every other day for a week then do 5-0-5-0 until the next week when I would go off completely.  I weened off and felt fine.  I truly thought, huh.  All these people talking about Lexapro withdrawals on the Internet are being dramatic and that obviously isn't going to happen to me.  That is what I get for thinking that.  WRONG.

About 3 days after going completely off of the Lexapro I started getting what is commonly referred to as "brain zaps."  These are fairly common when going off of SSRI's according to everything I've read.  It wasn't horrible.  I definitely could tell something weird was going on but it wasn't to where I couldn't function.  My mood wasn't affected, no headaches, no nausea, none of the other stuff I had read about.  Again I became smug.  BAD IDEA. 

Today which is a week after stopping the Lexapro I feel awful.  I woke up fine but as the morning went on my body began to really hate me.  I was out running errands and I was driving.  I began to feel really nauseated and dizzy and almost like I was carsick.  I get really carsick anyway so I hate that feeling.  I stopped off and got a Sprite to drink thinking I could calm it down.  Didn't happen.  I was just trying to get home as fast as I could at that point.  I was praying that I didn't vomit in the car while I was driving.  I thankfully had a trusty McDonald's bag there just in case.  HA  I have never felt carsick while driving but that is exactly how it felt.  I was miserable.  I got home and just crashed on the couch.  I never threw up but felt like it for quite some time.  I found that if I just stayed very still then I was okay.  But when I would move at all the dizziness came flying back.  This must be what Vertigo feels like.  It is NOT fun. 

That is pretty much how I have spent my day.  It has really been off and on.  I'll be fine for a bit then the dizziness and nausea will come back.  Along with being super tired and having hot flashes.  Yeah, fun.  My psychiatrist said if I wanted I could go back to taking 5mg and try to taper again but honestly I just want to be done with the Lexapro once and for all and if I start taking any dose of it again, then I'll have to go through this all again and I certainly do not want that.  I've read people say that it can take a month for this to go away.  I have to say, I may not be able to take this for a week much less a month.  So we will see what I end up doing.

Thanks for letting me whine.  I mean I did this to myself, deciding to go off of the pills so I don't expect much sympathy but thanks for reading anyway.  I'll get back to happier topics later this week hopefully because I have a TON of good going on right now to focus on.  Don't think my gratitude is gone - it's just taking a backseat for a minute today!  I won't sit in the pity pot for long though as my sponsor would call it.  :)

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Say Cheese!

We have lived in our new house now for a little over a year and I am sorry to say that I still have a lot of blank wall space.  It's not that I don't WANT things's that I haven't made the time to figure out what I want on each wall, to purchase things, to make things...whatever the case might be.  I am finally starting to get on this though because I think a house looks so much homier with pictures hung, don't you?? 

I am trying to be more thrifty about things and thanks to Pinterest I find all sorts of wonderful ideas to save money on house projects.  I knew I needed several frames for a couple of gallery walls but I also know frames can really add up.  What to do, what to do...ah!  I had a ton of old frames just laying around in drawers that were outdates - brass (just not my taste...) or just in need of some love.  I decided to sand them down and give them a fresh coat of paint to make them all black.  I had some black acrylic paint so after sanding the frames I used the black paint and viola!  Easy peasy and much cheaper than buying all new frames!

I also needed some mattes but didn't want to spend the money on those either.  So I decided to just whip those up myself with something that I saw on Pinterest.  I already had a couple that I had bought awhile back so I decided to use those for a template in making my own mattes.  I had seen on Pinterest where someone used cereal boxes and upcycled them into mattes.  I have a ton of boxes like that in my pantry that I would have just thrown away so I decided to put them to good use.

First I took the matte that I already had and traced it onto the inside of the box I was using.  I then used a utility knife to cut out the pattern from the box.  Using the cardboard box makes the matte look thicker than if you just used regular paper to create one.  This makes a difference!

Next step is to figure out how you want your matte to look.  You can use plain white paper or colorful scrapbook paper.  I opted for some scrapbook paper that I already had around the house.  Lay the matte that you cut out of cardboard on the back of your sheet of cardstock.  Trace onto the scrapbook paper so that it is the same size as your cardboard matte.  Now cut the shape out of the scrapbook paper.  I again used a utility knife here. 
Now that you have both pieces of your matte ready, it's time to glue them together.  I used rubber cement for this but I'm sure any type of glue would work.  Glue them together then make sure they fit in the frame.  I had to trim off a little on a couple of them but for the most part they were close to perfect.

Now you can place the matte in your frame and add a picture!  I'm sure my best friend won't mind me showing off her gorgeous child on here to show you my final products.  :)

Now that I had my frames and my mattes ready, it was time to hang them on the wall.  I have looked at a ton of ideas for hanging pictures in a stairway and finally decided I would just do it my own way. Everyone has different sizes of frames and different ideas so there is no right or wrong way to do this in my opinion.  I cut paper to the sizes of the frames I would be using and hung them on the wall so I could easily move it around until I decided how I wanted everything.  I wrote on the pieces of paper what size of picture would go in each so it would help me decide what to put in each frame.  I had to explain a couple of times, no, this is not some new kind of art I am trying out....
I am extremely pleased with the final product!  I will add a few more to the bottom most likely.  I love having family pictures on this wall!
We also recently finished up another photo gallery in our basement.  We are doing a music theme in that room as we both grew up around music, playing music, listening to music, etc.  I used old photos of our family members playing instruments and some newer ones of hubby playing the guitar.  I mixed in a couple of cool wire pieces that I found at Hobby Lobby.  One more project completed!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Busy in the Meadow!

I haven't blogged in a SUPER long time and my excuse is just that life has gotten in the way.  I have to be in the mood to blog for one thing and for another, actually sitting down at a computer for long enough to collect thoughts and actually type them out just hasn't been happening for me.  But tonight, TONIGHT I decided time to stop making excuses and get on this.  (That, and well, my best friend Erin says she doesn't even feel like she knows me until she reads my blog to catch up on my life. Considering we have been best friends for over 25 years I'd say she knows me better than almost anyone but I'll humor her here....)

Let's just go with an update of everyone living under my roof.  We are all running every which way so here we go starting with the baby:

Rocko:  Rocko is, well, being Rocko.  He is enjoying summer because he likes to sunbathe by the windows.  His allergy shots are now spread out to every 7 days which is good for all involved.  He does have Twitter though so if you want a good laugh, you can follow him @babydogrocko.  He turns 3 on August 28th!  I better get planning his birthday treat....

Will:  Will has spent the summer pretty much just hanging out.  He went to baseball camp at USI which is my alma mater and had a great time learning from the "big boys".  He and I have spent a lot of time playing "HORSE" at the pool this summer and I think we are about even on wins vs. losses.  He does make me get on my knees though so I'm the same height as him in the pool.  HA!  All I can really say about him is that 8 year old boys say the darndest things and he just makes me laugh all the time just by being himself.  Football should be starting soon for him.  Or maybe soccer.  Or maybe both!  Time will tell!

Sheridan:  Sheridan started 7th grade today!  I can't believe that.  She has become boy crazy this summer which is hysterical to me.  She is also currently obsessed with the band One Direction and has a shrine to them in her room.  Almost an entire wall is covered in One Direction posters that she has spent hours making.  Some people don't like their kids putting that crap on their walls but honestly?  She gets to use her creativity and she loves it so it's whatever as far as I'm concerned.  She made cheerleader for this year so this summer has been a lot of conditioning and a week of cheer camp.  She hates the conditioning so hopefully once they actually get to start cheering at games she will be happier about this decision.  :)

(Sheridan and I at Panama City Beach in July!)

Tabi:  Tabi has been trying to enjoy her summer before starting college.  We've all been getting used to having a "kid" in our house who is no longer in high school but is yet still living in our house.  A lot of discussions about rules, money, etc. but I think we have it all figured out now after a lot of tears, arguments, and eye rolls.  Teenage girls are tough, period.  HA  She is still working at Subway being a "sandwich artist" and will start college in a week and a half at Ivy Tech.  She is excited about school which makes me excited!  I can't wait to see what she is going to do with her life - she is talented enough to do anything she wants!  I will personally be happy for all the high school drama to be over.  Though really?  Is it EVER really over?  Hm.
(Tabi at her graduation party with our nephew Brayden!)

Tommy:  Tommy has just been trying to keep all of us in line :)  Tough job but someone has to do it.  We are starting our backyard overhaul this week so he has been keeping pretty busy figuring out plans for that project.  He is also almost to the point of having his wood shop put together enough to start building furniture again and I can't wait for that!!!  I have so many things I NEED him to build for me.  :)

(Tommy and I in Panama City Beach celebrating our 5 year wedding anniversary!)

Me:  I've been running around like a chicken with my head off this summer.  Running the kids all over the place, getting Tabi ready for college, visiting with family, helping my best friend move, etc. etc.  The list goes on but it is all great things and I'm blessed to have all of the people in my life that I do.  Recovery is going very well.  I had 15 months of sobriety on August 2nd and I'm still going strong.  I am now sponsoring two women that are a bright spot in my life and help keep me out of my own head which is definitely a necessity on a lot of days.  I've had some days where I would have considered myself being in a slump which I am told is pretty normal at this point in sobriety for some people.  As a whole though I enjoy everything about it

As for projects for me, I have a lot of them going on right now.  I kind of go in projects for awhile and then all of the sudden I want to do 3 or 4 at a time.  Which is where I am now.  Currently I'm working on a gallery wall for our basement stairway.  If you came in right now you would think I had lost my mind and was decorating with sheets of paper.  No, not the case.  I did that so I know where to hang the frames once I get them all painted.  Yes, painted.  I had a ton of frames packed away that were brass or ugly colors so I'm painting them all black so I don't have to go spend a fortune on new frames. 

I'm also in the process of finishing our corn hole boards.  I started them years ago.  And I mean probably 4 or 5 years ago.  One thing about being in active addiction/alcoholism?  You start a lot of projects but never finish them.  Well this is one of them.  Tommy made the boards and I started to paint them.  But got about 1/4 of the way through and didn't touch them again.  They are going to be University of Kentucky themed for hubby so I'm drawing the Wildcat on them and painting him.  Super fun project for me and I can't wait to finish it FINALLY years after starting it!

I keep mentioning my best friend (probably because she is so fabulous, right E?) but I have to mention her again.  She has awakened something in artistic side!  So I used to paint and I loved it.  I painted a few things for friends including murals on walls and canvases to match bathroom/bedroom decor.  This is kind of another hobby that went by the wayside with my drinking and it's coming back in full force.  Erin is a first grade teacher and she wants a funky painted chair for her classroom and she asked if I could do it.  Um yes, I would LOVE to!  I love painting furniture and I had forgotten how passionate I am about painting.  I would LOVE to be able to eventually sell some custom pieces but we'll see.  I really want to focus on upcycling pieces that I find at yard sales, consignment shops, etc. so I'm currently on the hunt for a chair for Erin's classroom.  I came across a child's rocker today for cheap and bought it so someone with a little kid in my life is going to be the recipient of that at some point soon.  :)  So I will see where this goes for me.  It's a fun thing for me to do and if it leads to something great and if not it will help me use my creative side and make some cool things for relatives and friends.

Whew!  Okay, I think that is all I have right now.  We are busy bees but I'm going to try to keep up with this more especially now that I'm getting some house projects and whatnot going.  I like to post those!  They are fun for me to look back on.  For now though, have a great rest of your week!!