Category Archives: Relationships

Changing My Name-Born a Malo, Always a Malo

Changing My Name-Born a Malo, Always a Malo….

There are many things in this world we all take for granted. The roof over our heads, the cars we drive, and now more than ever, our health. But have you ever sat down and thought about your name and what it stands for? I have been thinking about this every day for endless months.

Most women I know get married and take on a new married name, the one of their husbands. For the most part that’s what you do unless you have a strong reason to keep your maiden name. I was no different and followed the typical protocol. I got married, changed my name and never thought much about it. I had two beautiful kids and they took this married name too. Like I said, you don’t think anything about it ,until of course, things don’t work as planned. Then torture sets in. What the hell is the right thing to do now? And believe me it’s not about what people think of me or what they think I should do, I shipped that yacht out years ago.

The struggle of being a Mom with two kids trying to protect them from any extra uncomfortable feelings is real. When your parents get divorced it plain fucking sucks. I don’t care what anyone says children of divorce are bad-ass and have way more shit to deal with than most kids. Unless you lived it or living it you just don’t understand. As you can tell this was the one and only reason I wanted to keep my married name. Our three musketeer unit could always be as one. I tried like hell to do that and keep it that way for them but I just never felt right, ever. Whether it be saying my name out loud or signing it, there were times I was like who is this person? There are absolutely no characteristics of the old me and the new me, not one thing is alike other than I am a Mom of two of the greatest kids on the planet. I have 99% changed. Then 2020 set in like a mad truck.

There was no normal anymore and this year was nothing any of us could have predicted. However,it brought a lot of us closer and reminded us about things we forgot about because we were all too damn busy. My kids and I were hiking almost every day with our dogs, having dinner at the table and this was the spring time when normally we didn’t have an extra 5 minutes in a day. At that point my decision was made and my kids understood. This wasn’t about me as a Mom but me as a human being. So I filed the paperwork and I paid to return to me.It was not easy getting here.

So today I am me the person I was born to be, the little Malo girl living in downtown Monson. A smidge older & hopefully still kinda little. The girl that waters the gazebo plants,jamming to music every morning with the biggest smile and an occasional twirl. Being a Malo means the absolute world to me. Malo’s are genuine, loyal, good- hearted humans. Didn’t say we were normal or not crazy cause that would be a lie but most of us would do anything for anyone.

I will NEVER take for granted signing my name, saying my name out loud and there would need to be an act of God to ever change it again. In one of my favorite lyrics to a song “I’m proud of who I am…No more monsters, I can breathe again”. I am amazingly proud just being me and being able to live this wonderful life I was given. So tonight I sign off sitting on my garage steps looking at the pink sky with a glass of wine.

Ya’ll better watch out because the Sara Malo in me is way more fun than ever!

~S

Time To Be Unfiltered

It’s time to be unfiltered…I have been sharing with you how it has been going now that I’m dating again.

Welp! Here we are.

My person and I actually had a rare day together. Between what’s going on in our world. Our jobs and me having a teenager our moments are few and far between.On my end, I read in a comment on my last post about mom guilt.  I carry some mom guilt if I am away from my daughter doing something for myself.

This is my thing. She is thirteen, she never makes me feel bad when we don’t spend every moment together and to be honest I think she’s secretly relieved I’m not spending every moment with her.

But…

I still feel bad when I do go out. I just do.Maybe someday I won’t. If y’all can let me in on when that would be lovely.

All that aside. I actually had a day date with my person.

A visit to my favorite place for coffee and little shopping for me and the hardware store for him. Lol, I know. But we were together. My person likes to tease me. I will be honest. I don’t usually tease back. I hold back. In previous relationships the teasing was incredibly personal. It was about my appearance, my family, my friends. It was hurtful. To make it stop. I took it in. Shut down. Did not say anything back.I filtered myself.

I have noticed with my current person I will engage but I filter.Now if he was one of my close friends and teased me I would have a comeback. Or a comment. Or a defense.

He noticed.

Immediately.

So… I did something I haven’t done in a long while.

I unfiltered myself.Much like everything else in this process I was petrified.I should not have been.At one point he was laughing so hard he was crying and joking and I thought I was going to have to give me CPR.

Why on earth would I hide that side of me away?

He called me on his drive home and said he hadn’t laughed like that in a long time and he really appreciated me sharing.

I don’t have the magic recipe here.The magic words.

I don’t know how to make this easier or less scary and I am not going to tell you this very person I’m writing about hasn’t also hurt my heart too.Because he has and at some point maybe I’ll share that.

Dating is never easy.If I’m being honest I think it was harder when I was younger. At least now when someone is a complete flake or says…”I don’t think I can pay for that.” I have the means to handle both of those things.But I think it hits harder when it doesn’t work because at one point I was married. 

For me no matter what. There is always that voice.

“Maybe it is me”.

Which is ridiculous.People are complicated.Relationships are complicated.What I’m learning is to cut myself some freakin slack.Things will either work or they won’t.What I absolutely can’t do is lean into all the things that made me miserable the first time around.

I know it’s super cheese and cliche but this saying is kinda true….

“Better to be happy and alone then miserable and with someone”.

But maybe that won’t happen. In the meantime I’m going to do my best to enjoy this.

Be safe & much love Mommas

💚Caprise

The Power Of Speaking Up

The power of speaking up..If you have been reading my posts the last few weeks I have been sharing my struggles with dating again. Almost all of it is because of communication and fear.Those two things I think are in a really healthy relationship actually and as such, they have definitely had an impact on mine.

Through all of this I keep thinking what would I tell my daughter? What do I say to my friends? I mean… what do I share with you all?

So… I mustered up a whole lot of courage partnered with a whole lot of Reese’s and told my kinda, sorta, person what I wanted. What I needed.

There were some tears.It was a jumble. A bit of a mess.At one point he asked me if I wanted to write it down. 

Yup….I know.

He listened.Really patiently actually.But I will be honest … I felt terrible. Selfish even. Which I know is crazy. When you are with someone you should be able to speak up, except up until now I have never felt like anyone has wanted to listen.

Here I am a few days later writing about it. Sharing it. Guess what?

Everything is fine.

In fact maybe better than fine because we talked through why I have a hard time speaking up.That in and of itself was incredibly powerful. Still scary. But I think we understand each other better now. Which we need. I need. 

I still have absolutely no idea where any of this will land but I am relearning what a healthy relationship looks like and that is powerful too.

Be safe and much love Mommas 

<3 Caprise

Flying Solo

Are you flying solo?

Happily Single?  Reluctantly Single?  Angrily Single?  Which is it?

For so long I was sad that I was single.  But through the work I’ve done & am still doing on myself, through my many prayers with my bestie and through my ‘giving it up to God’, again, I’m able to sit peacefully in it.  I call it Flying Solo.  And I truly do believe it is temporary. 

Am I happy about it?  No.  BUT I’ve certainly learned to find peace in the middle of it.  Yes, I wish it were different.  Sure I miss having a companion to call on and go out with.  BUT I’m peacefully living my life as it is.  I do want to be married again some day or at least in a loving committed relationship, BUT I’m not miserable because of my singleness.  Like I used to be.  I don’t dwell on it or make myself feel less amazing because of it.  I’m a devoted friend, loving mom and I am creatively talented. 

I appreciate my time…taking care of me, going to the gym and spending quiet time before work with my coffee in one hand and my devotional in the other and dabble in my sewing room.  I schedule “Ladies Nights Out” once a month to get girlfriends together, I volunteer my time when I can and tinker in my yard on the weekends. 

Life is good flying solo.

I hope you realize that maybe it’s just not the season for you to be in a relationship.  Do your kids need your attention?  Does your health require your rigor? Does your latest goal need your discipline?  Whatever you’re going through, my hope is that you put your energy on YOU, take care of YOU, do much for YOU and know that when the season is new, when your heart is ready & your space allows. It will come. 

Till then stay available, vulnerable and humble.

And have fun!

xoxo

Your God-girl

Tracy

The Secret Know

The secret know…..the last few weeks I have really been thinking about what I want in a relationship. Maybe because for the first time in a long time, I’m kinda sorta in one.

It’s hard for me to let my guard down. Let someone in. Say this is my person.

I have mentioned this before I am afraid. I have let myself want things I didn’t think I could have, only to have them taken away.

Then I realize fear should not be my guide.

Caution sure. But fear. Then I’ll never move forward. I can’t use it as my shield to not be honest with myself or others. I think sometimes I do.

In fact I know I do.

It’s easier to walk away when you don’t let someone completely in. 

On the flip-side I think it has also made me settle.I have maybe looked the other way in certain situations out of fear.Both of committing and if I’m being honest. Being alone.

After my divorce I plunged headfirst into a relationship with an ex boyfriend. He moved back to our home state to be with me. I was overwhelmed by the gesture. Except he moved closer to his family, not me. We were together for a really long time and in that time he never tried to meet my daughter. One grand gesture can’t forgive that.

Yet for the longest time I let it. Among other things.

I casually started dating.  It felt like Lemony Snickett and a Series of Unfortunate Events.I think it was fifty percent me and fifty percent them.And to be honest … dating is hard. Dating after divorce. Harder. Dating divorced with children is even harder. Dating with children and you’re over a certain age – hardest. Then out of nowhere I reconnected with an old friend and here we are trying to figure it out.

Well ok, I am.

The balance.

How much do I let him in?

How much do I tell my daughter?

Do I tell my daughter?

How much do I ask for?

What can I ask for?

For some of you reading this you may be thinking what is the problem?

Welp.

I was what you’d like to call a late bloomer.

Dating

Marriage

Motherhood 

I feel like I’m learning again and it’s terrifying and exciting.Secretly, I do kinda know what I want.

A partner in crime.

Who recognizes I have legitimately built my life around my daughter. So I want to let you in. It’s just scary. I have to think of her. Just have to.

I want the cheesy..

Not all of it but some.

I have never had it. Ever.

I have always been an afterthought even in my own marriage. 

I am kinda of over that. Not kinda. I am.

You know when you were a kid and you got picked last on a team? That is how it has been for me in my relationships. Maybe because I’m so independent I have accepted it as part of being independent. But there’s a line and I think I’ve let too many people cross it.

I said it last week and I will say it again.

To not be afraid.

To not be afraid to want things.

To ask for them.

To not be embarrassed or feel bad that I want them.

I keep thinking I tell my daughter to embrace who she is and lean into all the things that make her great. What would she think if she knew her Mom doesn’t know how to speak up for herself when she cares about someone?

A friend sent me a meme recently it was:

Friend: I need some advice. Me: eating a tube of cookie dough. “You’ve come to the right place.”

I have never identified with a meme more.I support and cheer-lead the people I love.Yet here I am a bit helpless. A lot clueless. Still scared.

I think I know what I want. Now this guarded girl needs to work on phase two.

Communication.

Please pass the cookie dough on your way out…

Be safe

Much love Mommas

💚Caprise

Laughter Through Tears

There is a line from the movie Steel Magnolias every woman my age knows.  It’s at Shelby’s grave when Sally Field, the strong maternal character of the movie, finally breaks down with her girlfriends after losing her daughter (Julia Roberts).  One of the women friends breaks up the melt down by encouraging her to hit Weezer, the raunchy, sarcastic woman in the group, to make herself feel better.  After a few tense moments, they all start laughing.  Dolly Parton’s character then says, in the sweetness that can only come from Dolly’s voice, “laughter through tears is my favorite emotion.”

My friend Tasha knew the day she would die.  I’ll elaborate of course, but that sentence standing alone is hellacious.  She woke up in the hospital one morning after battling cancer for months while her family was in the midst of trying to coordinate hospice, to learn they wouldn’t be getting that far.  That morning, her doctor said to her – today is it, you will die today.  We all knew it was coming, but not like that.  Who has ever heard of a doctor announcing, while you were awake and cognizant, that this would be your final day?  To a young woman.  Imagine that.  This is your last day, we’ll pump you up with as many drugs as we can, but this is it.  You simply have too much fluid in your lungs to make it more than 24 hours.

Her hospital room was already full of flowers, balloons, photographs and countless kids’ drawings.  She was a beloved young mother, teacher, daughter, wife, cousin, niece and friend.  And when I say friend, I mean friend as in she was the kind of friend every woman cherishes.  Funny, quick-witted, snarky and would rip the shirt off her back for you and stand there naked if she needed to to help you.  She was like one of the women in that band of friends from Steel Magnolias as I think about it now – she was a small piece of all of them.  And I had the honor of being in that band with her.

The level of conversations a young woman has with her best friend in the months she’s battling what everyone knows (even if they won’t acknowledge) is terminal cancer are profound, but to then concise that down to a day, to hours…. well, there’s no pretense of propriety left, no words that can be held back, no reason to soften the blow or dance around where we are.  This is it.  All of life, death and everything in between punched into hours.  Those moments, those conversations, those pieces of insights or tiny intervals where life rips out your soul become who we are.  And when one of the people in the world you’ve loved the most asks people to leave the room, grabs your hand, and says “I don’t want this to happen….” the foundation of everything around you is rocked.

I’m an estates and trusts attorney and have attended actual, literal legal education seminars on what they call “dying with dignity.”  I get such a kick out of that phrase.  We toss phrases around like that, write it in legal brochures, without thinking, goddamn, do you know what that means?  Do you know what it means to be told – you will die today and because of that, all of your family members and friends are going to stand around you in a tacky poorly lit hospital room while machines beep and they will awkwardly stare at you while you lay in one of those god-awful gowns, struggle to breath, wondering what to say.  Do you know what it means to want to share some fanciful, picture-perfect, meaningful, beautiful, profound moment with your pre-school aged daughter on this, your last day, but frankly she’d rather be in the other room coloring and playing with her cousins and friends than be surrounded by the weirdness that is a tense hospital room with your mom gasping a bit, teary, drugged up and formidably hiding any signs of what could only be described by any human as terror of the unknown while everyone looks at you all day long (as they have been for months….) with deeply, unabashed, sad longing eyes?  Dying with dignity.  Most people are fortunate to have no idea what that actually means.

It was transcendental.  My conversations with her that day were transcendental.  The room itself was transcendental.  Watching her mother selflessly take on the day like a warrior was transcendental.  Transcendental is defined by a google search as:  relating to a spiritual or nonphysical realm.  And the look in her eyes that day was raw transcendentalism.  She had the most incredible eyes anyway, and I won’t belie that the morphine was a factor too, but they were clear blue to the core.  You could see her soul at moments in those huge, blue, slightly teary eyes.  We all plan days that we know are days that will shape our lives, change our futures, that we will remember forever….. but none like that day.  And there is no plan for that.

So many of those I care about will carry that day forever.  And I hope with all that I am that someday, there is a day, that I am having a glass of wine (several) with her daughter, who is my goddaughter, and perhaps Tasha’s mother and incredible sister with us too, and I can let it all out.  Into those same blue eyes staring at me from another young woman who I love beyond all measure.  But for me until then, I will live knowing that I saw the closest thing to God I’ll ever see, right as this angel was heading to meet him, on that transcendental day.  The look in her eyes.  The powerful resonance of our fleeting, quick conversations and comments on faith in those hours.  All that is good, pure, holy, gracious and real was present that day, that worst of all days.  In that awful room.

And you already know reading this what happened there, in that room, between two friends on that final day.  It was laughter through tears.  I have no idea how many times Tasha and I watched Steel Magnolias together – surely ten times, but if I add late nights, laying around on couches, flipping through channels that we’d catch clips or just scenes, ten is not even close.  I loved the Sally Field character because her strength reminded me of my mother.  For Tasha it was always Weezer (of course it was).  I could hear Dolly Parton’s sweet voice running through my head in that hospital room, almost singing – “laughter through tears is my favorite emotion.”  That transcendental day was the best and worst of all emotions and while I’d never wish it on anyone, maybe in some ways it was the closest I’ve ever felt to anyone.  While laughing through the most harrowing kind of tears.

~M.

Prepare Yourself-Life Does Not Get Easier As Kids Get Older

Prepare yourself because life does not get easier as your kids get older.

I used to live under that misconception that as your kids got older…life got easier. It definitely does not. Remember when “they” said ‘just get through the diaper stages, the terrible twos… the preschool years..’blah blah blah… If we only knew then what we know now.

On our way back from Florida, we were seated in front of a family of 6. The husband, wife, and 4 kids all what looked to be under the age of 8.

We were on a 3 hour flight and mom tried everything to calm the 18 month and 3 year old. The 18 month screamed the entire time and the 3 year old basically kicked the seat and pounded on his tray.

There were snacks, treats, I-pads, book reading, cartoons watched, songs sung,farmer in the dell was even sang, everything and nothing worked. Until 20 minutes before we landed, the littlest fell asleep.

All I could think about was -we have all been there. As a parent, you just never know how your kids will behave or what they will throw at you in life. And as a mom you are drained at times. This mom was drained, you could hear it in her voice and see it in her face.

I was just about to say to this mom, “don’t worry it gets easier”,but then I thought..

“No it doesn’t.”

“Shut up Megan and don’t lie to this mom!”

Yes, my kids look like angels on this flight, they were glued to their devices, going to the bathroom on their own and not disturbing anyone. Each one has water and snacked placed perfectly in front of them and they honestly haven’t looked at me since we sat down. Probably because we just spent 8 days together and they are most likely a little sick of me.. Haha.

However, what this plane hasn’t witnessed was 2 days ago when we went to Cocoa beach on vacation and my 10 year old refused to get out of the car.

We drove 2 hours and parked the car, we all got out except my son. He sat in the car and demanded that he was not getting out or going to the beach. All because he wanted to bring his phone on the beach and I said “no”. I tried to stay calm at first and use reasoning. My daughter also chimed in with her comments, which did not probably help. It literally took me over 45 minutes to get him to come out and in the end he got his phone.

Why?? because we drove 2 hours and I couldn’t ruin the day for my other 2 kids. I was completely between a rock and a hard place and none of those parenting tactics (like those ever work for me) were working so I gave in.

I was so angry at him and disappointed at him. He was just being stubborn and wanted to test me.

And to top it off, he never looked at his phone when we got there. He played in the sand, waded in the water, and had a great day.

We all had a great day!

So, at times my kids look angelic but they are not.

They each throw me a curve ball on a daily basis. I think it’s almost worse now because it will seem like you have it all figured out and then slap it hits you in the face..

So as a mom, you are still faced with those daily unexpected obstacles that your kids throw at you. We think you have it all figured out and then something else happens.

Whether they wont get out of the car, they are crying on the plane, they break up unexpectedly with their boyfriend, they fail a class, they lose their job, they get their belly button pierced, they miss practice, they take the car without a license.

You just never know when or what will happen but it does.

As parents, we just keep treading through it all.

-Snarky

www.snakrydivorcedgal.com

Five Minutes

Five minutes…..

Sunday afternoon and I have Harry Styles in my ears and my windows open. After what seems like forever Spring is finally here in the Midwest and I can feel my mood improving. It helps I don’t feel like I have to be bundled up in five million layers.

My daughter is thirteen soon fourteen and as we approached this age I bought all the books. You know the ones, how to talk to your teen. How to build a relationship. Maneuver through the teen years. 

Did I read them ?

Lol, oh my goodness no. Instead I did something I should have done always.

Everyday I find five minutes.

It may be a silly moment where I go in her room and sing her a song in between cleaning. When I get home from work I go find her and ask about her day.At bedtime tell her all the things about her that make me proud.In the morning on my way out the door.

Those five minutes add up throughout the day. She is incredibly independent so sometimes in a day aside from dinner I may just get that five minutes.

Which is hard for me.

I miss the days she just wanted to be by me. Always. I miss holding her hand. I miss tucking her in. Reading to her.I’m incredibly proud of the person she is becoming.

She is smart, funny, and empathetic. She knows who she is.But I miss the little four year old who would crawl into bed with me and snuggle.Now she is taller than me.

What I am learning in those five minutes is sometimes they turn into ten. Then ten turns into an hour and somehow my thirteen year old is suddenly sharing things with me, things that  I am sometimes nervous to hear but happy she will tell me.

The other day those five minutes gave me a surprise of my daughter in my room asleep on my bed when I got home from work. When I asked her what happened.She said “I just missed you Momma so I came in here and took a nap.”

So while maybe I should crack open those books. I am going with five minutes.Those five minutes are showing me even though she has to crouch down to hug me. She still wants to.

I’ll take it.

Much love.

Stay safe Mommas

💚Caprise

Keep Your Word

Do you have a friend who breaks their word with you?   A friend who cancels at the last minute? One that says yes but then changes their mind because something else came along?  One that can’t commit to your requests to get together?

How does that make you feel?  Stop and think here.  Seriously think… how do you feel?  In your heart.  This is not the place to say “The heck with her, I don’t care anyway.”  Let the feeling sink in and put words to it.

Hurt,  Unworthy,  Uninvited

Ashamed,  Mad,  Sad,  Alone

Do you trust them?  Can you count on them?  Is there a sense of ‘she really cares about me’?   No?  

Okay, now turn that perspective to YOU.  Every time you break your word with YOU.  Every time you change your mind on a yes that you gave to YOU.  Each time you decide to NOT do something for YOU because ‘something better came along’.

You are selling out on you.  You are giving up on you.  And you don’t matter to you.  Over time this kind of behavior creates a subconscious opinion of The Self.  A “less-than” opinion of The Self. You may justify why you change your mind or why the one thing you said was the most important thing is now not happening…. but deep down, you have given up on you.  Then you feel bad, get mad at yourself, cry or moan or eat…whatever it is… you very well might punish yourself.  

This is a cycle that will lead you down a road you do not want to go down!  

If you act like you do not matter, then why would anyone treat you any differently?

It’s time to change how YOU treat YOU!  You Matter.  You are Worth it.  You are Important.

Say yes to YOU.

 

xoxo,

Your God girl,

Tracy

Florida Bound-Myself & Three Kids

This year I took the kids on a vacation to Florida for spring break.This year it would just be me and the kids for 8 days.  I was so excited, was also a little nervous and apprehensive about going into it.  I kept thinking, would they be bored, would we all want to do the same things, would they drive me nuts, would I drive them crazy, would they bicker the entire time. All the things that go through your mom brain.  

This was going to be 8 days with just us…8 days. In the past, we have always met family down there for the week.  I do not think we have spent that much time together with just us.  I see them almost everyday, but it’s different,they have school, work, activities and we are just busy with life going on.  

So, off we went to Florida.. I was still nervous about being thousands of miles away from home and responsible for these 3 littles who are not so little now at 16, almost 14, and 10.

I think it was more about being the one to make all the decisions. Once we got there, I realized that I depended on them also to help in making the decisions.  I let them give an input on what we would do during the week.  I had not planned much ahead of time and thought we would decide when we got there.  

I also counted on them to help with navigating directions, what time we left, and what we would eat. All of those things that I did not want to be responsible for making on my own. 

When I was growing up, I do not remember my parents ever asking for my sister and my opinion when we went on vacations.  My parents just made all the decisions and we followed along.   

I think that is the one of differences when you are a single mom with kids, you depend on them to help make decisions.  They have to step it up a little bit more and help you with whatever comes up.They can see how independent I am at times, but they also see when I need help and have frustrations.  

I learned that we are not the family that can go..go..go… We are the family that moves at a slow pace.  There were also times when I would just sit by the pool by myself because they were off doing their own things.  

At first, I thought my kids were bored or were not having a fun time if we were not always together, but then I realized they also needed their downtime.  They needed to escape and go watch their favorite TV show, read, or play a video game.  They needed their alone time as much as I did.  At times, it was probably one of the most relaxing trips that I have taken.  And I actually got to lay by the pool by myself-seems like a mom’s dream.  

I also realized that even though they are older, they are still never ready at the time we say we are going to leave the house.  They might be able to get dressed and eat by themselves, but they are still pokey.   

I learned that my youngest talks continuously.  By the end of the week, we would call it “Fun Facts by Nolan”.  I just never saw this side of him at home and his little mind never stops thinking.

I learned that my oldest daughter is so responsible, it was like I had another adult along to help me when I needed it.  I realized that her and I are more alike in many ways, that I do not see at home.  I do not see how grown up she actually is and that I need to give her more credit at home for everything that she does to help us.   

Even on vacation, we still all fight and bicker, but 20 minutes later it is like nothing ever happened. I did have some epic breakdowns at times, mostly over the GPS and it not giving me the correct directions.  Or when I could not figure out how to work the lights in our rental car.I have always been the mom that can not always hide my frustration.  

So through the 8 days, It was just great to see no crazy busy life, just more relaxed,more fun,more laughs.   It was just different for us to get out of our normal routine and to see each of them differently one on one and as a family.

We had some definite ups and downs, but all my worrying was pretty much overrated.

 

-snarky

www.snarkydivorcedgal.com