It’s been 5 days and I don’t know how many hours since I found out I have Fibromyalgia.  What started out as a routine doctor’s visit for flu-like symptoms that went on for way too long, became a couple of weeks of multiple blood tests, referrals to the rheumatology department, follow ups, and now a diagnosis.

Yep, buckle in for one of those therapeutic posts that I so desperately need so I can get it all out.

Not knowing what Fibromyalgia is, the doctor might as well have said Cancer.  For every question she answered, I had ten more.  I’m grateful that I was assigned to an extremely patient Rheumatologist and that my husband had a day off to go with me.  I don’t think I would’ve had the strength to drive home that day.

The word fibromyalgia comes from the New Latin and Greek meanings:
fibro meaning “fibrous tissue”
myos meaning “muscle”
algos meaning “pain”

I, of course, did what I always do.  I researched it.  I read everything I could possibly get my grubby little hands on.  I wanted answers.  I wanted explanations why this happened to me.  I wanted a cure.  I want it to go away.

What I’ve learned about Fibromyalgia since that day:

-nobody really knows what causes it
-it’s incurable
-women are 10 times more likely to develop it than men
-there is medication to treat specific symptoms, but not the disease itself
-stress triggers flare ups
-my history of medical problems all lead back to Fibromyalgia
-it wasn’t all in my head

…and so much more, these are just the ones that stand out.

One symptom isn’t Fibromyalgia, it’s a combination

Since last Thursday, I’ve had several panic attacks, breakdowns, bouts of anger, moments of clarity and of course, moments of determination.

What now? 

As is my nature, I allow myself 2 minutes a day to be overwhelmed, cry and get it all out, before I suck it up and put on my big girl panties.  Those that know me, know that I’m not a crier.  I don’t like crying.  I don’t like chick flicks.  I don’t get emotional over babies.  The way I see it is that I’ve had a lifetime of crying in my last marriage, that I’ve made a conscience effort to not let things into my life that make me sad. 

Now that I know what I have, my health history is making a ton of sense.

Pelvic Problems

For as long as I can remember I’ve had girl problems.  Heavy periods, occasionally painful sex, several miscarriages, two extremely difficult pregnancies, bleeding fibroids and ultimately a hysterectomy.  I haven’t had any issues in this area since the hysterectomy, until about a few months ago, I found out I have ovarian cysts again.

Digestion Problems

Self-explanatory.  I’ve never been huge on food.  I eat to live, not live to eat.  Now I know it’s because everything I put into my mouth, makes me feel sick.

Weak joints

I can’t count the amount of times I sprained an ankle, kinked my neck, or had joint pain.  What I do know, is that massage therapists need a frequent flyer discount card.

Fibro Fog

I don’t think I’ve had full fibro fog, as described by the doctor, but I have always had memory problems.  Simple things.  I think it’s the reason I refused to study the night before a test because nothing stayed in my brain.  5 minutes before a test was the only thing I ever need to ace a test.

Sleep Disturbance

I’m one of those that if you wake me, that’s it, I’m up.  No going back to bed, no matter how tired I am.  I never thought anything of it.  However, between that, restless legs, morning aches and tingling limbs, I now know it isn’t a normal thing.

Anxiety/Depression

This is a fairly new thing for me.  I’ve always been a planner, but I attributed that to OCD.  Little did I know, it was a coping mechanism to prevent anxiety.  I never considered myself an anxious or depressed person, I still don’t.  However, the doctors did 7 years ago.  I have to say, I was extremely ashamed.  I was put on meds that were horrible and turned me into a zombie.  I hated them and refused to take them, they made me feel worse. 

Also, I was going through an extremely tough time in my life, my marriage of 15 years was over and as we all know, divorces aren’t an easy thing to go through.  I’ve since, made it out on of the other side of that and other than an occasional co-parenting issue, I’m good.  If I would’ve known then about my Fibromyalgia…well, let’s not finish such sentences.

Pain & Fatigue

I’m putting these two together, because for me, they go hand in hand.  I’ve never not had either one in my life.  I honestly can’t say when the last time it was that I was NOT in pain.  Pain has been a constant for me.

Most of the time time it takes a history of symptoms for a diagnosis, which is why it usually isn’t diagnosed until mid-life

Why have I put all these out?  Why this post?

Mostly for me.  It helps to see how it’s been there all along.  It’s been an invisible constant.  It wasn’t all in my head.  I feel slightly vindicated for all those times I just couldn’t move, for all those sick days I took, for all those missed dates, events and parties.  I’m grateful I listened to my body enough to know that it needed rest. 

But I also put this out because people just don’t know how invisible this is.  I don’t have any physical deformities and I never will.  I look healthy, but I never have been.  I have smiled through the pain because I don’t have the strength to do anything else about it. Lastly, I put this out there because I hope that when I look back at this day, I’ll be able to see how far I’ve gone.  What has worked for me, what hasn’t and I hope it helps others along the way.

What now? 

Considering there is NO treatment and it will never go away, I figure I have two choices, lay down and die or get up and work through it.  I’m here, so you all know what I chose.

Currently I’m a human pin cushion.  I’ve chosen acupuncture for pain management, which is huge for me, because needles make me faint.   I don’t want drugs, because it’s a lifetime commitment at this point and nothing will cure this for me.  So I’m addressing the symptoms and that’s about as much as I can do, other than to have a voice.  I’m looking into CBD oil as an option for pain management, but only as a last resort.

What do I know for sure?

My life is going to change drastically.  It has to if I want any kind of relief.  I have a wonderful life, a great husband and two incredibly amazing daughters to live for.  Nothing has changed with this diagnosis, but it’s going to. I’ll keep learning along the way.  Do what works for me.   I’m still me.  I live with pain.  It won’t defeat me, it hasn’t yet and I’m determined to keep it that way.  I have Fibromyalgia, it doesn’t have me.

-Sandra

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Divorce and the 5 Things I didn't ExpectPeople don’t understand the ups and downs of divorce unless they’ve gone through it. Everyone learns at their own pace and have their own “ah-ha” moments, these are just a few of mine.

1. The person you married isn’t the person you’re divorcing. 

I married the boy next door (actually, across the street). I had known him my whole life and would’ve bet everything that our divorce would be civil. Boy, was I wrong. He became a person I no longer recognized. If I would’ve met this version of him from the get-go, I would’ve ran, fast!

2. You lose so much more than expected. 

It’s not the division of assets that throws you off, that’s an expected part of divorce. It’s the division of friends and family. Those people that you welcomed into your home, that were there for huge milestones, that had your back. You don’t just lose them to your ex, you sometimes lose them because they just don’t agree with your decision to divorce.

3. You’ll be treated like a failure.

No matter what you believe. Especially if you believe you’ve done the right thing. There will always be those that treat you as if you’re a failure. You’ll get the “oh, you’re divorced?” with the head-tilt-of-pity. As divorcees, we beat ourselves up enough about this one, but to have to face everyone else’s judgement of your decision is just horrible.

4. It’s not over once you sign on the dotted line.

I wish I could have had a mulligan. Hindsight is 20/20 as everyone knows. If we knew then, what we know now, we could’ve saved ourselves a whole lot of heartache. However, that’s not how life works. Divorce is a process, especially if you have children and have to co-parent, it’ll take a very long time for some sense of normalcy to roll around.

5. Divorce leaves you jaded in a way you don’t anticipate it to.

It might not necessarily be a bad thing. I’ve learned what I’m just not willing to put up with within a relationship. You get real, real quick, with the people around you and all that additional BS that comes with the relationship dance, goes out the window. Those boundaries might have been there before, but you don’t have that misguided notion that things will eventually change into what you really want. My second time around, I approached dating like a business meeting. Weeded out what I couldn’t live with, accepted (wholeheartedly) what I could live with, and enjoyed the ride and truly fell in love.

Here’s the thing: to each their own. 

It took me a long time to even pull the trigger on my divorce, so much longer than I would’ve done, had I not been listening to everyone around me. No one lived my life. No one cried my tears. No one even held my hand through it. But I survived.

Why am I not miserable you ask? How did I survive?

I made things easy for myself. I gave myself a break. I allowed myself to feel every single emotion. It was a 15 year marriage. You don’t get over it overnight. Most of all, I reminded myself of what my grandmother taught me, “he who gets mad, has 2 jobs, to get mad and to get over it”. I decided to go straight to getting over it. I exhausted my energy on that, rather on being mad and jaded and miserable and resentful. I was worth more than that.

It’s unfortunate that ‘divorce’ still has the stigma that it has. However, pulling myself out of a situation that was unhealthy for myself and my children is the best decision I’ve ever made. Stigma or not, that’s everyone’s else’s issues and I don’t subscribe to those. I subscribe to being surrounded by the strength of those that have been there for me and those that have gone through a divorce and understand what coming out on the other side means. Divorce equals being strong enough to value yourself enough to leave an unhealthy situation, it’s not failure. Failure is staying and being miserable in a marriage long after it’s over.

-Sandra

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5 daily reminders for successful coparentingSaying goodbye to a loved one, whether alive or not, is not an easy task. Let’s just acknowledge that an ending, any ending, is usually very hard.  Having gone through a divorce, I have to say, I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy.  I know not everyone has the same experience and I envy those that have had an amicable divorce from the beginning.  But usually, the word divorce is synonymous with heartbreak, pain, stress, etc.  Obviously, if we were on the same page, we wouldn’t be divorced.  But we’re divorced, what now?

I’ve learned that as much as a marriage is between two people, everyone in your life usually takes a side. Our families divorced, our friends divorced, teachers took sides.  Who knew there were so many people in our marriage?  All that doesn’t matter now.  What happened in our marriage is over, but what happens from here on out is what matters.  The mental and emotional health of our kids is what matters.

In many cases, mine included, it’s an uphill battle.  It hurts, and when people are hurt, they tend to want to hurt those that hurt them.  Everyone heals differently.  The easy part is over, signing on the dotted line and ending the marriage, regardless of the division of assets and such.  The hard part is the co-parenting.  It’s taken 7 years for us to learn how to co-parent and it’s still a learning process, but we’re getting there.  Every situation is different and there are tons of advice I can give, but below are the top 5 daily reminders that kept me sane and fighting to successfully co-parent.

Learn Some Emotional Intelligence
  1. Learn to NOT be reactive.  Understand that you and only you are responsible for your reaction no matter what is done to push your buttons.  There truly is a thin line between love and hate and when you have loved someone so deeply and it’s gone, it’s a normal reaction to jump to the other side.  DON’T.  Love them for the person they are.  Love them for what they brought into your life.  Remember their good attributes.  Focus on the positive.  There are plenty of them.  Hurt is keeping you from seeing them.  After all, you did fall in love with them.  Remember why.  Not to fall back in love, but to not fall into hate.  At the end of the day, they are half of your child and if you hate them, aren’t you also hating that half of them in your children?  For the love of your children, keep it positive.  If they push your buttons, acknowledge it for what it is, hurt trying to hurt you back.  It’s okay for them to be hurt, they will lash out.  Acknowledge it, let it go, and address the situation.  Mom was right, be the bigger person.  Not because they don’t deserve a piece of your mind, but because your kids deserve not to be in a tornado of emotions and fights.  Divorce is hard enough on them, don’t make it harder.
Pick Your Battles
  1. I think this applies to all relationships in your life.  Does it really matter that your ex, was 5 minutes late to drop them off?  Or that they’re wearing two different socks?  Focus on what matters. Are they happy when they come back home?  Did they have a great time with your ex?  Don’t be hurt, they love you just as much.  Encourage them to have a great relationship with your ex.  You can’t be the buffer for them anymore.  They’re no longer your spouse to tell them what to do.  Unless you are at a place that you can co-parent and communicate about your children, then encourage your kids to speak up on how they feel.  My kids appreciate being able to speak their voice and not having mom doing it for them and my ex realizes that it isn’t coming from me.  The more they speak their mind, the less resistance my ex had towards me and the fewer battles we had between us.  During the divorce, everything seemed like a fight, and afterward  It wasn’t until there was a consensus that the kids come first, that we had a much easier time communicating.  For us, it didn’t happen at the same time, I begged for a very long time for us to ONLY focus on the kids and put them first, but everyone has to work through their own issues to get there.  I’m just grateful we’re finally at a place that we can do that and not EVERYTHING is a battle.
Acceptance
  1. Accept they will be in your life for the rest of your life.  Soak that in for a moment.  It seems simple enough, but it’s not.  We found that it wasn’t over at the divorce finalization.  I wanted to get away from him and vice versa, but we had kids.  There is nothing worse than being granted that divorce and realizing that you still have to deal with them for the rest of your life.  It sounds horrible.  Here’s the kicker, it’s not for you.  What wouldn’t you do for your kids?  Now add biting your tongue for the sake of them having a happy childhood, with both of you.  Could you take away their happiness in order for you to be happy?  Nope.  So accept that you may no longer like them, no longer be married to them, but you can never take away the fact that they are your kid’s parent as well.  No matter what the court decides in regards to visitation, holidays, etc, they have the right to a relationship with them as well.  The quicker you accept it as a fact of life, the quicker you can focus on more important things.  You have birthdays, graduations, weddings, grandkids and more ahead of both of you, why make it miserable events for your children?
This Too Shall Pass
  1. Pain doesn’t last forever unless you give it life.  Everything in the moment seems magnified. Love. Divorce. Death.  But as time passes, these too shall pass.  When it seems hard, breathe.  Remember that you are further today than you were yesterday.  Keep in mind that your kids deserve all the happiness in the world.  Resolve yourself to be that ray of sunshine for them.  They grow, they go off to school, they live their own lives, and they’re not home forever.  Why not make those years the happiest regardless of what’s going on around them?  If your ex can’t find it in them to make your kids happy, they’ll eventually have adult kids that will make them answer for it.  Don’t worry about it.  Do your part.  Controlling other people and what they do or don’t do for your kids isn’t an option, only what you do is.
Put The Kids First
  1. I know, you think this probably should be first on the list, but the reason it’s last on the list is because learning to co-parent is a process and there will be days you just don’t have the patience to do anything else on this list.  Do this one, if you can’t do anything else.  Our kids didn’t ask to be here; they didn’t ask for the divorce, they didn’t ask for the mess, so they shouldn’t have to face the consequences of our actions.  We decided to have them and they were made in a moment of love.  Don’t begrudge them that love because you no longer feel it for your ex.  Your kids are a daily reminder that you once loved someone so much; you created a life with them.  Although they no longer hold that love anymore, you owe it to your children to continue to love them as deeply as you once loved their other parent.  Consider all that pain you feel and everything you’re going through as a bullet.  What parent wouldn’t step in front of a bullet for their children?  Do the same with that emotional baggage you’re carrying.  Protect them.  Divorce is an adult situation that is yours, not theirs.  You divorced your spouse, not your kids.  Keep it that way.

At the end of the day, these are always easier said than done.  I can’t speak for everyone and every situation, only myself.  This is what kept me sane.  This is what helped on the path of successfully co-parenting.  This is just my situation.  By all means, the children’s safety is the number one priority and if the situation is such that co-parenting is not an option, do what you can to keep the kids safe.  These are not the only steps to a successful co-parenting relationship; there are many ways to learn to co-parent.  Understanding that the need is there and the kids come first is that best thing you can do on the path to success and having happy and healthy kids.

-Sandra

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Who doesn’t make new resolutions every year!?! Among the usual resolutions of eating healthier, losing weight, setting aside some ‘me’ time (something that this mom rarely does), I’ve also resolved to take up those things I used to love.  Those things that made me, well, me.  For as long as I can remember, I have loved to write.  My favorite class throughout all my school years was all my English/Literature classes and every other class that had extensive writing in it.  When I wasn’t doing hours of homework, I was reading everything I could get my grubby little hands on and writing my own poetry.

Back Then

In 2009, when I started this blog, it was in the attempt to escape the reality of what was going on around me.  My marriage was falling apart, my daughter was ill (we later found out she has Celiac disease and Autism), and I just seemed to be falling further and further down the rabbit hole.  I tried to keep up and be diligent, but it wasn’t the lack of desire to do it, it was the depressing reality that those that go through a divorce know, just how far down it can drag you.  It wasn’t something I wanted to share and I couldn’t authentically write about anything exciting or happy in my life. The madness in my life had gone from normal to insane.

Now

It’s been several years now since the divorce and I’m happy to say, I’m making my way back to being me.  It took 15 years in my first marriage for me to get to where I was and I know it won’t be an overnight process to get back some of who I was.  But these baby steps are going in the right direction.  I still escape reality occasionally by cuddling up with a good book, but I do it because I enjoy it, and that’s a very good thing.  I’m back to writing, and like opening up an old wound, it’ll be a journey to pour out all that has built up and festered without an outlet, but I’ll get there.

So, all that to say, I’m back to blogging and as you can see, the changes keep coming.  I’ve moved on to my own domain and no longer on Blogger.  It was limiting and with all new things, I wanted to venture out, try something new, and go from there.  Of course my head is spinning from learning code, building a website, making it my own, etc., but I’m determined.

So keep tuned in because these flood gates have definitely been opened.

-Sandra

…the fear of abandonment and the fear of falling, everything else we learn.

I suppose I learned this in Mr. Cook’s Biology class in high school, but it’s one of those things that stick in your mind every time you hear the word.  For me, it was ‘fear’.  I couldn’t help thinking at the time that if this is true, then I’ve learned to fear reptiles, the dark, relationships, etc, from somewhere, someone.

Sitting in my panic/anxiety group sessions (yes, ‘fears’ has overcome me to the point of paralysis and panic attacks), my therapist said something that struck a cord in me, “it is human nature to run from what we fear”.  Apparently, I miss the whole fight or flight class somewhere or forgotten it at some point.  Now I’m in therapy to learn how to ‘tolerate’ and maybe even control my fears, but not how to face them.  I’ve allowed myself to be drugged to the point of numbness and be questioned over and over again to the point of pain.

My dad asked me the other day, after almost two years of not speaking to me, “What happened to you? What happened to the girl that was full of fight and didn’t allow anything to get her down?”

I don’t know.  Maybe after 15 years of marriage, of living in a promise to God, of being absolutely, positively, 100% sure, that this is the right person for you, then finding out that it’s not, does something to you.  Maybe it’s that the person I’m with has my heart convinced of the same.  How can fear not paralyze me?  How can I not be terrified of allowing myself to be happy with this person, or letting the thought of marriage and the rest of my life with him scare the life out of me?  How do I stand in front of God, family and friends with him and make a promise that I already broke once?  How can I promise something to someone and not doubt myself that I’ll take it back one day?

How do I teach my children to trust their instincts, choices and decisions when I doubt mine?  I don’t know.

I don’t know how to fix my broken heart, promises and dreams or to encourage my kids to follow and believe theirs.  I’m working on it though.  I know that they deserve to have a whole mother and my love deserves to be loved with no reservations.  I know that if I don’t learn from this, then I can’t possibly make myself or anyone else happy.

So off I go to therapy and to surround myself with family and friends that know and believe in who I use to be.  If I can get back an ounce of the girl that was so full of life and so sure of herself, if I can glimpse a former time and place where I was completely happy, I can build from it.  I’m working on unlearning my fears, I know it’s hard, but not impossible.  On the bright side, I’m no longer drowning, I’m treading water and when I’m strong enough, I’ll swim again.  Baby steps…

-Sandra

“Sometimes you have to forget what you want, and remember what you deserve.”

I keep hearing this over and over again!  Sometimes when you’re told something long enough, you start to believe it, I’m so sick of doubting myself!  How is it that everyone else thinks they know what I need in my life?

The more I think about what I want and how it affects everyone else, it makes me sick to my stomach.  I start to beat myself up for being so selfish for wanting a little bit of happiness for myself.  As a Mom, my job is to make sure everyone around me is happy first, so what’s wrong with me?

Then I spend a day surrounded by my happiness and I allow myself to believe that it’s what I deserve.  After all, how can I make sure my kids are happy if I’m not?

Life is divided for me right now, I live in stolen moments of euphoria, but mostly in the reality that everyone else is right.  I know, I know, I’m allowing myself a moment of self-pity, but mostly to remind myself how off track I am.  I know what I want, I know how to get there, why can’t I just pull the trigger?  Why can’t I get my head out of my ass long enough to see that I’m just delaying the inevitable?  Why don’t I just redefine what I want and go for it?

I mean, do I want what I want because I can’t have it?  Which is usually the case with me, as soon as I get it, boredom sets in and I’m no longer interested.  In that case, should I just leave my happiness to stolen glimpses of what won’t be, just to keep it that way and from getting disinterested in it?  Sometimes I stare at my happiness for so long, I don’t even recognize it as the object of my affections.  I don’t see myself in it or remember why I want it.  Or I convince myself that I’m better off without it and I grieve the loss of something I didn’t even know I ever wanted.

Yes, these are the diluted thoughts I allow myself to think, the thoughts that make me so sick and indecisive.  In the end, I see I’m truly off track, everyone is right and I should just let my life play out as it is, even at the risk of losing everything I love.  Of course, I’ll change my mind tomorrow….

-Sandra

“There is so much about my fate that I cannot control, but other things do fall under the jurisdiction. I can decide how I spend my time, whom I interact with, whom I share my body and life and money and energy with. I can select what I can read and eat and study. I can choose how I’m going to regard unfortunate circumstances in my life-whether I will see them as curses or opportunities. I can choose my words and the tone of voice in which I speak to others. And most of all, I can choose my thoughts.” 
— Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love)

My sister told me about this book a long time ago and for whatever reason, I resisted reading it for the longest time. I think the thought of reading about someone that had a life altering epiphany scared the hell out of me.  When the movie came out, I think I rescheduled a few times to see it with her and when I finally did go, she did what all big sisters do…..she held my hand throughout the movie and let me cry.

I know it sounds silly to have a movie impact you so greatly, I thought so too, so I bought the book thinking there had to be something different….something lost in translation and I was just awed by the scenery and magnificence of the big screen.  Nope!  No such luck…the book was just as good, just a little more in depth.  I can’t wait to buy the movie, the DVD comes out next week and I’m sure it’s one of those that you get more out of every time you watch it.

The quote above just about describes where I am in my life.  I’m taking back control of the things I stopped controlling a long time ago.  I’m choosing to take my life back and no longer leaving my decisions up to others to make for me and then getting upset when things don’t go my way.  How can I teach my girls to be strong women, if I can’t even do it for myself?  So this is me…..off to take control of my life…..

-Sandra

Purse-a-phobia

[purs-A-foh-bee-uh] -noun
A persistent, irrational fear of women’s purses that leads to a compelling desire to avoid them.

Is it just me or do all men have an irrational fear of purses? For the life of me I can’t get my hubby to go anywhere near my purse.

Take yesterday for example, I’m trying to unwind in a nice hot bath and he comes barging in asking for my car keys. To which I reply, that they’re in my purse (where they always are). Can you believe me that not 5 minutes later he comes back with my purse in tow so I can get them out for him? Seriously!?! Will it swallow your hand if you stick it in there? Or are you afraid some girly product is going to rub against your skin, marring you forever? I don’t get it! I certainly don’t have an issue diving into his wallet if I need something.

His excuse? He doesn’t want to invade my privacy…

Umm…doesn’t he consider interrupting my nice relaxing bath an invasion of privacy?

And what’s so private about my purse? The anti-bacterial foam I carry around for the kids or the boogey wipes? In fact, the only thing I really have in my purse for me is my license, cell phone, and ATM. Other than that, what does he think I have in there, the pool boy?

And he says I have irrational fears….

The next time he makes fun of me for freaking out about a lizard coming in the house, I’m throwing my purse at him!

-Sandra

All things die eventually.  However, can’t Valentine’s Day flowers last a little longer?  I know it really depends on when and where flowers are bought and how they were prepared, but seriously two days?  Ok, ok, I know I should be grateful that after so many years of marriage, at least I’m still getting flowers, BUT can I at least enjoy them!?!

When we first got married, I got bouquets once a month.  The girls at work expected them more than I did and as soon as they’d arrive, they’d all take a single bloom to enjoy at their desk.  They would beg me to have my hubby give romance lessons to their hubbies all the time.  Then seven years later, we decided to expand our family and with a difficult pregnancy, I was placed on bed rest and the flowers stopped coming.  As soon as I returned to work however, they continued to come and I loved it.  But as with all good things, this too came to an end.  The flowers started to come less frequently, then only on special occasions, and as the years went by, they no longer came on special occasions, but the day after…  And now that I’m home full-time, I’m lucky if I get flowers from my own garden!

It’s true we’ve cut back on costs, but just because I’m a mom, doesn’t mean I don’t want to be romanced!  And now what do I get?  …dead flowers!  LOL!  I love it!  I love my hubby and I know he desperately tries to be as romantic as before, but with two girls to chase after all day, it’s hard sometimes for either one of us to find our romantic ol’ selves.  Either way as my hubby now knows, I’d rather get dead flowers then to only get flowers after I’m dead!  Hmmm… does dead flowers = dead romance….NAH!

-Sandra

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Honestly, I’m pretty much anti-valentine’s day. Not that I don’t love love, it’s just that we should love those in our life on a daily basis and not on one lonely designated day in February. Needless to say, we didn’t do anything traditionally Valentine’s Day-ish, we did however, have a great family day!

 First, we made our way towards downtown Los Angeles and pit stopped at Olvera Street for breakfast. We usually eat at a different restaurant each time and this time we stopped in at La Golondrina, a great little Mexican restaurant. My hubby tried suckling pig for the first time and I tried the mole enchiladas (delish!), the girls played it safe and just had some scrambled eggs. Afterwards, we lit a candle at the Placita Church across the street and hopped on the freeway making our way to the LA Zoo.

Anyone that knows me, knows that I’m a HUGE animal lover! So frequent visits to the zoo are a must with me, especially since my gorillas have made their way back. Yes, gorillas are my favorite! They had been gone for about 3 or 4 years while their new habitat was under construction, but now they’re back!!! My favorite is baby Glenda, she’s a handful and you can tell Kelly (her silverback daddy) keeps a close eye on her. My hubby laughs at me because every time we go to see my gorillas (which is often), I can name all of them by sight. He’ll usually walk around the zoo with the girls to see the other animals and I’ll sit for a while with my friends (yes, the gorillas). This time however, we made our way through the whole zoo, start to finish. It was a snow weekend for some of the animals, so it was great to see them playing, digging, and eating the snow in their habitats. The snow leopards were fun to watch, it’s almost as if they knew it was Valentine’s Day, they spent the day hugging and licking each other and jumping around in the snow. My dream vacation of course would be a gorilla safari in Africa, but until then, the LA Zoo will do.

We finished off our day with some great drive-thru food for dinner and cuddling on the couch, watching T.V. until we all fell asleep. For being so anti-valentine’s day, I still found our day to be filled with love!

-Sandra

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