Sunny Days in DC

Jack of All Trades, Master of 3-ish.

It’s 6:45 AM

on March 30, 2013

It’s 6:45AM and I’m blogging, because there’s only three things you should be doing this early on a saturday morning: blogging, sleeping, or making sweet, sweet lurve. My mom is awake in her bedroom, watching QVC. I’m in Brooklyn visiting for Passover/why not? So, in addition to being exhausted, I’m trying to blog with a QVC salesman screaming about “that deep, rich forest green” of some Russian stone ring, which, bee-tee-dubs, is a great companion to the pendant. TELL ME MORE! I WANT TO BE ON THE NEXT EPISODE OF HOARDERS!!

It’s been over a week since I blogged, in part because I’ve been super busy, but also because, honestly, I’ve had a lot to think about and I wasn’t sure how to write it out. At first I was like, “maybe I should just poll the audience!” because I have a question, and I want your input. But the flip side is, what if you say something that I don’t want to hear? What if the answer isn’t what I want? What I want to do is sit here, have you stroke my hair (not too much! it’s curly, and I don’t need the frizz!), and tell me it’ll all be ok. But…. that might not be true.

The hubs and I had a fight. Not a little squabble like all couples have, but if you’ve read this blog, you may know that we’ve had a couple of fights that have brought us very, very, dangerously close to divorce. We pull ourselves back every time so far, but there are some fights that we both get close to throwing in the towel; this was one of those weeks. Wait, keep reading (if you want) because I do still need advice…

We went back to therapy because we value our marriage and we feel it’s worth the work. We went in, and my husband finally admitted it: he resents me. He resents me because I suggested we buy our house four years ago, and we made some mistakes, and then I lost my job, and we went from having a savings to being in debt. So, he resents me. I “didn’t do [my] due diligence.” And yes, sometimes, he “punishes” me for it. Not physically, but he says things he knows can be hurtful… I don’t know how to describe it. But until he openly admitted it, I had wondered, I had suspected.

The thing is, if you pick apart a marriage, or any relationship, there are dozens, maybe hundreds of things that you can find to resent your partner over. But you have to work together, or on your own, to move past it, to forgive, because otherwise you lose the relationship. Are there things I can resent my guy over? Yeah… let’s not even start listing that.

And, by the fucking way, two things: 1) You can make mistakes in life, and still expect your partner to forgive/understand. I’m not talking about cheating, that’s a whole different sack of potatoes. But I’m sorry, you should be able to say, “Wow, if I had it to do all over again, maybe I would do it differently, but here’s where we are now…” and 2) What’s a different word to describe “punishing” your partner?….

…I’ve started to think another word for this is “abuse.” Does he call me names? Does he call me “stupid” or “ugly”? No, of course not. Does he hit me? No, he’s never put a hand on me, and I know he never would. But….. you can’t, in one breath, tell me I have anxiety and I should get it treated, but then in another breath tell me you resent me for “forcing” you to get a house (really? how fucking old are you that you were FORCED to do anything?!)?

So, here’s my question: is this abuse? Am I in an abusive relationship? And, if I am, do I stay after eight years and try to work this out with him in therapy, or do I put myself and my son first, and say that I don’t want this as an example for him? I’m inclined to draw a line in the sand, and say that if he doesn’t get his act together in another year, I’m cutting my losses. But could I do it? Could I walk away from the man I love because his baggage has started to drown us both?

 

And why the fuck isn’t there ice cream in my mom’s house?! THIS IS AN ICE CREAM MOMENT IF EVER THERE WAS ONE!! Fuck Passover…. I need a pizza……

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41 responses to “It’s 6:45 AM

  1. Good Morning sweet girl!
    #1—that forest green would go lovely with your hair!
    #2 I am sad that you are sad!
    Going to therapy shows you are both trying to make this work. I have to tell you being married is the hardest job you will EVER have!
    You BOTH bought that house! No one held a knife to his throat to buy it! Throwing it in your face isn’t helping the situation at all. He could have done more research too but the fact is you bought it and you both have to deal with it together! Together is what marriage is about!
    I don’t like one bit that he is punishing you! You are not a child. You are supposed to be the woman he loves with all his heart and in my book you don’t do that to your wife! Being pissy blaming you isn’t helping!
    We all make mistakes in life but those we love forgive us and we move forward! Time for the hub to put on his big boy pants and ask YOU to forgive him for his resentment!
    No where in that blog do I hear him accepting responsibility for anything! Time for him to remember he is human too! Oh you have no idea how I’d like to whop him upside the head right about now!
    So to answer your question is this abuse….YES…he is abusing the fact that you love him and he is being immature in believing he isn’t responsible for anything! So what you bought a house and now you have no savings! You can make more $$$ but ask him can he repair the hurt he’s caused your heart? That might take more than $$$.
    If he continues to treat you like a second class wife than one of 2 things will happen as your sweet boy grows….1) he will behave like his father and blame the woman in his life for everything that goes wrong or 2) he will resent his father for hurting his mother!
    I’d lay my cards on the table and tell either you both work on this marriage and start to be more appreciative of the wonderful love in your marriage or the marriage will deteriorate over time and one of you will start to hate the other a little at a time!

    I have been married for almost 25 years. Yes you know some of my baggage and yes I am a forgiver! I have forgiven over and over and even the BIG one! I haven’t forgotten the big one but I did forgive. I am broke! We live week to week and any savings we had went up in flames when we had 10 kids here all at once. While I wish we had more $$$ I don’t resent why we spent the $$. They were kids who needed a home. WE made that decision even if I am the one who did all the care.
    Right now I’m in a place where I wonder if I will ever be adored and cherished the way I want before I die. I’m starting to believe he doesn’t have that in him. I did make the choice long ago to never divorce unless of course he would ever be stupid enough to dance outside my arms again…then all bets are off and the kids find out all the shit I’ve been through over the years. Sorry I don’t give him that luxury 2x.

    So my advice is to make it clear you need him to knock his shit off now! Don’t put up with it till you walk in my shoes with a gaggle of kids. My hub and I rarely get along these past few months cause I can’t understand why on earth there are no hours in his week to concentrate on me. Stella (his TV) is the only woman he shows any love to. I worry that with each week I love less and hate more but I feel it! A few weeks ago I was thinking “I hate you a little more each day” and lo and behold I said it out loud and he heard me! You would think he would wake up….nope…he called me psycho! Now I don’t know about you but never feeling like I’m enough or like he loves me with all his heart….it’s a sucky feeling. Straighten his ass out now or you will be miserable most of the time forever!

    I love ya kiddo! I wish I could make things better for you! Sending you strength, love and all the hugs I can muster!

    Love,
    MOM

  2. Oh love. Buying a house is good thing — not some crazy, wild idea you had that warrants being angry with you. Having a baby puts a huge extra stress on a relationship. People are human. You guys sound very young. Nothing wrong with being young — but your husband may be too young to understand that it’s much simpler to be angry with your spouse than think about what’s really going on with yourself that makes you feel bad. I’ve been there. Stick with the therapy until you can find a a therapist that works for both of you. Harder than it sounds. If everyone who hated each other while married got divorced there would be no married couples left. That said, he doesn’t get to be mean to you. Period. He just doesn’t. This must be clear to him. He doesn’t have to have to a perfect record to keep you, but he needs to make a BIG effort. Your losing your job wasn’t some huge thing like cheating (as you point out). The economy sucks. Jobs are lost. And P.S., you gave him a son. Most men would consider that PLENTY. 🙂 Happy fucking passover, right?

    • H. Stern says:

      “That said, he doesn’t get to be mean to you. Period. He just doesn’t.”

      And that’s a huge part of it. When my step dad had cancer, he was cruelest to the people who loved him the most, and I think a part of that is about being hurt, and knowing that the people who are closest to you and love you the most are the MOST likely to put up with your bullshit. I’ve told him I am committed to this marriage, but he needs to put in some effort here, too. He needs to understand that people make mistakes, and that HAS to be ok. And if it can’t be… well…. we might have bigger issues.

      But in my gut, I DO think things will work out. Naive? Maybe. We shall see!!

      HAPPY PASSOVER!!! It’s over for me! Do you go until tomorrow?

      • I’m bad about Passover…I cheat. You deserve a big huge pizza! You’re so right — nobody gets to be mean. I’m glad you know that and don’t just take it like so many women.

  3. Denise says:

    Doll, this is a lot. I’m not married or have children, so I don’t feel qualified to give you specific advisement on this. I do, believe to my core, that you must be happy for yourself and for your son. You ask if his behavior is abuse? Only you know the answer to that, Love. Do you feel emotionally abused? Is his behavior having an adverse effect on you and by relation, your son? Perhaps you should surface this in your next therapy session, if you haven’t already. He apparently has some issues he needs to deal with as well – outside of your marital issues. Try to enjoy your weekend in Brooklyn at your parents. And for the love of God, don’t make impulsive purchases from QVC!

    • H. Stern says:

      I hate QVC with a fiery passion that is reserved only for the most evil of evils.

      Do I feel like it’s emotional abuse? I don’t know; it was an honest question. What it almost CERTAINLY is, is manipulation. But the question I keep coming back to is: if you have someone who has pretty severe PTSD, can they really be held accountable for lashing out? Is it any different from someone telling a person with depression to “cheer up!”? I think I WILL bring it up in therapy. Initially, I was gonna go all Angry Feminist on him and be like, “LET’S DISCUSS WHERE YOU’RE FAILING, TOO!!” but the more I think about it, the more I think I could take a different approach: nobody is perfect. Yes, I can sit here and list off all the things you’ve done as well…. and where would that get us?

      At the end of the day, I think *I* need him to have a timeline. I need to see a motivations behind all of this for him. Otherwise… what? Why should he work at this? Somehow, I need to light a fire under his ass… but I don’t want it to be because I feel like I can’t take it anymore, and might leave.

      And also, I don’t agree with the whole, “I’m not married, so I don’t know…” I think your advice was VERY helpful!! ESPECIALLY about QVC. That shit is evil, man!!

  4. i’m sorry. i don’t know anything ,except (every day is passover when you’r allergic to corn and gluten). i can only help with the ice cream.they don’t have passover ice cream in brooklyn? they have some ice cream like shaved ice thingy’s you can make in the freezer on food network.

    • H. Stern says:

      OMG are you allergic to corn and gluten? Because that shit is in EEEEEEEEEEEEEEVERYTHING. I am so sorry.

      They have “Italian Icies” which is just shaved ice in a paper cup that disintegrates, and covered in a syrup. It sounds gross as hell, but it is THE BOMB. I want one right now, in fact.

      But we go a LITTLE further; my husband doesn’t like to eat anything that may have been “contaminated” by gluten. Out of respect for him, when I’m with him I will do the same.

      But that wasn’t your point. Thank you…. and also, sorry for rambling, but also also you made me want icies. I bet it IS gluten free…….

      • yes. the nurse at mold detox center was telling me in 2004 that another nurse was allergic to corn & i said omg every day is passover… then they told me.LOL
        corn, eggs, wheat, cane sugar,oranges , nuts ….. a lot of mishegas… OH i forgot SOY and i was a veg. for 15 yrs, before i found that out…i asked the idiot at johns hopkins if i was allergic to soy and he didn’t even test me.

        that’s my favorite expression…so when u said blank passover i say that too.. i’d rather wander 40 years.. there are no toxic molds in the desert.

        paper cups disintigrate? huh. well you can have real ice cream now..

  5. talimullins says:

    ugh awful. I’d say it’s emotional abuse, but that’s based on my own experiences with it. I’ve been on your husband’s side of things but for different reasons than buying a house (my husband lost his job shortly after my dad literally dropped dead and I blamed my husband for my life being in the shitter 2 years after we married). It’s hard and it sucks but it’s commendable you’ve gone to therapy. I have no real advice other than stick to the therapy. I was in it for a few years in college and after and it saved my sanity and every once in a while I debate us going in. It’s good to talk and get things in the open, even though that actually causes more wounds at times. I can’t imagine leaving with my boys even when my husband pisses me off more than ever before, but I’m not in your shoes and I don’t know. You need an objective outside person who knows you well…which is hard. All I can say is good luck and hopefully things will work out better. And if it doesn’t, you’ll get through it. At the end of the day, you have to do whatever is going to make you the best mom for your baby.

    Happy Passover

    • H. Stern says:

      Happy Passover!

      And yes, it’s sort of a back-and-forth for me. He is a FANTASTIC father, but he also says things about himself, sometimes to himself, that are vicious and not things I want our son to start thinking are ok. I don’t want him to see daddy and think “I should call myself names,” or, “daddy resents mommy for something.” I just remember being a kid, and knowing there was some kind of tension between my parents, and it frightened me terribly. Also because I didn’t have the language to articulate my concerns, and discuss them with anyone. I felt almost locked in my head and I just remember wishing that everything would work out. And now that I write this all out, I wonder if my anxiety doesn’t stem from just…. well fuck, this is how I grew up and so this is sorta all I really know. I mean, if you met me in real life, I’m pretty laid back…. but in my head there’s a lot of panic and stress… and now I wonder if it doesn’t all come back to just constant insecurity.

      Fuck. Now I need MORE therapy.

      BUT WE CAN HAVE COOKIES BECAUSE PASSOVER IS OVER!!! YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!

      • talimullins says:

        Yeah, I understand all that. I apparently give off a “wow she’s super lame” first impression, then I come across as quiet and calm and it’s all a mask for the insanity in my head.

        Maybe go to some personal therapy? Like I said, that’s what I did for a few years and it helped tremendously. I’m sure it is mostly insecurity and it’s probably going to be a “you have to be comfortable/happy with you before you can be comfortable/happy with others” blah blah blah but it’s kinda true.

        I worry about my boys picking up bad habits and emotional scars from things their dad and I do and I work really hard not to be like that. I’m snarky and negative a LOT so I’m trying to cut back. And talk to my kids about it. “Mommy’s having a bad day, she loves you and *insert name here.*”

        I’ve got a shitload of my 2 year old’s Easter candy. Fun dip, apparently, is now Easter egg fodder. I’m cool with it. No one else here likes it so I get to eat flavored sugar all by myself.

  6. Resentment is not abuse. Stick with it and don’t give up, keep treating him like a sex god and the most important man in your life. You will not regret it.

    • H. Stern says:

      You crack me up and I love you a little bit right now. Part of the problem is not how I treat him, but how he treats me. If you say this is how a relationship is, then I trust you… but I bend over backwards to be supportive of his PTSD, and I feel like I’m not getting much effort from him on MY needs. Which, ok, sometimes that happens and that’s marriage. But it sure would be nice if I could get the focus SOMETIMES….

      • Well, you are talking to someone who told his wife at the beginning of the year that divorce was going to happen if she didn’t start thinking about what I need. I did not even want to listen to what she thought she needed, told her exactly that, until I was convinced she was listening. It included supporting me in front of our son and respecting my wishes in front of him. Guess what? It has been a 100% turn around. There is still one thing she is neglecting, but I will take it in baby steps. And now it’s easier for me to think about what she needs from me.

  7. Hubby and I have been through things like this (I even resented him for being the one who wanted to buy a house). We have made it through. Sometimes I wonder if people who are married a long time just are because they stuck with each other even when they could never imagine doing so. Does that even make sense? We have come close to the D word a few times. This might sound super cheesy, but we seem to be the better for it, like we know each other even better, and understand each other more because we know where our biggest fears and resentments come from. We also really both had to grow personally. I had to work on getting over my resentments towards him, and learning where those resentments were really coming from. Honestly, it was hard and it sucked for a long time before it got better. But it did get better. We are in a time in our society right now where we are all being greatly pushed to our edges and our ugly sides are out, so many money stresses. My hubby also lost several jobs and that was a huge strain too. Therapy is always a good idea. Hubby and I actually found ourselves boding over a mutual hatred for our therapist (I think that happened on an episode of ‘My Boys.’ Have you ever seen that? Really good show, and is up on the Netflix instant watch). Sorry if I am rambling! Just trying to be helpful. But you have to do what is right for you! The way you described what your husband said about you reminds me of how I felt towards my husband a couple of years ago, so we are kind of flip flopped. We almost had to learn how to re-love each other, if that makes sense. Also, a few months after we decided to work things out, he almost died from some freakish genetic heart condition and ended up in the ICU for a while. Super weird timing, and kind of like something out of a bad movie.
    I wish you both the best of luck in working through this. My happy thoughts are with you. And sorry if my ramblings made no sense. (I kind of want to add a ‘you can do it!’)

    • H. Stern says:

      So, that’s a part of my fear, right? Is he with me because he WANTS to be with me, or just because sure, and why not? I posed that question to him, and he says he loves me and he wants to be married to me.

      And sometimes I wonder if I’m trying to turn my Rhino into a Unicorn. If he just isn’t romantic and doesn’t tell me he thinks I’m beautiful, but he DOES realize I left my lunch at home and drives all the way into DC to bring it to me, is that good enough? Because that’s pretty great! But….. he also never gave me a single night off from sleep training our son. In 9.5 months, even after my C-Section, he never took over for a night so that I could sleep. So… where do I fall? The thing is, I can COMPLETELY move past any resentment I have for some of the things he’s done, but knowing that HE resents ME makes me hold on to stupid shit.

      Now I’M rambling.

      But my point is…. I don’t know. I think we’ll be ok, but I want us to be ok because we work at it, not because we ignore things and just stay together because divorce is expensive.

      But you’re right. These are tough times, and everyone is under a lot of pressure. And I maybe the cracks just show more right now…

      • I hear you on that. Working on things is always great, because then, even if they don’t work out, at least you know you did everything you could.
        I remember when I was on crutches and wearing one of those big boot things, and I would hobble in the rain to the bus stop because hubby needed the car for work, even though his shift didn’t start until hours after mine, and he didn’t want to disrupt his sleep cycle. I was sooooo pissed! But I kept it all in. Finally, my mother-in-law advised me, ‘you guys need to fight more! You keep your feelings in too much.’ So I yelled at his ass and called him a dick! (By the way, the whole me hobbling to the bus stop on crutches while he slept at home with a car in the driveway was one of the times we almost got divorced.) I don’t know if that was the right way to handle it, but what I couldn’t believe was that he had no idea what he was doing was so hurtful to me! I couldn’t believe it. On a positive note, we were able to work through it, so, yay! Because that was many moons ago and it feels good to be able to look back on it as a time when we learned a little more about each other and our communication.
        And, sometimes boys are stupid!
        Oh my gosh I totally just rambled again!
        Wishing you the best.
        PS. One good thing that came out of that super icky time was that now hubby will remind me sometimes that he isn’t telepathic and forces me to tell him how I really feel. That can be so scary sometimes!
        PPS. I hope I am not making my man sound like a dick, cause he is really a super sweetheart and we are in love, I swear. Just hoping to sound like a hope at the end of the tunnel kind of thing?

        • H. Stern says:

          And my husband is AMAZING and a WONDERFUL dad. He’s just also a dick sometimes. And sometimes I’m a bitch.

          I know, I know. You’re SHOCKED. Because I’m so DEMURE!!

  8. Ki Vault says:

    You are not in an abusive relationship you are in a relationship. Fuck therapy, you don’t need someone to tell you to talk to each other, just talk to each other,be honest and prepared to compromise. Obviously the therapist is crap or you wouldn’t be using your blog for more therapy.Only you know your relationship,trusting your instincts to make decisions will save on regrets.Session over,bill to follow!
    Can’t help with the ice cream and pizza.

    • H. Stern says:

      Well, I hear you, but I DO think we need some help communicating, so that’s where the therapy comes in. Though, yes, I DO consider this blog to be my own PERSONAL therapy. This is where I come to say the not-nice things that flutter around my head all day. It’s also where I come to be completely shocked that anyone else reads it/feels the same way. So yes, I’m using you. Do you feel dirty now? 😉

  9. sassypanties says:

    Oh, my little Jewish bumble bee. This is interesting. I don’t think it’s abuse. I think it’s a failure to communicate properly.

    Having been married for almost 22 years…I feel that I’m further from being an expert than I was at year 1.

    I can tell you that 1.) when you are newly married, you have a lot to learn about communicating. 2.) the longer you are married, it seems communication can deteriorate because… WHO KNEW???? All of a sudden I’m a motherfucking MIND READER! 3.) things change, yet again, when you start popping out munchkins.

    There is no easy answer. I can tell you that marriage is worth working for. It’s better to give it everything you’ve got than to throw it away. There is something EXTREMELY SATISFYING about staying together – because I know your back story – those of us that come from broken homes tend to have this, “I’ll show those sunzabitches how it’s DONE!” mentality. We know what we didn’t have and swear to ourselves we aren’t going to put out kids through that.

    Honestly – I think you are both highly intelligent people and have what it takes to get through this. I truly do. Oh, and I love you. BOOM!

    • Yay, sassypanties! Man, that communication shtuff really makes a difference. Hubby and I actually sat down and made a plan for how we would fight (argue, whatever) when we fought. I love that we are both nerds like that. We set some ground rules and we usually stick to them and it works for us. Like I can not handle people yelling at me or using mean words, so he promised that when he is upset he wont raise his voice and wont curse or anything. And I promised him that I wouldn’t slam cupboards, ’cause that’s what I do when I am angry, and slamming cupboards hurts his feelings. (Sometimes I slam cupboards when he isn’t home and it’s super fun!)

      • sassypanties says:

        I think that I’m more of a “learn from my mistakes” type of person and since lil’ miss Sunny Days is a friend of mine, I prefer when those I love don’t make the same mistakes I have made. Sometimes that results in unsolicited advice…but in THIS CASE…she asked for it! Ha! SUCKERRRRR!!!

        I like to let things marinate (which is a nice way of saying that I let things fester) – its not a healthy thing to live with. Good thing I married a saint. Not a day goes by that I’m not amazed by the fact that he comes home still.

        I’m a hot mess. But I typically am easy to forgive…pretty easy to anger as well…but I’m working on mellowing out. I’ve been know to slam a cupboard or two. 🙂

  10. FreeRangeCow says:

    Okay, so I don’t have advice, but I have a couple questions. Questions you can just answer in your own head, obviously, if you prefer. Before the first question, I must admit a bias (so you can later call me on my bullshit if need be!)…my hubby has a son from his first marriage. He has “raised” that son to the best of his ability in divorce, since he was 18 months old (he’s now 17). They’ve done a great job, considering, but the hardest thing I have witnessed, from my spectator seats, is his son’s inability to have a “normal” childhood. I know I know what the fuck is normal? But his son has had to make sacrifices because of the EOW (every other weekend) relationship.

    1) Do you think your hubby can stop? Has his resentment grown so large even he can get over this?
    2) Do you think you can heal if he does stop? Do you have confidence this didn’t just plant some of your own seeds?
    3) Do you both plan to continue therapy or was this a needle-off-the-record moment?

    • FreeRangeCow says:

      Oh, and big hug. Sigh. :o(

    • H. Stern says:

      In reverse order:

      3) Therapy will probably be on and off for years. The goal is to someday get our communication to the point where we can work through things on our own. We’ve had periods of being able to do that, but we do generally have to go back for maintenance. That’s ok… it’s just frustrating.

      2) That’s a great question. But yes, actually, I do think I can heal. The problem is, what I need to heal is for him to…

      1) Get over his resentment… I don’t know if he can. He will have to. He can’t be what I need and who I need if he’s going to be like this. And, let me just say, that since our last session with the therapist, he has been loving and affectionate… most of this is really just when he gets stressed out. But then there are other things… like I want to travel to certain places or try certain things, and he immediately shoots the idea down and panics. That’s frustrating for me, and I try to be understanding…. ugh. I don’t know man. There’s a lot. Marriage isn’t easy…

  11. Hi! Have been thinking about y’all and hope you are doing well. Sending lots and lots of love your way!
    (The longer I’m married, the more I feel like I should read that book, ‘Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus.’ Even though my hubby is totally a big chick and I’m usually the dude in the relationship. I think I never read it because during my feminist phase I thought it was sexist, and also unfair to same sex couples. But I shouldn’t judge a book by it’s title, at least until I’ve read it.)

    • H. Stern says:

      I think my husband is from Pluto and I’m from Saturn. Also, because I always like those cars. Saturns just have a neat logo. But Subarus are safer.

      That’s my safety tip for today, kids!!

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