Wednesday, August 27, 2014

My Bully Story (Warning: It's long)

When I was in the 8th grade, a girl who I will refer to as *S* decided she HATED me.
I, in all honesty, had no idea why she harbored such ill feelings toward me. I was generally nice to everyone, she and I had been friends before, and I had never ‘liked’ a boy she liked. It was all quite perplexing.

She called me names as I walked by. She threw a shoe at me. She threw a tennis racket at me. The shoe hit me in the face. The racket missed my head by inches. It all came to an intolerable level when she snuck up on me at an after school party and poured a bucket of water over my head. I know it sounds silly, but for some reason that bucket of water terrified me. Why did she hate me?! What did I do to her?! I ran to the janitors room and hid there, waiting for my sister to come to my rescue, while she lurked outside with a couple of her ghoulish friends and an arsenal of water balloons. I watched for my sister threw a sliver of a window that the middle school has to offer, and sprinted to her car as soon as I saw her.

I went home and sobbed to my parents about the way this girl was treating me and vowed to never go back to school. Because to a 13 year old, 8th grade, Mormon girl, being called a bitch is scary!!

My dad wasted no time calling this girl’s parents and told them under no uncertain terms would he tolerate this being the treatment of his daughter. We had to go to the dean’s office (which totally devastated me). The dean asked her why she was bullying me. Her muttered answer was “She stole my best friend.”
Being the blunt person I have since tried to turn direct, I answered “Well I can’t imagine why she wouldn't want to be friends with you anymore!!”

We were instructed to leave each other alone, I was moved out of our mutual PE class, and she never tried to physically assault me again.

But for 2 more years the verbal assault continued. Whispered, vulgar insults. Some of which I was still too naïve to understand. Rude comments. Loud, obvious laughter at my expense.

I will be honest. I hated *S*. I hated her and I didn’t care if she was hit by a bus. But on that long ago day, when I had came home sobbing, my mother had counseled me, “Don’t sink to her level. Just ignore her. If she tries to hurt you physically, you have every right to defend yourself. But don’t give in to her stupidity. You don’t have to like her, but you do have to respect her.”

So I didn't. I ignored her. I bit my tongue every time it wanted to shoot scathing and cunning insults back at her. I turned the other cheek.

The first day of my sophomore year, I walked into 2nd period Biology. The teacher wanted us arranged a certain way and had strips of masking tape on the science tables. I sat at my table and was busily preparing myself. Amongst the busy settling of the class I heard the exclamation, “You have GOT to be f$%&ing kidding me.”

My blood ran cold and I turned with narrow eyes to behold my nemesis. I didn't speak. I turned back to my purse and notebook and ignored her. She plopped down next to me. All black lip stick and jeanco jeans of her, and slammed her black, Marilyn Manson plastered back pack on the table. She continued to hiss curses and insults at me all the way through morning announcements, and only fell silent when the teacher called for attention. A few months continued with us sitting next to each other in stony silence, or I listened to her as a flow of hushed vulgarities gushed from her mouth.

I sat impervious to her. I never acknowledged her. I didn’t make eye contact. I’d even get up and find something to take me away from the table. Throw some trash away. Borrow a pen.

I was reassured by my cheerleader friends that she was a total freak. And indeed she was quite different from me. She was a self proclaimed anarchist and atheist. She was a “goth” and openly talked about her alcohol and cigarette use. She would rush to “the corner” and smoke between classes and scratched bloody emblems into her arms with a paper clip when she was bored.

It was December. The first day after Thanksgiving weekend. Our Biology teacher had assigned a huge study packet that was 5 pages, front and back. I was pulling mine out from my book when *S* collapsed into her seat next to me, buried her head into her bag, covered her lank hair with her arms and began to quietly sob. I was stunned!! It had emotions?

I carried on with my own business and the teacher called above the pre-class clamor to find our study guides, we were to turn them in after announcements. *S*’s head came up with a snap. Her panic stricken eyes met mine and she gasped, “Is that due today?” I nodded.

She scrambled into her bag and withdrew from the depths her study guide. She flipped through the first 3 pages with hope. But the last 2 pages were blank. She lowered her head. Her forehead resting on the edge of the table. I could see her tears spilling onto the papers she had crumpled in her hand.
Part of me wanted be smugly happy she was so broken. But compassion flooded my heart and I tentatively asked “*S*? Are you ok?”

She shook her head. “I got into huge trouble this weekend. I’m grounded for 2 weeks now. My parents were pissed all weekend and then when I got to school this morning, my boyfriend dumped me. Now THIS. This is going to kill my grade, and then my dad is going to kill ME. He’s going to kick my ass.”
I wondered if he really would. I was under an accurate assumption that her family dynamic was vastly different from mine. I debated for a moment. She looked so sad and helpless. But she was always SO mean to me!!

I pushed my study guide toward her. “Hurry and get down as much as you can before she asks for them. And if you get caught I’m telling her I had no idea.”
She turned to stare at me in disbelief. “Hurry!!” I prodded.
Now I can not say that I condone cheating, but I looked the other way as she frantically scribbled answer after answer onto her paper. The announcements were long that day and she managed to get the whole thing filled in.

We started class and were given the work for that day. Our usual silence fell over us until 10 minutes were left in class. Suddenly I heard her voice. Not a hiss. Not scathing. Just a soft, humble voice. “That was really cool of you. I’m sorry I’ve been such a bitch.”
I turned to her slowly and gave her a small smile. “No problem. We all need help some days.”
She smiled softly back.

From that day forward she was never mean to me again. We were never friends. We didn’t chat. We sat at our lab table in comfortable silence. But no longer were we enemies. We could walk toward each other in an empty hall and a small smile would pass between us.

She offered me a cigarette, which she swore was a miracle cure for cramps. I politely declined.
She got to go to prom as a sophomore and I complimented her dress. She smiled and said thank you.
That was it. No great friendship was created. No lasting bond. Just peace.

Bullies can not control themselves, so they try to control others. Or maybe they’re jealous. Or maybe their home life isn’t very good. I will always be glad that I followed my mom’s advice and lost once less enemy on that day.

Monday, August 25, 2014

First Day Of School

I was so nervous for today, but it went pretty good!!

 Ella was excited and we were ready 30 minutes early.
Part of that is the bus doesn't come to our house until 8:32.
What a blessing that is!!

 Her super cute owl back pack she picked out all by herself.
It matches her owl lunch box.
She's been excited to have a lunch box since she realized her cousin a year older than her got to use one.
So yeah, a year!!

The bus, however, did not come with sweet Miss Tami and only 3 other little kids.
It came with an old man, albeit a nice one, and a bus full of older, bigger kids!!
She arrived at school pretty nervous and the throngs of people made it worse.
I walked with her all the way to her class, gave her a hug and told her I would see her later.
Once she was in the safety of her class room, she was fine!!
Her teacher said there were no tears and she was quiet!!
I'll take that as success!!

Sunday, August 24, 2014


I have had a little bead of dread in my heart for 1st grade since Christmas break ended. 
I know it is utter nonsense to feel that way, but I can't seem to help it.
I will miss my little girl!!
And when did she get so old so fast?
It will take only the first day to show that everything is ok.
Ella loves school and I am happy for her that she gets to expand her horizons and grow.
I will miss her though!!
I find writing therapeutic and enjoy writing poetry to sort out my thoughts.
I rarely share my work because it is something I hold close to my heart.
But I decided to share this one.


I watch you skip away from me
And all your golden curls bounce
You happily wave from the window
As the bus pulls away from the house

I wonder if you know how proud
And how happy I am for you
But how my heart hurts
And how much I worry too

When did this day come? 
When did you grow this much?
Why didn't I count each second?
Why did I ever rush?

I want to stare at you
And deny the days are passing
I refuse to believe the number
Of candles I stick in the frosting

Oh my baby I love you so
I want to capture every star
And see them shining in your eyes
As I wrap you in my arms

Friday, August 22, 2014

Happy Birthday To My Baby

Three years ago today, my baby girl was born. 
She came into this world with a spirit fierce enough, and strong enough to survive.
She has thrived and is a beautiful, intelligent child. 

 While she is very fierce, she is also loving.
I love her so much and I am so grateful to be her mother.
Being her mother is exhausting!!
But I love her so much, and I know she is destined for great things. 

 She was so excited to open presents.
She has been impatiently waiting for her birthday since Ella had hers. 
It's a little confusing for little girls why they are not getting presents too!!

 She loves horses and most of her presents had that theme!!

 She requested to watch Tangled.
I readily agreed so I could go finish cupcakes!!
This was her 'lair'.

 She was afraid of the fire.
I take that as a good sign!!

 Daddy had to help blow out candles.

Happy birthday my baby.
I love you so so much.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Big Milestones For Little Girls

My rules about pierced ears is: when they ask for them.
Ella brought it up last summer when she asked when she would grow holes in her ears so she could wear earring too.
I explained ear piercing to her and she decided she would wait.
She would randomly over this last year bring it up to me with a few questions and then say she would just wait.
Yesterday we were walking threw the jewelry  department at Walmart and a worker was stocking the first earring case.
I casually asked her if she would like to pierce her ears today.
She said yes!!
I wandered a little more and asked if she was sure.
She said yes again!!
We asked the lady if she was the one who did the piercing and she said yes.
I asked Ella a final time and she said yes, she was ready to be brave.
It took five minutes.
Two workers used 2 guns. They popped them in and we were done!!
She jumped, looked at me with a surprised look, a few tears welled up in her eyes and that was it!!
She was too excited to worry about the minimal pain.
I can't believe how grown up she looks.

 Today we went to the library and she got her first library card!!
Ella loves to read and be read to.
I truly believe that reading breeds intelligence and it makes me so happy that she enjoys such an important, intellectual  hobby.

 We picked out purple butterflies.....but somehow ended up with red ones!!
Oh well!!
That is her birth stone, so we're good!!

Ella in her true nature!!
She's getting so big so fast!!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

How Many Children Can You Fit On One Raft?

The answer is 8!!

We went swimming with friends today and had a great time!!
I love these children.
Good, quiet, obedient.
I need to take notes from their mother!!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Play Time

I am grateful every day for our yard.
And our tree.
I never thought such simple things would bring such joy to my heart!! 

 We have nurtured it threw the summer and it has thrived!!
We can even play out there when the sun goes down!! 
Especially since it has started cooling off just a little bit.

 I'm grateful for my strong husband!!
That poor man will toss his children in the air until his arms and back burn!!

 I'm so glad we can all go out and play.
I'm so happy it's August and the end of summer is near!!

At least I choose to believe it is almost over to save my sanity!!

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Vacation!! A real one!!

For the first time in two years, we took a family vacation!!
A real one!!
We packed the car and headed to Alpine to stay 4 days at Brent's brother's house.
His whole family had headed up there earlier in the week and we mustered our courage and decided to join them!!

The car ride up was smooth. The girls sang every song they knew and we spotted every horse from home until Beaver. Then I gladly handed over Ipads with full charges!! 

 They happily played games and watched Frozen a dozen times.

 The driver.

 My BIL's house is amazing. HUGE and amazing!!
He's in software, enough said!!
My girls swam in this pool every. single. day.
For stretches of 3 hours at a time!!

 Ella the shark.

 Scarlet went down the slide at least a 1000 times. She couldn't get enough!!
She would sit down, roll over and go down on her belly.

 Thursday morning we headed to Hogle Zoo.
Scarlet wanted to see elephants.
The weather up there was BEAUTIFUL. Just perfectly cool and pleasant.
We spent very little time in doors.

 We spent over 2 hours wandering efficiently from exhibit to exhibit.
My children don't dawdle!! 
They observe with a purpose!!

 Classic gorilla picture.

 The observation train.
There was a beautiful, cool breeze that soothed my spirits and as the train moved, it was down right chilly!!

 We had so much fun together!!
My children were good and ate dutifully and were obedient!!

 The view from the guest house we stayed in.
It was so breath taking.
Every morning when the sun rose, I took the time to do a few minutes of yoga.
The air was so crisp and cool.
It was the most amazing, peaceful place.

 On Friday we went to the aquarium.
We saw penguins.

 My favorite was the rays.
We even got to pet them!!

 This was some huge, monster fish from South America.
It was at least 8 feet long and fat!!
I would collapse if I saw that thing swim toward me in a river!!

 Scarlet was properly impressed!!

 At the gift shop Ella found a wishing pearl.
It includes an oyster that you crack open, it contains a pearl in one of five colors, each one with a different meaning. Then, you put the pearl in as special necklace. She picked out a turtle shape.
She was so excited and hasn't taken it off except to sleep.

 My BIL's house sits on 2 acres.
The house takes up most of it, but his yard is GORGEOUS. 
It even has this little side walk for skating, bikes or wiggle cars.

 I was not the only adult to take a turn!!
I think every one went down the hill!!
And you can get going FAST!!

 It was so wonderful to be outside.
We could live outside if it wasn't a million freaking degrees.
The longer I stayed up here, the less I wanted to ever return to the ugly, brown, HOT desert from whence I came.

 Ella had 7 other cousins to play with and was in absolute heaven!!

 The zoo had a carousel and we took our turn.

Scarlet was shaking with fear but as long as her daddy held onto her, she laughed and had fun.

I almost didn't go up to the reunion.
My panic attacks are embarrassing and I didn't know if I could be around Brent's large family.
But my poor family has been supportive and bored the last several months, so I mustered my courage and packed up the car.
I am SO glad I did.
It was wonderful and everything we all needed.
I felt very safe among my SILs and my MIL, and my BILs and FIL are hilarious!!
My husband's first friends were his brothers and I know he misses them.
It is so good for him to see them.
I cried from Alpine to Provo because I didn't want to go home.
To the desert and the heat and everything ugly and brown!!
Good news it's August now and hopefully I only have 4-6 weeks of blistering heat, and then I will merely have to deal with a moderate burn.