28 December 2010

Things that make you say Hmmmmm...

I have had a great Christmas so far. I had so much fun at my parents house and was sad to leave, but excited to see Rick.  My nephews have called me every day since i arrived and talked to me. They each hug and kiss the phone to tell me they love me. its sooooo cute. I miss them so much. it will be hard living so far away from them. And the flight here was long. The first leg was USAir which i don't mind domestically, but even with the empty seat next to me, i was smushed and uncomfortable. I think I slept maybe a total of 2 hours on and off, but mostly watched movies.

The second leg was on Emirates, probably my favorite airline so far. The service is exceptional and the seats are much more comfortable. That's just the way it is. One day i aspire to fly Emirates Business or *sigh* first class, but until then, i'll take what i can get, and the flight was better than the first, but shorter. I finally arrive, I'm the first one from Economy off the plane and through customs, and then i sit and wait and wait. They are having trouble unloading the luggage they say. Small children get excited as they see my large boxes roll around the turnstyle and to the man loading them on the cart. One thing i love here is that I am never left looking for help, help is everywhere and i feel like a spoiled little princess :)

A vast majority of the passengers were hanging out in the Airport for the next 6 hours for a flight elsewhere. The man next to me was going to Iran. The ladies i met in the Gatwick airport were headed to India. I was glad to be done with my flight segments. One stopover is enough for me. I just felt gross and icky as anyone would who left at 630pm (EST) and arrived at 1130am (EST)  - so only 17 hours in transit, but i prefer the JFK - DXB non-stop anyday! There's also a direct flying on Etihad from Chicago. I'm trying to figure out what will work best for me when i move, but so far, I'm thinking Emirates since Ricky is a Gold member.

No, not that kind, but I think he loses his gold status renewal at the end of this year, but we'll make up for it eventually. I think its good until 2012.

I wrote a blog a few weeks back thinking it might move my number one reader, to have a little compassion and quit acting like such a grinch. Hey, the Grinch's heart grew and grew when he heard the Who's down in who-ville singing. But, of course I didn't sing. I wrote down facts and surveyed a lot of friends who all said the same thing, what goes around come around, but nonetheless, it didn't work. Ricks kids didn't call him on Christmas. I guess my better approach would have been to sing? 
So no phone call, and Rick called twice to no answer. And i "hear" that our gifts that were received against their will of course and were "donated". That will show us!! Isnt' it funny? gift giving on christmas is looked at as something done against ones will. I wonder if we sent CASH would it have been donated too?  Its totally against the Christmas spirit (not the giving part but the ungracious acts of hate that are blatant), and if that's what is going on in a house, where i have NEVER MET THE ADULTS< then clearly they are doing the right thing and being just outstanding citizens and i'm just being sore loser about this all. I mean, who am i to think my husbands children, who 2/3 had a GREAT time with me this summer and the other smiled and laughed a lot more than would admit, would actually call him on Christmas day or thank him for a gift?

Don't they all look MISERABLE!!
AND, What good parent WOULDN'T allow their kids to donate away Christmas presents from their father. Don't all "GOOD" mothers tell their kids not to call their dad and then drive to the store to return/donate any presents from him???  Yeah, i'm not a mother, i can't judge, but I sure know a stink when i see a stink and i think im going to puke. This is such a hoot. Who are we kidding here?? All this does is add more "evidence" to my point. Yeah, i've got a valid point.
I think you've poisoned the trees.
BUT: Here's the good news. I'm over it. I'm don't need to bemoan this. I don't care to waste my time showing countless acts of the injustice going on here, its futile. You can't shake sense into a rock. I'm sad for any kids that get positive affirmation for doing the "right thing", where by right i mean What the....??. Anyone on the outside can tell you "it aint right" but hey, you keep doing your thing, and i'll keep living a life well lived. I'm not going to get into a back and forth battle with someone who can't see the forest for the trees, but hey, keep calling me names, and it might help make you feel better. The bottom line is, This is Rick's business. i did have to say something about it because we are one, and his business IS, in fact, also MY BUSINESS Failure to acknowledge the tragedy going on is just not my style. If you can take a check every month, you can have your kids place a phone call every month. If that's too hard, maybe you quit taking the check? Speaking of Checks:
check this out. I'm gonna poke this with a stick then i'm going to leave it dead because the longer i hang around this stink, the more likely i'm gonna end up with shit on my hands. yeah, i said shit.

.. I poke things with sticks.
Quote of the Summer: (precede quote with "if you do ________ then...."
"We know,  that rebuilding needs to be done to improve your relationship, but we promise that we will do everything we can to encourage to work at rebuilding relationship with [kids] and you and your family, in small steps, i.e. phone calls, E-mails, lunches/dinners when you visit, etc.  In our opinion, [if you do _____] it will go a long way in starting to rebuild your relationship"

That being said, rick said NO to the proposed ___________. It was a smart move.
Since he said no, nothing has been rebuilt. Nothing has changed and in fact, it has grown worse and worse. Hey, don't get mad at me,  i'm just using the words (of my often number one reader ) to make a point. ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF HER ABILITY TO ENCOURAGE CHANGE.
Failure to do so since she didn't get her way. Things that make you say Hmmmm.....
I seriously doubt that if had Rick agreed to __________ anything would have changed. That, my friends, in bold faced font is manipulation at its finest. And I guess we'll never know.
In all actuality, "we have an amazing case of parental alienation" - quoth the attorney
having said all this, .....

You know your life is just horrible when you can't decide whether you want to live in a high rise on the beach, OR, a villa down the road. Decisions decisions..... Hmmmm. I just cant' decide.

Today i spent the day at the beach, finished a book, and did a little work. I got to watch dozens of people skydive and see the small plane land over and over again after the last jumper safely landed. I saw a camel pulling another camel and giving rides to people. He sort of had a tantrum over it and I was glad he didn't spit on me. I watched a 4 year old girl named Sabrina tell her mother over and over that she hated her. I think Sabrina just wasn't getting her way and that was her attempt at manipulation. Stay strong Sabrina's momma! I rue the day i have a daughter with a temperament like mine. I am much more even now, but i have had my tantrums... oh yea. And i'm certain i'll have a daughter or two or four, unless i just never have a baby. Slim chance for that though. Once i got home from the beach, i completed my yearly review for work and did a little online house hunting. Then FaceTime chat with my family. Yesterday we talked to our 14 year old nephew and Ricks parents using FaceTime. It really is a convenient tool to communicate without the wires and bulk of carrying a laptop around.

I've got three more days left in the year, and still plenty of things to keep me busy. Rick had some time off but is now busy working and I'm acquainting myself with this amazing city that is constantly changing. We are going to go snow skiing tomorrow (weather permitting :) - http://www.skidxb.com/), and perhaps we will have a nice dinner and walk around the mall of the Emirates.

We will probably go for a camel ride, I intend to get a cool Henna painting on my arm, and then a few days in Abu Dhabi at a resort for some R&R.   We'll see how these next two weeks pan out. I'm just glad to be here. Even if he snores, Rick is pretty great.

22 December 2010

Christmas Present, Past and Future

My new home is soon to be Dubai. I don't know how long i will be living there, but I will be calling it home soon, and this Christmas I will be going there to be with Rick.  Rick had planned to come home. Things changed. His work schedule was one of the things that has been a bit tenuous, but he was still going to come for a few days. Since things changed (as indicated in a previous posting), rather than have him come here for just a few days and leave before new years, we decided it was a good idea, given the circumstances, that I go out there.

So for the third time this year, I am headed back to the land of sand and I couldn't be happier. I am so glad to get away from the cold weather, and I am even happier to see my husband. The distance hasn't been as hard these past few months as they were before his trip in November, but perhaps that is because I have things that have been occupying my time and energy. I am so very busy. I have last minute home renovations that are being completed while me and the girls are away, and then the house will get listed and hopefully sell in my time frame. The back up plan is to rent. Either way, i'm in a good situation and can afford to let it sit for a while, but my house really is ideally situated and with the changes that i'm making, i can't imagine it will be hard to sell, aside from the fact that the market is stale. I'll be sure to post my home on this blog when i return.

Today my lovely mother and father in law took me to lunch. They just happened to be in the neighborhood on their way to see Rick's older sister Shari, so stopped by. We exchanged gifts, but i'm not allowed to open mine until I get to Dubai. I had to promise not to peek and not to lose it, so i shoved it into the bottom of my handbag that is much too large be quantified as a "purse" and have since forgotten about it.

When I was in 4th grade, 9 years old, I got the chicken pox about 3 days before Christmas vacation, so i had to miss the last few days of school. It all started with a pock on the bottom on my foot that i mistook for a splinter, so i tried to dig it out. I had one on my nose (like rudolph) and then a few on my stomach, but the previous Easter I had poison ivy so bad my eyes were literally swollen shut, so my pox didn't do me justice. Nonetheless, i was stuck home because it is a contagious disease but i felt fine, so i mulled around the house all day, found all my presents hidden in mom's closet, unwrapped the ones under the tree and then wrapped them back. Here's a hint: most people don't look at the gifts they've already placed under a tree to see if the tape is still aligned as originally placed. Here's another tip, if you move a chair across the carpet to peek into the top of your mom's closet, after you replace the chair, it's a good idea to use your hand to "erase" the lines that you left behind, or its a sure give away. Not only that, but the night before xmas, i told mom, If santa is really real then i'll ask for a pair of slippers (since i already knew they were under the tree). The look on her face was priceless. "JENNIFER!!!". Yup. I'm a horrible liar and i'm not very good at keeping secrets. Oh i can keep *some* secrets, but not when it involves guilt. I'm too honest and transparent to hide deception. Poker is the exception to this but no real lies are being told when its a game. Life doesn't qualify as a game. Its real. People can get hurt.

But i hate surprises. I am the most in-genuine liar. I cannot sit by the tree, open an unexpected gift and say,oh boy thanks! just what i wanted. Socks! Am i ungrateful? i'm not sure. I just can't pretend. Unless its to my grandmother. She deserves to feel good. But that's just different. And to be honest, Now that i'm 30, I would welcome some new socks. Especially those comfy adidas ones that i wear and my dryer seems to eat. Where the heck do all the socks go???? Anyone? Bueller?
So that's the past and the present. AS for the future, I plan to be home with my family next year at Christmas. I am really looking forward to next year since it will be long anticipated after being away this year and moving away in the Spring. Big changes are on the horizon, that is for sure!

Tomorrow i leave for Charlotte, hang out with my favorite little boys and celebrate Christmas with my family before I head out to the North Pole, i mean, Middle East. Ellie and Marley will hang out with my family for a few weeks as they eagerly await my return. They are super thrilled about moving. Ellie has her microchip properly installed (after 2 attempts), and we are just biding our time until the transfer has been approved and the wheels are in full motion. So far so good.

What an amazing 2010 I have had, truly amazing as i reminisce. It was just a year ago that rick and I fell in love and the whirlwind romance we have had. My life is a fairy tale, and has proven to have a full cast of all characters. And I just love how fairy tales end. Happily Ever After. There are always some icky spots, but that's to make them interesting. Mine sure is interesting. I wouldn't trade it for anything. Well, almost anything. I prefer less drama in life, but i also prefer to live in harmony. Then again, I am the one poking the dragon, wondering when it will breathe fire again. I sure do hate the suspense! See? Fairy tales are FUN!

Joni Mitchell said it best ...
"Don't it always seem to go, you don't know what you've got till its gone. They paved paradise and put up a parking lot....."

I probably won't write again for a bit

16 December 2010

Its Beginning to Look a Lot like Christmas (really!)

We have had snow fall three times this month and it is only the 16th!! Last year we didn't see any snow in December. The snow that fell early this morning was the best we've had yet! The roads were really icy and I learned something new about my car. When you lose traction on the road there is a beeping noise that occurs. I was really sliding around this one back road. It was empty, so it was fun, but i had to get control of my car. Fortunately I have experience hydroplaning, and not unlike that situation, regaining control in the ice/snow, is very similar. Times like this i miss my 36" tires and 4WD, BUT the heating system is top notch and definitely makes up for it. The key to regaining control, as with swimming out of a rip tide, is that you turn with the car and not against it. For me, this is a natural instinct, to let the car adjust itself while only guiding it, rather than trying to jerk the car to the place i want it. All that does it cause more fish tailing. I could go on and make some profound analogy here about control in general. The more you fight for control the less control you are able to maintain, but i digress, i slid around today, it was fun, there is snow and ice on the ground. And it looks and feels a LOT like christmas here. It has been below freezing for over a week straight and i'm really tired of the cold.
It IS nice to be home, where everything is covered in white, and you really know that Christmas is near. Something about fresh fallen snow to remind us of the holiday season.

When I am in Florida, or the Middle East, it is warm and aside from lights and festive decorations, nothing tells me it is nearly Christmas. But... this year, in Cary, NC, we have had lots of winter weather. I don't believe it is even officially winter yet! I appreciate the wonderful farewell that I am receiving. I know this is just me being silly, but its like mother nature is saying to me, Jennifer, you are leaving a 4 season climate for a climate of Warm/Warmer/Hot... So, to bid you farewell, I will give you a lot of snow and cold weather.
My reply??
Boy mother nature, I sure appreciate it, but it has been FREEZING here lately and i'm sort of over it. The snow is pretty and nice, but the cold? No thanks. Cold is misery. Cold makes my entire body ache all over. Heat doesn't hurt like that!

To end things on a nice note today: My three year old nephew told us that "God put a baby in his belly for Christmas".... I wonder if he isn't the next virgin mary?? :)

15 December 2010

Stirring up Murky Water

Rick and I were planning on going to Houston, Texas for Christmas this year. Rick has three lovely children, and it is his year to have them for Christmas. But sad things are going on in Texas, a place where children are saying things that I don't really think they mean. Even if they THINK they mean the things they say, Deep down, no child would act this way to an undeserving parent. And if anyone deserves to be treated badly, it is certainly not Rick Beeman. He may be goofy, silly, loving and fun, but he hasn't a mean spirited bone in his entire body, nor does he have any criminal history or background. No arrests. No crimes. Nothing in his past or present to indicate anything short of being an overall decent person. But I guess the meanness in others makes up for his deficit. Its the most ridiculous excuse I've ever heard, and i blame the adults in Texas for 100% of their actions attitudes and remarks.

Manipulation and Alienation are funny things. Hilariously sad really. To think that someone can raise children with another human being and 12 years later, decide that they no longer want to raise children together, the kids end up getting screwed. Its so sad to hear the things being taught in this house. I do not have to go there to know what is going on.  A little bit of psychology goes a long way in this world. That and some common sense as well as the growing statistics on the subject.

These kids are not bad, they are wonderful sweet kids. All three of them. But they have become a product of their environment. I don't have to witness the environment first hand to know without a doubt the crap that is going on.  As any computer programmer will tell you Garbage in/ Garbage out. Or to quote the bible, you will know a tree by its fruit. A good tree bears good fruit. You cannot claim to have Christ in your heart and hate your brother. These two truths can not co-exist.  And for a mother to do anything less than encourage children to be respectful, courteous, and to have a relationship with the person that has made their life possible is abhorrible. Yes, that is what i'm calling it. And if you want to see some of the synonyms with abhorrible - here they are:

Definition: loathsome, abominable, detestable
Synonyms: abhorred, abhorrent, accursed, atrocious, awful, despicable, disgusting, execrable, godawful, grody, gross*, hateable, hateful, heinous, horrid, lousy, low-down, maggot, monstrous, obnoxious, odious, offensive, outrageous, repugnant, repulsive, revolting, rotten, shocking, sorry, vile

And just so you know what this is not
: admirable, adorable, adored, cherished, likeable, loveable, prized, respectable, respected

And do i blame the kids? ABSOLUTELY NOT. They are not to blame  in the least bit. This is how they are being raised and how they are being taught.  The "parents" that teach/model/exhibit the behavior that is being acted out are at fault.  And i'm not going to sit here and look at a ship wreck and call it a steam boat. No, its a wreck. A wreck is a wreck. No matter how you dress it. It is going down.

Now i know some amazing children where their parents don't live together. These are my favorite kids in the world, though they are growing up. But their father comes INSIDE their mothers house, takes them to school, church and the like. Their father calls them on the phone. Their father is part of their life just as much as their mother. And their mother would absolutely not tolerate any disrespect or hate towards their father. Because that is not how civilized people behave. They put their differences aside, and carry on. For the kids. They model good behavior.

And the kids are still involved with his family and her family, because when you have children together, that is what you sign up for. Together or apart, the family is still the family. They have made ideal of a less than ideal situation. Because that is what well respected, mentally healthy individuals do for the sake of their kids, regardless of their own selfish desires.

There is no reason that Rick and I should shudder to even imagine stepping foot inside his ex wifes house, but we do. Not that we are afraid, but we are not even welcome on the driveway of the property to pick up the kids, and we would not be welcome to even sit in a parked car out front and wait. The pick up is more of a drive by. Kids jump in the car the instant he arrives and he has to quickly drive off.... or else. Or else WHAT?

What is wrong with this picture?? Why is it that there are actual threats and big fears here? Who is so intimidated by my husband and his relationship with his children that they have become scared to allow it to exist? And that's what i'm calling it. Fear. It is just Hurt and Fear. And this "fear" may be masked as anger, hurt, hate, dislike, etc etc, but children do not just suddenly put stipulations on a relationship with their father by their own doing. And by suddenly i mean over the past few years. It just isn't how a normal earth spins on its axis.  No, kids don't realize they can "manipulate" in this way unless it is taught. So what is going on here??

Children should not be allowed to "block" a parent from calling them. And a parent should equally encourage their children to contact the parent they do not live with, on a monthly, if not weekly basis. And anything else is just wrong. Children should be handed a phone on their fathers birthday and fathers day, Christmas and thanksgiving and told to call their father, regardless if they think they "want" to. 

If someone would allow the children to talk to their father, Or maybe a better choice of words here is  ENCOURAGE the children to talk to their father - then it would happen. I know good and well that their behavior is in their mothers HANDS and she could very well encourage good things, but this is simply not the case here. It doesn't take a PhD Psychologist to determine, you cannot control Rick Beeman, but you CAN control his kids. I wonder how long that is going to work out.

Its sad when the only glimpse of Ricks kids, or sound of their voice since September has come from a YOUTUBE video i found on the childrens school website while looking at their holiday calendar.

Rick's Son Max is the one to start the video out, and his daughter shows up in a superman costume in about the 2:36 mark. I'm sure they will be so angry that i posted this link. How dare i mention their names! Yes, that is how it goes. 

It is an absolutely heartbreaking situation and I do not blame the kids. No. I blame the people raising the kids day in and day out. The people modeling the bad behavior. They ought to be ashamed of themselves.

Its time for EVERYONE to grow up and think about what is best. Refusing to cooperate and encourage a relationship between the kids and their father sure doesn't  seem to be the "Christian" thing to do. How's that for Christmas Spirit?

If anyone wants to justify or explain why things like this are "ok" please, comment below. I would love to understand what i'm missing... Dare you provide any answers?

09 December 2010

Preparing for Christmas 2010

 Our stockings are hung by the chimney.... We sure hope we've been good!

Ellie and Marley have their own plans this christmas..... ROAD TRIP!!!