Wednesday, May 27, 2015

What to say to an ex spouse.

People have been super nice including family and friends. so I thought of a list of things not to say. because that makes sense.

Things not to say to someone after their ex spouse commits suicide:

1. Everything happens for a reason.
yeah first of all that's a fucking lie. second of all that's a lie. Except I wonder about the person who says I couldn't have made it through this without making it through the divorce. I really believe I'm tough as shit and can take just about anything. When they said that I maybe for one second believed the everything happens for a reason thing.  Then I got angry because I don't believe that. Everything that happens has happened and is. You don't always have to look for a reason- just look at what is.

2. Don't forget your kids
I'm sorry I was busy have an utter meltdown what did you say? I never forget my kids. If you want to do something for them go ahead. They will let you know what they like they rock like that. my daughter wants to take gymnastics and karate and not soccer. Mark wants another iPad. Little Mr. is the happiest human ever made.

3. Just go back to work and then things will be better for your kids because things will be normal.
Did you miss the fiery auto part with the dead human inside? yeah I had three children with that human. Also to some of the people who told me this- your ability to pretend you don't feel things is alarming. Like truly disturbing. Maybe I'm just a little sensitive since my ex husband ignored everything until he exploded from the inside out. That will catch up to you.  I hope it doesn't though.

4. Unbelievable.
to the person who said that- you are not a good person.  I hope that life preserves your naive ignorance that allows you to be cruel to people. Usually. Usually I hope you get to keep being naive.

5. Your ex was such a great guy.
Yeah the mental illness and our divorce never happened. Please send me more stories about how nice he was I really noticed that not at all for the last many years. Then make me feel guilty since he's dead and you need your place for good memories and I want to respect that space. Can we not remember the times that were really good right now?  Like not to the ex wife maybe? I've been talking about good memories with my kids for a long time every day. It's like a mental gymnastics session. I'm pretty sure I would withstand any torture- I'm ready to be a spy like Jennifer Garner now. Life goals.

6. He really loved his kids.
OK maybe just tell the kids that not me. Like all these good things tell the kids. Maybe send them a letter they need that. They hadn't heard from their dad in a long time. When someone is mentally ill they aren't really a loving parent. They don't see people outside themselves.

7. Do you need anything
yeah like just to keep functioning if you can help with that. Maybe drag me out of bed. Or actually think of what I might need and then do that.

8. Nothing
I mean it's hard - there isn't anything right you can say to someone turns out. So I mean I guess nothing is OK.

9. Your kids had a tragedy.
ummm. I don't want to sound selfish but this has a huge impact on my life

10. Jesus will take care of you.
Dear Jesus....uhh are you a swiss bank account and a long vacation?

11. Are you OK?
yeah that's a no. Like a solid no.

12. That's crazy.
got that memo

13. You shouldn't stay in bed.
Gosh I didn't realize that when I was almost unable to get out of bed.

14.  You are strong you've got this.
I noticed that at no point.

15. You shouldn't take your kids to Disney it's expensive.
OH I HADN'T NOTICED THINGS COST MONEY.

16. The funeral might be on your miscarriage would be due date
Perfect because that's a perfect shit storm for everyone! OH wait mainly me. Yeah. only me.

Things to say:
1. I love to mate socks can I come over?
uhh yeah you can. also my car is messy.

2. Want to go on a hike or a bike ride or a run?
yes I do. I always do. THIS IS THE BEST.

3. I got the kids something what's your address?
uhh this ones' awesome

4. Can I come give the kids something and say hi?
my daughter's teacher did this and it was so nice I wanted to cry. Also Carolann (the nanny) has taken them on walks and talked about feelings. Incredible. I have taken two naps a day and talked a lot about memories that I selected for the kids to have. It's exhausting to talk about your dead ex husband and write down happy memories.

5. I can help make something for the kids for you and ask them to write happy memories.
Maybe bring some old friends of my ex spouse and I will not be involved.

6. What type of pizza do you like.
I mean we all know I am going to marry Pizza someday. They told me what time they were bringing dinner and I was like- WHAAA? Best ever. Who plans that? mormons- that's who. WANT TO BE MORMON NOW? I THOUGHT SO.

7. Don't make any big life decisions or think about dating.
Yeah because most people don't like random outbursts about you ex dying. it's too much. But you might have displaced anger for other people who were crappy. It's easier to be angry at the living.

8. Here's a distracting meme/photo/quote
oh my goodness I have the funniest friends ever. GOAT FIT. Also stop having so much fun for a minute.

9. I am surprised how much you've been through.
I mean I never wanted to be one of those strong untouchable people. I wanted to be one of the weak ones with very little adversity and a strong support system to keep them going. I would be so good at that. I WOULD ROCK AT AN EASY LIFE. where I get to pick out rugs again. I owned that. The baby showers I throw always have matching food. FOOD SHOULD MATCH.

10. I'm surprised how easy it is to think of suicide as an illness until it's affecting someone close to you.
yeah the survivors- children and ex spouse are affected by that. My kids are super sad. I've heard them cry about dad for years now so sometimes I feel a bit numb about it but now it's so final- I'm not going to angry text message him call your kids ever maybe. because he won't. I've already had people fake call them like my friend who I put in my phone as Santa Claus to bribe my kids to be good one year.

11. It's not your fault.
Usually people who kill themselves reach out to people before they do it. John reached out to me about three weeks before and was acting unstable and I asked if he was safe and he said yes. I never knew if he was safe and I guess he wasn't. It's like your divorce all over again. So that sucks. Today my friend who has a loved one with a serious mental illness talked to me and I felt like- she gets it.

12. I will talk to the family/our group of friends for you. Nothing is more overwhelming than the roller coaster between wanting to talk or being left alone. I can't imagine how it must be for my ex mother in law losing her son. My cousin wrote her a note because I can't.

13. You will feel all the feels.
I don't even like that. It's like I'm re-living my marriage and my divorce and struggling to be a sole provider all over again all in one day. All those feelings don't go in one person they sort of spill out. So I'm walking around sort of starting to function normally with feelings that sort of fall out on the sides when I'm not expecting.
14. I started a Gofundme. gofund.me/madsenkids
what?!? I just had to put that because I'm been SHOCKED at how many people have helped. at the same time I was like- dude I need help I'm not doing great. Probably I should be doing better let me put that on the list of things to do for today with wear clean clothes. I have totally checked that off. I think. Goal- Keep my job. yeah that's a good goal.

15. I'll help you write people thank you cards for helping.
I mean thank you cards are very important. I can never thank people for all the stuff they've done for me.

16. I brought you ice cream and my mom flips everyone off and calls everyone betch.
This is what life is all about. umm a lot of people have come over to say hi. I think I've been at points distracted and at points overly loud. sorry.

My friend was talking about that about two weeks ago because her husband died and she said sometimes you are mad and sometimes you are ok. I feel like I am not being normal. I keep worrying about stuff that's dumb that I said and how I didn't thank everyone and when some people came over I didn't even realize they were there and then I was like- dude what's wrong with me? I feel awful that I'm not back at work yet and also I don't like going to counseling with the kids I have to pretend everything is OK and was Ok and keep my professionalism level high. Also I'm fairly sure that I've said things to people I shouldn't have and didn't really mean.
Probably this post is a mistake. I'm into making mistakes right now.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Bluffing.

So John died this week.
I'm surprised how much of a mess I am.

One of the things that has happened that has been the most hard is people messaging me with memories and seeing the pictures of John to send to people. When we got divorced I felt like my soul was being torn in half and I was surprised how cruel some people were to me. Also about three weeks ago John started sort of messaging me crazy stuff. Like- I love you forever and I wish we could talk one last time and I was like- stop what you are doing.
When John and I were dating we talked about having kids and career stuff. He told me one of the things he really liked about me was that if something happened to him I would be able to take care of things. We decided we wanted one person home with the kids and wanted to acknowledge that in terms of bang for your buck it makes more sense for a guy to work since they earn more for the same work. Plus John had a strong need to provide.
"but what will happen if one day I get in an accident and you have to work?"
he asked
"we'll be RICH!!!"
I mean I was joking around but it's weird how those are the things that you remember when those things actually happen. This whole time I've been working I was thinking about my promise to John that we will be rich. I was going to school for some time and then Danielle started really struggling and I decided I need to be with my kids. I've been promoted three times at work in less than three years. I didn't actually think I would be able to take care of the kids alone or feel like I was a capable mom at any point. I mean it's flattering when someone seems to believe in you but I wondered why in the world that would be a factor for someone in choosing whom they marry- but then plan for them to be a stay at home parent. And hearing you could really go through stuff and be strong isn't exactly what every girl is dreaming to hear.
It's like how when I date people and I ask what they want in a relationship and they say "I just want someone who makes me laugh every day" and I'm like- SWEET! I'M HILARIOUS AND EVERY GUY CARES TONS ABOUT THAT!!!!!
oh wait. No guy. No guy says that. ever.
I feel a lot of pressure. All the feelings. I don't feel like I can actually make good on my promise most days. I was bluffing. I mean realistically I still feel like I'm bluffing. I'm like- yeah sure no big deal here. OH WAIT THIS TIME IT IS A BIG DEAL.

So we will be rich.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Butterscotch Oatmeal Cookies

My daughter hates chocolate chips. Every week when I make cookies she sort of shrugs and says- you made the one's I don't like again.
Then she brings those crappy cookies to her friends. So every now and then I make ones she loves (or I just make multiple batches or split the dough and don't add chocolate chips to hers.)  Today Little Mr. was grouchy that there were no chocolate chip cookies. so he cried and crumpled on the floor in a heap of sadness and misery.
It's hard when your mom ruins her ONE JOB to provide you with chocolate chip cookies of various flavors every week.
These are pretty good cookies. I don't love butterscotch.

Recipe for Butterscotch Oatmeal Cookies


1 stick of margarine
1 stick of butter- unsalted I used Whole Foods butter. I like fancier butter normally but that's a different post.
1 1/4 cup light brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
add chilled butter and margarine. Mix 30 seconds then scrape sides of the bowl. then cream for 2 minutes

3 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla
add eggs one at a time with vanilla

1 cup pancake mix
2 cups white flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
this mixture should be stirred gently with a whisk- for best results sift the flour before you measure it out then spoon the flour into your cup measure and level the top.

2/3 cup oatmeal
1.5 bags Butterscotch chips
1/2 bag white chocolate chips

mix together and scoop onto cookie sheets with cookie scoop. I used parchment paper to line my cookie sheets and baked for 11 minutes at 350 for a smaller sized scoop.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Bucket List.

Hello pink helmet. I love you.


Guys I have to tell you that I am GOOD at resolutions and goals
I also have clinical depression.
Let's go over some of my successes with resolutions
2 years ago new years resolution- COOK.
owned the crap out of that one. I cooked MORE THAN ONCE that year.
Last year- Do MY HAIR
not only did I do my hair once- for some of the year I had a progressive goal where my hair was done several times a week. Now Carla at work helps me braid my hair and I rock the day after braid wavy hair and people think I have naturally wavy hair which I DO NOT but my new years resolution has rocked.
This year- Wear Makeup. Not as much a goal honestly but I have finished this goal.

One of the reasons I thought about the goals recently was that a friend of mine messaged me that he was going through a bad divorce and his wife cheated on him and he knew that I had gone through some tough times but looked pretty healthy. Someone told me it looked like I landed on my feet and I almost choked with shock. I did not land on my feet. My friends and family dragged my ass up and I'm stumbling forward with very little grace.
I try to think about what the ideal me would do- about what a healthy person would do in my circumstances. Then I visualize that and when I don't want to get out of bed in the morning I do that. I take a picture and post it online. So I am literally getting out of bed so I can post that picture and look like I am loving my life. I did that in my divorce. I wanted to die and stop existing so I finally thought to myself- I wonder what all the happy people are doing. If I can shape my actions after what they are doing then one day I will wake up and it will be real- I will be a happy person. I think patterns shape us just like ritual shapes us in religion. We practice the patterns that we need to shape our humanity. When I was really depressed I would go running and just count to 100 over and over again so I didn't just think about dying.

Most of the people (all) that read this know that I have had post partum depression and dealt with depression since my divorce. (Hi [ex but whatever] sister in law I'm still friends with and you read my blog you've probably already heard this story and I LOVE YOUR GUTS!) The other day I got really bad again and started thinking about my fall back methods on dealing with it. I suddenly woke up and I was like- what happened to me I don't know if I can do this anymore? I had been doing pretty well for a long time so it surprised me. My friends came and helped and I went back to- get out of bed. care for children. be alive. don't be horrible to people.
Then yesterday I went to counseling LIKE A BOSS and she asked me what I do when I'm struggling with depression. I told her about my patterning- that I write down the things that the ideal me would do then I do them. Maybe I post a picture online or check them off my list.  I PASSED COUNSELING. no one tell me that it isn't pass fail because if you don't think it is- newsflash- you are failing counseling.  I was happy she told me that's a healthy coping mechanism. I knew Pinterest was part of the secret of life!
It's what I told my friend. Write down specifically who you want to be and imagine what that person would do. Do those things. Fake it some more and then post a picture and be happy about it.
My goals are part of my list. I will do these things. One day you will wake up and be the person you wanted to be. But then she will slip away and you will have to remake her again. Keep making the list. Keep getting up. Even if you don't want to.

I like to focus on goals that are specific but also nebulous. Once and done or ongoing- you decide. Today I noticed on my Timehop app that I put on my bucket list to learn how to swim. And guess what? ten billion dollars of lessons later and a horrible affliction of eczema and I know how to swim.  With my face in the water. I also know a LOT about lotion options. I signed up for a triathlon and the other day I was talking to somewhat more legitimate real life athletes with beautiful perfect swimming bodies and instagram accounts full of fit pregnancy photos and I was like- dude. If I can swim at all and not die- I'm pretty much my own hero.
You know- I keep my goals realistic. I finished my first triathlon. I didn't really try to go fast is that bad? I realized I was just out there biking on some joy ride when people asked me my time. I was like- wait I was supposed to be telling you my time? BECAUSE I SWAM AND DIDN'T DIE PEOPLE. Everyone outside my life is like- dude you are hardcore and triathlon people are like- why are you here? and I'm like- hey look at my pink bike helmet doesn't it rock?
I don't know if I really like triathlons. I signed up for a half ironman for secret personal reasons and now I don't know if I'm going to finish or want to do it even or why I'm even there but I have this training plan and I like checking things off my list. I still like just riding my bike for fun and I still like walking sometimes when I run but I'm sort of having a blast here.
I feel proud of myself for doing well with my goals. The other day I was talking to someone who qualified for Boston and I was like- maybe I want to do that someday even though I've only done a half marathon in under 2 hours once and I am NOT a talented runner. I started running because I was so bad at it that I figured if I could learn to run I could conquer anything in my life.

I can do this whole Ironman thing- I think I need more time then I feel like I should be spending more time with my kids. The IRONMAN PEOPLE ARE HARDCORE. I also frequently don't want to get out of bed at all. My life wasn't what I planned and some days I miss being with my kids and start to resent not having what I wanted. This should not be happening. My kids should have two parents that are involved. I should have gone to advanced schooling programs when they were available. I should have my kids in more lessons. I should still have my house. I shouldn't still struggle with depression I should be over it by now. I should also have a better body and work on that more...
Then I throw those things away and get out my pinterest checklist.
In the end I can swim. I never thought I would want to learn how to do that and it's amazing how many people have helped me and how I can still be proud of myself for little accomplishments no one else can see.
Plus I have an adorable Pink helmet.
Just wanted to say. Check- one more thing on the list.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Birthday List

Every year I get to write down things that I want that wouldn't really ever get myself or expect other people to get me. Then my sister Claire looks at it and says it's ridiculous which is the point.

Welcome to the birthday list. Also my birthday this year isn't on mother's day which is a gift in and of itself.

Here is my Birthday List.


  1. I think I want a lexus SUV hybrid car. Every year we have a car on this list which I probably won't get but I always put them on. OK one time my husband got me a Toyota Highlander but none of you are my husband last time I checked.
  2. https://www.betabrand.com/referrals/landing/friend/?r=5wk Dress Pants Yoga Pants. I really only have black ones. I'm a size Medium I get the petite ones. DRESS PANTS YOGA PANTS RULE THE WORLD FOREVER.
  3. Non Stick Frying pans. The test pans from Williams Sonoma are the best or from anywhere really. OK I only like fancy frying pans don't die of shock I worked at Williams Sonoma for a while I'm a snob.
  4. Chevron Workout pants from Betty Designs. OK I want the Tri suits too but I have no idea what size I would be. I'm probably a large.
  5. More High Heels. Like THESE ones from Betsey Johnson. size 8.5 I love all shoes. oh Maybe I need more climbing shoes! Or fuzzy slippers I can wear around the house.
  6. Fiestaware Peacock colored dinnerware. They retired my color. I can't even say the expletives that come to mind with that.
  7. Cute and completely non-functional tops from Lulu Lemon I totally love their underwear as well. size 8 or 6. 
  8. Stay in a Cabin- maybe at Sundance. For a weekend and talk to no one CarolAnn are you listening? hmm. My dream of the silent vacation is still alive and well.
  9. POC Sunglasses. and socks.
  10. babysitting in the evening. and somewhere I can go and talk to no one...
  11. Work out Swimming suits. Athleta has some really cute ones.
  12. Massage- Carol does a great job...
  13. Initial Pendant from Bon Levy. Contact my good friend Daniel. WHO NEEDS TO COME VISIT FOR MY BIRTHDAY!
  14. Stuff for cookies. Chocolate chips. cookie Cutters. The Alison's Cookie Party online course... Sprinkles and icing. Cookie decorating stuff. New cookie scoops. whatever. I make a lot of cookies.
  15. A trip to Hawaii. I think I need to go to that Yoga boarding thing. Or one of those Yoga vacations where you meditate a lot. I like Yoga. My friend Jessica has these awesome laser cut leggings for Yoga and she's awesome at Yoga.  Hot yoga totally helps with running.
  16. Stationery from Emily McDowell I love her.
  17. Tablecloths. round 70 inch...
  18. good books to read for my silent vacation.  or maybe a vegan cookbook. Or a bread cookbook I broke my Bosch bowl so I haven't been making as much bread. Maybe I need a new Bosch bowl... but I miss making all my own bread that was fun.
  19. a race entry to some marathon or half ironman or half marathon or something. I mean I love medals and I don't have any planned after Boise 70.3 and that's weird.
  20. A mountain bike. Or something from my extensive Pinterest wish list lol.
  21. Skiing or snow boarding lessons. I think I'll finally learn this year. I was going to last year but it was too warm...
oh dear. That wasn't as fun as it used to be. I just feel greedy. I don't really need anything for my birthday I have a sort of awesome life right now.
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