The worst kind of pain…

…is the pain when you watch your beloved child make the worst of mistakes with the full confidence of someone too young to know better…




Painting for poser-artists!

Now, some of you know that I’ve taken these awesomely fun painting courses that they offer here in town. They are kinda, sorta an adult “paint by numbers but without the numbers” and may be frequented by no-talent posers like me. 😉

I’ve painted two of my beloved dogs (with varying results as you can see below!)


But it was fun and relaxing and most importantly they let you drink wine!!!!

But, the most fun I’ve had I have to say was when my beloved Rupert joined me for a night out. Now, aren’t these the most AMAZING paintings ever?? The image was suppose to be the state we live in, but we went RENEGADE and painted those cups all defiantly! In fact, when I asked the artist-instructor for pointers on improving my mug, I got a sniff and a “that’s fine, I’ve no suggestions” and flounced off to help the sheep in the class who were going along with the plan.

For a rule follower like me, it was heady and reckless and I’d do it again next time!


If nothing else, it was a beautiful respite from the tumultuousness that defines my life lately.

ps: feel free to leave LAVISH praise!  Kidding…not kidding  😉






Oh January 2016, you wild lil gal you…you rang into my life with Oprah telling me it’s the year for “My Best Body”…and Vitya having many “wins” in his life…and my husband working hard on becoming the “best version of himself”…and me…well….ummm….this is a year of me working to get rid of the “uglies” in my soul. And my oh my, these “uglies” are best illustrated by this gorgeous creature:


Pretty isn’t it? I think it best illustrates how I feel when I think of how I was betrayed by someone I had honestly loved.  I’m a person that if I count you amongst my friends, I am very loving and forgiving. When you are an asshat, well I will find it in my heart to reason out why…when you are dismissive to my needs, well I will find it in my heart to punish MYSELF for being too needy…and yada, yada, yada, yada….BUT, insult my husband (fighting or no) and be rude to my children? Well, I then turn into this:

Mama Tiger

Because you do NOT mess with those who are MINE. You just don’t.  Now, in the past I would have ROARED and spread the story of the betrayer far and wide…and the information I would have shared would have been all true, all observed and noted over years. But, that is not to be any more as I have the following spiritual leaders to thank for getting me to realize that doing this only makes ME an asshat:

  1. My Pastor
  2. Matthew Kelly
  3. Phil Sandoval
  4. Patrick Madrid
  5. Bishop Fulton Sheen

Just when I was fuming and growling and sharpening my deadly claws and ready to do battle…lo and behold there was a SERMON addressing anger and revenge…and just when I convinced myself that the Holy Spirit was not talking to ME surely…BAM! Phil did a whole week on revenge and the ego that is involved…and because I adore Phil I let that simmer in my heart when BINGO-BANGO Patrick talked about the morality involved in decisions, because just because we CAN do something doesn’t mean we SHOULD do something…and then darn it all…BOOM!!!…I read Matthew’s book exhorting me to become “the best version of myself”…and BAM-BOOP-BOP-BINGO-BANGO comes Bishop Sheen in a podcast and reading a book of a collection of his thoughts. (Bishop Sheen, btw, is pure goodness and genius and I love him with my whole heart!) And this is when I realized that the anger I am feeling (although VERY JUST – don’t forget that!) is not coming from the Lord, but rather is being coaxed and encouraged by the evil one.

Yes, I felt my guardian angel AND the Holy Spirit giving me a knuckle rap on the head and scolding me to “SNAP OUT OF IT!” because I’m only hurting me and my relationship with God. The betrayer is someone who has never admitted to their wrong doings, and so a confrontation would be useless and unproductive. What I must and will do is pray for this person and complete the encouragement of my pastor to pray to see others through the eyes of God.  Although, when he first advised me to complete this, and I thought of this situation, this is an example of how I was pretty durn sure the Lord was viewing it all:

ugly bug

But upon prayers of forgiveness I think this is a closer image to what my beautiful Lord sees:

wounded bird.jpg

A person who needs nurturing and care…but also, one who is not meant to be in my real life any longer but is deserving of prayers and good wishes.

So, dear reader, should you read in the future a really nasty and venting post, please return to this one and understand I’m on a journey that is imperfect with human emotions which are even more imperfect, but I’ve set my way on the narrow path.

narrow path to heaven.jpg

Because not only is 2016 going to be the year of my best body but also the year of spiritual growth!

Pope Benedict delivers his Urbi et Orbi Easter blessing over Saint Peter's square at the Vatican












Marriage 9-1-1

Marriage 911

You may remember the previous post where my husband asked me to leave. I can’t say this has been the first time, and I must be honest that I’ve left before (with Vitya) when the toxicity was in full-mushroom-cloud poison. My prayer life has been blossoming and in asking Him for guidance He answered.

I was listening to Patrick Coffin on his Catholic Answers Focus podcast. He was interviewing Greg and Julie Alexander, a couple who were just as screwed up as me and my husband. When I read this passage:

“I couldn’t understand how it had happened.

I had stood at the altar with this man and said, “I do.”

But now if he walked past me and touched me,

I wanted to throw up. I felt chilled on the inside.”

I knew I was going to read a story that was honest and relatable. Greg and Julie do not hide their skeletons or make excuses for their behavior. Although infidelity is not a part of our story, many of the issues Greg and Julie faced are the same as we are struggling with on a daily basis.

So, I sent my husband the link to the book and we are now both reading it to see if we will allow ourselves to heal and improve our marriage.

Pray for us.

Thank you.


A looooong time ago….in a world that no longer exists….at a time of innocence…24 years ago, I purchased a MakIt kit from the school’s book sale fundraiser.  My sister was there and so we sat down with the kiddies and created these plates. Well, as a young mom – ok, I was 31 at the time – my good intentions fell by the wayside and this packet was put in a box and forgotten. WELL GUESS WHO JUST FOUND IT???!!!???  YES! ME!!! SHUT THE FRONT DOOR!!!!! And better yet, the company still exists and I can still have the plates made!

I’m just happy as can be…


Vitya and Miso. V was about 8 years old, just broken his arm skateboarding!

Vitya and Miso. V was about 8 years old, just broken his arm skateboarding!

I’ve shared some stories about my beloved boy. He suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The abuse he suffered in the Russian orphanage was horrific, unimaginable for most people, and most of it he has blocked from his memory. But with this blocking, came blocking of almost ALL memories. For example, this photo did not immediately stir up his heroic tale of breaking his arm at the Boys & Girls club in TX. In the Rio Grande Valley, there is a high level of poverty. There is no YMCA, and outside of country club membership the Boys & Girls club is the only place where young folk can come together to safely hang out. His favorite club had a pretty nice skateboarding section. He was *dying* to try it. So, we signed he appropriate waivers and I gave him my MommaBear lectures about safety. Fast forward 60 minutes to a frantic call from the club. It seems my little Russian had watched the big boys on the ramp, and after safely navigating the tiny ramps, decided he too could go down the six foot slide and do a mid air flip! Except…he couldn’t, and broke his arm, was rushed to the hospital, had surgery, and got that nifty orange cast.

A few years later this memory could only be stirred with photos and lots of story telling to try and prompt him. Frustrating.

A few years after that, back in MI, memories *did* start coming back. Dark and horrifying memories of pain and humiliation. Memories that had no context, and so he placed that context into his life here in the U.S. Stories of me standing by and laughing at him, taunting him, while larger boys pummeled him and sexually abused him. Memories that extended to both parents and although he could intellectually understand that these memories couldn’t have happened after coming to live with us, he was not emotionally able to process that as fact.

These memories then started a cycle of him protecting himself by doing unacceptable acts of revenge against his dad, which then triggered my husband’s own past of child abuse, and set up a life of living torment. Vitya now big and strong waging war against his dad who reacted humanly and poorly. Me in the middle. The only safety point for each of these males. Daily calls, while I was at work, from both citing new incidents, new chaos, and stress that made every waking and breathing moment a nightmarish burden.

We went to therapy. Lots of worthless therapy.  Even though they have battles worthy of a video game as they keep reliving awful childhood terrors and “protecting” themselves from each other, they love each other dearly. And this love keeps pulling them back together and keeps me on a teeter-totter.


pulled in two