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Are we giving up too easily?

January 27, 2012

Marriage is hard!  Choosing to spend the rest of your life with one person; for better or worse, in sickness and in health, and until death do us part is not as easy to do as it is to say.  But once you say those vows...are you really required to honor them?

We all rolled our eyes when Kim Kardashian got married in a very expensive whirlwind made-for-TV wedding. When Kim announced the marriage was over after 72 days, none of us were surprised. Brittany Spears got married in Las Vegas to a childhood friend, just because. Fifty-five hours later it was annulled and we all just shrugged our shoulders.  Who didn't shake their heads when Lisa Marie married Michael surprise when that marriage didn't last.

There have been so many celebrities announcing separations and divorces that it is enough to make me question...Is divorce the new black?

Sometimes, it is obvious that a marriage won't last...maybe the celebrities have only dated a short time before tying the knot, or they are the complete polar opposites. When they announce their marriage, we are intrigued...when they announce their separation, we are not surprised.

But then there are the couples that seem like they truly love each other...and when they announce their separation....we are truly surprised.  When Heidi Klum and Seal announced their decision to separate....I was shocked.  They both seemed so in love (in the tabloid magazines I read).  Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins seemed like they were together for the long haul.  Although they never formally married, they were together for two decades!  I am secretly rooting for Courtney Cox and David Arquette.  Although they are no longer together as husband and wife, they seem like they truly want the best for each other...and still spend time in each other's company.
Of course, when there is an indiscretion, such as infidelity...I think divorce is definitely warranted.  Once the trust is broken, it is hard to stand by your partner's side.  Ashton Kutcher, LeAnn Rimes, Jesse James and Tiger Woods strayed from their marriage and lost their spouses because of it.
But what about non-celebrities?  Obviously divorce happens to everyday couples as well.  My parents divorced when I was five years old.  In fact, my mother was the age I currently am when she separated from my father.  My sister and I were the ages that my children are right now.  I am so appreciative that both my parents put their differences aside and divorced with grace.  I can honestly say I never saw my parents fight.  Although we lived with my mother a majority of the time, we saw my father often.  Never once did I feel like I had to choose between my mother or father.

Both of my parents have now been remarried to their current spouses longer than they were originally married to each other.  I am thankful that my children have four grandparents who love them dearly.  My mother and my step-mother get a long well and it is never awkward to have all four of my parents in the same room.  This definitely made my wedding and family parties so much easier.  I have friends whose parents will not even speak to each other after they divorced.  Such a burden to be placed on their children, who must act as referees.

I have now been married to my husband for almost nine years.  We have been together for fifteen.  As I have spoken of before, his career dictates where we live and how are lives together are shaped.  To say it is easy would be a lie.  There have been times that I have been quite resentful.  It is hard to leave friends, leave jobs, and leave my family.  Most of the time I have no say in the city we move to, but I put a smile on my face and make the best of it.  I have often wondered what my life would have been like had I never served him the beer on the night I met him.  Would I still be single? Would I have started a career? Would I have moved away from my family?

I see celebrities divorce their spouses and become single mothers.  Jennifer Lopez already has a young boyfriend (that was fast, eh?) and they seem to jaunt from Madrid to Hawaii.  She makes being a single mother look so easy.  I often think...where are her kids?  Kate Gosslin has eight kids, yet has time to fly from PA to LA for the Golden Globes... dance with the Stars...and vacation on the beach with her "bodyguard". Imagine this...Your marriage doesn't work out, and suddenly you are single again.  After the divorce, you start dating, once again enjoying the honeymoon stage that had long-disappeared in your former marriage.  Who wouldn't want to take vacations where you didn't have to pack for your husband and kids too.  Just a carry-on with a bikini, a cocktail dress, and a change of underwear.  Life is good....
But is it?  I don't recall my mother going out on many dates...or take amazing vacations.  My mother, like me, was a stay-at-home mom when my parents divorced.  She took a job as a secretary to make ends meet. She had to get us off to school and then come home from a long day at work to cook dinner, help with homework and put us too bed.  Weekends were for grocery shopping, cleaning the house and catching up with laundry.  Yes, we would often see my father and stay at his house on weekends...but as a mother I can only imagine how much my own mom appreciated the day or two of silence...just to read a magazine or enjoy a hot bath.  I don't think she was competing in a dance competition while we were away...but who knows?

My marriage is not perfect....but it is strong.  I describe it like this..."it just is".  I don't get flowers and he doesn't get pole dances.  He sometimes irks me, and my nagging drives him nuts.  There are some days we don't talk while he is on the road.  But there are little things that mean a lot....the Diet Coke he brings to me in the afternoons, or the rare time I iron one of his shirts.  Those are the things that mean the most.  Things nobody can see but us.  How does a marriage survive nine cities and two moves per year?  We both have decided that divorce is not an option.

Someone once told me this piece of advice for a long marriage....

As long as you BOTH don't fall out of love at the same time....your marriage will survive.

This is so true.  Marriage is full of ups and downs.  If my husband and I were to throw in the towel the first time our marriage was not easy...we would have separated many hockey seasons ago.

The night I met my husband, I called my best friend and told her I met the man I was going to marry.  I just knew....the way you know about a good melon!

I swear to you...and my kids do too!

January 20, 2012

My son has hockey on Tuesday mornings, and has become friendly with the other boys on his team.  This last week, a few of us moms decided to take the boys to McDonald's to have lunch and play in the petri dish play area.  I didn't say anything to my son...and when we pulled into the McDonald's parking lot he spied one of his hockey buddies.

"Oh my gosh, there is Matthew!"

I pulled into the parking space and my son was out of his seatbelt immediately.  He was standing up in the minivan and couldn't wait to get inside.  I was making sure I had my phone in my purse and was about to open the door when I heard...

"Oh my gosh, my whole team is here....HOLY $HIT!"

I must admit, the first thing that went through my head was...

"Holy $hit...where did he learn that word?"

While suppressing my desire to smile and laugh, I asked the mandatory question...

"What did you just say?"

My son knew he had said a bad word.  Although he doesn't know what it means, he knows it is definitely a word that is not to be spoken by his four-year-old mouth.  My son also knew the best way to answer me was to DENY, DENY, DENY....

"Mom, I said Holy Moley."

I then let my son know that it is one thing to say those words in our home, but if he speaks them in school or around other people...I would not be happy.

I am not going to kids hear inappropriate language in our home.  I don't use profanity all of the time, but if I stub my toe, or burn myself while cooking...I sure as F*cking H*ll will let out an expletive.  My husband has been known to throw out the odd F-bomb...but I am definitely the one to accept the blame when it comes to the naughty words my kids say.

Maybe some of you are nodding your heads, and understand that children hear most foul language in their own home before they hear it elsewhere.  Maybe some of you are appalled by the fact I am not too concerned about my children saying such words that I irresponsibly speak in front of their young ears.  To those of you who never swear...or who swear their children would never say such words...please hear me out.

To me, it is not the word, it is how it is used.

If my son or daughter uses a swear word toward someone...
If they swear in school, church, or a public space...
If they use it inappropriately...

I WILL NOT BACK THEM AND THEY WILL BE PUNISHED! My job as a parent is to teach my children how to moderate the language that they will hear from friends, in movies, and on the street. I would never want my son to think it is acceptable to swear while working in an office...

I am a believer that there are definitely some people who are more likely to use curse words...and there are those who never have the desire or need to use certain language...even if a gosh darn brick falls on their toe.  My daughter is one of those people.  I don't think she has ever used a swear word...and to this day thinks the "s" word is "stupid".  But my son...he takes after his mom!  That boy can work a "naughty" word  into any conversation.  I often say my son uses only four-basic-word-groups....

Fart, poop, stinky, and butt.

If I had a dollar for every time my son said one of those words in the course of an hour, I would be a very wealthy woman!

 I assume swear words are similar to drugs.  You start out small....with recreation words like "poop" and "fart".  It all seems innocent enough, then the next thing you know you are shooting up words like $HIT and F*CK! I think my son is headed down that road...and it is not going to be pretty.

My husband has often said the language in a hockey locker room is not something he would want his mother to hear.  I guess I should be proud knowing I too am playing an important part in his hockey room preparation!

So why am I blogging about swearing?

Have you heard about Modern Family's episode last night?  Lily dropped the F-word!  Of course one of her fathers thought it funny (me) while the other father was concerned about his daughter's use of the word (my husband). If you have a moment, here is a great synopsis of the television episode, and the fall-out that has come from it!

So what is your take on swearing?  Has your child ever used an expletive, and if so...what did you do about it?  Leave me a comment and tell me your experience.

When meeting The Great One is not so great.....

January 12, 2012

I often get asked if I ever meet any famous hockey players.  That all depends on who is considered "famous" in hockey.

The city I grew up in is definitely not a big hockey town.  When I met my husband, and he told me what he did for a living, our conversation went a little something like this...

"What do you do for a living?"
"I play hockey"
"So are you considered a professional?"
"Yes, I get paid to play the game, so I am a professional."

You see I never really thought about it that way.  In fact I never really thought about hockey at all.  Over the years, there have been many introductions to past teammates and opponents of my husband.  Hockey really is a small world, and everyone seems to know everyone.  Each time I was introduced to "what's his name" or "that guy" as I tend to call them husband and I usually have this conversation...

"So who is that guy again?"
"Jaromir Jagr?"
"Oh yeah, that guy....So what is his story?  Did he play hockey?"
{insert rolled eyes and a big sigh from my husband}
(PS....I totally had to look up the spelling of Jaromir's name just now!)

I don't even have to meet the player to embarrass myself.  There was one time that a friend of ours (who works for the Detroit Red Wings) mentioned Steve Yzerman*.  He was talking about how "Steve came out of the office..." and I innocently asked "Oh, is he the coach?"  
If I had one dollar for every second of silence...I would be as rich as Mr. Yzerman.  My husband shot me a look of pure embarrassment as he told me "Steve Yzerman is only one of the best players to ever play for Detroit!" As I apologized for my lack of hockey trivia, I pictured someone the same age as Gordie Howe**.  

** We had breakfast one time with Gordie Howe....that was pretty cool!  I did excuse myself to use the washroom and phoned my father to tell him that I met Mr. Howe.  

A few weeks later, as they were retiring Yzerman's husband called me in to watch.  I think my husband rolled his eyes twice when I said..."Oh, he is young!  I assumed he was in his 70's or something."
*I once again had to look up the correct spelling of Steve Yzerman

If you have read my blog for a while, you would know that I once met Adam Oates...and that didn't turn out too well.  You can read about that here.

However, even I know that the ultimate famous hockey player would have to be The Great One...also known as Wayne Gretzky.  Of course, any chance to meet Wayne Gretzky would be great.....unless you are me, then it is just a disaster.

For some reason, my husband's new team had a pre-season event at the arena....which included the Stanley Cup and an appearance of Wayne Gretzky.  My husband went ahead of me, and I was going to meet him there later.  Of course I was late because as usual, I couldn't find a thing to wear in my closet (see here) .

 I was sweating and out of breath (also known as a hot mess) as I ran up some stairs and would you guess who was standing at the top of them?  The GM, asst. GM, and Wayne Gretzky.  The asst. GM introduced me to Wayne in true hockey form....(because in hockey you are never introduced with your name. Just as {your husband's name plus the word wife or girlfriend after}.  It is so common, I usually introduce myself to other wives/girlfriends in the same way).

So I am introduced to Wayne Gretzky, friendly chatter is exchanged and then I mention the need to find my husband.  

The asst. GM said "Oh, follow us."

So off I went with the three of them down a hall and into one of the arena suites.  I assumed my husband was in there too.  But guess what...he wasn't.  So there I am, sitting in a chair across from Wayne.  The two GMs have disappeared and you can hear the crickets as Wayne and I just sat there.
Finally, Wayne's phone buzzed (or he pretended it did) and he excused himself.  I couldn't get out of that suite fast enough! AWKWARD!

Fast forward a few months...and it is now October.  I had taken my daughter to Target and we purchased the Cinderella costume she wanted....and the first bag of Halloween candy.  My husband was at the rink that night for something, so we stopped by.  The parking for the rink was underneath the arena, and from there you entered the lower level where the coach's offices and locker rooms were.  My daughter was playing in the wive's room when she asked if she could wear her Cinderella costume.  I ran to the car and grabbed it...and while I was out there I grabbed a miniature box of Milk Duds.
 Of course I didn't want my daughter to see me eat the candy, as I had told her we would not be eating it until trick-or-treat.   I opened the box and shoved all four milk duds into my mouth and started chewing as I walked through the hallway.

Wouldn't you know it, but out of an office comes Wayne Gretzky and he was walking my way.....

Suddenly I realized I had a mouthful of milk duds...and there was no way I could clear the chocolate and caramel from my front teeth before we crossed paths.  A dozen scenarios passed through my brain.  What if he says hello?  What if he recognizes me?  What if I have to speak to him?

So I did what any person who comes face to face with The Great One would do.....I turned my head, looked at the floor, and pretended not to see or recognize him while I walked past him.

How to kill your blog...{without even trying}!

January 8, 2012

The last time I wrote an original post on this blog was December 3, 2011 (click here).  Since that time, I posted some previous posts as filler, so it would look like I was blogging.  I even created a Facebook page and linked it to my twitter account in hopes that it would seem as though I was creating whimsical thoughts that were no more than 14o characters long!
I promise you I have great ideas for posts that I want to share with the time I met Wayne Gretzky (let's just say it involved Milk Duds).  I could tell you why my husband, myself, my children, and anyone related to me has no political future because of something I may have done in 1997.  I want to discuss my lack of will-power to eat properly for the last eight days?  My "get in shape" resolution for 2012 lasted 12 minutes and 34 seconds.  The list goes on and on.....and still, I have yet to post a single thing on my blog for the new year.

I guess you could say I have been:
                                                      a) BUSY
                                                      b) TIRED
                                                      c) LAZY
                                                      d) ALL OF THE ABOVE

If you guessed (d) then you are correct.

I would like to think the Holiday season had something to do with the busy and tired part.  I am always so excited to pull out the Christmas decorations while listening to the wonderful sounds of Christmas music.  This year's favorite album was Michael BublĂ©'s Christmas album
My husband left town right after US Thanksgiving, and I got to work putting up the tree and decorating the house.  My son wanted me to put up lights outside, but after this happened last year....I decided against it.  However, our neighbor felt the need to put an ugly WHITE strand of lights on a tree that from the road looks like it could be ours.

First off...who wraps a white cord around a green tree?  Second, my four year old son could have done a better job wrapping the small tree! And third....the damn white strand of lights is still there! I swear to God, if those lights are still there in March!!!!
(I would take a picture of it...but that is where answer (c) comes in...I am too LAZY!)

Anyhow...I swear my husband was either on the road or had a game every night in December, including being out of town for the entire week before Christmas.  I got the stomach flu, my daughter got croup, and my son had a horrible cold.

We drove on all day on the 23rd to spend Christmas with my husband's family...and drove all day on the 25th to get back home.  Meanwhile, it has now been a whole year since I have seen my mom, dad and sister.

By December 26th...I was more than happy to take down every last drop of Christmas cheer...and I hope Michael BublĂ© is comfortable resting in the depths of my iTunes until next year.  Any decoration that did not get set out for Christmas 2011 is now sitting at the local Salvation Army.  As I was struggled for an hour to figure out how to put our 8.5' artificial tree back in the box it came in..I was tempted to get rid of that too!

I did make it to my first hockey game the day after Christmas...My husband's team was winning by three goals when I got to the game.....but never scored again once I showed up.  They lost that night.  OOPS!

By the time New Year's Eve came around...I was ready to start 2012 with a fresh new outlook.  I was going to eat right....exercise more...and start posting more on Tales of a Hockey Wife.  We spent New Year's Eve at a good friend's house.  I wore my sweats and deemed the night BYOS (Bring Your Own Slippers).  At 12:05 a.m. we said our good byes and we went home.
On New Year's day, my promise to stay away from carbs ended at 8:12 am...when I woke up and ate an egg burrito on a flour tortilla.  So much for eating right (said the bag of guacamole chips I polished off last night)......I did pick up another Zumba class to teach, so at least I have added some more exercise to my week (and I get paid to do it!).

So it should be no surprise that my Blogger stats have taken a direct hit.  I wonder why this should bother me....but it does.  When I see that people are reading my posts, it gives me a dose of pleasure....just as each new follower on Google Friends does.  I rarely hear...."Wow, the house looks so clean", or "Thanks for doing my laundry", or "Thank you for keeping food in the house" from my family. Just knowing that people appreciate the time I put into my blog (those hockey masks don't just appear on "borrowed" stock photos from the web) and that they are reading my post and leaving comments... fills my empty "thank you" tank.

So hang in there...I promise the Wayne Gretzky Milk Duds post will follow soon!