Southern Livin’

Captain and I road tripped through the South last week and had such a lovely time! We got our fill of good eats and just truly enjoyed the quality time (sans kids). My man’s been working like crazy so it was nice to see him not exhausted from the physical labor of his job (fishing in 100F weather).

So we left Miami and headed to our first stop…St Augustine, FL:

Then, we hit Beaufort, SC:

Next stop was Charleston, SC:

And our grand finale was Savannah, GA:

Loved, loved, loved every moment of it! I’m still dreaming about the food…

Your biscuit-and-fried-chicken-loving friend,

Athena xo

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Too Quiet?

My kids have been on vacation with their father in the northeast for a week and there’s one week left to go. I’ve had a hard time being without them. You’d think I’d be thrilled and make the most of my alone time and appreciate the quiet, right? Ugh. Kinda.

I have enjoyed spending the week in the Keys with Captain. Snorkeling, biking, walking, reading, etc. Alone time with him. We rarely get uninterrupted time so it’s been fantastic. But holy hell is it a quiet life without kids! Too quiet.

I have the summer off and spend loads of time with the kids. So having them gone for so long is rough. And not just because I enjoy them but also because I am neurotic and worry endlessly about their safety while they’re gone. I hate to even put it into words but I have nightmares about kidnappings, trafficking, drownings, car accidents, etc. I try to keep it under control and not be crazy… but man. I’m crazy.

I am not crazy enough to not recognize that I’m lucky they have a father that’s involved. His new girlfriend is with them and she’s been fantastic keeping watch and updating me about them. And at 6 and 9 years old, my kids are very fortunate to visit New England and family all along the northeast US. All good stuff.

So I’m just having a moment. One of those self pitying moments where I hate what comes with divorce with young kids.

On another note, I have realized that I need (A) some other teacher friends that are chilling this summer or (B) unemployed and adventurous wealthy friends, to hang with while Captain is out working. Day drinking is no fun alone. (I kid. Kinda. But, seriously, any volunteers?! 😜)

On a positive note, Captain and I will take a road trip tomorrow! We’re going to drive up to Charleston with several stops along the way. Lots of good eats! I’m currently working on my southern drawl. Saying “reckon” just doesn’t sound right yet with my Miami accent. I’ll get it!

xo

Athena

Oh, who are the people in your neighborhood?

Growing up, we watched Sesame Street. There was a song that went something like:

Oh, who are the people in your neighborhood?

In your neighborhood?

In your neighborhood?

Say, who are the people in your neighborhood?

The people that you meet each day.

Nowhere there do I see that your ex-husband should be the people in your neighborhood. πŸ˜‘

I nearly had a heart attack when my 9 year old daughter mentioned something about Daddy checking out a house for sale in the next cul-de-sac. They toured an open house on my block!!

Made me sick to my stomach. Want to throw up, queasy, oh hell no, kind of sick.

Sometimes I ask myself how it can be fair that you can still have to see someone you cannot stand on such a frequent basis? If Grayheart could just consistently be nice or normal (or just consistent) then I wouldn’t have to want to punch him in his smug face so often.

Don’t exes want to avoid each other? I don’t want to see him more often than I have to! No one loves their kids enough to want to move 5 houses away. Just leave me alone, dude.

So I asked him about it. Claims they stopped by on a whim just for fun while they happened to drive by. That there’s no way he could even afford a house in the neighborhood. I’m calling bullshit. He can’t afford it is right. But that it was a chance thing? Nope. I think he’s just trying to mind-f*ck me. Make me crazy.

And it’s almost working. Almost.

Happy Divorce Anniversary to Me

I completely missed that a little over a year ago I officially divorced from Grayheart. So happy anniversary to me for that milestone!

It’s been over 3 and a half years since we separated. And as I reflect, I’ve noticed a few things.

  1. I no longer have the “need” or even desire to understand what went wrong. I no longer dissect it or try to make sense of it. He is a selfish man, I married the wrong person, and I now know better.
  2. I’ve learned from my mistakes. I think I was still a good wife but there are many things I could have done better. I am a better partner now. I appreciate things that truly matter. Little things count.
  3. Nothing lasts forever and there’s a sort of comfort you have the first time around that leaves you after a divorce. You no longer sit comfortably thinking you can’t be dethroned. Someone can vow to love you forever but they won’t stick around if you’re no longer lovable. Anyone can be replaced. Sounds negative but I feel like it’s just a more realistic point of view. And it pretty much applies to all in life.
  4. I’m fiercer and less willing to put up with anything I think is beneath me. I refuse to fall into old patterns in relationships.
  5. My bond with my kids is even stronger than I thought possible. I grateful for every moment with them since I now see them less than I would have if I’d had an intact household.
  6. It’s not fair but I have to put in more effort than my ex does when it comes to the kids. I do more and that’s just the way it is. It’s draining at times but whining that life isn’t fair just doesn’t help.
  7. The things that drove me crazy about my ex still annoy the hell out of me. But I don’t have to deal with him in my face every day. I’m free from his darkness.
  8. I no longer feel like I need to be connected somehow to Grayheart. We are not really friends. We are family, I guess? It’s reminiscent of an annoying cousin you care for and would be there for if they need you, but you don’t really talk to often. Every now and then he and I have a good quality conversation, especially about the kids. But I prefer not to be around him.
  9. His life has not drastically improved since we parted. He’s in debt. His weight has fluctuated. He’s changed jobs. He’s no longer friends with the “divorce is awesome” crew that encouraged the single life. He is no longer with Raggedy (she moved to Maryland). He has the kids to truly be proud of but that’s because I take care of everything. He’s screwed up everything around him.
  10. I have moments of frustration and sadness for my children but I haven’t cried about my divorce since the day it was officially confirmed. I think I poured out everything left at that moment. There is magic that happens within the 2 to 3 year mark. You really do heal. If you do it the right way. I faced it, received wonderful counseling, and managed to co-parent well through the worst of it. And somewhere along the way, I found a magnificent man as a partner.

So happy anniversary to me. I won’t “celebrate” it because I no longer define myself by it. It’s old news and I’m too busy moving straight ahead! I wish those of you going through a divorce a ton of strength and faith through the process. It does get better.

xo Athena

Florida Strong

Spoiler: We survived Irma here in Miami. πŸ™‚

It’s been quite a week of preparation, impact, and recuperation. My State, city, town, local businesses, family, friends, and neighbors did a marvelous job keeping things in order. I’m sure there are gaps everywhere but I’m shocked with how orderly things went. 

Before the storm, we rushed to get gas (which everyone managed to find, even if an hour or longer wait), had food, filled up with water, gave advice, protected our homes and that of loved ones, and braced ourselves for the Big One. 

And then we waited for Irma to arrive… and nearly ate all our damn hurricane food prior to her arrival. (Side note, just about everything non-perishable is unhealthy or can be easily consumed in mass quantities. Yes, I’m talking Nutella and gummy snacks.)

Then, the storm did all sorts of tricks and confused every meteorologist and person tracking it. Miami avoided direct impact but the Florida Keys were hit hard. Captain, my boyfriend, lives in the Keys but hunkered down with us. He stored his boat further north as he wanted to make sure it was protected since that’s his livelihood. No boat = no dinero. 

We were hit with major wind and rain. In some ways, it was beautiful to watch. It was scary to hear the wind howling and sad to see our trees ripped out of the ground but something about the sheer strength of nature and watching the grass and trees blow was fascinating. 


We built Legos, played cards and games, ate, talked by candlelight, tried contacting loved ones, took a few brave steps outside during the storm, ate some more, napped, and practiced patience. It’s the most still any of us have been in quite some time.

My children are not used to living without electricity. It was an incredible wake up call for them to function without light or AC. We were conservative with water and plumbing use, and had to be creative with ways we entertained ourselves. (They’re not complete brats; you do start to get serious cabin fever locked in your house for days.)


Once the storm was over and we assessed our damage (which luckily was little), it was great to walk our area and talk with neighbors. We told stories, even compared to our experience with Hurricane Andrew, shared tools, helped each other clean up, and were just very grateful for coming out of this relatively unscathed. 

My ex, Grayheart, was very supportive and helpful with the kids and sharing time with them. He popped by a few (too many) times but I could tell he was very lonely. Makes me feel bad for him at times. 

I took the kids yesterday for a “safari” drive around town to go check on family. We pointed out damage to familiar places and took a few pictures. It was humbling.

We are incredibly lucky. The Keys were hit bad and people are missing. Naples and much of the west coast here is flooded. Over 6 million people in FL without power. Georgia and South Carolina are getting hit now. Much of Cuba is destroyed because it took the direct impact meant for us. Barbuda uninhabitable. The beautiful BVI ripped up with few ways to communicate with the rest of the world. It could have been bad for us. I’m very aware and am using that knowledge to make my kids aware and responsible for helping our community and others impacted by this. 

We appreciate all the love and volunteer efforts sent to us from around the country and world. We will pay it forward. ❀️

Captain was finally allowed access to the Keys this morning. I am waiting to hear what’s left of his place. Crossing fingers for not-so-bad news!

I’m sorry for the lengthy post… just started blabbing on. πŸ™‚

Sending everyone much love. xo

Athena

Splendor in the Beach

Recently got back from vacation with my lovely boyfriend, Captain! We had a wonderful time in the Turks & Caicos. Spent five days there with pretty excellent weather. We swam, snorkeled, fished, and relaxed. 

While I was gone, the kids went with their dad, Grayheart, around New England for some good ole fashioned fun. (Seeing my kids leave for a plane trip without me was pretty tough. It worked out well that I left 3 days later!)

Anyhow, thought I’d share some pictures of our fun. Hope everyone’s having a great summer. Sending you all some sunshine! 
I’m counting down before I get back to work in a week! β˜€οΈπŸŒ΄πŸ’›

Our sunset walks πŸŒ›

Island hopping!

Happiest of hours! 🍹 Salud!

Spot the wild donkeys?!

Daily walk in South Caicos

I “conch” believe how beautiful it is here! πŸ˜‰

Shi…ngles

I got shingles, y’all! *slow clap*

It’s kinda fun to say. Shhhh… ingles? Sh-ing-les. Sh-in-gulls. Shin-gals. Shhhhh. Whatever. I got it. 

Apparently, you don’t need to be over 60 to have it. 

Those effers have been living in my nerve cells latent for 33 years and decided to pop in for an uninvited visit this week. Bastards.

I’m annoyed because I’m not stressed and this is usually the cause of onset. I’m actually on summer break from teaching and having a lovely time! 

Only thing I can think is maybe my brain is creeping behind my back and subversively worrying about finances?

Grayheart, my ex-husband, recently quit his long-term, secure job. Why? No good reason. He hated his job and wanted to pursue his business ventures in the restaurant industry is pretty much why. Idiot. 


It’s not my business what he does as long as he parents well and pays for his child support. He will continue to pay his child support as-is but I just don’t trust him. So on a teacher’s salary, you can understand why I might quietly fret? Anyway, I’m pushing it out of my mind and just focusing on the now and not the “what if” of the situation. I didn’t think it was bothering me enough to cause me trouble but it’s possible that my body is just tired of constantly fighting everything over the last 3 years? (This shingles thing is his fault, of course.)

As a side note, Grayheart broke up with Raggedy Ann. I think this is the fifth time? πŸ™„ (I met her, by the way. Another story, another time. Nothing exciting.) 

Oh! And he then immediately got a vasectomy. I think Raggedy was hinting at wanting her own kids. Lmao!

*Don’t mind me as I snicker at their demise.*


I know, petty. But, fuck, I’m dealing with shingles! Cut me some slack! 

———————————-

So… back to me. Life is pretty damn good right now. I’m heading to the Turks & Caicos in a couple of weeks with Captain. He and I are wonderful! I’m still gushy in love. ❀️ My kids are fantastic and I’ve been doing so many fun things with them this summer! I’ve kept to my resolution of reading a book a month and have been reading the Outlander novels! (And love them!) I’m back to running again after a very long hiatus! And I’ve got 5 more weeks of summer break! Woohoo! Life will be all good again once I’m back to normal. πŸ™ŒπŸ½

Hope everyone is enjoying their summer! (Or winter for you Southern Hemisphere folks!) 

😘 Athena