My Life in a Nut Shell

3 surgeries for Endometriosis, countless medications, and lots of difficult years trying to conceive. We put the medical stuff on hold and decided to work on being parents instead. In July of 2000 we were blessed beyond all measure with a phone call announcing the birth of our daughter, Megan. Megan's birth mother had given birth the day before and was leaving the hospital. We had no warning that Megan was coming. At 4:29 in the afternoon we were a couple, at 4:30 we were parents. Deciding that we wanted a sibling for Megan, we looked into all our options. This time insurance covered IVF. One round and we were blessed with triplets, Abigail, Brigid, and Caroline. Did you know that there is a 70% chance of divorce in families of Higher Order Multiples? Almost two years after the triplets were born my ex-husband and I separated and eventually divorced. During that time both my Mother and Father passed away from cancer. In February of 2007 my sister came to live with us to help out. In December of 2008 she had to leave so now it is me on my own with the girls. In February 2010, Lisa passed away and finally found her own Peace.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Day 2

Day 2 of Thanksgiving blogging.  Let's see.  Three tests today in school.  One on a 90 degree cut that we started yesterday, one on air forming the cut (that's blow drying), and one written exam.   In order I got 100, 100, 95.  I'm really proud of the first 100 because that was the cut I struggled to get.   It ended up really well.  Now I just have to pick up the pace.  Can't imagine a client coming in for a cut and it taking me a day and a half to cut it!!  

I went to pick Megan up from Field today.  She volunteered at Blessings in a Backpack and then I picked her up to take her to volunteer at a riding stable.   She is in Beta Club (3.5 or higher.  She is a smart fart) and needs volunteer hours.  Thank goodness she is 12 so she could volunteer at the stable.  She was grinning from ear to ear when I picked her up.  I'm hoping they let her ride the horses on occasion as I just can't afford lessons.  Either way it was awesome to see her smile.  That was my thankful post on FB today.  I'm so glad I could take her to be with her one true love, horses.  In the van on the way home, she said she smelled like barn and horses.  I teased her that she was going to fall asleep tonight in her same clothes just so she keep the smell in her room.

Horses are what make Megan's soul sing.

The trio all made the cheerleading squad at Field.  Finally!  It was a miserable day in the Harrigan household last year when NONE of them made it.  So that is just one more thing to add to the taxi service that is my life.  The girls are training for their first 5k in December.  Brigid is only allowed to walk it because she is on an activity restriction for her Chiari.  I hate Chiaris.  Abigail is so-so on the running.  She could take it or leave it.  Singing is what makes Abigail's soul sing.  So she is in the choir club.  Caroline has found one of her soul songs, running.  She ran the 5k in practice and then added 2 more laps.  Her coach said she is good and fast.

When I picked up Megan at Field, I was coming straight from school.  I'm taking school very seriously and want to make a good impression so I have been trying to dress as if I worked in a salon.  That is what the school wants us to do.  I've been picking up pieces of clothing at Goodwill and thrift stores.  Anyway when I got to the playground I got 2 compliments.  One was that I looked like I worked in a salon.  Yay me!!  The other was asking if I could give fashion makeovers!    Yay me again!  I haven't really paid attention to my looks in a long time.  Now I am in a field where I have to present myself as someone who has it all together. I'm soooo enjoying that part.

So that's Friday in a nut shell.    

Thursday, November 1, 2012

30 Days of Gratitude and Writing

My goal is to write everyday for the next 30 days about gratitude and my life.  I feel like I've gotten away from being so vocal about gratitude.   Here's my gratitude for today.  

I spent all day, and I do mean all day, trying to perfect a 90 degree cut.   You would think cutting hair would be easy.  You line up and then you cut.  That's what I thought.  Show me how to cut hair in a day and I can do it.  Yet I was totally wrong.  Today's cut involved pulling the hair out from the head 90 degrees and cutting it to a length of 3 inches.  I just couldn't get it.  At all.  I was getting frustrated and I think I was frustrating my teacher with all my damn complaining.   I hate that I drove her nuts.  I was THAT student.  What a dork.

I kept working and working and working and then it clicked.  The proverbial lightbulb.  Boom.  There it was.  The cut.   I did it!!  And I managed to cut the shit out of my knuckle in the process.

Short and sweet.  Tomorrow my goal is to blog about Halloween and the fun the girls and I had.

Stay tuned!!!

Friday, October 12, 2012

An update

Wow.  How do 2 months pass so quickly?  I'll tell you how.  School.  I'm in school full-time and I absolutely love it.   It's been a loooonnnnggg time since I have felt such happiness and pure joy in something I am doing outside of my children.   I didn't realize just how unhappy I was in my job until I started school.  I feel like I'm home when I go there.  My stress disappears.   I smile more now than I have in a long time.   I'm doing something for me.  I'm doing something for my girls.  I am working to rebuild our lives and make things better for us.   With teaching, there was always a ceiling cap in how much I made.  No matter how hard I worked or how many hours I worked, I was never going to make more money.  The value in all that hard work was intrinsic.  I saw the value in what I did when my students would learn something new.  I'm not knocking that. It's an amazing thing when you realize you have changed a child's life in what you've taught them.  It's just with cosmetology I have a chance to really make OUR lives better.

In a discussion with Ali tonight, we talked about how nice it would be to not just make a ton of money but that it would be nice to not worry so much about surviving things financially.  I'm looking forward to finally being able to give my girls not only what they need but a lot of what they want too.

We have been super busy.  Brigid, Caroline, and Megan are all in the advanced program this year.  Not too shabby considering I am a single parent and do this by myself.  Abigail is like the turtle in a race.  Slow and steady wins the race.  I finally see the lightbulb coming on with her and I am impressed with how hard she is working to learn.  The trio are training for their 1st 5k in December through Girls on the Run.   Abigail and Caroline are in choir club.  Caroline and Brigid start band on Monday.  Flutes for both of them!!!

Tuesday I am taking Caroline to the Weiskopf Center to finally be tested for Asperger's Syndrome.   After years of hearing this in relation to  her, it will be nice to get an answer one way or another.

Brigid is having lots of Chiari headaches again.  I hate Chiaris.  I mean I fucking hate them.  She is on an exercise restriction again and has an MRI scheduled at the end of October and an appointment with her neurosurgeon in November.   Some prayers would be nice here.

Megan was asked to join the Beta Club.  You need a 3.5 or above.  I am so proud of her.  She is, and has always been, a smart cookie.   She has just recently started to babysit and make some of her own money.  Last Saturday I took her and 2 friends to the mall where they got to walk around by themselves and shop.  She loved the freedom of spending her own money and getting to hang with her friends.  I remember being in middle school and LOVING getting to go to the mall with my friends.  

One of the perks of being in cosmetology school is getting to change my hair all the time.  Her are a few of my hair colors I have had since June:

This was the first color.  I loved having the pink hair.

I loved having pink hair so much that I went all over pink.

Then I shaved most of my hair and colored it brown with pink highlights.

Now my hair is dark brown with red/cranberry highlights.  I freakin' love it.  I finally feel like I am comfortable in my own skin with my own unique look.  It's taken 44 years to get to that point.

One of the things I was most worried about was the fact that I am 44 and I'm in school with a majority of 18-20 year olds.  I kept thinking there was no way I'd have anything in common with woman young enough to be my daughters.  On the 2nd day of school I called Ali and told her I didn't think I could handle being around people who are still teenagers.  You know what?   I don't feel out of place at all.  I don't know if it's the fact that we are all on an even playing field in the fact that we are learning together, or if it's the fact that I just really love learning what we are doing, but these amazing young women have accepted me and encouraged me in everything I do.   I love these young ladies and respect them for how dedicated they are to learning.

Can you tell I'm feeling Blessed??   I can tell you that is one thing I haven't lost by switching careers.  My Faith is as strong as ever.   I love God.  Plain and simple.  In everything that happens in my life, the loss of my parents and sister, the loss of my marriage, my depressions, my financial issues (man that sounds awful), my Faith is continually renewed.  

Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

I love this verse from the Bible.   God doesn't promise that you won't ever have bad things happen to you, he promises that he will carry you and give you Grace to survive all that happens to you.

Let me tell you.  I am full of Grace.

So that's my entry back in to blogging.  Oh by the way, I finally hit over 30,000 hits on my blog.   Compared to some that isn't a lot.  For me I feel like it's an accomplishment.  My words are getting noticed. For a writer that is the greatest compliment.

Thanks for taking part in my life. 

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Shop my AVON store!

Shop my AVON store!: Here's a sneak peak at some of the latest products available at Avon. Be sure to click

Bet you didn't know I'm selling Avon!   Avon is more than just makeup.  We have a whole line of clothing and accessories.  We carry clothing and shoes for children.  There are all sorts of holiday decorations too!  And if you order online through my Avon page there is free shipping on all orders over $30!!!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

35 Hours or I'm REALLY Pissed

No that isn't the name of a new show on Fox.  This is the amount of time my ex spent with our daughters this weekend.  He brought them back early.  Again.  I made two promises to myself when I started this blog.  One was to never blog when I'm mad.  I'll regret what I type later.  The second is to not bad mouth the girls' Dad.  Though in this case I'm breaking both promises.

I can't take much more.  I just plain don't have the money to take him back to court but I'm going to try and figure out how.   He hasn't visited with Megan since June.  And he brought them back a day early with the pitiful comment, "I thought that was what we were doing."  No dude, that is what YOU are doing.   I love the fact that he just chooses not to follow the divorce settlement.  He cannot handle being a parent.  Period.   No matter what he tries to claim, he is just not a parent.  He doesn't take an interest in anything involving the girls except when he decides to complain about something I do with the girls.

I'm sorry but tonight I'm angry.  Really angry.  This has nothing to do with me having to spend more time with the girls.  I love every minute with the girls.  (Unless I'm in the doctor's office or the grocery store with them.)  It's the utter lack of respect for our children and for me.   He does what he wants when he wants to.  I wonder what would happen if I showed up on a Friday evening and told him I had a date and then just left the girls.  He would freak.   Yet he does this to the girls and I each and every time he has visitation with him.

And dude?  This isn't parenting time.  This is visitation.  You haven't parented these girls in over 7 years.  That's been my job.   So go home and get your laundry done, or grocery shop, or hang with your girlfriend.  I'll treasure our girls and the time I parent them.  Because when it comes down to it you haven't ever been a parent to these beautiful young ladies.  They will get older and you will be sad and feel sorry for yourself  for the time you choose not to be their parent.  

Shake It Out

I'm not one of those people who have a soundtrack to my life.  I know there are  people who find meaning in  songs.  Usually I just like how the song sounds.   This song really hit me last night.  I have a friend who tagged me with this song awhile back.  Good call!  Check out the video by Florence + The Machine.   Love this!

"And I am done with my graceless heart
So tonight I'm gonna cut it out and then restart
'Cause I like to keep my issues drawn
It's always darkest before the dawn"

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Halt! Who goes there???

Today has been my day to organize. The girls went with their Dad this morning for the weekend. I have mixed feelings about it. I'm thankful to be able to have some quiet time where I get to do what I want and don't have to take care of anyone. This is the first time Megan has gone with her Dad since June. I was surprised she went today and I'm praying that it goes the way Megan is hoping.

Shortly after the girls left I started organizing a few more areas that I haven't gotten to this summer: the pantry, laundry room, and kitchen. I now have sparkly cabinets! I hauled 3 bags to the dumpster and have one HUGE bag to go to Goodwill. The worst part was the Tupperware. My friend Catherine fussed at me for using the word. Really it was storage containers. My bad.

What a mess. It took up 3 cabinets in my micro-kitchen. Now it's in just one. After I got started I just couldn't seem to stop. It was one drawer after another. Laundry got washed. The bathrooms got reorganized. It's like I'm possessed. I even vacuumed the back of my dryer in an homage to my friend Cassie. I vacuumed the couches. I now have the secretary in the hall, my main closet in my bedroom, the top of the trio's closet, the bottom drawer of my file cabinet,and the hallway upstairs to organize and then I am done. Finished. Just in time for school to start for all of us.

My house has mirrored the way my brain has been for the last year. Cluttered and unorganized. (Refer back to the tupperware storage container pic) It's like I packed in stuff in my house and my brain so as not to deal with anything. When I tackle one project it necessitates the tackling of another project. I'm getting to the corners of everything. I had to deal with my sister's paperwork. Of course that brought up memories that I didn't want to have to relive. But I did. And I survived. I went through all sorts of paperwork from my foreclosure and before my bankruptcy. Man it was hard to look at that and see what a failure I've been in so many things. Now I've cleared out the paperwork the way I've cleared out my thinking.

One thing I've noticed about myself here lately, as I was organizing, is that for all the information I put out here that I share with everyone, I'm really a very guarded person with my personal life. I had a nice cup of tea with a friend who talked about her dating life. I was envious in that she has such a glamorous life and goes on lots of dates.  I can't picture myself sharing anything with another person. I've done a great job in putting a wall up when it comes to dating. If I keep that wall closely guarded then I won't get hurt.

And I won't need help from anyone.

 I'm not talking financial help (because it would be nice to have someone else handle the damn bills). I'm talking any kind of help in what I do day to day. I've noticed that I've done a lot to help my friends this summer. I've been all over this town cleaning houses, doing yard work, running errands for others. Yet I don't ask for anyone to do that here. I don't want to become dependent of any kind of help. Even when Brigid had her Chiari surgery I had a hard time accepting the help.

In my head, I've got this. I can handle it.

 My neighbor next door is a nice enough guy. He is constantly trying to help me carry things to the dumpster or to my front door. I don't want the help. He has some social issues that I don't want to deal with or have my daughters around. Yet when he was asking me out, all I could think was "Shit. I don't want anyone doing anything for me." Because let's face it. If I get too close to someone, really close, they will either disappoint me or die.

Kinda morbid isn't it??

That's what happens when you loose your parents and sister. I don't EVER want to go back to the point that I am dependent on someone else. EVER. That may explain why it's been over 4 years since I've even attempted to get close to someone. It ain't easy guarding the damn wall but at least I know it's up, it's there, and it's not getting penetrated easily.

So where does this leave me? I'm not sure. I'm working hard to put the girls and I in a position where the financial things won't be an issue. I'm excited because I know that after I'm done with school, I can do whatever I want, work as hard as I can, and build a better life for us. I have a goal for the financial part of my life. It's also a goal for the creative part of my life. I know what I want to do with the Mom part of my life.

I just don't have any idea what to do with the Kristina part of my life.