How I Ended Up This Way's Blog


Hello Everyone. Welcome!

I am sure, if you are a regular reader of my blog, that you knew this blog was due. You probably have wondered whether or not, this is would be the holiday I would not blog about feeling that ping of guilt at having to “share” my children. Well, I’m sad to say, this is not that holiday!

As Christmas is creeping up on us, I am doing basically the same things I have done each and every year. Buying gifts, wrapping both mine and my mother’s gifts for the children as well as anyone else she may have bought a gift for. I have wrapped the gifts for my mom since I was about thirteen years old, including my own. That’s the “thing” I do every year with my mom. Dad, I’m sorry to have to break that bit of information to you this way.

My dad, well, that’s where I get my love for cheesy Christmas movies. Each year, I have to watch all the same Christmas movies the Hallmark Channel and Lifetime Channel continue to show. That is the one thing my dad and I have shared ever since I can remember. It is also the one thing that we love to drive the rest of the house nuts with! And yes, we do watch “It’s A Wonderful Life” each Christmas Eve and end our merriment by watching “A Christmas Story”. How can you not watch “A Christmas Story” when it’s played for a full 24 hours every Christmas Day?

I continue to do all these things and I continue to enjoy them. Yet, this is the third year in which I have had to spend part of the holiday without my children. It’s as if a part of me, has . . . vanished, during the time they are not here celebrating with me, and I just feel as if I’m always a finger tip short of grasping what I am missing. Does that make sense?

Yes, I know divorce happens to many people. Yes, I know people learn to deal with split custody. And yes, I know people do not have children anticipating that, one day, splitting holidays will become normal. I also know, even though my ex takes the children to his mom’s for their Christmas celebration, even though I include him in our Christmas Day celebration every year so that the kids will have us both, one day, this to shall end. One day, this little bit of “family semi-normalcy” we share on Christmas morning will come to an end.

Until that time, I will take comfort in the words spoken by a man I have come to truly admire and strive to take his words to heart.


“All major religious traditions carry basically the same message,

that is love, compassion and forgiveness the important thing is

they should be part of our daily lives.”         Dalai Lama


Until next time……Peace


{October 25, 2010}   “A.J.’s Rules”

Hi Everyone! Welcome back!

I absolutely love the show NCIS on CBS. Sean Murray shines in his portrayal of the tech-geek, McGee, while somehow maintaining the charm we have learned to love. DiNozzo, played by the adorable Michael Weatherly, is a mixture of jock, attraction, cocky and a goof-ball personality that leaves me shaking my head and laughing at him (my type completely!). It’s hard to remember this is the same DiNozzo that put his heart on his sleeve only to have it shoved back by the beautiful Jeanne Benoit. Abby Sciuto (Pauley Perrette) is the heart of the team. She’s like the “Energizer Bunny” just give her a ‘Caff-Pow’ and she recharges and comes back for more.

Then there’s Ziva David. She is the most “wickedly awesome” female on CBS Network! I thought, Sasha Alexander (ex Agent Todd) was the perfect fit for this NCIS team, however, since Ziva had to step in due to Agent Todd’s death Ziva has certainly cemented her place on this wacky team It is hard not to love her. It’s not because I’m scared of her or anything, so what if she worked for the Mossad as an interrogator. Shhhhh, hold on, let me check and make sure the doors are locked. Ok, we’re good.

I tell you all of the above so that I can tell you this. Agent Gibbs, played by the wonderfully talented Mark Harman (give me a second while I gush over his strikingly handsome features), is very hard to define. At first, he appears to be a cold, I don’t care, it’s my way period sort of guy. Well, he is. However, he is much more once you scratch the surface. He is the most honorable, caring and trustworthy man we all hope for one day. Now, the most important thing with Gibbs are his rules. He has 51 rules you must know. You are not given a list of these rules. You have to learn the hard way. However, each one is as important as the next. Such as Rule #7, Always be specific when you lie (love that one). And Rule #23, Never mess with a Marine’s coffee if you want to live. Then there is my personal favorite Rule # 18 It’s better to seek forgiveness than ask for permission.

I was thinking this morning, “what would it be like to have a set of rules that I strive to achieve on a daily bases?”. Now, I know my rules would be vastly different than Gibb’s rules, after all, I don’t interrogate people. I don’t deal with suspects. And I don’t hunt down terrorist. However, the principal remains the same.

So, here are my rules, AJ’s Rules if you will. They are not in any specific order, just have some fun and go with me on this.

         1. ALWAYS be thankful even when you’re going through a rough patch.

                       Someone else is having a much harder time than you.

       2. Never, ever let your anger get the best of you.

       3.  When dealing with someone who seems to just want to argue or fight

                   with you, react with your head and not your emotions. Act rationally not


       4. Protect your friends and family as best you can. Good friends are

                 difficult to find and family well, they are your family and thereby

                 deserve your protection and respect.

      5.  Children first . . . ALWAYS.

      6.   Don’t lash out just because you are in a bad mood. Better to keep your

                 mouth shut than say something you will never be able to take back.

      7.  Don’t judge people. You don’t know what that person is dealing with and

            you don’t know what goes on behind closed doors. More importantly,

            you do not have the authority to judge, that is reserved for God alone.

     8.  Going with #7; never jump to conclusions about people. You may be

            passing up a great friend because you think that nose rings means

            this person is trouble.          

     9.  Reach out to people. Say hello when you pass a stranger on the street or

           give them a warm smile….they just may need it.

  10. God made us all in His image, however, we are all different. We have

          differing opinions. That is what makes us who we are. Respect others

          decisions whether you agree or not. Even if they do not respect your opinions.

         You can’t do anything about their reactions, however, you CAN do right by

         how YOU hand it. STAY FIRM IN WHO YOU ARE!!

   11. Don’t believe everything you hear. Just because you try to be honest does

            not mean everyone is as honest. There are at least two sides to each

            story. You are ONLY going to hear what this person wants you to

            believe. Especially, if you have not first hand knowledge of the

            situation. Then….it’s just gossip.

 And isn’t gossip one of the worst things we can do to someone as well as ourselves? Imagine how we look to others when we are seen gossiping.

Well, there you go, my blog family. My first set of 11 in the A.J.’s Rule book. I hope you had fun reading them. I’m sure I’ll come up with more!

If you are interesting in reading Gibb’s rules here is the link:

 Til next time……Peace


Welcome everyone!

As I was thinking of my next post, something else was brewing in the back of my mind. If I could go back 15 years or so, what would I do different? As the list got longer and longer, it was certain I would have to blog about this! Maybe some younger women my age will think twice about somethings before following through thinking it will not affect their future. Truth is, sometimes it does.

So, here we go!

15 Things I Wish I Could Tell My 20 Year Old Self


 1.  Take your time. You don’t have to be in such a hurry to have everything  

      and do everything. It won’t matter in ten years anyway.

  2.  Take the time, everyday, to let your husband, and your family, know

       you love them. Sometimes you forget to tell them, stop and remember.

  3. When your brother visits you by surprise one morning to tell you he loves you,

       WAKE up completely, get out of bed and have breakfast with him.

       You’ll know when this day comes.

4.  You’re just now coming out of your shell. Don’t be so hard on your loved

     ones. Don’t hold on to the little things that bother you so tightly. It’s not worth


5.  Don’t be so stubborn and prideful. Learn to compromise, some pride is

      good, too much pride can ruin you in the end and leave you with nothing.

 6. You are beginning to learn new things about yourself and will soon grow to love the person you are.

     Hold tight to her, don’t let her get lost in the fast pace and hardships of life. Hold very, very tightly.

 7.  Remain strong in your beliefs. You don’t have to be arrogant to get your point across. In the end, it doesn’t

      matter who was right or wrong, it matters who did their best to help others. Redirect that “I have to be right”

     energy into helping others. You will get much more self satisfaction than if you are always trying to prove

     yourself right.

 8. Be very weary of so called friends. What you see on the surface, but feel in your gut, IS an honest gut feeling.

    This person is NOT your friend. Stay clear of this person and don’t let him/her come between you and Guy.

    I can’t stress this enough. You will know him when the time comes.

 9. Let your true self show and shine! Forget trying to please others. Do what you feel is right and others

     will see from your actions and know you have integrity.

10. When you start your family, don’t be so hard on your kids. Remember spanking isn’t always the solution.

       Just learn to learn from them. By the time they are a little older, you’ll regret a lot of choices you made when   

       you chose to spank. And there are no “take backs”.

 11. I KNOW how badly you want to, but DO NOT get that tattoo on your lower back with the initial “g” for

       your husband. And don’t joke about “if you ever get a divorce, you’ll just say it stands for Garth Brooks”.

      You’ll come to realize, it’s not funny. And Garth won’t be on top forever!

 12. Do not get the tattoo on your ankle…or at least let someone else do it. It will come out to look like

         something you most definitely do not want! Nothing like the “feather” you want!

 13. I know, at times, you and your mother-in-law butt heads. Don’t be so indignant of it. You know you

        love her and believe it or not, she does love you.  She tells you this…believe her. You’ll have your ups and

       downs, but NEVER let her think that you don’t love her. Always be respectful, even when disagreeing.

      It’s just not worth fighting and losing her in your life. She will not turn her back on you, although sometimes,

      you may feel that way. Assume she has other things going on, because she does. Sometimes, it has got

      nothing to do with you.  Sometimes, she just doesn’t know how to handle things. Trust in her and trust

      in the fact that no matter what, she does love you.  

14. Never ever fight in front of the kids. Ever. Always stay on top of your credit and pay your bills on time.

      You don’t want to lose that. 

15. Never doubt that Guy is your one and only love. Treat him that way. Everyday, show him.

       Each day that God gives you with him, be the wife he needs you to be. He loves you very much right now,

      don’t ever jeopardize that. You will never stop loving him. Things may change, but you will love him forever.

      He is your best friend. Don’t lose that. Don’t give him reason to ever lose respect for you.

     The way you feel right now, that you can’t live without him, you still feel 17 years later. Don’t lose that.

And one most thing to add……when your heart is broken, it WILL HEAL….don’t be scared to look at what has

changed in your life and see it for the reality it now is.


See ya soon,


Until next time…..PEACE


{August 14, 2010}   Poem “Mom”

**** UPDATE: Due to the returning success and interest in this blog site, I have decided to continue writing under this address. Please delete FindingAJ blog…..Thanks for hanging in there! AJ

 Hello everyone! Let me first start by saying thank you again for all the support with this blog!! You’ve given me so much support that I feel I have to make adjustments to the blog and have decided to move the main focus of the blog to take on other issues besides my struggles. To commence this, I have started a new blog with a new address.

One of the main reasons that I decided to make this move is due to a poem my 13 year old daughter wrote for me. I have tried to show my girls and my son how to remain strong during battles and have done my best do set a good example. The poem, which I did not ask for, makes me feel I am getting something right!

I also want to focus more on charity work and bringing some of those charities to light. More talking about others and less talking about myself. If you have a favorite charity, please let me know….I will check it out.

So, on the eve of this blog and with the journey to the next step, here is the poem from my daughter entitled “Mom”. Please share it with someone you love, and be sure to follow me to

Thanks!  AJ…..PEACE


She stands alone, both tall and true,
The perfect picture of solitude.
The soul of a woman encased in bark,
With limbs that move in a majestic arc.

She’s faced the storms of life,
The wind, rain, disease, and strife.
Others gave up,
But no, not she,

She stands there, for all to see. 

She’s had her share of troubles and woes,
But she made it through,
She still grows.

 Like her,
I know grief and pain,
I’ve faced wind, felt rain.
& Like her, I still stand tall.
Though life will beat me,
I will not fall.

In the end, I shall grow.

 Each storm increases my strength
And beneath my skin,
My soul’s to thank.

The willow and I,
We know what to do,
I’ll count on myself

To make it through.

Hello everyone, welcome.

As I sit here and type this blog, I can’t help but feel a bit melancholy.  After three and a half years, one would think I would have become accustomed to having my children spending time at my ex’s (Guy) home.  However, they have been gone for three days and I just can’t shake this feeling as if something is missing. I guess that is something you never completely get rid of.

Of course, my day doesn’t end because my children are not home.  And, yes, it’s a lot quieter, which is nice ….for a while.  However, the 15 minutes I have to enjoy the quiet, is comparable to 20 hours of just having this feeling of loss when the kids are not here.

I have always been close with my children. I was able to, for the most part, be a stay at home mother. I always had very simple desires. To marry, raise my kids and grow old with the same man I married so long ago. It is still hard at times, to realize our lives have changed so much…and how they can change so quickly. Enjoy what you have, cherish the ones you love and show the people you care about how much they mean to you daily. Because your life can change in an instant…..mine did.

I want to end this blog with a favorite quote of mine, if I may be so honored to share it with you:

“Well, we have a whole new year ahead of us. And wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could all be a little more gentle with each other and a little more loving, have a little more empathy, and maybe – next year at this time – we’d like each other a little more.”

                                                Judy Garland

 Til next time……Peace


et cetera