Tuesday, October 29, 2013

No Agreement and a Possible Visitation

Well.. mediation is a bunch of crap.  I feel like we have wasted so much time with our "court mandated" mediation just to be able to get to court.  I guess I can understand that in most situations it is a good thing, but most people are dealing with people who are human and have a soul.  I have my doubts about Lovely Ex.

Cory received an email the day after mediation last time from Lovely Ex, and she said that they would not be moving here until the week after they were supposed to be here, because she had a "very important work meeting" on Saturday night that she could not miss..  She is moving!  Why is it so important that she go to a work meeting for a job that she was scheduled to leave the week before the meeting?  I give up trying to make sense of anything she says or does.  So, Cory didn't get his visitation that he was supposed to have.  There were four agreements that were made in the last mediation.. One, that Cory would get his kids for visitation that weekend.  Two, that Lovely Ex would provide the school information for the kids and we would be able to call and verify that the kids were enrolled.  Three, that she would provide her address.  Four, that her lawyer would copy and send us the medical records and school records that Lovely Ex had brought with her.  She accomplished three while we were in mediation the last time.  None of the others were done.  Our lawyer decided we were done playing her game.

We showed up for mediation and our lawyer wasn't there yet.  Our mediator took us in to a room, and proceeded to tell Cory that she felt it was in our best interest to proceed without our lawyer as he was only interfering, and that maybe it would be a good idea for Cory to get some counseling to help him deal with his issues..  what?!  Shortly after that, Lovely Ex arrived and the mediator went to talk to her, and our lawyer arrived while she was gone.  We told him what she had said, and I don't think I've ever seen anyone turn that shade of purple before.  He was LIVID.

The mediator came back in the room and began telling us what Lovely Ex was proposing as our agreement for this mediation, and our lawyer cut her off and said "No, we are done.  We would like our certificate of non-agreement so we can go to court."  She began rambling about how it was in the best interest of the parties for them to attempt to come to an agreement and that there was still something that could be done.  Our lawyer told her again that no.. we were done.  Then she got pissy.  She told us that Lovely Ex was here in an attempt to make an agreement, and that yes, things had not worked up to this point, but now she was really going to try.  Couldn't we understand that sometimes these situations just happen?  No.

So then we got to fight with the mediator, fight with Lovely Ex's lawyer, and fight with Lovely Ex.  In a last ditch effort, her lawyer produced the medical records and school records from the last mediation that he was going to "copy and get right over to us", and he told us we could have the kids tonight.  We told them we will still take the kids, but there is no agreement.  We are done, and we are going to court.  So, we'll see if we actually get the kids, but at least now we are moving forward.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Too Good to be True

Well, we thought it seemed too good to be true after the last mediation, and it would appear that we were right.  We knew heading in to mediation that nothing she said would be done had been done.  The money was not deposited in to her lawyer's trust account, we had no medical records or school records, there had been no effort on Lovely Ex's side to comply with anything that had been agreed to.  Once again, we figured it would be a quick mediation.  Once again, we were wrong.

We showed up to the mediation about five minutes early, and our lawyer met us in the hall with a "guess who is in there..."  Apparently, she decided to show up.  And, she had the medical records and school records in hand, and was prepared to pay the money.  Our lawyer said no go, she was supposed to have it done before today. The mediator split us up in to two different rooms and spent the next two hours running back and forth.  Lovely Ex's story changed about four different times before her lawyer showed up, and then once he finally showed up he began attempting to piece together the fragments of stories we had been given in a way that wouldn't get his client in trouble.

Mediation was a joke, to put it lightly.  The highlights are as follows:

  • Apparently, she wasn't lying when she told our paralegal that she would be moving.  They will be moving here in approximately a week and a half, and the kids will be going to school here.  She has given us her temporary address where she will be living - with her sister in the house her daddy bought for her when she and Cory divorced, which she left about six months later.  
  • She gave the medical records and school records to her attorney, who said he will need about a week to make copies of them, and then he will give them to us.  We'll see if we ever see them.  Our lawyer said that we needed to at least have a release of information now on the schools the kids are enrolled in so that we could see how they were doing.  Lovely Ex gave us phone numbers of the schools and told us she had called the principal and she would be able to talk to us.  Our lawyer wasn't buying it.  He called the school right then and there with the lawyer in the room, and put it on speaker phone.  He identified himself, and asked about both children.  The principal of Michael's school said that there was no one in the school registered under that name.  Lovely Ex then said she was going to have to call the district and get it straightened out.  Right.  
  • She didn't pay any money, because if she is living here then there should be no need for her to have to pay in advance for the visitations since he will get to see them "all the time."
  • Cory is supposed to get to see his kids the night of the 25th and have them all weekend.  It will be the first time in almost a year that he has seen them.  
I'm really hoping that she lives up to it this time.. I really hate that every time she says something is going to change Cory gets his hopes up that maybe it might be different this time.  We know well enough that we can't trust anything that she says, but it's so hard to have that little glimmer of hope and then have it crushed.  We have another mediation scheduled for the Monday after Cory has his kids to see if they've actually complied this time.  We'll have to see how things go, but my hopes aren't way high.  

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Invasion of the Body Snatchers

Yesterday was Cory's mediation with Lovely Ex.  It's a good thing I am not a betting person, because I would have placed a bet in good confidence being very certain I knew how today was going to go, and I would have been dead wrong. 

Cory and I went in to mediation pretty dang sure that she wouldn't even show up, and we'd be done in a matter of minutes.  When we got to mediation, our lawyer was already there speaking with the receptionist in the mediation office.  We went in and talked to them, and she said the other party would be calling in, and we were just waiting for her lawyer... and a translator... Wait, what?  Our lawyer asked what the translator was for, and the receptionist said that the other party had requested it, because she didn't speak much English.  It's amazing that a person who "doesn't speak English" can graduate from a four-year American college, be married for five years to someone who doesn't speak Spanish, and can testify on the stand in at least two evidenciary hearings without a translator, but now she doesn't speak English.

I asked if I could go in also, and the receptionist said Cory was only allowed one support person, and his lawyer was it.  Our lawyer said "nope, she's the support person, I'm the attorney" and motioned for me to come in the room.  I went in, the mediator came in and introduced herself, and Lovely Ex called in.  The mediator said who was in the room, and asked Lovely Ex if she was ok if I was in there.  Well, duh, I could have told you the answer to that.. so I picked up my stuff and went out to the waiting room, right as her lawyer walked in.  They closed the door, and I made myself comfortable for what was going to be a LONG mediation.  I could hear them on the phone, but couldn't hear what they were saying.  About ten minutes later, Cory and our attorney came out.  They said that her whole basis for not bringing them out was that she didn't have enough money, but she was refusing to say how much she made.  He said it wasn't going anywhere and was prepared to walk out when Lovely Ex's lawyer asked to speak to his client in private.  The mediator came back out about five minutes later, and got Cory and our attorney.  This time, they left the door open. 

Cory and I talked about it afterwards, and we would both LOVE to hear what her attorney said to her.  She became the most agreeable person ever.  Our attorney said that she owed us five visits to make up for the visits that she had missed.  She agreed.  He said that Cory should get every visitation for the next three years, not just what was his rotation.  She agreed.  He said she had to make up four weeks of visitation since he didn't get any summer visitation this year.  She agreed.  By this point, my jaw was on the floor.  Basically, this is what the agreement came down to:
  • Lovely Ex has to deposit enough money to cover a full years' worth of visitation in to her lawyers trust account each year by October 15th so she can't say she doesn't have enough money.
  • She has to pay for every visit for the next four years.
  • Cory gets the kids for a week after Christmas on the years that it is not his Christmas.
  • Cory gets every visitation instead of every other for the next four years.
Then we got down to the money.. the back child support she owes.  Our lawyer suggested that our child support be reduced for the next four years until that back child support is paid.  She balked at that, and tried to give a bunch of excuses about medical bills and daycare and stuff, and her lawyer said "This is happening.  Get me proof of the medical bills you have, and that will factor in to the amount that you owe, but this is happening."  Then she agreed. 

It was amazing.  It was so nice to know that at least for now we don't have to go to court.  I don't see any way she is going to comply with what she agreed to.  She'll have to be out here for at least a week every other month for the next four years.  Honestly, I don't care how she does it.  As long as we get to see the kids, that's all that matters.  And if she doesn't comply?  Then we are just one step closer to us getting custody.  Cory and I are trying really hard not to get our hopes up, because if we do then it'll hurt really bad if we don't get to see the kids.  We are supposed to have them for Thanksgiving.  Here's hoping...

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

To Avoid Mediation....

I realize I have missed posting some info on Cory and Lovely Ex's continuing legal battles.  To briefly catch you up..  child support has been reduced to factor in Cory's current wages and imputing Lovely Ex at minimum wage.  It was retro-dated back to the date of filing the petition to modify, meaning she now owes us thousands of dollars.  Also, she has refused to bring the kids out here for their last two court ordered visits.  Cory filed an order to show cause on both issues.  A week later, Lovely Ex sent Cory a receipt for private kindergarten saying she had to put Katelyn in "daycare" because now she is being "forced" to work. Cory and Lovely Ex have mediation scheduled for Wednesday.  Now on to today's story....

Friday morning, the paralegal for our lawyer's office called Cory and told him that Lovely Ex had just called her.  She said that she would not be able to make it to mediation, because she was having surgery in an hour.  Our paralegal asked why she waited until then to tell us, and Lovely Ex said that she had just gotten notification of the mediation two days ago.  Her lawyer was notified the same time ours was... about three weeks ago.  Then she said that she has been too busy to call because her husband was getting a new job and that they would be moving this week to either Colorado or Utah, so that's why she can't come to mediation.  The paralegal clarified "you don't know where you're moving?"  Lovely Ex replied that no, she didn't know, and they wouldn't know until Monday when her husband had a meeting with his work to find out where he would be moving.  Our paralegal paused for a moment, and said "He is having a meeting with his work on Labor Day?"  Lovely Ex stuttered and paused, and said "yes, that night..."  Our paralegal asked why she had just registered Katelyn for a ridiculously expensive private kindergarten this week if they were moving?  Lovely Ex said that she was pulling the kids out of school so they could move.  Our paralegal said that we were not postponing the mediation, and she was required to be there.  In a last ditch effort, Lovely Ex said that her lawyer was going out of town and would not be able to be there for mediation, and that was why she wouldn't be able to make it.  Our paralegal asked her why her lawyer didn't contact them, and Lovely Ex didn't have an answer for that.

It turns out that Lovely Ex had attempted to call the court and postpone the mediation with them directly, but she was told that in order to postpone it she had to have both parties in agreement that it be postponed.  So she called our lawyer and dealt with our paralegal.  I am so grateful we have the paralegal that we do.  She used to be a lawyer, and she thinks really fast on her feet. 

Sunday evening, Lovely Ex emailed Cory another receipt for Katelyn's private kindergarten, and he responded back to her with "why are you billing me for Kindergarten when you told my paralegal that you were moving this week and would be pulling the kids out of school?"  Lovely Ex responded with "I have no idea what you are talking about.  Obviously I never said that." 

Fast forward to this morning..  our paralegal called Lovely  Ex's lawyer to see if he had heard anything from his client and if she was planning on being there for mediation.  He said that he hadn't heard from her at all, and she hadn't hired him to be at the mediation so he was not planning on being there.  I'm not sure what she's planning, but I sure wish we could request that she be drug tested... she is not in her right mind.  It'll be interesting to see how this plays out.

Nope, No Grown Ups Here...

One more quick weekend trip to Idaho, one more amazing weekend.  Cory and I headed up to Idaho on Friday to see our nephew's first football game of his last season in high school, and to go to Cory's aunt's 70th birthday party.  It was a quick trip, but it was a lot of fun.

I was a little nervous heading in to the trip.  It was our first trip leaving Phillip alone with his dad.  Lexi has stayed with him for a night or two here and there, but most of the time when the kids go away for the night they are staying at Mae Mae's house, and Delinquent Ex and PVB stay there with them.  Delinquent Ex finally got approved for a two bedroom apartment about two weeks ago, which means I have lost my standing on not letting him take Phillip overnight.  I could try to fight him on it, but I really don't want to go back to court.  I've had to have some major pep talks in my head preparing for this, as I go through every scenario that could possibly go wrong.  We dropped off the kids Friday afternoon, and went in to take a look at the apartment.  They are going to attempt to have both kids sleep in the same bedroom.  I'm anxious to see how well that works. 

After we dropped the kids off, we headed out and stopped in Bountiful for lunch.  That was when Cory realized he had forgotten his wallet.  We debated back and forth about if we really needed it, or if I wanted to drive the whole time we were up there.  We were already running a bit behind, and were barely going to make it for the beginning of the game, but decided to go home and get it anyway.  I'm glad we did for multiple reasons, but I felt bad for missing the beginning of the game.

We got there right as the second half started, and watched as Anthony threw a couple really nice passes and they scored a couple touchdowns.  They ended up creaming them.  Cory kept commenting that the "drummer" for the pep band wasn't even really drumming.  They were just keeping time on one of the drums.  Troy kept encouraging him to go play with them, but Cory wanted to watch the game instead.  On the way out, the shiny drum set proved to be too much of a challenge, and Cory had to stop and drum.  He earned an invitation to come play with the pep band during the games from now on.  We'll see if that pans out.

Saturday, we got up and headed over to Jackson Hole for Cory's Aunt Coreen's 70th birthday party.  It was a fun, crazy, family filled day.  We laughed until our cheeks hurt and I thought I was going to throw up.  We ate a ton of food.  We took some pictures and almost lost some appendages in the process.  And then we went back to Troy's house and had a fire.  We laughed some more.  We scared ourselves silly hearing things in the bushes. 

Cory's niece got him this t-shirt and couldn't wait to give it to him.  It's a family joke, but ask Cory about the story.. no one tells it like him. 

Sunday we just spent the day relaxing and then had another fire that night.  We roasted hot dogs and had s'mores.  We played and joked around.  I love going up there and not having to act like an adult and worry about backpacks and homework and school schedules and alarm clocks.  It's nice to just get to be me for a little bit, without the responsibility. 

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Birthday Getaway - I was a Brave Girl

About a week before Cory and I left for our "birthday getaway", he asked me if there was anything I was afraid of that he didn't already know about.  Here's the problem...  I'm kind of a wimp.  No, I'm a severe wimp.  If there is something that there is a chance someone will be afraid of it, chances are pretty good I'm afraid of it.  I told him he knew most of the things that I was afraid of, but it may be a good idea to tell me what he was thinking of if he wanted me to be prepared.  He asked if I was afraid of water, or of heights.  Just so happens, I'm afraid of both.  I hate being IN water, but being out on water is ok.  Heights I do not have a good relationship with, but as long as I was fairly secure about what we were doing, I figured I'd be ok.  I am so glad I didn't talk him out of what he had planned, because it was an amazing day. 

We started the day driving out through the National Forest to Jenny Lake.  We took the ferry across the lake and did a hike that led up to the Hidden Falls.  It was a really pretty hike, but my word was it crowded.  It seemed like there was just a constant stream of people going each direction, and no matter which way you turned you were pretty much stepping on someone.  It was totally worth it when we got to the falls though.  They were really pretty, and the hike wasn't too bad.  When we finished the hike, we took the ferry back across the lake and got to see some really pretty views of the different peaks that make up the Tetons. 

After the hike, we drove to Teton Village and took the tram up to the very top, a climb of about 4,5000 feet, which it does in 15 minutes.  Once again, it was PACKED with people.  I have personal bubble issues, and some girl who tried to crowd me against the edge almost got an elbow in the face.  I did push one guy out of the way, but he totally deserved it...  Anyway.. the view from the top of the tram was breathtaking.  Literally.  The air was so thin up there I had a really hard time breathing.  We went in to the little waffle stand that is up at the top and got some drinks, and some rocks for Lexi.  She likes the polished pretty rocks, and they had a bunch up there that were from the area.  Plus, they were pink and purple.  I couldn't resist.  Cory pointed out everything that we had seen the day before so I could get my bearings, and then showed me all the different mountains, and which ones he had hiked growing up.  Then it started raining, and was cold, so we took the tram back down. 

When we were done with that, we went and met up with some of the family in downtown Jackson, and did some shopping.  I figured it was my reward for being brave.  We each got a few t-shirts, and I got a hat and a sweatshirt too.  Then we headed back home and relaxed the rest of the day. It was a perfect birthday weekend, and I couldn't have asked for anything better. 

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Birthday Getaway - Touring Jackson and Bar J Wranglers

I don't really like birthdays..  I don't like all the focus being on me, and I hate being expected to make all the decisions because it's "my" day.  I normally end up feeling like I'm making people do things they don't want to do, and I always have this fear I'm going to turn in to one of those divas who has to have everything revolve around them.  I completely understand people wanting to make you feel special on your birthday, but I try really hard to have it be just a normal day as much as possible.  I love that Cory understands this. 

However, we have this sort of agreement about my birthday.. it turns in to a "trip" holiday.  Cory's birthday normally gets rolled in to Christmas, and it's too cold and snowy to really go do anything fun.  So, every year for my birthday, we try to take a fun trip that both of us enjoy.  This year, we agreed on going to Jackson Hole for my birthday.  Cory was born there, and except for a couple of day trips, one clear back when I was in college, I've never really spent any time there.  I told Cory I wanted to go "see" Jackson.. see where he lived, where he went to school, where he hung out.  We live where I grew up, so he gets to see stuff from my childhood all the time.  He tells me all these stories about where he grew up, and I wanted to be able to see the places.  He asked if he could take the idea and run with it.  I was more than ok with that.

He did an awesome job planning the weekend.  We took off early from work on Friday, dropped the kids off with their dad, and headed up to the Valley.  We got in pretty late Friday night, and Saturday morning we were a little slow getting going.  We headed over to Jackson Hole, and spent the whole morning and most of the afternoon driving all over Jackson with Cory's mom.  They showed me the house he had grown up in, where the school was that he went to, where his friends lived, where he used to ride his bike, where the bus picked him up, where the "force" story happened, if you don't know that story, ask Cory.. it's one of my favorites.  Then we drove down to the square, parked, and walked around.  They showed me the bank where Cory's mom used to work, restaurants they used to eat in, where the edge of town used to be, what businesses used to be where... it was really cool to get an inside look at Jackson Hole. 

After lunch, we headed out to see the Bar J Wranglers.  Cory's aunt had been waiting in line since 1:45 for the show, and the gates didn't open until 5:30.  She wanted us to be close, and she had a certain place she wanted to sit.  We joined her and kept her company, and then when the gates opened and we got the table we wanted, we played cards for about an hour at the table until dinner was ready to be served.  Dinner was good, the show was funny, the seats were amazing.  Cory grew up with the brothers who are in the show, and he ran in to quite a few people he knew from when he lived in Jackson.  It was a great, busy day.  I loved getting to see the places that were important to Cory, and getting a visual to tie together all the stories he tells me about his past.  I didn't realize until the end of the day that I did not get one single picture...  Next time we go up, I'll have to have him show me all over again so I can get pictures. 

Friday, August 2, 2013

Packing Practice

It's no secret, I enjoy going out of town.  99% of the time when Cory and I go out of town, it's to Idaho.  The other 1% is our trip we took to California to pick up his kids for Christmas the year we got married.  That trip still lives to this day as the worst trip we have ever taken.  This weekend, however, will be forever known as the trip that didn't happen. 

Normally when we go out of town we don't take the kids with us.  I figure that the kids need time with their dad while he is still around to spend time with them.  Also, traveling with the kids is significantly more difficult.  Cory and I can go for five days and take one suitcase not counting all the guns, ammo, knives, targets, and other miscellaneous weaponry that needs to come with us.  When the kids come, that gets upgraded to two suitcases, one bag of food, one cooler of cold food, two bags of toys, two sleeping bags, the DVD players, and a partridge in a pear tree. 

On top of all the stuff we have to take, there are about three days of preparation that have to happen before we are able to go out of town.  We have to do laundry so we have clothes to pack, make sure we have all Phillip's food prepared and packaged, put new music and movies on Lexi's iPod so she'll stay entertained while we are up there, make sure all of our electronic devices are charged and ready to go, and make sure I have new books on my kindle so I have something to read while I am in waiting for the kids to go to sleep.  I know, people travel with kids all the time and probably handle it way better than I do, but it really stresses me out. 

This weekend Cory's family is having a reunion up in Idaho Falls.  We made plans to go, and we were planning on taking the kids.  We went through all of the necessary preparations, we were all excited to go, I was up until almost eleven last night making sure everything was packed and ready to go so as soon as I got home from work we could jump in the car and be ready to go.  Then, this morning, Cory messaged me at work and told me that Phillip had woken up and thrown up in the night, and he was not acting like he felt very well.  We decided to wait and see if it was a one time thing, or if he was really sick, before we made our decision about whether or not to try to go.  Then he threw up again. 

I really hate when he is sick.  I feel so bad for him, not being able to comfort him or explain what is going on.  He seems so upset that his body isn't working right, and gets really frustrated that he doesn't feel good.  I'm glad it happened before we actually got on the road, this is just not the weekend we had planned.  It could definitely be a lot worse, but it's always hard when one of the kids is sick, regardless of the situation.... poor little guy. 

So I got to come home and unpack everything I spent the last two days packing.  I was half tempted to just leave our stuff packed so it'll be ready to go when we go out of town next weekend, but the OCD in me just won't let me do that.  At least it's good packing practice. 

Monday, July 8, 2013

Parades and Fireworks and Guns... Oh My!

Fourth of July in Idaho has become a tradition for my family, and I'm so grateful that Cory fits so well in to those plans.  This year, the fourth fell on a Thursday, and Cory and I didn't see the sense in trying to make it back Friday for work, so we made a long weekend of it.  Lexi was in Michigan with Mae Mae, and Delinquent Ex wanted to spend time with Phillip, so we headed up without the kids to enjoy some good hometown fun. 

The fourth started with breakfast at the park, followed by the carnival at the church, and the parade down the main street in my sister's town.  She has an awesome setup with the parade passing right in front of her house, and the fireworks being set off in the park directly behind it.  We can enjoy pretty much the whole day without ever having to leave.  Cory and I felt a little left out of the whole kid scene with the parade with none of ours there to enjoy it, so we "adopted" my oldest sister's youngest child, and Cory spent the whole parade with him on his shoulders waving to everyone passing by.  The other kids learned very quickly that there is no better candy magnet than a cute little kid, and pretty soon we were surrounded by most of the kids picking up the candy that was thrown to us.  Cory told all the kids that we got a 10% tax on all their candy, but I think they still cleaned up pretty good. 

After the parade, we went to go spend a little time with Cory's family, who apparently didn't get the memo that we wanted to spend time with them, so we ended up having a nice romantic dinner just the two of us in an awesome Chinese restaurant his sister introduced us to.  Then it was time to head back for the fireworks.  Cory told me the first year that he came that he wished he had his sunglasses.  The fireworks are directly over our heads, they are bright, and they are LOUD.  So, this year, he enjoyed the fireworks from behind polarized lenses, and was able to enjoy the ride back to his sisters without seeing the remnants of fireworks every time he closed his eyes. 

The next morning, we headed up to the Valley to spend the rest of the weekend camping with Cory's family.  We did all the "usual" camping stuff that I never got to do growing up.  Camping in my house meant going to my grandma's cabin and doing facials and crosstiching.  Life is very different when you come from a family of one boy and six girls.  Camping with Cory's family means throwing knives, shooting guns, hiking, and playing in the dirt.  It was amazing.  We had campfires every night, a few really spectacular rainstorms, and went through about 1000 rounds of ammo. 

When the weekend was over, we didn't want to come back.  It's always a little depressing coming home after a great weekend.  We went shooting with everyone one last time before we broke camp, and couldn't resist getting a picture of all of our fun weapons together.  I never knew I liked camping until I met Cory, and he has opened my eyes to this whole new world, and I am amazed every time at how natural it all feels.  I'm starting to crave it, and I'm so glad I get to share in it with him.  I am definitely one lucky girl. 

Monday, June 24, 2013

I Have a Problem...

I have OCD.  Not full-blown, need to wash my hands 17 times OCD, but little, annoying, makes my life difficult OCD.  Certain things drive me completely crazy, like to the point where (to quote Sheldon**) I feel like I want to tear my face off and rip it in half and then keep ripping until I have a bunch of Sheldon-face confetti.

 **Big Bang Theory reference.. if you guys aren't watching it, I highly recommend at least googling Season 6, Episode 21.   

I think the hardest part of dealing with this is explaining it to other people.  People that don't deal with me on a regular basis don't understand why the rubber band they left on my desk justifies me walking across the office to find them and give it back, or that yes, Season 9 of Scrubs really sucks, but you have to finish it because you've watched the other eight seasons.  They don't get that you can't read the book you really want to read, because you started a book four months ago that you really don't like, but you can't read anything else until you finish it so now you aren't reading anything. 

Cory is very understanding about certain stupid things driving me crazy.  He's witnessed me turn in to a stammering mess because he volunteered to help clean the house and I can't think of anything for him to do because he can't mop the floor because I haven't vacuumed the stairs and I haven't vacuumed the stairs because I haven't vacuumed the hall and I haven't vacuumed the hall because I haven't swept the bathroom floor and I haven't swept the bathroom floor because I haven't cleaned the counter and I haven't cleaned the counter because I haven't cleaned the mirror and I haven't cleaned the mirror because Lexi hasn't brushed her teeth yet..  I'm getting better at letting stuff like that go. 

The big deal right now is a stupid puzzle.  A stupid, stupid, takes up all my time, frustrates the crap out of me puzzle.  It started about 7 years ago.  I like Tigger.  I like puzzles.  I had just separated from my husband and moved back in with my parents, and I found a puzzle of Tigger that is a photomosaic puzzle.  It looked like it would take a while, it looked like it would be impressive when it was done, and it looked like something I would enjoy.  My older sister had bought me a puzzle tube where I could roll up the puzzle and put it away, so I began putting the puzzle together.  One thing led to another, and the puzzle sat rolled up in my parents' basement for a few years.  When Cory and I got married, one of the things we moved was the puzzle.  The tube was in a plastic bag, and the end of it was open.  I figured it was probably missing pieces, but I didn't want to put it together and find out.  I took it all apart and put it back in the box.  I put the box under our bed. 

About a month and a half ago, we rearranged our bedroom.  I found the puzzle under the bed.   It began bugging me that it was just sitting in the box, not put together.  I got it out and started working on it again.  When Cory's family came down to stay with us his sister helped me finish putting it together.  We were missing three pieces.  It really bugged me that we had gone to all this work and the puzzle still wasn't done.  I convinced Cory to let me buy another puzzle off of Amazon so that I could finish it.  It was used, and I figured it was probably missing pieces, but the chances of it missing the same pieces was slim.  I ordered the puzzle.

When the second puzzle came, I went through each piece trying to find the three that were missing.  I couldn't find them.  The puzzle had over 1000 pieces.  So, I began putting the puzzle together again.  I finally finished it tonight.  Sure enough, it was missing two pieces, but they were in different places than the pieces of the other puzzle that were missing.  I got out the other puzzle so I could combine the two, and that was when I realized they were cut differently.  I couldn't combine them.  It took everything I had not to throw them both across the room.  There was no way to fix this.  Amazon seller rating got quite the review, plus this  little bonus that I wrote on the inside of the box lid.
I filled out the forms to return it, and took them both apart and put them back in their boxes. 

I had that usual uneasy feeling in the pit of my stomach.  I knew that this would eat at me until I finally figured out a way to finish the puzzle.  I got back on Amazon and found another seller who had the puzzle, and it said it was still in the seller shrink wrap and unopened.  It was more expensive than the other two had been.  I figured it was worth it for me to be able to finish the puzzle.  I ordered it. 

For those of you who don't understand, you'll never know what it's like to miss a whole scene in a show because the ice cream carton keeps switching from purple to green, or you'll never notice that the microphone is showing in the top of the screen for half of a movie.  You'll never be disturbed that certain books have page numbers that are out of order, or that the stripes in the carpet aren't straight.  It won't bug you that there is no exit 11 on the freeway, even though there is a 12 and a 10.  You'll never get why this puzzle needs to be finished, but I hope you'll at least appreciate how good it looks when it's done.  If you don't, please just pretend, for my sake.