Tuesday, September 6, 2011


If you happen to stumble onto this blog, please head over to my new blog address.


All of my old entries have been moved over as well. Hope to see you all there.

(Especially whoever has been reading this thing from German. Who ARE you?)

Friday, August 26, 2011

my sister

There's a woman in my life who understands me better than I understand myself. She's gone through so many of the same things that I have. She feels the same way I do and thinks the same thoughts. The older we get, the more alike we become and what emerges from this is a wonderful, amazing, breathtaking bond that cannot be replaced.

Some people have sisters to share their lives with. But I don't. I have my cousin, Christina. Less than a year older and truly the sister I was meant to have in this life. She's been there since the very, very beginning and I know she'll be there until the last second.

It might not seem like much, but to us our relationship is the world. We come from a... non-traditional family. There wasn't always stability. Hell, sometimes we had to look pretty damn hard to find happiness under all the resentment and bitterness and arguing. (I'm ashamed to admit that even we fell victim to it a time or two. maybe three. okay four times.) But throughout everything, we've always been able to lean on each other.

There is no one in the world I admire more than Chrissy. At the age of 15 she was diagnosed with a tumor and little did any of us know how that would go on to nearly ruin her life. After countless (seriously, I think she's had around 20) surgeries and tests and procedures, she keeps smiling. I've never met anyone who handles what God has dealt them with such class, grace and optimism. Sometimes when I want to bitch about a little thing in life, I remember what she's gone through and what she still continues to endure every single day. Suddenly my life doesn't seem so bad.

I don't always tell people how I feel. I'm known for being closed off and guarded. Maybe this is my way of letting her know that I love her more than I'll ever be able to say. Maybe this is how I'm telling her how proud I am of her. Even now she's faced with more medical issues and she still laughs, smiles and jokes like the world is the happiest place ever.

I think she got that from our grandfather.

So, Chrissy, this is me telling you that you amaze me. Having you in my life makes me a better person. You constantly support me, you appreciate me and more than anything you love me. There is no one I respect more and no one I'd rather have by my side until I become a crazy old woman like Gramma. (Well, not that crazy. Maybe Nannie crazy.)

Monday, August 22, 2011

ohio is dumb and other random thoughts.

Ohio serves no purpose. It keeps me from my friend Traci and I don't like that. It's also ugly and boring and.. stuff. So, yeah. Ohio is dumb.

I am ridiculously excited about school this year. Mostly because it means I got new school supplies. Pens, pencils, binders, oh my! Blame it on working in an office for eleven billion years, but I'm a whore for office supplies.

Since seeing Jekyll & Hyde a few weeks back I've been listening to the soundtrack over and over and over and over again. I'm in love. This hasn't happened since I fell in love with RENT.

Yesterday would've been my Poppo's 89th birthday. I had vodka to celebrate. It was delicious.

I don't like change unless it's small and I can control it. Like my hair. Which I change constantly. If you look through my facebook profile pictures you can see how often I change my hair. A friend asked me what my natural hair color was and, honestly, I have no idea. I'm going to say dark blonde because that's what I think it is. Probably. So anyway, I decided to dye it brown. But then because I have a lot of hair and it was way too light to start, I have to dye it again. So you'll get a picture some other time.

My office is nearly done. By this weekend it should be ready to go. This thrills me. No longer will Ron Weasley be guarding my fireplace.. I mean Floo. Yes, Floo. Pictures will go home once we have it totally done and I've actually hung up pictures and made it look awesome.

I really, really want some ice cream. Mmmmm.

the adult student

Today is my first day of school.

Yup. I'm 28 years old and I'm still in school. Not because I'm perusing a graduate degree, but because I'm working to earn my Bachelor's degree. At twenty-eight. At a community college. Yeah.

I have mixed feelings about being in school right now. On one hand, I'm very proud of myself for going back. I love learning. I love being in school and soaking up all the knowledge I can. It doesn't matter than I'm pushing thirty or that the people in my classes are fresh out of high school. On the other hand, I feel like the random old person who doesn't belong. And that part sucks.

I'll be honest. I left my first school because I didn't want to have a long distance relationship with Greg. It might not have been the best decision for my career, but I still think it was the right decision for myself. And now that I have a happy marriage, it's time to work on the other parts of my life. Life doesn't have to follow a certain line. You can do whatever you want whenever you want to do it.

I think the only thing I truly regret was allowing other people to tell me what I should or shouldn't study. I have (finally) settled on Elementary Education in spite of people telling me it's a bad idea or that I won't make money or find a job. You know what? Shush. Shush your mouth right now. Because when someone says they are going back to school you should be nothing but encouraging and supportive. It doesn't matter if they are 18, 28 or 58.

Happy First Day of School!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

The First Man

He was a giant of a man. Tall, like all the Hoagland men, but it was so much more than that. His personality filled up the room and to this day I've never met someone who could make my world light up like he did. And although I miss him (every single day) I know that the lessons he taught me will carry through for the rest of my life.

Laugh. Laugh when life is falling apart and you're certain that tomorrow everything will end. Laugh at yourself, at the world and you'll find a way to get through it all. Even when he was sick I can remember him making jokes. He wanted to hear us laugh. Maybe it was to make us feel better, but I think it helped him as well. Laughter heals and there was never a shortage of laughter. He was one of the few people who could reduce my mother to tears.

Eat. Food is meant to be enjoyed. Food is meant to be shared with family around a table. Orange Roughy brings me back to that kitchen table, trading food with my cousin when we didn't like something he had made. Eat without worrying about the calories or how much you weigh. Life isn't about a scale or what size pants you wear.

Learn. It is never too late to learn something new. It doesn't matter the subject or if it will benefit you. Learn because you want to understand. Learn because you crave knowledge. But never stop reading, asking, learning or striving to be more. You'll do a disservice to yourself if you don't pick up a book and uncover something new.

Love. Love the people in your life with your whole heart. Families won't always get along and sometimes you want to strangle them, but never stop loving. The very, very last time I spoke to my Poppo I was holding my cousin Chrissy's hand as we stood next to his hospital bed. Even though it pained him, Poppo made sure to tell us that we were loved. I know that this lesson has had the biggest impact of them all. Our family is.. complicated. We're all different and when we lost Poppo, things started to fall apart. But he is why I struggle to make things right and keep loving.

Tomorrow would have been my grandfather's 89th birthday. It pains me that he isn't here to celebrate with his family. A family that now include great-grandchildren and spouses and grandchildren who are now old enough to enjoy a drink with him. I miss him more than I can possibly explain. But I won't cry. I'm going to laugh today. I'm going to learn and I'm going to eat. But most of all, I'm going to love. And I owe it all to one giant of a man who taught me how to be the person I am today.

I love you, Poppo. I miss you and I wish you were still here with us. Knowing that you're in Valhalla with the rest of the Hoaglands drinking vodka and playing cribbage makes me smile. You are, and will always be, the first man in my life and the best.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

play dateless

When you reach a certain age, most people are married and either have families or are working on having them. So when you don't fit into that mold, it can be stressful and sometimes painful. As a very good friend of mine said, a big part of friendship is what you have in common. And that's very, very true. Friendships are fluid and they evolve as the people in them evolve. So when I looked around and realized that I was surrounded by mothers, it made me stop and think for a moment. Where, exactly, do I fit in with all of these people?

My friends are wonderful people. They don't judge me for not having a child and (I think) they understand why I'm not a mother. But no matter how wonderful and understanding they are, there will always be a divide between us. It can be frustrating when I'm one of the few people on my side of the line. Mothers have a way to bond with each other, whether it be stories about their children or discussions on parenting. Those of us without children can't understand exactly what they are talking about and sometimes (a lot of times) that's thrown back at us in a negative way.

But just like my "mommy friends" want to be close to other mothers due to what they have in common, I want friends without children who can understand the world I live in. It's a world free of play dates and park visits and worrying about diapers. And you know what? That's okay. I'm not missing a part of the world because I don't have children. I'm not better or worse than the people who are parents. I'm not lucky or unlucky, missing out, empty or any of those adjectives you might apply to me. I am happy with my life and it bothers me immensely when I am pitied or prayed for or anything else.

Another close friend of mine pointed out that in a religion (and perhaps society) where children are considered a blessing, it's hard not to feel as though you've done something wrong when you don't have any. The pressure to be a mother is overwhelming. When you enter into your late 20s and early 30s, you can actually see how separated you are from your friends who have children.

Mothers, I know how happy you are to have children and I love you for that. But please, please, remember that my own desire to be around people in my situation doesn't mean I love you less. It simply means that occasionally, I need to be around people who are on my side of the line.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

ten years

If you had told me that when I was 18 years old I was going to meet the man I'd be with forever I would've not only laughed at you, but I would have run screaming. I did not want to be serious with anyone. The only person I'd ever been serious with was my high school boyfriend and that was far from a healthy relationship.

And yet, ten years later there is a man sleeping on my sofa after working all day who wakes up just enough to tell me that he loves me before falling back asleep.

I love him, too.

You will never hear me say that my marriage or relationship is perfect. It isn't. Oh lord, it is the furthest thing from perfect imaginable. But it's good and that's all I need. It's good and happy and full of laughter. Nine days out of ten he's my best friend in the world. Even on that one day when I want to shake him and kick him in the knee I'm still glad I married the jerk.

My husband is my opposite. When I am UP and MOVING and LOUD he is calm and relaxed and quiet. I want to tell the entire world what I think of them and he's okay with only talking to a few close friends and family. I want to see things and learn things and explore and in that he is my equal. He challenges me to think, but more importantly he's taught me how to feel. He's taught me how to love unconditionally. I never struggled with pushing myself. I'm okay with learning something new and I live for understanding a new concept. But emotions? Deep, powerful emotions that leave me vulnerable and exposed? I would rather chew my own arm off.

Except he makes me feel those things. And it's for that reason alone I'm still with him. Because no matter how hard it is or how much I want to shank him on some days when he's sitting on the computer and ignoring me entirely.. I remember that he wakes up just to tell me that he loves me.

And I love him, too.