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You can reach me at: bnbharty@gmail.com and I'll try my best to answer. I get a crazy amount of email, so PLEASE don't hate me if you don't hear back from me. Love ya!

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Sunday, March 2, 2014

Blog Address Change, and a Freebie!!!!


New Blog Address!!!


And, there is a nice freebie and a blog post on there for y'all!!!  Come check it out and bookmark!

Friday, December 13, 2013

I'm Getting Married!!!

Hey everyone!   I just wanted to pop on here and announce that Bob and I are getting married!  December 28th, 2013, we will be married in the church in Spanish Fork, Utah.  We are packing up all of my possessions, and heading up to Utah on December 24th!  What a crazy twist life has given me.

Bob is truly my best friend.   I have known him for 133 wonderful days.  Each day, he has made me laugh, smile, and feel beautiful,  inside and out.  I am ready to start our new life together.

I'm sitting at the Army PX right now, waiting on a refill of a prescription for Jake,  blogging on my phone.   I have missed blogging so much these past few months.  Sharing my stories and hopes and dreams.  I hope that once I get moved in in Utah, I can take back up designing and blogging.   It truly is a love of mine.   I have missed being a stay at home mom to my kids.  Working all day and dealing with 5 kids in the evening is not fun.  My hat goes off to you working single moms.  I know how hard you have it.

I wanted to post my wedding announcement,  but I can't find a spot on this mobile app....  maybe when I finally get done with my errands for the day, I can sneak it on here :-)

Love and miss you guys! !!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Just Checking In :)

Hey girls!  I thought I would drop by there and say HI to everyone!  It's been a while since I logged on updated everyone, and I was feeling in a blogging mood this evening, so, yeah, here it goes.

Last I updated everyone, I was living at Elaines house.  She was THE BEST FRIEND during my ordeal.  Really.  I don't know what I would have done without her.  She took me and my children in, and treated us like family.

My divorce was final on July 8th, and later in that month, the kids and I moved into a house in Northeast El Paso.  1600 square feet, 4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, double car garage, fenced backyard.  It has a living room and a front room, and a dining room.  We like it.  Mostly.  Eme and I share a room, with is just SO much fun.  hehe.  No really, what grown woman wants to have a 12 year old as a roommate.  ha!

The beginning of August, I decided to try LDSsingles.com.  Worth a shot, right?  It had a personality and interest and spirituality and morality quiz, and then tried to find you compatible matches.  It was really kinda cool.  Not anyone in El Paso, though.  Sigh.  I looked through the guys, wanting someone around 40.  You had to request a personality profile match up from the other person, and I sent a few away to guys that looked interesting.  I didn't really do much with it.

I had a few that I was writing to on the site, and this guy named Bob caught my eye.  He was super funny.  Eventually, we exchanged phone numbers and texted each other.  SUPER funny guy.  Nice, too.  He had been married back in '97 and it only lasted for about a year.  No kids.  Lives in Utah.  Sounded cool.

We texted a lot, and eventually talked to each other on the phone.  We got along SUPER well.  Imagine a boy version of me.  Yeah, that's Bob.

Anyway, I was on the phone with Bob one evening, and the kids were Skyping with their Dad.  He had moved to Alabama for a school at Ft. Rucker.   I'm not in the same room, because that's just awkward.  But I hear him say, "Kids, I want to introduce you to your new Step Mom, Laura.  We got married on July 18th".  Mind you, this was like August 18th or something....  Yeah, I didn't quite know what to think.  I was just glad that I had Bob there for moral support.  That means that he only had 10 days between the finalized divorce and his wedding.....  hmmmm......

That was quite a shock.  Not that I was mad because I wanted Brent anymore.  But we had been married for 17 years.  I didn't know how to process it.  And the fact that he kept it a secret from his children for a month....  yeah, that's just weird.  And bad form.

But enough of that.  Bob and I decided that we liked each other, but needed to meet in person to see if it was worth a go.  So we made plans to meet 1/2 way, which was Farmington NM.  I was going on a trip!!!  I arranged babysitters for all of my kids, and soon the days was there.  We both woke up early and got on the road.  6 1/2 hours for each of us.  Luckily, we were able to talk on the phone (blue tooth) most of the way.  SO much fun!

We met at a Shell gas station, and it was instant chemistry.  I felt like I had known him forever.  We were only awkward for about 5 minutes.  The rest of the 3 day weekend, we just hung out and had fun!  And yes, we stayed in separate rooms.  We kept the weekend PG.  hehe.  But I will say, he is a FABULOUS kisser!

After a very short 3 days, he headed back home, and I headed back home.  We've been on the phone with each other ever since.  hehe.  I sure miss that boy!  Why does Utah have to be so far away?

Jake landed himself back in the hospital in August.  Before school started.  Wouldn't surrender the iPod when he was supposed to.  Decided to fight me for it.  Yeah, I won.  After a police escort to the mental hospital, that is.  Actually, we moved out of Elaine's house and into our new house while he was in the hospital.  So maybe it was July that he went there.

School started in end of August, and I started working.  I decided that with Jake being Jake, there was NO way I could get a full time job.  Or even a part time one.  I needed to be on call for my kid.  So, I decided to start cleaning houses.  $10 an hour.  I got jobs lined up, and make about $500-800 a month.  I'm trying to put it in savings.  We also applied for Food Stamps.  And got $588 a month.  That helps SO much.  I believe in government aid, as a temporary help for people who need it.  And we need it.

And my life changed a lot.  I could no longer be the social butterfly that I enjoyed being.  I didn't have time for hanging out with my friends.  I didn't have time for anything much.  I would come home exhausted from cleaning houses.  And have my house trashed.  And 5 kids wanting me, and dinner.  I would spend whatever time I could find on the phone with Bob.  He really became my best friend.  The first person I wanted to text and tell everything to.  He could always make me laugh.  And smile.  And feel good about myself.

In the end of September, Jake landed himself back in the hospital again, same reason.  When he got out, his therapist, Ms Lois, took away his iPod.  He is in the process of trying to earn it back now.  Some lessons are harder to learn than others.

I remember talking to Bob after the first hospital trip with Jake.  I told him, if you want out, now is the time.  This IS my life.  Jake is Jake, and he isn't changing.  Mental illness sucks.  It's super hard on families.  He was emphatic that he still loved me and wanted to stay with me.  Again, love that boy!  He said he felt bad that there was nothing he could do from Utah, and wished he could  hop in his truck and drive down and be with me.  SO sweet!  As opposed to the kids' dad, who texted and said "Best of luck".  Sigh.

It's the end of October now, and I'm feeling burnt out.  What's the Lord of the Rings quote?  Like butter, spread over too much bread.  Something like that.  Single parenthood sucks.  It sucks a lot.  It's been 6 months since the kids and I were kicked out of our house on post.  In a way, it's like a deployment.  Kind of. Because the kids and I are here alone together.  But it has differences too.  I see my friends with deployed hubbies, and they are a source of strength to each other.  I am glad that I am finding that in Bob.

He actually flies in this Wednesday to meet the kids.  He is such a great guy.  All the qualities that I want in a man.  Kind, loving, funny, hard worker, church goer (Elders Quorum President), great relationship with his family.  And he adores me.  He really does.  I haven't been with someone who utterly adores me.  I think that Brent adored himself.  And thought of me as an extension of himself.  This is so different.  I see a humbleness in Bob that I have never experienced before.  He has such great, raw potential, and just needs someone to believe in him.  I can truly see him as the Lord sees him.

We read scriptures on the phone every night together, and it has been a great blessing and brought us closer together.  We have date night on Fridays, and both watch the same DVD.  And are on the phone the whole time together.  It's SO much fun.  Sure, kissing at the end of the date would be great, but I guess there is time for that in the future, right?

I am super anxious for Bob to come and visit.  I can say that I truly love him.  More than I did Brent, and we were married for 17 years.  I felt loyal to Brent.  But I never craved his company.  He wasn't the first person that I wanted to share everything with.  We couldn't talk for hours and hours and hours on the phone.  I have that with Bob.  I really hope that he likes the kids.  I know that all kids are annoying.  That's just kids.  But mine are good enough.  ROFL!  We shall see....

I was actually pretty upset when I started writing this blog post.  Jake had been a turd, and I had spent about 15 minutes in my closet crying.  Again, sharing a room with a 12 year old sucks.  NO privacy.  I forgot how therapeutic blogging is to me.  I quite enjoy it.  It helps me organize my thoughts, and my feelings, and get them out on "paper".

So, that's what's happening with me.  Check back next week, and I will try and update on how the weekend with Bob went :)

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

I'm Retiring

Yup.  It's that time.  I'm retiring.  I hate to do it.  But it's been a long time coming.  CPT and I have really tried to make it work, but yeah, it's not working.  And I don't have the time or mental energy to devote to Scrapbookgraphics to make it work like the owner needs.  So I'm retiring.  Hopefully in a year or so I will be back to normal and 100% and back into the designing scene!  I hope.  That's my goal.  Who knows where I will be in a year, right?

Anyway, I've always had social anxiety and been a pleaser person.  I've blogged about this before.  Then about 3 years ago, I had the stint in the mental hospital for depression, where they put me on anti-depressants.  Which fixed the social anxiety.  And when CPT deployed, I spent the year in therapy, fixing myself.  I knew I had a lot to work on.  And I felt that I learned and grew SO much. 

So he comes home, and I'm a different person.  A better person.  A stronger person.  One who won't put up with his controlling and critical and mean ways.  And we fought all of 2012.  Horribly.  By Christmas, I knew it couldn't continue.  I told him that we either went to mariage counseling, or it was done.  He agreed.

And after months of counseling and processing a near affair (no sex, but close) on my part back in 2010 (which he never forgave me for and brought up weekly ever since) and working on communication, I put it to him frankly.  Get individual help.  Treat me with kindness.  Stop being critical.  Stop being controlling.  Or I want a divorce.  We had a few more HUGE fights, and he kicked the kids and I out.  I finally got the bishop to convince him to move out instead, but he needed a week to get his things together.  Whatever.....

Luckily, Ms Elaine, my bestie, let us stay with her.  She has 3 kids my kids ages, and her hubby is deployed.  She has her own house in the NE area, and she is SUPER awesome.  Very laid back like me.  Anyway, after being there for a week, she invited us to stay till her hubby came back in November.  Yeah, better than both families being alone.  Plus it would give me time to save money for a rental when the time came.

I know that I wasn't perfect in my marriage.  I know that I had things that I did wrong.  I did try, though.  I gave it my all.  In June, it will be 17 years.  In the end of July, the divorce will most likely be final.  Our therapist says that CPT looks at the kids and I as an extension of himself.  And he can't figure out why he can't perfect us.  He doesn't understand why it doesn't work.  And it frustrates him to no end.  She also said that when I told him I wanted a divorce (if he didn't work on himself), that it opened a narcissistic wound inside of him.

Things are bad between us right now.  He has our savings from the tax return.  He used it for an attorney.  I have what little he decides to give me.  I'm trying to get all of our things moved out of the house on post by myself.  And find a job.  And find an attorney with no money.  And do 500 million other things while raising 5 children, one of whom is mentally ill. 

So yeah.  That's why I don't have the time or the mental energy right now to devote to my store.  As much as I would like to.  BUT, you can go and take a gander at my store!  It's 60% off, and won't be available for a LONG time.  So get it while you can!!!!  Click HERE to go to my store.

I love you guys, and will miss you :)  BIG HUGS!!!!!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Hey Guys! Freebie

Hey guys!  Ha!  Just like the WordArt, right?  hehe.  So I didn't blog yesterday, because I was out on a date with my husband.  And I figured that was worthy of no blogging, right?  Am I right?  hehe.

I told you that we've been having a rough patch.  Well, I believe that when you have a question, you should pray about it.  Ponder it.  Formulate you own answer in your mind, then pray about whether or not that answer is the right one.  How else will you know if it's correct, right?

So, my question on Friday night was, should I stay with CPT.  I was tired of all of the crap.  All of the fighting.  And I tested out the "leave" option.  I prayed about it.  About making up my mind to go.  And ALL weekend long I felt like crap.  Sick, headaches, down in the dumps, unmotivated to do anything, a-social (because anti-social is what Jake is - hehe), weepy, broken hearted.  Yeah, not liking the feelings that came with the testing out of the choice to leave.

Sunday, we had Stake Conference.  I blogged about that already, and how it was cancelled, and we went home early.  And had the rest of the day at home.  And I felt horrible.  I took some cold meds, and ended up sleeping on the couch most of the day.  CPT played board games (RISK) with the kids, and they had SUCH a wonderful time.  I  really like watching his positively interract with the kids.

Jake volunteered to clean the backyard.  It was one of the things that we were dinged on from housing.  CPT and the kids got a fire going in our fire pit, and burned a lot of the wood laying around.  Jake put in a lot of work, and the backyard looked SO much better when he was done.

At the end of Sunday, right before I went to bed, I pondered on my experience over the weekend.  It was an answer to my prayer.  I am a very feeling based person.  Emotion based.  Whereas CPT is logical.  Thinking.  When I pray, I get answers through emotions.  I feel a certain way.  When we were looking to buy our house in Chicago/Joliet area, I was sick the whole day, EXCEPT for the time that we looked at the house that we bought.  I felt that that meant that we were to buy our house that we bought.

So, because I prayed to know if my choice was right or not, and I felt extremely crappy and uncomfortable and unhappy all weekend long, I KNEW it was the wrong answer.  I went back to my room, and prayed again.  This time about staying.  About renewing my commitment to make it work.  To trying harder.  To doing whatever I could to make this marriage good again.  And I knew that it would be ok.  I still kinda felt sick.  I knew that wouldn't instantly go away.  But my heart felt less troubled.  And my anxiety went away.  I felt less sad.  I felt comforted.  It was definitely an answer to prayer!

CPT was deep in a game of RISK with 3 of the kids, and I didn't wanna bother him.  I was about ready to pass out because of my cold meds (and it was my bedtime), so I typed him up a quick email with my apologizes for the weekend and my prayer experience, and I went to bed.

Monday, the kids had the day off, and so did CPT.  I had a 9am with our therapist.  I told her about my experience, and she was very understanding.  She thinks its great that we are so devoted to our religion.  I don't know how many active members of the "Mormon" faith that she's known :)  Our faith is important to us!

Anyway, she told me that it took us 16 years to dig ourselves into the mess of a marriage that we made (very true), and a few counseling sessions will not dig our way out.  It's gonna take a lot of time and effort and sweat and tears and clawing our way out.  OK, I can buy that.  Makes sense.  She said we will have to fight tooth and nail to save this marriage.

We didn't know each other when we got married.  Not at all.  I made CPT my life for years and years and years.  Not his fault, not my fault, just what we did.  And when I got on my meds, I broke free from that.  I found that I could have my own personality and life.  But I cut him out.   And now I have to find a way to let him back in.  And it's gonna take work.  On both of our parts.  Me letting him in, and him not getting offended he isn't my whole world.  Paradigm shift.

Anyway, before I'd left for therapy, I'd asked him if he wanted to go on a "date" with me, and he said yes.  When I got home, he was exercising, and as soon as he got home and showered, we headed out.  The kids started on lunch, and had big plans for games and movies and such for the day.  hehe.

First, we went to Jasons Deli for lunch.  SUPER yummy!  Love it!  He had a Reuben with extra meat, and I had a California Chicken something or another on a croissant with a side salad.  LOVE that place.  Next, we went to see Beautiful Creatures in the movies.  NEVER heard of that one before my mom said she went to see it on Friday.  It was really good.  So it's a book series?  Should I read it???

Next, we went to Michaels to get a frame for a drawing that CPT had done for a going away gift for a guy in his unit.  He needed to finish it tonight.  He does such a good job.  Then, we headed home.

And we got there just in time.  There was a slight melt down going on.  Jake and Joe.  But we caught it just in time.  The internet wasn't working, so I couldn't get the texts from the kids' iPods telling me that there was some tension.  We called Time Warner to get it straightened out, and got a run around.  It was the Router.  No it's the Modem.  No its the internet.  Sigh.  Get it straightened out, people!

Anyway,  CPT and I ended up having a really good day together.  He's still a bit "guarded" with me.  Lois, the therapist, said that he would be.  He's afraid of emotions.  He keeps it in the intellectual realm.  She said for me to pretend that I don't notice it, and try and connect with him on an intellectual level.  Because I was gonna have to put myself out there first.  And I could do that.

We talked about his "OCD" stuff.  And just having her acknowledge it helped.  The fact that I'm not crazy and imagining it goes a LONG way.  She said that we have to get the relationship good before we can work on it, though.  I'm cool with that.  I can do that.  As long as I can see the hope in the future.  That's all I need :)

Click on the link below to go to my account to download the PNG file, and leave some love if you like my work.  Thanks!







Sunday, February 17, 2013

Cool Chic Freebie

Hey again!  So it's Sunday today.  Stake Conference, to be exact.  And we were supposed to go to our Home Ward building to catch the conference on the Satellite.  Apparently it was one of those multi-stake things.  Well, there were technical difficulties.  No conference for us.  Those poor men were working SO hard to get the feed up and running.

Kind of reminded me of when, as a child, there was an elderly woman at church, who was giving a talk, or bearing her testimony (something like that - could have even been an enrichment meeting in the chapel), and fell on the stand and hurt herself.  They had to call the paramedics.  And the other old ladies were so panicked, that they started singing hymns SO loud that the paramedics couldn't hear what was going on.  Comical, to say the least. 

Well, that's what today reminded me of.  The bishop was up there on the cell phone, trying to get instructions on how to fix the feed, and we were singing hymns, trying to keep the congregation in check (room full of people with nothing to do).  All I could do was giggle.

Anyway, 30 minutes after 9am (when it was supposed to start), they called it.  We could drive 30 minutes across town to the Stake Center to catch the rest of the 2 hour conference, or go home.  Since I didn't have enough gas to get there, and since we'd already come to church, I decided to take everyone home.  CPT didn't feel like putting in any input (I think he was trying to prove a point or something?), so I drove us home.  Kids were super excited.  Shortest church ever, AND it totally counted.  hehe.

We all changed out of our Sunday clothes, and I baked some cookies.  With on sale Valentines M&M's that I'd got at the Commissary yesterday.  Oh yeah.  Here's the recipe that I've been using for my chocolate chip cookies as of late.  It's a good one.

3/4 cup of butter
3/4 cup of brown sugar
1/4 cup of white sugar

mix together

add

1 egg
2 tsp vanilla

add

2  cups flour
2 tsp corn starch (secret ingredient!)
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

add 1 package chocolate chips, or M&M, or whatever you want

Yeah, I've been making these a lot.  I just recited this to you from memory.  No wonder I've gained so much weight!  LOL.  Fat and happy, fat and happy.  Well, fat, anyway.  ROFL!

Bake at 350 for 7 or 8 minutes.  Under bake them and let them sit on the oven.  The seem to keep their shape very well, and be squishy and delicious in the middle!  LOVE them so much.  This recipe makes 3-4 dozen.

And here we are.  Almost 11 am on Sunday.  And that's why we go to church.  Ha!  Because otherwise we have a WHOLE day with kids and we can't do anything at all with them.  ROFL!  No really, if you are LDS, you understand :P 

I've done a lot of soul searching these last 2 days.  And I don't really know what I've come up with as an answer.  I haven't had a happy weekend.  My soul is sad.  And confused.  And downtrodden.  Is that an answer?  I don't know.  I see our therapist on Monday morning at 9am.  I'm gonna discuss things with her.  She is a very wise woman. 

Anyway, I wanted to do a list of sorts.  A random fact/recent happenings/ramblings of my mind kind of list.  I thought it would be kinda fun.  So, here goes nothing!

1.  My christmas garland is still up in the living room and I like it.
2.  I've been having to get on Jacob for using the communal electric razor on his pubes!!!
3.  I got purple highlights last month.
4.  Jim has a faux hawk.
5.  The woman at the beauty school who first cut Eme's hair in a Stacked Bob now lives by my friend, Leanne, and came to lunch with us last week!  What a SMALL world.  She was showing Leanne her haircut book, and there was Emeline!  hehe.
6.  I got a ticket on post for coming to an 85% stop.  Does that last 15% really matter???  Sigh.
7.  We went to Ft Hood between Christmas and New Years to see my sister, my parents, and Ms. Kim!  It was a ton of fun!
8.  There is now a Miche shell called Bethany!!!!  I like to think it was named after me! 
9.  I am now watching Arrow, Once Upon a Time, Revenge, Dr Who, Breaking Bad, Vampire Diaries, Supernatural, Bones, Walking Dead, How I Met Your Mother, Glee, Touch, Fringe, Grimm.  Dang, how did I get so many shows all of a sudden?  I thought it was just a few....
10.  I can't think of a number 10 right now....  So you get 9.  lol.

Click on the link below to go to my account to download the PNG file, and leave some love if you like my work.  Thanks!




Friday, February 15, 2013

The Gift of Family Freebie

Hey there, girls.  Shocker, I know.  I'm giving blogging a shot again.  I really miss is.  But I don't know how hard it is gonna be to get back into it.  I did my taxes a few days ago, and my income decreased by 2/3!!  Just from stopping blogging.  Wow, huh!  So here it goes again.

I went to lunch with the kids today.  I'd been baking homemade treats for them all year long, but the school FINALLY decided to crack down on it last week.  So no more homemade goodies.  Which freed up my morning, but was disappointing.  I did like chatting with my kiddos, though.

Julia and Corby were there to eat with their kids, and Tom and Maggie were there to eat with there kids.  Which was hard.  Because I was by myself.  Sometimes I feel sorry for myself.  I need to snap out of it, I guess.  CPT and I are having a rough patch.  And I'm not sure if we are going to snap out of it or not.  I can't make someone like me.  I really can't.  And would I even WANT to force someone to like me?  No, I don't think I would.  But I'm about done with the whole situation.  If something doesn't change, I may make some permanent changes myself.

Anyway, since it was an Army 4 day holiday, watching the happy couples at lunch was kinda hard.  But I tried to ignore it, and chatted with the kids.  Then came back home after.  And worked on my computer.  It's been freaking out lately.  It's been trying to update, and then I have to restart it to make it to work right again.  Sigh.  So after about an hour, and a system restore, I got it going again.  And here I am, blogging.

Good news, Jake is doing good.  He is managing quite well.  His therapist is VERY impressed with his progress.  He does therapy once a week, and is learning how to manage people the right way.  Tom and Joe are in therapy once every few weeks, and things seem to good. 

Joe and Tom are both in Hockey.  Eme is in Piano.  We do Scouts on Wednesday.  I'm going to play with the girls about once a week.  And CPT and I fight a lot.  Other than that, that's my life.  Oh yeah, and I'm watching a lot of Bones.  That show is great.  I like it.  I don't know why I didn't start watching it sooner.  hehe.

Man, I sound like such a downer!  I hate that.  I wanna be a ray of sunshine.  I want to be happy, and spread happiness.  And I know that I have the potential of being that way.  It's inside of me.  I know it is.  But it isn't today.  I just feel like crying.  Sigh.  Deep breaths.  Some of my friends from church are going to a support group for "deployed spouses" and I was invited and thought might go tonight.  Tom is old enough to babysit.  At least then I can be around people who like me.  Maybe that's what I need, some positiveness.  Some laughter.  Some happiness.  Sitting at home and feeling down isn't working out so well for me :)

Click on the link below to go to my account to download the PNG file, and leave some love if you like my work.  Thanks!