This Blog is the journal/scrapbook/photo album etc. that is all about my family and our lives together. Here is where family and friends (and anyone else too, I suppose) can keep up on what's happening with us Mannimals! COMMENTS ARE APPRECIATED!! ;) Check back often as we'll respond to comments and make new posts as often as possible!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Easter 2008

Ok here is our Easter 2008 post!  This is going to be a hard one to make and is part of the reason I got so far behind on the posting.  This was the last event we spent as a family! :(

So these are the last things I want to say about the past year to get this blog caught up.  Then I will be wanting to move on to getting to the posts.  There are SO many fun times, cute pics, and wonderful events to show pics from and write about.  :)

First: This is rhetorical.  In this post (and I probably should have said it about the last one too) I am just looking to get out what has happened, to what is in my head and heart about events of the past year or so, up to the present.  I am not looking for specific comments or trying to say anything to anyone.  I am simply trying to make an honest documentation that tries to be objective but is obviously my point of view.  So here I go, and I hope you enjoy the pictures!

So: It is nearly indescribable to try to explain the unexpected and almost unimaginable story of the events of the past year.  I have had the hardest time wrapping my head all the way around how something so incredible and loaded with so much potential is come to such an odd and unfortunate end... How does someone you know so closely, shared so much with, and loved so well become someone who seems so different in so short a time when dealing with you?  I am still baffled by Athena's disconnect, loss of love, betrayal of our relationship & plans & wedding vows, and willingness to hurt and abandon me while I was getting sober and working hard to improve my faults and hold up my end of things.

Besides of course what I have already described in prior posts and in conversations with some of you friends and family.  I just can't figure how someone can turn against and discard someone they supposedly loved and promised to love forever for anything short of an ultimate betrayal and deal breaker such as cheating.  How do you lose sight of the bigger picture and narrow your vision to focus only on a lover's faults when you have a partner who you can trust will always try to be there for you, loves you immensely, is fiercely loyal, honest, worships you, and would gladly lay down their life for you?  How is true love not enough?  Even if it takes some work and patience to get to fully realize it... How and why ever give up on your partner as long as said partner is honestly willing to do what it takes to fix or change anything problematic?

And that is just Athena and I. When you add in the two "best kids ever" to the equation, how do you not appreciate it all and make all the efforts you can to make it a continued success for us all to revel in?  I SO wish there was any way to get Athena to understand just how much I love her and how things between us really were, are, and could be short of her actually getting to be me and see how I think/feel, which unfortunately isn't possible.  I have no idea what else I can do when sincere and heartfelt words, letters, texts, analogies, descriptions, apologies, promises, and logic no matter how tactful, honest, kind etc. I try to express them always seem to be misunderstood, twisted in meaning, or simply fall on deaf ears...  Instead it is as if I was found to have been hiding that I was a complete monster, had defiled the sanctity of our marriage, or done something so terrible as to be pushed away and not to be forgiven at all costs!  Had that been the case, I would understand Athena breaking up our family and I would be resigned to getting what I deserve.  Which would be Athena leaving me and taking the kids and giving me whatever visitation she felt I deserved or was good for the kids.  But that was not and is not the case.  I might not have been perfect, but I truly love(d) Athena with all my heart and would do anything to prove it and to make our relationship and parenting a success.

Now while I do still love Athena and would do practically anything to prove just how much. I am also wise enough to understand that you can't make someone love you short of being yourself and offering all you have to give to and hoping that your efforts will not go unnoticed or unappreciated, and that your love will be requited.  It does no good to harass, or try to force, or to pine away for someone with whom there is no future.  And it does seem like Athena is determined we have no future... But while I am capable of moving on, it isn't going to be easy.  My heart breaks at the thought of it all ending like this!  I have so many good memories and have had so much happiness and appreciation of everything we had together over our 7 year run of adventures!!

I have stood up for myself where I have (such as portions of the last blog post and the few people I have talked about the situation with) because I know while I might not have always had all the right tools to have a perfect past,  I really did have very good intentions (the road to hell really is paved with em!) and I tried hard to see them through!  And I had much more love than even I ever thought I would be lucky enough to feel!  Unfortunately I think that knowing how spoiled I was, and how great I thought I was at being a Dad, and Athena was at her job and as a mom, and so many other good aspects about our family may have led to too much pride on my part.  I didn't think I could be too proud as I had always thought that to be a myth to be too proud as long as you kept it to yourself instead of boasting or gloating.  I just didn't see soon enough what was really happening on some issues.  And I am the first to admit that on those things, I should have definitely have done a smarter job!

So now, if we are going to be splitting the Mannimals up, I think we have the best plan possible for how to do it as fairly as possible.  Seeing that Athena and I will both have to agree to disagree when it comes to where we think the kids are best off (she thinks UT with her and I think CA with me) we will have to compromise.  The plan I have come up with that I think is the best compromise actually favors Athena getting about 6.5 months of the year and me getting 5.5.  I think Athena taking the second half of the school year (actually starting the 26th of Dec) thru the first week in July (alternating turns on who gets July 4) works well.  That way the kids have the end of Dec to get back with Athena and ready for the second half of the year.  Then the kids have the end of summer to get used to being back with me and ready to start the next grade in CA school (where he will get ahead of UT school and can go back to UT that way instead of coming into CA school being behind them all at UT speed).  That divides the sports up well too since the timing works great for soccer and football here and basketball and soccer there to choose from.  Then of course there are the open things like swimming lessons and martial arts that we can both do.

So while I will definitely miss them during Athena's turn, and while I think the kids would be best off here with me, I think that in order to compromise this is the best option.  And since I don't want this to be a contest (although it really does warm my heart and makes me feel appreciated all the times Mat tells me how he likes UT and loves Athena, but that he prefers living in CA and can't wait for me to bring him back!) I think compromising is the fairest thing to do.  I will be visiting back to UT several times on my turn so the kids will still get to see everyone in UT and that will include most major holidays.  That is the plan I have made to try with Athena recently, and I am hoping it works (I can't imagine it not) and that Athena and I can move on and be able to still work as a team and be friends so we can do our best for the kids we possibly can and so we can not have to fight or battle each other.  Also I know that when I have the kids that I make the extra efforts to make it as easy as possible on Athena and the kids to be apart.

I can't wait!!!  It's almost my turn!!!!!  I love and miss the kids SOOOO MUCH!!!!!  I am a lucky, lucky Dad.  Ok, so on with the posts... There are hundreds of pictures I intend to get caught up on in the coming weeks!  :)

Easter with the kids is always SO fun!  It all starts the day before when we get to color our eggs.  Athena was always great fun and a great mom around holidays.  Often she would do crafts and fun activities to make the holidays even funner.  ;)   These first several pics are all from our day before Easter preparations:

:) Mat is still rockin his bi-hawk from Crazy Hair Day!

And now it's time to dye the eggs!

Haha, it's too bad Avi wasn't quite ready in this one or it would have been super cute!

This is one of my favorites of Matrim of all time! :)  Here he is showing off an adorable smile and his spelling abilities.

What a beauty!

Not drinking much at all this year has already started to pay off.  Here I had dropped some weight and am looking healthy.  :)

A super cute one of Mat copying the old Dad.  ;)

It wasn't long after this that I tried going with my earrings out for a bit.  Now I can't get em back in without gaging again... :(

Our super cutie!!

Yay! Cards and money from Grandma and Grandpa Lindley!

What was the story here again Athena?  Were we scrambling to get things ready for morning and you distracted them?  Or is this just a cute one of reading time?

Easter morning, I think.  Time to see if we got a visit from the Easter Bunny!

Yay for the Easter Bunny and our baskets full of Easter presents and candy!

And now it's time for the eggs!

Candy Break!  :)

We usually have to help the kids and often times one or the other of us will forget where one is hidden by the end.

Almost got em all.  "Is there one up there, Mat?" Avi asks.

Leftovers and a Thank You note from the stuff we left out for the Easter Bunny.

Hahaha!  The adorable Mannimal girls!!  :)

Daddy's adorable Easter Girl with her Easter Dress, tattoo, and candy necklace! :)