Saturday, January 30, 2010

An ode to coffee, and my amazing mug.

Rewind about two years ago.

The twins were 3 months old, Will was 18 months old, and I was utterly alone. It was the first time in my life that I didn't have any hope.

I had just found out (on my anniversary) that not only had my husband been cheating on me and charging up my credit cards on weekend escapades with his then girlfriend (and now his current wife), but he had just gotten her pregnant. He had convinced me to let him use said credit card saying that a friend of his was in trouble and had gotten into a car accident, and he was going to Texas to help them out. Unfortunately, I believed him. When I called him in his hotel room, a woman answered. I put two and two together and realized that the situation was quite different than he had explained it. I was told by a hotel employee what was found in the room when he left the premises after I had called to report the credit card stolen: a postive pregnancy test on the counter. I really can't remember a time in my life that I felt more like dying than that moment.

So, I cried for a couple of hours and I went to Target. Just to be able to go somewhere outside of my sad little basement that was now sure to be my permanent home for awhile and take my mind off of the misery.

Now, for those of you who know me, you know how perky I am on a daily basis. This was different. I actually felt bad for how miserable I felt, and for each person that passed me that I didn't smile at, I felt even worse.

To make matters even more depressing... it was four days before Valentine's Day, so the whole store was decked out in hearts and fuzzy wuzzy "I love you" stuff. If that doesn't make you suicidal after everything that just happened, I don't know what would.

Then... something struck me. I saw this Valentine's display out of the corner of my eye, and these giant coffee mugs that were utterly ridiculous looking. I stopped and LAUGHED. OUT LOUD. And, I couldn't stop laughing. It felt so good to finally be able to smile, if only for a fleeting second.

Maybe it was because I was temporarily out of my mind with grief. Maybe it's because I really needed something to laugh about. But, I'm telling you - to this day this mug makes me giggle every time I see it.

There is just something completely insane about a turtle with a singing bird on it's back that is laugh-worthy.

So, to begin my morning ritual, this mug is the first thing I pull out of the cabinet, and I smile.

Sometimes, that's one of the handful of times I would smile in a day, depending on what was happening.

Coffee in the morning began to slowly save me from myself. There were days that I literally was too depressed to get out of the house, out of my pajamas, and out of my sadness. I could scarcely move. I felt like someone had put a lead jacket over my whole body... like the coat the dentist puts on you before they take x-rays of your mouth, but 3 times as heavy. Everything hurt. Everything made me cry. But, that mug, and my coffee.... silly as it sounds, saved me.

I didn't even drink coffee before all of this happened. I was struck with the reality of having to raise three tiny boys on my own, and I didn't have enough energy within myself to get it done. Strangely, once I had a nice strong cup of coffee, my hands began to move when my mind didn't. I was in a perpetually frozen state inside my head, consumed with shock and pain, and yet I was able to accomplish daily tasks after a relaxing cup of joe.

Of course, being a rookie coffee drinker, it can't just be coffee. It has to be a sugary, tan work of art.

Creamer - preferably a chocolate-y kind.
A packet of stevia.

Enough milk to make it tan. :)

And, a whole bunch of whipped cream to top it off.
It's like my therapy. My morning get-off-your-rear-and-do-something-so-you-won't-be-sad-today therapy. So, every morning, instead of letting the fog settle in, I burn it up with caffeine - and live.


  1. I love that mug, it's adorable. Who *wouldn't* smile at it! I'm glad you enjoyed your coffee today, and every day. It's become a staple of my day as well. It would be nice if we could energize on our own, but some of us need a little assitance :o)

  2. You are just like a rainbow after a huge storm. Enjoy the mug-- and the tan work of art! (are you sure there is even coffee in there??) hehe

  3. Ahem. Have I told you lately that I love you? And I can't wait to join you for coffee some morning :)

  4. Reminds me of an Opera Show.. not to be an a**, but maybe make a book all about happy stuff and put the bad behind.. but then again who would read that ? lol

  5. Hmmmm....afraid Charlie has missed the point.

    Anyways, Erin, thank you again for another inspring delightful post!! Your story of overcoming through faith is so beautiful. You rock!!!

    Have you read the book "Cold Tangerines" by Shauna Niequist? Her writing style reminds me of yours...something you might enjoy in your 30 seconds a day of spare time :)

  6. Love it...You are such an amazingly strong woman

  7. Love the blog as usual Erin!

  8. Charlie - YOU'RE TELLING ME! And, that isn't even .05% of the bad. This is the "light" version that I actually feel comfortable sharing. My life feels like a bad soap opera sometimes, but God brings us through ANYTHING when we truly turn to him... and he made coffee - so he pretty much rocks. I try to show that through my writing by being as transparent as I can.

    Tracey - Thank you! I am going to check out that book! Can't wait to get into another good dose of fiction!

    Thanks, Stephanie!

  9. Love it Erin, as usual. And the pics are a great touch too
    PS. try adding kaluha (sp?) or Bailey's to the coffee too- makes it even better! ;-)

  10. Erin,
    We support you. I'm a fan of ur blog, and I am sooo encouraged at how you are so utterly dependent on God for your everything... your emotions, your day-to-day needs... I'm honored that I got to know you, and I'm glad that we have FB and blogs to keep in touch.
    You are amazing... and I pray for true love for you (next only to that of Christ!) If you are in Texas ever, come visit, please!
    Lifting you up,

  11. Hi Erin,
    The "light version" is more than most people would share.
    I've noticed over the years how some people with a real depth to their character and beliefs; experience some of the ugliest things in relationships. I think that the same qualities and emotional nutrients which allow relationships to really flourish and become a "lifetime soul mate" situation are also "fodder" for the abusive.

    I see in your posts the conscious decisions you've made to not let whats happened deny you what you seek and deserve.

    In 5 years time your ex husband might be living in a motel, estranged from 2 ex wives and missing his 4 children. In 5 years you might be married with 6 kids and busy writing your 2nd book in Ireland. Although, as you are fully aware, justice/ injustice in life isn't that simple.

    You have achieved alot emotionally in a relatively short period.

    Question: What plans did you have for your life a) before you were married and b) at the beginning of your marriage?

    I'm sure the answer to these questions will help you immensely in rediscovering the true you, the new you.

    I'd just like to add, i'm 100% sure that in a couple of years time you will think it ridiculous that you spent time thinking you might not meet that someone.

    Sorry for the long comment.

  12. I always thoroughly enjoy your thoughtful comments, and got a good chuckle out of this one. :)

    As far as your question, I am going to give it some serious thought and write about it. I think it's a great thinking point.

    Before I was married, I had hoped to become a nurse, have three children, and give my family the very best of myself. To always have dinner on the table, to have a clean, well decorated home and to live life with adventure in mind, as well as responsibility. To live a simple life, with the ones around me I cared about most to feel well loved.

    Once I got married, I had the same goals, but the school dream was squashed by my ex, and I began to realize that he wasn't the person I thought he was. With the deception, lies and emotional seclusion, I realized that it was going to take a lot of work. So, I gave it more than I thought I even had in me.
    Unfortunately, it didn't work out, but I am confident that God has someone else out there who can care for me in the way that He intended, and who I could take care of as well.

  13. ERIN--I HAVE YOUR BLOG ON EMAIL!! Thanks so much!

    I wish I had some magic words to make things easier. I don't. Just know you will be happy wherever you are in in life. We can't depend on someone else to make us happy.

    God's blessings!

  14. So true, Debbie! I don't need someone to be happy, but it would be nice to be able to share my life with someone really great. I'm just not closing the door to the possibility! :)

  15. I understand your thought process and see the time you have taken to consider and arrive at your conclusions. I also recognise the presence of God in your life and in your writing BUT i am left wondering,"Does she realise how beautiful some of the things she says are?"

  16. I can sincerely say that anything truly good in me comes straight from God!