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Little Ode To My Little Love

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What a cute little nose

And tiny little toes

Deep dark brown eyes

Seeing such wonder in the skies

 

When you sleep, what do you dream about?

A young mind full of wonder, I have no doubt

Do you think about kitties, milk, and colorful things?

What do you hope each new day brings?

 

Little girl, though you are so very small

You give so much love, hope, and joy to us all

With every smile, laugh, and loving look you give

You show us what it means to truly live

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All Lives Matter

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With everything that has happened in our country, one would think there would be some unification. Instead, there seems to be more division than ever. The level of violence, intolerance, and hatred makes me both sick to my stomach with grief and so very angry. We are Americans, we should start acting like what a true American should be, instead of what we’ve become. This statement is about our country as a whole, I do realize there are many individuals that show the level of love, compassion, integrity, and honor that many expect, but not nearly as many demonstrate.

Some preach things like, “Black lives matter” or “Gay lives matter.” You know what? They most certainly DO matter. The things that people do to one another simply because they don’t like one’s color, religion, political views, sexual orientation, and so on is sickening. It is downright awful that people assault, rape, vandalize, and more in the name of “their people”. We are in a country where we are supposed to be free to be who we are, but how free are we really if we have to fear for our lives for being true to ourselves? We don’t have to like everyone, but we should at least be respectful and decent to one another. It is possible to co-exist.

Why do we feel the need, as the human race, to tear one another down? Why, since the beginning of time, have we felt the need to control, dominate, and do whatever it takes to get what we want, no matter who we hurt? Why do we pick a race of people and say they’re either inferior or superior? Why do we attack others for believing in something other than what we do? Why? And why do we have to continue to divide, among our own citizens and throughout the world?

I am one that will never pick one group and think they’re better or worse than another. I will not put them down or attack them. I will not put another down for having different views or faith. I am human and I am not perfect, but I will do my best to love everyone, regardless of color, faith, political views, etc. I don’t care if you’re gay, straight, bi-sexual, transgender, etc. What matters to me is how you treat me, treat those I love, those around you. If you show me respect, I will do the same for you. There are many out there who feel the same way that I do and to you, I tip my hat. Let us stand together and show everyone that love’s power is infinite and our voices can be heard. Let us continue to show love in the face of adversity, compassion in places where it seems to have vanished, and kindness to even those who hard to be nice to.

Let us show the world that ALL lives matter, that the senseless violence needs to stop. Let us show the world that we don’t need to hurt those who are different from us. You can be who you are and be accepted, loved. I get why some say things like, “Police lives matter.” They’re simply standing up for a group of people that have been wronged. I loathe all senseless violence. I respect the views people have and do stand on the side of making things right. It’s just that for me, I think separating people into groups is causing more division, instead of banding us together. So, I will continue to say,”ALL LIVES MATTER!” Let love be the force that is heard today, showing others that we do matter and that coming together is what we need to do, not drift further apart.

School Is In Session!

I can hardly believe my first born is a high school freshman. How did time fly by so quickly? I remember when he was a little boy, holding my hand to cross the street. Part of me is so excited for him to grow up, to see what his future holds. Will he go to college? What career will he pursue? Will he get married? Will he have kids? Will he travel the world? Will he be happy? I want only the best for my young man.

Part of me is really sad watching him grow up so fast. There are times I wish that he needed me for everything. Sometimes I miss singing him to sleep, teaching him how to read, playing with his Matchbox cars and racing them throughout the house, having our Disney Channel marathon New Years Eve celebrations, and just knowing I still had so many years left to enjoy his childhood. Watching your child grow up is a bittersweet feeling.

 

My daughter is almost a year and a half, but I know I will blink my eyes and she will be in high school. I am trying to enjoy every phase of hers, remembering just how quickly flies by. From the teething to the tantrums, it’s all worth it. Every smile she gives me, each hug, every cuddle, and each moment we spend together is precious. I am enjoying the firsts. I missed many of those with my son, so I am trying to make the most of it this time around.

Both of my children are precious, not ready to let them go. Luckily, I don’t have to just yet. From soccer games to seemingly endless renditions of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, I still have many moments of their childhood to savor. I know my son isn’t overjoyed about school beginning, but I have high hopes that this will be his best year yet. Here’s to an amazing year ahead, the sky is the limit! Go get ’em! And parents, let us not waste a single moment we have with them. From homework to teenage angst, we must remember that this too shall pass and not forget to enjoy the good moments. 🙂

Perfect Parenting

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Many parents have their idea of what perfect parenting is, a style they feel works best and it will often vary from another’s. The thing to remember is just because someone’s views on how to raise their kids is different from how you raise yours, it doesn’t mean they’re wrong or less of a parent. So many sit in judgement and it’s not okay.

It doesn’t matter if you, say, breastfeed and other moms don’t. What some don’t understand is not everyone can do it. Some moms just don’t produce, no matter what they try, some babies refuse to latch, etc. And even if someone can and chooses not to, it doesn’t make them a bad parent. The same goes for whether someone makes their own baby food and another may choose to use the prepackaged stuff, such as Gerber. Either way, the kids are getting their nutrients and are developing just fine. What about potty training techniques, how one might get their baby to sleep, disciplining, how they teach their kid to read, whether or not their kid gets paid to do chores or not, how early they start helping out around the house, curfews, whether their kids go to private or public school, or perhaps neither and they do home schooling, and many other parenting topics.

I’ve been the parent that has had others point, stare, and whisper. I have also had the nosy moms that don’t know the situation butt in while at the store, throwing their unwanted two cents in and have seen it happen to others. It is infuriating to have another try to tell you how to raise your kids. If we don’t like something, fine, it’s our right to disagree. However, just because we can verbalize our difference of opinion, doesn’t necessarily mean we should. Sometimes it is best to keep our thoughts to ourselves. And honestly, where do any of us get off judging another because we don’t give into a child’s tantrum, because we let them have McDonald’s once in awhile, are on a different sleep schedule, decide to home school our kids, bottle feed, or use a different method of punishment for acting out? If the child in question isn’t being abused or neglected, it is really no one’s business how they’re being raised. If there’s genuine reason for concern, fine, but then go about it in the proper manner. If not, it is usually best to butt out.

Sometimes we will ask for advice or help, I mean, they say it takes a village. 😉 Sometimes too, we see someone struggling and we want to be there for them. That is all well and good, but then when we’re coming from a place of kindness and not a harsh or judgmental one, we need to still respect our boundaries. Never put the parent down and don’t make it all about you and how you raise your kids and ALWAYS listen, be respectful. Parenting can be challenging at times and it makes it that much harder when we have others essentially bullying us because we’re not doing things “right”. We want our kids to turn into well rounded, kind, smart, and hardworking adults, which is made easiest when we have a good support system and try our best not to judge one another. These are just my thoughts on it today and not just in parenting, but in life. We should lift one another up, not tear one another down. ❤

Love is Stronger than Hate

Love-Heals

Hate is powerful and it destroys all it touches, causes great devastation in its wake. Hate fuels a mind to do awful things and sometimes it seems like there isn’t a weapon strong enough to stand up against it, so we lose hope.

Yet there is something that is more powerful that can be wielded against it, something that can triumph. Love is a force that can overcome hate’s strongest arsenal, against its every attack. Love is what hate fears most. If we, one person at a time, seek within ourselves that strength, we can stand up to hate.

It’s natural when provoked to get defensive, lash out with harsh words and hurtful actions. That’s what hate is counting on, for us to let anger, jealousy, greed, spiteful behavior, and the temptation to succumb to the dark parts within us to win.

It takes true strength to resist the dark sides within us, to find the good and let it prevail. When we know love, both how to give and receive it, it’s easier to listen to the goodness we have in our hearts. Sometimes it’s hard when we’ve been hurt to trust in love’s existence and in its power to heal. It’s easier sometimes to build walls and keep it out, to try to prevent it from hurting us again. What we don’t always see is that it’s not love that hurts us, it’s the absence of it that does.

It took me awhile to see just how strong and wonderful love really is, but now I know its power and refuse to turn from it ever again.

I’m grateful for love. I’m blessed with knowing many forms of it. I have God’s love with me everywhere I go, a love that overcomes everything. I have the love of two wonderful kids, a love that lights up the darkest days and shows me what it’s like to love another without reservation, a love that will last as long as I live. I have the love of an amazing husband, the kind of love one reads about, but isn’t sure really exists. He’s my best friend and partner. I have the love of family, a bond both bound by blood and something more special. I have the love of incredible friends, a love not bound by blood, but something just as strong. What’s even greater still is that I have the love to give back, love that inspires and fuels me daily. To be able to give and receive love is the biggest blessing I have been given.

Let love fuel you, heal your wounded heart, help you let go of anger, and inspire you to show it to others, so it may help them as well. Show a little love today!

What Happens When You’re Busy…

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WordPress notified me that I just celebrated five years! Wow, it’s been that long already?! I noticed it’s been quite awhile since I have posted. I kept meaning to write and then I’d get distracted. I apologize for not touching base in a few months. I hope all is well in WordPress land!

I mentioned awhile back that I started my photography business, been doing a lot to get that going. Today, I even created a WordPress business site: https://carissagrayphotography.blog/ Please check it out! That has been keeping me pretty busy, that and being with my family. My daughter turned one in April and my son graduated eighth grade in June. They’re growing so fast! My son passed me in height recently, leaving me both happy for him and a little sad. He starts high school this fall. When did he get to this point? It’s hard to believe some days just how grown up he is getting. My little girl is growing ever more comfortable on her legs, walking all over the place and learning to climb onto things. She talks a lot, can’t understand much of it, but some words are clear as day, like stop, even says it when she’s done eating.

Summer is already halfway over and yet it feels like it just begun. We have made it to a couple Brewer games and had a couple cookouts. I hope to do more before the summer is done, but we shall see how things pan out. What have you all been up to this summer? Have you done anything fun? Have you taken any trips? Share with me your adventures!!!! I want to live vicariously through my readers. 😉

I hope to hear from you all soon!!! Please show me you read this by commenting, let us chat! I miss our chats, lovelies! Until then, much love!!

The Path Before You

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No longer a child and yet not an adult either

Caught in between and feeling frustrated

You don’t want to be treated with kid gloves

And yet you feel suffocated by the responsibilities

“Where am I headed?”, you wonder

 

The road ahead has many forks you could choose

The path before you is yours and yours alone

And, my son, do not let your mind worry so

There is no need to know your direction today

Just keep your eyes and options open

 

Both scared and excited about your future

You have many ideas about what you’d like to do

And unsure of which one to stick with

I truly believe that you’ll do quite well

No matter which path you choose

 

Don’t be afraid to listen to advice

Many have much wisdom to offer you

But, don’t let them dictate what you decide

In the end, your future is yours and not ours to lead

One foot in front of the other, one day at a time

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