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Posts tagged ‘effort’

So much to say…

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I have a lot to say right now. I stared at this screen for a little bit, unsure of where to begin. I couldn’t think of a clever title for this, so it is what it is…

I meant to write more in 2019 than I did. There were several times where I thought to myself, I really should blog, it’s been awhile and then I got busy and forgot.

It’s now 2020… Alright, where is the Jetson life I thought we’d be living? Honestly, I’m okay without flying cars, robot maids, etc. I wouldn’t necessarily mind being able to push a button and have my food be ready. Though, with an instant pot, that’s pretty close. 🤣

2019 brought a lot of loss, heartache – both literally and figuratively, stress, and struggle. It did also bring some joy, laughter, fun times, and good memories made. Overall, in all honesty, I am happy 2019 is over. There are lessons and memories I’ll take from it though.

One of the biggest things that happened in 2019 was my son coming home to live with us full-time, for the first time in 14 years, I got primary placement back. At first, I was so happy. I had fought for this for so long. I remember the tears, the heartache, stress, sleepless nights, and fighting it took to get to this point and finally, it was over.

About a month or so in, the high wore off and our troubles began. In the 14 years that I had limited time with my son, a chip grew on his shoulder, one that has become a mountain.

He’s angry at the world. His dad didn’t listen, was there physically and yet not there for him a lot of the time, kept trying to turn him into something he’ll likely never be, pushed him away, and refused to give him the one thing he’d been asking for over 13 years – to live primarily with me.

I struggled with my mental health issues, still do sometimes, and I was sometimes mentally checked out. I was too soft on him, to try to balance out how strict his dad was being. I was trying to be what I thought he needed, but I think I missed the mark more than I ever meant to. I sometimes was too self involved. As he was growing, neither his dad or I were really what he needed, I just didn’t fully see that until recently.

He was picked on in school for being different. He eventually fought back and that led to trouble. Coupled with mental health issues that were starting to present themselves, feeling torn between Mom and Dad, and a host of things going on inside his head, he was going down a path that would lead him towards darkness, a darkness I’m afraid of.

Early on, he was acting out. He was crying out. His dad didn’t listen. I kept telling him bad things would happen if he kept ignoring our son’s cries for help and to be heard. The tall tales increased, stealing started, fighting in school/class began, and antagonistic behavior towards his step-mom grew to a frightening level.

Fast forward to 2018. He tried running away in January and then in May, he got to a point where he pulled a knife and held onto it, scaring his step-mom, who by this point now had two little kids of her own and was also babysitting for someone. After talking to them, they finally listened somewhat and took him to a behavioral health facility. He was there for roughly two weeks. They tweaked the meds he was on while there. At first, he refused to see or talk to his dad and step-mom. After I talked to him, he finally decided to open up and talk to them. He seemed to learn a lot in his time there.

After a month or two, things went back to normal and in time, got worse on all fronts. He was actively stealing often, in more trouble at school, was alienating the few friends he had, and things at his dad’s were getting dangerous, to all involved. In that time, I began the court process, once again, (As I had gone through it in 2007-2009) to bring my son home.

In November of 2018, the court said they would leave it as is until the summer. I would then get primary placement for a trial run and if all went well, it could stay that way. Things seemed to be looking up.

On February 7th, 2019, things reached their breaking point for my son, his step-mom, and his dad. Cops were involved on both sides. He was taken to shelter care. We picked him up and he’s been here since.

Like stated earlier, things were fine for a month or so. I was taking him to school over an hour away until the court made the change a little more official, about a month later. He started going to school here then. Within two weeks, he was already getting into trouble here.

After all the fighting we did to make this happen and him swearing to me he’d start making better choices and that this change would help him grow and mature, it hurt my soul to see he was continuing this self destructive behavior. He was still lying, stealing, fighting, etc. He was also beginning to cause problems with his little sister, problems that go beyond simple sibling rivalry. His outbursts became violent. He would break things when he didn’t get his way/was angry. Now, I knew this wouldn’t be a quick fix, but he wasn’t working at changing and it was hard to watch and deal with. Therapy started and meds were tweaked and at first, there seemed to be an improvement.

After getting through Summer school, he was enrolled in an online school. As public school hadn’t ever worked well for him, it was time to try something different. Again, he swore things would be better without all of the distractions.

At first, things were fine. And then… He started to slack off, bailing on classes and only putting so much effort into his school work. His issues with sister were increasing. He got in trouble for stealing, again. Things were reaching a boiling point.

Meds were tweaked again and again, things were a little better and then they weren’t. The stress levels were high on all sides. My husband loves my son, but then there’s our daughter to consider and he made it known that for him, she comes first. Feeling torn between my children, I was unsure what to do. I knew things couldn’t continue as they were though.

After all of court stuff for what he’d been doing, he was placed on supervision. Those every other week meetings generally went alright. But, this last meeting didn’t go well. It led to him storming off. He didn’t like the rules and said he couldn’t live here. Once shelter care was explained to him, he said that wouldn’t work either. He got dramatic and said he could either live on the streets or kill himself. We explained those weren’t viable options. We kept trying to explain why it’s important he take his school work seriously and that what’s being asked of him isn’t any more than what many parents expect. He didn’t care about any of that and left the room, stomping up the stairs to his room.

That left my hubby, who got home from work, the social worker, and myself to talk. She said she’d give us the night to think about things and would see what we wanted to do in the morning. I talked to his dad and to my husband. In the end, it was decided to have him taken to shelter care. The cruelty to his sister, disrespectful behavior towards my hubby and I, trashing things and taking off, the lies, the taking things from us, the bailing on school stuff, etc needed to be stopped and we felt helpless to help him. Everything we’d tried wasn’t working.

He left peacefully yesterday, but wasn’t happy. He fought with me on the phone, clearly not ready to change. He kept trying to bait me, as is his way, and eventually I hung up. They did get him to do school work, saw that by the emails I got from the school when things got turned in. I don’t know where his mind is at today, but he’s got court in a few hours. I just want things to get better for my son, for our family.

My almost four year old shouldn’t be afraid of my 17 year old. My brilliant 17 year old shouldn’t be failing in school. Our family shouldn’t be feeling such constant tension. We should be able to spend time together as a family. We shouldn’t have to lock our bedroom door. We should be able to trust him with our daughter. We should be able to trust him in general. This whole situation sucks.

I pray to God for healing, light on the path we should each take as individuals and as a family, peace, love to help us grow closer again, for the pain to stop…. My soul aches and I just want the ache to end. I pray that this is the beginning to better days.

This isn’t the only thing going on, but it is definitely one of the biggest. One thing at a time, right? Then maybe we can focus on our marriage, finances, health, time with friends, etc more? I’m trying to be many things to many people. Sometimes I forget to be what I need for myself. I’m working on it. I’ll always be working on it, as I’m sure everyone will be. Our evolution only stops, or should stop anyway, when we die. While we’re here, we’re growing as people.

I hope that I can become a better me all the time, ever learning and changing. I want to be a better mom, wife, daughter, friend, business owner, photographer, writer, singer, cook, camper, nature lover, inhabitant of this world, Christian, and overall person.

I want to be someone people love, respect, look up to and admire, get inspired by, and that will be remembered as someone who gave, loved, and lived her life the best she could. I want that dash in between my birthday and the day I die to represent a life well lived.

I have hurt and been hurt. My parents hurt me. My mom was hurt by her parents. My grandparents had their own tales, some good and some not so good. I wanted to give better to my kids. Have I?

At 17, my grandma was pregnant and eloped to another state to get married. She’d already given up a child for adoption. She was in love with a man who wasn’t so nice a lot of the time. She gave birth to my uncle. They worked to later raise three kids. She did the best she could, but her best wasn’t enough to protect my mom from her own dad or provide what her kids really needed.

At 17, my mom was ready to bail and did at 18, married an abusive jerk. She left. She had me at 20. She did her best. Her best led me to foster care when I was abused by her boyfriend. That led to years of pain for us both. If I’m being honest, I think that pain is with us yet. She made a certain amount of peace with her mom, but I don’t think she ever fully let go. I haven’t fully let go yet and I’m still trying.

At 17, I was bounced between my mom, old foster mom, grandma, mom, and grandma again. I was so angry, hurt, depressed, and scared. I was diagnosed with bipolar at 19/20. I had my son at 23. I was an absolute wreck. I think over time, I’ve grown. I’m still a mess sometimes, but I think I’m in a much better place than I have been before.

At 17, my son is at shelter care because of his anger issues, refusal to do what’s expected of him, his harming his sister, and his need to control everything. He’s angry, scared, depressed. He’s struggling. He may want to be a she. He isn’t sure what he wants. He is trying to find his way.

On one hand, I believe I’m doing the right thing… He needs help, help we couldn’t alone give him. This could be a good thing for him, probably not right away, but eventually.

On the other hand, I still feel so awful that it ever got to this point. Sending my son away is killing a piece of my soul. I’m trying to keep the first point in mind so I don’t lose my mind completely.

Thank you to anyone who’s made it thus far, for reading what I’ve had to say. I hope that it’s perhaps touched something in you. If you’re going through any of this, know you’re not alone. Somehow, I’m making it. I am holding onto my faith, that things will work out. Please, I pray you’ll hold on too. And now I take another step forward….

There Are Always Ways to Help…

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Some think the only or best way to help is by giving money to causes, people in need, etc. I have learned something over the years, money can do a lot of good and I would never discourage anyone from giving to worthy causes or helping out someone who is truly in need, BUT there are more ways to help.

Sometimes people aren’t in a position to help financially and feel like there’s nothing they can do. However, we can give our time, energy, and effort to others by volunteering, teaching, mentoring, tutoring, helping people by giving of your services like babysitting, cooking a meal for someone who just had surgery, helping someone move, etc.

Going through our things and giving what we don’t need or no longer use to others who could use it often helps people as well. How many of us have things in storage, stuffed in the back of our closets or the garage, etc that we know we’ll never get around to using again or maybe just bought because it was on sale or thought it would be a good idea at the time and then never used at all? Some can donate blood, which is always in need. Some physically can’t give, but many can.

And let us not forget, sometimes all someone needs is someone to listen without passing judgement. Sometimes people don’t want or need anything of monetary value, they just need a friend to listen, give advice, a hand to hold, a shoulder to cry on, or someone to make them laugh. Sometimes people just need to be reminded how special and loved they are and that there is a reason to go on.

One or many of these things may not be doable, but don’t be discouraged. If you want to give back, pay it forward, or make a difference, there are always ways to do it.

Love & Marriage

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A friend of mine posted something on Facebook today and it really made me think. It was a link to what someone else wrote actually. It was about people doing more bragging about being engaged and their wedding plans than focusing on their relationship and why they’re getting married in the first place. Now the one who posted the link is engaged himself and he said he totally agrees with what this other person had to say. It touched also on people who spend more time bragging about their relationship in general than actually enjoying and maintaining it.

I have to say that I too agree with much of what was said in the article. I will admit that sometimes I talk up my boyfriend, but that is only because I do want the world to know how amazing he is. He puts up with me ha ha. Well that and I have been down some dark paths and to finally be where I am, I don’t mind if others know. I am not doing it to brag or show anyone up, but to let the people in my life know I am happy and also to give others who are where I used to be hope. I see so many wearing the shoes it took me so long to get rid of. I believe that if someone like me can find happiness and hold onto it, then it’s possible for everyone in my life that is searching for it to find it themselves. Skepticism is very understandable, been there myself, but that’s just it, because I have been there…I want others to know they’re not alone and also to know that real love and happy relationships do exist. But….there must be a line drawn. One doesn’t need to share every detail of their relationship with Facebook or anyone at all really. The relationship should still be about the two of you and not become everyone’s business.

And when it comes to love, engagements, marriages, etc….I think many have lost sight of what all of that means. First of all, people misuse the word love a lot. It’s gotten to the point that many don’t even view it as having meaning anymore. Too often, it gets said without even thinking about what it really means, how those they say it to feel about it. Love is such a powerful emotion, one that people use as a weapon or use as a means to getting what they want. It is something that should be treated with respect and care. If you really love someone, then by all means, say it. But let me add this….show it too. Words don’t mean anything if you can’t back them up with how you treat them. And please, if you don’t love them or you’re not sure how you feel, DON’T SAY IT! Don’t mess with someone’s heart that way. I, personally, do use the word love a lot, but I also mean it every single time I use it and do my best every day to show those in my life how special they are to me. I encourage more people to do that: Don’t waste time on pretenses, be honest, love, and let love in.

Engagements/weddings are supposed to be wonderful. When you’re engaged, it’s supposed to mean that you and the one you’re with have decided to spend the rest of your lives together. It’s a wonderful time in your life and you have the right to celebrate it. However, when it becomes more of a bragging fest, a cause to compete, and you’re spending more time posting on Facebook/Pinterest/etc than you are celebrating your love, cherishing the one you’re with, and working on keeping a happy and healthy relationship….well…you’ve then lost sight of why you got engaged in the first place. Something else about engagements that get to me is when people brag about the number of times they have been, seriously, like it’s something to brag about. That also means you have had how many failed relationships? People often, it seems, get engaged/married just to do it, to not be alone, to be cool, to brag, for the kids, etc and not because they’re madly in love with one another, ready to spend the rest of their lives with one another. I don’t think some realize at all what a real marriage is supposed to be. At the first sign of trouble, people are breaking up instead of working it out. Some people change their relationship status so often that it makes my head spin. Divorce/ending relationships are popular and it shouldn’t be that way. Some go into relationships/marriages now thinking, “Well, if it doesn’t work out, we can just break up/get a divorce, no big deal.” It’s really such a shame that many act like this. I know that there are a fair amount of people out there that know what a happy and long lasting relationship looks like and are able to maintain theirs, how to be a loyal friend, how to cherish life and not always be in competition with one another. So many have their priorities straight and know what they’re doing. But, sometimes it just seems like we’re the minority.

About the actual wedding itself, my feelings have changed over the years. When I was young, I wanted to have a big, fancy, expensive wedding. I wanted to be a princess for a day, no matter what it took. But the older I have gotten, the less I feel I need to have that happen. I still want my wedding to be beautiful and special, but not overpriced and overdone. I want it to be a day where my family and closest friends get together to celebrate our love, a day we remember for years to come, but I don’t want it to be the fancy stuff people remember. I want them to remember the joy, the love. Why spend so much on one day when you have a life ahead of you together to focus on? Save the thousands upon thousands of dollars on the wedding and use it on the future you two will share. Getting married isn’t or it shouldn’t be about the fancy/expensive dresses, big churches, caterers, dj’s, flowers, decorations, invitations, etc. It should be about marrying your best friend and showing the world how happy you are together, about going forward as a couple that is ready to face the world together, through the good and the bad. I know that within the next year I will be planning my own wedding and something both my boyfriend and I agreed on from the beginning is that we’d make it lovely, but simple. We want it to be memorable and happy, but we can do that without spending a fortune. Hey, if you have a lot of money or maybe your family is rich and wants to give you a fancy wedding…cool, but I still urge you not to lose sight of why you’re getting married in the first place. It’s not about how beautiful everything is….the ring, the dress, the hall, etc. Look at the one you’re about to marry and know that without a doubt that this is the one you want to grow old with. Know that you will disagree, go through hard times, face loss together, struggle with, and that it’s all going to be worth it. Know that this is the one who will wipe your tears, stick it out when you’re not easy to be with, but that they also are the one that makes you laugh even when you’re not up to laughing, gets your humor, makes you smile just by thinking of them, is your best friend, the one who will celebrate with you and encourage you, and will love you as you love them always. When you have found that person and you’re both ready….really ready, not just tired of waiting or think it’s the best you’ll do or that you should because of the kids or all of your friends are already married…..but truly ready….take that step, make that day beautiful, and fill it with more love than the money that is spent on it. True love is so precious, once you have it, don’t take it for granted and do your part to make it last.

Giving is NOT seasonal, at least not for me.

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Material things are nice to have, can’t really say that I don’t enjoy getting or giving them. But there are things worth more to me than my computer, music collection, movie collection, clothes, shoes, and the like. Those things that matter most to me can’t be found at stores and/or purchased with money. 

Time, effort, friendship, and love can be given to others without having to spend a dime. One could offer to help an elderly neighbor by shoveling their snow or raking their leaves. We could also volunteer our time as tutors, hosts/hostesses or perhaps servers at a local soup kitchen, and so on. There are other ways that we can give that doesn’t cost much, just some paper, an envelope, and a stamp by writing to soldiers who are far from home and just want a way to connect to the outside world. A friend might be having a rough time emotionally and we could lend them our time and be there to listen. There are countless ways we can help and no matter your budget, you can find a way to give.

So many of us just got done thanking those around us for all we have. Now that December is upon us, people are focusing on giving. Well, some are focusing on getting too, but I know a great deal of us are consumed with Christmas shopping, decorating, cooking, and traveling. I want to take some time away from all of that to remind myself that Christmas is truly about giving, but more of our hearts than our wallets. I want to spend this month offering my time and talents to those around me. I will extend this offer to each of you at WordPress. If I could write you a poem, whether it be to cheer you up or perhaps for a special occasion…or perhaps you just need someone to talk to, would like someone to get a Christmas card from, etc….do let me know. I want those around me to know how much I love them and not necessarily based on how much I spend on them either. I want the love in my heart to shine brightly. No matter your faith, no matter what this season means to you….I want you to know how much you all mean to me. So I am reaching out my hand, as it were, in friendship. If there is anything I can do, let me know. And, so you know, this is not just for December. I want those I cherish to know I am here year round. Giving is not seasonal, at least not for me….and nor should it be. ❤

Blessings

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Right now in this moment, I am so very grateful and so very happy. I am dating the greatest man ever. He’s more than my best friend, more than my lover, for you see…he’s become family. I have never been this happy in my entire life, never. I thank God every single day for bringing him into my life. 10 years ago, I remember being so depressed, so lonely. I wondered if I’d ever find love. Five years ago, same thing and even a year ago I wondered when I’d get to live my real life fairy-tale. I spent years chasing all the wrong guys and always ended up with a broken heart. But, here I am now in the longest, healthiest, and happiest relationship I have ever been in. Again, THANK YOU, GOD! Thank you. I now realize I had to wait as long as I did because when I thought I was ready, the man you had in store for me wasn’t and to be honest, neither was I. What matters though is that we’re ready now and we’ve been brought together.

Two weeks ago today, Doug & I began the moving process. We’re now all settled in. Zach loves the house and he already made some friends. We met some of the neighbors and they did seem pretty nice as well. This place really is home and I can’t begin to express my joy. I get to do more than “play house” with the man I love and my son, we really did find our home, the place where we all belong.

After 11 months of looking, I finally found a job. I was offered a temp to hire job at Ryder Transportation Services. I will be working at the front window, be the face that people see first. I will answer the phones, get the drivers their proper paperwork, file, price things, do inventory, etc. To know that the wait is finally over has me in tears, literally. I am so happy right now, I can’t even explain it properly. I am done depending on everyone else, I can finally take care of myself once more and this is such a good feeling. 

It took a long time to turn my life around, but I finally did it. I have had a lot of help doing so and I want to thank each of you that have helped me. Thank you for the prayers, emotional support, an ear to listen, shoulders to cry on, laughter, money given, time spent, friendship, and for the love you have all shown me. I love you all so much, much more than I can ever really say. Thank you especially to God for pushing me forward, for giving me the courage and the strength that I have needed to get through all of this. My life is so beautiful and I am so grateful for it.

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This is hanging on the wall, right next to our front door. God does have a plan and now that I am following it, life is truly wonderful.

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This is our home, take a seat won’t you?

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This is where I will sit and read…

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Movie time….

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We support the Green & Gold in this house! GO PACK GO!

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This is where I am right now. 😉

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My kiddo’s room 🙂

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Our room 🙂

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The room in which we bathe 😉

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Welcome to the kitchen….

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It’s not much, but it’s enough for us. 🙂

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This is I where I spent a lot of time….cooking for my boys. 😉

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Where we will have company come to play video games, board games, cards, etc

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Said video game consoles and such 😉

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Anyone fancy playing Phase 10? What about Farkle??

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My artsy stuff and some precious memories…..

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Our cute little yard and the back of our garage

 

So, I hope you liked the tour of our home…..thanks for stopping by. God Bless you all and I hope you have a great rest of the week. Make the best of what you have and the time you’re given. Sing, dance, laugh, and most definitely LOVE…..and LIVE! ❤

 

It starts with you!

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So often in life, many of us look to others to fill a void, to make them “complete”, to make them happy, to give them acceptance, to feel needed, to feel important. We want others to like us, trust us, respect us, believe in us, give us a purpose, to love us. What I have learned in the last year or so and I mean truly learned is that acceptance, respect, happiness, peace, and love must first come from within ourselves. I have heard the phrase, “One must first love themselves before another can truly love you.” and others like it for years and while on some level, I knew that to be true, I still, like so many yearned for others to accept and love me.

It is so easy today to look into a mirror, to dwell upon one’s thoughts, to look at society today and compare ourselves to others, and then find countless flaws. While it is true that no one is perfect, that we are all indeed flawed creatures, there is also so much about us that is wonderful. When one, like myself, has been put down for much of their life, it is easy to doubt, to have insecurities that surpass the amount of good traits we feel we have within us. It is so easy to break a person’s spirit down, so easy to break our trust, but it can take a lifetime to build it all back up.

So, on a side note, I will say this….watch what you say and do to others for it can have a lasting impact that you may never even see. Telling fat jokes, laughing at a stranger for their appearance, etc really can tear another down and the path back to confidence is usually a daunting one. You don’t want to be picked on or laughed at, so do watch how you treat others. That saying, “Do unto others as you’d have done unto you.” really hits home. I see such horrid behavior displayed towards others and sadly, the worst of it isn’t found on the playground. Such cruelty is often practiced by adults who ought to “know better.” I suppose though such attitudes people have are often taught and nurtured from childhood, as is compassion, love, respect, and so on. What we learn as children often carries on into adulthood, habits can be broken, but it is hard. So, we ought to watch what we teach our kids too, not just what we tell them to do….but also what we say when they think we’re not listening and also our actions speak volumes as well. Teach, promote, and live kindness, peace, and love so that others may follow in that path!

Anyway, back to my original message. 😉 We all want peace within us, but that peace must come from ourselves. No one else can give that to us. People can encourage us left and right, but unless we believe in ourselves, it will never really matter what another thinks of us. We have to battle the inner demons within us and see the goodness. Look in the mirror and see the beauty that God made. Even if you don’t believe in God like I do, surely you must still know how wonderful the human body is, how amazing, how intricate. We’re not destined to look like another, unless you’re an identical twin *smirks*, so why do we so often feel like we’re not good enough unless we look more like so and so? We come in various shapes, sizes, and colors. We’re all beautiful! But, reading this will not convince you of that if you don’t already see your own beauty for yourself. 😉

If you want to succeed, you must work for it! Don’t wait for your dream life to be handed to you on a silver platter, get up, go out there, make connections, and do what you need to do to make an honest living. If you want to be a painter, then paint! If you want to be a writer, then write! If you want to sing, than sing! If you want to be a teacher, then teach! Work hard for what you want! If it is possible and it’s not happening, the only one to blame is yourself! We all hit roadblocks along the way throughout life, but circumstances don’t define us, what we do from there is what does! We all fall, but we must get back up, even when it’s painful to do so. Sometimes it seems as if it would be easier to stay on the cold ground and hate the world for our lives, for what has happened to us, easier to whine than it is to change, to get back up, to do what we need to do….but if we put in that hard work and we do what we must, the rewards for that prove to be worth it.

All I want to be and have in life starts with me. I can’t expect anyone of you to fix my past, to make things right, to give me what I seek. I must work hard and go after the life I want and I have been doing that. So, the same is true of each of you! Don’t expect anyone else to fix your past, to make things right, to give you what you seek! If you want to have a good life, you must work for it. Stop blaming your parents, an ex, your current significant other, your kids, your former classmates, co-workers, etc for your spot in life now. You are in charge of your future, so take charge of it, and make your life what you want it to be. Yesterday is gone, find a way to let it go, and move forward. The time is now and it starts with you!

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