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Posts tagged ‘family’

Love Is…

 

Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day, one some look forward to and others dread. I have been on both sides of the fence on this. I’ve been the jaded skeptic that wanted to avoid the day and the in love romantic hoping to celebrate it.

Now, I’ve come to see it’s not just about couples, romantic dates, gifts, and high expectations. By all means, couples are encouraged to celebrate it if they wish. I do think love should be celebrated all year, not just when the calendar and the mountain of ads urging you to spend money tells you so. However, what is wrong with making Valentine’s Day one of those days?

Some are so anti Valentine’s Day, saying why should we make a big deal out of it when we shouldn’t limit celebrating love to one or two days a year. From that end, yes, we shouldn’t limit it to select dates. That doesn’t mean though that we should be anti love that day in protest. 😉

Love is amazing, for the many who feel it and like I eluded to before, not just for the couples surrounded by it. I no longer dissuade anyone from celebrating love, for many reasons. One of the reasons is the kids in our lives and all across the country. I don’t want to teach our kids to be jaded, skeptical, and wary when it comes to love.

Love is wonderful and so huge for kids, the way they feel about mom and dad, their siblings, nana and grandpa, friends, pets, favorite stuffed animal, dreams for the future, and so much around them. Shouldn’t we encourage them to love love and shower others with it the way we do? Live by example…

Love is great among true and loyal friends, a love that shouldn’t go unnoticed. They see us through dark times and cheer us on during the good, as we do for them. They give us so much love and I think it can be a nice way to show ours to remember them on February 14th. Yes, all year is best, but isn’t that part of the year? 😉

Love is incredible for parents, the bond we feel with our kids is generally quite solid, a connection like none other. I like to do cute things for my kids every year, a little something to show them just how special they are to me. I do random things throughout the year as well, but feel no shame in doing them on Valentine’s Day too.

Love is love, all year, from January 1st through December 31st, that includes February 14th – Valentine’s Day. I do think sometimes it gets over hyped, but overall I think it’s a harmless thing and actually something that can be good. It encourages spending money, yeah, but it also encourages showing those we love how much we care. It’s not necessary to spend a ton of money to shower our loved with the love we feel, but it’s not a bad thing if people want to.

For all the anti Valentine’s Day people out there, I get it, I’ve been there. I do urge you though to respect those who choose to celebrate and for those that do celebrate it, I urge you to respect the wishes of those that don’t. We can be on either side of the should we celebrate it or not and not make the other feel bad for feeling the way they do. For me, I won’t make a HUGE deal out of it, but I won’t ignore it either. To me, it’ll be another opportunity to show those I love how much they mean to me. Love is important to me, all year, tomorrow included. ❤

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Another year gone, another just beginning…

2017 is over, wow. I remember the 1980’s, how is it 2018 now? *shakes head* Last year was a roller coaster of highs and lows, as I suppose is true of every year.

My son has been struggling. He’s been getting into trouble, so much acting out and defiance. He’s unhappy at his dad’s, which I know is part of the reason he’s been in trouble. I think he’s got mental health issues, which his dad isn’t dealing with. Part of it too is he’s just not making good choices. We have court soon to try to switch primary placement back to me. I’m hoping the judge sees that a change is needed, that him coming home is what’s best for him. In the end, I think it’ll be what’s best for everyone. I’m tired of watching my son suffer and I’m tired of watching him throw his future away. I hope 2018 brings change for the better for him. He’s a bright young man that can have a wonderful future, but things need to get turned around somehow.

My daughter turned one last year and now she’s nearly two. She’s grown, learned, and changed so much. She’s so inquisitive and I love watching her figure things out. She’s gotten sassier, those terrible two days have come. But even with the challenges, it’s been a great year with her. I love spending my days with her. Her laugh is contagious! When she smiles at me, wants to cuddle, plays with me, shows me she’s understanding what I’m saying, or does something new, it makes my day better. I can hardly wait to see how she grows and learns this year.

My marriage hit a couple of bumps, as have our finances, but we’ve tackled everything head on, together. We’ve faced loss, the death of his grandma hit his family, the death of my aunt hit mine and I’ve lost friends. It’s been hard, but we’ve helped one another get through each day. Marriage, parenthood, and all relationships are maintained one moment, one day at a time. I think 2018 will be better, because we work to make it so.

My first year in business went far beyond my expectations. I met so many wonderful people, some of whom became friends. I’ve learned a lot and aim to continue learning. I expanded my studio, so I can accommodate bigger families. I started doing weddings, newborn sessions, cake smash sessions, adult milestone sessions, etc. I hope to add more styles/types of sessions to my repertoire. I’m excited to see where 2018 takes me and my business.

Here’s to an incredible year we’ve left, may the lessons we’ve learned and great memories we’ve made stay with us. Here’s to a great year ahead, may we continue to learn, grow, and enjoy life while we can.

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

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!!

No Shame in Walking Away

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When you see someone you love in need

Often times the first instinct is to help out

You want to erase all pain, sorrow, & doubt

To see their minds at ease & hearts freed

 

Sometimes, things work out for those we love

Our efforts are successful & they’re grateful

Other times, things go awry and instead they’re hateful

Or we’re simply taken for granted & we cry to heaven above

 

Why is that sometimes those who are supposed to be closest to us

Are the ones that cause us the most heartache & pain

It should be easy to walk away from those only interested in what they can gain

But when there’s bonds that tie, it’s often not easy to leave without a fuss

 

Sometimes we never find the strength to walk away

For we’re family, family sticks together always, right?

Other times though, we rid the toxic from our sight

And we see there’s no shame in not wanting to stay

 

We ought to look out for one another, especially our family

But there’s nothing wrong with not tolerating abuse

Sometimes we find after trying to help for so long, what’s the use?

One can only try for so long before they need to set themselves free.

Ramblings of a Bi-polar Nature

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Riding high on a wave of intense mania

Energetic and ready to take on the world

That is until some little thing gets on my nerves

Now it feels like everything is going wrong

And I’m dwelling on every bad thing that’s ever happened

Don’t look at me wrong, I’ll likely snap at you

Though after I’m done ruining everyone’s day

I will feel horribly guilty and tear myself down

Feeling like the worst thing to ever happen to those I love

I’ve fallen into a pool of regret, guilt, and shame

Not seeing a way out of the sadness I’ve slipped into

Wishing for a life preserver so I can pull myself out

Up and down so often I feel dizzy and unsure of where I am

Why does it have to be like this?

I try writing, talking, praying, singing, walking, and more

Sometimes these things help tremendously

And I am so grateful for the support system in my life

Sometimes though, nothing seems to work

And I don’t see a way out or feel the love that’s there

I feel like a yo-yo and I just want to cut the strings

This journey has been rough and is likely to always be

But I know I am not on this path alone

What I go through touches more lives than just my own

My mood swings hurt more than just me

Over the years, I have driven many away

It’s hurt when relationships end and I feel like I have failed

Yet once again, people feel like they can’t deal with it anymore

I do have to say though, that in the most recent years

It’s gotten easier to deal with and as that’s happened

And the bonds formed have lasted, not so easy to break

I will say this now, hoping all will understand

Each of you that stands by me helps more than you know

You make it easier to get through each difficult day

You remind me that each phase will pass

You make me smile, see the beauty within

Your love, loyalty, and devotion is my greatest weapon

When great anger or sadness threaten to take me down

Your support wields within my hands

And like a blaze of fire, conquers it, even if only for a little while

Every day is a struggle, but you make it easier to fight

I lose some individual battles, but the war is far from over

Each victory over my inner demons is celebrated

Bi-polar threatens my happiness and my sanity

But I will not let it win, for I have too many reasons to keep going

Many of them are those of you that are by my side

Thank you for reading this lengthy post

Sort of poetry, sort of prose, more like a solo therapy session

Go from this knowing how very loved you are

And how grateful I am to have each of you by my side.

Family Dynamics & How to Survive

family

I told myself today that I need to write more. I used to write a lot. Writing has been a form of expression and solace for me since fifth grade. Usually when I was at my lowest, if I turned to writing, I was able to start healing. Between writing and music, I have found a cheaper way to vent and mend than therapy. I am highly disappointed in myself for not turning to writing more in the recent past. I need to challenge my writing skills and need to bring more creativity into my life.

I asked my Facebook family to give me ideas today so that I may begin writing once again, as I felt a block when it came to what to write about. Also, what better way to find out what people would want to read about than to ask the very people you’re trying to reach out to. Two of my friends responded. One wants me to write about encouragement, faith, hope, love, and the like and the other wants me to write about family. I am going to do my best to write about both. Let’s see how this develops.

My experiences with family have been all over the board. Growing up, I saw most came from the stereotypical perfect family: Mom, Dad, a couple of kids, and maybe a pet or two. For me though, it was my mom and I for so long. Enter in a boyfriend now and then, but most of my childhood it was just us. I met my dad when I was 10. Then, I found out I have a step-mom and three younger siblings. At 13, nearly 14, I was put into foster care and learned about yet another family dynamic. I have come to learn that families come in all shapes and sizes. There isn’t a perfect type of family. I have also learned that no matter how happy a family may seem, there’s always struggles. You may see happy faces on the walls smiling at you, but there’s often sorrow, strife, hurt, and more behind those happy faces.

Family should be close knit, bound by blood first, but by love even more. Even when it is, it will face issues over the years. I have felt love and loathing within my family. I have known kindness and treachery. Sometimes the ones that hurt us the most are those we’re related to and sometimes the ones we’re closest to are our friends, who form yet another family dynamic. Not all families are bound by blood. When asked what a family is, I don’t have a concrete answer. I will tell you what I think a family should be though.

A family, whether bound by blood or not, should encourage one another. A family should lift its members up and not tear one another down. A family should have faith in one another, feeling in their souls the love and loyalty from one another. A family should not dictate who is worthy of love and instead if they see a member struggling or going down a path they ought not, reach out and try to help. Sometimes people can’t or simply don’t want to be helped and sometimes you need to distance yourself from another, but to outright turn your back on one without even trying to understand, without trying to be there just seems wrong to me. I have had family members turn their backs on me and on others simply because of the mistakes we made and deeming us unworthy of their love, help, and support. I think that is why it is hard for me to walk away from anyone, family or otherwise. I know how it feels to have people turn their backs on me and it hurts, so I try with all I have to be there for others. Families are not and should never be expected to be perfect. We all, as individuals and groups, fall and make mistakes. It should then be our desire, when one falls, is to help one another back up. I have, perhaps too grand, big ideas of what family should be, but I don’t believe any of it is unobtainable, not when people are committed to working together. No one should let any of the weight fall on one or a few members, but let it be upon us all.

How to survive family life may sound easy to some and extremely difficult to others. For while family should be a force that bands together, sadly, it’s often not. Sometimes we tear one another down and make life extremely difficult for ourselves and those around us. Some do stick together and make family look like something amazing. But having known some of these wonderful families, I see that they too need to work to make their relationships with one another work. Any relationship needs to be worked on. If ever we feel that we’re at a good place and stop, then it will begin to fall apart. We need to keep at it. Marriages, friendships, working relationships, family ties, and the like all require work, effort, time, respect, communication, and loyalty. For me, I have found that I survive my various family dynamics by knowing every individual is just that, an individual. Every one of them is different and I can’t treat each person the same. But, I do try to give each person in my life respect, loyalty, kindness, and love. I also try to communicate, to keep in touch, to let them know when there needs to be something worked on, and when I am very happy by how things are going as well. We face issues, but I try to face them head on and together. If we try to fight through our struggles alone, how can they be fixed? One sided effort fails, but when people come together, so much is possible.

Family isn’t perfect, life is far from it even more so. But, united we stand and divided we fall. My goal is to keep working on the bonds I have formed and to form even more. I plan to never stop working on my relationships, but also plan to get better at knowing when to walk away from something, knowing when to keep trying and when enough is enough. I am far from as wise as I can possibly be, but I feel I can let the wisdom I have gained in 38 years guide me and to help me learn more, about myself and those around me. I hope to grow my faith, both in God and in others. I hope to learn how to encourage others more and learn to accept it from others better as well. Family can show us so much, if we’re willing to see it and learn from one another. We all have our ugly sides, but together we can open our eyes to the beautiful ones as well.

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