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Posts tagged ‘family’

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

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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.

Thoughts on Parenthood

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As we grow, we change, both outwardly and within as well. As babies, we need so much help. We can’t feed, dress, bathe, or clothe ourselves. We need help to get from place to place. Months go by and we’ve begun to learn. We’re rolling over, sitting up with support, and observing more of the environment around us. Then comes sitting on our own, crawling, picking things up, throwing things, learning to stand, and taking those first wobbly steps while clutching onto something. Eventually, we’re walking, climbing, and running. While all of this is going on, our bodies are changing and so are our minds.

Fast forward and now we’re talking, learning how to structure sentences as we speak, open things, match objects, count, recite the alphabet, and more. Off to school, and we learn so much more. As we grow and learn, we have been developing personalities of our own. We’re not just so and so’s kids, we’re truly our own souls. Many think kids can’t think for themselves, but sometimes I think they have a clearer and more level head on their shoulders than a lot of adults out there.

We, often times, don’t realize how complex and yet simple kids are until we’re adults and dealing with them ourselves. They’re fiery little people! Being a parent is both one of the greatest joys and most difficult things I have been given the chance to do. Some think that being a parent is all or mostly late night feedings, crying, disgusting diapers, tantrums, crayon on the walls, yelling, fighting, broken things, piles of laundry and dishes, and oh no more social life, at least one that doesn’t involve children. And others think that it’s laughter, cuddles, homemade projects, school plays and concerts, smiles, hugs, first steps, first words, braiding hair, playing catch, and love.

Parenthood is a mixture of some the greatest times in your life and some of the most difficult ones. It is late night feedings, tantrums, teenage angst, fighting, scolding, hurt feelings, and difficult times. There are days you will question your sanity, where you’ll wonder if you’re doing everything all wrong. You’ll cry in the car, lock yourself in the bathroom for a moment of peace, disagree with your partner (if you have one) on how to raise your kids time to time, panic, and overthink things. But, it is also seeing their smile and feeling so much joy, helping them unwrap their first Christmas presents, dressing them up for their school spring concert, seeing their face light up when they see you, hearing them tell you how much they love you, helping them get ready for a school dance, having fun play dates, cuddling on the couch, and the feeling of their hand in yours. You’ll smile when they bring you a handmade ornament from school, feel pride when they bring you a picture they drew just for you, (even if you don’t know what it is) laugh at the silly joke they made up, and feel more love than you ever knew was possible to feel.

When our kids grow into adults, that’s when we truly see our hard work put to the test. Did we give them tools they need to lead their own lives? Did they learn how to take care of themselves? Did we do enough? Did we do too much? What if they don’t need us anymore? What do we do now that we don’t have noses to wipe, cuts and scrapes to bandage, homework to help with, lessons to transport people to, nights to wait up, first and last days of school to anticipate, someone to read a bedtime story to, or get little snuggles from?

I am not quite to the point of having an adult child, but I do have a teenager. I also have a baby. They’re both in very different stages in life. I do often feel overwhelmed, but I also feel so very blessed. My children are the ones that inspire me daily to do and be more. I want to show them how to chase after their dreams, work hard, have fun, be good to others, and make the most of their lives by doing so myself. I don’t enjoy the fights, the attitude, messy diapers, waking in the middle of the night, or lack of time for me. However, I can’t imagine my life without the laughter, inside jokes, hugs, smiles, game nights, or feeling the love I feel for them or that they give to me return. That there is what makes it all worth it, the love. That, to me, is what life in and of itself is all about. Through every phase of our lives, it’s about the love within it, both giving and receiving. Life without love, to me, isn’t really living. My kids are the finest example of what unconditional love can do to and for someone.

I am blessed to have been able to watch them grow, learn, and become their own people. Parenthood isn’t for everyone and that’s okay. I don’t judge anyone who decides not to become parents, whether by having their own, adoption, fostering, being a step parent, etc. Some say it’s selfish if they decide not to continue their legacy, but I find it is more selfish to expect someone to have kids when that’s not what they want to do. Not all people are meant to be parents and sadly, many that are shouldn’t be. But, that’s for another blog or perhaps ones I have already written. 😉 Today, I am just counting my blessings for being able to be a parent. I make mistakes, we all do. I second guess myself a lot. I don’t always make the wisest decisions or the ones others want me to make. But, I do the best I can and my kids both have what they need and so much love.

If you have kids and you’re able to, let them know you love them today. Even if they’re grown, moved away, with the other parent, in college, or whatever the case may be….e-mail, text, call, snap chat, Skype, etc makes communication much easier. No matter how old they are, they’re always our kids. Life is short and we don’t know when our last chance will be to show love, so if you have the chance to today, don’t waste it. I got off topic a bit, but I hope you enjoyed reading today. Have a wonderful Wednesday, may you be richly blessed!

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A New Venture

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I have been passionate about photography since I was given my first camera, which was my mom’s old 35mm. For quite some time now, I have been thinking about having a photography business of my own. Capturing lifelong memories is an incredible thing, in my mind. Over time, our memories fade and pictures are one way to revisit and renew them for us.

Well, I finally decided to go for it. I created a Facebook business page for my work, been putting the word out to family and friends on there, and now I am reaching out to my WordPress family! Help me spread the word and get my business going! I want to capture precious moments for as many people as I can.

My mission statement, if you will, is to create lifelong memories and to do it with honor, integrity, and love. I want my heart to show in every picture I take and for everyone who has my work on their walls and in their photo albums to know that they’re more than just clients. Each person I work with will be treated with respect and compassion.

My goal is to be a great photographer, always learning and to be a good mom at the same time. I have a four and a half month old daughter that is my light. I didn’t spend nearly enough time with my son when he was small and I regret that. I want to make sure she has that time and energy. I feel this is a job I can work around my husband’s work schedule most times and also be able to take her with me when I can’t. I want her early years to be full of memories of time spent with me, learning and growing. I also want to do something that will help add income to our household at the same time and feel good about myself and the work I do at the same time.

Thank you in advance for your never ending support. You, my amazing friends and family, inspire me daily to do and become more. Every step forward is partially in thanks to each of you.

Here is the link to my site if you want to check it out and share it with others: Carissa Gray Photography

Now, go out and make the most of today! Capture each precious moment!

800, You All Take My Breath Away!

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As of this morning, I was notified that my blog now has 800 subscribers! I feel like I was just posting about reaching the 700 mark. Wow! Once again, thank you for your never ending love and support! I love you guys and gals! Thanks for the joy you bring into my life and for making me feel loved. Thank you for inspiring me and for letting me inspire you!

 

A community made up of many from all over the world

Here to share thoughts, feelings, ideas, and pieces of who we are

Hoping to touch other’s lives

Connecting a little more each day

One friendship at a time, our community grows

 

Four years ago, I took a chance

Opened up my heart to anyone willing to see me

Exposing my soul to anyone whose eyes are open

And trying to see inside your hearts

Crashing through cracks in the walls

 

Thank you for letting me in

And for accepting me as I am in return

For being who you are without reservation

No need to hide a single part of your soul

Know too that I will not hide from you

 

I look forward to continuing this journey with you

Virtual hand in hand, we inspire one another

Encouraging self discovery through each other’s life lessons

Give and take, happily the pauper and prince co-exist

Isn’t this the way the world should be?

 

 

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