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Posts tagged ‘love’

Parenthood

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Being a parent is both the most rewarding and challenging thing I’ve ever done or may ever do, in my opinion anyway. I know many out there agree with me. Here are some of my thoughts and reasons I feel the way I do…

I love being a mom for many reasons. I learned the truest meaning of unconditional love when I looked at my now 17 year old for the first time. I never loved anyone as much as I have my own child, until I had another. I love them equally. I don’t always like them equally, let me make that clear, but my love for them both is immeasurable. Right behind that is my love for my mother, husband, and closest of friends. I love many and a great deal, but no more than I love my children.

Getting random hugs, without any ulterior motive and hearing them tell you they love you can change even the hardest of days sometimes. Spending time with them is such a joy, even when you’re just watching a movie or playing at the park. Sometimes the simplest moments are the best!! Getting handmade projects from them is such a treasure, totally brings smiles to my face. When you watch your kid make a good choice, do something for the first time on their own, or help someone else, the pride you feel is immense! The list goes on!!

Being a parent means making sacrifices, to give them what they need and sometimes simply to see them happy. Making sacrifices for our kids and others we love is something we all do throughout life. Something I’ve learned however is that there should be a limit to that.

One should never sacrifice or compromise their values, become someone they aren’t and don’t like, or forget who they are to begin with. In the end, doing these things not only hurts you, but it also hurts your kids, the ones you swore to protect. It’s not always easy to see, but sometimes giving in to our kids and their whims to see them happy, covering for them in the name of protecting them, stepping in at every turn to keep them from harm only does more damage than it does good. There needs to be limits on what we’ll do for them in order to truly give them the best childhood and greatest chance at having a good adult life as possible.

I have told my 17 year old, I won’t be the parent who supports a bully or worse. If you act out, you will be put in your place, just as I will fight to protect you when you’ve been hurt, to a point. Hurt my child and you will hear about it from me, however my children need to learn to fight their own battles and in a healthy way and if they’re the one that starts the fight or acts out, they will face the consequences. Good and bad, there are reactions to what we’ve done in life that we must all deal with and I’m working on making sure my kids know they’re not exempt from that.

There are those parents that act like their kids are never in the wrong and almost worse yet, those who see what they’ve done and find no fault in it. I feel that only enables people to feel entitled and keep acting out, making poor decisions, etc because they never have to answer for what they do.

Being an enforcer is hard, really hard actually and I personally find no joy in it, but it needs to be done sometimes. I used to be way to lax on my 17 year old, as our time together was limited and I didn’t want to be the bad guy for that brief time we shared. That was a mistake, as my kiddo needed that discipline and structure. Of course, you can go too far the other way too, being too hard on your kids and going too far.

Finding a healthy balance feels unobtainable many days, but it’s something I keep striving for. Whether it’s what we give them, allow them to do, what we allow them to get away with, how we punish them, how we reward good behavior, what’s sick enough to take them in, what we let them figure out on their own, or what we take care of for them, it’s a daily balancing act.

We want our kids to be well rounded, self sufficient, hardworking, healthy, successful, and happy, all while we’re trying to be that for ourselves. (All while our own parents had wished this for us, it’s a cycle that keeps going.) We do our best everyday and that’s all any of us can do, but it can be easy to second guess our decisions, especially when you’ve got others around you judging your parenting skills.

“That’s now how we do it in our house…” Well, good for you, you do things your way for your family and I’ll do things my way for mine. Seriously, why do we pick one another part for another’s methods??

“I would never let my kid eat that.” That’s your choice. Why worry about what I feed my kids? Is it your business? My kid is healthy and that’s what matters.

“Where is your kid’s coat??” She was wearing it and this the third time in 20 minutes that she’s taken it off, but you seem to have assumed she doesn’t own one.

Instead, we should do this more often…

“Hey, here’s your daughter’s coat. I see your hands are full, I get it, happens to me too.”

“Here, let me open the door for you.”

“Do you need help?”

Tone too! This is huge! You can say something kind with an arrogant or judgmental tone and turn it into something ugly. It takes a village to raise children and honestly, get through life. We should worry less about others doing things differently than us and focus more on being supportive of and encouraging one another. This would make for a better society. Being a parent is hard enough all on its own, we shouldn’t add to the stress.

There’s no need to harshly debate infant feeding methods, whether or not to homeschool, curfews, what shampoo you use on your kids, chore lists, consequences for our kids getting in trouble, whether or not to let your kids have juice, how to potty train, co-sleeping, etc. Calmly and kindly discussing these issues is fine, but there’s no need to be mean or rude and nor should we insert ourselves in another’s situation acting like a know it all. Your kids are yours and theirs are theirs, no one kid or situation is the exact same. If we really want to help a struggling mom or dad, fine, but there is a good way and definitely a bad way to handle things.

Right now, I’m dealing with a 17 year old that has been making a series of bad choices for years and over the last few years, it’s just been this downward spiral. It’s really hard watching your kid do stupid things, throw many chances given to make things better away, and dig their heels in, so stubborn and unwilling to do everything possible to learn and grow.

When some around you treat you like it’s all your fault, like you’re a failure, or like your kid is simply a lost cause and you should just wash your hands of it all, you find yourself feeling hopeless and depressed, also very angry and defensive as well. Now, some have been incredibly supportive and doing what they can to help and that’s something I greatly appreciate. These people are part of my village and I’m glad. I work hard to be a positive part of theirs as well. I just wish there were more among us that were like that sometimes.

I also have a daughter that turns four in April and that has its own set of challenges, but also its own greatness as well. Both of my kids bring immeasurable amounts of joy and stress to my life. Even in my toughest moments, the happy moments makes it all worth it. I look back and try to learn from the toughest moments and cherish the best ones and I look forward with hope. May my children find their wings and learn how to fly on their own, but may they also know home is also wherever I am.

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….

To Give Or Not to Give…

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I’ve heard people debate whether gift giving is celebrating Christmas properly or not. Is it Christ like or is it not honoring Christ? I can honestly see both sides. In the end though, this is how I feel….

I don’t believe that’s how God intended we celebrate His son’s coming into the world, however, I do think it is Christ like to give to others. I think when we put others ahead of ourselves and give to others, we’re continuing His legacy of love.

I also don’t think we need to go overboard though, shouldn’t have to fight crowds, spend so much we’re in debt, or feel the need to impress anyone. We could give simply and it would still be wonderful, if given from a place of love and light in our souls.

Whether or not you put up a tree, lights, and other decor doesn’t dictate whether you celebrate the Christ in Christmas or not. Honestly, neither does going to church on Christmas Eve. A church goer does not a Christian make. How you dress, what you give or if you don’t, where you go, etc doesn’t truly matter at the end of the day either. In my soul, what I think matters is how you treat others and the love you give, Christian or not.

I will not put another down for feeling or celebrating differently. All I ask is show me kindness, respect, and love and I’ll do the same. I will not hide my love for Jesus and I’ll gladly share His story with anyone willing to listen and His love with everyone I can, but I won’t berate you if you don’t share the same feelings or beliefs. I’m going to say Merry Christmas to all. If you say something else, like Happy Holidays or perhaps nothing at all, that’s fine. Be true to your heart and I’ll be true to mine. ❤💚

Happy Anniversary & Other Such Things

Today is my wedding anniversary!! First, I’ll say that it’s a day worth celebrating. Four years ago today, I pledged my everlasting love to my now hubby in front of God and many of our family members and friends. It was a beautiful day, both due it being one full of love and weather wise as well. Joyous definitely describes our wedding day.

Over the last four years since we said, I do, and even before then, we’ve faced a lot together. We’ve lost loved ones, faced financial issues, dealt with illnesses and injuries, and other things that have put strain on us. We’ve also laughed, enjoyed lots of time with friends and family, experienced great things, and created many amazing memories. Throughout the good and bad, here we are, still standing together. That’s what a team does, sticks together through it all.

So yes, for my hubby and I, today is definitely a day worth smiling about. It’s also my friend Ashley’s birthday. I remember telling her when the date was set that it fell on her birthday, wasn’t sure how she’d feel about it. She told me she was honored to share her special day with us. Yay! So today, I also say, HAPPY BIRTHDAY, ASHLEY!!! I hope today is full of joy and love for you, dear friend!!

I’m sure today is special for others as well. Others are likely celebrating their wedding anniversaries and birthdays. I am willing to wager that it’s also a day for signing paperwork to get keys to their new home, starting/started a new job, made a big move, started dating, stopped smoking, and more. Today is a day for many to smile and I’m happy to share in this joy with all of you.

Today is also likely a day that’s hard for some. Some lost people they love, lost jobs, got into a life changing car accident, found out they’re ill, and other heartbreaking things. My heart weeps for those that hurt today. I know that while we celebrate today, others aren’t, that others have reason to be sad. Life goes on around us, through the good and bad we face, others do their own thing.

Today too, my son has court for some poor decisions he’s made. It is hard to watch my brilliant son throw his future to the wind. He’s starting to see he wants so much and he needs to make some changes, but he’s still being stubborn, fighting it some. I hope he gets a wake-up call and starts to really fight for his future. May today end up being the beginning to a brighter future for him.

No matter what today is for you, I hope you find some joy. Even if today is sad, it brings hard times, may you find at least one reason to smile. If not, if it’s just too hard today, maybe tomorrow? My thoughts and prayers are with the world today, all who struggle, mourn, and worry. It’s also with those who laugh, smile, and celebrate. Whatever today is, at least it is. We’ve been given another day and that is cause to celebrate.

Thoughts of the Day

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Why be weird alone when we can be weird together??

Though if we’re both weird, does that make us normal?

Words can heal or they can hurt, use yours wisely.

Looking for a miracle? Everyday is just that.

Storms change us, sometimes for the better and other times not, but they will change us.

The good things in life will change us too.

Alone, we’re wonderful, but together, we’re so much better.

Beauty isn’t or at least shouldn’t be defined solely on one’s looks. For me anyway, it’s not about how much make-up someone wears, the brand or style of clothing worn, the amount of bling someone wears, how their hair is done, how much they weigh, etc. Upon looking at someone that has outter beauty, I can definitely appreciate it. However, if I see that they’re cold, stuck up, cruel, etc, it’ll be hard to appreciate their outward appearance. Looks fade, but money can’t buy you a moral code or kind heart.

We are not solely one thing. We aren’t easily defined. We are not our pasts. We are not our illnesses. We are not our mistakes. We are not our jobs. We are not the various titles others give us. Yet we are all of those things combined and a lot more. We are made up of our dreams, flaws, strengths, weaknesses, beliefs, talents, emotions, thoughts, lessons learned, pasts, presents, ancestral roots, memories, and choices.

There is often not a “right” time to do things. Sometimes there is a wrong one. Many times though, we just have to decide we want something bad enough that we make a go for it.

Words like always and never should be used carefully. Also, the words love and hate carry a lot of weight and should be used only when truly meant.

Forgiveness isn’t necessarily about freeing someone else, it’s about freeing us from the anger and pain. Both can consume us, many times without realizing it. Forgiveness means letting go and moving forward. It means not bringing it up in the heat of an argument. It means not letting the pain or anger blindside us. It means truly letting go, even when we feel we’re in the right to stay angry and hurt. Free yourself….

We can have different political views, religious beliefs, come from different backgrounds, look different, act and think different, etc and still get along.

I disagree with the statement that respect should be earned and not freely given. I don’t set out to disrespect someone who has not caused me to do so. So, I feel it’s important to give respect first. If it’s not returned, I will still try to be the bigger person. I don’t always win that fight in my head, but I try.

The debates on what foods together make me laugh. You may not like pineapple on pizza or ketchup on your eggs, which is fine, but it’s also fine to like those combinations. It’s all a matter of personal preference. Why are we always finding ways to disagree and make others feel weird for being different? 😉

Art comes in many forms. An artist isn’t simply one who paints, draws, or sculpts. An artist can be a musician, singer, actor/actress, chef, fashion designer/seamstress, software engineer, web designer, interior decorater, teacher, etc. Art lives within us all, in our own ways. Live your art!

Be kind. You never know what another is going through.

Be you. Don’t settle for being like someone else. You’re not meant to be an echo. You’re meant to be you in full force.

Those are my thoughts today. I hope even one of them made you smile, think, or find inspiration. Go out and live the rest of the day to the fullest!

 

 

A Letter to My Daughter

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Dear Clara,

You’re still so young, but there’s some things I think you should know. I write this letter with the hopes that when you read it, you’ll know how much I love you.

You are beautiful.

Can’t is only a limitation you set for yourself.

If you want it, claim it.

Treat others with respect.

Give, give freely, but don’t be a doormat.

Don’t abuse any power or influence you get.

Laugh, laugh a lot.

Dream.

Chase your dreams.

You most likely won’t need things like Algebra post high school, but I expect you to do your best in ALL of your classes.

You don’t NEED to be in a relationship to have a happy life, to feel complete.

However, there’s nothing wrong with being in a committed relationship, not if it brings you joy and it’s someone you love that loves you.

If you need to cry, do it. Trying to look strong when you’re hurting isn’t necessary. Crying helps.

Girls don’t have to like pink and frills. Guys can, without being gay and whether they are or not, I go back to the respect thing.

It doesn’t matter if someone is different than you. Their skin color, religious beliefs, sexual orientation, political views, etc may not match yours and that’s okay. People can be different and still get along.

I love you. I will always love you. I will be your biggest cheerleader.

Being your biggest cheerleader will not cause me to sugarcoat things when you need to know the truth or cover your butt when you’re in the wrong.

I cry, a lot. Not all of my tears are sad ones. When I’m proud of you, I’ll cry. When I’m scared, I’ll cry. When I’m really angry, I’ll cry. When I’m over the moon happy, I’ll cry. I’m not weak. Like I said above, if you need to cry, do it. Crying or showing emotions doesn’t make you weak, it makes you human.

Did I say you’re beautiful? I did? Well, you are.

If you’re wrong, admit it.

If you need to apologize, do it, but only if you mean it.

Don’t let pride ruin relationships with those you love. It’s okay to apologize first, even if you don’t feel you were wrong or more in the wrong.

Like stated above, if you love someone, it’s okay to say it, but only say it if you mean it.

Words can heal or hurt, use them wisely.

Believe in yourself. No matter how much we may believe in you, it won’t hold nearly enough weight unless you believe it too.

Some people really suck. Some people are mean, beyond cruel. With that said, know that some people are really wonderful. Some people are loving and kind. Don’t give up on humanity, no matter how bad things get.

The world is huge, don’t let yourself get lost in it. Remember too that, one voice and one person can make a huge difference. So stand up for what you believe in.

And before I end this letter, once more, I loved you from the moment I knew I was pregnant. I loved you as you grew within me. I loved you the first time I held you. I loved you every time you threw up on me. I loved you every time you threw a tantrum. I loved you every time you curled up in my arms. I loved you every time you smiled at me. I loved you yesterday. I love you today. I will love you tomorrow. I will always love you.

No matter what life throws at you, me, your daddy, your brother, or any of us, you are my daughter. I love you. As big as the sky, for as long as the stars shine, I love you. You and Zach are my life.

Love,
Your mom

 

**picture I took at my son’s birthday party**

Maybe

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When the life of someone you love slips away, your first reaction may be to shut down. Maybe you cry your eyes out. Maybe you feel hopeless and helpless. Maybe you hold your child extra tight. Maybe you say extra prayers. Maybe you wonder why. Maybe you try to be grateful for a life that is still yours. Maybe the emotional part of your brain aches in ways you can’t explain. Maybe you wish things were different. Maybe you feel guilty for still being here. Maybe a part of you is thankful for all you have. Maybe you are confused. Maybe you are torn. Maybe you are just trying to find a way to push forward. There is just so much loss, heartache, and pain. But, we have to keep going while it’s our time to be and maybe we need to find ways to help others do the same. Maybe. Maybe.

Rest in peace, my dear friend, Latasha Greer. You will live on through your girls, your husband, and all else who love you. You changed our lives and touched our hearts. For that, you’ll never be forgotten.

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In happiness my words I lack, in grief they overflow.

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