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Posts tagged ‘work’

A Heavy Heart Opens Up

I am one who is known to talk a lot, but there are things, believe it or not, that I keep to myself. Sometimes I don’t know what to say or how to say it. Sometimes I am afraid to speak and other times, I just feel silly or ashamed for how I feel. Sometimes I don’t want to burden anyone with what’s going on. Either way, after awhile, it becomes too much.

I am fighting for my son. Many know this, but no one really knows how all of this has been effecting me. My son begged me to keep fighting for him, so that’s what I am doing. However, it has not been easy for me. Mentally and physically, it has been wearing me down. Between the fights with his dad and step-mom, a Guardian ad Litem who won’t return my calls and still hasn’t met my son when she was supposed to do so months ago, playing endless phone tag with my lawyer, my son breaking down and ending up in a behavioral health center, and so on, I have been stretched thin.

This struggle has been going on for years, but now it is all coming to a head. We finally have a court date, I am hoping that I will get placement back. It was supposed to be temporary placement, but that was 12 years ago. It’s really about time that it be returned to me. My son has been asking for this for years and I got tired of waiting for his dad to give this a chance. I did the right thing 12 years ago, made the sacrifice for my son’s well being. It’s time that his dad do the same thing. It really bothers me that he hasn’t been willing to at least try it out, that there’s always been an excuse. Our son has told him over and over that he’s unhappy there, that he wants to come stay with my husband and I for school, but his dad dug his heels in and has refused to budge, not even willing to do it on a trial basis.

After a huge blow out fight, we said we were going to find a way to work together and that since we simply can’t agree on placement, that the court will decide and whatever the court decides, we’ll make peace with it and make it work for our son. Our son said he would accept the decision and do the hard work that’s ahead of him to straighten his life out, no matter where he is. I hope he means it. He is a smart young man, one with a lot of talent, that could do so much. As angry as I have been with his dad, the truth of it is, right now, a lot of what’s been going on rests on his shoulders. He is 15 and knows better than to pull the things he has. There is no excuse for not turning in homework, stealing, telling tales, saying hurtful things to others, and so on. Unhappy or not, he knows what is expected of him and do his best to follow the rules. He has such lofty goals, ones he won’t accomplish if he doesn’t straighten his life out.

It is infuriating, all of it. For nearly 16 years, it’s been one battle after another. I just want peace. I want to be done fighting with my son’s dad and step-mom. I want my son to behave, not be perfect, as perfect doesn’t exist, but to turn things around, to do better than he has been. I want him to do his school work and not a half assed job, but really putting effort in. I want him to respect his teachers, peers, parents, step parents, and just others in general. I want this all to work out. I am so tired of crying, all of the misunderstandings, pleading to be heard, being ignored, not being fully included in on everything that goes on with my son, and the list goes on. My heart has been put through the wringer and I just want things to work out.

I am also dealing with grief that I haven’t been able to fully process. My grandma died at the end of January this year. She was my last living grandparent. I knew that I would take hers the hardest out of the four, as she was the one I was the closest to. I barely knew my dad’s parents, especially my grandpa, as I had only met my dad and his family when I was 10 and was 14 when he died. I hadn’t gotten to spend much time with him at all. The hardest part about losing him was regret from barely knowing him. Even though my one grandma lived for years after he died, I didn’t know her very well either. We spoke here and there, but I wasn’t really close to her. It really hurt when she died, but again, mostly out of regret from not knowing her as well as I should have. I did end up honoring her memory though, by naming my daughter partly after her. My mom’s dad and I used to be close, until I was about 11 and then things started going downhill. I was sad when he died, but it was mostly from missing what we’d had when I was a kid. My mom’s mom was a completely different story. She become a second mother to me when I was 17. She was someone I grew really close to. As a little kid, I was closer to Grandpa, but throughout my later teen years and adult life, it was her I’d grown super attached to.

My grandma took me in, more than once, when I needed somewhere to go. She let me live with her rent free, helped pay for my expenses many times, and yet still spoiled me by buying me and later my son random things because she knew we’d enjoy them. She let me use her car over and over when mine fell apart. She did so much more than all of that though. She listened to me countless times, whenever my son’s dad and I were fighting, when I would beg to see my son, when I was angry with my mom, upset with my dad, depressed, needed advice, or just wanted someone to talk to. We had so many inside jokes and often made up silly stories just because. I could confide in her anytime, about anything. I miss her, even watching QVC for hours with her. I miss her voice. I miss seeing her. And I feel so unbearably guilty for not being there more in the end. For so long, as she was aging and we could all see it, I took care of her. On my own, I took care of her, her home, her bills, and made sure everything was alright. After awhile, it got to be too much and we got help, only my grandma wasn’t happy about it. So, even after I moved out, I still went there daily to check in on her and be there for her. Eventually my uncle moved in and my role as caretaker ended. After that, I saw her less and less. At the end, I had barely seen or talked to her. I did try to call many times, but no one ever called back, not her or my uncle, but I feel like I could have tried harder. Knowing she was spending her last days in her room, barely doing anything, couldn’t even read anymore, it is a lot for me to handle. After all she did for me, I feel like I should have done more….

A little over two years ago, my friend Aimee died. That still hurts a lot, far worse than most deaths I have dealt with have. Only one hurts worse, my grandma. Aimee was my best friend for so long. The last few years she was alive, we weren’t as close, but we were still connected. She sang at my wedding three years ago, which still means so much to me. She never did meet my daughter though. She was in the hospital when my little girl was born and only immediate family was allowed to go see her. She had been in a coma, after surgery didn’t go well, was that way for awhile and then finally, she made it out of that and was recovering. Then one morning, I wake and look on Facebook, as usual, only to find out she’d died. No one saw it coming. She used to joke that she’d be lucky to make it to 30. She had a lot of health problems and had made many questionable choices, but somehow she made it through all of that. Then one day, she was gone. Some days, I forget she’s gone, sometimes I want to call her and then I remember. She touched my life in many ways. She inspired my writing, my music, and so much more. She helped me feel good about myself. She encouraged me, believed in me, and despite our issues here and there, was such a great friend. I miss her more than I can say. Some days are really hard, but I can only imagine how her family feels. She is missed so much….

I feel frustrated. I am trying so hard to build my business and some days, it feels like things are going well. I booked several weddings, events, family sessions, and more this year. I just got my business accredited by the BBB. Little by little, I am getting my name out there and it feels great. My clients are amazing and I love what I do. Capturing precious moments and then turning them into forever memories for others is a gift. Sometimes though, others make me feel awful. Now and then, I get a crazy client who tries to pull some shady stunt or another photographer trying to undermine me or steal my clients. I know it’s all a part of running your own business, but sometimes it can be difficult. I am making more than I thought I would be, but still not nearly enough to really feel like I am providing for my family. I know I am still growing my business and have a lot of learning to do, so I am trying to be more patient. Some days it can be difficult to keep perspective and stay positive.

Sometimes I feel like I am not good enough for my spouse or his family. Sometimes I feel like his family judges me. Sometimes I feel like he could have done better. I know I am a lot to handle and am thankful every day that he is by my side, that he loves me. He loves us, what we have, as a couple and a family. He is so good to my son and has sure put up with a lot. That man has so much patience and I am definitely one who requires a lot. I know I bring a lot to our relationship, that this is a two way thing. Some days I do feel like I am good for him. I keep him organized, on time, am the calendar, make him laugh and smile, help him raise our daughter, get him to eat better, and so on. I just come with so much baggage and sometimes I feel like it’s a bit much. No one has ever been outright mean to me, but sometimes the way some look at me or make me feel, I feel like maybe they wished he’d picked someone else. Paranoia set in, maybe, but either way, I hate how I feel sometimes. Sometimes I feel like he deserves more than I give, more than I am. I struggle with insecurities almost daily. I know many do, as we often our own worst critics. I am trying so hard to be kinder to myself. I am a work in progress.

I needed to get this all out, sometimes keeping things to myself or even partly to myself can be draining. I hope that anyone reading this got something from it. Maybe you’re in my shoes with parts of this, maybe you are grieving, feeling less than, or fighting for your child’s well being. Maybe you’re not in any of those situations, but are struggling in your own way. Whatever the case may be, I hope you find whatever you’re looking for, your peace, sense of worth, purpose, or some inspiration. I hope that you got something from this, that is why I share my thoughts, poetry, photography, feelings, and more. I share it so that those reading this will learn more about me, get inspired, leave comments, want to know more, become a friend, share words to inspire me, and to just connect. On that note, I wish you all a very good night, weekend, and here’s to our amazing community of artists. We write, draw, make music, and more. We create and share it with others. I love it here. Thank you for making me feel like a part of something.

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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.

Time flies…

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I realized the other day that it’s been awhile since I have posted anything. I keep meaning to and then I get busy, forget, and sometimes have just been too lazy. When I first started writing on here about two and a half years ago, I posted often. There were days when I posted several times a day. My friend had urged me to join this site when I was going through some rough times. She told me that I should do it so that I could inspire and encourage others. I feel bad that I haven’t been real active on WordPress as of late.

I have a rough day or even a few in a row now and then, but overall my life is going fairly well. I have a great son, wonderful fiance, terrific job, amazing friends and family, and so much to be grateful for. My wedding is in 79 days, been busy with planning that on top of everything else. My son has wrestling meets and as that ends, soccer will begin, I just joined our church worship team and so soon I’ll be busy with practices as well, lots to do at work, etc.

When we get a night or two to just relax, we try to make the most of it. Sometimes we just get so busy that it feels like we don’t really have time to just sit, watch a movie, play a board game, relax, play with our pets, etc. There’s often so much to do with church, family, friends, around the house, etc. And with the wedding being less than three months away now, there’s so much to do. So, sometimes I feel overwhelmed.

I am beyond excited to marry my best friend. I have been counting down the days for a long time. Sometimes the planning is a lot of fun too. I love spending time with my girls, picking out pretty things, and seeing it all come together thus far has been great. We have so much done, thanks to me being a hyper planner. πŸ˜‰ Now and then though, I feel like it runs my life. Over the next 11 weeks, I have something wedding related almost every week. Worrying about finances has been the biggest struggle. My family isn’t helping. His dad told us he wanted to help and is giving us a bit, which we’re using for the hall and catering. Mostly it’s us paying for this though. I know it will all be worth it. Wearing my dress that makes me feel like a princess, seeing my girls look absolutely beautiful, having my son who will be dressed to the nines in his tux walk me down the aisle towards our future, uniting before God and making it official and doing this in front of so many we love will be wondrous. And it’s about so much more than that one day that will arrive before I know it and then be over….

It’s truly about what comes after our wedding day. It’s about our journey together as husband and wife and about him, my son, and I as a family. We have so much we want to see, do, and achieve separately and also together. Excelling at our current jobs for the time being, but then starting a business, finding a bigger home someday, renovating our kitchen in the meantime, maybe extending our family, vacations, and much more. We work well together now, but there are always ways to improve and we must not forget that it’s always going to be a work in progress. All great relationships are built on trust, respect, love, communication, loyalty, and yes…hard work. Wonderful relationships are wonderful because couples work on keeping them that way. Friendships are the same way; they need that same devotion and maintaining. All relationships in life that are stable really need that.

I have some great people in my life. I hope I continue to do my part to keep those relationships happy and healthy. I am trying to do that right now. I have missed everyone I talk to on WordPress. I hope you’re all doing well. I hope you have great plans, big dreams that you’re chasing, and lots of love. I shall have to stop by and read my news feed so I can see what people are up to. Well, here’s to a great weekend ahead for us all. Thanks again for your continued love and support. YOU ALL ROCK! Much love always! ❀

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.

2013 In Review

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Today is the last day of the year. “Duh, Captain Obvious.” states a dull voice inside my head. Well, with today being the last day of 2013, I have decided to do my annual year end review. “Oh joy, it’s that time again.” another voice says lazily. And I say to both of you, “Oh shut up and deal with it.” πŸ˜‰ Yes, my mind is an interesting place. If you ever want to take a sneak peek, be my guest, but don’t say I didn’t warn you about how strange it can be. “You didn’t actually warn them, genius.” teases the first voice. “Oh whatever, they get the point.” argues the second. Well with that….here we go. πŸ˜‰

January 2013

I was taking care of my grandma, had been since October of 2012. It had gotten particularly bad at the end of November that year when she had a stroke. We later found out she’d had two prior, only not even she knew that. That did explain an awful lot though. Anyway, at this point, I was taking my grandma to a lot of doctor appointments and I was in complete and total charge of the household, i.e. cleaning, cooking, paying bills, etc. It was a very stressful time for me, but this was something I’d agreed to do, not just agreed to do, but volunteered to do. My grandma had always been there for me and I wanted to be there for her now. So sometimes I vented if the day was particularly rough, but I always got through it and one of the biggest reasons I did was because of the people I had supporting me. My biggest supporter was and still is my boyfriend, Doug. At that time, we’d only been together for three months. In those three months, so much had happened and I found that we’d become pretty close. January 5th is when he told me he loved me for the first time and I knew for the first time in my life with all of my heart that a guy actually meant it and that this wasn’t going to be some fling or rocky relationship. This felt real, solid, and wonderful and even then, I knew he was the one for me.

February 2013

I was going on interviews because I needed more money than what I had. Unemployment wasn’t much and yes because I was taking care of her, my grandma was helping with my bills….but I wanted more for myself and for my son. Things with my grandma were still stressful; she was refusing outright to use a walker and barely used the cane I got for her. She was still having issues with falling and it was really scaring me. In October & November of 2012, I’d take her with me to run errands, but at this point I was done taking her along because she would not use a walking aid. I was trying to reason with her, but it wasn’t working out so well. Doug was doing all he could to help me. A few times he was there when she fell and he helped her up. We’d been bowling league on Tuesdays with his dad, that was a lot of fun. Though I did stay home a lot to make sure my grandma was alright and sometimes that got to me, but I didn’t trust her to be home alone for too long. It was what it was.

March 2013

I was still going on interviews and still taking care of my grandma. In March I did make a breakthrough with her. First, we had her start physical therapy, which seemed to be helping. Second, she FINALLY agreed to use a walker. So, after her first session, I went to get her one. She didn’t always use it, but she did use it often, mostly because I nagged her to do it. I can be a persistent pest. πŸ˜‰ Things seemed to be going alright. Sometimes her speech still faltered and you could see how unsteady she could be when she was stubborn and didn’t use the walker, but this was a part of the effects from the stroke. I did not give up working with her though. Things were still going well for Doug and I, five months in and I was still over the moon happy. My longest relationship prior to this was nearly three months. I thought, “Could this be it? You know, I think it is. I think I FINALLY found true happiness.” Though other voices chimed in now and then, causing doubt, but not in him…in me. I’d hear things like, “You know you’ll just mess it up like you always do.” or “You’re not meant to be happy.” Stupid nagging voices, well I always managed to shut them up. πŸ˜‰ Zach was doing well in wrestling, his season ended in March. I saw him get his first pin that season, was so very proud of my boy. He was doing well in fourth grade, playing violin, getting geared up for another baseball season, and very happy about Doug. I was beyond happy that my two boys were bonding. πŸ™‚

April 2013

Baseball season began for Zach, the practices anyway. A real relationship between Doug and my kiddo was forming. We started going to the park since warmer weather was finally beginning to stop in to say hello. I was still job hunting, going on interviews, and still taking care of my grandma. Things were a bit difficult, like when she refused to use her walker and sometimes when she ate. She’s had a problem with coughing since her childhood, but since that last stroke, it had gotten worse and sometimes she’d choke while eating. I monitored her pretty closely. I will also admit I was getting increasingly frustrated because she’d sometimes leave the door open, the sink on, or try to cook and then leave the stove on. Yeah, I began hiding knives, the glassware because she’d broken a few glasses, and had unplugged the stove if I wasn’t using it. Doug was looking at houses and now he’d been letting me come along to look with him. Mid month or so, it happened. We found one we both liked. I was excited, though unsure of how things would go for us with all of that. We’d been talking about living together one day. Things were so up in the air with my grandma, what would become of her, should she go into a home or at least assisted living because truthfully, I knew she needed help I couldn’t give her. Also, what about the house? My uncle wanted it, but couldn’t afford to keep it on his own. I just didn’t know what was going to happen for anyone.

May 2013

It was decided. My uncle would move back in and help with my grandma. When Doug moved into his house at the end of the month, I would move in with him. I thought perhaps my uncle had learned a lot from the year before and that he’d be able to care for her, at least until we had things figured out with nursing homes/assisted living. I was excited, though a little worried about my grandma. Luckily, where we live is only maybe 5-7 minutes away, depending on the traffic lights, when the weather is good. Zach was excited as well, this was huge for him. Baseball was going alright for him. He did earn the game ball at the end of one game. He had gotten hit in the back, so hard we all heard it. I freaked out, big time. But, after a couple of minutes, he shook it off the best he could and walked to first base. After that, he stole second and third. Then a teammate hit a ball sending my son from third to home. This was a big deal for my kiddo and well, for me too. When they gave him the ball at the end of the game, I cried. So much was coming together for everyone.

June 2013

My grandma was turning 75, so I arranged a dinner for her. My mom came into town, my uncle joined us, so did my cousin Jim and his wife, and also one of my grandma’s oldest and dearest friends. It was a nice evening. Not long after that evening, my uncle was leaving to go up North for the summer to work for a Boy Scout camp. I thought he was going to move back in, but this now meant he wouldn’t be at that point in time. So, when he left, I was going by the house to check on her every morning. I cleaned up after her, did her laundry, did her grocery shopping, was still paying her bills for her, took her to any appointments, etc. I also was going on interviews and then, on the 12th, I got a temp to hire job for Ryder. I’d be dealing with truck drivers all day. But luckily, I got done with work at 2:30 in the afternoon once my training was done, so I’d go by her every day after work. It was a lot for me to handle, working, caring for my grandma, taking care of my son, and so on. Luckily, Doug was very supportive and I also had great friends to vent to. Also, my mom was coming to town when she could to help. But, decisions needed to be made. So, we got the Dept. of Aging involved again. After a couple of conversations on the phone and then a couple of meetings, which even my uncle from MN made it to that first one, it had been decided to enroll my grandma in Community Care. They would send someone to check on her daily, make sure her medicine was taken, have someone do light housekeeping, etc. I still stopped in every single day while this process was going on. Saturdays were laundry, grocery shopping, and have lunch with her days. Zach was made to help out when he was with me. Doug helped a little, but I made sure it wasn’t much because I felt it was my job, my son’s, my mom’s, my family’s job…and while I considered him family, it just didn’t seem right to ask too much of him in that department. It was frustrating with work and everything else going on, but I managed.

July 2013

Unbeknownst to me, my job wasn’t happy that I wasn’t working overtime. They knew going in about my grandma’s situation. I told my boss that I wouldn’t miss too much time due to her situation and I didn’t. I didn’t miss one day due to that, though I did miss one day due to being sick, but just one day. But they didn’t like that I wasn’t putting in overtime and not once did he tell me had an issue with it. In fact, he only actually asked me to stay longer once and I did for a little while. The thing was though, till Community Care began stopping by daily, I had to stop over after work to check on her and make her take her medicine. Well, on the 19th, while on my way back from picking up my son when the work day was done, I got a call telling me they were ending my assignment. I’d only been there for five and a half weeks. I was a bit floored. Someone even stood up for me, but it didn’t work. They couldn’t wait two weeks for Community Care? Seriously? So, it was back to the drawing board. The plus was in those two weeks, I was able to properly care for my grandma. I was also job hunting again though. Things with Doug and I were still going great. Living together had proven just how good of a couple we really could be. Zach loved the house, his room, and was even making friends in the neighborhood. Things were going fairly well, except for the job hunt. We’d even gotten a kitten, named him Onyx. Come on now, you know your relationship is serious when you get a pet together. πŸ˜‰

August 2013

Community Care finally began sending someone to my grandma’s home every day and when my grandma didn’t lock them out, they got stuff done. My uncle came home from working at camp and my mom said with all the drama going on to let him handle it now since he said he would take care of her and that he wanted the house. The stress was eating at me and everyone said what my mom was saying, step back, and take care of your own life…your child, working, your home, your life with Doug, etc. So, I stepped back eventually. On the 22nd, I met with Dave from Dave’s Welding and he hired me to be his Office Manager. On the 26th, I started and man was I excited. It felt good to be working again. I was working with a friend of mine and that was cool. It being maybe 5-10 minutes from home depending on traffic didn’t hurt either. πŸ˜‰ Life was really beginning to shape up quite nicely. Zach was having a good summer, but dreading school and going back to our limited schedule. We did enjoy the time and nice weather while we had it. πŸ˜‰

September 2013

My uncle wasn’t living there, but he had a bunch of his stuff there and was going there just about every day to check on her. I didn’t like how messy/cluttered the house was getting, but her needs were being met. Community Care was as frustrated as I was with everything, with her shutting them out, but my uncle said he had everything under control. When I would talk to my mom, she’d say, it’s on him now, remember to focus on you now. So, that’s what I was trying to do. Work was going fairly well, felt like maybe I’d found somewhere I could belong, like maybe I found a job that would last. Zach started football for the first year ever. He was enjoying that. I loved seeing my son in his uniform, though it made me a little sad to realize how big he was getting. It was a busy month! I had games to go to, my cousin’s wedding in MN, and Doug’s dad’s wedding to go to as well. It was a very exciting month to say the least. It was a month filled with family, good memories, and lots of love.

October 2013

Work was going fairly well yet, though I was beginning to see more and more of my boss’ temper. Some days were very difficult, though usually things were alright. Zach’s football season came to an end, but with it came the determination to do it again the next year. I was so proud of him. Fifth grade was starting out pretty well for him. I had to make plans for his 11th birthday. Seriously where does time go? Speaking of time, Doug and I celebrated our one year anniversary. It was an amazing year looking back, I thought to myself. Right before our anniversary, he and a few buddies got together and made a trip out to MD to see an old high school friend. During those five days he was gone, I watched some girly movies and spent time with friends. We both missed one another and it was definitely hardest for me, especially at night…but I knew, as he did that time away from one another now and then is healthy, especially when you live together. πŸ˜‰ Things in that department were still going well, but it was still good for us to do our own thing.

November 2013

My son turned 11! I had a small party here, which went well. He also got birthday meals throughout the weekend and some video game time with friends. It was a fun time for my kiddo. Work was getting more and more stressful, but I was determined to hold on. The 17th marked the one year anniversary of Doug’s mom’s death. That was difficult, but with his family, they made it through. I had really seen in the last year just how close they all are, how wonderful his family is, and was thankful to be a part of it.

December 2013

It’s been a month full of stress at work, but otherwise life has been pretty good. I know that my job may be ending soon because business isn’t going so well and everyone is stressed out, but I will make the best of it while I am there. I am going to look for something else, because I need to be prepared, but like I said, while I am there…I will give it all I have. I got to see a lot of my family, spend time with friends, and have time with my son. I also turned 35 this month and it turned out to be a good birthday. We got a puppy from my brother, one of eleven. She’s the runt. We named her Lucy. She’s only six and a half weeks old and believe me, this has posed its challenges, but we’re up to them. She’s a lovable puppy and we’re determined to raise her to be a good, healthy, and happy dog. Her and Onyx play often every single day. Zach loves them both. He’s been helping, taking Lucy out now and then. His break is nearly at an end, but we do have one more day. Then he goes back to his dad’s and 2014 begins. What is in store for us all this next year? I am not certain, but I am ready to face it all head on, with my little family, and with my friends. God is good and I know that through the good and bad, we’ll make it. We’ll make more memories, share more love, and do what we can to make our lives good. I am not making any resolutions that can and will likely be broken, but I will say this….I strive to have a year better than the last. I pray this will be true for all of my loved ones, including all of you reading this. I hope you enjoyed my review and hope that you have had a good tale or two to tell in 2013. Well, adios 2013, it was nice knowing you! Bonjour 2014, I am ready to make your acquaintance!

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Saying hello

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Β 

Yet again, I have been beyond busy and it’s been some time since I have signed onto WordPress. But as always know, I haven’t forgotten about you lovely people. πŸ™‚

I have been working as an Office Manager for little over a month now and I find that I like it. I am good at what I do and the guys I work with are great. I’d be there today, but I got really sick this morning. I only now just woke up since Doug left for work nearly four hours ago. My stomach has been unkind to me today. Never fear, I’ll be just fine soon and be back to work tomorrow. It won’t keep me down. πŸ˜‰ Anyway, yeah, I like my job. I run payroll each week, pay bills for the company, enter the payments we receive, balance the banking register, fax & e-mail quotes for jobs, answer e-mails & phone calls, file, etc etc. Call me odd, but I enjoy office work. Everyone is geared for something and that’s how I am built. I am good at singing, writing, photography, and such too, but when it comes to what I am going to do to earn my paychecks, office/accounting stuff is how I do it.

I have also been busy with Doug. We’ve had weddings to go to, football games for my son to attend, bowling league, concerts to enjoy, baseball games to go to, going to church and nurturing our faith, lots of family stuff to deal with, and so on. It’s been a great summer and fall is shaping up the same way. This weekend, we have a birthday party to go to, my son has another football game, and we also have a concert to go to. I got the tickets awhile back, a present to us for our one year anniversary that is coming up in 15 days. (back to that in a moment) The following weekend is just as busy and really, I am alright with that. We do find our time to relax now and then, take a random evening and sit on our couch, watching something on Netflix and relax. Overall though, being busy is a good thing. Most of that time is filled with family and friends and I just feel so blessed to have such amazing people in my life as an individual, in Doug’s & mine as a couple, and in Zach’s, Doug’s, and mine as a family. πŸ™‚

Zach is a busy fifth grader. This is his first year playing football and he loves it. I am so proud of him and can hardly wait to see him play again this weekend. He’s played baseball for a few years and to a point, he’s enjoyed it. To be honest though, it’s not him. Football is something he truly loves to play and to watch. Watching him out there gives me so much joy and pride. Seeing him try hard and also work with his team is a terrific feeling. He’s doing well in school thus far, still enjoys reading. That, history, and math are his best subjects. He still has some issues listening and following directions, he’d prefer to do things his way and he gets bored easily, but he’s come a long way over the years and we are continuing to work with him. He’s been playing violin, just as his dad and I did as kids. It’s not his passion, but we started him on this to get him ready for other things. Eventually, we will let him take up the guitar as he’d like to. He wasn’t old enough for the school band, so he started with orchestra. He is also busy with Cub Scouts. This is good for him, helps him learn a lot about nature, team work, working hard, and getting along with others. I remember being a Girl Scout and just know that being a Scout will be good for him. In the winter, he’ll be in his fourth season of wrestling. This is where my boy comes alive. He has so much raw and natural talent. Between his dad, Doug, & coaches, I really think he’s going to continue to develop. Wow, my kid is so busy! It’s hard to keep track of everything he does sometimes. πŸ˜‰ Seriously though, I am so proud of my son. His dad, Abby, myself, & Doug are going to keep working with him so that he becomes a hardworking, kind, compassionate, happy, & successful man who follows his dreams, but never forgets where he came from.Β 

So back to Doug and I. Yep, 15 more days and it will be our one year anniversary. ONE YEAR! This is a huge milestone for both of us. This is the longest and healthiest relationship either of us have had. I look back to how we began, who we were then, how we’ve grown together, and who we are now. It is truly outstanding to see where we were and then see where we are now. We have both learned a lot about ourselves as individuals and a lot about us as a couple. He is the best partner and friend I have ever had. I truly feel blessed and I thank God for each day He gives us to spend together. We push one another to follow our dreams, to succeed, to better ourselves, to grow. I can hardly wait for October 16th, to celebrate a wonderful year spent with the most wonderful man I know. Together we have faced sorrow, death, loss, illness, and financial woes. We have also shared in so much joy, success, growth, friendship, and love. We’ve come through it all together, stronger and wiser than we started.

I’d always dreamed of finding a love like this, but skepticism was heavy within my mind. I went through a lot before I met him and I’d also witnessed a lot of heartbreak, watched people who had once claimed to love one another fight to the point of no return, saw marriages dissolve, and really I wondered how much hope there’d be for someone like me. Within my family, not many happy relationships existed. I always kept some hope alive within me, but I will admit, most days I didn’t think my chances were so great and that I’d probably just date here and there, but be alone for the most part. I am happy I was wrong, the happiest I have ever been to be wrong in my entire life. πŸ™‚

I sure hope that my post finds each of you reading this doing well. It’s been awhile since I have been able to check in and really see how you’re all doing. If you’d like, share with me a little. Let’s chat! πŸ™‚ I have missed you! I don’t often have time to sit and read through my newsfeed, but I still want to connect! And if there is a particular post you think I should check out, do tell me! Captivate me! Let us continue to grow in our friendships and supporting one another! If you’re having a dark day, smile, remember someone loves you. If you’re having a great day, smile, perhaps that smile will help lift someone’s mood. We’re still here and for a reason, maybe we don’t know what it is, but there is one. Life is short, so make the most of it while you have it to do so. Cherish those you love and let them cherish you! Both Doug and I lost a family member in the last couple of weeks and we were reminded yet again how precious life is and how we don’t know how long any of us has…so we need to make the most of the time we have before it’s gone. Work hard, play harder, love with all you have, be good to those in your life, let them be good to you, and LIVE…I mean really live. πŸ™‚

Life is good

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Many of my former years seemed to be cast in shadow. There’d be glimmers of light now and then, reminding me that one day I’d find my way out of the darkness. One day I’d have grown enough, enough to do what needs to be done, enough to fight for the life I’d only seen in my sweetest of dreams.

Sometimes life is taxing. Sometimes I deal with things on a particular day that knocks the wind out of my sails. We all deal with rough days, eh? Overall though, my life is good, very good in fact. My life may not always be easy, but then no one sails calm waters every day of their life…but I can say that it is beautiful.

I have so much to be grateful for. I have a handsome 10 year old son who is starting fifth grade once our summer inevitably passes by too quickly. πŸ˜‰ He can be beyond a handful, but he is my greatest gift from God. He is so talented, intelligent, witty, and when he wants to…he has a heart of gold. I am beyond proud of my kiddo for how far he has come over the years, for how smart he is, and for how amazing he is.

I have the best boyfriend in the history of boyfriends. He is my best friend, the first one I go to when I am having my roughest of days and when I have the best of news to celebrate. He is supportive, patient, kind, and treats me with respect and love….in a way I’d never known before. He is my love, the one whom still gives me butterflies just by smiling his silly and sweet smile, by taking my hand and interlocking our fingers when we walk, by kissing me, and well by just being him. He is part of my family, one I would do anything for, and one whom I am proud to show to all I love. We haven’t truly argued in the time we have been together. Even still after living together now and seeing how we are day in and day out, with our masks strewn upon the floor…we still communicate the way we always have….telling one another how we feel about something and letting the other voice their side as well. When we disagree, we try our best to compromise and usually, we’re able to meet in the middle. When we can’t, we don’t belittle the other or fight, we just agree to disagree. All major areas of our life are things we agree on, so this helps. We both love God, our families, our friends, and do what we can to better ourselves and those around us. I have never been as happy as I am now and I thank God each day He gives us to spend together.

Something else to be grateful for is how my son and Doug get along. Zach adores Doug and Doug has been such a positive role model, so grateful that the two most important guys in my life are close. This means more to me than I could ever say. They both mean so much to me and seeing them when they’re talking wrestling, video games, baseball, cars, and just goofing off and being boys melts my heart.

I have a job, not one I am in love with, but one that allows me to pay my bills and actually contribute to the life Doug and I want. It is something that works until something better comes along one day. Early next year, my student loan comes out of default because I will at that point have made enough on time payments on it. Then I can go for my dream in accounting. For now, I work hard, and do what I must. I am grateful to be working, especially knowing that many out there fight to find a job. I am blessed.

Doug and I share a beautiful home, wonderful friends, and also have some pretty awesome family members….some of which have taken to the other and stand behind our relationship as well as us as individuals. I am blessed, he is blessed, well…we are blessed. Yes, life is good.

I encourage each of you to look at your lives and take a moment to think of the goodness. Sometimes it becomes really rough for us to find the joy, but it can always be found if we try. I want to thank each of you again who supports my blog. Thank you for the kind words, the encouragement, the friendship, the advice, the laughter, and the love. You have made more of a difference in my life than you know. I love you, my WordPress family, so much. God bless each of you and yours. ❀

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