I appreciate all of your guys’ encouragement and kind thoughts. Writing was truly the most therapeutic thing I had while away from my family for the last six weeks. That aspect of this craft is the reason why I made this page and why my love for writing and language is still very true and lasting. We are blessed that we are the people who can string words together in a well-thought pattern and not only bring others feelings of pain or happiness, but also we can feel great comfort and therapy through our words.
I’m thankful for so much in this life. And you, my followers, are one of the things I’m thankful for as well. It’s satisfying to know that someone read my words, followed my story, and cheered for me from afar.
But when it’s all said and done, I’m back to where I belong. Home sweet home.
I am just two days away from being reunited with my family. It’s so exciting, but it also means that tempers have been building up for the last month and a half. Dylan has been doing practically everything on his own and I’ve been going mad locked up in this hotel and away from my family for the longest period of time I ever have. So naturally, Dyl and I got into a spat tonight.
I ordered him a pair of water shoes for Father’s Day and they arrived today. Dylan got home from work and tried them on and they were like a half size too big. No big deal. So I tell him all he has to do is take them to a UPS store and they will mail them back for free. I obviously wasn’t trying to start a fight or make him upset, but he replied asking me when he had the time to do that. So then we go back and forth with him saying I don’t know what it’s like to be with her all alone and he doesn’t have time to take the shoes back and that I don’t understand all that he has been doing. I’ll give it to him… I don’t understand completely because I’m not there, but I tried explaining to him that all of the errands and tasks that he’s been doing while I’ve been away were all of the things that I was doing while I was home. Let’s just say the conversation ended when I just chose not to respond back to his blunt text message.
I am no good when it comes to arguing. Our argument has been eating me up since it happened and I try to be the bigger person, but I’m never sure if that means that I just don’t reply, or if it means that I should agree with the other person even if I don’t think that they are totally correct. So I toss it back and forth in my head and I try to see both sides of the issue, but trying to do the more “grown up” thing is hard because there is no rule book on how to deal with arguments between you and your SO. So here I am, the girl with the huge heart, kicking myself and worrying all night long about something so minuscule. I don’t ever know if feeling everything so deeply is a blessing or a curse because times like these I wish my heart didn’t physically hurt. I’m the kind of person that hates when people are mad at me. I cannot wait for an apology, even when I deserve one, if I know that someone has foul thoughts towards me. So a lot of the time I play the role of the adult, just so that my heart is at ease.
Oh, how I wish I could be more like those girls on TV… You know, the girls that are so independent and don’t give a damn what someone else thinks… Yeah, that’s not me. At all.
So I’m sure he’s putting Della down to bed right now and when he cools down, he will text me our habitual “Goodnight, I love you” text. But for now, I’m sitting here with an ache in my chest hoping that everything is going to be okay. Counting the minutes until Wednesday arrives…
I will admit, I’ve never been one to care much about Mother’s or Father’s Day… Neither my biological mother or father were ever really in the picture. As a matter of fact, I don’t even know my dad’s name or what he looks like.
I was raised by my aunt and uncle and I always celebrated them on these holidays, but there was always something that never quite felt the same. Every Mother’s Day I would wonder about my mom and every Father’s Day I wondered if he even felt like the holiday was for him. My aunt and uncle did everything for me that a biological parent would do, and I’d never want to dismiss that, but I would still always feel a tinge of pain on these holidays.
Then I got engaged and had a daughter. And everything changed.
I no longer feel the pain of absence on these days. I celebrate these days with my family and I don’t ever even wonder about what could have been. Mother’s Day is to celebrate me, and Father’s Day is to celebrate the amazing dad that Dylan is.
When I found out I was pregnant, I was worried about being a good mom. I never really questioned whether or not Dylan would be a good dad because when I sat on that hospital bed sick as a dog and the doctor came back into the room to confirm my pregnancy, my head fell to my hands and I started to bawl. But when I looked up at Dylan…
He was smiling the most exhilarating smile I’ve ever seen, still to this day. His facial expression that day comforted any worry that he would be an exuberant partner to me and a phenomenal dad to our child. He has proved time and time again that he is here to stay and willing to do whatever it takes to provide for our daughter. I fall in love with him all over again every time I hear him talk so sweetly and gently to Della. He is truly one of the greatest treasures in my life.
So as I’ve mentioned before, my National Guard unit was activated to run a Coronavirus testing site for the last month and a half, and today I have finished the final step towards going home besides out-processing!
So when we came onto this mission, we were told at the end of it we would be tested for the virus twice before we would be able to go home. The first test was on the day that we finished working at the actual test site, and then we were tested again ten days later. So I was tested again yesterday and I got the call at 8:30 this morning that I was negative. So I am READYYYY to go home and I’m assured that I’m not taking any sickness home with me!!
Now we still have to wait for the state’s clearance and do paperwork, so I’ll still be here at least until the 24th, but I can finally see the light at the end of a very long tunnel! The nights of restlessness and mornings of sh*tty hotel coffee are almost over!
I am thankful for this experience although it has been difficult being away from my family for so long. I got to see and perform pandemic test practices done in real time. I heard stories from people who lost loved ones to the virus, and got to meet high ranking military officials and the governor of our state. It has taught me how much I value family time and appreciate being a mom. Although it isn’t always easy and I’m often stressed more than I’d like to be, I truly do miss my motherly duties. The time away, as hard as it’s been, has allowed me to relax (in terms of not living life so fast and always being on the go, go, go!) and reflect.
I’ve always liked staying in hotels. Mainly because I usually only do when I am traveling somewhere to do something exciting, but also because each one is different and the wonderment of making somewhere new and foreign a temporary home gets my adrenaline running.
I’m currently sitting in a hotel lobby looking out the big, clear windows at people bustling by, living their lives as I sit here silently watching them. Couples walk down Main Street hand-in-hand and cars sit at the stoplight waiting for it to change, just to move on with their day and never be seen again.
I like to put story lines on these passersby and imagine where they are going and what they are doing and what the reasoning is as to why our paths have crossed, if only briefly. Most move too fast for me to think too hard on it, but I still watch in wonder at how fast life moves and how amazing it is that people can travel so far so fast.
I watch two teenage girls, windows down, singing and blaring music at a stoplight. They glow with happiness and freedom as the passenger pretends to pass a microphone to the driver. Some of my favorite memories have been made in the car with the music up, heading nowhere in particular. I wonder if they are just driving through the city to pass time and enjoy one another’s company, or if they are heading somewhere electrifying like to the pool or to a concert.
Where are you going, happy strangers?
The wind blows their long blonde hair as the driver hits the gas and the bass of their car pulsates the bottom of my seat as they go by. It’s a beautiful summer day and I’m glad those girls are enjoying it. Some day they will grow up and not have time to drive around town with no reason at all. Some day they will miss the memories that they are creating right now as I sit here and do my best to enjoy it with them, just a stranger sitting in a hotel lobby.
The other day my daughter’s main babysitter called me. She said, “My daughter’s boyfriend’s mom is a photographer and she wants to know if you would care if she took some photos of Della.”
At first I was surprised of what she was asking me, but then again I like to think I’m more of a laid-back mom in cases like this. So I said, “Of course I don’t mind! Go ahead, I’d love to have some more photos of her!”
I don’t know if I was slacking or if life just got in the way, but I still beat myself up because I never got professional photos of Della on her first birthday. To this day, I hate myself for not capturing something so important!
She replied, “Okay, I just wanted to call and make sure. We didn’t want to over step.”
So last night I got some of the photos back and some of them (like you can see in my previous post Like an Angel) were really beautiful! But as I scrolled through some of them, my heart kind of sank. And I don’t want to sound ungrateful here, because they did not charge me anything for these pictures… But her face was edited in some of them.
Granted, I have never met this photographer or seen any of her previous work, so I did not know what to expect. The first picture I noticed this was a picture of Della looking at the camera, beautiful as ever, but her eyes were edited to make them a different color and much larger than what they are.
I thought to myself, Well that’s odd… Maybe it’s just a weird photo… and kept scrolling. Much to my surprise, there was another photo where her eyes were edited. And another…
I don’t know if I’m overreacting, but it really broke my heart! My daughter is 18 months old. Why would anyone want to edit her face like that? My daughter has beautiful eyes and facial features, and I mean like… BEAUTIFUL. Her eyelashes stretch all the way up to her eyebrows and she’s got these big, round eyes that make her look like a doll. So to me, the editing, as innocent as it may have been, made my heart wrench.
I know my daughter is beautiful. Not from a biased perspective, but even strangers goo at her in the supermarket. I just couldn’t believe anyone would want to edit her face like that. I’m too insecure about how the photographer would take it if I asked her for the originals, so I will just take the good photos as an amazing gift! I have NINE days until I get to go home and see my beautiful baby in person!!
I’ve been gone from home since May 12th working at a Coronavirus testing site with my Army National Guard unit. Of the five years I’ve been enlisted in the military, this was the first time we had ever been called to duty. I’m thankful for that now since I’ve got a family. My life was much different when I joined back in 2015. I had gone to college for a semester right after graduating high school and I didn’t know what degree I wanted to pursue (Still don’t), so with a ton of support from my family I joined the military. It was something I had wanted to do for awhile, but I knew that going active duty wasn’t what I wanted to do.
I finished my training in October of 2016 and came back to Illinois to start my journey. At that time, I had no kids and had just started dating my now fiancee.
Now I’ve got a beautiful baby girl and a wonderful fiancee and it makes being in the military so much harder. I know a month isn’t a long time in the grand scheme of things, but being away from the family that I built and created is harder than I thought it would be. There are days here where the hours barely go by.
As hard as it has been being away, this experience hasn’t been all bad. I hang my hat on the fact that we were called up to be on the front-lines of a global pandemic. I joined the military so that I could help people, and that is exactly what we are doing by being here.
Being here has given me the opportunity to do the things that I made the excuse of never having time for when I was back home. In my free time, I have been able to dive into my writing and I’ve already started work on a book that I plan to publish some day in the future.
I workout every single day and I can already see it paying off. My legs have toned up and the skin that is loose on my belly since my C-section has started to tighten back up. I’ve created the healthy habit of working out daily and I’m down ten pounds since I last weighed myself!
I sometimes go for walks downtown and the fresh air and sunshine makes me feel a little bit better. It’s not home, but it makes me feel a little bit better while I’m away.
It is finally starting to feel like the end is near. I should be going home in 11 days!! I’m trying to remain positive and enjoy sleeping in while I can (You don’t get to do that with a 1.5 year old at home!). I’m hoping these days fly by and I will be reunited with my family very soon! ❤️