EOD Thoughts: 01.24.2023

I find it crazy that we are already a week away from February. I think life goes by faster the older I get. That concept frightens me sometimes.

I don’t have a lot to say tonight. It’s not even 9 o’clock yet and I’m in bed. I’ve noticed that my productivity levels are up and down here lately. Some nights I find myself cleaning the entire house after I put the kids to bed, and others I am in bed before my daughter (we give her free reign to put herself to sleep as long as she is quiet in her room, this works remarkably well for our family).

The kids are seemingly better better this week. The coughs are slowly waning. I’m exhausted and in need of adult conversation that occurs outside of work. Is it embarrassing that I don’t remember the last conversation I had outside of work, or that wasn’t in passing with the cashier at the gas station?

I wonder if I will ever feel like more than a working mom. Wake up to screaming kid, get both kids up and ready, drop off kids, go to work, pick up kids, go home, cook and feed kids, bathe kids, put kids to bed. Repeat.

That’s all.

An endless cycle of monotony with no exciting plans for the future. Maybe someday I’ll have more to write about other than my sadness and exhaustion.

Perhaps not!

Tonight’s Reflection Quote:

Moms

Want vs. Need

I attempted to explain this difference to my daughter this afternoon. She stood in the doorway of the dining room whining for I don’t even remember what. She cried, “I neeeeeeed it!”

You don’t need it. You just want it.

Desire can be a tricky little bitch.

You see… when you really, really want something so bad it physically makes you feel ill…

and that thing never comes…

Tonight I just so happened to get on WordPress via PC instead of my mobile app. I usually draft up ideas on the go, so blogging from my phone is just easier and more convenient. Anyway, I noticed a notification that I hadn’t seen because I was on the app. It noted that I had an unapproved comment, so I clicked to see what it was.

I have written about my mom reading and occasionally commenting on my blog. Well this comment was from her from way back in the spring of 2022, but I hadn’t seen it until tonight.

I got mixed emotions reading her words, but in the end it all lead to one sad realization.

A realization I come to very often.

I want a Mom.

An actual Mom. As in, one who kisses boo-boos (both physical and emotional). One who I could call up on the phone when I need advice on parenting, or to ask how to make homemade cookies, or for no particular reason at all. Oh, how I would call this Mom up. I would tell her I loved her and I would make Mom & Daughter adult planned mini-vacations for the two of us.

Seems silly saying it out loud.

I’ve invented entire scenarios with my make-believe mother. The one not engulfed in a seemingly endless battle with addiction. One who would admit their faults and love me the way a child should be.

I want that Mom.

Again, Want vs. Need.

I didn’t say I need a Mom. Haven’t since age 7. And the one woman that swore to love and raise me in place of the woman that actually birthed me deserted some of her children, while still loving and spending time with the others. I was not one that she chose to continue to love and cherish.

It hurts me most that my children are missing out on invaluable relationships and foundations that are essential in the success and psychology of a family.

The two “mothers” in my life have brought me the greatest heartbreak, biggest feelings of being deserted, and most pain of all experiences I have emotionally survived in my life.

I don’t want to carry that burden to my own children. I am a great Mom, that I know. Because one thing that I have learned in the short four years that I have been a Mom, is that a great deal of being a good Mom is done by just showing up for them. You may not always get it right, but trying again and committing to doing better the next time is all it takes. Nobody really knows what they are doing anyway.

I don’t need a mom. I do damned well without one.

But tonight, I wish I could call you just for the sake of it.

Under the Bridge

We ran out of milk this morning so I made a solo trip to the nearest Dollar General for some more early this morning. Just my luck, the store didn’t open til 8 and I got there at 7:40. That seemed like too long of time to sit and wait in the parking lot, so I headed down to the river to pass some time and look at the water. I have always found such serenity and peace by the River.

I wasn’t there for any more than ten minutes, but after more than a week locked in with sick kids, I needed this mini-trip to town to clear my head. I guess it was a win that I showed up to the store before they opened because otherwise I would have missed out on this beautiful scene that I was able to witness this morning as the early day glow was rising on the bridge. Surprisingly, I was the only one down there so I got to soak it in all by myself, almost as if the sunlight was put there to comfort a Mom lost in motherhood much like myself.

EOD Thoughts: 01.18.2023

Sickness has been running through our home off and on for the last two weeks. Seems like the Mom is never the one that gets to rest when illness runs it’s course.

The kiddos aren’t sleeping, battling fevers, but no puking so far (fingers crossed).

I am exhausted- still trying to work when I can while toggling sick children and a husband, I finished up my intermission college course and started a new semester, and if I have to change one more bedsheet I think I might faint… all on less than desirable rest. I have now forgotten the last time I slept through the night without being wakened by the needs of a crying, snotty-nosed child.

But I’m holding strong. Like all mamas do.

I will continue to wipe the noses, hold them in my arms, and look for the light of a new day.

What I’m Giving Up In 2023

It’s a new year! Happy New Year to all my readers! I hope you all had a happy and safe holiday.

I am welcoming 2023 with open arms and hoping that it is a great year. I have set some goals for myself in 2023 that I want to take seriously. I read that you are 42% more likely to achieve your goals if you simply write them down, so this is my version of putting pen to paper.

Here are a few things that I am focusing on in the New Year.

Spending so much time on social media

I spend far too much time pointlessly scrolling on social media. It takes away time from my family and does no benefit to my mental health. One thing that you have to keep in mind while on social media is that everyone has an appearance that they are wanting to sell on social media. Whether that image is reality, is not always portrayed accurately. I have the downfall of comparing myself and what I do or don’t have to what I see on social media. Maybe I’m not skinny enough. Maybe I feel like I got left out. Maybe I am creating a fake scenario in my head simply because of what I see online. I am smarter than wasting any more energy on sh*t that doesn’t matter. In the end, those that want to be in my life will be present whether or not I am on social media. I deleted Twitter months ago and haven’t been very active on Instagram for nearly two years now. I deleted Facebook on Jan 1 and don’t plan to spend much if any time on the platform any time soon. In 2023, I am committing myself to my family and my physical and mental health.

Alcohol

This holiday season had me dealing with a lot of emotion, burnout at work, finishing up a semester and starting another in school, all while still trying to keep alive the holiday spirit for my family (which I love doing, btw). Work really had me feeling down, so I’d get the kids down of an evening and have a drink a few nights a week. Not that that was even all too bad, I just know that the toll that it can have on my body and wallet just isn’t worth it. I enjoy drinking mainly in social settings, but now that Dylan works nights four nights a week, I have been using alcohol to let loose more often than before.

I recently read an article about the younger population using alcohol less and how non-alcoholic bars and settings were on the rise. It went on to give some pretty gnarly facts about the effects that long-term alcohol abuse can have on the body. One study reveals that between 2002 and 2018, the number of student adults aged 18-22 in the U.S. who abstained from alcohol increased from 20% to 28%, and from about 24% to 30% for those not in school.

I wouldn’t consider myself to have an issue with it, but I know that my health and wallet will greatly improve if I just cut it out. I may share cheers in a social setting with friends from time to time, but I am participating in Dry January and hoping to continue that habit indefinitely. I bought some Welch’s sparkling grape juice for our New Years party with the kids, but of course Della was not down to even try it. Dylan and I shared the bottle over dinner and found that it really was a pretty good replacement to scratch the itch if we ever are wanting some wine! I encourage you to look into “sober curiosity” if you get the chance.

Some health benefits to giving up alcohol that I found are:

  • Potential to lower mental health issues including anxiety and depression
  • Better sleep
  • Weight loss and easier weight management
  • Decrease in inflammation, digestion, and bloating
  • Increase focus, memory, and energy levels

Aside from giving up social media and alcohol, I am also making a more conscious effort to get a workout into my daily routine. The last two nights I have put the kids down and gone to the gym. I have a treadmill, bench set, some weights, and other equipment down in my basement, so there is really no reason why I can’t get down there even if for a small amount of time. Working this into my routine is going to help me tremendously because I really do feel better and have more energy when I get up and get movin’.

So here is to 2023 and making it a happier and healthier one! I am excited to see what is in store!

The Brick House

I grew up in a brick house on Cherry Street. I was probably about the age of five or six, when I think back on it now. The yard wasn’t large and it sat on a small hill up from the sidewalk. It sits right in the middle of a municipality, so it makes sense that the yard is as small as it is.

It felt a lot bigger as a child. My sister and I had a swing set outside where I remember pumping my feet so high I was so sure I could fly if only I had the guts to jump from the seat. I remember digging in the dirt with a stick and my Mom telling me the story of how my Aunt tricked her into taking a bite of a huge worm because she told her it was a hotdog (Not sure if that’s true or not, but now every time I see a worm I envision a great big worm sitting atop a hotdog bun).

The house still sits in the same spot looking exactly as it did twenty years ago, and my childhood best friend still occupies the house across the street. It almost seems as if time hasn’t moved on, even though I have. The life that I knew within those four walls is much different than the life I know now. Occasionally I will drive down that block slowly, my attempt at grasping onto something that has been long since gone. I have come to realize that this was the last place I truly had a sense of innocence.

The last happy memories I cherish of my mother were had in that home. I remember my sister and I shared a bunk bed and our room was connected with our parents, only separated by door beads that made a beautiful song when walked through. My mother was always so good at decorating the home. Her bedroom had a beautiful Native American painting on the wall and a canopy that hung over their bed. We would swing on the tall poles of the canopy, chatting away, while watching A Bug’s Life.

I remember having daddy-daughter donut day at school with my stepdad (my younger sister’s father). My Mom and Rick came to my elementary school where we played hula hoop, ate donuts, and drank chocolate milk. I remember getting off the bus, running up that big hill to the house, and then cuddling up on the couch with my Mom while we watched Oprah. When I lost a tooth, I remember the joy of waking up with a dollar bill under my pillow.

We had TV dinner trays and we sat on the floor eating takeout every Wednesday night while watching “Fear Factor.” We would order spaghetti and garlic bread from the local restaurant La Gondola, or fried chicken meals from KFC. La Gondola to this day still has the best garlic bread.

I remember Christmas time with my Mom. I remember decorating the tree and not being able to sleep on Christmas Eve because the anticipation to open gifts had me wired to the core. She lit the spirit of the holidays in me from a young age, that I do know. The holidays were especially hard on me in my teen years as I mourned the memories of the mother that was the provider of all of these wonderful memories. And it wasn’t like she was gone. She was just away, living a life that I knew nothing about. One year my aunt and uncle surprised my sister and I with letting our mother come visit for Christmas. This was probably the first Christmas after we were taken from our Mom by DCFS. We had just moved in with our aunt, uncle, and our five cousins, so we had been in the process of adjusting to a new home, new school, and new cohabitants. My aunt came to my sister and me and said, “What is this mess in here?” Confused, we followed my aunt to the front corridor of the house where our mom popped out from around the corner. We ran into her arms and hugged her tight.

It is still hard to not get caught in the pain of missing her during this time of year. Although we shared less than seven Christmases together, a part of me still feels like she has been here. Right now she is sitting in prison and I have not talked to her in months. I try not to spend my time wondering how Christmas is when you are locked up in a state prison for seven years. My aunt and uncle gave us seven kids everything and more for Christmas. As an adult, I now wonder how the hell they ever pulled off buying all seven of us kids new bikes one year. Our blended family of nine committed to our annual holiday traditions, and it is something that each of us have since integrated into our own family’s celebrations. We held hands surrounding our tree of choice and sang “O Christmas Tree” before cutting it down. We made candy with Grandma and put out shoes for Santa instead of stockings. My sister and I experienced no lack of holiday spirit and cheer even though we weren’t spending it with the person that brought us into the world.

I do not spend a lot of time living in the past or dwelling on what is not. But sometimes, I enjoy jumping back into the world where life felt more simple. More innocent. A time of youth.

A time where the girl in the brick house felt no absence of her mother. A time where the snuggles on the couch were never going to end. A time where my essence was not based in the presence of what I am missing and continuously longing for.

I remember the good days. This Christmas and always, I miss you, Mom.

An Ode to Myself & My Family

I just wrapped up my last assignment for my final fall semester of college. I am now one semester away from having my degree – a feat that no one in my family has accomplished. But that’s not why it’s important to me.

I have fought for every inch I’ve gained in this life. I want something, I go get it.

I am power.

I have worked through my school work all while actively serving my country (also a first in my family), working full-time, bearing and raising two children, and managing to stay (half) sane. Next spring I will have my Bachelors in Public Administration with a Minor in English to accentuate my honorable Military discharge and Associates of Arts degree.

None of this has been easy. I have progressed and succeeded without the help from any parents, but instead leaning on my husband and into the love of my children. I do it all for them. I yearn for the day where my family can see in the impact I have on our world, using the knowledge, skills, and experiences learned from my education and service to others. I want to be the good in the world that they never give up on.

Life is a challenging and messy road. Right now, so many aspects of our world feel hopeless, lost, and unnerving. I hope my family always finds stability, passion, and a strong foundation in the woman I am; for I am constantly in a state of construction, looking for ways to repair, build, and amend the pieces of me that are broken.

I hope they grow to notice and appreciate the values I try to live my life by. I hope they subliminally and intentionally adapt these values on their own, as being an honest and hardworking and appreciative person goes a long way in this world. I hope they never give up on their dreams, even if they feel unobtainable or of great lengths to reach. I started this journey in 2015 and will finally reach my goal in 2023. Many times it felt like I was on the wrong path or in the wrong place, but it has always played out in a manner that was better than I expected or anticipated. Life can feel so gloomy, but it can also bring the uplifting wonder of glorious surprise. I hope they never lose their sense of hope, for I too have been guilty of falling into the treacherous depths of depression and lack of understanding. I hope they choose not to lean against the feeling secured deep in their guts; the feeling of intuition and trust that is nearly always accurate in guiding us to the right path. Trust it. Lean into it. Let it guide you to the life you deserve.

It’s wedding week!

I’ve been casually MIA- for good reason.

6 days until “I do.”

I have planned our entire wedding in less than one year and under $10k dollars (which is nearly unthinkable today).

And did I mention… vacation?

Thursday morning at about 4am we will head to Pigeon Forge, TN where we will be married in the Smoky Mountains on Saturday. Send good thoughts, as the long travel (10-12 hour drive) we are asking of our families is what brings me the most worry.

I’ll be sure to update with plenty of pictures after the big day, but here is some of what we have been up to lately!! (Other than full time jobs, college, and wedding planning!

Pumpkin patch
Leon is almost 11 months old!
Our sweet Della Rae
Jeep rides!
And even time for a date night here & there!

Now for final preparations and packing!!! 🤍💍