Today I am celebrating twenty-three years of life. Twenty-three years of love. Twenty-three years of adventure.
I heard my birth story from my aunt and grandmother a bunch of times growing up. I think mainly because, as they tell it, it was a wild day! My mother was in labor prematurely and it was sometime in the morning when my aunt and grandma took my mother in to the hospital. I don’t know exactly how many weeks early I was born, but they had to life flight my mom from our local hospital to the hospital at the capitol, Springfield. My aunt and grandma tell the story that they actually raced down the interstate to beat the helicopter. They both swear they were in the hospital parking lot when the helicopter landed.
Sometime just after lunch I was born via emergency c-section. My back was actually up against my mother’s abdomen when they cut her open to deliver me, so I have a large scar across my back from where they cut me when performing the c-section. I was so small I wore doll clothes because preemie clothes were too big. I’ve been told it’s a miracle I survived.
But here I am. Flourishing in the sunlight, and dreaming of tomorrow. I have been blessed many times in this life. I do my best to slow down, breathe it in, and enjoy the things that bring me joy. In honor of today, I have made a list of a few of the things that bring me JOY!
My beautiful daughter, Della Rae. Her spunky attitude and playful heart brings an overwhelming sense of pride every time I look at her.
My handsome fiancé. Dylan’s passion for music and sly rhetoric reminds me that the simplest things in life are the most important. Our love is truly an adventure and I cannot wait to marry him in just over one year!
The adrenaline rush that comes when you start to run.
Pumpkins patches and autumn weather.
Hearing “I love you”
Good hair days.
Singing in the shower and on road trips.
The way my keyboard sounds when I type really fast at work.
My daughter’s laugh.
Hiking and camping.
Sunday morning snuggles in bed with Della Rae and Dylan
Softball and basketball and football and hockey and any sport, really.
Blogging and the friends I’ve made through WordPress.
Mexican food and margaritas.
Watching Grey’s Anatomy.
Some are silly, some are very common. But all bring me joy and make me enjoy the life that I am living. Today I am celebrating twenty-three years of life. A good life.
I am so very blessed. Here is to a life full of love and adventure!! 🎉🎁🎊
With the tragic and horrifying mass shootings that took place in the United States this week, everyone has been in an uproar about gun control. I get it.Let’s do something.But I think the one of the reasons we have such an awful gun violence issue in the United States is something that gun control simply cannot fix. None of what I want to talk about today has anything to do with gun control or taking away anyone’s right to bear arms.
It’s easy to argue that the person pulling the trigger is responsible for the damage they cause, because that is the normal conclusion to come to when you hear of someone committing such a heinous act. And I would totally agree with that statement; however, there is another side to this that I feel is worth at least considering.
We have a gun problem. But more importantly, we have a HOME problem.
Since when did we become a nation filled with careless parents? Since when did we allow our nation’s children to be so disrespectful, lazy, and so careless about life? Since when is nearly 60,000 kids locked up in jails across America something that we are okay with?* Since when?
I know that most of America’s mass shooters haven’t necessarily been teenagers, but according to an article in The Washington Post, theyaregetting younger. Since the shooting in Charleston, more than half of shooters were under the age of 30. You may be quick to imply that it’s the younger generations’ fault that all of this is going on since they are the ones pulling the triggers. True. Ehh, kind of.
What if I told you that children are have higher self esteem, communicate better, improved academic performance, and are less likely to have psychological and behavioral issues when they are exposed to love and affection at home? In 2010, researchers at Duke University Medical School found that children with loving and conscientious mothers grew up to be more resilient and happier adults. The study followed 500 children from infancy to their mid-30’s.**
I know with 100% certainty that I don’t have to fill this post with a ton of statistics, links to articles, and sparkly, mind-boggling information. You have the ability to google any topic you choose, so I urge you to go read up on justhow importantwe are as parents in shaping loving, gentle, and soulful children.
It is absolutelycriticalthat we show our children love and affection, and that has absolutelynothingto do with guns. Life can be busy and adulthood is overwhelming at times, but we cannot forget that we are raising tomorrow’s generation. Let’s raise a generation that is loving and passionate and gentle and open to talking about mental illness. Let’s love our children fiercely and show them that they have caring people that they can rely on – no matter what.Let’s raise a generation that knows that pulling the trigger of a gun israrelya necessity.
You want to end gun violence?
Quit teaching hate from within the walls of your own home.
Stop whatever you’re doing that youthinkis more important (it’s not) and go love on your kids.
Life has been absolutely CRAZYYYY lately… Is anyone else ready for fall, too? I haven’t had much time to put into my writing because I feel like I’m so busy I can’t even breathe sometimes. Everyone tells you it’s hard being a mom, but you can’t really prepare yourself for something like motherhood. I think what I miss the most about my life before my baby is that I had unlimited time to spend on myself. Not that I ever really did all that much, but the option was always there to pamper myself if Iwantedto. My life has changed now to the point where I can’t even take a shower at a relaxing pace because I’m constantly worrying about what is going on outside of the bathroom…
I do have some life updates that I feel like are worth sharing. I know we all get into slumps, and hopefully if you find yourself in one now, this will give you comfort that there is always light at the end of the tunnel!
I got a promotion at work! I’ve been working at my current company for almost a year now. I was hired on last August for a part-time position. Five months later, I took a leave for the birth of my daughter. Two short months after that, I returned back to work. Not long after my return, my manager asked me if I would be willing to work full-time hours. Since I was in a part-time position, I would still be ineligible for employee benefits, vacation and sick days, holiday pay, and performance-based bonuses. So, in short, I was working full-time hours, but not getting all of the benefits that the rest of the full-time staff was entitled to. To be frank, I was getting screwed!!
A full-time position opened up within my department, so I thought, ‘What the heck, I’ll just throw my name in the hat!’My boss told me I’d still have to go through the entire hiring process of a three-person panel interview and online testing. Sooo, we scheduled the interview and testing. I walked out of it all totally disappointed and so sure they wouldn’t give me the job. I had envisioned the scenario over and over in my head and I felt like I had let myself down. It didn’t go at all like I thought it would. But of course, it’s human nature to be harder on yourself than what was reality. I was offered the job!!
I am now going to get good health insurance for myself and my daughter, a $2.50 raise, holiday pay, bonuses, etc. After some long, hard months, things have finally turned around.
I’m also officially enrolled at my university again to get a degree in Business Management. I start on August 26th. I’m suuuper excited to get back to learning and furthering my education. It’s going to be tough, but there is no one more determined than I!
How is your guys’ summer going? Our county fair started last night, which means FAIR FOOD, DEMOLITION DERBIES, AND VISITS TO THE BEER TENT! Can’t wait to hear from all of you! Sorry it’s been so long!
Sorry to disappoint, but this isn’t a fictional story… I haven’t had much time to put into my writing lately, but I wanted to give you guys a quick glimpse into what I’ve been up to lately!
1. I have a baaaad rash of POISON SUMAC. 🌿😭 A few friends and I thought it would be fun to go creek swimming, but to get to the water we had to walk through some high weeds and grass. We must’ve walked through a patch of poison sumac because OH MY GOSH my legs are broken out and itch soo bad! It has spread on both legs, both feet, up onto my hips, and on my bum! I’ve never had poison ivy, so when my fiancé broke out I didn’t think I would too! Turns out, I did and I have GOT to get to the doc because I can’t take this anymore!
2. We had nearly $500 stolen out of our house this past week. It puts a huge strain on paying the bills this month. We don’t know who did it or what to do now that the cash is gone. VERY frustrating!
3. I have a job interview for a full time position at my current workplace! After the awful poison sumac and stolen cash, this news was a light in a dark tunnel! If I get this job I will make $3 more an hour and be offered great medical benefits. Fingers crossed I get this job!!! 🤞🏼🤞🏼🤞🏼
4. Babies grow SO FAST. My daughter Della turned SIX months old on the 5th!! She is the best part of my day and it’s so fun watching her grow!!!
What have you guys been up to? Sorry I’ve been a bit absent, but I’d love to chat!! Drop a comment!
I have a hard time making sure that I take time to do things for ME. I am totally the type of person to give and give and give myself away to everyone else in order to keep those around me happy. I truly believe that giving is better than receiving, but let’s be honest… Itdoesfeel good to receive!
You owe it to yourself to not feel shame about doing what makes you happy.I used to think that doing so much for everyone else was simply me wearing myself down and not taking exploring the things that I love. But then I changed my perspective. Iloveto comfort people. Iloveto take weight off of people’s shoulders. Ilovemaking people feel welcome and at home. And just because I go out of my way to make those things happen, doesn’t mean that I care any less about myself. It makes me happy making others happy, and I shouldn’t feel shame or regret about the fact that caring for others (sometimes more than myself) brings me joy.
Find a happy medium.So… yeah. I like to make others happy. Most people do. But what you have to keep in mind is thatyou can’t truly be happy unless you are happy with yourself.You can give endlessly for those around you, but if you aren’t giving yourself evenhalfof the attention that you are giving to everyone else, there is no way you can possibly be happy. I can’t stress justhow importantit is to spoil yourself every once in a while. Sometimes I forget that my happiness and mental health matters too, and it always end in a crying fit of rage and jealousy. So find a happy medium. It’s good to care for others, but do not forget that YOU MATTER TOO!
Spoil yourself!Believe it or not, but I amnotthe typical girl. I would much rather go hiking or fishing than going to get my nails or hair done. The point is, it’s important to identify the things that bring your mind and body peace anddo those things!If you’re not sure what things you would enjoy to do for yourself, there is nothing wrong with exploring to find what works best for you and your schedule. You deserve to be spoiled because YOU ARE AN AMAZING, LIVING CREATURE! Life is hard! Make the most of it!
Here are some ideas of activities you can do to make sure you are caring for yourself:
Play an instrument
Read a book
Wash your face or put on a face mask (I tried this for the first time the other day, and even though it was a quick and subtle fifteen minutes, I couldn’t believe how refreshed I felt afterwards!)
Ride a bike
Paint your nails
Take a bubble bath
Go for a walk or drive alone
Put lotion on (I have recently made this a habit after every shower. It sounds silly, but that extra 5-10 minutes I get alone to myself after a shower really makes a difference! Plus, who doesn’t love soft, smooth skin!)
Take yourself on a date
Paint, write, or draw
Listen to music
Whatever activity or hobby you decide to take part in, make sure you are doing it without distraction and focusing on reaching a peaceful and happy state of mind.What do you do to rejuvenate your mind and body?I’d love to hear some of your ideas or recommended products!! Drop a comment and let’s chat!!
Maintaining friendships after parenthood is hard. Most parents will agree.
But I always kind of had a hard time keeping up with others even before I had a baby. I have always been more introverted, and I can’t really think of a time in my life where I truly felt like I had a “best friend.” Sure, I had people I trusted, hung out with, and considered more than a simple acquaintance, but I never really felt a connection deep enough to where I felt totally comfortable and completely understood.
A short time ago, I had an old high school friend message me and ask how the baby and I were. I hadn’t heard from this friend in quite a while. I will admit, I was being petty about her not coming to visit me like I feel a good friend should. After all, she lives a county away from me. When she messaged me, I was busy doing whatever thing I had on my list of things to do as a working mom, so I gave her a simple: “We’re good.”
I didn’t mean anything negative by it. I was just … BUSY! So she ended up getting upset about how she tries to keep up with me now that I have a baby and that all I do is shut her out. I can see where she is coming from. In all honesty, I will probably always be the type to keep my distance when it comes to outsiders. I like friendship and I do believe that healthy relationships are important, I just no longer have the time to put a bunch of effort into people that aren’t making an actual, solid attempt to see me. You can make every excuse under the sun as to why you don’t go visit someone, but when it comes down to it… it just shows that you don’t actually care that much. And I told her just that.
How much you care is how much you try.
On the other hand, I had a friend that actually put in a great deal of effort to see me and meet my daughter for the first time. When I first got out of high school, I headed straight to Eastern Illinois University. There I met a girl named Tiffany. Now, we both only went to school there for one semester, but we were thick as thieves. We would run out to my car and smoke cigarettes, go to the frat houses, and hang out in our dorm rooms. All college fun… but that wasfour years ago.We never lost touch.
I actually met up with Tiff in Chicago about a year ago, and then this past weekend she made the four hour trek to come visit me and meet my daughter.
I’d say that is a helluva lot more effort than most people give.
And we had only seen one another one time in the last four years.
My point of this isn’t to bitch about the people that aren’t putting effort into relationships.
My point is…The people that care, will show up.
It doesn’t matter if you only knew them for a total of four months.
It doesn’t matter if you haven’t seen them in years.
I’ve hit a wall with my writing. It seems that I’ve ran out of all inspiration that is required to create a “good post.” So that led me to come to the conclusion that I am going to take a break on my blog. Sad face.
I just want to make sure that I gather some quality ideas and meaningful words so I’m not just pumping out average, boring posts just to fill my wall. I did not start this page with the intention of only focusing on follows or likes. I started this blog so that I could share my story and provide words of encouragement and advice to those that have been through similar situations.
For now, I want to focus on me.
But have no fear… I will continue to read and interact with what everyone else is writing. Maybe I can find some inspiration from one of you.
ALSO, Mathew S. and I have been working on a cool fiction collaboration that we will hopefully be publishing sometime in the near future.
Have a great week – I can’t wait to share with you all again sometime soon!!
I woke up to a very cool WordPress notification on my phone!
I HIT 100 FOLLOWERS!
I have always loved writing. English classes were my favorite, I loved writing essays and doing research. I took Journalism classes in college. Even though I love writing so much, making it a career seems unfeasible due to the fact that I live in a rural area where making good money from writing would be next to impossible. So I decided to start this blog. I did not know anyone who blogged personally and I definitely didn’t know any popular bloggers… so trying this out was something I started with no idea how it worked or where it would lead. I just knew I wanted to share my story with others in hopes that my words would help someone else with similar experiences. Growing up with a drug-addicted mother and a father I didn’t even know the name of, I felt so alone. As I started talking more about what I experienced as a kid, I realized I had a unique talent of offering advice and sharing my perspective to those that were like me. I realized that I wasn’t alone. I realized that maybe I was the light of hope and understanding for someone else, like I had always wanted someone to be for me.
I am thankful that this site has allowed me to share my story with both friends and strangers. I have received so much encouragement and love from my readers, and that makes it all so meaningful. I knew from the moment that I could gather my own opinions on my situation that I wanted to share it with anyone and everyone, so that someone like me wouldn’t feel the loneliness and desperation that I felt on my very worst days. I hope this blog has brought hope and comfort to those that have struggled with similar circumstances. I hope this blog has shed light on the problem with drug addiction we face within our families, communities, and world.
Thank you for reading and thank you for your support. It means more to me than I could ever express in writing. 🖤