Thursday, July 31, 2014

OK, I Think I'm Finally Ready...


The past couple of days have been rough.  Monday I wasn't feeling good, Tuesday I was full blown sick but thought I was getting better, and yesterday I had to stay in bed all day because I was having trouble breathing and just walking down the hallway made me feel like I was going to pass out.  Early yesterday evening I seriously considered a trip to the ER because I was feeling so crappy.  I couldn't sit up without feeling dizzy, and it felt like I couldn't get any air in to my lungs.  

The intention was to call the doctor first thing this morning and get me in there.  However, I somehow managed to fall asleep last night, using my inhaler to calm my breathing down enough to where it didn't feel like I was suffocating, and woke up this morning feeling MUCH better.  The wheezing and tightness to my chest is gone, I feel like I have some energy, and I can walk from one end of the house to the other without feeling like I'm going to pass out.  I still have a little bit of a cough, but it doesn't hurt my entire chest when I cough.  

Unfortunately, though, it appears Jelly wasn't able to make it through without catching whatever I had. She woke me up this morning because she was throwing up in the bathroom.  Awesome.  She has been sleeping since, but if she wakes up feeling like she did this morning, we'll be going to the doctor. I won't go to the doctor, myself, unless I actually think I'm dying.  My kids, on the other hand, are a different story.  They go to the doctor if they get sick...their little bodies don't have the immune system like I do.

Anywho, I'm feeling better, and after being bed ridden for the past three days it's made me realize one thing:  I'm ready to get back in to my classroom.  I didn't see it happening anytime soon and thought I'd have to force myself to go back next week, but being stuck in the bed with nothing more to think about except how much I want out of the bed made me start thinking about some ideas I plan on doing for my classroom.  

This morning, I woke up to a rainy, dreary day and thought it would be a perfect day to drive in to school and work in my classroom a bit.  But, then I started thinking about all the dust that's probably collected over everything, and how it probably wouldn't be such a good idea to start moving heavy, dust covered furniture after recovering from a chest cold.  

But no matter.  Just because I'm not driving in to work today doesn't mean I can't get some work done here.  I'm going to start working on some binders, peruse Pinterest, and maybe get a little crafty and make some stuff.  I may hold off until Monday for actually getting in to my classroom, but I plan on staying plenty busy at home getting stuff ready.  

I'm going to be starting online portfolios this year for my kids, so I need to get a platform for that squared away.  I also need to create my classroom website, something I'll be dabbling with again this year.  I plan on bringing in a lot of technology, this year.  And that's one project I can do from the comfort of my couch or home office.  

I hate being sick, but I also think I needed it in order to mentally prepare myself for facing the fact that school starts in exactly two weeks from today.  For a teacher, that's not much time to get ready.  So, I just have to face the fact that my summer is now coming to an end, it's time to get my head back in to work mode, and start getting busy.

School year 2014-2015 here I come!!


Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Change is Inevitable


Every day, life throws us new challenges, new goals, new decisions, and new adventure.  One day is never exactly the same as the next.  You may follow the same routines, do the same activities, etc. but something about the way you do it a second time will be different from the first.

We are forever changing.

Which is why it is so weird that one of the biggest fears many people have is change.

I am a creature of change.  I encourage it, embrace it, and look forward to it.  I'm always looking for ways to mix things up and add some spice to my life.  

Running through the same motions day in and day out is just not something I can do.  I get bored, I get frustrated, and I want to do something crazily erratic if I have to put up with too much of the same thing over and over and over again.

But, I am also familiar with people that absolutely terrified of change.  And there's a big difference from not liking change and being scared of it.

In the world of education, there's always something changing.  Standards, rules, expectations, curriculum, etc.  There are those that don't like the constant changes... but they'll do it.  They've been through the changes for years, and just wish everything would get left alone so that they can do their way.  

That's not a fear of change, that's a dislike for it.  

Then, there are people that are so scared of change that they will live in a world of misery and pain because making changes scares them more than living the miserable life they're currently living.  

I was one of those people many years ago.  In my mind, it was much easier to stay in an abusive, unloving, depressing relationship than even think about starting over.  Change was a very scary thing.  What would I do?  Where would I go?  Who would love me?  The unknown was more scary to me than living in the nightmare that I was living in.

Thinking back now, I am amazed at myself.  Is this why I'm such a proponent for change now?  Is it why I don't like things to stay too constant for too long? 


But, I do know that the day I packed up my car with as much as I could fit in it, strapped my two kids in their car seats, and set off in to the world of uncertainty, it was one of the most exhilarating moments of my life.  I didn't care about what the future had in store for me, at that moment, I just focused on what I needed to do to ensure that my future had any chance of happiness.  And there hasn't been a day that's gone by that I've regretted that decision.  Sure, times were very tough after.... but those tough times all added up to the joy that I have in my life now.

A very wise man once said:  "The only thing constant in this world is change."

Life is constantly changing.  New technology, new government officials, new laws, new arguments, new opportunities.  

How anyone can be scared of change in a world where change is inevitable blows my mind.

I know there are lots of new changes coming my way.  Some that I'll bring on myself, some that I will have no control over, some that I'll love, and some that I won't.  But, one thing I always tell myself is as long as I embrace the change, it has no power over me.  I can go with the flow, or try and fight an opponent I have no chance of beating.  And who wants to fight something they have no chance of beating?  

Not me.

Everyone deserves to be happy.  Everyone.  And everyone is the commander of their own happiness.  If you choose to live in situation that makes you unhappy, only YOU have the power to change it.  If you don't like something about your life, only YOU have the power to change it.  If you want a second chance at an opportunity you didn't get right the first time, only YOU have the power to go for it.  If you just want to start your life over, only YOU have the power to do it.

Nobody can make those decisions for you.

I know there are some decisions I make with great difficulty.  I stress and obsess over them for along time, because they are important decisions.  I weigh the pros and the cons.  But, ultimately, my decisions are made based on the changes that will be brought about to my life.  Will they be good changes?  Will they be bad?  Are the bad chances worth the risk?  Are the good changes enough?

At the end of every one of my life's decisions, the process of change is the answer.  

I will forever embrace the changes that come to my life.  I will learn from them, explore them, and welcome them.  Because, without change life becomes stagnant.  And who wants a stagnant life?  Not me.

And these are my "Wise Wednesday" words.. HA!

Have a great Wednesday, everyone!


Tuesday, July 29, 2014

I Have No Time for Sickness!

Yesterday morning, I woke up not feeling too great.  I had a slight headache, my throat was a little sore, and I felt really tired.  I didn't think much of it, though, as there was stuff that needed to be done.  Butter had appointments he needed to get to, and I was the only one that could get him there.

As the day wore on, the headache started getting worse.  As I was sitting in the waiting room at Butter's doctor's office, the pain in my head was so intense that it actually brought tears to my eyes.  I have had migraines before, but nothing like what I had yesterday.  It felt like someone was drilling in to the side of my head with a jack hammer.  Like my brain was bring shaken in my skull.  And then I started sneezing and coughing, which only made the pain in my head ten times worse.

By the time I got home, I felt like my whole body had been drained of every ounce of energy.  It hurt to walk, it hurt to sit, and I couldn't stop the tears from flowing out of my eyes from the pain.  There was only one thing I could do:  Head to bed.  

It even hurt to close my eyes, but felt better than keeping them open.  I was able to drift off to sleep for a little while, and then I was being woken up because dinner was ready.  I had absolutely no appetite, but knew I needed to try and eat something.  The pain in my head had reduced down to a dull thudding.  But, it didn't take long for the pain to return when I started eating.  With each bite that I took, it was like my brain was being squeezed out of my ears.  As I moved my jaws, the pain intensified.  As soon as I was able to get a bit of food in me, it was straight back to bed.  

I have not felt so crappy in...well, I don't even remember.  My whole body ached, I had to take my inhaler because my chest was on fire, and my nose was running like a faucet.  Throw that in with my jack hammer headache, and I was a pitiful sight.

All I could do was pray that sleep would help, and take away some of the pain.  And, so I slept.  It was about 6PM when I went to bed, and then the next thing I know it's after 10PM.  I woke up to a quiet house, and I was disoriented for a bit.  My head felt much better but my chest and nose still didn't feel great.  I am pretty sure I was running a fever, because I felt warm to the touch but I was shivering and freezing.  I decided to get up and get something to drink.  

I sat up for a while, but it didn't take long before the aching to start back up and I knew I had to go back to bed.  I ended up sleeping until after nine this morning.  Thankfully, when I woke up, I felt much better.  The headache is gone, thank goodness!  I'm still dealing with a stopped up nose and sore throat, but I'll take that over that monster headache.  I was also drenched in sweat, so I assume my fever broke.

Despite sleeping for so long, I still feel very drained.  Like I could easily go back to bed and sleep all day.  I don't want to do that, though, cause there's too much to do...and I don't need to throw my sleep cycle out of whack anymore than it is.  

I guess I'm glad this all decided to come on now.  I only have a week and a half before I go back to work, so I don't need to be dealing with a sickness then.  I'm sure I got sick because I haven't been sleeping near as much as I should be, and the exhaustion finally took over.  Lesson learned.  

Now, my top priority is to get better so I can think about heading in to my classroom to start getting it ready.  As much as I'm not anywhere near ready for the summer to be over, I know that I have to start putting myself back in to work mode.  I have a stack of binders that need to be put together, I have to start thinking about back to school plans, and I need to get in to my classroom to start putting it the way I want it.  

I have been thinking about how I want to set my room up...something different, hopefully more use of the space.  

But more about that later.  

I'm sure there'll be plenty of classroom talk in the days to come.

Right now, though, I think I need to jump in the shower and focus on getting better.


Monday, July 28, 2014

Honesty is My Way of Life


I consider myself to be a very honest person.  Some would even say "honest to a fault", but what does that mean? I'm too honest?  Is that such a bad thing?

I'm not going to sit here and pretend that I never lie... because, well, that would be a lie in itself.  Just a few days ago I told Jelly we'd bake cookies together later that afternoon, and then we didn't.  And Jelly quickly accused me of lying to her.  Something as minor as that still made me feel bad, though.  I didn't mean to lie.  I had the intention when I said what I did, but it just didn't work out.  We made the cookies the next day, and everything was good.  But she was right, my original statement was a lie.

There are other small lies that I've uttered quite often such as "I'll do it in a minute" knowing I probably won't do it.  I've said "Yeah, that's fine" in agreement to an unimportant decision (like where to eat for dinner or what time to meet for something) even though I might want to do something else.  I've responded to the question "How was your day?" with a quick "Good" even though it was one of the worst days of my life, or I felt anything but good.  

Everyone lies.

But, there are certain lies I believe to be forgivable. Like the little statements I use.  I'm not intending to harm anyone.  Important decisions aren't being questioned.  I am using those words because it doesn't really matter one way or the other.    

If no one is going to be permanently scarred, or will hate me forever, or the result is pretty minuscule, then I don't see the harm in telling little white lies.  Everybody does it, it's just who we are as humans.

But, there's a BIG difference between being an honest person and being a liar.  I may be honest to a fault, like some people say I am, but I want to be able to lay my head down at night with a clear conscience.  I want to be able to know that if someone has asked for my absolute honesty, I have given it to them... regardless if it's what they wanted to hear.  

And that's where I think my little problem comes from being "honest to a fault".  It usually stems from someone that's asked my honest opinion, I've given it, it's not what they want to hear, and then they become hurt.  Well, I understand that sometimes people aren't really looking for an honest answer, they are just looking for affirmation that they are making the right decisions, or that someone agrees with them.

Unfortunately, for them, that's not who I am.  If you ask me for honesty, honesty is what you'll get.

Over the years, I've used my honesty trait as a measure of who I can trust, who my real friends are.  Because, really, the people that I care about the most and that care about me accept my honesty.  They understand it.  They are able to hear the truth and, regardless of any stinging it may cause, know that I am being honest because I care. It's just who I am.  I'm not a sugar-coater.  I am not someone that will only feed someone what they want to hear just because I know it will make them feel better, even though I know it will end up hurting them in the end.  I use my honesty as a way of telling those close to me that I care enough to bring to light problems I see, concerns I have, and feelings that will get trampled on if I'm not honest with them from the get-go.

I've seen relationships fall apart because people just don't know how to be honest.  And, I'm talking friendships, partnerships, couples...all types of relationships.  If you can't be completely honest with the people you love the most, then how do you expect that relationship to last?

I build the relationships in my life on honesty.  If someone can't be honest with me, they are not someone I can trust.  Without trust, there is nothing.  

I might say I'm fat and ugly.  And while I love hearing someone disagree with me and tell me that I'm beautiful, I only really want to hear it if they truly believe it.  I would much rather someone say "Well, then get off your butt and do something about it" then try and convince me that "I'm fine the way I am". 

I might ask if an outfit makes me look bad.  And while I love hearing that I look great no matter what I wear, I really want to hear the truth.  If the outfit looks hideous, tell me.  

I might try and talk to someone and make a new friend.  And while I love making new friends, if the person can't stand me and has no interest whatsoever, I'd much rather hear that than wasting my time and energy on something that's not meant to be.  

Because at the end of the day...that's EXACTLY how I'm going to be.  

People I truly care about deserve my honesty.  

I would much rather have someone a little upset with me that I'm too honest, than to be in a situation where I allowed the hurt to unfold knowing I supported it (against my better judgement).  People tend to forgive easier when they face a truth, rather than face a lie.

One of my favorite quotes is "A truth hurts only once, but a lie hurts each time it is remembered".  

That's kinda how I try and live my life.  I weigh the hurt that could unfold.  Is it better to hurt someone once, or hurt them each and every time they are faced with the lie I told?

I think that because I'm such an honest person with others, I have a hard time confronting my own fears and feelings.  I often question if others will give me the same level of honesty that I'm willing to give.  I often trust too much, or not enough.  I hear things that I want to believe, but can never shake the niggling feeling that the words aren't genuine.  

The past few weeks, I've had to confront a lot of emotions that I was unsure about.  Have I really forgiven?  Do I really understand the decisions that were made?  Am I really OK with opening up the Pandora's box of events that may unfold?  Am I still dwelling on the past, even a little?  

What I'm currently going through is scary, and exciting, and crazy, and amazing. I've spent many nights sitting up until all hours trying to figure everything out.  I'm no beginner at having my emotions scattered everywhere, but it's important for me to try and contain them... organize myself figure out what I'm truly feeling.  Be honest with myself.

Thankfully, for the most part, I feel good about everything that's unfolding.  I'm happy for Peanut, I support her decisions and will stand by her for as much or as little as she's ready for.  I don't think I'll ever shake the niggling feeling that this could turn out with her getting hurt, in some way, but with everything that's happened already... I don't see too much bad coming out of it.  One thing that I've always promised her is that, when the time came, I would stand by her in wanting to reach out to her father.  I can voice my concerns, I can stay in the loop with everything that's happening, and I can control the a point.  

I have come to the conclusion that I really have moved on with everything I had pent up 15 years ago.  I've accepted and forgiven.  I am able to start over, see how things go, and roll with the punches.  



I have no way of knowing what tomorrow, next week, next month, or next year may bring.  I have no way of knowing if this new journey will bring all rainbows and unicorns or bolts of lightning and storms.  

But, one thing everyone involved can count on is my honesty.  I will be honest.  I will call it like I see it.  The words that come out of my mouth will be the truth.  

Good truth or bad truth.  

I just hope and pray that those on the other side of the fence will do the same.  I hope that the words that have been spoken are genuine.  I hope the emotions that have been displayed are true.  

All I can do is hope.


Sunday, July 27, 2014

It's Time to Share the Story


Over the past week, I've been sharing a little about reconnecting with my very dear friends I had fifteen years ago.  I shared how when I was sixteen, I moved out of my house and moved in with two very close friends.  And, while I left some of the story untold... I think it's time to fill in a few of the gaps I left out.  Because it's important for how the rest of the story has and will eventually unfold.  

I told you all about K and C.  The two friends that, with the support of their father, took me in to their home when I was having a rough time with my own parents.  I shared how they let me move in and treated me as part of the family.  Up until I got pregnant at 17.

But, there's one very important part of that story that I left out.  A part that explains the sudden change in our situation, forcing me to leave their home and never look back...

The father of my child happened to be C.

Yes.  K and C are males.  K and C were very close guy friends that I had back at that time.. because other than one very close female friend (the one that passed away several years ago), K and C were my best friends.  We did everything together.  At first, they were like brothers to me.  Well, K was.  He was always a brotherly figure...protecting me, talking to me, giving me a hard time every now and then like brothers do.  But, it was very, very different with C.  He was not like a brother to me...he was so much more than that.  

C and I were in love.  As much as two teenagers could be in love, I suppose.  He was my everything.. who captured my heart and made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.  I got butterflies each and every time he looked at me.  And a part of me believes he felt the same towards me.  Even though I'd had boyfriends before, none had ever made me feel the way C did.  I worshipped the ground he walked on, was sad when he wasn't around, and he made me feel like a queen.

While I won't share all the juicy details, we were young, in love, and...well... as a result, I got pregnant at 17.  Which resulted in, against the wishes of C and myself, his family reacting the way they did, forcing C to move away and me to move out.  

Like I said in an earlier post, I fully understand the reactions today.  I am a mother of a teenage daughter and a teenage son.  I'm sure if something like that happened to me, I'd want to protect my children.  I can't say I'd react the same way, but I fully understand why the adults who made the decisions made those decisions.  It couldn't have been easy, but they did what they thought necessary at the time.  I have let all those ill feelings go away, and hold no grudges for any parties involved.  

But, what happened back then is neither here nor there.  It happened.  I can't turn back time or change anything.  

Many people that know me have assumed that Peanut and Butter have the same dad.  They don't.  And while I understand that doesn't exactly paint a great picture of is what it is.  I will not be ashamed or hide behind the situations that played out in my life.  Because, once again, every one of those situations has made me the person I am today...and I'm very proud of what I've overcome and how I turned out.

Anywho...Peanut has always known the truth.  Has known that her dad was out there somewhere, and recently it's been playing on her mind.  Which is why I was ecstatic when I was able to reach out to her biological father and let them connect.  Which is exactly what they've done.  Being that C lives so far away, they haven't been able to meet yet.. but they've at least started talking to each other.  And that's a HUGE deal to Peanut.  

But, since that moment, so much more has happened that I didn't expect.  First, K is now back in my life.  He has taken a quick liking to his niece, and they already adore each other.  He has an amazing wife and beautiful daughter. And I already adore both of them.  Yesterday, Peanut got to meet some other family members:  Her grandparents, her great uncle, and her great-grandparents.  

While I expected it to be an awkward reunion, it was the complete opposite of that.  Everyone welcomed her with open arms, and me too.  It was almost as if no time had passed at all.  Peanut got to hear tons of stories about her dad and the family...and they all made her feel very welcome.  

As I sat back and watched all the events unfold, I couldn't help but smile.  It made me remember old times, how wonderful these same people had been to me 15 years ago...treating me like I was family then, and almost picking up right where we left off now.  

And, we spent the entire day together.  After the birthday party, I took the kids back to their house, and we spent all afternoon and evening talking, laughing, and having a great time.  They opened up their homes to us and treated us ALL like we were family.  Yes, Butter and Jelly too.  

It made me realize that the past doesn't define who we's our present...each decision and step we take..that is what defines us.

I can't give Peanut back the past 14 years.  Neither can C or his family.  But, everything we do from this moment on is what matters.  

It really means the world to Peanut to have all these people in her life.  To answer the questions she's had for so many years, to learn about her family, to understand everything that happened.  And while I'm sure she's a little overwhelmed with how quickly everything has happened, I can tell by the look in her eye that she's happy.  That's it brought some closure to her life...and also a new beginning.  

I am a firm believer that one can never have too much family.  We have now extended ours...and I couldn't be happier.  I have waited for 15 years for this moment to come.  And while some may think it's weird or sudden or maybe even shocked that I would be so happy... just remember, there's still a lot of the story untold.  Decisions were made over the years that I had a big part of making.  The events of our lives have unfolded the way they have because it's just they way they unfolded.  I am not asking for anyone to weigh in with their opinion, or express any concern.  This is what I've always wanted to happen...and so has Peanut.

I know that Peanut is dying to meet her dad.  And, I hope that will happen soon.  But, until then the events will play out as they play out.  She will spend time with her new-found family.  She will get to know them, and they will get to know her.  She is calling all the shots on this, and I support her decisions 100%.  

This is a new chapter to our lives that is yet to be written...and I'm ready to start filling in those blank pages.

Good thing I'm a writer, huh?  HA!

I am just taking one step at a time, and know in my heart that this is the right thing to do.  That they were brought back in to our lives for a reason.  And, I'm going to ride this roller-coaster right along side Peanut, because she's not the only one that gets to have her family extended.  I do, too.

I hope everyone has a great Sunday.


Saturday, July 26, 2014

I'm a Girl That Likes to Have Fun


Oh what a night!  

I am used to having fun anytime I go out with Sanity, but last night was definitely one of the most fun times I've had in a long time.  I let my hair down and just put myself completely out there to let the night lead me, and have one big last hurrah before it's time to go back to work.

When I'm with Sanity, I know how to let my hair down.  I managed to face one of my long time fears a few years back when I took the stage for the first time since high school to sing in public.  And, it's now become one of our traditions to head to our favorite karaoke place when we get together so that I can belt out a few favorite songs.  Despite the fact that I now have the nerve to get up there and do it, it doesn't stop the butterflies each and every time I hear the KJ say my name.  But, I do it...and I have an absolute blast.

Last night was somehow different, though.  It wasn't about getting up to sing, it was just about having some fun.  Laughing until our sides hurt, not caring what anyone thought, and throwing all caution to the wind as we sat and took in the sights around us.  

We started the night out by having dinner at one of our favorite restaurants.  We talked, we ate, and we planned out how we were going to spend our evening.  Which, was the same plan that we always make.  Head to our favorite little bar and watch some live music, then head on over to the karaoke bar to end out the night.  It's what we do each and every time we go out, but we like to pretend that we don't have any specific plans and we'll just see where we end up.  It works for us.

After dinner, we sat out on the patio of our favorite little bar and waited for the music.  We enjoyed a couple of adult beverages, and talked about life and all the new stuff that's going on.  Then, the band got started up...and... well, I wasn't impressed.  It was a bluegrass band, and that's just not my thing.  I'm not a country lover, but I would have preferred country music over bluegrass.  It just didn't sound good, to me, and so I was ready to get out of there pretty quick and head on over to the karaoke bar.

While we were listening to the music, though, one of Sanity's friends texted her and asked "Aren't you a little old for stuff like that?" Urm..what?  Heck no we're not!! And it was something about that question that made me fire up and really want to have a good time.  A crazy time.  Like we used to a few years ago, while we were still in college.

So, we headed on over to our karaoke place and let the night really begin.  

And what a night it was.  I got to sing a little, but the place was so crowded, it was much more fun to just sit and listen to other people sing and enjoy each other's company.  We bought a couple of drinks and just sat at the bar chatting to people around us and the bartenders.  It felt so good to just have some fun with complete strangers, laugh together.  Right after I sang my first song, the bartender brought us over a drink that we hadn't ordered.  At first I thought he'd made a mistake, but then he told us that a couple of guys had bought the drinks for us.  I was shocked.  I mean, I've had guys buy me drinks before, but it's been a REALLY long time.  I'm never out looking for guys to do that.  It doesn't even cross my mind that something like that would be a possibility.  I mean, I don't look like those cute college girls that walk around that place.  I usually keep pretty much to myself, other than joining in conversation with the people around us... so I was pretty flattered that a guy had wanted to buy me a drink.  And they weren't the only free drinks we received, either.  There were a couple of drinks passed down the bar for us, which totally caught me by surprise.  

I mean, again, I don't go out looking for male attention.  I go out for one reason and one reason only:  To spend time with my best friend.  That's it.  Period.  I don't have time to be hit on by semi-drunk men.  I also have no interest in that.  But, I also don't even consider it a possibility.  I often don't let the thought even wander in to my head, because it's just not something I usually have to worry about. There are PLENTY of good looking women that troll around the bars looking for that type of stuff.  Much better looking than me.  But, I'm not going to lie and say that I didn't appreciate the attention.  There's nothing more boosting to my self-esteem than being considered attractive enough to be hit on.  I don't even care how bad that sounds.  It's the truth.  I'll take some free doesn't mean they're going to get anything out of me besides a "thanks".  

All in all, we had an absolutely FANTASTIC time.  Like always.

I don't think I could ever get tired of our little nights out.  They only happen every once in a while, but when they do happen we sure do make the most of it.  

Now I have to get ready so that I can take the kids to my niece's birthday party.  They've been excited about it all have I.  

Everyone have a great Saturday!!


Friday, July 25, 2014

Bring on the Weekend!!


TGI Friday!!  I'm so ready for the weekend.  Which, is kinda silly being that I'm not working right now and pretty much every day is like a weekend.  But, not everyone I know gets the privilege of having a few weeks off during the summer, so I get to make the most of seeing those people on the weekends.

It's another beautiful morning here in my neck of the woods.  Hasn't gotten hot and muggy, yet, and it's cloudy.  A perfect morning for enjoying some peace and quiet on the patio, with my coffee in hand. I've been up since 6AM and everyone else in the house is still sleeping.  

Don't ask me why I've been up since 6AM... but it's worth it.

I have quite the weekend planned, and it's going to keep me on my toes and away from brooding around the house.  Which is good, because I don't need to spend another minute cooped up indoors. I did manage to get out for a while, yesterday, but it wasn't long enough.

Tonight, it's Girls' Night Out with Sanity.  We're going to tear up the town...well, we're going to go out and have some dinner and find a place to hang out for the evening.  Our version of tearing up the town.  Maybe some karaoke, maybe some live music...whatever.  It's whatever and wherever our little hearts take us.

It's our last big hurrah before we have to go back to work.  She has to go back next week, and I go back the week after.  So, it's only fitting we have an end of the summer/ begin the new year bash.  I got to see her on Tuesday and I'm getting to see her again tonight.  That has to be some kind of record.  It's been a long time since I have had Sanity Time twice in one week.  Yet the crazy thing is, even though we just saw each other 3 days ago, there's still PLENTY to tell her and I'm sure there's plenty for her to tell me.

Then, tomorrow, I'm taking the kids to my beautiful niece's birthday party.  She's going to be 6, so Jada will have a lot of fun I'm sure, but it'll be good to get the other two out of the house for a while also.  And, I'm sure they can find plenty to do due to where the party is being held.  It's going to be so great to catch up with people I haven't seen in a long time.  She's actually my ex's niece, but I claim her.  She is too darned cute not to.  Plus, I consider her dad as kind of a brother to me.  

And I'm a firm believer in the fact that you can never have too much family.  Just like I wrote in my post the other day, I'm not about to use my child(ren) as pawns in a game against my ex.  His family is MORE than welcome to spend time with my kids...and it makes it that much sweeter that we can all get along.  

Sunday, I'm hoping to go and see P-Momma for a while.  I haven't seen her in a few weeks, so it's most definitely time.  We, also, have a lot to catch up on and I'm not sure how many more times I'm going to get to see her before school starts.  

So, as you can see, a busy-busy weekend.  I can't wait!!

Now, I should probably clean my house a little and do something productive before I head out tonight.

Have a great Friday, everyone!!


Thursday, July 24, 2014

Summer Cabin Fever!!


So, it's Thursday... I think... and I've been in the house since Monday.  And Monday, I only got out for an hour to take the kids to the dentist.  So, basically since Sunday, I've been at home.  Doing nothing.  And it's causing me to go a little...stir crazy.

Cabin fever is starting to set in.

It never takes long.  There's only a certain amount of time that I can sit, or putter around the house, clean, read, or even write before I start getting extremely antsy and cranky.  And, apparently today I've reached that point.

I got a call this morning from my school's admin assistant filling me in on upcoming dates.  She then asked if I'd be going back to work next in going to work in my classroom.  I'm not required to, she was just wondering.  But, when she asked me, I became very torn.  Apart of me thought, "Really? It's already that time? Ugh!"  The other part thought, "Thank goodness!! I can finally get back in my classroom and start getting busy preparing for the start of the new year!!"

That's when it hit me that I've reached that time, when I can't stay in the house another moment.  I HAVE to find something to do...anything... to get me out and take my mind off of...well...nothing.  I need something to fill my mind, cause sitting around looking at my house is driving me nutso.

Today, the weather is beautiful.  It's not too hot, there's plenty of cloud cover, and there's very little humidity.  And yet, I'm sitting here tapping my thumbs trying to come up with something to do.  Normally, I'd take the kids to the mall or something... but then I spend money, and I don't really want to do that just yet.  Our big shopping extravaganza will happen soon enough.  It's not really warm enough (for me) to go to the water park.  I could have gotten up earlier and taken the kids to Silver Dollar City, but now it's too late for that.  

What to do? What to do?

I guess the good thing is I've got some stuff lined up for this weekend.  I have a birthday party I'm taking the kids to and I have a girls' night out planned with Sanity.  Both I am very much looking forward to.

The sad part is, I'll be waking up bright and early in just 2 short weeks and will think "Where did my summer go?"  

That's when I'll start thinking of all the stuff I wanted to do on my break, but somehow never got around to doing... even though I spent way too much time doing completely NOTHING.

I guess today, I'll at least take the kids out to shop for the birthday party this weekend.  They need to get the birthday girl a present, so we can do that.  I just have to keep them focused on shopping for someone else rather than themselves.  HA!  Just kidding... kind of.

Another part of me says I can sleep... I haven't done much of that, lately.  Got a whole 2 1/2 hours last night/ this morning.  I am pretty worn out, and yet I'm not.  

I don't know... I'm sure I'll figure something out.  Worse case scenario, I just remind myself that I just have to get through today and then we have stuff planned for the weekend.  That makes me feel better.  Then next week, I have doctor appointments and stuff I need to do, plus I get to go back and work in my classroom.

Oh well... have a great Thursday, everyone!!


Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Motherhood is a Gift, Not a Powertrip


Being a teacher is probably, hands down, one of the most rewarding careers on the planet.  Being in a position to touch the lives of so many children, nurturing them, seeing them grow, and having a hand in their joys and triumphs are what true teachers crave and covet about their jobs.  Those things help us get out of bed every morning, knowing that our day will be filled with new discovery, exploration, and excitement.  Most teachers accept each and every student as their own children.  Take me, for example, whenever I talk about the kids in my class I call them "MY kids".  

And, they are mine.  From the hours of 7:30AM - 3:30PM, I am the person entrusted to care for 20+ children and make sure all of their needs are being met.  But, even long before the day starts and well past the end, they are in my minds and in my heart.  They also don't get forgotten about after the year ends, but become a part of my family for the rest of their lives.  I will always refer to each child that was ever and will ever be my student as "mine".  

Being a teacher also has its share of heartbreak.  Teachers see and hear things that can crumble them to the very core..abuse, neglect, dangerous living situations, poverty.  I know I have shed many tears for children that I want, so desperately, to protect and help and know that all I can do is make sure that every second that child is with me, he/she knows I love them and I will do everything in my power to protect and care for them.

But, it's what we do.  A teacher isn't a profession for the fainthearted.  It is a calling, a purpose.  We are not providers of knowledge, but warriors, fighters, and slayers of pain.  We are the infusions of comfort, safety, and love.  When the need arises, we will gladly stand in and take the form of a parent and provide a few hours of joy and happiness.

Which is why it's probably no surprise that the position I hold more powerful than a teacher is a parent.  

Parents really do have the most important job in the world.  Unfortunately, though, there are parents that don't understand the importance of their position.  They cast aside their children as if they are nothing more than possessions that were acquired, and are treated as such.

And NOTHING boils my blood more than a parent that uses a child for their own whims and power.

I am a firm believer that a child doesn't have to be raised in a household where both mom and dad live in order for that child to thrive and succeed.  There are MANY children that live perfectly happy lives being shared between parents.  And, their lives are often bestowed with step-parents that are able to offer even more love.  

There are some parents who believe it is a requirement that they stay together "for the sake of the kids" and then spend 90% of their time fighting and growing resentment for each other, because there is no love shared between the two...they just think it's best for the kids.

But the sad part is, kids who grow up in that environment never truly get to learn what love is all about.  They witness their parents fighting, arguing, constantly unhappy...and they start to believe that's what makes a relationship.  And statistics show that kids raised in households such as these will have a much higher chance of being in an abusive relationship once they set out to find a mate.  

That, in itself, is abuse.  Emotional and mental abuse.  You may love your child with all your heart, give them all the support and love they expect from a parent, yet when you spend the rest of the time fighting with the other parent... you are abusing your child.

And you know what's even worse than that?  Using your own child as a pawn to gain power over the other parent.  

That is the lowest of the low.  Something that makes the bile in my stomach wrench up in to my throat.  

When I am confronted with children who are abused, my heart breaks for them.  I want to protect them and do whatever I can to help.  But, when I am confronted with a parent who uses their own child as a pawn in a vicious game of "Give me what I want", my claws come out...and I see red.

There are so many children out there that don't have their mother or their father in their lives.  Children that have been abandoned by one of the parents.  That's when it's the remaining parents duty to step up and become both parents for those children.  I know, I've done it myself.  But, I have never and would NEVER use my children as a pawn in order to cause pain or have power over the absent parent.  There are so many mothers and fathers out there that want a strong, loving relationship with their child... yet they get met with the other parent preventing it.

There are mothers and fathers out there that decided to end their relationships.  Understand that the situation they were in was toxic for the kids.  That's a sign of a good that puts the child's needs first.  The intent is to separate, but continue to work together to ensure that their child continues getting the love and support provided by both parents.  Just not under the same roof.  But, then the parent that left is faced with the other parent using the child as a pawn, turning the child against the other parent, and using their child as leverage against the other parent.  

Why?  Why do that to your child?  

I just don't get it.

It infuriates me.

I have seen grown men crippled at the knees, wanting nothing more than to see their child... and a mother that is mad because the father left and refuses to let him see his kid.  No good ever comes out of it.  There are two roads that end up being paved...

One, the father gives in and returns the toxic situation...because he feels he has no other choice if he wants a relationship with his child.

Two, the father stays strong in his decision to leave and is left with a child that is allowed no contact with him, fed lies and hate, and then grows up and realizes that he/she had been misled all along and then turns against the mother for destroying the chance for a relationship with the father.

(I'm using the mother/father scenario here just because it's the one I encounter the most.  It doesn't mean that it never happens in reverse.. but you get the idea.)

Either way, the person who suffers the most?  The child.  

Any good parent would NEVER put their own needs before their child.  Any good parent would accept when a relationship must end (however hard that may be), and be thankful that the other parent still wants a loving relationship with the child.  Any good parent would swallow their pride, face their anger and bitterness and realize that ill feelings need to be pushed aside in order to keep their child happy and work together as a team to make sure that happens.

Very seldom are parents going to be best of friends if they have to separate, but they need to be the adults and at least be amicable.  There's a child watching on and learning how life plays out...and needs the best guidance they can get.  

I know this is super long.. but I needed to get it off my chest.  I have been talking to a friend who is going through this very thing, and my heart breaks for him.  Even more so, my heart breaks for his child.  A wonderful father that wants nothing more than to continue being a wonderful father... and an ex that squeezes all hope of that out of him.


I just don't get it.  

All I can say is that parents should be very careful playing with their child's emotions, and using them in a game of power.  Because one day, the parent you are keeping your child from will figure out a way to get their child back in their lives.  They will meet someone or recruit help from people who are willing to help.  They will extinguish your power.  

There's nothing more dangerous than a loving parent who has their baby ripped away from them.

Children are not pawns.  They are gifts... gifts that should be treasured.  And any parent who doesn't understand that, doesn't deserve to be a parent.


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Emotional Crash


I saw this pic this morning, and it clicked.  Immediately.  For the past few days, I've been in a whirlwind of happiness and excitement...yet last night, everything just came crashing down around me, for no reason other than the fact that I think I'm emotionally drained.

I've heard drug users say that they use drugs because they are addicted to the high that they get, and are terrified of the crash they receive once the effects start to wear off.  I guess I can relate to that.  When good things happen, you don't want them to end.  But, I truly think our bodies are only equipped to handle so much... before everything comes crashing down around you.

Nothing bad has happened, nothing has changed to make my super happy self feel unhappy, but the effects of the past few days have emotionally drained me.  They've overwhelmed me with such a huge surge of adrenaline that it has completely and utterly exhausted me.  

I also haven't been sleeping much.  That doesn't help.  My body is tired, and so my mind can't keep up with all of the new emotions I'm feeding in to it.  It's no wonder that at 4AM this morning I broke down in to a flood of tears... completely catching me off guard and coming out of nowhere.  

I was so confused...why on earth was I crying?  I've been so happy the past few days, so many exciting things have been going on, and yet all I could do was cry.  But, as the tears fell there were no bad emotions attached.  I didn't feel angry or sad or hurt... I just felt a release.  Like my body just needed to purge all of the emotions that have been building up inside.  

I truly believe that even though in my mind I hold no ill feelings towards the people that removed me from their lives 15 years ago, my heart hasn't quite figured out how to handle how I truly feel.  I've told myself over and over that what happened back then was done not out of malice, but out of protection. I've told myself that everything turned out just fine, and there's no reason why we can't just pick up where we left off or just start over.

Yet, deep down in my heart, there's still a piece of uncertainty that's holding on for dear life and not wanting to go.  

The what-ifs start coming to the surface.  What if I hadn't have been kicked out?  What if we'd stayed in contact all these years?  What if they aren't as happy as I am, and are just feeding their own guilt?  What if...what if...what if?

I am a firm believer in everything happens for a reason.  I've said it a thousand times, in fact.  The events of my life played out the way they did because that's they way they were supposed to play out. Everything has meshed together and made me the person that I am today.  The good, the bad, the ugly, and the beautiful.  All a valuable part of my life story and what has made me who I am.  I never want to take any of those things back... because for every bad event, there has been three times the good that has been bestowed on me.  

And I truly believe that there is a reason these people have now come back in to my life.  I haven't quite figured out what that reason is, but I know that eventually I'll find out.  Even if it's nothing more than to have people that were once very important to me become very important to me again.  

It's all been a roller-coaster ride of emotions, and my body needed to rest.  To calm.  To release.  

And now it has.

I'm, once again, ready to tackle it get back on the roller-coaster and see what thrills await.  Maybe none... maybe a bunch.  Who knows?  Whatever happens though, I'm ready.  I just need to remember that I have to take it one day at a time, one step at a time.  Pace myself.  

Today, I'm going to go and see Sanity.  Just to get together and catch up on what's been going on in the past few weeks since we last saw each other.  It'll be nice to get away from everything that's been going on...deflate a little.  

And tonight, I'm going to go to bed early and catch up on some much needed sleep.  That is something I really need to do... because I think if I wasn't so tired, I wouldn't be feeling so drained.  

But, all in all... I'm still happy.  I'm good.  Fantastic, in fact.  

Even better now I got to get this all off my chest.

Have a great Tuesday, everyone!!


Monday, July 21, 2014

Summer Sacrifices and Gains


Yep.  Two posts in one day.  I feel I must because I skipped yesterday.  That, and I am in a writing mood.  I've been working on my book, but I need a break to clear my mind.  Anytime I need a break, I go to Facebook.  It's the best distraction in the world!  That and I get to see what everyone else is up to while I'm sitting on the patio writing.  Which, scrolling through the newsfeed, is what gave me the idea for this post.  I love to see what other teacher friends are up to, how they're spending their summers, and if there is a commonality between us all.  And, from my few days of thorough research, I've discovered that there are, indeed, several things teachers tend to do during the summer that they don't do during the rest of the school year.

So, I decided to come up with this list.  A list I've put together of stuff teachers have to sacrifice followed by a list of what teachers gain during the summer. 


1.  All Sense of Time.

It seems as though most teachers, during the summer, lose their heightened sense when it comes to time.  Ask a teacher any day during the week of the school year what day it is, and she'll be able to tell you the day, month, year, and the minute (to the second).  Ask her the same question in the middle of July, and receive a blank stare in return.  I have encountered this phenomenon myself.  I wake up not sure what day it is, or even if I'm sure about the month.  Although, I will say, the closer I get to August the more aware I am that it's approaching.  Fast.

2.  All Sense of Organization.

Most teachers are masters of organization.  They plan EVERYTHING.  They use cute little plan books, post-it notes, and journals to make sure that everything is prepared for.  Even at times that plans fall through, there's a plan to handle that situation.  Lesson plans, to-do lists, seating charts, sub plans, professional development plans, and evaluation plans are always on a teacher's mind.  Between the months of August and May, anyhow.  But, during the summer those plans fall to the wayside.  I've been asked many times what my "plans" are for the day, the coming week, and even during my summer break.  My response?  "Whatever".  Yep.  Whatever.  I take each day as it comes, and wake up and do whatever I want.  No plans.  No to-do lists.  Just a sense of complete and utter disarray.  For the first two weeks, it makes me feel a little anxious.  I don't like not knowing what I'm going to do and when I'm going to do it every second of the day.  But, by the third week, I've absorbed myself in to the absolute pleasure of knowing I don't have to have all my ducks in a row.  I can be spontaneous, carefree, and adventurous.  Until the first week of August, anyway, when I go in to panic mode to make sure that my entire school year is planned out, and kicking myself for not using my summer to plan.

3.  Appearance.

This goes hand in hand with that organization thing.  A teacher's wardrobe is very important.  Plans have to be made to ensure that school dress is appropriate, and outfits are planned in advance.  The coveted jean days are put on the calendar with bright marker and several circles.  But during the summer?  All caution is thrown to the wind, and the majority of teachers spend their summers in old clothing, bathing suits, or PJs.  There's nothing more invigorating than getting up, throwing on the most comfortable clothing we own (if we even bother to change out of what we woke up in), and not even paying attention to what is staring back in the mirror. And clothing isn't the only thing that gets pushed aside.  Hair and make-up are also on that list.  I have spent all of 10 minutes on my hair all summer, and make-up?  Please.  Only time that's come out is when I have gone out with friends and felt that I needed a little splurge of appearance.  For 90% of the time during the summer, you'll find me walking around in the baggiest, oldest, most comfortable clothing in my closet.  All that goes on my feet are flip-flops, and a ball cap is thrown on my head because I'm not wasting any time trying to fix my unruly hair.  And that's pure, exhilarating bliss!

4.  Showers.

During the school year, I'm up at 4:30AM and in the shower by 5:30.  It's a part of the routine to go along with making sure my appearance is in top form.  But, I'll admit (regardless of how gross it is) that I've sacrificed a few showers since school got out.  When my days run together, and I'm perfectly content with the old clothes that I'm wandering around in, it's not surprising that I might skip a shower here or there.  I'm not talking about days at a time or anything, but my daily shower routine does fall to the wayside.  And, it's also not uncommon for me to take a shower at three in the afternoon...after I've spent the day in my PJs not caring about how I look in the slightest.  In fact, there's not a single day I can remember where I've showered before 7AM all summer long.  And I'd say about 75% of the showers have taken place after noon.

5.  Sleep.

Teachers are no strangers to sleep sacrifice.  That's a pretty normal occurrence throughout the school year.  But, sleep sacrifice during the school year is out of the teacher's control.  In order for them to make sure everything is planned, all papers are graded, and all kids have everything they need, a teacher must learn to live on 5-6 hours of sleep and suck it up.  Yet, summer comes around.. the time where most teachers could spend their time making up for all the lost hours of sleep they endured during the school year, and what do we do?  Stay up all night.  Yep, when you think sleep would be numero uno on a teacher's summer want list, it's usually knocked off and replaced with the freedom of going to bed at all crazy hours of the night.  We sit up and watch hours upon hours of Netflix, catch up on the shows and movies we missed during the school year, read, or play mindless games to pass the time. I, myself, haven't made it to bed before 2AM since I don't know when.  2AM is actually early compared to some of the times I've stayed awake till.  There's a part of me that just says going to bed early during the summer is a waste, that I should take advantage of every minute I have... so that requires sacrificing the sleep that I should be getting.  Besides, not sleeping in the summer keeps me in top form for when the school year starts up again.  

With all these sacrifices, teachers also gain a few things.  Stuff we don't have the luxury of during the school year...

1.  Family and Friends.

During the summer, teachers get to realize that there are other people living in their house.  People that refer to us as "Mom" or "Dad".  And while the school year is spent answering those names with responses such as "In a little while" or "Not now, I'm kinda busy", we can now spend the summer meeting all the requests of our biological children.  My kids have grown to understand that between the months of August and May, I have around 25 children.  They share me willingly, and never complain.  Because, they know that in the summer it's all about them.  I spend the majority of my summer wanting to do fun stuff with them, and letting them have the run of the show.  We don't have to plan and schedule time together around meetings, sports, and school days... it's more of that carefree, do whatever we like kind of stuff.  It's a time that we all bond, enjoy each other's company, and soak up all the activities we don't normally have time for.  It's also a great time to catch up with the friends we don't work with.  I spend a great deal of time with amazing people that I work with, but during the school year I rarely see those people I care about that I don't work with.  The summer gives me plenty of chances to get with them and catch up on our lives.

2.  Reading for Pleasure.

Most non-teachers have a misconception that a teacher spends a great deal of time reading.  That they enjoy reading, and do it often.  While it is true that most teachers read a lot, and enjoy reading for pleasure... very rarely do the two mesh.  Our school year is spent reading required PD books, standard objectives, school initiative memos, and emails.  That's it.  I get the pleasure of reading books to my students, but those books are books I've read many times before and are on a strictly screened list.  There's just no time for reading anything I want to read.  But, during the summer?  Now that's when the new books can come out.  The racy novels, the fantasies, the murder-mysteries.  Books that I could never read to my students fill my reading list.  In the three weeks I've been off work, I've read over half a dozen books.  And I've checked more books out of the library than I did all year long.  I also have a pile still waiting to be read that I will conquer before it's time to go back to work.  Summer is the only time I can get my fill of pleasure reading, and I make sure I make the most of it.

3.  Naps.

Now, even though teachers often sacrifice sleep in the summer, there's always the freedom to lay down for a nap.  A word that teacher's have heard, but never quite understood...until the school year ends.  I know that I've taken advantage of a few naps this summer.  If I'm up most of the night, I might as well lay down for an hour or two during the day, right?  In my mind, there's nothing more satisfying than filling a lazy day with a nap... especially if I'm curled up with my Jelly or my cat.  A rare luxury that is only available to teachers during the summer months.

4.  Trashy TV.

During the school year, there are a select number of TV shows that I make plans for.  There aren't very many, but I make sure that my DVR gets a good workout and keeps me up to date on the shows that are a must see.  But, there are also tons of shows that I wanted to watch, but didn't find them to be deemed necessary to fit into my already bursting, hectic schedule.  So, during the summer, I purge all those desires by hunting down the shows I missed and getting my trashy TV fill.  Reality shows, dramas, Netflix originals, and Hulu originals all make their way on to my TV screen during the summer.  Most of the time, it's how I spend my late nights.  During the day, the TV has on some form of cartoon, Hubby is playing his video games, or we're not home to even watch TV.  But at night?  That's when I can sit up and feast my eyes on whatever show I'm in the mood for.  It's another one of those simple summer luxuries I take advantage of.

5.  Memories.

While we sacrifice plans and organizations, teachers also gain a sense of adventure during the summer.  Theme parks, vacations, water parks, and back yard barbecues help build memories that aren't built during the school year.  That's not to say that the school year doesn't provide lasting memories, but they are more of the school assembly, field trip, and sporting event kind.  The summer gives a whole new life to lasting memories.  There's just nothing greater than having the chance to visit the place the whole family has been dying to visit, or spending the day playing at the lake, or even jumping in to the pool and having a game of Marco Polo... they are the moments that get captured and remembered in our brains.  With all my focus being put on a carefree, unplanned summer.. I do keep one plan very much alive:  Plan to have fun.  The summer has to be filled with fun, in whatever way my family deems fit.  That fun is an adventure, and memories in the making.  And, teachers can never quite get their fill of memories during the summer... but it's where most of them are made.

I have three weeks left until I report back to my first day of work.  But, I know that technically, this is my last week of vacation before I start heading in to school a few days a week to set up my classroom.  I plan on making the most of it, gaining what I gain and sacrificing what I have to sacrifice.

Teachers, once again, have the absolute best job on the planet!!


Sunday, July 20, 2014

What a Fantastic Time


This makes a change... a picture I actually like.  Peanut and I took this picture Saturday night, right before our dinner date with my old friend.  I didn't get to finish writing about it yesterday, but I'm gonna recap it all right now...

I was scared and nervous and excited.  But, I shouldn't have been scared or nervous because I had an absolutely WONDERFUL time.

It was almost like no time had passed at all.  After the first initial, awkward, "Hi, how are you?", we gave each other a big hug and everything just seemed to go back to normal.  Like it was so many years ago.  

We had a great dinner, and talked about so much.  Our lives, our kids, our families.  We reminisced and shared our memories of our time together, and it felt so good to laugh so much.  K's little family were there and made me feel very welcome.  They knew the history, so that made things a little easier.  But, they embraced me with open arms.  Like I was part of the family, and that meant so much to me.  I took Peanut with me because they wanted to meet her.  Not that my other kids aren't important, and that they don't want to meet them... but Peanut was the child I got pregnant with when everything fell apart.  It was important to them to meet her, talk to her, and see that she turned in to a fine young woman.

Once dinner was over, we drove over to a little park so that we could all sit and talk some more.  It was such a wonderful evening, and we've already started making plans on getting our families together for cookouts and such.

It just blows my mind how much people from so long ago can impact my life.  I mean, I've lead my life and come out A-OK without them, but they've always been in my mind.  I've always thought about the day we could meet again and share our life's adventures.

The only other person I was so close with in high school passed away several years ago.  So, I really haven't had any contact with my high school friends.  Not because I didn't have any friends, but I'm a firm believer that once life moves on...the true friends are those that stick around.  Sure, I "Like" several statuses on Facebook that belong to people I went to school with, but I haven't spent any amount of time thinking about them or reminiscing our times together.  Not like I have for the three friends that were the closest to me.  I lost one of them, and can never get her back... which I guess it's so important for me to rekindle the friendships I had with K and C. 

They were a big part of the tough times I endured during my mid-teen years.  They were there to offer a helping hand and help me make the best out of a bad situation.  It's so much more than a couple of teenagers that used to hang out with each other on the weekends.  We lived together!!  Shared a home. 24/7, we were together for several months.  Their family was my family.  And, now, it's like I have that extended family back.

K has let family members know that we've reconnected, and now they want to see me again. See how my life has turned out and especially how Peanut turned out.  I don't think it's from guilt, but more of a reinforcement that the right decisions were made when they were made... and to make sure that no hard feelings are held.  

I'm OK with that.  There are no hard feelings.  Now that I'm a mother of a teenager, I know where they were all coming from.  Why on earth would they take on the burden of a pregnant 17 year old?  It wasn't their burden to endure.  But, I'm sure they thought about me...wondered how I did, how everything turned out in the end.  And, now they all get that chance to find out.

I really feel like I'm starting out another strong friendship... starting over, yet picking up where we left off.  We're all adults, grown, have our own families, but now we will get to share them all. Be apart of each other's lives, just like we always dreamed about.  We always thought about our adult lives when we were young, and how we'd all be apart of those lives.  There may be a 15 year chunk out of that plan, but there's no reason why we still can't make some of those dreams come true.  

K and C are like the younger version of Sanity and Hope.  Sanity and Hope have been there for me during tough times, have been my shoulder to cry on when I needed them, and me for them.  While we don't get to see each other NEAR as often as I'd like, I know they're always a phone call or text message away.  And they know the same about me.   I can't picture my life without them, now.  Which is exactly how I feel about K and C.  When I was 16 years old, I couldn't picture my life without them.  Even when they weren't there, they were still there.  And now, they really ARE here.  

I can't put in to words how happy and excited that I am.  Really, I can't.  I'm trying.. but it's not doing what I feel any justice.  

To some, it may sound silly.  An adult woman that's so excited about friends she had in high school.  Big whoop, right?  Well, that's fine.  I understand that.  But, there's SOOOO much more to the story.  And, that story is still being written.  One day, I'll share it all...when the time is right.  I'll explain why all of this is such a big deal, and why they mean so much to me.  There are parts that I keep locked away because I'm not ready for the whole world to know ALL of my deep, dark secrets.  

In fact, those two are probably the only people on the planet that know ALL of the story.  My family, my kids, my friends, their one knows ALL of it.  Except them.  Because they were right there with me.  And knowing that there are two people out there that shared those experiences with me, helped me through them in fact, means more than anyone could ever know.  And it's what's kept our bond in place.

One day I'll be able to confront those demons.  Share them.  But, right now, I'll just be satisfied with having them back in my life.  To bridge the gap that's formed over the past 15 years...and make sure they never slip away from me again.

Have a great Monday, everyone!!


Saturday, July 19, 2014

Gonna Take a Trip Down Memory Lane

First off, let me start out by saying I am absolutely, 100% FINE!! Nothing bad is going on with me, nothing bad has happened, and I'm not worried about any major situation.  In fact, it's the complete opposite of all those things.

Yesterday's post seemed to have raised some concerns with some of my long-time readers.  I always appreciate the support and concern I get from my blog readers.  The network of virtual friends I have is very touching.  But, to those people who reached out to me yesterday to make sure everything is OK?  It is.  Really.  

The post I wrote yesterday was not sparked by a problematic or depressing group of emotions.  On the contrary, the post was actually influenced by excitement, nostalgia, and content.  I was happy when I wrote that post... I still am, in fact.  

You see, for the past week or so I've been connecting with some old friends I had 15 years ago.. and haven't seen since.  Thanks to Facebook, stuff like that can happen.  And when I say close friends, I mean they were pretty much my family.  

When I was 16, I went through a really rough patch with my parents.  I didn't like their rules, and didn't agree with how I was being treated (ah, teenagers, right?).  So, I moved out.  Just up and left.  And moved in with some friends.  Two, actually, that happened to be siblings.  I was friends with the older (who I'll call K), but very close to the younger (who'll I'll call C) (they are only a year apart in age).  They lived with their dad who gladly took me in (after discussing it with my parents), and they became my family...they took care of me, helped me, and made me feel like they were there for me.  

I lived with them for a while, and we had a lot of fun together.  Memories that can never and will never be erased.  I would go out on a limb and say that those few months that I lived there were the best times of my teen years.  The very best.  

But, everything came to a sudden end when I got pregnant at 17.  

I'm not going to go in to the story or share all the juicy details.. but long story short, my pregnancy was the end of my living with my friends, and ever seeing them again.  And so it has been for the past 15 years.

Well, that's not entirely true.  We have casually encountered each other on Facebook before...several years back, I did connect (very briefly) with C, but it was short lived.  I have been friends with K on Facebook for a while, and we've spoken occasionally, but not more than a quick "How are you? How's life?" situation.  

But, that all changed a little over a week ago when the C reached out to me once again.  And we've been talking pretty much non-stop ever since.  Reminiscing, laughing, sharing our life stories with one another.  And that sparked me to reach out to K again and do the same.  

And tonight, I'm going to see the K for the first time in FIFTEEN YEARS!!!  

It's been a whirlwind of excitement.  I'm also nervous and happy.  It's amazing how time can pass by, yet after not speaking for 15 years, conversations can pick up right where they left off.  

This is so important to me for two reasons.  One, is connecting with the people I loved and were the closest to me during the time we lived together.  Two, being to catch up on everything that life has thrown our way and get rid of any negativity that may be lingering due to the circumstances that played out all those years ago.

I know that none of us bear any grudges.  We were young, stupid, and made mistakes.  Those mistakes have been forgiven, and we've moved on with our lives.  But, they were such an important part of my mid-teen years, that I feel a need to reconnect and have them back in my life.

The fact that fifteen years has gone by and we are being given this opportunity speaks volumes for the kind of relationship we all had.  Even though the relationship only lasted a little over a year and a half (with my living there for about 6 months of that), it's a friendship that has stood the test of time.  They know more about me than my family and my closest friends that I've had for years, and I about them.

It was a short, but very intense relationship we all shared.  When I was at the lowest point of my life, thus far, they brought me out of it.  They have no idea how much they did for me... and now I get the chance to share that information with them.  Thank them.  Show them that everything turned out OK, and life has been great.

I know this all sounds very bizarre, but I have to put it out there that K and C had absolutely NO say in how our friendship ended.  Adults took control of that situation and removed me from it.  Apparently I was quite the bad influence.  Which, I suppose I can understand now that I am an adult with kids of my own.  I may have done the same thing, knowing what I know now about being a parent.  They know I hold no resentment for how things played out, and it's just taken us all this long to realize that it was none of our faults and there's no reason we can't rekindle our bonds.

So K and I are making that first step by having dinner tonight.

C lives 9 hours away, otherwise the three of us would be getting together.

I'm excited.  I think it's going to be really great for both of us.  

But first, I should probably do some laundry and clean my house.  UGH!!!

Have a great Saturday!!


Friday, July 18, 2014

That Crazy Thing Called Life


I am no stranger to a crazy life.  Crazy busy. Crazy fun.  Crazy dramatic.  Crazy scary.  It's how I've pretty much spent my whole life.  I did crazy stupid things when I was young, that made crazy funny memories.  I switched in to crazy stressful mode that enhanced my crazy protective mode.  Then, life got crazy busy which results in crazy tired.  

It's something I've come to embrace, cherish... because honestly I think if life doesn't have a little crazy, it would be crazy boring!!

But, over the past couple of years, the word crazy has taken on a new meaning.  Younger me lived life on a roller-coaster.  Constant ups and plummeting downs...twists and turns...scary uphill battles and stomach churning excitement.  Now, I would probably compare my life more to a train ride.  A little bumpy now and then, but staying on a pretty straight track close to the ground.

There's nothing wrong with living life like that.  To be safe, stable, going around and around running the motions.  It's what most people crave, I assume.  Stability.  Safety.  Comfort.

It still offers the crazy.  The crazy busy, sometimes crazy stressful, and even has a few crazy adventures.  

And when I really think about it, I realize that the ultimate goal for my life was to get on board that train and let it run its course.  The easy life.  

But, there are still times when I miss the crazy wild days of my youth.  Carefree, getting in to all kinds of trouble, laughing until my sides screamed in agony.  It's so funny to think back to the days where all I ever wanted was to be an adult, and now I hear kids say the same thing and urge them to enjoy each day and cherish the moments of childhood.

Every bit of crazy that I've endured over the years has built the person that I am today.  The crazy good and the crazy bad.  I take pride in knowing the obstacles I've overcome, and the wild ride I've taken to get here.  

I often think that if someone asked me 15 years ago what I wanted for my life 15 years down the road... I'd probably tell them everything that I have right now.  Great family, great job, great house, stability, love, and comfort.  Not that I would have believed any of it to come true.

Fifteen years ago my world was completely turned upside down.  My carefree days were over and I was thrown over the cliff in to adulthood.  No easy transition, no baby steps... just hurled over hoping I'd at least land without too many broken bones.  

And look at me now.  I suffered a few injuries, but I've healed pretty dang nicely if I do say so myself. 

I'm left with a few scars...memories of what was.  I remember, every day, the impact those scars have had on me...what they still have on me.  They will never disappear.  I hold on to them with pride..dignity.  I fought hard and persevered.

I embraced the crazy.

Which is why I still think I embrace the crazy.  Cherish it.  Seek it out, sometimes.  Riding a train is great for every day life, but it's still fun to jump on a roller-coaster every now and then.

And it's a message I want to put out there:  Embrace the crazy.  Ride the rides.  Face your fears.  

Screw making lemonade out of lemons....sometimes it's better to seek out a whole new fruit.  

I am who I am because of the risks I took, the tough decisions, starting over and over and over again.  And, I don't believe that life can be as rewarding without that journey.  

I know I'm not making much sense today... but that's just my crazy coming out.  I have to let it out now and then, in my own way.  When one of my scars starts itching...reminding me of times past... I get lost in the thoughts.  And they eat at me.  Until I can release them in the form of a jumble of words and a point that I'm trying to make, but having a hard time explaining.

I think I need to stop here...  

Have a great day, everyone!!