Simply

Just another manic Monday


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What I know…

I know that these last few months have been some of the most trying, full and enjoyable experiences of my life. Maybe it has something to do with how I’m viewing myself through this process. 

In November I thought the world would be better without me, or at least my pain and agony would cease to exist. What I know from that is, it would end for me but continue on through the people I would leave behind. During those dark moments you can’t see that. All you see is that you are alone, you are less than and that you are in pain and you would do ANYTHING to stop that pain. 

In December, I made the conscious decision to tell someone what was going on in my head. And what I mean is that I not only told my counselor, I talked with my doctor, I talked with my husband, I talked with my kiddos Godmom. I told friends and I put it on my blog. I asked for help and THAT was the single most hardest decision I have ever made. Things like that thrive in secrecy. I’m so glad I choose to reach out. I can’t say I loved the process. Because let’s be honest, I am an independent soul and I felt like I was being told to tell people my every move. I had weekly, sometimes daily check-ins. I had to give up things that made me feel safe but could also harm me. What I can say is there is power in support, positive thinking, and prayer. Thank you! 

In February I welcomed a baby niece and a few short weeks later I was given another niece. I love them as much as if they were my own.

One half of JZ

The other half of JZ

 JZ are absolutely perfect in every way. My heart was full. But… it also bought up that little thing that likes to pop up every now and then. Wanting another baby of my own. I know, I know. I joke a lot about not wanting to be pregnant again or going through labor again or even sleepless nights. But joking is also my coping mechanism. The urge to want to have a baby didn’t come around until after we had to give up the twins and their brother. In my heart I know what we did was best for us. Three was a LOT of work, at times I was overwhelmed. But it opened up in me the reminder that I couldn’t have another one of my own. The thought of going through what I did with Marie’s birth seriously gives me heart palpitations and anxiety. We almost lost her, I’m not sure I wouldn’t have that fear and stress in the back of my mind the whole pregnancy. And so because that was so traumatic, shortly after she was born I asked Ike to get a vasectomy. And he did. At the time it was the best decision and to be honest, I feel like it is still the best decision. But it doesn’t change the fact that my body aches to have a baby to carry and love and nurse. I’m slowly figuring out how to navigate those mindfields. For now I do it by getting some much needed snuggles from my beautiful baby nieces. I might or might not spoil them, but I can’t confirm that. I do want to add, we’ve had (Ike and I) that conversation. And we both agree that unless it’s meant to be (as in I get pregnant), we will not be taking in any infants or toddlers through foster care. Even though on occasion I ask him if he is absolutely positively for sure… What I know is that I can hold the sorrow of not having my own AND the joy of being an auntie twice over all together and still be happy. That is truly amazing to me. I’m learning and growing daily!

March came and went so fast, I’m still trying to figure out where it went. But what I do know is that I Love my husband more today than I did yesterday, or even ten years ago. And I say that because we just celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary. 

Happy 10th Anniversary


It was truly magical and everything we wanted. To be surrounded by friends and family. To have the same feel as our wedding and to be enjoyed by all. I’ll share pictures and more about that later. I also know that if I hadn’t learned even a little about making MYSELF happy, no one else would be able to. And so to be at this point is huge for me. We were close to being divorced on a couple of different occasions. The thing that helped us was taking each moment, hour, day, week, month at a time. 

April has been a time of slowin down, enjoying the quiet moments and spending time with family and friends. We celebrated the 5th birthday of our extra baby. 

Celebrating with classmates


Watching her be loved on and celebrated was absolutely adorable and so amazing. To see the pure look of joy and excitement in receiving was something I will cherish forever. To have something that is hers, and hers alone made her so incredibly happy. Im happy we got to see and experience that. What a gift! 

April has also been a full month, the group I was in has been cancelled because by the end I was the only one showing up. So I have to find and get comfortable in another group. I have a story about that too. Lol! We will be leaving next month on a six week roadtrip, yes I said six whole weeks! I am beyond excited. This trip will be epic. 

This is us filling out passport paperwork


It will include Canada, and the East Coast. With lots of time with friends and family along the way. Which leads me to add that our oldest daughter will be joining us in week two and stay with us through the end. I am excited for Ike and the kiddos. They get to spend some much wanted and needed time with an older sibling they didn’t get to grow up with. And I am lucky enough I get to watch all of it happen! 

For now that’s all I have, maybe I’ll finish those other stories and schedule them to post over the next few days. 

Namaste my Friends!

I


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Things to look forward to

I’m sure I will eventually post the story I wrote a few days ago. But for now, now I want to stay in the light and so this was what we had to look forward to…

We got a foster care placement on Wednesday, literally 4.5hrs after we made it back home from South Dakota. It was everything we didn’t ask for and more. We have come to the conclusion that we are too ‘old’ to have anyone under the age of 4 in our house (unless someone decides to make a joke and the vasectomy we’ve had reverses itself. Please note; I’m not laughing)…

We are also keep it to one more, maybe two more kiddos but definitely not three more. Been there, done that! And so we get a text message about an emergency placement, we are the last resort otherwise they will split them. The suckers we are fell for it. Lol! No matter what they will be split into at least two homes, there are 4 of them and a baby on the way. Our home only has 3 spots. So here’s to hoping our close friends who are foster parents will be able to take them so that they can see each other a lot. 

Anyways, so out of the three only one of them met our requirements. Haha! So we now have a house of six kiddos, 15, 10, 9, 4, 2 and 1… Whew! I’m tired just typing that out. Needless to say it’s been busy. 

The other exciting thing we had to look forward to was our youngest had her 9th trip around the sun on Sunday! 


She has been counting down to her birthday since April. I’m always happy when it finally gets here, she is so funny! This year I dropped the ball and didn’t bake cupcakes for the friends that would come to her party. Let’s be honest, I was just plain tired. So I bought a cake from Walmart (the only store open at 7am on a Sunday morning) and made her two little cakes (because… Dairy allergy).

She could care less about anything else other then eating her cakes and swimming. Also one of her gymnastics buddies had a swimming party as well so she got to celebrate twice. She was happy and so was I.


It’s so easy to get caught up in the darkness, find some light and stand strong in that. 

And to finish the post, I chopped my hair on Thursday. It’s cut, I feel so Boy George-ish! 


Namaste


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Class Parties

So Mouse and Marie are still in elementary school so they have Valentines Day parties. I swear this day snuck up on me because before I knew it it was the day before the party and the only one with anything to bring to the party was Marie. 

I decided to do non candy valentines cards, made life so much easier for Marie. Anyways, I’m the room mom for Mouses class and the co-room mom for Marie’s class. Both parties turned out super low key and full of sugared up kiddos. 

  
And Lil’ Cesar’s made a TON of money off of the school. Every grade had pizza from there. Lol! I’m so over pizza!

 

Anyways, looking forward to a long 4 day weekend. I know we will be at the park most of the time. Getting outside and enjoying the weather. Waiting on th rest of the crew now, we might go see the babies (foster kiddos) tonight. I think Baby N talks now. I was on the phone with her new mamma and I heard her in the background. Looking forward to getting in some squishy baby hugs and kisses!


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Happy Father’s Day!

So in our house I have boxes, actually lots of boxes that are still all packed up. Waiting for me to unpack them and do something with its contents. Mostly, I go through those boxes and purge when I’m in a cleaning mood. Other times I go through and reminisce about whats in that box. Now, I’m not talking about the boxes that store our Holiday decorations or anything like that. I’m talking about a different type of box.

I’ve hinted at it before, but I’m still not there yet. I’m not ready to talk about it so I’ll keep skirting around it until then. Today I am going to unpack a box and talk about it with you. It’s a box that has been packed and repacked for years, quite possibly about 15+.

This box has been in my possession or at least it’s contents have been since I was in high school. Anything before that was lost. 

This box is big enough to hold multiple little boxes in side of it, as well as a bunch of other little things. Like D-boys first tie he ever wore, or the name tag from my first ever internship at Planned Parenthood. Either way it goes this box has meaning and some value to it.

I am going to focus most of my attention to the small brown box. If you look below you will see a flower, a necklace, earrings, pin, a letter and a piece of paper folded up. The necklace, earrings, flower and pin were from my high school prom. Life was horrible at that time and I was able to find the cheapest dress and accessories to attend prom with a close friend. I was sad that I wasn’t able to do the things I had planned to do, but I was also happy that I was able to go and have fun with friends. Looking back, I am so happy I didn’t clam up and not attend because of the circumstances. It turned out to me an amazingly fun night.  

The letter and the folded paper all happened after I completed high school. The folded paper was part of a Indian Native ritual that I was a part of in college. The spark to learn about who I was started there at that event. I am grateful for the experiences I had during that time period. The letter was something I did while I was at a retreat. I had just graduated high school and I was miserable, I hated life and myself. My older ‘sister’ through the Big Brothers/Big Sisters program had come to see me graduate and she had given me a gift. I must admit it was weird, but I was open to hearing what she had to say. The gift was the Landmark Forum. Click on the link and it will take you to their website. Basically I called it my wake up call. It was a place where I learned that the things that happen to you don’t always have to be just that. That life is about facts and then you add your stuff onto it, that I could let go of anger and hurt and still make it after that.

It was the most profound experience I had ever had. I spent three days getting to know me and those around me. It was hard, it wasn’t easy or fun, but LORD it was necessary. I was 18 and felt alone… I was 18 and felt that the world sucked and I didn’t need to be in it anymore. I was the youngest person at the forum the weekend I went, I was humbled. I heard the tragic story of a woman that had been married over 40 years learn her husband had been cheating on her and then left her. She had been a homemaker and was just so completely and utterly lost. I cried for her, I grieved with her and I was 18. I sat through a dad tell the story of how he was a horrible father and how he didn’t think he would ever be able to get the love of his children. Some of the stories of what led people to the Forum were so intense and overwhelming, but I knew it was where I was supposed to be at that time and place.

There was one night, maybe the last night there when our assignment was to go back to our hotels and write a letter to someone we had been holding a racket with. Someone we were upset/mad/angry with and either they knew or they didn’t. It didn’t matter, the idea was to write it down and to get what you needed to say out there. It was a way of giving yourself the freedom to remove it from your life and move forward.

I went back to my room thinking I was going to write the letter to my biological mother, but as I sat down to write the page stayed empty. It was empty for some time… And I sat there and cried, I cried because my racket wasn’t with her. It was with my father…

After realizing that, I sat down and started writing. I was exhausted come morning. When I went back to the first morning meeting she asked if everyone had done what she had asked. You could tell it had been done, because there were a lot of somber faces in the room. She then asked if anyone wanted to read their letters aloud. I’m not sure what got into me but I raised my hand and she chose me…

Here is what I said,

Dear Dad,

I don’t know where to begin. I thought this would be easy for me, but the more I look at the painting the more colors I see. I guess I will just go straight to the point and not dance around it. For the last 16 years I have been having this racket with you. I have been making you wrong for leaving me and not being there for me when I believe I most needed a daddy and not a mommy. And when you left me for good 9 years ago, physically I felt that you were taking the easy way out. You just let some woman take your life and didn’t think how that would affect me. I felt that you didn’t say maybe I should try my hardest to stay alive for my daughter which I see only 3 or 4 times a year and which I know loves and respects me dearly. And I’ve been resenting the way I’ve been feeling because when its your time to go well then thats it. No other exceptions unless God says so. I regret not coming to your funeral but I couldn’t bring myself to the realization that you were gone and that I would never be able to hear you say, How is daddy little girl, not giving your mom any trouble are you? And Hows daddy smart princess your not teasing all the boys are you, you better not be. And when you left a big part of my innocence, concepts and perceptions went along with you. I had this big picture that why would never die and one day you and mom would get back together. I want to say that I give up making you wrong and i commit that I will no longer make you wrong. I offer to you, myself and I ask that toy just watch over me and be there when I get there so i can hug you and say I love you dad for giving me life and I love you dad for taking on the responsibility of being a dad and not just some sperm donor. And I would extend that offer for you to join me in making  a new relationship but i can’t exactly you’re not present in a physical form just present inside of me. I can end by saying. You are the #1 dad in the world in my book and I Love you. See you!

Loving you always, your little princess Iiona

I was 18, and this was a big deal for me. When I finished reading my letter I looked up and realized that almost every person in the room had tears running down their eyes. They all told me how much they appreciated my willingness to share and also my willingness to be present throughout the whole weekend. During that time in my life, i made a group of friends who understood what it was to carry around baggage and how great it felt to remove at least one.

I have to say I came back to more classes with that group of people for almost a year, it gave me the courage to move out of state and restart my life where I wanted to be.

Soooo, basically it is easy to have a child. It is even harder to parent that child. So I have to say Thank you dad for being that guy. I still know very little about you, but I do hope to learn more as I get to know my sister. The above picture is the only one I have of my dad, I cried when my sister sent it to me. This is the first time I’ve seen him since I was 9 years old. He looks nothing like I remember but yet he look exactly like I remember.

Anyways, I also want to wish my partner in crime a Happy Father’s Day! He is an amazing dad, he has patience, love, and a will to give his children what he didn’t have. I don’t think we could have picked any better. I am beyond happy that we get to share in this amazing journey together. Happy Father’s Day to all of the men with children, helping to raise children (theirs or someone else’s), or being the role model/mentor to a child/children. You are appreciated and we Love you!

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