Simply

Just another manic Monday

Happy Holidays!

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I know, I know I’m late with the Holiday cards. It is what it is. I got the picture done, now all I have to do is get the picture printed and taped to a card and mail it off. I also have to make and send off our vow renewal invites too. I’m glad I’m not expecting a ton of people to come, LOL! Otherwise I would feel overwhelmed with the things I need to get done. 

I’ve been wanting to write for so long, I’ve started so many stories and then kept them to myself. Maybe later on I will share. Right now I’m just surviving, mostly. I’m battling tiredness, like it seems extreme tiredness. I’m trying to see if its the medication or if its just life. I believe it’s a combination of the two. Always being tired makes for long days, trying to force myself to get some energy and do something. I feel like if I can get past the tiredness and go out and do something I will catch my break, but as of now… I can barely remove myself from my couch. And when I do, I return even more tired. 

So I’ve been trying to adjust my diet to possibly help with that. More salads and fruits, more water, and orange juice to combat the stupid allergies I still have. 


We’ve had so many fun things happening over the last month or so. Let’s see, we took in a foster placement. Her nickname is mKK. Some days I’m happy all we have is one kiddo and other days I feel like we have three foster kiddos. She is a lot of work. And I mean she is a lot of work emotionally, I’m still trying to figure out how to navigate that. It is such a peculiar place to find myself in. Maybe one day I will explain more of what I mean. Right now I will stick to the surface of it. I believe she really does like it here, she is the baby in the house so she pretty much gets all of the attention. But it also doesn’t mean we’re going to let you get away with murder or not help clean up the toys you pulled out. 

Let’s see, Mouse was accepted into a summer ballet intensive again. She is very excited and looking forward to it. I am just trying to remember to send off the scholarship application to help pay for it. $1000 for two weeks is intense for one kiddo, so any help she can get is always nice. LOL! She also recently got her first pair of pointe shoes. She was so incredibly excited, and I was just excited for her. She will be amazing and absolutely beautiful. She entered a picture into a photo contest through her school and she won and was able to move forward to the state competition level. At school her classmates and teachers nominated her for an award on Service. And today she will be honored at a Black History Banquet for her achievements lately. She is an amazing little human being. I am constantly in awe of what she wants and how she goes for it. 

On February 8th, we welcomed a niece into our family. My little sister had a baby girl. GUYS, she is absolutely amazing and adorable and I love her so. I am obsessed with her and snapping her picture. I’m happy I have a new subject to take pictures of. LOL!

On March 31st, Ike and I will be celebrating 10 years of us… married that is. It seems so weird to be here. I’m glad we are, he is annoying and so am I. But I do so love that guy. To celebrate this amazing milestone we are doing a vow renewal. Nothing big. We have a friend who is going to do the ceremony and another friend who will take the pictures. It will be at the local park here in G-Town and we will offer desserts at our house after. We wanted it to stay close to our theme from our wedding. Small, personal and with those who have been a big part of our family. We still have some red as our colors, just a deeper more rich red. Kind of like our marriage. A lot deeper and more rich. I’m looking forward to it. I just need to practice making th cake and cupcakes before we get to the actual date. Yeah, I didn’t mention that part did I. 

We cooked for our wedding so why not bake for our renewal?! I’ll do a cake, some cupcakes and possibly a cheesecake and offer chocolates (again) as a Thank you for coming we Love y’all!

The coolest thing is we’ve committed to do a five week summer road trip. I am soooooooo excited about this road trip. We have the basic locations planned out, and the dates we want to be in those locations. Now we’re letting people know in those locations to make sure they will be there and we can see them. Next will be a kind of narrowing down of things we might want to do while we are in those locations. I love planning road trips. This will be the longest we will be gone on a road trip so I’m nervous how we will feel after day 14, but I’m also just excited for the opportunity. 

Anyways, the sun is peeking through my window and I hear two little girls awake. So I’m going to go and get them dressed and ready for the day. My morning mantra has been, “Let’s Get It!” 

So here’s to an amazing Saturday… Let’s Get It!!!

Iiona


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4H photography project

So I’m almost positive I’ve never said this here. But Mouse is in 4H. We had her join when she started talking about wanting to be a veterinarian. They have a program called Veterinarian Assistant. And once you are done you are a licensed veterinarian assistant. Perfect, right?! Anyways, since joining Mouse has tried on several different occasions to talk me into letting her get a puppy, a dog, maybe even a goat. My resounding answer is always a NO, I only take care of humans…

Well anyways, on Sunday that will no longer be true. And by that I mean. On Sunday we will be given a dozen fertilized eggs and we will help them hatch. We will be given an incubator and the instructions. I mean, it can’t be THAT hard can it…?!  Once they are hatched, because we live in an area with an HOA, they will go to another home. Our HOA doesn’t allow for chickens… Insert smiley face here 🙂

In the mean time, Mouse is considering entering some photos into a photography contest with the 4H photography project. I think its the Houston one, but I would be lying if I told you I knew for certain. I get the emails, scan them and place them in a folder marked 4H. Its too overwhelming to read anymore into it unless I know for sure I need to know that information.

Anyways, I will post a few of her out takes from the photo session with a friends chickens. We went over and snapped some pictures and we will go to the local farm type place up the road and ask if we can come take pictures of their horses, cattle and goats.

Anyways, enjoy the photos Mouse took!

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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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There’s a story, of a lovely Lady…

You Are Not Alone…

That was pretty much the overall sentiment today… It was great reconnecting with folks whom I haven’t spoken to in some time.

Today, I used my time to reconnect, to refocus, recenter and to realize that even though sometimes I feel like I am all alone right now in these moment, I am constantly reminded that I am not alone. By chance I was reconnected with an old elementary school buddy. Mainly because I asked my Facebook community if they knew of a life coach they could recommend. And the other way we connected more was over a conversation on organized religion and her helping me to find a different metaphysical store in this area. I will have to Thank her for that later, I found all of the smudging sage I am in need of. But anyways, I know we met in middle school, yes, it was middle school. 6th grade to be exact. This was when I lived in Madison, WI for a while and we went to school together. We hung out together a group of us, and we did this up until I moved to MN in my 10th grade year. She dated the guy I fell in love with later, the first guy who ever purposed to me. She was so funny after the two of us started dating, she was like… “Oh, look at you taking my seconds.” That really pissed me off, but I knew she was only joking because we were all really, really good friends and they had only dated for like a couple of weeks. But that’s besides the point. She said some of the harshest shit, but all of it true and thats why we were the best of friends.

Or maybe it had something to do with the fact we are only a few weeks apart in age, both of us Sagittarius. My birthday in late November, hers in early December. We were almost like two peas in a pod, the energy between the two of us was always so intense and hot and full. We had so many similarities, which is what I believe drew us together growing up. But it was also the driving force around why we stopped talking for a while. She was my saving grace in middle school, we had this sort of weird type of relationship. I knew I could trust her with the secret of my sister and I being physically abused, I knew she would never tell because she too was being abused at home. She knew what would happen if the boat was rocked and so we did everything we could to keep that bitch steady and afloat. We spent almost every waking moment together in middle school, she at my house, me at hers. We would stay up until the crack of dawn talking about life, what it meant, why we were dealt the shitty hand and how we could possibly kill our parents and not get busted. We plotted and we planned, we came up with master plans and then scratched them and thought of something else. We whispered, we giggled, we laughed, we cried, we yelled.. together. We knew we were each others survival and lord knows we needed it. We had other friends, but you can only tell so many folks about your life at home before someone tells a grown up and rocks the boat. So, we begged them to stay silent for us, for our safety and then refused to talk about it with them. We would change the topic, make it light, crack a joke, say something snarky and sarcastic, or just plain laugh at something they would say, anything to throw the light off of us and the obvious issues we were having. Mines on occasion would become visible to the naked eye, a bruise here, a scratch there, a faint black eye, a busted lip. All those things and they protected our secret something awful, as an adult, I feel sorry for the children we were and what we begged and pleaded with our friends to hide for us. As an adult, I know it was what had to happen to keep us alive, as a child… life sucked big time, except for my calm within the storm.

I don’t know who needed who more, me to laugh away the pain and hurt I had trapped inside or her to laugh away some of the same things. Being the smart ass, sarcastic, loud and obnoxious girls became our motto in 9th grade year. But before that, we spent much of our time trying to survive. I started smoking cigarettes in middle school. To this day I still can’t remember who got me my first one, or even how I was able to come across some every day. I just know by 8th grade i was fully addicted to smoking cigarettes. It helped to calm me down, because on so many, many occasions our relationship would implode on itself and we would end up in an all out physical fight, yelling and screaming at each other, cracking yo mamma jokes, all while trying not to cry in front of everyone else. One fight was so stupid, we were just both so frustrated and upset with life that the only thing we could do was take it out on each other. Because we were so similar our energies played off of each other, our explosive personalities and bodies couldn’t handle the same space anymore and so we stopped talking and just started swinging. I had, had a horrible morning and we had gotten on the bus together and our energies were off and I could feel it. I tried to stay away, but I was always so drawn to her and so we started bickering and picking at each other. Well, one thing led to another and she called me Kool-Aid and I called her Band-Aid and that was literally the end of the conversation. I grabbed her shirt and she mines and we started fighting. She let go of me and told me I wasn’t fighting fair because I had on a back brace and I couldn’t feel anything, and I told her she wasn’t fighting fair because she knew I had the back brace on and could barely move. So we stopped long enough for me to take it off and then we were at it again, it took all of our friends to stop us from killing each other.

The sad thing is the fight was with our parents, not each other. But we knew we couldn’t fight them and so we did the next obvious thing. Fight each other. By the end of the day we were fine and back in each others faces, cracking jokes, being smart asses. But for that brief moment, I realized that we could self-destruct together if we spent too much time in each others presence. I guess lucky for us, I was forced to move to MN. We remained friends, talked infrequently, lost touch, found each other and here we are again today. Reconnecting.

If you can’t tell, she too was from an abusive home and so our friendship was sealed over the knowledge that we both could take a severe ass whooping and still come to school with a smile on our faces. Sometimes we spent countless hours talking about how much the last ass whooping we got really hurt or who got  it worse, or what was the object they used to beat us with that time, LOL! Its not even remotely funny, but yet here I am laughing about it. This friend of mines was the yang to my yin, I needed her as much as she needed me. We helped each other cope and deal with being in abusive homes. The main difference was she grew up in a more “stable” home then myself, but that too is subjective.

As we were talking, I couldn’t do anything but chuckle remembering the last goodbye we had when we were in high school. It was the end of freshman year, and I was on a high. I had just gotten asked out by the boy of my dreams, it was my first ever boyfriend and I had also just made the Junior Varsity Pom squad for the next year. Tryouts were a beast, but I kicked ass! And that night I got home I was told we would be moving from WI to MN at the end of the school year. I’m pretty positive I cried all night and every night after that for weeks. I told my friends and my boyfriend and we all had a good ole snot fest. We promised each other that we wouldn’t lose touch, but we were in high school and I just knew that was going to be the end. I did stay in pretty close contact with most of them, the guy and I dated on and off throughout high school. Got engaged and then finally realized we weren’t meant for each other and broke it off, human relationships are for the birds sometimes. I had never experienced heartache like that. And I wanted never to experience anything like it again, so I adjusted and fixed the ways those things went down.

I mean don’t we all, you are hurt by someone and so you adjust to avoid being hurt like that again. You are betrayed by someone and so to fix that you keep to yourself instead of just being yourself. I know, when I finally moved back to WI after I had graduated from high school. I had a few moments where the people I trusted and thought I knew the most, cut me so deep I wasn’t sure if I would be able to come back from it. I was the walking dead, I refused to eat or drink. I contemplated suicide and then I planned it out. I had been a cutter previously, and so it didn’t seem far fetched to just end it all. I didn’t want to use a gun or a knife, because that would hurt. I just wanted it all to be peaceful. So I did some research and planned it out, I stocked up on a slew of different pills and figured out the day and time. I knew no one would miss me for days so no one would be able to burst in and save me. Anyways, lucky for me my attempt didn’t work and here I am some odd years later able to say I’m happy it didn’t work. I woke up the next day with the worst feelings in the world, got up and went to work. And after work I found the cutest guy to get under and spent the next few weeks feeling my way through life slowly.

I realize I have a lot of coping mechanisms in place, some I’m not even registering that they are in fact a coping mechanism. Because of the things I’ve gone through that is how I was able to make it out alive. Now the next step is to realize that I am alive and I can either live in the past with all of those feelings (which have no place here anymore) or I can live in the present and live fully. I’m not even going to lie, the last 4 days have been really hard to focus, but I’m getting better at taking deep breaths, acknowledging & accepting the feelings and thoughts there and then moving forward. It also helps that every now and then I have a fake cry session (and it really is a fake cry session, its funny and my sister thinks I’m absolutely bonkers) and then I move on as if it were all normal. I swear human interactions or lack of them can make a person go nuts, but I keep being told that they are all worth it in the end… We’ll see…

I’m also really excited because my photo series Life in Black and White is going so well lately. It’s amazing the things that can happen when you let your creative side take over for a while.

Anyways, I’m interested to hear some of your stories and how you’ve managed to cope. And what are some ways you’ve been able to live fully in the now.

NaBloPoMo November 2015


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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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