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"Life always offers you a second chance, it's called tomorrow...the past cannot be changed, forgotten, edited, or erased...it can only be accepted."

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Remind me

My dad's pictures hang in our upstairs hallway. I notice them EVERY time I walk by...and I consistently think about taking them down. 

What do I hope to accomplish by keeping them there? They hurt me. They remind me that there were these good moments despite the hell...and that is something that I continuously struggle with. How can there be good when there was that much bad? They remind me that I MISS HIM. They remind me that I want a dad. They remind me that some bullshit things happened when I was a kid.

But they also remind me that my kids have a dad. A dad that adores them with every fiber of him. A dad that works so hard to keep us all together and afloat. A dad that is fighting to get through school while doing everything else...just so that we can all live a great life. This man is showing his kids that when you work for things you want, they can happen.

Those photos remind me of where I came from. I came from a lot of scary situations. I came from a girl who was scared to trust anyone...but clung to everyone. 

And now I'm not that girl anymore. I have built a home with a man who is better than I could have hoped for. I have a beautiful bonus girl, and a miracle baby. I have everything I wanted and that much more. 

So I will leave the pictures. Because I am stronger because of them. I am stronger because of the man in them. I am unshakeable because I went through so much so fast.

He's still gone, it still hurts, I still wish I had a dad. It aches every day when I pass those pictures. 

But I'm okay. I have been able to survive so much because of the things that he did and the life that he lived. I have learned so much, and I have gotten to a place where I feel I can be a better parent because of him. 

And I will see him every day.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Inspired by hate

Recently I randomly saw someone that verbally came after me a few years ago...a person who actually inspired this post.

I was thrown off at first...and just went about things as if that person wasn't there. But it stuck in my mind...the hateful nasty messages from over 5 years ago. I even reread them out of curiosity to see if I had overacted (I hadn't by the way...they were pretty terrible). And I just felt...crappy.

But then I reread the post that was my response to the situation. I realized how strong the head on my shoulders was at that time. I was damned and determined to turn my life around. I was in a rough spot...newly separated...hurting...and I was trying so hard to find my own legs to stand on. I did it publicly...because I don't believe in the bullshit posts on Facebook about how "life is so amazing" when it's not. Y'all can choose to live that way if you choose...but I'm human. And I act like it.

I also realized in all this that I don't talk about the daily struggles anymore. Silly things like mini panic attacks when I see a Mitsubishi Galant, or the feeling of dread I get when one of my father's friends pops up in public like a bat out of hell. It still happens...and while I want to get it out of my head through writing...I just can't find the time.

Life is hard to juggle right now, grad school, work, husband in nursing school, running a business, kids, house...

But it's pretty awesome.

So I guess this is a thank you to the mystery woman who tried to tear me down years ago. You've yet again given me the inspiration to get back on this blog. Because it's people like you that try to silence those who are struggling. "It shouldn't be public," "that's your private information," "stop seeking attention."

Oh sweetie if I had a nickel...

I hope everyone who reads this page gets the courage to stand up and talk about bad things that have happened to them. Because anyone that has had to deal with abuse, manipulation, and hell...has been taught that you DON'T talk about those things. They've been taught by people like this woman telling them to be quiet about their "personal" information. Making them feel alone and helpless.

I don't care who is reading this. You're not alone. There is nothing wrong with talking about the things you have dealt with. It's healthy...and you should do whatever you need to do to help yourself heal. Ignore the assholes.

Friday, December 23, 2016

We're ready for 2017

I'm not going to give some apology because I never write...because the reality is that I have two kids now...a house to take care of...a husband who is home twice a week (on a good week)...work full time...and grad school. Momma's a little frazzled.



I can barely take care of myself, let alone get around to posting what I think need to be posted.

On that note...here is our Christmas letter. The real stuff, not the sugar coated crap you typically get in the mail.

This year has been one of the best and the worst all at the same time. This year has changed EVERYTHING.

First thing this year we lost our best friend. A freak accident that took the life of someone we cared about deeply. Meanwhile, his wife faced a life she wasn't at all ready for...this year started as a year we all had to learn from. It was a start that threw us all for a massive detour. Mortality is a scary thing to face at our ages...and we will remember him forever. The first year of #adamshine...and it will continue to grow.







I thank God we had a big thing to look forward to. It helped us through some of the hardest days we have had. Two weeks later (almost to the day)...our daughter was born. Emmalynne. The absolute love of my life. The most beautiful newborn baby I have ever seen. She's quite literally a miracle I didn't think could ever happen.






4 days after she was born I turned 25. One of the most exciting, and forgotten birthdays I've ever had. Not forgotten in a bad way...but forgotten on my end...as I was too distracted by trying to sleep longer than 5 minute stretches. It was my best birthday by far.

The next 4 months flashed by faster than I could have ever imagined. I finished my first semester of my MBA (still not sure how given Emma was born 3 days AFTER the semester started), and Nick finished his 2nd year of nursing school. He did amazingly well...and I passed. All of my full time classes...and to be honest I couldn't be happier. I went from a person obsessed with GPA and honors...to someone that realized family and my home is more important than some letter on a transcript.

In those 4 months, we had our bridal shower, bachelorette/bachelor parties, and Emma's baptism. It was a whirlwind few weekends (yes we packed that all together for the out of towners). Emma has THREE amazing godparents...and we have beautiful friends and family that joined us for those days. We really *stocked the bar* at the shower...and we had a blast at the bachelorette party.








May 28th was one of the best days of my life. We became one family. The party of 4...officially. It was an amazing day...one that I can't word the way I want to. And I won't make your eyes bleed by hearing all the mushy gushy crap. We spent our one *mini honeymoon* night in the ER...because we really like to keep things interesting...












We went to Cape Cod this summer. Munchkin's first time on an airplane (that she remembers). She was so nervous...but opened up as we hit the clouds. She couldn't stop taking pictures...and we had an AMAZING vacation. One that I can't wait to repeat every year with our girls. Being with such amazing family friends...watching munchkin open up to people she had never really met...it was better than I can say.






Then summer ended WAY too fast and we ended up all back at school and the adults working. It has been a rough 5 months. Emma missed her daddy a lot and we spent a lot of time apart. As in...short visits twice a week when he wasn't at work or school. School semesters seem to slip by this household faster than we plan (all while feeling like they are dragging).

Here Christmas has arrived...and it's hard to believe so much has happened in one year. We were just moving into our house a year ago...and here we are settled. Granted my garage still looks like a bomb has gone off...but in all disclosure give a mom a break. It's been a BIG year.






Buying a house. Baby. Nursing school. Grad school. Marriage. 
Trying to somehow stay afloat.

We have lost...AND gained family members.

It hasn't been easy.

And while it has been anything but "perfect" in the normal term...it has been perfect for us.

Welcome to 2017 y'all...things are about to get even more interesting.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

3 words

A few years ago I posted about the three words that shook me to the core: my dad died.

I posted about that over and over again because I was so struck by how large of an impact those words had on my life.

But today there are three new words that have impacted my life more than I knew was possible.

"Love you too."

Words that I heard from my bonus daughter for the first time on Thanksgiving this year. I have told her for years that I love her, with no expectation of a response or an "I love you too."

But after four years it has finally happened. "Love you too." Every time we have put her to bed or dropped her off...I've gotten "love you too."

And until you are a bonus parent...until you spend time, tears, and endless love on a child you didn't help create...you don't understand how much those three little words mean.

They mean the world. The absolute world.

Guys...it really doesn't get better than this.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Count us out

I have been holding back for weeks. Call it me trying to be positive...call it being way too busy..call it avoiding the things I know need to be said. I'm sick of waiting. The biggest hurdle I face with this blog is saying the things I'm afraid will hurt someone. But my current struggle...is why I care who it hurts. If I'm posting it...it's typically because people have made very distinct choices to hurt me...so why do I care if my response bothers them?

Lets start with my wedding. It was 6 months ago. 6 months of very silly conversation, more than amazing progress with my step daughter, and 6 months of a marriage that I couldn't be prouder to be a part of.

Here's the thing. I have family that hates their spouse. I have family that disguises their hate in some disgusting veil of happiness and money. Everything is fine because they are rich...and financially stable. They live in this life that isn't real...it's all fabricated with cash and happy smiles.

I don't work in that world. I love my marriage. That involves chasing a teenager to bed...because she has a swim meet in the morning. My marriage involves a screaming toddler that my husband happily puts to bed after a week of pushing himself too far...because he knows I need a 60 second break. My marriage is real. It isn't always fun. It's Friday and I haven't really had a quality time with my husband for over a week...and to be perfectly honest, that only happened because of the holiday. Our life is stressful. No part of it is perfect...and I refuse to pretend that it is.

I see these stupid Christmas cards we get every year about how "all is great." I see kids that made honor roll, and parents that have these perfect jobs that make everything easy for their lifestyle. But as these cards come up...just remember...they are bullshit.

That's right. Bullshit.

If you can't admit that your family is ass backwards, weird, and never perfect...you are lying. You need to level yourself.

I spent a lot of time trying to "keep up" with that side of my family...and I refuse to continue.

When confronted, I was told that they "felt sorry" for me. I wasn't quite sure how to respond...sorry for what? I mean other than my father being a quite literal waste of space...life is really good!

They couldn't be bothered with either of my children...or my wedding. While the wedding was the least of my worries and just a stupid party...my kids aren't. If you can't be bothered to speak to them...want pictures of them...or care AT ALL about their lives...you don't need to be around us. Ever. And please note that when I talk about children...I'm not just talking about Emma. I have two children now...and if you only acknowledge one...please feel free to leave your bags at the door. You aren't welcome here.

I keep getting pulled back to this election as I write this. Stick with me here.

I read online (as I'm not welcome on Facebook anymore), that one of my cousins was "inconsolable" after this election. Another one was "in tears" because he couldn't handle the results. And as much as I want to nicely pat their back and say "there there" my only response is that they need to a- grow a pair, and b- try serving this country.

I get that I haven't served. I don't for a second pretend that I have or that I understand what those that did went through. But what I do understand is that things in life aren't handed to you...and that sometimes you have to look beyond your hurt feelings to understand that there is bigger in this world.

While my cousins at 20+ years old need safe spaces because of election results...I begged for a safe space at 12 when my heroin high father threatened to kill me. As my 20 some cousins protest against police officers that save lives...I begged them for help at 13 as I hid in a basement next to my father's cocaine stash.

I'm done with the privilege. I'm done with the negative light that my father's entire family casts on my life. I'm done with lies. Constant and hurtful lies. Lies about how my grandmother couldn't travel to my wedding...yet she flew to see my cousins hours away just a week beforehand. Lies about how family gives a flying crap about my life...but can only be bothered to send a gift certificate every few years. Certificates that I have piling up in a drawer near my bed...the last two years of which I donated to a charity because I couldn't stand spending money from someone who honestly couldn't care less about our lives.

I am a wife now. A mother. To two beautiful children. A biological and a bonus.

If you don't want a life with them...you don't want a life with me.

And on that same note...if you want to accuse me of being a terrible person based on political affiliation...count me out. I have voiced my opinions...quite loudly. You can dislike/hate them all you want...but the day you judge me is the day that I step out.

I won't do that nonsense. I come from my mother's family. A family that loves unconditionally...and knows better than to make hurtful comments towards anyone. They embrace differences, and also understand a commitment to God and country. They love no matter what. They have loved me, my husband, and both of my children to a level that I admire. It doesn't matter who you are or what you think...they just love you.

But yet...there has been so much hate, especially involving this election cycle. Words have been said that can't be taken back...and honestly it's pathetic. Personally attacking someone doesn't make you right...it makes you cruel. End of story.

"No one can make you feel inferior without your consent."

So at this point I have a choice. I have a choice to choose love. I have a choice to choose people around my children that love them regardless. I have a choice to keep the friends that care and truly love my husband and family. I have a choice to ignore the hateful and truly ignorant comments and emails coming from those I previously considered "family."

I have a choice to "let go and let God."

So I'm letting go. Too busy for my wedding? Too busy to care about BOTH of my children? Too spoiled to realize there are different points of view? Too stubborn to care that you may be wrong and forcing hateful comments on the wrong person?

Doesn't matter...I'm out.

I have an absolutely beautiful family. A husband that I could have never imagined. Two children that amaze me daily. And an amazing amount of people that love them just as much as I do.

I will never again fight for someone to be in my life. I will never let my children feel like I did...and they too will never fight that fight.

If you don't want to be here...please excuse yourself now. There is no room in all this love for your negativity. I have a family that is beautiful and happy...any nasty energy needs to get far away from us. If you have that negative energy...if you are anyone I have mentioned above...count us out. It's time for you to leave...and stop following this page.

I'm done. I don't want you here, or in our lives. I don't trust you around our children.

I want very few things for our kids: unconditional love, unconditional support, and unconditional safety.

Those are three things I only got from one parent. Things that I would give my life to make sure my children have.

So if you're reading this I want you to remember...if it's love...support...or safety...there are NO conditions. NONE. EVER.

If you have conditions...you can find the door yourself. We don't do that here. Children here grow up knowing they are safe and loved. Regardless of what they choose to do/believe/say.

I have ranted a lot tonight and I know that. Probably hard to swap back and forth...but this is about six months worth of thoughts bubbling up when I finally had half a second to sit down and clear it all.

I need to come back...because people suck, and I'm not afraid to say that. If you don't like it...leave.

Because to be real...we are stupid happy...and if you don't want to be a part of it...at this point it's your loss.



Thursday, September 29, 2016

Before you mourn...evaluate

Here's the deal. 

People I know are dropping like flies. 

People I went to school with...
there's a new obituary every damn day.

This is a disease we need to address.

This is something we can't keep ignoring or writing off.

But here is what is going to really get people pissed off (or at least the ones that it pertains to).


If you are on Facebook mourning the loss of someone that overdosed...

STOP USING.

Reach out, even to me. I will help you find the assistance and support you...whatever you need.

But don't you dare mourn over someone and then be the obituary the next day.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Two years ago

My post two years ago included "Just found this quote from one of my old blogs...and it came at a really good time...things to always have:

"Patience for the grieving process,
loyalty to those who are there for me,
hope for the future,
faith in the bigger picture,
trust in myself to make the right decisions,
and most importantly…
love for myself regardless of the outcome."

I felt I needed to follow up.

I had patience...and I found peace.
I was loyal to those there for me at the time...and now I have a network there for me when I need it.
I had hope...and life is so much better than I imagined it could be.
I had faith...and I provided with my own family.
I trusted in myself...and ended up with a degree and a career.

But the loving myself? Still working on it.

Guess what...you don't have to be perfect. I'm still accepting that fact.

I love my life...but it takes some time to accept that loving life can stop equal working on yourself.

It doesn't mean you have it all together <3