“You, and only you are ultimately responsible for who you become and how happy you are”
— Rachel Hollis
This is the first post on our new blog. I’ll keep it short and sweet. I decided that since I am such a story teller… I needed a place to tell my stories. So here we are.. Hopefully you’ll be entertained, maybe even uplifted. Who knows? Subscribe below to get notified when I post new updates and find out for yourself!
To be honest though, I don’t really like gold, white gold sure, or maybe rose gold.. I’m getting off topic though. This April 29th we celebrated being married for 14 years. I think the REAL celebration should be the fact that we have been around each other 24/7 for 48 days and both of us are still alive and kicking. * Cue the confetti cannons and balloons*
Since we became parents we normally would use our anniversary as an excuse to have a weekend to ourselves. I would plan a fun getaway, somewhere reasonably close and we would drop the kids off with grandma and head out to remember what it was like to be just Laura and Greg and not necessarily mom and dad. Obviously that wasn’t happening this year. To say I was not happy about it is an understatement but I understood. So I decided to turn my attention to having a stay-cation, you know, if you can’t see the world bring the world to you. Well that didn’t pan out either. I was hoping to have a little backyard clean up happen, get a fire pit put together and some decent patio furniture to go around said fire pit. Then I thought it would be super fun to do an “around the world with cuisine ” theme. Like I mentioned in the last post, i’m an over achiever.
What actually happened was something I couldn’t have ever planned for. The day started off fine, I had ordered the fire pit from amazon weeks ago and we had finally put it together the night before, all we needed was to go fill up our propane bottle and we were golden. I also needed to hit the store to grab a few things for our fun dinner. WELL… as soon as school got over with I ran upstairs to get ready for the day and since we would be venturing out into the world and it was our anniversary I decided to take extra time on my hair and do a little makeup. I discovered quickly that I have completely forgotten how to apply eye liner so that was pretty.. and while I was upstairs we got a knock on the door.
Now let me explain, when someone would knock on our door before all this BS started I would be wary and not want to answer because anyone that knows me knows I expect a call beforehand. Or at least a courtesy text to alert of an incoming drop by. But now?? The door hasn’t been knocked on in so long that Greg and I just stared at each other like “what are we supposed to do?” So I piped up and said ” well that sounded like a manly knock so you better answer that.” HA
Turns out a guy was looking for a motor-home and his friend knew we had one and a trailer. He had decided to stop by and see if we were interested in selling. We were actually looking to sell it we just haven’t been in a big hurry because of how the world is right now, and it needed a couple things fixed up on it. So Greg takes him to it, shows him around and explains what needs to be fixed and so on and he says ” SOLD!” Greg comes back in and let’s me know that we now have to gut it and clean it ASAP. * sigh* Alrighty, going to the store is put on the back burner and I get busy. Three hours later the dang thing is gutted, spotless and ready to go. If only I could say that about my living room which is where EVERYTHING got thrown in Greg’s attempt to haul ass.
Needless to say when I walked in I was ready to hit the floor. So much freaking stuff and where to put it. Not to mention, all my time to run to the store for stuff and cook it was totally eaten up by this. I made the decision to scrap my idea of a fun dinner and just order Cafe Rio. By the time I had placed my order the guy was back to pick it up. Wesley has always been very attached to the motor home and would start crying every time we mentioned selling it. I knew it was going to be very tough for him to understand why it as moving on to a new home. I sat with him and explained that even though we had had some really fun times in it , it was time for it to go to a new family and let them make memories in it. He was still sad but seemed to understand. We got one last picture with it before they drove off.
After that we all piled into the car and ran a quick errand to pick up the kids new belts for karate, They have still been hard at work, even through the quarantine! Then off to pick up dinner. I had hoped that once we got home we could eat dinner get the kids to bed and Greg and I could still salvage the night by having a little ” Fire Pit” time. When will I learn?! Greg informed me over dinner that he had some work he had to do still that was important so fire pit time wasn’t gonna happen. *deep sigh* I was pretty bummed but i’m getting used to that feeling with every freaking thing that I had planned for this year getting unplanned.
I ended up setting up the teepee we had gotten for the kids and shoved in the motor home and never opened so they could play for a bit. Other than the set up kicking my butt it was pretty fun to watch them play and enjoy!
After all the fun with that it was bed time,I got the kids to bed while Greg worked and about 10 minutes after I sat down the power went out. Illa can not handle the dark, she sleeps with her lamp on, so she was in our room in a flash. Wes was already asleep, lucky duck. We made the best of it with flashlights and chilling out on my bed. Illa had a blast and kept referring to it as ” the blackout” and when the power came back on about 40 minutes later, she finally went to bed. We ended out the night by Greg working some more and me watching a true crime documentary. Happy 14 years to us! HAHA
Eventually, one day, maybe I might learn to just stop with the plans. Maybe that was the point of this damn quarantine. To break my planning spirit. I hate to say it’s working but dammit this is hard. Everyday feels like ground hog day, no matter how hard I try to break it up. To be fair my determination to do fun things and provide the kids with entertainment has evolved into them coming up with whatever sounds like fun at the moment to them and me saying ” eh, why not?” You wanna run through the sprinklers for 6 hours? Knock yourself out. You want Ice cream after every meal? As long as you eat what’s on your plate, sure. You want me to carry that teepee in and out of the house 17 times? Why the hell not?!
Here’s to hoping that one day (Lord knows I’m not gonna say a day anymore) we eventually make it to the backyard for our “Fire Pit” time.
That title sounds a little bleak. But truth be told so are the times. It’s been a hot minute since I’ve been on to update this thing because life has been at best, a shitshow. We have had some awesome moments don’t get me wrong but what I want to actually write about is this quarantine BS.
When I got the news that basically the world was shutting down for two weeks I was a bit shocked. I mean part of my brain was thinking “Is this it? Is this the start of the zombie apocalypse? Are we prepared enough? Do we have enough tp? Is the world gonna actually stop for 2 weeks? I can do anything for 2 weeks.. It goes back to normal AFTER 2 weeks, RIGHT?”
2 weeks is what I was prepared for. Those weeks were hectic but we did ok! School was a little rough to get into a routine but we did it. Then we had the earthquake on day 3 and I have never felt more unprepared and thrown off my axis before in my life. To look into Greg’s eyes as it was happening and watch the emotions playing out on his face that were mirroring my own was an experience that is seared into my brain. Even after that we kept plugging along. We got into a new routine of all of us being around each other 24/7 and we were adjusting.
Then week 3 hit and the wheels fell off the bus. Actually, truth be told the wheels feel off the bus, got stripped for parts and set on fire. It hit me like a ton of bricks that this wasn’t changing anytime soon and I was adrift in despair. That is the best way to describe the feeling. I was emotionally exhausted. I cried all the time, tears were just always at the edge of my eyelids waiting to spill over and let my feelings run down my cheeks. I didn’t want to get dressed, or eat, or do home school, or be a parent. The thought of preparing food and serving it took so much energy that I was exhausted before I even began cooking. The kids would ask me constantly what we had planned for the day to which I would reply ” Nothing. We have nothing to do and all damn day to do it.” They eventually stopped asking. By the time we hit the weekend I knew I was in a bad place mentally and needed to reset.
Greg has been working from home since the beginning but the major difference was the first week he was in the house with us and could be kinda helpful and a buffer. After that first week he moved out to our shop so that he wouldn’t be interrupted on calls as much and we wouldn’t all have to be quiet every time his phone rang, which is approximately every 2 minutes during business hours. This was fine until our internet just wasn’t quite as strong as it needed to be support his mission control center he had set up. After many phone calls to me in which he asked “what’s wrong with the damn internet” like i’m some kind of IT genius he finally moved back inside and holed up in our room. I still get phone calls asking about the “damn internet” occasionally, i’m sure to remind me of better days but for the most part he seems happy locked away in our room. I have noticed one large detriment to having Greg work from home and that is simply that he can’t shut it off. He is working longer hours now than ever before. Which kinda blows my quaran-plans to hell.
See, when this all started I thought, well with Greg home and clearly no where to go we can get SO many projects done around the house. By the end of week 1 I had stuff in the online cart at Lowe’s to finish the master bathroom, plans to clean up the back yard and if we had time to squeeze it in we could re-do the kitchen. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA Bless my poor little over achiever heart. The stuff is still in my cart, all that has been done on the backyard was to add a trampoline to it for the kids and we moved one trailer. As for the kitchen? Well the counter tops we painted on 7 years ago are starting to come up in earnest now and I started scratching ” we need new counters” into it. So yeah, our remodel plans are dead in the water at the moment.
One thing that I have learned about myself during this mess is I handle stress and anxiety by throwing myself into a project and not really dealing with the feelings. I make myself so busy accomplishing things that I don’t give myself time to stop, tackle what’s really wrong head on and move forward. While this approach has worked in the past and pushed me to be one of the hardest working individuals I know, it has not been preparing me for times such as these. I mean WHO KNEW?! These last few weeks have been ROUGH. Rougher than that third week by far. I am having to process how I feel in real time with no “Remodeling distractions”. It’s not pretty y’all.. poor Greg is constantly asking how I am, and my answer half the time is ” Hell, I don’t know..” Depression has hit me hard between the eyes. But I am trying my best to see all of this for what it is and to work through it and process it. Burying the problem just won’t cut it anymore. I mean for Pete’s sake this is what I’m going to school for, I can’t very well be a good therapist if I can’t even learn to work through my own issues. It’s funny to me how hard your mind works against you to do everything BUT what needs to be done to feel better.
Moving forward into these next few weeks will be interesting. Greg and I will be celebrating our 14 year anniversary next week. We normally go of town together for a couple days, that would be nice and all but at this point I’d be happy with a date night. We haven’t had one of those in AGES. I mean we could get our crap together and do one after the kids go to bed but most nights he falls asleep watching a show and I just sit in stunned silence, dreading going to bed because I know we gotta get up tomorrow and do it all over again. Is it really that bleak? That’s probably just my mental state talking I mean at the end of the day, we have been lucky. We have each other, plenty of food, water and tp. We aren’t sick *knock on wood*, and Greg thank the good Lord still has a job. I really do try to focus on things to be grateful for but sometimes you just gotta get it off your chest a bit you know?
Today marks 43 days since we last really went out into the world. 43 days. 43. I mean we’ve ventured out for groceries and the occasional errand but 43 days since our old routine. I miss it. I know the kids miss it too. Greg and I explained all of this to them and they have done really well and been pretty darn understanding, but I know we are all so done with all of this. I think the best thing that has come out of all of this is this: I can now make beaded lizards, mermaids and sharks like it’s my part time job, I can make play dough masterpieces like Michelangelo and my painting skills are getting stronger everyday. I’m enjoying taking long walks to the front room where I can sit and watch people like a creeper, sipping my diet coke and listening to my water fountain outside. Life really is fulfilling when you think about it.
And just like that another year over and a fresh new year is here! 2019 was a wild ride I tell you! December was a super busy month. We decided to surprise the kids with the Disneyland trip that I covered a bit in our last post. While on paper (or social?) that was a good idea in real life it was a little stressful. I had to get everything I could do done before we left because by the time we got back I would have just 3 days till Christmas.
So we got home had a day of rest and then hit the ground running. Greg went back to work and the kids and I got busy making neighbor treats and last minute shopping and wrapping. Christmas day is actually one of my favorites simply because for me it has this deep feeling of “PHEW” I either got it done or I didn’t” I can finally rest.
Not long after Christmas is my birthday and this year was one of the best ones I’ve had! It was filled with rest, friends and food. So much food. I had a great day and was asleep by 8:30 . I know, I’m a party animal. Also this year I dealt with a little denial. TOTALLY thought I was turning 32. Nope. A kind friend reminded me that I in fact, was turning 33. Sssshhh… why ruin the dream?! haha I don’t math. Clearly.
The next day was New Years Eve and we had a fun day together , hit up Costco, let our stomachs do the shopping. (Bad idea y’all) When we got home we did our annual ” New Years Eve kiss” picture then we celebrated the countdown at 10-ish with the kids. Big thank you to Netflix for that! That picture started out as me wanting to get a cute picture of everyone getting a kiss at the same time about three years ago. The first year was such a hoot that it quickly became a tradition. Once the kids were in bed I started looking where we could watch the ball drop for Greg and I , it’s tradition! We have some streaming services but none of them are LIVE so it was a bit of a chore. Finally found one, or so I thought and then we watched a show till the magic moment. WELL….. when the time came the ROKU channel that it was supposed to be on played only commercials and never showed it. Greg hurried and came over and kissed me real quick while I was frantically looking on social to find SOMETHING. I searched for 15 minutes and finally decided that we were just gonna not have that as part of our New Years celebration. I’ll admit I know it seems silly but I’ve grown accustomed to that. I was sad to miss it but it was memorable in its own way!
New Years day was filled with snow and sledding, a first for our kids! They have had sleds for over a year and finally got to use them. It was nice to take the day and just spend it with them. They had a blast, well Wesley got pretty ticked there for a hot minute. They had built these little snow hills to use as a jump and he wanted to go off of one so dang bad. When he tried and tried and still didn’t go off it he had a major fit. I’m sure there is a meme in his video, I’ll figure it out one day, it’s funny and heartbreaking, ( as his mom) to watch.
I know I say every year that I’m excited for the new year, but I REALLY mean it this year. I’m learning and growing so much and am trying to pass that on to my family. I have a ton of things that I want to accomplish this year. Goals that are HUGE and a little scary but that I want to tackle because I love a challenge. I’m going full steam ahead on school and am so grateful that I have the opportunity to not only go back to school but that I have a supportive family.
Health is going to be another focus of ours this year. The entire family is getting a healthy mind and body over haul. Greg’s health has plagued us long enough and while I generally just keep trucking along and get crap done I know that my body would feel better at a healthier weight. We are getting healthy and we are going to feel better because I say so. We have too much to accomplish to have this keep getting in our way, so watch out world, we are on FIRE!
The promise of a new year is a little intoxicating I feel. Last year I did something that I liked and will be repeating this year. I not only set forth new years resolutions I broke them down so that each month I added a new thing. Instead of saying ‘ I’m gonna do ALL the things at once” I brought change in gradually and I’m happy to say that I have stuck with my 2 major goals from last year the ENTIRE year. That folks, has never happened in my whole life. This year is going to be the same. Introducing the changes gradually so that they are LASTING changes.
2019 was good year , onto better things! I’ll just leave you with this little gem to celebrate the new year!
So we are going to Disneyland. Me, Greg, Illa, Wesley and my best friend Jessica are all scooting along the freeway on our way.
It’s been hell trying to get everything ready for us to go. I won’t sugar coat it. Everyday leading up to us leaving was filled with crossing things off a ridiculous to-do list. But I did it !
Things were going pretty smooth till yesterday. That’s when things started to go shall we say, downhill? The morning started good enough, I got breakfast made and then cleaned the kitchen, checked my school work, meal prepped for our dinners down there (have Intant pot will travel, yo), cleaned out the car, ran to Costco, got gas, did laundry , helped greg put the roof rack thing on and generally kept picking the house up.
All the while I kept checking tracking on some awesome custom shirts I’d had made for our trip. Every time I checked, it kept saying it was out for delivery .. well the post lady came and went and it still wasn’t there. I was starting to panick.. what the hell where we gonna wear now?!
Instead of dwelling on the negative I decided it was time to do the scavenger hunt. I had planned out a scavenger hunt to let the kids knowthat we were going to Disneyland. That idea went up in flames. Illa was excited Wesley was not. We had clues all over the house that would lead them to the final clue that was taped to the bathroom mirror. Illa excitedly ran from room to room following each clue and getting more excited by the minute. Wes decided his time was better spent complaining on the stairs about how lame it was and that we should ” just go to the arcade”.
When we finally got to the final clue, Illa was tired of Wesley’s attitude and quite frankly so was I but he agreed to go check out the final clue with us. They argued over who got to open the letter because, why not? And when they finally opened it Illa got it pretty quick and was SUPER EXCITED.. Wesley not so much.
He got mad at Illa for screaming from excitement and smacked her which made her cry.. at that point everybody went to their rooms to cry, myself included. STRIKE 1
I had been planning that for WEEKS. I saw it going so differently in my head but I guess that’s life with kids. I checked to make sure illa was ok and then made dinner and at that point it was time to pack.
I kept checking the tracking but it still hadn’t budged. I even tried to make an account and change the delivery address but no luck. I finally just accepted that the shirts weren’t gonna happen and got all of our bags packed. STRIKE 2
I was excited to debut the “landmark bags” I had assembled. Basically it is six different bags that were filled with different things and they had tags for us to open at certain times. Examples ” open after first stop for gas” and ” open when we pass St. George ” I put an assortment of treats, coloring books, movies, stuffed animals and books for them to open along the way. The first bag was treats and a new movie ( The Incredibles 1 & 2 ) I totally didn’t realize when I bought them that they were blu-ray… the DVD player in my car is not. STRIKE 3
The next few bags went over the same but I finally struck gold with some road trip kits I put together with my Thirty-one Get Creative Zipper pouch. I filled them with large crayons, stamps, stickers and a notebook that had a puppy one it. Wesley thought it was the best thing ever!
Oh and while we were driving I finally got notification that the dang shirts had been delivered…*sigh*
I switched Greg out at the big A Chevron so I could rest my eyes for 5 and also do something really crazy for me.
It may come as a shock to some but I really struggle asking for help. I’m getting better, but I still struggle. I don’t want to “put people out” I know everyone is busy and has their own lives so I would just rather do it all myself . So while greg was driving I reached out to my friend who was watching the dogs and asked if there was anyway she could take the dang box on Monday and have it shipped to the hotel by Wednesday. That way we’d have our shirts for the majority of our days at Disneyland.
This friend of course said “YES! I’ll help!” And got them shipped off on Monday and they arrived Wednesday without a hitch! Thank you UPS! We were like I said able to wear our shirts for the majority of the days and I was so very happy I reached out. Thanks friend!!
I guess my point/take away from all this is 2 fold. 1- I need to not build things up in my head.. they are going to go how they are and I’m working with other humans who have their own outlook and reactions to things and 2- it’s ok to reach out and have others help you. You’d do the same thing so don’t assume everyone is too busy to help.
Go out there and help others like my friend did, show the world (and fiercely independent suckers like myself) that it’s ok and that we won’t die if we ask for help!
I didn’t get a post written last week. I just couldn’t find the time, why you ask? Well, between Thanksgiving and an awful snowstorm and what we were up too, time just slipped on by. Then December started, WHERE HAS THE YEAR GONE?!! We were busy putting up the tree and decorations and getting our house ready for Christmas. I love the end of the year and all the traditions it brings with it. That makes it one of my favorite times! Pop on the Andy Williams Christmas Album, cringe when the children singing ” Away in a manger” are off key and get busy making memories.
The last 2 weekends have been filled with what I like to call Greg’s side hustle. He loves finding old crap ( sorry to the crap but it IS old), it always seems to be in a far away place and buying it. But that is only part of the fun. The REAL fun for him is loading all of us in the truck grabbing a trailer and sometimes a friend or two to help and going to get said piece of crap. I guess I should be fair, it isn’t crap to him. Beauty in the eye of the beholder I suppose. Where I look at something and don’t want to waste my time he sees a “good ol’ beast” as he likes to put it and that it seems to still have a purpose. I wonder if there is an symbolism with his own life there? Hmmm.. that’s just me over analyzing. Back to the point, I guess I should introduce the biggest member of our fleet. At this point I believe a dealer plate would be cheaper for us but oh well.
A little over a year ago Greg decided he wanted something a little bigger to pull his heavy equipment with. He showed me pictures of what he was looking at I half paid attention because he is ALWAYS showing me pictures of something he wants. I don’t think either one of us actually realized just how flipping huge this thing was. The day he brought it home he was like a 16 year old kid. You could not wipe the smile off his face. He was SO happy. On the drive home he just kept saying ” You aren’t going to believe how big it is” well…. he was right. When he pulled up the kids instantly fell in love. I need a bit more time to get used to this new behemoth that was quickly becoming the “other woman” . He looked at this truck like all his dreams had come true. I’ll admit, it took me a solid 6 months before I could look at it and not shake my head. Wes named it Monster Truck right away and it seems to have stuck. The rest of us call it Graybeard and yes, we are that weird family that names their vehicles!
As with all vehicles that are “new to you” there were some issues and kinks that needed to be worked out. Truth be told the dealer we bought it from flat out lied when he used the phrase “mechanically sound” we learned that this truck had been one of the earlier builds by the Diesel Brothers before it was sold to another person and then to the dealer we came to get it from. We have worked through a lot of issues with it but we are finally to a place where it is running great *knock on wood* and pulling it’s weight, literally. There were times when Greg was ready to throw in the towel, finding someone to work on it is harder than you would think. Every one wants it in their shop but they all seem too afraid to touch it and actually fix any problems. Factor in Greg’s health and we both were ready at some point to give it a viking funeral. BUT finally, finally we are enjoying it to it’s full capacity and it has been great.
About a year ago, we took it to California to pick up a antique semi. That was the first trip that I actually started to like it. The room inside is great and my favorite part of all is that when you passed semi’s the wind off of them didn’t push you around. Score 1 for Graybeard. I even got to drive it a little and help Greg out. I’ve been trying to step it up and help with driving loads and backing trailers. (quickest way to start a fight? Take 2 hot heads and have one driving the trailer and the other trying to “guide” them backing up … Kaboom.) But I’m getting better and will with more practice!
Well jumping forward to these last 2 weeks, Greg had purchased another semi, a parts truck if you will and we needed to get it. We had bought it awhile ago but due to the issues I mentioned above we needed to get those addressed before we hauled anything. SO we got those fixed and went about making plans to go pick up this other semi. We decided to enlist the help of our awesome friends and make an adventure out of it. With Greg’s back it’s easier on him if we don’t have too much in one day. We decided to drive down the night before, sleep and then get up the next day and load it up and such. Little did we know that mother nature was laughing at our plans. By the time we had stuff packed and everything loaded on the trailers it was snowing and sticking. Not my favorite road conditions to travel in. Even in that beast. We were in Graybeard with the gooseneck trailer and the backhoe and our friends were in our other truck pulling a 40 ft trailer we rented to haul the semi back with.
It was a long drive but we made it. The next day was loading time and the boys had a blast using the backhoe and winch to help get that semi onto the trailer.
Greg loves this. He is in his element most when we are doing stuff like this. I not so secretly think that it isn’t necessarily the acquisition of things that he enjoys. I think it is more that he loves looking for items, meeting the people they belong to, the loading/unloading, the adventure of it all. Even though it is hard on his body and hard on me ( I’m tired of stuff coming and never leaving) I can’t deny that when he is doing this he seems most happy. There is a joy and a peace and happiness about him that is almost contagious. I love seeing that and so, we keep ending up with more stuff.. But honestly , how could you do what he does in this video below and not have that put a smile on your face?!
This last weekend our adventures took us to a tiny town above Elko called Mountain City. This town was about 15 houses a store and a bar. Oh and a post office. The entire 3 hours we were there loading I didn’t see a single person. I did however have a very friendly little dog come hang out with me for a bit. Naturally my true crime lovin’, over active imagination kicked into high gear. It seemed really weird that I saw no one. It was eerily quiet, the only sound was us and the occasional car that drove through the main highway. I finally did see 1 person. It was right after the sun went down. 1 lonely person that was just walking down the side of the road. I looked away for a second and they were gone. By that point the fun was over for me and I just wanted to get the heck outta there. My creep-o-meter was going nuts.. Greg finally did his last strap check and we were ready to go! Thankfully we could put that eerie place behind us. * side note, I’m sure Mountain City is a great place, I know it’s just how I perceive things, but then again…..maybe not you can never be too careful*
We also stopped for lunch at a fun place called Mattie’s Taphouse and Grill. They had a dang good French dip! It was good to stop and get out of the truck for a bit we were starting to get a little silly at that point. See below pic for evidence, Ha.
These adventures are just that, an adventure. We never really know how it’s gonna go something always happens but I like to think we are getting pretty good and a little quicker at our jobs. I’m learning skills I never thought I’d have and doing things I never thought I’d do. It is teaching our kids how to be around heavy equipment and Wesley already loves every piece of machinery he lays his eyes on. While i’ll admit I get frustrated sometimes when we do this, it’s mainly because it puts all the things on my to-do list back even further, we are making memories as a family and as a couple and that is worth it. Making memories after all is what life should be about! Onto the next adventure!
This whole “challenge” thing is a hoot. I love it! When I went back through my photos.. WAY back in the archives to find pics from 10 years ago it wasn’t pretty. Kidding, kinda… my makeup is better these days, I have eyebrows now.. And I feel like blonde is definitely my color. Especially with the pink!
2009 was an interesting year for us. It was still just Greg and I although we had tried and failed to remedy that at the beginning of the year. You see, 2009 is the year I very first got pregnant. We were both so excited and over the moon. I was sick and exhausted but didn’t mind, at that point we had been trying for 2 years . Sadly, that didn’t end the way we had planned or hoped and by March 12th I wasn’t pregnant anymore.
2009 was the start of a whole new life for me. One where I felt out of control and tried so very hard to control it anyway. Maybe that’s were a lot of my issues come from.. who knows. I was a shell of my former self for months. It really messed me up. I took up crocheting and cake decorating as a way to keep my mind off of trying to get pregnant.
I still only know one stich when it comes to crocheting and I’m only really good at baby blankets because I lose patience with it for a full size blanket. SO if you’ve ever received a full size blanket from me just know that a lot of blood sweat and tears and cuss words went into making that. Oh, and love. That too.
The cake decorating I’ve stuck with and grown in ways that even surprise me somedays. Fondant still kicks my butt but I love making and decorating cakes . It makes my soul happy!
In the years that followed 2009 I grew in ways I didn’t know I could. Greg and I grew as a couple, I mean I was still growing up in so many ways. We finally weren’t living paycheck to paycheck and could start to do home improvements and make this bachelor pad a home.
It took a lifetime still for our family to come along and while it was one of the hardest things we’ve gone through as a couple it has helped me to help others and I suppose that is the point I was supposed to take away from all of that. In the last 10 years we’ve also dealt with Greg’s health. That has been just as hard as infertility if not harder. Understand I do not say that last sentence flippantly. Infertility can suck your very soul out, tear a marriage apart and make you go insane. Greg’s health has been all that, and more.
We have dealt with one issue or another for the better part of these last 10 years. Chronic pain, bone spurs on his spine, muscle spasms so bad that they bend him in half. Not to mention the kidney stones and leg/ ankle problems. He is such an incredibly hard worker and has done his absolute best to not let it slow him down but it’s taken it’s toll on him and I know he is so very tired.
The last 10 years haven’t been all bad, promise but they have been very real. We have shared some truly beautiful moments. Like welcoming Illa and Wesley into our family and experiencing every mile stone with them. We’ve also grown apart and back together again . I suppose that’s normal, but we are both too damn stubborn to ever let what we have go. So we fight for it. Every dang day. This last year has been rough but we both made a promise to each other and are working our butts off to be better to each other, better to others and better people in general.
I’m so excited for the next decade, things are in place to really make the next 10 years better than ever. We are going places and doing things and both of our health is getting an overhaul. I want to be better for our kids and Greg is ready to turn a new leaf. We are excited to be Better, Stronger. Next 10 years, bring it on!
I’ve mentioned it before but I’ll say it again, we are a very patriotic family. This is partly due to the fact that Greg and I both have family members that have served. I feel like we would be no matter what but this has definitely shaped our outlook and feelings on service to our country.
My grandpa served in WWII. While he didn’t like to talk about it much, he was a prisoner of war and was in a concentration camp. He did write a book about his experiences. He self published it and only made a handful of copies for his children. I have read some of it years ago but have never finished it. I’d really love too one of these days if I can talk it out of my families hand !
I mean just look at him! So proud and happy. He went through some horrible things while he was captured. Things that affected him throughout his entire life. I can’t even imagine the things he saw, felt, went through.
This photo was put into the book I mentioned above. He came back to us , and for that I’m grateful for, so many others did not. I remember him as a kind, stubborn, big hearted man. I could do no wrong in his eyes which helped. He let me put curlers in his hair, paint his fingernails, and curl up in his lap to watch Scooby doo or Johnny quest. I know he wasn’t perfect but he was a good man. He loved his family and provided for them well. He had a love of one piece leisure suits and his corduroy arm chair that smelled like aftershave and farts.( he’d smack me right now if he could)
My grandparents used to come and visit us from Louisiana clear to Utah from time to time. This was from one of those trips. He loved spending time by the fire with Prince our cat lounging in his lap.
I miss him. Things weren’t always smooth but that’s family. You have your issues, you work them out and you move on. Veterans Day is special , I always think about him, but especially on that day.
Once upon a time my cousin and I were going out to lunch and we happened upon on of those tables where the veterans sit handing out hand made poppies. I went over to chat with them and we ended up talking about my grandpas service and the man’s as well. When we were done, I thanked him for his service and gave him a hug ( I’m a hugger) and it was as if neither of us wanted to let go. We had a real heart felt connection that meant the world to both of us. I have never forgotten that even though it was at least 12 years ago.
Another close family member that has served is Greg’s dad. He was in a different war, drafted right out of high school for Vietnam. Much like my grandfather he doesn’t like to talk much about his time in the service but we are proud of him nonetheless. They are both very modest men, the ” do what needs to be done” type. Greg’s dad has a deep seated respect that cannot be denied for this country and I love to witness it when I can.
The things that these men did so that we could have our freedoms is nothing short of amazing. We live today free because of them and countless others who put their lives on the line to protect us and our way of life. Everyday is Veterans Day as far as I’m concerned. I thank them every chance I get, they did what I could not. So God bless you Veterans!
Illa’ s fashion sense is fearless. She is bold, loves lipstick and color. I almost heard my mothers voice in her when Illa asked me this week ” Why don’t your wear lipstick? You need some color.” My mother used to always bug me about that.
This week Illa was on a tear with what she wanted to wear. She is such a headstrong little thing. I have to walk a fine line between wanting to not have her look ridiculous and also not squelch her enthusiasm .
This weeks fashion brought to you by Illa :
I tried talking her outta the heeled booties and sweat pants but she refused hahaha . As someone who’s Mom always picked out her clothes and made sure I looked polished before I walked out the door this is hard.
Learning to “Let Go” and celebrate her uniqueness has been interesting but we are learning together. Isn’t that parenthood though? I had it in my mind how I would parent, what we would do as a family, how my children would act. Then they got here. They showed up with their own personalities and their own way of doing things that pushes my limits and boundaries daily.
Being a mom has made me into a stronger version of myself. A more selfless person than I was before. There are days when my heart wants to burst in pride at what Illa and Wes do. Watching them be kind to others (and each other), being polite and helpful. It makes me feel like I just might be getting something right.
Of course there are other days when their behavior is embarrassing and I am reminded why leaving the house is never a good idea. Illa actually commented the other day ” Mom, are we going into a store soon? I want to get more chapstick.. we haven’t been in a store in a LONG time!” To which I replied… ” You’re right , it has been awhile. The last time we went in a store y’all were so awful and rude to each other I vowed to not make that mistake again.” I will say this again online grocery shopping is the only way to go. ONLY WAY. Anyway, I’m getting off topic..
I’ll end with this picture because I love it. I just ordered a “Not Sorry” hat from The Hollis Co. and I love it. Illa loves it too. She asked me what it said and I told her and explained it, ” It says ” Not Sorry” and that means to me, Setting goals for your life, how you want to be and going after it unapologetically. Be willing to reach for big things, to have that confidence in yourself!” She just smiled at me and said, ” Cool, I can do that”
The fact that I survived this week is a miracle. A FREAKING miracle. I did a thing y’all. A big thing! I decided a few weeks ago I wanted to go back to school. Well, that’s not accurate. I’ve toyed with the idea for awhile but I guess the desire to actually make it happen hit me a few months ago.
I was writing in my gratitude journal and I had got to my ” 10 dreams I made happen” Section and it hit me. Getting my degree and becoming a therapist / Forensic Psychologist was a dream that I wanted to make happen. If not now, WHEN? SO.. I started doing my research, seeing what my options were.
I knew strictly online was what would be the best for me, and then I started looking into different schools and what degree programs they had. I ended up at SNHU. I talked to a adviser, sent over my stuff and just like that, my dream was on it’s way.
If y’all know me at all you know that I’m a ” When I want something, I wanted yesterday” kinda person. Patience is something I struggle with hardcore. So I was a little crestfallen when he said my Bachelors would take 4 years. I know it’s worth it and I know it’s gonna be hard, but I know i’m gonna kill it.
Back to this week, School started Monday! I was so excited, I made a promise to myself that I would organize my time even more. That way I could fit in ALL the things. I mean I’m already busy AF but I know I can find the time because this is important.
This week was anomaly. We had three major all day things happen. Wesley’s birthday, going to the arcade, Halloween, Illa’s costume parade, volunteering at her school Halloween party, Wesley had trick or treating at his preschool, we went to lunch with Greg, stopped and showed off the costumes to Grandma, Trick or treated, Wesley’s friend party, renting a bounce house ( shout out to Plan it Rentals!) making a cake for the party, set up and take down of said party.
Trying to fit in school into my already crazy life was so hard, but I did it. I know I can and I can’t wait to keep at it. Even after I get my bachelors I know I have to keep going. I’m just glad I got back in the game and am one step closer to making that dream come true!
This week we went to Sleepy Hollow wagon ride and it was a blast! I posted pictures but what I didn’t post was the video that Greg took. It’s pretty funny, Wesley’s commentary is hilarious, even when Greg didn’t realize he was still filming. Make sure your sound is up!
We had a lot of fun this week! We will totally be doing this again next year!