Accidentally on Purpose

She came into my life 10 years ago, and even after a failed marriage to her father, she stayed. She has always managed to make a day seemingly brighter, even during a storm. Her beautiful face is and has always been something to look forward to. 

I know that not everyone gets along very well with their step-children/parents. Sometimes there is jealousy, and/or disciplinary issues. I had never been a step-parent before my step-daughter came into my life, so this new title was something I feared. Would she like me and/or would I like her? Was she going to be one of those hellion kids who does every thing possible to make life intolerable? I assure you, she was anything but……

Being a stepparent is only as hard as we make it. One can choose to feel defeated, or embrace this life that we are now responsible for. I personally believe that a lack of communication can bring negative issues. I felt the need to really get to know this child, and vice versa. This young lady needed to feel confident that I genuinely cared for her, and did not, nor ever would see her as a nuisance. If one does in fact see a step child or any child for that matter,  as an inconvenience, then you are the one with issues, and need a reality check.

The most devastating thing about being a step parent is if/when you are no longer a step parent. If the marriage dissolves, with it goes the title.

I can not pinpoint exactly what it was that caused me to feel so deeply for this child. Maybe I see part of myself in her. Maybe she just made it easy. Either way, as the years have passed, after the parting of ways between her father and I, I have fallen even more in love with her. I could not love her more if she came from me. I get butterflies in my belly when I know that she is coming to visit.  And sure, she probably tells her father, and whoever else that she comes to visit her sister, but I know she loves me. I know that even if she and I did not share blood with another person, she would still come to grab a hug on occasion. Why, after so many years of no more step titles, do we carry on a relationship? Because my friends, sometimes Love is Accidentally on Purpose

Happy 19th Birthday AmberCole. In me, you will have whatever you want. A parental adviser or simply a Friend.

*Special Thanks to “Mom” for the influence, and the permission to Love your daughter…

Happy Anniversary: To “The Love of My Life”

The Year was 1995

Once upon a time there was a boy and a girl. This boy and girl became great friends in a short amount of time. They met through mutual friends/family. She was married, and he became involved with her family member. Never seeing each other as anything more than friends, they were able to have a real friendship. Unfortunately, this friendship faded due to her moving out of the area. Many years would pass before their paths would cross again. And when that happened, Both of their lives changed forever.

Fast Forward to 2009. 

Before

“Just Friends”

This handsome man you see in this photo is my husband. A man who has been there through the good, the bad, and the ugly. I have shared with him, all of my destructive behavior, and he has seen plenty of it first hand. When he reentered my life after a fifteen year break, I had no job, no car, and no home to call my own. Not to mention I was in yet another dead end relationship. I seen myself, literally at the bottom of the barrel. As my friend, he seen more in me than I ever have myself.

After a few months of reconnecting, and sharing my deepest darkest secrets with this man, I had a strong feeling he loved me in a completely different way than he should have. I could see it in his eyes when he would come to hang out, and not want to leave. I was just not interested in that type of relationship with him. He was too good of a friend, and honestly, too good of a person for me. All I could think was,  # he was not my type, # he had been in a relationship with someone close to me and it was not worth that person hating me, or thinking less of me. # If we tried to date, and it did not work out, because for me it never does, then where does that leave us? # He was ( and still is) very deep into his Christian faith, which scared me, because I would be required to be on my best behavior at all times.

I could go on and on with all the reasons why I thought I KNEW it would never work out.

But then………

Christmas was right around the corner. I had no income, therefore I had no way to supply my children with gifts, or even a tree. When I had put myself in the situation of being homeless, I had left all of our Christmas decor in our previous home. A lot was going on during that time, and I had just simply forgot to get them from the storage building during the move.

Weeks before Christmas, this man gave me a gift…… The gift of allowing me to do something for my children. As I am sure with most mothers, the way to my heart is through my children. If a man is willing to go out of his way to make a child, any child happy, that shows character. Character that I desperately needed in my life.

He called me one night after he had gotten off work and said he had left something for me outside. At first I found it very strange that he would leave me something outside instead of just coming inside and giving it to me. As I walk out, I see a Christmas card sitting on the porch. When I opened the card, cash fell to the ground. It took seconds to realize why he had been so sneaky. He did not want to give me the opportunity to turn away his gift. That action certainly soften my heart for him. It showed me what a wonderful friend I had, who was willing to give all he had, just to make sure MY children had something from their mother for Christmas. But that was not the action that made me fall in love with him. That came weeks later, right before Christmas.

firstcard

I will never forget the way my heart felt when he came in lugging a big ole’ box containing a white Christmas Tree. Another trip to his truck, was to retrieve the prettiest blue ornaments that my eyes had ever seen, A loan from his mother.

The way this man was from day one with my children was fascinating to me. Not to mention the love and friendship he had for me, an undeserving, sinful, wretched soul. He went out of his way, physically and financially, to make sure we had a Merry Christmas. To me, it was the most romantic thing anyone has ever done. The smiles that ran across the faces of those children gave me the most satisfaction that I had in years.

first tree

Right then and there, I seen this man in a different light. I seen the complete heart of him. He did not want anything in return. Blessing us with something as simple as a Christmas tree, was a blessing to him as well. I juggling the thought of he and I as more than friends around in my head.

With a push from a friend, his mother, and the go ahead from the family member whom he had a previous relationship, I told this man I wanted to be his and only his. At midnight, On December 31st, 2009, we rang the New Year in as a couple.                                                          

2009                                                                                                          

After a two year relationship, I am proud to say, this man became my husband.  Four years ago today, he made my dream,To be married to my Best Friend, a reality. Someone I could be Myself around. Someone who accepted me and all of my crazy with an open heart. Four years ago today, This man not only took on the role as Step-dad to my children, but became daddy to my youngest. That alone was a gift in his eyes. When we were married, She came to him and asked him if she could call him daddy, and of course he was honored.

This Love story does not end there. In fact it is more in bloom now, than it was when it started. We have been together six years this December, and the amount of love that we share is something that can not be explained. He has the up-most respect for me. More love than I deserve. He is the type of man that I want my daughters to be with, and the type of man I want my boys to learn from. In Six years our disagreements have been slim to none. We know that it is okay to agree to disagree. We know that it is okay to admit our faults and seek forgiveness. We know that our differences makes us who we are and should be embraced. We are both grateful for our past, because we agree that those broken roads, led us to one another. Those difficult times in our lives, gave us the ability to truly appreciate the good times.

Twenty years ago this year, I met a man who would one day change my life forever.  There have been times where I have wished we would have bypassed all of the wasted time with others, But it was not in Gods plan, and we accept that. We believe that we were meant to face tough obstacles in life, so that we would gain the ability to Love another person more than ourselves. So far, it has worked out perfectly.

I know Six years is not a very long time. But it is by far the best six years of my life. If I die today, I would die knowing I had the whole heart of a precious man, and he had mine.

To my husband: If I had to travel that road again, to get to where you are, I would do it without any hesitation. “You, The Love of My Life, are worth it. ”

A friend introduced me to this verse, and it fits perfectly.

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.    Jeremiah 29:11

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.           Proverbs 3: 5-6

And my favorite of all Verses. If we would all live by this one Verse, What a world it would be….

 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.       1 Corinthians 13:4-7

The Love of My Life

Happy Anniversary LOML

Part Time Daddy ; My Story

Once Upon a Time there was this couple. They had a child. They divorced. The end…….Not really, but kind of.

When a divorce happens, which sadly it is more often than not, the proper thing to do between the parents would be to make sure there is no stress brought upon the child(ren) of that failed marriage. You know, things like, do not speak ill of the other parent in front of the child(ren). Make that child your number one priority in every little thing that you do. When making any decision in your life, be sure it benefits the child(dren). Never leave the child(ren) questioning your love and dedication for them. Give them your TIME.

I have always been a firm believer that as long as a parent spends quality time with a child, that the money (child support) can somewhat slide. Not that the support is not vital, but the time, is just most important, in my opinion. If a parent is struggling to make ends meet, and all they have left at the end of the week is their self, then that self is sufficient.

When a parent makes excuses week after week, and then finally no excuses, just silence, there is a time for some change. ((((( I do not have gas money ( even though I have offered to give the money), I do not have a place to stay, I do not have food ( even though I sent food), I have to go out of town, I am staying with so and so, and they have drugs here, I am staying with so and so and this is just not a good weekend, I do not have a vehicle ( even though I offer to bring her) ))))

When a child sets up night after night crying and trying to figure out why a parent does not love them enough to see them, it tends to harden the heart. Especially when I, as a mother, do not know the answers. I have to take myself back to my first rule. Do not speak ill of the other parents. I will tell you, those moments in my life, I had to fight back the urge to cuss, to scream, to just be blunt with the truth. But……..I did not. I made excuses just to salvage my child’s heart stings. Months without contact, then years without contact. It took a good year before my child finally stopped asking when was he going to see her and when she stopped saying daily, “I miss him”.

When my daughter turned 7, I finally told her there were two reasons why her father stopped coming around us when she was 4. The first reason was because he had a bad drug habit. This drug habit had messed with his mind and he was not the person he wanted to be. The second reason was because I had given him enough chances. I let her know that I told him that if he went six more months without any contact, to not even bother anymore…….After a little more than 3 years of no contact, I am assuming he listened.

I have never stood my ground to be mean. I have stood my ground hoping for a change. I stood my ground, hoping, that  him and his family would prove me wrong. Show me that they DO in fact love her and they DO find her important and she IS worth their time. 3 years, and nothing. My little girl deserves more than a part time daddy. I am not all for “weekend daddys“. Men helped bring these children into this world, they should be there more, but if that is all the time they can give, then it is better than nothing. These children should have equal amount of time with each parent, and if not equal then as much as possible. So once a month, once every 6 months, NO……..Because that first 6 months, one of those months consisted of laying down night after night with tears in her eyes, ” did my daddy text me goodnight?”  4 years old and just simply wanting a text. Just some sort of contact that he was at least thinking of her. Nothing. ( For months at a time that is all she would get, a text saying Goodnight, sadly enough she was okay with that)

I know there are people in my life that do not accept, the way that I am being. People that I love dearly. They do not think it is the right way. That is okay. Agree to Disagree. I just hate for people to think that I do this type of thing out of hate.

I am sure some think that I should allow my daughter to see this family just whenever they want, or whenever they have time for her. What is that teaching her? How is that showing her the value of family?

My biggest problem was his bad habits. He gets clean, and wants something to do with her, and then months later when he is dirty, he stays away. We dealt with that for 2 whole years. That is just not fair.

When my daughter turned 5, one year after her father shut the door, she asked my husband if she could call him daddy. Of course he was honored. He has no children of his own. She wanted to have a  daddy so badly, and he wanted to be called daddy, so it has worked out pretty awesome. I feel in my bones there will come a day when my little girl is old enough to decide for herself if she wants to hunt these people down that had no time for her when she was little, and leave her daddy ( my husband) feeling second. In his eyes, she can do no wrong, and she is his pride and joy……You know, the way it SHOULD be……Only time will tell. But for now, She will not have a part time daddy…She has a full time daddy,and I wish others would realize that he is the best thing that has ever happened to her. It should be seen as her being blessed to have someone there for her every single second of every single day.

pizap.com14273857704531

Her life is good. She is never questioning if her daddy loves her. She is never wondering when her daddy is going to have time for her. Because he loves her every single day and he is with her every single day…

Mental Note: We should all learn to respect the fact that each person has their own reasons. Good or Bad, they are that persons reasons. I respect yours, please continue to respect mine.

pizap.com14273858337281

Becoming a Stranger

Recently I have started speaking online to a gentlemen who has had some major surgery on his face. He had cancer. The cancer took part of him, as it always does.

He is not only attempting to heal physically, but he is having to dig really deep to heal emotionally as well. Part of that emotional healing consist of him accepting who he now is.  A little less of who he was before.

How can one accept who they are, when others turn away from them, and Why do others turn away from them?

When we hate ourselves due to our physical appearance, our inner self feels the need to match it. If we feel ugly on the outside, then may as well be ugly on the inside…

The thing is,  It is just hard to connect with someone who is going through a hard time, if they are hopeless.

It is almost impossible to relate to someone,  If they are negative about everything.

Honestly I have never been through anything, like this person has. I have never been through anything similar. But I know without a shadow of a doubt, If my husband faced losing any part of his physical shell, I would love him just the same. I love his soul, his spirit,  his heart. Not his body.

However, if his soul, spirit, and/or heart changed, and he disconnected from me, then it would be difficult for me to attempt to connect with someone I no longer know.

So one thing we should tell ourselves. IF we are faced with a life altering tragedy we must not lose who we are. Because once we lose that…..We lose everything, Including the ones that loved us for who we were.

Mental Note: Stay true to yourself, even when going through a storm. We must not become a stranger to even ourselves.

The Little Things

madiunicorncoon

The sweetest thing in the world to me, is to see that excited look on a child’s face when they receive something after they have given up hope.

A few days ago, my seven year old and I treated ourselves to breakfast at a restaurant that has a store attached. This would be the same store that her dad and I purchased her favorite stuffy, Magic the Unicorn, as a Christmas gift. A stuffy that she sleeps with, eats with, even takes to the restroom when she is bathing. The first thing she says while tucking her in at night is, “where is my Unicorn?” Most of the time it is lying right beside her, but she has grown so accustomed to asking for it, that she now does it out of habit.

While waiting to be seated, my daughter looks over and sees a unicorn identical to hers. There was a tad bit of excitement. And Then……There it was. The Raccoon. The sister to her Unicorn, as she had stated, while lighting up like a beaming strobe light. “Oh mom, I need that, Can I get it?”   With her being little and not fully understanding our situation, she always wants every little thing that she sees.  I am a housewife, therefore my husband is the sole bread winner, which leaves me having to say “No honey, you do not need that”  Or, “Maybe later” more times than not. I could tell by the way she was talking about it, that it completely overwhelmed her to see it. I told her that was something that she needed to expect for a special occasion. Which oddly enough, she accepted, but not without that heart broken expression.

When we finished our meal, I went to stand in the line to pay for the bill. My little one went straight for the toys section. As I was standing there in line, something was telling me to get that Raccoon. My heart was just really pressuring me to grab it up and lay it on the counter. “get it,  get it , get it.” I kept hearing those words over and over in my head. I rarely go and eat out without my husband being present, and I know if he had of been standing there with me, he would have just gotten the dang stuffy. Without another thought, I grabbed it up, set it on the counter, and asked the cashier if she would place it in a bag, before my daughter could see it. The excitement of keeping it a surprise, had me shoving that bag in my purse before even swiping my card.  As we approached the car, I unlocked my door only, so that I would have time to place the bag in the back seat before she could get inside. She never did notice the bag sitting in the seat right next to her. I was having a hard time holding my excitement in, but wanted her to find it herself. After about ten more minutes of driving to our next destination, she finally said, “I have to blow my nose.” Which I seen as the perfect opportunity. ” Madison, I believe there is a paper bag beside you that you can use to throw away your used tissue.” She grabbed it and said, ” Nah, I think there is something in it.” She opened the bag and looked in. I had already fixed my rear view mirror to where I could see her face. When her head popped back up and our eyes met in that rear view mirror, I could not hold back the tears. This little girl looked up at me with a facial expression that will forever be embedded into my mind. Eye brows raised, and a smile from ear to ear. She was so very happy, and equally thankful. For a few seconds she was in disbelief and  I could tell right away that I had done good. She thanked me over and over again, and told me it was awesome, and I was awesome.  What mom does not want to hear those words?  She said”I just can not believe it mom, You tricked me real good. I love it so much. I can not wait to show daddy.”

I know some will not find this story heart touching in the least. And I suppose those are the ones that are able to give their kids every little thing that they want. Part of me wishes that I could be one of those parents that showers their little ones with tons of expensive gifts. But the other part of me, loves being able to see the appreciation my little girl has over a $13 stuffed animal. I would not witness that appreciation and excitement over something so small, if she were spoiled. Now I am not knocking the ones who are able to spoil their children. I am merely stating that the feeling one gets when their child is excited over something simple, is like nothing else. I literally had tears rolling down my face when I met her eyes and she seen that Raccoon. I knew it was going to be an exciting moment for her, because out of all of her Christmas gifts that she received last year, her Unicorn was her favorite.  It is The Little Things, that make this life so great.

# I would just like to say “Thank You” to my husband for his efforts. He works every single day, and sometimes long hours, so that he may not only provide our needs, but some of our wants as well. This moment that I am able to share, was completely because of him. I was able to be home with my sick daughter, without stressing about a job, and was able to take her out for breakfast, AND get her a treat.. It was a heart warming day for me, and my hard working partner deserves all of the credit. I love you.

A Proud Moment

I recently had a moment to where I thought to myself, ” Good Job Mom'”

An occurrence happened this past weekend, that brought positive recognition to my parenting skills, along with my husbands of course. Sometimes we look into our lives and we wonder, just how well of a job we are doing when it comes to teaching our children right from wrong. There also comes that little thing called Compassion. I have written of Compassion on another blog, so obviously I am pretty set, on making sure I place this emotion upon the hearts of my children. It is right up there with respect. It is a necessity to carry with us on a daily basis. Now, I will share with you what brought this blog to exist

A few days ago, the husband and I had a few last minute Christmas items to pick up for one of our other children, and since she was not with us at the moment, it was a good opportunity to do so.  As I step out of the car, I hear it. That dreaded Salvation Army bell. Each year as I walk to the doors of our Wal-mart, there is a person ( working off community service hours, I am sure) sitting at the bucket, swaying his bell back and forth. I know this money is going to a good place, and I have absolutely no problem with giving. The thing is, I never carry cash with me. I always use a card. So every time I walk past the bucket, I am thinking to myself, ” do not look their way, and just keep walking. Maybe they will think you are not paying attention and just overlooked them sitting there with that loud obnoxious bell.” This day was different. I actually had a five dollar bill in my wallet, left over from an ice cream date with my youngest daughter the day before. As I  pulled out the cash to place in the bucket I thought I would do a little test. I wanted to see just how much compassion I had instilled upon my seven year old daughter. I pulled the money out and I said, ” Honey, I have Five dollars. I am going to give you two choices. You may either take this money and buy you something in this store, or you can place it in that bucket, where another child that is less fortunate that you, will get a gift bought for them for Christmas.” There was no way I could be 100% certain what her choice was going to be. I had hoped I had not raised a selfish child. She had recently made me feel very proud when she told me that there was no reason for a child to get more than three Christmas gifts. She said baby Jesus got three gifts, one from each wise man. If Jesus can be happy with three gifts, I think all kids should be happy with three. She was very serious too. I really wonder what she would do if I took all of her gifts, other than three and gave them away? Maybe that is for another lesson learning day 😉

Without a second of hesitation, my daughter ran up to that bucket and shoved her money in. Smiled at the man holding the bell and proceeded to walk in the store. The man said, “Merry Christmas.” My daughter replied with, “And Merry Christmas to you too.”  In a trade off for her money, the man handed her a sucker. The sucker said Jesus Loves You. She was very proud of that sucker.

There is no way I could guess which way the scenario was going to play out. Of course I was hopeful that she would do the right thing. But I am not unrealistic to the fact that Kids will be kids, and sometimes they have a selfish heart. Especially the ones that do not get an allowance. The ones that do without all of the little wants because of a slim budget. My husband works very hard every single day to keep a roof over our head, food in our belly’s and clothing on our back…The necessities. We all understand that anything outside of those three things, are privileged commodities. So when my child chose to give to another child, instead of spoiling herself for a moment, it made my heart swell.

Later that evening, as I started a conversation with my husband about the subject, it was only then that he had learned I gave her the choice to keep the money for herself. He assumed I had given her the money and simply told her to put it in the bucket. Daddy’s heart had a little swelling moment as well. He called her in, and proceeded to tell her what a good thing she had done, and since she had chosen to do the good deed, he was repaying her for it. He gave her his five dollars that he was using for his vending machine coffee, at work. I told her, ” See what happens when you do good things, Good things come back to you. Maybe not that moment, or that day, or even that week, but eventually good things come back to the ones that do good.

kindness

Mental Thought: Our children learn from example…..They are always watching.

Four Legs Can Break Our One Heart

This is a little out of the ordinary for me when it comes to Blogs. I have recently had a terrible heartbreak. Some, I know will find it simply ridiculous. I have to admit, in the past, I have thought people were being a little absurd when they would complain about this type of thing. Seeing that there is so much going on in the world, and they had the audacity to be saddened by something so insignificant. I learned this past week that we can not control our heart. There are things that pull at our heart strings, simply by accident. Sometimes those things can have four legs.

I have had pets my whole life. When I was a child, I become very attached to a cat, that my dad felt was more of an annoyance than a pet, so he took it for a “ride”. I was completely devastated. It still breaks my heart to think of it, and maybe it is not because of losing the pet, but because of the heartless act. Point being, that was the last pet that I whole heartily Loved. I was 12. I have cared for animals since then, sure. But I have just put it in my head that they come and they go. I refused to let my heart soften for another. Until…….

mason5

Three months ago, my son turned ten. He had made a comment that everyone had an animal in the home besides him. Both of my daughters have cats to call their own. So I got the bright idea to search him out a pet for his birthday. I found the cutest little guy. A Chiweenie we named,  Mason. I was so excited to give it to my son. Unfortunately, He loved him for a few days, but the responsibility became overwhelming, so he lost interest pretty quickly. Just as all of the other animals, Mason became my responsibility. I fed him, bathed him, played with him, potty trained him, and he was by my side all day every day. This little guy won my heart. Just the sweetest pup. I let my guard down and I fell in love with him.

IMG_8626

Being with an animal every day, with no breaks, besides the grocery runs and paying bills, in which some cases he tagged along, makes it easy for them to become part of the family. It also helps when they show how much they love and admire us. He was always so happy to see me, even if it was just returning from an outside potty run. Sometimes he even acted as though he did not want to go out, simply because he did not want to leave my side. Of course those times I would just walk out with him, he would go do his business, while watching me every second, and then run back full speed to me. A person just does not realize how much they care about their pets until…….

20141109_111937

Five days ago, at 10:00 a.m. , I let Mason out to potty. It was just a tad bit cool outside, but he went straight for the gravel and laid down. I just figured the ground was really warm, and it felt good to him, so I just let him lay there. 10:30 a.m. I went out to call for him. Usually by now he has already come scratching on the door. I still was not terribly concerned, because he loved running around playing with our four cats. Well three of them, because one is a crabby pants and has no use for any other animals. I figured I would just let him play for awhile longer, until I noticed all of the cats were lying around. I called, and called. I walked the yard, and he did not come to me. I started getting paranoid. By that afternoon, I was just sick. We live on five acres off of the road, so I really never feared for him to be out alone. When my husband got home, we searched until dark. One last call out for him, and just beyond the wood line, a coyote yelled out for his pack. On the other side of the property two or three more  yelled back. At that very moment, my heart broke into a million little pieces. I knew that was the end of my sweet little boy. There was no way that a four month old Chiweenie could make it out on his own in the woods. Especially when he was Not alone.

We have not completely gave up hope. We have still continued to look for him. We watch for him when we are coming in and out of the property, posted on every single animal and online sale sites, and placed signs up. Yesterday we actually got a call that someone seen a small dog in the woods on their property. Though it was a mile down the road, we still took that chance that it could be him. Not that it wasn’t him, but we had no luck with the search. I seem to get my hopes up every time I get a notification from my media posts, and every time the phone rings. It is a hard let down when it is just someone saying I hope you find him.

Moral of my story is, please do not every judge someone because their pet has become a big part of their life. Our hearts can not help who or what we love. I know that I will not ever get over losing Mason. I may not ever be able to let myself go to that place again, to love another animal this way, but it was wonderful while it lasted. He was a very loyal little guy that would have made a very wonderful doggie some day. I hope and pray that someone just picked him up and gave him a  home, instead of my fear that the coyotes got him. With him missing in the middle of the day, gives me that little bit of hope that he was stolen. I also have hope that once the people see the signs that took him, maybe they will see that he was loved so very much, and his family would greatly appreciate him coming home.

mason4

Mental thought: Our love runs deeper than we allow ourselves to believe. If we just gave those four legs a chance, we would see how those innocent,loyal hearts of theirs, can change our own hearts.