Tell Me The Story Mom….to my daughter on her 13th Birthday!

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Tell me the story about when I was in your tummy.

You love for me to tell you about how you would kick me and I would spank your butt when you stretched in my huge tummy.
The first time you had hiccups and it scared me!
The first time I felt you kick and how I dug a hole in the sand to lay on my tummy at the beach that year.
A few weeks later is when 9-11 happened. I remember never leaving the couch that day as I placed my hands on my tummy and prayed for those people and their families. I also prayed for you and your future as I cried not knowing what the future held for us and our country. It was also the year that Daddy decided to re-enlist in the Army and that scared me! As grandpa and I pinned him that day and I watched him proudly make a promise to his Country, I was So excited to be by his side as a military wife and you his little pink soldier!
You laugh when I tell you about my cookie crisp and orange juice addiction that eventually led to me giving myself insulin shots the remainder of my pregnancy.
I tell you about our friend Cecil who was always there for us. And on the day you were born, Cecil was standing on tables and chairs trying to take the perfect pictures at every angle as if he was as proud as your own daddy!!! He was a great friend and I miss him dearly!
Finally at 2:17pm on a Wednesday afternoon you came into our lives through an emergency C-section. They were all surprised at how tiny you were at 6lbs 7oz. And 18 inches long!! (Considering mommy gained almost 80 lbs with you!!).
The first thing I noticed was your thick red lips and that beautiful cry that sounded exactly like a baby lamb! Your beautiful black hair and tiny fingers! I kissed each finger and counted each toe with daddy by my side counting once again just to make sure!
You had so many visitors. Both Grandmas were there to sneak their first squeeze!! Grandpa was so excited to welcome his 3rd grand daughter to this crazy world! Friends and family were there to make a big fuss also!
Then there was Dr. Hess who was the sweetest kindest man on this earth. He smelled of gin and cigarettes. He came in the hospital room and (as he did with all of the residents new babies) stuck his stinky, germy fingers into your mouth!! It was so gross!!! But it was kind of a tradition!
From your first bath with your pink bow stuck on top of your head with Vaseline to the first time daddy held you in his arms and wouldn’t let go as he sang “You are my Sunshine”. I’ll let you in in a little secret, I didn’t know just how much I adored your daddy until that day!
He slept with you in his chest all night long the first night. I think he gave you a million kisses and you made his eyes glow with excitement!!

So there you go!!!
I’ve told you this story many times and I never ever grow tired of it! It was the second best day of my entire life!!!! Third best day was when your brother was born 3 years later!!
And you know what my first best day ever was!!
Memories!!!!
So here you are all grown up and a teenager!!
You make me proud every day!!! You certainly keep me on my toes and have the energy of three kids!!!
I’m proud to be your mom and your teacher.
I can’t wait to see what the future holds for you little girl!
Happy 13th Birthday Sunshine!!!

Farewell 2014

It’s that time of year again.
Where does time go?
I will be saying goodbye to 2014 with mixed emotions.
It has been a year full of happiness and even great sadness.
A year of firsts and lasts.
This year has made me a better person and it has also showed me where I need much improvement.

So I say farewell 2014.
Thank you for the lessons you have taught me.

I hope you Make 2015 the year you only look forward. Leave the past behind, but always be grateful and praise God for the memories!
Never miss a chance to say I love you or thank you for making my life just a little brighter!
Love and be lovable. Be kind. Happy. Content. Grateful. Caring. Compassionate.
Go to church. Pray for your friends, family and your enemies!
Forgive!
Forget!!
Make new memories.
Learn to let go.
Embrace the future!

God bless you my friends. Have a safe a very happy New Year!
Bring on 2015!!!

Ghosts of Christmas Past

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas in this house!!!
The trees are up, villages are immaculately decorations as they give you the illusion of a perfect little town.  Mistletoe is hung and I steal a kiss every time the kids go near it. I am the official Mistletoe police, I catch them within 3 feet of it and I  drag them underneath it just to give me an excuse to smother them in kisses.
The Nativity scenes are up, and after a scary search for the missing Baby Jesus, He was found safe and sound hanging out with Frosty in another container.  Can’t say that much for one of the wise men, he is now missing a leg.  I blame it on the fact that I had a 9yr old boy and 13 yr old boy dragging my decorations out of the garage for me.  None the less, I had help. I was truly grateful they took a Saturday morning and voluntarily dragged out the massive amounts of Christmas decorations for me.
It’s official, I say this every year.
CHRISTMAS THREW UP IN THIS HOUSE.
It’s more like a Christmas museum.  We have the “memory tree” that proudly exhibits all of the hand made ornaments from the kids over the years, the Baby’s First Christmas,and the family ornaments that still proudly proclaims that, not too long ago, this house had 4 members instead of the 3 that reside here on this Holiday season.  

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Years past, I hung up every ornament and I cried, then I  cried some more, eventually  I just gave up and finally hurled my sobbing body under the tree and curled into the fetal position clutching the one ornament that crushed my very soul, “Our First Christmas Together”. 
This year, we had the house rocking with Christmas music.  We laughed, we tickled, we sang really loud until our throats were sore, and we hung those ornaments on that tree as a family.  A new family.  Not that pathetic broken family from the previous two years.   We got to the bottom of the storage container, and there it was….the gold ornament that left me having my Christmas mental breakdown.  I hid it.  Not wanting the kids to have to see the memory ornament that made Mommy wail every year.  We finished the tree and it was more beautiful than I have ever seen it before.  It still had our skiing reindeer that held the names of all 4 family members and the snowflakes that had only 3 names….before Brother came along.  Those are precious to all of us as it serves as a reminder that though we may not be together, we will always be a family. No matter what.  Kids deserve to see that.  They deserve to see that love still exsists, even though one decided to leave.   It doesn’t mean we aren’t still a family. 
After the tree was decorated, we sat on the couch and stared at the tree.  Kids had questions. I answered as well as I knew how.  We laughed. We talked about christmases past.  Kids remembered memories that I didn’t even remember.  It was at nice night.
Just the 3 of us.
After they went to bed, I pulled out the dreaded gold-plated ornament. Decided this year to save the kids from seeing me fall apart.
Strangest thing happened, I didn’t even shed one tear.  There was nothing left. 
Only memories. Some good.  Some not so good.
And then this happpened………..

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THE END.
(Of that chapter in my life anyway….now the real fun begins!)

Just For Me.

Yesterday was one of those days where I was reminded that I am actually SINGLE! But I am still a MOM!
A divorced single Mom rushing around, speedily dashing  through the stores to go Christmas shopping because in less than 24 hours, the kids were going to be back home.
My time is precious.  Every day spent with your kids is precious.
But my time being SINGLE is also precious.  I don’t nearly take the time for myself as I should.  That is because being a Mom often consumes me.  Being a SINGLE mom is a tough job.
Also, being a 39 yr old SINGLE Mom and trying to date while your kids spend very little time  away is not only difficult, it is darn near impossible!
In the past two and a half years I have been SINGLE, I have introduced one man to my kids.   I quickly freaked out, cried for hours, the crying became panic because my kids loved him!!!  Oh, it took me less than 48 hrs to completely lose my mind and leave him.  With really no explanation except, I’m just not ready!!!
Dating….haha.  It’s quite mundane and really, I have no time for it.

…..so back to the Christmas shopping.

My best friend/cousin and I quickly prepared to do some major damage to our credit cards.  I called her and said I DON’T HAVE THE KIDS!!!  LET’S  GO SHOPPING!!!   She laughed, because we both know it is a rarity that I am actually alone!  No kids and no activities.   LET’S GOOOOOO!

We grabbed some food at at local Pub as we finished watching the WVU football game.  Talked with old friends.  Did some local “small business” shopping.  Then took off on a 45 minute drive to do some more shopping  (and eating).

My cart was packed with clothes, a yoga mat, a couple of picture frames, socks, leg warmers and a necklace or two.  I made my way to the pajama section of the store and went straight to the warm flannel pajamas.  I placed them in the cart, because apparently my mom ONLY  wants pajamas from everyone for Christmas!!  Pajamas and towels and don’t dare buy her anything else!!   (This has been reiterated on many different occasions!)
In the midst of flannel, I caught my eye on something.  A beautiful, soft lingerie.  I haven’t gotten a new piece of lingerie in years!  It was beautiful.  Thin, soft made of light cotton.  It was soft peach in color with a matching robe.  Not too sexy. It was perfect.  Beautiful.
I quickly thought, who do I have to wear this for?  I am SINGLE.    I bought it anyway.  Stashed it underneath the Flannel and quickly made my way to the cash register for checkout.  The poor kid working the register fumbled with every piece of retail I put on the counter. He wanted to have a lengthy discussion about the weather, Ebola, Isis, his two jobs, the fact that he was Starving because he skipped lunch due to the crazy holiday shoppers, and even had my cousin and I guess his age!!

Then it happened, he held up the lingerie!  Not the the Flannel PJ’s, not the sweater I bought for my sis, not the socks or the leg warmers, that would have been too easy.
“Wow, that’s  nice.  Is that for you?”
I blushed, giggled a nervous giggle and ignored the question.  I’d rather talk about Ebola than converse with a 31 year old sales associate about my evening attire.  I also didn’t want my cousin to see that I bought the sexy lingerie for myself for fear she would also question whom I would be wearing this tiny piece of clothing for.

I pulled into my driveway at 12:01am this morning.  Lugged in the bags that had slowly multiplied as the evening had progressed.  Grabbed my phone, headed upstairs into the bedroom and raced to plug it into my stereo to put on some of my favorite Pandora music.  Music that consisted of Passenger, Mumford and Sons, Michael Buble, Ingred Michaelson, and I even threw in some Imagine Dragons and Lyle Lovett.  I slowly put on the lingerie as I carefully examined every inch of it on my body.   It fit differently than others before it…and it stayed on all night (bummer!)
Around 1:30am, I  was snuggled with my new book and the radio was playing my favorite music.  Lingerie making me feel pretty, attractive and less of a MOM.
I was just SINGLE. 
A SINGLE beautiful lady, if only for the night.  Before the kids come home.  Before the Christmas decorating begins.  Before the fighting and the video games.  Before the “Mom, I’m hungry!”
I was just Me.

That is an identity most of us lose.  We tend to lose who we actually are. When you have the husband, the kids, the dogs, the cats, football, basketball, dance, tutoring,  grocery shopping, clean the house,  cook the dinner……SAVE THE PLATE.  “How was your day, dear?”
Most of the time, never getting that same question in return.

This morning, I woke up early. As I do most every morning.   I was immediately reminded of  the movie Eat Pray Love.  When Liz was looking in the store window at the beautiful piece of lingerie.  Her friend prompted her to buy it.  “FOR WHO?” she said.  Her friend responded  “FOR YOU, JUST FOR YOU.”

And just for the night….I was reminded who I am, who I used to be, and who I will  become again.

 

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Until next time….love yourself because YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL!