I want my 64 years like he promised

We celebrated our 14th wedding anniversary this week, we got married on Leap Day 2004, so while we technically didn’t have an anniversary this year it was more important this year than previous years to celebrate the in between’s.

At the time we got engaged, he was still living in Iowa and I was here, in Phoenix. He proposed Halloween weekend 2003 and we of course started talking wedding dates pretty soon after. Sean had a date in mind, pretty quickly and asked if I’d be okay with February 29th. Wow, that was fast! That would only give us a few short months to get him moved from the midwest back out to the valley, and plan a wedding, and get him a job, and find us an apartment…those are a lot of big things to make happen in a 4 month time frame. Once he told me his reason for wanting that date, I of course said I was fine with it.

See, Sean’s grandparents had gotten married on that date many years before and they’d celebrated 16 anniversaries but 64 years of wedded bliss. He figured if it worked for them, it would work for us. Plus, they’d both passed before we’d met and he wanted a way to include them in the special day. So, see, I really couldn’t have refused him that date and still claim to have a heart šŸ˜‰

We started making the plans and doing the things, and ended up getting him moved back out here by Christmas. We moved into our apartment not long after the first of the year and then it was just a matter of the final touches on the wedding planning. Once the day finally arrived, it was beautiful. Blue skies and gorgeous weather, as we are accustomed to in the valley of the sun. We had an outdoor wedding and everything was really exactly as it should have been.

Now, here we are all those years later, never having thought we would have to deal with some of the things we’ve dealt with in our early years of marriage, like being caregivers for his mother as she passed from cancer. Or being a caregiver to my aging grandmother who was sliding further into Alzheimer’s and dealing with bipolar disorder at the same time. Or having an aunt and uncle of his pass from different types of cancers.

Once we started learning of the different types of cancers in his family history, I became more and more concerned that eventually this would enter our world…I mean, you cannot have so many people in your family with all different types of cancers and think you’ll be the one it doesn’t touch. It was a huge worry for me, I’m not sure if it was as big in his mind. I can tell you with certainty I never expected to get the dreaded cancer diagnosis as early in life as we got it though, I thought we’d have 20 more years before we’d hear it.

Now, as I sit here contemplating life and having celebrated this 14th year of marriage…I would be lying if I said there isn’t some level of fear….I hope and pray and I have to believe that he will be here to celebrate many more anniversaries with me, just like his grandparents had…I want my 64 years with him like he promised.

Do I Win The Bad Mom Award?

Do I win the bad mom award? That’s my question to you…

See, I have an 8 year old daughter and as much as I want to shield and protect her from all the evils in this world, there are certain things that I refuse to keep from her. 9.11, Newtown, and now Boston are all subjects that I let her watch reports about in addition to watching the reports of course her dad and I sit with her and have a conversation. I ask her if she has any questions or concerns about what she has seen or heard. I make sure that she knows that even though there are people who wish harm on strangers there are even more still who would rush to help those same strangers, and that those are the people who are heroes.

I have always believed that for the most part, keeping the tragedies that happen in life from our children does more harm than good. You lose out on teaching valuable lessons on humanity and the goodness of people, not to mention teaching them to be the kind of person who rushes to action in a tragic situation as opposed to standing around feeling helpless.

This extends to personal tragedies as well. When we brought my Mother In Law to live with us when she had been given only months to live after being diagnosed with a brain tumor, my daughter was 4 years old and she was included and involved in EVERY single step of the process from setting up Gramma Marilyn’s new room to the daily meetings with her Hospice nurses. Hannah was allowed to ask questions, talk about anything and everything she saw and felt about the whole situation. I truly believe that because we included her in everything, it was less scary for her when Gramma Marilyn progressively got worse. She was able to spend time with and help to care for her Gramma. She was also there (in another room with the hospice nurse) the moment Gramma took her very last breath. Hannah was there when we went to the funeral home to make all of the arrangements for Gramma Marilyn and helped us pick out the lovely wooden urn that Gramma Marilyn would be placed in. During that same time period we were also caregivers to my Grandmother who was battling Alzheimer’s and bi-polar disorder.

Pretty heavy subject matter for an adult let alone a child, I know. But again, Hannah was included in every aspect of taking care of Grandma, which helped her to feel more in control of the situation. Also I believe that those experiences have shaped her into the immensely caring, loving, understanding, accepting, empathetic individual that she is today. Believe me when I tell you though I have ‘mommy guilt’ every single day about how much she has experienced in her young life, but ultimately if given a ‘do-over’ I wouldn’t change it. I truly believe that she can handle the truth about life and death and tragedy. I believe that I have taught her to not judge people based on how they look or who they love, that if you have the ability to help someone in need it is your job to do so.

I’m sure that to some people I’m a horrible mother for not keeping these types of things from my daughter and that’s okay.  Everyone is entitled to their opinions.  However, I know that I made the right decisions for MY family and at the end of the day, that’s the only thing that matters.

I pray for peace for the victims of these horrific tragedies.  I pray that law enforcement will be able to determine quickly who was behind these attacks and to bring those people to justice.  Now, let’s all go hug our friends and family extra tight and maybe say a few more ‘I love you’s’ to the people who matter in our lives.

Real Life Isn’t Always Pretty Y’all

In real life, things aren’t always pretty. We don’t always have all our ish together all the time.

Sometimes, we find gray hairs on our birthday.

Or sometimes, we have to deal with our facial hair. Yep. I went there. I have PCOS and I deal with excess hair and it annoys the *&#$ out of me, but it is what it is so I deal with it.

Excuse me, I mustache you a question

Still, other times, we find ourselves with mud on our face and flyaway hairs going every direction

rollers in our hair just tryin’ to keep up with the trends and beautify ourselves.

There are times when our hearts are heavy with grief and helplessness when we spend weeks sitting with a friend whose son dies suddenly one week before his 2nd birthday. When we have spent all day crying with her, comforting her, rallying around her and sometimes fighting for her while she buries her baby. The red, puffy eyes are only an outward sign of the heartbreak you feel for your friends who are dealing with such a tragedy.

It is times like these when we understand that life is not always cupcakes and rainbows and sparkly pretty things. Life isn’t about who is prettiest or has the most money or the fastest cars or the biggest house or who takes the biggest, most extravagant vacations. It is about the real moments that happen every single day. The moments when you allow yourself to be vulnerable and silly. It’s getting down on the floor and playing with your babies (human or animal), it is kissing your husband (or wife) like you mean it and not as an afterthought before you say goodnight.

Ch – Ch – Ch – Changes

Happy Friday, y’all! I don’t know about you, but this entire week I haven’t had a clue what day it’s been. lol. I can’t wait for school to start back up on Monday just so I can keep my days straight!

I’ve always been one of those people who wrote out new goals or resolutions at the start of a New Year. It’s something that my family always did growing up and I just never thought about NOT doing it once I was on my own with my own family. Until this year. This is the first year I didn’t actually sit down and make a list of things I wanted to do or have happen this year. And you know what? It feels great.

I realized that for all these years that I was writing out a goal list, I never really gave it a second thought past the first day of the year. It would get shuffled to the bottom of a pile of papers and then eventually thrown away. That wasn’t doing me any good and so my goals weren’t being accomplished.

This year I decided to do something a little different. Do I have goals I want to accomplish this year? Absolutely! But I’m going about it differently than I have in the past. I am taking a more day by day approach to get me where I want to be in the long run.

I’m working on myself. I’m focusing on being more intentional in things I do and in being happy where I am. That doesn’t mean I don’t have hopes and dreams for the year, I do, but I’m just hoping that by focusing more on the here and now I will be more successful.

There are a few areas I’m focusing on more this year. Things that I have been thinking about for quite sometime, but I always felt that if I started them I wouldn’t be able to finish and then I would feel bad about myself so I just never started to begin with. That’s no good. So, I’m holding myself accountable to doing things that I know I need to do. If I fail, I fail. And then I will get back up and try again.

For a while now, I’ve been feeling like I needed to get back to my roots if you will. I am a Christian, but I don’t go to church. I don’t read the bible. I do pray occasionally. Something that I’ve been feeling I need to do is to stop being a Christian in name only. Start living it more. So I started the #shereadstruth plan. It is a daily plan, which helps me keep myself accountable because it’s totally doable and realistic when things are broken down to what I need to do daily instead of looking at the bigger picture of what I want over the year.


One of the other areas I am wanting to improve is photography. So I’m doing the FatMumSlim photoaday on Instagram…again. I always do good for the first week and then I slack off. So I’m working on it day by day. It makes me happy to take pictures.

This is the USS Arizona Memorial at the state capital in Phoenix

The anchor from the USS Arizona

A piece of the 9-11 Memorial from the World Trade Towers at the state capital in Phoenix

If there is one area I feel I can always use more work in, it’s as a mom. I’m doing a 30 day mom challenge with my BFF – Harmony. Everyday there is a challenge and we remind each other to do it and are helping to keep each other honest, if it doesn’t go so well, we tell the other. But we are also there to celebrate our successes on the days we nail it. We’d love to have more moms join us, so let us know if you want in on the challenge!

Hopefully this new way of doing things will help me to be more successful in reaching the goals I do have for the year.

Bye Bye Baby Maker

I know this post is going to come as a surprise to some of you. I have shared in the past about how long we have been trying to have a second child here, here, here and here. I’ve also shared here and here. And now, I’m going to share why we have decided that we are complete as a family of 3 and will no longer be trying to have a baby.

Over the last few months, we had a ton of fertility testing done and all the results came back that there was nothing seriously wrong causing my infertility. The only thing that has prevented pregnancy is the fact that I have PCOS. Anyway, hubby and I have had many long discussions over the years about what we want and how many kids we wanted and how far we were willing to go in order to try and make that happen. In the last couple of months we came to the conclusion that we were completely happy as we are right now. We decided that we didn’t actually WANT anymore kids. We were just continuing to try because it was expected of us by certain people and that we needed to stop and reevaluate.

Now, we’ve talked about this decision before but it never felt right. There was never peace with the decision. This time is different. I am completely at peace in my decision to not have anymore kids and to not even try anymore. I’ve even made an appointment with my gyn to discuss removing my baby making parts! I am really excited to move on to the next phase of life not worrying about any of the physical issues I deal with on a monthly basis. I have an appt in a couple of weeks now and I’m looking forward to finding out what the next step is and taking it.

We know that we are doing the right thing for us and our family and couldn’t be happier with our choice! Yay!

Happiness is a Choice

I’m sure that we’ve all heard it said that Happiness is a choice but I don’t think everyone chooses to believe this to be true. However, I do. I absolutely believe that while we may not be able to immediately change our situation in life (job, financial status, relationships) we CAN immediately change our outlook.

I don’t always have the best attitude, I know, shocking. I worry about everything…a lot. I don’t always see the things I do have because I am so focused on the things I don’t have. This causes me to be crabby and nobody likes a crabby mama. Believe it. So I am making a conscious choice to be happy. To find happiness in things around me…like these things

It doesn’t cost me a cent to sit and look at the clouds..and how cool is it that this one is shaped like a heart?! It doesn’t cost me a cent to go out back and play with my dog and to watch her run at me full speed with a ball in her mouth and her ears flopping in the wind. To see her eyes light up when I grab that ball and her whole body starts to shimmy cuz her little nub is wagging so fast she can’t control herself…all because Mama is gonna play ball with her! It doesn’t cost me a cent to sit and snuggle with my precious baby girl who is getting so big and soon won’t want to snuggle with her Mama. It doesn’t cost me a cent to sit on the couch with my Hubby after our girls are in bed asleep and just be near each other and talk or snuggle while we watch tv. These are the things that I love the most, the things that don’t cost anything and are the most precious and valuable things on earth.


Six Word Saturday

Oh this will be fun! Describe your life in six words, if you want to participate just head over to www.showmyface.com and link up!

Here are my six words for today:

Needing to change my attitude, badly!


Do routine’s help in your house? They sure do in mine. It is always obvious that things are getting off track when my daughter starts having more fits and attitudes that we need to buckle down on the routine. You know how it is, you start off great, then life starts to get in the way and slowly you get off track with your whole routine. The house is not being cleaned how and when it should, the kids bed time is getting pushed around…its a vicious cycle in my house.

We have gone through a really intense past year in our family. We had some family stuff happen (I won’t bore you with the details) and we ended up moving in with my grandmother to help care for her and the house. A month after that, we ended up moving my MIL down here from Iowa to live with us. She was dying of cancer and there was no family around her to help take care of her where she lived. So we had a full house, and my routine went straight out the window. I was suddenly not only taking care of the house, my daughter and my husband…but now I also had my elderly gramma and my terminal mother in law to take care of. Talk about stress. I tried to keep everyone on a routine and for a couple of days it would work, and then Life would get in the way and I would get tired and well…it just would be forgotten. We were all just basically trying to survive it all. Within a few months, my mother in law had passed away and that took a load of daily stress off of us, but there was the grief and the dealing with her estate and a whole new set of stresses. Then my gramma took a turn for the worse and had to be committed to a geriatric psych ward for a month and now is moving into a group home for people with her same issues today.

Finally though, we are back to just us – my husband, my daughter and myself. I am trying to get us all back into our routine and its a struggle, but I am beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel!

Its That Time Again…

Time to


and smell the roses. I am in desperate need of another recharge. I don’t know if its just that I am taking things more personally or what the case is, but I am definitely getting worn down again and I cannot be having that! I have too much positive going on right now!