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.

My Daughter Wants to Be Famous

My daughter is funny, beautiful, smart, kind, loving, silly and sensitive. She loves to dance, sing, cheer, tumble, shop, build with Lego’s, read, draw, do makeovers and take pictures.

When you ask her what she wants to be when she grows up, she will most likely say ‘a singer, dancer, actress or a veterinarian’. She knows what she likes and what she doesn’t without question.

Hannah has her own sense of style and knows what clothes she will or won’t wear, no matter how hard I try to get her to wear those cute denim skirts or a pair of cute jeans – she refuses. She just doesn’t like them. But if you show her something sparkly that does not have fit tight around the waist with elastic she will be sold.

She wants to be famous. She wants to be in front of audiences and cameras and have people be captivated by her…for now, she has her family captivated and I hope that is good enough to last her a while. I don’t know that I’m ready to have a child in the spotlight šŸ˜‰

I Love Me Monday

There isn’t anything more beautiful than a woman comfortable in her own skin!
I LOVE ME MONDAY is just that, loving who you are!
Step out from behind the camera and embrace your beauty!

3 questions are listed below to answer, please include them with your self portrait.

1. What is one thing you always seem to forget and want to punch yourself for it?
I always seem to forget until the last minute to do laundry so we all aren’t walking around buck nekkid to work/school/whatever other activities we have going on.  lol.

2. If you could spend 15 minutes with any person of your past, present, living or deceased who would you choose?
My grandpa Al.  He passed away 12 years ago and I miss him every day.

3.  What’s your favorite way to wake up?
With my husband and daughter snuggling me.

ā˜…Now your turn!ā˜…
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Answer The Questions
Self Portraits Only
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His & Her Q&A

His&Her Q&A

What would you be happy doing for hours on end?
His: Mowing a nice big grassy yard.
Her: Pinning things in Pinterest =)

What is one thing you always disagree on as a couple?
His: No ranch dressing with pizza!
Her: Adjusting the steering wheel in my car. Drives me nuts when he does this! lol (He says: That’s WHY it’s adjustable!)

What is one thing you always agree on?
His: Steak and mashed potatoes. lol
Her: That thin crust pizza is WAY better than deep dish šŸ˜‰

What is your favorite olympic event?
His: Diving.
Her: Gymnastics.

If you had the money to buy your significant other any one thing right now what would you buy them?
His: Her dream Tiffany&Co. ring
Her: His old truck he’s been wanting to get for years now

Would you rather be blind or deaf?
His: Blind.
Her: Deaf.

What is one thing you admire about your mother (or mother figure)
His: She never let anything get her down.
Her: She is stronger than she looks.

What food do you HATE?
His: Cauliflower
Her: Liver.

Who is your favorite superhero?
His: Probably Superman, although Batman had a cooler car. But Superman could fly…no, I take it back, I always wanted to be Wolverine. But the ability to fly is pretty cool.
Her: Thor. I mean seriously, Chris Hemsworth.

What value or principle, if any, are you a true advocate for?
His: Give everyone the benefit of the doubt because you never know what their circumstances may be that have led them to where they are now. You never know who your going to meet and everyone has a story.
Her: That being different doesn’t make you wrong. Gay or straight, black or white = all still people and don’t deserve to be treated any differently because of who they love or the color of their skin.

#1. Grab this button and put it in a new post.
#2. Tell everyone the link-up is hosted by We and Serendipity and Love the Grows and link back to us! (We want people to see the origination and past Q&As.)
#3. Copy and paste these questions. Delete my answers because you’re an individual.
#4. Have fun answering these questions with your man!
#5. Once you’ve published your post, click the Linky button below and link up your post here so other peeps can see it!!
#6. Read everyone elses answers that have linked up!
#7. Come back next Sunday and do it all over again!

Perfectly Imperfect…

I don’t know about y’all, but I am tired.

I am tired of people telling me that I need to change to fit some mold.

I’m not thin enough, I’m not tall enough, my hair is not the right color, length or style…

My teeth aren’t straight, or perfectly white, my smile is crooked…

My clothes aren’t the latest fashions, I don’t drive a nice new car, my house isn’t perfectly decorated and you are likely to find dishes in the sink.

We may not take over the top vacations, or have a lot of financial wealth…


I am perfectly imperfect.

I am healthy.

I am alive and breathing and moving.

I am just right as I am right this moment.

I have a husband who adores me.

I have a daughter who thinks I am the best mama in the whole wide world.  

I have family who loves and supports me.

I have friends who encourage and uplift me.

I have a car that gets us from point A to point Z and everywhere in between.

I have a nice house, in a nice neighborhood with friendly neighbors and is safe for my family.

We have nice, clean clothes on our backs and there is plenty of food in my house to feed my family.

We spend time as a family every single day enjoying each others company and spending quality time together.

I have everything I need.  I am content with my life as it is right this very minute.  I am happy to be where I am right now.  I am BLESSED to be in this life.

Clever Pink Pirate!

I asked my good IRL friend Sara from Clever Pink Pirate to share with all of us some great date ideas on the cheap for Valentine’s day and she obliged! Thanks Sara!!!

Valentines Day is here and some couples go all out with the chocolates, flowers, balloons and fancy dinners but this girl could really care less. It’s not that I am completely against sharing in a romantic holiday with millions of others, I would just prefer to do something a little more personal and a little more simple. Also, my Fiancee and I are on a strict budget so I have been brain storming a few ideas that we could do together. Today I am happy to share these ideas with all of y’all.

A Nice Dinner at Home. This doesn’t have to be another boring night of spaghetti. My friend Sara at MomEndeavors.com shares how to do a cute heart shaped pizza for the whole family with heart shaped pepperoni here . If you are looking for a little bit of a fancier dinner for you and your lover, check out the fondue recipes I found on AllRecipes.com here. Try eating dinner out back under the stars for a little romantic ambiance.

Movie night – in. If you haven’t stopped by a Redbox, you are really missing out. It’s a buck for a one night rental, you really can’t beat that. Combine that with some dinner at home for a romantic night in.

Make a coupon book. I hope these aren’t cliche just yet because I still think they are adorable. Create a coupon book with nice or naughty) things for you and your lover, to give to them to redeem when they wish. You can do a search on the internet or check out this one I found you can print out, so cute! Coupon book!

Plan something for the future. If you aren’t into the whole “Valentines” day thing but don’t want to seem like a grumpy cupid, make your lover a card and include a Groupon deal to use in the future. Everyday sites like Groupon feature deals from adventures such as balloon rides to classes like pottery classes.
Plan a little naughtiness. Okay we’re all adults here. Skip buying dinner or a present and buy yourself (or your woman) some lingerie or maybe a little more and plan a special love attack after the kids go to bed šŸ˜‰

Okay so spill it, are you into celebrating Valentine’s day? What ways do you make it more personal or save money?

Sara Blake is the mom of two and owner and creator over at CleverPinkPirate where she shares her adventures in living the frugal crafty life. From cheap recipes to quick crafts she shares tutorials and an insight into her clever life. You can also follow her at @CleverPirate on Twitter.

Guest Post – Valentine’s

Today’s guest post is from my friend Nikki over at Southern Mama with a Bad Mouth! Thanks so much Nikki!!

Hi I’m Nikki. I blog over at Southern Mama with a Bad Mouth.


Being that Valentines Day is right around the corner and that’s all about mushy love and crap. I wanna share some things that I love.

Promise I’ll won’t make it too mushy for y’all.

My tablet and my phone. 
I love them every much.
oh yeah and cupcakes!
I love my some pretty make-up.
I can’t go a day without putting on something.
So true!
I have to eat me at least 2 bowls a day!
My blog.
and my bloggy friends.
Y’all keep me going sometimes. 
I love love love them. 
Just wish I had the money for more!
I take donations! LOL.
Holy Pink Batman!
I have had a love affair with pink for some time now.
The hubs knows if he buys me something pink, 
I’ll be happy for days!
Now in true Valentines Day Fashion 
I love this man right here.
This will be our 4th Valentines day together! 
I love him from the bottom of my heart.
I don’t show him as much love as I should.
He’s amazing.
He works so hard and deserves a hot dinner every day and to be greeted at the door with me in something sexy holding a drink.
Hahaha Maybe one day.
Happy Valentines Day People!

Guest Post – Laura

Hi, my name is Laura Hernandez from Our Reflection! I’m a blogger, a full-time working mom, photographer, and wife to an amazing husband and two beautiful daughters. I’m really excited about swapping blogs with Chrissy today! Thank you for blessing me with the opportunity to guest post here today.

With Valentine’s day right around the corner, I thought it would be fun to share a little about our “loves”. Being a photographer I love to share everything in pictures.

1. My first love is God. Love never fails. 1 Corinthians 13:8

2. My Family. My Life. My Everything. 

3. Photography. Here are a few of my personally taken favorites. You can view my entire collection on my blog Laura Hernandez Photography

3. Music. Especially the piano. I want to lean to play someday. “Music says the words we’re to afraid to speak out-loud.”  

4. Bikes. If you know our family, you know we take our bikes with us everywhere. 

5. Starbucks. I have a weakness. Non-Fat Peppermint Mocha weakness.
These are my little “loves”. Thank you Chrissy for letting me share today!
You can come visit my blog here! You can also “Like” me on Facebook, Follow me on Twitter and Bloglovin. I love meeting new people and making new friends.