Archive | November, 2012

Because In The End I Am The Lucky One

25 Nov

To have a man who gives me butterflies

Every single day

To have kids who are

Happy

And healthy

And smart

Insanely smart

And to have this blessed life

With such a great support system

And to have parents who raised me with

Mannars

Integrity

Curiosity

Ambition

I am the lucky one

Who has never had to spend a night

Hungry

Cold

Alone

And scared

Who has the freedome

To be whoever I want to be

And say whatever I want to say

And I am learning to be the person who

Appreciates it.

Confessions of a Teen Mom: Part Three

12 Nov

The next few months were kind of a blur. High school had just ended, I didn’t have a job and I felt completely alone. As everyone else was preparing their dorms for what I could only imagine would be the best four years of their lives I was preparing a nursery. I found a wonderful doctor who didn’t judge me for being a teenager and who treated me like any other patient. As the days wore on and my belly got bigger my parents began to accept their fate as grandparents. At home things were actually going pretty well.

It was in public where I had the issues. Everywhere I went people were blatantly staring at me and pointing at me. It wasn’t in a congratulatory tone. I am not sure if they were mad at me or if they felt sorry for me, but it was mortifying. I spent most days at home silently throwing up from my crippling morning sickness. I tried not to complain because I knew I had brought it all on myself, but inside I was depressed. I couldn’t shake the fact that I had become a failure, a statistic. The girl who once cried over not having straight A’s on her report card had turned into the girl that no other girls wanted to be.

When I was 20 weeks pregnant I got a 3D ultrasound as a gift from my mother. I found out that we were having a boy and at that moment everything became real. I imagined skinned knees and sports. I could picture my boyfriend playing baseball in the front yard that we didn’t even have. When I was 20 weeks pregnant I decided that my son was the only person who mattered in my life and that I would do everything I could so that he didn’t have to suffer from me being a teen parent. Nikkos was the perfect name. A strong Greek name for a boy who I knew would be a fighter.

My boyfriend, mom and I moved into a three bedroom town home before I had my son. He would even get his own room. Things were going better than I could have even hoped for. Over time my morning sickness got better and I stopped caring about the stares I got from strangers. My boyfriend got a job working for a probation office making better money than we thought he would and we were able to buy a few things for our son. I was genuinely excited to finally meet him.

After a few false alarms I was determined to not go to the hospital until the real deal. So determined that when I actually WAS in labor I refused to go to the hospital. I woke up on the morning of March 6th 2008 in pain. I figured it was just braxton hicks so I decided not to tell my mom or boyfriend about it. Apparently I was doing a very poor job of hiding my pain because my boyfriend made me walk down two flights of stairs to talk to my mom about the pain. Right when I reached the bottom stair she smiled and told me that she wasn’t going to work that day because I was going to have a baby. I pleaded with them to go to work and told them I would be just fine, but five minutes later I was in the car on the way to the hospital.

The entire way to the hospital I yelled and cussed and was the ultimate backseat driver. Once we got to the hospital the contractions were so bad that I could barely walk. In the middle of the parking lot I threatened to sit down right where I was unless someone got me a wheelchair. My choice of words was likely a little more harsh than that. We got checked in to the hospital and I found out that my doctor would not be the one delivering my baby. She was on vacation so it would be a male doctor. I despised that idea, but I was in so much pain I didn’t argue. An hour later and an epidural later I was feeling much better.

My mom and boyfriend went to get lunch so my dad was in the room with me. Suddenly it felt like the epidural had worn off. My dad went to get the doctor for me and he informed me that it was definitely time to push. I don’t know who went to get my mom and boyfriend, but they had to have run. Three minutes later I was pushing. I didn’t think I could do it. I wanted to give up. I pleaded for someone to trade places with me so I could rest. Forty minutes later at 1:49pm my son took his first breath and I heard his first cry. It was all so overwhelming. They placed him on my stomach, I looked into his eyes and I instantly fell in love.

Confessions of a Teen Mom: Part Two

11 Nov

My boyfriend and I were in love. At least we thought we were. We both had such a diluted sense of reality and we genuinely thought that as long as we were in love nothing could go wrong. Everything went wrong.

Before I get any further I should probably give a recap of the six months before I saw those two pink lines on that plastic stick. On September 28th 2006 I thought I had experienced love at first sight. I was at a party with a lot of alcohol, a lot of sleaze ball guys and a ton of underage drinking. In other words, it was a typical Saturday night for half of the teenagers in the country.

That is where I met my prince charming. A man who was clearly fit to be the father of my children. That is what my 17 year old self thought anyway. My prince charming was a 23 year old misfit who’s life was in shambles. We stayed up until 4am talking about everything and anything. He was everything I didn’t want in a boyfriend, yet I hung on his every word. Two weeks later he was living with me in my moms apartment. Yes, two weeks later.

Playing house went well for a while. I got very sick at the end of the year and my prince charming took care of me while I slept on a mattress in the living room and lost 20 pounds in the course of five weeks. He took care of me. My mom trusted him to take care of me. In February of 2007 I had a pregnancy scare. When I found out I wasn’t pregnant a part of me was actually very sad. What did my boyfriend do to cheer me up? He bought me a dog. A dog that, two weeks later, I decided was just too much work to take care of so I gave him away.

I gave a dog away because he was too much work, yet I still thought a baby would be fun. Cute. An adventure.

After the first pregnancy scare my boyfriend and I stopped using birth control. Naturally after I found out I was pregnant I lied right through my teeth and told everyone that I had NO IDEA how I got pregnant just like most teen moms do.

When I found out I was pregnant I didn’t know how to feel. I was happy to have someone who would love me unconditionally. I was even happy that I would be forced to grow up. The truth is, I was a very scared, very confused, very insecure girl.

Little did I know this mess I was in was just the calm before the storm. Life was about to get harder. A lot harder.

Confessions of a Teen Mom: Part One

10 Nov

It had to have been the longest three minutes of my life. 180 seconds would determine my fate, would change my life forever. I stood in the bathroom already knowing the answer, but needing confirmation of it anyway. Thirty seconds left. I couldn’t even bear to look at it. My heart was pounding and I was on the verge of tears. I looked and it was exactly what I knew it would be. Two lines. Two lines that will be etched into my mind for the rest of my life. Two lines that changed the path of my life completely.

I walked out of the bathroom to see my boyfriend of six months sitting on my bed trying to read the look on my face. He knew. I don’t remember exactly what either of us said. I don’t remember the look on his face. I remember looking around at a bedroom filled with stuffed animals and posters of boy bands. How could I be so stupid? I couldn’t even take care of myself properly. I couldn’t even order my own food at a restaurant or balance a checkbook. There was no way I could take care of a child.

I didn’t have long to process it. I was due for surgery literally the next day to have a tumor removed from my neck. I knew they were going to do a pregnancy test before the surgery. I couldn’t stall. I couldn’t hide the fact that I was pregnant the way most teen moms do. I had twelve hours to crush the dreams of my parents and everyone else in my life. Looking back, I am thankful for the horrible timing of it all. I can’t imagine keeping such a huge secret.

I am not sure if I was more scared of being pregnant or if I was more scared of telling my parents that I was pregnant. I was horrified and embarrassed and knew it wouldn’t go over very well. My mom got home a few hours after I found out. I walked into her room and I am sure I was pale and fragile looking. I didn’t even have to tell her. She knew. The moment I said I had something to tell her, she asked if I was pregnant. I broke down and cried. I knew that I had disappointed her.

She didn’t yell. She didn’t kick me out. She cried, which was probably harder on my heart than the other two would have been. I had spent 18 years trying to make my parents proud and had done a pretty good job of making them proud. I ruined it in an instant. She told me that she would be there for me, but that my boyfriend and I only had a year to live with her after the baby was born. A year was enough time to get on our feet. I am so thankful for the way my mom acted that day. It could have been far worse.

I had a feeling my dad would not be so understanding and forgiving, and I was right. I chickened out and told him the morning of my surgery. I told him after we had already gotten to the hospital. “Dad, they aren’t going to be able to do my surgery today.” That phrase was followed by a blank stare on his part. “I’m pregnant.” His face got dark and I could feel his blood pressure rising. He yelled at me right there in the waiting room of the hospital like I was a child. Who am I kidding, I WAS a child. He screamed at me and asked what I was thinking. “How can you be so STUPID? How can you make such STUPID decisions? This will ruin your life.” I took the verbal abuse because I knew I deserved it. He was right. It was stupid. I was stupid. My boyfriend and I were both stupid.

But I was pregnant and nothing was going to change that. I was nearly two months pregnant to be exact. There was a child inside of me who would depend on me to stop making stupid decisions. To never be stupid again. To not ruin his life the way I was seemingly ruining my own.

Horrible Bosses, Horrible Customers and Horrible Luck

9 Nov

Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm. At least that’s true according to Winston Churchill. I hope he is right.

You learn a lot about yourself and others when you run a business. For example, I have learned that I am a terrible boss. And I mean TERRIBLE. I am the controlling, overbearing, micro managing, perfectionist boss that people have nightmares about. If something isn’t done my way then it isn’t done right. My poor, poor husband.

I have also learned that I am a fantastic customer. I give businesses the benefit of the doubt. I give them chances to fix things and make them right. I am a very patient customer. When you are on the business end of things you appreciate customers like me. I’m tired of rude customers. They have a tendency to be on power trips and take their life’s anger out on poor, unsuspecting businesses. Me.

Today is one of the days where I wonder if I am crazy or if I am just going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm. Between a crazy eBay customer, a very unforgiving Amazon customer, stupid feedback rules and one mistake that was admittedly 100 percent my fault I am starting to think I am crazy, not successful.

To shamelessly quote Mr Churchill again, he would sit me down right now and tell me “If you are going to go through hell, keep going.” and I would nod my head in silence because I would be starstruck that he was giving me advice.

Tomorrow is a new day of challenges and a new day of failures. I’m going to consider failure as life tuition. Failure gives me strength and it teaches me what not to do….right? Right!

Later days blog world.

What Am I Thankful For?

6 Nov

I think I cam officially call it the holiday season. November is a month where everyone should show their gratitude for everything they have. In honor of that I am going to write a few posts this month about things I am thankful for.

1. I am thankful for my husband. He is my best friend, my other half. He keeps me awake until midnight talking about everything and anything. He has always been my number one fan and has supported me in everything I have done in the past six years. He has made me a better person, and for that I am thankful.

2. I am thankful for God blessing me with the smartest, most handsome, most stubborn, most curious son on the planet. Nikkos has given me strength that I never imagined I could have. His smiles have gotten me through the roughest days and his hugs have given me hope and strength. Having my son is one of the best things that has ever happened in my life.

3. I am thankful for my baby girl. My princess. Ariahna has filled a hole in my heart that I never even knew existed before she was born. She adores her daddy and thats ok with me. She prefers high heels over tennis shoes and pink is her favorite color. Her brother is her best friend and she always gives everyone the benefit of the doubt. The world can learn a lot from her.

4. I am thankful for my step-daughter, Jordan. I have never met a better big sister and we are incredibly blessed to have her in our family. She has a smile that will light up any room and has overcome more in ten years than most people have in a lifetime. Having her in my life has taught me about unconditional love and for that I am forever thankful.

5. I am thankful for my parents and their spouses. When the rest of the world turned their backs on us they didn’t. They always had faith in our family and let us learn things the hard way which we needed to do. They love my children as much as I do and they let me be the parent while they take on amazing roles as grandparents and for that I am thankful.

6. I am thankful for my grandma. When I am feeling discouraged she has a way of making me feel confident again. She doesn’t judge me and I can always count on her to be the voice of reason. She has the worlds most beautiful smile and a spirit that is full of life. She has set an amazing example as to what a woman is supposed to be and for that I am thankful.

7. I am thankful for my job. I look forward to work every single day and genuinely enjoy what I am doing. I am thankful that my job has given us a cushion in our budget and am thankful that it allows me to still stay at home with my kids. It has been such an educational and trying couple of years and we are finally seeing the results of all of our hard work and for that I am thankful.

8. I am thankful to have a roof over my head. A few years ago we nearly didn’t have a roof over our heads at all and now we have a house in a neighborhood that I love. We have great neighbors, the babysitter lives 1 1/2 blocks from us and Tom’s job is 1/4 mile away. We have a yard for the kids to play in and even have space for our office and inventory. For all of that I am thankful.

9. I am thankful that I feel complete. I have the life I never thought would be possible a few years ago. My heart is whole. My head is clear. My life is going in the right direction.

10. I am thankful that we live in a country where citizens have the ability to vote for who the president is. I am thankful that I was given the opportunity to stand outside in the cold for two hours so my voice could be heard.

Rest In Peace Jessica Ridgeway

2 Nov

I have been avoiding writing this post. I feel like I have so much to say, but it wouldn’t come out right. The pain I feel for this family wouldn’t be conveyed. The loss for our community is so great that there aren’t even words that would do the feeling justice.

On Friday, October 5th a beautiful little girl named Jessica Ridgeway never made it to school. Her mom saw her off to school and she never made it the three blocks to meet her friends so they could all walk together. An Amber Alert went out for Jessica at 9:15pm and my heart sank. A ten year old girl doesn’t just go missing. Over twelve hours had passed since the girl had been seen last. She could have been states away.

In the next few days the community came together to look for Jessica. My heart was heavy for her family. I couldn’t fathom the feeling of missing your child and not knowing if they were safe or even alive. At 7:30pm on October 10th the Westminster Police Department announced that they had found a body, but did not say if it was linked to Jessica in any way. I knew it was. I think everyone did. Our community held on to the hope that it wasn’t Jessica’s body, but even if it wasn’t hers it was someone’s body and someone’s family would be missing them.

I was in tears while watching the news. I hadn’t stopped thinking about Jessica. Whenever I closed my eyes I saw her smile. I wondered how her mother was able to function, to breathe.

During that week I wasn’t able to sleep. When my husband worked nights I was paralyzed with fear. I triple checked that my doors and windows were all locked. I lay in bed in silence out of fear that if I had the tv on I wouldn’t be able to hear someone coming in and abducting my own children. I even contemplated sleeping with a knife under my mattress, but decided against it because the kids had access to my room.

On October 12th at 4:02pm the police identified the body that was found as Jessica’s. I cried. I knew it was hers once they said that there was a body found, but I didn’t want to believe it was hers. My anxiety spiked. The person who abducted her and cut up her innocent little body was still out there. Could strike again. As a parent it was horrifying and I didn’t want my kids out of my sight.

On October 23rd 17 year old Austin Sigg was arrested in the murder of Jessica Ridgeway. Everyone was shocked that a 17 year old boy could have done such a horrifying crime. He must have been a very troubled boy. Part of me feels sympathy for Austin’s family, but part of me wonders how they screwed him up so badly that he became a murderer.

I think of Jessica every single day. I pray that she wasn’t tortured before she was murdered. I don’t even want to think about the last images she saw, the last words she heard. I will never forget Jessica and her bright smile. Her murder has changed me as a person. Jessica deserves justice and I want to help give that to her.

Rest in peace baby girl. You will never be forgotten.

Are You Finished Yet?

Life is all about moments...

Denim & Dumplings

Fashion, food and everything in between

101 Books

Reading my way through Time Magazine's 100 Greatest Novels since 1923 (plus Ulysses)

write meg!

Another take on writing, reading, loving -- and eating

The Picture Book Review

Reviews of Children's Board Books, Picture Books, Activity Books, and Graphic Novels

Small Potatoes

Because in MY life, these things are no small potatoes

Weigl

Everyone has questions. Few have answers.

The Lemonade Chronicles

A quixotic quest for the bright side.

Talkin' Reckless

Thoughts on feminism, health, and education

reliablyuncomfortable

betcha can't read just one

Aging Gracefully My Ass

A sincere blog about a donkey

Mike is happy.

Relatively.

Pretty Feet, Pop Toe

It's just my point of view. Love it or hate it.

Ginger's Grocery

Come on in and browse. The biscuits were made fresh this morning, the Slush Puppie machine was just refilled with a new bottle of red syrup, and we have the biggest selection of bait this close to town.

Her et al.

My thoughts, my life, my words. My quotable world.

Zen Scribbles

Sometimes a pain, sometimes a klutz, sometimes even a Grammar Nazi, but always a writer, always a reader, always a self-proclaimed chocoholic.

Ms Toy Whisperer

I am a writer who sells vintage books and toys. I write about the whimsy of life, family, thrifting, everything and nothing and whispers of the Holy Spirit.