Saturday, November 8, 2014

Blended Dating

We all know the stereotypes of “meeting the parents” when dating someone. Meeting the boyfriend’s mom, being grilled by the girlfriend’s dad, not to mention the fact that IF you are actually meeting these people in a pre-arranged date, place, and time you are saying you are serious enough to start meeting each other’s family.

Now add in today’s modern awkward addition of your parents meeting your boyfriend’s kids and vice versa! I feel like this should be 9 new cliches rolled into one. I mean this is taking it to the heat as far as seriousness goes in my opinion, and not that I am not comfortable with that, but even when you are in your 30’s or even 40’s – approaching your parents and letting them know you are this serious (obviously a second time around) is still weird and makes you feel like you are a teenager again.

Last week,  A and I did the above with my parents, luckily I think the kids (even though we were missing one, I mean we know where she is ;)) were the least nervous of all. The oldest found something in common when going through my dad’s old vinyls and talked politics with the younger one, then all 4 boys (A, my dad, the kids) bonded over a remote control helicopter. All while my mom was kind enough to entertain my kiddo so we could actually speak to one another. It actually went rather well on both sides.

Part of the reason I am posting about this is the fact that SO many times, separately and together, A and I have begged for a book on what the heck we are doing and are we doing it right and why must people judge because WE ARE in our 30’s. But it’s the second time around, so caution is there despite feelings and judging eyes are just waiting for the crash to happen.


However, we are solid in our relationship – no matter how the modern world or “traditional families” may look at us. And maybe, just maybe, if I keep documenting enough – and y’all don’t gag from my not as single in suburbia posts – we can write our own darn book to help those after us know that they aren't messing up their lives (nor did they the first time around) or sending their children into therapy. 


Saturday, October 11, 2014

#101 - Domestic Violence Survior.....3+ years later



Being it is Domestic Violence Awareness month, being that I am a survivor, and to have a good post or helpful reason to post why I have been absent from the blog; I decided to write a little about what one DV survivor’s life looks like 3 years later:

The Good:

Myself and my kiddo have been in our own place for over a year now.  The same place and it will continue to be that way in the upcoming months.

I have a job (I did before too) as a health care professional and have grown in skill with the same facility – going on 5 years now. 

I am in a very happy AND healthy relationship with a not only respectable but respectful man both as you look on the outside and as you look on the inside behind home doors. He is also a faith-filled man. His faith is one my main attractions to him. (note: not the reason I haven't posted in awhile, keep reading ;))

My faith has grown in leaps and bounds – I have my domestic violence experience, survival, and recovery processes to thank for that. There will never be enough words to describe my appreciation for the greatest thing that has come from that whole experience.

The Ugly:

I couldn’t make it in the first apartment past 8 months due to finances/pay cuts. I spent way too much money on a deposit for our current place because I wanted to “get out” of my parents’ house and be on my own. “Being responsible” took all of a 3 minute poor financial decision, with no consultation because I was an “adult,” and cost well over 1K in one day. We all know that you are lucky to get any deposits back on apartments. 

I love what I do and who I truly serve in my work. For the kiddo, I had to go part time, which was a good decision for my family. It is tough on the finances. My job and its owners are a different story. It is a struggle to go in most days because of the aforementioned. I know I am called to serve but have no idea where I am meant to be lead inside this career right now.  Though we have shelter, food, and clothing – we do so paycheck to paycheck as I beg for more daytime hours. It was still the right family decision however. 

I went through two fast, very unhealthy relationships when I thought I was ready that first year and a half. It took a lot of heartache, self-blame, and recovering again. I then took a year only to myself, God, and my faith. I studied relationships without being in one and made a set of healthy rules to follow in the future. Only then did I stumble upon someone who is becoming, if not already, my best friend. 

Finding my faith took first finding the most extreme pain I have ever imagined, scream, yell, and cry silently and out loud even at God. It took a total of 2-3 years to get to a solid place and it is thankfully still growing every day.  Lately, I have had to try extra hard to keep my faith solid in the everyday, amidst all the trials of the modern world. I am keeping the faith but it is not without God given grace some days. 

More Good -What I Hope Domestic Violence Awareness and Recovery can be going forward for survivors:

Explaining that just getting out of your situation is great, you survived it! However, being a recovered survivor means learning a new way of life, respect for life, and new skills to really live as a thriver and not just a survivor. 

When you think/feel you are ready to graduate from any therapy or domestic violence therapy/education programs – go to at least two more sessions. I quit while I was behind, thinking I was ahead. I do truly believe that I would have learned more great tools and ways to deal with my new life if I would have gone to just a couple more sessions. It could have given me a little more wisdom to avoid some of that “ugly” mentioned above.

Don’t be ashamed to go back to your family, church, friends, etc. even if you have been away for awhile. Abusers often try and separate you from things and these good people so that they don’t see what is really happening or what kind of shape you are in. Going back will help you and it’s ok to go back to lean on that support and grow your new life.

Life Skills: This is a big one and an area I think Domestic Violence organizations can grow in is teaching some life skills classes. They do a great job at helping people dress and prepare for job interviews, however, some survivors never got the basic education on budgets, finances, new relationships, healthy eating and exercise for overall wellness. I know I would (could still) have benefited from classes or sessions on those topics. Make overall wise decisions.

Shampoo: That’s right – I mean rinse, lather, repeat shampoo. I mentioned on how I was struggling paycheck to paycheck and though I have hot water and a place to shower, toiletries are a living expense. I would like to see some places have some donations (even travel size) of basic household needs/goods/pantry food available….heck even toilet paper people for those of us who may have a job but nothing in the bank account to pay for “luxuries” such as conditioner. I recently went to a mega store hoping for a sale and used $3.02 of my last $5 (after rent and bills were paid) so I could use more than a dime on my hair and body – it was one of the best showers I have had in my life!

So that’s my story for now to help maybe one person, one survivor do it a little bit better than me – so they are not making that desperately calculated mega-store run.  We are doing great and we are past the bad, but we can always thrive! 


Sunday, September 14, 2014

Sundays With Work

I am sitting here, typing this on my phone, at work. 

My daughter is at my parents' house and was yesterday as well after being informed "no it's not a dad weekend" after asking because of reasons she will unfortunately understand sooner than later.....if not already.

The nurse in the other room is having "the talk" again with a family who won't let someone who will not get better go. I am medically taking care of this person today and it is not a good situation from a medical standpoint. 

A little more than once a month, this is my Sunday. I also just talked with a friend who had to leave their family today for work out of state. This posed to me the question: In today's modern world, how do we stay well when demands of work encroach on our family, spiritual, or personal time? 

Like I told my friend, I wish I had an out so that we could just say "no, my family comes first" or "no, my spiritual life comes first," or even "no, my mental well being comes first," but in today's world sometimes we just can't. So we have to find our own ways during those times:

Find 5 minutes. Find just five quiet minutes (alone if you can) to just breathe, decompress, be silent, be spiritual, whatever you need. Repeat if you can as needed.

Take a caffeine break, I mean take a break from the caffeine.  I LOVE coffee and work in a hospital, however, some hot lemon water can do some major good to your body. Smell it, taste it, let it warm you up - it's also a nice change up from the old bean. 

If you have to be away from family, make sure they text, send pictures, call, etc. I know the first initial smile it puts on your may be followed by that twinge of pain, longing, or guilt that you can't be there in real time - but you still get that first smile and it's good for them to stay in touch too - especially the kids. 

Social media - keep tweets, posts, pics positive. Now don't go overboard "working 50 hours a week is great" or "having a great time away in this 4 hour training," just be careful because it affects your mood (sadly enough). Or if you need to, take a break - sometimes the envy of reading what all your "free friends" are doing can make you look down on your own situation. Remember, no one is all roses.

Move. Even 10 jumping jacks, squats, or crunches can boost your energy, your mood, and fill in the time gaps. Even in an airport or the creepy hospital stairwell - who cares who sees, an added bonus of a show! 

Most important - 30 second dance party to whatever grooves you while remembering, somehow you CAN change your situation. Even one small step can help you change your stars.

Until we can change our "working to live" into more of a "live, laugh, love" lifestyle (and we can if we have faith that we can), set limits, adjust yourself to the situation, and take a minute to breathe. 


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Not On The List

was on Pinterest today, the lovely suburban woman I am (not so much), looking at different scripture/bible verses for various feelings and needs in life. What I then discovered was that what I was looking for was not on the list: when you need to praise God. Seriously, yes I along with many others look up in their time of need I won't mislead you on that. Yet today I wanted to find a way, other than my own little words, to praise God for the blessings I DO have. Right now, this moment.  

Though I could easily go through a list of things that need prayer in my life, things are good. I wish I could go into detail right now but you have probably noticed I am taking a bit of hiatus from social media for personal reasons. I could pray for guidance on that, but again right now I realize that it's a good thing, I have a bit more real time to get real things done, and honestly I'm less stressed!  It's a nice break, because of family spread out all over it may not be permanent, but again nice for now.

I went to bed last night and had such a feeling of happiness, not just contempt, but joy if you will - despite the usual "stressors." I would be lying if I said it wasn't weird, but it was a good weird. Maybe I'm just getting this whole "live, life, love" thing down ;)

So if you believe in God, a higher power, the universe, karma, ju ju and things are not going horrendously in your life - take a time out to say thank you. 

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

St. Elmo's Fire

Earlier this summer I wrote about an opportunity to go to decrease one day a week from my very long work days in order to spend more time, well morning/evening time with the kiddo, well I did take that choice. I still do not negate my choice, but at the time I had about 10-14 days to make the decision and then it would not go into effect for another two months. I thought that would surely (don’t call me Shirley) give me enough time to find something to fill in the financial gap – maybe even increase it.  I even talked to the person in charge of the change at work and they had a possible summer option. A possible summer option that turned out to be not an option when I found out I was actually going part-time by the powers that be.

Fast-forward to today: I found myself driving home from Starbucks after squeezing in an extra couple hours at a meeting in work, where I actually found myself quite helpful, but after doing some online work to try and earn maybe an extra $15 this month, checking on current job applications (of which there had been many) – more standstill news, an email to a company contact, and learning that A had extra tutoring after school so no impromptu coffee date, I felt in adequate.  After reading that you may ask why?! You are doing what you can, you are not getting any support from the donor of the kiddo (I do have an appointment on that coming up, super), you are doing what you can in this market.

On the drive home, I prayed, freaked out a little, prayed some more, told myself I was doing all I could, thinking about an opportunity I don’t really want to take up in November but may have too, and heard the song “Overcomer” as I pulled in and parked. I let the song play out, came inside, told myself “take a short nap, you’ll wake up feel better, eat lunch, get on some filing for the CS meeting next week, etc.” Well, hello subconscious nightmare! The one where you are in your apartment that is completely empty saying “how did it get to this point” to someone. Yeah, that one.


So obviously I am having some issues with the job thing. A few days ago I got off of Facebook, other reasons, but I think that may be a good thing for now – I will be honest and say that as much as I want to be completely secure with what I have/how much I make, not comparing to others is a good thing right now. I have never had to trust in God this much or have so much faith that it is all (financially) going to be OK in my entire life. Not to mention I have gone over a year without asking for a loan for a week to get to the next from the folks, which would be immediately paid back two weeks later. I don’t have a two weeks right now – but I may have to grovel slightly, making the news/decision I recently told them about that much…..hard to defend. Even though I am 30-something. Seriously people, cut the cord. After all, my 401K is completely intact and slightly decent.


Sunday, August 10, 2014

The Road Map

Driving home from now what is becoming a familiar place and a place where part of my heart often stays, I decided to not use my phone’s GPS; I knew the way for the most part from previous trips and I just wasn’t in the mood to listen to directions or look at a screen. It’s been a long and exhausting weekend, not to say that it wasn't good – just a lot to fit into 36 hours.

My current spot in my life’s journey has me feeling the same way and if you re-call a few posts back when I was packing for this particular leg of the journey a road map was not on my packing list. I think I am finally learning a little bit how to actually deal with not having a road map to lead me on my way.  I know how to read the signs and although I have no sense of direction in real life (Never Eat Shredded Wheat), I know that both in physically getting somewhere and getting somewhere in life I can always get off at the next exit, turn around, and try again.

Not that coming to this point has been easy because me and the unknown – we don’t mix. Actually, until last night I was holding it all together, appearing to be strong as possible, not stopping, and scrambling in any way I could. But I felt a disconnect with who is leading this journey, God, and it sucked but I tried to keep muddling through. Then last night I was lucky enough to have a shoulder to let it all go, let it all out.  Admitting that disconnect out loud was difficult, but it was needed, very similar to getting off at the exit ramp, regrouping and trying to find my way back.

So now I am attempting to embrace this lack of a road map thing as best as possible with what I have. I tried in the smallest way, but a big and very new way to connect back with God in the “physical” sense, I am printing out two different study guides to life/faith to help keep me on the right path in faith and The Word, this week instead of focusing so much on what I get done in a specific time frame I am just focusing on a couple important tasks themselves, I realize also that even though there are so many things out of my control – I can use that notebook to make goals for the kiddo that I know cost no physical money.


Hopefully all this will lead me to the last of my list, steady feet and my extra pair of dry socks as the original pair have seemed to gotten a little muddied, but they will dry. 


Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Always Look At The Bright Side Of Life

Today was a “work from home” day – why all the quotes you ask my friends? Well because the “work” is applying for more jobs and getting pennies online work as well as the business start-up work, “from home” because sometimes it’s from home but I usually try and start out at Starbucks in business casual so I don’t just return home from school drop off and take a “little” (two hour) nap.

It just so happened that I was able to force myself into Starbucks this morning after drop off and about halfway into my coffee, my dad (who actually works from home or remote areas at times) walked in fancy pants and all. So that is where I get the dress up even if you don’t have an office to go to thing, btw. And I am glad that I did because after applying for more jobs, after paying bills, AFTER transferring more from savings we had a little chat. The words he left me with were not ones that I expected, such as “you should have waited longer to go part time” or “I always told you never to make a move until you have something else lined up.” No – his parting words were “stay positive, the kiddo knows nothing but an extremely happy life. Do something fun today.”

I needed that – to hear from someone who I didn't expect to tell me to stay positive because what I see as the important basics (i.e. my child happy to have mom around more after school and a close to normal schedule life and happy overall) are taken care of. That is all I want, but money just happens to be a necessary evil that requires a single mom to work full time in order to make ends meet. I was not down, not “not positive,” but at the same time certain words from certain people at the right time helps.

Positive Truths

1)      God is watching out. He has a plan and although I am not sitting doing nothing, I am still also waiting and having faith that it will sooner than later be revealed to me.
2)      The kiddo is happy and more thriving having more of a “family life.” More dinners at the table, time to play after school, more answers to all of her growing “why” questions, and praying at the table at dinner.
3)      I have more energy to do the things that I need to do, energy is a hot commodity of a single mom of a Sheldon 3 year-old with sensory issues to boot.
4)      I am happier, giving me more time to devote to the things in life that matter. Not just fumble through scripture while half-asleep for an allotted 5-10 minutes.
5)      Today we have our same roof, ate well AND healthy, the car is gassed up, and the sun is shining.
6)      There is only one way to go from here and I know The Truth.


So to ease concern:

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Back To School...I Mean Back To Basics

It's that time of year again when the last summer vacations, photos, and jumps in the pool start to get replaced with first school year photos, back to school shopping, a small but noticeable nip in the air, and football, of course.

I have to admit by looking back at some of my blog posts recently that I have a definate flag on the playing field. I have used it too much to vent about my own things in life and while that is some of the purpose of blogging, it is not it's meant to be purpose. I created this as a place for other moms, single moms, singles, anyone who is in need of not feeling like they are the only one to go through something similar on my journey to come and laugh, cry, or breathe a sigh of relief. Maybe even find some peace.

Hence, back to basics. Back to the basic supplies you need to learn about life, to be guided by teachers of all walks of life, pack my bag with only the necessities, and continue on and to share my journey with you all. I have all summer been asking myself what to pack with me on my journey to get the most out of it and here is what I have come up with:

1) God
2) Faith
3) The Word - the best map, how-to guide, and storybook there is out there
4) Time - I am tired of rushing and scheduling for my journey, I want to let something/someone bigger take that on
5) A notebook - always good to write down one's thoughts, fears, hopes, dreams...then lay them aside for them to not fret on the mind
6) Steady feet and an extra pair of socks of course because it's not always going to be an easy, dry road

I want to focus on my journey, note - not focus on myself, but the journey I am meant to live, or lead, or serve, whatever way God has planned for me. I want to share the good of that with you, not the angst or anger or sadness for things that are not that important.

I know there are some FAQ's here now, especially since I was called today because of my lack of online activity and some online activity of others, lol. No really, my dad called to try and be sly to check up on me because of lack of and others' Facebook posts.:

Am I still with A?  Yes, very much so, still very much in love, and building our foundation. However, note "our foundation," some things I may still share but it truly is our journey and our foundation and I want to respect that as much as A respects me.

How is the job stuff working out? Let me just say I made the right decision. I had the opportunity today to drop off the kiddo at school, work a long day, PICK UP the kiddo from school, make dinner and darn if that kiddo didn't color on her own, her own idea FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER as I made dinner then had a conversation WITH me during dinner. This is amazing for her!!!

No, really, are you making it financially? If I said it wasn't tough, I would be untruthful. However, we have the same roof, utilities (including the luxury of internet), and food for another month. God will provide just as he will provide or help me on the path he wishes me to take in my work in the world. Part of that is literally making my dream a reality - more on that later but it's actually happening!

If I am missing anything, let me know. And before I go, I wanted to share the fruition of another single mother's journey of "the unexpected summer of single moms," she is great and has been on my whole journey in some way shape or form, in fact though I don't have any of the gifts, I do have the receipt from the wedding gift she sent me almost 6 years ago, haha!

http://amandacarroll.org/30-days-of-powerful-prayer-for-a-single-mom/


Pack only what you need and join us on our journeys!



Thursday, July 24, 2014

The Truth Hurts

A, I am asking you not to read this, not a passive aggressive attempt at anything, just please don’t read this.


 

I had a post awhile back about always telling the truth to those closest to you, if you took that advice and got hurt I apologize because it wasn't until now or sometime last night that I realized how much being completely honest with you feelings can hurt.


Truth 1: I went part-time on a one income household, that took effect 10 days ago, and I have no leads on a part-time/PRN job. Did I apply for many? Yes, which leads me to the next truth below:


Truth 2: It’s time to start looking at retail jobs. There is nothing wrong with that, except if/when I take/get one – it means not being available for interviews when the time comes for “qualified candidate” jobs.


Truth 3: In talking with A last night, I discovered my worst fear (aside from anything with the kiddo), I need/possibly love someone more than they need (for sure)/love (this is hard to figure out) me.


Truth 4: In talking with A last night, I discovered that I have more to lose if I lose him than he does if he lost me.


Truth 5: The above means I’m flipping vulnerable as heck and ask a “strong” single mom what the worst feeling/realization of emotion is. Being flipping vulnerable.


Truth 6: Outside of A, work, and mommy-ing, I have no life. I have a pre-schooler with what would have been called Asperger’s. I can’t get a sitter, I am not a million friend person and my few friends are busy with their own lives right now – so there you go.


Truth 7: Limbo is the worst for me and if you read all of the above truths they all lead to limbo.

 

I will most likely see A again tomorrow afternoon at work and then later that night, he will to my joy stay over, and we will spend most if not all of Saturday together and finally get together for a fire pit/double date night with my bestie. I think part of the reason this makes me more happy is that it is my friend, a little level of comfort in that there is someone there for me too. Don’t get me wrong, A is and has been there for me, but a certain event anniversary is coming up and I know I have to be there for him. This isn’t a hard thing, but when you love the other person as much as I do – their pain is your pain, this pain A needs to go through will be painful for me to watch (but I will because I love him so much) because it revolves around life before me, a person before me, but I will do it because it is what he needs. And like I said and promised what seems like a very long time ago, I will always give him what he needs because I love him. I just worry about the other side of that today. 

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Chest Pains

Warning: A and Elaine - you may not want to scroll down because as I begin this post I do not know how honest I may get and some of that may be anger towards a difficult topic. I love you both but this is my outlet and tonight I need something of a healthy outlet.


Last Chance........................................................I mean it A and Elaine, no details but I am not holding my feelings back either. It's not about either of you, but I know the subject can still be sore.


I was at work when I got a text from my dad that read "Didn't know who to contact. No visit today. Severe chest pain. Waiting on doctor. Text from X this morning." X would be biological dad to the kiddo, and it took me (and others) a minute to figure out that her bio dad was texting that he wouldn't make it for the visit that day. This isn't the first time, but it was the second time of this issue in the last 6 months, and honestly not the first time I have wondered - is he gonna make it this time or is this it? Many hope for the latter, I honestly could care less. And I have made my Christian peace with that; I treat people who do bad things to themselves and come in with chest pain all the time in my job and I do so with compassion though after I am out of the room I am done. Just like with the kiddo's donor - I, myself, am done.

Then I got mad - it was about another subject that had happened not even a half hour earlier. Another text had caused me chest pains, or rather the meaning behind it. I won't go into great detail - but I read words that gave me chest pains or should I say heart pains. I learned that I had to share something within my heart with A that comes from a place I do not know and may never understand. From a person who just like the kiddo's biological father has caused people I love a great deal of pain with a road to recovery that is not always easy for them or their loved ones.

I am still quite upset because I do not understand why people who have no regard, and I mean that, NO regard for others at all - no matter the age or relation mind you - cause others the type of pain that is lasting, aching, comes out of no where after being dormant for some time, kind of pain deep down in others' chests. Have they no heart? No compassion? No respect? Some would answer that these people deserve the chest pain, but I choose to break it down a little like the text that was sent by the kiddo's biological father.

"Didn't know who to contact." Well, when you alienate all of those around you, lie, cheat, steal and do not show compassion, kindness or even respect; who do you think you are going to have left to contact?

"No visit today." This is no surprise, you do not care to visit even when you are well. You do not care to let anyone, including blood family into your life or break into parts of your life where one could afford to sacrifice just a little more time. So why do you think they don't flinch when you don't show up or change plans last minute or even don't want to be with you because they know who their people are, the people they can count on. The people who give them a home.

"Severe chest pain." I am not saying these folks deserve it, only that they caused it by the life they are choosing to lead. When you do not make your heart healthy and open, it is going to backfire on you and it is not going to feel good when it does. Sorry - it's a fact.

"Waiting on doctor." I think of the Great Physician in these terms - myself and the other humans here are not the ones who can heal you or your heart. Only God can do that, even if you don't believe he is ever coming. Only He can give you the diagnosis, prognosis, and last judgment on things - that is not what my posse or I am here for, we can only sacrifice ourselves to make you a bit more comfortable while you wait.

Tonight, while I still have my own pain to deal with, these are my thoughts. A and Elaine, if either of you are reading this now more power to you and I am sorry if you recognize this pain. But I am real, I need to write, and I need to share this with all the other people who have felt aching and longing. And if anyone who has caused that pain is reading this, let me share with you a little medical rule - we never shock a dead heart.


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Perspective: It's All in How You Look at Things - Or What You See

As I was what felt like knee deep in prayer this morning, praying for my relationship with A and that we continue to let God lead our love in His direction but at the same time looking ahead to the next prayer of please God help me find supplement work soon - the light changed to red, I stopped, and saw a homeless man shoulder deep in a trash can digging for food. Immediately, I thanked God that I was not or will be digging in a trash can for food. Talk about a perspective moment, wow!

That made me put a couple of things that had/are on my mind into perspective a bit, or at least the way I look at them.

Kiddo's Birthday Dinner: Well it didn't happen, with me anyways. Just as I finalized plans with my mom to have dinner with just my mom, the kiddo, and myself (A was in town, I wanted him to come, but to my mother birthdays are for mothers so I decided to make that small selfish sacrifice for her) I got a phone email alert....it was the kiddo's biological father replying that he would be picking the kiddo up for a state obligatory visit in three hours,but kept to two and half hours per him needing to be at work. Thank you for the notice sir, I thought sarcastically, as I had sent my portion of the email 24 hours prior.
Perspective: I was able to turn things around a little bit, spend time with the kiddo and bring her cupcakes at school, and arrange instead to have dinner with my mom and A - their first of more intimate meetings. I think it went OK.

The Kiddo's Birthday Gift: I had the kiddo's birthday party on the weekend since her birthday fell on a weekday this year. So she got all her stuff on party day from me as I neglected to hold anything back or grab the time to get something small for her to open on her actual birthday.
Perspective: Though she may actually remember, I do not think she will mind. Also, A and I went looking after dinner with my mom - and he was great enough to keep looking as I ran out of time but A met me just in time for bedtime to give me something he picked up for me. A even offered that I could give her his present. Yes, more perspective, this generous man got her a birthday gift and a very thoughtful one. More perspective, as you will read below I am taking a huge leap in faith and the kiddo's real gift is more mom time.

Job Change: I made the decision a few months back to back some hours off of work, this way I can pick the kiddo up from school more often rather than have her grandparents in charge. Not that there is anything wrong with that, I just know she needs mom time and a more stable routine than 14 hour days on my shift days. I have not yet found non-shift type work to fill this financial void, hence the prayer mentioned above, but have faith that it will all be OK.
Perspective: I still have a job, insurance, a roof, and food that I am not digging out of a trash can for and I do not believe I will reach that point for my family. But please still pray or ju ju or good thoughts - whatever your beliefs may be.

My Relationship "status" with A: I love him and am in love with him. Those closest to my heart know that, our respective kids know that, our family knows but our parents are not that receptive. Well folks, I know this is kind of....a may seem quick announcement, though it shouldn't be, am planning to move to an apartment up towards A in the late fall with the kiddo. That's right, just the kiddo and me in our own place and not 30 miles from A, still in same commuter distance, etc. A and I had the discussion that we felt we had to rationalize this to everyone and didn't have doubts about our thoughts on this because we don't have any but we know we will be met with opposition.
Perspective: Well, this is kind of a who cares?! The time we have spent has been spent wisely on topics that are very much deep and important and free and honest. Our love is true, based on God, and continued through His will, which is something we both pray for and on daily. It grows by the hour it seems, the faith and the love. Plus, we are not moving in together for purposeful reasons but want to be closer because add mileage into a non-summer (he is a teacher) schedule of a full time single mom who works and a single dad who works and has his kids at least half the time and things get difficult. I would move somewhere anyways - and well here I am rationalizing to all of you. I mainly just ask for your support. This is happening, though a change not a giant leap, for us a small step to see if we are headed in the direction we are feeling we are being lead by hearts and by God.

So there! Kidding - I mean my point in all of the above is it's really just how you look at things and who you are and who you are in looking at things. I could have let the world crash down the other day on the kiddo's birthday, or spiral into sleep rather than attend a painful work meeting to get a couple of extra hours in, or start some painful legal paperwork that will hopefully, eventually lead to some financial boost or less emotional drain for me and the kiddo. And we are lucky to be alive, fairly healthy, and not doing the below like SO many out there for which I will say some extra prayers today:


Friday, July 11, 2014

Birthdays as the Only Parent

I was ready to die, I was ready to go, my emotional bags were packed - my only concern was for the child I luckily didn't miss out on. 

The kiddo was a very quick, unscheduled, emergency C-section. I was legally and mentally prepared for the moment when I found that news out. Unlike anyone else involved, I was prepared to go - but it was not my time. I am told there is a reason why I was to stick around, the one obvious reasonis my daughter. To be a single mom is one thing, however, to be an only parent is a completely different story. Add in special needs kiddo and add another book.

The main thing though on the kiddo's birthdays is there is no one to turn to, literally. I cannot turn to the left or the right while ordering, shopping, or wrapping gifts (note to self pink wrapping paper on the way home), there was no doting father in the hospital or person to give the "what the hell just happend here" look too on night #2 in the hospital, tonight I will bake the cake while the kiddo sleeps so it will be done safely/correctly, and tommorow I will split my time to ice said cake and teach my daughter how to ride her first bike. And this is only the beginning of year 4. 

We have friends, a few close ones do t get me wrong, and I have A who is great with her as well - but per circumstances this year, I do all this alone while her grandparents watch from the window. There will be no other parent to tape her ride, to say "hey, I'll play outside while you wrap the presents and finish the cake." Though my focus is usually on the kiddo, I always find myself looking up for someone as she finishes blowing out the candles. No is there, nor was there when I looked around during her first feeding. It's not the work that is hard or the missing of her biological father, not those things at all - it's the lack of a parent partner for her life and mine as a mother that hurts. 

That's the sting of only parent birthdays - you can't completely share it. Friends and family help when they can be there, but it's not the same and as I said circumstances prevent our tribe this year. Tribe members and A: I get it, I'm not mad, it's fine. Life happens. 

I've written this throughout the day before her party; and no it didn't get easier. However, I am a bit better now because I got a hug from my mom who "was a single mom for 5 years....I know, I know" and I got to let someone see my tears. 

My hope that is the parties will not always be small, that maybe on her 6th or 7th birthday I will turn and look at A who will more intimately know those 3-4 years in between, and I will miss this feeling. And if I miss it, this feeling will be no more. 




Thursday, July 10, 2014

It's Time to Say Good-bye to All Our Friends

No, not you readers :) And thanks for hanging in there, btw.

I make it no secret that the kiddo has some special needs. In our state, one of the decent things in our state, is that kids who qualify per professional evaluation (that is also free) can receive free or near free therapy services up to age 3, how ever many hours and how ever many times a week/month. My kiddo has been one such kid to receive at least 3 hours of therapy a week from various services for the last year and a half.

I also enrolled her in a group session, it cost out of pocket, but I could afford it at the time. They have a song they sing at the end: "It's time to say good-bye to all our friends, good-bye! It's time to say good-bye to all our friends, good-bye! Now it's time to say good-bye, wave and give high-fives, yes it's time to say good-bye to all our friends, good-bye!"

And that is what we finished up today - we said good-bye to our last therapist, who consequently was also our first. It was hard, we made both made it quick. She has done so much for the kiddo, so much. The kiddo whispered one word at 18 months and I had to wait close to 2 years to finally hear my own child say "mama" for the first time. I realize some parents don't even get that, so I am lucky, but that is a hard wait. I keep reminding myself of that when we are having discussions on why the moon is following us and the rotation and orbit of the earth.

They also helped me in many ways, again SO many ways! They were my outlet, they were on Team Sarah when I was the only one, they did therapy outside with us when the meltdowns would be too much for my parents who may still be in denial, they gave me books, toys, online resources, and sometimes just someone to talk too. Now, I can stay in touch with a couple, but I don't want to ask a bunch of questions or anything and I will most likely just FB friend the one because she is an awesome person, Christian, and a mom, and she is the one that was our first and our at bat for all the feeding issues.

Though it feels there is so much to get done tonight, I had to write this post because if not I would end up losing it at work tomorrow. Our journey is far from over with the possible "A" word, however, for the moment we are on our own. I will rest before fighting the next battle, one of many, but for now - we say good-bye to our team, hello to a new family of team members that are going to be there for a long time, and keep the faith.


Saturday, July 5, 2014

If I Ever Stared at Your Kid(s) in Starbucks…

Sorry, didn't mean to stare, but here is why I did:

I was in complete awe that you could even take your child or children in there because I know my own would wreck the place for one. The other reason is, being the mom of one child who is a rough 3 years old, I gasp in fear at the thought of that number increasing in any way, shape, or form – so I am again in awe that you have chosen to take on that task that seems so impossible to me personally. So be aware I am not staring in judgment, my jaw just drops at things when I am not thinking. When I am in need of coffee and in a said coffee shop, I am usually not thinking!

Point of post you ask? Good question. I never realized I was staring until the other day when A and I were out and about with our respective collective of 4 kiddos, trying to make our way to the park to let mine expended some much needed energy, and the decision was made by all that we needed to caffeine up before that adventure. OK, mainly me, A, and his oldest the teenager who also shares the love for coffee. As we all trekked in, I was pulling up the rear making sure my kiddo didn't pull a Wynonna on all the stuff set out by the counter and there was a moment when I looked and really saw what two adults and four kids ages 3-17 looked like.  My jaw dropped as I stared as I normally would and THEN I realized, this is our group….I am one of the adults bringing four kids into Starbucks! It wasn't a negative thing, just a shock, like an out of body experience. I think it was our first time all out in public so that added to it a bit, throw the location of Starbucks in there, and give an ole’ Harry Carry “holy cow” shout.

Needless to say my kiddo prompted us very quickly to go sit outside rather than inside but it was all good. For a moment I sat back and looked at A and all the kids on their tech stuff and good smile did come across my face – of course moments later I realized my kid (unleashed literally at the time) was headed toward the road so I quickly ran after her. Then then A and the kids ran after me, quite the sitcom we were! We all made it to the park and had a good time – I was happy my kiddo could be herself around everyone, though when comfortable her way of showing it is giving everyone heart attacks, the need for speed, and cravings for more caffeine and sleep.

I want to bring up the other point of my post now: I had already said before I met A, that I wasn't sure how I was going to let someone into our little family of two and how happy I was with our little family of two. Then A came along and the good Lord opened my heart wider. After meeting and hanging out with A’s kids, I had the same fear of where do the kiddo and I fit in here, what are our roles, etc. Silly me, why did I even worry?! Last night as I (sans kiddo) was walking back to the car with A and his kids – his daughter huddled closer to me as we walked through a downtown ally saying she was scared in such places and I put my arm around her instinctively and gave her a squeeze, a real from the heart squeeze that I didn't even think about. That’s when it hit me, I am falling for them too now, my heart is growing in ways I never thought possible! I am now very comfortable that I don’t have to be a step-mom role, or try and be a friend, or “act my age,” etc. I can just be me and show them my heart honestly, just as I have shown A.


So now if I smile at you and your kid(s) in Starbucks, you know why. 


Thursday, June 26, 2014

Birthday Preparation

In the weeks leading up to their child's birthday, most parents (I can no longer just say moms here because I have been shown better by some fathers out there) go out and pick up decorations they either approve or dislike, look at the birthday list and decide what gift their child will get that year, make party balloons, fill out and deliver party invitations, look back at old pictures, laugh and cry, etc.

This mom wishes she could do that. Though I am lucky enough to still have a child's earth birthday to celebrate and the opportunity to fit those things in - the routine is much different. It usually all starts with an email...from the kiddo's donor as some of my circle of friends refer to the kiddo's "father." Tonight we are allowed to use that term as he has proved himself deserving only of that title yet again. So I get the email - next comes the tears and silent screaming that no one (including the little one sleeping feet away) hears. Denial, more denial, dash of hatred, begging, pleading, anger, more anger. Not depression though - tears yes, but not depression. Finally, sooner than later - acceptance.

Acceptance that though the kiddo's life will always be celebrated by many who turn out in numbers a plenty - she has the opposite of a father. She has someone legally bound by blood who uses this small detail to hurt others rather than to boast on her. Acceptance that I will once again, year after year, go through piles of paperwork, legal documents, while taking a few moments of "can you watch her 5 extra minutes tonight after work" to grab the necessary items to Pintrest my way to a party to be thrown in a week - a week meaning 5 days.

Now like those other parents, I do go through many an old photo collection to get me through the hard but must do paperwork. I know who was there. I know who was there. I remember everything, everyone. Most of all - I remember our most precious times together forgetting for a moment the spill that was taken in the bathroom due to cups of water being thrown out during bath time. I stare in wonder at the kiddo while she sleeps - wondering how she got that big. Eating a half pound of meatballs followed by pasta for dinner, that's how!

She is on loan - as I was reminded - from God. I am here to guide her, watch her fall, pick her up, and by example she will learn and has learned to dust herself off and get back up. That is how we prepare for every new year of her life, just as I prepared when I brought her into this world - to stand, to fight for respect, and to love with an ever growing open heart.



Wednesday, June 25, 2014

You Know All Those Pintrest Quotes....

Well I guess they are true - color me surprised! 

A friend had this one on their board for awhile now and though I was sure it was true, I had yet to understand:

"Don't look for someone to solve all your problems; look for someone who will face them with you."

I never liked people to tried to solve my stuff instantainiously - it got on my nerves. Just listen, ya know?! 

I wasn't looking for the latter either, I just found that truth in A. For the really big stuff probably last night for the first time. I mean, shoot, I knew he was a good man who supported me in all my flawable glory, but this. I'm still floored.

I had metioned a bit about going through some tough decisions regarding the kiddo and possible or not possible visitation changes in my last post. Well I wanted to keep that heaviness from A this week as he is on vacation (probably his first true one in many years) out west. Fail - he knew as soon as he heard my voice when he called something was up and as with anything with A it came flooding out. I was at the point where I wanted to just let it be so bad, but I knew eventually action needed to be taken.

God blessed me again. A listened to my plight and ramble and saying "I really didn't want to talk about this until you got back." Then he didn't fix it, he stood behind me last night by offering something amazing that could help alleviate some major time stressors and this morning my not only responding to my email explaining the depths of the situation with a resounding "I support you in this" but also answered my "so you are not leaving this crazy train" with an "I'm already on and I ain't getting off!" 

I know the man he is, I know his love, I didn't doubt, so why am I still so floored?! Because God keeps answering those silent and loud prayers via the people I want with me the most. It's not that I don't have faith that it's all going to be ok, A was just able to lift so much weight in that even though I may have to be the communicator of news or devious that will make the kiddo's "father" upset without cause....A going to be there 100% and I won't be alone in human form. And we both will stand in our faith together! 

Monday, June 23, 2014

Choosing Happiness

Many times in life we look for something to be happy about, or someone to be happy for, something to make us happy, someone to make us happy. It is not until the past six months or so that I realized, by realized I mean truly accepted, that in whatever life gives us and whatever we are blessed with – we must first make the choice to be happy. This goes for all the times in life that we are troubled as well.
I recently ran into some examples of this:

One friend was having some serious relationship issues that they were determined to solve. Nothing was working or if it seemed as such it was only a patch to a leaky hole, things weren’t great for this friend for a while. However, this friend and their partner decided to take action FOR each other rather than against each other – and I believe this will be their saving grace. Easy? No. Worth the choice of happiness rather than misery?  Absolutely.

Another friend found themselves out of a loved professional position – quite suddenly. Oh and add on single with mouths to feed and said mouths had just left for visitation with the other parent for the summer. I cannot imagine! My kid(s) gone for what does seem like forever, then my beloved position is now gone, I have to figure out life in it’s God given scheme as well as figure out the man-made logistics of life such as food/bills/housing. However, this friend went right to the grindstone as well as made some choices to get up and go seek God in all his beautiful glory on earth (literally hiking to some of the greatest peaks).  I believe she will be OK, not ask why, but choose life instead of desolation.

I met my younger cousin, her friends, and all their respective dogs at a local winery this past weekend and was amazed at how they were all choosing their own happiness in their mid-twenties. It used to be, graduate, have or quickly get a boyfriend, get married. I believe most of them were single, had their own places, were talking happily about their jobs, apartment homes, friends, and only a few mentions of any guy they happen to be dating during the conversations. This elated me, as you well know how my former choice (though leaving me with the intense blessing of my kiddo) turned out.  Again, making their own happiness.

In my own choice to be happy or choose happiness – not that I haven’t been blessed with some great things, my daughter, a wonderful faith-filled man, a great local best friend, a roof, a job, and a fridge full of food; I also am having some issues I do not yet know the answers too. I will be going to part time to better serve my kiddo in a few short weeks (along with the last larger paycheck), however, my filler job has yet to come about. The kiddo will celebrate a milestone in that same time span, which as a single parent always means a change in visitation time or in my case, a decision of how my daughter should adapt to said change or how said change should come about for her true best interest in the situation. This year is one of the hardest to incorporate in the latter issue and many people have opinions, yet I am the only one who decides. That is a lot of weight. However, I chose happiness even as I go through these issues – prayer, today I ran like a crazy person and was covered sweat, and texted A who happens to be 3-4 centennial states away until Saturday.  Yet, I am happy, I choose to be, and I choose to be thankful for all my blessings.


Thursday, June 19, 2014

I Would Like You To Meet......

Readers, A; A, readers of my blog that tries to serve a decent purpose if not to just make someone laugh. Elaine, you know A, so hi, haha.

If you follow on Twitter or are already a good friend you may have known that I am seeing someone. Well – this someone happens to be pretty darn special so you WILL be hearing about him in some future blogs; don’t worry A only good things as that is what I only intend to write about per previous discussions/posts on how to be a good Christian partner.

I was completely taken by surprise by this one – it’s not like I haven’t had my eye on him or somewhere on the radar for the past TWO years – but I never expected, well readers, love. An amazing, probably looks insane to the outside world in units of time, growing, complete opposite of infatuation, true love.

I really don’t know what I am doing, nor does A, which makes it all that much better because we decided from day one really just to be honest instead. No games, no “protocol,” no past bitterness. Oh, and if you were wondering this is the guy/topic in question from this post: http://singleinsuburb.blogspot.com/2014/05/be-honest-with-your-friendsalways.html

Yes, this is Elaine’s brother – they are both wonderfully fantastic and I could not be more blessed, and I mean that, I have been given a second (well really a first) chance and a gift from God really. I mean the man not only went to Mass with me (he is also Christian Catholic) but professed his love for the first time in my church. Girls wish for many things, but until something like that happens to you, you really have no idea how petty some of those wishes are and were the important things in a relationship lie.


More later – for now the same old laying out of the clothes for the kiddo’s school day which will be followed by the legen…wait for it….dary  meeting of the combined total of FOUR kids. We are crazy yes, some crazy, crazy fools. 17, 11x2, and 3…..yes, did I say crazy?!


Monday, June 9, 2014

Taking A Unselfish Step Back

As I was getting ready to call a friend with some joyful news from the day yesterday, I found out things were a bit amiss at the moment in that friends' life. I was mad - not because I couldn't share my news but I know this friend has been having a rough go of it and just when it looked like things may have been improving - shoe drop. I put down the phone and let's just say the words that came out of my mouth were not joyful. 

I was at a loss, it wasn't/isn't fair both in the situation and for this friend who is an awesome person. I searched and searched for what I could do for this friend - I found not much at the time but pray with a big "come on God!" added on. 

This morning, I tried some words I thought out with the response I was pretty much expecting but didn't want to hear: "I'm fine." No they weren't and we both know it. 

So what can you do to help a friend in this situation: take a step back was the conclusion I came too. This does not mean that I am leaving this friend alone in their time of need. However, it means:

First letting them know you are there and they are loved. Once, and when they have had some time - let them know again, but not bombard them with it 10 times that day either.

Second, lift them up yourself - if the person prays or meditates, they may be too angry to do so at the time. That is an ok feeling for them and something they may need to feel for a short while. So if you do these things - lift them up in your own prayer as if it was yourself. Then do it again when all you want to do is reach out to that person.

Third, give them some space to let them go through what they need to go through to begin to climb the other side of their particular challenge. Pray they have the strength to do so, but maybe not tag them in all your social media uplifting quotes and pictures. If you know then well enough that this might add to them needing a break from the stuff they are going through - don't keep reminding them. 

Lastly, don't go anywhere. Keep doing the above for them on your time and be there for them but in THEIR time - they may not want or be ready to talk right now and that is ok, but keep your tabs in a subtle way if you have too. 

Sometimes to strengthen a friend in a time of need we need to know for ourselves to take a step back but be their for them at the same time. Is it hard - absolutely - you want to yell, cry, bitch, moan, and pray with them.  Likely only that last part would do any good in a present moment of distress. 

Then when they have come around a bit, if they want to hear your joy share it without guilt, with knowing they want you to be joyful too - but also knowing when to hold things I for just a little while longer. Your friend will come back, strong or needing your strength and you can then both take steps together again. 


Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Instructions Not Included

Everyone knows the feeling: You get something shiny and new in this box with amazing pictures then you rip open the box and…..a bunch of parts and screws come out and there are no instructions.

Life can be a lot like that in many ways, we are given amazing things and often we have no idea what to do with them; college, new jobs, new friends, new relationships, dating, marriage, babies that keep evolving into bigger and more complicated humans, etc. It’s not that we are not still in our amazement but we also have no idea what to do or sometimes how to even proceed in our lives so we don’t put the parts together wrong. We want our amazing thing to stay amazing to us.

I have been going through this lately – I was steady on my own, I had accepted the fact that it may just be me and the kiddo for a while and was perfectly content with that idea, work is going well and I actually have an opportunity to change my schedule a bit though I will have to work a little extra right now to keep the income right, and my faith has grown like never before but I need to continue to water it, especially now. 

Soon the therapies the kiddo has been receiving will be gone and though I have a little to go on, it is a major “instructions not included” situation. I know she will be ok, but I also know there are lots of parts I will need to figure out as a parent when the professionals are gone in a few short weeks.

 And then someone came along, I was going on a date, which turned into dating, and I was/am completely amazed – however, at first there was all this do this on a first date or don’t do this type of societal pressures I was feeling. So I did what any good IKEA customer would do and called on my customer service rep – God. And thank God I did! Because even though I don’t want to go into great detail right now, me and said first date have had a few more dates , talked and have been honest with each other, no games, and guess what…..it’s working fantastically. I am so grateful for the resources or for the “instruction” I have been by some great sources, mainly faith based.

I am both leading my heart and letting God lead it so that I don’t deter from the path he wants me to be on. I am also letting God speak to me in how I need to still, in all my amazement with this new person in my life, keep my priorities straight and find a good place in my life for this person. 

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Fireproof

Hey y'all -

We may get serious for a minute here. I cannot explain in words or over any amount of time writing what the last three to four years has meant to me. If I can think of it in one word, maybe it would be: Growth. I have been lucky enough to have been put through hell and back so that I could grow as a person, a woman, a mother, and a child of God.

For those who know what brought me here in those years and some of the things that I have gone through you may be questioning if I am crazy - but I am SO thankful. You see, I had lost my way for quite sometime and then the bottom fell out beneath me, then to top it all off the roof blew off as well. I finally understand the reason for that now - I needed that to happen because then God was able to come in and save the person in me that was lost in a fire. I was surrounded by smoke, I could not see. I was surrounded by flames, not extinguishable by man. I was surrounded by little air, giving me little room to breathe let alone cry out for help.

All that happened, happened so that I could find the path to faith that I am on now and that I continue to strive to be on daily to let God lead me in my life.  When people are freed by someone in a fire, it is often commented on the news that they were "lucky to get out" or "lucky to survive." This is not often said in cases of divorce though some may say certain circumstances warrant those comments. I am not saying that they do not, however, that EVERYTHING happens for a reason. The person I was then was like a person collapsed by a fire - dead weight that had to be dragged out and I am lucky that I was.  My daughter was too - yet she was even luckier to be unharmed and surrounded by many "first responders" or what I would call angels.

I remember the day I first saw the flames that were there to take my life and I started to pray a simple three prayers every morning for myself and my unborn child. Mainly that she would see no harm. I am now on this great journey of faith that has taught me what love really is. I have read it, heard about it, tried to understand it simply but tonight I watched the movie Fireproof and I understood that my faith continues because I learned about God's love.

To answer your question, what is a single mom doing watching a movie about someone trying to save a marriage: the answer, though maybe not simple, is because I want to understand how God wants me to love in the world before I truly love another as God meant me to and how to treat that person with God's love when He deems the time is right. This is not a new quest, I have been on it for awhile, I have been watching different examples in life for awhile, and tonight - a new fiery red-head and all - I took another simple step and a whole new experience was revealed to me. God is love, without fully accepting that, how can we begin to love others the way He loves us.

Same reason we need to put on our own oxygen mask before we are able to help others:



Sunday, May 18, 2014

Sunday Night Dinner

I believe that I have compared mine and my daughter’s relationship with my parents to that of the show the Gilmore Girls a few times if not more.  I have been lucky enough to be living my own life this week, they did me a great favor in baby-sitting so I could actually GO OUT rather than baby-sitting so I could go to work – so I thought since I had most of the ingredients I would head over, use the cul-de-sac to get the kiddo some safe outdoor time, and make a simple yet filling meal for the four of us.

I guess it had been awhile before I told them about anything that I hold in high respect in my life that was either changing or evolving and BAM – “take my opinion please!” say the parents. And then my head wants to hit the stove top then immediately run out the door – unfortunately not an option in the middle of cooking dinner.

I have made a lucky in time and better for all small career move or will be making here in the next couple weeks – a lot of positives, possibly a little more work or homework, but a ton more family (not necessarily monetary) stability for my family of two.  It’s not that I will go down in money, but even if I did slightly – to make a good move, stay with the same company for future resumes sake, and to give the kiddo more of a Monday-Friday life – it would be worth a small hit and I would find a way to make it work. Of course my dad had to give his two cents or rather ten dollars while I was trying to just tell him the deal,  that drives me nuts. “Well you know what this means right,” follow up with extreme 3 month down the road detail of said change. Yes, father, my head is on pretty straight now I was completely aware of that.

I think the thing that is making most upset about being given opinions by them or other people that really have no clue is – I don’t pretend to know it all but just because I “messed up” once – I think things out a lot now, as well as put my faith into those decisions and do not take them lightly because I “messed up” once.  We all make mistakes, but the best and most of us learn from them in one way or another and go on.  The result will not kill us even if we are “wrong” or "mess up." Truth is, we aren't wrong or mess up - life is life and we live and learn as best we can. 


The final hit was when something was eluded about a friend of mine regarding a personal situation, 1) that is my good friend so step off because you don’t know me or our relationship and 2) it is my personal business and none of yours! Sorry, but like I said – due to last night’s favor, everything in their world comes with a price. 

So I have made a big decision that I want for my family and have been thinking about for awhile now and outside opinions will be sought on the details.