My son…

David,

I want you to know that no matter what you do in life, no matter what you choose to study, and no matter what decisions you make, I am and will always be proud of you. I know that you can do everything and anything you set your mind to. There are so many times that I watch you and wish that I could be like you. You have shown me so many ways at looking at life and I’m very grateful for you and am extremely blessed to have you in my life.

I am strict, hard-headed, stubborn, sometimes not very fun, and push you too hard at times. I know that you will not understand this now, but I do everything I do because I love you that much. Even when I scold you, it’s because I know that you can do better and I want you to grow to your potential. When I am upset that you speed through your prayers, it’s because I want you to grow strong in your relationship with God so that you will never be alone. When I want you to eat all of your food and only get what you ask for, it’s because I want you to understand that some people do not have enough food to eat at all. I want you to take your time with your homework and to read as much as you can because I want you to learn to be patient and diligent in all that you do and be as educated and well rounded as you can possibly be. When you aren’t putting in all of your effort, I push you and push you and push you because I want you to know your full potential and that you can always push and push and push to do even better than you did before.

But…. sometimes….. sometimes….. I might push too hard. Sometimes I may even say things in not such a nice way that it actually makes you do less and not try at all. I think that sometimes this will push you more because that’s how I AM WIRED to think, but you are not me and I need to understand that you are who you are and who you are is lovely.

I hope that because you are so head strong that you will be able to stand up for everything that you believe in no matter what anyone else thinks. I hope that your bossy attitude can direct a group of people out of danger should that ever arise. I hope that because you tend to talk louder than others when you are excited that someone who is sad will be able to overhear your conversation and will be able to smile at something for that day. When you have a girlfriend or wife one day, I hope that your silly humor at completely inappropriate times can stop an argument between the two of you and you can just laugh with each other. May your sense of style help you to continue discovering your own unique ways in life so that you can set yourself apart from others and that maybe someone important will remember you and notice how important you are. I hope that the energy that you have that seems everlasting will rub off on someone who needs a little pick up to get their day started or for you to keep going on for your own children oneday. I really hope that the love you have for God will continue to grow and the fire continue to burn because He will be there for you always when no one else will. Like air, you may not see Him but He is always there. I also hope that your “roll off the shoulder” type of attitude is useful for you at some point in your life when someone may just be having a bad day and to end the cycle it just takes you saying that “It’s no big deal”.

I love you and everything that you do. I will always push you to be the best that you can be, I will just learn to do it in a positive way. I will always be proud of you, even when you fail. I will always love you even when you feel like you don’t love me. I will always support you even though I may not support your decision. I will always always be there for you even if one day I am not on this earth.

You make me a better person because you let me fail and still love me. Through your compassion and grace, I am able to see my flaws and tune them to be like you. Like you. Because I love who you are and don’t want you to change for anyone.

I love you for forever,

Mom

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I failed!!! Mom post, but everyone will be able to relate!!!

The strongest person I know...

The strongest person I know…

We have all experienced failure at some point.  This can mean a personal failure, relational failure, work failure, or an academic failure; the list goes on.  I can only speak for myself, but some failures have worse residual effects than others.  The type of failure that I beat myself up for the most would be failing as a parent.  Even if you are not a parent, what I want to say may help you in other areas of  your life.  

As a parent, you want your child to succeed.  We have all heard this before.  It’s really true.  If you are indeed an active and loving parent, you want your child to do well in life and do things better than you ever did.  It’s not really living through them, but it’s more like knowing the mistakes you’ve made and the outcomes that it created and not wanting someone you love to experience the pain and disappointment that you know follows. 

Today was one of my most heart-wrenching moments and I’ll tell you why.  You may judge me if you want, but this is 100 percent TRUTH.

This week has been…..hectic…. not in a busy type of way, but that’s the best way to describe the events of our days.  When I say “our”, I am most likely referring to my son, David, and myself.  So, we have soccer practice on Mondays and Wednesdays.  The past few practices he has not put in all of his effort.  David has been walking during practice and worse, he walked throughout most of his game on Saturday.  Trying to figure out what was wrong, we purchased new cleats, made him run extra with me in the evenings, and talk about what was going on.  Literally, it boils down to the fact that he’s being lazy.

“It’s too hard.”

What.  Too hard?  Ok, this is when my motivation kicks in to push him through.  

“Life will be hard. You can’t give up.  You have to keep going and get through because if not, someone else will.”

He’s 7 and it’s soccer. (In my defense, it’s not just elementary soccer, it’s actually competitive and coached by paid and well trained professionals). But!  It’s still an endeavor that he has taken on.

Next, he has been talking WAY too much at school.  I’m pretty sure the only time he isn’t talking is during the pledge and during prayer time. (He goes to a Christian Academy so this is a normal part of the students’ day).  I have taken away everything that is considered leisure to him.  No video games (which was already minimized, not sure how we even started on all that), extra homework, no electronics, etc.  Basically, everything short of taking everything out of his room.  

Ok.  Now you know I’m a Nazi parent.  Yep.  Well, here’s what’s next.

I have kept my cool throughout this week, lecturing on the value of hard work and behavior but still encouraging  and been civil, ha!  

THEN…… the straw on the camel’s back!!!!

HE LEFT HIS LUNCH AT HOME!!!!  What a crime!!!!  This is like the worst thing that can happen in the morning on the way to school.  Yeah… it’s not that big of a deal, but when everything else has been going on, it is.  At least, I made it to be.

We were almost to school when I realized that he did not bring his lunch.  Ever so nonchalantly he just says, “I don’t know” when I asked him where his lunch was.  I don’t know? 

I don’t know.

Ok, so now he doesn’t understand that it’s a huge deal, what I’m now going to have to do after I drpp him off, on top of everything else, and just be ok with it?  Yes, this sounds like I’m overreacting. It’s the principal of the matter, right?  It’s the fact that I need to get my point across because this is what this whole week has been about.  He’s been lazy, hasn’t tried, doesn’t seem to care about any of his mistakes, and hasn’t been doing “what he’s supposed to be doing”.

Guess what.  I am overreacting. Yes, he’s been lazy, but haven’t we all had those moments? Haven’t we all just checked out once in a while? And who said that there is a certain way to do things?

I’m going to keep it real.  I yelled at him, told him that he was lazy (worst part) and I told him that he disappointed me (that may have hurt him more than it did me).  I said the same things over and over again because I had said them in a calm way earlier that week, throughout that week, and at different moments along this journey of parenting.  The worst part is that I knew I needed to just be quiet.  I said my peace.  He knew what I wanted from him and what I expected.  He always does, it’s a choice he has to make.  

As he left, on a bad note, to walk into school, I just wanted to cry.  I wanted to stop sooner and just tell him to try harder and to encourage him and to love him, but I did not.  

As this post is getting way too long and if you’ve stuck it out this far, just know that if you feel like you’ve failed, there is always time to get back up and try again.  Explain to your child (or friend, parent, boss, co-worker, whoever!) that you messed up and that you should have handled things differently, that you shouldn’t have put he/she down just to make a point.  

Lead by example.  Be who you want your children to be or who you want others to be like. 

I am going to take his lunch to school (after I told him that he will have to eat whatever they have in the cafeteria and if he didn’t like it…. oh well!!! Grrrr… Mean mom.) and I’m going to love him and hug him and explain to him that I still expect hard work and to correct what’s wrong, but that I would like him to forgive me for how I handled the situation.  I handled it like I have always told him that he shouldn’t; bratty, whiney, with anger, and words that weren’t so uplifting.

In my next post, I wrote a letter to David and I hope that this helps someone as well.  It made me feel better. 

Ok… Here’s my story (short version)

So many times I have tried to avoid my past and the choices that I’ve made.  But ya know what?  It is a chapter in my life and although I don’t have to share with anyone what I’ve been through, I can and I can be okay with what I have to say.  

I grew up a military brat to single father.  He was the best dad he could be to me and I never needed anything or even wanted for anything.  I was spoiled, but I was taught to appreciate all that I have.  My dad and mom met in Korea, married, and I was born.  I don’t know the details and haven’t really asked so now readers know just as much as I do about that.  When I was around 7, my mom left my dad.  We have no clue where she is, where she went, or what she is doing.  Neither of us have heard from her since then.  Dad and I moved around every 3-4 years in the U.S.  I met the best friends I’ve ever known being in a military family environment and I have seen some of the best parts of America as well.  I encourage everyone to travel with their children and to show them that there is a world outside of the town or city that you live in.  While it may be nice to go to the same restaurant every Sunday and see the same people grow and change every year, remember that there is so much more out there to experience, you can always come back home.  End. Rant. 

So, fast forwarding to get to the main point of this post, Dad finally retired after 23 total years of service, and we “settled” in Jeffersonville, IN.  This is right over the bridge from Louisville, KY.  I graduated high school and enrolled at Indiana University Southeast.  I moved in with 3 other girlfriends (shout out to Erika, Stacey, & Lo) right by the infamous Bardstown Rd. in Louisville.  

Again, fast forwarding…..  

I met a boy at the age of 19 who wrestled for a nearby college.  After one semester, he dropped out, joined the Marine Corps and left for Parris Island and then to NC.  Guess who came along?  Yep! I did. We were in love.  I mean, madly, insanely, in love.  We married 6 months after we met and then found out we were pregnant a few months later.  Dave was born in March of 2007.  Two days later my husband deployed.  This was the most surreal moment of my life.  I was 20 years old, newly married, husband left and I had to get to know a human that I made in my body all by myself.  

During this deployment, my life changed drastically.  I was independent.  I was young. I was basically a single mother.  I made mistakes.  I will leave that at that.

I was forgiven, but nothing was the same.  Husband came home from deployment and it felt right, but we didn’t know each other at all.  I had no clue who he was and he didn’t know who I was.  WE drifted further and further apart.  Time passed and we started seeing other people.  Both of us. I would get mad at him for it and he would be mad at me.  We Were Young. Period.  Some people can do this early and make it work and that’s great.  However, he and I found each other for the sole purpose to make David.  

Fast forward….. again…..

We divorced and I met Mike.  (pause…deep breath) This is where I changed most in my life. 

He was perfect to David, I couldn’t ask for a better step-father to him.  We got along great.  We loved each other.  We loved God.  We lived life together.  

He had a surgery and had his kidney removed, I will elaborate on this a lot more later when the time is right.  Long story short, he became addicted to pain pills and it basically ruined our lives together. We were married in 2009 and separated in 2011….  gave him another chance in 2012 and he left again in 2013.  Ok, there’s a lot more that goes with that but that’s the gist.  Life was crazy and I never wish any of that on anyone and I will never go through that again in my life. I pray that I am never even confronted with a  situation like that again.  

So, I have been married twice.  Yes. TWO TIMES.  Crazy.  I’m 28.  I should be newly engaged or happily married on my first marriage.  It took me a long time to understand that this was my life and I had to deal with it.  I tried for so long to hang on tight to my second marriage because it was my second marriage!  Of course, that never works so here I am.  

I am here, but I am the happiest I have ever been.  Real happiness.  I am ready for the next chapter in my life.  I am ready to travel and to just be me.  This past year, yes, Ive dated, I’ve had feelings that I thought could lead to something, but I realized that I have to be in love with me. And that’s where I’m at now.  I am okay being single.  I am okay being a single momma.  I am okay with my past.  I am making a brighter future.  

If anyone else has gone through something like this (again, I know my details weren’t really on point, because there is SO MUCH more) let me know what you did to get through.  How has it changed your life for the better?  

Smile 🙂

Live that.

I find myself thirsting for more.  More excitement, more scenery, more beauty, more culture, more life.  

A friend told me that sometimes you just have to be okay with life; you just have to be okay with being still sometimes because that’s how life is.  I agree to a point.  I agree that there are going to be moments that are so boring and still that you just need to embrace that moment and enjoy it.  I get that.  However, I feel like I’m a ticking time clock.  I feel like I’m running out of time.  Days go by and I haven’t given back enough, yet.  There are moments that I sit still and just breathe and enjoy the air around me, the silence, and the beauty I feel that surrounds me.  Then, there are moments when I feel like I need to just run away, run far away and keep going until I find what it is that I’m looking for.  

Wait.  

What am I looking for?  

So, that’s the problem.  I am looking for something and I have no idea what it is.  My “mistakes” in life started from running away and wanting to explore.  I still want to explore, but before I do I have to remember that I need to finish what I’ve started.  I have 10 months left on my lease and 10 months left of school.  I WILL finish college in that amount of time and have my B.S. and I will go month to month on my apartment until I can be abroad.  David will be in the 3rd grade.  This is all that I am certain about.  I don’t know how I will get my dogs overseas, I don’t know if I’ll sell everything or if I’ll store it, I don’t know if my friends and family will support me, I don’t know what to expect, and I don’t know if I’ll be back after one year.  What I do know is that I will do God’s work wherever I go and that I will share my story of His grace and forgiveness.  I know that this will be a great adventure for Dave and I and that we will bond and become so much closer throughout this experience.  

In the meantime, I am planning on simplifying my life.  Living for the moment and people rather than “things” and “luxury”.  I want to document those steps as I take them.  I hope that this inspires someone to do the same, to remember that….

We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give..”

Let that sink in.  Live that. 

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Content In My Journey

I have so much to say and often times I have no one to say them to.  I’m different than most people I know and sometimes I can’t even figure myself out, but for once I’m finally on that journey to discover who I really am and who I want to become.  It’s taken me over a decade to learn to be true to myself and to really make sure my life is valued… by me.  I have an amazing kiddo.  David is 7 years old and has been a true blessing in my life.  I have made a million and one mistakes in my life even throughout my motherhood and I will make more, but being a mother to David has been the only thing in my life that has felt 100% right.

I have a lot of ideas for life, for Dave, for me, and for the both of us.  Hopefully one day I will find that one person to share them with, but I am absolutely content in the journey I am on with my little man at this moment.