Glass Boxes

In the land of little boxes that you scroll through lives and perfectly placed cameras- you begin to yearn for something raw. I think that when Instagram began, the idea that you could paint a perfect picture of your glass house was ideal. Filter this, crop that. Wow! Such a concept to have this life as you portray it but not as it clearly is. So when a box comes along that appears raw and real it feels like a glimpse of truth. And heck, we all like that. We want to feel like our failures aren’t just us. We want our shortcomings to have company. This person was applauded _person after person pressed that like button because what seemed like reality and refreshing rawness was what they needed. We don’t follow people to get nothing, Right? We follow because we get something out of it.

Let’s rewind. When I came to Instagram I myself liked the rawness. From the get go I wasn’t into cropping this or filtering out that: I wanted my true colors to be me. When I began my business this reality didn’t change. I wanted my page to show how I felt about my work. I am sensitive, colorful and positive. I chose people that had these same values to represent our shop. I didn’t just instantly add people to our team. I chose those that loved spreading kindness and were always purchasing items. So when this spunky tot was often wearing items purchased from my shop it seemed the right move to have her represent. It was such a great match. She seemed to be so at ease and candid. Just what I would hope for. Over time our relationship grew and changed. She wasn’t just repping my brand but our personal pages were followed and us moms, we had a friendship growing. I enjoyed getting to send her items as gifts. I loved getting a birthday care package together and seeing her rock little extras like temporary tattoos that accompanied her purchases. As our business relationship changed, so did our personal. I would try so hard to extend that extra something her way. 

Then..,No longer could she ‘afford’ to shop nor did she even appear to be liking any of the items posted on the business page.  As time went on my personal page no longer had any likes or comments. You could say she became a ghost follower. I hung tight and gave all benefit of the doubt. We all go through stuff. I sent her a message from the business page discussing a dress & she mentioned feeling like she just wasn’t into it repping and vented a bit. Maybe that was all it was…

 Well I had gone the extra mile yet again by sending this gifted dress and the dress came back refused. I was confused. Then that same day, I was shown her negative words bashing not only my work but my character. How and why would she be so hateful? To appear more well like by other shops? 

I don’t like confrontation. I’m that person who wants so badly to see the good in every situation. Every person! So I hung back. I waited to see if she would come to me. Others we both knew would surely tell her I was aware of these words she wrote. She was clearly done with our relationship. Possibly she would put in effort like she used to when it came to being part of our team? I waited. I unfollowed from my personal realizing if anything was to be dealt with it would be outlet business. Then she messaged me: Why did you unfollow us? Did we do something?

I just felt that gut wrenching feeling. That true honest knife in my back. Was she really playing dumb? How could she even ask?!  So I let it marinade. I confided in my husband. I cried about it. I prayed. I thought deeply and as I went to reply I was suddenly blocked. Wow. So this was all a sham?! I had thought we were friends but I obviously was naive which ironically is a word she used to describe me. We are just a rock to stomp on, on her way to the ‘top’. My feelings felt hurt and I realized I needed to really rearrange my thought process. I needed to follow my gut the moment things felt off. I knew my mistake lied in not acting on my instincts sooner. She was done representing our shop when she stopped purchasing. I was blind by a fake friendship. I too bought into the rawness of her little glass boxes. Instagram can be anything you like- it’s your platform. You can say anything you like. People gobble up your manipulation and lies because like me; most people like to believe the good. So you can act like the victim, claim to be hurt or bullied and all these people who think they are standing for good vs. evil become an ally. Anything goes- they are your tiny boxes. But let me just say: lies are translucent. Karma is real and the life as you live is anything but raw. 

To the woman who taught me a huge lesson in business and in life: you don’t deserve an explination. I didn’t play into your attention games or sob stories because that’s what you wanted to play out. You unblocked me in time to publically show my argument. No thanks. I’m writing this for me. You hurt me. You used me. You played on my emotions and huge heart. Nobody else will do that because my gut will now be trusted 100%. The sad part to me is that you use your daughter to manipulate others. You continue to do so and although you play ‘real’ as you head to the ‘top’ you are the fakest of the fake. I pity you & pray…

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#ourmiscarriagestory

For what ever reason; I’m awake restless past midnight. Scrolling IG I was led to FB. There I read about a strong woman & her story. Miscarriage isn’t a highly talked about subject. It comes with hurt and sadness. It’s accompanied by raw feelings. So we struggle through it & hope that as time passes the healing will be apparent. For myself; it’s always this scab. If you rub me just wrong I crack & bleed. It’s still fresh enough for me that I know how easy it is to get re-hurt. To experience that pain over & over. Regardless; here we go. We have had 9 miscarriages in 14 years. I have to honestly say that that statement could be wrong- I may have had 10. This last one I felt no reason to confirm but felt it from my soul. I know my body & I know.  We’ve come so very far with healing. We’ve learned about my husbands impending health issues that can impair infertility & fixed them. So balls in my court?! Oh hey, low progesterone? Fixed. Oh hey, thyroid disease? Maintained. And yet here I am with my body still not feeling it can hold onto a pregnancy. It’s shitty. It’s heartbreaking. You’ve heard the definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over expecting different results. Raises hand. Insane. I mean, we must be. I don’t share my story because I can imagine it’s others first thought. Why go through it again? Obviously it isn’t working for you. But here’s the thing. It has worked! Spread out over a span of 14 years- we have this number bigger than 9. It’s 3! Healthy, living beautiful children. God has this plan. He’s written it all out & although understanding isn’t included as we walk this path- faith is. So over the last two years since having Huck- I don’t respond  the same way. It hurts. It sucks. But it’s what’s meant to be. Ectopicx2. 10 weeks. 8 weeks. 15 weeks. 12 weeks. 9 weeks. 11 weeks. All hurting just as bad as the other. 

Fresh, Fourth & Fun

F! How did we get here? It’s as if we fast forwarded & I saw my life in vcr mode where we have squeaky voices and move like Mario with a star. Highschooler?! I can vividly recall my first day; and I just sent my daughter off to have hers. It’s so bittersweet to be in this season. I don’t know when it happened but it’s so gracefully transitioning into an amazing time in my children’s lives. All had great first days! Jaxton; back at school after being pulled from kindergarten. Best decision. What a long break from reality. Homeschool reality is so great- But this: real life stuff. We were nervous but we did it! He did it! He Marched proudly into his academy as a scholar. Super cute in his uniform I might add. Huck played puzzles & enjoyed momma time uninterrupted. What’s that like? Amazing! When Hannah was a babe she was in ‘daycare’ because I had to work. When Jax was a babe the story was quite similar. Here I am with my babe at home. It’s like a dream come true. This extra time we will have just us. Perks of Gods timing, okay Lord: Consider me wrong in all my doubting. I’m so going to love this season now that I’m past all the tears! We are thriving! Missing each other- YES! But mKing the moments together all the more worth while! 

Those little things

When you share a space with another, you quickly begin to learn who & how they are. Do they like a fresh towel post shower or is yesterday’s okay?! Is the sink washed once teeth are brushed or is toothpaste coating it. Does the toilet paper roll sit empty or quickly & correctly replaced? Truly though, it’s the little things. 

The first goodbye was rough, but each thereafter is roughest. When he’s home (this last time approx 24 hours total) all those little things are back. I chuckled the first time I walked past his side of the bed to NOT find yesterday’s laundry. ‘Wow, it’s clean’ Then I began to enjoy the strangeness of only myself being responsible for rinsing my sink or replacing my tp roll. All the little things I’d gotten so used to doing without even realizing. As I stared at him lying next to me this past visit; I realized that the little things were extended into other parts of our lives. Here I had only seen it from my perspective. Here I am seeing it all now: My water freshly sitting on my nightstand each eve. My phone charger placed wherever it’s most convenient. That fresh towel hanging on the hook beside the shower. For me; all these things I do seem little but all the things he does seem huge! I can only hope that it’s some insight into our truly amazing love, that when you do for another with love unconditionally; it’s just a little extra of your time. It’s those little things that make a huge deal. And let me just say; being away has changed my man, because those things I always have done I didn’t just have to do. He’s a hell of a lot less messy as a hot ass firefighter 😜 

The Second Tower And an angel 

I’d walk around our apartment with our precious girl perched on my shoulder all hours of the night. The first few weeks of motherhood were blissful. I’d sing and rock her because I over to do so. She would nurse easily and fall fast asleep. She was perfect. By day, I’d stare at her. Rob was working at the airlines still. He had transformed from an immature boy to a responsible man in a very short time. It almost felt like we were playing house. Making meals side by side enjoying the path God had led us on. 

Comfortably cuddled up on the couch, I nursed our baby girl. The TV was on yet I couldn’t hardly take my eyes off Hannah. As I glanced up I watched as a plane hit the second tower. My heart sank. As I was engulfed in my perfect life, others were losing theirs. It all felt like a blur. Watching the news repeat the unfortunate events on repeat. Seeing more than I could stomach, as people willingly leapt out of windows. I closed my eyes as tears fell down my cheeks. I looked from Hannah to the corner of my eye. My mother in law stood there. Silent and beautiful. An overwhelming feeling of comfort over came me. I sat staring at her until my blurt tear filled eyes were full and as I blinked she vanished. My emotions were getting the best of me, I assumed. I spoke to my husband who was dealing with the thick of it.

A tragedy. A ghost? No doubt both seemed unreal but were. 

Have you ever experienced such? Looking back, my heart speeds up. It felt real and although unexplainable, I completely am grateful for her presence. Real or not…

Hannah Diann

As Mother’s Day approached, my Braxton hicks became a bit more. We rushed to the hospital at 32 weeks. She wasn’t done cooking and fear set in. They put me on trabutaline to slow down labor. After a night they let me go home. Contractions stopped but I was to remain off my feet. It wasn’t hard to do. Bed rest was basically my forte at this point. Nowhere to be, nothing to do. TV and napping…eating and peeing. My life. I wasn’t seeing or hardly getting to speak to friends. My husband was still a teen and a working man. I was so exhausted come June, I fell asleep during my graduation. I did however walk the stage bump and all. I was huge! I remember shaking my principals hand and smugly smiling. This bad example was graduating! We went to my prom together. It wasn’t a party like I had envisioned, but I was able to dance with my baby and husband. It was some of our first  memories as a family. Within days we moved into our first apartment. We had applied and been granted Section 8. We were getting assistance to get by. It saves us. My father in law had guided us. We had a home. We set up the crib in our babies room and hung her freshly washed clothes. She was blessed, I had two showers resulting in all we needed. 

I had been having cramps all day after what I thought was food poisoning. As I was awoken from sleep I began town see if it was more. I labored at home for 5 hours before the pain was unbearable. As we arrived at the hospital labor continued through the night. I willingly got an epidural which sealed my date. By the point it was administered I was too far along. I couldn’t feel my legs I’d even my breathing. My pushing was pointless and soon the room was filled with personnel and whispering doctors. Next thing I know I’m being sliced open and my baby girl is showing off her lungs. Beautiful baby. Best moment of my life. 1 of 3. A miracle. A gift…just for us…

Quitting sisterhood

It only seemed rational I’d live with my husband. I’d thrown out the phrase “as soon as I’m 18!” So many times in the hype of frustration. Every interaction with my mom leading up to my pregnancy wasn’t ideal. “If you keep that baby I’m not helping you. You are doing it! And you will not be living here or with our stuff“. She held true to her word. My things weren’t so much mine anymore. My parents and Robs father went 50/50 on a bedroom set for us as a wedding gift. It was all we had. A bed frame, dresser with mirror and two night stands. Robs father was generous enough to open his home. He was very accepting of the love we had. He believed only good could come from this pregnancy. Truth be told; “you are good for him” he’d told me many times. I wish I could hear those words now. 

The basement of Robs childhood home became ours. I had gone from a crazy, pleasing teen to a wife and expectant mother now living away from home, in a matter of 3 months. At first it was like sleep away camp. It felt like I should enjoy it and not be homesick because it would be over before I knew it. But it wasn’t ending, and I was homesick. A space of our own, meals (every single one) served and provided for, no bills other than gas to get around. We had it made. And yet, it wasn’t home. 

My little sisters were my world. I was the typical sister sometimes but mostly not. I adored my two younger sisters. Ashley is 5 years younger than I. Tiffany is 7. From the moment Ashley was growing in my mothers womb, I couldn’t wait. Then Tiffany completed us. They were always so different from one another, opposites like they still very much are today. Somehow they balanced one another out. I did a lot for my sisters. If they wanted or needed I was there. It wasn’t an easy house to live in. We had a full force home. When we loved we loved hard but when we fought it was full force. Perfection was necessary and if it wasn’t spot on it was to be fixed. I always became a mediator between my mom and Ashley. As she grew into a beautiful young lady, I saw the conflict begin to increase. It was a familiar sight. I’d seen it before.  Tiffany had an advantage, she was the baby. Her responsibilities were many levels lower for such a small age gap. She’s has always had this sweet demeanor where Ashley is head strong. That being a key issue with keeping peace. With all we had been through, my stepping up as a role model when I didn’t have an option, put us in a position to grow so close. I’d skip going out with friends to spend time with my sisters. I’d take the blame for things around the house done wrong or not at all, anything for them. I wanted to do it all, for theM. But when I said ‘I do’ 

I quit sisterhood.

It wasn’t intentional but I felt it sever. I’d left them behind. I wasn’t really welcome around my parents house. It was this strange unspoken cloud of sadness. I went from being the mediator, blame taker and friend to being gone. I’d call my parents house and my mom would say things like “why do you need to talk to her” or “she’s busy”. Well, I’m sure ‘she’ (my sisters) were busy. I was no longer there to fix afternoon snack. To help with homework. To do laundry. To unload the dishwasher and load it. I had quit. I had left them behind. 

I missed them. I missed all of it. At my house growing up, we ate dinner at the table discussing what was going on in school, with sports or getting scolded for elbows on the table and uneaten food. Robs home wasn’t mine. He had 5 sisters, all older. His older sister and himself were all that left at home. His father was still mourning the loss of his mom, they all were. His sister would cook us all meals and we’d eat in front of the TV or in our bed in the basement. This was my new reality. I went from being needed and the hustle of cheerleading, working and school to nothing. My juggle had ceased. I wasn’t  worried about dropping the ball; for the first time in my life, because my juggle was over. 

My high school had determined I was a bad influence and they would get me a ‘home’ teacher. Sylvia. She hardly spoke English and showed up twice a week to dump off work and pick up other. It was easy. I did my homework eagerly out of boredom. I was quite honestly living a life for another. My friends were having the time of their lives. Senior year. I didn’t see or rarely talk to them. No cell phone. When the phone rang throughout the house, it was rarely for me. It was never my sisters. Was it up to them to seek me out? Nah, I hadn’t  expected that from a 13 and 15 year old. But I wished. 

Looking back, I have this regret. I wish with my whole heart I’d been there more for them. I often wonder how they view it. I wanted to take them with me. It sounds strange but I’d felt like I’d quit being their sister long before I moved out. 

I had felt more like they were my children. My girls. 

That calming sense when I saw that + was thanks to them. They’d shown me how to do it. They’d guided me through what works and what doesn’t. They’d been my guinea pigs without knowing it. 

So to my little sisters: I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have left you. I should have been more present those high school years. I should have been more focused on your lives not just my own. …I love you.