Change

People say the only constant in life is change. Change is normal. Accept it. Embrace it. It’s a cycle of life, but sometimes it knocks you off your feet and carries you into a life you would never have imagined for yourself. That is what happened to me. Now a little over three years after this change I speak of–I’m finally putting my fingers to the keypad and writing. Funny that I say ‘me’ like I was the only one involved in this big life change. In reality it was myself, my ex and our children–not to mention the family who supports us even to this day. This post is definitely long over due. I have wanted to begin writing again, but I’ve felt that my experiences were to painful for me to be able to share openly. I was only inspired to write this after I heard a commercial on the radio speaking about domestic violence month. Realizing that maybe writing this post could help someone else as much as it could help me is the reason I’m typing these words. I still can’t write the details publicly, but if you feel compelled to email me you are more than welcome to.

Three years and three months ago my family was residing in a disguised nightmare. Everything seemed ok. I tried to pretend that everything was ok, but in reality it was all falling apart. The only real peace I get from thinking back on it all is that Journey and Faith were seemingly unaffected by it all. They were fed, nurtured and thrived in a situation that wasn’t ideal. Not a fairy tale at all.

Three years and three months ago the girls and I flew back to Colorado in a flurry of tears, hugs, and heartbreak. I packed three suitcases; one big one full of clothes (for 2 weeks), one small one with some of the girls favorite toys, and one more with miscellaneous items. Without any identification except a black-eye, I boarded us on a Southwest flight back to my native state. Arriving was bitter-sweet. I was happy to be home, but the prideful side of me felt like a failure. Like a dog with its tail between its legs. I had left with so much potential–I was starting a family with a man I loved, we were living in a beautiful house, I was a stay-at-home Mom  enjoying the gorgeous California weather and then in a flash it was gone.

With the help of my best friend I made the decision to stay in Colorado and to not rush back into a life that was not there. I chose to do what was right for me. It’s still hard for me to do that because so much of my early twenties I spent thinking about what was right for everyone else. I pushed my wants and needs to the back burner. Now that I’m in the forefront life is much more confusing. What is it that I wanted? Love, family, stability, happiness? How can I get those things? Will they ever come? I still have trouble realizing that all of those things still have a place, but not in the mold that I have imagined. Coping with this change, I’m not the same young woman who began this blog with her best friend so many years ago. I look back at past posts and feel tears come to my eyes. I’m even more sad that I let this blog suffer in the process. Sharing my journey through motherhood was therapeutic, fun and the perfect way to chronicle the lives of my two daughters.

They are the real reason that I made the decision to leave and not go back. Rebuilding our lives here, alone, has been so very hard. We have had support from a variety of community resources, friends and family.  Unfortunately, we have experienced homelessness and have lived in a domestic violence shelter for two months and in transitional housing for 10 months until we were able to attain an apartment.

Transitioning from a stay-at-home mom to a single working mother has been hard. I have had to play double duty when it comes to household duties and raising the girls. I find myself becoming envious of mothers who can stay home with their children, but don’t want to. It is a dream to be able to spend time with your children. I’m at least lucky enough to work in the same school that the girls attend, but our nights are busy and I feel stretched thin at times. I worry that I’m not giving Journey and Faith all that I could. I feel guilty for wanting time for myself. I feel like a failure (again) for not being able to provide the family I envisioned for my children. They don’t deserve to live in a single parent home. They don’t deserve to only see their Dad 3 months out of the year.

What keeps me moving forward is knowing that they do deserve a healthy loving life.

I deserve a healthy loving life.

This is only the tip of the iceberg! I have so many more thoughts, but I will save them for another time (and this time I won’t wait three years to share them). I welcome comments and I look forward to putting the Mommy back in Mommy Lounge.

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In Memory of Sterling

Journey, Daddy, and Sterling

Journey, Daddy, and Sterling

April ’00-May ’09

Sterling Beck aka Bubba,Turtle, Love of our lives!…

Yesterday we sent our 10-year-old Great Dane, Sterling, to Doggy Heaven. We found out Easter weekend that he was in the late stages of stomach and liver cancer. The vet suggested that we put him down immediately and that he only had five days to live.

I began to explain to Journey and Faith that Sterling was very old and sick (he had become very skinny and would barely eat) and that we needed to help Sterling get to Doggy Heaven. Days after our talk I started to notice Journey and Faith giving Sterling extra hugs and attention. dsc08605

It has always been a rule that he wasn’t allowed in the playroom or the girl’s bedroom. Selfish on my part because I didn’t want to clean dog hair from two more rooms in the house. But towards the end there were times when he laid in their room and I didn’t stop him. I just wanted him to rest and be comfortable where ever he wanted. One day Journey came to me and said that Sterling’s feet were cold and she covered him up. When I saw this I was so touched!

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There were only two times when Sterling broke my “no-going-in-the-girl’s-room-rule”, when Journey was a baby and another time when Faith was born. He refused to leave and even growled at me, which he never done before. Each time there were reports of tremors and an earthquake on the news. We couldn’t believe it!

He was more than just a dog. He was my Brett’s life-saver. Our protector. Journey and Faith’s playmate and my teacher. Sterling showed so much patience, strength, understanding, and always showed unconditional love.

Sterling had always had a big appetite; even after wolfing down his dog food he would always sit and wait for someone to share their dinner with him. That was one of the first reasons we knew something was wrong because he just stopped eating as regularly, but whenever Journey had a cookie to share he wouldn’t turn it down.He always enjoyed cookies, doughnuts, popsicles, and his all time favorite was pizza crusts!

sterling-and-journeyHe was always admired everywhere he went, mostly being mistaken for a huge Dalmatian or a small pony. Sterling loved to play hide and seek, ran like a stallion, and was always gentle. He never picked a fight with other dogs, unless he felt they were a threat to us. He loved small dogs and children so much that I feel he never knew just how big he was.

Saying Good-bye to Sterling was hard. When Journey and Faith gave him hugs and kisses Brett saw that Sterling had begun to cry. It made him too emotional and he had to leave the room. I looked Sterling in the eye and told him that I always loved him, that he had a been an amazing dog and we would see him again someday.

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Our family will always miss Sterling, but we know he will always be in our hearts. The house feels really quiet now, even with two crazy girl’s running around. We miss the sound of his bark and the clickity-clack of his feet. We miss him, but I feel comforted knowing that his suffering is over. I imagine that Sterling is healthy, happy, and young again; running and chasing after frogs and squirrels in the creek where he grew up.

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We will always love you Sterling! This is for you…

We had pizza and it felt so weird to not have Sterling to give the crust to. :-(

We had pizza and it felt so weird to not have Sterling to give the crust to. 😦

Always in our hearts! Love, Kalisha, Brett, Journey and Faith

A Big Birthday Surprise!

My firecracker Faith turned 2 on March 27! dsc08531I have decided that this nursery rhyme best describes my sweet Faith…

There was a little girl,
Who had a little curl,
Right in the middle of her forehead.
When she was good,
She was very, very good,
But when she was bad, she was horrid.

This nursery rhyme is really about Faith! She can be the sweetest thing and I just melt when she tells me that she loves me, but when she is frustrated or mad–you better watch out! Besides her fiery temper, I feel really blessed to be Faith’s Mommy because she really does give me faith in joy, love and family. She keeps us all on our toes and always gets so excited over the simplest things–including the jumping up and down! Ever since her birthday she has sang me the Birthday song at least once a day and it is so amazing to watch her blossom into a beautiful child.

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Faith finally got her ears pierced and now won’t let me go near them to clean. I have to squirt the solution incognito onto her ears in the bath. It is really so bad that Brett was looking at me like I had lost my mind! HA! Oh well, a Mom’s gotta do what a Mom’s gotta do!

I really can’t believe how fast the time has gone, but what makes it even more special is that we all had a surprise visit from my Mom and brother. The really crazy thing is that I haven’t seen them in about two years and they had never met Faith in person!

Basically, I got tricked. I was kind of an emotional wreck for about three days after I found out that my Mom and brother were not going to be visiting for Faith’s birthday or spring break (part of their mean and evil trick to throw me off their trail!) I felt kind of heartbroken because I hadn’t seen them in so long. It has just been finances that have kept us apart and that in itself really sucks. So, when I found out they were not coming I was just bummed. Then on the Wednesday before Faith’s birthday we were getting ready to go on a walk after dinner when suddenly I saw my Mom and brother standing in my backyard! I screamed and cried all at the same time, so loud that Brett got freaked out because he thought Sterling had died or something. It was a great surprise to say the least. I was just so thankful that Journey and Faith really got to spend some quality time with both my Mom and brother. Here are some pictures…dsc08472

dsc08549Journey and Faith really loved their time with Uncle JJ and GiGi (stands for Greatest Grandmother!) Now I realize that I didn’t get any pictures with them! I was too busy behind the camera.

It’s Award Time

It’s award time here at the Mommy Lounge!  Who doesn’t love to get a pat on the back every now and again.  Well, we absolutly love it.  We are giving out a couple of them at once, so please check out these great blogs! We wanted to expand our bloggy world and give these awards to blogs that are new to us. Blogs that we have found cruising around the blogosphere–thought were great–and wanted to share with you. We’re sure half of them don’t even know us right now, but after this they will!

We are going to cheat a little like our friend at Contolling My Chaos who bestowed both of these awards on us! It is double bloggy award time! Each blog will receive one, but two amazing awards! These lucky gals will be awarded the I Love Your Blog award along with the Your Blog is Fabulous award.

Your Blog is Fabulous Award!

 Here are the rules of this award.

  • Link back to the giver of the award
  • List your five fabulous addictions
  • Give the award to 6-7 other fabulous blogs

Five Fabulous Addictions of Kalisha:

  1. I love to watch The Hills and Jon and Kate plus 8
  2. Black coffee with lots of sugar (at least enough to have some granules at the bottom of my cup!)
  3. Shiny, glossy lip gloss; I don’t like my lips to be dry–and I’ve always needed to wear lip gloss at all times!
  4. Blogging
  5. Crocheting; once I get started on something I would just rather sit and finish my project, but that is hard with two kids, a dog, and a husband to tend to.

5  Fabulous Addictions of Reneca

  1. Coffee!  With a bit of real cream and agave nector….MMMM!
  2. Nestle Treasures: rich milk chocolate filled with luscious caramel. (Okay that’s what they say on the bag. But they are delicious.)
  3.  Blogging…I think anyone who starts to blog has a hard time getting off the computer.
  4. Making things from scratch. This is a bad one, I actually feel bad when eat something from a box.  It must be some OCD in me coming out.
  5. True Blood: a new series on HBO.  I haven’t missed an episode and can’t wait till next season to start.  (I’m also excited that Big Love is coming back.

I Love Your Blog Award!  iloveyourblogaward

Here are the rules:
1. Write seven strange things about yourself.
2 Tag six other people at the end of your post.
3. Visit everyone that you have tagged and leave a comment on their blog to let them know that they have been tagged.

7 strange things about Kalisha

  1. I always wear pink polish on my toes.
  2. The only make-up I ever wear is mascara.
  3. I don’t like to walk barefoot on hardwood or tile floors so I have to wear socks when inside.
  4. Alright! I’m almost laughing to hard to even write this. Now this one is a very strange one! Sometimes (like when I was caring for newborn Faith and Journey) the way that I would check to see if I really needed a shower was to look under my arms. No hair? Mmmm…no shower! 🙂 If I saw some stubble then I would know it was time to get my butt in the tub! HA!
  5. As a child I would torture small bugs by putting them in a bowl of water (like ants and roly-polies) to see if they could swim. Or fry them under a magnifiying glass. Is that bad? I don’t do it anymore–I like to think of it as a science experiment. I feel kind of evil, but hey I was a kid! (I must say that is a very strange thing about me!)
  6. When I color I like my crayons to be pointy–and I won’t share them with you if you are the type to use my crayola’s down to a blunt!
  7. I could crochet for hours at a time and not even realize it. I love to do it because it relaxes my mind and body.

7 strange things about Reneca

  1. Unlike Kalisha, I hate socks. Hardwood, or carpet even outside I just don’t like them…they are too restricting.  My little toes need to breathe.  I would love to live some where that you could wear flip flops year round.
  2. I have a special pen… Its purple, of course, and it writes just perfect… Its probably all in my head, but when I write with my special pen, my hand writing is so much better.
  3. Come to think of it, I haven’t worn a regular bra in about 2 years.  Nursing bras have been my breast friend.  I guess that’s what I need for Christmas…a nice bra from Victoria Secret’s (hint, hint!)
  4. I love to read. But not fiction books.  It’s been a long time since I’ve read a fiction book, but I am always reading a motivational, or educational book.  I know–I’m a nerd.
  5. I’ve been trying to learn how to knit for a few months now, and I have yet to finish the 4 scarfs I’ve started.  I’m pretty good at both the knit and purl stitch, I just have been getting board with the easy patterns.
  6. Unfortunately(for me) I have a hard time tellingpeople what is truly on my mind.  I’m not talking about bad things.  Even the good things I won’t tell people. Some people may say it’s me being shy, but I am working on that.  I’m sure I’ve missed so many opportunities and friends since I won’t say anything first.
  7. Lastly, (well for this list) I recently learned how to walk well in stilletos.  I was an athlete in high school and college, and I thought they were not functional… Now, though I don’t wear them often, I really like them.  It’s nice to be able to wear them and not twist an ankle! 🙂

Hope you enjoy your awards ladies! We think Your Blog is Fabulous! and we think you deserve some I Love Your Blog (linky) Love!

Mommy Gossip

Following in My Shoes

Outnumbered Two to One

Cheaper Than Therapy

The Neurotic Mom

Nature Moms

Memoirs of a Chaotic Mommy

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The Smile Award: smile_award

We received this one a while ago (about a month and half, but whose counting?) from Writing the Waves of Motherhood–we are so sorry that it has taken so long to pass this award on, but now we are ready!

Thanks so much! We are glad we bring a smile to your faces!

Here are the characteristics of the SMILE Award:

~You must display a cheerful attitude.
~You must show love to others.
~You must make mistakes.
~You must learn from others.
~You must be a positive contributor to blogging.
~You must love life.
~You must love kids.

Here are the rules for the Smile Award:

~You must link back to the award creator. (We still can’t figure out what the name is–the text is so small!)
~You must post the rules if you are a recipient.
~You must choose 5 people to pass the award to.
~You must fit the characteristics of the award.
~You must post the characteristics of the recipient of the award.
~You must create a post sharing your win with others.
~You must thank the giver of the award… ( Thank You! Writing the Waves of Motherhood)

And the Award goes to!

  1. Le Musings of Moi; We just recently came across this blog. Her blog is fun, bubbly and is a great way to put a smile on your face!
  2. Lip Zip: Zipped Lips in Real Life; A fun mom of a toddler, who embodies the characteristics of the smile award! Check her blog for inspiration, tips and a good laugh.
  3. Suburban Gypsy; This mom juggles everything. From her family, home business, and and the chaos that comes from life.  Most importanly she has a great attitude!
  4. Non-Super Woman Chronicles; A mother of two young boys, her blog post almost always include a great quote, and a good read. 
  5. Moms in the Fishbowl; Looking for a good recipe, or just need to smile, this is the blog for you. With 3 kids she often feels like she’s swimming round in a fishbowl.

——————-

awardfallen

Our last award was given to us by Lynnie over at Monkey Bread Tree,I’ve Fallen For Your Blog Award! She has two adorable daughters and writes such great posts about life on the farm, fun crafty things she does with the girls and always reminds us about the joy and simplicity of Motherhood! Thanks so much!

We would like to honor a few of our favorite blogs with this special award…

Drumroll please!……………..We are giving this award to Monkey Bread Tree first beacause we wanted to let her know that we’ve fallen for her blog too! We know that this is a little unorthadox, but we wanted her to know that the feeling was mutual!

We have also fallen for Elizabeth at Parenting Pink! We get a vibe from her that she is a little wacky, like us. She reminds us how to Parent Pink and raise strong confident girls! Ms. Pink blogs about her three adorable girls, girly stuff and daily life.

and last but not least!…Danielle at Extraordinary Mommy always has a way of finding the silver lining in everyday moments. She captures her two young children’s personalities so well and we enjoy reading her blog when we need a reminder of how sweet it is to be a Mother!

Okay…now we can breathe.  Congrats to all our winners! Go check them out, We’re sure you’ll love them just as much as we do.

Reneca and Kalisha

Tag Your It!

We’ve been tagged! Parenting Pink has tagged Reneca and myself to divulge 7 weird or random facts about ourselves. We have both been making our lists and now we are ready to share them with you.

Kalisha:

Now let me just say that I had a pretty hard time with this. I know I can be a little goofy at times, but making this list made me think that my quirks were a little weird and maybe I could be a little OCD in some ways.

  1. If I was to ever go to prison for life and could request one last meal, it would be green peas mixed with Kraft macaroni and cheese (the shells!). It is about the only meal I will eat mixed or touching. Which leads me to my next quirk….
  2. I have never liked my food (or it’s juices) to touch other food on my plate, unless they belong together (like peas and mac n’ cheese).
  3. I don’t like suspenseful movies or books. I stopped reading Oliver Twist because too many bad things were happening to him and I couldn’t handle the disappointment. A few years later I finally got the courage to read it through and was relieved that everything turned out fine. I also stopped reading a set of Little House on the Prairie books when Mary went blind. I did end up finishing that collection too.
  4. I’m horrible at following a twisted movie plot. I drive Brett crazy, always asking who’s who and what’s happening!
  5. This is the way I make a sandwich for myself; I like the mustard and the cheese on the same slice of bread and then mayo and turkey on the other slice of bread. Put them together and I have my perfect sandwich!
  6. When I take a shower I always wash myself the same way; I turn my back to the shower, starting at my neck, over across to my left shoulder, then arm, underarm, switch hands, across to my right shoulder, arm, underarm, boobies!, tummy, back, left leg and foot, right leg and foot, turn around and face the shower, scrub the unmentionables, and done! After I realized this I thought to myself, “weird!”
  7. I’ve always been a girly girl with tomboy tendencies. I would wear my dress shoes to elementary school and still race with the boys at recess. I played tackle football for a women’s team in college (loved laying girls out!). I can rearrange a room by myself (even the T.V.). I enjoy the satisfaction of a hard days work–I would love to help out on a farm someday. Even with all my strength, I still love to get manicures, pedicures and wear mascara everyday.

Reneca

I’ve been thinking about this all week.  I’ve even ask my hubby for some weird facts about me…so here’s my list of the crazy eccentricities of my life.

  1. I hate soggy cereal: Soggy cereal is disgusting.  So to prevent that from happening I eat my cereal super fast, to the annoyance of many (even Kalisha).Okay, I’ll admit it, I really like Jell-O. Especially layered Jell-O.  I could eat it all day every day. 
  2. I want a farm:  I think, although it would be a lot of work, having a farm would be very rewarding.  From raising chickens, and cows, to growing my own organic vegetables.
  3. I don’t like to wake up.   I set my alarm at about 4:50 and it goes off every 5 minutes until about 5:30.  I’m not a morning person…come to think about it I’m not really a night person either.  I just need some SLEEP! (This would make it hard to have my own farm.)
  4. I’ve never been super girly.  While I do where make up and enjoy wearing dresses, I never could understand why chicks would get all dolled up before a volleyball match, basketball game, or even just to work out. If you are really working out hard your hair will get all sweaty and messed up, and your make up may run. At the end of the day it doesn’t matter if you have on your lipstick and your hair is curled, as long as you won the game. Now, after the game that’s a different story.  (I do not advocate looking sloppy or unkept when doing physical things.  But you don’t have to look like you just came from a beauty pageant.)
  5.  I secretly wish I was a geneticist.  I know it sounds a bit nerdish, but I do.  Working with DNA to find the reasons behind certain traits and diseases, sounds like fun.
  6. For some reason I can not sleep with pants on.  Ever since I was a litte girl I never liked to wear pants to bed.   They get all twisted and bunched up…uncomfortable.

Well, we hope you’ll still come back to check out the Lounge Tip for the week after reading these weird and random things about us.

 Now we have to tag 7 people…hmmm…I can’t wait to hear some weird stuff! Alright ladies! Tag you’re IT! Tell us seven weird or random facts about yourself then tag seven more people.

 

Kalisha and Reneca

Happy Birthday!

Written by Kalisha

Today is Brett’s 35th Birthday! I just want to wish him a very good year! He is the love of my life–we have had a tough year, but we both know that it has made us stronger as a couple and personally. So, in honor of his 35th I wanted to share his Birthday Menu with you today, but first a special message to the birthday boy man!

Brett,

I love you and I’m so thankful to have you in my life. You have helped me to learn so much about myself and I treasure the good times that we have. I will always be by your side! The girls are so lucky to have such a fun, sweet, silly, strong and handsome daddy! Thank you for loving me fully. I look forward to a great year with you and many many more! I love you and Happy Birthday! ~Kalisha

OK…now on to the Birthday Menu. Since Brett works from the house he always gets the luxury of eating at home (cool!) with the girl’s and I (even cooler!). So, here is what the Birthday Guy will be eating today. And trust me I will make sure anything that can hold a candle will get at least a handful! 🙂

Breakfast:

  • Starbuck’s coffee
  • Zucchini bread (with candles!), sliced fruit and a cup of yogurt with granola

Lunch:

  • Extra cheesy grilled cheese and turkey sandwhich (with candles!) and most likely his favorite wasabi crackers!

Dinner:

  • Breakfast for Dinner! Yum!; Baby Cakes (this is a top secret family recipe, but it resembles a baked pancake), cheesy eggs, and bacon, maybe some biscuits with strawberry preserves…
  • Birthday Cake! Lots and lots of candles…35 candles! Wow!
Journey and I decorated the very bright! B-day cake! Mmmm! It's devil food cake with cream cheese frosting and lots of sparkle!!

Journey and I decorated the very bright! B-day cake! Mmmm! It's devil food cake with cream cheese frosting and lots of sparkle!!

Well, that completes the Birthday Menu! I will post some pics as they come available!

You can see other Menu Plans HERE!

Speechless Sunday

Reneca, Kalisha and Kaleah...silly!

Reneca, Kalisha and Kaleah...silly!