Thursday, February 18, 2016

Ok Universe, Enough is Enough!!

I am tired...not sick and tired, but just tired. I was just thanking the universe the other day that my life had become so calm and laid back that I rarely had to put a bra or real pants on...and then BAMMMM!!! The universe was like..."challenge accepted!"

I am sure that most of you know by now, but if you are not up to date on the Shepherd Family newsletter, I have two kids with broken arms.

Kameo was playing with Hunter and LulaBelle when she dove headfirst off of her bunk-bed. I didn't think she was actually hurt because she was only saying "owie" and not crying so I shrugged it off as a bump and nothing more.
Hunter carried her out of the room and told us she had fallen off the bed, I made him set her down and that was when I saw that her arm was obviously broken. Casey was freaking out and yelling this word and that, Caleb was standing quietly in the kitchen watching, Hunter was helping me get Kameo ready for transport to the hospital and Lucas was about 2 feet away from Kameo and I bawling and gagging.
Casey drove to the hospital and carried Kameo in while I kept her misshapen arm in my hand, all the while Mimi is telling anyone who will listen that she fell off her bed and broke her arm. They get us back pretty quick, and give her a dose of what I presume was Motrin. The X-ray tech comes and get Kameo and I and it is immediately clear from the pictures that her arm was VERY broken.
The nurse comes to our room within minutes of the X-ray results and informs us that both her bones in her arm are broken and that our best option at that point was to let them sedate her and set the bones back into place, splint her arm and then we would have to follow up with Ortho to further treatment.
The contraptions that they use for setting bones looked like they were created during medieval times and very scary looking.
Dr. Smith came in , assessed the situation, informed us of the procedure, and then it was chaos (for me, not for the hospital staff). There was all of a sudden a room full of staff, some putting oxygen on her, some placing electrodes in specific places, some at the computer entering data and Casey and I were in the corner in tears...Kameo...not a single tear. Casey and I had enough time to walk through the hallway of the ER, out into the waiting room, grab a drink and sit down, and then staff was calling our names to come back to be with Kameo. It was incredibly fast.
Dr. Smith was amazing and the bones were beautifully set.
The following week Kameo was in to get her real cast and the bones had slipped slightly, so the Ortho doctor had to push her bones back into place...again...Kameo was all smiles and not a single tear was shed. Dr was amazed at how strong she was.

Today we got our pink cast off, took an x-ray and decided that it would be safer to keep a cast on for another couple of weeks to make sure that the bones are good and strong and healed...the last thing we need is for her to fall and re-break her arm.

So as if life is crazy enough with one child with an injury, lets add another.....

Caleb went to the skate park on Monday with a friend, and when he came home he informed us that he hurt his wrist bad enough that he thought he may have broken it. Into the ER I go.....again..for the 2nd time in 3 weeks. After an x-ray we were told that there were no defined breaks but it was very possible that he fractured his scaphoid, so he is splinted up and we meet with his doctor tomorrow to arrange his next x-ray.

So, as if the universe wasn't funny enough giving me two kids with broken limbs, I also have a very sick husband at home, and anyone who knows Casey knows that when he gets sick, he is gruuuuuumpy and be around...oh I am sure he is miserable too, but probably not as miserable as the rest of us are when he gets a bug. I am seriously considering moving in with my mommy until he gets better and I can find where I misplaced my sanity.

School......or lack there of.......

I am struggling...(not sure that struggling is a strong enough word.....ugh, we'll stick with struggling I guess) to find a reason or motivation to see this class that I am taking all the way through. I think I may have touched a little bit on this in my last blog, but just a short recap....I have run out of funding for my bachelors program and therefore will be withdrawing from Colorado Technical University with only 14 classes and my Capstone left. I was devastated at first, and then I accepted it, and have moved on, kind of. I still have to take this one last class otherwise I will have to pay back what was already paid in student loans and the pell grant for this quarter. So I am faced with this class (that I have already taken for my AAS by the way) and I have to try and keep up with it for the next five weeks, all the while running kids to this doctor and that doctor and trying to get the right over the counter meds to get the husband back up and running at back to work so that I get busy on de-grossing the house of his sickness.

I just have to mention a couple of things...

1)..I LOVE the doctors that I have been dealing with

         a.) Dr. Smith at Mercy Emergency Room is a rock star and he even called us to check up on                       Kameo and ask how she was feeling.

         b.) Dr. John Roth at Umpqua Community Health Clinic in Roseburg is AMAZING and                             thorough and listens to a mother and her silly questions.

         c.) Dr. Amelia Roth at Umpqua Community Health Clinic in Roseburg is AMAZING and                         thorough and listens to a mother and the child.

          d.) Dr. Sexton at Mercy Orthopedics in Roseburg is nice and has my 5 year olds best interest at                heart.

2)  I love Lysol and how it makes me feel like I am actually getting rid of the icky's

3) I love that I have a wonderful and dear friend that I can call and ask her if our medical situations are cause enough for an emergency room trip and she tells me what to do at home to avoid sick crowds of people.

4) I love sushi lunch dates with my beautiful g-friends (and their beautiful offspring, who I am rather fond of)

5)) I love cabinets, shelving, boxes, containers, and canvas totes. I cannot explain my love for these items, but I love them. I think it's because with them, things in my house are finally finding a place where they "belong", and who doesn't love the feeling of "belonging" some place, am I right?

 6) I love because without them, I would not be able to see my computer screen right now and they offer me the cutest glasses that I can actually afford.

7) Last but not least, I love Jenny Lawson. I think that everyone in the entire world should go to their local library and rent "Lets Pretend This Never Happened" BUT, it must be on AUDIO!!!

Ok, I am done blogging...forever and ever.......It's been fun, but I have run out of things to talk about and my life is too boring to even create make believe things to, with love, I say, Goodbye!!

Just kidding, did you miss me?

Ok, but seriously, I am done blogging...for the night!

I wish you all peace and blessings,

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

If I Step on Toes, Then Move Them While I Sweep Please

Why is being a stay at home mom so bothersome to some?
Casey and I discussed in length when we got married about me being a stay at home mom and that when I was ready and the kids were in school full time I would go out and work. Well guess what...we had Kameo and plans shifted!!

That beautiful girl is my last baby and we have another year before she goes into school and I lose that precious time with her.Soon her days of cuddling with mom will be replaced with a teacher asking her to keep her hands to herself. While her and I have our morning routine of waking up, feeding the animals, and drinking our coffee (hers is apple juice) together, she will walking in a line with other classmates to get her morning breakfast (full of nasty sugars) and preparing to learn what her teacher has prepared for the day. I will lose beautiful hours with her.

The average kid in America attends 180 days of school a year for around 6.57 hours a day. If you do the math, that is around 2,340 days of school from kindergarten to graduation and that is right around 15,373.8 hours that teachers have with our children that we don't. Damn right I am going to stay home with baby as long as I am able to.

Right now, I am a stay at home mom. My days are filled with appointments for all types of things, paying bills with my HUSBANDS money AND  the money I was getting as a stipend from school. I am the primary parent, I am in charge of homework, chores, getting this kid there, that kid to that sports practice, this one to the Ortho, that one to a specialist, and the list goes on and on. I am also the  the one that is the referee, the bouncer, the comforter and the one kids come to for advice. I have earned the title mom because I do it day in and day out and with no sick pay and very little vacation. I have no guilt for choosing to stay at home and not work during this time of my life. I worked for most of my life before I got married, and I worked my ass off going to school for all those years, I have not lived a life without employment and I give up things that I "want" because I feel guilty spending Casey's money, but I worked, and I work today, just not for the man, instead I work for 3 little men, a big man and a little girl.

 I don't think people on the outside of a home looking in see the full picture of what a mother/father does all day if they are the stay at home parent. And frankly it isn't your place to be looking in my windows seeing what I am doing anyway. Judgment and opinions on what I should be doing have no value compared to what I am actually doing on a day to day basis for MY family.
Today, I was on the go non stop and forgot to even put food in my body until 5, and then on other days I may not leave my bedroom, but I can tell you what, I still get laundry folded and put away, the boys still get their chores done, dinner is made, and I can still manage to turn in a 10-15 page homework assignment, all while breaking up non-stop bickering between 4 strong willed and ferociously independent humans. The cliche of a mother sitting around eating Bon-bons, watching her soap operas all day is a bunch of bullshit and anyone one who would like to argue this point is welcome to come stay at my home for a week with all of my kids while I have a mini vaca!

For the next year I plan on spending my time (without having school in my way) working on the improvements on the house that I am capable of doing by myself. I am working on the bathroom right now, next is the boys rooms, and then the kitchen. I am working on designing the layout of my front yard and what I want done with it, and the beautiful garden that go in the back yard, and Kameo can help me with it. We will spend hours and hours playing in the dirt, getting potting soil under our pretty painted fingernails, and during her resting time I will read an actual book that is not a text book. I will set aside one day a week for a play date with a younger kiddo so that Kameo can learn patience (and mom gets her Jennifer time) and I will set another day a week with kiddos her own age where mom can get her social interaction with other stay at home moms. I will try new recipes, and learn how to make bread rise in my house. I will study how to can so that when my garden is ready for harvest I will be able to provide long lasting benefits for my family. I will crochet, and I will fix my sewing machine, I will paint, and I will pull weeds. I want to begin cross stitching obscene throw pillows (watch out, one of these may be your Christmas gifts). I want to figure out what to make for gifts this year and get a head start instead of waiting until the last minute. I want to spend more time with my mom and grandparents, so that means more coast trips and Myrtle Creek trips.

And none of this would be possible if I didn't 1) have the blessing of my husband to stay home, and 2) allowed peoples opinions to interject in my affairs and business.

For all of you stay at home parents, I commend you, and I appreciate you. I understand the struggles that you face and the feelings of feeling like some days you just fall short. But, and this is a big but, YOU are right where you are supposed to be, where YOU are needed and following the destined path the the universe has for YOU and YOUR FAMILY!! Hoo-Rah!!

P.S. I totally respect all of you working moms and dads too...this post is in no way shape or form made to downplay what you bring to your family as well. I love you all, I love all the parents that do what they need to do with their lives and their families to make it!!!

Peace and Blessings,

Friday, January 29, 2016

Depression, Loneliness and Stress...OH NO!!

I feel like the people don't talk enough about these taboo subjects, and when they do, it's in cryptic Vaguebook posts. Is it because it makes you feel uncomfortable to hear about others struggling or is it because you can relate and don't want to hear the common issues that plague your sleep too?

I have always struggled with depression, self loathing, and the dark feeling of being lonely. I remember as a kid feeling worthless and as though no one really liked me and yes, even thoughts of suicide. My first experience with a counselor was in grade school (I think it was 4th grade but I am not sure), and she was a "big-fat-liar-liar-pants-on-fire-tattle tale-snitch-bitch. She would talk to me, ask me questions, making me comfortable and safe with her,  have me draw pictures and she would promise me time and time again that everything that her and I talked about would stay between us. I believed her, I trusted her, I felt safe with her...and then.....several years later when I was helping my mother pack up our house to move to Oregon I came across some drawings. Those were MY drawings, the ones I had done years ago with the school counselor, how did my mother end up with them if this lady had PROMISED me that everything we had done and talked about was kept between us? I remember at that exact moment, the feeling of betrayal, the loss of trust in people, and  losing that feeling of safety. I have never truly felt safe since then.
(I know that she was probably required to tell my mother the things we had discussed)

Ever since I was young, kindergarten age, I felt like I had to try and be perfect, and in doing so, I only let myself down over and over again. If I couldn't be perfect, then maybe my surroundings could be,  and this is when I discovered that organization is next to godliness and that everything in existence has its place. My obsession with having cleanliness and organization was something that I took pride in, my closet was color coordinated, my drawers where organized, my room was vacuumed a couple times a day, everything had its own place and my clean and organized environment helped my brain not stress out.

 At the age of 17 I moved away from home to another state and I began dating my first real boyfriend  and meth came into the picture. Meth had a magical effect on me, it allowed me to forget that I was unhappy, it gave me the energy to get my life (or the area around me) organized and more importantly, I was able to find focus and my attention could center , allowing me to complete tasks. Whoa!!!

When I was with my ex, he made me feel "safe"...from other people, he protected me from other men, and he vowed to beat an ass that tried to do me any wrong. He wasn't afraid to be mean to the person trying to take advantage of me, or threaten me. I was safe from others, but I wasn't safe from him. I just wanted someone to make me feel safe and someone to trust, someone who would love me for who I was. I lived with my ex in a bedroom at his mothers house, and even though the room was the size of a walk in closet, it was impossible to keep it clean and organized with how much of a slob my boyfriend was. Messy makes me crazy and sad.

Over the next several years I felt my depression increase and I couldn't understand why the house couldn't be cleaned up while I was at work, instead I would come home to house filled with people playing video games and lounging around leaving their trash everywhere. What was the point in cleaning in when I would just have to do this all over again and I would have just gotten home from work exhausted. I started to give up on what made me happy and gave in to the chaos that my life had become. How hard is it to put things away, everything has its place, perhaps looking back now, I didn't have a place.

On top of depression I was lonely, and being with an abuser only increased this feeling. The isolation I was in was created to convince me that no one else wanted to be in my life and to make me feel like John was always there for me, I didn't have to feel like I was alone, he would always be there even if everyone else left me. Having feelings of loneliness and abandonment are dangerous when you out there looking for love and acceptance because abusers are predators and they seek out those who are willing to love anyone who will love them. I eventually became very calloused to people, I didn't need them and I certainly wasn't about to get close to people because I knew that it wouldn't be long before John would either scare them off or they would just get sick and tired of seeing my relationship and the ups and downs and the back and forth of it. I really couldn't blame them, but I found it easier to just not let myself get invested in anything close to my heart.
(any of you reading this that were around during that time can vouch I am sure)

The only people I have ever felt like would never turn on me or come to hate me, and just accept me for exactly who I am, was my brother and my Pop, and I love that about them. Those two humans are the only ones in my entire life who make me feel safe.

I lose friends on a regular basis, and usually over stupid things like lack of communication, other people talking shit about me, or just the universe leading them in another direction. I used to get soooo upset over this, I took it so personal, I would cry and cry, fall into a deep dark hole and I would constantly play the ending events in my head over and over again trying to see where I went wrong. There were even friend break ups where I was told that I was a horrible selfish person that should kill themselves and things of that nature. Then one night it happened.....I quit....I literally quit friendship expectations. I had an epiphany and self discovery lesson...I believe I am meant to be a match-maker. Not a match maker for relationships, but just to match human to human for their needs. The universe uses me to introduce this human to that one and then after a while the two matched humans go about their lives and leave my friendship train to make room for the next match. I used to feel jealousy, but now I feel peace and understanding about it.
I realized that people will come and go, they will jump on my friend train and then it;s their turn, they will jump off of it to make room for someone else that is supposed to bring a lesson into my life.  Every single person that comes into my life is meant to show/teach me something. I have no expectations of people staying in my life forever (if they do that's definitely a bonus, but it they don't its a great life lesson).

I think when someone doesn't feel safe, unable to trust people, and lonely, it begins to wear on them, It is a heavy burden to bear and it weighs you down in life, but when you have made those beautiful connections with someone or a couple of people its hard not to let down your guards and invest in them. But what happens when they leave? I am struggling with this right now.
I have so much happening in my life and so much that I need to talk about, to let out, and those that I have built this bond with are.....gone, busy, isolated, distracted. I don't feel like I have anyone, I feel alone and sad. There are days that I don't come out of my room. There are days that I just sit on my bed and cry, there are days that I miss the human interaction and I get angry, and then I get angry at myself for being so selfish, they have a right to go on and live their own lives, their's doesn't revolve around me.

My husband is so angry and resentful that we don't barely talk, and when we do it's usually him venting about everything that he hates about his life and how he is the only one that works and lets not get him started on politics. So, yeah...I don't really bring up what is bothering me because he doesn't understand and he thinks I should just get over it.

I feel like I am failing at this life (and I really didn't want to have to come back again to learn more lessons in the next one) and I can't climb my way out of it.  I am exhausted trying to make peace between my middle son and the rest of the kids. It is a daily battle and I feel like I am back living with my ex, always fighting to get things done.
I am one of those terrible, horrible, mean moms that gives my children chores so that one day when they move out and into their own place they'll know how to take care of themselves. Each one of the boys have a room as their chore. Hunter cleans the living room, sweeping, straightening, cleaning out from under the couch, cleaning off get where I am going, and he also does laundry and one day a week cleans his room. Caleb is supposed to wash dishes, clean off the counters, wipe everything down, and sweep the floor. He is also supposed to clean up dog poop in the garage. Lucas cleans the hallway and the bathroom, and one day a week cleans his room, and he is learning to do his laundry. Sounds easy enough right? I have even made them detailed lists of how to do it to my standards.

What I get on a daily basis is this....Hunter sweeps everything into a pile, and cleans that, forgets about the couch, and the surfaces, and he piles clean and dirty laundry together in baskets in the living room...which makes my blood boil...why does my family think that laundry belongs in the living room? I have bought laundry baskets for each kid...helloooooo?

Then I get to the kitchen, and when I go to pick a dish out of the dish drain, I get gross nasty, unclean dishes...which, again, my blood boils again. I put them back in the sink and explain that he needs to wash them better and learn how to properly wash dishes, and then the fight is on. He is stomping around, throwing a fit, and my kitchen stays looking like crap.

Lucas is sneaky and he will grab the broom looking as though he is going to do something, and then I will listen and hear the distinct sound of an Xbox being played...oh hell then I am the bad parent for taking away the system and then he ends up pouting in his room, and falling asleep, so the hallway and the bathroom are still dirty.
I just stay in my room so that I don't have to face the reality that my kids just don't get how crazy it makes my brain. I buy organizational tools to help out...NOPE. I just don't get it, and I can't deal with it, and the stubborn part of me refuses to go out and do their chore when they won't do it, so it really is a catch 22.

I am not even going to go into detail about the fights other than each has their role in them. Hunter is the peacekeeper and he tries to help Caleb NOT get into trouble by trying to tell him how to do things that way I would want, only, this has an adverse reaction, and Caleb takes it as Hunter telling him what to do and being the boss so he lashes out at Hunter and a fight then ensues. Caleb is constantly picking fights with everyone in the house and then when there is a consequence he is a victim, it wasn't his fault, he didn't do it, it was so and so's fault, and he will yell this from his room for hours and hours on end. He is starting to become aggressive and has been physical a couple of times. \
 Now we have Lucas, he has made it his life's mission to try and create a unified hatred towards Caleb. He insists in telling mom and dad everything that Caleb has or hasn't done whether it directly involves him or not.
Kameo has taken up the bad habits of the brothers and rolls her eyes at me, tries to walk away when I talking to her, screams and yells at her brothers when she doesn't get her way, and threatening to beat them up. No matter how on top of all of this I believe I am , I am reminded that I have no control. I was told by my friends 5 year old that I have a mean or angry family ( I cannot remember which word she used, I was so taken aback by her statement) and it made me shrink into a hole. I have failed as a parent, I have tried to teach my children to take responsibility for their actions, to be polite, explain to them that they will be brothers for life and they should learn to love each other, and to use words instead of becoming physical. I have begged and pleaded to please go a day without fighting for my sanity...I think I have lost my mind.

I am failing at school, I am going to drop out due to having run out of funding to finish the remaining classes of my bachelors degree. I think I am at peace with this because I am failing at a future goal. I only went back to school because I wanted my Bachelors so that I could go back and work with the kids in the jail as a counselor. I don't want to do that anymore. I changed my career goal to working with domestic abuse victims but I can't even save my own friend from a dangerous relationship she's in right now, so I feel like I am failing as a friend, and she helped me write my book....I feel like I am failing as an author as well, having only sold a couple of books since its republication. Oh man, so much failing...I am winning at whining though!! A+++ for that!!

I am only publicly whining so that I can kind of explain how things can start to snowball so quickly and get away from you and out of your control and this leads to feelings of failure and depression and then when you feel like you have no one to talk to it creates a loneliness.

So, let me ask you this...did this make you uncomfortable, did it make you roll your eyes because I am just feeling sorry for myself, did it make you want to stop reading it because it just didn't feel like it was worth reading about someone else's problems that look so easily fixable?
This is what prevents people from speaking out about their struggles, this is what people feel like what other people one wants to hear whats bothering me, no one wants to hear me whine, they'll think I am being ridiculous, they'll just come up with some "easy" solution, one that you have already thought of a million and a half times but they don't fully understand the whole picture. When they feel like they have no one to talk anymore they begin to isolate themselves.  Even people who are so wrapped up in dealing with things falling apart and are being whiny, they often think about others more and not troubling them with their problems, keeping everything in until they just can't take it anymore.


Thursday, January 7, 2016

The Day Karma Smacked Me in the Face (or the nostrils)

I really wanted to post this blog this morning, but I thought I might save you all from embarrassing yourselves as you would most likely read this and laugh at me so hard that your coffee would come squirting out your nostrils, thus causing you to have to change your clothes again before leaving for work. I chose this evening instead so that if you are like me, you are already in your comfy leggings and in for the really doesn't matter if you squirt liquid out of you nose when you are home now does it're welcome.

Ok, so before I tell you the funny story of how Karma and I danced last night, I need to take you back in time to where I first began my relationship with Karma.

If you live with an asshole that beats on you, and you know that at times you cannot physically win an altercation, you may choose to hold back your retaliation until the other person is weak or when they are sleeping! On nights where my hatred for my ex would get the best of me, I would often lay in wait until he was sleeping, and then fart and pull the covers over his head. He was completely oblivious of course and so really the revenge was celebrated alone, but I took such joy and excitement knowing that that asshole was breathing in shit particles and he had NO CLUE!!! In a way it was like my own chemical warfare. I always knew that my ornery behavior would some day catch up to me...I mean, forcing someone to breathe in your farts is kind of horrible...then again, so is beating on your girlfriend, I figured it was a way of balancing out the universe.

Present day:

I have always been a dreamer, I dream from the time I close my eyes until I open them in the mornings. Most of the time I enjoy them, and those that I don't care for are usually given to me to solve a life problem.  I am not sure about how other peoples dreams are, but my dreams are incredibly vivid and detailed, I can feel, touch, taste and smell in my dreams.

 Last night/this morning I am dreaming that I was out with a few mommy friends of mine and all of their offspring. At one point, one of children came running by me and I pointed out that I thought their kid smelled like a bucket of butt and needed their hiney changed. I also mentioned that I thought their poopy kid needed to lay off the broccoli because their diaper had a smell that I referred  to as the "rotten broccoli poops"..yeah, I have a tendency to be a jerk in my dreams sometimes ( I wonder why that is, I should do some soul searching for the answer to that)......anywaaaaaay

As the dream went on, I found myself at the zoo with the mom group and their kiddos.  I couldn't get the awful smell out of my nostrils and now I felt like I could actually taste it too, and I kept thinking to myself...did I forget to brush my teeth before this zoo outing, or maybe one of the animals just took a dump, either way it was potent to say the least.

So, I wake up to Casey throwing a  fit about the bathtub not draining, and I am yelling back at him that it isn't my fault because I don't lose hair anymore, not to mention I haven't bathed in a couple of days (now, before you judge.....I don't leave my house enough to worry about offending anyone with my odor).  We now have Casey yelling, I am yelling back, the kids are yelling at one another to get up and ready, and of course you have the morning fights over who's turn it is to use the throne.

I am still somewhat sleeping when I feel a familiar squirm under my covers. LulaBelle is stretching under my blanket. Lu and I have a routine, the alarm goes off, I wake up kids, Casey gets ready for work, the kids get ready for school, and I embrace Lu in a full on cuddle fest until I am fully awake and ready to begin my day. Lu roots around until I lift up the blanket, then she spins around and around until she finds a comfortable opportunity, which is usually her and I spooning with her head laying on Casey's pillow and completely covered over with my blanket.
Well, this morning was a little out of the ordinary routine as Casey and I were bickering, so when Lu stretched her overly exaggerated stretch reminding me that she needed her cuddle time, I rolled back over and grabbed her to cuddle....then it happened.....

I closed my eyes for a moment as I am still allowing my mind and body to wake fully for the day, and then I hear it.....the very distinct sound of air as it is escaping from a rear end.....and it was right next to my FACE!!! As if realizing that my dog was backwards and she had just farted in my face wasn't enough of a rude awakening, I also immediately recognized the smell....and....the...taste....of broccoli!!

My dog had been farting while I was dreaming and I was breathing in (and apparently eating) her poop particles and subconsciously blaming it on my friends kids in my dream.

I usually try and spend some time analyzing what my dreams represent, are there any lessons to be learned from it, any wisdom that can be taken from the dream? Well, this morning I feel like Karma figured it was a perfect time for a little payback for all the times I forced my ex to breathe in my toxic fart fumes without his knowledge or consent (not that anyone would consent to breathing in a fart), and the wisdom or the lesson I took away from this experience is...

1) Revenge is not always necessary (even if it is funny as hell at the time)
2) Karma doesn't have a time limit
3) I should have more tact when I am telling my friend that their kid crapped their pants in my dreams
4) I should make a conscious effort to not lose my temper in the mornings just because Casey does
5) I should sleep with my mouth closed &
6) ALWAYS  check to see what end of LulaBelle I am cuddling with!!

So there you have it.....I haven't blogged in days and when I finally do, the whole blog is about farting....I really have no life or life experiences to talk about right now...which I guess could be a good thing. I have nothing to whine about, nothing is bothering me too terribly bad, and life is smooth sailing at the fart blogs it is!!

Hopefully I will have a more interesting blog post next time....

Peace and blessings to you all,

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Mother vs Mother or, Mother Supports Mother

Oh no, I feel like this post may offend at least one reader, but I know in my heart that I need to get it out of my head .

How many of you are competitive, or feel the need to one up others? I lack that feeling of trying to out do people, but I realized the other day that I offer up advice too much, I offer experience that was MINE and every one's  experiences are different. Sometimes I even find myself apologizing to the individual because once I reflect on what I have said, I feel like a total jerk for coming across as pushy or aggressive or a know it all, all the while at the moment my intentions were pure.

I remember as a child having friends in the group that were always trying to out do or one up everyone else. I have a child exactly like this...(reason behind this particular blog)

All in 1 day........

Hunter : " (Excitedly telling his youngest brother) I got to whatever level on whatever game in however many minutes!"

Bubby: " I can get to whatever higher level on this better game in half the time!"

Couple of hours later.....

Ukie: " I am learning how to throw the football pretty far now!"

Bubby: " I am better at football than you, and my football is better than yours."

This is an every day behavior to puff himself up, make himself look better and be better than others. He's always been like this.

In a group dynamic you are going to find 3 typical types of people...

1) What I like to call the "Initiator" or"Seeker"
This is the person who will initiate the conversation within the group, seek information or advice.

2) What I like to call the "Know it all" or "Advice columnist" or "The Experienced One"
This is the person who is the first to offer their wisdom, first hand experience, or the person that feels the need to be at the top of the groups social pyramid.

3) What I like to call the "Compliant One" or "Following the Leader"
This is the person that just agrees with the leader, or likes things only because others in the group do, even if secretly they really don't like whatever it is.

I was very much a number 3 person in my younger years...You can stop laughing now, I know, it's hard to believe that I would just agree with people and keep my opinions to myself, but it's the truth.
I wanted to be liked and belong so badly that I found myself a sheep following the rest of the herd who was chasing after their Shepherd. It never dawned on me at that time that I would have true, real, mature friendships if I only stated what my true thoughts were.

As I get older, and as I watch my children grow, I see characteristics in my children that I saw in my childhood groups. I have always taught my children that having their own opinion is important to being true to who you are...and let me tell you...this mentality has become a hostile issue. I have 4 children who aren't afraid to state their opinions and who aren't afraid to fight for their cause...even though 3 of them are probably incorrect at the moment.
As a child and teenager I was a follower, I was headstrong and stubborn in my own world at home, but in the social scene, being liked and accepted was more important than being independent. I had just begun to find my backbone, and my independent thinking abilities when I met John, then I became a docile and obedient girlfriend. It didn't take very long before  I was nothing but a shell of a human, no emotions, no opinions, no voice and eventually I found myself unable to feel ...anything.

I was given advice from other women on how to "just leave" and the experienced ones would try and help me as much as they could, but in a frustrating time in life, sometimes advice and others experiences (though valid and ultimately helpful) can seem overwhelming and unattainable. You get in a mindset that you'll be able to figure this or that out on your own, and though you appreciate all that others are doing for you, it can sometimes just be too much.

Since our lives have become so social through Internet connections I notice, as I am sure you all do as well, that it doesn't take but a spark to ignite an entire fiery explosion when it comes to opinions. What happens though is that we have somehow forgotten that others are ALLOWED to have opposing opinions and they should without judgement. If everyone thought the same way..well, then you would all be juicing, dread locked, non shaving hippies...or something along those lines.

What makes me sad though is that these opinions bring such separation among the troops, and I see mother against mother, and shame throwing like it's the super bowl. Vaccinate/ don't vaccinate, circumcise/don't circumcise, hospital births /home births, vaginal deliveries/planned c-sections, home school/public school, spank/don't spank. Tell me this, when did judging and shaming become our responsibility? When did acceptance of other people rights and opinions die?

As the years come and go I find my soul becoming more and more sensitive. It is a strange feeling for me because allowing myself to feel emotions let alone show them usually was followed by punishment and ending in a fight. I remember when a friend of mine died in 2003, I felt so sad, but I was at work when I read the paper so I tried my hardest to hold my emotions back until I could get home. I hitch hiked home, walked in my apartment door and the tears began to flow, I couldn't control them any longer. John was furious that I was crying over some guy that I hadn't seen in years, and accused me of loving him, and blah blah blah. Crying was a weakness that John preyed on so learning how to bury them was a survival technique.

Geez...that went off track for a moment. SENSITIVE..that is what I was getting to.  I am incredibly sensitive now, and I have feelings that get hurt easily and often times for no other reason than I am open to energies that allow me to empathize and sympathize now.
I feel judged quite a bit. I see the disgusted stares by older people when they see my
 dreadlocks..I am sure they assume that I don't bathe or wash my hair because that is a stereotype. I wish that they could understand that the pain that I live with , the nerve damage that I have in my arms, prohibit me from being able to brush my own hair. Before I dreaded my hair I was having to try and teach my teenager how to properly brush someones hair or I had to rely on Casey to do it. Dreading my hair also gave me a self love that I have never experienced before. It opened up a door for me to walk through into self acceptance. I love my dreadlocks, and sorry, I have no future plans of ever taking them out.

I have felt judgement because I've seen the looks I would get when I would put my young toddler in a booster seat instead of a full car seat.  15 years ago I was taught by a police officer that the shoulder strap holes need to be above the shoulders and as they grow taller and when their shoulders are above those holes, that is a sign that you need to upgrade to the next size car seat, so that is the rule of thumb that I have always gone by for 15 years and 4 kids. The car seat movement is very new, and I am old. While I appreciate all of your dedication to your car seat safety concerns, my 50+ pound 4 year old was safe and now that she is 5, I feel she is even safer. I do appreciate all of you car seat ladies though so please do not let this blog post piss you off too much.

Breast feeding mommies....I love you, I appreciate you and I am sorry if you have every felt like I pressure you or anything. I know that some of you are on your last babies, and I just want to help you succeed.  I pumped like a mad woman with my first much so that I would pump 6 full bottles in the 15 minute scheduled pumping time. I remember crying as I was laying in recovery after my c-section because the nurse came in and had me pump and I only got an ounce out of each side and I was convinced then and there that I would starve my poor preemie baby to death. The nurse laughed in amazement (as I cried in fear and frustration) and informed me that she had NEVER seen any mother pump 2 ounces of colostrum the first time pumping. So for me, breast milk has never been an issue, but my heart hurts for you mommies that struggle getting you milk supply up, I instinctively want to give you the same HELPFUL advice that I was given with my baby because I remember so vividly feeling like my amount was insufficient (even if it wasn't, I still felt that feeling). I am sorry if you ever have felt attacked or invaded by me or my advice. I was dedicated to breastfeeding my youngest, I had made that promise to her and myself when she was still in the womb, and then when she was born, that wonderful and euphoric fantasy became a painful and frustrating reality. I wish that I had her checked for tongue tie because I feel her latch would not have been so painful, but, I didn't and I would be lying if I said that I was a pro. I cried every feeding for the first 8 weeks, and then from there my toes would curl from the pain and anxiety of knowing that her initial latch would be so excruciating. It would only hurt for a second or two and then she would be fine....I am not even going to talk about teething and biting, that would be another blog post.
Anyway, I just don't understand the guilt....I know it is there, and I know many women who have it, but why??? Is it a societal guilt? Is it a peer guilt from the other mothers? Is it a guilt stemmed from feeling like you failed? STOP allowing guilt to creep in...If you gave it every try and attempt, you SUCCEEDED!!!

Oh and lets talk LICE for a second (no, no one here at my house has it...but...) I remember the first time I had to deal with lice as a parent, it was terrible. For some reason when a kid gets lice, it is an automatic assumption that its because they are dirty or their living environment is filthy...quite the opposite...lice prefer clean hair because it is easier to attach their eggs to. Because society thinks of lice as gross, disgusting, and a "dirty" epidemic, it creates an embarrassment for the mother (and probably the fathers too, but I am speaking from personal experience.). Used to be that when a head check was done at school, the kid was then sent home....

Classmates: " Where is Tommy, he was here before lunch?"
                     " He got sent home because he has bugs"
                     " Ewwww, gross"

Great, now Tommy has a stigma and Joey's mom won't let him invite Tommy over for sleepovers again.
OK, so.....where is the Mom, Super Action Team showing up at Tommy's house to help his already stressed out, frazzled and embarrassed mom treat the house?
The first time we had to deal with it, I was so embarrassed and I had ABSOLUTELY NO CLUE how to treat this problem. I shampooed everyone's head, I washed their bedding, and a week later, did the same routine. I was too embarrassed to ask for help or advice and it was from fear of being judged.
And while we are on the topic of head lice...I just want to express my disgust at how expensive it is to treat something that is a yearly epidemic?? I mean, come on....
I have 6 people in my house, and while I used to be able to just shave the boys heads, they are teenagers now and their hair is important to them, and I am not about to shave my daughters hair..yeah that's out of fear of her dad freaking out on me.
OK, so 6 people, if you get the whole kit, your looking at about $20. You will have to buy 2 since you'll have to do it all over again in 7 days. so $40....BUT...there isn't shampoo to cover everyone (especially if they have thick hair like my family) so you'll have to buy 2 extra bottle each time and the cheapest that I have found them is about $7, so that is another $14. EXPENSIVE.
I believe if one of the major shampoo companies (lets say Suave just as an example) would start making, and selling family size lice shampoo bottles for the same price as their normal family size bottles, then you could actually treat your whole family for $6. And not mention, having the bottles right on the shampoo isle instead of on another isle where it's noticeable, then it would be less obvious that you're dealing with lice.
To prevent, i have come up with the best cure-all. I buy a family size bottle of shampoo (Treseme ...sp?) for around $6, I pour about a third of it into an extra bottle that I keep around. I then buy lice killing shampoo for about $7, (I prefer the non pesticide, natural type) and pour the entire bottle of that into the shampoo bottle, and then I pour a good amount of Tea Tree oil in (bought a bottle for $6) and shake the crap out of that bottle. Since my kids are on an every other day cycle for bathing, they wash their hair with the shampoo every other day. I have instructed them to put the shampoo on as soon as they get in and allow it to sit for just a few minutes and then rinse it out. We are lice free and preventive (and I am pretty creative, but, you all knew that already.)
I will admit though that when I am in Wal-Mart and I am buying the Lice shampoo, I am embarrassed to be seen buying it. Thoughts run through my head like "Oh look, that girl with the dreadlocks has lice", things along that line.

I am guilty of judging people, we all do it, but I try and make a conscious effort to try and save the judgments until I know the person and they give me a reason to judge. LOL , I was telling Hunter about what the post was going to be about and then I looked at him and said..."Uhhh, I am being judgy by posting about others judging others.....I'm a judger judging judges who judge". Yes I know I just made those words up, but they are fun to say.

I am a sensitive soul who is no stranger to feeling judge.....I feel judged for my weight, my kids, having so many kids, my house, feeling like I am messy and dirty, for having dreadlocks, for not dressing nicer, for having been a spanker of children, for having previously been a vaccinating parent, and now, not being a vaccinating parent, for having a rude son, for being too hard of a parent, for not attending every fight with a kid, for staying on top of their behavior, for freely offering my uninvited opinions, for being lazy, for being gone all the time, for hiding in my room for days, for not working,  you name it, I have felt the judgement over it, and it is a terrible feeling. It creates a feeling of unworthiness, of failure, shame, embarrassment, and even depression and isolation.

How about being judged off of the word of others who dislike you? I had many people think that I was a terrible, absent, meth head mother who cared more about getting high than seeing my kids, when in reality, John was playing the "great dad" card. I was told what days to come visit and what times were best, and it was always when his girlfriends weren't home, this gave him room to convince them that I never came to see my kids when he had them. I was looked at like I was garbage and a horrible mother, and in the meantime I was working my ass off going through treatment, securing employment, working through bumps in a relationship, finding safe shelter, and preparing a safe and healthy life to bring my kids home to.

I have a difficult time when it comes to memes on Facebook, especially ones that present addicts in a stereotypical or less than human way.Today there is one going around with a man showing that he has no teeth in his mouth and his hand is messed up. I read the meme and it angered me right off the bat. There are a million different scenario;s that could be behind this picture...sad! I know that it is so easy for people to make fun of the meth addicts with no teeth, or laughing at them on a video as you follow them around a store recording them (which is just really an a-hole move), but coming from a woman who fights addiction every single day of her life, it's not funny to me. Passing judgement on these humans, it is sad, and calloused and it all boils down to the fact that this person made a different choice in life and that addiction is not the person, addiction is the sickness that they struggle with daily. Here is the thing non addicts (which lets face it...every one on the planet has an addiction to something) don't really understand about the average addict....most addicts already hate who they have become, they are already ashamed of how far they have fallen, and most addicts are disgusted at who they see in the mirror, the last thing they need is for people to make fun of their self destruction. For those of you with christian beliefs, this is where the verse "Love the sinner, hate the sin" comes in to play.
I was a meth addict for a very long time, I never stole from others, I never ripped people off, and I may not have lost my teeth or had pick marks on my face, and tob the outside world I looked pretty "normal", but I was every bit as much of an addict as those people in the memes.  I can promise you that when you judge those who already are their worst judges, you are just as much a part of the drug problem as they are if not worse. Instead of judgement, offer a listening'd be surprised to hear some of the heartbreaking stories that lead them to their addictions. Instead of judgement, offer comfort and empathy, they are after all still human and have feelings. Instead of judgement, offer kindness and humanity, ask them if there is anything that you could help them with, even a kind gesture of hygiene products can make a world of difference.and make them feel cared about. Instead of judging an addiction that you know knowing about first hand, offer to be educated about it so that you can try and get an understanding. No sin is worse than another, no ones addiction is worse than another, but, everyone's story offers forks in the road, and some just chose a different path.

As mothers, we ALL have the same end goal, to raise healthy, happy, responsible, and functional adults. We need to begin to defy the societal stigma and support instead of separate, unite instead of divide. If you do not agree on the topic at hand, it's alright to still support that other mother in her loving decision. If you choose to vaccinate, and someone else chooses not to, did you make your choice from love and concern for the well being of YOUR child? I can guarantee that the other mother did as well. As parents we make choices and decisions based on what we know, what we are told, and what is expected of us, and now, with the technology that we have, we are also able to make our choices based on our own research. I could care less what your choices in your life are because it is YOUR life and I support your choices for your children because they are YOUR children, I love you for loving your babies, that's what matters the most to me.

Whew, that was a long one, sorry about feels good getting it out of my head though because its been rolling around in there for the last two nights preventing me from getting good sleep....
I hope none of you took anything I said in here on the offensive side, it genuinely is just my opinion on things.

I love all you wonderfully amazing humans and I hope your day rocks...
Peace and Blessing to you all!!!


Tuesday, December 29, 2015

About the Author

It is that time of year again, one holiday stacked on top of the next, busy dressing up and eating obscene amounts of your kids candy, then comes the turkey dinners and the "thank you's" only to be, what feels like, Christmas the next day,'s an entirely new year before we know it.
This year for Christmas the kids and I made gifts. I chose a relatively inexpensive idea and personalized them each individually to bring more sentimental value to them. I really wanted our friends and family members to be able to use the gifts (making them of even more value).
Here's what happens though when you MAKE gifts.....your entire life is dedicated to finishing them before the big day and then you look back and realize that you have done NOTHING more with your life other than play with photo paper, tiles, a wood burning kit and Mod Podge. Have you found time to blog during all of this crafty you had time to socialize with you had time to should fix that last problem today before I get any worse smelling.
The original plan I had was to transfer pictures to wood and create wood coasters...this idea looks so much easier when someone else is doing it. Even if you do EXACTLY what they are doing in the video...I am now a Pinterest fail. After blood, sweat, tears, and some small splinters later, I opted to go with Mod Podging pictures to, and virtually impossible to screw up.
I waited for pay day, went to Heartwood (its like goodwill but with home remodeling items). i bought $7 dollars worth of tiles (approx 70 tiles), soldiered my way though Walmart to buy  Mod-Podge, stopped at Bi-mart for matte photo paper and ink, and away I went. This was going to be soooo easy and cute!!!
 Some of you may know this already, but fore those of you who don't , my husband is the ULTIMATE handyman. If I were deserted in an island and able to take 2 things, I would take him so he could build me a house out of coconuts and "The Clan of the Cave Bear" ...well..that one's the best book ever written.
Casey pondered my picture to wood idea and during our trial phases of trying to figure out just what exactly our plan was, Casey jumped on board and started whipping out these adorable little boxes for the coasters.
Casey built the boxes, the kids sanded them, Hunter and I burned the first letter of the persons last name on the front, I found pictures on every ones Facebook accounts, created collages, printed and Mod-Podged them to tiles. Hunter then took the tiles and sanded them around the edges creating a cleaner look. We sprayed them with toxic fumes in hopes of water proofing them, There were a few up's and down's, a couple mishaps, but when it was all said and done, I think the gifts were a success. If you are a recipient and have some that you would like to share on Facebook..go right ahead and share away.
( I asked if they would refrain from fb sharing until after my last Christmas gathering since everyone was getting virtually the same thing)

OK, on to the actual blog subject.....

I have taken this little bit of free time that I have from school and crafts and started revising my book to get it back out on the shelves for sale.
I spent an entire day changing names, stating my legal jargon about how all the names have been changed, added a couple more inspirational quotes, shorten this and extended that. My book is about 15 pages lighter than when I began, this is good news for my buyers since it makes it a little cheaper than before.
I have gone through the reviewing process, the proof reading process, creating a new cover process...and this is where I run into my conundrum. I am literally on the very last thing on the checklist that needs to be done and I am suffering from writers block...ok, maybe not block..writers confusion, writers frustration, call it what you will, I am stuck...or was stuck...or, might still be stuck..not sure which at the moment as I chose to blog before returning to my delima.
I know there are a few of you friends of mine who are actual published authors, how the heck did you write your "about the author" part?
I sit down and I stare at the little text box where I am supposed to write something about myself, instead I find my words veering away from details about me and leaning towards what I have done, what I have gone through, what the entire damn book is about.
I then highlight and delete and start over again, only to do this same thing over and over again, as if writing anything good about myself is a sub-conscience taboo.
By the time I forced myself to close my laptop down for the evening, I had seriously considered the following descriptions to put on the back of my book...

1) V.A. Shepherd is a Goddamned Honey Badger
2) V.A. Shepherd lives somewhere with some people in that one state and she likes animals.
3) V. A. Shepherd wrote this book in hopes that people will actually buy it.
4) V. A. Shepherd I'd tell you but then I'd have to kill you.
5) V.A. Shepherd is funnier than her husband gives her credit for

After some wise motherly/grandmotherly advice, I took my Que and shut my laptop down .

Do you have any idea just how difficult it is to 1) say good things about yourself without going into detail about what brought you there (that might give away details in the book...does she die?, does she finally escape and make something of herself? Guess you'll have to buy the book to find out)..because I am not going to tell you the ending in the "about the author" section!!
2) It is also really hard to type about yourself in the 3rd person. It was soooo much easier to write the book because I felt like I was just telling my story to a friend sitting at at table with me...but it gets awkward when the conversation changes to "Amber Shepherd is this and she has done that and she lives here with ....., and she is now educated and she likes pigs that wear little sweaters"

If I were a teacher, and you were my students, I would assign you this......(and by all means, feel free to actually create a bio and post it on here or on my fb link...I'm curious, oh and if I happen to steal it from you, I'll make sure you get credit in the book)-

Open up a word document (unlimited words) and write your own Author Bio. Now, keep in mind, this is NOT where you add in any details of your book, no descriptions or even revealing too much about your journey as to give the reader no reason to even open your book.

First twelve times I found myself just discussing how I ended up with a story in the first place, then  I discussed my educational success but that was too long and detailed about everything I did while in college. Next I discussed Amber's achievements, but that just added more length as well.

I have not  yet opened up my task for today, I had this blog on my mind literally ALL night. I actually have another blog for this evening.
OK, speaking of blogging......I have been really struggling with blogging lately, and maybe it's because my life is so boring, maybe it's because I have less to whine or complain about, maybe even that I have a fear of being judged for things I write publicly...I am not sure exactly what it is, but I feel a strong desire to write, but I can't seem to find great topics to, I am reaching out to you for ideas, topics, suggestions, anything really. I feel if I continue writing on a regular basis that I will once again find my groove and be able to run with it.

Well readers, this is where we part ways for the day...I have a book to get back out to the public, and I am sure you have a life.

Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to read the blog...I adore you!!

Peace and blessings to you all!!


Monday, December 14, 2015

1 Year, 1 Month, 17 Days (Give or Take)

As some of you may already know, my house and I have a love hate relationship, I hate it and it is constantly giving me more reasons why I should love to hate it even more. Don't get me wrong, I appreciate the shelter that it provides for my family, but as far as loving my house, I am trying.
A couple of months ago the universe opened my eyes to what needs to be done before I can leave here and begin a new journey, I need to grow to love my house, make an effort to make it feel like a home so that the next family to move in here will be left with remnants of happiness and love. When I moved in here, there was such a heavy feeling of loss and unhappiness, and once I knew the reason behind why the seller was letting this house go, I understood more clearly why this house had such a dark essence. This house had been a home for a man and his wife, and children for 16 years, but during those years, there was adultery, accusations, loneliness, anger and divorce. Darkness such as this has a tendency to leave a residue in the house, and I am sensitive to energy, so living here hasn't been a pleasant experience to say the least.
Several months ago, a member of my Mom's Club was considering listing her home and shared that she created a list of everything that needed to be fixed before they could put their house on the market....BRILLIANT!!!!
One morning while all the boys were at school and Kameo was busy with My Little Pony, I sat down and created a list (several actually) of everything that needed fixed, replaced, redone, or just done. I made a list room by room, from ceiling to floor, I also included the back and front yards and what I think would be appealing to a young mother and father looking to buy their first home in a quiet little neighborhood.
When I was pregnant with Kameo, I went through a mental breakdown and made my husband paint two of my living room walls, poop brown. I wish I could say that my sanity snapped back and I immediately went out and bought some paint to cover up the dark poop brown walls...ummm...not the case, as a matter of fact, after my insane pregnant brain birthed those wall colors, I went straight into midlife crisis mode and painted my bathroom black, white and menstrual blood red. Technically the red is called "Red Dahlia", and it is a GORGEOUS color...perhaps not in a bathroom, but when I am sitting there, on my throne, I feel happiness while staring at that magnificent red. I painted one whole wall red, all the shelving black and another wall white. I of course realized (as I usually do) that I really dislike painting. I am always so eager to paint, and then as soon as I roll on that first roll, it hits me...Amber, you hate painting, what were you thinking....Of course I have to keep going because the bathroom would just look ridiculous with one roll of menstrual blood red on it. So here we are, however many months later, I still need to finish painting the red, the black needs to be painted to the corners, and now I am trying to decide what kind of flooring is going to match this? I plan on accenting the bathroom with damask, damask canvas totes for the shelving, damask covered towel hangers, you know...accenting it makes it look less like a midlife mistake right?
Flooring, this is the meat and potatoes behind this blog post actually.....mmm, meat and taters sound really yummy right now!...Back on track Amber, geez!!
After talking to my friend (who happens to be the best insurance agent around!!!!) she lead me to check out Allure flooring. The flooring that I have in my house right now is one of my biggest sources of depression, and embarrassment, and why I never invite people to come to my house. No matter how clean the house is, this floor makes it feel like it is never clean enough. The gentleman who owned the house before us got a "great deal" on some parkay flooring......there was a reason obviously...this stuff is hideous, I would have given it away for free. Now, as if the wood flooring wasn't bad enough, he went and bought MARBLE GREEN tile and laid that in the KITCHEN and the entrance way into my house....what was he thinking????

1) I can't think of an appropriate room where this marble green tile would look decent
2) If you have marble floors in your kitchen, you should never own dishes that aren't plastic....never buy any glass kitchen ware for me, I promise you, it WILL get broken.
3) We live in OREGON, and when you put marble tile in an entrance way to a house, you will eat shit. You will be standing one minute and staring up at my ceiling the next.
4) You cannot find a good color to paint the walls with green accents would make it feel like Christmas all year, so off white it is.

Back to the reason for the post....I found FLOORING for LESS than $1 a square foot!!!!! I wish I could relay to you just how excited I was and how my entire outlook on this house changed the moment I realized that new flooring could be done. I live with Mr. Negative , and for all these years he talked about how expensive new flooring would be, and I would watch him nail back down a parkay tile with a red hot resentment. I have thought that new flooring in this house was  unattainable and I felt defeated. Then, to have someone tell me about this Allure flooring, and then to shop around and find it for  .84 cents a square foot...I about piddled myself with joy.

With some of our tax return I am going to get enough flooring to cover my entire house, and I think one of the first things I do is host a coffee date, I might even invite my brother and sister in law to come over for dinner..who knows, the sky is the limit.

In 1 year, 1 month and 17 days I will have lived in this house for 10 years. 10 years!!!! I have never lived in another house nearly that long. The Husband and I originally had a 10 year plan to live here and then hopefully have enough equity built up to turn around and sell....well, we won't have the equity, but we will have been here long enough to realize that we don't want to live here any longer than we have to. I have 1 year, 1 month and 17 days to make improvements, replace, redone, or done and then we will be listing our house for sale. We bought this place at the peak of the real estate market and paid waaaaaaaay to much for it, so we will never get anything out of the sale. I have been told that the market climbs back up about every 10 years, and that will be perfect timing for us to sell.
I have to make improvements to this house with love and care, so that the universe will be able to release me from it. I need to love this house so that someone else can see the love that has been put in to it, I need to love this house because it deserves to be loved and taken care of.

Life lessons suck and sometimes they hurt, and sometimes they make you cry because your floor never feels clean enough.

Thank you for sitting there and reading this ridiculous post and wasting your time...I appreciate it more than you know!!

I hope you are all cozy and warm, and know you are loved!
Peace and Blessings,