Happy Stuff


I'm the kind of person who tries very hard to focus on the positive. It's not always easy, but I still try. That's why my blog may seem to be mostly about the good things in my life; because that's what I choose to focus on. Sometimes there's a bunch of crap going on, but I'm not throwing it all out there because that's not how I choose to live my life. I push the negative to the back burner, and find SOME kind of happy to focus on!

But right now I have to say that there is just so much happy in my life. In fact the only real UN-happy thing going on, is the whole situation with Andrew & his BM. But I am handling that as well as I can by knowing that we're doing absolutely everything in our power to protect him.

But the happy stuff - so much happy stuff! Big things, little things, all sorts of things.

Summer is almost here, which means a more relaxed schedule, more time at the beach or the springs, less stress and homework and all that junk!

My son is graduating, and as emotional as that makes me, it also makes me very happy. I am so proud of him.

OH! I finally got a cupcake, and what a cupcake it was. Friday night we had our church Ladies' Group meeting, and the host made Boston Cream cupcakes with chocolate ganache frosting. I have no words. OK maybe a few. Amazing. Incredible. DELICIOUS!!!

When I left my job at the hospital last year, I felt very strongly that I was being led to go into the home health care field. I had wanted to do that for a long time, and felt like it was time. But over the last few months as things have fizzled out, I wondered if maybe I was wrong. Maybe this wasn't what I was supposed to do. Maybe I just needed to have this time with my family (I still think that was part of it). Was I being led in a different direction? And then, this opportunity grabbed me, and now, here I am (literally) doing my first home health care job! Everything fell into place and I am so pleased. They even encouraged me to bring my laptop and spend time on the computer while my client is sleeping! HELLO, can you say perfect job for a blogger? Sweet!

There are blackberry bushes EVERYWHERE at our place, and they're starting to get ripe. I can't wait to start making cobblers!

Lots of good things are going on, and coming up, in our lives. Sometimes it seems like things are just falling into place. Like the puzzle is coming together to make a beautiful picture. And that makes me happy!

Visit Mamarazzi for more Happy Lists!


Sweet News, Cupcake!

I've been watching too many Cupcake/Cake shows. I am CRAVING cupcakes! Nom nom nom. So today, you get a (graphically) cupcake-themed Friday Fragment post.

Mommy's Idea

Today (Thursday) was my oldest son's last 'real' day of high school. Tomorrow he has a field trip, and then he's done. Forever. I know it's so cliche, but WHERE did the time go?
The other kids still have a few days left, only the seniors are done already.

My Littles went on a field trip today. They went to the YMCA pool and had a blast!

I posted this on my Facebook wall yesterday:

Cyndy Helpful Advice: Never bring a popsicle as an afterschool treat for your kids, then stick them in the pocket of your car door and forget to give them to your kids. The end result is pretty messy.

Okay, I can't stand it any more, I have to share my GREAT news! I got a new job today!! I will be taking care of an elderly woman in her home. The position was posted on Craigslist. I emailed my resume, she called the next day, I interviewed today, and was hired on the spot! They loved me and think I'll be the perfect fit. Two big things got me in the door: an excellent reference from a former employer, and the fact that in the personal area of my resume, I mentioned my love for & work with animals. This family has at least 5 dogs (I lost count) and the fact that I am totally at ease with that made them very happy. In fact as soon as I walked in and started playing with them instead of being overwhelmed by them, the (college-aged) granddaughter said "Now that's what I call a perfect match!" For right now, I'll be doing one set 12 hour shift and then filling in PRN, which is so perfect for me right now. FINALLY I will be working in my ultimate field of choice, doing something about which I am so passionate. It just feels like everything fell right into place! I am super-excited.

Have I told you lately how much I love you? I have some of the most loyal, supportive, fantabulous blog friends on the whole wide interwebz! This is how much I love you:

I can't help but post this song today, it's running through my mind all the time lately.

Don't forget to visit Mrs 4444 for more Friday Fragments!


Not My Mother's Daughter

When I opened up my email and read Mama Kat's Writing Prompts for this week, there was no doubt in my mind that I'd be participating. Prompt Number 2 jumped right out and stuck its tongue out at me. In fact, I think Mama Kat has been wandering around in my brain recently and stumbled upon that prompt, because it's been floating around there for quite some time now. I just haven't been able to make myself sit down and write it. But Mama Kat pulled it out, sat me down, and told me to get crackalacking.

So here I go.

2.) Not your mother's daughter...how do you parent differently than your mother did? Is it a good thing or a bad thing?

I love my parents. My relationship with them is complicated. But I love them, and I know they love me. And as I have become a parent, and grown as a parent, I have experienced many different feelings towards their parenting. For the most part, I have made my peace with it and accepted that everything they did, they did the best way they knew how, and they did it out of love. They truly did want the best for their kids.

But their methods weren't always the best. And the one that I think impacted me the most, the one that I was so determined to do differently with my kids, is about communication.

{I don't mean not yelling. Puh-lease! They only listen when I yell!}
No, it goes a lot deeper than that.

When I was a teenager, I couldn't talk to my parents about anything. I deeply felt the generation gap. They just weren't the type of parents that sat down with me after school and listened to me talk about my day. My mom knew who some of my friends were, but not who was dating who or which friend was mad at the other one. But more than that, I couldn't come to them with the big things. When I was scared, worried, or heartbroken, talking to my parents was the last thing I thought of doing. They expected me to do exactly what they wanted me to do without question, and if I didn't, they flipped out. My teenage years were full of secrets and lies. They were so strict and kept me on such a tight leash, that I sometimes lied about where I was going, because I knew they wouldn't let me otherwise. Not even when it was a reasonable request and of course, all of my other friends' parents let them do it.

This inability to confide in my parents, this lack of communication, did more than strain our relationship, though. It caused me tremendous pain, and nearly cost me my life. There were several times when, as a teenager, I found myself in difficult situations. Nothing that many other teens haven't experienced in the past, and will experience for the rest of time. But I could not talk to my parents about these things. I simply, absolutely, could not. And several times, I felt like my only options were to run away from home, or to kill myself. This was not the dramatic rantings of a hormonal teenager; this was the absolute terror of a teenager who felt like she had no way out of an impossible situation.

In the end, I was able to keep my secrets. There are so many things that happened to me that my parents know nothing about, and probably never will. It was hard to go through, but one thing came out of that experience: I vowed to never let that happen with my own children.

I feel like, if my kids ever feel the way I felt, it would be one of the worst parenting failures for me. I want to be the one they come to. Even though they know there will be consequences. Even though they know I may be upset. But they need to know I am there for them. My love is unconditional. I will support them and accept them. I will stand by them. I hope, and I pray, that they never, ever feel backed into a corner with no way out, they way I did. It's very hard to find a balance; I don't believe in being overly permissive. I want to keep them safe. I don't want to be their friend. It's not about being 'the cool mom'. It goes so much deeper than that.

So far, my kids are very open with me. I know they don't tell me everything, and I don't expect them to. I just want them to know that they CAN come to me, without fear of overreaction or judgement.

Do I always go about this the right way? Probably not. I don't have to tell you that parenting is tough and there is no instruction book. I have made mistakes in the past and I will make plenty more in the future. But I go about it with nothing but pure love for my children, and the deep desire for them to know that they can talk to me, especially about the important things. And the need for them to know that I will always have their back.

And that's a good thing.

~Visit Mama Kat for more Writer's Workshop Posts~


Oh, Deer!

I just mentioned yesterday about all of the wildlife that hangs around our home. We are animal lovers, and we are so enjoying this. Today was the best of all, though.

While we were eating dinner, the dog started barking and running down the driveway (which leads to a large field). Elayna looked out the window and saw that the dog was barking at a big doe. The doe was jumping around, and at one point she ran away, came back, and then ran away again. About half an hour later, we had to leave, and when we got down to the end of the driveway, I saw something in the grass......

.....it was this baby deer!

It let me get close enough to take this picture with my cell phone, but then when I tried to touch it to see if it was okay, it jumped up and ran away, bleating at me the entire time! I am thinking that the doe was this baby's Mama, and I really hope they found each other again.

We're living in a wildlife lover's paradise!

Check out Amanda & Angie for more Wordful Wednesday posts!

.virtual coffee.

Happy Tuesday, my friends. It is WAY too hot for coffee, even the {virtual} kind, down here in the Sushine State, where Spring lasts for, oh, about 5 minutes. But I'll be glad to pour you a glass of sweet tea, or if you'd prefer, I'll even give you one of my cans of Diet Dr Pepper. And that, my friends, is true love.

Did you watch The Bachelorette last night? I am not even sure where to begin; which was worse, the guy who wore the mask the entire time, or the guy who got completely trashed and had to be practically carried to the limo?
And Bentley....ohhh, Bentley. Drama before the show even begins. First, let's discuss Bentley's daughter's name. I'm still hoping they just changed it for the show, to protect her real identity, because how could two adults agree to name a child Cozy?
Seriously? Cozy? That poor child will be teased for her entire life.
And then, in the sneak peeks of later episodes, he reveals himself to be the douchebag that Ashley was warned about. Seems like she should have listened!

Enough of that. I'm not quite sure if I can watch it this season. I'm very busy with my Wars. I'm really not a violent person, but I'm very into War shows right now. Cupcake Wars, Parking Wars, Storage Wars...if there is a War involved, I'm probably going to be watching. If there's food involved, that's even better.

Speaking of food, my vegetable garden is growing beautifully. Not producing yet, but thriving. I can't wait to eat the results! Our neighbors brought us over a huge bag of squash last week (as well as another dozen of farm-fresh eggs). We went through that stuff in a couple of days.

And yes, we still absolutely love our new place, thanks for asking. We have a beautiful gray fox hanging around now. We see him late at night. I guess he shares the woods with the rabbits, wild turkeys, deer, and chupacabras that seem to call this place home.

On another note, Andrew got a reprieve from seeing BM this past weekend. His soccer tournaments, which were out of town, coincided with the scheduled visit. On advice of our attorney, John called to offer a different time and place. It was refused, and subsequent phone messages to try to work something out were ignored. The time and place are flexible per the Judge's orders, and we did our part to try to make arrangements, so we're in the clear. Andrew was so incredibly relieved.

Do you have any fun plans going on for Memorial Day? We don't; it kind of snuck up on us.

Well, I guess I need to get up and get something done around here.

I hope you enjoyed your icy cold beverage. Have a great week, and go visit Lucky Number 13 for more {Virtual} Coffee.


Sunday in My City - Soccer Edition

OK, so technically these pictures were taken on Saturday. And it wasn't actually in my city. But let's not be picky, okay?

Unknown Mami

Spring Soccer season is officially over, with a roller coaster of an ending.

Their first game was at 11 a.m., and it was a fantastic game. Not only did our team win 7-0, but Andrew scored a goal with an AMAZING shot. Another teammate kicked the ball, the goalie blocked it with a great kick, which went straight to Andrew, who was in mid field. Andrew NAILED the ball and it flew straight into the goal. I literally sat there stunned for a moment, then jumped out of my seat screaming. The coach ran up and hugged me, which made me all teary-eyed, which seems to be a theme of my life at this point! All of the players and parents went wild. The teammates called Andrew their secret weapon, because he kicks with his left foot which catches people off-guard.

So needless to say, that was an awesome game. Afterwards, we had about 4 hours to kill in a very small town with practically nothing to do. We went to Subway for lunch with our friends whose son is also on the team, and John's mom, aunt, and grandmother. Then we went back to the field and watched some of the other games, and tried to keep cool in 94 degree heat!

Then came the second game of the day. The other team was good; so was our team. Both Andrew and Elayna played hard. The game ended with NO score. 0-0. When that happens, they have a 'shoot-out', where kids from each team attempt to kick goals and the one with the most goals wins. It was SO close, but the other team won; 3-2. Our goalie was incredibly disappointed, but he had played a fantastic game. They all played hard and had fun, the most important thing. They got their trophies and are very proud of themselves.

After the game, we took the kids to a new pizza buffet/game room that just opened in a nearby town, and they had a blast.

And now, I'm ready to crash. I'm glad soccer is over for the season, but I know in a few weeks I'll miss it! I'll have to find something else to occupy all my free time. (HA!)

{For more Sundays in my City posts, visit the lovely Unknown Mami.}


Playing CatchUp

I know, I know; Friday is almost over and I am just now fragging. It's just that I have so much random stuff to post, and finally had a moment to sit down and post it!

I'm trying to get caught up, and starting (sort-of) fresh. So if I've missed anything, I'm sorry, I still love you, smooch smooch.
I am 'marking as read' everything in the reader that's older than one day, and clearing out the mailbox, to save what little is left of my sanity.

I am SO ready for summer break! I feel like life is full of running from this appointment to the next, picking kids up, dropping kids off, soccer practice, soccer games....then, starting all over again. I'm not complaining - I'm just TIRED!

I chose the ladybug dividers because today, after picking up the big kids from high school, I pulled into our lane to find Elayna (who had stayed home with John & Andrew) walking along the wildflowers, holding a ladybug. I love that girl SO much!!

Today I walked into the seasonal aisle of Walmart, which was full of graduation gifts. I immediately teared up, turned around, and walked away. Sigh.

Andrew: Mama, today one of my friends said something about Elayna that was NOT nice and it made me really mad.
Me: What did he say?
Andrew: He said "your sister is a BABE".
Me: Died.

Go check out what I've been cooking and snag some fun new recipes!

Don't forget to visit Mrs 4444's for more Friday Fragments!

Mommy's Idea

And I hope you have a great weekend.
We will be at Soccer Tournaments all weekend!
Go Green!

Now -
Time for Friday Song Sharing!


Prom Night vs. Friday the 13th

Sounds like a bad horror flick, right? But nope, it was just this past Friday night in our lives.

It was me rushing around, trying to make the house look nice for the Prom Goers.

It was me cooking and miraculously finding four matching dinner plates, dessert plates, forks, spoons, and glasses! Fancy!

It was the kids rushing in, running late, acting crazy and having a great time.

Cracking me up, filling the house with their laughter and excitement, and then rushing out for more pictures and finally, their Senior Prom.

They had a great time. They looked wonderful.

{Yes, my son is the one wearing the hat. Don't ask. *sigh*}

Memories were made that will last a lifetime. I really enjoyed being a part of their special night.

Visit Parenting by Dummies & Seven Clown Circus for more Wordful Wednesday posts!

Post It Note Madness!

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