Holly Daze. 2018.

This holiday season was sure a busy one for me this year.  Since I started my holiday shopping pretty early this year, I had this idea (from Pinterest of course) to decorate my Christmas gifts my own way.  I bought Kraft paper rolls and used my paint pens to address and decorate the gifts.  Although it took a whole lot of time, it was the most satisfying holiday craft project I’ve done!  It was a great way to put my little personal touch to the holidays!

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On to Kole’s class.  If you know me or follow this blog, then you know I can’t let a major holiday/event go with making the class goodie bags.  Last year, I made the kids little snowflake ornaments and this year I knitted mini stockings and stuffed them up with a couple of holiday candies.

His teacher and his classmates thought it was pretty cool and were all smiles so I’d say we had another class Holiday success!

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Everyday I start the mornings off with the news on tv.  That may not always be the best idea because of how absolutely depressing the entire world is right now, but it’s always a good idea to keep updated.  While I make breakfast for the boys, Kole is always paying attention to the news as well.  Last year he was so concerned and felt such sadness for the victims of the Tubbs Fire that he asked me if there was something we can do.  (And yes, that made me cry!)  So that was the beginning of a new family holiday tradition.  As a family, we decided to make a donation cup, which Kole decorated himself, and leave the cup in the middle of the dining table during Christmas and ask the family if they’d like to donate.

We are a small family but I know our donations helped a little and it surely did teach the kids in our family that the holidays are not only about all the gifts they receive for themselves but also how small gestures and just the act of love and care can be a huge gift to someone else.  Last year we donated to SonomaStrong Fire Relief and Recovery by Rotary.  2018 news had a whole lot of coverage on the homeless.  It’s sad how many people live on the streets here in the Bay Area, absolutely heartbreaking.  So just like last year, Kole chose a cause and he wanted to try to help the homeless somehow.  Our donations are going to a great organization started and ran by a family friend of ours called, The City Eats.  Ryan has volunteered with this organization and has even brought Kole along to help prep the meals as well.

“Maybe Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store.  Maybe Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.” -Dr. Seuss

With the way the world is today, I am doing everything I can to make sure I raise little gentlemen that move through this world with intentions of love and care for others everyday and especially during the holidays.

Hope you all had a magical holiday full of love and lots of Christmas lights!! 

 

Since 1981.

At her 37th mark, she is happily blessed with her two little boys. Her first son, 8 and her second, 3. She has found, that she was meant to have these two boys to brighten up this world even just a little and to brighten her world a whole damn lot. She was meant to raise two little gentlemen to hopefully make up for the assholes of today.

She is just as outspoken and hot headed as she has always been. She is little but her heart and her voice are big. She has felt strength, confidence, and extreme happiness. She has felt weakness, deep dark sadness, and worthless.

There are people in her life she trusts with everything in her being and will have a piece of her forever and there are others she knew would never last in her world.

She IS hard to deal with, so those who stay and stick life out with her are the only ones that can lift her up when she wants to stay down.

She struggles mentally and emotionally but strives to fight for the light. She has wanted to give life up but found any strength she had to keep going everyday.

No. Matter. What.

She is a complicated woman but when you have her love, you’ve got it all. She loves big. She loves hard. She will be your ride or die. But if she is hurt, the moment she feels distrust, she can hate you just as big and just as hard. She’d rather love you, try not to hurt her.

Her love of crafts can not be tamed. She will be the first to volunteer as tribute for a craft project and pour her heart and soul into it. To have her sons look at her little works in awe, keeps the love of crafts strong.

She celebrates her 37th birthday today. And although she wants to lay low and not make any kind of deal about her birthday, she is grateful for another year and always prays for many many more.

Go shorty.

Hello, Ten.

Hello, Ten.

On September 20th, 2008,  a couple of 20 somethings walked down the aisle and vowed promises of forever and always to one another.  That was us.

Ryan and I have always been honest about what our marriage is.  We are very clear that marriage is difficult.  We are no strangers to vocal public fights.  Our close friends and families are always pulled in to hear our testimonies but we never asked them to take sides.  But we try to always ask, “What could I do to make this better?”  Our friends and family know us well individually and as a couple and we have been extremely blessed to have people in our lives that believe in our love and union and support the success of it.

When Ryan and I had the conversation of marriage as an unmarried couple, we both happened to be on the same page.  When we spoke of marriage we talked about the hard work we had to put in.  Marriage is not always easy like Sunday morning.  My main focus was not about my wedding dress.  It was not about my guest list.  It was about making sure that we can make this work for as long as we vowed to make it work for.  Forever.  Forever is a long damn time.  As the times and seasons change, people change.  What we can hope for and what we can fight through is to try to not necessarily change but to grow and hopefully in our journey to grow as individuals we can grow together as husband and wife.  Always.

Last anniversary was the first one in a while where we felt good in our marriage.  Like I say about our marriage when asked, we have good years and we have our unbearable ones.  Years 7 & 8 were rough ones.  We went through a lot as a couple and those two rough ass years had divorce on the tongue.  Our kind side vs. our stubborn side were at a constant battle.  As much as we told ourselves to be kind to our partner the opposite would win and Petty Betty was the name of the game.  We just couldn’t find it in ourselves to come up with solutions and for some reason ONLY knew how to point fingers.  Then last year, around our 9th anniversary, Ryan was out of town for training.  We were getting a little bit better with communicating prior to him leaving and got so much better at it while he was away.  Our outlook on situations and on each other somehow became more positive.  Our kind side wanted a rematch and was on its way to the top.  We wanted this marriage to work, not just for our kids, but for us.

We are doing it.  Every day we are grateful we make it together to the next because not many couples do for one reason or another.  Our story is still open for new chapters.  We made it to ten!  We are still loving and supporting each other and constantly encouraging each other to be and do better.  We still can make each other laugh until we are about to pee our pants.  But most importantly after 10 years of marriage, he still knows exactly how I like my coffee and that is pure love.

Happy, Ten.

HMD. 2018.

This year I’m going to give a shout out to my boys. After all, without them I wouldn’t be part of this motherhood club.

They have changed my life in so many ways. Never in my life have I felt so anxious. Anxiety and panic attacks come full force. I’m deathly afraid of anything just in the case they get hurt in any way or in the case I get hurt in any way. Because who the hell would take care for my kids the way I do if something happened to me? No one. Because even if their dad can take care of them just fine, he still can’t do it like mommy does. (Ask him. He’ll co-sign. I promise.) Before I had kids it was that YOLO life. Now, as a mother, it’s YOLO but LET’S BE CAUTIOUS YALL!!!!

But that’s ok with me. I always thought of myself as a selfish person in my young adult life (which I’m sure we all were). Thinking of throwing myself in front of danger for someone else made me think twice and lay out pros and cons before I actually would decide whether or not I would do that for someone no matter how much I loved and cared for them. Then I had kids.

And once I entered motherhood I had already made up my mind. I would run into a burning building for my children and I would lift any heavy machinery in my way to get to my kids. No doubt about it.

To my Kole and Monroe, I want to thank you for coming into my life. Thank you for reminding me about hope and love on dark days. Thank you for the random hugs and kisses you give. Thank you for saying “please” and “thank you”. Thank you for loving me unconditionally despite the irritation, the yelling, and especially despite the limited tech time I offer because of all the irritation you both offer me. 😒

I thank them because they made me a mom. And because no matter how much I think I am the worse mother in the world, little things like opening the door for me and giving me the green M&Ms because green is my favorite color, remind me that I’m not such a bad a great mom.

Cheers to our children for making us mothers.

And cheers to us moms. We hold the home down, we channel our inner superhero for our little ones, and we catch throw up with our bare hands. MVP.

Happy Mother’s Day!

Daily Conversations With My Kid.

With all the scary situations that have gone on in the world since Kole was born, it has brought my stress level to its highest. I have never been brought back to the calm side of the spectrum ever since I became a mother. I have considered homeschooling him and keeping him away from all people. I have considered watching his every step to make sure he never comes in close contact with a bully. But life doesn’t work that way. I can only trust in the way I raise him and have faith on how he follows through.

Ever since he started school, three years ago, I have said the same things to him during drop off and pick up. When I drop him off I always say “Be good, be kind, and learn a lot.” Every day.

I remind him to be good. Teachers work hard everyday with 20-30 of our rowdy children. As parents, reasons we often complain about our children is how they don’t listen and don’t follow through, just to name a few. And we only have to deal with 1-5 kids on average. We know the struggle and to put all these kids with all different personalities together can be stressful and tough for an underpaid teacher with whom we have entrusted with our most precious treasures for 6-8 hours a day.

I remind him to be kind. Children are sensitive and remember everything. We all know mistreatment from their peers can stick with them for a lifetime and cause uneccessary violent action. As adults in this world today we are surprised by kindness. Videos about kindness go viral like it’s a foreign action. That says a lot about the world today and it’s not a good thing. I want him to grow up knowing kindness should be normal, given and received. To everyone. From everyone.

And lastly, I remind him to learn a lot. I want him to be open to learning everything and anything. I want him to be engaged so he is always interested on learning both sides of a coin. Ask questions. Be open to the answers even if he doesn’t like them. Not only listen but to understand.

And on to our conversations when I pick him up.

I always ask..

“How was your day?”

“What did you learn today?”

“What did you do and who did you play with during recess?”

“What was your favorite thing about the day?”

“What was your least favorite?”

I know that seems like a lot but it gives me all the information I need and I get him used to knowing that, as a parent, asking him a bunch of questions are not for interrogation. It’s for conversation. To always remind him I want to know about and keep up with his life, not because I don’t trust him but because I’m truly interested. Wanting to know how his day went and what he learned are a given. But it’s important for me to know what happens during recess when the kids are left to socialize with each other on a more independent level. I want to know if the list of people he plays with change, if the list has downsized, or if it has increased. What kind of games they play and if who is in charge of these games are the same person/people or if that role changes from time to time. Hearing about his least favorite parts of the day help me figure out what makes him sad, uncomfortable, or upset so I am able to catch anything he may not express to me directly. Knowing his favorite parts help me remember the things that bring him joy.

If I can’t protect him from all the bad in the world I can only hope I am helping raise good to at least be able to spread a little bit of light in all this darkness. Let’s face it, our world is shit. I want his tomorrows to be brighter than our todays. We just have to make sure we show the love and keep the conversation up and running.

On A Wednesday In February. 2018.

Valentine’s Day is coming up and it’s time to get crafty for Kole’s class. If you’ve been keeping up with my blog, you know candy is not my go to. Last year I knitted puffed hearts for the entire class and teacher and this year I wanted to make something for the boys and something for the girls.

For the boys:

Minecraft is a huge thing in our home so I decided to knit up Minecraft creeper baggies and got some bouncy balls to fill.

For the girls:

I knitted up some cute strawberry pouches and got heart bracelets to fill.

For the teacher:

Since Kole has a different teacher than he had last year, I decided to knit up a mini version of the Puffed Hearts and place them in a repurposed candle jar in hopes she will cherish the crafts and find use for the jar in her home.

These were thought up and made with a huge amount of love and care. I wanted Kole’s classmates to know their friendship is appreciated and his teacher to know that her kindness and patience means the world.

Happy Valentine’s Day 2018! Let this day be a reminder to give and show love, not just for that one day in February, but for everyday of the year.

“Do small things with great love.” -Mother Teresa

The Big Three, She, and He.

If you have not fallen victim to, what I call, Ugly Cry Tuesday’s, you have clearly not been watching This Is Us. Before this show came out I binged watched Parenthood and then Gilmore Girls. So I was left with wanting more of stories about family and wanting more of Milo Ventimiglia *swoon*So when I saw the first episode of This Is Us, Milo’s behind got me to watch *drool*, Jack got me hooked, and William and the Pearson’s got me to fall in love. I am completely invested in this family. My heart aches and my eyes are puffy every single week without fail. This is a damn good show.

As amazing as this show is, it emotional drains the hell out of me. So much so, that my husband has to ask me every week “Are you ready to watch?” “Are you sure?” I’m so ridiculous. Ha! (But at least I’m not the only one! I know you’ve got all the feels too!)

But it is quite hard to watch. We are watching everything we fear as a parent. Everything we fear as a child. Everything we fear as a partner. And we must watch it all happen to a family we have fallen so in love with and have deeply connected to. We are in an era of entertainment that is full of sci-fi and superheroes. This Is Us is us and feels so real because it can be and to some people out there, it is. It reminds us that family is number one. It reminds us to love always and to love passionately. It reminds us to forgive as much as we can. And it sure as hell reminds us that life is hella short (and always have batteries for your smoke detectors and putting a rag next to an ancient appliance that you need to “fidget with” is dangerous as hell!!)

The last episode hit me as hard as the “Memphis” episode hit me, with my heart aching for days. And when our Super Bowl Sunday arrives, we’ll know exactly how the Pearson’s Super Bowl Sundays will never be the same. I’m sure we’ll cry the the most we ever have for this fictional family and our hearts will feel heavy AF that day. I am relieved though, that after we have to watch our current favorite TV dad run through heat and flame to protect his family at all costs, we will still be able to watch Jack Pearson alive and well in episodes to come. There is still so much story for him, Rebecca, and the big three that is so beautifully put together every week.

A salute to the writers who keep us engaged and a salute to the actors who make us feel all the feels.