Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Everyone has an Addiction of some sort......

They say everyone has an addiction of some sort. Addiction runs in my family, not a good addiction, drug and alcohol addiction. Actually sitting here thinking about it, no addiction is a good addiction, some are just way more harmful than others. My addiction has never been drugs or alcohol, in fact I’m anti-drugs. (Although I do understand people using marijuana for pain and sleep, I just don’t agree with people abusing it and functioning daily on it.) I like my champagne at night, but I’m not a big drinker either. I can only handle two glasses of champagne, the third glass puts me over the edge and I feel like crap the next day. My addiction is working out. I’ve probably mentioned this before but I grew up going to the gym with my mom. When I became of age, my mom would take me to the gym with her and I would hop on the treadmill next to her and jog. Once I was in high school I had my first serious boyfriend who was really into fitness because he played football. We started going to the gym together and he taught me how to use a few of the weight machines, we would also play racquet ball and ventured out to different cardio machines too. A few of my girlfriends eventually joined the same gym so it became a hobby for me and a place I would spend a few hours at because I knew everyone there and it was something to do when everyone else was out partying.

When I went to the gym in high school I pretty much ate whatever I wanted and then I’d workout casually. I took my time while there and would socially interact while using each machine. My mom always cooked clean and healthy meals so it’s not like I was eating horribly bad, except for the fact that I would binge eat hot cheetos and slurpees from 711 directly after the gym. However, once my parents divorced I became the woman of the house. I would cook heavy, hearty, pasta dishes and if I wasn’t cooking dinner then I was going out to dinner eating Mexican food or pizza and lunch was always fast food during that time in my life. I didn’t work the first year out of high school so my boyfriend at the time would bring me lunch every day on his lunch break. You’re not going to believe what I would eat on a typical day. He would either bring me McDonald’s and I would eat a 20 piece chicken nugget, large fry, two cheese burgers and a soda or he would bring Wienerschnitzel and I would have a chili cheese fry, mini corn dogs, chili cheese burger, chili dog and a soda. Then we would either go out to dinner that night or I would cook unhealthy meals. GROSS! I haven’t eaten at either of those fast food places in years and I haven’t touched a soda in probably 15 years. Needless to say I gained weight. It wasn’t a crazy amount of weight, just unhealthy looking weight. I think I went from weighing 105 lbs right out of high school and at my heaviest weighed 117 but it was bad weight. I’ll attach a picture below.

When I started becoming unhappy in my relationship is when I started becoming addicted to running. At the time I was battling some sort of depression. I started hating myself and who I had become. I became ant-social and no longer wanted to go to the gym so I asked for a treadmill for Christmas and started running on it every night in my room when I got off work. I stopped drinking soda and I would run six miles every single night and started seeing results after a few weeks. I started loving my body again. However, what I didn’t realize is I had also started to gain unhealthy eating habits. I was so addicted to how running made me feel and the results I was seeing, that I wanted more, and stopped eating meals. Instead I would only have Jamba Juice for dinner and nothing more. I can’t remember how I was eating throughout the day but I know it wasn’t much. I was finally back down to 105 lbs, finally felt confident again and that’s around the time I gained enough courage to leave the relationship I was in, for good.

Running stayed with me for years. My unhealthy eating habits (eating little to nothing + Jamba Juice) only lasted for a few months. Once my husband and I started dating and I was having fun again I was eating normal but became much more health conscious about what I was putting in my body. Josh was in shape so I felt I needed to be in good shape for him too. He started running with me and found a love for running too. I went on to run two marathons and a ½ marathon all within 1 ½ years and then decided I needed to take a break and try something new. As much as I loved how running made me feel, I also know the damage it does on your knees and I wanted to be able to have options on how to stay in shape.

That’s when I became addicted to weight lifting and HIT. I started doing Insanity and loved the results I got from it. I started adding in some weight lifting and some running directly after doing Insanity. I found myself working out 2+ hours a day. I was addicted to the results and the way I felt. I cleaned up my eating even more and became extremely strict on myself by restricting carbs (both simple and complex), fat and probably calories too (although I have never been one to count calories so I don’t know that for sure). At this point I had the body I had always wanted… the body I envied when I looked through workout magazines (minus the boobs because I lost mine along the way of losing fat haha) but I had also developed anxiety, low blood pressure and started to seclude myself from any activities with friends in fear that I’d be tempted to “eat bad.”

This restrictive diet and 2+ hour workout obsession went on for about 2/3 months. There were times where I would get done working out and would almost pass out because my blood sugar levels would drop so low. I would have to sit down until Josh could bring me something that had sugar in it so that I would feel normal again. There was also a night (the first night out with friends since I had changed my eating habits and workout habits) where we were out with friends and I had a horrible panic attack. I literally thought I was dying, my hearing started fading, my vision was blurred, my heart was beating super fast, I felt like I was going to puke and I was so light-headed I couldn't even stand or walk. I wanted to go to the hospital. We were down at a bar down by the beach about 30 minutes away from home. Our car was parked about 10 minutes away from where we were but I couldn’t even walk, so we had to leave our car there and catch a Taxi home because I needed to leave before I passed out. Once we were in the Taxi Josh knew what was going on. I was having a full-blown panic attack, something I’ve never experienced before.

That night was the night I knew I had taken dieting and exercising too far and from the day forward I vowed to love my body, nourish my body properly and show women that being healthy is not all about having this perfect flawless body because you’ll never feel content living life that way. And just because you may look healthy or ridiculously lean on the outside, does NOT mean that you’re body is healthy on the inside.

So the point of this blog post is to show people that addiction of any sort can be really bad. Don’t miss out on life because you’re caught up in looking a certain way. Learn to love your body, learn what’s healthy for your body, learn to nourish the body you were given by feeding it foods that heal the inside and limit your time in the gym because anything in excessive amounts just isn’t good for you. Practice a lifestyle that’s forever maintainable. You have to think long term rather than short term. Long term as in what’s going to happen when you get older (think 60s) and you’ve spent years working out for 2+ hours a day. Are you going to be able to maintain that at that age? Probably not, and you’ve spent so many years overworking your body that your body’s not going to know how to function correctly if you don’t keep it up. Are you going to be able to restrict calories, carbs or whatever for the rest of your life too? Because if you don’t, I can guarantee you’re going to struggle with some major weight gain and one point or another. And who wants to live a life full of restrictions, you cannot fully LIVE like that.

I’ve never been one to follow any of the fad diet plans out there but I have been guilty of working out too much and not eating enough and I know the damage it does to your body internally.

My body has carried a baby and my body has breastfed a baby and I can honestly say that those two things alone have really allowed me to gain a whole new respect for my body. I take pride in fueling my body with healthy nutritious foods that help heal from the inside out rather than just eating foods or restricting foods that I think are going to give me this “ideal” body. My workouts are maintainable, no more than 45 minutes and I do what I feel like doing day to day based on my energy. I no longer shame myself for taking days off or eating too much of something and this has given me so much freedom.

My view on being healthy went from focusing on the outside to focusing on the inside. I eat foods that I know heal the body which is something I’ve been doing for a long time now but without crazy restrictions. I eat a lot of plant based foods, and animal protein once maybe twice a day. I eat lots of healthy fats, nuts, avocado, egg yolks etc.. and carbs like oats/granola, brown rice, potatoes of all kinds, etc… I also indulge in some of my favorite guilty pleasures (hot cheetos, cheez-its, sour patch kids) whenever I crave those things too. I no longer schedule out my meals, instead I eat when I’m hungry. I do however try and make water a priority. I’m the kind of person who can eat meals without having anything to drink, so I have to force myself to drink water or I can go all day without it. I try and get in at least 60 ounces a day. I think a gallon of water a day is too much and there is such a thing as being over hydrated.

Working out relives stress for me, it keeps me sane, it makes me happy, it makes me an all around better me and because of that I make it a priority in my life. 45 minutes a day is realistic long-term and an effective amount of time to see results. My body now may not be as “lean” as it was when I was restricting foods/calories but it still looks just as good, if not better, and internally I know I’m healthy.

Unless you’re a personal trainer, 2+ hours a day is unrealistic long-term wise (and now if you have kids and a family) and does a lot of wear and tear on the body. Find a way to condense your workouts so that they are still just as effective and so that you can maintain them in the future when you’re much older.

For me, 25 minutes of cardio and 20 minutes of circuit training is the perfect balance. I’ve been doing this for probably 4 years now. I started working out this way when I became pregnant and have done so ever since. It’s worked very well for me and even when I have weeks of eating bad or weeks I take off from working out to allow my body to rest, I bounce back immediately when I get back on track again. When I was spending hours working out and restricting my foods, a few “mess up” days would cause me to bloat,add on extra pounds right away and would be hard to get rid of. That’s how you know I was going about things in an unhealthy way. Your body should not respond like that if you are doing things the healthy way.

On that note, I thought I would share what a normal morning of eating looks like for me:

• First thing when I wake up - 16.7 ounces of water, B12 and Biotin.
• Coffee with creamer and marshmallows on top (I only drink ½ the cup, I’m just not a big coffee drinker)
• 15 ounces of Juice – My typical juice that I juice in bulk (Beets, cucumber, ginger, celery, carrots, spinach and lemon) JUICING IS EVERYTHING!
• 6 oz Greek yogurt 0%, one green apple and granola
• A cup of peppermint tea

I like to keep my morning routine of eating on track. The rest of the day can be kind of random but I always drink at least 60 ounces of water, I always have my champagne at night and I always have a protein of some sort with my lunch and dinner. My goal at the end of the day isn’t to track calories, protein, carbs etc…but to try and feed my body as many different veggies (and a few fruits too) as I can at the end of the day. To me that is what being healthy is all about, healing my insides rather than focusing so much on the outside. In doing so, I feel like the outside has just kind of fallen in place perfectly : )

To wrap this up, be kind to your body, it’s the only one you’ll ever have, so treat it well and try not to overwork it, underfeed it and restrict it of foods that heal you from the inside out. When you’re healthy on the inside it shows on the outside, your skin, your hair etc…

Me 13 years ago before I started changing my eating habits and working out consistently

Me now: healthy and doing nothing restrictive or crazy:

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Sometimes I feel like a bad mom…

Yesterday I had a bad day. It all started with my morning, my morning set the tone for my day and all I wanted to do was go back to bed and start all over again. I hate when my mornings start off crappy because it screws up my whole day, mentally I just can’t get into that positive mindset and I know I’m not working at my full potential like that, not as employee, mom, wife or friend.

Atiana woke me up at 5:45 a.m. She typically sleeps from 8:00 p.m. – 6:30 a.m. so usually when she’s up that early consistently for a week or so she’s battling a sickness or some sort of change that’s going on in her routine. When she wakes up at 5:45 a.m. and comes into my room I make her play quietly with the dogs on the bed or I ask her to lay down with me until the sun comes up. She’s pretty good at doing one of the two so I can get my 15 extra minutes of sleep. See, I’m a horrible sleeper and sometimes my best sleep happens from 2:00 a.m. until it’s time to get up so I hate being woken up when I’m finally in that deep sleep mode.

Anyway, I gave Atiana options for breakfast that morning. Yogurt, granola bar, oatmeal, hardboiled eggs, scrambled eggs etc..she wanted scrambled eggs, so that’s what I made her along with some cut up fruit. She asked if she could watch TV while she ate it and I said yes and then started to get myself ready for work. 15 minutes later nothing on her plate had been touched. So I gave her a warning “Atiana, eat your breakfast or you’re going to school hungry because we need to leave in 30 minutes and you’re not even dressed for school yet.” She responded with “ok mommy.” 10 minutes go by and she still hasn’t touched anything on her plate so I raise my voice “Atiana, eat your breakfast or the TV is getting shut off and you’re going to school hungry.” Five minutes later all hell breaks loose because guess what? She still hasn’t touched her food! So, the TV goes off and I force her to go in her room and get herself dressed and she’s screaming and crying “but I’m hungry, I need to eat.” I dealt with a 30 minute long tantrum that had me so frustrated. I had to force her clothes on her, force brush her teeth (this is all stuff she normally does on her own but refused to do because she was upset) and yank her hair up into a ponytail while she tried running away. She’s crying and talking back, I’m yelling at her to stop talking to me the rudely and being disrespectful, then she proceeds to yell “I’m not rude and I’m not disrespectful…stop saying that…I’m not rude, you’re rude.” She just wouldn’t stop so in her room she went AGAIN and she screamed so loud for an additional 15 minutes that I was sure the neighbors were going to come over and ask if everything was ok. I was done. We left the house at 9:00 a.m. (she’s supposed to be at school by 9:00) and I didn’t get to work until almost 9:45 a.m. (I normally get in around 9:00). She went to school hungry and probably missed snack time because we were so late. I drove to work angry and sad. Angry because at times there is no getting through to my kid, anyone that knows Atiana knows exactly what I mean. She is literally the most stubborn kid I have ever encountered. She will argue with you about EVERYTHING and I mean EVERYTHING and does not like being told what to do. Well news flash kid, I am your MOM and I will tell you what to do and you WILL listen.

For those reading this judging what I’m saying and how I choose to respond to my kid’s behavior, let me just say this. Yes, I understand that my kid is a strong willed kid, yes I know that it’s important to allow a strong willed child to be who they are, but, I will NOT allow my kid to walk all over me, have “options” on how she wants to listen to what I tell her to do, and I will not allow her to disrespect me by ignoring me or talking back. Talking calmly to my kid gives her the upper hand in a situation and she starts to manipulate, I’ve learned this about her, and it does not correct her behavior. Yelling upsets her because she hates when she’s made me mad. Spanking works, although I’m not good at spanking, her dad is and she responds quickly to it. But sometimes NONE of these things work and I am left frustrated and defeated. I refuse to raise a spoiled brat who feels entitled to having everything and everything her way. This is a common behavior problem for kids that are the only child and later when they become adults they still feel entitled. I also refuse to raise a kid that feels like she shouldn’t be disciplined for her actions/not listening, and time outs do not work for my kid.

My whole drive into work yesterday morning was awful. I was so tempted to just call in sick, go home, go back to bed and just take a day to myself. I drove to work thinking about the way I handled everything, thinking about what I could have done differently to make the morning smoother, thinking about if I was too hard on her, thinking about how much I love her and how much I miss her when our mornings aren’t enjoyable together (after all I work all day so I don’t get a lot of time with her), thinking about my own frustrations that morning, etc…I texted my husband about how our morning went and he responded “I’m sorry love, we really need to sit down and talk to her tonight and figure something out, I’m tired of yelling at her constantly too.” Then he tried to talk me into taking the day off work to relax but I had too much going on at work to do that. He offered to make dinner when he got home and told me to just relax so I did just that until Atiana came home from school…..

Josh walks through the door with a crying Atiana and says “Well, she screamed the whole way home. I got to school to pick her up and she was on timeout for not listening to the teachers. They said she was on timeout a lot today, wasn’t listening, not napping or doing anything she was told to do.” As much as I didn’t want to hear more crying and yelling after the morning I had with her, she needed to be punished for disrespecting her teachers, so we took away cartoons and snacks for the night. She was allowed to listen to music and eat her dinner but nothing more. So, as you can imagine, that led to another hour long tantrum while trying to get her to eat the dinner I made her that she also complained about not wanting to eat.

Bedtime couldn’t come soon enough…..

She went straight to bed at 8:00 p.m. Josh made us dinner (a really really good healthy dinner) but I was craving pizza and mentioned it to him. He said “let’s order pizza, I’ll pack this for our lunches tomorrow” and he ordered us pizza! We sat on the couch, caught up on our day, cuddled with the dogs, had champagne and pizza and went to bed at 9:30. Somehow that last 1 ½ hour of my day made my whole day. It was what I needed to feel better and when we went to bed together that night I couldn’t help but feel thankful that God has given me a husband that truly knows what I need to feel better on days where I feel like I’m failing as a mother.

I know I’m not failing as a mother, I’m doing the best job I can, but when my daughter acts out and is disrespectful I blame myself for her behavior rather than realizing she’s 3 and she’s testing boundaries and pushing buttons because that’s what 3 year olds do…. I’ve been told that Atiana is very smart for her age and I think sometimes I expect better behavior from her because I know she comprehends everything just fine and I know the kid she’s capable of being. She has great manners but she also has this tendency to say hurtful things to people that don’t want to do what she wants. She’s also very good at ignoring things we ask her to do and that just doesn’t fly with me. I know this is just the beginning of what’s to come. With each passing year she’s going to get smarter and harder to deal with so we have to be consistent with our disciplining regardless of how shitty of a mom I feel some days. It’s a part of life and I wouldn’t be doing it if I didn’t love, care and want her to turn out to be an amazing woman one day.

Parenting a strong willed stubborn child is hard. Every day is a battle of working on trying to raise a decent human being while also working on bettering yourself as a person/parent. I don’t know if I’ll ever feel like I’m doing an AMAZING job as a mom, my kid is hard, and she makes feeling like I’m doing awesome with her hard. What I do know is I have the best support system around, and together I feel like we balance it all out pretty dang well.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Why date nights are important as a married couple.

Not too long ago I received a message from a friend in regards to a picture I posted of Josh and I on Facebook that I titled “never stop dressing up for each other.” I didn’t post the picture to make anyone feel bad for not finding the time to dress up for their husband but rather to remind all of the women and men out there that dressing up and making time to have a night out together is important to keep your relationship alive. I’ve asked this friend for her permission to blog in regards to her message to me without mentioning her name and she was perfectly ok with it. My reason for this is that I know plenty of women feel just like she does and so rather than write privately about it I’d like to open up about why finding time for one another is important.

In her message she basically said that with her working full-time, taking care of 2 kids and going back to school she can hardly find time to think about herself, let alone how to dress up and get out the door. She wanted to know how Josh and I have the time/energy/strength to go out. Her child care options after hours are limited, and she often feels like her and her husband are more like roommates.

WARNING: This will probably be a very long blog.

When Josh and I first got together we weren’t certain if we wanted children. We were so in love and so selfish with our time together. We hated being apart and spent all our free time together. I think one of my biggest fears about having a baby was that it would change us and the way we were with each other (as selfish as that sounds it was true). We were together two years before getting married and married almost 5 when we got pregnant with Atiana. We had 7 years of fun together, 7 years of traveling, making memories, learning one another, living together, spending all our time together and then one random night we decided we were ready for something more. We were ready to share our world and we were ready to become even closer by bringing a baby into the world. We knew having a baby would be life changing. We knew it would change our world and possibly challenge us in so many ways, but one thing we talked about repeatedly is that if we were going to do this together, then we needed to make sure we were going to continue to be US and always keep our relationship alive and healthy (vacations, date nights, taking random days off work to have a day together etc..). We had these conversations all the time during my pregnancy and even while pregnant we continued to maintain our weekly date nights.

I never let myself go during pregnancy. I worked out, I tried to eat as healthy as I could, I put myself together fully every single day and I think I even wore heals up until a few days before giving birth to our daughter. I wanted to feel beautiful when I was pregnant and I wanted my husband to always see me at my best no matter how exhausted or swollen I felt some days.

When Josh and I fell in love we were 23. He fell in love with a girl that worked hard to maintain her figure (I think at that time I was running 6 miles a day), a girl that had a full time job she had to look presentable at daily, a girl that had her own money and a brand new car she had just bought herself, a girl that had just learned to become independent and confident and was doing life for herself and no one else. I fell in love with a man that had his shit together. At 23 he was not only the hottest thing I had ever laid eyes on but he was outgoing, fun, funny, had his own apartment since the age of 18 and was already established in his career. Falling in love with each other only made us want to better ourselves for one another even more. We were always trying to impress each other.

10 years later that still has not changed. I truly believe that you should always try to impress your husband and that there really is no excuse not to. I want to remain the person Josh fell in love with and if anything I want to be better than I was when he met me. Just because I’m a mom, I work full-time and we’ve been together for 10 years does not mean I get to give up on looking good and feeling good for my husband. We are growing together, we are aging, life is constantly changing but I will never give up trying to impress him just because the years are flying by and just because we have a child that demands a lot of our attention.

Here’s a funny little story:

The other night Josh and I were heading out to an engagement party at my future sister-in-laws house. I wore this $10 solid color olive green dress I got from Forever 21 and dressed it up with some fun gold jewelry and some chunky heals. It was nothing expensive or fancy just something that I threw together that was comfortable and easy. Josh comes out of our bedroom dressed in nice slacks, nice shoes and a button up shirt. My first reaction was ok he is making me feel way under dressed for this event. I seriously thought about changing my outfit. So I said to him “wow you got really dressed up for this” and he responded with “I was just basing my outfit off of yours. You’re dressed really nice so I wanted to look nice too.” The funny part was I thought my outfit was casual because it was a $10 outfit but in his eyes I looked like we were going somewhere fancy for the night. Just goes to show that you don’t need to spend a bunch of money to look amazing in your husband’s eyes. A little hair, makeup and accessorized outfit go a long way…

I can’t even count the number of times we have gotten ready for date night and one of us changes our outfit to try and keep up with the other if we feel “undressed.” That’s one thing I love about our relationship, we never stop trying to impress one another rather instead we try to keep up with each other.

Two of biggest excuses I hear about couples that don’t make time to date each other is #1 Our child care is limited. We only have like one person we trust with our kid/kids and #2 We are just too busy, we work too much and our weekends are busy. Let me just say this. You will make time for what is important to you. If your marriage is important to you then you will make time to nourish it. Yes, Josh and I pay for Atiana to attend preschool but outside of that our options for babysitters are limited too. His mom and dad are the only other people that watch her so we can have a date night and if they aren’t available for a few weekends in a row, we take a day off work together, take Atiana to school, and spend a whole entire day together doing things we love. Our relationship is valuable and important to us and I’m a true believer that when you give up on nourishing ANY relationship it will slowly fall apart.

I listen to a lot of Podcasts while I do cardio or during my drives to/from work. This morning I was listening to Heather Dubrow’s podcast (No I do not watch any of the housewives shows, yes I know these people are rich and have help but that is not an excuse) where she was interviewing her husband Terry Dubrow. These two are an amazing couple and I have so much respect for them and the love they have for each other. They have 4 kids (two are twins) and they both have full-time demanding jobs but they always make time for each other. They constantly lift each other up, date, communicate, joke around and encourage each other even after 4 kids and 20 years of marriage. She said that she always makes sure she looks nice when her husband gets home even if it’s a quick 10 minutes of throwing herself together, they schedule sex because sex is important and she finds time every single day to work out despite how busy she is with 4 kids so she can look good and feel good for herself too. I don’t know much about this woman but I know I can 100% relate to the podcast I listened to this morning.

It’s so important to stay connected in a marriage. You have to make an effort to spend time together, communicate about everything, have date nights without the kids, alone time when the kids go to bed, make time for sex and find things that you enjoy doing together whether it be working on projects around the house together, working out together etc… If you neglect your marriage, your spouse’s needs, your ability to connect to one another and lose your desire to serve each other you’re going to set your marriage up to fail. I’m not saying I know everything about marriage but these are the things that have kept our marriage happy and alive.

When Josh transitioned into his new job a few months ago I felt disconnected from him for a short time. His mind was so wrapped up in work that I felt like our life literally revolved around work and our time together was kind of pushed to the side. This wasn’t something I was used to because we always make time to connect at the end of the day. I tried being understanding at first, I knew he was stressed out and I didn’t want to burden him with how I was feeling because I felt selfish for feeling the way I felt. I knew it would pass once he settled into his new position but then part of me thought if I didn’t communicate how I was feeling now, it might get worse later. Josh and I always communicate about everything but I was trying not to burden him so early on in his new career. It didn’t take long before I opened up to him about how I was feeling and I am so thankful I did because I can honestly say it has made us even stronger and I feel like we’ve connected even more now. He makes me feel included in what goes on at work (not that he needs to but it gives me a better understanding of how hard his job is) and I’m able to give him my perspective on things so that when he thinks about work at night or talks about work at night I feel like I’m doing it with him rather than not understanding what the hell is going through his mind when he’s stressed. I’m thankful for our open communication because it’s made our marriage so strong.

My point is there is no excuse for not making time to date your spouse and dress up for your spouse even when you don’t have plans to go anywhere that night! I mean who knows, maybe he will come home one night to you all dolled up and decide to take you out : ) Men are visual, they want to come home to someone that takes the time to look presentable and it makes them feel good knowing you took the time to look good for them. Make time for sex, make time to fulfill each other’s needs and desires and don’t ever stop trying to impress one another because it’s one of the best things you can do for your marriage aside from communication. Always remember that whatever you’re not willing to do for the person you’re with, someone else will be willing to do it.

If you’ve reached a point in your marriage where date nights no longer exist, sex is minimal and you feel like you’re just roommates with your spouse, then I challenge you to make some changes today. #1 Once the kids are in bed for the night put down the phones, videogames, turn off the TV, stop working on projects, whatever is distracting you guys from communicating and start communicating with your husband about your wants and needs and what makes you happy as a couple. Communication really is everything. Without it you have a marriage that can easily be torn apart. #2 Make a conscious effort to look good for your husband and remember men are visual, they don’t want to come home to someone that hasn’t taken the time to look presentable for them when they come home. Everyone has 10/15 minutes to look presentable before their man gets home, it really not that much work. #3 Be the initiator and plan a night for you two if your husband isn’t the type to initiate. Find a sitter (maybe a grandparent or someone that can come after hours when the kids are already in bed and stop making the excuse of not having anyone to watch your kids. You will make it happen if your marriage is important enough to you.) and plan a night out with your husband. Get all dolled up and when he gets home tell him you have plans for the two of you that night. Research some sexy restaurants to go to and make it a romantic non-rushed night out. Or plan a sex night. Go out and buy some candles, find some relaxing music, set the room up all nice and relaxing and tell him once the kids go to bed you want some alone time with him. It is so important to make time for sex because it truly makes you both happier people. Sex releases endorphins and it’s truly amazing how much closer sex can bring you together as a couple and how it puts you on this amazing high of feeling like you can take on the world. (yes, that’s how good sex should make you feel lol).

Your marriage should remain a priority in your life just as your kids are a priority in your life. You married your husband because you were in love with him, you desired him and he you, you guys saw a future together and because of that you guys chose to have children together. As life continues to fly on by its important that you continue to grow together as a couple. Continue to learn what makes each other happy, what pleases one another and how to manage your time so that you never fall astray from one another. One day your kids will be grown and they will leave and you two will be left to pick up right where you left off before having kids so it’s important to keep your relationship alive and full of love.


P.s My blog is my place to vent, to share stories and to help other women that may be feeling the same way. My intentions of blogging are not to offend anyone and/or to make anyone feel bad about whatever situation they are going through. Some women tend to think that just because we have different views on life/situations it means we can’t be friends/associated with one another. That’s not me, we can agree to disagree and still be friends.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Why I choose to be a working mom...

The beginning of 2016 was rough. We were basically forced to find new child care for Atiana. She had just turned 2 and the thought of taking her from the place she had been at since she was 3 months old broke my heart. I spent two weeks crying over the situation wondering if I was doing the right thing. I interviewed a few schools and found one that felt right almost immediately. The thought of putting her in an actual school scared me shitless. I was so afraid my baby was going to be thrown out into this much bigger world and not be able to adjust. It took her a few weeks to stop crying when I dropped her off. I would call the school after I left to see how she was doing and they always assured me that she was fine once I walked out the door. I knew she loved the school because when we would arrive to pick her up she didn’t want to leave. I think the hard part for her was that she’s a natural leader and she came from a daycare where she pretty much bossed all the kids around so this was a huge adjustment for her. She felt vulnerable and unfamiliar with her surroundings all of a sudden. It didn’t take long before she regained her dominate personality in this new school.

Transferring her to a new school and bigger environment ended up being the best thing we’ve done thus far. Her aggressive behavior (biting, hitting, and pushing) stopped immediately, her naps became consistent and while I was afraid she would backtrack in her development she actually improved even more. I’ve always given her previous daycare provider all the credit for how smart Atiana is. She spent a lot of one and one time teaching her so much. At the age of one she already knew all her shapes and how to say them all. She also knew her vowels, the alphabet, numbers 1-10, each emotion and her five senses. She was bilingual and according to her pediatrician her vocabulary was very advanced. Daycare would always tell us how smart she was and how special she was. I’m her momma so of course I felt the same way but it always made me feel good to hear it from her daycare provider and her pediatrician.

It’s been almost 7 months since we transferred Atiana to pre-school and we are constantly receiving positive feedback from her teachers and the principal on her wide vocabulary, ability to lead others, her manners and how much she already knows for her age. Last week we were told they use Atiana to sell their school to other parents. Apparently every time new parents come to look at the school the teachers will call Atiana to come help show them around because she impresses everyone with her vocabulary and how smart she is. We also have Atiana enlisted in a sports program that comes to her school every Tuesday and teaches them different sports. The past Tuesday we found out that her coach uses Atiana as his helper/example during sports class because she’s the only one that can fully communicate in the class and participates in each exercise they do. I’m starting to think the school should give us some sort of discount for using my kid all the time LOL.

The point of this whole blog is to be able to look back and remember what I felt at one time. How scary change can be but how awesome the outcome can be sometimes which brings me to the topic of being a working mom.

I’m pretty sure I blogged when I first returned to work and how hard it was for me. I stayed home with Atiana the first 3 months of her life and it was hard for me. I wanted to come back to work after 6 weeks but my boss convinced me that I would regret it. Then she turned 3 months and I didn’t want to leave her. The first day I left her at daycare I left work early to pick her up because I couldn’t stop crying. I eased into the transition by working part time that whole week. Once I got into a routine it became much easier and I started working fulltime again. Daycare put Atiana on a schedule for me and when she wasn’t at daycare I followed the schedule at home to insure she was getting proper and rest and staying on schedule so that when she returned after the weekend she would transition again easily. Her daycare made my job as a working mom so easy on me because it was like she was at her second home. They made her breakfast, lunch and snacks, homemade her baby food, helped potty train her at a young age, made sure she napped and showed her unconditional love. The only hard part about it all was how often she got sick within the first year or two of her life and the time I had to take off work to stay home with her. It felt like every month she had some new illness. Although I’m thankful now because she rarely gets sick now and if she does get sick it only lasts a few days as opposed to a whole week or two. Since she’s been at this new school she’s only been sick to where I’ve had to keep her home one time.

I’m constantly seeing posts, articles and comparisons on working moms v. stay at home moms. People like to elaborate on how “hard” their job is whether it be working or staying home and I’m not quite sure what the purpose of that is. Maybe it makes them feel important or maybe they feel the need to explain themselves to people for reassurance that whatever they are doing is right? Whatever the reason may be, I think women tend to forget that we are all trying to do the same thing here, raise healthy happy kids. Both jobs are hard and not one job is harder than the other so it drives me nuts when people compare and try to say that their job (working/staying home) is so much harder than the other job. The truth of the matter is every woman is different. What may be harder for one woman is easier for another and vice versa. If you’re not happy doing what you’re doing, then do something about it. Stop complaining about how hard you have it, stop saying “it must be nice” to those who choose to raise their kids differently or live a different lifestyle than you do. You control your own life so do what make you and your family happy and screw what everyone else thinks. Unless you have a kid with special needs or you are a single mom trying to make ends meet I don’t want to hear it.

Most of you know that I work because I choose to work not because I have to work. My husband always encourages me to do what makes me happy and working makes me happy. Some moms out there are probably reading this thinking how could she say such a thing, if you didn’t have to work why wouldn’t you want to be with your kid. I shouldn’t have to explain that to anyone just as a stay at home mom shouldn’t have to explain why she stays home with her kid/kids. Everyone is different and different things make different people happy. We all have different goals, different ways of thinking, different views etc…all that matters is that YOU are happy and that your kid/kids are happy at the end of the day. I’m an open person and anyone that knows me knows that about me. There aren’t very may topics/conversations that make me feel uncomfortable and for the most part I have no problem expressing how I feel because I’m also a very honest person. With that being said I’m going to share why I choose to work.

I choose to work for many different reasons. One reason is because I know it makes me a happier person all around. Working makes me a better mom, wife and person because I feel like I’m being utilized to my full potential. I like being busy and actually hate downtime. I feel like I need to be doing something constantly in order to feel like I’ve made the most out of my day. Not saying that stay at home moms have all this downtime, but when I stayed home those first few months Atiana was born I found myself more unproductive than when I worked. That’s my own issue, I just couldn’t function when I stayed home. I thrive off a schedule, getting up at a certain time and having a routine and when I stayed home I pretty much just went with the day and at my own pace which didn’t work very well for me. Once I started working again I was back on a schedule, up by 5:30/6 a.m. and from that moment on there was something I needed to accomplish in a short amount of time in order to get to work at a decedent time. I pretty much don’t even sit down when I am home until Atiana goes to bed (8 pm) but I enjoy that busy schedule and I also enjoy the fact that once she goes to bed Josh and I get two hours of alone time to catch up on one another’s day. I honestly feel like our marriage is so strong because of the time we set aside for each other at the end of each day. I also love knowing that by me working I am contributing to our future, our day to day life, the way we choose to live, the nice things we choose to have and the food we love to spend money on. It just makes me feel good.

I also choose to work because I want to set an example for Atiana. Growing up my mom stayed home with me and my brother. My dad owned his own business and my mom worked for him part time so they had the freedom of bringing us to work with them. I felt like in a way I grew up very sheltered. Even though I had a lot of friends that lived on our block that I played with, I still felt like I was home so much that it made me very shy and when I did start elementary school I had a very hard time transitioning and feeling confident in who I was as a person because I spent so much time with my parents. I also had no desire to get my driver’s licenses early on or get a job until after high school because my parent’s never built up that confidence in me early on.

I grew up thinking women didn’t have to work that hard. I grew up thinking that one day a man would just come along and take care of me just like dad took care of my mom. It wasn’t until I got my first real job (the place I still work at to this day) that I realized women are totally capable of having a career. I want Atiana to grow up to be a strong female with the desire to become anything she wants to be. I want her to continue to be a strong fearless female that’s not afraid to overcome obstacles and is completely capable of taking care of herself. I know me continuing to work is impacting her future greatly.

When I get home at the end of the day I look forward to seeing my baby girl. I’m not frustrated with her and/or annoyed that I got nothing done that day and she misses me too so our time together is valued. She’s happy because she’s had a full day of fun interaction with children her age and she’s learning. When she’s happy our household flows very smoothly so it’s a win for us all.

Don’t get me wrong, there are days where I feel like I have so much I need to catch up on, but who doesn’t feel that way whether you stay home or work. Not only do I have a daughter but I also have three big older dogs and a Macaw that all require attention. At one point I felt like the weekends were spent on catching up on the things I didn’t do throughout the week (cleaning the house, laundry, errands etc..) but over time we’ve learned to manage that better by hiring someone to clean our house, managing laundry throughout the week and together so it doesn’t pile up, taking turns cooking/cooking together. It’s all about teamwork when both parents are working and that way neither of us gets resentful of the other person either. And because I work we have the option of hiring people to help with the things I can’t find time to get to. So for me personally, working makes for a happier me all around.

But, just because I work does not mean I judge those who stay home nor do I compare my life to their life. I know what it’s like to stay home with a little one because I’ve done it and my husband works every other Saturday. So from 6am until 7pm it’s just me and Atiana those Saturday’s. Both jobs are equally as hard. And props to the mommas out there that are juggling staying home with their kiddos and starting up their own business! Now that is true dedication and super mom status! Those are the moms that personally influence me the most and make me want to continue to do even more for my little family.

In conclusion, stop judging other moms. Stop comparing and PLEASE stop living your life through social media. Not everything you read/see on the damn internet is true. Working mom v. stay at home, neither of you are better moms than the other so just stop. We are all doing the best job we can and doing what's best for our OWN families.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

In honor of our 8 year wedding anniversary

I set out on a narrow way many years ago
Hoping I would find true love along the broken road
But I got lost a time or two
Wiped my brow and kept pushing through
I couldn't see how every sign pointed straight to you

Every long lost dream led me to where you are
Others who broke my heart they were like Northern stars
Pointing me on my way into your loving arms
This much I know is true
That God blessed the broken road
That led me straight to you

8 years ago today I vowed to give this man my life to keep.
Best decision I have ever made. There is something so very special about my husband and only those that truly know him understand that. I'm so thankful he never gave up on loving me.
We met in middle school, about 20 years ago, and both instantly had a crush on one another.
It wasn't until high school (9th grade I believe) that we acted on those feelings we had for one another. We went on a couple of movie dates, we kissed, we held hands and then life happened....apparently timing wasn't right. Josh moved away to pursue his passion for music. He moved to New York and left school for a year or so. We never really had a chance to make anything out of those dates because he left so quickly. But before he left, he left me this note that I still have to this day. It said:

"I just wanted to say bye and that I'll miss you while I'm gone. This past week has been great for me because I finally got to be with you. I know you don't think I love you but I do so much and it's hard sometimes to get people to believe me. They think 'oh your just a kid you don't know what love is' but I do know what love is. My mom even knows I love you Stephani. I just wish you would believe me. Anyway thank you for everything you've done for me. I'll always remember you. These next few words I want you to take serious ok. I LOVE YOU. Love Josh.”

I cared about him, I liked him, and I felt so at home when I was with him but never had the chance to show him that because he moved. When he moved back and came back to school a year later he was hoping we could pick up where we left off but I had a boyfriend. Josh and I instantly reconnected as friends though. He became one of my best guy friends. Someone I could talk to about anything. We would talk on the phone for hours and he always treated me so differently than he treated everyone else. He always had a way of making me feel special, like no one else mattered when I was around. I’ll never forget the time he went to prom with someone and right after prom was over he left to come over to my house instead of hanging out with her. I don’t even think we were hooking up at the time, he just wanted to see me and spend time with me. There was always just something so different about him…like he knew we were meant to be.

He stuck around as my friend through quite a few boyfriends. In between breakups and breaks from those boyfriends I had, Josh and I would get together and seriously just talk for hours. Eventually those hours of talking would lead us into hooking up. However, I wasn’t ready to settle down at that point. I was bouncing around from relationship to relationship without allowing myself time to heal. Shortly after the last time we hooked up I got back together with my high school boyfriend and lost touch with Josh for a couple of years. I didn’t lose touch with him because I wanted to. I lost touch with him because when I got back together with my high school boyfriend he wanted me to change my number so that no one had it anymore. So, I changed my number and lost contact with Josh for a couple of years. I missed him during that time. I missed our morning conversations on his way to work. I missed hearing how happy he was when we talked. I missed knowing that even though at the time we were both with other people I still felt like I was still #1 in his eyes. He just always had a way of making me feel so special. I always felt that even if he was with someone else, I would still be the one to win him over. He just had a way of making me feel like that.

A few years went by. I always thought about him but never tried to contact to him because I wanted to avoid causing a fight with my boyfriend at the time. I knew Josh was with someone and the last time I spoke to him he seemed like he was happy so I didn’t want to bug him either.

Eventually I split from that boyfriend I was with in the summer of 2006. It took me six years to finally be done but this time I knew I was done and ready to move on. I had no intentions of settling down again, I didn’t even want to date. I just wanted to be free and learn to be me again. I wanted to be able to go out with friends and have fun because it was something I never had the chance to do before. My best friend at the time was dating someone that was in Josh’s group of friends. I became friends with his group of friends because of her. We all hung out for a good few weeks and I’d always ask about Josh and how he was doing. They told me he was pretty much settled down and didn’t hang out with any of them anymore. I could have easily asked one of them for his number but I felt if he really was settled down with someone like they all said, it would be disrespectful to his girlfriend for me start calling him. And then one night…my best friend at the time had a party for one of Josh’s friends at her house. Josh showed up with his girlfriend at the time and it was the first time we had seen each other in a couple of years. Seeing him made me so happy, but for once I felt so distant from him…our conversation was quick that night and I almost felt as if he was mad at me for losing touch over the years or maybe he was just being respectful to his girlfriend at the time.

The next day he was all I could think about. I knew I had to find a way to get into contact with him. I missed our friendship more than anything but part of me was scared that I finally pushed him completely away from me and that if I did call him he wouldn’t want anything to do with me. Well, after contacting a few people I was finally able to get a hold of his number and texted him…

I was sure he was going to give me the cold shoulder. In fact, I deserved it if he did but all I could do is try and explain what happened during those couple of years.

It didn’t take long for him to respond. I ended up finding out he was in a really bad place in life. He was unhappy in his relationship and trying to end it and at the same time he was going through so much with his family. He was depressed and not himself anymore. I was in a different space than ever before. I was enjoying life and catching up on lost time with friends and maybe some partying too. I almost allowed myself to get caught up with this guy I had kind of been seeing on and off in the past but for some reason I couldn’t stop thinking about Josh so I didn’t allow myself to get caught up. Thank god things worked out the way they did otherwise timing could have been wrong for us all over again.

Josh and I reconnected the day I texted him we never lost touch again. As crazy as this sounds, he moved in with me a week later. We didn’t mean for it to happen that way but he basically packed up all his stuff one night and moved out of his girlfriend’s house with no place to go. He would come over my house every night after work and we would talk all night until we fell asleep. We were only friends at the time but had so much to catch up on. We found ourselves not wanting to leave each other at the end of each night so we would just talk until we fell asleep. This must have continued for a few weeks until we finally decided to take our friendship to the next level. He knew I wanted to move slowly this time and I’m pretty sure he was afraid I would pull the same shit I always pulled of running back to my ex. But I knew this time was different and I knew those years that had gone by made me miss him and made me want him more than ever.

On September 1, 2006 we officially became a couple. We were both driving to work that morning when he called me and asked me to be his girlfriend. I didn’t expect to jump into a relationship so fast but everything about it felt so right. I mean we were best friends for so long, we already knew each other on every level, he was the only person that really truly knew who I was and brought out the real me. So we made it official and started our journey together.

We first said I love you sometime in October of 2006 on the Queen Mary. Josh said it first and I was already so in love with him so of course I said it back. By September of 2007 we were engaged. Josh took me on an Alaskan cruise, something I had always wanted to do and asked me to marry him on stage in front of everyone on the ship. We were married on August 23, 2008 : ).

Our wedding day was exactly how I pictured it to be. It was so us, romantic and fun. Josh surprised me with a song that he wrote and he sang it to me in front of everyone that night. When I think back about our wedding day there’s not a thing I would do different, it was perfect.

I’m so thankful Josh never gave up on me. That he never stopped loving me through our entire friendship and that timing worked out the way it did. Marrying him was the best and easiest decision I have ever made. I married my best friend and the person I still look forward to waking up to every morning and going to bed with every night. I married someone that gets me unlike anyone else. We have this connection that only we understand..this ability to read one another’s mind. Maybe it’s because we openly communicate about everything and always have…maybe that’s what makes our connection so strong. Whatever it is, I wouldn’t trade the way he makes me feel for anything. There’s something very special about my husband and I feel blessed that he picked me to share this beautiful life with. 8 years has gone by so fast, it feels like just yesterday we were saying I do. Today we celebrate 20 years of friendship, 10 years of loving each other and 8 years of marriage, what a blessing!

To my husband: Thank you for always putting our little family and us first. Thank you for loving me the way that you do. Thank you for listening to me and allowing me to be totally transparent without ever feeling judged. We were meant to be, there's no doubt about that. Happy Anniversary My Love! Cheers to a lifetime of memories lots of love. I love you, more than you’ll ever know.

Your Wife

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Sedona 2016

It’s been so long since I last blogged. I still need to continue on from my last blog post. The problem is I have very little downtime until about 9:30 p.m. and by that time I’m ready for bed. I choose how I spend my time, so really it’s my own issue. The downtime I do have is spent with my husband and nugget and then once she’s in bed Josh and I get to catch up about our day. However, this week my boss is on vacation which has given me some extra time to catch up on little things I’ve been putting off.

Two weeks ago Josh and I went on a much needed vacation. It was our first vacation away together since having Atiana and it was so nice! We contemplated on so many different places to go and ultimately decided to go somewhere that was drivable and somewhere unlike any place we’ve ever been. We typically travel out of the country so this was a nice little change, although it wasn’t much cheaper than when we do travel out of the country. Prior to our trip I must have named off 5 different places to Josh that we “could have gone” for the amount of money we paid to stay in Sedona. However, flying anywhere right now does not sound fun and Sedona was pretty AMAZING.

While we were there we got the most amazing “hippie” massages, ate some of the most amazing food, drank a lot of champagne (what’s new), got up early one morning and went hiking/jogging, rented an ATV, saw some really cool Indian ruins, laid out by the pool, talked a lot, laughed a lot, showered outdoors every day (the outdoor shower in our room was so freakin cool) and just enjoyed every second of no interruptions and being able to just get up and go. We never even slept in. I think the latest we slept in was 6:30. Josh and I both get up early every morning to get started with our day. Josh is up by 4:30 a.m. and I’m up by 5:15/5:30 a.m., so I guess 6:30 is sleeping in to us. I never worried about working out while we were there because we really didn’t have the time. We did one 2 hour trail hike/jog the first morning we were there and the rest of the weekend we just got up and did whatever we had booked for the day. My workouts didn’t resume until vacation was officially over which was pretty much a week later. It was so nice! Our last day there we decided to just wing the end of our trip. We originally planned on possibly driving to Phoenix or Scottsdale to stay for a night, or possibly staying at a casino that we came across on our way home, but ended up driving all the way home and stayed at a hotel in Irvine for the night. It turned out to be a really fun night of dinner and drinks at the Irvine spectrum and then we walked back to our hotel. We got up the next morning and drove to Newport and had breakfast on the beach at this really cool restaurant that had the most amazing chilaquiles I’ve ever had. We were home Sunday by noon to pick up our nugget and she was so excited to see us. Next week we are going on vacation to Havasu, Arizona but this time we are bringing Atiana with us.

One thing I love about going on vacation is how much it recharges you. It allows you to clear your mind and come back feeling so refreshed. This vacation took me back to when Josh and I first fell in love. We were young, carefree, traveling all over the place, we would call into work sick and just get up and go somewhere random for the day with absolutely no worries in the world. We can’t just get up and go like we once use to because we have a child now, so to have 5 days of nothing to worry about other than each other was so amazing.

Usually while on vacation I deactivate my social media. I deactivate it because I don’t want to read all the negative posts in my feed. I like to feel like I’m in my own little world while on vacation with no distractions. I purposely didn’t deactivate social media this time because let’s face it, we had a 7 hour drive and I needed a little distraction along the way lol. I was reading different posts to Josh along the way and we were laughing at some of the things people post because some of these people are just so clueless as to how ridiculous they sound ….The people that post their drama and constant dilemmas in life don’t even realize that most of the time they are ranting about the person they have become. Reading post after post about moms who say they are constantly judged, gossiping, backstabbing, jealousy, etc…If you are one of those people that posts this kind of drama all the time, maybe you should take a look at your own life and who you’re surrounding yourself with. Maybe it’s YOU, maybe it’s not all these other people you complain about. And the truth of the matter is, if you’re constantly posting all of your dilemmas and things that spark up controversy on social media I’m pretty sure you’re also the person spending all your free time gossiping about others too. I don’t ever feel like anyone in my life is judging me as a mom, as a friend or the choices I make. Maybe that’s because I choose to surround myself with likeminded people, or maybe that’s because I’m confident in who I am as a person, and as a mother. I think the biggest problem a lot of people (women) face is confidence in who they are as a person, as a mother, as a wife, as a friend etc..When you’re confident in who you are as a person you don’t have the kind of drama I hear so many people rant about. I live a happy positive life because I choose to be happy, I know who I am as a person and I’m happy with the person I’ve become over the years. I choose to see the positive in every situation and if I have an issue with someone or something that was said I go directly to that person rather than talk behind their back and that alone solves all the drama I see posted on a daily basis. So even though I totally went off topic with this blog, I want to end it with saying – Women, please learn to love yourselves, because until you learn to love you, you’re going to continue to be unhappy and find the negative in every situation. STOP caring so much about what others think and STOP caring so much about what others do. Stop creating non-existing drama because of your own issues and just learn to love yourself and this beautiful life you’ve been given.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

My Story Part 2....To Be Continued.....

During my high school years is when I really started noticing the kind of mom my mom really was. I’m sure most teenage girls say that because let’s face it, our hormones are on a whole different level at that age, but my mom really had a way of making me feel so unimportant to her. She was still a stay at home mom and supposedly spent her days cleaning and cooking for our family while my brother and I were at school. She would make that known whenever her and my dad would get into a fight about her forgetting to pick me up from school or her going out shopping and spending tons of money on herself. My dad would drop me off at school daily, occasionally he would have to go to work early and mom would do it, but I always hated when she dropped me off because we would fight just about every time. At the end of the day she was supposed to pick me up from school but slowly she started forgetting or she would be “too busy” and tell me to walk home. It was about a 3 mile walk and I absolutely hated it because not only was I carrying my heavy backpack, but it took time away from my homework and downtime at home before it was time for dinner and bed. I never understood why she was “too busy” or how she could even forget to pick me up until now…but I’ll get into that later.

I had a few boyfriends here and there throughout the first couple years of high school. They were all my age so none of them drove yet. One lived across the street from our high school so the days my mom would forget about me I would just go over to his house and hang out until she could find the time to pick me up. In about 11th grade I started dating a senior. Once I started dating him he pretty much drove me home from school every day so I never had to rely on mom again. I didn’t even bother to get my license until after high school because I ended up dating this guy for a long time and once he graduated high school he would pick me up for lunch and from school every day. My mom never really liked my boyfriend. She seemed to have liked everyone except him. I think it was because he was the first boyfriend who didn’t feel the need to make her like him. He was more worried about my dad liking him, which was smart because my dad meant everything to me and none of my prior boyfriends had tried to get to know him. He and my dad got along very well and that pissed my mom off. She would often make smart ass comments about their relationship.

I’m not going to lie, that relationship I was in was not a healthy one. My mom’s instincts were right but I didn’t see it that way at the time. Our fights (mine and my mom’s) got worse the longer I was with him, not because of him, but because she felt she was losing control over the one thing she always had control over, ME. Her and my dad started fighting more too. There was a lot of closed door fighting going on and I never really knew what it was about until later.

The day I graduated high school my mom filed for a divorce from my dad. I’ll never forget that day. They were both at my graduation as two separate people, no longer as a family. My mom seemed to be handling everything well, but my dad was so sick and weak. He had lost so much weight and was emotionally drained. He didn’t want a divorce but had no choice…she made up her mind and that was it. Looking back now, I don’t even know how he stayed as long as he did or why he even wanted to keep her.

To be continued….