Friday, January 30, 2015

Thanks For The Snow Day, Juno!

So the day after the so called epic blizzard we woke up expecting to find at least 30 inches of snow on the ground, but instead only had about six! This so called "epic blizzard" wasn't as historic or crippling as we thought it would be. It seemed like like the whole state of New Jersey was in a panic with streets shutting down at 11pm, and if you were caught driving after 11pm on the roads you got a citation. We were pretty prepared with all the necessities, but had a calm assurance that we'd be okay, and we were. Schools were canceled, and even though this blizzard was a hoax we had a pretty good snow day with the family. Heck...even UPS was closed. Jon had a nice break from work, but at the same time when he awoke to take a look outside he said, "so this is the storm of the century huh guys, we totally could have driven today." Roads were not bad at all, and as soon as we were leaving the house Jon's cell phone rings, and it's UPS calling him to go into work for late pick ups. Luckily he had a couple of hours to spare to go sledding with us, and we were so excited. I love sledding with the kids, and no matter how old we all get it gets more funner! Noah seemed to have had more fun this year than last year. Probably because of the snowsuit we got for him. Keeping a toddler warm is crucial in extreme cold weather, and he had a blast taking turns going down the hill with all of us. That is until his cheeks, and hands turned red.  
I can't seem to find a decent pair of gloves that fit him, and so we have been using socks as mittens (don't laugh!) I brought a few extra pairs because they kept getting wet with snow. That didn't last very long as I ran out of dry "sock mittens" and then Noah started to fuss without whining. He's so sweet when he fusses. It's not a loud fuss, but a quiet one. He'll quietly in a low toned voice said, "mommy I want to go home, I'm tired, and my hands are too cold." We were out for almost two hours,  and since Jon had to go into work we were done sledding for the day.  

So here are a few photos from our "epic" Blizzard of 2015...



Thanks for the snow day, Juno! 

Happy Weekend! 

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Happy 4th Birthday Little Blog.

Today marks my fourth year since I wrote my first post, and I would like to take a moment to thank my readers for taking the time in stopping by to visit this little blog of mine. I can't believe it's been four years already. It seems like I started this blog yesterday taking a "time out" from scrapbooking into creating this little blog of mine, writing about my girls, and son who is a year older than this blog! I have to admit I was a bit skeptical when I started this blog, but there have been some amazing ladies via the internet who have inspired me to continue to write. Heck...I think I inspire myself simply because of all the things that I write about, and sometimes I even surprise myself. There are moments when I ask myself, "is this blog worthy for the world to see?", and other times I say "what the heck, it's the truth, and I'm writing it" and I'll start writing away in hopes that others might get a kick out of reading it. There have been quite a few of you who tell me how much you enjoy reading this little blog, and some of you are very dear friends to me. In the past four years I have come to realize that what I'm writing about is not only for you, but for myself, and even if it benefits 10 people then its still worth writing. I enjoy writing about my life, desires, dreams, adventures, and trials. It gives me peace, and brings me to a whole different level of how I view things in my life. It truly releases anything that I've been bottling up inside for too long. I strive to do it with tact, and in good taste. And please...if you feel that I am way in over my head with anything I have written about please don't hesitate to comment. Sometimes we tend to learn from each other, and that's how various bloggers, and readers in the blogosphere strengthen each other. We learn by the words that are written, and the comments that are said. True, I mainly write this for my posterity, but I also write it for anyone who is reading this right now. I've long since realized that even if I get one like or comment I know that someone out there is reading this, and being authentic on the internet is key to my well being. Blogging has been a way for me to connect with others, and also keeps me sane! I enjoy sharing my life with you. Sometimes I tell myself that I'll make this blog private because with my kids growing up you never know what kind of crazies are out there, but luckily I've been fortunate enough to not have any. It's not like I'm a big deal on the internet, and that's fine by me. 

I'm not sure how much longer I'll be blogging, because it's a task when you try to keep up with two other private, handwritten journals, kids, and life, but as long as I feel it's right, and puts me in a place that I love I'll keep it going. 

Because I love to write! 

I love to write! 

...and take pictures too! 

Happy 4th birthday bloggie, and for anyone who reads this site keep on visiting! 

Monday, January 26, 2015

It Takes Time...But You Will Heal.

 ^^^ photo via google ^^^
One thing about me that I love is that I'm a television cop junkie. There are a few tv series that I watch, but one of my all time favorite cop shows has always been Criminal Minds.

Over the weekend I watched quite a few episodes & there was one episode that really caught my attention. Now I've seen so many reruns of this show, but this was one episode I'd never seen before. This particular episode is based upon the character Derek Morgan being molested by someone he trusted. He finally put the man who molested him in his younger years behind bars, and later found out that he wasn't the only one who was sexually abused. Apparently there were numerous others in which this man sexually abused and because of that those who were abused by him became drug addicts, thieves, and in this particular episode one man went crazy and got to the point where his anger and resentment got so built up inside that he developed a penchant for beating his victims to death. His rage also caused him to almost kill his ex-wife in front of their son. Simply because he wanted to protect his son from what happened to him. I know that this irrational behavior, and actions were caused by his long term childhood sexual abuse in which he never resolved with himself or his molester.

I know that this is just a prime time television show, and that all stories are fiction, but in hindsight they are nothing but the truth. 

Because it does happen in real life.

In many ways I find myself like the character Derek except without the badge, and gun. He is tough, fearless, and has a lot of compassion for the victims. Especially for those that have become mentally unstable or psychotic due to the experiences that happened to them in their past. He also has a lot of anger, and frustration towards those who are the culprit of these horrible actions. Luckily for Derek he has the law to take care of the bad guys on a television show, and I have my voice in the real world to help others. It's sad and I know there is no excuse for such irrational behavior, but when it comes to something like childhood sexual abuse, rape, or being sexually assaulted many don't comprehend or even realize that it takes time to heal, and that they need help. Some of us focus on continuing to feel like a chewed up piece of gum that has been thrown onto the ground, and stepped on over and over again drowning ourselves in misery with drugs, or alcohol because someone made us feel dirty, worthless, and violated at a young age. Some of us may not know how to heal, and deal with such abuse until we are older in age, and then it's too late. 

Some of us can end up becoming a danger to society. 

Our lives can be ruined by turning to prostitution, drug, alcohol use falling into severe depression, and unfortunately never recover. Some of us can also become the abuser ourselves. Sometimes keeping it a secret for too long, and being silent for many years can hurt us so much to the point where we can't live anymore, or take it out in various forms of anger towards society. Some may take longer than others to heal, but I am proof that in the end of all that has happened, said, and done that we can be healed. 

And you will. 

It takes time...but you can, and you will.  

Here's to a better Monday than the last one! 

Friday, January 23, 2015

A Little Bit Of A Snowfall.

I find such comfort in the winter. 

It never fails every time it snows I feel a little bit nostalgic because in all honesty, there are days when I actually miss the winters in Utah. I think the fact that we lived close to so many ski resorts got me a bit spoiled. Not that I'm a skier, or a snowboarder, but the fact that we actually got a lot of snow back there, & had a nice view of the mountains was very tranquil to me. The other night I somewhat had a bit of a face time/daughter date with Sierra. She decided to drive up to Big Cottonwood Canyon, but unfortunately was cut short due to black ice. She stumbled upon it as she reached the s curve. She turned around, & her words were "I think I'm going to turn around now because I don't want to die!" Good choice Sierra!! We had a nice talk and she made it home just in time to go to her choir class. 

So when we finally got our first snowfall a couple of weeks ago I was excited. I had been longing for snow since then, and fortunately got some this week. As soon as it came down I told Noah to quickly log off the computer so that we can go outside & feel the snow fall on our faces! These photos were not expected to be taken since it was just us outside being in the moment. Luckily Chelsea came home and because I'm always taking pictures of them asked if she could take some (we seriously need to get her a camera!) I of course never say no to picture taking so I obliged. Especially when the kids ask! She took a few of me and Noah, and then I captured some moments of them two. 
The fact that it was National Hug Day made it so sweet too! It became even more fun when Lexie came home! Yay! Her sibs adore her, and always hover around her when she comes home. Life for her has been pretty busy lately with school that every time we take pictures she's hardly around. I'm so glad I got to capture a few shots of her (which I'll post at a later date), and that Chelsea captured this one of us! 
We had some fun until Noah began to get cold. I was surprised because normally he's all about the snow, and playing in it until darkness falls, but because this snow fall was "wet" it was super cold!! And  we walked ran inside!

The snow here is obviously different than the snow in the Rockies out west, and I've pretty much already gotten used to it being so different. I'm grateful though that we get some snow although it's been pretty mild lately. I'm hoping to get more snow so that the kids can go sledding. Winter is just not complete until we go sledding! We're still in January with two more months of winter left so hopefully mother nature will bring us more snow...and not the wet, wet kind! 
Regardless...I have fun with these kids. I love them so much, and we are going to make the best out of this winter whether we spend it indoors, or outdoors....with snow, or no snow! 

Happy weekend! 

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

On Bullying & A First Time Experience.

The day before Chelsea's birthday last week she had an encounter and for the first time in her life had an experience of what the meaning of the word bully would feel like. In all her years of elementary school she has never, ever been bullied, mocked, made fun of, or even pushed around. She has always been the popular girl in her class. The one everyone will come to when they need a friend. The one they will go to when they need a pencil, an extra book to read, extra filler paper, a friend to walk, run, and play with at recess. A friend to go to in times of need, and even though she's 10, when it comes to her peers, and school...she's got the mentality of a 15 year old. She tends to be a peacemaker, and someone who knows the difference between tattle telling, and telling on someone who has done something wrong. She's always the first one to laugh, and smile which I was I posted this picture of her. I hear the same thing every year since she started pre-school at parent/teacher conference. Her teachers have all said the very same thing about her, and it's never disappointing, "we'd like to reproduce Chelsea" "whatever y'all are doing mom and dad keep on doing it" "she's a breath of fresh air" "she's so sweet, and helpful" (you get the picture.) Each year that passes I am flattered at the results of what her teachers think of her, and in how well she does in her academics. I hear nice reviews from her teachers, and that they've never had any issues with her. 

It's always so wonderful to hear all the good things about your child, but when your child finally comes to terms to tell you that because she was defending a friend of hers who was being bullied while waiting for the bus to arrive to take them home got bullied herself. It's like a knife just stabbed my heart. Apparently she raised her voice at this kid, and told him to "stop it!" That's when the boy stepped forward making a fist as if he was going to hit her. Chelsea stepped back, and got nervous. Luckily the buses arrived, and all the kids went their separate ways. What do we say to our kids when, and why things like this happen to them, or anyone? I certainly wasn't prepared because as far as I know her two older sisters had never been bullied in grade school, and even though I went through off and on periods of bullying throughout my entire 12 years of school I had repressed some of those memories, and with all the media that's out there in this generation today about bullying helped me to remember, and after watching this video is when I knew I really needed to go in depth with her about the whole bullying issue. 

Because even the best of kids, no matter who they are will once in their life be bullied. 

Since this incident happened right after school Chelsea didn't tell anyone (including me) until the next day which was her birthday. Funny thing is she didn't show any signs of stress in the home when she came home from school. I think the fact that her birthday came up helped her to forget about the situation, and focus on her special day. It wasn't until she returned to school that her teacher noticed she was melancholy, and not herself. That's when Chelsea opened her mouth to tell her of the incident that took place, and why she was so sad. Luckily the situation was immediately resolved by the principal which resulted with the kid apologizing to both Chelsea, and her friend. Along with a future suspension if he did this again. Let's just hope this kid learned a lesson, and doesn't grow up to be a "big bully."  

So, what would I tell my kid in cases like this? I, for one would never tell my kid to retaliate, or seek revenge. That is just not the answer. I know how it feels to be bullied. To be scared wondering why someone is attacking you when you are doing something right. Wondering why in the first place you're being picked on knowing that you've never done anything to hurt anyone. I was bullied as a young kid. Teased because of my Jackson Five, Afro looking curly hair. I had girls who hardly even knew me wanting to beat me up, and for no reason! There was even this one girl who lived near me up until I moved away who teased me in high school. Made fun of my hair even in the freaking ninth grade! Sad because we were childhood friends, and sometimes hung out after school listening to music outside on the sidewalk chewing on chaw gum, and sucking on hot cinnamon sticks. Oh yeah...even the friends you thought were your friends can become the worst bullies! 

But let it go as we grow up, and become mothers. 

My very first encounter being bullied was by a girl named "Evie" who was from the neighborhood (that's not her real name, but I like so I'll just call her that.) I was in the fourth grade. I had gotten off the bus, and as soon as the bus drove away Evie just ran up from behind me and yanked on my hair. Yeah...she just pulled it unexpectedly. I just stood there for like two seconds wondering what the heck just happened here. She began going off on a rant, and because I was in shock couldn't recall her words. All I was thinking at this point was making it home, and I had one block to do so. Evie was a big girl so yeah...I was petrified. Luckily I saw my mom from a distance walking towards me which was very rare. She always trusted me to walk home on my own, but on this day it was as if she knew I was in trouble. Evie had a reputation of being a troublemaker, and came from a broken home. I recall trying to be nice to her at one point before this incident took place, but she always came off rude, and scary so I just stayed away. I was so relieved that my mom was there because if she wasn't who knew what Evie would have done next. The next day my mother phoned the principal, and ever since that happened she never bothered me again. I have no idea what became of Evie, and as I look back to recall some of her actions she always looked...sad. 

I was about the same age as Chelsea when this happened to me for the first time, and I told her my story the day before writing this post. I told her that she did the right thing by telling her teacher. I also reminded her to always, always-no matter if she feels she's going to get in trouble to always tell me, and her father, or her sisters when bad things happen to her especially when it comes to bullying, and to let us know first! Sometimes kids are too scared to tell on the ones that are bullying them, and they continue to take it until it escalates to a point where that child may not want to live anymore. It's scary to think that, but it's the truth. Chelsea is a tough cookie, and I personally feel that she's a lot tougher than me when I was her age. No one wants to see their friends being made fun of or hurt. Instead of Chelsea joining in on those who pick on others, she defends them, and tells them to "stop it!" Most of the time they'll stop, but in this case...this kid scared her, and luckily her emotions upon returning to school caused her to tell her teacher. 

Bullying has gotten worse over the years, and as parents it is so important to reach out to our kids, and talk to them about that. Whether or not they get bullied it should still be an issue in the home so that our kids can defend those who are being bullied, and most importantly...so that our kids don't become bullies themselves. We are the example to our children, and if we exhibit any kind of bullying ourselves they will pick up on it. They will think that's the way things ought to be, that it's okay because mom and dad do it, and that's how life works. 

Newsflash...it shouldn't be that way. It doesn't have to be that way. We are the adult, and it is important to act accordingly because one thing I know is that life is tough. And it can end badly for both the bully, and the one who's being bullied. 

Luckily...I endured everything I went through while being bullied, and survived all the ridicule I took throughout my childhood years.

And I pray that when our kids leave the house for the day that they will always return home unscathed


Let's stop the bullying. 


***This movie also opened my eyes as well with all the social networking going on today. Cyberbullying has got to be the worst!! 

Monday, January 19, 2015

Selma.


Today I plan on taking Lexie to go see Selma. The fact that she (and her sister) were born on Martin Luther King's birthday is a privilege, and her interest in his life continues to increase as she gets older. For the past three years she has always gone out to do some kind of service project with her classmates from middle school, but now that she's in high school we've decided to watch the movie instead. I have heard amazing reviews, and a few of my friends have already seen the movie. I encourage all high school students to see Selma because the fact that it's based on a man who fought for civil rights without adding any animosity is admiring to me. His dignity, and strength in uniting coloreds with whites with love, and patience proved all too well that he indeed was a wonderful man. A wonderful man who died way too soon. 

He would be 86 today, and even at that age, if he was still alive, can picture him continuing to do amazing things.  Always standing in line first to do something great. Marching ahead of everyone to support the causes he believed in. So to observe the holiday in remembering his bravery and courage we will watch Selma. To remember his life, and to honor all that he did in order for us to live in a world today where we can at least strive to have peace, and maintain to have civil rights. 

"We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love. There is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us. When we discover this, we are less prone to hate our enemies."
~Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. 

Such an inspiration! 

Have a wonderful day! 

Friday, January 16, 2015

Scenes of Two Simple Birthdays.

Celebrating the girls birthdays on a weekday was simple, yet a lot of fun and if you have a Snapchat you can see all the details of that day from the time they came home from school until the night ended. There was cake and ice cream, tons of balloons with money tied on the ribbon. There were cake pops, pizza, and small, simple, yet lovely gifts from the girls friends from school, and  the grandparents in Utah. 


I love seeing my girls happy and as I watch them grown throughout the years I've recognized a simplicity and appreciation in them that when their special day arrives they are extremely excited. And that it's the littlest things that bring them joy.

They have never really asked for big parties with a ton of friends or big presents. All our girls have always told us that a simple "happy birthday" gesture added with lots of hugs, and sprinkles of love would suffice, and that makes them the happiest girls on earth. Their outlook of what a birthday should be makes me the happiest mama on earth! Then again...I think I have trained them to think that way, and to always be grateful that we are still alive, and for all that we receive. 

Even though I feel as if my girls are so appreciative of anything we do for them, and don't really ask for much I still want to make their day special, fun, and memorable. And yes...I love giving them gifts! I mean...what's a birthday party without gifts. Even if it's just a few simple gifts it's the thought that counts, and I can see it in their eyes that they are so happy that they received. 

And then there's the cake! 
It was such a wonderful Thursday afternoon. Even though Jon worked all day the second he came home we immediately put candles on their cake, and sang happy birthday to them. Since the girls birthday fell on a weekday I decided to splurge a little, and order them a nice sheet cake from here. This year the girls decided to put all 25 candles on the cake together. It was admirable to see the look on their faces and the gestures they were making as we were singing the birthday song to them. 
They truly are some of the happiest kids I know!

So glad y'all had fun! 

Happy Weekend everyone!