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Broken Promises

15 years ago, I was going through one of the hardest times in my life. I was going through a divorce after finding out he was having an affair. I remember a LOT about the things that were said during that time. Things that were said to me and about me…things he said to our marriage counselor and things he continually gave as reason for doing what he was doing. I was left with both emotional and physical scars, thanks to that man. But through it all, I continually told myself it was ALL worth it, thanks to the beautiful little girl I came out of that marriage with!
I struggled a lot during those early times. The words would try to break me down, but through it all, I wanted him to have a relationship with his daughter. I swallowed my pride and invited him to her birthday parties. I invited him into the house I now shared with my new husband, so he could be a part of her life. I sat in my daughters hospital bed with my new husband and my ex, playing Go Fish, just to see my daughter smile during her time in hospital for asthma. I shared my daughter with him and some REALLY nice women along the way…some still have a relationship with her in spite of her dad leaving them for the next best thing! My daughter has seen it all…all the hurt he’s caused these women in his life. One by one, his lies would be discovered, and she would lose another person in her life that she loved.
Why am I reliving this after all this time? Because I have finally had ENOUGH! To hurt me is something I can live with, but to hurt my baby….Mamma Bear has had it!
During our divorce, we agreed I would never go back to court to increase child support as long as he just helped with 1/2 of her extracurricular activities. He also promised to help her pay for college. All was fine and good…for years. Fast forward to her being 12, and he was in the middle of having an affair with another married woman. So, when I found out he brought my daughter to sleep in the same room as him and his new fling, with BOTH of them married to other people, I was NOT happy! So that was the first time we went back to court. Her 14th year, he cut her off completely because he didn’t like the way she spoke to him. No invitation to his BIG formal Catholic wedding, in which her kids took part in, but his only child was not even invited. No contact the first day of high school, no contact Thanksgiving, Christmas, NYE, Valentines Day….then spring came…and so did the calls. Ultimately, he started calling because his new wife (3rd) was pregnant. He hid it from her for a while, but she actually knew 3 months before he told her because she found the ultrasound picture. 🤷🏻‍♀️ So then she got a baby brother! That was exciting for her! I thought maybe this would make him take more time with her.
He would say he would come to a cheer competition, but wouldn’t show up. He made promises to do something with just him and her, but wouldn’t. At 16, he promised to pay for college instead of helping us buy her a car! Ok…that’s fair. So he bought her a camera instead. He was invited to watch her take Prom pictures her Sophomore and Junior year…he didn’t show up! Her last competition her Junior year was the day after prom. He promised he would be there. It was 40 minutes from his house. He didn’t show up. The very last time I got to watch my girl take to the blue mat, I watched her walk off in tears…because her daddy didn’t show up! That’s the last memory I will have of her as a cheerleader!
Her 17 birthday came and went…No gift, no card.
And now…two months before her 18th birthday, the biggest decision she has made up to this point in her life happened. She got accepted into FAU! She called her dad to share the good news. Instead of being happy, he told her she wasn’t going to FAU, she would go to UNF or he wasn’t paying for ANYTHING! I’ve listened to her cry off and on for weeks now. He’s blamed covid for his decision. But he’s essential and hasn’t lost his job. She told him she would work, it still didn’t matter. It’s just not where HE wanted her to go! Then today, it was the last straw for me! While discussing college, he starts talking down to her. So she says, “stop talking down to me!” This man says, “You sound JUST like your mother!”🤷🏻‍♀️
So here’s the main reason for this blog! If I could tell him, I would….but his new wifey is a bit on the insecure side so he’s not allowed to talk to me! 😂😂 Trust me girl, I don’t want his old cheating ass! But….here’s what I have to say to him!
To Him:
15 years ago, I sat in a marriage counseling appointment with you. Tears running down my face, my heart felt like it was physically breaking. You kept denying the affair to me and to our counselor! I was crazy….just insecure….you weren’t doing anything wrong! I sat and listened to you say to our counselor, “I want her to be the strong, independent woman I fell in love with and married. She’s SO NEEDY!”
My counselor looked at him and said, “I need my husband, but that doesn’t make me weak or dependent…it means I love him and our life!”
So pay attention… clarify, he didn’t want a needy wife, but he wanted a strong, independent woman! So….he literally just condemned our daughter for being just that! She is the epitome of a strong, independent young woman! I’ve taught her to never depend on a man for anything! Make sure she can take care of herself and not depend on anyone to do it for her! So I will take his mean spirited comment about her acting like her mother as the BEST compliment I have EVER received! I did THAT! I made her believe in herself! I made sure she could fight with her words, never needing a damn beer bottle! I married a man who loves her unconditionally, no matter how mad he gets at her, or her at him, he loves that girl whole heartedly! We’ve been there during the good times and the bad. We’ve grown as a family and keep growing. We enjoy family vacations and family time together. The louder, the better! Laughter fills this house when all the kids, their kids and their significant others are here! And that’s what I am going to tell her to take from this rough time in her life!
Baby girl, you have your entire immediate family on your side. You have a sibling in 3 different states ready to give you a pep talk no matter how rough of a day you have! You have two parents who will drop everything in a moments notice to be by your side if needed. But, you have the strength of an army within that body of yours! You are feisty, fierce, sweet, loving, kind, smart, beautiful, talented and the world is full of possibilities! The world is yours for exploring…enjoy college and be the strong woman I know you are! I can’t wait to see what you bring to adulthood! I love you!❤️❤️

PS.) Thank God she’s “just like her mother”…imagine the alternative! A liar & cheater….a constant disappointment. The Truth hurts doesn’t it? But don’t worry, I’ve also taught her how to love, and my girl loves with no conditions! Maybe you should try it sometime! ❤️

One More Year

I sat in a courtroom today for almost five hours. Why? Because my ex decided he wanted custody of his daughter at the end of her Junior year of HS. He wanted to move her 1 hour and 20 minutes away from me, the woman who’s raised her, to live in a house with him, his new wife (old mistress), her two kids, their child they share together, AND the full time nanny/maid! The man who has never, in the 13 years we’ve been divorced, had regular visitation of his child. He never rearranged HIS schedule to attend school events, or cheer competitions. Never took off work to have a whole weekend with her. Didn’t exercise his one night a week night with her during the week. During the last three years we’ve been back from our orders to Washington, he has yet to have his time either. He’s gone months without speaking to her, because she’s made him mad! She missed his full catholic mass wedding….but HER kids were there and in the wedding. He missed her first day of school, all three years of HS. He missed pictures for prom for two years. He’s been to one parent event and one cheer competition….but only AFTER the papers for custody were filed. He has said he will go to this competition, or another one..only to not show up and disappoint her once again. Christmas she sat at his house with no gifts to unwrap. Easter she received nothing from him. Her 16 birthday he refused to show up to a surprise dinner for her even though I invited his entire family. He had been to many since we’ve been divorced, but not since he remarried the lady he was cheating on his second wife with.

He’s been telling her for years, he doesn’t help pay for cheer or her car/car insurance because he’s paying for her college. Today, he denied saying that. He denied telling her he was going to cheer and then being a no show. So this is where we are!

The court has deemed it necessary for him to have his visitation. But….if visitation happens during the weekend of a cheer competition, then he doesn’t have to take her…I will have to take her and then he gets her the next weekend to make up for his missed weekend. If he has to work on “his” weekend, then he gets her whenever it’s convenient for him! Oh….and let’s not forget, he moved over an hour away, but now I have to meet halfway for pickup and drop off, because it’s more convenient for HIM!

And the fact that my 16 year old got her license and car, plus her insurance which is $245/month….well you see….that’s voluntary! He doesn’t have to contribute, EVEN THOUGH his wife works at a dealership, they have four cars for three licensed drivers, and ample funds to assist with those costs! But nope……it’s MY choice for her to have a car, so I pay for it! What happened to the courts saying a kid from the divorced parents living the life had both parents raised her? It’s ok for his step kids to have brand new vehicles to drive, but not his daughter!

As a parent, I give everything I can to my kids. I am there….present in their lives…involved. I can tell you I have so many wonderful memories and time spent with ALL of my children. I am truly blessed! What’s so hard for me to understand, is a man choosing to NOT be a part of a child’s life! Not making the attempt to be there for them, even if it’s just for a short day! I will always choose my kids over all else!

I cried today…..a LOT! His testimony and outright lies he told were disgusting! He made me realize, no matter how much I’ve wanted him to be a “normal” dad for her, he never will be! He has ALL of the control of their relationship….for one more year! Then after June 2020, she will no longer be forced to go anywhere she doesn’t want to go!

For the last 16+ years, I’ve built a bond, a relationship with my child. She knows, no matter what, momma will be there! She can go to her “dads house” anytime she wants….but we both know where her HOME truly is, and my door will always be open!

Just Cheerleaders

I didn’t grow up surrounded by a world of cheerleading. I was the only girl, both my brothers and my dad played baseball. I grew up at a ballpark…literally! And when my first child was a boy, as soon as he was old enough, there was a bat in his hand. Not just him, but my two girls that followed played baseball as well. But since my second child was a girl, I put her in cheerleading as well, something that was pretty foreign to me. Her younger sister started cheerleading at the young age of three, but my oldest daughter lost interest quickly. I have four daughters, and out of four, three of them are cheerleaders. After being a Cheer Mom for the past 19 years, I have seen my share of problems facing cheerleaders today.

Before it was my kid cheering, I didn’t realize the time and dedication that goes into being a cheerleader. It’s not just about being cute in a skirt, or wearing the biggest bow…it’s hard work! It consumes every month out of every year! For example, try outs are in April. Fundraising starts in May, as well as weekly practices that run throughout the summer. And don’t even THINK about planning ahead, by buying plane tickets for a vacation….what if it interferes with cheerleading!?! (I just CAN’T miss mom!) There are short vacations during the summer, usually a week here or there, only to start up practices 3 days a week, PLUS football games on Fridays, and don’t forget, tumbling practice somewhere in between!

And that is just Football season! Once it’s finished, they start competition season. Ask any cheerleader and they will tell you, THIS is their time to shine! They work all year to compete on weekends at different competitions. But don’t forget, it’s Basketball season as well! So they have to cheer at those games too! The last competition is in January, but they continue cheering for Basketball through February. That gives them one month and two weeks to rest and prepare for the next tryout in April!

Which brings me to why I am posting this. Our cheerleaders work hard. The coaches expect them to be at every practice and every game, no matter what. Our coaches work almost year round to prepare for the upcoming season and beyond. Our school expects the cheerleaders to be at every Football game, and every basketball game. I get it….they are cheerleaders and they should be there, but where is the support for them when it’s their time to shine? The parents have to fundraise to get money together for competition fees, hotels, transportation, and food…and if there isn’t enough raised, the parents are the ones that have to pay for it! We didn’t get a bus to go to Dallas to compete at Nationals, the parents paid airfare and for any amount left we didn’t have. We didn’t get the support other sports in the school get. Why? Because they are Just Cheerleaders! I am all for school spirit and supporting ALL of the athletes, but when is someone at the school going to realize, cheerleaders are athletes too!

We spent two and a half years in Washington when my husband received orders there. Not one time did I pay a competition fee. The school support was phenomenal for ALL of the sports. My daughter cheered not only for Football and Basketball, but for Wrestling, Baseball, Cross country, Track, and Swimming. They showed school spirit for everyone, no matter what! The football and basketball game concession stands had a “lottery”. Every sport was in a lottery for each game, and whatever sport was drawn got the proceeds for that game, and was in charge of working it. It created unity for all of the sports! No one sport was more important than the other.

It’s time for changes to be made. It’s time to recognize each sport, it’s members and coaches for their hard work they put in. It’s time for everyone to come together and make a difference for all of the kids, not just YOUR kid! I never dreamed I would be a cheer mom, but here I am, 19 years later, and I wouldn’t change it for the world!

Memories…The Good and The Bad

The one thing about moving into a new house that I absolutely love, is going through boxes of the memories created over the years. Today my husband was organizing the garage and brought me a few boxes to go through. One was filled with photos of the kids and their schoolwork. I spent over an hour looking through those pictures. I smiled ear to ear as I pulled every photo out and remembered exactly what they were doing or where they were when it was taken. It seems just like yesterday I had four children, under the age of 12. Long before the years of teenage angst, teen hormones, attitudes, drivers licenses, first girlfriend/boyfriends, proms, and graduations. Now I have 3 adult children, what used to be the baby is going to her first prom, and I have another baby girl I never dreamed I would’ve or could’ve had! But that’s the thing about memories….there are good, and bad ones. And just as I was busy celebrating all of my good ones, a bad memory was there to slap me in the face!

After over an hour of looking and reminiscing, one of the last picture envelopes I opened took me by surprise and I gasped! Not because it was photos I hadn’t seen before, but because it was photos I haven’t made a habit of looking at. They were photos taken by a relative during a horribly bad time in our lives, but somehow she knew one day, we would need them for closure.

Those photos took me back to being 21. I was married with a 22 month old son…a stay at home mom…when my whole world came crashing down around me! During that time everything was a blur. I don’t remember much. I remember the doctors harsh words, holding my husbands hands and talking to him. I remember the people coming in and out of our home…I can’t tell you who they were though. I remember boycotting food for 5 days…until December 31, 1994…The day I found out I was expecting our second child. And I remember the first bit of nutrition i fed myself after that 5 days, a banana, because the baby would need me to be healthy.

People may wonder why I have those photos or the video tape of his eulogy…it’s simple…he had a son, and unknown at the time, an unborn daughter. I owed it to them, to give them the option of being a part of the funeral if they chose to be when they were ready. My son was too young to understand at the time, so he stayed at home. I remember his first words when I came home…”Mommy, where’s daddy?”

I took a deep breath and looked at my sweet, innocent baby boy and said, “Daddy’s in heaven with God and the Angels!” The same sentence I repeated for years every time he asked, until he finally gave up and stopped asking. I honestly can’t tell you which was worse, saying those words over and over or the day he stopped asking.

Which brings me to my original reason for this post. My son is 25 and my daughter is 22 now. I can’t imagine having to watch either of them go through something like this at their age now. But what I can tell you, is as their mother, I’ve watched them go through it as children their entire lives.

We live in a tight knit community. Most people know my first husband and what happened. They will also speak about rumors on what they think REALLY happened, not thinking about how it may affect my kids or other loved ones. I’ve dealt with being judged for making wrong decisions during the time when my grief was so blinding, I couldn’t see what was clearly a bad decision. But with every bad decision comes a great memory, or in my case child 3 & 4! I’ve watched this town and it’s people put pressure on my son to be someone he was not, just because of his name. And the same people can somehow “forget” my daughter even exists, just because she doesn’t share the same first name! It took years for my son to truly find himself and become the man he was always meant to be. He is strong willed, compassionate, soft-hearted, tender and caring. He still has those that doubt him, but trust me when I tell you, his dad would be SO proud of the man he has become! It has not always been an easy journey, but I’m SO thankful he chose me to take it with him…the good and the bad!

And to my daughter…our last gift….what can I say but WOW! You have surpassed all of my expectations and more. You are so strong and courageous. As a small child I would catch you watching videos of your dad or looking through pictures…you know him inside and out! I still remember him saying, “I don’t want to have a girl! And if we do, she better be fat and ugly so the boys won’t want to date her or else I may go to jail!”

I said, “That’s what we have Little Pit for!” 😀

And from the first moment I laid my eyes on you, I knew his wish didn’t come true….you were the most beautiful baby girl I had ever seen!

So, somewhere out there, there is another single mother making memories with her beautiful children, and sure making some mistakes along the way, but I hope that like me, she can one day look back on the bad times and know the good memories cast so much light in her life, the bad ones don’t seem so dark.

Thanks to my kids for always being the light of my life! 😍😍

Pregnancy loss

October is Pregnancy and Infant loss awareness month.  I’ve always known it was. I had my little conversations to myself every year,  but I had never taken the time to write about the traumatic experiences of losing a pregnancy. I have never sat down and released all of the anger and sadness I still feel, all these years later.  I think now is a perfect time to let it all out for the world to see! 

February 1997

I was newly married to my second husband. My first husband had only passed away 3 years earlier, but I was desperate to find the feeling of family again. My first marriage was so good and we enjoyed our time together, raising our son, and just living everyday life, and I longed for that feeling of contentment again. After carrying my first husbands daughter right after he passed away and feeling all alone with two kids to raise, I unfortunately rushed into my next marriage.  I figured he had to be a good guy if he could love and want me with two kids, right?  I ignored all of the warning signs, and when he proposed, I said yes! Our wedding was beautiful, but it was a picture of what I wish I really had, but I knew deep down, this was not it.  

One month into our marriage, I found out I was pregnant. I was so excited! A baby should always be celebrated! A week or so later, we had some friends over.  They were all drinking and having a good time. My husband got REALLY drunk and became belligerent and hostile. He cornered me and took me to our bedroom. He started an argument, accusing me of wanting other men.  He was always very insecure. He had me trapped on the bed, sitting on top of me, holding my arms down with his knees. He kept on spewing cuss words and being cruel, while I struggled to get up. I finally said, “Get up, you are going to hurt the baby!” He got this evil look in his eyes, squinted them, punched me as hard as he could in the stomach and said, “I hope you lose that baby!”

I doubled over in pain as he got up and left the room.  The next morning, I woke up and had started spotting. I went straight to the doctor. That’s when I saw my beautiful baby for the first time. It was perfect…and it had a heartbeat! Great news! ❤ I didn’t tell the doctor about my husbands abuse the previous night, but he reassured me everything was fine, there weren’t even any cervical changes so I was ok. 

We had 3 more trips to the doctor for spotting. The baby was showing growth at every visit, so I started to relax.  At my 12 week checkup, we had an ultrasound scheduled. I was actually just under 12 weeks, 11.5 weeks.  As soon as they started the exam, I knew! My heart sank and tears filled my eyes.  I knew my baby was gone. I couldn’t see the heartbeat and it was obviously smaller than what it should be. The doctor came in and confirmed the diagnosis. I went into surgery that afternoon for an D&C.  When I undressed to put the hospital gown on, I stood in that room, looked into the mirror, rubbed my baby bump, and cried hysterically.  I apologized to my unborn child for not being able to keep it safe. I apologized for not being strong enough to walk out that door. I apologized for the life he/she would never get to live. I woke up from anesthesia empty. There was a tremendous whole in my heart and emptiness in my abdomen. I just held my stomach and cried.  I missed my baby.  At that moment, I vowed when I got pregnant again, I would protect that baby with everything I had within me. 

Fast forward to 2011. I went through a surgery to reverse my tubal ligation. My husband and I had been married 7 years at that time and I figured he was a keeper, so I didn’t mind at least giving it a shot. After almost a year, my doctor suggest we seek help from a fertility doctor due to my FSH level being 12.5. We were devastated we would have to go this route after spending thousands on a surgery.  We go to the fertility specialist and he decides we can just do shots to boost my egg function and then conceive naturally…No IVF…which was great because IVF would’ve cost more money, and we had already spent for the surgery. So we go home and wait for my cycle to start, then we were to start the injections. But….my cycle never started!! I was pregnant!!! I was so excited! The excitement didn’t last! I misscarried at 7 weeks! I was so upset, but I knew there must’ve been something wrong due to my poor egg quality. So of course, I blame myself! The only good news was my levels dropped down quickly, we didn’t even have to wait 3 month to try the fertility shots on my next cycle!

My next cycle started, as did the shots. They were easy as pie to give myself, knowing what I would be getting in return. We followed 2 egg follicles throughout the week. By the end of the week, the doctor stated one egg was larger, and that would become the baby, the other egg was too small and it would not. So Friday we did the trigger shot and Saturday, we did as we were told, and made a baby!😂😂

Then on Monday we were out shopping and I said to my husband, “Honey, I’m ovulating…I can tell!” See, I get mild cramping when my egg releases so I always know. He was doubtful, so when we got home I pulled out my ovulation prediction kit and got a big 😀! And y’all know what that means! Bow chicka bow wow! Since my husband had to work nights that particular day, he left his much needed “deposit”, kissed me and headed out the door, hoping he wasn’t late! Sorry, not sorry…you know how crazy wives can be when we are on a mission!  What if I didn’t ovulate until Monday and we ignored my body and the signs it was giving me? I was not about to chance it and have to go through the injections for another month! 

10 days…..It doesn’t seem like a lot, but that’s how long you have to wait to pee on a stick! Every symptom was there….I just KNEW it! But I waited….10 WHOLE, LONG DAYS!! And there it was, the positive pregnancy test!  Whoo-hooo!  I called the fertility doctor and let them know! Since I had a tubal reversal, I had to go in and check my blood levels and get frequent ultrasounds to make sure the embryo didn’t implant into the Fallopian tubes. 

We arrive at the fertility clinic full of anticipation, ready to see our baby! They started the scan and I could see my little cutie immediately!! PERFECTION!! They measured the ball of cells which would soon become our baby we had SO longed for, then they moved to the left a little. And there it was….baby B….Wait, WHAT??  Baby B?? The doctor starts explaining Baby B was the second egg follicle they believed wasn’t going to continue to grow to be big enough in time for the trigger shot, but he guessed it made it. I turned to my husband and looked at him sheepishly, knowing full well, Baby B was the product of its mamma’s intuition and theneed to have a “quickie” before daddy went to work….JUST IN CASE baby A wasn’t viable!  So there we were, four kids at home, 2 more on the way, and on top of being AMA, now that I had a twin pregnancy, I just secured myself a place in the high risk category! Yay me! 

We kept the twin news to a minimum. Only close family knew. I was so nervous about it. I had to get blood work and ultrasounds constantly to make sure the babies were ok. Everything seemed to be going ok. I had my normal morning sickness, which is a good sign, and due to twins, my tummy made its appearance rather quickly. Then on Christmas Eve, I woke up with uterine cramping. No spotting, just heavy cramping and what felt like back labor. I was scared I was losing both of my sweet babies. There was nothing I could do but wait it out until my appointment the day after Christmas. If the pregnancy wasn’t going to make it, then I just needed to try and prepare myself 

December 26th, We went to our fertility specialist for a checkup. They started the ultrasound and right away I noticed it….Baby B’s sac was empty. My stomach sank and I held my breath until she got to Baby A. There it was…Baby A…heart beating, moving around, the most beautiful site in the world! But how can I be happy knowing I lost her precious twin? And my heart ached for my precious unborn child and for the love of her twin she will never know. 

I had a lot of depression surrounding the loss of the twin, but I kept it to myself.  I felt guilty mourning the twin, when I was SO blessed to be carrying a healthy, baby girl. I often wonder what life would be like with two toddlers running around our house, but God knows best and Everleigh has been such a HUGE blessing to our entire family! I feel comfort knowing my three angel babies have each other in heaven…what fun they must be having! 

Every time I hear about the loss of a child or pregnancy, it takes me back to those painful days when I had to say good-bye to my angels. I can’t fathom how or why some parents find it so easy to abuse, kill, or walk away from their children. There are so many people out there that are willing to step up and become parents to those unwanted Angels, why can’t they just give them to someone who will love them forever? 

 I have been blessed beyond belief with five of the most beautiful, smart, loving children, and I thank God everyday for them. But there will always be a place in my heart for my three little angel babies. RIP my angel babies….until I see you again! ❤❤

My Graduate 

In the month of May 22 years ago, I had a 2 year old son, was pregnant with my second child, turned 22 years old and was newly widowed.  During that month, I also learned my second child would be a girl…the last gift for my son and I from my husband.  I was SO excited to know my husbands legacy would live on in both his son and daughter.  Kailee-Lane McKenna LeBrun was born in August, and was the most perfect baby girl I had ever seen! 

Throughout the past 21+ years, I have found myself looking at my daughter and wondering how it is possible for her to be so much like someone she’s never physically met.  She’s stubborn like her mother, but sweet like her father.  She has the self determination and Drive like her father.  She has a shyness about her just like him, but a mean streak like her mother if you cross her! She is a perfect mix of the two people who wanted her, but never dreamed only one of us would ever get the joy of raising her. 

From the time she’s been old enough to talk, she’s always been interested in medical shows.  I would catch her watching Trauma Center on the T.V. as a toddler. She would dress up as a doctor, using socks as gloves, and perform “medical acts” on our poor unsuspecting pets! She once told me she wanted to be a doctor when she was about 8.  When I told her she needed to work on her math grade so she can calculate medications,  she said “That’s the nurses job!” 😂 So it was no surprise after high school when she decided to go to college to be a nurse.        She began her classes locally and was on her way to getting her degree. 

Reason #1 why she was motivated. Having to live in a household with your new baby sister screaming all of the time, helps you realize the importance of staying in school and getting your degree before juggling kids AND a family!

Shortly after she started classes, we found out my husband was stationed in Washington.  So after a few months finishing classes, she moved to Washington.  During that time, she decided to change her major from nursing to become a paramedic.  Her reasoning….she didn’t know if she could handle the day to day relationship you build with patients because she would get too attached.  This is where my heart burst with pride. How could you not be so proud of the maturity of a young lady knowing she is so caring and loving, she wouldn’t be able to leave work at work?  To know at such a young age what you are and are not capable of, is showing maturity beyond her years! So that’s just what she did! 
After a semester in Washington, she moved to North Carolina, enrolled in college, and has been there ever since.  I have missed my baby girl, but it’s been so nice knowing I’ve raised such an independent, hard working, self-sufficient young lady. She has made new friends, worked as a waitress, and worked hard to finish her classes on time! Through all the struggles, the tears, the late nights, the moving boxes, and stupid boys, she did it!! 

So tomorrow morning, bright and early, we will pack up the car and head to North Carolina to see my baby girl! Friday night we will attend her Paramedic pinning, and Saturday we will attend her college graduation.  She has 2 sets of grandparents, her godparents, her cousins, and all of her siblings coming to see her take the first steps into her future! And I would bet there is a very special angel looking down with the biggest smile on his face! 

Congratulations to the most gorgeous, loving, caring, funny, Paramedic I know! I love you sweet cheeks! 😘😘

When Anxiety Waits

Saturday, February 25, 2017.

What a beautiful Florida day to wake up to! The sun was shining brightly, and the temperature was perfect. We had a busy day planned. I had to go to Target with Makailyn to get my nephew a birthday present and then we could go home to get ready for the Luke Bryan Concert!  My husband had an MRI scheduled, so Everleigh was going to spend the day at the party with Granny and Bubba(Pit).  After we made sure she was taken care of, it was go time! Three girls on a mission to get all beautified for the upcoming evening! But deep down, it was there…I felt it looming, and pushed it back down as much as I could!  

We rode with my cousin and her daughter to the concert. We had to get there early because we all had PIT tickets, which meant we would be waiting in line for hours before we could enter the event!  Walking up to the familiar building, I took it in stride.  Everything seemed to be ok. My cousin had dropped us off at the corner to go find our spot in the line while she parked.  I walked around with the three girls for a few minutes and there didn’t seem to be much of a crowd, much less a line. So far, so good. We stopped by to get a drink and headed around to the side of he building where we found both the line, and my cousin. The girls went on a hunt for food and brought back fries without ketchup from one of the food trucks out front!! Who eats French fries without at LEAST ketchup! So my cousin and I left them to hold our spot in line and find me some ketchup! 

When we came to the front of the building, walking towards the food truck, it hit me…the heavy weight in my chest.  I tried to take a deep breath, but that damn elephant was too heavy to get in a full, deep, oxygenated breath. I tried again. No luck. I scanned the crowd for any familiar faces and the elephant sat up a little…just enough to get some clarity. I GOT TO GET AWAY FROM THE FRONT! My cousin was waiting to use the restroom so I calmly, or maybe not so calmly, excused myself back to the line with the girls. By he time I got back, I was hot, flushed, that damn elephant was getting heavier and my hands were slightly tremoring. I sat down and slowed my breathing down and tried to talk myself out of every reason I was having anxiety!  

  • You are perfectly safe here
  • No one can hurt you
  • Your cousin has your back
  • No one will hurt you around your children
  • It’s been 12 years, get over it
  • You are over reacting
  • You have nothing to fear
  • No one is watching you
  • No one can see the fear

Well it seemed it to work for the time being. The girls were laughing and taking endless selfies!  They are the cutest!  This was definitely going to be a night to remember and I did NOT want to waste it on any stupid anxiety filling my head with bullshit that doesn’t belong!

Smiles for miles! 

  After a couple of hours, we were able to enter the coliseum for the concert.  The elephant had seemed to be gone and we were well on our way for a night full of fun and music! We were able to secure a spot right up front against the railing of the PIT, which meant only one thing…we were stuck there in those spots until the concert began!  Meadow decided she wasn’t going to drink any water so she wouldn’t have to take a bathroom break and miss anything! I eventually was able to sneak off before the concert for drinks, after making sure to make friends with those around us and knowing they would take care of my girls. 

Once Brett Young came out, the girls were in awe! They were screaming and dancing their hearts out!  As a mom, nothing is sweeter than watching your children with pure joy in their eyes!! He stopped several times in front of us and shook our hands, and one time he grabbed Meadow’s phone and took a video of him singing with us in the background! He made them fangirls for life!! ​

Brett Eldridge was next. Another great performance. They danced and sang, having a blast. Once again, we had a chance to shake hands with him and get lots of pictures and videos!   Being up close and personal was well worth the time and money spent to make it happen for my girls! 

After Brett Eldridge, the crowd in the PIT got a little thicker anticipating the arrival of Luke Bryan. My cousin and her daughter finally made there way back from the acoustic performance, and we were waiting for him to take the stage. While waiting, I started feeling a little nudge of anxiety creep in. I tried to feign it off to the best of my ability.  My eyes started scanning the crowd. I had this overwhelming feeling of being watched.  You know that feeling…the one where you feel it in your gut….eyes staring at you, but you just can’t seem to find the direction in which they are coming from! The “elephant” started getting heavier on my chest. There was a family down at the end of the gate who started shoving into us. It wasn’t long until Meadow and I were feeling squished, along with the two young girls beside us. The elephant got heavier.  I asked Security to please ask them to stop pushing. Nothing was done.

Right before Luke took the stage, Meadow looks at me and says, I’m going to be sick! I looked around at the crowd behind us knowing full well we wouldn’t get through before she was sick. I pointed to the rail and said, just go there! The security officer did NOT look pleased, but I guess he should’ve addressed that family insisting on pushing into the rest of us! Then, she says, “Mom, everything is black!”   Before I could react, she was sliding down to the floor in front of me. She had passed out!  My cousin and I tried helping her up and she jumped up screaming, “I’m fine, I’m fine….I’m NOT leaving!” After two bottles of water, holding her hair up and fanning her, she was back to screaming and dancing!  All was well once again!  

Luke did not disappoint! We had a great time listening to him sing and watching him dance only he way he can do to rile the crowd of screaming girls up!  

But that sinking feeling was there…in the pit of my stomach. I just couldn’t shake it!  Half way through his performance, I had enough. I asked my cousin to leave with me! We went and got the girls some water and sat behind the PIT area and finished listening to the concert. I told her I just couldn’t stop looking through the crowd. My anxiety was through the roof and I just really wanted to get home to my husband and baby girl, safe and sound! 

(This is the image I received after I told him I wanted to come home!😍😍)

We left the concert and made it safely back to the vehicle! Slowly, the elephant, who had been a nuisance all evening, left just as quickly as he came! Left behind was a pounding headache and a painful left ear, which turned out to be an ear infection! 😂😂

The next morning, two things happened. I received a messaged letting me know my ex was at the concert sitting right across from the PIT where we were. Well, I guess I’m not so crazy after all.  The feeling I had was indeed on point! Thanks to my intuition, I really knew before she even told me…I just could pinpoint The Who and where! 

The second thing….my ex texted his daughter to tell her he saw her at the concert, but he didn’t have his cell phone on him to text her the night before! WHAT?? First of all, who in the hell leaves their cell phone at home or in the car at a concert in 2017?  Secondly, you were with your new wife/old mistress, so seriously, try to sell that bullshit Story to someone a little more naive!  I’ve raised a smart girl,  it some little dumbass who will willingly believe you and all of your lies! 

Here’s the part that is the most irritating to me! Since the first week of July….a week after we moved back from Washington, you have not physically laid eyes on our beautiful daughter. She has spent the last 8 months growing up, maturing, changing, blossoming, getting taller, and becoming a young lady.  And you’ve missed it all. By choice!  You’ve missed her first day of High School.  Her first High School football game she cheered at. Her first High School cheer competition, and her first National Cheer Competition.  You missed Thanksgiving and Christmas. You didn’t even call.  And to top it all off, you stood before God, your family & friends, her family & friends, and vowed to love a woman for the rest of your days….as long as you both shall live….WITHOUT our daughter by your side! You prayed for your marriage to be blessed by God. But you….you can’t even have and keep a relationship with your ONLY child? Tell me, how much faith do you think those of us who truly know you, have on your “new” marriage? A marriage that is the result of two people committing adultery on their spouses! A marriage that began leaving out a VERY important part of one of the two of you? 

For two days, you’ve called. You want a relationship now. After 8 long months. After us watching her notice you ignoring her, you finally decide its time to play dad! And why? Because your new wife says so!  She’s noticing you being upset! So now that it’s affecting her, she wants you to contact your daughter!  How convenient. 

Here’s my thoughts on it.  We HAD to move in January 2014 due to my husbands Navy career.  We had NO choice!  We begged you to come and see your daughter! We begged you to participate in her life.  We opened up our home and even offered you a place to stay, just so you could share in her life while we were stationed away from Florida. Instead, we heard all of the excuses you had. 

  • I can’t take time off of work
  • I can’t afford it
  • It’s too far to fly

So we did our best and moved back as soon as we could. We bought land to build a house to insure we were 2 miles away from your house, to make it easier on YOU so you could be closer to your daughter. Now since we’ve been back, we’ve discovered there never was an issue with all the excuses you once gave.  They were all lies.  Let’s take a moment to point out the truth of what’s happened in the last 8 months. 

  • You’ve taken off work for multiple vacations, including a honeymoon 
  • You bought a new house 675,000 (seems kind of expensive to be broke)
  • You took a plane to visit your brother in Oregon. You know, that state RIGHT below WASHINGTON where your daughter resided for 2.5 years!
  • You moved 1 hour 20 minutes away from your daughter…and didn’t bother telling her for 4 months!
  • You got married–without your daughter present–a big, nice wedding
  • You missed all holidays and special events for 8 months….no call, no text. Oh, there was a text here and there…like when we had to evacuate for the hurricane, but not Christmas!

I could keep going but I’ve blogged and blogged about this and it just seriously breaks my heart.  The worst part…he’s made my daughter harden her heart to protect it from being hurt. She came to me after the first call on Sunday and said she thought something was wrong with her. When I asked why she said, “Well, he was crying on the phone and I was looking at myself in the mirror and wondering why I had no emotion about it!” 

And THAT is truly the most heartbreaking part of a dad that chooses to walk away.  She will forever have a wall around her heart, waiting for the ones she loves to walk away!  😢

I See You

I see you. I know who you are. You can be so easily read. Like a well planned novel, written like so many others, time and time again. The plot is the same.  The characters are eerily similar, although the names are different. The steps you take, the lies you tell, the mistakes you make…it’s all been done before. But this time, the ending will be different.  You see, whenever you write the book, you can change the ending.  I’m choosing to change this one.  I am choosing to lessen your role in my story. To make you less relevant.  To leave you twisted up in your miserable web of lies. A web SO intricate, google maps couldn’t direct you out!  Keep spewing your lies. Keep telling others of you and your husbands innocence.  I will sit here with the truth in my heart, my true love by my side, and the proof in black and white, spoken in your own words for all to discover.  For if I see you, then the world will surely see the real you as well! Evil can only hide in the darkness for so long before it finds its way into the light. 
The End.

Goodbye 2016, Hello 2017! 

2016 seemed to fly by so fast!  When we got orders to Washington State at the end of 2013, 2016 seemed like an eternity away! I willed time to speed by, and time being EVER so gracious, did just that! As mid point 2016 approached, I found myself begging time to slow down! As a family, we had grown accustom to our surroundings in Washington.  We got use to seeing our extended family only via FaceTime or during our annual trip to Florida during the summer.  We made wonderful, lifelong friends, we weren’t ready to say goodbye to.  And June 2016 would mark another huge milestone for our family, with Makailyn  graduating from high school. She would be the first to graduate somewhere other than my alma mater, FBHS!  But as they say, time marches on, and so did she.  She marched across the stage with our immediate family cheering her on, as well as her granny, memaw, and papa, who had flown in for her special day! And thankfully, those who were unable to make the trip, they were able to log in and watch via live feed! 

After graduation, we said our goodbyes and headed out across he country. We traveled down the west coast and enjoyed sight seeing through The Sequoia Forest. The trees were absolutely gorgeous, a work of art courtesy of Mother Nature! We spent one day in SAN Francisco.  We walked across the Golden Gate Bridge and took photos.  We even drove by the Full House, house, where we discovered we weren’t the only tourists still obsessed with the Tanners! We drove into LA and Hollywood and became typical tourist!  We even enjoyed a Hollywood tour in which we tormented Meadow, telling her every house was Justin Bieber’s!! We spent a day at Venice Beach watching the kids play in the water and walking along the boardwalk.  We even enjoyed the freak show! Traffic was indeed horrible, especially pulling a Uhaul trailer behind us, but it was well worth it! 

They loved our Maltese, Kingston, at The Freak Show!! 

We left California and headed into Vegas!  To say it was hot is an understatement! It was 115 degrees and being outside felt like you were literally cooking.  The heat hampered our sightseeing, but Makailyn, granny, and I did get to enjoy The Thunder From Down Under! Front row seats and they were worth it! Granny and Makailyn had never been so now they are able to cross that off of their bucket list!  The next day we went to The Secret Garden and happen to run into Siegfried! The girls had no idea who he was, but he was nice enough to take a picture with them!  Meadow got to take pictures with a dolphin.  In spite of the heat, we enjoyed our time in Vegas. 

Our next stop was Oklahoma to see my parents on our way through.  We stopped by and saw Grandpa Kenneth’s gravesite like we do every time we visit Oklahoma.  This time was the first time we were able to visit Nanny Joy’s gravesite.  She is buried next to my cousin Dustin who passed away from cancer as a young boy.  It was bittersweet.  I’m glad we had the opportunity to see her final resting place, but oh how I wish we could be sitting at her dining room table, playing a game of Farkle or Yahtzee instead! 

The final two days of our trip were a blur.  We were exhausted from our trip and ready to see the Florida sign!  Pulling across the Florida state line felt oh so nice!

We’ve spent the second half of 2016 getting reacquainted with our Florida lives.  Some things have changed and some things have stayed the same.  During our time away, I’ve learned a few things.  I learned who my true friends are, and who are just really more like acquaintances.  I’ve learned who I can count on and who is really just out for themselves.  I’ve learned for some, out of sight, is really out of mind.  I’ve learned distance does make the heart grow fonder, if the relationship is strong to begin with!  I’ve seen first hand, some people only want you in their lives if they need something from you, but if you need them, they are too busy to care. I’ve learned some of your best friends will still love you even if you haven’t called them because 3 hours time difference messes up your chat schedule, and the only time you can talk, they can’t, so they will settle for Facebook comments and likes from you without getting their feelings hurt, because like you, they KNOW how much you love them!!! My girls know who they are!!! 😘😘

2016 ended with  Chris and I celebrating our 10 year Anniversary! Every day I look at him I wonder how in the heck I got SO lucky!! He’s an amazing husband and to top it off, he’s an incredible, loving father!! What more could a girl want!! 😍❤️

 I’ve learned that family is the most important thing in the world.  If you want your family to make you a priority in their lives, you better be willing to make them a priority in yours.  You can’t sit back, complain and be jealous of the relationship other family members have with each other, if you aren’t willing to make an effort on your own.  Stop being a victim, make an effort and enjoy your family while they are still around to do so! Life is too short to waste your time on petty feuds and unspoken words! Live today like it’s your last! 

I am so blessed to be home in Florida, surrounded by family and friends. My resolution for 2017 is to focus less on the things I can’t change, and be happy with what God has blessed me with! I mean, seriously….have you seen my kids?!?   Those are seriously some pretty incredible humans I gave birth to! 

Pit will start 2017 walking through an adventure I’m sure he never thought he would embark on! As he turns 24 in February, I can honestly say, as a mom, I’ve raised an incredible young man with a good head on his shoulders!  He’s been on more adventures in his short life than many dream of, and I can’t wait to see where 2017 takes him! KaileeLane will start her final semester of Paramedic school in North Carolina and will graduate in May!  She works as a waitress, goes to school full time and enjoys her time in clinicals.  I love her phone calls telling me all about her day! Time will tell whether or not she will continue to call North Carolina home, or if Florida calls her back! We sure do miss her around here, but I am SO proud of my independent young lady! Her strength and drive amazes me! Makailyn is enrolled in online classes at FSCJ and is working as a waitress.  She’s venturing out into the world one step at a time, deciding where life will take her! She has big dreams and a bright future ahead of her, and no matter where her heart may land, I know she will always be my happy girl! Meadow will turn 15 in 2017 and finish up her Freshman year in High School!  She left Fernandina Beach in 6th grade for 2 1/2 years and came back a beautiful, confident, young lady!  She knows what she wants and expects out of her life and the people in it, and she will not waste time on anything less!  She’s definitely strong-willed and tough, with the right amount of sweetness and charm! And let’s not forget, she’s an absolute makeup fanatic! 😀 She closed out the first half of her Freshman  year on the honor roll and has set big goals for herself and her future!  I’m excited to watch her continue to grow and achieve all of her dreams!   And last but not least, we have little Miss Everleigh! She is a 3 year old, little mini teenager! She has watched and mimicked her sisters every move for the last 3 1/2 years! From her obsession with lipstick, selfies, sassiness, hands on her hips and the infamous eye roll, she’s got the role of “teenager” down pat! 😀 Before moving back, I worried Everleigh would be less than friendly to family and friends since we moved when she was 5 months old and she was pretty much secluded except for our immediate family!  NOT in the least!!! She never meets a stranger!! She absolutely loves her brother Pit and cousin Dylan, which somehow she now has claimed as her brother as well! 😂  she adores “Aunt Saucy” AKA, Aunt Sylvie! But, no matter how many new faces she meets, she will run up and hug them whenever they are leaving.  She is smart enough to recognize family when she sees them! She is taking dance and is in cheerleading! She loves to dance around the house with her current favorite, The Trolls soundtrack! 

2017 will most certainly be a great year for our family! My parents are building a house which should be finished in February, and will be moving back to Florida from Oklahoma! And if that wasn’t great enough, our house is being built right next door and should be completed in May! We have been so unsettled since moving back, planning and waiting for our dream home to be complete! But the one thing I’ve learned, anything is possible as long as you have your family and friends by your side! Thanks for making 2016 a year to remember! 😘😘

The Wife Who Knew Too Much

I recently went to my attorneys office and got back all of the evidence and paperwork related to my attack in 2005.  There are police reports, pictures, blood-stained clothes,  and an endless pile of paperwork, including depositions and statements given throughout the years.  One night, about 2 weeks after I picked it up, I was up suffering from insomnia and there it sat….in the corner, staring at me, begging me to begin the long journey into that dreadful night.  I knew it wasn’t going to be pleasant. I knew it was going to end with me being angry, hurt, and feeling betrayed all over again, but I KNEW I had to look through it and get it over with. 

This will be one of a few blogs dealing with what I found in those files that night. But this blog in particular, I’m going to focus on one thing and one thing only….the “witnesses” to the attack. Now, I will be politically correct and save myself the hassle of being threatened with legal action of libel and slander, and I will leave out names, however, they are all public record if you really want to know that bad. It’s not really important for the story though.  The only importance is their role in the non-prosecution of my attacker.  

So, we have my two friends who witnessed her attack me, but didn’t actually see the bottle, because one of her male friends grabbed my male friend, which was also my friends boyfriend, when he tried to stop the attack. Therefore neither of my witnesses actually saw the bottle, only the altercation, and the result of the altercation. This allowed the States Attorney to fall back on a technicality, and not prosecute her.  No, they didn’t see  the bottle, but they saw her on top of me and what I looked like after she was pulled off of me! Then you have my estranged husband. (Now ex husband) He claims initially that I started the altercation, but never saw the bottle, but doesn’t know who touched me or who cut up my face! (Per his statement under oath to a judge)  He also stated under oath, she was on top of me! 

Then we have a female witness, a friend of hers. She states under oath to a judge states “I was holding my friend up by her belt so Kenna-Joy couldn’t pull her down on top of her (didn’t I say all along I was on the ground??)  but when he judge asked her under oath, she also didn’t see he bottle or who cut my face or my chest!  

Next we have a male witness, also a friend of my estranged husband at the time. A single man whom I knew well.  There is no statement from him in the police report, but there is a statement later during an apparent formal interview that I nor my witnesses were NEVER advised of!   This was dated April 3, 2005…. really….over a month AFTER the incident! These statements were taken after the injunction for protection had been issued as well!!  So after over a month, the injunction was already issued and my witnesses had given their statements, the officers gather her witnesses, all of which arrived with her to the event, and question them.  Of course her female witness states I was very intoxicated  and she herself was afraid of me and not my attacker! (My attacker was her friend!)  The single male friend, also a fire fighter,  says I was the clear aggressor and the defendant would NOT have attack had I not approached her! (Hmm..wonder why he didn’t give a statement saying those words the night of the attack? Sounds to me like he was persuaded!)

Now, the final witness I would like to address, is the married fireman.  The good ole buddy of my estranged husband.  You see, this man basically fell off the face of the earth when this went down! I called him to ask him why he didn’t give a statement to the police and he said he didn’t know she was stabbing me or he would’ve beat the shit out of her!  See, he was the guy who pushed my male friend down, my friend who tried to help me!  Neither the married fireman nor the single fireman showed up in court to testify in behalf of my attacker or my estranged husband during their injunction hearings. But both gave a statement in some secret meeting I knew nothing about! Why would this married man be SO worried about me finding out about his statement to the police? Why would he not give the same statement in court to help both my attacker and husband in court if it was the truth?  

Two reasons!  First, during this investigation, all parties were called down to a meeting with their superiors.  It seems the fire department was conducting its own investigation…off the record, of course! The married male fireman is married to someone with family higher up in the fire department hierarchy.  This whole situation most likely didn’t sit too well with the family.  Secondly , the estranged wife, me, knew too much! I’m quite sure he was extremely nervous about pissing me off, especially when it came to marital affairs!  It seems he wasn’t so careful when he was intoxicated one night when he was out with us and his wife was in Disney with their daughter! I’m sure he didn’t want me to let it slip to his wife about the new teacher friend from Callahan he met that night in the bar! I’m sure it wouldn’t have gone over very well! But that was years ago, so we should all be over it by now, right? I’m sure he wouldn’t care if she put  2 + 2 together, right?  

Needless to say, there were a lot of uncovered secrets in those files, and I’ve just barely scratched the surface!