Tag Archives: kids

Goodbye 2016, Hello 2017!Β 

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! πŸ˜€ 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! πŸ˜€ 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! πŸ˜‚  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! 😘😘

“Please Dad, Please!”

When you are divorced and you share a child with an ex, there are times when you feel as if you are still married. Trapped…in limbo…waiting until the magical age of 18 when you can forever cut ties with your ex! But until then, you are left to dangle there, wanting nothing more than to never have to deal with your ex again! You lived through the disappointments while being married, and now you are living through the disappointments once again! But this time, it’s worse! Why? Because now, not only are you disappointed, but your heart is breaking! You are looking at your beautiful child, the only thing good that came out of the marriage, and you are watching your child slowly lose faith in your ex. You watch time and time again as he disappoints her, over and over. You listen to the excuses that were once reserved for you, now spoken you to the child you both share! And it hurts…

 

What I like to call the beginning of the end, when my ex and I were still married, we had an argument because of him disappointing one of my other children. My oldest daughter did not have a dad to visit on the weekend, her dad died before she was born. Her relationship with my ex was extremely important to her. She didn’t have anyone else as a father figure, so to her, he was it. She was cheering for a rec league and had a competition coming up locally. She asked him to attend the competition, but he declined and told her he had to work. He promised her he would attend Regionals in Orlando if they qualified. He had no idea that their squad would do just that! Regionals were held during Thanksgiving weekend. We planned on eating with his parents, then heading to the competition for the remainder of the weekend. At the last minute, he refused to go. He stayed at his parents house instead. So I left their house upset and angry for my daughter! I knew how much it meant to her and knew she was broken hearted! He was full of broken promises and was unapologetic for it!

Over the years since our divorce, I’ve hidden the broken promises from our daughter as much as I could. There were a lot of times he just wouldn’t call, he wouldn’t come get her, he didn’t show up to her special events, he just didn’t care. But with her being only 2 years old when we separated, it was easy for me to keep it hidden. That was up until the last couple of years. She got older and when she became a teenager, the lack of contact he had with her was apparent.

Now I’m sure his family and friends will tell you this is because I moved her all the way across the country, but that’s not why! He never had scheduled visitation. He never took her whenever he could. He went on vacations by himself numerous times since our divorce, but only one time in 10 years had he included our daughter, and that was with his parents. She missed out on a family wedding…the only one missing….with the excuse “I thought you wouldn’t let her go!” He never asked!  When my husband got orders to Washington, my ex was upset. I promised I would let her see him as much as possible. We agreed to each pay half of all flights back to Florida. When we had divorced, our child support had been set based on our current situation. 10 years later, I had never sought an increase with the agreement he would just help with any extra expenses that came up that weren’t factored in to the original divorce. During the first 6 months we lived in Washington, my ex refused her for Spring Break and her birthday…he would go 2-3 weeks at a time without calling her or returning her phone calls. Finally, after 6 months, I flew to Florida and she came with me and stayed for 5 weeks. During that time period, she spent almost every day with her stepmom. Her dad was always working. I was so thankful she had her stepmom, but sad for my daughter who longed to spend time with her dad as well!

Upon returning to Washington, we found out he had cheated on his wife and was planning on filing for divorce. Once again, my daughters heart broke! I was so glad we were living in Washington and she wouldn’t be subjected to another divorce on a daily basis!

My daughter was due to return in December for Christmas. I asked him repeatedly not to introduce his new girlfriend to our daughter. He kept denying he had cheated on his wife. He promised he would not introduce her to any woman…it would be just him and her spending time together. Less than 24 hours after she got off of the plane, she met her dads new girlfriend, who was also still married, and her two children. While there, they went to Orlando on vacation and her dad and girlfriend slept in the same bed together while my daughter shared a bed with the girlfriends daughter! Of course when I found out I was livid!! He couldn’t understand why I was SO upset that his 12 year old daughter was in the same room as them. Helllooooo!!!! Are you freaking kidding me?? First of all, she was still getting used to the idea of him getting a divorce, second of all, they were both STILL MARRIED TO OTHER PEOPLE!

I felt like an idiot! Since we had left almost a year before, anytime I had asked for help with her extra curricular activities, he told me he didn’t have any money! He couldn’t pay $250 for his half of cheerleading. He couldn’t afford half of school supplies….he had NO money! But here he was, spending money on his new girlfriend and her kids, meanwhile our kid is being left out. So I told him I was taking him back to court! Since then, he is refusing to talk to me. He will tell anyone who will listen it’s because I moved her to Washington, but that’s not true! It only became an issue when his child support was adjusted per Florida guidelines! I didn’t ask for more than what guidelines suggest! I’m not greedy by any means, but let’s be honest….if you can spend money on your mistress and her kids, you better be ready to spend it on your own child! You had her first and she’s your responsibility just as much as she is mine!

So this year has been full of disappointments for my daughter. She’s on the cheer squad and had been asking her dad since the summer to go to a cheer competition. I even offered to let him stay in our home to make it more affordable! He kept telling her he had to work! Her cheer squad made it to state….she continued to beg him to come….then he told her he didn’t have the money! The very same month he refused to come see her, he went to Central America with his girlfriend…supposedly for her work, but he had to take time off from work and there had to be out of pocket expenses for him. Once again, he let his daughter down. By the way, they won state!! πŸ™‚

Then Spring Break came along. She was supposed to go to tryouts for cheer for the High School she is attending next year. They got into a big argument because he wanted to go to North Carolina with his girlfriend and her kids and stay in a cabin. He never asked our daughter about going. He didn’t care if she missed tryouts. He didn’t care if she didn’t get to see any of her family or friends while there. Not to mention, she told him herself he spent $800 on a cabin but couldn’t afford to see her cheer! Smart girl! Luckily for her, she got to tryout the day before they left for North Carolina…and she made it! πŸ™‚

Now that she’s on the team, she has responsibilities for fundraising. Unfortunately, we are here and can’t participate. My husband has already reported to work and was able to attend the cheer parent meeting. My ex promised his daughter he would be there….no surprise, he was a no show! The next day she was at her best friends house when her dad returned her phone call. While on speaker, her friends mom heard the entire conversation regarding him missing the meeting. He denied telling our daughter he would be there. He stated he had to work, even though he never called or texted to tell her he had to miss it. My husband signed up for 4 shifts for the upcoming festival to work since my daughter won’t be there to work her 2 and her dad wasn’t there to sign up for any. When my daughter told him he needed to work 2 shifts he told her he couldn’t commit, he MAY have to work! He’s a fireman, he knows his schedule in advance! Later on, the mom told me about the conversation. She said she was so upset for my daughter. She said he was so cold, so cruel, not apologetic at all….she was pissed! She did say she was proud of my daughter though for standing up to him…my daughter said to her dad, at least I can count on my stepdad to be there for me!  My ex had no idea someone else heard just how cruel he really is….the real him…the him that is the only true thing about him…cold and cruel!

So tonight I sat here once more listening to my daughter beg and plead to her dad. He finally committed to working one shift on Saturday for 3 hours. My husband will be responsible for the rest of the shifts. My ex asked why granny (my deceased husbands mom) couldn’t work a shift for her! Are you kidding!!! His girlfriend had just told my daughter she was not her REAL grandmother during Spring Break when she complained about not seeing her, but now that you want her to do something for YOU, she’s her granny!! This woman has been there since day 1…she has always been her grandparent…always calls…every week…and yes, she offered to work a shift, but my husband told her he would do it because she has family coming in! What about my daughters “blood” relatives that live in town! Her grandparents, aunt, uncle etc….why can’t they cover his shift!! They are only related to her when it’s convenient for them! And what’s my exes excuse for not working a Sunday shift? Oh….he has to paint a bathroom! Seriously….I can’t make this shit up! A freaking bathroom….it’s full of shit and so is he!

My precious daughter sat here begging and pleading for her dad to do this ONE thing for her….Please dad, please….can’t you just paint it next weekend…aren’t I more important than a bathroom?

Of course you are baby…and don’t you EVER forget it!

 

 

 

 

I’m Back!!!

After a long hiatus, I’m back! It’s not that I want to take the time off from writing, trust me when I say there has been plenty of things to write about, but I had no choice! I had shoulder surgery almost 6 weeks ago and up until now, I was unable to reach my keyboard with my left hand without being in a lot of pain! Thanks to physical therapy, I am now able to share all of my thoughts once again! I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or not! Ha ha! My blogs weren’t always welcomed from those who found themselves the subject matter of said blog! Oh well! I’m here to speak my mind and write the truth, not to appease others, so to hell with the haters!

It’s been hard staying away from blogging! Over the past few weeks, I had these thoughts that kept swirling around in my head just waiting to find themselves published here. All in good time. I haven’t forgotten what needs to be said. I haven’t forgotten the issuesΒ that my family has been through. Trust me, it hasn’t been pretty around here! Some people never change!

Enough of that for now. My sweet husband has been gone now for about 2 weeks! He left me….ha! No, not like left me, left me….but he left me to move to Florida. He had to report mid April which will leave me as a single parent once again until graduation in June. It will be worth it though. We would’ve been the most selfish parents in the world if we would’ve moved our daughter back to Florida at the end of her Senior year! Although it’s a sacrifice being a single parent AND being a single parent dealing with a painful recovery due to shoulder surgery, she is worth it! That’s what being a parent is all about….sacrifice for the sake of our children. Some people need a lesson in sacrifice, but my husband, fortunately, is a pro at it! He misses us terribly and FaceTime is our best friend, but he wouldn’t have it any other way! He will fly back in time for graduation and to move us back across the country! I’m excited for what the future holds for us as a family. I can’t wait to be back to normal again!

More than anything in the world, I’m most excited about being close to our family once again. Being away from our extended family has been difficult. We were so accustomed to having a wonderful support system in Florida. We have made some great friends here, lifelong friends, that will forever be a part of our lives, but I miss my older two kids. I miss my Sunday dinners. I miss our weekends spent together by the pool or cooking out! I just miss being together! Although my oldest daughter will still live 7 hours away, she will still be just a car ride away from us. A weekend trip here and there will be so much better than a once a year flight to Seattle! My kids mean the world to me and to have them all under one roof again, laughing and talking, is a dream come true!

I do have the most beautiful kids ever….I mean, just look at them! Who wouldn’t want to be surrounded by them everyday! 10689495_10153769605935610_8598503142829822116_n[1]

Until next time,

Hugs and kisses to all my readers! My normal bitchy self will be back soon, I promise! Today I just felt a little sentimental! XOXO

The Curse of Christmas

Every year, the weekend of Thanksgiving, the trees begin to come out and the lights are sparkling! It’s the beginning of the Christmas season! Most everyone is excited to put up the tree and decorate for the holidays. I was that person…the person who’s tree went up on Thanksgiving weekend NO MATTER WHAT! Now I can barely stand the thought of dragging out the decorations, much less looking at them for over a month. It’s a constant reminder of what’s to come.

December 1994, I was 21 years old. I was happily married to my high school sweetheart. We had a beautiful baby boy who would be two years old in February. We were young, in love, and living the American dream! I stayed home with our baby and he worked a full time job. He was also an amateur boxer with dreams to attend the Olympics. We were so innocent, so trusting of life, so content…but that all changed quickly and suddenly on December 26, 1994.
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(The day after our son was born)

We had a great Christmas! Our son was so excited about the tree, lights, and presents! He was able to understand the concept of Santa and presents, although Santa was not his favorite person! We had a great Christmas with family and friends. 2676_75491480609_5634713_n
(My son’s Christmas picture)

The day after Christmas, my husband went hunting with his brother. Little did I know, our morning good-bye kiss would be the last time our lips would touch.

Me and my son were busy that day. We put our gifts away, cleaned out the closets, and my son happily informed me “I colored….on the wall!” That meant mommy had to scrub the ink off the wall before daddy got home to see his sons artwork!

Then the call came…just after lunch…

My mother-in-law called to tell me there had been an accident. I panicked! All I could think of was my husband has been shot in the woods. The next few hours were a blur. My in-laws picked me and my son up and we headed to the hospital. I remember clearly my mother-in-law saying the Lord’s Prayer over and over. I prayed in silence while my son fell asleep. It seemed like the hospital was hours away.

When we arrived, a doctor came out to meet with us. I took one look at his face and I knew….NO, NO, NO! Please just stop talking! I didn’t want to hear the words but my mind wouldn’t allow me to block out the sound! “Your husband was killed in a car accident…we did everything we could do to save him.”

The next five days were filled with the most pain I’ve ever felt in all my life. I cried, I screamed, I begged…I just wanted it to be December 25th again so I could say “Please don’t go hunting tomorrow!” No matter what I did, the days kept passing by and my husband would never walk back through our door again. I couldn’t imagine how I was supposed to go on without the love of my life. How was I supposed to tell my son he would never see his father again? How would we survive without him?

Five days after his death, I got my answer. I woke up and realized I was late. Mother nature had not visited since my husbands death. I took a test…I stood in shock, staring blankly at that little + sign…we were pregnant! Oh my God….I’m pregnant! We are having another baby! Then the reality hit…I am having another baby. My husband would not be able to experience the joy of another child with me.

The news spread quickly. For the first time in days, life once again seemed possible. God had granted me a miracle to help me and my son through this tragedy. We now had something to look forward to, instead of always wanting to look back.

8 months after my husbands death, I gave birth to a beautiful, healthy, vibrant baby girl! She looked just like her daddy. Over the years I’ve realized she acts just like her daddy. She brought happiness and hope back to a family that was broken. Our one last gift from her daddy.
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Over the years, Christmas has become easier to cope with. When the lights come out, the dread is still there, but the pain is shadowed by the happiness and love that fills our home. I was not only blessed with 3 more children, but I was also lucky to maintain a wonderful relationship with my first husbands family. My 3 younger children are blessed with an extra set of grandparents who love them like they are their own. I would like to think my husband is smiling down on us, happy that we all stuck together through the rough times!

There is not a day goes by that I don’t think of my first husband. I see him in our kids, I feel him in my heart. I know we have a special guardian angel looking out for us. I also know he is proud of the family he left behind. In spite of the darkness that surrounds the Christmas Holidays for us, we find a way to shine a light for the kids. Just like the sun will continue to rise and set, Christmas will continue to come and go. The memories we choose to associate with it is a choice we make for ourselves!

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(My husband, my son, and Evander Holyfield–my husbands last boxing match in November)

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(And baby girl makes three!)