Blowin’ off STEAM

Art, Art and design, Attachment parenting, Cloth diaper, Family, Marriage, Mother, Parenting, Small Business, Summer, Summer vacation

Welcome back to reality.

Did you enjoy your vacation? Good, because, it’s over.

Reality check.

I actually like the routine of life but getting back into the routine is hard!

As soon as we got home my husband’s brakes went out on his truck. Someone up above thinks we’re racking in the dough. So, that was a nice reality check.

Work has also been difficult lately. I’m learning, growing and stretching myself in ways that are uncomfortable. Feedback. Critical feedback is hard to swallow. However, I will say that it’s important. Perception is reality in business relationships and I want to be perceived in the best professional light. So, I’m willing to take the uncomfortable feedback and mold/develop myself. Ouch. Internal scrapes and bruises are more painful than external ones.

But. When I get home, I’m their everything. All this boy wants or needs How amazing is that? I don’t deserve it but I need it.

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After Zaccai was born, Marvell and I struggled to see eye to eye. I hope we’re not the only couple that goes through this. We continually said…
“This is why people need to be married to have kids. It would be really easy to leave right now- run away and dispose of the problems.”

We continue to face our problems and disagreements. But, I remember the day we got married and the look on his face as he said those vows. I was his and he was mine. Our first dance. Our first steps into the world as a couple. If you’re struggling as a couple – live there for a moment.

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Marvell drew this on our first anniversary. Custom says “paper.” This was my gift.

In Puerto Rico I danced my heart out! Marvell isn’t much of a dancer but the song Just the way you are came on and we danced as if was our first dance, tears and all.

Those small moments, those moments of connection are what I live for. They are not daily. Life isn’t a fairy tale. If we can begin to set realistic expectations in our marriage, the way we do at work- maybe we would succeed a little more. It’s a daily chore. It’s work. It’s reality. But don’t forget to take a moment to stop, smell, breathe, live. We’re so busy that we may rush over those moments or take them for granted- then what? They’re gone. Don’t lose them.

Now that reality is settling in…I had an egg white, spinach, tomato thin bagel sandwich. I wanted piles of pancakes and syrup. Sacrifice.

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Puerto Rican Vacation!

Art, Art and design, Attachment parenting, Family, Mother, Parenting, Summer vacation, Uncategorized

Well, we survived our Puerto Rican Vacation. Our travel was nuts. We fly standby (my mom is a flight attendant) and I traveled with Z to LA the weekend before our big trip. So, needless to say we became very familiar with the airports!

Zaccai is actually a great flyer. So, I don’t really worry that he’ll get upset during the flight. He was so cute through it all!

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My flight adventures…

LAX —> IND —> ATL

Drop Zaccai off with my mom’s partner (my step-mom-not legally)

ATL —> SJU —> drive to Rincon.

San Juan, Old San Juan

Remember, friends, I’m broke. But, we cut corners to make this work.

Night 1. Hostel. Posado San Fransisco

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The view.
The coffee.
The husband.
Oh, the husband.

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We fell in love again in Puerto Rico.

We are so lucky.

Puerto Rico is rich in culture, but very poor. Wow. Writing that made me realize that’s me. Rich in culture, thought, love… Poor in our societies sense of “rich.” What an epiphany.

What would you rather have? We struggle. We have little savings and are launching this business that we believe in.

During our stay in Old San Juan we spent an hour or so at a little poetry coffee shop. We talked business. Dreams. Future. Financial freedom.

We designed a t-shirt that we both loved.

We went to Puerto Rico for a wedding. So after a few days in Old San Juan we drove to Rincon, Puerto Rico.

Again, being cheap, we stayed in a hostel the first night in Rincon: The Rincon Inn. All I can say is:

BUGS IN OUR BED

I flipped out! It was too late to complain or ask for another room. Marvell was so tired he fell asleep with our new roommates. Mr. & Miss Bugs/Spiders/creep Crawlers! I…..

A quickie: Z sleeps before 10!

Art, Art and design, Attachment parenting, Cloth diaper, Family, Mother, Parenting, Small Business

If you haven’t “met” Zaccai (Z) yet, you’re missing out! He’s incredible.

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Looks at this handsome little fellow. All grown up at 19 months old.

Some of his favorite things these days are:

Elephants.
Clocks.
101 Dalmatians.
Carbs. Thank goodness!
All animal sounds!

Most days I’m so busy at work I don’t have time to think of my little guy. I’m not sure if that’s good or bad. The time flies by so quickly that I blink and my day is done. I do have to say that when I get home I’m so excited to see my little family.

My bank account might be close to nothing but my heart is full of life and love.

Money can’t buy you happiness but it can buy you a future. That’s what I work for- a promising future for our little family.

My husband’s business should be up and running online shortly. As of now, we’ve made a few thousand dollars by word of mouth. Not tons. Not zero either. I’m excited to see what the future brings for us. He was explaining the business to a woman in Australia that is helping us with social media and marketing- I’ve never seen him so engaged. I know this is his destiny. I hope he really drives his dreams forward.

Supporting an artist is hard! One day I hope to reflect and say all the long hours, empty bank account, and stressful months/years were worth it. All for his success. You have to learn to be selfless when your artist partner has a dream worth living. I have a dream. It’s simple. Pay off all my debt and continue working without worry of bills, bills, bills. This year is our year – I feel it.

A beautiful moment. A loving son. What more can we ask for?

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Childhood memories. Damn Mini.

Art, Art and design, Attachment parenting, Cloth diaper, Family, Mother, Outdoors, Parenting, running

I’m sure you’re something like me… Cringe when you think of your childhood.
Ew, I shouldn’t have said that. Or, why did I wear that? I thought he/she was attractive!?

My family has a few poignant stories to tell and for some reason I feel compelled to tell you one of my “cringe moments.”

First of all, my parents separated when I was 6. I assumed the “mom” role at that time. My dad gained full custody of the 3 of us, Nick (7), me (6), Michael (2).

Now, looking back what a mess! I knew it was a mess at 6, now at 28 I realized it was a true shit-show.

Anyhow, so good ol’ dad all of about 29 at the time had full responsibility of these beautiful young children. Now what? I’m sure he was well over his head with what he thought he’d accomplish.

This brings me to my story. We were poor. Not just oh, wow, we’re a little broke this week… No, like bean and cheese burritos for years broke. So, I at the age of 7 was confronted with an issue. I only had 1 pair if jeans to wear for the whole week. The whole week!

I know, who cares right!? Well, jeans can be inconspicuous – but these jeans… they were special…. UGH

They had a fucking Mini Mouse on the left pocket!

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Look at her, so happy. She makes me sick. So, here I am forced to wear the jeans, daily, and I have to figure out how to
1) hide the Mini on most days of the week
2) debut the Mini at least 1 day a week 3) wear something else besides jeans another day of the week (which likely was not an option seeing as though I had limited clothing choices).

Well, I thought I was being so ingenious and successful at hiding/showing the Mini. I thought.Until some punk kid — in front of everyone stated, “You wear those Mini jeans everyday!”

Melt! Embarrassing! How dare he!?

I was mortified! But, what was I going to do? It’s not like anyone really cared enough at home to buy me more clothes. I knew we couldn’t afford anything else. Most of all, my dad didn’t really care what I was wearing.

In that moment, I knew I’d make my life different. I’d work my ass off to make my life different.

Sometimes I look back and wish I could talk to my younger self. When I was so sad, when I got frustrated, when I felt alone– I guess I would say… I love you.

I don’t remember my dad ever saying “I love you” as a child. He does now. I’m not sure what changed. I needed it more then than now.

What was your childhood like? Did you have everything you wanted? Or, were you stuck with a pair of “Mini jeans”?

How can you resist this sweet face?

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Glamping

Art, Art and design, Attachment parenting, Camping, Cloth diaper, Outdoors, Parenting, running, Uncategorized

Went went camping for our little 3 day holiday weekend.

“Glamping” Adj/N: “to camp in a fashionable style.” “A Glamorous camper.” Translation: someone who is full of herself, even while camping.

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So, you’re getting the idea.

We camped right by the river and could hear the water all night long, it was glorious.

We’re not huge campers- yet- but I grew up camping my whole life, so it was a bit nostalgic for me. My grandfather on my mother’s side loved to camp. We would go to Mammoth Lakes, CA, each year and spend about a week there- fishing, playing, climbing rocks, hiking the waterfalls, pure joy!
Camp Mammoth Lakes

It’s so beautiful there!

Anyhow, back to AZ camping. We camped in a #stouttent @stouttent Stout Tent

It’s really the best tent since sliced bread! You need one!

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The tent helps become a “glamper.”
All my friends were jealous!

Zaccai couldn’t help his inner boy to immediately get himself “dolled-up” in true camping style…

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Yes- we did cloth diaper while camping… What kind of question is that!? (assuming you thought that!)

He was over-the-moon excited when he woke up in the tent… It was the most adorable sight!

Of course, we must remember what Memorial Day is all about- the people that sacrificed their lives for this country. I don’t believe in war, hell, some of our soldiers don’t believe in the wars we’ve had. But, I believe we must take a moment to thank people that are willing to put their lives on the line… More than I can say for myself.

Well, it’s been a full week of reality and my husband is fully committed to working on his business and making it profitable. I’m happy about this but it’s still a huge work in progress. I’m hoping and praying for the best.

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He’s the sweetest! Enjoy your weekend!

A few days later

Al-anon, Alcoholism, Art, Art and design, Attachment parenting, Cloth diaper, Marginalized individuals, Parenting, running, Uncategorized

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I have to say, I’m pretty pissed.
I know, what was I expecting?

It’s going to all be okay, and here’s a cookie….?

Well, a cookie would have been nice!

So, Al-anon is pretty confidential, so I’m not even sure blogging about it is the right thing to do. But, I can tell you how I feel, right?

It’s a 12 step program. Not for the alcoholic, for you. ME! ME.

As if I don’t have enough to carry on my shoulders, I now have the disease of an alcoholics family member and I should go through the steps. Maybe I’m being a little defensive, but it’s not me with the alcohol dependency.

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Now, I’ll admit I feed my feelings with food. There’s my cookie.
Chocolate coconut. Too many Point Plus, but worth it today.

I haven’t read through all the materials but I’m going to. I’m convinced that this will help me; I just need to convince them I’m not the problem! 😊

Just to clear up one thing: my husband is NOT the alcoholic. I complain about him some times but he’s really pretty great. Especially when it comes to helping me deal with all these family issues. He has a “perfect” nuclear family. Mom and Dad still married and in love. And a brother who he adores. Lucky.

My family is a shit-show. Divorce, alcoholics, cheating, lying, deception, you name it.

What I loved about Al-anon was that their family members were just as big of messes as mine. Comforting. I know, that sounds insane. But, it was comforting. I’m not alone.

It made me wonder what my son will grow up to be like? I hope he thinks I’m a good mom. I hope he knows the lengths I have gone through to make sure his childhood was not as messed up as mine.

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New cookie. There’s my problem. Stress eater! I ate a salad to compensate. Some clean-eating freak is going to commit me to a gym in about 5.3 seconds. Don’t worry, I’ll convert them to a cookie eater.

Good thing I RUN!

Now, back to my issue. I think I’ve discovered my life doesn’t function properly if someone doesn’t need me. Maybe I need people to need me to be happy? Maybe that’s my deal. If I could rescue the world from its problems, I’d die happy. But, what if I can’t? What if I can’t fix/help the alcoholics closest to me?

It’s such a hard spot. This morning when I woke up I snuggled my little boy and just thought: I could stay in this space forever. Just let time stand still.

It didn’t (of course) and I’m at work stressing about work things.

Here is a sweet moment of my day. Enjoy it, I did.

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Addiction

Al-anon, Alcoholism, Art, Art and design, Attachment parenting, Cloth diaper, Parenting

Have you ever dealt with an addict?

Two people in my life are extreme addicts. Since I have some friends now following my blog, I’ll leave it at that. 1 of my family members is a functioning alcoholic and the other one is a homeless drug/alcohol user. I have struggled to “do the right thing” for each of them and just don’t know how to help.

A few weeks ago it got really bad. The homeless one was arrested again. Sadly, at this point I’m numb to the arrests- at least he is somewhat safe. The other person is so affected by the homeless person that it makes her drink even more. It’s such a bad cycle.

The “functioning alcoholic” [she] is an amazing person but when she drinks she send me mean text messages, says mean things, or post inappropriate comments on Facebook. She’s someone I can’t imagine life without but I fear for her life. She travels for work and stays in hotels most of the time so it makes it difficult to monitor her progress or support her into sobriety (if that is possible).

Are these people lost causes?

I feel that it’s time for me to do something; so, a friend and I are going to try an Al-anon meeting this week. Have you ever been there? I’m not sure what to expect.

My sweet boy is such a nice comfort to my hectic, insane, crazy life. I just want calmness and peace… What’s funny is that is the same thing [she] used to tell me. Sigh.

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Football.

Art, Art and design, Attachment parenting, Cloth diaper, Football, Marginalized individuals, Parenting, running, Uncategorized

What do I know about the sport? Nothing really.

This morning my husband and I were driving to the dentist to finalize his 15,000$ out-of-pocket accident last summer. (Not that I’m bitter or anything) Anyhow, and he says to me… “I’m going to start watching football!”

I chuckled a bit and then said, “OK.” And honestly wasn’t prepared for what was next.

You see, my husband HATES sports… Well, hate is a strong word so we will use “greatly dislikes.” He grew up on a farm in Jackson, Mississippi and was outdoors hunting & farming most of his life. Sports weren’t a thing for them.

My chuckle was around the thought, sitting there watching him watch football; I’m mean, really? All these years and now you wanna try it out?

Then, he proceeded. “Yes, I’m going to start watching it and my favorite team is the Rams.” Again, I say, “OK…”
He says, “Finally, we see acceptance and diversity beginning to emerge! And nothing makes me happier than seeing bigots pissed off!”

So there you have it. My man. I couldn’t have been prouder in the moment. I’ll tell you, we struggle. There are times we don’t see eye to eye. But when he makes comments such as these, my heart sings! I know I’m where I need to be.

We continued our talk about supporting marginalized and under-represented individuals in our country. When our T-shirt Co. is up and running we are going to find an organization to give back to. I can’t wait. First local. Then national. Then global. We want to be global!

I feel like I’m emerging on some of the most important days in my life. Crucial. Life changing. I think I’ll come to a cross roads and have to make difficult decisions… But I trust that I’ll follow my heart.

I’m learning. I’m growing. I’m aware.

Read about Sam. Thank you for brining yourself to Football. Stay authentic.

The Draft – Sam

I took a moment to celebrate life today. Take yours too.

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Be beautiful, Wednesday.

Art, Art and design, Parenting, running

There is so much to be thankful for.

I tossed and turned all night thinking about Ryan.

#redballoonsforRyan

The sweetest face taken from the world too soon. He was hit by a truck while playing outside. My heart bleeds for his family. @babyboybakery I thought about your heart and losing a child so soon.

Please know my family is praying for you.

My husband, who I usually bitch about…. (Need to get better about that)… Stayed up til the wee hours of the morning fixing our draining/plumbing in the house. He said he checked on us a few times and thought about Ryan and his parents. I know his heart is hurting today too.

From our hearts to yours, We’re sorry for your loss. We can’t imagine what you’re feeling but we are truly sorry.

Take a moment to breathe, love and smile today. You are here for a moment but have a purpose.

Today, I feel beautiful. Please, feel that too.

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Bloggy blog blog blog blog

Art, Art and design, Parenting, running

Just do it. I have worked 12 hours today and honestly the last thing I want to do is sit here and blog. But, I need to- I have to. I’m not sure why. I’m not even sure what I am going to say.

Today, I spent my morning in a leadership development workshop. That was great and my peers are great. But there is something deep down inside of me that’s broken. Maybe I’m tainted since I don’t make a TON of $$ doing what I do. I love leadership and I love my company. So, I’m staying. I guess I needed to blog about that. The fact that I know I can make more in the “moment” but long term I’m where I need to be.

If money was no object, what would you do?

I’d stand up for marginalized/underrepresented individuals and give them a voice. I’d travel to the slums of America and talk to the poor and get their life insight, you know, ask questions. I’d figure out HOW they understand “The Land of the Free” and “Freedom.” My thoughts? We’re not free. We’re constrained in our view of society from our front porch looking in. We are in a bird cage, some beautiful and some so broken you wouldn’t even call it a cage. How can we let our people down? How can we allow poverty, homelessness, and destitute. Money talks, money walks, money drives leaders(hip).

My idol? Mother Theresa. What a woman. I’d take her any day over a modern age celebrity.

Do good for people, not because it’s a nice Facebook status (yea…..) but because in your heart of hearts, you know it’s the right thing to do.

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