A Goodbye of Epic Proportions

2015-12-31 11.27.13

Dear 2015,

Where do I even begin? You were good to me, I however…was not so good to you.

2015 will forever be referred to as “The Year of change and growth” for me.

I found HOME this year.

Both physically, spiritually, and emotionally. I then tried to sabotage it. I ran from it. From healing. I hid, lied, distracted, coped, and self medicated. For the first 6 months of you 2015, I was the most incomplete, disastrous, and self destructive version of myself that I had been in more than 18 years. Quite possibly ever. Through moments of lucidity, I managed to maintain my relationship with my girls, but understandably only by a thread at times. My own inability to deal, left them feeling  alone and deserted. I am not sure I will ever forgive myself for that. I am blessed however, that they truly are the most forgiving souls that I know. I have always, and will always be there for my children in every way possible. For those months though, I reeled in the wake of  the divorce aftershocks, and had no idea how to maintain being the strong and powerful role model I had always been for them…while dying inside. I finally came to terms with my own weaknesses, fragility, and shortcomings. And oh my hell were there a lot of shortcomings. And do I even dare discuss the coping mechanisms unmasked?!?! Far to many to count. One’s I now see in my own children. One’s that sadden me greatly.

The beauty of all of that though, is that I still found HOME. I didn’t navigate 2015 with poise, and grace. I didn’t tactfully seek healing. I stumbled, fumbled, fell, cried, screamed, drank, clawed, fought, and nearly drowned while finding my footing.

The moral however, is that I did find my footing. I am more aware now of my shortcomings than ever before, and I work daily to be honest about them, and correct them so as to not negate my hearts intentions while loving others.

I also found LOVE this year.  I knew from the moment I looked into his eyes, that I was in trouble. I ran from him too. For almost 2 months. I wasn’t ready for him. For all that he is. I did quickly however, find myself wanting to be ready. Longing to be the best version of myself for ME, my girls, for his kids, and for him.  I didn’t see him coming at all. Today, I feel like he and his love were my reward for standing back up and learning to thrive, rather than continuing to wallow in self pity and brokeness.

Regardless of how I handled most of you 2015, you were still good to me. You brought people into my life that have changed me forever. You taught me that I am worthy of love, and the forgiveness my children exhibited. I leave you now 2015, with a new found appreciation for the journey, and a fire in my gut to see the same self discovery, and healing for my children in 2016.

I’m sorry that so much of you is hazy 2015. I am eternally thankful for all that you brought into my life in these past 12 months….but I bid you farewell with a sigh of relief…and a genuine excitement for what is to come in 2016.

So, thanks for the memories Doll…..you will always be a special year for me. Even if I am replacing you with a new one. 😉

May 7th Photo-A-Day Challenge: Trees!

May Photo-A-Day Challenge: Trees!

Supposed to be trees today. So, you will see trees in the background. Lots of native foliage in fact to Boquete region of Panama where we were when I took this picture.

But of course, what I saw was the beautiful Indian woman. Working diligently to start the fire needed to prepare that evenings meal. Her and her family had traveled by foot for who knows how many days. She was doing nothing more than the same thing she does every day. And yet…I was enamored with her. Amazed by her quiet strength. Her subtle beauty. Her being.

I don’t know what it is about my soul that desires to walk with those like her, and every other culture. If able, I would have gladly strapped on a bag, and went home with her. Living where they live. Eating what they eat. Working as hard as they work. I vow to Someday….do exactly that.

Wanderlust consumes my very soul. And….I wouldn’t have it any other way.

May 4th Photo-A-Day Challenge: Something I cannot live without!

May 4th Photo-A-Day Challenge: Something I cannot live without!

Espresso.
It’s deep aroma fills the space that it inhabits.
The smell taking me back to different places within the recess of my mind.
It is exciting. Fulfilling. Intoxicating.

It is more than a cup of Espresso.
It is an experience.

The Winds Of Change Are Blowing Again…

In looking at my blog….I realized that I have not posted in more than a month now! Almost two! Wow! The winds of change are blowing again for our family, and we are preparing for another big move. Not nearly as big as when we left the country, but still a big one. We are excited, stressed, elated, and amazed at the way our Father continues to show His faithfulness. We have a mere 3 days now until we leave, and while it will be heart wrenching for us to say goodbye to my amazing Mama (*tear drops*), Grandma and Grandpa, and a precious few here that we will miss and love forever…..it will be a good move for our family.

Soon enough, we will have views like this. Returning to clean air and refreshing afternoon showers. Image

ImageThe winds of change are blowing again….and while we embrace the sadness of “see you later’s”…we are excited for the new opportunities, experiences, and adventures.

Here’s to change ya’ll! Have a great day!

Congratulations…and a letter to my Daughter!

My Oldest baby girl…graduated from the 8th grade this past week. Image

I am in awe that I helped create this extraordinary being.

ImageShe was so excited!!!

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My Doting Mama and Gramma both came to celebrate in the day…

ImageAnd her sisters were thrilled for her and her accomplishment.

My hubby and I could not have been more proud of our girls this year…After making another international move, and re-adjusting to life in the States, they all four worked so hard at their studies, and persevered in so many more ways than just academically.

I look at the picture above, and I am overwhelmed with the responsibility bestowed on my husband and I. I am simultaneously enthralled with watching them grow, and saddened that it will not be long before they grow up…and leave us. The “leaving us” part only made better, by the excitement and satisfaction I feel from seeing the amazing young women they are becoming. The kind, loving, and compassionate young ladies they are. And on the days when nothing else seems to go right…one or all of them will do something amazing…and my husband and I meet eyes, and smile…because we are doing something very, very right in this world in them.

As for the letter to my daughter part….this part will prove to be more difficult for me to write. But…here goes nothing!

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My Dearest 1st Born Daughter,

Above you will see you in the arms of your parents. It was an anomaly that day, for it to snow in the area we lived. Both your Daddy and I couldn’t wait to bundle you up though, and take you outside to see it. Knowing that you would never remember it…but not caring, because we were enthralled with sharing the new world you were apart of, and helping you explore your surroundings.

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It has always been hard for your Daddy to express his emotions…but I would find him looking at you like he is in this picture more often than I could count. His expression saying more than his mouth could convey. His eyes shining with the love for the first thing in this world…that was truly his. A piece of him that could never be erased. A special place in his heart, for this little girl who had come into our lives at the most desperate of times. Our miracle and gift from our Creator.

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As you grew…your personality began to shine. Sassy and smart….beautiful and adventurous. You captured our hearts with every word that you said….and kept our lives filled with laughter, even through the darkest of times within our newly formed marriage.

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Before we knew it….we were taking you to school. I must have taken a 1000 pictures that day. In complete disbelief that you were now old enough to be away from me for 8 hours a day. You were already reading some, and I was convinced that you were going to make the other Kindergartner’s jealous with your obvious beauty and talent. 🙂

And then…just as quickly it seems….this day had come. Image

You were too tall in your heels…so I made you squat down. 🙂 The day for me is like a blur…Surreal to say the least. I felt like I did the day I took you to Kindergarten…but amplified by 100. The reality of the fact that you will be in High School this year weighing on me like a 1000 pounds.

So, in honor of your accomplishment…and the place you are in your life…I have some words for you my sweet girl. Some words I pray you heed and hold dear to your precious heart.

Be YOU my dear girl. Be YOU. Do not allow yourself to become a “watered” down version of what the world will tell you that you SHOULD be. Stay true to YOUR convictions. Stay kind, and lovely. Continue to exude your inner beauty to the world around you through your actions with every passing day.

And as YOU changes, grows, learns, experiences, and enlightens….embrace the growth…even when it is painful. Continue to look inside through every external situation and follow what your spirit and heart are telling you. Not what others think, or say, or do.

Remember…that you are extraordinary. Exquisite. Divine. One of a kind. Do not allow anyone to tell you that you are anything other. Be YOU my dear girl. Be YOU.

The next four years will be full of challenges, some we have discussed, and some we will have to discuss as they present themselves. But I want to thank you now, for listening. I say in advance..thank you for coming to me…with those things that will be heavy on your heart and allowing me to carry your burdens with you.

As you begin your journey, through the next four years…..may you never forget how loved you truly are. May you never forget the look in your Daddy’s eyes, as you see above, because you are his pride and joy. You and your sisters are his life’s greatest work. May you remember that when he says no. Which will happen a lot. 🙂 You know him baby girl. And you know that you scare him. That trust is hard for him. But you also know that he will try. He will say no when he should say yes, and I pray you remember it is only because he does not trust the world around you…not that he does not trust you. And know, that he WILL embarrass you, when that first stinking boy come’s snooping around trying to steal you away from him. He will scare him, and embarrass you, and try his very hardest to not beat the snot out of him for no other reason than the fact that the poor kid finds you attractive. lol. Please remember on this day that is coming to quickly….that it is because he adores you. Because no boy/man will EVER be good enough for you. And your first date will feel the same to him as the day he has to walk you down the aisle. Just the thought is excruciating to him my dear girl. I promise to help him through this. I promise to always be in your corner…while ALWAYS respecting his authority and job as your Daddy. He takes it seriously baby girl, and I pray you remember that during those time’s where you feel like he is being unfair.

I promise to be here for you. I promise to love you. I promise to hold you when you have your first heartbreak, and take you shopping for your first formal gown. I promise to forgive your mistakes, and help you find the lesson in every difficult situation. And…I promise to say no too. Because I have wisdom my dear girl, that you only partially understand at this point. You know most of my story….I need not repeat it. But, I promise to push through my own fears and trust you. Be worthy of it my dear girl. Maintain your integrity.

Follow your dreams. Chase them in fact. Don’t decide at 18 what you will do with the rest of your life…because you will not know for sure. Seek education that will help you, in every aspect of your life, and be okay with figuring it out as you go. Plan, and be okay if the plan changes. Change is inevitable, and the more adaptable you become, the more successful your life will be.

And finally my dear, and by far the most important….continue walking with our Creator. Hold tight to His guidance. Listen closely for His voice, and seek His wisdom in ALL of your choices. Study His scriptures and allow Him to imprint His words on your heart. When you stumble, seek forgiveness, and return to the love of His arms. There is no safe place left in this world…but in the cleft of His rock you will find peace.

I love you. More than words could EVER convey. Your Daddy too. Your sisters. Your Grammy…your Grandparents. Uncle S, Aunt L, cousins. You are surrounded by so much love baby girl. May you never forget that. And most importantly….Be YOU my dear girl. Be YOU.

May 15th Photo A Day-Love!

He is my lover and my best friend….I have learned what love truly is, while being his wife.

May 15th Photo A Day-Love

Girls that are mine…and one’s that I love as though they are mine. I would lay down my life for any one of them without even thinking twice. They are each special, and truly unique individuals who enrich my life with ever single day.

Me and the girls

Most days I wonder how in the world I deserve the love that surrounds me. My life feels to good to be true, even when things are not perfect. I have more love in my life, than I feel worthy of, and that serves as a constant reminder to be thankful in all things.

Happy May 15th, and be thankful today!

We have so much to appreciate in this life.

May 7th Photo A Day-Someone who inspires me!

May 7th Photo A Day-Someone who inspires me!

I posted before about the beauty of my mother. Her beauty surely was inherited from her mother. My Gramma. This beautiful, amazing, gracious, kind, and spectacular woman who’s strength astounds me still. She has been a constant in my life. Always the picture of love and support for me, my Mama, hubby, and girls. Including her other kids, and grand kids.
She has suffered more loss in her life than should be legally allowed. But with each loss, she emerges stronger than before. Never does her mourning stop. But never does her ability to smile and giggle through the pain stop either.
She has inspired me to try and be even a smidge as gracious as she. To leave a legacy as profound as her’s.
I have been so unbelievably blessed with amazing women in my life, that I thank the Father daily for them. And I pray, that with her example, my Mama’s, mine, along with a few other choice women in our life, that my daughters will continue to grow into beautiful, strong, gracious, kind, loving and generous young ladies.