Overload

I have been missing, I know. I have a lot on my plate lately. Between a full-time college schedule, substitute teaching, being a mommy and girlfriend as is, I have also been chosen for jury duty. I feel the edges of burnout nipping at my neck, but I keep reminding myself that I can do this. I need a real break here soon though. Or I will just run off with the circus. Whichever happens first.

In the meantime, keep an eye out for my scary story over at 13 Stories ‘Til Halloween.

My Tiny Dancer

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My youngest son saw a ballet video on YouTube one day, and he decided he wanted to do that. I support my kids decisions, and figured we would give it a shot. The first day, he loved it. He was the only boy in the class, which actually made the teachers happy, as they were getting ready for a performance, and he would fill a slot for what they were performing.

As his first day went so well, I bought him his first pair of ballet slippers.

077The second class that we went to didn’t go so well. He was more interested in doing his own thing, than he was in following the class and instructions. Which I get. He’s a three-year old boy. This is expected. The owner and I talked, and she agreed that we would see how the next session went, and decide from there to keep him in or to come back later, when he has a little more patience for learning.

The next class came, and the teacher came out within 30 minutes and let me know that he just wasn’t having it.

The owner and I spoke, and we agreed that she’d just charge me for the three classes, instead of the semester. And she really did hope that he came back, as most parents won’t let their younger boys do ballet, and he seemed very excited about it to begin with. I get the stigma that is seen with it. But I have to say to those parents three thing: 1. Support your kids dreams, even if they aren’t the ones you were hoping for. You will either build their self-confidence, or they may hate it and move on to something new. In the end, they’ll know you hear them and are willing to do what you must for them. 2. A lot of the BEST football players have ballet in their resume, trust me, it’s not for the “weak”. 3. The competition is fierce, but there aren’t enough guys in ballet. Just imagine how many women fawn over them. ;)

We might do this, if he wants to.

But at least he had fun for a little while. And he was too cute checking himself out in the mirror.

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Phi Theta Kappa and Me

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Towards the end of last year, I received a letter, asking me to join Phi Theta Kappa National Honor Society, for my grades.

Of course, I accepted. Okay, okay, I jumped up and down several times, ran over to my parents house and told them, jumped up and down some more, and paid the one time membership fee within 20 minutes. And there may* have been some squealing involved. >.> (*There was a LOT of squealing involved, but shhh, don’t tell me that I told you.)

Well, while my dad was in ICU, I had my induction ceremony. Due to miscommunication, I didn’t get to walk across the stage with everyone else, but I did receive my certificate. After the ceremony, my mom, the boys, and I headed to the ICU. My dad was very proud. And I admit, I am too.

1800197_10152112765497671_4725365374875833429_n(I smeared out my name, because hello stalkers!)

It took a lot of hard work, and I never would have been able to achieve it without the help of my parents. So, thank you mom and dad. I love you.

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Until we meet again

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Mom and I busted our butts getting everything set up so Daddy could come home. But this homecoming was bittersweet. He was coming home to say goodbye.

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Daddy came home for hospice on Friday. While mom sat with the hospice nurse and learned about dad’s medications, I pampered Daddy.

His first request was an RC Cola, loaded with ice. This I did, and watched as he guzzled his favorite soda. Then he had me put it to the side, and we held hands, as I sat on his home hospital bed with him.

He smiled. A lot. He was happy to be home. Happy to be with those people who loved him most. Loved him best.

We talked. He shared some of his favorite memories. He told me that he was proud of me, of all I’ve managed to accomplish. All that he knows I will achieve still.

He told me that I’m a great mom. A great daughter. To take care of those boys of mine. That he loves them so much. That he loves me so much. For the first time, and last time, he gave a guy that is dating me, his stamp of approval.

He told me to keep being strong. To keep following my dreams. To finish school. To live my life to the fullest. To take care of my mom. To laugh a lot. To be happy.

My boyfriend came by, and they chatted for a few minutes. It made my heart swell to see them both together. So glad that they had gotten to meet.

A neighbor, who has been family by choice, came by, and so I gave them some time alone.

My boyfriend sat with me in the fading light in my parents front yard, holding me and my hand, helping me through this heartbreaking time. Comforting me.

My oldest son came over, and gave his Papa a hug. And he told him he loved him.

Seeing how tired my dad was, I gave him a hug and kiss. Told him I loved him very much. He told me he loved me too. I slid my hand across his hair, told him goodnight.

The next morning, Saturday, I went over to see if dad was awake. The doors were locked. I didn’t want to wake anyone, so I watered their yard instead. I watched the sunlight catch within the drops, as butterflies danced with each other around moms rose bushes, as bees sought puddles to rest along the edges of. I let the peaceful beginning of the day lull my aching heart.

When the watering was done, I went back home, as nobody had yet awakened and opened a door.

At 10:22am, my mom called me. She couldn’t talk. I knew in that moment. I knew. I ran to their house, through the back door, into the living room.

One look. One glance.

He was gone. Daddy, my daddy, my dad. He was gone. My hero had found peace. Rest. A release from the pain. A release from the torment his body had been under for the last few years. He’s gone.

Mom and I are doing what we can. We cry, a lot. We miss him dearly. There is a void in our lives now. Nothing can ever fill it. The pain of losing him will never go away. We’ve lost enough people that we love dearly, to know this is true. But we also know that Daddy wouldn’t want us to suffer. He would want us to laugh, to love, to live. To carry the memory of him with us.

Daddy's Hat

Daddy’s Hat

Daddy, I miss you. God I miss you.

But I heard you. I understand. And, as you know, I don’t like broken promises. I keep my word. I said I would follow my dreams, be happy, laugh, love, live, and take care of these amazing little boys of mine. And I will.

And thank you Daddy. Thank you for everything you taught me. For every second you spent loving me. For being the man that you are, that you were. You are a star in my sky, never-fading, always a guidepost for my soul. I will always, always, love you. This isn’t a goodbye, this is an until we meet again.

007Thank you to my mom and dad for the beautiful picture for my birthday, yesterday. It may have been the last gift I’d get from you both, but it will always remind me of you two. Of what you both want for me. And about how much you love me.

Daddy’s Girl

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This post may not be the most joyful one I create, but it’s a heartfelt one. I just wanted to give you a heads up on that.

I am a total “daddy’s girl”.

daddysgirlBut it wasn’t always so. My daddy came into my life when I was 12. I did not welcome him in any way. I had learned by that age that men? They leave. They hurt my mom. They hurt me. They aren’t constant. They aren’t reliable. They don’t really care about my mom, let alone me. And because of this, there was no point in becoming attached. Because he’d just do it too.

But he didn’t.

And yet, I was terrified of caring, of letting myself care. Because it was just a matter of time, in my eyes.

And he stayed. Despite the total hell I put him through. He stayed.

I finally saw just how much he cared when I was a Senior in High School. For various reasons I had dropped out of school my Junior year. I decided to go back my Senior year. I not only did my regular classes, but correspondence ones, so I could graduate on time. I was doing wonderfully. I worked my ass off. The day that we were to practice walking the line, I received a phone call which he took over at one point. It was to inform me that my gourmet cooking teacher was refusing to round-up my final grade by .2%, and so I was missing 1 extracurricular credit, and I would not be graduating with my class. He hugged me, lit up a cigarette (he had quit smoking weeks before), sat down, and cried with me.

That was the first time I’d ever seen him cry.

When he came into my life, he was this hard-ass, retired military, Vietnam vet, that couldn’t stand kids.

daddyHe didn’t take excuses. He didn’t care for my flippant attitude, or my hormonal hissy fits. He expected me to behave a certain way. And we both agreed once that I was the toughest challenge he’d ever faced. Both of us are stubborn as hell.

Those tears he cried with me, that he allowed me to see? That was the water that broke the rock of stubbornness between us.

Not that we saw eye to eye on anything any time soon after that. But I wasn’t intentionally throwing obstacles in his path anymore, and he relaxed his stance about how lazy he thought teenagers (ie: me) were once he saw how much effort I was actually willing to put forth to accomplish a goal.

What finally bound us to each other was the birth of my oldest son. We started bonding during the pregnancy, but there were still hitches and uncomfortable moments there. But once that little boy came screaming into the world? Oh yeah. I was his daughter, he was my dad, and that little ball of fury? That was his grandson.

My oldest sons bio-dad had taken off when I was a couple of months pregnant. So I was going into parenthood as a single mom. It was terrifying. My parents helped me so much, and still do. But when the oldest was born, my daddy was there for us. He took over midnight feedings, he was happy to hold him at any given moment. There were several nights when I’d find that he had nabbed my son from the crib, because he made “fussy” noises. In reality, he just wanted to hold the little guy.

My dad proved all the other men I had known wrong.

He stayed.

He cared.

He loved.

Dad and my oldest, years ago

Dad and my oldest, years ago

He has been the only male that has been a constant in my oldest sons life. In my life.

He is “Papa” to the boys. Daddy to me.

He loves his grandsons so very much. He’s been there for them for stories, owies, hugs, kisses, laughter, a stern word… all of it. He is their hero. He is my hero.

Daddy and my youngest

Daddy and my youngest

Dad and the littles

Dad and the littles

Laughter and Love

Laughter and Love

And now. Now my daddy is dying. He’s coming home for hospice. He’s barely hanging on.

My hero is leaving. Our hero is leaving.

It hurts. So much.

I don’t want to let him go. I want to hold him tight. I want to keep him here. I want to hold him close forever.

But I don’t want him to hurt anymore. I don’t want to see him wither away. I don’t want to see how hard it is for him to continue holding on. I want him to be at peace. To not feel so much pain with every breath.

And I want him to know how very much he is loved. How very much he will be missed. And that he will Never be forgotten.

Daddy, I love you. I love your laugh. I love that devilish gleam you get in your eye when you smile. I love that whenever we are in the car going somewhere, you hold my hand oh so tightly. I love the way you look at my little boys, and I can see just how much you love them in that quiet smile. I love the way you make eggs. I love that you make my mom and I laugh. I love your sarcasm. I love how your hugs feel like a wall of protection. I love the way you love my mom. I’m thankful that you chose to be my dad. I’m thankful that you stayed when all others left. I’m thankful that you love me. I’m thankful that you have seen me at my worst, and you didn’t walk away. I love that I made you proud. I’m thankful for the sacrifices you made for me, for my mom, for my boys, for our country. I am proud of you. For holding on this long. For everything you’ve accomplished. I love you Daddy. So much.

The World's Greatest Dad

The World’s Greatest Dad

The world just isn’t going to be the same without you in it. For any of us.

Sometimes Y’all Scare Me

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Every now and then, I check out the search terms y’all use to find my blog, because I’m nosy curious.

Which, most of them I can get. The words goddess, Shay, hot air balloons, bucket list, and the such are fairly regular, and understandable. These are things I have written about at least once.

But then, some of y’all make me think like I may need to start seeking help.

By typing things, such as:

writersYet, being a writer, I can totally understand why people think we’re cray. It’s because we are. We talk to people who live inside our heads, and then tell their stories, and sometimes even argue with them about parts of their stories, and then tell the rest of the real world about the people inside of our heads. I get it. We are “cray”. But you love us for it.

And then, some of y’all make me think you need help.

Especially when you search for this and go to my blog instead:

laundryWhat the hell y’all? I don’t even… I mean laundry fucking? Okay, I might be able to accept this, because maybe, just maybe, you meant laundry mat fucking. Or something similar to that. Otherwise, you want to either fuck laundry (which, dude, is that even consensual?) ORĀ you want to watch laundry fucking. Which, you need to change your search terms to “laundry being washed”. Or go to the damn laundry mat and watch the clothes dry humping through the clear dryer window. Come on now, how lazy are you if you have to look that up online?

BUT THEN THERE’S THIS:

gnomesI CAN’T EXPLAIN THIS ONE AWAY. Why do you do me like this?! What do I do with this knowledge?

I keep trying to find ways to make this better, but the mental images just mess my head up and then I have to self medicate with all the wine I have in the house, and then I feel weird FOR you, and then I get these crazy ideas, like, maybe that’s a niche that needs filling! And that I could totally make this happen! AND THEN I NEED A SHOWER. It’s ALL your fault! (Oh god, gnome porn… niches will be getting filled alright.)

I don’t think I should be so nosy curious about my readers anymore. I’m just going to say hello and welcome. I’d hug you but… *pats you on the head* I’m going to look for garden gnomes more wine now.

I might be crazy aka What was I thinking!?

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How I enjoy time with nature lately. The view coming home.

How I enjoy time with nature lately. The view coming home.

Apparently I think more highly of myself than I realize. Or I’m just crazy. I not only work full-time, and am raising 3 amazing guys on my own, but this semester I decided to up the challenge a bit by taking 11 credit hours.

What was I thinking? I already have a limited amount of time for anything. Two classes last semester made me feel a bit stressed, but I pulled through. But now I’m taking 3. Two of which are ones that I knew were going to be hard for me, and an elective that I knew would be different, but was unsure how difficult I would find it. I am challenged by it. More for time than the learning of it.

I miss hanging out with my kids. Cooking real dinners that are more complicated. Cleaning. Reading. Watching Netflix. Just, being, on occasion. Let alone blogging. I wish I could say I will become more steady on it. But I honestly don’t think I will anytime soon. I can only promise to try.

Finishing college is a big bucket list item for me, so I am going to put all of my effort into it. Just know I do think of y’all.

A Year In Review

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Last year was rocky, and it had some moments that were painful or even scary, but it was by no means a horrible year for me. I lost love, I gained love, I made friends, I lost friends, I tested my mettle several times, I worked hard, I worked even harder, I laughed, ohhhh I laughed, I smiled, I cried, but most importantly, I lived.

Snapshot moments of my year, in no certain order:

025I met the Governor of New Mexico. No matter her policies and where any of us stand with them, she once helped with one of the most terrifying moments of my life. She gave me guidance and strength when I felt outnumbered and lost without hope. She gave me answers instead of red tape. I will always be thankful for that. Always.

020The boys and I added a new member to our family. Miss Wisp. She’s a character and a half. By no means easy, but very easy to love. Plus, she helps bring a little more balance to the whole guy/girl ratio in this house. Ha!

173Not only did I buy one of my dream cars, but it helped me take my sons and my mom on our first family vacation. Almost 1800 miles, but the memories will go so much further than that.

008My boys and I made so many memories this year. The vacation. My middle starting school. Random road trips. Hiking. Fairs, carnivals, and various celebrations. Cuddling. Swimming. Playing games. Reading books. Watching movies and Doctor Who together.

056We did our first themed costumes for Halloween, at my oldest sons request. It was a blast, and they all want to do it again next year.

I managed to make the Dean’s List, become a Crimson Scholar, and the National Honors Society for college this semester. I worked full-time. I marked items off of my bucket list. I read amazing books. I learned more about my craft.

I almost lost my dad and celebrated when he pulled through.

I became closer to my mom.

I’ve been blessed by family, friends, and strangers helping me and mine when least expected but most needed.

I may have ended the year by having to call in sick, being diagnosed with strep throat and an upper respiratory infection, but I still ended it with friends via video chat and text, laughter, love, and with the knowledge that this new year will be even better.

Have a wonderful New Year, dear readers, and go make some dreams become reality. xoxo

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Awesome News!!

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I just received a letter from my college, asking me to join Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society!

I am in tears. I am so very happy about this.

It has not been easy, but it has been worth everything.

Now back to the grind.

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