I might be crazy aka What was I thinking!?

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

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

Thankful

Several of my Facebook friends have been doing the whole things they’re thankful for throughout the month thing. I usually do this as well, but I figured I’d do all 30 days here, in no particular order, in one fell swoop. Tell me, what are you thankful for?

  1. My kids.
  2. Technology.
  3. College.
  4. Food.
  5. Nature.
  6. Charity.
  7. My job.
  8. Books.
  9. My parents.
  10. Money.
  11. Laughter.
  12. Hope.
  13. Perseverance.
  14. Honesty.
  15. Strength.
  16. Friends.
  17. Family.
  18. Pets.
  19. Travel.
  20. Music.
  21. Candles.
  22. Hot water.
  23. Understanding.
  24. Coffee.
  25. Naps.
  26. Hugs.
  27. Duck tape.
  28. Creativity.
  29. Loyalty.
  30. Love.
But these guys... They make me everything I am. They give me everything I need to be the best I can be. I am forever thankful for them.

But these guys… They make me everything I am. They give me everything I need to be the best I can be. I am forever thankful for them.

Learning

I know, I’ve been away for quite a bit, but I can explain.

You all know that I’m a single mom to three amazing boys. You all know I work an 8-5 full time job. You all don’t know that I recently returned to college. And like anything I do, I returned with a vengeance. Enough so that I’m now a Crimson Scholar. Basically, I’m an Honors college student. I’ve been aiming for that for I don’t know how long.

While doing all of the above, life happened. No, no boyfriends. No parties. Nothing fun like that. Instead, I almost lost my dad to another heart attack (he’s hanging tough, but he’s not out of the woods) and I had some oral surgery done.

Plus, my autistic 5 year old started regular kindergarten, and he has an insane amount of homework each night. Yes. You read that right. My kindergartener has homework. Every. Night. My 7th grader with honors classes doesn’t ever have homework, but yeah, my 5 year old has almost as much homework as I do. And throw in the autism, and you may get an idea of just how overwhelming, stressful and tear inducing my nights have become. But we push through.

I am working on time management, I just don’t have a lot left to manage lately. But I will be back. In the meantime, enjoy some random photos I took when we all went on vacation.

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Coming Home

The day we headed back home started with the loading of the car and heading to breakfast at a place we can’t eat at regularly. This place was mainly for me, but we all loved it.

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Mad Hatter’s Tea House and Cafe was awesome. Fantastic options, many of which were healthy choices, plus you pick your own tea cup when you order a pot of tea.

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The decor was right up my alley. My favorite book since childhood has been Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, and to start the end of our trip at a place based around this book was perfect for me.

After a lovely breakfast we filled up the gas tank and started the 10 hour drive home. We made a lot of bathroom stops for my middle son, and found some interesting places along the way. There were no check-in times to worry about, no schedule to keep, so the stress of “go-go-go” was a non-issue.

At one of the stops, my mom, the middle, and the oldest went on a potty break, and the youngest and I walked around to get the blood flowing into our legs. There were hundreds of yellow butterflies flitting about, and his squee’s of joy echoed back to us. The beauty of the butterflies and his delight in them made my heart smile.

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We had a plan to take the boys to a lake my dad used to go to as a boy, so we could give them a piece of his history, and show him photos of the boys enjoying a place he once played at. The rules have changed in the decades between his time there, and ours. So the boys didn’t get to play in the lake. But they did fly a kite and we had a picnic in the shade.

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Mom and I knew the next leg of the trip was going to be quite barren, so we hoped the lunch break and play time would help wear them out enough for a nap. It didn’t quite work out this way, but there were a few moments of peace.

I had planned the money out perfectly, as the last gas tank refill was the last of every dime I had saved and pinched and budgeted for the trip, and it was the last fill we needed to get home.

We hit the border patrol a little way from town just as the sun was setting, and pulled into the driveway just as the sky grew black. The cat was ecstatic to see us, and the boys kept her busy while mom and I unloaded the car, got our things separated, unloaded the ice chest, and put some things away.

The boys got ready for bed, and we all called it an early night.

Our first family vacation. It was perfect, even with heartbreak and surprises thrown into the mix. I wouldn’t change a moment of it.

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Remember The Alamo

We woke a bit later than we did on those days along the beach. We dressed and headed to the hotel dining room for self-made waffles and the adults drank their fill of coffee. Then we went back to our room, gathered our things for the day, and called for another cab. Today our agenda was full.

We arrived at the Alamo, before the heat and humidity had really made its mark. We chose the self guided route, as it’s just easier with the kiddos.

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We found a place that looked like it could have been a temple from Indiana Jones.

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We marveled at all of the trees and greenery that surrounded us.

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We walked through the crowded buildings and looked at artifacts from a time that feels much further removed than it actually is. We sat on benches and watched the squirrels scurry about. We checked out the cannons and wishing well, and bought souvenirs.

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I tried to take a picture of the kids in front of the Alamo for my dad, but the youngest two just weren’t having it.

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After this we headed for the part of the trip that was all for the kids. The Children’s Museum.

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We have nothing remotely like this where we live. And I only learned about it when I was researching and planning for the trip. I am so glad I discovered this gem.Mom mom and I switched out kids several times, and granted each other breaks, in the few hours we spent here.The children LOVED it. They drew, they “shopped”, they built things, destroyed things, played instruments, and used their imaginations in a way that everyday life doesn’t quite allow.

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After that amazing adventure we had one more treat planned for them, on this, our last outing before the long trip home the next day. They got to ride a riverboat.

Our tour guide was amazing, funny, and helped bring a genuine smile to my face and eased the cracks of my recently shattered heart.

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He told us bits of history both old and fairly recent, he pointed out amazing architecture, and he was hilarious.

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He chose me for a few of his stories (I was the gorgeous woman who killed a shark the week previously, and hung it on chains in front of a shop. I also tend all of the plants along the Riverwalk.) He made the other riders applaud these “skills”. Twice.

After the ride he stopped me and told me how beautiful I am. And that I have a great smile. He really did brighten my day. (Thank you, again.)

After this, we called another taxi and headed back to the hotel for lunch and naps. Once everyone was awake, we all headed to the pool for one last swim and had a blast. These were not the same boys that had cried about being taken into the water, clinging for dear life to me with every fiber of their being, just days before. They jumped to me before I even had my arms ready, begging to be taken to the deep end, while their older brother played shark attack. They splashed and laughed and were completely carefree. Their laughs echoed around us.

Once we had our fill, and the sun had set, we went back to our room for showers and jammies. Then we had light snacks and cuddled up in the beds, watching tv. Once the youngest two had passed out, the oldest and I found the leftover crab meat and took it downstairs. We had learned the day before that a gorgeous cat had been left behind by a previous person passing through the hotel. This poor abandoned soul deserved a feast of leftover crab.

Having eased the night for this furry friend, we headed back to our room and went to bed.