What defines me?

Cancer , A Dozen Kids , Life, Struggle

Really, I’m just pretty happy with life. My new car came in just in time for our big vacation for our anniversary. We hopefully already got our first Fall cold out of the way and things will just be grand for the trip.

My excitement has just been building immensely for this trip. I realize most of the trip is actually like a man trip. Where Marc and his buddies will spend their time goofy off and flying planes. However, how exciting that Marc wants me to tag along? To be honest he wouldn’t go if I wasn’t.

His attitude will be extraordinarily pleasant because he will be on the field doing what he truly loves. This is a win for me. I can take time to myself and enjoy time with him both while at the field. It’s actually the perfect mix of both for me and rather relaxing.

On the way to the field two days at the cabin that literally looks heavenly. That’s for us to spoil each other. With Marc having in the back of his mind that I let planes me the center of our anniversary you know a girl is going to be spoiled rotten.

I’ve spent weeks couponing things to make our trip less and less primitive. A shower, stove, cabin like tent. I really enjoy planning but boy do I get myself stressed. No reason for it but it happens just the same.

My new car is heavenly. Feeling like a spoiled princess everywhere I drive the thing. It’s also really making my mind ease with backing out of places as my sight is really just already in the granny stage of life I swear.

My kids are all soaring with great grades and positive attitudes. I’m truly blessed with the whole bunch. Hailey is home less and less but so am I. I see her just in passing a couple times a week. That can be a bit daunting as I miss her so. Malachi has been doing impressively well with all his own new found responsibilities.

I’m still sending those text to my mother…… I can’t really give much of a reason other than when I forgave Marc for this powerful stuff that came into play…… I had an enormous amount of guilt for how easy it was to forgive him and not her. I chose to love him no matter what… My mindset was I should do the same for her.

Marc and I are continuing to really grow. Things with us have always been pretty good. We don’t do any fighting really at all. Never hardly even raise our tone with each other. It’s been quite a privilege to spend my days and time getting to know him and how he needs to be loved. Showing him what he is capable of. He really just has no idea how amazing he is. I love showing him that.

Life is just very busy and feels like it’s in overdrive. I wish I could slow it all down and soak in more time with those I love. The moments just breeze by into a memory so easily.

It’s almost the four year mark. Four years since the beginning of what lead to be a entire new life for me. Of course I excitedly planned a fancy junior suit at a local hotel. Thinking that we didn’t really have the finances for a big trip this year but a small get away would be the perfect fit.

One evening with yearning in his eyes Marc peered over to me to start the Alabama talk. Anyone who knows Marc knows his passion for flying. Rc planes, real planes, helicopters, drones, you name it. It’s his calming place on that runway. To be honest it’s like his self care. To be at the field flying his planes horizon in the distant.

So Anyway, the buddies he fly’s with are going to Alabama. To a huge Rc flying event. A camping sleepover weekend to be exact. It’s a big deal to all the fellas in his circle. I can count at least a dozen times I’ve heard them rave about anticipating this trip. Now it falls the week after our anniversary. The one I just booked the fancy suit at.

You could tell by Marc’s expression he was anticipating my reaction. The request to move my suit and him work our anniversary was a huge feat I am sure just to murmur the words. As Marc always wants to please me and I make such a big deal of our day together.

Excitedly, I had no hesitation saying yes of course we can go there. Cancelling the room I booked right there in bed that evening. Immediately I had decided we would leave for Alabama early and find a nice cabin on the way instead of my junior suit idea. To clarify I was absolutely beaming at the idea of his adventure over mine!

Then and Now

The excitement wears quickly when Marc asked if I had been to Alabama before. It opens a floodgate of extreme emotions for me. Almost as though the dam holding those deep dark memories was crumbled in one blow. Can you imagine such a simple question hitting you like such a powerful blow? He had no idea what he had even done.

My face I am certain changed in that instant. Giving him very little facts I just said yes. The real story is at just 17 years old I was homeless in Alabama. Pregnant with my first child. Starving, a feeling I so often felt during pregnancy.

When I meet Keith I was nothing more than a lost child looking for love. I had no idea his situation or life before me. When I was pregnant bipolar and unable to understand my emotions. Keith’s mother made it clear I was a whore trying to trap her adult child. As a mother now I can somewhat understand. Fearing your son making a ignorant mistake with a child… Exactly what Keith had done.

His mother owned his home. Therefore having control and power over all he did. A step further he was entirely financially dependent on her regardless of his employment status. I had everything for Allen in that house. My aunt giving me a changing table that had been built and made for me as a baby. Thinking that was my forever home to raise my family.

My memory can be a little grey so I’m not sure if Keith sugar coated the hate his mother had for me and my unborn baby or if I was just to blinded to care. Either way it erupted and she told us we had to be out. Myself and her growing grandson in my belly. She threw out in the road all of my personal possessions. Even worse she threw out all of the nursey items.

I hid in the home for awhile. Keith would literally tuck me under a mattress in the back bedroom when his mom would come inspect the home or bring him money. When that was caught, Keith told me this big dream. To become a gold miner. At some point he acquired a membership that gained him access to camping and gold panning. Now that I couldn’t stay at the home his mother owned we could just go camp till he found enough gold to build a house.

Can you imagine I bought that? Hook, line, and sinker I truly believed I could pack up in this tiny car. Seventeen years old and 5 months pregnant and head on the road south. Gold mining would be our way of life and I would be a Mother soon with my own home no one could take.

Off We Went

We packed up very little because honestly we had very little. Maybe there was two pairs of clothing tops for myself. No food and just less then $200 in our names. Somehow I was still certain we would make it. Hopelessly I wanted to be loved and anything Keith said that lead to the idea of family I trusted entirely.

It wasn’t long before we were starving and no where to sleep. Alabama was the first place we found one of the places covered by this membership. We pulled into what looked like a huge field. A stream running down the center of it. My memory recalls just a couple of old men at the place. They had tents and tables and little sections that they made home.

One of the elderly man showed Keith the smallest nugget of gold in a jar and before I knew it he was even more hooked on that life. Problem was we didn’t even have a tent. No camping supplies. Literally nothing of use was in that car.

Spent that day there with Keith frustrated his get rich quick scheme wasn’t quick. He had no idea how to gold mine. His membership came with a how to dvd and that was the extent of his knowledge. Yet I was still almost just as much a believer as him.

To be honest. I really sincerely hope that I have taught my own girls better than this. That they can find what they need within themselves and not be so willing to hang on every word a man tells them. Each time Keith said I will never let harm come to you. I will protect you. Feed you. I will provide for my family. Believing him was natural because I needed it to be true.

Alabama was hot and the loneliness was just unlike anything you can imagine. Keith could be six inches away and want nothing to do with me. The money was gone so quick that there was now no gas station snacks to be bought. I feared dying of hunger at one point.

Can’t really remember how we left from Alabama to Georgia but that was the breaking point. Had to break down and call home for help. My mother having no part in helping me at all. My step dad would finally be convinced to send enough money for gas to get back and pizza hut. To this day it’s the one time he truly saved my life. No doubt in my mind that had we not got help that very day. Terrible things would have happened to me that night.

Keith called home too. Gaining money as well and paying for what I would later describe as the dingiest hotel I had ever laid eyes on. I couldn’t even clothes my eyes I was in fear the entire night. Hearing gun fire and loud yelling and banging well into the morning.

Changing The Mindset

To barely touch the tip of how truly awful that trip was as one day my children may read and that’s not a memory I’d like to leave them with. Now I must just change my mindset on how I look at this cross country. Letting go of what I survived and implanting new positive memories.

I worry some of the car ride down to our fabulous cabin adventure. For me I still get flashbacks of my time being homeless and raped in Decatur at every drive. In fact it’s so bad driving thru that Marc noticed and became concerned. He will now drive 20 mins out of the way to avoid driving through a town that gives me such anguish. Will driving to Alabama be the same?

Have I truly grown enough to change my mindset? Can I enjoy my trip and not be taken back? Looking through the cabin pictures I think I am being silly. How can I even dream of thinking anything but positive thoughts in such an amazing place? The battle is always in my mind and only I decide the victor right?

ME and My MINI

Sometimes it’s hard to see the growth that I have personally achieved. There tend to be these blinders on my eyes and I can’t see what I over come and achieve. Facebook gives a space to shout out my accomplishments and others holler back their pride in me. Seeing that for myself is still so difficult.

Until the past finds a way to show itself. Like a phone call from an old friend. One who tells you about all those you left behind. Maybe even some you had children with. That call just really made me see my growth. I’m not anywhere near the person I was. Fitting into the circle of friends I had just a few short years ago would be just impossible.

I’m such a different person. One I find so much more pride in. Emotionally, I have so much more control over myself than I had throughout all of life. Clear is the path I want. The goals I have are laid out before me with each and every step I need to achieve them seeming so obtainable. Honestly, I believe there isn’t anything I can’t do.

Never could I have said that even a year ago. Looking at the kids and knowing I really did that myself gives me a strength deep within. My kids are soaring and the sky is literally the limit with them.

The life I have is the one I strived for. Personally I feel like I’ve made it. This is the path I want to be on. It’s only moving in the positive direction I want for myself and my family. Texting my mother and giving her look ma I made it moments happens all the time. Pride in myself and the mother I’ve become is here.

That call let me remember again where I came from. How I built this life and path on my own. Deciding that what I was doing and how I was living wasn’t enough for me and mine. Not just financially either but how I speak to people. The way I carry myself as a person and mother. My social life, I use to really need to have people need me to have fulfillment. Finding fulfillment in yourself, now that is growth.

Today in the mail came the order form for my Malachi’s cap and gown. I literally screamed for joy so loud I am certain the neighbors must have heard it. My son is going to finish his high school education after all the hard work and obstacles it’s finally over.

It was uncertain if this day would come just two short years ago. Malachi without the drive to get through the day to day of the daunting task that is high school. Lacking in the ambition but never the brains. He just didn’t have it in him to apply himself.

For me as a mother I felt so helpless trying and trying to get him on the path I thought best. Spending time changing his education plan over and over hoping one change would stick and he would fall in love with learning.

Finally, the drivers license hooked him in. Mom only pays for driver’s ed to kids passing at her level. Which meant Malachi pulling off c average in every class. I stayed on him at every turn but eventually he had found his drive.

Watching last year and he got into his grove and found pride in himself was such a relief. My heart was so full of joy watching him soar like I always knew he could. Moving any mountain in his way I set his path for him and he put one foot in front of the other everyday.

Now the time is here. Beginning to plan his graduation is the most exciting thing. It will not be a thing like Hailey’s. With strict rules no family party and no big celebration. A nice dinner and maybe a bon fire after. Very much still look forward to making his day fabulous. Seeing him off to the Marines will definitely be a hard day!

Swagbucks

https://www.swagbucks.com/lp-savings-button?cmp=695&cxid=swagbuttonref&rb=3186996&extRefCmp=1&extRb=3186996 Most everyone who knows me or reads my blogs knows I am one frugal girl. I’ve been using the swagbucks app now for literally 11 years! When I first started I used it to cash out a physical Xbox. You know the original old school goodies! Claimed it for Malachi that year for a Christmas gift and it was our first game system in our home.

Eleven years ago there was no way I could afford something like that while caring and raising my babies at a young age. Resourceful was I though. Swagbucks led me to passive side income. That to be honest has seriously had a extreme positive effect to my budget.

I’m already couponing. So swagbucks extends on that. In the shopping section of swagbucks you will find two ways I love to earn. One printing coupons, yes just printing them earns! 2 swagbucks each one you print! For me I have the free printing with hp insta print. They send me ink in the mail and I have stock in free copy paper. Printing coupons cost me nothing and just earns! When I use the coupon I get more swagbucks! Let me break this down. You print a coupon for free.. then use the coupon to save yourself some cash… and you get paid for doing so! Does it get better than that?

Second, you just printed coupons and went shopping. Now scan the receipt. To swagbucks, it’s similar to the other apps. You’ll see items to earn bonuses on and such or just get a flat rate of swagbucks if you didn’t buy a qualifying product. If your like me a coupon junkie your already scanning your receipts so what is one more app?

Swagbucks has endless earning potential. There are goals for the day and the month. Hitting those and even some of the milestones within get you more bonuses. Are you like me and enjoy trying new products? Swagbucks surveys are one of the places I score freebies to try out and see if I like them. Paid for my honest review after. Surveys are endless. They clearly display the time if should take on average to complete and the amount of swagbucks you will be paid at the end.

Everyday there are click and earns. These are just simple ads that you click and then you guessed it earn more swagbucks! If you are mobile and get close to a store an ad will also pop on your device to click and earn. This happens to me often as I’m always at the Walmart.

Sitting at home binge watching netflix? That is when I open up the laptop and let swagbucks watch go. Earning swagbucks for every cluster of ads that goes accross my screen. Or maybe sometimes I play block break on the games and earn money from playing a game.

The potential to earn is astronomical to me. There are so so many ways I haven’t even learned them all. I tend to click on the free offers from the discovery tab and just go to town. It’s enjoyable and the swagbucks I turn into gift cards really take such a burden off my family! Christmas looks so much better these days. https://www.swagbucks.com/lp-savings-button?cmp=695&cxid=swagbuttonref&rb=3186996&extRefCmp=1&extRb=3186996

50 yards like a pro!

While sitting in bed the other night the topic of being prepared comes up between Marc and I. Can’t really sure what lead up to the conversation as that has become fog in my memory now. However it was very deep to lay in bed and ponder together.

My entire life has been a path of being prepared. For goodness sakes as a teen I would prep myself for being homeless again by laying in the shower switching from home to cold and learning to withstand it. Even pulling in a towel into the shower to build a shelter from the cold rain. So safe to say I’ve instilled in myself being prepared.

Marc, he shares that same drive with me. We have been asked by friends and family if we are expecting negative to come. Maybe even some say waiting on it. However it’s really not the case. It just brings peace to know the what if’s are prepared for. Not like we live in a world of daisy and roses.

Yesterday, just a night after us laying in bed talking about how we enjoy being prepared for things we took our children to the gun range. Having the ability to safely defend yourself or hunt your own food that brings me peace. My children not fearing a gun and knowing the responsibility it holds is extremely important to me.

It’s clear always that I take being prepared further than Marc tends to. My need to feel secure is higher for sure than his. Hoarding food, stashing that emergency 20 somewhere unseen in my wallet. Or things like making sure that the kids are I share the same digital bank. For times when they may need cash and I am not there. Instant money transfers to your kids for the win!

Planning our vacation something less life threatening to prepare for. That for me means saving money. Cutting back the budget and pocketing the extra cash for vacation expenses. Marc jumped up to join my efforts by earning gift cards at work to be used on the trip. It’s instinctual now for us to work together preparing for what we want or what may come.

Often Marc speaks of how easy life is together. So often are we on the same wave length with things. Being prepared is just one of those wave lengths I suppose. There is peace to be found in preparing for what may come. Not the negative fear for the worst prepare but the know your ready for anything kind.

I honestly have wanted and well did write so many times since the last post. But only in my head while driving the back country roads to and from therapy. Or in the quite moments I am in the kitchen baking or laundry room folding. It seems it’s so easy to blog when my fingers aren’t touching the keys. Not really how it works though right?

It’s almost 4 years now for my current relationship. Still safe to say it’s absolutely the healthiest relationship I’ve had in my entire life. With any adult at any time, I’ve never had what I have now. It’s a security on both ends that I’ve never known. It’s shown me how much love is a choice. One that I enjoy choosing daily as well as nurturing every chance I get.

It’s far easier to know a choice deep in your heart when you have spent so much of your relationship going through the hard shit. Maybe all of life is the hard shit right? However, these past four years have really hit with life altering bad times. That strengthened us in ways I had no idea it could. Forcing us to confide more and trust in each other deeply. We have become quite the force together.

Some of my time was being spent working on building new friendships and relationships with other adults recently. That really bombed for me. I’m not sure what exactly I was looking for in my journey with that but it was clearly unsuccessful. It just was the same for me. I spread myself so thin trying to be the perfect friend. The one that gave and gave till she depleted herself. The negative comes so quickly when you have nothing left to give. For me, I realized it was time to just focus on what brings me joy. The kids and the time I spend with my family in these four walls.

Hailey being away really sets in that my children are all almost done being raised. They are all going to soar and find their own path not lead by me but by whatever I instilled that stuck around with them. Allen is finally finding the path he wishes to take. Finishing his high school education just a bit behind. Malachi with huge plans for the marines. Clare ready to be a neonatal nurse. Most of the teens are working these days and there is more and more time apart.

The little are struggling for sure with the big siblings spreading their wings. They have been the tightest bunch since birth and it’s hard to see your siblings leave. The covid restrictions in place means no sleepovers at Hailey’s dorm. That crushed Paytyn’s heart entirely!

Planning our next vacation. Marc found a fly in and well he had pretty much skipped out all summer to be at my side taking care of me through surgeries. So of course I want to make sure he got to go to this fly. It’s in Alabama. So a road trip together and time in the sky for him. Really I don’t mind at all that it’s a flying trip with his guys. There is such peace at the field for me. We leave in less than a month though and I don’t know the area at all.

When he asked if I had been to Alabama. Floodgates of awful memories arose. Thinking of being homeless. Living in the car on Keith’s round trip to Alabama. I was just 17 years old at the time. Starving was an understatement for that trip. It wasn’t till I cried out for help from Rik and got back to Michigan that I realized I was pregnant that whole trip. Hard to believe that at 17 I was living in a car driving the states. Following the man I would have 4 children with on his I am going to be a rich gold miner adventure.

That was a whole different life than the one I have now. A life my kids will absolutely never know. Tools are provided to them to understand their mental health and know they never have to grow up before they are ready. Never have to fear being able to come home or being wanted there. My kids damn well know come home, come home often. My empire is built for you. I won’t take it to the grave it’s yours to share always.

At the end of the day… Life is good! It’s grand even. I’m so content in my journey in my parenting and in my relationship that nothing can cloud my day. Each day is simply a blessing!

It’s been so long since I have written here again. It’s becoming more of a habit to not write than to write. The therapy this use to held it just doesn’t anymore. I miss writing in ways that I didn’t think who was reading or maybe I didn’t care. Now that thought is constantly in the back of my mind. I’m not sure how raw it is if that’s the case.

However here I am. Sharing what I’m willing I guess. So many changes in my home. Hailey went off to college. Except she is still home far more than she is at college. For me that’s helping rip of the band aid of my children growing up! It’s hard to let go of your babies. Harder than I ever anticipated.

She is soaring and grasping what adult hood is like. The struggles and the triumphs are hers to go through. Oozing with pride am I at her journey.

Surgeries have been intense for me! Marc has truly been more incredible than I dreamed he would be. Not just with physically helping me but mentally this has been tough and he has been such a strength for me. He got his time to shine and show his adorning love again. Of course I soaked it up like a little sponge. His love it’s intoxicating for me.

We have been through so much in these past four years. I devoted that no matter his flaws I’d be there through it. Making sure that he understood that even though my mental health sometimes leads me to speaking to much about us I’d never speak about the negative to anyone but his mother. Explaining that his mother would never see him in any light but perfect. She would never hold a grudge or see him as flawed. She sees him how I do when thinking clearly. So if there is a time I’m not thinking clearly and I need to vent to vomit all the thoughts in my head that are typically a hot ass mess. They will only be to the one who can see him in no negative light. This makes sure to never let negative outside influence in.

Proud of me for realizing my mental health sometimes just makes me need to be heard. At the same time knowing that the ears that hear need to be the ones that have understanding. Marc knows that I truly only have his best interest at heart even when I’m emotional that way.

My relationship has grown immensely in these past few months. We get closer when I think we can’t possibly. Sharing things that I never thought I could speak out loud. Him too, I see his trust in me now more that I ever have. That bond is never going to be broken and my faith in that is like nothing else I’ve ever experienced.

Since the graduation I’ve spoken to my mother quite regularly. I’ve not shared that a whole lot with anyone. Sometimes I text just wanting her to see like you were all wrong. Look at my babies and what I accomplished raising them. Then other times I’m simply longing family.

As far as the rest of the family. My aunt’s words still haunt me. My interpretation of her apology or at least I think that is what she was attempting was more painful than not having one at all. For me she was saying, I thanked another man for putting up with you and your kids. Like…. uhhhh we are a prize. He doesn’t just put up with us. We make his life better, fulfilled, have a purpose. It’s me and the kids that also take care of him. Just as much as he does us. I could almost see in her eyes she thought thank God this man came in and saved her. She doesn’t see at all we saved him too.

There is a pain inside that burns so deep when they look at me and my kids as a burden. They have no idea Marc was off work so much last year for his own surgeries. That I carried us through. They don’t know I pay half of everything here and all the grocery, toiletry, and animal needs is all cared for by just me. It feels like they look at this house and think that he is the only one who worked his ass off for it.

Marc and I are so intertwined and have been really since the very beginning. Our income entirely as one and both of us truly busting ass to provide this life. He has more for himself and in the bank now then before he took on this ready made family. And I have so much more as well. Together we mesh as one well oiled machine. Us as a team is the perfect life. Marc being just as lucky as I that we fell into each others laps.

I stayed in such an abusive relationship after another because I always heard no man wanted so many kids. We are a burden is truly how my family made me feel. They lead me to believe I wasn’t a prized package but one that I needed to be grateful any man would accept and don’t be to choosey. There was a pedestal that men who beat me were on because they played house to my kids.

The day after one of the most severe beatings I had gotten from my daughters father. My step dad gave him a truck. Not just gave but gave and told him not to put in my name. Not to trust me it was not for me. I was the one working and I was in college at the time. It lead me to believe those beating were what I was worth and deserved. I wasn’t capable of having anything better than that. Honestly, I was lucky to be beat everyday cause I could be homeless and alone on the streets.

When my aunt told me she thanked Marc for being with me. For giving us that life and for taking on the kids or however she worded it. All the flood gates opened. My worth was always shown to me by my own blood. Weather it be needing to be grateful for some loser man. Or anticipating if I was worth going home to or if I would return from church camp to be thrown into foster care or juvenile.

Thinking of those moments in my life where the ones who are suppose to instill confidence and build your self esteem crushed me like a bug. I’ve tried hard to show my kids that they are imperfectly perfect and deserve nothing but the best treatment. They are worth anything and anyone they desire. That they are a million dollar prize and never have to settle.

I’m at a place that I can speak up and tell my mom stop. You don’t get to make me feel this way or say that. So I opened the door for communication. I can’t say the same about the rest of the blood family. Therefore I still have all those communication outlets closed. My heart says it will probably always remain closed. They don’t see what pain their words and actions have.