What defines me?

Cancer , A Dozen Kids , Life, Struggle

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.

Each social setting seems to show me more how much my social anxiety is taking control. Longing for family for so long and now that I have some… I get tongued tied and can’t even speak when in their presence. Over the weekend I went to a social event. One that should have been my perfect setting. However I just do not feel comfortable around people at all.

My cousin was there working a booth. Can’t say that I know him well. In fact I can’t say I know him at all. However I have always wanted too. As teens we often had social circles that aligned. At one time I even dated one of his friends. He was always the cousin I thought I’d have so much in common with.

Over the past few years I’ve been trying to just be present. Saying, ” hi” literally takes everything. It’s like the words can’t leave my mouth. I don’t feel worthy of speaking. Worried I’ll say the wrong thing. Or look like a fool. Then once I’m passed the hi and onto the conversation I either am lost without words to speak or foaming at the mouth and unable to shut the fuck up.

It’s legit been couple years now since reconnecting with my cousin and meeting his family. I’m still ding dong ditching gifts and saying hi from my car. Not having what it takes for more and being completely and uttering overwhelmed just by that.

Marc’s sister, Oh how much I have always wanted a sister. A close sibling in general with a bond… Now here is my chance right. Except literally every conversation I have with the poor girl I am commanding and cutting her off. I can’t shut my mouth for her to get a phrase out. I’m stuck in the hyper drive so excited to talk. Trying so hard to catch myself and apologize over and over.

It’s the same situation with friends. I can’t find my place in the conversation. It feels so awkward and uncomfortable. They want to know about my life… personal details like my upcoming surgery. For me it’s not possible to allow those personal conversations. I have no trust for anyone and just feel like whatever friends I may have I wouldn’t if they knew my details.

I’ve withdrawn from personal connections. Those I spent the pandemic trying to build I allowed to crumble quite quickly. There is peace in my solitude though. It’s easy to put my focus on my family and their future. The hard stuff is building those relationships or even maintaining them that are outside of my four walls. Speaking any truth to Marc truly comes very natural to me. But to anyone else it’s far more difficult than I am even able to put into words.

You ever just know that you were meant to be where you are right now? I feel that so often with Marc. Like we just fit to the puzzle for each other. Raising each other up in ways you honestly can’t imagine.

With my surgery ahead and Marc having has his surgery’s last year it makes things more clear as we needed each other. Life knew that and knew now was the time. I’ve grown so very much in these last four years. As has he!!!

Four years ago if anyone would have told him he would be raising over half dozen kids I am sure he would have uncontrollably laughed at them. To be honest though when I walked in I don’t think he ever gave those kids a second thought. It was just yes this is my new life. He lived a very bachelor life and yet with the drop of a pin changed it all.

I’ve thought a great deal about the words he said about this life he has now wouldn’t exist without me. It’s true I’m sure. I grounded him. Made him see how much a family had to offer and he never looked back. But for me he opened a door so large and heavy no one else before ever could. The dead bolt was too high for me to reach myself but not for him.

He unlocked a door of freedom for me. He gave me trust like no one ever had before. So grateful that he let me in and trusted me for everything I took that and soared. Marc showed me the value I had never seen in myself. In return I instilled that he would not ever be lonely again. That he didn’t need to be perfect or without flaw. My love didn’t have any conditions.

Our life now is incredibly blessed. We both have this amazing strength inside from each other. No way are either of us perfect. It’s safe to say we both already broke the others heart a time or two. However it makes us no less the perfect fit. Since there is no one in the world capable of mending those hearts but us. We strive daily to make sure of that mending. Striving to be better for the other makes us better for ourselves.

It’s almost my bday again. How quickly that came and the year passed. I’ve become one of those people who has to ask google how old they will be this year. I’ve messed up my own age more times than I am able to count. Always making myself older than I am. Maybe that comes with growing up to fast and to hard.

Last year I was on lake Houghton on a boat getting stoned and dreaming up into the clouds above. This year is set to be much different. Maybe some time at home some laughs with the kids. Simple and sweet.

So much has changed this year. I took on a lot more financial burden. Taking some things off the budget and off Marc’s back and taking on some of the kids financial junk too. Knowing doing so takes pressure off them eases my mind a great deal.

Changes occurred in how much I was home when I took on more of the finances. Leaving Allen to step up much more. He even took on some of the manly chores from Marc lessening his burden there too. Being out of the house more and allowing the adult kids to take on more of the household burden took some adjusting but we are in the swing of things now.

This week sports car sold and Marc decided I would be spoiled with a brand new car. I of course tried to talk him out of it. Into a bike for himself or a new car or trailer. He was having no part of any of those discussions and instead lead into the fact that even though it’s “my car” my car also was the family vehicle. I don’t drive at all passed 5 pm so Marc does. It’s my car we take on all trips or weekend outing’s. Really his car is only used to get to and from work while the rest of the time is spent in mine. So he too would enjoy “my car” Upgrading me means him upgrading to my old car as well. Which is far less nosey and problematic then his daily work driver. After weeks of convincing I was on board for my new car. 2022 wilderness outback is being custom built in factory just how I wanted it.

Never did I even dream that would be a possibility for me. Brand new car. NO miles. Me the very first driver. I thought I had won the lotto with my 4.000$ used outback and now I am custom ordering my $40,000 car with phone charging stations. Life sure does change quickly.

Marc just beamed. Reality is when we meet both didn’t dream this would be our future. His credit would never have allowed even a credit card when we meet. Yet here we are buying our perfect dream car and on our 3rd year in our dream home. Together we were the perfect fit for lifting each other up. For building our empire together. I run a budget like no ones business and he is an incredibly hard working provider.

As I cried thinking I may be taking something from him buy him selling his sports car he was smiling saying don’t you see I could not have even dreamed of buying a house or a car before you. My credit was shot…. my bills behind. The same story was for me. Apart we we drowning trying to make sure the whole world didn’t see. He was living on disconnects and I was lining up at the food pantries. But we trusted in each other. We built each other up and so quickly it all fell into place.

He said to me on our drive home from ordering our new car. I have everything. Everything I want or dream of it’s already in my possession. I just keep making new dreams and desires so we have something more to achieve. I’ve got all the planes I’ve ever dreamed of. I have a wonderful home. My animals are very well cared for and feed. We eat damn good every night and we are not lacking in any adventures. He’s absolutely right. We already hit the bar and have the perfect life. The only thing left to do is keep raising the bar and striving for more.

If life ended tomorrow I can honestly say it was a success. I’ve built all I dreamed of wanting. Happy, healthy, thriving family. The next year will bring more greatness and I can’t wait.