“The past can hurt. But the way I see it, you can either run from it, or learn from it.” — Rafiki

I have been doing a lot of reflecting these last few months. If you read my very first blog post you will know that my childhood was rough. There’s no denying it. Being dragged around all over by my sex driven, drunken, drugged up mom was only part of it. Being shipped away to Arizona with people I didn’t know where a lot of physical abuse happened was probably the best thing she could have done because that’s when I was able to be “rescued” by the most wonderful and selfless people I have ever had the pleasure to know….that would be my grandparents. As soon as they found out what my mother had done and exactly where it was that she had sent me, they set out to pick me up. It was my grandma’s birthday, September 23, 1999 and I was seven years old. I was a gangly little girl who had no self-confidence and thought she was the dumbest person in the world. It was a very dark time, in deed.

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These are my wonderful grandparents who gave so much yet received so little.

Because of my past and refusing to be more open with my grandparents, I was put in therapy. I know what you’re thinking, “Therapy is for crazy people. What am I doing reading a crazy person’s blog?” Well, a lot of people go to therapy and it’s not always because they are crazy. I was a neglected, abused, scared, and confused little girl and I needed help. I, of course, didn’t realize I needed the help but my grandma always knew best. I went to see my therapist shortly after I went to live with my grandparents, I loved her but at first I was very shy. She never would pry, she only asked a few questions and listened to me play. I loved playing with the doll house and stuffed animals she had, they were my favorite. Slowly but surely I began opening up. I never told anyone everything that happened to me in the past but I opened up more than I had and I began to understand how it had hurt me in the long run.

(Here is an interesting read for you on child play therapy Play Therapy for Abused and Traumatized Children: A Bibliography)

My grandparents did all they could to help me, though. My aunt put me in modeling classes through the community that are meant to help build confidence and I did it twice, I loved every moment of it. I even have pictures to prove it! I wish I still had that confidence in myself but most days it’s hard.

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This is my favorite out of all of my modeling pictures. I was in 5th grade.

In 2009, 10 years after being “recused” by my grandparents, my life fell apart once more. I was at school when my grandparents and an aunt and uncle were going on a trip to see my youngest cousin graduate Kindergarten. I couldn’t go because I had finals and in high school you can’t really skip those or you’ll risk failing the class. At the end of the day, I had a crazy amount of missed phone calls on my cell, which we aren’t allowed to use at school. All of these calls were from my brothers. I immediately thought something was wrong with my niece, who was born only a month before, or my nephew, who was a few years old. I called both of them back several times when the younger of the two answered and I was so worried. I remember his words so clearly “I didn’t want to be the one to tell you this but grandma, grandpa, Doyle, and Cindy were in an accident. Grandpa and Doyle were air evaced to Springfield. We’re not sure if they are going to make it. Grandma and Cindy are ok, though.” The bus ride home was the LONGEST ride of my life. My best friend Dakota was there for me, though. He helped me when I needed someone the most.

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This is Dakota, he helped me a lot my Sophomore year. We were both new to the school and he was a great friend to me.

Within a month, I lost both of my grandparents and the realization of moving away was setting in. I hated it. I did it, though. I knew my family loved me and wanted the best for me but I struggled. I still struggle.

After high school, I moved out on my own because my family was moving away and I didn’t want to go. I moved downtown and lived with a pretty awesome roommate. I was living an ok life. I knew I wasn’t happy though. Nothing made me happy. All of my friends could see it. I was encouraged to see a doctor and a therapist. Yes, again, I went to therapy. I went for a couple of months and I was put on antidepressants. I couldn’t tell my family, I couldn’t let them know because they would never approve, they never understood depression. I had to move back in with family due to some issues I was having at my apartment and I stopped taking my medicine.

I thought I was happy, I did. I went without any antidepressants for over a year. Until I was about a year into my mission and I was put on them again. Of course, when I came home to my family, I stopped taking them because, like before, I knew they would never understand.

I am still struggling with taking them because I know there are so many people who don’t understand depression and the reason antidepressants are important but I know I need to take them. I am currently starting them up again and I hope to stick with it this time, for as long as I need them. It’s not good to continue to get on and off of them, especially when you don’t talk to a doctor about it.

If you feel like you have serious depression, you should seek help. Not everyone will understand but we all need to learn to take care of ourselves. Never discount the way you feel just because your family thinks you have a good life or because you see that other people have it worse. Depression is a chemical imbalance and there are many medications that will help. I will post more on depression later.

I wanted to share my story with you because I know that if I help just one person, I have done my job. Thank you for reading. Please know that you’re not alone, even if you feel like it at times. You can even drop a comment here and I will be sure to help you in any way I can.

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“America! America! God shed His grace on thee, And crown thy good with brotherhood From sea to shining sea!” -Katharine Lee Bates

I saw this video today and I must say that I am sad for our country. All these people care about is going out to drink and party. For what? What are they celebrating? Our liberty from Mexico? The end of the German Nazis? Ridiculous.

These are all adults and they really have NO excuse to be this ignorant. There is Google, Yahoo, and plenty of other search engines they could use to actually learn WHY we celebrate INDEPENDENCE DAY. Goodness! I’m just so ashamed at our country. Other people in other country know why we celebrate, why don’t our own citizens? Well, I know that we weren’t taught everything in school. I know this because I have only been out of school for 5 years. We didn’t spend much time on Independence Day, which is ironic.

These fully grown adults, however, are just lazy. It takes not even a whole minute to learn a little background on our National holidays. Come on America. Don’t be stupid! Don’t give other countries yet ANOTHER reason to laugh at us. Geez! I am just so dumbfounded right now. I knew we were in bad shape but to see this video, it made me cringe. I am proud of the guy who knew better, though. Go you! And everyone, please pick up a book, take a history class at your local community college, or just look online! At least TRY to learn something.

Happy Independence Day everyone who lives here in the USA.

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America, The Beautiful Lyrics

O beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!
America! America! God shed His grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!

O beautiful for pilgrim feet,
Whose stern impassion’d stress
A thoroughfare for freedom beat
Across the wilderness!
America! America! God mend thine ev’ry flaw,
Confirm thy soul in self-control,
Thy liberty in law!

O beautiful for heroes proved In liberating strife,
Who more than self their country loved,
And mercy more than life!
America! America! May God thy gold refine
Till all success be nobleness,
And ev’ry gain divine!

O Beautiful for patriot dream
That sees beyond the years
Thine alabaster cities gleam,
Undimmed by human tears!
America! America! God shed His grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea

“I only hope that we don’t lose sight of one thing – that it was all started by a mouse.” -Walt Disney

In this section, as you can guess from the section title, I will be discussing what I did to plan for our honeymoon/first anniversary trip to Orlando, Florida. We went to Walt Disney World, all four parks, and to Universal Orlando, both parks. I will let you know now that I did get a lot of my information, before our trip, from a blog that is THE BEST blog I’ve read on Walt Disney trips. The woman who runs the blog is Shannon and her blog is WDW Prep School. If you haven’t checked her blog out, you should. She has more information that I would ever be able to give you because it her JOB and I’ve only ever been once. So, with that said, I will mostly be giving you first hand experience and my thoughts. Everyone has their own ideas of what is good and what should be skipped so I want to provide you with things that, perhaps, others didn’t think of. I do hope I am able to help you prepare more for your trip. Stay tuned for trip information!

“Fear of a name only increases fear of the thing itself.” -Hermione

According to Merriam Webster, a phobia is  an exaggerated usually inexplicable and illogical fear of a particular object, class of objects, or situation. Phobias can pretty much be anything. I have three, Megalohydrothalassophobia,  and bathophobia. Megalohydrothalassophobia is the fear of the unknown and-or large objects underwater. I am deathly afraid of getting into a lake because I feel like if I do something will grab me and eat me and I am even more afraid of going into the ocean because a shark can come attack me. I have had so many dreams where an alligator or shark is trying to attack me. Twice now those dreams consisted of my wonderful husband risking his own life to save mine. I hate those kinds of dreams, though, because I wake up in a panic, sweating and freaking out. This happened just the other day, which is mostly what prompted this post. Bathophobia is the fear of falling from a high place. I have always had this fear and sometimes it can be intense. I can go on rollercoasters but I freak out when they go upside down. Just last month we went on vacation for our belated honeymoon/first anniversary trip and my husband got me to go on Dr. Doom’s Fear Fall and I almost passed out and I was shaking the whole time standing in line then for about ten minutes after we got off. It was so scary. He also, somehow, got me to go into the Characters of Flight hot air ballon and then wanted me to move. I was frozen with terror. I just don’t know how he gets me to do these things but one day it’s going to kill me.

Everyone has a fear, whether they would like to admit it or not. You may be afraid of many things, I know I am. Fear can take many forms and can come all of the sudden or worsen as you age. For example, I used to love getting into the lake and swimming in ponds but as I have gotten older, I am more and more afraid of doing such things. If I tried to do it now, I’d probably have a heart attack!

Many times, the things we love the most are our fears. Whether its fear of losing it or fear of it meaning too much to us that it takes us over, we become afraid. I’m afraid of losing the people I love the most, like my husband, my family, my friends, they all mean so much to me and I just don’t know what I would do without them. I am so afraid that, with my husband being so much older than me, he will die way before me. I am afraid that my best friend will lose contact with me due to my moving farther away from her.

Please, share with us what your fears are and how you overcome them. Is it a crippling fear? Does your dear embarrass you? Is it a phobia?

Here’s a photo of some alligators I took when I was in SC…terrifying!

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“This is the price you pay for having a great father. You get the wonder, the joy, the tender moments – and you get the tears at the end, too.” -Harlan Coben

Tomorrow is a special day that we, as children, get to celebrate our fathers or father figures. For me, there were two special men in my life. On May 23, 2015 I gained another father figure. I love all three of these men so much, even if one of them is not with me any more. I want to with them a very happy fathers day and let them all know that they are loved. The three men in my life are my uncle Dirk, my grandpa Ed, and my Father-in-law Hector Sr. They have, and still do, give so much of their time to their kids and sometimes get nothing to show for it. My grandpa passed away in May of 2009 and I wish I had shown him how much he really meant to me because I know that I was a pain growing up and he didn’t deserve that. Because of these three men, I celebrate this Father’s day with happiness in my heart, looking forward to many memories to come and them memories that I hold deep in my heart.

Always celebrate your father figure, even if you don’t call them dad. A father figure can be anyone, a teacher, a mom, a grandpa, a mentor, an uncle, literally anyone can be a father figure. I am lucky enough to have three. Happy Fathers Day to all of the men (and women), whether living or deceased who have changed lives and been there for a child who needed you the most. We thank you for all of your hard work, sacrifice, tears, and sweat. Enjoy this day, dedicated to you!

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My Uncle Dirk took me in when and he and my aunt took care of his older brother Doyle and his wife as well as me after the car accident. They sacrificed so much and gained so little.
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My grandpa was a joker. He loved to make jokes and tease people. It’s something that I miss. He gave me so much of his time and I gave him so little in return. I wish more than anything to give him a hug and thank him for everything he taught me. I wish I could have had a last goodbye to let him know how much he really means to me.
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My father-in-law has given so much of himself to his two kids and continues to do so for me as well. I thank him for being the example that he was and is to my husband and sister-in-law.

“Don’t Give up, the Beginning is Always the Hardest.” -Unknown

Hello everyone! So far, I’ve made progress on my New Year goals. I bought some cute fabric and my husband and I made a new dinner together. I’m so excited for all the possibilities with my goals. How are your goals So far? Whatever you do, don’t give up! You can do this. keep it in your mind. If your goals are anything like mine, it may take some time. As for cooking: Research! Fine simple recipes and make them your own.

My husband saw a video on facebook about making “totchos” and he really wanted to try it. It was changed a little so it isn’t exactly the Same but it was so delicious.

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You can find the recipe here for these wonderful totchos.

I know this is short but my computer is dead so I’m posting this from my phone, which I hate doing. I hope y’all are having a great new year and that it continues to be great.

“The Book is Called Opportunity and it’s first chapter is called New Year’s Day.” -Edith Lovejoy Pierce

I am aware that I posted yesterday but there is something on my mind today and I have been trying to figure out what to do with it. After trying to sort through my thoughts today, I kept returning to my computer because I wanted to look for stuff I want for my sewing machine.

Later in the day I started thinking about working on my cooking skills. I sent a message to my friend asking her what her favorite spices were because there are a lot of spices we don’t have. I love spices but I don’t have as many as I’d like.

These thoughts led to another goal/resolution for the year; I want to work on my skills, the skills my grandma was trying to teach me for at least 5 years. I know I won’t become a master at any of it but enriching my knowledge and gaining experience is what this year is going to be about.

I usually make the usual resolutions that everyone makes: lose weight, drink less soda and more water, exercise regularly, be a kinder person…so on and so forth. Of course, I usually fail but I am going to change my outlook this year. One day in church we talked about not making new year’s resolutions but make new year’s goals because resolutions have a negative connotation whereas goals are more apt to be achieved.

I will post more about this journey, everyone needs to keep on me about this because I don’t want to look back at this year on December 31st at 11:59pm wondering where the time went and why I didn’t do all that I could to better myself.

On a side note, check out this WebMD article on 10 Ways to Make Your New Year’s Resolutions Stick.

Thanks for sticking with me for this long and I hope to bring new stuff to you this year!

“Procrastination is the Theif of Time.” -Edward Young

So, once again, I procrastinated on posting. I wanted to post so many times but kept saying “I’ll do it later” or “I need to do ____ and ____ first, then I can sit down and write.”

Since it is a new year, I made ONE good resolution (even though I told myself not to make any this year) and that is to actually write on my blog. It may not be daily but I am trying for at least weekly. Eventually I’ll get up to biweekly or more. Starting small is, at least, starting somewhere.

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With it being the beginning of a new year, I want to take a moment to reflect on some things in my life that I experienced in 2015, so here they are:

  1. I started back to school, last Spring semester was my first semester since 2012 (not very long I know but I was definitely ready to go back).
  2. I got my first ever 4.0 GPA ever in school (I was very proud of myself for that one) in the summer.
  3. I married my best friend in May and went have made many wonderful memories together since then. (I made a post about this)
  4. I was able to go to Universal Studios Hollywood for the first time in May and it was awesome (I hope to go again soon, with the new HP attraction area opening in April).
  5. I got an awesome job doing what I’ve wanted to do for years, working with young children (it is exhausting but very rewarding)

Other stuff happened in 2015 but these were the main things that I can think of right now. I loved 2015 and I have so many good things to look forward to in 2016.

Please, comment below with your favorite moments of 2015 or any new year resolutions you have for 2016.

Happy New Year! Hope you have a successful year this year!

“If you can’t figure out your purpose, figure out your passion. For your passion will lead you to right into your purpose.” -Bishop T.D. Jakes

Today I am having a hard time with my challenge that I gave myself. I have been doing pretty good with doing dishes willingly. I may not have done them every day but I did them and I was happy about it. Today is definitely like it has been. I just absolutely don’t feel like doing the dishes at all. Ya know what, that’s ok. Sometimes we get in those moods. It’s ok to have those moods/feelings. What’s not ok is dwelling on them. I know that if I suck it up and do them, I’ll feel better about myself and I know that I won’t have to worry about it. But how do I find the motivation?

I have been asking that question a lot recently. “How do I find the motivation to…” Do you find yourself asking this question? Almost every day I ask myself how I can get motivation for something. Many times, as of late, it has been “how can I find the motivation to exercise?” or “how can I find the motivation to be more healthy?” Nothing has worked for me. I know it needs to happen but it doesn’t. At times on my mission, as hard to admit it as it is, I asked “how do I find the motivation to get out of bed at 6:30 every morning?” This is ironic now because my alarm goes off at 5:00am Monday-Friday because I have school at 7:00am and then go to work right after (8:30am). Plus, I used to get up between 6:00 and 6:30 every morning in high school during the school year for seminary.

How do you find the motivation to do things that you don’t particularly enjoy? I struggle with working out because I don’t enjoy it. I struggle with being more healthy because it’s expensive and I don’t like exercise. I struggled getting out of bed at one point in my mission because I was having a rough time and I felt lost and confused. How do I get over these hurdles? Well, I very obviously got over that hurdle on my mission. It was different, then, though. I had the Lord in everything I was doing. Being a missionary you are closer to God than you had been ever before. Not to say that I am not close to my Father in Heaven but it’s just not the same. We were given these handbooks called Adjusting to Missionary Life at just the right time. I studied that daily and became such a better missionary. I found my motivation in that book. Perhaps I should crack it out again and see how I can apply it to regular, everyday life. I just need to start a routine with working out and stick to it. I need to just jump in and do it. My main issue here, really, is procrastination.

Anyway, it’s late and I have to get up in six and a half hours so I’d better sign off of here. I know that this post, like many of my posts, was mostly for me but I hope you got something out of it. Feel free to share your “how do I find the motivation to…” I’d love to hear how you can find it, too.