Meet Vivien

I know I know, I don’t write for years and I come back with hey world I have this tattoo because I didn’t kill myself.

When I jump in, I jump in the deep end. If you have been around for a while you know that about me and if you haven’t we should probably get properly acquainted.

Hi there, my name is Heather and I am a chronic over-sharer. Well only on the internet, in real life I probably won’t say much to you because meeting new people makes me all kinds of anxious. Unless I have my camera in my hand and am taking photos, because then I have a job to do. It’s complicated, I’m complicated or as I like to call it quirky. It’s taken me nearly 40 years to be comfortable with my quirkiness and some days I still struggle.

Nearly 40.

I can’t believe that in 30 days I will be forty years old. It feels like just yesterday I was graduating high school with a baby on my hip. Now that baby is old enough buy booze and has a baby of her own. Its crazy how time flies.

Giggles and The Chicken have both grown up and flew the coop. I remember when just pondering the thought of living without them here gave me such anxiety and now I have to remind them when it is late at night that they need to go home because they don’t live here anymore. It’s kind of funny how life works that way.

Who would have thought we would be empty-nesters before I was 40? It’s really not that bad except for the whole, I can’t force the children to do tasks in exchange for punishment. Written as I look at the Christmas trees still adorning my house the end of April. I know I said I was quirky, but I don’t want to be that quirky.

So where were we? Ah yes, we were getting properly acquainted.

If you follow me on Instagram you have seen our family grow.

If you haven’t been following me on Instagram, you may see my family like I do from 2010.

Our little family of four

But the reality is that this is our family now, well as of Thanksgiving 2016.

Thanksgiving 2016

Here we have The Husband, Giggles holding the baby, my floating head, The Chicken holding the selfie stick, The Chicken’s fiance and Giggles’ partner.

Not only did the girls grow up, they went and found themselves some pretty fantastic guys and we even added a baby to the mix. I guess I should be clear Giggles and her partner added a baby to the mix. The husband and I get to enjoy being grandparents.

Vivien

Grandma.

I never thought I would be a grandmother before I was 40, but here I am and I love it. It is true what they say being a grandparent is so much better than being a parent. I know I am pretty biased but she is one beautiful baby, I know at nearly 17 months old she isn’t a baby anymore and I should start calling her a toddler but I am not ready for that.

She is one of the most determined babies you will ever meet. You can see the gears turning in her head when she is trying to figure out a problem. I see a lot of my father in law in her and I am sure that he would be proud to know that she has the fierceness that his family is known for.

Are you new here? Are you a returning friend? Let me know what’s going on in your life as I would love to get to know you!

Putting the Happily Ever After in Teenage Pregnancy

giggles at graduationI don’t know what was going through her head eighteen years ago when she stood there in her cap and gown with her baby on her hip.  It’s sad because I really want to remember.  I know she was overwhelmed and confused and not understanding why so many people kept telling her how proud they were of all she had done.

I wish that she didn’t get so anxious over things that she couldn’t control and that she didn’t let her mind wander to places that it should never go.  Thankfully she never followed through on any of those random things she was thinking.

I wish she understood more when people told her what a great mother she was and the enormity of the words, “I could never do what you are doing, I don’t have it in me.” when they were spoken to her.  Being thousands of miles away from her family, her support system, her “normal” was something that she dealt with the best that she could, even when things looked their bleakest.

I remember the anger that she felt when someone would talk down about teenage mothers. She wrote letter after letter to different talk shows explaining that there are decent teenage mothers in the world.  Ones that don’t disrespect their parents.  Ones that take care of their babies.  Ones that the world wouldn’t call whores.  But she realized that the world doesn’t want to hear their stories.  There is nothing to sensationalize.  Sure there were struggles, but what life doesn’t have them.

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I look back at my life and I know that my daughter made me into the person that I am today.  She molded and formed me and made me want to be the best person I could be.  She has been one of my biggest cheerleaders, always encouraging me to go after my dreams.  She has made me change the way that I look at myself, because I never want her to have the same fleeting thoughts go through her head that plagued me for years.

There was a time that I felt guilty for deciding to keep my daughter.  Would her life have been better? But life isn’t like a ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ book, I can’t go to page 73 and see that she would have been happier.  I have to know that I decided to do what was best for myself and my daughter.  I raised her to be the best person that she could be.  I know the world is a better place with her in it.

I struggle with talking about Teenage Pregnancy because I don’t want people to think that I endorsing it.  Or that they go to the other extreme and think that I am anti-adoption, because I am not. Some of most wonderful families I know are created through adoption.  But that isn’t part of my story, teenage pregnancy is.

Teenage pregnancy isn’t a death sentence.

Let me state that again and let it sink in.  Teenage pregnancy isn’t a death sentence.

I am sure that I didn’t understand the enormity of the choice I was making when everyone around me had their opinion on what my choice should be.  I knew that I would never be able to give my baby up and that I would do whatever I could to ensure that she had a better life than I had.  Between divorced parents, poverty and molestation; the bar wasn’t set very high.

My then boyfriend decided to join the Navy and asked for my hand in marriage.  My parents did all that they could to help me finish school.  Teachers, mentors, and friends reached out when I didn’t expect them to.  They encouraged and supported me and saw that spark of potential in me that I didn’t even knew I had.

Life hasn’t been easy, but honestly I don’t think I would have it any other way. I look back at my life and see how much I have grown and in ways I couldn’t even imagine.  My marriage has survived 18 years and we are happier now than we ever have been. We are living our happily ever after.

giggles graduatesI wish I could go back in time and tell her to keep her chin up because in just 18 years you will be standing here on this same track watching that baby you have on your hip walk through those same arches.  That the small babe  will be driven to achieve her dreams in her life because she is so much like her momma. That babe is  fierce, determined and never lets her situation define her.  She knows that no matter what happens, she always has a support system around her and that nothing is impossible, nothing.

Because a thing seems difficult for you, do not think it impossible for anyone to accomplish.” – Marcus Aurelius

Things I love and then some…..

I guess I should start off with something that I don’t love. Please don’t waste your money on this
something I hate
It didn’t clean my shower as it stated it would. There was about three warnings on the package that the contents were highly toxic, but I’ve used the scrubbing bubbles before, no worries. Big mistake. I got an instant headache. I used THREE of the pads and my shower was still not clean.

So this came to the rescue
more stuff I love
I can’t same enough good things about Clorox Greenworks. It seems to work on everything, it is dilutable and it isn’t toxic. Plus it smells fantastic. And No Clorox isn’t paying me to say that. (Side note: If someone from Clorox is reading I would love for you to pay me so I can say wonderful things about your Greenworks products. I can work it into conversations, blog posts, heck I would tell all about it when I get the floor at the PTA meetings…seriously, call me) I highly recommend Greenworks if you are looking for an all purpose cleaner. It really cleaned up my tile shower wonderfully.

I also can’t say enough good things about this
something I love It has brought the coffee back to my mornings. I am in love. If I could marry this I would and make sweet little vanilla babies with it. But I can’t. I think hubby would be jealous. A little splash of this, some milk and my coffee and I am good to go all morning with any of the stuff the girls try to put past me before they head out the door.

But last night, I don’t know if it was the stress of the first day of school, rude 7th graders at the volleyball game, PMS or what, but I really loved this
one of my fave things And I don’t drink. Really, I can’t think of the last time I drank anything. Now I have forced my child to drink an energy drink that may or may not have had alcohol in it, (Who would put alcohol in an energy drink?!!?) that was left at the cottage last year by some people who stayed there. But that is for another post. I don’t see a trend, I am not jonesing for one now….but if I drink a few or twelve wine coolers now and again I don’t see the harm.

But you are probably here to see these
Chicken walking to school
Chicken's 1st day of 5th grade
Giggles 1st day of 8th grade
Giggles 1st day B&W Chicken walking to her final year of elementary school. Giggles getting ready to leave for her last year of Middle School. I am sure you are wondering where the Giggles photos are of her walking away. Well I am a sucker good mom and I drove her so she wouldn’t be late. Make-up application and hair straightening is not something you can rush people.

Well I would like to say that I got a lot accomplished today but after getting fumed out of my upstairs and this blasted headache I did not. There is always tomorrow I guess. At least there was peaceful silence all day long. Well that is until I started yelling at the dog because he left me a present upstairs in the hallway. UGH!

If you have kiddos that started school how did your first day go?