10/19/18

Confessions of an MLM Addict 😜

So, I thought I might do a different kind of post this morning.  My blogs are usually wrapped up little updates, which is totally fine, but I'm gonna let you guys in on a little secret 😜...I think I have a mlm addiction. I also struggle with low energy because of a chronic condition called POT Syndrome.  No, not THAT pot.  It has to do with heart rate and blood pressure, and it basically keeps me exhausted 100% of the time.  I've tried lots of stuff that hasn't worked, but today, I'm going to start a trial month of Thrive and see A. If I can even tolerate it, and B. If it actually works.  Like I said before, I have an mlm problem..just joking...sort of...so a lot of things I have tried have been fails.  I will keep you posted!  FYI...this is not a salesy post.  I'm not selling or promoting.  Just documenting.  I've already learned I can't SELL mlm stuff...I just have joined like 20 for the discounts. 😂

And on another note, since we are discussing mlm stuff...I used Senegence shampoo last night, and I went to bed with a wet, tangled head of hair, and I woke up to soft, non tangled hair.  I already am sold on their lipstick...hence my order of 5 more colors this week 🙈...but I am legitimately shocked at how great this shampoo is.  Now, let me put a disclaimer in here.  I am cheap.  So I will say I've been using Norman's guys shampoo for probably the past year at least, so it could just be the fact that my hair freaked out that I actually bought some good shampoo.  But maybe it really is that good.  Maybe.  I'm a skeptic.  Again.  Not selling.  Just thought it would be fun to do something different.  

We are headed to NYC this weekend, and we have an open house, so this will be a busy weekend for everybody!  We are checking our animals into their pet hotel today, buying coats and gloves since all of our winter stuff is packed up, and getting out of town to take a breather as a family.  

I hope you all have a fantastic weekend! Im sure I'll have lots of fun pics to post when we get home.  Ciao peeps!

10/16/18

105 Days




I just took the time to count how long we have been in this beautiful townhome of ours...and it has been 105 days.  Never in my wildest dreams when we moved here, did I contemplate ever leaving here.  The home is truly adorable, and it is bigger than a lot of townhomes in the area.  Granted, moving from 4,000 sq ft in Texas to 2000 is difficult no matter how you slice it, but it seemed perfect.  The commute for Norman was a breeze, and the proximity to Kingstowne is great...Soooo, you may be wondering where I'm headed with this. As if the picture didn't give it away.

For those of you following our journey for awhile, you might remember that I fell down a flight of stairs in a horrible accident in 2012.  My balance has never been great, but that concussion and TBI just did me in.  My balance is...well...let's just say I'm off kilter most of the time even on flat surfaces, so these steep stairs are causing me more problems than anticipated.  I have broken my tailbone just since we moved in from tripping on the stairs, and the other falls have made my other disc issues worse.  

I went in Tuesday for a discography, which totally sucks by the way, bc they insert needles into your discs and you have to tell them how badly it hurts.  Not fun.  I do have to have surgery to repair my discs, but it can't happen until I'm out of this townhome.  Soooo...on day 105 of ownership here, we have a coming soon sign in our yard, and professional photos are being taken tomorrow (well, technically today).  I am heartbroken and still in shock over all of this, but, I have to get my back taken care of and get into a more suitable environment for me regarding my balance issues.  

The house isn't the problem...it's the defective owner that's the problem.  We know that the market slows down considerably after Thanksgiving, so we are praying for a quick offer and an easy sale process.  Worst case scenario it drags out until spring, but given our proximity to Van Dorn Metro, I'm hoping that won't be the case.

So yep, we are moving again.  We have vowed that this will be the last time, because I'm tired. My body is tired and broken, the kids are needing to not move again, so it's time.  We are going to be more picky this time and make sure this next is it.  We are all so ready to finally unpack and get 100% settled.  Say a prayer for us...cross your fingers...whatever it is you do.  We would be so grateful.

And on a side note, I received a message asking how people can leave comments bc it's not clear.  If you look under this post, you will see "no comments". Click that to start the comment thread, then after that it will say 1 comment, and click there to leave comment #2 and so on.  This layout is weird.  I love the private messages, but come on guys, comments are cool too!!! 😁😁😁

I hope you have a fantastic week!  Drop me a line and let me know how you are!!!


9/18/18

Maryland Renaissance Festival

Well, it's not quite 7 am yet...not time to get up today, so I thought I'd blog a bit.  This past weekend we were able to go to the Maryland Renaissance Festival, and we had a great time!  The last time we went, the boys were 2 and 5, so they have grown a lot.  Look at this side by side pic of them standing/sitting next to the same lion!

Time goes so fast, it's scary! We also listened to live music, ate fair food, and rode on elephants.  It took us 9 years, but we made it back!





Today the boys have their classes...Chase has his performing arts (jazz dance, voice, and acting), and Eli has his Creative Writing class.  I am praying I can find a formal gown for the first ball we have coming up.  It's in two weeks, and I know I'm pushing it, but man do I hate shopping.  

This time last week I was doing emergency shopping for Hurricane Florence, which didn't amount to anything in our area.  Better safe than sorry!  We were fortunate not to have had a direct hit like the Carolinas.  I cannot even begin to imagine.

Alright, that's all for this morning.  I have dogs jumping all over me needing to go outside.  I hope you all have a great week!

9/12/18

Remembering 9/11 and Pentagon Memorial

9-11 is THE date that we all know...we all understand, and for a moment, whether brief or all consuming, the thoughts and memories are there.  I always reflect back on the moment that I realized what I was seeing on the t.v. After realizing it wasn't a movie being played on every channel on television, I was hit with the deep realization that the way things were for the 22 year old girl who had gone to sleep the night before with no fears...only adventure and naive feelings of security, had suddenly changed and life would never be the same, not just for me, but for the world.  I had this moment of realizing that Norman would be deployed...and soon.  That terrified me.  But it was 9-11 that solidified for both Norman and me, that we had found the other piece of ourselves and we weren't letting go.  Everyone has a proposal story...a romantic gesture...some grand event.  What we had was the realization that we didn't need any of that, we needed to plan a wedding.  There were no questions to be asked.  I think for most of America, people each had their own moments and revelations about what was important to them. We hugged people tighter, prayed just a little bit longer, and made choices that would impact the rest of our lives.

Norman did get deployed to Afghanistan.  He found out the night before our wedding shower, and he left for Kandahar on Feb 12, 2002.



In 2008 Norman got to be a part of the 9/11 Pentagon Memorial unveiling.  It was an honor for him to get to help, and I was fortunate to be able to go as well.  Being there was such an incredible experience.  I was so proud of him and all of his accomplishments, I was uplifted by the inspiring words spoken that day, but I was incredibly saddened to see the pictures and hear the stories of those who lost their lives.  If you ever get a chance to go, do not pass it up.
For more information about the memorial unveiling, please click HERE.
This first photo is not mine...it is an official one, but the rest are mine.













I decided to write this post on September 12th for a reason.  So many people have, over time, left the remembering of 9/11 ONLY on 9/11.  We need to rember the sacrifices that were made, the lives lost on that day, every single day.  We cannot take anything...any freedom, any privilege of living in this great country for granted.  It saddens me that we are forgetting.  It is disturbing to me when I visit the memorials and hear people being disrespectful.  We must always honor our fallen and remember them with the respect they so deserve.  

We have a trip planned for NYC next month, and we are looking forward to visiting the memorial and One World Observatory again.  The museum is amazing, and such an important place to visit, and One World Observatory is amazing as well.  Make it a point to visit, to remember, and to be thankful.  It's more than worth it...and the fallen deserve it. 

Remember that you are blessed!

8/21/18

Thankful for this Move

Moving is always difficult, no matter if you move to a different subdivision or if you move to the other side of the world.  In our case, we moved 1,325 miles from our home in Texas, to our new home in Washington D.C. (Alexandria, VA).

We did a lot of downsizing, but we are still needing additional storage, so we are having a second closet built in the master bedroom, we ordered a new entertainment center that has lots of storage for the living room, and we bought a smaller entertainment center with sliding barn doors (yay) that I am using instead of a dresser.

We still haven't unpacked, as we are waiting for these things to arrive and be installed so we are still living among the boxes...buuuuuttt...we are getting our feet wet and getting out and about.

We had the best weekend! We started Saturday off with a trip to an International Food Festival, but after eating some Chinese and Greek food, followed by the obligatory snow cone (see photos below), we headed over to the National Postal Museum for a living History performance of Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr.  It was so neat.  And the postal museum was amazing.  As Eli would say...Fun Fact...Did you know the Pony Express ran for less than 2 years!??!  Seeing how quickly the mail system developed was amazing.  I never would have thought that a postal museum could be amazing, but this one absolutely is.  We got to see the pistols used in the duel between Hamilton and Burr, a preserved dog from the 1800's that was pretty much the equivalent to the postal system's mascot, walk through a mail train car and learned about the first mail route.  If you ever come to D.C., put the National Postal Museum on your list of "Must See Museums"!

I got confirmation of start dates for both the boys programs, and Chase's program at the performing arts academy has an open house Friday night.  I know they are both super excited to get plugged in and get involved in things with other kiddos.

I am almost done with my physical therapy, meaning it didn't work, and we are moving on to the next course of action.  I wish I could say it was this miraculous thing and praise the Lord I'm healed, but...nope.  if anything, it made my pain worse, so after Thursday, I'm calling it done and I'll meet with the surgeon and see what's next.  I will say that A. I did have the coolest PT guy ever, and B. I have a medical professional who could testify that under no circumstances could I pass a field sobriety test 😂.  I nearly came crashing down off the table today while trying to do an exercise that required just a small amount of balance, and that scared everyone in the room.  Over these past 6 sessions it's been apparent that my balance isn't stellar, but after today, he put me on a mat on the floor.  Lol! And this has nothing to do with my injury...it has to do with my parents passing down some defective balance genes or something.  Haha.  Sorry Mom and Dad, but it's your fault. 😂

Beyond that we are feeling more and more like this is home.  It's truly amazing to be able to wake up in my own bed, and anytime we want we can just hop on the metro and soak in all the culture that this beautiful city has to offer.   I'm so thankful that when this opportunity arose, we took this leap of faith.  We may have not been here that long, but we are so, so happy to be here - boxes and all!

Have a great rest of your week, and enjoy the pics!!

Food Festival Photos



FYI - I do NOT know this lady...I just had to take a picture because her snow cone was as big as her head!!! Apparently not everything is bigger in TX!!




Postal Museum Photos













And then there's this...picture of a monk, wearing shades, on a scooter thingy.  This photo is courtesy of Norman...he snapped it on his commute home from work one day.   I may not have started my strange photos in D.C., yet, but this is a pretty good intro photo.  Thanks Norman!






8/8/18

Welcome NIkki! Our Very First Guest Blogger!

So I mentioned a new feature that I would be adding to my blog...guest bloggers or featured bloggers that resonate with me or who have an important message to share.  I'm also working on collecting my weird photos for my wacky DC photo of the week, but that will have to come later .

I am realizing that my blogging is much more sporadic than I'd like, so my guest blogs may not be every week. I will only highlight blogs that have an important message, that highlight problems that so many we know are facing, and I will only invite bloggers on my page who I believe in 100%.  This has been my family's blog for years, and it isn't lightly that I make this addition of a guest blogger.

I want you to know a few things about my reason for doing the guest blogger, and the specific reason I chose Nikki to do this very first one.  A lot of people have guest bloggers.  They want to introduce new issues, get a conversation going on topics they may not know much about...but I have a different reason.  I want to highlight the things that people keep silent.  I want to shine a light on uncomfortable topics.  I want to help raise awareness, and yes, for some situations, I want to even help raise funds. Am I taking up an offering and gonna make you feel like you need to donate or you are a horrible person.  Ummm...no.  Most of us are doing our dead level best to just tread water.  But what I want to bring to everyone's attention is that for those of us who have an extra $20 in the bank...think for a minute about the people who would literally be so grateful if you helped them out with $5.  How many of us find a $10 or $20 in our pants pockets when we are doing laundry...it's happened to most of us.  What if that was literally the difference between eating and not.  Or think a little deeper...what if it made the difference of whether or not our children ate dinner...or not.  Can we even fathom that?  If you have never had to worry about anything like that...then think for just one minute what a blessing you could be to someone who has had...who is worrying about that very thing right now.

So now that I have dragged this out, I would like to introduce to you my friend Nikki.  She lives in Louisiana, and I'll tell you guys, I have known her since we were pregnant with our first babies...both boys.  We have been friends for more than 14 years, and this woman...every time she is faced with tragedy, she somehow rises above it.  When she has faced unimaginable trials and pain, she has somehow found the strength to fight back for her family.  And she will tell you in her intro...but she made the most selfless decision that a loving mother could ever make for the sake of her children.  She has put everyone in her life first, and the reason I am featuring Nikki first in my guest blogging series, is because it's her turn to be first.  She deserves some good.  She deserves some positive support, and I hope and pray that she can receive that from this feature.  So please welcome, Nikki, with Nikki's Nameless Niche. Please read her introduction and take the time to read her very thought provoking, very touching blog post, and if you feel so led, I have attached a PayPal link below her blog link.  Know that every dollar that you could do without right now...that is not an absolute necessity, could change her life in the most amazing of ways.  And if anyone deserves it....she does.  I don't ask much of my followers, but please click the link to read her blog post and follow her blog. You will be incredibly blessed by it.

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Nikki’s Nameless Niche

I wish I could tell you that I am going to teach you how to make millions blogging like I did.  I wish I could tell you that I’m going to teach you how to be an even more amazing parent.  I wish I could tell you that I live in a wonderful neighborhood with all 4 of my children, my amazing husband, our perfect family pets.
I’ve played that life over in my head so many times, that when I close my eyes it starts to become real.  Unfortunately, none of that is my reality.  I’ve never felt that kind of security or comfort.  I‘ve never had all 4 of my kids together for over 2 months, and a lot of those times I had to be under supervision. No,  I’m not a violent serial killer. I’m a good person who was degraded and beaten down to the point of zero self esteem,  zero faith,  zero hope,  and absolutely zero impulse control.  I longed to be numb. And for 5 years I was.
I hold my head up a little higher now because I have pulled myself out of 4 “rock bottoms”. I have an amazing husband who supports me in chasing this dream 99% of the time….the other 1% of the time he is so stressed out because of the financial situation, he sees no happy ending.  My two older children are 14 and 11, and my relationship with them is finally getting back to where it should be.  My two younger children are 7 and 6, and they live in California with their father.  You’re probably thinking how horrible it is that I have two children so far away.  Yes,  it is extremely difficult,  and I haven’t seen them in 3 years because I can’t afford to go there or get them here.   I made the decision to let them leave because the life that they have there is so amazing, and they are so blessed,  I could never take that away from them. 
I’ve never been able to find my place...to find my ”niche”...to find what I was put on this earth to do, until I started writing as an outlet.  Then I began posting what I wrote on Facebook because I feel so strongly that someone else might need the same hope that I needed.  I want to help other mothers who are struggling with addiction or mental illness, to let them know that they aren’t alone.  We all need to know that we aren’t alone in the world, and that there is someone who understands.
I am desperate to become a productive member of society.  I managed to graduate from college as an honor graduate with a 3.9 GPA at the age of 38, I finally elevated my credit score up to a 700 and was able to purchase my very first vehicle with no cosigner, and my husband and I were able to purchase a home together to live happily ever after, right? 

A little over a year ago, my husband had to have a double fusion in his neck and had to take an 8 month leave of absence from work.  He returned to work in January of 2018, and I was laid off the following month.  I have been unsuccessful in finding another job. 
Around the same time,  my oldest daughter was hospitalized 3 times in 3 months for “dehydration”.  She became sicker, catching viruses at least once a month until I had enough and took her to the hospital and demanded testing.  It was then that she was diagnosed with Addison’s disease,  which is fatal if not properly cared for.  She’s now on 3 medications,  3 times a day for the rest of her life, but she’s finally happy and knows what it feels like to be healthy.
It gets worse.   Also around this time,  my husband’s little brother was shot and killed by his girlfriend’s ex,  who then killed himself.  My husband’s brother was a quiet introvert who had never had a girlfriend, but his wake was packed with students of his whose lives he had touched.   An amazing man caught up in a very unnecessary situation.
Recently I discovered blogging, and it’s been amazing so far.   I love sharing my thoughts with others, and I love getting messages from my readers saying how inspired they are by the raw emotion of my posts.    The problem is, making money blogging is not easy, and so far I haven’t been able to monetize.  My goal is to make this my career, but I can’t seem to get my head above water.  We are currently 3 months behind on our mortage, 4 months behind on my vehicle.  I imagine they’ll pick it up any day now, and there’s absolutely nothing I can do.  These are material things that can eventually be replaced, but they are also things that I was proud of.
My husband and I are constantly arguing, with maybe one good day out of seven. That man is my strength, he is the air I breath, he is my heart.  Giving up on us isn’t an option, but right now it's so hard.  We’ve never even yelled at each other, now we’re constantly at each other’s throats, full of blame and resentment.

I’ve opened up a paypal money pool, in the hopes that people read my blog and see that this could go so far in helping others.  For the first time in my life I believe in something that I’m doing.  I am passionate about it, and I’m not giving up. 

So, that’s a little about me...probably more than you wanted to know!  I’m going to put the link to my PayPal account, and if you are able to, please consider donating.  The money will go towards promoting my blog and writing.  I’m attempting to put a porfolio together of my best posts, and I’m hoping to get some freelance work.  I’ve also begun to write a series of ebooks which will also need to be promoted.  I need a more professional looking theme...I need food.  I wish that were a joke.
If you aren’t able to donate, please consider sharing my story with others.  Maybe it’ll save someone from making the mistakes that I did.  Please subscribe to my blog, and follow me on my journey, because I am not close to giving up.  That will never be an option.

Peace, love, hope, and blogs

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Please Click HERE to read Nikki's incredibly insightful post called Waiting on Nikki's Nameless Niche



I would encourage all of you to leave comments and leave words of encouragement for Nikki, but for those of you who donate...even a dollar...as an added gift to your generous heart, please leave a comment letting us know you have donated, and you will be entered into a drawing for a gift :).  Just a little way to encourage those of you who are encouraging Nikki on her journey. For the first commenter, click on the "No Comments" link to start the comments.  

7/31/18

I Think I Can, I Think I Can...

I think since my last post we have unpacked about ohhhhh...6 boxes maybe? No, I'm not kidding.  Am I frustrated that it's going to take awhile to get settled? Yep.  But I'm trying to just go with the flow, do what I can, and not worry about it. My sister (in-law, but I hate the whole in-law thing...so...sister) would laugh at me for saying we will never move again, but literally, I don't think I CAN move again.  I just started physical therapy for my back today, and that did NOT leave me feeling better at all.  We will see how this progresses, but I'm not too optimistic.  I have discs in my back that are literally worn down to nothing.  Only surgical replacement will help, so I'm a bit miffed they are putting me through PT as a prereq for surgery.  Jumping thru hoops is all it is.  One session down, 11 to go.  

This week we are finally...FINALLY going to start taking advantage of where we live.  Thursday I am starting the boys' school year with a visit to the U.S. Holocaust Museum to hear a survivor give his account of what it was like living through it.  What a monumental way to kick off their year!  Then Friday we have a tour we are doing as a family (it's a walking tour) about Alexander Hamilton's life, and they actually have on display the pistols used in the duel.  Eli's creative writing course at the academy that I enrolled him in doesn't start until September, and same goes for Chase's theatre program that I enrolled him in at the Metropolitan School of the Arts.  (Shout out to Sam (Jennie & Dave too!) for Chase seeing Sam and being willing and excited to get involved with this program!). He will be doing singing, acting, and jazz dancing, which, for those of you who know him, know he sings all the time, he is constantly making up dance moves, and he is so melodramatic.  This will be the perfect outlet for him.  Their classes are on Tuesdays, most of the co-op homeschooling tours are on Thursdays or Fridays, and that leaves time for additional museum exhibits and embassy events in addition to church group and...oh yeah...some actual school curriculum work 😊.  I am truly, truly looking forward to it!

I had to fly back to Dallas for a super quick trip last week to sign out of our apartment.  Even though we bought a house here in July, and we paid rent for the 60 days required for the apartment lease break, they would not let us do a walk thru or hand in keys before we left.  So that left me needing to make a quick run out there, but I'll tell you what...I needed that walk through for closure more than I realized.  I was able to feel like I truly could start my life here in DC now that I am not paying rent and holding on to keys for an apartment in Texas.  

I didn't tell anyone except my two closest girlfriends that I was coming back...well...3...but, I have learned a lot about people and human nature in general when it came to us leaving Frisco.  The phrase "Out of sight out of mind" is so accurate in this situation, and it just reemphasized what I already knew to be true.  1.  There are friends you make in life along the way that you connect with so deeply, it literally does not matter where you go, the bond does not waver.  And 2. There are people whom you become friends with that once you leave, that's it.  The worst part is when you think you have met someone who will be the friend mentioned in #1, but ends up being in category 2, and that is sad, and painful, but nevertheless...it is a learning experience and that is what life is about.  We did leave Frisco having made some precious friendships and real connections, and for that I am truly thankful.

The best part about my trip was getting to spend time with two women who are family to me...one of them has been in my life since elementary school, and we have literally grown up together...and the second has been a friend for going on 12 years, and I cannot imagine my life without either of these women and their families as a part of mine.  We went to Pete's Dueling Pianos for my birthday on Friday, and I'll post a couple of photos.  I will only post photos of one of my friends...the other wishes to remain off of social media.  I love you sweet friends!!! Thank you for being our cheering squad, our supporters, our shoulder to lean on, and never letting distance be an issue. I am so blessed by you!!! ♥️



So that's about all I have! In my next post I should have some really cool photos of the speaker series at the Holocaust museum, then of the Alexander Hamilton tour, and oh my goodness, be prepared for an overload of photos when we go to the Maryland Rennaissance Festival!!!  And eventually the house.  We will get settled at some point 😊. XOXO guys!!!

OH! And I almost forgot...I am going to start doing two weekly posts unrelated to my typical blog posts.  One will be a Featured Blogger post (My friend Nikki will be up first!) And the second will be sort of like what I did before where I posted the weirdest thing of the week.  I need to come up with a name/hashtag.  Usually I get these photos on the metro, but in this town, you never know.  The one thing I do know is that it's entertaining!  I will start doing giveaways again too...I miss the interaction I had on my blog before!! Keep an eye out for the first giveaway.  Rules will be simple...really, all that's needed is a comment or a share on FB.  Pretty simple!  Follow my blog guys!! I will be posting about events you may want to make the trip out for...like taking a White House Tour after it's decorated for Christmas!!! That will be neat!  Sign-ups for that begin in September, in case you are interested! Embassy events, balls, etc...if you want to go, just holler! I'll be posting about my first giveaway soon.

So that's what I have coming up!  I hope you guys have a wonderful week!  Hugs!!