Hard is good

Today will be my second day back the work force after 2 years and is tiniest babies’ third day of daycare. Everyone keeps asking the same two questions; “Was it hard going back to work?” and “Did you cry when you brought them to daycare?” Here’s the thing; both those things were hard, not physically, but emotionally. My tiniest babies have never been away from me and leaving them in the care of someone else is hard. Going to work and being away from them is hard. That being said even though it’s hard, it’s good for us. It’s good for me to go to work, earn some money, get some time away from the kids, and feel like I’m contributing more. It’s good for the kids to go to daycare, be around other kids, learn new things, and develop their independence. I didn’t cry, I ask them how much fun they had and what they learned because my husband says you shouldn’t talk bad about what is best for you. And he’s right, if I cry or freak out or act sad about leaving then there it’s only going to make it harder on them. If I tell them to have fun with their friends and learn lots and smile when I drop them off it’s going to be a much easier transition for them. I don’t need any negativity surrounding what is best for my family, so I’m going to be happy about it because even thought it’s hard it’s a good thing. In all honesty my biggest struggle was with dropping off Arie, because she’s old enough to notice. Kaja is still basically human larva so it doesn’t impact him as much. I have my own abandonment issues and dropping her off the first day she was fine until I came back and she burst into tears and then when I went to drop her off the second day she was a bit more hesitant for me to put her down because last time I left her there. And that makes me sad. Seeing her panic because I’m leaving makes me stomach knot up so hard I could throw up. I wish I could explain to her and have her understand, as her 1 year old little self, that mommy will always come back. The thought of her being there and being sad because she doesn’t have us makes me want to cry. I don’t ever want her to feel like I’ve abandoned her or that I don’t want to be with her. But that’s my issue. Those are my feelings, I have no idea if that’s how she feels or not, because she is 1 and she can’t tell me that and it’s not right for me to impose my feelings of abandonment on her. My trauma isn’t hers and I can’t put that in her. She’s a baby and she’s going to be sad about not being with us for a few hours a day because it’s not what she’s used to, but it’s only for a few hours and soon this will be her regular routine and she is going to have fun and look forward to it. So yes, this is all hard, but it’s hard because of my own feelings and my own issues. Here are some truths; this is hard, this will get easier, this is good for us. Nothing good for us is ever easy, but being uncomfortable is a sign that we’re growing.

Grateful for it all

Here is the progression of my morning in order and visual representation of me remembering to be grateful for all my blessings. Arie is teething and for the last two nights has screamed relentlessly (I have been alternating Motrin and Tylenol which is still ineffective at quieting her screeching). For two days I’ve slept like shit, I let it ruin my attitude yesterday and was on the same track for today, until these wonder little people made me remember something: this is all temporary. I’m not going to be this tired forever, it’s not going to be this hard forever, and they’re not going to be this small forever. Everything is temporary and I need to stay present and enjoy every moment, frustrating or not, because this time is going to be fleeting. My morning went from me pissed off and tired, to Kaja waking up all smiles, to arie waking up starting a snuggle pile, to Jax joining said snuggle pile and that’s when it hit me: it’s not about me, me being in a bad mood because arie couldn’t sleep because she was in pain was incredibly selfish. I am so lucky and so grateful I get to experience every second of being a mommy. Thank you to all my little monsters this morning for putting my attitude in check

“I love you” for the right reasons

My favorite response to “I love you” isn’t it echoed back, it’s simply “I know”. For a long time I used to say “I love you” just so I could hear it back. I was so insecure within myself and in my relationships that I needed this constant reassurance that I was loved even if it wasn’t real. I just needed to hear it, just needed to feel like I had value, that someone cared at least for just that moment. I was so lost and alone and broken. I said “I love you” just to hear it back. I didn’t love me, but I hoped that if I poured everything I had into someone else maybe just maybe they could pour that love back into me, make me whole, fill that void, but that’s not how that works. I was a broken person giving out pieces of myself in hopes that someone would put them back together and hold them in place. That’s a lot of pressure to put on another person and no one on earth is capable of putting me back together except me, but I didn’t know that. As I’ve been been healing I say I love you not to hear it back but in hopes that you hear me. I say I love you because I want you to know that you are so loved. I say I love you because I need you to know that it’s true, that I mean it. I say I love you because it means something to me. I say I love you because I need you to know it. I love myself and I’m surrounded by constant love and I want to share as much of that as I can. I say I love you because I want you to feel it.

Make it last

Here’s something I’ve learned about making things last. These are my husband’s boots, the boots he wore when we got married, the boots that were brand new the day we got married. We got these boots a few days prior to the wedding. When we first got them I took them out of the box, polished them, laced them, and packed them in our suitcase for the wedding. We got married on a beach. My husband wore them through the sand and wadded through the ocean water wearing them. When we got back to the hotel I stuck them in a plastic bag and put them back in our suitcase to bring home. When we got home the boots were still wet and covered in sand and salt. I spent most my day meticulously washing, drying, and polishing every inch of these boots. If you care about something and you want it to last you need to take care of it and treat it like you want it to last. After being in the ocean I could’ve considered the boots ruined and threw them out, but I didn’t do that. I took the time to clean them up and get them looking new again, because they’re worth taking care of. People take things for granted, they think once something seems worn out or too difficult to clean or fix you can just throw it out for something new. Good things take work, time, and effort. Take care of things you love and they’ll last a lifetime.

His thoughts and my voice

Sometimes I find myself feeling bored in this new lifestyle of mine, in this lifestyle I’m not accustomed to, in this lifestyle I never expected, in this lifestyle I could’ve never dreamed of. I’m a warrior. I’ve been a warrior all my life. My life has been a constant battlefield. I’ve fought tooth and nail for my survival, for my place in the world, for the things I’ve loved, and for the most part against the things I didn’t know I needed until recently. I’ve been accustomed to my life being a war zone and my biggest enemy myself. I never imagined being a part of any of this here today. I thought I would die a warrior in a battlefield of my design and back then I was okay with that, I’d made peace with that, that was the only life I knew, and that was okay. I never imagined that one day my demons would be my biggest ally. I know where I come, I know what I’ve been through, and I know how easily I could slip back. I can hear their screeching, taunting, pleading with me to come back. Now that is my motivation. I take pleasure in knowing they are uncomfortable with who I am now. Their pleading with me to come back fuels my desire to keep pushing forward in this new way of life. I could still be my own worst enemy but I’ve learned to harness all that I was and use it to become the best I can be, my fuel, my desire, my motivation to keep going on this new battlefield. I am still a warrior, but the battle I fight is so much different now. I am a survivor of my own self destructive lifestyle. Now, I get to fight for my legacy, I get to fight for my family, the 6 pairs of little eyes looking up to me. This battlefield is so much different than the all out war zone I’ve grown accustomed to. This one is slower, kinder, I must move with thoughtfulness and skill, for everything I do is being watched, learned and mimicked. There are days I feel I don’t deserve to be here, but it’s not fair for me to not. I’ve earned this and I’m not doing just for me anymore. This is not the battlefield I’m used to, this is not the battlefield I’m comfortable in, but this one is the most important one I’ll ever be on.


realistic expectations, y’all! I’ve had two babies in two years, and I know I look damn good, but check this out me standing vs me sitting down. Two babies in two years, I was 167lbs right before I had Kaja and today I am 128lbs. Like with any large weight loss there’s extra skin and there’s stretch marks, but that doesn’t and shouldn’t take away from any confidence! Be kind to yourself, love yourself, don’t be afraid to show the parts that you don’t think are perfect! You are perfect, you are beautiful and you’re doing great! We see so many people posting when what they look like at their most confident, but how about some truthful vulnerability? I’ve got some squish, some sag, and some scars, but I look great 💕

Stay strong

Every so often, on days like today, I like to get on Facebook and scroll through the pages of my friends who have died as a result of their addiction. Some days it’s easy to not be grateful for this life I’ve been given. Some days it’s easy to forget how far I’ve come. Some days it’s easy to forget why I’m putting in all this work. On days like today I like to look back and read their posts. I like to look at their wall and remember them and realize they had no idea that post was going to be their last. They had no idea they weren’t going to get a tomorrow. I remember them and honor them by living a better life. I share my story, my struggles, my success because I’m still here. I will remember their names and their faces forever and as long as I live I will share my story, because someone somewhere needs it. I’m going to live my best life for me, my family, my children, for the people that didn’t get the chance, and for those still fighting. So many people lost their lives without knowing how much better their lives could be. They will never get the opportunity to have children and watch them grow up, they won’t get the opportunity to grow old with the one they love most, they won’t get the opportunity to see how beautiful life can be. They lost their opportunity to live, but I will not waste mine for another moment. My heart breaks for them knowing the pain they were in and that their only escape was in death. My heart breaks for them and everyone that loved them. I look at their Facebook pages and I remember every single reason why I’m still fighting today. I’m fighting for my life, I’m fighting for my children’s lives, I’m fighting for everyone that doesn’t get the opportunity to fight anymore, and I’m fighting for everyone that’s still fighting. To anyone that needs to hear it; life does get better, you loved beyond your wildest imagination, you are powerful beyond measure, and your life has so much meaning. I love you, you can do this, and you deserve everything good and wonderful.

It’s not a phase

Most of you may not know this, but growing up and for most my life I was an incredibly angry person. I was not loudly or outwardly angry, only occasionally when pushed to the point of exploding. I was a much more self destructive type of angry; I was quiet and implosive, hiding this seething anger behind a smile. I felt so alone, I hated myself and my life. I sought comfort and love constantly, but in all the wrong places. I had seen active addiction throughout my whole life. I saw friends and family throw everything away; their family, kids, homes, jobs. This resonated with me on a very sick level; what was so good about what they were doing that they were willing to lose EVERYTHING for it? I wanted to find what they had. I wanted to find that comfortably numb worth dying for. I had never seen anyone in my life actually appear genuinely happy, but I had seen people chasing something that had to be unexplainable. By the time I was 18 I had been in an abusive drug and alcohol fueled relationship for 2 years, we had an apartment, I had a good job where I worked from home, and I was vodka drunk 24/7, we had ounces of coke and grams of heroin at all times. By the time I was 19 we owned a mobile home, had 2 cars with car payments, I had a great job front desk selling insurance, and a full blown heroin addiction, and an abusive relationship that I thought was completely normal. Everything about my life I thought was fine, just fine. Not good, not bad, just fine. I used at about 3 grams of heroin IV daily just myself. We were drunk every night. I thought it was just a phase, everyone parties, but we’ll grow out of it. My relationship I thought was fine, normal even. We’d get drunk and we’d fight, loudly and physically. It’s normal to get drunk and beat up and have my things broken, to go without a phone because it smashed to tiny pieces every time I get a new one. It’s normal to have to buy concealer only to cover up bruises from fights and drug use. It’s normal to have to walk to work because he won’t give me my car keys. It’s normal to have my door kicked in by drug dealers and be threatened with guns. It was normal for me attempt to stab him mid argument with anything I could reach. It was normal for me to attempt to run him over if I got the chance. It was normal to not have electricity. It was normal to have a space heater plugged into the neighbors trailer. It was normal to not ask for help and pretend everything was okay. Everything that was my normal was so so fucked and I didn’t really even realize it until it wasn’t my normal anymore. I lived most my life thinking “this is fine” when in reality nothing was fine, but I didn’t know how to fix anything and I didn’t have the desire to fix anything. I thought I’d grow out of it, this phase I thought I was going through. It wasn’t a phase it was a sickness of mind, body, and soul. I was so broken as a person and this was the only life I knew, I had no idea that anything better was possible. I was trying to kill myself. Not necessarily an active suicide plan, but I was hoping my lifestyle would kill me, like it had so many people I loved. I prayed constantly to die or have some drastic change. Obviously I’m still here and this isn’t my life anymore. Something drastic did happen. It took a long time for me to figure out that there’s a better way to live. That how I was living for so long wasn’t normal. That you can find love and happiness without drugs or alcohol. That you don’t need to settle for someone that makes your life miserable. That there’s so much better out there just waiting for you to get up and work for it. No matter where you are, where you have been, or where you come from you can attain a better life, happiness, love, security. I promise, it’s out there, you just need to have hope and determination and you can have whatever you want out of life.

My person

When we went to Florida I officially got to marry my best friend. When we came home my mother in law asked us both how our first few days as a married couple were. We both responded it was no different than normal and then my husband added “marriage is just an official promise to not leave and I think we’re past that”. I liked that a lot for two reasons: 1 getting married shouldn’t change the dynamic or feeling of a relationship and 2 he’s absolutely right, marriage is about making the commitment to each other to stay and other than signing that license we’ve definitely already made that commitment. He is my best friend, my other half, my exact opposite in nearly every way and we complement each other perfectly. I’m a firm believer that there’s a perfect match to everyone’s brand of crazy and my relationship is proof. If you knew our whole story together from where we began until today you’d be blown away. In the beginning we weren’t necessarily good for each other. Our chaos fed off the other and we accomplished nothing but complete destruction of ourselves and everything around us, we were a wild fire. Even through all of the chaos, destruction, and pain I knew there was something there that I needed, something that I wanted to hold on to no matter what. Through multiple mutual incarcerations, through our addictions, through financial struggles, through emotional times, through all the bad I could see how good it could be. Never in my life had I met someone that was with me 100% through it all. I’d never met someone that refused to give up no matter how intense the hardship. I’d never had someone so dedicated to stay no matter how hard I might’ve pushed. He’s been with me through it all, to hell and back and he’s never wavered not for a single second. I think that’s the thing that most relationships lack is the desire to stay, to stand strong, to never waver. The love may be there but the solidarity isn’t. No relationship is perfect, no person is perfect, no relationship is easy, and love isn’t just a feeling it’s an action and it takes work every day. When things get tough most people give up when they should grip harder. When things get tough is when you’re tested the most. We’ve held each others hands through some of the hardest things I’ve ever experienced, we’ve leaned on one another, and we may have bent, but we never broke. In the beginning we fed each others chaos, but today we feed the others desire to do better. I’ve found someone that has no desire to give up, someone who’s the exact opposite yet perfectly compatible, I’ve found someone committed to me and our family, I’ve found someone that isn’t afraid to challenge me, I’ve found someone with the desire to listen and learn, I’ve found someone that makes me smile constantly, I’ve found someone that knows me better than I do. I’ve found my perfect person, the one I want to argue with, the one I want to learn with, the one I want to fall asleep with and wake up next to, the one that I will never give up on, the one I want to love until the end of time. People aren’t perfect, relationships aren’t perfect, but you can find the person that is perfect for you.


My absolute favorite thing to hear about my writing is that it’s “raw”. Raw: unrefined, honest, crude, invokes emotion. I think there’s no better compliment than that. I feel that far too often people push the idea of perfection when that isn’t realistic. No one wants to talk about the struggles or the ugliness that is unavoidable in life. I choose to acknowledge both the good and the bad, because no one’s life is perfect no matter how hard they might try to portray it that way. I choose to find the beauty in the darkness. I choose to find comfort in shared struggles, because no one is alone. This idea that perfection is possible and anything but is a failure is complete insanity. I choose to share the good, bad, ugly and everything in between because that is life. There’s ups and downs and you can’t have the ups without the downs. I choose to share things that most people don’t want to discuss. I choose to talk about things that make people uncomfortable. I choose to show the broken pieces of myself and the journey I’ve been on to become whole. Life is messy and thinking it isn’t is going to make you miserable. Instead of isolating people with this idea of perfection I choose to embrace the perfect imperfections that make life interesting and share them with whoever is listening, with whoever needs to hear my story, with everyone and anyone because someone out there needs to hear that it’s okay to not be perfect. It’s okay to feel, it’s okay to not be okay, it’s okay to struggle, it’s okay to need to help, it’s all going to be okay even on days it doesn’t feel like it. I promise you, no matter your struggle you are not alone. I am here, out of the darkness, to be your light, to tell you I am not perfect and I don’t aspire to be. I just want to be better than I was yesterday and help as many as I can along the way.