I’m offically the worlds WORST mom. =/

I feel like having a crying tantrum with my 3.5 year old as well. =/

My mom passed away July 7th, 2012. Last Christmas was our first Christmas without her. This is our second Christmas without her, and it’s not any easier, on me. I didn’t know it was affecting my son.

He knew nana, went to live in Heaven with God and the Angels. That she couldn’t visit us last Christmas. (That’s the only way we could explain to him last Christmas why she wasn’t there, and why only papa Mike and Aunt Star had come.) He seemed fine with it, and it seemed as if he forgotten everything when papa Mike showed up with the Christmas gifts on Christmas eve.

Well, today as I’m getting him ready to lay down for a nap, he asked if he and brother could have a cookie. I told him that when he wakes up from his nap then he can have one. I made a HUGE mistake, and asked him if he was excited to have papa Mike and Aunt Star come over to start Christmas with us tomorrow. He got really excited and said yes he was, and said that he couldn’t wait to see papa Mike, Aunt Star and nana D. =/

I tried really hard to choke back my tears, and told him that he needed to remember that Nana D isn’t able to come here for Christmas, that she’s up in Heaven with the Angels, great paw paw and Aunt Dawn. But, she would be watching us from heaven and sending us her love.

OH, was that a MISTAKE! He started crying, like I ripped the head off of his fave snuggle toy, and yelling at me that I was lying to him. He wouldn’t calm down for anything. Finally I was able to rock him and get him to calm down and he fell asleep in my lap.

I can’t stop crying. I’ve done all of the Christmas traditions my mom had always done, I’ve done all of the Christmas crafts I could find, and been so busy preparing for Christmas, this has been my way of sort of dealing with not having my mom here, that I didn’t even seem to notice that my baby was hurting! It didn’t seem like an issue last Christmas!!!

I guess I should have seen this coming, we have been talking about all the Christmas things we were doing and how nana would do them with me, and he sees all of her pictures on the walls. He even got the honor of putting her memorial picture Christmas ornament on the tree this year. I thought that if I talked about her, and what we used to do when she was here, that it would be a great way to keep her memory alive for my boys. It so backfired on me, and now I feel like the worlds WORST mom!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I don’t know how to fix this!!!! I’m terrified of when he wakes up, and what to say, or if I should even say anything at all! Worst I’m terrified now of how he’s going to react when papa Mike and Aunt Star get here tomorrow. =/

How can I comfort him? How can I explain to my little man that nana D just can’t be here with us. My heart is breaking so bad, and all I want to do is crawl up in a little ball, and cry with him. I may have ruined Christmas for my son. =/

We are ALL sinners

Even homosexuals are standing with Phil.

It’s to stop the LGBT MOVEMENT from crying and whining because someone has a different set of beliefs, values and practices.

#BoycottAETV

The above is taken from Facebook:

It’s no secret that I am Christian, and I own my faith, yes faith, not religion. I was born into religion, when I questioned too hard I was asked to leave. Obviously religion did not work for me; faith does. A lot of Christians still have a difficult time separating religion, man made ordinances, from faith, God directed ordinances; so obviously non Christians would a difficult time in seeing the difference as well. That’s not what this blog is about today, perhaps another time, however today it’s about something a little different, but the same concept.

Religion will harshly rebuke any sin, some to the greatest lengths. Faith, well it teaches us something different, doesn’t it? We are called to LOVE the sinner and REBUKE the sin. Although you wont find one single verse in the bible that states it as I have, you will find the bible does tell us to rebuke the sin, but to love the sinner, it’s a matter of simply understanding the bible. I don’t have enough time, energy, or even space in one little blog to go about teaching someone how to simply understand the bible. I will try my best to give a small synopsis though. The closest you will come to finding what I have stated in the Bible is in Romans, more specific Romans 5:8, Romans 2:1-4, and Romans 12:9. Although I much prefer the Amplified version, I’ll post an easier version to read, The Good News Translation.

5 Now that we have been put right with God through faith, we have[a] peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. He has brought us by faith into this experience of God’s grace, in which we now live. And so we boast[b] of the hope we have of sharing God’s glory! We also boast[c] of our troubles, because we know that trouble produces endurance, endurance brings God’s approval, and his approval creates hope. This hope does not disappoint us, for God has poured out his love into our hearts by means of the Holy Spirit, who is God’s gift to us.

For when we were still helpless, Christ died for the wicked at the time that God chose. It is a difficult thing for someone to die for a righteous person. It may even be that someone might dare to die for a good person. 8 But God has shown us how much he loves us—it was while we were still sinners that Christ died for us! By his blood[d] we are now put right with God; how much more, then, will we be saved by him from God’s anger! 10 We were God’s enemies, but he made us his friends through the death of his Son. Now that we are God’s friends, how much more will we be saved by Christ’s life! 11 But that is not all; we rejoice because of what God has done through our Lord Jesus Christ, who has now made us God’s friends.

2 Do you, my friend, pass judgment on others? You have no excuse at all, whoever you are. For when you judge others and then do the same things which they do, you condemn yourself.We know that God is right when he judges the people who do such things as these. But you, my friend, do those very things for which you pass judgment on others! Do you think you will escape God’s judgment? Or perhaps you despise his great kindness, tolerance, and patience. Surely you know that God is kind, because he is trying to lead you to repent.

Love must be completely sincere. Hate what is evil, hold on to what is good.

The last verse is probably one of my favorite verses ever to be told. Simply because if you go back and read the entire 12th chapter of Romans, you will read further that the only ones we should be judging is ourselves, and we should do so according to how God would judge us based on our services to God, and living to that of which we are called to be doing. This chapter in the bible has been a near and dear chapter for me through so many things in life. However, again this blog post isn’t about that currently, again, maybe another time. I just wanted to give some foundation to what I’m about to say.

While, I myself do not feel as if Phil Robertson went out and maliciously slandered an entire community as many are suggesting he did, I do feel that perhaps he was a tad bit on the harsh side. I also agree that this is a HUGE over reaction to a statement of personal belief to which he’s entitled to per the first amendment and was not at all a slander or put down to the LGBT community. Anyone who had even watched a partial of Duck Dynasty knows those boys are hard core gun loving, redneck, God fearing, outspoken Christians….. A&E/Disney knew exactly what they were doing and getting into by airing the show. I think both sides need to apologize for getting their panties in a fizzy.

In my opinion if media is okay with exposing children and families with the likes of Miley Cyrus, half naked, if not entirely naked, apparently doped up on something on stage grabbing a married mans private areas, then why the outcry over a man stating his PERSONAL beliefs? Phil didn’t put down anyone, he didn’t slander anyone, in fact if you watch or read the ENTIRETY of the interview in which this outcry comes from, then you will see that he further clarifies that.

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If you are part of the #boycottae are you also boycotting all of the sister and parent stations from Hearst Corp, like Disney, History, Biography and Lifetime? What are you boycotting exactly? Think about it for a min. What will this boycott accomplish? Like I said don’t get me wrong, I agree that Phil did nothing wrong, and I agree that this is an over reaction on the part of the stations. How far are you willing to go for this cause? What will it get you? What will it change? Will it even change anything? I honestly, and sadly do not think so, because we live in a time, and an age, that if you don’t entirely and openly accept everything mainstream, then you are banned. Simple as that. Maybe this was a coo on the stations part to drum up publicity, to say, “Oh, well, Christians we gave you, your chance, and you blew it….” Is it working? I think so, who isn’t talking about A&E and Phil from Duck Dynasty right now?

I ask you one last question, how is this Christian? Love thy neighbor. Love all. Love the sinner. Hate the sin. Is this the American way? Tolerance? LGBT community preaches tolerance….. it’s okay to have tolerance, as long as it upholds your beliefs, views and ideology I guess, but not if it differs… Did I get that right? I love my LGBT friends, but I don’t love this attitude. I don’t have to agree with or love their lifestyle to love them. It’s not for me to judge. I simply love and accept them as I’m CALLED to do by God, what’s wrong with asking for it to be reciprocated? Can the LGBT community love and accept me if I don’t agree with them, even though I do love them? What is all of this really saying?

Simple, there is no tolerance on either side, because both sides have to be right, and both have to run main stream….. can’t have two cocks in the hen house, right? Maybe this is a good time that we ALL, Christian, non Christian, LGBT, non LGBT alike all start practicing what we are preaching; Love, Acceptance, Tolerance of different beliefs? Do we have to agree? Nope, but you wont find me judging or condemning another person, that’s not my job, and not my gift in the body of Christ; I just call it as I see it. A bunch of sinners being intolerant to everyone who differs in beliefs. We all bleed red don’t we? Then we are ALL sinners, everyone of us, because we are ALL born into sin. Every single one of us.

Romans 5:12, Romans 3:23, Romans 3:10, 1 John 1:8.

My Letter to my mom…

I was cleaning a few things off of my computer and found this…… It’s what I wrote for my mother’s memorial service. =/ I still cry, and I can’t seem to finish it without chocking up still. I miss you mom. I miss you so much it still hurts so bad.

 

 

Dear Mom,

 

I bet everyone is expecting me to say something profound, and moving about who my mother was and what she meant to me. Truth be told I don’t think I have anything profound to say. What I do have to speak about is an unmeasurable love, and an unbreakable bond.

 

Although my life with my mother was less than ideal, it was no less meaningful, and memorable. Even through the hardships, the pain, and the tears, my mother was in some way always with us, even if it was at heart.

 

Today my mother does not want us to mourn her death, but she wants us to celebrate her life, she used to always tell me that funerals and memorials were for the living to grieve and come together as family to celebrate life. Today, Friday the 13th, is suiting. It was a Friday the 13th she was born on. All good things happened to her on Friday the 13th, which she passed down to me. I met my husband on Friday the 13th, among many other wondrous joys. It’s suiting that we celebrate her life on a Friday the 13th. Today is about my mother, and her incredible journey, her unmeasurable love and her stubborn strength.

 

Everything I did in life, from childhood to adulthood into wifehood and motherhood I did to avoid the mistakes my parents made. I worked so hard to change the cycle of life I had been dealt. I did not want to be anything like my parents, or other family members. I did not want my children to endure the same hardships and pain I had to endure. I meticulously and methodically went out of my way to change the course of my life so that my children would one day have a better life than I did. I realized about this time last year when I was talking to my mom on the phone, that outside of different life decisions, I was exactly like my parents in almost every way. Which I realized was not a bad thing. I had their strong love and heart with a desire to help and serve others. I had my mother’s undeniable stubbornness, that meant when I made my decision I more than stuck to it; just as she would I would get passionate about my decision and make sure I got what I wanted and decided on. I had their strong work ethic. I was more like my parents than I wanted to admit. Looking back on it now, I see that I made my mother proud of the women, mother and wife I have become.

 

In life I never gave my mother enough credit for these gifts she passed onto me, which breaks my heart in more ways than I can scribe. I stand here and I choke when I remember thinking to myself about all of the times I was angry, frustrated and upset with my mom for keeping the entire truth of her condition from me; even though she was SO honest and forth coming with everything else. She would confide in her husband, in my husband, and in my mother in law, especially during the LONG labors I had with both of my sons. Although I wanted my mom at both births so excruciating much, I knew my mom was not doing well and told her to rest and she could come when they were born, or we could take them to see her, what ever she wanted. But she insisted that she be with me when I gave birth to them, because she knew how much her presence comforted me, and how I fed off of her strength to push through the contractions and bring the boys into the world. My mother in law, and mom created a bond, one not found in many families. Who could have imagined? I was and still am so very thankful that my mother had my mother in law to turn to. I still however, could just not understand why my mother would not confide in me, and tell me every detail of her condition.

 

The day after we had Zech, and we were released from the hospital, we went and had dinner, and picked up Jayden from my mother and father in laws house, we went back to my hospital, where my mom was admitted into the night I was in labor there with Zech, to see her. Let her see, hold and touch her new grandbaby, and love on her older grandbaby. She had gone out of her way to make sure Jayden had a big brother present, it’s one of his favorites, a gift I wouldn’t think of giving, but my wise mother knew better than me, because guess what? It’s one of his favorite toys to play with. He loves hooking the horse trailer with the horse inside up to the truck and make beep beep sounds with it as he drives it all over the house. Looking at my mother overfilled with such love, adoration, and affection over my new son, and Jayden, it suddenly occurred to me. I didn’t NEED to know the truth. I didn’t need to know because I was her child, and she was my mother. She was doing to me, what I do to my boys. She was protecting me from harm, hurt, and pain. She knew I had been through so much of it in my life, and now that I was finally happy with a family of my own, she was protecting me from the ugly truth. The truth that her days were dwindling down faster than I could blink. I am constantly telling Jayden, “No, no Jay, that’s hot,” or “Get back Jay, this is ouchie”, and kissing his boo boos. In the very same way my mom was telling me, “No April, this will hurt you” by not telling me the truth.

 

See parents are suppose to be our super heros. They are suppose to be strong, and not ever be weak. They are suppose to help heal our broken hearts, and mend our brokenness. It suddenly clicked to me that my mom, my super hero, was protecting me from even more pain than I needed to endure. I am just like her, I am protecting my boys from enduring pain they can’t even understand.

 

My step dad and my husband can sit there compare notes on who is more stubborn. If my mother or I are passionate about it, we are stubborn about it. Her and I would stand our grounds to the death of us. The Monday before she passed, we had a heart to heart talk. She was so scared of leaving her children, grandchildren and husband. She didn’t want to leave us behind. She especially felt terrible leaving Jayden and Zechariah behind. She loved her grandbabies MORE than anything in this world. They were her pride, and she was a very proud grandma. She showed them off every chance she got, and she squeezed out enough energy for them when she had nothing left to squeeze. She was so torn up about leaving them behind, not being able to physically be here and watch them grow up, and them not being able to have their own memories of her. I told her that I was so proud of her, and how hard she fought. That I loved her so much, and could never and would never be mad at her if she felt like she just couldn’t fight anymore. I told her that the boys would always know her, and always remember her, that I would talk about her as much as I could, and that we had SO many wonderful memories to share with them, and pictures to show them. I told her to remember my house, and the walls of my house plastered with photos, that there was no way they could ever forget their grandma. I told her how thankful I was that she proved the doctors wrong when they told her she wouldn’t even live long enough to see Jayden born. Not only did she live long enough to see Jayden born, she lived long enough to see Zechariah born. She wanted to know how I was doing post pardum, and I told her that I had no issues, she smiled, I know she was concerned with that, because we had many talks about it, especially since Zechariah gave me so many issues at the end. These two little boys were her proudest achievements. Being a grandma made her entire world that much better and bearable. She lived to spoil them rotten.

 

She knew it drove me crazy to sneak Jay ice cream, cookies,cake, and basically anything h was not suppose to have,but she loved every moment of it, because she got to spoil him, and drive me crazy. I still don’t know what gave her more of a thrill, spoiling the child, or driving the mama crazy. She also lived to support, spoil, and love her three children. There wasn’t anything she wouldn’t do for one of the three of us. IF she had to crawl every inch of tis planet for us, she would and then some. She took us in when we had no where else and no one else to go to, she helped us when we were left to figure things out on our own, and could not. She loved us when we were unlovable. These are the things only a super hero could do; only a mother could do. It is her unconditional love that makes me be a better mother to my boys and a better wife to my husband. She was my best friend. I was always able to come to her with my issues, and problems. She would left me vent, cry, yell, or whatever else I needed. She never judged me, loved me any-less, or loved the person, mostly my husband who drives me nuts, any less either. At the end of our conversations she would say, “Okay, now what are you going to do, to make things better?” She used to always tell me, “April, don’t do anything stupid to lose that man of yours, he’s a good man. He takes good care of you. You don’t have to like him that day, but you have to love him.” We had these looks we could give each other that said EVERYTHING. Even if we were not face to face my mother would know I was giving her the look, because she said she heard it in my voice. Sometimes I would try and cover up what I was thinking or wanting to say, and she would get mad at me. She used to say, “If you don’t tell me I can’t give you advice. And if you don’t want my advice, then don’t ask for it, but your voice is asking for it, so knock it off, and spill it out already.” I lost the only person that I could communicate like that to, without judgement, ridicule, or backlash. Once everything was said, that was it. She never brought it up again. I can only pray to aspire to become a mother like that, where my boys could openingly come to me about anything, and I just love them, and push them on their merry little way. She set a high bar for me to achieve, and I intend to achieve it.

 

Mom stayed and fought long enough to see tht we were all going to be just fine. She made sure that I could handle being a mother times 2. She made sure to teach us something every time we talked. She made sure that I had the love and support of an incredible man, who came with an equally incredible family. She left knowing that the boys still had a grandma left to spoil them rotten, to help her daughter and be there for her, and in her own words, “To love her as if she was yours.” My mom wasn’t going to leave until she knew my ever wish came true, which was to have the strong family dynamic I never got to enjoy, but my boys would. She left knowing that I got my very wish, and that Jayden and Zechariah were more than abundantly loved. She knew they would never feel even once ounce of the pain I did growing up. That brought her great comfort, more than words could express.

 

My mother gave me a last gift in her final week and days. We confided in one another and made some promises, that will always be kept. I will love my boys unconditionally, without judgement and without reprieve just as she loved us. I would also crawl to the ends of the earth and far beyond for my boys if I had to, just as she did for us. I promised to always love my husband and his family just as she loved Mike and his. I promised to give the boys “The Biggest wettest kisses and biggest hugs from her every day.” and to remind them of her as much as I could so they would never forget her. I have. I made her promise to take care of my angel baby with my Aunt Dawn who was like my second mother while she was in heaven. I have now lost two mothers. When one wasn’t able to be there for me, the other was. I thank God for my mother’s incredible strength, and I can only dream of having that strength for my boys.

 

in giving me one last gift,I unknowingly gave my mom one last gift and memory she took with her. I called her 5 times and asked if she were okay,needed anything, or would like us to stay home form our vacation. She sounded fine, and told me that she did not want us to stay, she wanted us to go and have fun, that she loved me. I did not know that would be the last time I’d hear her voice, or see her face, and feel her arms around me. I thankfully did get to talk to her via text message and I called one last time shortly before she passed and told her how proud I was of her, and how much I loved her. I told her how much fun Jayden had at Seaworld. My step dad told me about showing her the pictures I sent her, and he told me that her face light up like the fourth of July and had a smile on her face from ear to ear, when she saw Jayden playing around with the Dolphins. Our text to one another while I drove out to California seem so remedial now, but I will cherish them. Random things like whether to grow Jayden’s hair out or cut it, and how excited we were to see Jayden’s reaction to Seaworld, and that I must put lard in my breastmilk because Zechy was a little chunker. That she was proud of me for breastfeeding both boys. Her last gift to me and act as my mom was, and I don’t know whether to saying let me go or made me go, spend a happy peaceful family vacation with my husband and boys. I had no idea until it was over, that it was my last gift to her and act as her daughter to send her pictures and updates about Jayden and how he was reacting to Seaworld. I gave her comfort of enjoying my babies, and watching them have fun. that’s what super heros do. My mom was, is and will always be my super hero. Thank you mom, for always being my super hero. Words could never say how grateful I am for your wisdom, strength, gifts, knowledge and stubbornness you passed down to me.

 

Always in my heart and I love you mom, please find peace and rest now.

 

Love Always, Your Daughter,

April.

Diving partially into the deep dark past……..

This women on my mothers site asked if she should apologize to the ex-wife of her fiance for being a “homewrecker,” three years later. My initial thought was, why would you do that? It got me thinking about a very dark time in my relationship with my husband; back when we were still only boyfriend and girlfriend. I wont break down our ENTIRE history, but anyone that knows my husband and I, know that we have a VERY LONG, complicated history. It wasn’t always rainbows and butterflies. Not that it is all rainbows and butterflies now, but at least our newest debates are not over adultery, but rather over how to discipline our children, and family issues.

 

There was once a time in our relationship when things were not great, not at all, in fact, they were really bad. Without diving too much into the past, because honestly, we’ve learned from it and moved on, I will just say we had issues with adultery. A women, thought she could come in on the sly, she managed to get in, but only briefly.

So my response to this person was:

If the “other” woman that attempted to take my hubby from me and pretended to trap him in a fake pregnancy, then a pregnancy that wasn’t his, turned out to be her future husbands, tried to apologize to me, I’d listen to what she had to say, but I wouldn’t believe a single word or buy into anything she had to say.

I have forgiven and moved on a long time ago, but I won’t forget, nor will I allow her in our lives ever again, in any fashion.

No, for me to truly accept any form of an apology from her, for all the pain, drama, set backs, betrayal, she’d have to back it up the same way I told him he needed to, in order to have me accept it. She’d have to come clean to every person she ever lied to about the entire situation personally and publicly/socially. She’d have to tell me exactly what she is apologizing for, apologize to my family, apologize to my in laws, and apologize to mutual friends.

Seeing that she’ll never do that, I’ve washed my hands of it and I could honestly care less about it anymore because I have far greater things that consume my time. Like being a wife, mother, student, photographer, and church leader.

The end result is, I got the ring by choice/love, I have his last name and his children. His parents, my in laws adore me, especially since he told them the truth on everything. I share a big, cozy, lovely home with him with plenty of extras. I lay in a nice warm, loving, love making bed with him. He has eyes for only me. In the end, I won, despite her drama and lies. In the end he’s encouraged me to go after my dreams and back to college, and I’ve encouraged him to do the same. So her little apology, would hold no barring, not even the gesture of one would. If she truly wants to make amends, she’d have to go big or go home.

However, I highly doubt anyone would believe a word she has to say now. Especially since my hubby did come clean to everyone and earned all of our trust back.

So, OP, if I were you, I would let it go, because realistically, unless your willing to go big, don’t even offer anything, it’s pointless. A few meaningless words aren’t going to work. If you’re truly sorry, then truly make it to where your actions back your words.

 

I have long since forgiven my husband, and moved on. We have worked through the issues, and we are stronger today for what we have been through. It doesn’t make it easier, it just means, we’ve learned to accept what has happened and moved towards filling the voids that left us in that situation to begin with. My thoughts are that you can always come back from Adultery if BOTH are willing to commit and put the time into it, however, sometimes it’s not always as easy as people make it out to be. It has taken us YEARS to get from that point to where we are now. It didn’t just happen over night.

Make sure Daddy’s Money can bail you out before you Drink and Drive…..

Maybe this subject hits a little too close to home for me, or maybe it’s because I feel that justice was not won. Either way I’m sadden and sicken by the total disregard to justice that a 16 year old in Texas got, after his friends and him, STOLE beer, drank until they couldn’t even stand straight, and then proceeded to get behind the wheel of a car to which they ended up killing 4 and seriously injuring two others.

My first experience with a friend who did not survive a drunk driving accident was when I was a senior in high school. His name was Adrian, and his cousin’s name was Jesus. They were night managers at the Burger King I worked for. I was 17, already on my own, in my own apartment, paying all of my own bills, while finishing high school, and my after school activities such as band, track, etc. I had just clocked on for my shift, was making my rounds to put the drive thru in the shape I liked to work; clean, organized, etc, when the store owner walked in, and you could tell he had been crying. Philip was the assistant manager was getting upset because his shift had ended and Adrian and Jesus had not shown up yet for their shift. Mind you this was 4pm in the afternoon. Roger came to us, and told us that we were shutting down the store for an hour and having a store meeting, that he called all employees in. We made signs saying that we were shut down for an hour, closed and locked the doors.

Once everyone had filed in and sat down, Roger very slowly in a trembling voice told us that Adrian and Jesus were killed two hours earlier by a drunk driver running a red light at 91st ave and Indian School road. I don’t know why, or what made me tell him to stop joking, but I did, and I quickly dialed Adrians number; over and over and over again it went to voicemail. We were really like the misfit family at our little Avondale Burger King. We were all close, all hung out after shifts, all helped one another out. I honestly can’t remember much more because it all became such a fog. I remember somehow showing up at his wake, memorial and funeral, but I don’t know any details. I can’t even say when it had finally felt like I had moved on, because I don’t know if I ever did. I still think about Adrian and Jesus from time to time. Adrain was like a older protective brother to me. Any time his family was going to discard furniture, sheets, towels, etc, he would bring it by my apartment and make sure I had everything I needed. His laugh was contagious, and I can still often hear it in my head.

The second deadly experience I ever had with a drunk driver was my friend TJ from high school. We were all, already graduated. I think maybe a year at most? I wont go into the specifics of this one, because TJ was the one that was said to be drunk, and he lost his own life, at his own hands. Luckily no one else had been hurt.

I was hit by a drunk driver at 1130 am one day on my way from my house to see my husband for lunch. My car was totaled. If he had hit me one inch further back, my car would have exploded with me in it. Luckily I was too busy messing with the radio to notice my light turned green, when he ran the red light.

My most recent fatal attraction to drunk driving was my good friend Ron. Like Adrain, Ron was like that big brother figure in my life. He was without a doubt there for me when I needed him, even when he didn’t have to be, or sometimes couldn’t be, he still was. He was on his way home from work one night, when a kid and his friends driving drunk, ran a red light at 51st ave and Indian School rd, and killed Ron. I had talked to Ron the day before about his wedding ideas for him and his fiance, and about him wanting to get family pictures done with his children, his fiance and her child. I didn’t even get a call, or a text. I saw it from a mutual friend on facebook that Ron had died in a car accident. Of course I didn’t believe it. Again, I called Ron’s phone repetitively. Each time I got no answer. Then I saw that his brother posted about his Memorial service, and I had to see for myself if this was a hoax or the real deal. Sure enough it was the real deal. There laid Ron in his casket with his Army uniform on. I couldn’t believe it. I was shocked, stunned, and could barely breathe. Ron seemed to attract all of the misfits as well, and took them in as family. He loved people, and he cared about people. He had a big bleeding heart, which got him into trouble sometimes. I still hear him asking if I want to go fishing, or to the shooting range. I still hear him yelling at the tv when there was an MMA fight on. I still see his goof ball grin on his face, the one that says “I’m being a big corny terd, and what are you going to do about it…” I can still recall our many conversations about life, love, and helping one another through our dark hours in our relationships with our significant others. Even when I wanted to give up on my husband, Ron helped me to keep going, and trust that it would get better, and that we would make it out of the darkness. This loss was the hardest. I don’t think there is another human being on this world, outside of my husband that is, that knew all of my deepest darkest secrets in my closet.

So, yes, maybe I’m tainted by my experience, and maybe my “rough” and hard life further complicates and dilutes my opinion of this Rich Texas boy, but 4 years probation is hardly a punishment for drunk driving.

My father got a DUI on a bicycle a few years back. He was riding his bike on the public sidewalk, in the middle of the night, in Avondale, no cars to be seen, or people out walking. He was stopped and given a DUI on a bike, and received 6 months in jail, and 3 years probation. He didn’t kill anyone, injure anyone, nor did he get behind the wheel of a car. He was riding a BICYCLE, yes a two wheeled BIKE! Down a residential street about 1 block from home, at 3am, in AVONDALE! He got jail and probation! This rich, snooty kid from Texas, (which by the way, has stricter DUI laws than AZ does), only get’s 4 years probation? He severely injured two and killed four others!

I posted about this in my mother’s site. My jaw has dropped reading some of the responses. Some say he’s “too young” to know right from wrong. He’s “too young” to spend so much time in jail. I’m sorry? Did he NOT have to take the driver’s test to get his license? I’m pretty sure most if not all driver’s tests are suppose to state something about it being ILLEGAL to drink and drive, that the punishment is jail time???? I’m having a very difficult time seeing how a 16 year old doesn’t know right from wrong in this situation? My 3 year old preschooler knows that drinking and driving is bad, and that you can go to jail for a long time if you drink and drive. He even makes his die cast cars go to jail if they are “drinking” and driving. He says that they only have cars version of juice and that’s gas, because he doesn’t want them to go to jail. I’m sorry, but if my 3 year old preschooler is capable of rational, clear thinking, and knowing that it is WRONG to drink and drive, than by all means a darn 16 year old, who has TAKEN A DRIVING TEST knows that it is WRONG and punishable by jail! Especially with all of these “Don’t Drink and Drive” billboards, ads, commercials, and events at schools with DARE. No, you can not convince me that this privileged 16 year old did not know that drinking and driving was illegal and wrong. You can’t convince me that he is too young. IF YOU ARE OLD ENOUGH TO DRIVE, and have that responsibility to do so, then you are old enough to be held accountable, and punished if you break the law.

IF, it had been a teen that was middle class or lower class, and not rich, would the judge have made the same ruling? I highly doubt it. The judge would have slapped that teen with the max sentence he could have, to teach “others” a lesson. So why is this rich kid any different? HE KILLED 4 PEOPLE AND SEVERELY INJURED 2 OTHERS! Hello! That’s MANSLAUGHTER! What’s the mandatory min? Oh yeah, 10 years! In PRISON!

Furthermore, if the court is going to rule that this teen is getting off because of his parent’s “Affluence” then they need to charged with accessory of the crime manslaughter. I honestly want to hear what the parents have to say about this. Daddio are you proud of your son now? He just used your money to get off scott free and then BLAMED YOU for being a terrible parent, not teaching him right from wrong, and that money can buy his troubles away.

One thing Scott and I have agreed on, is that NO MATTER how little or how much money we have, earn, acquire, etc. that our children will earn everything they get. They simply will not get a car on their 16th birthday unless they have shown they are responsible, they have a job, good grades, after school activities, and good attitude, plus pay for their own insurance, and registration. IF they get a ticket, we wont be paying it. They will have to learn to pay that on their own. Their car is their responsibility. Doesn’t mean that we can’t afford to get them a car, just means, we are not handing them anything, outside of basic needs and a few small wants. A car is a HUGE responsibility they must earn. We feel the same way about cell phones. Scott and I grew up just fine without a cell phone, and earning our own money for our own cars. Taught us to be responsible. Taught us that we were held accountable for our actions. Sure, my children are young right now, and who knows what will happen in the next 10 plus years, doesn’t change our view that they must earn these responsibilities and privileges. It’s simple here, they don’t earn it, and prove themselves trustworthy, they don’t get it. We’ve started teaching them that now. THEY KNOW that when we are in the store, that just because they want it, doesn’t mean we will get it for them. I say no, more than I say yes.

If I were this teens mother, in court I would have told the judge, to lock him up, and throw away the key until he learned his lesson. That doesn’t MEAN I wouldn’t love my son any less. That just means, I wont have a son that doesn’t pay the consequences for his actions. As a mother I would be applaud at a judge that let him off scott free, especially if he injured and killed people. I understand that 20 years or longer is a long time for a 16 year old, however, they know drinking and driving is illegal. More so they committed other felonies before this, they stole the beer, and drank underage! Are you telling me that a 16 year old doesn’t know that stealing and drinking underage is illegal? The LEGAL DRINKING AGE is 21! HELLO!

I have a friend who’s mother keeps bailing our her brother every time he’s in trouble with the law. She has yet to see that she continues to enable him and is teaching him that he doesn’t have to pay the price for his actions. If it were me, I’d say leave him in Jail. Maybe next time he would think about his actions before doing them.

No, daddies money bought his freedom, and it’s sad, because these families will not get the justice they deserve. These families wont get the closure they need. Worst of all, this teen will most likely re offend, because he knows that daddy’s money will once again come to the rescue.

The only lesson here is that Daddy’s money can buy your freedom. Which is sad, because other “affluence” teens will see this and think they too can get away with murder.

The link to the story if you want it:

http://www.kpho.com/story/24203316/teen-uses-affluenza-defense-in-deadly-drunken-driving-case

Don’t be a Shark, be a Fly

For the past 3 years I have been working my tail off. I went BACK to college, this time to pursue an Art Degree that I originally wanted, and was talked out of by my family, “Art degrees are not practical, they wont earn you a suitable living or proper husband. You need to get a science based degree, one that will gt you a blue collar job, to make a substantive living for yourself.” This echos in my ears long after it was said to me by my family member. Believing that they knew better and what they were talking about, I gave up my pursue of an Art degree, and went the “practical” route and got a criminology degree. That was a big ole’ flop, and a waste of time, money, and energy. I got that degree the year the economy tanked. My job I had lined up, suddenly disappeared right out from beneath my feet.

So after my mother’s persistent insisting, and encouragement from my husband and his parents, I went back to school for my art degree! =) I just graduated this December with my AAS in Photography from Phoenix College, and I’m now full time, instead of part time, at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. YAY! What an unbelievable journey it has been! It honestly took me until the end of last Spring to realize I love photojournalism and I’m actually quite good at it!

My dreams are coming true! I’m stepping into the ultra professional realm now! I have my very first HUGE traveling exhibition show starting in the Bokeh Solo Gallery at MonOrchid Gallery, January 3rd 2014 here in Downtown Phoenix. This is a HUGE step for me, and my career as an artist, photographer and photojournalist; it’s my Yarnell images. There’s going to be media coverage, and a large opening night! Wow! Who would have thought, that despite all of the nay sayers, I’m making it! Well, starting to at least! I’ve worked my toochy off for this! My dreams are coming true! I hope that ONE day to be as great as Steve McCurry.

I keep pinching myself, sometimes I wonder if I’m living in my head, or if this is really for real! Signing contracts for shows, interviews, etc, you’d think I’d get that it is for real. This is a life time of hard work coming true for me! I’m overwhelmed with the amazing accomplishments, and yet, humbled because it touches the hearts of people. Steve McCurry said one thing in an interview of his that I watched that just stuck with, that he waits for these moments to manifest themselves, that he doesn’t force them to come. These moments are magical, they speak volumes, and they take people to unimaginable places. I took that to heart. I WAIT ever so patiently for these small moments in time, when no one is looking, paying attention, or seeing, and get them. That’s the TRUE art of photojournalism, and Steve is right, there is a fine line between moral photojournalism and paparazzi, and I’d rather not be another idiot chasing the story; instead I’d rather be the fly on the wall, waiting and watching it unfold naturally. Some of the media ticked me off, they missed a HUGE part of the Yarnell story, the story of community, of love, support, small town love. They were so enamored by the big story of the fire, the damage, the tragic loss of lives, that they missed what this small community had to give to the world.  You can read my story here: Yarnell Rebuilds: A Story of Hope .

Dreams do come true, if you stay true to yourself, and work hard in a humbled and moral fashion, don’t be a shark, be a fly.

 

Thank you to all of the countless people who have helped me. I could not have gotten this far without you. Especially to my Mother Dale, (RIP), my magnificent Husband Scott, and my family who had faith and belief in me, including my awesome in-laws Kathy and Chris. Thank you for all that you have done, are doing, and still will do.

Confessions of a Frazzled Mama…….. Sunday Madness!

I think everyone expects mothers to be Super Moms. Indestructible, faster than a speeding bullet, reliable, never tired, always ready at a moments notice, always abled, Suzy Homemaker, and Betty Crocker. We are expected to kiss every boo boo, make every “pincy bug” disappear, chase away the monsters, be at the beck and call, cook, clean, cook again, clean some more, bring in SOME sort of a supplemental income, have intimacy with our spouses, manage our ministries, finish school, some how fit in time to accomplish our dreams, and at the end of the day fold laundry and put it away until we are blue in the face. We don’t dare let our husbands do the grocery shopping, because our grocery bill’s would shoot up ten fold, and we’d never have enough or it would all be chips and salsa, with hot dogs for food. We manage the delicate balance of good and yummy in our household menu’s, along side keeping the budget as low as possible using coupons and price matching. Ever see a man attempt it? I have, it isn’t pretty. Not unless he has my VERY detailed list can he pull it off, and even then, it’s a shot in the dark, because he forgets to see if the stores brand is a better deal. What about keeping the children entertained? Ever see a daddy holding a hot glue gun making arts and crafts, or water basted oil paints on a canvas for a Daddy gift? Ever see one attempt to bake and decorate cookies? No, that’s all a mommies job.

I whole heartily think that we should be serving as we are called to do, but do you realize how HARD, and TIRING and DRAINING it is to be 6 months pregnant getting a toddler and a preschooler ready for church on a Sunday morning BY YOUR SELF!? No help! Chasing the toddler because he wants to be chased and not get ready, then he kicks, screams, bites, and bangs his head into your chest because you are attempting to put on the GOD AWFUL DREADED shoes, that MUST, I repeat, MUST stay on. Heaven help you if you put the socks on without immediately putting the shoes on, because the socks almost ALWAYS end up off his feet SOMEWHERE in the house, before you can get shoes on him. Then there’s getting Zechy’s diaper bag and Jayden’s go bag ready, filling one with extra diapers, and the other with a change of pants and undies JUST in case he doesn’t make it to the big boy potty; then stealthily sneaking in the sippy cups without them noticing, or you hear the ENDLESS whine that they want it. You know that if you give in, then that means dirtying up another sippy, and another one to keep track of, and fill up. So, you drag your feet back to the cubbard, and drag out two more sippy cups and fill them.

BY the time you get every one dressed, ready to go, and get ready to walk out the door, just to remember that you forgot your keys and have to rush back inside with everyone to get your keys, and back out, and then fight them to get into the car without running off and buckled in, you’re exhausted, so tired, that you seriously contemplate just getting out of the car and going back in to lay down for a nap. However, that thought is brief, because you know that you have about 20 kids at church waiting and depending on you to be there on time to teach them, and that your children have a need to know about God. So you start the car, drive the mile up the road to church, and then one by one, you slowly unload everyone on your own. You somehow juggle your lesson plans and bible in one hand, while holding the bags on your shoulder, then grabbing your toddler by his hand with your free hand, and telling your preschooler to hold your back pocket and hold tight following.

After you finally get the kids inside to your classroom to set, you then have to take them to their classrooms and check them in, just to leave to start checking in the children for you class. After church, you manage to check out the kids, drag yourself, the kids an all of your belongings BACK to the car, load them up, and go home. Your husband was on Worship, or sound, so is still packing up and loading his truck up. You get home first and end up unloading your children and all of your belongings. One has to pee, one is screaming because he wants another sippy and his hungry and ready for a nap; you yourself have to pee because the third one is tap dancing on your bladder. By this point, you literally have NO energy left, and you feel out of breath, and ready to collapse. Some how you you get the one into the bathroom fast enough to potty, while holding the other, you get yourself on the potty, and then take them both to the kitchen to make a quick lunch and get sippy’s. Then it’s bum change, and the herding upstairs to their separate rooms to take a nap. By this time, you are starving because you realized, that although you made breakfast for the kids, you totally forgot to eat yourself, but you’re SO exhausted and winded that you just want to sit down.

Then when you start thinking of just how hungry you are and you slowly pull one leg at a time off of the couch, and work your way to the kitchen, you realize you have to take something out for dinner, because you space Cadetted it earlier. (Yes I make up my own words, lol, I’m delirious at this point…..) Alas your husband comes sweeping in, finally, just to remind you that you have to be at the banquet hall for the church’s Christmas dinner. He wants to know if you are going ahead of time with him, or leaving later with the kids. Oiy! You really DON’T want to be stuck there for an hour and a half with children by yourself, and yet you dread the morning madness of getting them ready to go and loading them up all by yourself again. So you weight out the options, which one is the best of the two evil options……Ultimately you are far too tired to even think about managing the kids on your own for an hour in a half in a strange place, and so you opt to wait until later to start the madness all over by yourself.

On the way there, your phone acts up, so you can’t seem to get directions to get to this banquet hall, you’re late because you didn’t realize that it wasn’t at the church until a half hour before, and didn’t have directions to get there from your husband. Then you use your own inner navigation skills you picked up as a pizza delivery person in your younger years. Only issue was, we now lived in a strange new town, and the road I thought would go through to where we needed to go, somehow dead ends, and can’t get you to your destination. Your phone still is not cooperating, and you nearly break down crying, as you are driving around, and around in circles in Sun City trying to find your way, while one child screams for a sippy cup and another screams because he’s hungry and is CONVINCED we left daddy at home and asking the 20 questions as to why daddy is not coming to eat with us. You can’t reach the sippy cup because it’s in the diaper bag behind your seat. The third child is apparently doing the river dance, again, on your bladder, and you nearly pee yourself, and have to will yourself not to pee.

As if that’s not enough, you finally make it to your destination, nearly 40 mins late. Then you can’t find parking, and have to park pretty close to the back 50, and unload, and lock the car, slowly you waddle yourself up to the door, and try to get inside quickly because now your preschooler has to use the bathroom. You suddenly see your husband heading towards a bathroom and then send your son to see daddy to go with him, and he has a melt down, of course, and wont go to the bathroom with daddy, so you take him with you, get them settled in, and then rush the two of you off to the bathroom as quickly as possible. Just in time too, because I darn near did pee myself. Took every muscle in my body NOT to pee myself.

Your husband is off doing sound and playing worship, so you try your best to hold the fort down at your table, only to be met with severe opposition from your toddler that just wants to run around and DESTROY everything; when I say destroy, I honestly mean, destroy, he is so much worse than his brother ever was, so strong willed, more so than his brother. You manage to get them to eat, not being able to take more than a couple of bites of your food. Then you give in, and just let them run around with the other kids, while you stand up and eat your  now cold food; which I didn’t even get to finish much of, between the constant running off to stop my destroyer. Desert is finally called, you get up with two in tow and your tickets to the desert line, of course they want everything in sight, and I tell them only ONE! That’s all they get is one! Finally you get their deserts on the plates and while your preschooler toddles behind you holding his plate ever so carefully with both hands, you are trying to manage two other plates in one hand, and your toddler is having a melt down because he wants the desert NOW, and doesn’t want to wait until we get back to the table.

When you finally make it back to the table, you try your best to fastly take the cupcake wrapper off, and the plastic toy off the top, but your toddler is having a melt down because he thinks you are apparently trying to eat his desert. Finally you get him to see that it’s ready and push him closer to the table and he begins to happily eat it. By then your preschooler starts to whine because he can’t pull the chair out, so you help pull the chair out, get him up to the table and take the wrapper off of the cupcake so he can eat his. You get about two bites into your brownie, just to have your toddler be done and want to run around and DESTROY again.

You TRY to keep him entertained, sit him in your lap, talk to him, play with him, but he wants to run around and destroy, so he has ANOTHER melt down, kicking, HIGH PITCH screaming, and banging his head into your chest. Daddy is on stage playing for the rest of the group. You feel so embarrassed, but you are so at your wits end, and so ready to get up and leave, and so tired, that you just try your best to smile through the tears that want to run down your face. As if that’s not enough, they both start having melt downs because they are now ready for bed, and there’s tears coming down both of their faces, and you can’t get your husband to stop talking long enough to get over and help you take the kids to the car so you can rush and get them home into bed; and you seriously want to let your tears fall down with theirs. However, you don’t, you just try and keep calm, suddenly a good friend from church with re enforcements and her son a little older than your preschooler come over with more cars to help keep them entertained as daddy wraps up. FINALLY he walks over, try’s to help, and get them out to the car, and FINALLY you get home, and get them undressed, washed up, dressed in pj’s, sippy’s and doggy’s in hand, and make your way up what seems like 30 flights of stairs, and into bed. FINALLY you are able to sit down, or so you thought, your third child, apparently thinks that it’s still party time, and again, starts doing a river dance, and you peel one part of your body at a time off of the couch that you just got comfortable in, just to go pee.

You then think, since it’s still earlyish, you can edit some client pictures and return emails, yeah, not happening tonight. It’s the only time I get uninterrupted time to work!

NORMAL Sunday’s take it out of me, but I’m always able to have some rest so it’s not so bad, today, was a nightmare, and I broke down in tears. Mommies need help, and rest too! We are not always super hero’s that come flying in to save the day, we need help! Mommies are people too! I think daddy’s forget that we are not super human, and that we have our limits. Today was definitely WAY past my limit. Lord I hope that tomorrow is a MUCH calmer day!