Tag Archives: life

A Few Good Men.

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A Few Good Men.

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On the six month anniversary of losing one of these good men…cancer won yet another battle, but we are here to remember a loving good man and keep fighting the good fight against cancer.

Karma Is A Funny Thing

I don’t usually write two posts in one day, but  I just have to.

There are a few good men in my life. I won’t name any names, but they know who they are. Well, except for my three year old, since he cannot read this yet…but he knows I adore him.

We have faced some serious challenges recently…but none nearly as bad as some of my favorite men…

I love them. They love me…unconditionally. Some may not be blood, but I have grown to realize this does not matter anymore…it is who sticks around, even when things get tough, that matter most.

And they matter…a lot.

It is not my journey or my story to tell for these men, but all I can do is let them know this…

I love them…I really and truly love them with all of my heart.

They watched me grow…

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Moving On.

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Moving On.

I am not perfect.

I hold grudges.

I pout.

I even have had my share of temper tantrums.

I have had more battles and bickered with friends and family over my lifetime than I can remember.

But I also love.

I love too much sometimes. I dive deep into relationships and friendships, and that must muddle things a bit over time, I guess…

I don’t know…

Life is hard enough. I cannot muddle things anymore.

I thought I was learning that lesson a lot in the past year.

Life and death are the truest lessons of this.

Nothing is more bone chilling than death and dying to put things into perspective for a person.

Then you have the beauty of life to give balance to the loss or death of loved ones…

New babies, new loves, new life.

These are the moments that make me stop and realize…

Cut the crap out…it’s time to grow up.

No more bickering with my sisters as if we were still in high school and fighting over the mirror in the bathroom, or over clothes or remote controls. No more getting in to each other’s business and cutting a wedge so deep between us, that the gap is still not fully repaired.

No more saying what I feel like saying, whether it hurts someone or not, because I was an angry selfish teenager and young adult who hated her parents and life in general. Or as a mother or wife or friend who is miserable because she hasn’t fulfilled her dreams and passions, so she will take it out on everyone else around her…

I cannot be her anymore…time to move on.

I am not perfect.

I still make some of those mistakes as a middle aged mother/wife/sister/daughter…and friend.

I say too much. Or at least I used to. I needed a wake up call…you would have thought all the challenges over the past year would be enough…

The lightbulb went on many times, (or maybe I should say someone was flicking the light switch and on and off to test the circuits) trying to get me to realize all the anger, jealousy and hate was not necessary or needed…but I wasn’t paying attention.

That lightbulb was shining bright about a week ago when I saw an old friend and realized how foolish I can be.

It was almost two years since we spoke…over dumb stuff…that didn’t seem so dumb at the time. And we just let it all go…just like that. After building on a friendship for over eleven years, it was over.

I say it all the time, I believe everything happens for a reason…not sure why that all happened, but I guess it needed to…we needed time apart to figure life out.

Yet I found myself sobbing on my old friend’s shoulder (in public at a local benefit after too many cheap beers), apologizing and laughing and crying as if nothing had ever happened between us…

And letting go…

Of anger, temper tantrums, pouting, jealousy, and sadness…

I won’t say too much anymore to deliberately hurt someone because of my own misery…not because I have nothing to say, but what value is there on being opinionated or bossy or just a plain old jerk?

I am painting myself out to be a pretty big bitch right now, and I am actually a pretty nice person…just a lot on my brain and heaviness in my heart.

Such a weight lifted off my heavy heart…

Things may never be exactly as they were with me and my old friend, but it is so refreshing to know if we see each other, the tension won’t be there anymore… just smiles, and hugs and love and support.

And in another sense,( Moving On being my title for this blog), I need to move on from other relationships…ones that I have tried for most of my adult life to keep afloat, and they just keep drifting away. I think those relationships are safe to say, “Bon Voyage” and wish them well on their journey to their next chapter in life…

Without me in it.

I have written of these relationships before because I have an inner struggle with truly and completely let it go. Not sure if it is from guilt or just wanting to give it one more try, or because I am a glutton for punishment…or maybe it is because I am too nice and let people walk all over me…

Whatever the reason, I need to let it go as well…

I need to stick to my guns, and lift the anchor, and let that ship sail…no guilt or anger at myself…just peace knowing I tried. And tried some more…

And focus on the people who have always been in my life, even after returning from a mini vacation from our friendship, or those who were not sure of whether they should stay or go, but wind up staying by my side…these people help define me. They tell me to cut the crap…

The imperfect mother/wife/sister/daughter…and friend. The woman who vents on a blog to the world about big things and little things.

I don’t know if I am tired and getting old, but venting on a blog is about all I can manage anymore…fighting is for the birds…I have more important things to do like being a better wife/daughter/sister/mother and friend…

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And moving on…

 

Selfish.

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Selfish.

I would like to be selfish.

I want to sleep in till seven…or eight. I want to sit in peace and quiet and sip my coffee.

I want to figure out where to begin my day…do I put on yoga pants and take a class, or go for a long walk?

I want to say no to the class, and get myself dolled up and go shopping and get my nails done if I so choose.

Or maybe take out my painting clothes, and go get dirty out back and be creative on a piece of furniture.

I want to be selfish.

I want to not worry about making lunches or what’s for dinner, or laundry that needs to be done and folded and put away.

I want to not worry about dusting or vacuuming or dirty bathrooms.

I want  to not worry who has what activity after school and how I will pick everyone up on time.

I want to not worry about college kids that need supplies packed up, rides back to campus, and more spending money.

I want to not worry about late night phone calls or texts from a homesick college student who misses us desperately.

I want to not wake up ten times during the night by little ones coming in to sleep in my bed, then kicking me through the night.

If only…

Well, I am allowed to be selfish…today.

I have been granted that wish today…

My Mother-in-law has come to my aid.

I have another week of 24/7 parenting until my husband returns home. I am told to go do whatever I want…all day. And yet I have no clue what to do with myself…and no desire to be that jerk I talk about above…my selfish lists are thoughts tucked away in my brain of all these little things that annoy me on a daily basis-that make me want to be this obnoxious uncaring person. They are just wishful thinking when I cannot deal for another second with countless lists of mundane tasks day in and day out.

 I know others have it way worse, but I am an overwhelmed mother of five sick kids with pneumonia-all healed or healing, with countless doctor visits, and charts of who gets what medicine/breathing treatments and how and when I can get everyone back to school and activities and healthy again…on top of the meals and laundry and dishes…I am officially overwhelmed.

So I am being selfish today for a little bit.

I will take these few hours to vent  on this blog, and go wander aimlessly around a store, and maybe even buy something for myself…but that’s about it.

I have definitely lost myself in life and all that goes with it. I crave knowledge and being creative again.

But I don’t really and truly want to be that selfish woman. I will never be that woman…other than the one who puts on her painting clothes and goes out back with paint and sander in hand. Or write a blog about everyday boring life events…that is me.  

My time will come someday soon to have all day to do whatever I want, and the kids won’t need me as much and there will be fewer messes to clean…so I will take these few hours today to be a little selfish, to reflect on my tough days to appreciate the good ones, and remember how precious these days are with my growing family, as overwhelming as they can be…

This is my life.

I will be selfish…just for today.

Only In My Dreams.

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Only In My Dreams.

It was such a clear dream. I could feel the breeze blowing through the open French doors as I walked down the narrow hallway to her room.  The room seemed small but ornately decorated and looking out onto a patio with a large old tree adding shade to the patio and garden.  She was distracted and not noticing the beauty around her. She was laying in her hospital bed in the cozy room across from another empty hospital bed. She didn’t look up at me, she was too focused on what she was watching on  t.v. or laptop that was perched on her side table.

Her legs…they were smooth and golden…bronzed and healthy from many days basking in the sun by her pool or on the beach. They were uncovered and outstretched from under her hospital gown, almost on display.

Her hair…it was chestnut again, curled thick and soft to the touch.

Grandmother.

I went to her to kiss her hello and noticed she had a plate stacked with cinnamon raisin bread, toasted with butter. There were several bags of this bread strewn across the bed as well. I asked her who made this all for her…she looked up away from me, almost defiantly, and said she did it all herself. Insulted I should even ask such a question. Then she demanded that I run to the store immediately and get her a loaf of white bread and cheese, she was craving a toasted cheese sandwich…I just stood in the doorway, looking at her beautiful self, feeling very puzzled…a combination of the old and new Grandmother…the forever young and the old woman living a life right now she would never want for herself.

I shake my head yes to her demands, and then feel a presence behind me on the patio…it a grown man with two small children. He is holding them close, gently gripping their shoulders, almost protectively. I cannot see their faces, the glare of the sun blocks my vision. Grandmother yells to me to quickly go make some of them the delicious toast she is enjoying at that moment.

Somewhere in all my dreamy confusion, I appear instantly with a white and pink china plate stacked high with steamy cinnamon raisin toast.

And then I woke up…it was over but the feelings are still with me as I type this.

My Grandmother has been rapidly declining mentally and physically over the past four years since my Grandfather passed away. She is always happy for the most part, and occasionally knows some or one or all of us. Some days she is feisty, and some days we cannot even wake her to get a greeting out of her.

I say goodbye each and every time I visit her. I just feel like she is kind of already gone, not because of the Alzheimer’s entirely, but I really feel like she is “one foot in/out the door” so to speak…she talks of times and people in her past, as if it were happening now. She sees people who are gone, and when she speaks of our Grandfather, it is as if he is sitting there with her…

I loved my dream last night

I saw her in all of her beauty and sassiness again. I felt loved and peaceful…I have been having many dreams of my Grandparents lately, and I know they will be together again…someday soon.

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The Choice.

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The Choice.

Warning…many will take offense. Some will hate me. Or pretend they do not know me anymore. Some will even pity me…

That is THEIR choice.

It was about ninety degrees on June 1, 1991. It felt like 110 in the shade as I lay on the steaming hot pavement in my own vomit…retching. Sobbing.

I will never forget this day…ever.

It was a few weeks before I was barely about to graduate high school. I had just fooled them all at my senior prom. I could have kept up the facade for a little longer…but I didn’t have a choice, I was told this was the only way out…

As an adult now, I realize I did have a choice.

But when you run away from home, or get kicked out and are reliant on others…you feel like you have no choice.

I woke up on the table after being sedated, in the midst of it all…the loud noise, the lights, the people hovering over me.

I believe that is the moment that haunts me the most…waking, even groggy still from sedation, knowing what was happening. More so than the cowardly way I slumped in my chair in the waiting room before it began…wondering if the others were feeling the same way as me.

I cried myself to sleep in the back of the car, begging for fresh air to cool my face, covered in dried vomit and tears.

Somehow I managed to make it to my bed, and awakened hours later…pain so bad I could tear my own heart out…not physical pain so much, but because it was my heart that was aching…

And the empty feeling in my belly. I clawed at my stomach screaming to make this madness stop. To undo what had happened.

Next thing, I am given a Valium…out cold again.

I was in a dark place mentally back then…before this all happened.

It was literally my first time…and then I was pregnant. A senior in high school. An aspiring fashion designer. A child who just wanted her divorced parents’ love and for them to stop fighting.

Well, this got their attention alright. They found out a while later…they shed no tears for me…just more anger and pain. I was ashamed. I kept my story to myself… I was absolved of my sin by a priest after my family found out. Time to forget it forever…put it behind me.

SHAME.

I live with this every second of every day.

I couldn’t put it behind me. Even as life moved on.

But in no way shape or form, did life fill the void in my belly...in my heart.

Did I want a child at eighteen? No…I had no clue what I would have done. But there is not one day since June 1, 1991 that I do not think of him…I know in my heart it was a boy.

I swore God would never allow me to be happy again…my Catholic guilt growing larger everyday.

God was good enough to let me heal enough to graduate and temporarily mend things with my family…but I knew that he would punish me. The little girl in me said I would never be a mommy because of what I did that day.

Almost five years later, I was granted a gift. After almost losing my baby and  my life during my pregnancy, God gave us a beautiful baby girl…I lost an ovary through it all, but I felt like I had truly been absolved…that there was a God and that I had to suffer a little to finally appreciate what I had.

And I did. Life was challenging then, but I had this beautiful baby and thought I would never have any more after losing an ovary and all that my body went through to deliver her safely. And yet I was given a second chance… 

I had to embrace it.

Three more amazingly beautiful children later and almost nineteen years of a happy marriage with a husband who has heard this all and held me as I cried over and over, and I feel like God forgave me…but why am I still not forgiving myself? Is it that Catholic guilt or shame? Or simply because it truly wasn’t my choice?

I cringe everytime I read an article on this topic. I cry. I mourn. I had a choice. Maybe I made the wrong one, but my life would be very different today if I had fought back and said to them that  I had a choice in the matter.

He didn’t love me…and I didn’t love him.

Yes I was a fool…but I was just looking for love after years of being lost and made a terrible mistake.

I will never tell anyone to rid the world of abortion… There. I said it.

Abortion.

It is an ugly word. Our world has made it ugly.

But what about that girl who is raped or molested?

What about the girl like me?

What would I have done?

I would have been sent packing to live on the streets pregnant and alone…fearful of what my very catholic family would say…or maybe worse…maybe I would have killed myself or attempted to from the deep depression and shame that was setting in.

Or maybe turn to adoption…but that was never an option for some reason and I was too naive to think these things through as an eighteen year old fighting the world and everyone in it.

Do I believe that maybe I could have beaten the odds?

Found the strength to fight back and keep my child?

Found a way to finish school and pursue my dreams as an artist?

Make it work?

Hell yeah…I thought that an hour ago, and last week, or last summer when I almost had a nervous breakdown about the lie I have lived with for so long.

I know girls that did beat the odds and persevered alone with their child…yes, they have struggled to make ends meet and finish school and find love again while raising a child alone…

Some will say I gave up too easily.

Shame on me.

But even more shame for hiding it…it is part of who I am…he was part of me and will forever be my fifth child…my first. I ache for him, as any mother would over a child lost…even more so when I see how cruel life can be and take our loved ones away in an instant.

So why voluntarily do it?

My eighteen year old self said she did it because it was the only way out and because they told her to.

My Forty-something year old self says it was the shame and guilt that the scared girl couldn’t bare to face.

She did though. Faced all of it…

Took countless blows to the chin, and then when the dust settled, tucked her dirty little secret away…until now.

We all have choices in this life…and we have to live with the consquences each and everyday.

I feel that hot pavement from that day on my face twenty-four years ago like I  am living that moment now…it was a choice…one that will follow me like a dark cloud till the day I die.

Judge me, hate me, pray for me.

Do whatever you like. But I will not lie or hide this part of me anymore. My older girls know my story now. As a lesson to make better choices…but no one should make those choices for you…no one.

Today I honor the love that I lost, and all that I have gained…most importantly…

Truth.

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I smile today…I am owning this. My first ever tattoo…proudly wearing a badge forever of all my babies…four born, one lost, and one gained.

Hugs.

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Hugs.

I am a Mother of six.

I carried five, gave birth to four, and love one unconditionally as one of my own.

I am not perfect. 

I am, on most days, a scarred and bitter person. I can hide it well…sometimes.

But on this very day, all that matters, is that I am a Mother.

I feel urged to write this to a younger confused generation, with too much information at their fingertips, not enough social interactions, and way too many emotions pent up that seem to bring anger and resentment to the world around them…

And not enough hugs.

We had dinner the other night with some family, and ended it with me bringing up the “Twenty Second Rule” of hugs…which gloriously ended in enough hugs to make all of us leave the restaurant with content bellies and warm hearts with big smiles on our faces…

Because it works.

But is not happening enough anymore in our world…we are all guilty of too much “me” time…maybe grabbing some extra Facebook time, or binging on a favorite t.v. series, or spa and gym days…

Don’t get me wrong, these are all essential for us to stay mentally healthy and balanced within ourselves…but some days, we may overlook something…our duties as parents…we need to put our needs aside for even just twenty seconds…

I challenge you…PLEASE…go to your child right now and tap them on the shoulder, as they are staring at a cellphone, t.v. or laptop screen….and jolt them out of this…

Tell them you need to talk. As they rise to go to talk with you, take them in your arms and hold them…for twenty seconds…or more…then tell them you are sorry…that no job, or t.v. show or phone call is more important than this…holding this child in your arms and remembering all those moments that brought you here…tell them you love them, and that they can tell you anything, no matter what…

Mothers…we come in all shapes and sizes, colors, genders and no matter what..our babies need us. Our duty is to them right now, and forever…

Today is a day for our children to celebrate us, but without them, there would be nothing to celebrate…So grab your babies/toddlers/teens/grown children/fur babies and tell them you love them and start squeezing.

Twenty second hugs are good enough.

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One Year.

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One Year.

One year is a long time.

365 days.

8,760 hours.

525,600 minutes.

And so on.

That IS a lot of time.

But what if?

What if someone said…that is all you’ve got left…

That’s it.

Well, then I am counting seconds too…31,556,926 seconds.

Each and every thousand of them.

And hoping that there is more than that…but if not? What would I do?

Well, knowing my weepy self…cry for atleast 12 of those hours…maybe steal a few more.

But on the hour I DO decide to stop feeling sorry myself, I will hopefully realize this…

I was just given  a gift.

My greedy butt was just given the Golden Ticket.

I would now know that I just wasted 43,200 seconds feeling sorry for myself. That I had places to go and people to see, and could have been half way to Disney with my family in the amount of time I spent blowing my nose and wiping my tears away.

So now that I have realized the Gift that has been given to me…the all-knowing…the fortune teller…the life sentence…whatever I compare it to…it came into my life for reason.

I will be THAT person…

I will travel, snuggle, kiss, hug, love hard, clean my house less, laugh more, get sad less.

I can be sad, but why? I know that each snuggle with my babies or husband means even more now…I should have known that before…but I didn’t…who truly does?

Those giggles or games of hide and seek with my kids, or seeing their faces light up one more time when they see Mickey Mouse or their favorite Princess at Disney, or when we pack up for a long full day at the beach…and then they all collapse…a sweet deep sleep after fresh sea air, hearts and bellies content and so full of love, and happiness. And I would stand over them, and be able to smile…and maybe shed another tear or two…as I realize that these are the moments that count…making memories of joy and happiness.

And even when the bad days might come, reminding my self that the Golden Ticket was given to me for a reason…

That I need to make amends…fight it out and make up…stop giving twenty second hugs…make them forty.

This is my fantasy plan of one year.

It is isn’t fair for anyone to ever receive that message…when someone has hopes and dreams and deserves to see them unfold just like any other person does…but it does happen.

I promise myself, that if it ever does…

I WILL let myself cry at all the things I may miss out on.

Then smile…and realize that every second counts… I will make the most of each and every moment...all 31556926 seconds of them.

A Few Good Men.

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I don’t usually write two posts in one day, but  I just have to.

There are a few good men in my life. I won’t name any names, but they know who they are. Well, except for my three year old, since he cannot read this yet…but he knows I adore him.

We have faced some serious challenges recently…but none nearly as bad as some of my favorite men…

I love them. They love me…unconditionally. Some may not be blood, but I have grown to realize this does not matter anymore…it is who sticks around, even when things get tough, that matter most.

And they matter…a lot.

It is not my journey or my story to tell for these men, but all I can do is let them know this…

I love them…I really and truly love them with all of my heart.

They watched me grow from a dark and confused young woman, into a frazzled and loving mother and wife.

They have listened to me cry, and fight and whine and suffer.

They have hugged me and loved me even when they thought I was wrong.

There may be distance between us now…but only in miles, not feelings.

I love them with all of my heart for loving me, and my husband and my family unconditionally.

They are good, good solid men.

They have been hurt, but continued to stand tall. They have loved and lost, but still stand strong in their hearts…

I will love these men till the day I die…

My little guy has a handful of amazing role models and some big shoes to fill…but he can do it…

He is learning well.

Seeing The Light.

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Seeing The Light.

After a tough couple of weeks with a ton up’s and down’s, I needed to see the light.

I did it again. I have been told not to. Over and over again, yet I continue I break the rules.

It is so bad for me, but I had to.

The darkness was creeping in, making me crazy.

I couldn’t bare it anymore, and so I just ignored all good judgment…and decided to find the light again.

My mother helped me…she is my accomplice of sorts.

She knew I shouldn’t either, but said I was in serious need of seeing the light…I never listened to mother…until today.

I opened up a can of worms by doing it…I thought wow I am going to pay the price…I usually literally do pay the price, but in the event of trying to save myself some time and money, I opened up that can…or should I say box.

I boxed it. Yep. Good old boxed hair color.

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I did it a few months ago, after years of going to a very trusted salon, but ran out of time before my cousin’s wedding…I was not a happy girl. It was awful and I swore every penny I ever spent at the salon was worth it, to not have to make such a terrible mistake again.

And yet again…I let life take over with one thing after another (all very valid reasons as some of my loyal readers will attest to), and bought another…I needed to see the light…badly.

Man oh man, do those roots show…fast.

They bring with them, my dark mood…I do not like being a brunette…or showing that my hair is getting a little gray here and there…I know I should just let it be free to be what it wants, but I just love being blonde…the lightness brightens my mood…

my day.

Because of how moody I felt when I woke up this morning-even on this beautiful sunny day, after dreading another day of darkness taking over- I said no way.

Nope, not doing this for one more day.

Did I save myself some time? Heck no…did I save some money? Heck yeah..

Did it turn out okay after the last fiasco? Thank goodness…yes!

And now my slightly superficial self will take my glowing blonde locks back out into the world without shame, and  go sit out in the sun on this beautiful Spring day, and enjoy yet another day with the light all around me…

Regret.

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Regret.

We all have a few. I may have more than I thought as I ponder this…

We arrived at the college where our oldest plans to go in the fall. It just so happens to be where I briefly attended after high school.

As I entered the building the flashbacks started. Where I would enter the building after taking the train in to the city several times a week. The spot where I would chain smoke cigarettes before being trapped inside all day in classes. The smell of the stairwell…sensory overload.

I screwed up...big time. I left this college really and truly before my journey had ever even begun. I mentally kick myself every time I think about my decision to walk away.

I dreamed BIG. Since I could remember as a little girl,  I had paper and pencil in hand…sketching. Hiding from life in my room or in the car or wherever I was allowed to have paper and pencil at the ready.

My Aunt was visiting my Grandparent’s once at the same time my family was, and she handed me a sketch pad and charcoal pencils…I will never forget that moment…she noticed.  I was talented. I loved everything about art and drawing and anyone who spoke “art” speak.

Which brings me back to college. I have this amazingly gifted Uncle who also noticed my talents. Whenever I was with him, he gave me pointers, lessons and even later in my high school and post high school years, jobs with him in the city or at his company. And he was the one who inspired my sorry excuse for a lazy teenage self, to pursue my dreams. He took me to an open house at this college, from which he was an alumni.  I fell in love immediately.  My dreams were right in front of me…eat, sleep, breath art.

I loved everything about it. My classes, new friends,  being in the city. My creative side was surprising me…bursting with talent I didn’t even know possible.

Then I walked away.

If I say I regret this momumental decision,  that would be saying I regret my life now…my husband, my kids,  my choices.

In a parallel universe that dumb girl went back. She finished school, immersed in all things art.

She wrote thank you letters to that Aunt who noticed…and to the mentor/Uncle who meant so much to her…and still does.

She became who she dreamt of being…but without that husband or those kids.

She is happy in that world of art…

But so is this girl. This girl who made a life out of bad choices, relationships and bad karma. She turned all that bad stuff into something really really good.

She is still creative in a frazzled, mommy sort of way…but all in all, made a different dream come true.

She found a prince charming who built her a castle to protect her and their clan from all that bad stuff. She found happiness and love when even in her darkest days, seemed impossible…

Regrets?

She has none.

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