Father of the Year

When I first met Carlos I knew right from the beginning that his two boys were a very important and permanent part of his life. He always amazed me at how well he could care for them and they love him so much. I’ve picked up over the past year that, as a woman, caring for kids is almost built into us naturally, but for men I believe it takes extra effort to be a good father. 


Carlos went through a divorce which left him in the throws of a custody battle. People around him would tell him that he wasn’t going to win, the mother always wins and he would be stuck never seeing his kids and paying thousands in child support. It was a very long stressful and sometimes frightening experience for him, being faced with the chance that the two most important people in his life may be taken away from him.


Carlos is pretty much one of the best fathers I know. He knows how to cook, he cleans, he’s very smart, can fix or build pretty much anything, a hard worker and above anything else his family always comes first. I’m done bragging, ladies he’s not for sale. :)  So many fathers are not given the recognition they deserve and due to tradition the mother is automatically seen as the primary care giver. In some case this may be true but not all families are built this way. 


Despite what others would tell him, he fought for his kids. Through the tears, the stress, the frustration and the thousands in court fees he fought and he won! Not only did he win 50/50 custody but contingent on a circumstance or two in the next year he is looking at full custody of his kids. 


We both believe in doing the right thing and there were many times Carlos would have to bite the bullet and take the high road or just be patient and trust time. Times are changing and there are many fathers out there who want and deserve to be a part of their children’s lives. I am just so proud of Carlos for going through the hard battle which is such a small price to pay so he can be around his kids forever. #Blessed




The Hiatus

I started this blog back a few years ago when I was going through a very rough transition in my life. Many new things were happening - new job, new apartment, new state, new hurdles - and I needed an outlet to share. Things quickly changed for me when I met this super awesome guy who was beyond anyone I would have ever seen myself with. That is when my world shifted and my hurdles changed once again. 

In the last year I have moved to a new town, I took a very big pay cut, I became a step mom by what almost seems overnight, I fell totally in love with this special guy and my outlook on life and what’s important has since shifted entirely. So far I’ve learned that life IS chaos completely and that embracing it is what makes it fun. 

I found it hard to write. Either because it felt like the time was never available to me or the desire was dead. I was learning how to take care of kids when I’ve only been a dog mom. I moved into a house that had been neglected for so long and needed some serious TLC. I started living paycheck to paycheck which made me self-conscious about who I was and my capabilities. I had adjusted to a mainly friendless life given that I live too far away from them all and my job schedule, at the time, made it impossible to maintain any sort of friendships. If I could describe the last 365 days of my life in one word I believe it would be something like “AAAAHHHH” or more formally - “pandemonium”. 

But I’m back! I have so much I want to share about everything - failed marriages, raising someone else’s kids, being so far from family and friends, trying to be everything for everyone including yourself - the list goes on. I’m literally running scared at this point in my life, but since I keep waking up every morning I might as well do something with all this crazy. :0) (Stay Tuned) 

Maine - I Love You!

  Carlos and I have made our second trip to Greenville, ME and of course it was nothing short of amazing. The drive there is beautiful and relaxing and as soon as you arrive you instantly understand why people love this place. We stayed in the same cabin that we stayed in our first time and it was like we had finally come home. The cellphone service usually cuts out within the first few hours, which we only care because we enjoy streaming our music while we relax on the deck. Otherwise, you wouldn’t care that you are, in a sense, unreachable to anyone else you know.


  For Carlos and I, we like to reflect on the past year, future plans, and present issues. We talked a bunch about buying land up there one day and putting a small vacation home there. Maybe one day we will even live there. We had dinner at a local restaurant right on the lake; even with the rain it was still such a romantic and peaceful meal. We made a friend at a local café store and spent time in the antique shop where I purchased our moose skull last year for $25.  I even brought my old pup, Hope, to enjoy some rest and relaxation as well. I know the new puppy is wearing her out and she enjoys lying out on the deck and enjoying the fresh air.


  We’ve already made plans to spend New Year’s there but we’re thinking we may sneak up there in the fall as well. There is just no place like it. I think Carlos might have said he loved the place about a million times while we were there. As soon as we got back he started looking at cabins to build and land – this man is seriously in love. :)


  I can’t wait to go back, I could seriously spend every single weekend up there and not think twice about it. Thank you Moosehead Hills for sharing you small piece of heaven with us! <3 


We Went to Vermont

Waturbury Vermont to be exact. With our new busy schedules getting seemingly out of control I had decided we needed a small getaway to regain our energy and some sanity. Additionally, my love turned 30 on Christmas Eve and since that’s not exactly the perfect time to celebrate, we pushed the celebration back on a weekend we would have to ourselves. 


I booked a B&B (Moose Meadow Lodge), which I figured should be interesting since neither myself nor my love had ever stayed at a B&B before. And in all my investigative ways I studied everything about the place and checked the reservation calendar obsessively until the day we left. As luck would have it, we had the entire place to ourselves for the weekend and it was nothing short of amazing. We actually relaxed! We spent both nights in the hot tub, enjoyed a cigar on the front deck, took a steam shower, baked a cake in the beautiful kitchen, and enjoyed beer and late night pizza. We did venture out to the Ben & Jerry’s factory but found we enjoyed the area much better from the comfort of the B&B. It snowed almost the entire time we were there and it was just wonderful. 


Now we’re home and it’s back to business as usual. After all the sleep I’ve acquired over the past 3 days, I have found the time and energy to get all the ornaments off the tree. Our poor tree has been staring at us since New Year and every weekend I say I’m going to take it town….and somehow the time gets filled up with other priorities. Hopefully this weekend will be different. :) 

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When Work Isn't Working Out

January has just arrived and already it is the year of solid decisions. Many had a rather enjoyable 2016 and even more had a rather terrible 2016. Previously I had made a tough decision to go down to part time at my job and within weeks this quickly turned into me deciding to leave altogether. It’s common, especially for me, to hold onto to things that are not helping me if it’s helping someone else in the long run. Needless to say the job was turning me into a terrible person. I even had to admit to myself that I was becoming a monster. I decided to leave and informed my boss of all the whys and that I was currently looking for another job.


The decision actually sucked quite a lot. I felt that I had been brought through here for a reason but I didn’t understand why everything just fell a part right there in front of me. I’m always looking for the underlying message in everything. I question whether I rushed things or whether I was ever really supposed to be there. Maybe it was a sign that the world of dancing, as much as I loved it, just wasn’t for me and this was my attempt to say I tried.


Within a couple days my boss turned to me and said the greatest thing ever. “I’m willing to compromise, I need you and I don’t want you to leave”. We sat behind the desk for about an hour and crunched numbers and ran scenarios until we came up with a plan to get me where I need to be. This had me thinking about how important it is to value yourself.


We generally hold a lot of value in our jobs because it pays our bills and we don’t want to upset the people we work with or for. But how does our jobs value us? In this society we are beat down to nothing everyday. Everywhere we look there is the perfect body you will never achieve, the unrealistic lifestyles that only exists on television, and the constant judgment of the world on our heads for everything we do, think, or say. If you’re looking to wallow in self-pity, you’re no more than a power button away from all the torture you could want.


I deal with fear and failure on a daily basis. All of my new students start out by telling me how terrible they are. They’re preparing me for their failure, they’re preparing themselves for their failure, and they haven’t even stepped out on the dance floor yet. This very thing happens to us everywhere else. We don’t go to the gym because we think we will look stupid or we’re too fat and people will stare at us. We accept a minimal raise and allow supervisors or others to mistreat us and run our lives because we feel that is what we deserve and somehow their status confirms that they are better or smarter than us.


These are all lies. Take an inventory of the things you value most and put them in order. Maybe you have family that you don’t see or spend any time with because you’re always working. Your health is very important and maybe that is lacking because you’re depressed, stressed out, or don’t have the time for yourself.


Here was my scenario: I have this job that is very rewarding and fun. I get to make people laugh, face their fears, and become amazing dancers. I really enjoy my job. But, financially it wasn’t happening for me. I couldn’t pay my bills with what I was making there and this began to put a lot of stress on me. I am a very independent person and when I have to start leaning on others for help I start to have a lot of issues. My relationships were beginning to suffer. I wasn’t seeing my better half hardly at all due to our schedules and when his kids were here it was the same thing. He felt like they were living their own life and I was always working. I felt that way too. Easily I could have said that I have a job and this is just life, but I would be wrong. I had to take a step back and look at the bigger picture. On top of never seeing anyone at home, I was becoming a mean and angry person. So when people did see me I wasn’t a pleasant person to be around. I didn’t want to leave my job but I had to think about the damage that was being done in the long run. I was sacrificing time, I didn’t have any money, I was sacrificing relationships and my sanity all because I enjoyed parts of my job and I didn’t want to disappoint my boss who I know really needed me there.


Don’t be afraid to value yourself. I stepped out on a limb to leave and actually got a better result than I could have expected. If my boss had not stopped me and offered an alternative I still would have been fine in the long run. With a new year comes a new beginning for a lot of people. Don’t be afraid to step out and make the changes and sacrifices you need to so you can be happy where it truly counts.