Simple

This year for Christmas is going to be very different then previous years. We are not having a large Christmas tree we are not spending hundreds of dollars on presents, we are going very simple this year.

IMG_20141216_101453I have not spent more than $20 on anyone that I have purchased gifts for this year except for the 12 days of Christmas I am doing for J.

Some of that is because I have been heavily couponing and deal hunting the last few months but it has also been because I have realized that what I truly love about the holidays is not all the gifts and the spending it is the people that we get to spend it with.

This year is going to be hard enough with Willow being with her father and not getting to set out Santa’s cookies with her and seeing her bright eyes and seeing what Santa brought her this year. But all in all it is going to be a great holiday, we are having a few people at our house and we are going to spend the day enjoying each others company while eating and drinking and maybe some Christmas movies and music will make the cut.

Like I said earlier I am doing the 12 days of Christmas for J: I put it all together in about a half an hour but he seems to be getting a kick out of all the fun little things he gets each day.

So far this is what he has received:

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I think overall we make everything a lot more complicated than it needs to be; people come into stores demanding that they need this or need that but in all reality if you took out all of those things that they think they need I think that people would have a less stressed and better holiday than they do now.

This year I have decided to put my health before the presents, the cooking, the cleaning and know that my family and friends will understand and love what they get from us regardless. There is no need to stress over the little things when in all reality when it does not happen no one is going to notice except you so stop sweating the little things and sit back and enjoy your holiday… simply.

Ready for a change

J and I have been talking a lot about life and what is next and I think finally came to the conclusion that we would love to have some more spare money laying around… but heck who wouldn’t?!

So we have been completing tiny surveys and little applications like shopkicks, swag bucks, survey mini and springboard to potentially get some gift cards or a little extra cash for fun stuff. Is there any apps or websites that you use or recommend?

With all of these sites (not being on any of them all too long) I have made a significant amount of money for only spending 30 seconds to a minute of time doing things with them.

I am also looking at potentially going back to school or maybe looking at a career change… but lets not get too ahead of ourselves. Changes like that scare the crap out of me but it is always fun to wonder and think what if.

FamilyOn a fun positive note we got our Christmas photos taken at the beginning of the month and they should be ready to pick up in a couple of days. I kind of wish they would have given me the envelopes early so I could have had that done before the cards arrived but hey not everyone thinks and is as OCD as I am. Like buying Christmas forever stamps for the cards and when the lady tried to give me plane forever stamps I told her I did not want them if I could not have them holiday themed :)

I also officially hate being an adult because of the dentist. I spent my day off at work at the dentist and then my only two days off next week will be spent at the dentist as well. If you see me after all my dental work on Wednesday I may not be in the best mood since between the two days I will be having a lot of dental work preformed including all of my wisdom teeth taken out…

So please excuse me while I become a drooling medicated mess that only eats soup and drinks sprite.

50/50

Divorce and custody is a challenging battle not only when it comes to agreement but also after they agreement is made living with that decision.

I’m not going to tell you that it is easy because in no way is it easy but if life was easy then we would be bored and have no challenge.

Did I want to “my family” to be officially broken? No not at all but I also don’t want to be living a life that I am not happy in.

Deciding to get a divorce with my soon to be ex husband was not an easy decision to make but in the long run it was the right decision to make.

I am a much happier person and J and I have made an amazing life together and I look forward to continue to build our future together.

These months away from my daughter are extremely tough and I have many days of tears throughout that time but I am thankful for the technology of video chat and the commitment that my ex and I have to keep the communication open no matter where she is.

I am extremely thankful for J and all the support he gives me and Willow when she is here and when she is with her dad.

I love that I found a man that is so caring, loving, generous and trustworthy and that we can keep open communication in our relationship about everything. He is my night and shining armor.

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As I sit on a plane on my way home from bringing Willow to her dad I just try and stay positive. I know she is in good hands with her father and his family and now we have made a “schedule” on when to video chat to make it easier on both of us which I think will be helpful for us and Willow as well.

She knows she can call whenever she wants but to have specified times that we will always talk will be nice.

Well now it is time to get off the plane. Have a fantastic night everyone!
XOXO

Emotional

Today has been a very emotional day… and yes by that I mean I cried.

I tried to hold it back and not cry in front of Willow but I did and then I thought about it and I am glad that she can see me show healthy emotions.

Willow: “Mom why do you have tears on your face”

Me: “Mommy is sad”

Willow: “Why are you sad mommy, is it because you are going to miss me”

Me: “Yes Willow mommy is going to miss you very much”

-Then we both had some crying snuggle time-

On a positive note Willow and I get to have a fun plane ride this evening and get to hang out with one of my best friends whom is going to pick us up from the airport.

I also received official confirmation that a date has been set for my divorce!!

If you are in the area on January 9th I invite you to come have a drink with me!

I am glad J and I get to take our next step to the future and he does not have to be dating a “married” woman. I know that when I finally told him that I was legally married when I knew our relationship was going to last that he was not the happiest that he was dating a married woman but he has stuck through it for over a year and I am so thankful for that.

Well I am off to pack and clean up before our flight!

Power of words.

Words are powerful and they can knock someone down and bring someone up in a matter of seconds, I have now been 100% more aware of the music that is playing off my spotify account or on the radio in my car because Willow is listening to all of it! She now not only repeats the words she hears but has a lot more understanding about what she is saying and that scares me to death.

I don’t listen to music with every other word a swear word but I do listen to songs that I now realize I do not want my daughter to be getting the message they are putting out there…

“I don’t wanna go to school
I just wanna break the rules”

“Can’t go home alone again
Need someone to numb the pain”

“I wish that I could be like the cool kids
‘Cause all the cool kids
They seem to fit in
I wish that I could be like the cool kids
Like the cool kids”

All of these songs are playing on the main radio stations so as soon as I turn on the radio I need to be aware or I need to decide to just play pre-made playlists in the car.

Today Willow and I ran some errands and she told me at Lowes that her butt was too big and she kept repeating it until she made herself cry even though I kept telling her that she was perfect and to not say that about herself.

She is growing up way too fast to the point that I can see insecurities and care what people think about her popping out already and she is WAAAAAAY too young for that. I want her to be able to enjoy life and not have to worry about any of that yet.

Willow&IThose of you who know Willow know that she is a gorgeous little girl. She gets complement everywhere we go either about how gorgeous her hair is, her ice blue eyes or how well she speaks.

Hearing her talk about herself in a negative way at 4 years old breaks my heart.

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No matter if you have little ones in your life know that what you say can make or break someone.

Especially this Holiday shopping season know that when you are rude or mean to someone it can potentially effect their entire day or work shift.

I am going to spend 99% of my shift tomorrow on bringing people up- either it be customers or fellow co-workers. Yes working on Thanksgiving SUCKS, but I am going to make the best of it and have the goal of everyone that I interact with I make them smile.

I hope everyone has a fantastic Thanksgiving and gets to spend some of it relaxing with the ones they love.

Oh and don’t forget… I am thankful for you!! <3

Happy Birthday Willow Rae!!!

IMG_4603It feels like just yesterday that I was in the hospital being told (after 48 hours of labor) that I would be having an emergency C section.

Willow 9-2011Willow 4-20114 years ago today Willow Rae was born.

Willow 5-2014There is no way that I could ever tell her how much I love her. How much my heart aches, stretches and smiles watching her grow.

??????????Four years of laughter— her blonde head tipped back and her sunny spirit released with a gorgeous smile. Each year, each day, each moment she blooms more beautifully, drawing me in, teaching me more.

FamilyI will never forget this year. This year has been full of adventure. Adventures that neither of us could ever have imagined.

fallShe does not know what she has done for me yet but someday I will tell her about the day that she showed me how to live life, how she showed me how to enjoy the little things like leaves falling off the trees and the joy of going to get the mail everyday.

talkI hurt this year because I thought I failed her this year. I thought I failed to give her something that I wanted her to have but now I know I have given us both exactly what we needed.

planeI will never forget this past year. How through most of it she held my hand. She brought me hugs and kisses on days that I needed them the most.

IMG_2199It was such a special year because Willow is such a special girl. She is compassionate, spirited and independent. She is witty, silly, caring and kind. She is my sunny Willow and every dream I have had my entire life about the little girl I wanted someday just can’t compare to the greatness she turned out to be.

Willow 4-2014I want to thank Willow Rae for loving. laughing, and dancing everyday. Happy 4th Birthday Willow Rae! Mommy loves you!!!!

3lbs to 32lbs

Today is world Prematurity Day. This day being in November has a lot of meaning to me because Willow will officially be 4 on Saturday. Looking at her now you would never have guessed that she was 3lbs when she was born and 2 months premature.

IMG_4603It feels like just yesterday that we were driving to the hospital everyday to sit with Willow in the NICU. There was a lot of crying, a lot of worrying, and a lot of fear. Fear of the unknown, worrying that it was my fault that I did not do enough to prevent her being so premature, and constant crying roller coaster of the ups and downs of her health. With one moment her being on the right track and the next her going back for more testing.

The day Willow was born was one of the scariest days of my life because everything was so uncertain and I had no idea what was going to happen and some days I could only think of the worst. The NICU staff and my favorite nurse Jean made the experience as good as it could be but being released from the hospital and your child not coming home with you and going home without her was such a horrible feeling.

IMG_4605Through the NICU experience I was taught how to check her IVs, put the feeding tube in when she pulled it out, how to feed her through a feeding tube and how to check if she digested the food. Sometimes I was afraid to touch her. She was so fragile, the first time I held her was magical and terrifying at the same time.

IMG_4604Every parent that has experienced a child in the NICU goes through a completely different experience but each and every one of them is one of the most difficult things in the world. I stand by and applaud each an every parent that stands by their child through all of it.

IMG_4606If it weren’t for those fantastic doctors, nurses, staff and fellow parents of NICU babies I would not have my amazing 4 year old daughter or my fantastic (almost 31 year old) boyfriend. I can not thank J’s mom enough for raising such a fantastic man and sticking through the tough childhood he had with being so premature as well.

I can not speak for other parents experiences that they had with their kids in the NICU but I can say that I am so thankful for all of the support that has come from fellow parents, other NICU kids and babies and the staff that treats premature children.

WillowI can not thank all of them enough! I have a beautiful almost 4 year old daughter that you would never have guessed that she was just 3lbs 4 years ago!

No matter if your child was premature or if you know someone who was premature as a child; tell them today how much you appreciate them today. Life is way too short and there is way too much negativity in the world today. Try looking at today in the most positive light that you possibly can. Take a negative or not so great experience today and try to make it a positive one.

I have been wearing them all week and I will continue to wear them the rest of the month; I am wearing my Children’s Miracle Network bracelet and my Ovarian Cancer bracelet as well to remind me to not take the little things for granted. I have been so blessed in my life with support that I do not want to take it for granted now. Thank you to everyone that has stood behind me in Willow and I’s life. I can not thank you all enough for all you have done.

Lots of love!!

Black… Thursday?

I wanted to start by saying that I have worked in retail most of my career life. There are parts about it that I love and there are parts that I wish would die. I do not plan to work in retail the rest of my life I have some different plans for my future but regardless there are A LOT of people that have made retail a very successful career for themselves.

This blog post is for not only all my fellow retail workers and service industry worker but also for the people that never work weekends or holidays and expect all of us retail/service industry folk to be there when you are off work to come and shop at all of those retail stores.

I took this quote from one of my past managers whom I look up to and I use it every year because to me it becomes more true each year:

“If you go shopping please remember this: the people working at these retail establishments had much less time with their families than you, they likely make less money than you, and whatever issue you have was probably out of their control. Please remember to treat retail employees and service industry employees with respect.”

blackA lot of places are opening on Thanksgiving and I feel lucky this year that my place of work is closing for a little bit and then re-opening on black Friday but regardless I will not be able to have “normal” Thanksgiving dinner with my family… and my family will be at my home for Thanksgiving this year. Thank goodness I have a very supportive boyfriend and family and we will make it work out to the best of our ability but it still is not fun and for many retail people they are not as lucky as me because some will not be able to see their family at all.

There is so much joy during the holidays but with that there is so much stress and people usually come into the stores and show the “bad” to the ones that they don’t know like us retail workers and leave all the joy that they have for the holidays for the people that they love.

99% of the time the thing you are yelling at us about at the store- there is NOTHING that we can do for you. A lot of the things people get upset about is out of our control. I will bend over backwards for someone that does not start off the conversation with F***, B****, etc. I work on the phones but also in front of customers at my job and I have heard it all! You are not going to surprise me with the names that you come up with and frankly the more names you call me or inappropriate language you decide to use in the conversation the less and less that I am going to help you.

You telling me that I am going to loose your business because I am not going to give you something for free or you are upset with me because you bought something 3 years ago and now it does not work and you did not buy a protection plan and now our service center wants to charge you to do a diagnostic on that item and I am telling you that it is a valid charge that I can not refund to you. Get over it.

Views of Early Black Friday Shopping at a Best Buy StoreDo we stand behind you for the life of your product? YES we do but with that you need to work with us and protect that item with a protection plan or pay the service fee. We are a business. We can not give you everything for free. If we did that we would not be in business.

All in all I want everyone to take from this- Treat everyone the way you want to be treated or better yet…. if you would not say whatever you think you are going to say when you are upset to your mother than keep it to yourself.

I hope everyone has a fantastic Thanksgiving and I hope that everyone is able to see a little bit of their family this holiday season.

Hi my name is Betty.

All in all I want to be a better ME.

A lot of women may not feel the same but this is what I want:

I want to be my own version of “Betty Crocker”

I want to be the mom that all of my kids friends want to come to our house after school and stay over for dinner and sleep overs. I want to be the mom that always has something up her sleeve wither it be throwing paint filled egg shells at paper in the park or spontaneously having movie night outside in the backyard.

I want to be the mom that my daughter looks up to, I want to be organized, creative and the planner yet can still go with the flow kind of mom.

I want to still have a career but be able to spend a lot of my time with the family.

I want to be the mom that cooks a home cooked meal 99% of the time and the whole family sits down at the dinner table and eats together.

I want to be the person in the family that is the destination house for Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years.

I want to be able to have a group of girlfriends that want to come over and have a relaxing night at my house, drink some wine and maybe pretend we are gathering for “book club”.

It is so funny when people think or say that I am a spontaneous person because I am quite the opposite. I want to learn to be more spontaneous and go with the flow. It has become a lot easier within the relationship that I am with J but still with that I am constantly planning and thinking about what is next. Sometimes it is so bad that I have dreams at night and plan in my sleep; not just for the next day but for the next month, next year, etc.

I strive for perfection and sometimes in my eyes I fall short but in the other hand J thinks those same things are the most amazing things. When I feel like I have failed J looks at it as a success but he is not in my crazy head seeing all the plans I had for it in the first place which all in all is probably a good thing.

There are not enough hours in a day; like today I had the whole day off… and I have not gotten out of the sweats that I was wearing this morning. I did get a few loads of laundry done, the dishes done, made a healthy lunch for Willow and I, and did some paperwork that needed to be done. But then you go into my crazy planning head and see that in my head I have failed; I had a lot more on my list that I had planned to do today and I know I can still get a few more of those things accomplished this evening but it is already 5 o clock and I am not going to have enough time or energy to complete all of it.

IMG_4503I try not to be too hard on myself and think about the positives; I got to have a bunch of snuggle time and color time with Willow and we got to spend some enjoyable time outside. The photo is her pretending to swim on the porch (with dolphins).

I spent some time writing this blog which to me is always an enjoyable thing and this evening I plan to spend some time as a family and hang out and eat dinner together.

Don’t get me wrong I am a very happy person and I am happy of the life that I have right now but there is always something that I am looking to change or improve in some way.

So who wants to start a “book club” with me and come and sit, chat and drink wine?

Well I should probably think about what I am making for dinner this evening… Have a fantastic Tuesday and Happy Veterans day to all who have served!

New chapter

I am so ready to be in this new chapter in life and I can not wait for these road blocks to stop or move out of the way so that I can move on with my life and continue to grow my little family here in Arizona. I am looking forward to be “single” with the most amazing boyfriend.

I have gotten so many looks and whispering behind my back about how “horrible” of a person I am for being “married” and in a relationship with another man but you have to realize that the man that I am “married” to; him and I have not been together or in the same household for over 2 years now and the relationship that I am in now has been going on for a little over a year.

The boyfriend and I have become so close over these last 12 months I can’t even explain it. We have gone through so much and all of it has brought us closer and closer.

There is so much that I want for my future and the future of my family that we have so much excitement heading our way.

This move to Arizona has been a great start to the new chapter for us and we are loving it more and more everyday.

IMG_4497Today seeing all of the photos that are posted in WI on facebook with the snow makes me even more happy about our move here; as I am sitting outside on my porch drinking my coffee and writing this blog in 84 degree weather!

datenightJ and I were even talking about the possibility of putting a tv outside because he loved the date night I set up for our anniversary night with dinner and a movie outside.

The one thing that sucks about moving is the people that I moved away from. I really do miss a lot of my friends and I feel like I have not done that great of a job connecting with them and I want to try and figure out a way to still stay connected. So if there is anyone that feels the same way hopefully when can figure out a weekly or biweekly call, video chat or something to stay connected. I know that I need to do a better job at that with not only my friends but my family as well and I want to make an effort to make that happen.

I have not written in a while and wanted to let all of you know that the challenges are going alright. The running is the one that I am lacking in mostly but I am doing a lot more walking and I am keeping up with the wall sits and planks and water as well. The photos I have posted daily on facebook so I am keeping up with that but it helps that I have a friend that is doing it as well; helps me keep it up! I ran out of food from my crazy day of cooking so I was planning on doing some planning today.

Well off to go and do some adult stuff… paperwork, laundry, dishes, etc….. great plans for my day off… but it has to be done!