The Cheese

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Life can be a struggle.  Life can also be a beautiful thing.  I’m going to tell you a story about how a stranger helped turn my struggle into a beautiful thing.  Now, the title of this post may sound a little odd.  It’s strange to see a story about individually wrapped cheese playing a life changing role in someone’s life.  However, it did in mine.  I’ll never look at those little wrapped slices of cheesy goodness the same way.  And it’s not a culinary discovery thing.  It’s a life altering event kind of thing.  Let me explain.

Not everyone in the world has lived their life the way they should.  We all grow up with a mental picture of what we are supposed to do.  We are supposed to graduate high school, graduate college, meet the love of our life, get married, buy a house and have babies.  Well, sometimes this doesn’t happen for all of us.  Sometimes we think that the choice we are making is the right one.  Nobody ever gets married intending to get a divorce.  Sometimes, even though you want to live happily ever after with the person you first marry, it doesn’t happen.  We don’t want this to happen, but for reasons unknown to the rest of the world, it does.  Maybe you try to make it work.  Maybe you fight and fight and fight for it to work, but it doesn’t.  This is ok.  Even when the rest of the world judges you because you aren’t following the Bible the way you should, you are ok.  From all the things I have read and heard, if you believe in God, He will still love you.  Ignore every single person that judges you.  If they post pictures on Facebook about how much better they are because they are not divorced, ignore them.  Nobody knows the roads that you have traveled.  Even if they are ignorant enough to think they do, they don’t.  Only you know in your heart and you need to convince yourself that your mistakes are ok.  Until you do that, you will always feel guilty because society paints a picture of what happily ever after is.  Create your own. 

Now, that being out of the way, I chose a path that was bumpy.  It was bumpy with logs in the way, sticks, boulders, tasmanian devils, tornadoes, you name it, it was on that darn path.  I learned a lot, I’ve grown a lot.  I feel like I know more at 31 than some people that I know do at 65.  I don’t boast about it, I just feel a lot more content with the little things in life.  That rough part of my life was not only mentally rough, but financially rough as well.  Making about $300 a week, I had to support a new baby, a 4 year old, pay $950 at the time for rent and still do the day to day things.  I had way too much pride to apply for food stamps.  Would I have qualified, absolutely.  I just couldn’t bring myself to do it.  I knew there would be a light at the end of the tunnel.  Did I think that light was still 4 years away, nope not at all.  I really hoped it would be a lot sooner, but it wasn’t and that’s ok.

The only thing that I asked for help with was milk, formula and cheese.  There is a program out there called WIC and they give those that struggle checks to buy these things.  Oh my Lord, it pained me to do this.  I cringe even thinking about it now.  Having to step into that office asking for help still makes me tear up.  I used those checks 3 times.  3 times and that was it.  I could have used them another 3-4 years, but I refused.  I could manage even if I went without.  As long as my children were fed and happy, I was happy.  Sometimes my pride is my enemy, but it’s who I am and I would not change that characteristic ever.

After going to a well known department store, I used my checks the first time.  The large blue envelope that carried the checks was humiliating for me.  The cashier called me “a welfare person.”  This wasn’t welfare, but I just teared up and took my baby formula and milk out of the store as fast as I could.  I left there letting her think what she wanted because some people who have these mentalities really are ignorant.  If they only knew that everything was taken from me and I was working as hard as I could, they would understand.  However, some people don’t deserve to hear your story.  I just pray they never find themselves to be in that same situation.  It’s heartbreaking. 

The next week or two when I had the courage (kind of) to go back and try again, I did.  However, I dragged my mom and dad along with me for support and went to a different store.  This was a little market in town next to a church I grew up going to.  I did feel a little bit better in this one.  I grabbed my baby formula, my milk, my cheese and some cereal.  Hiding the gigantic blue envelope, I pulled it out cautiously, trying to make sure nobody could see me.  I wanted to get in and out as quickly as possible.  It was after work, around 5pm and the foot traffic in the store was starting to pick up.  The nice cashier didn’t call me a welfare person.  However, there was a problem and of course, I had about 3 or 4 others in line behind me now.

“Mam, there’s no cheese on this check this week.”  I looked at the check and it wasn’t on there.  I had nothing.  My $20 was just put in my gas tank and my bank account was just drained to go to $1,000 rent.  “Oh.” I say quietly.  My face was as red as a Maine lobster fresh out of the cooking pot.  “I can’t get it this time.  I’m sorry.”  She gave me the most sympathetic look.  My parents couldn’t hear what was going on and I would be dammed if I asked them for a nickel.  They already had helped me so much, even $3 cheese was out of the question.  I gave her the checks and didn’t dare look around.  When people stare at you, it’s like you can feel them burning holes in the back of your head.  Or this could have just been my paranoia.

I went out to the parking lot, speed walking to my parent’s van as fast as I could.  I was so embarrassed.  I just wanted to hug my mom.  All of a sudden I hear, “Mam!”  I just continued getting in the van.  “Mam, mam!”  I turned around.  “Mam, I bought your cheese for you!  I hope you have a good day!”  The stranger handed me the cheese.  I just looked at him.   I thanked him over and over.  That kind stranger purchased the cheese after I left the store and ran it out to me in the parking lot.  After he walked away without saying another word, I just looked at my mom.  I got into the van and I cried.  But, for the first time in a really long time, it was a good cry.  He didn’t judge me.  He wasn’t looking at me like I had chosen the wrong path in life.  He wasn’t there to give me a lecture, he just wanted to help me.  I will be forever grateful.

I don’t even know if that kind stranger still remembers that.  I know I do.  I know I’ll never forget.  Every time I pass that little market, I think of that time.  Because of him, I try at least once a month to pay for the person behind me at the drive-thru.  I try to do little things for people when I can.  Other people may see it as a waste of money, but I see it as a genuine act of kindness.  Why not?  Save your money, yes.  Be responsible, yes.  But, splurge a little too.  Having nothing is not fun.  If you have even a little extra, enjoy it.  You can’t take it to the grave with you.  You can save for big fancy things, but don’t forget to live life too. 

And maybe, if you see someone struggling at the store, buy them their cheese. ūüėČ

“Never look down on someone unless you are helping them up.”  – Unknown

xoxo,

Stacy

 

 

Stay Positive

Stay Positive

Words to remember! Courtesy of Pinterest.¬†¬† Follow me there, my boards are under momand3kiddos.¬† ūüôā Happy Monday!

xoxo,

Stacy

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3 Journals + 3 Kiddos – Lifetime Letters to my Babies

My 3 Super-heroes ūüôā

My 3 kiddos¬†came down the hallway the other day, all 3 giggling like crazy.¬† As my daughter came around the corner, she had a look on her face like she was up to something.¬† Out came my boys, dressed like girls.¬† Now, I’ve posted about my daughter desperately¬†wanting a sister.¬† She dressed her brothers up in my high heels, dresses and wigs.¬† It was so incredibly funny.¬† I took a photo, but also had another thought.¬† Rather than only keeping up with my blog, why not keep track of all of these memories in a journal.¬† A¬†journal to each kiddo.

I picked out a journal for each of my babies.¬† All 3 are unique, just like the 3 of them are unique.¬† I’m going to try to remember some great things that happened during the time I hadn’t been writing to them.¬† As they grow, the journal will grow.¬† I will add more as I need to.¬† I’ll keep it all in a box and will give it to them when the time is right.¬†

I would have loved something like this from my parents!¬† I hope my kiddos¬†will love it one day as well.¬† I especially hope they love hearing about the nosepicker’s¬†class, the wig wearing and the potty training battles.¬† Who knows, maybe their own kids will want to read about the adventures of my 3 kiddos one day.¬† ūüôā

xoxo,

Stacy

No Price For Pride

I am going to say a few things that I am trying desperately to teach my children about the meaning of pride.¬† We have people that are close in our lives that seem to have the world handed to them on a silver platter.¬† It’s so easy to become jealous and envious of them, but there is a huge reason not to yearn for their free money or hand me downs.

Pride.

Without naming names, I can tell you that I know somebody who has the world handed to them.¬† Brand new vehicles, barely used from their parents.¬† A beautiful home, bought and given to them.¬† Money handed out left and right.¬† Even a trust fund to look forward to in the future.¬† The world is put into this person’s hands.¬†

However, by being given the moon for as long as they can remember, they lack appreciation and pride.¬† They have become so used to the hand outs, their hands are always out.¬† More, more, more, but more is never enough.¬† They are never satisfied with the new car.¬† A few months after the newness wears off, it’s time for something more.¬† They are no longer satisfied with their beautiful home, it’s time for a bigger one.¬† Why try to fix it up or make things work when all you have to do is wait for a new one to be handed out?

My children are going to learn to be the opposite of this personality type.  My Fiance and I work so hard for what we have.  We may not have the most beautiful of homes, but we worked for it and pay for it ourselves each month.  We may not have brand new cars, but we worked for the ones we do have.  We may not be rolling in the gold coins, but the little we do get is so very important to us.

Although, some days life would feel so much easier if I had the same hand outs that this person does.¬† No financial worries, no issues, just an easy, breezy life where I can spend an unlimited amount.¬† Who doesn’t dream about that?

¬† But, when I really get thinking about it, I would so much rather say to myself, “Hey, we did this on OUR OWN!¬† No help needed.¬† We did it.”

Pride.  You cannot buy it, but it is worth more than anything money can buy.

xoxo,

Stacy

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Serenityville

¬†Aside from my¬†Fiance and my children, I am surrounded by some extremely strong personality types.¬† From relatives and friends,¬†whom I see quite often, to co-workers and an ex, I am pretty meek comparatively.¬† I went from being the shy girl, to finally speaking up.¬† But, there comes a time where you have to just let some things roll.¬† This I have learned, but sometimes we all don’t get the same life lessons.¬† So, here is what I do to cope.

I go to Serenityville. 

It’s the little place I find in my mind where I kind of wipe all of the negativity out.¬† Whether I need to picture the beautiful landscaping at my favorite parks, to picking up a good book and just losing myself in it, I find Serenityville in my mind.¬†

When I say those around me have strong personalities, sometimes it goes a little bit further than that.¬† Sometimes, I don’t¬†just don’t agree.¬† When I don’t contort to their views,¬†they drill and drill and drill their opinions into my¬†head, hoping I will budge.¬† Maybe in the past I used to, just to appease them.¬† But, I think that once you become a Mom, it is so important to hold on to YOUR beliefs.¬† Not theirs.¬†¬†Do I need to be rude?¬† Not at all.¬† Instead, I tell them I understand what they are saying.¬† When they don’t stop the texting, the calling, the e-mailing,¬†the repetitiveness or the talking, I find my place in Serenityville and hope they move on to the next person.

Why argue?¬† No need to fight.¬† Let it go and find your zone.¬† They can talk and talk all they want.¬† You don’t have to fight back to show that you aren’t backing down.¬† What’s the point?¬† Let them stress themselves out over nothing.¬† They can worry about the stress it puts on them.¬† Don’t let them put it on you too.¬†¬†

Sometimes your best defense in a fight, is the ability to walk away.

Take a deep breath.¬† Find some serenity.¬† Ask yourself if it will matter a year from now.¬† If it will, then stand up for yourself.¬† If it’s¬†just the strong-willed people around you doing what it is they do best, just think of that peaceful place and smile.¬†

The weakest are often those that use their voice and power to try to be heard.  The strong are those who can turn the other cheek.

xoxo,

Stacy 

 

 

 

 

 

Post-Divorce – Become Friends With Your Ex

If you are going through the start of a divorce right now, you are probably wondering, “What is this woman thinking!?”¬† Divorce is painful, hurtful, and while you are going through it, you vow to never speak nicely to your ex again.

But, I promise, in most situations, it does get better.  (NOTE:  This is coming from a person who went through the mother of all divorces, no lie).

I have posted before about how rough my divorce was.¬† We hated each other.¬† We didn’t even like each other before the divorce, let alone during and for a short-time after.¬† But, after almost 4 years and a lot of letting things go, I have learned to be a better person.¬† Not only for the sake of nerves and stomach ulcers, but for the sake of my beautiful daughter.

If I spend the rest of my daughters childhood hating her Dad, what is that going to teach her?¬† If I speak poorly of him in front of her, how is that going to make her feel?¬† Instead, I grew up.¬† I did a lot of growing.¬† I find the good.¬† Do he and I always agree, HECK NO!¬† We still bicker and get on each other’s nerves, but we can try to work things out for her sake.¬†

No child needs to grow up in a home where a lot of fighting happens.  Divorced children do not need to grow up in homes where constant parental bashing happens.  Let them grow up in peace. 

Don’t let your child feel jaded before they even start their lives!

Last night, my daughter and I made a diaper cake for her Dad and his fiance’s baby shower.¬† She is going to feel so proud walking into that shower with something she made for her new baby brother.¬† I don’t even want to imagine me trying to pull her away from the situation.¬† My other two children, ages 2 and 3, even helped roll up some of the diapers.¬† My daughter is and was so excited.¬† Just because her new sibling isn’t any relation to me, it’s her brother.¬† I am so excited and happy for her.¬† And she knows that.

Maybe they didn’t do that for me when I had my two children after the divorce, but it’s ok.¬† I feel great about myself and I feel great about the example I set.¬†

Never follow the lead of anybody else.  Make your own path.  In all aspects of life, even divorce. 

Children watch us.  They learn from us.  Never forget that!

“Let your past make you better, not bitter.”¬† ~ Unknown

xoxo,

Stacy

“Merry Christmas Fatty!” (Learn What Not to Say Before Going Out In Public).

 

When I was 14 years old I had an eating disorder.¬† Somebody had called me fat and I decided I needed to be super skinny like some of my friends.¬† I got down to less than 100 lbs.¬† Let me tell you why I will never do this to myself again.¬† And let me tell you why you shouldn’t either.

I was born with curves.¬† I have had a big booty since I was a child.¬† It’s me.¬† It’s who I am.¬† It must be genetic.¬† For a long time I hated my curves.¬† I thought skinny was the way everybody should look.¬† Society taught me that skinny was beautiful.¬† Guys only liked the skinny girls.¬† You couldn’t be beautiful unless you were a size 2, etc.¬† It was so unhealthy to have felt these things.¬† But, as a young adult, you can’t help it.¬†

As a grown woman, I think society can kiss my voluptuous arse.

Today, one of our outspoken, obnoxious clients said to me, “You can’t be the same girl, my God you have gotten FAT!”¬† A) Who says this?¬† B) This is why you are old and still single, and C) Learn the Golden Rule:

If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.

That little rule is the reason I never speak to this client.¬† My Mother taught me young and for that I am thankful.¬† She also taught me to love myself no matter what I look like.¬† I didn’t a long time ago, but I do now.¬† I’m teaching my¬†children to do the same.

I cried for a bit after he left.¬† It was already a bad day, but when somebody calls you the “F” word, it hurts.¬† I know it’s said behind my back, but when you hear it, it hurts.¬† Words hurt.¬† Sticks and stones can break my bones,¬†but I think words can hurt a lot worse.¬†

I was sad, but I will not let him get to me.¬† I will never starve myself again, instead, I embrace myself.¬† Yes, I have gained two sizes since my last child.¬† But, I had a child.¬† I have 3 beautiful children.¬† If I could choose to go back in time, keep my skinny girl figure and never have children, I wouldn’t.¬† I couldn’t.¬† They are my world and they are worth every lump, bump, flesh, scar¬†and chub on my body.

Curvy, fat, thick, wide, call me what you want.¬† I love myself.¬† I know who I am on the inside.¬† I’m a loving, caring, devoted mother of 3 who is in love with my amazing Fiance & children¬†who love ME for ME.¬† Not for what I gain or lose.¬† That’s all that matters.¬†

No matter what you go through, no matter whose negative words you hear, no matter how bad the bullies get, you choose to love yourself.  Words hurt, but you have the ability to control how you feel.  Own who you are.  Gay, straight, skinny, fat, glasses, freckles, etc.  Do not let a bully control your life.  It gets better.  You learn from past mistakes.  Some day the bully may grow up.  Then again, they may never grow up (like the 70 year old man that said that to me today).  But, you have the ability to own who you are and make everyone else in the world see how important and incredibly amazing you are. 

No matter what flaws they find in you, own them all.  Own it.  Love it.  Embrace it.  And once you do that, everyone will desire it.

xoxo,

Stacy

 

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