Dear Dad, I Am So Mad At You.

Every year I handle today differently.  This year, I am bitter.

I always used to get offended when people called suicide “selfish”.   They have no idea what you were going through; what drove you to this or why you would consider suicide as your only option.  But that’s the thing.  WHY.  No one knows why.  No one ever will or ever could know why.  & that has been the biggest struggle of my life.  At seven years old, wanting to know what I did wrong.  Why didn’t you want to be my Dad any more?  I was so sorry for all the times I made you mad at me.  All the times I didn’t listen or talked back. Maybe if I hadn’t. Maybe if I would’ve cleaned my room the first time you asked.  Maybe, maybe, maybe.  The weight of blame & guilt is overbearing and it is so easy to drown in the what ifs. So this year, I am angry for you being “selfish”.

Over the past 19 years SO much has happened.  I mean, it’s almost been two decades; a lifetime.  Mandy’s lifetime, to be exact.  You literally missed her entire lifetime.  Yes, you missed the majority of mine; all of the “big” moments.  But at least I have memories to look back on,  I have photos to reminisce on, & I have experience that cannot be replaced.    She was left with hearsay & the chaos of being raised in devastation.   & I am so mad at you for that.

You left Mom alone to handle it all.  To raise two kids.  To maintain a business.  To find you.  Can you imagine? Now that I am married & have a son, I absolutely cannot fathom it.  What would I do if my husband committed suicide?  How would I deal with that?  How would I raise E?  How would I survive?  She barely did.   & I am so mad at you for that.

I will never understand what made things so dark in your life that you wouldn’t want to watch your daughters grow up.  Why your vision was so clouded by what was haunting you in that moment, that you could see past it & imagine the future.  That you couldn’t hold on to see us graduate, to walk us down the aisle, or to meet your grandchildren. & I am so mad at you for that.

What would my life have looked like with you around?  Would I have still played soccer?  Would I have still moved out at 16?  Would I have still gone to UNCP?  It’s impossible to say. & honestly I am so blessed with how my life has turned out.  All of these things I have been through have gotten me to where I am today, so I am thankful for the experiences & for the family they have led me to.  But it’s so hard not to wonder.  What would my life have looked like with you around?

You turned our world upside down & it’s never been the same since.  It never could be.  Suicide isn’t something that just passes by, it’s not just a phase in life.  Coping with losing someone to suicide is a lifelong journey.  It doesn’t just go away & you don’t just “get over it”.  It changes your life forever.  You’ll never not ask “why” & you’ll never not wonder “what if”.

I really would have loved the opportunity to know you.  & I’m so sorry for whatever it was you were going through.  But today, I am bitter.

Life Postpartum: Be the Mom Friend that You Needed

The first couple of months postpartum were not easy for me.  Actually, they were pretty rough.  I was a typical first time mom who had no idea what she was doing.  I thought I was prepared because I had read.  & read, & read…. & read some more.  But some most of things you experience as a new mom, a book can’t teach you.   A book can’t describe the roller coaster of emotions you’re going to experience.  Or tell you how to handle feeling like your in labor all over again as your uterus shrinks.  It can’t prepare you for how insane you’ll feel or how frustrating it is not being able to explain why you’re even upset.  & it most certainly can’t tell you how to deal with the seemingly overwhelming abyss that is your life as a new mom. Continue reading Life Postpartum: Be the Mom Friend that You Needed

Sensory Play: Babies 6 Months & Older

Sensory:  relating to sensation or the physical senses; transmitted or perceived by the senses.

I’m a hands on learner, so sensory play is my go-to.  Lucky for me, E seems to be a hands on fella, as well.  So, I think we’ll tackle this mother/son learning thing pretty well!  I’m always brainstorming fun & creative ways for us to play/learn to help spice things up.  Now, don’t get me wrong.  We love some blocking building (well, banging) but even that can get old after a while.

So, here are a few of our favorite inexpensive, DIY, at home (etc, etc) sensory play items from the past month or so! Continue reading Sensory Play: Babies 6 Months & Older

From Drab to Shab: Diaper Box Baskets

Today, I hit the limit.  I couldn’t stand to throw out one more diaper box.  We’ve thrown out so many & each time I think to myself how wasteful it is.  I mean, yeah it’s just a cardboard box & yeah, we recycle but still.  There had to be SOMETHING I could do with them.

As I looked around my mess of a house I thought about how badly I needed to clean.  There are baby toys & photography props everywhere.  I’m forever complaining about how much easier it would be to keep things tidy if I had more baskets for organization but never get any because they’re so expensive.

That’s when it hit me: diaper box baskets!!  They’re the perfect size, so why not?! Continue reading From Drab to Shab: Diaper Box Baskets

Monthly Footprint Art: St. Patrick’s Day Crafts

Are you tired of seeing footprint art yet? I hope not, because I’m pretty sure it’s going to be a regular thing.  March’s St. Patrick’s Day footprint art was a little difficult for me. I had crafter’s block; all I could think of was shamrocks.  I wanted to make St. Patrick’s Day cards to send out, but there was no way I could fit a footprint shamrock on the size card I was trying to make.  So, I broke out my handy dandy side kick: Pinterest.

Continue reading Monthly Footprint Art: St. Patrick’s Day Crafts

DIY St. Patrick’s Day Photo Shoot

Holidays are my jam.  I love celebrating, decorating & documenting each month with whichever holiday is coming around.  I focus on the bigger holidays, like St. Patrick’s Day, BUT I found this site that has a bunch of random holidays that I also add to our calendar.  Some of them are a little out there,  but most of them are fun things you can easily celebrate (like take a walk in the park day), so why not?!  It makes an ordinary Thursday turn exciting super quick.  Can’t beat it!   This makes our calendar get packed pretty quickly, but I always make sure to schedule time for footprint art  & for a photo shoot.  This way, I don’t end up scrambling at the last minute.

Continue reading DIY St. Patrick’s Day Photo Shoot

The Ultimate List of Things to do Before Baby

  1.  There is seriously SO much to do before having a baby.  It can be overwhelming, especially with pregnancy brain, which just makes you THAT much more stressed out.  & that’s the last thing you need to be during your pregnancy!  As a list making, over-analyzing, perfectionist, first time Mom I was on the hunt to find the ultimate list of things to do before baby arrived.  I looked & looked, but I just couldn’t find a helpful, concise list of things to do before baby. So, I decided to create my own. Continue reading The Ultimate List of Things to do Before Baby

Five Easy Half Birthday Traditions to Start Today

I am still in shock at the fact that I have a six month old. (Where has the time gone?!)  But I’ve always known I wanted to do half birthday traditions as a mother.    Six months old is probably the most significant half birthday mark, but I plan on implementing half birthday traditions for as long as E thinks they’re fun!  Because, why not?   I was able to do all five of these half birthday traditions just with items I already had on hand.  So whats the harm in some budget friendly family celebrations?! #amiright!?

Five (& a Half) Half Birthday Traditions Continue reading Five Easy Half Birthday Traditions to Start Today

DIY Valentine’s Day Photo Shoot

Y’all already know I had to do a Valentine’s Day photo shoot!!  I mean, really, what’s cuter than a naked baby covered in kisses? Not much.  Especially, if you’re a FTM that still has googly eyes for your baby.  BUT, first & foremost, shout out to Hubs: there’s no way I could get these done without ya!  He seriously has come so far.  From being an avid picture hater to throwing out suggestions to improve the shot.  Do I train them well, or what ?! (jk, jk)

The number one thing that parents struggle with when deciding whether or not to get pictures done of their little ones is cost.  Hundreds of dollars for 30 minutes of clicking & 5-10 digital images isn’t cheap!  That is why I am a huge proponent of DIY photo shoots.   All you need is a few props, a couple common household items & Pinterest inspiration and you can get shots that are just as good as professional!  To prepare for this DIY Valentine’s Day photo shoot, I went to Dollar Tree and got $5 worth of props.  I bought plastic roses, rose petals, glitter hearts, heart stickers, & foam hearts.  I ended up not using the heart stickers, so I’ll save them for next year!

Continue reading DIY Valentine’s Day Photo Shoot

Monthly Footprint Art: DIY Valentine’s Day Cards

Do you ever think of how Valentine’s Day was when you were a kid?  The classroom is decked out, you decorated card boxes and everyone was your valentine.  You anxiously wait for February 14 to arrive so you could enjoy the class party instead of math and eat way too much candy.  That was the life!

You get older and the Valentine’s Day card appeal dwindles as romance becomes more prevalent.  Which is wonderful & all, but as a new mom I’m now anxiously waiting for E’s class parties.  I can’t wait for baking heart shaped goodies and making DIY Valentine’s Day cards.  I’m totally going to be that mom living vicariously through him by forcing him to wear red and give a card everyone (even to the girl “with cooties”).  & I’m SO excited.

Continue reading Monthly Footprint Art: DIY Valentine’s Day Cards

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