It’s The End Result That Counts

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Ever since starting my job at my high school alma mater, I’ve wanted an opportunity to work with the students. I’ve wanted to pick their brains about their high school experiences and teach them about life after high school. I finally got the chance this week when I was asked to participate in Ethics Day with the senior class. My role as a volunteer was to bring an ethical dilemma I had encountered in my professional career to present to my group of seniors. The students would then discuss the dilemma with the group, pick apart the situation, and come up with an ethical solution.

I have to admit that, even with all the want and desire to interact with students, I was a bit nervous. Not about talking in front of them, but sharing my unique story. Most of these students come from very well off families and have opportunities many teenagers don’t have. Suddenly I found myself, a single mother raising two small children alone going in front of students looking for guidance, in an ethical dilemma. Fitting, seeing as how I was there to discuss ethics with them. Do I leave out key parts of my adulthood (single parenting, battles with addiction, dropping out of college twice) or do I take the risk and tell it like it is? The parents of these students are expecting the school to give them positive roll models so that their child has a tool box to use so that they can make good decisions. The more I thought about it, the more I wanted to back out, simply because I didn’t want the temptation to lie.

Ultimately I  decided to participate while secretly hoping the students wouldn’t ask for specifics about my life. I prepared an ethical dilemma close to my heart having to do with sexual harassment, and presented it to the students. The exercise went very well. They picked my brain about the details. What kind of harassment? What does military protocol dictate in this kind of situation? What did I do when faced with the dilemma? A teenagers view of the world is so different from adults. It was amazing to hear their take on the situation. Their reactions were genuine, some actually showing physical reactions. I saw the pain and sympathy they felt for the victim of the sexual harassment. As adults we learn to hold so much in, sweep it under the rug, and ignore what it really going on.

Chin up. Chest out. Drive on.

As the discussion went on I could see that, even at 17 and 18 years old, it wasn’t the act of sexual harassment they were more worried about, it was the justice that would result. Would the dilemma end happily or would it end in blatant injustice? They pushed through, gaining more understanding than I thought they would. At the end of the discussion they were both pleased and disappointed with the outcome.

After seeing their reactions to everything we talked about I was ready for any “personal” questions they could throw at me….and they did. They asked me about what college I went to. Although it was difficult admitting to a bunch of college bound seniors that I couldn’t handle college directly out of high school, they understood. I explained to them that I burned myself out during high school and that it’s ok to not do every activity possible. I also told them that later, after I joined the military, I came to realize that my issue was not about being burned out or having too much on my plate, but the lack of structure many colleges have. You’re left to your own devices, and have to schedule your own time. Although I struggled with similar issues after leaving the military, I learned how to manage my time and structure my own life into something that helped me be a more productive member in society.

When I told them I finally finished college with two associates degrees at the ripe old age of 32 while taking care of two small children, and that I was hoping to go back this coming fall, they looked as if I just told them I ran a marathon backwards. I almost laughed, not at them, but at myself. For days I had been worried I wouldn’t be a good example of what kind of person the school puts out in the world. I was afraid to let them down, but their reactions told me differently. They saw me as someone who has overcome many obstacles, all the while doing some kick ass amazing things.

I went into Ethics Day hoping to teach the students something useful, but came out with them teaching me just as much. Every once in a while we need to be reminded that there are things we’ve done throughout our lives that have made a positive impact in the world. Maybe it’s because we had kids or because age has made us lazy, but the older we get the less we notice our own individual accomplishments. I never thought a group of high school students who teach me to remember and be proud of just how far I’ve come.

We don’t have to lie about what we’ve done with our lives because, just like the ethical dilemma I gave the students, it’s not about what you are going through, it’s about the end result. Be honest with yourself and others. Learn from what you are going through, and as hard as it may be, try not to make the same mistakes again. Last but not least, tell people your story. We can learn from each other. We NEED to learn from each other because we’re all in this together.

Too Much

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Call it a sign or call it overeating but when I woke up this morning my pants didn’t fit. That little silver button that usually slid into its little home wasn’t going to slide. I tugged a little, and I sucked it in as much as I could, but that little button just didn’t want to do its job.

“Too much.” Those are the words that came out of my mouth.

I’m not sure what came over me after that perhaps a croissant or large chocolate bar , but suddenly a question Steve asked me a few months ago came rushing into my head. Sometime after our first date he asked me why I needed to be on social media. It was one of those rare times I can count them on two hands where I was actually speechless. I had no answer for him. I’m not sure what words I could get to come out of my mouth, but I’m pretty sure it all came down to one word, “Because”.

Because? Really? That’s all I could come up with after 7 years on social media? With that huge explanation our conversation moved on to other things, but the question stuck in my head. He would bring it up from time to time as he would go through the pictures on my phone. He would ask me why I would post this picture or that picture. I’d usually laugh and say, “Because it’s funny” or “Because I love you”. I may or may not have an addiction to his face, thus resulting in a post or two. He would just shake his head and smile as he continued to flip through the pictures. With every mention of social media that initial question of why I even needed to be on there, burned deeper into my head. Here it was, almost four months later, and I still couldn’t come up with a better answer than “because”.

As I tried that little silver button a third time it hit me. Too much. I had too much social media. I was overindulging in a world of faces, feet, and food. I was obsessed with putting myself out there to people. I wanted to show the world how vulnerable I was, how even when I was vulnerable I was strong. I was trying to prove a point, but what point was I trying to prove? Who was I trying to prove it to?

All the reasons I had before to be on social media, keeping tabs on people I didn’t trust and hiding from reality, weren’t around anymore. As my life changed drastically last year, so did my need for social media. I no longer needed to prove to thousands of people I was worth it, I needed to prove it to myself. Last September I learned to love myself. I learned that I was good enough, and thanks to Steve, I learned that I was worth the love of another person.

It took me 4 months, but this morning I could finally answer Steve’s question.

I don’t need it.

After adding up all the minutes during my day scrolling through social media sights I came to a startling reality. Yes, it was just 15 minutes here and there, but it was totaling about an hour a day. That’s 7 hours a week, 29 hours a month, 348 hours a year. That’s over 14 days a year! I have wasted 98 days of my life in the past 7 years on social media!?!?!

Much like my over indulgence in food, I have been overindulging in social media. At 6:30 this morning I hit delete on my Instagram and Twitter. Suddenly I felt as if my life fit better. What am I going to do with that extra hour a day now? Write? Draw? Play with my kids? Laugh with Steve? The possibilities are endless!

I’m not saying deleting your social media is the answer for everyone, but I am asking you to ask yourself why you are on there and what you would do with an extra hour every day. The answers might surprise you.

I’ve made the little silver button of my life slide into its little home, now if only I could get the little silver button on my pants to do the same. Perhaps I should spend my extra hour a day on the Elliptical.

Happy Holidays from The Vassiliou’s

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Happy Holidays from the Vassiliou’s


I was fairly certain as an adult I would never write a holiday letter to friends and family. Once I became a mother I was positive I never would. Yet here you are, reading a holiday letter from me and the kids. Hell has officially frozen over.
Our year has been so exciting, and with so much change, I couldn’t resist sharing it with everyone in this dreaded fashion. The first half of our year was pretty much ops normal, living in Connecticut…wanting to get out. In June a position at KUA opened up and I applied. By the end of July we suddenly found ourselves scrambling to throw everything away pack up the house, get schools lined up, and searching for a place to live in New Hampshire. We only had three weeks to get everything done, resulting in a two week camping excursion, more grey hair for me, missing house hold items, and having to get rid of one cat. Perhaps the hardest part. Although I don’t mind not having to scoop as much poop.
Regardless of the mass chaos that ensued, we were settled in to the world’s smallest two bedroom condo our new house and well on our way to what have become our happiest days yet!
I want to thank everyone who helped, in every way possible, to make this dream a reality. Love and thanks especially to Seth Campbell, Gillian and Pam Frothingham, the one who chooses to remain anonymous, Joe McDaniel, Kim Simon, and my ever supportive parents. Without all of you, this move wouldn’t have been possible.
The Plainfield area had a rush of new families moving to the area this summer, resulting in a fresh and crazy wonderful community. We have found our little group of people who will tolerate us niche, and have adapted nicely aside from the occasional rocking in a corner.
May you all be blessed in the year to come and may happiness find you always.

Love and giggles,
Brandi, Theo, & Pheobe


My Sexual Assault Story

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I don’t know what prompted me to sit down and write about this today. I just sat down at the table….and started writing. I’ve told plenty of people about my sexual past, the good and the bad, but I’ve never actually sat down and wrote about it. I think I was scared if I wrote it down it would become more real; that I would relapse. Thankfully I didn’t, and to tell you the truth I feel better. Still scared, but better. Sexual assault is a scary thing to go through even for years after. This is only part of my story. It continues on in long spiraling stories that could take up an entire book, but I wanted to tell you where it all began. I hope you can take something positive away from this as I did. Thank you for reading.

I’m what most would call….unique. Always have been. Growing up I was bullied by the “cool” kids and was left looking for attention in other ways. In grade school I started to change physically. Almost over night I had boobs. The boys in the bus started asking me to sit with them. It wasn’t long before they started trying to cop-a-feel. I’d sit there as still as possible as their wandering hands moved around under my shirt. They would eventually start moving their hands to my pants. Most days it was just one of them. He always had me sit close to the window as he turned his back to the isle. His friends would sit in the seat behind us and look over and watch as he would pull my shirt out so they could see. Sometimes he would have one of them sit with us so they could cop a feel as well. I hated those days the most. The ones where 2 sets of hands wandered over my body as the boys made silent gestures at each other and whispered things to their friends.

But I wanted the attention. I craved it. My bus rides from school were the only times other kids actually WANTED to be around me. They WANTED me around. To them I wasn’t a weirdo.

I was exciting, and after years of being bullied in the hallways and cast aside on the playground I was finally WANTED.

Summers meant a break from wandering hands but I still craved the attention. By the end of August I found myself wishing summer would end so I could ride the bus home from school and feel those wandering hands once again. But when school started again those hands weren’t there. The back of the bus was now empty. At the age of 14 I found myself feeling really alone for the first time. School was still filled with all the harsh words from my peers as they spread rumors about me losing my virginity and being the school slut. The days were endless. The rumors spread to other schools. Suddenly there seemed to be huge arguments over which school had the biggest sluts. In 3 years I had gone from being the girl who was afraid to have her first kiss to the girl to go to for an easy feel.

By the end of my 8th grade year I had felt like I had to give in to temptation. Shortly after summer vacation began I found myself getting drunk on peppermint schnapps with my friend Sarah and calling some boys from our class. After much encouragement I told one of them,, Tim, how I wanted to feel him inside me and how sure I was he would feel amazing. A few drinks in we found ourselves riding our bikes in the dark to meet the boys at the school playground. Once we were all there we played on the swings and went down the slide as kids normally would do. And for a brief moment I felt the way I had always wanted to feel around other kids my age. We were laughing and having fun. I was hoping they too were having as much fun as I was and that maybe it had made them forget everything I had said on the phone. I didn’t want to have sex. Not yet. I was too young. That much I was sure of. But just like that Tim and I were standing alone in the middle of the sandbox. He handed me a beer and the rest up until we were naked was a blur.

Naked in the sandbox with nothing under us but a coat, I could feel Tim poking my thigh over and over again. “Is it in?” he would ask. “I don’t think so,” I would say. And then it happened. There was stabbing pain between my legs as he let out a gasp. He was in. A few thrusts later he pulled out quickly as I found myself covered in hot goo and sand. Between my legs still hurt and all I wanted to do was cry. He lay there in the sand next to me for a moment, both of us unsure of what to do next. I don’t remember the bike ride home or much of the next day. All I remember was how much everything still hurt and how humiliated I was to have finally given into temptation. Tim never called me that summer, and I pretty much tried to avoid every possible scenario where I might run into him. I didn’t want to have to do it again. I didn’t want to have to think about it.

A good month went by before I could do much of anything around anyone without feeling as if everyone’s eyes were on me knowing what I had done in the playground. I was positive word had gotten around our small town and it would only be a matter of time before someone else would want the same from me. Sure enough it happened. My friend Amber called me one day asking me if she could come over. Scott, a local drug dealer she had introduced me to, was interested in me. He had heard I put out and was willing to give us free pot if he could “hang out” with me. She knew my parents were going away for the weekend so she told him yes before I could even say no. I didn’t want to have sex again, especially not like this, but she had already told him yes so there was nothing I could do. That night we went into my parent’s liquor cabinet and grabbed the furthest thing from peppermint schnapps I could think of, whiskey.

By the time Scott got to the house I could hardly stand up, but that didn’t matter to him. He still liked what he saw. First he took me down into the basement and sat me on one of the large freezers. He started kissing my next and telling me how beautiful I was. His hands moved up my shirt and he pulled me closer as I reached for the bottle of whiskey. I wanted to get away. I wanted to close my eyes and wake up somewhere else. So I did. I closed my eyes and took a big drink from the bottle.

When I opened  them we were back in the living room as he was handing Amber a dime bag and leading me up the stairs. Not where I wanted to be. I closed my eyes again.

Eyes open. That stabbing feeling between my legs was back, but worse. Still not where I wanted to be. I quickly closed my eyes.

Eyes open. I’m on my back with my arms pinned down over my head. My wrists ache as Scott’s body seems to slam into me. I want to scream but his mouth is on mine. The bedroom door flies open and its Amber laughing. I feel my body go limp as I close my eyes again.

Eyes open. The sun is shinning through the curtains. It was all a dream. I sit up and stretch. When I look down I notice I’m naked and covered in vomit. I start to notice my wrists hurting and the growing pain between my legs. There is blood on sheets. It wasn’t a dream at all. It was a nightmare. When I finally make it downstairs Amber is asleep on the couch and Scott is no where to be found. The empty bottle of whiskey is on the counter next to a half smoked joint and an ash tray full of cigarettes. I never heard from Scott again. No apology for leaving me in a pool of blood and vomit. No request for a second “date”.

This is how I was introduced to sex. This is what I had to base it on for the rest of my life. The next 15 years was spent trying to feel “wanted” again and waiting for the guy who would call me the next day. I let myself be used by dozens of men and in turn used dozens more. I was called a slut and moral gear. But people “wanted” to be with me. I was “wanted” all the time. A flash of my tits and a shake of my ass and I’d have the man of my dreams for just one night. They never stayed for long, and if they did, they left me for something fresh and new. Most of my relationships ended in the words, “There’s someone else,” or “I cheated so I obviously don’t love you the way I should.” It was the same story over and over.

It took a long time to get past the demons from grade school, but I finally did it. It wasn’t until after I had my kids that I started to realize my true worth, but even then it was hard. I had to get myself away from the mental abuse I surrounded myself with and I had to stop dishing the same abuse back. I had to get out without running away as I usually did. 19 years later I finally have my feet on the ground with my sights set forward. I have promise and hope in my life. I have amazing children. I have a wonderful boyfriend who brought along wonderful kids. But those demons still rear their ugly heads from time to time bringing me to my knees as I flash back to wondering hands and drunken nights. I know no matter how far away from the past I get it will still haunt me in some way. Abuse has a way of doing that. But those of us who have been through it and survive find a way to drive on and find the good in life. We have to or it will eat us alive.

If you or someone you know has been or is being sexually abused get help. No one should have to go through this, but if they do they don’t have to go through it alone. Call the National Sexual Assault Hotline 800-656-HOPE(4673) For more information on sex abuse visit the RAINN website. Be active and help stop sexual assault.


Physically Stuck in a Rut

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I haven’t been myself lately. I’ve done nothing but beat myself up, wondering why the people in my life are here and why people who have left, left.
I can’t look at myself in the mirror without feeling as if I don’t physically recognize the person looking back at me. I hate how I feel when I walk and even more so when I sit.
Every woman I see, especially online, is hands down better physically than me. I look at them in wonderment and beat myself up for not having that tight body anymore. I’ve let myself become the woman I never wanted to be.
I’m not writing this to get the attention. I’d actually prefer not having all the “but you’re beautiful” comments. This is just how I’ve been feeling throughout the summer and I need to get it out of my system before it eats me up from the inside.
I’ve reached the point of not being able to consider myself pretty. I don’t see a woman’s face looking back at me, I see a man’s. My body has been hijacked by a thick layer of fat. Parts jiggle that have never jiggled before. My thighs are covered in dimples. I can no longer hide the weight in my arms as the also jiggle and dimple.
The role model I wanted to become for kids is not the role model I’ve become. I’m beyond blessed to have a BF who loves me for who I am and, for some reason, still wants to have sex with me even after this sudden 15 pounds. But I can’t help but look at all these women around us and wonder if he secretly wishes I was back where I was a year ago.
I’ve been beating myself up for months and I can’t seem to stop. It’s hard to get back into working out and eating right when 11 hours of your day is spent work related and the other hours doing housework or even sitting on the couch feeling sorry for myself. My motivation to get back into shape is next to nothing. I wake up in the morning thinking it’ll just be easier to let myself go than get my body back.
It’s safe to say I’m depressed. I feel there’s no way out in the weight battle for me. I feel stuck and gross. I need to turn this all around but I can’t seem to find oomph I need to kick it into gear.

I Am A Mom Doing The Best I can Do

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At 18 I went to college…..I hated it.

At 19 I tried it again…..still hated it. I just wasn’t ready.

At 20 I looked into joining the military.

At 21 I was shipped out to Coast Guard basic training.

At 26 I got knocked up…and yes, I’m choosing my words carefully.

At 27 I decided to leave the military service which formed me into the woman I am today to take better care of my family.

At 28 I married the father of my son and became a stay-at-home-mom.

At 29 I gave birth to my daughter, aka the cause of my grey hair.

At 30 I decided to give college another shot so that one day I could provide for my family better.

At 31 I divorced the father of my kids, but continued my schooling and graduated with an associates in general studies.

At 32 I received my second AS in Liberal Arts.

At just shy of 33 I have a steady job with amazing benefits and decent pay. I may not have a solid future in the exact location I am in, but it is a great starting point to reach a future management position wherever I end up.

Shortly after my 33rd birthday I will be applying to schools to get my bachelors degree.

At 34 I will be starting my masters degree, hopefully at a local ivy league school.

At 35 I will have 2 associates, 1 bachelors, and a masters degree, along with a management position in an office with potential for even more growth.

I may not have achieved everything I wanted to by my mid-20’s but I did serve my country, raise my family, put food on our plates, and a roof over our heads. People may call me hillbilly and white trash but I’ve achieved more in the past 10 years with far less than they’ve had in a year. So go ahead and shoot your zings at me and call me a dirty hippy, but my family eats healthy, has learned to garden, shows compassion, and knows the difference between right and wrong. My kids have survived divorce without so much as scar because I keep the lines of communication open with them and they have no idea what really happened to mommy and daddy.

So while those who look down on me continue on with their comments, run away from their problems, and blame others for their misfortune, I will be over here constantly evolving and teaching my kids the value of love, a dollar, and hard work.

I am a mom doing the best I can do.


What now Governor Malloy?

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Over three weeks ago the child care center both my children were attending closed without notice on a Friday afternoon. It closed for good and left me scrambling to find a new facility for my children to attend by that Monday. Luckily I found a facility which had recently opened and was able to enroll my daughter immediately, but my son had to wait a few weeks to start due to transportation issues for after school. I was ok with this, and we fumbled through the next few weeks with relative ease getting everyone where they needed to be and picked up/dropped off from buses and school.

After struggling with finances for over 2 years, due to the high cost of child care, I was finally approved for a state funded program which would help me with the cost of child care. For the first 2 years I was denied funding due to me being a full time student instead of working full time. I was told the state would be willing to give me funding for the hours I was participating in a work study program but not the hours I was in class because my major, Liberal Arts, was not a trade based major. The work study program I participated in was through the VA based on my veterans status and did not have weekly pay checks/stubs. My pay was based on me working a total of 50 hours (not to exceed 25 a week). Needless to say, it was a difficult process to get the needed paper work together. As a single parent I struggled to support my 2 young children as I bettered myself by earning a college degree, and all without state help.

When I finally graduated I ventured out into the work force with my diploma in hand. With the job market being what it is, I know that beggars can’t be choosers and took a job paying $15.50 an hour. After working 40 hours a week I now make about $560 a week. The cost of child care, with my daughter going full time and my son only attending after school care, was now at $365 a week. Add on a $430 car payment and $1225 a month rent, I wasn’t making ends meet. I had no choice but to re apply for state funding once again. It took over a month for the state to approve my paperwork. I received the letter of the approval on a Tuesday. After struggling with bills, ruining my credit, and getting utilities shut off, i was finally going to be able to get my feet back on the ground. I could finally breathe a sigh of relief.

Three days later I went to pick my children up from their daycare only to find out the daycare was closing its doors for good. Although I found a new facility that evening I received notification from the state of my assistance being terminated. I called to immediately to ask if there was a program in place for emergencies such as this one and was told, quite rudely, no. My only option was to re gather the necessary paperwork to re submit to the state once again.

Each week I checked the status of my application. After 2 weeks I was informed the necessary paperwork was in and it would take about a week for it to processes. A week later I called again to check only to be told the new facility needed to submit an additional form. I approached the owner with this issue and was assured they had submitted the paperwork several weeks beforehand. Another week went by and I called again, this time I was told all the paperwork was in once again, but when I asked how long it would be before I was approved AGAIN I was told my case workers had 10 to 15 days to submit everything.

So here I am, once again, with $9 in my bank account trying to figure out how I am going to pay my new daycare facility, rent, feed my family, and keep my utilities on. It has take the state of Connecticut 2 months to approve me for funding, none of which could be used as I tried to better myself to get a better paying job, and only 1 business day for them to deny me. There are no emergency funds in place for situations such as this. I know I’m not the only parent to be put into a bind like this in the past month.

With the closing of Precious Cargo Daycare over 45 families were displaced, many of which were receiving funding from the state. All of those families, I’m sure, also received to notification that Tuesday that their assistance was immediately stopped. This kind of issue highlights part of where the state of Connecticut fails its citizens.

So I’m asking you, Governor Malloy, why. Why do I as a single parent have to suffer financially as I better myself and become a better role model for my children? Why do I have to suffer financially for over 2 months as I wait for paper work which has already been approved to be re approved? Do you have the money to pay the debt the misguided state system has put me into? Do you have the money to feed my family? If you do, and you’re willing to pay, then I’ll back off. If you don’t and can’t help me, I’ll continue on until the state corrects its wrongs. One angry mother or thousands? The choice is up to you sir.

From Internet Cafes to Smart Phones

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When I was a senior in high school the internet was just beginning to take off. Even at my little boarding school in New Hampshire we were only allocated 30 minutes a day on the overloaded dial up. We would wait anxiously as we watched the little bar on the computer screen fill up. I desperately wanted people to email but was limited to  my friends at school for the most part.
Going home for the weekend meant no more internet with its lulling sound of the dial up and no more chain emails asking me who my secret celebrity crush was or when it was that I last clipped my toe nails. It was torture being away from the time consuming mainly due to the ‘speed’ of pages loading internet.
In college I would spend my free time and money at the local internet cafe. I would hand over $20 to the girl at the counter to get my password for 30 minutes of wonderment on the computer. Then I would hand over another $2 for a vanilla cappuccino. By noon every computer would be full and I would get bumped as soon as my time was up.
I lived for internet cafes and the strange little group of people who gathered there to sip coffee and join chat rooms. It was because of these cafes that I had no need for internet in my apartment. I had my mother’s old computer for a while, but only used it for the word processor to type term papers. I should add that by this time it was the year 2000 and I didn’t even own a cell phone.
Being up in Maine at this point cell service was scarce and those who had them paid half a months pay for it. My parents had a bucket phone for their car which rarely got used. It collected dust more than minutes. When I joined the Coast Guard later that year I shipped off to boot camp without even an email address.
Once I graduated the need for an email account was inevitable and so was the need for a cell phone. The 85 people I had just spent every minute of every day with for the past 2 months were dispersing all over the country. Luckily every CG unit had internet and its own email system.
By 2003 I still didn’t have internet in my house and only used email every so often while under way on ships to tell my family everything was ok. My cell phone only ever got used when in home port and even then it stayed in my purse most of the time. Any time spent on the internet was still done at internet cafes and I loved it. Getting stationed in New Jersey was like heaven for me. There seemed to be an internet cafe on every corner. And I broke down and joined the world of the smart phone with my Sidekick. But still didn’t have internet in my own home.
In 2006 a friend introduced me to MySpace and my internet world opened up! A year later I found myself with internet in my house, wireless at that, and a kick ass MySpace page.
From there it has been all downhill. I quickly branched out into cyber space from MySpace to Facebook to Twitter and inevitably the blogosphere. Now I have a wireless internet that can support up to 5 computers at once and an Android phone from which I am currently blogging from. It’s amazing how quickly my life came to revolve around the internet and everything it has to offer. And all though I do enjoy now being able to wake up at 3am and surfing through my Twitter timeline and being able to blog on a 2″x 4″ smart phone, I enjoy my time playing with minions and smuggling with BF more…..and then tweeting all about it.
Happy surfing my fellow internet addicts!

Flat Broke and Happy

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Happiness. To me its not something that can have a monetary value or should be taken for granted. I feel like every day I see more and more couples ‘faking’ their happiness. They cover up their dirt with fancy things which cost more than I could ever imagine spending.
Suddenly a $1000 vacuum cleaner takes the place of evening cuddles on the couch. $100 brushed Egyptian cotton sheets take the place midnight spooning, and the $4000 livingroom set takes the place of morning coffee together.
Life spins wildly around us every day and quite often scoops us up with it for the ride. We let ourselves get caught up in the mess of the day to day which quickly becomes the week to week…and before you know it, months have gone by. Suddenly we look back at ourselves and realize we have no idea what has become of our relationship with our significant other.
Maybe its now just a touch off of center, but all too often it becomes something unrecognizable.
Instead of measuring our happiness in smiles and laughter, we started measuring it in furniture and trinkets. We can no longer look at our partners in life and laugh for no reason or find the joy in just holding eachother.
I was there once. I believed that my happiness would only come with my husbands…which would only come with his need for money and the freedom to spend it. I had lost sight of myself and the things that made me happy. The laughter of my children. Lazy afternoons. The great outdoors. Music. Friends. It had all slipped away from me.
Two years ago I vowed to rectify all that. I wanted my simple life back. The life where I actually stopped to smell the flowers and enjoy myself and those around me. It took some digging and stripping and a whole lot of struggle but I’ve finally reached that point of happiness.
So now on Saturdays my house is filled with children’s laughter as they blow bubbles in the kitchen or tell tall tales on swingsets about how they once swung so high they went all the way around the poll. We have popcorn for dinner at least once a week and there’s an endless supply of cuddles at any given time as soon as you sit on the couch.
Laundry piles take over corners in the livingroom and dishes fill the sink as Sundays are now dedicated to doing absolutely nothing. And by nothing, I mean NOTHING. No plans. No schedule. Nothing.
Everyone, even the big kid, gets nightly snuggles and back rubs. Stories are read, yes even to the big kid, and songs are sung. Kisses are given so often that they have become as second nature as breathing and hugs have become our way of greeting eachother even when we pass through a room.
We have no money as bill collectors call daily and we struggle to keep the gas on and the phones connected. Creative financing has taken over the grocery list and how we cook dinner, and pennies are collected in an old coffee can in the kitchen.
We are flat out broke and then some, but the truth is that we are truly and honestly happy. No amount of money has made us this way and no amount of money could make us happier. We have found our happy place in the little old house we call the Redneck Palace.
Tomorrow BF and I move on to a long awaited stage in our relationship. No we’re not getting married so don’t go ringing the church bells. It’s a stage that I’d rather keep to ourselves odd for me I know so that we can bask in its glory in our own little way. We have come this far to find our happiness and we’re not about to stop now.

The Truth Is……

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The truth is,

I don’t like folding all this laundry.

The truth is,

I don’t like cleaning my house to  someone else’s ‘standards’.

The truth is,

I don’t like doing the dishes after every meal.

The truth is,

I hate owning things that are brand new.

The truth is,

I miss how I was 6 years ago.

The truth is,

I hate keeping my mouth shut.

But what it all boils down to…..

The truth is,

I hate wrinkled clothes. Mainly because I hate ironing.

The truth is,

I know that this has become ‘our’ house, and I wouldn’t give that up for the world.

The truth is,

With, up to 6 people, every night….dishes are not a choice, but a necessity or else the sugar ants will carry away my dishes.

The truth is,

I fully understand the fact that my kids are going to destroy things. Why pay for new when it is going to be destroyed? And I prefer vintage.

The truth is,

I am a better person than I was 6 years ago and I love me for that,

The truth is,

……well……I’ll always hate keeping my mouth shut, Oh well, this old dog has learned its tricks…..someone pass me a beer!