Thursday, October 14, 2010

Forever and a dog's day...

Boy life can really turn itself right upside down and slap you silly in the face before you can even begin to comprehend what is happening. The past couple of months that I've had has been testimonial to that fact...more so than any other time period in my life I do believe.

This past Columbus Day marks the 1 year anniversary to the biggest wake up call that I've ever then one year old son was kidnapped by his own father. The Tuesday after Columbus Day last year I spent the entire day in court doing something that I'd never, ever thought I'd have to be doing. And at 7pm that evening I got the call I was waiting for all day, the police knew the location of my then one year old baby and even though he was a three hour drive from me, I felt the most thankful than I ever have before. My son was ok, and in a mere three hours (compared to the previous 5 days of not knowing where he was period - yes those 3 hours were in fact mere) I would be holding my baby in my arms again.

As of this week, one entire year has passed from those horrid moments in time. I have used this year to grow, learn, and figure myself out. I have accomplished a LOT in that year! And I have changed even more. Things I thought that mattered, I've found, really don't. And things that I never thought mattered...really do. My way of thinking and how I process situations in my life have all changed, for the better. I've gone from being a chaotic mess, to a woman who has organization, purpose, and most importantly, stability.

All day Monday, I walked around with a dead feeling in the pit of my stomach. But near the end of the day I realized that I was getting sick to my stomach over an event that had happened in the past, and I was letting a little part of it effect me now. Of all the lessons that I have learned this past year, the greatest one is this, "Yesterday is history, Tomorrow is a mystery, and Today is a gift, that is why it is called the Present."

Monday, May 24, 2010

Owning A Vehicle Equals Loss Of Life

"When producing without a car becomes impossible, equally becomes a productive life."

The subject of many of my thoughts recently have turned around this topic. I have come to realize how true it is that society is cruelly calculated to deny mobility alternatives.

Why does the court system even consider allowing one of the child's parents to move more than an hour's reach away while still trying to attempt a shared physical custody of said child? Even worse is when one parent doesn't have a vehicle and there is no such public transportation to said place to be able to access the child in his or her other environment. I can't even begin to understand how this is positive for a child?

Imagine if you will, a 5 hour drive to drop off a child to your co-parenting partner and getting back home to your own life. How do they even expect said parent to spend any time with these children without being in a car?

In my opinion, the children in the backseat are just as deprived as the driver. Being transported everywhere these kids will eventually loose independence. While being dominated by road boredom, the television and video games call. Do the courts really consider this to be ok? I can't believe people of the court system are promoting socialism and learning in one breath, then are promoting a DVD player in the vehicle in the next. These parents could spend more time playing with their children, or hell, get them involved in a science group if they didn't have to spend 5 hours in one day driving to pick up their kids because one parent wants to go live in the rolling hills somewhere. In fact - in a situation like that - the children are the biggest losers.

Welcome to the life strangled by the umbilical cord of the car while hearing the love song of freedom, although, that is hardly being free.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Fake? Not fake? You mean that peacock?

"Did you see that parakeet?!"

John asked me this question as we were driving down the road yesterday from a BBQ. I had to laugh as if he was referring to the bird that I saw, a parakeet was far from what it was.

"Do you mean that peacock?!" I asked John as I was laughing as I knew in my head that it was some plastic bird that was sitting there on the front entrance to the church we just passed in Scarborough. He agreed with me that he said parakeet instead of peacock, but he insisted on that bird being real as he saw it's head turn. I had to laugh at him as I thought he was trying to pull my leg. Tyler asked him if he would swear on his life that the bird was real, and John told him that he would in fact swear on his life that this peacock was real. He even pulled over to turn around to show us all that he was right. I was smiling as I honestly thought this was one of his little jokes to get us all laughing.

This was no joke!

I had my camera in my hands when we pulled over and the minute I opened the door to step out that bird looked right at me. It took me a few seconds to wake up and tell myself to get a photo of the elegance that I was staring at. It was perched upon a railing to an entrance to a local church as if it lived there. So regal. So stunning.

By the time I got one photo however, it got irritated with me and the large black thing I was holding up to my face. He started to get off his perch to go back into the woods. Man, that bird can RUN! I tried to walk after it as calmly and swiftly as I could an an attempt of being allowed another photo opportunity or two. But, this bird doesn't like being a model apparently. He ran into the woods and then started yelling out, either for me to leave him alone, or to warn his other peacock friends, so I decided to leave him alone and I walked back to the truck.

"Nice fake bird huh?" John asks in an attempt to make a joke when I get back to the truck. I replied with a laugh and the eye roll. What a stinker John is. I shouldn't complain, I got an excellent shot of that bird thanks to him.

All Photos © 2010 Ren Michele Photography

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

In Honor of Mother's Day

Mama's Losin' It

MamaKat will succeed yet again with making me cry before I am done writing for one of her prompts. Just thinking of the 5 prompts makes me get a little teary eyed...but here I go, I'm choosing "Open letter to new Moms."

Dear New Mom,

I don't know if you are married, single, divorced, or widowed. Or even if the father of your precious little son or daughter will play a part in your child's life. But first and foremost I will begin this all with one simple statement. While you are considering the many, many needs of that little person, do not forget the needs of yourself in the process. Above all else, you need to be happy and healthy in order for your little boy or girl to be the same.

You are completely responsible for another human being, while at the same time you are also responsible for yourself and your own actions, or worse, your own inaction. Your perspective will be completely different, toss the idea of having an uninterrupted coffee right out that window Missy! It's totally worth it to be able just to sit in a rocker with them, holding them, rocking them, and enjoying that newborn smell while it lasts. Believe me, it doesn't last for too long! They are walking, talking and throwing food at the dog before you know it!

Many families have made the following mistake, myself included. Do not feel as though you have to keep up with the Jones' in order to have a happy child. The economy is changing and money is already tight. If you have cable, cancel it! It is ok if you never get to Disneyland. Are having cable or going to Disneyland really needs? The sooner you and your child understand that needs come way before wants, the happier you both will be! I've found that walks in the stroller not only help soothe a crying baby, but myself as well! Going camping in your own backyard, when your child is older of course, is a blast! There are many things you can do with your child that either are free or costs very little and will give you more for the things you and your child need. Debt is not worth it just to feed into greedy pleasures!

In close, just be happy with your child, laugh as often as you can! But, don't forget that you are human too, when you are ready, get a sitter and take a nice relaxing 2 or 3 hour break. You will be so glad that you did!


Monday, May 3, 2010

Forgotten About?

Mama's Losin' It

Name a person who you have forgotten about until right now? Is one of the 5 prompts that was given to us to write about by MamaKat. So this is the first time that I've decided to bite on one of her prompts and I'm choosing this one because there is someone near and dear to my heart who I never really got to tell how very important he was to me.

This person whom I speak of is my Uncle Terry, who passed away a few years ago due to colon cancer. My Uncle Terry was my father figure when my own father didn't know how to be one. He gave me things to look forward to, showed me happiness in a world of sorrow, and most importantly gave me as an 8 year old girl someone to look 'up' to.

Growing up my parents were alcoholics, they fought all of the time, and from what I remember most days consisted of my Mom kicking me outside and telling me not to come in till dusk. My father worked long hours in the construction field and I don't remember even seeing a whole lot of him, that is, unless he was sitting on the love seat that was pulled in front of our TV so he could watch whatever Baseball, Basketball or Football game that was playing.

One day, my Father never came home from work. My Mom stayed at home, she never really worked a day in her life. We had nowhere to go until Mom called my Grandmother, Nana Holcomb, and she agreed to take us in for a while. It was the day after Halloween 1986 (give or take) and my Uncle Terry showed up at our door with his pickup truck. I remember his truck fondly. It was a Red Ford, that was nothing fancy, and it smelled like a true Fisherman's truck would smell like, FISH! Mom and I packed up whatever we could fit in the truck to make the 2 hour drive to my new home in Belfast, ME.

I never really saw or even heard from my Father for the year or so that I lived here in Belfast. My Uncle Terry made sure that I laughed a little every time he was around me. He took me out in the snowmobile in the winter time. He took me Strawberry picking in the summer. He even would show up at our door once in a while just to see if I wanted to go out for an Ice Cream. Which, by the way, was my absolute favorite thing to do with him. Every time I got into his smelly truck, I smiled a smile that was a least a mile long, and it would stay with me for the entire day.

My Uncle was a lobster fisherman who sold fresh lobster and crab meat right out of his house. I used to love seeing the lobster in the tank, they were the most unusual creatures to me then. He even showed me how to help him pick crabs so the meat could be packaged up and waited to be sold.

Before I started the 4th grade my Mom and I moved back to Portland. She never drove, never even had her driver's license so we didn't get a lot of chances to visit my Uncle after we moved back. Then when he became sick, I was afraid to see him. I don't even know why. I wanted to see him so badly, I wanted to be able to tell him exactly how much he meant to me as a kid who didn't have a Dad (I never really saw my father again until he was sober and I was about 16).

My Uncle Terry passed away before I could even say goodbye. I miss him terribly. He's been gone for years and his death still stings my heart.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

I will...

When a child is constantly defined by a parent (ie. You're so stupid.), he or she endures an ongoing sense of rejection. Because this abuse is so painful, and the child's need to be accepted is so great, he or she may try to gain the rejecting parent's love and acceptance by emulating his or her behavior. If this occurs, the child will TRY not to feel, not only to escape his or her painful feelings of total rejection, but also to be acceptable to the parent who doesn't show feelings or who puts down people who do show them.

Did you know that if we are taught to doubt ourselves, or to distrust inner knowledge in general, we may pay no attention to this knowledge? We may hardly notice sensate experience: "How did I get that bruise?" Or block our feelings: "I've never liked this kind of work, so why did I take this job?" Or disregard an intuitive warning: "I knew I shouldn't have gone in there."

The above are excerpts from the most recent book that I am reading, titled, "Controlling People." Tragically, the above is the training that I have received while growing up as a child. I am now 31 years old, and I am just now realizing how "backwards" I really am. I'm realizing that I never really and truly knew myself. I didn't know my own feelings, intuitions or even sensations. I never felt strong, in fact I always found myself searching for people who made that seem more real to me.

People who have been treated in ways like this, being told what they want, what they feel, and so on, are usually unsure of themselves, their experience and what all of that means to them. I felt totally and completely disconnected from myself. That is the best explanation of how I was. I felt like a walking robot who, instead of making myself happy, did things to make everyone else happy with me or at least happy enough to avoid a confrontation.

This year has been a year of self-realization for me. I'm sure it is the first year of many, as I know that it will be a long journey. I am here now, holding my head high, and more confident about myself than I ever have been. I am learning how to have feelings other than just anger. For a long, long time, anger is the only feeling that felt real to me. Who wouldn't feel anger, if they weren't doing what made themselves happy? Or even better, who wouldn't feel anger if you didn't even KNOW what it was that made yourself happy?

I will no longer hold back my tears when I am sad. I will no longer hide my laughter or enthusiasm when I am happy. More importantly, I will no longer live how someone else wants me to be. I want to be me, I want to be a great Mom, a great friend, and a great partner. I want to have hobbies, skills, and things that I'd like to have skill in but am too darn clumsy to be able to have skill in - but be OK with and accept that.

Most of all, I will be true. It is the most AMAZING feeling to actually know what that all means.

It's AWESOME to find little notes like this on my fridge to help lift my spirits and see my goal staring me right in the face!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Magazine Street Designs

I know everyone has made a collage of some sort, whether it was in school for a project, taping up tons of posters of new Kids on the Block to their walls (maybe that was just me?), or even of some of your favorite photos in those neat little collage frames.

Samantha of Magazine Street Designs, has mastered this art, I believe. She started with her room (even had items on her ceiling!), then a desk, and even her little brothers arm!

Samantha grew up right here in Maine and now attends college in New Orleans at Loyola University and makes these wonderful collage Eyeglass Cases, Tote Bags, Mirrors, Dishware and even SHOES!!! These creations come straight out of her dorm room!

I sooo want a pair of shoes.

Check her out here at Magazine Street Designs!!