Goodbye Elle.

May 31, 2012

Dear Elle,

I met you when you were so young. Two months old and mama didn't want to go back to work. She worried, shed tears and yearned to be with you those first few months but you and I, yeah, we had something special.

Holding your chubby little body so close to mine has always been a favorite from day one. The way your right arm had to always wrap around my back when I cradled you, how your cheek had to be perfectly positioned on my tummy to snuggle in just right, how your left hand had to feel the touch of mine warming yours, all before you closed those little eyes and dozed into a peaceful sleep. You sometimes didn't feel like your swing and that was okay, more time for snuggles; one day you would be too old for them and I dreaded the day you fought touch. You even burrowed down in my legs a few times, in a tight ball, snoozing while I read with you on the couch. Man, those were the early days. I began craving those moments soon after as you grew.

You grew into an infant then, no longer a fragile newborn. You started to explore with tummy time and love, love, loved your piano. I could place that guy in front of you for hours and you'd go to town writing me songs that went straight to my heart. You ate, drooled, burped and spit up. Played, slept, pooped and ate some more. Again, the days I soon missed.

You began to recognize me as part of your life. I'd arrive at work to a smiley baby-- all smiles you were. Those sweet chubby cheeks and adorable faces would get me through the obnoxious drive to you. I can't forget the day you found your toes; it was as if all things were right in your small, small world. Those eye would light up just seeing those toes hanging over your head. You'd sit giggling in your bouncer chair sucking on your feet, sliding down and eventually out of your chair-- where I'd come to the rescue, scoop you up and make all things right in that world again.

Soon your growing flashed so quickly, too quickly before my eyes. No longer an infant but a baby and soon a toddler. I about fainted when your first steps were taken. The week of your 1ST birthday and I was a tearful, joyful, hot mess that day! Video upon video of those chubby feet flopping along the floor. Guiding your way into rebellion and exploring. Oh, the trials were about to come all right.

And come they did. They all seemed to be trampled on when I heard that first "Auby" from your mouth, was given your first kiss without asking, when you ran to me for comfort in times of distress or confusion. I knew I was doing something right. But mostly, that first "I love you." Yep, nothing mattered you did to upset me, because that beautiful satisfaction of hearing those words washed all doubts in my mind away.

Elle, you drove me bananas some days and grew my heart so full others. You taught me what it means to love another. To love so unconditionally through right and wrong. Through trials, triumphs, thick and thin. So often I'd stop and ponder how you've molded me into the ideal wife. You taught me what I means to forgive, to stop and enjoy the small all around us, to breath a little deeper on a crisp winter's morning, to always hug it out, that a kiss makes everything better and to laugh. Laugh. How simple. You showed me, sweet girl. I've learned pajama days are necessary and sitting by the fire place with loads of pillows, blankets, a good book and each other is sweet bliss. Shining brighter all my days forward are the butterflies in early spring, the chirp of a small bird resting on the fence, the sound of morning dew under my feet, the inevitable sense of becoming refreshed after an early morning jog and happily these things will bring me back to you.

It pains me not being able to explain to you why I have to leave but maybe it's better that way, sweet pea. If you could understand I'd explain how deep in my heart your roots have grown, how your touch and small kisses makes my heart so full, how your early morning reception to my arrival melts away any distractions and how blessed I have been to call you my Elle Belle. I never want to leave you feeling abandoned or sad, lost or confused or aimlessly wandering around the house calling "AUBY". I pray you to go forward knowing I've left a small footprint on your heart in your long, long life ahead of you. I pray for your happiness. I pray you can still enjoy the smalls things when you're 13 and learning about boys. I pray you find the early years of your life with me as a symbol of your childhood you'll cherish forever.

I love you, my sweet girl.
Thank you for changing my heart, changing my life and blessing me with the ability to focus on truly, the small things.

All my love, forever & always,

Little Man Graduates.

May 30, 2012

I was fortunate enough to marry into a family. I take the step-mom role on with all seriousness and with desires in my heart to build a strong relationship. Drake means the world to me already. After a few short years being in his life, I can say without regret, hesitation or denial that he's a blessing from God I am thankful for daily. He brings light into my world and makes my heart full. He provides happiness, laughs and a whole lot of cuddle I wouldn't ever trade.

This last year, that little man started school. Not long ago we were in his school cafeteria aquiring the 411 to Abraham Lincoln Elementary and everything we needed to know. To khaki pants, shirts tucked in, a belt worn and no mohawks-- which happened to be pretty devastating to Andrew; the 2 of them rocked some siiiiick hawks for our wedding:

which is besides the point, but we were slapped in the face by reality that Drake was growing up. He may have only had a place in my heart for a short period of time but I wanted him to succeed, achieve and accomplish anything he chose suitable during his first year learning... about girls and what's best to eat for lunch! ;)

So he sends home his little invites requesting our presences at his Kindergarten Graduation and my heart broke, fixed itself and melted a bit. Little man was going to 1ST grade. To top it off he had one for Grandma and Grandpa (on my side) and wasn't going to be content unless they were witnesses to this first big milestone of his education career. Done and done. Like promised, all who cares for the 38lbs of him was there cheering him on with tears streaming as he was annouced, walked to receive his "dipolma" and enlightened the crowd to him wanting to become an Anthropologist when he grew up.

Tears, tears, tears aaaaaand more tears.

I may only be a step-mom but I'm one proud-mama.


May 28, 2012

You saw waaaaay back here, that we had finally finished our backyard. Well we finished the main stuff and  we were waiting to accomplish one small area before saying that blissful word... complete. Well Sunday, we had the sweet satisfaction of saying that.

Everyone say it with me... "complete!"
Ah, isn't it great?!

And Brutus is a dork. He looks like a shark about ready to attack yet he was just SO excited Mommy was on his level taking his picture. Silly Brut.

Happy Memorial my sweets. I hope you spending it BBQing and soaking up good family|friend time, as it always should be spent!


May 23, 2012

"Auby, sit your butt butt!"

the truth.

May 22, 2012

You start something because you want to make a difference. Whether it's a small nagging pulling on your heartstrings simply stating to slow down, enjoy life and what each days brings. Or something larger that has more depth such as rebuilding your lifestyle after a dramatic event.

I wouldn't say I need to rebuild my lifestyle or that I am trying to enjoy every simple moment, but why can't I say that? What's holding me back from starting from scratch and starting over? How can I make myself stronger, more reliable and kind? What difference can I make by turning a new leaf with a small change starting deep in my heart?

I come to write. To let each and every person close to me into my heart. Along the way, I've met many great people, built relationships and friendships I value to my core. But I'm bothered. You're only getting a small scratch of my surface.

Did you know I wanted to study journalism? Did you know I used to keep notebook upon notebook expressing every deep desire and muddy pain I felt? It started after I got sick. My best friend started writing while I was in the hospital as an outlet; she didn't know if she'd have a best friend after those dark times. So she wrote. To me. About all her worries, dreams, ambitions and how the normalacy of life didn't quite mean the same when a dear friend balances on the edge of death.

I was moved. I spent hours, all throughout my nights writing how I felt in the hospital. I wrote how it was painful to accept that life was going on outside those walls of the ICU. How all my friend were on tour enjoying Disney with me; why didn't I get that? Why did the Lord put me through this? I wrote how I felt abandoned by Jesus Christ and his Heavenly Father. I wrote how this hard time had made me snap into someone I wasn't proud of.

Struggle (noun): to contend with an adversary or opposing force.

That's an understatement. With every fiber of my body I struggled to heal over those short few months of summer. I fought for something to make me feel like me again. Yet, to this day, there's not quite a cure.

Without suffering, there'd be no compassion. That phrase slapped me right across the face this past year. I was waken from a daze I'd been stuck in for many years, being a degrating and deliberate insult to people. If I didn't agree with someone, they're damned in my book. Where the hell did that get me?? At my lowest point of life. Again, struggling to find answers for my suffering. Grasping at every last straw of friendship that I'd lost. Turning my family away because, "I'm 19 and I know way more than anyone else knows!"

Coming back into the light of the Lord makes things, well, bright.

I suffer so I can relate to other suffering, I suffer to grow as an individual. Had I not suffered those many years back, I can say without a hint of hesitation, I wouldn't be married today. It's by God's grace we love and are loved. It's in His name we go about our days.

This blog has turned into something trendy. Something stressful to me. I came into my corner of the internet to cope with life. To find beauty in everyday life. To cherish those small moments we all take for granted and to embrace the challenges thrown at us. To see myself grow as a woman, wife and mother and to remember I am here because He saved me. I want to be an inspiration of a woman to others, a positive light in dark days, an uplifting thought to keep you going and an encouraging word when that's all you need to hear.

So here I sit in this bed:

coming to you with vulnerability and hope. Hope for an even brighter future. Faith that my Father will guide me with this blog of daily life and dreams to ripple my words to those around me in a way that may change someones life.


May 17, 2012

My bright orange package came in the mail today.
I have to say, it was bitter|sweet; normally ordering prints is exciting for me. It would resemble memories and most likely redecorating.
Not this time.
This package represents a chapter closing.
It means it's time to throw all the memories I have with Elle together to gift to the family on my last day.

I can't believe it's only 8 more days with the Little. She seems to be getting more and more attached as the days near and it's taking every ounces of the happiness in me to show her everything is going to be okay.
& everything will be okay; I'm confident she will still love her "Auby" even after the final days of companionship.

So here we are off early on a Thursday afternoon, coming home to that bright orange package and jumping into a night of scrapbooking.

Full disclosure:
Wine will be involved and many tears will be shed.

The future holds....

May 15, 2012

Well happy Tuesday everyone!
Did you all get to see the Bachelorette last night??
I didn't.... it's definitely recording BUT I couldn't handle staying up til 10:30pm. Therefore tonight, is filled with Emily Maynard and I couldn't be happier.

Until then, I wanted to get you all up to date with life. Meaning you're getting all the deets about my new job and how things went down breaking it to the family I nanny for.

Let's start with a little background; I grew up at Community Church of Joy, left after middle school and just recently started back with Andrew in February-- you saw that here. We now volunteer as Youth Leaders and LOVE it; the kids, the atmosphere, the fellowship speaks straight to our hearts and we feel so blessed they've welcomed us to be apart of the team.

If you saw this post, you know I was struggling; I didn't know if it was time to move on, I didn't know what the right thing to do was, I didn't know what the responsible thing to do was. I did know I wasn't myself and heading down a spiral to unhappiness and discontentment.

After an evening with my parents and hubs with lots of tears and Margaritas, I knew it was time to bite the bullet. It was time to put myself out there, be vulnerable and start applying at different places that appealed to me. It was this emotional night I found a job opening at CCOJ-- our church home.
If that wasn't a sign, I don't know what is!

Two days later, I was contacted scheduling my first interview, the following day I was scheduled for a second interview and was offered the position on the spot.

My heart in a nutshell that moment:

The Lord was leading me into the next chapter of life; the chapter that will mold my adulthood.

My key responsibilities include-- reception, outreach, coordinating items needed for the services and Graphic Design work!
Umm, amazing, right?!!
I am beyond ecstatic about this new journey.

The next day going to work was the hardest day I've faced being with Elle. I want her to know how much I love her and cherish the moments I've had with her and being apart of that family. I wish I could explain to her why I have to leave instead of abondoning her without explanation. She won't understand and maybe that's better but it's going to take time for her and myself to learn to be without each other. We will learn to attach to new surroundings in our lives and that I am thankful for.

Her parents were incredible in accepting my wants and needs to expand to another chapter in my life. They promise to keep me in Elle's life and to call for random play dates. As they take on finding a new nanny, I can only be an ear to listen to their frustration with finding someone to replace me and that is something I understand. It's also something I'm doing everything I can to help them; they deserve a great individual watching over their little-- Elle NEEDS someone great to hold her hand in growth over the next few precious years.

So thank you for all your prayers, support, love and encouragement during the funk I was going through. I appreciate each and everyone who has reached out to me; it makes the world of difference knowing you're not in this crazy life alone. I'm confident life is moving forward and there's a bright light at the end of the tunnel. One I'm running head on for.

10K-- success!

May 13, 2012

Saturday was the big day! Up at 5AM, registration at 6:15 and the run started at 7:15AM! This was so exciting for me as I've been training for a handful of months now; My dad, brother and cousin, Madison joined me running.

The boys did their own thing as Madison definitely struggled not knowing truly how intense it could get running for such a duration but I felt accomplished keeping her motivated in times of need and making sure she pressed on as hard as she could.

Oringinally, I entered this to test myself and to see what I could achieve with the challenge but that changed shortly after the race started and my mindset became "keep Madison going-- keep her motivated!" and that I did.

During the times we were running, I felt GREAT. My cardiovascular was definitely trained and ready for running; My legs were loving the energy bursting through them!

Altogether, my brother took 3RD place for his age bracket [finished at 58mins], dad ran the whole time even with his bad knees finishing at 1hr 10minutes and Madison and I came up finishing at 1hr 22minutes. I'd call that a success for a first race and a proud moment knowing I kept Madison going and I was so pumped being her support! :)

The cherry on top?? The family I nanny for came out to watch so Elle crossed the finish line with me!
What a treat for me!!

Anyone can be a father, it takes a special man to be a dad.

May 8, 2012

Oh, daddy.
You make my heart so happy.
I love you SO much.


May 6, 2012

Do you ever just completely lose it? Like tears streaming down your face, body shaking, snot running kind of losing it?

I don't know what it is but there are times when life seems so heavy and burden after burden get piling up that whenever that moment hits me and I need to break down-- it's monumental. It's a huge ordeal and everyone happens to notice and I don't ever seem to have enough tissues or eye drops to get through it. Hence mascara and snot ending up eveywhere on the surface of my face, hands and pants.

It's not pretty.

This last week of life has gotten even more difficult to navigate than the prior weeks that I was so barely keeping my head above water. Andrew transferred to a new store with Discount Tire which was loooong overdue as he was at the prior one for 3+ years; we were so excited for his transfer, yes it was a farther drive but it's a new change of pace that he was SO needing.

Wednesday was his first day and I was patiently awaiting his text at lunch telling me about his morning, his initial thoughts and how he was persevering through the day.... it never came. I get off work, run some errands and did grocery shopping when FINALLY I get a call from him.

"I just found out we have a meeting after work tonight so I won't make dinner."
Oh, okay.

8pm rolls around.
9pm rolls around.
9:15pm he calls saying he's leaving work.

He left for work at 6:15am. Holy geez. That's a long first day at a new store! He gets home, he's shot and has nothing left to even make out 4 sentences before he's asleep.
Well, good talk! Hopefully we can do this again tomorrow....NOT.

Thursday night-- he get's home at 7:45pm.
Friday night, 7:40pm.

This is the point I start to become resentful. This is the moment I get angry.
I work hard to keep things in order around the house, to keep the schedule with getting Drake, to have dinner ready on the table, fresh laundry, clothes set out, lunches made.... all I want in return is a little bit of time to relax and wind down with my husband and by the looks of things, I'm becoming the wife who will have everything done, looking forward to a night with my husband and receiveing a snoring man in 20 minutes upon his arrival.

So today it hit me. I'm taking my frustrations out on a man who has zero control over them. I'm setting myself up with expectations that can no longer be met because my husband is working hard to provide for ME. He's busting his chops to keep a shelter over our head, food in our fridge, warm water for our showers...

I sit here tears streaming as I write. This is a hard adjustment. This is something we never realized how blessed we were before when he had a "slow" store. We are learning how to navigate these times and learning how to still connect in our marriage with little time throughout the week to spend together.

Sunday is here-- a day to sleep in with my man, a day to worship our Lord and a day to spend building relationships with the youth TOGETHER.

I pray that God can work in my heart, mind and soul giving me strength to overcome these new challenges in our life TOGETHER.