A Year Ago Today: It’s Been A Year of Loving You

 
It’s been a year since we decided that we were all we both needed. Being with you feels so natural and has since I realized I fell in love with you. Do you remember? It was that time I decided to take a nap so I didn’t have to reply immediately when you asked if I loved you. I was afraid you may not be where I was, but then I woke up to a sad face. Your sad emoji made me so happy because that answered my question of if you loved me. It just feels as if it should have always been this way.
It’s been 8,670 hours since I fell in love with every crinkle on your face when you laugh. 

It’s been 52 weeks since I fell in love with those glossy, twinkling eyes you give me, along with that sweet and sleepy smile, every time I catch a glimpse of you looking at me across the kitchen at work. 

It’s been 365 days since you gave me what I’ve been missing my whole life. Something I never even knew or thought could have been missing until you whirled into my life like a ton of glorious bricks. You gifted me laughter in my life. Laughter that lifts my spirit and feeds my soul. You’ve given me happiness that I can feel to my core. 
It’s been 525,600 minutes since you began to strengthen my children’s lives and almost a year since we decided to have one of our own. 
It’s been a single revolution around the sun since every day has become longer for all the days you aren’t with me. It’s also been a year since I wanted every moment to freeze in time for all the days you are with me. 
It’s been a hilarious year of us always simultaneously saying the same thing or completing the same action, at least once a day. Every time it still amazes us because what are the odds that we both sing Sugar in our lowest voice possible at the exact same time and start on the same random note. Every time is like the first time and we still cackle and say “what are the odds…” Then, go tell Shelby later because it was so funny. 
I love that your eyes smile even when your mouth doesn’t. I love that I catch you staring at me while I’m driving and singing. I’ll always giggle and say “what?” and then you’ll sweetly sigh while tilting your head and say “nothin'”. I love every way that you love me and for every way you find new ways to love me. For every smile you put on my children’s faces is one more moment of their life where I know I have done the best thing possible for them. 

Over the last year, we have not only accomplished and felt the above, but we’ve roasted marshmallows in the bedroom over votive candles on a box. We have (I have) set an Olaf made from a potato on fire because I turned the wrong burner on. You’ve locked the keys in the car, ran to the house to get extras, only to find out the car doors were unlocked. We have accidentally created mustard gas in the apartment. I got drunk in Austin and peed on my phone. I’ve sat in the bathtub 9 months pregnant while you sat in a fold out chair next to me and we talked about our day. You spent days on a hospital couch pulled up next to my hospital bed (because I said I missed you next to me) because I had an infection. We hiked up enchanted rock when I was 2 weeks postpartum and you’ve never been more encouraging as we were higher than the birds could soar. We made a beautiful little girl to add to our party of five. It’s been a year since I started loving someone in a way I never knew was possible. Most importantly and more than anything, over the last year, I have fallen in love with you more and more with each day that passes. We are anything but ordinary together. We are the perfect mixture of weird, wit, sarcasm, crazy, funny, and did I say wit? ’cause we have a lot. We suite each other so perfectly and every day I thank the Lord above that we share this love. We’ve come a long way from where we began and you’ve made this journey an adventure of a lifetime. Every day spent with you is my favorite day, every day is better than the last, and everyday of you loving me is one of the greatest days of my life. 

Remember, I’ll love you until your 70. 

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The Man Who Loved Me Back Together

 Where do I begin? I knew from the moment you sat outside the office door, on a step ladder, that you would somehow be more than an employee. It was never intentional, but after hours and hours of innocent sharing and comparing our lives, we realized we were the same people and that we wanted the same things in life. You brought a joy into my life that I’ve never known or have ever felt with anyone. My children accepted you the moment they met you, with no questions asked. All Hayleigh could say was “happy, happy” after she spent time with you. My son began to look happy in pictures again. I have had so much fun with you already, it feels like a life time of memories, but it’s only been about 10 months. We got lost in down town Austin at 9 o’clock at night and I was so stressed out my neck was tense and we just wanted to escape the maze! Every time we got hungry we just typed in a restaurant and chose a different town every time. We spent endless hours on the highway and in different towns just because we missed each other. We got stuck in traffic for hours, but I wouldn’t have wanted to get “lost” with anyone but you. Every time we came upon an exit, we got “lost” until we saw another on ramp and kept re-merging just because we could, even though we were even further back in traffic than before. We laughed so much on the way back into town that I could barely see to drive because I was crying so much from saying “weeeee” down the highway. I love every time we sit on the kitchen floor at 2am after all the kids are asleep, eating a bowl of cereal, and laughing the milk out because…well who knows what we are laughing at. I love when you sit in the bathroom with me and tell me about your day while I take a bath. No man, and not even my momma in all her years of motherhood, has ever cleaned up as much vomit as you have in a 5 month period during all of my awful, awful morning sickness. This may be a bit much to share, but I hope everyone at some point is loved the way he’s loved me so far…he’s used a plunger to unclog my roadhouse out of the sink, cleaned out the puke in the bathtub and scrubbed it out of the carpet…endless times. There was a time my son threw up on the floor and I tried to clean it up and instead his throw up made me hurl right next to him, Michael cleaned up both. He went to 7-11 at 2am for slurpees I was craving and got odds and ins. He’s walked to Bush’s Chicken for enough food for 5+ people with tea included, which is over a mile, because my kids wanted chicken and we didn’t have a car….Michael, I want you to never under-rate yourself. You’ve taken on a challenge and a blessing that many men would never imagine even trying. You have brought more happiness, a different kind, into our lives that we’ve never known. It’s a pure joy that makes your cheeks hurt, your eyes water, and makes us “ugly laugh” and cackle. You make me feel beautiful, no matter what I look like. Every single time you look at me, it’s like the first time, like you just fall in love me over and over again. You’ve already spent the night in the hospital with me for days. The next hospital admission you took care of my children alone, for days…and you never complained. You’ll never know how much that’s worth, please never underestimate your value, because every moment, every laugh, every glance into your smiling blue eyes, and every day in the future spent with you, is priceless. No matter what the future holds for us, everyday spent with you is unforgettable. Forever, Forever. 

The Man I May Never Know

I’m sure after all this time, you might assume that I just want to tell you how much anger I have and to ask you endless questions, but since you “I don’t know”, I have answered these questions for you.

12029720_1630078650613948_1284304893423192034_oHow can you be a father figure to someone else’s child, but not to your own? What made you want her, but you didn’t want us? It turns out, it’s probably not about me or him or her, it’s how you chose to fix the biggest mistakes of your life. I don’t mean us, we aren’t mistakes, I mean you and your choices during that time in your life. It’s your way of being able to undo what you have done or didn’t do and the same goes for your (step) grand-daughter. For this, I want to say that I am proud of you. I want you to know how proud I am, of you, that you learned how to be a dad and for that I can never be mad at you. Even though, I needed my daddy, you stepped in to be hers instead and her daughter gets to have a grandpa like you. Because you stepped out of my life, I had the privilege of knowing another man as my dad, just as your daughter now knows you.
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I hope you don’t get angry that I made this public. As I am sure you know, you aren’t the easiest man to get a hold of. I don’t know where you live, your phone number, you won’t even open my messages, I barely even remember your voice…but I’ll never forget that little snicker followed by a half smile every time you laugh….because, I am you. I have your humor, your wit, your eyes, your smile, your strength, and your smarts. I’ll never be able to forget what it felt like at my 8th grade graduation when you wrapped your muscles around me, picked me up, and spun me in a circle or what every hug you have ever given me has felt like.

What I wonder, is do you know how many biological grandchildren you have? You have two12670795_1686067748348371_7316141927844420848_n grandsons, Michael is almost six and in Kindergarten, and Stetson is three. You have three granddaughters, Elizabeth is one, Hayleigh is one and if you ever get the privilege of meeting Hayleigh, it will break your heart because she looks so much like me that you’d probably feel 18 all over again. Then, there is Elliote “Ellie” who will be here around your birthday. Do you tell people about us? Do we exist in your life? Are you embarrassed? Not by us, because we are amazing human beings, but of your choices? You shouldn’t be.

I want you to know how highly I think of you, no matter your choices in life, I still put you on a pedestal no matter what anyone says. My mother has only ever built you up and told me what an incredible person you were and I am assuming, still are. Are you afraid to face me? Maybe you truly just wish we never existed, like I’ve been told your dad told you? If fear is what the case is, know that I accept you for all of your flaws, I forgive you for all your wrongs and all of your did-not’s. Do you want to know a sad wondering that I have always had: If I were to die before you, would you be there at my funeral? Could you look at my face in my open casket and have no regrets? When I took my last breath, would you have said all you ever needed to say to me to live the rest of your life without heavy shoulders? I’d be at yours in a heartbeat, give a eulogy and dig your grave with my bare hands if need be…but would you?

1463396_1658664941088652_7295045662574818050_nI also want you to realize, I never have wanted anything from you and I’ll never start. I didn’t call you when my husband attempted suicide. I didn’t call you when my husband abandoned me, 8 months pregnant, with no job, and left me homeless and without a vehicle. I never asked you for food when all I had left was sugar and ketchup. I didn’t ask for your help when I was thrown into door frames, pinned against a wall, or when I slept in my car at a park. I don’t need you to peel me off the sidewalk, I don’t need you to be my ATM, I don’t need your four wheels, and I don’t need your sympathy or empathy. I just simply would like for you to be apart of my life for dinners and parties and to share my happiness with you.

When I saw you two years ago, I saw life had caught up to you and it made me ache. For the first time in my life, my dad didn’t look 21 anymore. He had laugh lines in the corners of 10312671_1654905488131264_5645248015062035933_nhis eyes that he never had before, he had a couple of stray grey hairs above his ears, my dad was now human. I realized, at that moment, how much time I had missed out on your life and you on mine. In closing, please remember out of all the people in this heartless, time ravaging, and flaw-filled world, that no matter who you were, who you are, who you become, or any choice you could ever make, will I ever love you any less. I am one of the very, very few women in your life who will love you unconditionally and endlessly. Now, for the last time, I am throwing the ball back in your court. Will you keep it with no regret? Or will you play with all your heart?

I love you, daddy,

Endlessly yours,

Candace.

Greatness is Godly

It’s not easy changing your life. In the process of working on your dreams you are going to run into disappointment, failure, and disapproval. You will doubt yourself and fear that you will never get there. You will give up… more than once. We all have hardships but we can all make it to where we want to be. Greatness is not something God like that only the special people in this world will feel and have. It exists in all of us but you have to want to be great, to be true to yourself. You have to have the courage. What is the point of your life? We grow up, we make a living, we raise a family, and then we die. We stop becoming something because we become a robot to life. As long as you are following other people, worried about other people, then you will not break the mold. Once you can separate yourself from the crowd, that is when you will become unique. You will then become who you were created to be. I refuse to live life just as it is because there is more out there for me. Those who chase their dreams are successful because they know it is up to them and only them. It is up to you to invest in you. Someone’s opinion of you doesn’t have to be your reality. No matter what happens you have to know and believe to your very core, that you are going to make it. What are you doing with your life if you are not investing in yourself? It is essential to get the losers out of your life who bring you down so that you can move forward. Don’t let anyone steal your dreams! The world is a very, very mean place. It will kick you in the balls and drown you. If you have a dream, you have to protect. People will tell you that you can’t, you shouldn’t, or you never will. Figure out for yourself what makes you happy. Your dreams will never mean the same to anyone else. No matter what your dreams the world will always see them as crazy. It’s about getting hit and still moving forward. You can get the shit beat out of you and stay on the ground or you can get beat, smile, and say “Watch me”. If you have the courage to dream, you must have the courage to receive criticism, to be doubted, to be laughed at, and to say “I will show you how great I am!”

The Postal Worker

Today we went to a Mexican restaurant and didn’t have a whole lot of money, but we needed a little something. So we are sitting there eating, the 4 of us, and this man starts walking towards us. He leans in and says, “Don’t ask me why, but I just paid for your bill.” Then, he dashed out the door and drove off in his work vehicle. He was a mail man. I still picture him walking out the door, like in slow motion. We were just stunned. It’s like I am dumbfounded because it’s not something you see much of. My husband barely got out a thank you before he darted off…so I just want say…

Thank you postal worker, whoever you are. What you didn’t know was we only had $20. It was the only grocery money we had but we were so hungry we wanted to grab a couple $1.69 tacos …and free chips and salsa with free water. Since you paid our bill, all of our money went to food. Thank you!

Parenting Confession

My Children,

I always eat the pretty grapes because I know you don’t know the difference between the ugly and pretty. They all look the same to you. They aren’t bad. They just might have a dimple from the stem and I just can’t bring myself to eat it. It makes me gag and I know you don’t mind. Does this make me fruit shallow? I hope they always look the same to you, they have the same quality, the same potential, they just might have a different “taste” sometimes. This is how you should always look at everyone that comes into your life and that you cross on the street. They are all the same, they all have the same potential, they are all of the same quality, they just “taste” different (i.e.: they all will have different personalities and you won’t like all of them). Some will have wrinkly spots, some will have dimples, some will be white grapes, some will be red, some will even be brown, some are tiny and some are very large. It’s just because they were grown different and from all around the world. Just know that one way or another they will be eaten, thrown away, or sometimes stepped on. That means enjoy them while they last because they soon will all be gone. Enjoy your grapes and enjoy your people, nothing lasts forever.

Hiding Our Property: Eviction

November 1st, my husband didn’t get his BAH from the military. That alone screwed us up with all of our bills and we were just going to pay the rent in two parts as we have done before. They came knocking on our door after the 3 day grace period and asked about the rent. Might I add that they knock on the door like police with a cause to enter and start unlocking our door after the first knock, umm no. That alone pisses you off. They asked and I said, “we can pay half this week and the other half next week” and she said, “No…no, we can’t do that.” Of course, they would always take money but it wouldn’t count, really. She said they would file for eviction on the 12th. Everyday you are late it is an additional $10 and that’s after the initial $75 late fee. Our base rent when we moved in 13 months prior was $615, by the time we could pay off all of the money our rent would have been $1600 that month. What was the point of paying almost 3x our rent when we hated being there anyway? Since they wouldn’t work with us, we decided to find elsewhere to live. There lies the problem. While living at these apartments, our previous apartments in another state decided to tack on some fees we never knew we owed  on to our credit report. Any who, since we owed some money for painting fees no one single place would rent to us. After the 12th, we would be homeless. My husband’s dad said we could live with him but then his grandma needed to move in instead the day before we were supposed to move in, understandably. He was our last hope. What were we going to do? I dropped my husband off at work that day and the second he shut the door I just started bawling. I cried all the way home. That moment when reality smacked me in the face. I was actually trying to find places to hide our big-ticket items and everything important that we could never replace so that no one could take it from us. My kids are confused because they don’t know what’s going on or why everyone is so strung out. We told everyone we could pay them rent, we could buy our own food, we just needed somewhere to shower and sleep. Nobody had space or time. We were a burden. It wasn’t anyone else’s problem, but it’s the fact everyone expects us to jump through hoops for them but the day before we would have to go to a homeless shelter, they couldn’t help us out. The most insulting thing anyone said to me during that time, while asking for help, was “You should have seen this coming.” Slap in the face. This was the lowest point in my life. I have never felt so empty, so helpless, and such a burden to everyone in our lives. M husband’s mom called and said we could stay in her living room. It wasn’t much, it wasn’t that big, but it was a place to sleep and shower. We are so grateful. She even already had her mother-in-law living with her and still let us stay there. We later found a “no questions asked” house for rent and were able to move into it fairly quickly. I feel like we have officially endured a little bit of everything life will ever have to throw at us.

I’m Back!

Hello everyone! I know I have been missing since, umm,  November?! So much has been going on and life has been happening all too sudden and like a slap in the face. We have been through eviction (which I will write a post on by itself), we lived in my mother-in-laws living room for a week or two,  my brother’s bestest friend in the whole world died (she was 19), my husband’s grandmother died, I had the flu for almost 2 weeks, both of my boys now have the flu, the youngest has Impetigo that we are fighting to get rid of now, and everything in between. My trip this March just wasn’t panning out the way it should be, smoothly. It’s said that what doesn’t just happen, probably shouldn’t happen. So, I was looking to push it forward because I will be going one way or another. Once I thought about pushing it forward we found out that I am pregnant, 9 weeks today, so it was a good idea it seems. That is why I ended up not going bungee jumping in December like I had planned. It has made me so tired that I literally can not stay awake for more than 4 hours a day and I am nauseous like no other. So, I am still going, just pushing forward a year. People thought I was crazy for going when I had 2 kids, I can only imagine the speeches that I will get now. That is something not may can understand and that is okay. I know that my children will be safe and taken care of and that is what matters. Having dreams and holding them in is an awful burden to ask of someone. You can not make someone any unhappier than in that moment you ask that of someone you love. The extra time will allow me to prepare a little better and save more. I will just have to dream about it a little longer. It just eats at my heart because I was ready to walk out the door and leave a year ago when I started planning, but it will be worth the wait. While I am not allowed to jump off buildings or hike mountains, I will work on the little things on my bucket list and plan for the bigger ones that I can accomplish in 7 months and on! So please continue to follow my journey through life and as I work through my bucket list. For those who have donated to my journey, know that the money is in savings and will remain there until I leave! Thank you all who have been following, stopping by, leaving comments, and liking my page! All of your presence is appreciated!

My Latest Tattoo

tattooAs you can see, the quote on my arm is the same quote by the title of my blog. “You don’t choose a life. You live one.”, says it all. I first heart this quote on the movie “The Way” when Martin Sheen is riding in the car with his son taking him to the airport. Martin explains that he doesn’t have the time to just run off like his son does. That is when he says “You don’t choose a life dad, you live one.” It’s true. You didn’t choose your mother, your father, your siblings, the people who have become a part of your life, the weather, a disease you have, or when someone dies. All you can do is live the life that you are given and live it the best way you know how. That movie has changed my life and now this quote will forever be apart of my life.

The airplane: In a way it is tied to the quote and then again it’s separate. An airplane represents an airport which represents freedom for me. An airport is where anything is possible. You can meet people from all over the world. There are people working, people flying to their job, people who are moving, having national or international affairs, people who are running away, coming back from deployment and people chasing dreams. At an airport you can go anywhere in the world you want to, anywhere. I even enjoy the smell of the airport. It’s a mixture of stale popcorn, Starbucks’ steaming coffee, and brand new Samsonite suitcases circling the baggage claim. It is a place where every emotion can be felt, from sadness, anger, lust, emptiness, jealousy, and happiness. You see a woman riding the escalator down to baggage claim and a man holding a rose, waiting at the bottom for her. A family holds up a Welcome Home sign and you anticipate to see a soldiers face walk through the door and feel your heart sink when they lock eyes. A woman running back and forth to the security line to say good bye one more time to her beloved, and then one more time again until he is through security. Her face empty as he passes though and he waits for his camouflaged bag to be cleared. Anything and everything you wish to know and observe about the human kind can be learned and felt at an airport.  Sitting in a chair at the airport, near the entrance and before security, you can see so many people’s lives pass by before your eyes. You realize what a small space in this world you occupy and you realize that your only human.

 

Chicken Alfredo

Chicken Alfredo is one of our easy go to dishes and only requires 3 ingredients at the least. I use medium shell noodles, boneless skinless chicken breast, and Alfredo sauce in a can. I buy the light because I prefer the flavor better than the original, but that’s up to you. I also like to add just a little garlic salt and a lot of Mrs. Dash Garlic and Herb for a different flavor.

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