Saturday, December 31, 2016

When I Look At This Picture...

When I look at this pic, I see the stay-at-home mother and wife who extended breastfed, co-slept and loved all things natural and organic. I see a women who loved to serve her family, desired to homeschool - but in the meanwhile, was active in her son's (public) schooling. This woman was constantly praying, reading and seeking wise counsel so to be the best mother, wife, friend and person humanly possible. This woman had dreams of more children, homebirths, and sharing facts on breastfeeding and vaccines.
Having realized trying to create a happy home within in the context of an angry, abusive man is in fact, NOT the will of God, this woman had to leave for the safety and wellbeing of her children, and herself. Being thrown into a whole new lifestyle of single parenting; working, going back to school, while meeting all the emotional and physical needs of three kids alone has left her...exhausted. Organic food? A rarity these day. Co-sleeping? Ugh, I'll just take the couch. Quality time for prayers and book reading? I've been reading the same book since July.
This picture breaks my heart. I feel like I lost her somehow.
May 2017 bring a new season of...balance. Of finding one's identity. Of restoration...and of hope. <3

Becoming me

Again, not so much a resolution as a permanent change.

I have said before my default is negative...towards myself. See, I can be hopeful, positive and believe the best for anyone except me. I wholeheartedly believe it has to do with the almost 27-years of abuse endured by both parents and spouse. The lies pounded in my head over and over and over again. And this mindset has affected both relationships and my health. So I am done. 

2017 will be my last full year in my 20s. I do not want to enter my 30s the way I've been in my 20s. I want to gain physical health and habits, as well as emotional and mental health and habits.

I know some things about me, things I like, how I like to treat people, views on topics, etc. but my unhealthy habits have created a hindrance in my growth. I am ready to find out who I am really and also, to fully become me.

2017 will be the year the impossible is possible.

In my current way of thinking, the lose of weight, and gain of healthy eating and thinking habits feels so I become discouraged and end up self-harming over again. But not anymore. I am going to set goals and write in here regularly for accountability sake. With God and friends by my side, this year will be a game changer.

A Change In 2017

I know people are all about New Years resolutions and everything but this isn't like that. I need some real life style changes.

Like with my thoughts. Really work on taking my thoughts captive. I tend to be so negative and assume the worst (for me, not for others). I know the way I lived for almost 27 years has had an affect on this. The abuse, the fight-or-flight mode, it beat me down. Wore me out. But God is bigger. And I want to be HEALED of the way I think of myself, speak to myself, the way I react to others and to situations.

My eating. It is out of control. And maybe that's just it; a control issue. I am not quite sure. But my eating is unhealthy in what I eat (typically) and the amount of which I consume. This also contributes to fear of health problems because of the guilt of knowing better and yet not acting on it. I believe our bodies can tolerate a lot of mistreatment, but we all have our breaking point and I am finally seeing my body reaching that point. Where things were once not issues, they are now. Heart upset stomach. I have had some form of stomach bug 4 times this year. 4 times within an 8 month period. And only one time did A & M get sick as well (Z never did). It makes me go back to question my eating. Am I eating myself sick?

There are so many things I want to achieve that seem impossible for me. (This goes back to my mindset and taking thoughts captive.) What was helpful was passing my MOS certification. That felt so impossible! But it happened. And it was a small taste of what else I can accomplish that may feel impossible. 

So this year, may I focus on what feels impossible (becoming HEALTHY in & out) and make it a reality. This will be my last year in my 20s and I surely do not want to enter my 30s where I am currently.

Monday, December 26, 2016

Christmas Blizzard 2016

It's our fourth winter in NoDak and finally we got a "bad" storm! Well, actually, this is the third storm this month! They said we were due for a bad winter and so far the predictions have been right! We have already had 3 snow days at work (and kids' school), and tomorrow will be our 4th work snow day! It was a blizzard with 54MPH in some places, and we got 12.5" snow (while other places got 22"!). Major interstates have been closed and there is a no travel advisory issued. Christmas night we even had thunder snow which I had never heard of before. That is thunder and lightning with heavy snow - it's a rare occurrence! Let's see how long it takes to dig us outta here! 


Hard to push open apartment door leading outside. Neighbor & I shoveled from Christmas night; snow came up to half way up the door. In the morning, there was more snow half way up the door again!

It's a struggle!

Window (from inside).


My car!

Driver side of my car.

Zeke in the front.

Middle of parking lot.

My car!

Front passenger side of my car!

The start of it...Christmas evening.

Notice how high the snow drift is in the background; coming to top of fence.

 Snow drift in front of the building.

Front steps.

Middle of parking lot.

 Windows almost completely covered.

 How high/deep the snow is in the middle of our parking lot!
Do not believe these pics do justice.

This is a vehicle here in town that is completely covered with snow!

Christmas 2016

Christmas Eve
Saturday Decemeber 24th, 2016

 Christmas Eve service at church.

 This fella is so smart. He started to read out of the book of Pslams, then had me read it, followed by him explaining to me what it meant and then applying it to a situation that happened earlier that day. <3 Wise beyond his years!

 We went to look at Christmas lights after church.

Christmas Day
Sunday December 25th, 2016

These kids! They woke me up at 4am! NO JOKE! I didn't go to bed until after midnight...two of them came to wake me up...I thought it was maybe 6am...I was so tired I could not open my eyes. They were asking to open gifts, I said they had to wait until brother woke up - AND DO NOT WAKE HIM UP...they went away briefly then all three returned by 4:30am to open gifts! I was so delirious! I remember talking to them about helping keep the house clean, then reading from Luke 2...we may have prayed. I was so tired, guys, everything feels like a blur. They opened gifts then I sent them to their room and I went back to bed! LOL! It was a lazy day all-in-all. I made them biscuits, eggs, bacon for breakfast and lasagna for supper. We got a blizzard that would end up going through the next day. Here in town we got 12.5". Snow drifts are crazy high in some spots; over the hood of my car! The roads are awful that there is still a no travel advisory...and work is cancelled for Tuesday. But anyways. Kids were very blessed this Christmas. Thankful for Christ and time with my kids! <3 GOD IS GOOD!

Tuesday, December 13, 2016


For what I am about to share, I praise God and wholly give Him credit for His grace and strength.

'15-'16 I went back to college full time. Spring semester proved hard with full time work, 3 kids and a full course load. In all honesty, my heart wasn't fully in it and I had additional distractions. Part of my lack of interest in school had to do with my major; AA Administrative Assistant. I chose it originally because I'd be able to attend classes online so it wouldn't affect work. I also chose it because of job security - and as a single mom, that means a lot.

With less than ideal grades, I had to appeal to keep financial aid. I got it and decided to go back part time this semester; retaking a class I failed in the spring and also taking a family sociology class. I cut out some distractions and did my best to prioritize school. My grades have maintained A's & B's for the most part. The class I had to retake has been by the far the hardest and most challenging; a computer class, a Word class. I ended up with a low A in sociology; and getting a 90% on my final. Wow! That was a first.

Today was my final for the other class. I was beyond nervous especially considering I didn't do so well on my last assignment and my grade is in the low 80's (typically I'd say is good but I really want and need to do the best possible to maintain financial aid). The final for this class is actually a Word certification exam; you need a 700 to pass and get the certification. Now, whatever grade you do get on the exam, divide by 700 and that is your "final" grade for class. Make sense? The certification is not required to pass the class, but is a bonus especially for the work field.

I took the day off from work (as Tuesdays are my short day already) and I wasn't sure how long the exam would take. I first met with my advisor...this semester I truly realized my love for social work (which was my major years ago) and my grades this semester reflect that. I want to do social work because that is where my heart is and I'm going to trust God with the rest (figuring out school & work, providing the job, etc.). So I officially switched to the social work program...and changed my spring semester classes.

I was sharing with my advisor how terrified I was about the final I was about to much riding on this will basically help determine whether I can go back next semester or not...she gave me some encouragement and a bendy stick thing to play with to help with anxiety. I was able to also practice/study a little bit before the exam.

I got a 673 out of 700. 

GOOD NEWS: I got a 96% on my final.

BAD NEWS: Failed the certification exam, but am getting to retake in the morning. 

I cannot believe I got a 96 in my hardest class! God is good! I do hope to pass the certification tomorrow, but if not, I'm still have to give thanks for all the good that has happened thus far.

God is good and I am excited to see what the future holds.

Saturday, December 10, 2016


This word single handledly best describes how I feel.

When it comes to things with my ex, the abuse and neglect and the apparent unfaithfulness. Invalid. Did I ever fight back? Well, yeah. Invalid, Emma. Did he ever beat you so bad you ended up in the hospital? No... Invalid. Did you ever walk in on him with another woman? I have not but - Doesn't matter, Emma, invalid. My feelings that re-immerse (or that have never fully gone away) of anger towards him, invalid. The fact he doesn't visit the kids, invalid because afterall he does call. Or how about him not paying child support like he is supposed to? Invalid because he does send a little and there are other women who receive zero. Invalid across the board, Emma. Get over and get on with it.

The sadness and ache in my heart over having premature ovarian failure/insufficiency, the frustrations of what this diagnosis means for my health and future. When I tell people about this diagnosis, then one day they ask me a question about my cycle or me having future kids - did you not hear what I said? The fact you didn't remember makes me feel invalid. The very real possibility of never having another child, invalid, because I have three already. The fact the Macie wants a sister, and I don't feel like my family is complete, or that I may have a future husband who wants a child with me and all this may never come to be...invalid. Get over it, Mace; go on and adopt, Em; he may never exist - move on with it.

My body is far from perfect. And to have been rejected because of the imperfections of my body, hurts. But that's all invalid because at least I've had a relationship before - remember the marriage to my ex? And I'd probably still be in that marriage had I tried harder - right, friends? Because I have friends who have prayed their ways through rough times in their marriage and they came out on the other end. So obviously the failure is probably my fault in some way which makes my feelings invalid.

When I opened up to you about the abuse of my past and you then suggest my abuser watch our kids so we can go out - invalid. Did you not just hear what I said?! Does my experience mean nothing? My feelings mean nothing? Or when you try to amend things with an estranged parent who was very much so your #1 abuser growing up, and the parent just cannot fully own up to what happened back then...says a brief, "I'm sorry" but then tries to act like nothing ever happened and y'all have been BFF's since forever and you're left like, "what just happened?" and it makes me feel...invalid. Afterall, that person can brush over what happened and I'm stuck in the pain and the consequences of their actions. Are my feelings valid?

When you don't agree (I'll give ya the benefit of the doubt and say you don't understand) my reasons, so you give me labels of which I am not - well, it leaves me feeling invalid. So I share my thoughts or feelings and you're basically telling me I am wrong, so invalid it is. And I shut down my thinking, my ways, and I build that wall higher. And you tell me to move because it would be better, but I want to make here my home but the pressure is all consuming and I know the lack of support I'll receive if I stand up for what I believe so I keep my mouth shut, because I am invalid. The decisions I make, invalid. Stupid, even. What was I thinking?

So I speak up and use words to emphasize how I feel and I am told my words are dramatic which of course makes them one thing; invalid. How do you make someone take you seriously? I just want someone to acknowledge and stand in solidarity. 

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Asher's day on the ranch!

Saturday December 3rd, 2016

Asher's Big Brother took him to a ranch about 50 miles south of where we live to help clear snow and do "man stuff". You guys...I am so, so thankful for my boys' Bigs. They invest time in my boys which means so much considering their dad has basically abandoned my children. And since we have no family around, I am all the more appreciative of these men who volunteer to their time to invest in my sons!

Asher's Big is almost always doing something new, exciting and active with him - AND I LOVE IT! I love how he does "man" stuff with my boy! I love how he encourages Ash and always sees the bright side of things (thinking of Ash's experience in swim lessons that he signed him up for). And his wife is also great with Asher - he loves them both!

Zeke loves his Big as well. Though their agenda differs much from Ash's and his Big, Zeke's Big is still there for Zeke and even attended one of his soccer games! Both guys are so different, but that's not a bad thing at all. My boys treasure the time spent with them. They are both good guys!

I am just so happy for my boys. I love them both and I am so grateful to God for placing these men in their lives.

Macie lost her first tooth!

Sunday Dec. 4th, 2016
Macie lost her first tooth!

At only 5 years 9 months old, baby girl lost her first tooth! She is younger than her brothers were when they lost their first; the boys were both 6. Funny, five years ago today she got her second baby tooth in (12/4/11), having gotten her first baby tooth when she was 8 months (10/17/11), I remember these dates because she got her first tooth the day her cousin Lily was born and her second tooth on her uncle Caleb's birthday. She was older than my boys were when they got their first teeth; both my boys were 5 months old, Asher being a younger 5 month old than Zeke. I remember Zeke was early-mid August 2004 and Ash was late August 2008, having just turned 5 months.

She picked out gum instead of money under the pillow.

You guys...these days are going by fast! It seems only yesterday Macie was an infant, Asher a toddler and Zeke just a young fella in elementary school. My kids are growing up so, so fast. I wish time would slow down.