November 30, 2012

Hardcore Gratitude Day 4 - Blessings in Disguise

If I hadn’t married you, I wouldn’t have our beautiful daughter. If I hadn’t divorced you, I wouldn’t have known true love and companionship when I found it. If I hadn’t married you, I wouldn’t have fun memories of Navy life and all the friends we made. If I hadn’t divorced you, I wouldn’t have so much pleasure in my life and more to come. If I hadn’t married you I wouldn’t appreciate being known the way I am by Mark. If I hadn’t divorced you, I wouldn’t have experienced the growth I did in raising Jesamie. If I hadn’t married you, I’d never have cared for an ex like I do. If I hadn’t divorced you, we never would have found the blessings we have in our forever spouses. Brightest Blessings on you TJ.

Hardcore Gratitude by Traci Reed available at; Islsnd Christmas by Rosey Posey at Scrapbookgraphics; Sea Glass Styles by Amanda_Fraijo-Tobin at; Fonts: CenturyGothic

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November 19, 2012

Hardore Gratitude Day 3 - Family Sucks Sometimes

I was ten when you and mom returned from an overnighter in Las Vegas - married. David and I were so excited to have a dad around all the time. We didn’t really know all that would entail in your case. My disappointment and anger only increased as the years rolled on. You were singularly ill prepared to raise children, much less teenagers.  A few of your parenting techniques stand out. Every night as the family retired to the living room to watch tv together I alone cleaned the dining room and kitchen to your standard -a two hour process. When I was older, if I didn’t wash the day’s dishes, I’d trip over them blocking my bedroom door or find them in the tub, impeding my morning school preparations. You and mom slept upstairs and behind a solid core door. David and my bedrooms were downstairs where you refused to allow outside lights on at night and locking doors was not a habit. I was scared that someone would enter and hurt us, it was L.A., you know. On the occasion that I left the light on, you broke the bulb in the socket to prevent a second occurrence. The only evidence of Brett at my wedding is a portrait of him caught on film in the background while I dressed. You restricted him from attending my wedding for some trivial reason or another. Unfortunately, you were caught too. Each photo of you, even during the ceremony, evidences an alcoholic beverage in hand. Crass. Even your jokes contained barbs - “go take a long walk off a short pier” was a frequently bandied about phrase. Your relationship infractions ranged from merely annoying to nearly evil.  I am grateful for the financial stability you helped bring to our family. I learned from my experience with you to build on the positive with my step-sons not punish them for perceived negatives. I forgive you for being unprepared to parent, but boy did it hurt.
Hardcore Gratitude by Traci Reed available at; Shabby Shores by Cindy Rohrbough available at Scrapgirls;  Fonts: CenturyGothic

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November 13, 2012

Hardcore Gratitude Day 2 - Mistakes I've Made

I made the choice with all the wisdom of a 14 year old - I moved in with M. (26, divorced, introduced me to cocaine). I wasn't coerced, I wasn't forced, I was seduced. And, I was ripe for the seduction. I thought I was ready to take on grown up responsibilities. 14 is not an easy age - at school, for mothers and daughters, for making great life choices. I furthered the mistake by stubbornly sticking to my "commitment." When I changed my mind about how I was thinking, leaving was easy.  I am learning to love that young woman who so needed love, affection, and attention. I did get those, the man was not evil, just broken and needy too. Although, had the same happened in my daughter's life, I wouldn't want to be responsible for my retaliatory actions. (There is still some anger there, that's good. The facts have never been in question, I need to accept the feelings too.) My "mistake" informed my life - I really get that we all are doing the very best we can at the time or we would be doing better; even M. Thank you M for teaching me that I was lovable, I did need it. Thank you, me, for growing up and continuing to grow. Thank you God for redeeming all situations.

Magic Black Paperie by Kitty Designs available at Oscraps; Hardcore Gratitude by Traci Reed available at Traci Reed Website;  Fonts: CenturyGothic; Credit Tracker Anna Forrest Designs
Hardcore Gratitude - Traci Reed
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Hardcore Gratitude Day 1 - Bad People, Good Lessons

L. ended up being a one year only  high school special day class teacher. I suffered that year for the students as well as myself. Sexually abused as a child - fully aware, but unprocessed - pancake making sweetie one moment, raging insanity the next. Too many mind games, all we could do was duck and cover. Complaining to the administration, the program director, friends, mom, Ferris Bueller , anyone... brought no change and little relief. I decided to pray. At first all I could do was say "HELP!" I prayed she would change, I prayed my heart would change, I prayed (like that country song) that a plant would fall on her head as she walked by an open window. Weeks went by. Finally, I just prayed blessings on her life.  Through that time I experienced a sustained intimacy with God that I seldom do. I learned that praying for our "enemy" can have wondrous results we can't anticipate. I learned to set better limits. I learned to choose my responses. Lessons I continue to build upon. Thank you L.

Hardcore Gratitude by Traci Reed available at Traci Reed Website; Magic Black Paperie by Kitty Designs available at Oscraps; ScrapSimple Paper Templates: Background Blenders II Biggie by Brandy Murry available at ScrapGirls; Artistic Splat 2 by Kitty Designs available at Oscraps;  Fonts: CenturyGothic; Credit Tracker Anna Forrest Designs
Harcore Gratitude - Traci Reed
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November 12, 2012

Our Marine's First Election

With a little advice from Olive, who is a most intelligent dog, Ryan and Dad went to vote. Friday Ryan became a Marine; Tuesday a voter. Our family takes both responsibilities very seriously. Mark has looked forward to this day for years. It is a true milestone for both father and son.
I voted after work. When the election volunteers looked up my last name, they asked if it had been my son’s first election. They thanked me for his service and seemed genuinely tickled to be part of our day.
We are truly blessed to live in a country worthy of serving, and voting, and raising our children in. Kinda funny that I most always vote Republican in a Democrat state. I still don’t consider it a thrown away vote. I feel blessed to participate.

Credits:Soiree by Katie_the_Scrapbook_Lady available at Scrapbook Lady's Scrap Shop; Rock the Vote by Chelle's Creations available at Scrap Orchard;  Fonts: CenturyGothic, CenturyGothic-Bold
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