Mimi

Mimi. That’s what my grandkids call me. People say “having kids is the most rewarding thing in life”. No. That’s a lie. Raising kids is fucking hard! Having grandkids is the most rewarding thing in life!

I got pregnant the summer I graduated high school. I had no idea what I was doing and I’m not sure I really have a grasp on it now. A few years later, I was married and had my second little boy. I was 22, married, with two kids. I was a bartender and their dad worked at a machine shop. We struggled financially and in our marriage, but all in all, we were pretty happy. It was hard raising two little kids on limited funds but you somehow get through it. Their dad worked 2nd shift and I worked weekends, so time together with the boys was definitely hard to come by. But you do what you have to do, even if at the time, you don’t know that’s what you’re doing.

We raised our young family as best as we knew how. Married and divorced to each other twice but somehow managed to remain pretty good friends and even better co-parents. But as I look back, it all seemed really hard. I always say “thank goodness i was forward thinking and irresponsible, because now I’m in my 40’s and my kids are grown.”. I know- solid advice right. You’re welcome. *takes a bow*

So fast forward to today. I’m literally sitting in the delivery room waiting on my third grand baby to make her appearance. I have two grandsons now and this little one will be the first girl in my family! I have two sons, two step sons and two grandsons. What do I do with a girl?! Yikes.

When I found out I was going to be a grandparent with my first grandson, I was terrified. Wait. Is that too harsh? No that pretty much sums it up. It was unexpected for sure and I wasn’t sure how to feel. (There’s another story behind that, saved for another day) I was recently divorced, 40 years old and felt I had raised my kids fairly well by this point. Almost as if I had started a new chapter in my life. Was this little kid here to wreck it? I kid, I kid. *Whispers “But was he?”

It was the exact opposite. He became the love of my life. You never think you’ll love anyone as much as you love your own kids- until they have kids. About 4 years later, another little grandson came into our lives. Your love doesn’t get divided, your heart grows.

With my grandkids, I feel like I get to enjoy them more than I did my own kids. One day, while putting my grandson is his car seat, he saw a leaf blowing around in the drive way. So, I let him chase it while I patiently waited. I never would’ve done that with my own kids. It was always “hurry hurry hurry” and “let’s get going”. It was at that very moment that I knew I was going to get to enjoy being Mimi.

When you’re a new mom or dad, you put your head down and get through it. You work hard and try to keep from losing a kid in the store. At the end of the day, as long as everyone is safe and fed- it’s a win. As a grandparent, you get to slow down. You get a do-over, if you will. You aren’t in a hurry, you have them on your time and when you’re ready for a nap, you text their parents and ask “what time are you coming to pick him up?”

Maybe some of you had or have it all together when you raised your kids. That wasn’t me. I did my best, no doubt. But there’s always regrets and “ah ha” moments you wished you had known. With grandkids, you get to experience the things you probably looked past with your own kids. You get to see the excitement or sadness that you may have missed just trying to keep your kid alive some days. Who knew a leaf blowing across the ground was so special? But it was.

Now, as I sit here waiting for little girl Lane to appear, I hope she loves me like her brothers do. Because I can already feel my heart growing for her with every hour that passes. I look at my son, asleep in the hospital recliner and feel my heart full of pride. He’s a good man and a good father. And I’m so glad I didn’t lose him in a store when he was little.

Stacey

Freedom 5k- a million miles

This is something I wrote on Facebook, (almost) post-depression in July 2012. The words I wrote back then never escape my memory when I recall significant moments when I stepped out of the darkness and into the light. Kind of like an emotional hibernation.

I had fallen into a very deep depression. Looking for something to make me get out of the house, literally, I found running. I don’t know why I chose running. I knew nothing about distance running. Zero. My aunt & her daughter, my cousin, were runners and that was the iota of motivation I needed, I guess.

I texted my best friend Stacey and asked her to start with me and she agreed! (She still doesn’t know what the hell she was thinking). It started us on a journey that we’re still on today. We would soon become “Team Stacey”. Looking back at my old posts from this time, I had so many people supporting me. I didn’t realize how powerful that was until just now. *Revelation*

Since then, we’ve ran in more-than-I-can-count 5 & 10k’s. But looking back, the first 5k seemed like it was a million miles. The race was the Freedom 5k, our City’s annual July 4th race through the park. Freedom…

These were the thoughts I had the night before my first race:

So tomorrow is the 5k. I know to most of you it’s no big deal but to me it’s more than just a race. I feel like I have been through the ringer over the last year. A lot of personal obstacles to overcome. I’ve always been a strong & independent person but this last year really knocked me down.When you are depressed, it can be a slippery slope and if you’re not careful- it can do a lot of damage. I knew I could sit down and do nothing or I could keep moving. I chose to keep moving. So I started to run. I knew it was a goal that I could focus on and stick with- especially since I had told all of you :D. Everyone kept saying “you look great” but I didn’t FEEL great. There were days I just wanted to go home, pull the covers over my head and cry…but I didn’t. I went home, changed, put on my running shoes and ran. Don’t get me wrong, there were days that I did go home, pull the covers over my head and cry and there were days that I cried while running. I have slowly become not only physically stronger but mentally stronger too. The 5k tomorrow is more than just 3.1 miles- to me it’s an end to the insecurites & self doubt I carry around. I could blame others for my insecurities but that would be giving them credit for what I’VE accomplished. I own it. You really find out a lot about people in your life when times are tough. It’s funny how it weeds out the unimportant people you really thought you could count on & shows you people who are in your corner and you never even knew they cared. I’m thankful for the people who stuck by me when all Hell was breaking loose because without them- I’d still be laying in bed crying. But I’m not, because they supported me and I chose to keep moving.

I still cry…. but after I finish crying- I run.

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Thanks for reading,

~Stacey

But why the name?

When I first told a few people about starting a blog & what I’d call it, the initial reaction was “That’s awesome!” “Good for you!” “You’re so brave!”, followed then by a few different forms of “But why the name?”. When I first started kicking around the idea of taking the leap into writing in the blogosphere, I was trying to organize my thoughts & jotting down story ideas in my phone. I kept going back and forth on what topic I’d write about. I came to realize that I just wanted to write about the people and things around me. Nothing in particular, just life. Sometimes in life I have big news, sometimes I have a snippet & most recently a couple of close people in my life who have passed within the last year.

I can remember writing since I was little. Poems, songs, stories~ whatever I was thinking at the time. We’ve all had the question presented to us: “If you could be or do anything you wanted, what would it be?”, mine was always a writer. So when I decided to start a blog, I decided I would do it my way, write what I wanted and push the fear of being judged out of my mind. Whether anyone read it or not, I still gave fear the finger and put myself out there. So, I can’t explain how proud of myself I was when I woke up this morning knowing that I had published a story on a blog and people actually enjoyed it. Not just my freaking awesome family & friends but people I didn’t even know! Now listen, I’m obviously not a professional writer & let me save you the suspense: everything I write isn’t gonna be a gem. I’ll write about things you couldn’t careless about or you may find meh…BUT- I accomplished something I’ve always wanted to do. As small as it is and it only cost me $48 to have my blog – I did it. If I never published another story on here, I would still feel that I accomplished something that I’ve always wanted to do. When I’m nearing the end of my life, I won’t look back and say “Damn, I wish I had written something for someone.”

So, now I pose the question to you- what is one thing, just ONE thing that you want to do that you’re afraid to do? Is it attainable? If the answer is yes, then what do you need to do to accomplish it? If it feels unattainable, what’s the first step you can take to get a piece of it? Maybe someone around you can help or encourage you. I probably wouldn’t have tried this had my sister and husband not encouraged me. Leave a comment or email me in the contact page and maybe I can be your encourager.

So why the name? Because I said so. (Total fucking mom move)

Stacey

Like my mom

8BDE7C50-45AB-4138-ABB0-1DDDCAEDB61FAs a kid, I was always pretty independent. My mom worked a lot, she was a single mom so my sister was left in charge of me. My sister is almost 5 years older than me and the last thing she wanted to do was babysit her little bratty sister. So, I was home a lot by myself and growing up in what I thought was the best place in the world- our trailer park. There were so many kids my age and we had 2 big playgrounds. Now that I look back, I’m pretty sure they were just open areas with a swing set and probably not that big. But regardless, it was awesome! So I didn’t mind being at home without much supervision.

I always felt my sister, Tammy, was closer to our mom. Our parents divorced when I was 3 and our dad never really maintained any relationship with us after that. So I was what they’d call now as a “latchkey” kid. I never felt like I developed that mother/daughter closeness with my mom. Being independent and making a lot of bad decisions as a young adult, I never really went to her for advice…I think because I was ashamed? Or maybe didn’t want to feel vulnerable? I don’t know. But don’t we all say “when I grow up, I’m not going to be like my mom!”? I did. I thought she could’ve done a much better job raising me, attending my sporting events and being more present.

I’m 46 now. My sons are 26 & 23. By the time I was their ages, I was married, had 2 little boys & on my way to my first divorce. Life was so much harder for me than it was for my mom, right? I was young, divorced and a single mom. Oh shit. Wait. So was she. But I managed it all in a better way, right?

REVELATION: why did it take me 46 years to appreciate my mom? My first realization that I was my mom was so small. It was about a year ago, I had stopped by her house to visit and before I left, she put food in containers to make sure I ate. Even though I said several times “you don’t have to do that.”, she did it anyway. When the father of my kids passed away tragically, she was the first person I needed at my house- she was there instantly. When we moved into our new house, she did all of our laundry and helped me deep clean the entire house. A few weeks ago she was leaving and I told her to be careful and she said “I will honey.” THAT was the exact moment I knew I was like her. I say “honey” to my boys all of the time. I send food home in containers for my oldest son, put a plate in the microwave for later for my youngest, help with their laundry, dote on them (even when they don’t want it), and always drop whatever it is to be there for them.

I feel as though I’ve always been a really good mom. The sacrifices are second to none for mothers. But we do it. We put our heads down, get through it and all we care about at the end of the day is that everyone is fed and ok. No matter how we all got there. It’s exactly what my mom did for my sister and I. She was teaching me how to be a good mom but I couldn’t see it until I went through it. Is that how my boys will feel? Will they be 40 and realize how awesome I’ve been all along?! *fingers crossed*

Is this the circle of life for all of us? I’m at the age where you start to discover who you are, what you’re not and what really matters. I look at my mom and I see where I get my strength, my love of writing, my sense of humor and ability to tough it out. I don’t think I can make up for the 45 years I didn’t appreciate her, I think what I can do now is tell her how much I appreciate her and what an impact she had on who I became. I could not have survived this far in my life without learning from her. She’s a strong woman, not to be pushed around. I’m pretty sure she gets that from her mom, my grandma. I’m proud to say I come from a family of strong women. I’m proud to say: I’m like my mom.

Text your mom and tell her how awesome she is and thank her for dealing with your nonsense! 🙂

Stacey

What have I done?!

Im sitting here searching for the right words to describe why I decided to blog…I guess partly because I hate Facebook. Social media, really. Everyone has an opinion but nothing to say. I want to share the stories of life around me. I felt that if I posted those things on Facebook it would scream “Look at me!” And that’s so far from who I am. I love to write-but full disclosure: there will be grammatical errors, run-on sentences & probably some cursing. This just an account of my daily life, in my own words.

Im not sure how often I’ll post a story. Maybe once a week? Once a month? I guess we’ll see how it goes! I look forward to sharing a little bit of life with you & I hope you enjoy reading it!

Theres a contact button on the page if you’d like to email me about a topic or a story you think would be interesting to know more about. Or if you would like to share a little bit of your life with me, that would be great!

Stacey