Tag Archives: 2014

2014

“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” -Dr. Seuss

I really wanted to write this in my journal but I have so much to say about the year, typing is faster, and if something were to happen to my journal I wouldn’t want to lose this entry. I’ve been in a bit of a spat with my mom this evening and it has got me thinking. Through this she said she feels bad for me because I care what people think. The thing is, I have stopped caring what people think. That is why I had the balls to speak my mind to her about the way I feel about she and my family in the first place.

I explained to her that 2014 has been my year to clean up my life. I have finally stopped just existing and taken charge of who I subject myself and my children to. I spent weeks and weeks considering what I wanted in life, what I want for my children, and where I want to be years from now. I looked around at the family and friends I was surrounding myself with, and realized that I wasn’t surrounding myself with people that I want to be like. I don’t want to be surrounded by manipulative pointless trashy drama. I also don’t want to be around a bunch of druggies and drunks that let their addictions rule their lives (as I did in the past). Most of all I don’t want to be around people who pretend to be something that they are not. I’ve spent my life surrounded by people who say one thing but do another. Almost every single person I knew growing up or have befriended as an adult does drugs. They do drugs to deal with their lives because of the messed up things their parents have subjected them to.

I do not want that for my children.

I don’t want to be a parent like so many parents I know now that love the way their kids turned out but seriously regret the pain that their decisions have caused their kids. I don’t want my kids to turn out strong-willed and intelligent because they had to overcome all of these issues caused by being subjected to so many things they shouldn’t have seen until late teens/adulthood. I want them to turn out strong-willed and intelligent because they were heard, guided, and motivated. I don’t want my kids to realize that abusing drugs and alcohol will not solve their problems until they are 20-something and have fucked up parts of their lives because of it. I don’t want my kids to feel the pain that I, and so many other people I know, have felt because of having their childhoods ripped away from them before they were even a teenager, being forced to parent themselves and sometimes even their parents…

So I made the hard decision to cut ties and distance myself and my family. This way I am in control of how often we see the people we love that are not the best influences. I can’t change who our family is, but I can change how often we communicate with them. I no longer have my sister or aunt knocking on my door with some negative bullshit that doesn’t matter to me, just fuming in front of my daughter, showing her that this is how family treats each other- bad mouthing one another. I made the decision to make a move instead of sitting there idly, just waiting for something to happen, wishing I could just throw an invisibility cloak around my apartment.

I also made the decision to stop living in the past when it came to my friends. I was spending so much time focused on people who had moved on with their lives, pining for them, that it was putting strain on my present life and relationships. I made the decision to give the man I love one chance to step up and change his life or live it alone, without Marley and I. Though the ghosts of the past still haunt my dreams, I no longer reside there. I had tried for months and months to focus on the present and the future but I was so unhappy in the present that I couldn’t force my mind to stop reliving my times in Madison like I was reading a book, day in and day out.

Other than that I also made the decision to become more organized. I hated the way that our home was constantly disheveled, I hated the stress it brought on, and I hated the way it made me feel like I had zero control over anything. So I started making lists, I started keeping a home-management binder, I started organizing. I stopped putting things off, I stopped letting myself be defeated by the feeling of clutter and mess threatening to suffocate me like ocean waves. I consolidated, got rid of crap I didn’t need, began organizing the crap I did. I stopped living in fear of upsetting other people, and started living the way that I want to. Ultimately, I stopped sitting around waiting for some hero or magical force to come take away all of my problems, or take me away from all of my problems.

I realized a long time ago that I am the problem with my life; I just never really knew what to do about that other than sulk in my own self-hatred and pity. Constantly looking to others to make me feel like I was worth something. Once I started taking responsibility and control of the problems in my life, everything else fell into place. Now I am approaching 2015 with this family that I’ve started in a town that we chose, away from all of the negativity that seems to always suck me back in and pull me down over, and over through the years. I know I come off as a bitch, but it’s not that I think I am better than anyone else. It’s just that I have chosen to rise above the people I was born unto. I have chosen to spread my wings and break away from the pain of an idle life.

I’ve improved and accomplished so much this year and I don’t care if my mother isn’t proud of me, or if my relatives think I am being a heartless bitch. I am damn proud of myself. Anyone who knows me knows what a complete push-over-people-pleaser I used to be. Those people who have suffered with me, and taken years out of their lives to befriend me in my worst times; whether we talk on a regular basis or not; I know would also be proud of me. So my “family” can stick it where the sun don’t shine and keep blowing their smoke because this year I grew the balls to tell them what I really think. This year I stood my ground instead of allowing them to turn me to jelly with their opinions. This year I finally truly, truly broke free.

Advertisements

New nook!

My boyfriend got me a nook for Christmas and I LOVE it! I wanted to read on my tablet but was unable to read for longer than 20 minutes without getting a headache. With my nook 1st gen I can read for hours and be fine, just like reading a normal book. I absolutely love the e-ink screen, even without it being lit up. I honestly would not trade this classic nook for a nook glowlight or nook color. I made a cute DIY case for it, have it loaded with books, and am now completely prepared for this long winter break from school! My favorite part about it is that I can borrow  books from the library and read them without ever having to go there which will come in handy when I am 9 months pregnant or there is a bunch of snow outside. By far the best Christmas gift I have received, ever!

We always end up breaking down and giving each other our gifts early… We suck at Christmas! Here are a few photos of my DIY nook cover:

image

image

Quick craft update & poor photographs

My daughter is turning 2 in just a few days and I have been sewing away as often as possible for a few weeks now. I finished these up five or so days ago but decided to take some quick pictures before wrapping them up. Some I made the patterns for myself, some  printed from Google images, and some I winged it on. I will do a video on the subject soon (after Marley opens them) and provide sources for the patterns I printed both here and in the description.

The pattern for the strawberries I did myself. I looked at many photos for inspiration but pretty much followed the process shown here. I found the photo collage of the process on Google images when searching “felt strawberries”.

The pattern for the pancakes I printed this image. The page can be found here. I opened this template in paint, cut out the ones I didn’t want to do, and printed the ones I did all on one page. I try to save paper and ink as much as possible!

For the bread I looked at a a bunch of templates but ended up taking the bread part of this one and adding it to the breakfast one. The page for this sandwich post can be found here. Looking at her post it looks like she did her stitching outside (I did mine inside and flipped it) so our end products look a little different.

The banana pattern I drew my own template for. This was my first felt food item I made. I had looked at a bunch of different ways to do them on my tablet. I was tired and too lazy to go to the computer and find/print a template so I just drew up my own on the back of a botched Christmas card. You just make a rounded diamond shape, cut 3 white and 3 yellow. I wanted to add a small dark brown circle to the bottom but I never made it to the store to get the felt. I sewed two of the peel parts down and left one up. The hardest part was shoving the banana into the peel. There are many more realistic ones I saw online but I was going for simple.

For the ice cream cone (which was my favorite) I used this template. I did not cut any Velcro, and ended up cutting the circle for the scoop much larger. First I embroidered the detail on the cone, then sewed the top to it and stuffed it. Then I threaded around the outside of the scoop circle, pulled it tight, stuffed it, then sewed it to the scoop bottom (it’s referred to as edge in the pattern and I’m unsure how she did it but I only cut one and didn’t cut out the inner circle). My sewing is never neat or tidy, I probably nearly broke my needle threading it in and out of the ball and the bottom piece over and over. I tied it to secure, then did the same thing (messily sewing round and round) stitching the ice cream to the cone. When I was satisfied with the way it looked I tied it off.

The template for the eggs came from the same place as the pancakes. [See above] However, this one would be the easiest to free-hand!

Lastly, the sandwich toppings. The cheese, lettuce, peanut butter, and jelly all came from this template here. I had to cut two pieces for the peanut butter and sew them together because the only felt I could find in the right color had leopard print on the back of it.

So there you have it! They look so much better in real life! When I record and post the video of all of them I will post the link here. I love hand-sewing and these food items were so much fun to make! I would be sewing more if I weren’t so busy. Happy crafting!

Henna for Hair

I first used henna on my hair when I was 17 years old and really loved it. Then I let my hair go back to it’s natural light brown color. Then I went through a dark hair stage (another of many), because I wanted something bold but my best friend had red hair at the time. When I found out I was pregnant I did not want to continue to use chemical dye (even ammonia-free) on my hair. I went back to my natural and ordered some henna online. I searched and searched trying to find the perfect henna for hair recipe out there. I wanted to have my splish-splash recipe somewhere that I can access it from anywhere so I am posting it here. My favorite henna is Jamila, I highly recommend it! It is great quality and so, so cheap!

Here is my henna recipe:
  • ½ tbsp ground cloves
  • ½ tbsp beet root powder
  • An empty tea bag
  • 3-4 tbsp lemon juice
  • ½ cup water (almost boiling)
  • Red tea bag (I used cinnamon apple spice)
  • Black tea bag (I used Twinning’s Irish breakfast tea which is my absolute favorite!)
  • 100 grams henna powder
  • Gloves and dye brush(optional but recommended)
  • Shower cap or other plastic head cover
  • Bowl and spoon
  • Foil
I mixed the full 100 grams to ensure that I got all of my shoulder-length (just) hair for the first session. I had a great deal left over. Next time I will be halving this recipe for sure!
I put my water on to heat up first, then juiced (and strained) my lemon. I then filled my empty cloth tea bag with the beet root powder and cloves (great mix if you want to replicate the color of blood! Just wait until you squeeze the bag out). You can brew your red/black/cloves/beet tea (10 minutes) in the pot, a tea pot, or a measuring cup. Make sure not to add it to the henna until it has cooled enough that you are not scolded when you put your finger in. Lastly, pour your henna powder into your bowl, add the lemon juice, and add the tea. Mix it up! You want it to be the consistency of mashed potatoes right now; you will adjust the final texture later. Cover the bowl with foil and let sit on top of the fridge (or another warm place) and forget about it for 12-36 hours. AT LEAST 12!! I waited about 30 hours before applying it to my hair.
When you have the time for your henna hair ritual (set aside a good 4-5 hours) go ahead and stir the mix up again. Now you want the consistency of yogurt. I did not have to add anything else to mine, but if yours is too thick you can add more tea, lemon juice, or even apple cider vinegar. There are three rules I follow when applying henna to my hair: 1) wear gloves when applying AND rinsing, 2) apply IN THE BATHTUB, and 3) apply with a dye brush. With regular hair dye I just stand in my bath room and rinse without gloves; henna is NOT normal hair dye.
Now rub some Vaseline on your ears, forehead, neck, face, and pretty new pink silicone plugs you don’t want to turn red. Clip the top half of your hair up, take a seat with a mirror in your tub, and start slathering the brown earthy paste on your hair. I start at my roots then squish and squeeze it into the strands of hair. When your whole head is done apply a shower cap and go do some homework, play some video games, or read for a few hours. I left mine in for just over 3.5 hours. Rinse, condition with a TINY bit of conditioner, and clean up the mess. Boom, you now have beautiful red hair.

Updates

So I do not have any crafting updates as I have been super busy with life and school preparation. Minus the fact that my dad came across a TON of wool and pretty much doubled my yarn stash! School starts this coming Monday and I am very excited! To think I only have one semester after this and I will finally be finished blows my mind! Unfortunately I will not be able to just jump right in to my career once I graduate as I wanted to. It will take me another 6 months probably before I will have the time because come the beginning of the year (hopefully I last until February/March) we will have two new babies!

That’s right we are having twins! We will be moving in January and I may be so big by then I won’t have time to finish the nursery in time for their arrival. I want to give myself enough time to settle in to our new home and recuperate from birthing two new little joys before I start working. I have decided to make my last elective a database class instead of going the web development route. I will end up with two certifications on top of my degree this way and want to be as employable as possible. I don’t want firms to think my web dev skills are too out of date after so long and I know I won’t have time to stay on top of the latest tech tricks when I’m chasing a two year old around while tandem nursing twins.

Last but not least I was nominated and invited to join The National Society of Leadership and Success, Sigma Alpha Pi! I know being a community college this wouldn’t mean that much to someone going to a big college; but it means so much to me. The faculty nominates only a select few students based on their academic efforts and leadership potential. It really made me realize that I have come so far from when I was truant from school at 15. I crammed four+ years of school into a summer, busted my ass to learn all that I could and get my GED, started college at 17 and now I’m finally (due to a few year break and so much mind changing about a major) going to graduate; and someone else is finally recognizing my hard work. Looking back at my life and the current state of my siblings and cousins I see where I could be now and where I am. I’m so damn proud of myself!

I’m finally beginning to look to the future with relief knowing that even though most of my family is unsuccessful, constantly stressing about finances, regretting much of their lives, and struggling just to get by; I know that will not be me. I will be able to provide for my kids and leave them something when I pass away. I will be a good example for my children. Most importantly I will be a parent to my kids. I will supervise them. I will discipline them. I will not let them ever have a reason to feel like they are not worthy.

Through all of this personal development and soul searching I’ve been doing the past few years and action taking the past few months, I’ve really grown. I’ve been able to see my past, face my fears, take action, and speak out. I’ve been able to tell my feelings to people in ways I never thought possible. I used to keep my thoughts and feelings bottled up for fear of hurting others but I know that true love is unconditional. No matter how upset my words may make someone in the short term, in the long term my words help them see the truth. Sometimes you have to be cruel to be kind and to move on. I’m just so proud of myself for all of my improvement and so thankful to be blessed with two buns in the oven!

Drugs

I’ll never understand how it is they stay hooked
Lying to the world like they are writing a book
Preaching of health and wellness or moping and poor
Knowing damn well if they wanted they could close that door.
I’ve seen my fair share of addicts recover and users put it down
No matter how functional you think you are you’re poisoning yourself.
You people claim to want to live and see your grandchildren grow
But there you sit shoving pills up your nose.
I used to be addicted to what I thought to be a shining light
Took my nutrition, brain cells, money, and sight.
But then I had a child and all of that changed
My precious little girl more beautiful than rain
I thought of how I wouldn’t want her to poison herself like me
How I wouldn’t poor that stuff on a tree
Or a bug or animal or any living thing
Why should I keep smoking, snorting, or drinking?
I may be so small, just a spec of matter in the whole
But I’m still a beautiful creation worth more than I know
I shouldn’t throw that away
I shouldn’t toss away my days…
I used to think addiction was a strong grabbing hand
Keeping all of them trapped against their will, my family and friends.
But as I always have been to them their temple must be
A love to waste away, last choice, no more than a body…
I wish the best to the addicts I used to hold dear
Maybe one day you’ll get your life under control or at least be real here.

My body is a temple and my life is a blessing. I will not ever do drugs again or chose to be around those who do. It is only enabling them.

Leaving the Past Behind

We are expecting another beautiful child. Soon we hope to have our own house instead of an apartment. I’m no longer focusing on other people or living in the past. Over the last few months I have been doing some soul searching and letting go of many feelings that were holding me back; not just anger, resentment, and fear; but also love.

I was spending too much time focused on others instead of my family. Trying to make others better themselves. Spending so much energy stressing by taking others’ problems on as my own. I’ve since realized that I can’t do that and I can’t change people. I can’t take away their addictions, raise their kids for them, or take charge of their health. I also cannot feel bad because they continuously lie not only to me but to the rest of the world, and to themselves. It is their prerogative and all I can control is my responses to their stimuli. I’m not just talking about any one person either, but many.

I’m surrounding myself with people that are like what I want to be. Healthy influences, clean people, honest people, people I don’t mind my children being around. I just got sick of the lies, the drugs, and the bullshit. I got sick of the lack of honesty, the facades, and the false images.

I had all of these “friends” that I thought were so healthy but when I opened my eyes and allowed myself to stop being fooled I could see they were just painting this picture perfect self for others with a ton of lies. I’m leaving the past behind and focusing on our future. I want my children to be surrounded my positive honest people. While I cannot choose who their family is I can choose which of my friends to subject them to. Drug-free friends, honest friends, true friends. While this may leave me with only a very small handful of friends; it allows me to focus my love, energy, and effort more on my kids and building an honest career.

I have worked my ass off in college and am graduating in just a few months. I’ll have time to do some freelancing until the baby is big enough for day care then I can start working at a web development company. I won’t have to lie to sell myself because my hard work will be paying off with actual experience.

I’m not the same drugged up, self-medicating, very mentally unstable, irresponsible girl I was when I lived in Madison. I’m just a bipolar coding mom trying to better my life for my kids. So long old life, old acquaintances, and old self. I’ve learned so much from those experiences and those people. Special thanks to my therapist, my amazing boyfriend, and all those who burned me and opened my eyes.