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Sharing My Journey

The moment she conquered her fear

Posted by on Oct 3, 2023 in Mom Life | 1 comment

After our family Christmas photo shoot, we were driving home and stumbled upon a park driving a new route home.  We decided to check it out and let the kids get out for a bit to play on the playground.

Jalie and her Dad were on the playground.  Carlton and I stayed in the car since he was taking a nap.  (Nope, I never wake a sleeping baby.)  It was time to go and they were coming back to the car.  She was screaming as if we had kidnapped her and wanted to alert everyone that she was in danger. 

She would NOT get into the car. Jalie did NOT want to leave.  She was adamant about not leaving.  This time seemed different from the other times that we would leave the park.  We couldn’t figure out why she was so upset. Trying to calm her down was not working.  Bribes were not working.  She would not stop crying.  We had to have been on that lot for at least 20 minutes.

I found out that Jalie was having a hard time going up the play structure. My husband shared with me that she wanted to go down the big slide, but there were a couple of kids that were near the obstacle that gets you to the top of the slide. She would not go up to come down the slide after many attempts trying.  Some of the kids kept passing her by, making her want to enjoy the slide for herself.

After another 10-15 minutes of trying to get into the car, everyone is frustrated and out of sorts. Charlie said he wanted to go use the restroom and that he would be right back.  While he was gone, I talked to Jalie.  Through the tears and her frustration, she was trying to tell me something.  She did not know the exact words, but she was trying to figure it out.  She kept making gestures, trying to figure out how to say what she was feeling and what she wanted as she stood there crying. 

I finally asked, “you want to go down the slide? “Yes!” she said with tears. And I thought, as Charlie was approaching us, she just wants to conquer her fear.  Leaving would take away her opportunity to give it another try.  She was merely trying to communicate that to us, but didn’t know how.

This is Jalie just after she went down the slide!

As he approached, Charlie said, “I’m gonna take her back to the slide.”  And I was all for it!  They went back over to the playground.  Jalie climbed up the structure with encouragement.  Even from the other kids!  They saw her approaching, ready to give it another shot!  They kept saying, “you can do it!” When she came down, all of the kids were cheering her on!

When she came back, she said, “Mommy I did it!!” We high fived and celebrated!

I’m thankful we did not force her to get into the car.  I can’t imagine how she would have felt had we left and not tried one more time.

I’m so proud of her.

My biggest takeaways:

  1. I’m glad that we didn’t force her to just get in the car.
  2. Sometimes our children do not know how to say what they want to say.
  3. I’m happy she wanted to conquer her fear.
  4. She “spoke” up for herself in her own way!

Has there been a moment where you could have taken a second to see what someone was really trying to say?

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Can I have a #2, no cheese, and hold the wheat please!

Posted by on Jan 29, 2022 in Life Life | 2 comments

I wasn’t always like this.  Many years ago, I had found out something I never thought I would ever find out.  Something that I didn’t know existed.  These days, it is very well known.  Gluten Free.

What is “gluten” you say?  Well let me tell you.  It is in almost everything that you eat.  Bread. Pasta. Brownies. Cupcakes. Pancakes. Cake. Everything yummy. Plainly, it is a protein that can be found in wheat.

 If I eat something that is not gluten free, there are consequences.  I get very sick.  It is unpleasant.  There was one night that I literally thought that I was dying.  I was not diagnosed as celiac.  I have an intolerance to gluten.

It is not easy being gluten free.  Especially when going out to dinner, going to a party, or even when traveling abroad.

I’m going to be honest, eating gluten free is a little expensive.  For instance, gluten free pizza crust usually has an additional charge.  Which is fine with me!  I love pizza!

When going out to dinner with friends, it can be hard deciding on a place to eat.  Especially if you do not want just a salad with no croutons for dinner.  Going over someone’s house for dinner is the same.  You have to do a process of elimination. “That’s gravy, can’t have that.”  “Oh, that’s got soy sauce on it?”  “Ah, yes, fried chicken, my favorite!” 

Nope. You. Can’t. Have. That!

It’s not their fault if they’re the host/hostess.  They just may not know.  For instance, my husband cooked dinner for us when we were dating.  It was very early in the relationship.  He made his bachelor’s specialty, spaghetti.  He was very proud of his meal.  And I was very, very appreciative of him creating a meal for us!  Sadly, when I asked if the noodles were gluten free, he felt VERY bad.  It’s not that he forgot, it just wasn’t his norm to have gluten free pasta.  But whew child, he’s a pro now!

I would say, take it easy on your friend who may have a special dietary need.  It’s not their fault that they have such restrictions.  Believe me, they don’t want to be difficult.  It’s so much easier to order off the regular menu than asking if there is a gluten free menu available.  Or maybe there are about five options that they can choose from whereas you have the ENTIRE menu to choose.

I took the initiative to research restaurants that were gluten free before we traveled abroad.  You can’t go in blind to another country trying to eat gluten free.  You will be hungry! lol  Asking “sans gluten,” “sin gluten” and “maiz” saved my life!

There have been quite a few times where I was thought of.  You don’t understand how wonderful and special that made me feel.  At a few weddings, the couples told me which dishes that I would be able to eat.  In advance! 

Thanksgiving.  Let me tell you.  You know you are loved when someone makes food, from SCRATCH, gluten free.  It is not easy.  I’m talking, substitutions!

Yes, I’m gluten free. Not by choice. By chance.

My biggest takeaways:

  1. It is very difficult in the beginning to take wheat and flour out.
  2. It’s not worth it to eat food with wheat if it will make me sick.
  3. Eating gluten free foods can be expensive, but your gut is worth it.
  4. There are more restaurants and stores more accommodating to individuals who are gluten sensitive.
  5. I CAN have bread. Pasta. Brownies. Cupcakes. Pancakes. Cake. Everything yummy!!!

Do you or someone close to you have a dietary restriction?  If so, how do you adjust your meals to accommodate?

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Posted by on Jan 8, 2022 in God Life, Life Life | 4 comments

It took me a long time to write this.  I mean, literally, years in the making. Fear stopped me.  First things first, I must apologize to you for not doing this sooner.  We all have something in us that is not just for ourselves.  We should share.  I loved writing. I love writing.  My writing was blocked.  For a very long time.  I have hurts from the past that I have not gotten over.  If I am really honest, I held myself back.  I didn’t think that I could do this.  These past few weeks leading up to this day, I pretty much said to myself, “yes, I’m going to do this.” “I have to do this.” “No one is going to read it.” “I will run out of things to say.” “No, I’m definitely going to go for it.” 

I am in awe of so many people who have done and are still doing great things.  I know people who are literally doing AMAZING things.  Inside of me, I feel like there is something. But somehow, for some reason, I can’t seem to get out of my own way.  Out of my own head.  All I know is, I just love to share. I love people.  I love to see happy, smiling people.

So here I am. Writing. Sharing. Hoping to make you smile, laugh or feel like you are not alone.

My biggest takeaways about me going for it, simply pushing through the fear:

  1. If I didn’t do this now, I’m not sure if/when I would do this.
  2. No one may read what I have to say, but maybe someone will. 
  3. I’m literally putting myself out there. I am VERY aware of this.
  4. There will always be something to say.

Are there areas where fear has prevented you from moving forward?

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That One Time I Cried on the Bathroom Floor in My Dorm Room

Posted by on May 31, 2022 in Life Life | 3 comments

Only a handful of people actually know that this happened.

I cried, shaking, on the bathroom floor in my dorm room.  My roommate at the time was asleep.  She never knew.  This happened my junior year.

I was on the phone with a friend from high school.  We were just catching up and talking about life.  I don’t even know if they remember this happening.  I never spoke of it again. They hung up the phone.  Or maybe I dropped the phone and never picked it back up.

All I know is, a simple conversation led to this.  I started naming everything that was wrong at the time.  Things that I was having issues with. Certain family members. Will I graduate?
Will I have a good GPA? Will I pass the Senior Comps when I take them? What will I do after college?  How will I pay for college? How come I don’t have a boyfriend? How come guys don’t like me? Will I get a job?  Am I good at anything?  And so much more. I started to cry.  I started to shake. Uncontrollably.  It was not stopping.

I remember the phrase, “a dose of home” being tossed around about my incident.  My Mom came down for a few days and I stayed with her in a hotel to take a break. 

I had gone to my professors and told them that I needed a few days.  I didn’t go into full detail about what happened, but I told them enough to where they understood and granted my request. A mental break. 

What I needed most, was to talk to someone. Therapy was never really talked about at home. It never crossed my mind then that I needed it. I certainly did not seek it out. 

All of the things I had bottled up, I never shared because I thought that I was the only one going through something.  Why do I need to talk to anyone about my issues?  I was going to be judged if I told someone anyway.  Or maybe told that what I’m worried about is no big deal.  The problem with that is, everyone has something that they’re dealing with.  Just because it’s a pebble to one, doesn’t mean that it’s not a boulder to others.

One of the saddest things to think about is that I was going to drop out of school.  I literally thought that I could not handle it.  I’m so thankful that I did not drop out. I was a junior when this happened.

This is the last day of Mental Health Awareness month, but let’s be honest.  Mental Health awareness is something that we should consider all year long. 

I wrestled with sharing this, but that’s part of the problem, right?  Not sharing.  Worried about people looking down on me, laughing at me, or ashamed of me.  Not sharing is adding to the problem.  I hope that at least one person gets something out of this.  Because holding this in, will do no one any good.

My biggest takeaways:

  1. I will make sure to talk to my children about therapy.
  2. I will make sure they have a safe space and safe ear to listen to them when they need it.
  3. People will sometimes put expectations on you.  You don’t have to accept it.  Especially if it pushes you in a negative way.
  4. If you’re not okay, that’s okay.
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