The phone bill…

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This is part 2 of my story for Domestic Violence Awareness Month.  You can find part one here.  Some of these details I remember very well, while others I am drawing directly from the police report account of that day.

Some time passed, around 4 months if I remember correctly.   I found myself in the same place as I had been before the “incident”.  Our relationship had not improved despite a lot of empty promises.  He hadn’t been violent with me again but I was always on guard.   He had gotten fired from  his job, again. He had decided to start a business with his brother but didn’t bother telling me any of this of course.  I only found out when I called his office looking for him one day and the receptionist informed me he hadn’t worked there in over a month.  I just couldn’t do it anymore and so I took my daughter and went to stay with one of my best friends and her husband for a while.  I can’t tell you how long we stayed there, a couple of months maybe.  They were wonderful with her and we felt like family.  I will never forget all they did for me and all the encouragement they provided.  At one point, I tried going back home but there just didn’t seem to be much going back.  I wanted to file for divorce officially but I was scared, confused, and didn’t have the funds to do so.  He had moved out of our home and into a small apartment and we tried to have a semi-amicable relationship for the sake of our daughter.

Within a few months of moving out, I began seeing someone.  Yes, it was too soon.  Yes, I was still legally married.  Yes, I know it was a bad move.  Long story short, he was a friend of a friend.  He was polar opposite of my ex husband and was just kind to me ALL the time.  He was what I needed at the time and I’m still very close to his family to this day!  If you’re in this situation, finish closing one door before opening another.  For me though, I needed to feel wanted and needed again.  I wasn’t uber secretive about this new friend and naturally it was a tense subject between my soon-to-be ex husband and I.  He began to threaten to use the relationship to attempt to take my daughter away from me.  Naturally, I backed away from the relationship but that didn’t stop him from trying to “dig”.  One day, he had my daughter napping at his apartment.    When I arrived she was still napping and he asked me if I would take his truck down the street and get him something to eat.  I obliged.  Upon arriving back at the apartment with his food, I observed a notebook in the passenger seat and inside found my phone records, photos of me with my friends, myspace posts he had printed, etc.  I was so angry at this violation of privacy that I removed the whole file from the truck, and tossed it in the large dumpster in the parking lot.   After dropping off his food, I collected my daughter and went to the parking lot to leave, he followed behind and promptly noticed the missing documents from his truck.  He immediately became enraged and violent.  While I held my daughter (who was about 18 months old at the time), he got in my face yelling at me.  He called me a whore and a whole bunch of other names.  He demanded I crawl into the dumpster and retrieve the documents.  When I refused, he shoved me, baby in arms, into the dumpster at which point I stumbled and dropped my purse.  He immediately grabbed my purse with my wallet, phone, and keys, threw it into his truck and drove off.  I was shaken up and without my purse, I had no choice but to walk to the nearest local business (blockbuster) to use the phone.  I called my parents to come get me and I’m not sure whether they called the police, if I did, or the sweet blockbuster employees who comforted a crying hysterical young woman and her baby.  Either way, once my parents arrived, my ex was not far behind.  He drove up beside their van and began yelling and causing problems.  My mother than drove her van down a side street with him in pursuit.  He sped up beside her yelling for her to pull over and then made a sharp turn blocking her in causing her to stop abruptly.  According to the report, my mother feared she would ram into his truck.  From there, he parked in the middle of the road, got out of the truck and began screaming and pounding the hood of her van.  He yelled demanding we get out of the van and when we refused he punched and broke the sideview mirror off.  I was shaking terrified and I know my mother was also scared because there was no telling what he was capable of.  At this point, the police arrived and he promptly returned to his apartment.  According to the documents, after taking a statement from us and a statement from him, they arrested him for family violence and criminal mischief.  I’m so thankful that he didn’t hurt me worse than the red finger marks the police reported on my left arm.  But I’m more so thankful that he didn’t hurt my daughter or my parents in his rage.  This wasn’t a terrible altercation but it was significant because it was the first time my family got to see this side of him first hand.  Until this point, I imagine it was difficult to grasp how someone so funny and “nice” could be capable of violence.

To be continued…

He hit me…

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Did you know October is Domestic Violence Awareness month?  Yeah, I didn’t either, it clearly doesn’t get enough attention!  I feel a little nauseous with what I’m about to share with you.  This is not something I’ve talked about much in depth with anyone, even my own family.  As most of you may know, this is my second marriage.  What some of you may not know is that I am a domestic violence survivor.  There, yeah, I said that, out loud.  Feeling completely vulnerable right now because I’ve never considered myself to be a “victim” or a “survivor” of any sort.  That makes me sound heroic or something and I definitely do not feel heroic!  As I cleaned an old file cabinet drawer this month, I stumbled upon a large file containing numerous court documents and police reports.   I sobbed uncontrollably as I read through as I had forgotten (or tried to forget rather) the details that these reports contained.  In an attempt to raise more awareness on the matter, I’m going to be sharing parts of these stories with you this month.

I’ll start with a little backstory:  I married my high school sweetheart at a very young age (19 to be exact).  He was handsome and funny and could always make me laugh.  He was not without flaw and I knew that from the get go.  Honesty was never a strong quality he possessed and this was often a problem for us even throughout the dating and engagement years.  I knew he had been involved in several physical altercations with schoolmates throughout the years (prior to me really) but what young man hasn’t?  He was never violent with me, in fact, throughout our 3 years of dating/engagement, I only saw him remotely violent or agitated once.  Marriage, as you know, at any age, is difficult.  Ours was no different.  We were still struggling to find ourselves, we were growing up together, and dealing with very adult things like BILLS and jobs.  After a year of marriage, I found myself expecting.  He was less than thrilled and demanded that I have an abortion.  I refused and said I would raise the baby alone if I had to.  He knew there was no changing my mind and all I really ever wanted to be was a mother.  Our relationship was strained from then on.  Although he eventually came around and embraced the pregnancy and seemingly loved our daughter very much, our relationship never recovered.  Raising a baby with a man who initially wasn’t sold on fatherhood was difficult enough, raising a baby with a man who could barely hold a job was downright torturous.  We tried to make it work but no matter how hard tried, our resentment for one another only grew.  It seemed we were more roommates sharing a child than a newly married young couple.  We rarely spoke, we fought often, and rarely agreed on anything.  I was 22 years old with a 1 year old child when I began to drink.  Not heavily, not daily, not around my child but enough to contribute to our already mounting problems.  It became an escape for me.  I began going out a couple of times a week with friends.  At first I would invite him along because I desperately wanted to have fun with him.  We rarely had fun together though and I told myself i needed time away from him and the baby to unwind.  I would stay with her all day long, bathe her, feed her, and put her in bed and then I would be off to the bowling alley or our favorite local mexican food restaurant for fun and drinks.  I will never forget the first time he hit me.  Sights and sounds from that night will forever haunt me.  They are etched in my brain permanently.

It was a Thursday night and we had plans to go to a friend’s house for game night.  They were a young married couple too and lots of fun.  My mother was planning to keep the baby that evening and when he came home from work I was excited to go but he was in a terrible mood.  At the last minute he decided he didn’t want to go.  I decided I would go anyway because the thought of being cooped up with someone in a terrible mood all night sounded dreadful.  He wasn’t happy about it.  I don’t know exactly what led up to this point but I remember arguing with him for hours.  Literally, hours.  I was bringing up past issues, he was being unbearable, it was undoubtably tense.  In attempts to diffuse the situation, I turned my back to him and began to walk from the front of the house to our bedroom in the back of the house.  As I neared our daughter’s bedroom down the hall, he rushed up behind me and grabbed my hair.  He threw me to the ground and then sat on top of me.  He slapped my face repeatedly and yelled at me.  He had a crazed look in his eye I’m not sure I had ever seen before.  Pink flip phone in hand, I tried to wrestle him off of me unsuccessfully and dialed 911 with my unrestrained hand.  As soon as he realized what I was doing, he grabbed the phone from my hands, ripped it in half,  and threw the pieces to his right.  It happened to hit and crack the window to my daughter’s room.  I told him I wanted my mother.  I begged for him to let me take my daughter and go to my mother’s house.  He lifted me off the ground by my hair and swiped my daughter up in his free arm. She was crying all the while.  Not crying, screaming bloody murder.  I was also crying hysterically.  We were both absolutely terrified.  He put her in the backseat and threw me in the passenger seat slamming the door behind him and than began to drive. I thought about getting out and running but I couldn’t leave HER.   He yelled at me the whole way.  He said terrible things  to me like “I should drive you out to the middle of nowhere and kill you”.  I wanted so desperately  to remain calm for my child but regaining my composure at this stage proved to be difficult.  He drove for what seemed like an eternity and eventually pulled up to my parent’s house.  My father was out of town and it was very late.  Probably about 1 a.m.  I rang the doorbell still crying, holding my daughter while he still had his hand tightly clasped to me left arm.  My mother answered the door confused and half asleep.  I remember blurting out “he hit me” in between sobs and her quickly ushering us inside.  He left.  She grabbed the phone and said she was calling the police.  I urged her not to.  I was confused and scared.  We never called the police that night.  Something that the both of us will probably always regret.  The next day he was back with flowers, gifts, tears, and seemingly sincere apologies.  He was under a lot of stress I told myself.  Being a husband and father in your early 20’s can certainly take a toll on anyone.  So we went back home with him with a solid promise it would never happen again.  Only… it did.

 

to be continued…

What if I don’t want to be a proverbs 31 wife today?!?!

Proverbs 31:10-31 (NIV)

Epilogue: The Wife of Noble Character

10 A wife of noble character who can find?
    She is worth far more than rubies.
11 Her husband has full confidence in her
    and lacks nothing of value.
12 She brings him good, not harm,
    all the days of her life.
13 She selects wool and flax
    and works with eager hands.
14 She is like the merchant ships,
    bringing her food from afar.
15 She gets up while it is still night;
    she provides food for her family
    and portions for her female servants.
16 She considers a field and buys it;
    out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.
17 She sets about her work vigorously;
    her arms are strong for her tasks.
18 She sees that her trading is profitable,
    and her lamp does not go out at night.
19 In her hand she holds the distaff
    and grasps the spindle with her fingers.
20 She opens her arms to the poor
    and extends her hands to the needy.
21 When it snows, she has no fear for her household;
    for all of them are clothed in scarlet.
22 She makes coverings for her bed;
    she is clothed in fine linen and purple.
23 Her husband is respected at the city gate,
    where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.
24 She makes linen garments and sells them,
    and supplies the merchants with sashes.
25 She is clothed with strength and dignity;
    she can laugh at the days to come.
26 She speaks with wisdom,
    and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
27 She watches over the affairs of her household
    and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children arise and call her blessed;
    her husband also, and he praises her:
29 “Many women do noble things,
    but you surpass them all.”
30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
    but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
31 Honor her for all that her hands have done,
    and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.

Ladies, not a single one of us hoped on board the marriage and mommy train without good intentions.  If we were raised in the church, we probably knew a thing or two about Proverbs 31.  We wanted to be Proverbs 31 wives.  Or I mean, at least I did.  “Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her”, I mean, who wouldn’t want that right?  What I didn’t realize was how exhausting achieving Proverbs 31 wife status truly is!  It’s funny, because the chapter is brutally honest about the work it entails but it flows so beautifully that I pretty much only focused on the end part where my kids and my husband were going to think I was the bomb.com and love me and praise me and all that good stuff all the time!

The thing is, 99.99% of the time I’m the first one awake in the morning and the last one in bed at night.  I don’t always make super terrific decisions because I have TOO MANY decisions to make daily!  Where everyone needs to be and when, immunize my kids, don’t immunize my kids, buy organic, dairy is good, no, it’s really not, what should I put in their lunchbox?  I open my arms to the poor, the wealthy, and everyone in between.  So much so that I have nothing left for myself most days.  I’m literally doing something for someone else daily.  I don’t always speak with wisdom.  Sometimes I speak downright foolish things.  Idle time?  What is that?!?!?  My kids, they don’t always “arise and call me blessed”, my husband rarely “praises me”.  Often my job is a thankless one.  I don’t feel like I’m surpassing anyone or that I’m being honored by a single soul.  That’s all okay, I don’t need recognition or a pat on the back very often.  I do these things proudly and joyfully (most of the time). But somedays, SOME DAYS, I don’t want to be a Proverbs 31 wife, I don’t want to wake up before everyone else or stay up once everyone has gone to sleep because there’s still much to be done.  Sometimes, I want some idle time.  I think I deserve some idle time dangit!

The problem is, we’ve put so much pressure on ourselves to be the Proverbs 31 wife by taking care of everyone else that we completely neglect ourselves.  You’re not going to be perfect, ever.  You can’t do it ALL, everyday.  It’s okay to sit down and prop your feet up sometimes.  It’s totally okay for your husband to toss in a load of laundry or cook a meal occasionally.  It’s okay to go through the drive through because you don’t feel like cooking!  It’s okay to sleep in sometimes.  You may not be the perfect wife and mother that you envisioned you would be, but you rock!  You may not get a lot of public recognition for your efforts from your husband or children but, I assure you, they appreciate all you do for them.  Take some time for you today if you just don’t feel like being a P31 wife.  Go get your nails done ladies, take a load off!  <3

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You can print this little design I created for my nightstand here: proverbs 31 printable

Not my problem…

It’s been entirely too long since I sat down to put my thoughts and ramblings into words for this blog.  Life in the Latch home is extremely hectic with school activities, sports, running my photography business, and my husband’s hotshot company.  Seems like there’s always something to be done and very little time for anything extra.

I wanted to touch bases with you on a subject that’s been weighing on me for quite some time now.  I may even rant a little bit, forgive me.  I want you to for a moment consider the biggest problem in life right now.  Now, I want you to consider the biggest problems of others in the world for a minute.  How do your biggest problems stack up to those of the world?  We spend a lot of time dwelling on issues that don’t really matter in the grand scheme of things and completely neglect some real BIG problems facing those around us.  We forget to be grateful for what we have because what we don’t have clouds our judgement.  We live in a constant state of oblivion to our fellow man. We don’t concern ourselves for others because their issues are NOT OUR PROBLEM!  We’ve become a culture that completely lacks empathy for others.  We sit in our little box casting judgement on everyone, focusing on the mundane day to day of our sheltered lives, and complaining about what is wrong with the world.  News flash!  WE are what’s wrong with the world!  If you’re not a part of the solution, you’re a part of the problem!

Did you know that 1 in 4 children suffers from malnutrition worldwide?  Probably not because it’s not your problem.  Here’s something you may not know, according to dosomething.org, 1 in 6 people in America suffer from hunger.  Let’s think about that for a second.  Envision your 6 closest friends.  Now imagine that 1 of them doesn’t have the food they need to thrive.  Hits a little closer to home doesn’t it?  If you knew your neighbor didn’t have enough resources to properly nourish their children, would you step in to help?  Imagine the desperation those parents must feel.   When was the last time you were really hungry?  We joke and say we’re hangry when we haven’t eaten for a few hours but we don’t stop to consider that there are children across the world, across the nation, and even in our very own backyard who haven’t eaten in days!  It’s not our problem right?  But, what if it were you?  Would you want someone else to make it their problem and step up to help you out.  To help your kids get the nourishment they so desperately need?

There’s the man who got laid off and is searching for a job but can’t seem to find one.  He’s working odd jobs to pay the bills but it’s not enough.  He can’t provide for his family, not for lack of trying, but it’s not your problem.  The kid on the baseball team who has a single mom trying her hardest to get him where he needs to be because even though she’s run completely ragged, she doesn’t want him to miss out on anything.  She can’t drive him to practice sometimes because of work so he walks, sometimes miles to get there but that’s not your problem.  The teenage girl who so desperately seeks the attention of every male she meets because nobody taught her she’s beautiful, loved, and cherished.  She finds herself a mother when she too is just a child and she needs help desperately.  She needs to feel loved and worthy of real love desperately but that’s not your problem!

There’s a lot of controversy surrounding the Black Lives Matter movement.  I think a lot of us who are not black, don’t fully grasp the concept that racism is alive and thriving in our own backyard.  Why?  Because it’s “not our problem“.  It doesn’t directly affect us and our family and thus we turn a blind eye to the fact that it actually IS a problem for someone.  It’s a very real problem for our neighbors, co-workers, friends, and our children’s schoolmates.  Don’t believe me?   I have a very good long time friend who happens to be black.  Yesterday, as her children rode the bus to school, a white kid pulled a knife out on her daughter and threatened to stab her, her brother, and the other black children on the bus.  Yes, but you’re right, racism no longer exists here.  I’m absolutely shaking with anger and frustration for her family even as I type this.  As much as I want to get my belt after the behind of that child on the bus, I want to ring the neck of his parents even more because Racism is a learned behavior.  Do all lives matter?  Absolutely!  Are we saying by supporting Black Lives Matter that we don’t believe that ALL lives matter?  Absolutely not, but let’s get real honest, when was the last time your life was threatened or your intentions questioned for strolling through your neighborhood at night just because of the color of your skin?

My point is, be a part of the solution!  You can’t solve all the world’s problems, but you can certainly help with some.  The bible tells us to love our neighbor as ourselves.  Are you truly loving others as you love yourself?  Because loving others fully sometimes requires taking their problems and making them our own.  Working together to find solutions instead of creating more division.  If you see someone that needs help, roll your sleeves up and get in there to help!  If we aren’t helping those with needs big or small, and we aren’t teaching our children to be a part of the solution, our future is doomed and that IS OUR PROBLEM!

I leave you with a FREE printable to frame for your home and remind you daily to be kind and help others.  It’s formatted to an 8×10 just click the link below the image to download and print.

“Be the change you want to see in the world”-Gandhi

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per·fect

per·fect

having all the required or desirable elements, qualities, or characteristics; as good as it is possible to be.

Years ago, when my husband and I were in the midst of some marital turmoil, he confided in a friend that one of our biggest problems was that I was too “perfect”.  The way he said it was insulting rather than a compliment.  When I asked him what exactly that was supposed to mean he said “You’re good at everything and it’s annoying”.  There’s something about that statement that has resounded with me since.  It wasn’t the first time someone had given me a “compliment” like that.  In joking I’ve heard, “you’re the perfect mother”, “you’re the mother I wish I was”, “you’re so good at everything”, “you and Dave are so cute, you’re like the perfect couple”, “you put my project to shame”  Funny, these statements were meant to be compliments, but to me, they magnify all that is imperfect about me.  I think a lot of us feel this pressure partially from society, primarily from ourselves, to be perfect.  I didn’t realize my quest for perfectionism was so annoying but I know I often feel exhausted by it.  I recently posted this photo on my personal instagram & fb pages:

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Sure it was all supposed to be fun and games but it rings incredibly true.  We slap on a cool filter and display the best of us.  We rarely post the “real” us.  We talk about and post the good but not the bad and the ugly.  Sometimes I’m a rockin’ wife, mom, daughter, sister, and friend but never am I close to perfect.  In fact, more times than not, I’m completely drowning here!  I know I’m not alone here and I think we should all start being a little more real with one another about it.  I don’t want to dwell on my imperfections or shortcomings but I certainly don’t want to portray a “perfect” life.  Maybe if we all started being a little more real with each other, we may be able to let go of some of the pressures that plague us daily.  This week, I shaved one leg and not the other, was late to church, got into a fight with my husband, yelled at my kids, missed the memo about 1st grade awards and didn’t show up, fed my kids absolute junk food at least 3 out of 7 days, and almost forgot to pick them up from school.  Nobody’s lunches were cut into cute shapes, the grocery store was out of organic 2% so I bought regular, and I didn’t work out once.  I did however plan a camping themed family night complete with a tent in the playroom, an obstacle course, and driveway s’mores which I posted the crap out of.  Betcha didn’t see a single photo of all the things I totally screwed up though did you?  My point?  I’m not perfect, you’re not perfect, we will never be perfect.  The good news is, we don’t have to be perfect, just real and kind to one another.  Lighten up y’all, go easy on yourselves, were all in this together!

Favorite things brunch

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I’ve seen favorite things parties all over pinterest and I had been dying for a reason to throw one for quite some time.  Naturally, when I saw that a ladies brunch group I’m a part of was in need of a May hostess, I jumped at the chance to finally put this together.  The party itself wasn’t super fancy so I wasn’t sure that I was going to share or not, I’m not used to planning adult parties!  I did however, create several printables and I thought someone else may be able to put some of them to use so decided to do a quick share.  Because it’s just a Facebook group I didn’t create tangible invitations but instead opted for a group event page.  The party info read this:

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Brown paper packages tied up with strings
These are a few of my favorite things…

Here’s the skinny, purchase 5 of your favorite things (under $5). This can be anything at all you love! An awesome lipgloss or chapstick, a cool face mask, awesome markers, candy, snack, lotion, you get the idea. When you arrive, you’ll write your name 5 times and place them in a bowl. We will take turns presenting our favorite things and then drawing a name from the bowl to give each one away. By the end, we will each have 5 NEW favorite things!

When guests arrived, they grabbed a plate and piled on the grub and mixed themselves a drink.  I set out grapefruit juice, pineapple juice, orange juice, and orange mango juice with several bottles of champagne for those who wanted mimosas.  I also set out olives, vodka, bloody mary mix, and the fixings for that.  I had water too but not much of that was consumed!  haha

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I didn’t go super crazy with food, I chose mini pancakes with syrup dipping cups, donut holes, sausage balls, cheese, crackers, chips, salsa, and 2 different quiche options.  I was worried it wouldn’t be enough food but we were all pretty stuffed.  It was a pretty cost effective menu.  The donut holes were about $1.50 per dozen at my local donut shop, I got a big bag of pre-made mini pancakes at walmart for under $5, and the little individual containers for the syrup at dollar tree (10/$1).  I made the quiche(s) myself, they’re super easy and delicious!

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I originally set out to order custom cups but couldn’t find them in a small enough quantity (I was only expecting about 10 guests), plus, I was having a hard time committing to a single saying, I thought it would be fun to have different cup options.  The group is called “b!#ches who brunch” (I didn’t name it) and I kinda wanted to incorporate that but the mom in me didn’t want it all over EVERYTHING!  lol  So, instead, I bought cheap clear plastic cups at walmart and a package of round adhesive labels at dollar tree.  I downloaded the template online and used photoshop to add cute little sayings, printed, and stuck right on to the cups.  The girls had fun picking a cup and cute paper straw.  I chose polka dot paper straws with cute little flags to write everyone’s name on so we didn’t get our cups mixed up.

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I set up a separate table with bags for everyone to take home their favorite things and a bowl to put everyone’s name in.  Everyone set their favorite things here when they came in.  When it was time, we took turns standing and presenting our favorite things, then drawing a name and giving that item away.  It was super fun, and we got some great goodies!  I purchased the brown paper bags at michael’s, printed out the label at home, and attached it with glitter washi tape.

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It was a little different planning a party for moms and not kids.  I had a hard time wrapping my head around the fact that I didn’t need to plan a bunch of activities or games!  lol  We just ate, drank, visited, and did lots of laughing.  In addition to the favorite things exchange, I set up a Photo Booth area in the front living room with props.  We may have had a little fun with that too.

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We had lotsa fun, can’t wait to do it again!  I’m going to attach the table decor signs, even a few I didn’t actually end up using.  No sense in them just sitting lonely and un-used on my computer.  Hope you get some use of them!  I don’t ask anything in return but that if you use them, use the hashtag “dysfunctionaldomesticdivablog” when you post to instagram so I can see how you used them!  It’s so fun to see different takes on something!  <3

sipsipsign (This was created to be a 5×7)

dipsign (5×7)

morning mimosa (8×10)

bitchesbrunch (8×10)

boozeless (8×10)

favoritethings (8×10)

mimosa bar (11×14) I had this one printed as a photo by my print company

bag tags (printed as a standard 8.5×11)

brunch cup labels (these were printed on those dollar tree stickers)

I used glue and glitter to make some of the signs sparkle after they were printed, but that’s totally optional.  I got most of the frames I used at dollar tree too.

 

 

 

 

 

Holes in my shoes

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This morning, I woke up ready to take on the day!  Seriously, things were going off without a hitch and we were on time and life was good.  I took the big girls to school and then came home to begin getting A ready.  She looked quite cute in her little ruffled leggings and super sweet twirly dress.  She even picked a cute chunky necklace and a big pink bow to put in her perfectly placed ponytail.  I went to the kitchen to finish making her lunch and told her to put on her shoes and grab her backpack.  She came to me in a bit of a panic because she couldn’t find her folder.  We looked for a bit and then decided maybe one of her sisters had accidentally grabbed it as they all keep their backpacks in the reading nook side by side.  Our folder search ate up any spare time and before I knew it, we were on the verge of running late.   I quickly ushered her into the car and we sped off to school.  Upon arrival, I struggled to help her grab her nap mat, backpack, lunchbox, Ted, and her quest box (why does a 4 year old need this much gear for MDO?!?!?!).  We fought our way up the stairs and into class and her teacher commented on how pretty she looked.  I noticed she had a little breakfast left on her face so ushered her to the sink to wash her face before kissing her to tell her goodbye.  There my perfectly dressed little princess stood before me smiling as I glanced over her to proudly bask in all her head to toe adorableness.  That’s when I noticed it…

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There before me were her big toes gleaming out staring me in the face.  I could immediately feel my smile contort into an open mouthed gaping state of shock.  I froze absolutely horrified and began to panic.  You see these old glittery toms had become her “play shoes”.  She would slip them on and frolic outside to play for hours.  Recently, I had noticed her dragging them along the concrete as she rode her scooter and thus had ripped holes in the toes.  I told her to throw them away and that I would get her a new pair.  I trusted that she had but they’re her favorite shoes all broken in and comfy like that and so I guess she couldn’t bare to see them go.  I began to explain the situation to her teacher and vowed to return shortly with a less beggar looking pair.  I drove home in a hurry eager to grab some decent foot ware and return them to my little darling.

As I left the school for the second time after delivering suitable shoes, something hit me.  I have holes in my shoes too.  Not literally.  Metaphorically speaking.  My life is imperfect.  I often fall short of the mother, the wife, the daughter, sister, friend, and Christaian that I want to be, that I know God wants me to be.  I sin and disobey and cling to things in my life that are broken because they are “comfortable”.  When God tells me, “throw those things out, they are not good for you, I have something better for you”, I ignore him.  I look past those holes because grabbing a hold of something new is scary.  Sometimes new shoes leave blisters until they’re broken in you just have to get through that initial pain before they become your new favorite shoes.  Sometimes it’s easier to put a patch on the holes in those old shoes than it is to risk the blister of the new ones.  But God wants us to have new shoes.  He wants us to be the very best that we can be and he wants us to remember that he’s there with us through that blistery transition period.  I want to encourage you today to look at the holes in your own shoes.  Those broken relationships, that self inflicted criticism, those judgements, those addictions.  Lay that worn down pair of shoes at His feet and exchange them for a shiny new pair.  Exchange them for healing.  Remember, they won’t feel perfect the second you put them on for the first time.  They’ll be stiff and may cause blisters and that’s okay.  It’s just part of the process.

He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.  psalm 147:3