Thursday, September 17, 2015

3 Years Later

This morning on my way to work I was thinking about this blog.   When I logged into it, I realized that it has been almost 3 years since I wrote on here!

So much has happened since then!

I love to look back and read what I wrote back then.   I love to see where I am now, versus where I was back then.

And even if no one else reads this, it's okay.  It's my life journey.

4 1/2 years ago I decided to start this blog.   As a change from my previous blog, (mostly because the blog's title no longer applied to me:  Thoughts Of A Mostly Stay At Home Mom.

Wow, 4 1/2  years ago.  I looked back through some of the blog posts.   Wow.  How much has progressed!

The last time I wrote, I had barely moved into my new place.   I'm still here.  I love my place.

I'm officially divorced.  Have been for over a year and a half.  And you know what?  He and I get along great now.  Who would have thought?   We are friends.   It took a long time coming after the separation, but at least we both moved forward.  After being with someone for 18 years, sharing 2 children, it's always better for everyone if exes get along.   I know it doesn't always happen, but luckily it works fine for us.  

I remember a long time ago, seeing these two people, who were exes who got along great for the sake of their daughter.   Hell, even her new husband coached with her ex-husband!   I always remembered that and told myself that if I ever did get divorced that I would want to strive for that type of relationship were exes got along.

I still go to his parents for Christmas celebrations.  I'm still friends with all of his side of the family.  After all, they were my family too for so long.    Some people might think its weird or awkard, but it has never been that way for me.  

Okay, enough reminiscing.  Let's move forward:

I just celebrated my 4th anniversary at my job.  I still love it here.  It's my work family here.

My girls.   Wow, I am constantly amazed at how wonderful they are.  My oldest just started her junior year of college.  Already?!  It amazes me how awesome she is.  (Okay yes, and sassy too, for those that know her, lol)

My youngest?  Well, she just started 8th grade, is on ASB, and cheers for Pop Warner football.  What??!  My baby who would barely talk to people?  This girl is coming out of her shell in a good way!

Me?  Ahhh, yes.  Me.

I still love my life.

I have an AMAZING man in my life.  He rocks my world.

My photography?  Wow, I am so grateful for all the people who choose to have me photograph important moments in their lives.  And their children's lives.   Every year I get more and more clients.  And this is just a side business for me!

Crocheting.  Another side business I have.  Since my photography has taken off, the crochet side has suffered some, but that's okay.  I had to take a break for six months anyway, as I was starting to get tendonitis in my left hand.  OUCH.

Finding that balance in my life has not been easy and sometimes it's still not easy.  

But I make it work.  Because I choose to.

And I'm happy.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Settling In

a little over 2 months ago, I moved in my new place.

Renting again after 10 years.

I don't look at it as a step backwards, however.

For me, it's a step forward.

To me.

I love my new place.

The first night I stood in my living room, amidst boxes and I cried.

I cried tears of joy.

My OWN place.

My cozy place for me and my girls.


And, while, after 2 months, it's not completely the way I want it, it's coming along.

And ever day I come home, or wake up, I fall in love with my place.

Because it's something I have worked towards.

It seems like the past two years, I have worked towards many goals.

Many goals are being obtained.

But still many more have yet to be fulfilled.

A work in progress.

Always a work in progress.

And you have to be okay with that.

And I am.

And in the past two years, I have learned more patience in those two years, than I have in my whole life.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Giving and Paying it Forward

Last year I was at a point in my life where I wanted to move forward with my creative endeavors, but I was unsure where to start.  Where to go.  What to do. A dear friend of mine, Stacy, highly encouraged me to take this e-course from Kelly Rae Roberts.   She said it would help me so much and change my life.   She was SO right!!  During this e-course I was able to figure out what I wanted to do and how I wanted to do it.   I wanted to pursue my photography.   But I also wanted to pursue my crocheting skills as well.  This course helped to give me the direction of which way to go.   And lo and behold, I am actually doing both!

The result of taking this e-course was this; a wealth of information and even more valuable, was the group of women who were signed up as well, who have become so near and dear to me in my life.   We call ourselves "Fly Tribe"   We have a blog specifically for our group with links to all who want to participate when we have a "Blog Hop".   A beautiful creator, Renee Burke even created necklaces for our group and I wear mine all the time.  It helps to give me strength, because when I wear it, I know that we have an amazing group that help and support each other in each of our endeavors.  We also have many other collaborations going as well!

So as the 1 year anniversary of our tribe being created was coming up, we all wanted to do something to celebrate our tribe, and we decided to give back.  To give forward, if you will.   So our group decided to donate any amount we could, to pool our money together and to give away a spot in Kelly Rae Roberts 2012 Flying Lessons e-course.  And this just happened to be the LAST TIME she would ever offer this course.  We told Kelly Rae of our intent.  And she said the she would match, dollar for dollar towards giving away spots in her e-course.  We also asked the group from 2010 if they wanted to participate as well.   

Imagine our surprise, when, at the cutoff date of this past Friday, August 17th, we had collected enough for not just 1 class, but EIGHT classes!!!!!!!!!!!   And with Kelly Rae Roberts matching dollar for dollar, that meant that there are SIXTEEN SPOTS available!  

We believe in this class so much that we want to share it with others!

So please head on over to our Fly Tribe blog and enter for your chance to win one of these lucrative spots!!

And while you are there, take a look at our Fly Tribe members' blogs and see the creative bunch that we are!!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Giveaway Time!!!!

And the winner is...................

Tracy80028!!!!  Congratulations Tracy!  I will contact you and you can let me know what you want!  Thank you everyone for all your support!!!!!

This is my crochet business.

It all started last year when a friend of mine asked if I could crochet her some owl hats for her new babies.  I posted a picture of them on Facebook and then I had people starting to request other hats from me.

So I created a Facebook Business Page:   Tinachicky

Slowly I would get more and more "likes".   So I decided that if I got to 100 likes, I would have a giveaway.

Well guess what, I got to 100 likes on July 4th.

So now, I am posting my giveaway.   You have the chance to either win one of my owl hats (in the colors of your choice), or my new barefoot sandals that I have started creating.   Below is a picture of both:

There are a few ways to enter (and each way will guarantee you another chance to win):  

1:   If you haven't already "liked" Tinachicky on Facebook, please to go the link provided:  Tinachicky and Click on the Like button and leave a comment there. (If you have already "liked" the Tinachicky page, just leave a comment there)

2:  Leave a comment here.

3:  Share the Tinachicky page on your Facebook or Twitter and then come back here and leave another comment letting me know you have done so.

That's it!   

I will announce the winner on Monday, July 9th, both on here and on my Tinachicky page on Facebook.

Thank you!!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Being a Mom to a Teenage Girl

Us at the Foo Fighters Concert

My oldest daughter is almost 17.   Yes, that's right 17.   Which means in one more year she will be 18.  Oy.

In one more year and 2 months, she will be an adult.

I must say, that even with a few minor bumps here and there and some attitude, I am throroughly enjoying watching her blossom into a wonderful, confident woman.

I remember what it was like to be a teenager.   I remember the adult female influences around me.

And that's one thing you mom's with teenage girls need to remember.  As a teenager, we remember the influences around us at that time. (and always, really, for that matter)

It's those women around me at that time, that I remember, and I remember what I wanted to take from each one of them to use as an influence for when I became a mom.

Because I knew I wanted to be a mom.  Even way back then.

The first influence is, without a doubt, my mom.  She was a great mom.  And she was a cool mom.  Ask any of my friends from when I was in high school, they will tell you the same thing.  My mom was accepting as well.  Some of my friends, and even acquaintances at that time were definitely unique in their look, but my mom treated them all the same, and never made judgement even when they weren't there.  She based it on who they were as a person, not what they looked like.  And she was so well loved by so many.

She was also very laid back as well.  She didn't ask me a lot of questions (well there was that one time when her and I sat in the living room with a couple of beers - and I was only 18 at the time - but that conversation is not for here), and when I look back, I don't remember asking her a lot of questions either.

The 2nd female in my life who was an influence on me, was my Aunt Sharon.  I used to love to go up to their house and spend time with my cousins.  I remember the atmosphere there too.  It could get loud sometimes ( I had 5 cousins there), but they were also allowed to swear if they wanted to.   I always envied that.  To be able to be relaxed enough to say "Fuck" in front of your mom.   (That was the one word my mom did not like, because I don't remember ever saying it in front of her, at least when I was a teenager).

The 3rd female in my life was one of my best friend's mom, Linda.  I remember the strength she had in her.  I remember her not holding back when it came to talking at times about things.  From the age of 10 on, I pretty much grew up in their house, as well as mine.

My grandma was an influence in my life as well, but when I was a teenager, I so did not get along with her.  As a child I did, and after I graduated high school and started college, we got along much better.  But as a teenager?  Not so much.  She was very strict (which explains why my mom was so NOT strict like that).  But when I was an adult and found out some things about her life growing up, it made sense.  I also found out that she was a bit of rebel, herself, in some ways.  (She eloped with her first husband because she knew her aunt would not approve).  She knew what she wanted.

I took some parts of all of these women, as influences for how and who I am, as a mom.

From the very get go, I told my children that they could come to me with ANYTHING.  They could ask me ANYTHING.  I would always answer them truthfully.  Yes, sometimes it has been embarrassing to explain a question that they ask about, but I still answer them.   They need to know that I am that safe person that they can come to. (Excellent example....last night my little one and I were watching a movie and they said the word "balls".  You could tell from her expression that she may have known what it meant, but still unsure and so I asked her if she knew what it meant and she thought she did, and she was close, but I corrected her and explained in a matter-of-factly, unexpressioned tone, what it actually meant.

I allow my oldest daughter to swear in the house, yes, even the word "Fuck".  With the only exception that she curb it when she is around her younger sister (even though she's already heard those words before, I still believe that when they are young, they are still so vulnerable and impressionable, and I like to keep the curse words to a minimum).  Last night we were talking about stuff and Fuck came out.  Not even necessarily in a mean way either.  Just conversation we have.  Of course she tends to laugh at me when I say it though.  Maybe it's because she never really heard it from me when she was little because I curbed my language back then?

I'm not perfect.  I never claimed to be perfect.  But I know I try and do my best when it comes to my girls.  I'm upfront and honest with them when they ask me things, I do my best to allow them to become who they truly are, and I encourage and laugh with them, and yes, even cry with them.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

100 Steps

I am currently taking an e-course right now and our first assignment was to do a "100 Step Walk".  Now, I have done this before, last year I think.  When I did it back then, it was a way for me to work on looking past the obvious and finding beauty where ever I stopped.   This assignment is along the same lines, however it is dealing with so much more.

This time I did it, it came out similar, yet different.  Part of the path I walked was the same, but most of it was a different way I walked in my neighborhood.

I'm walking and I see things, and I'm like, "this would be a great picture to take!"  But I was only on Step 50, or 70.   And then I get to step 100 and I look around and what do I see at first?  Nothing.  Nothing that would catch my eye.   So that would force my head to look around.  Look even deeper at my surroundings.  

Instead of looking for that pretty flower, or lawn art, or cool looking car, I had to look more at angles and the scenery in which I was given, at that moment and figure out how I could take a picture of it and make it look interesting.  (At least in my point of view).   

So while, some were easy, some were difficult. 

This one was fairly easy for me, when I stopped at 100, I immediately saw the tire swing in the front yard.  And while this house is only 3 houses away from me, I never really noticed the tire swing.  This reminds me of being a kid and just playing.

At my 2nd stop, I looked around and honestly, I didn't see anything, but then my daughter's shoes caught my eye.  She loves these shoes.  Glittery pink high tops.  A girly spin on a boy's shoe.

The first of quite a few intersections I happen to STOP at.   Well, if I must stop here, I might as well showcase it.......

It's always interesting when you look at something from a different point of view.

Ahhh.....I finally got to stop at a place where flowers were!  I have always loved flowers and having the late day sun peek through these was quite stunning.

Another stopping point where all I saw was dead grass (with the rising cost of water, not everyone cares to keep their lawn watered in the summertime).   So I looked down and knelt down and I saw the curvature of the street at the curbline.

I actually was taking a picture of the piece of carpet in the street at this angle, but when the final picture was revealed it was more of looking at the scenery of the houses on the hill, the cars parked in the driveway, with my daughter's legs framing them.  Here we could say this was taken from an ant's point of view?

Next stop:  Behind a truck.  So this one is more about a depth of perception.

I tried my best to get the spiderwebs better in this picture, but it almost looks like you are hiding behind a bush ready to peer out and see what's there.

Don't you just love the colors of this plant with the green framing it down below?

And yet another stopping point.  A yard full of rocks.  Yes, just rocks. (at least they don't have to worry about watering)  But rocks have depth to them.  And a rock can be a foundation of some sorts too.  Hmmmm......

If you look left to right and you don't see anything, why not try looking up?  Notice the texture on the telephone pole.

Look who was barking at us while we were walking

Another time to look up and look at interesting angles.  When I looked up this is exactly what I saw.

These flags surround a tree in this yard.

I knelt down to take a picture of the crack in the street and my daughter decided to kneel down at the last minute and get in the picture. :)

At this current stop, I stopped at this wooden mailbox.  Notice how shiny the wood is.......

At my last 100 Steps stop.   Ivy, which grows so fast, but flowers blooming in with all the brush.....

So there you have it.   My point of view from a calming, fun walk with my youngest daughter.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

New Tattoo

This is my new tattoo I got a couple of weeks ago.

The symbol inside the circle of beads is an "Om Shanti" symbol.

Here is a synopsis of its meaning:

"Like many mantras, this one begins with "Om". Om has no meaning, and its origins are lost in the mists of time. Om is considered to be the primeval sound, the sound of the universe, the sound from which all other sounds are formed.
In the Brahminical tradition, from where Buddhism undoubtedly obtained mantra practice, Om is not just the universal sound, but the sound of the universe itself. For example in the (non-Buddhist) Mandukya Upanishad, it is said:
Om! — This syllable is this whole world.
Its further explanation is: –
The past, the present, the future — everything is just the word Om.
And whatever else that transcends threefold time — that, too, is just the word Om.
You could regard Om as being the equivalent of white light, in which all of the colors of the rainbow can be found.Om is therefore a sound symbolizing reality. It represents everything in the universe, past, present, and future. It even represents everything that is outside of those three times. It therefore represents both the mundane world of time in which the mind normally functions, and the world as perceived by the mind that is awakened and that experiences the world timelessly. It represents both enlightenment and non-enlightenment.
Shanti (Pali: Santi) simply means "peace". It’s a beautiful meaning and also a very beautiful sound. The shanti is repeated three times, as are many chants in Buddhism. In Buddhism as well as in Hinduism the threefold Shanti is generally interpreted as meaning the Threefold Peace in body, speech, and mind (i.e. peace in the entirety of one’s being)."
Now, while I do not practice Buddhism, the whole concept of this meaning resonates with me.
I have plenty of times when I feel that life around me is out of control and I need to find a place of peace.  A place to just "BE" and allow that wild roller coaster to follow through on it's path.
I have said before that I am Passionate.   And Impatient. And Stubborn.  And VERY Caring.  These things I know for sure about me.  I will be the first to admit it.
There are so many things and events and people in this world that I can accept.  But just like any other person, there are certain values I hold strong to me and how I want to live my life that I will not deter on.
I first saw this symbol on a charm of a necklace that my dear friend, Stacy, sells.  I know I have mentioned her Bella Wish shop on many occasions and showcased necklaces that I have purchased from her.  When I bought the necklace, that holds this charm, a few years ago, it was my little reminder to me to work at Peace.  With myself.  With others.  With how people should treat others.
Now that's not to say that I don't have my fits of emotion.  I do, believe me I do.  And everyone has to.  You can't bottle that up inside.  It will eat you alive.  Especially if you are passionate about things.  Yes, excitement is a wonderful thing to do, but having that anger and hurt is also a normal part of being human and you have to let that out too.  Obviously it's best to emit that emotion in a manner that is not harmful to yourself or others.
The other day a friend posted about how her girls were having an epic meltdown, and how I said I wanted to be a little kid again and have that meltdown.  And she gave me "permission" to do it.  And I should be able to do it.  I should.  And I did, to an extent.  I screamed so loud in my car that I scared even myself.  But a buildup of emotion has to go get released somehow.  And if I can scream in my car to emit some of that release, that has got to be a good thing.  Because honestly, do you really want that emotion eating you up inside?  You've got to be able to release it.  And it was done in a way that did no harm to anyone (except maybe my vocal cords).
To get back to Peace.
And while I could certainly wear my necklace every day to remind me of it, I wanted something more permanent on me that I could look at every day.  A reminder of who I resonate to be, and truly am, inside and out, amid all the chaos.