September 18, 2014

what are you doing with your life?

That’s often a question I ask our dog when he’s done something like eat the cap off the maple syrup or dig in the trash for a dirty diaper. But lately I’ve been asking myself that question only not under the same circumstances. So what am I doing with my life?
I don’t know.
Right now my life is defined as being a wife and a mother. Both of which I am extremely proud and happy of but I would be lying if I said I didn’t want more, because I do.
Enter the searching for different degrees and colleges. Obviously right now online classes are the best option for me and for a lot of people. Enter Pepperdine University’s Online Business degree program. They also have some great tips on how to succeed while taking online classes!
What you need to know about pursuing a degree in business
If you've been thinking about going back to college, there's no better time than now. The sooner that you enroll and begin working on your classes, the sooner you'll reap the benefits that your new education affords you. Before you enroll in your courses, though, there are a few things that you should know about earning your degree in business.
First off, a business degree is going to help you succeed. Whether you want to further your current career or launch a new one, learning how the world of business works is an essential part of your success. You'll receive training that shows you how to deal with computer issues, assist with software problems, train new employees, and interact with consumers. These are all skills that you absolutely need in order to do well in the business world.
It's also important that you take your studying seriously. If you enroll at Pepperdine, you'll be able to enjoy studying from home, but you'll still need to set up a schedule. Many students enjoy the flexibility that an online class affords them, but you need to make sure that you actually study on a regular basis. Consider using a planner or calendar to keep track of your homework, assignments, and class schedule.
Finally, make sure that you seek support when you need it. Going back to school is an important part of moving forward with your life, but you need support and encouragement from the people closest to you. If you feel overwhelmed with your classes or you're struggling to manage your work hours while you're in school, talk with your friends and family about it. See what they can do to help you through this time.
Of course, also make sure that you encourage yourself. Leave yourself notes or set reminder alerts on your phone that let you know exactly why you're working toward. When you find that you're having a hard time with a certain class, seeing a note that reminds you of your business goals and dreams can help give you the push that you need to move forward.

Are you in online classes?
What are you going for?

This is a “sponsored post.” The company who sponsored it compensated me.  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I would use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

September 17, 2014

real life-addiction

This post is the feelings and experiences of seeing people we love struggle with addiction. This is simply an honest post about real life.
: a strong and harmful need to regularly have something (such as a drug) or do something (such as gamble)
: an unusually great interest in something or a need to do or have something

I come from a line of addicts in one way or another. My father was an alcoholic and drug abuser all my life until he died when I was freshman in High School. From what I understand, on my dad's side my grandpa had a gambling addiction, and both my grandparents had grown up with parents that were alcoholics. On my mom's side I don't really know of any alcohol or drug abuse but every family has skeletons in their closets.

I’ll be completely honest and say that my childhood was not all white picket fence and happiness. At a young age I understood my father was in jail. My mom struggled with 3 kids with no help from anyone, we moved from apartment to apartment until my mom met my step dad and we moved to CA. She worked her ass off to provide for us while my father was either locked up or doing god knows what to feed his addiction. I guess you could say addiction has affected me since I was a baby. I love my dad, despite the bullshit he put all of us through, despite his addiction. I love him and some days I miss him and just get so angry that he could allow his addiction to take over his life. My kids should have known their Grandpa Rick personally and not just from pictures. He had cancer, but he didn't stop abusing which is ultimately why he died. And the worst of it is that we were supposed to see him just days after he died. His addiction won and it beat us all.
My dad’s addiction is not the only that has affected me or my family though.

Recently there’s been someone in my family that did something illegal resulting in them being arrested. This arrest was a blessing in disguise in my eyes.
I have a lot of emotions towards this person and the situation. One day I'm fine, others I am so hurt and angry. There's a lot of hush-hush, maybe if we don't tell anyone it will all go away. Everyone knows that doesn't work. Someone else in our family is ruining our relationship and her relationship with others because of the addict. And it hurts.
It hurts knowing that she will go in and rescue this addict despite evidence and experience of others trying to tell her it wont work. It hurts that I can't even say how I'm feeling without being told "are you done?" while on the phone in the middle of a conversation. It hurts feeling like my emotions aren't valid. Addiction doesn't just hurt the addict, it hurts all those involved.

Maybe that person will read this, maybe the addict will too. Chances are if they do they wont be happy. But that's okay. In my heart I know I want nothing but health, happiness, and love for the addict. I will always love her, no matter what.

My feelings and my emotions are valid. I'm allowed to feel. And so are you.

From Ryan over at The National Something:
I've dealt with alcoholism and heroin.
The alcoholic there was nothing to do for him he switched back and forth between alcohol and pain killers and I found him dead in his apartment when he didn't show up for work one day. There are only 2 ways it ends... death or jail.

The heroin I have had a lot of friends get involved. Only talk to one of them now. 2 got clean. 1 had no choice, he had to and was ready. The other got clean on his own. I didn't do anything for them, as there isn't really much you can do until they want to get clean.

Again, if you don't get sober you die or go to jail. I mainly just ignore people while they are using. I will be supportive during the getting clean process but once they use they aren't worth my time. Why try to help them if they can't help themselves.

From Abby over at Murdocks Mama:
When Amanda posted this, it instantly caught my attention, since addiction hit so close to home for me.  However, I never thought I would contribute.  After all, this isn’t something I would post about on my personal blog.  Call it being a coward, I like to think of it more like keeping the peace.   See, my family reads my blog {since it’s mostly about my kids – 1 year old son, 2 year old daughter, & 6 year old pup} to keep up with our life.  My family is also the type that doesn't talk about things and like to pretend they don’t exist.  Truth is, I thought that was normal until I met my husband. {side note, at 21 he actually had to teach me to apologize—say what!?!}  Okay, I’m rambling {procrastinating?!} so let’s cut to the chase…
We all know about addiction.  We've all seen it, heard about it.  But this is the addiction that changed my life forever…

I've known my dad was addicted to cigarettes all my life {hello, everyone smoked in the 80’s-90’s} so whatever.  As I got older {say middle school}, I learned that my dad was a recovered {I know, you’re never ‘recovered’} alcoholic.  And that not everyone’s parents went to those weekly meetings in the church basement like mine did.  And that’s why we never had alcohol in the house.  Still, whatever.  It’s all I knew and it didn’t really matter to me.  We had a normal family & great childhood {think good house, nice community, mom/dad/3 kids, the luxuries to vacation and partake in any activities we wanted, etc.}  Well except for the fact that my dad worked 2 ½ hours, each way, from our house, Tuesday through Saturday.  Luckily, my mom stayed home with my two sisters and me, so we had lots of bonding time.  We were one happy, healthy family.  Life was great.  

Until it wasn't.  I was in 10th grade.  My dad lost his job {the company he worked for went bankrupt} and our lives were flipped upside down.  We had a significantly reduced income {goodbye ‘weekly shopping trips for whatever you wanted at the mall’, hello ‘make a grocery list, take calculator and $100, and do not, I repeat, DO NOT go over the $100, because you’ll be forced to put something back}, but still, we were making it.  We had a nice {warm} home, we were fed, and we were well taken care of.  I don’t think I knew it then, but my mom gave up a lot to make sure the three of us got everything we needed during that time.  
But then it got worse.  Now that my dad was home all day and all night {with my mom who worked from home}, he was forced to admit something.  Something big.

I’ll never forget the day my mom picked me up from school.  She did this nearly daily, but this day was different, & I knew something was wrong.  I climbed into the minivan and immediately asked what was wrong. She shook her head with tears in her eyes {my mom is not a crier!} like she wasn't going to tell me, but I was {still am} a stubborn one.  She finally spilled it.  She told me my dad was addicted to Meth. And on top of that, he was cheating on her.
I instantly hated him.

I know hating a parent is harsh.  I mean teenagers say that to their parents often, but this was full on, ‘kick him out, I never want to see him again.’  And I meant it.  
I've always been close with my mom, so while the news hurt {actually, devastated} me, it mainly infuriated me because of what he did to my mom.  They were high school sweethearts; she’s never been with anyone else.  And while she didn't grow up in a fantastic home, she beat all odds and made our world nothing short of amazing.  She didn't deserve this bull shit.  
In an effort to spare you all the details of parents with addiction {in and out of rehab facilities, endless counselor appointments, fight—oh the fighting, the tears, the stress—money, trust, etc}. I’ll wrap this up.  Addiction effing sucks!  It hurts.  It hurts everyone going through the trenches with you.  You ruin lifelong friendships, you change the lives of the people you once cared about, forever, and you ruin your body {my dad is losing most of his teeth & had a heart attack at age 41}.  No matter how much you try, it can never be taken back.  

But you all know that.
What so many of us forget is that it happens to ‘normal’ people, all around us, every single day.  You may not see it or even hear about it {trust me, nobody that meets me would have any idea} because people are strong and only want you to see certain things.  Just remember, ‘be kind to all, as everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.’

September 16, 2014

strollin and organizin

 Lets just talk about how awkward it is to take pictures in front of your house when you live on base. You know that little guy called privacy? Yeah. Not happening. And then lets talk about this awesome stroller organizer! It's so big. I fit a squeeze pouch, water bottle, cell phone, keys, extra camera lens, wallet, and a rolled up swaddling blanket into it.


Not only can it be used for a stroller but also a bike and if you're smart like me you'll use it to hang on the back of the passenger seat of your vehicle for long road trips. Genius, right!? It really is that big to use for multiple functions. Plus those buckles make it super easy to put onto things. Another great thing I love about it is it's so sleek looking when hanging on my stroller. It's not like a "HEEYY GUYS! LOOK AT THIS BRIGHTLY COLORED STROLLER ORGANIZER THAT LOOKS LIKE IT DOESN'T BELONG" type of product.

So what are you waiting for!? Head over to Amazon and get one HERE!

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.