Posts Tagged With: love

grateful for joy and sadness

Thing 2 and Boyfriend M were here last weekend.

Thing 1 was thrilled to see her sister!
Baby K was excited to spend time with her Auntie!
Loads of peek-a-boo, story reading, block building, and media table play. (dried beans are excellent for sensory play)

Friday saw us at 2 Silos.
Even though it was chilly, the sun came out and we enjoyed our beers.

Saturday Thing C and Thing G came over.
We played Bye Felica, Uno, and Phase 10, and had burgers and dogs for dinner.
YBW and I had all the joy at all of our kids in the same place at once.

Thing 2 went through my shoes and took home four pair. (less things for me to move)

Thing 1 drove her sister and Boyfriend M to the airport Sunday afternoon.
Baby K cried when they drove out of the driveway.
So did her Birdie.
A LOT!

I was making leftovers for my lunch Monday and asked Thing 1 when we made that particular meal.
She told me it was Wednesday, because “they came on Thursday. As short as they were here, it felt like an eternity.”
She’s right. They weren’t here all that long, but it felt good and long.

I’m sad they’re gone, but chock a block full of joy and gratitude they were here.
My cup runneth over!

Categories: on being a mom | Tags: , , , , , , | 6 Comments

feeling hopeful with Plato

Last week I read about someone’s journey as they do the work of self. I read about how they faltered, how the work is so much harder when the pain becomes so great they need to escape it. Oftentimes that involves crawling to the bottom of a bottle.
This got me thinking…
The pain is so great that stopping seems the only answer. The problem there is the constant stopping and starting again only serves the cycle of pain, and actually makes it worse.
By stopping the hard work of self when it becomes difficult or painful, it becomes even harder to begin again each time.
I believe working through the pain when it seems most difficult and unbearable is better for you. The only way out is through. And when you come out the other side, the pain is less acute, and you find it easier to breathe for a while.

I think it can be something as simple as learning yourself. Knowing your triggers. Knowing that at some point you’re going to feel so much pain you simply cannot go on. What you do then is how successful you’ll be on that journey.

Knowing oneself can be the most powerful tool in one’s bag
I do believe it’s as simple as that.
To know who you are.
To know why you are.
To be able to look at your choices and realize why you made them.
So many people can’t actually do that!
You’re where you are because of every single choice you’ve ever made. Sometimes choices are unconsciously made. We often ‘autopilot’ through our days.

What seems normal to you isn’t to someone who didn’t live your experiences. Those normal-seeming things create the way you view life, the way you move through life. How you treat others, how you permit others to treat you.
If your upbringing is skewed, your idea of normal is equally skewed.
Therefore, you behave, and accept others behavior based upon these norms.
Sometimes it isn’t until you have some life under your belt that you learn to see things from all perspectives…and then you realize your sense of normal is not, in fact, normal.

For some that happens sooner in life, for some later.
Working out those kinks is a tricky situation. And you’re bound to falter occasionally.
Figuring out who you actually are, who you want to be, and how to do that without taking into account all that seemingly normal…
You’re on a dark and difficult path. You’re going to fall. You’re going to get the shit kicked out of you, even if you’re actually kicking the shit out of yourself.
But, there is precious learning in this journey. And when you decide who you are based upon your own truth, and work to become that with every fiber of your being, it will be so worth it.

At least that’s my experience.
I’m on that journey, perhaps I’m further along than some, less than others. Perhaps I realized sooner, or later, or through different pain, that the seemingly normal was not at all right.
I’ve fought tooth and nail to get where I am in my own personal development. I’ve faltered. I’ve fallen. I’ve temporarily given up. But I get back up dust myself off and keep working.

The me I am now is nothing like the me they taught me to be.
I am the gift I gave myself.
The most sacred and precious gift of my life.

It’s the hardest work I’ve ever done.
And I cried.
And I bled.
And I completely shut down.
I had moments when it didn’t feel worth it, or I didn’t have any fight left in me.
But each time I got back up.

That spark of truth in me was too strong to extinguish with my ennui, or defeatist attitude, or simple exhaustion.
I’m not finished with that work, it just comes a little bit easier now than when I first started.
I may never be finished. I may do this work the rest of my days.
I owe that to myself.
I want to be the truest me. I want to share that me with the world.
I will work to be the truest me until the last breath leaves this body.
That sounds exhausting, but it also sounds hopeful.

Categories: mental health | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

September gratitude

Today is October first.
The official start of Halloween month!
But before I get all SQUEE about that, I’m going to express my gratitude.

September was straight chaos. But it was also quite lovely.
As I look back on this month I find myself grateful for both.

I’m also grateful for:

a porchlife lunch with Mike and Josie
Husband N’s willingness to transport a 16 foot ladder
a successful and fun flea market day with YBW, his brother and sister-in-law
meeting with the builder about electricals in the new house
stackable jewelry organizers
a tearful conversation with YBW

Target run with Thing 1 and Baby K (sassy thing chose her own new shades and bag)

finally getting to talk with Jessica
Husband N’s mad landscaping skills
cool Autumn mornings
Thing G seems content at his mom’s
winery day with Nora and Dale’s family
joyfully ‘hate watching’ the Twilight saga with Thing 1

bathroom construction progress

windows open for several days in a row
playing a game called Bye Felicia
making good use of my instant pot
two of my alternative healthcare providers
Saturday morning snuggles with YBW and Baby K
exercising my 19th amendment right and responsibility by voting early
TJXrewards points

inventing this ridiculously delicious cocktail with Thing 1

having airline miles to purchase tickets for Thing 2 and Boyfriend M to visit in November
the post office in Old Town Manassas
taking a chance on the curated bundles at Bards Alley and getting some great reads
red toenail polish
CBD oil capsules
being in the car by myself

My heart is full of gratitude as I look back at this lovely and chaotic month.

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

feeling hopeful at the end of the second month

I’m beginning to feel more at home in my own skin.
In my own home.

The first year of teaching is often called survival year.
The first year of anything could probably be called survival year.
This is the end of the second month.
End. Of. The. Second. Month.
Of a survival year.
During a global pandemic.

All the changes came so hard and fast. And came during the strangest possible time.
Pandemic kept us cooped up for safety. And just when that started to feel unbearable, three more people and three dogs joined this household.
Initially it was exciting and new.
Then it was all about getting settled.
Then simple logistics of cohabitating.
How do we make this work? Two small families creating one big family…how can we be both?

Expectations are being ironed out.
Anybody else hear Hamilton in their head?

“I’m past patiently waitin’. I’m passionately mashin’ every expectation. Every action’s an act of creation.”

Just me? OK…
Anyway, we’re beginning to managing expectations. We’re learning how to navigate each other’s personal language. We’re asking what did that mean when you/she/he said that? We’re figuring out how to cohabitate successfully.

I’m used to being alone the majority of my time.
Now I’m never alone.
My daughter is used to being in charge of her own environment.
Now her environment is not her own.
YBW continues his routine of going to work each day.
Now he supports more people.
Husband N is becoming more and more anxious about finding a job.
YBW and I agree he needs gainful employment, we want him to make the best possible choice instead of taking any job because it’s a job.
Baby K alternates between being so delightful it nearly kills us, and being a tiny terrorist demon bent on destruction. (as a toddler do)

And doesn’t even include the chaos of construction in the house.
YBW and I have no access to our own bathroom. And trying to make due with the bare minimum in the hall bathroom is taking it’s toll on me.
I know I’m feeling the stress.
I am acutely aware everybody experiences me feeling the stress.
I do my best to make sure to explain myself and/or apologize if I’m irritable or querulous. (more than normal)

It’s simply too much all at once and my adaption rate is lagging.
To combat this, I am actively carving out time for myself.
I’m reading again. That simple act sparked a change in me. Shifted me from the back of my brain back to the front. My brain moved out of survival mode and into all the good stuff.
I’m so much better off for it. (so is everyone else)
I’m engaged in a mindful way, not simply navigating fight or flight.
I will work as hard as I can to remain here in this healthy brain space.

I will learn to balance my needs with my wants when they’re at odds.
I want to spend every possible moment with Baby K.
I need some quiet time for myself.
Every time I think I’m on it, I fall. Honestly, she’s hard to resist…
But then I remember we’re at the end of the second month.
End. Of. The. Second. Month.

And I offer myself empathy and understanding.
Which, if I’m being honest, I never do.
My personal expectations are residual from my childhood, keep my head down and do the hard work and don’t complain about it. I received no empathy or understanding. I was expected to do what I was told without question.
I end up expecting myself to manage all ‘the things’ and be resigned to do so without complaint.
When triggered, we all go to the place we ‘know’.
So, if I offer myself some grace, it can be a place where I can stop and breathe. I can bask in that grace and encourage understanding for myself. I can stop the triggers, and in doing so I can find balance.
I can manage my own expectations.
I can take the time I need.
I can take the time I want.
I can feel strong and grateful instead of anxious and overwhelmed.

I feel indescribable love and joy having my daughter and her family here.
Now I’m working on making it comfortable.
For me.
For my husband.
For Thing 1 and Husband N.
For Baby K.
Though, let’s be honest, she’s in high cotton as the tiny princess in this multigenerational household.

At the end of the second month, I feel tired. But more than that, I feel hopeful.

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

thoughts that hatch in the middle of the night

It’s the middle of the night and I’ve been up for hours. Thoughts swim around in my brain. Angry little fish bumping into each other but never giving way to get anywhere.
I don’t write. Not even in my journal.
I don’t read.
I barely even scroll instagram.

I want to do these things. I just don’t.
You may find yourself wondering, mais pourquoi pas? (You also may find yourself having no fucks to give. Either way, we’re cool.)
I don’t know why.
I do know I’m not behaving in my normal way and that has everything to do with it.
I do know I’m feeling the pressure of getting ready to leave one house and get settled into another.

I find it difficult to just be.
There are more people in the house. Two of which I am especially eager to spend time with after being apart for so long. But I’m used to being alone more than I’m with other humans.
This situation is tricky but can be managed.
I need to take time for myself. I need to read and write. I need to journal. I need to organize and prioritize. I need to rest.
But damn if I don’t want to spend as much time as possible with the mad little toddler running around my house!

Thing 1 and I talked a little bit about this Wednesday morning. She’s used to being more quiet too. She’s got the mental load for her little family with the curious situation of being in someone else’s house. She’s constantly aware of what Baby K or the dogs are and what they’re doing. She’s adapting to being an adult while living with her mother. It’s easy to fall into old patterns.

I’m tired of feeding five adults and a toddler.
If I don’t feel like feeding YBW and myself, it’s no big. But now all these other people are depending on being fed. Now, Husband N is quick to ask if he can help do anything, and follows detailed directions well. And Thing 1 does cook occasionally, but for the most part I’m doing the heavy lifting.
This needs to stop.
Thing 1 and I will make a meal plan and create a schedule of who cooks when and that will solve this situation.
We’re both game, we just haven’t done it yet.

Thing G will move to his mother’s over the next ten days. (She lives five minutes away so it’s not going to be a ‘great big move’ it’s just him shuttling his stuff over there.)
This makes YBW sad.
I feel his sadness.
I also feel a bit of relief. Thing G is one thing I can stop actively concerning myself with in this time when I have so many things on my plate. I can slip him off the plate knowing he’s safe and well loved at his mom’s and give myself that small sense of one less thing to pay attention to.

Baby K is exhausting.
Parenting is a young person’s game. That’s why grandparents are a bit older. Forty nine years and sixteen months are not always the perfect combination. But I cannot express my love, joy, and gratitude that I have this opportunity to be with her. To watch her learn and grow. To experience her sense of humor. To build a strong relationship with her.
I understand how truly blessed I am to be involved in her daily life no matter how tired I get.
She’s nearly mastered coming down the stairs in a safe way! And not only do I get to witness that, I’m helping her learn how to do it!

I miss YBW.
We’re never alone anymore. Which is simply the way it is, but I didn’t realize how it would feel.
I suggested we do a ‘date night’ even if we don’t go out, just plan to be together.

We’ve offered to look after Baby K so her parents can spend time together.
It would do them some good to just be.

It’s been just over a month. Literally, less than forty days. We’re still in survival and adjustment mode. I mean, good God, how could we not be? But survival mode simply isn’t sustainable.
Now’s the time to get our selves organized. Our routines. How we choose to be in this house together as one big family. How we choose to be in this house together as two small families.
I know we can do this.
I know we’re all willing to do this.
I think we’re all at a place where we kind of know we need to tweak it.
All it takes is open and honest communication and a willingness to be flexible.

You know, I’m feeling better already just from writing about it.
Of course, I’m still not ready to sleep…
Maybe I’ll take a nap with Baby K later today?

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Monday thoughts

My brain feels like it is chock full of mush. Something between the texture of cream of wheat and raw pizza dough.
It could be because that storm is headed this way.
It could be because I still don’t feel rested.

These are my random thoughts today:

We’re starting to get the hang of life around here. All these humans and canines in one place. We’re finding our way at becoming members of one household.
Baby K alternates from ‘most adorable baby on the planet’ to ‘face slapping and scratching demon baby’ in a way that is perplexing but makes a kind of sense. She is trying to get nine-hundred-seventy-three-thousand teeth all at once, but damn! Of course then she’s all lovey and snuggly and sings songs with you and you forget she was demonish.
Never a dull moment in life with a toddler.

August is here, and I’d normally be gearing up for going back to school. Only that’s not a thing this year. So disappointing.
I’ve contracted with a family to essentially tutor their daughter as they navigate online school. At least I’ll be able to work a little. I like the idea of working with kids to facilitate their learning. I’m hoping to schedule with (up to) five kids scheduled twice a week.

I have this concept that time is on my side when it comes to design plans for the new house and preparing this house for sale. In reality, it probably isn’t.
We’re about to schedule the ‘low voltage’ appointment to decide where all the extra normal and fancy electric stuff will be. Within another sixty days, we’ll do the appointment I’m most enthusiastic about, deciding things for the kitchen and bathrooms.
The house is scheduled for summer 2021 delivery.
In this house, we need new flooring on the first and second floors, and some rooms painted. We have to ‘unpersonalize’ by removing all our family photos etc. Our bathroom must be updated, and possibly the bathroom YBW’s sons use(d). Thing 1’s family can’t move until Husband N has a job and they can purchase their own home. Thing G is supposed to be moving to his mother’s ‘by the end of the calendar year’. Sooner than later would be good at this point because construction can’t take place conveniently with five adults and a baby sharing two bathrooms.

My brain isn’t working the way I’d like it to. I’m having so much more aphasia of late. Some migraine aura but no pain. I’m not sure if it’s because I’m not really doing things to promote brain health, or because I’m so damn tired.
I know I have to find balance in figuring how to make time for myself while engaging my fam. I’m working on it.
I think naps may become part of my days until I finally feel rested.

It occurs to me these thoughts are so very Monday.
Even though I feel off kilter, I am filled with love and gratitude. I am hopeful.
When I begin to feel better, that hope, gratitude, and love will fuel me living my intention and nothing can stop me!

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

one week in

One week in and we’re (mostly) settled.
Baby K’s room is organized and furnished.
Seven large (reusable) shopping bags of food and one cooler of frozen food found a place in our cabinets and freezers.
Dog beds, food, treats, leashes and harnesses organized.
Thing 1 and Husband N haven’t yet organized their clothes in their room, or been able to put some things away. But they have comfy pillows upon which to lay their heads. And yesterday, I (think) I fixed the shower curtain rod so it won’t fall down randomly in the middle of the night.
We’ve got new magnetic cabinet locks in the kitchen, and gates at the stairs. We say, “Off!” more than we ever have before, but the giant puppy is learning he can’t express his love by climbing up the front of us. And even though dogs aren’t my chosen animal, he and I are becoming especially close.

I’m joyful to be around my daughter and her family!
I am also exhausted!
I don’t know if it’s that I’ve forgotten how hard it is to be a stay at home mom, or if I just blocked it! Of course, when my babies were babies I was twenty years younger.
Baby K keeps us on our toes.
I’m having a hard time not wanting to spend all my time with her.
In the past, if they were here, it was for a limited time and I had to get as much time in as possible. Now, they’re here all the time. I’m beginning to realize I can pace myself.

Thing 1 and I ran to Target yesterday. With the exception of the drive here, a pediatrician and vet visit, it’s the first time she’s been out in the world since they left here in March. She didn’t quite know what to do with herself!

I’m working to remember that my life is different than it was a mere week ago. I’m working to remember that I’m separate from my daughter and granddaughter. That I can do my me things while they do theirs.
That said, I’m currently watching Baby K, clad only in a diaper, go through a stack of CDs while her mama tells her, “No ma’am.” and is guiding her to put them back in the bag from where they came.
I’m amused.
I’m joyful.
I’m doing my me thing while still enjoying being with my daughter and her family.

From Baby K’s room at the opposite end of the hall from mine, I just heard Thing 1 tell Baby K, “Come here and let’s get dressed. I’m tired of you being a diaper baby.”
I giggled.
Exhausting or not, why would I want to miss that?

Humans are so much more adaptable than we realize.
We get all complacent. Inertia keeps us stuck in our ruts.
But when presented with an opportunity to adapt (for the most part) we’re super capable!

One week in and I’m realizing how truly blessed I am to be with my granddaughter.
One week in and I’m realizing how exhausting it is to have a toddler in the house.
One week in and I’m realizing my daughter is a grown woman and mother and doesn’t need me to actively mother her.
One week in and I’m realizing balance is the thing that will keep us going.


We got this!

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Friday feels

Today is the first day I’ve stopped and taken a big breath this week.
I needed it!
Of course, stopping and breathing gave me the opportunity to be all in my feels.

gratitude
Even though it took two full weeks, Thing 2’s covid test came back negative
I got to hug Meredith and her Mommy when their family returned from a forty-five day cross-country trip
My gloriously supportive friends who encourage me to think outside the box

than central air

joy
YBW and I put down the deposit for our house yesterday, and will sign the contract Wednesday

excitement
Road trip with YBW (we leave for GA in the morning and return with Thing 1’s family on Monday)
Baby K will be here all the time
I’m going to tutor select students this virtual school year (kind of like being an ‘at home’ substitute teacher)

It was an exceptionally great week to be me!

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

in case you’re wondering

Thing 2’s covid results are not yet back.
She’s having moments of feeling puny, but not super sick.
There is some general malaise in the household, but they’re still eating healthy food and enjoying each other’s company.

I got this photo Tuesday afternoon.

I got a hilarious little video of Housemate A full on squealing with joy at the big ass box of Twizzlers I sent for him.

My worrying is at a minimum(ish). I mean, I’ve already accepted that she’s sick.
Though I do keep seeing things about the most random symptoms, and surprising lack of fever, as well as possible lasting effects. That gives me pause. But I know I can’t protect her, all I can do is love her. She’s got to get through this the best way she can.

In other news:
Less than two weeks and Thing 1’s family will be here full time!

The county proposed four plans for starting school. None of them are ideal. Some of them are doable. Now we wait…
I worry about how this virus is actually impacting children.
How it will impact adults at school.
I’m sure I’ll be called in to sub, but should I go? What will I bring home to Baby K?
I worry for kids. I worry for parents. I worry for teachers.

LA wrote about becoming friends with her planner again. I’m still firmly in the land of ‘absolute worst purchase of 2019’. But, it can’t hurt to consider a different viewpoint. I can write anything I’m planning in my planner.
For example:
Thing 2’s Birthday Saturday. (jk, it’s already in there)
Watch Hamilton…again.
Delivery of new knives.
Buy produce.
Choose more tunes for Tuesday.
Clean the kitchen…again.
Finish season four of Drunk History.
Porchlife with the Garcia’s up the street (appropriately social distanced, of course).
Buy more wine…again.
Watch Kipo with Thing G.
Pick up prepaid books at Bards Alley.
Take a nap.
Finish reading Shakespeare for Squirrels.
Put gas in the car.
Celebrate Nora’s birthday.
Call Sally.
Renew Southern Living.
Go to GA to get chubby dog and granddaughter.

Look at me making it work!
Thanks for the inspiration, LA.
I’ll keep y’all posted on Thing 2.

Now I’m going to switch the laundry and probably clean the kitchen.
How thrilling!

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

my Momma heart

The housemate (codename: Housemate A) of the young man Thing 2 is seeing (codename: Boyfriend M) tested positive.
Not only has Thing 2 been around him, they actually shared a beer the week before.
She’ll get her results in ‘five to seven days’.
She decided to quarantine with the guys, partly because they’ve already been exposed to each other and partly to keep her father safe.

My Momma self is freaking out!
My logic believes she’s going to be fine.
But she has always had sick lungs and that triggers fear in me.
I don’t like feeling helpless. I want to swoop in and take good care of her.
Of course that’s not practical.

These are some of the random thoughts flitting around in my head:
I can’t do anything to help her.
She’ll spend her twenty-third birthday under quarantine. At least she’s with people she likes.
She might die.
Stupid janky lungs.
I sent her birthday gifts to her dad’s and she won’t be there to get them.
I want to take care of her.
She’s going to be fine.

I had panicky tears.
YBW hugged me tight.
He said, “I’m worried about Thing 2. But me panicking not going to help you right now, so I’m going to remain calm.”
Friday morning he asked if I’d talked to her, actually heard her voice. I told him I wasn’t ready because I couldn’t talk about it without tearing up and I didn’t want to do that to her. I needed to get my feels under control before I talked with her.

Husband N remarked that he wasn’t sure quarantining with the new guy was the smartest choice, he might not take good care of her. I replied, you know her dad and know damn well he won’t take care of her at all, so anything’s better than that!
I actually believe Thing 2 and these young men will take good care of each other.

I’m sending them a little care package of treats. Uno and Phase 10, a jenga-like block game with colorful blocks. Books for Thing 2, and sweet treats each one of them likes.
Thing 2 told me Housemate A was like, ‘honestly I’m just touched that your mom wants to send us something’.
To which I replied, These guys are going to have to learn that to be a part of your life is to become part of my brood.
He told her now he feels like he has another mom.
With a twinkle in his eye and smile on lips, YBW suggested Housemate A be reminded of that with mother’s day comes around.

I talked with her via chat this morning for quite a while. I still haven’t heard her voice, but I’m much less anxious about her well being. That may change if her test comes back positive…or if I start to worry…or if…or if…
But, I know she’s making plans and smart choices on how to take care of herself and she’s not doing it alone.

She and Housemate A organized the pantry, fridge, and freezer. She created a list and they ordered grocery delivery from Publix. They assigned Boyfriend M the yard work that needs to be done because he slept through their kitchen work.
They’ve got a plan to get around-the-house things done, as well as books, games, computer, guitars, etc. to keep them occupied during their quarantine.

There’s a part of me that always sort of knew she would get sick. Part of me that accepted it in a logical way. Part of me that knows even though she’s (probably) got it, she’s going to be fine.
But she’s my baby and I worry.
I can’t actively take care of her, but I can send fun things to occupy her time. Sweet treats for when she craves them.

I know she’s going to be OK. But I’m still going to worry.
She almost died two different times before she was two months old.
She’s survived bronchitis nearly every winter of her life.
She’s survived pneumonia.
She’s survived mono.
She’s survived H1N1 swine flu.
Even though her immune system is questionable, she’s made of seriously tough stuff.

After talking with her this morning, my Momma heart is less anxious, chock full of love, and waiting (impatiently) for test results.

Categories: on being a mom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

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R. Eric Thomas

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