Posts Tagged With: Thing 2

Girlie Hotel Weekend

Columbus Day.
Seems such a sham now we have a much more detailed history of his actions.
But I got a day off school, so I’m not complaining.

Three day weekends are a blessing no matter what your day job.
I took mine and went to see Thing 2.

I left school at 2:oo Friday afternoon and pulled into the driveway here just before 5:00 Monday afternoon.
It was fast and furious, but it was worth it!

We tried to plan one of these weekends last year, but could never quite make it work. And in 2017-2018 I actually saw Thing 2 more times in one ‘year’ than I have the entire five years we’ve lived apart.
Thanksgiving 2017 we were all at Thing 1 and Husband N’s.
Christmas 2017 Thing 2 and Boyfriend J were here.
In March when Thing 1 lost her baby, both Thing 2 and I were there to help pick up the pieces.
Both Thing 1 and Thing 2 were here in June for Thing G’s graduation. (and mother-daughter tattooing)

Anyway, we planned this visit so we could see each other more frequently without her always having to come here.
She called it “Girlie Hotel Weekend” and she was right!

Because it took me four hours to get out of Virginia instead of the normal 2 hours and 20 – 30 minutes, I was much later arriving in Columbia than either of us expected. She got dropped off by friends about ten minutes after I checked us in.
So! Much! Giggling!

We started our Saturday with pedicures and mimosas.
Did a little Devine Street shopping before moving on to Target where my daughter said, “Nobody likes to Target the way I do but you.” (It’s genetic)
Roads were closed all over downtown because it was Parents Weekend at USC. What a pain in the ass. But, because we had to take Blossom, I remembered a place I loved to eat when I lived down there.
We had a great lunch, and a pitcher of mimosas, and some of the most delicious cheesecake at Di Prato’s.
We shopped and piddled around Columbia all day Saturday.
Then popped some bubbly and snuggled up in the hotel beds and watched Hocus Pocus. We love us some Sanderson Sisters!

Sunday saw us at our beloved Waffle House. I know. It’s just awful, but we love it. Nowhere else makes egg sandwiches like that. Not to mention, the guy who checked us out used to be the theater teacher at the high school.
Thing 2 was like, Was that Mr W? It sounded like him.
I actually had one of those lightbulb over the head moments! It was!
She wondered if he freaked out when he saw me after I ripped him a new one Thing 1’s senior year.
We laughed and laughed. We’re mean like that.

After breakfast, we made a return to Target and went shoe shopping.
Because I wanted to see the restaurant where she works, we went over and sat in the bar for a few hours. She drank sake and I let her bartending co-worker surprise me. We ate dumplings and noodles and drank and talked and laughed and hung out. I even got to meet one of the “regulars” a Rod Stewart-esque hair dresser that reminded me so much of my dad I could hardly believe it. Thing 2 had her own lightbulb over the head moment when she realized I was right that he seemed so like her beloved Pap.

Monday morning we shared breakfast, grabbed coffee and said goodbye.
She drove to work and I got on the interstate to come home.
I was sad, and even though it was a good kind of sadness, I didn’t want to feel it all the way home so I gave myself until I got out of South Carolina to be sad.
And you know what? It worked. I was only a bit sad, but I sat with it and honored it while we were still in the same state.
Then the Hamilton Soundtrack got me through North Carolina and when I arrived safely in Virginia I called YBW to report the news. It took me just less than seven hours to reach my exit on 95. Another twenty or so minutes to the house and the return trip was over. As I was unloading the car, YBW pulled into the driveway home from work.
Now that’s great timing!

I’m grateful for the time off from school, the financial ability to do a weekend trip, and a new car that made the trip a breeze. I’m grateful for that sacred time with my Thing 2. I’m grateful for our open and honest communication, our ability to laugh at similar things. I’m grateful I’m her Momma and she’s my baby.
We needed that time together, and it was good for us!
My heart is overflowing with love.

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Categories: love, me, on being a mom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Soundtracking my Saturday

Soundtracking my Saturday.
It was a struggle to choose music that inspired me to tackle getting the house back together after the chaos of construction.
(In addition to the tree falling on the house which finally finished construction the last week of August, our main waterline from the meter to the house was leaking. Homeownership is NOT for the weak of heart…or stomach.) Moving the shelves of tools to make access for them to jackhammer out a place in the floor where the water comes into the house and now completely reorganizing the utility room.
We also moved Thing G into his brother’s old room. (the one damaged by the tree and rain in the house) Now we must disassemble Thing G’s old room.
Purging. So much purging.
Decorating for Autumn because I must honor the beginning of meteorological fall!
This is my life today and I’m cool with that.
But, I was slow moving and couldn’t land on a playlist that worked for me. Turns out, the wonderful thing about my madly eclectic music collection is how quickly it can surprise and delight me!
A song from Thing 2’s Cool Boy, Real Cool mix came on and fired me right up!
I’m inspired to accomplish great things. Let’s see how long I can keep up the momentum.

This is Brick + Mortar with Terrible Things.
Please listen responsibly.

Categories: around the house | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

two birds and a squirrel

The girls and I have been talking about mother-daughter tattoos.

Thing 1 has two tattoos. Words on her wrist to remind her that she’s perfect just as she is, and an ankh on her back.
Thing 2 has several tattoos. Wings at her elbows, two that represent he love of folk punk music, and the symbol for chaos on the inside of her wrist.

I have one tattoo. I got it in the spring of 1998. It’s a ring of flowers around my left ankle.
I made a promise to myself that I’d only ever have one tattoo.
A promise I’ve kept even though I came up with the idea and have designed the most perfect tattoo. Know where I want it and why.
Inside my right wrist. Maybe three by three inches. A little Earth and a crescent moon and some stars.

When Thing 1 was a tiny girl, I told her I love her more than the whole wide world. But when Thing 2 was coming to join our family, I realized I would have to say something different to her, otherwise negate the first three years of Thing 1’s life. So I have always told Thing 2 that I love her more than the moon and the stars.
I’ve sat on this idea for several years. I even created this stained glass panel to placate myself.

(The solar system is a big deal to me, because when I began to love YBW, it was ‘all the way to Pluto and back’.)

We’ve talked previously of getting tattoos that represent each other, but recently we’ve begun talking about a specific matching mother-daughters tattoo.
Now, we’re probably still going to get our representative tattoos, mine of course will be the Earth, moon and stars.
Thing 2 has always said she wanted to get a little succulent plant to represent her sister. And she wants to have Kanga and Roo’s mailboxes to represent me.

When she was a little girl, she would climb into my lap and get all tiny and say, “You’re Kanga and I’m Roo in your pouch!”

Thing 1 and I haven’t had that specific of a conversation regarding tattoos that represent each other.

But then…I got an idea!

In a group text, I put to the girls and idea for our matching mother-daughter tattoos.
I suggested a robin bird, a magpie, and then another (yet to be determined) bird.
Thing 2 shot down the magpie idea straight away. (Turns out she’s the only one that doesn’t remember her Grandmommy calling her that.)
And we talked about other options.
Thing 1 suggested a squirrel and we all loved that idea!
Then Thing 2 suggested a hummingbird for her sister.
We were on a roll, y’all!

Thing 1 did a quick doodle and sent this pic.

(That squirrel though!)

Of course there will need to be discussion of colors and sizing and where on our bodies this ink will go. But we have some time for that. The next time we’ll all be together for sure is in June when Thing G graduates from high school. Though there is talk of being together in March for Thing 1’s birthday.
I know I’ll want mine to be small…and off the top of my head, I’m thinking maybe on my left forearm near my elbow. But who knows? Knowing how different we three girls are, it won’t be three identical tattoos in three identical spots. Only, I do hope the art itself is identical, otherwise it’s not worth having ‘matching tattoos’…
At the moment, we’re just in the planning stages.
Momma got an idea. Girls improved upon it. Art is being created.
More conversations will happen.

It’s curious to me that after nearly twenty years of keeping that one tattoo promise I’m blowing it out of the water with not one but two new tattoos in the works.
It’s time.
I’m ready to fulfill a new promise to myself, ink that represents the two loves of my life that will never change. And ink that we can share as mother and daughters.

Categories: on being a mom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Husband N

I’ve mentioned before my daughter Thing 1 is married to Husband N. Now, Husband N is a patient human being, God love him, he has to be to be married to my daughter. He’s rather adept at accepting her for who she is without ever really “letting her off the hook”. I like that about him. They’re giving each other a run for their money, that’s for sure. But they’re doing it with so much love!

I received this text from him this morning.

When Mo died, I was choked by my own grief. I was in mommy mode about my girls and their grief. I was grateful that Husband N was there with Thing 1, but I never stopped to consider his grief. That man welcomed into their home, with open arms, the dogs of his wife’s childhood (well, teen age anyway). He was working with Mo to develop a healthy relationship, switching over from the Things father being Mo’s “father” to Husband N being Mo’s “father”.
He cared for Mo. He moved his lifeless body to the grave he and my daughter created. He did this out of love for their dog.
Their dog.
Even though Mo started out being all of ours, in the last five or six months he truly became theirs. Husband N loves Thing 1. He loves Thing 2. He loves me. But he also loves Mo. His grief was just as real as ours.
He was strong and brave for us.
I don’t have the words to express how strongly I felt the love for him this morning when that text came. I just hope he can feel it.

Now, it took me longer than it should have to decide to like, and then love Husband N. That had almost nothing to do with him and mostly everything to do with me (and Thing 1).
Thing 1 met Husband N when she went away to school. They met in a math class, bonding over their sarcastic senses of humor.
Now this is a meet-cute I can get behind.
What I struggled to get behind was her dropping out of school and shacking up with this guy.
That was not my plan for her! That wasn’t the life she was meant to have.
All I could see what that he’s older than she is, by more than a decade. That she left school because of him. That we didn’t know him from Adam.
I was frightened she was making all the same mistakes I made… a guy so much older than she is…no education…no way to support herself. I wanted more for her than the life I’d lived. I wanted her to be healthy and content and able to take care of herself. I didn’t want her to suffer and struggle.

Of course, what the hell did I know?
A whole lotta nothing, I’ll tell you that.

Turns out, Husband N is a kind and loving man. An intelligent man. A helpful and sincere man. A man who loves my daughter and would do (and has done) whatever it takes to make sure she’s safe and sound.

Y’all know that when YBW and I got married, his Things and my Things were our best men and maids of honor. The girls even “gave me away” that day. Thing 1 remarked to my friend and mentor, Jessica, that she had no idea how (emotionally) hard it would be to give her mom away.
Well, (not yet) Husband N and Thing 2’s then boyfriend were here too. And even though it was busy and a bit chaotic, I got to spend some good time with Husband N. And when YBW were driving to the airport to go to Barbados for our honeymoon, I turned to him, and said, “I like Husband N!” YBW was so relieved! He was waiting for me to decide to like Husband N because he very much liked him.

Then they came back for Christmas that year. And I got to spend even more time with him. I love his childlike enthusiasm! I listened to him and my daughter talk about what kind of life they wanted. And I realized it wasn’t the life Husband N wanted that Thing 1 just accepted, neither was it the life Thing 1 wanted that Husband N accepted. They had really thought about this. They had talked about it. They were planning this life that they wanted together!

They are truly each other’s best friend. They are both great big nerds about books and movies and comics and D & D and video games. They’re learning from each other how to appreciate these things the other brings to the table. They are so loving. They are also quick to get after each other. Each one feisty in their own way. They fight. They laugh. They play. They love. They do these things with the entirety of themselves. They give everything to each other and their relationship.
How could I possibly want more for my daughter? Or her sweet husband?

When they married, I was joyous for them! It wasn’t a big white wedding, but it was them. There was love and laughter and genuine joy surrounding them. This man is the husband of my very first girl. That was hard yet simple all in the same moment. I knew they could marry and build a life together and I wouldn’t have to worry about their ability to work together. I wouldn’t have to worry about their ability to love each other and embrace each other’s families.

Husband N just might love Thing 2 as much as her big sister does.
I know Thing 2 adores him.
They have such a special friendship.
I believe he’s been instrumental in helping my girls rebuild their relationship.
One more thing to love about him.

When his grandmother died and there was talk of them moving to her farm. Thing 1 was all for it. Husband N was a bit more hesitant. He called me and we talked for a long time. He shared his concerns. He asked my opinion. We talked about how he didn’t want to disappoint Thing 1, but felt so strongly that he didn’t want to raise (future) children where he grew up. He wanted more and better for them. (I can SO relate to that.)
I made some suggestions. I offered to speak with his wife. I promised to have their backs no matter what choices they made for their future.
I was touched he wanted to have that conversation with me. I was honored that he valued my opinion. I was pleased to be his (mostly) impartial sounding board for that important process.

I talk with my girls frequently. A phone call at least once a week, but there are texts and snapchats, emails and social media posts mixed in there too.
Husband N and I also text, snap and share things with each other’s social media. We sometimes even talk on the phone. It’s fun. He makes me laugh. He shares information he thinks I’ll be interested in. He expresses his concern for my health.
He expresses his love for my daughters and acknowledges how hard I worked to help them become the women they are.


Dude loves my girls.
Respects my hard work to help them become those ‘epic legends’.

I’m so grateful.
My girl chose well.
For herself.
For her sister.
For her Momma.
Husband N has his hands full with we three girls, but he takes it in stride.
Y’all we are so damn blessed!

Categories: on being a mom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

it’s cool boy, real cool

Thing 2’s mix Cool Boy, Real Cool arrived Monday. I’ve been listening to it nonstop.

I’m amazed at how autobiographical it truly is. I can hear her in every single song. And even though there are definite moments of “f**k you for that”, there is also a great deal of hope.
I find my daughter’s method of self expression fascinating.

I’m currently obsessed with this song.
Here’s Bukowski by Modest Mouse.
Please listen responsibly.

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

squirrel study

Outside the window in our back living room there is a tree. This tree is an extremely popular hang out for squirrels.
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Now I know most people don’t like squirrels. Honestly, that makes me kind of sad because I just love squirrels. They’re kind of adorable and they do the funniest things!

I love to watch them in this tree, sometimes there is more than one. They chase and play and race up and down and over the branches. On this particular day there was only one, and mostly he (she?) was having a bath.
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Once he was clean, he began to consider how he might explore his environment.
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I love how his little hand is holding onto that teeny branch.

Then it got interesting when he did a series of somersault-like things around the branch.
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He did it a couple of times in a row before he went back to bathing.
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What a funny little guy!

When Thing 1 and Thing 2 were little girls, we had a squirrel that loved to hang out on our back porch out by the pool. They realized their father put treats out for the squirrel so they named him “Little Buddy” because he was Daddy’s little squirrel buddy. Soon, Little Buddy began to bring around a friend. They named him “Fatso” because he was a really big squirrel. When we moved to SC, Thing 2 was rather serious about bringing Little Buddy and Fatso with us. She was concerned the new people who were going to live in our house might not take good care of them and they would be sad and miss us. She also pronounced the word squirtle instead of squirrel. I still say squirtle when I see or talk about squirrels.

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

Santa bring my baby back to me.

I don’t think about it any more than I have to.
I’ve only written about it once.
I heard a song today that made it all come crashing back.

I realize I have only flashes. Only moments. I have no full memories of that time.
I remember Thing 1 begging for help.
I remember being in the ER at Richland.
I remember going to Palmetto Baptist and being separated from her.
I remember saying goodbye and leaving her there. I held her close and told her how brave she was.
I remember falling to my knees in tears on Taylor Street before I could even make it to my car.
I remember explaining to Thing 2 where her sister was.
I remember leaving work early every day to be home in time for Thing 2 to get off the bus so she wouldn’t come home to an empty house.
I remember how painful it was to visit the hospital or talk with Thing 1 on the phone.
I remember singing ‘All I Want for Christmas is You’ with Thing 2. So hopeful she’d be well enough to come home to us for Christmas.
I remember ‘Santa Bring My Baby Back to Me’ having an entirely new meaning that Christmas.

The pain of that time was excruciating. The healing process even more so.
I don’t intentionally ignore the fact of it. I just don’t choose to get up to my ass in it. Sometimes it sneaks up on me and I don’t have a choice but to feel it. Today was one of those days.
Leaving my suicidal first born in the mental health hospital was one of the absolute worst experiences for my family.
All I wanted for Christmas was my child to come home. And she did. And it was awful.
We lived through it.
We came out the other side irrevocably changed.

When I heard the My Chemical Romance version of All I Want for Christmas is You this afternoon, I was up to my ass in what it felt like that Christmas six years ago.

As I write this, I am filled with love. The love of a mother who nearly lost not just one, but both of her babies. That love is precious. That love is sacred. Those girls are my heart. And that means I have all I want for Christmas.

Categories: love, on being a mom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Wait a minute! I’m a grown up?

I believe I’ve remarked before about how I sometimes don’t feel like a real adult…it could be that I haven’t written about it, but I know I’ve talked about it in day to day life.
Sure, I did do grown up things. Sure I had adult responsibilities, but I never really felt like a grown up. Not exactly “fake it till you make it”, more like “feelings follow actions”. So I acted like a grown up to the best of my ability.

The first time I officially felt like an adult was when Thing 2 was moved to the NICU. Sure I was already a mom, but I was a young mom and I was still growing up while I was being Thing 1’s mom.
The second time I felt like a proper adult was when I took my suicidal first born to the hospital. Leaving her there in on the adolescent mental health floor of the hospital was the hardest thing I’d ever done.

So far, both times I’ve considered myself a real adult involved leaving my babies in a hospital and going home without them.
Other things happen in life that make you feel like a real adult. Finding your first “real” full time job. Divorce comes to mind.
When my mother died, I didn’t have that feeling of being an adult. I think it was because I was experiencing shock and disbelief. I’ve since wondered if it’s because I was never treated like a grown up in my relationship with her.
The day my father died, I never felt more like a child but I’d never behaved more like an adult. Isn’t it curious how that works?

You know you’re an adult when people you know, respect, and love need important things from you. Help with children, support after a death in the family. A strong sounding board for the tough questions.
I was an adult when I stood in church surrounded by all the people I love most and pledged my life to YBW.
I was a grown up for my friend and mentor when her beloved died. And that realization just hit me.
Today, I did a real adult kind of thing when I had to write a recommendation letter for my friend in Arizona’s application to graduate school.

So it’s occurring to me the more I write this post that I really must be an adult.
It feels normal and natural, like the most comfortable article of clothing I own.
But I don’t always want to wear that, you know? Sometimes I want to wear impractical clothing…oftentimes in the form of shoes.
It feels like I’m still figuring out how to be a proper adult. It also feels like I’m still figuring out how to be me as an adult.
But the jokes on me, right?
I’m an adult.
And I don’t suck at it.
I guess I never realized that.
Perhaps I didn’t want to?
I’m not sure how I feel about this. And I guess that’s OK too. I can wear my grown up clothes, but put on my impractical non-adult shoes every now and then when I need to.

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

happy birthday to Thing 2

Today is Thing 2’s nineteenth birthday!
My sweet angel baby has been in the world for nineteen years.
She is a miracle. She almost died twice before she was eight weeks old. She’s a fighter. A survivor.
I went into the NICU to see her before she was even twelve hours old. I reached to touch her little hand and she grabbed my finger so tightly. In that moment my whole life changed. I fell in love in an entirely new way. In that moment I knew she was going to be fine. She was so strong, that tiny little girl.
She is my gift from God.
She is light and love and deep dark feelings. She of the waspish tongue and deliciously dry wit. She is hopes and dreams even though she’s forgotten how to hope and dream.
I love her more than the moon and the stars.

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Gah! It IS the rabbit!

I completely replanted the beds in front of our house. Had everything ripped out and started new. Lots of new shrubbery, and I’m simply waiting for it to fill in.
But a curious thing keeps happening. My butterfly bushes keep losing their leaves. There’s no real rhyme nor reason to it, some days there are leaves and blossoms too. Later that same day they’re gone.

Something is eating my butterfly bushes.
A family of bunnies lives in our woods, but Thing C saw a deer walking through our yard into the woods early one morning so I thought we’d found the culprit.

Thing 2 and I were texting about this phenomenon while she was on the train up here two weeks ago. It started because I told her I was going outside to spread mulch before the sun moved round to the front of the house.
I reported the news I was back in the house.

Thing 2: What shade of mulch did you scatter?

Me: Black. Like your soul.

Thing 2: Hehehe!! I thought it and you beat me to it!

Me: I redid the front beds. Everything is growing in nicely. But some f**king deer is eating the leaves of my butterfly bushes. YBW asked me if I wanted him to shoot the deer. Hahahaha

Thing 2: What a good husband you have! So caring, so loving. So willing to spill blood for your beloved leaves. That’s real love right there, get the guys who write legends over here, stat!

Me: Might be Little D’s bunny family instead of a deer, but Thing C saw a deer walking through the yard so that made me thing deer.

Thing 2: Nope. No way it’s the bunnies. Impossible. Crazy talk. Gotta be the deer, you gotta kill ’em. Front yard ain’t big enough for any leaf eating Bambis, ya hear??

That was two weeks ago tomorrow.
In that time, there was a gorgeous pink blossom just beginning to show it’s color.

Thing 2 left here this morning right before the guys came to paint the exterior of the house.
I walked around with the foreman going over the contract. As we came around from the back of the house one of the bunnies was hopping across the yard from the driveway into the woods.
When I rounded the corner there were no leaves on the butterfly bushes. No blossoms. Just green sticks poking out through the mulch.

When I came back inside I sent this text to both Thing 2 and YBW: GAH!!!!!!!! It IS the rabbit!!!! There were leaves on the bushes when (Thing 2) left but I walked around the house with the painting guy and the bunny was going from the garage door area to the woods and THERE WERE NO LEAVES ON THE BUSHES!!!!!

Thing 2: What a little f**ker!!!

Me: I KNOW! I’m so pissed!! Cute and fuzzy little bastard!!! Ate the f**king blooming flower too!! Dick.

YBW: Oh yeah!! I saw the little f**ker run away this when I went out this morning.

Me: That rabbit is a dick.

YBW: Bunny stew?

So apparently YBW is all about getting rid of my pests, first the deer (who, it turns out, didn’t deserve it) and now the rabbits.
Where are those legend writing guys anyway?

We’re such foulmouthed human beings, but I don’t care. That rabbit is an asshole. The whole damn rabbit family is a bunch of assholes.

I’m trying to do a good thing here, planting things to attract pollinators. And those damn rabbits are thwarting me at every turn.
I’m about to research to find out how to discourage the dick rabbit from eating my plants.
Never a dull moment. It’s always an adventure.

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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