When I first started writing about this I wasn’t actually planning on making it a ” series ” . It wasn’t until I saw the final photos of the inside of the trailer my grandmother owned as it stands today that I felt the undeniable urge to just keep writing. I was able to find a few pictures that captured a similar angle as the ones my grandma took so many years ago. Some with myself included , some only with memories attached. In these final photos I wanted to include the trailer that was next door to my grandma’s that we happen to live in.
These photos include people from our family that I no longer speak to. They include photos of my father who passed away years and years after these photos. They include moments from memories that were most painful to me. I keep them because at the same time there were great memories intertwined in all the dark memories. Weird huh? How that works ?
I want to start with the rest of my grandma’s side of the land where we spent most of our days, mostly because that’s where my best memories lie.
Next is the living room . Where we watched the best cartoons and usually where all of the cousins and I slept when we had sleepovers at grandma’s. Imagine a pile of about eight to ten kids snoring!
Here is the living room now . The wall paper and the carpet are just the same!
The rest of the home include pictures of bedrooms and bathrooms that I don’t have personal pictures of so here is where I will include photos from the other trailer that I lived in next door to this one instead. This trailer came with so many memories as well. In fact, I remember living with my grandma and my parents in this one until about 1998 ( or so ) . That is when she bought the trailer above and had it moved to our land.
I’m sure there are more , but I think you get the point. I mentioned before , there were alot of painful memories here but the good ones, they have been with me through this entire life time and I’m sure with many more years to go! Alot of what built me came from this gravel road. Sometimes the smell of wet tree bark on a rainy day , or something cooking in the kitchen that takes me back and a wave of nostalgia hits me . I end this with saying I don’t hate the fact that we had to move away . I hate how it had to happen , I hate that it felt like a little section of my childhood was ripped away from me, but the life we were able to create from there on out led me to many more beautiful people . My best friends , my step mom , teachers that make huge impacts in my life , experiences that I may have never got to have. I have alot to be thankful for . Thank you for reading my Scrapbook Memories.
It happens every single time. Like a familiar movie set on replay and the button is stuck. There isn’t a way to stop it , pause it , forward it . It just plays over and over. It’s the same sketchy story , same routine that even I experienced myself. He scouts you out and uses you as prey . Then as fast as you can blink you all of a sudden know the children him and I share together. No introductions between you and I . You don’t know me … but you know my children. A concept that I find very odd. Something he tries time and time again to convince me is normal .In his eyes it is not my business anyway . Which honestly he is correct to an extent , but it’s not about who he is seeing , it’s about the stranger he brought into my children’s life but felt no real urge to introduce the two of us . Almost like he has something to hide. I realize now that it’s not that he truly intends to be your partner , it’s because he knows he plans to use you. Something he knows I know all too well.
He seems very involved. Very fatherly at first. Hell it even catches me off gaurd. Like , who ever this woman is brought out the good in him. The father these children deserve . Until he isn’t . You slowly see the shift , of course before I do because you’re right there in front of it all. Before you know it , your feeding them , clothing them , helping with their homework . The amazing job opportunity he had? Gone. Financial responsibility is on you . The time he didn’t have before he has now . He get’s the kids more often but guess who spends the most time with them ? You. All of a sudden you’ve not only become the sole provider for him , but now his kids too. It’s only part time , and though you vowed in your heart to love them through and through, there was no real discussion he took advantage of the heart you have .You are a helper , a fixer , a healer , a shoulder … a decent human being . So for awhile you think nothing of it after all these children are a part of the very man you love and adore . You didn’t expect this to happen but you’d do anything to be there for them and create a sense of family . For loving my children and doing anything and everything you could for them , I thank you. It wasn’t your responsibility , but the point behind you doing so is very meaningful , but I am here to tell you , you deserved better . So did my kids.
Over time those siren red flags fly higher and brighter peeping in and out of every corner. Between lies, cheating , gaslighting , and more you realize you deserve more than this, but, wait …… the kids.. It’s then you realize you’ve become parent-like to these children you fell in love with . This was great until he stopped being more of parent. By now I can sort of sense things changing and I am sort of at a loss hoping that I’m wrong this time and you guys will make it and this is just a hiccup . I’m rooting for you . I’m rooting for this for the kids . By now he has found many ways to avoid telling me he’s lost his job , I ask if he can go half on something and he doesn’t hesistate to say yes , and later I find out you were the one to have paid for it . For that I am sorry . You shouldn’t have been made to feel obligated in doing any of this . This should have been a choice made by you . A choice that would have been a partnership between the two of you as their dad and bonus mom. This extends to more than just the financial aspect of things. This extends to the care that was given to them , and the time spent with them. So much more , the financial part of this is JUST the beginning .
Once you finally feel like a boundary needs to be created , I’m sure it doesn’t go well. It never did for me either . It still doesn’t. I’m sure he made you feel like you created this entire falsified story and somehow convinced yourself that what you were experiencing was not true. This is where it leads you to have to make that difficult decision to leave for yourself. With this brings the possibility of never seeing the children you spent so much time taking care of. Don’t feel bad. I had to do the same thing . Though they are my children and of course their dad had no issues with me being their sole provider since I had been since the day they were born , I still had to decide to either stay for the sake of my children or leave for the sake of all of our mental health . The feeling of guilt was still there , still so intense but for two different reasons. I promise you did the right thing by leaving. Goodbyes are always hard regardless of any circumstance , but this time I vowed to never make my children say goodbye to any of you.
You see before , as heartbreaking as it was to watch unfold , I would have told the ex of his that it probably wasn’t a good idea to stay in their life considering how fast he recycles through women. I didn’t want my children involved in the chaos and confusion and any potential drama this may bring on . It was hard to do because I watched the joy in my daughters’ eyes drain from them instantly every time. I felt selfish not only for the sake of my children but also the other woman. They usually understood and did everything they could to make me feel safe in making that decision but the truth is I still regret it .
Who am I to take away a bond from my children ? Why do I get that right ? Why do I feel like either way I go there is no right answer ?? How dare their father ever put us in that postion , especially in the way he did . Painting himself the victim and you the villian as if I don’t remember what it’s like to be with him??? This time , I have decided that the unique bond you created with my children shouldn’t have to be severed because of an entitled selfish man . Or me. My children deserve to have you in their life and vice versa . You kept them safe with you , nurtured them as your own. My children don’t just love anyone . They chose you. It’s up to them if they wanna stay in your life. I hope that as long as this is ok, and it’s not like pouring salt on an open wound that you feel the same . If not , I honestly cannot blame you. It’s a difficult decision and like I said before who is to say which decision is the right or wrong one. ? I hope that one day the trauma you experienced, the same trauma that you and I share can be healed and that you see that you are so much more deserving than what you went through. You deserve more, my children deserve more. The love from my children should open that window for you . The love they give may not be the love you expected or imagined but it’s proof you are a human deserving of any and all love. Acceptance and value , as well as respect too.
I also want to thank you from the depths of my heart for choosing my children , for loving them unconditiionally even while fighting off the monsters both in physical form and mental and emotional form . Thank you, for you being you.
Today marks the National Rainbow Baby day in honor of pregnancy loss and parenting after a miscarriage. It isn’t easy. I had two miscarriages , the second being Ruby’s twin.
My first miscarriage was not something I had ever experienced before. I had just finished a wedding photoshoot and boom it hit me. In my head I was 12 weeks . The ultrasound said 8 weeks 2 days. Which means I carried that baby for 4 weeks with no signs of miscarriage until that day . September 13th.
I remember feeling very scared . My belly was even still growing you know ? Only now I realize it was possibly just swelling . Maybe my body realizing something was wrong. I was oblivious.
Alivia and Alessa , my oldest two , were so confused . In one swift movement they were being ushered to their cousins house , and I was being ushered to the hospital . Fast . Once it was all said and done the rest was just a blur. My days were spent sending Alivia off to pre-school and spending my mornings with Alessa .. majority of the time sleeping with Alessa close to me . The medication I was on made me very tired and emotionally that was all I was capable of doing. In hindsight it wasn’t very fair because Johnathon ended up spending his moments grieving taking care of Alessa and the house…. I did bare minimum. He was alone with all of our responsibilities on his shoulders . He had to go back to work much sooner . I stayed and wallowed in pity a few more weeks. Thinking of it now is painful. It was very unfair to him.
The day the doctor gave us the final check to make sure I had healed well , the doctor asked if we were looking at birthcontrol options or if we had planned to try right away . I was ready , but unsure of Johnathon being ready .The doctor almost didn’t get to finish the question before Johnathon said , ” Oh no we are gonna try again . ” I sighed in relief . We weren’t giving up .
Days went by and soon weeks and I said , ” By now I have to be pregnant.” I was showing signs but I also wasn’t trying to get my hopes up either. A few days before Christmas , I decided to take a pregnancy test. I sat on the toilet and just waited. It was negative. So , I cleaned myself up , and just as I turned to throw the test out , a second line appeared.
I took another one, and another one and this last time I stared at it for a good three full minutes . My eyes were burning and I slowly watched the second line appear indicating I was pregnant. Convincing myself it was a false positive , since they all three started out negative , I called the doctor the next day anyway . Just to be sure.
Our first ultrasound wasn’t until January but when we got there both a urine sample and ultrasound confirmed we were pregnant .
Our ultrasound not only confirmed pregnancy , but pregnancy with twins , however Sac 1 was empty and shrinking. Sac 2 was healthy and doing well . The doctor explained that what he believed happened is that the baby didn’t develop past mostly cells and therefore absorbed back into my body . I researched this and researched this forever because I had never heard of such a thing. Your body just ABSORBS it’s underdeveloped fetus !?!?! This is where I learned about ” vanishing twin syndrome “.
I handled this miscarriage way different . I was hurt that I couldn’t have both of them but my body couldn’t physcially grieve because there that tiny body was , moving . I could hear the heart beat and everything. I don’t know … I just can’t explain it . It was like knowing I still had a baby that was still there out weighed the hurt I felt about yet another loss .
Nine entire months passed and we finally had our precious baby.
I looked at her beautiful blonde hair , her fair skin and dimples she had on each cheek and I just fell in love. I looked for features in her that I thought I would have maybe seen in the babies that I lost . In fact I still do . I watch her personality unravel and I wonder if her twin would be just like her or complete opposite. Would her other sibling be her best friend? Or protector? She’ll be three in 5 days , and fortunatley she was able to keep those beautiful blue eyes, would they all have had those blue eyes? Or was she just the lucky one? Her dad and I have brown but his is a dark beautiful shade , would I see her dad in their eyes? Do I see them in her eyes ? Were they boys? Girls ? ….
She came to me in a perfect rainbow . The storm wasn’t too hard knowing I had her just waiting to be placed in my arms. Sometimes , I would just look at her and cry . Even now I feel the familiar lump in my throat . The universe knew that through all the loss we needed her . A few months later , she was about 7 months old , we moved into our new place . We had to have bigger space with all of the different baby stuff , and our first night in we were welcomed with a double rainbow right out side our door .
Call it just another day . Call it coincidence that there were two rainbows after having two miscarriages . Call it what you would like , but even to this day I call it my rainbow.
I remember taking the test in the middle of the night. I had just put Livybug to bed. I thought ,” there was just no possible way.” Alivia was going to be my one and only child. I was already torn up that I had to work and be away from her. But now …. there was gonna be you.
Your dad was working at Wendy’s when I sent him the text . It was 2 in the morning and I had no clue how I was supposed to feel. How do you deal with not only one unplanned pregnancy , but now a second one?
I even kept you a secret . Until I couldn’t anymore. My belly was growing and people were talking. It had to come out eventually . I had swelling in my feet , my belly was poking out of my once flat stomach. It was time. I was met with a lot of disappointed people . Not because of you, but because of me. Careless decisions one right after another and I had yet to have a stable life only to bring another child into this life that I had no idea how to manage.
I just went through the motions of the pregnancy each day , sort of in a cloud of uncertainty and numbness. I was scared . I was scared that I didn’t love you. I was scared of expanding my heart to fit you too. I was scared you would get here and they would put you in my arms just for me to give you back. I was scared of you.
When you took your first breathe , I cried but it wasn’t the same . I was scared to face you. I was terrified of not loving you. I heard your cry and all the fear in the world left me and I screamed ,” My baby! My baby!” and held my arms out to you. I kissed your itty bitty nose , and touched your beautiful black hair and I fell in love just the way I did with your big sister.
Now you look at me with those big green puppy eyes and my heart stretches even more each time. You’re almost seven and the only time I’ve ever been terrified is the many times you’ve landed in the E.R. . That sounds about right , second child syndrome , the rough and tumble, freak-mom-out kiddo. I’ve watched you become the most resilient kick ass little kid and I couldn’t imagine my life without you.
No one can pronounce your name , and since it’s Alessa , they think to themselves ” less is more ” and that is what helps them remember your name. I couldn’t agree more.
Alessa is more than just another kid
Alessa is more than just the second child
Alessa is more than that fearless 6 year old
Alessa is more than just an outspoken character
Alessa is gonna rule her world one day and she isn’t gonna take shit from anyone. She is going to be a force to be reckoned with.
When I watch you walk to the tumbling mat with your shoulders broad , and your head strong I see you standing tall ready to take on anything . You look like a superhero to me. I hope you realize how powerful you are and I hope you use it for good one day. In the mean time I will do the best to always love and support you. I used to be scared to love you , but loving you is all I know how to do. I love you my Alessa , everything you do in life will be absolutely amazing , and more…
As I was sifting through the photos online that I had found of my old home, I happen to come across part of the land as seen in my last few posts , but also my grandmother’s trailer . I didn’t mention it before through all of the excitement of finding them that we actually lived right on the other side her trailer in a single wide blue trailer.
Our trailer was run down and beat up compared to grandma’s. No heat in the winter some years . Other years in only parts of the trailer. In the summer it was fans in open windows even during the hottest point of the day. Black mold had grown from our window sill and down the wall from where it leaked. I remember Mom going at that wall with pure bleach and a pair of gloves and it never did a bit of good.
Since the photos from the realtor’s website only shows my grandmother’s old trailer , this first bit of photos I am about to share will only include such , but I will add in future posts our home too. There is just no way to exclude it as part of this entire story.
I wanted to start with the lake view from Grandma Sarah’s backyard mostly because it reminded me of the picture my grandma took of me standing right in the view of the lake from the hill. As soon as I saw it online it instantly brought me back to that day. Grandma had her disposable camera and was taking shots of the land , I’m sure for her memory but of course myself and my cousin Chase happen to be there . The view of the photos my grandma took are much closer and in the middle of summer so the trees are in full bloom , yet I knew instantly the exact location of the picture as soon as I saw it.
When I came across the photo of the actual trailer , I almost didn’t recognize it because they made such a drastic change to the porch. My step Grandpa , whom my grandma divorced shortly after my dad passed , had actually built the original porch and it was nearly the length of the trailer. Here happens to be the then and now that also included my cousin , and me standing on the porch crossing my arms . Of course with a ton of sass.
Last but not least ( I have so many more to come in future posts) , the famous ol’ gravel road. The road I talk about so often right along side that lake. It was the same gravel road my dad scraped my off of when I decided I was gonna win that bike race against my cousins. Like Dave Batisa said ,” No scars , No stories .” and boy I sure still have that weird lookin’ scar . Maybe I’ll include a picture of that in the next coming parts if this story.
This really has blossomed a ton of memories that flash through my mind like an old film . I know that there were some traumatic moments here , but I just want to revel in the happiness that anchored my heart there. The pictures just don’t do it justice . I can still hear the silence right before the wind rustled the trees , the crickets and frogs. All of it. So before I end this let me show you a picture of myself in a state of pure bliss , riding my bike , just the happiest little girl alive.
I mentioned a few days ago about being home sick about my childhood home. I haven’t seen it in years. Last I knew it was private property so I can’t just hitch a ride to go reminisce .. From time to time I search on Google in hopes that someone some where has posted the land online.
I typed in the address today and it pulled up the very lake I speak of so often and I cried and cried and cried. The picnic table is still there. The house on the other side is still there …. The view is exactly how I remember it.
The trail, the same one we walked so many times is still the same , though it has more grass . I just can’t believe it . My grandma’s trailer is still there , the inside looks the same other than a few changes to wallpaper , cabinets and the porch…. The sheds are gone but the bones of all of my childhood memories are still there ….
I live in my memories very often and I’m not sure if it’s a bad thing but ….. to me these memories are the memories that built me and I’m afraid of losing them. To me , revisiting them keeps them fresh in my mind. The smell of summer rain , the soil and gravel and wet grass. The crunch of the leaves , and the sound of a fish catching at the end of dad’s pole. My heart is a little bit happier today .
There were some sad memories …. those are hard to look past too. I just focus on the ones that made me feel the most freedom and bliss as a child instead because it’s what I miss the most. It was fun….lot’s of memories.
I plan to go through my pictures tonight to give you a glimpse into my snapsot of memories with the pictures I found today . Stay tuned. ❤
Keokuk, was never actually my home. My home was down the gravel road that led to a dead end in Kahoka, Missouri. It was surrounded by wooded area that was eventually met by a lake. I think I’ve mentioned that before.
From time to time I get a little home sick too. I miss it. I remember exactly what it looked like and I remember the address . The last time we drove up that rode was September of 2004. Seventeen years ago. I make it sound like leaving was a tragedy I’m sure , but that was home.
Home was chasing frogs and worm hunting It was running barefoot down the same gravel road I wrecked on Home was hoppin’ on the back of the small metal wagon hitched to the riding lawn mower to the lake It was gettin’ on the boat and fishing Home was helping dad build our very own teepee Home was watching all the uncles and adult cousins have fireworks wars on fourth of July It was holidays and family gatherings It was snow ball fights with the cousins or flying across the homemade zip line Dad made us out of our broken swing set Floating in the kiddie pool all day long Or helping mom take the clothes off the line in the middle of the night
I remember the way the chalky gravel felt during those hot scorching summers or the snow the way it would lay like a blanket . The way the air smelled after a good hard rain , and in the middle of the night there wasn’t noise pollution of cars or motorcycles or people partying . It was bull frogs and crickets, starry nights and fireflies ❤ I miss those days but I miss home the most.
Even if you were completely and utterly prepared for parenthood , you could never completely prepare for parenthood. All the classes and books and Facebook groups and certifications could never prepare you for the curve balls that smack you dead in the face .
I say to alot of my friends that go through relationship problems that it’s not you against them , it’s you TWO against the problem. The same goes for raising children.
We as mothers , as fathers , as parents are a child’s first teacher. Everything they see and hear us do , they follow . Why wouldn’t they ? They have nothing else to compare to until school. That’s how they learn. I would have to say by the time Alessa turned three I began turning into an angry parent . I got lost in that cycle. I preach and preach about how contagious negativity can be and yet here I was angry and tired and impatient and resentful. Because working harder to be positive just meant more work for my already exhausted mind and body. And guess what ? All of that negativity seeped into my children.
Don’t get me wrong Alessa was intensly defiant even before I threw my hands up and sort of gave up but I unfortunately didn’t make it better. Tonight Alessa still tried to fight me hard to get to bed. That’s when it’s the worst for us. But I just kept telling myself ,” Don’t let her see how tired you are , don’t let her see your losing patience. Give her one more minute before she has to go to bed .” So I set a timer on my phone and after a minute we were off to bed. There was still a little distraction/avoidance technique on her part in attempts at avoiding going to bed but twenty good minutes of convincing was a hell of alot better than two hours of war. I’ve gone down this road where we have a few good nights and then we go days with nothing but choas but I’ll take what I can. Tonight she went to bed with a smile , and I went to bed knowing she didn’t fall asleep with a broken heart. ❤ https://www.instagram.com/p/CPKHxTPrZ5s/?utm_medium=share_sheet