Thursday, July 26, 2012

sometimes water IS thicker than blood....

Since the day she was born, Stevi and I have been best friends.  Our moms are best friends so we were raised together.  It's an amazing blessing to have a friend like that and I sometimes am sad when each school year, my daughters best friend changes.  From what I gather of other children that is normal but I always wanted her to have a friend like had and still have.  Someone that goes through everything together.  Even those times you aren't there for each you, are still hurt when they hurt and rejoice when they rejoice.  Most people don't understand our relationship unless they've had a best friend since birth as well.  To me, she is so much more than a friend.  She is my sister!  My biological sisters were quite a bit older than me so we weren't always close during my younger years but Stevi and I, we were like pea's and carrot's!  :)  As close as we were, we still as different as night and day.  As was the out spoken and social butterfly.  She was quiet and humble and didn't always like being around a lot of people.  I LOVED sports and church camps and overnight youth outings.  She preferred to be at home.  Our family dynamic was different.  But that didn't matter.  We always have been and always will be best friends.  We would stay up late at night planning our future.  We were going to grow up, meet our prince charmings, get married and we'd all move to Texas and live on a ranch!  One of us would have the upstairs with our family and one would have the downstairs.   Sometimes I wish we would have written down our plans so we could look back on them now and read them and laugh.  We were young, dreamers, and the world was our oyster!  I never could stand going to Southerland Lumber or Home Depot, or Lowes.  Unless Stevi was with me.   Why did that make a difference?  I'll tell you why.  In your young minds and imaginations, every isle we went down was a new opportunity to "plan" our dream home.  We loved the idea of claw foot tubs and pull chain toilets.  We'd pick out whimsical light fixtures and choose our wall colors.  It was different when we were together because then, we were shopping for US!  Not our everyday in real life homes because a pipe busted.  We were the same way at the grocery story.  There were times we'd be at the grocery store with our moms and the whole way through the story we were so excited and had great anticipation of going down the baby isle.  Yes you heard right.  The isle full of diapers, wipes, onesies, pacifiers, bottles, etc.  We had no interest in the toy isle. JUST the baby isle because we could shop for our "babies".  (Our dolls of course!).  Our babies had real diapers.  They had real bottles and real pacies.  Our babies had real baby brushes.   This wasn't because we were spoiled.  But we had huge imaginations and in all honestly, back then, it was cheaper to buy the real deals than the toy ones.  We both came from low income families so that was always a factor.

As we got older, there was a time we grew apart.  Not because we didn't still care and love each other but life just happened.  I was spending all my time in sports and worrying about a sick daddy and she had life of her own going on.  There were a couple of tragic events that took place in our lives...important people lost and we both had our dating lives.  We would catch up on the phone occasionally (I still remember her childhood number!)  :)  When the time comes for us to marry, that's when life started pulling us back together and now, it feels like we were never apart.  You know you have a life long friend when years can go by and when you are together again, you can pick up where you left off.

I thank God for crossing our moms paths all those years ago!  Everyone should be so blessed as to have a friend that isn't only a friend...but a sister.

(In telling my life story, I had to stop and write about our friendship because it's always been an important party of my life!)  <3

Sunday, July 22, 2012

just an ordinary girl with a big dream.....

A post on my wall on facebook made me realize that all too often, people misunderstand other people.  They don't understand why someone feels the way they do or why they believe the way they do.  A lot of hurt feelings happen over misunderstandings and I've felt like my life has been an open book.  I've posted the good, bad, and the ugly that has happened to me but after reading back over it, it's been in bits and pieces.  So with that in mind, I've decided to start from the beginning.  Please keep in mind that anything I say in this blog are my true feelings....How I perceived my life and anything that took place in it and is not meant to hurt any of my family or friends feelings.  I'm just keeping it real.

I really had an ordinary life.  Life was care free, happy,amazing.  My earliest memories start back at 2 or 3.  Though I don't remember much that early, there are some things I do remember.  I came from what we always referred to as a "Yours, mine, and ours" family.  Meaning, my dad had been married before and had a son and a daughter.  My mom had been married before and had a daughter and a son.  Their first marriages broke up.  They lived on the same street.  An East side neighborhood.  After much pursuing by my father, my mother started dating him.  They get married and merge two families.  It wasn't much longer and I joined the crew.  My earlier years were very happy and carefree.  Exciting and fun.  I was only a toddler so of course, to me, life was grand.  I had a back yard to play in, cousins to play with, neighborhood kids to play with.

But the more I think about it, other than pictures and holidays and Sundays.  I don't have too many memories of my daddy at that young of age (2-3).  I have plenty of my mom, my brothers, one of my sisters, my Aunt and my cousins (some of them lived with us and or spent many nights with us during this time).  My dad was a very hard working man.  We were a low income family.  My mom had in home daycare so she could be home for us prior to going to school and then we we left for school and returned home.  The way my parents raised us, I never realized just how "low income" we were.  We had hand me down clothes, there was a period we were on food stamps. We didn't eat out and we never had big lavish things or new cars. I don't recall too many of our cars even having air conditioning.  Now that I'm grown, I hear stories from my there were times they didn't know where our next meal would come from. 

My dad was a high school drop out.  He had a rough life himself.  His dad died when he was 7 and my Grandma did the best he could raising him and his 3 siblings.  When I was young my dad had 3 jobs.  He worked at a machine shop, he had a pest control business and I don't recall what the other job was.  2 of his jobs were full time. (I think the machine shop and the pest control).  I recall trying to stay up until midnight or later so I could kiss my daddy and tell him goodnight.  Most nights I succeeded.

My dad was 12 years older than my mom so when I was born, my siblings were somewhere in the range of 16 or 17 (my oldest brother), 14 or 15 (My oldest sister), 8 (my other big sister), and 6 (my other big brother).  So at times, there were 7 people in a 3 bedroom 1 bath home.  As a little kid, it didn't feel crowded at all but why would it?  I was born into that.  :)  And it was never just the 7 of us.  At any given time I had an Aunt or an Uncle or cousins living with us as well.  My mom was one of 8 kids so some of her siblings were around the age of my older siblings.  When they would reach the age that they would leave home, our place seemed to be the popular resting spot.  :)  It was a home full of love....that is for sure.

It's amazing how a family can have so little (monetarily) and yet the children feel rich.  Of course that is all in how we perceive things when we are young.  Everything is fresh and exciting and new and innocent until someone tells you different or crushes your imagination or dreams.  We very rarely ate out.  We couldn't afford it.  We didn't have cable TV.  We had the basic 3 or 4  (channels 2,6,8, and 11)channels with bunny ear antenna's that we watched on a TV my parents had saved their pocket change for YEARS to buy.  I remember the rolling of the coins.  It was a family affair.  If I remember correctly, once they were all counted out and rolled, they were taken to K-mart to make the "big purchase".  It was SOO exciting.  It was exciting to maneuver the antenna's just right so we could get reception.  Sometimes it would require tin foil on the antenna's.  lol 

I grew up in a Christian home.  My parents had us in Church every time the doors were opened.  Prayer meeting, revival, social, Sunday morning, Sunday night, Wednesday night.  Some Wednesday nights were just mom and us kids because dad would be working.  He didn't work on Sundays though.  That was family day.  I made so many good friends in Church.  Even as a toddler I was in the nursery helping our nursery worker with the even younger babies.  Because my siblings were all older, I was in many ways, wise beyond my years and matured quite quickly for my age.   My dad was a great example of always doing for others.  He would give the shirt off his back if someone needed it.  He would give up his portion of food for someone that had none.  His hurt were for the hurting, the homeless, and the down trodden.  He was a hard worker.  It didn't take long for me to realize that this man was my hero.

I very rarely got into trouble growing up.  Though I was/am a strong willed person, I also have the desire not to let those I love down.  I made good grades.  Not because I just LOVED school but because I wanted my parents...specifically my daddy to be proud of me.  Any sport I chose to play, I succeeded at.  Not just because I loved the sport (which I did) but I also wanted to show my daddy that I would work hard and be the best I could I be and always give 150%.  My parents firmly believed in spankings and I know there are many today that do not but before anyone gets outraged, I promise you, I was never abused.  I never felt abused.  I was never frightened by spankings.  I was more upset that I had let someone down than I was over a spanking.  I have mixed emotions on this topic.  I know each and every spanking I received (which I can count on 1 hand), I deserved.  I deserved more than I got most likely but I could always feel the love and hurt that it caused my dad when he would spank us.  If what we did was something that angered him, he would send us to our room, he would go to his room or his "study room" and pray and cool down first and then come to us and talk with us and discuss why what we did was wrong and make sure we understood why.  The Bible does say, "Spare the rod, you spoil the child."  I think there is a time and place and a way to handle everything and I NEVER felt my father did so inappropriately.  There were never marks left and you could see the pain in his face once it was done.  I'm not saying all this to start a debate over whether spanking is appropriate or not, I'm just telling my life story and in my life story, I was fine with it.  I preferred it to be grounded or writing sentences.  It was done and over with in a split second while still getting the point across where being grounded and writing sentences were pure torture to me.  And I also realize every child is different.  Spankings are effective for all children just as time out and re-direction aren't effective for all children.  There is no handbook when you have kids and you have to pray and do what you feel is best for you and your family without judging (unless someone is truly being abused) what is best for another family.

Getting back on track, as I grew, sports became a love and passion of mine.  I played soccer from the time I was 4 until I was in the 6th grade.  Then I played basketball from 8th grade and on into college.  I lived, breathed, ate, drank, slept, and dreamed soccer and basketball.  It probably kept me out of a LOT of trouble when I was in my teenage years.  haha (to be continued....)