To My Aunt With Love

Many of you may not know, but my Aunt passed away suddenly a couple days before Christmas. She was one of the bravest women I know. While my family was able to say their goodbyes, I did not get the opportunity. I know you are not gone, and you will be watching over us, just like you always have been. Here is my final see ya later.

Do Not Stand at My Grave and Weep

By Mary Elizabeth Frye

Do not stand at my grave and weep
I am not there; I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow,
I am the diamond glints on snow,
I am the sun on ripened grain,
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning’s hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there; I did not die.

Dear Aunt Cynthia (I know you hated when I called you this),

Wherever you are or wherever you may be,

I am sorry it has taken me so long to say my see ya laters. I have been trying to be strong for the family while we handle some of your paperwork, but I haven’t forgotten about you and I think about you every second of every day.

I am sorry I wasn’t able to see you one last time. I am so sorry I did not know you did not feel well. I wish there was something I could do. I wish there was more time. We always wish there was more time.

There is no doubt you were the crazy Aunt. No matter where we were you were always the loudest and always spoke your truth. I guess I always was a lot more like you than I thought.

I know that wherever you are, you are not suffering anymore. I know that you are no longer in pain. I know that wherever you are, you are singing, dancing, and smiling your way to wherever you want to go. And the thought of that brings me joy. I wish I was able to give you one last hug and tell you I love you.

I know you thought of me and Stevie has your own daughters and I just want you to know, you were always like a second Mother to us. And one that baked 😉 We all know Mama cant bake to save her life. I forever cherish all of our memories. And I will forever miss you.

You were one of a kind and you were loved ❤

“I hope your soul finds peace. And your heart reaches home. I hope lights light up your way. And happiness takes over the pains of yesterday.”

I love you and I am never not thinking of you.

Sincerely,

Rachel Ree

Foster Care

Did you know that there were 442,995 children in foster care for the fiscal year 2017? And 690,548 children served by the foster care system?

The number of kiddos waiting to be adopted is 123,437. Statistics Here

These numbers really make me sad. Children and teens enter foster care, not by their own will because they have often been neglected, abused, or abandoned and are unable to continue living safely in their own home. The average age of children in the foster system is 8 years old and ages range anywhere from infants to 21 years old.

Because most of the kids that enter foster care have been abused, neglected, or abandoned its important to understand trauma and how trauma can affect our brains, bodies, behaviors and the way we think as we develop. Growing up not being able to explore your environment and experience the world the way that most kids are able to do hinders their growth significantly. It is only normal that they would tend to act out and not trust anyone. The world that they see is not the same that you or I have been given to experience.

Before I get too emotionally involved, let’s talk about trauma. I am no expert but while I have had time off from school my mind has been wandering back to foster care and I have been trying to read up on it, in hopes one day I will be able to open my home to a foster child.

 

So what is trauma?

I am not talking about trauma such as skinned knees from falling off a bike. Emotional trauma and stress which these kids are exposed to every day and it overwhelms their ability to cope. These types of trauma can vary widely from neglect to domestic violence. Ongoing trauma can hinder a child’s ability to think or behave in situations. They lose their sense of security and safety. They may have developed unhealthy habits or behaviors, which increases their distrust in adults and caregivers causing them to disobey and act out.

 

The thoughts of countless kiddos sleeping somewhere feeling that way makes me so sad. I’m not here to convince anyone to become a foster parent. I’ve read countless articles and blogs of foster mommies all over the world sharing their world as a foster parent and it’s not an easy one. It takes a lot of patience and caring and being able to drop everything at any giving moment to be there.

 

But there must be something we can do. Every kid wants to know they are worthy, loved, cared for even if they don’t feel like it with every fiber of their being. I’ve been looking into organizations, mentor opportunities, and volunteer options to try to help any way I can. Let’s get involved in the community, Y’all.

I hope more people foster and adopt all the babies in need of a home.

Remember while you are celebrating the holidays that not everyone has a family as amazing as yours. Be giving and be thankful. And be kind and be patient. Everyone is fighting a battle we have no idea about.

*Disclaimer: I am not an expert on any of these topics. And I am aware there are a million other problems in the world and many people face many problems. My heart has been really drawn to the foster system lately and I just wanted to share thoughts and would love to hear from you. Advice, suggestions. If I have it all wrong. I just want to learn. Educate me.*

Somebody’s Someone

e854b9691a168f3e950bfe546025332e.jpgSomebody’s someone is coming home today ❤ 

 

It makes me so happy to hear that soon someone will be reunited with their loved one after not seeing them for so long. I bet the excitement and butterflies are everywhere today.

I cannot wait for my day. It seems so far away but I know that time is ticking away and eventually, my day will come.

 

 

 

I was thinking the other day… I don’t want people to think that I am writing for the whole “woe is me” thing. Or whatever that saying is. It is not a competition here. 

I don’t care if your person is gone for two days or two years, it is hard. Dealing with life without your person is hard. Two is always better than one I say. [of course not when it comes to washing dishes 😉 ]

 

But speaking of dishes, I oddly miss the feeling of taking care of someone. Making dinners for two, washing all those inside out t-shirts and socks, wondering why the laundry smells so sweaty and occasionally trying to fuss about it. I definitely won’t say I have ever taken him for granted because I have always thanked him for being amazing. But trying to be the woman of the house is hard.. and I only have puppy children. Like I would rather cook a meal and do his laundry every day than have to mow the grass and eventually try to figure out how to use a weed whacker (I still have no idea what it is called). AND pump my own gas. I think what I miss the most is him getting my gas for me. (it sounds really snotty, I know. I am really ashamed to admit it)  I absolutely hate standing at gas stations pumping gas. People are so strange.

I mean, let’s admit it. Once all those things are gone, you miss it even when you think you hate it. And because he has always known you better than you know yourself, you learn more about yourself than you ever thought was possible.

 

But I have learned that I can do it by myself. Not that I like it…

To all the women doing it alone, I salute you. You are the strongest of them all. And YOU. ARE. AMAZING. (you are doing great and you are doing your best. Even if you make mistakes, THAT IS OKAY. Because you are still amazing and you are still doing your best.)

This post was a bit all over the place. But you know, so is my life right now.

Investing 101

Wealth for Self

Time to get into the more exciting stuff. Starting now, my primary focus will be on investing and making your money work for you. When it comes to personal finance, we’re not focusing as much on short term trading (although I will cover that extensively at a later date), because we’re in this for the long haul. We’ve all heard the success stories as well as the catastrophes that others may have experienced while investing. I’m here to help manage your expectations, develop your risk management skills, and help you decide which of the many methods of investing suits your lifestyle and goals.

Instead of reciting the encyclopedia of the various types of investments, I’ll share what I’ve tried and how they’ve worked out for me. I couldn’t possibly explain things better than some of the links that you’ll find over in the Resources section, so head over there or…

View original post 950 more words

Send Romance Novels My Way

I rolled over this morning with my arms reaching out to find my husband. He wasn’t there. My dog was sleeping next to me, so I guess it could have been worse.

To everyone on the outside looking in, it’s like time is flying by. Time is moving so quickly and they are all wondering where the minutes went.

For me, it’s like time is… just… moving, I guess. Because it is supposed to be, right? But it doesn’t feel like I’m going anywhere. It is like time is just standing still. Like the hour glass was flipped over and the sand stopped pouring the second he left. There is no way to measure the time. It has stopped for me, but everyone else’s hourglass is still pouring. *the feeling is a strange one*

You remember when you were a little kid, on the night before Christmas? Waiting patiently or not so patiently for Santa to come down the chimney? It is like that feeling of time. Seconds feel like years. Minutes feel like decades. Can it be morning already?

This is how I feel everyday.

This isn’t meant to be a sad post. I am not sad. I am actually very happy, doing everything I’ve ever dreamed of doing. But there’s still an aching feeling inside me that never settles. I miss my other half, my best friend. The “routines” and “staying busy” help distract my mind from racing about the moment I finally get to see him. But every morning I wake up and for the first ten minutes, its there. The feeling of being alone. The feeling of knowing we aren’t even half way there. The feeling of a frozen hourglass. It’s like this Christmas Eve will never end.

But..

The past week I have found myself wrapped up in novels. Novels of other people’s lives. I am on my fourth novel this week. I am not sure if the binge reading is because I’ve desperately needed a good story or if I am searching for the stories of being loved, touched, and romanced. Either way, I’ve been filling my brain with romance one novel at a time. And for this week, it seems to be working.

So, send me your favorite love story, or tell me all about yours. ❤

Be yourself, whoever that may be.

226417337a835b1bc1eb07bd81134a78.jpg

 

 

*disclaimer: hopeless romantic*

If you know me, you know that I love E.E. Cummings. After all, I do have two different tattoos of his words written on my body.

“Mr. Cummings’s poems are loved because they are full of sentimentally, of sex, of more or less improper jokes, of elementary lyric insistence.”

E.E. Cummings makes you fall in love with love.

And I for one love, love.

Over the past couple of years, I started to love myself again after I met my husband. He makes me a better person. Now, I am not saying that I need someone to make me a better person. I just love who I am when I am with him.

With him, I am a dancing in my underwear to no music kind of girl. The girl who belly laughs every day at all his jokes and baby talks her way to bed. There was never a day that passed that I didn’t laugh.

I speak in past tense because before he left for Bahrain we lived three hours apart and that girl who danced in her underwear and sang as loud as she could to no music then, only showed up on weekends when I went to visit him.

It’s a weird feeling. You know? Like, “I am always being myself,” but I have recently found out, I am my best and favorite self with you.

I want to be that person while you are gone. I want to belly laugh even if it’s at my own bad jokes and I want to dance in my underwear while no music plays. But it just isn’t the same.

I can’t explain it. Maybe I secretly hide bits and pieces of myself so only you get the best qualities. 😉

My point is, I am trying my best to be myself in a world that wants me to be like everybody else, but I really can’t wait to be myself when I am with you again.

T-minus 11 months 21 days 13 hours 6 minutes and 30 seconds until I get to dance in my underwear and laugh with you again!

XOXO

Communicate

I have had such a busy week. I feel like I have been constantly running around trying to make sure the pups have enough time to play and not be alone, while still trying to make it to the gym.

Hubby has been gone for four days now.  The time difference is already a struggle. I wake up and it’s late afternoon where he is. He wakes up and I am trying to settle down for bed. I am sure once he starts working the time difference will be even more difficult. My goal is to at least FaceTime him once a day once he begins his job. So fingers crossed we can make that work.

The next year I feel like the most important thing will be communication and making time to see each other on FaceTime. I am sure everyone is thinking “how can you not make time?” Sometimes it’s hard. We have our own lives too and that is important. How many of you have a hard time communicating with your loved one and they live in the same house? It’s okay to admit it. We all get busy with our lives and once we get home we would rather sit on our cell phones looking at other people’s lives than actually speaking with our best friend about their day or anything going on in this crazy world.

Communication is hard and it is hard work.

Today I challenge you to put the phone down and talk to your best friend about anything. Politics, love, movies, controversy. Don’t talk about the kids, chores, work, or things you are constantly nagging and fussing about. Remember what it felt like getting to know them when you first met and keep learning about them. We all change as we grow. Keep learning and communicating about those things you used to always talk about while getting to know one another. So put down your phone and have a face to face conversation about anything and remember why you fell in love every day. Don’t take those amazing conversations for granted, a lot of families don’t get that option every day.

I saw one of my favorite quotes today. It’s a reminder for me to be positive (because I get irritated easily). So I decided to share it with you 🙂

Have a great Saturday, friends!

916e56a8558409885417a11129b7f5ff.jpg