Thursday, March 24, 2011


I've been feeling a bit depressed, angry, sad, discouraged and hopeless lately.  Sometimes its easier to concentrate on those bad feelings when you're going through a tough time in life.  However, I am quickly finding out how unhealthy this way of thinking is.

I have challenged myself to try and concentrate on the positive, even if only for one day.  So here is a list of all (most) of the things I am grateful for today:

  1. My parents (including step parents)-for being wise
  2. My siblings-for the unconditional love
  3. My closest friends-for being my companions in life
  4. My heart-for giving me the ability to feel (both love and pain)
  5. My immune system-for battling off all the viruses that are going around
  6. My mind-for the ability to think, make choices, store memories and create solutions
  7. My tears-for helping me express my deepest emotions
  8. My smile-for helping hide the sadness
  9. My cats-for filling my life with joy even in my darkest moments
  10. The internet-for filling me with knowledge
  11. My job-for giving me a source of financial security
  12. Music-for lifting my spirits when I am down
  13. My home-for a place I can call 'home'
  14. Heartbreak-for making me stronger
  15. Love-for allowing myself to feel what it truly means to be 'alive'
  16. My fears-for allowing me opportunities to grow
  17. Movies/TV-for providing a source of entertainment
  18. iPhone-for making it easy to stay in touch and provide entertainment
  19. Life's challenges-for helping me grow and become a better person
  20. Waterproof Mascara-for making it easier to hide the tears
  21. My car-for providing a 'get-away' tool
  22. My nephews-for allowing my pride to runeth-over
  23. Armed Forces-for all of their sacrifices
  24. Happy Endings
What are you grateful for?

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


  • God give me the strength to change the things I can, and the strength to deal with the things I can't...

  • Strength does not come from some mystical place because we need it.  Strength is born from the courage to do what must be done

  • I am walking on a road I never wanted to travel...Yet I am trusting I am strong enough to not stumble

  • I'm not asking you to lighten my load, God.  Just give me the strength to carry it.

  • We never know what strength we have until life begins to test us

  • It's not always gonna turn out how you want, the trick is to face it head on and bust through the crap and come out on the other side stronger

  • Some people believe that holding on and hanging in there are signs of strength, but there are times in life when it takes much more strength to just let go

  • We never know how strong we are until strong is the only choice we have

  • I seek strength, not to be greater than others, but to fight my greatest enemy...the doubts within myself

Thursday, March 17, 2011


  • If you don't make changes, tomorrow is going to be very similiar to yesterday, with the exception of you being a day older

  • Sometimes things in life turn out differently then what we had planned, but that is just our path changing because we have changed

  • Things may never be the same, but maybe one day they'll be even better

  • When it comes to making a big change in your life ~ You've got to want it more than you fear it

  • People often change for two reasons:  either you've learned enough that you want to change or you've been hurt enough that you need to

  • Sometimes it's only after you leave a situation that you realize you shouldn't have been in it to begin with

  • Change only happens when the pain of holding on is greater than the fear of letting go

  • What you choose is what you shall have...what you allow is what shall continue.  Time for some changes

  • Everything happens for a reason.  That reason causes change.  Sometimes the change hurts.  Sometimes the change is hard.  But in the end its all for the best

  • If you truly desire a change in your life, you have to be willing to let go of what you know and sometimes go outside of your comfort zone

Friday, March 11, 2011


Here is an update to Where do I go from here?

I'm actually hesitant to put this in writing as I know once I do, I'm somehow going to be jinxed or something.

Things are definitely improving...I can actually see a small sliver of light at the end of the tunnel.  Of course the tunnel is a gazillion miles long, but there is a small shimmer of hope peaking around the bend.

My stepson has made some major strides this week.  None of his accomplishments have gone unnoticed.  We have received letters from a couple of his teachers that he has been asking about extra credit and permission to turn in missing assignments.  (I'm so grateful to his teachers and the school for working with us on this).  He has also not had a single absence or tardy all week long....and even better, he has been waking up to his alarm and the morning routine has greatly improved.  He is bringing homework home almost every night and has been turning in the assignments when due.  He got his haircut last week but we are still working on his 'black' clothing.  Baby steps....

He is still without a TV, cell phone, etc. and I feel bad, but it's going to take more than 7 days of behaving for me to give him all of his freedom back.  To be honest...I'm convinced that one of the major reasons for him waking up to his alarm in the morning is due to the fact that he 'doesn't' have TV or cell phone.  I can't tell you how many nights we have to fight with him to HANG UP THE PHONE AND GO TO BED....and I just know that he was staying up extra late watching TV and then too tired to wake up in the morning.  I have a feeling that when the time comes we will be setting up new boundaries for him in both of these areas.

We have a meeting next week with the private school and I am looking forward to it.  I will keep you all posted about the outcome.

Here are a couple comments he has made to us this past week:
  • After getting his haircut..."I can SEE.  I didn't realize how badly my hair was hanging in my eyes".  Yes, dear son...I told you so!
  • After a successful morning routine..."It really makes a difference when I wake up in time to get ready and have breakfast before I leave for school".  Yes, dear son...I told you so!
  • After successfully turning in all assignments for one school day..."I can't believe I actually thought this stuff was hard.  All you have to do is pay attention in class".  Yes, dear son...I told you so!
  • After a nice family night consisting of eating dinner together and then a movie..."It really is better when I behave.  Everyone seems happy tonight".  Yes, dear son...I told you so!
These are baby steps in the grand scheme of things....but, these baby steps have proved to me that he is capable of all the things I knew he was!

Here's hoping for another successful week ahead!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Dear God

Dear God: You know that "test" you keep giving and I keep failing miserably? I respectfully request you give me an "F" and allow me to move on to the next one. Thanks,
Love ME!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Where do I go from here?

Once again I have started ignoring this place of mine.  For reasons I stated in an earlier post, I have so much to say, but don't feel like this is my outlet for such topics.

Well, today bloggers...I am stepping out of my comfort zone and this post is going to be personal...and I mean really personal!

I guess in a way I need other people, strangers to my situation, to tell me what I am doing right, where can I improve and where I can go from here.

I apologize in advance if this post is confusing and all over the place.  It's hard to put into words when my emotions and thoughts are also 'all over the place'.

In January of this year my 15 year old stepson came to live with us full time.  In a word I would describe him as 'troubled'.  His life has not been easy and for a 15 year old he has endured more things than most adults.  At the age of 9 his father was in a car accident, in a coma for 3 months, and a paraplegic.  Shortly after his father was released from rehab (where he had to learn to speak, write, even to hold a pencil or utensils) his parents divorced. 

His mom is currently going through (another) divorce and contacted us back in the fall stating that the situation at her house was not ideal and that things were totally out of control as far as my stepson was concerned.  He was defiant, rebellious, unruly and totally unmanageable.

We agreed to take over full custody which would require transferring him out of his current school district and into a new one.  We had high hopes at the time that we were going to be the ones to 'change his life forever'.  Our first step was getting him into the best school we failure!  Our state has a "school of choice" option, but if the student has any type of disciplinary record at his current school they will not accept him as a student.  After what seemed like dozens of phone calls we realized our only option was the public school where we live.  Not an ideal choice....but, the only choice we had.

He has been in public school for 5 weeks and instead of taking 'steps forward' we have taken a gazillion steps back.  He is now even more rebellious, unruly, and unmanageable than I could have ever imagined.  He is skipping school (7 absences and 11 tardies in less than 20 days of school), not passing any of his classes (13%-25% with a letter grade of E), failed his home drug test for marijuana (and drug paraphenelia was found at his moms house) and refuses to follow any of our rules.  He is blatantly lying and more defiant than ever.

We are constantly talking to him about his behavior and our expectations.  We have even grounded him, taken away cell phone, tv, guitar...anything worth any value to him.  He simply continues to laugh in our's not working.  After being caught skipping school again yesterday I knew I needed more extreme measures.  I contacted the school and requested that both the counselor and principle get involved.  I even requested approval to have an adult escort him to/from school and to each and every class throughout the day.  I also contacted a private school in our area and have set up a meeting with them to see about transferring him.  I have contacted a local group that works with 'potential' drop out students for counseling and will speak more with them today.  I also contacted a local military school.  The military school would require him to live on the military base for 6 months (no outside contact) and then for 12 months after that he would have a mentor.  Unfortunately, the military school requires him to be 16 years of age before admission.  We won't be eligible for enrollement until the session that begins January 2012.

After speaking with him for almost 2 hours last night in another 'family meeting'....I still have my doubts.  I'm not sure about anything at this point.  We took him to get his hair cut last night and have taken away his current wardrobe (he is into the "goth" look with long hair, all black clothes, black fingernails, etc).  But doesn't feel like enough!  Nothing we do or have done feels like enough!

What else can we do?  I don't consider myself a failure....but this parenting thing is making me question everything I am.

I'm so tired...I'm mentally at my wits end!  I'm questioning everything in my life.  Is this really what I signed up for when I married my husband?  If given the chance would I take it all back?  If I left my husband would my life be easier?  Would I feel this way if he was "my" son and not my stepson?  How much more can I take before I simply give up (on everything and everyone)?

This is the lowest I have ever been.  I don't have much fight left in me....