3.02.2016

Facebook- Why it's good, Why it's not so good, and how to enjoy it! (my little peptalk for myself)

So, I took a long enough break to feel like I completely shattered my facebook addiction (you know where you login on accident over and over and have to go back and shut it down again over and over)... And I hadn't really thought about it... but I do miss some aspects of the social media site that is responsible for mommy wars explosions day in and day out...

So here's a list!

Pros:

One: I never get to see people any more. I'm driving kids to school and back and trying to keep up with the demands from their little adorable faces while also hoping to maintain a marriage and a home and a friendship or two on the side... It leads to a lot of "I wonder what they are up to." Facebook solves that problem. I know now! I get to see adorable babies and marriages and life events and FOOD and I love that!

Two: I get to support people through things I've been through. I get to connect with people and talk to them about the difficulties that I don't share with very many others. And they get to support me. That's not usually something people mention, but facebook is a great support group when you have a group of supportive people on it.

Three: I get to read articles that other people find interesting- or laugh at things they find funny. I get to know them more, and sometimes more than I would in public because of my unusually high amounts of social anxiety. I get a laugh without much effort, and that's nice. Don't take that for granted.

Four: I get to donate to people's personal causes. It's so much better of a feeling to give to those you know personally who could use extra help to get through challenging times. It's so much better. I know how much it helps because we received help with multiple funerals, including Gabe's, as well as Marty's. Sometimes it's overwhelming how many people need help, but when it comes down to it, giving will always give more to the giver than the receiver. Helping people because it's the kind thing to do? Totally underrated. It's amazing for our hearts, minds, souls and bodies to give of ourselves freely.

Five: Reminders. Facebook serves so many reminders of what I have going for me. I feel defeated, and facebook reminds me that my crisis is so much less huge than it feels. And that there is still a reason to smile despite circumstances beyond our control. Sometimes people post HARSH messages, and I take them to heart- even when its hard. It reminds me that I am more than able to do what feels impossible.

Six: Giveaways! Who doesn't enjoy the fun of a free giveaway? I have several friends who have won them and it's always lovely to see their reactions!

Seven: Facebook makes me look into my kids sweet faces a little longer and try to capture it on photo. It's true. It reminds me to appreciate my little ones, when they aren't in that insane fit throwing zone where everything is falling to pieces because they don't want to wear THAT coat or put on THOSE shoes. A few minutes later, I see their sweet round faces and sparkly eyes and realize... they are still totally worth the challenges they bring. Let me capture the proof. ;P

Eight: Family. My family is big, complicated and so beautiful. Each one of them, with their issues, is more beautiful than I can convey in words. They are more than a story. They are many stories, spread out far and wide... and through facebook I get to see into them more than I would ever get to in real life. I suppose this is the same as some aforementioned numbers... but family deserves it's own number.

Nine: I get to laugh it off. I get to have intelligent conversations with other stubborn opinionated individuals, and I get to learn from their viewpoint and sometimes I even get to help them change theirs or they get to change mine. Now that's a book worth reading. And if all goes poorly, I get to laugh it off and move along.

Ten: I get to delete people who I need to delete. The people who are pulling me down, the people who are tearing me down, I get to remove them and say to myself... that relationship isn't healthy. It's time to let go and move on. Of course, this isn't my first move when a friendship is going downhill, but its a good way to solidify an end to a friendship that needed to end.

---- Cons ----

One: I have a hard time scrolling when I see things that are rude or offensive to me. But I can. I'm stubborn enough to leave it alone. So the negative is, I have to ignore people who love drama. And that's hard because I love the majority of people I meet (even the angry ones) and really enjoy having intelligent conversations... but I have to accept, as we all do, that most people want to fight, not discuss. And that's not something we need to waste our time doing. (pep talk)

Two: IT HURTS! Facebook is full of real people who know how to hit you where they want to... They do, sometimes. As a sensitive person who wears my heart on my metaphorical sleeves, it's hard to recover from that sometimes. So, you can't be too vulnerable on FB.

Three: It's devastating sometimes. I am a bleeding heart, and I cry over other people's problems. So, when I fall in love with a kid and pray for them and we lose them... I feel devastation on a personal level. It's probably my dramatic personality, I suppose, that leaves me unable to like pages of ill kiddos. Not to mention that I relive a lot of unpleasant experiences when I see their photos. So I have to hide myself from many devastating situations... because I get too emotionally involved. So to those of you who couldn't follow Gabe's story because it hurt too much... I get that. I really do.

Four: People stop asking you questions. People see your kids on facebook and hear about you that way, so they don't reach out to you anymore. So I will see someone I haven't heard from in years and they would know what I was up to and I had no idea the opposite since they didn't post information online... SO, I take this from that... Don't give out personal info on facebook for free. Make people message you and make people have to show you some effort. Do the same in return. If you see someones photo and think about them, comment! Tell them you are thinking about them so that when you run into public they KNOW you've been thought of before you start rattling off all the information you already know about them when you've never said one word. That's the creepy part of the internet information access days. It really is.

Five: People judge you. They do. It's okay, that's on them, not you, but they will. So you have to post everything realizing that you have an 'audience' that may or may not be offended by what you are posting. HOWEVER, if you are secure and confident in yourself, you probably don't really mind that, I expect! ;) Me, however, I worry. I worry about lots of ridiculous stuff, including how people feel about how I treat them and what I say. It's exhausting to worry this much, yes, but I like to think that it's a positive quality to have, as I think of others all the time, and usually I see a lot of the opposite going on. So, let people judge you, expect it, and if they aren't nice, let it go. They can accept you or not, but judging only reveals the heart of the judge.

Six: Paranoia. I was in a facebook group a long while ago that was kind of intense with paranoia. End of days kind of paranoia. So I started getting freaked out. And I left the group. You have to know when to walk away from things that effect you negatively. I'm already a worrier, as mentioned before, and I have to nip these situations in the bud. I miss the people, but sometimes you have to know when something is healthy and when it's becoming a stress.

Seven: People aren't as compassionate as you. This is a big girl kind of a statement for me to say. I'm very interested in compassion, I think it's the most ignored value in kids and adults. I've been thankful that my son can be EXTREMELY compassionate at times, and I've seen him prove it to me by writing me love notes when I'm having a hard day or making 'lunch' when he feels I've been overworked. However, he doesn't quite realize this yet, but there are a lot of very bitter people in the world who have little compassion for one another. Well, he might not ever realize this, because it goes over his adorable little busy, intelligent head because social cues aren't his forte... but there are a lot of cruel, unkind, unfeeling, hurtful, less-than-thoughtful people in the world. I think all of them love facebook. So that part makes facebook a little bit less safe.

I like to think I was raised well, by a Mom who often repeated quotes to us to make us think. "Treat others the way you want to be treated.", was a big one. And I can only hope it's a lesson I will continue to learn as I grow old and watch my children develop into adults.

So, take this away.

Facebook is a great tool. A great, dangerous, sometimes callous, a little bizarre and in your face kind of a tool that you can use to connect with others, but you have to be careful what you share, who you share with and how much of it you share. The world isn't what it was before facebook, and there are upsides and downsides to that.

So be careful, be kind, be loving, be compassionate and go forth and connect with people!

2.18.2016

Rocky, the Handsome Gelding

Photos of our newest addition, Rocky. (And a bonus photo with Addie as a bit of a size comparison. Addie will be three in June!)

Currently Rocky seems to enjoy nothing more than rolling in the dirt/leaves :)

He also is a big fan of being led around by his lead, but not a fan of getting his halter on without a little food reward for his efforts.

Isn't he handsome? It's hard to see his colors but he is more red than brown in the sun, and more brown than red when he stands in the rain (He doesn't mind it).

His previous owner has let her older kiddos ride him, but I don't think he's anywhere near ready to be ridden until he can conquer some of his basic fears.

Fears include:

-Anything or anyone taller than he.
-Being touched anywhere other than his face, and not even a fan of that if he hasn't warmed up to you.
-Anything running up to him
-Not being rewarded for excellent behavior with a treat
-Having his feet trimmed (But we managed to bribe him with treats to get him through his farrier visit and trim.

Not afraid of:

-Treats of all kinds
-Grass
-Hail
-Thunder
-Getting dirty
-Being alone

So now we will begin the work to try to get him to the point where he is no longer afraid of humans, be them tall or small, or being touched or approached with any pace above a snail.

I am so in love!!!
Enjoy!





A girl and her horse

I had a pony when I was very little. This was so long ago that my only true memory of the little shetland pony, Birdy, is when she sat down with myself while my friend Marcie was riding too against a wire fence and we both slid off and I was very offended.

Then, as a young awkward teen, I spent time at my Grandparents house in New Plymouth getting to know my Papa's horse. This was not a small horse, but a very large brown one. The horse and I developed a bond. Or maybe I just thought we had, as I spent a lot of time talking to him and petting him.

I wrote about horses a lot, and my husband and I recently came across my "about me" book, and I guess at the time I had stated... "Horses are my life."

So I guess it makes a lot of sense that I fell in love with a photo of a mini horse. Yes. And three days of talking Nick into it...

I am the proud owner of a four year old mini horse named Rocky.

Part of it was that he was four. Like my second boy would be also. Part of it was that he doesn't really trust people and has a bit of anxiety...

Which I also struggle with.

His owner was also named Julia, and she had rescued Rocky from a rather wild group of mini horses who hadn't had much interaction with people.

So my Rocky has been beaten up pretty good by the horses he was with. He was obviously not the top of the hierarchy, and has the scars to prove he tried to be.

So our family's new mini horse (although he's just above the cut off for that title and also is a pony) has been enjoying the quiet life here in our yard, grazing on our various grasses and rolling in the leaves left over from fall.

He is starting to trust me, but prefers if I don't stand upon approach, but rather get down and let him come to me. He doesn't think he's the boss, but he definitely wants the option of getting away if he feels spooked in the slightest.

We've been talking to each other. He has finally gotten comfortable with me brushing him (although he would prefer to roll in the dirt after a good brushing). The kids are learning to give him space and I am learning to read his facial expressions.

It seems to me, in a horses eye, a whole world of truth is present. To communicate so well with not a word... It's inspiring.

How is the gaze of a horse so filled with so many different emotions. It's a language I am eager to learn.

Somehow, I think Rocky feels the same. He looks with interest as I talk to him, and I can't help but feel that this therapy is worth far more than I could pay for. :)

I don't have photos of him on the computer, but he is a reddish brown, with darker browns here and there. He is beautiful. Handsome.

Really, to be honest, I don't call him Rocky. I call him Handsome. I always felt that starting a friendship with a compliment made for a more fulfilling relationship. So every morning I greet him by calling him "Hello there Handsome" and I can tell he appreciates it.

I'm pretty sure he kind of basks in it, actually. :)

2.16.2016

From there to here

I never read my old blogs. I did once and my eyes rolled so far back into my head that I became a bit nauseated and promised myself not to torture myself again by reading my old feelings and my old situations.

I've spent the past year working on trying to accept the changes life has thrown at me, and my heart still fights them. I wish I could say grief was a journey with an end, but it's not... and it's crushing to admit that to myself.

I deleted facebook, which has been a strange feeling. I feel a very odd sense of relief, to have my private life more private... but I do miss getting to see what everyone is up to and baby photos... and all the stuff that facebook was once good for...

 I do think often of signing in and checking on all the people I haven't been able to visit with since then... but then when I do I see the bullying and judgement and cruelness and I can't stay on there. I am not the type of person to remain silent when I see injustice, and because of that facebook is not the place for me.

Lets see... Updates... Grief?

Grief comes in like waves, people say. Sometimes its easier and sometimes its harder. For me, I find it quite a bit different than that. Grief is always there. It is always there, waiting. But my thoughts turn from it now, and I can spend most of my time distracting myself from the physical pain that I feel when my thoughts turn to... to the reality of the difficult feelings I can't seem to avoid entirely.

But then it happens... A song on the radio, a photo... an age of a child I meet. working on the house projects left behind in the wake.... thinking of how I will never have another real reason to visit Seattle... Its hard to swallow when my mind wanders to the rawness. It's still raw, like a scab that you peel off each time you revisit the truths you are avoiding with your thoughts.

However, I've made myself plenty of distractions.

As of now I have 12 animals at home. 2 dogs, 2 cats, 4 chickens, 3 bunnies, and one horse. Mini horse. Well, a pony really, as he is just above the mini horse cut off at 39".

So essentially, a very small farm.

And it helps. And sometimes it hurts because who really needs this many animals and this much busy work? Well, apparently I do. Or I think I do. Or I'm just trying to avoid feeling anything other than busy. But either way... here I am.

Here I am trying.

And what else can you do?

9.27.2014

It was less than a week. But in that week, you were the happiest, the most content, the most my baby you ever were.

You are part of me that is missing. It's hard to describe it any other way. How do you describe it when part of your soul has left you with a hollow sound echoing in it. The memories feel like a story now, no longer one I can be a part of or even really imagine.

I stare at places I held you and loved you, but there is no whisper of you in those rooms or hallways anymore. You are gone and that means that part of me is gone.

I will forever ache for you, and it will never lessen. I will hide the ache in my heart, but it's always there and I will always be incomplete. I am incomplete because I have loved you so much that you were a puzzle piece in my soul.

I want to imagine life with you, but I imagine it too well on those days that I do. I imagine it so well that it becomes reality, a reality separate from this one that I wish so badly I could be a part of.

Death will be welcome someday, and I know this to be true simply because I will feel that part of my soul fill again. Because you died, I can die bravely, and I know that to be true.

This story continues on, without my favorite chapter.

I wouldn't dare to dream of a world without any of my children in it. I wouldn't dare to dare you to dream of it.

Don't dream of it, in fact.

Don't reflect on how it would feel.

Reflect on this infinity you are in.

Whether it's a week or a day, these infinities are worth the exhaustion and pain and ache. So love, and don't be afraid to love. Love with each part of you, so much that when your love is gone it aches like this.

This pain is worth the love. It's worth it. I promise it is.

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