Reaching Out


Have you ever wanted to help somebody?

You know someone who needs a boost in life, a great person with dreams and aspirations and love who needs to get back on there feet, and you know in your heart that you want to do something for them.

I do.

Sometimes I wish I was wealthy or won the lottery or hit it big on the stock market because then I could just give to people who need help. Charities, schools, people, whoever it may be. Unfortunately, I haven’t it it big yet. (I’m still hoping).

There’s a family in need that I know personally. Loss of employment for a few months set them back in bills a lot. Now this goodhearted woman (single mother) has a new job (Yay!), but could use a little help getting her bills caught up. If we had the money we would say, “Hey, here ya go!” But like I said I haven’t hit it big just yet.

It’s been a rough couple of years for this family, being homeless and having to stay with friends, moving from place to place having to start over. But last year, she was able to purchase a small, safe home and start a decent full-time job. This job didn’t work out unfortunately and she was left with mortgage, electric, water, and car payment. It might not seem like much, but these bills add up fast when you aren’t bringing any money in. Currently, they can’t even stay in their home because the electricity has been shut off. The electric company won’t turn it back on until they pay $600.

I’ve done what I can by helping with job applications, resume writing, and calling around to local charity organizations to find help with utility payments, but there has been no luck yet. With her new job, she will be able to start paying down her bills, but this is an immediate need. The electric needs to be turned back on, the water bill ($186) needs to be paid off or they will shut the water off too, and her mortgage is a few months behind. It is hard to be living out of a suitcase, not being able to sleep in your own home, cook in your own home, and basically have your own space. A little bit of financial help could get this family back on their feet in no time.

This isn’t a sob story, and there are many people out there who face these struggles daily. I’d like to help everyone, but I’ll just start with one family and hope I make a difference. So I’m reaching out here.I want to teach my daughter the power of giving and sharing. If you are able, please donate to the Go Fund Me account I’ve started. If you are not able to donate, please share this link with family, friends, friends or friends, or even strangers in your network. The more people can see it, the more likely we are to get donations to help!

Please Share! Raising Money for a family in need!

Thank you all for reading and God Bless!

xo Aly

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A Little Humor to Get You Through the Day


10 Steps to Getting Ready (with a toddler)

We all know that once our precious little angels begin to crawl and walk there is no stopping them. All of the sudden you are screaming “Grab the baby gates!” and “Did you shut the toilet lid?” because you never know what (seemingly) harmless household object they will get into next. When you turn your back for a second they have unraveled four paper towel rolls, squeezed out an entire tube of diaper rash cream, and poured out a box of cheerios on the floor. Keeping your toddler in check and being a functioning member of society can be a challenge. Sometimes we wish that parenting came with a manual, especially one that tells us how to wrangle a two year old with the ability to demolish a living room in under two minutes. With this in mind I have compiled a list of 10 easy steps for getting ready for your day when you have a toddler in your life.

  1. Decide what your plan for the day is. Do you need to leave the house? Will you be having any visitors today? Then, yes you need to put pants on. And a bra, maybe.
  2. Realize that you haven’t showered in about three days and even the dog doesn’t want to come near you anymore.
  3. Try (unsuccessfully) to get your little one to take a nap so that you can enjoy the peace and quiet of a warm shower.
  4. Check the time and notice that you now only have 30 minutes to get ready or you will be late.
  5. Consider going back to bed instead.
  6. Say “Let’s get a shower with Mommy!” in an attempt to get clean somehow.
  7. Stand under the water for five minutes while your toddler tries to climb up your legs and screams for “boobies!”
  8. Attempt to put on clothes until you notice said toddler pooping on your white carpet. Then, try to remain calm when they step in it.
  9. After cleaning up poop, chasing your little naked monster around the house, and wrangling them into a diaper throw on the first thing you see that doesn’t stink.
  10. Decide that everything can wait and put off leaving the house until tomorrow

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Life with a toddler can be crazy, but it’s also precious. Live it up and don’t forget to laugh.

A Writer Writes


It’s been about 9 months since I have updated this particular blog. For that I am sorry. I have been sort of busy trying out this new thing called mothering. I really think I am getting the hang of it. But there is one thing I truly miss and that is keeping up with my writing. Don’t get me wrong, I write all the time for school or in emails or texts, but I don’t usually take the time I need to write, to practice my craft, and to share my stories.

Today I turned in my final project for my 10th Masters class. That is 10 out of 12 meaning that I only have two classes left until graduation and both of those are workshops. I almost can’t believe it. It doesn’t seem like it is really that close. Originally, I was supposed to graduate by December 2014, but I took off some time when my Nana came to visit me in Japan and last summer when we moved back home. I didn’t want to waste my classes by not paying attention. I think that this program turned out really well for me. I learned alot about research, literature, writing papers, and then I learned a lot about writing, critiquing, and sharing. To believe that I am finally in my “thesis” classes seems to good to be true (I say “thesis” because it is not like a doctoral thesis in any way. It is more about the writing).

As I was looking over the course descriptions for my next class I read the introduction from the professor and this is what struck me, “A writer writes…” She was saying that graduation, publication, or accolades do not make the writer. The only thing that makes a writer is if he writes. Most days I’m just Momma, but today I want to be a writer. I want to be a writer on more days because I love it and I miss it.

I am excited for the opportunity that this class is providing because it will give me that push to write every day. I will be working on my memoir, To The Ends of the Earth. (This is a very old, very rough draft so please bear with me if you choose to read it). I already have close to 30 pages of content that I can expand on and really work with. I hope one day to publish and share my stories with the world.

So for now, I’m back in the blogging world and I hope that I don’t let myself leave for so long. I have so many stories to tell. (My little girl is almost one years old!). I think I’ll leave those for another day.

Aly

Waiting for labor


Today, we are officially 39 weeks and 3 days. That is 4 days from our estimated due date of December 12….for anyone wondering pregnancy is counted at a measure of 40 weeks gestation (10 months) I think they say 9 months because most people don’t find out they are pregnant until a month or two into their pregnancy anyway. The general consensus (as far I can tell) is that doctors count 40 weeks from your last menstrual cycle with actual conception being at week 2 not day 1. Why? Well I think that probably before all this technology, ultrasounds and what not, women would just generally have their babies about 40 weeks after their last period so there ya go. My take on pregnancy haha. (DISCLAIMER: That is my general non scientific description…if you want to know scientific, medical information please consult a doctor.)

We found out at 5 weeks (so 5 weeks after my last cycle started). It wasn’t anything crazy for me, I had just been feeling sick and kind of achy for a week or two. I wasn’t throwing up or anything like that, I just felt….not myself. So on a whim I took a test I was very surprised, but beyond excited. I went into our room and jumped on Richie and was screaming for him to wake up (it was very early in the morning). I can’t say I was very dignified haha. I then went to the store bought a whole bunch of tests and took like five more. It was official I was pregnant. We confirmed at the doctor’s office and that started our journey to our meet our Sophia.

Now, here we are 9 months later waiting very impatiently for her arrival. I’m more tired than anything else. I’ve been seeing a counselor twice a week to help with my anxiety and I can honestly say that it has been a very good thing for me. I’m in a happier and calmer place, which is good since our life is about to change completely! The only thing and I am going to be completely honest here, is that it is HARD to be this pregnant. I’ve gained about 22 lbs total and I’m feeling it on my joints and my back. Plus, there is a little human that likes to sit on my bladder so half my life is spent hanging out in the nearest restroom.

I’ve been doing some walking with my hubby and last night I spent a few hours dancing around in hopes that Sophia Bug would get the hint that we were ready for her to be born. According to my doctor, I have no signs of labor just yet but at least little bug is head down (it is considered breech if a baby is not positioned head down for delivery). The truth is she will come when she is ready and doctors will generally leave you be until you pass 41 weeks and get close to 42 weeks (that is two weeks after your estimated due date) as long as there are no medical issues. In wishful thinking, I would love it if she came sooner rather than later. First because we want to meet her and have been waiting for her and secondly, because I’m becoming a grouch (sorry, hubby!). I think at this point, many women start to feel anxious and a little apprehensive and I don’t blame them. You’ve spent the better part of a year growing this tiny miracle and you are ready for them.

I’m also doing a lot of resting because labor is kind of like a marathon and you need your energy. With the support of my husband and my wonderful doula, I am going to be delivering naturally and unmedicated so I need to make sure that I am calm, as rested as I can be and in a positive place. I’m honestly not afraid of labor or delivery, but I’m definitely impatient. I think I have always been because I was born 11 weeks early and couldn’t wait to meet the world. I don’t  have any great insights except that I want to meet my baby more than anything. I knew from the moment I met her Daddy that he was it for me and now I get to have the best thing ever, a baby who was created in love and is a piece of both of us. That’s why she is so special, she is a miracle and she’s both of us.

And just so he doesn’t forget….I love you buggle, you are truly my best friend, my other half and my lighthouse in the storm….I can’t wait for us to meet our baby and start this beautiful chapter in our lives and in our love together <3.

So if you are a praying person, say a prayer for a (soon) safe, healthy and positive labor and birth for our little family. If you see me out there walking and walking, words of encouragement, praise and chocolate are welcome! Hopefully the next post you see will be about our princess 🙂

Overcoming


If anxiety seems like a theme in my writing this week, that’s because it is. Every day my little bug grows bigger and stronger and so does my anxiety and the odd part is that I don’t even worry about her (well, I do, but mostly about other things). Mostly I worry about things out of my control and it all comes from the fact that  I am afraid that some unknown force will keep us here longer. Which is the root of it, I’m homesick. I want to go home, and every day I have a gnawing fear that, that day will never come. Silly, I know because every day the sun rises and sets and another day passes, but it seems like that day may never arrive.

Logically, there is nothing wrong with living here. I have a beautiful house and puppy and a job that pays me to go to school and write things all day. The beaches are beautiful, the weather is warm, its like the paradise you’ve always imagined, but I guess at heart I’m like Dorothy and there really is no place like home. I’m trying a few things, meditation, talking to the doctor, deep breathing techniques…hopefully, this will help keep me relaxed and focused throughout the next few months and until we can get back home.

I would ask for a favor from my friends: please when you say your prayers, say an extra one for me and help me remember that things are never as bad as they seem. I could use a bit of Grace right now. Thank you. <3.

Lighthouse in the Storm


This week has been pretty stressful for me, I was working on perfecting my article, trying to get school work done and not let my anxiety overwhelm me. Unfortunately, at times I do let myself get overwhelmed so it ended up not being a pleasant few days for me. Through it all, my husband has kept me sane and happy. I consider myself lucky to have a best friend and an equal partner in my marriage. I’ve probably told the story 1000 times, but I’ll tell it again for good measure.

We met through a phone call. I answered the phone of a mutual friend of ours and he was on the other end of the line. Later, I messaged him on Facebook to apologize for hijacking his phone call and to introduce myself.  We exchanged phone numbers and began talking every day on the phone and Skype. Whether it was fates or coincidence or just plain luck, this was it for me. Three weeks after that first fateful conversation, Richie drove 8 hours to my front door. I was so excited when he pulled up that I didn’t speak and then tackled him in a bear hug. As cheesy as it sounds, I met my best friend and soul mate in person that day. That same weekend, glossing over the embarrassing details, I told him (after a few glasses of wine) that we would be married and have beautiful blonde haired, blue eyed, tan skin babies. Although, he thought I was slightly crazy, something must have sounded right about that because we spent the next four months traveling between North Carolina and Maryland before I packed up and moved there to be with him. Within a month, we were married and preparing to move to Japan. Now, almost three years later, he is still my best friend, soul mate, rock and light in all my stormy days. And, one of the best parts so far is that we are about to have our own (possibly blonde haired, blue eyed tan skin) baby who will be the most loved and adored child and who every day will know what it means to love because of her mommy and daddy.  Those who know me know that I am full of passion, craziness, anxiety, care and often have a million things going at once, but that’s okay because Richie loves me for that and encourages me to be myself. He also holds me when I’m weak, comforts me when I’m sad and celebrates me when I’m happy and all the things in between.

I may not say it enough darling, but you save me….every single day. Thank you for being you and thank you for keeping me grounded and most of all, thank you for the life you have given us, the future we have yet to encounter and our little miracle. I love you forever and always. A million mer days.

Photo Credit: SCN Photography

Photo Credit: SCN Photography

Photo Credit: SCN Photography

Our First Wedding Anniversary