It all started out as a normal day on Thursday the 25th of January until my boyfriend sent me a text telling me to pack an overnight bag for myself and my daughter and prepare the pets for an overnight stay at their Grandma’s house. Naturally I’m thinking ‘Okay, why?’. Little did I know that the question of why would go unanswered until the next day half way through our trip. Michael did not help my anxiety at all by refusing to tell me why but his intentions were sweet.
We were supposed to go on a hike the next day but we ended up having to cancel due to no baby sitter so the fact that he still had plans to go out of town with me was something new. Especially since whatever it was he had planned was apparently kid friendly now. So I do the dutiful thing and pack the bags, get the kennels together, and prepare the house for 24 hours of vacancy. Michael gets home from work the next day and we head out. 2 hours into the drive he finally tells me that we are going to St. Louis but still won’t tell me where. We eventually pulled up to the zoo and I finally relaxed a little bit. The weather was perfect so we walked around the zoo for a couple hours before getting back on the road en-route to our next destination. Skylar was having a blast and Michael was making my heart melt all over again with how interactive he was with her. We stopped by the gift shop on the way out and he bought her a cheetah that she still carries around everywhere to this day. It was a good zoo trip.
After walking around the zoo we headed to the City Museum. I had seen pictures of it but nothing could prepare me for the amount of beauty that I found there. It was all metal and hard lines but delicately beautiful. Skylar and Michael were both having the time of their lives climbing in and out of the structures. This Mamma is terrified of heights unless it’s a roller coaster so any smiles that I wore that day was strictly for them. Michael was so patient with Skylar when it came to some of the obstacles. “You are brave, you are strong, you can do this” was our mantra for the day and thankfully it has stuck since. The day was glorious.
After that we headed back to a hotel that just so happened to be located right next to the arch. It was perfect. We ate dinner at the hotel restaurant and hit the hay from exhaustion. The next day we headed back home a little sore and bruised but the bond that we acquired can never be replaced. What started out as a surprise trip turned into our first family vacation that I couldn’t forget if you paid me to. All in all it was a great 24 hours.
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As I sit here alone (except for two mangy mutts and one hell cat) I can’t help but ponder over this past year. A lot has happened but I can’t help smiling about it. Okay, let’s be honest for a second.. This year has probably been one of the hardest, craziest, most out of control, beautiful, wonderful years of my life. Rather than go into an untold amount of details that will put you guys to sleep I will just sum it up real quick:
- I got dumped. Over a text message. In the middle of the night. By a douche bag.
- I got (what felt like) abandoned by a family member and rendered homeless.
- I moved into my own two bedroom house in a shady neighborhood. And when I say shady I mean I literally was woken up multiple times from people trying to rob me and even had my American flag stolen off my porch. Yikes.
- I was betrayed by my best friend.
- I got played. Again. (You would think I would learn)
- I lost 60lbs. WOW!
- I met an amazing man who has taught me what it means to have a family of my own.
- I changed jobs. Praise Jesus!
- I moved in with the love of my life an hour away from my toxic past.
- I found my happy place.
So to say that a lot has happened in the past year would be an understatement. A lot of heart break happened this year and my eyes were opened. When I say “opened” imagine the blinding light of the sunshine on a flat plane of snow for as far as you can see in the arctic after waking up with 10,000 midgets with hammers going to town on your brain with a vengeance and no Tylenol in sight.. Too dramatic? Not only was my heart hurt by boys, friends, and family, but most of all my hope was killed. I never felt so low about myself. I didn’t have a home for my daughter, no significant other (or anyone for that matter), and no hope that things were going to get any better. It was a massive snowball effect that I just couldn’t seem to change the course of no matter how hard I tried. But then a light at the end of the tunnel began to emerge.
I found a friend that took me and my daughter in. Then I found another friend whose sister in-law was renting out her house and by some miracle let me have it. Then I met Michael. He slowly became my best friend. We took a vacation together and I fell for him instantly no matter how hard I tried not to. This man just seemed to make everything seem so insignificant. He took my problems and turned them into solutions. He stepped up and became a father figure to Skylar where her own father sat down. I will be eternally grateful to whatever force it was that put this man in my path because without him I really don’t know where I would be.
There were a lot of downs on this roller coaster known as 2017 but in my eyes the ups outweighed them hand over fist. I can’t believe where I was mentally and physically a year ago compared to now. I’ve matured a lot and learned to take responsibility for my faults. I’ve learned to grow. The biggest thing I’ve learned is how to forgive. Never forget, but forgive. At the end of the day your family is your family whether you like it or not. Learning to forgive has lightened my heart and made it possible to be genuinely happy with my life. It helped me put into perspective what exactly I have. I have a roof over my head, a warm bed (when Michael doesn’t steal the covers), food in my belly, a beautiful and amazingly smart four year old princess, and a man that loves me even on my bad days. I could not be more blessed.
So 2017, you’ve been a trip dude. I would say that you will be missed as a whole but that would be a lie. The first six months you taught me a lot of hard lessons but the last six have been some of the best of my life. Thank you for the blessings you’ve bestowed upon me and thank you for teaching me about hard times. It is my greatest pleasure though to tell you to kick rocks. I am excited to see what 2018 has to offer and if she’s anything like you, it will be an experience that I wouldn’t trade for the world. So without further adieu…. FUCK YOU 2017, GTFO!