My Teenage Trip

My jobs in high school during the summer were as a babysitter and a lifeguard at our local pool. I would babysit and do miscellaneous things to raise extra money. The money I did earn was used for my school clothes, shoes, odds and ends things and of course I indulged in the local pizza shop too. I even had hand me downs or borrowed dresses for dances and such because I didn’t want to ask for money from my parents all the time. I didn’t want to bother them.

I grew up with several children in my house, not getting new stuff all the time was routine. Being independent was what I knew how to do. My dad was and is my hero, who I have looked up to the most in my life. He stuck it out with all of us kids, while my adopted mother left us all, no goodbye, no words at all…just…nothing. She…just…left.

I tried my best to help and defend and protect my siblings but it wasn’t easy. Yes, we fought, argued and got into some trouble at times, but we still Loved each other at the end of the day. We grew up rough and hard but we grew up with respect and morals (for the most part). I had a healthy fear of my Dad and respected him very much. I wanted to make sure my two sisters were safe and taken care of because they couldn’t defend themselves as much as I could defend them. I know I was aching and sad inside from our parents splitting up, so I know my sisters were too and I wish I was able to protect them from the evils of life and I tried to be there as much as I could. We all have different ways of showing our sadness or anger. And not letting it out in the proper way isn’t healthy so you learn throughout life how to cope or deal and manage these emotions. Sometimes I took it out on my siblings or my dad or even my friends, not knowing the damage I could have caused. I was young and broken.

During my junior year of high school my parents were separating. One week “mom” stayed at the house, the next week my dad did. I remember lots of things but the most memorable was “The Attic.” It seemed like a lot of nights my older brother, Bryan would have numerous people over and being loud above me in his room (a.k.a. the attic). I could literally hear every footstep and everyone yelling and playing games and such. They would knock on my door and run up the stairs, be loud and obnoxious and then beg me to make Mac n cheese sometimes. So it was always something growing up and NEVER A DULL MOMENT. I do miss the chaos sometimes.

I had to work hard in school because I was slower at learning than the other kids. I joined in on sports and excelled in them. I played soccer, cheerleading and did track. I enjoyed playing sports a lot!

Then, along cane track season! One of my favorites! Running let’s me clear my mind and allows me to process thing better. I was running the 400meter hurdles, 100meter hurdles, the 4×4 relay and the 1600meter relay this year and was doing really well in all events. My coach had trained me so hard for these moments since 6th grade when I tested up for Varsity. I trained so hard that I was presented with an opportunity to join a training team to possibly be in the Olympics some day!

It was a big meet. I was so focused on the 400meter hurdles. It was time for me to show that I can do it and deserve to be on the training team!…..The race started! “BANG” and I was off! I was doing so good! Every step was on point and my breathing was perfect! Until… I fell on the 7th hurdle when my trail leg caught the tip of my toe on the bar. I lost my balance, my spikes dug into my ankle and I rolled in my lane. I got up fast and saw everyone pass me. My eyes were glazed with tears and I kept running and finished even though I was a little hurt and…I finished last. No Olympic training for me…My dreams were shattered in that moment. I went and sat in the middle of the field all by myself for a long time with a shirt over my head. I cried and cried and cried. My buddy Ener was comforting me. She knew how bad I wanted this. And then I hugged her mom and cried again. It was a very hard day. I let my coach down, my dad, my aunt they were all there and my teammates. Failure… again not able to accomplish much and not getting anywhere in life because I didn’t pass this test. That’s how I felt. So… I just had to throw it over my shoulder in my “bag of shit that bothered me, but couldn’t talk about.” And I moved on.

I went on and started college at MCC in Rochester,NY. No soccer, no track…. I did cheerleading for a short period on college and then quit. Shortly after school started, I was finally able to sign the papers and I enlisted in the U.S. ARMY on October 1, 2004. I felt like I was doing something for myself and it made me feel proud. After my first year was done at college, I left for my basic training and AIT at Ft. Leonard Wood, Missouri in May of 2005. I was ready to start a new chapter of my life, but I was also scared inside too.


Welcome to the Army

When you have so much on your mind it all starts smashing together. That’s a boggled mind that I have a lot.

I have to be honest. I have not written lately because I have been preoccupied with well…..life….mentally and physically and emotionally. I start to write and then I get going with a project or playing with the baby, or something shiny on Amazon or watch a movie with the fiancé instead. You know….life! 🙂

So we left off last blog when I left for basic training. It was end of May, 2005 when I left for Ft. LeonardWood Missouri. It was only the third time I had been on a trip on a plane so it was kind of exciting and I was very nervous too because I wasn’t sure what to expect at all.

The first week or so was in processing. Lots and lots of marching, cadences, reading the soldiers hand book, sitting, waiting, stand up, wait in line, eat, sleep and repeat. OH! I almost forgot, PT (physical training) every morning at the ass crack of dawn! Good thing I was young and in shape at that time. I would NOT survive that part of life at my age now.

After in processing for a week or so, we all loaded up our bags, and crammed into a cattle truck. Yes, like the ones to herd cattle. One big green duffel bag on my front and one on my back. We were traveling to our destination and it was a really hot day, so you can imagine how a cattle truck smelled with 20 plus bodies packed tight and sweating a lot. YUP! DELICIOUS!

The truck finally stopped. COMMENCE FIERCE YELLING!

“Get your fucking ass off that truck private!”

“Move your fat ass!”

“Line up, HURRY UP LET’S GO!”

“Both bags in front of you!” “Dress right dress to the soldier in front of you and the right of you!”

“Are you eyeing me shit head?”

“I thought I told you to look me in my eyes?” “Why aren’t you looking at me in the eyes?” “You better stop looking at me!”

So many demands all at once while running to your spot to stand at attention until everyone else arrived. My heart was pounding and I felt like I was in a movie. But it was definitely real.

Meanwhile, I was sweating from places I NEVER knew of that day. My heart raced and I followed the directions of the Drill Sergeants (DS). I had a good knowledge at this point of what to do and what not to do. Stay in line, eyes forward, and breathe quietly. Got it, too easy. Or so I thought.

“Look what we have here!!”

“We have a female who decided she needed her nails done for this special occasion!” “Private, do you need nail clippers?” She was to the left of me. I wanted to look so bad, but I dare not move or else I would be next. My eyes and head stayed forward.

She says “No I do not, my nails are fine.” Well the DS had a different idea about her nails. DS said “Well princess, here in the ARMY we have regulations and according to AR 670-1, you are out of regulation with those long ass nose picking nails!” “So let me ask you again, do you need nail clippers?” Well let me tell you what, she clipped those nails off so quick.

It seemed like hours we stood in this hot sun while everyone was coming in and lining up and taking commands from the “tower.” Once we were done being screamed at, we were told to bring our bags inside, now mind you EVERYTHING was rushed. Like not now but RIGHT NOW they wanted you in and out of that building and they sure as hell timed us. We got smoked already so imagine again, 50 plus soldiers with two bags each running up the stairs to place them in a room. ALL OF THE BAGS ARE THE SAME COLOR. Lots of us were confused and disoriented and probably dehydrated so our common sense wasn’t in effect at this point. But we ran in and ran out so fast! That was day one. Holy Shit! My mind was blown at this life for me.

The days started to blend together. We had PT every morning, breakfast chow, classes, lunch, classes and then dinner. The last meal of the night. No snacks in between. Lights out at 2200 hours. And fire guard every night was rotated. I definitely paid someone to do it for me one time and to shine my shoes a few times. That just tells you how old I am by the fact I had to shine my shoes in basic training. Don’t do the math hahaha.

Finally we got to have our first phone call! It was at least four weeks since I last spoke to my family. I called home on the payphone, using a phone card and I was timed. It rang! I was so excited to hear anyone’s voice! It rang and rang and rang. “Times up!” I slammed down the phone and had to go to the end of the line. As I stood there this huge lump filled my throat and tears were falling down my face as I stared beyond the building in front of me. But you bet your sweet ass I didn’t make a sound. I just cried there in silence. All I wanted was to talk to my family and give them my address and no one answered me…. no one. Anger immediately filled me up inside as I tried to fight back the tears. The last person was done and we marched back to the barracks. I didn’t have any clue when we would be able to go back to those phones so I decided to write a letter instead and give my Dad my address. I really missed him.

Have you ever listened to the song “Letters from home” by John Michael Montgomery? Well go listen to it. He nailed it on the head for me. From Basic training to when I went to war. It always makes me cry.

Here’s the link to the YouTube video of the song. https://youtu.be/X75sVw0xH2c

As always, thank you for your patience, thank you for the read! Don’t forget to subscribe!

Also, if you have a dollar to spare, please consider donating to my Brother in arms SSG James Pastor. His house was flooded and he has massive damage to his house and needs repairs beyond his wallet size. Anything will help. Thank you in advance! https://www.gofundme.com/f/ssg-pastor-disaster-fund&rcid=r01-156651807699-0effa33a92d942be&pc=ot_co_campmgmt_m

Breaking Down Walls

There’s always something in the back of your mind that sometimes resurfaces and you can’t seem to get a grip of it. It comes up again and again and when it finally smacks you in the face it’s like a light went off!

I have known Jax for a long time. I went to high school with his sisters and was in sports with Bryna and my little sister, Jasmine was friends with their little sister Keke. Jax was also good friends with my brother Jared who passed away in 2008 (I’ll touch on this later as well). I moved away  for quite a few years since I graduated high school. I would come home and visit and every time I did Jax and I have always linked up and hung out. It was pretty much every time I was home for my military leave since I graduated high school. He would cook me dinner, he would take me on nice “dates” like going four wheeling, swimming, steak dinners on the grill, movies and just relaxing fun. You name it, this kid did it and it was so sweet! 

I was young, dumb and stupid then. I wasn’t ready for a relationship with him because I had other things that I thought were more important at that time. So me, being a jerk I was, I would ditch him at every “date” and come up with excuses to have to leave. I even had my little sister call me crying as a decoy to leave early on the dinner he had set up for us.

 It wasn’t until I moved back home almost 10 years later and we hung out again a few times, and that’s when that “something in the back of your mind” smacked me in my face! I finally put my guard down and allowed him in. I was ready to love him and care for him and for him to love and care for me. He knew I had a daughter and I didn’t let them meet for a while. It wasn’t until she came back from her dad’s place did they meet for the first time. And boy did they hit it off! It was so heart-warming to see him interact with her and her with him. Jax was a school teacher back in the day and I already knew he was great with kids, so I had no doubt he would be great with my daughter. Jax knew from the beginning, I was NOT looking for a father for my daughter, she has a great Dad. I wanted him to be able to love her and I together and start our own family someday with him. For him to be a father like figure in her life was a plus for us all.

Ever since that day, they’re like two peas in a pod! She seriously loves him and it makes my heart melt over and over again. I have completely fallen in Love with him and I think I knew I  Loved him deep inside, all those years. But I was stupid and young and too dumb to realize that every time we met up he was trying to swoon me over with all his antics and I just didn’t read the signs.

Meeting for the first time
My heart melted
She was so excited!

Here we are now almost 5 years later! I ended up moving to Pittsburgh where Jax lived. I found a job working at the hospital and have moved onto another amazing career since then. Shortly after moving down, Jax and I got our first apartment together with my daughter. Boy was she excited when she returned from her dad’s she had her own room and she was all ready to start kindergarten.

And now we have our first home, we’ve added a dog, Arya and about 17 months ago we added our son!

Boy have we grown since the night we met…again!!

As Always….. PLEASE BE KIND! 

This is a later post than normal due to the fact I am out for some Army stuff for two weeks so I have limited time to get on to do this, but thank you for your patience! Much Love!

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Packing Bags

I can remember almost every time I had to pack up and move.

First one I remember is it was a big day for our household. It was moving day (in your best “it’s coronation day” voice from Ana on the movie Frozen)! We were moving to the BIG house on Main Street. And again, what I do remember is coming into the house and we not only were moving into a bigger house but we also acquired three foster kids that came with the house. So I had two new brothers and one new sister and a new house. Apparently we got to have Jared, Haley and Tommy when we moved into this house. And it was GINORMOUS. So many rooms! So much space! It was like a mansion! Check out the photos!

This is after my Dad sold the house someone re-painted it white
Growing up our house was tan with the dark brown trim
We used to camp out on the front porch sometimes
These were filled with books, encyclopedias, dictionaries educational books and so much more

I’m going to put an “f” by the foster kids to help keep up on who’s who. My life growing up was super chaotic so it’s easy to get confused.

So to get caught up of who’s in the house at this point we have… Jared(f), Haley(f) Jill, Clare(f), Tommy(f), Jake, Bryan, myself, Carol, Rupert, Laura, Jasmine and Tina(f).

I shared a room with my 4 other sisters at one point. Two of us on the top bunk and two on the bottom bunk and the oldest of the room, Jill got the big bed to herself. At bedtime sometimes us four girls that were on the bunk beds would get a little rowdy before we fell asleep. I can remember one night I was on the top bunk with my sister Laura and on the bottom bunk was Jasmine and Carol. Carol had fallen asleep, so I decided I was going to get markers (the washable kind) and make a long line connecting them that went down to the bottom bunk and I could draw on Carol’s arm while she was sleeping. Laura and I laughed and laughed it was funny because she didn’t wake up. When Carol woke up in the morning we saw that it ended up getting all over her face because she slept on her arm and it rubbed onto her face. We laughed so hard. I definitely got in trouble for that one from Carol but it was one of those that mom and dad didn’t find out because we had sister secrets.

Now there’s another time, same sleeping situation Laura and I on the top bunk. Jasmine and Carol on the bottom. The three of them were horsing around and I was actually trying to sleep. I ended up falling asleep only to be woken by being pulled off the top bunk and getting a spanking. Apparently the girls were being way too loud and it was bedtime so that made Dad mad because they weren’t settling down. So Dad, without knowing who was responsible spanked all of us! Hahaha. I laugh at it looking back because I’m sure I deserved it for something I didn’t get in trouble for like the incident above with Carol and the markers. But boy at that time was I mad about it! Karma got me.

I have memories of going to Letchworth State Park with my family. We would go to picnics for adopted kids and see others in the area like us. We would go to Ponderosa (buffet style eating) as a family every once in a blue moon. McDonald’s was also quite an adventure for us and felt like a privilege. Of course not everyone can fit in the van at the same time so we would use two vehicles or take the little kids first and the next time the big kids went. We made it work.

Not everything about growing up was awful as it can seem, I hit on a lot of the hard times. There were actually a lot of fun and great times that I had with my adopted family. Sometimes the worst times are what sticks out the most though.

We took a super fun family vacation once. We were going to Florida to visit my sister because she was graduating from college. I remember it felt like Christmas. My parents packed all of our bags we got the house ready we got the van ready and we were on our way. Laura cried on the plane because her ears were hurting so bad. Other than that I don’t remember the flights. Ooooh! We got gum! That was cool. When we got to Florida it was hot. It was so hot I got a little sunburnt and so did my brother which is unusual but Florida sun is so different than New York sun. We went on a boat ride we went to Universal Studios (I think?) we went to her graduation we walked around it was so much fun! We even learned what the red ants do. Just a warning to stay away from them. I love these memories because it made me feel like a real family and it makes my heart smile. Sometimes when you pack a bag it’s not a bad thing. It can lead to an amazing adventure.

Thanks for the read! More to come next week when I fast forward to current events! Always be kind. 🥰♥️

Me and my brother Jake on Halloween

When one door closes another door opens

You were given this life because you were strong enough to live it.


I remember there were quite a few kids in the house I was in. Some were adopted and some were foster kids (temporary). We had the older crew…. the girls were Carla, Kim and Jill. Then there was the middle crew….Jake, myself, Bryan and Carol and then there were the youngest three. Laura, Rupert and baby in the belly that Margaret was carrying. Carla was my dads daughter from a previous marriage, Kim was a foster girl in our home during this time. Jake, myself and Jill were all siblings adopted together. Bryan and Laura were from my adopted parents together and the baby was on the way. Carol and Rupert were siblings who were adopted as well together. Our mom Margaret was getting closer to having the baby and it was an exciting time for me.

September 5th was such a BIG DAY. My baby sister was born!!!!! Her name is Jasmine. She was so beautiful and full of spunk! Her cute curly hair and the way her baby belly stuck out when she walked in her diaper was absolutely adorable. I pretty much claimed her as mine since the minute she came home. I would feed her, help bathe her, rock her and put her to sleep so…. she was my new best friend. She knew nothing about me yet she loved me any ways. I loved her like she was my own child. I vowed to myself to always take care of her and protect her. I would kiss her boo boos, and teach her the A-B-C’s and her 1-2-3’s. She was my new pride and joy. Even though I didn’t birth her, she was mine.

When I was in fourth grade, I found out that I was not very good at reading and math. I couldn’t do times tables very well at all and the “mad math minutes” were always brutal for me. Some of us kids were in the Catholic school at this time. One day in the middle of class, the principal (Sister Anita) came in and called my name to the door. She and my teacher (Mrs. Charles) talked to me in the hall, and told me some news. It was like a dream, very blurry but felt so real. She told me that I would be going to a new class today and that it would be better for me and my learning. I thought for sure that they couldn’t handle me with my brothers Jake and Bryan all in one classroom. I had to walk back into the classroom and gather my stuff in front of everyone and go to another classroom across the hall. Back to third grade I went and boy was it embarrassing. I had to be brought up to the front of the classroom as a “new student”. I sat down and settled in my new desk and choked back my tears, but it didn’t work. Down they came, as I sat trying to pay attention through the blurriness and controlled breathing I had to do, so I wasn’t making a sound. It was very upsetting and I felt stupid, alone, less than and not good enough. This was my first time I had to mentally tell myself to be tough and strong, so I never mentioned it and threw it over my shoulder in my invisible “bag of shit that bothered me, but couldn’t talk about” while I was a kid. Never talked about it again until now.

My first (and still to this day) best friend and I met when we were neighbors. We were 7 or so. Her name is Kara. We would hang out every day either at her house or mine or up at camp with her family there. She went to the public school and I was at the catholic school so we didn’t see each other during school until we were transferred to the public school. We would have sleep overs and bond-fires, bike rides, playground fun and so much more!

I used to get my butt beat as a child (CPS whistle blowers need to shut up). Because I was doing something wrong obviously. Of course this makes any kid super mad when you get in trouble. So I would rebel. I would do dumb things, I’d take my adopted moms glasses and hide them. I’d fight with her about going to school, I’d cry if I didn’t get my way and Lord knows that didn’t help. My parents were strict. Very strict. I mean they had kids running around our house constantly,wouldn’t you be strict too? We learned really quickly what happens when you misbehave. And when dad says “it’s quiet time or bed time,” you shut your mouth and watched T.V. or you went to bed. Dad’s one liners are our favorites because we still use them to this day. 😊 I have a healthy fear of my parents from their discipline and morals growing up.

There was a few dumb things you do as kids in a small group. Obviously I wasn’t perfect. So, ah, just for your future reference for your children. Rocks and cars with windows do shatter. Enough said. My brother Jake and Bryan know what incident this is. Seemed fun at the time and looking back we can laugh. But man was I scared shitless of the punishment to follow these types of incidents. Ya live and ya learn right?

Another memory that rolls into my mind from time to time…When I was in middle school, my parents were starting to separate. They’d argue and she’d always leave or be drunk. It was not easy to know these things and not talk about them out loud. But, I was old enough to know what was going on and smart enough to not ask questions. I even ran away at one point to my friends house to get away from the chaos (don’t worry it wasn’t far). Thank God Mrs. G answered her door that night. Their was also other traumatic events in our family that happened that I won’t discuss. Some things are private to me and my family. We all have wounds that aren’t meant to be re-opened. My once home that I longed to be a part of was now becoming torn apart. And I had to be strong.

Soon enough I came to know some new people in my life…

This is where Trina and her husband Gus come into my memories. I became closer when I was dating her nephew during this time, and ended up watching their two girls (Marie and Mindy) on a steady basis. They were only babies at the time, maybe 2-3 years old. I became so close to them, hence why this is why they’re like my second family to me. They took me on family vacations, Thursdays were our girls day, while Gus went golfing we would go have girls’ time! Weekends were going here and there and having a blast! We went up to camp, we went to the pool, baseball, football and basketball games, wrestling tournaments and all of it. Like a family! I felt very connected and Loved. This was my home away from home. This was my safe place. I felt completely connected and comfortable being there. It felt good to be loved, again.

The Impact of a Memory.

Have you ever had an incident happen that impacted you for the rest of your life? Even as an adult? Same. My first incident of an experience that had a huge impact of my life was when I was 5 years old.

I was taken from my parents when I was 5. My recollection might be not what actually happened. I will never know the truth. So here’s my side of my story.

It was a bright and sunny day and I was playing with my brothers and sisters on a nice day. I had on a dress and my hair was down and my curls were everywhere. My brother was playing with his drum set as I was curled up on the chair with the puppy falling fast asleep. I woke up to loud banging and crying and screaming. Someone grabbed me and put me in a car as I was kicking and screaming for my mommy. In the back seat was myself, my brother and my sister. I didn’t know it at the time but this would be the first memory that I can recall that changed my life forever and for the better.

There’s moments in your life that you can remember and look back on and be thankful for because if that didn’t happen you wouldn’t be who you are or where you are today because of that one moment. Some of what I’m going to be talking about in my blog are these things. Some other topics I’m going to be talking about are events that happened throughout my life that had made me who I am today. This is more of a therapeutic thing for myself to do, I’m not looking to make this a career. I’m not looking to make money I’m just looking to write. And maybe someone out there might be going through something similar as well. Stay tuned for more and thanks for reading. Oh! And, BE KIND!