Thursday, June 27, 2013

May Cara Box

I am still new to the Blogger world and am constantly looking for Blogs about Blogging (kinda ironic huh?) anyways on one of my random blog reads I discovered the Cara Box Program over at Wifessionals.  When you sign up you are assigned two partners, one you are sending a box to and one who is sending you a box. Who doesn't love getting a Care Package?  Each month has a theme and May's theme was Carnival.

Throughout the month you get to know both bloggers and then by the 20th you send out your box and blog about by the end of the month.  Great way to meet other bloggers and get our blog out there more.  Plus I LOVE getting packages (I say that already?).

I sent my box over to Brianna at Faithful Footprints.  I found out she has a soft spot for Date Nights and I immediately knew what to put in her box.  I made up a Carnival themed date night for her, I had so much fun shopping for her!  Once her box reveal post is up I will try to link up to (btw can someone explain Blog buttons to me please!?!).  I regret that I had to send out the box a few days after our move so I didn't get to put as many instructions in it for her as I wanted but hopefully she still enjoyed it.

I received my box from Jade over at Life as I know it.  She sent me an adorable collection of Carnival themed goodies including Cotton Candy flavored cookie mix & frosting, a Stamp, some Stickers, a sparkly frame and nail polish.

July's theme is Nautical and one of my partners is in Richmond this time.  How fun!  I can't wait to brainstorm some fun surprises for her.  Have any suggestions?

Friday, June 7, 2013

What defines a Father?

My family is full of step-relatives, half-siblings and people I call relatives that aren't "technically" related to me.  Among all the obvious reasons, my wedding was an amazing occasion for me because (almost) all these people were all in one place at one time, which never happens.  I am a really lucky woman to be loved by so many people.

This picture was later in the evening so it is missing quite a few family members.
With Father's Day looming the question of what defines a Dad has been looming in my head a lot. Until five years ago, I had only ever seen two photos of my biological father (let's call him SD for short) and had no idea I had 3 half-siblings.  The event of me meeting SD and why I am not  currently in contact with him is for another post (maybe).  I call my Mom's Best Friend from college "Dad" and consider John (My step-dad for about 10 years) the man who raised me during adolescence.  If John was still present in my life, I am pretty sure I would of had both of them walk me down the aisle.  I tried desperately to track John down before the big day with no luck.

Pardon the Rehearsal Photo, thanks to my bad photographer I have no photos from the day of,
thanks Tzeira for capturing this one!
But what defines a Dad?  Do the words Daddy, Dad, Father all mean the same thing to you?  Obviously if both your biological parents are still married and the only two people who raised you, this is an easy question for you but it is one I struggled with a lot.  I got very angry when SD tried to insert himself in my life and have me call him Dad.  He was and still is a stranger to me and I think part of that (on his side) is because I would not let him "have the title" of Dad.  To me, that word is earned and not a right (like drivers licenses, right? ha).  This all probably sounds silly to anyone who has never dealt with this, including SD, but it came down to reasons I won't divulge here. My family was behind me in the decision and I am glad I finally met him because I was able to meet one of my half-sisters who I am so glad is in my life now.  I was also able to see why my Mother and entire family are not a fan of SD, he is just not a nice or good person.  One of the joys of choosing who your family is, is that I don't have to have people like that in my life.  I second guess my decision every so often but Corey backs me up and reminds me of all the good I have in my life because of this decision.  I am sure when we have kids I may change my mind, but for now it is the right decision and I am completely at peace with it.

There is no one I would of rather danced with for my father-daughter dance.  Photo credit: Tzeira
In the end I wouldn't trade Dale for anyone.  We have totally opposite political views & he is not Jewish, but when we get together none of those things matter.  I just feel so loved and can spend hours just chatting with him.  He has always been there for me and my mom & tries desperately to get us to mend our relationship.  There are parts of my childhood I know we would of not survived if he was not there, I also know that there are parts of the last few years that I would of not survived without him.  So Happy early Father's Day Dad.  I love you more than I can ever express.

Letting Go!

I am a pack-rat, an organized one but a pack-rat none-the-less.  With the moving date hovering over my head my main focus has been packing, purging and finishing it quickly.  We have so much "stuff" and sadly most of it is mine.  I am not talking the normal collection of shoes & purses (although I have those as well), I mean just stuff.  Papers, furniture from when I was growing up, my old baby blankets, my old Barbies; just so much Stuff!  Every time I move I find a reason to keep these things and somewhere to hide them where no one will know, then Corey moved in and discovered my dirty "little" secret.

When you moved out of your parents house, what did you leave behind?  When I moved out in 2001 for college, my parents moved as well so I was left to take whatever I wanted to keep, which turned out to be anything and everything I could get in my car and portion of the moving truck.  I moved in to my dorm and the rest went in to storage.  After college I was able to furnish fill my entire apartment.  Seven years later and something about being married, settled and truly happy has finally allowed me to let go of the emotional attachment to most of this furniture and old letters.  Yes, until a few days ago I still had the twin bed frame that I slept on Sophomore year of High School until I finally bought an "adult" Queen bed a year after college.

Most of these items were hidden in our attic or the closet of my office.  As soon as we found out we were were moving it was time to start packing and purging.  Corey started by pulling down the Ikea Twin Bed frame.  He just saw a random bed frame, I saw the first Bedroom I was ever able to decorate with all brand-new furniture that I picked out, I see one of the last times my Mother and I were truly Happy together, I think of my Step Dad John that I would give anything to be back in-touch with, I see the first house I finally called home.  At least those are all the things that it used to mean to me, but something in my brain has finally let go and that sucker got posted on Craigslist.  I also gave away my tub of Barbies, I mean when we have kids she will want brand new Barbies, not Mommy's 30 year old dolls!!  Until now, all I could think of is how hard I know my mom worked to be able to buy those toys for me; now it feels amazing to know a friend's daughter was delighted to have them!

With my B.S in Psychology I have very unofficially decided that somewhere in my adolescent brain I unconsciously started collecting things, thinking the more I had the harder it would be to move?  Maybe if I had too much stuff we would have to stay in one place?  Obviously I am an accountant who never experienced the clinical side of Psychology and have no real authority to self-diagnose but as I look at some of the items I have held on to, this is all I can think.

Anyone else still have notes from Middle School, Cards from their 5th Birthday & Letters from their College Boyfriend?  What was my plan with these?  I kept the notes from Middle School & High School, from the friends I am still in touch with and the cards from Grandparents through the years; everything else was trashed.  The letters from old boyfriends, especially "that" boy who broke my heart the night before college graduation, I cannot tell you how freeing it felt to throw them in the garbage and then take that bag straight to the dumpster.

If anyone had forced me to get ride of these items before I was ready I don't think I would feel as strong & free as I do now, I would of felt something missing.  I can't explain how things can have an emotional tie, but I am happy that I have finally been able to let go of most of them.  I did keep every single card and letter from Corey though, because those make my heart happy.