Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Unbelievable Peanut Butter Bonding

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #ShareYourMiracles #CollectiveBias

The boys rarely get any one-on-one time with me. If we do, it is usually short and rushed. I am hoping to find space in our schedule for mom-kid time. Between school, soccer, college, blogging, tutus and our busy life; bonding isn't usually high on the list. I have realized that it needs to be pushed up and prioritized. 

If you have followed this blog at all, you know that the boys' dad died in January 2016. It hasn't been an easy year for us. The summer has been hectic and although we were constantly together, there wasn't enough quality time. Even worse, I never get quality bonding time with just one of the boys. 

So, when Jayson asked me to make cookies (for the 237th time in a week,) I said YES! It was way too close to bedtime. I was tired. I had work to do online. I wanted to watch a movie without interruptions. However, I decided it was important to do this for Jayson. 

Look at that goofy smile! Kinda hard to not give in.

He bought a Cookie Stamp from a vendor booth a couple weeks ago at a fair. I don't think he even knew what it really was when he saw it. He wanted it because it pictured a kitten wearing a bow playing with a ball of yarn. He absolutely loves cats but I am allergic so we can't have one. This is a poor substitute for a pet, but he was so happy to bake.

 The seller gave him a small recipe info book and he kept reading it. He told me we needed to start with the recipe for Unbelievable Peanut Butter Cookies. I admit that as a blogger I saw this as an opportunity. I made him do a video and pose for pictures. He even had to write a guest paragraph:
the cookies are good! You make thes cookies with peanut butter and shugr. I like the stamp bcuz it has a cat. i love cats! -Jayson Ludwig

I couldn't find the same stamp online but I did find a few offered. Click on the affiliate link to purchase. Rycraft Heirloom Cookie Stamp - Celtic Cross

The best part of the whole night was how Jayson was proud of himself. He read the recipe, he followed the directions, and he baked his own cookies. 

I didn't want to let more than a few days go by without some quality time. I bought a new DVD from Walmart based on a friend's suggestion. The boys usually love to sit and cuddle. Not this time. They wanted to play video games and use their tablets. I told them (not nicely enough) that we were going to sit down together. To watch this movie. As a family. and ENJOY IT! 

I know, not very nice. We are a work in progress.

The Beam family shares their true story in Miracles From HeavenI was moved to tears. At one point, Jay told me not to start crying. Sam quickly told him I couldn't listen because I already had tears. (Sam had tears too but only because I had taken the tablet out of his hands.) We weren't that far into the movie before their eyes were glued to the screen. It really made them think.

I will share my thoughts, opinions, and reviews in a different post. No chance for possible spoilers. 

We need a lot of practice, but I know that we will get there in time. For now, I am happy to share some one on one time with my boys. 

I might have a little blogger following me.

#ShareYourMiracles with me in the comments. 
Have you seen #MiraclesFromHeaven on DVD, BluRay or Digital? 
Did the movie make you think?

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Birthday after Suicide

Sensitive Topic: post deals with death by suicide.

Today Ken would have turned 38. The boys wanted to eat pumpkin pie covered with whipped cream because it was their Daddy's favorite. They also wanted me to put the whip cream right in their mouths like Daddy did. We thought about singing very loudly so we could be heard in Heaven. Instead they decided to sing to their Daddy Bears.

(Remind me to add a picture next week.)

The entire thing is even harder for me because I left him 6 years ago this week. We had a 2nd huge fight on his birthday in 2010. Two days later I went to a friends house. By the end of the month the boys and I were in Flagstaff.

Instagram Flipagram.com Video

Later this week also marks 6 months since he committed suicide. Weeks, even a month or more will go by, and I feel nothing. Then one day I am overcome with anger, frustration, grief and sadness.

This tattoo keeps getting additions. The kite tied down by an anchor represents my bipolar 2 diagnosis. The extreme highs and lows are managed with my faith and with my twin boys. I have a feeling that this tattoo will never be done. This entire arm will tell my story. 

You can read other posts that deal with our reactions, feelings, and how we took care of ourselves.

Saying Goodbye

THE END #semicolonproject

Angry Survivors after Death

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Why Blogging is NOT a Job

Everyone always says...

Blogging has done that for me. It allows me to be honest and open with the struggles I have faced and overcome. It allows me to share feelings and vent; helping me to fight depression taking over my days. It allows me to use my creative energy. It provides additional income to our household. It works around my mental health limitations by being flexible and casual. It helps me to feel accomplished when I see the numbers creep up on social media and my blog traffic.

Blogging has become my passion.

Things to see in Chicago #CoCoInChicago

My Chicago trip was a success. I met a lot of bloggers in person that I had known online for quite a while. I even met two bloggers from AZ. I thought it was funny that we had all travelled over 1500 miles and met in another city. I took a lot of pictures and have a few stories to tell. First, let's talk about the things to see while visiting Chicago.

I loved the reflection I caught in the windows of this building. This was out the window of my hotel room.

I had plenty of items on my #CoCoInChicago Bucket List 
&  I got to check off all but a few.

Willis Tower Skydeck
Chicago Water Taxi
Millennium Park
The Architectural Details
The Skyline

Willis Skydeck - 103rd Floor - The Ledge

The Skydeck on the 103rd floor of the Willis Tower has a glass ledge that you can walk on to view the city. There are lines of people going up the elevator to see the amazing views. The elevator to the top only takes about 60 seconds to travel 1,353 feet. The tickets are well worth the price. I was lucky enough to receive two complimentary tickets to use on my trip.

Stepping out on the Ledge
Chicago River
Our Beautiful Skyline

Spider's view of the city
Freeway Interchange
I used to get these from the zoo as a kid,
I am so glad I found this.

Souvenirs to bring home

Chicago River - Chicago Water Taxi

One of the best ways to see the city is from a boat on the Chicago River. I love going under the bridges, watching the traffic and seeing all the buildings from a different vantage point.

The Chicago Water Taxi is a great way to travel and be able to see the different architecture that makes up Chicago. I used a free day pass from the family owned company that is now in its 80th season. I was able to share two additional passes with friends Diana of Diana Rambles and Sarah of Sarah in the Suburbs.