Why Are We Still Fans?

Here we go Brownies, Here we go! WOOF WOOF!

Its a Tribe town, This is my Team!

All In! 2K16! 16 Wins!

How in the Hell can any one of us still be fans of any Cleveland sports franchise?

The Drive, The Fumble, The Shot, The Meltdown, The Shoulder, The THIS, THE THAT DAMMMMMITTTTT!

Every single year I get hooked.  Not just hooked hooked, I mean buying jerseys, shirts, season tickets, hats, mugs etc hooked.  That HOOKED!  And every year I Say it’s not going to happen to me this year.  Those Bastards are not getting any of my money…I guaran-damn-tee you that! But then some glimmer of hope shines over the horizon.  We make a great trade or we pick up a few more picks in the draft, or an aging past superstar wants to come to town to take some of our money and never produce numbers even close to where they were. It’s always the same old story, same old song and dance every single year.

Now I am plenty old enough to remember the good old days when Brian Sipe and Bernie Kosar actually won games and we were just a game away from the Super Bowl. The 90s were a great time for Indians baseball giving us two World Series visits and two World Series heart breakers.  The Cavs of old were amazing but the greatest basketball player of all time kept us out of the finals every year.

Flash back to the present.  I intentionally waited for three events to pass with my sports teams before I finished this little tirade.  The start of the NBA playoffs, The NFL draft, and the first 30 games of the Indians season. The draft was pretty good.  We should one helluva of a great special teams unit, which means we are gonna suck again.  Welcome to another 2-14 season Browns fans! Maybe next year.  The Tribe is off to a pretty decent start at 15-13, but there is still a lot of the season to go and plenty of opportunity to screw it all up.  The pitching staff is in pretty good shape even though we lost a top performer for a couple months, but we still need a couple of big bats to thicken up our offense.  The Cavs have swept both rounds to this point and look really good, healthy and motivated, so you just know something stupid is going to happen to screw all that up.

Unfortunately that is how we Cleveland sports fans have to think.  It sucks, but it the cold honest truth.  So here is to the “Big 3” in hopes they can bring a title to Believeland!

Advertisements

There is life after death… You just have to allow yourself to find it.

The other day I sat in my car for 15 minutes in the parking garage at work before heading inside to start my day. I had ‘Amnesia’ by 5 Seconds of Summer playing on my radio. I had my chair leaning back slightly and a few tears in my eyes.. it’s almost been a year since she left this Earth & became my second and most precious angel that looks over me.

There is life after death… You just have to allow yourself to find it.

Death is never easy, no matter what the circumstances & no matter how strong you are, it breaks you. Death intervenes with your plans, it turns your world upside down, it creates a hole in your life where that person once was and you have to keep living – that’s what hurts the most. They aren’t here but you still are.

“The hardest part wasn’t losing you, it was learning to live without you”

Missing you... love love quotes quotes quote miss you sad quotes:

 

You begin to think back to every experience, every moment that you could’ve visited but decided to go out with friends instead. You imagine that if you would’ve just set your alarm a little earlier and made yourself get out of bed you could’ve at least said goodbye.. as if that would’ve made it any easier. You tear apart each and every instance of what you could’ve done differently and wish that you could change it in that very moment as if it would make a difference. While doing that, you destroy yourself.. you only make it worse.. you can’t allow yourself to go there. That’s where I allowed myself to go.. and even find myself there sometimes, too. In a very dark place.

 

I havent been watching this show lately, but i have watched several seasons and knowing hes gone crushes my life... theres no show without Derek Shepard~:

Death is everywhere. It’s a way of life, there’s no way to escape it. I lost my great-grandmother at a very young age. I bawled my eyes out at her funeral even though I never got the chance to really know her. I found out at the age of 11, my biological father passed away when my mom was 6 months pregnant with me. I can’t really tell you how I even managed to process that. But this death, the death of my grandma, the sweet, vibrant old lady who I grew up with and couldn’t stand to be without. (I mean after all, I spent every summer, just me, not my sisters, in Hilton Head, South Carolina with my grandparents. All summer.) This death.. turned my world upside down.

You have a picture of what life is going to be like when you get married, start a family and what I pictured was destroyed when we lost my grandma. I think along with her not being around to laugh at/with, joke with, mess around with, it’s even harder to know that she won’t be around for important milestones like graduating college and starting a family.

But throughout everything, I’ve maintained a strong face and made sure that my grandfather is taken care of. They were married 50 years, together 55 years. That’s almost unheard of in today’s society since marriage and divorce are commonplace. They were from a generation where you didn’t just give up, you fought, you went through hardships together and you worked on your marriage every single day. Their life wasn’t perfect, I witnessed them fight and argue just like my parents would and they would say things that I couldn’t believe I heard but the next day, it was all back to normal. They were a unit, stronger together than apart and they loved each other so deeply. I knew it, they knew it, we all knew it. But you can’t erase the look on your grandfather’s face as he mourns the loss of his wife of 55 years. He cried at her funeral, after 25 years on this Earth I’ve never seen him cry until that very day. It was heartbreaking. He was lost, and sometimes he still seems to be.

"Keep putting one foot in front of the other", Persistence, Strength, Trials, Challenges, Hardship:

I’ve learned many things in almost a year that she’s been gone about the world, the people in it and mostly, myself. I’ve learned that yet again, I’ve proven that I’m a lot stronger than I thought I was, I even surprise myself sometimes but that doesn’t mean I still don’t have my moments where I get a tear in my eye all of a sudden or something random just throws my body into a state of pure emotion. I got married and I’m sharing every aspect of my life with someone and I think back to having mnay conversations with my grandma about marriage, life and kids. My husband and I have learned a lot about each other, our lives before one another and we have taught each other a few things too. My granddad is starting to open his eyes to the truth and see all the lies and deceit that has been upon him for years and for once, he feels safe and taken care of because of me and my sister. He’s starting to see that he can live his life but it doesn’t make it any easier, he misses grandma and hears/sees her from time to time but that’s okay too. The most important thing is that you can’t just stop living your life. You’re allowed to have your weak days, your emotional days, the days where you don’t really feel like doing much but lying around but you still must push forward. You live a life that you’re proud of you, I’ll live a life that I know my grandma would be proud of even though she already was sooo proud of me even when I feel like I didn’t deserve it. I’ll live every moment always knowing that she is beside me, watching over me and celebrating with me when the moment calls for it. I know when I’m taking shots and dancing that before I got to that moment and was getting ready to leave the house, she would always be the one to tell me to wait on her, she was getting dressed and coming with me and my friends. & she always knew how to have a good time.

Most of all, she was the light surrounding our lives. Her embrace, her smile, her laughter, her jokes, her sailors mouth, just her presence was always so welcoming. I’ve never met anyone like her and I know that I never will, she is truly one of a kind. The day we lost her, the light dimmed immensely but it’s about the time that I need to find it once again.

I love you grandma. Not a day goes by that we don’t think about you. Granddad will be taken care of, don’t you worry. ❤

Your life was a blessing, your memory a treasure. You are loved beyond words, and missed beyond measure.:

-Samantha

Nobody Says Thank You Anymore!

I have witnessed so many great and wonderful changes in my life time and hopefully it’s only about half over.  This one change I see way too many times each day is really becoming irritating and very frustrating to me.  It seems to have happened so gradually people have accepted it.

Saw a story on the news where this man wrote a thank you card to a random person everyday for a year and how much of a difference just saying thanks for the little things can mean... New Years Resolution??:

NOBODY SAYS “THANK YOU” ANYMORE!

Am I completely off base?  Nuts?  Not listening?  Is this only happening to me?  And don’t get me wrong I am not trying to pin this on the government or any race or even the over privileged youth of today because for every bad example of a person, race, or class, I can find you two to fit that same description who are the total opposite to the better.  I even caught myself doing it one day and I felt so embarrassed and ashamed and glad my father wasn’t behind me or with me because he would have taken me behind the wood shed.  I think  I raised my girls and my grandkids the right way but who knows what happens out in the real world.

I would like to say it was just young kids, but it’s not.  They seem to be more polite which leads me to believe they are all Eddie Haskelling me (if you don’t know google it), but all my daughters’ friends are extremely polite as well.  I have noticed it more in people my age (48) or older than ever before.  The tunnel vision or more fast paced routine people have been thrust into today may be a root cause but it just plain sucks!

We could transform the world just by being considerate of others, being respectful of differences:

 

Holding a door open, a good waitress or bartender, a smiling face at the cash register, and my all time favorite…let into traffic person that doesn’t give you a wave or mouth a “Thank you” before speeding off up the highway.  That one really pisses me off.  If you were putting your life in danger I can understand. Or even if you had horrible service, your dog ran away, or you just lost your job does not give you the permission to be an ass.  It only takes a second and it is just as easy as smiling. Say thank you, have a nice day, or at least mouth the words.

 

-Denney

 

 

*Addition by Samantha:

While looking to spice up this blog by adding some visuals, I came across this AMAZING photo which I think describes everything about this post. "...And you're rude... bad mannered and deranged... So stop pissing me off and browsing my boards when you have no intention of being a gentleman...   or I will block you!"..  J.L. Thomas  :D:

While I do think that he makes a point because it’s not just the younger generation who are extremely rude, disrespectful and heathens.. But, it is the older generation as well. My perfect example is my current workplace: a law firm. While it may not mean that much to you and it’s just the type of work but the amount of negativity and expectation that comes from the older folks is RIDICULOUS. They expect help, assistance and while that is all fine and dandy.. please DO NOT treat me like a piece of gum on the bottom of your shoe. Otherwise – find someone else to help your sorry ass. Excuse my language.  But really. Find someone else. You receive no thank-you from a majority of the people that you complete work for, you just hear bitch.bitch.bitch about everything they would have done differently.. Well thank you kind sir, do it yourself next time! And let me tell you, a thank-you goes a long way and for those who have uttered those words when I assist them and give me FULL instructions when they’re swamped and could use a hand, I happily assist them. We are ALL busy, we ALL have stuff going on at home, we have ALL been dragged through the dirt time and time again.. you aren’t alone in that. And another pet peeve is DEFINITELY the letting someone into traffic or running someone off the road because YOUR life matters and no one else’s does. My mother-in-law said that we live in a generation where it’s “all about me” and people don’t care about others. Screw you, it’s about me. Sadly, I think she makes a good point. It doesn’t stand that way for everyone and in some instances we may catch ourselves acting that way but at least don’t make a habit of it. We all have bad days – we all don’t know what we’re going through – so remember that. I know I would do well to remember it too.  -Samantha

Travel? Travel. Travel!

…is all that has been on my mind lately. Among other things of course, but this is something that plays on repeat in my mind because I just want to go EVERYWHERE.

Wanderlust - 16x20 inches on A2. Inspiring travel quote typography art poster print. on Etsy, $57.00:

Can someone please tell me there’s a job where I can make 6-figures, travel the world & be able to have my husband, puppy, bunny & future children, of course, with me at all times?! SIGN ME UP. I mean really though, who doesn’t love to travel!

 

Im in love with cities Ive never been to and people Ive never met | The most beautiful parts of life are still unfolding.:

Traveling has been a more present factor in my head lately cause I’m planning a few trips this year. Ohio (where I’m from) is for celebrating that one guy’s birthday, you know the one writing this blog with me, because you know, he’s kind of awesome. To see family. Cedar Point because DUH. I love rollercoasters, and you’re crazy if you don’t! To visit my grandma’s grave since very soon, it will be a year since we lost her, even though it feels just like yesterday. And most of all, to enjoy some time just relaxing & spending time with my grandfather since he’s making this trip with me. Then there is New Orleans – this we JUST decided on. I originally wanted to make a trip to Chicago, because I love it there. But mainly because my sister and I were talking about trips and where she wanted to go. I decided to plan a trip and surprise her BUT,  granddad just got TOO EXCITED and spoiled the whole surprise!

"Of all the books in the world, the best stories are found between the pages of a passport." #TravelQuote #travel #quote: I chose Chicago but while including granddad, he wanted to go somewhere different and now here we are! It is STILL on and I cannot wait to put all the pieces together into this trip. We’re looking at a seafood festival (we LOVE seafood), the possibility of finding the locations of where they shot a few episodes of ‘The Originals’ because we are HUGE TVPD fans. Not to mention all the different places we will be going to eat/drink and just be tourists together. Lastly – the end of the year – Puerto Rico – which I’m SO EXCITED for because I’ve never been there either & I’ll be going with family that knows the area so well so I’ll get to do all the touristy things & get to see the stuff that tourists may not know about. All the pictures I’ve looked at from my family visiting – I just wish the end of the year was here sooner!

We take photos as a return ticket to a moment otherwise gone. — @artifactuprsng:

While it may be quite the busy year for me and traveling – I have the best people to travel with. However, what my husband and I have noticed is that some company’s PTO policies are completely outrageous. Where I accumulate sick-time while I’m working each day and receive personal days depending on where the holidays fall- I also receive 2 weeks of vacation for the year. However, he only has PTO and that accumulates as he works, rewarding him nothing up front for the year. So – that’s been interesting to say the least and unfortunately, traveling will be done the first part of the year without him, I’m ecstatic for the end of the year where we can all join together and travel to Puerto Rico as one big crazy family!

My one goal for the 2017 and 2018 year is that I get to travel outside of the country. I have a Passport, it’s never been used & I have NEVER been out of the country! I want to go so many places and I know a lot of people who have traveled outside of the country and I love when they come back and I get to see all the pictures, souvenirs and just hear about their travels.

So, anyone else have the travel bug recently? What about those Groupon getaways?

-Samantha

What Was I Thinking? WTF?

I’ve got sunshine on a cloudy day… I thank God every day I am Blessed with another glorious day on this planet, It’s a GREAT DAY to be ALIVE!  Positivity!  Thankfulness!  Gratefulness! Carpe Diem!  Life is GOOD!

Exactly... Cut them lose for your own sake. This is not mean or selfish. This is a choice based on self-respect.:

It wasn’t always that way.  For years I somehow stayed positive and upbeat while being involved with an extremely toxic person in an even more toxic relationship.  Controlling, manipulative, selfish!  As I look back, I cannot fathom how I was so stupid not to see how one person could suck so much life and happiness out of those around them.  How could one person thrive so much on making other people miserable, or feel badly about themselves just to make themselves feel better and superior?  Then in the next breath say “I love you.”  I am a pretty strong man, fairly intelligent, helpful, giving, loving, and caring, so how could I allow one person to gain so much control over my entire life and do everything in their power to make me feel like a low life scumbag?  I have great kids, we had a nice house, we drove nice cars, but it was never enough to make a difference.  Hearing you were a piece of shit and not a good provider, and Don’t, Don’t, DON’T, can’t, Can’t, CAN’T can wear down even the strongest, most stable person over time.

Yup, Just like Jason and Jolene. Toxic people to the core. They lie, cheat, back stab everyone they call thier friend and or family, they both use everyone for money, $2,500 to be exact, that they refuse to pay back at all. Always saying they will but never do, they only ask "friends" over cause they have cars. Its always about what they can get from someone and never about love. So we are letting go and getting rid of these toxic people for good!!! Small claims here we come:

The good thing is, somehow we all survived and thrived, but how much better could we all have done had we not been involved with that toxic person?  Why didn’t I see it sooner?  Why didn’t I listen to others?  My parents, my brother and sister, and a few friends I had all saw it, but why couldn’t I?  How was I so blind to not get my kids out of that toxic environment sooner?  WTF was I doing?  WTF was I thinking?

Take This Life And Shove IT!!!

Several events happened at the same time one month that woke me up.  I finally said enough is enough!   I prayed!  I packed up and moved out.  I prayed.  I filed for divorce!  I prayed.  My Grandmother (my guardian angel) passed away.  I prayed.  I met Nancy.  I prayed.  I changed jobs.  I prayed.  I finally listened to good people and began to remove the toxicity from my life.  I prayed.  I thanked God and my parents for waking me up.  I prayed.  I wish I could tell you everything immediately got better, but Nancy and I had both been through so much with our exes, we did not know how to act for quite some.  True to form, my ex did everything she could to try to make our lives miserable.  The divorce was ugly, and took several years just because that toxic individual did everything she could to try to maintain some kind of control.  It cost a lot of money too.  Money we did not have.  We sure ate a lot of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and I’m not real fond of tuna salad any longer.  We prayed. We fought for custody which my attorney warned me was like throwing money down the well in Florida, but we had to do everything we could to get the girls out of that toxic environment.  We lost! We prayed.  Child support and alimony started. More tuna, more PB&Js, but with that time came more love, more understanding.  Nancy and I both grew as people, as a couple, as parents, and as people of faith.  We prayed and gave thanks.

Blue Zone: Nasty world of the big wide web:

WE MADE IT!  It has been almost ten years since Nancy and I left our toxic relationships together.  We love, we show compassion, we cried together, we pray, but through everything we survived, we thrived, and for some strange reason, I WOULD NOT CHANGE ANY ONE OF THOSE STRUGGLES!  We love life.  We made It!  We have six beautiful daughters, two absolutely gorgeous grandchildren, and a much better understanding of how to stay the Hell away from toxic assholes!  If you know somebody in a toxic relationship…HELP THEM GET OUT! RUN! Or You will have to get rid of them to avoid that toxicity!!

And to those toxic assholes…KEEP YOUR MISERABLE ASS LIFE TO YOURSELF AND AWAY FROM US!  WE GOT THIS!!!  Ciao!

 

I can train my mind just like in 2012 Navaratri time when You gave me direction. Everything got derailed the past year and I am sure You will show me the light again.:

-Dennis

“Aren’t you sad about losing the house you grew up in”?

“I thought you would be a little sad about the house finally being gone”, My husband said. “Nope. That house wasn’t a home for a long time now. It was gone long before I moved out”, I said.

you're not the same individual you were a year ago, a month ago, or a week ago. you're always growing. experiences don't stop. that's life:

 

When my dad and mom filed for divorce and he moved out, the home we grew up in where we knew so much love & joy, slowly started to lose it’s effect. The story started to slowly unfold and the reasoning for me not speaking to my dad (who I thought was this terrible person) became stupid, irrelevant and childish. I was starting to understand his reasoning for leaving, I was starting to see the unhappy home he stayed in for years because of us girls and I started to applaud him for getting out when he did because it was only getting worse.

 

After moving away from home, I moved in with a best friend and her family. They were some of the best people I knew. Throughout high school and a lot of good and bad times, that family always opened their home to me if I was ever in need. So when the time came, I moved out of my “home” and moved in with my best friend and her family. It was really wonderful, we always had a blast together and spending too much time together never affected our friendship, it was still as strong as ever. I moved out of there to go to college out-of-state only to come back a semester later and move in with my grandparents. I grew up with my grandparents being like a second set of parents to me. I was attached to them something fierce. They always took care of me, granddad always cooked breakfast and dinner. I cooked with grandma from time to time and would find new recipes to cook for them. We had a blast. My friends loved them. They loved my friends so whenever people were over, they loved it. Whenever I would be going out for the night, my grandma would always tell me to wait up for her, she was coming with us. She wanted to dance and do shots, she swore she would be a lot of fun! She cracked me up, not because she was bluffing because we all knew what a blast she would be if she came. Haha.

Dining room decal,  Bible verse decal, Bedroom wall decal, Home quote decal:

 

I learned very quickly that it isn’t about where you were that made it a home. It was about who you were with, the way you felt, the laughter and jokes you created, the love, the memories, the friends and family, blood-related or not at all. A lot of who are apart of my family aren’t blood-related but it doesn’t matter, I don’t treat them any different. If anything – they’ve treated me more like family than some of my family members. My friends have become permanent parts of my life and part of my family & I wouldn’t have it any other way.

 

So no, I’m not sad about losing a place where I grew up because honestly, there were a lot of homes that I grew up in, that was just the home I resided in the longest. I will always cherish the memories that I had there. I will cherish the good times and the bad but I’ve found that my home resides wherever my family is. Whether it be in a mansion or a double-wide. That is where my home is.  We have love wherever we go, we create memories wherever we are, our laughter and jokes are carried with us throughout our journey together and apart.

Them Damn Ricans!

I have a pretty close knit family.  Or at least I thought we were tight.  Okay let’s face it, we not be as tight as we all want to be because we all are sooooo damn busy, have kids, work, practices, grandkids, blah blah blah.  We all end up falling into that comfort after you leave the nest where you think you can survive on your own and still communicate with family members during the holidays, birthdays, or funerals.  I honestly thought my family was tight because we did things that way.  The holiday dinners and maybe the occasional Sunday football game with White House Chicken (our local chicken shack). We do a lot together as a family, so I thought we were a close knit family because we are a lot closer than most families we know.  Until we met Them Damn Ricans.

A personal favorite from my Etsy shop https://www.etsy.com/listing/226754270/every-family-has-a-story-welcome-to-ours:

Now there is a little bit of a back story I should mention first. Nancy’s ex was a complete asshole, maybe not the largest, but definitely in the top 7 asshole list of all time.  He was very controlling and would not allow her to visit family unless his goofy ass was around for whatever all- about-him reason he had.  After Nancy left his dumbass, and he was convinced his best chance for survival was to leave the country and move back in with his parents, Nancy was free to visit her family as much as she liked.  I couldn’t wait to meet them either.  So was I accepted?  Immediately!  I was the one who brought Nancy home and put a smile back on her face because that is exactly what she had done for me.  I had a feeling I would be accepted just for that reason and that was enough for me.  But them Damn Ricans went so far above and beyond appreciation in welcoming all of us it was almost embarrassing.

In the beginning of our relationship, I met Nancy’s mother and two of her brothers.  All absolutely amazing people.  When my family actually discovered how families should act around one another was on our first trip to Puerto Rico.  My mom and dad came along with Nancy and I so they too could meet some of Nancy’s family and enjoy a nice vacation.  We were met at the airport by aunts, uncles, and cousins as far as the eye could see.  Some of the aunts brought their famous coquito which is a Puerto Rican holiday drink most close to egg nog but 100 times better.  We caravanned to a small group of roadside bars and eateries in Rio Piedras where another group of aunts, uncles, and cousins were waiting on us.  We ate!  Oh my God did we eat, had some soda pops (Medallia) of the local variety, kissed, hugged and got to know one another.  We then went back to my Mother In Law’s (Maria) house where still even more family awaited.  More food, more Medallias, more hugs and kisses, music blaring, and dancing and singing like crazy.  I do not remember sleeping that day, but Them Damn Ricans put on one hell of a party and we felt instantly welcome.  We spent our almost entire two weeks that year with all of them.  Amazing!  It really sucked to say good bye, but we had to.  We immediately planned the same trip for the same time the next year.

As our plane touched down in San Juan the next year, it is customary to clap loudly and sing a little song.  We remebered it, and joined in this time.  Once again, a massive family get together at the airport, time together in Rio Piedras then off to Mom’s house.  We rented a beach house this time because more of our “White” friends wanted to come with us on this trip.  Nancy and I were going to renew our vows in Camuy at a gorgeous place owned by Tio (Uncle) Sonny’s friend Ramone and his wife.  Of course it was a pub/eatery we visited on the last trip, but their is a gorgeous cliff over looking the Carribean that was something out of a fairy tale.  The entire family and our friends rented rooms at a small, quaint resort in Camuy which was about a mile from the wedding spot.  It wasn’t gorgeous but it was magical, inexpensive and right on the Carribean.  I mentioned magical because this is where I saw magic happen between two different cultures and people occur that made me feel so good about the world.  I said we were all immediately accepted, but this was ridiculous.  My brother in laws, Alex and Anthony would scale the coconut trees and bring coconuts down, shave them, pour rum in them and serve them to whomever wanted one. This was about 9am.  My sister, Shannon fell in love with those two and they treated her like a princess.  So my dad wanted to join them.  He tried to climb the tree, but the years of him doing that passed, but I’ll be damned if he didn’t pick up that machete and learn how to shave one down even though my mom’s heart fell with every swipe.  It was amazing watching him.  So the day fell into night on that New Years’ Eve.  We went to the pub/eatery for final plans and ate, drank, and sang.  We all sang karaoke.  My dad and I even did a song even though we were so out classed by our new families singing voices (they all can sing beautifully) we sang New York, New York.

Messing with us, the owner, Ramone changed the lyrics over to Spanish half way through.  Big laughs ensued, but we ad libbed as best we could.  When we got back to the resort around 1am, my dad and a friend of ours Hillbilly were not tired, so they found the Manager’s room and had him open the bar.  Surprisingly they did not get shot and he opened the bar and we made it worth his while.  Apparently on New Years’ Eve it is customary to knock on the doors of people, sing a song, and they have to offer you something to eat and drink then join you in moving onto the next home.  By 3am the entire resort was up with us and we went to a grassy area outside of our room.  We were laughing and drinking, and my primo (cousin) Manolo picked up a trash can, Damian some sticks, Tio Coca some rocks, Tia Martita an empty jug and then they made music.  Good music.  Our prima Yarixa (Jar-itza) began to sing and if it was if the Heavens opened up.  Then all the aunts joined in, brothers, cousins, oh my God it was an amazing event I will never forget.  We did that til dawn, got a nap, then got ready for the wedding.

Puerto Rico ~ Yep! :o):

We still try to make a trip every year over New Years’ Eve and stay thru Three Kings Day, but now all Them Damn Ricans come up to our places on Lake Erie to camp with us for an extended weekend over the summer.  So now every year when we go up to open our campers, the first thing we get asked is when Them Damn Ricans are coming.  When they do show up, we have about five grills going at once, as many coolers as we can find, corn hole and hillbilly golf wars, and lots of music.  We still go fishing in the mornings with whoever wants to go, then we party the night away.  They are truly amazing people, and they never waivered about opening their arms and lives to my family.  So thank you to THEM DAMN RICANS!  I LOVE YOU ALL!

RIP Tia Martita!

 

-Denney

Is it that time yet?

Everyone always imagines a time where they leave where they are and just disappear somewhere else. We hit the hard moments and want to start over somewhere new and experience greater things in life.

I was born in Akron, Ohio (not a very big & bumpin’ place) but it’s cute and it certainly has grown over the years as I have traveled back home. We moved right after I turned one to Ft. Eustis, Virginia, my dad was stationed there while he was in the Army. I was around the age of 6 when we left Virginia and moved to Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, if you haven’t been there, do yourself a favor and go visit. It is the most beautiful place and I happened to spend every summer there with my grandparents after we moved to Florida. Right after school was out, my parents drove up to Hilton Head and dropped me off. Might sound a little odd to you but I adored my grandparents, they were like my parents and I was so attached to them and they were to me, it only made sense for me to spend my summers with them. Plus, I was always a very independent person and unlike my sisters, I didn’t get homesick while I was away going all around Hilton Head. I spent the entire summer meeting new people who were there on vacation, getting tan, going to work with my grandparents sometimes, I knew everyone at the Marriott, they knew me and they were like family. I spent all my days involved in the activities that the hotel offered, playing putt-putt, catching sand dollars and painting them, relaxing in the pool, at the beach, the list goes on. Hilton Head was my favorite place in the entire world, honestly, it still is. I can’t wait to go back. We moved from there to Kissimmee, Florida when I was 7 years old and back to Ohio when my dad was offered good money with Speedway. Then he was transferred back to Port St. Lucie, Florida (when I was around 10 years old) and back to Kissimmee from there on out. Honestly, I don’t remember Akron when I was younger, I remember bits and pieces from Virginia and Hilton Head (mainly because of all my vacations). I actually don’t remember moving from Kissimmee back to Ohio, but I do remember Port St. Lucie, how could I forget after the tornado that swept through Kissimmee and did A LOT of damage before we moved back for good.

I made it out alive and haven't been sucked back in.... but i miss it... sick and twisted :/:

6 reasons to leave your hometown

I found this link which sparked this entire thought process about moving away from your hometown. Even though I wasn’t born in Florida, 15+ years living here with this being really the only place that I know – yeah, I’d consider it my hometown in a way. My husband however, was born and raised in Florida. He’s traveled a lot, so he has definitely seen a lot more than I have but he’s always loved the colder weather. The humidity and heat are the absolute worst….All of you touristy people who are only here for the week, you don’t even understand the beginning of what it’s truly like. I LOVE the seasons. I don’t know how you couldn’t love watching the color of the leaves change, watch the trees go from full of leaves to naked and to watch all of the green grass disappear and be replaced with the whitest layer of snow.

You don’t need magic to disappear, all you need is a destination // Travel Quote Phone Cases @seattlestravels:

I’ve thought about leaving the state of Florida for years. I’ve always wanted to. Not necessarily back to Ohio.. or anywhere in particular but I wanted to get away, start fresh and be somewhere different, outside of my comfort zone, because that’s also where I excel the most. I’ve wanted to go the flight attendant route because honestly, it would be the most perfect thing. You are stationed somewhere with other flight attendants, get an apartment together or by yourself, and just t r a v e l while finishing up school. When I was applying and looking at places, one of the places I wished I would be stationed at was Chicago. I’ve visited there a total of three times and have fallen more in love with that place each time. Another place that I’ve never been is New York and that was an option too, which I was open to as well. Lastly, Seattle and Texas. Yes please. Bring it on. Becoming a flight attendant was so appealing to me because you could travel all over the world and be paid for it. The amount of freedom within that is amazing and I was completely open to becoming a flight attendant. But let me tell you – those interviews were one of a kind and SO MUCH FUN.

The thing about a comfort zone is that it sounds, well, too comfortable. I call it a COMFORT PIT because a pit is somewhere you want to get out of as fast as possible. Bear Grylls:

Back to the link I provided above. If you haven’t taken the time to click on it and read it, you should. It’s super insightful and it makes a ton of valid points, it’s something everyone should consider at least once in there lives. But then again, going out of your comfort zone isn’t for everyone. Plus – in most cases, more often than not – you go where the job is. This article talks about meeting new people, experiencing new places, leaving your comfort zone and leaving your parents – all the things that I think are so wonderful and are something that everyone should do at least once in their lifetime. I’ve left home before, went to Gainesville for school (still in FL though, not much of a drive from home) but then I moved to Kansas for school and it was one of the most thrilling experiences ever. I was with my best friend of all the time because we were cheering together but she had started a year prior to me so it’s not like we were together all the time. I made great friendships with people that I still keep in contact with today. Leaving home and going to Kansas was really great because I was able to get out of my comfort zone and fend for myself. I adored my roommate, I consider myself very lucky because I’ve heard horror stories from people with ridiculous roommates. I got a taste of my seasons once again. I traveled quite a few places with my friends & roommate. I even went home for Thanksgiving with my roommate, she lived in Texas and that was a blast. Her family was really great. All of the experiences and time that I had there, I wouldn’t take back at all. I only wish that I was able to stay longer.

“Let yourself move to the next chapter in life when the time comes. Don’t remain stuck on the same page”.

I think that’s where I am at. I’m ready to move forward into that next chapter and I’m afraid that Florida just isn’t where that can happen. It’s not that I’m unhappy here and I don’t have the means to just up and leave right now so it’ll take time unless a job comes with the move. It’s definitely good to keep your options open and explore other ideas, you never know what you are going to find. It’s never going to be easy but then again – it’s not really easy here either, so what’s the point? I’m excited for the things to come for me and my family, and I will do whatever it takes to make sure they are the happiest.

Here’s to the places we’ve never been, ideas we have yet to think of, jobs we haven’t found and adventures that haven’t begun quite yet. Cheers!

I've started, and I can't say there aren't times when I wish I hadn't, nor can I say there won't be more, but I keep putting one foot in front of the other.:

Im in love with cities Ive never been to and people Ive never met | The most beautiful parts of life are still unfolding.:

A little travel inspiration from Lonely Planet co-founder and legend, Tony Wheeler, suggested by Josh Button.:

The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.” — Alan Watts:

 

 

-Samantha

A Chance Meeting? I Don’t Think So!

Several years ago I was fortunate enough to become a Field Consultant for 7 Eleven which, despite the stereotypes is a phenomenal job and a great company to work for.  In the training process you basically start as a third shift cashier and work your way up to the position you were hired for.  It was a fantastic training program and I will be the first to tell you those third shifters are worth their weight in gold.  The program took nearly a year to complete, but I had several years of C-Store experience so I fast tracked a little bit.  I LOVED IT!  ALL OF IT!  At that point I was making good money and I actually got the chance to go home every night and see my girls.  Plus it allowed me a chance to be myself, and to get away from the horrible marriage I had at home.  Through this job I was able to disguise my personal life for a good 8-12 hours a day then go home to my princesses.  I truly felt blessed!

challenge accepted barney stinson:

My trainer, we will call her Natalie, had all of her Store Managers in her area come over to the store I was training in to meet me because she is just an awesome leader like that.  One by one they filed in, shook my hand, introduced themselves, offered their help with anything I needed, then they went back to their stores.  It was a really great gesture and greatly appreciated.  The very last Manager that day immediately caught my eye, and I mean WOW!  I had never laid eyes on her or spoken a word to her before but I was suddenly a 16 year old boy, nervous, dry mouthed, hands sweating, and I got butterflies in my stomach. She had a radiant smile, shining, gorgeous, chocolate brown eyes, and a rack only God Himself could have created.  I felt weak in the knees and I mumbled so badly through the intro she probably thought I was “special”!  After she left, I told Natalie she would be the next Mrs. Swain.  Natalie quickly told me I didn’t have a chance in Hell.  It was a tight group of people so my words traveled quickly to Nancy.  It didn’t take long for me to find out the woman of my dreams found me to be quite an “ASSHOLE!”  Wow right? So I thought…CHALLENGE ACCEPTED!  GAME ON!

Yes, I was still married at the time, but it was over way before then.  We had a marriage of convenience at that time, and three beautiful little girls to consider, but I was still married so I could not go all out after Nancy like I normally would have.  I had to strategize.  I could not stop thinking about her, but she seemed very happy in her life, and I may be a lot of things, but I am no home wrecker nor could I afford to be accused of flirting with a store manager I could possibly some day supervise.  It was very complicated to say the least, but I just could not shake it.  The more I had the chance to talk to her or ask her questions about how to do something, the deeper I was falling.  She knew how I felt about her from the beginning, but the whole “asshole” and being married thing deterred her from even giving me the time of day outside of work.

Love At First Sight Quotes-This is going to sound crazy, but... from the moment I first set eyes on you I haven't been able to stop thinking about you #love:

I went through almost two years of this with her.  I would call her while I was driving from one store to another to ask her questions I already knew the answer to just so I could hear her voice.  She figured that out quickly, but man I had it bad.  To make things worse, I began to find out she was just as unhappy at home as I was, she had three daughters also around the same ages as mine, and had the same birthday as my soon to be ex-wife, just one year older.  Strange coincidences like these just started happening, strange, but really great too.

Somehow, I kept getting sent to her store for projects…wink wink! If you know Nancy at all, she runs a pretty damn perfect store, so I knew I had Natalie’s blessing.  We talked a lot.  Mostly about our kids, but there was finally mutual flirtation going on.  We listened to each other, and realized how unhappy we both were.  Both of our main concerns were our kids.  We kept that focus.

One day, okay hell  with that shit, it was December 2nd, and I will never ever forget it! Nancy was sent to court to represent our company.  Once again, I was sent to her store that day to do a reset while she was gone.  When she returned she was pretty shaken up, our eyes locked, and right then I knew.  I knew the last two years of patience and doing the right thing had finally paid off.  She pulled me into the office of her store and laid the still greatest kiss of my life on me.  I melted! DONE,  Silly putty!  We agreed to go to dinner that night and talk.  I have never been so nervous in my life.  I felt 18 again.  I knew at that point God had sent me this way out of my league Puerto Rican Angel in my time of need, and I was not going to let her go.  We went out for wings and beers.  Yes beers. Double plural but remember I am a red neck! We soon lost track,of time talking about our kids, what we like to do, families, and everything else imagineable.  We knew things were going to be very complicated from this point forward, but we both wanted to see what might come out of this.  We kept it hush hush at this point since there was no need to ruffle feathers or get the kids involved if we didn’t think things would work.  Their lives were hard enough and birthdays of our oldest daughters and the holidays were quickly approaching.

inspirational divorce quote:

The next few weeks flew by.  I talked to my Grandma Hale who was my confidant.  She was dieing of cancer and dementia but was sharp as a tack that moment I talked to her.  She knew something was wrong, but told me to always follow my heart, believe in God, and LIVE every day. She passed on my oldest daughter Samantha’s 16th birthday.  We did not tell her that day of course, but it was very difficult for me to hide all the bottled up emotions I had going on.  It was tough but we couldn’t ruin Samii’s day!

I finally made the decision to move out on my own because I just couldn’t take it any longer.  That same day, Nancy asked her guy to move out also.  I swear it was not planned that way, it just happened we both thought we wanted to get through the holidays for the kids.  It was actually New Years’ Day!  How fitting huh?  I was scheduled to have a meeting the next day so I called Nancy for advice.  She let me know her situation that day as well.  We met and she secretly, for some reason, helped me find an efficient apartment which just happened to be right across the street from her store, and the courting began.

9 Poignant Divorce Quotes That Will Mend Your Broken Heart (PHOTOS):

We knew things were going to be complicated, but we had no idea the things we were about to endure.  My oldest (Samii) wanted nothing to do with me.  Nancy’s kids rebelled some too.  We had to plan little meetings around our girls, work, and divorce proceedings. It was a tough go. I still don’t know how we did it, but we did.  We prayed together a lot. Still do, and it was by the grace of God things would somehow work out each time.  We slowly introduced each other to our children.  She would come with me to football games or cheer competitions so we could at least watch Samii cheer and get a peek at Shayna and Lexi when they weren’t with us.  We blasted through each challenge that presented itself, and I still would not change a thing.

 

The one challenge I never took into consideration was the looks we would sure receive. I’m white! Very white! Redneck white! Nancy is Puerto Rican.  I guess I gave my fellow human beings more credit than they deserved, but we got over that too.  It just really became a funny shock to our kids’ friends especially Nancy’s, when they found out I was white. Quite comical even.  Even more funny was the group of friends we hung out with were all made up of mixed race couples, a male gay couple, and a female gay couple. It was an amazing bunch!

As life continued on for the Swain clan, we meshed.  We lost alot of battles, but won the wars.  Feelings got hurt, things were said, tears we shed, but I still wouldn’t trade the chance of meeting her for anything in the world.  Things worked out, our kids found out the truth, and fences were mended.  We don’t use the step word very often, we are a family accepted from both sides of our wonderful families and we are all back together and thriving!

God is so good, and so is life!!!!

Gracias mi Dios por un nuevo despertar lleno d paz d amoor y nuevos pensamientos que me llenan de alegria y se regocija mi alma de harmonia:):

 

 

-Denney