What had to be done.

Even the most picture-perfect families have unseen cracks. Get Iyanla Vanzant's thoughts on how to cope if your family is facing a breakdown.:

As a little girl you are wrapped around fairy tales, your Barbie’s and your parent’s fingers because you are their little princess. As you look back on those moments, at the age of 25, you couldn’t ever imagine your life without your family as your number one and those very people being the ones that protect you from all the evil the world has to offer. Little do you know, the one you trusted with your heart and soul will rip it into a thousand pieces, not once, not twice, but a million different times and in a million different ways. You keep giving in but there comes a time where you finally stand up to that very evil and even though it takes everything out of you, you shove it out of your life. You had to. You’ve given countless chances. Forgiven. But never forgotten. But the end result is always the same..no matter how much time has passed, no matter what the consequences. You are left in pieces, and the only choice you have is to pick yourself back up, put yourself back together and learn from your mistakes. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Well, I was fooled more than twice. So no one can ever say that I didn’t give a damn.

“You can’t change someone who doesn’t see an issue in their actions”.

It is sad. But it is the truth. I’ve seen it, you have probably seen it, we have all in some way, shape or form witnessed this to be 100% true. People these days are some of the selfish that they have ever been. It’s a problem. It creates a lot of problems. It creates a huge distance between them and the ones that they love, or used to love anyway. Ultimately, this is where it all fell apart for me. Someone who was so consumed in everything just being about them, not just wanting but needing the material things, the thrill, the competition, the adventure while their children were to fend for themselves. That last part really irks me, does it do the same to you? Maybe not, but because I dealt with it first hand for years, it kills me to even think about it. Or to even allow myself to go there.

Don’t get it twisted, I have some fabulous family members and friends, some blood-related and others not even close but they might as well be. And I am truly, very blessed to have them in my life. Without them, things would be completely different and I’m not sure how I would’ve made it through. Well, I would have made it through, I consider myself a fairly strong person but with them, the pain started to slowly disappear (not completely, it still lingers from time to time), life begun to fall together into something truly beautiful and I had people that I could count on no matter what the task, obligation or obstacle that lie ahead.

Blood means you're related. It doesn't mean you're family.:

 

Selfish people tend to only be good to themselves… then are surprised when they are alone. - Steve Maraboli For more quotes and inspirations: http://www.lifehack.org/articles/communication/selfish-people-tend-only-good-themselves-then.html?ref=ppt10: Sometimes you have to give up on people. Not because you don't care, because they don't.: Blog post about coping with a loved one who struggles with addiction. "My First Best Friend" talks about watching a loved one fall into addiction and finding forgiveness and the ability to love.:

There comes a point and time when you just cannot handle anymore destruction, heartbreak and suffering and you just have to let go… because if you don’t, it will be the end of you. That’s what it came down to, for me. I believe in second chances, even if you may not, I understand and I won’t judge you for it. But each and every time I allowed this person to come and wreak havoc on my life, I died a little inside. It killed me to know that this human being, this person who was supposed to love & protect me at all costs, would so gladly hurt me in ways unimaginable and wouldn’t find the need to make amends or want to for that matter. Honestly – this entire blog has been about the hurt that I’ve dealt with and what I’ve felt but what I care about most is that fact that others around me have been hurt, destroyed and confused on what they ever did to deserve such treatment.

Kind Of Dramatic But So True! 10 Taylor Swift Quotes Every Girl Understands http://www.gossipness.com/lifestyle/kind-of-dramatic-but-so-true-10-taylor-swift-quotes-every-girl-understands-677.html:

What I care about is that even on their worst day, they would still give you the world but it’s never good enough. You always want, want, want. You pry on their weaknesses and when they are most vulnerable. You humiliate everyone by the name you’ve given yourself and we have to live with it too. You’ve been given countless chances and opportunities but have chosen yourself every time. Somehow, some way you have manipulated people to continue to be around you, but sadly, your time with them is limited. It’s only a matter of time before your true self has been revealed and you have yourself to blame. You’ve destroyed any hope of having a family that we’ve once dreamt of. What I will say though, thank you for giving me a wonderful sibling, without her I would go insane. Thank you for three sets of the best grandparents I could’ve ever imagined. Thank you for an amazing father, a wonderful step-mommy dearest and siblings that if it weren’t for you, they would’ve never been apart of my life. And thank you for documenting our lives in pictures and photo albums because at least there, I am able to reminisce on the happy memories when we were once given a shit about by you. So thank you.

And to you: Stop pointing fingers at others when you are the one at fault, you only make yourself look more pathetic than you already are. Please do not act like I am the cold-hearted one that never wanted you apart of my life and that I only pushed you away when you kept “trying”. Your version of “trying” ended the same way every time, it never changed. The only consistent was the amount of pain and tears you caused each and every one of us, that was enough for a lifetime two times over. Don’t say I never forgave you, I forgave you more than you ever deserved. More than I should have. Oh well, maybe you could say that I had hope for you? Or that I wanted you apart of my life and I thought that maybe, just maybe, you would change for your kids? But we were all wrong, jokes on us. It’s bad enough that my kids (when I have them, not pregnant) will have to grow up without their great-grandmother — who would’ve been the light in their lives just like she was in mine. But don’t worry – they will grow up with multiple grandmothers who I don’t have to worry about leaving them with; in fear that something awful will happen because you cannot get your act together. Among all the awful things you’ve said to me over the years, you hit home when you brought Mel (my biological father) into this screwed-up mess. Don’t you dare think that he doesn’t see the person I’ve become, the complete opposite of what you describe me as, because he watches over me every day. Lastly, I’ve let go.. for good.  I will not allow anyone else to be hurt by you, as long as I live. I hope that you find happiness, peace and the life you so desperately long for.. even though that’s certainly more than you even deserve. Ciao.

 

-Samantha

Race Didn’t Matter! We Were All Green!

For most – race, creed, color, origin, age, and sexual orientation are taboo.  I want to throw out my opinion on the race phenomenon we are witnessing in this day and age, and compare and/or contrast to a time in my life where it just did not seem to matter.

Racial Equality:

I was in the Army for almost five years stationed for the most part at Ft Eustis, Va.  As you can imagine you meet many different types of people with such diverse backgrounds and it is amazing the cohesiveness you can feel with any one soldier.  All races, genders, ages, origins, and several different religious preferences didn’t seem to matter.  We all had each other’s backs and did what we could to help one another.  Don’t get me wrong there wasn’t always peace and harmony amongst our ranks but for the most part race rarely entered into the equation.  If you were smart, you tried your best to learn about as many different cultures as were represented and respected each and every one. The food alone was worth it in my book!

USMC || Boot Camp | "There is no racial bigotry here. Here, you are all equally worthless." ~ Gunnery Sergeant Hartman:

I met some of the best individuals while I was enlisted.  Two of my mentors were black, three or four were Puerto Rican and a couple were white rednecks like me.  These men were the best and they cared about you and your families.  I had two daughters only at this time and both Samantha and Shayna loved all of them to death and they all loved my girls. Samii was old enough to be the little princess in their eyes and started preschool with some of their children.  She was always talking about Sarvant (she couldn’t say Sergeant properly yet) Davis and Sarvant Powell.  She would run and jump into their arms whenever they came over and hug them like she was theirs.  Great men! Black! Who gives a damn!

Every race has their assholes for sure, but every race also has their good people too.  My experience crossed many lines with these men and women and we lived together in not so fun places, we spent a lot of time together, had families involved, and learned from one another, but we were all Green! Nobody was better than anybody else.  We all crawled thru the sand, burnt shit from cut out latrines, and way too often bled red!

BUT WE WERE ALL GREEN!

We need to stop this ignorance of racial bullshit and realize we are all Americans and most importantly realize WE ARE ALL GREEN!

ALL LIVES MATTER!

 

-Denney

What Does It Mean, To Sacrifice Something?

Do you know what “sacrifice” and “the best” have in common? They’re both wildly overused and abused words that are used to describe something or someone. “The best burger ever!” Really? You’ve had every type of burger in the world and known to man? Recently, if you watched the Super Bowl, you heard about Cam Newton not “sacrificing his body” on a fumble that he had a chance to recover, but is sacrifice the right word to describe his inaction, when going for his own fumble isn’t technically something that’s out of the norm for his very profession and, more specifically, that specific scenario on the biggest of all sports stages?

In Life and Love:

The very word, sacrifice, became a surprisingly simplistic, mundane internal argument I’ve been having with myself since my wife, one of the two regulars on this blog, wrote “…thank you for all that you sacrifice” in a very moving and appreciative Valentine’s Day card last month. When I read it and asked her what it was she thought I was sacrificing, she said it was because of my current job giving me tennis elbow in both arms, causing a great deal of discomfort and, sometimes, a searing, stabbing pain in both forearm areas at any given time, even on the weekends when I’m supposed to be recovering.

As if on cue, my mind, ever the hyper-analytical and argumentative one, was flooded with various different arguments that I had neither the right person nor the time to vent or argue with about how people, with seemingly blatant ignorance and disregard, throw out a word like sacrifice. Cam Newton is supposed to dive for his own fumble, especially if it’s in the Super Bowl. An outfielder is supposed to dive full-speed for a blooper/pop up, whether it’s the first out of the inning or the final out in Game 7 of the World Series. A Secret Service agent is supposed to take a bullet for whomever he or she has been charged with protecting…but am I supposed to have pain in both of my arms when my job is to edit highly sensitive reports?

The answer is a very resounding NO.

My wife and I met while we both worked at dead-end carnie jobs at Universal Studios; I was working part-time to simply put gas in my car driving to and from UCF to finish my Bachelor’s, and she was being given lip service about how they were going to fast track her to a supervisor position. The ride I worked at, as a menial pawn a.k.a. attractions attendant, had very stiff and unserviced harnesses. After one year of working there, an elbow injury from years of abuse from sports began to flare up, and it got to the point where my doctor thought Tommy John surgery was a viable way to rectify the issue. My wife, on the other hand, hand to sacrifice her overall sanity while she was in charge of people who, quite frankly, were either below or slightly above Forrest Gump-level intellect. Nowhere in that job description did either of us see “risk your future health and mental well-being” in the “primary responsibilities” role.

And now we reach the crux of the issue: when someone legitimately sacrifices something or themselves, not the Cam Newton-lack-thereof version, should that sacrifice go unnoticed? Should someone throwing away their dignity to brown nose and get a promotion and someone risking potential surgery on both arms be constituted as the same type of sacrifice?

et bah y'en intérêt parce que là, j'ai ma dose de chaos!:

 

This is a tough question for many of you, I’m sure, especially when I ask that you leave politics out of it. You responses are appreciated, but not necessary; I’m simply trying to bring to light an issue that seems to have been forgotten in this chaotic world we live in today.

 

 

-Case

Why I’m thankful for each and every one of my coaches.

I came across this photo today while scrolling through my Facebook & strangely, it couldn’t be more accurate. At least in my opinion. This photo was made and posted by a dear friend whom is a teacher and a head coach at a high school for sideline and competitive cheerleading. For those of who you may think that cheerleading is a rah-rah let’s throw my pom poms around and let’s see how short I can hike up my skirt, I can assure you, you are very, very wrong. Take a brief moment, open a new tab, type in YouTube and you know what better yet — click here.

Are you finished? Great, let’s move on.

And why yes, they may have on a crop top and a short skirt/shorts… it is no different than what your average college cheerleader looks like.. but, that’s another argument for another day. Now while I did do the rah-rah go-team-go type of cheerleading AKA: pop-warner, middle school and high-school cheerleading.. I also competed like in the video you watched above. If you didn’t watch it, or at least A PART of it, you won’t completely understand unless you are fluent in the all-star cheerleading world. And yes, it IS a whole different type of world filled with blood, sweat, tears, broken bones, huge bows, glitter, lots and lots of makeup and hairspray, late nights, 5AM practices and wakeups, lots and lots of traveling, 4 hour practices (even on weekends) and much, much more. In this very moment, I couldn’t even imagine not being apart of the countless hours of practicing, competing and traveling all those years. While I may not have realized it at the time, those coaches, the ones we may have been so angry at while they screamed and screamed because of each fuck-up we made during practice, are the very ones who taught us perseverance and strength and who taught us never to give up, and the meaning of teamwork. The very people who showed us unconditional love and dedication, and those very people helped shape us into the human beings we are now. Without them, we would’ve become a whole different kind of person.

I didn’t just come across such amazing coaches in cheerleading, but I also came across some wonderful coaches while playing volleyball, running track, and playing flag football. However, out of all the sports, cheerleading, without a doubt, took up the most of my time. Between going to practice right after school for school practice, then leaving there and eating something while heading to all-star cheer until 8-9pm at night, then heading home to do homework, get a shower and go to bed to do it all over again tomorrow. Practices even occurred on the weekends, 4 hours long. Now you would say that we didn’t have much of a life but in fact, our life was our gym, our teammates, the competitions, the hotels we stayed in when we traveled out of town to compete during the weekends, just wherever we were as long as our teammates, team moms and coaches were by our side – we were complete. Our friends WERE AT practice with us, their parents became our second parents/families, so we were as happy as could be until we didn’t stick a perfect routine and had to run it 50 times before we were allowed to go home….. No joke.

I am beyond thankful for how hard they made us practice, for how they made each obstacle seem like it may have been impossible but kept motivating and pushing us until we completed it to then give us another obstacle to tackle. Together, the coaches, our team, our parents, our siblings, other teams — we were a unit. A community. Together we were apart of something much bigger than ourselves and it really made us appreciate the little things in life. We thrive under pressure, we encourage the competition, we know what dedication looks like, we know what teamwork consists of, we won’t back down and we know that in order to achieve greatness, you must be willing to sacrifice things and we are 100% okay with that. My coaches were some of the most influential people in my life, people who tore us down to build us back up into an even better individual and an even better asset to our fellow teammates. They never gave up on us, they always had our backs, we always had each other’s back and because of that, we came out on top — stronger than ever. Every time. Win or lose.

So coaches, thank you so much for everything you’ve ever done for each one of us.

Thank you for putting up with our crap, pushing us harder each time, standing by us, supporting and cheering us on in the front of the mat while the bright lights revealed in a minute and thirty seconds — just how hard we’ve worked to complete a magnificent routine. And we owned it.

 

&& as for Adrian, one of the best tumblers, dancers & jumpers that I know. A coach and friend that we lost way too soon, thank you for constantly pushing us to be better. Thank you for screaming loudly, jumping up and down and cheering us on at the front of the mat each and every competition. Thank you for always being someone we could count on.  We loved to make you proud. Thank you for being such an amazing human being and thank you for being the best coach possible. Rest in peace. We will never forget you.

-Samantha

Yes, I am That Guy

Good Morning Everybody!  Yes, I am THAT GUY!  Deal with it!

Happy Good Morning Quotes Funny:

I cannot remember a time when I was not a morning person.  Blame my parents if you need to point a finger.  My mom and dad are both morning people.  My mom used to wake us for school every morning singing our names and telling us the sun was shining and the birds were singing just for us.  She would then make us breakfast while keeping the mood high.  My dad worked his ass off in the shittiest of factories every single day, but still got up in a good mood to keep food on our table.  We were dirt poor growing up, but we didn’t know it because of the upbeat mood and happiness they maintained in our home.  Couple that with the blessings from God we were thankful for and it was just a way of life that seemed very normal for us.

This morning, with her, having coffee:

 

To this day, I get laughed at, ridiculed, cursed out, and talked about daily just because I am a happy-go-lucky morning person, but I honestly do not understand how somebody could not be a morning person.  Oh, and by the way, as an extreme morning person, I love to use it just to piss off those of you who are not!  Woohoo!  Right at this moment it is 7am Eastern, and I am pecking away on my laptop, drinking a great cup of Cafe Bustelo listening to Sports Center with a smile on my face and love in my heart.  I do thrive on the fact most people can be such miserable bastards in the morning, and better yet knowing my great mood irritates them more than nails on a chalk board.  My only hope is that my attitude can wear off even just a little on them to bring a smile to their face to make their day a little bit better.

Wish i was a morning person! Lol:

 

I asked this before in this blog, but How can people not be a morning person?  Each day is a great day graced by God.  Every single day, anything is possible.  What happened yesterday is in the past, and we are given the opportunity of a fresh start with those same endless possibilities.  Even in the month of February in North Eastern Ohio, I can jump right out of bed, turn on some Pitbull and start the coffee perking.  It is easy.  I love God.  I love my wife, my daughters, my grandchildren, and yes, I love my job!  I am not rich, just barely middle class, and Nancy and I work our asses daily, but we appreciate the little things God has blessed us with, and we do our best to make the most of them.

Sometimes difficult...but this is another great lesson taught by the kindest person I know...my mother:

I mentioned in prior blogs about being a veteran of the Army.  Even when we were in basic training, third world, arm pit countries and those boring as hell leadership development classes, I did my best to greet every single fellow soldier with a Good Morning and a smile.  It was a lot easier in the military because my fellow soldiers had to be where I was so they could not avoid me, but that is where I met the most morning people.  It always amazed me how a group of know nothing privates half away around the world from home could stay upbeat and positive when the last step we took could have been our last, but a person coming into a convenient store at 9am could be such a grumpy asshole to a minimum wage cashier for no reason at all.  I was a district manager in the convenience store industry for many years and actually over heard a customer asking a cashier to tell me not to call him “Friend” when I said “Good Morning Friend, how are you?”  He said I didn’t know him well enough to call him “Friend!”  In my mind that is the definition of an asshole!  I made certain I visited that store every morning for the next two weeks just so I could run into that person and wish him the best of mornings and call him “Sir,” as loudly and condenscending as I possibly could.  There is just no need for that.  He isn’t any better than anybody else, and I wanted to make damn sure he knew it.

The most fun was waking up the girls in the morning.  They all have their good mornings, but for the most part all 6 of them were pretty irritable bitches in the morning.  I always tried to make them morning people also, but those apples fell way far away from the tree. On the weekends or while we are on vacation, Nancy and I might like to start our morning coffee with just a touch of Baileys or follow up my first cup with a Bloody Mary.  This always put us in an even better mood and allowed us to irritate the girls even more.  It was a blast.  Blaring some Aventura or Wisin y Yandel at 8am, really gets the blood pumping, and that is exactly what we liked to do.

In closing, I have to once again ask, “How can you not be a morning person?”  And just a fair warning…if you see me whistling a song coming in the opposite direction, run the other way because I will hunt you down like the Debbie Downer you are, and do everything possible to get on your last nerve!  Or you could just join the club and become a morning person with me! Up to you!

Ciao!

-Denney

 

—- Addition by Samantha —-

This is for all those morning people out there...not so much. ; -):

Trust him when he tells you to run the other way if you are not a morning person! Take it from the girl who went to middle school/high school out of zone therefore, he had to drive me to school every morning. Now let me tell you, I was already up an hour or so getting ready but I was NOT awake. I am most definitely not a morning person and then again, I’m not really a night person either. But in the mornings, just let me wake up in peace, let me get ready at my speed and let me get some coffee and just settle in. Don’t jump down my throat, ask me to do a bunch of useless shit, or start singing to me. I just want to have some peace! But feel free to make me a nice pot of coffee & some breakfast in bed, I can be down for that! Every morning while driving to school, we fought with the radio every morning, it never failed. I simply wanted to listen to music and he wanted to listen to his raunchy 104.1 shenanigans and I just wasn’t having it! He simply just wanted to have important life conversations that early and I just couldn’t do it!Every morning was an eventful one with this guy. If you were driving past us, you would probably have laughed hysterically because he was probably making a fool out of himself and trying to embarrass the crap out of me constantly. This also continued as he dropped me off and I got out of the car and tried to run AS FAST AS POSSIBLE… as he screamed my name and was a gigantic dork all the way. Now looking back, I laugh because it was hilarious and probably extremely comical to everyone around us however, it wasn’t funny to me at the time. The one good thing about being with this guy in the mornings is that there is always coffee on, so I’ll stick with him 🙂

 

 

Should I know what I want to do with my life?

I mean.. I’m 25 and even though every birthday we say ‘oh my god, I am getting so old’, while that is extremely accurate, I am still young and have plenty of time to figure life out. But do I really though…?

My college career has been quite rough and VERY MUCH all over the place. However, I am finally on solid ground and working on completing my Bachelor’s then I’ll worry about my Master’s. Now in all the time I’ve had between high school, moving around and now settled in.. you would think that I would have narrowed down what in the world I want to do with the rest of my life. But NO… I am not any closer to figuring it out than I was when I graduated high school. There’s something wrong with me, right? Because that would explain a lot.. Anyone have answers, anyone?

On fielding THOSE questions:

There are so many things that I want to do. So many things that I want to be apart of. So many things that I want to accomplish and lives that I want to affect in the most influential way. I want to make a difference but then again, everyone says that.. So what the hell. Why is this so hard for me to figure out?

While I am *beyond* obsessed with Grey’s Anatomy – I cannot handle the blood, shit and piss. (You can picture it now, can’t you? Yuck.) So becoming an amazing surgeon like Meredith Grey is out of the question…

“I don’t know why we put things off, but if I had to guess, I’d say it had a lot to do with fear. Fear of failure. Fear of pain. Fear of rejection.”  -Meredith Grey:

Then there’s law – everyone says they want to be in the law but recently I read a blog post from Tucker Max (if you haven’t heard of him, do yourself a favor and look him up. He is HILARIOUS. Not for the faint-hearted either, he’s very blunt.) and he wrote about all the reasons NOT to go to law school. Mind you, he also ATTENDED law school. Check it out: Why you should NOT go to law school   Anyway, it was a very interesting read and honestly, he is extremely right. Many people think that being a lawyer is EXACTLY like what you see on Law & Order.. well, it’s not. Sorry to break your heart. While I am currently working in law firm (not as a lawyer, OBVIOUSLY) but I can already tell you – I want NO PART of this life. Nope. No thank you. No siree. Bye. See you later.

difficult planning:

My major is Business Management so it’s a pretty big area that you can do just about anything with. So there’s event planning, I love weddings, events, parties, and I like having complete control over planning things and things going the way that I want them to go. But I’m not a complete control freak although my husband would definitely disagree with you because he has seen it firsthand. It definitely depends on the situation and when something gets messed with after I’ve taken care of it, I am certainly NOT okay with it. But with event planning, you get the weekend hours, late night hours, etc. And at the moment, I’m pretty into having a 9-5 job and weekends off. So there’s that.

 

Now if you’ve read my post titled ‘Live. Laugh. Love. READ.’ you’ll know that I love reading and have ever since I could remember. So maybe publishing?  But as far as editing goes, I’ll need to work on that because that’s DEFINITELY my husband’s expertise hands down. But to think of meeting writers and planning their events, taking care of marketing their own books, reading all the manuscripts, the list goes on.. It can be a pretty difficult field to get into – I’ve done some research.

universityandme: “the lighting was so nice i couldn’t not take a picture…i’m just journaling and starting “to the lighthouse” today for my next essay. ”:

So you see my dilemma? It’s pretty ridiculous.

30 Real Estate Memes Every Agent Needs on Hand.  #realestatememes #realestatepromotion.   For real estate marketing and advertising visit http://inboundrem.com:

Or at least I think I’m handling it? Anyone out there having similar issues? Any advice? Any pointers? ANYTHING!?

 

-Samantha

Against All Odds

Being a parent is a wonderful experience.  Being a parent of six girls however rewarding, can and will create exciting challenges every minute of every day.  The main hope and wish I had as a father was for our daughters to grow up to be at least decent human beings. Their successes, although hopeful, we’re not as much a factor to me as their happiness in this world and being very good, respectful human beings.  I wanted them to honor all that treat others as you would want to be treated stuff, but even better than I was forced to act as a child.  That is very difficult to see this day and age, and seems pretty rare.

I get tired of hearing this generation is this or this generation is that, and kids today have changed so much.  It is such a bad argument in my opinion.  Kids had to change.  Times have changed so they had to adapt to those changing times to survive.  For every kid someone calls lazy or disrespectful, I can find one who works two jobs and goes to school full time.  They are out there but most people are too quick to put a label on a generation for a lot of things we failed to teach them.  There are bad apples in every era, so let’s not label a generation for those few but for those that adapted and pushed forward to do good.

My daughters had every excuse under the sun to turn out bad.  As parents, we put them against ridiculous odds and set them up for failure.  I am not proud to say that, but these six chicas really succeeded against all odds and I could not be more proud.

How to Have a Mindful Divorce, The Love Whisperer,loa relationship coach, http://www.lisamhayes.com/how-to-have-a-mindful-divorce.php:

Let me explain what I mean by that last comment.  All six of our girls are the product of broken homes.  Nancy and I divorced our exes to be together.  We did this while four of our six were teenagers and already thought the world and Mother Nature were against them because of the emotional and biological changes going on with their minds and bodies. Needless to say these were very delicate times and issues were not always handled properly.  Feelings were hurt, things were said and done, and some of them thought we had betrayed them, so basically lives were shattered for a moment in time.  As if that wasn’t bad enough, throw in the fact that we didn’t always act like adults with our exes, didn’t take the girls feelings into account as much as we should have, and then topped it off with mixing two cultures together, and we had the recipe for certain disaster.

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

In the beginning things didn’t go well!  That is an extreme understatement.  The shit hit the fan big time.  Our oldest graduated from high school and moved out as quickly as she could, the second oldest didn’t talk to us for almost two years, and number three proceeded to get pregnant!  What a welcome to family life at the new Casa de Swain.  Our younger three seemed to be doing pretty well and we did our best to keep them with us as much as we could and show them love from both of us.

Photo 11 of 64: Shades of Pink & Gray / Baby Shower/Sip & See "Danetta's Baby Shower" | Catch My Party:

These were very difficult times and we all could have called it quits and given up, but we couldn’t give up just yet.  Love and caring paired with great answered prayers from God above, and little things started to fall in place to bring us all back together stronger than we could have ever been.  We wanted the girls to know we have unconditional love for them no matter the circumstances, that we wanted and needed them, and wanted them to be with us.  Nancy and I immediately stopped talking about the exes in front of the girls so they could form their own opinions of why changes were and needed to be made.  Those things just seemed to work themselves out.  Couple that with spending time together and getting to know each other to realize we are all pretty wonderful.

Now we still had to deal with a teenage pregnancy, and it sure isn’t like any of those lifetime miracle network shows.  Things quickly and heatedly blew out of control.  Once again many prayers, tears, sleepless nights, and tongue biting was involved.  Eventually love and caring will always win out.  We never gave up, we prayed, we prayed, we prayed, and we prayed, and we showed love and genuine concern wherever we could.

I am very happy to say our girls are not a burden on society, and are all pretty decent human beings as of this moment despite all the adults in their lives who tried to do to our best to mess it up.

Our oldest runs financial institutions in Orlando, Fl.  Number two (that sounds funny) got married to a guy I approve of (kind of), is going to college and works full time for a group of attorneys.  The third in line gave us a beautiful grandson, graduated college, and continues to go to school working toward another degree while working full time as a nurse for a private practice.  Lucky number four works at a sandwich shop and goes to college while she takes care of her grandfather.  Number five recently got married, and gave birth to our second gorgeous grand child and is beginning to go back to school while looking for employment.  The baby of the group graduated high school last year and moved in with one of her sisters to help take care of the house and the baby while she is at school and work.

So, as a parent, I can joyfully say I am very proud of my girls, and the fact they never used excuses to not succeed and continue to be decent human beings!

And they did it AGAINST ALL ODDS!

1. Every time a women sits down to write, she will come across an obstacle. She will encounter that ghost that will try to stop her from writing the truth. The ghost will remind her that men don't like when women speak the truth about her passions.:

 

-Denney

Live. Love. Laugh. READ.

So everyone, I have an addiction problem. For books. So is it really THAT bad? Much better than crack.. that’s for sure.

e-Readers make this uniquely true!-- http://www.examiner.com/article/e-readers-fit-travel-needs:

If you’ve read the ‘About’ section and learned a little more about me..(if you haven’t, go now.. before I come find you) you’d know that I love getting myself lost in a good book. And I also want a library like Belle from Beauty & the Beast. My husband told me I’m such a nerd, but he loves me anyway! He has his video games, I have books.

I’m not your typical reader who has migrated into having all their books on their IPad, Nook or cell-phone.. While that is all fine and dandy, and I did try it for a short period of time, I prefer the feeling of a good book in my hands. Is that weird? Then so be it, I’m weird. No hard feelings.

I asked my dad what the first book I read was because unfortunately, I couldn’t remember. That’s kinda depressing. What I did remember was having ALL of the Disney books, ALL of the Dr. Seuss books and always carried one around with me to read. My dad said he is *pretty sure* the first book I read was Beauty & the Beast.. how ironic. But my all-time favorite princess will forever be Aurora in Sleeping Beauty.

During elementary school we had these tests on the computer in our library called AR or Accelerated Reading program. This was my shit. This program consisted of reading books and taking quizzes to get points. In order to determine the amount of points the book was worth, it was based off the length of the book and difficulty of the text. You either answered the question right or wrong and were rewarded so many points for each question. Then, based on the amount of points you received you were rewarded prizes, invited to luncheons, had a dinner out with the principal, etc. It was an amazing program and other than attending my classes each day and doing homework of course, my life consisted of reading and taking those quizzes. I had the time of my life. Since smaller books are so much easier to read I was able to blow through a ton of those books and quizzes all in one sitting. Then, you have your Harry Potter books which are NOT small especially to a little kid like me and those were worth hundreds of points. Now since I’m a quick reader, I comprehend things very easily and can recite what happened back to you in the book, I aced those quizzes. I attended many parties, used my points to buy more books within the library and a bunch of useless goodies (that were not so useless at the time but super awesome) and I had lunch with the principal! When I graduated in 5th grade, I was rewarded the ‘Principal’s Award’ (only went to one student in the entire graduating class and it was not small) and I still have that tiny little plaque today. Yes, I am tooting my own horn. Woohoo.

Harry Potter Quote. Books and Articles by Arthur Chiragiev http://www.pinterest.com/achiragiev/books-and-articles-by-arthur-chiragiev/:

Of course, I grew up in what we call the ‘Harry Potter’ generation so I’m ridiculously obsessed with the Harry Potter series. Not to mention, she is releasing the script for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child in July 2016.. Oh boy oh boy! Now I get it, some people are pissed because it’s just the script, not the book. Okay well quit your whining, I don’t want to hear about it. It’s better than nothing! But anyway, my dad and I used to race to read the Harry Potter series when I was younger. We would start one of them and race to see who finished it first. Now you may think that I had the upper-hand however.. He was busy with work every day and the crazy people he dealt with. I had school each day and practice directly after school. I would come home and eat, do homework, shower and by then, I was exhausted. I have to say though, it was always pretty intense in our household when it came to this series. We would buy two different copies so we could race each time, it was a lot of fun! We even plan to race to finish ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’..May the odds be ever in your favor. (Yes, I’m a Hunger Games fan too… and Twilight.. and Fifty Shades.. Listen, I read A LOT. There are very few books I have found that I didn’t like and put down)

Today, I find that my interests are definitely evolving. There are a lot of books that are in the same realm of what I have read for years and then there are new books that I have brought into my life. Currently I am reading ‘Still Alive’ by Lisa Genova and it is absolutely wonderful. This book is about a woman named Alice who has worked so hard to build her career in linguistics as a cognitive psychology professor at Harvard and is diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease. This book is definitely a little out of my usual readings but I am so engulfed in this book, it’s absolutely amazing. I have heard nothing but wonderful things about Lisa Genova — I definitely recommend this book and this author without question!

Some of the other books I’ve completed recently and definitely recommend:

  • The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Gailbrath (JK Rowling’s pseudonym)
  • See Me by Nicholas Sparks (Not his usual but I LOVED it!)
  • Beautiful series by Jamie McGuire (Absolutely addicting, read two books in three days)

Books I have that I am looking forward to reading:

  • Me before you by Jojo Moyes (turning into a movie with Emilia Clarke, watch the trailer.. you WILL tear up)
  • Dare Me: A Novel by Megan Abott (First book I’ve bought from this author but definitely looking forward to this read)
  • The Opposite of Loneliness: Essays and Stories by Marina Keegan (Must read of 2015)
  • And those are just a few that are coming my way!

Image result for nicholas sparks quotes the best of me:

Favorite author? Nicholas Sparks. Yeah, you may know him as the author of ‘The Notebook’ and yeah, that’s where I fell in love with his writing but his favorite book of mine is from the quote above, ‘The Best of Me’. He is an exceptional writer, someone who takes a story and makes it into some simply breathtaking. People might think that there is ALWAYS a happy-ending and they ALWAYS end up together but really, it’s so much more than that. You have to endure the pain that they are dealing with while reading as they lost their loved ones. I get completely lost in his books and while reading, I am sitting in the locations exactly where the book is based in. (He is a huge fan of the Carolinas. No complaints here, the Carolinas are beautiful).

Simply put: I stand behind reading.

I think that this generation focuses so much on social media, their cell-phones and the celebrities that they forget some of the most important things that can be greatly beneficial in their lives. Is Accelerated Reading still a thing? Apparently, it is. AND apparently, it goes from K-12.. But it was never pushed or offered after I left elementary school. While I do love my phone and maybe spend too much time on social media, I still make the time to read. I wish more people would sit down, grab a glass of wine and grab a good book. I feel like it would do a lot of good and it would be extremely helpful in our lives. This is something I feel very strongly about and I think that maybe it is time to get behind it and do some good with this passion too.

Alright, I think I’ve rambled enough with my almost 1400 words.. Favorite authors, favorite books, favorite genre?

-Samantha

Half a Month of HELL

To begin with a verse from a great old song “At first I was afraid, I was petrified,”

Okay, do not sing the rest of that song and do not laugh.  Seven against one gives a man every reason to be afraid, petrified even.  Those are not very good odds at all, but I faced those odds every month for at least two weeks, that is fourteen days out of every month, every single month for way too many years.  I am not a very smart man, but it didn’t take me long to figure out when I needed to schedule a business trip, fishing trip, or just figure out a way to get my ass out of that house until the coast was clear.

The Day of the Moon, start of the cycle, Aunt Flo, period, or whatever clever mask you ladies try to put on it to disguise the sweetness which once possessed my beautiful wife and daughters.  Somehow I would slowly descend into this seemingly never ending Hell I once referred to as our happy home.  I started to be able to predict it.  I got good at it too.  I knew when it was going to happen and I was ready to take action.  On the very first hint of a cramp, stomach ache, or pants that didn’t fit and I was scrambling to get my bag packed, notify the neighbors and my best friend of my impending doom just in case I went missing.  If you have ever read one of my posts, you know I like the lighter side of things a lot, but this here…this was serious shit!  The dogs and the fish even looked at me pissed off for seemingly no other reason than I had a penis.  I was alone, desperate and very afraid.

Beautiful Quote:

The menstrual cycle deal was even worse with my first wife because her stuff was backwards because she was a bitch for 28 days out of the month and almost tolerable for just three.  Nothing you can do about any of this.  The alternative was just too much, and I could not risk the chance of lucky number seven popping out with a vagina also.

I was always taught the moon was just a rite of passage, celebrating a girls’ arrival into womanhood, but that is tough on a father in different aspects also.  First, you have to realize your baby girls are growing up and may start to have interest in S-E-X, and horrible little punk boys, secondly they begin to turn into these ugly, whiney, clingy, pushy, irritable little demonic, chocolate and ice cream eating, penis hating, emotionally wrecked female dogs…okay bitches!  Whew!

Now multiply that by seven, carry the one, and you have Hell in a household for the only man to live under that roof.

funny-pictures-girls-on-their-period fuck you grass:

I did mention fourteen days because I think that was as close as all seven of them could get to syncing up with one another, plus there was the pre stuff and after stuff for all of them!  Holy Hell, it was like Oprah couch show reruns every month for two weeks, (but it was still better than the twenty eight days I started with) and this did not include all the trips I had to make to the stores , changing A/C filters, opening windows, and emptying trash cans.  I’ll discuss more of that in a blog to come because my first trip to buy tampons was an adventure in itself.

Chris Farley did a sketch about a motivational speaker by the name of Matt Foley who told kids to stop smoking dope or they would live in a van down by the river.  Extremely funny, but for two weeks out of every month I wished I had been living in a van down by the river!

SNL - Chris Farley - Livin' in a van down by the river!:

-Denney