Posted in Uncategorized

A Homeless Tale

Across the street from our hotel in San Diego, we started noticing a bunch of homeless people gathering. And then we saw the prettiest white husky. We notice dogs because, hello, we’re dog people. We wondered what their story was the first day. The second day when we left, we walked across the street and struck up a conversation with them.

*I’m not perfect. I’ll be the first to tell you that if my husband hadn’t been with me I probably would have avoided them.*

That morning there happened to be two of them with the dog. We started telling them how pretty the dog was and they told us his story. His owner has PTSD and was arrested, the dog was his service dog. Instead of having the dog sent to the shelter, this group of homeless had banned together and taken the dog in. They each took turns with the dog and that was why we had seen him with so many different people. As we turned to leave, one of the guys simply asked us if we had any leftovers to bring them by.

I had tears by the time we made it to the car. These people who were homeless and probably could barely take care of themselves had banned together to take care of this dog so he wouldn’t go to the shelter and could hopefully one day be reunited with his owner. And all they had asked us for was leftovers. Not food, water, dog food or money. Just leftovers. I looked over at my husband and he was already on the same page I was. We couldn’t just bring leftovers. We went to the nearest grocery store we could find and bought canned dog food and sandwiches (of course somehow I forgot to buy them something to drink).

Here’s a picture of the dog enjoying his dog food:

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The next morning as we were packing up to head out, we realized we had so much extra water, food, plates, paper towels, so my husband bagged it all up and walked it across the street:

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I cried taking this picture and I tear up a little bit every time I look at it. My husband is a wonderful man. I learn so much from him. His heart is HUGE.

Honestly, my heart has been changed by this experience. These homeless people were so nice and so wonderful and so kind and so polite.

xoxo

nikki

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Posted in Uncategorized

Vacation Part 1

We had actually planned this vacation before we figured out we were moving so originally we had planned more time in California and Seattle. Then we decided to take the first 4 days of our vacation and go to Alabama to house-hunt! I don’t have pics of that part, so we’ll pick up in San Diego, CA!

My husband has never been to CA before while I have been to LA and San Francisco (i had family in both places when I was a kid). Neither of us had been to San Diego so we headed there! Originally we would have spent more time there so we would have sight-saw (?) a lot more but we were exhausted from travel and house-hunting so we just spent all 3 days at the beach. (And did a little shopping of course :))

View from our hotel balcony:

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I was straight up chillin’:

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Toes in the sand!

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Walking the pier:

It was chilly the first day! The wind was really bad so it was cold and windy, hence the jacket, but the next two days were BEAUTIFUL!

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There was this surfer who LITERALLY did not surf. He just sat out in the water on his surfboard and… floated around basically. Here I am pointing him out, although you can’t see him, he’s out there:

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We walked the whole pier and on our way back, a bunch of actual surfers joined the sitting dude. He’s still sitting out there but we did catch one actually surfing!

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Sunset pictures are hard!

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But we finally got a decent one!

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This is one of my favorite pics from our trip:

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And that’s San Diego! Hopefully next time we go we won’t be so tired so we’ll feel like sight-seeing!

But honestly, just hangin’ with my hubby not worrying or thinking about work was exactly the vacation we needed. It was a perfect time to communicate about other things, be together, and just enjoy life for a couple days.

xoxo

nikki

Posted in Uncategorized

Wow!

It seems like I’ve abandoned this blog. One of those reasons was a 10 day vacay with my hubby, which I will post about soon. 🙂

The main reason is because we are planning a cross country move! Yay!! We’re moving back home to Alabama! So, so, so, so excited. The last month has been exciting and stressful. Buying a house in a place where you don’t live is super crazy. 4 of our 10 day vacation was spent in Alabama house-hunting and putting an offer on a home! We are crazy, crazy excited about moving home!

Originally, we moved to Colorado because my family was here. For the last 4.5 years, we have lived next door to my grandparents and helped take care of them. In December they moved to Utah and we were left wondering what to do next. We loved living next door to them and I couldn’t imagine some strangers living in their house. We knew a move was on the horizon, we just weren’t sure where. Well, that’s where the party store comes into play. I always knew I wanted to open a second location and being in Boulder, we realized that college students were a HUGE part of our clientele. We began doing our research on college towns to find one that didn’t have a party store. To our surprise, Tuscaloosa does not have a party store and so that began our moving process. We will be opening the FIRST party store in Tuscaloosa!

And honestly, I couldn’t be more happy about moving back. (We used to live in Opelika). I was raised in Colorado for 7 years and when we moved to Florida I never thought I’d come back. I didn’t come to Colorado because I missed it, I came because my family was here. My end game was never to stay in Colorado. I HATE the weather here. I HATE the cold and the wind. I cannot wait to go home.

The new start in a new home, new city is appealing too. There are a lot of memories here. Most of them have to do with the boys. It will be nice to start over. The other day I was packing up what used to be their old room but since then has just been storage and I found myself just sitting on the floor in tears. There were a LOT of bad memories but there were also so many good ones. That was a life I thought we’d still be living. I thought that would still be their room. I am so, so thankful for a fresh start. A place with no memories. A place where we didn’t teach them to ride their bikes, or play basketball or play with bubbles or dance on the Playstation or build train sets or play volleyball at night or read stories.

My mental health is not doing so well right now. I’ll be the first person to say it. Yes, there are days when I am happy and doing very well. And then there are days where I don’t want to get out of bed. And then there are days when I don’t understand why the boys weren’t meant for us. And then there are the days when I remember why I needed the boys to leave. It’s such a tricky situation because I loved them so much it almost pushed me to suicide. I loved them well past the point that it was safe for me. Mentally, I should have disrupted that adoption about a month before we did. I was just in a really, really awful place mentally. But because I loved them I kept pushing forward, I kept trying, I kept loving them and it nearly killed me. Honestly. This is truth. The night I left, I was one steer from driving into a ditch and killing myself. My thought was to leave and not come back.

Ten years ago I flushed my anti-depressants because I didn’t want to be dependent on them. I am incredibly proud of my journey. And in just three short months, Duane had me almost back on meds. If they had stayed and I hadn’t died, I would 100% be on anti-depressants. Love is not enough to make any relationship work let alone an adoption. We were told to just keep loving them and it almost killed me. So yeah, a new start is incredibly appealing to me. I’ll be the first to admit that I have a long journey to go to get back to the me that I was mentally before the adoption. And a new house, new city is a good place to start.

(i’ll try to be back soon with loads of pics from our vacation!)

xoxo

nikki

Posted in Adoption, Uncategorized

Really Trying

I am really trying to move this blog on from our adoption disruption. However, this morning this popped up on Facebook and I couldn’t help but write a little note and share it:

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So of course, I felt like I also needed to share it on my blog. While I do want to move on with my blog and blog more about daily life and other stuff, our Adoption Disruption is always going to be a part of me and I want anyone else also going through it to know they are not alone. They should not be ashamed or feel like a failure. This month marks a year since the boys came out to visit us. It was the roughest and best week. In no way did I ever think that in a year they wouldn’t be here. I expected that this March they would be here, we would be celebrating St. Patricks Day together, having fun on Spring Break, and most importantly, we would officially, legally be a family.

They say time heals but it’s been 5 years since our first, big, expensive failed fertility treatment and I still think about it. Definitely not as sadly as those first years but yet I still do think about it. So I imagine I will always think about the boys. Hopefully not as sad but I will always remember them. That’s life.

I’m starting to accept life without children. I’m starting to realize that this is my life. This is how it’s going to be unless a miracle happens. I’m not going through anymore fertility treatments. I’m not going through another adoption. So this is life. And it is so, so good. I love this life that I have. This life that I’ve been blessed with. I don’t want to change it anymore. I don’t want to try to force things that aren’t meant to be. I just want to live this beautiful, crazy, insane, wonderful life.

xoxo

nikki

 

Posted in Vacation

Girls Vacay 2018

THIS IS MY 100TH BLOG POST!!

Wow, I can’t believe I’ve rambled on here for 100 posts! Thanks for sticking around!

It’s been all quiet here on the blog front because I’ve been on GIRLS VACATION! Yep, that’s right, I just spent a week hanging out with just my mom and Grandma, then a week hanging out with them plus my brother, step-dad, and Grandpa! So this post will be picture-full!

Let’s start in Arizona, cuz that’s where I started! Wouldn’t you believe it, it was the COLDEST WEEK they’d had ALL WINTER. 😦 Highs in the 50’s, which isn’t awful but not what I was expecting! I wanted 70’s+!

The first thing I saw was a REAL LIFE ROADRUNNER! Yes, people, they are real! I only took about a million photos of it:

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Isn’t he so cute with his head sticking out from behind the rock?? My Grandma has sent me pictures before but it was SO AWESOME seeing one in person!!

Next, we went to Old Tucson. Old Tucson is where a bunch of John Wayne (my Grandma’s favorite actor) western’s were filmed. It sounds lame if you’re not into westerns (like me) but it’s actually really cool! They do live shows ALL THE TIME. We saw some dancing, a shoot out, a stunt show and some others that I can’t think of right now. We also got to just walk around Old Tucson and look inside the old buildings, like the sheriffs office, saloons, all buildings that they have filmed at!

On the way to Old Tucson:

Apparently these cactuses, cacti (?) are called Saguaros:

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So many Cactuses, uh I mean Saguaros!!

This building is called The Mission (i think). It was a church in one of the John Wayne films (i think). Look, if you want the real history just go there. 🙂

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My Grandma was so excited by all the John Wayne info and pics! (Isn’t she just the cutest!)

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So, during the stunt show they asked for volunteers and I volunteered. I’ve been trying to step out of my comfort zone more (I’ll go more into that in a different post). I got to fake punch a guy!

These pics are just reenactments for my camera. My mom has the real photos on her camera but I don’t have those.

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These guys literally reminded me of my brother and his friends. They were heckling people, making fun of each other, it could have been my brother and his friends up there!

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So after Old Tucson, the rest of the week we just relaxed, shopped, hiked.

We went to a thrift store and look at what I found! I was so astonished I sent a pic to my hubby and Uncle.

CASSETTE TAPES! (And VHS tapes but it was the cassette tapes that made me laugh)

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It was a little chilly for hiking but we did it anyways. It turned out to be a good time to hike because there was almost no one else out!

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When we got close to Flagstaff, we started seeing snow! Snow in Arizona!

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We stopped and hiked at Glen Canyon Horshoe (something). Anyways, it’s a hike where at the end is this cliff that you can take pics at. It’s better than I’m making it sound.

See it’s pretty:

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See, crazy people:

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This was as close as I got and it was a pretty view:

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Yes, I was afraid of dropping my phone:

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Here’s all the girls:

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And here’s me and Grandma waiting for Mom to take a bunch of pictures of the view:

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And here’s the view from our hotel, if it hadn’t been so cold, I would have sat outside:

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We also stopped at the Glen Canyon Dam. This is the Dam that sits at the end of Lake Powell. We got there right when it opened so no one else was there blocking our view!

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When we got back to Utah, it was snowing, boo. We still had a good week, just did lots of indoor activities and one day of doing absolutely NOTHING. Also my brother had me read The Hunger Games series and let me tell you *spoiler* if Katniss had not ended up with Peeta at the end I would have been SO MAD. Although she was whiny and irritating so I would have understood if Peeta did not want to be with her. Also, the irony of her sacrificing herself for her sister and then her sister dying?! What is up with that?

We visited my Grandpa at the Care Center a couple times.

At first he wasn’t into the whole selfie thing, but then he was!

 

We got some pics of all of us, which I wanted.

 

One of the days I was there my mom had a sub job, so I went with her:

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I had fun but some of the stuff they are learning is HARD. lol.

And now I’m back home. Vacation was AWESOME but I missed my hubby and doggies SO MUCH!

It was a wonderful vacation, the only thing that would have made it better would have been WARM WEATHER. But I’m so glad I was able to take this vacation and hang out with my mom and grandma for a week and see my Grandpa, brother and step-dad.

xoxo

nikki

Posted in Adoption, Life

Rambling

I have so many feelings lately that I just don’t even know what to write. I want to be positive because I feel like so many of my blogs are negative but truth be told, I only feel negative lately.

I received a card yesterday from my biological father that just made me angry again. Which in turn made me even angrier at myself because I have worked really hard the last month to start getting past what he’s done to me in the past year. And the card was stupid and he didn’t apologize for anything instead tried to make himself the good guy and tell me everything was going to be okay. He also wrote “I wish I could take your pain away”, um, if you wished that, how about you stop being part of the pain???

He wrote about how the last 6 months must have been hard on me and he wrote about the boys, things that he had no clue about because he was never involved. He writes things like “I hope you always have happy memories of your boys”…uhh we have some but a lot of them are not good memories and also they ARE NOT OUR BOYS, if they were they would STILL BE HERE. He wrote things that make no sense to our situation. But I guess it does make sense because he was NEVER involved with them at all. He didn’t even meet them, skype with them, call them, he has no idea what they look like other than a few photos i texted him. (Because I wanted to text them, not because he ever asked for photos, because he didn’t ever ask).

I really want a new start. I want to just start over somewhere new. Where all these memories won’t haunt me every day. Where I won’t see the boys when I look outside. Where I won’t remember that “they did this there” or “they did that here”. I want to purge my house of anything that reminds me of them.

And then I don’t. I want to remember when they “did this there” or “did that here”. I want to see pictures of them. I want to remember them.

There are times when I look outside and just remember. Remember blowing bubbles with them, remember teaching them how to ride bikes, remember how they would hug me, and say “i love you”. Remember how they would call me “mom”.

I honestly cannot believe that it has been 6 months that they’ve been gone. Honestly, they have now been gone twice as long as they were here. Is that really right? Yeah. I can’t believe it. It doesn’t feel like it’s been that long. It doesn’t feel like we’ve gone through all the big holidays without them. It just doesn’t feel right sometimes.

I feel like I’m living my life without really living it. Does anyone feel like that? It’s like you know you’re living your life. You do your daily things. You know you’re doing them but you’re just going through the motions. Sometimes I feel like my life stopped the day the boys left and even though time is going on, I’m not. I’m stuck in that day that they left and my world turned on its side. And I realized I may never have kids or be a mom. I want to move forward but I can’t. It’s like I’m stuck. And I don’t know how to get past this. It’s been six months and to me it feels like it was yesterday. The only reason why I know it’s been that long is because of the weather. If the weather was still 80 degrees, I would think time had just stopped.

I don’t know what I’m doing or why I’m doing it. I feel like a need a new start. A new place, just a start over. (with my husband and dogs of course).

I just don’t know.

xoxo

nikki

Posted in Life

Super Bowl!

It’s Super Bowl Sunday! I don’t really care. I’m not into football. I’ll watch with my hubby but I’m not super into it.

I don’t have much to say today, I just thought it seemed like I needed to post. Life has actually been pretty good lately. The store has been doing well, we’ve been doing well, the doggies are doing well.

I’ve started (when it’s not too cold) going for my walks in the morning after I wake up  and I really think it’s helping. It gives me about 20-30 minutes to just be outside and work through anything that may be bothering me.

I’m really thankful January is over. It was a rough month remembering what we were going through last year. Last February we were just waiting so there’s no real big hurdles to get past. March, I think will be more difficult because that’s when the boys came for their visit. But let’s enjoy February first!

I am going on a two week trip with my Mom and Grandma in a couple weeks so I am very excited about that too! Vacations are ALWAYS nice!! One of the places we are going is warm so I am really looking forward to that! I’m so sick of the cold!

And apparently the Super Bowl is already started! That just tells you how much interest I have in it!

I’m also trying to figure out next life moves. I just know I can’t keep going on like this. There’s gotta be more for my life than what I’m doing now. It sounds confusing and it is but I just feel like I’m stuck, like I’m standing still and I need to move again. I need to get started, get going.

Of course, I am still (and may always be) fighting back the emotional abuse I was put through as a child. It really affected me more than I knew. I never realized that the fact that I always feel like a failure or that I feel like I will never succeed or be good at anything stems from that abuse. Not to mention, my father called me a couple weeks ago and I didn’t answer and he never texted or called again. I don’t want him to think everything’s ok between us because it’s not. I’m not going to sweep all this under the rug and just forgive him when he hasn’t even tried to apologize. (Which is something I have done in the past). I will forgive him one day but that day is not right now. I’m still reeling from everything he did in the past year and now from things in my childhood. I’m feeling a lot of anger towards him, which is understandable, and hurt and frustration. I’m trying to realize that I can do hard things.

At the end of the day, I just want to live a life I’m proud of. So that’s what I’m striving towards.

xoxo

nikki