He’s home

Elizabeth missed her dada so much while he was away.  In fact I didn’t really notice how badly she missed him while he was gone.  She wasn’t fussy or asking about him in any unusual ways; sadly it’s common for them to miss each other even when he does come home after work.  He simply leaves for work before she’s awake in the morning and comes home after she’s in bed again; to her, he wasn’t home that day.

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I had no idea when he was going to be coming home; in fact I thought it was going to be the following day.  Out of nowhere I saw him pull into the driveway and told Elizabeth “let’s go outside, dada’s home!”  Instantly she ran toward the front door which was conveniently open as it has been beautiful mid-70’s weather lately.  Later in the afternoon while we were at dinner to celebrate dad being home Elizabeth would not let him go.  We set her up in a booster seat, which is also a first, but she just wanted to be held by him and cuddle.  When Elizabeth cuddles she rests her chin on your shoulder and pats your back; it’s seriously the cutest thing.  Being held by dada was the only thing she wanted the entire evening, and the following day.  It was so sweet to see, and I cannot get over it.

Since then, she has gone back to the normal routine of sometimes seeing him during lunch, sometimes not at all, we’re so unbelievably blessed that she is easy going and not really bothered by the unpredictable schedule yet.  She is arriving at the age where she will be impacted by his being gone for days, weeks, and God forbid, months.  We’ve been very self-sufficient in maintaining the home and our lives together (with Alodia, too).  Not much changes in our routines and habits when he leaves nor when he returns.  As a family we kind of just fit him into the rythmic works of our everyday lives.

As heartbreaking as it will be to see her sadness when he is absent, celebrating his returns will be worth it.

Finding peace

We must all face the choice between what is right and what is easy. -Albus Dumbledore

I recently made a decision to clean my life.  Actually, clean doesn’t really explain it properly.  I scrubbed and disinfected my life.  I began this process shortly after Elizabeth was born about a year and a half ago; I finally realized that I wasn’t as happy as I could be.  However I remained unable to pinpoint exactly what changes needed to be made to ensure that I was as happy as I should be.

I began my pursuit of happiness by purging belongings of mine.  This was helpful twofold: 1. Minimalism is freedom, and 2.  We move very frequently, therefore fewer belongings is simply fewer things to pack, move, unpack, etc.  I was relieved, but it wasn’t removing the weight from my shoulders that inspired the purge.

At that point, I decided to attempt to change personal habits.  I did this by making sure to clean up immediately to reduce stress throughout everyday life and also to set a more concrete schedule for waking, eating, etc.  Like minimizing, this too improved my life, but still fell short from removing the weight I was aiming to dispose of.

The last attempt I made was concerning relationships. Only recently did I became aware of the impact toxic relationships have had on me my entire life.  It is difficult to notice things you are so used to.  It’s like the smell of home: you are capable of noticing the smell of others’ homes, but are desensitized to your own, although it is there.

I decided to clean my life of relationships that involved 100% negative emotions, and 0% positive.  These relationships were with people who I dreaded talking to because I was constantly insulted, discredited, humiliated, or just plain old bullied.  With these people, I would experience something wonderful (pregnancy, for example) and absolutely dread informing them because I knew it would result in a snide comment.  These people caused me to become a worse person when I was thinking of or in the presence of them.  The last thing I want is for my family to suffer through the same things I have, especially with me being the toxic person; and they definitely were while I was preoccupied over these awful relationships.

Obviously that led to a bit of drama from some third parties, but the amount of support I received was truly eye-opening.  The immense weight lifted from my shoulders was, and is, immeasurable.

There have been so many improvements to my life which I never could have envisioned being bound to this one simple stressor.  I feel uplifted, peaceful, and relaxed in ways I never have before.  Letting go has been one of the most freeing things I could have ever done for myself and my family.

I can only hope that it is just as peaceful for the other people.  Without the awfulness they associated with me (as I’ve been so constantly informed), I genuinely hope they are as happy as I am.  Some things are simply not meant to be and forcing them is where situations become catastrophic.

Know that it is okay to let people go if both parties are suffering because of a forced relationship.  Be at peace with finding, rekindling, or utilizing loved ones who truly do love you.  Do not put up with any form of abuse for any excuse whatsoever.  Stand up for yourself so you can be at peace, it’s well worth it for you and those who sincerely love you. ❤

Allow yourself to be happy so that you can be the best you for those who need that.

Valentine’s Day craft inspiration

I love holidays and especially love the fun that comes with them.  People tend to tuck their creativeness away until holidays where it will suddenly emerge!  I wouldn’t complain if we were all creative all the time though. 😉

Crafts and artwork are always fun, and the best thing is that with holidays I don’t necessarily have to be mentally creative or imaginative for the themed crafts since so many people already have been and share their great ideas.

That brings me here, with lovely ideas to do for Valentine’s day crafts for Elizabeth and Alodia which I have rounded up here to share with you.  Once Elizabeth wakes up we’ll begin our craft date on the porch! ❤

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These hearts are quick and easy and can be made entirely with leftover craft scraps and recycling.  How great is that?  I can imagine how cute these would look hanging on a girly Christmas tree, too.

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Crafts that celebrate not only a holiday but that also capture a moment in time like these fingerprints are especially dear to me.  This fingerprint heart tree could so easily be mailed to loved ones as a Valentine’s day card!

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These hearts are so pretty I’d love to make some simply to hang in the girl’s play area!  They just use paper, paint, scissors, and shaving cream.  Imagine how fun that will be for little hands to get messy with (even big hands, lets be serious, I’d smush it around too).

I can’t even collect any more at the moment, I’m too eager to get the supplies assembled so Elizabeth can dive right in after waking up before it gets dark and buggy!  Happy Sunday!

Sources: yarn hearts  |  fingerprint tree  |  shaving cream heart

What is a dad?

My dad wasn’t there.  He abandoned my mom and my two older sisters while I was still a fetus, maybe even earlier.  He physically left when I was just six weeks old.  Legally left us when I was about 6 months old.  The divorce was nasty, I found records of it when I was about 20 and while reading through them, I sobbed, I never made it through all of them.

My father figure as I refer to him as, George, was a godsend.  Many of my traits, philosophies, mannerisms, and interests come straight from him.  He has the warmest heart, but carries a big “fuck it” attitude.  He is one of the hardest working people, even when not at work.  When a flood destroyed my mom’s garage while I was an infant, he built us a new one, and he put it in a better location.  When my mom’s cars were in the shop for whatever reason (as they frequently were) he provided a backup pickup for her to use.  When we had basketball or lacrosse games or recitals, he was there to cheer us on.  Christmas mornings, he was there.

He taught me how to work, how to fish and shoot a gun, drive a car, hammer a nail, swear like a grumpy old man, and he taught me to respect myself, most importantly without guilt.  He was also the one to drop me in a snowbank if I wasn’t behaving right.

My husband is the best father I could ever imagine for our girls.  I didn’t grow up with a dad to admire.  I didn’t dream about walking down the aisle at my wedding with my dad (but I did dream about the day I could change my last name for a positive reason).

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My husband isn’t home frequently.  His work is physically and mentally demanding and exhausting.  He holds so much responsibility concerning both people and things, and that’s just talking about work.  It seems like when he is home he’s either doing work or sleeping; he rarely cleans or does projects around the house.  He doesn’t have time for hobbies.  But he does father our children.  He is always able to push whatever he’s busy with aside for one or both of the girls.  Almost nightly, when he’s home, he falls asleep with one of them on his chest.  I have so many photos I could print a calendar with a new photo each day.  He lovingly sleeps in Elizabeth’s room if she’s having a particularly rough night, and he so delicately carries them both so I have “off” time.

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He mentally freaks out when one of them gets hurt or startled, like so many dads-of-daughters do, and he simply cannot say no.

I’m hoping that he will be present for their recitals and sports games, and that he’s able to teach them how to fish and shoot, drive, and use tools.  However in his career path he may not be able to do many of those, if any, but I know he does (and will do) everything he possibly can for them.  ❤  He is the perfect dad.

Sappy post because Elizabeth has been asking for him all day but she’ll have to wait a couple weeks to see him. (Plus he deserves a little praise every once in awhile, right?)