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Dealing with Grief

My family recently lost two amazing people due to Covid-19.

In August we learned that my husband’s cousin and her husband were being admitted to the hospital because of covid complications.

Not even a month later they both were taken away from us.

The pain was unreal, like we were living a nightmare.

Anger set in and the whys. Why did they have to die? Why did this virus have to take them away from us?

I cried for days, until I learned to deal with my grief.

I sat and thought about how blessed I was to have had them both in my life for 20 years.

I thought about all the special memories I was lucky enough to get to share with them.

Most importantly I thought about all the wonderful things this amazing couple taught me.

I would like to share what I learned having these incredible people in my life.

Susie taught me to let the people I love know how much I love them. Susie was the most loving person I have ever met. She would let everyone know how much she loved them and how special they were to her.

Terry taught me unconditional love for your spouse. He loved Susie so much and stood by her side through thick and thin.

They both taught me to be spontaneous and to live life to the fullest. They always had so much fun, no matter what they were doing.

Susie taught me to help others in need and to be kind to everyone. Susie would help anyone in need and she could have hour long conversations with people she didn’t even know.

They both taught me to be a better person and a better Christian.

I am a better person having known them and I am beyond blessed to get to say they loved and cared about me.

I am grateful for every minute I got to share with them and all the laughter we once shared.

The sadness is still there but I know they are together in Heaven, rejoicing with the Lord.

The pain doesn’t just go away, but celebrating their lives and remembering all they passed on to me and my family, has helped me through the grieving stage.

I would like to honor them by letting you all know that COVID-19 IS REAL! If you don’t believe in getting vaccinated, please don’t judge people who do choose to get vaccinated. Please don’t hinder people’s choice in getting the vaccination.

Think of other’s feelings that have lost loved ones to this senseless virus before you say hurtful things about the vaccine or wearing masks.

Stay safe out there, and pray for the ones fighting this virus and the ones dealing with the grief of losing their loved ones.

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I Support Self Love

It has come to my attention that some may think that I don’t support weight loss or weight loss surgeries.

I support self love and I would love to see every woman, big or small, to love yourselves no matter their size.

I struggle as a plus size woman to love myself, but I also know that women that are not plus size, struggle with insecurities as well.

If you don’t love yourself as a bigger woman, you won’t love yourself as a skinnier version.

In all honesty, I would most likely have the gastric sleeve (if I could afford it). Not for vanity purposes, but to feel more comfortable in my own body.

Do I think all medical problems disappear after weightloss?? Nope, I know for a fact that some health problems follow you after weight loss.

That being said, I do think that being overweight comes with its own set of problems. Such as back and joint pain from carrying that extra weight. And extra weight does make it harder to get around.

So I absolutely support weight loss and weight loss surgeries for better health.

I personally don’t think people should depend on weight loss surgeries to help them feel better about the way they look. If you don’t love yourself, the way you are, then no amount of surgeries will help you to love yourself more.

I personally want to love myself 100% the way I am and I don’t want to think of weight loss as a way to feel prettier or more attractive.

I still struggle with my insecurities and I am learning to love myself but I know I am not quite there yet. I do know that if I lose 100 pounds, I will still face insecurities, until I truly love myself the way I am.

So in conclusion, I support weight loss and weight loss surgeries, my only hope is that women will see their true beauty before weight loss and do it for the right reasons. Remember, you will not love yourself after weightloss if you do not love yourself before.

Stay Beautiful my friends!

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Possum Kingdom Vacation

We recently visited Possum kingdom for the first time, and I have to say it did not disappoint.

The vacation rental we rented was perfect!

It was a small cottage right on the lake, like literally the lake was in our back yard.

It was so relaxing sitting on the back patio, watching the lake, listening to music and fishing.

The fishing was great, my son was the fishing champion catching 15 fish!

Ciara enjoyed floating in the lake and the house was completely accessible so our backs really enjoyed that.

We enjoyed every meal from the outside kitchen and even watched TV on the patio Television.

Now, the Wifi did not work too well so streaming shows was out of the question. But honestly it did not bother us, we got to enjoy each other as a family and never missed the Wifi.

It is also a little off the beaten path, so city folks might feel like they are in the back woods but we loved it!

If you are in Texas and want a relaxing vacation, I would definitely recommend this gem.

Here is the link Check out this Vrbo rental:
https://www.vrbo.com/4503433ha?unitId=5104779&adultsCount=1&childrenCount=0&noDates=true

We had an amazing vacation and cannot wait to go back!

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Don’t Let Your Past Define You

Recently I have noticed the younger generation making excuses for the way they behave.

Blaming every little thing they have encountered in their past for the bad decisions they make.

If everyone let their past dictate their future, we would have very little successful people in the World.

I know for me, I could sit here feeling sorry for myself for the trauma in my life.. but I chose to rise above my past to have a better future.

I see kids these days cutting theirselves because they’re parents divorced.

I see kids turning to drugs and alcohol and blaming the World for their problems.

Choosing a life of crime because they think everyone owes them for the life they were given.

I wish they all could know that the decisions you make follow you for the rest of your life, and can ruin their future.

I know I am not exactly where I want to be in life, but I never let my past define me.

I have an alcoholic father who was physically abusive to my mother and mentally abusive to us all.

My brother committed suicide when I was 5.

I had a baby at 15 and encountered a medical mistake that caused brain damage which led to her having cerebral palsy.

I could go on and on about the devastation in my life, but I choose to think about all the good in my life.

I didn’t turn to drugs or alcohol. I didn’t live a life of crime.

I live everyday for my kids, to give them a better life and to show that I did not let my past control my future.

That doesn’t mean that I never think about my past, and I do suffer from depression and anxiety.. but I am learning to live life to the fullest and enjoy every moment I have on this Earth.

I know there are so many successful people out there that endured even more than I in their past. They rose above it and decided to make a better life for theirselves.

If you or someone you know is going through traumatic events, I encourage you to get help. Find a counselor that can help you talk about the pain and learn tools to overcoming your trauma.

Life is hard and there will be ups and downs. You just have to be strong. All the bad in life does not have to define you.

I know for me, everything I have ever went through has made me a stronger woman and more determined than ever to have a better life and for my children to grow up happy.

You can have a better life too, stay strong and don’t let your past define you for the rest of your life!

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4th of July Ideas

Tomorrow we will be celebrating our independence as Americans and celebrating the bravery that led to our freedom.

If you are last minute like me, you are still preparing and decorating for the 4th of July.

I have some quick and easy ideas to help you get ready for the patriotic holiday.

All these ideas are so simple, I am not a perfectionist so everything I do is very minimalist. I hope you enjoy!

Patriotic wreath

I love mesh wreaths, they are literally so easy to make and everything comes from the dollar tree.

USA Blocks

I found these super cute stars at the dollar tree and painted them with letters on them to form the USA.

Flag Cupcakes

I love how this cupcake flag turned out! I just baked my favorite cupcakes, formed my flag and decorated them with buttercream to look like a flag.

Festive Cheesecakes

Who doesn’t love cheesecakes! These are so quick and easy and add festivity to your holiday table. Just mix up the no bake cheesecake, put them in cute cupcake liners and top with cherries and blueberries.

Red White and Blue Tier Tray Decor

Want to add some red white and blue to any table? I decided to decorate my tiered tray. I put some 4th of July Garland around the tray and added little decor items like jars filled with blue candy and a red mug with patriotic straws.

Red White and Blue Strawberries

These strawberries are the cutest and so simple. Just dip them in whipped cream, leaving the tops red. Then dip the bottom in blue sprinkles or you can add blue coloring to sugar. Super quick and festive!

4th of July Table Decor

These are super cute to add to your 4th of July tablescape. The dollar tree has so many vases or jars to choose from. You just add red white and blue sand or rocks, tie some ribbon around the vase and add a flag.

Charcuterie Board

I am still getting the hang of the charcuterie boards, but I think my 4th of July board turned out pretty cute.

I hope you all have a safe and fun 4th of July!

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Wheelchair Accessible Summer Activities

Summer time is here and kids are out of school. Finding activites that our kids in wheelchairs can participate can be frustrating.

Until the whole World decides to be wheelchair accessible, we are limited to what we can do with Ciara but that doesn’t mean we don’t have our favorite summer time activites.

Here are some great activity ideas that are wheelchair accessible, that we enjoy doing during the summer time.

Morgan’s Wonderland

Morgan’s Wonderland is a accessible theme park, designed for special needs people in San Antonio Texas.

They have amusement rides and a water park.

We love Morgan’s Wonderland! It’s definitely a summer must have activity.

Skating

Here in Waco we have a skating rink that allows kids in wheelchairs to use the skating rink in their chair.

Ciara loves zooming around the rink in her power chair.

Bowling

Bowling is always a fun activity. They have bowling lanes with a ramp. I like to call ahead to make sure that the lane with the wheelchair ramp is available.

They also have bowling ramps for people who cannot throw the ball.

We always have a blast at the bowling alley.

Zoo

The zoo can be a little too hot during the summer time in Texas, but it’s always an option.

Build a Bear

Ciara has so much fun when she visits Build A Bear. Who doesn’t love building their own bear?? And it’s accessible and the workers are very accommodating for us.

Drive thru Safari

Drive thru safari’s are always fun. We use to drive to Glen Rose Texas to see their safari but now we have one closer that we are excited to try.

Movies

Okay so movie theaters can be frustrating because most theaters sit people in wheelchairs at the very front, and you break your neck looking up at the screen the whole time.

Last summer we visited the Hippodrome Theater in Waco and absolutely loved it!

They have a wheelchair lift that lifts them to their seat. You can also order food while you watch your movie. If you know the struggle of carrying movie snacks while pushing a wheelchair you understand how great that is!

I hope you have enjoyed these Summer Activities Ideas and have a great summer!

If you would like to follow a long with what Ciara is doing in life, follow Ciara’s Journey at https://www.facebook.com/Ciaras-Journey-101179611262607/.

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Mom Burnout

Have you ever felt tired of the mom life? Feeling as if the only thing you do in life is take care of everybody else?

Then you have the mom guilt, for feeling these feelings of mom burnout.

You are not alone!

For the past month I have felt the mama blues, and find it hard to just be happy.

I wake up everyday to the same messes in my house. Dirty clothes on the floor, dishes in the sink, laundry to wash and fold. Then I walk past that bathroom mirror with toothpaste splatters across it and think ” why should I even clean it, it will be dirty again tomorrow.” Then I spiral into a World of self pity.

I start to wonder if this is all my life will ever be, cleaning the toothpaste off of the mirror for the rest of my life?

How do you overcome these feelings of emptiness and self pity?

I have thought about this a lot here lately. I don’t want my kids to remember me as the crazy, depressed mom, that at time holds resentment towards them for having to be a mom 24/7.

I want them to remember me as a fun, happy mom!

So, what do I do about this?

I have complied a list of what I am going to try to get my life out of the gutter and stop the Mom Burnout.

Me Time

This is so important! We moms forget to have “me time“. We focus so much energy on doing everything for our families so that they can be happy, we forget about our happiness. Believe me there is no happy home without a happy wife/mom.

Whether you read a good book or you binge a new series on TV. Take the time everyday to do something you want to do.

Exercise

I hear so many good things about that thing called exercise, but I never just take the time to do it. Okay, it may be a little laziness on my part, but I think I am ready to start exercising this frustration away.

More Friend Time

It has occurred to me that I cannot remember the last time I had a Mom night out with friends or even a lunch date with a friend. I get so consumed in life, I forget I have friends. Remember your friends ladies, support each other and have more friend time.

Fun Hobbies

This kind of goes with “me time”, but I am going to find a hobby that I enjoy. I use to enjoy baking, but now I do it so much for my family that I don’t enjoy it as much.

Find a hobby that does not benefit anybody but YOU!

Be Selfish

It is okay for us moms to be selfish sometimes! We give so much of our time to our family, why not do more for yourself. Go shopping just for stuff for you, get your hair done, get that pedicure or massage you have been wanting.

If you don’t think of yourself sometime, you feel resentful to your family and that leads to that mom guilt.

Teach Your Family to Help More

This is a tough one for me. I have been guilty of not making my family do more for their selves . I would rather pick up the laundry myself and not argue about it, but my family DOES need to help out more.

In the end they make not like me as much, but they will show more respect for all the things that I do for them.

Enjoy Family Time

After I take some much needed mommy breaks and think about myself for once, I am hopeful I can get back to enjoying time with my family. We do all this for them anyways, might as well enjoy every minute with them.

I am looking forward to beating the “mom funk” and getting back to the mom and wife I want to be.

I hope some of these mom tips can help you if you feel the mom burnout coming on.

Don’t forget to give yourself a break and don’t feel bad about the mom burnout, it happens to the best of us!

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Yogi Bear Jellystone Park

Over Spring Break my son and I had the opportunity to visit the Yogi Bear Jellystone Park in Burleson, Texas.

At first, I thought this park may not be a good idea for a 14 year old boy, but we had so much fun!

There was literally so much to do, we stayed busy everyday.

We only stayed two days but I could have stayed and enjoyed the park for more of an extended stay.

It is a bit pricey, which is why we hadn’t tried it yet, but we found some great coupons for the cabin. We also met friends there and split the cost.

I would like to share our experiences and what we enjoyed at Jellystone.

Golf Cart Rental

Jellystone is huge so renting a golf cart is a must! Plus, it was so much fun zooming around the park. You can also find discount codes for the golf cart rentals, we were lucky to get 50% off our rental.

Paintball

My son absolutely loved playing paintball. He could have played over and over again but our schedule was full.

Crafts

In the bears den they have crafts you can participate in. They had a free craft that you can participate in, which were centered more for the younger kids, but we payed to paint these adorable ceramics.

Mining

How cute is this little mining station?? We purchased the bag of gems in the Gift Shop and then mined them. They have many different options as well, such as fossil bags or shark teeth bags.

Fishing at the Lake

My son enjoyed fishing, I enjoyed watching these adorable ducks! Just driving the golf cart around the lake was so relaxing.

Petting Zoo

The petting zoo is only open in the mornings but we had so much fun watching these cute animals!

Ice Cream!

Omg they have the best ice cream and so many choices in the bear den. They even have a movie night, which we were unable to attend but I can imagine how great it would be eating ice cream and enjoying a flick in the Bear Den.

Photo Opportunities

They have so many cute places to take pictures, including cute little boats!

Characters

Boo Boo! Yogi bear and Boo Boo come out to visit with guests! Even my son had to get a pic with Boo Boo, well after I made him.

Camp Fun

Even though you are at a park with so many fun activities, you can still enjoy camp life at you cabin. We roasted marshmallows and made hot dogs over our fire. They also have RVs you can rent for an even more camping experience.

Archery and Lost Maze

They also have archery you can enjoy, my son didn’t enjoy it as much as paintball but it’s a great activity. We also went through a maze, at night, and could not find our way out which was terrifyingly fun!

The list of things you can do at Jellystone goes on and on.

Be sure to download the Jellystone app upon arrival so you stay up to date with activities going on each day.

They had nightly Karaoke parties and dance parties, but my son thought he was too old to participate.

They also have a water park and two swimming pools, which we did not get to use because it was still cold.

I hope you enjoyed learning about our Jellystone experience and hopefully you will get to experience the fun too!

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Shein Review

I recently ordered from Shein for the first time. I have to say I was overall very satisfied with my purchases.

The prices were great! Of coarse, there were some pieces that I was not happy with, so here is my review to help you shop with Shein.

Here are the pieces I purchased and some tips if you are thinking of ordering from Shein.

Plus Size Pajama Set

This pajama set is so pretty! Unfortunately, the top was extremely small and was more like a tight crop top. The bottoms actually fit perfect, which is odd because most of the time I have trouble with bottoms fitting rather than the tops.

Paint Splatter Tee

So reading product description is very important when ordering from Shein. I did not read the item description. This tee is not a cotton shirt, it’s more of a spandex material. It is a little snug as well and I did size up. Another thing I did not realize is that their 5xl is actually a 3x, and that is the biggest size.

Cheetah Panel Leggings

I love these leggings! They were true to size and fit perfectly. They are also so comfortable! 5 stars!

Sport Bra and Leggings Set

I am in love with this workout set! The price is amazing and the product was amazing. The bra and leggings fit perfectly and very comfortable. I will be purchasing more of these!

Tie Dye Ripped Tee

This shirt is a bit small, it clings to my fat roll. I love the colors and I still wear it with an under shirt to hide my fat.

Tie Dye Pajama Set

Ok so the price is great for a pajama set. The shirt is a little shorter than I like but it’s just for sleeping, so I don’t mind. The bottoms are perfect!

Tie Dye Maxi Dress

This dress is the most comfortable thing ever! Absolutely love it! I think I’ll be buying another one in another color.

All of this was a little over $100.00! For plus size clothing, I think that is an awesome deal and overall I am impressed with their products.

Just remember to read reviews and item descriptions.

If you are thinking of trying Shein here is a code for you to get 15% off no minimal order or 20% off $50.

HANNAHG20

Good luck and happy shopping!

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Another Year Older

Do you ever feel depressed as your birthday approaches?

The feeling of dread that another year has passed and you haven’t achieved what you wanted to achieve in that year of life.

You are not alone, I feel that dread and hopelessness as I grow another year older.

I see others that are younger than me, achieving great things, that I hoped to achieve.

While I am happy for them, the sense of failure looms over me.

When I was younger, I had so many hopes and dreams that I had hoped to fulfill before I turned 30.

I wanted to write my first book, have a successful business and be known for something.

Now, as I turn 37, I still have those same hopes and dreams. For some reason, I haven’t been able to achieve them.

Maybe laziness on my part, it just seems like the World is against me sometimes.

It leaves me feeling useless, and I feel as if I should give up.

I know I will stop feeling sorry for myself, pick myself back up, and continue making my dreams come true.

Just because I haven’t achieved all my goals this year, I am still alive and I was able to celebrate another year of life. That in itself is a reason to celebrate.

I will continue to fight to make sure I make my dreams a reality. I will not give up!

Hopefully before my next birthday I can say I did something great!

Never give up on your dreams!