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Life By The Dreams

Dreams

Lately I have noticed that there have been somethings on my mind, maybe somethings is a bit vague. A lot of things. I am truly all over the place, especially with Thanksgiving right around the corner.

I could even tell you all the details of everything running around in this brain of mine, boy is that hamster exhausted – I need to feed him some Wheaties as the rest of the year will be the same. We all know after Thanksgiving is Christmas and as much as I love me some holidays, they can be exhausting.

But I digress.

I, like anyone else, have dreams, wishes, thoughts, concerns. But lately dreams have been on my mind – the one I gave up, the one I work on daily and the one that has been apart of me for as long as I can remember. Eventually I will tell you all about the dream I gave up and the dream I made into reality.

Today is about the dream that has been apart of me for as long as I can remember, but here comes the fun part. I have no intention of telling you that dream. You may be asking why is she going through all this to not even tell us her dream. Well let me see if I can explain in the best way possibly.

I have not told friends, nor family. Not my kids (although they are young). Not even my husband.

Why?

Have you ever had something that you wanted to do some bad and you started working on making that dream a reality. You told everyone around you and they seemed so happy but then nothing happened or it took a long time to make it reality. Did you ever thing they gave up on you or started to think you couldn’t do it. These could have all been thoughts in your head but sometimes that is all we need. Those demons in our head to make us fear. Fear of what others would think about you or your dream. Did they think it was stupid? Did they doubt you?

Sometimes we are our own worse enemy when it comes to the what ifs.

I guess you could say that I fear the unknown. I would rather carry on with my dream alone. If I don’t tell anyone and I fail, no one can look at me as a failure. If I accomplish my dream, everyone can celebrate with me.

I truly felt that this was something that I needed to do but do on my own. (Much like starting this blog.) I may be scared out of my mind with taking on this dream (even this blog), but you know what. I have to start somewhere. I have to try because this is that important to me. If I fail, I can at least say I tried but I would hate myself for not trying. Will it hurt me to try? Not physically, maybe emotional (it all depends on if my dream becomes reality or not).

Maybe I feel I will fail and it will be on me and no one else. I feel that even though everyone around me loves me, maybe I will come across that one person who will think what I am doing is stupid or not worth the time. You fear what people will say so if you keep it inside and work on it alone, you can only fear yourself.

Well I have feared myself long enough it is time to take this dream into my hands and see what I can spin out of it.

Hopefully one day I can share with you what this dream was, hopefully it will be as a dream turn reality instead of a dream turn failure. But only time will tell.

Thank you,

Marisa

Featured post

Splurge

This is my new toy.

Yes, I LOVE, absolutely LOVE being crafty.

Many years ago, I could not even tell you how long ago, I was still living at home and my dad bought a Cricut Expression for my mom to share. Over the years I used it all the time, not even sure my mom ever touched it, but when I moved out on my own – the Cricut went with me.

Old Cricut

I can not tell you the things that I have done with it because I just don’t remember it all – I do know that I have done all of Aden’s birthday invitations and I plan to do many other projects – at least until I hear the “Ahh, Mom. Do you really have to make my invitations. All the other mom’s buy from the store.” There will be tears that get shed, there will be arguing and pleading, more tears – but eventually I will understand that my kid no longer wants me to make the invites any more. My kid will no longer want me to be creative for them. My kid just wants to be like the rest. (Cue super sad face.) If they do want me to continue making, I will be thrilled with a capital T.

If I have a project to do, I am in heaven. If I don’t have a project to do, then I am looking for one. Joel likes to tease me because as soon as I come up with a project, I am all over it. For instance, Gavin’s first birthday is not until July. I have already come up with the theme and figured out the invitations and the Thank you notes. Yes, yes, I am that crazy. I can not wait to share what I have come up with, I LOVE it. It may be a theme you have heard of before but I am pretty sure that you have not seen invitations like this or even Thank you notes. Can you tell I AM SO EXCITED!!!!!!

But recently I noticed that as much as I love my Cricut there are things that I just can not do with it, such as create my own things online and send it to my Cricut to cut. SO I thought about it and thought about it – I thought about it so much was because I have a hard time spending money on myself. The crazy part is that it is my money, as in it is money I have saved – not money out of our budget. But I have ALWAYS had a hard time spending money, even my money on myself – I could buy something for someone else because I LOVE to give.

After much thought, I decided to get it. I deserved it right. I work hard. I can splurge on me every decade or so. I’ve gotten much use out of my first one and I will get even more use out of this one with all the things I can do. Let the creative juices start.

For those of you who may be worried about my old Cricut, don’t you worry I will still be using it. Can you imagine ALL the things I can do with 2 Cricuts going (cue evil laugh here). Yep, I am going to need a new house in the near future with a room dedicated to my craftyness. 🙂

I apologize for this being a short blog, but I am too excited and I want to go play with my new toy.

Thank you,

Marisa

PS – Be on the look out for a blog in the next couple of months where I will be sharing more details on the fact that I am starting a small business with my craftyness and my AWESOME looking invitations, etc. Super excited. I am going to be working on some samples. YEAH!!!!

DF

DF is what I call Dragonfire Foundation.

As you know from last weeks post, we lost a son back in 2010. During our grieving, we knew we wanted to do something to help other babies and their parents in the NICUs.

We wanted to turn our tragedy into a positive. This is what we have been doing for going on 7 years now. In the beginning, we would just work with the hospital that Drake spent his short life at. There foundation is a non-profit, so we were able to use it to get people to make donations to them. The first year, due to my pregnancy with our Rainbow Baby, we kept it simple we held a fundraiser at the offices of the Foundation for the hospital. We collected baby blankets and small stuffed animals, we also had a raffle.

We felt wonderful for what we were able to accomplish but we soon realized that we wanted to do more, we had ideas that we wanted to put into place and the only way to fulfill this was to became a non-profit ourselves. It took a little while to get everything together to send to get our classification to become a non-profit. But in 2013, we got our notice from the IRS that we classified and we were officially now a non-profit. When I had that piece of paper in my hands, I felt so good. I knew this was what we were meant to do.

This is when Dragonfire Foundation was truly born. You may be curious as to how we came up with the name Dragonfire. We took the meanings of both our boys and that is how we came up with it. Drake means “Dragon” and Aden means “Little Fire”.

We are truly trying to turn the tragedy of losing our son into a positive. I say trying because that is what we are doing. We are small, Joel and I have to continue our everyday jobs and we have 2 other sons to take care of, so we work on this in every spare minute we get. We are able to have a fundraiser every year, soon we may even try to have 2 fundraisers every year. But we are still trying to just get our organization out to the public, we know the more people who know the more donations we may get.

Our dear family and friends help/ volunteer us every year with our fundraisers in what ever way they can or that we need.

Like I said every year, we hold a fundraiser of some sort, except for one year we did not but I will get into that later. If you want to see what we have done each year, please feel free to go to our website, as we have described each year, what we did and what we were able to collect.

To date, we have only collected baby blankets, we decided to concentrate on just baby blankets instead of blankets and stuffed animals – and we have collected monetary donations. Up until this year, any blankets we collected have been given to the one hospital but our goal is to work with other hospitals with NICUs near us, then expand to the whole state (which happens to be Georgia) and then maybe even other states.

We are realistic, these are goals and dreams but we try to work within our means. This year we will be able to give the remaining blankets we collected last year to 2 other hospitals with NICUs.

The funds are not coming in as we would like so we have not been able to put any of the other plans, dreams into action.

Some of our future plans are:

  • Of course continue to collect baby blankets, that will be something we always do.
  • Be able to fund hotel rooms near the hospitals so that the parents can stay closer to their baby, even if it is just for a night or two, we know how much better it felt to be closer. We lived 45 minutes in one direction away from the hospital Drake was at.
  • Be able to fund a decent dinner or two for the parents, so that they can sit for just a few and eat a real meal because food is not something that you are thinking about when you are going through this.
  • Be able to fund equipment the babies may need. The hospital Drake was at, had a piece of equipment that Drake needed but the only reason they had it was because 2 NICU doctors purchased it themselves.
  • We know how excruciating painful it is to have your baby pass away, but we also know how hard it is to make the call to funeral homes to find out costs. We would make those calls and provide all the information on our website so parents would only have to make one cal, the call to the place they wanted to work with. We ended us making several calls as we did not know what to say or ask, now we know.
  • These are just a few, the ones we would get set up as soon as we could and over time maybe we would put others or come up with others.

We just want to help.

We just want to keep his memory alive.

We want to turn this tragedy into a positive.

This is our 7th year doing something. I have started researching and sending our emails to get this year’s fundraiser planned, I am not at the point of telling everyone, just a select few. But once we have it planned out, we will be updating it on the website and the Facebook page.

I truly enjoy working on this every year but I will admit to you – some days I do get discouraged. I feel like we are working so hard but we are having a hard time getting anywhere. But all I can do is continue what I am doing and hope that one day we will get our break.

Thank you for reading about how we are trying so hard to try this tragedy that no one should have to endure into a positive that place a bit of comfort in the heart of others.

Thank you

Marisa

 

Home

Drake

Tattoos

Yes, I have tattoos.

Yes, I love them. (There is only one I would re-think about, but they all mean something to me.)

Yes, I have been looked down for them.

Yes, I have been called names because of them. Strangers, even family.

But one thing we all have to remember is that this is my body and I will do as I see fit, if that means tattoos (and piercings) – then that is my decision.

When people look at my tattoos – all they think is that I am a freak or I want the attention. Maybe if questions were asked and I was able to describe how I feel about my tattoos – they will think differently when they see someone with tattoos.  Because if you ask anyone with them, they will tell you the story behind that tattoo. What was going on in their lives at that moment. What it means to them. The special place it holds because of what it represents. Now I am not saying that people don’t get tattoos and regret them or wish to change them, because things in our lives change.

There are people who have less then I do and those who have more but I am not competing.

So while some people will always judge my exterior, I will take a moment to explain the interior – my thoughts and what each one represents to me.

Why did I get my tattoos? Well to be honest, there are 2 reasons.

One, I am artistic. I love to write and draw, paint and be crafty. My body to me is a blank canvas that allows me to put my life in picture closest to me, where I will always remember.

Two, I do not and have next felt that I was an attractive person. I think my nose is witch-like, my hair is just hair – nothing special, my jawline to strong/ masculine. I am average height for a woman, weight is currently fluctuating due to having a baby 7 months ago. Don’t get me wrong I have people in my life tell me I am attractive, but in the end I don’t feel that way. Over the years, it bothered me – I have gotten past that as there is nothing I can do about it.

Now that is not the only reason I have gotten my tattoos. Mine mean something to me. Let me explain.

I currently have 6 with plans to get my 7th later this month. I will explain them in order that I got them and why.

  • Tribal piece on my lower back (yes, I have a tramp stamp – unfortunately I was not aware that was what they were called when I got it) – this would be the one that I would take back or change. At the same time, it reminds me of those college years. All the fun I had, the friends, the classes.
  • 5 stars ranging from light to dark blue – stars have always been a shape that I have liked, they represent so much. I got 5 because 5 is my number (I have OCD and I count in 5s when doing things – shh, don’t tell anyone I have not really ever told anyone about my OCD – I do it in my head so know one really knows). As for the color, blue is my favorite color so why not.
  • Japanese cherry blossom – I love Japanese art work and I see the cherry blossom represented alot – they are beautiful.
  • Two footprints/ initials/ date of birth (picture above) – they are the actual footprint of each of my boys (Drake and Aden – Gavin’s will be included this month). Drake’s footprint was taken the day he passed away, so he was 12 days old. I took a print of Aden’s and Gavin’s foot at 12 days as well.
  • A dragonfly and firefly surrounded by filigree. The dragonfly is my representation of Drake – Drake means Dragon and the firefly is my representation of Aden – Aden means Fire.

As I continue to decide whether or not I want more tattoos, I know I will by judged but in the end, as long as I love them and they make me feel good – I don’t care what others think. If you want to judge me by that, you will never get to know the real me.

Thank you,

Marisa

 

Poem

(I am not sure if I classify as a writer, but I know that I like to put words together and see what comes out. I wrote this poem on November 23, 2010 after I lost Drake.)

 

It is so hard to continue on,

When you are gone.

I never expected to fee this way,

Because I was suppose to see you everyday.

You are my little baby boy,

My pride and joy.

I’m trying to be strong like you,

But it is so very hard to do.

Each morning I hope it was a nightmare,

But it’s as real as each breath of air.

I struggle each and everyday,

Just trying to find the way.

To continue on,

Since you are gone.

I can’t believe you are gone,

Each morning I awake at dawn.

It’s so hard to get thru,

Everything I should do.

All the time I cry,

Because I don’t understand why.

You were taken from me,

Before I could really see.

Every feature that is you,

But which is a combination of me and daddy too.

I will treasure each and every day,

In my arms you did lay.

All before you were gone,

Each day I remember at dawn.

I didn’t want to let you go,

For all the days I would miss you grow.

I can barely see thru the tears,

Because I know I will love and miss you thru the years.

I hope you can see,

All the love I have for you inside of me.

Please don’t fault me how hard it is to get thru existence,

When none of this makes sense.

My heart is so heavy,

That I wish someone could help me.

But there is nothing anyone can do,

Because all I want is you.

I shouldn’t of had to let you go,

And miss watching you grow.

What I suppose to do,

Without you.

I miss you so much,

Everyday it is you I wish I could touch.

There’s so much I want to say to you,

And I never got the chance to.

Physically, I feel like I’m in a black hole,

Along with my soul.

I just hope you know,

Whatever my life might be, I will always hold you in my heart just so.

No matter if I have a joy,

You will always be my baby boy.

What should I do,

Without you.

Love

Fun Valentine Facts:

  • In the Middle Ages, young men and women drew names from a bowl to see who would be their Valentine. They would wear this name pinned onto their sleeves for one week for everyone to see. This was the origin of the expression “to wear your heart on your sleeve”.
  • A love knot is a symbol of undying love, as its twisting loops have no beginning and no end. In the past, they were made of ribbon or drawn on paper to prove one’s eternal love.
  • Every Valentine’s Day, the Italian city of Verona, where Shakespeare’s lovers Romeo and Juliet lived, receives about 1,000 letters addressed to Juliet.
http://www.sheknows.com/holidays-and-seasons/articles/807655/fun-facts-about-valentine-s-day

 

Yesterday was Valentine’s Day.

Some people truly love this holiday.

Some people don’t celebrate it.

Some people feel it is to commercialized.

We all have our own thoughts and feelings regarding this holiday.

But for me, it is about love. Don’t get me wrong, I show and tell my family that I love them each and every day. Cooking, cleaning, hugs, kisses, “I love you”, etc. I do this each and every day but it becomes routine, expected. We need more then routine when it comes to love.

We need heartfelt.

We need surprises.

We need to feel loved.

We need to feel we are special.

Whether you choose to use Valentine’s Day or some random day of the year, I think it is necessary to go that extra mile to show your loved ones that you love them, you care.

Sometimes I feel we get so caught up in the roles of life: working, being a wife and mother, a husband and father, etc. – that we take our loved ones for granted. We hear the “I love yous” but sometimes they lose their potency over time – not because we don’t love anymore but because we say it all the time. We forget to show beyond the normal everyday stuff, we forget to show beyond just the words that – I love you, you make me happy, I appreciate you, Thank you for all that you do.

Love can make or break a person.

Love can make or break a relationship.

Love is… what you need. It is different for each and every person.

Valentine’s Day to me is a day to go that one step further to say “I love you and I want you to know that I will always love you” – yes I show it in other ways through out the year, but sometimes we need reminders.

I am not saying you have to say this with gifts because some people feel that gifts are not needed, some people feel stores jack up the prices on items during this time, some people don’t want to got that route – but instead a heartfelt moment between 2 people, a love letter, etc.

Just take a moment to think about those around you and how much you love and appreciate them, then realize that they may not really know because the everyday acts of love might get lost in the path of life.

So what ever you choose to do, on what ever day you choose to do it, take a moment to show those close to you – I love you, I may not get a chance to show or tell you but I love you, I want you to know how much I love you.

Love is free, what cost is the time and effort it takes to show someone you love them, because love can get lost.

Does it hurt anyone to take one day a year, hell one hour, one minute – to make sure those in your life know you love them? Take the chance now to show your love because no one knows what will happen tomorrow and we can’t turn back time.

Thank you,

Marisa

Dreams Pt.2

I started this blog with my first post about 2.5 months ago about dreams that I have and that I have not told anyone about.

I still am working towards making them real/ reality but I have come to realize that as I work on these goals, I can see possibly why I may have given up on previous dreams.

Getting burned out.

Doubting myself.

Wondering if I am just wasting my time.

Worrying that I am working so hard, but for nothing to come of it later.

I am afraid of burning myself out and wanting to drop my dream/ project into the black hole of nothing with all my other lost dreams, thoughts, goals. Never to be thought of or worked on again.

I started to feel a little burned out and once the burn out got to be a bit much, I decided to take a little break from working on my dream. Nothing long, as I still wanted to be able to get all my thought, ideas, etc down. I would write myself notes to work on later, but I took a break. Roughly about a week or so. Surprisingly that was enough this time to recharge myself.

You have to understand that once I had this goal in my mind, I truly worked on it in every spare moment I had, which was not often considering I still needed to be a wife, mother and employee. I would work on this dream/ goal during lunch, for a few minutes in the evenings. Truly every spare moment I could.

But when this burn out hit, I was not ready to give up my dream, I just knew that I needed a little break. Sometime to breathe, sometime to read, sometime to work on other things I had going on (ie. registering Aden for Kindergarten – which I am totally not ready for, but I need to suck it up as he will be going whether I like it or not; trying to plan our vacation this year – which happens to be our 10 year wedding anniversary as well; trying to figure out what we are doing for our annual fundraiser – I will tell all about this in another blog; just regular life stuff).

Well my break is over, by my decision and I have started working back on my dream. Since I was so close to getting burnt out so earlier, I have decided that I will work on it but not to the extent that I was. It may take me longer, I may need to take a few more small breaks, but I really want to finish this dream. I really want to see it come to reality. I want to see my dream come true. I want to see what I can do with it.

I will continue to work on it and maybe one day I will be able to share what it is. But for now it is for just me to know. I guess you could say I am still afraid of failing and for others to know I fail. If they don’t know about it and I fail, then am I a failure in their eyes? If I fail, I only have to face myself in the mirror. I will work on making it come true, but sometimes there are unseen factors – I don’t know what they are at this time, but I will navigate those as they arise as best I can.

Thank you,

Marisa

 

Books

Books.

Ahhh. Books.

I love reading.

I love the smell of books.

I love the feel of books.

I love holding books.

I love books.

I have been reading for as long as I can remember and it may be even longer. I can only hope that I will continue to love reading over the years. I also hope to instill the love of books and reading into my boys, so far they love being read to.

I love reading historical fiction, mystery, some young adult plus a few other genres.

Yes, I have read the Harry Potter series and the Twilight series and I have some authors in both historical fiction and mystery that I snap up their new books as soon as they hit the stand.

I love being able to get lost in another life, place, time. I don’t do it to get away from my life, I do it because it is joyful and relaxing for me. We all have those things that help us relax.

I love getting lost in a book so good that all I want to do is finish it. There are plenty of times that I will stay up late because that is how bad I want to finish it. I love those books. The ones that get you from the first sentence on.

I can not even begin to comprehend how much I have spent in books over the years. A lot.

I love books.

My preference is paper books. But some years ago, I purchased a Kindle and saw that I could get some ebooks for cheaper then paper books. This has not kept me from buying paper books but I also buy ebooks.

Recently I had to pack up all my books to make room for Gavin, so out of curiosity I wondered how many paper books ( as I have hardback and paperback) I had. Many shelves were 2 rows deep and 2 columns high. After filling 9 boxes and counting over 400, I stopped. I had alot of books. 🙂 A lot.

After all that, I got curious as to how many ebooks I had that I had left to read. Because once I have read an ebook I remove it from device and I did not feel like going back to my cloud. I stopped counting after 100. So all though I have a lot of paper books and ebooks to read, it makes my heart full knowing I have them there waiting for me to crack their spine or slide my finger across the screen and lose myself for a little while.

I will keep my books, not only because I do re-read my books but I love knowing that I have them.

It is a dream of mine to have a house at some point where I can have a library area, it might be combined into an office or craft room. But I have the books to fill it.

Some people may think that I should spend that time reading newspapers (to keep up with what is going on in the world) or books regarding current events/ affairs – but for me reading is a chance to relax, to get away from anything I might need to. To just enjoy myself.

I love reading.

I love books.

So I will leave you now as I sit down with my newest book. A mystery. Who did it? Hmmm. Guess I will have to read to find out.

Pick up a book, enjoy losing yourself in it. Whether for a minute, an hour or as long as you want or need.

Thank you,

Marisa

PPD

(Picture by Audrey Herron of https://www.audreyherronphotography.com/)

 

Postpartum Depression.

It happens to women.

It happens to men.

It is real.

It happens.

It does not happen to everyone.

It is not fake.

It is not just emotions.

It is not just hormones.

How do I know?

I have had it 3 times. After each of the births of my boys.

Sometimes when us women get emotional after the birth of our baby, it is pushed off as hormones and being “an emotional woman”. Maybe this has to do with some of the PPD but not all of it. I can tell you that I had it after each of the births of my boys, I could not tell you if one was worst then another. They were all bad at that time. I had to figure out ways to work my way out of them. I feared telling those around me what was going on.

We should not be ashamed if we have it.

We should be able to ask for help.

For me, help came in the form of my journal. I wrote down what I felt, what I thought. My emotions. My fears. My everything.

I remember the sadness. This is like no other sadness.

I remember crying when I had to drop my baby off at daycare.

I remember crying on my drive to work because I missed my baby.

I remember wanting to hurt myself because of all the overwhelming emotions running through me.

I remember people close to me coming up to me and telling me that they see that I am different, not myself. I thought that I was hiding how I was feeling pretty well. Imagine the shock when I found out I was not doing a very good job.

I remember hating that when I picked my babies up from daycare, they smelled like other women.

I remember feeling like I had children but they spent more time with other women than me.

I remember wishing I could stay home with them.

I remember looking at our finances to see if I could stay at home with them.

I remember looking to see if there was a job I could do at home so I could stay at home with them.

I do know that I feel like I had a bit of a harder time with my PPD with Gavin, but I truly think it has to do with the fact that he is my last baby. I want to spend as much time as I can with him but I have to work in order for us to pay the bills. Later in life, I may be able to spend more time with my boys, but I will still miss out on the now. They grow so fast and Gavin is my baby. My last little boy. We have no plans to add to our family. We are complete.

My journal became my refuge. It allowed me to be as open as the words that flowed on the page would allow. I did not have to fear what others would think of what I had to say or what they would say in regard to my thoughts, because my journal did not care what I wrote. It was the only place I could to truthful, honest, real – me.

I had/have PPD.

There are others that have PPD.

PPD for each person is different. Has different effects. Mine might be mild compared to someone else and worst then others. But I am not here to compare, I am here to share that I had/ have it and I feel that I can finally say it kind of out loud. I feel that my blog is an extension of my journal, but maybe just maybe one of my blogs might help someone think. Might help someone. Might be interesting to someone. Might make someone laugh. Might make someone cry.

We are not alone, even if we feel that we are.

What I did/ do to get through my PPD is what works for me. It may not work for others. We need to feel that we can ask for help, no matter how hard it is. We do not need to hide our feelings and our thoughts as we deal with this.

Just know that if you think you are suffering through PPD, you are not alone. You can ask for help.

It is real.

Thank you,

Marisa

 

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