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A Guide to "The Children Who Raised Me"

I am humbled, excited, overwhelmed, and just plain giddy – my first book is finally complete and has been released for purchase through Austin Brothers Publishing! This journey has been freakishly long with its fair share of mountains and valleys… but in the end, I think the timing has been perfectly God-ordained.

Just in the past few days, I’ve had numerous questions asked of me that I thought would be good to address here, in a blog post. It feels almost like an online interview where I get to answer your own questions for everyone else to benefit from – except that I get time to think about each answer without getting nervous, which is my personal favorite way to do things! So, without further ado, let’s get to it!

Q: Is your book going to be available in stores or just online?

A: My book is currently released on my new publisher’s website (Austin Brothers Publishing) based out of Texas. In just a short time, the book will also be loaded onto Amazon.com, and it will be added to the Ingram Catalog, which is the largest book catalog in the country. This will allow my book to be ordered at churches, bookstores, schools, coffee shops, etc. Depending on which stores pick up my book will depend on if it will be available locally or just remain online or in catalogs.

Q: Will there be an e-book and a hardcover edition available?

A: There WILL be an e-book available by next week, actually! The price for the e-book should be around $7 and will appear on my publisher’s website. Additionally, it will be available for purchase on ITunes, Amazon, Smashwords, and all the other major electronic reading applications. As far as a hardcover addition, this will depend on how well the book sells. There is quite a hefty expense that comes along with formatting the book into a hardcover, so if a need appears to be great enough for it, I will consider that down the road!

Q: Why did you choose to use your children’s real names in the book?

A: This was a topic that I thought long and hard about. In the end, it came down to the fact that my children’s names are on my Facebook page and on my website – all of which is public domain. To change their names in the book would basically be moot and probably confusing to those who have followed along with the blog. I don’t want anyone assuming that I went out and got an entirely new slew of children running around! That would get me committed for sure!

Q: How did you choose to develop your book into the format you did with each kid having their own section instead of the traditional chapters we normally see in books?

A: Well, when I first started the book, I figured I’d go chronologically and with normal chapters that would generally appear in a memoir. However, it read very heavy – the events that occurred in our lives had great periods of time in which there was an awful lot of darkness with not a whole lot of light. So when I decided to break the book up by child, all of a sudden the reader was able to start over in the story and take a break from the gloom, see certain incidents that were specific to each child, and get more breaks with humor and joy in the midst of the heaviness. All in all, I wanted the book to feel like a meal, filled with light courses, entrees, pallet cleansers, and dessert! In the end, I wanted the reader to feel full and complete, which is what I hope I accomplished!

Q: How did you decide what personal information to keep in versus edit out?

A: This was another very tricky element in writing a memoir. There are so many factors that go into telling a story with as much accuracy as possible without over-sharing someone else’s tale. I approached each section through my eyes only, because that would be the only way to keep it accurate to what I had experienced. I am not capable of making assumptions of anyone else’s feelings or thoughts, just my own perceptions of things. And as with all personal information, I tried to tell the readers as much as I could about my own perplexing feelings and struggles. In that, I wanted to be as open and as free as my heart would allow. But when it came to the rest of my family and others involved in our story, I tried to edit out just the facts – things that I was given from CYS, agency workers, doctors, and my family members themselves.

Even so, I took the time to have my family read the book. I wanted as many editing eyes on the emotional stuff as possible. This included my older two children. Whereas I didn’t let them read the entire book (simply because it’s far too heavy for their young minds), I did read them many of the details of their own sections in the book. I allowed them the opportunity to say yes or no to certain events. If they felt even slightly uncomfortable with parts, I edited them or removed them altogether. My oldest, Cameron, asked why I talked about their behaviors so much. I explained that this was so other parents could have a better understanding of the struggles their own children face. With that simple answer, my kids gave me their blessing to tell all the goofy things they do, just so that it will help you all!

Q: How did you come up with the title, I really like it!

A: Why, thank you! I like it, too! But I cannot take credit for the title. That was all God! I was sleeping one night after a ridiculously long day of editing, and I sat straight up in bed as if I’d been awakened by a fire alarm. The only thing running through my head was the title God wanted me to use: The Children Who Raised Me. From that moment on, my editing became smooth and the book began to flow in a new direction, pointing to a main aspect that I wanted to come from this - that in a family, we are ALL a part of shaping one another. Each of us has a purpose and a place, and the adults are learning right along with the Littles. As we bring all of our broken parts to the table, we are able to use them to create a whole unit, one that looks and functions differently than any other. Again, I cannot speak to how my children feel or think, but I can attest to the fact that my children, all four of them, (and my husband) have had a significant role in raising me to become the woman God needs me to be.

Q: Who is your target audience for this book?

A: Well, the book has a great deal of content in it, so it can be used to reach a great deal of people. When I first started out, I wanted the book to be used for other parents raising children with Reactive Attachment Disorder. Then, I realized that parents raising any special needs child may find what we’ve gone through as beneficial. And then I thought that families looking to foster or adopt may really want to see what often doesn’t get shared by caseworkers as they try to get children placed in homes – the dirty, raw parts of parenting someone else’s children. And THEN I found out that schools and mental health agencies were interested in the book to use as a training tool for their employees, helping them understand the complexities of attachment disorders and how to manage them differently than other disorders.

Overall, this book is for any parent, guardian, or adult that is working with children – it’s for the person who's lost a child and feels like they’ve been told that “it’s time to move on”, even though they’re not ready yet. It's for the parents struggling with infertility and weighing all the options through the emotional lenses they are wearing. It’s for the marriage that is hanging on by a thread under the weight of all that family entails. It’s for the professionals who want to do more but are bound by the legalities and insufficiencies of a broken child welfare and judicial system. This book, The Children Who Raised Me, is for anyone who is looking for Hope and needs to know that they’re not alone in their search.

Q: Are you available for speaking engagements? If so, what are the topics that you cover and your fee?

A: I AM available for speaking engagements! Despite having a tummy that HATES public speaking, the rest of me actually quite enjoys it. I have spoken at churches, schools, mental health agencies, and adoption groups so far – depending on where I speak and what they’re interested in learning, I can share about trauma issues and how it effects children and attachment, RAD, parenting, adoption and foster care issues that need to be changed in our child welfare agency, how churches and organizations can best rise up to help adoptive and foster parents… and I can even lead worship if you’re interested 😊.

But as far as a fee, I do not have a set amount. Because so many churches or groups are small, I would ask for a love offering of whatever is doable for that particular group. If I speak at an agency, I would just ask for a comparable guest speaker amount, that’s all. My goal is to bless, encourage, educate, and love on those who need it. That’s not something I am able to put a price on, and I never want to be out of anyone’s reach… trust me, I don’t think of myself highly enough for such things! But I do ask that my expenses be covered so that I can continue on in what I feel God’s leading me to do!

If you’re interested in booking me for a speaking engagement, you can email me through my Contact’s Page on the website.

Q: Are you planning on writing a second book?

A: YES! I absolutely love writing and will do it until my dying day – when a book will be coming out is still up in the air, especially since this one has taken up so much of my efforts! But definitely look for one in the future.

Q: How can I get my book signed by you?

A: This question is cracking me up! You guys, my handwriting is not really all that exciting, but apparently this is a big deal because this is the question I was asked the most! So, for those of you who really want to see my name on the inside of your book cover, then watch my MommyhoodSFS Facebook page and my website for upcoming book signings. If I’m not going to be in your area and you want to set up an engagement for me, you feel free!! Otherwise, we can find a way for you to mail me your book to be signed. Again… cracking me up right now!

 

Okay, I hope this has been helpful for everyone! In addition to the book, don’t forget that I have an online membership program that is helpful to professionals and guardians in dealing with children with special needs, attachment issues, and mental health diagnoses. Check it out on the site for further info!

Love to you all and thank you, once again, for all the support you’ve shown. I am so blessed to meet so many beautiful people through such a painful topic – God really does know how to make beauty from ashes.

Hugs and Hope,

Shivonne

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"Attachment Disorders" - A Call for Clarification

Lately there’s been lots of talk about Attachment Disorders. I, personally, have been contacted by multiple people, both in the field of psychology and laypersons, telling me that my discussions of RAD are inaccurate or outdated. Others have even said that these disorders dealing with attachment don’t even exist. Actually, I appreciate this feedback greatly, because if there is new research being done, then you better believe I want in on it! I have two children suffering from mental illness and would love nothing more than to find new solutions to this problem.

However, some are under the belief that the phrase “Attachment Disorder” is faulty because Attachment Disorder is not in the DSM-V. Now, you and I may differ in the way we word things, but if a person comes to me and says they have “depression”, I immediately understand some of the basic symptoms they’re referring to. I would gather more information by asking if they have MDD, Bipolar, the frequency and length of the symptoms, etc. But because there are so many diagnoses that deal with depression, I don’t immediately jump all over that person for telling me they have a diagnosis that doesn’t exist… I understand that they are using a general term to express their symptoms.

That being said, when someone speaks to me about Attachment Disorders, I understand that they are speaking of a general group of diagnoses having to do with attachment issues, not claiming that Attachment Disorders is in the DSM. A major difference from the DSM-IV to the DSM-V is the separation or Reactive Attachment Disorder: disinhibited type and Reactive Attachment Disorder: inhibited type. RAD is now strictly referred to in its previous inhibited form, meaning that a child “is diagnosed when a his/her social relations are inhibited and, as a result, he/she fails to engage in social interactions in a manner appropriate to his/her developmental age. The child may exercise avoidance, hyper-vigilance or resistance to social contact. The child may also avoid social reciprocity, fail to seek comfort when upset, become overly attached to one adult, and refuse to acknowledge a caregiver. Links have been shown between RAD and future behavioral and relationship problems.” (APA 2013)

On the flip side of attachment is Disinhibited Social Engagement Disorder (DSED). This is what was previously known as RAD: disinhibited type. This means that there “is the absence of normal fear or discretion when approaching strangers. The child is unusually comfortable talking to, touching, and leaving a location with an adult stranger. These behaviors are not the result of attention problems or other issues that might be associated with impulsive behavior.” (APA 2013)

And yet, in that same DSM that is quoted above, very few behaviors are listed. It goes on to talk about causes and criteria for the diagnoses, but there is very little listed by way of symptoms. So, does this mean that children who struggle with attachments have no behavioral issues?

Of course not. What that tells me is that the American Psychological Association doesn’t want to write the Encyclopedia Britannica as the DSM – they would rather the book be used to help doctors diagnose, not list every symptom that could be possible for every case ever. They are very wise.

Therefore, when looking at “Attachment Disorders” (I can feel the emails coming in as I write that!), we look at the causes of RAD and DSED and other trauma-related disorders. We recognize that neglect, abuse, institutionalization, and multiple changes in care givers create the issues of attachment. And for some of those children, they struggle to accept affection or are unable to be consoled (RAD) whereas others willingly talk to strangers, are clingy, and require ALL of the physical attention they can get (DSED). In both of these cases, children can fall on a spectrum ranging from mild to severe.

And what determines where a child falls on that spectrum? The behavioral symptoms associated with the causes of the disorder. That means that these children who have faced horrible atrocities or never had their needs met as wee little ones will display behaviors associated with the traumas that they experienced. We don’t need the DSM-5 to tell us that these children may steal, lie, manipulate, or become aggressive. Because we already know that children who have gone through these life experiences will respond to people and daily circumstances in a way that protects them from the world and gets their needs met, since they couldn’t always depend on the adults in their lives to do that for them (hence the lying, stealing, aggression, and manipulation).

Look, my goal is not to argue semantics. There is new research coming out constantly, new studies being done regarding children with early childhood trauma and how it effects their attachments to others. Some face mild symptoms whereas others face severe ones. But to say that the diagnoses don’t exist or that these symptoms are not listed in the DSM-5 and can’t possibly be attributed to children with attachment disorders – well, this undermines all the parents, doctors, therapists, and children who are daily living it.

These issues are not a quick fix. There is no pill or specific therapy that will treat each child and cure each symptom. And as a child ages, these symptoms may change, as will their treatment. But what we can say for a fact? Consistency, unconditional positive regard, and structure are the best tools to combat a terrible set of diagnoses. So, whatever you choose to call it, whatever label you prefer, remember that there are people out there working on ways to best heal their children – and your labels and criticisms are not required. Jump in and help, by all means – we need it! But please leave the judgments at the door.

Blessings to you and thank you for all the research, resources, and love you provide to a population of hurting children!

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Goodbye, Darkness

            I don’t know about you, but life has been all rain clouds and no sunshine these days over in our neck of the woods. Perhaps that’s because it’s January. But I have a feeling it’s more than that. I suspect that the clouds have been due to darkness fighting light in a ferocious manner. Darkness does that, by the way. It likes things to stay dark because light threatens its very existence. Don’t believe me? Even our eyes want to stay closed when our alarms go off in the morning. We enjoy our slumber and the dark tremendously! Our body aches at the thought of someone throwing the light on and interrupting our precious night.

            But the same can be said for things that aren’t of this world. The things that are beyond this singular realm are also filled with light and dark. There is a spiritual battle that takes place all around us – while we do our daily routines and our errands, while our kids attend school, while we go to our jobs and our churches and PTO meetings. Every second of every day, the war continues. Darkness tries to claim souls while Light fights back for freedom for those very souls.

            What is your darkness? And before you start to think that I’ve lost my mind, or that I’m a religious zealot, remember that you are made up of a body, a mind, a spirit, and a soul. Just because you’re only consciously aware of one or two of those things, it doesn’t mean the others cease to exist – no more than the stars cease to exist while the sun is shining.

            My darkness takes many forms. Sometimes it appears as anxiety or depression. Other times it takes the shape of a bad habit, a sin, or a stronghold. But however it chooses to appear, it’s goal is always the same – to claim me as its own and to hold me captive, away from the light. And that’s darkness’s aim when it comes to you, too.

            You’re worthless. You’re a failure. Can’t you ever do anything right? What if everyone found out that you did that? If people REALLY knew you, they’d see you’re a fraud and a hypocrite. You can’t change. Your life will never amount to anything more than this right now. Your finances, your health, your job security, your house payment, your broken car, your broken family, your broken marriage… all of it means nothing. YOU mean nothing.

            Ever felt any of these things? Since most people usually aren’t always optimistic and the rainbows only shine after a bit of rain, I’m guessing at least part of this rings true to you, too. So what’s the answer? What do we do when the clouds are all around us and the darkness closes in? Do we give up? Do we hunker down and wait for the darkness to pass us by? Because I assure you, if that’s what you do, you will fail. Trust me. I’ve already tried. You see, the dark is not satisfied unless it’s victims stay in one place, eyes held tightly shut, refusing to let the light breach their clouds.

           And I, for one, refuse to be a victim.

           To battle the dark, we must call it like we see it. Sure, you may feel silly standing in your kitchen talking to the imaginary forces at work for your soul… but if you want to win, you’ll get over the foolish feelings rather quickly. You must let the enemy know that you’re calling him out – that you see his game and you’re aware of his plans for you. And if you want to test this theory, call out the dark and then wait.

           It won’t be long before darkness tips his hand and shows his cards… because as soon as you call him out, he will retaliate. Watch as an unexpected bill comes your way, as you get sick, or as you find yourself too busy with mundane tasks that suddenly appeared, leaving you no more time to question the darkness. But friends, don’t shy away. It’s just part of the game. You call him out, he responds. However, your work is just beginning.

           The devil will call “Check!” and you’ll be forced to move in order to protect your queen in this weird game of spiritual chess. No one who plays the game in real life would walk away from the table if their opponent called “Check”… no one would throw their hands up and call it hopeless. No, they would move.

           Move. That’s what you do next. You called out the darkness, and now you move. You refuse to be defeated – to stand still. You refuse to sit and wait for it all to pass you by. Instead, you call in the light. You find what you’re doing right in your life and you keep pressing on. Obviously the darkness is fighting you for some reason, trying to hold you back from the good you’re doing. But the light is there to shine through the clouds and put the darkness in its place – to give you just enough strength, day by day, to accomplish the good works you’ve begun.

           Call out the darkness. Refuse to stand still, MOVE. And look to the Light.

           If all this makes you think I’m a whack-a-doodle, then I’m actually okay with that. In fact, I ask that if you have no idea what I’m blubbering about, that you ask. Email me. Call me. Let’s get coffee! You can tell me about your darkness and I’ll tell you about my Light. Together, we can call darkness’ bluff and tell him just where he can go.

 

Romans 8:35-39

35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written:

“For your sake we face death all day long;
    we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”

37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers,39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

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Tate Publishing - How You Can Help!

As some of you read on social media, there has been an issue with the publishing house that was to release my book this Valentine's Day. Apparently, Tate Publishing was going under - and during the time that they were going under and being sued by basically every major printing press in the U.S., they were also not paying royalties to authors, withholding employees pay, and continuing to take in as many new orders as they could (despite the fact that they haven't had a printing press working with them for 3 months now).

They are under investigation by the Attorney General's office as well as the FBI for supposedly shuffling funds to other LLCs they just opened so that they could potentially file for bankruptcy. Without warning, this week Tate Publishing closed their doors, shut down their phones, and the only remaining thing on their website is a contract termination form that authors can fill out, waiving all rights to a refund. Additionally, they are requiring authors to pay $50 to Tate if the author wants their own manuscripts back... they are literally charging people to reclaim their own intellectual property. (In case you didn't know it, that's kind of illegal.)

I found all of this out yesterday. So obviously yesterday sucked eggs. Plain and simple. And then today I had to reapply my big girl britches and start moving forward, figuring out how to proceed. Thankfully there have been people put in my path that know a significant amount more about this crazy publishing world than I do, and we're taking it one step at a time as we move forward, hopefully towards a soon-to-be released book!

BUT, for those of you who had already purchased The Children Who Raised Me while it was in it's early release stage, there is hope for you to get your money back! (Silver linings!) First, call your credit card or banking center that you used to make your purchase. Inform them of the situation and they will put a temporary credit on your card. This allows them an investigation phase of 2 billing cycles. During that time, Tate Publishing is able to either refund your money, produce a book for you (which they physically cannot do), or file for bankruptcy.

If they file for bankruptcy before you receive your credit, your bank or credit card holder will have to tell you what that means for your reimbursement. However, as long as you do this soon, hopefully they will miss their 2 billing cycle time frame and everyone will get their money back.

Secondly, if you would be so kind, the Attorney General's Office in Oklahoma is asking that all affected parties fill out a Consumer Complaint Form - their office has already received an incredibly high volume of complaints, and the more they get in, the better the likelihood that they will file a class-action lawsuit against Tate Publishing. I know this may mean little to you, but hear me out:

There are thousands of authors who have paid thousands (if not tens of thousands) of dollars to Tate Publishing - beautiful people wanting to find a good "Christian" publishing house that will make their dreams come true. People like you and me with stories to tell - the kind of stories that will inspire and make the world a better place. These lovely people have been lied to, cheated, and manipulated by the very company that promised them success and a platform for ministry. These people are hurting, broken, in shock, and now without the rights to their own materials or the money they've given over to these people.

I am only one of those people... there are so many more who have now lost access to not just one, but multiple books and all of the royalties promised to them. Filing a claim will help increase the chance that these hard-working folks may get a portion of their money refunded to them. For some, this is the only way they can afford to move on with their book being published (or re-published in many cases). Without this, many stories will go untold.

So, to all of you who have been faithful with me on this journey through your love, encouragement, prayers, or purchasing of my book - I cannot say thank you enough. And now I ask you just do one more thing by filing the claim below and giving all of the affected authors a new chance to tell their stories. Thank you. So much love to you all!

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Just Another Day

               Ok, so yesterday was just an average day. And I know I should feel ashamed about this, but my toddler watched the movie “Cars” 3 times yesterday (twice back to back) while I did work from home. I made sure he was fed, changed, and safe… but otherwise, I did very little parenting for the little fella outside of helping him build a train track. This kept him occupied for all of 4 minutes before he would scream out of frustration because one of the train cars would derail, at which point I would give him a bowl of crackers and cheerfully suggest he go watch Lightening McQueen some more.

            Parenting score, right?

            So later that evening, my kids returned home from school and The Hubs helped them finish homework while I got dinner on the table and rushed my son off to youth group. Realizing I hadn’t really talked to my oldest outside of hurried dinner conversation, I casually asked him how his day at school was.

            Now, usually this would be answered with a “fine”. And good moms would then press for more information. Unfortunately, I was not feeling in the mood to be a “good” mom. I hate pressing for more information because then I usually hear about how he got in trouble for something and we have to write apology letters and call school personnel and figure out consequences… and who has the energy for that day in and day out, really?! Not this mama.

            But last night, after I ran a trillion errands and listened to the “Cars” background music while making umpteen phone calls, I asked the question, “How was your day, Cam” and was then regaled with a 15-minute monologue about his day. He spoke in speeds that could rival an auctioneer. Only his words made no sense and his stories never really came together clearly. But I was not given the chance to ask for further explanation because, well, he wouldn’t shut up long enough for me to do so. (And honestly, was I listening all that closely? Mmmmm, no.)

            I dropped him off at the church and drove home while my ears finished ringing. All I wanted to do was to go home, put my feet up, and play candy crush (on mute) so that I could unwind from the frazzled day that was not close enough to being over.

            And that’s just when the female child wanted all of the attention. ALL OF IT. She wanted to play games and paint nails and have me guess random objects she was holding behind her back (I mean, seriously, that’s desperation, right there). And all I wanted to do was zone out for the briefest of moments….

            However, just as all hope felt lost, I remembered my old faithful trick. “Taylor, I have an idea of what we can do! Do you want to practice doing hair? I’ll let you practice on me…” We hadn’t played this game in a while, mainly because I have curly hair and she has the talons of an eagle, scraping and clawing at my curls without the slightest bit of compassion. Yet I knew that if she was this desperate for a playmate, she would be gentler than usual.

            Sure enough, this child of mine sprang to attention and immediately ran for my brush and all the hair accessories she could find. And for the next hour, I sat there as she gently played with my hair, putting me into a partial coma, me barely hearing the long stream of high-pitched words emerging without stop from her lips. With each brush stroke and each careful twist of the hair, I was instantly transported into a state of complete calm.

            And then she asked if she could massage my feet….

            What is happening to my life right now?!? I could barely fathom my luck, but there she sat, rubbing my tootsies and tickling at my ankles. My body felt like putty and all I wanted to do was tell her that I was sorry for all the times I’d grounded her or scolded her for getting into my things. I was willing to forgive all wrongs and forget the past entirely. We were starting fresh in that moment, and I was going to sleep like a baby.

            My husband arrived home with my oldest from church at 8pm and it was time for everyone to brush their teeth and get ready for bed. Sadly, my time of soothing had to come to an end - but that was okay, because I was still fully relaxed...

And then the kids argued over something stupid in the bathroom and the lights were left on and clothes were left everywhere in the kitchen (why are they in the kitchen in first place? No one will ever know.) and people kept finding reasons to avoid bedtime and, wouldn’t you know it, my feeling of calm left as quickly as it had come.

            I had to do the yelling and threatening once more… I was willing to charge them their Christmas money to pay the electric bill, tape them to their beds if they got up once again, and I was all about ready to light “Cars” on fire if the toddler screamed to watch it for the fourth time that day (because honestly, 4 times is where any decent mother draws the line, right?).

            Distressed but trying to appear “normal”, I ran the idea of Ben and Jerry’s past my husband… but he wasn’t biting. “You’re not asking me to go to the store for ice cream right now, are you?” he asked.

            “Gosh no, I was just saying that if you ever feel like it, it’s on sale at Uni-Mart…” I replied hopefully.

            He didn’t take the bait, so I retreated upstairs with the toddler to watch Peppa Pig and make a blanket tent out of my bedding in an attempt to calm him enough for bed. After a half hour of suffocating under my sheets, I was able to wrangle the little guy into his crib, accompanied by his handful of matchbox cars.

            Twenty minutes later, I heard the familiar clang of a car falling out of the crib, followed by the equally familiar calls from my youngest. “Mama! Oh, Mama!! My car car fall out da bed!” I arose and retrieved his car, kissed him goodnight again, and went to watch something non-animated on the television as I tried to fall asleep. Then the clang happened again… but this time the car had fallen behind the crib. There was no way in the world that I was moving his bed at 10:30pm to pick up a toy car.

            And I told my sobbing child just that. Although that didn’t seem to stop him from yelling, “Mama, oh Mama” a million more times with increasing vigor. So, I did what all “good” parents would do… I turned up the volume on my TV, turned down the volume on the baby monitor, and I willed myself to close my eyes and wake up on a beach somewhere. (PS, I still woke up at home and next to a hairy man hogging my side of the bed.)

            It was just an average day… nothing unusual, just a day. And my house isn’t the beach, despite the January rain acting deceptively like a monsoon. But I am content with these chatty, arguing, squawking little people with all their quirks and peculiarities. I’m happy with my hairy bed-sharer. I am fulfilled at my job that makes me talk on the phone CONSTANTLY and neglect my child to the television sometimes. And I am happy being just a “good” mom. We make it work and I’m kinda proud of us for doing so.

Photo by: suckhoedoisong.vn

Photo by: suckhoedoisong.vn

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