I remember being a kid and thinking how cool a decade was. I’ve been married, pregnant and given birth three times, become a single mother, been through some of the most difficult times in my life, and experienced some of the best times.
I went on an emotional roller coaster while writing this.
I turned 25 and my firstborn daughter had her first birthday – she had her first Christmas the year before, but she was only three weeks old…I don’t think she would remember it.
I remember dealing with severe Postpartum Depression. That was a really rough time. A lot of that year was a blur, but I vividly remember having a ton of people in the house for Kiah’s 1st birthday. Balloons all over the place, Christmas tree was up, and I had made two big pots of chili and cornbread.
I was a Mary Kay Rep. I’ve always loved their products. I was doing pretty well until we moved.
I remember my leader telling me something that was very hard to hear. I shoved it into the back corner of my mind and told her thank you but she was wrong.
We left my long time home and church of 23yrs in Dayton to follow my parents to Cleveland in January.
I found us the most charming apartment… it was a two bedroom with hardwood floors, a faux fireplace, and a tiny balcony.
I found out I was pregnant later that year. Can you imagine walking up four flights of stairs in the 2nd and 3rd trimester of pregnancy?
We ended up getting two kittens, a male and female.
The male was a beautiful orange cat with these amazing swirl patterns all over his body….looked like a work of art so he was named Picasso. The female was a pretty black and white cat. She looked just like Sylvester from Bugs Bunny. Her name was Diva.
Picasso liked to roam the neighborhood and ended up getting injured and we lost him.
I remember taking Kiah down to the court to play in the snow. There were also a couple of parks nearby with a cute “downtown” district. We would walk up and down the streets, listening to the live bands as we passed the shops.
Kiah celebrated her 2nd birthday and 2nd Christmas in that apartment.
We moved to West Cleveland, to the city of Lakewood.
It was a three-story house and each floor was for rent. We lived on the 2nd floor and this apartment also had a faux fireplace.
The neighborhood was adorable and it had a great family community center.
I loved walking around the neighborhood with Kiah.
At the end of my pregnancy with Ava, we would walk to the corner store and I would get a pint of the Homemade brand cookies and cream or chocolate peanut butter. Kiah always wanted a popsicle.
This was another area that had a cute district with brick sidewalks, and a bunch of mom/pop shops.
Ava was born in the bathroom of the apartment. That was an amazing experience!
This was the year I started cloth diapering and babywearing with something other than the Evenflo baby carrier.
I also remember this year as being the best Halloween for Kiah. She was old enough to get it and loved walking around asking for candy, dressed as a pirate. We had to make a drop at the house because the first pillowcase was so full!
Ava had her first Christmas in that apartment.
We left Cleveland and moved further up North to Minnesota.
Why was it snowing in May?!
I met a woman via the Mothering.com message boards and found out she lived right in my backyard.
We would walk around the neighborhood with our kids or hang at each others place.
This place was a townhouse community in the suburbs.
The summer was absolutely gorgeous! They have two zoos and one of them is free, so of course we attended that one frequently.
I tried going back to work and worked in the Mall of America at the Rainforest cafe as a server….I think it lasted three months.
The girls loved that mall and the Lego store was amazing! We spent a good bit of time at the theme park there.
Ava celebrated her first birthday in Minnesota.
Thoughts of homeschooling started. I read Learning All The Time and How We Homeschooled our African-American Sons to the Livy League.
We left Minnesota and moved to Virginia Beach.
I have never seen bugs as big as they are here. I still don’t understand why people call these gigantic creatures water bugs or palmetto bugs…they are cockroaches! The flies and bees are huge and aggressive. And there are ginormous cicadas, even the ants are out of control…I don’t do bugs.
Ava had her 2nd birthday.
The Mahogany Way was started in May.
That summer was the first time we experienced the beach. We were all hooked!
Found out I was pregnant at the end of summer.
Decided to give homeschooling a try….I remember it so well because Kiah was turning 5 at the end of the year and we wouldn’t have to put her in school until she was 6.
We made it rough our first Noreaster….it was raining sideways! The streets were flooded. Seems like it poured rain for 2-3 days straight.
I was learning more about homeschooling and getting to know the Attachment Parenting community better.
We had regular playdates, my pregnancy was going well, and I was starting to feel like Virginia could be home.
Kiah broke her arm playing at a friend’s house and I had no idea it was broken until we made a visit to the ER later that day because it was swollen and she was complaining that it still hurt. She picked out blue for her cast and wore it for 6 weeks.
Samuel was born in the dining room six days before Ava’s 3rd birthday.
I remember it being in the 90’s in May…so humid, ugh!
My friends created a meal train(something they do for all moms after a baby is born) and we had food and other various supplies brought to us for several days. They also came together and gave me a gift card with a significant amount of money on it.
We lived in a townhouse with a nice size backyard. The girls used to love to play out there.We took a trip to Ohio to move my mom and brother to VA with us in the Fall, and I remember we had 3ft of snow that winter. The weather was insane. Kiah turned the big 5…my babygirl was turning into a kid.
I remember one of my friends offering to come over after a park play date and help me clean up. I was grateful for the help but so embarrassed because the house wasn’t just a mess, it was cluttered. She swept my floors and helped me fold laundry, we talked. It was a very nice time.
I started down the path to becoming a La Leche League leader but like many other things, I realized it wasn’t for me.
I started The Mahogany Way on the Ning website. It was a group for mothers of color. At first it was free and then they wanted to start charging…I went back and forth for months on whether the group was closing or staying open, but I decided to close it.
I remember spending a good amount of time at the beach during the summer. Samuel was walking and we had been made aware of several local beaches, so we made almost weekly trips.
The local Mocha Moms group came together and surprised me with gifts for all three kids for Christmas.
All of the kids had their birthdays and spent holidays in the townhouse.
I learned how to knit!
We started homeschool co-op for the first time.
This was the year when everything changed. It started off pretty good.
We moved(again). This time it was a side by side duplex in the historic district. The neighborhood was adorable and the houses had charm. We had a big backyard that the kids loved playing in. I attempted a cinderblock garden.
Ava and Samuel celebrated their birthdays.
Four months into living there life became really hard. We lost our only vehicle, and I became depressed again.
There were so many things being kept from me…I had no idea what was going on. We were evicted on my Birthday.
I remember telling the girls to each grab a laundry basket and fill it with their favorite toys because that’s all we could take. I’ll never forget the look on their little faces.
I wrote one of the hardest and darkest posts with no intention of publishing it, but then I did and my friends and people I’ve never met offered their support and help when I needed it.
I separated from my then husband because I was at the end of my rope and there were no knots at the end to hold on to.
Something someone told me a long time ago turned out to be 100% right.
A new year. Still trying to figure out life. Winter had been rough, but then Spring came and I bought a car!
I looked into becoming a Doula, but that didn’t work out either. At this point I was feeling down on myself and wondering what in the world was I going to do…what was I supposed to do with my life?
Tried getting back with my husband but I quickly realized that I would end up repeating the past 8yrs all over again…and that wasn’t going to work for me.
All of the kids were able to celebrate their birthdays and enjoy the holidays in the same tiny duplex apartment.
We had been living with my parents but they moved out and I stayed there with the kids.
We sent 2013 out with a bang! I was the happiest I had been in a very long time.
I became a distributor for ItWorks Global at the end of the year.
I packed up my car and the kids in June and drove from Virginia to Ohio all by myself.
We visit my hometown for a month and it was AH-MAZING!
The mountains were breathtaking, flying down the highway doing 70 was so much fun. The max speed limit around here is usually 55….we might hit 60 in certain areas.
Sometimes I would put the car on cruise and we had the music up, other times it would be quiet because the kids were asleep.
We had some really good talks and moments on that trip.
It felt good to watch my kids play with my childhood friends kids.
They still talk about how much fun they had….one of them mentions it to me at least once a week.
We came back to VA in July and then my parents took them back to Ohio for a family reunion.
They were gone for three days and I missed them, but also didn’t know what to do with myself!
We had been through so much…. I grew and changed a lot in during the year.
Looking back at 2012 and all the years before, I never thought I would’ve ended up being the person I was starting to become.
My firstborn turned 10yrs old! I had been a mother for a decade. That was and still is crazy to me.
I decided to stop my business with ItWorks.
I’m driving the same car I purchased back in 2013.
I’m writing an e-book.
I know who I am. I’m confident in this woman I’ve become. I love her and think she’s a pretty amazing person for the most part.
I knit almost daily.
I finally know what I want to do with my life and it feels good. It feels right – a perfect fit.
Everything I went through over the last ten years, and especially the last 2.5yrs has brought me to the place I’m at now.
All of the joys, the times when life was so hard I could barely get out of bed, it wasn’t for nothing.
I feel more at peace and that creates a more peaceful environment for my kids. I don’t take crap from people.
My kids are healthy, smart, and happy…very happy.
This year has already been filled with so many surprises… We’re only headed into the fourth month of this year but it’s going to be good. I know that no matter what path we end up on, we’re all going to be more than ok.
I know I’m being vague – I have big plans and the majority of those are for me to know and you to find out!
Thanks for reading!
13/52 What’s Your Story?
Any highlights you care to share?