Dear Absent Father,

I’m not sure if it is because I’m pregnant which has made me think about people in my past, but I’ve been thinking about an individual some would label as my “biological father”.  This is an individual who was in prison for some time while I was a child, did not raise me, stepped into my life for a minute later on, and after unveiling his character I decided it was safer to keep my children away from him.

I decided to write an unsent letter to him: 

Dear Absent Father,

As a young child I made up fairytales of where you were, who you would be, and how you would return.  Wishing on every dandelion I picked…

Years went by…

I created more fairytales of where you were, who you would be, and how you would return.

I knew I resembled you from what I had been told, so every male I saw with blonde hair and blue eyes I would think to myself, “could this be you”.  For years I did this…even as a teenager as a cashier at the local grocery store…imagine a young teenager wondering if each and every one of the blonde hair, blue eyed, males who walked through her line could be her father.

I continued to create more fairytales.  Send more dandelion wishes…

You decided to make that step and introduce yourself…it was nothing close to that fairytale I created, what I wanted, or what I expected, but I opened my heart.  I opened it because I had yearned for so long.  I just wanted to be wanted.

I’m an observant woman, and hearing about your upbringing and where you came from I understood you didn’t know how to be a father.  You didn’t know how to raise a child.  I gave you the benefit of the doubt.  I accepted you for you, left the past behind us, and began to build a relationship.  It wasn’t perfect.  I couldn’t call you “dad”.  I had a dad who raised me, one who earned that title, one who also didn’t know how to raise a child, but he did it without batting an eyelash and Lord knows that man shed some tears dealing with me as an ungrateful, hateful, teenager.  It also hurt him when we began to build a relationship, but he knew I needed to find me.

I needed to find me…

Did I find me?  I thought I did.  For years I had to build me.  Encourage me.  Support me.  Protect me.  Provide for me.  I had to because you were not there like you should have been.  Maybe in a way you are a part of my success because I don’t need a man to do those things for me.  Now I just don’t know how to allow one to when he wants to.

Every now and then I wonder…how can you sleep at night?  How many children have you denied (or have you lost count)?  How many raised in poverty?  How many have seen those bars like you?  Taken the path like you?  Do you feel any sort of guilt?  Remorse?  Regret?  Shame?  Do you feel sorry for yourself?  Angry?  Does it even weigh on your soul?

I try not to judge…I really do…even as I type this I try to understand, but I just can’t…

For years I asked myself, “why don’t you want me?”

Sadly, I’ll also admit that every time I hear your favorite song, “Simple Man” by Lynard Skynard you come to mind.  A person’s favorite song usually says a lot about who they are, so I have thought many times why you feel such a strong connection to it.  After listing to it a few more times I ask this…

Do you think your mom would be proud? God?

Are you proud?

Crystal

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Update: 22 Weeks Pregnant

My goal was to keep up to date with the pregnancy updates, but again I find myself slacking.  My grandfather experienced a stroke and gave us quite the scare, so we have been spending as much time at the hospital as possible—maybe I will dedicate a blog post all about him because he is one amazing man!  He was moved to hospice, but has been making positive improvements and will be moved soon to begin therapy.

 

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“I felt him kick” (Grandpa in hospice)

 

I am also back to work now that school has started.  I have so many new ideas for my students that I have been spending a lot of time planning creative lessons for them!  Being pregnant while teaching is a first for me, so this semester will be interesting.  Hmmm…I went into labor in school with my eldest daughter…will I go into labor with this little one?  I guess we shall see!

How far along: 22 weeks, 1 day today

Baby is size of a: according to my Ovia App he is the size of corn on the cob, but he sure feels like he’s the size of a watermelon already!

Total weight gain: my last appointment I gained 9lbs which was a huge change from losing weight…Doc was happy!

Maternity clothes:  I am wearing them every day…winter will be here soon though and I do need to decide if I’m buying a maternity coat or not…hmmm….thoughts anyone?

Sleep:  I toss and turn quite a bit because he is quite active mixed with the fact that I can’t sleep on my stomach!  Pillow between the legs is a must too!

Best moment this week:  Grandpa feeling the baby kick…he was so excited!  My boyfriend was also finally able to feel and witness our lil guy practicing his jump shot…he has been incredibly active!

Symptoms:  Heartburn like crazy…I’ve never been one to experience heartburn, but now I can drink water and all of a sudden the burn is on!

Food cravings:  Tim Horton’s blueberry muffins (warmed up, cut in half, with butter)….yummmmmmmmmm!!!!

Food aversions: none

Gender: Boy

Name: None set in stone yet…it is difficult to name a child when you’re a teacher.  We are waiting until after he is born to share the name though.

Labor signs: None, but I swear with all the movement he might break my water soon!

What I miss:  Being able to clip and paint my toenails without contorting myself

What I look forward to:  maternity photos…yes, more of them

Milestones:  today marks my first day starting a full week back to work…I can no longer squeeze between the clusters of desks in class and have to take the long way to reach certain students

Bump:  growing and noticeable, healthy

 

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Happened this week

 

 

Any advice you would like to share?  

Crystal

 

 

 

 

Guess What?

Well I have been gone for some time, but for exciting reasons…we are expecting a baby January 2018.  One of my goals was to keep up with blogging while experiencing various stages of pregnancy, but I slacked a bit on that.  Below is a letter I wrote the day I found out along with a few photos we took to create an announcement.

May 13th, 2017

Today I woke up early and went to work to teach Saturday school. I felt different, but couldn’t quite figure out why. I wrote a blog post and prayed and told God that I’m ready for what He has in store for me next. I listened to church hymns on youtube and stumbled on a video of Oprah explaining her disappointment when she was told she was not selected for The Color Purple…I was balling my eyes out listening to Oprah’s story and asking myself what was wrong with me—I don’t usually cry that easily. Then the hymn’s I listened to made me weepy and I thought my period must be arriving today!

I was starving when I arrived home, so Craig and I went to lunch and I ate and ate and ate! Ohhh and we left one restaurant because I wanted soup and they didn’t have any.  When we returned home I decided to try and see if my period was due today or where I was in my cycle. Usually my period is right on target, but I broke my phone a couple weeks ago and because I use it to track my period I was off on my dates. Today I re-downloaded an app to see where I was in my cycle and found out I was over a week late! I’m NEVER late!

Craig went to pick up some groceries at Wegmans, so I decided I would take a test. Immediately I saw two lines…PREGNANT!!! We are having a baby!!! Whoa!

I thought of ways to tell Craig, but I just can’t keep a secret from him. I just couldn’t wait to tell him!  He came back from Wegmans and we went out shopping. He stopped at Dunkin Donuts and I asked if he still had his mug from them (years ago, when we first started dating he accidentally bought a “This Dad Runs on Dunkin” mug and it has been a joke since). He said, “Yea why”. I replied, “Well maybe you should buy another one”. He stopped, looked at me, and said, “wait….are you pregnant”….hahaha!

Now all the moodiness, weepiness, sore boobs, and dreams make sense. We recently went on vacation and I had the worst motion sickness ever—makes sense now! Last week I had a fish fry and became incredibly sick after eating it—makes sense now!

We are ridiculously excited, already went shopping to look at maternity clothes, baby clothes, strollers, blankets, and have talked about how to tell people. We don’t have anything set in stone yet, but have a few ideas that we like. We are thrilled and hope others are as well.

A post about our gender reveal adventure is coming soon. 

Check out my Instagram for a sneak peek.

Crystal

Trusting HIS Timing

My vision for this post was to announce that my divorce is final, but unfortunately that is not the case.  I was sent a letter from Edward Gangarosa who is assigned by the court to review the documents before being sent on to the judge.  He wrote in the letter that I needed to file two more papers and then resubmit them.  That sounds easy—although I was annoyed I figured it doesn’t take that much time and went to pick them up to file them.

When I picked them up there was a blank form, paper-clipped to the form I already completed.  I was confused and asked the employees in the Supreme Court office if they knew what he meant by doing this (as this is not mentioned in this letter), and they were also confused.  I decided to call Gangarosa for clarification to avoid any additional hold up.  Well he said I needed to redo the form because the one I submitted was an old form that has been revised—ok, so why didn’t he say anything months ago?  This paper has been completed since September and he is just now requiring this?  He also seemed incredibly bothered that I am not seeking maintenance in the divorce.  I told him that I’m sure he is used to women wanting every last dime from their ex, but I have everything already—everything I’ve worked for and care about.  I’m no ordinary woman!  I have zero desire for my ex’s retirement and want to just move on with my life.  I was crying out of frustration and told him that I will resubmit this form (which also requires me to send it to the prison to be signed by my ex and notarized), but after this if he continues to pull this I will be writing a formal complaint.  I really don’t like to pull that card, but I have had enough!

I’ve spoke to several people already who have shared similar stories and I will not allow him to abuse his position and prevent me from obtaining this divorce.  I was also informed that I should write a letter to the attorney general, which I am considering.  There is even a complaint online about him that is similar to my experience.

I wouldn’t mind if this was one time, but every time I submit the paperwork he writes me a letter of corrections that need to be made and when everything is fixed he finds something else.  He has even stated that I did not include documents that were clearly there.  Not to mention he is a lawyer, but has many grammatical and spelling errors in his letters.

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The paperwork is sitting here on my table ready to be sent to the prison…God willing this will be the last paper I’m asked to re-submit.

I have been living my life mindful not to be negative and part of me struggles to understand why God is prolonging this—I do know I am where He wants me, and He is working things out even if I can’t see it.

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Crystal

 

Three Months & Two Days

I wanted to provide an update for people because I’m incredibly excited that I have made it to three months and two days as a non-smoker!  I joined the non-smoking club November 13th, 2016 after listening to a self-hypnosis video!

I’m not crazy…it really worked!!  I wasn’t intentionally searching for a quit smoking video…I happened to stumble upon it and after reading the many comments from others stating how it worked for them, I thought why not give it a try.  I listened to it before bed for a couple nights and have not smoked a cigarette since!  The sound of Michael Sealey’s voice is calming which made me fall asleep rather quickly, so I didn’t even put much effort into listening.  I was moody an evil demon for a couple weeks, but other than that I didn’t have any other side effects.

My past attempts were always a battle, but this time was different…much different.  I’m still floored at how easy it was and wanted to share it with other people who may be struggling with this addiction.

Since I’ve quit I’ve noticed:

  • my skin is clearer and smoother
  • I feel healthier
  • I sleep better
  • my hair, skin, and clothes smell amazing
  • I quickly realized I smoked when I was bored…I now use that time to be productive
  • I save a ton of money!

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Are you or do you know someone who is struggling with a smoking addiction?  Share this post with them and give the video a try! 

Crystal

Video: Stop Smoking Self Hypnosis

Read My Previous Post: I Joined the Non-Smoking Club

 

 

 

What if you fly?

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Photo: Tinker Nature Park in Henrietta, New York

 

We all tremble inside at the thought of something…what is it that you fear?  Is it beginning something new?  Starting over?  A career choice?  Going back to school?  Traveling?  Trying a new workout at the gym (who is possibly afraid of this right…yup…yours truly)?  Public speaking?  Initiating a conversation? Starting a blog? Change?

Whatever it is…step outside of your comfort zone and fly!  It will build a stronger you, a sharper you, and a more confident you!  You will grow in more ways than you can imagine.  Picture your life after overcoming the fear?  What will your life look like then?

What is it that makes you tremble?

Crystal

What kind words have you told yourself today?

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In the solitude of the morning start your day off with positive thoughts and words about yourself.  What kind words have you told yourself today?

Have a beautiful day!

Crystal