Thursday, March 31, 2011

A place I've travelled to


If there is one place in the world I want to be, that is it. A couple of years ago we took a cruise to Mexico. I really loved it there. It's warm, the water calls to me, and everything was cheap. That's my kind of place. Life seems a little simpler down there. Miri said she even saw a hot emo guy lol. Whatever, all I know is, if I can ever retire, you better look for me in some little mexican village.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Favorite movies

I profess to not be a romantic. I don't necessarily believe in that type of love anymore. Oh I know that some people find it, but I think it is getting rarer in today's world. I used to do all those little special things, dinners, etc, but I grew up. That doesn't mean I don't believe in love though. It is real and absolutely wonderful when it works. However, my true nature is pretty evident in my choice of movies. I adore the ultimate chick flicks and romantic movies. They remind me that people really do fall in love, and if they don't end happy I DONT like them, and I never watch them again.....unless Brad Pitt is in them ;) I also love movies with fast cars lol.

1. Legends of the fall
2. Some kind of wonderful
3. Gone in 60 seconds
4. Bed of roses(who can't love Christian Slater?)
5. Bridges of Madison Country(my mom looked a little like Meryl Streep)
6. The joy luck club
7. Empire of the sun
8. XXX (with Vin Diesel)
9. Rent
10. Heart Burn

So there you go, those are most of my favorite movies. I guess I should really throw the rocky horror picture show in to be well rounded though.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

A picture that makes me happy

This is the picture of AJ and O holding hands as soon as we got off the plane coming back from Estonia. This is minutes after they met for the first time. I know there is sibling rivalry and all that, but this shows exactly the best about kids. They are eager to love and very accepting. They loved each other from first sight. I have amazing kids, don't I?

Monday, March 28, 2011

My siblings

I am blessed beyond measure. I have the most wonderful brother a sister could have. I was 11 when Andy was born. I can still remember it like it was yesterday. I had spent the better part of those eleven years praying specifically for a brother. I WANTED an older brother to protect me, but when Andy came along I was more than thrilled. I'm pretty sure the world stopped turning the instant he entered my life. Momma was petrified of germs. She had miscarried a few times and had a still birth, all boys, so she would not let me touch him, not at all :( So the first night she was home from the hospital she slept on the floor on one of those egg crate mattress pads with him beside her. She had a waterbed and was afraid to have him sleep with her on that. So I slept on the floor too right beside her and Andy. While they slept I stayed awake and watched Andy. I fell in love intensely and when momma was deep asleep I would touch his little foot. She caught me once and got onto me.

From that moment on I belonged to that little boy. The second I got home from school Andy was mine. Into my room he went. I had tons of books, and he would take them all off the shelves and stack them in piles. Every night I would put them back up. I never got onto him once. I got $2 for lunch each day, but it only cost $1.10. I saved that extra money to buy things for Andy. I bought him his very first rattle. He was my everything. If I had a friend spend the night as a teen, Andy was still right beside me. I can't tell you the nights that little boy fell asleep in my arms or I played Sega wee into the middle of night because it made him happy to watch the screen. He was spoiled beyond measure. Our whole family adored him. My mother never spanked Andy. He was the chosen one, and I never had the time to be jealous. It never occurred to me to feel jealousy toward him. I wanted the best for him, and anything good that happened to him was well deserved. I remember taking him on a date one time. The guy was very understanding ;) I promised mom not long after he was born that if anything ever happened to her, I would take care of Andy and raise him.

When I met my husband one of the first things I told him was that we were a package deal. Little did I know my mother would die within a year. Andy went into foster care for a short time. I was 17. I actually went to a lawyer to see what I could do, which of course was nothing. I had to stay under the radar or be taken into state custody myself. Those 6 months were the worst of my life, Andy suffered abuse in the foster home. Our father got Andy back after about 6 months, but neither were ever the same. I truly love my father but those were tough years. He was in no shape or form able to raise a child, so Andy bounced back and forth from me to him. When Andy was 10, and I was 21 I got legal custody of him. I maxed out my first credit card to pay the lawyer and court fees. Within a few years Dad straightened up. I retained custody of Andy, but he saw our dad as much as he liked. We even shared every single Christmas day. We never had a court agreement or visitation stuff, we just worked it out between us. Dad knew Andy needed stability and by that time his health was failing. Still, he was always there for us. He always helped provide whatever Andy needed and often helped his granddaughters out too. It just worked.

Andy is 21 now. There is still nothing in this world I would not do for him, and he feels the same about me. He is good and kind, and the world is a better place just because he is in it. I can't tell you how many times people have said I did some great thing by raising my brother. I don't understand that at all. I PRAYED for him. He was my dream come true. Your damn right I made sure he had everything he ever needed. He was MY BABY, my Andy. My life was better just because he was in it. Andy is so special. All children adore him. My kids scream and jump when he walks into the house. When he moved out and went to college, Miri wore his hoodie for MONTHS. Just seeing him makes me feel better. It's nothing to see us strolling along arm in arm with my head on his shoulder. He was the first person I was ever sure of that loved me, and when he was 3, he promised he would never break my heart. So yes, I was my brother's keeper, and I would have it no other way.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

My parents

I had three parents. My mother who was Dona, bio father Billy, and step father Anthony(Tony).

My parents divorced when I was 2. I can't remember a time when my bio parents were together, thank goodness. They were fire and ice, with more fire mixed in.

Billy was 36 when was born. I think I was a surprise. I take that back, I know I was. As far as I know I was his first daughter. He was wild, a bit of a hippie, and though I am CERTAIN my parents had a passionate relationship, they brought out the worst in each other. My mother was put into foster care at age 13, and her last foster home was to a lady named Mrs. Deaton. She had rental property. My mother collected the rent, and Billy was one of the tenants. My mother was 18 when she married my father and he was 33. I think he must of loved my mother; she was beautiful and wild. Perhaps he thought he could tame her and maybe settle down himself. They were married in blue jeans. She says she thought he was joking when he asked, so she said yes. He played guitar, electric and acoustic. He was very handsome and nothing but trouble. I've been told women liked him quite a bit. He could sing too. He was born in twist Arkansas, the one son with 6 sisters. I have his nose and nothing else. I saw him sporadically until I was age 8 and not again until age 17. I think he would have been a nice man if he could have ever been tamed, but he wasn't the type to settle down. He had a good heart, but men like him seem to always find the darker things in life. He died about a year ago.

Dona was a beautiful enigma to me. My mother was raised by my grandmother and maternal grandmother, my grandma's adoptive mother. It wasn't a good upbringing, though her grandmother adored her. Unfortunately her mother did not. As difficult as my childhood was, my mother's was.....much worse. She wasn't wanted or taken care of very well. I'm leaving much out on purpose. It's not really my story to tell. At the age of 13 she entered state's custody. She bounced from youth homes to foster homes, much of them filled with not nice things. I always donate to teen challenge in memory of her. I'm not sure what was worse her home life or the foster homes. She only spoke bits and pieces though tears. My mother fell fast and hard in love with a man named Chase at 18 years old. He was more trouble than my father actually. She went to New York on the back of a Harley with him one time. Unfortunately, he was in trouble with the law. I'll leave the details of that stuff out. Suffice it to say lifetime has nothing on my mother's story. He left town promising to come back for her. She said she would wait. Then my father asked her to marry him. She did, and I honestly believe she did love him, just not as much as a wife should love her husband. I know that when she married him she never thought Chase would come back. Isn't life strange? Certainly it's filled with sharp curves. Chase came back for her.....on their wedding night. Ain't life just grand. She stayed married to my father though for 5 years. My mother had 3 children and I know that she loved as much as she was capable, some of her children more than others. She just wasn't the type of person who should have raised children or been married for that matter. My mother was wild, like an eagle. She was easy on the eyes, never wore a bra, liked to play pool, could drink a Russian under the table and still be sober(heaven help you when she got drunk though), and I can only remember her smiling a few time in my life. She loved Richard Pryor, Barry White, and would eat anything if it had mayo on it. No one could tell stories like my mother. She would have you mesmerized for hours. When it rained she always let us go outside and play in it and would wait at the door for us with towels. She never opened the curtains or the blinds and she hated sunlight. She came alive when the sun went down. She liked to eat blt's and dipped everything in butter. I know she loved me. She always told me to remember when she was at her worst that she loved me. I'm not sure there was ever a time my mother wasn't in emotional pain. She had a temper that would make you cower in corner screaming for mercy. However, as bad as she was, there was no one better in her finer moments. She was generous to a fault, always gave money or food the homeless, and when you least expected it, she would surprise you and do something so kind or cool. She died when I was 17, one month before Miri was born. I took to bed for days, and my husband held me the whole time. Whenever I think of the ups and downs of marriage and the complete asshole my husband can be, I remember him holding me 8 months pregnant while I cried. I kept screaming it hurt, and he would just rub my back and say, "I know baby". I don't miss my mother. I wish I could say I do. I'm just relieved she isn't hurting anymore. She was baptized when she was a teen, so I hope she is in a better place.

Tony was my step father, though if any man should have been called a father it was him. I.adored.him. I think my parents started off as friends long before it became anything more. I called him Tony until my mother died. She thought it was disrespectful for me to call him dad. She was wrong. I always regretted that. I wish my dad could have married a better woman. Unfortunately, he was madly in love with my mother. There was nothing in the world he would not do for her. She did not appreciate him at all. My dad was born with a physical disability. He had two fingers on each hand, and his arms were half of the normal length. It never stopped him though. He was in upper management for the postal service. He was there for every school function though he worked a ton of hours and traveled. I could talk to him about anything. He loved Elvis, did the grocery shopping, and drank diet cokes like they were water. Though I was not his bio daughter he never treated me any different. My dad loved me, and it was the greatest blessing of my life being raised by him. I only wish I could have been a better daughter. I never heard him say he loved me until I was an adult. My dad didn't like the mushy stuff. He always said show me you love me don't tell me. He never raised his voice, and he treated children like adults. Every July 2nd(the day before my bday) he took me to play miniature golf just me and him. It was the highlight of my year. Not one second of any day passed that I don't miss my dad. He died a few years ago after a long illness. He was the best grandpa my kids could have ever have had. He was understanding, always had time for them, and spoiled them just like he did me when I was a child. If I was awake at 2 a.m. and bored I could call my dad. He rarely slept and always had time for me. I miss that more than anyone could ever know. I miss my dad with ever fiber of my being. The world lost one hell of a good man when they lost him. I'm a lot like my father. I don't sleep well, never need an alarm clock to wake up, and I adore peach ice cream. Oskar's middle name is Joseph. That was my dad's middle name.

Friday, March 25, 2011

My first love

I wrote a post on this last night and saved it. I decided to wait so I could think about it though. Did I want to be completely honest. It wouldn't come out right. Not much I say ever does. So no, I'm not going to post it. I'll give a much less poetic synopsis of it.

I was 14 and he was almost 19 when we got to together, and yes, I know that was too young, and so did he. Suffice it to say he was a gentleman. We were neighbors. I was young, silly, and in love, the kid of love that takes your breath away and defies any source of reason. I was never a reasonable person anyway. He had a truck, was a musician, and only wore black. He was nice to me, nicer than anyone I ever knew. He listened to me, was one of the first people that ever did. We dated for 1 year and 2 months, and one day out of the blue, he drove off, and it was over. There was no warning, no I think we should be friends, no I want to break up. He looked at me, walked away, and drove off. I could take loosing a boyfriend I think, but it was really hard loosing my best friend. I did Emo in all it's glory.

I went to bed, refused to eat, and I'll never forget it was November. I hated winter every day since. My mother grew worried. I would overhear her talking to my grandmother. Grandma's soup appeared, my favorite. They begged me to eat. I lost a lot of weight. I was never really big to begin with, a junior size 13. I went out and bought pink things, lots of colored clothes, and I dated the first boy that came my way, a preppy little thing. I was 15. He kissed me on our first date and I cried the entire time. Like I said, I did emo proud just without the black.

A year later I met my husband.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Meaning behind my blog name

1familytogether. We started this blog after O came home or actually while in Estonia.

Saving the world before bedtime has a little more meaning. So I've been told my entire life I have the weight of the world on my shoulders. I can't change who I am, and I am at the point in my life I am too damn tired to care much about what others think even hubster. HE SAYS I can't save the world and wishes I would quit caring about everyone else which is translation for just worry about him ;) Isn't it funny that sometime the things that make someone fall in love are the exact things they want to change? So since he says I can't save the world, I tell him to sit back and watch me try. After all if I don't try to save the world who the hell else will? I figure it all starts with one person then another and on. Most people know by now that telling me I can't do anything only makes me more determined. Besides I gotta lot of bad karma to make up for. So if I don't go to bed exhausted and feeling like I gave everything I had to give, I'm not doing this life thing right. I can't take anything with me when I go, and I'll be damned if I'll be forgotten. So I AM going to try and save the world before bedtime, and that's all I have to say about that.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Day 1-Introduce, recent picture, 15 interesting facts

Hello, I'm Shea Elizabeth. I'm many things, but first and foremost I'm a Christian. I'm also have four amazing kids. This August I will have been married for 15 years to man who drives me insane on a daily basis. He works very hard for our family and for the majority of our marriage worked 2-3 jobs, and I have to tell him I'm grateful very often or he forgets ;) I'm a nurse as well, but I try not to talk about work, it just pays some of the bills.

1. I don't eat pork.

2. I'm scared to death of mice. It is my worst fear.

3. I'm a very tolerant person. I have friends of all religions, races, sexual orientations, and beliefs. I'm okay with that. I don't bash them, and I don't expect them to judge me either.

4. I like everything fast and hot. My food is usually boiling and foot is very heavy. I NEED a red corvette badly (don't confuse want with need I NEED it )

5. I don't like people who brag about things. I figure if you have to brag you can't be very good at what you're talking about.

6. Riches don't impress me. In fact, I don't really like rich people. I'm what you might call a reverse snob.

7. I adore African food, Ethiopian food especially. I don't like injera though, and I feel weird about that lol.

8. Swimming is my most favorite thing in the world!!

9. I love to take cruises. We are hopefully going on our 3rd one later this year.

10. I love Strawberries and Champagne Victoria Secrets Lotion. It is my signature scent.

11. I'm not a girlie girl, but I clean up rather nicely. People look weird at me when I do, and it makes me wonder just how bad I look the rest of the time.

12. I've eaten escargot and I loved it.

13. I'm not against socialism and that surprises people, not necessarily for it but not against it. I especially am in favor of socialized medicine. I think Germany has a great system.

14. I could not live without my fax machine. I l.o.v.e. it.

15. I have 2 walk in closets in my bedroom. One is filled with gifts year round in preparation for xmas and birthdays.
This is stolen from one of my favorite bloggers of all time CJ

Day 1-Introduce, recent picture, 15 interesting facts
Day 2-Meaning behind your blog name
Day 3-Your first love
Day 4-Your parents
Day 5-Your siblings
Day 6-A picture of something that makes you happy
Day 7-Favorite movies
Day 8-A place you’ve traveled to
Day 9-A picture of your friends
Day 10-Something you’re afraid of
Day 11-Favorite TV shows
Day 12-What you believe
Day 13-Goals
Day 14-A picture you love
Day 15-Bible verse
Day 16-Dream house
Day 17-Something you’re looking forward to
Day 18-Something you regret
Day 19-Something you miss
Day 20-Nicknames
Day 21-Picture of yourself
Day 22-Favorite city
Day 23-Favorite vacation
Day 24-Something you’ve learned
Day 25-Favorite memory
Day 26-Picture of your family
Day 27-Pets
Day 28-Something that stresses you out
Day 29-3 Wishes
Day 30-a picture

Sunday, March 20, 2011


Many years ago one of the wisest people I ever met told me grace was a gift and it was free. She stopped me dead in my tracks with that comment. No one had ever said it with such certainty and peace. Gaila was one of those people that appeared to go around with her head in the clouds. Some would say she was naive. She is the type of person that is slow to anger and just being around her makes you feel at peace. Many would say she wasn't the typical minister's wife, and she wasn't. She was Gaila, and I know that God intervened in my life the day I met her as each and every person who has crossed my path. If it is possible for angels to walk the earth, Gaila is one.

See I'm not a very good person and not a good Christian at all. I'm prideful, stubborn, sinful, have an awful temper, and I never accept anything from anyone without looking behind me. I never received anything in life without having to fight for it. My own mother in her misguided attempt to make me strong would stand before me and try to break me down and taught me how to hurt without letting anyone see me cry. Yet, I always knew God loved me, but being me I would never take that 'gift' without paying back as much as possible. I don't try to 'save the world before midnight' for altruistic reasons. It is a simple matter of pride.

Still, Gaila's words cut deep into me. The thought that free was free was an exhilarating feeling. Then the weight of that gift came crashing down on me. I realized that there was nothing I would ever do or be able to earn to pay it back. That's when I learned to give more. The thought of God looking down on me smiling while shaking his head has never been far from my mind. I know he looks at me with amazement because he wrote everything down in this book called the bible and I still manage to get it all wrong.

Life doesn't have to be this hard; we just make it that way. Love doesn't have to be a struggle; we just expect too much back in return. Grace doesn't have to be earned; it can't be. There is nothing my children can do to earn my love. They had it from the first time they drew their breath, even Oskar and my heart daughter in Estonia. Though I am miserable at being the person God intends me to be, he loves me anyway. He loves you too, you know.

It's a pretty powerful thing to know your purpose on this earth, and I have known mine from the time I learned about God at 5 years old. I was brought here to love and be loved. It's not a matter of whether I deserve it or not; of course I don't. Still, it is what it is. No matter how many times we fall, we are still children of someone much better than we can hope to be. You can call him by any name you want, and the damn powerful thing about it all is you don't have to even acknowledge it. You can chose not to believe in him in any shape or form. Like the air you don't see, God will still be there. I know this like I know my soul. When I look inside I see darkness, but a dim light always shines. It guides me back when I fall, and believe me, I fall more than anyone could ever know. If there is a sin, I have pretty much been there.

Thank you Gaila for teaching me what grace meant. It's a pretty rare thing in this world to see the face of God, and because I'm the kind of person who needs it, God shows it from time to time to me. He stands above me shaking his head willing to give me just one more chance, knowing all the while 1 will turn into a thousand. I'm not going to invite you to pray and receive Christ like some people do, but Christ is so powerful and good, I hope you will want to know him.. I'm not going to tell you if you are going to hell. I'm not going to judge you; God is quite good at his job without me taking over. I'm not here to preach to you. You won't hear me tell you to go to church. God is not always found under roofs. I'm just here to remind you that if you ever feel alone, if you ever need to be loved, it is so much closer than you can imagine. When you accept grace powerful things happen. Life is a pretty hard thing to live alone. One needs all the help they can get. So it's there if you want it. God waits very patiently, and he is very good at it. He is quite the gentleman and never barges in uninvited, and I think that makes me want to know him even more ;)

Friday, March 11, 2011

Life has taken over and normalcy has set in, whatever that is. I 'speak' more on facebook than here, so I guess I don't blog much anymore. feel free to add me if you want. I post a zillion pics on there. Anywho, here is an update on everyone.

Andy: That 'boy' is keeping me on the edge of my seat. He has changed his major for maybe the 6th time and blown up the engine in his car. We just got it fixed yesterday though, so all is good in his little world. Plus he found a GREAT deal on an ipad, so my little techi is smiling.

Miri: My baby girl is almost 16, and I don't know how the hell that happened. She works really hard on her grades though, ad for the first time in her life I am going to surprise her. She reads my blog occasionally so I can't spill the beans. That girl is the most stubborn person I know next to myself. However, she is working really hard on school. She babysits from time to time and is trying to decide what she wants to be when she grows up. She is looking onto fields that don't involve people lol.

AJ: My sweet little nonni has had a hard time fitting into an 8 year old body. She has had a lot of jealousy about O, but I try very hard to give her lots of mommy and me time. Mostly I think she just.....feels weird. She has lost over 10 pounds and shot up inches in height it seems like over night. She is always hungry and wants to be cool like Miri. She thinks being 8 stinks and is little fun. She does love karate though and it surprises me how good at it she is. She told someone the other day people didn't take her seriously because she was a girl but they would one day!

Oskar or Oz as his father calls him: Little man is struggling. He thinks AJ gets all the attention lol and will not for the life of him admit to her that he loves her. However, he tells me all the time he does and watches her sleep. He thinks it stinks that she gets to be older and still sees it as his job to look over her. He takes being a brother seriously and makes sure she has her seat belt on, etc. He also makes sure that Miri's boyfriend doesn't kiss Miri lol. He has recently decided that Daddy is super cool and wants to be just like him. His English is excellent and he is doing better in school. He loves every second of life and often has a big smile on his face. He worries about everyone. He heard me one day say it was to busy at work for me to eat lunch, so now he wants to know if I ate. He is very excited about summer coming too!

Me: Winter has been hard. One day I will move somewhere it never snows or gets cold. I've been kind of achy this past season and am thrilled spring is here! It makes my heart happy. I'm still working full time and trying hard to get it all done around here. Each day I think of something I have forgotten, but hey, that always leaves room for improvement. At least I never get bored. Pretty soon it will be time to go swimming, to the park, the zoo, have barbecues and all the other fun stuff summer brings. Just thinking about it makes me smile.

Hubs: He works and does it well. That pretty much sums that up. Pretty soon his schedule will get better and I hope he will have more time to enjoy life and everything around him. He is trying really hard to give us everything we want and need, and I am VERY grateful for his weekly contributions to our bank account ;)

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

O took a hammer and made a rather large hole in the living room wall

I decided I needed to learn more about dry wall

Miri told me her boyfriend was really 18 and not 17

I decided that since she was honest that should count for something

A.J. told me today that she had a secret and that her best friend had asthma but said she could tell me

I was flattered that I was seen as a confidant by both girls

My husband worked 32 out of the last 36 hours, but he still took me to dinner tonight

I made up my mind not to complain about being tired for a while

O never ever sits still

I thought about how often I am lazy

Miri stayed up late this week to make me beignets and destroyed the kitchen

I thought about how lucky I was to have a daughter who would cook for me

I was told to be afraid of O and not give my heart so easily

I decided only cowards let fear keep them from loving with reckless abandon

A.J. told me that she is going to pray for God to change things

I was ashamed that an 8 year old had more faith than I did

O's principal told me that honestly she could not tell me if O was being bad because in her eyes he did no wrong

I had confirmation that my son was more loved than even I could see

A.J. makes sure O eats his veggies and put a clothes pin on his nose when he takes his breathing treatments

I am amazed that I have such a caring daughter to make sure her brother takes his medicine right

Miri only asks for something after she has given something in return, for instance a trip to the mall is worth doing chores

I raised a daughter that knows that nothing is free in life

My husband works 2 jobs and 6 days a week

I know that he hates to see me go without anything I want or need

I have a son that hates sitting anywhere unless he is in my lap

I make him feel safe and secure; noting is more flattering than that

I have a family that demands above and beyond from me

They must trust me an awfully lot to expect so much

I have friends that have given more support and love than any family member ever did

I now know that blood means nothing

I lost my temper and yelled at O the other day for being wild,then his lip puckered and he cried, but he forgave me

I know I can't hold grudges anymore

America and Estonia trusted me enough to raise a little boy more precious than any jewel

I must be stronger than I think

I have 4 children

I am richer than Bill Gates

Andy wanted to take me to lunch the other day

Even at 21 he still likes me, and that is so cool

Every day I get the chance to start all over and do a better job

God loves me enough that he never gives up on me