a christmas reunion

this christmas is already turning out to be one for the books.

my entire life there has been this empty feeling inside not knowing my father or his side of the family. luckily, i have my mother and our amazing family i’ve been loved by since day one. still, that curiosity has always been there, in the back of my mind.

i have random memories of him (which is crazy because i was about 2 the last time i saw him) and a home video from christmas that year. other than that, i haven’t seen him since and knew nothing about him other than his name.

on my 16th birthday, as my best friend and i were working at the community pool, we pulled out the phone book (probably the last time i used one) and searched for his name.

we found it.

within a few minutes, i was talking to my biological father and learning about my family, including my brothers, matt and jacob, and sister, morgan. i can’t remember what else we talked about, but it blew my mind. a few days later, as my friend and i were driving to jonesboro, my phone rang and it was my brother, matt. we ended up meeting him and his girlfriend, ashley. i haven’t seen them since, but ashley and matt married and i have two adorable nephews, brooks and beck. we would randomly keep in touch, but moving to utah hindered us seeing each other.

as time went on this would be something i wouldn’t talk to many people about. i’m not sure why, really. it could be because i didn’t know where to begin or what to say. or maybe i wasn’t wanting to accept it. either way, it’s just been something i’ve kept to myself. with that being said…

flash forward to saturday, december 19th.

after hearing from him on thanksgiving and unable to meet him, i talked with my father and told him i was interested in meeting with everyone. he was so happy and more than willing. then, last night as i was driving the 3+ hours from fayetteville to my hometown, i decided to see if he would want to meet when i went through harrison. he did. and we did.

i can’t explain how it felt because i think i’m still in shock.

it’s a very surreal thing to think about. having this entire side of the family you’ve never known and who has never known you, but i’m grateful.

so, thanks to those who have listened to me freaking out over the last couple days, even if you didn’t know what to say. it’s definitely shown me who is there and who cares, and for that i’m grateful.

it seems like i’ll be meeting a few others this week, so we’ll see how it all goes haha.

until then, here’s a photo of my father and me, 27 years later.

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merriest christmas to you and yours

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lately

It’s almost been a year since I’ve written anything. I thought about starting with a clean slate and saying goodbye to everything on this blog, but at the end of the day I chose not to. Although my journey is a little different now, it has all led me to this point.
Some of you may be wondering what I’ve been up to the last few months, as you’ve noticed some changes in my life. I’m here to answer some of those questions, even though I don’t feel it’s really necessary. I want to be honest.
Our divorce was final the beginning of January. It wasn’t an angry divorce, but it was two people who finally decided nothing else could be done. I’ve had many people give me advice along the way, but honestly every situation is different and not all problems are meant to be fixed. I have no hard feelings about anything and I look back on it as a positive and loving learning experience. That’s really all that needs to be said.
As to what I’m doing now…
I decided to move back to Arkansas to re-group and get back on my feet. Those of you who are close to me know that I’ve been wanting to do this for a long time, especially after something like this.
I missed the South. I missed my family. I needed their support and to be closer.
I have been doing what I can to focus on what will be the best for myself. Far too often I found myself sacrificing my dreams, feelings, emotions, etc. in order to make others happy or not hurt them. I honestly just couldn’t do it anymore. I’m making a daily effort to be my best self. I mess up. All the time. That’s what life is about. You’re supposed to fall down and get discouraged. If you don’t, then you’re not really experiencing the greatness life has to offer once you’ve came out on the other side.
So here I am, tired and a little broken, but working towards greater things. It’s funny how the pieces start falling into place once you start letting go…

home

I often think about how much I took my childhood for granted. Growing up in the South is a blessing not everyone gets to experience. Southern thunderstorms and summers at the river are what I long for. I hope I get the chance to move back one day, and to show my future family what it’s like. I miss simpler times where I wasn’t in such a rush. I remember when all I had to do was worry about which pool I was going to during the summer and how late I could stay out before mom got mad. I had some of the best friends a girl could ask for, and although we haven’t kept in touch all that much, I still think about them almost every day. There’s nothin’ better than the South and it took me leaving to realize that.

these girls

I’m not sure I can explain in a few sentences how much this girl means to me. We’ve known each other since we were just babies, and here we are 25 years later. We became friends like most toddlers do … one hitting the other and the other biting back. We’ve seen each other’s darkest days and we’ve both made it out alive, healthier and happier. Many people reading this probably won’t know all this girl has been through, but I do, and to see her now, this happy, puts the warmest feeling in my heart. This little girl has saved her and she doesn’t even know it. One day I hope she comes to know and understand all the trials her momma has been through for her to be here. I look forward to watching this baby grow, even if it’s from across the country. I also look forward to seeing her momma grow and become the person she probably thought she’d never be a year ago.