“I’ve got a theory that if you give 100 percent all of the time, somehow things will work out in the end.” – Larry Bird

It feels like it’s been an eternity since I made an actual blog post.

I’ve finally run myself into the ground. I have been a constant “go, go, go” for what seems like forever. Covid has really effected my family – in positive and negative ways. The cost of everything has gone up. Bills get behind or delayed in payment. For the most part I have the same struggles many Americans are going through. It’s a struggle we are all facing.

But…in the chaos I have been blessed with having my oldest return to the roost. For the last few years he has lived with his grandparents so that he could partake in the Marine JROTC at Warren Central. It’s been rough having him on that journey of self discovery and not having him home, but I won’t stand in the way of my child obtaining his dreams no matter how much it hurt my heart. Then Covid came. Cities went into quarantine. Schools moved to e-learning. When it was determined that he no longer needed to live with his grandparents to graduate…he came home.

This was not supposed to be how his Senior year ended. I seen his hurt. I seen the struggle. I’ve been in the depth of it as I’ve watched so many of his classmates miss the prom. Miss those last of high school experiences. And even miss out on a traditional graduation.

When we picked up his cap and gown they initially gave him and his classmates 10 days to submit a cap/gown photo for a virtual graduation. With much of the city on lockdown I was amazed that they gave such little time, but I knew I could help. I spent much of the weekends in May photographing Senior cap/gown photos for Indianapolis students – free of charge. I missed out on one weekend due to weather, but all in all I ended up photographing over 80 Seniors – free of charge. I was amazed at the appreciation, the love, and the gifts I received for my small act of kindness.

He did it!
Signing out as a Senior…and signing in to the rest of his life.

Warren Central managed to arrange a semi- quasi in person graduation for their Seniors – staggering their 750 or so Seniors into blocks of time arranged by last name over the course of three days. I am thankful we were not deprived of this experience, but wish that we would have had the traditional graduation. Beggars cannot be picky, right?

Since then my son has formally enlisted in the Marines, and I have asked him not to work before he gets sent off to boot camp so that we have maximum amount of quality time to spend with each other before his life is completely changed forever. The military is taking my son…and in return I got a bumper sticker, a lanyard, and a window decal. I’m proud of him, though. However, I cannot help but worry. I support our troops, but it’s an entirely different situation when it’s your child enlisting- even when you come from a family of military members. I just want to cry.

That’s my boy…taking his oath.

Throughout all of this I have been caring for some newborn kittens. Born in the middle of the Covid-19 lockdown on May 6th a friend of mine had her mama car give birth. Quickly we realized there were issues. The first kitten dying was chalked off as “it happens”, but by the time mama cat had smothered her 3rd kitten I had to come to the rescue. It’s not that I “needed” more animals as I already had 3 cats and 2 pet rats, but I wasn’t going to sit back and do nothing as kittens died.

Having newborn kittens is similar to having newborns. Feeding every 2hrs. Bottles. Being peed on and pooped on – because you physically have to stimulate them. Keeping them warm (hello heating pad!). But it is so fulfilling. I have been a tired mess on top of everything else for the last 5 or so weeks (they were 5 days old when I picked them up, and they just turned 6wks).

Ironically the kittens, lovingly named Warren and Bailey) are the colors of Warren Central High School…and many Warren families came to the rescue on helping out. We were given bottles and formula. Lots of goodies, and the hashtag #cadetkittens was born.

Warren, boy.
Bailey, girl.

I had originally thought of keeping them both. After all the hard work I’ve put in and how precious they are. I mean…look at those faces. But…it’s just too much. I’m still having sleepless nights and honestly? The two kittens have conflicting personalities. Thankfully, another Warren JROTC family is stepping in and taking Bailey in. She goes to her new home next weekend. I’m keeping my little Warren boy, though. He’s a straight up mama’s boy and I just can’t part with him

As if all this wasn’t enough, I’ve still been fitting in photography where I can AND I have been picked up by a couple of companies to “review” aka “try” their new makeup products. I’ve always been into makeup, but I never expected to be sent free product to try. I’m not mad at it, at all. But it gave my son the idea to do something special for his mama. He set up a “vanity” station to organize all my makeup, and lighting for photographing my “looks” and the videos I’m making on occasion for makeup – and our off the wall videos we do together.

My homemade “Slaystation”.

Malachi likes to think I’m an “influenster” in the making, but yeah…no. I’m just a girl who likes makeup, is moderately good at it, and finds it relaxing.

A look created using free products from one of the companies that contacted me.

Last but not least, yesterday my daughter turned 7yrs old! Cake, ice cream, presents, and time spent with her brother. There was some arguing over whether grandma was going to come or not, but I finally snapped. I cannot please everyone all of the time – no matter how much I want to. Malachi had already had plans today to go shooting with his JROTC team as one last get together, and quite honestly…this may be the last birthday he will be around for, for Esmae. So sorry, grandma…you get thrown under the bus for this one.

For a 7yr old she didn’t make our half bad. She got a 55” TV (she needed a new TV anyway), a HUGE hatch I’m always egg, a stuffed Pikachu and Pikachu playing card (her favorite POKEMON), two My Little Pony figurines and some lip balm, and the entire mini figurine set of Trolls World Tour. Spoiled little brat. But I love her. She’s especially excited about our new “video series” we are going to do every Sunday where she does my makeup. She has dreams of being a YouTuber. 🤦‍♀️

My Babies ❤️
Malachi, Esmae, & Jakobe

Needless to say, though, my body crashes today. I’ve been so busy and I’ve neglected the warning signs for so long that my body finally said enough is enough this morning. Between the heat, fibromyalgia, ice cream (lactose intolerant), and etc…I woke up today feeling downright sick. I’ve been saying for a while that I needed to “take a break” but I never really seem to get that far. Now I’m going to have to. I don’t have a choice. Hopefully I’ll be able to be somewhat functional soon.

So yeah…that’s my life right now.

My exhausting…thrilling…painful…fulfilling life.

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