bubble gum ice cream & fannie mae

18 months ago, we moved to bend, oregon. we moved here to set down roots. little did we know, the home we rented, and paid our rent on time. every month. was in foreclosure. thank you to The Palmers. thankyouverymuch for making my family's life during this holiday season complete and utter hell.

do i have your attention yet? read on. it gets better.

i have never once in my life not paid my rent. i have never once in my life not taken care of a home. a home is where you hang your heart. and there have been times, when our life has been so financially upside down due to health issues and other unforeseen circumstances, when we could barely eat - but then rent, somehow, someway, always.got.paid.

i have also never owned a home. i understand things happen. drastic things happen that cause foreclosure. i get that. it has happened to close friends. and there were godforsaken reasons why in some of those cases. but you rehabilitate. but when you throw a remodel and business into a home that causes it to go up for auction for $456,000 when the value is only $140,000 on auction day? that's just plain foolishness. and then when you leave the home, rent it out to unsuspecting tenants, neglect to tell your leasing agent it's in the last stages of foreclosure? that's of poor character that i pray on judgement day? you really lose your shorts for, because palmer's? what you've done? is just low and callous and if you knew the grief you have caused for this family? you'd have thought twice about putting this home up for rent, so you could afford rent in another home. i see your beautiful camper you now have. and the new vehicles parked in front of your home. and your business i hear from the realtors that are now showing my home for sale, is thriving. i am glad you are doing so well. maybe word will get to you how you have made my family suffer through the foreclosure of your home. oh, and i'm sure when this home sells, you will benefit, as you will likely be hired to inspect it. fabulous.

when the home foreclosed, fannie mae offered two options to us: cash for keys - get out and we will relocate you. or a 12 month lease. the 12 month lease lowered our rent $250 and we didn't have to move. when you have a 7 year old, really not a good idea to uproot. we chose the lease option and lower rent. 90 days before the lease was up, i contacted the leasing company to ask what the next steps were, because the lease was up right near the holidays. i did not want to be in a jam and not know what our options were at the last minute. i'm a smart business woman and wanted to be prepared.

i never. heard. a. word.

until november 14th. and my lease was up november 30th. and oh, i tried. every single day. i would wake up, first task - email leasing agent. call leasing agent. got voicemail every day. never a call back. on the 14th, we were told our lease was up, they raised our rent nearly $300 and fannie mae would not renew and we had 60 days to vacate. merry christmas to us. had i known this prior when i began asking 90 days before, i'd have vacated end of october and broken my lease.

fast forward to december. we have had three different property management companies assigned to us by fannie mae in less than 15 days. we have had to show the home 8 different times in the last 5 days. we have been accused of being non-cooperative and it has been suggested by the managing sale broker that we be evicted due to non-cooperation. EVICTED. AT CHRISTMAS. yet, we've shown the home 8 times in the last 5 days.

tonight, there were 2 showings scheduled. this would make 10 showings with a non-cooperative us. the two realtors never showed. we left to take kennedy for bubble gum ice-cream to celebrate her A+ report card. (go kennedy. we are so extremely proud of you peanut butter. you never cease to amaze and rock our socks off with your brainiac abilities!!!)

we came home to find someone had shoveled a path past the garbage cans, to the garage, to the gate, INTO the backyard, around the deck, ONTO The deck, through the yard. someone entered my property. i have to say, this has crossed the line. bend police department dispatch was a complete asshole for telling me, i "should be thankful that someone was likely doing a random act of kindness by shoveling my drive and i should feel blessed this time of year." (this is a QUOTE. NO exaggeration.) excuse my french? but fuck you BPD dispatcher. if you only knew. this is NOT a random act of kindness. this was someone invading our privacy snooping on my property without our permission. this was someone who was lucky my german shepherd happened to be on a playdate tonight. because if he wasn't? add a lawsuit against me to this exceptionally shittastic year, as max would have eaten whomever tried to enter my property.

i am beyond words at this point. what makes this hardest for me - there is a billboard on reed market that says something to the affect - "been foreclosed upon in 2011? you may be entitled to a credit from oregon state gov!" are you frigging KIDDING ME? foreclosed UPON???? does this mean I AM ENTITLED to the credit? because i AM the one foreclosed UPON. NOT the Palmers. they did this to US. WE are the ones suffering now. because we signed a lease. in a home. and had no idea it was being foreclosed.

i am writing because i'm angry. not because i want a woe-is-me-response. not because i want to hear oh shell, it will be ok. i always land on my damn feet, yes. we will be fine. we are having trouble finding a home. the right home. one within budget. one that is dog friendly, that is not a dump. and, i want our story to get out so people will know that tenants rights are never considered. and anyone that has been to our home, know - we are amazing tenants. i have had to retain an attorney, and that is draining more money that we simply don't have to spend right now. it will be a miracle if we are able to pull of christmas for this little one that we have.

and - oh - i almost forgot to mention, the Palmers? I will continue to pray for peace for the both of you. so that you can be right within your souls. that maybe in 2013 you will stop using this address for your business, and for your son's mailing address that was in afganistan. the packages you continue to have shipped here, i will no longer take your phone calls and allow you to pick them up here as i've done for the last 12 months. i have had your UPS account flagged so that they will no longer deliver here for anyone in your family. i am done being your personal delivery service. how sad a life you must lead full of lies. i will keep praying for you both. because MY heart is filled with that much kindness, even though it is rippled with sadness each day not knowing how much more of my privacy can be violated. anyone that knows me, and knows me well, knows i am an accomodating, cooperative, and generous soul. it is well within my soul.

peace and be good.


on being selfish.

when you become a parent, all thoughts and opinions of what you'd like to do on a friday night go out the window, because for a window in time, it no longer matters.

when you become a parent, you develop a voracious appetite to defend anyone who dares judge your skill to raise your child.

when you become a parent, you do your best not to judge others, because inside, you die a little everyday, wondering if what you did today as a parent is enough.

when you become a parent, behaviors and bad habits of your past should never resurface. ever.

when you become a parent, you fight, every single day to always do the right thing in the eyes of your child. and you screw up. every. single. day.

the nice thing about becoming a parent? you get to become a parent all over again every single day when you wake up.

I've just started following Mark and Angel Hack Life (Thanks Katrina - can always count on you for the words when I need it most!) and this post severely resonated with me:

"You only get one life to pursue the dreams that make you come alive. It is better to be failing (and learning) at doing something you love, rather than succeeding at doing something you hate. So take chances on behalf of what you believe ...
in. Fail until you succeed. Make sacrifices and step out beyond the safety of your comfort zone over and over again. Face your fears with courage and passion. Keep your word and hold true to your vision until it comes to life." – via 8 Reasons to Stop Waiting for Approval.  
wow. reason # 2 pretty much summed it up. ron and i are on yet another journey. we moved to bend for many reasons 17 months ago. we wrestled with the idea of coming here for two years. after the first year, we knew in our hearts, it was the right thing to do, and we spent 12 months making it happen. we knew uprooting our daughter would be tough, but at the time, she was 5. Resilient. Brave. and Strong. all of those words suit her to the core. we knew she would come through the move just fine.
and she did. when you become a parent, you know when you know. we knew we made the right decision. kennedy has thrived here. she has made friends. she has grown. she has flourished beyond our wildest imaginations. she has opened our eyes and made us slow down. we slowed down enough to learn she has a little "glitch" (Thanks Wreck It Ralph and Vanellope for the reference!) and we got ourselves educated beyond belief. tourette's and tics are now part of our normal vocabulary.
and it is ok.
what we didn't know when we moved here, was that a my family's business that employed ron from home, would fold and go under 2 months after we got here leaving him unemployed. you can't plan around that. he was out of work for 6 months. the unemployment rate here is unfathomable. he took a job in a new industry because he needed to support his family. not because he was challenged, promised growth and opportunity, or even excited to go to work everyday - because this job had him on the road in the beginning each and every week.
he spent the entire spring, summer, and fall gone. only home on weekends. detached from his family. away from his girls. alone. and this rocked him to the core. there were tears from us. there was distance. there were walls put up. there was anger. sadness. loneliness. longing. hatred for this job from me. i did not sign up for this lifestyle. and i became resentful. and then learned life lessons, that even in moments like this, you have to be thankful to have a husband who works so hard and selflessly to provide.
the walls came down. and we began to think how we could change our circumstance. kennedy was suffering with her daddy gone. her tics were increasing. her anxiety worsening. and none of this was ok. i began to pray. and a job offer came.
when you become a parent, you consider everyone - but first and foremost your child. the opportunities that would come to this family with this new job far outweighed the opportunities that simply the gorgeous landscape in bend can offer. ron took the offer and we were going to relocate. we considered not only the financial implications - stop. we considered the child. the school district had more to offer. she would have grandparents nearby. an uncle, an aunt, another cousin.
i have spent my entire life being called words such as stupid, irresponsible, selfish, thoughtless, careless, and ignorant by my oldest brother.
when you become a parent, you teach your children these things are not ok. and you teach your children that families do things as a whole. and that we don't need approval from others to do what is right for us.
when you become a parent, it is often easier to teach these lessons than it is to live through them as an adult.
we are doing what is right for us. we are continuing to secure our roots in bend. ron is unemployed right now. and it is okay. and i feel it in my heart and i am at peace that it is right and good. we are home. and always have been. no amount of money will change our situation. we have to be right in our hearts and in our minds. the signs are everywhere that THIS is where we are supposed to be.

i celebrate 10 years with ADP at the turn of the new year. there is new opportunity on the horizon for us. so i have a stay at home dad. can life get any sweeter? i don't think so. jealous much? life is good. and i just tell my honey to hold on to me as we go....
HOME - Phillip Phillips
Hold on, to me as we go
As we roll down this unfamiliar road
And although this wave is stringing us along
Just know you’re not alone
Cause I’m going to make this place your home

Settle down, it'll all be clear
Don't pay no mind to the demons
They fill you with fear
The trouble it might drag you down
If you get lost, you can always be found

Just know you’re not alone
Cause I’m going to make this place your home

Settle down, it'll all be clear
Don't pay no mind to the demons
They fill you with fear
The trouble it might drag you down
If you get lost, you can always be found

Just know you’re not alone
Cause I’m going to make this place your home


my rear view.

it seems each morning, in the rear view mirror glimpses, i see deeper. i see more of my future. i am scared. i am joyful. i am excited. i am fearful. i want to cling. i breath. i catch a breath. i hold on. i grasp my fingers tighter and tighter to the steering wheel. my eyes well up with tears. i grin. i smile. i laugh. i get butterflies. i am thankful. i am grateful. i am full. i am in awe. i have created that being back there. that little person that sits behind me. that little person that trusts me with ever ounce of their being still to guide them. i am still in full control of everything they do. yet at the same moment in time, i have learned i have to somehow start letting them fall. and grow. and those wings have become huge.

the month of may almost needs to become my january. my month of beginnings. because it seems like every may one, i begin to feel refreshed. like its my chance to start over, cleanse, fix, purge, take charge, get rid of, detox. i guess becoming a momma does that to a person. and owning the month with it being my last name, makes me a little more prideful of the month of may. this IS our month after all. my girl was born in may. wow. how powerful to me. when i learned i was pregnant i calculated instantly the month she would be here. and i knew it was the absolute most serendipitous miracle ever to happen to me.

i had a difficult time conceiving to begin with. so when my miracle became a reality, the fact that she was due the same month as my last name, the same month as my birthday, right near mother's day? yep. there's your sign. this lil girl's gonna be something big. something special. she was truly a gift. more than a blessing. i've always said she was an old soul. last night, she had a look about her. like something was really weighing heavy on her mind. she's not a worrier. she's a good kid, who talks about things. she understands that worry belongs to adults and understands how to put things into perspective for a child her age. she doesn't put unrealistic situations in her mind to create worry where worry doesn't need to exist. so i know that when she gets a look, she's got a concern she can't shake. something she can't process or maybe not understand.

with a little coaxing, i got it out of her that she was concerned about how long she would live. and why do some children die so young. and how do they get sick. and what would happen to mommy and daddy. point blank? am i going to lose you and daddy?

dear jesus.

this rocked me to my core. i ran a warm tubby. put her in it. everything is better in a warm tubby. and we talked. and she rocked. and i rubbed her back. and we cried. and we talked and talked and talked. and that old soul in my rear view mirror matured before my very eyes.her eyes looked so far into my soul, i swear to God i saw my grandmother staring back at me telling me i was doing the right thing. i could feel her around me last night as i talked about her. we talked about my dad. she asked about her cousin justin (God rest his sweet angel soul). she never realized until just last night that Justin was HER cousin too. and that sweet fact broke my heart. she asked loads of questions.

and my rear view today. was solid. and heavy. heavy on my heart. because this morning i knew deep in my heart. i am creating awesome memories for that sweet girl everyday. and each year on her birthday? they solidify even deeper. and my future. gets sweeter. and as i looked back today? my heart soared. and in only 8  more days, i think i'll see even more maturity as she rounds the corner to seven. and i'm tightening my grip. and hanging on tight for the ride.


May 1st...

Seven years ago today... I think I recall a strong sense of nesting going on. There seemed to be lots of last minute organizing. Loads of laundry being done, lists being crossed off, and making sure everything was just so. There was a bun in the oven, and the timer was ticking. The bun was ready to come out and the over was really, really full.

May 1st. My feet were so huge. I showed Kennedy this morning how I walked on May first. She asked me if I even held my hands like a penguin, because she exclaimed, I sure walked like one! My belly was so large, I could no longer see my feet. I could not walk far without getting out of breath, and I wasn't even diagnosed with asthma at that point in life yet! I was so very excited to become a Momma, I could hardly stand it. The anticipation, at that point was what kept me up every night, in addition to the fact that I could not get my big ole' belly comfortable in our teeny, queen size bed.

The baby was due on May 11th. I had not started to have any real contractions to write home about, and had a scheduled induction for the 11th. Because the baby was measuring so large, they were not planning to let me go a moment longer. And boy was I thankful! As I woke up this morning, Kennedy exclaimed to me, "Momma... it's here, it's here!!! It's our month!!! It's May 1st!!!!" I am so very thankful she didn't come a moment later in May. I love that I get to celebrate the month sooner with her. You see, her birthday comes first, then we celebrate Mother's Day, then my birthday, and well... since our last day is May - yep... we've deemed it ... OUR Month!

So, the first of May always leaves me very reflective... because, it's also the first month of my life I became a Momma...and how cool is it I get to celebrate Mother's day in that same month? And this year... Seven? No longer a baby... no more toddler years... seven. wow. That just seems HUGE to me. SEVEN.

stick with me while we celebrate all month.... and I'll share with you Kennedy's awesome One Little Word Project for her Seventh Year!!! It's gonna be big for her!

Peace and be good!


what you are dealt

so. it's funny. the previous post. i talked about the look. the look my daughter gives. huh. funny. interesting. i want to claw my own eyes out and stop the terms and phrases that have come into my life in the last 10 days. neurology. tourettes. tics. ocd. adhd tendencies. iep. 504. therapy. crossover behaviors. yeah. that look? wasn't just a cute little characteristic of our make-up. nope. it was so much more. and i can't. stop. crying.

when kennedy was three. there was a blink. and i joked. "honey, look, maybe she'll start swearing! she has tourettes!" then there was a cough. "kennedy, get a drink of water!" then there was a sniff. "kennedy! GO BLOW YOUR NOSE!" then there was a blink and rub of the nose. i never paid this any mind, because they all went away. then recently, she puffed her cheeks. then she stuck out her tongue. then there was a spit bubble. then came this eyebrow thing two weeks ago, and a severe roll back of the eyes into the head, with some twitching back and forth to the sides, which my husband actually noticed. "call the pediatrician." he said. and i did. and we've had a visit to the opthamologist. and a neurologist. and a diagnosis. Tourettes Syndrome. though slight. it's still a label. a label to my perfect little angel baby. who is really struggling right now.

she's frustrated. because this tic is a strong one. and it's giving her headaches. and it bothers her. it's embarrassing to her. and she thinks she's going to get in trouble for it. because it DOES look like a dirty look. and kids HATE her dirty looks. but we are getting her help and talking about it does help her. but boy do the angry spells hurt. wow.

and while i catch my breath with that news... i am battling my own issues. i have been fighting a migraine for exactly 30 days now. it started while i was out of town on business. i was in a meeting and speaking with some associates, and i started slurring my speech. then that night at dinner, i spilled my wine. BEFORE i drank it. i felt very uncoordinated and pretty clumsy at dinner and kept it to myself. i only had one glass of wine. i got a roaring headache that night. and the speech was weird the next day. and a headache again the day after. and the day after and so on.

i didn't tell anyone. i didn't think much of it. it finally lasted long enough, and the speech got worse and more embarrassing. i caved and called the doc. after many attempts to break the cycle, the doc tried and IV infusion and it failed, she felt it was more than a migraine and sent me for an MRI. i went through this migraine business one year ago exactly. one year ago, an MRI showed one white lesion on my brain. last week, they found several.

due to this, they sent me for a spinal tap to rule out MS. i have many other symptoms leading up to MS, as well. i will not be surprised if this is the answer. i just want SOME answer so i can move forward and get relief. my entire body is in pain in addition to now living with a constant headache. i am having trouble with my speech, i am having cognitive issues, trouble with my hands, and now my legs are beginning to get rubbery from time to time! i drop things all the time, spill things, even my skin is itchy! it's just plain annoying... my point?

you are not given more than you can deal? hmmmm. i just don't get that yet. i know i will. eventually. i always do get it. and i always DO get the message. i just don't see it now. i don't understand why i'm dealt this two huge blows. right now. at the same time to navigate. one year ago, they told me i had fibromyalgia and i told them no, i don't believe you and i won't take the treatment for it. i have denied it the whole time. i've always felt there was more to it. we shall see...

i'm ready to take what i'm dealt and fight it. head on.i just wish it would hurry up. because i'm tired and i can't get any rest not knowing. i don't write for pity, i'm sorrys or anything like that. just to share because maybe someone else is walking the same battle... or was just wondering what's going on...know it gets better... i've still got my humor and wit... that never subsides!

stay tuned....

peace and be good.


the look

i don't quite know when it began. but i know it's genetic. i know she can't be faulted for it. and i certainly don't blame her for it. and i won't ever. but already? she's defined by it. and i hate it. i loathe it. because it's judgemental and unfair. already, it determines how an entire day is going to flow. it garners her a spot at the "in table". or the not so "in table". it earned me a spot at the "table" with the teacher this week. we are trying to sort out.... "The Look."

here it was, as i discovered at about 2 years old. i discovered this last night looking through some old photos. memory serves me right and tells me this look began even before 2.

she is now having trouble with the look in school. oh no, and rest assured. it's not just her. i love that my family thinks it's just her. and that it's all my fault. (oh, you didn't know? yep. i have the look too. go figure.)nope. news flash! believe it or not? other children do this! they do! i swear! the teacher told me - and this was hilarious. there are two other little girls that she is friends with, and they are both very sweet girls, too, just like kennedy. but also very smart, strong, dynamic, dramatic girls. they also possess the look. they have "look-downs". i visualized this as the old time country western duals. but instead of guns? pardners? draw yer looks!!

so, this is yet again our focus. hold your look. and your tongue. and focus on the word think:

T - is it true?
H - is it helpful?
I - is it inspiring?
N - is it necessary?
K - is it kind?

I found a fabulous printable on Pinterest that i sent the teacher for this and she is going to post it in the classroom... and we're working on the look... she's fierce. i'm not ashamed of it. but it's a big misconception that because we've got a look that we're a mean individual. we're fierce. we're compassionate. we're full of empathy. and i dare you to befriend us. we're the strongest one you'll ever have at your back.

peace and be good.



  • i weigh 223 pounds
  • this is 42 pounds less than i weighed a year ago
  • i ate better today
  • i had no soda
  • i did not snack
  • i only had one cup of coffee today
  • i exercised for 34 minutes
  • i did 14 modified push ups
why does this matter? read on...

WOW. what a day. holy cow am i sore. so yeah. this last year i dropped 42 pounds. i refused to have any physical activity in my life. why you ask? because it hurt. because i was scared. because i couldn't breath. because i was full of excuses. and then there was that whole cross country move thing. i found some happiness. but still lacking something.

now don't get all excited. i'm not jumping on a bandwagon to get healthier because it's a new year. i don't consider any of this a resolution. nope. being fit and being healthy is needed. it's required in order to live in bend, oregon. why? have you SEEN bend, oregon? i'm missing out on my city if i can't be out and be active and experiencing bend, oregon. period. hands down.

oh yeah, but then there's the whole health thing. i have grave's disease. i have no thyroid, therefore metabolism and i don't get along. i have fibromyalgia. i have asthma. among many other things i won't bore you with. but what i have learned? i refuse to allow any of these things to define me. i never have. i keep a sense of humor about me. i can only survive this shit with humor.

so, i'm doing life. it's a 12 week challenge. watch ben's video first. i was inspired by ben. i hope you will be too. and maybe join me, follow me, encourage me. the challenges are listed on the forums, you've got to register, pay 10 bucks that helps with sending prizes to the weekly challenge winners. and do life damnit. it's that easy.

today? i focused on eating well, dropped the soda, added in water, and stayed moving almost all. day. long. i did 14 push ups. 14 more than i did yesterday. granted, they were modified, and probably very half-assed, but i did the best with what i have, and it's a start. i did this via the biggest loser workout plan on my kinect. i am hurting to the CORE. and i only worked out 34 minutes today. i put away all christmas decor today. i did laundry, i cleaned house, i grocery shopped. i. am. tired.

check back. i'm blogging about it daily.

peace and be good.


OLW - 2012

many of you reading are familiar with Ali Edwards One Little Word project that she sponsors every year. while i have, with best intentions, taken the time to seek a word each year, i've failed miserably at embracing the word, owning the word, and really making it resonate in my daily life. last year, i made strides, and chose the word MORE. it meant a great deal to me.

i can humbly admit, i did a great deal MORE last year than ever before. we moved cross country for crying out loud! how much MORE can you ask for? i got rid of MORE negative energy than ever. i embraced MORE, i grew MORE emotionally. i learned to love MORE of me, and i physically lost MORE of me. a considerable amount MORE. i played MORE. i loved MORE. i said no, MORE. you get the idea.

but the end of the year, left me wanting MORE. i wanted to feel like, at the end of the year, i had completed MORE. the year left me with many started projects, but not all of them were actually finished. this frustrated me. my mind was whirling creatively, from the end of June through December. living in Bend more or less, created a creative fire in my i'd not felt in a very long time. i pretty much gave up on my crafting in 2011. i didn't do MORE or nearly enough of it. that hurt, as it's a big part of life that defines me. that makes me happy. that fuels me to be a better me.

moving cross country is no east feat. and you are constantly in some stage of creation when you do something so huge. you create a plan. you create a new life. you create a new home. you create new friendships. you create a new you. it's a clean slate i think. and it's the last time i do this. we moved here with intention to create roots. as i thought about all of this, i realized create was not just in a paper and glue sense, but moved me like a verb moves a sentence. i wanted MORE out of 2012. but i realized that in order to have MORE, i needed to CREATE it.

so while i felt like CREATE was a sophomoric attempt, initially, at participating in yet one more challenge i probably won't follow through on the entire year, it hit me... this word chose me this year. which i found funny, as i read more and more blogs this week about OLW... many - scratch that - countless women have stated their word chose them for one reason or another. hmmmm... there's a trend here. i want to CREATE more of me this year. and i feel more empowered and encouraged to do so than ever this year.

so - yup - you guessed it, my OLW this year is CREATE.
  • CREATE more - in the literal sense
  • CREATE a home worth loving
  • CREATE a new life
  • CREATE new friendships
  • CREATE new routines
  • CREATE time for me
  • CREATE more time for play
  • CREATE a body that is no longer rifled with pain and distress
  • CREATE more words
  • CREATE progress on my 38 @ 38 list (i will blog about that soon!)
  • CREATE a plan
  • CREATE better food
  • CREATE more healthy routines
  • and on and on and on.... CREATE
it fits. and i'm owning it. and putting it out into the universe, because as i tell my best friend, "you've put it out into the universe, so shall it be." in an effort to own it, i've taken this week off from work. starting the new year by CREATING organization and structure in my home office/studio space. reinventing the space i work in and spend most of my time in, since i work from home, is crucial to my well being - so that is where you will find me this week. i'm sure that will allow me to CREATE more consistent blogging thoughts as well.

go on. create with me.