Monday, February 28, 2011

Day 15

Day 15 - Bible verse

I was not sure that I would be able to pull off the post for today. I have never read the entire bible, nor do I ever plan to (at least not in this moment). When I saw that a verse was needed for this 30 day challenge, I figured I would just cross that bridge when the time came. That is pretty much what I did. I did spend some time researching verses. I did end up finding two that I found fitting for me, for this moment in my life.

Ezra 10:4
"Rise up; this matter is in your hands. We will support you, so take courage and do it."

John 4:18
"There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love."

No explanation necessary.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Day 14

Day 14 - A picture you love

This is a picture of my paternal grandfather (Poppy) and I. He passed away in November of 2008 after a long battle with cancer. This was sent to me by one of my aunts. She found this photograph, scanned it, and emailed it to me. It means a lot to me. I only have one picture of him with Gabriel. It was taken on Easter of 2008. Gabriel was about a month and a half old. That is another picture that I hold dearly. Holy emotions. I was not ready for those feelings to just come up. I miss him.


Saturday, February 26, 2011

Day 13

Day 13 - Goals

My goals- Instant success in all that I aspire to do. Hahaha! Okay, now that I got that out of my system...
I have several goals for myself and for my future. Right now, one of my biggest goals is to graduate from UC. This is something that has been incredibly important to me for quite a long time. This is also a source of some of my stress.
Now that I am unemployed, finding employment is a goal for this very moment. I do not like being unemployed. I like to have something to do, occupy my time, and getting paid is a definite bonus.
Someday, I would like to own a house. I like where I live, currently, but it would be great to have a place of my own.
I want to complete my 12-steps. I have 5 done. I just need to push forward and complete 7 more. It is a process.
I am not entirely sure that this is a goal, but I would maybe like to get married someday down the road. I am not set on the idea of marriage, so I will cross that bridge if the day ever comes.
In all reality, it is simply important to me that my son and I are happy, stable, and healthy. That sounds so generic. That is honestly what would mean the most to me.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Day 12

Day 12 - What you believe

Oh my. I believe in a lot of things. I believe in love. I think that love holds the key to all things in life, but love begins with yourself. As humans, we cannot fully love another until we fully love ourselves.
I believe that we cannot get our happiness from another person. We simply share our happiness.
I believe that everything in life happens for a reason. I just had a conversation on Tuesday about this very concept. I think that sometimes we struggle with changes that occur in our lives, we suffer, and we wonder when the feeling of sadness or heartbreak will end. For me, when I go through those feelings, after I get past the sadness I generally end up seeing that things turned out much better for me in the end. I always learn something new and gain more insight on myself.
I believe in a higher power. I am not religious, but I think that there is a power that is greater than myself.
I believe in reincarnation.
I believe that one person can truly make a difference in the world, even if they just do the smallest act.
I believe that the mind is the most powerful tool that humans have.
I believe in taking risks and that life is always worth it.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Day 11

Day 11 - Favorite TV shows

When I am watching TV, I usually watch Nickelodeon or Nick Jr. I do sometimes get a chance to watch things other than cartoons.
Here are a few shows that I enjoy watching:

House - Yes, the show is basically always the same, but I have a thing for Hugh Laurie.

Criminal Minds - It keeps me interested.

Teen Mom, Teen Mom 2, 16 and Pregnant - I am almost embarrassed to admit these. I currently watch Teen Mom 2 every week. Shame on me.

That is about it. I should expand my mind and watch something different. Perhaps the news?

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Day 10

Day 10 - Something you're afraid of.

There are several things that I am afraid of. There are major things, such as anything happening to my son, family, and friends. Those are my major fears. Aside from those things, I am afraid of complacency. When I started putting forth the effort in myself and my self-growth I am aware that things in my life and surrounding my life are getting better. In the back of my mind, I am scared that I may get to a point where I am happy with the progress that I have made and believing that maybe it is good enough. It worries me that I could at some point settle to have a life that is good enough (because it is better than it was) and not pushing forward to achieve greatness. I do continue to come to this point every so often. I look at the progress that I have made and I am happy to be where I am. I know that it gets even better. I do continue to put the effort in and let me tell you, nothing is a fix-all overnight. It just doesn't work that way. At times I fall back into old TJ patterns, but I am usually quick to catch myself. If I don't catch it, someone else usually does (Thank you, Holly!). I am still pushing forward right now and am not settling for good enough. I am just afraid that it could happen.

I am afraid of not graduating from UC. Sure, I attend full-time, I pass my classes, and I keep up with scheduling and coursework. I am just up against a deadline. With this deadline hovering over me, it is hard for me to not have the idea of not graduating weighing on my mind.

There it is, some of the things that I am afraid of.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Day 9

Tonya. This is my sister. She is truly beautiful. She is such a great friend and sister. She is in my blog for day 5. She is awesome! I love you, sis.

Sarah. She has been in my life for about 6 years. I love this woman. She is gorgeous, talented, and a great mama. Though we live pretty far from one another, I still consider her one of my closest and best friends. I hope to be able to visit her very soon. I miss her and her girls.

This is Kelly. She is a beautiful, amazing, and brilliant woman. She has been such a wonderful friend. I am grateful to have her in my life. She is an inspiration to me. Thank you for being there for me and being in my life. Love you!

This is an old picture. This is Holly, Windy, Stefanie, and me. This picture was taken in 2005. These 3 ladies have made such a difference in my life. I couldn't imagine my life without them. They all have been there to support me, love me unconditionally, laugh with me, cry with me, and they have been beyond amazing. We have had good times, bad times, happy times, and sad times. We have had our struggles in love, life, finances, but we always pull through. These are three of the most amazing friends a woman could ever ask for.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Day 8

Day 8 - A place you've traveled to
In the Summer of 2007 I traveled out West. The first night into the trip, my boyfriend at the time and I stopped and visited his family in St. Louis. We stayed overnight, got up the next day, had breakfast, and got back on the road. We made it to Colorado. I have a family friend, like a second mother, that lived in Littleton, Colorado. I got in touch with her on the way out and when we made it into Colorado, she directed us towards her house. We stayed with her for two days. Being in Colorado was amazing. It is beautiful there. They showed us around, took us to the mountains, and to see Red Rocks. Red Rocks is beautiful. I took many pictures on this trip, but don't have all of them anymore.
My visit in Colorado was great. I enjoyed the visit, the weather, and the scenery. It would have been nice to have stayed longer.
After leaving, we headed south to drive to Arizona. Within an hour of leaving we hit a big rain storm, but continued driving through the night. The drive was nice during the night because the weather was cool. The daytime was beautiful, but very hot (and we were traveling without air conditioning). By the time we made it to Arizona we got lost. It was hot, we were lost, and stress was high. Needless to say, we ended up getting off the highway, pulling into a parking lot and having a big fight. Why did we come here? What were we thinking? Can we even do this together? I should have stayed home. These are all things that we said. Among many others! I cried. I wanted to go home. Yes, the trip was beautiful and I saw so many things. However, the best part of my trip was visiting with my "family" in Colorado. Arizona didn't work out and it didn't last longer than a 24 hour period. We headed home and I was glad to be back.
I don't know what I was thinking when I thought I could move out to Arizona in a toxic relationship. However, it was a fun trip and a good experience. I certainly wouldn't take the trip back.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Day 7

Day 7 - Favorite Movies

There are quite a few movies that I would consider favorites.
One of my favorites from when I was younger is Airplane! I think that movie is hilarious and my sister and I would always watch it together. The boob scene always made us crack up. We are ridiculous. I just watched that movie two weeks ago and it is still just as great as it always was.
Pay it Forward.
P.S. I Love You. Yeah, it makes me cry, but it is sweet. It definitely makes me want to go to Ireland and fall in love. Silly.
Leaves of Grass.
Okay, so there are a lot of good movies. There are more that I really enjoy, but I am not really in a writing mood today.

Day 6 (a bit late)

Day 6- A picture of something that makes you happy.

This is something that makes me happy. Playing with Gabriel and watching him play is a lot of fun. It is amazing to see his imagination and mind working when he plays.
In this picture, Gabriel put all of his cars on his train track at my parents' house. We joke that Gabriel set up a traffic jam. He took the train off of the track, so he could put all of his cars on the tracks.
It isn't necessarily the picture that makes me happy, even though it does. What makes me happy is simply playing and having fun with Gabriel. I love being able to enjoy these small little moments of play and joy. As for the cars on the tracks, I hope they have something to keep them busy, because it is going to be quite a while.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Day 5

Day 5 - Your Siblings
I have only one sibling. My older sister, Tonya. She turned 30 on Christmas and I turned 25 in January. We are 5 years apart. My sister and I didn't always have the closest relationship. When we were younger we fought quite a bit, but of course, we still loved each other. As we got older, we started to get closer and the fighting stopped. Tonya and I are pretty close today. She has a busy life. She works full-time and has a weird work shift. She works 11:30-10:30. So, we don't really see each other much during the week. We may see each other once a week or once every two weeks, but we still stay in touch over the phone or through text messages.
She just got married in September 2010. She met an amazing man, Mitchell, on Valentine's Day of 2008, just two days before Gabriel was born. I remember being at the hospital, in labor, and Tonya came in saying that she thinks she met her future husband/"baby daddy." She is hilarious. Gabriel was several months old before we actually met Mitchell. Mitchell is a great guy and he fits right in the family. He has been not only supportive of my sister, but he has been there for me during my struggles. I am glad to have them both in my life. They are happy and in love. It is sweet and gives me hope.
My sister and I are different from one another, but very much the same, too. It is interesting. She has her life together, not that I don't, but she does more than I do. She inspires me and I do look up to her in some sense. She is amazing and beautiful. I love you, Tonya. xoxo

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Day 4

Day 4 - Your Parents
My parents have been amazing. My mother and father have been married for 30 years. They had my sister when they were 18. They had me when they were about 23. My parents grew up in Ohio. They met when they were 15, I think. They started dating and got married a couple months before my sister was born. My dad enlisted in the Marine Corp after my sister was born and began traveling. My mother and sister traveled to the various bases with my father. I was born while they were stationed in California. Whenever my dad had to move to a different location and his family went, my mother would find a job, take care of the kids, and run the house (while he was stationed away). My parents have both played the role of caregiver and they both have dished out our punishment. Both of them have done cleaning, laundry, made dinner, and worked. They taught my sister and I many things and have always done the best they could. They always told my sister and me that we needed to graduate high school, go to college, get a good job, and take care of ourselves. I remember being young and my parents telling us that we shouldn't rely on anyone else, especially not a man, to take care of us. I was young and didn't understand at the time. Now, I understand why they wanted us to follow down that path and take care of ourselves. I realize that I can't rely on anyone, but myself, to take care of me. I am glad that my parents have encouraged my education and that they have been supportive of me and my life.
I remember finding out I was pregnant. I was terrified to tell my parents because I was afraid to disappoint them. I am sure that it still did disappoint them, but they were very understanding and supportive. Steve (Gabriel's father) and I were the first that knew I was pregnant and I didn't want anyone else to know until my parents knew. I just wanted my parents to be among the first to know and to not have them find out from someone other than me. I told my mom and she took it much better than I thought. I was so afraid to tell my dad. I thought he would be pretty disappointed and I hated the idea of putting that on him. I went and saw my dad everyday for several days. Each time I meant to tell him, but I wimped out. One day I was visiting and my grandma was over visiting (Mimi), too. We were talking in the kitchen and she was talking to my father and I about how well my sister and I were doing. She mentioned that she was proud of how we continued our education and that we didn't have children young. That got me and I started to cry. She said something like, "You're pregnant, aren't you?"
My dad was not crazy excited for me or anything, but he told me that he just hoped that I would finish school. They were great throughout my pregnancy and both sat at the birthing center with me. They are amazing grandparents and love Gabriel so very much. At this point in my life, I know that my parents have been wonderful. We have had our fights and challenges. That is the way it is sometimes, though. I am grateful to have my parents be there for not only my son and me, but for my sister, too. My parents have done all they could to make sure that my sister and I had the things we needed, that we got a good education (as children and adults), and we rarely had to go without things. Sure...maybe I never got a PowerWheels, but I didn't really need it! Haha.
Gabriel and I visit with my parents a couple times a week and we talk to them regularly throughout the week, too. We have a good relationship and are pretty close. We are very lucky to have them.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Day Three

Day 3 - Your first love

My very first love was Steve. He is my very first love and my only romantic love. When I was younger, I thought I had loved other partners I had, but now that I know and understand love, it was just lust and infatuation.
I met Steve when I was about 15. We took woodworking class together in high school. I thought he was attractive and I wanted to get to know him. I actually wrote him a note and gave it to him. Yeah, that is probably a bit lame, but whatever. He ended up calling me and inviting me to go stay with him, his best friend Ben, and this girl Kelly, at his father's house. I went over there and it was a little uncomfortable because I was pretty shy. Within time we started dating. We dated on and off for quite some time. However, it wasn't going to work because of my need to have a man in my life that can put me as a priority and he wasn't in a place in his life where that could happen.
We parted ways and kept in touch (but not well enough).
I was 19 and working at Dino's in Yellow Springs. I was working a shift, it was Spring, and I was serving a line of people in the afternoon. Someone walked up to the counter while I was serving those people and said my name. I turned to look and it was Steve. My heart started racing. I had to finish out the line of customers. He was gone by the time I was done. I went out back and sat down. I waited, thinking he might come back in, but he didn't.
A few weeks later we connected again and talked on the phone. I was dating someone at the time, but we made plans to hang out. We hung out and had fun. We were catching up. We gradually started spending more time together. The relationship I was in started going downhill, quickly. I eventually ended that relationship after receiving a nasty voicemail. It started out saying something like this, "You f***ing b****, I don't ever want to f***ing see you, again..." He apologized, but I just couldn't do it anymore.
Shortly after, Steve and I started dating. That was in December of 2006. On April 1st of 2007, I sent him a text message while he was working. It said that I was pregnant. Unfortunately, I fell asleep before I heard back from him. He was so excited and told people that we were having a baby. By the time I woke up, I told him that it was an April Fools joke. Oops! Got him good, but got myself better. A month later I did get pregnant. I found out two months after that joke that I was pregnant. I was working street fair and kept throwing up. I already knew I was pregnant, though. I still bought a test after I finished out street fair. Steve sat with me in the restroom while we waited. He was beyond excited. I was a wreck. It is amazing how fast they change when you are pregnant! We began our journey into parenthood.
Our relationship had ups and downs, but I loved him. I do love him still. He was my first love and he is the father of our child. He is a great guy and the best father. Gabriel and I are both very lucky to have him as Gabriel's father.
So, there it first love.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Day Two

Day 2-Meaning behind your blog name
The name on my blog is, "Walking in My Own Shoes." I chose this name because I am at a point in my life where I am going through quite a bit of self-growth. This is a reminder to keep the focus on myself and to walk in my own path. By keeping the focus on my own path, I am not worried about the path that others take or what it might be like to walk in their shoes. I am also trying to not get caught up in walking down someone else's path. I haven't been using this blog for very long, but my attention is directed at where I am in my head and in my journey. It can be easy for me to get distracted from what I have going on and get wrapped up in the lives of my friends, or in the lives of potential partners. However, that is my past and what I am trying to move beyond. This blog and my journey are about my self-growth and evolution in my self-love. For today, I will walk in my own shoes.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Day One

Day 1-Introduce, recent picture, 15 interesting facts
Here I am. Tamara Andrews (TJ) and my little man, Gabriel. This photo was taken a few weeks ago. Gabriel was crying because he didn't get his way. I am 25 and Gabriel is turning 3 in two days. He is the greatest. We make things work and we do the very best that we can.
Interesting facts? I am working on that part.

1. I haven't been to the movies in 5 years. (I didn't make it to the movies over the weekend) The last movie I saw in a theater was a Harry Potter movie. I don't ever think I have the patience to sit in the theater.

2. I take water with me whenever I leave the house.

3. I just recently experienced the adventures of a Brazilian wax. It was not as bad as I thought it might be. It certainly was worth it!

4. Brushing my teeth in the morning always makes me gag. Sometimes it makes me throw up. This does not prevent me from brushing my teeth, though. If I happen to throw up from brushing my teeth, I just shake it off and brush again!

5. I once hit a school bus full of children. There was no damage or injuries.

6. I love to color. I ask my son if he wants to color, just so I can.

7. I made a miniature coffin in woodworking when I was 16. I still have it.

8. Whenever I am up against a deadline, I almost always end up taking a nap. I don't know why, but naps just seem fitting.

9. I have never, knowingly, flown on a plane. Meaning, I flew with my parents as an infant. I would like to fly someday. I have my fears of flying, but I'll get over it. I do believe that driving is the way to go, though.

10. I have taken the same math class three times. I still haven't passed the class. Fourth time is a charm...I hope!

11. I want to get a tattoo. I already know what I want and where I want it, but I am going to sit on that idea for a bit longer.

12. I am afraid of the dark.

13. I would love to own my own flower shop.

14. I loathe working in service positions (mostly working as a waitress).

15. I want to make more forts with my son!

That is the best that I can do for right now. : )

Sunday, February 13, 2011

I'm Game

I have been following another woman's blog and she recently began her 30-day blog challenge. It seems interesting and like it will take a little bit off of my mind. So, I guess I am going to try to give it a go. The days are mapped out and should go a little something like this:

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-Put your iPod on shuffle, first 10 songs
Day 26-Picture of your family
Day 27-Pets
Day 28-Something that stresses you out
Day 29-3 Wishes
Day 30-A picture

I will start with Day 1 tomorrow.
Now the blog will have some sense of focus, at least temporarily.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Girls' Night and After

It was difficult to see Tara for the last time, but I am glad that we were able to see her. We were able tell her we love her and say goodbye. I spent a little bit of time over with Tonya, Mitchell, and TaraBell yesterday. Gabriel and I left there and spent time together. Gabriel stayed the night with his dad last night and I went to a much needed girls' night. It was a lot of fun. It was nice to spend time with those ladies and to talk, laugh, be serious, and have fun. We hung out over at Holly's house until close to midnight when we decided to venture out into the public eye. Of course we had to put on the heels! I ran into a best friend's old flame, or whatever it is that he was. We had a nice talk, but then he just started to creep me out a little bit. Thank goodness for girlfriends! They will drag you out of it in a heartbeat. We started our night off on bad terms with the bartender. Sorry, but your orange juice sucked! "Someone else will have to order drinks for the rest of the night."
Today, Tonya mentioned all of us going to take Gabriel to see his first movie in the theater. Gnomeo and Juliet (in 3-D). I think that it could be fun and interesting. He may or may not have the patience for a movie. I guess we will have to find out!
I am a little confused right now, but that is simply because I don't understand what is going on. I know that it is probably better for me to keep my mouth and heart closed sometimes, but wow, it is a little hard. I get weak periodically. I suppose that it is bound to happen from time to time. Feelings can be rough. I can say that I know that I am a great woman. I am beautiful, I am a great mama, and I do the best I can. I deserve to be someone's first thought. I tell myself that and seconds later ask myself if that is fair.
When my time comes...!
I saw things, with my dreaming eyes, that obviously never came to be. Not just with men, but with life in general. Five years ago, I certainly did not see myself where I am currently. It isn't bad, but unexpected. My life is unfolding exactly as it should. I am right where I need to be. Right. Where. You. Need. To. Be. (Self-talk) I can look at myself today and be happy with myself and my body. It is hard to get to that point, especially after having a child. I am happy with my journey thus far and I wouldn't change one second. I am finding myself.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Saying Goodbye

Today Gabriel and I are going over to visit Tonya, Mitchell, and TaraBell. We are going to spend our last day with TaraBell. She is moving on in this life and meeting with our loved ones on the other side. My heart hurts knowing that she is leaving, but I know that she is struggling in this life. I have a difficult time explaining these things to Gabriel. He has experienced many major losses in such a short journey in this world. I haven't even begun to explain to him about Tara. I don't know what to say right in this moment and I can't say it without tears.
Gabriel just called me away from the computer to help him with his breakfast. He asked me why I was sad. I told him that today we were going to go see Tonya, Mitchell, and Tara. He said, "But you're sad." I let him know that we were going to see Tara for the last time today because she was going to Heaven. He said, "She's going to die?" He does understand more than I believe sometimes. I told him that she was and that she was going to Heaven. He said that Tara is sick and she's going to Heaven. He asked me if we would still see Tonya and Mitchell. I let him know that we would, he told me not to be sad, and gave me a kiss. He is an amazing child.
Since Gabriel was born, we have said goodbye to two of my grandparents (Mimi and Poppy), his father's grandmother (Grandma Marge), Linda Lee (Grandma Linda), and Grandma Mahle.
He is not a stranger to loss of family and at such a very young age. I am sad that he has lost so many wonderful people. At this age, he is going to have to learn about them through us. However, I am grateful that they were all able to meet Gabriel and to have him be in their lives.
In five days, Gabriel will be turning three. In three days, I will be unemployed. Changes, they are coming.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Attempting to start fresh.

Life has been busy lately. It has been even more busy in my mind, than anywhere else. I turned 25 a month ago. Gabriel is turning 3 in exactly a week. Sometimes I cannot believe that he is already turning 3, but it is amazing. I am truly blessed to have him as my child. He is beautiful, talented, and incredibly smart. He is also very funny and has quite an attitude. Gabriel has an incredible mind and I often say, "where does he learn these things?" This is said at times in both pride and in complete confusion. I am proud of my son and completely in love with him. In the last year, I have started doing work on myself and to make myself and my life better. I know that this will also make Gabriel's life much better. Lately, I have been stuck in my own head. After a conversation that I had today, I realized that I need to just get out of my own way. I only have control over myself and my actions/behaviors in this moment. I am telling myself that right now is where I am living. I need to think less of the past and less of the future.
"Do what you can, with what you have, where you are." -Theodore Roosevelt
I have to constantly remind myself.
In the last few days, I have had sadness for things that are or are not there. I have had sadness for family (Tonya, Mitchell, and TaraBell). I have had happiness for my life, my son, my family, and amazing friends. Life can really be a roller coaster. Now it is time for me to let go and just enjoy the ups and downs.