I’m an aunt!

So yes, a while ago I posted about my sister having a baby boy, almost a year ago. Well, in November I became an aunt again! My brother’s wife had a baby boy as well.

It’s strange to think about how these two little boys came from nothing, to existing, and they’re going to have their own lives. Lives with funny stories, sad stories, stories they’ll never tell their families. It’s just a very strange feeling to realize that there’s a new generation in your family coming up. I’ve always been the baby and things always stopped with me, but now there’s a new generation of little baby boys who are going to become rambunctious and wild and so loved. They’ll be so loved, by their parents, by their aunts and uncles, by their grandparents.

How lucky are they?! To grow up in a family knowing that they’ll be loved no matter what happens, to know that no matter what happens they’ll have family to turn to when they’re hurt or scared?

I have that in my immediate family, but not my extended family. Now that I’m these babies extended family I’m going to make sure they know that they can always come to me with anything and that they’re loved so, so much.

Birth… It really is kind of an amazing thing. A miracle. And I got to witness! I got to see them grow in their mom’s bellies; I saw them the day of their birth. I’ll see them the day they graduate high school. Hopefully I’ll be there to see their first date, but I doubt it. But I’ll definitely get to meet the girlfriends or boyfriends they have. Because no matter their gender identity or they sexual orientation or however is the right way to put it (if I’m wrong, tell me in the comments because I’ve never heard differently and I live in a place where being PC isn’t a big thing), no matter any of that, they’ll be loved and cared for. I want to make sure that they always know that. It doesn’t matter any of that stuff. They’re going to grow up to be good people with a family behind them that would do anything for them.

Because that’s what everyone needs and what everyone deserves from their birth. They’re innocent and pure and it’s the world and the people around them that shape them into good people, or people others dislike. But Jesus tells us to love our neighbors as ourselves. There are no qualifiers on ‘neighbors’ at all. It’s just our neighbors, our fellow people. Humans. We all deserve to be loved, unconditionally.

This started out as a celebration post and turned into a rant. If you’ve read this far, you’re awesome.

tl;dr I now have two nephews to spoil!!

Official Student and Baby Watch

I’m officially going back to school to finish my degree in psychology!

Due to my PTSD, anxiety, and depression along with my many other mental health issues, I was forced to take a hiatus from school. That short term break turned into 6 years.

But I’m going back now! It’s totally online, 100%, which I love. It’s perfect for someone like me.

Baby Watch.

My sister is pregnant and is due to be induced later this week because she’s so far past her due date that she just can’t stand it anymore.

They haven’t told us the name, but we do know that it’s a boy. So I’m going to be an aunt. I’m going to have a nephew to spoil rotten and even though I can’t emote that publicly and show how excited I really am (mental health issues), I am truly very excited. And nervous. I’ve never really been around babies much, but this is one I get to spoil and send home to their parents on a sugar high!

So that’s my fun news of the week! I’m going back to school, and I’m going to be an aunt!

Anyone else with exciting news? Or boring news? News of any nature really…

Warning: Long Post Ahead

A bead of sweat rolls down the back of my neck. I’m in the New York country side. It’s supposed be cool! I left the south for a break from the heat, not to bring it with me with no AC! Yet, here it is. I’m sweating waiting for the elementary band to come marching down the main street of this small town’s 4th of July parade. I can hear the drums and the cheers of the very small crowd from down the street.  It’s not a very big parade from a two-street town, but it is cute and they do throw some candy. There are horses and most of the “floats” are actually different kinds of tractors. It lasts less than an hour before the entire parade has passed us by.

The whole family is together, and it’ll probably be the one and only time that we’re all together like this at my grandmother’s house. She’s 88 this year and not getting around like she used to, but still all there. So there are eight of us in a three bedroom house. We’ve rented an RV for extra beds, but with this heat and lack of AC it’s not much fun to sleep in a, for all intents and purposes, a tin can with other sweating bodies. The only thing is that it cools down at night. That’s the saving grace. I enjoy the heat of the south – that sticky, sweaty humid air that makes your hair curl – but I do like being able to come inside into the AC. It’s refreshing.

It’s been a few days since I wrote the above, but the internet here is a little spotty so it didn’t post. I’m just going to add to it.

My bipolar-ness showed just before this trip, and I bought a thousand dollar camera that I don’t actually need. It was on sale, but it was still expensive. I justified it by saying I’d be using it to make a movie of this trip because it’ll never happen again.

As I write this, I’m sitting in a separate room away from everyone. People are outside playing croquet, drinking and laughing. Others are in the kitchen helping to prepare dinner (that I’ve been smelling all day and it’s making my mouth water with anticipation). With eight people in this house, things have gotten a little intimate and there’s no place to go to be alone. With my issues, I need my alone time. It’s like recharging my batteries. Not only is there the eight of us, but we have other family members coming over to eat and play games. It’s fun, but it’s also overwhelming. Things get to be too much – noises too loud, lights too bright. It kind of sends me over the edge, so I’ve got to find the time where I can to be on my own. Hiding before dinner seems to be the only time I can.

My family can be loud. We can be angry. We can be hilarious. But mostly what I feel, or rather don’t feel, is a bond. There isn’t a strong bond between all of us like I’ve witnessed in other families who actually enjoy being together and want to and make time to spend together. It’s something I’ve always wanted and am only recently learning to accept.

Another thing I’m learning to accept is that my grandmother has no filter from her brain to her mouth. I’ve got to take everything she says in stride because I can’t yell at an 88-year old woman. I learned also that other people have noticed that my grandmother isn’t particularly nice to me. Of my siblings, I’m the only one who isn’t married. I’m in my mid-twenties and by my age, my siblings (all older) were married or in a serious relationship (which led to marriage). I’m not dating anyone. I have no “prospects” either. I’d like to shout at her, “How am I supposed to be in a relationship when men still scare/anger me?!” Issues from being raped still reverberate through my life. It isn’t something that just happens and you eventually move on. You never move on, you just learn how to live with it. So while she calls me a spinster, she also calls me a brat. My parents help me out a lot because with my issues it’s hard to keep and maintain a job. I can’t yet finish school because of my anxiety, but I want to. She thinks I’m spoiled. She lets me know where I rank in her estimation of her grandchildren, but I can’t tell her why I am the way I am. I have to bite my tongue and turn the other cheek and pretend she doesn’t hurt my feelings or say what I already think about myself out loud. And it’s really hard. I mean really really hard. She doesn’t get it.

This post was supposed to be a happy one about the 4th of July and the fun side of this trip, but I’ve managed to turn it into a whining rant, so if you’ve read this far I’m sorry. I’m not going to change it because it’s cathartic knowing I’m putting it out there and someone, anyone is “listening” to me. It’s therapeutic. But dinner’s ready now, other family members have arrived and I’ve got to do my best to smile and be sociable when all I want is to take a plate into a separate room and eat silently.

Anyway, thank you for reading this far and I hope you had an awesome, safe 4th of July!

Family Time

I’m headed out for a trip to spend some time with my sister and brother-in-law.  I love them, I really do. But family time makes me uncomfortable. Since what happened to me happened, I’ve learned to shut off most of my emotions. Around family, though, you’re supposed to show all the excitement and love and all that. I’m not a big fan of hugging either, but they are. I don’t want to hurt their feelings so I suck it up.

Still, while I love to hang out with them, I get tired out very quickly because the entire time I’m putting on a face and acting. They don’t know what I’ve been through. Not really. I don’t really want them to either. That’s something that you’ll never be able to get out of your head. I don’t want more people to live with it than have to.

It makes things difficult because we have two very different views of the world. Hers is a safe, untouched on the happier scale. That’s a good thing. Sometimes, I’ll admit, I am jealous but I try not to let it show. I love my sister, but we’ve never been close — too different.

It’s nice being around them, I like spending the holidays with them, but this isn’t a holiday.  Our dogs love each other though.  Those two dogs are opposites. Mine’s older, much smaller (10 lbs), and all black (with a gray little beard). Hers is tall, weighs twice as much and is mostly white with a few brindle spots (and lots of freckles under her fur).  A whippet and a dachshund mix. One a pure bred from a registered breeder, the other a mixed rescued dog. But they’re hilarious to watch. Cammie is short and trots along, her tags tinkling with each step. Then there’s Penny, the skinny dog with a curly tail. She silently follows Cammie. When Cammie doesn’t have anything to do, she naps. When Penny doesn’t, she paces. She’ll just walk silent circles around the coffee table in the living room. She’s like a shark. She’s such a sweet dog and really pretty.

The dogs love to be with each other. When we’re all together, Penny doesn’t care about anything but Cammie. So that’s what I’m really looking forward to — letting to dogs play together.

tl;dr I’m driving 4.5 hrs to stay a couple of weeks so Cammie has an epic doggy play day, even though the people make me uncomfortable.

Solar Eclipse 2017

It was a while ago, but still.

The solar eclipse was one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen. Yeah, I was stuck in a very small town out in the middle of nowhere called Turtletown in a rented house they called “Bearadise” where there were bears everywhere.

In a very, very small bathroom there were a grand total of 27 bear pictures, statues, figurines, light switches, trash can, etc. There was no WiFi. There was absolutely no cell service unless you drove half an hour to Ducktown. (No joke, those are the names.) The TVs didn’t have cable and the few movies there for some reason only played in black and white.

But the whole family was together, two dogs. I don’t think they’d believe me if I told them that I would totally do it again. It was so much fun to be really unplugged. Wait. One thing I could go without was the water that smelled like rotten eggs. That wasn’t so much fun, but besides that it was great!

My dad had a telescope and we went camping a lot growing up. So I’ve always had an interest in the stars. I saw the most amazing shooting star with him a few years back. We saw it coming until it was huge, lighting up the whole sky, colored tail and everything. The solar eclipse is right up there on my list of amazing things. I’d love to live somewhere with a big sky and watch the stars at night on a porch…