Friday, February 3, 2017

Take Me Home, Country Roads

John Denver once sang. "Country roads, take me home/ To the place I belong/ West Virginia, mountain mama/ Take me home, country roads."

I am excited to announce, that a country road is taking me home. A new home that I will call my own. That cute Country Boy I get to share my life with and I are merging our two homes into one. That's right. We have decided to move in together and get our lives with each other and as parents to Baby Girl started.

I am over the moon about this, as is my Baby Girl, because it has been a long time coming. We've lived with Nanna and Papa for the last four years and in a way, I'm proud to say, it was also the only time I've ever moved back home to Mom and Dad's. 

I  moved out of Mom and Dad's place literally four days after my high school graduation and had lived away from home ever since. That was from age 18 to age 25 that I was in my own place. I was on my own and had an unexpected layoff in my professional life that caused me to be unable to renew a lease and move back home to my folk's house.

After moving back home, the ultimate goal was to move back out again, with money in savings and all bills/debts paid off. Now that would require a j-o-b, right? Well, unfortunately, it took me about 8 months to find work and all the gigs I could land were temp jobs. Just when I thought I could make money to pay debts because I received job offers, I would accept - only to have them tell me 3 weeks after hiring me that they decided to make it a 90 temp job. It was like another job crashed and burned and was like driving a new Maserati down a dead end street.

I worked dead end jobs for 2 out of the 4 years I was living with my parents. I wasn't making enough money to pay off debt and most importantly, save money to get back to where I was prior to moving in.

All that changed when I started looking for more professionally. I was working another craptastic job that I was getting burnt out on and not making money to pay even monthly expenses with. I decided I was going to start looking for more because this ol' world had to have something better and worth having for not only myself, but for my daughter. 

I landed my current gig that I was over the moon about getting... Working for Acura. I've always been a car person and its always been something I love spending my time with. Mechanics, detail, selling, financing... Everything. The car business is something I always wanted to damper in and it just fell out of the sky and landed in my life one March day. (For more about my career and what it means to me, please read my entry from 2015: A Year In Review).

So since landing my job with Acura and since I was living with my parent's, I was able to pay off a lot more debt over time and start getting expenses broken down to just the necessities and no luxuries. I am so proud to say that I paid off 95% of my debt and only have monthly expenses - so now I was finally able to just see what options were. 

While waiting to see what those options were, time was flying by at the same time. Days turned into weeks and weeks turned into months dating my hunny and we decided that maybe since enough time as past that we've spent together, perhaps maybe it meant that we could merge our homes into one. Realistically, it made sense because I was now financially ready, and he was coming out to see Baby Girl and I almost every other to every day so, we were both just ready. 

Well, the big moving day is tomorrow! Like, holy hell, people! Its already here! We toured a few places to reside on Sunday, January 22, 2017 all including the opinions, thoughts and feelings of Baby Girl. She voiced her feelings on every place we looked at and if she really saw her and our little family living there or not.

When it came time to decide where we should apply to, her opinions, thoughts and feelings were graciously considered and we made our decision. We applied that January Sunday night around 8:30 PM after our Baby Girl went to bed and by the time I got to work the next morning at 9 AM, our leasing agent was calling to tell me the great news. 

Moving day is TOMORROW. As of tomorrow, February 04, 2017 - We will be moving out of Nanna and Papa's and into our own home. Its very bittersweet in Baby Girl and my life to be leaving but we are also excited to start new chapters with our special man in our lives.

This is officially Chapter 3 in our relationship. In case you need a refresher, Chapter One was dating. Chapter Two was officiating our relationship lol. Another chapter being written in our love story. 

To everyone who have love and supported us over the last 4 years, especially my parents, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts and we couldn't be any more blessed than we are right now.

xoxoxox 

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

When "Taxes" Are High

"Grief is the tax you pay for losing someone. And today, taxes are high." - Randy Lewis, ODFW


"You can never say enough about a person who was so influential in your life. He was a hard worker and an avid outdoorsman. The State of Oregon will never know how much he did for this state. He was tough but fair, and loved us all unconditionally. Just like when you're pitching a little league game at Harmon Field in Bend, suddenly you see dad watching. the fastball got a little faster, and the bat started finding the ball. Our Disneyland and far away places were right here in Oregon. He took us camping every year at Cow Camp; We looked for morel mushrooms at the Metolius and Ochocos; Found many an arrowhead on Squaw Creek; Learning to catch brookies on Snow Creek and fly fishing at Sparks. Too many memories to capture in such a little space. Thank you Dad for all you did for me, my family and friends. You will truly be missed in so many ways. Give mom a big hug and kiss for us. Love you." - Jeff Montgomery, on his father's passing.

This man was truly the greatest hero, influence and idol of my life. On November 03, 2016, our lives were changed by the tremendous loss of my grandfather, my Papa Monty. I remember every moment form the day that I met him, up until the very end. Instead of all the attention, all he really would have wanted was a few words mentioned - a simple man, simply at rest. He always said some things just glitter and shine, but always taught us that love was the one thing money couldn't buy. His love and support always just meant so much.

He was the man who brought our family together countless times a year, and he instilled so many traditions and legacies within us - just saying thank you just wasn't ever enough. He was the greatest and most influential man that I, and countless others, ever had.

For everything he has ever done for us. For all the many memories that I have with him, I will cherish those forever. He will never know the gratitude I have for him, for all he has done for me and for everything he has ever given me.


I love him endlessly and I miss him terribly. This loss was just tremendous. 
I miss him a little too much, a little too often, a little more everyday. 



MONTY LEON MONTGOMERY (1927-2016)
Obituary

Montgomery, Monty Leon - 89 - May 03, 1927 to November 03, 2016
Monty, 89, a long time resident of Portland, passed away on November 03, 2016 peacefully at home, surrounded by his family. Monty was born in Talent, Ore. on May 03, 1927 to Donnie Allen and Vera Mae Withrow Montgomery (later Newland). As part of the "Greatest Generation", Monty graduated early for Talent High School and with his parent's permission, joined the Naval Service at 17 years of age, sailing on the USS Gurke (DD 783) into Tokyo Bay in August of 1945. After being discharged, he attended Oregon State University and graduated with a degree in aquatic biology and fishery management. Monty met Sally Marie Knight in Medford, Ore. and they were married there on September. 16, 1949. They made Medford, Bend, Corvallis and Portland, their home over their 60 years of marriage. Our favorite family memory is our yearly camping trip at "Cow Camp"outside of Bend. Monty began working for Oregon State Game Commission (now known as Oregon Dept. of Fish & Wildlife) in 1950 as a biologist. As a manager at Fall River Hatchery, in his first position with the Commission, Monty's first success in conservation was was to convince the US Army Corps of Engineers not to put the Upper Deschutes into a culvert about the Deschutes Bridge during construction of the Cascade Lakes Highway; as was being mandated by the regulations created by the Tennessee Valley Authority construction project of the 1930's. He continued his working career and long after into retirement, Monty continued to do what he loved, volunteering for conservation projects. He received the highest award of the Izaac Walton League of America. "Monty dedicated a lifetime to conservation and protecting Oregon's natural resources," said Chuck Clayton, the League's nation president. "His work to benefit conservation as a local, state, and national leader in the Izaac Walton League represents a spirit of volunteerism many Americans cherish." Sally proceeded him in death in 2010. They are survived by their six children, Teresa Franzke of Bend,  Kimberly Waddle of Walla Walla, Wash., Molly Montgomery of Happy Valley, Lisa Joyce of Newberg, Heidi Elliott of Vancouver, Wash., and Jeff Montgomery of Aloha. They had 17 grandchildren and 12 great grandchildren. A celebration of Monty and Sally's life will be held at the family home. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in honor of Montyto a project that he and his best friend, Corky Corthell were instrumental in initiating. The Coos County STEP Commission, Educational Account, PO Box 1611, North Bend, Ore. 97459. (Visit online at www.MorganCreekFishHatchery.org)

*Published in The Oregonian from November 11, 2016 to November 16, 2016.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


"You should be here, standing with your arms around me here.
Cuttin' up crackin' a cold beer, saying 'Cheers! Hey, yall it's sure been a good year."
It's one of those moments, that's got your name written all over it.
And you know that if I had just one wish - It'd be that you didn't have to miss this.
Cause you should be here."
-Cole Swindell.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Pushin' Time

After a couple months of writing hiatus, I am back to share more life with you readers. I apologize for the break but SO MUCH has happened in the time that has passed and I haven't had much time to keep you updated. Well, here we go!

Since last posting about the love triangle I always found myself in as a child, I am now here creating another triangle. A triangle that my daughter has now found herself in. But I am happy to say that this triangle is one full of love for her and she understands how much she is loved and cared for. 

Adding to the "crazy, tragic, sometimes almost magic, awful beautiful life" we had, that "almost magic" shined some love on us. Baby Girl and I gained a special man into our lives as more than just Mommy's friend. 

Well, I never looked at this photo and what it captured closely enough, but looking at it now, I see what was truly photographed. Back when this photo was taken, this man and I were just friends. Just friends that turned into the best friends. I was told that you could see an unborn chemistry between us and that maybe time would tell what would happen between the two of us. Here we were, 6 years later, and this man was not just my best friend anymore.

Last July, I hadn't seen him in awhile but we had talked daily so I had just shot him a text and said, "Hey, what are you up to, you should meet Baby Girl and I for lunch." He accepted and met us for lunch. Now, mind you I always heard he had feelings for me but we never acknowledged them. Mainly because I was too busy flying by the seat of my pants to settle down and thought everyone was bluffing. I knew what I wanted but was too busy being young, wild spirited and well, an idiot to even just settle it down and make him talk to me about it. 

Well this handsome man shows up and we make eye contact walking towards each other, but just when he smiled at me, I lose my breath. Why? What was this feeling that had come over me? Why was I losing my mind and for the first time, I freeze and not know what to do? 

I'll tell you why.

Because in that very moment, I knew that I wanted him and no one else. 

He proceeds to say "hello" and we hug. Ok, now that hug sealed the deal. The way he approached me. The way he held me when he hugged me. The way I felt so complete in his arms. THAT'S the exact moment that I knew I not only wanted him, I needed him. 

We proceed to have a great lunch together and then after I got home, I felt it was completely necessary to make him talk to me about this chemistry. I needed to know if he still felt it. If he still had feelings for me more than friends like I was now mutually feeling. I needed to know if there was still and ever a chance we could explore the option of being together... I. JUST. HAD. TO. KNOW. I was not going to let this man get away from me again. 

And I say 'again' because a few months prior, this man had briefly dated someone. Well,even though I was not right in my mind and seeing someone else as well, it still infuriated me that he was with someone. Now I realize that it's not fair of me to be upset because he was with someone, while he has seen me in 2 relationships in our 6 years of friendship, but this one really got to me. Like it was a real thing that I could lose him. I was not about that life. 

Much to my surprise, he tells me that he was over the moon about spending time together and that he'd be honored to see where this goes. 

So after a month or so of being crazy busy with our careers, we fall off the radar with talking, texting or whatever. I wasn't having it. I was serious about not losing him this time. If I ever had a chance, the chance was now... So, I texted him. I demanded that if we were going to spend time together for this, then we're doing it. We were going to make time, damn it. Who knew if I was so assertive about it, it would persuade him to say "Ok, we are."

We spent some time together and went on numerous dates over the next month and after dealing with a stressful matter, we were sitting together one fall night and I told him that I was happy with how things were going. He was thrilled and that was the night we decided we were going to live this life together, side by side, hand in hand.

We have been through so many things in our friendship and we are both proud to say that we've never even gotten into a fight for any reason. This man has been my best friend over the years and has always had mine and my daughter's best interests at heart. No matter what life throws at us, we always take a second to cherish the little things. All the stress, worries and heartaches of the world go away when we are all together. 

I still can't wrap my head around what he sees in me, nor does he about me in him, but seeing each other smile makes us happier than the other will ever realize. We might get tired, stressed or sad... But knowing we have each other's back no matter what, we will always be able to pull through. I'm so blessed to have him as not only my best friend, but my partner. We have started a new chapter in our friendship and we are beyond excited to see what the pages of our story will tell.

"They say only time can tell, but you already know me well. If it has to end in tears, I hope it's in sixty years." -Miranda Lambert.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Love Triangle


"Some Mama's and Daddies are loving in a straight line, take 'forever' to heart and then take a long sweet ride; 
but some Mama's and Daddies let their heart strings tear and tangle.
And some Mama's and Daddies run out of love in '94 and some Mama's and Daddies don't even talk no more; 
and some Mama's and Daddies let their heart strings tear and tangle.

And some of us get stuck, yeah some of grow up in a Love Triangle."
-RaeLynn.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


I truly wish I was the one to write this song, it hits extremely close to home – the childhood homes I grew up in. It’s so raw, full of emotion and gives you the reality of growing up as the child of divorced parents.

As a kid of divorce, it can hurt at times when the whole point of family is to be a unit with both parents, making memories together. When your parents are divorced, it’s just not that way. You have two bedrooms, two Christmases, two sets of parents, two sets of siblings, pretty much two of everything. Two very separate lives, completely different from the other. 

As a kid, my Pop lived 3 hours away and would pick me up every other Friday and drop me off on Sunday. Every Sunday, I remember myself, as well as my Pop, getting a little sad, emotional and teary eyed because we wouldn't get to see each other for two whole weeks. I wouldn't get to go on those special outdoor adventures, or smell the scent of car oil that was stained into his clothes, or go the Fast Stop and pick up bean and cheese burritos that we both have a weakness for. 

My Pop and I had some tough times, and sometimes I think he hated that I was getting old enough to realize it and I think he hated it even more when he knew that I knew we didn't have much - like I did at my Mama's. I never said anything. I never asked for anything. I knew it tore him up at the time that he worked so hard to make a poor man's dollar, but he offered me everything he possibly could. Even though I was just a little girl, I knew that money couldn't ever buy my time with him and that I wanted to be there more than anything.

Now, 2 weeks may not sound that long, but when you're a little girl and live 287 miles from your Daddy, that seems like eons - an eternity could pass by while you're dying to see someone you love as much as you love your Daddy. After all, a Daddy is every little girl's first hero. 

Now, that's not to say that I didn't miss my Mama every second I was away from her. Even though I was hunting, fishing, working on cars, riding horses and dirt bikes, or swimming in the pool or the river, I still cried for my Mama. There were times even then, even though I loved my Pop to pieces and completely adored him, I idolized my mother and wanted to see and be with her. I wanted her there with me and at times, I couldn't understand for the life of me why she couldn't be. I ached horribly for her, because it was hard not to see her, especially when I lived with her for 9 months out of the year. I wanted her there. To have her sing, "You Are My Sunshine" to me, to sit on the edge of my bed and brush my hair across my forehead with her gentle fingers while she watched me sleep. For me to wake up to her doing so by the smell of her perfume in the air.

The pains of wanting both parents with you at all times was always like fighting tooth and nail. When I was a toddler until about the age of 6 or 7, I could never figure out why I couldn't have both parents with me. It was either "Mommy's turn" or "Daddy's turn." I could never understand why it couldn't be "Both your turn at the same time." I would sit and wonder why Daddy was always gone or why he had to live somewhere else. Then once I started school, it was hard to understand why the other children got to have both their parents living with them and why they got to be with both their parents for every event in their lives, but I couldn't. I couldn't wrap my little mind around that. I would have loved to have my Pop there in the audience during school choir concerts, in the stands for softball games, or there during paint nights. And sure, I wanted my Mama to see my big splashes off the rope swing into the river and yes, I wanted her to see how I could saddle up and gallop away into the sunset filled pastures, or see how I could check the oil and change a car battery by myself. The things one parent misses out on because they are sharing time with the child they share with the other...

It may be hard for the parents, but to the child, it's a million times worse. Playing the middle man like the baseball from the pitcher to the catcher, from the catcher back to the pitcher... Constantly. In the middle of everything - the smiles, the tears, and even worse... the fights.

As I mentioned before, as a kid, my Pop lived 3 hours away and would pick me up every other Friday and drop me off on Sunday. When I became a mother, I wanted the best for my daughter and didn't want her to feel the things I did not seeing my Dad when I was with my Mom, or not seeing my Mom when I was with my Dad.

Unfortunately, life happens. People are people and sometimes it doesn't work out. That's really hard, but that's the reality of it, and that's the normal for a lot of kids in divorced homes. They have to split their time and split their love. It really isn't that fair, but it's a lot of our 'normality' and a hell of a lot of our truth is in that.

As a small child, I wondered for the longest times what I had done wrong. I had endlessly wondered, "Am I being punished? Is this what happens when you aren't a good girl? That your parents fight and yell and scream at each other? That one of them packs up all their belongings and moves to another house?"

I didn't know it then, but looking back at it now, the answer is: No.

It is never a child's fault that two parents get a divorce. It is never really anyone's fault, but sadly, the child is the one who suffers the most from its outcome. I told myself that if I ever found myself in a situation where my child's father and I didn't work out, that I would let her and her Daddy have free game on when they wanted to see each other.

If he just happened to have the day off unexpectedly and wanted to come get her - Done.
If she woke up one morning and said, "I want to go to Daddy's today," - Done.
If they wanted to see each other but it's not "his" weekend yet - Done.

I never wanted - nor do I ever want - my child(ren) to ever feel like they have to fight to see their other parent. I never want them to feel as unhappy as I did, feeling like they were being punished or feeling like their heart strings were torn and tangled in our love triangle.

Trying to 'look on the brightside' however, growing up with divorced parents wasn't always bad. Yeah it hurt like hell some times more than other, but it also had some pro's to help balance out the con's. Like I said, you get two of everything. I gained two new parents, some new siblings, and two new gigantic families full of love to the mix. I earned two new families with different traditions, which have instilled into my being. I got to have two birthdays, Christmases, twice the love and most importantly - I got double the support I needed when I was having a hard time with the separation of the other parent. 

Luckily, when my parents remarried, they took "forever to heart and took their long, sweet ride." I can only hope that going forward in this whirlwind of life, that when I "stand at the screendoor and watch my whole world run towards an old Ford" that her father and I can give her all the happiness, love and support that she deserves.  

xoxoxo,
-S

8 Years Old, Wearing Angel Wings



At this time (12:31 AM), in 2008, I went to bed thinking everything was normal. I laid in bed and then had to get up and use the restroom. Well, after going to the restroom, I found myself going into labor with my beautiful baby girl. I changed clothes then off to the hospital I went. Within the next hour, I was then laying in a hospital bed in the worst pain of my life. Labor seemed like it was a never ending story. I was exhausted and slept uncomfortably while I waited and waited and waited. Sleeping off and on for a whole day, I spent my moments awake praying for courage and strength to have my baby and praying for her to be healthy and safe.  

August 14th marks 8 years exactly that I have been blessed with the most beautiful presence that has truly blessed my life. God graced me with that gift of motherhood that I had waited for for 9 months at 03:57 PM. At that time, was when I gave birth to the most precious 8 pound, 9 ounce, 21 inches long baby girl. From the very second I heard her cry as she entered the world, I knew, right there in Room 218 of Mercy Medical Center of Roseburg that my heart was now fully complete, so full of love. Being her mother has taught me so much and I never knew I could love someone or something more than I love her. She has tugged at my heart strings, made me cry and laugh with so much joy and has pushed my buttons so many times- but even with that, it has all been worth everything I have. 

Nothing could ever comparte to the grace, beauty, love, wisdom, joy, happiness and courage she has given me and she will always be my reason to breathe, live and see the amazing tomorrow's. Some days its as if I need her more than she needs me and she is teaching me more than I am teaching her. She is the sunshine of my life and I cannot even express into words how tremendously blessed I am to be able to call her my daughter.

Babygirl, I believe we all make our own destiny - and I didn't know it until you came into my life, but I was destined to be your Mama. You make my life so meaningful and you are my whole entire reason for being. I love you so very, very much and I hope every single wish you make comes true. Happy happy happy birthday, my sweet darling. You will never know how much your Mommy cares for you and how much she loves you. I hope you always remember that and remember that when you dream, dream BIG. I love you, sweetheart!

-Love, Mommy. 

Monday, May 9, 2016

I'll Be


Thanks to this Little Lovely, I celebrated my 7th day devoted to celebrating mothers.

On Mother's Day, she woke me up pink, long stemmed roses in a vase, a card that made me cry and some new work shirts. Then we got glammed up and got our spring photos done. Then we celebrated Mother's and Papa's 89th Birthday by having a steak and halibut dinner together around the table. 

I hope every lady out there had a Happy Mother's Day full of love and blessings. 

xoxox, 
-S.


When darkness falls upon your heart and soul, 
I'll be the light that shines for you.
When you forget how beautiful you are,
I'll be there to remind you. 
When you can't find your way,
I'll find my way to you.
When troubles come around,
I will come to you.

I'll be your shoulder when you need someone to lean on.
Be your shelter when you need someone to see you through,
I'll be there to carry you.
I'll be there.
I'll be the rock that will be strong for you, 
the one that will hold onto you.
When you feel the rain falling down.
When there's nobody else around,
I'll be.

And when you're there with no one there to hold,
I'll be the arms that reach for you.
And when you feel your faith is running low,
I'll be there to believe in you.
When all you find are lies,
I'll be the truth you need,
When you need someone to run to,
You can run to me.

I'll be your shoulder when you need someone to lean on.
Be your shelter when you need someone to see you through,
I'll be there to carry you.
I'll be there.
I'll be the rock that will be strong for you,
the one that will hold onto you.
When you feel that rain falling down.
When there's nobody else around,
I'll be.

I'll be the sun, when your heart is filled with rain.
I'll be the one to chase the rain away.

I'll be your shoulder when you need someone to lean on.
Be your shelter when you need someone to see you through.
I'll be there to carry you.
I'll be there.
I'll be the rock that will be strong for you, 
the one that will hold onto you.
When you feel that rain falling down.
When there's nobody else around,
I'll.be.
I'll be.


Tuesday, April 5, 2016

My Grandmother, My Angel

Even though I can't touch your face, I still feel you with me everyday and 
I wish you could see all my dreams coming true. When I get lost, I close my eyes - 
I feel you shining down so bright, I feel you shining down on me. 

You were like my mother, you were my best friend. You were everything I want to be and all the good inside of me, there's never been. Never been another that loved me like you did - 
My grandmother, my angel.

Today would have been your birthday and I miss you so much, more than you'll ever know. It never gets easier, only harder - and how I hated it when the mail stopped coming for you, how your scent started to disappear, or how I could no longer hear the whisper of your voice with the chiming of your rosary in your hands as you prayed. 

I dream of you every night and I know that in heart of hearts, I will see you again someday. 
Until then, I will always carry you with me. 

Don't ever forget how much I love you, Tina.

Happy 91st Birthday.


xoxoxox