Saying Goodbye To Summer

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Hey there everyone, I’m back! I hope you all have had a great Summer. Mine was good but it could have been better. I don’t know about you but I really needed to take a break from the blog.

So let’s just get right into it. This Summer was surprisingly not as good as Summers past. Not that it was bad mind you but I’ll get to that soon. I want to talk about the not-so-great things so that I can end my post on a positive note.

So What Wasn’t So Great?

For starters, I ended up financially strapped this Summer. This prevented me from doing most of the things I wanted to do like take the boys to Six Flags. I was also hoping to finally take them to Salem and show them all the cool stuff there. I also wanted to take a trip to Baltimore and Virginia to see my family. I haven’t visited them in a few years.

What is up with the weather? It was either crazy hot and humid or it was raining and thunderstorms. So, even going to the beach was difficult. Being stuck in the house most of the summer for all of these reasons really put a damper on my Summer plans.

We did get out for the 4th of July thankfully. That was before the weather really started to suck. And both boys were on their devices while waiting so I got bored and…

 

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I got bored while waiting for the #fireworks

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But I Did Manage to Fight Off Depression

Normally when I’m stuck in the house too much I get depressed. Mostly because I tend to over think EVERYTHING and all the negative thoughts creep up on me. I also need Mother Nature’s help to ground me. The weather prevented that. While some of that did happen, I kept myself from getting seriously depressed.

So Here is Where the Good Comes In

I played video games with my friends. I also started streaming on Twitch which I found surprisingly fun. I started streaming because of a project I’m working on but I quickly got sucked into it. I even met a couple of new people.

I watched a good amount of movies with my boys and Adam and I started cooking together.

That’s right. I have started teaching Adam how to cook more meals and it’s been a great bonding experience for both of us. He really enjoys our time cooking in the kitchen and I have to say, it has made me excited about cooking myself.

My Birthday!

I had a good birthday this year. I turned 41 and instead of having a party or anything (like the unexpected outing from last year), I decided to spend this year with myself. I spent a few hours at the lake and I went for a hike. It was really nice and relaxing. Then I made myself dinner and a cheesecake and Binged Netflix. That was my kind of birthday!

I also got some amazing gifts from my friends. I really do have some awesome friends. Thank you Angie, Jesse, and Beth for these awesome gifts!

And Now I’m Back

While being away was essential for me to take a breath, I miss writing. I didn’t do ANY writing this Summer and I think that was a bad thing. I need to make more time for it because I know how much I love it. However, I am making a few changes this year. I was really hoping to change my blog name but that costs money and right now, well, ya know.

So for now, the name stays but I will not be participating in as many linkies as I was. I’m going to cut back on the Facebook groups too because it takes up way too much of my time and I NEED to write. I’m going to start publishing some more short stories and poetry which I’m really excited about.

I might not be around every week but when I am around I look forward to sharing what I write. I can’t wait to get back into the swing of things and to share with all of you awesome people out there!

Thanks so much for reading!

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Dear June, You Sure Did Keep Me Busy

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Dear June,

You have kept me on my toes this month. Most of it was for good reasons. Such as the Boston field trip I took with Conner. And the Mutton and Mead Festival I went to with Adam. Let’s not forget the Field Day at Conner’s school and oh yeah, Adam got not one, but THREE awards this year!

But Dear June,

You also sent my way some woes this month. The short but very stressful financial crises comes to mind. Boy was that a horrible three weeks. Let’s not do that again, okay.  Oh yeah, and let’s not forget about my car dying. I swear I have the worst luck with cars.

Dear June,

You also dragged on for way too long as far as the kids having to be in school until June 21st. When most of my friends were telling me their kids ended in the beginning of June. It’s not entirely your fault though. That, I blame the school board, or whoever the hell is in charge of making up the school year. Still, you dragged on forever. To say the boys and I were so done with school this year is an understatement.

There were three different field trips for Conner. Then at the last minute I find out about a play his class  put on. I raced to see him in it only to miss him by two minutes. Grrrr!

Three different awards ceremonies for Adam all within one week. Which also happened to be the same week of two of Conner’s field trips. Did you really have to do that to me June?

Then there was my beautiful niece graduating from high school and I didn’t get to go because I didn’t have the funds to travel to Maryland to help her celebrate. But oh, doesn’t she look wonderful in her cap and gown?

my niece in her cap and gown_dearjune_rockinrandommom

However Dear June,

It was all worth it in the end. I got to go to Boston with Conner. While the kids were supposed to be learning the history of Boston, especially in regards to the Revolutionary War, we managed to have fun. And Shop! Yeah, I spent way too much money in Boston. Note to self: bring more money 😉

I love Boston. I’ve been there twice (now three times) and every time I love it more. So when the teacher said she needed chaperones for the trip, I jumped at the chance to show my son an amazing city – my favorite so far – and I got to spend some much needed quality time with him.

 

Dear June,

Going to awards ceremonies for Adam back to back was definitely worth it just to see my boy get awards he didn’t even know he was getting. He got a Stars to Special Education award – for being an awesome classmate and student – and he got two academic awards: One in Biology and One in English. Yep! I am one #proudmama

Dear June,

We also helped the boys’ dad celebrate Father’s Day this year but I wrote a post on that last week if you want to catch up. It was a good day and he loved his gifts!

We ended the school year with Adam and I going to the Renaissance Festival held every year at this time. It took some finagling with money but I was able to get us there and we had a great time! I loved spending time with just Adam. We don’t get that much anymore and having such a great day out with him is a memory I will cherish for the rest of my life.

Me and My Son_Dear June_RockinRandomMom

Now I have one more week left of this month and while it isn’t going to be as busy as the weeks before, I still have some stressors coming up. Just get me through Tuesday and I won’t complain again, I promise! Can someone bring me some wine?

my bitmoji_winetime_dearjune_rockinrandommom

Not to worry though, my birthday month is just around the corner. Both my real birthday and my blog birthday! Bring on July!

Thanks so much for reading!

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FYI to all my readers: I will be taking a much needed break. The Summer is a very busy time for me, especially as how I prefer to be outside with the kids doing fun stuff like swimming. I will still post new stuff but not as often. I will still be active on Social Media though so catch me there 🙂

 

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Celebrating Father’s Day with my Ex-Husband

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Yep! You read that right! I celebrated Father’s Day with my ex-husband. Well, the kids were there too. Not all divorced parents can get along. I am lucky that my ex and I do get along. More than that though, we have managed to become friends once again after our split. It took hard work and communication on both sides but we did it.

Father’s Day is also a day to appreciate the dad in your kids’ lives who is more than just a sperm donor. He takes his role seriously and he makes sure to be there for them, even when it’s hard. For example, lately Conner has been showing his tween side all too often. He is argumentative more than usual, moody, and back talking a bit too much.

His dad doesn’t run away when he gets like that. He also doesn’t go to the other extreme. He sticks it out, buckles down for the ride right along with me and I will say that as co-parents, we have each other’s backs during these small crisis’.

So I celebrate Father’s Day with my ex-husband to show him appreciation. I appreciate that he is there for our children. I appreciate that we get along. Most of all though, I appreciate that he loves our children just as much as I do and will do anything for them.

fatherandson_father's day_rockinrandommom

 

fatherandson_Father'sDay_rockinrandommom

Let’s Switch Gears for a minute…

I did not have a father growing up. When I did meet my father, I wished I hadn’t. He was abusive and manipulative and an all around bad person. When he wasn’t being those things, he spent most of my childhood and teenage years denying my brother and me. I spent a good chunk of my life hating my father because he never loved me and never wanted me.

Father’s Day was never celebrated in my house because of this. There was only one man I ever called dad and he was actually my sister’s father. He was the first father I knew but unfortunately he didn’t stay in the picture for very long.

However….

My boys do! At some point in my teenage years I made a promise to my future children that I would make damn sure they would have a good father. They would have a dad who loved them beyond measure and would always be there for them.

Of course, by the time I met the father of my future kids, partying was more on both of our minds than kids. Being in our early twenties kind of does that. Yet somehow, I was able to keep that promise to them. Was it a promise kept or was it just fate? I don’t know, to tell you the truth but what I do know is my boys have an awesome dad!

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Yet…

Not every kid is lucky enough to have a loving and devoted father though and I want to take a minute to recognize that. Perhaps because of this, my ex and I made it a point to get along even when we didn’t for the sake of our kids. All too often I see parents who can’t even be in the same room together let alone get along but they too, at least make an effort for their kids.

Then there are dads out there who have to fight to see their kids because the moms are so hateful towards them that they use the kids against those dads. This is something I have seen a lot of and it really angers me. It angers me because at the end of the day, the only people really getting hurt are the kids.

Then there are kids whose fathers have passed away. Those dads are sorely missed. There are also children whose fathers choose not to be in their lives for whatever reason. My heart breaks for these kids because I know how that feels. But my heart also swells at the thought of my own children having a great dad.

Celebrating Father’s Day…

This year the boys wanted to do something really special for their dad but they didn’t know what. He has been wanting a model car Delorean from Back to the Future. He had it on his list for his birthday. Except that his birthday isn’t until September so I thought, why not get it for him for Father’s Day?

We also got him a Samurai Sword. Not a real one mind you. Those are way out of my price range. On Saturday Adam and I went to the Renaissance Festival and they were selling Samurai Swords. It was a decent price and very well made (with a dull blade) so I picked it up for him. Just in time for Father’s Day.

The kids couldn’t wait to give him the presents and he was really happy to get them. He loves both gifts. This was my way though of showing appreciation to the man who my kids call Dad! So thank you Tom, for being such a great father to our beautiful boys!

Happy Father’s Day!

Fatherandsons_SuperbowlSunday_Father'sDay_rockinrandomom

And Happy Father’s Day to all the wonderful dads out there!

Thanks so much for reading!

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My Mother’s Day Weekend: Strong Like Mom

my coffee cup and a fairy figure_mymothersdayweekend_rockinrandommom

My Mother’s Day weekend this year I did nothing. Honestly, I actually forgot about it until it was staring me in the face. I made no plans except to do what I was already planning to do – Grind my Destiny 2 characters in the new Warmind expansion that just came out – and it didn’t help that one of the kids is not feeling well.

My Mother’s Day wasn’t a total bust though. We moms get to spend this day however we want and given that one kid was sick (and still kinda is) I did my own thing. Like old blue eyes said, I did it my way. Mother’s Day doesn’t need to be this elaborate thing. In fact, most of the time I choose to be low key about it. I prefer to spend a quiet day at home or going for a hike. I’m not big on the whole, “Let’s go celebrate” thing.

While some moms choose to spend their Mother’s Day Weekend planning outdoor activities to share with their kids and others choose to spend a day at the spa, I chose to play video games. To add to my game filled Mother’s Day weekend I had finally received my package from Bioware. Their online store was closing so I splurged a bit and ordered a bunch of hoodies and other little things. They came in just in time for Mother’s Day.

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Plus, a Dragon Age Sweat Jacket and Andromeda socks not pictured and my Mother’s Day gift to myself was complete. Despite the weekend being about gaming though I did still spend time with my boys. We had our normal weekend routine where I get one day with Adam and the next with Conner. Adam and I went for a walk and Conner talked me into watching Captain America: Civil War again. Thank God I love those Super Hero movies eh?

But first I have to interrupt this gaming talk…

I do want to take the time to talk about the other part of my blog title, Strong Like Mom. My son Conner says things like that to me every now and then. He sees me as the strongest woman he knows. He admires me for my strength and that is going to go a long with for him in his life. He will become a man who not only sees women as strong individuals but he will value that strength.

Adam is less vocal about this but even he, the teenager, will sometimes point out to me that I am strong. I think this is very important for my sons to learn and to understand as they get older. This has been my goal since they were born. Being raised around men who only see women as property or “less than” I was determined to raise my boys to have a different point of view.

Except that I didn’t really know how to do that. It wasn’t any one thing I did intentionally that set them on this course. This is more about what they have observed in me. Their observational skills of the people in their lives, to determine who others are through observing behavior, is a unique and amazing skill to have. I’m so proud of them.

Now back to our gaming talk…

Gaming with other moms is also a great treat. The best thing about Destiny 2 is that I have met some amazing women. The ages span from early 20’s to 40’s and we have a blast gaming together. I will be posting a YouTube video about my Destiny 2 experience later in the Month but my Mother’s Day weekend wouldn’t have been complete without these ladies to make me laugh my ass off at our crazy antics. Check it out below.

So that was my weekend. How was yours? Happy Mother’s Day to all you amazing moms out there!

Thanks for reading!

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Celebrating Women’s History Month with These Amazing Heroes

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I don’t know when this happened but Women’s History Month is finally a thing. All I can say to that is it’s about damn time! When you think of Women’s History, who do you think of? Do women like Amelia Earhart and Susan B Anthony come to mind? Or did you learn about Harriet Tubman and Cleopatra? They were very famous women in History that’s true.

I played Rosa Parks in my 4th grade school play for Martin Luther King Day (from 3rd to 5th grade I attended an all white school. It just happened that way. Don’t hate me for it).

I didn’t learn about too many women throughout school. One woman here or there was mentioned in history classes but those women left a major impression on me.  So here are  5 of 10 Women in History who made a big impact on my life.

Maya Angelou – American Poet & Writer

Maya Angelou_Women's History_RockinRandomMom

Women’s History Month can’t start without this first lady on my list. I was first introduced to this lovely lady in the 9th grade. We were given an assignment to pick a writer from the list and research that writer’s life. I really wanted Charles Dickens but my teacher tasked me with Maya Angelou. I was very disappointed because I knew nothing about her. Then I read I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings and I was hooked.

Women's History Month_a quote by Maya Angelou_Amazing_RockinRandomMom

I identified with the abuse she suffered as a child by her mother’s boyfriend. That’s how I related to her through her book and it left a huge impression on a 14 year old girl. The only difference is she forgave while I still couldn’t. I wasn’t ready but I respected and admired her for finding her strength. She was a writer and poet but she was also an activist, working alongside Martin Luther King Jr and Malcolm X during the Civil Rights movement.

Marie “Madame” Curie – Polish Physicist

Women's History Month_Madame Marie Curie_Nothingtofear_RockinRandomMom

Are any of you familiar with Pollock jokes? I am! Growing up in a polish family I heard them all the time. They were meant to be funny but being polish was also used as an excuse for any mistake we made. Yes, they were funny but for a young girl who was always told that she would never amount to anything, the constant reminder that one of those reasons was because I was Polish put an extra weight of shame on my shoulders.

That is until this wonderful, amazing woman came into my life. She was, again, another assignment. This time through History class in my first year of Community College. Also, again, it was a man I wanted to do a report on. At that time I was a bit obsessed with Billy The Kid and wanted an excuse to do more research on him. My professor knew better though and thank God he did.

Madame Marie Curie came into my life at just the right time. There was a lot of pressure on me during these years. I was the first of my immediate family to ever graduate high school and the only one of my siblings. So you can imagine the pressure that going to college put on me.

Anyway, Madame Marie Curie helped to spark a new fire inside me. She gave me a new hope and she made me realize that my Polish heritage need not hold me back from what I want to do.

In case you haven’t heard of this remarkable woman, she discovered radium. Here are some outstanding facts about her:

Women's History Month_Marie Curie Facts_RockinRandomMom

Not bad for a pollack woman eh?

Frida Kahlo – Painter

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I actually learned of Frida in one of my Women’s Studies Courses during my second go at Community College. We watched the movie with Salma Hayek. Frida was a darker woman and I’m talking about her skin color. Her soul was a bit darker. She was a mess at times and wasn’t afraid to admit it. That’s what impressed me most about her.

I’m just going to leave this with some Frida Kahlo quotes that I found to be incredibly honest and inspiring. Look up the movie with Salma Hayek. It’s definitely worth watching.

Women's History Month_ Frida Kahlo Quotes_RockinRandomMom

Mary Wollstonecraft – Feminist Activist and Writer

Women's History Month_Mary Wollstonecraft_RockinRandomMom

You all have heard of Mary Shelley right? You know, the woman who wrote Frankenstein? Yeah, that’s her. Well Mary Wollstonecraft was her mother. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree does it? Anyway, Mary was a famous activist for Women’s Rights as well as a writer.

I learned about her through another Women’s Studies course.

While her career was brief (she died giving birth to her famous daughter), She is most famous for her writing The Vindication of the Rights of Woman, which was published in 1792. She lived an unorthodox life during that time but by the second feminist movement she was regarded as one of the founding feminist philosophers and activists.

Harriet Ann Jacobs – Former Slave, Writer, and Abolishionist

Women's History Month_harriet Jacobs_RockinRandomMom

I am going to end with this awesome and determined woman, Harriet Ann Jacobs. I learned about her through a literature class actually. She wrote a book about her brutal and heartbreaking life as a slave in the American South in the 19th Century.

Harriet’s story broke my heart but also inspired me in a way I never thought was possible. She was a young woman brought into a very violent world and treated as nothing more than cattle. She was beaten and raped. Her children were torn from her arms – something I can’t even imagine yet I felt like I was right there with her as she describes every detail and every emotion.

Despite all of this and despite having a “master” who sought to break her at every opportunity, this incredible woman didn’t break. She remained steadfast and was very determined to get to freedom. That’s exactly what she did and not just for herself but for her children as well.

I highly recommend you read her book, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl. It will rock your world. I still have the book on my book shelf!

Women's History Month_ I have 5 more women_RockinRandomMom

Thanks so much for reading!

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