Sunday, March 29, 2015

Friends and Family... Blood truly is thicker than water...

My family suffered a horrible loss this past week. My young (only 27) cousin died unexpectedly. It is hitting me so hard. I loved him so much. He was one of the first best friends I ever had. My cousins and I would fight like cats and dogs, but at the end of the day, we always had each other's back. We could tease each other mercilessly, but if an outsider teased one of us, it was WAR. 

They taught me so much. Good and bad. We had some great times. We got in trouble together. We got each other in trouble. We had so much fun. We had some epic fights. They taught me how to be a friend. They taught me how to fight. They taught me how to play different games (some of my best memories happened on the basketball court). They taught me how to love. They taught me how to forgive. They taught me that blood is thicker than water.

Now, a piece of that is gone. I am just shattered. I moved away from my family long ago. With the help of Facebook and phone calls, I have kept in touch. They have never stopped being my family, and I have never ever stopped loving them with the intensity that I loved them with as a child. 

I have plans of bringing Gigi for a visit in the future. Plans for her to meet all the cousins that I grew up with. Of telling her stories of how we lived our childhoods to the fullest. It really hurts that she will never get to meet my MattMatt. It just doesn't seem fair, though I guess it is common knowledge that life is often unfair.

This has been a very hard time for my family. It was so sudden and unexpected. I suspect I am not the only person that is having a hard time processing this. I am not sure an event like this is ever easy to process, for anyone. 

MattMatt was such an amazing person. Yes, I may be a tad biased, but he truly was. He had this smile that could light up any room. I remember when I was upset as a kid, and he would try to cheer me up, he would say something silly and laugh, and it would get me to laughing too. You could not see him smile or laugh, and not join in. He was just that special.

He made friends easily. In truth, I think it would be hard to not love him. He has many friends, and we have a pretty big family. I am sad to say that his friends are all trying to help right now, and I think they aren't helping as much as they'd like to be. 

My heart is going out to MattMatt's mom. No mom should ever have to bury their own child, a fact I know all too well. Most importantly, no mom should have to endure drama, while trying to lay their child to rest.

I wish I could reach out to MattMatt's friends, and help them understand that we understand that they are grieving. Friendships, particularly good ones, can run deep. Nearly as deep as family, but family will always run deeper. 

It stinks to see the little bursts of drama rising up, when I know MattMatt would not want that. He would want peace. He would want us all coming together in unity to support and comfort one another. 

It hurts that I am not able to be there, to comfort my family. To help. It hurts that my MattMatt is gone. It hurts. Memories have been flooding my mind. Remembering the little things. Looking back at them with adult eyes. Realizing I owe him an apology. I called him RatRat several times, after he adopted the popular rat tail hairstyle. At the time I giggled, now I feel bad. 

He was beautiful, inside and out. He always will be. A special part of my heart will always keep him alive. I will never forget him or the memories and special times we shared. When Gigi is older, I will giggle as I tell her tales of my childhood. 

Just do me a huge favor and tell your cousins you love them. Cousins are often our first and best friends. They are our friends that last forever, no matter what. They are our family. Family by blood, friends by lucky happenstance.

Love you, MattMatt. Always. 



Friday, March 27, 2015

Baggage Overload #FunnyFriday March 2015

Today’s post is this month’s Funny Friday, a regular feature published on the last Friday of every month. Funny Friday is a collaborative project. Each month one of the participants submits a picture, then we all write 5 captions or thoughts inspired by that month’s picture. Links to the other bloggers’ posts are below, click on them and see what they’ve come up with. I hope we bring a smile to your face as you start your weekend.



Here’s today’s picture. It was submitted by Confessions of a part-time working mom     http://thethreegerbers.blogspot.ch/
(Thank you for such a hilarious picture, T!)

14 - Confessions of a part-time working mom.jpg

1. Husband: This is the last time I am wasting my breath, and telling you to pack light!
Wife: What? I did pack light!

2. Mom to kids: Did you all remember to pack your underwear?
Kids: OOops!
Mom: I knew we would forget something!
Dad turns the car around.

3. Bring your girlfriend on the camping trip, they said. It will be fun, they said.

4. Neighbor: She's making you bring ALL that?
Husband: Yeah. Imagine if we were going to be gone longer than two days! I would need to buy a bigger car.

5. Car loader level: EXPERT.

How would you caption this photo? I hope you enjoyed my captions, and maybe even laughed a time or two! I hope your Friday is funny and fabulous!


Click on the links below and let some other bloggers make you smile:

Baking In A Tornado (http://www.BakingInATornado.com)
Someone Else’s Genius (http://www.someoneelsesgenius.com)
Confessions of a part-time working mom (http://thethreegerbers.blogspot.ch/)
The Momisodes (http://themomisodes.com)
Sanity Waiting to Happen (http://www.angelaweight.com)
Juicebox Confession  (http://www.JuiceboxConfession.com)
Cluttered Genius (http://www.clutteredgenius.com)
Stacy Sews and Schools (http://stacysewsandschools.blogspot.com)
People Don’t Eat Enough Fudge (http://peopledonteatenoughfudge.blogspot.co.uk)


In case you missed it... Earlier today, a giveaway went live on my blog and Facebook page! I am giving away a $25 Starbucks gift card and a $25 Target gift card! Best of luck to all that enter!

Where to find me:

Twitter: @brokenjules
Facebook: http://facebook.com/berghamchronicles
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/JayEmBeee
Instagram: @enigmaticjules

Happy Spring! I hope you all start getting to enjoy beautiful weather soon! Here it is like a warm and breezy Summer already! I have been loving it!

Now go forth and enjoy all the Funny Friday posts!!!!! My friends are HILARIOUS!!!

Grateful Gratitude Giveaway! #Giveaway

The other day I was minding my own business (as usual), and my phone started dinging. I didn't think anything of it at first, but after it kept dinging, I decided to investigate. I was receiving posts on my Facebook page. I investigated further. Several people were telling me happy birthday. Wait. What? I momentarily thought I was losing my mind. Nope. It definitely was not my birthday.

I investigated further, and I discovered that my fabulous friend Julie from Next Life, NO Kids had asked her fabulous followers to wish me a happy birthday. I had informed her on one of her blog posts (This Hilarious Post), that I have never really celebrated my birthday. This was unacceptable to her, and she let me know in the most fabulous way!

In doing so, not only did she brighten my day, but she boosted my page likes astronomically! It was better than my birthday! It was amazing! Plus, she basically opened it up for me to eat cake that day! Any friend that opens the door for you to eat cake, is a friend indeed!

So, as if that was not enough awesomeness, my fabulous friend Michelle at Juicebox Confession gave me a shout out, and her fabulous followers liked my page too!

So, now my page has over 150 likes. This is a milestone I was not sure I would ever reach! Thanks to my fabulous friends, I surpassed it!

I have so much to be grateful for! So very much. I have Chad (even on the days I want to wring his neck, I am still grateful for him)! I have my miracle Gigi (formerly Weewee)! I have Embee in my life, and she is amazing! I have amazing family and friends! I have a fabulous group of blogging friends, that are so helpful and supportive! I have a beautiful relationship with God, and feel his love daily. So, so much to be grateful for!

I also have all of you! I am more grateful than you will ever know, for you all taking time to read my blogs and follow me on Facebook.

To thank you all, I have decided to do my second ever giveaway! This time around I will be giving away a $25 Starbucks gift card AND a $25 Target gift card! Best of luck to all who enter! (ONE winner will with BOTH gift cards.)




  a Rafflecopter giveaway

I would like to give a very special shout out to the bloggers below. They have all opened their arms wide and warmly welcomed me into the Blogosphere! They are the best and I am truly grateful for each and every one of them! If you are not already following them, you should really consider it!


To all of you, and the many others, that have shown me love and support... Thank you! <3 


I just want to let you all know, that after quite a bit of thought and discussion, it has been decided that Weewee's new name on the blog will be Gigi! When we were naming her, it had been discussed naming her Gianna, or a similar name, and simply calling her Gigi. It is a name that Chad and I both like. So, from this day on, Weewee will be Gigi. Thank you for all the input!

Friday, March 13, 2015

Falling Short #UseYourWords March 2015

Today’s post is a writing challenge. This is how it works: participating bloggers picked 4 – 6 words or short phrases for someone else to craft into a post. All words must be used at least once and all the posts will be unique as each writer has received their own set of words. That’s the challenge, here’s a fun twist; no one who’s participating knows who got their words and in what direction the writer will take them. Until now.






My words are:
vast ~ summit ~ expectations ~ rough ~ treat

They were submitted by: http://sparklyjenn.blogspot.com (Thank you for such great words!)

I always open the e-mail that contains my words for that month, with such excitement! I never know what words I will get or what they will inspire me to write. Each month is such an exciting journey. This month's words instantly inspired me, in two completely opposite directions. I am hoping I can merge the two into one, in a way that makes complete sense. 

As most of, if not all, you know, I am the mom of a wonderful little girl. Here on the blog, she is called Weewee. This will be changing. I will try to figure our her new name soon. It has been rough trying to decide what to call her. I was thinking about calling her Batman. Now, I am just not sure. Her Dad has called her Batman since she was growing in my womb. I tried explaining that she is a girl, but he didn't care. She has just always been Batman. I am worried this will confuse readers, and maybe make them feel she is a boy. So, I have not officially changed her blog name to Batman. 

Now, where was I?

Oh yes, I am the mom to the most amazing little girl. She is by far the best thing that has happened to me, among the vast array of great things that have happened to me. Some could argue that giving birth to her was my life's summit. It was definitely the highest point thus far. I am kinda hoping I go higher though. Like the day I watch her graduate from Grad School with her chosen degree, and starts down the road of making this world so much better. Possibly, her wedding day, when she marries the most amazing man I have ever met, other than her father. Maybe the day she gives birth to her own amazing child, and I get to be a grandma. 

We all have expectations of how our lives will be. Sometimes we are right. Other times we are wrong. Sometimes we find out our life far exceeded our expectations. Thus far, Weewee has so far exceeded any expectations I have ever had on what any child I would give birth to, would be like. She amazes me on a daily basis. She is so beautiful, inside and out. She is so young, but already shows some love and compassion. It has been a wonderful treat to watch her grow and learn. She is just the neatest little girl. I am so blessed, to be her Mama. 

I also had expectations of how I would excel at being a Mom. I have to laugh as I type this, because let me tell you, I have not even come close to meeting or exceeding those expectations. I fall so short. Most days, I find myself thinking about how Weewee deserves so much better. The beautiful thing is that she loves me anyway, and she excels despite my shortcomings. 

Some days, I feel really on the ball. I work with her on her vocabulary and make her laugh a billion times. I teach her new words and teach her silly things (like smelling her feet). I give her cuddles and kisses. We eat yummy foods and she gets her Elmo time. I stay mostly on top of the messes she makes. I feel proud. 

Some days, I can barely move. She eats the simple foods I am able to make for her. She has to come to me on the couch to play. We barely work on her vocabulary. I find myself telling her that I am sorry that I am not doing so well today, over and over. I fall very short on many levels, of being even remotely the mom I want to be. 

No matter if I am having a good day or a bad day, she treats me the same. She gives me kisses and hugs. She laughs at my silliness. She shows me tenderness and compassion. She looks at me, with this look that says 'You are MY Mama and I love YOU just the way you are'. Her dad constantly says, he feels that she can sense when I am not well, and she adjusts her behavior accordingly. She comes to me more, and requests me to join her less. She gives me more cuddles and kisses. She goes easier on me. I think he is right. I think she gets me.

As she grows, I hope that I too can get her. I hope I can understand her, just as she is. That I can help her to grow and learn, and to be the best person she can be. I hope I can inspire her to become the beautiful person she already is. 

I have fallen short on my expectations of what type of mom I would be, but I set my expectations of my future child very low. She is here, and she is proving my expectations to be very wrong. I had no idea I could create such an amazing individual. She truly blows my mind. I see such beauty in her, inside and out. She is full of love and intelligence and potential. 

I may not be able to do all the things I should do, but I will do my best. She is slowly teaching me to cut myself some slack. Whether I am on the ball fully or I am hitting foul ball after foul ball, this kid loves me. She is resilient and goes with the flow. She is already far cooler than I will ever be. 

I look around me, and see mothers of all types. I see dads of all types. I realize I am oftentimes not alone, in the hard on myself department. I see so many parents being so hard on themselves. I just want to hug everyone, and tell them that they are doing their best and they are good enough. At the end of the day, that is what I tell myself. No, I didn't get it perfect, but I did my best, and that was good enough. 

Who knows, maybe I have reached my life's highest point. Maybe giving birth to this amazing little girl, is the best thing that will ever happen to me. One thing is for sure, it is enough. She is enough. Loving her and growing with her is enough. That is one thing she is teaching me. Yes, I will always hope for more, but I will always be content in what I have. Yes, my life could always be better, but I will be happy in the life I have at this moment.

She is our miracle. She was supposed to be so sick. She possibly would not even survive. She did. She not only survived, but she has thrived. I am so completely grateful. She has taught me so much in the short time that I have been her Mama. She has taught me to love like I have never loved. Hope like I have never hoped. Appreciate like I have never appreciated. Accept myself like I have never accepted myself. Despite going through some of the hardest times of my life, and not being nearly as good as I want to be, she has made me better. 

Is that how it is for you, if you have children? Do they make you better, despite your shortcomings? Do you have a person in your life, that makes you better just by being in your life? I hope you are all just as blessed as I am.

As for her name... any suggestions? I do like Weewee, but certain people hate it. I do agree that as she ages, it won't be the best name. I would like to decide on a name that I can use now, and when she is older. Does Batman work? Some other names that have been considered are; Cookie, Munchkin, WGRB, Weebee... Do you like any of those? Any suggestions of your own? I would love input! 

Thank you for taking your time to read my post! Happy Second Month in a Row Friday the 13th! I hope your Friday is fabulous and your weekend is magnificent! Now do yourself a favor, go forth and enjoy all the other March 2015 Use Your Words posts!

Links to the other “Use Your Words” posts:

http://www.BakingInATornado.com                                 Baking In A Tornado
http://spatulasonparade.blogspot.com/                           Spatulas on Parade
http://stacysewsandschools.blogspot.com/                   Stacy Sews and Schools
http://batteredhope.blogspot.com                                        Battered Hope
http://eileensperpetuallybusy.blogspot.com/                Eileen’s Perpetually Busy
http://www.someoneelsesgenius.com                             Someone Else’s Genius
http://thethreegerbers.blogspot.ch                    Confessions of a part-time working mom
http://www.southernbellecharm.com                                Southern Belle Charm
http://singlemumplusone.blogspot.com                             Searching for Sanity
http://sparklyjenn.blogspot.com                                        Sparkly Poetic Weirdo
http://climaxedtheblog.blogspot.com                                          Climaxed
http://www.eviljoyspeaks.wordpress.com                                Evil Joy Speaks            

Friday, March 6, 2015

Saint Jules of Lard #SecretSubjectSwap March 2015

Welcome to March's Secret Subject Swap. This week, fourteen brave bloggers picked a secret subject for someone else and were assigned a secret subject to interpret in their own style. Today we are all simultaneously divulging our topics and submitting our posts.





Your “Secret Subject” is:
In honor of St. Patrick's Day this month, if you could be a patron saint of anything what would it be and how would you receive the honor?

It was submitted by:  http://www.smalltalkmama.com (Thank you for such an interesting subject! <3)

I recently watched the movie "St. Vincent" with Bill Murray, and it gave me a very interesting perspective on this subject. Had I received this subject sooner, I would have had a much harder time answering, I believe. The movie really helped me to see there are "saints" among us, even if they don't fit the usual definition of what a saint is.

Under the usual definition of a saint, I am definitely not a saint. By the standards set forth in "St. Vincent", I could pass as a saint. I think it is kinda awesome that I get to choose what I am the patron saint of. There are so  many things that are dear to me, that I think would be awesome to be the patron saint of. At the end of the day, I want to be a dual patron saint. I hereby declare myself the patron saint of coffee lovers and moms that have suffered child loss. 

I would graciously accept the honor to be the patron saint of such wonderful people. I chose coffee lovers, over coffee drinkers, because the coffee lovers are my people. Coffee drinkers aren't quite there yet. I chose moms that have lost a child, because I know their pain. 

I would make sure that coffee lovers would have delicious coffee all the days of their life. I have read about potential coffee shortages in the future, I would work miracles against that.

I would comfort the grieving mothers. I would watch over their children, until they are reunited. I would do my very best to make it better, even if just a little bit, for the moms. 

I would need a name. Saint Jules of Manteca (The name of the town I live in)? Well, Manteca means Lard in Spanish, so maybe not. Saint Jules of Coffee?? I think we are probably onto something. Yes, I could probably embrace that name. 

What about you? What would you want to be the patron saint of? 

Thank you for taking the time to read this! I hope your Friday is spectacular and your weekend is amazing! 


Here are links to all the sites now featuring Secret Subject Swap posts.  Sit back, grab a cup (of coffee), and check them all out. See you there:

http://www.BakingInATornado.com                          Baking In A Tornado
http://stacysewsandschools.blogspot.com/                        Stacy Sews and Schools
http://spatulasonparade.blogspot.com                          Spatulas on Parade
http://dinoheromommy.com/                            Dinosaur Superhero Mommy
http://themomisodes.com                                          The Momisodes
http://climaxedtheblog.blogspot.com                      Climaxed
http://www.someoneelsesgenius.com                       Someone Else’s Genius
http://thethreegerbers.blogspot.ch               Confessions of a part-time working mom
http://thelieberfamily.com                                            The Lieber Family
http://www.southernbellecharm.com                            Southern Belle Charm
http://singlemumplusone.blogspot.com                           Searching for Sanity
http://sparklyjenn.blogspot.com                                  Sparkly Poetic Weirdo
http://www.smalltalkmama.com                                Small Talk Mama