Wednesday, June 27, 2012

My Favorite things...

Beautiful mornings, with a tasty cup of coffee.  Being able to enjoy it without gulping.

Summer vacation.  Love having my babies home and not having to rush them off to school in the morning.  Love the sun, and the lazy days they can enjoy.  Love the summer nights when we can sit outside and enjoy the lightning bugs and the cool breeze.  The smell of the air, the beauty the summer brings.

Music and all the beautiful things it makes me feel.

Family dinners, with my whole family, my sisters, my mom my nieces and nephews.  Sitting around the table laughing ourselves silly.

Talking to my mother.  No matter where or when, or how she's always there to make me laugh, or smile, or cry with happiness.  She's my voice of reason, she's my shoulder to cry on, she's my best friend, she's my hero, she's my idol, and she loves me for me.  Just me.  Never having to be anything but me in front of her, whether it's my super silly side or my over emotional side.  The most important she thinks I'm really, really funny.

My childrens way of telling me they love me.  We could be in the middle of cleaning up or in the middle of our Sunday dinner at the diner and they will just blurt out an I Love you MOM! Or my son with say he has a secret and give me a kiss on the cheek.  I just got a note today for no reason at all from my 5 year old telling me that he loves me more then all the stars in the sky.  That's alot!

Lazy days.  Being able to stay in your sweats and comfy tshirt, fluffy socks or slippers.  Hang out on the couch or at the computer.  Eat a few naughty snacks, talk for a longer amount of time on the phone... Cuddle with my lovebugs.  Not a care in the world.

My dog Coco.  I just love her to bits!

The sky, and all the beauty it offers every second of every day.

Taking pictures.  Seeing a moment through the lens of my camera and capturing that moment forever.  The part of the sky that I caught 5 months ago that never came back again, but I can see every day through the picture that I took and I can remember just how I felt when I took it.  Just what I was looking for when I put my eye to the camera.  Taking pictures encaptures bits and peices of my life and allows me to hold on to them forever.  I love that.

My home.  The beauty of the wood, the joy it brings us all, the way it keeps us safe and together.
The love I have inside of it, and the life it brings me because it's my home.

Being a Mother.  Just being a Mother is one of the most wonderful and amazing and favorite parts of my life.

Victim of fraud!

WOW, where to start on this.  Yesterday was by far one of the scariest moments in my entire 38 years of life.  Sadly, I have been a victim of fraud.  I was working on my computer when I recieved a voice mail message on my cell phone.  The man who left a message spoke very threatening, and loud.  He explained that I needed to have my lawyer, or myself call right now, as he yelled into my voice mail, and that if I didn't call all he could do was wish me good luck.  I have to say the instant I heard that my heart began pounding, and my hands started shaking.  I was beyond scared, but had no idea why.

What I will say  is these people are good at being evil.  They are truly good at the venom they spew.  It's a sad reality that we have to be victims to this.  So basically what happend was I called this number, and though I now see the signs they were completely fake, I didn't see them at all when it was initially happening, because I was scared.  A man got on the phone and asked me to not interrupt him while he read me the affidavit against me.  He began telling me, while using technical terms that on Thursday I would be arrested and held in jail until the following Monday where I would go to court, and when I was found guilty for "check fraud" and stealing money from American Cash/PayDay Loans I would be held responsible for $5484.87 and in addition to that would be responsible for court and lawyer fees totaling upwards of 8 to 9000.00.  Then they asked me to give them my lawyers number.  WHICH was my first mistake.  I should have done that immediately, but I was scared, and wasn't thinking.  So I start screaming at this man and asking him what I have done, and he asks me why I was so ignorant that I did not know what I had done!  I said well to start because I haven't done anything, and I did not take a loan out EVER! So he then begins to tell me maybe someone stole my information but that the Federal Government had been monitoring me on my email, and they gave me my correct email address, they gave me my correct social security number.  They had just about ALL of my personal information.  So after me screaming at them for a few minutes they tell me as long as I have never been arrested, or held for a criminal activity they would settle this with me with an OOCR "out of court restitution".  So they gave me to another woman.  I am so uspet and shaking at this point I am thinking what the hell is going on here.  I start screaming at her too, she interrupts me and says that this supposed loan company put $791.23 into my account and when they tried to get their payment back they couldn't.  So they were suing me for check fraud, and other charges I didn't understand.  So I tell her no one has ever put money in my account, whats the account number.  She gives me my personal account number!  Now I'm freaking out.  I ask her how to settle this in the supposed OOCR, she tells me to go to walmart and get a green dot money card for the amount and call them back in a half an hour and their lawyers were working on my case and would settle this out of court, and would fax me all the paperwork.  As soon as she said go to walmart and get a green dot money card, she failed, and I knew it was fraud immediately. That's when all the other signs I had missed started to come clear to me.  For example the continued need to put me on pause, the reading of the claims they supposedly said I was being charged for were read quickly, and I could hear things that made no sense.  Though her name was Erika Burkens, she had a very thick accent.  Though the mans name was Travis, he too had an extrememly thick accent.  When I first called and said someone left me a message to call this number she asked me what phone number they called!  That should have been my first clue! I gave her my cell number and it took her several minutes to find me.  It was ridiculous.  She claimed she had PROOF they put money into my account.  I should have known that was not true, but again I was scared, and they were so mean and aggressive it was believable.  I should have known that even had I gotten a loan from someone they wouldn't have just called me and said the company wishes to have me arrested rather than settle financially, yet when pushed they decide to accept the payment.  There were so many things they said that didn't add up.

I told her ok I'll go get that green dot card and call you back.  I asked who to call and at what number, she told me the same number and her name which was Erika Burkens.  I hung up and cried my eyes out, b/c I knew I had to calm down to get through this.  I called my husband, who was more annoyed than anything, but I also don't think he realized what I was a victim of just yet.  His irritated tone calmed me down, and though it wasn't what I wanted to hear from him, it got me back to reality so that I could calm myself down and call my lawyer.  I called the lawyer and the secretary asked me what was wrong, and I started bawling my eyes out and said that some company said I stole money and she interrupted me and asked me if they said this, and if they said that and I said YES YES! They did! She said calm down, it's ok you are not going to jail, but you are a victim of fraud.  She explained what I had to do, and she explained that it happend to her, and she told me what they did, and how good they are at it, and that is how they steal your money.  Because most people will just go pay them even though they aren't guilty b/c they scare you into thinking you have done something, and they take your 800.00 and then they disappear, OR they keep victimizing you over and over.  I had to call my bank and close my bank account, I had to report my social security number to the social security administration, and I have to change my cell phone number.  When I didn't call them back they called my cell phone every 2 minutes and left me very threatening, harassing messages. 

The reason I am sharing this, is because I want you all to know what to look for.  Do not let them scare you, and do not let them take your money!  When I googled this company hundreds of other victims names and stories came up.  They are getting away with this every single day, and taking innocent peoples money!  One day they will mess up, but in the mean time they are violating us over and over again.  I feel so violated, and vulnerable it's hard to explain.  They claimed they had proof money was given to me, and even though I was going through my account as I spoke to them and could see that this had never happend I still believed them!  I was almost going to get them this money to stop me from going to jail.  I believed them for an hour.  I was victimized, and thankfully it didn't go too far, but their are others who it has, and they have had money stolen. 

I hope that someone else see's this message and this helps you.  I hope that you will not have to go through any of this, but if you do, know that this is a HUGE illegal scam and their are things you can do to report them.  One day they will mess up, they will vicitmize the wrong person one time and they will crack this.  Someday they will be arrested, and put in jail themselves.  But until theanm we have to protect ourselves. 

I have learned a huge lesson, and in many ways I know this will teach me something valuable someday.  Though right now I just feel sad, and hurt I know it will help me with something else in the future, and I will be damned if I stop telling this so that other people can hear my story and do not go through any of it, and especially so no one gives them a dime of their money!  These people are pigs, criminals that don't care about anyone but themselves, and they will keep stealing from innocent people until someone stops them!

Many blessings to all of you!! Feel free to share my story if you think this will help!
Much love!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Elementary School Graduation and other happenings

Yesterday my 9 year old had his elementary school graduation.  I was both over joyed with pride and quite sad.  Not sad in a way of regret, just nostalgic sad.  I was a bit of a ditz going into it because I had something completely different as my idea of what it was going to be.  I didn't really think it was an actual "graduation".  Why, I don't know!  I should have realized, but I guess the busy week got the best of me, and I just anticipated an hour of getting us ready for the middle school.  The school we attend does elementary ed through 4th grade, so 5th grade is actually Middle School.  When I was in school that started in 6th grade.  So I walked into the gym and was overwhelmed with emotion instantaneously.  The decorations were beautiful, quite dreamy actually.  The plants and trees were all lit up, there were balloons everywhere, and a lovely slide show playing of the children.  One look at my son's picture accompanied by the music playing and I was swallowing a major lump and pinching myself not to start bawling.  I did very well through the first part of the ceremony.  Then came time for the memories slide show.  It began with the "remembering" part, which was all of their baby pictures, accompanied by a beautiful slow country song about letting them be little.  That was it for me.  The tears came and I had no control over them.  By the songs end I was a snotting, blubbering mess.  Mascara to my chin, lip quivering and I was over run with emotion about the last 9 years that went way to fast.  It felt like all of a sudden I was realizing how big my baby was.  Almost a double digit age, yet it feels like yesterday that he was my only child, and it was just him and Mommy hanging out, playing and being silly together.  Of course we still have those moments, but they are not as often since I have slowly started to become the mom to a "grown up" boy. 

Kevin is as sweet as he is adorable.  He's kind and loving.  He's sensitive, and brilliant.  He's charismatic and serious.  He's wonderful.  I remember his labor and holding my baby boy for the first time thinking how amazing life had just become.  All the tears I shed because I was so clueless on parenting.  How grown up I felt having a son to call my own.  The countless calls to my Mom bawling my eyes out that I wasn't being a good Mommy and I didn't know what I was doing.  Then slowly transforming into Mommy-hood and being able to do everything with ease.  To be able to know when he had a tummy ache, or needed a bottle.  Just one look at his face and I knew what it was he needed.  The transition was long and slow, but it happened just the same.  Now here I am sitting at his elementary ed graduation thinking about the new chapter we will soon begin.  I felt overwhelmed with pride as I saw him accept his graduation certificate.  How handsome my boy looked up there.  How sweet he was clapping and cheering for his friends.  How loved he was by all of the other children who cheered and applauded for him.  It was a good moment.  I was transitioning myself into a mommy of a pre-teen, and feeling alittle scared at what the new chapter will bring.  Yet I was feeling excited for him. 

When the ceremony was over I couldn't wait to get my hands on him and squeeze him and give as many kisses as he would allow.  I couldn't wait to tell him how proud Mommy is of him.  What a wonderful boy he is, and what a wonderful young man he is turning into.  That part was my favorite of the day.  Squeezing him, sneaking in a quick smell of his hair, and kissing him as quick as I could so I didn't get the "MOM stop you are embarrassing me" statement.  Thankfully he let Mommy love on him for a minute and didn't mind that I might embarrass him.  He was looking out for his mushy mom.  He knows Mom will cry, and he knows Mom will get all gushy and he's OK with it.  That's my boy! 

At the days end, it was hot and humid, there were loads of laundry to be folded, and piles of dinner dishes to wash and all seemed normal again.  Then together we all prepared the teachers presents for the last day of school today.  Funny how getting them all up this morning and ready was the easiest day of the year thus far.  They were dressed and ready to go 15 minutes before Mom today!  My 5 year old was feeling pretty down about today being his last day with his teacher.  He only figured out last week that he had to get a new teacher every year and he wasn't happy about it.  This year he completely enjoyed, and whenever you'd ask him what his favorite part of school was his answer was always the same, his teacher.  He has had the sweetest crush on her, and she loves him too.  It's very sweet and we are really going to miss her.  I was crying when it came to her card because she's actually taught two of my children.  Each thing that my 5 year old does seems very concrete because it's the last of's for just about all of the things we complete.  He being my baby there will be no more kindergarten, no more of the things we've done for 3 children now.  It's exciting, but sad all wrapped in one. 

I know it's not good to feel sad and feel like your life is flashing before your eyes just because the kids are growing up.  I'm trying to live in the moment and enjoy each new chapter, but I would be lying if I said I didn't miss the baby stages.  They go so fast!  Plus I had 2 in diapers, with a bottle etc so I was probably too busy to enjoy it as much as I could have/should have.  I miss the little baby in my arms, and the bottles.  Smelling their hair while they rest on you and drink their bottle.  I just miss it.  It's that simple.  Knowing I can't have another child doesn't help much.  I mean I doubt I even would have another if I could, but it seems like because I know I can't makes me want another even more.  I've thought about adoption but it's a process the husband would never go for, and so I've moved on from it.  It hurt for a while, but it feels better now.  It's just sometimes a hard pill to swallow when you think you could have had a new baby coming now.  I would have liked that alot.  But, it's only making things harder for me and I really need to move on from it and just learn how to be a Mom to the ages I have now.  I am so lucky to have those 3 little people.  They are pretty darn awesome and they are all mine.  That's good stuff!

Enjoy your day, and for those of you winding down the school year I wish you loads of blessings, and a very happy beginning to your summer!!


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Favorites Pics for June

All of these pictures are my current favorites, but the last one is my top favorite.  That's my son and daughter enjoying the sunset at Swan Lake.  The sky was so amazingly beautiful that day, and it was just pure luck that I was able to snap my son Ayden in midair doing his little happy dance!

On a side note, if you are interested in buying any of my pictures, you can check out my gallery at  They are available in 3 different sizes, and are printed on museum quality canvas.  There are hundreds to chose from!  I thank you in advance for looking at my pictures!  I hope they bring you joy!

Wishing you all a beautiful evening, and a wonderful week!

Seeing the light...

As I've written in a few blogs over the last few months, I've just recently come out of a large bout of depression.  I was letting my financial problems define me.  I think the biggest thing I have taken out of all of it is that it's so easy to get lost in your world when stressful situations are bombarding you.  But the thing that I want to take from that is the important lesson I learned.  That being: do not drown in your sorrows, instead stand up and walk through them with your head held high.  Relish in the small bonus moments that your life has to offer.  Taking baby steps into the next part of your life. 

I turned 38 years old this year, and what hit me on my birthday was that aside from my 3 beautiful children, and my amazing supportive family, most of my daily life consists of way too much stress.  I don't want to keep letting that be what's important about me.  What's important about me IS my 3 beautiful children, and my family.  It's so important to always keep family as your number 1 priority.  Your focus.  Now, having said that, I can attest to fear being a huge part of why someone would let stress, and stressful situations take control.  You become afraid that you'll lose your home, that you'll be a failure and you'll no longer be able to provide stability for your children.  That is exactly what happened to me.  I was terrified that all of the bad things that were happening, were going to take away all the things that I loved.  When you are broke, and your only way to survive is to rely on the kindness of others, everything that you knew before changes.  My way of thinking changed.  It became not what I wanted to do with the kids for fun, but rather, how was I going to put food on the table every day.  How was I going to get clothes for the kids, how was I going to keep all of this monumental stress and bad experiences from effecting them?  I will be the first to admit that was scary as hell!  My family as you know, was and still is my foundation.  They stand by me through every single battle, and make sure that I have what I need.  From every small detail, to the big huge things they were there to help, and had I not had them, I doubt very much I would even have Internet connection right now, or a computer, or a table to sit at to tell you about this.  They held my hand through every single dark moment, and are still holding my hand until all of this passes.  They will always be there for me.  That is so huge.  How do you thank someone for saving your life?  Thank you just doesn't seem big enough. 

We have had so many things happen to us in the last year and I keep trying to figure it out.  Why do we keep falling down?  What are we doing that is so wrong that all these bad situations keep dragging us deeper and deeper?  I see such horror stories on the news and I think my god I have to be able to stay on top of this so that we do not end up in an even worse situation.  We have tried to figure out what would be the best solution, and though I hate to admit it, selling our house is probably going to be it.  I love this house with my entire being.  I'm so proud of it, and I am so happy here.  But in the reality of the things I have to realize this house costs us a small fortune, and puts us deeper in debt every year.  The taxes are 1000 a month.  It's costing us so much money to hold on to this house, that it's only going to keep us from getting out of this financial hole we have fell in.  The taxes will never be lowered, they will only stay the same or increase.  Once we paid our mortgage off we would still be left with that 1000 a month payment, and that's a lot to have hanging over your head, especially when you aren't making enough to make ends meet.  If we sold our house, and were able to pay off all of our debt, it would only be saving us.  Yes, it WILL break my heart to leave here, but as long as I have my family I can make a happy home wherever we end up.  As it is, the house which is a log cabin, needs alot of work.  The husband doesn't have any time to put into it, and we certainly can't justify hiring someone to do it.  So I believe I have come to accept the inevitable.  Of course it will take us a while to sell anyway, as there is that work that needs to be done, and we need to wait for a decent market.  But before this I would have never agreed to sell it.  I fought the husband tooth and nail to disagree with his constant idea that selling was the only answer.  The fighting did me no good, and in the end, it is me who realizes he's right on this one.

The one thing that I feel is most important about seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, and about coming out of a bad, long depression is that I have realized this life is going to challenge us every single second, it's how you handle it that is going to take part in defining you.  You can let it take over, and believe me that's the easy part, OR you can get up each morning with the hope of a better day.  The hope of a brighter/lighter future.  I'll be honest, it's not going to be easy, but it's so much easier to face the day with hope and a smile, than missing an entire day of your children's life because you're too wrapped up in the moment.   Look up from that pile of bills and see what they are up to.  Spend that few minutes playing and laughing with them.  I can guarantee you'll feel a lot better afterwards.  Showing them the way doesn't always mean your life has to be perfect.  They can and do understand a lot more than we give them credit for.  So while they are still young, and want to play with you, get down on the carpet and play!!  I promise the bills will still be there when you get done, and nothing bad is going to happen if you take a few hours out of your schedule to spend it laughing and dancing.  Tomorrow always comes, and life always keeps happening no matter how bad and how awful your current situation is.  There is going to be a day when it gets better, so enjoy as many moments as you can in the mean time.  You'll get there either way!!

Wishing you all blessings and good things, today and every day!