Sunday, October 5, 2008

A Fun Friday Night!!

This past Friday night was a very proud night for me. My two oldest sons (not biological, but mine!) Archie & Tyler attend McLane High School. Archie is in JROTC and is a part of the Color Guard who presented the Flag before the Varsity game started. He looked extremely sharp in his uniform and I am very proud of him for being so involved with JROTC!! Tyler is on the JV football team and this was his very first game because the coach didn't have a helmet that would fit him properly and he had to wait to be able to play. I think I was driving Jeff crazy because I kept asking him when they were going to put Tyler he would know what the coach was going to do. LOL! Finally, in the fourth quarter they sent him in, I was so excited to watch him play and glowed with pride because, that was my son on the field...OK, if the truth be known, I was a little scared that he was going to get hurt but I think that is just part of being a mom. We had a lot of fun watching the boys do their thing and of course watching my daughters & my niece checking out the boys, doing the cheers with the cheerleaders and dancing with the mascot. Whoever said you can't have a strong bond with children whom you don't give birth to is a LIAR!!! I couldn't love those children any more or be more proud of them if they were my own flesh & blood!!!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

A Special Day

Six years ago at this time I was enjoying some very special times with my father, step-mom, mother, sister-in-law and cousins. My father & step-mom came out from Florida and my cousin Sharon came out from Ohio (her son drove up from San Diego where he was stationed with the Marines). All of them were here to help me prepare for and celebrate the happiest day of my life! It seemed like a whirlwind week, fittings, dinners, rehersals, nail appts and all the other last minute things needed for my "Big Day". The day before my wedding all of us girls went to get my nails done and I was taking Jeff's truck, he told me I had to wait a few minutes before I could leave and when I finally got to go outside to leave, he had painted the back window of his truck saying "Get out of my way, I'm getting married tomorrow!!" It was awesome!! That night after the rehersal dinner, which was pizza at Me & Eds, Cheyanne, Alexis & I had to go with my father & step-mom to stay the night with them. Jeff said he didn't want to see me until I was walking down the isle to him. Needless to say I didn't get much sleep...not just from being excited & nervous about the "Big Day" but also because I was stuck on a twin size bed with a foot or hand in my face most of the night, my daughter doesn't sleep very still. That next morning I woke to a phone call from Jeff...singing I Wanna Grow Old With You from the Wedding Singer...I couldn't believe he had memorized and learned how to play the song just for me. Later that morning he sent me a beautiful boquet of red roses with a note that made me cry and then as I was getting my hair and make up done I received a bracelet with a heart charm. He did so much for me to make sure that this day was everything I could have ever dreamed of...and it was!!! The next thing I knew, I was walking down the isle, telling my father how nervous I was and then finally facing the man of my dreams (yes Jeff, I mean you!!), my father lifted my veil and gave me a kiss and then handed me to Jeff. The ceremony was beautiful, the reception AWESOME and the week to follow was PERFECT!! Now six years later I am still blessed with the man of my dreams and look forward to spending the rest of my life with him, dreaming for our future, discovering new things together and enjoying every minute of our lives together. Happy Anniversary Honey...I Love You Forever!!!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


Early in the morning on August 26th, 2003 Jeff & I were on our way to Fresno Community Hospital to have our 1st child together (we have 5 other children from other relationships). That morning there was lots of thunder & lightning, the sky was so beautiful and Jeff & I marveled at the sight. When we arrived at the hospital the nurses began to prepare me for induction...Jeff got yelled at by one of the nurses for "being rude" and making "inappropriate" jokes...I tried to explain to the nurse that it was all ok & that was just how we were with each other but she would have no part of it. About an hour after having my water broke Clayton Douglas Smith was born...9lbs 2oz and 21 1/2 in...He was absolutely beautiful & CHUBBY!!! Jeff & I were both shocked when the nurses told us how much he weighed, I even asked her to repeat it because I thought she had made a mistake since the Dr. had told me to expect him to be around 7 lbs...just a LITTLE bit bigger! This day was a very special day to me for a number of reasons...obviously because I now had a child that Jeff & I made together but also because I had Jeff there to share the experience with...he had been so awesome through the whole pregnancy and was such a blessing to me in the delivery room...even if the nurse didn't think so. After Clayton was born the family came up to see the new addition and the kids all enjoyed having a new baby brother, it was as if Clayton was the glue that bonded all of our children together and we were truely a FAMILY. I cannot believe that it has been 5 years since that day!!! Clayton has grown into a bright, funny & good looking little boy (takes after his Daddy). I am so proud of you my "Big Man" I LOVE YOU & HAPPY BIRTHDAY MY SWEETHEART!!! Forever in my heart & always proud of you!! Love Mommy

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Will it EVER end?

Have you ever felt like life was just slapping you in the face? Sometimes it sure feels that way! I have been having a really hard time lately...I guess maybe I need to learn to totally let go of the past and stop allowing it to hurt me but the nightmares never seem to stop! My childhood was good until I was about 10 that was when my grandfather, whom I absolutely adored, passed away. My mother went into a depression and I became responsable for more than a 10 year old should have. I spent most of my time with my grandmother who was more like my best friend until I was 13, that was when she passed away. Many people don't know all the things that I went through and are under the impression that I am this strong person who is filled with self-esteem...nothing could be further from the truth! I have learned over the years to put on those masks and not show the "real" me as a defense to stay safe....the problem with that is I have difficulty showing that vunerable side to the people I love the most because I am afraid of loosing them...either by them leaving me, not thinking I am really worth it or dying on me. Does the pain EVER go away? Will I EVER feel like I can truely let go, trust and be safe?? I don't know...I do know that I want the pain, the anger, the fear and the nightmares to end...I want to be whole again and I want to feel that my dreams will become my reality and not my nightmares.

Thursday, May 29, 2008


I am not quite sure why people fight and why they play makes no sense to me, even though I am guilty of playing them myself. When two people care about each other and make a commitment to one another shouldn't that be sacred? Should there ever be any doubt or question? I wish I knew all the answers...I wish that you could look into the future and see what it is that I see...the hopes, the dreams, the desires but most of all the need...the need to be loved, wanted, trusted, put above all else. I guess there are just some things that will always be a mystery and things that you just have to sit back and pray they will turn out the way your heart desires....

Sunday, May 18, 2008

The BIG 40

A few months ago my husband & I began talking about things I wanted to do for my 40th birthday. I told him that I was having a hard time with this birthday, I have not been depressed or anything but it just seems hard to believe that it's here already and as my friends and family know I certainly don't act my age!!! Anyway...I told Jeff that I wanted a roller skating party for my birthday. He thought I was CRAZY! Now, you need to understand that I have never had a "special" party for any of my big birthdays so this time I wanted to make it big and we did. Jeff rented out the skating rink (the "Rink of Fire" as Todd calls it) and we invited all our friends and family the Sunday before my actual birthday (since that was the only time we could get it around my birthday). There were about 70 people who came. We skated to mostly 80's music and had a BLAST! We even did the Hokey Pokey and the slide on skates, I thought I was going to break my neck but managed to do very well, if I do say so myself! At the end of the party I went up to open my presents and was just about to sit down when my friend Karla (whom I still love) said "I'm watching you, don't fall" and as I started to reply, my skates went out from under me and I landed smack on my hind end!! It almost took my breath away I hit so hard, after a few minutes I managed to get up and open my presents. It sucks being older, just simply because it has taken sooo long to recoop from the fall...20 years ago I wouldn't have thought twice about it!!!

So now the party is over and my actual birthday arrives...Jeff had arranged with my boss Emily to give me 5 days off months ago but never told me why, so I had no idea what else he had planned for me. All he would say was that it involved a rental car, the ocean and travel. He also said that Saturday (which was my birthday) would be very busy because of my daughters softball game and He and Archie were in a parade that morning, but that he wanted to take me out for breakfast before all the madness started. So, Saturday morning came & we went to the Train Depot (one of our favorites) for breakfast. Just before we got there my Aunt Di sent me a text message wishing me a Happy Birthday so as we entered the building I was looking down to text her back when Jeff turned me by my shoulders and said Happy Birthday. As I looked up, I saw my Father (who is from Florida) sitting there at the table and I started to has been 3 years since I last got to see him which is far too long!!! We sat there and had a great breakfast and enjoyed some good conversation. After breakfast Jeff & I took my Daddy out to see our horses while Jeff loaded his up for the parade. I then took my Dad home to see all the kids & to get everyone ready to go the parade. When we got there the kids all came outside 1 by 1 to say Hi and give Hugs except for Clayton...the last time he saw my Dad he was only about 4 months old so he wasn't quite sure who this dude was...he hid behind me and poked his head around to take a look but that was about it, at least for the first 30 minutes, then we couldn't get him to leave his Papa Cessna alone!! It was Papa look at this and Papa look at Father was in seventh heaven!!! We then went to the parade in Madera and watched Jeff & Archie play Cowboy, then went to Cheyanne's softball game where her team lost but my Dad didn't care...he was just glad to watch (with pride I might add) his granddaughter play. After the games (she had 2 she had to play) we went back to the house to clean up and get ready for dinner. We decided to go to Red Robin and my Mother and Step Dad joined us for dinner and we had a very nice evening. After dinner we went back to the house & my Dad stayed for a little while but then left for his motel. The next morning we took him to Jamestown and showed him all the things we enjoy doing as a family. We rode the train and since it was Mother's Day I got to ride the train for free :-) Afterwards we went into Columbia, showed Dad around there, bought some candy from our favorite candy store, let the kids climb on the rocks and then headed up to the cemetary (Jeff actually caught something on his camera that he thinks might be a ghost) before heading home. I think we wore my Dad out from the weekend so the rest of the time my Dad & I just hung out and enjoyed each other, except for Tuesday night when we went to watch my other daughter Alexis play her softball game. She made a huge play to help win the game and got the game bear (instead of the game ball) her Papa couldn't have been more proud! The worst part of the whole thing was having to say good-bye!!! I Love my Daddy with all my heart and I wish that we lived a lot closer but I am greatful for the time I did get to share with him!!

I know I say all the time about how great my husband is, how special my kids are and how I couldn't imagine life without them...well it's true!!! I honestly believe that I have the World's most AWESOME husband EVER!!! And Honey...Thank you, for making my Birthday sooo special and my life the Best! You really are my Best Friend, My Lover, My Life, My Knight in Shining Armor and with all my Heart...I LOVE YOU!!!!!!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Creating Memories

Jeff and I love our kids and try very hard to make memories they will look back on and smile but once in a while we like to create our own memories without the kids. Yesterday was one of those times. I have been having a lot of problems with my back this past year or so and have even had to have injections into my spine to help with the pain, these problems don't go very well when you love to ride horses!

My husband and I own two beautiful horses that we have boarded with some really nice people. My horse Dolly is a quarter horse and has the best personality anyone could ever ask for! She and I have had a special connection since the first time I saw her. She always seems to know when I need a hug and will come up on her own and put her head on my shoulder as if to tell me everything will be OK. She doesn't do this with anyone else but me which kind of makes me smile because I know it's our thing. Jeff's horse Suzie Slow Poke is an Appaloosa/Arabian mix and seems to have that same type of connection with Jeff that Dolly and I share.

Anyway, since I have been having so many problems with my back I haven't been riding like I want and have even considered giving up my horse. It is very hard to justify spending money to keep her boarded when I don't get out to ride that often. So Jeff suggested going for a final ride before letting her go. He had found a nice sandy riverbed to ride in about an hour drive from where we live, so yesterday we loaded up the horses and headed for the riverbed. As we were headed out there it started to rain but by the time we made it to our destination it had stopped.

The day was absolutely beautiful!! The sky was bright blue with fluffy white clouds (a few of them were grayish black as if to remind us of the looming rain), the ground was soft sand and the riverbank was covered with luscious green grass and trees. We walked along and soaked up the time (that always seems to go by so fast when it is just the two of us), we trotted (not in place as Donkey did), and just before we left Jeff and I went up to where the freeway was and waved at people driving by and smiled when people actually waved back. I couldn't have asked for a better memory! I have to admit that this ride made my decision even more difficult to make and I am still not sure what I am going to do but no matter what the choice, I will always have wonderful memories of that day to look back upon!

Friday, March 7, 2008

Standing up for what is right

My son Archie came home the other day & told Jeff & I that the principal was going to change or possibly even drop the JROTC program at Mc Lane. He was very upset about it because this program is an important part of not only his life but many other kids including our other son Tyler. He asked me if I would take him and another friend downtown to the school board meeting that night so that he and his other friends could try and talk them into keeping the program the way it is. So, I did. After the meeting the kids were not convinced that they had made much of a difference so they all got together and contacted the media and began to fight for what they believed in.

They managed to get some TV stations and the Fresno Bee newspaper to come down to the school to interview them & get people to understand how important this program is to them. They went to one of the Wal-Marts in town and also walked the neighborhoods getting people to sign a petition to keep the program. I even wrote a letter to the paper letting them know just how much this program benifits the children. The JROTC program teaches respect (for self & others), disipline, values, morals, responsability, self-esteem and the value of friendship and loyalty. All of these things I am sad to say aren't very prevelent in schools today.

I have to admit that I was extremely proud of all of these kids for standing up for what was right and what they believed in. This past Wednesday The Fresno Bee had a very nice article (front page of the Local section) about these kids and about the principle deciding to keep the program as it is. He stated that he was proud of them for proving to him that they really wanted the program and that they stood up for what they believed in. Personally I think he was just trying to save face! These kids fought hard and didn't stop until they got not only what they wanted but what they felt the kids of Mc Lane need.

OK...this is a little off the subject but...It is kind of funny how my relationship with Archie and Tyler has grown over the years. I remember in the begining that they hated me so much that the mailman even heard about it!!! I had been walking down the hallway about two weeks before Jeff and I were to be married and I had heard Tyler and Archie talking about how they were going to break us up and all the horrible things they wanted to do to stop us from getting married. I opened the door and asked them if they had something to say to me...we had a 2 hour long arguement/discussion and by the end of it we were all crying and making committments to each other. Mine was to never try and replace their mother (which I had no intention of doing) and to ALWAYS be there for them as long as I was living. Theirs was to give me a chance and to tell me if they felt I had stepped over the line they drew. Since then we have had a few rocky times but for the most part I swell with pride and am very happy to call them my kids! It's very cool how things have turned out with them and I am glad that I have such a good relationship with them now!!! Well I guess that's enough for now

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Interesting phone call

Yesterday while I was at work my coworker Laura told me I had a phone call and she thought it was one of my kids. I didn't think much of it until I picked up the phone and my daughter Cheyanne was on the other end crying. I immediately asked her what was wrong and she told me she had "started and was scared". I tried to comfort her on the phone and let her know that everything was going to be ok but I could tell by the sound in her voice she was wanting me to go pick her up and talk. I only had a half hour left so I asked Laura if she would mind me leaving early. She said no and I was out the door.
When I got to my Sister-In-Laws house she seemed to be a little less upset, we talked on the way home and I reassured her that everything she was feeling was all normal and that she was now a woman. Her reply to me was "Daddy is going to be upset that I am not his little girl anymore". Yes he is I thought to myself, knowing how difficult this transition for Cheyanne was going to be on Jeff. Once we got home she and I talked a little more and then it was off to her friends house to tell her "the news" followed by phone calls to both grandmas and probably a few more we don't know about :-)
I have to say that being a step-mom can be very difficult at times, trying hard not to step past those boundries that had been placed, but oh how rewarding it is to have the HONOR of being the "first" one told and being able to have my relationship with Cheyanne grow even closer. She is a beautiful young woman that I am extremely proud of and I am truely blessed to have her as my daughter!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

First Time

Starting a blog is harder than I thought it would be!! So many things running around in my head it is hard to know where to begin. Since this is my first time blogging I guess I should start off writing a little about myself.

My husband and I have known each other since I was 13 but have only been married since 2002. Jeff has always been my Best Friend but I never gave our relationship a chance to become anything more than friends until 8 years ago mainly because I didn't feel worthy enough and I was terrified that if he really "knew" me he would run like there was no tomorrow. I have had a LOT of bad experiences growing up that made my self-esteem so low that I never felt I deserved to really be happy. Most people never even knew I felt this way because on the outside they saw someone who seemed to be very much in control of her life when all the time I was screaming on the inside for help. I went through relationships where I had been abused both emotionally & physically that pretty much left me drained and emotionally broke.

When Jeff & I started talking about getting together I was scared to death! How could he possibly love someone like me? Why would he want to be with me? We spent a lot of time together talking and getting to know each other very well and I made it a point to tell him all the Horrible things about my past...kind of my defense tool & also to see if what he was telling me was really true...that he would be there for me no matter what. Much to my surprise he has stuck to every word he said...he has stuck with me through more trials than anyone should! He has proven to be my Knight in Shining Armour and my Soul Mate for life!

Jeff & I have 6...YES 6 wonderful kids. His, mine & ours but as far as I am concerned they are all ours!!! Archie is almost 17, Tyler is 15, Joshua just turned 13, Cheyanne is 12, Alexis is almost 9 and Clayton is 4. They all have things about them that make me proud and all of them are involved in something they really enjoy. Archie & Tyler are both in JROTC and both enjoy going shooting at the Cowboy Action Shooting range with Jeff. Joshua has been getting involved in karate and is learning how to play the guitar. Cheyanne and Alexis both love to ride horses and play softball (Alexis can't wait for the season to start so Daddy can be her coach) and Clayton...well besides loving pre-school he has become very good on a lot of educational and some non-educational video games, some of which I can't even do :-) It is amazing to me at how much joy and sometimes headaches they give me. What a blessing they are to me!!!

My life may not be picture perfect but there is nothing on this earth that I would trade it for!!!! God definately knew what He was doing when he put Jeff in my life!! Thank you God!!!