When They Hurt, I Hurt

I have four beautiful daughters. One is my blood, two are step, and one is grand.

All my Girls - 2018

There is something to be said about being a mother and having children. All the sudden your heart is walking outside your body. You will do anything to protect them – from heartbreak, disappointment, loss, fear, and confusion. This need to cover them from darkness is so fierce it’s hard.

So hard to let them go and watch them understand the ways of the world – some of the worst ways. The super hard ways. How people will disappoint them. Friends will turn on them. Troubles will come and go. When there are rights and wrongs, there is indifference too. Some whys we will never understand.

Your heart explodes because they are learning the way you learned. The hard way. The harsh way. The people will let you down way.

And I still want to fight for them. So what if the world can be cruel. I am still on their side. I will fight when they are hurt. When they hurt, I hurt.

My bonus girls are now 12 and 14.

Sisters - 2018

I know. I know. Just yesterday they were 2 and 4. So wittle. So chubby. So very magical. And now they are dang near grown. No more chub chub cheeks or a thousand questions. But still my kids. So you know what I mean when I say I don’t want them to hurt. This is the age when the hard truth of adulthood starts to slap them around a bit. Junior High and High School? Talk about waking up from being an innocent kid. Those are the years!

And this December was another harsh jar to their childhood. Their mother disappeared for 30 days. She did not tell the girls much. She only talked to my husband. I heard her say, “It sucks. It’s bad timing.” But that’s it. No I am sorry. No forgive me. No explanation to the girls other than she was in the “hospital”. She wasn’t. We knew that from reverse number look up. But no way to tell the girls about that. It’s not our place especially since we were not even supposed to know. But it is what it is.

Except
.. this hurt my children. My bonus babes. My sweet, loving girls. To have their mother vanish. During Christmas and New Year’s no less.

Now don’t get me wrong. My husband and I loved it. We got to have an unexpected month long visit. Our whole family together and during the holidays! So this was fantastic for us.

But….what about the girls? Young girls that need their Mom. Yeah, Dad is great. Stepmom is nice. But your mom is your MOM. And I know exactly what it’s like to have her gone. It hurts. When they hurt, I hurt.

December was joyful. December was awful. I felt more sick for the girls as each day passed (even into January). I still have pains for them. But I know they are young and they heal quick. She is back and all is the way it was before (I guess).

She hasn’t really talked to us about it. She came back and that was it. I guess I am having a harder time getting over it than they are. I don’t need to know all the gritty details. I don’t even want to know. I just want to hear an I’m Sorry.

I’m sorry I hurt my children. I am sorry I had to do what I had to do. I am sorry I can’t open up about it. I am sorry I have to treat you like strangers.

And what about Thank you? Thank you for keeping the girls. Thank you for caring for them when I couldn’t. Thank for being there at Christmas. Thank your for holding them while they cried on New Years Day for their mother.

I know. I am asking too much. Demanding too much. I have no right.

But someone has to stand for these children. Someone has to fight.

I will always be there for my family. For my kids. For my husband.
The Family 2018

I can’t be sorry for that……and I won’t. Because this isn’t about me or how I want someone to act. This is about two precious girls who shouldn’t have to feel abandoned.

After a Dark and Snowy Week…

The sun comes out to blind me to brighten our days.  But the snow, and ice (which is still snow to Texans) was a fun and dramatic change from our sunny 60’s (sometimes 80’s!) winter.

The Dallas metroplex is one of those areas when the weatherman says, “Snow.”

We say, “Yeah, right!”

And when he still says, “SNOW!”

We say, “I’ll believe it when I see it.”

Well, we believed! We believed last week and we believed this week. The magical ice and snow and allllll the blustery cold things happened. We broke out the gloves and scarves. We made chili (well, my sweet hubby made super, yummy, delicious chili). And most of the household had many wonderful snow days away from the office and school.

Except for me…because…I work for a travel agency. Even better, I supervise the EMERGENCY SERVICE Department of said travel agency. And what do you know? Snow storms and flight cancellations seem to top the #1 EMERGENCY of travelers. Huh.

But you know, with the skidding and sliding of planes off runways and such. Yeah, that. It’s kind of important that they CANCEL these precarious flights, lest you end up crashing into a ditch, screaming as you plunge down a blow-up slide while highly flammable jet fuel LEAKS nearby. So not the winter vacation you were hoping for. This is why I am happy to work snow days and keep you extra safe. You’re welcome.

But fingers crossed, someone has snuffed out that darn ground-hog and it WILL FORtheloveofGODplease be Spring real, real soon.

In the meantime, enjoy my lovely (and rare) SNOW photos. It happened. It really did.

What Love is…

When I started this post – What Love is. I planned to write about what love means to me. How special certain people truly are. How it’s not always the outpouring of words, but the small everyday things we take for granted.

When he brings home a box of chocolate. Just because…
© 2015 Angelia's Photography

And it means there is sweetness beyond any kind you can buy. It represents a gesture of thought. Of being on his mind. Being on his heart. He thinks just to see you smile.

When he programs the new remote with your favorite channels.

© 2015 Angelia's Photography

I have the hardest time finding channels on our 400+ channel Uverse program. I end up watching the GUIDE for an hour. And for him, to always think of me, to set up my shows in a way I can access quickly. To record my favorite shows (without my asking), and to program in my channels (and knowing what they are). It may not seem like much, but the meaning isn’t lost on me. Little things done in a big way.

When a cute Valentine plant sits on the counter after he takes a trip to the store. For me? Oh that? Yeah. It’s just a little thing.
© 2015 Angelia's Photography
Just a little thing, but full of beauty. And not the beauty of flowers, but the beauty that love creates. One that will continue to grow.

When a person will help you launch burning lanterns into the sky in the dark of night. All for the love of your photo project when he could be in the recliner watching TV. Well, that is something special indeed. In fact, we almost lit the whole place up with the fiery glow of lanterns. Eek! Click on the gallery to read the story.

Love is simple.
© 2015 Angelia's Photography
We make it complex. We put conditions on it. We decide when to give it and when to take it away.

But in the end, regardless of gifts, of deeds, of misunderstandings, of the good, and even the bad – love is complete acceptance. Complete and total acceptance of a person no matter what they do or say. No matter when or where. No matter how or why.

And then, I realized. Love is so much more than that. It encompasses family and generations. It is a kaleidoscope of moments so pure and precious they take your breath away.

I saw it so clearly this week as I did my photo shoots, for my projects, and for my family.

These wonderful people in my life that go above and beyond for my joy. How incredible is that?
© 2015 Angelia's Photography
To go above and beyond even at the risk of embarrassing photos.

And real love? Well, it’s family, fun, and beautiful girls (big and small).


It’s fuzzy mustaches and a heart that says hug me.

It’s very special eight-year old.

And a very mysterious debonair almost eleven-year-old.

And it’s a precious baby that is growing too fast. And a hundred times harder for Grammy to photograph.

And sometimes Grammy has to put her in a windowsill with heart gels to paste and smear on the window. So I can love every fingerprint…every smile…and every second of joy on her face as she discovers this “new” thing.
© 2015 Angelia's Photography
I know the moment is fleeting. I have watched too many little girls grow up. And I hang on to this with all my heart.
© 2015 Angelia's Photography
It hurts how much I love them all. This tenderness fills my soul. A tremendous blessing bestowed by having love this sweet and unconditional.

My family.

My life.

My acceptance to be who I am.

And who is that? Well….

© 2015 Angelia's Photography

Part of this family for sure.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Another Happy Birthday New Year

Yes, I married a New Year’s Eve baby. I fondly call him the last gift of the year. He dislikes that his birthday is the same day everyone is partying for a different reason. I suppose he has a point…

BUT, we do make the best of it. We don our hats. Present our gifts over dinner and cake. Sing HAPPY BIRTHDAY at the top of our lungs. From morning to almost midnight is birthday, birthday, birthday!

Then, we quickly switch out hats for the countdown to midnight.

Phew! What a rush.

A good Happy Birthday, Happy New Year kind of rush.

So far this year, I have eaten a BIG BOWL of black-eyed peas.

I have driven my new car – every day. See, I bought a car on my husband’s birthday. Well, I leased it.

We planned on using one car for the next three years and that is why I traded my car in a year ago. It did work out the last year. There were a few challenges. The break-in hit me especially hard. No car in the driveway…but really, that wasn’t the only reason to get a car. There were many. It was time and I needed it.

I didn’t think my credit would be good enough to lease, but lo and behold.

A brand new car!

I love it.

So, a very HAPPY NEW YEAR from our family to yours!

© 2015 Angelia's Photography

2015 – Be good to me.

How is yours going so far?