Thank You 2013!

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESAnother year has come and gone, everyone has been reflecting on their year on facebook, twitter, youtube and other social media outlets. The flood of pictures of the holidays and new years eve filled my news feeds and it was great to see everyone had some good times.

I wasn’t sure how I wanted to reflect on the year, I seen a few people on youtube do these cool videos but life’s been too crazy for me to video tape as much as I wanted to this year. The only thing that I was sort of consistent with was sharing photos of “the everyday.” I want to vlog a bit more this year now that I have this wonderful camera!!!

Those of you who are close to me know that 2013 wasn’t exactly the easiest year I’ve ever had to deal with. A LOT of good and unfortunate things happened this year and reflecting on my year, I feel confident in saying that it exposed some of my weaknesses but at the end of the day… I made those weaknesses my BITCH!!!!

This year my boyfriend’s family was delivered a huge blow when they lost Stephanie. Stephanie is my boyfriend’s older sister who was diagnosed with cancer in 2012 and 3 months later she passed away (in early 2013). Stephanie left behind three of the most beautiful little girls god could ever create. All different and unique in their own way!!! Unfortunately this year we were unable to enjoy the company of two of her three little angels due to being unable to connect with their father and his family to sit down and discuss access for McKayla! McKayla was able to have her birthday wish come true and see her sisters even if it was for only a little over an hour but I made a promise to Stephanie and have made a promise to McKayla to make it right and fight for her to have her family back in her life. I feel its very important and therapeutic for the girls to be with each other and I will do everything I can for those girls to be able to spend time with each other!!! 

By going through this, I really saw first hand what it was like to be a parent and feeling like a super hero to  little girl who looks up to me as she did her own mother. It’s a compliment for me to know that Stephanie thought highly enough of me to trust that I would treat each girl as they were my own and fight for all the good things in life that they deserve to have. Living out another women’s dreams for her kids has been one of the scariest things I’ve ever had to do. Raising a child doesn’t come with a hand book (although google has helped in a few situations). It’s one of those things you just jump in and do and hope for the best. BUT in the midsts of parenting McKayla it made me appreciate my own parents. When I look at my childhood I can’t commend them enough for holding it all together and ensuring I was able to take advantage of all the great things life brought in my path and when I felt like I couldn’t reach they gave me a bit of a boost! My mom has been a great inspiration and I think that if it wasn’t for her always workign with kids I probably would have a harder time with all this. By watching her and having her as an example in my life it gave me a few tools to use with McKayla. I’ve been able to go to her for advice and honest opinions and knowing that I’m on the right track makes me feel great. 

I’ve come to see the strength of my family, as they rallied together at Stephanie’s funeral to support not only myself, but my boyfriend and his family. My immediate family even went as far as to go to the hospital in the early morning of her passing to ensure they were there incase i broke down and needed someone. My family has accepted my decision to raise McKayla with Steven and have treated her as if she was my own. I can’t wait for the other girls to experience the life and strength my family has to offer to them. McKayla has talked a lot about her sisters and I feel that when they finally get to meet my family, my family is going to know so much about them that it would be like they were there the entire time. 

My extended family has also opened their doors to McKayla and have treated her with so much love ensuring that she knows she’s got a big big big family that love and care for her. I sincerely appreciate their ongoing support and love I can’t even put into words how much it meant to myself and Steven that they came to the funeral, as well as being a HUGE part in McKayla’s life this year.

This year I was also able to see who my true friends were, and dropped a few a long the way. I strongly feel a true friend is someone you can go months without communication and then when you finally meet up its like a beat was never skipped. These were the friends that understood whole heartily that Steven and I both had a lot going on in our lives and continued to lend an ear or just go out for a bit to take our mind off things. These were the people that stood on the front line fighting with us and keeping us strong when it came to other issues during Stephanie’s illness and the drama that came with it. They are the ones who CONTINUE to lend that unconditional love and support and for that we are truly grateful. The people who dropped off this past year, we are a little sad to see you go, but it was better now then later! Things happen for a reason and maybe with us going through this it showed us who our true circle is!!

I’ve learned this year that I in fact inherit my grandmothers (and mothers) strong shoulders. I was able to take a lot on and managed to just keep moving forward. I learned that the second I feel unaccomplished and maybe not where I want to be in my life all I have to do is take a look around to reminded that I’ve climbed some of the toughest walls life has threw my way, and made the most of ugly situations and came out with maybe a battered face but still walking on my own two legs. Maybe to other’s that’s not an accomplishment and maybe to them I’m not going anywhere with my life, but knowing that life can throw me some of it’s best and knowing that I am strong enough to over come it is one of the best gifts in my life and I feel like I’ve done a great job just taking things as they come and that’s all I can ever ask for at this point in my life.

I would say that this year my relationship has completely been tested and I’m proud to say that Steven and I worked together and hit it straight on. It’s weird to see him as a father figure because for us things are now completely backwards. I went from “girlfriend” to “parent”. We had to discuss and communicate with each other about parenting, we have been there for each other when things got tough, we have stood firm with how we want to parent and our expectations. We have created structure for this little girl and surrounded her with so much love. The only puzzle piece missing is her beautiful little sisters. This year I have seen Steven in so many different lights, and I got to tell you everyday I’m falling more and more in love with him. He is someone who is very strong and takes on the world. He’s always busy making sure everyone else around him is doing well and never stops to worry about himself. He takes care of so many more people then just McKayla. I sometimes feel bad for him because I want him to “do him” I want him to worry about himself and not feel bad for doing so. He’s everyone’s go to guy and is always sent to do everything. He is someone I know when the going gets tough we are going to just take a deep breath and tag team it. We have managed to strengthen our relationship this past year with everything that has been going on. I’m not sure if other couples would be able to communicate and get through all of what we get through. It makes me that much more excited to spend the rest of my life with him. 

So yeah maybe this year was a bit of a stress ball, but along the way I learned a lot of great lessons, experienced a lot of different things outside of my comfort zone and am more confident then anything! Life isn’t always going to be perfect and yeah it’s going to get pretty shitty, but if you can sit back and realize what you learned from it and know that you made it through then be happy because a lot of people probably couldn’t do that.

So thank you 2013 for teaching me so many different things, thank you to everyone for your ongoing support and love, and thank you to my wonderful boyfriend who I can’t imagine my life without. ALSO thank you to McKayla who has brought so much more joy to my life over the last year and I’m excited to see how much you grow each year and I can’t wait for you to be with your sisters!!! 



~ by Christina Sears on January 2, 2014.

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