Army Strong, No Matter What!!

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“Charlie Rock”

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When you think about the military what comes to mind? Myself, being a Marine, I think of honor, courage, and commitment. I think of self-sacrifice, motivation and self-sufficient.

This past week has been an up hill battle for my brother. He and many others struggled to make it through basic training for the Army, just to be let down and not even given gratitude and a congratulations from the base commander at Fort Jackson SC. Is this what the “new Army” has come too. “Here is your certificate now get out”. I think the only congrats that I observed was from the Facebook Volunteers. They are the only ones that kept us, family members updated on the progress, and developments of our loved ones. I give thanks and praise to them. Yes the weather was horrible but everyone that was there to pick up their loved ones for “Family Day” was there to see them graduate the day after, only to be told sorry it’s been canceled. It amazed me to see everyone standing outside waiting for their soldiers to come out both on family day and the morning of graduation. Even though they canceled all the ceremonies the least they could have done was marched them all out and congratulated them and dismissed them as Soldiers of the United States Army. They were unable to show any of the streamers they won, nothing to show for their hard work . I would have rather not been there and missed it then to have been there and seen the look on my brothers face when I told him it was canceled.

That morning at pick up, the roads where so much better than when we picked him up the day prior for family day.. What were they thinking!!

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Families waiting to pick up Soldiers. Instead of Graduation..

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PVT Dockins, with Certificate in hand.

Let me just say that this is a once in a lifetime changing moment for these men and women and even though they all shrugged it off and wanted to get the hell out of there, they all were torn up inside. I know personally that if I was told I wasn’t going to get the recognition of becoming a Marine my heart would have broken and my spirit would have been shattered. To my brother, I wish there was something I could have done to fill that void, and even though we all were there, I know that doesn’t change things. I’m so very proud of you and I know that the Army has gained one more great soldier. To all the other fellow newly graduated members from 2nd Battalion, 60th Infantry Regiment, A-F companies, good luck and I hope that one day you will be able to see that you are all heroes and deserve to be called as such.. OOOORAH!!!   oops.. LOL..  HOOOAH!!..  Sorry once a Marine Always a Marine.. 🙂

GOOD LUCK, AND  GOD BLESS…

LOVE YOU CHARLIE.

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“Scouts OUT”

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Welcome 2014

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Welcome to 2014. I must say that I never seen it coming. I sit here and I recall the past few years of my life and wonder where it all went. I have had many disappointments along with joy as well and I have made new friends and kept the old ones close to my heart. Life these days are a challenge for me. My kids are getting older and I sometimes break down just thinking about how far we have come as a family. We have been through so much and sometimes I regret doing the things the way that I have done. I wish things could have been better for them, but we have survived and are stronger because of it all. I’m not perfect and I make mistakes just like the rest of us. I pray each and everyday that the good Lord will provide for me and guide me on this journey. I have a new outlook on my life for this year.

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I quit drinking, which in turn allowed me to lose almost ten pounds. Crazy when I think about that. It’s almost  three months now.

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My kids are my #1 priority, not that they weren’t before but more so now than ever. My oldest has just completed her drivers ed course and is now ready to get her learners permit. With that being said, I now have a few grey hairs already. I have started to shoot again, (photography). This has been the best thing for me right now, I can let everything go when I’m out shooting. I think about nothing else, except for that one shot or the way the light hits a subject. I even had a chance to bring my daughter and she loved it. We explored some random abandoned houses and she went around with no fear what so ever. She did a great job in capturing the true essence of the home.

It’s hard to imagine them being all grown up and moving on in few short years. I wonder how I will be able to function without yelling at them to pickup after themselves. 🙂  It’s sad, but true, that nothing lasts forever.

I must say that I hope by that time I will have someone to fill the void, someone whom I can share my laughter and tears with once they walk out the door. Time will tell, if the Man above has someone who can put up with me, my job, my kids, my way of life. Needless to say it is pretty simple, I’m definitely not the high maintenance type. The older I get the more I realize that I can’t change who I am for someone else, and I also can’t change someone else for me. What you see is what you get, just saying. So I hope that the New Year brings many joys to my family and friends. I hope my baby brother and his newest family member here very soon, prospers and remains healthy and very happy. My sister and her family just moved into their new home and I hope they love it. My other brother is about to graduate from Army boot camp and I hope he and his family don’t get stationed too far away, so I can continue to visit.  My mom and dad are doing well, and I will be seeing them soon for my brothers graduation soon. All in all, I’m looking forward to this year. I’m thinking positive, working very hard and holding onto my kids for as long as possible.

Good Luck to everyone this year, Peace and God Bless.

A Year in Review.

So this is it. 2013 is over in 12 hours, and counting. So with that being said I have put together my year in picutres. It has been a crazy year and I hope that 2014 will offer me big and better things. I hope to get back into the Church more and concentrate on my kids and my personal life as well. I think it’s time for me to live more and not worry about the things I cannot change. So with that being said, here you go!DSC_2296

SpaceSaverJanuary New Home..

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March

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April

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July

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August

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October

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December

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!!

Merry Christmas!

MichelleIt is finally upon us Christmas 2013. Can you believe it? This year is almost over and we are going into 2014, where did this year go? I must say without a doubt that this year came with many ups and downs. I’m still working on me, which is a never-ending battle it seems. Christmas has been great for me and my family, we all were able to get as much as we can get in this economy. My brother is here on a break from Army Boot Camp.. YES I said BREAK.. apparently the Army gives them a break and then they return to finish Boot Camp. Don’t ask me why I have no clue? But, I’m happy none the less to see him. 🙂 Everyone seems to be happy and content so far, kids received bikes, phones, phone cases, candy, perfume, shoes and more. As for me I finally got a camera and I have been having fun with it already. The kids are with their dad for the day so I may go out and shoot for a bit, not sure. It’s quiet here and I’m taking advantage of the peace. 🙂 With that being said, I’m keeping this short and simple, it’s almost time for Mass. Here are a few pics of our Christmas to You..

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Merry Christmas and God Bless everyone on this Christmas Day.

Life Changing Moments Part II

Again, it’s been awhile since an update. Work and kids have me busy as usual. Adding to the life changing moments once again, without them life would be nothing I would imagine. I have overcome many obstacles throughout my adult life and it has come to my attention that no one is perfect, ? go figure. This leads me to say that mistakes are made everyday and if you don’t learn from them then what is life all about anyway? Some are minor and some are mistakes that you will live with the rest of your life. Some effect just you and some effect others. No details will be given but mine has been the latter. I am in the process of getting through it, and looking to the future with somewhat of a positive attitude. It’s been a very rough week and I have many more ahead of me.  My family is my rock as always, and my friends are amazing. It’s gong to be a roller coaster of a ride once again, and even though this is something totally new to me, I can overcome it somehow. God will show me the way, He always does. No matter how hard it has been or how hard it is going to get, He will always be by my side.  I will keep praying, keep asking for forgiveness and move on. Whatever happens, happens, I have no control over it now.  God Bless everyone and their families. Screen Shot 2013-11-04 at 6.28.29 AM

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Life Changing Moments

Well, it has been awhile since I have updated my blog. There has been so much that has happened since the last time I posted. Let’s just say that the drama never stops and life must go on. I have learned that no matter what road you are on and how good you think you are doing there is always something that is going to get in your way and slow you down. Life is so unpredictable and when you least expect it, it throws you a curve ball and it just so happens that I got smacked right in the face.    Screen Shot 2013-09-21 at 6.04.27 PM

   DSC_2898So with that being said let me just take you through the past couple of months. So I left off with the Color Run in Roanoke, June 22. As you know that was an awesome event and me and the girls will be going to Raleigh on the 28th of this month to do it again.

So the summer is here and the kids have so much planned it’s not even funny. June flew by and it was July already. Both Julia and Michelle are gearing up for their summer trips through the Young Marine Program. Michelle leaves on July 7, and will not be back until July 13, which is when Julia leaves for her two-week East coast history excursion called GAHA (Great American History Adventure).

Both girls are very excited and can’t wait to get on the plane and head out on their own.

The day before Michelle leaves for her trip all hell breaks loose with her dad and I. Needless to say it has been a roller coaster of a ride since then. Without going into great detail, our lives have changed and even know it’s the 20th century I cannot wrap my head around the latest events.

So again, I’m trying to pick up the pieces and get Michelle’s head on straight so she can leave for her trip for a week and not have to think about the latest drama in her life. I get her packed up and she sets off July 7th, at 0600 in the morning for Aviation Mach II camp in Huntsville AL.

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Michelle get’s into Huntsville and for a solid week I don’t hear anything from her. Of course she was having a blast and I was so happy she wasn’t home. The drama never seemed to stop and my anger just kept growing and growing. Julia was standoffish and would not even attempt to see it from my point of view, which I know is hard for a teenager to do.  With that being said a lot went on that week that was just not necessary. When you have kids, that is your priority that is your job to be there for them and to take care of them. Being a parent is a full-time job, and I have had to take a back seat to my life to take care of them, enough said.

On the 13th of July, I go and pick up Michelle from the airport. She is late getting in and we didn’t get home until 7pm so she was really out of it when she got home. Julia leaves on the 14th at 0600 in the morning for her two weeks of fun. I was jealous needless to say, she was able to go to so many places that I would never get to see at least until I retire or further down the road. And of course I didn’t hear from her for two weeks and that was really hard as well.

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So while Julia was gone, I spent as much time as I could with Michelle and trying to get her to cope with the recent situation. At times she was fine, but for the most part she was and still is very questionable about it all. A week went by and Julia was traveling the East Coast and Michelle was gearing up for yet another mini trip with the Young Marines on the 25th of July.

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Michelle left again for DC and I was left to figure out how to get to Arkansas. So I decided to leave the day Michelle came back, which was the day after I picked up Julia. So needless to say they both came back home and turned around and got back on the road for an 18 hour drive to see family. It was a heck of a drive but it was so worth seeing my family.  We were there for about 4 days, celebrating my b-day as well as my moms was great.

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August is here and Julia is starting her drivers ed course, wow how time flies. In two years she will be graduating high school. I’m not prepared for that at all, so I’m trying not to think about it. School is around the corner and summer is winding down. Work is going ok, training is in full swing and I’m enjoying it as much as I can. School started on August 27, and I planned one more big trip before the school year sets in and we are confined to the house all year. So it is official, we will be Charlotte bound for some whitewater rafting, zip lining, and roller coaster fun.

Labor Day is here finally, we take off for Charlotte and get into town and settled into our hotel. The next morning we head out to the U.S. National Whitewater Center for the day. Needless to say it was the best and worst day for all three of us. I can honestly say that I was excited and yet terrified all at the same time. It was an unforgettable experience and yes, I hope to do it again.

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The next day we went to Carrowinds and spent all day riding roller coasters, and just having a great time.

The weekend was over as quick as it started, and we were again on our way home.

September is here and it is almost October all ready. It has been a crazy past couple of months. Very emotional and trying at times and still are. I’m glad school has started so the girls can get back into a routine, as well as soccer and school functions and so forth.

Well that’s it, quite an adventure we have had. We still are struggling with some issues and hopefully we all can get through this and be stronger later down the road. We fight, we argue, we laugh we cry, that’s what we do. Family takes care of each other when things seem to fall apart. In the end, life is unpredictable, and full of choices that you will hate to make but have to in order to move on.

Friends come and friends go, I hop that each day I have, I can accept the fact that I don’t have any control of what I can’t change. I just hope that I can learn from my mistakes, love harder, better, and pray that I can be strong for my girls everyday.

Well it’s off to Raleigh this weekend.. It’s Color Run Time.. 🙂

Till next time…….   GOD BLESS

The Color Run, Roanoke VA.

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This time last weekend we were on the road headed back home from the most amazing 5k I have ever done. The Color Run is one of the most exciting, family oriented fun run, I have been involved in. I started to do some research on this run  last year and committed myself and the girls to going and trying it out. It was a long drive, to and from Roanoke VA, but worth every penny. I had school all week and we left from Jacksonville around 230 in the afternoon on Friday the 14. The drive wasn’t too bad, new scenery and the girls were pretty good. We arrived in Roanoke around 8pm and checked into our hotel which was right across the street from the Civic Center. After the long drive we were pretty hungry and given the fact that we were just 5 minutes from downtown, we decided to go take a look. Roanoke reminded me of Savannah GA, restaurants and pubs all over. Needless to say every place we stopped at was out of our price range so we settled with McDonald’s and took it back to our hotel. We crashed a few hours later just to get up and make it across the street to the Civic Center at about 6am to pick up our race packets.DSC_2915

The race didn’t get underway until 9am, so we walked around taking pictures, dancing, and enjoying some good music. People started to walk in from all sides and before we knew it there was roughly over 4000 + people. It was a very well organized race, lots of fun, and I’m definitely doing it again. This is a great stress reliever,  for anyone. This weekend is nothing more than relaxing and taking it easy. So, here is to another Color Run in September.

Emrace the Color!!!

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