No Stress Holidays #1

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Don’t try to buy everyone a gift and don’t expect a gift from everyone. ~Nikki

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Sunday Morning Coffee Musing: The Auntie Mom

I was an Auntie before I was a Mom. I remember when my first nephew (that was younger than me was born) like it was yesterday. My dad was cutting the yard and we got the phone call that it was a boy and his name was Jeremiah. It was a sunny day in June with clear skies and I remember the grass being so green. My Dad started to sing “Jeremiah was a bullfrog and he was a friend of mine.” He meddled my nephew with that through childhood and even now! My second nephew I had the pleasure of giving him his middle name and he was my first job at 8 weeks old. He later gave his younger daughter the same middle name! I was a babysitter. Those two gave me a run for my money! And there were more nieces and nephews to come.

I am writing this piece for my friend Jackie and Alicia whom are Aunts, and all of the women who want to have a family someday and to the ones that may not be able to. You are a mother by heart. You are a mother because you nurture someone somewhere. You may even be a mother figure to a friend, a sibling, to a class, the motherly one on the job, a doggie mom. You care. You will jump in and fill that roll as an Auntie Mom. I tell my niece Brea I am your Auntie Mom. She’s the fireball of the bunch and I keep close reigns on her because I love her. I was once known as the General and Sargent but, I have been promoted to Lieutenant by my nephew Brandon. I am the Aunt that will play football, dolls, fix you a good meal and bake cookies but, I also believe in discipline.

All of my nieces and nephews, great nieces and nephews are my children. I wanted more children but, I am unable to have any more because I had to have a hysterectomy. That was tough and sad. But nothing beats hearing, “Auntie! Auntie Nikki! Ti-Ti!” and getting those hugs. It’s the same feeling as “Mommy!” and receiving love in the hugs. It’s the same pressure to watch what I say and do and how I live my life. I still have to impart instruction, wisdom, and love.

~Nikki aka Auntie Mom

Smokey Row Coffee Co. Oskaloosa

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We pull into Oskaloosa, Iowa late night on a drive from Memphis, TN and suddenly I perk up as we cruise down Market Street. What’s that? A coffee house? I will be back in the morning!

We were only in Iowa overnight as I rode with my brother to pick up my nephew from William Penn. We stayed at my second family’s house which is a home away from home. I went to “my” room and once I was underneath “my quilt” I was fast asleep. After getting ready the next morning I headed to this coffee house. It is huge with plenty of room, coffee, and uniqueness. I was overwhelmed and I am sure everyone knew I was a tourist as I snapped pictures of everything. The service was fast and as friendly as one could be on a Saturday morning. The hustle hand yet to bustle but, all of that changed as it neared 9:30 a.m.

Caramel flavored coffee was my choice and what a delicious blend! The caramel was subtle and not overpowering. I like to be able to taste my coffee and flavor at the same time. Each table in the shop is different, nostalgic and coffee related. I thought that was so cute!

And the menu…Breakfast all day, Lunch, Dessert, Kids Menu, Dinner…you name it! It was better than a Starbucks (No shade! I still love you Starbucks). It wasn’t carbon copy and I love the sunlight coming through the huge windows and so many places to go within. A parlor-ish feel for a coffee place is really different. I like different. A book vault? Upstairs? A stage for lets say…a live local band? Yes. All of that and more.

Fancy that. I purchased a mint green mug and a sconce. I eyed a big hunk of tiramisu but, decided next time and by next time I mean fall. I hope to be able to linger a bit longer with laptop in tow and just enough space for lunch and a milkshake. I am sure I can walk those calories off in the square.

~Nikki

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The Fallout of Protecting Your Peace

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Whenever you begin to set boundaries to preserve and protect your peace of mind and your sensitivity, or even to enforce those boundaries, there will probably be fall out from individuals who lack the respect of those boundaries. I have discovered that people want you to bend and break to appease them and often they wouldn’t do the same for you. Nor would I want anyone to compromise their peace of mind for me. And that is the difference. People will create problems, want you to solve them, and then become upset if you don’t. They don’t care if what they want makes you unhappy. This is blatant selfishness. Recognize this as a flaw in character. Also, people like this will often either get angry in hopes you will change your mind or run a guilt trip hoping for the same results. When you comply to neither they will call you mean and selfish (I am laughing as I type this) but, you and I both know they are merely describing themselves! Some leave you alone entirely or distant themselves.

You have to become okay with this. I know it may be difficult but, do not cave and compromise your peace or the sensitivity of your nature. I was created with a big heart and compassion but, not at the sacrifice of my own peace. Never again. Emotional manipulators are professionals at what they do. They have been use to throwing tantrums, running guilt trips and playing games to get what they want and you are left footing the bill, debt, or uneasiness. I stood my ground recently and I owe no one an explanation of what I want and why I want it the way I want it. I can’t do what you want me to do to make you happy and I am left to grin and bear it or wallow in the nagging feeling of “Why did I do that? Why didn’t I say NO?” Just remember even if you have the money or can accommodate someone’s request, if you don’t FEEL at ease, DO NOT DO IT AND OFFER NO EXPLANATION. You don’t have to explain your no.

~Nikki

Sunday Morning Coffee Musing: Throw “That” Back

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What a week! Drama and Resolutions. Busy Mom, Sister, Daughter, and Auntie (which I always enjoy family), working on a project and just well, life. By the time Friday evening arrived I was exhausted and my legs (fibromyalgia) were giving me pure hell up until this morning. I finally have relief. This morning’s coffee musing is all about “throwing that back” and I don’t mean from the world of rap and hip hop where you shake your butt!

If something is not what you want or desire in your head, heart, and life then “throw that back.” If you are fishing and you pull up a shoe, I am sure you would either throw that back or recycle it. But trust me, the drama, the lies, the games, the people that want to stay sleep walking through life,  does not need to be recycled. Just throw all of that back. Back to the pits of hell or wherever it came from. If it arrives at your door unannounced then throw it back out. In fact, refuse to let it in. Once you realize that it is negative, a time waster, hurtful, then you need to get rid of it or neatly file it away under “not my problem.” We waste time on issues that people don’t want to resolve. We waste time on drama where people clearly enjoy drama and I say leave them to their drama and destruction and just be there to help pick up the pieces. You can not, CAN NOT,  help people that are:

1. Not telling you the whole truth and nothing but the truth

2. Love a life filled with hellishness

3. Don’t even know or care they have a problem

4. Just want attention

5. Don’t heed the advice give you

6. Have issues beyond your expertise

7. Liars and manipulators

8. Not ready for change

Now, if you find yourself getting into a funk about people and things out of your control(like I did this week), and it bothers your thoughts, throw all of that back. In my mind I picked up all the bull—- they brought or I went and got and put it back on their porch.

“Here ya go. Sorry I picked up this “crap.” I thought you needed help disposing of it but, I can clearly see this has turned into a crap slinging fest and it’s really messy. I don’t like messy.” -Nikki

 

 

Parenting Confetti: Today She Turns 17

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Today my daughter turns 17. 17! I remember the day and the days ahead were filled with concern as to how I would survive this world with a child and as a single parent. I look at her and think, “Wow. You’re actually okay. I am doing pretty good as a parent. Somehow. It’s a miracle!” Somehow by the grace of God, the foundation of firm principles laid by my parents, wisdom I ask for almost daily, and through trial, error, and experience she’s a pretty good young lady. There is no perfect parenting because there is no perfect parent. However, I try to make sure I am doing the best I can.

I take an active approach to improving not only myself as a person but, myself as a parent. Am I being the best parent I can be? What can I learn to help me? What can do differently? Did I say I was sorry? Did I say I was wrong? I read. I pray about it, too and ask for guidance. I approach every year by trying to remember what it was like to be 17. I read any article about being 17. I stay up on trends and current issues. I like to be “in the know” about what she knows. And I do my best to guide this leg of her journey. However, I have started to prepare myself for letting go and being more of the guide and not the driver. I think I may have started her first year in high school more so than middle school. (It’s never going to be easy no matter how much you prepare! And you’re never going to really let go!)

Some parents seem to believe that when their children turn 18 they are an adult and you let them go. You turn them loose. You let them do whatever they want to do.  You are done. I beg to differ. They need you all the more in their young adulthood but, in a different capacity. Whether they listen or not, is totally up to them. Hopefully, we have established a good enough relationship, and I believe we have, that we can at least have the conversations needed in certain times. She’s pretty honest about how she feels. I asked her how does she feel being 17. Nervous? Getting close to being independent? She said yes. I told her she will be fine. I would be there to help. To push. To prod. To fuss. 🙂 To teach. To learn with her. Things have changed. We have to adjust as parents and we have to know when to hold to certain principles, values, and morals. I am thinking person. Analytical, logical, and emotional. (Ha!). And because we have to do so much as a parent other than clothe, feed, and shelter, this is why it’s impossible to get everything right.

Cheers to 17! Here are a few articles I have read

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/parenting-without-power-struggles/201211/my-17-year-old-daughter-is-drifting-away

https://www.verywellfamily.com/your-complete-guide-to-parenting-a-17-year-old-2608693

https://www.verywellfamily.com/behavior-and-daily-routines-17-year-old-teen-2608692

 

~Nikki

 

Sunday Morning Coffee Musing:Unnecessary Guilt

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Let me dive into a personal truth about myself. For years I use to struggle on the inside with feeling guilty about speaking out when someone has wronged me or has disrespected me. I was a sensitive child and I am PROUDLY a moderately sensitive adult. Being sensitive to the feelings of others and issues makes me the compassionate woman I am.

However, from time to time when I KNOW I am right about standing up and speaking up for myself, or letting a person know how far they can go or where to get off (lol), I still struggle with a tinge of guilt when CLEARLY I am in the right. I don’t allow people to hurt my feelings without them knowing how I feel about it or if they have disrespected me I tell them. How else when they know? Grow?

If you struggle with the guilt of hurting others feelings or with expressing yourself, then it stems from somewhere. Sensitive to others or you’ve had your voice dismissed in the past when you were unable to feel OKAY about BEING RIGHT. I think mines came from my childhood. In various ways, I was shut down negatively when I was right because well, I was a child. And authority ruled. It was the law of the land. Also, in a more positive way, my siblings and I were very respectful of each other and rarely argued or fought once we grew up. We all have had to apologize to each other as adults but, rarely. Yes, we taught to apologize when we were children as well. We were taught that way. However, parents rarely admit or apologize for being wrong. Thankfully, my parents grew spiritually and as we got older they have apologized for doing things the way they were did or things from the present.

I just want to say, stand in your truth. Stand in your right. Stand and have a voice. Help people to grow and to know where the line is on how you will treated and respected. Even it hurts them, they will grow and know. No guilt for speaking the truth and your feelings.

~Nikki

Baileys Original Irish Cream is in my Folgers. ❤