Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Kind of a "Dear John" Letter

Dear Readers,

As we grow, we change. Change is often difficult. It’s not always bad, and realistically positive most often comes from change if we embrace it, learn from it, and grow from there.

“Without change there would be no butterflies.”

Almost three years ago I started this blog. I wanted to share parenting tips that I learned and green living changes I was making. Honestly, I needed an outlet. I needed somewhere to pour my feelings, but early on, I left me out of my blog. I was too afraid to share me and kept myself hidden behind thick walls.

Three years ago I knew very little about myself and the world. I knew I was a hard worker and that I cared about everyone. I was afraid to make mistakes, insanely, unreasonably afraid and toed a line of perfection in everything I did. In all of this, I thought I was happy.

As the next year unfolded I grew very unhappy. In my own way, I voiced my sadness and loneliness but was ignored. I pushed on allowing decisions to be made for me because I felt unheard and taken complete advantage of. The more I pushed for help, for love, for me, the more I was forgotten and the more my self-worth disappeared. I was alone in taking care of my children.

There came a point last summer where I was done, completely and utterly. I was done being held back and not living life. I was done being unloved. I was done. I finally stood up and realized that I deserved more. I was scared out of my mind but took one small step forward. I applied for a job.

The whirlwind that followed, including being offered and accepting the job within a week of applying, brought my walls down and put me on my feet. I work 40 hours per week as a teacher, earning just above the poverty line, and supplement by working on my photography business 15-25 hours per week. My bottom line at the end of the month is zero or less depending on expenses – car maintenance, lawyer fees, and medical costs. BUT the person that I am before you today is the person I wished to be all of my life. This is who I wanted to be when I started this blog 3 years ago.

Obviously, I would love to be home more with my kids. My dream was to be a mom at home until the kids went to school  at which point I would enter (or re-enter) a science career. However, on this path I’m giving my boys much more than just my presence. They will learn not to settle for less than what they want or deserve. They will learn to work hard for happiness and to cherish that happiness. They will learn to hold on tight to those people who truly care and support you because even though they are often few in number, these are the people that will bring sunlight into your life and the people that you should surround yourself with. (Thank goodness I have a shining star in my life.) They will learn that judging others is harmful and hateful and your energies are better spent supporting and loving those that are hurting. They will learn that life cannot be lived behind a wall of comfort and closed mindedness.

They will learn these things because over the last year and a half, I have learned these things. I have learned, changed, and grown in an incredible way, much like a caterpillar goes through metamorphosis. I know that I can instill these positive changes in my boys and that together we can spread our wings and take flight. The flight may be long and difficult but those moments of sunshine and rainbows make escaping the cocoon more than worth the struggle.

And here it is… as part of my growth, I’m closing down this blog. As I’ve grown I’ve realized that I want to focus my efforts on family and my passions.

I will continue to write and will be transferring some of these posts to my photoblog JacqieQ (a work in progress). There are very important pieces of me in this blog, and I don’t want to lose them.

Thank you with all of my heart for joining me on this part of my path. Your support has meant the world to me, and every one of you have been the ears I needed when I went unheard. With gratitude, love, and excitement I begin the next part of my life path.

Much love

Monday, March 12, 2012

TerraCycle: Outsmart Waste

Ever wonder what happens to waste that can't be recycled? Think it just sits in a landfill? Think again. TerraCycle is making an effort to reduce the amount of waste lying around by recycling items that are typically non-recyclable or difficult to recycle. TerraCycle has diverted billions of units of waste and used them to create over 1,500 different products available at major retailers, like Whole Foods Market.

They carry a diverse stock of green items ranging from the very cool circuit board coasters and clipboards to tumblers to clocks.

TerraCycle also makes household cleaners, like the All-Purpose Cleaner. TerraCycle cleaners are non-toxic, bio-degradable and packaged in a waste stream bottle! They are safe for use on all surfaces and even effective on glass and mirrors.

TerraCycle's cleaners are derived from organic essential oils and natural plant and mineral extracts. The All-Purpose Cleaner is certified non-toxic, biodegradable and hypo-allergenic making it safer for you, your pets, and the planet. Both the bottle and the spray cap are rescued from industrial waste streams and used for packaging on this and other products created by TerraCycle. The All-Purpose Cleaner even comes with the Eco-Logo, the strictest certification given by the Canadian Government.

I tested the All-Purpose Cleaner and can attest to its ability to clean dirt, grease, fingerprints and more. I even buffed mirrors with a bit of the All-Purpose Cleaner and was left with clean, shiny glass. It has a lemony odor, leaving your room smelling fresh.

Check out the Brigades Program that collects and recycles waste from various products.

I was not compensated for this review other than being sent a product sample.

Friday, March 9, 2012


I had an amazing day yesterday with some fabulous ladies from NASA. YES! NASA! The event and stories shared are inspiring and relevant to women today.

The largest message is that we need to expose girls to more STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) activities, both inside and outside the classroom. We need to push past feeling great about mere progress for women in the work place and strive for equal numbers of women and men in STEM careers.

The issue here is not the gender difference. The issue here is that we need to tap into a diverse array of minds, no matter the gender or color of a person. Without those people who think differently would we have band aids or light bulbs or even the airplane?

So challenge your daughters, nieces and the little girls in your life to love science and math. Equip them with the tools they need to be innovative.

Monday, February 20, 2012

IHF: Hugs & Kisses!

My motivation...

Check out other Hugs & Kisses entries at I HEART FACES.
Photo Challenge Submission

Thursday, February 16, 2012

I left

If you've been following, you know this. You know five months ago I moved out. I've never really explained why. I've tried to talk with a couple people about this, but almost none of them truly understand. I've been flat out told, "I don't support you because I don't understand". I've swallowed that. I'm working on living with that. I know there are people out there with assumptions, none of them correct, on why I left.

As I fought to save myself and stay in my marriage I became more fearful. I was afraid. I was afraid of becoming my mom, never content, always afraid of being abandoned and somewhat lost in the world. I was afraid of being lost in a deep black hole. I was afraid of being nothing forever. I was afraid living but not living. I was afraid of never truly being loved by anyone but mostly by myself. I didn't like the nothingness that I was becoming.

I have big personality. I have big dreams. I have a huge heart. I have a huge smile. All of that was hidden, muffled by the life that had me trapped in chains. The life where I simply cared for everyone else and sat in the shadows alone. I was afraid of that life and that person. I wanted to be myself. I wanted to let me out. I wanted to be the person that it's inside of me, the parent that's inside of me and the woman that's inside of me. And, if this makes no sense to you then I think I've proven my point.

I couldn't be Jacqie where I was. I was lost because all responsibility was placed on me. I was alone because no one wanted to help. My cries felt silent. I thought I might have been suffering from postpartum depression, but that plea also went unheard. I was neglected, uncared for, and completely unloved.

I don't think I'll receive understanding and compassion from most people currently in my life. I've realized I needed to break away from that. I needed to fly on my own and figure out this life where I could be happy. That's why I left.

And, I'm not afraid anymore.

But, there's always the big question: Why didn't you stay for the kids? My boys are the most important thing in my life. But you have to consider the kind of life they would have had with a mother who was lost in the dark. I grew up with that. I didn't want that for them. They deserve to have parents that are fantastic role models. What kind of home would it be with a mother who was pretending, smiling through a broken heart? They would know. They would learn resentment and disappointment within their family and would not have the model of a loving, happy relationship that they so deserve to grow up with. They will know resentment. They will know disappointment. But, they will also know that they have support and a safe place to share their feelings, to talk, and to just be accepted for who they are.

I was not myself. That was normal. They would have learned that's it's normal to hide parts of yourself that you didn't want broken, that you were afraid of sharing and being. The person that I am now... the mother that I am now can nurture their little personalities and teach them that they are beautiful and loved and amazing as they are. That the important things in life are to love and to be respectful. They'll know it's okay to fail. It's okay to love. It's okay to be silly. It's okay to be smart. It's okay to dream big. It's okay to cry. It's okay to hurt. It's okay to be happy. It's okay to stand up for yourself. They'll know it's okay to just be.

And so it is. I'm at a point in my life ready to cross to the other side, ready to take this life for myself and for my children.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Oh geez...

It's been almost a month since last posting?! Eek. Well, I have been battling a Kracken from the Sea, flying through the skies with Super Puppy (Yes! He exists... in my three year old's mind), playing mad scientist by day and Playboy photographer by night... well that was during the day so scratch the last part. Most nights I'm ever up super late or asleep in bed with two little guys. (Ew! Not like that.)

I have some personal posts coming up and will be including more of a variety of posts, maybe some photography, in the coming weeks and months. Life's changing and growing brighter. Check back... SOON! I've got one boiling over, ready to be posted.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

IHF: Best Face 2011

This week on I Heart Faces is the Best Face Photo from 2011. I can't believe how much the three of us have grown throughout this year. Bug will be 2 in two months and my heart smiles every time I hear his little giggle. His current favorites are strawberries, playing pirate (complete with a "GAR HAR HAR"), and imitating big brother.

Check out other entries:

I Heart Faces Photo Challenge & Photography Tutorials