Hello everyone!!! I know, I know it’s been quite a while since I’ve sat down and written anything here on my blog. So much has happened and I am not sure where to start but here I go.
Several months ago, I found myself once again debating whether I wanted to continue blogging and I thought about it for quite some time. I decided to switch web hosting companies in an effort to save some money as I wasn’t blogging often. I was under the impression that I backed up my blog correctly so that I could easily upload it again but I was so wrong. After I made the change, I learned that was not the case and I lost everything. I lost all of my blog posts and believe me when I say that it wasn’t without several tears shed.
It took me about a couple of weeks to get over it and I realized that it was useless to dwell on it so I decided to look at it as a fresh start so here we are. I believe that in my last blog which was last summer, I stated that my life had definitely been hectic in so many ways. I am going to try to sum up as much as possible without getting too emotional but I can’t promise anything. If you know me personally, then you might want to grab a tissue or two because you already know….
Let’s start with the best part of 2019
My son Manuel graduated from high school last summer and he is currently in his second semester of college. It has been a huge adjustment for him and for us but he’s doing okay. He might be changing his major but for now, he’s taking things one day at a time. Last year was super hard for me as a mom as it was a lot to take in. My son graduated high school, started college and turned 18 all in a matter of four months. Can you say that time is going by way too fast, WHOA! LOL
I learned that crafting is my therapy
Another great thing that happened last year is that I started my own business. As a crafty person for as long as I can remember, I had my eye on the Silhouette Cameo machine for almost two years. It’s a machine that allows you to create so many different things from decals, stickers, banners, etc. In March of last year, I finally decided to go for it and I purchased the machine on Amazon. It came with everything I needed to get started and I absolutely love it. I have learned so much in less than a year and have created so many cool things for myself and for family as gifts.
I love just sitting at my desk creating things with my headphones on listening to music or catching up on my shows on my Ipad. I could literally sit there for hours and enjoy every second of it. I always post pictures of my creations on Instagram so make sure to follow me there too!
Last summer, I took the plunge and opened my own online shop. I wasn’t planning on it initially but I learned so much and became really good at it so I figured Why Not? I create decals for cups, tote bags, custom t-shirt orders and more. I definitely have learned a lot in the last year about becoming an entrepreneur and running a business. I am still learning something new every single day and that is to be expected.
I follow a bunch of women on Instagram who have been doing this a lot longer than I have and they are always sharing new ways to create different design methods. I save their posts and when I have time, I will sit at my desk and try them out one by one. The only way to improve your skills is to practice something new that you haven’t tried before.
In November, I participated in my first vendor show. The location of my table was perfect, my table set up came out better than I could have imagined, the crowd was great but unfortunately I didn’t do as well as I had hoped. I believe it just wasn’t the right audience for my products. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t bummed out as I spent months preparing my table set up and invested a lot financially to create products. Just like anything else, I look at it as a learning opportunity and it encourages me to keep going.
Before all this happened, came the heartbreak..
I promise this won’t take long because it’s super emotional and my eyes are already tearing up. In the summer/fall of 2018, my stepdad was diagnosed with adrenal cancer. If you’ve never heard of this type of cancer, let me just tell you that neither did I or my family until that moment. He visited different hospitals to seek treatment programs but eventually due to the progression of his cancer, the only option available was a very toxic form of chemotherapy.
Unfortunately the treatment plan did not help him at all. He became so weak and the cancer had spread to other parts of his body. My son and I went to Florida in November to see him and it was absolutely heartbreaking to see what he was going through and to hear what was happening to his body. It was at that time, that we had to accept the fact that one day we would lose him. From the day we arrived which was the worst day until the day we left, it was a huge difference. Before we left, we went to see him again and it was nice because it was just us in the room with him. He was listening to music, talking on the phone, responding to text messages, talking about black Friday shopping and then….he told me not to give up on my blog.
As an adult who has already experienced the loss of my dad and my grandfather, I wanted to hang onto hope but I also knew what was to come. I tried not to think about as I also had to be strong for my son as he and my stepdad were extremely close. He came into my life when I was 15 years old and I couldn’t have asked for a better stepdad and grandfather to Manny because he truly was the best! We always imagined him together with us watching Manny’s high school graduation and be there to blow out the candles when he turned 18 and started college. Sadly, we had to face the fact that he might miss these milestones and this became our new reality.
He tried to go to a rehabilitation facility to help him regain his strength so he can walk by himself again but he just couldn’t. The doctors discharged him home for hospice care. On his first night home, Manny and I Face Timed with him for just a few minutes. Even though he was in pain, we got to see him smile for a minute at which point we said our good night and our we love you’s not knowing that would be the last time. He spent the days that followed in immense pain and just not himself. We didn’t get the chance to talk to him again and a few days later, on a Monday afternoon he passed away just a week before Christmas.
My son and I jumped on a plane again that evening and as you can imagine the days and nights that followed were just unbearable. I don’t want to get into any more detail because well it’s super hard to talk about and many of you who may be reading this right now were there. The months that followed were incredibly hard especially leading up to Manny’s graduation. My son decorated his cap with the words “This one’s for you Pop” because he will always be with us in our minds and in our hearts. I shared a picture of it a few paragraphs above.
A year later, it’s not any easier to talk about as so many thoughts fill my head. I have moments of anger on top of moments of sadness and now forced to accept that my new norm at 43 years old, is that I have lost three dads (if you’re new to my blog, my grandfather was basically my second dad my whole life). I’ve always kept it real here on my blog so I would be lying when I say that this new norm without him stinks. I know that all of the things we go through are in fact a part of life but I still can’t help but say it’s just not fair. One day I might do a blog post all about him but until then, I am going to do what he told me to do…. continue my blog!
We wake up everyday and do our best to live our lives the best we can because I believe that is exactly what he would want us to do. I think about him everyday and I carry his picture in my wallet, on my phone and on my apple watch. It took me a long time to gather my thoughts, to sit down and try to start writing again but I did it. The title of this post is perfect! Some would call it a comeback…I call it a Fresh Start!
So now that this emotional and overdue post has been written, I can continue to write about all of the things that interest me (and hopefully you) including all things crafting. I will be sharing all of the fun things I create and post in my shop. If you get the chance, don’t forget to check it out and see what has been keeping me so busy in a good way!
Oh and if you’ve stuck around all these years following my blogging journey and you’re reading this today, THANK YOU!
So until next time….