ATX{e}ness Part 1

What a crazy week. Jeez. I decided to go to Austin on Sunday and see some friends and interview for a job {freelance writing} and some crazy stuff happened. Like… Got back together with an ex, which, is usually a bad decision, and it was. I told him this clearly wasn’t going to work and I was going to drop him off at his friends, after I checked into my hotel. Which was Hotel 11 on east 11th. I love the east side and east Austin, and this quaint little hotel, with only 11 rooms is precious and in a great location.

So, I go to check in, and the now ex follows me inside. The sweet girl at the desk, Taylor, was asking me how many key’s I needed and I said, just one. It’s just me staying here, and don’t you DARE give a key to this guy, he is NOT with me and certainly NOT allowed up to my room.

This pissed my ex off, so he grabs my keys and goes and jumps in my car and leaves. I am speechless, but when I regain my composure I looked at Taylor and said, Um… did that actually just happen? That’s MY car. She looked at me and out the door, and stammered, “Oh my gosh, are you okay?”

I assured her I was fine, that I at least had my purse with me, and I was going to deal with that later. I shook my head, finished checking in, and went upstairs and took a nap. I figured when I woke up my car would be back.

When I woke up, the car was still missing and I was pissed.

But, I wasn’t about to let that ruin my night, so I  got a cab and went to Cboy’s to hear Charlie  Jones, who happens to be my birthday twin, and his band play. It was fun. They are great. I chated with my friends after they played and cabbed it home. Still no car. Hmmm… I call the ex.

I ask him to please return my car. He refuses. I say, “Um, do you think you can just take my car and not bring it back? I need my car, I like, use it for things.” He told me he would NOT return my car and I told him I would be calling the police, which I did, like, 30 times.

Finally the police show up at my hotel and I get the ex on the phone. Ex is still saying how I won’t call the police and I say, “That’s funny, here, why don’t you talk to them,” and handed the phone to one of the officers. The officer explained to my ex that he needed to bring the car back immediately.

Finally. For JC and all things that are holy, we were getting somewhere.

He dropped the car off 6 blocks away, threw the keys in it, and the police took me there and I got to retrieve it.

Tell me that is not fucked up. That is fucked up.

I’ll tell you about the rest of my week in Austin later. I’m late for twerking and must go for now.

Stay safe out there y’all!

Depression, Vertigo, and Social Awkwardness

As someone who finds it quite difficult to keep up a blog when they feel like they are on fire and are constantly on Stop. Drop. and Roll status… I have not been blogging through my latest and greatest breakdown {I mean, obvi.}. I remember my favorite religion professor once said, I forget who he was quoting… “The mind is like a drunken monkey, in a cage, with his tail on fire.” Dr. Fort, I am going to have to agree with whoever first said that, and you, of course.

Since not having a job, losing friends, a fiancé, flying all over the country and fighting with my parents, I thought, hmmm… Maybe it is me. NO. Certainly that cannot be right. Oh, but it was. It was {said in my best Dateline voice}. I have spent a fair amount of the fall and winter apologizing to all of the above, and people who didn’t quite deserve it, like when I kept apologizing to the lady behind me at the grocery store for having so many groceries. I really don’t feel so bad about that, but I digress.

At the beginning of February I got really sick, and more depressed. Not having a job is no bueno for me. I need and crave structure and this was not cutting it. I started getting blurry vision. My stomach hurt all the time, and then came the wretched vomiting. I know, TMI, but that week sucked. Then it started sucking worse the following week. In addition to my weak stomach, and now dry heaving, every time I rolled over on my left hand side the room would start spinning like I’d had two pitchers of Joe T’s margaritas on my own, but oddly, I hadn’t. I had had a glass of wine, but being able to handle much more, this was freaking me out. The next night there was no drinking, but I took a Xanax. Same as the night before, except now it was happening no matter which direction I rolled.

Then I thought, Holy Crap! Maybe this is 40. Shit, I really am totally falling apart. I see double and now I have vertigo at night. Maybe it’s a brain tumor, as that would explain my episodes this fall… but I decided maybe I needed to take two Xanax and not drink. Vertigo all night.

I woke up the next morning and thought, okay, no drinking, no Xanax… Just make the room stop spinning. That night I took nothing and the Vertigo became much worse. The following morning I woke up, and  after I ran into the wall and fell over I started screaming for my boyfriend. He hopped up and whisked me off the nearest ER facility.

Turns out, there was no brain tumor. Just a double inner ear infection, some nasty looking nasal and sinus cavities. Then the doctor explained that was what was causing the vomiting and the added anxiety I was definitely having.

I went home, took my meds, prayed for the spinning to stop as it was now happening as I was sitting up and walking as well. About 8 hours later I am feeling a lot better. Not 100 percent, but not 24 percent either, so things are looking way better. I could actually watch TV and focus!!! So I rented the movie “The Edge of Seventeen,” which I had remembered wanting to see in the theater, so I flipped it on. And then it happened… I started laughing. The writing and character development is so on point, it really is the greatest coming of age film since Juno, and before that, all John Hughes films. And I really started relating to the main character. Who is seventeen.

She is socially awkward. I, am hugely socially awkward. Many people would probably not believe this, and I have come a long way since middle school, but I’m still socially awkward. I live in Texas and glow in the dark because I’m so white. I have red hair and freckles. Apparently, these were not good characteristics back in lower and middle school.

In the sixth grade, “The Dooney and Burke” incident occurred cinching and putting on full blast that I was friendless, as was the girl in the movie. It was my birthday week and I got to go skiing and take a friend. Mind you, I only got to take a friend because I am an only child, and this made life much better for my parents on vacay. I had ask for the same red drawstring Dooney and Burke that one of my friends had gotten for her birthday a couple of months earlier. I remember getting the purse and taking it to school the week before skiing.

When I came home I had no friends. Like, zero. A girl, that I had been friends with, was apparently jealous that I didn’t invite her skiing, so she took the week I was gone to convince everyone I was a spoiled bitch, and that everyone should never speak to me again. And it worked. She was a cheerleader and very well liked. For a year and a half. It was brutal. I’ll never forget that year and a half, and still refer to it as “life changing” because after that, I lost myself.

I was so scared of pissing off an entire grade of girls that I definitely became that girl that was all, you like blueberry and chocolate ice cream mixed together with gummy bears? How weird, cause that is… ONLY LIKE MY FAVORITE!  I was now devoid of any opinion. I just didn’t want an entire grade of girls to turn on me again. I avoided school dances and people in general for that year and a half, until one day… I met another socially awkward girl!!! We would beg our parents to let us stay home from dances, birthday parties, and any social function in order to watch “Can’t Buy Me Love” and “Golden Girls” where I felt a nice mix of Rose {Betty White} and Bea Arthurs character, what was her name? I probably don’t remember as I definitely identified more with Rose.

I mean, when my friend and I finally got up the balls to go to the Halloween costume dance in eight grade, we were not dressed as cheerleaders, or anything involving short skirts and attention. We… went as the Golden Girls, and I’m fairly confident I spent half the evening talking to the janitor about how cool it was to be eating strawberry ice cream, because, I really liked strawberry ice cream, but because of all the calories I had to switch to cottage cheese with strawberries, which wasn’t the same, but wasn’t all bad either.

Yep. I was the epitome of cool. The janitor avoided me from that day on.

Somehow I survived high school, had acquired a lot more of my old friends, and some of them taught me how to drink and smoke cigarettes, and even not turn and walk away when a boy said hi, which helped greatly with my anxiety and awkwardness. High school was much better, college, even more so.

So… I’m feeling like I might be back. Back to blogging. I’m not on fire anymore but still dealing with a lot of wounds that I caused. That is to be expected. Apparently you can’t act like a seventeen year old at age 40. It’s just not working for me anymore. I realized what a complete and total ass I have been, and I’ve been making changes and working with a therapist, and low and behold… It’s actually been helping. A work in progress if you will.

Gotta love an excellent therapist. And the forgivness of those you have wronged.

Hurricane Season

Yes, I am listening to Bob Dylan right now. Yes, it is The Hurricane. I find it quite appropriate right now. Tis the season of my life. I am reminded of my first blog post, which you can read here. I knew then that life was going to take many twist and turns, but I definitely could not in a million years have been prepared for what was about to take place.

I was prepared to sit down and write so much, but it’s just not coming out. It’s hard for me to write about. It’s still to fresh for me. I’m still trying to process, trying to make sense of everything… Just trying to breath. Focus on the present, my adorable children. And the gym that is about to open. Yes. The Gym.

I am taking part in a gym where my focus is yoga, kids activities, POUND and twerking classes. Talk about different and not my comfort zone. Much more on that to come. It is set to open in December.

As I find my bearings and re-group, I thank you for having patience with me. Goodness gracious! There are many good things to come. I just want to remind people that no matter what you are going through, even if it seems unbareable, just remember, it’s just a season. It will pass. It will teach you things about yourself. What to change, what to let go, and what to hold onto.

I am grateful for many things as I move through this seasons of my life. Good things are on the horizon.

Drama for your Mama.

Or whoever. It’s been non stop drama the past few weeks, and I don’t even like drama. So… Drama… be gone! I’m extremely behind on posting, so please bare with me. The good stories are coming soon.

Let me recap the past two weeks… Quit job to pursue my passion which involves writing and opening a studio in a gym. Yes, my own little place for yoga and Twerking and POUND classes and even kids classes. It’s going to be so wonderful, and I am so excited for the opportunity that Shawna Gibson offered me. I’m taking it and running with it. The new Brick Gym will be opening soon, and I cannot wait to see you there!

After quitting my job I decided to spend as much time as possible with one of my best friends who live{ed} in Austin until last week. I was coming home from visiting and was in a wreck. It was a pretty bad wreck and my {then} fiance said he was on his way to get me. Three hours later I called to find out he had changed his mind, but forgot to mention that to me. We broke up right then and there.

That weekend was Utopiafest and I just knew Jamie and I were going to have a great time with all the members of “The Family” that were going. And it was a great weekend, with a major setback. I was slipped drugs. Yes, that means someone gave me drugs I did NOT want to take. However, the festival took care of me better than I could have ever imagined. The head of the festival Aaron Brown, and the entire security team were beyond incredible. I am so grateful for all that they did.

The night of the wreck I met a boy. He ask for my number and I said I was engaged and he could friend me on Facebook, which he did. We started talking and really hit it off. He is an amazing guy and it’s fun looking forward to my phone going off and lighting up when I see it’s him. He’s definitely a bright spot in the midst of all the crazy.

Can’t wait to share more of all these stories with you, it’s just going to take awhile to get it all typed out. Thanks for reading and liking and sharing. Y’all go out there and have a kick ass day.

Blue Sparrow Updates

Whew! It’s hard to believe I posted my first post on April 1st of this year. What a crazy ride it’s already been! I was so honored to be asked by FW Weekly to write a blog for them after Eric Griffey had seen just two of my post. He probably deeply regrets that decision now! To see my latest blog post with the FW Weekly, click here. And thank you so much Eric for putting up with me!

I had a gorgeous logo designed by Marcie Finney Designs, who is also the owner of Mustard Seed Jewelry, which I am also happy to offer on my blog.

And having said that… Josh over at Made In Fort Worth is working diligently at giving The Blue Sparrow Blog a make over, and very soon it will be very easy to purchase Mustard Seed Jewelry from this site!

And finally… the last member of the team came on today. Kristen Ballard with FWemedia. I am so looking forward to working with her. Please, please PLEASE do me a solid and sign up to receive my blog via email. Simply get on your computer {it won’t work from your phone} and sign up to follow my blog via email. This not only helps me, but it will help you be pre-registered for giveaways, and who doesn’t love FREE, yes I said FREE stuff. You still have time to sign up for tomorrow’s giveaway.

#doitnow #pleaseandthankyou

 

Win it Wednesday’s: Mary & Martha

I have some of the most generous friend’s I know. Yes, all of the sudden I’m Oprah. But unlike Oprah I’m not going to pretend I’M the one giving all this stuff away. It is through the great generosity of those around me that I am able to offer these great things to you!

My amazing friend Caroline was introduced to me by Thavone. She is French and German and I love her. I love her kindness. Her willingness to do anything for anyone in need. She speaks three languages {that I know of} and her accent is truly adorable. Anyone in need of hiring a gifted translator? She’s your girl. She has about 23 businesses, so I totally relate to her on that level as well.

One of those 23 is repping a line called Mary & Martha. I had never heard of it until Caroline ask if she might drop a few things off and give me something and give the readers of my blog something.

I’m not going to lie, she had me at “you get to keep the pitcher that is a lovely vase.” I love any and all things free. A cheeseburger? HELL YES. A gorgeous pitcher and vase, DUH. OF COURSE. So… if you want to give me something or give me something to give away, the answer is yes.

Caroline also has two precious children and I am always thrilled to see them, and so are my boys. She came over with the kids, and that was truly a gift of its own. Luke thinks her son Darius hung the moon. That kid is amazing. Smart. Talented. Sweet.

Caroline came over with a ton of stuff for me to look at {cause let’s face it, it’s more fun to actually be able to put your hands on things instead of looking at a catalog, and considering I can make walking through an airport a shopping experience, this was fabulous}.

One of the things she brought over to show me was the Ampersand Tray, $138. It’s a hostess favorite and she went on to tell me more things about it, but I quickly said, “I’ll take it!” And threw it on my coffee table.


Caroline, I’ll write you a check when you pick up the rest of your amazing things, although I think I want to purchase it all, so just come over to visit and pick up a check 🙂

This beautiful piece can be used on your coffee table, as a tray, it even has hooks so you can hang it on your wall. It’s sturdy and durable {a must with two boys and now a puppy… more on that later…} and it’s versatile and beautiful.

Mary and Martha is all about entertaining with beautiful things and the company is christian and faith-based. Here is a basket {that I must also have} of goodies they offer.

I mean seriously… How fun is that?! I LOVE these nesting baskets! Here is the description from the catalogue…

“Available in Small, Medium, and Large, our Nested Baskets adapt to any need. Line the small one with our tea towels to serve muffins or dinners rolls, or use it to corral remotes and coasters on your coffee table. Use the medium one for keeping magazines handy, or try it for countertop organization – we like it for displaying a pile of pretty cloth napkins or sorting mail. The large one keeps newspapers in an orderly stack, makes a great catch-all for your throw blankets, or stacks rolled towels neatly in your bathroom. The possibilities are endless!”

Indeed they are. I feel like I need more than one of each size… The Small is $36, and is approximately 11″ square and 3.5 hight. The Medium is $46, Approximately 14″ square and 5″ high, and the Large is 15.5″ square and 5.5″ high.

Other items in this basket are the “Gather Together with GRATEFUL hearts” cake topper, $18. Oh my goodness is this adorable… I should have taken a better picture… You’ll have to trust me, or maybe I’ll find a link. I found it!!! Okay, simply click here to shop all products. http://www.mymaryandmartha.com/repurpose

The cute green diamond food containers… Oh my goodness they have tons of adorable food containers for all of your baked goods. Such a perfect touch for sending out baked treats this holiday season. You can mix and match from lots of adorable sizes, prints and patterns. Choose two sets for $20, three for $22, or four for $24. There is a space for you to write your own personal message on top. Adorbs.

And that gorgeous Queen Anne’s Lace Pitcher, $36. That… can be yours. Caroline has generously offered to give one away to one lucky follower! This is a gorgeous pitcher that serves as a vase as well. Here is mine with a simple Central Market bouquet.


I thought given what my last post was about… This would be the perfect giveaway this week. So… what do you have to do to win this Queen Anne’s Lace Pitcher? 

You simply have to comment down below and tell me what brings you grace, or what are you grateful for? I am grateful for my family, and I am glad that God shows me grace everyday. 

Thank you for reading.

xoxoxo

Samantha “Sweet Sammie J” Volmert

On February 29th I woke up, stretched, turned my alarm off, and started mindlessly scrolling Facebook. I came across several “I’m so sorry, what a terrible tragedy” type post in my newsfeed about a friend  from high school. Of course I naturally went straight to her page trying to figure out what in the world had gone so terribly wrong.

I remember frantically scrolling down and then gasping out loud. Tears sprung out and ran down my cheeks and face.

I hadn’t spoken to Keri in years, but we definitely keep up on Facebook. We’d see something on each other’s page and comment, rarely sending the other a private message…

Keri was in my home room in high school. I was always amazed by her perfect clothes and make up. Especially since I am almost 40 and still cannot do eyeliner well.

Keri was the ultimate girly girl in high school. On Facebook I would comment that “some things never change.” I am so jealous of how great her hair and make up look every day, the  girl is on fleek. She also loves football and hunting, and she’s pretty much just amazing and awesome.

However, no matter how pretty you are, how much money you have, or who you know, tragedy strikes us all. It’s part of the human experience. And tragedy struck her on February 29th. Her are her own words…

“On February 28, 2016, I changed my precious baby into her tiny nightgown, wiped her snotty little nose, walked through the living room with her in my arms as she proudly said “night night” to her Daddy and big brother. I carried her up the stairs and placed her down in her beautiful crib that was made for a princess. She cried a little bit, and I walked out of the room knowing she would be asleep within two minutes as she always was. I never would have imagined that would be the last time I would see her alive. The desperation and screeching panic in my husband’s voice the next morning as he went to retrieve her from upstairs is something I will never forget. I was in the kitchen making coffee and as soon as he screamed “Keri” I knew something was terribly wrong. I froze and he yelled my name again as he ran down the upstairs hallway. “I think Sammie is dead.” I met him as he rushed down the stairs carrying our precious angel who just hours before had been so feisty and full of life. Attempts to resuscitate her did not work and she was pronounced dead fifty minutes later at the emergency room. Even though our upstairs thermostat was set on 72 degrees cool, the heater was blasting upstairs and it felt like a sauna. The temperature registered 99 degrees on our thermostat which was as high as it could go (meaning it was over 100 degrees.) Sammie died of hyperthermia. Doctors believe she never woke up or made a sound since children (until age 3 to 5) cannot regulate their own body temperature as older children and adults are able to do. Throughout our shock and disbelief, we have researched and found cases similar to ours. Upon preparing to become a mother, I read multiple books and stories on possible dangers that could harm babies and toddlers. I knew blankets, stuffed animals, pillows, etc. could be dangerous to babies before they were a year old. Both of mine slept in sleep sacks with an angel care breathing monitor until they were one. I was such a worrier and they both stayed in bassinets in our room until they were six months old. I wish I had once read about this. There is a cheap temperature monitor I could have had-would have had If I had heard of even one instance where a child could die by a heater not turning off like it is supposed to. Our son, Jackson, is three years old and had been sleeping in our bedroom downstairs for a year because he claimed monsters were in his room! Doctors said he would have likely died if he had been in his room. We want others(especially those with two-story homes) to hear Sammie’s story so that children can be protected and other families spared from the horrific grief we are forced to endure each day.”

Today they will celebrate Sammie’s second birthday as an angel in heaven. I cannot even imagine what Keri, Larry, and Jackson will have to endure today. I hope God holds them close in the palm of his hand as they release balloons with messages on them to their sweet baby angel in heaven.

I never met Sammie, but I feel like through Facebook that I got to “know” her. I “liked” every picture that I came across of her. She was always smiling, a lot of times with a halo of flowers on her beautiful crown of hair, and she was always eating something that I wished I had in front of me.

Keri, Larry, Jackson, and your family and friends, I am praying for you all. And I encourage anyone who reads this post to do the same.

In honor and loving memory of Samantha “Sweet Sammie J” Joyce Volmert.

My dad and his Fitbit

One day I will learn how to import my blog from FW Weekly and be able to link it how I want too. Until then… I can either copy and paste, or you can click here to read all about it.

Thanks for reading, and don’t forgot to sign up to Follow my blog via email for the latest and greatest up to date post and information about Giveaways and such.

xoxxoo

 

Win It Wednesday’s – R+F Eyecream

Are you aging? Do people tell you look “tired” every time you run into them at the grocery store and you don’t have make-up on? Are you a human? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you should be interested in this giveaway.

This week’s giveaway is Rodan + Fields multifunction eye cream. You can read more about the eyecream by clicking here. Or any of the products that the doctors that created ProActive have made for anti-aging here. The skin care is #1 in the world. That is above Estee Lauder, Clinic, Chanel, or any brand out there. Folks, this product is only available in the United States, Canada, and is just now available in Australia. And it’s number 1 in the entire world.

So, to get your hands on this amazing eyecream that retails for $62, and is better than any $300 cream out there. All you have to do to win this product is sign up to follow my blog via email, and in the comments below tell me why you need some cream! 

The winner will be drawn on Wednesday at 8 pm {cst}

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