Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Vote Gage!

At the beginning of the school year my 11 year old, Gage, ran for student council at MPMS. We had to create posters to hang around the school and this is what we came out with...

I am so proud of my little man! Even though he didn't make it on to student council he hasn't given up. I know he will go on to be someone great if he continues to work hard and to never give up. You make your mama so proud Gage Man! I love you!


Thursday, September 6, 2012

Learning to "Capture" Myself

Going through some of my albums on my laptop I came across some pictures that I really want included in my blog. I intend to have this year published into a book and would not want these pictures to be left out.

Back in January my Uncle Harold came down to Georgia to visit and brought along Aunt Monica, too! It was a real treat to have them come down and any time that any of my family come down to Georgia I try to make at least one dinner and have everyone over to eat. My Uncles always enjoy my food, which I am thrilled to cook for them, and it is also a time for my children to have them here with us. I always jump at the chance to create memories for my children!

My Uncle Harold had a special role in my life as a child so my heart warms every time I get the opportunity to visit with him. I LOVE MY UNCLE HAROLD! This man taught me how to ride a two wheeled bicycle and a 4-wheeler! I spent weekends at his house as a child hanging out with his 2 sons, Aaron and Adam. I spent Halloweens at his house riding through his haunted hayrides. He always allowed me to decide what we would eat when I spent the weekends at his house, which always turned out to be homemade pizzas! I could go on and on...I would probably have to say that most, if not all, of my happy childhood memories my Uncle Harold had a hand in creating. I can't say enough about the kindness and love my uncle has shown to me throughout my life.

He has visited us down here in Georgia several times but this visit was different. The past couple years my uncle has experienced a lot of health issues. He is currently battling throat cancer. He had finished treatments and was between doctor appointments so decided to come down south to get out of the extreme winter upstate New York has to offer. He loves the warmer winter weather the south has to offer and this was his chance to come enjoy some of it. Usually he would load up his pickup truck and trailer containing his Harley Davidson motorcycle and make the long drive down here. This time he took a plane down since he has had to give up riding his bike because his body just can't handle riding it any more. That was a sad thing to hear because as long as I can remember, my uncle's choice of transportation has always been his Harley.

This year I have really been trying to push myself out from behind the camera to in front of the camera. So many of our family memories that have been captured do not include me in them at all. When it is my time to leave this world behind I want my children to have pictures of me to remember the times when I was healthy and loving life! I have lost so many people in my life and have no pictures of myself with them and would do anything to have a picture to look at. So, this time my uncle was here and I was going to get in front of the camera with my favorite uncle who means so much to me. Life is so short and one day he will no longer be here to come visit and I will have that small memento of the two of us together. I pray that God touches and heals his body from the top of his head to the tips of his toes. I want him to stay here on this earth as long as God will allow. I hope my uncle knows how much I love him and how much sweeter he made my life by being in it. I love you, Uncle Harold! :)

 Just me and my Uncle Harold <3

Uncle Harold & Aunt Monica

Gage wins SEAL FOR A DAY

June 22, 2012 Gage participated in a local Boys & Girls Club event called SEAL For A Day. He competed with boys his age in different categories to see if he has what it takes to be a Navy SEAL. Gage took over the competition and cleaned house! We were so proud of him and he was so proud of himself, too :) Love things like this that build self confidence in kids. My baby boy had a blast!
Here is Gage in one of the hats that he won in the competition. 
This one is his favorite :) 

Here he is with more of his winnings of the day, an 
autographed book and (green) hat by Howard Wasdin.

 Best Overall Male for the day.

 Best Male for ages 11-12.

 Best SEAL Team.

 He is proud to be an American <3

Love that smile! My baby boy, Gage. I am so proud of the young man he is becoming.
I hope he always knows that no matter what he does, Mama is his #1 Fan! Love you my boy <3

I am Christian Marchelewski Jr., and I just got Punked!

After picking up Christian from school and on my way to dropping off Nate & Gage to SEAL For A Day, I happened to notice Christian had blue armpits. This meaning that he was wearing a newly purchased, white t-shirt from Old Navy and now the armpit area was blue. I know that his deodorant is a blue gel so thought for a moment that it had somehow gotten on his shirt. This was a little strange to me because this is the same deodorant he has been using for quite some time and it has never done this before.
As I asked Christian what happened to his shirt, his youngest brother Gage was behind him and could barely contain his laughter. After asking what happened to the shirt he begins laughing harder while trying to tell me that while Christian was asleep last night he and Nate had put blue food coloring on Christian's deodorant bar!!
 For once in his life, Christian was speechless! It was soooo funny! Christian is the prankster of the house and he had just been punked by his 2 little brothers! To top it off Christian's friend JaMarcus was able to witness our discovery, too! I tried to take a picture of him in the shirt but he wasn't letting me do that since I would be sure to post it on FaceBook! Since I am the Mama and do all the laundry I took a picture of the shirt before I washed all washed out and no harm was done to Christian's shirt :)
All is well that ends well.Oh how I love raising sons <3

This was a plus of being the launder of the house :)

Funny Memories

 Ain't it funny how you can read something and immediately be brought back to a moment in your own life!?

A friend shared this ecard on FaceBook today and I couldn't help but laugh and think of my next new blog post! This brought back a funny memory of each of my two older son's...

The first one I thought of was Christian, when I was expecting Nathaniel I was ALWAYS exhausted by mid-day. I have never been a mom on a tight schedule for anything, naps, eating, etc. When we are tired we sleep, when we are hungry we eat! That is just how it is in our neck of the woods! I know I just had about 10 friends FAINT! lol

Well, back to my story. I was probably about 6-7 months pregnant with NateMan and sleepiness kinda just crept up on me while Jr. was watching Barney. What better time to catch a cat-nap, right? It seemed like I had only just shut my eyes when I feel a sweet, soft voice right outside my eyelids calling, "Mama." I open my eyes and Christian is so close to my face that I had to pull my head back to focus on his face and what I was looking at? There staring me right in the eyes is my little toe-head boy with big, blue eyes! He has egg white dripping down from the tip of his perfect little nose!! As I scan the rest of his face I notice some more of the slimy substance on top of his head. He said, "Mama, I was making some eggs for you. I quacked them me self." He had egg white and egg yolk all over his head!
I wanted to get mad but all I could do was laugh! I tried so hard to keep a straight was very hard. I slowly got up from the couch looking around the living room, sure I would find egg all over the carpet. There was none. Thank God! I went out in the kitchen and saw the proof that I needed to assure myself that I had dozed off for more than just a second...there were eggs everywhere! On the refrigerator, on the stove, on the oven door, and on the floor! At this point in his life about the only breakfast he would eat was eggs, bacon, and grits. We always kept a good supply of eggs on hand and had just bought a 2 1/2 dozen box of eggs. You guessed it! He cracked EVERY single egg in the box! If you have ever had to clean up a raw egg off of any surface you know what a feat this is. Boy oh boy! I was starting to feel the anger rise as I looked at this huge mess but when I turned around and looked at that little face with raw eggs dripping from it there was no way I could be angry at him for trying to cook his mama some eggs. I was so thankful he never tried to turn on the stove!
He is much better at making eggs for me now....he even washes the dishes :) I sure wish I had a picture of that face to share but it is only in my memory.

Nathaniel's story is one about his drawing, so it kinda goes with the ecard saying :) When the boys were little guys my husband travelled A LOT! This left me, at the time, Christian Jr. and Nathaniel at home for weeks at a time without seeing their Daddy. At this point I was pregnant with Gage and Daddy was working in Kissimee, Florida. His company had set up his housing down there and just so happened it was a place that did not allow children. Can you believe it!? Right there at Disney and no children allowed!! It was beyond frustrating, especially since they were still little guys and not in school.
Christian Sr. was down there several months working and FINALLY convinced the park owner to allow me and the boys to come visit for 1 week! We were sooo excited to be spending the week with Daddy but most importantly getting down there near Disney! There was 1 rule with us being allowed to visit, any damages would be our responsibility IMMEDIATELY. The very 1st day we get down there and can't wait until Daddy gets home so we can go off on an adventure! We waited impatiently all day for him to get home from work. Finally the time comes and he is home. He gets his pockets emptied out onto his usual place near the front door, an end table right next to the sofa. Daddy goes to jump in the shower. I go to get his clean clothes from the closet to hurry things along so we can hurry out of this trailer and get some dinner!
I never noticed the jumbo sharpie Daddy just put on the end table near the guessed it! Our little strawberry-blonde boy with chubby cheeks and sad, blue eyes grabs that jumbo sharpie and draws us a picture all over that nice WHITE couch!! "Mama, Nate jawed a pictaw." Jr. is walking into the bedroom to tell me this. "Where did you find paper?" I asked him. "He jawed on the couch, Mama." Oh MY Lord!! No way! I run out and sure enough, not only has he drawn on the couch but it's with a JUMBO SHARPIE!! WHITE COUCH, JUMBO BLACK SHARPIE!!! Never mind going to do anything fun on this trip, we are going sofa shopping folks! Not even shopping for a new sofa for home...a new sofa for the dreaded trailer lady! Ugh!
Even though, at this time, my NateMan was walking around and a budding artist he was not talking. To this day he doesn't talk much, or should I say not as much as the other kids in our family do. I think Christian said all he wanted to say, so why bother talking himself. He is very brilliant this way! The look he gave me spoke volumes. He had the biggest smile and such a proud look on his sweet little face....I couldn't be angry at him! He was so proud of his work. Even though I was scared to death of the small fortune this budding artist's canvas was going to cost me, I couldn't get mad at him. We went straight to work on this sofa with some upholstery cleaner and believe it or not we were able to get that jumbo sharpie drawing out of that white sofa!! It was a miracle!
He has never shaved the dog or written on walls, praise the Lord. I can't say the same about never drawing on another sofa, though! *Sigh*

Monday, August 6, 2012

How "Sweet"

Another amazing milestone happened this 1st born son turned 16!!

Christian Paul Marchelewski Jr., my "Pooh Bear",  was born May 26, 1996 at 12:35 pm. He weighed 8 pounds and 3 ounces and was 21 inches long. One of the proudest days of my life happened when they placed my beautiful baby boy into my arms that afternoon! My, how time has gone by so quickly...

Since turning 16 is a major milestone his Daddy and I decided to throw a "Sweet" birthday bash! Christian's friend, Rusti, has a birthday around the same time as Christian (she is older than him and lets him know it as often as possible) and we talked to her parents and decided to do a double party! What's better than that!? We love Rusti to pieces and couldn't think of anyone else that we would want to share such a special day with :)

Christian had known for months what type of cake he wanted, a Florida Gator logo made out of M&M candies. The explanation of the M&M part will have to come in another post. It is very blog worthy :) Rusti had chosen a cake, too, a black and hot pink topsy turvy cake. Two very different cakes for two very different personalities! Good Lord! How in the world would we mesh these two styles into one party!?

 Christian's Florida Gator Cake ~ Complete with "Pooh" candle :)

After tossing around SEVERAL ideas, yes, BIG emphasis on SEVERAL, we came up to the conclusion to use bright colors. The bright colors reminded us of summer time and since we were having the party the first Saturday in June, it worked wonderfully! We decided to use lots and lots of balloons and anything else with lots of bright color. Most of the decoration we found were in the theme of a luau...I am not sure why the thought of a luau never came up! What features we had, though, just screamed "summer" to me! I loved how things came together and I know Christian and Rusti did, too!

As we were getting closer to the time of their party I took Christian, Rusti, and her friend Callyn over to Jekyll Island to take some pictures for their birthday party. I had bought some picture frames with mats in them for all their guests to sign as they entered the party. I thought it would be a nice keepsake for them and I would print some of the pictures we were taking so they could have a recent picture for those frames. We had an absolute blast taking pictures!

This is my favorite one of the two of them together :)
Gorgeous! I know ;)

We also went down to driftwood beach and took some since they both love the beach! Another beautiful location for some awesome picture taking! My favorite :) Here are a few of my favorites from driftwood beach :)

 They all turned out amazing and as usual we enjoyed our time together! I am so thankful for these memories made even if it is just as simple as taking a bazillion pictures in one day :D I so love my Christian and my Rusti!

The day of the party was full, beginning to end, of so many memories made! I decided to go through my pictures and post just a little something about each one. So here goes...

 Here is my birthday boy next to the limo we rented for him and his friends.

From left to right: JaMarcus Key, Christian, Aaron Waters, Dustin Summers, & Lucas Smiley. 
These boys are Christian's very best friends... 

Here is "Happy Birthday" singing time...they both look thrilled! Right?

Blowing out those candles!! 

Left to Right: Kyle Westberry, Christian, & Tyler Eason


This is what those stinkin boys did most of the night! Can you believe it? With all the preparing and stressing I did!? I can hardly believe it myself! Oh! They did spend A LOT of time hanging out OUTSIDE, too! It was his party, he could be a pooper if he wanted to...I guess! ;)

Birthday Boy with Aaron Waters & Bailey Flener...more of that sittin around stuff goin on!


Oh LOOK who decided to get up and dance!! 
Left to Right: David Hubbs, JaMarcus Key, Aunt Holly, Dustin Summers, Christian, "SQIRT"  Davontay Wilson, & Devan Manning.

This was the highlight of the night for me, mother and son dance. There will probably never be another until the day he gets married. I tear up at the thought. For now he is mine to hold and to help mold until the day he gives his heart to another. No one will ever love him like his mother. I hope he always knows how very much I love 1st born child, my son <3

We danced to the song "Crying Shoulder" by Goo-Goo Dolls. The part of the song that could never be more truer words from me to my son, "I'll be the greatest fan of your life." I love you, my son, and I hope you never have a day go by that I haven't made you feel how loved you are by me.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Finally Freed: My Testimony

I have been debating with myself over writing this post for quite some time. I am sure that by reading about this that it might help someone but at the same time I have only shared this story with a few people who are very close to me. In some way I think that it might possibly free me to just say it... somehow I still feel shame from it. Even though I know deep down it was not my fault, shame is still an ever present feeling for me. After reading a FaceBook post of a good friend, hearing her struggles and triumph, it encouraged me to begin writing this...

When I was just 7 years old I was molested and sexually abused by an adult cousin of mine. I really don't know how old he was at the time and frankly, I don't care. The fact remains that he knew better and still chose to alter my life forever.

I had just passed 1st grade and he told my parents that he wanted to take me to dinner to celebrate my achievement, they allowed him to take me. I was very excited! What kid wouldn't be? Little did I know, I would never make it to have dinner. In a sense I would be the one devoured and all my innocence lost.

I won't go into all the horrific details of what he actually did to me because I know I would never bring myself to post this if I did. On our way to "dinner" he says that he forgot something back at his house and that we will need to stop by there first. I am sure I was rambling on, anxious, as most 7 year old children do when they are excited about doing something. His apartment was on the top floor. We walked in his door and he locked the bolt, which at the time I didn't notice but I would realize later, was way higher than I could reach without something to stand on. I sometimes wonder if he had the entire thing set up this way or was this something he decided to do after he picked me up.

We walked up the long flight of stairs and into his living space. I was wearing a dress and he looked at it and said I had gotten something on it and I needed to take it off. Of course I got that "uh oh" feeling and I don't remember even having something on my dress. I was scared and started to cry. Eventually he got his way and took my dress off. After he ravaged my pure, little body all I could think about was running! I quickly found my clothes, crying, and ran to the bathroom. As I was dressing he spouted off things to try to convince me that I was to tell no one and tried to make sure to cover his hide. Once dressed I tried running out of the house but then realized, the door was locked.

I stood at the door crying waiting for him to unlock the door. He refused to unlock it until I made my promise, never to tell anyone what he had done. I promised and he unlocked the door. All I wanted to do was run home. I can remember the panic that I felt, I wanted to run but didn't know where to go! Didn't know how to get home...I remember him making me hold his hand as we crossed streets.

We finally were back at my house and he walked me up the stairs to our apartment. Both of my parents were there and I can't even remember them asking about the time I had just spent with this sicko! Did they know how sick he really was? Time went on and I didn't say a word to anyone about what happened to me on his apartment floor.

This person was part of my life on almost a daily basis, I think. He moved in to an apartment above our aunt's house and he would also come to our house with her. I am not really sure how long it took but there came a day when I did tell my parents what he had done to me.

Our aunt was watching me and my brother while my parents were working and she had to take me and my brother home. I begged to sit in the front seat because I did not want to sit next to him. Every time he got a chance to be near me without someone's watchful eye he would touch me. I did not want to be anywhere near him. I didn't win the battle and she loaded my brother in the front seat and I got to take the back seat with the psycho. GREAT!

The entire ride home he was touching my body, very careful to keep his hands low so our aunt didn't see what he was doing. I get nauseous with the thought of his hands on me to this day. As soon as we pulled up to my house I ran out of the car, up the stairs, and into our apartment. Breathing heavily and trying to spout out the words that this freak has been touching me, trying to get it out before he and our aunt got up the stairs with my brother. I did! Finally!

My parents, I guess, were in shock about what I was telling them. Then enters the aunt and cousin. My aunt screams that I am a lying little, well you know. Psycho then, of course, says I am a liar. My parents, still looking confused and I guess somewhat shocked, look at me as if to question me. I begin crying and my dad looks over at him and starts out toward him and psycho starts running. My dad chases him down the stairs and into the street. I am assuming that he told him never to come back around....I really don't know. I can't remember what happened after this, I don't even know if my parents tried to console me. I would like to think that they did but since I remember everything so vividly, I can only assume that they did not. What happens next is probably even more shocking....

Time goes on and guess who starts making an appearance around our house again. My dad of course threatened to kill him if he ever touched me again but frankly I would think more highly of him if he actually kept the freak away from me entirely. Didn't happen. He was back at our house and spending time around me at different family gatherings. No charges ever pressed. No jail time. Nothing!

I remember laying on my stomach one time with my brother watching tv, in my nightgown, and him coming up behind me and lifting it up to look under my nightgown. When I shot him a "don't touch me" look he says to me, "You shouldn't be such a tease." I was probably all of 8 or 9 years old at the time.

Around 10 years old I started becoming rebellious. I didn't listen to anyone. I remember having a friend who was being raised by a single mother who kept a well stocked liquor cabinet. We would walk to school together in the mornings and I would meet her at her front door. We would take a few drinks of Vodka and then head off to school. There were a couple of times I ran away from home, only to end up right back at home and getting my tail tore up by my father's white leather belt.

Nothing that I did ever took the ache away. When I was 11 years old my parents decided to send me to Georgia to live with my Aunt and Uncle. I had just attempted to run away again and I guess they were pretty sick of my shenanigans. By the way, psycho was still coming around me. I got one more beating by that white leather belt and then was sent on my way to live in Georgia with my Aunt and Uncle.

Georgia! A new place, and a new beginning for me! I was so excited to be with my Aunt and Uncle. We lived in a small house in Ludowici and I made an instant friend with a girl down the street. We were inseparable and it seemed like I was, for the first time, allowed to be a kid!  I had chores, was given allowance, and my Aunt and Uncle payed for me to go to the Christian school in town. I was made to do homework, that was new, and also had help with my studying, also very new! If I did something wrong I was not allowed to go to my friend's and I had to go to bed early.

My life was pretty much a normal kid's life with boundaries and responsibilities. I felt loved and protected, again something new. I continued to live with my Aunt and Uncle for a little over a year. Spending as much time with my "other family" that was just down the road. I went everywhere with my friend and her mama and daddy, were my mama and daddy!

They were Christians and took me to church with them most Sundays. I loved going to church with them. They sang at church and I just loved to sit in the pews and listen to them sing. Often times during the week they would practice at home and I would listen to them and eventually sing with them. I am pretty sure I was horrible but they never said a word about that. They encouraged me and I loved feeling like a part of their family sing-a-longs. Around October of 1989 I accepted Christ into my heart. This family was full of the love of Christ and I wanted it, too. I wanted to be just like them. They were kind, helpful, and gracious. One of the saddest times of my life was when I had to move away from my down the street family.

Eventually, the time came when my parents moved down to Georgia. Gone were the times of strict bedtimes, chores, and homework. I was on my own once again and eventually withdrawn from the Christian school and put back in to public school. I went to church less and less and eventually not at all. I was back in a destructive phase and I didn't listen to anyone. Me and my parents fought constantly and soon I would find myself moving back in to my Aunt and Uncle's house. Since I had moved in with my parents, they had bought a house in Jesup. At age 13, I was off to another new city.

I wasn't quite sure about this new city. Aunt and Uncle were determined to get me back to some sort normalcy and set up chores for me to do and also phone limitations. I was allowed to talk on the phone for 15 minutes. Gosh! I hated those phone restrictions! That was a teenagers way of life back then, kind of like texting is now. Imagine only being able to send out 15 texts a day! Yeah! Crazy, I know!

I was enrolled at Wayne County Junior High School, which is now James E. Bacon. I was never very outgoing in school, not a social butterfly in the least! I managed to make a few new friends but pretty much stayed to myself. I exchanged phone numbers with a few people and we talked on the phone but that was about it.

Once my parents moved over to Jesup I was back living with them. They had just bought a house and it was close to Christmas time. I really wanted to live with them and I spent my first night over there setting up the Christmas tree. Once I was living with them I had no limit on phone calls since they were pretty much gone to work most of the time. Me and my brother got our selves up for school and by the time we got home they were back to work again.

I had plenty of time to get to know people better and soon I had several close friends. One particular friend I spent a lot of time with. I came to have an interest in her brother. I spent every opportunity I could at her house. She was a sweet friend, still is, and we always had so much fun together! We would stay awake late at night singing in her room, her step-dad yelling at us to be quiet and go to sleep. We never did stop, just lowered our voices and tried not to laugh so hard he could hear us again!

Her family became my family. Her mama became my mama. I could tell Mama anything and she always seemed to know the answer. To this day I love her mama like she is mine...well, because she is! If you ask her, she will tell you herself! I know she loves me, one of her many adopted kids. I found another family that was kind, gracious, and loving. The kind of love I needed in my heart that had been broken so many times. The kind of family I craved. They spent time together just talking and laughing together. Oh and Mama made us do chores, too! Me and my friend would help her in the kitchen and do dishes after everyone ate. It was nice being a part of their family. I spent holidays with them, even a very memorable Mother's Day that none of us will ever forget and still laugh about to this day!

My friend's brother and I dated for quite some time about 2 years, give or take. During our time dating my parents took me and my brother up to New York to visit family. They allowed my boyfriend to come with us since I begged and really wanted him to see where I came from. People who have never been usually think of New York as all city but this girl is from farm country New York. Yep! There are rednecks in New York, too :) We took the long 18+ hour ride up to my home town and where do you think the first place we stopped was? If you guessed the psycho's  house, you guessed right!

Can you believe it? Did these people lose their minds? The last place I wanted to be is at his house! We were informed he wanted to feed us dinner...Really? How ironic! No freakin' way did I want to eat food at this point, let alone at his house! Something that he potentially cooked! No way! I was furious! My boyfriend knew a little about what had happened to me as a child and he was pretty mad to be stuck going over there, too. We had no choice, we went to his house. I can still hear sicko and my parents joking and laughing while I, with my boyfriend, sat in the living room as close to the door as possible. Ready to hit the door running as soon as we could!

Needless to say, the rest of the trip was pretty awful. I wanted nothing to do with my parents and I just wanted to get back home. Back to Georgia, away from the creep! Things went from bad to worse when we got back home. If I had any respect left for my parents it was gone now. I was in full rebellious mode. I stayed away as much as I could. Spent the night with as many friends as I could. When I was home we were fighting. I made destructive decision after destructive decision. Most things I did, no one even knew about. Things that if they turned out for the worse could have ended my life. It is by the grace of God that nothing horrible ever happened to me! I found my stupid little self in some pretty disastrous situations.

Which brings me full circle to the remainder of this story...
In January 2011 I was informed that my cousin was dieing and I rushed to New York as quickly as I could to be by her side. She eventually passed away after I was there for a few days. When the family arrived at the funeral home, guess who my parents are talking to up near my cousins casket? Oh you are on a roll!! That's right!

They are talking to the creep. I had not seen him since that day at his house when I was a meek little 15 year old girl. Now...Now, look at me! I am a woman! Not only am I a woman but I am a married woman! A woman who has had the same husband for, at the time, 15 years. Me and this man have 4 beautiful children together! I am no longer a scared little girl who depends on her parents for protection that I could never seem to get! Since my oldest son was 14 at this time he knew a little bit about the crime this person had committed against me.

I had a brief thought to myself that he might show up. I was just praying that he wouldn't. I didn't want to see him, much less want him to be anywhere near my children that were with me. The thought of it made me sick! His predatory thoughts going through his sick mind while looking at my children...SICK! To much of my disappointment there he was. I would not be a coward and run, hiding. I had nothing to be ashamed of. I did nothing wrong! I had more right to be here than this psycho!

I walked up to my parents to ask them what in the, excuse my lack for better expression, HELL where they doing talking to HIM!? As I approached them he turned and looked at me. He is short! Almost a foot shorter than me, and I am short! The most appalling words come out of his mouth! He says, "Is this, Beth? Wow! You gained weight!" I looked at him and said, "You really don't want me to say what I have to say about you, here. Don't you DARE talk to me!" I walked away and took just a couple of steps and there was my husband meeting me.

I could not believe the audacity of this creep, saying something like that to me! Truly sick is a very generous word to describe this animal. As we headed toward the back of the funeral parlor and into the foyer I started telling my husband what the sicko had said to me. Our son, Christian, met us out there and listened in as I told his dad. They were so mad and wanted to go beat the crap out of him. Today, I kinda wish I would have let them, after all I am being honest here. I had more respect for my cousin's death than that. It wasn't me to behave that way or to let my family behave that way. I was very humbled by the way my guys were so protective over me. This is the way family is supposed to be! You mess with mama you get to deal with the men in my life! Yeah!

I am not sure if psycho took my tone as a hint to stay away or if at a time of being separated from my husband he had some words for him. I am not really sure but I do know he kept his distance! Me and my family made our way to sit at the front of the room for the service and psycho was all the way in the back away from me but not far enough for my taste! I was ready to lay my cousin to rest and get as far away as I possibly could!

It was great closer for me. That creepy little weasel that had hurt me over and over as a child now having to look at me through the protection of my husband and my oldest son. Both of them standing taller than me so therefore standing much taller than him! They wrapped their arms around my back and just stood watching him, daring him to try to come near me. I have never felt more safe or more love than I did at that very moment. I don't know if I could ever express to my guys what that did for me. I was free of him! At that moment he could not hurt me.

God allowed me that moment. I believe that my destructive phase in life was brought on by the horrible things that he did to me. God did not allow the things I did to bring me any harm. Sure, I went through some awful experiences but God was there making sure that nothing ever hurt me. He knew the life he had planned for me and he knew that there would be a time that I would be able to stand up to this person with 2, out of 5,  of the most important people in my life on either side of me.

God placed my Aunt and Uncle, my family down the road, and my Mama in my life to show me love, kindness, and how to be gracious. All these struggles made me the person I am today. I love with everything in me and show kindness and compassion. Even if I am having a horrible day, I find a way to give some one a smile. It has taken me quite some time to get to this point in my life where I can actually see the work God was doing in my life...even way back then.

God put a need in me to feel loved and now I have no problem telling people and showing them that I love them. So many years I spent feeling unlovable. Even after I got married I sat waiting for the bottom to drop out just knowing that this man couldn't possibly love me. Today I can say with all of my heart that I know my husband loves me. For many years I also felt that my parents never loved me. You know that phrase, "You got a funny way of showing it!" I know they love me. It might not be the way I want to be shown, but I know they do. We can always find ways to change other people but we need to begin with ourselves. We have to look at our lives and see the work that God has done and is still doing!

I am still very much a work in progress, as I said at the beginning of this story, I still have feelings of shame. In the past couple of years God has revealed several things to me. I stand in awe of what He has done for me through these years. I pray that I am always a vessel that He uses for His works to be done. I thank God that He freed me from the bondage of sexual abuse. I pray that through this testimony you become free of anything that might have you bound, too. <3

As I sat and read through this one last time before publishing it, 
this song came to mind.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

It wasn't easy...

March 4, 2012, Christian and I celebrated our 17th wedding anniversary! Whew! I know some of you are reading this and saying, "WOW!" It wasn't easy to get here for sure. We made it though! Let me take you back...

I was 16 years old when Christian asked me to marry him, he was 18. My parents agreed to allow us to get married and we began announcing to everyone that we were going to take this step.

To put it mildly, his parents and older brothers were not happy. Most of our friends thought we were crazy! We were young and in love and nobody was going to stop us! We were determined to go for it and prove the whole world wrong. Teen-agers can get married and stay married! It would be a piece of cake. Right!?

My mom and dad took me to a local store in town that sold wedding gowns and I made Christian tag along with us. At that time I was very much into having things my way and doing things in a traditional manner was the furthest thing from my mind! So, yes, Christian helped me pick out my wedding dress! The only thing I cared about was that he was the one I was going to marry and live happily ever after with...

Like I said earlier, my soon to be in-laws were not very happy and decided that if we went along with this crazy idea of getting married they would not be coming to participate in the wedding. We continued on with our plans and the next thing on the agenda was wedding rings. Christian was unemployed at the time and so was I so he decided to sell his car to buy our wedding set. We went to the local jeweler an picked out a set of 3 rings (yep, at this point still didn't have an official engagement ring) and paid for them with the entire check he had gotten for his car!

We had rings and I had a dress, what else do you need to get married? Oh yea! We need a minister to marry us! Our Pastor at church refused to do the ceremony because of our age and he also felt led to decline since Christian's parents were not in agreement with our plans. Next, we asked another Pastor who had just recently married my cousin. He was also a close friend of Christian's mom and considered doing the service. We met with him a time or two for counseling but after much prayer and consideration felt led to decline marrying us, too. He did, however, offer us his church to hold the ceremony so we at least had a venue.

At this point we are only days away from getting married and we needed to find someone or there would be no wedding! We wound up having a friend refer someone that actually ended up being our groomsman's grandfather! So, finally about 4 days before the wedding we were all set! Phew!

The day of our wedding I woke up to find that I had lost my voice! Yep! Completely gone! A squeak of a whisper was all I had. After making a few cups of hot tea with honey and lemon there was no more time to waste and it was time to get my hair fixed. By the time I left the salon and made it to the church my hair had already started to fall. Lets just say I was not happy with the looks of it but come hell or high water, we were getting married!

After getting dressed and ready to go my cousin goes to check to see if we are ready to start. Needless to say she came back to tell me that there was no one at the church, other than a few family members. I probably could count on both hands how many people were there! How can this be? Oh yea! No one agreed with us, so no one came to support us.

Most people don't know our beginning. Most people just know us as the 2 people who have been together "forever". I guess we are just both stubborn like that! Neither one of us are quitters and once we were married Christian's his oldest brother and his mother were our biggest supporters.

We made a trip to Long Island, New York in July after we were married because the same year his parents had celebrated their 40th anniversary. Christian's family held a huge party in their honor that was a surprise to his parents. It was an awesome thing to be a part of. Christian's brother even took us out to a local diner for coffee to let us know that they all had our best interest at heart. They didn't want us to get married but now that we were, he never wanted to hear that we were going to end our marriage. There was no option in ending this marriage that we had chosen to enter into. I never knew how hard it would be to follow this small piece of advice!

I thought about all of this this year since we made a trip to Long Island and celebrated our anniversary in New York this year. Here we were 17 years later and were spending it with all the people we didn't get to share our wedding day with. It was bitter sweet. I don't talk about our wedding much because a lot about that day still stings after all these years. One day I hope that we will have a day that we do actually get to celebrate our day with everyone that we love and hold dear to our hearts. We will be missing Christian's parents, of course, but I know they will be there in our hearts.

Our anniversary day was spent driving down to the end of Long Island to Montauk Point to see the light house. We made a few stops along the way, stopping for pictures and of course for some New York bagels to bring home to our kids. We had a great day just hanging out and spending time together. It was a great trip and we did a lot of reminiscing about how far we had come, together.

Here we are, March 4, 2012, at Montauk Point ~ Long Island, New York

Christian Paul Marchelewski Sr., you are still the one <3 
I love you!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

A Marchelewski Wedding: March 3, 2012

In March we headed for Long Island, NY for our youngest (Marchelewski) nephew's wedding. Since the guests had to be at least 16 years old, Christian and I decided to make this a solo trip (no kids!). Our anniversary is March 4th and we thought it would be nice to get away together, something we have not done without our kids in tow since our oldest son Christian was born (who at this time was 15)!

Care-free and kid-free we made our long trek up to NY driving the entire way, no planned stops other than for gas and to stretch! When you have a limited time to travel and you choose to drive over flying because of expense you gotta do what you gotta do! This isn't the 1st time we have made a trip like this and probably won't be the last :/ We had a friend lend us his car for this trip (a Chrysler 300! Oh Yeah!). I planned on driving the whole way (except maybe in NY traffic) because my husband drives like a mad man and it is very hard to relax when you are holding on for dear life!

This is my favorite picture from our drive up to NY. It's my view from my mirror of all the traffic we hit coming into NY. I am proud to say I managed to drive through all of this by MYSELF for the 1st time! I am very proud!

This is the sign that lets you know that "home" isn't far away! 
Even though I am not from Long Island, "home" is where your family is! 

We left Thursday (March 1) afternoon after I got out of work and arrived Friday evening. We were so excited that we finally made it up there and had made plans to stay with Christian's cousin Donna and her husband, Andre. We had not seen them since Christian's father passed away in August 2005 so it was much needed time to catch up!

Donna with her 2 precious children, Mya & Jordan. This was late Friday night so as you can see everyone was kinda sleepy :)

Just to give a little history about our family before I go on about the wedding...
Daniel (the groom) was almost 4 the first time I met him. When Christian and I got married (March 4, 1995) I had not yet met any of his family other than his parents and his sister, Edna, who is about 4 years older than Christian. They lived in Jesup, GA and his older brothers at that time lived in Long Island, NY. Christian has 2 older brothers, Joseph (we call him Joe) & Brian. Daniel is Joe's youngest son. Until Christian and I started having children Dan was the youngest Marchelewski. I fell in love with him the first time I met him. He had dark skin and dark eyes and these chubby little cheeks. He fought with his mother every night about taking a bath (which I learned later that my own sons would do, too). He was just this cute little guy, full of energy that you couldn't help but love! I couldn't believe time had flown by and he was now getting married!

Dan and Jen got married at this cute little church, Eastport Bible Church, in Eastport, New York. Here is a picture of Dan waiting for his bride with his brother (and best man) Ben by his side...

They walked down the aisle to the song "Yellow" by Coldplay and it was absolutely a perfect fit for their ceremony! Everyone had yellow roses either in their bouquets or was perfect! A bouquet of yellow roses makes you think of sunny, cheerful feelings of warmth, happiness, and friendship. I am not really sure of the significance the yellow roses had for Dan or for Jen but they made me think of Christian's mother, who passed away in November 2003. The yellow rose was her absolute favorite and so in some way I feel like she was there and very much a part of this very special day. As Jen walked in the doors right beside me I was blown away by how elegant she looked! Her dress was gorgeous and her HAIR (gasp!) here is a picture of this beautiful sight...

Jen, Dan, & Ben standing together as Joe reads 1 John 4:7-11
 7 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.9 This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.

Joe reading scripture...

There was a yellow rose placed at the alter in memory of Jen's foster mother who had passed away from cancer.

Dan reading his vows

 in which he included "and to eat 7 Eleven nochos with you for as long as I live!" 

Jen reading her vows...

Jen gets a ring :)

Dan gets a ring :)

They are now married and have it sealed with a kiss...

Smiles!! This is my FAVORITE picture!

After this beautiful wedding we headed over to Sunset Harbour for their reception! There was great food, lots of catching up with family we hadn't seen, and just a little bit of dancing :) It was an amazing time and I am so thankful that we had the opportunity to take part in this very special day for Dan & Jen who's anniversary is now just 1 day before our anniversary! The next day we celebrated our 17th wedding anniversary...I couldn't think of anyone else we would rather celebrate with! Congratulations to Dan & Jen! May you both be blessed with many happy years together <3

Here is a picture of Christian and I with the newly weds. We love these 2 soooo much!!