Sunday, July 31, 2016

Day 13 - Books

I'm so grateful for books! Of all kinds. I love to read! I love to write! I am so thankful for books!

In my younger years I liked to read Goosebumps by R.L. Stine. I owned a lot of them and my favorite one was The Ghost Next Door. I did read other books for school and found my first true favorite book: The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton.

Outside of school I started reading Stephen King, who became my favorite author. My favorite book by him is Lisey's Story. It's dark like all his other books but it's also a very sweet love story.

At the end of high school and the beginning of college I started reading the Harry Potter series. It still is one of my favorite series! The other is The Hunger Games and the Divergent series. I love them all!

Not too long ago I started reading Jodi Picoult books and now she's one of my favorite authors as well. All her stories are amazing and her characters are relatable, so when the book ends it's sad and you're left wanting more.

I love books! Often times the book is better than the movie so I always prefer to read the book first than to see the movie first.

As you can tell, I do a lot of writing too, but lately it has only been in my journal; aside from this blog. I used to write a lot in high school and in my early years of college. Mostly short stories and poems.

Books of all sizes and shapes, I love them all! They're good for the imagination, when you're stressed, and to learn new things, just to name a few. It's definitely one of my few favorite hobbies ☺ and yes, I'm a nerd and have the newest Harry Potter book: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Day 12 - Being an Air Force Brat

I am very glad for my experiences as an Air Force brat. I made some great friends, got to live over seas, and visit Europe. Living over seas is some of my favorite memories!

As I was growing up we moved around a lot. I was born in Kansas, moved to New York, then to Germany, and lastly to Japan. We lived in Germany for four years and Japan for two. After our second year in Japan my dad was forced to retire. They were making cuts in the Air Force and sadly my dad was one of those cut.

I loved living in Germany! My brothers and I rode our bikes through the woods by our house. In the backyard we had a playground and during the winters we got to play in the snow.

My favorite memories from Germany were setting up clogs around the Christmas Tree the night before Christmas to receive presents and candy. I also loved building snowmen with my brothers.

While living in Germany we got to visit England and France. We took a double decker bus and then a ferry. It was a lot of walking and a lot of trains... I really didn't appreciate it at the time because I was too immature.

I turned 8 while living in Japan and lived there until I was 10. I loved it! We lived on base in a gated community called Chibana. My brothers and I would watch animΓ© and record it with VCRs and videotapes. Mostly we watched Dragon Ball Z but every so often we'd branch out and watch others, one of them being Sailor Moon. We collected figures, trading cards, and pogs. Anything we could find that was DBZ related.

While living in Japan we got to visit Disneyland in Tokyo. It was amazing! I loved seeing the shows in Japanese! That's one of my favorite memories. My other favorite memories revolve around going to Okuma beach. A lot of times we'd go to the beach with our good friends who were also our neighbors.

I really wish Jim and I could afford to take our children over seas. I think they'd both love it and appreciate it! Not only is the scenery beautiful but I really loved learning about another country's culture.

My dream is to one day go back to Europe, Japan, and maybe one day Ireland or Greece. Hopefully we'll be able to bring the boys but if not then it'll be a romantic getaway 😊

Friday, July 29, 2016

Day 11 - My Life

As cheesy as it sounds I'm grateful for my life. I love being a mom, I love being a wife, I love my family and friends, and I love being me. There are times it's stressful, yes, but I know I wouldn't change it for the world.

I love watching my boys learn and grow ❤ It is both sad and wonderful at the same time. I love watching them grow into individuals with their own thoughts, their own likes, and dislikes. They're both so loving and in so many ways they're alike; and in so many ways they are different as well. But both beautiful. And I would not change one thing about them in a million years.

I love being Mrs. James Panko! ❤ He loves me like no one ever has. He accepts me for who I am and I know that will never grow old! I love him with all my heart, my soul, my being! ❤ He is everything wonderful and selfless that I wish I could be ❤ πŸ’‹

I have a great big, wonderfully loud family ❤ We may fight and disagree at times but it never lasts. There really aren't any spoken apologies but quiet ones with loving  and understanding. We help each other, are there for each other, and comfort one another. As an individual unit we might be damaged but together we are a fierce team! And I know there is no one else I'd rather have beside me than my family and group of friends ❤ They are all wonderful and a huge blessing to me ❤

And as for me, I'm still learning and adjusting. I thought I'd be much better at things now but I'm not and I'm learning that that's okay. All our lives aren't perfect. They're filled with perfect moments, which can be found in good days and bad days. Today was a very good day. Thank you to my family and friends for being a part of my journey. I hope I am as much help as you are to me ❤

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Day 10 - My Mom

Today is my mom's birthday so it only seems fitting to talk about her. I am very grateful for my mom, every day.

Hearing about my mom growing up makes me think of my sister, Angela. They were both intelligent and did well in high school. They both did sports (my mom was on the swim team and Angela was a cheerleader). My mom always knew who she wanted to be, a mother. She stayed away from drugs for this reason and never let others sway her decision. She still doesn't.

She met my dad through mutual friends. My mom and dad had both broken up with someone and their friends said "hey, we know the  perfect person for you". My mom said she had just finished doing dishes and felt gross when her friends came in with a really cute guy, my dad. However, it wasn't happily ever after. My mom was 17 and my dad was 21. Their age was just a number to them, but my mom's parents were not thrilled about it so they broke up. My dad was sent to an Air Force Base in Alaska soon after but he and my mom stayed in touch via letters.

When my dad was back in California my mom was engaged to someone else, a Mormon missionary. However, upon seeing my dad my mom proposed to my dad and the rest is history πŸ˜‰

They have been married for 41 years, they have 4 kids, and 6 grandkids. I'm so thankful my mom chose my dad instead of the other guy. I'm thankful to her for being loud spoken and opinionated. My mom is a leader and I love that about her! She doesn't let other people bring her down or ruin her day. She's strong, she's confident, and is always there when we need her.

I'm very grateful for my mom! I know she will always be there for me if I ever need her. I love her stories, her unconditional love for my siblings and I, as well as her grandchildren, and I love that she loves to help other people.

Thank you, mom for being you ❤ We all love and appreciate you so much! Happy Birthday! I hope you truly enjoyed your day ❤πŸŽ‚

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Day 9 - Emma

I am thankful for my tween and her sound advice. I know I can talk to her about anything and everything; and often I find that I am not alone. She either feels the same way or has been there herself. It's great to have a friend with which you have a lot in common, not just hobbies, but feelings and emotions.

I really believe that Emma is my other soul mate. Nothing romantic but a piece of my soul that keeps me whole. She's been my best friend since I was 9 or 10, but we used to joke about being best friends before we were born too. We were supposed to be twins but our mothers (who are sisters) each wanted one more child, so we were split apart. That's where the nickname tween comes from.

Even though we are states apart, don't talk every day, and sometimes don't see each other for years, we stay in contact and are there for each other. She is one of my favorite people and I am so happy that she became a mother seven and a half months ago, it's been her dream since before I can remember. Probably since she was a kid and played house with the neighbors.

I love you, Emma. Thanks for being my tween ❤ My life wouldn't be the same without you.

Here we are as toddlers

When we were 9

I was 9, she was 10

As teenagers

Dressing up just because...

Summer fun

I believe we were both 19 here

We've had a lot of fun over the years and also much sadness, but we've remained best friends through it all. She's one of the toughest people I know. She's been through a lot and knocked down a lot but she always comes through the other side much stronger. She doesn't give herself nearly as much credit as she deserves.

I love you, Emma! Thanks for being my tween and for always listening to me as well as helping me in my time of need. I really don't think I would've made it this far without you. ❤

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Day 8 - Western Medicine

Lately I have been worrying about the health of a few people that I love. Two of them are the same age I am but their health is  deteriorating, which breaks my heart. I am too far and too broke to help either of them.

So I guess today I am thankful for Western medicine and its ability to help and heal in a way that I can't. Without modern medicine I'm sure that neither of them would've lived this long; nor I for that matter.

I know there's much debate going on about vaccines and medication but the way I see it is that it's kept me alive and my children safe, as well as my ancestors. All I can do is have faith that my loved ones will be healed and find answers for their suffering.

I love you all and I'll always be here to talk or listen. Life isn't always fair, but I wish it was, so I'm thankful for modern medicine because it extends life and gives hope even in the most hopeless of circumstances.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Day 7 - Julius

I am dedicating this blog for one of my favorite people. Julius. He lived with Jim and I for a short while before moving to Oklahoma. He has always been one of my best friends. He's really more like a brother to me.

Growing up he lived in Orlando with his mom and when I was able to drive I'd drive out there and pick him up. I'd always say "I'm kidnapping you" before I went to get him. Many times he just hung out at my parent's house while I was working, or we'd see a movie, or sometimes we'd go to Disney with friends or family.

After my first divorce he was really concerned that I was moving too fast with Jim, but once they met it was really love at first sight for them as well 😜 They instantly became best friends and Jim was the one who'd drive to Orlando to pick him up. Jim suggested that he look for jobs near us and he could live with us; and as luck would have it he got a job at the Olive Garden in Orange City.

We all loved him living here! Whenever Jim didn't have to work the next day they'd stay up playing Halo online. Kevin and Julius clicked because Julius is funny and loves animΓ©! (And not to mention Taco Bell, which was Kevin's favorite restaurant at the time).

However, Julius only wanted to live with us for a short amount of time. He set up goals, called apartments, and eventually came up with November to be moved out and on his own. Jim and I miss him, of course, as he was the comic relief in the house and at times was the mediator between Jim and I; however, we are grateful that we were able to help him out in his time if need.

Now Julius is living back in Florida and we were glad that he got to spend Jim's birthday with us, even if I do suck at video games. 😜 Oh, well. We'll be seeing him soon as we're all going to a concert together in a few weeks! Eek! So excited!

So this day I'm grateful for Julius! One of my favorite people who can always make me smile and who can always bring me back to the reality of things. I love you, Jules ❤ Happy 30th Birthday!! ❤

The only picture I have of you where you're smiling!

Day 6 - Photographs

Today I am grateful for pictures. I love taking pictures of my family and loved ones. Yesterday I was looking at my parent's old photo albums. It was nice seeing pictures of my parent's beautiful wedding and old pictures from my childhood. I love taking pictures, and putting them into albums, so that one day my children can look back and hopefully see that they had a good childhood and wonderful parents ☺

My parent's wedding day;
May 30,1975

Mine and Jim's wedding day; Sept. 4, 2010

I hope Jim and I will be as lucky as my parents; to have many years together and many more holidays and birthdays to celebrate ❤

In closing I want to share lyrics from "Photograph" by Ed Sheeran.

"We keep this love in a photograph,
We made these memories for ourselves,
Where our hearts are never closing,
Hearts are never broken,
Times forever frozen still"

I'm thankful for pictures ❤ Pictures are  beautiful memories and stories. Something for us to hold onto as we get older and our memories start fading. It's a good way for us to look back and see how much we've changed, or our children, or even our house. I'm thankful for all these memories.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Day 5 - Living close to family

Today I dedicate this blog to living close to my family. They are all wonderful and I love them so much! Living close means that we're able to help each other out as well as hang out as often as time allows.

I'm also very fortunate because we all get along and love going to places together. Whether it be to Disney, the beach, out to dinner, or just having a day hanging out at my parent's house to swim in their pool. I'm so blessed!

I love that we all get along too. I love being with my family. I love that my sons get along with their cousins and play well together; and I love seeing my nephews and nieces all on a weekly basis. My family contains some of my favorite people. I'm thankful for each and every one of them ❤

Cousins at Dinosaur World

Celebrating Hayley's birthday

Hanging out at Disney Springs

The 3 amigos

Playing games under Granny's table

Friday, July 22, 2016

Day 4 - James

My 4th day of being grateful is dedicated to my youngest miracle. He brings so much joy and love to our little family.

His arrival was heavily anticipated since Jim and I got married, but it took years and months of patience and faith before I finally got pregnant. I was on provera and clomid for ten months before I got pregnant! I even had blood work done to see if I was ovulating and when the tests came back negative I sank into despair. Ten months and no baby, the doctors told us that they could no longer help us; that we'd have to go to a specialist. However, two weeks later I took a pregnancy test and to our surprise it was positive! Jim and I were elated!

Jim loves Kevin as his own but he has always wanted to have a child of his own; and James is Jim's mini me. Not only does James look exactly like his dad's baby pictures but he definitely has his personality too!

He has no fear of heights, he loves water, he loves the cats (one of his first words was Luna; Kevin's cat), he loves learning, and is very smart as well as very loving. He is the other piece of my heart!

I love hearing him playing with his older brother, giggling, singing along to the radio, and his mispronunciation of words. All the things that make him James ❤

He is the youngest grandchild on my parent's side and he is always asking to see his grandma, Kalib, and Hayley. (Yeah, we go over there a lot). I'm very family oriented and I love that James is too. He loves spending time with his family! Whether it be playing games, swimming, going for a walk, or watching a movie. He's a very sweet little boy and I'm so grateful I'm his mom! He brightens up my dark days and I know that Jim feels the same way! I really love watching them fall asleep snuggled together and playing together ❤

We all love you, James! Thanks for being a part of our family ❤ You and your brother are everything to us ❤

Again I hope this reminds you, everyone, that children are a blessing. A wonderful miracle! And I'm so grateful for both of mine ❤ They each have taught me so much about parenting and patience. I would be lost without my miracles!

He's our water baby ❤

He loves being with the big kids

Loves his big brother ❤

Loves swimming ❤

Sleeping with Luna and Cloud

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Day 3 - My Hubby ❤

I'm grateful for my husband ❤ He works hard so that I can stay home with our boys ❤ Sometimes, more often than not, he works 6 days a week.

He is selfless to a fault. Always willing to help out his fellow coworkers, family, and friends. He's helped both families with car problems, he installed a light fixture in my sister's house, he helped repair my parents oven, and he helped lay down wooden floors at my sister's house as well.

I love my husband because he is beyond patient and sensitive with me, as well as our children. He gives us his time, he consoles us in our time of need. He never puts us down, only builds us up.

He helps with homework, with meltdowns, with projects, he helps around the house, and is very handy when our appliances are broken or being troublesome.

I'm grateful for my husband because he is my best friend. We hardly ever argue and if we do it's resolved in the same day. He listens to what I say and what I don't say. Sometimes he knows my thoughts and feelings before I have time to express them.

His love is the purest love I've ever known. He loves our children and he loves me. No matter how crazy I can be he's always on my side. He calls me just because, he holds my hand, and enjoys watching shows with me. It's really the little things I love about him.

I love that he thinks of me throughout the day, he worries about me and his children, he calls throughout the day, he's funny, he's quirky, and mine ❤

I don't know how I got so lucky ❤ When I'm feeling sorry for myself I tell him "I don't know how you put up with me", to which he replies "I don't; I love you". Our children and I are so blessed to have him in our lives! He understands, he doesn't judge, and I know I can count on him to be there for us, always.

He was my best friend in high school, but now he is much more than that! He is the father of our children, he's a great example to our kids, giving them an example of what a man and father should be. He's my lover, the smile I wear as I think of him, he calms my mind, and soothes my soul. He's a great example of what a husband should be!

I know I'm being cheesy and mushy but it's hard not to be when you talk about true love. He brings out the best in me and I like to think I bring out the best in him as well. I never really truly understood what real love was until he came along and we followed our hearts.

I love you, dear husband! Thanks for giving us a chance all those years ago! It's hard to think that in just a few months we'll be celebrating our 6th year anniversary! I feel so blessed to be your wife and the mother of your children! You're someone I am proud to be with, someone I am never embarrassed to be with, and always someone fun to hang out with ❤

Thank you so much for being you! I appreciate your understanding, your patience, and that you love me for who I am and never trying to change me. ❤ I love you, hubby ❤ I hope we have many years together and much to celebrate through the years πŸ’‹ You are everything to me and our boys πŸ’‹

Kevin says, "You are a great dad! Even though sometimes I get frustrated with you."  Whenever you call James always wants to talk to you to tell you he loves you and to give you a kiss. That's because you're an awesome dad πŸ˜‰ The three of us are so lucky to have you in our lives! We love you, Jim Bob ❤πŸ’‹

So to the readers I hope that you have someone who loves you unconditionally and selflessly. Someone to be thankful for who brightens up your bad days and makes your good days even better by just being there. Love is a wonderful thing! When it's true it heals, it understands, it's patient, and never condemns. It brings out the best you that you can be and brings joy to your life. I never realized how lost I was until I found you, Jim ❤ Thank you for being the light in the darkness ❤πŸ’‹

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Day 2 - Kevin

I am thankful for my oldest son. He is my mini me. He's careful, he's loving, he's smart, funny, and kind. He's all the best traits of my ex and I combined ❤ He makes me proud each and every day. I am so thankful that he's my son.

I know I keep saying that he transformed me into a better person and it's true. I was miserable before him. I was a cutter, I had no self esteem, and my life was a big self pity fest. However, the moment that I held him I knew that he needed me forever and would love me unconditionally so it made me want to change. I didn't want to be the miserable person I was. I wanted to change myself for my son. Who knew that my anchor would be so small?

I'm not saying he's perfect because no one is but he's the best kid a mom could ask for; both my boys are, in my completely biased opinion. Kevin is caring and sensitive, always has been. My earliest memories of him talking were when I had the stomach flu and he said "I'm sorry you hurt". Then on his first day of VPK he asked me if my heart was going to him because his was going to miss me. Yeah, you can bet that tugged on my heart strings. ❤

He also loves to make people feel better, whether it be with a hug, kind words, or a joke. He loves making up his own jokes. One of them was "what did a pencil learn at his karate class? His signature move." The newest one is "what's the difference between a boy snowman and a girl snowman? Snow balls". Yep, that's my son.

He has always been smart too. He recognized letters when he was 3 and could spell by the time he was 4. Jim's grandparents got him a surprise a "c-a-r"; to which Kevin exclaimed, "You got me a car!" So much for spelling it out and keeping it a secret!

He is my heart's song, one of the three pieces that makes up my heart. I want the best for him and will do everything I can so that he has a fun childhood and has everything he needs/wants so that he is happy, feels safe and loved. He is without a doubt one of my favorite people ❤

In closing I'm going to share the thing from Facebook that you ask your kids to answer about you. I did this a year ago and even now when I'm feeling blue I reread it and it always makes me smile. I love you, Kevin. I hope this post makes everyone smile and reminds them just how special and wonderful their child/children are.

Kevin age 10

1. What is something Mom always says to you?
Feed your cats

2. What makes Mom happy?
When I hug her.

3. What makes Mom sad?
Thinking of me or James alone.

4. How does your mom make you laugh?
Her attitude of awesomeness.

5. What was your mom like as a child?
I don't know

6. How old is your mom?

7. How tall is your mom?
Taller than me... For now.

8. What is her favorite thing to do?
Being with me, James, Jim, Luna, and Garfield

9. What does your mom do when you're not around?
Watch TV

10. If your mom becomes famous, what will it be for?
It'll be for awesomeness.

11. What is your mom really good at?

12. What is your mom not very good at?
Video games

13. What does your mom do for a job?
Take care of James

14.What is your mom's favorite food?

15.What makes you proud of your mom?
When she cooks stroganoff

16. If your mom were a character, who would she be?

17. What do you and your mom do together?

18. How are you and your mom the same?
We love each other

19. How are you and your mom different?
She looks after James and I really don't want to.

20. How do you know your mom loves you?
Because of her smile.

21. What does your mom like most about your dad?
You like that you two have things in common

22. Where is your mom's favorite place to go?
Wherever I am.

23. How old was your mom when you were born?
18. No! 20.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Day 1 - The Big Bang Theory

In a world where there's much to be depressed and stressed about, there is also much to be happy and thankful for. My hubby and I have started watching The Big Bang Theory and we love it! It makes a lot of references to Star Trek, which I don't know anything about aside from the main characters are Spock and James T. Kirk, however, the show also has funny, quirky, lovable, and relatable characters. So I've decided that every day for a month I'd share something that makes me happy. Today it's The Big Bang Theory and the lyrics that Howard sings to Bernadette.

If I didn't have you life would be blue,
I'd be Doctor Who without the Tardis,
A candle without a wick,
A Watson without a Crick,
I'd be one of my outfits without a dick-ey,
I'd be cheese without the Mac,
[Steve] Jobs without the Wozniak,
I'd be solving exponential equations that use bases not found on your calculator,
Making it much harder to crack.

I'd be an atom without a bomb,
A dot without the com,
And I'd probably still live with my mom,
(All echo: and he'd probably still live with his mom)

Ever since I met you you turned my world around,
You've supported all my dreams and all my hopes,
You're like Uranium-235 and I'm Uranium-238,
Almost inseparable isotopes.

I couldn't have imagined how good my life would get,
From the moment that I met you, Bernadette

If I didn't have you life would be dreary,
I'd be string theory without any string,
I'd be a binary code without a one,
A cathode ray tube without an electron gun,
I'd be 'Firefly', 'Buffy', and 'Avengers' without Joss Whedon,
I'd speak a lot more Klingon
[Speaks Klingon]
All: And he'd definitely still live with his mom

Ever since I met you you've turned my world around,
You're my best friend and my lover,
We're like changing electric and magnetic fields;
You can't have one without the other

I couldn't have imagined how good my life would get,
From the moment that I met you, Bernadette

All: Oh, we couldn't have imagined how good our lives would get,
From the moment that we met you, Bernadette

I chose this show because it's one that Jim and I enjoy to watch together and I love the song because I'm a hopeless romantic. I hope that everyone has something that makes them laugh in this crazy, chaotic, wonderful world ❤

Bernadette's song in case you want to watch Howard sing to Bernadette, here's the link ;)

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Happy Belated Birthday

I know I'm way late writing something for my husband's birthday, but I told myself I wouldn't write anything. We celebrated with family and friends, adults only, because the kids went to Hayley's birthday party. We watched Deadpool, played old NES games and his new X-Men game, had birthday cake, and then launched fireworks. It really was a lot of fun! Much more than I expected.

I really didn't get him anything for his birthday. I felt bad but I did get him a few gifts for Father's Day. Jim really appreciates the thought but doesn't need presents to know I love him. He knows this as we express it freely daily, weekly, and whenever we can.

He calls on his way home to tell me, to talk about our days, and to say "I love you". We say it before going to sleep and when we wake up in the morning. I am very touchy feely and I love that he is too. He never pushes me off or gets annoyed. He just pulls me closer to him and welcomes it.

We talk about anything and everything. He knows of my past, all aspects of it, and how I come with baggage but he not only accepts it, he tries his best to understand it, and be there for me.

There's not enough words to express how grateful I am for my husband, my best friend, my soulmate. He is everything to me and infinitely more. So I decided to break my promise to myself and write a blog for my husband to remind him how much he means to me. How happy I am to have him in my life! To have him sleep by my side at night and raise our children together! He is everything and more that I have ever looked for in a husband! I love you, Jim ❤ You and the boys are the pieces to my heart! Thank you for being you and for never giving up on me! For always fighting for us and for wanting to be the father of our kids ❤ I love you so much!

I heard a quote from A Walk to Remember that came from the bible and I want to share it with you; "Love is always patient and kind. It is never jealous. Love is never boastful or conceited. It is never rude or selfish. It does not take offense and is not resentful. Love takes no pleasure in other people’s sins, but delights in the truth. It is always ready to excuse, to trust, to hope, and to endure whatever comes." Call me a hopeless romantic but when I heard this quote I thought of us. We don't put one another down, we build each other up, we comfort one another, and if the other makes a mistake we try to understand instead of ridicule. Our love really is one from a fairy tale. You are everything I love and proud of ❤ Thank you for being mine ❤ I hope we have many more years together and many more birthdays and holidays to celebrate together! ❤ I love you, Jim ❤

Happy 33rd Birthday, hubby ❤

My cousin, Julius ❤