Thursday, March 31, 2011

Loved

What is God trying to teach me?
I think it's that His love should be all I need.
Single.
I'm single.
I'm okay with this.
Always have been.
But you know what I'm not okay with?
Meeting man after man who is not the one.

Why?

Why do I meet men who I connect with so deeply then BAM! NOPE YOU'RE NOT THE ONE!

I would rather not meet them, not know that I have a great connection. 

"Almost Amy, he's almost the one, but nahhhh wait a little longer."

I envy woman who have a good man. 

Listen, I know marriage is not a piece of cake.
I see first hand that it's crap a lot of the times.
That working as a team is hard work.
I think that's why I'm okay with being single.
I like being independent.
I like getting my own way, ALL of the time.

But yet . . . I want to be loved.
Cherished.
Appreciated.
Held.
Sought after.

I don't know.
I struggle with the notion of "I'M GREAT SINGLE" and "I WANT A MAN". 

It's stupid I know.  But true.

Cried myself to sleep last night.  Suppose I needed to cry. 

I don't know, I'm rambling.
Just had to get this off my chest.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

It's A Choice

I am low today.  And I'm sitting in it.
I'm choosing to stay depressed.
I don't know if that makes sense.
And I don't care.
Usually it's not a choice.
Usually I want to get it off my back.
Not today.
I want to sit in this.

I don't feel loved.
I don't feel pretty.
I feel fat.
I hate the way I look.
I hate my body.
I hate that none of my clothes fit.
I hate that I'm addicted to food.
I hate that I love someone who can't be loved.
I hate being a mom.
I hate that I make crap compared to what I'm worth.
Everyone annoys me.
I have no patience.
My back hurts.
I'm miserable.

Today it's a choice.
Leave me alone.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Supporting Your Child

Today I did something I should have done 11 years ago...I took Autumn's father to court for child support.  Now I know why I have procrastinated so long . . . I am emotionally drained and quite frankly a little depressed. 

Since Autumn's birth I have kept a detailed journal of all interactions between her father and I. 

She is 11. 

The journal is only 6 pages long. 

Enough said.

He has not been involved at all.  Here is a snapshot of his relationship with Autumn:

2000 (7 months old)- Kevin meets Autumn for the first time in court, established paternity and agrees to pay $25.00 a week in child support.  No contact after court date however does pay $100.00 toward her support.

2003 (3 1/2 years old)- Kevin calls and wants me to bring Autumn to see him.  I tell him he can see her but he needs to come to our house.  He gets mad, curses at me, and hangs up.

2004 (4 3/4 years old)- Kevin sees Autumn 2 times for 1 1/2 hours each visit.  I bring Autumn to see him both times.  He says he will visit her next weekend and never calls.

2005 (6 years old)- Kevin calls and leaves a birthday message for Autumn.

2006 (6 1/2 years old)- Autumn calls Kevin.  Kevin comes to the house and visits for 45 minutes.  Kevin calls Autumn multiple times but she does not want to talk to him.  He gets frustrated, however does not ask to come see her again.

2007 (8 years old)- Kevin calls me and wants to see Autumn.  I advise him to take me to court for visitation, he gets frustrated and does not call back.

2008 (8 3/4 years old)- Kevin calls and wants to see Autumn.  I advise him again to take me to court for visitation.  He again gets extremely frustrated and does not call back.

2009 (10 years old)- Autumn's 19-year-old brother (from Kevin) contacts us.  They begin to write letters back and forth.  Autumn is very happy.  Kevin calls and I let him see her.  I explain Autumn's diagnosis' of Autism, ADHD, and ODD and how he should interact with her however he completely overwhelms her during the visit. 
  •  The next day at school I get a phone call from her teacher.  Autumn is in the fetal position under her desk.  I pick her up at 9:30am and we go out to breakfast.  We start talking about her father.  I tell her he wants to take us to the movies on Sunday.  She says, "No, no more, I don't want to see him."
  • I tell Kevin Autumn does not want to see him.  He gets offended.  I tell him that I would work something out if he wants to see her.  He says he will not force any of his kids to see him.
2011 (11 1/2 years old)- I file for child support.

March 25, 2011- Child Support hearing with Kevin. 
  • Our appointed time is 11:00am, we were not seen by the Hearing Officer until 2:30pm.  Unknown to me the court had a record of our May 2000 agreement to $25.00 a week, which means Kevin owes us $13,000 in arrears child support. 
  • The Hearing Officer asked Kevin why he had not followed the court order for support.  He stated, "She doesn't let me see my daughter."
  • The H.O. states that seeing or not seeing his daughter has nothing to do with the court order, he is still responsible for supporting her.  She states that Kevin could have at any time file for visitation rights if he did not agree with the amount of time he spent with his child.
  • The H.O. calculates child support.  Kevin will have to pay $103 a week to support Autumn.
  • Kevin appeals.  He is unemployed and already pays $75 a week in arrears for his other children.  His other children are 24 and 20, he owed so much support that he is still paying his arrears.
  • Because he appeals we have a new court date in front of a judge on April 6th.
I think I'm emotional because seeing Kevin brings back all the hurt, anger, and pain I have felt for 11 years.  I carry around this burden for Autumn.  She will never have a normal relationship with her father.  He will never be the father she deserves. 

If you ask Autumn who her father is she will say God.  She has such clarity about it.  Since her last visit with Kevin in 2009 she has not once talked or asked about him.  I think she finally saw Kevin for who he really was.  Before 2009 she romanticized about him and who her father was.  When she was very small every time she had a melt down this is what I would hear . . . "I WANT MY DADDY!!!"  I finally had to tell her that she did not want her daddy, she wanted A daddy.  She finally gets that. 

I know God is in control I just hate not being in control simultaneously! 

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Little Drummer Girl

 
Tonight was the night of the All District Band Concert in Neptune, NJ.  This means all the Elementary school bands, the Middle School band and the High School band all played together.  Last year Autumn didn't want to participate, didn't want to be with the boy drummers, and wanted me to be on stage.  This year was completely different.  She had NO anxiety about the concert!!!!  She was with all boy drummers and she didn't need me on stage!!!!  She has come a long way!!



Autumn and her BASE DRUM!
 Autumn has ALWAYS been loud.  From the time she was 3 years old she has talked REALLY REALLY loud which is funny to me because she is SO sensitive to sound.  She can't stand loud noises, often covers her ears however is LOUD herself. 

When it came time for her to enter the 4th grade she would need to choose an instrument to play when she joined band.  Of course she chose the DRUMS!!!!  I knew this would be her choice instrument.  Autumn LOVES the drums, always has.  The reason we sit in the front row of church is so she can watch the drummer.  When ever we go to a concert and can choose our seat it is front and center in front of the drummer.  When she listens to music she picks up the beat of the drums. 
 


My nephew Aedan is in Middle School and plays the clarinet. 

Autumn and Aedan after the concert! 


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Fasting

"WHEN you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that it will not be obvious to men that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, WILL REWARD YOU." ~Matthew 6:17-18

Today I am fasting.  I have never done this before, it's my first time.  Praying and Fasting. 

I started last night at sundown.  I will end my fast tonight at sundown.  24 hours of no food, just water, and a lot of prayer.

I don't know much about fasting so this is the beginning of a journey that I pray and hope because part of my life. It's now 3pm and I want food.  I have already planned what I'll be breaking my fast with . . . my favorite Mexican food from Baja Fresh!!! YUMMY!!!!

I know, I know I really shouldn't  be focusing on food but for this very moment I am.  Otherwise what is happening today is very interesting.  I am focusing on God and my petitions to Him.  Sure I am working and my focus goes toward what I am doing but it's so cool that in between every single I have been doing I pray.  Driving...I pray.  Hang up the phone...I pray.  Send a text...I pray.  Fantasize about food...I pray. Talk to a co-worker...I pray. 

What has prompted me to fast?  1 specific request although I have been praying for 3 things today.  The driving force behind this fasting is my friend will be in court at 9am tomorrow because of things he has done in his past that he still has to deal with.  I am praying specifically for God's mercy and grace.  I pray that God will prepare the judge, the lawyers, the plaintiff, and my friend for this court date.  I pray that my friend will have justice and that he will be able be able to pay for what ever debts he receives in a timely manner while still being able to sustain his own life.  I pray God's peace surround my friend.  I pray relationships are healed and bitterness, anger, spite, and evil be obliterated from this situation. 

This is my main focus.  The two other things I am praying for are 1) Autumn's IEP for next year (Middle School) was today at 12:15pm and 2) I will be in court with Autumn's father on Friday at 11:00am for child support.

Autumn's IEP went great!  I got everything I wanted for her next year!!!

Fasting is interesting and God asks us to do it.  If He asks we need to listen to His request and do whatever we can to comply.

"Whatever He says to you, do it." ~John 2:5

Thursday, March 17, 2011

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!!!!

Today is the 18th Anniversary of me and my first tattoo!!!!
I was 18.
I designed it myself.
It's my initials intertwined with a broken heart behind it.
It was love at first sight.
We have been happily together every since :)!!!!





Monday, March 14, 2011

All dressed up!


Saturday night I attended my agencies biggest fundraiser event.  It's a ball of sorts, black tie, fancy, a great excuse to get dressed up each year!

This is my partner-in-crime Judy.  We are coordinators of the Residential program.  I supervise half of our agency's houses and she supervises the other half.  We share an office and we absolutely love each other.  God has blessed me with a friend to work with.



Our pharmacy reps are Gil and Risa.  We love them and they have become great friends.  They took out this ad for Judy and I.  They are so sweet!!!!


Here is the Residential department.  Celeste is our boss, Kim is our administrative assistant, then Judy, and myself!  We are a great team!!!!



Judy and I love Kim!!!  She is the greatest assistant!!!!!!!!!!!!


5 of us put our money together to buy a $100 50/50 ticket!  We didn't win:(!!!!!  The winner got $13,000!!!!!!!!!!  WOW!!!!!

I'm not a drinker but I do partake approximately 2 times a year.  One of those times is always at this event.  Bring on the Malibu Baybreezes!!!!!
We really do love each other!!!
We danced the night away...it was a lot of fun!
One of the desserts was hazelnut biscotti ice cream in a chocolate swan, it was delicious!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Autumn and her Autism

Over the last few weeks I have been reminded that my daughter has Autism. You might ask, well how the heck do you forget something like that???? It’s easy, especially when the child who has Autism is on the high end of the spectrum.



Being on the high end is both a blessing and a curse.


Because she is so high functioning often people don’t realize there is something wrong with her. I have family members who don’t believe her diagnosis. GRRRRRRR.


When Autumn was having a meltdown we have heard, “Oh is that her Autism, kicking in?” I’m glad I wasn’t there . . . however it did upset Rayne, who does not get easily get upset about her sister.


Reminders:


1) The manufacturer of her Risperidal pill changed. It went from red to pink. It took Autumn 2 full days to be okay with this. The second day I was in the kitchen and I heard her scream, “AHHHHHHHHHHH!” I ran in and asked her what was wrong. She cried, “These pills lost their pigmentation!”


2) Things need to be the same. My nephew sat in the dining room seat that I usually sit in at my mother’s house. This was not okay with Autumn. She flipped out and started to cry. She is very rigid when it comes to things like this.


3) Her possessions are hers, only hers. She has gotten better at getting rid of things . . . she use to be a mini hoarder, but she can’t give things away to those she knows. It’s very hard for her to see her cousins wearing her old clothes. Even if they don’t fit her anymore . . . Riley had on some of her hand-me-down’s on the other day and Autumn became VERY angry.


4) If given a directive to stop something annoying, if it is not the exact right moment, she will flip out. This involves stomping, tapping, drooling, and just plain making everyone miserable that is within hearing distance.


5) She is less mature then her peers. One example is the tv shows she likes. She does enjoy what her peers watch, shows such as i-Carly, Good Luck Charlie, and Shake It UP and she does like watching shows with the family such as American Idol and Wheel of Fortune however she is perfectly content with watching pre-school shows too such as Mickey Mouse Playhouse and the Backyardigans.






She’s been taking a couple of steps backwards lately. I’m trying to have faith this too shall pass but it’s hard when you’re going through it. Today when she was frustrated she told me it was her hands . . . a few posts ago I explained how Autumn’s frustrations come out physically, well today it was her hands. Weird I know . . . she is a mystery for sure!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

AT&T


Tomorrow is my friend Tracey's birthday.
Happy birthday Tracey!!!!

She's the best. My best friend!

Friends since 1989 . . . or 1990. It's been so long, who could remember!!!???!!!

We didn't like each other at first. At all!

She was the new tough chick from public school.
I was the old chick; never been to public school!

What brought us together? BasketballJ! The love of the game, actually our coach forced us to be partners. We both cringed when we had to practice together. After two hours sweating, running, practicing, trusting, and laughing we were inseparable.

We soon were known on the court as AT&T (Amy Trouwborst & Tracey). We bought matching black high top sneakers (when everyone else had white). Under our uniforms-- Tracey always had a black t-shirt on, I always had a white t-shirt on. We always warmed up before our games with our uniform shirts off, tucked in our shorts. We thought we were the sh*T. Ok so we were!!!

Raw Chocolate chip cookie dough! One day before practice Tracey and I had the bright idea of to walk to the local WaWa, buy a tube of raw cookie dough and eat the entire thing. We then went to basketball practice and ran for 2 hours straight, including suicides!!!! Let's just say it ended with Tracey and I standing over a toilet bowl puking our guts up! Good times, Good Times!

Sports then framed our friendship. We played Soccer, Basketball, and Softball during our high school years.

Tracey's mom asked my mom if she could stay with us while their bathroom was redone. 1 weekend turned into like 3 months!
Tracey and I loved being roommates!

I did her science fair project for her on A.I.D.S. (Hope Ms. Gaskins isn't reading this!) I also wrote a lot of her papers for her! Hey I loved the girl what could I say!

We spent every weekend together, either her at my house or me at her house.

I taught her how to drive around a circleJ!

I "watched" her and her little brother Jack while her mother went to Florida for a week! I'm only 10 months older than Tracey, why did our parent's ever agree to that!!!!! We were good, angelic really!

We shared a boyfriend! Yes, Tracey gave me permission to date her ex-boyfriend! We lasted like a week, we were really more best friends then boyfriend-girlfriend. Then Tracey and the guy got back together!!!! Talk about best friends!

She was the first person I called when I found out I was pregnant with Rayne. She drove 8 hours with my sister to see me and comfort me.

She was there when I found out I was pregnant with autumn. I took the p-test in her bathroom. When the result showed up I said, "Oh thank God Tracey, It's negative!" Tracey then said, "Um, Amy . . . . Look again!" It was indeed positive. I think I was in denial!!!!

I was there when Tracey's doctor told her, "Tracey, I know you are 33 weeks but we have to take the baby now."

I drove her to the hospital where they induced labor. I was there when Julia was born . . . I cried like a baby, sobbed, hysterical. She was beautiful . . . all 5 pounds of her!!!!
Tracey and Julia were at the hospital 10 months later when I gave birth to Autumn!

Autumn and Julia have been best friends since day one!!!!

Best friends who have daughters as best friends.

Really God is so great and knows what he is doing!

Julia has the kindest heart and never, ever loses patience with Autumn! I love her as much as I love her mother!

What has kept us together for 20+ years? Our faith. We share a heart for Christ.

Our friendship has not been perfect. We have had bumps in the road. We have had to learn a lot about each other. We have had to forgive and ask forgiveness. We have had to grow and mature.

Today we go to the same church . . . what a blessing that is!

We pray for one another. We encourage one another. We support one another. And we never, ever judge one another. We can tell each other anything . . . I mean ANYTHING and we still love, support, and try to guide one another.

I love you Tracey Ann Fernandez with all my heart!!!

Happy birthday! We are officially the same age!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Blogs of Note



So my friend Courtney over at Storing Up Treasures started a Blogs of Note promotion.  Basically the concept is promoting your blog to gain readers.  So here is my attempt to self-promote!

I love Courtney's blog, her honesty, her rawness.  Courtney and I went to the same church here in New Jersey, it's funny we were not friends way back then, because I often tell her that if she was here or I was there we would definiteley be friends.  Our lives just didn't cross when she and the Rockstar lived in NJ.  I was more friends with her mother, Joy.  Her mom led the single mom's group at church.  Joy was a great support to me and my children.  We talked on the phone a few times and sorted things out. 

I remember when I first came to Grace (Grace Christian Church) I would often sit behind Courtney, the Rockstar and their small children.  Autumn was two years old back then and would often be found sound asleep on my shoulder.  I remember when they adopted Gayla and Mikie and I believe Courtney was pregnant at the time, I thought they were so cool :).  I thought, "Now that is how you serve God".  I admired them. 

Courtney soon left the chruch and then her mom did.  I never did get to connect with her or the Rockstar but by the fantastic world we call the internet we have connected.  I consider her my friend and often pray for her and her family.  I'm over joyed that her mother recently married.  I know it was the desire of her mom's heart to grow old with someone. 

So if you want to promote your blog, head on over to Courtney's page.  It might just be worth it!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

The Altar

God has been speaking to me.  I'm kinda frustrated with Him right now.  He's taking me through some pretty painful stuff.  I feel like I'm being sanded, not polished like silver but sanded like wood.  I know the end result of sanded wood, it's smooth and beautiful, but getting it to that state is hard work.  Takes a lot of sweat and pain and tears.  It's not easy, the wood doesn't just one day wake up smooth and beautiful, it takes a carpenter to work it, sand it, treat it.  I feel like that rough piece of wood in the hands of my Carpenter. 

In the past 4 days my daily devotional has spoken right to ME.  I ask you.  How does God do that?  It happens all the time to other people too.  How does God know exactly what you need to hear through a devotional written in 2007 put in no particular order?  Oh yeah, He's God, He can do anything He wants!

I'm reminded today that I need to put a few things on the altar.  I need to make a list, so here it goes:
1) My love life
2) Rayne
3) Autumn
4) My body
5) My depression
6) My finances
7) My job
8) My child support fight for Autumn

I probably could go on an on.

  • March 2nd my devotional asked me "What if I don't get what I want? Can I still love God and be happy?"  We will all go through tests.  Tests that test our priorities.  Are we willing to give up the things that become IMPORTANT to us?  Are we willing to give up these things to God in faith and obedience?  These tests are designed to try, prove, and develop our faith.  If I don't get what ever it is I want will I still serve God all the days of my life?
  • March 4th my devotional reminded me Satan is a thief and one of the things he wants to steal is my JOY.  If he steals my JOY from me I will be weak and when I am weak he can take advantage of me.  I must truly believe that it is God's will for us to experience continual JOY.  Did you catch that CONTINUAL JOY.  It's a choice, JOY is available but so is misery.  Life is available, so is death.  Deuteronomy 30:19 tells us which one to choose.  "I call heaven and earth to witness this day against you that I have set before you LIFE and DEATH, the blessings and the curses; therefor choose LIFE, that you and your descendants may live."
  • March 5th was about fishing.  In John 21 Simon Peter, after Jesus rose from the dead, didn't know what to do so he went BACK to what he always did before he met Christ, he went fishing.  He didn't catch anything until Jesus appeared and asked him, "Are you doing any good at what you are trying to do?"  We must ask ourselves this when we so no fruit to show for what we are trying to accomplish.  Hmmmm?  Just hit me . . . my love life . . . no fruit . . . . is God asking me "are you doing any good?".  Jesus then told Simon Peter he was fishing on the wrong side of the boat, he told him to cast his nets on the other side of the boat.  Simon Peter listen to Jesus and caught so many fish he couldn't pull in the nets! 
    • Have I caught anything?  Have I accomplished anything besides getting worn out?  If I listen for God's voice, He will tell me where to throw my net.
  • March 6th, today.  What do I need to put on the altar?  Just like Abraham laid Isaac on the altar before the Lord.  We must not let anything- even our work for God- become more important to us than God Himself.  To keep that from happening, from time to time God calls upon us to lay it all on the altar as proof of our love and commitment.  He tests us by asking us to lay down our most treasured blessing as proof of our love for Him.
(all devotions taken from "New Day, New You: 366 Devotions for Enjoying Everyday Life" by: Joyce Meyer)

My heart was broken this week.  The man I was falling in love with, who I thought I would spend the rest of my life with, who I was actually considering leaving Jersey for called it quits.  He is lost, broken, a mess.  God is protecting me, this I know is true.  It felt so right.  We were such good friends, connected in ways I never thought possible, and loved each other defects and all.  But he has healing to do.  God has to do much work in his life.  God is protecting me.

So here I am. 
  • I must believe that God wants CONTINUAL JOY for me, even if I feel like crap?
  • I must believe that God knows what He is doing, even if I feel uterly confused?
  • Am I willing to give up what is important to me based on faith and obedience?  Is faith and obedience enough?
  • And what if I don't get what I want?  Will I have the courage, strength, and selflessness to continue to serve and love God?
  • Will I choose JOY and not let Satan steal it from me?
  • Will I listen for God's voice to tell me where to throw my net?  Will I look at my life, the choices I've made long enough to realize that what I've been doing, where I've been throwing my net isn't working for me?
  • And will I be strong enough to put EVERYTHING I need to on the altar?

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Help Me

Why do I feel so deep?
Why do I feel happiness so deep?
Why do I feel pain so deep?
Why do I feel connection so deep?

I am in so much pain right now.
DEEP PAIN
I know it will go away.
I know I will feel better.
But how do I get through the days until then?

What is God's plan for me?
What is He trying to teach me?
What is He trying to tell me?

Help me Jesus . . . I don't know what else to do.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

A sour day.



So Autumn has been having a few set backs lately.  I had to increase her Risperdal and it has helped a little bit but it's not a miracle drug, Autumn still has to do the work!  I'm thinking I might have to increase her Adderall as well.  Her body has been SOOOOO restless!!!!

She has been stuggling in school too.  She has melt downs over math . . . ripping papers, throwing everything on the floor, drawing on her desk.  It's not pretty. 

She pounds her fists.  Stomps her feet.  Taps with her fingers constantly.  She screams, "My feet, my feet are frustrated!" 

I spoke to her psychiatrist, whom I love, and she reminded me that Autumn shows us what is going on with her psychologically through her body.  She communicates using her body.  I forgot about that and needed the reminder. 

Today ended on a very sour note. 

We were at my parent's house for our usual Thursday night dinner.  My sister, niece Riley, and Autumn were upstairs playing.  Hilary yelled for me to come upstairs . . . I knew that could only mean one thing . . . Autumn was acting up.

Riley didn't want to play with Autumn.  Autumn took offense.  She started to rip up paper and throw it at Riley and my sister.  I gave Autumn the to the number 3 to pull it together.  She could not.  I had to physically remove her from the room.

I told her we were going home.  This did not go over well and started the 20 minute cry, drool, 2-year-old tantrum.  By the look in her eyes I could tell she was not going to snap out of it.  We left my mother's early without having dessert with everyone.  Autumn did not like this conciquence.  I explained that she made a choice, she chose to react in a way that was not appropriate, therefor the conciquence was that we would go home.

Rayne, Autumn, and I left my mom's house with Autumn screaming, crying, and miserable. 

She continued to cry the whole way home.  I needed gas, she cried through that.  Poor Rayne sat through the care ride home.  We got home, still crying.  Oh and let me explain it's not just a fant cry, it's a "I'm pissed at the world and I'm going to make everyone else pissed too" cry. 

I gave her her sleeping pill and a Risperdal and told her to get in the shower.  She complained that her Risperdal changed color (new manufacturaer they were red, now pink).  She complained her thighs itched.  She complained she was growing hair in all the wrong places.  She complained she felt wet (ah yeah, it is a shower!).  But at least she stopped her crying . . . for the shower. 

She began crying again when drying off and I tried to process what happened.  I told her it's okay to be upset that Riley didn't want to play with her but the way she reacted was not right. 

She ended up going right to bed.  And I am beat!!!!

March 25th I go to court with Autumn's dad for child support.  I'm not looking forward to this.  He wants visitation as well.  Autumn does not want visitation.  I am trusting God knows what's best for Autumn and will protect her from pain and hurt.


Today started out on the right foot but ended on the wrong foot . . .