Annebella & Kate

Creativity, Clarity, Happiness, & a bit of Snark

Growing Up

Growing up, we all may not have had the most rose-colored childhood.  There are probably things that we wish we had; whether it be more attention, more love, more cuddles, more money to do the things we wanted, or even nicer clothing and toys.   We may have felt clueless and needed more direction but never received it.

Maybe some of us were traumatized and actually suffer PTSD as a result of some of our less than charming childhoods?  You can see how this post can go 100 different ways by now and I wont go there except for to say that if your parents tried the best they could, and did the best they could, sometimes that’s all you can really ask for.

I come from a large family.  I have 6 sisters and 5 brothers.  I have two nieces that came to live with us for a while as well so my parent raised a family of 16 at one point.  I always remember knowing I was loved and cared for.  It’s just that as I grew (think Kindergarten age) I remember feeling “behind” in everything and feeling rather stupid.  While my younger sister excelled in school earning straight A’s, I struggled with D’s and F’s.  Nobody helped me and my grades were overlooked as I recall.  This lead me down a path of just feeling “not worth the energy” because I always got away with it.

Who knows.  Instead of all the things I didn’t get, I’d prefer to think of all the things I did get.  Like two amazing parents that worked their tails off to make ends meet and make sure everyone was fed and clothed.  My mother use to rock me in the rocking chair and sing songs to me.  She use to hug and kiss me all the time.  I never felt like a bother.  She never spanked me or hit me for no good reason and she rarely yelled.  There was something inside of me that just “knew” that they were extremely busy trying to round-up this large family and I just had to fall in line and behave.  That’s primarily what I had done.

As I got older, out of high school- that’s when I started to resent it a bit because I was a little clueless.  I didn’t know who I was or where I stood on anything.  I just kinda floated by my whole life.  The first time I applied myself in school was my Jr. & Sr. year earning my way onto the honor roll for the first time.  It made me realize that, “Hey, I am smart!” and it was a wonderful accomplished feeling.  After high school college was never even mentioned to me.  Not once that I can recall.  I was just to get a job right out of high school.  I think their life plan for me was for me to make a great wife and homemaker someday.  Which is exactly what I did and happily so.  I just wish someone had even broached the subject with me and showed me the way.  Other siblings went to college on their own accord with no worries.  They just picked up and put themselves through schooling.  Me, I was terrified.  I definitely needed someone there to hold my hand and show me the ropes.  I watch sadly as all my good friends shipped out to the college of their choice – with fully furnished dorm rooms to boot.

As I got even older, and had been raising my children for some time, the life lessons just kept pouring in on me.  I learned from them and became stronger but there was a sense of [WHY DIDN’T SOMEONE TELL ME THIS STUFF] weighing heavily on my mind.  Why did I have to learn everything the hard way.  Maybe so I could teach my children these things in detail so they could avoid the same pit falls?  I think so.  Because that’s exactly what I did. I was brutally honest with my kids and kept them in the loop.  I never wanted them to feel like a fish out of water.

Then I realized I had a knack for drawing and building computer graphics – building webpages came easily to me.  Again, I was a little upset because I didn’t know I was talented.  I felt worthless for many years.  Just like I was nothing special and that I didn’t matter.  But, I did have something to contribute and I was smart!  WHO would have thunk it?  LOL.

Now I’m 46 and I feel wise beyond my years in matters of the heart.  I still have a lot to learn but I get where wisdom does come with age.  Just by learning from your own mistakes and being handed those rough life lessons along the way.  I’ve learned to trust a bit more, I’ve learned to love others and let go a little more. I’ve learned to be happy and content and feel “settled”.  Although I may be a late bloomer so to speak, I chose to embrace the here and now instead of dwelling on what could have been.

I am here now.  I’m thankful for the thousands of things that went right in my childhood! I’m grateful for my parents who worked so hard to care for me. I’m glad my mom was there to wipe off my boo-boo’s and hug me close.  I am so grateful for all the thousands of things that go right every single day in my life right now.

I think sometimes we are so consumed on thinking about what went wrong that we forget to acknowledge what has gone right.  The fact that my dishwasher started and cleaned and sanitized all my dishes for me – working seamlessly is just a blessing.  My bed is made with soft covers on it.  We have food to eat and both my husband and I are hardworking.  We have 4 beautiful children and a lovely granddaughter that lives nearby.  I have two sweet Dachshunds that I love with all my heart and they make me happy.  I can enjoy the great outdoors anytime I like; day or night.  I click a light switch in my home and suddenly the lights go on and then off with a another simple click.  We have laundry machines, we have power tools, we have special cleaners to help us all do our jobs around the house.  We are all so blessed.

I think my life went exactly as it was supposed to.  I’m glad I can take the time to stop and smell the roses – to look around at all the beauty I am surrounded by on a daily basis.  So much MORE goes right than ever goes wrong.



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Protected: Day 17: Someone with whom you shared a friendship/relationship that simply drifted out of your life.

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31 Day Writing Challenge #3 ~ Day 21: Write about your best friend (not significant other) and what makes them special.

Today I will write about my incredible BEST friend and daughter (in-law) Ahhz.  Ahhz is one of the most beautiful women I have ever had the privilege of knowing – I consider it pure luck that she wandered into our lives.

This woman has overcome so much in her short life and I wont go into those private details except for to say that we’ve been there for her all the way and will always be no matter what.

First of all, her smile can brighten up any room and I’ve been with her on numerous occasions where people cannot help but to come up to her and tell her how breathtakingly beautiful she is.  She soaks that up :)  How could you ever tire of hearing that?

I’ve never heard her speak ill of anyone in all the years I’ve known her.  She is positive and patient.  She has raised the most incredible 4  year old daughter with such TLC.  I’m constantly amazed at her love for her daughter and the constant patience she lovingly gives to her.  She allows her to be her silly self and encourages her growth.  She is a phenomenal mother; always making sure her daughter needs are met.

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Roasted Red Pepper, Basil, and Mozzarella Cheese Stuffed Chicken Breasts

Written by Kate

This is one of my all time favorite things to make for dinner! The flavor is amazing, it’s really easy, and it’s pretty impressive. My husband loves this chicken, and he gets so excited every time that I make it. So, here is the recipe.


Roasted Red Pepper, Basil, and Mozzarella Cheese Stuffed Chicken Breasts
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31 Day Writing Challenge #3 ~Day 20: Discuss your favorite movie and why it’s so special to you.

Day 20: Discuss your favorite movie and why it’s so special to you.

This is a hard one for me because I’m more interested in comedy movies and my favorite is Bridesmaids *but* it’s not “special” to me.  So, I’ll try to think of a more meaningful movie.  I think I’ll have to go with “Steel Magnolia’s”.  The cast is incredible and it’s fun, sassy, and heartbreaking all at the same time.

It is a good past time to watch that never lets me down. As many times as I’ve seen this film (and it’s a lot), it never fails me; with tears, laughter and excellent acting and reality. Julia Roberts as Shelby, a special young woman who feels that having a baby is worth risking everything but the real gem and overlooked one in the movie is Sally Field. This is by far and away, her best role and performance she ever snagged, and nailed it.

Among the cast there are very few men, but my favorite is Tom Skerrit, who plays Sally Field’s husband, and father to Julia Robert. Shirley MaClain, Olympia Dukakis, and Dolly Parton are the other three co-stars, that follow behind the three previous, and all make their characters unique.

The basis of the film, is a beauty parlor, and although it might sound hokey, it’s really not. Some might call it a chick flick, but I have to say that I know men have even gotten teary-eyed from this film. It’s wonderfully directed, only in that, it makes you feel apart of the never ending friendship that’s between this group of women. The experiences that they have and the trials and tribulations they go through. Although not the whole movie is set in the hair salon, a good portion of the film is, but it is done in just the right amount, and is written very well.

One of my favorite lines from the movie is when character Clairee Belcher says, “Well, you know what they say: if you don’t have anything nice to say about anybody, come sit by me!”


31 Day Writing Challenge #3 ~Day 19: Something that shook MY belief system to its core (a big disappointment in your life).

Written by Annebella

Day 19: Something that shook your belief system to its core (a big disappointment in your life).

Sadly, I think one of the biggest disappointments in my life is my LARGE family’s lack of communication and closeness.  I am one of 12 kids and we are just not as close as we use to be back in the day.  We ALL live in the same area except for two siblings that live out of state.

Yes, we gather for the 4th of July and for Christmas but that’s about the only time I see them unless I run into them at my mother’s house.  There is no sense of “community” in our family and I just don’t understand why.  There is no celebrating Birthday’s (because our family is too “big”).  I really like how my friend George’s family celebrates their BIG family Birthday’s – they do it by month.  In other words, if 3 have a Birthday in the same month along with some nieces and nephews- they pick out one day and celebrate them all with a big cake and presents.  I should mention this to my mother, I think it’s a fantastic way to have a BIG family but still gather together to celebrate the milestones.

When I was younger, I was the ultimate babysitter.  I babysat for my sister’s kids like there was no tomorrow, even spending the night and their kids would accidentally call me “Mama” at times because I was there so much taking care of them.

I thought that when I had my own child, I would have it made in the shade; that my husband and I would get “date nights’ galore because my sisters would return the favor but to no avail.  They literally dumped me once I had kids of my own.  That was a huge let down.

I realize now with time that nobody owes me anything.  Not a single thing.  I can do for others all I like and they don’t owe me a thing.  If I get something in return, like a babysitter, that’s just icing on the cake of life.  But at the time it was hurtful.


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31 Day Writing Challenge #3 ~ Day 18: Someone I met randomly that’s made an impact on my life.

Written by Annebella

Day 18: Someone you met randomly that’s made an impact on my life.

When I was 21 I got married and on that same day met my husband’s bosses wife Laurie.  The first thing she did was hug me – we hugged for a while and I knew we were going to be great friends.

This woman is special.  I mean special in a way that makes you a better person just by knowing her and having her in your court.  We use to be so close but as time passes, things change, people grow apart and through no fault of our own, we drifted over time.

With that being said, I cannot say enough what an immense impact she has had on my growth and positive change in my life.  She taught me so many things without “teaching me”, I just learned by watching her excellent example.

The way she was so loving with her two boys; so patient.  So caring and nurturing that I took note and was able to pass that same love and affection on to my own little man.  She taught me that even though they are little kids, they have a voice and they matter; much different from the way I was raised.

She didn’t mind if her boys took their sweet time ordering their dinner at a restaurant or even picking out what drink they wanted.  That showed me to allow the same consideration for my son.  I don’t think I would have been so patient because we were raised to hurry up and not to inconvenience anyone else.  I saw this and it opened up my heart toward my son and my twins.  They mattered!  No matter how young they were.

She listened to me for countless hours as I poured my heart out to her about hurt caused by my family; particularly my sisters.  She never judged and always gave me sound, sage advice.  But she never pushed it on me, she just openly shared her opinion and it was calm, serene, came from only a good place, and made perfect sense.

She encouraged me to be the best mother I could be without pushing anything on me.  That says a lot about her.  She improved herself.  Putting herself through college and becoming a teacher after her divorce which was a difficult time for her but she rose to the occasion and made herself better.  She went through a lot but always remained positive and an excellent role model for me.  She was giving and we have never, ever had one misunderstanding between us.  Even the time I was invited over to her house for dinner and I forgot to go – she called me the next day and we laughed.  She didn’t get mad at me, not one bit.

She doesn’t live far and I need to catch up with her again and see how she is doing.  She has recently married to a wonderful man and I’d like to get to know him better too.  I miss her a lot and plan on changing that.  I love my friend Laurie dearly and thank her for all she has done for me to make me a better person.


Happy 25th Wedding Anniversary to my Husband

Written by Annebella


What can I say that hasn’t already been said before?  I am in love with my best friend and it occurred to me that I’ve now carried his last name for longer than I had my maiden name.  Pretty cool, huh?  25 years of marriage to the most wonderful man I have ever had the pleasure of knowing.


Here’s to a lifetime of happiness Scott, I’m so glad I have you to call my own.  I love you to the moon and back!

I love you for all that you are, all that you have been, and all you’re yet to be.




Fly Away

Written by Annebella

When I was young child I wished I were a bird so I could fly away; not from home, but just so I could be in the trees with a magnificent perspective or flying high above the tree tops to take in all that was going on below.

I thought, and still do think that birds are a rare thing of beauty.  Maybe that’s why I enjoy drawing them so much.  Here are just a few of them:



My Baby is Growing Up

Written by Kate


Today my son surprised me with news that I didn’t think I’d be hearing for another few years. Jake likes a girl, and he has already asked said girl to go see the new Captain America movie with him when it comes out in a few weeks. To say that I was stunned is an understatement!

Why am I so shocked you ask? After all my son is 16 years old, so it’s not as though I didn’t anticipate this eventually happening. It’s just that Jake hasn’t really showed a lot of interest in girls. Whenever I try to ask him questions about girls, he always says that he is too busy to date. Truth be told, he is a very busy kid. He’s taking 2 A.P. classes, an honors class, working towards achieving the rank of Eagle Scout, and he’s very involved in youth group at church.

So now here I sit stunned, scared, and hoping that the aforementioned girl doesn’t break my son’s heart. That has always been one of my biggest fears as far as my son is concerned. He’s extremely caring, loving, and giving. I would hate for some girl to take advantage of my sweet boy.

I’m forced to realize that my baby isn’t really a baby anymore. He doesn’t need me as much as he did years ago, and I hope that I’ve given him roots and allowed him to sprout his wings. I’m not ready for this, but I’m happy for him. I mean, it could be much worse – especially because he met the girl at church.

How do you prepare for your kids to date? If you have any advice, I would love to hear it. This momma is scared! Plus, now I feel old, and that’s just no fun for anyone.



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