Woman with Wings series from Practicingnormal.com

Woman with Wings (Censored Edition)

This post was edited to be more family friendly.   The original Woman with Wings with some nudity can be found here:  Woman with Wings

You had to live in an ice cave to miss all the news of the Dugger family the past month.  It was in every Facebook newsfeed and news story and just when you think it’s enough a new tidbit would pop up.   There are wonderful bloggers that wrote about the story highlighting the problems with society and covering up sexual abuse.

I was sick to my stomach every time I read a new angle on the story, but every time that we speak out about sexual abuse is a victory.

It breaks down the boundaries of silence and it makes it easier for the next survivor to come out and tell their story.

Here is mine:

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Share the Love at Practicingnormal

Shareday: Links I love

Friday has always be a Shareday on the Practicingnormal Facebook Page.  I’ve decided to carry on this tradition by sharing links I love from my community of friends.

Make a cup of coffee and click through to read how these bloggers experience the world, as what else are we but our collective experiences?

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Celebrating Stepmom Day at Practicingnormal.com

Celebrating Stepmom Day

Stepmother day is the Sunday after Mother’s Day.  Seeing as I did not have a Mother’s Day at all this year, instead of just Celebrating Stepmom Day, I am declaring the whole weekend as Stepmom weekend.  This means that I can look forward to breakfast in bed and minions to order around the whole weekend.

I’m planning on watching some soppy movies and Dad will handle all fights, requests, homework and silly nonsense.  That’s the plan anyway, we’ll see if I’m hopelessly optimistic. Read more

Header - Book fairy from Practicingnormal.com

A Book Fairy

As a family, we are in love with books.  There are books everywhere, even though I stopped buying books for myself when I received an iPad as a present.  I still buy books for the children, as I feel they should learn to read with hardcopy books.  Little Mouse always had a book tugged under her arm from the time she started to walk. Read more

A Paris Themed Birthday Party by Practicingnormal.com

A Paris Themed Birthday Party

April is a month of Birthdays at the Practicingnormal headquarters.  Both Bubbles and Little Mouse has birthdays which makes it a hectic month for me.

When there are five kids in a family a birthday is a very special day.  It is the one time when all the attention is on you.  When everything can turn into a competition for attention it is nice to have a special day just for yourself.

As the mom I always make sure that your birthday is a special day where we celebrate the wonderful person that you are.   This means that I might go over the top sometimes, but the children enjoy it and it is always done with love.  I only do children’s themed birthday parties till your 10th birthday, which means for Bubbles this was the last birthday with an elaborate themed party.   Next year she will be allowed to take two friends to the movies for her birthday and will have a family dinner.    This year she decided on a Paris Themed Birthday Party.

We decided while the weather was nice to have a ‘Tea in Paris’ party in the garden. Read more

tiger siberian tiger tiger baby young animal family boy young

Tiger Mom

The wisdom of kids sometimes take your breath away.  The happens to me a lot, especially with my little old soul:  Mouse.   If you think you know everything about being a Tiger Mom, I think Little Mouse have a much better definition.

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10 Things you didn't know about me

Blog Award: Ten things you didn’t know about me

Since I started blogging, I have been nominated for a Liebster award four times  (Thank you for the last one, Jessie Singer).   I love the idea of the Liebster as it helps new bloggers make wonderful connections and start friendships that last.

If you have no idea what I’m talking about, don’t worry, in the beginning I had to Google the Liebster as well.   The easiest way to explain it is to think about the basic principles of a chain letter.  You receive an ‘award’ where you don’t have to dress up and give a speech, but rather answer a bunch of questions about yourself or blogging and then you get to nominate other bloggers to do the same.    This is a nice way of introducing your readership to new bloggers, which they might not have known about without these awards.   If you need more information or want to read my previous answers to the Liebster you can find them here.

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Celebrating Stepmoms at Practicingnormal.com

Always Love your Stepmom

Blood is not the only thing that makes you a family.  Family is who you love and if you are lucky, who loves you back.   Being a mother is a difficult job, being a stepmom is even harder.   You are mostly judged and very rarely celebrated.

Instead of judging let’s choose to celebrate the extra people in your children’s lives who love them.  There is a beautiful quote from Valerie J. Lewis in Blended Families An Anthology.  “Stepparenting is like working at a late-night convenience store – all of the responsibility and none of the authority.”

Please share these with all the blended families and send them to all the stepmoms you know.  Mostly they just need someone to see them, to acknowledge that it is a difficult job to do and to say thank you.

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Sir Terry Pratchett, Reading oder and quotes about the Discworld books. Until the ripples die away by Practicingnormal.com

Sir Terry Pratchett: Until the ripples die away

Terry Pratchett sold more than 70 million books during his career.   He was one of my favourite authors and my literary hero. I still see the Discworld characters as some of the best friends I will ever have.   The Watch and DEATH helped me through a really tough time in my life and if you ask me who had a huge influence in my life Terry Pratchett will always be in my top ten.

It was a sad day for me when I heard the news that he died on March, 12, 2015.   In typical Terry Pratchett style he said farewell to the world in a way that true fans can appreciate by announcing his own death on social media with a tweet from DEATH.

 

Screen Shot 2015-03-16 at 11.06.59 AM

 

Source:  Terry Pratchett/Twitter

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Stepmom Ideas that must die from Practiicingnormal.com #parenting #stepmom #blendedfamily

Outdated Ideas about Stepmoms and Blended Families

I am a mom that sends kids to a house with a Stepmom.

I am also a Stepmom.

This gives me a unique perspective of the role of a Stepmom from both sides.

According to the TIME magazine’s article Amazing Moms of the Animal Kingdom, Meerkats live in packs of about 20, dominated by one mating pair that produces two to five pups in a litter, with up to four litters a year. In a group of meerkats with so many new pups, it is often the aunts and sisters of the group who care for the young. After 21 days underground, the pups emerge to join the foraging party, where they learn the skills needed to live in the Kalahari Desert.

If we lived in a society of meerkats every mother that is able to help raise your pups would be celebrated, but we do not live in a society of meerkats and raising kids is no longer the responsibility of the community as it was ages ago.

Being a stepmom is one of the hardest roles on earth.  You are always walking a tightrope with huge precipices on either side.  With practice to you turn into an acrobat, but there is some preconceived ideas about your role as Bonus/Extra/Stepmom that do not help and really must die.

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Blog Hops/Link Parties Advice from a Beginner Blogger

Blog Hops and Link Parties: Advice from a Beginner Blogger

When I started blogging five short months ago I had no idea what a Blog Hop or a Link Party was.  I thought if I just started writing people would just magically appear on my ‘doorstep’.   I now blame my arrogance on ignorance.  I was going with the “If you build it, they will come!” metaphor, but like everything in life the more work you put in the better the outcome.

One of the best ways to get your name out there and connect with people with similar interests that might be interested in reading what you have to say is to join a blog hop or link party.

The first question I had was:  What is a blog hop or LinkUp?

The definition according to the Inlinkz website is:

The linkup is an efficient way to connect with your readers and their followers, reach bigger social network audiences, make your blog come alive and increase your traffic.

In other words, a blog hop is a time frame in which a group of bloggers share links to other blogs so that readers can ‘hop’ to them.  Each blog hop is usually hosted by a blogger on the same day every week and can be shared by more than one blog.  The purpose of a blog hop is to visit other blogs and follow the ones that you like and in return gain a few readers yourself.

How to add your blog post to a link party: Read more

Unforgettable Dr. Seuss Quotes from Practicingnormal  #drseuss #books #quotes #reading

Unforgettable Dr. Seuss Quotes

It is almost time to celebrate the birthday of the famous children’s author, Dr Seuss.  He was a writer, poet and cartoonist, among other things, in America that wrote funny, zany children’s books.   His real name was Theodor Seuss Griesel and was born on March 2, 1904 in Springfield, Massachusetts.

What makes this year remarkable is that twenty years after his death, there will be a new Dr Seuss book released in July 2015 called “What Pet Should I Get?”   Read more

Not a bad life

It’s just a bad day, not a bad life

Life is a wonderful adventure, but some days it sucks.

Today we had a crazy, full day.  Almost exactly the same kind that we always have.  With seven different personalities, interest and loads of things on the to-do list, it is inevitable that there will be clashes in schedules and general organised chaos.

Usually I handle the chaos with an iron fist like the supreme leader that I am, but if there is a hiccup in the system or a glitch in the matrix I can get completely derailed.  I do not like change and if you mess with my schedule I’m ready to loose my s…. calm and peaceful demeanor. Read more

Cover Photo - Kind

This year we will be kind.

In December I asked all the children about their resolutions for the 2015.   After getting sarcastic answers,  (sarcasm is a native language in my home)  I decided to make an universal decision for everyone.  As a mother and dictator of this house it is my prerogative to make rules as and when I feel like it.  To get my minions to abide with these rules might be another story, but I’m starting to ramble.  Back to the 2015 resolution.

This year, in this house, We are going to be kind.  Hopefully being kind at home will spill over into being a good human being but for now we are going to concentrate on being kind to everyone who lives under my roof.

I think the world can do with an extra bit of kindness and the best place to start is at home.  There might also be a chance that I will end up with less children in the end of 2015 than what I started with if I do not teach them to be nicer to each other.

To make this concrete I made a list of things as examples on how to be kind especially for my kids, but you are welcome to use it.

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Reading cover photo

The Practicingnormal Reading Challenge for busy moms

I am a reader.

I am also a mom.

Being both can sometimes be quite difficult.

I keep track of all my books that I read on Goodreads and I participate in their yearly reading challenge. One of the things I had to do today was deciding how many books I would read this year and enter the challenge.  This consists of filling in the form and every time you finish a book you update it on the website.   No one ever checks up to see if you read the books that you say you will, but there is a little counter that reminds you for example:  You have fallen behind by 4 books.   I start to feel guilty as soon as that counter starts saying to keep up with this list you better go and read 2 books.  As if I need another thing to feel guilty about.  I’m a mom, I feel guilty all the time anyway. Read more

flowers butterfly lilac violet purple gardens misty fields gardening blooms blooming blossoms morning plants floral peaceful scenic nature dreamy

Rules for Stepmoms (from a stepmom)

Have a thick skin.

Do everything with a sense of humour.

Forgive yourself if you fail.

Fake it till you make it.

Sometimes you just need to take a nap and get over it.

Keep your promises, especially the ones you make to your kids – it’s important. Read more

Advice for my daughters from Practicingnormal.com

Advice for my Daughters

My beautiful daughter

There is a poem called Walking Away by C Day Lewis that ends:

‘…how selfhood begins with walking away,

    and love is proved in letting go.’

It feels like every time I blink we have reached yet another milestone and I have to open my hands a little bit more, give you a bit more freedom and start letting you go.  I know it is part of the circle of life, you are growing up, but as your mom I wish I could just keep you safe from the world.   The world can be a big and scary place, but it is also wonderful, exciting and beautiful.

I have to let you go, give you a chance to make your own mistakes and send you into the world.  Here’s some lessons I’ve had to learn the hard way.

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ballerinas girls ballet slippers loved ones

Appreciate the people that you love

We’ve had a very busy few days the past week with ballet recitals and exams.   An almost normal week in the chaos that I call my life.

Then something happened which made me realise that sometimes you just have to stop, take a breath and appreciate your life and the people that you love.

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Things I wish someone told me before I became a Stepmom…

I always thought the term stepparent comes from the fact that you as ‘step-in’ as parent.  The word actually comes from the 8th century word ‘steop-’,  which means orphan.

Our kids have never been orphans and I like my interpretation of the word a lot more.  I hate the word stepmom, mostly because of all the negative connotations that the word have.   In our house we talk about the Other Mom.  If I have to speak to someone I always refer to myself as the ‘Other Mom.’  So much so that The Littlest Mouse used to ask why she only has one mom.   ‘Other Mom’ or ‘Stepmom’,  we are all just doing the best we can.

If I could go back in time and tell my naive, younger self what to expect there is a few things I would warn her about being a stepmom.  I love being a mom and I love all my children but there is some things about being a stepmom that you never even think about before it applies to you.

 

1)   Disney hates you

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Dear Other Mother from Practicingnormal.com #stepmom #blendedfamily #othermom #family

Dear Other Mother

One of the many roles I fill is the one of being a Mother.  It is one of my most rewarding, and also one of the most exasperating roles that any individual can ever have.  I am not only a mother, I am also a stepmom and sometimes being a stepmom is even harder than being a mom.

The amount of work and love that a stepmom is exactly the same as a mother, but society does not see it that way and your role is not as clearly defined as if you were the birth mom.   The most confusing thing of being a stepmom is that the rules are not always the same.  I am in the unique situation that I am a mom and a stepmom and I also send my kids my kids to go and visit their biological dad where there is another mom looking after them.

This gives me a unique perspective.  I know what it is like to be a mother, to be an other mother and I know how difficult it is to let your kids go where someone else has to take over your role.

Here is the letter that I send to my kids ‘Other Mom’ and the one that I wish I would someday receive.

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Woman with Wings series from Practicingnormal.com

Woman with Wings

This post includes nudity.   The Woman with Wings series without nudity can be found here:  Woman with Wings (Censored Edition)

Every time someone speaks out or tell their story about sexual abuse of violence it makes it easier for the next survivor to tell their story.

 

Here’s my story:

There are many words that define me.

Woman, mother, wife.

Photographer, blogger, victim.

When I was a student I was date raped in an University Dorm.   I suffer from PTSD and had night terrors for years.  

With the help of a therapist and my wonderful husband I worked through the process from victim to SURVIVOR.  

 

Part of my process was taking photos of wonderful women and doing an artistic series called Woman with Wings.

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