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"Hallmark Moments"

Today I am grateful...
This may be a bit more personal than some of my other posts but every now and then I need to just release my thoughts.
We all have our struggles.. many of us may think we have it harder than the next. Of course there are so many quotes and posts, especially around the holidays telling us to be thankful for what we have or reminding us how someone didn't wake up today. Yes we know, we all struggle but sometimes we can't even see the full extent of our struggle until we aren't dealing with those struggles in the same way.
I've had a lot of reminders this holiday but today would be my biggest. I hosted a toy drive today. I watched a bunch of very small children have their eyes light up at the sight of toys donated. I thought back to when my babies were very little and how they too were the recipients of donated toys.
Before anything I'm a Mom and most of my life I have been a hard working, struggling Mother. Becoming a Mom at 16 years of age, having five children by the age of 23. Yes, I can truly say The Struggle is Real. It has been. Over the years I worked a full-time job, side gigs whenever I could and raised my children the best way I knew how.
The holidays were always hard. Kids have no real concept on how expensive Christmas can be and what parent wants to say hey, it's lights or presents kids, sorry. It all kinda takes away from the magic of the holiday when real life keeps you so grounded. So what was once my favorite time of year became dreaded. I feared underperforming. I feared disappointing my babies. No matter their age, they are always my babies and I wanted to provide that light in their eyes always, every day of the year, but especially on Christmas. Please spare me with your Christmas is more than presents speeches, I get that, I'm talking about how we all feel regardless.
My husband often picks on me for loving my "hallmark moments".. I'm a sucker for the perfect backdrop, that song playing at the right moment, the photo that captures everything beautifully. Yes.. I long for these moments because I know the reality of LIFE. I know that magical moments are special and I appreciate them. I see that even though we may get late on a bill or give up a few things to pay the bills, we still have the ability. I see that I'm not in line for free toys, or trying to find a babysitter to go to work (there's at least one benefit of teenage children, lol).
Years of hard work, of building my brand, of sacrificing have led me to get paid regularly for simply being me. That in itself is a beautiful thing. In addition to that I also have a hard working husband who makes my life a million times better. We have families that love and support us. Even our community shows us so much freaking love.
So sometimes we have those moments.. where we are reminded that where we are is beyond where we've ever been and those moments tell us we can be light-years ahead of where we are now.
Thank you for letting me see... I am the makings of triumphs, mistakes and plenty of lessons learned. I am proud to be me.

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