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“Let’s go to the countryside.”

The one request from Hannah these holidays. Not the movies or the ice-skating rink or the Zoo or Dreamworld…none of the elaborate assumptions I had in the weeks leading up to this time, just:

“Let’s go somewhere with lots of peace and quiet.”

We’ve had an awful couple of months, to say the least. Hannah has had to put up with more than the majority of 6 year olds and my time has been largely taken up with Heidi’s appointments, exercises and just the general stress of everyday life. So when the holidays come around, I like to set aside time to do something just for Hannah and have a little ‘one on one time’. Also, one of ‘the Jays’ has come to live with us and I think he needed it too…

So we packed a few things and made our way up to Mount Buninyong, an extinct volcano that lives barely 20 minutes away from our house.
I have fond memories of this place, trekking with my family, picnicking in the sun, climbing the lookout tower and looking over the town and the bush below… It really is a lovely place to let go of all your worries and breathe in the freshness around you.

Just to see the look on her face when she realised where we were, was priceless. Her look of awe and excitement and novel interest was exactly what I’d hoped for.
She ran straight for the lookout tower, fearless, encouraging us along the way to “keep up” and “don’t look down”. My vertigo has no place in Hannah’s world.

If you want to face your fears, have kids and then you won’t have a choice.

It was all the worth it. The view was spectacular and even more breath-taking than it was in my memories.

Then we decided to do ‘The Crater Walk’, which is a steep hike down to where the lava would’ve been all those years ago. Something so simple as walking down a track throughout the bushland that now covers this mountain, was just beautiful. The wind was light, the sun was warm, and the birds sang happily in the trees.


We spotted a sign which said there was a possibility of seeing Wallabies, Koalas, Echidnas and all kinds of wildlife that lived in the area, so we walked and searched the treetops and the scrub… Unfortunately, none of the furry types, but the birds were everywhere. Wrens, Rosellas and Lorikeets were impossible to miss. Again, the look on Hannah’s face…makes me smile just thinking about it…


We talked about volcanoes and picked up volcanic rocks (pumice) and named the different native trees and plants we walked past…

The walk back was just as lovely and steep, but this time uphill…which was a huge reminder of my lack of fitness and how we should REALLY do this more often. I was worried that it might be too much for Hannah, that maybe her little legs couldn’t walk so far…ha…it was me complaining about my sore legs and needing to rest along the way…

You don’t need alot of money to have fun, it doesn’t have to be an extravagant day full of rides and souvenirs… Sometimes, it can just be a walk through the bush, or up a mountain, or around a lake. Those are the best memories I have as a kid, enjoying the great outdoors, going on adventures and using my imagination.

The best things in life are free.

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11 Questions

Random thingy I was sent that I had a little fun with… Read away, you might learn something new 🙂

1. Each person tagged must post 11 things about themselves.
2. They must also answer the 11 questions the ‘tagger’ has set for them.
3. They must create 11 more questions to ask bloggers they have decided to tag.
4. They must then choose 11 bloggers with less than 200 followers and tag them in their post.
5. These lucky bloggers must then be told.
6. There are no tag backs

 

11 things about myself:

 
1. Since the age of 3, I wanted to be a Hairdresser more than anything in the world.

2. At 15 I realised I have hair dye anaphylaxis. (If I dye my hair, I will die.) Ha, take that plans!

3. I am deep down, afraid of ALL animals/insects to a certain extent. Although I have cats, I’m convinced they will all eventually turn on me…

4. ‘Lolita’ by Vladimir Nabokov is the only book I’ve ever been fearful of and convinced myself I would never pick up. I’m now on page 37.

5. I am ashamed to say I love Stephen King books…even though I know they’re going to leave me disappointed and with so many unanswered questions. Every. Single. Time.

6. I fall hopelessly in love with anyone who has a British accent, wears a Fedora or a Police uniform.

7. I’m a die-hard Audrey Hepburn, Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor fan.

8. My favourite colour is Blue.

9. I have a hearing impairment that makes most foreign accents unintelligible. So no, I’m not trying to be racist…I’m sure your english is lovely…yes, it’s an actual thing.

10. I am colour-coordination-crazy.

11. I love trashy Sci-Fi. Just quietly.

 

Tagger Questions:
1. If you had to choose, would you rather eat ten pounds of ants or twenty pounds of dog food? (dry)
Dog food. They have human taste testers right?

2. Do you have a favourite sport? Or don’t watch them?
I go out of my way to NEVER watch sport. Unless it’s Dancesport?

3. It’s the end of the world, and you’re forced to choose between eating your fellow man, or trying your luck at finding food by travel. Stay and eat, or walk and search?
Walk and search. Bear Grylls eat your heart out. Your own heart. Not mine. D:

4. Which period of time would you least like to visit?
Any time inbetween 1939 & 1945.

5. Did you ever write a note about someone, then that person found it?
I can’t remember a time, but I’m sure if I did, it would’ve been found. 😛

6. What special room would you add to your house?
An attic…decorated like the inside of Jeannie’s bottle (from I Dream of Jeannie).

7. Would you ever play Jumanji?
Probably? Board games are awesome. But if I knew it was going to be like the movie…then no.

8. What is your speciality to cook?
I hate cooking. Pumpkin Soup? (even Josh likes it :D)

9. Is there a singer / band you’re ashamed to say you love?
Haha, where do I start? Maroon 5 & The Spice Girls.

10. What issue are you most passionate about? Endangered species, youth crime, ‘illegal’ immigrants, etc
Out of those 3? Endangered species. Like the Brush-Tailed Phascogale or the Gouldian Finch.

11. Which fantasy realm would you most like to be transported to?
I don’t know if you’d call it a realm, but I’d like to be transported to Silky’s house in The Faraway Tree…

 

Now because I have such a limited amount of followers, here are my questions and you can take them or leave them…don’t forget to notify me if you do answer them though!!

MY Questions 2 YOU

1. What are 3 things you couldn’t live without?

2. Star Trek or Star Wars?

3. If happiness was the national currency, what kind of work would make you rich?

4. If you had to move to a state or country besides the one you currently live in, where would you move to and why?

5. Would you rather be a worried genius or a joyful simpleton?

6. Do you go out of your way to avoid or face your fears?

7. If you were a biscuit, what type would you be?

8. Which Hollywood film actor would play you in a movie of your life?

9. If the Matrix existed, would you want to know?

10. If you had to change your name, what would you change it to?

11. If you could have any superpower, what would it be and why?

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Wine in the face of adversity

So I think I’ve already covered how much I can dwell on things that people say to me? If not, there you are, I do, very much so. Sometimes it can be one word, a sentence or an entire conversation…in other words, be VERY careful with what you to say to others. They can alter somebody’s entire perception of life as they know it. Or at least, it does for me…

 
Everybody, as I understand it, develops their own ‘facebook image’ over time. I have been aware of this for quite awhile as there are many opinions I’ve formed of my ‘friends’ purely from their status updates/page likes/check-ins/about sections. Silly, right? I think we’ve reached a dangerous age, where people assume they don’t have to go out to get to know anyone anymore… Which works great for us single mothers, hey?

 

 

A friend I haven’t seen or really spoken to for about 11 years popped up in my messages/chat yesterday. They said they “paid attention to my status updates” and that I seemed “strong, enthusiastic, capable and a role model to others…”. (Holy crap, what?!) And then the statement that has sat strangely with me until right now: “Triumph in the face of adversity…”.

 

Now, I can’t really be expected to look too much into that right? People say nice things every day without actually meaning them. But this is me we’re talking about, awkward, over-analytical, internalising me.

 

I’m flattered, really, but do people actually consider ME a role model? Do I really seem like I’m coping better than the rest of the planet? What adversity? I could ask so many presumptuous questions…
Maybe this is my humility speaking, but really, if I am your role model…maybe you should re-evaluate your perceptions…just a tad.

 

Triumph. That word forms an image in my mind of a medieval warlord who has just claimed his land back for his people, after many slayings of evil people and dragons…yeah dragons. I haven’t done that.
Adversity. Conjures images of parents who have lost their children to that very warlord, or someone with Ebola… That is no way near what my life has been like.

 

Things are going wrong? Time to open up that bottle and write about it…if I get any time in the next month… – That is me.

 

I look up to people, and come to think of it, they’re usually people I don’t see very often if at all. I’ve built them up in my mind as superhuman and most of the time I go out of my way to NOT spend much time with them…so I don’t taint that ideal my brain assumes. In fact, this very person who sparked this crazed train of thought would definitely be in my ‘Top 10 people who have role model qualities’ (So, avoid at all costs…).
But looking up to me? Ha, you’re funny, you funny person you.

 

What do you think? Do you have people who look up to you? Have you changed what you do or write about because of that? Do you feel better or worse for being someone’s role model?

 

I think we should be careful of who we look up to, be careful of taking every status update as God’s honest truth. People are flawed, nobody is perfect. The only way to really know somebody is to spend time with them, actual face to face time…and even then…

Wait, what?!

 

Facebook is full of lies after all.

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10 Reasons Why It’s REALLY AWESOME To Be Single!

I came across an article this morning, with the title: “10 Reasons Why It’s AWESOME To Be Single!!”, and I was all like “Oh yeah, this is going to be goooood!”…

It wasn’t. Actually, it was so disappointingly lacking that I just HAD to write my own. Because, this isn’t some poor attempt at covering up my ultimate despair, or trying to make up for something when there’s no other choice… It actually is SO AWESOME to be single!

 

 

omnomnom

ALL of the Cheesecakes!

Number 1. = There’s a common saying that goes around my family, which I’m proud to say I started: “You get to eat ALL of the Cheesecake!”. Now, just so we’re clear, you don’t HAVE to eat all of the Cheesecake. The point I’m making is that you COULD, if you wanted to. You know when there’s one slice left (it doesn’t have to be Cheesecake, if you’re not a fan, it could be MudCake, Oreo/TimTam, or the last piece of Camembert…mmmm Camembert…whatever you desire) and you really, really want it? But you’re nice and you offer it to your other half, half hoping they’ll say “No, you can have it…”. We all know, majority of the time that niceness usually comes back to bite you and you have to sit there watching as they finish off that amazing last piece as your tummy grumbles with distaste at your stupid manners.
Compromise, there is none of that when you’re single. You get the last piece, you get ALL of the pieces and you don’t have to feel bad about it until you step on the scales the next morning.

 

 

ALL of the comfort

Number 2. = An entire Queen size bed ALL to yourself. You can sleep on whatever side you like, ALL of the sides if you so wish. There’s no blanket stealing or what I like to call “The Air Tunnel of Doom” (you know, that little bit inbetween the 2 of you that lets that huge gush of freezing cold air in?). You can cocoon yourself in blankets without worrying about anyone else’s comfort. Also, if you’re into this kind of thing, your coverlet can be bright pink with fairies on it, you can have fluffy, sparkly cushions and sleep with your favourite Hello Kitty toy and NOBODY will ever know………oh.

 

 

I can dream…

Number 3. = You can spend ALL of the money. You know those awesome shoes you saw that you couldn’t really justify but would sell your soul to just look at them in your wardrobe? Okay, maybe you just felt like a new PS3 game, or a book, or an iPad? You see where I’m going with this… The only person you have to consult is yourself. And when you find yourself completely broke before payday, it’s okay…you don’t have to explain yourself to anyone. Also, you don’t have to worry about anyone ELSE going crazy with YOUR money!

 

 

Number 4. = ALL of the ‘Me Time’ you want. The best part of my day is when everyone else is asleep and I don’t have to worry about anything else other than what I want to do before bedtime. I like to curl up/sprawl out with a book or waste time staring into space or watch my favourite TV series/Movie or write or doodle or just get completely and utterly engrossed in Infomercials (Okay, that last one doesn’t happen, but it COULD if I wanted it to…).

 

 

Dooooo it!

Number 5. = You get to cook what you want and when you want. Obviously this will have to be SLIGHTLY modified if you have children like myself, but you get the gist. There were alot of things my past partners just wouldn’t allow me to cook. Like Salmon or Porcupines or Brussel Sprouts (yeah I’m weird like that but they’re good for you! Vitamins A, B6, C, E, K, Thiamin, Niacin, Riboflavin etc. Get on it.). When you’re single, you don’t have to modify your ingredients to suit anyone but yourself!!

 

 

Number 6. = You can have ALL of the friends! Boys, Girls, Animals(?), there’s nothing to feel guilty about and you don’t have to explain yourself to anyone! Come home at 2am or not at all! Drink yourself stupid, dance like nobody is watching and wear WHATEVER you want! Plus, you’ll have ALL of the time in the world to spend with them.

 

 

Number 7. = Go to the Movies by yourself! This relates alot back to Number 4, but I think it’s important enough to have its own paragraph. How many times did you have to go to a movie you REALLY didn’t want to see just to please your soulmate? Almost every time, there’s a movie on you would’ve loved to see instead, but, because you’re nice, you…that’s right…COMPROMISE. It doesn’t matter whether anyone else likes it, it doesn’t matter if you like it, you can go to see whatever you want and eat ALL of the popcorn! And feel great about it.

 

 

Number 8. = This is a weird one, but what the hey. There is no need to preen yourself JUST to please the opposite sex. As I said earlier, wear what you want! You haven’t shaved your legs? Chuck on some pants! You haven’t done your hair or makeup? WHAT-EV! Clipping toenails and waxing bits and pieces are now a thing of the past! Ha, don’t get me wrong, some of these things we obviously do for our own comfort and self-satisfaction…but that’s just it, isn’t it? Be a hippie.

 

 

Number 9. = NEVER feel obligated. You are your own nurse, your own chef, cleaner, chauffeur, happiness maker. Make 1 sandwich. Wash 1 set of clothes. Make 1 meal. (Again, some things have to be slightly modified for children but NO grubby man-socks or jocks! EVER!)

 

Number 10. = Okay, I can’t just stick to 10 reasons…there’s just too many!! So this is a roundabout wrap-up: The toilet seat stays down or up, however you like, toilet paper placement is your own, no anniversaries to remember, or birthdays, or in-laws to visit, no pregnancy scares, no wedding to plan, snore all you want, talk to yourself and be insane, sing as loudly and terribly as humanly possible, hog ALL the heater…and best of all, be happy and feel great about it!

 

 

 

Loneliness is one of the only down-sides but with the small amount of time that it may take up, it’s okay because it’s far outweighed by the awesomeness.

Singledom is where you can be as selfish as you like and not worry about anyone else’s feelings on the matter. No compromising, no sharing, no obligations and it’s okay if you think I’m awful for wanting to be this way. That’s YOUR problem.

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“Find your niche (neesh/nitch) and go for it…”

It’s funny how a few simple words can restore my lust for life…

I have felt like I’ve been wandering aimlessly for quite some time now. I am passionate about so many things, but I think that has been my inevitable downfall. I have always over-analysed every situation that has ever crossed my path, which I thought went in my favour… But that might possibly be the only thing that keeps me in the exact same spot as I started. I can dream, I can talk, I can write and I can think up all of the best and worst case scenarios imaginable…but it never actually gets me anywhere.

"Thoughts don't make the man, actions make everything..."

“Thoughts don’t make the man, actions are everything.”

I’ve always been fascinated by genetics. Whenever I heard about a new syndrome, disorder or difference, I would research the heck out of it…quietly. I felt like it was wrong of me to be so interested in things that didn’t concern me at all… And then I had Heidi.

Most of my life i have considered myself a Writer but I never knew where to go with it… I needed something else, something I was confident I would never tire of.

During the first 2 years of Heidi’s life I was suddenly thrown into the world of ‘special needs’ and what seemed like the most daunting experience of my life, slowly became my reason for living.

“You realise your life will now consist of ALL of the appointments that you can possibly think of…for the rest of your life.”

I never thought in the beginning that these therapies, courses and endless medical examinations would end up helping me as well. I wondered after those first 2 years, if maybe I could use these experiences to get ahead… Cardiologists, Ear, Nose & Throat Doctors, Audiologists, Radiologists, Pathologists, Paediatricians, Nurses, Physios, Occupational and Speech therapies and appointments turned into the need to complete courses such as “It Takes Two to Talk”, “Makaton (Key-Word Sign Language)”, “Signposts” “Learning Together”, the list goes on… Slowly it became obvious that it was going to take alot more work than I first anticipated. Heidi may ‘only’ have Down syndrome, but she’s almost 4 and isn’t walking or talking independently yet. Unlike the majority, we use walkers, sign language & flash cards and the idea of wheelchairs aren’t completely out of the realm of possibility.

Ever so gradually, it became essential for me to learn everything possible to help my daughter reach her full potential…and then it dawned on me. I had to do these things, to help my daughter, but what if I could use it to further myself? How many people know all of these things I HAVE to know?

I thought about this for awhile, I went through the ideas of entering Disability Services, Childcare Services, becoming a Therapist, or maybe even a Nurse? I thought about it for a long time, and eventually started doubting myself.
One of my friends works within the Disability and Aged Care industry; I’ve seen her with black eyes, vomit soaked shirts and I’ve heard the stories of the people she’s had to shower, dress and feed…all while they spit, swear and attack. I’ve heard the screaming and head banging that goes on in the room next to ours when we visit Pinarc.

“Just because I know Down syndrome, doesn’t mean I can cope with EVERY disability…”

I heard of people in the Childcare industry, working with kids all day and cleaning up after them, then coming home to their own kids and housework. Therapists are really smart. Nurses have to administer needles…uuuhhhhh… You see where things can go when you think about them too much?

So I gave up…well, I was still thinking and hoping my brain would come up with a foolproof way to make a living, something perfect, something that didn’t have any chance of failure…

I was like this for about a year… Until one of Heidi’s childcare workers spoke up. She reminded me of my passion. She reminded me that there are always going to be bad days for everyone, in every job, but that I should go for it anyway…because I have something that so many have never had a chance to experience. She reminded me that I could put my knowledge and passion to good use, to help others that are currently going through that ‘daunting time’.

So here I am, back where I was 2 years ago… Thinking alot about what my niche could be. Only this time, being very careful to ignore the negative aspects and look to the future. This time, thinking my best bet is to just jump in head first and deal with the repercussions later.
What’s the worst that could happen? I could have bad days?

My brother and I talked about ‘the many lives within a life’ that we all have. This is just one life that I could try my hand at, and if it doesn’t work out…onto the next one?

I think I can do this, as long as I don’t think on it too much…

(Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated, although I’m pretty sure I know what I’m going to do…) 🙂

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Write about something that makes you smile…

Image

 

I’d like to write something happy for once. Something nice, something that makes people think and see that I’m not actually angry or sad at the world ALL of the time…

 

I’m not, not ALL of the time…some of the time, yes, and usually that’s what prompts me to write, to vent, to release, to unload… When I’m happy, I never really see a reason to write about it, as I like it…it’s not something I want to get rid of.

 

I guess that’s why I don’t write much of the time anymore, even though I am amazing at typing…(really, you should see me, even after all this time of not having a computer, I can still speed-touch-type like a superhero…wow, that makes me happy).

 

Life has been good. Really good. And I’m not just saying that, even though I’m sure people would take one look at my life and assume I’m trying to make up for something that isn’t actually good at all.

 

I’m single. Have been for over a year now. And, truthfully, it has been the greatest year of my life, with ALL of the realisations and loveliness you could possibly imagine. I’ve spent great times with my kids, I’ve been to the movies all by myself, seeing a movie nobody else wanted to see (seriously, that was the greatest), I’ve eaten ALL of the cheesecake (and paid for it, but dammit it was SO worth it), I’ve listened to terrible music and sung my heart out, I’ve read books because I actually had time to myself here and there that wasn’t taken up by life or a goddamned boyfriend.

 

Hannah started school this year…and it turns out, she’s actually quite brilliant (yeah, I knew that already, but hearing it from other people is the best). Emotionally and socially we have a way to go…but academically? BRILLIANT. Who would’ve thought that she would be reading at a level above everyone else in her class? Who would’ve thought, that I could actually teach somebody to read, let alone Math & Science?!

 

Heidi is also progressing brilliantly…albeit in different ways, the smallest amount of progress makes me feel on top of the world. She took 4 steps unsupported this week, she signed ‘Giraffe’ and ‘Lion’ and she’s been cruising the furniture and walls more than ever before…

 

I really do love my life right now, nothing is perfect but we’re working on it and coming along in leaps and bounds…

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An Introduction…or something like it…

So, not knowing exactly how to start this as I’ve never really had a blog to be proud of, I suppose I need to introduce myself? Or maybe not, but for anyone reading who hasn’t met us before, this is us:

 
My name is Amy. I am 26 years old. I come from a family of 3 biological brothers (Joshua, Jordan & Justin), 1 half brother (Jeremy), 1 half sister (Alyssa), 1 step brother (Alex) and 2 step sisters (Rebecca & Emily), although I usually would say that I have 5 brothers and 3 sisters…

I am a single Mother to 2 beautiful girls: Hannah (6) & Heidi (3). Heidi just happens to have Down Syndrome and Hannah is I guess what you would call ‘in the process of being diagnosed’ (or just a crazy child who will forever keep me on my toes).

I am passionate about most things. I would say all, but there’s things like Sport, Math, Science and anything logical that I really wish didn’t exist most days.
I love to write and would like to consider myself a Writer…even though the amount of time I have to actually sit down and finish something is extremely few and far between (I will be utterly surprised and beyond proud of myself if this ever gets posted…)
I love sleep (God, do I love sleep…but most nights I would consider it an accomplishment to get 4 hours).
I am the ultimate collector of Hello Kitty merchandise (because everyone needs something that defines them, and pink, girly, baby stuff is THE BEST), okay, I don’t have as much as many others and ‘ultimate’ is rather arrogant of me…but I have alot and I will continue to collect for the rest of my days…
I love to read, and I like to think that will eventually make me one of those intellectual people you hear about…
I am an over-user of ellipses, as most of my thoughts are unfinished and I trail off quite a bit in real life. Something else to possibly work on…

I am quite possibly, the most awkward, unrefined, over-analytical person who has ever lived. I stress, I worry, I over-think things WAY more than most people (I’m sure of it!) and I am a perfectionist…although I’m pretty sure I hide all of that REALLY well…heh…

My siblings and my children are THE most important people in my life. I cannot and will not imagine what life would be like without them. I would not be here today if it wasn’t for them and if there is anything I will be eternally grateful for, it’s to count the best people on the planet as my family.

I’m sure there is more, but maybe that will do to start off with… So you at least have some idea about who I’m talking of when I mention certain names or things… Plus, I need to actually FINISH something… So perfection aside, this is my first ever post…and I hope you enjoy everything that comes after this as much as I’m sure I will… (Don’t judge too harshly).

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