Monday, May 21, 2012

Single Parenting.. but not Alone

I know that I am not the only girl in the world a single mother. There are many I meet everday.. and many are single parents for all sorts of reasons. I have found that it is not a weakness. nor does it define me. Yes, it is a huge part of my life as everyday I wake up and face the job of raising my sweet Grace. There is not a moment in my day that her well being and happiness isn't in the front of my mind. Being a single parent was brand new in my world.. coming from a family of  8 and parents that have been married for 40+ yrs.. that was all I knew. I have learned alot in these 3 1/2 yrs and still have alot to learn :)... From this though, I have grown closer relationships with my siblings and parents. For once in my life I could not hide.. I had reality right out in front of me. Something I honestly couldn't be more grateful for.

                                                          (Me -  8 months pregnant)

From what I have learned.. I can simply say this.. To every parent out there who's child has or will come to them and inform them that they are are pregnant and unmarried.. I beg you to find grace and kindness in your heart for them. I am in no way saying to tell them what they did was ok, because it isn't. A child is meant to be born out of love and marriage. I believe with all of my heart that is how God designed it. But trust me when I say, your child will learn that through alot of pain and hurt, whether you see it or not. Shame and condemnation will in no way help. My parents offered me an example of God's love for me, when they loved me through it. This does not mean that they didn't show their hurt and anger.. this does not mean that they babied me.. this simply means they loved me unconditionally and told me truthfully that I had a hard road ahead of me. My parents have been my rock.. my support.. my shoulder to cry on when my heart was breaking.. they sheltered me and gave me a stable place to get back on my feet.

Not only my parents but my brothers and sisters.. I can't begin to tell you the times they have spoiled Grace.. that they sent diapers when money was tight for me.. They showed up at her birthdays when she didn't have any other family coming.. even down to this past mother's day when together with an incredible guy, Michael all went in on getting me a car for mother's day so that I had no car payment and could have some independence and not have to always share with my parents. It is kindness I didn't deserve.. and a reminder of God's love for me.. See, that is what brings me to the not alone part..

To anyone that were to ever read this and facing single parenting I would say this.. I wish I could tell you it will be easy and painless.. but I would be lieing.. My dreams were broken over and over. I unfortunantly tried everyway I knew to act kindly to my child's father.. but there was no happy ending.. He chose himself over our sweet child. That was painful.. no parent wants that for their child or wants to explain it.. but I can say I have learned that my child has the best father any child can ask for.. My Heavenly Father.. He has never left us.. He has never abandoned us.. He has never broken a promise.. He has kept up safe.. He has provided for us.. He has loved us with a greater love then any man could. I promise you there is no greater joy in life then the love of a child.. There will be days of laughter and joy.. the child will be a healing balm to your soul.. the best day of my life thus far was the day I had Grace.. Don't doubt that you can be a parent.. because you can.. You will never be alone if you walk with Jesus.. I can promise you 100%.. He will be everything that you need.. and never let you down.
                                           Grace and I - Mother's Day 2012

    I am who I am today because of the choices I made yesterday - Eleanor Roosevelt

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Happy Birthday Big Brother!

May 17 is a day that will never be easy.. it is a day that my heart as well as my family's will hurt.. It is the day my brother Ron always turned a year older. This year he would have been 37.. ten years ago we lost him in a car accident. I remember his last birthday we got to celebrate, 27. He came to our house in Ocala, FL.. My brother Seth was graduating highschool.. Ron dressed up in his chef gear and cooked an amazing breakfast of eggs benedict. When Ron was home the house was always filled with laughter.. between his jokes.. and his crazy acting skills as he told them. The last day he was home we spent it in the pool.. my brothers had quite the intense game of pool basketball..Those are memories I cherish..

I admire my brother.. I admire the legacy of his life he left for me to follow and learn from. Ron was not a perfect man..but a man that stood up after mistakes were made and made them right.. A quality I hope to have in common with him! Ron always took care of us "little ones." I can still remember breakfast being made.. He was a gentle soul..He loved people no matter what. He would help anyone he could.. yes even strangers. He had the ability to make my mom laugh like none other. I remember when he first got his bike.. I remember him calling and starting it up over the phone.. he was so proud. I love him.. and always will. The other picture is the last birthday he got to celebrate with his little boy.. his namesake Ron Hohman III.. I can't say I fully understand why he had to go. I can't say I will ever stop hurting and missing him..But I can say I am one lucky little girl to have had him as my brother..

This is the video to a song that I listen to when I am missing him.. I do picture him as an angel beside me.. helping me make it through.. even on days when I don't want to..
XoXo Ron..

Where I began learning Grace...

Alot of people that know me or many that don't.. shortly after getting to know me, they usually always ask.. "How did you tell your parents when you found out you were pregnant? "

Well here goes..February of 2008.. I first found out I was pregnant.. To say the least.. it was not a good day! I went into total freak out mode.. I sat and cried and cried. I contemplated many things over and over in my head. I had a precious friend/roommate Amanda at the time. She let me cry.. she let me scream.. she let me be angry.. she let me be me... I was only 21. I was the girl brought up to know better. I was the girl with a family that had a strong reputation in our church. In my head, this wasn't supposed to happen.

(Me at 21)

Finally, after a few days.. reality sunk in. I called my sister, Terah. She was my support..she kept me thinking straight, and promised to be by my side. Next person was my brother, Seth. He had to take some time to  accept it. Being my big brother, he wanted to protect me from everything. Finally, due to some difficulties I had early on in my pregnancy.. I had no choice but to call my Dad. I was scared. I remember the night and phone conversation clearer then anything in my life. It was raining and I was sitting in my car outside of a Planned Parenthood. I truly felt lost and confused. Being a single mom wasn't part of my plan. I had told Grace's dad at this point and he had made it clear this wasn't part of his plan either. My dad picked up.. we chatted like normal for a bit.. then I broke. I began to tell him, but couldn't stop crying. I remember him saying," This is a conversation I was hoping to never have.. you don't have to tell me anymore." He then asked me what my thoughts were.. I began to say how confused and lost I was.. and this is a summary of his words...

"Jess, you've made an adult decision. As your dad I would love to be able to fix this, but this is out of my hands. I have no right and will not make this decision for you. I will tell you that no matter what decision you make, I am your father and always will be. I will love you forever. You do not beat yourself up or hold your head down. You are always my daughter and I am always proud of you. You know the choices you have made to get you to this point are wrong. Now you have another choice to make. You can do what the world says is "ok" and abort this baby, but do not believe the lie that it will fix everything and make it go away. Know that you will have to live with that choice forever. You can carry this baby and choose to give it up for adoption or you can carry this baby and raise it, and your Mom and I will be here to support you. But know this, everyone of those choices have consequences and you need to choose which one is right and the one you can live with. I love you"

Those words made sense, those words brought about a lot of peace in my head. Those words were so full of love and grace like I had never felt. My dad didn't condemn and say, "how could you?" My Dad told me the harsh realities all the while, loving me. That moment will live with me forever.

Telling each sibling after was not easy.. My mom was probably the hardest moment, but she like my Dad showed me true grace. I told her with an older sister present, unsure of how it would go. I remember the look of shock, followed by some tears and she looked at me and put her hand on my shoulder and said, "Jessica, I have told you since you were born. We are all sinners saved by grace. I am no better.." She talked shortly of accountability and repentance. Then kindly said she would need some time to work through it, but she loved me no matter what. 

My parents did not only talk Grace.. they lived it, and have continued to...

Nov. 17, 2008 I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl.. her name, of course..Grace Makayla Hohman.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

From Oldest to Youngest

Let me start with a family rundown... I will try to keep this a simple as I can for a family this size..  but think it will explain a lot as you will probably hear many of these names referred to as I blog. These family.. are my truest friends that love me unconditionally. They have seen me at my best and at my worst. They have been my shoulder to cry on, my support, my laughter, and my sanity.. we all share the "Hohman" name.. so they get me!

So I will begin with my parents.. Ron and Sharon Hohman.
 They have shared a marriage of 40+ yrs.. 
My dad is simple to describe.. my rock. He is a true picture of my Heavenly Father's love. He has taught me to run to Him first.. and like Him, my father is always steady, always faithful, willing to listen and guide me back on track when I seem lost. I am known to be a Daddy's girl so I am told. Not only is he my dad... but Grace's Pop.. If you ask her she will tell you.. Pop is a super hero! That works me for me at the moment as she is 3.. and what 3 year old doesn't deserve a super hero! 
My mom.. well that one can get long.. that is why I dedicated a page to her :) 
She is truly amazing. Raising 8 kids is not a feat many would take on. She is now not just my mother but my friend. She is always honest and speaks truth in my life daily..She is the woman my daughter is named after, and a GiGi to her 8 grand kids.. there will be more to come on her!

The oldest is my sister Nicole.. she is married to my brother in law Chris. Nicole is the true definition of a big sister. You get nothing but spoiled whenever you visit her house. She will cheer each of us on no matter what we are attempting. She is a strong woman.. one I look up to and admire. She has faced her hard days, yet she has come out on top. She is fun loving and Grace adores her "Cole".. there is no doubt they will be friends for life!

Next in line is my oldest brother Ron Jr.. He is a man whose life I admire.. a life I have learned so much from.. but a life that ended much too soon in 2002 from a fatal car accident. I'm sure I will share more in posts to come.. He lived only 27 yrs and is the father to a precious boy - Ron Hohman III (Trey). He is missed greatly in this family.. He had the ability to find good in everyone he met. He loved music and was incredibly gifted.

On to my brother Aaron.. another good man. He and I are probably as opposite as they come in personalities.. yet our friendship has grown as I have gotten older. He is the father to 3 of the most beautiful children.. and married to my sister in law Kylene. Aaron is a strong man, he is always looking out for me. He has some of the best advice on life and spiritual truths and parenting. He is definitely the guy you want to take on any adventure.. cause there is no doubt he is bringing the fun! 

My sister Terah... She I think can read my mind at times. She has always been there to catch me when I fall.. She brings nothing but sheer laughter when she is around. She has a passion for Christ that burns brightly.. She has a heart for the broken like none I have ever seen. She is a loving soul, beautiful, and honestly..I believe somehow my daughter Grace turned out just like her!

Another sister.. Leah... She is a loving mother of  2 handsome little boys and married to her perfect match, Jason. Leah, as many would describe her, is "black and white", there are no blurred lines with her, but she has a heart of love. She never talks down, she constantly encourages with either a scripture verse or sharing something she got from a Bible Study. She is a prayer warrior and truly one of the godliest examples I know. She is also my 'mommy friend' as her oldest is just a few months older then my Grace.

Now for my last brother, Seth, who is married to my sister in law Lindsey and they have an adorable baby boy, Turner. He and I are 2 yrs apart, so most of my memories, he and my younger sister are always in them. Seth gets me better then I get myself at times I think. He has been through a lot of life with me and we share many of the same friends. He is my protector. He is a giving man, and a hard worker, driven and focused.

And the baby of the family.. Allison.. better known to us as Bubbs! She is also my very opposite. This had its pros and cons growing up.. Allison is independent, strong willed, and most definitely outspoken. She also has constantly been by my side through life. She was with me through my pregnancy,the hospital for Grace's birth and 2 weeks after. She spoils me with kindness, and now lives in the same state as me! To Grace, she is Tia.. and well Grace is always getting something new or special on her visits with Tia! Being the youngest two of the family.. we formed a bond at a young age that I am certain will never be broken.

There is my beautiful family... Hope you enjoy this post as much as I enjoy talking about them :)

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Entering the Blog World

Tonight after many laughs and my sister in law - Lindsey Hohman's creative expertise.. I finally have a blog that I am proud to begin. 

I have allowed myself to get far too consumed between all the busyness of running the boutique and giving my daughter Grace all the "Mommy attention" she demands, I had always put off setting my blog up. 
I look forward to getting to share some of my life.. but for now I know my morning wake up call will be far too soon. Welcome to my blog, if you have any interest in fashion.. even on a budget, having a little girl and all their silliness, or have ever been broken, starting over.. I hope you will find some enjoyment, laughs and comfort here.