September 4, 2017

Elite Rehab Placement

I grew up in a home where there was very little mention of alcohol or substance abuse.  That's not to say that we didn't talk about it or discuss the dangers, but our home was free of alcohol.  I remember as a teenager in the early 80's going to a D.A.R.E meeting that our church sponsored.  There were police officers and substance abuse counselors at the meeting.  They warned us of the dangers of substance abuse and helped to educate us about how our immediate, impulsive choices could affect the rest of our lives.  I remember feeling afraid of ever picking up any type of substance.  My father is a retired police officer and I recall asking him one time what he would do if I was to ever be arrested.  He replied that he would leave me in jail for the night at least.  His reason?  If I spent a few days in jail I would most likely do everything I could to never do it again.  As a first born child and a rule follower, I believed him and for the most part lived my life on the straight and narrow, never participating in under age drinking or substance abuse.
I met my husband in the summer of 1994 and married the following summer.  We began dating and were engaged within 8 weeks.  It was just one of those things where we knew that we knew that we wanted to be together.  He was very honest and forthcoming with information about his past.  He will tell you that he is an alcoholic, he has an addictive personality and he can’t be the guy who just has one beer.  He was arrested in Florida in 1984 on a drug possession charge and spent 30 days in county jail because he didn’t have the money for bail.  He was released and went back home to New Jersey, where we currently reside, and he began to put his life together.  
In 2003, I was pregnant with our third child when my husband began drinking socially.  We had moved back to his hometown and he began to spend time with his childhood friends, many of whom were still single and living the party life.  At first it didn’t seem like a problem but as with anyone who is an alcoholic will tell you, there is no such thing as one drink.  His drinking quickly escalated to an every night event.  He was functioning as an alcoholic, trying to live the life without me knowing, but I knew he was a mess and that things were going to end badly.  In October of 2003, I discovered that he had been driving around while drinking with our boys in the car.  I was beyond furious.  He came home and passed out and I sat in the kitchen and began wracking my brain for a solution.  I contemplated leaving him, but I realized that I had done nothing wrong and that he should be the one to leave.  I called his cellphone, knowing that he would get the message in the morning when he arrived at work, to tell him that he needed to leave and get his life together and decide if he wanted a family or not.  It was the hardest thing that I have ever done.
          My husband is a good and kind man and in the daylight the consequences of his actions were too much for him to bear.  He reached out to a friend from our church who runs a faith-based substance abuse recovery support group for help.  Three days later he was on a bus to South Carolina to spend two  months in a program called U-Turn for Christ.  The program was life-changing for him.  He was humbled and brought back to the simple truth that he is powerless, without the help of a higher power, over his addiction.  He was restored back to a right body, mind, and spirit during his time there.  He came home a changed man and has been substance free going on 14 years.
          In January of this past year, our 17-year-old son was arrested for possession of marijuana.  It was disheartening to hear the police officer say, “It’s not that big of a deal, it’s hardly any weed.”  New Jersey is in the throes of a massive heroin epidemic.  It is killing almost 1,000 people a year.  According to the National Institute on DrugAbuse, marijuana is a gateway drug and the thought of my son going from marijuana to heroin terrified me.  As part of his sentence from the juvenile court, he must attend six months’ worth of meetings with a juvenile conference committee in our town.  This is basically a group of people to whom he is responsible for completing assigned tasks and remaining accountable to them through drug tests.  One of the things that he had to attend is called Project Pride.  It is a program wherein inmates are given a forum to speak to teens struggling with addiction issues.  They share the ugly truths of addiction and where substance abuse can lead.  Our son was deeply impacted by the stories that he heard.  He remarked, “I can’t believe how it can go from so good to so bad so fast.”
          The thing about this situation is that I was completely unprepared for it.  How could this have happened?  How could I have been so blind to what was going on?  We attend church regularly, we homeschool our children, they are in boy scouts and involved in community activities, they play on sports teams, we eat dinner together 4 nights a week.  This kind of thing doesn’t happen to families like ours, right?  Wrong. 
          So where to go from here?  We started to have open, honest, and sometimes heartbreaking communication with our son.  We have always talked to our kids. We let them know that they could tell us anything, ask us anything, good, bad, or ugly, and we would still love them and we would always be honest with them.  But kids make their own decisions independent of us and we must decide things in those moments that will affect us all for the rest of our lives.  We never talk to our son from a place of judgement, just from love and acceptance, but that does not mean that we have not drawn a hard line with him for his own good.  We have told him that once he turns 18 he will no longer be protected the good people at the juvenile committee who want to help him, he will be a legal adult and will have to face adult consequences.  We have told him that we will always be here to help him.  He meets with a counselor weekly now who feels a rehab facility isn’t needed at this time, but in the future we will keep Elite Rehab Placement in mind.  The section on teenage substance abuse on the Elite website was extremely helpful to us. 
        I have seen first-hand that addiction can and does ruin lives.  I am entering nursing school for my second degree and I hope that I can take the experiences that I have lived through and help someone else in their darkest time.  One of my favorite quotes is from Henry Ward Beecher, "Compassion will cure more sins than condemnation.”  I seek to always treat people with the compassion that they deserve because suffering from addiction is nothing to be ashamed of.

October 10, 2015

Have You Seen Reviewsio?

With the holidays fast approaching, I recently began making my lists of all of the things that I need to get done and people to shop for for Christmas.  Amazon is always my first go to site, and so when a friend posted on Facebook about a new company called Reviewsio, I was all over it.  Amazon sellers give their products, to people like me and you, in exchange for honest product reviews.  Sellers need good reviews to sell their products and the products are offered at deep discounts because of this.

Reviewsio launched on October 1, 2015 and now their online deal catalog is available for you to browse.  You search the catalog, choose your deal, get your product, test it out, and then write your review.  It's that simple!

All you need to do is become a Reviewio member and have an Amazon account.  If your request for the deal is approved, you get a voucher code that will knock down the price of that item when you checkout on Amazon. You order it, you test it, you review it, YOU KEEP IT. It’s really that simple!

January 27, 2012

Fashion Friday

I attended a small, private Christian school during high school. We did not have a dress code per se, but we were required to wear a skirt or dress to school every day. I really did not have a problem with this as I loved coming up with new outfits, and my mother is a wonderful seamstress who was always sewing some funky new thing for my sister and me.

I love fashion, and I love looking cute. But in the past few years I have been in a slump. Oh, I still rock the latest fashion when I have a special occasion, or when I go to church, but for an everyday look? Well, I have adopted a uniform, two actually, that I am not proud of. My first outfit consists of a pair of very forgiving stretch boot cut jeans and a red v-neck tee. I wear this one mainly in the warmer months. The second outfit consists of a pair of Old Navy Sweetheart jeans, a white turtle neck and a navy Boy Scout hooded sweatshirt. I sport that lovely ensemble with Kevin's Ugg slippers and wool socks, mainly because our house is only a few degrees warmer than the city morgue.

The other day I put on my skinny jeans, brown tee shirt, and this cardigan that I recently purchased at Target. I put on some earrings and a sweet little pair of brown ballet flats. The kids were staring at me as if I sprouted another head.

"Mom." my oldest said. "You look so...colorful."

You know that you have reached a new level of cool when your 15 year old son notices your clothes.

So in honor of that, I have decided to make more of an effort every day to look more colorful. I know that I have Annette Funicello hair in this picture, please try to ignore it.

Exhibit A: colorful from Goodwill.

I bought that yellow sweater for $3.oo at Goodwill. Everything else was not $3.oo, but close enough.

I plan on doing a Fashion Friday post every week with my own clothes. I have decided to put the whammy on myself. Fellow moms of the world who are stuck in the mom uniform rut, won't you join me?

January 25, 2012


Joe and I are deep in the trenches of a spider study. He wanted me to buy him a tarantula, but I talked him into an egg carton spider instead. This seemed less terrifying to me. The last thing that I want to think about is a tarantula getting loose in the house and biting me in my sleep. It would be like the Brady Bunch episode only with more screaming and crying. (Fast forward to 11:19)

This is the craft that we made. The best part? Googly eyes. We like googly eyes.

Creeping out from the darkest recesses of the school room...

...come the spiders!

January 19, 2012


I found this the other day on Pinterest. I quickly read it, and then pinned it to my board.

Yesterday was a bad day. A very bad day. I saw the day heading in a downward spiral of anger, resentment, frustration and strife. I saw it going there and I could have stopped it, but I didn't. It was like stepping outside of myself and watching the events unfold like a movie. A movie about a destructive tornado that tears thorough some unsuspecting little town leaving its residents lives completely turned upside down.

"Where did that come from?" they quizzically ask each other.

"I don't know, but I am so afraid that it is going to happen again. I hope it doesn't."

Sometimes the worst part of being an adult is that although you are supposed to know better and do better, you still act like a child. Last night after all was calm and I apologized to my boys for acting the perfect part of the lunatic, I was still feeling unsettled. I woke up in the middle of the night and got up out of my warm bed. I went into their rooms and put my hands on their sleeping heads and asked for mercy for their memories. I prayed that they would not remember the bad days. That the good days would all pile up until the deep places in their minds were so filled with good memories that there was no room for the bad ones. I wish that I could take a magic eraser and wipe all traces of the unhappiness that I have caused completely from the minds. But I can't. The only thing that I can do today is do better than yesterday.

Today I will do what matters.