Blogmas | Why I Went Non-Traditional This Christmas

Howdy!

I am a couple of days early, but I already had this in my daily planner that it’ll work the best. Let’s be honest, there’s a 50/50 chance that you put your tree and decorations in and around your house way before yesterday, so I wouldn’t be judging me so quickly! 😉 In my defense though, I only got the tree itself done. It’s just a little naked at the moment.


Last Christmas, I published a blog post about decor ideas that I was thinking about for this year.The main reason why I wrote that post is because we didn’t put up our family tree because of the mess after our new house arriving but having to wait to actually move into it until after new years. It was Nolan’s first Christmas but as much as we all loved watching him tear into his gifts, it did feel a little off not to have that tradition continuing even if it was our final family holiday together.

I like that little piece of tradition, putting up our 29 year old Christmas tree with both Blondie and Brandon. We usually make it a big thing, but now with Nolan being a year older, it’ll be interesting to see whether or not he actually helps with decorating it! With that being said, I was perfectly okay with switching things up when it came to decorating my room for Christmas–even if that meant getting a black tree!

Yes, you read that right. I said, I have a black Christmas tree!

In that post that I put up, I actually mentioned something about the trend of these black trees, but I didn’t even plan on getting or much less wanting one originally. I even put a poll up on my Twitter with four colors: green red, purple, and black; the only ones that people voted were purple with 80%, and lastly black had 20%!

At first, my plan was going about a regular green tree, but as I started thinking about more, I ended up really wanting a royal purple tree instead. My Charlie Brown tree I had in the old house was purple, so I figured I would keep this tradition going too. The only reason why I suddenly changed my mind was one night my mom was looking up trees on various websites and she found a 3″ tree in different colors. She almost convinced me to get a white one, but once she said there was a black tree, I just lost it! I knew it was for me, so we bought it for $16.95!

Now before it arrived, I expected it to be fairly large and full of little branches. What I got instead was a tree that is the same height of my push wheelchair! The only thing I got right were the branches, however my mom and I were concerned that it wasn’t going to be as grand as the larger trees, I still think it’s cute! I have fixed several of the branches since taking these photos, but nothing much has really changed.

As far as ornaments and topper, I am also breaking up from using my favorites ones in our family tote, but I am enjoying creating my own path though! I would like to keep a part of my original color scheme: royal purple and white.Apparently, it’s a lot easier to find white lights and ornaments, but anything in a darker shade of purple, is becoming a bit more difficult to do! My latest idea was if there was any room left that I would add some quirky ones throughout it too. At the rate I’m going though, it might become my alternative if we can’t find the right colored bulbs anywhere! For the top of the tree, I want a star instead of an angel, because I’ve always liked them a lot better!

I have only one window in my room, and it’s great because I am lucky to get both the moon at night and morning sun, which is something I wasn’t able to enjoy back in my old room! After learning the layout of my new room, and I decided which furniture would go where, I knew having a tree right in between and the middle of my window would be perfect! We don’t know if this will be okay for the lights, but I am prepared on getting battery powered ones if nothing else will reach over to the plugins. There is one final tradition I am not doing and that is, I am not using those stand wraps. I think my sunflower rug will be do just fine

When I finally have everything ready and go to actually decorate my Christmas tree, I will definitely be taking pictures of the whole process for you! Hopefully, it won’t take us the whole month to find any good ones, but you never know!

Do you have a tree in your bedroom that’s completely different than the traditional tree in your living room or at your parent’s house? If you don’t, is that something you are striving for in the future? What kind of version do you see for it?

November Playlist

Howdy!

This month has been pretty good. I am definitely feeling the shift in the season where there are less and less new music coming out, but what is totally different from years past is that I am still hopeful that I’ll find really great stuff in the next few weeks!

For the November playlist, I think I will shrink it down to only the Top 10 tracks because a lot of the music I listened to this month was a repeat of the previous blog posts. So, with that being said, I really hope you enjoy the songs below!

Nice To Meet Ya by Niall Horan
Don’t Call Me Angel by Ariana Grande. Miley Cryus & Lana Del Rey
I Warned Myself by Charlie Puth
Contaminated by BANKS
Into The Unknown by Idina Menzel & Aurora
Bom Bidi Bom by Nick Jonas featuring Nicki Minaj
Pray For Me by G-Eazy
I Believe by Blessed Union of Souls
Me Necessita by CNCO & PRETTYMUCH
Control Myself by LL Cool J featuring Jennifer Lopez
Fuck, I’m Lonely by Lauv featuring Anne-Marie

Higher Love by Kygo with Whitney Houston
Born To Rule by Vo Williams & UNSECRET
The Chain by Evanescence
Con Altura by ROSALIA featuring J Balvin
Someone You Loved by Lewis Capaldi
Dear Society by Madison Beer
Hate Me by Ellie Goulding featuring Juicy WRLD
Stroke by BANKS
Who’s That Boy by Demi Lovato featuring DEV

I have been thinking about whether or not I will be doing my annual Christmas reviews this year. I really enjoy finding different ones and ultimately talking about them on here too, but it can be really time consuming! The plus sign though is since I have switched up my weekly schedule for my posts, I think I can create a little theme of holiday albums in the middle of the week? I actually wrote out a list of various Blogmas ideas last year so I think I will have a look at that to see what else I can put on here next month.

Honestly, I think December will be a slightly hectic month as far as blog posts on here! I am really excited but feel like I might end up with a big headache at the start of the year too!

What were you listening to this November?

A-Z Disability Challenge | U : Unconditional Love + Support

One thing that is equally important to a disabled person’s life is having unconditional love and support from their family and friends. I have always had a large group of people in my corner and as blessed as I am with all of this love, I also know that there are others like me who don’t have anybody there for them.

I have been very lucky to have loving parents that believed in me, even as a baby! They are the ones that stopped the doctors at Riley’s, when I was a few months old, to operate on me to make me look ‘normal’ when there was a small chance it wouldn’t help me. They just let me figure things out on my own. Even if that meant, I used my feet for everything and was a wheelchair bound for the rest of my life. I have never given my parents much credit to this decision because it was a risk not knowing how this little girl would be able to do things for herself. Thankfully, I did learn things on my own or with some help from other family members/physical therapists.

I wasn’t aware of how other young teens or adults with various disabilities lived without this kind of love, until I was a senior in high school.

I wish the emotions I was experiencing had sunk in as I feel like it would have helped me understand loads what everyone in my family was trying to relay to me about their worries of me living on a college campus. Now I get why they were so concerned and agree that I was not ready for that kind of commitment. However, when my mom started working at a nursing home that had residents with various levels of mental disabilities, and the stories of some of them being left at the door with trash bags full of clothes and other stuff, really broke my heart!

I do understand that some people cannot handle some traits that certain people produce but you don’t give up on your family like that. A friend of mine has a daughter who is autistic. I have never met her, but have been around other children with autism in the past. So, I am familiar with their quirks and I give kudos to the parents out there dealing with a child like this, but I’ve heard of autistic kids being left behind or being killed because the families just cannot deal with them anymore. Those are always the worst to see online, but when you feel like you’re at your wits end, what is really your next step?

So, I have a questions to my fellow disabled readers out there, did you have a good support behind you growing up? Or were you basically left to be your own hero? If you said “yes” to that, how do begin to trust others that they’re not going to abandon you at the end?

Book Review: “The Handmaid’s Tale” by Margaret Atwood

I have been reading like crazy lately, thanks to my Fire tablet I got for my birthday. I really didn’t think that I would even enjoy it this way, because for a while I hated going this route, but honestly it is ten times easier for me to go about it this way! I have a nice fabric cover–it has sunflowers with a blue sky–that I can grip with my toes and since it’s lightweight, being able to carry it from one part of my bed to the other is really helpful!

Originally, I was reading another book, but my mom bought Demi Moore’s book, in which she got a $3.96 credit back so I took that and bought Julie Andrews book, but as I was on the Kindle book section, I discovered Prime Reading; I knew we had it because my mom told me to end the membership, but since you get 30 days with it anyways, I kind of took advantage of this, several days later! Actually, by the time I used it, I only had about 10 days to complete it. It took me nine. The book I ultimately decided to go for, was The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood.


Normally, I do not like to follow trends when it comes to books. I like to pick through what I want, but every once in a blue moon this will happen. What really gets me is that, I haven’t even been remotely interested into the series on Hulu. I just saw it on there, and thought, “why not?”

Before I start this, I feel like I should come out and say this, but I am not a feminist in any way shape or form. I knew this novel was big in the movement, and I guess that was convinced me to give it a go in the first place, but that also means my way of thinking is entirely different compared to the way of a feminist. You will have to keep this in consideration with the things that I have to say about the story of Offred.


For this of you, who have not read or maybe haven’t been interested in it yet, the tale is of this young woman, who is striving to remember who she was and how the world worked before Gilead was created. Before she became a pawn into creating a family for someone else, to the point where she is forced to give up everything, her marriage, daughter, and freedom.

She lives in a house of a wealthy Commander, and his wife Serena Joy, with two other ladies–who are called ‘Marathas’’ as they keep up with the housework but that‘s all–but Offred has a big role in the home as she is the couple’s Handmaid. She’s the one who creates the babies for them. This is her role now, as well as the other Handmaids in the community.

I was asked by someone on Instagram whether or not, if it was a drag or was I really enjoying it, in which I wrote back that it was really in the middle throughout the whole thing! For certain areas, it was really boring but the majority of it was kind of interesting! I think the main reason was, that sometimes I could see parts of our past, our history, coming through this very dystopian story. Of course, the feminist movement was most known about whenever Offred would discuss her mother and Moira. The scenes that she and Ofglen, go towards the Wall, seeing the dead people hanging on the hooks, reminded me of when the popular way to be killed in England, was to be hung, drawn and quartered. A part of me, felt like this, could be an alternative of that cruel display to the general public.

It wasn’t just historical elements used in the book, it also had some notable religious beliefs as well. You definitely get this while Offred talks about her time at the Center, as she basically describes it as a nunnery, but instead of taking a vow of celibacy, you are learning to fulfill your promise of a woman, that you live to create and give life to the family you live with at the time. Everything about being a woman that you have come to know, is being stripped away. You’re no longer to wear cute clothes, work a normal job nor earn your own money. The status of a woman of a “boss” is gone. This part was frightening to me! Although, I already live somewhat of a nun’s life right now, the thought of taking away everything that made me, me, was something that I quickly realized I take for granted.

Now I have the overwhelming question to answer, whether or not, I want to ask my mom if I can purchase the next book. I have looked into it already but when I saw that it mainly talks about Aunt Lydia and now what really happens to Offred, kind of turned me off of it for now. The other thought I have, is that since we have Hulu, I could check out season one of the show, just to see if I would enjoy it. However, I feel like the same way I did after I finished “Thirteen Reasons Why” where I still wasn’t interested what happens on the series. So, time will only tell what I ultimate decide to do next.

Have you read The Handmaid’s Tale yet? Did you enjoy, absolutely hated, or were unsure about it?

A-Z Disability Challenge | T : Titanium

I think one of the most popular subjects I tend to talk about, whether it’s online or out in public, is my Scoliosis and time I spent in the hospital to receive my rods in my back to help fix that problem. Honestly, I would like to stop doing it, because I really do speak up about it a lot! So, I’m hoping that this post will mark the end of it for a while.


I was a newly eleventh year old when I finally had my third and last surgery at Shriner’s Hospital for Children in St. Louis, MO. The surgery actually took place at the Children’s Hospital since it was a major operation. My family and I were already familiar with it, because I had my second surgery there too! I’ve never been too sure about how long I was under but I want to say about eight hours. I’m sure some of my family members will comment below the correct time range if I’m wrong.

I spent about three weeks recovering from the “right side” surgery, which surprised the crap out of my doctor, so they made a schedule to get the final surgery done within a week later. It wasn’t that long of a gap between these two, but neither was the timeline to go home either. I feel like I was there for another week and a half because we came home just before Thanksgiving. For the operation itself, it consisted of stretching out my body, inserting the crushed rib they took out during the previous surgery, placing it into small spaces where the cartilage in the spine is suppose to be, afterwards putting the titanium rods in place; plus the metal pins at my hips. The last thing they did besides sew me back up was unscrew the metal halo I had attached to my skull for almost four months. Yes, we asked if we could keep it, but were told various stories about why that wouldn’t be a good idea. .

Now after 17 years, it is still pretty weird to see these really bright objects pop up on recent X-Rays. Even though I’ve only had one done that wasn’t for a check-up at Shriner’s, was even more surreal because for the whole of my childhood that’s where I went to get a look at the inside of my body, besides the time I got an MRI at Children’s Hospital, just before I was to have the second surgery! Other than that, I really forget that I have them. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I can definitely sense when the weather is changing drastically because of my rods and I’m certainly not a fan of going through a metal scanner and hearing it go off like crazy and it’s not all because of the wheelchair!

As time rolls by, the less sensitive my back has become to being touched. I use to try to move away from my mom’s hands whenever she gives me a shower, because it was so painful internally, but I’m happy to say I love being scrubbed down because it acts like a mini back rub too! Of course, I still have days where I do not like to be touched back there and it’s usually because of something that I’ve done, like slept in a different way or popped it, and yes, I try not to do that on a daily basis!

Here’s an interesting question for you, do you have any titanium plates or rods in your body? Also, do you get sick and tired of talking about how you got it like me?

November Moodboard

Howdy!

It is time for another monthly moodboard!

By the time it turns into November, the leaves on the trees are turning various colors and falling to the ground. One of my favorite colors the leaves change into is actually red. To me, this symbolizes autumn. There is so much orange to embrace in October that I feel like any shade of red is a welcoming surprise. So, I knew what kind of theme I wanted to go for this time, and since I would look around the house for the previous ideas, I have stopped several items for this board.

The items used in this moodboard

Something that was a little shocking to me, was the fact that I had so many things at my disposable! If I had more room, I probably would have added them all!

The biggest difference with this one was the fact that I didn’t have a big enough bandanna to use for my backdrop. I asked my dad if he had any and even though he has tons of them, they’re all cut in half in order to fit around his head the right way. Unfortunately, I couldn’t use it in the way I have been, which sucked in a way, but all was not lost because my mom was helping me too, and while she was doing laundry, she let me use her Christmas kitty shirt she’s had for years! One thing you’ll notice with the pictures is that I didn’t use the front of it, because I thought it would overshadow the rest of the stuff on top of it.

The three largest next to the shirt were the Ritz cracker box, that was so unbelievably heavy for my toes, that as it was nearing the edge of my bookshelf that I just let it fall to ground. Since it was also brand new, I know not to be surprised for the many broken pieces in the packages! The second thing was actually a little present from my nephew the last time he came over. He walked into my room with the Hoosier back scratcher. When I finally got around to doing this, it had been on my floor for about three to four days.

As for the smaller items, I also had a package of UNO cards on top of my mini bookshelf that I grabbed, thankfully these were a lot easier for me to get ahold of with my toes and move to the space on the floor. The final piece that I used that came from my room was my little Spider-Man figurine.

At the same time, I was searching for stuff to use for this board, I was also rearranging my nephew Nolan’s bookshelf with several of my books. I literally had two projects going on at the same time! So, you can easily imagine by the time I got around to doing the photos for the moodboard that I couldn’t grip much of anything after the hell I went through with my books! Anyways, while I was already in Nolan’s playroom, I went and grabbed a couple of Hot Wheels cars, knob that belongs on his work bench and a single red ball (that you swear was orange in the pictures!) and placed them in my trusty bucket so I could just drag it back and forth between rooms!

And like that, I am done with this post! I feel like I should mention before I get asked whether or not I got any sleep the night after, I did! My mom and I worked so hard that we actually slept like babies. It was crazy! We hardly ever do this, but it was a big day for us that literally the next day, we both vowed not to work on anything. You ever get like this?

How do you like the color theme for this November? What should we do for next month? Blue? Festive colors of green and red? Let me know!

A-Z Disability Challenge | S : Sexaulity

WARNING: This mentions mature sexual content. If you are not comfortable in reading about this, I highly suggest you click the “x” button on the top right. This is an educational but personal post that I will NOT apologize for, it is very important for others with disabilities. Please respect what I have to say, and enjoy. Thank you!

Oh boy!

I think talking about disability and sex are very taboo topics. I should know considering it took my mom and I a fairly long time to even start having discussions about it. When it came to my sister, I feel like it wasn’t that bad and yes, I was there for the majority of that talk. For me though, I knew what sex was (I always have), but there were things that I couldn’t get my head around. Ha ha! Blondie was roughly 15 or 16 years old when she received the talk whereas I was 19 or 21! I feel like at that those ages, you should be somewhat of a pro when it comes to knowing things and of course having sex!

One of things that Arthrogryposis has basically taken away from me, is my ability to pleasure myself. I can’t mastrubate like other women. I have asked questions about this to a group of women who also have my condition and they’ve been helping me figure out alternatives. I also don’t think I’ve had a proper orgasm, but as I have been told, it takes a lot to get that far apparently! If you have a disability and worry about your lack of sexual experience, you know what I’m talking about, because you feel like you’re missing out on something that everyone is doing. You just feel lost in your own body and you don’t really know how to resolve this issue as a whole.

Honestly, I am afraid of having sex. As much as it excites me, because let’s be real here I watch porn and read erotica novels, and I response in the right ways, it’s the physicality that terrifies me I guess! I mean, I can barely get through a couple of seconds when I have to put vaginal cream inside my vagina, because you have to use a syringe and it makes me feel really uncomfortable – half it is because a parent has to do, mostly it’s my mom! This might be the other reason why I am semi okay with never been on a date! I’ve never had to really think about what happens afterwards; once I cross that line, how am I going to feel? I know it’ll hurt, but how much?

Last week, I watched Nikki Glaser’s Netflix comedy special Bangin‘ and oh my gosh, it was freaking hilarious! I am usually not a fan of sexual humor but the whole thing was funny! It was also shocking that she was talking about things that I have been thinking about for years! She starts off discussing blow jobs and I’ll tell you, I will NOT do that for as long as I live! What is funny though is that, it was the first sexual thing I ever knew about even before realizing it was a real thing! I still have no idea how I figured it out too. That’s still a mystery to us!

This has probably been the most freeing post out of all the other letter challenges! The reason why I felt like I needed to write about it, is because I know I am not the only one who feel like this! I think it takes a lot of guts to speak up about your sex life, and I just wanted to break out a little more because I am usually very reserved in my posts but I thought it was time to loosen up a bit.

How old were you when you received the sex talk with your parents? Now what about you had sex for the first time? Have you felt like you’ve been left out of the party of what everybody in your age group is doing in their lives?