Monday, February 29, 2016


If you know me well, you will know that I am an atheist. Have been my whole life despite countless efforts to broaden my spirituality. I've gained wisdom but have yet to find the spirit. 
This morning, something happened that shook me to the core and could be called nothing other than spiritual.

That whole night I had been having awful night terrors. These are not like your usual bad dream and they always have something to do with trauma that has happened in your life. 

My dreams like to play around, maybe focus around something that happened when I was 15, but add in a splash of that one time when I was 12 and that other time I was 23. 
This makes for some pretty confusing but mostly hurtful dreams. 
These dreams always seem real. They feel as though they are happening in real time even though one dream can span a few days. 
This particular dream was awful. A couple of days of pure humiliation and abuse. I remember waking at 7:40am, completely drenched in sweat, fighting my hardest to stay awake, but I fell right back into the same spot in the same dream. 
Like I said, these dreams seem REAL. Every emotion, every hurt, is really happening in your body as your nervous system is reminded of the trauma. Fight or flight will turn on while you are asleep. 
Near the end of this dream I just couldn't take it anymore. I had nowhere to go and was out of options. I felt like I could not continue the task that was set before me that I was suppose to complete. I decided to end it. 

 In the dream, while I was suppose to be packing and moving all of my things (all of which seemed to be huge and nearly physically impossible for one person) I decided to gather the right combination of pills in order to commit suicide. Several people were outside, waiting for me to bring my items out and to keep an eye on me, so I knew I didn't have much time before one came to check on me. 
I grabbed my pills and headed upstairs and locked myself behind a bedroom door. Crying my eyes out while I stared at the pills, I looked up at the door. And there, standing tall with a big smile on his face, was my foster Grandpa. My jaw dropped as I stared at him and asked "You're not dead?" (In real life he had passed away 2 years before.) Grandpa just let out a big laugh and said "Not today!" 
He knelt down beside me and brushed the pills from my hand. I realized I wasn't worried about anyone breaking in anymore because it felt like time had stopped. He pulled me to my feet and wrapped me in a hug. He told me I was safe and that everything was okay. He told me not to be sad because this was just a dream; but that it was time to wake up. 
I nodded my head, not questioning anything he said. He took a step back, two hands on my shoulders, still smiling. He shook his head with a little laugh and said "You need to wake up now, and Nicole, you need to quit smoking too." 
I don't even have time to react to that before I'm awake. 
I sit up in my bed soaked in sweat, cold, and confused. 
The horrible things that had happened in the dream were still with me. I was surprised to even be in my apartment in my bed. Shaking my head to try and clear my thoughts I tell myself over and over that it was just a dream. 
There's something I just can't shake though, and something that even though I don't want to confront it or admit it, Grandpa was NOT just a dream. 

At 16 years old my best friend's family took me in to live with them. I was embraced by not only her but her wonderful and kind mother. The added bonus was her grandfather who was funny, charming, but also smart. Extremely smart. He was also compassionate, worked with children most of his life, and had four of his own. While I lived with them for only one year, that one year of love and understanding from that whole family made up for a lot. 
I knew how important my friend and her mother were to me. The one person that I did not realize was expertly and subtly helping me was Grandpa. 
Most of the time when it was just Grandpa and I there wasn't much talking. We were happy just to have each other's silent company. But other times he would tell me stories. Stories that a lot of times would hit home for me and relate to something from my own past, or even the way I was feeling at that exact moment. 
I didn't have to say a word to Grandpa, he just knew. 
Other times, something would happen and I would be able to talk to my friend and her mother about it, but I would fret over the thought of talking to grandpa about it. I knew he would be disappointed. I was ashamed. And yet, he never brought those times up. I'm not sure if he was waiting for me to bring up the subject, or if he just knew that the experience itself was more the lesson than talking about it. 
I was going through a lot at the time, and sometimes I just needed to cry. I didn't want to be alone but I also didn't want to be bothered. I would go downstairs where Grandpa would be sitting at the kitchen table. I would sit in a chair next to him, put my head in my arms on the table, and cry. And after I had had a good cry I would stand up, look at him, and tell him thank you. He would look up at me from his seat, smile softly, and just say "You're welcome." 

He was a wonderful, good heart-ed, fun loving person. 
Would he want me to sit in my bed all day alone and sad all because of a dream? No.
So I get up to make my coffee and as I do, I can hear Grandpa singing Danny Boy, just as he did for his own son named Daniel, and then later for my son with the same name. 
I don't turn to look. I don't have to. I just smile and close my eyes and listen.

Thursday, February 25, 2016



Something has been on my mind lately and I feel like I need to get this out there. 
It's about people who cut themselves. 
If this topic is sensitive to you or you have triggers you might not want to read this post.
If you think people who cut want to die or if you think they simply want attention you probably should read this post. 

I'm tired of cutting being taboo!
Do you know how many people cut themselves? 
Every 2 in 10 teens cuts themselves according to CBS in 2014.

I am one of those people. 
Let me tell you a little something that most people do not know:
People who cut don't do it because they want to die; they are cutting because they want to live! 

Here's how it goes. These people have some type of mental problem such as depression, bi-polar disorder, or PTSD. These people usually are not getting the help that they need to deal with these issues. Sometimes these people get so down and depressed that they can think of nothing but the pain they are feeling on the inside. They are hurt or angry about something. They dwell on the problem and the pain until nothing else exists. 
They are dying on the inside.
These people do not have the proper tools to handle their pain. 
One way to release natural endorphin to fight the pain is to create some type of physical pain. 
If I am so lonely and depressed and am feeling like I can simply take no more, I feel like the pain is killing me and I'm dying.
Then, I cut my wrist. And it gets a little better.
The more you cut, the more endorphins are released and the better you feel. 
It's almost embarrassing for me to say that I once talked about how wonderful it felt to cut while in a group therapy session. I actually rambled on about how as soon as you cut yourself, the pain you were trapped in either loosens it's grip or completely lets go. 

Photo Property of Nicole Kuehn
Example: I was at an in-patient facility and when they said they were going to discharge me I freaked out and was scared. I used the only thing around I could, an ink pen to cut my arm.

Photo Property of Nicole Kuehn
I have been in therapy for a long time. 
The best therapy I've been through so far has been DBT or Dialectical Behavioral Therapy.
This program has helped to teach me the tools I need to not only understand my emotions, but to know how to control them as well. 
Before DBT I did not know a better way to deal with pain, anger, and loneliness without cutting.
And there are a lot of people out there who cut and have never been to DBT, let alone any therapy! 

This post is to try and humanize the person that cuts themselves.
Don't flash dirty looks or assume they are trying to kill themselves or are an attention whore. 
They are going through something, and they don't know how to deal with it in a healthy manner. 

Photo Property of Nicole Kuehn

If you know someone who cuts, talk to them. 
Ask them about it. Inquire about therapy because trust me, if they are cutting themselves THEY DO NEED THERAPY. 
If you are a parent of someone who cuts or you cut yourself, please seek help. 
It does get better. 

And the best part is that the anger and sadness that once consumed me usually doesn't get anywhere near as bad as it use to. Because now I know how to recognize an emotion, and then how to deal with it in a healthy way.  

Photo Property of Nicole Kuehn

The semi-colon symbolizes where my life could have ended but didn't.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Scary Shower Experience

Scary Shower Experience
By: Nicole Kuehn 

She finally made it home safely after having to drive her kids to school through a snow storm. She was still ruminating about the district not calling school off as she turned on the water for her shower. Steam started rolling out of the top of the curtain as she gathered a new outfit and started to undress. As she stepped into the hot water she started thinking about all the things she was grateful for. Things had been going really well for her.

Midway through the shower, with shampoo in her hair, there was a loud bang in her apartment followed by the loudest yelp she'd ever heard from her dog before. Her thoughts instantly went to her front door, which she knew she had left unlocked. "Lilly" she called her dogs name in a shaky voice. Looking out of the shower curtain she called again. Nothing. Usually the dog came running if she called. There was no sound in the apartment at all. She closed the curtain again, still calling the dogs name, and began to think. 
What if someone is in my apartment right now. They know I'm in the shower, that's the way it always happens isn't it? "At least let me finish my shower and be clean!" She yelled out. The last thing she wanted was someone confronting her while she was at her most fragile state. She quietly went through the motions of rinsing the shampoo out of her hair and then using conditioner. Her stomach dropped when she realized what was next. I have to wash my face. I have to close my eyes!

"LILLY!" She yelled one more time peering out of the shower curtain. Still no dog and still not a sound. Screw it, just get it over with. She grabbed the face wash and poured a small amount into the palm of her hand. She took a deep breath as she closed her eyes and stuck her face into the water. She then proceeded to do the fastest face wash in the history of mankind and stuck her face into the water again, rinsing off the soap. She opened her eyes and threw the shower curtain open, sure to see some lumbering murderer waiting for her. There was nothing. 
She finished rinsing herself and after turning the water off she stepped out of the shower. Slowly she dressed herself, listening intently for any sound. When she was fully clothed she knew it was time to face whatever it was that was out there. She walked into her bedroom first, only to find her dog Lilly, laying on the bed looking content. "What were you crying about?" She asked the dog, expecting an answer. Lilly lifted her head but gave no other clue as to what could have made her cry out like that. 

After looking around the entire house she ran to the door, closed the bolt, and slid the chain into place. Turning around and placing her back against the door she couldn't believe she had just prepared for her own death for nothing.

Approval Badge

Hey Guys,

I'm sure you have noticed the new badge to the right of the screen. 
If you are liking what you have seen on my blog I ask you to go ahead and click on that Approved badge! 
It will open a window asking you to vote a big YES for my blog or a big NO. Click on whichever you fell compelled to press. The window then turns into the homepage for Top Mommy Blogs. 

The more votes I get the more attention my blog will get in a lot of places, not just that site. Thank you so much! I appreciate you all. 

Honey Whole Wheat Bread

My Handsome Helper

Hey Everyone!

Lately Thing Two has been super interested in cooking. He usually wants to do everything on his own, but still needs help here and there.
We made Honey Whole Wheat Bread the other day and it turned out delicious! I really liked it but neither of the kids really liked it much. I think if we had added more honey and it was more of a dessert bread then they would have liked it. 

This recipe is a little different from what we did, but I think it will make a better bread.

Whole Wheat Honey Bread

3 cups warm water
2 packs of active dry yeast
1/2 cup honey
4 1/2 cups all purpose flour
3TB melted butter
1/2 cup honey
1TB salt
4 cups whole wheat flour
optional: additional melted butter


  1. 1. In a large bowl, mix warm water, yeast, and 1/2 cup of honey. 
  2. 2. Add the all purpose flour and stir to combine. Let set for 30 minutes, or until the dough has doubled in size.
  3. 3. Mix in 3 tablespoons melted butter, 1/2 cup honey, and salt. Stir in 2 cups whole wheat flour. 
  4. 4. Using the left over whole wheat flour, flour a flat surface and knead until no longer sticky (This is the fun part where the kids really get to get their hands in there, a mess always equals fun!).
  5. 5.Place in a greased bowl, turning once to coat the surface of the dough. Cover with a dishtowel and let it rise in a warm place until doubled.
  6. 6. Punch the dough down and divide into 3 loaves. Place in greased 9 x 5 inch loaf pans and let dough rise until the dough is uniform with the pan.
  7. 7. Bake at 350 degrees F for 25 to 30 minutes.
    Optional: When the loaves come out, brush them with warm melted butter to prevent the tops from getting too hard. 

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

The Affair

"The Affair"
By; Nicole Kuehn

In a typical marriage when someone has an affair, most of the time it does not come as a surprise or out of the blue. Years of hurt creates an unstable foundation for the marriage which causes the bond between the two people to be weak. When a woman cheats she is not looking just for sexual gratification. Men being as visual as they are, it's easier for them to be led astray by an beautiful sex goddess. Physical attraction is going to do nothing for a woman. When a woman cheats she is looking for attention. Adult male attention. Someone to listen to her. To find her interesting. To make her feel beautiful. 

Let's say a woman has been married for 10 years and the husband has been through the ups and downs, seen all of her, and has simply moved on. He is no longer interested in this woman he once loved. He goes about his day and she goes about hers as if they were roommates. In the man's mind he figures since they are married the woman has to stay around no matter what. Which she does. It's a trap. The man has a woman to cook and to clean and to raise the children. The man has a maid to attend to his every need while he goes about his own world, completely ignoring the woman that is doing everything in her power to get him to smile at her again. Or even to want to hug her. He hasn't touched her in a long time. 
What is this woman to do? She relies on this man for everything. She makes no money and any money that comes in belongs strictly to him. She gets no allowance. Any extra is spent on his new toys and games that he plays while she goes to the thrift shops to find clothes for the kids. She has no family to take her and the kids in to live with. She has no money to move out. She is stuck with this man, who does not acknowledge her anymore. Who once loved her and swore how happy their family would be. This man who ignores his own children when they talk to him. "Pick up DaDa!" and Dada walks past as if he didn't hear a thing. 
Where is the family in that? What is the wife getting out of this? Who is looking after her while she is helping everyone else. Isn't that suppose to be the husbands job? 

Or does she just settle? Settle for a mediocre life. Settle for unhappiness, loneliness. Sometimes she just sits there and stares at him. Stares at his face while he plays his xbox, tears streaming down her face while he laughs with his friends over the microphone. He use to laugh and play with me. He use to care about me. "Husband..." She says, trying to get his attention. He doesn't hear her. He never does. Even if she stands in front of the tv and begs him to talk to her, he simply adjusts his seat so he can see the tv again and puts his headphones in, not saying a word to her. 
Does this justify her to go out one night, the first time since before the kids were born. Does this answer why she was so easily charmed by another man even though the big diamond was shining on her hand. Was it okay for her to give in to this temptation, this attention, that she had been deprived of for so long? 
Or is she now the bad one? For being an honest woman and telling her husband about it, she is forever branded as the one who ruined the marriage. She cheated on him! How could she do that to him? And the kids? She didn't care about her marriage enough. She didn't try hard enough. She did something wrong. 
And this poor husband. Having his whole world ripped apart. You mean to tell me the woman who cooks and does my laundry had sex with another man?! She is a whore. A slut. She destroyed our perfect marriage. She ruined the family life for the kids. 

I'm sorry to tell you, it was already destroyed. And so was she. She loved her husband with all of her heart. She was still madly in love with him even after the way he treated her. Only now she allowed herself to be ignored and mistreated everyday for years. It broke her down to the point that she believed that she MUST be no fun. She must not be interesting or important or pretty. She's nothing. Because in the eyes of the one person that mattered the most to her, that's what she was; nothing. 
She should have realized when one of her birthdays was coming up and all she asked of him was to write her a love letter. He used to write beautiful letters to her telling her how much he loved her and what their future would be like. But that was many years ago. On her birthday she was so excited to get her letter and instead he got her a diamond necklace. At the time she couldn't see that he did not write the letter because he was unable to. He did not love her anymore. 

So now she is excluded from the family. She is kicked out of her own home with nothing but her clothing. His whole family is there to watch, disgusted, as her friend comes to pick her up and take her away. Away from her home and her children. She was never allowed back into the home, or their hearts, again. 

What did she do? She built herself up. Within 6 months she had a job and enough money to get her first apartment. It was a bitter-sweet moment for her. She was still in love with him and when he filed for divorce asking for full custody of their children, she could hardly believe her eyes. It was written in his mother's handwriting.  
But still, he didn't even ACKNOWLEDGE the kids, why would he ever want or ask for ANY custody? He was hurt. His family was hurt. And they wanted to get the one who ruined it back. What is the one thing she loves and had wanted her whole life? Her family. Her husband was already out of the picture so it came down to the kids. 
Her children is what gives her life. Her children are her motivation to live. Having major depression, her only cure seems to be her kids. Taking care of them, watching them grow, listening to their stories. There is nothing else in the world that she wants.
She has already been through so much, the only way to possibly hurt her is to take her children away. Which he did many times when they would fight. He would pick them up before she could and then would hide out, not answering her calls or letting her know where they are. Only saying that he's not going to let her see the kids because he is upset with her. His family helped him. 
Only hurt people hurt people. 

She took the blame, and carried it on her shoulders, and still wanted to keep everything between them fair. Asking for 50/50, nothing more and nothing less. 
She holds her head up high, knowing that she is doing the best she can with the cards that have been handed to her. 
Learning from each situation as she goes through life as she never expected; alone. 
Looking back she realizes that she never would have ended her marriage, no matter what. She made a huge mistake. She was extremely regretful. But she still wanted things to work. In a way, having the affair and having her husband be the one to ask for divorce, had saved her. It had saved her from a life of loneliness. A life of holding back her wants and her needs all because of someone else's unhappiness. 
She would have been a worse mother. Though she hurts every minute her children are away from her and with their father, she knows that at least he is hopefully spending time with them. Giving them the attention that they so crave from him and always have. 
Staying in the marriage would have left her as a drone. Simply moving through the motions, not really feeling anything. Constantly being unhappy because of being mistreated, she probably would have not been able to enjoy the world through the eyes of her children. 

As she does now, on the days that they are with her. 
She drops everything.
She gets on the floor.
And she plays with them. And listens to them. 
Whatever is done, is done together as a team. As a family.
And yes, she must accept that a family can be a real true family, even if it's just mom and the kids and not the fairy tale American Dream she had so locked in her heart. 

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Long Time No Type

Hello Everyone! 

I have been gone for awhile but I haven't stopped cooking or doing fun things with the kids. 

I will be starting the blog back up as I need to get some practice with my writing.

I made a vegetable recipe that is to die for that I will be sharing soon. If kids are happily eating carrots, broccoli, and sweet peppers you know it has to be good!

I hope you all haven't forgotten about me. 
Leave comments below to let me know what you miss the most from this blog. 

Thank everyone,