Life as I know it

My first botox injections.

So Tuesday, August 8th I went in for my botox injections for my chronic and daily migraines.  The shots themselves hurt but not bad. I have a lot of tattoos and it didn’t hurt any more than a tattoo would have. So I go home, riding of course, and I have a pretty bad headache which is a common side effect. I still have headaches but they aren’t as bad as they were which is a plus. The doctor also said that I probably wouldn’t be head ache free until the second round of injections.

Wednesday I woke up, no headache, pretty mild back pain which is surprising because my back has been killing me since summer of 2015. I’ve just been to worried about other areas of my body to really tell what my back was doing. So its been a few days and my back still hurts, but it seems to be cracking more and more which gives some relief until it needs cracked again.

My left shoulder and neck hurt though and that is to be expected when you get a shot in your muscle. But slowly, I am getting better and finding relief.

Life as I know it

I did this thing…

Posted by Karyn Brotzman on Monday, July 24, 2017

Its taken me awhile to write about this, and that’s because I was editing photos and getting the house in order etc. But on July 22 2017 I got married to my best friend.
My wedding was so amazing. My bridesmaids were the best and I couldn’t have asked for a better group of gals. My sister had been my maid of honor but she had a baby in April and it would be better for her to not be in the wedding with new baby finances, and breast feeding. She was still there and I got to meet my niece, so win.
Our landlord has this pavilion right down the road and that is where we had the wedding. I used the Harry Potter pages (that was found in the garbage at a local library because of damage.) to line the table and W, my matron of honor gave me all her decorations from her wedding and my next door neighbor also gave me a lot of decorations that helped us keep the cost down. I also did most of the decor with my Cricut and vinyl that we already had.
My brides maids and matron of honor gifted me with the DJ and they all made speeches. And for winging it (they were reminded that morning to which I got a “WHAAAT?” about.) were so heart felt and so accurate.
I didn’t want my brides maids to match exactly so I had B wear a black dress T and E were in a very dark purple and W my matron of honor in teal. I made the bouquets myself. The boys had on black jeans, shirts and vests.
I walked down the isle to “God Bless the Broken Road” and the entire bridal party was singing. Dj was crying and I couldn’t stop smiling. We wrote our own vows and DJ was so choked up he almost couldn’t read them!
Our first slow dance as a married couple was, “She’s still riding shot gun.” by Tyler Wood. We bother were so focused on holding each other dancing that we had to look to make sure we weren’t running into anything.
We played the shoe game, and of course tossed the bouquets and garter belt. The reception was held right there and we danced to songs like “Cupid Shuffle” and Cotten eye Joe.Someone yelled my first name with my new last name and it took me a full 5 seconds to realize “Oh crap that’s me!”
I really loved every moment of the wedding and while there are a few things that I would change, they are so very minor that I just didn’t care.

Life as I know it

In light of Chester Bennington’s tragic death…

I’ve dealt with mental health a long time. Before I watched a music video on MTV. This song spoke to me. This song was everything I’d been feeling since I was 12 years old.. so I went to napster and looked up the entire CD. (Yeah this is when Napster was cool.) I listened to every song and went to my local Sam Goody store ( or was it On Cue at this point? I can’t remember.) and bought a copy of “Hybrid Theory.” The music video I saw on the MTV daily count down was “Crawling.” I had this album on repeat for ever. I then purchased every Linkin Park CD that came out after.

Chester’s voice spoke to me in volumes. He was basically saying everything I wanted to. He screamed the pain I was feeling in a way that let me understand I wasn’t alone. I valued this because in the small town I was from being mentally ill was and is still very surrounded by stigma. I watched every video, wrote poetry while the music was playing, probably too loudly for my teenage ears.

Chester’s suicide has impacted me so hard. Every song is a reminder that it could have been me, and if wasn’t for his music- would have been. If it wasn’t for this band’s unfiltered influence to know that just because I was and still am depressed and mentally ill, doesn’t make me alone.

There are still things that you shouldn’t say to someone mentally ill. Some of them is believing that everything you’re going through is related to you taking or not taking medication. It took well over a decade to find an anti depressant that works well for me and my co-morbidities.

Understand that some times a person just needs to be in the company of people. Other times to be left a lone.

Never give up on someone mentally ill. Unless it is directly effecting your life negatively, just let them know they are loved.

And always know your local laws, and resources. Sometimes just a reminder that someone is there helps.

NOT. EVER.THING.IS.RELATED.TO.MENTAL.ILLNESS. If someone has a headache, it doesn’t mean they didn’t take their meds. They just have a headache etc.

Other things that you should understand if you’re not suffering from a mental illness is that ‘its not just for attention.’ This statement is so irritating because if a person is in such a mental place that they take a knife or lighter and harm themselves just to feel relief and control from a mind that they can’t escape… its not for attention.

The ’emo’ movement also pisses me off to no end, the subculture of goth, or what I call ‘goth light’ makes mental illness a fashion statement. I know that this is my personal trigger and I’ve dealt with it a long time. Just like heavy metal music isn’t all rage face and death and blood, emo music and the emo movement isn’t all about a certain type of thing.

Mentally ill people are sometimes the most creative, the most funny, the most determined people. Those that have succumbed to suicide just in the last few years prove this. Robin Williams. Chris Cornell.

So many people have some sort of disorder but yet our American government won’t reform mental health industries because why? Money? Time?

We want to be heard, we want our truth and our voices as loud as Chester’s is in Linkin Park’s songs. We want people to know that in our darkness there’s one more light.

And mostly we just want to be understood. At least I do. I feel so often alone because nobody understands that the physical pain I am in is my own fault. That I did something to make my life better, and it almost killed me. That I am a failure. That I’m human and imperfect. I don’t have the balls to be furiously happy all the time. But I do try.


Life as I know it

I lost all 3 of my dogs last night.

Yesterday I went over to my Mom’s house for a very small dinner to celebrate Jason turning 2. This is also a very hard week for me considering that I’m dealing with medical PTSD. Meaning I don’t want to be alone in the house with just me and the kids because I over think myself into a depression.
Well, I came back mid day, walked the dogs made sure water was available to them and that they were content. I have been so busy with the wedding decor crafting that I must have missed some signs or something.. because when I came home my beloved Tiny was dead. The bigger dogs attacked her and killed her.
I was hysterical, to say the least. Tiny was a very old dog and a small breed, she didn’t have the means to defend herself and my Mother and Ron came over to make sure I was alright and the kids wouldn’t see her get put into my boot box for her burial.
At first, we thought she might have just passed from old age, but we found blood on the carpet, door, and laundry basket, which I spent today cleaning up what I couldn’t get last night. DJ of course won’t be home until EARLY Wednesday so it was just me and the boys. When Ron told me a very mild version of how badly Tiny was injured I told DJ to have someone come get the dogs and take them to the pound. I missed so many signs that other people saw, because I wanted to see the good in these dogs and ignore the bad.
Dj’s mom came and got them last night so they wouldn’t be around the children and I while we were sleeping. Tiny was the oldest, and the dog that I’d had the longest. I had her since 2011 and she was my baby. I’m so heart broken that I missed the signs of aggression with the other dogs.
So we are now a dog free home. Maybe for good. I need time to grieve and I’m unsure just how long I will need. But I did do some major cleaning today with shampooing the floors and making sure the rooms were vacuumed. I’m continuing on with my minimalism challenge and trying to simplify my life and surroundings.
I’m honestly doing all I can to keep myself from crying any more than I already have been. John put his head on my shoulder last night and gave me a hug and that’s where he fell asleep.
RIP Tiny. I’m so very sorry I missed the signs. I’m sorry that you had to die like that. I miss you so much.

Life as I know it

The ugly truth about medical emergencies.

If you know my story about gastric bypass and the complications (although rare) that happened to me my friend Jenn experienced it way more than I have. In 2015 at the 37th week of my second pregnancy I went into labor July 13, 2015.

That night I was in so much pain that I pushed the nurse’s call button, and made DJ go physically get the nurse from the nurse’s station, and I was tipped upside down in the bed because I was tachycardic but my blood pressure had bottomed out. I don’t remember much else that night but I woke up a day or two later on some really strong drugs and completely cut open in my abdomen.

You can only imagine the terror my family and friends felt. If you’re reading this and you are in one of those groups then you felt and lived  that horrible nightmare right along with me as I went in an out of surgery after surgery.

Jenn, who is a mother of two amazing kids, and wife to a devoted husband, Dan.  She’s been through this more than once. She’s had several emergency ulcer repairs, which resulted in time from her working. For awhile it was once or twice a year that this was happening to her, that her surgeon finally said that it was enough and revised her RNY gastric bypass to a vertical sleeve. which took time away from being able to work as most major surgeries do.

Then the final blow, she, like me, became septic. She was cut open vertically just like I was and she had 3 liters of liquid drained from her abdomen, and to this day they are still unsure where the liquid was coming from. My liquid was from my ruptured original stomach. Her’s was no longer there from the sleeve procedure.

Now let me just say that in 2015 I had 8 surgeries in the span of seven weeks, and then in 2016 had my hernia repair done and in 2014 I had gotten my gal bladder taken out because it was very filled with stones, and sludge. So that’s 10 surgeries total from 2014-2016. I am now June 2017 finally completely healed from the abscesses, and wound packing, and surgery trauma.

Jenn’s had upwards of 15+ surgeries because of complications. This means as the primary bread winner of the house it was loss of income, meant it became a struggle paying bills. I know this feeling all to well as this was our story for awhile. I couldn’t be on my own to take care of myself because I couldn’t go up and down the stairs, and was under pain management and the careful watch of a surgical team. (And by team I mean team- every person in general surgery knew my name by the time this was over.)

Now, Jenn and her family are facing the darkest time of their lives. They have lost their home. They managed to rescue their belongings and get them into storage, but they are facing the real possibility of starting over with nothing.

I’m getting married July 22 and I know that a lot of my readers may not know me personally- but please please donate to this amazing family. They have had some really rough spots these past few years. Between their son being special needs and Dan himself having a slew of health issues. Murphy’s law has not been kind of them. I am blessed enough to not be the primary bread winner of my family, but I am on SSI, and know what times for me, have been hard at times too but I was only ever homeless once and I had friends that I could crash with.

I’ve made a life for myself with this amazing man, and have clawed my way out of hell. Jenn has been there for me through some of this hell.  She became one of my biggest cheerleaders while I was healing (she had her own surgery the spring before my disaster happened.) and we were updating each other with our healing and procedures and making sure that we had a support system of each other.

I became very depressed because I couldn’t breast feed my youngest child, and I needed help with just about everything. Jenn sent positive energy and words of advice. When I needed a friend that truly understood what I was experiencing because she went through it too, she was there. As was Dan.

And to top it off they were very aware of the homeless cat situation and did fix and release or re-home the local strays. They have taken in several FIV+ (The feline version of HIV) that were on death row just because of their disease.

Both of her children are in the gifted programs in their schools, R having won math awards and A, an amazing artist that’s had her work displayed in shows in her town. You see this family is made up of people. Real live people that care, and are so very loved

So please, share the link to donate if you can’t spare the money. Donate if you do have some extra cash. Help these people that have had health crisis after crisis and have fallen on hard times. If you have a blog comment below with your donation, and the hashtag #brotzmanwedding2017 and I’ll feature you in my blog. I will also add you to the blog roll and contact you to do an interview that will be featured in a “Favorite Blogger” series I have planned.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this and God Bless!

Life as I know it

I’m being stalked…

So there’s this crazy woman in my town, that no lie, she would get drunk take a guy home, have sex with said guy and the next morning call the state police because they ‘raped’ her. Well, apparently I am her new target of crazy town. She twice TWICE has seen my children at the window, for whatever reason, and has yelled at them and talked to them to try to get my oldest son’s attention.

My oldest son, for the most part, is non-verbal. We have a speech therapist coming to the house, and we are working with signs for needs like eating, potty time and he makes up his own for hugs and kisses. So it’s not like he can hold a conversation with you.

The last time it happened Jason was in the crib because it was first thing in the morning and I WAS IN THE FREAKING SHOWER. John (my oldest) had just come in to say “HI!” as he loves to do when I’m shampooing my hair and my guard is down. (Welcome to motherhood.) Well, my midsized dog go out of the window because the screen hadn’t been down where it should have been. So my son is calling the dog into the house and then once she’s in closes the window.

So I get out of the shower throw on my robe and I’m holding it closed because my band is no where to be found, and this woman is screaming at me to pull down the window. I did and she’s freaking out on me. Telling me that my kids were on the roof. Ok first off one of them is in the crib and he can’t get out, secondly there was a witness that saw the whole thing happen and John WAS NOT ON THE ROOF. But yet this bitch is running her mouth all over town lying about what really happened.

So my small little town, no one can mind their own business. Everyone has to know whatever everyone else is doing – except me I don’t care. And they think its perfectly ok to make up lies about my kids. Lies that are very serious and could end up in a CPS call.

So I have been OCD to the extreme with my home, dishes are done as soon as they are dirtied, the floors are mopped and swept twice a day and .. you get the idea.

I feel like I can’t spend any time with my kids because if I do and the house goes uncleaned and someone were to show up… yeah disaster. I’m also trying to figure out how I can put a protection order from this crazy person. She goes out of her way to walk past my house every single day, like she’s waiting for me to screw up. I’m here alone with the kids 85% of the time and the rest of the time I’m either at my mom’s or appointments. So yeah, this crazy woman and kiss my grits. I’m a good mom and she needs to mind her own business!


Bridal Shower.

Saturday was my bridal shower. My wonderful ladies threw me a Harry Potter themed tea party with games, and it was just amazing. I love my brides maids so much. I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out. Not many people showed  up, but those who did really helped to make my day special.

I got a gift card, some beautiful lingerie, a slow cooker cook book, and a Harry Potter purse and boots. It was just so wonderful to really just sit down and laugh with my friends and family.  The food was delicious and in reality I just can’t wait to celebrate my wedding now. Its the final count down and I couldn’t be happier!

Life as I know it

I haven’t blogged in awhile…

I know. I know. I haven’t blogged in awhile. It’s around 32 days till my wedding. I am terrified and excited all at once. I have really thought long and hard about what I want to do with my life (photography) as well as blogging, I want to be able to youtube vlog, however that probably won’t happen until I either get a video camera or upgrade my DSLR and get lights.

I have really noticed that the clutter of living here for two years and never really sorting through stuff and purging. I really want to embrace minimalism and the lifestyle of less is more. We just have SO MUCH (#blessed) and since we really want to eventually move out of state, it would be so much easier to purge now then later.

One of the things that I’ve noticed is how many paper products that we have that is just sitting. Mail, junk mail, scraps of stupid things, and pictures that need to be reprinted.  And since I also want to get down to as little waste as I can a lot of things are being tossed now, rather than keeping them around once I’ve hit the least waste per week goals.

I have A5 planners that I don’t use because I’ve switched over to the Happy Planner/recollections planner and absolutely love them. The binders I’ve noticed are very bulky and make my already heavy purse/diaper bag that much heavier. So I may end up selling them but right now I’m unsure.

We also have a lot of CD’s that no longer have their covers so I may convert them to digital and then throw them away now that I have a working hard drive again. My laptop recently crashed and thankfully I’d just cleaned it out. But now I’m stuck with files from three different computers not including my Macbook Pro that I have to sort, fonts I have to install and deleting duplicates.

It’s a weird feeling getting rid of stuff like this because it seems like the more that goes out the door, the better and less anxiety I feel in my home. I’ve suspected for awhile that my OCD is acting up again since my zen phase of surviving death is over and reality has hit me over and over again, so is my mental health issues.

One thing I have noticed is that the few weeks I lost my CBD vape pen I REALLY felt the difference. I mean I was in such a dark place, and all I wanted to do was sleep. My head hurt a hundred times worse than normal and I blame the fact that I was depressed and at the same time not eating like I should.

That’s changed now that I am vaping the CBD oil again and really getting my diet straightened out and getting back to basics for my bariatric/keto diet. I just no longer feel the need to be OMG consume all the chocolate! When I can just have a chocolate protein drink.

Since we are getting so close to the wedding I’m really trying to take care of my skin and make sure that I don’t have a huge zit on my face the day of the wedding.  I’m using noxema and a microderm face was every other day. I’m also wearing my hair up a lot more so that way I don’t get the oils on my forehead.

I’m just super content with life right now and couldn’t be happier with how things are going right now. We are slowly making plans and goals for the future and just enjoying life now.



So many stories.

I love watching story time videos on YouTube. I really want to do this but I’m lacking a camera, for one, and two, my anxiety runs way high and I would have to shoot at night while the kids are in bed, because toddlers.

Also, I’ve done a lot of stupid stuff in my past and while they would make great story times I don’t necessarily want to relive those moments. I mean I was a rebellious teen and a defiant woman in my 20’s. There are a lot choices I made that lead me to where I am now, but they are in the past and I don’t think I wanna talk about them.

Also there’s the fact that most of the YouTubers that do have story times are also doing make up tutorials and can look flawless. Because of my eye sight (very near sighted y’all) I cannot do my make up on camera because I can’t see well enough to do it with out my glasses with out being two inches from a mirror.

This maybe something I put on the back burner because I really think I could do this- but I also need to get better lighting, a better camera, and of course more confidence in myself.

*Le Sigh*



Book Review

Box Subscriptions: Get what you’re paying for?

I’ve been getting book boxes since last August when I got my very first Owlcrate box and I’ve become rather addicted to book boxes.

So far I’ve gotten

  • Owlcrate
  • Once Upon A Book Club/Once Upon a Book Club YA
  • Mirror Mirror
  • Book Loot

I have to say that all of these run under $40. I have gotten” Caraval” in one of my Owlcrates, candles, tea, book marks and of course pins. Each month is a different themed box with loot and books. In one of my Bookloot boxes I’ve gotten a full size funko figure, and in Mirror Mirror steam punk themed necklaces. This box ships out the 20th of every month.

The Once Upon a Book club box is where you read the book, and as you’re reading there’s themed presents that correspond with what you’re reading. So instead of getting all your loot all at once you get it as you’re reading the story. You may get a purse, or a photo you just never know.  This box usually ships right around the 20th as well so you’re hit with boxes and books galore! Sometimes its hard to choose with book to read first! The YA box debuted last month and it was an amazing book. I didn’t even want to open the presents it was such a good book. “The Hidden Memory of Objects” was a good first impression for the YA genre centered around this book. I loved it.

Book loot is amazing, the first box I got “The Bone Witch” and a bunch of fantasy themed items like candles, matchbook, stationary. The candles smell amazing no matter what box you get. You
This box does come earlier in the month and it is so worth it because this book box is unique and unlike the other boxes.

Mirror Mirror is a box that I wasn’t impressed with at first. The book “You’re welcome Universe” was an awesome read which made me give the box another chance. The thing I really do not like about this book box is that you don’t get the box the month you pay for it. Like I got March’s box in April, and Aprils box today May 11, 2017. This month’s theme is steam punk which is awesome and did come with a lot of improved loot and a very interesting book. “The Gauntlet” is a very Jumunji feeling book just upgraded to steam punk. I look forward to reading this book, but this will probably be the last time I purchase this box.  I want the box the month I pay for it.

All in all I really love Owlcrate, BookLoot and Once upon a Book Club. I may get more book oriented boxes in the future just to see what is what and how much bang for your buck.