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Lately I have been caught in this inner turmoil of appearance…in more ways than one.  Let me explain.  I occasionally see a Facebook memory pop up in my feed and I cringe inside.  I was that person who posted pictures of my kids, all in matching outfits portraying what seemed to be a perfect life.  I posted things I made not thinking I was bragging, but looking back, I actually was looking for approval.  While it’s nice to see the memories, it has me second guessing everything I post or say.  That is one reason I haven’t blogged in a while.  I scroll Facebook or instagram and watch other people post things and wonder if their life is really that perfect.  Was I one of those people?  I have always tried to be real and raw, but I’m just not sure anymore.  I’m sorry if I portrayed my life as perfect and amazing and something it really isn’t.

Then there is my struggle with my outward appearance.  A few months ago I had to have one of my front teeth pulled.  I paid a lot of money a few years ago to a shady dentist to do a root canal and a crown and he did a bad job.  So my crown and tooth had to come out and now I am without a front tooth,  I had a horrible experience having it pulled and now I have to wait 6 months for the gum and bone to heal before I can get an implant.  I paid a lot of money to have a “flipper” made which is a retainer with a fake tooth and it broke about 15 times in the first 3 weeks so I gave up on it.  I decided to order a cheap internet version of Invisalign called “byte” hoping it would make the huge gap in my mouth not as visible.  While it is straightening my teeth, it doesn’t hide the gap as I had hoped.  I don’t know what God is trying to teach me about myself during my toothless months, but I don’t like it.  I am super self conscious about it and basically hate my face…so that’s going really well for me right now!

This got me thinking a lot about appearance.  Appearance is one of the first things we notice about someone.   We may judge them on what they wear, what they don’t wear, how many teeth they are missing or what kind of shoes they wear.  I am guilty of it…100%.  Recently I have had some health scares.  From being poked and prodded to CT scans to X-rays to scary thoughts about possible diagnosis it really hit me.  From the outside, one wouldn’t know anything about this unless I personally told you.  It would appear that from the way I have to carry on in my life as a mom, a foster mom, a wife, a teacher and on and on that all is okay.  This is where the idea of appearance has messed me up.

How many of us are walking around with inner turmoil and struggles while outwardly we appear to have it all together?  Some people get help by talking to others about their struggles.  I tend to keep it all inside and deal with it through my own thoughts and prayers.  Some people choose to not talk about or think about things and I would assume it eats away at them forcing them to very dark and sad places.  I don’t want to be one of those people that portrays to have it all together.  I don’t want to be one of those people that posts things on social media bragging about what we have or what we are doing.

So…in full disclosure I have chosen to post pictures on this blog.  You will see above the pictures what would be my instagram post and then below you’ll see the real post.  Don’t let yourself get down by what other people post like I tend to.  Remember, behind every post is way more to the story!

Kitchen Remodel Done!!!  My husband is so amazing and awesome.  He gave me my dream kitchen.  I am so happy and so blessed.

*I whined and complained enough about hating my kitchen that Dan could no longer take it.  I had granite counter tops and complained that I didn’t like the color every single day because I am a snot.  Dan worked really hard to give me something that would make me happy because he loves me and wants me to be happy.  It cost way more than we thought and now we have some credit card debt from it.

My 5 oldest kids all made the National Honor Society…being inducted tonight.  So proud of them and all their achievements.

* After forcing some of my kids to fill out the applications to be a part of the National Honor Society, they all got selected.  It will look good on their college applications one day and hopefully save us money.  I also battled one of my kids to wear a dress and the one boy wore shorts and I said it was okay without thinking because we live in Florida…only pants were to be worn.  Also, I forced them to take this picture and they were not nice to me before their smiles or after and walked in rolling their eyes at me.

Molly finally got her wish!  We caved in and got her a bird like she’s always wanted.  That makes 2 dogs, one bird, some fish, a hamster and 2 cats in the house!  Just call us the Florida version of the Wilke Farm.

*A teacher caught this bird outside during middle school lunch.  She put it in my office and told me to call the local animal shelter.  Me, being dumb, called my daughter who has always wanted a bird out of class to tame the bird until the animal people came.  She batted her eyes at me and we now have a bird in our house.  I don’t know how to say no.  Have I mentioned that I pretty much dislike any sort of animal?

I am married to the world’s best husband and daddy.  I couldn’t have asked for a better Dad for my children than I have in Dan.

* Dan is a way better parent than I am.  He doesn’t focus on the small things like I do.  He is more worried about playing and hanging with the kids while I am more worried about making sure the kitchen is clean and the toilets are scrubbed.  The kids like him better than they like me.  I sometimes get jealous of the way the kids adore him and roll their eyes at me.  I am super lucky and blessed to be married to him.  He is everything I would have wanted my dad to be like to me when I was my girls age.

We had an amazing time this past weekend in Savannah, GA with my adoptive mom and pops.  So many laughs and great memories made!  Thanks Cindy and Mickey for the great weekend researching Savannah!

*Why didn’t I get a dad like Mickey?  I work with Mickey at my job.  Every job I have had, God has placed a man in my life that portrays to me everything I thought my dad was going to be.  However, my dad left when I was in 8th grade and now I live vicariously through other people’s dads and call them pops and ask them to adopt me.  Mickey and Cindy have been great role models on what I want my marriage to look like and how I want to parent.  I am truly blessed that God put them in my life down here.  I keep asking Mickey where my adoption papers are and apparently they’ve gotten lost in the mail!

My oldest turned 18!  I can’t believe what an amazing 18 years it has been.  Molly is beautiful and will do great things!  I love you my little Pippy Squeak!


*Molly WILL do awesome and amazing things.  I love her beyond what she’ll ever know.  She is one of my best friends.  She often rolls her eyes at me.  Gets irritated with me.  Wears things that I wish she wouldn’t.  Says things I wish she wouldn’t.  I often try to make excuses for who she is and her personality because I want to come across as having the perfect children.  She is sassy and sarcastic and she gets it from me.  She says what she’s thinking even when I wish she wouldn’t.  She is beautiful and will always be my little  Pippy Squeak.

Abbie and Luke are just the cutest.  They just celebrated their 1 year anniversary!

*I am FREAKED out.  Abbie and Luke remind me so much of me and Dan.  I absolutely LOVE and adore Luke and his whole family.  I want them to stay together forever but they are so young and I want them to explore the world.  I said my kids wouldn’t date until they are 16.  Abbie and Luke have been “dating” for over a year and neither one are 16…so that worked out well for me and my parenting.  Will he break my daughter’s heart?  I just want to protect her heart.  UGH….parenting teenagers is SO HARD.

2 of my besties flew down to visit me for the first time since moving to Florida.  We had the best time sitting at the beach and pool.  I want them to move here…I miss them so much.

*I am lonely here.  I haven’t really been able to find the deepest of friendships that I had in WI yet.  I have friends here and am getting closer to deep friendships, but I often feel alone. I am guarding my heart while desperately missing my WI friends.  It’s been a year and a half since we moved and making friends has been one of the hardest things for me.  I am so busy that I don’t make time for other people.  I am self conscious and don’t think anyone likes me.  People already have their “people” here and making friends at 40 SUCKS.  Don’t get me wrong, I do have friends here and I love and adore them…I just long for the deep friendship to develop!

Merry Christmas from the Wilke family!  What a year it’s been!  Wishing you all a very Happy and Merry Christmas!

*No one wanted to go take Christmas pictures.  Every single one of them were crabby.  We had a half hour until sunset.  I wanted to take our pictures at the beach this year.  We settled for this lame spot and I hate it.  Everyone can fake a smile real good.  No one was happy.  In between every picture was a complaint and loud sighs.  It was our worst year yet taking pictures.  I wanted to punch them all.  Merry Christmas.

I could go on and on.  I have a lot of pictures I want to get caught up on posting.  However, I am afraid you’ll all really see the real side of us and I want to keep some dignity.  I’m sorry if I ever made it seem like we had it all together and we were perfect.  We are as much of a mess as anyone.  Or maybe no one else is a mess and we just are?  That could be a possibility too.

So I guess from our messy, loud, eye-rolling home to yours, stay safe and be real!!