Travel Tuesday #1 – My Hometown of San Clemente

I have travelled to a few states in the United States and out of the country to places like Germany, France and Belgium. But by far, my hometown is my favorite place of all. I know everyone usually loves their hometown but I’ve made a list of the reason why I love San Clemente so much. 

  1. I can’t get over how beautiful the sunset at the pier is. It is breathtaking and my go to place to relax and think. 
  2. The different types of scenery all within such a small town. Mountain trails, sand caves, the beach. 
  3. All the city utility boxes are covered in colorful artwork. Makes them a small attraction. 
  4. The military base is close by so we always have military members around town. San Clemente has even adopted a unit within the United States Marine Corps and we have a statue and the flag always waving. 
  5. We have some historic buildings that are breathtaking and the main site to weddings. One main one would be Casa Romantica. 
  6. San Clemente is still a small town and everyone knows everyone here. But we are close to some bigger towns like Mission Viejo and Irvine. 
  7. We are home to the famous Rainbow Sandals. Which means everyone here wears them πŸ˜‹
  8. The weather is amazing. Hottest summer days are in the 80’s and the coldest winter days are low 50’s. So we are lucky to not be too cold or too hot. β˜€οΈ
  9. The whole town is pretty safe. No matter what time of day it is or what part of town I’m in, I feel safe. Many people have lived here for a long time and protect that peacefulness of San Clemente. 
  10. It is my hometown and where I grew up. I can still go to all the places I hung out with my friends growing up and find my name on the wood bench. I run into people I’ve known since elementary school and now we have our own kids growing up together. I will forever love San Clemente – my vacation spot, my sanctuary, my home.

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Child At Heart

Many people don’t know much about my kids and how my oldest inspires me each day. He has a developmental delay and has therapy five days a week – oh and by the way, he’s only 2!


When he was about 14 months old, I noticed some red flags in his behavior. I made a list of the behaviors and scheduled an evaluation. 

  • No eye contact
  • Tantrums
  • No functional play
  • No speech
  • Sensitivity to sounds
  • Sensitivity to textures
  • Waking all night screaming
  • Poor appetite
  • Emotionally unstable 


At the end of his evaluation, I was told he possibly could be autistic and my stomach dropped. Not from fear of what others would think of me but of the struggles he would have to face. I had been a helper in high school for a kid that was autistic and I had seen first hand the challenges. 

We discussed the options and agreed to start therapy to see if he would make improvements. So within a few weeks I got a call and they explained how therapy would work. 

Monday through Friday for two hours each day and these sessions would be at home since he was so young. He would also do occupational therapy for 1 hour a week at a clinic. 

When we first started therapy, in December, I was skeptical because he had a major stranger danger attitude and hated new people – especially if they were wanting him to do something. So he would throw tantrums for the whole 2 hour session. 

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Today, he fusses at the start for about 5 minutes but now works during session and has made bounds in improvements!

Now he makes eye contact, does functional play, stabilized his emotions and no more middle of the night waking. He is better with his sensory issues due to his occupational therapy. He is also trying to talk now by saying syllables and a few words here and there. 

A re-evaluation of his behavior shows little to no autism but a developmental delay only. I can keep working with him and therapy to get him up to par. 


Now, anytime I feel like something is impossible, I just look at my own little miracle cuddled next to me. If he can make efforts and improvements like that at only 2 years old then I think I can do anything. The power of a child’s determination, perseverance and strength motivate and inspire me to be the best I can be for my own children. 


Let me know what inspires you to be the best version of yourself! 😘

13 Signs You Grew Up In South Orange County

Orange County is a wonderful place to grow up. With weather that is good all year long to beautiful sites to see, it is a georgeous place to live or even visit. 

  1. AcaΔ― bowls are a big part of your diet. And when summer time comes, you call ahead to beat the line. 
  2. When you were a kid, you did Junior Lifeguards cuz your parents were scared of you drowning
  3. Rain creates a range of mixed emotions. Excitement at something new, shock due to the rarity, or panic at the thought of the traffic due to paranoid drivers. I’m guilty of posting about it on my social media 🌧
  4. You know all the best Mexican food places around town and know all the taco Tuesday deals. 
  5. When you wanted to escape for the weekend or go on a vacation, the choices included: LA, San Diego, Palm Springs and Big Bear. If you were daring or want to really get away, you made the long drive to Arizona to go hiking. 
  6. You keep in touch with all your middle school and high school friends because you still come home on college break or you’ve moved back to live. 
  7. Anything past Irvine doesn’t count as Orange County to you. Irvine Spectrum is about as far as you’ll go. Riverside is forbidden territory and just the thought makes you cringe. 
  8. Your family has taken the photo for a holiday card at the beach in white shirts. 
  9. You tan during non summer months to keep your tan up. Nobody likes losing their tan. 
  10. It’s frustrating when people think all of California is the same. There is a huge difference between NorCal and SoCal! Trust me!
  11. Guys are allowed to have long hair without it being unusual. All the surfers and skateboarders have long hair. 
  12. There is a particular lingo many use to describe things down here. “Dank”, “chill”, “rad”, and “gnarly”. 
  13. And The Real OC was nothing like living in the OC. Some of the stereotypes are true but you’d never say that. 

Let me know if I missed any or if you think these hold true. Just comment below! 😊

ο»ΏPost-traumatic stress disorder from Abuse

In honor of PTSD (Post-traumatic stress disorder) Awareness Month, I am writing from my own personal experience of abuse and the affects. This post does contain graphic content that may disturb readers. 


I was in a relationship in 2007 that, at the time, was an abusive relationship but I was not aware of it. He was abusive in multiple ways and I was so young that I didn’t see it as abuse.

He was emotionally/verbally abusive by isolating me from friends and family, blaming me, accusing me, threatening me and/or himself. 

I was financially abused by him controlling my money and when I could use it. 

He used social media and texting to cause digital abuse. He would degrade or threaten me and harass me when I wasn’t with him. Demanded access to all my social media and would go through my phone. 

He stalked me at work, and any time I would be without him, he had a friend watch me. 


When I finally got the courage to leave him, I knew it could go bad and warned coworkers. Once I got home and told him I didn’t want to be with him anymore, I saw the anger rise. This was the first time I had ever been physically abused in my life. He pinned me to the ground and I tried to deflect his punches but many made it past my arms. He knocked me out and he waited til I became conscious to tell me it’s my fault for him doing this. He asked if I was still going to leave and I said yes, the beating continued for about another 10 minutes with him screaming at me. He would yell things like “why would you leave me when I love you?”, “nobody will love you after me because you’re damaged”, “I’ll kill you before I see you with someone else”, and “you are making me do this.”

Coming up with a plan, I finally said I wouldn’t leave, knowing he had work that night. He left and said we would talk later. Once I saw him drive away I called a coworker who picked me up and all my belongings and took me to their home to stay. 

We filed a police report, took photos and visited a doctor. 

The results:

He never was caught. Found out he was an illegal and was hiding. 

I ended up with bruises covering my entire body, busted lip, bone bruises along my jaw, swollen esophagus, a fractured supraorbital arch (eyebrow bone), and PTSD. 


I’m not going to go into detail of my symptoms but I have complied a list of PTSD symptoms I developed. 

  1. Flashbacks and nightmares
  2. Insomnia 
  3. Anxiety 
  4. Numb to emotions 
  5. No self esteem 
  6. Constant headaches
  7. Negative self image 
  8. Hypervigilance


Today, I have moved so far from the struggles I faced then and have become a stronger person. 

What I struggle with today include momentary anxiety and moments of low self esteem. 

I am happy with the person I have become and took a negative and turned it into a positive. I rarely ever have this experience come up and have moved past it. It take determination and courage to push through. Putting my faith in the Lord is what really got me out of such a dark place. My husband and kids really have brought that chapter to a close and I am so thankful I get to enjoy every day with them!

Feel free to share your thoughts or share your story by commenting below. If you would like to share privately, my email is cloe.pottorff@gmail.com πŸ˜ŠπŸ’œ

Motivation Monday #2 – Turn a Negative into a Positive

Everyone has had a bad day before. Whether the cause was someone else’s or our own, we have all had something happen that makes us mad, sad, frustrated or defeated. That’s ok, we are all human and that’s part of a human experience. However, it’s not ok to stop and settle into that feeling or mood. There is always a positive that can come from a negative, always. 


Most situations that put us in a bad mood can easily be deflected if we just change our mindset. They way we think really does affect our daily lives. Positive thinking and acting attracts other positive behaviors and actions. 


I made a short list of some things to incorporate into your daily life to gain more positivity. 

  1. Express gratitude-showing gratitude increases the value of what you do have
  2. Be optimistic-optimism grows endless opportunities
  3. Avoid social comparison-everyone is different, everyone has different strengths. Focus on you, what you think of yourself is all that matters
  4. Learn to forgive-It will set you free from resentment and you can move forward
  5. Practice kindness-Being selfless creates such a strong feel good feeling and makes you happy to have made a difference
  6. Enjoy the small things-You can’t truly enjoy life unless you take time to relish in the small things. Sunsets, stars, laughter, snow falling. 
  7. Take care of your body-When you feel your best, you become the best version of you. 


Now, here are some of my own personal experiences that started out as negatives but I turned them into positives. 

  1. A family members death-I can comfort others in similar situations.  Also, I now strive to make a difference and make the deceased proud of me. 
  2. Parents divorce-I can relate and help others going through parents divorce. I learned what not to do in a marriage. 
  3. Struggle financially-I learned that not all outing and adventures need to be bought(i.e. Disneyland, movies)
  4. Assaulted-Learned to stand up for myself and that abuse is not deserved. I can relate and help others in similar situations as well. 
  5. Anxiety-Learned what makes me happy and I do more things like journaling, painting and reading to de-stress

I hope that now when you are having just one of those days, you take a minute to be grateful for what you have and to change that negative into a positive! πŸ˜‰

If you have any comments or questions, feel free to comment below and I will respond πŸ˜ŠπŸ‘

Sunday School β›ͺ️

I don’t usually post on Sunday but I felt I should start since my faith is such an important part of my life. I realize that many others don’t share the same views and I have nothing against that. This post is just meant for people to see more of what makes me who I am and an insight to what I believe. 

Let me start off by stating that I am a Christian. That doesn’t mean I’m perfect by any standards but I am continuously working towards being a better Christian. I have grown up in a Christian family, my great grandfather was a pastor in Tulsa, Oklahoma for a few decades. 


Now with my own little family, it really has become more important to know the bible, Christ and God since I will be teaching my children. Some things really come to light. God has a plan for all of us, we may not understand it now but we will one day when we meet our final judgement. Giving your life for Him is an amazing thing. 


All I am trying to say is I’m very thankful for what Christ has given me and that is His undeniable Grace from sin. With Christ, we would all be destined to damnation. Today was one of those days where the sermon really made you think and made you want to be a better Christian. 


I hope all y’all enjoyed learning a bit about my faith and if you have a comment or would like me to write on a specific biblical/religious topic, comment below. You are welcome to share your thoughts and opinions πŸ˜ŠπŸ’œ

Flashback Friday #3 – Family Resemblance

As we get older we start to notice resemblances we share with certain family members, whether or not we like it. Scrolling through photos on my phone, I realized how much Leo and I look like my mom and me when I was younger. 

Here is a photo of my mom and me. She is about 23 and I am about 3 years old. 


Now here is a photo of Leo and I today. I’m 25 and he is 2 1/2. 


It’s crazy seeing how much I have become to look like my mom and how I can look at my own son and see so much of me as a child. He is my mini twin. It is crazy to think, this little man is my baby and looks so much like but is his own person. 


Above is a photo of me on the left and Leo on the right. 

Leo may look like me but his personality it completely different from mine. We only share small characteristics. I love my family and wouldn’t want it any other way. I think it’s amazing to see genetics at work in a families resemblance to each other. 

Let me know if you or another family member share some major resemblances. And let me know what you think of the above photos πŸ˜‰