Friday, December 1, 2017

Thirty Days Of Thanks 2017

1. Today I am thankful for a job I love and the knowledge and experience I have gained in the last 4 years.
2. Today I am thankful for song lyrics that say what I can't.
3. Today I am thankful for nights when I can fall asleep easily.
4. Today I am thankful for watching my children play soccer. I never saw myself being a "Soccer Mom", but I sure wear the title proudly now.
5. Today I am thankful that I didn't become a story that other people tell their friends, to scare them. I hate heights! #Cannonville #ISworeAlot
6. Today I am thankful for days when I can get everything done, even when it is chaotic. I juggle a lot on a daily basis and feel like I'm failing, more often than not.
7. Today I am thankful for hot sauce. I like spicy food.
8. Today I am thankful when my kids tell me stories about their day. It might not always be at the most convenient time. They might all try to tell me at the same time. The stories might go on But...I'm thankful that they want to talk to me and that I'm here to hear it.
9. Today I am thankful for ice cream and parking lot lights.
10. Today I am thankful for family that lets me complain to them.
11. Today I am thankful for days of nothing. They happen once a year.
12. Today I am thankful for forgiveness. Patience. Kindness. Hope. Love. Future plans. #Leaves #F2F
13. Today I am thankful for one on one time with my kids.
14. Today I am thankful for time spent celebrating other's accomplishments. Straight A's is no easy feat. I'm proud of you.
15. Today I am thankful for the independence of my children and the fact that I survived toddlerhood.
16. Today I am thankful for the opportunities to watch my kids excel at things that they love.
17. Today I am thankful for being a single mom. It is one of the hardest things I have ever done, but it has taught me the most about life and love.
18. Today I am thankful that I am not really a single mom. I have a village and I appreciate them more than they will ever know.
19. Today I am thankful for laughter and togetherness.
20. Today I am thankful for living a life where healthy food is abundant.
21. Today I am thankful for a teeny tiny baby who isn't so teeny tiny anymore. #HappyBirthdayPeanut
22. Today I am thankful for opportunities to experience new things. #FishSpa
23. Today I am thankful for great food, great people, being surrounded by love...and WINE. My heart is full.
24. Today I am thankful for kindness that comes from places that I don't deserve it to come from.
25. Today I am thankful for cuddles on cold mornings.
26. Today I am thankful for wonderful surprises that I didn't dare ask for.
27. Today I am thankful for all of the children in my life, that allow me to love them.
28. Today I am thankful for comfortable shoes. I walked 9 miles during work today!
29. Today I am thankful for stolen moments and warm Big Hunk candy bars.
30. Today I am thankful for second chances. I generally close out my Thirty Days Of Thanks with some profound thought. But this year? Well...that is more than enough.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Thirty Days of Thanks 2016

1. Today I am thankful for a warm blanket and laziness. This Is Us.
2. Today I am thankful for those that are patient with me.
3. Today I am thankful for the mute button.
4. Today I am thankful for the children in my life. They are all growing up so fast and changing every minute; I can't imagine missing a moment of it. They are my whole world.
5. Today I am thankful for family dinners, fist bumps from my nephew and sticky niece kisses.
6. Today I am thankful that I was able to find peace.
7. Today I am thankful for patience and a comfortable bed to sleep in every night. Or day.
8. Today I am thankful for instilling in my children the drive to do their best.
9. Today I am thankful for feelings of independence.
10. Today I am thankful for the chance to make plans for the future. #somethingtolookforwardto
11. Today I am thankful for bonus time with my kids. #holidayweekend
12. Today I am thankful for falling autumn leaves, good books and twenty seconds of insane courage. I am also thankful for the very best sandwich I have ever eaten.
13. Today I am thankful for dinnertime around the table with my kids.
14. Today I am thankful for a strong cup of coffee, a hot bowl of oatmeal and a work shift so crazy busy that both turned cold. Twice. #ilovecontrolledchaos
15. Today I am thankful for the reminder that the #littlethings matter most.
16. Today I am thankful for days when I feel productive. And cookies. I'm thankful for cookies. And learning new things. #omlette
17. Today I am thankful for laughter at work to break up the other non-laughing moments.
18. Today I am thankful for sleep. It doesn't always come easy.
19. Today I am thankful for teamwork and careful planning in order to get every child where they need to be.
20. Today I am thankful for long drives in the rain and a really happy waiter. #purple
21. Today I am thankful for time together, modern medicine and an 8 year old miracle.
22. Today I am thankful for anticipation.
23. Today I am thankful for friends who listen. I'm not a great friend (and I know it), but I am thankful that somehow I have friends that let me get away with it.
24. Today I am thankful for previous over-planning so that today was relaxed and enjoyable for all. I'm thankful that I get to spend important days surrounded by my family, even if some of them are missing. Oh...and WINE. Even if it is a gross kind.
25. Today I am thankful that the kids got to enjoy a Jazz game tonight, even if I had to miss out. I like knowing that they have had a variety of experiences to look back on, in their childhood.
26. Today I am thankful for late night/early morning conversations with my Momma.
27. Today I am thankful for football, warm blankets and #time.
28. Today I am thankful for late night phone calls.
29. Today I am thankful for our beautiful house that we have made our home. I love our community and how well we have each found our place in it.
30. Today I am thankful for what the last year has taught me. I am always striving to be a better mother, partner, nurse, daughter, sister, aunt, granddaughter, friend, woman, than I have ever been. I am not perfect and I don't live with the illusion that I will ever be...but I am so lucky that I have people in my life, that are letting me figure it out.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Let Me Tell You A Story

Once upon a time, a family went out for ice-cream cones after dinner. It was at a roadside stand on a farm, where the ice-cream was homemade and delicious! Everyone picked out their very favorite kind, including a little girl who was about 8 or 9 years old. The cones were handed out and the family settled down on the grass to enjoy their dessert.

When the little girl wiggled, as little girls sometimes do, her very large, very top heavy ice-cream toppled off her cone…straight into the dirt. As the little girl sat there, staring at her now destroyed treat, tears started welling up in her eyes. Without even a thought, the little girl’s mother handed over her very large, very yummy ice-cream cone to her daughter.  She did not get another ice-cream cone, she just watched her daughter’s smile return. And that was enough.
That little girl was me.

Childhood is a funny thing. Sometimes, what should be a very prominent memory is blocked out, for various reasons. Other times, some memories stick, for no apparent reason, other than to pop up from time to time.
That ice-cream memory is one that has stuck with me for years. I can remember, clear as day, that open blue sky, the green grass tickling my legs and the wooden fence posts around the dirt parking lot. The memory comes back from time to time; sometimes randomly, other times because I’m eating ice-cream or a sno-cone outside. I always remember it fondly and smile, now knowing that that is  what sacrifice looks like, as a parent.

Tonight, it came back for an entirely different reason.
Some of my children have busier social lives than others. I am constantly waiting up on weekend nights, to pick one up here or one up there, before I can finally retire to bed, exhausted. Tonight was no exception. Except that tonight, I was craving ice-cream like crazy! Lack of sleep and a long day of soccer and running errands had me wanting something I normally don't crave at all!

I walked into the TV room where my youngest two sat, curled up in a blanket, watching TV.
“Do you guys want to go, or stay?” I asked.
“Where are you going?” Luke questioned.
“Do you want to go, or stay?” I asked again.
“Are you going to get Ryleigh?” Luke said.
“Okay. I guess you are staying. Be right back!” I said to him and Peanut, as I walked out the garage door.

Bailey and I quickly headed to a local fast food place to get shakes (Warren’s…if you’ve never been, you’re missing out!) and discussed what flavors to surprise the other two with. I decided on brownie cookie dough for me, because…well…it sounded chunky and yummy. I had about an hour before I needed to pick up Roo and Avery, so I didn’t worry about grabbing my little socialites one.
On the way home, I told Bai that it would be funny to walk in with just our shakes; letting the younger two believe that because they chose not to come, they didn’t get one at all. I wouldn’t let it play out long…but long enough to disappoint them just a little bit. (Mommy revenge comes in all forms, I suppose.)  ;)

Carrying my chunky and yummy shake, that I was so excited to eat, I flung open the garage door, waiting for the reactions of my Littles.


As my eyes adjusted to the dim light, I looked around…one kid lump under a blanket…two kid lump under a blanket…THREE kid lump under a blanket.
Avery had been dropped off early by her friend’s mom. *insert audible gasp here*

So, I did what any mother would have done. I reached behind me, to the other shakes sitting in their holder on the hood of the Envoy, plucked my shake in next to the other two, turned around and announced, “I have ice-cream for you guys! I hope I picked flavors you will like!”
After a chorus of excited “thank yous”, they scurried off with their loot. Peanut with her cookie dough shake, Luke with his mocha shake…and Avery with my brownie cookie dough shake.

I made my way upstairs, smiling to myself, remembering a happy little girl on a hot summer’s day and another mother who went without an ice-cream, that she really wanted.
Thanks, Mom. ♥

Monday, November 30, 2015

Thirty Days of Thanks: 2015

1. I'm thankful for the small moments of peace I find throughout crazy days.
2. I'm thankful for salmon and the opportunity to cook and share a delicious meal.
3. I'm thankful that my children understand how important education is.
4. I'm thankful for my career and the endless possibilities it gives me.
5. I'm thankful to come home to a house full of love.
6. I'm thankful that puff paint doesn't dry quickly.
7. I'm thankful for my best friend. Twenty years. Births. Loss. Divorce. Marriage. Death. Moves. Distance. We've been there for each other through it all.
8. I'm thankful for new experiences.
9. I'm thankful for a pile of leaves and the giggles that poured through my kitchen window because of it.
10. I am thankful to have a career that I love, a career that I'm good at, a career that challenges me and a career that provides well for my kids.
11. I am thankful for those that help me and support me far more than I deserve.
12. I am thankful for second chances.
13. I am thankful for Avery and her bigger than life hugs.
14. I am thankful for the smell of breakfast cooking and Pandora. I'm thankful to wake up warm and loved.
15. I am thankful for warm chocolate chip cookies before bed, with my kids.
16. I am thankful for Luke and his silliness that makes me laugh.
17. I am thankful for Bai and her helpfulness.
18. I am thankful for carwashes, Chinese food and stolen naps.
19. I am thankful for coffee.
20. I am thankful for friends that feel like family and family that feel like friends. #youarenotmyfriend
21. I am thankful for Peanut and how she always makes me feel like I am doing a good job at this Mom thing.
22. I'm thankful for Roo and how hard she works at everything.
23. I'm thankful for #time with all the kids in my life and seeing them #smile.
24. I'm thankful for a beautiful house that we have made a home.
25. I'm thankful for a safe drive home, amidst the snow.
26. I'm thankful for a kitchen table surrounded by love, laughter and more food than is necessary. I am blessed.
27. I'm thankful for warm blankets and cheesy movies.
28. I'm thankful for a Christmas tree filled with my children's memories.
29. I'm thankful for cuddling and football.
30. I'm thankful for the strength I've found in myself, the weakness I've allowed others to see and the changes that a year can bring

Monday, April 6, 2015

I Promise To Be Better

Work is tiring, my friends. I love my job so much, but it can be exhausting. As I rounded on my unit the other morning, enjoying the quiet of six AM before the madness began, I thought about the people behind the closed doors. This was my fifth shift this week and I was trying to mentally prepare myself for another day of being a nurse.

There is a lot of pleasure in my job. I get to meet some amazing patients. I get to work with some fantastic people. I get to be involved with families and friends and cheer on my patients as they go home, no longer needing my care.

There is a lot of hard in my job, too. Death. That is never easy. Unexpected roadblocks and challenging personalities. Everything must be handled with understanding on my face and a calm in my voice.

The shift before this particular one, I spent so much time answering call lights. It seemed that every single time I sat down to chart, one or two or five call lights would go off. When there is only myself and an aide to answer them, it often resulted in a couple people feeling neglected. I didn't want to make them wait, but there was no way to tell them that I was trapped helping in another room and would be there as soon as I could.

But, I digress...

So, I'm walking down my hall and readying myself for another day of caring for each of these individuals. I know that these people have no idea what I do all day. They have no concern for anything going on, other than what is happening between their own four walls. If I am not there to provide care for them immediately, they feel I have failed them. It doesn't matter that another person is deteriorating and I don't know why or that some other person needs my help going to the bathroom. They can only see as far as the end of their own bed, their own predicament and their own needs.

I realized...sometimes we go through life like that. Stuck in our own little self-made room, unable to see what the people around us are going through. Unable to acknowledge that they may have their own pains and struggles. We become so focused on our own needs and our own story, that we forget that everyone else is writing their story, too.

I promise to be better.

To be aware of the challenges that others are facing and to not become so overwhelmed with my own that I forget that it is not all about me. I do not want to go through life blind to the plights of those I love, because I cannot see past my own obstacles. While my load may be heavy, I do not serve the world by carrying it. I only serve myself. Unless I open my eyes to the load that others have, acknowledge it and ease it in some way, I have failed. A smile. Encouragement. Gratitude. Patience. They are all free, yet priceless.

I promise to be better.

Friday, December 12, 2014

How Much Of What We Say Is Wasted?

It was early morning. Much earlier than she would like to be awake and I understood...I had a late night the previous evening and I, too, was less than chipper.

She rarely spoke to me, as I cared for her, day after day after day. Her words were always slow and careful, taking incredible patience on any listener's part, to hear her one or two word responses. Generally, a gentle nod or shake of the head, was all you would get.

"Good morning", I said, as I proceeded about my business. I asked if she was in any pain and she slowly shook her head no. I continued on, when I noticed her mumbling something. 

I didn't catch what it was, so I crouched down, now putting us eye to eye and asked, "What did you say?"


My eyes grew wide and I felt my breath catch in my throat.

This beautiful person, who rarely ever formed a sentence, just took the effort to acknowledge the role I played in her life. She not only noticed, but with incredible work, spoke six words, that I knew would forever change my life.

Speaking is something that most of us take for granted. We do it all day long. To our children. To our co-workers. To our partners. To our parents and friends and the cashier at the grocery store. To the mailman and the woman on the corner and the nurse at the doctor's office.

How much of what we say, is wasted? Wasted on anger or gossip or judgment? Wasted on arguments or stubbornness? Wasted on frustration or spur of the moment reactions, that we later regret?

We have the ability, most of us, to say anything we want, at any time. We have the ability to reassure the young mom in the grocery store, wrangling her screaming toddler, that we understand. We have the chance to tell our daughters how incredibly smart they are and how much we appreciate them. We have the capability of telling our sons we love them and how proud we are of them. We are fortunate enough to be able to use our voices to stand up for those, who cannot stand up for themselves. We have the time and the chance, every single day, to uplift and encourage and inspire those around us.

We choose, at any given moment, to use our words to help...or to use them to hurt.

How much of what we wasted?

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Thirty Days of Thanks 2014

1. Today I am thankful for French fries and milkshakes at midnight, with teenage giggles. 
2. Today I am thankful for baby snuggles. That stage went far too fast with my own. 
3. Today I am thankful for growth and hard conversations, that aren't so hard after all. 
4. Today I am thankful for unexpected joy at work and for the understanding smile of another person. 
5. Today I am thankful for starting to make new plans. I hate living in limbo. 
6. Today I am thankful for hot chocolate made with milk and for a five year old girl's arms wrapped around my neck.  
7. Today I am thankful for the patience that Avery has had with her siblings and for a Panda Express lunch date. 
8. Today I am thankful for a little boy who tries so hard. 
9. Today I am thankful for opportunities for happiness in my life, including snuggles and giggles with my oldest two daughters. 
10. Today I am thankful for understanding and patience. It appears as though I need more of it lately. 
11. Today I am thankful for my heated blanket. It is the only reason I sleep at all. 
12. Today I am thankful for all of the love in my life. 
13. Today I am thankful for the opportunity to try new things and jump a little out of my comfort zone. 
14. Today I am thankful for lots and lots of blankets. 
15. Today I am thankful when my children are grateful. 
16. Today I am thankful for time. 
17. Today I am thankful for help, reading and twenty questions. 
18. Today I am thankful that I'm feeling better and for a packed lunch. 
19. Today I am thankful for rum. Yup. 
20. Today I am thankful for the chance to watch my girls get pleasure out of volunteering. 
21. Today I am thankful for a tiny peanut and her hand in mine. Happy Birthday, baby girl. 
22. Today I am thankful for the understanding of others and being brave. 
23. Today I am thankful that my children will talk to me about the hard stuff. 
24. Today I am thankful that I didn't have to drive home in snow. 
25. Today I am thankful for progress, open communication and self-acceptance. And not so gentle reminders. ;)
26. Today I am thankful for new beginnings.
27. Today I am thankful for the little things and my children's smiles. 
28. Today I am thankful for the chance to surprise my children with their new home. 
29. Today I am thankful for bedtime. 
30. Today I am thankful for strength. I am thankful for courage. I am thankful for the ability to choose my attitude. Sometimes. Okay...I try. 

Saturday, November 22, 2014

She's Bent, Not Broken

About a year ago, at a regular yearly check-up, Bai was given the test for scoliosis. We have all had this simple test; I remember having mine done at school, where I had to put my feet together, bend over at the waist and let my arms dangle. In fact, when I was tested, I actually did have a slight curve in my spine.

But, I digress...

So, as Bailey bent over, my eyes met with the doctor's, over her very uneven back. We had a silent conversation about what we were seeing and the exam continued. We were then referred to Primary Children's Hospital for an x-ray and at that time she was shown to have a nineteen degree curve. Additionally, one leg was slightly shorter than the other. No worries, we would just watch and wait.

Six months later we went in for another follow up. She was now measuring at twenty-four degrees and evidence showed that she was still growing. She denied having any pain, so we opted to wait another six months and re-evaluate.

Those six months passed without a problem. She grew and she ran a half marathon and she never complained of any pain or issues. However, her x-ray at this time measured her with a twenty-nine degree curvature...and she is still growing.

We knew all along that a back brace was a possibility if her curvature reached a degree that indicated a need. I honestly never thought we would get there.

I was wrong.

As you can see, she curves in two places, which is also tipping her pelvis and causing her neck to be twisted. The vertical red line indicates where her spine should be and the horizontal red line shows how her pelvis is uneven. Our goal at this point? Stop the curve from growing further, correct what we can and avoid surgery.
Now that we know the curve is there and have seen the x-ray, see how obvious it is, just looking at her? Running my fingers down either side of her spine, I can feel every curve.
About a month ago, Bai was fitted for the back brace that she will be wearing for at least the next year. When her time wearing it will be completed, is anyone's guess. She will be followed by Primary Children's and the company that fitted her with the brace, while we watch to see what her back will do. Eighteen hours a day, in a hard, plastic shell, is not how a thirteen year old wants to live...but she is a ROCKSTAR and has adapted to it relatively easily. She also has a small wedge in her shoe that helps with her shorter leg and tips her pelvis back into the alignment it should be in.

She was showing Bai her curve and explaining how it was making her stand. The white "body sock" you see on Bai is what she wears under the brace. It is the only thing that can be between the brace and her skin.

It has to be put on while she is laying down. Her body is most in line when she is horizontal, rather than vertical, when she naturally tips.

Teaching Bai where the padding in the brace will go and how it helps align her properly, based on where her curves are.

Teaching me how it should fit and where it should be on her body. Those straps you see are heavy duty Velcro.
When she wears tighter shirts, you can see the obvious curve to her right hip. However, we have found that in most of her clothing, including her school uniforms,  you can barely tell.
 She still has some moments when it sucks and it is hard. It is not comfortable and it can be difficult for her to move in certain ways. She has times that it makes her nauseated and a little claustrophobic, causing her a bit of anxiety. We choose to work through it or take it off for a bit. All she needs sometimes is a few minutes out of it, to stop the panic.

She is amazing. She laughs and jokes her way through even the hard stuff. Talking about it on the way home that day she says, "Wow. I'm probably going to go into high school with no brace on my back and no braces on my teeth. I am going to be looking Uh-MAZ-ing!"

Sure, kid. But you know what? You already do.

And you already are.

Some people never meet their hero.
I'm raising mine.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

It Had Nothing To Do With Me

We've all heard it. The profound statement from some unknown person..."Never judge a book by it's cover."

Boy, did that ring loud and true for me today.

Now, thanks to HIPAA, I'm gonna have to be real sly with this one...try and keep up, okay?

Let's pretend that I'm a nurse. No, not the sexy Halloween costume dress up nurse. A real, live, covered in spray from a feeding tube mishap gone wrong, wrinkly scrub, can't find my pen in my 52 pockets, nurse. Got it?

Now, lets say that this or may not have a resident who may or may not be labeled..."DIFFICULT". You can picture in your own mind what behaviors would deem a person difficult to a nurse. Add in crabby and demanding...and you got it.

So one could imagine that when this particular call light goes off, I may give a tiny, itty, bitty little sigh under my breath, because, well...I WAS JUST IN THERE 45 SECONDS AGO and when I was in there, all the resident did was fiddle on their phone, dragging out whatever it was that they were trying to tell me.

This may...or may not...have happened seven thousand times today. 

Except one time, as I was trying so hard to leave the room for the fifth time that trip, because I had a million and nine other things to do, this person hands me their phone and says "Wait. Wait. I want you to see this." I may...or may not... have experienced a tiny, itty, bitty, little the very bottom of my soul. 

Until I saw, on the screen, this beautiful, laughing, full of life woman. She was young. Not young like know...25...but young compared to the typical adults I spend my day with. Her hair was blowing in the wind and she was talking to a person off camera. 

I didn't understand at first.

Until my resident says in a humble and tired voice that I had never heard come out of them before..."That's my wife. She passed away and it is the only video I have of her." 

What do you do, when you realize that sometimes angry and cranky and short-tempered has nothing to do with you? What do you do when you realize that you forgot that you are treating an entire person and not just dealing with their less than stellar personality?

I can tell you what I did...

"She's absolutely beautiful. Play it for me again."

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Dear Child - Parenting Sucks

Dear Child of Mine,

Parenting sucks.

Stop looking shocked and pretending like you can't believe that I would say that. You will understand one day. I promise.

I have always said that parenting sucks 98% of the time, but that the 2% is so amazingly fulfilling, that it makes it worth it. Granted, that 2% is when you are asleep, most days...but goodness you look cute curled around a teddy bear. Almost cute enough to make me forget about the gum I found squished into your bedroom carpet or the clogged toilet that you didn't tell me about. For days.


But, I digress.

Child, don't you know how hard I try not to yell? Don't you understand that the cool, calm, nurse voice you are hearing is masking the boiling rage inside, fueled by your need to nit-pick at your sibling long enough to make them cry? Do you understand what happens to my brain, when you mimic me, when I ask you to stop? Don't you know that if you push me to the point of yelling, that you should be very, very, very afraid?

Now, if my yelling causes you to walk/stomp/run away from me and I have to chase you down, you better hide...and you better hide so well that I have to call the local law enforcement to find you. I promise that you are going to want police protection, when I do.

Why, oh why, must you make me turn into this raving lunatic of a person? I hate yelling. I hate taking away privileges. I hate having to remember to follow through on your punishment, when all I really want to do is have a glass of wine and go to sleep. Can't we stop the madness? Could you maybe, just maybe, listen when I talk and do as your told?

I won't apologize for yelling. Or for the consequence you now face. I won't apologize for being your parent. Just know that one day...when you have a child of your own...and you call me and vent about all the absolutely insane things that she did that day...I won't laugh. Or say I told you so.

Until I hang up the phone.

Love, Mommy

Sunday, October 12, 2014

A Sunday Morning Lesson

"Maybe we should have Dad do it."

Oh, my lovely, beautiful and amazing daughter...those words alone will make your Mommy attempt (and succeed) at whatever it is that we are doing. I promise you.

Yes, I am stubborn.

Yes, I feel like I have something to prove.

But, really...I want to show you. Show you that you can do anything that you put your mind to. Once you get over the frustration of the moment and pause to stop and can do it. You already have the knowledge and grit inside you, to figure it out.

Do not grow up to believe that you have to rely on other people. Do not use other people to validate your worth, because I promise you that you are amazing, just as you are. You do not need another person to complete you; you need another person who compliments you. A person who can grow along side you and propel you to be a better you.

Do not change my words into believing that you can never ask for help. I know that pitfall far too well and that is not what I'm saying. There are times that your knowledge or experience or drive will not be enough to fix the problem at hand. When you recognize this situation, then please ask for help. What I don't want you to do is to give up, before you've given it a shot. What I don't want is for you to assume that because you are a girl or you are young or you see yourself as weak, that you cannot do something.

Don't give up...and don't give in...before you have given it your all.

(For the record...we fixed the closet shelf...without hammering any of my fingers.)

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Who I Am

When I'm being really, really...really...stupid...I wonder what people think of me. Who they think I am. What they think I stand for. Believe in. Want in life.

My story is my own...very few people on this planet know the real answers to those ponderings. So, why do I do it? Why do I worry about what other people think of me?

Because we all do it.

Admit it, or not...we do.

So, who am I?

I am a 33 year old woman, working through a divorce. I am a Mother, above all else. They are my reason for being alive and raising them to be better than I can ever be, is my ultimate goal. I am a nurse with hopes that I can save the world, while knowing that all I can really strive for is to make a difference in one person's life. I am a woman, with all the insecurities and strength that come along with that title. I am a daughter who probably didn't turn out the way my parents expected. I am a sister and an aunt and a cousin who falls short, far more than I probably realize. I am a friend that disappears off the grid more often than not, because I crawl in a hole when the world gets too loud.

I have so many hopes, that I can overwhelm myself. I want to be independent, knowing that I can stand on my own two feet. I want to love intensely and be loved wholly. I want to display a strength that my daughters and son look up to and strive to emulate. I want to give back, because I have been given so many opportunities. I want to never stop learning. Ever. It doesn't have to be a formal education, but I pray my desire to learn about others and their experiences is a flame that never dims.  I believe that everyone has good in them and they just desperately need someone to recognize it.

I am scared. Scared that I will leave this earth, having never made a difference. I'm scared that I am unlovable and difficult to handle. I have control issues that make me hard and I'm incredibly sensitive to things, making me too soft. I get depressed and stuck in thought patterns that aren't healthy. I tend to relieve my stress in unhealthy ways and lash out at those that don't deserve it. I am scared that I will never amount to anything, yet I push myself to conquer every obstacle in front of me.

I am figuring me out and realizing that this process will be ever-changing and life long. I am recognizing that I am a contradiction. I am patient...and I am not. I am strong, while I am weak. I am scared, while I am brave. I am driven, even when I want to give up.

I am Me.

And I have never been more me, than I am right now.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

It Really Does Matter

We make excuses for our decisions, every day.

You do it.

I do it.

Everyone does it.

We tell ourselves that this choice or that choice doesn't really matter. That it isn't a big deal.

That's a lie.

It really does matter.

This is never more apparent than now, as I mother these five little humans. My choices and actions teach them, a million times a day. How I respond to their needs and wants tells them how important (or not) I feel that they are. Now, of course they are important, but do my actions show them that?

How I react to their fights, their fits, their own poor really does matter.
How I show them I love them, not just with words, but with time and really does matter.
How I choose to acknowledge and really does matter.

If they really are my greatest pleasure and accomplishment and blessing...I better be making choices that support this.

It really does matter.



This summer, Bai and I made a goal of completing a half marathon. Well, after less than stellar training (read that as we DIDN'T train)...we decided to do it anyway.
Hey, don't judge...we had a crazy summer.
I'm happy to report that at 13.1 years old, my beautiful and amazing daughter completed her first 13.1 miles. It wasn't easy and she wanted to give up around mile six...wanted to kill me around mile ten...but she did it. I couldn't have done that at thirteen years old. No way. Her perseverance astounds me. 
We did the half with a couple friends of ours. There is no way we could have done this, without them!

My beautiful girl. I'm so incredibly proud to be her Mommy.

Mile 10...can you see the joy on their faces?

Me, Bai, Braidy and Alisha
I hope these three know how incredible I think they are. I have done this race before and I know the mental hurdles that you have to overcome to even attempt it, let alone the incredible physical toll it is on your body. I swore to myself around mile eleven that I wouldn't do it again (same thing I said the first time I participated in this foolishness)...but I would.

And I will.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Starting Over

No one expects to turn 33 and have to start their life over.

That's what I'm facing.

Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end...or some sappy lyrics like that.

I'm not going to get into the details. Those are mine and the people that share the story with me.

But I know will be okay. I am strong. I have been through hard before and I have prevailed. I don't know what is coming around the bend for me, but I'm strapped in and hanging on tight. Here's to amazing and new.

I got this.