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, November 30, 2015
1. I'm thankful for the small moments of peace I find throughout crazy days.
Monday, April 6, 2015
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
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
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 say...is wasted?
Sunday, November 30, 2014
Saturday, November 22, 2014
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.
|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.|
|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 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
Sunday, October 19, 2014
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.
Sunday, October 12, 2014
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 think...you 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
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
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 choices...it really does matter.
How I show them I love them, not just with words, but with time and attention...it really does matter.
How I choose to acknowledge and praise...it 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.
|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|
And I will.
Wednesday, October 1, 2014
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 this...it 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.
Sunday, September 14, 2014
Then...life got messy.
I'm on the brink of recreating my life, if you will. Nearly everything in my life has changed in one way or another in the past year and it has been a lot to swallow. Some of it shitty, some of it great...all of it changes.
As I approach my 33rd birthday tomorrow, I'm hoping I can reclaim this blog as my way to vent. My way to let go of all that swims around in my head on a daily basis. My way to rebuild and march forward with my head held high.
Hello, world. I'm coming back.
Thursday, April 3, 2014
It also made me realize just how far I've come.
September 29, 2007
So, I am struggling with a decision. I cannot decide if I should enroll in school for spring semester. I would have to do online classes for now, because of Josh's work schedule. Those darn kids require 24 hour supervision...where was that in the manual? Huh? :)
I have been thinking about it for years and even got accepted to a local university a few years ago. Then, I discovered I was pregnant with my 3rd daughter and decided to put it on hold.
However, now, I am realizing that if I am ever to achieve my dream of being a RN in labor and delivery...I'll need to just deal with the challenges of being a Mom in school. But, at the same time, I don't want to over-stress myself to the point that I am impossible to be around.
I know that all my pre-requisites can be done online and at the rate I will have to take them, will take me at least a couple years. Then, I will have to re-evaluate my life before applying to nursing school.
To add to it, Josh also wants to go back to school. He realizes that a degree will take him further in his job and *BONUS*...his work will pay for it. We are hoping that we can qualify for enough grant money to off-set my schooling costs.
So, I pose some questions:
-Can we be effective parents while attending school?
-Will my children suffer by having parents that work and attend school?
-Will we even be able to handle the stress of this added responsibility?
Roughly six years and seven months from the day that I posted that...I will be graduating, with honors, from nursing school.
So, were we effective parents? I think so. We added Peanut to the mix since then and didn't lose any of the others in the process. That's not too shabby.
Have the children suffered? Yes. I won't sugarcoat things by pretending that they haven't. There are days that have been hard and days that I have been in a bad mood. I know that I have been hard to handle at times, for everyone in my life. Did they also learn independence and what determination can do? Yes.
Did I handle the stress? Yes.
I didn't say I handled it gracefully...but I handled it.
Sunday, March 30, 2014
It's not who I am.
I don't know how to not argue for one side or the other. I don't know how to not stand up for myself, when I feel that I'm justified. I don't know how to not stand up for others, when they need a voice, too.
It's not who I am.
I don't know how to let things go. I don't know how to ignore a situation and pretend it doesn't exist. I don't know how to brush things or people or feelings under the rug. I don't know how to be quiet.
It's not who I am.
I don't know how to accept pleasantries as an answer. I don't know how to deal with feeling pushed aside.
It's not who I am.
Give me words.
That's who I am.