In our family...

In our family....we do second chances...we do grace...we do real...we do mistakes...we do I'm sorry (and I forgive you)...we do loud really well...we do hugs...we do family...we do love.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Last days of fall fun

Since the snow we got here on Sunday did not stay(thank God) and it's both mine and my husband's day off today, we got one last chance to do yard work and play in the piles of leaves. If you notice in the pictures, my little people, are only wearing sweatshirts today, instead of their winter jackets, since it reached about 50 degree's! We've been having to wear winter stuff once again and let me tell you, I had forgotten how much longer it takes to get out the door when you have to put on all this extra stuff. My little people love being outside and playing in the leaves is an added bonus. The little kid in me comes out and I cannot resist a big pile of leaves either. It's pretty hard to resist when you hear their giggles and squeals of delight as they play and try to cover me up with leaves.

Twenty Four at Heart shared a recipe for pumpkin chocolate chip cookies recently and so this morning we made a batch of them. I encourage you to go check out this recipe of hers and give them a try as they are delicious. I used to bake a lot when my five children were growing up but have gotten away from that since neither my husband or I are big sweet eaters. Give us a bowl of chips with salsa or guacamole and we will have it gone in minutes. I do make good guacamole, if I must say so myself.

I'm off to get more work done around here before my two little people wake up from their naps. Hope you are having a great day!

Monday, October 27, 2008

My time is not my own

I wasn’t going to even post tonight because I don’t want to sound negative or like I am complaining about my life. I am grateful for all that I have and I do feel blessed with so much. It’s just that I am so tired that my bones hurt. I feel like crying but I'm too tired to even do that. My little people are now in bed for the night and instead of writing one of the posts I have been wanting to write, I write this post to let you all know that I am thinking of all of you and if I haven’t stopped by your blog or commented lately, it’s not because I haven’t wanted to.

Since I last posted about life’s latest interruptions, I have been engulfed in those interruptions and new interruptions that seem to overtake my time. And of course there is always work away from home and the never ending work at home. Other than getting to read a few blogs and leaving a comment here and there, I hardly have had time to catch my breathe, let alone do something I enjoy, like writing on this blog. My time is not my own and to be honest, some days this is harder than others.

Right now, the raising of my two little people, weighs heavily upon me. Sometimes my worry for them is so overwhelming, that I can’t even put it into words. My husband’s job takes him away for most of their awake hours so most of the responsibility of their care falls upon me. Three year olds are wonderful little people but mine has pushed me to my limits with his mood swings and misbehaviors. Of course my two year old little lady can not help that she is more irritable with her leg being in a cast or that she is a mama‘s girl…still, I have my limits. I am overwhelmed right now with the constant care giving and I just need to catch my breathe.

Even though I should be working out or doing some work around the house, I don’t have it in me to do another thing. Instead, I am off to drink a glass of wine or two with my husband and to veg out in front of the TV. I need to lose myself, to not think about anything, and pray that tomorrow or soon, this heaviness will be gone.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Interruptions to keep my life interesting

In the post I wrote while on “vacation”, I shared that my little lady had hurt her ankle by slipping on a book in the kitchen. It was by no means a big fall, it was a little slip. She has fallen outside in the winter much harder then this, so we were surprised that this was causing her to not walk. We were told that it was just a sprain but she would still not walk on it, which meant we had to carry her everywhere we went. In the back of my mother mind, I had this feeling that there was something more wrong, but I was told by everyone around me that I was just overreacting and being over protective.

When we got home last week, I made an appointment to have it looked at by our doctor here. When they read the x-rays here, they did not see anything, but they said they were sending the x-rays to be looked at by a specialist in a larger town, since I persisted that she would be walking if something wasn’t wrong. I was sent home with the advice to be encouraging her to walk. Friday afternoon I was called by the doctor to be told that her lower leg was indeed fractured and that we were to keep her off of it until she could see a pediatric orthopedic doctor on Tuesday of this week.

So yesterday, my little lady got a bright pink cast put on her entire leg! This will take some getting used to for her, as she learns how to maneuver around. Most important to her is that she now has a very pretty pink leg. This means we had to put her back into diapers which she is not too fond of. Because of all this, I have had to miss more work, which does affect us financially, but on the bright side, my work has been very supportive and understanding as always. Tomorrow, will be my first day back and taking little lady will pose some challenges, but I am always up for a good challenge!

It is cold and rainy here today, with talk of the rain possibly turning into snow tonight. Although this thrills my little man, this is not music to my ears. I don’t mind the snow, I just don’t like driving in it. We had planned on doing some raking today since it’s my husbands day off, but that will have to wait until a better day. Since the weather is keeping us indoors today, I was doing some painting with my little people this morning and we decided it was a good day to make cookies. I ran downstairs to get some butter from the freezer, to find that our sewer had backed up. What a mess! Thank God, my husband is home to take care of things like this.

Now that our painting is done, the cookies are made and my little people are playing in their rooms(Because I’m mean like that…I make them play in their rooms by themselves, at least once a day.), I get this time for myself, which I have come to love.

My question to myself and all of you today is, what would we do if our lives didn’t have these constant interruptions? Thank God, by my age I have learned to deal with these interruptions without getting bent out of shape. I remember a time in my younger years, that these little interruptions seemed way bigger than what they are…little bumps in the road that keep my life interesting, to say the least. So, although I could live without the little lady having a broken leg, or the sewer being backed up, or even the snow falling in October, I will take these things with a grain of salt and a sense of humor that can laugh when life isn't so pretty and say "thank God, it could be worse!"

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Seven things about me

I have been tagged by Smart Mouth Broad to list seven significant or not so significant things about myself. I’m not sure there are 7 significant things about me so maybe I’ll just go with in the insignificant things.

1. I have a snake phobia. If I happen to see a snake, I freeze up and find it hard to breathe. It doesn’t matter if it’s in my yard, on the tv or a picture of one in a book. This may or may not have to do with the fact that while growing up I had brothers and cousins that would hold me down and torture me with them. All I know is that I avoid them at all costs…even if it means walking the long way around instead of walking through the grass.

2. I love and have a fascination with vampires. The Blade movies are my favorites but any vampire movie will do. I’m not sure where this comes from? Although I have never done this, I have always wanted to dress up as a vampiress for Halloween.

3. With each of my pregnancy’s I suffered with severe morning sickness, which is called hyperemesis gravidarium, the whole nine months. Back then there was no medication for this except to be in and out of the hospital to treat the dehydration. It is any wonder how I ended up with as many kids as I have.

4. Growing up I was kind of a hellion….who am I kidding? I was a terrible hellion. I was every teachers nightmare and I can assure you that even though I didn’t earn my high school diploma, they graduated me, to be rid of me. I am not proud of this fact and seriously, it makes me sick to think of the way I treated those people that were just trying to do their job. If I could, I would go back and find each one of those teachers that I made their lives hell and apologize, I would. I know some of you are teachers and I would like to apologize to you on behalf of those students you may have that make your job that much harder each day. I have uttermost respect for teachers and demanded that my children did so also.

5. I have to shave every day or I don’t feel right. I know this is weird.

6. I am not a girly girl. I am a jeans and long underwear shirt kind of gal. I love beer, football (and most other sports) and action movies and would rather bs and go to a sporting event with the guys then gossip and shop with the girls. I could count on one hand the number of times I have worn fingernail polish. I wear little makeup and most of the time don’t put on any.

7. I love eating wild game and fish. I would rather eat venison, buffalo, pheasant, duck, goose, walleye…ect…then any other kind of meat. I grew up eating this way and learning how to cook it. There was a time in my life that I didn’t like or eat much meat but now I love it. I’ve never been a hunter myself but grew up in a hunting family and all 5 of my children have went hunting.

I am not going to tag anyone specifically but would love to read any significant or not so significant things about you, if you would like to share.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Extraordinary Moments

If you read my last post, you might think that I did not enjoy my time away, which is not the case. I am on this journey of finding my true authentic self and while I share these not so pretty feelings or things I am discovering about myself, please know that these things I share with you are just parts of my journey.

While we were in Florida for my daughters wedding, we rented a home for us all to stay at, so that we could all be together as a family. This home also had a pool in the backyard, which because of the heat, we spent most of our days and evenings in. This proved to be a much better choice then staying at a hotel as we were all able to be together in a home setting. This enabled us to cook our own food instead of having to go out to eat, do our laundry, and all the other comforts of being “home”. This allowed for us to share ordinary moments together which for me are the extraordinary moments in life. Whether it was doing dishes together, folding a load of towels, cooking in the kitchen, eating together out on the patio or playing a game in the pool, it was these moments with my loved ones that I now reflect upon…and treasure in my heart.

I remember the smiles on their faces and the laughter that filled the air. I remember those moments when each of my children were relaxed and just being themselves. I remember their voices as they all talked at once and it made me go back to the days when they were still children. How much they each have changed and grown up, yet parts of them still remain the same. I remember all their hugs and kisses and “I love you” moments that filled each of my days with them. I remember how my heart over flowed with love and pride, as I listened to and watched them, when they didn’t know I was watching or listening. I remember thinking, “How did these extraordinary people come from me?”

I remember those moments when my younger grandchildren took a break from the whining and crying and all we heard were their sweet little voices squealing with delight, laughing and giggling and smiles pasted on their faces. They were so happy to be surrounded by people that love them and relishing in all the attention. I will never forget watching my 18 month old grandson’s face light up in the biggest smile ever, when he first laid eyes on me at the airport….and then jumping into my arms and hugging me tight.

I remember the constant smile upon my eldest granddaughters face, her voice as she rattled on about all the things a nine year old has to say and her ever constant adoration of me. When she was quite young she crowned me “queen grandma” and has never forgotten that. She brought her princess crown with her and placed it upon my head and once again declared me “queen” of the family.

I remember watching my husband relax and enjoying doing nothing, on his first vacation or time off from work in 10 years. I remember those moments when our eyes met and we shared in a private moment of understanding of all that this time meant to both of us. How much he understood the value of this time with my children was to me and how grateful I felt that he supported this time together. How he has never interfered but only been a wonderful step father to my children and the fact that my children recognize this and love him for this also. How every day he is a gift to me.

These were the extraordinary moments. These extraordinary moments are moments that I look for in every day. Sometimes, I forget or get so lost in living that I lose sight of all that is here, right now, in front of me. But, then I remember, and it all comes back to me…even though I live a very ordinary life, it truly is filled with extraordinary moments.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Have you ever done the peace dance?

In taking a step back and just observing myself and my life, over the last couple of weeks, I came to see things in myself that I don’t quite know how to deal with, let alone change. One of the things I realized is that I tend to do a lot of things, not because I necessarily want to, but because I like and want to keep everyone happy. I tend to believe that other’s know better than me or are right and I am wrong. I focus on other people’s happiness…what will make the other person happy…what they want me to do, which in my mind is something we all do at times and there is nothing wrong with putting other’s first. Except that I tend to do this all of the time.

Somewhere along the road I lost myself. This is something I have done without thinking and it’s been a habit for a long time. I am not sure how or why I am this way, just that it is something that I do without thinking. All I know is that I came to see that I sacrifice a little piece of myself, every time I do it. I came to see how much I put other’s in control of my happiness and how this has sucked me dry. I came to see that by just assuming that other’s are right and I am wrong, is saying that I am less then they are. The price I have paid for this, is that I have missed out on things I wanted to do and later live with regrets…the price I pay is that I am not living my own life, I am living my life for other's.

The thing is, I don’t speak up for myself. I let other people dictate what I should do and I do it, even if I don’t agree with them and even if it means that I end up paying for it in other ways. I don’t know why I don’t stand up for myself…why I sit idly by and just suck it up…swallow my feelings and my thoughts. I don’t know why I focus so much on making everyone happy around me…even those I don’t know, to such an extent that I am left feeling empty and sad. Is it because I want them to like me? To love me?

As I stand back now, rewinding back to last weekend, as I scurried around, waiting on everyone, constantly “doing”, making sure everyone was happy and having a good time, I didn’t stop once and consider that I wasn’t having a good time. I missed out on doing some of the things I really wanted to do, all because it felt like it was better in the bigger picture if I didn’t. All because I don’t want to be selfish or be an inconvenience to those that I love or to anyone for that matter. All because “peace at all cost” has been my unspoken motto for a lot of my life and doing this “dance” for peace seems easier then speaking the truth and better for all those around me.

Of course, I was happy in the sense that I was with the people that I love the most in this world. Of course, I made the best of things, and still had some moments of fun. Of course, because I can choose to turn off my feelings and have fun in spite of what is going on around me. I do get enjoyment from seeing other’s happy and having a good time. I do enjoy serving other’s…I really do. But, in the end, all of this has left me exhausted and empty and sad for what I missed out on while I was “doing” for everyone else…while I was doing the peace waltz and leaving myself behind.

Somehow I have to stop this. Somehow I have to break these habits that I know are not healthy and find some balance. I want to find the truth about myself. I need to go back and pick myself up and start living...not just for other's but myself too. I think what scares me is that I don't want to lose the giving part of me...the part of me that cares about other's...the part that loves and forgives...because I truly think that these are some of the things that are part of me. I think what scares me the most is getting through all these peices of me and putting them in the right places...and then once the peices are all in place, knowing how to live for me, without hurting those around me.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

It's good to be home

My daughters wedding was beautiful, although it went way to quickly. They got married on a ship at the Port of Miami, with a short reception following and then we all had to get off the ship so that the ship could set sail. She was gorgeous and they both glowed with happiness. I had people taking pictures for me since I was unable to, but many of them did not turn out. I am hoping that one of my other daughter's got some good pictures on their camera's. In the mean time, I share with you the only picture I have with all my children and grandchildren and one with my three daughters and one of my husband and myself. Hopefully, I will have better pictures to share with you all in the near future.

We arrived home last night, with two very tired little people and exhausted ourselves. After being gone for over two weeks it will take time to adjust to being home once again. There is a big temperature difference between here in Minnesota and Florida. Every day was hot and humid and add in my constant hot flashes and you have one hot woman! We spent much of our days in the pool or ocean which the little people loved. We left on Monday, when it was in the 80's and humid and came home last night to it being in the 30's here.

As much as I loved my time with all of my children and grandchildren, it was a lot of work being away from home. I came to realize a couple of days into our so called "vacation" that this was not really a vacation for me. Instead it was just changing locations of my daily work of caring for little ones, cooking, cleaning and laundry. In a big sense it was more work because the home we rented for the ten days was someone else's nice home and not our own home, which is child proof and set up for daily living with children in mind.

New rules and boundaries had to be learned and it's not always the funnest job being the "enforcer" of all these things. Also take into fact that we were already dealing with behavior issues due to evils visit the five days before leaving on our trip, and let me tell you, these things don't mix very well. We had some trying days, to say the least, and quite honestly it affected my time with my own children. I hate this fact and the reality of my life right now, is hard to swallow sometimes. They all tried to help but there is only so much other people can do and when it come right down to it, the responsibility falls on me.

Since little lady hurt her leg at the start of our "vacation", she had to be carried everywhere, which although she is only 27 lbs., got heavy after carrying her around after awhile. Little lady has formed a strong attachment to me and would cry, whine and scream for me constantly. This wore not only on me but everyone else as well. We will deal with this issue in the days and weeks ahead and look forward to getting back to "normal" life once again.

On the bright side, I did have a wonderful time being with all my children and grandchildren and husband. Every moment I had with each of them is pasted in my memory. The time went too quickly and there was not enough time to do all the things we wanted to do together. In spite of the chaos and the things mentioned above, we shared much laughter and made great memories together. Now, we have each gone back to our places in this world, and my heart aches as I wonder when I will see them each again. From the second I hugged them goodbye, I started missing them all over again.

I have many things to share with you in the days and weeks ahead...things I have been learning on this journey...things that have happened that are teaching me lessons and giving me growing pains. It's good to be back...I have missed each one of will take me time to catch up on your blogs as I get settled back into daily life around here but I promise I will stop by and visit soon.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

An interruption to have some fun

It has been over a week since I posted due to the fact that we were in the car driving non-stop for 36 hours to get to Florida from Minnesota. We made the trip in 36 hours because we pushed it. We only stopped for gas and ate in the car. My little people were excellent travelers...they did way better then we anticipated. I was already exhausted from sleep deprivation and the stress of evils visit before we even started our drive away from home, but the sense of relief that I felt gave me the adrenaline to keep trucking along. The home we have rented for our stay here is simply beautiful and feels like a sanctuary.

Being here in this new environment has been most wonderful for all of us. My little people are almost back to normal, if there is such a thing as normal. Most of the whining, tantrums, baby voices and behaviors they were displaying from evils visit are gone. They love seeing their aunties, uncles and cousin and are looking forward to the rest of our family, that will be flying in, in the next couple of days. Yesterday morning little lady slipped on one of her books in the kitchen and sprained her ankle. This has interrupted things a bit in that we now have to carry her around everywhere.

Being here, still feels like a dream to me. I am enjoying every second that I get with my children and grandchildren and of course with my husband. This is my focus as I visit this place of many beautiful people. Everywhere I look there are perfect looking people with perfect bodies. It is hard for me to not be is hard not to beat myself up over it. I have not let this stop me from putting my swimsuit on. This is big for me. I keep thinking about the things you have all shared with me and use it to give myself courage to keep taking the steps I need to take.

I am trying to take a step back from working or focusing on my issues, while I am here, and just observe and listen. I want to enjoy this time of taking a break from everyday life and not be focusing on what I am not or what I want to be...I want to let go of this ideal I hold in my mind of what I should look like and accept that there are things that I cannot change no matter how hard I try. Self acceptance is a hard wall to climb but one I will conquer.

Beauty is skin deep...I want to be so much more than that...and if I just stop for one moment and listen to my loved ones around me, then I would hear what they have been saying to me all along...that they see me as beautiful inside and out, right now. The fact that my husband and each one of my children think so highly of me, should speak loud and clear to me...instead of focusing on all that I think I am not, I need to be focusing on all that they think I am, right here and right now.