WTF 2019- Part II

While 2019 certainly had its challenges, it would be unfair to not recognize all of the blessings and good things that came out of 2019. You see, even in the darkness, there have been gimmers of light.

-First, all of the amazing people who supported us while walking through my Mom’s surgeries, Cancer diagnosis and Hospice stay. It was a heavy, heavy load, but SO MANY people surrounded us and helped out where they could.  Meals, childcare, cards, texts, sitting at the hospital with my Mother to relieve me or one of my siblings. Advice, company, prayers, phone calls, support…

Literally every single person who was aware of our situation did what they could to help us. I could not have, we could not have, done this on our own. I am extremely grateful for any part you have played in caring for my family during this time.

Thankful for the support of friends and family in 2019. You have been the good.

-Moments of clarity with my Mother during the last few weeks with her. God answered so many prayers in this area. I will share more later when I share her story in more detail.

-Prozac. Not for me but for Abram. Life changing. This I hesitate to share but many of you have been following us on our “Raising Abram” journey and know some of what we have gone through with him.  I haven’t shared any of our recent experiences or struggles because things had gotten so bad that I just couldn’t. So many emotions. I will share the details about this decision with you in the future but know that it was one of the MOST difficult decisions we have had to make as a family.  I don’t regret it one bit! Hallelujah- thank you Jesus! <praise hands>

-Nashville! I got to travel to Nashville with a few of my good friends. It was a WONDERFUL trip. It was the perfect respite after a difficult few months. There was laughing, shopping, adventure, dancing, sleeping, great company… just wonderful.

-New House! We know 100% that God brought us to this house. Also a cool story. If you aren’t a Christian but you believe in “signs”, you will also think it is a cool story. Maybe I’ll tell this one another time.

Though parts of  moving have been hard, it has also been a huge blessing! Did you know we moved mainly because we needed a place that was more comfortable for my Mom? “Ironic”, right? (=oP ) We were hoping to move when Lucy graduated 5th grade but because my Mom moved in with us we decided to move sooner.

Getting to pick out our own things for our remodel has been cool because we get to make it how we want it, even though the amount of decision making is stressful. We have fruit tress, all of my favorite plants (that were already existing), wildlife, extra snow, new spaces to decorate and a riding lawn mower which is my most favorite thing ever. Please drive by and make fun of me while I am mowing the lawn- it will be easy to do because I always get stuck in a divot or stuck in a bush. Ha

-Two of my very best friends got married! To each other! ❤

-New School= more friends! It has been awesome seeing God answer all of their anxious prayers about their new school. What a blessing it has been to see them transition and flourish.

-Neighbors! Because we aren’t technically in a neighborhood, I was sad about the potentially not having kids in the neighborhood for our children to play with. Well, it  took 6 months to discover that there are two girls that live two houses down! I don’t know how we kept missing each other but they are great and so are their parents! I am so happy about this!!

– And again, curtains!

**Thankful for Gods provision, grace, answered prayers, blessings and sustaining power through dark times this year. **

________

I have not been promised a life without trials.

James 1:2-4: Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

The Bible says WHEN, not IF! We can guarantee that we will see trials in life. Sucks, right?! (I haven’t gotten to the “count it all joy” part yet. Please raise your hand if you have. I would love to have a chat.) ANYWAY… the good news is, WHEN we face trials, we have a God who is with us through it. Either through His power, or using others as his hands and feet.

He for sure has been with me.

Isaiah 43:2: When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.

Hebrews 10:23:  Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.

________

=)

 

 

 

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WTF 2019

I have not written in a hot minute!

That is because 2017-2019, my life turned upside down. I have been in a negative frame of mind and I didn’t want to take everyone down with me. I have always enjoyed sharing my life; my experiences, my failures and embarrassing moments… I have even enjoyed sharing my losses with you. However, I have been in a bubble of grief and what my Doctor calls “Let-Down”. So. I didn’t want to go there. I couldn’t go there.

I am here now. And all of have to say is- WTF!!!

LOL

Here is a brief summary for you…

2017- Still Birth
2018- Sick Mother moves in
2018- Puts house on the market
——–
2019
-Son has debilitating Anxiety that continues to worsen (Pro- we have an official diagnosis!)
-Moves in with In-laws (with sick Mother)
-Mother has surgery and goes to Rehab Center, never comes back home
-Decided to buy “Fixer-Upper”
-Mother dies
-After someone dies stuff
-Son stuff
-Remodeling a house stuff
-Still living with In-laws (we love them, so grateful, hard to not have your own space for so long)
-Moves mid-summer
-20 minutes from gym= no regular physical activity= ###
-Kids start at new school (pro and con)
-Prozac
-Mental Health
-Church Stuff
-Does my Husband really know me? (see Mental Health)
-Cheerleading
-Still can’t get pregnant. Foster? Adopt? Praying for contentment!
-Home coming together, yet still lots of work to be done (lots of boxes and lots of dust)
-German visitor for a month! <<hearts>>
-Christmas
-Who am I and what am I doing with my life?
-We got curtainsssss!

2020 Focus- Healing my body and my mind!

Some of these things I am going to come back and write about. I am excited to write about them. Writing again is part of my healing.

But for now, I have to go clean my house and fold laundry since my kids are back in school.

Until I return, I will leave you with this photo of my heart.

grinch pic

=)

 

 

 

 

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Thoughts For Parents & Teachers

I am reading a book that has been very encouraging to me. I am not posting the Title publically in order to stay neutral with my friends who have different views, but when I came across this excerpt, I had to share.

As a side note, I am not thinking of any people in particular. I am sharing this from the viewpoint of a very new Substitute Teacher, Classroom Mom and Parent.

I am not judging you nor am I trying  make you feel personally responsible for your child’s behavior. Believe me, my children are NOT perfect and I am not a perfect parent. I just thought this was very interesting and helped me to see a bigger picture and a different perspective.

I will say though, I am in favor of discipline.

;0)

I didn’t feel like typing three pages so I took a picture…

book1

book2

book

Anywho… I hope you also found this thought provoking.

If you really want to know what I am reading, send me a PM and I’ll tell ya.

Happy First Week everyone!

 

=)

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Something Is Not Right

baby3One year ago today, I was sitting on the beach with my family, the first time I thought “something’s not right”.

The next 48 hours was spent doing everything I could to get my baby to move, while trying not to panic and ruin everyone’s vacation. I was curious, cautious, but not yet concerned.

Google said that it could be a growth spurt and our baby could just be sleeping, or “you’re just busy and haven’t noticed that he is “, when in fact, he wasn’t.

One year ago today, my life changed forever. I didn’t know it yet. Not for another few days. But today was the beginning.

On my Birthday, I was in labor for 18 hours. I delivered a stillborn baby boy. I came home with milk and no baby to feed. I had children who frequently asked me “why did our baby have to die?” and other questions I couldn’t answer like “when can we have another baby?” There were many conversations with people who asked me “how is the baby?” because they didn’t know and I had to tell them without crying and making them feel uncomfortable. I had to lose the baby weight and manage the hormones and… live a life as if it were normal.

I am not the person I was before we lost our son. This makes me sad because I was a pretty happy person in general. I hope to one day feel joy and contentment again. I assume this will take some time.

There is a hole in my heart that has been open. I have spent the last year trying to fill this void, praying this void would be filled, and it just hasn’t. It is a hole I am going to have to live with and I am trying to figure out how.

I have come a long way since last June, but I am not where I want to be.

Some days, even weeks, I might not think once about the trial we have been through. On other days, it is all I can think about. I would rather not think about it. It’s quite annoying that I just can’t get passed this and that one year later I still effects me.

People say that this is normal and it will take time. I find this very annoying. Can’t we just move on? Clearly I’m impatient. But I mean, who really wants grief to last this long?

Please don’t be offended if I don’t seem happy about your baby news. I am happy for you, I am just sad for me. I rather not engage or talk about it with you because I don’t want to be sad. On the other hand, please don’t not tell me because you think it will make me sad, that will make me sad. I want to rejoice with you. So basically, act normal but don’t get offended if I act weird. Actually, don’t get offended if I act weird about a lot of things. I’m sorry.

You may be wondering if we have or want to try to conceive again. At this time we have been unsuccessful. I am okay with this because I don’t like being pregnant since I am literally sick the ENTIRE time, yet I am sad because I would love to have more children. It’s worth the sacrifice. We have considered adoption and Foster Care but at this time we feel that it is not the right thing for us.

Soooo…. Lot’s of annoying things for a planner who can’t control any aspect of her life.

I pray that this next year, I will be able to see the good that has come from a difficult situation. I pray that I would not focus so much on my circumstances but be mindful of my many blessings. I pray for joy. I pray for contentment. I Pray for all of those who can relate to my story on a personal level, peace be with you.

And thanks to all of you for your support this past year. You have been a blessing.

 

 

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The Messenger

Every spring after the first rain, I scour my kitchen for the first sign of spring Ants. After many years of armies of Ants making their journey through my back door, last year, and this year so far, have been pretty calm. <fingers crossed>

Two nights ago I saw a lonely Ant. I call him “The Messenger”. I didn’t see any of his friends, he came all alone. Why? I imagine he came to check out the territory and report back to his squad as to whether or not the journey through my back door will be worth the trek.

Should I let him live? If I let him live, he will certainly return home with the good news. “Yes friends, it is the promised land we have been looking for, lots of crumbs and sweet sticky stuff everywhere.” On the other hand, how brave an Ant to come all this way all by himself knowing he may never return to his friends or family alive again.

Such a little Ant on such an important journey.

If I kill him, he can’t tell his friends where to find us. And, if I kill him, there is a good chance his friends wont come looking for him, that is, if they are wise. But what if they do?  Are Ants so loyal as to come rescue their Messenger? Do they take his not returning as a warning to stay away?

I checked again. He didn’t bring any friends with him.

For some reason, I was feeling compassion towards this brave little Ant (brave or stupid) and decided to let him live. I smiled as he disappeared under my fridge. (I didn’t really smile but it made my story sound better.)

Today he was lucky. I will let this Messenger live. But make no mistake, if he returns with his friends, I will be ready for them.

______________________________________________

Our Ant situation used to be so bad, they drove me CRAZY. Literally crazy.

It was so bad that one day while Ryan was at work, I found his caulk gun and caulked every crack and crevice I could find in my kitchen. It was a mess but I felt powerful. “HaHa!” <in my best Jack Sparrow voice>

It didn’t work and Ryan was not too happy.

Alas, I found a solution. I happen to have been complaining to friend about my Ant situation when another friend that happened to work for a pest control company overhead me talking and offered to lend me some product that was guaranteed to work.

Hallelujah it did! And you know what? There is an OTC brand that is almost the equivalent that works like a charm. We have been using it for years and takes only a day or two at most to rid your home of and Ant intruders.

Terro. It’s amazing. God bless Scientists.

 

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The Aluminum Anniversary

A “friend” of mine pulled up next to this hot guy I had been “noticing” for quite a while, and rolled down her car window to tell this boy, rather loudly, that “she wants to have your babies!”. I, of course, calmly countered this comment with a “NO I DON’T!!!” followed by an “OMG- I can’t believe you just did that.”

Little did I know, I would in fact have this boys babies. And marry him. And still be together 16 years later.

Ryan and I have been married for ten years. TEN! Ten sounds so long but it feels like nothing. In this day in age, I think ten years is definitely something to celebrate.

Speaking of celebrate…

Ryan and I did not take a proper honeymoon because we were trying to be wise with our money and save it to put towards a house. It wasn’t long before we regretted this decision and began planning a second honeymoon  for the summer following our One Year Anniversary. Welp. Surprise! We’re pregnant! Can’t go away now, we need to buy a house!

So we bought the house. We did go on a weeks vacation that summer to the Ocean. On our way there, Ryan’s diesel truck broke down and we had to have it towed to DE. We were in OC for a week without a vehicle and would have to get a ride home from our vacation because his truck would need to stay in DE for another week due to the extensive service it needed. $5,000.00 later…

That’s okay. ONE DAY we will get to go on that nice trip.

Fast forward 8 years. We have a lovely young German fellow staying with us for the year who we fall in love with and becomes a part of our family. We are 100% going to Germany to celebrate our 10 year Wedding Anniversary. Let’s make it two weeks and we will travel Europe. It’s a deal. Done.

Year 9, I get pregnant. Nope. I am not going to Europe with a toddler. That will not be fun at all. Our then German daughter who we also love and adore, decides to then plan a vacation to the US with her family during the summer of year 10.

So, we better hurry quick and remodel this kitchen because we can’t have them come here and stay with us and still have this terrible kitchen that I swore we would have torn out by now… (anyone see a pattern here?)…

Ryan, for our ten year Anniversary, could we please remodel our kitchen? That would be a GREAT gift. I mean. Since we can’t got to Europe and all.

Well, we can’t. Because it costs a lot of money.

Fine. Fine. I’ll accept that. I don’t want to but I understand. I mean we have a credit card, but yeah, you’re right. Let’s be responsible. I mean, what is another $10,000.00 on top of the ENTIRE HVAC system we had to replace last year??

Cool. So. Lets just do a little mini vacation. A beach! Totally. Let’s do it. I will send you email after email of all the great vacation deals I have found online and I will let you pick one and surprise me. It will be such a surprise. Could you imagine getting to do something so fun after the terrible year we have had? Dream. Dream. Dream.

Taxes come. Actually, no. They don’t come. Taxes PAID.

No mini vacation.

Okay, cool. That’s cool. It’s fine. I’m okay with it.

We have a gift card to Texas Roadhouse. <tears. tears. tears.>

Luckily my Husband has enough sense to tell me that we will in fact not be having dinner at The Texas Roadhouse for dinner on our Ten Year Wedding Anniversary.

Guess what we did on Thursday for our Ten Year Wedding Anniversary? We went to Texas Roadhouse. With the kids.

From two weeks in Europe to an evening at Texas Roadhouse.

Life.

“If your marriage is strong, even if all the circumstances in your life around you are filled with trouble and weakness, it won’t matter. You will be able to move out into the world in strength.” -Timothy Keller

Our marriage is not perfect and it does not always feel strong but what I can say about 10 years of ups and downs, those trials have “tested our faith” and our marriage and it has “produced steadfastness” (undeviating consistency, unwavering strength) . I know this because I was able to have dinner with my family at Texas Roadhouse and have a good time. Now of course, I was a bit disappointed, and Ryan told me not to cry when I mentioned that I couldn’t believe this is where we were in life after ten years, but I enjoyed it.

Look at this life we have made.  We have more than we need (though I could debate a few things =P ) an amazing, beautiful family and a lot of love.

Happy Anniversary, Ryan.

____________

*Update. On Saturday morning, Ryan surprised me with an overnight stay in the City. We did touristy things (Ft. McHenry, O’s Game, Light City) and slept in a KING SIVE bed (amazing) and watched Cable TV all morning and I didn’t have to cook one meal. It was great and very sweet. And in true “us fashion”, we walked around for an hour and a half looking for a place to have dinner because we wanted something specific and then by the time we decided to “settle” there was a two hour wait eat every restaurant- so we ended up back at our hotel in a mediocre restaurant. BUT my food was really good so it all worked out. =)

us2

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Worst Morning Ever: Part 2

So, we are sitting on the steps, five minutes until the children will be late for school.

Lucy, sitting on the coach, fully dressed with her coat on waiting patiently.

Abram, begging Lucy to put his socks on because he is having trouble with one sock.

Me: Abram, you can do it. You have put your socks on may times. Lucy does not have to do that for you.

Abram: But my sock is stretched out and it will fall of in my shoe.

Me: No, Abram. Here, I will help you. <puts sock on, puts shoes on>

Abram likes to pull the tongues up on his shoes so I have to resist the urge to pull the tongue, I will get in trouble if he doesn’t get to do it.

Abram pulls the tongue but his one sock is a little stretched so the fabric from the heel sticks out from the back of the shoe. He can’t stand this. I am trying to be patient as he starts to get frustrated and begins to kick his shoes off. Both shoes. But why, only one is having an issue? Abram! Seriously! If you don’t like your socks just go up and get another pair before you get mad.

I go find him another pair because we are in a hurry and now we are officially late and I don’t have time for you to stomp upstairs and find another pair of socks only to realize they are a pair that definitely don’t work because they are too small or don’t fit. Guess what, these socks are a little stretched in the heel too. What happened to your feet over the break? How do your feet shrink or your socks stretch? Ugh!

Before Abram gets frustrated, because I can see it is coming, I try to encourage him to walk around a little bit, preferably to the bathroom so we can brush your teeth, and I bet your socks will work themselves out! Just walk around, they will be fine!

Well they are not fine. He starts kicking stuff off the steps and I get serious with him about how would he feel if Lucy kicked his things of the steps and now we are SO late to school and  Lucy is late because you are getting frustrated about your socks and YOU STILL HAVENT BRISHED YOUR TEETH OR TAKEN YOUR VITAMINS AND WE ARE LATE!!!!

I hate being late. That’s my trigger. I can hold it together until someone or something gets in the way of me being on time for things.

FINE!!!! He says and stomps his way to the bathroom. Knocking over everything in sight in his way.

Now in therapy, they tell me to ignore this behavior because it is for attention but seriously, stop knocking all my S*** over!

As he gets to the bathroom he screams “FINE!” again and tries to slam the bathroom door in my face. Big bad Mom catches the door and says “Oh no you don’t. Don’t you slam the door on your Mother. I AM YOUR MOTHER!”. Ha_ha. He’s really happy about that right now I bet.

In hind sight, If I had just ignored him and done what I was supposed to do, we would have still been late, we were late any way, but maybe he would have calmed down and the following fight would not have ensued?

Oh well ya know. Eh.

So. I make his tooth brush for him to speed up the process. He sticks the brush in his mouth and sits on the toilet, he does not brush. He sits.

We are in a hurry!

I take the brush and start brushing his teeth. I am sure I am lecturing him now, and threatening that if he doesn’t get it together all of his toys will be gone from his room when he gets home from school.

Lecturing when your kids are mad or upset doesn’t work. Yet, I still always think its a good idea and one day, my kids will listen and think my ideas are the best and tell me they are sorry and give me a hug and never do anything wrong again.

Something goes wrong while I am brushing his teeth and he gets mad. I must have bothered his loose tooth. O well, you want it to come out anyway. He then proceeded to go straight to the towel instead of spitting in the sink.

Me: NO ABRAM! YOU BETTER NOT SPIT IN THAT TOWEL! SPIT IN THE SINK!!!!!

Abram: (Totally has had it with his Mom and loses all control of his temper) AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! I WASN”T!!

Me: (Wait for it… totally proud Mom moment here…) <crouches down in childs face> AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! HOW DO YOU LIKE IT?????? HOW DO YOU LIKE IT WHEN SOMEONE SCREAMS IN YOUR FACEEEEEEEE???? ROARRRRRRR…

Abram runs. I follow. He’s yelling stuff, can’t remember what it is now but he was probably yelling about how much he loves me. I’m hot. So pissed off. Lucy is still sitting on couch patiently. I commend Lucy. I Tell Abram that it is time to go and we have to go. He runs upstairs. If you do not come down stairs right now, I am taking all of your toys. They WILL NOT be here when you get home.

Silence.

If you do not come down RIGHT NOW I am leaving you here by yourself!

Lucy looks at me. I tell her to go get in the car.

Abram. Fine. I am leaving you here.

Unfortunately, my first thought was that when I get back from school, he will have destroyed everything in the house and I didn’t want to have to clean it all up.

Seriously. That was your first thought Janet?

My second thought was, I can’t do that, it’s illegal.

I stomp up the steps.

I see Abram with his back against the wall and his arms crossed. I can’t leave you here. It’s illegal. You have to come with me.

Abram: NO!

Me: Yes!

Abram: NO! Humph!

I try to pick Abram up. He is REALLY heavy and really strong. He starts swinging and trying to sit down. Somehow, Super Mom (that’s me, obvi) gets ahold of him and picks him up. I storm down the steps. I grab his sweatshirt, not his winter coat because he hates it and I don’t want to fight about that too (I’m so thoughtful). I grab his backpack and I storm out the door. I get him through the van door before he jumps out of my arms.

SEATBELTS!!

I slam my car door and throw the van into reverse.

It is at this moment that I realize it is 16 degrees outside and I am only wearing a long sleeve shirt and some leggings. Abram is going to be freezing in his sweatshirt. Maybe his teacher will not take them out for recess since its so cold. I hope not.

Finally we get to school. I let Lucy go. I Give her a big hug and apologize about the morning and tell her that I am really proud of her for doing a great job. I storm back into the car. I am having a mental dilemma. I need help. Clearly I am out of control. I am angry and I lost self control. Abram is mad and angry and I don’t know what to do. DO I take him home? Do I carry him in and request a meeting with the school counselor? What do I do? How do I redeem this situation? This is NOT how I want to drop my kids off at school.

I love my kids so much and the last thing I want to do is ruin their lives. Or their day. Both are not good. Ha.

I get back in the car and I look at Abram. Silent. Looking at his feet. Arms crossed.

Abram, I love you. I am very sorry for getting angry with you. I love you very much and I hope you can forgive me. Do you forgive me?

We get out of the car.

IT IS FREAKING FREEZING and I almost lost all of my fingers walking into that school.

We get to the entrance and I get on my knees, apologize again and give Abram a big hug and told him to have a great day.

You know what the miracle in this story is? He hugged me back. He embraced me. He hugged me. He still loves me. Sometimes I don’t know why, but they do. I didn’t deserve his love or forgiveness this morning, but he gave it to me anyway.

He never spoke to me after we got out of the car and before he left me for class… but I know he still loves me.

At 9:00 AM on Tuesday morning, I am half in tears and half on my way to happy hour.

Before I decided to write this post, I was laying in my bed texting my husband, teary eyed, praying and high on adrenaline.

Writing is a really good outlet for me and helps me sort through my feelings…

I am not a perfect Mom and sometimes I really suck. Being a parent is really hard. I am going to feel guilty about this for days. I will try to smother my children in affection when they get home from school to try and make up for my ass-holeness this morning which they will deny and I will feel sad.

So, as I set here reflecting on todays events, I am an hour late for work. I have done 0 housework (sorry Ryan!). I am cold. I am sad. I am disappointed. But, I also have hope. I have hope that God will redeem this situation. I have hope that one day, we will not have days like this. Maybe I will have many days like this until I get to Heaven, but I will not have days like this in Heaven. And lastly, I am grateful. I am grateful that I am not alone. I am grateful that I have children that will love me one day (haha) and I am grateful that everyday is an opportunity to become a better person. In the Christian world be call this sanctification, but for everyone, isn’t every opportunity an opportunity to grow and learn? We still fail, I will fail again, but that is just another opportunity to try again.

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.  Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1:2-4

 

And, now I am an hour and 15 minutes late for work…

 

=)

 

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