Adulting #thisis38

Yesterday my poor husband moved in a weird way and just like that his back gave out on him.

7 years ago when we met, he would have let that hold him down.  At least for the day that it happened, if not for some days afterward.  This isn’t how this man operates anymore though.

Paul shows up!  He does the things that he is supposed to do.  He knows that part of his job as a man, husband and father is to get his responsibilities done even when sometimes it would feel better or be easier not to.

Right after he hurt his back he got in the car for his 3 hour commute back and forth to take our older 3 children back to their Mom’s home.  Yes, he came home and changed into his pajamas and laid on the couch after that, but AFTER THAT.  AFTER his responsibilities for the day were taken care of.

This morning I know that he was still in pain.  He made some noises while he was getting ready.  Nonetheless, he woke up with his alarm.  He rolled out of bed, even if it took him a minute or two longer than it normally would.  He showered and got dressed, through the pain that he is still obviously in.

The goal for me and I do believe for my husband, is to lead by example!  That goes for employees, friends and our children for sure.  Some times you just have to power through.  Would it be easier to lay in bed, sure!  However, we need to show up!

 

 

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Mom Expectations #thisis38

I listened to a Podcast yesterday that spoke about all that Mom’s feel expected to do. Whether it is society, social media, family, friends or just ourselves placing those expectations. (Time To Wine Podcast, check it out)

Well, I have to say, I don’t feel much pressure from others to be a certain way. I never really have, and maybe that is my blessing now.

I breastfed all 3 of my babies, for various amounts of time. I took my cues from my children, not from society. Fed then whenever, wherever they needed to be fed. I had 3 babies naturally, with no drugs, in a place without machines and monitors because that’s what I wanted. (I had a doctor tell me that was a stupid choice, I found a new doctor) I used paper diapers for the older 2 and cloth for the youngest (you wouldn’t believe how many people shamed me and told me how gross I was).

I have never forced my children into activities or sports. I mean, who has the time, money and energy to force children to be involved in activities where there is zero interest? (Too many parents)

I raise my voice at my children, I’m human. Sometimes I forget to make doctors appointments and I let them eat garbage for dinner. I let them play video games and watch YouTube. They will also choose to read, go to church and play outside for HOURS.

Yesterday I had the honor and privilege of attending 3 of my children’s parent teacher conferences. Each of those teachers told us that our children “call out in class” lol. Yes, yes they are just like their mother. The other thing every teacher told us was that our children are loved by their classmates. That they love being helpers and always have people who want to hang with them.

Happy, healthy, kind and respectful. I don’t need my children to be the best sports player or the smartest kid in their class. I need them to be the kind of person that others want to be around!! Not to force themselves into a box, but finding their true selves and being proud of who that person is.

Parenting #thisis38

Yesterday was our weeknight at church. Every week we go to church on Wednesdays for dinner, then the kids have activities. We are there for a couple of hours.

Church is my home away from home. I’ve been going to the same church my entire life. My best friends in the world go there, my ex husband and I grew up there together, Paul and I got married there and I’ve been blessed to have 2 different jobs there in my life.

On the Wednesday’s that I’m really lucky, one if not both of my best friends might be in attendance. Always a bonus when I get to hug them, chat with them and love on them. Last night was one of these rare occasions, the Reverend was there for dinner.

The younger of my 2 besties is one of my very favorite people in the whole world. She became a mom last December. So, life now finds us talking about all kinds of parenting things, choices and challenges.

Nearly every time I come out looking more “relaxed” and her more “high maintenance”…. which are words that no one would ever really use to describe us!!

The thing is I’m 11 years and 6 kids into this gig. 6 kids in 4 different households. Going to many different types of schools, involved in different activities, at various academic levels.

There was a time where I thought about, worried about or over analyzed every last thing… about 10 years and 5 kids ago. My oldest 2 biological children are only 17 months apart. Needless to say once Jordan came along, I realized real quickly I couldn’t devote all the time and energy to worrying about everything for 2 kids, I’d drive myself crazy.

Then only 16 months after she was born, their Dad and I broke up. So again, I couldn’t worry about everything for the 2 kids. After all, they were only in my house part of the time now, I couldn’t control what they were or weren’t doing with their Dad. So, if I constantly allowed myself to think of all that could happen, well I would’ve never slept and would’ve probably needed some meds.

Another 16 months after that, I added 3 more kids to my family. Children that are in my house every other weekend. Sure their other households may do differently then we do, but I can’t get hung up on that. I can’t control it. Like I said, I would literally never fall asleep at night if I allowed myself to think about all that I can’t control.

10 months after that, we added our youngest. Who we realized very quickly wasn’t going to be easy to control even though he was in our house 100% of the time. LOL!!

I am a control freak. It took a lot of therapy to really realize that I need to relinquish some of that control in order to enjoy my life.

Moral is, our parenting looks different now. Maybe mine more closely resembled yours 10 years ago, maybe yours will more resemble mine 10 years from now. Perhaps, we will always look at it differently and you know what, that’s ok.

There isn’t one right way. I always say if my kids are happy and healthy then I’m doing something right. There are many ways to get there!

Finally Happy #thisis38

For years I worked and worked. For years I cried on the inside mostly, on the outside some.

I thought if I just did more of X added some of Z and less of Y, that I would be better in no time.

I spent years of therapy, years of journaling (blogging), reading self care books and spending time with people whom I truly love. Each thing making life a little better, a little more tolerable, but nothing truly fixing my insides.

I was walking around grocery shopping yesterday and got tears in my eyes. This is it, this is what it feels like… to be truly happy.

I had a lot of questions that I needed answered in a million different ways. I needed to find myself and within that, find how I could be the wife, mom and friend that I’m meant to be.

I searched for a long time. I mean I had many questions that needed to be answered before I could rest. Turns out that some of the answers were simply feelings.

I used to apologize for myself. For wanting more, for doing things differently, for questioning the process. No more….I choose my family, I choose happiness and I choose me!!!

Long Time #thisis38

I realized yesterday that I haven’t posted in awhile. It’s not because I have nothing to say, it’s because life is going to swimmingly that I just haven’t.

Since the kids got back to school, I’ve been back to work. Professional grocery shopping that it #shiptlife. I’m earning a living for my family while being able to take my children to school and pick them up EVERY SINGLE DAY!!

We are in full swing if after school activities, homework (though not much at all because our school system is kind of anti homework) and church (we take the summer off).

Our 6 year old, yes my baby turned 6 Friday is having much success in 1st grade. He’s consistently having good days, he has been buying hot lunch from time to time, he’s rocking Math and I couldn’t be more proud.

The 9 year old is in her last grade at this school. Loves her teacher, her friends and has a safety job this year that she’s enjoying.

The almost 11 year old is in his last year of elementary. This is the year they start playing instruments and he chose the violin. You could’ve knocked me over with a feather when I heard. My kind, gentle, sensitive boy…and he LOVES it.

For the first time as a parent I will be able to attend the younger 3 kids parent teacher conferences. No work getting in the way and I’m looking forward to meeting with the teachers.

The older kids are in 11th, 9th and 6th grades and they are doing great. They will be home this weekend where we will be having a birthday celebration for 3 of them while enjoying the UofM/MSU game (that’s the Michigan football rivalry for those that don’t know).

Life is good!! It’s real real good.

I hope that you all are doing well too ❤

Lucky In Love #Thisis38

” I’m lucky I’m in love with my best friend

Lucky to have been where I have been”   Thank you Jason Mraz

As I was giving my husband a kiss goodbye this morning, all I could think of was I am so lucky.

Here are just a few of the reasons!

He supports me!  I mean really supports me.  Supports all my crazy ideas, dreams, goals.  Supports me if I need therapy, need to write, when I want to work, when I want to be with the kids.

He shows me affections.  At the end of a long day, while we are sitting on the couch watching TV together, he holds my hand.  He may even, scratch my back or put his arm around me!

He works his butt off!  I get to get the kids ready for school every morning, take them to school and pick them up from school now.  It wasn’t always like this, but now that we have figured it out…it is.

He shows up for his children.  Baseball games, watching them sing at church, driving hours away to watch a dance recital, basketball or football game.  Standing by their side during their school open house, fundraising events and playing video games with them.  He is an active participant in each of the 6 kids lives, because he wants to be!!

After some deep conversation with women I am close to, I realize that not everyone has a partner like this.  Where, I can’t tell what other people need from their significant other.  THIS is what I need, a partner, a true supporter and a cheerleader (even if it is a pretty silent one)!

It is often that Paul and I reflect that we wouldn’t know how lucky we were if we weren’t in this for the 2nd time together.  Sometime you have to go through the brokenness of the first in order to see all the special things in your relationships instead of the nit picky things!

 

To My Husband on His Birthday #Thisis38

Well, today my husband turns 39.  I met him when he was 31 and have been here for all 7 birthdays since.

Birthday’s aren’t a big to-do in our home.  We try to do experiences, not a lot of gifts.

Well tomorrow we will go out to dinner with my parents, my sister and her family, plus my grandparents!  Then on Sunday we are going to a baseball game with Paul’s parents.

In the meantime I am making chili tonight for the first time this “season”.  Tomorrow afternoon my husband will watch the UofM football game with his father and our children.  We will share some laughs, we will snuggle on the couch and we will celebrate another year around the sun!

I am so honored to call you mine.  To celebrate with you year after you.  Being able to watch you will all of our children, supporting me and working hard so that we can live our best lives!  All that has happened over the last 7 years wouldn’t have been possible if it weren’t for your love for your family.

You are my favorite grown up!  Thank you for being you and loving me the way you do.

Dust #Thisis38

In my devotional a few days ago this statement really hit me. “I felt like I had been ground to dust, and those words started to put me back together.” Referring to a friend who had told Shauna it was OK to feel however she wanted about a situation, but she didn’t have to be embarrassed.

I have been this person. The person who needed to be “put back together” by someone’s words. Who needed to hear, that of all the emotions, embarrassment was not one that I needed to hold onto.

Sometimes we spend so much time listening to all the words tearing us down, we ignore the words meant to build us back up. Let the latter be louder!

Back To School #Thisis38

Today is the first day of school for our youngest 3 children.  Which means summer has come to an end and was wrapped up in a pretty little bow yesterday.

My dream, my summer with the kids was everything that I ever could have hoped for!  I have high hopes that the pieces of work I have set up for me now will be enough to carry me through the next 9 1/2 months, so that I can be home with them next summer too.

This summer we all went to church camp, we went to Cedar Point (an amusement park nearby), the zoo (multiple times), many different pools, the lake and countless other super fun activities.

Our 5 year old, who has never ending baby syndrome has grown up a bit this summer.  Not all the way, that is for sure.  There was certainly, less whining, less temper tantrums and more ability to hang with the big kids.

We may not have been able to buy all the things that the kids wished that we could.  Didn’t stop for as many slurpees or do as many expensive activities.  At the end of it all though, I think that they would all say it was worth it to have their Mom home.  They were able to do so many fun things that they wouldn’t have been able to do if a sitter was home with them.

I will pray every day for the next 9 months that I can be home with them next summer too.  Though, if that doesn’t work out, at least I had this one incredible summer with them.