#Blog, #MakingTimeForMe, 2018 Blog Posts, Marriage, Our Blended Family

Ten Minutes: I finally did it!!

It has been a long time coming.  I first brought it up to my husband back in January.  Then I kept mentioning it, getting a feel for if he could tell I was serious or thought it was just an idea that would pass.

I have been at my current job for 4 years.  Each summer for the last 4 summers, hiring someone to be home with my children while I work.  Paying too much of my hard earned money out, all so that someone else could spend their summer vacation with them.

Not this year, this year Mom is staying home with them.  This past Thursday I put in my resignation at my job.  I love what I do for a living, but it isn’t worth it any longer.  I want to spend the summer with my children before they are too old and too cool to spend the summer with me.

This has taken a lot of planning.  I have a few side jobs (some side hustle) already scheduled to bring in some money during the summer, but it won’t completely make up for the lack of the full time job.  Pre-paying for activities to keep us busy during the summer and continually coming up with inexpensive ideas for all of us to enjoy.

I have 3 weeks left at my 9-5.  It took a lot of praying, a lot of self-discovery and a lot of communication with my husband to reach the decision that we did.  I just know it is the right decision for us and our family.  We maybe not be able to do this any other summer, so I am going to fully enjoy this one (while obviously secretly hoping I get more).

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#alltheyeses, #Blog, #MakingTimeForMe, 2018 Blog Posts

Healing Words

My devotion today is about the power of words.  How they can often hurt, but we need to consciously use them more often to heal.  Think about what you say before you say it.

Is it True, it is Kind, is it Necessary?

The charge for the devotion was to reach out to someone with some kind words.

All I want to say today is I hope that today is everything that you want it to be.  I’m sending positive vibes and love out into the universe, for each and every one of you to grab onto should you choose.

Today is going to be a great day!

#alltheyeses, #Blog, #MakingTimeForMe, 2018 Blog Posts, Health

Ten Minutes: Sabbath

A day of rest, who has time for a day of rest?

I was out of town for the last 5 days.  Wednesday through Sunday I was at an early childhood conference a couple hours away.  I had a hotel room to myself for 4 nights.  No kids, no pup, no hubs…it was pretty terrific.

Now, I missed my family like crazy, but you can understand why it sounds awesome.  Anyway, I left the hotel about 8:45am yesterday.  The weather out here was a mess.  Mix of snow, rain and freezing rain.  So many cars off the road, with emergency vehicles to help them.  The drive home was a slow go, but we made it home safely.

After that drive though, I thought man I wish I had tomorrow off too.  I wish I had a day to just sit and relax.  You know the whole idea of needing a vacation after your vacation.  I wasn’t on a vacation, on a work trip, but the idea is the same.

This morning my devotion in 100 days to brave was “Sabbath” do you work in six days so you can rest on the seventh.  Right after I read this devotion, I got the notification that my son’s school is closed today.  Due to the crazy weather, there are power outages all over town.  So, my day of rest was granted to me.  Noah and I are still in our PJs snuggling each other and our puppy.  Watching TV and chatting about what happened while I was out of town.

Thank you Jesus for answering the prayer I didn’t even know I had sent up!

Happy Monday Everyone!

#alltheyeses, #Blog, #MakingTimeForMe, 2018 Blog Posts

Ten Minutes: Find Your Rest

It’s useless to rise early and go to bed late, and work your worried fingers to the bone.  Don’t you know he enjoys giving rest to those he loves? -PSALM 127:2

Last night, Paul and I went to bed at 9pm.  This is what we do.  When we are done with all of our work for the day, if we are tired, we don’t pretend not to be and we head to bed.  I think that we were both in bed for about 7 minutes before we had both drifted off to sleep.

Somehow, someway in 2018 I have been able to sit and rest a bit more.  Still not as much as my family would like, probably not as much as I should, but more than 2017 or the previous 10 years.  I let dishes sit in the sink for a minute, or a dry load of laundry hang out unfolded overnight.  Yes, these are the things in my life I have a hard time with.

I have a hard time relaxing when all of my “responsibilities” aren’t done.  My husband says though, that I am the only one who cares if they are done in the time frame that I have created.  Which is probably true.  I mean we can all agree that we need clean dishes and we need clean clothes, but they don’t have to be cleaned, dried and put away the instant that they are dirtied, they can sit awhile.

This weekend, well starting today actually is my “resting” weekend of the year.  This will be the fourth year in a row that I have headed off to a conference about 2 hours away without my hubs or the kids.  I have a hotel room to myself from tonight until Sunday.  I can go to bed when I want, wake up when I want.  Watch whatever TV I want, I am taking 3 books with me (yes I have high hopes).

I will be at the conference with co-workers, but I can spend time alone in my hotel room if I choose to.  I usually go and walk around the city by myself early in the morning.  Enjoying a cup of coffee and the fresh air.  I will get to see my sister tonight and other dear friends on Saturday.

Thankful doesn’t even begin to describe this life that I live.  My children in my household and all the millions of things that I need to get done in order to feel like I can rest.  I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the whole world.  The supportive husband that I have, who kisses me goodbye, asks me to be safe and tells me that he is going to miss me.  Who will be at home with 3 of our kids and the puppy, will have a great time doing things in a much different way than me (and that is OK).

I will be finding some time to rest over the next 4 days.  Should be reasonably early being by myself, no laundry and no dishes!

#alltheyeses, #MakingTimeForMe, Weekly Faves: Reblogs

Ten Minutes: Please Play

Today my devotional was spot on!  As it seems to be almost daily!

The topic today was “please play” and it went on to talk about how important play is among the stress and seriousness of everyday life.  It is so true!

I talk about this in my training’s ALL THE TIME, but have a super hard time implementing or practicing the idea in my real life.  Which is so sad, so very sad.  I read an article once, after one of the mass shootings.  That suggested that one thing that most of the instigators of events like this have in common, is their loss of play.  Somehow, some way things became all too serious and they weren’t having “fun” anymore.

That really has nothing to do with me, other than I think that the point is interesting.  When did things become so serious?  Was it at a certain age for me?  When I felt like my childhood was behind me and I was in full swing of adulthood?  When I got married, had kids, got divorced?  I don’t remember the last time that on a regular basis I could just drop everything and “play”.  Without thinking of the millions of other things I could be doing or should be doing instead.

It is super embarrassing to admit.  I have 6 kids and I can’t manage to find the fun or the play in my life?

I know that this is a problem for me and for some reason it has become very evident and obvious to me in 2018.  I am working on taking some steps to rectify it.

There is only so much time in this life.  I don’t have to spend all of it washing dishes, doing laundry and paying bills.  Sometime, I need to join my kids for a game of basketball and put things on hold to go Pokemon hunting!

Yesterday, Paul and I were at a wedding.  Now, I can ALWAYS have a good time at a wedding.  Whether we know a ton of people or we are the only ones there.  I love to dance and you can find me out on the dance floor all night.  Old songs, new songs, fast songs, slow songs…it doesn’t matter to me.  I don’t care what I look like or what people are thinking, I am enjoying myself!

Last night the song “One More Time” came on!  This song was released in 2001, when I was a senior in college.  17 years ago!!  We used to have house parties, yes yes that is right, the girl who can’t even find fun now used to buy the kegs to have house parties and make money nearly every single weekend.  Well for some reason, one time during one of these parties in the middle of this song when the beat slows WAY down, I got all the way down on the floor.  Then as the beat starts to pick up, slowly I would make my way up off of the floor one arm at a time, my back getting further and further off of the ground just like Bernie in the movie “Weekend at Bernie’s” until the beat was fast again and I was just dancing.  My roomies used to ask me to do it every time the song came on after that initial time.  It became part of each one of our house parties.  I have shared this story with Paul a couple of times and when it came on last night, he grabbed his Mom asked her to video it and pushed me into the middle of a circle of 20 somethings and told me to do my dance.  I did it, for the first time in over 15 years.  I played and I had fun, I didn’t care what anyone thought of me, I just danced.  I danced thinking about how much I used to play.

Then today, my devotion is about playing!  Please play it said, find some fun.  I will Annie F. Downs, I will.

#alltheyeses, #MakingTimeForMe, 2018 Blog Posts

Ten Minutes: Brave Body

Last night I had a training, so I was driving home about 845.  I was by myself and my body just felt like SHIT.  I found myself reflecting on the recent past and how terrible I have been treating myself.

Earlier in the day yesterday I was walking by a window and looked at my gut and thought, man this is what I looked like when I was like 4 months pregnant.  Then I sucked it back in as much as I could and went about my day.

I don’t remember the last time I did my yoga in the morning, a few months ago I somehow left that by the wayside.  Due to a series of stressful/unfortunate events, I caved and went back to smoking.  Only here and there, not all day, every day…but still.  I am so disappointed in myself.  My husband has been eating low-carb since the beginning of the year and I am pretty sure that I have been eating all the carbs he normally would have.

Most of the time I take pride in the fact that I look the way that I do at 37 years old.  That for the most part I eat everything that I want, I drink some beers and I don’t exercise rigorously.  Yet, somehow I am wearing pants that are just one size up from what I wore when I graduated high-school.  After having 3 babies, I consider that pretty fantastic.

Well, now I still fit into those pants, but more of myself is hanging up and over if you know what I am saying!!  Anyway, last night on my way home I said to myself…this stops.  You have the day off tomorrow, do Yoga in the morning, make it through the day without caving into a cigarette and drink all the water you are supposed to.

About a half an hour ago now, I searched for this little notebook that I could keep in my purse and wrote down the few things that I really wanted to start keeping track of.  When I have to write things down on a list, I tend to hold myself accountable much more.  I stood on the scale and I am so bummed about what I saw, but not surprised at all.  I filled my pill box with all of my vitamins and supplements so that I am already prepared for the week ahead.  Then I read my devotion.

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Today’s devotion was the start of a new topic “Brave Enough to Pursue Healing”, (healing is often a choice.)  My devotion book that I am currently reading is 100 Days to Brave by Annie F. Downs.  Anyway, Day Sixty-Nine—> God’s Purpose For Your Body.  Talking about how to love yourself even if your shape and size is a bit different then you wish it would be.  “God has a purpose for your body- with all its imperfections and sicknesses.”

The charge for today is “We are going all in for the next few days on your health.  Why?  Because only a working body can be a brave body.”  God knew that this was the page that I needed to land on today.  To keep coming back to, to remind myself that I am making better choices now.  That is something that I have to do.  When my body is working better, I am just better and more brave!!  Here’s to the next few days, which will turn into weeks and months.

My actions need to start showing what I treasure again.  I treasure my health so much and before I fall down the rabbit hole any further, I need to prove that again.  I can see the light still at the top of the tunnel, so I am ready to dig my way out!

 

#Blog, #MakingTimeForMe, Ways of Thinking

My Ten Minutes: The Guilt

Yesterday I walked through the day, just putting one foot in front of the other.

I had this pit in my stomach that hasn’t gone away, I ate about 2 bites of food and just drifted through the day.  The only other time I remember feeling like this was when I was going through my divorce.

People who I thought cared about me, that I would have expected a hug or some support from and I received nothing.  Others who I barely know who were writing me letters of kindness.

Say what you want.  Say that I shouldn’t blame myself or that I couldn’t have possibly known that this was going to happen.   Most of the same people who told me not to feel blame or guilt were also that ones who said it was probably the puppy’s fault that Harwell acted the way that he did.  Well guess what?  That puppy wouldn’t be in our house if it weren’t for me.  And now, now that puppy is laying right next to me.

“That guilt is something you should feel when you purposely do something that intentionally effects others in a negative way. But, when you handle day to day decisions and do what you think is best…you can’t harbor guilt for unintentional consequences.  You did not act in a way that purposefully hurt Noah or Harwell or anyone else.  You made the decision you felt was right after thoughtful consideration and it happened to not work.”  My best friend messaged me that, after I told her that the guilt was just too much to bear.

They are wonderful, kind words, but my heart doesn’t feel any different.  This isn’t a decision that I wish for anyone in the world to have to make.  There is no good answer, the guilt would be strong no matter what.  Constantly thinking about the before and the after and all that you could have done differently to change the outcome.  It can destroy you.

Noah had to be at school all day yesterday with a giant bandage on his head, with gauze wrapped all around.  At 5 he spent the day explaining to his friends that his best friend bit him on the head and then he had to go away.  The love that Noah still shows when referring to Harwell will last a lifetime, I worry that the fear in his eyes will to.

Time will make it better, maybe, hopefully.  I will spend a lifetime now thinking that there are a million things I could have done differently.  That could have changed the way this all played out.  I will blame myself for putting us in a position to have to make this decision.

#Blog, #MakingTimeForMe, Children

Ten Minutes: Yesterday…

Yesterday morning at 9am I heard a scream come out of my 5 year old that I had never heard before.  My husband and I were still laying in bed, but I went flying down the stairs.  Blood was just gushing down Noah’s head.  I immediately scooped him in my arms, cradled him like a baby and sat down on the couch.

I was already shaking from the adrenaline, the amount of blood and the noises that my son was making.  All 5 of our other children were just standing, staring in shock.  I asked them to go get me a wet towel for me to put on Noah’s head.  I asked what happened, how this happened and that is when he told me “Harwell bit me.”

Harwell is our almost 6 year old great dane.  The most kind and gentle thing.  Him and Noah are best friends and have been snuggling together like little babies for years.

We rushed to the hospital to take a look at this gash and see if it needed stitches.  I held Noah on my lap in the front seat, covered in a towel with no shoes on, just trying to control the bleeding.  By the time we had made it to the hospital (less than a ten minute drive) it seemed as though it was starting to calm down.

After about 2 hours in the hospital we had multiple different stories of what had happened with Noah and the dog, from his and the other kids perspective.  We got his wound cleaned, over and over and over.  No stitches because it is on his head and with a dog bite, they worry about infection.  He left with gauze wrapped around his entire head, looking like Rambo or something.

The whole time we were at the hospital I kept saying to Paul, we are going to have to get rid of Harwell.  He neither confirmed or denied that.  But, we decided for about 8 hours to believe that the severity of the incident was less than we now believe that it was.

Fast forward to about 7pm, while Paul was upstairs changing, Noah and I were laying on the couch and I was rubbing his head.  I felt something toward the back of his head and he said “ouch”.  I realized that there was another gash in the back of his head.  All the blood seemed to be in the front, so we didn’t even notice the back.  Not at the hospital either!

When Paul came downstairs I had him take a look at it.  Right after he said, “he has to go.”  This story that we had told ourselves about Harwell’s tooth just knicking Noah, no longer held up.  There is now a hole in the front and the back, which means that Harwell’s whole mouth ended up over Noah’s head.  That he intentionally bit him.

Paul and I acted quickly even though it was very emotional.  We both started thinking, looking and researching.  We got Harwell from my best friend’s in-laws, so my best friend was the first person that I contacted to help.

Around 11pm last night, Harwell went home to the same home that he was born into.  They don’t live very far away and we can go and visit him.  It doesn’t make the whole in my heart any smaller or the mounds of blame I am putting on myself feel any lighter.  But, we didn’t just take him to the pound to be put down, because we don’t believe he is a bad dog.  But, how can we take that chance with our children again?

Paul is blaming himself because he is supposed to protect us from this kind of physical hurt and heartache.  I am blaming myself because we got a puppy a week ago.  And every single person that I told about Noah before even telling them that we had to find a new home for Harwell said, maybe it is the stress of the puppy.  Maybe it is, maybe it isn’t.  The truth is that we don’t know, we will never now.

It is a sad day in the Christie house, as yesterday was too.  I had hoped that I would go to sleep and wake up today and feel differently.  But, Harwell wasn’t on the couch when I went downstairs to make the coffee, he didn’t immediately follow me up the stairs to lay in bed with me after Paul left.  His food and water dish are still in my kitchen.  And this new puppy is laying right next to me reminding me that this might all be my fault.

We still have to tell the rest of our kids.  Noah knows and him saying goodbye wasn’t nearly as heartbreaking as I thought it would be.  I suspect that we will be answering questions from many as the days go on, wondering where I beautiful blue great dane is.  I can’t imagine that talking about it will get easier.  It is a terrible decision that no person should have to make and no parent wants to make.

#Blog, #MakingTimeForMe, Ways of Thinking

Ten Minutes: Enneagram Personality Type

I have been writing a lot lately about how much I LOVE Annie F. Downs.  Well, I do, I don’t know how I lived before 2018 without even hearing about her.  She reminds me a lot of myself only she sounds like she doesn’t ever get angry or mad.

Anyway, that couldn’t be further from the point.  I listen to Annie’s podcast “That Sounds Fun” nearly every day, as it is a couple years old now, so I am catching up from the beginning and I am just now getting to Christmas 2017.  She is obsessed with the Enneagram Test and talking about what everyone’s type or number is.  She herself, is a 7.  The Enthusiast who just wants to have fun.

Well, I finally remember to pull up the test so I could figure out what I am and I wanted to share my results.

Taken from: 9types.com

The Achiever (the Three)
Achivers are energetic, optimistic, self-assured, and goal oriented.
How to Get Along with Me
  • Leave me alone when I am doing my work.
  • Give me honest, but not unduly critical or judgmental, feedback.
  • Help me keep my environment harmonious and peaceful.
  • Don’t burden me with negative emotions.
  • Tell me you like being around me.
  • Tell me when you’re proud of me or my accomplishments.
What I Like About Being a Three
  • being optimistic, friendly, and upbeat
  • providing well for my family
  • being able to recover quickly from setbacks and to charge ahead to the next challenge
  • staying informed, knowing what’s going on
  • being competent and able to get things to work efficiently
  • being able to motivate people
What’s Hard About Being a Three
  • having to put up with inefficiency and incompetence
  • the fear on not being — or of not being seen as — successful
  • comparing myself to people who do things better
  • struggling to hang on to my success
  • putting on facades in order to impress people
  • always being “on.” It’s exhausting.
Threes as Children Often
  • work hard to receive appreciation for their accomplishments
  • are well liked by other children and by adults
  • are among the most capable and responsible children in their class or school
  • are active in school government and clubs or are quietly busy working on their own projects
Threes as Parents
  • are consistent, dependable, and loyal
  • struggle between wanting to spend time with their children and wanting to get more work done
  • expect their children to be responsible and organized

OMG, If this isn’t me!  There isn’t a thing on here that I am not like, yup that is me, that has always been me.  I am the achiever, I want to do all the things.  I want to do the projects that feel good for me and make me feel like I am providing in the best way that I can for my family.

Now I wanted to share with you what my second highest score was.

The Helper (the Two)
Helpers are warm, concerned, nurturing, and sensitive to other people’s needs.
How to Get Along with Me
  • Tell me that you appreciate me. Be specific.
  • Share fun times with me.
  • Take an interest in my problems, though I will probably try to focus on yours.
  • Let me know that I am important and special to you.
  • Be gentle if you decide to criticize me.
In Intimate Relationships
  • Reassure me that I am intersting to you.
  • Reassure me often that you love me.
  • Tell me I’m attractive and that you’re glad to be seen with me.
What I Like About Being a Two
  • being able to relate easily to people and to make friends
  • knowing what people need and being able to make their lives better
  • being generous, caring, and warm
  • being sensitive to and perceptive about others’ feelings
  • being enthusiastic and fun-loving, and having a good sense of humor
What’s Hard About Being a Two
  • not being able to say no
  • having low self-esteem
  • feeling drained from overdoing for others
  • not doing things I really like to do for myself for fear of being selfish
  • criticizing myself for not feeling as loving as I think I should
  • being upset that others don’t tune in to me as much as I tume in to them
  • working so hard to be tactful and considerate that I suppress my real feelings
Twos as Children Often
  • are very sensitive to disapproval and criticism
  • try hard to please their parents by being helpful and understanding
  • are outwardly compliant
  • are popular or try to be popular with other children
  • act coy, precocious, or dramatic in order to get attention
  • are clowns and jokers (the more extroverted Twos), or quiet and shy (the more introverted Twos)
Twos as Parents
  • are good listeners, love their children unconditionally, and are warm and encouraging (or suffer guilt if they aren’t)
  • are often playful with their children
  • wonder: “Am I doing it right?” “Am I giving enough?” “Have I caused irreparable damage?”
  • can become fiercely protective

There are only 2 things on this list that I don’t agree with.  1. I do not have a low self-esteem, I never have and I am super grateful for that.  2.  I am not often playful with my children.  I have somehow forgot to have fun and I’m so serious all the time.  I want to play with them again.  Because 1 thing that is very true is that line right after is that I am constantly wondering “Am I doing this right? “Am I giving enough?” and “Have I cause irreparable damage?”

Well, so that is that.  I am an achiever and a helper and I will take that.  I like this a lot and now I would like to find out more about this.  My next highest scores were for Type 1: The Reformer. The rational, idealistic type. Type 6: The Skeptic. The committed, security-oriented type. Type 7: The Generalist. The enthusiastic, productive type.

I think that now I will go onto read more about this.  If you know what your Enneagram type is, won’t you share it with me?  Or if you have a desire, take the test and let me know!

#Blog, #MakingTimeForMe, Ways of Thinking

Ten Minutes: Letting Go

First of all, last night, right before I went to bed I prayed to God that he would give me a sign that letting go is the right thing. In my head it is and every time I think about it, I know it would be so good, but something in me just isn’t quite ready to commit to taking the leap.

Then this morning, this is my page in my devotion.  Day Fifty-Eight When You Let Go, 100 Days to Brave by Annie F. Downs.

I am going to quote quite a bit of this page today, because I can’t for the life of me believe that this is what I read this morning.  “It is a bit easier to let go when you know what you are grabbing hold of.  The monkey bar option, I like to call it.  You are willing to let go of the current monkey bar because you can see the next one you want to grab.” “The deeper call for courage comes when you let go with nothing ahead to grab.”

This is where I am right now.  I am so ready to let go, but I don’t know what lies ahead and that is very scary for me.  I have some major control issues and purposefully choosing a path in which I don’t know what comes next, well just forget about it.

“When it is time to let go, you know it.  Your fingers long to ease their grip, but your heart begs them to hold on-not because it is best for you, but because the unknown is scary. Only in letting go are your hands free to grab the next thing.”

From this I gather, that I have to be ready to let go because whatever lies ahead will only be visible to me and available for me once I have both hands free to grab it.

“Please let go.  Please be brave enough to empty your hand without seeing the next monkey bar.”  Man oh man, did I need to read this today.  I prayed yesterday in my car while listening to Annie F. Downs podcast, please God just show me.  Then last night before I fell asleep, give me a sign, help me to see.  Then this morning, BAM, right in front of me.

Every day ends with a task, a commission or a question.  Today “Bob Goff says quit something every Thursday.  What can you quit this week?”  Well, let’s start with the fact that I have missed mornings of reading my devotion, but I don’t ever skip around or ahead.  I started the book on a random day in January and here I am on Thursday March 22nd, a Thursday and THIS is the day that I was meant to read it.

I don’t plan on actually quitting anything today, or maybe I should find something that I can quit today just to follow suit.  Hmm…now that has me thinking.

What can you quit today?  What are you holding on to that you should let go of?

Happy Thursday!