Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Can't go back

It's been really hard for me the past week or so...

On July 19th I flew to Montana for a couple days. I had a layover in Salt Lake City and was lucky enough to be able to spend some time with two gals I went to high school with. It was great to see them, chat about our lives now, and not spend 4 hours just sitting in an airport by myself. I got to Great Falls and my mom was there at the airport waiting for me. I just saw her a few months ago, but it was so great to see her again. I spent the weekend at her place.

On Friday, she took me out to my Aunt Susan's. We 'kidnapped' her and went up to the mountains outside of Choteau. I can't begin to explain the feeling inside me standing by a mountain-fed creek, at the base of a forest covered mountain, capped with snow... Being up there where the 'big sky' looms overhead... it's so different than the crowded, but green, area I live in down here in Georgia.

Saturday morning, I had the most amazing 2 hour breakfast with an amazing friend of mine in Great Falls. She and I weren't the closest in high school, but we share so much in common now... It was one of the highlights of my trip to sit and talk with her. She knew me in high school and now she sees the change in me, a lifestyle very similar to her own, and it gives us a special friendship. I respect her so much for the way that she was in high school and the way that she has always shown her faith.

After breakfast, I spent some time at the park with my sister and my niece. We fed the ducks and geese, talked, and I took pictures. My sister drove an hour, one way, just so I could see them that weekend. It means more than I could ever say.

That afternoon, after hanging out with my mom some more and walking around her awesome house/property, I got dressed up and went to a beautiful - very funny - very sweet wedding of a high school friend. I got to see a few of the old 'gang'. I also got to see a few of the 'parentals' from the old days. It was so great to catch up with them all and hear about where everyone is at now.

Sunday morning, I flew back home... it was a long day... LOOOOONG day

The trip was nice for a lot of reasons. I got to see a lot of people that I care about, but don't get to see much. I got to spend time in the big, open, blue-sky and mountains of Montana. I had a break from the constant demands of being a stay-at-home mommy and wife - enjoying simple things like not having someone watch me go to the bathroom and being able to eat a hot meal without sharing with someone.

The trip made me miss things about 'the old days'...
I miss having my mom close to me and my kids. I miss my sister. I'm missing watch my niece grow up, as my own kids are missing the time with my family. I miss having friends to sit and hang out with, chat with. I miss the mountains. I miss the clear, big, open sky of Montana. I miss the space that nature gives up there and the closeness of the people.

It also made me realize that it isn't the same. People have moved on. The old gang is married, having kids, growing up, moving off. My grandparents have been gone for a while - and while the memories of them and the farm remain - there won't be any more family dinners out there.

It reminded me of the traditions and habits of the past. It made me realize how much I miss those things. It made me realize that my little family of 5 lacks those traditions that created such amazing memories for me. I want to keep those traditions alive. I want to start out own traditions. I want my kids to think back when they are almost 30 and remember things that make them smile... I want them to treasure our family traditions.

It also makes me miss the closeness of family. Monthly meet-ups, hanging out at the farm, Sunday dinners, Holiday meals and traditions... I am thankful for family and friends down here, but it lacks the closeness that my family had growing up and I miss that, a lot. A WHOLE LOT.

I know people are so busy these days. I've been guilty of it myself. I want to slow down. Enjoy things like teaching my kids to cook and grow a garden. Teaching my daughter to sew or bake. Making Christmas cookies and breads. Jams, jelly, pickles, salsa - all kinds of homemade goodies. Homemade holiday meals - New Years, Easter, Mother's Day, Father's Day, Memorial Day, 4th of July, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and all our birthdays... summer cookouts... family trips and outings...

I have always been quiet in group settings - which makes it hard and slow to make new friends - but I really want to build friendships down here. I have so few people to hang out with, just spend time with, have kids play together. I want to change that. I want to be less 'closed off' and more 'welcoming' to people and let them see me for who I am. I am always so involved with my 3 kids, I don't take the time to talk and get to know people... I want to change that. I don't want to be so alone anymore.

And maybe most of all... I miss the mountains. In my heart, through my blood, I miss them so much...

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

A summer update...

Today is the 9th birthday of my first baby, my princess, my little girl who is growing up so fast and not quite so little as I wish she would have stayed... her party is this weekend and I'll post photos when it is done.
As you can tell from this photo...

She is having a Frozen themed party. I made her a special outfit, like I do pretty much every year...

Next week, after Ayla's party is over with, I am taking a few days to go to Montana to visit my mom and sister and see a high school friend get married. I am going by myself. Bryan is busy working, after having a month off without work. Doris will be watching the kids during the day. I will be going 2000+ miles away without them. I'll miss them all, but I am looking forward to the time to myself. I'll be able to eat food while it is still hot and without sharing. I'll be able to go to the restroom without a little assistant standing there watching me. I don't have to worry about taking care of 4 people before taking care of myself... I'm looking forward to the break.

Ayla and Zach have been placed in classes in their online school program for our homeschooling this fall. I have been planning things to keep us busy during the summer.

I know there aren't many people who read this blog... and I wasn't sure why I bother to update it at all... but when I logged in this morning, I read over some of my past posts. I'm glad that I have a place to look back and read things that I have written (other than Facebook). I know I don't write here often or as much as I really want to, but it is nice to have the outlet. I would love to take time more often - but with a hubby that is gone 14 hours a day, 3 kids ages 2 through 9 at home with me all day every day, a house to clean and maintain, and 3 small businesses that I run... I barely have time to think, let alone write it out...

I try to get up early, enjoy the quiet, and sip a cup of coffee before the kids wake up... I am going to try and use that time, every once in a while, to blog here... it doesn't really matter what I am writing since no one out there reads it, but I think it will help me since I don't have many friends down here and I am always busy with the kids and such. I will most likely update about the kids and myself and Bryan, post about homeschooling and our other adventures, and whatever seems to cross my mood...

Camping Critters

 
Caleb is 2 years old now...
where does the time go?
 
We had a small party at home for him with a "Camping Critters" theme...
 





 We had the kids make their own trail mix to go with their party favors.
 




We roasted marshmallows outside and made s'mores.
 


 
And here is the birthday guy, our little baby bear.
 


Tuesday, March 25, 2014

A little family time at the Georgia Aquarium


Bryan has a great job, but he works long hours. He leaves before the kids are awake for school and he gets home only 2 hours before bed time. It doesn't give us much time to do anything as a family, especially with Church and Girl Scouts taking up some of those nights.
 
This past weekend, Bryan decided we needed some time spent together as a family and he surprised the kids by taking us all to Atlanta to go to the Georgia Aquarium. The kids talked the entire way in about what they hoped to see. Ayla wanted to see a clown fish and the 'Dory' fish. Zach wanted to see a hammerhead shark. Bryan loves otters, so he was looking forward to seeing them. I told the kids how much I like the rays and the sea dragons. Caleb, well Caleb just enjoyed his breakfast from McDs. LOL!
 
When we first got there, we went straight to the AT&T Dolphin Tales show. It was a very good show and it was exciting to see the dolphins perform. Ayla was hoping we would get splashed, but we only got misted by the rain.
 

 
We went through all the exhibits, taking our time and taking photos. I only posted a couple on this post, just to save space...



 
Ayla got to touch a couple rays at this touch pool. Zach got to touch a hammerhead shark! By this point, Caleb was deep in the middle of a power nap. 



 
It was great to see so many amazing animals in one building...

 
And of course, I took photos of both otter exhibits... this is one of the river otters. 

 
We watched the 4D 'Deepo' show. Caleb hated getting wet and curled up in my lap to hide. Ayla was excited that she finally got splashed. LOL. We did stop and get souvenirs in the gift shop before we left.
 
We decided to lunch at Varsity. The kids all got their paper caps. It was a good day spent together as a family!!! I hate that we missed church in order to have a special day together, but since it is the only day that Bryan gets off most of the time, we couldn't help it. We don't get to go away for vacations and rarely have date nights, so I guess this was our little day-vacay for a while... I really enjoyed the day together.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Words

I have a long list of things I could tell you about my childhood to help explain why I am the way that I am, but I don't think now is the right time... Let's just say that I never fit in. I moved around a lot. I escaped from my life by reading - total bookworm right here - and it showed. I was an A+ student for most of my academic years. I was overweight until my freshman year of high school. I had serious self-esteem issues. I made some changes in high school - got contacts, dropped almost 50 pounds, and tried to join activities to make myself more 'acceptable' and outgoing. I found approval and acceptance, at least I thought I did. I still didn't fit in the way others did. Everyone had their clique that they were a part of, except me. I seemed to be a part of a lot of different groups and for some reason, I could cross boundaries that others couldn't. I could be preppy, country, goth, nerd - just about anything - and I could connect with almost anyone... but I still didn't feel like I belonged. I did a lot of things in high school to try and find that feeling, many of which left scars...

I look back now and I understand what I was looking for and why I couldn't find it...

I didn't feel comfortable in my own skin. I didn't feel accepted or truly loved by my peers, although there were times when I convinced myself that I was. Of course, I had friends and my loving mom and sister, but I didn't love myself.

I always compared myself to the girls around me. I was either too tall or not tall enough. Too curvy or curvy in the wrong places. Too smart. I worked too hard. I just wasn't the right kind of girl...

I have even struggled with some of these issues since getting married, having children, and moving to Georgia. I was the transplanted northern cowgirl. With my talents, my college degree, my eclectic fashion sense, and my taste in food/music/books - I just didn't fit in to the 'southern, church-going, housewife' mold... I compared myself to everyone around me and never quite measured up to them...

Until recently. In just the past few months, I have struggled and overcome a lot of those feelings/issues. I realized a few things in the past few months...

1. God made me to be me. Not you. Not that other girl. Not perfect. Not substandard. God made me exactly as He meant for me to be. He knew exactly what traits, talents, and trials I would need to mold me in to the person He wants me to be. If God meant for me to be a 5 foot 5 inch, 115 pound, trim and slim - He would have done that. I am 5 foot 5 inches, but my body carried 3 beautiful and healthy babies to term. My body works tirelessly to care for my family. My children and husband don't care that I don't weigh 115 pounds, so why should I? God made me to be me and I trust in Him to know just how I should be.

2. I have taken a closer look at those people that I compared myself to. You know what I learned? They don't like who they are. They wish they were thinner, or younger, or had less grey hairs. They have insecurities. They have flaws and failures. They are not perfect. So why should I strive to be more like them?

3. People are blessed by my presence. Yeah, I know this one sounds a little highbrow and pompous. What I mean is - there are people who like me for being the nerd that I am. They are touched by the caring acts that I do. They are relieved to have me sit and listen and hug them when they have a hard day. They are thankful for my talents - be it organization, sewing, baking, photography, or education - and they appreciate my willingness to share my skills and knowledge with them. There are people who care about me and love me for who I am. I have had people tell me that they feel comfortable, accepted, and joyful to spend time with me. Why should I want to change that?

I am exactly who My Lord means for me to be. I am no where near where I strive to be, but I am far from the person that I used to be.

I have noticed one very important thing concerning my attitude toward myself and found it worth sharing. It is going to sound very cliché, but I hope you continue to read this - hey, you made it this far!

Words. As a bookworm, I know how much one word can change the meaning of a sentence, or story. The same goes for our lives. One word can ruin a happy mood. One word can damage a hurting heart. One word can leave a lasting scar in someone's life. Why do people say things without really thinking about how their words are going to affect the person they are talking to? Innocent statements can be damaging when said at the wrong time or in the wrong place...

If anyone has read this... if anyone has made it this far... I challenge you. I know most people cannot refrain from the negatives of life. Comments slip. I understand.

Today I challenge you to pin a rose on someone. Actually, pin 3 roses. Choose 3 people, any 3 people, and tell them how wonderful they are. Tell them how important they are to you. Really tell them. Don't just say a few words or a couple sentences... We can say flowing and wonderful things when we lose someone - don't wait for that. Tell 3 people how amazing they are today.

Let's change the way we use our words. Let's lift each other up. Make someone's day amazing, just through your words. Encourage. Inspire. Love.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

As usual...

So, as usual, my intentions to post more regularly were totally thwarted by real life...

Zach had a good 6th birthday.

The kids started school for another year. Zach in 1st and Ayla in 3rd. They are both doing very well, above average. Both were referred to the advanced program, Quest, this year. However, since we decided that we are homeschooling this fall, we chose not to place them.

Bryan got a job with a local union that works on movie and TV sets in Atlanta. It was such a blessing. We were able to get caught up on our bills, celebrate Christmas, and are slowly getting out of debt.

We tried to move to a larger house, but things didn't work out. We will be renting our house again for our 5th year. We decided to buy some new furniture and decorations and to fix the place up and make it nicer and more functional for homeschooling come fall.

In the past few weeks, I started fostering dogs with a friend of mine. I guess it is just another way for me to try and make a difference in this world. I currently have a 3 month old black lab female that we are taking care of until she can be transported up north and try to find a permanent home.

There are so many little things that I could write about... but I can easily say, life is overwhelming me again.

I lost the password to this account a while back and now that I have access again, maybe... just maybe... I can try to type a little here and there...

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Updates...

We were able to go to a chiropractor about my back. After x-rays and all the 'bend here' and 'does that hurt', we found out some information about what was going on...

At the bottom of my spine, where my hips are, my spine was out of alignment and leaning left. It was compressing the discs in my spine and causing nerve pain and damage. By the time my spine reaches my neck, I had lost 50% of the curve to my spine. This was causing nerve pain, headaches, and such...

They started treatment and I improved drastically. I was going 3 times a week, but I am now going once a week. I have had little to no back pain and minor shoulder/neck pain. I have had to slow down and stop doing 50thousand things every day. I have to carry a smaller diaper bag and carry it in hand, not on my shoulder. I have to not carry Caleb around as much. (P.S. He is NOT AT ALL HAPPY about that!!!). I just have to be smart and slow and not do as much as I normally do. I also have to use an ice pack regularly to help with the swelling around the nerves.

We also gave up the dog. She has found a wonderful new home. I am still upset about losing her, but at 65 pounds, she was just too big for me to take care of right now. I still get up and feel like I need to feed her or let her out... I know it will pass... It's just going to take a little time. She was by my side through the bed-rest of my last pregnancy. She was a wonderful pet for the 2 years we had her...

I know I need to stick to the Dr's orders and keep on the right path so that I can do what I need to for my family...

Anyhow...

Zach turns 6 years old tomorrow. His party is Saturday. He chose a puppy dog theme.

The two big kids go back to school on August 2nd. That's one week away. Maybe the chaos of life will calm down once we get back on schedule.

Bryan is still looking for another job. I am still selling things online. We are still sinking... I know God will provide before we actually hit bottom, but my type A personality has certainly struggled letting go and letting God handle this financial valley we are in. We have been helped by a few dear sweet friends and we are so blessed to have such wonderful people around us right now. Bryan is waiting to hear from a possible job... just praying and working and waiting...

That's about it, I guess...