234 Hours and Counting…

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As of today, my children have been home 234 hours that they would have been in school.  This does not include the hours they are home when they would have been in hockey and swimming.

234 hours.  I know its daunting for everyone.  I get frustrated and overwhelmed myself at times.  Its a lot.  But do you know what else I think it is?  Amazing.

234 hours that I wasn’t “supposed” to have with my children, I am getting.  I get to have this amazing time that I’ve always said I longed for.  How many times did I reflect on the fact that I missed when I had 3 littles under 3 and we were just together?  Now I have my 3 not-so-little littles here again.  Together.

I know these are hard times.  But I would be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge this giant pause as an enormous blessing too.  I get to be an even more hands-on mom!  Time is something we don’t typically get back but I am!  You are!  Revel in it.  Look at the silver lining that it is.

Be safe.

 

2019

 

Did I ever share my word for 2019?  It doesn’t seem as though I did.  2018 was hard.  My word back then was Wonder.  I found myself full of wonder but in none of the ways I imagined.  Mostly just WONDERing what to do.  WONDERing how I got to a place I didn’t intend to get to.  To be frank, WONDERing that the hell I was doing.

I was glad when 2018 was over.  Its a story for another post.  A story that will take courage to tell and one that must be told when littles (can I still call Clever, Dapper and Spicy littles when they are 10, 9 and breathing down 8’s neck??) are not underfoot with excitement for Christmas…  Its hard because as every writer knows, our stories are not our own.  They are intertwined and weaved with other’s lives and truths.  Our version is but one facet… Still, as writers also know, stories within us must come forth or they overcrowd and corrupt our minds leaving no room for new stories and beginnings.  So I will write my story and you will hear my story in due time.

As it is, 2019 came.  I anticipated it and welcomed a fresh new year.  Not to lose weight (tho I need to), not to quit smoking (did that almost 11 years ago- thank you very much)- no real resolutions were happening here.  I was just grateful to see a new year, pick a new word and begin again.

My word for 2019 was (and for the next 20 days still is) STRONG.

It was deceptive at first, I admit.  Its a bold word and claiming it as my word of the year was daring.  Especially given the fact I didn’t feel it.  I wasn’t sure I believed it.  Okay, I know I didn’t believe it.  But I made it my word and I thought about it every single day thus far in 2019.  I make decisions that will make me a strong person. I work to make my marriage strong.  I strive to be a strong role model for my littles .  I have strong friendships and learned to appreciate them and nurture them.  I was strong in the realization that other friendships weren’t.  This is okay, it makes the strong outshine.  I see them clearly.  I feel that this year – and last- let me see everyone clearly.  I still STRONGly wish everyone well.

I am spending the next several weeks thinking and praying for my next word.  Praying that Jesus just lets it come to me and gives me the purpose to slay all things with my word!

2020, I’m coming for you and I am so happy to keep on keeping on!

XOXO

I miss you still.

I have a notebook I started for you.  Letters written to the baby I was carrying.  Letters that began quite literally moments after receiving a positive pregnancy test.  I suppose its no surprise that being a writer, my first expression of love for you was in writing.  I imagined you having the notebook your whole life.  With it, you would know how adored you were from the start.

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I felt such a connection to you.  I found out you were coming to me on the anniversary of my father’s death.  I thought it some way God was trying to reach me, a wonderful right to a horrific wrong…

I wrote to you often and with such anticipation.  Life was great.  We were blessed.  I tracked your size each week and would read all I could so I would know everything I could about you.

Baby names were kicked around, gender neutral clothes purchased, hand-me-downs from family trickled in and were oogled and fussed over.  My goodness, you were so wanted.

11 years ago today, I had a different entry in our love journal.  The love letter I wrote you was scary.  It was hard.  A mother should never have to write such things.

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I wrote this 11 years ago today.  I am not sure I’ve prayed harder.  This week tested my faith to the extreme.  This week is the reason I left the Catholic Church and declared myself Christian.  This week was life-altering for us both.

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I have wanted to write about you, to you again, for longer than I can say.  I just didn’t know how.  The loss is still breathtaking and I never even got to hold you.  A meaningful footnote is that this last entry is your brother’s birthday.  One year after writing this, he was born.

This stirs guilt in me sometimes.  Had you stayed, he wouldn’t be here.  And as a mother, this is a hard emotion.  Because I feel pure glee that he is here I sometimes wonder if that makes you think I love you less?  I trust Jesus to hold your hand and explain to you that I love you no less.  My heart is big enough for all my children.  Always.

I keep this notebook of ours.  I keep it even though you are no longer here to receive it.  I keep it for myself.

These days there is much debate in our government over when a baby is a baby.  To many in the mainstream, you were not.  This is untrue.  You were everything.  You were loved and you mattered.  You are thought of every day.

Life has gone on and more children have been bestowed upon me.  I am grateful.  I am happy with my role as their mother.  I hope you still feel how important you are and you know the place you hold in my heart.  I will certainly miss you all the days of my life until I see you again and hold you for the first time.

Until then,

I miss you still.

XOXO

Listening to yourself

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There is a voice in us.  A faint whisper, and we can to decide each day whether to listen to it or to completely ignore it, but its there.  Are you listening?

I wasn’t.  For some time, years even, I didn’t listen.  The result?  A feeling in the pit of my stomach that would never cease.  An ache for something missing.  And if I am going to be honest, I can admit that I was so removed from myself that I would not have been able to tell you what was missing even if you had asked.  I had let myself get that far away from myself.  It was a sad time.

Slowly I began making my way back to my center, my passion, my vocation.  What I can tell you from that experience?  I was met with pure bliss.  A reckoning of mass proportions!

Most recently, I have become involved in other things, other things took my time and my attention.  Things I thought would enhance me or make me better.  In truth, those endeavors I sought began pulling me once again from my place of true being.  That time I was now dedicating to new things was taking my time from my vocation.  Promises to myself to tend to the writing were not kept.  Goals I set were not met.  Further and further I found myself drifting.

I will not hesitate to tell you, I experienced true angst in this predicament.  I sensed a huge weight on my shoulders and with each day I wasn’t doing what I was supposed to be doing, more weight was being added.  I felt true pressure.

Here came the voice.  The inner voice.  A whisper at first, barely noticeable.  A hushed voice.  “Remember what brings you joy?”.  More time passed and such, less writing was done.  The voice called again with more earnest.  “Are you doing what lights you up inside?”.  More days checked off on the calendar.  More days just going along feeling like I am hiking further from myself.  The voice boomed.  “Go back to your center!  Do what it is you are meant to be doing!  Make time to be you! Do the work for that!”.

And so I remembered to listen to myself.  A decision was made.  And do you want to know something?  The second I made the decision, the very second I made it, I felt like I could float.  I felt like all the weight was gone.

THAT is how I know it was the right decision!  Listening to ourselves is so critical.  Life-changing and life-saving!

Be still and listen….

XOXO

Vision Board

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I did a thing this week.  I made a vision board to show what it is I wanted my life to look like.  I actually used a notebook that I always have with me so I could keep looking at it as often as I wanted.

I had heard of people making these before.  Targets and motivations to strive for and that emphasize the power of the mind.  The photo above was one of  the photos I chose.  I won’t share the rest here…yet.  Maybe never.  I am not sure.

What I do know is how happy I am to have used this photo and then realized that I am living this part of my vision board out loud; in present time. So many times I hear people tell me they wish they wrote, or they want to write, or they do write but they won’t put it out anywhere in the world.  I am proud that I do.  I am proud that in this vision, my writing is not just a vision.  Its not just a wish.  Its not a someday if I weren’t so busy.  I am a mother of 4 (3 of whom are completely dependent), I work part time at my children’s school, I work at my husband’s business, I have 2 children in travel sports that we have 5 days a week and 2 times each day of the weekend.  Our little Spicy is a swimmer so that is sucking up time.  I also run a part time online business plus I run a household….Can I get an Amen to that?  Bills, laundry, dinners, all lunches packed, groceries, cleaning, etc.  I get busy. Believe me!  Yet, I still find time to be what I believe God calls me to be.  A writer.  Who actually writes.

I encourage all of you to create your own vision board.  A tangible one is best. One you can craft and hold and see each day.  BUT, if you are even too busy for that, make one on Pinterest.  Start making a plan today for what you say you want.  Have your vision become reality.  It is empowering.  And don’t we all just want to feel a little stronger in our own skin?

XOXO

 

Reminder

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I am still here.  I write this as a reminder to myself even more than a notification to my readers.

I have been writing so much these last few months, just not blogging.  I have missed this.

I find myself thinking of this blog often.  I think,

“What do I want to write?”

“What is there to say?”

“Do people really want to hear a housewife’s take on kids and married life?”

“Do I really want to talk about kids and married life?”

“Should I just post works here?  Try to get feedback?”

Lots of questions.  And with full disclosure, I didn’t come to any definitive conclusions.

With the exception of this:  I want to write and I want to write here.

I want to write about whatever I want.  This blog doesn’t need to fit under an umbrella that only touches on certain topics.  It can be all encompassing.   I have no control over who reads, who shares, who cares.  But that isn’t why writing has ever mattered to me.  Writing has been my lifeline since I was a child.  When I was 7 and used writing to help me grapple through my father’s death and throughout my life going through every other hardship and joy.  Writing is home.

So here it goes.  Continuing the act of saving myself.  Using my God-given talent to spend time with myself…and hopefully you all as well.

XOXO

Identity

Who are we really?  Do we even know?  Do I?

This blog calls me a housewife.  Is that all I am?  Will I be that forever?  When that changes, does the blog need to change its web address?  If that changes, am I enough on my own to even stand alone as a web address?

I write.  It ebbs and flows but is that all that is required to make me a writer?  Is it enough?  Does it still count?  Can I call myself a writer when sometimes weeks pass without writing a word?

How much of our identity is what OTHER people tell us we are?  Do we really know ourselves?  Isn’t it time to get acquainted?

I’m in a wondering mood….