The lemons of life

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My husband has wrecked almost every car he’s had. His first blue Honda met with a guard rail, if I remember correctly, on a winding road in Colorado. My favorite car, a purple-ish blue Passat Turbo slammed into a curb deploying the air bag and some other awesome-ness and then after a very bad storm, hit a tree and it probably got crushed after we sold it to a junk yard a year or so later. So when he texted me last week that he had an accident in this car, I was neither shocked or surprised. I was not very happy however.

The week  before I’d just texted my dad asking if he thought I should pull this 1999 car off of full coverage. We’ve added a teen driver to out policy and I was looking for way to cut some financial corners. Seemed like a good idea. Original my dad said yes, cut it but after I explained why I felt maybe it wasn’t a great idea (sometimes I just need to bounce ideas off people, even when I know the answer), he agreed, it was worth keeping. I think it was a premonition because that above? It is a totalled 1999 VW Jetta. Thank God I didn’t drop that insurance.

They towed it away Monday. I watched briefly as the man pulled it up onto the tow truck. The skewed Broncos sticker in view and I this time I didn’t feel sad because it’s just what it is. There is nothing I can do about it and it worked out. They’ve already cut him a check for way more than I expected and he will likely have a new vehicle by next week. Nothing more to worry about except maybe a higher insurance rate and how I am going to buy a car for Devlynn now that her car has left the building. But things work out and we make lemonade out of the lemons of life. Because it gets really tiring to be mad at people all the time. Equally so to be  upset at things you can’t change. Hindsight, it’s such a silly thing. Although I admit, I dropped a few F-Bombs.

By nature I am a glass half empty kind of person. So it was hard for me not to go off the deep end on this one.  If it can happen to a person, it will happen to us. Although by some grace of God we have avoided anything catastrophic. Our children are all healthy, wonderful and wise and though I feel very lonely at times, we are often surrounded by the loved and kindness of people when we really need it. I take that as God’s way of knowing that I can only take so much people and he offers up who he can when he knows I need it most.

This year we decided to allow Devlynn to join a mission trip to Belize. A huge, huge jump for me. I am sort of on the fence about short term missions and out of the country missions in general but, I want for her all the things I didn’t experience and this mission seemed like one of those things. Floating around is an article about how short term missions don’t really help and when I first read it I felt a pang of guilt as I raise money and apply for passports for just that, a short term mission but I think for a teenager, it’s different. She isn’t yet equipped to change the world but this might the first push in the right direction. For all we know, it’s not their lives we’re trying to change. Those we serve on these missions.. but our own. Because sometimes it takes building a house for someone else to push us start building our own. I can’t wait to put Devlynn on that plane and hope that it’s the first steps into something life changing. I won’t let that half empty attitude tarnish that. Especially when, by some grace of god, 300 cake pops later and the love and support of friends far and near, she was able to raise the money plus extra to take this journey far before her deadline. And not without some tears of humility, joy and thanks. And a REALLY BIG teenage grin.  It just proves to me it’s where she and I needed to be. Her on a plane and me trusting that I am doing the right thing by her. Even if the cake smell may forever be embedded in my hair and I will never be able to thank those who supported her enough.

So the lemons of our life end up sweet.. even if we only have a half glass.

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Ps- Thank you to everyone who supported us thus far on Devlynn’s journey to Belize. In thought, in finance, in prayer and in love. All mean the world to us.

 

 

 

Dusty lenses

IMG_3794It’s March 15th and I have taken 166 photos total in 2016. Now I try and remember that this is just from my “big camera” and there are plenty of memories on my phone but we all know what happens to those phone photos.

Nothing. They just sit on your phone.

I started taking photos when the kids were little. But I had always sort of had a bug in my ear about photography. It started with a short stint on the yearbook committee and a dark room that I can still smell like it is in the next room.

But camera gear is expensive. And when Devlynn was born, I relied mostly on my mom to take photos because even though I had a small camera, diapers were more important than film.

I bought my first DSLR with money I earned making a logo. And it took off from there.

There are 100s of thousands of photos in my collection. Until now.

Because I don’t love it anymore.

Depression is a funny thing. It is a thief of joy. To put it mildly. Anxiety coupled with depression? They’re like the Natural Born Killers of joy. Taking you out piece by piece and laughing all along the way. My depression tells me not to bother to take the photos and my anxiety reminds me I am not good enough anyway.

Together they say, “why bother?”

“Why bother” is winning.

Baseball has started. I am hoping it will rekindle that spark I had. I do love sports photos. I can say it’s one of my favorite things to shoot. But after watching all the things my anxiety said I couldn’t do, pass before me… I stopped shooting games too. Because anxiety tells me that I can’t edit like that person and even if I could they wouldn’t hire me anyway. I’m not a man. And I am definitely not one of the boys. And my gear is so old, who am I kidding. Hello again anxiety.

After Davis was born I took medicine for awhile. I can say it helped me not feel sad or anxious but reality was it made it so I just didn’t feel much at all. And I had to decide whether I wanted to be not sad or I wanted to be me and sad sometimes. I picked me but there are weeks and days and hours that I think maybe it was the wrong choice. Because it’s really exhausting to hate everything about yourself. And even more tiring to be sad all the time. I’m tired of being sad.

And I miss being the me the sad is stealing.

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I’m just not sure what to pick.

This morning was a rough one. Last night was really the start. I sat trying to turn in an idea to 99Designs but had a baby crawling up my leg, two big kids wrestling loudly and a 4 year old wailing over a 8 hour old boo boo. And I was alone. Baseball practice. And I snapped. And everyone got yelled at because I just wanted 20 minutes to work. Or 20 minutes to watch a show without someone crawling up my legs. But everyone always needs me. And I never get a moment alone. And I don’t have anything that’s “me” because the sewing always waits for laundry and I always come home to insanity.  And we’re constantly going and the introvert in me is dying slowly and painfully.

So this morning when Davis pulled his typical sloth game, I snapped at him and when I asked him what was wrong with him, he said he was lazy. Who do you think taught him that? Me. The crushing sound of those words coming out of his mouth. I think I will hear it forever. Hearing “lazy” is different then teasing him about being a sloth. To think you’re lazy? When you’re just a boy learning. Shame on me. Shame on me. Our voices are our kids thoughts. So often I forget that. So very often.

Hopefully he will forgive me and I can tell him he’s not lazy. Because he’s not. He’s 11. And he needs to learn how to be a man. At 11, you still sit on the couch and it’s always someone else’s fault and it’s my job as his parent to teach him…  not scold him and make him feel like something he’s not. Because while he’s sort of slothy,  he’s always witty and smart and kind and wonderful in so many way. And we’re not all a million miles a minute.

I have to get out of this cloud so I can be a better mother.  But I am just not sure what to pick. I can’t let my sad be my kids’ futures. I just keep thinking of the therapy bills. And I can’t figure out how to fix it…

 

 

 

 

The Things I Should Have Said | #BehindTheBlogger


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I can remember what the door of the car looked like as we wound around the mountains of Colorado. I don’t really remember if it was dark outside or if the memory is just so dark that it feels dark in my heart but everything in the memory is that of gray. A black and white that can’t be duplicated in photo. I remember looking at the door handle and feeling the car juggle my body around and then I remember he was gone and I knew he was never coming back.

My parents divorced when I was very young and my biological father is/was a bad man. I like to think in the years since he was so awful to my mother, that he’s changed but I know better from conversations with my half brother. I saw him periodically growing up. I remember a brief visit at Easter and car ride with blankets from our mother’s home to his, almost an hour away. I remember racecars and Camel cigarettes and two tiny boys who were my brothers. I remember all the mean from that house and all the sad when I knew I’d never see him or the tiny brothers again when he created an ugly scene in the San Jose airport.

I also remember how it felt to know your parent didn’t want you. I still know, with the full burn of a fresh wound because I think about it looking at my own children. I think about it more then I probably should.

Sometime ago he tried reconnecting with me on facebook. It felt uneasy and sad and I can remember the hurt I felt when he called me by a childhood nickname that means nothing now but did then. He told me I take after a man who I knew only bad about. The only stories I’d ever heard were of suicide and sadness and now he was comparing me to him. He asked about my kids and I told him and he asked about my brother and I told him only a little because I almost felt like he didn’t deserve to know him.

But I was kind. As kind as I could be. To a man who left me so damaged that I am almost 40 and I can’t help but feel worthless. There was so much I should of said to him. That I didn’t because I don’t want to hurt people, just because they’ve hurt me.

The things I should have said to him, GO AWAY. You don’t get the privilege of knowing my beautiful children. A perfect stranger stepped up to be my dad and HE gets the privilege of being their Grandpa. You don’t. Ever. I shouldn’t have to share their names with you because a REAL DAD doesn’t walk away from their kids and so they get to know their grandkids. A real parents doesn’t  let kids feel worthless into their adult life. A real dad sticks around when there is no money and when they hate the other parent because real parents do whatever it takes to be a part of their children’s lives. Love doesn’t come from money, love comes in time spent and you missed out. You don’t  get to know my kids. Ever. It’s the one thing I can’t bend on.

There is so much I should of said and instead, I gave you grace. I don’t know if it’s true but there is suppose to be healing in forgiveness and I am choosing to forgive you but never forget.

I should of said, I’m sorry but you’re not privy to my life anymore. But I felt like grace should win.

Sometime last year I unfriended him. I haven’t looked back. I feel sad for him. And for what he misses. And someday just saying the words, words he’ll never read are enough to begin to let go. I can’t imagine leaving my kids. I can thank him for teaching me that lesson. I know what not to do to my kids…

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