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.

 

 

 

Hi! I’m Gail, the voice behind Mimicking Motherhood. I started blogging after the birth of my 2nd child as a way to connect with far away family. Things have definitely changed since then. Now, mama to five, this is a place to help connect with other mothers, who feel like me.I love to make and write all while trying to figure out how to be myself in the world of anxiety and depression. Glad you stopped by.

Cookies or grapes

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January and February are particularly tight months for us. It’s after the holidays and a birthday and I just have never had much work in the cold season. When I was shooting it was because of the cold but now that I mostly focus on graphic work, I think the slow period comes from other people’s tight months too. I am a meal planner, a frugal shopper. I utilize both Aldi and freezer meals. I have to, I’m feeding 7 and 5 of them are boys. We do what we can to get through the lean months. All of the time I worry, all of the time we come out okay.

Yesterday I took my weekly budget to the store for the staples I can’t keep in stock. Milk, chocolate milk (yes, I know how much it costs), bread, bananas, apples, carrots and some treats for today’s school Valentine’s party. I got healthy snacks this time and pre-cut, non-brown apples are where it is at. I buy eggs at Grocery Outlet though. You can get 2.5 dozen for around 2.00. Dexter eats at least one egg a day and with baking and what not, I need eggs all the time. It’s conveniently next to Dollar Tree too. Win win.

I wandered around the store for awhile, taking note of new items and how their produce looked. I grabbed lunch meat and some frozen fast food for the days when dinner doesn’t come till 9PM and then I stood in line behind a woman who smelled lovely, like the woods but didn’t crack a smile and counted her money over and over. 26.00. I couldn’t help but count with her. She’d placed most of her items onto the belts but held onto a bag of grapes. And when it was her turn, she asked how much they were and when the checker  replied, she dropped her head and asked the checker to put them back.

I couldn’t help but notice she’d chosen two, several pound logs of cookie dough over those grapes. And I wondered, without judgement, why?

I played out several scenarios in my head. But I couldn’t help but think why I’d of chosen the cookie dough. If my kids needed a treat for school, they’d signed up for it, for a party, and I couldn’t bake, I would’ve chosen the dough too. To make sure they fit in, to make sure they have what they need. And while cookie dough doesn’t seem like a need to some of us. I might be a need to them. Did she chose her kids over herself? I couldn’t help but think those grapes might of been a want, a need for her. That she gave up to makes sure someone else was taken care of.

As a mother I always try and put my children before myself. Often at the sake of sanity. I want grapes. I want them but their need for cookie dough always comes before mine. When they need a haircut, they get it. When I do? It waits until I make sure their needs are met. It’s what parents are suppose to do, isn’t it? There is so much huff and puff these days about self care. You need time for yourself, they say but when it comes at the expense of your children, how do you choose self over the people you brought into this world and promise to take care of.

Tough being a mother.

My self care has fallen to the way side. I don’t go out much and though a tried and true introvert, I still experience the longing for connection. I just think it’s not in the same way of the masses. I am never going to go to moms night out but I would really like a mom friend at baseball. Even if we don’t talk, it would be nice to breath in the presence of her and her of me. But my going out? It’s Cub Scouts and while I cherish and value the time I get to spend with my Drew and I think Chuck, Steve and Charlie are pretty much the bomb.. .I couldn’t care less about how to build a tent and I am a TERRIBLE Pinewood Derby car creator. I’m trying to retrain my brain into taking those moments in as “self care” but I find myself thinking about what it would be like to be 17 again sitting at a table on the Pearl Street mall listening to Open Mic night at Penny Lane cafe. It was my self care. My connection to people, my  grapes.. and I am missing it. This weekend, at a Cub Scout related volunteering, I listened at the pastor taught about rest.. and I thought, I never rest. Even when I am still….

I feel fortunate in the fact I have a couple pretty stellar online friends. I chat with two every day. Both too far to visit daily but close enough that if I filled up my tank I could go see for a few days. I’ll do that some day, when there is more time for me.

The days are long but the years are short, they say. I think while I struggle with it right now, ultimately I am doing the right thing by my children and kids by giving them the very best I can. But I think I need something, even if it’s little, just to myself.

How do you self care? Or are you, like me, struggling?

 

Hi! I’m Gail, the voice behind Mimicking Motherhood. I started blogging after the birth of my 2nd child as a way to connect with far away family. Things have definitely changed since then. Now, mama to five, this is a place to help connect with other mothers, who feel like me.I love to make and write all while trying to figure out how to be myself in the world of anxiety and depression. Glad you stopped by.

Monday, Funday

Baby DexterToday’s joy? Miss J. She’s Dexter’s speech therapist. I admit, she and I had a rocky start. I didn’t probably give her the chance she deserved as we were walking away from a therapist who I thought was awful. We had a rocky start with her too and so I can admit, I was not the most welcoming mother.

Dexter showed signs of delay early on. I sort of ignored it as we’d been down a similar road with Davis but he eventually caught up and hasn’t stopped talking. But Dexter was different and he threw a lot of fits and there were lots of tears from him and from me. He started speech therapy late. But both his speech and behavior therapist were lovely and we saw instant progress early on. When he aged out (quickly), I sadly said goodbye to people I loved and was welcomed into cancellations, schedule changes and comments about how tough Dexter was and what a bullhead child he was. It was ugly. And I couldn’t wait to be done. I think when she said she hit his goals, I just blindly agreed because I was hoping we’d be done with her. Another mistake on my part.

When things changed and we lost her as a therapist I was hesitant with the new girl, J because it was more time changes and more uprooting of the schedule but ended up being okay. I still am not married to Monday meetings because we’re out of school on Monday a lot but besides those “misses”, J has been consistent and good at communication.  Even gives me a little grace when I can’t talk in the hall… because, anxiety.

Dexter’s showed so much improvement. The fits have been fewer and he’s started to really do better but he’s still, very behind. When I hear the other little people in his class, I know he needs a little more help and that’s fine but I always had sort of an aching when I thought back to the original therapist decreasing his time and me agreeing to it.

Today we met with her and his teacher and the school director and he’s going to get more help. And it’s because they all fought for him. It was nice to know we had some awesome people on our team. It’s nice to know that I’m not just making up these delays in my head and that he really does need a little extra help… and that he will be getting it. A joy filled ending.. or beginning.

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He gives me joy. He’s wild and witty and funny and smart and kind and good. He’s just a wild man. I love seeing things through his eyes. Tonight we made lasagna together. He and I. He knows what to do and he loves to help. Now if we could just get him to figure out that the oven is hot, we’d be good to go! I love having him with me.

He’s catching on. And everyone says how kind and sweet he is at school. They see the same gears I see and it makes me happy that someone is taking the time to get to know and love him like we do, like I do. Sometimes it is hard to have one of “those kids”. He was the one people pointed at when we at baseball two years ago. We’ve had many a days where we had to leave cart fulls of groceries and go.

But with help from J and his amazing teachers and preschool he’s on the best track possible. It’s my joy knowing he is so loved.

(I miss his teeth, lol the no teeth is super cute but look at that grin)

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Hi! I’m Gail, the voice behind Mimicking Motherhood. I started blogging after the birth of my 2nd child as a way to connect with far away family. Things have definitely changed since then. Now, mama to five, this is a place to help connect with other mothers, who feel like me.I love to make and write all while trying to figure out how to be myself in the world of anxiety and depression. Glad you stopped by.