Sad to see it go …

Around here September is our second busiest month of the year. December is our busiest. With school starting in late August and Libby and Reese‘s birthdays both at the beginning of September, it’s downright crazy around here especially when we add in dance and sports. At about the middle of September, right after all the birthday celebrations are over, there comes an easy Sunday and all I feel is relief. OK, and a little exhaustion. It’s also the day that I begin to emotionally wrap my brain around the fact that summer is ending. But not this year. Last Saturday night we had Libby’s birthday party and Sunday morning we thought it was a great idea to switch Reese into a different bedroom. This took a solid two days and it was no easy feat for any of us. I have two significant injuries to prove it, HA! But I have one happy little girl so it was definitely worth it.

Ahhhh … summer’s end. I guess there is no stopping it no matter how busy we may be. This transition to Autumn is never an easy one for me. And although it may have come a few days later than usual for me, I am still feeling a familiar reluctance in bidding farewell to my favorite season.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you are sad to see it go!!!

Feeling happy …

I am pretty sure our birthday kicked-off weekend has been a success. Libs and Reese have had a lot of fun. We have a few more things planned for today and then we will be heading home. Libs mentioned yesterday that she wants to do this every Labor Day weekend until she graduates. I quickly realized, that means ONE MORE YEAR. Talk about a flood of emotions rolling in! I can’t seem to ever wrap my head around how quickly time passes. After raising two children to adulthood (and now almost a third), you’d think I would have a handle on it by now. NOPE. Anyway, passing through our days can often seem LONG. Our challenges NEVER seem to end. And there is ALWAYS something to do. But when I look back on all of it, I can truly only see the beauty in it. I can’t help but feel blessed to have had the privilege of raising these incredible souls. And despite the struggle I often feel of “letting them go”, when I look back on the life we have shared together, I find myself overwhelmed by one feeling.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you feel HAPPY!!!

Raring to go …

We had a long day and a late night yesterday. ALL GOOD! We are kicking off September with some traveling fun for Libs and Reese, who’s birthdays are just around the corner. I’ve decorated our suite for the occasion too. We have traveled enough around holidays and special events that this has become my “thing”. My family things I’m a little kooky for doing it, but I love it! I enjoy decorating even when we aren’t at home because it makes it even more festive! Despite being up late I found myself awake insanely early agin. I am above and beyond excited to start our day … but everyone is still asleep. Ugh!

Well, I hope you all have a day where you are raring to go!!!

2018 and Free …

2017 was a year filled with so much LIFE … and I couldn’t be more thankful.

I started 2017 in full recovery mode. My second round of meningitis at the end of 2016 was no less devastating than my first ten years earlier. I knew the healing process I had laid before me. At times that knowledge made it worse. Other times it made it better because I knew what to expect. I think in a way it made me more compassionate to myself. A rarity, indeed. But I wasn’t myself and I loathed it. I spent months in a fog. My days were filled with naps to combat the unrelenting fatigue and lists because my memory was so poor. My anxiety was at an all time high. I dealt with a significant amount of PTSD that came with an intense amount of anxiety. I was frightened I would have another recurrence. And that pain is NO JOKE. Understanding the severity of my encephalopathy was unnerving. No one can figure out how I was functioning “normally” with the amount of brain swelling I had. But I believe that the terrifying drug reactions I had after I got home really pushed me into a whole new level of fear. I literally thought I was dying. I don’t think I had ever been that scared in my life and sadly it has stuck with me. I can still get to that level of panic with even the smallest of triggers. Yes, healing is a long process. But I am happy to have to the opportunity to do it all again. This could have gone a different way for me and my precious family. And I refuse to be anything but grateful. Refuse.

In January 2017 I somehow convinced my doctors to let me train for a marathon. I truly believe that this was a huge part of regaining my strength again. As the days passed I got stronger and stronger. My memory improved and my fatigue got better with each passing day. If ever there was a time in my life to redefine myself, this was it. And it was incredibly liberating. Who could have ever imagined that the very illness that confined me gave me so much room to grow?!?! Definitely, not me!

When I look back on 2017 it is with mixed emotions. My illness and recovery made it hard. But life still happened. And that made it WONDERFUL. I was able to celebrate George’s high school graduation and watch him plan out his future. I was in awe of the growth that I saw in all of my children. Being a part of their daily lives is a gift from God that I will never take granted. NOT EVER. Summer was just straight up FUN. Having all four kids home for the entire summer was something I needed more than anything. Family heals folks, family heals!

Traveling was also a huge part of my 2017. We took lots of little trips and I was blessed with an amazing trip to Alaska. We celebrated birthdays and accomplishments. YAY, I was there and healthy enough to enjoy all of it! In 2017 I even managed to complete all 16 CEUs to keep my nutrition certification. Now THAT was a miracle having struggled with memory issues, HA! There was so much more too. The privilege of having these experiences and all the others often left me feeling overwhelmed. Like “WOW, thanks God! I’m here, alert and actually living this life!” Words can’t capture how I have felt time and time again. “Humbly blessed” comes to mind but it still falls gravely short.

Anyway, my point of writing about all of this is that regardless of the underlying need to heal and recover, life amazingly still engulfed me and took me with it. Despite the tough times I faced I felt an abundance of joy. I loved every difficult and fantastic moment of 2017 and everything in between. And surrendering to my new journey released me and allowed me to redefine who I was … again.

2017 was hard, but it was also beautiful. THAT sums up life in a nutshell. And as long as I have breath I will cherish every moment of it. If 2017 has taught me anything, it was that I do not have to remain tethered to unpleasant circumstances. That my mind, body and soul can still seek and find the freedom that hope gives us even in our darkest of hours.

So I guess that brings me to my 2018 New Year Mantra. Here goes …

Well, I hope you all have a year where you feel FREE!!!

A wonderful day … 

I. Love. July!!! It’s my favorite month of the year! Between birthdays and the 4th of July we have all sorts of reasons to spend time with family and friends. All the busyness leading up to each event keeps the whole month filled with excitement. LOVE!!!

And today was no exception. I had lunch with my stepmom at Mendocino Farms up in downtown Los Angeles. I had the best tuna melt I have ever had in my life. No joke. If you ever get the chance to eat there … do. It’s fantastic. They are inspired by the Slow Food Movement and Sustainable Farming. And boy oh boy you can tell! The food is fresh and delicious. Anyway, enough about my lunch, HA!

The busyness of the day lingered far into my night. Running errands, decorating and prepping for the 4th of July. Which incidentally is my second favorite holiday (Thanksgiving tops the list). I ended my day by hunting down all the components of what my cousin and I felt we needed to adequately celebrate Saturday. Two words: S’MORES BAR!

All in all, it was a pretty perfect July day!

Well, I hope you all had a wonderful day!!!