I’m back and happy about it …

I took a few months off from writing. Well, I guess I was still writing just not the way I usually do and I didn’t publish anything. It’s the longest break I’ve taken away from my blog since I started it. And although a break was much needed, I did miss it terribly. This blog has very much become a part of me. The daily hope and silliness I seek to write when I am “here” is so valuable to me. It’s a habit that is now hard to break. And that is very good thing.

This summer was all about possibilities, opportunities and change. So I guess I just felt I needed to give myself some time to feel it, figure it out and to grow with it. To put it mildly we have had A LOT going on over here. For starters, I took and completed an herbal apothecary class that I needed to keep up my Nutrition and Wellness Consultant Certification. I absolutely loved the class. I learned SO MUCH. I couldn’t wait to personally add and implement the things I learned into my lifestyle. It definitely took up a chunk of my time but it was well worth it!

We also had a busy summer getting my son, George, ready for his year abroad. He left for Europe a few weeks ago and he’s settled into his dorm now. He’s enjoying the language and cultural summer program he’s enrolled in and will start his university classes in a few weeks. He has made some nice friends and has been able to do some day trips already. I am so happy for him! But as wonderful as all of this is for him, it’s been really hard on this mama’s heart too. I miss him HUGE and the worry is like NO OTHER. But like I always say, there is nothing more beautiful than watching your child chase their dreams. BIG SIGH.

Our summer wasn’t going to be complete without a few visits from my oldest daughter, Sidney. Luckily she had some time before her summer classes started to hang out with us. She lives in the Bay Area full time now and when she visits it’s always a whirlwind. We pack so much in when she is here that it’s shocking. I need at least week to recover when she leaves, HA!

Anyway, we also took a few small local trips for fun and a big trip back East to do some college visits for Libs. That is another season that we are in … again. This is my third senior year as a mom. It’s a time filled with an abundance of heartbreaking LASTS and exciting FIRSTS. Libs has a lot on her plate with school, tennis and performances this next academic year. I hope that she enjoys this time and savors every moment. I know that I will. History reminds me that this will also be an incredibly busy and unpredictable season with the completion of college applications, acceptance letters and decisions to be made. It’s a roller coaster to say the least. Libs has worked hard (this may be the biggest understatement I’ve ever written) to open doors for herself. Now I put my faith in God to decide what doors He will allow her to walk through. As a mom I’m ready for whatever opportunities come her way and I trust that God’s plan for Lib’s future will be good and that she will end up exactly where she needs to be.

On top of all of that I had some big decisions to make this summer about Reese’s schooling. At times, schooling for my typical children was hard to maneuver through, but having a child with special needs, I find that I put a whole different level of pressure on myself. I am so worried about making a mistake. This little girl deserves the best. MY BEST. I am her voice and I am her advocate. Responsibilities that I do not take lightly. As a social worker I typically feel like I know my stuff. I confidently move forward with my decisions once I think I have finally done enough research and had enough meetings and consultations to make the best ones for her. It’s getting to that point that makes for a stressful process. It took months to work out, but plans are set for the next three years and I feel good about them. Thank god.

So between ALL of that, birthdays, holidays and LIFE, I felt that my focus was needed elsewhere. And a lot of elsewhere-s at that! But as usual I severely underestimated my need to write daily. Be it a brief blog entry or a long journal entry, I need it. Writing is the creative outlet that nurtures my brain and my heart equally. I forget how much I process my world and my experiences through writing. And along with running and yoga I find that it’s part of what keeps me happy, healthy, growing and thriving.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you are back doing what you love!!!

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Pull it together …

After a crazy month I feel like I am finally reeling it all back in. Life has calmed the heck down. Or, probably more likely, I have a better grasp on the life season that we are in. I like this feeling. It’s like everything goes from completely unraveled to being more closely knit together and stronger. Life can be pretty awesome that way.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you pull it together!!!

Finding out who you are …

Over the weekend I found myself at Urgent Care with Reese. Saturday night she presented with some signs and symptoms that seemed vaguely familiar to me. After putting all the pieces together, it hit me like a ton of bricks. Reese has a hernia. Sure enough, my suspicions where right. She was diagnosed with an abdominal hernia, and after seeing her pediatrician yesterday, they suspect that she may also have a small ulcer from stomach acid and the stress she experienced from vomiting so much. This makes everything she has been through the past few weeks finally make sense to me. Which thankfully brings me a lot of peace of mind. Not knowing was very upsetting. But with the learning of this kind of information, actions must follow. This is when being a social worker, with a boatload of medical experience, and a mom all seem to come together perfectly. Or so, this is my hope.

If you ask most people who know me, they will say that I’m a pretty happy and excitable person. But when it comes to stressful situations, I’m calm. Unusually calm. So calm that it often angers my children. They think I’m too “matter-of-fact” sometimes. But I honestly, can’t help it. Usually when I’m presented with a fairly stressful situation I consider the information I am given with objectivity and discernment. I look at all of the facts, tap into my existing knowledge on the topic, research any questions that I may have, develop a plan and go from there. This whole process gives me a feeling of control over seemingly out of control situations. This also pairs nicely with a promise that I made with myself long ago as a way of dealing with some anxiety that I was experiencing. I don’t worry about ANYTHING unless it is literally sitting on a plate in front of me. The bottom line is, for the most part, I can remain rational when most people can’t. But I will tell you that as a parent, having dealt my children’s health issues in the past and as of present, this can become hard. REAL HARD. I am thankful that I can boast a pretty successful track record of “pulling it together” … so far.

I admit that in the past few weeks I have been emotional regarding Reese’s health. Her symptoms have been concerning and I was presented with no solid answers to why she was experiencing them. Well, we had some, but my mama’s instinct said that there was more. And there was. But that period of unknowing really unnerved me. Thankfully, we now know what we are dealing with. And even better, it’s fixable. THANK YOU GOD.

So now it’s time for action and THIS what I’m good at. THIS I can handle.

Today we see the surgeon. It is all happening much faster than I expected. I’ve already done a ton of research on treatment plans and I feel ready for this meeting. Finally KNOWING the UNKNOWN I feel confident again. I want my daughter pain-free, symptom-free and restored to her happy healthy active self. I know that these goals will keep me focused, grounded and driven. And that feels good.

When I earned my MSW in 1995 it was YEARS before Reese was even a thought in my head. Yet it is through her that I have a complete understanding of my being. You see, God knew she was coming. Gracefully and purposely He molded me into exactly what Reese would need to live her best life. He educated me through books and life and love to turn me into the mommy I am today. A mommy full of crazy fierce protective unconditional love for this incredible little girl who has so much to teach the world. Today that mommy and the social worker in me collide (again) and I get the privilege of doing my life’s calling, my purpose, for her. For this amazingly beautiful little soul that God has gifted me with to raise and to love. I can’t help be but humbled by His trust. And grateful. So. So. Grateful.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you find out who you are!!!

Thankful for a new day …

Yesterday was HARD but I can’t complain because everything worked out okay. But because it was so stressful and because I was absolutely exhausted last night, I honestly wondered if I’d wake up sick this morning. Thankfully I didn’t! I woke up early and ready to go with memories of yesterday behind me. I love that my mind and body continue to be resilient after experiencing difficulties. I’m not sure if I am going to maintain this ability forever, but since I’m almost 50 now, I think that I have a pretty good shot.

Well, I hope you all woke up thankful for a new day!!!

I hope He is right …

Some days I am faced with some stressful junk. I really try to make peace with moments like this. One way is by telling myself that this is God’s way of reminding me of how strong God thinks I am. BIG SIGH.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you hope He is right!!!

No opportunities on hold …

It’s been one heck of a week. A wonderful week filled with lots of exciting things, but holy moly, it’s been exhausting! Last night I was out late too. I’m not sure what I was thinking, HA! I knew morning was coming with all of its responsibilities. But you know what? It was worth it!

I thank God every day for doors that He opens to life’s adventures. Big or small, timed or untimely, they are all a blessing. So I seize them! If I have learned anything over the past year it’s that life can leave you tired in two different ways. The first, from being weighted down by stress, worry and other unpleasantries. And the second, by getting out there, despite it all, and having a ball anyway! Regardless of how hard it may have been at times, life has taught me to chose to do the latter. And it’s never served me wrong when I have. This decision to ACT and not WALLOW has allowed me to share incredible experiences with some beautiful souls that I would have missed otherwise. And THAT is what, I like to believe, is the definition of a life well-lived.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you don’t put any opportunity on hold!!!

Run down …

At the end of another busy day we found ourselves out to dinner AGAIN last night. UGH. To put it into perspective, Libs didn’t finish up at school until 7 pm and she probably could have stayed longer if I had let her. Again, UGH.

Sitting at dinner last night I was abundantly thankful that I didn’t have to cook. I really don’t like eating out during the weekdays, but I was so tired and hungry that I didn’t care. I’d even been feeling a bit sketchy earlier in the day too. Almost like I was about to come down with something. I dismissed it because I’ve been so busy and stressed these past few weeks. Add in the poor night’s sleep that I had the other day when Reese had her growing pains and it wasn’t a good equation. I, however, chose to remain in complete denial. Bad idea. Again, again, UGH.

As we were enjoying our not-homemade blessing of a dinner last night, I caught a glimpse of something on Reese’s face. SNOT. Her nose was dripping ever so slightly. I instantly began claiming that the chill in the air both inside and outside the restaurant must be causing it. As she began to drip more I moved into accusing allergens as the culprit. This was clearly a desperate stretch since the child doesn’t even have allergies! By the time we got home Reese was in full drip mode. Somehow I still managed to give her a bath, dry her hair and get her into bed a few minutes before her bed time. Moments like that, I feel like I have magical powers.

Unfortunately the magic wore off pretty quickly. My poor baby girl was not having a good nights sleep. I rubbed her back, repositioned her and cuddled her all night long. At around 4 am she seemed to be more comfortable than she had been all night and was sound asleep. I was SO THANKFUL!

So what did I do? Sleep, right?!?! NOPE. I got up and rummaged through paperwork. Really Jennifer, REALLY?!?! Oh and I forgot to mention that at some point in the darkness of night, my denial officially wore off. I began to feeling sniffly too.

1000 times, UGH.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you don’t feel run down!!!