Saturday, November 17, 2012

You better Run...

I have an issue.
How after a close to a year of working perfectly does a medication just stop? How can something formulated to do the same task day in, day out just wake up one morning and say, "Today I am done."
10 months, TEN FREAKING MONTHS of consistent behavior came to a screeching halt in August. At first we thought we were imagining it, SJ and I would just look at each other with the look of 'did you see/hear that?' Next the looks turned to, 'Oh my god where did that come from?' Then came the screaming and gnashing of teeth.... And then slowly we began to realize, "OH Hell, here we go again."

It started small, a back talk here, an impulsive reaction there, an inability to stop talking in school. Then it progressed to SJ and I trailing him everywhere he went to make sure that he was behaving appropriately. The calls to his new teacher increased and new plans were formulated, none of which seemed to help. Sentences were written, and written and written again.

I will be respectful.
I will not talk in class.
I will keep my hands to myself and be kind to my friends.
I will be obedient and respectful to my parents and teachers.
I will be respectful.
I will not talk in class.

I will keep my hands to myself and be kind to my friends.
I will be obedient and respectful to my parents and teachers. 
I will be respectful.
I will not talk in class.
I will keep my hands to myself and be kind to my friends.
I will be obedient and respectful to my parents and teachers. 

Some nights 50+ sentences did nothing to change the struggles occurring day in and day out...NOTHING (those of with children ask them to write 50 sentences and see what happens) Tears, screams and frustration occurred but in the end we were all just tired, tear streaked, and frustrated. Only to repeat the exhausting process again the next day. 
One night I was particularly exhausted and crying to a friend when she said, "Emily do you think he can control it? I mean if I told Ladybug she would be writing 50 sentences if she got in trouble, she would be an angel. They are 8, 50 sentences is the equivalent of a life sentence." 
I called the doctor the next day....
It amazed me that in ten short months I fell right back into the helpless routine. 'I can't fix it.. We are doing the same thing we have been doing and it isn't working...' 
DUH... Then make a change. 

How quickly we forget the struggles of the past when things are going well...Thanks friend for pointing out the obvious when I was so oblivious.

So here we go again.

Medication adjustments, controlled environments and constantly trying to figure out what will work best. No Television Monday through Friday, LOTS of exercise and coping skills for all.

ADHD sucks... but it will not define my son, We will redefine it and by God (literally) we will not only survive it we will thrive throughout it. 

I saw this image on Facebook the other day and I love the message. It gives a new spin to the old saying:
'That which doesn't kill you, makes you stronger.' 

This will not kill us. We will be stronger. ADHD better run.


Thursday, October 25, 2012

You are unlimited....

You are unlimited…

As I stare sleepily at my steeping cup of caffeine-free tea that will eventually be sweetened with sugar-free nectar I wonder about the note that dangles from the edge of the cup. This little dangling note is telling me that I am Unlimited and given the circumstances in which I am reading the sweet little note I start to doubt its validity….
At first glance, I am pretty sure I am limited in many, many ways. Some things I limit because I want to better myself and couple of examples would be:
I limit my caffeine intake so I don’t behave like a twitchy squirrel.
I limit my fat intake so I don’t look like a line-backer.
I limit the speed that I drive so I don’t end up in jail.

Given the ability to avoid the negative consequences listed I would drive like an overly caffeinated squirrel whose tail was on fire. I recognize my weaknesses…
However, in other ways I feel that I am limited not by my will to avoid negative consequences but rather just limited by age and responsibility. As a mother of two school age boys who have homework and are involved in sports my time is limited. As an adult who has more on her plate than she cares to admit I feel my mental capacity is limited. And of course as a 30 something my physical capacity is being limited by a grumpy body that seems to both crave exercise and loath it at the same time.
So, does the dangler just not refer to me or is it referring to my laundry… because that is definitely unlimited as is my dust and my dishes… Those areas are truly limitless in my life!
No, no the people at the Yogi Tea Company are not trying to taunt me; I must need to think outside the  "box", or in this case the "tea bag".
Maybe the reason this little note was put on this bag of stress-relief Lavender tea was because I need to be reminded that in FACT  I am Unlimited. Yes, yes the people at the Yogi Tea Co are pretty smart.  They had to know if I am buying stress relief tea then there is a good chance that I am probably stressed and feeling limited in my office or in my dusty house or confined and somewhat threatened by the mountainous piles laundry or in my case, all of the above.
The busyness that comes with my day-to-day life tends to make me forget I AM UNLIMITED.  As a mother, wife, friend, co-worker etc, etc.  I need to be reminded that my day-to-day life does not have to define or confine me, rather I can define my day-to-day life by remembering who I am and not being consumed with the busyness.
I have an UNLIMITED ability to love, dream, grow, and continue to be anything that my heart desires. I only become limited when I start to focus on my limitations. So today, Thanks to a beautiful little note, I will focus on the things that give me energy. I will focus on the positive things which make me smile; my heart sing and my mind explode with the UNLIMITED potential of this day!


Friday, September 14, 2012


The LORD is my shepherd,
I shall not be in want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
He restores my soul.
He guides me in paths of righteousness
for his name's sake.
Even though I walk
through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the LORD

I am so troubled lately. I am saddened by the pain I see all around me and I am defeated by the fact I can do nothing to ease the fracturing hearts I see in my world. I know the older I get the more reality I am exposed to because I'm no longer the one being protected, but now, I am the protector. The last few months have been a crash course in this role and I'm truly saddened by the way my heart is coping. In an effort to protect myself and be able to support those in need, I fear I have become callous. This callousness is not physical, nor do I feel that it is reflected in how I function around people but, rather the callous has built up on my heart and dulls the aching. I am certain that without the callous, let's call it Fred, I would have crumbled to bits weeks ago. So, Fred has his place. The part I am struggling with is, I don't like not being able to experience each and every emotion that comes with each and every situation. Fred has made it nearly impossible to cry in situations that would normally make me weep. It has steeled/stilled me against the heart-wrenching thoughts that pour into my psyche and has made me feel almost mechanical in dealing with things that are incredibly painful and require emotion.

This sucks.

I am an emotional person. I am not afraid of crying, nor am I afraid of dealing with the possibilities that this life brings BUT I don't like the numbness that I currently feel.

Perhaps I need to be grateful, God has given me this protection and have Faith that this is what I need so I can be the influence he desires. If this is the case then I pray, in earnest, that God's grace will be sufficient to cover me. He know I have never been good at accepting what I did not want.

The Plans of my Lord and Savior are Mighty and WAY out of my league, so who am I to question what I don't understand.

I just pray for the ability to be what he wants me to be, not what I want to be, for each of those beautiful, wonderful people who are coping with their new realities.

One thing I have asked from the Lord, that I shall seek:
That I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life,
To behold the beauty of the LordAnd to meditate in His temple.
For in the day of trouble He will conceal me in His tabernacle;
In the secret place of His tent He will hide me;
He will lift me up on a rock.
And now my head will be lifted up above my enemies around me,
And I will offer in His tent sacrifices with shouts of joy;
I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to the Lord.


Thursday, September 13, 2012

What Simple looks like....

This is a follow-up on my previous post and my goal of simplifying life. Here are a few steps that I have taken to reach this goal....

Step 1:
We started a minor construction project that moved us out of our bedroom and reduced our living space by a half bath and 350 square feet.

Step 2: We adopted a new pet, Marty the box turtle.  We have no clue how to care for him or her, so my time spent on google is greatly increased to prevent a new addition to the 'pet cemetery' in the back yard. 

(The current tenants of the cemetery are two fish, three frogs, 1 crawdad, 3 lizards and a salamander.)

Step 3:
We started soccer for LJ & EJ which consumes 3 nights a week and a couple of hours on Saturday.

SO...PROJECT SIMPLIFY isn't really off to a great start but I am pretty sure if my life was simple I would be bored.


Saturday, August 25, 2012

Guilty as Charged

I confess... 
I am guilty as charged...
I knew there was nothing wrong with my tires...
The truth is, Sir, I really hate putting air in my tires. In reality, I didn't want to pay $1 for the privilege of wrestling a nasty hose which is ALWAYS beside an overflowing trash can. I get my pants and hands dirty, then I usually injure myself in some incredibly minor, yet unbelievably annoying way. Only to drive 20 miles down the road and have the low tire pressure light come on AGAIN. I will be happy to pay you for the inconvenience... 
Please forgive me...
How my kids see me...
This is what was running through my head as I sat clean, comfortable and non-injured in my truck. While I was sitting there feeling guilty for feinting ignorance on the issue, a very nice man at my Shell Quick Lube was going from tire to tire making sure this ridiculously easy task was handled properly. I just KNEW, at any minute, this extremely nice gentleman was probably going to call me out for being a prima donna and wasting his time.
Then it happened... He came to my window and said, "Everything looks fine. You had one tire a little low but the temperature was probably exaggerating the issue. Have a wonderful Day!!" "Great" I say, "How much do I owe you? Nothing, Are you sure?" Oh..Okay...!"
The guilt was unbearable...
Not only did he handle this job I hate, but he smiled throughout the process and wouldn't even take a dollar for the air and even turned down a tip...
Luckily, before the guilt got too out of hand and I went back and confessed my sin to him, I had a moment of clarity. These moments are rare, so I try to pay attention when they occur...
'I NEED TO STOP FEELING GUILTY FOR EVERYTHING! That nice gentleman was doing his job just like he does every time I pull in to get my oil changed. Heck, as much time as I spend in there he probably recognized the sound of my low pressure tires as they squealed into the parking lot!'
Of course this moment of clarity sent my over-active, under performing mind off on a tangent.
Why does asking for help or for someone else to handle something make me feel, at minimum guilty and at worst like a failure?
Where in the world did this idea come from???
I am certain that no one has 'put this evil on me' so where did it come from?? I certainly didn't feel this way when I was younger. Heck when I was a teenager I took pride in getting things done for me and when I was in college I called the maintenance man at our apartment complex to change a light bulb!! So why, at this point in my life, when getting up at 5am and not sitting down until after 10pm doesn't get the tasks at hand accomplished, do I feel guilty for asking for help?
Insanity is the only answer that makes sense....

SO, my goals for the next month are the following:

  1. ASK FOR HELP! No matter how small the task...AKA- Air in the tires...
  2. TRUST OTHERS! Just because they don't do it my way, doesn't mean it is the wrong way.
  3. SIMPLIFY! It is okay to eat out after 3 hours of soccer practice. 
  4. SAY NO! Don't volunteer for anything else for at least four weeks. 
  5. FOCUS INWARD. My family deserves my attention and it is okay to refuse to work with people that cause me to lose focus on what is important.
  6. ME TIME. I need family NEEDS me to have this time, Heck I am pretty sure the world NEEDS me to have this time!!
So there, the task is presented and I will be reporting back on how it goes.


Saturday, July 21, 2012

Can I ask you a question?

Over the last few weeks I have been asking ALOT of questions. For example, Why if the kitchen sink gets a terminal clog, will the back bathroom toilet blow a pump, while the front bathroom sink blows a water line? I didn't realize plumbing was similar to wild dogs and babies....if one goes wild the whole pack goes crazy...
Why does our cat HOWL at 3am? And when I say howl I mean he acts as if he has his tail is permanently lodged under a self-rocking rocking chair! Is 3am the kitty witching hour? If so, how do I de-witch this hour without tossing the cat out the backdoor like a stinky bag of trash. If we don't get this cat fixed soon I may toss him out the back door and firmly hang on to the two round objects that seem to be causing the issue....
AND WHY, OH WHY, does it go for weeks without a drop of rain and then rain for days on end? My children need at least a few hours at the pool or outside to prevent my hair from spontaneously falling out! Their cabin fever doesn't wear well on me.... 
And last but definitely not least,
"God...Why is this happening?"
Although I am constantly asking many questions about why things happen the way they do, I think this last question is probably impossible to answer and maybe even a controversial to ask.
Are we supposed to question God?
Can we scream at him?
When we are faced with Everest sized moments can we stomp our feet, scream at the top of hearts, if not our lungs, "WHY!?!?! THIS ISN'T FAIR AND I DON'T WANT IT!!!
Right or wrong my heart and lungs have been screaming lately. These last few weeks I have seen and felt pain and frustration that is beyond description. And through everything I have heard many people say, "Don't question God's plan. Have faith that this will lead to his glory... although we can't see how, these nightmares WILL work to his glory."
I do not pretend to have faith that will move mountains. I don't. I try but in the face of great struggles I feel as if I barely have the faith to move a mustard seed. That being said, I don't think God expects us to go through the deepest valleys without petition. So, I question him, in anger, in frustration, in complete lack of understanding of how any of the current situations can lead to good, much less Glory.
And I feel a like God is saying, "It's okay! Question Me, cry out for understanding!"

I see it like this, on occasion SJ and I get sideways with each other...Let's say he doesn't fold my undies the way I like them folded. We have been together for 10 years, so this shouldn't be an issue, but lets say it is... When I open my drawer and see the problem I can handle it one of two ways. I can slam the drawer, I am a slammer when I am mad, then I can proceed to slam everything I touch for the next two days while saying, "Nothing is wrong Dear... I am Fine!" OR I can talk to him. Depending on the situation talking could involve just talking or screaming, crying and stomping feet. The important part is the communication. If we communicate we will learn from each other and get closer. If we don't communicate and continually internalize the small things, the small things will become big things and the big things will become insurmountable.
I believe God is okay with questions, pleading, even anger and frustration. He wants us to scream, 'Why! Why, did this happen? I don't want this and I don't want to prove I can handle this!'  When we cry out to God, in anger, in frustration and in sadness, when we yell, cry or plead we start the conversation, we start the healing and begin to move past the initial emotions. When the emotions are exposed they can begin to heal then we can begin learn from God. We will grow closer to him, learn to lean on him solely and start to experience the peace that surpasses understanding. Without the conversation, the grief overwhelms, the pain devours and the anger destroys.
So, Can You Ask A Question....YES YOU CAN!!

11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity...
Jeremiah 29:11-14


Monday, June 25, 2012

Calm of the Deep

Tide Rises, the Tide Falls

Photo by D-Wight
 all rights reserved
Along the sea-sands damp and brown
The traveler hastens toward the town,
And the tide rises, the tide falls.
Darkness settles on roofs and walls,
But the sea, the sea in darkness calls;
The little waves, with their soft, white hands
Efface the footprints in the sands,
And the tide rises, the tide falls.
The morning breaks; the steeds in their stalls
Stamp and neigh, as the hostler calls;
The day returns, but nevermore
Returns the traveler to the shore.
And the tide rises, the tide falls. 

-Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

I love the ocean... I have always loved the ocean. I loved it when I was a child, even when I got stung by jellyfish. I loved it when I was a teenager for the freedom it presented.  I loved it even more when I was in college and learned to scuba dive. I spent a tremendous portion of my Sophomore and Junior years under some type of water, whether it was in the HYPER building pool on UTK's campus, the springs of Northern Florida or in the Florida Keys. Training myself or others how to truly enjoy the depths of the ocean devoured me in college.
People would often ask,"Are you not afraid of the depth, the critters, or various other possibilities?" The answer was always, and still is,
"No, the depth brings a peace I can not explain, you just have to experience it to understand it."

When you are 100 ft underwater the silence is exhilarating, the calm is so deep it rings to your core and the beauty is unimaginable. Pictures do it no justice and words can't lift it high enough to explain the overwhelming calm and peace that comes from being totally cut off from the world. I guess I should say, you aren't TOTALLY cut off because I am certain if the boat disappeared and the tank pressure dropped to zero the OH SO amazing calm would flitter off like a school of fish being stalked by a Great White. You are, however, cut off from the effects of this world. You hear nothing, save the air bubbles flowing from your regulator, you see nothing, but the vastness in front of you and you feel nothing, but the very gentle ebb and flow of the ocean around you.

I think the last part of that statement is probably one of the most impressive experiences I have ever been blessed enough to experience. No matter how rough the ocean is on the surface, when you are deep in the ocean's belly the roughness is reduced to a slow, gentle movement. I remember one time we were going to a dive festival in the Florida Keys and the water was so rough that half the potential divers were 'feeding the fishes' while praying for God to calm the seas. It was rough... BUT the dive master promised us that the rough ride would be worth it when we got to the deep water festival. "This was going to be awesome" he told us, "when we get out to the reef all the dive boats will be piping music into the water and you will be able to swim around the reef and listen to the best beach music" But the only music we heard at that moment was yak & hurl, a green band with lots of members on our little dive boat. So let's just say, I had my doubts, at this point, that the dive would be as smooth as he was promising. When we reached the reef, the ocean was delivering roughly 5-6 foot waves but at the dive masters encouragement we suited up and jumped in.... SMACK....wave....CHOKE....inhaled wave.... I couldn't get deep enough, fast enough! So I exhaled the air from my BC and sank like a rock into the deep, rough waters.
Then it happened~ I huge wave rolled by, I saw the boats rock and roll above me and all I felt was a gentle lift and fall... ebb and flow.... I was astonished! For the next few minutes I floated, suspended in the middle of the ocean like a fish, just absorbing the gentle movement of the water around me. I knew the waves on the surface were not calm, I could see the boats rolling and smacking the surface, but the movement I felt was SO gentle! It was amazing to recognize the difference just a few feet of depth could make in the how I experienced the world around me. After a few minutes of floating the dive proceed and I got to experience life on the reef while listening to steel drums, not as peaceful as a normal dive but definitely a fun experience.
I had not thought of this dive in a long time, and then, a few Sundays ago Dr. Haun was talking about the Fruits of the Spirit, you know: Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness and Self Control; but specifically the fruit of Joy. In his sermon he mentioned that while Joy and happiness are often linked they are not the same. Happiness isn't always an indicator of Joy and Joy is not always reflected as happiness. While happiness is based on outward circumstances and conditions, true Joy is inward. Joy is a tremendously deep dimension of delight and enthusiasm that can't not be rocked by the ups and downs (ebbs and flows) of this life. Joy comes from the inside, a deep place within our heart and mind that stills us against the waves of this life.
When we are hanging off the back of the boat of life, wrenching up our toe nails, we know as soon as we jump in the depths of God's word we will feel peace. The movement of the situation will still be present but it will not rock us to the core.  The Joy the Bible is talking about in Galatians 5: 22-23 & Psalms 28:7 strengthens our core so it is not shakeable. It makes us solid and able to withstand the outward waves with out losing our inward enthusiasm.


Friday, June 8, 2012's been a while...

I apologize for the extended absence.  I had no idea how wonderfully exhausting May would be, but good news.... I SURVIVED! I have been told some people have resorted to watching reruns for the last month and for this I am terribly sorry. Although, I was told the reruns were of the Big Bang Theory.  At least the laughter continued and maybe you can catch me up on the reruns because I have even missed those!

Here is a little summary on what we have been up to and why 'It's been a while...'

It was a rainy but great day!
Me and my beautiful Mom!
Mom completed her BSN, which you can read about in Perseverance. This degree was a long time coming and getting it finished in the midst of full on life was something worthy of celebration!

Mom and Her classmates.
The Sonon Sharks!

1st grade graduation.
LJ wrapped up a STELLAR year in 1st grade with a fun-filled field day, rockstar day (with a rockstar teacher!) and a 1st grade graduation. With previous struggles in the shadows and wonderful, WONDERFUL teachers in the present and future LJ has never been more excited about school!

My two rockstars and Mrs. Sonon

EJ is crowned.
EJ and GG
Then, we got to see a new king crowned, as EJ accepted the crown of Mr. Treehouse. He then graduated. In his acceptance speech he vowed to be as cool and charming as ever when he moves to his new school in the fall.
EJ gives the thumbs up!

Then came the birthdays....OH the birthdays....

Mom's Orchid Cake.
Mom's 60th. 

Mom's birthday was a surprise and took some planning, but ended up a wonderful night with 'old' friends.
Reminiscing with friends,
 family and photos.
LJ turned 8 this year and decided that he didn't want presents he wanted to have a shoe drive. We still had to have a little family party for him.

EJ turned 5 this year and wanted a zombie cake! This one took some work but thanks to Amy Fraser and her creative cakes, he got a 5 year old friendly zombie cake!

The Shoes.....
The Shoes... Over 250 pairs!

As I mentioned before, LJ came up with the idea to collect shoes at EJ and LJ's annual combined birthday party (downside to VERY CLOSE BIRTHDAYS). He said, "I don't want presents, I want people to bring, used, big, small, fancy or plain...the type doesn't matter I just want SHOES!" He just wanted his friends to help support a foreign mission. He said that he had enough toys...mama almost hit the floor, while EJ hit the ceiling...he wasn't quite on board with the no presents idea....=)  SO, this took a little more planning than a normal party. I will be happy to collect the shoes but then what? How do you get them to a foreign country? Who does this and what do I need to do to get the ball rolling? FYI the who and how was answered with Hearts of Christ Ministry. Can I make this a successful event? Well, YES!  If your 8 year old child wants to do a mission event for his birthday, YOU MAKE IT A SUCCESSFUL EVENT!!!

And a success it was! We sent out the invites, prayed for a beautiful day and asked our friends and family to come support LJ and EJ in their mission to help others. 
The delivery to Hearts Of Christ. The shoes will
be distributed locally and in Belize.

The Friends...

And last but not least...

The Anniversary...10 years!
The famous self portrait...

Two kids acting like adults....

Me and the Mister at Chateau Elon.

More to come VERY, VERY Soon.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Does this blog make my butt look big?

Okay, I have been wearing a certain company's undergarments for several years now and I have a bone to pick, well... technically a wedgie to pick with this company!
Everyone knows this company.
They push their panties with all the angels a man can dream up, even though I am sure devils would be more comfortable in the product they are pushing! No, this is not a rant about scantily clad models flashing their over-processed bodies at me and my family. In all honesty I would rather see those bodies than the ones that are generally inflicted on me every time I head to 'Wal-My-lord-did-no-one-love-you-enough-to-stop-you-before-you-got-out-of-the-house-in-that!!!
No...the wedgie that needs picking is either their undies are getting smaller or my butt is getting bigger! I know. I know. This sounds like a personal problem. 
Some of you maybe saying, 'buy your drawers elsewhere', while others are saying, 'take the hint you are no longer part of their target demographic' AKA I am outta my 20's and over 100lbs. Oh! who I am kidding, 120lbs. And some of you may have already clicked the back button for fear of where this little rant is going. Oh well! For those of you that are still here, HERE IS THE QUESTION:
If you are wondering why they are smiling
 it is because this underwear don't creep!
WHY, if my booty has shrank 3 pants sizes, do the new pair of angelics I just got BARELY cover the hind fracture???  NO, I didn't try anything new or fancy. Sorry dear! I got the good ol' standards, well as old and standard as the pantie-pushing Angels offer, and too bad I had to work today because I should have been at the movies, as many seats as I have been picking! 
I need to 'ass'certain the correct answer to this question because if my booty shrinking is going to cause further shrinkage of the fancy panties, I will for the love of womankind and my sanity stop working out and eating right. This only seems fair because if the unders are going to fit the EXACT same no matter what size I am, then TO HECK WITH IT.  Life will be much more enjoyable with a Five Guys Burger, fries and milk shake in one hand while the other picks my seat!

I guess until an accurate answer can be ascertained and as long as they are going to keep sending me coupons for free undies I will continue to exercise, eat right and attempt to squeeze my average size derriere into those freebies!


Saturday, May 5, 2012


Perseverance: Continuing in a course of action without regard to discouragement, opposition or previous failure.

Walking the Walk

3,794,928 people will turn 60 this year, of that 3.8 million only an incredibly small portion will also graduate from College... My Mom, Pat, will be one of the few that fall in both categories. Now this isn't the first college degree she has attained. The first was received in 1977. But to fully appreciate the dedication it required to get both of these degrees we have to start in 1975.
In 1975 Mom was pregnant with my bother, I mean Brother, (who I shall refer to as Dork) when she decided to apply to the inaugural class of a new nursing program. My Mom knew it would be difficult to get into this program because it was new and A LOT of people wanted to be a part of the program. So she decided to apply the first year, believing she didn't have the 'experience' to make the list the first year. But with high hopes of getting accepted the following year. This would have been ideal because the Dork would be 1-ish if she was accepted year two and this would give her more time to get motherhood and wife-hood under her belt prior to going back to school.
Mom at her first Graduation in 1977
This was a grand, grand plan but as usual she had under estimated her abilities and was accepted into the inaugural class. When she started school the Dork was 5 weeks old. For the next 2ish years my mother worked her tail off to finish Nursing School while working as a nursing assistant and raising an infant/toddler. I am a working mother and it is kicking my tail, I can not imagine putting school on top of the current Chaos....But she did it,  powering through work, constant mounds of homework and pee covered books...the Dork figured out if he peed on the books Mom would have to stop studying and let them dry. Therefore, allowing her time to pay attention to him. He was a genius at an early age... Despite all this my Mother graduated in 1977 with an Associates Degree in Nursing, her RN license and a job at the local hospital!  WOOHOO! Smooth Sailing! Outta school, Outta diapers, and Outta weird work hours (sort of). My parents thought they had finally caught that, OH SO elusive break!
Hehehe....Life has a frightening sense of humor....
Mom and Dad smooth sailing....
After a few, short months at her new job she got wonderful news that a bouncy, baby girl was going to make her entrance into the world. She says she cried profusely at the news... I have always assumed they were tears of pure Joy!
1978 came, as did I, and went as did the next 33 years...
Me, Mom and Dork in Maine
In those fast moving years Mom worked day and night (literally) to help provide a comfortable life for  Dork and I. She strived endlessly to improve herself, and us by proximity, as she and Dad showed us we needed to work hard so we could explore and enjoy the world around us.
Over those years she worked her way through the ranks of nursing while finding her niche, in the OR.  Then she worked her way to the top of that niche, and became the Director of Surgical Services and the President of East Tennessee Association of Operating Room Nurses (AORN). This would satisfy most, but, she longed for one more thing. The one thing that two children and life had caused her to postpone over and over. Her Bachelor's Degree.
The Fam...

Today, May 5th 2012, you will graduate for a second time, this time at the top of your class. This time, the small people demanding your attention were your grandchildren. The lack of sleep wasn't from an infant, it was from the stresses of a full time Management position, where your performance affects the livelihood of others. This time, you had something more than pushy children and exhaustion...this time you had an aging and ailing parent who also needed you. So, to say the stresses were many, is to put it lightly. Yet, once again you powered through and never quit. Even when you wanted to quit, you stuck with it.  You persevered to the finish, your 2nd college graduation, the one you did for you. I am so proud!!! You are an amazing woman and have taught me life isn't easy, BUT it is mine and, therefore, my responsibility to make it what I want!
Me and My Mom

Thank you for being you and being a wonderful example of beauty and grace in the light of stress and chaos.
I love you and I am SO proud of you!!

Monday, April 30, 2012

Coulda, Shoulda, Woulda

I Coulda spent Friday night cleaning up from the busyness/business of last week, but instead I chose to do something a little more fun. I loaded up my family, a few friends and we watched the characters of childhood dreams float gracefully through the sky.
"Daniel teaching EJ to Fly"

Shoulda spent Saturday carving down the mountains of laundry in my basement. However, due to the beautiful weather I decided there was nothing wrong with mountains and my time would be better spent elsewhere... The yard did get watered & carved down and the sun melted away the stress of the prior week. 

"No..this isn't us...but you get the gist!
I Woulda worked on cleaning up the hairballs, dust bunnies and clutter mounts invading the Jenkins' Ranch. But the idea of warm bread, garlic dipping sauce, cool salad, hot homemade lasagna and family made the invaders seem like guests to the party. Although uninvited, they were unimposing and unimpressive in the light of the laughter and conversation.

I Coulda done a lot of stuff. I Shoulda done even more, and I Woulda done it all but as the saying goes.....
When the Coulda, Shoulda and Woulda's are what you miss out on, Life is what you get to enjoy!


Friday, April 20, 2012

One Gray Hair....

I found a gray hair...
in my eyebrow...
SJ says this is were it starts &
it is all downhill from this point...
he would know...

I think this grey hair is a sign. A sign the stress I store neatly down deep has finally started seeping to the surface and an impending explosion is very near. Now if you are a friend or family member you are probably safe. If you are a customer you may want to take cover....
My family and friends are the ones who already deal with my stressed out state.  My customers, the ones who push me to this stressed out, wild-eyed (with a grey hair) point, reap none of the blissful insanity to which they drive me. This stinks!! I am so nice to the people that push me to the edge and so short-fused with the ones I love. Yes, I know my customers help pay my bills & this does play into the control I display. However, how many of those customers are going to be around when I am old and GRAYER to wipe whatever needs wiping????  Yeah...the room falls silent...
So as of today I think this dynamic is going to have to change.  So far only one of the troublemakers has gotten an ear full and this was after four e-mails and five phone calls in less than an hour. FYI....THERE IS NOTHING I CAN DO TO FIX THE ISSUE YOU ARE HAVING IN AN HOUR... If you are one of those people who harass and harass to get a situation handled because you have heard the ugly rumor 'the squeaky wheel gets the grease' let me clarify something, you may get grease but it may come from the bottom of my tire when I chase you down...' Please don't be this person....
Okay, so back to the lone gray, eyebrow hair... I am not fond of the idea that my hair is deciding to verbalize my frustrations! What right does my hair have to out me? If I can manage to keep the stress under control and minimize the number of times I blow a clients ears back, why should my hair 'turn' on me???  I guess maybe an unnamed child or husband could have been praying for something to get my attention...
Surely they wouldn't be this cruel....
***no customers were harmed in the making of this post...***

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Chocolate Milk, Baseballs & Family

I was watching Peter Pan with my boys tonight and one of the Lost Boys asked Robin Williams, "What is your Happy thought Peter?" The adult Peter Panning couldn't remember... So I asked LJ, "What is your happy thought? He responds immediately with, "My Family." Then I asked EJ, "What is your happy thought? And he responds, "Chocolate Milk and Baseballs...."
Such honest and innocent answers. 
Although I don't miss being a child, I do miss the simplicity and magic that comes with childhood. The smallest things are completely infatuating and the most complicated things are reduced to, 'Is it worth it the consequence?'
I love my kids and I am so excited to watch them grow but at the same time I am terrified of the day that the magic fades and life becomes a balancing act. At this point in their life they see only good and believe in all the magical parts of life which seem to fade in adulthood.
I have had a rough work, at home, but most importantly in my head...
Thank goodness my boys only see the good. Mommy screams, cries, pouts...they tell me it will be okay... When I fail to see how it will be okay, they hug me, love me, kiss me and make me giggle. Then I remember that all the 'stuff' that is weighing so heavily on my heart is just 'stuff' and the little arms that hold me are all that matter. When I fail to see the magic in the world around me, I can feel it in their arms and kisses and hear it in their sweet, sweet words.  I love my boys, the innocence that engulfs them, the forgiveness that radiates from them and love that pours from them...
No wonder the Bible says in Matthew 18-3:
“Truly I tell you, unless you change 
and become like little children, 
you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

Children don't over think things or don't give more weight to a situation than it deserves. They simply believe that everything will be okay...
And it is when we choose to Believe.