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Life As A Fire Wife

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A Piece of My Life is Missing

It is Mother’s Day. I am blessed to have 3 beautiful, healthy, and energetic boys and 1 angel baby in heaven. But the thought I woke up with this morning was about my mom. She has been gone for nearly 8 years now and today it feels like there is a hole in my heart, that a piece of my life is missing.

My life has changed so much since my mom passed away and although the mourning/grieving has run it’s course and I feel that I have completed every stage, it’s like it comes back in waves, on birthday’s, holidays, mother’s day, at random times when I am in the car and a song comes on that reminds me of her, or when I’m doing dishes or laundry. A few months ago I was purging my basement and I found a stack of cards people sent me after she died and I sat in my basement and just sobbed while I was reading them.

My mom was my best friend, a feeling I never shared with her because while she was alive, quite frankly, she was a pain in my rear. I can say that without remorse because it is the truth and I know that I was a pain in hers too. She worried about everything and everyone all the time. She was loud. She liked to listen to the same songs over and over and over again. Did I mention how much she worried? She was a professional at it. But honestly, as I grew up, we grew closer and it was rare that a day passed that I didn’t talk to her on the phone. And then, she was gone. And while I have many close friends and several best friends, no one can take that place and no one can fill that void. Not my husband, not my kids, not my friends, not my sister, who feels the same loss, but feels it differently than I do. Nothing of this world can fill that hole in my heart, only God can. God gave us emotions and it is a beautiful thing. It allows us to be happy, joyful, and excited while it also allows us to feel anger and sadness. And it is ok to be sad. God has been sad too. And even though God can fill the hole, the loss is still there, because of the deep love I had for my mom. The loss will always be there, the hole will always be there, the sadness will always be there, God will always be there, and my hope in Him is what get’s me through those days of sadness.

Despite the sadness I had a choice to make today. I wanted to stay in bed and just be sad, just for today, but that wasn’t an option. My hubby was on a 24 today and being the awesome man that he is, he wouldn’t have allowed me to stay in bed and be sad even if he was home. So I put my big girl pants on, got out of bed and chose joy today. I prayed this morning and last night that I would love with everything I have and that I would be obedient to God. So I showered, made my kiddos breakfast and got us all to church. I hugged my kids a ton, showered them with appreciation for the homemade gifts and cards they made me at school and chose love at every turn because without my boys I wouldn’t be mom. However today is not called kid’s day, so I did spoil myself too. Instead of reheating leftovers I made my favorite foods(like bacon and things consisting of chocolate), veggies, because according to Logan’s all about my mom poster, my favorite food is salad(which is pretty accurate) and smoothies(chocolate). I put my pajamas on while lunch was cooking and after the dishes were done(only the pans, it’s mother’s day so we ate on paper plates of course) we settled down to my favorite movie, “Mom’s Night Out,” which if you haven’t seen it I highly recommend, and if you watch it with me, I will recite every line because the writer’s obviously read my mind when they made this movie. The main character is even a blogger(just sayin!). Followed by two rounds of Monopoly Junior with Evan, and then another funny movie, “Cheaper by the Dozen,” while Logan served my various play dough treats, followed by dinner. After dessert I chose a long story time, because one of my favorite things to do with my boys is read to them and while I have been skipping snuggles this week and even though it took longer to get through the bedtime routine, I snuggled each of my guys tonight and thanked them for being mine.

And after they went to bed, I texted my wonderful friend who lost her mom weeks before I lost mine(which is how we became friends-grieving buddies I guess) and said, “I miss my mom.” To which she responded, “I miss mine too.”

And I do, I just miss her today. But really it’s no different than any other day, just a deeper awareness because today has a label on it besides just Sunday, Mother’s Day. And knowing what I know, knowing how I felt today, I’d like to treat every day like today. With love, joy, and thankfulness.

Today I fired my tooth fairy…

Today I fired my tooth fairy. She really sucks at her job. It is really very simple. Child loses tooth so tooth fairy goes into child’s room and places $1 under sleeping child’s pillow. Easy peasy right?!

WRONG!!!

This mama really needs a sweet little pixie to fly into her house, sprinkle some pixie dust with her magic wand and do the job for her, FOR REAL!

I’m sorry, but once my sweet little cherubs have stopped wrestling and burping for the day and are finally tucked into their beds, all sweet and innocent- MY BRAIN SHUTS DOWN. I am no longer capable of performing any mommy related tasks. Give me a book or a hallmark movie with a cup of tea or a bowl of chocolate and I’m mush.

2 times in the last 7 days, my tooth fairy failed. This is how it all went down.

7 year old came home from school last week and informed me he lost his tooth, but then lost his tooth(like didn’t bring it home, it was gone, just like his water bottle, his daddy’s water bottle, his baseball cap, etc etc). “Will the tooth fairy come even though I don’t have my tooth?” He innocently asked. “I guess we will just have to wait and see,” I told him. The next morning, daddy gets home from his 24 hour shift, we are all waking up and I realize, oh no! I sneak into his room, place $1 under his pillow and sneak back out. I strolled out into the living room and asked him if the tooth fairy came and he said, “Oh, I forgot!!” He runs into his room, climbs his ladder to the top bunk, finds a dollar, instant happiness. I pat myself on the back for a job well done, thankful for my absent minded professor.

Fast forward to yesterday, 7 year old comes home from school, lost another tooth, but didn’t lose it this time. Perfect storm right here. He just lost a tooth, he shouldn’t be losing another one already. Husband looks at me and says, “I don’t have $1.” I say, no worries babe, I got this one.

And then 7 year old comes into the bathroom this morning while I am in the shower and says, “the tooth fairy didn’t come.” Um uh, “Oh, really?! Are you sure?” I ask. My guy is so disappointed, so I promise I will help him look as soon as I get dressed. I end my shower real quick, get dressed, get child 2 and 3 settled at the table with breakfast, sneak $1 into my pocket and say, “I’m going to get some clothes for your brother, I’ll be out in a minute.” I sneak into the room, place $1 under the covers, get the clothes and join the boys in the kitchen.

After breakfast I tell child number 2, let’s go look in your bed. He says, “I looked under my pillow already, it’s not there, she didn’t come.” So I say, “Well did you look on the other side of your bed? You know you move around a lot in your sleep, it could be anywhere!” He moved his blanket out of the way and instant relief, there was $1.

As I’m writing this, I realize that I am lying to my child a lot in the last week. I also realize that I still have one more kid who has not lost any teeth yet. I’M IN OVER MY HEAD, PLEASE HELP MY TIRED BRAIN! And please send pixie dust.

We just celebrated 11 years!

April 29th, 2006 was a gorgeous day. The sky was clear, the air was cool. Why do I recall this day so well? It was my wedding day 11 years ago. 11 years ago I married the love of my life. This guy is the greatest, sweetest, most awesome man EVER!!

When we met, 16 years ago I was a “nomad without a homeland.” I did what I wanted, when I wanted, with whoever I wanted. I would come and go, as I pleased. I worked, I partied, I went to school, I had fun with friends. And then I laid eyes on him and my life changed, right then and there.

So our love story began in my friends house in NY the summer of 2001 after our freshman year of college(at least his freshman year, my credits were questionable at that point). Long story short, ready? My friend R met his friend K at UMass. R and K became friends and decided to room together sophomore year. K came to visit R on a long bus ride from Boston to NYC. K brought a friend along for the ride, her friend, my future husband. When I walked into R’s house and saw him, I had the butterflies in my belly, weak at the knees, every cliché there ever was, I became. I knew at that moment that my life was about to get flipped upside down.

And it did. Two nights in a row, I stayed at R’s house. Two nights in a row, hubby and I stayed up well into the morning hours talking about everything. You know those days when you are getting to know someone and there is so much to talk about that you talk all night and can’t believe you just stayed up all night but didn’t even make a dent in your life story that is only 19 years at this point? I got two of those nights in a row! And then, he was gone. Want to know what an independent bad@$$ I was? He tried to give me his phone number and I refused to take it. I gave him mine and pretty much said, “it’s all in your court.” I can’t believe I did that. I know exactly why I did that, but I still can’t believe I did. Why did I? Because right before I met him, I promised myself that I would start getting serious about school and about my future. I had went out with too many losers and partied a bit too much. After we met, I knew that this was going to mess with the promise I made to myself. So I left it up to him.

Obviously, he called me. And so began our beautiful relationship. It’s funny because all those others who weren’t the one, kept me from my goals, kept me from being my best self and because of that I could have let him go. But he wasn’t like the others. He encouraged me, listened to my thoughts, shared my dreams, and made me want to be a better person.

Now here we are after 11 years of marriage and I’m so thankful that God brought me this man. God’s plans are so much better than mine, ALL THE TIME!! There are so many things I have learned about myself, about my husband, about life, about God, and about marriage

*Marriage is not designed to make us happy, it is designed to make us holy. God has a beautiful plan for marriage and it is to bring glory to Him. It is not about ME ME ME. And the times where I get lost in the ME ME ME mentality are the times when our relationship suffers. Marriage is uniting two people to become one. When we make decisions they are for 2 and we have to consider how our decisions, our words, our day to day affects one another.

*With that being said, marriage is hard!! People are born selfish! We want what we want when we want it! You have to work for your marriage. Just because you already know everything about each other doesn’t mean that you just sail through life like two ships passing in the night. You need to remember likes and dislikes. Serve one another, surprise one another. TALK TO EACH OTHER. Love each other.

*It really wasn’t until I performed a wedding ceremony for 2 dear friends, one of them being my bff in the 2nd grade that I really began to understand what marriage means. I recall sitting down on my couch with my bible and laptop researching how to write a wedding ceremony. I learned the order of the ceremony, the symbolism of the rings and the unity candles, and the most popular scripture readings read at weddings. Coming from a broken home, I knew in my heart that marriage is supposed to be forever, but I don’t think I realized the seriousness of this commitment. Wedding vows are promises that you make to your spouse and God, a covenant. Rings being a symbol of this promise that should not be broken. The unity candle, representing 2 separate lives being joined together as 1, to share 1 life together. Unfortunately, our society has made marriage to be easily disposable. Don’t misunderstand, what I am saying, there are reasons, valid reasons for divorce, but falling out of love is not one of them, because another thing that marriage has taught me is that love is active, a choice that we have to make every day. Even when we are lonely, overworked or overwhelmed. I know that God gave me my partner in life to cherish, not just in the good times, but in the bad times too. So all those words about in good times and bad, in sickness and in health, til death do us part, are so much more than just words. Because before “I do” things can be fun and light, but after the “I do” life happens, real life. Families join together, people get sick, babies are born, jobs change, there are moves, finances to manage, and so many other things. And for better or worse means not walking away when the going gets tough. In 11 years of marriage my husband and I have both lost a parent to cancer, have moved 2 times, my husband has been through schooling, job change, more schooling, I have struggled with an adrenal fatigue diagnosis for several years, we have had 3 great kids which was 3 C-sections for my body, and also had the pain of losing one very early on due to a miscarriage. This is life. I am so blessed to have my husband by my side through all of the ups and downs.

Recently when I was thinking about our anniversary and how we have been together for 16 years, I couldn’t wrap my head around what my husband saw in me back then. I was such a lost girl, floating around from place to place, getting into trouble, and the complete opposite of him. And then I thought about our marriage and  I  couldn’t wrap my head around how he can love me all the time. Sometimes, I’m not a nice person. I can be selfish, emotional, rude, angry, etc etc. But despite all of these things, he loves me anyway. He loves me with  an unconditional love. And the only explanation I have for that is that it is a gift from God, His grace and mercy.

When we were out on our anniversary, my husband asked me, if I could change anything about the last 16 years what would it be. I could think of several things that I would like to change about the past, but I wouldn’t choose any of them. I know that things that have happened, the trials, have changed me. They have grown me into a stronger person, a better person. The book of James says, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” James 1:2-4

My life, my marriage is not perfect, it never will be. But I would like to call it a work in progress. Because it is an act of love to be married. If you are struggling, you are not alone. If you are lonely, you are not alone. If you are happy, if you are content, you are not alone. Talk to your spouse, talk to a friend who can give you good advice, talk to God and look in the Bible. Whatever the circumstance you are in right now, don’t give up, keep at it. God’s plans for your life are so much better than the plans you have for yourself.

Some verses to consider:

“Therefore as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.” Colossians 3: 12-14

“But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control. Against such things there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.” 1 Corinthians 13: 4-8

I Thought I Was Superwoman

I have been writing this blog in my head all day long. Why? Because the smooth days don’t make for interesting writing. Even now as I type, at 10:01 PM there is a man child talking in his sleep. Yes folks it has been that kind of day.

I should have known when I awoke from a very strange dream this morning that it was going to be that kind of day. Or maybe I should have realized it was going to be that kind of day because it was the first day of April vacation for the kiddos. Whatever the reason, I started my day later than usual, with a full morning planned, and as I thought about the things I needed to do, time slipped away. We needed to be out the door for OT by 9:30, 3 boys needed to be fed, dressed, I needed to shower and dry my hair(oh and get dressed), I needed to pack lunches, make a pizza, cut and sautee veggies, pack snacks, have two boys pack waiting room items, pack up the car, start a load of laundry and do dishes. Ummm…

So I realized my plan was a fail when I started making pizza dough at 9 and realized we had to leave in 30 minutes. I quickly chopped veggies, preheated the oven and started dishes. By 9:20, my hair was still wet and there were more dishes than I started with. At that point I decided that today was going to be an exercise in flexibility. I scrapped the idea of dishes and laundry, dried my hair, made a pizza(and made it good, no point in rushing it and making a bad one), packed up lunches and recruited my people to load bags into the car. My exact instructions were, “put this in the front seat.” When I walked out the door at 9:40(yeah I know, 10 minutes late), the bags were on the deck. This is called, distraction, as in, “mom told me to do something but I saw a –fill in the blank– and forgot what I was supposed to do.”

We made it to OT just in time, or 3 minutes late, which was just in time…our time… not our appointment time and as my 5 year old headed off to play I checked my phone and had a text from my sweet husband, “Hope you are having a good morning. Love you. ” I texted back, “I thought I was superwoman but alas I am not.” His response, “U are super in my eyes.” Aww, my sweet husband, who didn’t see me overscheduled this morning with dishes exploding from the sink and drying rack. No matter how many things are on my to do list, there are still 60 seconds in a minute and I realized that some things would just have to wait.

That’s when my day started to unravel. The pizza lunch I had just made to share with a friend got cancelled. No problem. The kids were starting to get grumpy and tired. Starting to… it wasn’t even 11am yet. And then the arguing all blessed day except for the 2 hours that one child was at a friends house. As soon as he returned, the bickering picked up where it had left off, as we headed to the friends house who had cancelled lunch.

Hang on, that sounded like a rant of complaining but that is not how I meant it to sound. I’m laughing at my day now that it is over because sometimes God throws us curve balls and I can’t make enough time to do all the chores I need to do, I just need to figure out where to squeeze them in. I enjoyed a beautiful picnic lunch outside with 2 of my guys and then begged my 5 year old to please do the dishes. He laughed at me and finally said ok, but I laughed, hugged him and said, “just kidding buddy” and he watched a show with his big brother, and right there was enough time to do the dishes and start the laundry. We took my friends poodle Rosie for a beautiful walk on a small beach and found sea glass, and just enjoyed the fresh air, sunshine and our doggy friend. I made an unbelievable smoothie with our pizza dinner and I got to laugh about my 7 year old congratulating me on finally making a smoothie that he liked and I got high fives all around the table. My 9 year old agreed and said, yeah there was one other good one… once… People, I make excellent smoothies, most of the time, but my kids are hard to win over in that department I guess. And when bed time arrived I was completely relieved to tuck my people into bed, snuggle with my 5 year old who loves my wedding song, grabs my face for kisses, and tells me to smell his skin(so weird), read with my 7 year old, and chat with my 9 year old who has been sick all week and totally enjoyable and cuddly to hang out with. Today was a crazy day, a 24 hour on shift day(for hubby at the station and for me at home), but a keeper of a day. Praying you all have a blessed Easter and remember, “Silly rabbit, Easter is for Jesus!”

PS- I talk about my dishes A LOT. Thank you to anyone who has advocated for my need for a dishwasher to my hubby. But I promise, there is absolutely no way we could fit a dishwasher into our tiny kitchen, I am not deprived, I promise!!

 

This month I will be a poet.

Happy April Fools Day. I resisted the urge to prank my family today because I figured the weather outside was a good enough prank on everyone. Snow, freezing rain, cold. Spring in New England, an April Fools joke on us all.

I thought I would use the blog this month to share one of my favorite genres of writing, the genre that I go back to over and over again, the one that I have always felt that I could pick up a pen and paper and the words would just flow out of me. Poetry. I was first introduced to poetry in the 3rd of 4th grade, but it wasn’t until junior high that I made writing poetry a hobby. It started out simple, that I could look at a painting and write a poem about it, as I got older, it got deeper, writing about feelings, experiences, dreams, people… I parted ways with poetry for awhile, life got busy, and I just kind of forgot about it. But a few years ago I found out that April is National Poetry Month and Writer’s Digest holds a Poem A Day challenge with poetry prompts everyday for the month of April. So this month in addition to being fire wife and mom, I hope you will indulge me as I share some poems, 30 if all goes well. I can’t imagine I will get to share 1 every day, but I will try. I might even give some back story to go with poems, if there is any.

Today’s poetry prompt is a reminiscing poem. I chose to write about my first car.

My First Car

Shiny black, curvy, sleek,
My ’89 Mustang, oh, so, sweet.

Friends packed in, Backstreet Boys on the radio blared.
When we drove by, heads turned, eyes stared.

Jealous of my gorgeous ride,
Little did they all know the thorn in my side.

The night my muffler scraped the ground
or the time my power steering wouldn’t let me turn around.
Dropped my front end on the FDR Drive,
it popped my tire on the 4th of July.

This death trap, my car, my very first love,
Resting in peace, in car heaven above.

I’ll never forget the wonky driver’s seat,
or all the people we got to meet,
Thanks to my Mustang, oh, so, sweet.

A little bit about my life as a fire wife.

IMG_0465Most days I think that my life as a fire wife isn’t much different than the life of any other wife/mommy out there. Other people have to deal with spouses traveling for work or constantly being on the road, long hours, perhaps a spouse in the military, police wives etc. Yes being a fire wife is different than being the wife of a 9-5 spouse, but not much different I imagine than the above mentioned occupations. The thing is, for us, it is a life of the unexpected. If we have plans and the radio lets out a tone and there is a fire, daddy is outta here. Fire life has been a learning curve. My husband has been on the department for almost 7 years and I am still learning not be disappointed when plans get flipped upside down or not to take it personally when he walks out the door for overtime or a detail. I realize that the fire life is a lifestyle and that I need to be flexible, patient and understanding; things that I can only get from the good Lord above, because on my own, in my own skin, in my own flesh, I am disappointed, offended, sad, or angry.

What does it look like to be a flexible fire wife? Well first of all I can not touch my toes when I sit down to stretch, so it is not a physical flexibility. I noticed last week that a lot of unplanned things were coming my way. Since I didn’t overschedule myself, I was able to be flexible with my plans. All of this while my husband worked 84 hours with only a few hours off in between… 24, 24, 12ish(at his part time job), 24, home for 30 minutes to shower and get his class A’s and head to a funeral for a fallen fire fighter. Flexibility, patience, and understanding really all work together as the trifecta of peace and harmony when it comes to dealing with things like 84 hours of work, yes he is working 84 hours at the station and at his part time job, but I am also working 84 hours at home, because I have got to figure it all out; the wake ups, the breakfasts, the bus stop(Lord please help us make the bus!), the drop offs, the picks ups, the lunches, the dishes(I don’t have a dishwasher, I am the dishwasher-but God loves me and made paper plates!), the home work time, the dinners, the dishes, the laundry, the baths and showers, the bed time stories, the bed time snuggles and prayers, I haven’t even mentioned time for myself to write, to read, to clean my testosterone filled house, to workout, to chat with a grown human and not just my small ones, and on and on and on…And lets be honest, when I get crabby that he is working so many stinking hours(which I sometimes do), it makes it worse for me, because I get lost in the yuck place in my mind where I am slamming cabinets open and shut looking for things, tossing the laundry basket on the floor, etc instead of in a place of gratitude where I am thankful that my firefighter is providing for us, where I am thankful that we have a home with 3 healthy boys that I have the absolute privilege of spending my time with.

Have I been stuck with disappointment? Of course. Who hasn’t been? Going to special ed meetings by myself, doctors appointments, school concerts, birthday parties, Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter, church etc… flying solo is just the way it has to be sometimes. I have shed quite a few tears in the past 7 years and I’m positive I will shed more in the many years to come. But shedding tears over flying solo temporarily is nothing compared to the thought I was struck with last week when my man attended the funeral of a fallen firefighter. In the midst of parenting through teachable moments for 84 hours by myself(the first 24 I failed at by the way), trying to be flexible and grateful, I put on the television to see a grief stricken fire family who would never see their fireman on this side of heaven again. That thought stayed with me all day. It was really the most wild thing, because my guy has been to several funerals for fallen firefighters, but this one just hit me differently, and when Kenny walked in the door that night, I was so thankful that he was home. And when I went to bed that night, even though it was hours after him(he was coming off of 84 hours plus all day at a funeral, so his bedtime was 7pm), I crawled into bed, so overcome with emotion, so thankful he was home, that while I prayed, tears silently streamed down my face and I cried myself to sleep. Tears of grief for that family, tears of gratitude for mine.

So what does life as a fire wife look like for me? It looks messy and loud. It looks like trips to the library and the playground. It looks like pajama days, snuggling on the couch with double feature movies. It looks like me telling my lunatic child that he has climbed too high in a tree and that I don’t want daddy to have to come with the ladder truck to get him down or in the rescue to take him to the hospital. It looks like trips to urgent care for any number of reasons. It looks like dance parties and Michael Jackson music blasting in the living room. It looks like vomiting children sharing one toilet(because children usually don’t vomit when daddy is home, why? I don’t know!) It looks like me texting daddy, “There is vomiting, don’t come home, save yourself” It looks like the same lunatic child climbing up a full flight of  basement stairs with rollerblades on his feet. It looks like tantrums, from the kids and from me.  Or one of my favorite moments today, in the car, on the way home from church, from the 3rd row of my minivan came the call of a 9 year old asking, “Mom, what’s a player?” My response, biting my lip, “Can I think about how to answer that and get back to you in a bit?” It looks like a text to hubby, “9 year old asked me what a player is, how should I field this question???”

Last week gave me a new perspective, a new way to look at my life as a fire wife, a new way to look at our life as a fire family. What does that look like? More of everything above, but with a better attitude. It looks like more laughter, more intentional family time, and a deeper love and appreciation for one another. It’s not just for me as a fire wife either, it is for everyone out there in blog land reading this. We don’t know when our time on earth is up. So let’s not make a mess of today and take that chance that today could be our last. Does that mean that we will never have a completely  sucktastic day ever again? Absolutely not. But we sure can choose to look at things differently and have more good days than bad ones. I want to dance with my boys, laugh at the crazy, ridiculous, stupid things they do(but not the dangerous stuff), sing in the car(I started yesterday, ask the hubby), love, respect, and treasure one another. I want to live in the moment with my 4 lovable guys , stop being so serious, and enjoy the ride.!

Doing Life Together

I’ve been MIA since my last blog, when I had that incredibly crazy, chaotic day. I’ve been MIA since my last blog because every week has been filled with more incredibly crazy, chaotic …

Source: Doing Life Together

Doing Life Together

I’ve been MIA since my last blog, when I had that incredibly crazy, chaotic day. I’ve been MIA since my last blog because every week has been filled with more incredibly crazy, chaotic days. The school nurse is my bff and I’m pretty sure she must have my number memorized or on speed dial by now. I have gotten a call once a week for the past 4 weeks, last week, excluded, as we had two snow days and my kids are now being bribed. The week before last took the cake. I was driving to prek pickup at 2:30 and I had a missed call from the school, I listened, it went something like this, ” Hi Cari, it’s the nurse from the school, I just wanted to let you know I saw Evan today, he fell at recess and hurt his ankle. We iced it and he went back to class…” This is usually where she tells me if I have any questions to call her back, but then… “And while I have you on the phone, I wanted to let you know I saw Christopher today. He bumped his head on a cabinet, we iced it and he went back to class.” Yes the message continued to say the rest of that dialogue that I have memorized by now but I laughed to the point of crying! What is up with my kids? Oh, they are clumsy, and they take after me. This is what I had to tell my husband when he was in shock that they both spent time in the nurses office on Monday, Monday, the first day of the school week. Then Friday rolled around, yup, Friday. Friday I got a text from my brother in law saying the school couldn’t get in touch with me so my mother in law was picking Evan up from school. Excuse me, what? Substitute nurse, don’t get me started. Anyway, exactly 6 minutes lapsed between the first phone call and the phone call to my mother in law by the time I got the message, Evan came home, took a nap, and was ready to play, I said heck no kid, you wanted sick time, you got it, now you can help me clean and then go read. Meanwhile Christopher went to the substitute nurse with a headache, she gave him Tylenol and no phone call to me, but guess who woke up with 102 fever Saturday morning? Christopher. We are really just going in a circle now, because I got the fever Wednesday night, and then last night Evan puked in his bed, a top bunk disaster that makes me yell, FOR THE LOVE!!!!

FOR THE LOVE- this parenting thing is not for the faint of heart and if it weren’t for Jesus, my husband, and my dear sweet friends, I’d be in the fetal position right now but instead here I sit writing in hopes that someone will read this. Why? Because motherhood gets lonely sometimes. Forget motherhood, life gets lonely sometimes. It can feel isolating, especially when your kids are passing germs around like the darn wonder ball or hot potato,  when you haven’t seen the outside world in days and you start to feel like things are never going to turn around because your finances suck, you are sleep deprived, hate your job, kids are whining, kids are fighting, the dishes are endless, the laundry from last week is still in the dryer, your husband is traveling, you have no family close by, your house is a mess, you are a mess, I am a mess, WE ARE NOT ALONE! Please hear me friends, we are not alone. We were not created to be alone. And I’m not even talking about marriage here because I heard an awesome talk on singleness last week(no I’m not looking to be single). I’m talking about doing life together, yes I do life with my husband, but when my firefighter is gone for 24/48/72 hours if I just sat here, I WOULD GO NUTS. I’ve been there, I’ve stressed, I’ve isolated, and I’d never go back there, for anything. Who are you doing life with? Do you have a friend you can call or text and drop honest truth bombs? “Like, talk me off my ledge here girlfiend, cause I’m freaking out!” or “I just exploded all over my kids/husband/everyone who would listen!” or “I’m feeling sad, I just want to cry, can we talk?” Do you have a friend you can do this with? In this day and age, it is easy to text a friend or get on facebook and feel connected to the world. But to be honest, facebook can leave me feeling empty. I see pictures posted on a Monday of families having an awesome adventure over the weekend and sometimes it rips my heart in two cause I was flying solo all weekend. I easily forget that I had my own awesome adventure not too long ago, but it gets pushed aside for instant gratification, I want what they have now! And texting is great, I do it way too much, just ask any friend I do life with, they will tell you. So yeah, texting is great, my sister and I live 2 time zones apart and it is by far the easiest way for us to communicate. But there is so much more to be said for face to face interaction. When we meet face to face, we can see in each other’s eyes how we are really doing, not how we are facebook doing, and really even a phone call, because don’t tell me you can’t hear that crack in your bffs voice when they are barely holding it together. When we do life together, it is ok to barely be holding it together because our friends can hold the broken pieces for us when we aren’t strong enough to do it ourselves.

Today when I couldn’t believe I had another sick kid in the house, I started to lose sight of my blessings and my purpose. The dialogue in my head was something about all the dishes, all the laundry and I believe the phrase I texted to a friend was something about all of this being endless. I lingered in that for a while until I felt sucker punched. I prayed, “God, I don’t want this work to end, I’m sorry that in this moment I’m taking it for granted and focusing on the wrong stuff, because if my boys weren’t here to be sick with a stomach bug, I would be so sad.” Do I want to put my 7 year old in a shower at 11pm after he puked all over his bed? No, I’d rather not. Do I want to fold laundry or tackle Mount Dish O Rama one more time today? Some days, let’s be honest, no, I would rather go sit on the couch with my novel, feet up, relaxing. But if having that moment, meant not having any of this, any of this incredibly crazy, chaotic, messy, cleaning puke kind of days, it wouldn’t be worth it. These are my blessings.

Recently I was introduced to the idea of kingdom work. If you are a Christian you believe that we are living in the between times. I just read this amazing book about the Lord’s Prayer and it talked about how even doing the mundane is kingdom work. So as I’m washing the pukey sheets I am doing Kingdom work. If I make a phone call or send a text to see how a friend is doing after a 5 day weekend from 3 snow days, I’m doing kingdom work. And I feel like kingdom work is my purpose.

If you are out there, and you’re not alone, and things are going pretty well, think of someone you can reach out to. Everyone needs someone.

If you are out there, alone, don’t. Grab a lifeline. Phone a friend. Text them if you can’t work up the courage to call. Do something. And don’t forget your purpose, because even in all the little things, you are doing an amazing job.

 

Adventures in Parenting

This parenting thing is no joke. If you have come here looking for parenting advice, you have come to the wrong place. I am in no position to give any parenting advice, so if that’s what you …

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