From a young age children are taught to be gentle with others. To respect feelings, challenges, personalities, struggles, and everything else that make up the individuality of all other beings. We remind children to share their toys, to be kind to others, and to behave. We give children a set of rules and standards to live by. We do our best to make them “good kids,” and yet more and more we see the dark struggle of humanity around us.

Woven into the regular stories of crime, hate, war, poverty, politics, and economic statuses there are the many stories of death. Stories of death at the hands of others, and more and more commonly death at the hands of oneself. The rates of depression amongst people have grown as the years have gone by. A “silent killer” I have heard many call it; a “secret disease”. The shame and solitude around depression as well as its  many causes have been a sensitive and taboo subject for a great many years.

The recent passing of renowned comedian and actor Robin Williams who suffered from depression for most of his life has brought more light to the subjects of depression and suicide than has been shone on it in a few years. It is sad to think it takes a tragedy to open those communication channels. Reflecting on Robin’s passing stirred many thoughts and emotions in my mind and I began to think about somethings my dear friend and I have discussed at length over the last few months, especially in those moments where our own anxieties and depressive moments have kicked in.

We are always told to be kind to others, to be gentle with others, but why so often do we neglect ourselves? We forget to remind ourselves and one another that we must ALWAYS be gentle with ourselves. We must respect our own individual needs as beings first and foremost, whatever your role in the world is. If we are not gentle with ourselves, if we can’t fulfill ourselves respectfully, we can’t ever be there for others, and that includes being there for our children and our spouse, being present and fully active in our marriages and relationships with others.

Remind your own self to be gentle and others you may see struggling to be gentle to themselves as well. This concept is hard, but find a way that works for you – to bring that into focus each and every day, throughout the day. That constant reminder when things start to get bumpy to just, ‘be gentle’.

For my best friend and I this struggle is daily and sometimes hourly and with us being many hundreds of miles and many states apart we can’t always be right there for each other when that road turns a bit rocky, so this week while she was out visiting me we designed this tattoo together which we both had placed on our forearms. The constant reminder to be gentle with ourselves. The constant reminder of the love another person holds for me despite all my struggles. The constant reminder that we are enough, we are capable, we are strong even when we are weak, and we can do it all if we just remember to have love for ourselves as well.

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Depression has a way of stealing  fulfillment, joy, and love in all the worst ways, leaving you feeling isolated and alone. It is hard to pick yourself up some days and to keep trucking along. It’s easy to feel hopeless and abandoned and like you have no one to turn to. So in those moments of hate. Of self doubt, destruction, insecurity, fear, and any other emotion, remember that you are always worth it, you always matter, and even if no one else in the world will, remember to BE GENTLE WITH YOURSELF.

Four years ago I didn’t marry my best friend, or my soulmate. I didn’t marry someone I knew all about or that I had a million interests in common with, in fact our interests are far from the same. We won’t ever like the same kind of music and I won’t ever be able to play the guitar or piano like he does and he won’t ever be able to rock the organizational skills that I do. We will always be vastly different individual people who sometimes struggle to communicate our differences, but our souls, our beings, those will always be our connection.

He challenges me every day to be better – We are so different that I have a spouse that constantly views situations differently than me. I am not going to lie sometimes that is frustrating as all hell but he challenges me to look at all sides of a problem or situation instead of just my angle. This has given me the ability to learn and grow in so many areas of my life and to be much more open minded.

 I didn’t marry my best friend because I didn’t want to marry someone I knew all about, that was me in another being, if I wanted that I would have stayed single. I wanted someone that I could learn, I wanted someone I connected with on a level so beyond understanding or explanation. I wanted a twin for my soul not just my personality or interests – and that, that is what I found. That deeper connection, that immoveable connection to my very being is the foundation of our marriage, of our life together, of our family. Interests are superficial, fleeting and unstable in comparison.

So, here we are, four years later. Every day has its own challenges, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

Happy Anniversary my love!!!

 

Since I graduated college 3 years ago with my B.S. in Psychology, I have always thought about doing more, about the possibility of continuing on, but when babies, family, military, and moving came up it was pushed to the back burner.

I have tossed and turned about the practicality of continuing on with my education and finally set back and realized how badly I wanted to have something to focus on, to pursue, to do every day that actually used and challenged my mind. So, I applied for a M.S. program.

Today I received this letter:

I am beyond excited and also very nervous about what it means for the future. I know that with SCM being gone it will be some juggling and intensity but I am anxious for the challenge and cannot wait to see what the future holds by accomplishing this! It is going to be a wild ride!!!

I am so grateful for SCM for encouraging me and supporting me in wanting to take this on, especially with two littles and him not being here. 

With the news of our upcoming move and SCM’s transfer to full time Active Duty coming to public knowledge there have been some interesting things being said to us. You always hope and pray for support when big changes come and when you are working towards what is best for yourself and your family but alas that is not always what comes. And since I am tired of repeating myself or being tactful I am just going to answer it all right here.

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1. How could he leave your kids like that? I mean they are only little once, he is going to miss their whole childhood.
Here is a statement that I have heard a lot recently and honestly it makes me want to slap people.

How do you leave your kids every day to go to work? How do you leave your kids to go out on dates with your spouse? How do you leave your children to do anything? Why is it so much worse that he is leaving them for his work than when you leave your kids for your work? On another note he will be away from us for training and when he is deployed, same as he is right now, the only difference is every other day of the week when he goes to work he does it for the Army and not for John Smith at some corporation.

How could he leave, well, he leaves to put food on the table, to support his family, to show his children the value of not just working but the value in working doing something you love and are good at, he helps the people around him every single day and that fulfills him and makes him an even better father and husband. I am going to guess it’s the same reason someone in your family goes to work every day too.

Yes childhood is fleeting and he will miss moments in the kids’ lives and in mine but that also allows him the ability to value the time he does get even more and it allows the children to cherish their father even more. He will not miss their lives, he will miss moments and those are vastly different things. Everyone misses moments no matter their job but that won’t make him any less involved or dedicated to his family because that is marked in the man not in the moments.

2. How could you possibly let him do that?

Excuse me? How could I “LET” him do that? I do not control him, nor him I.

First of all he isn’t imprisoned that isn’t how this works. We are a couple and a family and you better believe we discussed and talked about what is best for our family and how this situation would work for us as a family. This is not one of us deciding big things on our own, that isn’t a marriage.

Second of all, I absolutely support SCM in everything he is doing and working towards and am beyond proud of the strength and determination he has shown in taking this step. He is an amazing medic, an amazing person, an amazing soldier and he is a hard worker. I knew that this was a dream of his from the very beginning and I have always 1000% supported that because it makes him better and it makes our family better. And even if I wasn’t totally sold on it I trust him and know that he will always do what is best for our family.

3. I am so sorry!

What the actual fuck? Why? Why are you sorry that he will be supporting his family while doing something he enjoys? Why are you sorry to ME because he will be doing something he loves and supporting his family. Why is it such a bad thing? Why is it so absurd to think that we are happy about this change? Don’t tell me you are sorry, if there are no other words you can manage to muster up, like support, then just keep your mouth shut because all “I’m sorry” is going to do is likely get you punched in the face for your stupidity. This is a choice we made and one we are very excited about.

4. Why would you do something like that?

BECAUSE IT IS WHAT IS BEST FOR OUR FAMILY!!!! That’s why!

This job gives SCM the ability to do what he loves and is good at every single day. This job gives him the ability to make an even bigger difference. This job gives our family a steady paycheck, as well as the ability to travel, and to give our children more than we had growing up.

The biggest thing this gives us is that our children are able to see, through their father, that they can do absolutely anything they set their mind too. They will know that  they do not have to hide or restrict who they are or their dreams in life, ever for anyone, and that anything is possible for them.

5. Has he ever thought about just actually working instead? Or maybe going back to school to find a better job? There are so many options out there. 

Yup, there certainly are many options out there and in the midst of working full time at insane graveyard on call hours at the hospital, while going to college full time for the last 2 years (hey there is that going to school bit), he has researched those options and thought and discussed long and hard what he wanted to do, and guess what? This is the option he chose. This gives him the degree he has been working his ass off towards as well as so many other things.

“Actually working instead” EXCUSE ME! You want to lose some teeth and that is a great phrase to try to tell a military service member. I tend to find that those that use this statement have never themselves actually been in the military and have zero understanding of the constant, hard, sacrificing work they do non-stop. Of the jobs they do under immense pressure and stress and many times under imminent threat. You don’t want to call that work? You have your head in the clouds.

Why did you decide to be a grocery store clerk, or telephone repair man, or blacksmith, or stay at home mom over doing something else? You know there are more option right? Oh, you chose it because it works for you? Well shocker – us to.

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While there are more beautifully stupid things that have been ask or said to us in recent weeks these are just the top 5. I understand that many people do not understand or want to understand, why we have wanted this and why this is an amazing experience for our family, and that is fine you don’t have to understand it, but if you are rude about it or put down my husband or family because of it you better be prepared for a hard reality check because that shit is not going to fly.

When SCM joined the Army 4 years ago he wasn’t sure what he would think of the lifestyle or how it would work with our family as it grew and developed. Quickly after joining though we both realized that being a Reservist was not what he wanted, nor was it where he or our family was happiest. After starting the paperwork multiple times to transfer to full time Active Duty status and having missions, deployments, and training dates put it on hold it often felt like a pipe dream to think the transfer would every happen. The challenge of the transfer however didn’t stop SCM and in March his paperwork was once again sent up the ladder. As with anything military related we didn’t hold our breath but rather assumed that in 6+ months we might hear something back. Much to our surprise however it only took half that time for him to get his answer back.

approved-stamp-8591025So, a few weeks ago he received his letter of approval of transfer. What does this mean? This means that he will now undertake reenlisting into the Army for a full time job instead of just as a Reservist. He will go through MEPS processing again and in the next few weeks should learn his actual dates that he will be leaving for further training before obtaining a final and temporarily permanent duty station (as they all are).

The children and I will stay here at home until all of his training is complete and he has a final station, we are unsure of how long that will be- likely we will not be leaving until sometime the beginning of 2015, and then we will move with him wherever he is.

We are all extremely excited about this big change in our life and we know that it will mean many more wonderful and amazing things for us and our family unit. It will be hard to leave loved ones and the community we have become so comfortable in when that time arises but we know that it will be for the best. SCM has worked so hard for this transfer and is absolutely amazing at his job and I am beyond thrilled for him to be able to work doing something he absolutely loves and something that will help so many.

I cannot wait to see where this adventure will take us and I am so proud of SCM and all that he is working towards.

 

 

For many knowing their grandparents growing up wasn’t super common, for even more knowing their great grandparents was unfathomable, but for me, not only have I known my great grandparents I have been blessed to have them into my adult years. My great grandparents have always meant the world to me and as some of the most amazing individuals I know. I valued every time I was able to take the 6 hour trip to see them. Every phone call I would receive from them warmed my heart and touched my soul beyond words. As wonderful as my parents and grandparents are the ability to grow up with my great grandparents is truly one of the most touching things in my life.

At 19 just a few short months after my beautiful birth daughter was born I received a call I was not ready for, a call that shattered my whole word. At 88 years old, my great grandmother had shockingly passed away. I had spoken to her just days before, and had actually set up to call her that very morning. I was crushed that I never was able to say goodbye, that she would never be able to meet my soon to be husband SCM, or my children. I was crushed to know I would never again play a game of Rummy with the wonderful women who taught me the game. I had a hole in my being.

Watching my great grandpa struggle with the loneliness of losing his love hurt me even more but despite begging he vowed to not leave his home, their home. Living completely on his own and more spry than men a quarter his age he continued on, making goals through his sorrow. In July of 2010 he did me the incredible honor of walking me, alongside my father, down the aisle as I married SCM. It was an amazing moment for me, a true blessing.

8 weeks after LM was born he was able to meet his very first great great grandchild and the moment he held her I bawled like baby. I thought about my great grandmother and how much she would have loved to meet LM, whose middle name is the same as hers. I thought about how truly blessed and lucky we were in that moment for him to be able to meet LM.

Throughout the last nearly 5 years since my great grandmother has passed we have made that 6 hour trip to visit great grandpa many times and each time have valued it beyond belief. At 94 he was climbing his roof to clear leaves, living on his own, driving, gardening, and being a general badass. Nothing was stopping him. A week before his 95th birthday, a month ago, as we prepared to travel to see him, I received another unexpected phone call, he had had a stroke and things weren’t looking good.

The intense emotions that passed over me when I heard those words brought me to my knees. MM was 3 months old and hadn’t met him yet, I hadn’t talked to him in a week, our plans for going down to his birthday this year had started to unravel due to Army orders for SCM, and now, very suddenly, he was in poor health. I cried for days and tried to formulate a million different plans to be able to be down with him. Finally it was decided that my grandparents would bring him back to live with them so that they could care for him since he no longer could live on his own. They live half the distance, a mere 3 hours away from me.

This last week we loaded up and took the drive to my grandparents house. The moment I laid eyes on my great grandpa it took a lot to not burst into tears. I had been so afraid something was going to happen to him before we were able to see him. Much smaller, more tired than I have ever seen him it pained me to see the struggles he was facing. We stayed for the week and were able to visit and relax together. He was able to meet his second great great grandchild which he thought was pretty extraordinary and so did I. He was able to play and hold both MM and LM and I was able to remind him again just how very much he means to me.

I know that my great grandpa is not going to be around much longer, I can see it in his eyes and I know that he is starting to be ready to be with great grandma again. It breaks my heart to think of a world without him as well, and it breaks my heart to see him struggle so. I don’t know what I am going to do when that inevitable phone call comes, but I do know that in this time I have now where he is closer I will be there every moment I can. I want to spend time with him and I want the kids to spend time with him because I want them to be able to know the truly amazing and wonderful man that he is and that I have been beyond blessed to know throughout all my nearly 25 years on this earth and counting.

 

Holding his Great Great Grandchildren. Not many are able to say they have done that. <3

This week could not have meant more to me and couldn’t have been better. Our generations may be vastly different but the knowledge to be learnt from him, the love to be gleaned and given, the stories and memories to have, they are beyond measure. This week I have remembered just how truly blessed I am. I know that when God does call upon great grandpa to leave this earth and be with his bride, which I hope is many many more years from now, I will be secure at least in those memories and those moments that have made my life ever so rich and blessed for he truly is an amazing man.

A truly amazing man, my great grandpa Jess.

 

Well, I sure dropped off the face of the planet didn’t I? Things have been crazy and chaotic and I just haven’t sat down and dedicated the time to blogging every day or a least a few times a week like I should. Hoping to be able to turn that around.

MM is official already 4 months old and quite the chunk. Nearly 17lbs already. LM is 2.5 years old already and quite the feisty little one. Her brother will soon catch up to her as she is only 27 lbs. SCM is home for now and we are soaking up the summer sun together while he continues to work on his degree and work at the local hospital.

Family 2014

 

So, there is the obligatory update to “get back into the swing” and real posts will follow in a much more timely manner than ever 4 months. :D Blessings to all.

We are used to goodbyes in this household though they have always been just temporary.

When LM was 8 weeks old, one week younger than MM currently is, a small black undernourished four legged friend curled up next to her carrier to protect her, it was then that we knew that he would join our little family.

Harley had his quirks to be sure and his adjustment from shelter to home was anything but an easy transition, nonetheless, he brought multitudes of joy to our family and formed a remarkable bond with LM.

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We found at his first visit to the vet that he was a good 6 years older than the shelter had thought. We knew his age meant we might not have him for long but we never thought it would be only 2 1/2 years later that we would be saying goodbye to him.

In the last few months he had begun to go downhill in health quickly and I knew it would not be too long, last night however was the final event as he became totally unable to control himself and function, and so this afternoon I took him in and they put him to rest.

LM and I talked about it and though she doesn’t fully understand I hope it is not too hard on her. I have been bawling all day. With SCM away for work I’m saddened too that he wasn’t able to say his goodbyes. I know that he is at peace now and no longer suffering but it is still so hard.

So today our family says goodbye to our wonderful fur pet Harley, R.I.P

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I have been looking into “E-Readers” for months now trying to find one that fit everything I wanted and needed. With a desire to read more books, but a lifestyle that makes it impossible I was beginning to feel as if my brain was slowly dying from lack of stimulation.

Now, I love paper books but as a mom of two who constantly has her hands full and has a toddler who LOVES to “help”, I either don’t have the free hands to read a paper book, or I am trying to keep it from being too well loved and covered in water, food, or general baby drool. Constantly worrying about books getting damaged, not having the time to run out and browse a library for hours on end like I did in my youth (ahh the memories), and not having a clue what to actually read has taken my reading time down to a shameful amount. In fact, in 2013 I read a whopping THREE books. Yup, that is right THREE. That is beyond pathetic.

So, I began the  e-reader search. I have an IPad but it doesn’t allow me to read outdoors because of the glare, it’s also heavy and cumbersome, at home I have nearly dropped it on a nursing baby on more than one occasion. My Ipad also has so many other things on it that, I am not gonna lie, I get distracted doing everything else.

The first thing I did was look at what I wanted in an E-Reader.

  1. Something JUST for books. I wanted to be able to use it for reading and only reading.
  2. A reader that allows me to read indoors or outdoors in all lighting situations.
  3. A reader that is compatible with lending, free books, and a has a wide range of purchase options for books.
  4. A reader that was simple. Easy to find and download books. Easy to handle.
  5. Lightweight and easy to use with one hand –  because commonly that is all I have free.

After a great deal of searching I had opted not to go for the Nooks because I didn’t like how pricey it was to buy books and the limited range for where to get books from that it offered. I checked the Kindle and Kindle Fire but just wasn’t a fan. They did *TOO* much. I wanted basic. And that was when I saw something for the Kindle Paperwhite. The more I looked into the Paperwhite the more intrigued I was.

The Kindle Paperwhite is a black & white E-Reader that has adjustable lighting so that you can read inside, outside, bright lights, darkness, without extra strain on your eyes. It’s small and compact. I can easily fit it in my purse, hold it with one hand and read while I am nursing, and it has a battery life of  5-8  weeks. I also love that it saves my spot when I have to leave it or shut it quickly, no flipping to try to figure out where I was before mommyhood called. The Paperwhite like all Kindle devices runs from Amazon which is where you can purchase books, or if you have Prime you can be a part of the lending library where you can borrow thousands of titles for free. Another great place to find books is Book Basset, and online shop that posts a handful of books a day that you can get absolutely FREE! With WIFI capabilities the Paperwhite allows you to download books anywhere you have a connection. You can also plug it into your computer via USB and upload books directly if you prefer.

At a retail price of only $119 this new piece of technology has become an instant best friend to me. I am already deep into a brand new book that I can easily read with one hand, in the dark, at 3 am, while nursing a fussy newborn, and it doesn’t wake him or kill my eyes. I look forward to loading up even more books of all genres and being able to expand and stimulate my mind continually while balancing and juggling all the other aspects of my chaotic mommy and wife life.20140228-172935.jpg

Paper books will always hold a special place for me, there is nothing like the smell of an old book or going to the library to browse the days away, and there will always be real books in my home but for the day to day and the busy times, the Kindle Paperwhite is the perfect solution to all my book reading needs and a very good investment.

 

What are YOU reading right now?

When one chooses a name for their child, often there is a great deal of thought placed into the choice. The name may hold a meaning or a  significance beyond just being pretty or likeable.

When I first found out I was pregnant with MM SCM, and I talked about names for both boys and girls and surprisingly we very quickly came  to an agreement on a set of names. Our girls name was a mix of something classy and my great grandmother’s original middle name as she was someone very important and special to me. Our boys name was whimsical and straight out of The Chronicles of Narnia. Beyond that though it was a tribute, a tribute to a really great man who unexpectedly passed away last year.

A year ago today I posted about the passing of my uncle which took us all by surprise. Contracting Encephalitis when he was very young left him with Epilepsy, something he fought through his whole life which more grace and compassion than many ever see. Ultimately though it was what took his life last year.

We chose MM’s name far before we ever knew he was a boy, before I had ever had a doctors appointment, before I ever knew when I was due. Well my official due date, was actually also today. How crazy is that?

So today I remember the happy and the sad. The happy times with my uncle Edward and the mourning of his passing so early in life and so quickly. The happy of the arrival of his great nephew Edmund, who I know he would have absolutely adored. Today I remember family even more than normal and cherish each and every moment with them.

May you hug your loved ones a little more, call that family member that is on your mind, and leave no regrets. Remember the person beyond the name and what they mean to you.

Rest in Peace Uncle Eddy we miss you and love you beyond words. <3

Go In Peace Good & Faithful Servant Edward

Edmund Cornelius <3

It’s a BOY!!!

We are very pleased to have welcomed our newest edition Thursday, February 6th, 2014 at 5:18pm. Mini Mister as he is referred too by many weighed in at 7lbs, 12oz and was 19 1/2 inches long and was born via a very successful VBAC!

Right after MMs birth.

Right after MMs birth.

I want to give a multitude of thanks to my amazing doctor, Dr. Meltzer, who I know I wouldn’t have been able to do this without. For helping me through this entire pregnancy, which was not easy by any means, and through my birth, always encouraging me that my VBAC was possible! The amazing hospital staff at Valley Medical Center for all of their care and support, and of course my fantastic Sexy Czech Medic who came off an 8hr graveyard shift to come home and take me back to the hospital to sit with me through an all day labor and my parents who watched LM while we were in the hospital.

LM thinks that her baby brother is just the best and most novel thing in the world right now. She loves kissing him and checking on him. She always talks about him and asks if he is okay or “oh so happy.” She giggles when he makes noises and is always very quick to alert us if he is crying. It is a very precious thing to watch. Her anticipation to hold him is always so adorable. She is a wonderful big sister.

Anticipation to hold her brother.

Anticipation to hold her brother.

1557134_10202451194734476_2124848790_oI am so happy that MM is finally here and now we are a beautiful family of four. I am looking forward to seeing our family grow and develop and learn, to see the bond continue to form with LM and MM and between all of us as a family. We are very blessed.

Mini Mister 12 hours old.

Mini Mister
12 hours old.

In many ways I can’t believe the final stretch of my pregnancy is here and in others I feel as though I have been pregnant forever, either way, here we are. It’s official I have no more than 9 (8 on the East Coast by now) days left of this third and final pregnancy.

The single digits have finally arrived, and I find myself more nervous that with my other two pregnancies. I am more than ready to meet the baby, to see what the baby looks like, and how LM does. I am ready for our family to be complete and for the new adventures that life will hold for us after this journey ends. At the same time despite my readiness I am an over planner and I worry about the logistics of everything, and having everything in order, despite knowing babies have a way of mixing all that up I still try.

We are hoping that babe comes on his/her own very soon but if not my final appointment in Wednesday, and we will make arrangements for me to be induced on Saturday the 8th. An induction is never something I had planned in the beginning, but it gives me still a very good shot at the VBAC we are planning and not a repeat C-Section. My body is dilating and responding already the way it should be and babe is very feisty to get out as contractions have been steady and hard just not quite labor hard, yet. An amazing Cranial Sacril Therapy appointment helped position baby even better this morning, and I can tell a progression for sure. I am starting to really feel labor ready in my body not just as a desire.

24hr photo difference. 37w4d & 37w5d. The difference in positioning, baby, and my body alignment after my cranial sacril appointment. AMAZING!

Here is to hoping that babe continues her/his rocking and rolling and labor decides to start up on it’s own in a more active fashion in the next couple of days, that birth goes smoothly and without trauma, that babe is happy and healthy, and that the weather holds out. Who knows, maybe we will have a Super Bowl baby.

 

How did your birth plan change as you neared your due date? What, if any, unexpected turns did it take and how did you cope with it?

The dawn of a New Year is that time of year notorious for resolution making, goal setting, and the general desire to increase ones health, wellness, and prosperity for the coming year. For many these resolutions last days or weeks, sometimes even months, but rarely span out to the entire year. Goals often involve getting fit/healthy, earning more money, being a better person, but what does any of that actually mean? Vagueness in a goal is, in my opinion, one of the biggest reasons they fail, or motivation for them is lost. You know, that and day to day life stuff getting in the way, there is that too. :D

As I have said before, the best goals are specific goals.

1. What do you want to accomplish?

2.Why do you want to accomplish it?

3.How long will it reasonably take?

4. How long would you like to accomplish it in?

5. What is the end result – ie: the goal?

Breaking down what you truly want to do may seem ‘over the top’ but the reality is when you know exactly what you want to do and the steps to achieve it, you are much more likely TO achieve it, instead of just wish you had.

This year for me and our family is full of new changes. We are preparing every day for the newest member of our family to meet us on the outside, and now with only 6 weeks left we realize we have less time to finish preparing than we had thought. We will then have a decent adjustment period as we merge into a family of 4 and LM merges into the capacity of older sister and not only child. SCM will have a mission later in the Spring that will take him away from home again, this time for a much shorter duration, and there will be adjustments there for us all. Added to the adjustments we have this New Year as a family we have individual ones as well. SCM has school, work, Army, health/fitness, and family to focus on. LM has toddlerhood and all the woes that go along with that as well as the adjustment of big sister. I have motherhood, wife-hood, my business, and my own personal goals in health and fitness, body and mind. And of course we have Belly Baby and his/her adjustments to the outside world as well. Wow, does that sound like a lot? Well when it is jumbled into a paragraph with no real structure or plan of attack, it IS a lot. It doesn’t have to be as overwhelming as it looks though, or so I tell myself.

I’ve decided first and foremost to focus on what I can control, and what I can control alone, which is ME, (and I suppose belly baby until he/she comes out). My focus on myself and my goals will help me to be a better wife and parent as well as a better support to them in their goals.

So:

What do *I* want to accomplish this year?

This year I want to accomplish many things both mentally, physically, and spiritually. I chose to write what I “want” as WILLS, a statement of affirmation that it IS something I WILL accomplish this year.

  1. I will take more time to read books for myself. To expand my mind through readings of all genres. My goal this year is to read 52 books, though I will be happy if I make half that number being that my total read last year was a sad and measly 3. (So far this year I have already completed 1 and am 2/3 into a 2nd. I say this is already progress.)
  2. I will evaluate my spiritual compass and find a deeper and more identifiable connection to what I believe and how I live it in my daily life. While identifying this I will show, and teach it to the children in day to day actions and focus to become a more spiritually grounded family again.
  3. I will take the time in every moment of every day to be the best wife that I can be for my husband. I will take the time to evaluate HIS needs and HIS processes in handling situations and not just my own. I will communicate more with him and respond with more thoughtfulness. I will be a better wife in order to strengthen my marriage and the bond that I have with SCM.
  4. I will take pride in my body and allow it to become a portal of strength and not a house for distain. So as to say, I will focus on not just being “small” as I have always been, or losing the pregnancy weight, but truly becoming healthy and fit and strong. Developing a routine for working out and eating right that leaves me proud of  myself every day and is right for MY body. It is something I can and will share with the rest of my family so we can have a healthy lifestyle together.
  5. I will work my business with pride and devotion even in times when it is slow to pick up. I will work with consistency, even if that consistency is small. I will work it for myself and my family at our pace and in the manner that works well for us. No one else. I will remember that I do this job to obtain goals that *I* set and I won’t be pushed, pulled, or cornered, into sacrificing more important aspects of my life for the sake of THINGS.

Why do *I* want to accomplish it?

Each and every one of the above things I have the desire to accomplish because they will make me a better person both on the inside and the outside. It is my utmost hope that accomplishing these tasks this year help grow in aspects of faith and devotion, patience and productivity, love and responsibility. I hope to come away with a better sense of self but also of  others. To truly obtain a better outlook and be in a better place.

How long will it reasonably take?

A Lifetime.

I am not kidding. Obtaining goals of higher self, deeper self, better self, those don’t happen in a week or a year those are things you work on and struggle with your entire life. Those are things you fight for, your entire life. A year can make them a habit but it certainly does not ensure that they are permanent. My hope is that by making them a habit this year I can and will maintain them for a lifetime, each year adding habits that I believe are beneficial to myself and my family.

To set a ‘timeline’ however on the two things that are easiest to set a timeline on, #1 & #4. I plan to take the entire year to read 52 books and I plan to start my workout structure no later than April, at which time I should be fully cleared and healed from having baby and able to focus on a system of goals I want to accomplish from April -December of this year. Those specific goals however are a mystery until after I birth.

How long would *I* like to accomplish it in?

Let’s be true here, I’d love to snap my fingers and have the answers, be fit, have magically absorbed all the books in the library, and be amazing! I mean who wouldn’t, right? However, that is not how life works. I would LIKE to have a steady grasp on all of these goals and be deep into them by June of this year, by November I would like to have them fully set into routines so that come 2015 I can add new goals to the pile whilst still maintaining these ever so important ones.

What is the end result – ie: the goal?

The end result for me in accomplishing these things this year is:

  1. To have expanded my knowledge base and learned some amazing new things through text.
  2. To be stronger and more knowledgeable in my faith, in what it is and what it means to me and my family. To be able to show and share that with the people around me through who I am every single day.
  3. To have a stronger and better marriage as well as a stronger and better relationship with SCM. For us to be more of a cohesive unit.
  4. To have a body that is a physically strong as my mind. Healthy and thriving. To feel good about how I look in my own skin, to know that I am the healthiest and strongest me I can be and that I am caring for myself.
  5. To have a business I can be proud of and customers that appreciate what I have to offer. To be able to say I have contributed to the family finances in a positive manner.

Knowing what *I* want out of this year will help not only me to attain them but also for me to help my family attain whatever their goals are as well. Working together, as a unit, as a family, we can all make our goals for 2014 stick.

These are my goals for 2014, what are some of yours?

Four years ago today I woke up early in the morning realizing that 5 days late one very special little girl was about to finally make her entrance into this world. To the hospital at 5am and she was out and crying by the afternoon. An easy and quick birth for an emotional event. Four years ago today I gave birth to my amazing first daughter, my birth daughter. I can’t believe how much she has grown and what the little lady she is today. She may not reside in my home, but she will always be my first little girl and I am blessed to be her first mommy.

The emotional ups and downs of her pregnancy and birth are many and the struggles and decisions that led me to what I did are also numerous but I don’t ever hold a single regret for choosing to give her the life I wanted her to have and the chances and dreams and opportunities I knew I just couldn’t provide for her at that time in my life. I am beyond blessed and thankful for the open adoption and amazing relationship that we as a family hold with her family. I am grateful every day that we are all able to be a part of one another’s life. It is truly a blessing.

Happy 4th Birthday to my Angel Baby and I hope it is a fantastic day for you my darling. <3

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Christmas day

Merry Christmas to everyone celebrating and Happy Holidays as well. Today was our home family Christmas celebration and it was a great deal of fun and luckily more relaxing because we were all pretty exhausted.

How we all felt Christmas Morning. LOL

How we all felt Christmas Morning. LOL

LM was more excited upon waking up that Doctor Who was on than the fact that there were presents under the Christmas tree but she got the hang of it soon.

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Kipper was lounging in LM’s new play kitchen sink having a good time. When LM pulled the paper off and saw the kitchen she was way more excited that Kipper was there than anything else. She spent the whole afternoon watching Doctor Who and playing with her kitchen and it’s pieces. It was so nice to just relax at home and have our family time. We are truly blessed.

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We haven’t decided quite when we will take the Christmas tree and decorations down (sometime before New Years I am sure but perhaps we will wait until Epiphany) but we did decide that until such time as we do Kipper will remain in a “chill” status. He hangs out in LM’s basket above her kitchen and she plays with him a little bit. When holiday celebrations settle down we will pick a date to take our stuff down and then Kipper will say his goodbyes. I think that will allow LM to get used to him not being as much of a factor in her daily life and we can phase him out until next year.

What a wonderful Christmas season this is and for us as Byzantine Catholics it isn’t over just yet. We start now the 12 days of Christmas as we read readings of holy follows and the journeys that lead to Epiphany, January 6th the visit of the Magi to baby Jesus. For us, the Christmas season ends then.

Blessings to you all.

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Mummy

A pale Irish girl and former overachiever, partying band geek turned mother and wife attempting to raise a well-balanced and centered Byzantine Catholic Irish Czech family and balance the responsibilities of being an Army Wife at the same time.

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