Autumn Time Changes

Well Autumn has arrived in my neck of the woods and I am loving it. It is by far my favorite season. With the Fall breeze, the changing leaves, and the hustle and bustle of life  sets in.

It’s been a great while since I have posted last, as I have allowed life to get in the way and my time management skills. I have lacked slotting in time to focus on writing that isn’t part of my scholarly work. Graduate school is going well thus-far and my biggest obstacle is making quiet time for me to truly focus on my work and put all that I know I am capable into it. I am four weeks in to a twelve week quarter though and so far, so good.

The children are growing up faster than I would like to admit. LM is nearly three and has hit the chaos that goes with that age frame. We have frequent episodes of dramatics, yelling, screaming, overwhelming (for us both) times and she is still being stubborn on potty use but is still working on it. On the flip side to the CRAZY threes (seriously twos have nothing on threes) she is making huge developmental strides. LM’s newest fascination is dressing herself, she loves to change a million times a day all by herself. It isn’t always right side in, or on just right but the concept is growing every day and I am very proud of that fact. She also is attending a play-school taught by a friend of mine twice a week. She is able to play with her friends and do some learning and activities, it has been fantastic for her and she absolutely LOVES it. Her conversational skills are also quite amusing – she is totally 2 1/2 going on 15.

MM is almost 8 months old, which is hard to believe. He has two bottom teeth and is working hard to get the top two to pop in as well. He crawls like a madman and regularly gets mad that he can’t walk like LM can. He wants to get around so badly and do everything. He is still quite the chunk and has a huge amount of personality. He also is still his daddy’s little clone.

I fill my days with child rearing, school work, and spending time with my best friend who is staying with me at the moment. My days are often overwhelming and I find myself needing to take more time to rest and reevaluate than I have in years past. I feel myself reflecting on things differently than I have at previous stages of my life.

As the Autumn air fills my lungs I remember the big things and the little things I must accomplish. I acknowledge the feelings I have for everything going on in my life right now and I center myself in the acceptance of my abilities and the focus of my mood. This journey we are embarking on will not be easy, but it is more than possible.

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Through Generations

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. ❤

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.

 

Been Awhile

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. 😀 Blessings to all.

What’s in a Name?

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. ❤

Go In Peace Good & Faithful Servant Edward

Edmund Cornelius ❤

And Then There Were Four

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.

It’s a New Year – Welcome 2014

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. 😀

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…

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. ❤

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