Being Present

A  few days ago I had a conversation with a girlfriend about this stage in our lives.  The constant entertaining of a toddler, wiping a behind and all of the other stuff that goes along with keeping a small human alive on a daily basis!  Being a stay at home mom is hard on so many levels.  I also always have the feeling of “not doing enough.” Either with my business that I help run from our home, keeping the house picked up or keeping up with a girlfriend.

The thought hit me like a ton of bricks.  My kids will only be kids for a short amount of time.  In just a few months my son, my baby, will start attending a 2 day a week Mother’s Day Out.  Granted that is only a few days a week, but time is moving fast.  I will not beat myself up over helping in our business, having all the laundry folded or being MIA on friends.  God has entrusted me with a beautiful family that I have the honor or loving and leading.  At this point in my life that is all that matters.  So today and everyday after this one I will be more aware of being present in the moment and enjoy this stage of parenting and soak it all in.  Everything else can wait.

Visiting a Grandma with Alzheimer’s Disease

 

Yesterday while my two youngest children were asleep I decided to take my oldest to visit her Grandmother.  I sadly have not been able to visit my mom twice in one week in quite some time and figured it was the perfect opportunity.
On the way I picked up some ice cream for the three of us to enjoy together.  One thing my mom has always LOVED is ice cream.  My daughter and I have also seemed to have inheretated that gene.  🙂
Before arriving at my mom’s facility I had a little talk with my daughter about Grandma.  It had been a while since it had just been the three of us and since I didn’t have her brother and sister with us, I knew we would be spending more time with just my mom.  Usually “the talk” involves me telling her about how Grandma is sick and may act different, but that we still love her very much.  I have no clue what to say and honestly never thought in a million years I would have to have this talk with my 3 year old child!
My daughter was initially all about Grandma.  Interacting with her, hugs, kisses and singing her songs. As the hour or so wore on Addy started to become afraid of Grandma.  Mom’s erratic behavior and her not making any sense was making her nervous.  At one point my daughter said, “Mommy Grandma talks like Evie!”  Evie is my two year old daughter.  For the last year or so my mom has also decided she hate shoes and takes them off every opportunity she can get.  Addy was not happy when I had to explain to her that it was ok for Grandma to have one shoe, but she had to leave hers on.
There was also an “incident” while we were there that really put the icing on the cake.  I had gotten napkins with our ice cream and had them on the table.  Here recently the facility has been struggling because my mom has been “pocketing” things/food/you name it.  The problem with that is the fear of aspiration.  Mom could easily choke on objects and it is a serious risk.  She also is having problems swallowing and eating, but that story is for another day.
I turned around for one minute and by time I realized it she had eaten almost an entire napkin!  My first reaction was to look to the left at my daughter.  The look on her face broke my heart.  My focus then turned back to my mom and the fact that I needed to get it out of her mouth!  I tried to open it and she refused.  I tricked her into saying “Ahhh” and tried to fish it out and CHOMP!  She bit me!  This really didn’t go over well with Adalynn.  She was then super concerned that her mommy was hurt.  My heart was torn in half.  Help my mom and this large ball that she was now chewing or comfort my young daughter who was now terrified that Grandma bit her mom.
I quickly jumped up and grabbed a few staff members and explained what happened.  Long story short it took FIVE of them to get mom restrained enough to get in her mouth open and get the large ball of napkin out.  All the while she was screaming and hollering “NO, NO, NO PLEASE DON’T!”  Addy was done.  Officially terrified.
We left soon after and my heart broke all over again for my mom.  Here she was at 66 years old, not able to enjoy her Granddaughter and at this moment in time scared her to death.  When we walked out the door my mom gave me a precious goodbye that left me and many of the workers in tears.  I am learning that seeing her more often and when I don’t have all 3 children help her to connect with me.  My precious daughter however did not want to say goodbye or even hug her Grandmother.
Today my daughter was still talking about Grandma and the napkin incident.  My prayer is that the Lord gives me the right words to speak to her and that the memories that the does have with her Grandmother are good ones because my mom deserves that.  My job is to make sure all of my children know what an incredibly strong and loving woman their Grandmother was and to do everything in my God given abilities to fight this horrid disease!
Blessings,
Tk

Marriage is hard

marriage-is-hard

On a daily basis I a reminded of how hard marriage really is.  Sharing your life with someone is just plain work.

When I was married over 7 years ago I went into it with realistic expectations.  As a child of not one, but two divorces I knew the journey ahead would not be easy.  Since I knew what divorce was and what it did to children caught in the crossfire, I was going to work my butt off to make my marriage work.  There would be NO easy way out.  Divorce would never be an option.  Ever.

Fast forward 7 years and two children and I now understand.  I totally get how people can throw up their hands and move on to something “better.”  Or just give up and divorce.  This stuff is hard!  And you have to work on the relationship DAILY!
One major thing I have learned is communication is key.  That and surprises!

Surprises- Now I don’t mean presents per say.. (but I do love presents)   🙂
Just something different from the day to day monotony of life.  Sweet notes written with markers on the bathroom mirror, other special notes hidden through out the house for your spouse to find, flowers.. get creative.  Money is NOT the primary here, it is the thought.

Communication- Communication sucks.  No lie, I was a communication major in college.  I can talk to people.  I love people!  Yet, sometimes telling my husband that I feel neglected in some way or that feel like I need him to help me out more in an area around the house is super hard for me.  Honestly it is just easier for me to keep my mouth shut!  But is “easier” really going to help this relationship long term?  No.

Since we have hit the “7 year itch” mark I have found that we have been going through some major growth in our marriage.  We have now been together almost 10 years and we know each other.. well.  Yet, as life moves on day to day our “normal” if there was ever one, has changed.  And with that becomes some serious work in the two of us.  Thankfully, we are not alone and we have the Lord to help guide us and give us direction and support in our marriage.

“But at the beginning of creation God made them male and female.  For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and two will become one flesh.  So they are no longer two, but one.  Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.”  (Mark 10: 6-9)

Powerful.  Marriage has been around forever and God smiles upon the sacred vow.  Praying and calling out to Him for help or get connected to people of faith to give spiritual advice is key.  I don’ t know about you, but I just love the part about “becoming one flesh.”  I put this verse on our program at our wedding and it still gets me warm and fuzzy on the inside all of these years later.  It is romantic to me… living out the rest of your life with one person who knows you like no one else.

I have not one doubt in my mind that on that fateful Christmas night that Chris and I were supposed to cross paths.  I know we were put together to make a difference in not only our children’s lives, but those around us.  We want to share our love of God and our passion for quality health for all that will listen.  No matter how hard the day to day may seem of sharing my life with my husband, I will do my best everyday to work at us.  Because we started with “us” and until my last living breath.. it will end with us.

We have decided that every Sunday night we will have some time for us and our week.  Talk about the week ahead, our finances, pray, and hopefully finally start a bible study that we have been talking about for a while now.
I challenge you to do the same!  Let’s make 2015 the year that marriages are strengthened, restored and rejuvenated!

Blessings,
Tk