Thursday, March 21, 2013

Almost 2 years away....

I cannot believe it has been almost 2 years since I last blogged. It's not like I have nothing to say...if you know me at all you know that isn't true!! So what has happened in 2 years? Life.

I now have a high schooler, who is driving (only around the neighborhood so far). I have a 5th grader, so I am in the last 2 months of elementary school stages. The hubby is still making me laugh (at times!).  I am substitute teaching and loving it. The dogs are still alive and kicking. (is this good or bad???) We seem settled in life. My dad's death, and the grief that comes with it, seem to be at a healthy place. I can think of him and smile, remembering the dad I knew and loved, not the dad who died. We've now lived in the same town for 7+ years. We have lived in the same house for almost 5 years. Records for us!!

Has life been perfect. Nope. Not a chance. Does everything go our way? Nope. Not a chance. Do we just throw our hands up in the air and quit? Nope. Not a chance.

I like writing. I'm thinking about writing a book. Maybe this summer. My goal will be to write my blog. Some days may be profound. Some days, not so much. Some days 50 people might read it. Some days only I will read it. That is okay. So here's to blogging....AGAIN!

Monday, August 29, 2011


Grief is an interesting emotion and feeling. 3 years ago tomorrow, my dad talked to me for the last time. He held my boys' hands and we knew he knew what was going on, even if he didn't talk much. I remember him waking up and looking at me, and saying "Hey D." It wasn't an hour conversation. It didn't need to be. He told me he loved me. I told him I loved him. It is a memory I will cherish forever.

As the 3 year anniversary is approaching I sit and wonder when it gets easier. The grief has changed. 3 years ago I was caught up in the flurry and busyness of "things". Funeral. Visitation. Obituary. Family. I was sad, but it was a different sad. The one year anniversary I was bracing myself to be rocked to my core, but it didn't happen. In fact, I went through the first year pretty well. There weren't any huge emotional surges. I was surprised. I thought maybe I had gotten through it and moved on. Year 2 was pretty decent. A few moments here and there, but overall, similar to year 1. Then came the last year. I didn't see this coming!

Over the last year, and especially the last 6 months, I have found myself highly emotional. I have cried more this year than I have the previous years. I catch myself talking to him, as though he can hear me in heaven. I miss him. But I have missed him since he died. What is different? I think part of it is the realization that he is gone forever. Doesn't make sense, does it? Of course I knew it was forever. It is sinking in how long forever is. I have been desperate to see him, talk to him, laugh with him, cry with him....but that won't be happening, and that is so hard. My heart is broken. It broke September 2, 2008. My heart is still broken, but it aches in a way it hasn't before. I have no idea if this is normal or not. Maybe the professionals would tell me that this is very typical, that is takes several years to really deal with the loss. All I know is I feel robbed. To say I miss him doesn't do my feelings justice. I wanted to experience life with him, as we all grew older.

This week is full of emotions and memories. While I think we should celebrate his life and the amazing memories we have, I just don't feel like it. I am sure he would shake me and tell me to get to it, but he also would say to own my feelings. I am trying.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Self Assessment is Hard

Well, summer in our house is over. The boys are back at school. We are getting back into a routine. We are trying a few new things around here, so the boys can be a help around the house. I am trying to get organized. At the same time I doing some self assessment, with the help of a few people. This is not an easy thing to do.

About 14 months ago, my best friend moved to New York. I had not realized how much this hurt until I started looking into "me". Her son is Tyler's best friend. His little heart just broke, which broke my heart. But I picked myself up and dove into PTO, subbing, working....until it all came to an end in June. I have had the summer to decompress. While decompressing I realized how lonely I am. I realized just how special Caydee is to me and my whole family. I realized I threw myself into being busy, maybe so I wouldn't have to face life with the Bell family not 3 streets away, even though I didn't purposefully do that. I realized how important friendships are, and not just one special one, but many. I looked at my life and knew I needed to make some decisions.

My pastor's wife, Angie, has been a great friend and counselor. She has called me on the carpet, in a loving way, and helped me see some things. Today I realized I had up a wall I never knew I built, that didn't allow for close relationships to be built. It might hurt too much. My dad died almost 3 years ago. Caydee moved 14 months ago. I was feeling "abandoned", so to speak, at nobody's fault. I realized, while Matt and I have always loved entertaining and opening up our home, we have not done that. I gave myself a name, a social recluse. I don't sit in my house, in fact, many days I am not home at all. But socially, I am a recluse. I would rather watch a show or read a book than go out with friends. I need to change this. As much as I love Caydee, and can't wait for her to get back to Colorado, I cannot depend on her friendship alone to fill my loneliness.

Caydee and I were talking last week and she reminded me that I will get out of (fill in the blank, life, church, etc) what I put in. I have not been putting in anything into most areas of my life, except my family. This needs to change, somehow. So, being the person I am, I am analyzing, and then will come up with a plan (Matt will be so proud, he is the man with a plan!). Change isn't my favorite thing in life, but the place I am living in now will not work for the long term. Here's to change!!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Home Again and Happy!

July 1st we loaded up in the van and headed to Matt's parents' home at Lake of the Ozarks for our summer vacation. We usually go once a summer, but Matt and I didn't go last year so it had been 2 years for me. I love this place. I love boating. I love the pool. It is always relaxing. We were there for about 6 days and then Matt's extended family came for a reunion. We had a great time seeing everyone and catching up. It had been at least 7 years since we had since many, but honestly, I don't know that I ever talked to them as much as I did this past weekend. It is fun to see the different personalities come together. It was great for our kids to meet everyone. I was proud of them and how they socialized with people all weekend.

On our last boat ride on Sunday, both boys begged to stay longer, so being the amazing grandparents that Rick and Margie are, they found cheap one way tickets for the boys to come home later this week. Matt and I had a great road trip home- just the two of us. We talked the first 4 hours, nonstop. I wondered when the last time was we had that much time without interruption, to just talk and reconnect.

I sit here now in a very quiet house. I have mowed 3 yards today (covering for Jake since he won't be home to do it this week), done laundry, cleaned up the house a bit, and I wonder what to begin now. I have felt slightly unorganized for a few years. Sometimes the thought of getting organized is overwhelming. But I will persevere and head to Staples for office supplies. I will go through my freezers and inventory what is in there. I will plan out some menus and do some freezer cooking. And maybe I can get to a movie.

As much as I love vacation, I realized once again, that I love Colorado. There really isn't another place I would want to be. To quote Dorothy, "there's no place like home, there's no place like home."

Monday, June 20, 2011

Defining Success

I am sure most of you, like me, have wondered if where you are or what you have achieved in life has been deemed "successful". I think it is so easy to get caught up on that word instead of looking at the fruits of your life.

For instance, last week I got back into running. I was semi-watching what I was eating. Instead of feeling successful about getting back into, I was hard on myself that I had not been "perfect". It made me wonder why I associate "perfect" with success. They should not go hand in hand, should they?

In February I started substitute teaching as well as working part time in a temp position to help out my good friend while she had 2 ladies on maternity leave. While I was making extra money and being productive, I truly felt like a colossal failure as a wife and mother, since I wasn't managing the house as well as I did when I was home all day. I didn't make the connection that I was not home as much. My life was crazy busy. Instead, I felt like a total failure because the house wasn't as clean as I know Matt and I like. Instead of focusing on the fact we still had hot meals on the table for dinner and didn't eat out, I focused on the fact the meals I was serving were simple. Sometimes it was "fend for yourself" for dinner, which they all love, but I felt horrible about it. Basically, the expectation I had for me was to manage everything just as I had been, only adding a few more balls to juggle. No big deal, right?

When school got out 2 weeks ago I vowed to get my life back in control. I am getting some things done around here, but I am not where I envisioned myself being at this point. The office is still not organized. The pantry looks like it exploded, STILL. I am exercising, but not an insane amount, which makes me feel successful. I am trying to focus on what I have done and how I plan to get everything else done, in time. This is a very hard process for me. I wish I could have a little more of Matt's attitude. He doesn't stress about it, and figures it will all get done eventually.

I had an ah-ha moment this weekend. We were having a bbq with our neighbors on our street. I had someone come up and tell me how unbelievably kind and good mannered Jake is. How he is always willing to help out the little kids when they need it. That is when I realized my success should truly be measured by who we are, what kind of kids we are raising, and how we show love to people. I am not there yet, which isn't a failure. Shouldn't success be taking the steps to change things for the better? This was my first step.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Let's Try This Again

It has been a while since I have blogged. I truly wasn't sure anyone read anything I wrote. I got busy. I lost motivation. But I am back, and willing to try this again.

This year has been so busy, already! I cannot believe it is the middle of June. The boys just got out of school a week ago. Tyler is with Rick and Margie right now, but will be home tomorrow. Matt and I have spent some fun time with Jake. We leave in 2 weeks for vacation the the Lake of the Ozarks. I am in desperate need of this trip!! I think we all are. There is just something about being away from home that makes it possible to relax more. I might have laundry to do, but the list isn't as long. There is no office to clean. No closets to clean. No yard to take care of. Well, actually there is, but they aren't my responsibility, so I don't have to think about them!! (sorry Margie!)

Jake is now 13. He is taller than me. His voice is very deep. And I just sit and wonder where the time went?!? Tyler is 9. How do I slow this clock down?

Well, I promise to be more insightful tomorrow. I just wanted to get going on this again. Enjoy your summer. I intend to!!

Monday, March 15, 2010

The Big Ski Party

Tyler chose to take 2 friends skiing for his 8th birthday party this year. We figured this was much better than 10 kids at a fun center! So we loaded up the van bright and early Saturday morning and headed up the mountain. The weather was perfect, sunny, not too cold, but amazing snow- they had gotten 22 inches in the last week.

The boys were having so much fun. Smiles all around. We were going down one run, with lots of trees the boys love to go through, and had a little "miscommunication". I was in front, with Matt at the back, with boys sandwiched between us. This run has an area that can slow you down a bit, so Tyler and Matt were way behind the rest of us. We were waiting for them, when Matt calls me and figures out he went the wrong way, and would meet us at the lift eventually. We ski on, take a lift and do another run. We see Matt, and I say, "where's Tyler?" He smiles and laughs and says, "I don't have him, I thought you did." After a few minutes of realizing he wasn't joking, we realized he thought I had Tyler, and I thought he did. My mommy heart just about stopped! Fortunately he was waiting in the ski patrol office, petting a dog and watching TV. He then said this was the worst birthday ever and he gets a do-over!

After taking a lunch break, and telling him how cool he is that he made it to the lift but daddy didn't, making it a big deal how amazing he is, he was totally cool with it all! He even said it was pretty cool being lost. He said ," it's not like you were shot and dead, you just had to find me!" We spent the afternoon skiing the same run , over and over, and had 100% happy boys! Matt and our friend Jason went and took the snowcat up the mountain for a cool, powder run, and then met back up with us. So all 5 "boys" had a great day!

When I was putting Tyler to bed, he was smiling and said, "thanks mom, for the awesome birthday party! I had the best time ever. I love you!"

Be still my heart!