Celebrate the generations

Today Mark and I went to a memorial service for his uncle who recently passed away. We met our daughter, her husband and Marks mom there. The gathering was at the Frog Creek Town Hall. Now that’s middle of no where country right there! Good old Minong Wisconsin. A place I never imagined living but always enjoyed visiting.

What I realized today is that I am soooo thankful for family. This memorial service was more like a small (I mean small) family reunion. Marks dad was one of 15 kids. Today as we gathered together we see that the number has gone from 15 to 4. There are four left. But the one thing that sticks out about these gatherings is that there really is no sadness. I mean of course we are sad that they are no longer with us, but I watched as the family just laughed, shared stories, and ate. And ate , and ate, and ate! This is what we do!

From Aunt Janes homemade baked beans to Aunt Marges potato salad, to Aunt Kitty’s awesome pistachio and fudge striped cookie dessert, to the homemade buns with pulled pork (or chicken!?! Haha) and apple pie bars with the perfect amount of icing glazed over them.I wasn’t hungry when I got there. But we stuck around long enough to clean up and of course take a few to go containers. I decided I better take a spoon along too because I knew that potato salad was NOT making it home. Yes I ate the whole container of potato salad. Then started in on the BBQ pork… Or chicken… Still not sure what it was but it was GOOD! The apple pie bars would have to wait til I get home. Too messy to eat on the road .

As we cleaned up I pictured in my mind what it must have been like for these family members growing up. What their kitchen must have been like. How each child must have had their own special duties. I laugh wholeheartedly at the spunk of Aunt Jane… And completely enjoy ANY time I get to visit with Aunt Marge. Of course then there is Cindy… Always willing to lend a helping hand. It was just so fun to clean up in that kitchen with these ladies.

Then there are a few of the men in the family. I sat in awe as I watched our cousin Josh come in with his new baby girl and then to see his Grandpa, Marks uncle Steve come stand next to him. To see how much they look alike. To think to myself “THAT is exactly what Josh is going to look like when he’s older”. Marks cousin Mike comes in and the two of them stand facing each other talking, telling stories, and it’s like they are the mirror image of each other, the way they laughed, the way both their eyebrows raised the same way at the same time. Let’s not forget Uncle Mike…. The flash of that Waggoner butt crack..the pants just do NOT stay up on those Waggoner butts…John, Marks cousin. It was his dad who passed away. The jokes he and Mark would play on people saying they were twins….. What you need to know is that Mark is 6’3″…. Husky, broad shoulders, BIG GUY…. John, is I don’t know…. 5’8″ maybe?!? Short… Small… NOT husky… But Mark passed it off as they were not IDENTICAL TWINS DUH… they were fraternal. Bahaha

It really made me appreciate the privilege of being a part of this family. It made me realize the importance of always trying to make time for family.

I just think sometimes it is too easy to make an excuse to “not go” or to “not call” or whatever the case may be. I realize that these older family members especially really enjoy just the simple company and conversation. Heck, don’t we all? If given the chance to be a bright shining spot in someone’s day why not do it? When you get a prompting to call someone, call them…. When someone randomly pops in your mind, they popped in for a reason… So call them, stop by, write them a letter, send them a card. I guarantee you didn’t think about them for no reason.

So today, celebrate and enjoy your family… Enjoy those little moments and learn from the older wiser family members. They have lived through a lot and have a lot to share. Let their life be a continuing story to pass on through the generations.

✌🏻 

Let me tell you ’bout my dust problem- Gagballz

Let me tell you a story. Today I went in to Walmart to buy a bag of coconut so that I could try this new recipe. A recipe for the yummola Girl Scout cookies- the Samoas. Oh my heavenly stars these things are amazeballs! So I go in for coconut and come out with a new Dyson vacuum cleaner and a new carpet cleaner also. Hmmmm

So I get home and HAVE to try the vacuum out. It’s one that can go from carpet to hard floor. So I try it on the hard floor in my back entry/laundry area. GROSS! So dirty. So I empty it and move to the next room. I do the small area of carpet in my little hallway. Half a container of gross dust and pet hair!!!!!?!

I go to our bedroom… Another half a container of lovely Rocky (our black lab) hair. It’s now beginning to be a game… Empty after each room just to see how totally disgusting the next room is.

Ok… Here goes… Gonna vacuum my mattress. OH MY FREAKING GOSH!!!!! I now want to burn my fricken mattress and never touch it again! I’ve heard stories about this crazy crap but really?!?!.!?!! All the other dust in my house was a greyish dust colored dust. THIS… Was a different color “dust”. Maybe, just maybe cause it’s not really DUST…. We’ve been sleeping In a pile of our own nAsty dead skin cells. Oh mylanta how absolutely disgusting!

It’s not a game anymore- I’m totally sick about how I thought my house was so clean… Yet seeing what came up realizing it was far from it! I JUST vacuumed on Monday… Like thoroughly vacuumed. Two days later it’s like I’m in a sesspool of dust!? Ugh let’s just says old vacuum really sucked! Or really DIDNT suck!

Shout out to Dyson however for making a kick-a** cleaner! Impressed!

 

(not that anyone TRULY cares about my dust issue I do have to follow this up with the fact that I’m not a pig… Kinda obsessively clean actually… That’s why it amazed me how dirty my house was😳… Anyhoo…)

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I love my kids, what can I say?

Last Friday my son had shoulder surgery. He is 19 years old, but still my baby. He came home with us to recover for a while. What I learned in having him here and somewhat dependent on me is that he is the void I’ve been missing. When he’s around I’m happy.

I’ve found myself lately in a slight ,I don’t wanna say depression, but it guess that is probably it. I’ve found myself down in the dumps, and kinda sad. Going about my days in the same old routine…which is normally fine because that’s the way my life is.

However having Austin around has given me purpose…it’s in a sense like having a little child again totally dependent on you to make sure they get their medicine on time, that they have enough to eat, that they are warm enough, that they are as comfortable as you can make them, trying to keep their spirits up so they don’t get in a slump…you play endless games of Yahtzee to try to keep their mind off of pain, you are awake when they are awake, you sleep when they sleep.

This all comes at a cost though. Austin is filling a void I’ve been missing, but at what cost? He’s in pain, he’s going stir crazy being laid up in a house, he wants to be independent but there’s certain things he can’t so for himself. I overdo… I’m constantly asking what I can do for him, even things I know he can do for himself. It comes back to me wanting him to need me. I just want that little boy back that only needed me. I wonder how on earth he would get through this if he wasn’t here. He would. I guess he’d have to. The cost–I’m serving my own selfish needs through his pain….through his situation.

Mom of the year award goes to…….😞

I like to take care of people, make sure their needs are met. I honestly don’t know what I’m going to do when he goes home and I’m not there for him 24/7. When my daughter had her appendix out it was the same situation. I didn’t even want to let her dad take care of her because he wouldn’t do it the same as me.

My love for my kids is so great… So huge. There’s not a thing I wouldn’t do for them. I need them far more than they need me, and I’m okay with that.
I have to learn though that my happiness cannot come from them. They can BRING me happiness but my happiness cannot come FROM them. I’m not being the best mom I can be if my only happiness comes from them filling my voids. And honestly what pressure that puts on my kids. How Selfish of me. What pressure to put on your kids having them worry about if YOU are happy or not.

So as I sit here writing this, watching his chest rise and fall while he sleeps… All I see is my little boy…the little boy I want to hold in my arms and hug all his pain away. Let the whole world fade… And while I have him here I will cherish every moment.

And when the time comes for him to want to go home, I will trust that he will be okay.

And at that time, I will have to trust that I, too…… Will be….okay…

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Food for thought~my top 10 “life-isms”

 Some say I’m too sensitive, truth is I just feel too much.  Every word, action and energy goes straight to my heart.

Anyone who knows me, knows that I am an open book.  Let me rephrase that… People don’t always know the intricate details of what’s going on in my mind, but I do wear my heart on my sleeve and don’t hide it very well when things are bothering me. I’m very intuitive and  I feel things very strongly. I usually know things that are going on with people sometimes before even they do. Like the quote says, every word whether it is spoken or not go straight to my heart… Every action whether it’s taken or not go straight to my heart… And every energy whether it be good or bad go straight to my heart.

There isn’t enough room in your mind for both worry and faith. You must decide which one will live there.

Here is my double edged sword…I have tremendous faith… Alongside of that, I am probably the biggest worrier you have ever met. I can sit and analyze things in my mind to the point that I make myself sick. I come up with every possible scenario that could happen, (usually the worst case scenario).  That being said, every day we have a choice… A choice to let Faith live in our mind or a choice to let worry dwell there. I’m not saying that I always make the right decision, I am just saying it all comes down to a personal choice.

Be selective in your battles, for sometimes peace is better than being right.

Man, I have told my kids this their entire lives, but first I told myself.  My kids would fight when they were younger over which one was right, who did this or who did that. It really comes back to not sweating the small stuff. I would tell my kids as they were fighting with each other, “Sometimes when YOU know the truth, that’s all that matters, let things roll off your back.” I mean, does it REALLY matter…some of these small things? Things like me coming up with an idea, my kids thinking there’s no way on earth they would ever consider it,  but then a few months down the road they get this BRILLIANT idea… (Which was MY idea, by the way) it’s then, that I just have to sit back and say “GREAT IDEA!!” And leave it at that… Peace…

The worst part about being strong is that no one ever asks if YOU’RE okay.

This one is pretty self explanatory, but I will be the first to admit, even if someone DOES ask me if I’m okay, I always tell them I am… I’m always “fine”…. (The other bad f-word) when a woman is fine, she is NEVER fine. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE being strong for everyone else, it just becomes harder when it’s for you.

* What if you woke up today with only the things that you thanked God for yesterday?

This is pretty powerful. Think about it and let it sink in. So many times we go about our day solely for us. We go through the routine of things, and seldom take time to appreciate everything that’s before us. I’m talking the things that are REALLY important. Things like your family, friends, food to eat, a roof over your head, a job… Heck… Just the fact that you even woke up. NOT material things…. Important things. Imagine waking up in the morning, and it was only you. No family, nothing. UFF da…

Until God opens a new door for you, praise Him in the hallway.

We spent many, many years waiting for opportunities to come our way. Wondering silently to ourselves, when our ship would come in. God has to have a bigger plan we would tell ourselves. He certainly doesn’t want us living in the situations we are being so unhappy. Little did we know, we were being molded and prepared for something great. Along the way we were taught patience, trust and learned a lot about ourselves and how we deal with things. My husband and I both, learned a lot about forgiveness and bitterness. It seems that once we had a firm grasp on those things and how they affected us , our lives took a dramatic change .Our ship came in about a year and a half ago when all of our waiting finally paid off.  We were blessed with a new job, change of scenery, a beautiful home to live in and great employers.

Don’t feel bad if people only remember you when they need you… Feel privileged that you are a candle that comes to their mind when there is darkness.

Simply put, always be a blessing.  Don’t worry about the “poor me syndrome”. Life is about helping others, putting others first. I’m a firm believer that what you put out always comes back to you, and you should consider it a great privilege when somebody trusts you enough with their most important issues. They are coming to you for a reason, don’t let them down.

Don’t be like the rest of them darling…

I Am so very thankful that my kids are individuals… Strong individuals. Kids that may bicker and argue, but when crap hits the fan they are the first ones there for each other. I guess we all have a little bit of the “world” in us, but I take pride in the fact that we do have a very close family. I’m thankful for the characteristics in my children that enable them to be different. To be their own individuals, without a care of what anybody else thinks.  ~~~~that being said….~~~~

I am about to show you what happens when you screw with one of my kids… Brace yourself, this is going to hurt.

Self explanatory right? Any mom out there knows… This is just a given.

Lord help me to remember that there’s nothing that can happen today, that you and I can’t handle together.

Even after all the issues I’ve just discussed here, it all comes down to faith…have a little faith that there is a greater plan than you or I can even comprehend,  and trust that it will come to pass. Be strong enough to handle the big things, but never sweat the small stuff!

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They call me “Master Enabler”

I’ve come to be known as the “Master Enabler”. Part of me takes a lot of pride in the fact that my kids, people…. Need me. The other part realizes I’m really doing no one any good by my enabling ways. There’s a bible verse that says to train a child in the way they must go and when they grow up they will not wander from it. You can’t have it both ways…. You either trust the job you did in raising your kids, or you think you have to buffer each and every fall they may take in their lives because you think they can’t handle it.

It seems that I am constantly checking up on my kids, making sure of this or that. I feel confident that we raised great kids and in the long run I know they could probably handle anything that’s thrown at them….however, there’s a certain satisfaction in knowing that I have dotted all the “I’s”and crossed all the “T’s” in all of life’s situations that get thrown at them.

You see, I’m a stay-at-home wife… Especially in the winter months there’s not much for me to do. So I sit around and worry and wonder about my kids. I wonder if my son got his bills paid on time…. And should I just make a phone call to him real quick and see? I wonder how my daughters budgeting is going…. Does she have it all figured out and is everything on track? I wonder if my kids have enough to eat…. Maybe I should just make a few freezer meals and bring down for them next time I see them…(my daughter is married now, this should not be an issue for me). My son recently graduated, and I wonder has he gotten his thank you notes sent out? I bought him envelopes… Even gave him a simple solution for writing his thank you notes out, as boys generally don’t love to do those sorts of things…. Should I help him? No, I should not help him… That would be enabling him. Which is what I do best. And Lord forbid there not be homemade cookies in the cookie jar at all times! My poor husband wonders why it is only when the kids come that I bake goodies…. Poor guy!

My son is going in for shoulder surgery next week. I called him the other day and told him to call me after he was done with his pre-op appointment. He said, “Mom, that’s not till tomorrow”-“Are you sure? You said it was today”—“Wow, glad I have you, you’re right it IS today”. See, if I wouldn’t have asked him about that appointment he would’ve missed it. But then he probably would have learned a lesson from that also. By me constantly reminding, I guess my kids maybe aren’t learning the lessons they might need to.

I can be like a detective when I need to be. If somethings going on I usually know, and if I don’t know at the moment…. I WILL find out. See, I get these feelings…gut feelings. I can usually sense when something is going on with my kids. So then I poke and I prod until I get the answers I need. My daughter is easy, just ask and she usually spills it. My son, however, does not give information out that easily. I guess that’s the beauty of how different two kids within the same family can be.

My poking and prodding, in my mind, is my way of just making sure that they are okay… That their heart is being protected… That they are just okay. For some reason, if I don’t have some sort of regular communication with them, I kind of lose it. That must be the control freak in me.

It must be that I’m not totally ready for my kids to be grown up and on their own. I still want them to need me… I still want to have the solution for all their problems… I still want them to come to me for help. I (emphasis on “I”) want to be the one.

People need to struggle a bit…. We certainly did. We had some help along the way also. I guess that’s what I want to do for my kids. We all want our kids to have a better life than we did, so by helping them out here or there I feel like we really ARE helping them. I justify by saying that I don’t want them to have to go through certain things if we can help them bypass it. But once again I know that’s really not teaching them anything, sometimes life’s lessons need to be learned by screwing up or making a mistake, not having your parents be able to bypass everything for you.

Every time I watch Dr. Phil and he has parents on his show who are enabling their kids, I think to myself “Man, is that me or what?” Dr. Phil always has this statement with those parents… ” You are parenting out of guilt… You are parenting this way to make yourself feel better… You don’t really want what’s best for your kids, you want what’s best for you… You want what makes you happy.” Sheesh Dr. Phil, take it easy on me! I just love my kids and want what’s best for them, that’s all! But do I? I want to fix all their problems, take care of them so that I, me…not my kids, so that I feel better knowing that the problem was avoided. The thoughts that go through my head tell me that makes perfect sense….

So the part I am trying to work on now is letting go. I KNOW that I don’t need to be in control of everything that’s going on all the time…But I WANT to be. For crying out loud, my daughter is married and thinking of starting her own family, where she too will soon figure out just what it’s like to be a mom who loves her kids sooooo much she would do anything to not let them feel pain…to know struggle…and my son will also find himself in the same situation.  Then, quite possibly they will understand better why I chose to do and say some of the things I did.

 

**side note after re-reading: I just realized that in my crazy, twisted mind I think by “saving” my kids from situations in life that I am, in a sense portraying to the world that I have done THEE perfect job with my kids… That I have raised them to not make mistakes… Thus making ME look like Mom of the Year… Hmmm. Revelation- there’s that pride thing again!  We sure don’t want anyone knowing that we are human and make mistakes and are not perfect!

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Is winter everrrrr going to end?!?

 

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Well, it’s April 4th & we are officially in our 7th, YES….7th month of having snow on the ground! Our first snowfall came on October 19 and today we woke up to a fresh 12 + inches and it’s still coming down!  Mark’s out cleaning up with the big skid steer and snowblower to try to stay ahead of it. Last big snow he spent about 32 hrs in that thing blowing snow.
See, up here…. We don’t just get an inch or so…. Our snow comes in double digits almost always! Sheesh! Now think of this…. 7 months of snow so far and last year we got a huge dump on May 5! So there is a great possibility that we will see 8 months of snow-which gives us 4 months to split up spring, summer, and fall.  Sheesh! I’m a warm weather girl….WHAT is wrong with this picture?  Appears to be a great day to snuggle in with a pot of coffee (or two).

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