Hunting season eve


Well, it’s the evening before gun hunting here in Wisconsin.  Hunting is such an important part of my family’s life. The men in my immediate family prefer bow hunting over gun hunting by far, but there is something intriguing about this time of year.

 
Every year, religiously, I make “Papas chili”. Years ago when my husband was a child his dad made his special chili every hunting season and kept it in a huge metal pot warming on the space heater stove at the cabin. Some amazing memories were made there.

 
Once Mark and I started dating I got to partake in the tradition. To be totally honest I never cared for that chili. Mostly because they made it with venison😷. I didn’t grow up on venison so I didn’t care for it. Who knew I would soon grow to love it (made with beef of course) & actually crave it?!

 
Once we had kids we started bringing them to the cabin for lunch during hunting season. Papas chili was a hit. It was there that my son Austin would proudly wear his blaze orange that was adorned with his dad’s previous years back tags. He had quite a collection. He would stand next to the railing on the deck barely able to see over it resting his chin on his crossed arms just dreaming of the day he’d be big enough to go hunting himself.

My daughter Sam would also come to the cabin and sometimes bring her friends. They would sport the very fashionable plastic blaze orange vests and caps. I don’t think hunting was on her mind as much as just getting to the cabin to have fun.  Although she did prove to be quite the shooter once she decided she wanted to hunt. I say shooter, not hunter because she didn’t care to sit long and it rarely took more than an hour or so before her deer came in and she dropped it right in its tracks.

Opening day was and still is exciting to me. As soon as the guys would leave to go to the woods I would crack open the window a bit, no matter how cold-and sit with my coffee and just wait to hear the first gunshots. It was always very hard to tell which direction they came from. I’m directionally challenged the way it is and echoes didn’t help. But I always knew if it was coming from one of my family on our property. Then I would hear the four wheeler engine coming through the woods. I knew someone got one then!

 
To this day on opening day I still patiently wait and listen. It can be very bittersweet because now it is just myself and my husband . My kids are grown and on their own. They each go in their own direction and I still worry about them and their safety. Not everyone is careful out there. Not everyone was taught right from wrong. Not everyone was educated to do the right thing. Not everyone plays safe. But in the end I trust that all will be fine.

 
I await the day when our grandson Connor may be the little one excited to go hunting, or maybe he won’t want anything to do with it. He’s an animal lover for sure, but also a growing boy that could sure help provide for his family someday.

 
At any rate, I pray each hunter is safe and that there is a hedge of protection around each one.  Happy hunting!

✌️

Moments time stood still

Have you ever had things happen in your life that took your breath away? That seemed as though time stood still? Here is a list of some of the things throughout my life where time actually seemed to stop…for even just a brief second that seemed like a thousand years. The times where you always remember where you were when it happened. Where the whole room became silent as if you were the only ones there. In no particular order:

*Seeing my daughters big bright eyes open moments after giving birth to her, looking around,so alert.  Did I just create this beautiful little girl?

*The final push I gave when having Austin. The last push I didn’t think I had in me. Hearing the Dr say, “One more and you’ve got it.” Hearing Mark say “I know you can do this Mis-”

*Hearing my daughter in excruciating pain as she was giving birth to her own baby. Knowing this was one of those moments I couldn’t just rush in and hug her and reassure her it was going to be okay.

*Seeing my grandson Connor for the first time, eyes open laying on his moms chest…my grandson-to finally meet the boy I fell so in love with before I even knew him.

*Finding out I was going to have a baby for the first time. In that split second when I saw the pregnancy test results a flood of emotions from “Oh no!” To “Really?” To “How am I gonna do this?” To “What is Mark gonna think?” To “Wow…really?” All of those emotions seems to flood in at the same exact moment.

*Finding out I lost a baby.

*Finding out God blessed me with another baby on the way.

*Having a procedure done in a Drs office where I almost bled to death. The dr wouldn’t let me call my husband and told me to drive home and take Tylenol. We didn’t have cell phones then. So I listened to him and thankfully I made it. As he hit an artery and I almost passed out from extreme blood loss I saw the room go dark and thought my time had come. What an asshole that dr was!

*Watching my son get wheeled off to have shoulder surgery. There’s nothing like hugging him and seeing him go. I knew he’d be okay but when you see fear in your child’s eyes and can’t do a thing to fix it, it is really hard. Watching him get wheeled off seemed like it took an eternity.

*My first kiss. We played a stupid game where we had to look at each other straight in the eye and whoever looked away first had to kiss the other one. How stupid. I lost,but also didn’t make the first move. Not aggressive that way. Haha

*Seeing who would someday be my future husband for the first time. I was roller skating with a friend and he wheeled by and man did I think he was cute! Who knew? 😉

*The first time my future husband kissed me. I won’t forget. Once again we were roller skating. (it was THEE place to be) I was skating along and he wheeled up in front of me, very cool just turned himself around so he was skating backward so he was facing me- and said “I’m gonna kiss you now.” And he did. And off he went. 😍

*Writing my name with my future husbands last name on everything I owned. Who doesn’t do that?  Don’t say you haven’t done that!

*Hearing my grandma had breast cancer. There are no words when someone you love so much gets news like that. I remember calling her the night before her mastectomy and making sure she knew God and loved Him. I seriously thought she might die in that surgery and I needed to know where she stood.

*Phone calls in the middle of the night from my sister. They were never pleasant. Always scared the day lights out of me. I always regretted those calls but was always glad she called me and I was there.

*Finding out I was going to be a grandma. Numerous times. There is no greater joy than that of a baby. Especially when your babies are having babies.

*Hearing my son for the first time ever be sooo excited about this new girl he met. He brought her to meet us and they really clicked. I remember going to bed that night whispering to my husband “I like her…” And he said “I do too…” I remember calling my daughter saying, “she fits right in, like she’s been here forever.” He’s had other girlfriends but none has he ever spoke so intently about. At the time I thought to myself  “We will see, at first they ALL seem to be ‘the one’…” But hearing him so excited, as never before made me stop and think about his future for a moment and what it  might bring. Now I know that she completes him, and they are getting married!

*Getting life changing news

*Dealing with losses from both my children. There is nothing worse than the calls or messages saying that my children have lost a child. Each and every time my heart felt as though it stopped. I dropped to the ground. I dropped my phone. There’s nothing worse than that feeling of helplessness and that you can’t do a single thing to fix this.

I’m certain there are many more things that made time stand still. These are just a few highlights. The ones that came to mind instantly. I cherish all of them good or bad. They’ve strengthened me. Appreciate everything you go through. They truly all have a purpose.

✌️

Christmas~Family~Legacies

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Absolutely one of my favorite times of the year. There’s really something magical about Christmas! (When things are going well that is….my blog from last years Christmas was not as happy!) I just love throwing on some Kenny G and digging Christmas decorations out. Just makes me mellow.

I used to love when the kids would line up all their ornaments on the floor, reminiscing about each one. I went through various stages at Christmastime as we became empty nesters. Our first year here as empty nesters I cried doing all this because I still had my sons ornaments (our daughter had been on her own for a few years and had all hers-although the first year I put the tree up without hers was equally as hard!). I remember thinking back to each one remembering details of why they got the ornament they did that year. So I cried. The second year here my son now had his ornaments, so I was a bit more used to it but the kids weren’t getting along and that made me mad…I didn’t have the Christmas spirit- I was bitter and angry and actually took the tree down before Christmas even came! So I cried. This third year here I started thinking about putting the tree up so I sent my son a message telling him if he felt like he was missing out on Kenny G and me bawling my head off he was welcome to come up for the day! Haha ! Well little did I know he decided to come up and help me put up and decorate the tree!  He and his fiancé! I know he could have been doing a ton of other things and I know just the thought of Kenny G makes his ears bleed but he was a trooper! I appreciated that so much! The gift of time is a precious thing!

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This was our grandsons first Christmas. It was so fun! He’s at a very fun stage right now where his mind is so curious and he’s so active. As all kids he could have cared less about his gifts and more so loved the paper. His obsession right now is cell phones, laptop cords, all the things he is not supposed to have. He is perfect, and so much fun! He also got his first haircut (at 6 mos old)and has just recently started eating solid food. He enjoyed some morning playtime with Uncle Austin and loves when he hears Auntie Allyshas voice! He was a bit taken with her this weekend! Let me thank my beautiful daughter and son in law, without who we would not have this beautiful bundle of joy!  

     

    This was our first year hosting Christmas with my side of the family and had a great turnout. A few families could not make it and they certainly were missed, but we still ended up with about 22. Lots of food, lots of fun! Games and outdoor play for the kids, fellowship and cameraderie for the adults.

img_0689 It was great to spend time with family, especially my Gram who will be turning 90. Still full of spit and vinegar now more than ever! We had lots of fun doing selfies with Gram!  image

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My niece was born on Christmas Day so I always feel bad for her having to celebrate both at the same time. Although my daughter phrased it perfectly- “You are so special that God chose you to share the same birthday with His Son.” I like to try to keep things separate for her and make it as special as I can. She got an amazing new flat iron from Sam and Jordon and a girly goodie basket and things from us. We took her out for dinner and they gave her an Oreo ice cream drink. I was very thankful to have some time with her! She always puts others ahead of herself, would rather give than receive, and it was great to spoil her a bit and make it about only her!          The weekend ended with all of us in the man cave playing cards and just hanging out! Absolutely LOVE weekends like this!

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I am very thankful to be able to spend as much time with my family as I do. You hope you make a difference in their lives when you see them and that you are creating a legacy that they will remember throughout their lives.  It makes my heart happy to spend time with them, to see them making it, making good choices, living happy lives, doing the right things regardless of their circumstances.  My husband reassured and told me this weekend as I got emotional over so many things that I was seeing the fruits of my labor in action this weekend, that living by example is such a profound thing. That there is always someone watching how you live, how you choose to deal.

I am so blessed! I hope you all had a great Christmas and that it carries into the new year!

✌🏻

*side note* Allysha LOVED her new selfie stick! 😜

Thanksgiving 2015

Happy belated Thansgiving!  It was yet another perfect day for our family! Great food & camaraderie.

Our daughter Sam and her husband hosted Thanksgiving  this year at their house. It was a special one as it was our grandson Connors first Thanksgiving.   What a cutie, huh?

We had sooo much food! Everything was so good! Everyone brought a dish to pass to help out. We had turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, sweet potatoes, corn, cranberry sauce, buns, stuffing, pumpkin, pecan and apple pie. Needless to say naps followed.   

 It’s such a great time of year. A time for family, traditions and making memories.   It’s always fun to get together. Our son is engaged, our daughter and her husband still pretty newly married, and always fun to see how everyones families celebrate. Even though we seem to do the same things it’s nice to have that routine. It’s nice to show what is important to our family and what we hold dear. From preparing the meals, to watching the men with their full bellies meander to the living room while the ladies clean up and have great conversations there also. Not that it’s just a woman’s place to be in the kitchen & a mans on the couch– haha! Call me old fashioned, I just enjoy the cameraderie amongst the girls. We hope that we leave a legacy of just wanting to be together through life’s events.  It’s our greatest wish that family would be priority to all, no matter the event. 

I’m so blessed and trying super hard to incorporate that thankful feeling all year long. I have so much to be thankful for…we all do. It’s so much more than just a day. 

🍂🍁🍂

My music meltdown while mowing lawn

When I mow lawn (which I love love love to do-I’m not being sarcastic, I LOVE it! It’s my “therapy-solve all the worlds problems” time) but when I mow lawn I listen to music. Boy the range of emotions I go through while I’m mowing my lawn! 

Yesterday while mowing lawn, Kenny Chesneys song-” Don’t blink” came on. For those who don’t know it, it’s basically about the fact that in a blink of an eye your kids grow up, your kids 6 & you blink and they are 25 having their own kids. Oh boy…I have a grandson on the way-due anytime now. I started bawling my head off. The song up until now has held meaning because of my kids. NOW, I have a grandson to think about. I’m the absolute worst person for jumping to unnecessary conclusions and this time was no different. 

I sat and cried my eyes out through the entire song thinking to myself , “We live too far away😢 (we are an hour away😒) he’s never going to remember me if I don’t see him every day, he’s going to be scared of me because he won’t even (sniffle, sniffle)…know me😭, I’m going to go pick him up and he’s going to cry and not want me because….😭😭😭😭I will be a stran…😭😭😭ger…Wah, wah, wah.”

Wow huh? Time to reinstate-or actually START weekly family dinners! 

Next song-Pink, U and Ur Hand….hahaha! I go from this sentimental moment to that. Next song is Carrie Underwood “See you again”. Makes me think of my niece Destiny and I sitting in my kitchen and this song came on and I decide she should make sure this song gets played at my funeral when I die, because I want everyone to know I will “see them again”…. She just looks at me in that teenager tone—-“ohhhhh….kayyyyyyy….”😯

Then Nickelbacks “Burn it to the Ground” comes on and it makes me wanna drive fast and sing loud! I reminisce on my bff and I-this is OUR song. When we get together we have way too much fun…been told we are way too obnoxious but we typically have a great time! 

Next up-Kenny G….and I find myself mellowing and having a hard time mowing a straight row. 

Then good old George Strait—give it all we got. LOVE that song! Oh it goes on and on and on-All the while I have headphones on and I sing like I’m the only one in the universe.

Mowing lawn really IS therapeutic. Who needs to dish out cash to some big, high falootin quack??? I’ll just keep singing my heart out on my bad boy mower….

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No prejudice here -😉- My kids are the best!

Let me tell you about my perfect Mother’s Day & the not so perfect conversation that led up to it.  I have the best kids! This day didn’t come easy though-let me explain!

Anyone who knows me knows that it is super hard to do anything nice for me. I have this huge problem of always wanting to do things for others but never let anyone do anything for me.

The kids wanted to make me dinner. So naturally I try my hardest to just tell them I will pick the things up and they don’t have to worry about it. When that didn’t work I tried making the suggestion that I just at least give some money to pay for the food. When that didn’t work I figure my next line of defense is to try to keep things as simple as I can and suggest “hamburgers and brownies”. Then due to my overthinking I realize hamburger is REALLY expensive right now, so then I tell my daughter to just get whatever the cheapest meat is.

In the midst of all these conversations my daughter is no doubt rolling her eyes and getting madder and madder with each text she receives from me. I continue.

I find out she is planning chicken. Wellllll…when I was at the store it was on sale so I just “grabbed a pack” just in case. She tells me she doesn’t need it. So I throw it in the freezer.

Before I tell you how the rest of this story goes I need to explain.  My daughter is having a baby in 6 short weeks. The baby room is not completed yet and they have other projects to finish also. My son is still getting back on his feet after a shoulder surgery and a winter of no work after his place of employment closed  the doors. So neither are in the perfect place to be spending money on me. We are in a better financial position than we have been in a long time and it just makes more sense to me that we take care of it.

Also let me say, in all honesty even if they were loaded I would still be the same way…I would still have a hard time letting them spend money on me.  I wonder why that is-where that mentality came from…..

Well what came next kinda rocked my world. I get this big long text about what a slap in the face it is when I don’t let people do things for me. Things that *I* taught them how to do. That I taught her how to cook, how to give to people, how to do nice things for people so why won’t I let her use those parts of her heart.

It spiraled into so much more. Things like when her husband tells her she’s beautiful she half heartedly says thanks in a  grumbly kind of way-In a way that tells him she doesn’t believe him. Ouch….. I taught her that! That someday she may have a daughter and when she tells her daughter she is beautiful she may say “No I’m not…you don’t think you are so I’m not either” She told me that her daughter will not only be watching her mommy but will also have her eyes on her grandma and I better get it together.

It all comes back with the fact that I should be proud of who she is and how I raised her not discouraging her. She also reminded me that she witnessed many times that we did for others and gave when money was tight and we made it out just fine. She hit me with one last …”You are robbing me of my blessing by not accepting what im trying to do for you” Oh and to just suck it up and say thank you. Haha! She’s all mine!

Well,  I sucked it up (the best I could) and had to sit in the kitchen and watch my pregnant little daughter stand there and make me dinner. Make all of us dinner. It was FANTASTIC and I appreciate it so, so much! It was so hard to sit there and not help! It’s just in my nature to help-I also was not raised to just sit back and let everyone else do the work. I always got up and helped clear a table, prepare a meal or do the dishes so to take this one day and sit there was hard for me.

The food was great! It was great to have both my kids together-to have them get along! It was perfect! I love them so much! I’m so thankful! I appreciate them so much! And yes I’m even thankful that (when needed) they can help me along just as I’ve tried to do for them. You never get to be done being a parent but at some point in life your kids grow up and can help you too!

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Happy Mothers Day!

Happy Mothers Day to every generation of Moms!

 To the Moms who are anxiously awaiting the birth of their first child, to the Moms who are maybe going at it all by themselves doing the work of two, to the Moms who stay home with their children teaching them right from wrong and so many valuable life lessons, to the working Moms who do the same. To the Moms that will soon be “Grand-moms”, to the Moms who have lived a full life and have shared so much wisdom, to the Moms that think they do no good, to the Moms who do their best. To the Moms who are not yet Moms but desperately wish to be, to the Moms of our future.

This day is for YOU! Be proud of the role God gave you! Children are a gift from Him! Enjoy every minute even the bad minutes because someday you will look back and realize life’s too short not to! 
Appreciate your children and what you’ve instilled in them! Two of my greatest accomplishments are my kids and I couldn’t love them more! If my children are a reflection of me…I am beautiful! Love you kiddos! 😘

✌🏻️