Posted in acceptance

I am Second

I was driving home from work today thinking about the past few weeks events. If you have read this post, then you know it has been a stressful and challenging week.  While sitting at a red light, I read the bumper sticker on the car in front of me. Three simple yet powerful  words that caught my eye. I am second.

It’s incredible how something so random and simple can sucker punch in the gut as if to rock you to your core. I am second. I have spent the past few weeks complaining about how hard my life is, how tired I am, and how alone I feel at times.  Now I realize how many times I say “I” in a week, day or hour even.

The truth is, I am not first. I am second. Without knowing where these words were coming from, I somehow knew. We are second to God.  I am second to God. So I should stop complaining about life right now and just spend more time talking to him.  So, now instead of listing my complaints about life, I am going to list my blessings from the week.

  1. Spending the day at the beach and seeing Mini – Me smile with that contagious sun shiny smile of hers
  2. Watching 9yo play soccer
  3. 4yo’s cute little bed head when he wakes up in the morning
  4. A job that allows me to be home normal work week hours
  5. our new church home
  6. The wonderful teachers God has put in our path
  7. Quiet time for reflection
  8. Coworkers who make me laugh despite the horrid week we have had
  9. Potential job opportunities ( I am praying hard to make the right decision on that one)
  10. Teaching our children to pray
  11. Fairy Garden’s ( we haven’t killed the flowers yet)

What are your blessings this week?

 

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Posted in acceptance

Choosing to love

It was March 15, 2004 on a cloudy yet, sunshiny day when I became the Mrs to my Mr.  I was 22 years old then, and full of love, hope and images of a picture perfect happily ever after. It’s hard to believe it has been thirteen years since we have said ” I do.”

Fast forward to that thirteen years on March 15, 2017 . I received an edible arrangement at work from the hubby and can honestly say that I was completely surprised. How does he still manage to surprise me after all these years?  We had a survey happening at the hospital so my day was long and exhausting, so the nice fruit basket kept me going throughout.

When I came home from work, our anniversary was anything but picture perfect. The house was a complete mess, kids had to be fed; homework need to be done and baths were started. The fancy anniversary dinner consisted of pizza that was eaten roughly around 7pm that night. Then, the hubby fell asleep in Buddy’s room  while putting him to bed. It wasn’t romantic.. it wasn’t ideal. It was just a normal night like any other. It just simply was.

>>>>>>

Apparently when you have been married longer than ten years people start asking what your secret is. Isn’t that funny? Ten years hardly seems like it has been long enough to know the key to keeping a lasting marriage. Yet somehow, seems like a lifetime in this day and age.

Once  you add social media to the mix, anyone can seem like they have this picture perfect marriage and then boom suddenly they are getting divorces leaving others wondering what could have gone wrong. I am sure if you looked at my social media pages then you would think that our marriage is perfect too. We only show people what we want them to see, which is usually  the good stuff. The flowers, the nice gestures, you know.. all that stuff. It hardly seems right to say hey, my husband sucked today..

The truth is, these past thirteen years have not been perfect. We have had some amazing times as well as come incredibly rocky times. It has been hard and a lot of work to continue to stay married for this long! I can’t tell you the magic secret to staying married, because well, we are still a work in progress and I think if anyone tells you different, they are living in a fairytale.

The only thing I can say, is that I am still married because once all the newness and honeymoon phase has worn off , we have to make a choice. A choice to love one another no matter what. I am still married because I choose to love this man even when every when I don’t like him very much. I choose to love the man who put over 200 valentines cards in a bag with different messages he had hand written on the day he asked me to marry him. I choose to love the man who communicates with very little words. I choose to love the man who once drove over an hour away to pick up a tablet that he ordered for me to celebrate a promotion. I choose to love this man who once again drove an hour away to buy soccer cleats for our oldest daughter because she doesn’t like the color pink and the green ones, were only an hour drive away. I choose to love the man who is sleeping right now, while I am sipping a glass of wine and cleaning our house ( I am a little mad about this one, but I still choose to love him.. Wine helps!)

Love is  choice. It is not easy, it is not picture perfect. It simply is the act of showing kindness, gratitude, compassion, and affection for one another. Love is a choice. Who do you choose to love today?

 

 

Posted in acceptance, mommyhood

Facing ADHD

 

It took me a minute to realize that I was holding my breath every time the shadow of feet outlined the crack underneath the door. An hour of waiting and that was lot of breaths being held by this very worried mommy. My mini me sitting in the corner playing with a toy in the office, while my husband and I sat waiting for results to all the testing mini me had done. Does she, or does she not have ADHD? That being the question on our minds. Did parental intuition set in, desperate for any indication as to why on earth this child seems to be struggling, or were we being two completely overly worried parents?

Once the doctor came, in it  was both the quickest and longest conversation we have had with any doctor I have ever experienced in my life. He spent over an hour with us going over test results line by line. I love him for that. We may have had to wait for an hour to see him, but it was because he wanted to ensure that he had enough time to explain the results and what it means for our daughter. The entire office had left for the evening, but we were there with our doctor. The terms, ADHD predominately inattentive type came out of his mouth and I swear at that moment I finally let go of the breath I had been holding. WE went over treatment options, and terms like 504 and IEP to help her in school. Then I swear that sweet doctor looks at me with the most sincere eyes and asks me the million dollar question. ” How do you want to treat this?” I am pretty sure that tears began to fill my eyes, because aside from working as a nurse, no doctor has ever partnered with their patient like this, that I have ever seen. Not really knowing what to say, I finally said that I wanted the treatment option that would help her the best. She is struggling in school and needs help.

The next day I sat in the kitchen holding a medication in my hand with tears streaming down my face and my body shaking. A medication that could help this sweet baby of mine focus, but could have some serious side effects. WE expected this, we knew this was the most likely scenario and yet, my heart felt burdened.  With my daughter in the living room, I silently called out to God. I just couldn’t hold the burden of fear any longer and gave this situation to him. I gave her to him. Suddenly I felt lighter, wiped my tears and drew up that medication as I have done for so many patients at in the hospital. With the good Lord’s grace, she took that medication without fight and I went to work and waited. I am not really sure what i waited for, to hear something bad happened, i don’t know. But i waited for word that she was okay, and she was. Day one of her medication and she was okay.

The first day of her medication was last Friday, and although he said she only needed this on school days, I gave it to her all weekend long to monitor her for side effects. She is on the lowest possible dose, and thankfully she did great! Monday came around and her teacher texted me that she had scored the highest grade on her fluency to date.  I can  breathe again, for now it just may be okay. For now, we have hope that she could still pass the first grade. For now, she only needs the lowest dose possible of this medication. Although that could change in the future, I am so thankful for that. For now, we just wait and see what else God has planned for this beautiful child.

Posted in acceptance

2017 Words to live by

It’s 2017 folks! Which of course means we will be writing the year 2016 for the next six weeks before we get it right, It also means some of us will pick goals for the upcoming year. I hate the term resolution so I choose words to live by instead of your standard resolution if weight loss  or get our of debt by the end of the year.

It always amazes me how far we come in just a little year’s time. Last year I wanted purity, value and faithfulness. I can honestly say we reached the goal for the year 2016. I feel more faithful and strive to see value in everything I do. Even when I am tired and just want to complain. I also do not feel like I am in the same negative place I was in a year ago. It’s amazing what getting rid of any negative thoughts can do for a person.

With such amazing words to live by in the year 2016, I have found it hard to choose words for this year. After writing down several words, I keep coming back to a couple that just seem to speak to me right now.  They are to be more  loving and seek continuous spiritual fulfillment.

Loving towards my husband.

I think loving and kindness go hand in hand. Couldn’t we all use a little more kindness and love in our lives?

I am not always the most affectionate person, and sometimes that pushes over to my husband as well. I know, how did we manage to make three babies? My husband’s love language is most definitely touch so this year my goal is to be more loving and kind and renew the relationship with my husband that has worn a little after the kids were born. I think this is true of most marriages, but its time to get priorities back in order here.

Loving towards my family.

We get so busy that with our schedules that there are times we go months without seeing my parents. I want to be a more loving daughter and strengthen the relationship with my parents. Even, if it is a phone call once a week, it will be a start.

Spiritual fulfillment

I have spent the past year becoming more faithful and while I still have ways to go, it has been a good start not only for me but our family. We started attending a church and make it on most Sundays. My hope is that we can more involved as the kids become more comfortable there. Faith is only one part of developing a spiritual relationship. In other words, just having faith isn’t enough. Spiritual fulfillment is the things we do to feed our soul. Much like our bodies need food, our souls need to be fed with the things that will truly make us happy. This year my goal is to continue to feed my soul with daily devotions and bible study. I am slowly making time for this on a daily basis. I can tell you, I notice the difference when I do not take time to feed my soul. I become inpatient and testy.

This year I hope you find happiness like no other and when the challenges arise ( and there will always be challenges) they are short and make you stronger than you were before they arisen. May you find love and hope for the new year to come. Happy New Year from April at  Diapers and tutus to Meetings and Boardrooms!

Posted in acceptance

50 things I am thankful for in 2016

If  you have been on social media lately then you have been sure to see posts that say good-bye 2016, and oh I cannot wait to see this year-end! These posts by people who are clearly having a challenging time and probably more recently than at the beginning of the year. Catherine over at Thousand hour mama created a list of what she is grateful for in 2016 and I decided to follow suit. WE have all had our challenges this year, but isn’t it more productive  reflect on what was good about the year? So without further ado I give  you my 50 things of thankful for 2016!

April’s 50 things of thankful for 2016

  1. Books-any books really, I just love the feel of them and diving into someone else’s story.
  2. My Children – I want to strangle the little suckers sometimes but they give me absolute joy
  3. completing my degree
  4. COFFEE– there are no other words necessary here
  5. My coworkers – It’s amazing how working with people who make you laugh constantly just brightens your day
  6. My canon camera – since I can’t get my children to take a decent picture I might as well take them myself and not have to pay someone else.
  7. Not so perfect photos –  see above.. I have some absolute great candid shots of the kiddos ( I am sure I will blackmail them one day with said shots )
  8. Disney world – what a wonderful and magical time
  9. Soccer – I was so sad when the girls dropped ballet, but to my surprise I love watching the kids play soccer
  10. Good friends
  11. My kid’s teachers – we have been blessed with some pretty special ones
  12. Therapist – the oldest has come along way and I know its due to her sessions
  13. vitamins
  14. Art– my fridge is covered with some pretty priceless art
  15. The show This is Us
  16. Cuddles
  17. Reading to my kids – as long as they will let me, I will read to them
  18. Red wine
  19. Date nights – we do not get many of those, but they are always appreciated
  20. Movies
  21. Paying it forward
  22. Spiderman – my son’s absolute hero and alter ego on most days
  23. Pandora music on my phone
  24. Netlfix– Fuller house, Gilmore girls ..Love!!!
  25. Erin Condren Life planner – Its expensive for a planner but brings my joy 🙂
  26. Travel agents – loved that my friend and travel agent planned out our entire vacation, all i had to do was show up!
  27. Daily devotions and bible study – I have recently began a bible study that just gives me a sense of peace every time i read it.
  28. Birthdays – because it’s always a blessing to have one more birthday
  29. Hairdressers – this is a little shallow I know, but for years I went to fantastic sams with so-so results, so now that I have an awesome hairdresser at a nice salon, my hair is awesome and healthier.
  30. Progress– even when small , I am always thankful for progress
  31. Playing board games
  32. Quiet mornings
  33. Saturdays
  34. Genuine laughter
  35. The palm trees in my front yard
  36. chiropractor and massage therapist
  37. My best friend– we don’t always get to hang out, but its like we pick up where we left off every time
  38. My sister-in-law – We are beyond blessed to have her car for our kids when school is on break
  39. Conquering my fear of public speaking – yes, I did a presentation for a national conference and rocked it!
  40. Visiting Washington – oh the history there, I am glad at 35 years old, I was finally able to see it!
  41. Bedtime conversations – it’s the one time of the night we slow down and the kids tell me about their day ( what did you think I was talking about?)
  42. Pretty sunsets
  43. Online shopping – Hello Amazon!
  44. 4yo’s tonsillectomy – so far no more signs of sleep apnea 🙂
  45. Farms– there is just something special about visiting the farm
  46. Grace– because we all need to give ourselves a little grace
  47. My husband – I don’t tell him how much I appreciate him nearly enough
  48. Facebook memories – I just love that it shows you where you were years prior
  49. Cooking – it’s a sense of therapy
  50. Blogging – it’s no secret I have been absent this past year, but am glad to get back in the game

What are you thankful for in 2016?

 

Posted in acceptance, Uncategorized

Feeling Accomplished

I did it! I hit the submit button to my final paper for my BSN program. When I first became a nurse twelve years ago, there was little importance placed on getting your BSN. Most nurses I knew had an associate degree. As healthcare changed, the emphasis has become greater to obtain an advanced degree. Yes, when I started my BSN journey, the emphasis became to obtain the BSN but now a Master’s is becoming the emphasis. Sigh.. School, school and more school!

I suppose the pressure to obtain an even more advanced degree made me unsure of how I would feel when I hit that submit button! In today’s world where a Master’s is becoming necessary, would I even feel proud and accomplished. The answer is YES!!! After pouring blood, sweat and tears into this program while working full-time and raising three kids with their own unique challenges, this has been quite an accomplishment! I felt awesome and free in a way, that I haven’t felt in years.

I know that i will have to go back. I know the stress will be there again. For now, i am sitting here drinking my cup of coffee just as relaxed as can be. So what am i going to do now you ask? Why head to Disney World of course! Stay tuned for posts on the surprise of our kids life! i cannot wait to share with you how we kept this secret for over four months from the kids 🙂

Posted in acceptance

A year later….

It has been a year. One year ago, i was sitting on a couch crying my eyes out. It’s been one year since we received 7yo’s unofficial diagnosis, as well as her official one. One year ago we were sitting at a licensed therapist office as she was explaining that our child is barely holding it together. It was one year ago when she told us, that our then seven-year old has symptoms of clinical depression and OCD tendencies.

It wasn’t long after that first meeting that we received her official diagnosis of MTHFR. A genetic mutation that can cause depression and a laundry list of other things. I would love to tell you that this past year has been easy, but it hasn’t. I would love to tell you that we have arrived and all is right in the world and that would be equally true and untrue.

It has been a year of learning patience ( I am still working on this one), understanding and challenges that I never thought we would face as parents this early in the game. When your child has a physical illness, it’s  for the most part simple. you know what to do. They have a fever, you give Tylenol. Step throat? we got meds to fix that. But OCD and Depression, well… that’s not so easy.

For this entire year, we have visited the therapist every two weeks without fail. We have tried journaling, and other techniques. WE have made a lot of progress, but still ways to go. She has went from having a complete flat affect to showing facial expressions and excitement. She continues to open up to me a little more every day. Whether it be friendship troubles or a sibling spat, she is starting to feel comfortable talking to me about those things. She doesn’t always push me away when I try to comfort her now. Before, she would scream and push me away if I came near her when she was upset. It is awful to feel like there is nothing you can do to help your child.

My favorite progress so far is her ability to show her excitement. To have true facial expressions. It was completely heartbreaking to see my 7yo never show excitement.  Slightly less than a year ago, I began to write the following :

Depression on my seven-year old is riding the merry-go-round and never smiling. Imagine going round and round on that shiny horse and feeling nothing. When most kids are smiling and laughing, mine is flat. No expression, just hollow inside.

Depression in a seven-year old is never wanting to play outside.  It is choosing to isolate yourself, even in your own family. It is sitting in the hallway and reading versus playing in the living room with your siblings.

This year, I pray for continued progress. For my daughter to better understand feelings and emotions. I pray more than anything for my daughter to tell me she loves me. Something she has said only a handful of times in her life. She simply does not understand emotions and seems unsure of what she feels.

This road will never be easy. It will be hard, it will be painful. It is parenting.

Trust in my unfailing love .. I am in control – Jesus Always