Sunday, September 18, 2011


Taken from "Encouragement for Today" email devotional...
received right when I needed it...

My thoughts: I want to give up.
God's Word: Be committed Matthew 5:33-37

My thoughts: I'll feel lost.
God's Word: He watches my paths and establishes my ways. Proverbs 5:21, 4:26

My thoughts: No one loves me.
God's Word: He loves me more than life. John 3:16

My thoughts: I'm ugly.
God's Word: I'm wonderfully made. Psalm 139:14

My thoughts: I'm all alone and no one understands me.
God's Word: He will never leave me. He has plans for my life. Deuteronomy 31:6, Jeremiah 29:11

My thoughts: I'm just not good enough.
God's Word: I was created in His image. Genesis 1:26

Friday, September 9, 2011

The Bus Is Just The Beginning...

I watched my oldest walk down the driveway and get onto the school bus this afternoon.
I cry every day... every time she gets onto that bus.
I cry.

And today I gave it to God.
Handed it back.
Let it go.

I can not live in fear.
I can not obsess on what may happen to her.
On the bus.
Or at school.
Or at a friend's house.
Or in the backseat of a boy's car.
Or at a party.
Or on a trip.
Or in our own house.

I can pray.
And love.
And hope.
And give it to God.

Sometimes There Just Aren't Enough Weeds...

Some people run.
Or eat.
Or don't eat.
Or smoke.
Or drink.
Or go to therapy.
I pull weeds.

It is weird.
I know it.
But I love it.
I can do it for hours.

It relaxes me.
Calms me.
Grounds me.

And I am sad when I finish.
When the weeds are gone.
And I'm still feeling lost.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Love this song...

You got your hand on the door
And you're ready to walk out
Well, the fight that you had filled your mind up with all this doubt
And you're losing your mind and losing your faith
And you can't remember why you fell in love in the first place

Go back, go back to the moment of truth
When she walked down the aisle and you first said, "I do"
When this life makes you wonder what have you got to lose
Go back, go back to the moment of truth

You got your hand on a habit
And you can't seem to let it go
It used to be your escape now it's out of control
And now it's you in the mirror
But you don't recognize your face
And you're looking for a reason not to throw it all away

Just go back, go back
To the moment of truth
With three words, "It's a girl"
And she looks just like you
When this life makes you wonder what have you got to lose
Go back, just go back to the moment of truth

You got your hand on the Bible
But your heart feels like stone
'Cause you think that you've made too many mistakes to come home
And you're losing your will and you're losing your faith
And now you wonder if you even believed in the first place

Just go back to the moment of truth
When you first talked to Jesus
And He reached out for you
He's still reaching, He's still reaching out for you
So when this life makes you wonder what have you got to lose
Just go back, just go back
To the moment of truth

-Matthew West 
Moment of Truth

Middle of the Night Verses...

"Show me your ways, O Lord,
teach me your paths;
guide me in your truth and teach me,
for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long."
Psalm 25:4-5

Every morning at 2:07am I receive a daily devotional email. I was awake with one of the girls last night, so I decided to go ahead and read it instead of waiting until the sun came up. This was the verse for the day... and I needed it.
"My hope is in you ALL DAY LONG." This is the part I struggle with...
All day.
Not just when I first wake up.
Or when I am feeling frustrated.
Or when things are going according to plan (my plan).

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


I'm not a crazy Oprah fan... I didn't sit home and watch her show when I only had one baby and not much going on. I missed her last show... I think she can be a bit annoying. There are a few things that I do agree with her on... girls do deserve an education too, oral sex is sex, and everyone should work to better him/herself.

I also agree with this quote that she posted on her facebook page (yes, I'm a "fan" of her fb page!):
“What I know for sure is this: You are built not to shrink down to less, but to blossom into more. To be more splendid. To be more extraordinary."  -Oprah

This is something that I have been thinking a lot about. And struggling with.
I often feel as if I "shrink down to less". That I don't allow myself to show my educated self. My "smarts". Like I need to play dumb for some reason. That I'm a silly stay at home mom... who doesn't have an opinion. Or at least an opinion that counts.
I struggle. I struggle with when to blossom. When to hide. When to be splendid. When to shy away. When to be the smallest bit extraordinary. When to be plain.

My focus and my goal this year is to dig deep into this struggle. To try and better understand why I question this. My worth. My splendid-ness. My ability to blossom.

Please hold me accountable.
Please help me.

I keep...

I keep my house decent. Not perfect.
I keep my clothes presentable. Not pressed.
I keep my girls behaved. Not puppets.
I keep my relationships real. Not petty.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

I Must Admit...

I have to admit something.
The last 48 hours of mothering has caused me to consider getting a job outside of the house.
Hopefully by tomorrow I will be over it... and loving this phase again.
But, today, it is getting on my last nerve.

I kind of miss having a shower every day.
And ironed clothes.
And an office door that closes... and people that knock.
And a bathroom stall... alone.
And a desk that stays organized.
And cute little decorations that don't get their heads broken off.
And coworkers that don't smear poop all over the floor.
And people that clean up after themselves.
And adult conversations.
And meetings where things are accomplished.
And to-do lists that get shorter.
And you hear "thank you" and "well done".
And a paycheck...

But, honestly, I would miss the dirty house.
And loud voices.
And non-stop singing.
And dirty hair.
And sweats.
And decorations with dried glue around the necks.
And being asked how much longer I was going to be locked in the bathroom.
And a sink full of sippy cups.
And having my computer time interrupted to fix a doll's hair or paint toenails.
And maybe even the poopy floor...

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Boobs or Books???

Since the doctor frowned upon the boob job, I decided to spend the money on turning our dining room into an office/library. I have had all of my books in boxes in storage since we moved in almost 4 years ago. I am happy to have them back out again...

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

In the past?

"I try not to live in the past, he thought, but who knows, sometimes the past lives in me." -Taken from Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet
Move forward.
Live for today.
You can't change the past.
That is yesterday's news.
There is nothing you can do about it now.
Move on.
Forget about it.

Oh, how sometimes I wish that was all true. However, the quote from the book seems to fit my life more.

The past seems to live in me...
The great times and the tough memories.
The highs and the lows.
The struggles and the joys.
The tears of sorrow and the tears of joy.
The days my girls were born and the days the others didn't make it.
The day I was married and the days we fight.
The mornings of sun and afternoons of storms.
The moments of complete love for my kids and the times of total frustration.
The pain and the healing.
The past seems to live in me...

The past makes me.
Creates me.
It is what I am made up of.
It is why I am who I am.
I wouldn't be the woman I am without it.
I certainly wouldn't be the wife and mother I am...
Or the friend.

So maybe it isn't so bad...
to sometimes have the past live in you.

Little House on a Big Hill

I took my girls to a little house on a big hill...
For a break.
For peace and fresh air.
For understanding and a place to pray.
For time to clear my mind and my head.

My amazing friend lives there. 
Our relationship has evolved through the years...
From Spring Break tattoos to deep understanding.
And I wouldn't be where I am today without her influence.
She is the friend who responds with "Prayed for you at dinner. Love you.... Will pray for you more."
When I text her late at night feeling extra desperate.

Her little house on a big hill was just what my heart needed.
Her care and her love.
Her understanding and her ability to challenge.
Her cooking and her wine.
Her fresh air.
And tire swing...

It all did my heart some good.
Thank you, friend.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Every Anniversary...

I read a comment on a friend's Facebook page the other day that said "Every anniversary is a victory."
This year I am feeling that more than ever.

Today is our 9th anniversary.

9 years ago right now, I was at a bridal luncheon. It was beautiful. I was surrounded by amazing women and the air was filled with hope and joy. A young man showed up to deliver 2 dozen gorgeous red roses that my "almost husband" had sent. It was all so magical.

The ceremony was surreal. There were hundreds of guests. The church was perfect. I felt like a real princess.
My father walked me down the aisle. I stopped halfway and looked at my dad and said, "I am so happy!"

And today we are at our 9th victory...
but some days are difficult.
some days the air is not filled with hope.
or joy.
some days I feel like that poor goldfish on the asthma commercial.
flopping around trying to catch my breath.
trying to get back to where things are good.
and comfortable.
and normal.
some days I feel like the final stretch of a marathon.
gasping for air.
stretching for the finish line.
wishing I could rest.

but for today
I will celebrate the 9 victories.
I will embrace the years.
and the blessings.
and the trials.
and the hope of getting back in the fish bowl.
and the joy of knowing there is a finish line.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

What A Bitch...

I'm pretty sure that if my kids knew what "bitch" meant, they would be using it these days. Towards me.
I have been short with them and super testy. And I hate it.
I hate going to bed at night sad about how my day was. Sad about how I talked to my kids. Sad that maybe they think I am a mean and nasty mom.
So, today I am trying again. Trying to love them better. Trying to speak kindly and softly. Trying to encourage. Trying to maintain patience. Trying to not be a bitch.

Friday, April 15, 2011

My Victory...

"This child meant so much to me. I had fought for her. I had not given in. She was my victory."
(taken from Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay)

I finally said it out loud... Something that I had been thinking for over two years. A thought that went round and round in my head... A thought that filled me with both guilt and hope.

"I will never be the same."

There are no words.
There are so many feelings.
But no words.

Being pregnant obviously changes your life in a cliche' kind of way. You have a living being growing inside of you. It is weird but amazingly awesome.
But being pregnant with Brooke was different. There was so much pain and confusion. So many questions and fear. So much loneliness. So many secrets.

It changed me. As a person. As a mother. As a wife. As a Christian. As a daughter. As a friend.

And it has taken me two years to be able to say "I will never be the same".
And I am still trying to figure out if this is an acceptable thing.
I am trying to figure out how this changed me fits into my marriage and into my role as a mother. How my changed view of life and God works. How I work through the fear and anxiety my daughter has developed. How I make sense of my inability to explain it all...

Thursday, April 14, 2011


I have so much to write. So much to say. So many thoughts swirling around in my head.
But they are not making sense and they are disorganized.
I will try again tomorrow. I will try to make sense of them and put them in some sort of order that makes some sort of sense.
And tomorrow I will write.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Birth Order and Parenting

I have read quite a bit about birth order and how it plays a significant role in the roles/personalities/emotions of people. I have also read quite a bit about parenting... not nearly enough, though. Can you ever know enough about something this complicated!?!?
I am the 2nd of 4 kids. So, technically, I am a middle child. I think that I have quite a few characteristics of a middle child. I married an only child, so I often leave the "only child" / "first born" stuff to him (like decision making, rule enforcing, super social stuff...).  I am seeing a lot of the birth order personality traits coming through with my three girls. I am also seeing how those traits impact their relationships.
I am currently pondering the idea of how my birth order (as the mother) may be impacting / screwing up / influencing my children and the people they are becoming. The thing that I am struggling with is how I am parenting my children differently... Am I? Should I be? Should I not be? Am I totally screwing them up?
A few thoughts that are running through my head:
-It is difficult to parent a first born.
-It is difficult to watch an only child parent a first born (they are so similar that it makes for an interesting combination)
-It is heart-wrenching to be a middle child and watch your middle child hurt (Obviously, it is awful for me to see any of my children hurting. However, it hurts my heart when I see her hurting. My oldest is so much better at expressing her pain and asking for what she needs to make it better). I just want to yell, "It is ok to ask for what you need! Please tell us what is making you so sad. What can we do to make it better? What is causing this anxiety?"
-It is easy to spoil the baby.
-I feel like maybe I treat the baby differently because of how much she has already had to endure in her super short life. Like she is our "special miracle", but that is unfair to the other girls. They are certainly miracles too.

So, what do I do?
Is it ok to treat your kids differently?
To take their personalities into account when making decisions?
To have discipline and consequences match their personailities?
To have higher expectations for one?
To hurt more for another?

Sunday, March 20, 2011

No Regrets... Seriously?!?!?

I keep hearing people say that they have no regrets... that they live their life regret free. Do they really mean it or are they lying to you? Or to themselves?
I recently spent some time thinking about this concept. The idea of living your life with zero regrets. I came to the conclusion that I don't live this way. I can not say that I have no regrets. I don't have many... but I certainly have some.
There are things that I have done that I wish I had not; however, they are not regrets. They have become learing experiences for me. Although they were difficult, they taught me about myself and about the world around me. About people and trust and freedom. About lies and deception and hate. About change and strength and understanding.
But I do have regrets. Things that taught me lessons that I never wanted to learn. Caused me to see things that I never wanted to see. Caused me to change the way I live my life.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

I Stand Before You Naked...

A wonderful friend reminded me that "everyone has their own issues". I know this is true. I believe that everyone has a story. I have had the opportunity/privilege/necessity to share parts of my story lately.

My relationships are evolving. Things are different. My "circle" has changed. I no longer talk to people that know my story.  And my "story" is resurfacing and unfolding.

It is a strange thing to open up and share.
To tell your own story... even small parts of it.
To admit your issues... even a few.
To be honest... completely honest (or as honest as I allow myself to be).

I feel naked.
Like I am standing before you totally naked.
Like I have exposed myself.
Like I can no longer hide.
Like I am taking an uncalculated risk.
Like I'm balancing shame and truth.

And, yet, so far my listeners have been amazing. understanding. kind. safe. compassionate. honest. loving.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


She was all dressed in her party clothes: jeans, her "three year old birthday shirt", a bright green tutu and her cowgirl boots. She looked up at me so excited and said, "Mommy, are you feeling better? Can we still go to the party?"

There are a lot of things I hate about this illness. Obviously I hate the pain of the headaches and the annoyance of the nausea. Obviously I hate not having any extra energy or leftover strength. Obviously I hate how messy my house is all the time. Obviously I hate all the time I have spent going through tests and procedures. Obviously I hate the unbelievable amount of money we have spent on medical bills and the time I have been away from the girls.

However, the worst part about the whole thing is the disappointment it has brought my girls.
We had plans with some wonderful friends awhile back. The girls were so excited. I was so excited. We had talked about where we were going and what fun things we were going to see and do. It was going to be great! But then I woke up feeling awful. I tried to push through. I got everyone dressed and our bag packed. I even buckled them into their carseats and started the car... But there was no way I could go. I was shaking and dizzy. My head was pounding so hard that I couldn't see straight. I just knew I was going to throw up.
The girls were giggling and so anxious to see our friends. I just couldn't do it. I started crying... really crying. Not because I was sick, but because I was about disappoint my girls so much.
(Luckily we have awesome neighbors who let the girls come over and play so the day was not totally shot)

This weekend I had a headache that I just couldn't kick. It went on for a few days and was just so annoying. It had me so nauseated on Friday that I was throwing up. My husband was out of town for the weekend and we had two birthday parties scheduled for Saturday. I dreaded a repeat of the above scene. I just couldn't stand to let these kids down... to disappoint them again.
I tried to call some family to help me out. To take them to the party or go with me and help. No success...
So I called friends to pray. To pray that I would feel better. That this would pass and that I would not be in a position to disappoint my girls.
God is good. He listens. Although I wasn't feeling excellent on Saturday, I was able to make it to both parties. It was a long day, but I made it.
That morning, Brynn got up and got herself dressed for the party. She was so excited. My eyes filled with tears when she asked me if I was feeling better and if we could still go to the parties. I was not going to let a little headache disappoint those hopeful eyes.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Fridge vs Pantry

Food and I are not really very good friends. We try, but I think that deep down we just hate eachother.
I am trying to raise my girls in an environment where this is not the situation. I am trying to raise them to be responsible eaters. I am trying to offer them a well-balanced meal three times a day...
But it doesn't always happen.
My oldest is amazingly picky. She has a few foods that she will eat and refuses to budge. If there is a speck of "green stuff" (spices) on her food then you may as well throw in the towel because she won't be eating it.  She is also very skinny. Shocking, right?!?!
My middle child has always been a good eater. We skipped right over baby food. She basically went from nursing to steak! She is starting to develop more preferences; however, she is willing to try new foods and often times likes them.
My baby is a good eater; however, she has already had a lot of dietary issues that we are still working out. She can only have certain dairy products and has some other GI stuff we are working to resolve. She is entering into the 2 year old stage of not eating much. I am not worried about it since I have seen my other girls go through it.
My girls are all fairly small. They usually fall well below average for weight. Their doctor laughs and says, "Well, mom, I wouldn't expect them to be big because you are not." I suppose that is true. However, I think that because they are skinny, I worry less about what they eat. I am more willing to let them have snacks that are not good for their bodies. And I don't like it.
I don't want them to struggle with food like I have. I want to teach them early. I want them to learn what is helpful and what is not. I want them to be friends with food.
My new goal is to feed my family more from the fridge and less from the pantry. More fresh foods and less processed stuff. More yogurt and less crackers. More veggies and less chips. More cheese and less candy.

Saturday, February 19, 2011


Back to my Bible Study...
We are reading the book Fearless by Max Lucado. There is a chapter that we discussed this week that I am struggling with. I talked about it a little bit during our study. It was interesting how different women had different suggestions/comments/ideas for me.
We were talking about giving our children "back to God".
     "We tend to forget this fact, regarding our children as 'our' children, as though we have the final say in
     their health and welfare. We don't. All people are God's people, including the small people who sit at our
     tables. Wise are the parents who regularly give their children back to God." (pg. 58)
I have done this often... "given" my girls back to God. However, I find myself afraid to totally let go. I gave the example of when Brooke was in the NICU.  I would walk out of the double doors of the unit and pray. I would say, "God, I know that she is yours. I give her to you, BUT do not let her die." I couldn't full let go and let God. I felt the need to hang on just a little bit. To keep a small amount of the control.
I knew that He was capable of taking care of her. He had kept her alive that long. There was no medical explanation for her being alive. It was all God... and for some reason I struggled with fully letting Him be in control. I was so afraid that He would take her from me.
     "Don't be afraid. Just believe, and your daughter will be well." -Luke 8:50
He promised. I struggled.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Snot Faced

I am due (probably overdue) for a good cry... Like the snot faced, mascara all over your cheeks, swollen eyes kind of cry. I feel it. I had a few teasers this week while driving in the car, but then I would arrive at my destination and pull it together.
I am due. I want to curl up on a friend's couch and just cry...
It isn't all bad.
Some is great.
I just feel the pressure and the build-up and know it is time to let it out.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

1% Milk

"... they called a family meeting when we switched to 1% milk."  (from Modern Family)
I love this line. It reminds me so much of my family growing up. Except it would be "she called a family meeting..."
My mother was the queen of "communication". She tried so very hard. She called family meetings all the time. She made worksheets that we had to fill out before we could have permission to go somewhere. She had schedules taped to the walls and copies of calendars.
I see how difficult parenting is... especially when both parents are not on the same page. I hope and pray that we can work together to be a "we" in our parenting. That "we" will value communication and family values... even if that means having family meetings every once in a while.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


I am in a Bible Study with some women and we are studying the book, Fearless.  I read the chaper about being fearful/scared/concerned for our children. I totally related. I find myself praying for my girls so often.  Being a mother is hard. There is so much out of my control. I drop them off at school... and pray. I send them to a friend's house to play... and pray. I used to walk out of the NICU doors and leave Brooke there... and pray. Over the years, I have spent many hours waiting on medical reports on my girls... and prayed. Right now I am snuggling with a sick baby... and praying.  It is kind of all you can do!
I feel myself shifting my worry around. Right now it is focused on Brynn. She seems more anxious than usual. I can not go into another room without letting her know where I am going and how long I will be there (even if it is just to fill up a cup of water).  I certainly could not go upstairs without her going with me. The few times that I have assumed she was content and ran upstairs, she totally panics. She sobs and reaches this concerning point of freaking out. She still goes to preschool and Sunday school without an unhealthy level of anxiety, but other situations are proving to be too overwhealming for her. She has so much anxiety and it makes me sad. I feel like a lot of it comes from me and that also makes me sad. I do my best to reassure her that she is safe and things are ok... and I pray. A lot...


We have been organizing our basement lately. It is a very overwhealming job. I am finding boxes that have not been unpacked since we moved into this house... three years ago. There are things like half empty packs of gum and "TO DO LISTS BEFORE WE MOVE" with only a few things marked off.
I also found the box I packed when I quit my job... five and a half years ago.  Everything from my desk in my cute corner office is packed away. My pens and pencils, keys and copy cards, photographs and frames. It is like that part of me stopped when I packed the box and walked out of my office. I had just had our first baby and thought working part time was a wonderful idea. I made it about ten weeks and quit and haven't opened that box since.
While organizing the basement I also went through box after box of books... hundreds of them. I have an impressive collection of books. I could fill an office with adult books. As I sorted through them, I said out loud, "I used to be intelligent."
I did. I used to read intelligent books and learn about things like the parts of the brain and how trauma impacts them. I knew things. I understood so much. I found notes from presentations that I made and was impressed.
Ainsley asked me what it meant to be intelligent. When I explained it to her, she responded, "Mommy, I think that you are still very intelligent."
It was sincere. It was authentic. It was true.
I am still intelligent. I may have forgotten the names of the parts of the brain and the founder of contextual therapy, but I am still intelligent.
I know my family. I know what makes us tick. I know each of my girls and my husband. I know myself. I am learning about their hearts and their little spirits. I know their medical conditions and their birth marks. I know their scars and where they came from. I know who likes corn on the cob and who likes it cut off. I know their favorite books and the cartoons that make them smile. I know their bedtime routines and their lovies they can not sleep without.
So, the books can wait because right now I know what matters most.

Thursday, January 20, 2011


I have a Master's degree in Marriage and Family Therapy. If I felt obnoxious, I could write my name as
Mrs. Jillian T. Bennett, MSMFT on everything...
So how is it that I can graduate with honors and still screw this whole marriage and family thing up?
Marriage is complicated. I don't think it is tougher than I expected, but it is sure difficult to navigate through. Not only is being married tough, but then throw in co-parenting and it gets much trickier.
I think that trying to find a middle ground as parents can be tough. We need to identify what is natural for each of us and what seems to work for our personalities. We also need to take into account the personality of each child... And then agree on a parenting technique that works. But then when it doesn't work we get really pissed... often at eachother.
I have decided that you can read and study and learn all you want about marriage, but it really just comes down to finding a rhythm that works. Learning to communicate and adjust.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Bought A Little More Time...

Well, I have bought a little more time before a diagnosis. My MRI results came in and they "showed no significant changes" which means "treatment will remain the same" for now. This is wonderful news (mostly).
It is promising because if this were MS or something similar then the doctors would expect to see changes on the MRI tests. I have had about seven MRI tests over the last 13 months and none have shown scary changes. However, they are all showing the same "significant damage" that was seen in the first CT Scan and MRI tests. It is encouraging that the damage is not spreading and causing more problems.
There is a teeny tiny part of me that is ready for a true diagnosis though. I am taking a lot of pills every day and we are just hoping that they are working... hoping that they are preventing something worse.  And so we continue to pray... and hope.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Chicken scratch.

                                                         Today my calendar looks like this:

But very soon it will look like this:

My grandmother used to use the phrase "chicken scratch" a lot.
That is what I think of when I look at my calendar.
My goal this year is to fill it with intentional things.
Play dates, Bible studies, coffee with friends,
volunteering, meeting new people, taking walks, cooking,
going to the zoo, playing at the park,
time for myself, dates with my husband, time with family.
Not just a bunch of "chicken scratch".

Thursday, January 6, 2011


My baby just turned 21 months last week. She is growing so well and developing right on track which is a true miracle.
However, the 21 month mark has been hard for me. My first 2 girls are 21 months apart. My middle and baby are 21 months apart. And here I am, 21 months later not having another baby. It makes me sad... actually really sad. Strangely sad.
We made a thoughtful decision after our baby was born to be finished. The pregnancy was almost unbearable. The emotional rollercoaster was intense. Our family was split up. There are really no words to explain the impact the situation had on us all. The logical decision was made. And it made sense. In my head.
And here I am, feeling in my heart. Missing the baby at the 21 month mark.
My husband decided this was a really good week to rid the house of all things "baby". Baby clothes, baby shoes, baby toys, baby swings, baby bathtubs... He has no understanding of the significance of this week. Or how hard it is for a mother to part with all of these things. So, I have sat up at night, alone, going through bins of clothes. Touching them and smelling them and preparing myself to miss them. I remember who gave them to us. Before I even take them out of the bin, I remember what stain is on the elbow and where it was from. Paint stains from art projects and grass stains from the park.
And then during the day I love and hug and squeeze and enjoy my three miracles.

Don't Fail Me Now...

My body and I have a bit of a love/hate relationship.
I haven't always treated it well. I certainly have not treated it as a temple of God. I have worn it down and abused it. I have made it sick and made it skinny. I have made it very mad. I have made it very happy.
It put up a fight when I wanted it to carry babies. Apparently it disagreed with my plan. I loved my body when it agreed with the babies growing inside. I hated my body when it was trying to evict the babies growing inside. We fought back and forth. Some days I won and other days I didn't.
After babies the push and pull, love and hate started again. My body started doing weird things. Abnormal things. Headaches, fatigue, nausea, shakes, confusion, most likely at least one stroke. Test after test. Procedure after procedure. Lab after lab. Dollar after dollar.
And now I wait... again. I had a follow up MRI done last week. This test will be compared with my last 5 MRI tests. It will show if there have been any significant changes.
And so I wait. I cringe when the telephone rings. I suppose I want answers, but maybe I don't. I haven't been feeling too awful lately. So, what good is bad news? Maybe no news is good news. Maybe not.
Please body, don't fail me now. I am being better to you. I am taking care of you. I am giving you what you want and need. I have beautiful children and a wonderful family. Lets work together... how about it?

Old Yeller...

In talking with many of my friends this year I am noticing a theme. Many people have chosen "to yell less" as a New Years Resolution. "Yell at my children less" or "Yell at my husband less".
This got me thinking...
I'm not really much of a yeller, and certainly not a screamer. I think that I yell after I find myself repeating the same thing over and over and over and over again.
My husband is a yeller. I hate it. It is not effective. It makes me crazy.
My oldest child is a yeller. I hate that too. It is annoying.
They yell at eachother. It is irritating. She is only five. I get sick to my stomach thinking about the future. A fifteen year old girl and her father. Yelling. Yelling about clothes and shoes and make-up and boys.
Hopefully we can tone this down a little bit.
Is it fair for me to make "to yell less" someone else's resolution?

Monday, January 3, 2011

"Maid Mode"

When we were growing up we had a "maid" come every once in a while. It may have been once a month, or maybe it was just when my mom decided we really needed it... I'm not sure. However, I do remember her announcing it was time for "Maid Mode". That meant we had about 24 hours before the "maid" would show up and start cleaning. We all had to get ready by picking up the house. Every "Maid Mode" came with a lot of yelling and complaining... why in the world would we need to clean the house before someone showed up to get paid to clean the house? What a waste of time.
Well, apparently Santa was tired of me complaining about how jealous I was of the neighbor's "maid".  I would see her car across the street and jealousy would take over! I would count the hours she was there and think about how clean my house could be if I had that many uninterrupted hours of time.
Santa had heard enough and delivered a kind letter with a lot of money attached... for a "maid".
Here is the problem:
There is no 24 hour "Maid Mode" here. I am about 6 months away from letting a "maid" into my house. My closets are disorganized. My drawers are a mess. I am half way through switching out the girls' clothes... I will probably finish about the time the seasons change and then will have to start all over again.
This stuff stresses me out. Out of control children don't. Scenes in the grocery store don't. Whining doesn't. Fighting doesn't. Messy closets and half completed projects do.
And now I see that "Maid Mode" is not a waste of time. My mother was right. You can't let someone come into your home to clean when it looks like this. Maybe I will be ready in 6 months...

Something Like That

We have visited Silver Dollar City a number of times. There is a house there called Granfather's Mansion or something like that. I avoided it for years. I am not a fan of anything scary... movies, shows, haunted houses, books, people. I intentionally avoid them. I make sure that I don't fall asleep with the tv on on a channel that may possibly have something scary hours later. So, Granfather's Mansion was avoided. It looked scary from the outside. The sign was written in old time writing and hanging kind of crooked. These things gave me the impression that it was something I needed to avoid. Trip after trip to Silver Dollar City, I intentionally avoided this exhibit. However, two years ago I decided to give it a try. I took my oldest in with me. She was about three at the time. Isn't that pathetic that I felt safer with a three year old by my side?!?!
So, I walked into the Mansion not knowing what to expect. I held her hand and in we went. It wasn't a haunted house. It was one of those places that try to confuse you. The walls are weird shapes and the floors don't always match up. The beds are on the ceiling and the rocking chair hangs above your head.
There was a particular part of the Mansion that really threw me off. The tilting ground. I held my daughter's hand and did my best to walk on the uneven floors. I tried to not get confused or anxious. I just put one foot in front of the other and led her through.
There are many days I feel like I am walking through that Mansion. My footing is a bit off. My mothering skills are a bit off. My marriage is a bit off. My body is a bit off.  My relationships are a bit off.
But, I try to put one foot in front of the other and keep walking. I experience the journey. I look around and let it sink in. I appreciate the bed on the ceiling and the rocking chair hovering over my head. I hold my girls' hands and press on. I hug my husband and take another step. I pray a lot.
I do my best to find my footing on this tilting ground.