Tuesday, September 8, 2015

No regrets

Tonight I need to write to be able to sleep. I read a quote that said something about being more creative at night. I eat most of my sugar at night, which makes me kind of weepy anyway. Looking back, I didn't always make great decisions late at night either. Maybe something about lowered judgment or being tired.

Living in Columbia has been a fresh start for me. A good start. It's been really, really, really good for me to be surrounded by positive influences. Alex loves me and we have fun hanging out together. I think my heart will explode every time I think about our kids because they're so amazing. Alex's family has been super supportive. They love us, and I've always felt welcome with them. I have friends here with whom I enjoy spending time. I recently got a job; my supervisor is incredible, and I couldn't ask for better co-workers.

And yet sometimes I still feel a twinge of sadness at the loss of relationships. Forever. I don't think I could ever go back and be friends with people from Life Before.  I'm not even sure some of them were healthy relationships, but I felt deeply in them and now they are gone. Very few of those relationships have translated into my New Life, and that's probably OK. It's probably good.

Losing my grandmother has me thinking a lot about people, about relationships, about how to spend time in this life. I was so full of pride thinking about how I wanted to get my master's degree and my PhD and have a name for myself. And maybe someday, because those aren't terrible things. But I also realized how much I really really love having family and having friends and I don't want jobs and school to be all-consuming.

It used to be how I found my relationships. I was busy-in high school and college. I loved going to class and to work and to church and to volunteer activities and building relationships and friendships in all these venues. I loved all of it.

But now I'm learning (even after some time) how to be a wife and a mom and that kind of being busy is SO different than what I used to do that sometimes I forget that I can be happy and not be out doing things all the time.

Not that life is all about being happy. It's a lot more than that. I'm just saying that I had 8 years of being busy and loving it and living it. Sometimes I look back and think that's what a fulfilled life looks like, and I begin to wonder what life would have been like had I made different decisions.

"Living with no regrets"

That's still something I struggle with sometimes. I have absolutely no complaints, but sometimes I don't "forget was is behind, and press on to what is ahead."

"I press on toward the goal that is the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus."

So I'm deferring grad school. I'm cherishing my currently relationships. I'm still mourning lost ones, but maybe that's okay too, because it means my Life Before still meant something.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Dancing with Adara

There's nothing so freeing and so exhausting as dancing with a two(almost three)-year old. We turned on the "Honey I'm Good" Pandora Station and danced our hearts out. When the only one watching is Adara, nothing is embarrassing.

Today Adara and I were looking through a book of photos from my wedding. She saw a photo of Alex surrounded by his family, and started naming all the people in the photo. Then she commented, "I forgot to be in this photo." In her mind, she already knows she belongs in the picture with all the other people in her family. I love that.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Memories (photos of grandma)

Today I attended a memorial service. I am so glad that I went. It was sad, but also joyful of the hope we have in Christ Jesus. I will see my grandma again. I also got to see my grandpa, and hug him before we headed back home.
I finally found some of my photos of my grandparents from our last two trips to visit. I'm so glad I have these happy memories with them!

Monday, August 31, 2015

Sometimes I don't know what to do

For so long I didn't know what to do, so I did "the next thing."That's how I keep going when faced with  crisis. I don't know how to handle situations, so I do what I know how to do.

I'm struggling with regret. My grandparents got moved into a nursing home less than three hours away and I didn't visit them once since they moved in. Sure, I had a young baby, but I definitely could have made the effort. I made plenty of time to go through my own personal crisis and try out new jobs and school ideas and sell my house and then switch back to social work and get a full time job. Who does that? It was so selfish. I was neglecting time with my babies to try and find myself. How much time did I miss out with them just to focus on myself? And I didn't even take the time to go visit my grandparents in a nursing home, just because it was inconvenient.

And what did I do when I found out my grandmother was dying? I went to work. I didn't rush to her unconscious side to say my last goodbye. It would have been easy-but I wanted to stay home. I selfishly didn't want to give up the time. And now it's too late to do that. I'm going to the memorial service. There's nothing else I can do. Maybe it's because I need closure, but going is the right thing to do.

I should have gone to see her, and I should have gone to say good-bye. I'm not sure if a blog is the right place to bawl out my sadness, but it's the only place I have right now. And even a blog is a selfish thing to do. It's all about how bad I feel about how I've handled situations.

I'm going to go work on paperwork, because it has to get done and I don't know what else to do right now.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Balance and routine

My life has changed so much in the past five years. Marriage, taking and quitting jobs, pregnancy and babies, renting/buying/selling houses, losing loved ones, getting into and then delaying grad school.

My whole life I've been a write. Never professionally, but writing down my life is definitely my go-to coping skill. If I write at night, I always sleep better. If I get stressed, I can let it go (at least for a while). I wrote some letters I'd been thinking about for months now. I even have stamps in my purse. I'll probably send them tomorrow. So I'm going to write again.

This Saturday would have been my first day of Trevecca's Marriage and Family Counseling/Therapy program. However, over the last couple of weeks I realized that I currently cannot balance grad school, a full time job, and having a husband and kids. It would be really terrible to be studying to be a marriage and family therapist, and yet never spend time with my husband or kids. So I deferred a semester while I adjust to working a full time Youth Villages job. I'm ever so glad I did.

Because I did not start grad school yesterday, I spend a lot of this weekend working and working and working and working to catch up on paperwork and house work. What a relief to not be able to think of anything else I could do right away for work. I'm sure there is, but for today, I'm done. I also got some lunches made, cleaned the kitchen, got my pump ready to bring to work with me, got the kids stuff ready, and I folded and put away all our laundry. I got more house work done this weekend than I have in the past 8 months since August was born. I'm pretty sure that's true.

I also exercised. That pretty much never happened. You know what I did? I ate sugar. Adara asked me for a cookie, and Alex asked me to make healthier ones. We've been trying to eat healthier again. So I made chocolate chip pan cookies with almond flour and organic sugar and organic chocolate chips and real vanilla. Same amount of sugar, but organic and gluten free. I was almost bouncing off the walls and found new motivation for life. Adara joined right in. Exercising together used to be our everyday thing. (note: eating sugar also puts me in a TERRIBLY stressed mood. However, I convinced Alex to keep the kids away while I fueled my stress into cleaning.)

Monday, August 24, 2015

Memories of Gramda Turner

The hardest part is the memories. The hardest part is remembering my happy, loving, vibrant grandma and realizing she won't be fighting the infection much longer because her soul will be in heaven. She's going to be so happy there.

I remember the last time I saw her. I was pregnant with Adara, and we drove to visit and have a 60th wedding anniversary celebration. We stopped by their house on the way, and grandma was so happy to see us. On the day of the celebration she sat at the table with grandpa. Even though he didn't always know who we were or what was going on, she still looked at him lovingly. She still held his hand. She loved holding his hand. 

I remember when we came and hung out at her house. I remember she told us to all get sticky notes and write our names on whatever we wanted someday. I remember when we helped clean out their trailer of stuff and I got to bring home some baskets from Ecuador. I felt so special.

Grandma loved taking care of her family. When she visited us over holidays, she would always make a huge pile of toast and buttered each piece. 

I remember when my grandparents came to visit. I remember thinking I wanted a marriage like theirs. I remember seeing my grandpa kiss my grandma and she had such a huge smile on her face. They really, truly loved each other.

She used to crochet all the time, and she made us all blankets. She asked me about my favorite colors, and then crochet a quilt of squares with all the colors. It's one of my most treasures things. She would talk about crocheting a quilt for all of her kids and grand kids.

I remember getting to stay over night at my grandparent's house in Guatemala. I remember thinking it was cool that grandma had milk that I could blow bubbles with a straw, and that I could always have a fig newton at her house. 

Looking back, I don't have tons and tons of specific memories with grandma. I remember more how I felt around her. I remember feeling loved and cared for every time. I remember feeling happy with her.

Even though I haven't seen her in years. I'm really going to miss her.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Being Thankful

I read somewhere that a bad attitude can be fixed by writing out a thankful list. So I'm hoping this will help my struggling attitude and lack of life direction today.
1. For my God. I can at least know He is in control of everything.
2. Food. For strength. For comfort. For fun.
3. For Alex. He provides financially, emotionally, enthusiastically, honestly, and encourages me to pursue whatever I want.
4. For Adara and her enthusiasm to do everything with me. She always wants to be with me, and I never have to wonder if she loves me. She inspires me to love unconditionally.
5. For baby August. His smile is so sweet, and he really is an easy baby most of the time. Balancing  two kids is one of the hardest things I've ever done, but he lights up when he sees me, and that's very encouraging.
6. For my extended family. For my mom, who drove us down to my brother's wedding. For my in-laws, who watch my kids while I try out different pursuits and encourage me when I'm struggling.
7. For my health. When people don't feel good, it's hard to imagine doing other productive things. Even though and discouraged because I'm not sure what I want to do, I am able to contemplate these options because I'm physically able to do them.
8.Grace. Adara says she's thankful for grace. From the mouth of babes for sure.

When asked: "What do you want your life to look like 5, 10, 20 years down the road?"

I don't know.

But right now my two year old wants to play "What color do you see?" So I'm going to stop ignoring her and do some soul-searching later.